Wednesday, 19 October 2011

More pretty little pouches

I have taken a week off work to spend quality time with my daughter who's on half term holidays. We have been pottering about in our Kent retreat, playing games, cycling, going for seasidey walks, crafting and of course sewing and just chilling out (=for me this means sew sew sew).  The weather is still gloriously sunny, but it has turned cold...
Today's sewing materials consisted of a bundle of Aneela Hoey's Little Apples fabrics.  From them I made two pouches, a pencil case and a little everyday pouch.  Thinking cap is still on, so more should follow...

Pencil case front

 Pencil case back

Little pouch front

Little pouch back

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Tea cosy or elf's hat?

I had an unsual request from hubby - he wanted a tea cosy! As I don't drink tea, I had never thought of buying or making one...murmurs were heard about the second mug of morning tea in bed being cold, a tea cosy would help!  I of course promised to make one, but if I am totally honest, this project  didn't really excite me.  Start with a rummage in the scrap basket which is always a pleasant task and a design idea started to emerge.  Sooner rather than later a bunch of rainbow coloured fabric strips, amongst them Kaffe Fassett fabrics, were stitched together.  Call this an organic pattern, as I didn't bother to trim anything to size - just a quick measure around the teapot and that's were I would stop adding strips.  Here's the result - a rather unusual but jolly tea cosy!

Forgot to mention - it is reversible - the inside was also completely made from fabric scraps.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

The first log cabin quilt ever?

I took my daughter to the British Museum last weekend and look what we found - this is a small crocodile mummy from El-Hiba after 35 BC. It was maybe only a yard long in a glass cabinet, but look at that amazing pattern of the cloth they used for mummy!

Friday, 14 October 2011

Selvedge tutorial

I have been having fun with selvedges recently!  After having amassed quite a collection of them and for not knowing what to make out of them, I had a little play...

First I made some half diamond shapes - they look like Christmas trees - this may well turn into a seasonal project... I also wanted to experiment with circles, which I love! 
I used the Accucut Go circle die which the postman delivered today - yay!
Here's the result - cool or what?
And to think I kept the Accucut go stored away for over a year after having used it for just one project.  It will have to work harder now!

Here's a simple tutorial for these projects.
Material requirements:
An assortment of selvedges 18” x 1”
(I cut my selvedges to 1" wide, so they don't have to be trimmed later)
Quilters muslin (quilters calico in the UK)  approx. 20”x 6”
Fusible webbing (I use Bondaweb) 20”x 6”
Background fabric for project
Quilting thread 
Cut a 20" x 6” piece from the quilter’s calico.

Choose pleasing selvedge designs/colours - as with anything, coordinated and/or complimentary colours work best.
Trim the selvedges to 1” wide and 18” long.  I use a lot of fat quarters, hence there are loads of 18” long selvedges in my stash. This seems to be a good length to work with - the longer the strip, the wonkier the stitching becomes!
Starting from the bottom edge, pin the first strip to the calico and then pin the second strip above it by overlapping the first strip by 1/4" – in most cases this should show a little strip of colour as well.

Start stitching the second (the first one gets attached at the same time) selvedge onto the calico.
Stitch very close to the edge in a nice straight line.  
Press the selvedges down every now and then.

Auqa love...stop when the piece is 6” wide.
Trim any loose calico pieces off the back – simply just cut them off.

Press the fusible webbing onto the back of the block.
Once the piece has cooled down, remove the paper.  
The piece is now ready to be cut to whatever shapes you want to work with.

For Christmas trees, trim off a piece at the end on a 45 degree angle and keep on alternating the direction and cutting on a 45 degree angle as many pieces as you can.  The end pieces can be trimmed off to smaller trees as well, so wastage is minimal.

Arrange the shapes in a pleasing order on the background fabric.
Fuse in place and stitch once or twice neatly around the shapes to secure them in place.
Alternatively quilt as desired.
You might have noticed that there is a gap (like a tunnel) in between the calico and the selvedges - this section of the selvedges won't be fused in place, but they will only be secured in place by the stitching.
With time some fraying will occur on the edges, but that just adds to the character.

However, if you are not so keen on the frayed look, then forget the calico and stitch the selvedges together without it.  
Press fusible webbing to the back of the selvedge strips block. 
Cut the required shapes.
Lay out in a pleasing order on your background fabric and press in place - this will secure the selvedges straight onto the background fabric.
Stitch around the edges or add a piece of wadding and quilt as desired.
Enjoy your selvedge projects!

Thursday, 13 October 2011

New blog!

As you can see, I have attempted to start blogging!  It may be a learning curve full of mistakes and typos no doubt, but I will try my best.  So, if my links don't work or anything of the like, just holler - I would love to hear from you.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Quilt swaps at Flickr

Online quilt swaps - how addictive are they???
You may have been participating in the online swapping activity for a long while, but I have just started and I am completely hooked - it is so much FUN!

Below are some of the items I made for the
Pretty Little Pouch Swap...

Here's a rainbow pouch with a grey shot cotton frame.
I really really love it - it's bright and modern without being garish.

The little fruity zip pull is just perfect!

And here's another one for the same swap. This is my current favourite pattern!
Just loving those crosses - it is visually very effective and one gets to use all those lovely scraps of fabric!

I couldn't help myself, so I made this one as well. This transport fabric is great - it reminds me of Heather Bailey's designs although it is not by her, it came from Tikki. The pouch has a precious zip I have been saving for a special project - unfortunately I cannot find them anywhere anymore, so can't have any new ones.

Here's a pouch made from Aneela Hoey's Sherbet Pips fabric range with some solids on the sides. The other side is matching. Now, I think we can honestly say that my partner is pretty spoilt for choice! But I am glad that only one of these pretty little pocuhes will be leaving my house and the rest are mine!

This pretty little pouch from Lecien's Flower Sugar range was a birthday present for a special friend.

Off to do some more sewing - see you soon!