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 

Friday, 22 May 2015

Sew the Library - Great kids' gifts

Uh-oh! The family we are staying with this weekend are celebrating two kids' birthdays. Gifts are called for - and quick ones at that!

My new favourite sewing book 'Sew Organised for the Busy Girl' by Heidi Staples to the rescue!

First up, for the 3 year old...


... a 'Book Nook' pillow/cushion.

Perfect for time out, reading quietly, playing with teddies, and maybe even a quick snooze!

And for the 10 year old...

P1110298 Envelope Art Clutch.

Great for carrying around a sketch book and art supplies, ready to create, sketch or colour at the drop of a hat!

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Great, simple, fun projects and the directions are really clear and well laid out. Well done Heidi!

Linking up with

Weekend Doings

If you haven't visited 'Weekend Doings' yet, you are missing out on a real treat ... go on, take a look!

Also linking up with Finish it up Friday

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

The quilt that drove me crazy!

A commissioned quilt, my first one. Sounded good in theory, even though it involved t-shirts, baby clothes and school uniforms! 

In practice, this was probably the most difficult quilt I have ever made! The friend who ordered it (for her daughter) said she didn't mind about the style, but it needed to include a killer whale, blue flowers and be roughly lap-sized!

I sat looking at the clothes for months, and realised that there weren't enough to just make a standard t-shirt quilt. This actually provided an easy road to get started - I made some 12 inch patchwork blocks to incorporate into the quilt. I had won some gorgeous blue-flowered fabric (True Blue by P&B Textiles) from the lovely Susan, and Jodi (one of my favourite bloggers) had started posting weekly tutorials for a quilt-a-long of her favourite patchwork blocks, so I chose 4 of those to make. 

That was the easy part done! To avoid the t-shirts for a little longer I then got to work on the Killer Whale. I found a paper-pieced pattern, and after 2 days solid work was so pleased with the outcome! In fact I was so pleased that I decided to paper piece a tardis too, seeing as the recipient is a huge Dr. Who fan!

With a bit of help from my instagram friends I worked out that I needed to make each item of clothing up to the same size as the patchwork and paper-pieced blocks that I had made. And so I finally got cutting, and interfacing (I just used light-weight cheap interfacing and it worked a treat!), and sewing until I had each item of clothing represented in some way. For some t-shirts I was able to cut out the picture and just leave that as a whole block. For others I needed to cut out the logos and frame with fabric borders, or cut two logos and then stitch them into the same block. After adding sashing and borders, the quilt top was complete and I breathed a huge sigh of relief!


Little did I know that quilting this was going to be the most difficult part of the process. I tried FMQ (but just couldn't get the quilt to move smoothly) and straight horizontal lines (that ended up uneven and pulled the fabric). After ripping all that out I decided to go with randomly placed straight lines, and set up my table so that the quilt was as well supported as possible. I think the weight of the quilt (with the different types of fabric and the interfacing) caused too much drag and really made quilting this difficult. But it worked out in the end - phew!


I pieced a back together from the left-over fabric that I had and used some navy stripes for the binding.



Once I started working on this quilt properly, nearly 2.5 months ago, I promised myself I wouldn't make anything else until I had finished! I apologise for the lack of blog posts, but am looking forward to getting back to creating now!

Linking up with 

Sew Cute Tuesday
Fresh Poppy Design

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Its time for a giveaway - Sew Mama Sew!

Welcome to 'Sunshine Through the Rain'. I am Deborah and I blog from the wonderful country of Indonesia! I have been sewing for about three years, and in that time I have discovered my love of colour, fabric and the process of creating.


This year I have been working on learning how to sew curves.

Onto the giveaway! I am giving away a Fat Quarter of my precious Central Park Collection by Kate Spain, as well as a Fat Quarter of some gorgeous Monaluna organic fabric. And I'm sure I'll throw in a few other goodies as well!


This giveaway is open worldwide.
Please just leave a comment below telling me your favourite sewing blog ever!
If you are a follower you get a second entry - just leave a second comment saying how you follow me!

The giveaway will be open until Monday May 10th Indonesian time! I will email the winner and announce their name on this post.  

This giveaway is now closed and the winner (chosen by random number generator) is Erika. 


Thanks for visiting! Now go and enter some of the other amazing giveaways at Sew Mama Sew!