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...

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... 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...

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...an 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!

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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!

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

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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.

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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!

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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!


Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Life in a fishbowl!

'Life in a fishbowl' pretty much describes my life over here sometimes. Everyone knows who we are, what we are doing, if we have been on holidays, what we are eating for dinner..... you get the picture! 

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I needed some sewing to take away with me (a few months ago now!) and so quickly grabbed Aneela Hoey's brilliant book 'Little Stitches' and chose the Goldfish bowl pattern! It described in a picture exactly what I was struggling with!

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For the back of the hoop I followed this brilliant tutorial and stitched some felt in place to create a neat look.

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Linking up with

Weekend Doings

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Rainbows!

Well, if he couldn't have a rainbow quilt for himself, Mr. 8 was determined to make one for someone else. When he heard that his new 4 month old cousin was coming to visit, all the way from England, he seized the opportunity! 

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The Simply Color Layer Cake that I had in my stash was perfect. He sorted the colours almost completely on his own after I showed him a few examples of other rainbow quilts (okay, I admit that I am a bit of a control freak when it comes to fabric, so I did rearrange a couple of squares with his agreement!). Then he sewed the squares together into rows, and then the rows into a quilt top.

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As this quilt is mainly going to be used for the new cousin to play on the floor, we wanted it to be nice and soft. So we followed Svetlana's tutorial for making what she calls a 'comforter'. In other words, baste the front to the batting and then sew, right sides together, to the backing. Then we quilted straight lines through the middle of the squares.

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Mr. 8 chose this cute Miffy fabric for the back, which I bought locally a year ago and have been waiting for the right project.

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Now it just remains for me to sew on the label and we are ready to gift it when our visitors arrive tomorrow! 

Linking up with 

Sew Cute Tuesday
Fresh Poppy Design

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Le Challenge - Passion!

I have a passion for other peoples fabric scraps! I don't know what it is about them - they are just so much more interesting and enticing than my own box of scraps! Maybe it is because they are fabrics that I have loved, but not bought, and so this gives a little taste of what I have only seen before online.

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This hexies in this cushion are made from fabric scraps from others - either from a giveaway, generously given, or bought as scrap packs. I didn't give much thought to the fabrics I was using but instead just took the pile of precious scraps and started making hexies and sewing them together.

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My initial plan was to make a complete quilt, but to be honest I got bored and so decided to make them into a cushion to gift to a friend. The back is a Cath Kidston polka dot with a red metallic zipper and the cushion is quilted using yellow Aurfil 50wt (my favourite at the moment!)

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Linking up with

Le Challenge

Scraptastic Tuesday

Monday, 2 March 2015

Conquering curves, continued!

This will be the last of the 'Curves' posts for a while, but I wanted to share the final project that I made from Rachel's Curves Class: The Orange Peel Pillow.

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This project came with a warning about its trickiness, so I approached it cautiously, making sure that I cut each piece individually and accurately. This time round we were told to pin all the curves, which took forever, but I can see why it was needed. Achieving accuracy was definitely tricky. I didn't unpick any of my sewing, but you can see below that I missed the mark slightly in a couple of places.

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I decided, as I didn't have any interfacing, to use a really thin batting and quilted around the edge of the outside orange peels, as well as a few invisible stitches right in the center.

I used the focus fabric for the back and installed a hidden zipper. I think the back is nearly as pretty as the front!

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This was a time consuming project, but one where I can happily see the progress I have made in sewing curves. There are more projects from the class that I really want to make, but they will have to wait a while.

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Linking up with

Sew Cute Tuesday

Fresh Poppy Design