Friday, March 28, 2014

Square Toddler Floor Cushion

Hark at me! I am smokin'. Rachel decided to make a project notebook full of all the things she wanted to make so she could write down shopping lists and notes for each one in it. I thought that was such a good idea, I have done the same thing. I will show it to you sometime. It's nothing fancy, I am no scrapbooker. I just printed out my Projects to Make Pinterest board and stuck a picture on every page of my notebook. Suddenly it all felt like it is coming together and I am filled with purpose. This IS the year of the small project. I SHALL succeed in doing something other than baby singing and washing muslins.


So here we are, project number two complete! For a grand total of £10 I have created a floor cushion! Ta da! For some time now, Penelope has been trying to sit on her toy bag or on various cardboard boxes so that she can watch TV an inch away from the screen like all well-adjusted toddlers do. So now I have enabled this grand scheme with a cushion. It really should have been a bean bag but the poly beads were £9 in our local craft shop and I am not even sure she will sit on it. So this is my test cushion.

It's a bit flimsy. I probably should have used deco weight fabric, but I don't have any, I've never really even looked at the stuff and suspect it's more expensive. So I got a metre of Lizzy House's Pearl Bracelets in Grape Jelly as I love it so much. I really wanted contrasting piping so I bought some pre made yellow stuff as it is 46p a metre which I figure is cheaper than me buying the fabric and cutting it on the bias. I didn't understand the cord thickness measurement so I just bought 5mm. It seems pretty fine to me.

I have finally used up all my monkey stuffing which I bought in a giant bag off Ebay years a go. I never thought I would be rid of my giant stuffing bag, but it's amazing how much you need. The cushion is probably too baggy but I ran out and I am loathe to buy more only for it to be shunned by that little monkey. So she'll probably plonk herself in it and sink to the floor. I have my unpicker poised if this should happen.

I am not buying another super bag of stuffing though. I might stuff it with cut up baby clothes. You know, those white vests that seem to have developed mysterious brown marks on them. Them. We'll see. If it gets used then I will make her a proper one. I'd like to say it will match the colour scheme in her soon to be revamped bedroom. Soon? well August at this rate. But I think I have realised that I am not organised enough to have a colour scheme. It will be a rainbow free for all!

As for the pattern...


It's Made by Rae's, How To: Square Floor Cushion. The pattern was great. Really easy to follow with good pictures which talk you through everything. I just did exactly what she said. I still ballsed things up though. My piping got better towards the end of the 4th metre, but a lot of it was pretty baggy even with the piping foot. My measurements were also off. My side strip was too long by 4 1/2". I could well have measured it wrong though. It was easy to correct so no biggy.



I added some tags because that just the kind of crazy kid I am. I think Penelope will like them. I also put a bigger yellow one in as I suspect this is the kind of thing that will get dragged around a bit.


I also sewed my gap with a quilt binding method where you sew a right angle at the gap edge. I then ironed the seam both sides which means the edges don't pull away when you stuff them and when you go to sew the gap shut you can follow your ironing mark. It's a very neat way of doing it. I'm pretty impressed I remembered to do it.


I also learnt how to sew piping at the ends so they meet nicely. I struggled with this the first time I tried piping and I made a real hash of it. This method makes it easy. You just start sewing a little bit along from the start point of your first piping so that when you come round to meet it again, you stop 2 inches before the end, unpick an inch of your second end, trim the cord of the second end so it meets the first end, fold over the unpicked fabric and sew. It's great.

I think if I were to make this again which I probably will then I would consider a more durable approach. I will keep my eye out for deco weight fabric. I will consider making deco weight binding. I would put a big zip in the side or some velcro so that I could wash the cover. This would mean making an inner bag to hold the stuffing so I would make this too. I'd quite like to make the original round version made by Living with Punks next time if this is a success. It looked a bit harder going in a circle so I thought I'd get square under my belt first.

I need to look through all of Rae's patterns as I think there are some great ones in here. I might have to add some to the prject book!

Day 205 - Floor cushion

Update! The cushion was an instant success!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A bit of Knitting

20140327-P1330966 So I have been knitting squares for Rachel's wedding beach blankets. Here are the ones I have made since the hen do.

20140327-P1330956 Knit stitch (stockinette)

20140327-P1330954 Moss stitch

20140327-P1330955 Some weird stitch

20140327-P1330960 A bit of a dodgy cable

20140327-P1330959 Linen stitch

20140327-P1330957 Rick Rack rib stitch

20140327-P1330958 Bobble crochet

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Zipper #1

So for my first dabble into zipper land, I tried this tutorial. I made a few mistakes when I altered the measurements, but I learnt a great deal.

20140313-P1330664 This is my current wallet. It was a freebie when I bought a baby wetsuit. It's not an item of desire, but it is extremely useful as I seem to have to carry more stuff these days. Everyday I have to look at it though. I think i'd like something nicer to look at. I've never really used my sewing skills to make any nice accessories for myself but now is the time.


I cracked open my first zip! I love the chunky teeth, they're so meaty. It's a 14cm YKK Yellow 506 zip; the smallest one I bought. I really wanted to try doing these end bits. I think they really work nicely. I stupidly got some of mine in the seam though which is not ideal. It makes it lumpy.

20140313-P1330636 I used some Marguerite Stripe Yellow by Riley Blake and some Heather Ross Itsy Bitsy spider fabric. I couldn't quite fit this into a quilt but I love it. Now I will get to look at it every day.

20140313-P1330639I didn't really understand the sewing instructions when it came to sewing the second part of the zip so I sewed it wrong the first time.

20140313-P1330641 I thought you pulled the whole thing through the zip opener when actually you just had to pull it through the side. It feels a lot clearer now.

20140313-P1330646 If I had wanted both sides to be the right side up then I should have cut it into front and back pieces. I quite like it upside down though with the cropped text.

20140313-P1330654 I am so happy with it though. I am going to use it everyday! I don't really know why I didn't make one sooner. I would use thicker interfacing next time though so make it a bit stiffer. I am already planning a second... with credit card pockets.

Sunday, March 09, 2014


20140312-P1330615 20140312-P1330621 20140312-P1330624 Finally I finished my version of Amanda's MapleO quilt. I'm really pleased with it. I enjoyed every minute of it. I really enjoy looking at all the special details in it. I feel a bit gushy about it, but only because it's so great. It makes a nice change from when I finished the Swoon; I wasn't that into it after all that hard work, but this, this I am into in a big way. I just sit in bed looking at it changing my mind about what I love most about it. Here goes...

MapleO I love the line of darker brown I had to add to the top of the block and the tiny geese and ribbon at the side. And the dash of pink.

MapleO I love the dash of pink here and the dictionary texts at different angles.

MapleO I love these stars. I wish I had made the background wider like Amanda's though. There is something nice about that. I love the Denyse Schmidt fabric, I can't believe I finally used it. It is one of my all time favourites so I can never bear to use any of it. I think the green and the grey with the dark purple really work together. I love looking at them.

MapleO I love the Pennants Waving fabric so much that I used it on the back. I might have to buy some more of this fabric. I really like the colours. It feels very minty and modern.

MapleO Here's the whole back. I managed to use up all my fat quarter leftovers pretty much with the back. I think the strips make it interesting. I love Lizzy House's Pearl Bracelets. I might have to alternate which side goes upright as I really like the back.

MapleO I love this block, it's my favourite part of the quilt. I kind of wish I had used more of the script fabric but I was worried that I would change my mind about it and hate it. In fact I really like it.

MapleO The purple and brown mix really worried me, but I think it's much better than it being all shades of one colour. It gives it some complexity.

MapleO I even managed to sneak in a few scraps of Grandad's pillowcase. It's perfect. I love it against the pale dot, another fabric I must have had for years but have never wanted to use as it's so lovely.

Ok. Gush over. I'll try and take an upright picture of it tomorrow.

Sunday, March 02, 2014



The end of the month was payday so I splashed out and bought some zips to mark zipfest: learning everything about doing zips. I am going to make some zipped bags in all the ways I can find to increase my knowledge of this strange world. Eventually I would like to be a person who can dress make using zips. Then I'll learn welt pockets and buttonholes. Before you know it I'll be a pro. Sigh... or just not quite so rubbish. I have no idea what kind to buy or what the difference is between them. I probably should have chosen a pattern to follow, but I just thought it would be exciting to buy a few random ones and hope for the best. I am so rock n roll.

From Jaycotts
KSB SP10 574 - 25cm (10") open ended lightweight nylon zip - light grey
YKK ZZ10 574 - 25cm (10") regular skirt and dress zip - light grey
YKK ZZ06 516 Regular Skirt & Dress Zip: Pinks - Shocking Pink 15cm (6")

From My Fabrics
50_4711_572 Reissverschluss 4711 (572)
50_511213_576 Reissverschluss 511213, (576)

20140302-P1330496 I also got a little yellow zip and an orange one:

50_4711_506 Reissverschluss 4711 (506) 14cm
50_4711_849 Reissverschluss 4711 (849) 16cm

All in all, the My Fabrics zips arrived quicker even though they're from Germany, but they were more expensive and the postage was more. The colours are brighter though and the thicker teeth are very satisfying. Jaycotts do the chunkier version but they didn't have as wide a colour range to choose between and I really wanted a bright yellow one. It was a good test though. Both shops are pretty cool. I just hope I bought the right thing. Now I am going to go read these tutorials.

I'll probably try this first
Simple zip pouch
A zip using a zip foot
A zipper end
Nice neat ends
A diagram I will understand by the end of this zipfest
A zipper end and an interior pocket
Three patterns with neat zipper ends
An interesting cutout method
I like the long end of the zip here
And lastly a fancy hidden zip

Day 178 - Sorting

Found this in the fabric stash. Sigh. Someone is really into unfolding fabric then sitting on it.