Monday, 26 January 2015

Curves and Christmas

My sewing challenge for this year is to conquer curves. I have only ever tried sewing a wavy line once (when I was making a sampler quilt) and it was such a disaster that it put me off ever trying again. But I can see how being confident in sewing curves opens up numerous possibilities for quilt designs, as well as maybe tackling making garments.

Scalloped bunting

I was thrilled therefore when Rachel (who blogs at Stitched in Color) decided to offer her curves class again this year. The focus for the first week has been on basic curves, and the projects have been quick and enjoyable to make. The scalloped bunting resulted in much laughter in my household as my boys declared that it looked like a row of bras, and so it had to be quickly taken down!

Clamshell pillow #curvesclass #stitchedincolor

The clamshell pillow took a little longer to make (well cutting out the clamshells did anyway!), but the sewing was again straightforward and I love the result. I used some linen as the foundation fabric, selected a whole lot of scraps for the clamshells, and on the back I used a piece of Ikea Home Decor fabric which I had been given a while ago. It works really well for a pillow like this as it gives a little more structure. I also made my first ever button-holes which were super easy on my new Juki!

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I can't wait for the second week of this class - bring on the improvised curves!


I am linking up these projects with a Blog Hop which I am proud to be a part of this year: Ho, ho, ho and on we Sew! It is hosted by Fiona and the idea is that we don't leave our Christmas making until December, but instead make gifts throughout the year, so that (hopefully) things will be a little less stressful at the end! There is a linky party each month (hosted by different bloggers), so head on over to Fiona's, check out her tutorial for a cute Christmas cushion and join in with the chance to win this gorgeous felt bundle.
 

Your projects don't need to be Christmas themed, they just need to be presents which you are setting aside, to be gifted at Christmas (and I am going to have to make sure that I gift that bunting to a friend who doesn't have boys!)

Sew Cute Tuesday
Fresh Poppy Design

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Mini Patchwork City

One of my favourite Christmas presents this year was the book 'Patchwork City' by Elizabeth Hartman.


It is marketed as 'a bonanza of 75 innovative blocks for the modern quilter', and it really is that! 75 non-traditional quilting blocks, all made in fun, modern fabrics, along with 6 ideas of how to put them together into quilts. What appealed to me the most was that although the blocks are well planned, and the instructions for making them are really clear and precise, the finished look is one of improvised piecing - my favourite!

I decided to go ahead and make four of the simplest blocks for my Schnitzel and Boo mini quilt swap. I chose one main colour for each block and they were so easy to piece (it took me longer to choose which fabrics to use, all from my scraps of course!).

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I just love the end result, and am thinking of making more of these blocks this year. There is a Quilt a-long starting on Instagram soon - #patchworkcityqal

Loving it! #schnitzelandboominiquiltswap #mofamichelle

And for those of you who are interested, my new Juki whipped up the straight line quilting without any trouble - yay!

Linking up with Sew the Library,

Scraptastic TuesdaySew Cute Tuesday



Tuesday, 13 January 2015

2015 Q1 Finish-Along goals, and thoughts for the year.

I just have two goals for this quarter.

I don't think I can do this! Been asked to make a memory quilt. This is all I've been given and two of the shirts are that funny synthetic running fabric. Help!!

The first is the t-shirt quilt that I have been commissioned to make. I now have a more definite plan that includes paper pieced blocks of a killer whale, the tardis and something Harry Potter related. I am still rather concerned about cutting into the t-shirts, but I am hoping that if I make the rest of the quilt awesome, somehow the whole thing will come together okay!

I think I have a plan!

The second is a plus quilt for my second son. His birthday is in February, and one of my goals for this year is to make quilts for both my sons. They are unlikely to get much use out of them while we are in the tropics so I want to make quilts that will last them for many years. Mr. Nearly 8 really wanted a rainbow quilt, but in the end I persuaded him that this fabric pull is still bright and colourful!

My main goals for this year as a whole are to learn how to sew curves (more on that coming up soon as I have signed up for Rachel's Curves Class which starts next week), and to make at least one garment for myself. I am extremely excited that at the end of last week I received a new sewing machine that I am hoping will make these aims slightly easier to achieve! I am already loving the automatic thread cutter and needle threader, that I can choose to stop with the needle down, and that straight line quilting was a breeze. The extra space is surely going to make quilting that much more enjoyable!


Linking up with

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Pay it Forward!

Just before Christmas I received a package in the mail from the lovely Fiona. It was a Pay it Forward gift that I had been lucky enough to sign up for almost a year ago.

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A lovely travel sewing kit made in a gorgeous blue linen with a Prince Charming print, and a matching pin cushion. I just love it as it is is both gorgeous and practical, and I will get a lot of use out of it.

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Fiona also included two fun Fat Quarters (pirate themed), a frixion pen (which I can't get here), some cute buttons and some yummy Cadburys chocolate which of course has already disappeared. 

Thank you so much Fiona. And now it is my turn to Pay it Forward!

If you don't already know the rules you need to leave a comment on my blog and in a few days time I will draw three winners. Then sometime over the next 12 months I will send you a small handmade gift. The only thing you need to be prepared to do is to pay this forward to three more people once you receive my gift.

So if you want to enter just leave me a comment below, maybe suggesting what type of small handmade gifts you like to receive :-)

*EDIT* The Pay It Forward is now closed and the lucky winners (chosen by random) are Serena (Sewgiving), Faith (Willit Neverend) and Ruth. 


Thursday, 1 January 2015

Goodbye 2014!

Well my aim for 2014 was to make more quilts (rather than smaller projects) and I think I can say I succeeded!


Each of these quilts was made with a particular recipient in mind and was gifted to them with lots of love. This in turn has brought me a lot of joy.

I also enjoyed working on lots of smaller projects in 2014 and the final finishes I have to show you are a miniquilt that I made for the #igminiswap on Instagram, and a small miniquilt that my son made for his teacher as a Christmas gift.

IG Miniquilt swap
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It was a year ago today that I started writing my blog, and I want to say a huge thankyou to all the lovely friends that I have made both through my blog and through Instagram. Thanks for leaving me comments and for encouraging me to keep creating, and thanks for all the inspiration you provide me with through your creativity. Happy New Year to you all xx

Linking up with the 2014 Finish Along. My #igminiswap quilt is my final finish for this year! 

Monday, 15 December 2014

Le Challenge: Ink

Last month over at Le Challenge the theme was 'X'. I made a start on this, but failed to finish in time. I was lucky however that the fabrics I had chosen work well for this months challenge: Ink. 

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I used the great tutorial by Svetlana for this drawstring bag, and while I was at it I decided to turn two other orphan blocks that I had into bags as well. 

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So three Christmas presents made, all from scraps, and already filled with little gifts for three gorgeous girls who we are visiting this weekend.

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Linking up with Le Challenge and Scraptastic Tuesday.

Friday, 12 December 2014

A year (plus a bit) in the making!



A few stitches here and there while watching soccer, or sitting in traffic jams. Embroidering a whole block on the evenings my husband was out of town.  Hand quilting while watching episodes of 'The Paradise'. This quilt has been a long but completely enjoyable process. 

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The pattern is from the book 'S is for Stitch' by Kristyne Czepuryk. Initially I was following along with Liz's Stitch Along, but I couldn't even keep up with stitching a block a week and in the end just took it at my own pace. 


I used fabrics sent to me by the lovely Hydee, and added in a few of my own. I hand quilted using a light grey perle cotton. The backing is a fun chevron print and the binding is a plain Klona cotton.

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And then, thankfully, my sister had a baby girl and I knew this was the perfect gift for her!

Linking up with TGIFF and Finish It Up Friday. 
This is my fourth finish for the 2014 Finish Along Quarter 4.