Saturday, 27 July 2013

All bound up...

I'm not entirely sure that hubby understood why it was essential, at 8 in the morning, and about to set off on holiday, to devote twenty minutes to sewing on a binding... However, I do know that you blogsters will get it, right? Four days in a (fabulous) bed and breakfast in Norfolk, without a sewing machine, is a perfect moment to hand stitch the binding at the back, along with a glass (or two) of wine in the evenings :-)


We could then shoot the photos in their beautiful cottage garden, enjoying the glorious sunshine!

 

A wonderful few days, of being incredibly well looked after, and enjoying long walks, fish and chips on the beach, picnics and pottering about.


 

We've been going to the same cottage for years now, and always have a great time there. There is even a record of Miss PatchyRose's height marked up each year on the kitchen wall.


 

There is a lovely patchwork shop in Holt, the nearest town, where I picked up these fat quarters. It's not a large shop, but the owner really has an eye for good fabrics. There are a few to buy yardage, but it's mainly fat quarters everywhere, in random fashion, not colour coordinated, which I realised I found very helpful! Sometimes it's nice to mix and match. I'm looking forward to doing something with these two...


 

Though no idea what as yet! Hope you are having a great summer and enjoying these perfect sunny days.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Going Loopy...

...and not just with the heat...


 ...even though it is meant to be the hottest night in Britain for 23 years...


Nope, just when I'm already hot and bothered, I decide to challenge myself with my quilting!


Loopy, absolutely loopy!


(Para mis amigas españolas, me parece que esta vez no va a traducir muy bien... la palabra 'loopy' significa a la vez loca, y esa manera de hacer círculos con el hilo.)

Friday, 19 July 2013

Still top-ping away...



Sorry to be so repetitive! This is my fourth attempt at a shirred top, and very much the best so far :-) It's made a nice end of term present for Miss PatchyRose, now to fill the next six weeks with lots of fun!

Thursday, 18 July 2013

The summer of shirring...

Don't stand too close to me, or you may well find yourself getting shirred up! My original top from last week did shrink a little in the wash, and with a couple more rows of shirring is just about wearable. Only thing is, I do find it rather bright and colourful!! So, a nice grungy grey one, for those days when you just want to blend in...


Yes, shots taken at night, when I'd just finished sewing down the straps. It's still plenty warm enough here, just a little dark! Naturally I was photo bombed...


Love having different front and backs on this one, I could wear it either way round. My shirring is improving, and this one went much better. (For those who've been emailing and asking about the process, I used the machine to wind the elastic from the reel onto the bobbin today, whereas I'd done it by hand before. Machine worked much better, giving a tighter finish.) 
Today I also whipped up a little patchwork zipper bag, ready for Miss PatchyRose to take as a birthday gift to a party at the weekend.


 I am pleased to report that I was able to use two more of the blocks I rejected from my first attempt at a strip for the sewing bee! Think there are just two left in the drawer now. It also sped up the process this afternoon, having ready made patchwork :-)


I love this cute interior...


Definitely making progress with my zip fitting too now!

Monday, 15 July 2013

Tops!

No doubt you're either British, and enjoying the amazingly glorious weather we're having, or you're not British, but have already heard about it, since it is something of a phenomenon!! So, it's not exactly sewing weather, it's get out there and make the most of it weather. Unless, of course, you don't have the right clothing, since you're not exactly used to this...



Fortunately, last week Penny kindly sent me an email encouraging me to try shirring, and convincing me it really was easy... One rectangle, two straps and some shirring was all it took to make this top!




This one involved a bit more, as I needed to make it longer for me, and also added in a back panel.



I decided against shirring the extra panel, which means it lies nice and flat down my back. Although just about wearable, mine is rather big on me. However, I didn't pre-wash the fabric, so for once I'm actually hoping it shrinks... 




Today I'm linking up with slow bloggers everywhere! I haven't been that slow lately, but I still fully subscribe to the concept, and enjoy no-pressure blogging :-) Enjoy the sunshine!


Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Murray madness...

Friday saw the finished patchwork, and today, after squeezing in a bit of sewing despite the fabulous weather in the last few days, we have a complete cushion :-)


It's been one of those projects with a few moments of doubt along the way... Could I join the four blocks without spoiling the end points of the stars? (Yes - just!) Should I sash them? (You all said no!) Was it too big for a cushion?...


Well, I got on and quilted the front. Although it's barely visible here, I free motioned loops across the whole piece. I definitely think cushion fronts are the way to practise free motion quilting! They're a manageable size, but give you enough of a 'go' to feel the benefit of having improved a little. Low volume fabric around the stars also was a good move for allowing the quilting to add a little texture, but for the mistakes not to show :-)


The backing is this lovely hexagon print. I bought a large length, thinking of it for a whole quilt backing, but there's still a sizeable piece leftover for another project. For the binding I stuck with the background fabric, and then worried it wasn't strong enough... Yet once the cushion pad went in, somehow it looked just right! It's about 20 inches square, so an oversized cushion, but a fun one all the same. It was inspired by seeing this beautiful quilt in the making.


Watching the Wimbledon final on Sunday was so nerve-wracking, even for a not remotely sporty person... I felt compelled to grab the ipad and browse a few blogs, just to keep my cool. Before I knew it, one blog had lead me to a new-to-me fabric shop, which just happened to stock a cute bear fabric I'd seen used in a project, as well as a number of other gorgeous prints...



How's that for super speedy service?!? Ordered Sunday afternoon, and it arrived this morning. The postage was so reasonable too, only £1.60 for nine fat quarters. Love the way the fabrics are tied, and better still, love so much that they weren't folded into tiny little pieces! A while back, I received some heavily creased and compressed fabrics in the post, whereas these were just folded into four, and what a difference that makes.

 
Over the last month or so, my fabric stash has gone from being very depleted, so having a rather nice selection to chose from! Just as well, I sent my Bee strip off today, and should receive one to get creative with in the next few days. In addition, Miss PR has announced she wants me to sew her an entire wardrobe... That will be after she's commissioned skirts for the whole neighbourhood then! We had just delivered one for a first birthday, when she told me to get cracking on a second birthday gift for another little friend.


Fortunately I am picking up speed and skill with skirts now, and changing bits here and there which make life easier. Apparently we're moving on to tops next...





Friday, 5 July 2013

Friday finish...

...well, nearly! Not quite as finished as I would have liked, as life and a bit of Wimbledon watching got in the way. However, I took everyone's unanimous advice and joined the four star blocks just as they were! A little nerve wracking, as there wasn't much spare for the seams, and I didn't want to lose the points of the stars. Just made it!


Hopefully I will find time over the weekend to quilt this, and then turn it into a cushion :-)
Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts!

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Four stars

Four stars...





...to make into a cushion for some very special people.


Sashing or just joined together?? It will be quite large, each star is around 10 inches as shown.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Sunshine!

What a weekend! At long last the sun remembered to shine :-) Perfect timing, as we had a great weekend, with a 70th birthday lunch on Saturday, and the ordination and celebration lunch of a friend on Sunday. In between, not much sewing, but I did manage to whip up a little skirt for our cute neighbour who turns 1 year old today...


Do hope she likes it! Also, with the end of term looming, I followed Miss PatchyRose's instructions and made a fabric covered journal for her teacher. Apparently her favourite colour is red, so this should fit the bill!



I'm still experimenting with journals; sometimes I use wadding, other times not. I do prefer these ring bound books, but then they need the wadding, and can end up a bit bulky. Some of the reds were the leftovers from my recent quilt, others came in this pile all half price in the John Lewis sale :-)


The Amy Butler piece on the far right was an absolute bargain, and just what I need to back my gypsy caravan pinwheel quilt. My other happy fabric news, is a huge thank you to Southern Fabric. I mentioned recently that I was incredibly surprised and thrilled to win a $50 voucher to spend in their store, courtesy of a giveaway on Red Pepper Quilts. Last week, this great pile arrived in the post...


The Jubilee layer cake is going to be set aside for now, my plan is to use it in a Farmer's Wife quilt. The other pieces will go into circulation now! Hopefully my fellow Bee members will be pleased to see my fabric stash doubled in size ;-)

Today I'm linking up with Lily's Quilts, and looking forward to visiting some new to me blogs on her list!