Monday, 17 August 2015

Ho, Ho, Ho and on We Sew, tutorial and giveaway!

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Thanks for stopping by for this month's tutorial on 'Ho, Ho, Ho and on we Sew' hosted by Fiona and Paula. Christmas is always a time of year when the kids and I enjoy making hand made gifts for friends and family. A couple of years ago we made these fantastic Christmas lollipop nose critters for their school friends.  I thought it would be fun for us to make something else small that could easily be handed out as end-of-year presents at school, and that kids can make (either with you or by themselves depending on their age).

Introducing...The Envelope Christmas Stocking!

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Made from felt, only takes an hour or so to make, can be decorated to suit all tastes, and the envelope flap at the top will prevent the goodies inside from falling out!


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Materials needed:
Wool felt
Ribbon
Twill tape
Buttons
Embroidery floss
Craft glue
Elastic or twine










1. Draw your stocking template onto paper or cardboard. Cut out and then trace around it again (this time you want the mirror image, so flip your initial template over) for the template for the back of the stocking. Before you cut out this second template draw a half circle shape onto the top of it. This will become the envelope flap.

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2.  Place your templates onto the wool felt, draw around them and cut out the felt shapes. 

3. Decide on how you are going to decorate your stockings, keeping in mind that the top flap will be folded over, so leave some space for this. Using craft glue, glue on any ribbon or felt shapes that you are using. As these will be presents for school friends we decided to include the first letter of their names.

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4. Hold the envelope flap down and then sew on your buttons in the correct place using some embroidery floss. 

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5.  Use a hair elastic or some twine to create the loop for the button closure. Sew this onto the inside of the flap, being careful not to let your stitches show through on the other side. The felt is quite thick so this is fairly easy. 

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 6. Line up the front and the back of your stocking, and pin a loop of twill tape in place (this is for hanging the stocking when it is finished).

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 7. Using embroidery floss and blanket stitch (I used this tutorial to remind me how to sew blanket stitch), sew the front and the back of your stocking together. Note that you will need to sew a couple of stitches of running stitch first through the twill tape, and then start on the blanket stitch. 

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8. Fill your stockings with whatever small gifts you would like and let your children gift them to their friends! I think chocolate and candy canes will be going in ours!

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 Now it's your turn to link up any Christmas/holiday makes that you have made this month. This month's giveaway is sponsored by The Village Haberdashery. The winner will receive a £10 gift voucher.

To enter the giveaway put your project on the link-up below. 
As usual we want to say a huge thank-you to all the sponsors who have provided wonderful prizes this year. It is not too late to start creating gifts for Christmas!









Crafty Trimmings

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Quilting Fabric at the Fat Quarter Shop

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Flying chickens!

Another friend leaving, another gift needed as a token of thankfulness for a friendship that has been a sweet blessing. 

'Sew Organised for the Busy Girl' by Heidi Staples has become my go-to book for gifts recently. This time I chose the Chevron Table-runner and pulled some fabric that I knew my friend would enjoy, as she had gifted it to me!

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This was my first time making flying geese and I was surprised by how well they turned out! I think just about all my points survived!


I had an issue quilting with my navy 50wt Aurifil thread - it just didn't form great stitches as compared to my standard Aurifil 50wt 2600.  Has anyone else had this issue before with different colours of Aurifil? 

For the back and binding I used a Lotta Jansdotter Glimma fabric which I have been hoarding for a while!

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Linking up with  

Sew Cute Tuesday

Friday, 24 July 2015

Go Anywhere Bag

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A lovely friend has just returned to Indonesia after a year away. As it was her birthday a few days ago I decided to ask her what she would like me to make for her as a gift. Thankfully she didn't choose a King-sized quilt! She asked for a tote bag. Simple right? I think it is just my state of mind at the moment, but I could not decide on a design or pattern. Half the problem is that most bags require some sort of interfacing, and that is not readily available here. So I have to check whether I have in my stash what the pattern requires, or whether I can improvise.

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I finally decided on Noodlehead Designs 'Go Anywhere Bag'. Not your usual tote shape, but a large bag with lots of pockets, and not too complicated (I had seriously run out of time by this stage!). I chose some Dena designs linen blend fabric for the front and back pockets, and an open weave linen/cotton blend for the main section of the bag. I used a heavier weight interfacing for the pockets, and a medium weight interfacing for the main section (heavier weight would have been better for this but I had run out!). I skipped the magnetic snaps and just used some velcro on the large back pocket and left the main section of the bag open.

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Once all the pieces had been cut and interfaced, this bag came together really quickly, and the pattern was very easy to follow. I love the polka dots I used for the lining, and even remembered to add my label to the inside pocket!


 The main thing I will watch out for next time round is to get the back and front pockets lined up better, but it is hardly noticeable, and my friend was really happy with it.

Linking up with TGIFF and Finish It Friday.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Scraptastic!

A couple of weeks ago I wrote myself a list of all the sewing that I wanted to get done in the next few weeks. What a bad idea! I felt completely overwhelmed and didn't know where to start!

I knew I wanted to sit down at my sewing machine though and just sew, so I pulled out my bundle of small scraps and strings that I had been collecting. 

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I also pulled out my copy of 'Sunday Morning Quilts' to get some ideas for how to sew these together, and then I started sewing. 

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At first I thought I would make this into a pillow/cushion for a friends birthday, but I love these scraps - they remind me of different projects I have worked on and different blogging/instagram friends who have sent them to me. I think I might keep going, making a range of different types of blocks and put them together into a lap quilt for me. What do you think?

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Linking up with 

Scraptastic Tuesday

Weekend Doings

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Holiday hand stitching

With summer holidays happening around here there hasn't been much time for sewing. 

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But I have been working (very slowly it has to be said) on some hand piecing, which I have really been enjoying. There is something incredibly relaxing about tracing templates, cutting out the fabric with scissors and then hand sewing it together.

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And partial seams are a whole lot simpler this way! 

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The pattern I have been working on is found in Jen Kingwell's book 'Quilt Lovely' and is called 'Glitter'.  The fabric is Jen Kingwell's 'Gardenvale' collection. I was very lucky to win a layer cake of this from Rachael at Blue Mountain Daisy (if you haven't read her blog you really must - she is one of the most creative bloggers I know).

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I am not sure how many of these blocks I will make, but my plan is to keep going over the next few months, maybe mixing them up with some other hand pieced blocks from the same book, and see where I get to. I will probably need to add in some other fabrics at some stage too. It is so nice to be working on a project without feeling under any pressure to get it finished. 

Linking up with 

Sew Cute Tuesday

Friday, 19 June 2015

Colour, beautiful colour!

Ever since I started quilting I have been collecting fabric from one of my favourite designers - Anna Maria Horner. The way her different fabrics go together to create a beautiful bright array of overwhelming colour always grabs me, and makes me feel so so happy!

My long term aim is to use the fabric I have collected to make a quilt for myself, but I couldn't resist the AMH mini-quilt swap on Instagram, and thought it was a good way to have a taste of what sewing with this fabric will be like!

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My swap partner seemed to like a mixture of bright fabrics with low volume, and I felt like I was up for a challenge and trying something new. After flicking through my quilting books I was grabbed by 'The Night Garden' quilt by Sarah Fielke in her book 'Quilting from Little Things'. This quilt involves sewing 'notorious' Y-seams and also uses a 'Step-Down' technique for piecing, both of which I hadn't tried before.

I have to say that without this brilliant Y-seams tutorial from Fresh Lemons Quilts, and Sarah Fielke's Craftsy class which walks you through the 'Step-Down' piecing technique, I would have struggled. But after studying both of these, this mini quilt came together nicely, and I really enjoyed the Step-Down piecing especially.

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I decided to hand quilt the mini using Perle 8 cotton, and went with a Cotton and Steel sparkly binding.

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For the back I used a lovely Loulouthi print, and I love the texture that the hand quilting brings to this.

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 I hope my swap partner loves this mini quilt as much as I do! 

Linking up with Finish it Up Friday and Sew the Library.

Weekend Doings

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Sew Cute Tuesday


Sew Cute Tuesday

I am hosting over at Sew Cute Tuesday today. 

So pop on over there if you want to find out a bit more about me!