Thursday, July 24, 2014

Jacob update

So I have been sewing in the evenings. It's so hot though that it's slow going. I suddenly realised that every petal should be on its own square rather than four on a square. I also realised that I should sew all the squares together before putting the petals on them. Oh well, you live and learn. There's no going backwards though so I am just going to carry on but maybe sew the rest of the block backgrounds together before I appliqué any more petals on. Better late than never. Note to self: Next time look up some instructions or think a bit about it.

You can see here that some of my petals have gone over my pencil boundary which probably means that they will be caught in the seam when I sew them up together. D'oh. This could look pretty rubbish. I am hoping it just looks homemade. It takes one evening to complete 4 petals so... well it's going to take a few weeks to complete. Luckily I have until September before Penelope's birthday when I present her with the teddy bed!

I have been creating a mismatch of blocks out of my assortment of plain neutral colours that I have been amassing over the years. Some of these are really old - like the spotted fabric. A few are Kona colours like 'Bone' and three of the nicest came from my beautiful Oakshott bundle I picked up last year from Birmingham which was in danger of still being unopened by the next Birmingham trip. I realise I am a fabric hoarder and I just need to let go. But fabric just looks so pretty all folded up. I just love looking at it. Terrible I know.

And behold! look what Mumple gave me! Her June Tailer desk tidy thingy. I have always love this. It sits on my mum's lovely sewing table and looks very cosy. Mum decided to declutter and look who inherited it complete with all the innards! It was like Christmas!

My blocks are all created from random 2" strips. This means I can trim them down to the 3 1/5" to match the blocks I already have. I am not sure if I like them. I need to get a bit further in and think about it a bit more.


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Postage Stamp Revival

So all the postage stamp project has been sifted out from the stash which has now been moved all into the cellar. This should be its final resting place for a while. I have de mothed everything (Oh the loss!) and now everything is tidy, stacked in plastic storage boxes. It's not the easiest thing to access but it's not bad really. It will just take a while to remember where everything is.

Postage I reckon it's high time I finished this project. I am starting to be bored of it already. I want to make a bigger square version for some reason. I started planning this project in 2011! The original pattern is actually bigger than I need now I have measured Penelope's new bed. The quilt would be fine if it was 36"x 60ish". I don't need it to hang over the edges as she finds it too heavy. She's much better with a lighter, smaller quilt really, so she can manage it herself. 36" wide would be the exact width of the bed top and 60" is just a nice round number and would mean it covers 3/4 of the length leaving enough room for pillow space. So I redrew up my plan.

The quilt would now measure 36 x 52" and would use 46 blocks instead of 83! I have already made 40 blocks so I would only need to make 3 and all the border squares. That seems like far less work. Of course now I am to hot and bothered to actually crack on with it. I have threaded up the machine though and laid out the next bits to sew.

I do have to decide on the skip blocks though. Originally I was going to use some lovely soft calico that mum gave me, but I had to mess about and just check if Robert Kaufman's oregano interweave or Kaffe Fasset's shot cotton would be better. They are all lovely and soft. I can't decide so I will probably just stick with the original cream as it is so very soft. What do you think?

Fasset's shot cotton, colour artemisa

20140717-P1360195 Robert Kaufman's oregano interweave chambray

20140717-P1360192 The original calico looking a little bit dark there

For the back I was originally going to use Liberty fabric but I can't really afford that now. I might see what I have left over and cobble some bits together but otherwise I have this lovely soft stripe fabric from Raystitch. It's so soft. I want it to be soft as Penelope often has just a quilt and no duvet so I like the idea of something snug and warm. I was going to do the binding in the stripe but I have enough for the back as well hopefully. Now I just need the wadding. I did have it but the moths dropped eggs into it. I am going to use Dream Puff again as it's so light. I am sure mum will tell me to use Warm and Natural though as it breathes more. She just bought a super-duper roll of it so it's free wadding time for me! Get in!

If I could even just make up these last three blocks then maybe, just maybe I might feel like I have earnt the right to spend some money at Birmingham. At the moment it just feels cheeky when I have really not been very productive since the last one. I only just unpacked my shopping bag from last year!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Doll Bed Jacob's Coat

In the spirit of Birmingham, I have been thinking up new projects. I thought I would put them here to remind myself. I have decided to buy Penelope an Ikea Doll's bed for her teddy. She is into mimicking these days and I think she will get a kick out of bossing teddy into bed every night.

It's also the perfect use for my Worn and Washed hearts and leaves Liberty pack that mum bought me in 2013. I have 50 leaves which could make up a Jacob's Coat quilt. I've been wanting to make one for ages but I don't have enough leaves to do a proper one like this so I thought a more simple Orange Peel one might be a good starting point.

I like this low volume version.
And this one where some petals are just embroidered.
I like this bright one.


So here is my pattern. The blocks are 3" finished making the petals 1 1/2".
The bed is 52cm x 36cm (20.4" x 14.1")
This patterns overall size 15 x 21" (18 blocks = 72 leaves) so I could lose 2 rows and make it 15" square to allow for the pillow. (13 blocks = 52 leaves). Perfect.

I might replace a few of the prints I don't like with some of mum's scraps. It's a really good use for some of the tinier pieces. They are mostly dressmaking scraps from mum's shirts so they are all odds and ends. I might have enough to do all the rows.

I am drawing up some papers with my compass. Old school.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Magic wand making

Magic wand
We had our first dressing up day at nursery. I feel this is the beginning of something. I am quite into the idea of not spending money on all this if possible, except if it's in order to make something from scratch. I did have a look at all the Disney princess dresses in ASDA and secretly think how amazing I would have felt in one of those, but NO, we are going to with hold if possible. Famous last words...

P1360138 - 2014-07-09 at 06-36-09
So it was superheros and princess' day at nursery, neither of which Penelope has any concept of, but she does get what a ballerina is so I thought we'd just do that instead. My neighbour had given us a lovely handmade satin tutu so we didn't need to buy anything! But I thought I would use this opportunity to make this great magic wand.

Wand I didn't understand how to print out the star shape at the right size, it kept coming out small so I just drew up my own pattern really based on, well, not very much. It worked out fine though.

I also didn't bother with the bow as Penelope would just have ripped it off. I just sewed neatly round the edge and it looked fine. My eyes are also a bit smaller but they were all I had. They are probably easy to pull off and swallow but at least they are small enough to just go straight through! Not bad for an hour's work in front of the TV.

P1360144 - 2014-07-09 at 06-36-41
A great tutorial in all. I love the loop on the end for hanging it up, what a good idea! The fabric is plain white brushed cotton for the star, a left over scrap from a tescos pillowcase. The black and white candy stripe is a poplin from a new website I found called Calico Laine. It's annoying really, as it's the kind of thing they sell in my local craft shop, but I can only get there on certain days so I just ordered the stripe off the web. It was the same sort of price and the site has lots of stuff. I am all in for fabrics that are around £5 a metre. I was so dispirited by the price of jersey fabrics the other day. I mean honestly, it's cheaper by far just to buy clothes then to buy jersey at £18 a metre. Where is all the £5 a metre fabric these days? Where are the bargains? Sigh

Day 309 - Ballerina waiting Here's a really rubbish picture of the ballerina waiting to be let in at nursery. She basically just dragged the wand around with her all day, but at least it wasn't a stick wand she cold whack other children with. Poor thing is looking a bit bent already so maybe it was responsible for some soft violence, but it survived the day which is good.