Sewing, craft and other musings

Monday, 23 June 2014

Quilting against the clock.... Part III

After spending a lot of the previous evening appliqué - ing I had a finished panel... Only another 12 to go plus the extra filler, backing, wadding, edging etc!!

The next on the list was the peacock to symbolise my parents trip to India as my mum couldn't get over the fact that she had wild peacocks to look at every day!

The picture I found had a lovely big tail and didn't seem too difficult to cut into colour blocks.

I have been able to use scraps and off cuts of cotton for this one ... The blue is from the off cuts of the massive quilt that I made for my husband... The green is from the bow tie project at school and the silver is from the previous lemur leftovers!

The cutting out of the fabric was slightly more fiddly than the last one... There seemed to be more small part in this one than in the last one.

The crest of the peacock will be finished once I have appliquéd it... Something I plan to do tomorrow night... I can't wait as I am really enjoying this project so far!


Sunday, 22 June 2014

Quilting against the clock... Part II

Update: My parents are not having their wedding anniversary 'do' until 26th July... This is a small mercy and I am grateful I have an extra week to work on the quilt.... It is still pushing it though!

The first square I wanted to tackle was the lemur one as I had found a picture that I wanted to follow.

The picture I found had lots of block colour which I could easily spilt for ease of appliqué...

Each of the designs was drawn onto the fabric and then bondaweb was ironed on the back. This was a particularly good move as the shiny silver fabric was very slippery and frayed easily so the bondaweb kept it together.

Before ironing on the main body of the lemur I back stitched the design of where the legs and paws of the lemur are...

I then cut out the main face and ironed them on the cream square.

Bit by bit I pieced together the black and white tail. This was a long and fiddly process and took a lot of concentration.

This is it so far... I need to appliqué it now...more updates soon...

Counting the flags...

One of the many joys of writing this blog is seeing the diversity of people who read it...

For any of you who are regular readers I have now added a flag counter down the right hand side...

This is more for my benefit than anything as I love that my blog is not just read in my home country but around the world...

Thank you everyone - it brings me so much joy!

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Quilting against the clock... Part I

So, I finished a massive quilt a couple of days ago. And said that I would leave it a while before I embarked on something so big again especially as I have a busy term at school with three school productions and a young daughter who needs my attention.

Well, that has gone out of the window!

My parents will have been married 11 years in July and they are the absolute role model for a marriage made in heaven! My step father has stepped in and been a great father figure and my mum is so supportive and willing to drop everything for me even though she lives over 5 hours away.

So, I thought I would design and make them a quilt. And I have until 17th July to finish it... Now that's what I call a challenge!

My parents are just about to redecorate their bedroom so this was a great starting point for the design and I asked my mum to send me a sample of their wallpaper.

As you can see the wallpaper is cream with a deep red and gold... So I went to have a look around my local haberdasheries to see what kind of fabric might fit this scheme.

I found a few fabrics that fitted the criteria nicely so I then started sketching what I wanted to do.


As it is mega personal to them I wanted to include some designs that would reflect what they have done together and places they have been so the top half of the quilt is all the diy projects that they have done around the house and the bottom is all the places they have been.

The design is relatively simple as I am still on the basic square quilt thing.
The quilt, when finished should measure the same as a double bedspread... Enormous really! So, with lots of maths I worked out how big each of the square should be allowing for 2cm on each side for seam allowance. (41cm if you are interested!)

I made a template out of cardboard and cut it so I could have the outside edge and the seam allowance.

I was fortunate enough be browsing around my local haberdasher when I spied some cream cotton on sale so had to buy it as I was certainly not going to find it any cheaper.

It was then the pain staining drawing out... Not an easy task when you have a very small dining room table!

And now I have a pile of squares!

This is as far as I have got... I hope to post more as the squares progress and as each one is completed...  And fingers crossed I may get it finished before the 17th July!

Friday, 20 June 2014

Glitter and feathers...

Just a quick one this evening... I finally found my other creation with feathers for hair...

I particularly like this one because of the sparkle...

This is also on etsy...


Thursday, 19 June 2014

Butterflies and bling...

So, I may be getting a bit of an obsession with fascinators ... I seem to want to make a lot of them but  I then have to sell them because otherwise the house will really be over run by feathers and bling!

My latest creation is another one with butterflies but this time to go on a hair clip which I picked up and thought might make a nice headpiece.

I did a lot of different drafts of this one as I could not decide which side the feathers should go on.

All the feathers are stuck on with silicone glue which, I have to admit, is one of my new favourite things... It seems to work with everything and doesn't have the white residue that seems to be left when using superglue.

I am really pleased with the results - so pleased that it is now for sale on my etsy page (see side bar for link!)

Definitely more of a back-of-the-head accessory rather than a side one!

A second one will follow... I just can't find the picture...

Again, this is available in my etsy shop!


Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Tying up the bows...

Sometimes I really, really love my job. Especially when I get to sew at work.

I was recently asked to run a make do and mend workshop with a group of sixth form students at my school. They would have an hour with me and I would teach them what a sewing kit was, how to thread a needle, how to sew a button and how to make a simple material bow....

The pattern came from a Mollie Makes special - DIY Fashion...however, I did change it slightly as in the tutorial it said that the ribbon should be glued... I made it all by sewing the ribbon at the back...

I found some really nice Union Jack fabric to make the bows with and asked the students to use back stitch and slip stitch to complete their designs...

The seminar was highly successful... Even though one of my students did try and knot the thread at BOTH ends...

I have been making a lot of bows now to go in my Etsy shop as I think they would make wonder shoe clips, hair accessories or clip on bow ties! Check them out!

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Looks like rain...

Following the success of my first ever cross stitch I found in the back of a cupboard a small duck cross stitch...

I was surprised how satisfying it was to slowly chip away at this one and kind of wished that I had some long train journey to go on so that I could finish it sooner.

My biggest challenge was sewing in white on white aida... Next time I would get some small squares of black aida... But I am yet to find this in small qualities as I would rather not buy one that measures a metre each way!

I am pleased with this little guy ... And my husband keeps on threatening that he will buy me a bigger one to do soon.... I have many projects currently on the go so hopefully the threat should not come to ahead yet!

Monday, 16 June 2014

Taggie anyone?

My daughter is now nine months old and is now heavily into exploring the world around her. As a mother I hope to give her things that she can enjoy in her play time.

I came across this tutorial on how to make a Taggie which has different ribbons for a baby to explore. It also crackles - and my daughter LOVES things that crackle!

The project is easy to follow, simple to do and cheap to make...

It is the perfect project for using up small squares of fabric too (something I have in large quantities!)

The project did not take long at all to complete either which made it a good project to do of an evening when I just wanted to sew but not spend too long on it.

The website is: How to make a crinkle Taggie from cucicucicoo

My daughter simply loves it! She finds it fun to bury her face in it and laugh very loudly - oh how I wish how her brain works!

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Sock puppet pigeons...

I find my job frustrating at times - mostly because I have very little time at home at the moment and seem to be bogged down in office politics and jobs that seem to take forever to complete.

However, this week I had a minor blessing in the fact that a pigeon needed to be made for a play... And it needed to look a bit kooky...

I got some inspiration for the pigeon from the sock monkey I made a few months back. And bought a cheap pair of knee high socks in grey and set to work.

I find the best place to start when trying to make a sock animal is to cut the foot part of the sock first and then add to it with the rest of the sock.

The toe top was manipulated into the head and then the bottom tail was then formed by some creative cutting and sewing.

The two wings were made with a few cuttings from the socks too...

I stuck on eyes, beak and pipe cleaner legs and secured them with silicone glue as they had a weeks worth of show to survive.

So this is Duncan... Long story but he was named by one of my work collegues...

Has anybody else out there made sock puppet pigeons?!