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 

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Sew-ers Block

I've not written a blog post for a couple of weeks because I've not had time to do much crafting. Life just sometimes gets in the way! In between times, I have been reading lots of blogs - it's like having an ever updating magazine at your fingertips.

Yesterday, I dusted off my sewing machine, determined that I was going to Do Some Sewing. And what happened? Nothing. No inspiration. How can I have a Things To Make list as long as my arm, and boards full of inspiring pictures on Pinterest and yet not be able to decide what to make? I thought I'd start with July's Bee Block and decided on the "colour" but realised I didn't have a suitable low volume background to go with it. So I moved on to practise the teacher gifts I wanted to make, and couldn't appliqué a butterfly if my life depended on it. I made a practice gift card wallet that turned out really well, then wondered if I'd ever use such a thing? And then a practice baby bootee which was SO cute, but I realised that I didn't have the right fabric in my stash to make a pair to gift. In a desperate attempt to sew SOMETHING I started sewing together scraps. Why? Who knows. It just seemed like something to do. 

There are more, but I'm sure you get the idea.

One successful project from the last couple of weeks was my Bee block for June. It was quite a simple block (note: it was simple the way I made it, some of my fellow Bee-ers made theirs fantastically tricky and consequently wonderful to look at) but I dithered over it for a while. It feels like a lot of pressure trying to decide what another person might like! Any-hoo this is how it turned out:

If I recall correctly, I'll be Queen Bee for August which is exciting, I had thought I was going to ask for log cabin blocks but I fell in love with a chevron block I saw in a magazine so might change my mind.

I'll be linking up with Handmade Harbour today for a catch up with the other crafty types. Here's hoping next week proves to be more inspiring!

Love Natalie

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Quilt #2

I bought number 2 son a duvet cover for his birthday last year that was made with such slippery fabric, it was impossible to use it on the bed - the duvet literally slipped to the bottom of the cover every night.  During a clear-out a couple of weeks ago I realised I had a couple of IKEA fleece blankets that I no longer useu and thought that they would be the perfect wadding to turn this cover into a quilt.

He is thrilled with it, and it has been dragged around the house ever since (why don't boys realise that if they put more clothes on they'd be warmer?). In truth, this project doesn't showcase my best work. My basting was much improved, and consequently I had only a couple of puckers. 

I decided that the pattern of the emblems on the reverse of the cover meant that straight line quilting would be best way forward. When I say straight line, I mean lines.....

You can just see in this picture  that my lines were a little wonky in places but I was eye-balling rather than following a marked line so what did I expect? Also, my hand binding wasn't as good as it was the first time I did it on a quilt (ie the OTHER time I did it on a quilt!). In some places at the edge of this quilt sandwich, the layers were a bit thin (dodgy cutting of the edges) and so I often caught the right side of the quilt with the thread. But remember - Finished is better than Perfect! And finished it is. I decided that life is too short for me to have gone back and unpicked all the binding to re-stitch it perfectly - I'm not sure my son will notice whilst he is dripping milk down it when he's eating his cereal!

I'll be linking up with Handmade Harbour today, so join me there if you can to catch up with other crafty types.

Love Natalie

Monday, 26 May 2014

Dressmaking #2

What's a girl to do on a rainy bank holiday? Sew of course! I'd promised myself a bit of a day off today - no housework or chasing around after children - so sewing was bound to feature (of all the things on my day off list, this is the only 1 I accomplished!) 

My first sewing job was to make the block for June for the Little Blog Quilt Bee. May's block should have arrived by now so I can show you a picture:

We seem to be having a wonky theme going with the blocks so far! Why is deliberate wonky-ness so difficult? Quite apart from anything else, when you are trying to put the individual pieces together, you naturally try to un-wonky them. I do anyway!

Back to June's block is finished (but can't be revealed yet!) and so is my second attempt at dressmaking. Today I completed a simple skirt, using the pattern in the Great British Sewing Bee book. I'm thrilled with it! If we get any decent weather in the summer, it'll be perfect.

Please excuse the knobbly knees!

I love this patterned fabric. My husband wasn't too keen when I bought it but he said it is better now made into a garment.

What to make next? I feel like I'm on a roll. I've bought a pattern for a jersey cardigan that I might have a go at next but we'll see.

I hope you've had a productive bank holiday despite the weather!

Love Natalie x