Thursday, 28 August 2014

A "Nearly Finish" Quilt!

Readers of my blog on Monday will remember that I mentioned another summer holiday craft project that was "finished".....

 Quilt #3! In truth, I've only finished the top so far but I think that counts, doesn't it? I've now washed the backing fabric and sorted my batting so I'm ready to get on with basting and quilting but I wanted to share this project with you all the same.

I'm so pleased with how it turned out! You may recall that I had wanted to arrange the HST's in a colour rainbow-sequence pattern but the recipient (son #3) preferred a random placement of blocks. I'm not going to say he was right but I'm more than happy with how the random-ness has worked out. I decided to space the extra blocks around the centre piece because the centre on its own wasn't big enough. And then I decided it needed a little more width so went with the loud lime border. Since this photo was taken on Monday I've been asked a thousand times if it's ready yet, so I had better get cracking at the weekend!

I'm going to link this post up with Finish it up Friday over at I spend far too much time on Friday evenings reading the many wonderful blogs over there. If you are reading my blog via this link up, thank you for stopping by!

Love Natalie x

Monday, 25 August 2014

Crafty Catch Up

I hope I'm not the only one who has struggled to keep up with their blog during the hols? An actual holiday, combined with child care juggling has left little time for crafting let alone telling anyone about it. With a week and a bit if the holidays to go, I thought I'd do a catch-up post and then get back into the regular swing.

My catching up started with the fact that I "caught up" with my machine today, having not had time to use it much for weeks. What's a girl to do on a rainy bank holiday? Stay in her PJ's and sew, that's what (I cried through Pollyanna at the start of the day as well). My first couple of projects are photo less I'm afraid but just so you know, I cut down 2 old pairs of pyjama bottoms to make them into shorts. I also had a go at recycling an old t-shirt into a tank top using the tutorial at 
I've photos of the other makes for today - I made a new peg bag based on the storage bucket pattern found at I don't like the hanging peg bags you can make (I've been using a small cube-like bag) so I thought a "bucket" would be good.

I was using up "scraps" so this is made using a couple of the leftover blocks from the quilt I made for my niece at the beginning of the year. To be honest, this photo doesn't do it justice! I lined the bucket with shower curtain just to make it a little weather proof and decided when I got to this stage that I needed a handle so the finished article looks like this:

I used another left over block (it was a practice one from an early Bee month) to make another of these to store my threads in.

I did have one more sewing project completion today but I'm going to save that for a post of its own.

My other summer holiday makes have included homemade strawberry jam and blackberry jam - my sons and I picked the fruit and I made jam for the first time in about 30 years. Let me tell you - it was worth the wait! 
During August, I'm Queen Bee, and I've received  4 blocks so far:

And a really quick make came in the form of a patchwork key ring that came free with Love Quilting and Patchwork Magazine.

Phew! Catch up over

Love Natalie x

Sunday, 27 July 2014

The Perfect Day

It exists! I've had it today! I did all the boring things in life yesterday so that today I could indulge myself completely - and I have! Where would we be without a small amount of washing, ironing and cooking but I don't expect miracles.
It began with an early morning cuppa and a couple of chapters of a new book which I had been keeping as a holiday read - too much temptation so I started it today. Then onto the sewing machine which was all set up yesterday, with some projects for completion all laid out last night (I'm too organised!). Sewing punctuated with cups of tea and a sneaky chapter of a good book ( Book of Life by Deborah Harkness if you were wondering) - the Perfect Day.

Now I face a dilemma......I have embarked upon a quilt for number 3 son, made up of HST's using bold vs solid. Good so far. I laid them all out on my bed to try and put them in order and thought an rainbow-ish effect would be good.

 Just to be sure, I then tried a random placement.

I REALLY like 1. Guess which one Henry likes?

So what do I do? Do I sew it up in a way that he likes but that I'm not keen on? Or go with my version because I think it looks better? Don't think I haven't already considered option 3 which is make the one he wants then make another the way I want it.....

Your thoughts would be most welcome!

My other sewing completion of the day is the cutest pair of baby bootees I've ever seen, even if I do say so myself! Actually, I made 2 pairs.

They're made with the beautiful plush fabric I bought at Plush Addict a couple of weeks ago and they're are gorgeous! The pattern is from My cousin has just had her second baby so a pair will be sent off to her as soon as I can stop myself from stroking them.

I'll be joining up with Handmade Monday to see if anyone else has had a great day!

Love Natalie

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Teacher Presents

I spotted a pattern for a little quilted purse at a couple of weeks ago and decided it would be a perfect teachers gift. I had to buy a new gadget for the project (shame!) so when I was at the Plush Addict open day a couple of weeks ago I picked up a snap-fastner.

A girlie gadget!

The pattern is really straightforward, although I did make a practice one first just to be on the safe side, and I'm really pleased with the results. I've sewn the names of the teachers onto the reverse of the purse for the extra personal touch - I did try to use my sewing machine to "write" the names but it wasn't working out very well, so I settled for writing the names on dot and cross paper and sewing over the writing onto the fabric, then gently teasing the paper out.

They are the perfect size to hold a dinner card! Or a little change to buy a cookie on Fridays. (the pattern suggests these are the perfect size to give a gift card which is also a great idea).

It's Sunday so I'm linking up with Handmade Monday.

Love Natalie x

Sunday, 13 July 2014

I'm back!

My sewing mojo is back! I spent a couple of hours with my sewing machine on Wednesday and made great progress with a couple of projects so feel well and truly back up to speed. I've ticked off 2 items on the To Sew list - July's LBQB block and my "test" block for August. Firstly, my test block:

I'm really pleased with the mix of reds that I've used, and am very excited about August, when I'll receive blocks from my fellow Bee-ers.
Now for the block I made for July's Queen Bee:

A wedding ring block. I REALLY enjoyed making this block, and I'm really pleased with how it turned out. I also happen to love the fabric, a fat quarter that I've had in my stash for just such an occasion, and the background colour was bought especially at Plush Addict last weekend. I think I'm going to make a quilt using blocks like this, I really did enjoy making it.

I'll be joining up with Handmade Monday this weekend if you can join me there for some crafty inspiration.

Love Natalie

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Plush Addict Open Day

I'm lucky enough to live withing driving distance of the Plush Addict warehouse so I went along to one of their occasional open days yesterday. Wow! What a selection! It was wonderful to touch and feel so many of the gorgeous fabrics that I have admired in magazines and on the internet lately  (and flattering to get a round of applause for being the first person there!).

This is a picture of the goodies I bought. There was also some grey jersey that is still in the bag that can just about see in the right of the picture ( it's a lovely storage bag that came free when you spent 'ahem' - a "certain" amount of money).

Keen to get on with some sewing after last weeks lull, I was up at the crack of dawn today and managed to squeeze in a couple of hours of cutting out before I needed to help out with some gardening (I now have blisters on my hands - I should definitely stick to sewing!). I intend to get down to some serious sewing business on Wednesday. The to sew list goes as follows:
- July's block for the Bee
- Augusts block
- Teachers gifts
- Baby bootees (I'm really excited about these, I'm making them with the zebra print and lime green plush fabrics you can see in the photo)
- really cute button snowman Christmas tags that I saw on Pinterest the other day!

Let's see how much I've done by this time next week......

Love Natalie 

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Queen Bee Demands!

Thank you for stopping by my blog. This post is all about the block my fellow Little Blog Quilt Bee-ers will be making me during August, but feel free to read on and discover how useless I am at giving instructions!

Where has the time gone? I really can't believe we're already charging through July and I need to post my requirements for my block for August. When we started the Bee I thought I'd like a log cabin block as I had never done one but as the months have gone on, I've been pushed further and further outside of my comfort zone and I've changed my mind - I'd like a Ric Rac block please.

This is a photo of the block featured in this months Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine and though I've been thinking about a chevron quilt for a while, it wasn't until I received the magazine that I realised that this would be a great Bee block.

So, my requirements are these: could I have a 12.5" square block with 2 'red' stripes on white background. I say 'red' as they don't have to be solids, you could use red patterns, and mix and match if you want to. I've bought a selection of reds today that I will be using:

I have 1 slight problem - instructions for making the block. I tried to find a really good tutorial but didn't manage to find one. I'm going to make my block following the magazine instructions (although I won't paper-piece my HST's) but I realise that not everyone gets the mag. Everything depends on whether or not you are using a mixture of reds or just one. You need to end up with 16 3.5" HST's. So by my calculations, that's 4.5" squares of white and red combination - I guess if you're using more than 1 print then each square will make you 2 of the 16 total. Am I making any sense?!!! At least 1 of you will be able to explain this far better than me so feel free to elaborate in the comments. I have literally been losing sleep with the excitement of making these blocks and receiving them all, and now that I have to ask you to make them, I'm hopeless!

I'm really looking forward to getting on with some sewing - starting with Claire's block for July - and have been to the Plush Addict open day today to stock up. I think my sew-ers block is over, so I'm off to get my machine out!

Love Natalie