Monday, 25 August 2014

Voyage Quilt

Before I dashed off on summer adventures with the family I finished this quilt, 'Voyage'.

I'm super thrilled with this one, the coloured panels are handprinted with my designs and the background fabric is Eclectic Elements, 'Documentaion' by Tim Holtz, a wonderful print of old receipts, travel documents, tickets etc 

I added curved corners to the coloured rectangles, I love the softness it brings to the design, these was easier to sew than I had expected too.

The quilting is mostly straight(ish) lines by machine. I couldn't resist doing a few extra lines by hand with perle thread, using colours to compliment the rectangles. If I had more time I would hand quilt all my quilts, it adds such great depth to the finish.

I had a deadline looming though (always the way), I made this quilt as my contribution to the London Modern Quilt Guild's stand at the Festival Of Quilts this August. 

It was so exciting to see it there, alongside so many inspiring quilts. It was a wonderful opportunity to have a really good look at fellow members quilts too, there was such diversity within our stand.

I am filled with enthusiasm and lots of ideas for new quilts, though I am reminding myself that I still haven't finished the two quilts I started for my girls last September. One of them is three quarters quilted, the other still to be basted... and Winter is coming. I am going to have to hold back and crack on with these before I start something new, or at least that is the plan. 

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Michael Miller Challenge

I've finished two, yes two quilts in the last week! Nothing like deadlines to get me moving. 

This one is the Michael Miller Modern Quilt Guild challenge. We were given the printed fabric and you can make anything, as long as it's quilted. 

I have been playing with curves lately and thought it would be fun to see if I could insert the printed fabric into a hole in the solid grey. Turns out I could, and I like this a lot, so I expect you'll see more that are very similar soon(ish).

I love the simplicity of this, though I probably could have been more adventurous with the quilting. I find deciding how to quilt something the hardest part.

So this has been my creative space lately, lots of finishing. It feels good! 

Friday, 11 July 2014

celebrate with 20% off

I have been busy lately building up stock and attending local craft markets with my hand printed fabric and small items made with the fabric. 

This has been great fun, I have had a wonderful response and met lots of lovely new people. When you work from home it's very nice to actually get 'out there' and meet real people!

I have gradually been adding some of the stock to my Etsy shop, there are some new designs and colours and I'm pleased to say I have sourced a beautiful new natural coloured linen to add to my basecloth range, things are looking good!

To celebrate finally getting to this stage I'm offering 20% off in my Etsy shop until Sunday, just enter the code Make20 at the checkout.

 A little peak my set up, can't wait to do it again soon!

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

my creative space - many, many unfinished projects

My creative space is overflowing right now, it's always the way at this time of year as I try to squeeze in as much as I can before school finishes for the summer.

These are a few of the 'in progress' projects dotted around the house right now.

I started this capelet by Leila and Ben earlier in the year, I did finish it, but it didn't fit. So one of the ladies at my local crochet group unravelled it while I wound up a giant ball of yarn whilst trying not to sob. I'm nearly finished, again, I think it'll fit this time.

A slouchy bag for summer, it was unfinished when I started this post, though I've completed it now, I'll post a picture soon(ish).

A new quilt, mixing my hand printed fabrics with some gorgeous Eclectic Elements fabric. The binding is on and this just needs hand finishing, I must admit I love this one and can't wait to finish it. 

There are many more projects lingering around, I'll be back once I've made some progress. 

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Egg Cosy Tutorial

I've been last minute Easter making with the girls, we used fabric pens and my tutorial to make some cute Egg Cosies.

I think they turned out pretty well!

This is a quick project and a fun way to practice sewing curves. These make sweet gifts and it's a great way to use small amounts of your favourite fabrics in everyday items. You can print off the free egg cosy pattern in the patterns section on my in-progress new website.

To make this egg cosy you will need:

15 x 25cm of coloured felt
15 x 25cm of printed cotton or linen
40cm 18mm bias binding
matching thread

- Cut out the template.
- Fold the printed fabric in two and pin the template to the fabric, lining up the grain line on the pattern with the straight grain of the fabric (parallel to the selvedge)
- Repeat with the felt, I usually only cut one layer of felt at a time for a more accurate finish


- Place one piece of printed fabric face down on top of each piece of felt, pin along the straight edge at the bottom and sew the felt and print together, with 1cm seam allowance. Repeat so you have a front and a back.
- Open the pieces flat and press the print away from the felt, then fold along the bottom edge and press the felt so it is under the print enclosing the seam you have just sewn, do this for both sides. You now have the front and back of your egg cosy.
- Placing the felt sides together, pin both halves of your egg cosy together.
- Stitch around the cosy and join the pieces together, about 2-3 mm from the edge of the fabric.

- Leave about 3cm of the bias binding overhanging and pin your binding around the edge of the cosy, then stitch in the crease all the way around, back tacking at start and finish. Trim the binding so you have approx 3cm of binding at each end.

- Flip the binding over to the other side of the cosy.
- Pin the binding to your cosy at the top of the curve, ensure the binding is laying flat.
- To finish the binding, fold the 3cm overhang towards the cosy, so it is level with the bottom straight edge of the cosy. Hold this firmly and then fold your binding over to cover the raw edges of the cotton and felt, tucking in any raw edges of binding as you go. This can be a little fiddly, but take your time and pin as you go if you find it helps. Fold in and pin the other end in the same way.
- Finish by stitching your binding down, close to the edge of the binding, back tacking it at the start and finish to secure your work.


I used 18mm bias binding on the pink hexadot cosy and 25mm bias binding on the green butterfly print cosy. Personally I like the proportion of the 18mm, but either size does the job. A narrower binding is a little snug to fit around the layers of felt and cotton. There are lots of tutorials on how to make your own bias binding, I like Lola Nova's, don't forget you'll need a bias binding tape maker.
Have fun making these, don't forget to post your images to my facebook page or tag me on IG so I can see your creations, happy sewing! 

I'm planning on adding more tutorials, but if there is something you would like to see a 'how to' on, shout out and I'll see what I can do.

Happy Easter, enjoy the long weekend.

Monday, 17 February 2014

a tale of two quilts

Last September I started to plan a quilt each for my girls. I asked them separately to choose one fabric from my stash and I would plan a quilt around their choice. Remarkably they each chose the same fabric in different colourways, this Kaffe Fasset design Tile Flower. 

I decided on a simple square design and I used colours to complement their fabric choice. I wanted to include lots of fabric I had printed and slowly built up enough in a range of colours to make two single bed sized quilts. 

I gave the girls three blank squares each and some fabric pens and let them draw or write whatever they wanted to capture their 6 and 8 year old selves in these quilts. 
Missy Big did a self portrait, a drawing of her sister, her favourite teddy and doll and a heart.
Little Missy put all her favourites in one square, bunnies, a rainbow, butterflies and all our ages, in another a heart and the other one is a crazy ramble of jumbled words and numbers, which sums up her active mind and jump before looking attitude perfectly.
These squares make my heart ship a beat when I look at them.

I'm hand quilting these, so it's slow but happy progress. I'm using perle thread in a bunch of cheery colours and wiggling lines across the quilt.

I am loving making these, but I can hardly wait to see them being snuggled under, used to make dens and dragged across the floor like I didn't spend a gazillion hours making them.

Throughout the process of making these I made a new friend in the school playground. She was so inspired by all my quilt talk she made her first quilt for her Mum, a double sized quilt, in about a month and took it to her in South Africa over Christmas. 
We had lots of frantic "how do I do..." chats at pick up time and somehow she got this finished in time, I'm so impressed! There are two embroidered hand shapes and a drawing by each of her children in this. Needless to say her parents were thrilled.  

Stunning isn't it! I love her almost 3 year olds contribution. She most definitely has the quilting bug now and is planning her next quilt(s). 

Linking in with My Creative Space, so glad to see this back again, I missed it so!

Thursday, 16 January 2014

a new old list

Last January I wrote a list of all the crafty things I wanted to make during the year. Here it is, with it's updated status in green

a quilt each for the girls (gulp) 
both in progress, both tops and backs are done, the hand quilting is slooooow

a couple more cushions

a dress or two for me
I managed one

a skirt for me
done, a denim one with liberty facing

2 sets of curtains (which I loathe doing)
one pair done, other pair still to be done, soon!

clothes for these ever growing children
ooops, none made

make more progress on the bullseye
I have done more, though this is clearly a long term project

develop some new designs for screen printing
I've made some progress, not enough though

have a go at an embroidery collage for the wall
forgot all about this one

make a magic potion that doubles the number of hours in a day
an impossible dream

There were of course lots of things made throughout the year that weren't on the list, I'm easily sidetracked.

see, there is some progress!

So, my 2014 version.

finish the quilts for my girls

make another cushion or two

1 pair of curtains

clothes for the children

continue with the bullseye

more screen printing, get those ideas actually onto screens

lots and lots of clothes for me, spurred on by the handmade365 challenge

Not a huge list, but managable I hope. There will of course be lots of new projects that arise and distract me I'm sure.

Have you got a crazy list of things you'd like to make / finish?

Monday, 6 January 2014

wearing handmade everyday

I'm a lover of handmade.
I like to wear natural fabrics; cotton, linen, silk.
I'm tall, so shop bought clothes don't fit me very well.
I'm picky about the colours I wear.
I can sew, and trained in fashion and pattern cutting so I have the neccessary skills.

So why the heck don't I make many clothes for myself? 
Partly because all I see in the finished garment are the mistakes and how I could have done something differently. The fit can always be improved, the fabric / lining choice could have been better, I should have faced / hemmed it differently... the list could go on. Secondly the time it takes to make / alter a pattern (the tall issue again), it seems very indulgent to spend all that time on something just for me. 

All that aside, this is going to be the year I get on with it, and actually make more garments for myself.

sale time at Liberty = a couple of tops for summer 

To spur myself on, I am joining in with Ted and Agnes's Handmade 365 challenge. I came across this a few weeks ago and I decided to take the plunge in the new year. Admittedly I am currently only wearing handmade accessories and the odd skirt as most of the clothing I have made is summer wear. I have a stack of corduroy begging to be used and I'm raring to go, so watch this space.

If you're on Instagram search #handmade365 to see daily updates of other peoples handmade wardrobes, it's inspiring!

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

goodbye 2013 hello 2014

Goodbye to a crafty and happy 2013, I know I haven't shared a whole lot on this blog, I discovered the super speedy Instagram and have neglected this space somewhat. 
Anyhow here's a little look at some of the Christmas presents I recently made for the family. 

A jumbo sized zipped project pouch for my Mum, using fabrics I have printed mixed up with some of Blueberry Park's handprinted fabrics. I used the noodlehead tutorial for a wide open pouch - it's so handy, you can see right inside!

A bow tie for my Step Dad, he wears them all the time, and Liberty fabric seemed like the perfect choice. I love how this turned out! I used this free Burda pattern, but made it a whole piece to the overall size required.

He wore it immediately.

And these two sisters, Miss Poppy and Miss Maggie Rabbit for my girls. I was inspired by Gillian and Charlotte's beautiful creations, I only wish I'd started sooner, these were finished off on Christmas Eve with my Mum knitting the capes as I can't knit and was cutting it a bit fine to learn.

I have a whole wardrobe planned for these two, they are going to be well dressed rabbits!

2013 was not a very bloggy year for me. I lost the flow, the connection and quite frankly wondered, shouldn't I be 'doing' something instead of reading about what other people were actually doing?! 
But lately I have been missing it, missing seeing what online friends have been up to and I've missed discovering other people's stories and adventures. 

So the new year is full of promise and new beginnings, plans and dreams. I have a long list of things to start / finish / try out. 
I hope I'll be better at sharing them with you!

Happy New Year everyone!