Monday, 28 February 2011

I have chosen 'The One'!

After much careful deliberation and thought, I have chosen 'The One'.  The one that will keep me warm, the one that looks beautiful, the one that will be with me for years to come.  The QUILT design I have chosen to make for my first quilt (ever) is the Topsy Turvy Quilt (tutorial over at Moda Bakeshop).  Here is the design -


I love the design for many reasons - one being that it's really simple, you can really see each of the fabrics used, but most of all - its WONKY!! This is good news for me as I hate straight lines,  the harder I try to get things sewn up straight the more it looks squint! 

I spent a while yesterday preparing all the fabric - cutting the squares 'wonky' and cutting the strips of the border fabric. 

Wonky squares
Cutting all done!
Once I had cut all the fabrics up, my legs, back, wrists, arms and hands ached!! I used my rotary cutter and new quilting rectangular ruler and it was all really easy to do, but the pressure I was applying to cut through the fabric meant my arms got a really good work out! 

I began sewing the borders onto the squares this morning and did some more during nap time and here's my progress so far -

Progress..
I am REALLY pleased with how this is looking.  The next step will be to square up these blocks to 12.5" then sew the blocks into rows. 

I spent ages in the fabric shop on Saturday trying to decide what to use for my border colour - the choices I had narrowed down were ivory, cream or silver/grey.  In the end I chose the cream.  It keeps it nice and light and contrasts so well with the colours in the 'Sunkissed' fabric range.  I felt that the silver/grey was a little on the dark side for the quilt top but I might just use it for the backing.  I haven't even begun to think about what to use for the binding.  I think I'm going to end up in the fabric shop with my finished quilt top trying to decide! 

Friday, 25 February 2011

Sunkissed Fluff!

My order of fabrics has finally arrived (postage doesn't take that long but I didn't have my Paypal account set up properly which delayed things!).  I am soooooo in love with the Sunkissed layer cake!  I like the Hideaway fabric....I just don't love it quite like I love the Sunkissed....

Both layer cakes have been washed this morning and this is the resulting ball of fluff that was the frayed edges -
 
That's one big ball of fluff! 

Even the fluff looks all nice and pretty!  The Sunkissed fabric is the chosen one to become my first quilt.  It's a beautiful range of pastels, and the designs on the fabric are gorgeous.  Here's a sample of a few -



This gives a really good idea of how my finished quilt will look, I wanted something with pastels that wouldn't take over the whole room, this combination of colours and patterns is so subtle yet will result in a beautiful quilt.  I can't wait to make a start.  I'll be ironing the fabric as soon as it's dry...then deciding how to cut it up so I can re-assemble it into a quilt top.  I think I'll probably cut each piece into quarters then piece them back together randomly to have a complete chequerboard look.  Nice and simple for my first go. 

This fabric also appears in several colours throughout the layer cake -



Isn't it lovely?  It features definitions of other 'positive' words like life, hope and grow.

I've also been working on some new additions to my Folksy shop.  I have added a few more phone/ipod/gadget cases.  This time I tried some different designs and I'm really pleased with them.  Here's a peek -
Riley Blake Umbrella fabric

Fancy little button

Contrasting lining

Blue and brown Kate Spain 'Verna' fabric

'Purple Passion!'
The first one, (pink one) is my favourite, it was also the most time consuming! I love how the bright pink binding gives it such a sharp, neat look.  I also love the button (of course)! I tried making a couple this time using a button and loop closure,  I'll definitely make some more like this, I think it looks really smart.  Hop on over to my Folksy shop and take a closer look at all of my new additions. 

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Off to a new home....

 

These little lovelies went off to their new home today....


Toddler sized bean bags - these are what I have spend all of my sewing time on for the past week or so.  A friend had seen the one I'd made for my son and then asked me to make FOUR for her. 

The bean bags went in 2 by 2...
I made the bean bags using really thick and durable cotton canvas and these are the two prints I chose -

Cute butterflies and insects

Cartoon birdies
I love both of these fabrics, they're nice and cartoon-y and great for kids.  (Sorry, I have no details about who makes these fabrics but if you'd like to get your hands on some please let me know and I could arrange for you to buy some through my Folksy shop.)

Here's a close up of those cute little insects and flowers (there's a close up of the birds at the beginning of this post) -




Aren't they adorable?

This task was a great way for me to build up my confidence and skills.  I did them production-line style, i.e. all the cutting at once (yawn!), then all the sewing of the specific parts.  This did however, mean I ended up doing all 4 zips in one sitting, boy was that hard work!  This is the tutorial I used for my zips - easy peasy, but it does take quite a bit of concentration. I'm definitely not afraid of zips any more.  I got a whole bundle of them at my local Dunelm Mill - there was a basket of them in the sale for 35p, 45p and 60p each!  What a bargain. 

This fabric is really great to work with as its so thick, (maybe some would find that a disadvantage, but its great for certain projects).  Here's a fabric basket I whipped up using it -



Perfect for collecting little toys in at the end of the day. 

On a different note, something else went to it's new home this week as well.  This padded, quilted phone case -



I sold it on Folksy - MY FIRST SALE!  I cannot tell you how excited I was to have sold my first item - someone likes my work enough to part with real, hard earned cash for it!  Thank you who-ever you are, I hope you like your new phone case as much as I do, it's on it's way to you today.

Now that the 'mass production' of the bean bags is out of the way I think I'll spend some time stocking up my Folksy shop, I've got some nice ideas for things to make, so keep checking back for shop updates. 


Friday, 18 February 2011

A weekend trip

This weekend we are heading up to the beautiful Aberdeenshire countryside to stay with the in-laws. 

The River Dee in Aberdeenshire
This means a WHOLE weekend away from my beloved sewing machine!  I'm not sure how I'll cope - I've sewed almost every day since I got my sewing machine back in November.  I had planned on making something that I could finish by hand while we were away...but other things got in the way and I haven't got round to it. 

Instead I plan on looking through this little lot


A sewing friend who lives nearby came round yesterday and we had a book/magazine swap.  I've also bought myself a copy of the latest Sew Hip magazine. 



Hopefully I can spend the weekend looking through these books and magazines getting lots of inspiration for some future projects.  The next crafty thing I'm thinking about is Easter toys for my son (he doesn't get chocolate yet so I have to think of alternatives for little Easter surprises. 

I came across this little cutey Easter chick -


Isn't he just the sweetest?!

There's also a pattern in the Sew Hip magazine for these cute bunny wabbits, so I might give that a go too. 


I also have some of this fabric (Blue Tossed Birds by Timeless Treasures) which I ordered last year from The Fat Quarter Shop.


This will make a really nice little fabric basket, I've seen lots of tutorials out there for these so I'll do a bit of web surfing next week and find one thats just right.  I'll fill the basket with lots of little goodies for my son for Easter. 

If you've seen any cute Easter things out there on the web, please leave me a comment and a link so I can have a look, thanks! 

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Home sweet home...

Remember the little wall hanging I was thinking up?  Well I've appliqued, machine quilted, hand quilted, and bound!  This is what the finished item looks like -


Hmm, I wish I'd done the words in plain fuschia fabric because I don't feel they stand out enough.  They're not very clear in the pink and white gingham.  Apart from that, I'm pretty happy with it. 

This was my first time hand quilting anything and I went round random letters and the top heart by hand.  I also added 2 columns of hearts either side of the top heart.  I'm really pleased with how these turned out - I used quilting thread the same colour as the background calico fabric, I think the look is really effective -


And of course I finished off the hanging with a little ribbon and some buttons!

I haven't hung it up in it's final place yet as I wasn't 100% sure I liked it enough to have it in such a focal point in the house....we'll see, it may grow on me!  (If anyone's interested in buying it let me know in a comment and I'll list it in my Folksy shop.)

Here's a sneak peek at something I've been working on lately....



The colour hasn't come out great, but the fabric is part of the 'Little Menagerie' line from Windham Fabrics.  This is what it looks like in 'real life' -



Wow - the lighting from my own photo is REALLY bad! (When you see how it is supposed to look!)  If anyone has any tips on getting a better light for my photos please let me know!!!  I love the colours used in this fabric - its predominantly blue and green, but when you look closely there's actually so many other colours you could pick out to emphasise. 

I'll reveal the finished product in a few days......

Monday, 14 February 2011

Happy Valentines Day!

Happy Valentines Day!

Grab yourself a cookie on the way past - they're fresh made today (Cherry and Almond Shortbread)....I've already had 4, they're so moreish!!


Here's a little piece of scrappy patchwork I made a few weeks ago - its literally pieces out of my scrap basket - some of them were really tiny!


It's not a great photo - the weather's been a bit grey around here lately. I love it though, I chose all my favourite scraps - the hearts are 'Hearts o Plenty' by Michael Miller and the white dots on pink are Riley Blake.  There are also some fuscia pink pieces, some lovely bright stripey ones and the thinnest scrap of gingham (they look much brighter and prettier really, this photo just doesn't show it!).

I ended up using this pretty piece of patchwork to make this -
 


Isn't this little fabric tray so sweet?  It only measures about 4" x 3", but its just the perfect size for this -


....storing all those bits of thread that you just pile up next to your sewing machine!

I added the ribbon and button detail just to hide the messy folded corners.  (And because I LOVE ribbons and buttons so I look for any excuse to use them!)


Sunday, 13 February 2011

It's on it's way!

Well, I've finally done it! I've bought the fabric for 'my very first quilt'!  In fact I've bought 2 different fabric ranges just cos I couldn't decide and I am thinking I'll end up making more than 1 quilt eventually anyway....

The first range I chose is 'Hideaway' by Lauren + Jessi Jung, it has a great range of colours -  yellows, blues, reds and greens and each individual fabric has a cute pattern. 


I have ordered a layer cake which will contain a 10" x 10" piece of each of these fabrics and then some more to add up to 42 squares in total.  This will be enough for my first quilt which will be a lap quilt which I will be using to snuggle up with on the couch to watch tv!

The second layer cake I've ordered is 'Sunkissed, Sweetwater' by Moda Fabrics.  This is a gorgeous range which contains some pastels and some funky brights -

My lap quilt will be mainly pastels and once I progress to a quilt for my bed, I may use some of the more vibrant colours.

I am planning a fairly simple quilt, I want to be able to see all the different fabrics and their lovely individual patterns.  I may cut the 10" squares into quarters and sew blocks of squares together etc... or I may 'wonky' cut the squares and then frame them with a complimentary solid to look a little like this one -


Topsy Turvy Quilt made by Amanda Jean of Crazy Mom Quilts
I may, however, have changed my mind by then!  (I tend to change my mind a lot when it comes to planning a project and then actually making it.)

I have ordered these fabrics online from http://www.hulucrafts.co.uk/ and I will be counting down the days til Mr Postman arrives with this lovely lot!

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Quick! He's sitting on it!

Well my son finally sat on his newly sewn toddler size bean bag long enough for me to take a photo to post on here.... (this boy doesn't sit still for more than 5 seconds at a time!)


Joshua is 1 and a half and its the perfect size for him.

The pattern is from Cath Kidston's book 'Sew' and was super easy to put together. It did mean that I had to sew my first zip, but this tutorial over at Sew, Mama, Sew got me through the process in no time (and it was a LOT less scary than I thought it would be!).


My very first zip!

Oh, and I really should learn to actually follow the instructions because the book called for a 30cm zip but I just used what I had - which was an 18cm zip.... let's just say I ran into slight difficulties when it came to inserting the inner cushion (filled with beans) into the cushion cover. Oh well, you learn from your mistakes and all that. I'm happy with how it turned out and so is my little one!

The next project I am thinking about is for this space here....


See the big blank wall?? Well I am thinking of a little wall hanging along the lines of 'home, sweet, home'.... 


I have already printed it out on plain paper and coped it onto interfacing, ironed it onto my fabric and cut out the letters.  I'll applique them on to some cream calico and maybe add some appliqued hearts.  I haven't really got a definite plan in mind, I'll just see what happens as I go!  Fingers crossed it turns out ok.


Monday, 7 February 2011

Some weekend sewing

Over this busy weekend (lots of cooking, out for lunch, some shopping...) I still managed to fit in some sewing.  Mind you, I don't think.I'd ever manage a WHOLE weekend without doing at least a tiny bit of sewing!

Here is a pattern all cut out and ready to be sewn -




Stay tuned to find out what it becomes!

I also sewed up this little cutie -


I hand sewed the words 'little star' onto some lightweight calico and blanket stitched it onto the front. I'll hang it in my sons room once he's finished playing with it.

I bought some yummy raspberry gingham with a larger check which im planning to make a little heart hangy in the same style,maybe with the word 'love' on the front.

This probably isn't a great photo but you get the idea :)