Finished Quilts

Monday, 26 November 2012

the postman always rings twice

...or, in my case, knocks really quietly then puts the parcels in a secret place before scarpering.  Still, he leaves lovely stuff in there, like two fabulous goodie filled parcels - one from Helen and one from Liz.

So Helen's parcel was courtesy of the Modern She Made swap...

a really lovely cushion cover which is taking pride of place on my favourite chair

and the cutest hoop with liberty lawn and Lucky Jackson embroidery
Helen - I love them both.  The hoop is up on the wall in my sewing space (the first thing up there!)and looks like it was made for there.  The cushion cover has a dark blue linen border and back and I can't believe it was Helen's first ever cover - perfect.

Then the Scrappy Swap and I squealed with delight when I saw the label on the parcel showing that it came from Liz, who has been such a friend to me over the past months.

a bag full of goodies

filled with lots of loveliness
A rubbish photo I'm afraid but somehow Liz has managed to figure out that I have a wee thing for Melody Miller (there's me thinking I'm all subtle and everything). So my goodie bag contained a pile of amazing MM scraps, a fab MM mug rug, a great wee fabric basket and some amazing vintage notions as well as a Hastings tea towel and postcards (oh and some sweeties!).  You can get a better idea here -  There was a wee tear!  You are an angel, Liz.

A third parcel this weekend resulted in this....

Fine Feathered in Whisper from Field Study No1 by AMH charm squares for the Low Volume Charm Swap being organised by Laura @ Needles, Pins and Baking Tins, all ready to be posted this morning.

If only every postie delivery could be so joy-inducing.

Saturday, 24 November 2012


It was all about the scrappy this week.  I am very excited about getting the partner I've been allocated in the Scrappy Swap on Flickr.  I do hope she likes what she is about to receive....

one fat quarter's worth of scraps

a scrappy pot holder
The pot holder was based on an Oh Fransson tutorial and at some points has 9 layers of fabric/canvas/wadding.  My little entry level Janome worked her little socks off wading through that lot!  According to the instructions I should avoid taking up jeans with her cos she might not have the power to cope!  I'm not really all that comfortable with true scrappiness but I know my partner loves selvedges so that helped decide the design.  With all that padding it had better work as a pot holder.

We have to include a small something from where we live.  I live in Nottingham which was famous for its lace industry so I wanted to get some lace. There is this fab wee shop on a really really quiet street and the owner (Debbie Bryan) specialises in antique lace in really novel ways.  So I popped into town this morning and bought the cutest coaster made using lace samples from the 19th century embedded into resin.  Debbie offered to wrap it up for me so I don't have a photo.  Hopefully my partner will take one for me. 

PS.  I don't normally go for hijacking other countries' customs.  In fact, I wrote a terse letter to the Editor of the Guardian last year complaining about a big spread they did on making food for a Thanksgiving party (no rude!).  Still, I guess when big things happen, it is worth stepping back and being thankful, like being thankful for having had a great mum who gave me a totally amazing family and being thankful for my own little family that almost didn't happen makes even the dreechest days seem brighter.

Monday, 19 November 2012

epic fail

Don't you just hate it when a plan doesn't come together?  Clearly the chrimbo pressie secrets mean that I can't go into too much detail (although to be honest there is not much chance of my sisters reading this!).  Anyway, there I was, decks cleared, fully prepped, all the fabric marked up and cut out, the interfacing ironed on, sewn together, glued and NONE of the three fit the effing frames!  I stopped then and haven't tried the fourth...sigh. The first one was definitely my mistake - I was being too clever for my own good and I had a vague Eureka moment that I thought would be the big problem solver. However the other two fit OK in three corners of the frame but are slightly out on the other one.  They just don't fit :'(

I took them to my lovely MIL for reassurance that it was the thought that counted but she (quite rightly) pointed out that I could and should do better.  I then threw a mahoosive teenage strop and I'd like to apologise to Carol for being so pathetic in the face of your kind words and suggestions #shamefaced.  I decided some distance from sewing (and the glue!) was required. [Photos of my epic fail will follow after Christmas.]

I jumped back on the horse yesterday to make some blocks for the divine Miss JoJo...

for a quilt of hugs for her lovely auntie
and finally finished the extras for my Modern She Made swap so that can go in the post tomorrow...
a nest of two fabric bowls and some lovely stuff from John Lewis
I used Nova's nested bowls pattern (a big thanks to Amy for reminding me that I had the pattern with her lovely makes for the Village Haberdashery's blog) and the whole process was a breeze.

Oh and I've ordered more purse frames. I.SHALL.NOT.BE. DEFEATED!

PS if anyone wants an imperfect baguette purse or three, let me know!

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

secret santa

Working from home has its advantages (bad hair days, comfy trousers, no-one to comment on the cake consumption, time to focus).  Of course the down sides include lack of comment on cake consumption, trying to see your screen through the cat, the ironing pile falling on your head, and, in my case, sharing your "home office" with your sewing space and fabric stash.  It just calls to me.....I am sometimes powerless to resist.  I would like to think I am not alone in this.

But I was a good girl for most of yesterday and managed to get a big chunk done before my thoughts turned to Christmas and my festive to do list.  I have been working on a bunch of secret pressies for the family so can't go into much detail until after the big day.  I did finish the gift bags yesterday though...

Jeni's drawstring bag pattern, of course
I've used this pattern a lot this year (LOVE!) but these four were the most challenging so far due to the lining.  I won't say too much just now but I will give eternal thanks to the wonder of spray starch!  Now to make the presents to go inside using these beauties....

Friday, 9 November 2012

cushioning my oops

This week is (almost) all about swaps and bees for me.  I caught up on Heather's block for the QATWII bee - she wanted a mosaic block a la Elizabeth Oh Fransson....

This block was real fun to make although I got a little carried away and made a mahoosive block with a tiny slither of fabric on one side for some reason.  And here are the blocks so far...

It's going to be a really bright and fun quilt I think.

Then after a zip purchase or two, I finished my first ever pillow / cushion cover for the Modern She Made swap....

It's 20" square so quite big.  I used Judith's fab tute on hiding the zip under a flap and followed Angela's idea of lining the cover front and back.  I was dead pleased with how it turned out until 5am this morning when I realised that I'd sewn the lining on the wrong side of the zipper....

oops! can you see? 
Still, I dare not unpick and redo as that way disaster beckons and maybe I'm the only one that will know ;)  Who am I kidding?  Where's the pesky seam ripper?!

Quick question though - should I add a binding or leave as is?  I am leaning towards no binding but what do you think?

Oh, I forgot to add that my Mouthy Stitches tote and key fob were safely delivered to the lovely Erica who, in a weird 6 degrees of separation type thing, made the tote for Patti who made the tote for me!  I LOVE THAT!  She liked it, which was a massive relief as there was such loveliness and inventiveness on show that I was worried she would be a little let down.  And she took a photo of the key fob I made that I forgot to photograph..

Monday, 5 November 2012


So the sickness bug has hit Laughing Boy hard.  In solidarity with him being off work poorly, obviously to hold his hair back when he's being sick, I took the day off as a holiday.  However, having changed into my Florence Nightingale attire (complete with corset and plenty of underskirts), Laughing Boy chose to sleep ALL day rather than have me minister to his every need. That is not as rude as it sounds, honest!

So what's a dutiful wife to do when her beloved shuns her comfort?  Why sew, goddamn it!  It took me most of the morning to choose the fabrics for LoLo's laptop sleeve and then stumped for the first thing that I had pulled out of the stash but I finally got sewing and, using Elizabeth's SewMamaSew tutorial, made this....

back on the left, front on the right
Given that LoLo is one of my favourite people in the whole world and that I started a quilt for her over a year ago now and it's still not even 5% done, I wanted to make her a wee minding, using fabric from my favourite designer. LoLo is a writer who loves coffee and music so Melody Miller was a must. It's interfaced (fusible fleece and wadding) to within an inch of its life and lined with ruby star vinyl...

That big black strip is the sew in Velcro.  I followed Elizabeth's suggestion and used a zigzag stitch to sew it in and this happened...

The thread (polyester gutermann) frayed really badly as it went through the Velcro.  Next time (when I make one for me!), I'll use a straight stitch I think to see if that will avoid this problem.  I wish you could get sew in Velcro in better colours though.

Even though it took me all day to make, I am really happy with this laptop sleeve.  It's going to be winging its way to the hobbit house in New Zealand as soon as I can get to the Post Office.

Off to tend to the sick (whether he likes it or not!)...

Thursday, 1 November 2012


Lily's Quilts

It's Fresh Sewing Day over at Lily's Quilts, which gives us all a chance to reflect on the last month and start planning the next, sewing-wise. And, let's face it, spend as much time as we can checking out the loveliness that others have created.

So here's my October in finishes:

which equates to one quilt (for the lovely little Alex), three sets of Bee blocks, one swap tote (and key fob which I failed to capture as a photo - sorry) and a gift bag for my 3 year old niece's birthday.  I could have sworn it was more than that but on reflection, I've also started 2 baby quilts, one Swap based cushion cover, 4 purses for Christmas gifts and a skirt for my sister so not bad in the month when I started teaching again for the first time in 18 months.  Yep, I'll take that!

This time last year, the wee man asked if he could join in with Movember and so he did, raising over £300 for the charity (beating his grandad in donations!)....

"really mum?"
We're in negotiations about this year's hirsute attempt :)  Watch this space!

Oh and it's voting time for the BQF Fall 2012 over at Amy's place.... (ahem... # 275...ahem....)