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Monday, 31 August 2015

Bank Holiday Slump!

I am back and hoping you didn't miss me too much, or maybe didn't even suspect I was away, what with the scheduled posts n'all.

We have just got back from 10 lovely days away in the sun, and this weekend has gone by in a chilly, rainy, washing machine blur.  The list of things I have to do before the kids go back to school and I go back to work at the end of the week is giving me the jitters!

For now, happier times…


Normal service will resume soon xxx

Monday, 24 August 2015

No Sleep 'til Bedtime!

I saw a couple of sleeping bag pouches pop up on Instagram recently, so I had to have a go too!

Nilya's pattern is a free download from Craftsy.  Being me, I changed it up a little, making use of what I had, being just a little bit of an instant thrill-seeking cheapskate!


I used 18" zippers instead of really long ones stated in the pattern; I simply unzipped, and then stitched the two open ends together.  Definitely not as neat as the original, but cost me nothing, (sort of!); and the kids know no different.


I trialled the first cheating zip version and it was immediately commandeered, so I had to make the others one each, and one for myself, you know, for luck!


These took no time to make and have been declared the best sunglasses cases ever.  Another couple of Mummy Points in the bag for me, thanks Nilya x

Friday, 21 August 2015

Leftover tote bag...

One of my go-to instant gratification sewing fixes is tote bags.  Useful, quick, and not too fabric-hungry or head scratching to make!

For this one I used of the last of the home dec fabric that I used for my Mum's birthday tote, and some silver faux leather from projects last summer…


No zips, bells or whistles, just some off-cuts of IKEA Nummer print for lining, and I know I will get loads of use out of this…


The fact that this was made purely from the leftovers of other things makes me happy.

Happy weekend everyone xxx

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Twisted...

The kids think I have a problem…



Where's their sense of fun!?

NB. All the Hama bead patterns have been copied from Google Images, I am not that clever!

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

I have (another) plan!

I know, I am all about the plans, and if my attempt at the first Farmer's Wife QAL is anything to go by, it's not a great plan, but we shall see…
I am aiming for the 32 block lap quilt, because I don't want to be too over-optimistic, although I've already started putting post-its on the blocks I like.  I am hoping Kerry will keep me in check, someone has to!

Monday, 17 August 2015

#swapper

I have stalked, plotted, pulled and cut the beginnings of my secret make for the #easyswapUK…


Decisions, decisions, then let the fun begin!

And I also fell for this…


No pressure then!?

Friday, 14 August 2015

Trail Tote...

I downloaded the free Noodlehead pattern a long time ago, and have thought about making one, many, many times but always moved on to other things when faced with the inset zipper, piping and strap arrangement. My hopes for a quick and easy sewing fix always turned into a bit of a more complex task, well in my head.

But I was wrong.  I made this yesterday, using some lovely Mixology linen from Simply Solids as a starter.  I didn't have everything I needed in the house, but a quick trip into the village was a bit of a success despite the thunderstorm going on.

I got a 7" navy metal zip in the bit-of-everything/load-of-noting store, some brilliant cotton webbing and cream cotton bias binding in the sewing shop and a nasty plastic satchel in the charity shop which, for £4, had the buckle and other hardware I needed.


I LOVE how it turned out!

The piping was no real drama, I have made and sewn it before, but not on a curve; I used my walking foot and it worked fine.  The inset zip was pretty straight forward too - I cut a window in the interfacing before applying, so there wasn't too much bulk when turning through, and rather than going with my initial slack-Alice thoughts of simply sewing on the webbing, I went all fancy!

OK, so when I cut up the satchel it might have been wiser to have had a good look at how the buckle arrangement had been,  but I sussed it.  Although I know I will never adjust the length, I added 3 eyelet holes just in case!

I lined it with some Cotton & Steel with a little C&S pocket.  I used a sew-in magnet fastening, the others I have are so strong, they tend to just unbend the prongs rather than separate on other bags I have made!

I frankensteined the outer pocket lining, you cannot see the cream (Bone?) Kona on the zip side, just the Aloe, but it does the job and made me feel virtuous for using some scraps!

I have learnt my lesson and top-stitched about 1/2" from the top edge to avoid the seam allowance and bulk which make my stitches go wonky; it looks way neater being that little bit lower down, using my new favourite Aurifil 40wt 2310.


All in all it turned out so well, the pattern was of the usually brilliant and clear Anna-Noodlehead standard and I am glad that I didn't go for the easy option; I really want to make the large version now!

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Happy Feet...

Happiness is…

Silver Havaianas!  If you need me, I'll be doing a happy dance (in my head!).

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

In circles...

I finished the last of my Amitié BOM circles; and the silicone sheet arrived, so I will be testing my theory of pressing circles for appliqué very soon!


It may have catastrophe written all over it, but if it works, I will be thrilled to bits!

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Simple Patchwork...

I made a quilt.  Yes a whole one, in two days. I needed to do something constructive, something heartfelt, something for a dear family friend, so I did.


100 unique six inch finished squares, an IKEA and solids backing, simple diagonal quilting and solid binding…


I love the simplicity of patchwork, no fuss, no pretence just beautiful fabrics.  I hope the recipient loves it too.


It finished at 60" square, pieced with 50wt 2021 Aurifil, and quilted with 40wt 2310; all fabrics came from stash.  I only had to buy the wadding, which was from the bolt at a sewing shop in town; I am not sure what make it is, but it was a quality 80/20 cotton blend and washed up really nicely.

I actually started with the backing fabric as my colour palette inspiration for this quilt, which I think worked out to be a beautiful combination.

xxx

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Grey...

Sadly yesterday turned out greyer than expected, (not in a Christian way), but there was a little silver-grey lining, my Kindle arrived, so I made a case.

I started off with a simple slip pouch, but I really didn't love the baggy elastic/button closure combo I ended up with, so I lopped off the top, cut off the seams and went for a mini version of Ayumi's iPad case.

I added some Vilene S520 to the insides to give it a firm outer, with thick fleece instead of lining and batting, it turned out rather great looking considering it went though a full 360'...


I have only had a little play with the actual Kindle thus far, but having spent more time stuck 'in a book' than anything else, (random tapping and swearing does not work), I am not able to report back just yet, but it looks cool.
xxx

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Hama-time...

Boot fair bargain on Sunday, fun for all today…



If you need us, we'll be pixelating!

Monday, 3 August 2015

Gloomy-ish...

After a beautiful weekend, full of sunshine, family, trips out and getting stuff done, today was not so great.

Poor hubby was bed-ridden having over-done it in the garden yesterday, his back just wasn't up to the job, poor bugger; so there were unscheduled doctors and chemist visits in the mix.

The weather was grim anyway, raining most of the day, the kids took timeout in their stride, and I got to do a little more work on #mysmallworld whilst waiting for the doc's home visit…


I've since pieced and trimmed all my 1"x 2" finished flying geese, for this and a later section, and I am feeling happy about getting those under my belt.

What I am also feeling happy about, is succumbing to Amazon's deal of £10 off when you spend £50.

All weekend I was considering going the way of the Kindle.  I do love a real paper book; I collect certain authors and having been cracking on with the pile of unread books I collected over the winter; the lure of being able to get access to loads of books that I would probably otherwise not try or buy, seemed like a good idea.

My pondering paid off!

So for less than £45 I went for it; I will give my verdict in due course.  What I would be interested to know is if anyone has bought e-quilting books, I am wondering about how templates etc would work?

For now though, I guess that means I need to make a case!

Friday, 31 July 2015

Another Trio...

I have finished another trio of hand-stiched Amitié BOM blocks, that just leaves 3 more to go…


… then I have to appliqué all 11 of these, and the 11 hexie-star circles onto background squares.  I have a cunning plan of cutting up a silicone baking tray for my pressing template - I butchered a cupcake one for the little circles on my #mysmallworld and it worked a treat.

I also have a 100 or so more hexies to baste and appliqué onto 8 border strips, and the birds to tackle.  I am loving the slow pace, but the birds are really going to test me!

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Life's A Beach...

Today included a picnic on the beach, and the kids stripping off for a freezing dip…


That'll do nicely!

Oh, and in case you were wondering, dear son and Twin 1 left the tent after 5 minutes, too light!  Twin 2 was determined to stay; so I joined her at 10pm.  We lasted until 2.45am, when the cold got the better of us.  Not a bad effort though!

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Out and About...

We made it out and about today.  The sunshine was limited, but it stayed dry until teatime, so the cabin fever has been abated for a while!

First the girls got the chop…


They have been growing their fringes out, and waited until it could all be cut to one length.  I may be biased, but I think they look beautiful.

After stepping out of the salon, we went up to the new and improved park at Southwater.  We usually make it there in the holidays, and since Spring it has been revamped, and become Dinosaur Island.  The beloved big slide, zip wire and climbing frame with plenty of space to run about and lay out a quilt, has now become rammed with new features and infested with hundreds of toddlers, their anxious mothers, and wasps who cannot believe their luck at the amount of sticky food on offer…


Patches of grass were few and far between, but we nabbed a spot, had a picnic, and I managed some sewing; the kids got to run about with some school friends for a couple of hours, so we were all happy, but won't be venturing back this summer.

Back home, the kids have been planning a camp out in the garden tonight and I finished all my hexie-star circle Amitié blocks…


The next set of blocks have been decanted into my travelling pouch, as tomorrow we are hoping for a little beach-time!

Right, anyone want to place a bet on what time we get the first 'can I come back in' knock on the back door?

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

If in doubt, make a bag...

It's my Mum's birthday on the weekend, so I made her (another) bag.  I honestly daren't look back over the birthdays, Christmases and Mother's Days to see how many she has already had from me, but today that's what I made…


It's another wing-it pattern, with rough measurements from a bag I use all the time, which I made this time last year.

Essex yarn-dyed linen, some John Lewis cotton/linen home deco and lined with a poplin ticket fabric from the local sewing shop…


I added some of the Essex linen to 1.25" cotton webbing for the handles, and a lovely 16" metal zip on the front pocket and it looks even better than anticipated.  Love it when that happens!


It took me a couple of hours, escaping the Minecraft/Clash of Clans aggro going on in the other room; oh please let the sunshine come out and the warm weather return soon!

Monday, 27 July 2015

Beat the Clock...

As someone who is never late for anything, school, meetings or Bee commitments, I am finding it difficult to come to terms with having to play catch up with so many projects at the moment.


OK, so the 'deadlines' are arbitrary, and I don't even care about not being first, but I hate feeling like I am behind.

Daft I know.  But as I am commitment-free over the summer, sewing-wise, I am going to make a concerted effort to get up to speed with my #mysmallworldqal and the Amitié Mystery BOM and then get on with finishing my Brit Bee Medallion.

Finishing the borders on that should not take long at all, but as I am going to hand-quilt it, I was kind of hoping that the hot weather would make it a little uncomfortable over the holiday; but I actually have socks on today as I am so cold, but that's got to be completely unseasonal eh!?

I hand-sewed up a few more Amitié blocks over the weekend, and on the bumpiest train ride to London on Saturday I managed to baste a few more of the hexies, so that is slowly moving in the right direction.

Yesterday I prepped a bit of #mysmallworld, and today I managed to complete and join Section 2…

I heart appliqué now, appliqué is cool.
Loving this so much...


I am trying not to over-think it, otherwise it would take forever; some of my fabric positioning is not perfect, but as the quilt grows, I know I won't care, the overall look is coming together and I am excited to keep at it.

The kids on the other hand are starting to go a little stir crazy; we had a few hot weather day-trips all planned, which have been put on hold, so the certain excitement this week will be in the form of haircuts for the girls, and a trip to Sainsbury to pick up some new school uniform.  Well I wouldn't want to spoil them! x

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Let the (fun and) games begin!

Last night we were out until late; the Year 5s had an awesome send off, so these three…


… were a little tired and more than happy to mooch about for most of today, meaning I got to stitch up these Amitié BOM beauties without resistance…

They are un-pressed, not wonky!
We also got to register for this year's Library reading challenge.  Guessing the first couple of books will be finished by the end of tomorrow, as, surprise, surprise, typical summer weather will be headed this way tomorrow.

Hey Ho xxx

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Top Marks...

I am so happy to have finished all the teacher gifts, including another Q3 FAL listing!

I made an iPad/folder/case for the girls' class teacher.  I used Ayumi's pattern from Patchwork Please, which I used to make a case for mine 2(?) years ago, and still use!


I didn't use batting, but a thick fleece to line and provide padding for the case instead.  I scored a yard of a really good quality stuff at the local Oxfam for a couple of £ and it is proving pretty useful…


Nice bit of chevron quilting, and more spotty binding, job done!

So here, because I am rather pleased with myself, are all this year's Teacher gifts together…
Tomorrow will mean signed T-shirts, water fights and lots of shrieking, followed by a Leavers party at the local Social Club in the evening.  I am exhausted just thinking about it, but also, come 1.30pm, I will be on summer leave too.

I. Can. Not. Wait!