Sewing

Quilt Petite – A little quilt for Mabel

Quilt petite - A little quilt for Mabel

When I found out I was pregnant I had visions of spending my pregnancy making things for the baby, I won’t bore you again with why that never happened, I’ve mentioned it a couple of times on previous blog posts if you’d like to know why. Anyway my point being its taken me till now and Mabel reaching 21 months for me to make her a quilt! Bad sewing mum!!

One of the reasons why was because I hadn’t settled on a design I liked, I find it hard cutting into pretty fabric at the best of times let alone when I have no set idea of a pattern. It was only when I was looking through the book Quilt Petite by Sedef Imer that I came across the perfect pattern. A combination of crisp white fabric and pretty 1930’s fabrics in a beautiful pastel rainbow of colours. I immediately knew that this was the quilt I wanted to make for Mabel.

Quilt petite - A little quilt for Mabel Quilt petite - A little quilt for Mabel

I had such fun going through all my fabrics and picking which ones I would use. I am an avid collector of 1930’s repro fabrics so had a nice little (largish) stash to  look through. The pattern is actually for a mini quilt and at first I did under-estimate how many squares I would need. This took me back to the cutting board and cutting more out. It is still on the small side and won’t last her for long but it’ll certainly do as a little lap quilt for a while. In hindsight maybe I should have cut my squares bigger!

Quilt petite - A little quilt for Mabel

Mabel took a real interest in what I was doing, even ‘helping’ me organise the blocks into rows. Can we just take a moment to appreciate the embroidery detail on her shirt! This girl is so much better dressed than I am! So many of her clothes I wish they did in my size!

Anyway back to the quilt! Once all pieced the next part came the basting and quilting, perhaps my least favourite part of making a quilt. No matter how careful I am I always end up with a little ruching on the back.

Quilt petite - A little quilt for Mabel

I decided to hand quilt this. I realised as I set out that it would mean I would have to wait quite a bit longer to see the finished article but it was so worth it. The best thing about hand quilting is it gives me time to think about what I’m doing and who I’m doing it for, I thought about my beautiful little girl as I stitched each stitch and hoped that it would mean so much to her when she’s older maybe even take it to uni with her!? Although secretly I hope she stays local!!

As I predicted this took a long time, throw in a holiday and a heatwave where the last thing I wanted to do was be sat under a quilt there was at least a couple of weeks where this sat sadly on the side. It then had to wait whilst I busied myself with other projects. However it was so easy to pick back up again and once I did I was on a roll!

The last step, sewing on the binding is my favourite! I love this process, I stitch front and back on by hand and it’s such a lovely way to finish a project. I picked a pretty binding from my local fabric shop and I think it completes the quilt perfectly!

Quilt petite - A little quilt for MabelQuilt petite - A little quilt for MabelQuilt petite - A little quilt for MabelQuilt petite - A little quilt for MabelQuilt petite - A little quilt for Mabel

Please excuse the pictures, I find it so hard to take good pictures of a quilt! I was going to wait to give it to her for her 2nd birthday, but I figured she’s been watching me sew it that it seems pointless wrapping it up, and plus after all she’s a toddler! She’s going to be way more interested in her new toys than a quilt her mummy made!

Sewing

Flower Power Pillow

Despite being able to sew I’ve been pretty rubbish at furnishing our home, and have made do with buying all our cushions and curtains. I’ve always begrudged doing this but time and feeling a little short on inspiration I’ve made do with buying.

So I was flicking through the new issue of Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine the other day. I don’t normally get much time to read magazines but as I follow them on Instagram I had a feeling this issue (Issue 49) was worth getting. I wasn’t wrong, there are at least 3 projects I want to try, something that normally never happens. Usually I’ll look through a magazine and think nice projects but there hasn’t been any times where I’ve been compelled to make something straight away from it!

Flower Power Cushion

I love this design! It reminds me of Orla Kiely! The pattern was originally in bright bold colours and had 3 flowers. I decided to go with a subtle grey, white and pink to go with the colours in our lounge and made it as a cushion with just the two flowers.

I actually really enjoyed making this, like putting together a puzzle with all the different shapes. I think I will make another for the other side of the sofa!

Flower Power Cushion

I think in the days before Mabel this would have only taken a day or two to make! This however took almost a week!

Flower Power Cushion

It’s the second time I used my walking foot and what a difference it makes!! I decided to use a pink thread to quilt as supposed to white, I think it adds a nice touch. Although I’m wondering if I should have quilted 1 inch apart from 2 inch?

Flower Power Cushion

Overall I think I am happy, and it’s nice to have finished something and have it display in the home. If you fancy making this yourself issue 49 I believe is still for sale. The pattern is by Lindsey Neil – @penandpaperpatterns

Flower Power Cushion

Sewing

Happy Hexies – Floral Coaster

I think you know me well enough by now to know that I love hexies! So when my mum kindly gave me a copy of the new book Happy Hexies by Boutique Sha I knew it wouldn’t be long before I made something from it!

My lack of posts recently is because we’ve been on holiday, I had planned on doing some sewing whilst away but unfortunately our little girl became quite poorly and so there was not much time to do anything.

To get back some time and feel like I’ve achieved something I picked one of the smaller projects and went with the hexie coaster.

Happy Hexies

Once I’d pulled my fabric I realised I am guilty of using the same fabrics over and over! I am just obsessed with tiny pink florals! I am determined for the next couple of projects to use some different coloured fabrics!

Happy Hexies Floral Coaster

 

 

This project really suited my needs, not only did it come together quickly but it’s also completely hand sewn, so it’s perfect to sit and do of an evening while watching TV with the husband. There are elements that you could do on the machine if you wished, like the quilting and the binding, but I do love the charm of hand quilting and strangely I really enjoy hand sewing binding, although mitered corners and me are not the best of friends! I will say if you need to practice your corners this is definitely the project for you! I did unpick the binding and redo it as I was not completely happy but now it’s finished I am pleased with it, and will make some more! It would make a nice little gift for someone, especially as the pattern comes with a matching place mat.

Happy Hexies Floral Coaster

Happy Hexies Floral Coaster

Sewing

Sew Together Bag

I’ve been admiring this bag for sometime over on Instagram and had been debating whether to make one, I always put it off as they look so tricky to make. It just so happened a week after I had clicked out of the Craftsy pattern page for it that a sew along popped up on my Insta feed.

A chance to sew along with my fellow sewing friends at a leisurely pace with no pressure to be finished immediately. Well how perfect, it was like it was meant to be and I knew I had to take part in this sew along. There are plenty of sew along’s on instagram that I have wanted to take part (including the Happy Flower QAL!) but for many a reason I am always too late to join in! I knew this time that I had to set aside some time to complete this one, and although there is no deadline to finish I set my own personal deadline, we are going away at the end of the week and I want something to take all my little sewing bits and pieces with me.

The first challenge was picking my fabrics! This took me a good few days. In the end I went with some super cute Unicorn fabric by Makeower

I have to admit the next thing that stumped me was the cutting out, and I did have to ask @crimsonconfection on Instagram who was super sweet and very helpful.

The best thing to do with this pattern is just focus on one section at a time and read it through a couple of times before you start that stage.

I enjoyed the first part of this bag more than the last part, I do enjoy sewing zips! I realise I am in the minority! If you are nervous about sewing in a zip they really are easier than you think, don’t let it hold you back.

When it comes to sewing it all together my advice would be to use a new needle. Your machine has to sew through a lot of layers and it’s going to need all the help it can get! I know some people were saying about hitting the metal zip ends. I bought 10 inch zips by accident instead of 9 inch and had to shorten them, this did mean that I didn’t have to worry about hearing that fateful crack of a needle when it hits a bit of metal! So maybe something else for you to consider.

Definitely don’t do this when you are in a rush, this does need you to go at a slow and steady pace, and if you try to rush it will become a bit of a stress, especially if things go wrong. It’s far more enjoyable if you take your time and enjoy the process. Lastly if you have any questions the lovely ladies on Instagram are very helpful, or you can message me and I’ll try to help! Take a look at the hashtag #sewtogetherin2017 for some inspiration!

I did really enjoy making this bag, I enjoyed challenging myself and feel so pleased with what I’ve achieved, although in my eyes it’s by no means perfect. I’m so glad I bit the bullet and went for it! I will make another in time but I may need to leave it a while!

 

I think I’m happy with the final result, as I already said it is by no means perfect and there are a few little faults with it, but for my first attempt I’m happy. If I was to start over I think I would pick a different binding, I’m not sure if I am happy with it, however it took me so long and it was so fiddly to put on I won’t be changing it! My tip for the binding is to sew on by hand!

Chatter · Sewing

Happily Ever After SAL – Robin Hood

It has just occurred to me as I await the arrival of June’s pattern for the Happily Ever After sew along that I never shared with you my completed blo​ck for May!​

Robin Hood! Such a cute little block. I can’t believe we are almost halfway through this already. If you’re undecided about starting a Frosted Pumpkin Sew Along I highly recommend it. Not only are they super cute they are a nice easy stitch that you can fit in with your other projects. I can’t actually believe that I’ve managed to keep up this time!

If you think back to 2 years ago and the Storytime Sampler, well I am still working on that one, and just yesterday finished block 6 – Peter Pan. The plan is to get them both finished by the end of the year have them framed and put in Mabel’s room but I will try not to put myself under too much pressure to do that. SO many projects and SO little time!!

Sewing

Tiny Floral Pretty Needlecase

Do you remember the pretty little purse I made for my mum’s birthday? Well the plan had been to make a little needlecase to go with it, but unfortunately I had run out of time to make it. I’ve finally now got around to make it and give it to her so I thought I would share it with you.

 

It took me a while to decide on what to do. I knew I wanted to incorporate the same fabrics that I used for her purse, and I knew I wanted to embroider a little monogrammed initial. Other than that I was unsure. I did consider doing a half Dresden for the front cover to mirror her purse, but decided against that and go with something a little different.

I started with little 2 inch squares, using beautiful Lecien, Sevenberry and Atsuko Matsuyama fabrics my absolute favourites. In hindsight I should have used blue/purple fabrics that is more my mum’s colours than pinks, I think I was maybe too influenced by what I like than what she would like.

I then went onto embroider the little M initial. I bought the book “500 Simply Charming Designs for Embroidery” a few years ago, it’s a Japanese craft book that has been translated into English. Included in it are several alphabet patterns. As soon as I saw the lazy daisy letter designs I fell in love, and so fast forward to now I knew it would be the perfect design for my project. I had forgotten how fiddly I find lazy daisy stitch, it seems to take me a couple of attempts to get each petal/leaf to look like it’s suppose to and even then I’m 100% happy! I think I need to fill a hoop with some and just practice, practice, practice!

As I said above the front took me the longest to decide what to do, I didn’t want to detract attention from the embroidery but also wanted a bit of colour rather than it all being linen. Even though I absolutely love Japanese natural linen. In the end I decided on turning the embroidery into a patch rather than working it into the actual case and picked some really beautiful Lecien and Sevenberry.

Then onto the part I enjoy the most, the hand quilting. I love the effect of hand quilting, I think it adds a lovely charm to a project and easy enough to do on a little project like this. Hand quilting anything larger like a quilt always feels like a mammoth task and can become a little bit of a (sore!) chore. Although it is always worth it in the end!


We’ve had some beautiful weather this week and it has been such a joy to put the finishing touches to this out in the garden.

And there we have it! All finished! Such a lovely project to work on, although even a little project like this takes me twice as long to finish these days than before when I was child free. It does mean I do feel a bigger sense of achievement now when I do finish a project.

Chatter

Instagram Giveaway

On Monday my husband celebrated our 4 year wedding anniversary. To help celebrate that I have a little giveaway on my Instagram page.

In the UK the theme for four years is fruit and flowers, so here are four little treats with a lovely floral theme.

If you fancy having go at bagging yourself these then hop on over to Instagram. Apologies to those readers who do not have Instagram, I will have a giveaway on the blog soon. A winner will be announced Friday 18th May at 8pm BST. Good luck!!

P.s How can it be four years already!??