Saturday, 30 June 2012


Lilys Quilts
Before Lynne gives up on me completely, here is a teaser of my project on a budget for Abakhan fabrics:

Now I've got the hang of the bunting, it's coming together quickly. As for the Union Jacks.... well, I'm a little stuck there, I keep ending up with my seam allowances to short, but I'm working on it!

New bricks-and-mortar haberdashery store in Lincolnshire

Super news for all my Lincolnshire followers (I say 'all' - I think there are 2 of you!). There is a new haberdashery store coming to Horncastle a week on Monday. The lady currently has a stall at Horncastle market on Saturdays, but as of the 9th of July she will be opening a shop in the town - and I for one can't wait! At the moment, the only fabrics shops we have are Dunelm in Lincoln, which is really more furnishing stuff, or the Stitchery in Ruskington, which is great, but is a long way from where I live, especially if I only want thread! So watch this space - when it opens, I will pop in and come back here and update you on what's on offer!

In the meantime, this is what I bought today - I only wanted iron-on interfacing! But aren't these beautiful, they will make a lovely summery bag (I feel another Noodlehead 241 tote coming on!:
And these cute printed wooden buttons, only 30p each, which would look fab on little clutches. What do you think?

In other news, I am gonna be in so much trouble with Lynne at Lily's Quilts :( My picnic bag/rug tute is taking sooooooo long, partly because I am rammed at work, but partly because I am just not skilled enough to take on this kind of project! But I *am* working on it. Sowwy Lynne!
Lilys Quilts

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Bag inspiration

I didn't take part in the summer sewing contest over at Ellison Lane Quilts, but now the winners have been announced I popped over to see what people had made. I am mainly making this blog post for myself, to remind myself of a few things I would like to make in future, but feel free to pop over and check out these beautiful things!

Kona solids giveaway #3

And here is my third and (possibly) final entry. I call this one "I love candy!"
I used azure, banana, bright pink, bubblegum, magenta, papaya, lime and peacock.

Kona Solids giveaway #2

I love this one, I am so excited about it! I call this one Yeah baby!
For this one I used bahama blue, bright pink, canary, charcoal, papaya, purple, red and turquoise.

Kona Solids giveaway

I am entering the Kona Solids giveaway at Fluffy Sheep Quilting. Here's my first entry:
I used Ash, Basil, Bone, Coal, Navy, Pepper, Turquoise, Lime.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Another 241 tote

I made another 241 tote! My mum saw the one I made for myself and asked me to make one for her. She chose the fabrics, so I can't take the credit there, but I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. I made a few changes, with this being the second time I've made this pattern now. Firstly, I attached the pockets to the relevant pieces before I started putting them together. I found it quite tricky to attach the pockets at the points where the pattern recommends (not impossible, and certainly didn't effect the finish, but not enjoyable to do), so I found this much better. I also find the zipper pockets and up bigger than the bag pieces and would so get cut off, plus they fight each other for room, so I trimmed these down as well. I also make my handles totally differently - using the fabric to cover a strip of webbing instead, but I did that with my own bag too. So here she is:

And I've been a bit down today (largely because I have received a £900 fine from HMRC for filing my tax return late, despite the fact they didn't tell me I needed to do it until it was already late, then I requested a pin number to do it online and that never arrived, and now they are saying they've not received it despite it having been signed for on the 28th of May...*and breathe, breathe, breathe* oh and I only registered as self employed because I was doing Avon to try and supplement my income as we were struggling, and I earned...wait for it £500! Less than the pigging fine!!) so my beautiful Beau bunny sensed I was sad and came for a cuddle. I look hideous in this picture as I am having a PJ day, but he never ever lets you cuddle him, so I just have to share!

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Happy fathers' day!

This is the card I made for my dad. It was inspired by one I saw online. I usually make cards using Forever Friends cutouts and the like, so this was a realy departure for me. It was so fun to try something new. We had lunch out yesterday en famille, as my parents are at a christening today. My mum made this beautiful wall-hanging for the baby:
In other news, another part of my prize for the Popular Patchwork competition has arrived: a Lisa Lam bag and her latest book:
The book is great; there are a few things in there that I would never make, like bicycle paniers (sp?) but she takes you through all the mechanics of making bags, like attached hardware, piping the edges, putting in pockets, so it's a really useful read.

And my fabrics came from Abakhan. Remember I won the chance to make my idea for a jubilee project on a budget over at Lily's Quilts? Well now the fabrics have come, so I can make a start on putting it together. Here are the materials I ordered:
For just under £20 (well, I got them for free for my win!) I got 2 metres 4oz Wadding 137cm 54", 1 metre Sheeting Red 230cm, 1 metre Sheeting Royal Blue 230cm, 1 metre Plain Polyester White 185cm, 1 metre Plain Poly Blue 112cm, Snap Fasteners Nickel 15mm. So I am off now to go and design and make my little project, and there will be a tutorial at the end :)

Monday, 11 June 2012

A 241 tote finish

Remember the fabrics I won from Maria at Not only quilts? Well I finally got around to making them into a bag! I chose Noodlehead's 241 tote after seeing it everywhere in blogland, and I have to say I am in love! This pattern is so easy to follow, with pictures for every step, and a few variations so you could make a different bag every time! But without further ado here she is, isn't she beautiful!

And look at the contrasting lining - love it! I couldn't imagine how to do this, but the instructions were so clear it made it easy:
And the inside pocket:

Oh and my daddy came round to play with his boats in the bath again:

I'm linking up with:

Sew Happy Geek

Plum and June

p.s. Note to self: remember to come back and check out these patterns later!

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Hello hoomans!

Mummeh did say that cos I was brave at da vets I could write a blog post today. I was bery brave - the vet lady did said she had never had a bunny let her look in his earsies for so long! And she did said I has a bootiful coat! What do yooz fink?
Ma mummeh says I has a short attention span and maybe I've got A...D.. OOH what's this on the floor...
Yeah i iz bored now, byeeee

Anyway, now he's gone I can show you my new heart garland, finished off on my new sewing machine!

It's here, it's here! My prize, MY NEW SEWING MACHINE!!

As regular readers will know, I have been sewing with my mum's machine that is as old as I am, so when I won a brand spanking new one, I couldn't quite believe it! It's almost like I wouldn't let myself believe it, I kept looking at the email and trying to work out if it might be a hoax!
Anyway, here it is in my workspace.
It's a Janome CXL310, RRP £299, kind of low-mid range, so very affordable and yet there's a lot to it, for the money. It has several practical stitches, including 6 (yes, 6!) different sorts of buttonhole, and 8 decorative stitches, 30 stitches in total. I won't bore you with a detailed spec as that can be found elsewhere, but I've already noticed some fab features I wanted to share with you.

Firstly, it has this fab little needle threader! I won't generally have a problem with threading my machine, but I know it's the bane of my mum's life, so this could be a real boon for some of you:
...and it retracts itself up out of the way when you're not using it:

Secondly, it has a handy button so that you can choose if you want the needle to stop in the up or down position, which is super for changing direction while you're sewing. It also has the capability to sew without the presser foot - you just press start and a away it goes, then stop, and it stops instantly. I haven't discovered what this could be used for yet (wandering off and making a martini?!) but I'm sure it will prove useful, and it's fascinating to watch! Plus for all us quilters, with our bulky projects - the foot has an extra 'up' position, so that you've got a little extra wiggle room for getting thicket projects under the foot. And, contrary to my previous machine, the seam guide on the base plate is accurate! I sewed a 1/4 seam without getting my tape measure out (and then got a tape measure out to double check!)

Stitch-wise there are a few things I want to mention. Firstly there's a stitch called the 'lock-a-matic' - sounds like something Wallace from Wallace & Grommit might invent! This is just a simple straight stitch, but it automatically does 4 reverse stitches at the start and end of your work - I think this will be my default stitch!

It also has this really handy function where you press a button and as it comes to a stop, the machine sews a few stitches on the spot to secure the end. This comes into it's own when using the fancy stitches - you can press this button half way through a fancy stitch and it merrily carries on until it gets to the end of the stitch, then stops! No more delicately trying to  time when you stop so that you get a complete shape!

Finally, I quickly spotted that it has an applique stitch. I had to try it straight away! I definitely need some practice, but I improved even while I did this one shape - no prizes for guessing which side I did first:
And the back:
I'm not really the type to sit and try out all the stitches, so I will let you know as I use it what the pros and cons are!

Some new projects

Well with all those finishes I thought I'd better get some new projects underway! (Heaven forbid I try and complete all the projects on my list before starting any new ones!)

So here we have:
A sewing machine cover with the purples left from my New York Beauty quilt:
The Liberty print handbag from a pattern in Popular Patchwork Bag Special 2012 (though I'm not using Liberty prints). I need some brown fabric before I make a start:
The heart garland I kept mentioning and then mysteriously slipped off my WIP Wednesday lists ;). Based on Quilt Story's tutorial which appeared as part of the Valentine's blog hop:
And the picnic rug/bag that I will be making with the fabrics I won from Abakhan fabrics as part of a competition at Lily's quilts. No picture for this one as the fabrics aren't here yet, but I will let you know as soon as I get them!
So my current WIP list is....*drumroll*:
  1. Heart garland
  2. Picnic rug/bag
  3. Sewing machine cover
  4. Bag made with fabrics from Malta
  5. Liberty print bag
  6. Nicey Jane quilt-as-you-go
  7. Flower quilt made from leftovers of Oasis by Three Sisters jelly roll
  8. Bali Pops Peace Medallion
  9. Brown and pink bag
  10. Alphabet baby quilt
  11. Batik mini quilt
  12. Butterscotch & Rose jelly roll quilt
  13. Hunky dory jelly roll quilt
  14. 2 x Red and black jelly roll quilt
I'm fwightened!
I'm linking up with:

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

WIP Wednesday #8 and a big finish!

I haven't done a WIP Wednesday since the...wait for it...drum roll... 25th of April! So I've had a few finishes since then.

New York Beauty Quilt Along (30th April):

Travel changing mat (20th May):
THE BIG FINISH!! 'Binkies on Broadway' baby quilt (6th June):

Melody Miller coffee set (6th June)

Some progress:
Bead bags for Bead of Courage
I've got 4 or 5 little ones to make from the scraps that were left over.

No progress:
Nicey Jane quilt-as-you-go
Flower quilt made from leftovers of Oasis by Three Sisters jelly roll
Bali Pops Peace Medallion
Brown and pink bag
Alphabet baby quilt
Batik mini quilt
Not started yet:
Butterscotch & Rose jelly roll quilt
Hunky dory jelly roll quilt
Bag made with fabrics from Malta
2 x Red and black jelly roll quilts (new addition! Yes I've been buying again!)

Finished: 5
Made progress: 1
No progress/not started: 10

I am of course linking up with:
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Saturday, 2 June 2012

More info on my win!

Soooo my mum was reading her May issue of popular patchwork magazine and spotted a competition to make something for a baby. I had already been thinking of making a travel changing mat, but I couldn't find a pattern or even a picture of what I wanted. So I had a think, had a tinker, and came up with a prototype. Then I used the materials left over from making a baby quilt for my colleague and came up with this:

I really really wanted to win as one of the top prizes was a Janome sewing machine, and I am desperate for a new machine, as this is my current machine:
And I got an email yesterday to tell me I had won! So I've won:
Janome CXL301 Sewing Machine
 Chicco Winter London Baby Stroller (B-3yr)

 and a Handmade by Lisa Lam Bag