Friday, 24 July 2015

Go Anywhere Bag


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.


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.


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


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. 


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. 


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?


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. 


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.


And partial seams are a whole lot simpler this way! 


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).


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!


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.


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


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


 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!

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Sewing fear number two ... conquered!

After successfully conquering my fear of sewing curves earlier this year, it was time to face the next challenge: making a structured purse/handbag. I have made a few tote bags in my time, but I wanted a bag with some more details, a different shape, and most importantly a zippered closure. 

Enter the Penelope Purse from Clover and Violet! I had seen this pattern being reviewed on Instagram recently, and I'd also read a few blog entries about other Clover and Violet bags, and how great the patterns were. Most importantly for me I could use the interfacing and fusible fleece that I had on hand (as I can't buy anything like that here and have to get it from overseas).

The final push came when a friend, who was leaving to return to America, said casually that she really needed a new purse. I knew I had to make one for her! 

I made a handbag/purse!

I just love the end result, and I was so reluctant to give this away in the end!
It wasn't a quick make, but the instructions were really clear and even the zipper came together without any trouble!


Because I was a bit pushed for time in the end I didn't include the inside zippered pocket, but there is still a pocket which will fit a phone.


The bag is very roomy inside, and it fits snuggly under your arm, nice and secure. 


Now I just need to make another one for me!

Linking up with 

Sew Cute Tuesday

Thursday, 4 June 2015

It's summer, and time to thank the teachers!

With only one son in Elementary school this year, we just had one teachers gift to make, and Mr. 8 knew exactly what his teacher likes - cats!

He really wanted to embroider a cat, so he drew his own drawing, I reminded him how to sew back-stitch, and off he went...


I helped with the eyes and whiskers, but otherwise he did an amazing job by himself. The original plan was to incorporate the embroidery into a bag, but we decided that it looked so cute by itself in a hoop, and so I finished it off with felt on the back and a ribbon to hang it by.

For the tote bag we chose some cat fabric, and then Mr. 8 chose some other fabrics to match, including cute Lizzy House mice!


I made the tote, following Svetlana's great tutorial. The only changes I made were to make my own handles, and to apply a piece of velcro on the front pocket.


His teacher was thrilled with the presents, and it was nice to make something extra special for her as she is leaving the school and returning to the USA.


Linking up with