Friday, January 31, 2014

iPad case

Finally I have finished binding my iPad case. It's pretty weird that the fabric made just enough to be iPad size. I didn't even measure it. I just tried my iPad in it and it was a perfect fit. Not a bad result from my Eternal Maker scrap bag. 


I thought I might decide on a 'front' and 'back' but neither side is better than the other.


This is currently the back.


I managed to use my wonder clips for the first time and they were perfect for the job. They really clasp well. I think I got these from mum two years a go so I am glad they have finally found purpose. 


I have some current favourite bits. I like to stare at it and find new things to like though so I expect I'll change. But today I like the tiny peach sliver.


And the 'Appy'. And the little bit of bunting. So now I have two cases but only one iPad. 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Catnap dress contest


I don't know, I seem incapable of just doing one project at a time. The sawtooth star is overwhelming that I have put it to one side. I have been working on the MapleO which is going great... But...

Then I saw Lizzy House was doing a dressmaking contest using her Catnap fabric. What a perfect idea! I had been about to buy some of the line anyway as I just love it. I am annoyed that nowhere in the UK sells the entire range, but then I shouldn't really be buying all of it anyway. In the end I bought some from Backstitch which is fast becoming a favourite online retailer for me. It is so quick! You can see the Catnap range she stocks here.

I was really torn between two of the fabrics. I just couldn't make up my mind. So I bought both! Shocking. I am so poor! What is wrong with me? But I knew that it was strong love I felt and that this range was going to be like Denyse Schmidt's Flea Market Fancy where I kicked myself for months and months after it had all gone out of stock so quickly. These days I have a stern talk with myself and try and only buy fabric I really, reaaaally like. I have quite enough in my stash that I really am not that keen on. Yet there are some fabrics I return to again and again. These latter ones are the only ones I want to buy these days. Anyhow, Catnap is a keeper!


I have decided to make Penelope another Sally dress as I really like the pattern and the one she is in now won't fit her that much longer. I can barely get her into it. So I thought I could make her a size 3 bodice with a size two bottom bit. I am not that great at choosing fabrics that match or combining colour unless it is really obvious. I ended up with two choices.


I have decided to go with the beige and purple group as I just love the big cat faces. I cut out the fabric today and didn't have enough of the purple bracelet fabric so I decided to make the pockets odd colours with odd linings. A test really to see what goes. Plus it will look quirky I hope. Or a mess. Yes it could just look like a mess.


I have also decided to do a little appliqué! Ooooh. I want a big cat face on the pocket. Why not? I was going to sew it on as felt but I thought appliqué would be more special. Penelope will probably just pick it off. It gives me a chance to use my black gold appliqué sharps which mum bought me for Christmas two years a go. So far so good. They really mega sharp so they glide through the layers. I like how the black metal has a Matt finish - for no particular reason - they just look cool. 

My cat is going to bleed off the side of my pocket. I don't want him to appear too symetrical as I don't feel that is in keeping with the fabric. Sorry the pictures are so gloomy. Project time is almost always in the evenings these days. 


So I roughly drew a cat face from the fabric. But now I have period pains so no sewing it tonight. I need to get into bed and watch some Swedish/Danish thriller. Tak!

Join me on Instagram and see the catnapdresscontest hashtag thingamajig. I am so down with the kids.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Sawtooth Star Quilt

I have no idea why I decided to make a kingsize quilt. It's a beast. No wonder I put it away. I really should have completed this when I had a big warehouse floor to lay it out on. I have made 2/3 of it. I just need to finish the last bit. It's all made up into 10" blocks, they just need sewing together. I am going to drop the border as I never cut the fabric for the half stars and now it's all packed away somewhere. It will just be too huge. I can't even face basting it!

I wasn't even sure I still liked it. It's very flowery and twee. But the white sheeting fabric is so soft. I think it will be lovely. 


Thursday, January 23, 2014

What I bought


So I have been shopping. Terrible. Sigh. But I now have my wadding! Ta-da! Quilter's dream puff! First impression. It seems far thinner than I was expecting. It feels very soft and puffy though. It's much lighter than the 100% cotton Warm and Natural I am used to and far less scratchy than the Hobbs 80/20. So we'll see how it pans out. I just wanted something warm and slightly bulkier so I have a nice squashy, wrinkly quilt. I bought it all from The Cotton Patch

I need to hoover the floor first to remove any stray crushed raisons and rice cake crumbs. I know I shouldn't really feed Penelope in the sitting room, but we have been having dinner picnics on the carpet together to avoid evening highchair meltdown. When she is 12 I am going to enjoy ripping up the carpet and throwing it away! That's far easier than cleaning. 

So what did I buy other than that? Geez. I couldn't stop myself. I bought a spare blade for my new huge rotary cutter. I decided that was just a must. After using a blunt blade all through Christmas, I realise what a pain it can be and how it can really mess up good cutting. I also bought some Peltex 71F Single Sided Fusible Ultra Slim Stabilizer. And do you know why? Neither do I. I just liked its name. I've never really thought about interfacing. I just thought it was either thin, medium or heavy. Then I ambled into the Interfacing section of The Cotton Patch and thought 'wowzers'. 

I've been creating my 'Small projects' Pinterest board and I realised that they all seemed to use interfacing, well mostly the bags. I don't really know much about it so as it was cheap, I just bought a little bit. I didn't have a plan though. It's pretty thick. It would be great for a credit card holder. I'd also like to make Penelope some more clothes as I really enjoyed the dress I made her. I want to use my new blind hem foot mumple bought me for Christmas and learn to do a button hole. So those are my tasks for 2014 

1. Make a bag or something with interfacing 
2. Make a dress or something for Penelope 
3. Learn to do buttonholes 
4. Learn more about interfacing I might start by reading this

I also bought a fat quarter of fabric I didn't need, but I get depressed if there is no fabric in my shopping. It's only small, honest! I thought it could be a lining for something. I hate using nice fabric as linings because you might never really get to see it.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014



So I spent the last few days trying to finish this quilt off. I put some ramshackle extra bits on the sides of the single girl blocks as they were too small. I don't know how I messed that up. I purposefully made them a bit bigger so I could trim them down to fit, but they ended up being too small. Stupid maths. You can see the tiny strip I have added on the right hand side of the block. I decided they were just going to be a feature.


Then it was onto the sashing. I've been sewing a bit in the evenings of late just so I can get it done. It's been really nice picking out favourite scraps and sewing them together. I haven't been hugely accurate with my cutting by I am okay with that. I like the hodge podge nature of it. It feels warm and welcoming already. Sorry the pictures are so dark but it was evening. The mankey green carpet doesn't help. We'll all laugh about this carpet and the blue walls one day when it's all been fixed up white and pretty.


I'm really pleased with some of the details. I loved Amanda's quilt so much that I really tried to emulate as many details as I could, even though the fabrics are different. I feel that everything fits really well together, even though I used a lot of different fabrics, many of which I wasn't too sure about. Basically the ones with lettering in them and some of the creams and whites together. But I am really pleased with how it all looks.


I wasn't sure how much I should make things line up. I didn't want to make it over accurate as Amanda's has a lovely free flowing nature to it, so I let it slide. It was quite difficult to let go, but I did and I am really pleased with it as a result. I wasn't that into the butterfly print but I feel it's worked pretty well. It was pretty wasteful though as I only cut out the bits I liked.

The finished quilt top is 52x61" which is not the same as Amanda's but thepn my maths is terrible. I'm going to try a new wadding with this quilt. Mum is against this idea. She uses Warm and Natural for everything. I need something a bit cheaper really. I've used Hobbs 80/20 a few times which is great. It can be a bit uneven in thickness but I can't say I've ever noticed on the finished quilt before. So I might try Quilter's Dream Puff as I want this to be scrunchy. I haven't prewashed any of the fabric specially so it will scrunch. I've never done this before. It could go horribly wrong as many of the older fabric scraps have been prewashed. I even used to wash wadding. Experiment time!

So now I just need to create the backing and baste it. I have bought some more Pearl Bracelets for the backing. Basting is my least favourite part of the process so we'll see how long it takes me. I'm tempted to buy some 505 and give it a try again. 

Thursday, January 09, 2014

This Year

So I have been thinking about what projects I have in mind for this year. I don't really have any firm ideas as I have so little time these days, but it's good to have goals right? So...

I really need to finish off the sawtooth star quilt. It's all in strips waiting for me to sew it together. I am putting it off because then I will have to buy wadding and backing which is expensive and then I will have to lay it out somewhere to baste it and the house is so full of boxes and junk that I just can't imagine where. But. I still want to finish it.

Postage Stamp
I also really want to finish my postage stamp quilt because I need the fabric for other projects afterwards. I am only half way through though and it's fiddly exacting work. I would reeeeeaaaaly like to do more of it though. I know exactly where the project bag lives so I have no excuse not to set it all up. It's just such a lot of work! I really want to do it right. I tried to do one block and nothing matched up because I was rushing it too much.

After I finish the postage stamp then I'd really like to start my Posie improv quilt, using all my favourite flowery fabrics. I've been squirrelling bits of fabric away for it for a long time. It's going to be a real stash buster and I really want to be able to sit and think about each and every fabric. Again, though, it's another big quilt. All these quilts are big. Realistically I am far better off doing smaller projects as they come together quicker in the time I have and to be honest, I have none of the small things which I love like a bag or wool pouch.

I do have my MapleO quilt to finish which I recently started. I'm really enjoying this. I just have to do a fiddly bit as my blocks came out different sizes but I am going to try and do this next as it's so nearly done and I'm really into it at the moment. Thangles are ace. I am going to be putting thangles in a lot of new projects. I'd quite like to do a mini bear's paw quilt at some point just because thangles are so much fun, but we'll see. Penelope will be out of sleeping bags at some point next year so a quilt for her cot would be good. Not that she doesn't already have one, but it's rather delicate. I think something a bit more machine made is in order. Bear's paw could be the answer!

So this is the year of the small project. The above might all get shelved until Penelope is a bit older, we'll see. So I need some small project ideas. So I am sniffing some out to make a list of. Pinterest and me have a date.

I managed to totally break my rotary cutter this christmas. Heaven knows what happened to it, but it's busticated. I was gutted. It has served me well though. Mumple gave it to me at the very beginning of all this quilting lark. So my new one arrived from The Quilted Bear today. A Christmas present to myself. A sign that I need to get going again!

Saturday, January 04, 2014

I had a dream

Sewing kit

Bizarrely, I dreamt I made a needle case. Not the most thrilling thing to dream, but weird to create something so random in your head without meaning to. It was so vivid that when I woke up I decided to actually make it. The dream has faded a bit now but I think this is pretty much it. I decided to do it all by hand as I wanted to be able to do it in front of the TV. No rulers either. It's given it the rustic feel I often feel is missing from things I make. I am very happy with it. All made from scraps so no cost involved.

Sewing kit

Above is the front. Or the back I suppose. I need to remove the white pen I used to mark the lines. I also now know that I have no idea how to do a French knot.

Sewing kit

Here's the back, with a bit of extra stitching where the whole thing started to come apart! Bad sewing on my part there.

The whole thingis basically just random log cabin which I am really into at the moment, but all in the same colour except for a few bits. That was the dream. It came out really well. I thought you might not really see it and it would be a waste of time, but I like it. I did some very basic embroidery on the front, which makes me wish I knew more about it. I have some of mum's old embroidery books in a box, one of them is full of Danish designs from the seventies, but, well, they are in a box somewhere so I just make some stuff up. It makes it look a bit like a child made it, but I quite like that.

Sewing kit

I decided to make it into a Christmas present for Rachel. We have been talking about knitting socks so I bought some knitting notions: Some big safety pins for cabling on the go. Some big stitch markers in the shape of tear drops Some small stitch markers in the shape of hearts Some hingeless safety pins. Some needles in various sizes. I was going to sew some measuring tape ribbon we bought into it so you could measure your gauge on the go. We bought some together I think years a go, but the ribbon is all packed away in boxes somewhere. Sigh. Another time.

I'd really like to make one for myself now

Friday, January 03, 2014

The Year Review

2013 roundup
This year has been more prolific than I thought. I really thought I had only made two things but it's interesting how the little things all add up. Compared with last year it seems a lot but it's all mostly little projects.

1. Cardy. I was really pleased with this. I wish I had knitted more this year. I might make another cardigan now that I have been given a book of patterns for xmas. I am just so slow.
2. A baby quilt. I enjoyed making this tiny quilt. I wish I had more of the fabric. I love it. I wish I hadn't backed it with pink though. I feel it's a little loud.
3. Tripp Trapp seat. This has been used and abused I can tell you. I think we are finally nearing the end of its use. It has been great though and I have enjoyed its jollyness. Now I just need to recycle it into something else somehow.
4. iPad holder. This was so useful. Our white noise days are over now though and so it's been out of commission for a while. I'd like to make it into something which hangs off the sofa in some way but I haven't worked it out yet.
5. Sewing machine cover. It looks a bit silly as it's short, but it works perfectly. I am annoyed I didn't quilt it properly though. I'd like to make the whole thing again, but properly. And I have since found the special foot you use for piping, that makes everything so much easier!
6. Crochet roll. I love making these. I can't believe I haven't made one for myself yet. It was a good stash buster too. I was never going to use the old Amy Butler fabric otherwise. I am just not into it any more.
7. Taggie. It's hour was short lived, but it was dribbled on for that short time. I should really pass it on to another baby but I can't. I have put it in a small box of Penelope things to remember some of those early days by.
8. Bunting. Ah ha! The bunting that never got used in the end. Hopefully this birthday it will be out in all its glory. I'm still really pleased with the quality and all the bright colours.
9. Dribble bib. Penelope stopped dribbling as soon as I made this. I put it on her anyway though.
10. Behold! The Sally Dress. This has to be my greatest achievement of 2013. I learnt a lot and I am well impressed with myself. I wish she would hurry up and walk though as it's too impractical for her to wear whilst she is crawling, I fear it will be too small by the time she starts walking. Part of me would like to make the whole thing again though, so I can make it better.
11. Teeny Quilt. A great project for a few hours work and a nice use of liberty fabric.
12. Sewing kit. I love this. It's so wonky, but I love it.
13. Cat winter. This coat was so easy to make, a really great pattern.
14. Spring. The bow tie was Simon's idea. Showman cat! I'd love to make some of the trousers for Penelope, but perhaps baggier and without the turnups... and not it gold.
15. Summer. A bit of a cheat but at least I made the cloak.
16. Bike blanket I forgot about this! I made a bike blanket for Penny. It's one of the best things I have made her! We use it everyday and it works brilliantly. It keeps off the rain and protects her in the wind and cold. One of my better ideas.

Oh I totally missed off the car quilt which really does take the top spot in useful things. It's just a bit of Simon's cashmere jumpers sewn together. It's really soft and a perfect size to wrap round her in the car or the buggy. It gets taken everywhere.

Jeez. That's it!

I'd like to keep up with the small projects this year but maybe do a bit more quilting. I'd like to make a bag and do more knitting this year. I am trying to make a quilt at the moment but it's quite hard to fit any progress into the odd hour or two I get. I didn't finish any of last year's unfinished projects so they're all still to do. Courses Those days are just over. Let's face it. I did go to Birmingham though and I'd like to go every year!

Resolutions for 2014 
To use up scraps
To not buy new fabric unless it's for something specific
To make time for sewing
To do more knitting specially a pair of socks!

Resolutions from last year 
To continue finishing things off instead of starting big new projects - didn't do so well on that but I haven't started anything huge. I nearly have, but luckily I couldn't even manage that!

To not buy new fabric - I didn't do too well with that, specially at Birmingham. D'oh. But I think I have cut down.

To get back into sewing now that Penelope is a bit more independent. I think I have done really well!

To do more knitting and crochet so I don't forget. Not so good on that point.