Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Midge Net and Drawstring Pouch

Le Challenge - Bright

Just before we came away to Portugal in Libby I finally got around to making the midge net that we needed. We both seem to attract midges, with very big teeth!

I found the perfect BRIGHT neon blue spotty binding for the top and bottom. Sorry girls, it's a very tenuous link!!

We've known for ages that we wanted a midge net, but the problem was also how to attach it to the van. Amazon had the answer, little magnets with hooks, but with a 20kg pull, enough to go through the van carpet lining. Well it's now been tested and it works perfectly.

The net needed a cute little drawstring bag. I wanted it to be unlined and I found this brilliant tutorial on aspoonfulofsugardesigns.com. The bottom is like the base of a coffee bag, which gives it some depth, without having to cut the corners off. You might be able to see what I mean in the top photo. It was such a good tutorial that I made a matching one for my down jacket, that I picked up in T K Max for a bargain £16.
These are the first things that I've made from this camping organic Birch fabric and I was very disappointed that the brown dye, left marks in my green water when I ironed it :o(
I will be washing the whole lot, before I use it in anything else.

....and other news, I didn't finish anything in my finish along list, despite its length, but I did start something else new. I've been embroidering the Best Friends Forever block of the month and managed one a week, so far!

I'm also slowly stitching EPP diamonds into stars and love the pattern already. These are both great hand stitching projects to have along in the van with me and it's nice to have the time to sit and sew. Other British 'vanners' are complaining about the loss of the BBC transmission to their satellite dish...wot no East Enders!!! Not a problem for us though.


Saturday, 15 March 2014

My First Custom Order

Yipeeeeee...I've finally made some money from sewing. My friend ordered one of these to give to her friend as a birthday present. It's a drawstring bag for putting campervan thermal window mats in.... And I received real money for making it!!!
Though the fabric is a lovely design, it wasn't cotton and frayed like mad and so I did a French seam to make it last a bit longer. It was also quite difficult to photograph, so I strung it from the washing line!
Please ignore the ladder and the Canadian canoe and look at the pretty pink Camellia instead!

Linking up with Le Challenge....who's theme this month was order. I had several ideas as the theme left it open wide, but this one fitted the best. Amazingly the word order came up in two blog titles next to each other in Bloglovin! Nicole from Follow the White Bunny was blogging about the Order to stitch things in an embroidery, she has lots of interesting stuff, so pop over and take a look.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Lilipopo Glasses Case & EPP Diamonds

I must be getting old as just before Christmas I needed my first pair of reading/sewing glasses. They needed a nice case so I used the tutorial over on Lilipopo's blog. She has some lovely embroidery patterns and they are a style that I find adorable....plus she lives in Cornwall.
I used a tiny, tiny scrap of Liberty fabric for her dress and as Sarah is encouraging us to put our scraps to work this year then I am linking up at the end of the month.
I'm also just in time to link up with Amy, who is hosting TGIFF this week. I hoped to have this finished by Friday but had a bit of the sniffles that I brought back from our Valentine trip to Bristol.

Tim's Valentines card was found in a charity shop while hunting for vintage sheets. It's like a simplified game of Beetle.

Although I have loads of WIP's .... I seem to have started another one! I didn't feel like concentrating on much last week and as my very thoughtful friend Karen had bought me this for Christmas I had another look through it. I love the travel quilt idea as we are always off out and about in Libby our little campervan, blogged at LibertyBlueVan.

They are 2" diamonds and stitch up quite quickly. I've completed 3, but cut and basted quite a few more.

Though these all look coordinated, as I've used the remains of a Moda Scrap Bag, I think the rest will be quite scrappy. I don't have many scraps, as some of you know, I've been swapping, buying, begging and borrowing scraps from everyone...can you borrow scraps??? I'm not sure. Anyway it's a great project as you can see below the selvedge gets turned under and the maths geek in me worked out that the minimum strip width, to give 1/4 inch seam, is 2.23".... Do you remember SOHCAHTOA?

Years ago I found these in a charity shop and they are great for fussy cutting.

Jessica also has a link up on her blog, Lifeunderquilts for how many stars are finished My Total = 3

FairyFace Designs

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Kokeshi Doll

Le Challenge - The Rising Sun

When reading through the inspiration for Le Challenge I thought that I'd use the perfect piece of fabric that was in the Goody Bag from FQR London last year. It was a small piece of lovely Art Gallery fabric which reminded me of a kimono.
I used the pattern from Homespun Magazine issue 15.1 for the little Kokeshi Doll. The pattern had 3 strung on a string, but I only had enough fabric for one.

I used a different fabric to line her sleeves. Each of the dolls has a different hair style, but this was my favourite. She is only 6 inches tall but has a big personality!

The pattern is available in the Melly and Me shop and includes a cuddle size mama Kokeshi.

I would have loved to make something from this Japanese book that I got at the Cowslip Workshop Christmas fair for £1 ... But it will be more of a long term project as it's quite complicated. I googled the isbn number and eventually found out that this type of Japanese reversible patchwork is called Orinuno. I will have a go at it as it is all done by hand and so it will be a good portable project for me.

Linking up with Le Challenge ... Why don't you pop over and check out what Lucy and Nat have made, as well as the other links.
Also linking with the Slow Bloggers as I'm averaging less than one a month at the moment as Instagram seems so much quicker, but I appreciate that not everyone is on IG. Also I can't leave links on IG either.
Moira is hosting the Slow Bloggers this month.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Finish-Along Q1

Oh no, I've finally got to admit that I'm a serial starter...but never finish anything. Though I do finish things when I'm in a swap or for a deadline like Le Challenge, so with this in mind I've decided to list all my WiPs.....well all the ones I could find as some are still lost in carrier bags in the depths of "the spare room" .... Which if I sorted it out could be a great space...maybe that should go on the list too!

1. Martinique Heart jelly roll quilt
July 2000 not touched since then as I've not a clue how to quilt it!

2. Bang on the door hippo...I designed this from a card
2005 ish ... Might make it into a pin cushion!

3. tail feathers quilt...
Started January 2011 ... All embroideries finished and frames done. Need to make squares and log cabin border.

4. Warn and Washed Winter Fox Quilt...
September 2012 made the background on a Warn and Washed workshop but I'm not happy with the trees.

5. EPP ...
December 2012 ... All finished but needs making into a cushion.

6. Paper Pieced puffin and Penguin made from TartanKiwi patterns.
Autumn 2013 ... These are so cute that I really should use them somewhere!

7. EPP from Fat Quarterly Retreat ... I think this needs adding to and making into a cushion as I love the design.

8. Cathedral windows cushion.... This one is my friend Kath's ... As I swapped classes at the FQR mine is still just a pile of white squares that I prepared and took with me!

9. This is my Noodlehead super tote which I was making to take to FQR!

10. Quilt I started using Verna and these Monaluna fabrics. Also the campervan fabric is with the strips of stacked coins I made from the Verna ... Just don't think the two go together...or need to find a fabric to tie them in ... Also need to find the bag from the depths!

11. Camelot Quilt .... Just started hand piecing this!
January 2014

12. Green Tea and Sweet Beans ...also just started
January 2014

13. Rainbow Sprouts Quilt ... Collecting scraps to go with the rainbow and LV charm squares ... Slow progress.
September 2013

14. Scrappy Stars.... Proposed HipBees quilt for July 2014

15. Secret EPP with these Liberty Fabric hexies.

16. Make another bag to donate for the Quilt Club Raffle. Green flower/spot fabric and this pattern.

17. Secret project with great fabric for a thread catcher, etc.

Then there are quilts I have the fabric for...but not even started ... I'm trying to list everything just so I can keep track in my own mind and stop drifting around on the Internet and actually finish something!

18. Liberty quilt.... Slowly collecting fabrics.

19. Heather Ross fussy cut quilt. These are just some of the HR fabrics.

20. Vintage Sheet Quilt.... Last year it was going to be a giant star, then a Cherry Star....then a scrappy trip pattern and by the time I get around to it it will be whatever!

21. Cath Kidston star quilt ... Still need a couple of fat quarters!

22. Cover for ....... ....... Using Unicorn embroidery, which I will find ... Just had a look and it's not around, but did find....

23. Mums teapot cosy for August 2013 birthday...was waiting for insulated fleece, now needs making.

23. Last of the stuff I can find ... There is more hidden away in the depths... Socks ...
Summer 2012 ish!

Phew....I know there's more....but I can't find them and also don't really want to think about it now!!! And now I've had to edit the post as I forgot to add Katy's cute little button.
Finish Along 2014

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Happy Cloud Baby Toy and Precious

Le Challenge - Precious

Thanks to Lucy and Nat for running Le Challenge this year. When I look back through my blog posts it appears to be the thing that has kept me blogging this year. Like others my enthusiasm for Blogging has taken a dip but then I remember how precious online blog friends are and it keeps me going.

Cindy recently wrote a tutorial for a fantastic block when I was having trouble visualising how it was made....to me that is very precious. Thanks Cindy, I've made a block already and in this picture stolen from Fluffy Sheep Quilting Blog you can see how the hidden stars appear.

And on to precious number two.....
Sarah is expecting Little Beany and so she had an online Baby Shower which you can read all about here on her blog Narcoleptic in a cupboard.
I thought Sarah would like a little happy cloud and so I made this from a tutorial on Refabulous Blog. It was easy to follow....though I did sew all those little strips on the wrong way up the first time...I should follow the instructions!

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Le Challenge ....link in the side bar...go and take a look at how everyone interpreted this month's theme and perhaps join in the next one.

I'm a month late for the Thriller theme....I so wanted to make Bubbles, but suitable socks were not to be found in Biarritz! Then when the next theme was stripes....I thought I'd make Bubbles come to life.

There are lots of tutorial on line for making sock monkeys but the two I found most useful were these ones, the first for the clear pictures and the second for the excellent way that was suggested to stuff the tail with a piece of wadding to make it smoother.
Tutorial one
Tutorial two

Carefully select your socks, as the heel and toe colour will make a big difference. Some tutorials used the heel for the nose and others used the toe section. I tried both ways and I thought the heel section worked better.
There isn't that much sewing and could easily be made by hand. The hardest part was attaching the nose section.

I pinned all the bits in place first to get the right look.

I used Google images to see lots of different monkey expressions and I think he looks quite cheeky.

He was definitely grumpy when I asked him to wear his hat though!

Location:Bubbles the sock monkey