Glove-tastic

As christmas as now happened I can reveal my makes for this year. Now that I’m working 2 days a week at my son’s school, I was modest in what I attempted. I decided on a job-lot of oven gloves – 7 pairs in total.

They are a great gift. Who doesn’t need a new pair of oven gloves?! I used this tutorial inspired by the ones that Mary made a while back.

I used canvas on the decorative sides and lined the hand pockets with some light weight denim. On the ‘hot’ sides I used more heavy weight denim. Inside is regular cotton batting and some insulbrite wadding which is especially heat resistant.

I started out thinking I’d hand finish the binding on the backs of the oven gloves but soon realised this was way too tough to sew by hand. So I had to unpick a few lots of binding to re-sew them from the back to the front (top stitching along the front of the binding to finish). Even though this was a pain it gave a nice neat edge and saved my poor fingers!

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/6a7/41254634/files/2014/12/img_9587.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/6a7/41254634/files/2014/12/img_9238.jpg

The other make this Christmas was an apron for my Dad – which he requested. He lives in France for half the year and is chief barbecue-er. I was thrilled when he asked me to sew him something. No tutorial for this – I used denim and cut out a large apron shape using one I had as a template. I bound the edges and added a lined front pocket. I hope to get a pic of him wearing it!

There was also a bit of unplanned festive sewing in the form of a table runner. I had bought some christmas fabric in the January sales, which was a very welcome find in December. I used this tutorial and a fair amount of winging it. It’s been a great addition to our Christmas clobber.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/6a7/41254634/files/2014/12/img_9462.jpg

Advertisements

Last Christmas…..

I made a pledge to sew a quilt with my daughter. We needed two jelly rolls, one for her and one for me.

She chose the lovely Bluebird park fabric line and I had a Little Apples jelly roll in my cupboard. We used this quick and easy tutorial on the fat quarter shop blog.

It’s taken all year but I’m very proud that Ellen has done most of the work herself. All I helped with was some of the rotary cutting, basting and binding.
She got frustrated at times and it spent quite a few months untouched when sewing all the blocks together was just too boring.

Here she is snuggled up in it and on location in the new forest when we went away a few weekends ago.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/6a7/41254634/files/2014/12/img_9286.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/6a7/41254634/files/2014/12/img_9460.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/6a7/41254634/files/2014/12/img_9457.jpg

She quilted along the seams with a wavy line stitch on my machine, set to its maximum width and length. This made things simple as there were no straight lines to keep straight!
My quilt – it is still waiting to be basted. It will definitely be finished by next christmas!

Pixels

Whilst away on my sewing weekend last month I made a cushion cover for my son’s 7th birthday. He’s a total minecraft addict, so I knew what I had to do! I browsed around on pinterest for some ideas, printed off a picture and set about gathering lots of sludgy greens and browns. (backstitch shop have a good selection of affordable solids).

The cushion ended up being a monster floor cushion as I didn’t want to be fiddling around with teeny squares – Mine were 2.5″.

IMG_8622.JPG
Getting a big enough inner cushion was a challenge but I found one on eBay.

Needless to say he was very happy with it and has spent many happy hours sitting on it in front of aforementioned game.

Now let’s hope he doesn’t go off minecraft any time soon.

IMG_9038.JPG

Across the Pond

I am just back from a wonderful week in Canada visiting two fabulous friends.  Naturally I took a few handmade gifts with me…

Firstly for Rachael and her daughter Amelie these Noodle head zip pouches – which I’ve made a few of in the past. They got filled with goodies from England (they moved to Canada 6 years ago). I couldn’t quite fit in the giant jar of Marmite I took for them.

SAMSUNG CSCSAMSUNG CSC

Next I went to stay with my Canadian friend Ellen. We’ve known each other for nearly 20 years. As its been 10 years since my last visit, I decided her 40th birthday was enough of an excuse for another trip.

For her birthday I made a paper pieced table runner. The inspiration for which came from a blog called Wombat Quilts. I love Cath’s quilts and she has tons of free patterns. I was quite glad I didn’t attempt a whole quilt – paper piecing is hard work.

Here are some photos I took before I left and one of it in situ on Ellen’s coffee table. Her husband Marc was very helpful and sent me photos of the living room and measurement of the coffee table. As you can see it fits and it looks great.

SAMSUNG CSC

SAMSUNG CSC

unnamed

Lastly I made some more zip pouches for  Ellen’s children Cohen and Ingrid, filled with some classic British sweets.

SAMSUNG CSC

 

It was a fabulous trip and I had so much fun with my lovely friends, I was spoilt rotten with lovely food, wine, coffee and trips out to do things and visit people – and it snowed!!!

It wouldn’t have been possible with out my husband at home holding the fort during half term, (whilst juggling work!) and my mum for helping out as well.

It’s good to get away and remember who you are and who you were before you became a wife and mother. Going away always gives me a fresh perspective on life and a new appreciation of home and family. I have remembered how boring it is to travel a long way on your own – give me some squabbling children any day!

Rachael and I. Ellen and I.

unnamed (2) unnamed (1)

A Trio of Laurel’s

I’ve not done any garment sewing since before the summer holidays, so I was itching to get on with something for the autumn and to use up some of the yards of fabric I bought back in June  – just waiting to be made into something nice.

I am lucky enough to be heading off to Canada (all by myself!) at the end of the week for a friends 40th birthday celebrations. I’m very excited and had planned to make the Colette Laurel dress to wear to the party. After making a muslin I decided it wasn’t for me – and knowing that I don’t often wear dresses plumped for the top version instead. I started it on my wonderful sewing weekend back at the beginning of October.

It comes to together so quickly and was such a great fit on me I made two more!
IMG_8695.JPG
The first is a quilting cotton (fairly fine) it’s called Koi by Rashida Coleman Hale – this is the one I have in mind for Christmas parties with smart jeans and black boots. (I’m quite glad I didn’t make a whole dress in this)

The second fabric is Color Me Happy Cluster Dots in Emerald. I LOVE that green and it looks fab with royal blue. Its a heaver quilting cotton but is actually really nice to wear and suits the shape of the top well.

The third is a lightweight lawn – which again is lovely to wear but does crumple like a bugger – I think this will be more suited to summer.

I made a couple of adjustments to the pattern: I lengthened it by 1/2″.  Took in the sides 1/2″ (probably could do with a bit more – but I didn’t want to loose the nice shape) and deepened and lengthened the back darts by an inch.  I love the nice easy binding on the sleeve – so much easier than attaching cuffs and there isn’t too much gathering to wrangle when adding the sleeves. I hand finished all the binding, as I know from previous attempts at machining it didn’t look very neat. I’ve not managed to find a photographer for proper photos – so these headless selfies will have to do!
IMG_8598.JPG
IMG_8634.JPG
IMG_8644.JPG

 

 

A Wonderful Weekend

I was lucky enough to have (another) whole weekend away sewing with some lovely friends. It really is such a treat to have two and a half days of uninterrupted stitchery. Not to mention the great company and some fabulous food. Emily brought a tray of homemade Cinamon buns which smelt amazing and tasted even better.

I spent my time on three projects one of which is a secret gift, so I can’t show any pictures of that. One was a cushion cover for my youngest sons birthday, which is coming up next month. This was the perfect opportunity to make it, away from prying little eyes!

Lastly I started on a dressmaking project. It really is amazing how much you can get done without all the distractions of home life. We all left on Sunday afternoon tired but relaxed and happy. Here are a few photos. I can’t wait until the next one!

IMG_8566.JPG

IMG_8561.JPG

IMG_8569.JPG

IMG_8586.JPG

September Sewing

I’ve never quite got in the swing of doing a monthly round up of sewing projects (some months there aren’t really many!) but I have a few things to share and it just so happens to be the end of the month, so here goes!

First up is this pencil roll, which I made for a 7th birthday party my youngest was going to. A very nice simple make – apart from all those pencil slots, which seemed to take an age. I took my measurements from here but added elastic and a button instead of the ribbon tie.

IMG_8518.JPG

IMG_8519.JPG

My other finish is the result of a hand sewing project which I started last summer. It started off a as a quick grab of random scraps before heading off to a festival last August, then accompanied me on many trips away in various states of finished-ness all year.

Sept 14

As the hexie fabric was a bit of a random selection I decided to make them in to a rainbow so create a more striking look.

I finally sewed on the last row of hexies this summer and made it into a cushion. I used some Essex linen which I bought from America (ironically!) ages ago. I used some to border my coffee table quilt.  I also managed to do my best concealed zip insertion yet – can you see it?

unnamed (1)

I quilted all over of it with dark blue Aurifil thread – not sure if that was the right thing to do but at least it will keep my hexagon stitches from undoing!  I opted for piping round the edge, which I prefer to a quilt-type bound edge. I opted again for navy blue, which really frames the rainbow of the hexies.  I really love this bright addition to our muted living room (although its getting less and less muted the more I sew!) it’s a lovely bit squishy size and full of the memories of all the places spent sewing it.

Oh yes…pictures!

IMG_8532.JPGIMG_8535.JPG

A Very Special Quilt

I started this quilt in earnest back in March. In fact the idea and initial cutting spree (until I got bored) was at Christmas last year. So it’s been almost a year-long project, with a the goal of being my Mum’s 70th birthday present.

I wanted to make something with the vintage sheet fat quarters I got through a swap and I knew that some of these prints would be wonderfully nostalgic to my mum.

I settled on the hourglass block after seeing Rita’s hourglass quilt and tutorial.
This is a double quilt, so there were a lot to make – 200 and something! (I guess I could have made them bigger!) I found a very handy labour saving half square triangle ruler on Amazon, which did help a lot.

IMG_6908.JPG

and then to start sewing them all together. There were even some perfect points!

IMG_6922.JPG

 

Then I sewed them into blocks of 12 in a rainbow-ish colour sequence

 

IMG_6934.JPG

There was some basting agony (isn’t there always?!)

IMG_6977.JPG

After our holiday to France and my sewing machine had made a trip back to the mothership for some attention, it was time to quilt!
I chose to do my favourite orange peel quilting. The curvy lines really helped break up the geometric look of the blocks and create these lovely flowers.

IMG_8373

And then with the addition of some lovely vintage stripy binding (which you can buy here!) it was finished (yes the backing fabric is a very funky vintage sheet!)

IMG_8376

My husband and I had a lovely couple of days in a Shepherds Hut in Somerset while the kids were my mum’s. This was the perfect chance to hand stitch on the binding in the cosy hut with the woodburner and enjoying the last evenings of summer. It was also perfect for photographs.

IMG_8378

IMG_8384

Today was her birthday and we presented her quilt, she was really thrilled  with it and says she can’t wait to put in on her bed!

SAMSUNG CSC

I feel a bit sad now it’s gone!

Summer’s End

We’ve had a very busy but very fun summer. The last 6 weeks have gone in a flash, which is rather sad really. Here we are on the last day of our holiday in France.

IMG_7951.JPG
Our eldest starts high school today, it feels like a huge step towards teenage-hood. She requested a new pencil case earlier this week and rather than buy some plastic tat I asked if she wanted me to make one.

We decided on a boxy pouch with lots of space for a calculator and geometry set (I had to look up what that was because i couldn’t remember!). She chose some of this Road 51 bundle that I bought recently

IMG_8186.JPG
I decided to go the extra mile and make some quilt as you go panels for the body of the pouch. There is a great tutorial on QAYG here

IMG_8266.JPG
The boxy pouch was a surprisingly easy make. I used the tutorial from pink stitches blog.
A very pleasing make:

IMG_8270.JPG
And a happy excited daughter

IMG_8281.JPG

A commission

Just before I escape on my hols , I want to share my first ever paid for sewing project.

A friend wanted a storage bag for a mattress topper in her camper van. As soon as people know you can sew you get all kinds of requests. I was finally persuaded after a few glasses on wine on a night out.

I followed the same principle as my drawstring yoga mat bag, just a lot bigger and with a long oval bottom. My friend was thrilled with it, most importantly the mattress topper fits perfectly.

I used some ikea curtain off cuts (handily made use of the ready hemmed bits) the green is home decor fabric. I did lots of reinforced hems as this will be dealing with lots of weight and lots of use. Fingers crossed it’s up to the challenge.

20140722-084305-31385138.jpg

20140722-084306-31386160.jpg