Monday, 14 September 2015

Sew busy!

I hope you all had a great summer, I've been busy sewing lots over the last few weeks.  One of my first projects was to make a new purse, using this fab tutorial from Emily Levey.  I used a bundle of metallic prints from Dear Stella which I got for Christmas.  Unfortunately I realised after that it probably wasn't the best choice, the metallic print starts to wear off after lots of handling which for a purse which will be handled daily is not ideal. But it does look good.

I have to admit I made this purse twice.  The first time I followed the exact pattern but then I struggled when it came to adding the metal snaps. I didn't have a pair of pliers to attach them and couldn't get them through all the layers of fabric without. I then had 2 holes left in the fabric which looked awful when I tried to cover them so I gave up and started again.

I decided to re-make it using magnetic snaps, I added a tab to put one of the snaps on and put the other on the back of the card pocket. I also added a loop for my keys too.  Luckily I was recently sent one of the new Sewing Journals from Sew Crafty Sewing Centre (they are fab, check them out!) so I made a note of the changes I made so I can repeat it again in the future.  Handmade purses all the way from now on!

Next up was a tote bag I made for the Easy Swap on Instagram.  I made an applique tree on one side, and a tree print fabric on the other side.  However when I made it I loved it so much I knew it'd be hard to give away.  So I made myself one too (pictured below).  I didn't do the applique again as that took ages.

My son has been doing well out of my sewing too, I made him Lego curtains to go around the den under his bed.  The curtains that came with the bed were a couple inches too long and that meant we kept standing on them and they ripped.  So I made these ones a couple inches off the floor so that won't happen again.

The fabric was some vintage Lego fabric a friend was selling off because it was a little sun bleached but you can only tell if you look up close.  My son hasn't noticed at all. For £10 I got enough to make 3 curtains to cover 2 sides of the bed (the rest is against the wall). Bargain!

I also had some pirate themed quilt panels that I made a couple years ago intending to make my son a quilt.  I never got around to finishing it and when I bought him a quilt from Lynne at Lily's Quilts he didn't want another because he loves hers so much.  I rather than let them go to waste I had the idea of turning them into a toy storage bag, with a few internal pockets for toys too.  He has tons of toy animals so this will keep some of them tidy at least.

Last and not least I made myself a quilted mat for my sewing machine.  Sometimes when I'm sewing at high speed the sewing machine rattles on the table top so hopefully the mat will reduce the rattle.

So plenty of sewing done this summer, I've cleared a few of my WIPS and a couple of things off my to sew list.  Hopefully I'll manage several more over the next few months.

What have you been sewing this summer, do feel free to post links to pictures or blog posts below so I can take a look.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

1 hour Baskets

I've still been busy working on my Tula Pink Sampler Quilt (It's now ready to quilt) but I need a break from it and wanted something quick and easy to do.   I'd seen lots of people on Instgram making the 1 hour basket so I decided to give it ago and see what all the fuss is about.

It's a free pattern which you can download from Craftsy create by Hearts and Bees (you need to sign up but it doesn't cost anything).  It's a large storage basket made from 2-3 fat quarters.  The first one I made is pictured below, unfortunately as I was cutting the fabric I realised the map fabric for my outer was not quite a full fat quarter so I had to add another fabric in too.

As you can see it fits a ton of fabric in, ideal size for fat quarters.  I used quilting cotton with my first basket (the project recommends home decor weight) and fusible fleece to give it body as suggested in the pattern.  It turned out pretty floppy and struggled to stand up alone when empty.

I had recently been sent some beautiful home decor weight fabrics from Izabela Peters, a UK company who print their own fabrics, so I decided to try them for the next basket.  They were much thicker, I used their fabrics for both the outside and the lining, and used the fusible fleece too.  The basket had more form to it but still wasn't as structured as I wanted, I wanted something that would stand up alone when empty.

Although I filled both these baskets up with fabric and am using them I wanted to have  another go at getting a firmer basket.  I rummaged through my stash and found some super firm sew in interfacing (almost like a sheet of card).  My concern was that it was so thick I wasn't going to be able to turn the basket through at the end, so I left a larger hole at the bottom of the lining (about 6-7 inches) and luckily it turned through ok.  The result was a much firmer basket which stood up perfectly when empty. Once my husband and son spotted the baskets they wanted some too so pictured below are my final 4 that I made using the very firm interfacing.

As they discovered the baskets are not only the perfect size for fat quarters but also for dvds and Xbox games.  I've already had a request from my husband for a few more so I suspect there will be many more in my future!

Have you tried the one hour basket yet?  How did you get on with it?

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Win tickets to the WI Centennial Fair

WI Fair Ticket Giveaway

*** This competition has now ended - the winners are Harry's Mum and Crafts @ Home.  Congratulations to both the winners, hope you enjoy the show***

To celebrate 100 years of the Women’s Institute a centenary fair is being held in Yorkshire from the 3rd to 6th September.   

The show is open to both WI Members and non-members and will be full of craft and lifestyle stalls, demos and workshops. Carol Smillie will be ‘talking pants’, Lisa Comfort will demonstrate a vintage project from her new book and the Royal School of Needlework and tutors from the WI Craft School at Denman will show you embroidery and patchwork skills.   

There will also be lots of exhibitors from which you’ll be able to stock up on sewing, knitting and crafting supplies whilst there.   The show is being held at the Harrogate International Centre and tickets can be purchased online here.

We have 2 pairs of tickets to the show to giveaway. To be in with a chance of winning please answer the question below in the comments by 28th July 2015. Don’t forget to leave a way for us to contact you if you win (e-mail, Twitter name, web link etc).  Each winner will receive a pair of tickets, valid for one visit on any day.

Question:  If you were to attend the show which workshop would you want to take part in?

Also if you join their mailing list you get entered into a draw to win a Janome XL601 sewing machine. 

Terms & Conditions

2 winners will be chosen at random to receive a pair of entry tickets to the WI Centennial Fair.  One entry allowed per person, multiple entries will result in disqualification.  You must leave a way for us to contact you to notify you of your win and get your address.  Any prizes unclaimed after 2 weeks will be drawn again.  The prizes can be sent to an address in the UK or Ireland.  All entries must be received by 6pm on Tuesday the 28th of July 2015.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Quilt Progress

I've been a busy bee for the last 2 months working on my Tula Pink Sampler quilt from her City Sampler book.  I have to admit when I started I didn't realise what a time consuming project it would be, hours and hours on end of cutting, pressing and then sewing just to make a few blocks.   I normally cut in one session, and then sew in the next.  Here's a pic of several blocks ready to be sewn, I have to put the block number on the top or I forget which blocks I've cut!

I soon decided I wasn't going to make all 100 blocks in the book as some are very fiddly and involve lots of fabrics and pieces (and I hate cutting!) so I've been making the blocks in pairs.  Today I did a count up and layout on my bed to see if I was close to having enough to make a quilt...

I'm only 2 blocks away (represented with white pieces of paper for now).  I decided I'm going to go for a random layout so spent hours playing around with this giant jigsa puzzle trying to make sure I didn't have any similar blocks or colours too close together.

This is going to be my final layout, I just need to finish the last 2 blocks (which will be red and yellow) and then I can start joining them in rows. I managed to get some turquoise Sketch fabric for half price in the sale at Weaver Dee so I plan to use that for the borders and maybe the backing too if there's enough left.

Their sale is still on if you fancy a bargain, use code DIRECTORY10 for an extra 10% off :)  

Hopefully my next post will be showing the finished top.  I'd really like to have this finished by the end of the summer ready to use in the autumn.  Then I ought to finish my son's quilt which I started a year ago...  whoops!

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