Sunday, 21 September 2014

Slow Sunday Stitching

Today has been a lovely Sunday. After a slightly wet family walk yesterday, I've had a great day out with the kids and my mum and dad today: feeding the ducks, eating lunch outside and running round the playground for a couple of hours. Lovely. A real last gasp of summer

This week I've been trying my hand at hand quilting and I've finished of the 10" panel below. I love the vibrant yellow on this print, a real summery colour. It's been sitting in my stash for over a year, but leapt out at me when I was looking for a print to try some hand work on.



This is only my second go at hand quilting (and my first go was big stitches only), so this was a bit of a challenge. I chose to quilt with white thread along the white lines in the flowers, hoping to end up with something usable, even if the quilting went a little wonky. The stitches were pretty uneven to start with,...


But they improved as I went on, and by the end I was pretty pleased with them. I'm keen to see what will happen to the texture after a wash, when the fabrics softened up a bit.



I'm figuring this will be a nice little cushion with the addition of a border (especially as the back looks a bit of a mess)

I've loved the slow stitching in front of the telly during the week, and I can definitely see myself doing a bit more as the evening start to draw in. In fact, I'm tempted to cut up the rest of the fabric and start another panel right now. I do think it would look great on the front of a tote bag.

Linking up to Kathy at
Slow Sunday Stitching

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Winter Geese Cushion - a finish

Schools back, and life is busier than ever, despite the fact my youngest is a preschool now and I have a morning in on my own a week. I have, however, kept sewing in the small bits of time between the usual rushing around and have a finish to share.

Here are a few pictures: -

the front: a paper pieced circle of geese patter from Jeli quilts


the back: my first log cabin.
My second ever go at a zip was much more successful than my first!



It's my first bit if FMQ for ages - really I wanted a tiny scale meander over the background fabric to make the geese pop, but it was way beyond my skill level. If I do the pattern again, I might try echo quilting to emphasize the direction the geese are flying instead. I think it would be a much stronger design




All in all, a happy finish. Not a perfect execution of what I had in mind, but with each finish there's an improvement from the last. Now, who shall I gift to to?

Linking up to finish it up fridays at Crazy Mom Quilts


Monday, 25 August 2014

Slow Going

It's been summer holidays here so I've had both my lovelies home with me during the days, and it feels like time for me has become a thing of the past. Sewing has been slow this summer.

Looking back I have managed real progress on a few projects though.

My quilt for my sister's really coming along, over 18 months since I agreed to make one.



                                    


I've finally finished my butterfly from mud, pies and pins off, and now have a finished cushion for my husband's grandma.




I've even got a back made and a border chosen for my winter geese cushion



Partly this progress was because I snuck a couple for days home alone by taking annual leave and sending the kids to childcare anyway (bad mummy!).

However, it's also thanks to a a blog post from Ellison Lane, Girl interrupted. Somehow I'd been imagining that all these amazing creative people must have peace and quiet to focus on their crafting. How do they do it? Do they have time alone in the house? Can their kids entertain themselves for more than ten minutes without fighting? Do they have super human powers in organisation or the energy levels of a 5 year old?

Girl interrupted had some of the answers. Its about learning to work in a way that I can do a little and often around the rest of my home life. So I've worked out where to keep my cutting mat and rotary cutter so I can sneak in a few cuts without risking the kids reaching when I turn my back, I've found a spot to leave my ironing board up, so I can leave my work out, and press a little if need be, and biggest change of all, I've got the machine out and sewed while the kids have been playing.

One lovely side effect of this is that they've been enjoying this. The little one's chosen scraps and made me sew up some pockets to play with, while my lads been displaying his favourite scraps art gallery style to show his daddy.


  

 I'm totally sold on it.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Small Things

It's that time of the month again... yep, that's right. Le-Challenge is open, and this month the theme is small. 

As I've got a few big quilts I really should be getting on with, I chose to go for a small make. I had a few scraps of Indigo Crossing collection, which I'd been planning on giving to the kids for collage,  and chose the lovely English Paper Piecing pattern from Mud Pies and Pins 

I thought maybe It was a bit of a cop out trying the 3" butterfly, but to be honest the individual pieces were small enough for me - it really pushed my abilities. The stitches may be a little clumsy in places, but if you take a step back from it you really don't notice.








One of the nicest things about a small make was how little time it took  - the actual butterfly was done on a afternoon at my mates house while our pre-schoolers entertained each others. Bliss!

I appliqued it to a light blue polka dot, added my 2nd ever attempt at embroidery (please be kind!) then used a few larger scraps of the Indigo Crossing to make the back. Some stuffing a a bit of whipstitch later and my mini cushion was done.





The question now though, is what on earth do I do with a pillow that's 4 by 5 inches?


If you haven't already, consider popping over to Le Challenge and see what other lovely small things have been finished up this month. There are already a few cuties to see.


Le Challenge

Friday, 4 July 2014

Feather


Well over 12 months ago, I won a cute selection of charms from Pile O Fabric (thanks Alyssa!) and had a go at an improv feather. Ever since then the poor thing's been sat at the bottom of a pile of half finished bits and pieces. 

Last week I had a good old clear out, and there it was, right where I left it, just a little more wrinkly. In need of a rescue. 

So, some starch, spray baste and a little hand sewing later and here it is. my feather cushion.




I wanted to keep the quilting simple (and quick) so it's got a double line of green around the feather, just incase that hand stitching doesn't hold, and some nice wavy lines following the horizontal lines in the background print.






The left over batting I used is a cheap and cheerful offcut from my first quilt, and the high loft has given a lovely bumpy texture, great for hugging





You might have noticed there are no pictures of the zip.....

All in all, I think it's safe to say I need a bit more practise here. It's not pretty. I definitely need better idea of what I'm looking for when buying zips, more consideration of colour and maybe a good tutorial or three to get me started.

Thankfully, the zip ugliness is nicely hidden from view when the cushion's resting in it's new home, so it won't be spoiling my enjoyment one bit.


Linking up to Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, and also Can i get whoop whoop  at confessions of a fabric addict. Thanks for the linky parties - knowing a few people might pop by and take a peek at what I've made keeps me motivated!




(the spaghetti sauce wielding other half failed to stain this one, but the 'it's a cushion' comment I got from him was distinctly underwhelming. Thank goodness for crafty friends and crafty online spaces!)

x

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Summer hats

I'm so proud. I've made my first ever items of clothing!

Okay, so it's a couple of reversible bucket hats for my boy, but it's turned a worn out pair of jeans and couple of fat quarters into something we'll use all summer. Happy me. Thanks to Kitsch Bitsch for the tutorial

Here are some pics:



The boy's happy too, despite raging tonsillitis. I love calpol even more than fabric.