Wednesday, 25 January 2012

red, red, red

My first quilted item is finished, and I'm rather chuffed with the end result. 

This was my test piece, trying out my shiny new Christmas present rotary cutter, testing different ways of piecing and using different threads for hand quilting. I've learned a lot, unpicked a fair bit and stopped frequently - just for a squidge.

I only used fabrics from my stash and an invisible zip I already had (black, sadly - but you can hardly see it) and I am one happy lady.

Now I'm planning an actual quilt, lap sized I think, as I'm still a beginner. 

Lots of wonderful quilts can be found over at Freshly Pieced WIP Wednesday. I'm off to be inspired...

Sunday, 22 January 2012

China Town

Missy Big is learning all about Chinese New Year at school and is so excited by it all, yesterday we went to China Town to see the decorations, look around the shops and enjoy some delicious food ahead of the tomorrows celebrations.

We had a great (but exhausting) day, it was packed and there was loads to take in.

She had also made paper dragons at school and delighted and showing her sister how to make one too. I love her enthusiasm, it seems to be rubbing of on all of us. 

It's great to see the world through fresh eyes.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

failure V success

Making macaroons have been in the pipeline for a while, Little Missy and I had a go this afternoon. It was not a success, they stuck to the baking paper and crumbled apart as I tried to scrape it off, I thought I could accept a bit of a rough finish. 

Then we tasted them, no sign of the lemon flavour (or colour) and the buttercream filling was too sickly, all in all... a massive failure. You know it's not good when no-one wants to finish them.

Thankfully I'm having more success with the quilting, the other side of the cushion is nearly finished, I'm hand quilting it with cotton perle, which gives it a great texture. I love doing this, it's the perfect thing to pick up when you have a spare moment and just carry on, and on, and on, it's very soothing.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012


Yesterday I managed to get started on the sewing of my first piece of quilting. It's a bit of a test piece really, I'm trying out different methods of piecing / patchwork and then trying out different threads for the hand quilting. I'm going to be making this into one of the 4 cushion covers I also need to make, two birds, one stone: why not?

For the stripy side of the cushion I have used a foundation piece of fabric and starting in the center I have stitched the strips on one by one and pressed them as I've gone. 

This gives you a fairly solid piece when they're all sewn down, which makes the basting quicker (luckily for me as I cannot find my tin of safety pins anywhere and had to hunt for odd strays around the house). 
I had thought this was called the foundation method, but having googled it and found something way too complicated for me I don't know what this method is called (answers on a postcard please).

The hand quilting is quite enjoyable, I think my stitches are a little big and wonky - but I'm sure I'll get better with practice. I'll be trying out different threads to see which I prefer. I love the texture you get with hand quilting, it looks very inviting.
If you are a hand quilter what type of thread do you use? 

I also managed to get Little Missy's hat finished, it's quite a nice fit, only a little snug, I think it will probably stretch a bit too. It feels like I'm doing well with my list so far, I'm sure I won't keep this pace up - but I'm going for it while I can.

I'm joining in with Work In Progress Wednesday, I'm a little obsessed at the moment.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

the list

It occurred to me just after Christmas that January and February are the perfect months for guilt free crafting. It's too cold to be at the allotment, I have no birthdays to be making / planning for for a few months, it's a quiet time to be selling. 
So I'm making the most of it and I'm speeding ahead with my list...

My crochet hook case - finished. I do love the fabrics, but it is very pink.

I am also managing to follow my first ever crochet pattern and making Little Missy's hat. It's coming together very easily but I've tried it on her and I think it might turn out a little small, she's right in between the child's size and the woman's size, I'm following the child's size and thinking it might stretch, but as I've never followed a pattern before what if it doesn't stretch? I've also never worked with wool before (Rowan pure wool aran) does it stretch / shrink?? Any advice welcome! 

I've also joined the new London Modern Quilt Guild. I know I'm a novice quilter, but they still let me join. I'm so excited about this new project and have so many ideas... 

... hoping to get onto some quilting next week - watch this space! 

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

a new year, a new list

I like a list, I have many floating around reminding me of what I should be doing, what I forgot to do and what is urgent.

So here's the fun one, my creative 'to do' list, things I want to make this year...

a dress (or 2) for me, everyday wearable ones, nothing fancy

4 new cushion covers

a quilt (a first for me, not counting the dolls one)

a curtain for the front door

a crochet hat for Little Missy

a skirt for Missy Big

my crochet hook case

lots of new things for my shop

a skirt for me 

Lots of things in there for me, seems a little unlikely they will all get done. Gotta have plans though...

What's on your creative 'to do' list?