Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Silent Sewing

It’s been a bit quiet here but there’s been lots of sewing going on which I'll share after the show. Deadline is fast approaching and there are still plenty of hexies to sew and lots of Suffolk puffs to string together. Why on earth did I decide to enter not one but two hand pieced items for a quilt show?

As the end is in sight for these projects, I’ve started thinking about my next hand sewing project and this book arrived last week from Sew & Quilt. I got the first book last year, but I have yet to make anything from it. Maybe I’ll skip book one and go straight to book two as already several quilts have already caught my eye.

Anyway this temptation has to be put away for another two weeks and I need to get back to sewing 300 hexies (eek!).

Friday, 27 February 2015

Fabric fast fail

I’m supposed to be on a fabric fast again, but I just don’t seem to be in the right frame of mind for it this year.

First of all there was this little pile of fabric from Abakhan’s (2m of Timeless Treasures Rain, 2m of wide (240cm) animal print sheeting for a quilt back and 3m of a charcoal blender).

Then there was this bag of scraps from Nadine at Leeds MQG.

Now, Simply Solids have a free UK postage weekend (valid until midnight Monday, no code required) and half a metre of Steeping Awakening was ordered this morning.

I do hope that I can get back to just saying no as I am rapidly running out of storage space.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Lots of looking and lots of Liberty

Last week I spent a couple of days in London and although I did absolutely no sewing on train there or back, there was lots of sewing-related sight-seeing and shopping done.

First up was a trip the Wedding Dress exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum. The exhibition has dresses from 1775 to the current day but alas no photographs were allowed. The dresses were stunning and you could get close enough to see the details. It would have been interesting if the size of each gown was given as well as detail of the fabric and trim composition as some of the waists looked tiny! The exhibition runs until March 15th and there is a two-for-one offer if you travel by train.

Shopping was next on the list – first to Shaukat Fabrics for some Liberty Lawns. I’ve been to this shop before and so knew to expect a courteous rather than a friendly welcome. The staff are keen to offer prompt service which can curtail browsing time and the choice of fabrics is rather overwhelming so I don't think they realise that plenty of thinking time can be needed. I came away with a few half metre cuts from the roll and several of their remnants.

I think I saved the best to last as the final part of my trip was to the Liberty's itself. This was my first visit to the shop and I loved the quirkiness of it (though the words "How much ?!" were uttered on several occassions). Needless to say I spent most of my time in the fabric department and was delighted to find a sewing set in Mauverina, one of my favourite prints.

A couple more half metres of lawn were added to my fabric haul and the final purchase was a colourful Ianthe print notebook from the stationery department.

 Then all too soon it was time to head home with lots of memories and a few purple bags.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Stormy Seas

Last Saturday was spent at Leeds MQG (who have shiny new website) where there was plenty of chatter, laughter and sewing. I took along my first project for 2015 – the Nautical Quilt for a great nephew who is due to appear this month.

My first thought was for a 5 x 5 block layout and after trying different arrangements had decided on a diagonal rainbow on a directional bluey-green background fabric which could represent the sea.

In the end I had more rainbow colours that anticipated and decided to go for a 5 x 6 layout with a total of 15 boats blocks.

I was pleased with my progress on Saturday – I managed to get all the sails completed for the boats. However, after looking at the picture I posted on Instagram, I realised that a couple of blocks had very choppy sea conditions! 

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

2014 - A sewing summary

Looking back at the projects I have finished this year, I was pleasantly surprised that the number seemed comparable to last year, especially as my sewing mojo was missing for most of the summer. Somehow I seem to have completed six quilts and various other small projects (a few of which were dispatched to their recipients without photos being taken).

As well as the quilts, I made 14 tote bags, 6 notebook covers, 4 iPad cases, 2 pairs of baby boots, 2 pairs of PJ trousers, a pair of PJ shorts, a cutting mat and shopping bag to use at the Festival of Quilts, and a few sewing sundries. Of all the projects, I think my favourite was the little hexie origami pouch with its covered press stud.

My long term 5/8" hexie project has also grown a little compared to last year.


As well as sewing, I attended three shows (Quilt and Stitch Village, Festival of Quilts, and Knitting & Stitching) and enjoyed learning new techniques at their various workshops (fabric postcards, hexagon quilts, wonky log cabins, and tailoring methods). There was also quite a bit of shopping done at the shows, but with these exceptions, I managed to stick fairly well to my fabric fast until about two weeks ago.

I've already made a few plans for 2015 and I am not back in work until 5th January, so I hope to make a start on my first project of 2015 very soon. As this year draws to a close (or as a new one starts, depending on when you read this), I'd like to thank you all for taking the time to read and comment on my ramblings and to wish you happy sewing for 2015.

Monday, 29 December 2014

Late arrival

These little baby boots were made at the beginning of the month, but I was unable to share them on here as they went AWOL with the Royal Mail and took three weeks to make their way along the M62 and arrive at their destination. Just when I thought I would have to make another set, I got the news that they had turned up.

The pattern is a simplified version of the free Shwin&Shwin pattern (I omitted the accent pieces and the interfacing) and I hand stitched the sole lining so that there were no raw edges inside.

The outer fabrics are Kokka heavy cottons and I used fleece for a cosy lining. The soles are made from some slipper gripper, chosen more for its cuteness than its non-slip properties given the age of the recipient.

This was a quick and fairly simple project; cutting out all the different pieces was probably the longest part, other than waiting for them to arrive.

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Goals for 2015

Kerry (who blogs at has posted her sewing goals for 2015 and is hosting a linky party, so here are my five goals/plans for 2015.

1. Make a quilt for my husband
We've decided on the Star Plus pattern, and, if I swap some smaller blocks for a larger block, I've got all the fabric. There was no reason not to start this straightaway but then goal 2 came along...

2. Make a quilt for a new great nephew
I found out that another great nephew will be making an appearance in January, so I might have to get this Nautical quilt made for him before starting goal 1.


3. Start something from the Millefiori quilt book
I've done a lot of EPP with hexies this year, so maybe it is time to try some different shapes.

4. Try some free motion quilting
My quilts so far have all been quilted with a walking foot, though I have added spirals to my straight line options. Perhaps 2015 will be the year I put the FMQ foot onto my machine and manage to make my attempts at feathers look less like cabbages that have gone to seed.

5. Restart my fabric fast
I've recently broke my fabric fast big style, but I will be restarting it again in January (note, I've not said January 1st - I might need to look at some sales and purchases of Liberty lawn will still be allowed).

It will be interesting to check back in a year's time and see how I did.