Finished Quilts

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

breenging in*

Having spent a simply marvellous Saturday in London with some of the FQR Kinky Bees (and the odd interloper) and Sunday afternoon trying to persuade the wee man to share his toys with his friends (there were tears and not just from the little people!), I knew I had to buckle down this week to get stuff done.  And that I had to put plans hatched in London on hold for a wee while (#sob)...

AMH linen schoolhouse tunic - can I make it in time for the FQ Retreat?

First up, I have 4 sets of blocks for the QATWII that I need to get moving as soon as. So my plan is to get them all done this week but to send them on one at a time so as to get the loops moving again.  A random choice and Moni's pinwheels and stars set was up first.  My block was number 13...

not quite what was envisioned but it works I think
I had a plan and, as usual, breenged in rather than being fully prepared so my block design didn't quite go to plan but the final block looks ok.  Here are all the blocks so far...

lovely and bright set so far
Not sure whose blocks are up for action tonight....another random choice to be made and hopefully tackled with a little more forward planning #nochance.

Then I realised that I need to get my Modern She Made 3 swap stuff in the mail.  I made the cushion yonks ago but needed to finish off the wee mindings to go with it....

mega sewing pouch (making Rebecca Lynn)

with the cushion and some chocolate (forgot the fat quarter)
The finished pouch is about 15.5" tall and 11.5" wide and so should hold patterns too.  I think I need to make myself one!  Onwards and upwards!

*breenging in: Scottish for plunging in recklessly - love it!

Friday, 26 April 2013


So my KCW Spring 2013 challenge hasn't gone quite as planned - life has gotten in the way a bit. However, last night,  I did manage to personalise a pack of 3 t-shirts (bought for £4 a while back) for the wee man, using some scraps and some freezer paper...

I love this one

I wouldn't use a pale fabric with a dark background like this again

my dad used to work on submarines so this is pretty cool
I used a ballpoint needle and sewed around the fabric patches after sticking them on using the freezer paper method.  It's such an easy and effective way of zhushing cheap tops up and making them a bit different.

I was partly knocked off my KCW course by the want to finish a couple of bee blocks off so that they can be hand delivered on Saturday...for Kate as part of the FQR Kinky Bumblie bees


They look a little wonky in the photos but are better IRL.

So Saturday (tomorrow!) is a long anticipated get-together for most of the Kinky Bee members, in the Liberty London CafĂ©.  I've booked myself a really good deal in a first class return which means a pretty early start but I'm giddy with excitement and can kip on the train so YAY!  I hope you all have a lovely weekend.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013


What a fab sunny day today... washing dried on the line just smells better doesn't it?

After work this afternoon, I finished up the wee man's treasure pocket pants. 

les mckeown eat your heart out!
They are a teeny bit Bay City Rollers now they're finished, especially as they flare a wee bit too.  Anyway, I've learnt so much in the making of these that it can only bode well for future forays into dress making.  Inspired by all the amazing photos already on the KCW Flickr group, as soon as we got home from nursery, I got the wee man into his new troos for a photo shoot...

it took a lot of homemade bread and jam to convince him!

note to laughing boy: cut the flipping grass!
We had such a hoot but not many usable photos. He kept bending down whenever I crouched down to take a photo, cheeky monkey man.  And, by the end of it all the troosers were covered in jam, grass and muck then water when he spilt a whole glass all over them. So they are in the wash already.  I didn't prewash any of the fabrics so it's a nail biter to see how they will look when they come out of the wash!  I don't prewash any of my fabric before quilting - is it more important when dressmaking? #nervous

My plans to start the Easy Linen Shirt next have changed as the size starts at 2T and looks really big.  So I'm going to draft my own pattern for shorts - O.M.Double.G! 

Monday, 22 April 2013

full disclosure

Saturday saw the sun arrive in all its loveliness to coincide with a day of sewing inside for the lovely ladies of the East Midlands MQG.  Ten of us gathered at stitchcraft in Grantham (a fab venue and great cake!) for a Weekender Bag workshop.  Lots of photos of the day are available on our Flickr group, including some of Di's fab-u-lous finished bag.  Mandy helped us all out, including providing canvas and wadding scraps.  Despite my best laid plans, I had managed zero prep beforehand so I spent the morning cutting cutting cutting.  I had to leave at lunchtime and I still have more cutting to do.  I'm MM'ing it and here's a preview of how it's going to look...

still to be ironed!
I'm worried a little that this will stay in its box for the next 6 months so I think I'll plan to do a little every week to keep things moving.

This week I've committed to doing at least 1 hours sewing kids' clothes (KCW Spring 2013) each day .  I started a day early trying to take advantage of the super long naps the wee man has started to take (nearly 3 1/2 hours on Saturday and over 2 hours yesterday).  Nudged by the lovely Mary, I dug out my (as yet untouched) Sewing For Boys book and decided on the Treasure Pocket Pants.  I pulled some Essex linen and a lovely wee check from the stash and got cracking.  I found the pattern really difficult to follow - I think this was because I'm a total dressmaking novice but it wasn't very clear until I googled and blog read and worked it all out.  It didn't help that there was an error in the size of one of the pattern pieces, which I only discovered after I cut everything out and couldn't figure out how to put it back together.  Why do they not check these things properly?

Anyhoo, after some fun with elastic (not), I made a faux fly front, French seamed the seams and sewed it all together (minus waistband and hem). Ta da...

#epic fail
Can you see what I've done?  I didn't even notice that I'd sewn the legs wrong and created a long skirt rather than troosers until Laughing Boy asked if they were really for the wee man.  Then I looked and D'oh!  Now, my wee sister tells me I'm too hard on myself and there would have been a time in the not too distant past where I would have had a right strop and probably burned the monstrosity long with all of my books and dreams of being a competent dressmaker.  But I am not like that these's all a learning process and full disclosure of oopsies is good for the soul.  So I finished for the night, had a wee glass of wine and caught up with Broadchurch (last one tonight!)

Refreshed this morning, before I started work, I unpicked and resewed and once again...tah dah!

much happier
French seams, baby yeah!
I'm hoping the lovely Patrick would approve! So I hope to get the wee man to try them on tonight so I can sort the waistband and hem and finish them off.  I'm thinking of making the easy linen shirt next.  All good prep for starting my own clothes making journey #excited

Friday, 19 April 2013

charlie is my darling

This week has been all about finishing Charlie's quilt which was meant as a first birthday present and was already 7 months late.  The wee man and I have started to go to a small play group on Fridays that Charlie and his lovely mum have been going to for a wee while so I was keen to get it all done and done to hand over today.  So this week, the top was sandwiched and basted, quilted and bound then washing and dried and photographed by Thursday night and handed over this morning...

my wee man getting in on the camera action
The quilt was backed with some IKEA fabric that you can colour in using fabric pens.  I gave Charlie's mum the choice of that or some cute animal print but she liked the idea of her and Charlie adding to the quilt so the unlikely choice of a mostly white fabric for the back of a toddler's quilt makes sense.

it's so good to see the sun!
Simple straight line quilting works so well with this Oh Fransson new wave pattern.  The finished quilt ended up around 40" square so easy enough to be dragged around by a toddler.  I think they both liked it.

I'm unsure about this playgroup as it's a little cliquey; still the wee man liked it so we will probably persevere.  I don't get not talking to new mums though.  Oh well, there's always the cake!

Linking up with Finish it Friday over at Crazy Mom Quilts

Monday, 15 April 2013

KCW Spring 2013

I have a jam packed week planned.  Well, maybe a little slow for others but a busy one for me.

I intend to start and finish the quilting of this quilt tonight after tea....

Charlie's quilt - only 6 months late so far!
I've made the binding so I shall bind it tomorrow whilst watching The Great British Sewing Bee.  It will be finished, washed and ready to hand over on Friday morning - just pinky sweared myself!

Wednesday may be a trip to Tanya's - I need to check #excitedbythethoughtthough.  Thursday and Friday are prep days for the East Midlands MQG Weekender Bag Workout on Saturday (although I can only go for the morning because of football commitments made months ago!).  If I manage to get it all done before the weekend, I'll start my prep for this:

It's an online event run by a lady called Meg every season and challenges those who take part to work on making kids' clothes for (at least) one hour each day for a week. It's got its own website:, Facebook page and Flickr group. The Spring Challenge is from 22nd April to 29th April.  I'm gonna make the wee man some stuff!  Anyone want to join in?

Thursday, 11 April 2013


A while back, a friend of mine asked if I could cover a seat cushion for her, for a telephone table brought from eBay.  Of course I jumped at it - I mean how hard could it be?  Then she dropped it off and I started to panic!  My production process has been a little like this...

{source: facebook}
My friend has been very patient!  So, since the big girl pants were out, I started crying working on it.  Here is the cushion that needs covered...

I'm not sure if you can see but the original upholstery has been hand sewn together (linen ticking on the back) with extra attention paid to the "divot" in one corner to accommodate a post on the telephone table.  What you might not be able to see is that this cushion is not square, each side has a slightly different "lean" and each corner has its own distinct character.  We had discussed fabrics and styles when it was dropped off and both loved the idea of a Melody Miller panel. It fits so well with my friend and her family's style. The panel we chose is a linen/cotton mix, so not home dec weight, and could be a bit of a worry but the seat is only going to be used by their wee girl to put her shoes on so shouldn't encounter too much wear (fingers crossed!).  To help with this, I decided to quilt the top of the cushion

how I wish I was over my FMQ wobbles!
Some organic straight lines and echo quilting with different threads worked well I think.

backed with Kona teal (envelope closure)
 So here it is in all its glory....


I have made a bit of a midden* with the recessed corner - I got a bit Tilly off of the Great British Sewing Bee, panicked and went "off piste". There is a dart in there to help to accommodate the post but it's not the neatest solution. I'm going to offer my friend the option of remaking it for her using a more suitable "pattern".  I like it though - I mean what's not to like.  A Melody Miller panel....hello!

*midden: Scottish for a pile of rubbish (or keech!)

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

progress and happy post

So day (or rather evening) #1 of my mission to get stuff done was greatly helped by there being footie on the TV. That meant I could retire to my sewing space without any bother.  I made a list of what I want to achieve this week and managed to complete the top two (which have been on the list a while):

QATWII Bee: crazy block for Suzy
Now, this really pushed me wa-a-a-a-a-a-a-ay out of my comfort zone.  I'd never hear of crazy blocks or quilts before and struggled with getting my head around what to do.  Then I saw what JoJo made and panicked even more (I could never make something that good!). Anyway, the big girl pants were all fluffed and folded waiting to be used so on they went and off I set.  My first attempt was binned after I made two basic errors, including leaving a massive iron mark on that I had though to be velvet but clearly wasn't.  Block #2 was started and finished though....

is it crazy enough?
I do hope it's what Suzy is looking for. It's getting posted this weekend so fingers crossed.

Bumblie Bee block for Tracey
Well, now another story of grasping victory out of the mouth of defeat (or something)...  Tracey was kind enough to send us precut half square triangles and asked as to make a block with them, in whatever pattern we wanted.  I had a bit of a brain malfunction and cut up on of the HSTs trying to do something fancy before I realised that it would ruin the block size.  So I cried then trawled the t'interweb for the fabric and was lucky enough to find a charm pack.  Last night I took advantage of the big girl pants and finally made her block...

some of my points are pretty sharp - result!
I am so relieved to cross both of these off of my list!

Happy post! Covert Robin flies in
And then yesterday, I received my gifts from my Covert Robin partner, Raffaella.  Now, the lovely lady didn't include a note or any way I can contact her other than snail mail so a thank you card and wee minding will be heading her way at the weekend.  Here's what it all came in..

hand printed I think

beautiful hoop with woodcut leaves

the whole haul

a lovely piece of lace

a fat quarter bundle, a pair of divine buttons
and a little tin of pins

and a pin cushion in an espresso cup
Oh and a really cute crochet thingamy that I forgot to photograph. What a haul huh?  I'm super chuffed with all this loveliness.

Tonight is the Great British Sewing Bee so I'm not sure how much will get done.  But I feel a little lighter already!

Monday, 8 April 2013

let's get ready to raaaaaaamble.....

....ok so it's the second week in April and Bertha has not been fired up approached at all in this month.  Granted, I was in Scotland for the first couple of days and while I was gone Laughing Boy decided to upset my idiosyncratically organised stuff and lose everything tidy my sewing space *tries hard to have a not-bothered face*.  Ok, I can't find ANYTHING anymore.  But it's given me a little time to think about why I was super productive at the start of the year and have become less and less so as the year as gone on.  Here is my answer.....

less not more!

I love wine, especially a big glass of juicy red.  Laughing Boy and I like a glass of wine with our tea of an evening.  BUT here's the catch... if I have a glass of wine, I am less likely to climb the stairs to do some sewing and more likely to veg on the couch in front of the gogglebox.  Not good. In January, I gave up booze for charity and one of the other benefits was to my sewing output.

So I have made a drastic decision.... I'm off the pop again until I catch up with myself.  Not sure how long it will last but I'm hoping to break the back of a mahoosive (and growingly stressing) to-do list before I fall off the wagon.  How hard can it be, right?

PS.  I do have a favourite PJ and Duncan tune...

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

covert robin: done

The wee man and I are just back from a short break home in Scotland - it was too short! And I want to live there again :(  Hey ho, back to reality with a bump then.

the covert robin button

As I may have constantly whinged about mentioned, I joined up with the Covert Robin mystery swap. I will name names - Amy it was your fault!  Anyway, after struggling with coming up with an idea, I noticed that my partner seemed to like bags so I decided to deflower my noodlehead sidekick tote pattern. I'm not sure why it took me so long to break into this pattern - it is well written and straightforward.  I wanted to make one that could be seen as quite formal but used every day so decided against QAYG or fussy fabrics (at least for the outside).  It ended up like this....

I almost kept it for myself!
I've never put in a recessed zip before and it went ok.  I got a little giddy with some of the top stitching and wobbled about sending it - thank you to everyone who kicked me in the butt and told to get on with it.  Much appreciated.  I can't remember what the exterior fabric is - I got it a year or so ago - but it works well, I think.  The lining is from Patty Young Flora & Fauna - I'm slowly working my way through the 10000000000 metres of it that I seem to have.  I'm especially chuffed with making sure the luna moths are all facing the same way.
I do hope my partner likes it.  It's winging its way to her as I type.  I will definitely be making more of these in future.
Now, having failed miserably again with my planned finishes for March, I'm off to plan April a bit more rigorously....  after I check out the other Covert Robin makes ;-)