Wednesday, 29 February 2012

WIP Wednesday #3

I'm linking up with:

Completed projects:
Since last Wednesday I have completed:
My 5 'Dress a girl around the world' dresses

And worked towards:
Ongoing projects:
Nicey Jane quilt-as-you-go:

Flower quilt made from leftovers of Oasis by Three Sisters jelly roll:

No progress:
  • Bali Pops Peace Medallion

  • Modern mini challenge

  • Loo-roll cover for 'Dress up your roll' challenge (see linky to the right)

  • A heart garland to decorate my workspace, using this tutorial:

  • Dresses for 'Dress a girl around the world'
  • Sunday, 26 February 2012

    5 dresses done!

    Following on from Friday's success, I have now finished 5 dresses for:

    I am thrilled with them too, here they are:

    My major 'trying new things' with this one was the zig-zag stitch to neaten up the raw edges. I couldn't understand why my zigzag stitch would work on the main body of the fabric, but when I tried to use it on the edges, it would all pull in on itself. So my new thing that I tried? Reading the instructions (I know, like duh!) Apparently there is an actual special foot for this - who knew? (Yes yes, all the rest of you, whatevs, yeah?!)

    Also, new - making my own binding! I had read a warning that with these little dresses being sent off, and being in a climate so different than ours, there was a risk of shop-bought binding shrinking disproportianately to the rest of the dress, so I thought I'd best bite the bullet and make my own. It really worked out well too, as it meant I could pick the fabric, rather than having to just choose a vague colour match.

    Oh and a little side note, I am the queen of mending rather than redoing, restarting or the dreaded (and a swearword in this house) *whisper it* unpicking (ahhhhhhh!). Notice the cute little flower on one of the purple dresses? That was to cover a mark that came of the iron from all the spray starch I have been using recently. Just a little tipe for you there. If you're really good, I'll show you how I use seed beads and sequins to cover botched patchwork points ;)

    And finally, a fluff piece (ba-bum-tsh!), the boy has been frightening the life out of us this week with 'the dead-bunny flop':

    Those 'in the know' will be aware that this is a happy flop that bunnies do when they are really relaxed and, well, happy, but it can really scare you! Every time we have to check he's breathing!

    Hope you've all had a relaxing weekend!

    I'm linking up with:

    Sew Happy Geek

    Friday, 24 February 2012

    Dress a girl around the world finish!

    I am so pleased, I have finally made a start on making dresses for 'Dress a girl around the world'. I am so excited to take part in this, as we don't have a lot of money, so we tend to restrict our donations of money (My friend Caroline's rabbit rescue and another bunny lover Liz's rabbit sanctuary being the main beneficiaries, please check them out!). So to be able to make a difference to children on the other side of the world, AND get to make stuff! What could be better!

    Plus I love this pattern! I'm not going to lie, I found the instructions a bit tricky, no offence at all to Vanessa at {lbg studio}, I am PANTS at following instructions! I usually don't even try, I make it up as I am going along!

    Anyway, enough waffling! Here's my creation:
    I am pretty pleased with it! I made a few notes on the pattern as I went along, and there's a few things I would do different next time, but I am on a roll now, and intend to do a few more over the weekend!

    This is my official TGIFF as I actually finished it today, so I am linking up with:

    Thursday, 23 February 2012

    Any suggestions?

    I am looking to make a baby quilt for my colleague, who is expecting a girl. We fancy Puttin on the Ritz by Moda. Now to find a pattern...any suggestions gratefully received!

    WIP Wednesday #2

    Sorry it's late! Better late than never hey?!
    WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
    Or was I early for...

    Completed projects
    Since last Wednesday I have completed:
    My travel sewing kit:
    And that is it :(

    Ongoing projects:
    One of my modern mini ideas has gone a bit wrong, I miscalculated and ran out of fabric to do it how I wanted, so I had some extra once I'd rejigged it, and I started making these extra bits into a mug rug:

    No progress:
     Not overly inspiring, I'm afraid!

    A finish!

    Having had a rubbish day when last we 'spoke', I then embarked on a marking and planning marathon before going back to work on Monday (I am a teacher for those who don't know) so no sewing there. Then Monday night and Tuesday night I had loads of work to do, but for about an hour on Tuesday night I continued to work on my potential Modern Mini entry (see button on the right below). I don't want to show that in case I enter it, but here's a teaser - I used these fabrics:
    The design is strongly influenced by the fabrics... That's all you're getting for now!

    But last night I had a big success - a finish! I spotted this fab tutorial at 'lots of pink here':

    ..from following a link on Sew Lovins:
    Sew Lovins 'Pretty Lil' Neddlebook'
    I love this blog, she's made some beautiful stuff and I love her taste in fabrics!

    Here's my version:

    I am really pleased with this, and the tutorial is fab so I want to recommend it, so I am linking up with TNT Thursdays over at Happy Quilting:
    Oooh, I forgot to say what my 'Try New Things' were! This was my first go an machine sewing binding (on the pockets). It was my first go at quilting something this small, I really enjoyed quilting in lines like this so will definitely do this again. It was my first successful attempt at quilt-as-you-go, which I used to make the outside panel. And it was my first time sitting down to a project and finishing it all in one night!

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Thursday, 16 February 2012

    What a rubbish day :(

    Following the superb start to the day, with winning the Cash Envelope Sewalong giveaway (see below), everything went downhill. I think good luck in one area of your life must be compensated for by bad luck in other areas!

    I have achieved NOTHING today, apart from mithering myself into such a state that as soon as I got to my mum's I burst into tears.

    You don't care, because I find it weird enough that anyone else would want to read about my crafting, to think anyone will want to read about my rubbish day is beyond belief. But I am going to tell you anyway, so you can BLIMMIN' WELL LISTEN, ALRIGHT?! (ok possibly still some pent up frustration there).

    The plan for today was to focus on getting some work done. I am a teacher so on half term at the moment, and have so far done nothing. BUT I hadn't realised I was nearly out of medication, until I didn't have a tablet to take last night...cue hastily organised trip to the doctors. However, without my tablet, I have really bad withdrawal symptoms - vivid nightmares, night sweats, sleep paralysis. Meaning I don't sleep properly, wake up exhausted, end up napping, still have the symptoms when I nap. So by the time I finally got up at 11:30am I was still exhausted but also rather emotional. Landlord inspectionw as due 11:30-12:30...they never showed.

    So toddled off to the doctors - further side effects include dizziness, nausea, inability to think straight and a feeling of disassociation from reality. Not nice. Got prescription. Dispensary doesn't stock the item. Went to the other chemist in town. They didn't have it. Went to the next town, they didn't have it. They rang three other towns, they didn't have it. One of the chemists was shut for lunch (who shuts for lunch?!? Blimmin' rural bum, nightmare more like, *chunter, chunter*). Tried to go to post office to post some parcels, also shut for lunch.

    By this point my nausea etc plus my frustration and anger were bubbling up to dangerous levels, so I texted my dad, pretty much saying 'Daddy, help me!' Went round to my parents' to create a list of potential chemists...wouldn't you know it, the first I try has it! Bingo, I think, this day is finally turning around, turn for home, nearly there... forgot to get petrol. So around I turn, back to town, fill up the car, go to pay...card declined. Tried again, declined again. Had to ring dad to come and save me. So it got to 5pm without my having achieved anything.

    So then I sat down to do a quick make so I could at least have achieved something today. I found a roll of fabric strips I forgot I had, and they have inspired me, I have an idea for the modern mini challenge that I am super excited about. However, it involves the Dresden plate, which I have never done not such a quick make after all. Am now trying to find a tutorial that doesn't use a Dresden plate ruler...yes because I have a different ruler for every conceivable block I may or may not choose to do *chunter, chunter* (can you tell I am still stressed?!)

    Oh AND I am going to have to spend all of the next two days doing work after today's fiasco... *wanders off, chuntering incoherently*

    Wednesday, 15 February 2012


    I took part in this giveaway:
    from blank pages... Cash Envelope Sew Along
    AND I WON! I am so excited - my first blog giveaway win! Huge thanks to Diane at From blank pages... Even more exciting - I get to take part in my first sew along, I can't wait!

    WIP Wednesday #1

    Well this is my first 'WIP Wednesday'.
    WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

    Completed projects
    Since last Wednesday I have completed:
    My 'quilt show' bag:

    My bead bags for Beads of Courage (see linky on the right):

    A pouch for my partner's portable hard drive, with accompanying tutorial:

    Some travel tissue pouches:

    Ongoing projects:
    I am attampting to make a 'quilt as you go' quilt out of the remaining half of my Nicey Jane jelly roll. I thought 'quilt as you go' may be the solution to all my problems, as I *hate* machine quilting, largely because my machine is's this one:
    but I digress.... anyway, I officially *hate* 'quilt as you go'!! The pieces keep warping, the ending squares aren't big's all gone horribly wrong :( I shall persevere, and just trim each square to 10in square instead of the 10.5in they are meant to be. But I shall state here for the record, I am not happy. NOT HAPPY. Anyway, here is my progress so far. Two squares. Too measly squares. And about an hour of unpicking. And they're not even the right size. Grrrrr

    No progress:
    My second ongoing project is this:
    My mum bought me a 'Bali Pops' pack by Hoffman, to say well done for completing my first year on my return to teaching (bless her, she really is too good for me!). I believe this set is the sherbert colourway. We played with them for ages, and I decided that because the fabrics each had colours in common with other fabrics, they would work sort of like a colourwheel. So I looked for a pattern that would show this off and decided on a peace medallion. I think this will be really beautiful when finished, but I put it away last year at what must have been a critical stage, and now I am met with this and can't quite get my head round where to start:

    I am also working on this:
    I am slowly working my way through hand stitching the appliqued flowers. This lives in my handbag so I can get on with it whenever I get the chance! (gives self pat on back!)

    'At the design stage':
    (yes, this is a thinly veilled euphemism for 'not started yet', shush!)
    Wandering around blogland is just *so* inspiring! So as a result of this I have various projects in mind to start this week:
    1. A mini quilt for the modern mini challenge:
    Modern Mini Challenge
    2. A loo-roll cover for 'Dress up your roll' challenge (see linky to the right)
    3. A heart garland to decorate my workspace, using this tutorial:
    4. Dresses for 'Dress a girl around the world'

    This week's stats:
    Completed projects - 4
    Progress made - 1
    No progress - 6

    Also achieved today:
    I have been a good girl and done housework before doing any sewing, yay me! This is a particular achievement as my partner has started his new job today, so a) I have no one to tell me to do the housework and b) I am going to have to start doing housework again, having eschewed it since my partner became unemployed (boooooo!!). So I have sorted out the spare room (which was a tip!), sorted out the piles of stuff that had accumulated in our bedroom, sorted out the pile of clothes in my wardrobe, packaged and addressed the various things that need posting later, rung the bank and claimed back some unfair charges, rung the council and claimed back an overpayment on my council tax and run a bath which I will go in once I've finished this post! Oooh, and worked out how to put buttons in my blog posts, yay! Quite a lot achieved, if I do say so myself!

    Tuesday, 14 February 2012

    Today's make

    Just a quick one today. I saw this tutorial on another blog:
    And just had to try it out!
    So here are the results:
    The one on the right is the left overs from my Nicey Jane quilt. The blocks were made by sewing 4 jelly rolls strips together and then cutting the resulting strips into blocks. There were then 5 little endy bits left over, so I used bondaweb to attach these to a piece of white cotton, covered the gaps with ric-rac, then used this for one of my tissue covers. You get a better idea of the design from the back:
    I challenge you to make just one of these little covers. I bet you can't do it - they are so simple, it's addictive! A completed project in under 5minutes! And only 5.5in x 14in of fabric! Love it!

    Monday, 13 February 2012

    Two projects finished!

    I have had a pretty productive day, if I do say so myself!

    Firstly I made 4 bags for the Beads of Courage Campaign ( This is a really great cause and I'm so pleased I will be able to contribute in some little way. Here are my contributions:
    The instructions to make these little bags are on the website, at the address above, and they are a doddle to make once you've done one. It takes 2 fat quarters and 54in of cord to make each one, so a great stash-buster, and a great cause, so I encourage you to go to the website, check it out and get involved.

    Secondly, I have made my first foray into the world of tutorials! A couple of years ago when I bought my partner his portable hard-drive, I promised him I would make him a little pouch for it. In due course I bought the fabrics - he's a bit of a film buff, so I got a lovely set of four pieces of fabric (roughly fat eighths) on a movie theme: popcorn, ticket stubs, etc... which then languished in my stash until today. Naughty, naughty!
    But today I have not only finally made him his little pouch, but made a tutorial for it. So here's the finished article:
    ...and if you'd like to make your own, just pootle along to my tutorial page to make your own!

    And finally... MY PARTNER GOT A JOB!!! WHOOP!! After being unemployed since last September, which has been an enormous strain, he has finally got a new job, and he's really looking forward to starting on Wednesay (and I'm really looking forward to having him out of my hair so I can get onto some serious sewing!). So well done baby, I never lost faith in you! xx

    Sunday, 12 February 2012

    My inspiration, my mummy!

    These beautiful quilts are just a small selection of those made by my mum. I will try to add more as and when she makes them, as she isn't a blogger herself and I really think she has a talent that needs sharing with a wider audience, clever lady!

    So without further ado...


     And a close-up of the stitching on this one, she's so neat!
    And my favourite:
    And a close up of my favourite panel: