Saturday, 29 December 2012

A Christmas quilt


I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas!  I don't know about you but I'm not very good at all this sitting about doing 'nothing', I *need* to be sewing, crocheting, or flicking through a craft mag!!  At least I have managed to just chill as I find doing these things nice and relaxing so as well as catching up with the festive telly I've been browsing sewing books and doing a little hand sewing.  More on those in another blog post as they involve some of the lovely gifts I received for Christmas :)

Now, the Christmas quilt in the title of this post refers to Joshua's quilt! I have mentioned it a few times on my blog, and I am happy to say I've finally done it! 

Waaaaaay back, here, almost a whole year ago, I actually showed you the fabric I'd bought to use for Joshua's quilt, the line is Ready, Set, Go! by Ann Kelle.  It's full of bright fun colours and lots of cute little modes of transport - perfect for a little boys bedroom. 

I managed to piece the quilt top a few months ago, sewing a few smaller squares together to make large 13" squares, and using some 13" squares cut from yardage -

Another few months after this I pieced the back!  It's basically the leftover fabric from the front and some cute alphabet fabric I got cheap from the USA.  Since one of Joshua's favourite colours is orange (and orange features quite a lot in the quilt top) I decided to bind the quilt with some zingy bright orange fabric. 

The finished result? 

Here it is, on Joshua's bed, complete with matching pillow which I made a while back

I wrapped the quilt up for Christmas and he was thrilled with it :)

I am also looking forward to share with you some other Christmas makes that I had to keep hidden until they were given as gifts, more on them in another post.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Take 2 plain t-shirts....

I spend a LOT of time planning things to make for my family, mainly for my son Joshua who's 3.  Quite often it takes me a very long time to get round to making these things...purely for lack of time! 

But...I managed to squeeze in one of these crafty plans last week!  After seeing Jo's post on a quick t-shirt revamp she did for her son, it reminded me of the t-shirts I had stored away for Joshua, - plain ones so that I could personalise them at some point in the future. 

I realised that personalising them didn't have to mean a laborious task, but just a quick embellishment with some funky fabric.  So I chose some fabrics I know Joshua will love and printed off some templates using Word.

For the first one, I chose this lovely starry, brushed cotton fabric and made a huge letter 'J'.  I've zig-zaged round it with bright orange thread (one of Joshua's favourite colours).

Ta-da!  Looks pretty cool I think. 

For the second one, I used some fabric he'd spied earlier in the week as I'd been using it for another (secret) project.  He's really into guitars at the moment so this fabric was perfect for his t-shirt. 

I cut out one of the guitars and appliqued it to the t-shirt - I added strings for a little extra touch!

I then cut out a huge star from the fabric and appliqued this to the centre of the t-shirt -

I absolutely *love* how this turned out!! 

Here's Joshua wearing the 'J' one, it was the night we put up the tree, so he's having a feel of every single tree decoration!

Monday, 10 December 2012

The most wonderful time of the year

There are a few things I just love doing once it gets to this time of of them is to treat myself to a Christmas magazine...or two!  I treat the Christmas ones as something to keep and bring out each year for inspiration, or just to get me in that Christmassy spirit.  This year I got these ones -

Whilst Country Living is a nice read, I am preferring the Prima Christmas Makes as it is just crammed full of Christmas ideas, gifts, recipes and crafts.  I also got this one last year and am pleased to find that this year's contains just as much inspiration!

I especially love these paper crafts using sheet music -

They're all so easy to do and sheet music should be easy to find online to print off. 

I also love these flower pots which have been covered in pretty fabric, again, so easy to do at home - and they'd make a lovely gift.

I could imagine these prettily lined up on a windowsill.

My OH has treated me to an early gift - this Christmas album by Michael Buble -

Some lovely music which really helps set the Christmas mood.  It's a great album, with beautiful songs and even some nice traditional choir singing too. 

Evenings have been spent cramming in last minute crafting for gift ideas...a little embroidery here, cross stitch there...

And since a lot of my crafting of late is for gifts, I have to be careful what I show you on here! 

I was very excited to have had my first mince pie of the season too, and homemade! 

Excuse the scrappy bits using the last of the pastry! Waste not, want not!
There is just 'something' about keeping certain foods for certain times of the year - the smell of the mincemeat as I took the lid off the!! Amazing - it's like I wait 11 months of the year for this delicious pie filling!  I cut up a block of puff pastry and froze it in little pieces, this way I can only make a few at a time - I do this for my own safety, if I made up the whole pack I'd only end up eating far too many in one go!!   

Friday, 7 December 2012

Getting crafty in the kitchen

Pinterest has provided me with lots of inspiration lately - not just for crafting but also for cooking.  I have a board for recipes which, at this time of year is filling up with tasty delights such as gingerbread men, cinnamon apple cake and Christmas chutney. 

As it starts to get dark around 3.30pm these cold afternoons, I start looking forward to the tasty comfort food that so often becomes the focus of winter - warming stews, thick soups and of course lovely hot puddings!  So, armed with a load of new recipes and ideas to try, I've been keeping busy in the kitchen lately...

Filling up the freezer with homemade lasagnes, ready for a quick and tasty dinner over the next few weeks.

Oh so tasty cheese and broccoli quiche.

My dad's birthday was a good excuse to try out this spiced Pumpkin cake recipe ;)

This Christmas chutney recipe was also made yesterday, smelling divine, it has to be left for a couple of weeks in the fridge - I'm looking forward to trying some.

I've also been doing some culinary crafting with Joshua - we made these for his Christmas tree at nursery -

Popcorn tree garlands! 

Joshua also had a lot of fun this morning making some gingerbread men, so iconically Christmas!

Caught! Sampling the dough!
I made a separate batch that are a bit nicer to eat than the dough over-worked by a 3 year old! I added a little icing and gifted some to a friend this afternoon, in a little cellophane bag tied with ribbon - done in such a rush I didn't get a picture of the finished bag!  But here are the cookies -

The slow cooker has also been on all day today, cooking up a tasty beef stew for dinner...I'm just contemplating whether to quickly add some dumplings in for the final hour :)

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Keeping Cosy

Brrr, it's getting cold isn't it?  I must admit, the sparkle of a little frost does help add to the excitement that Christmas is just around the corner!

I decided that a little shopping trip (for me, rather than for Christmas shopping) was in order as I desperately needed more cosy jumpers - in a bid to stop me from cranking the heating up whenever I was feeling cold! 

That there is one full shopping bag :)

I'm so glad the Scandinavian and Fairisle look has taken over the shops here, I just love the cardis and jumpers that are in the shops at the moment.  I managed to find a few that I liked, here are some that I bought -

I got another jumper, and also a pair of light brown skinny jeans - well I need those to go with my winter boots don't I?!

And for the cold mornings when I walk Joshua to nursery, I really needed to get myself a cosy hat, so here I am modelling my lovely wooly hat with huge pom-pom!

I haven't just been ensuring that I keep myself cosy, I have been looking after my candles too and have crocheted a few jam jar/candle cosies!  Aren't they sweet?

The tutorial for these can be found here, but be warned - they're very addictive!

There's also been lots of baking and cooking going on here too, last week we really enjoyed this cinnamon sugar apple cake -

Stay cosy x

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Wednesday, 14 November 2012

My little Christmas workshop

I have been very busy, working away in my little Christmas workshop, (also known as the dining room!)

I promised you in my last post that I'd show you some of the Christmas items I've been making to sell recently. 

One of my favourite items has to be these large Christmas stockings -


I was so pleased to have found some really unusual fabrics, this one is so cute with Christmas mittens on it!  I've also used this fabric to make some of my little bags -


I thought these would be great to use as gift bags - or as 'stockings' for people who are too old for stockings!
I also used some other fun fabrics for my large stockings -
They're padded, and quilted and just oh so snuggly soft! 
I was also asked to make some Christmas patchwork tea cosies, so here they are -
Another little product I really enjoyed making were these sweet little mini stockings, I used lovely soft red felt and embellished them with the most gorgeous trims -
Some of the detail -
And, lastly - well, for now anyway, I also made some of my little bags in other Christmas fabrics,  here they are -
As always, if you're interested in purchasing anything above, the easiest way is to drop me an email as I'm having great difficulty finding the time to make and list items in my Folksy shop! 

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Catching up

Eek! Has it really been so long since I last blogged?!!  I may not have been writing about what I've been sewing but I certainly have been sewing!!

I can't quite believe just how busy I've been with orders lately, the last 8 months or so have really flown for me and all of a sudden my order books are lovely and full and I'm getting to sew lots of pretty things for customers ALL over the world!  Over the past month alone I've had a couple of orders from America, and one from Spain.  Sew Ray Me has gone international :)

This gorgeous set reached Spain this week!
A little work has also gone on on the blog - perhaps you've noticed the addition of the tabs at the top of my page?  I now have a  'shop' tab which is more of a gallery really, but it gives you a bit of an idea of my best selling products, prices, and how you can order.  I really am doing all of this 'part-time' what with a 3 year old to keep amused as well, it's hard work keeping up with my blog or updating my Folksy shop.  I'm finding it much easier and quicker to keep things updated on Twitter and Instagram.  If you're on either of those, please come and follow me - I'm @sewrayme

I have also been trying to squeeze in a little crafting for Christmas, with a view to making a few gifts this year.  I keep my evenings for 'me' time so have been enjoying a little crochet or cross stitch.

Along side the popular bags and crochet rolls that I'm always making, I've also been making a few Christmas products this week too.  I'll show you those soon, just doing the finishing touches of sewing on buttons and waiting on some decent daylight to take good pics! 

I promise not to leave it so long until next time!!

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Some shabby chic decorating

A while ago, I suddenly realised that I'd grown out of the style of decor that our bedroom had been done in (6 years ago).  We had one feature wall that was a bright raspberry colour, with 3 cream walls.  It was a nice bright, girly room (luckily OH doesn't mind girly decor!), but I was ready to move away from girly to a more grown up space. 

Bye bye bright pink!
What with blogging, Tweeting and Instagraming I realise that my tastes have changed vastly over the past few years.  I used to love bright pinks of all shades, sparkly, cute and girly.  I still do love all of these things, but I also realised that I love the vintage, shabby chic style that has also been huge lately.  If you'd told me 3 years ago that I'd love all things Cath Kidston, vintage and floral, I'd have laughed in your face! If you told me 3 years ago that I'd love nothing more than rooting around charity shops for bargains, there is NO way I'd have believed it either! 

Well, it seems I have changed, for I now love all of these things.  I've always been a bargain hunter, but there's something extra in gaining a real gem of a bargain from a charity shop or car boot sale now.  This also comes with the satisfaction that you aren't buying something off the shelf of a high street shop that thousands of other people also have.  

This brings me to the next part of my room renovation - accessorising the walls!  I had a very lucky find in a junk shop a few weeks ago - I got these 2 wooden picture frames for £1!

I was very excited about these as it finally meant I could have a go at trying out some 'shabby chic' paint techniques!  So I gave them a quick, light sanding and applied 4 thin layers of paint (I just used the tester pots of wall paint we had already), then gave the edges a sanding down to give an old and bashed about look.  I was extremely pleased with the result, here's 1 of them -

I decided to try the other one out using the paint the same shade as the pink wall, -

The next job was to decided what to put in my new frames!  Fairly quickly, I decided upon a gorgeous rustic floral heart cross stitch for the cream one, from the book A Rainbow of Stitches

I chose a natural coloured evenweave - the first time I've sewn on this, and cream thread.  I stitched it up quickly over a couple of days/evenings - I was so eager to have something to put in my new gorgeous frame! 

After a lot of eye squinting - working with the evenweave, a few wonky bits here and there, (I'm sure no-one will notice!), I finally got my work framed and hung up!  And I *love* it!!

Ta-da!  Doesn't it look so pretty? 

And here's a peek at how the rest of the decorating turned out -

Pale, light and relaxing!  The bedside tables also got a bit of the shabby chic treatment too!

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