Gone crafting

Well, after a bit of a crafty break, I’m getting back into things in style with a full crafty day with Sarah.


I’ve got big plans for today and they involve either a layer cake or two jelly rolls. Decisions, decisions…

101 Things: #25 Make a cover for my Kindle

Woohoo, my second 101 Things finish!

I got a Kindle last year and bought a blue case for it. Bad decision. Really bad. I was trying to get away from my pink obsession, but the blue just doesn’t do it for me. It’s just not pretty. So I decided to make a case for the case. It helps keep dust out, but really, I made it because I needed wanted a pink cover!

I left a bit of time between making this and blogging it because it the making part didn’t go so well. My first attempt (ah yes, things are obviously heading downhill when I mention it took more that one go to make), was too small. I still have absolutely no idea how that happened, but it did. Then my sewing machine took a dislike to the second version and refused to top stitch through the layers.

But I got there in the end. And it’s pretty (and pink), so I’m happy. The outer fabric is Cathedral Peony from the Good Folks range by Anna Maria Horner. The inside fabric is something from my Baby Jane collection.

And for future reference should I decide to torture myself make another of these, I cut 16.5″x10″ but would probably go to 9.75″. 9.25″ is too narrow.

Oh, yeah, looking at the second picture reminded me that I originally sewed the snap fastener on upside down *sigh*

Today was a good day!

Today was great! I went looking for accessories for my outfit for my brother’s wedding later in the year and actually managed to get everything I needed, which is a minor miracle! Then on the way home from the shops, I popped into my LQS for heavy-weight interfacing and had a potter in the fabric section (“not to buy – just to see what they had” – as if!)!

So I came away with these fat quarters. Not sure what I’m going to do with them, but they’re too pretty to stay in the shop!

The one on the left is a Liberty print and the other two are from Moda’s Adoring line by Sandy Gervais.

I also bought another Liberty print – 2.7m of purple and turquoise loveliness, to back the quilt I haven’t started yet, made from my purple and turquoise jelly roll I got over a year ago! Purple and turquoise is such an unusual colour combination that I knew I had to snaffle the fabric up then and there!

To top it all off, I arrived home to a package of 0.5m of Kona White which I ordered for my Baby Jane blocks as I’m planning on kicking those off again.

I’ll say it again, it’s been a good day :)

The great right white hunt!

Thanks for the suggestions on where to go with my scorched Baby Jane blocks. It was good to get a reality check as I was about to scrap the lot and start from scratch! But I think I’ve got a plan of attack now.

First off, I’m going to find a true white fabric and use that for the remaining blocks. I’m also going to redo I-1, L-7 and B-12 which are the top three in this pic:

I’m not keen on the fabric in I-1 as a Baby Jane fabric. I think there’s too much white in it and it hides the block pattern. The scorching in L-7 is really obvious to me and as it’s a simple block, I can quickly redo it. B-12 is also really simple so it’s getting the redo treatment too.

I’m not redoing the complicated ones (A-2 and C-10 – the bottom two in the pic). I’ll see how bad they look if and when I get the rest of the blocks finished and redo if I’m not happy.

So that solution sounds easy enough, the only problem is finding the right white. I thought Kona cotton might be the answer because if I could get my hands on a Kona Colour Card, I would be able to pick a white to match the existing one. But I’ve been on the hunt for one of these for a while and no-one in the UK was selling them… until Thursday.

Simply Solids now sell them so I immediately snaffled one up and delivery was so speedy that when it appeared in the mail I wasn’t expecting it and couldn’t think what was in the package, LOL! Isn’t it just so pretty…

I could look at the colours all day!

But the whites are the important section…

It looks like Kona White (1387)  is the right white, so I just have to order some of that and I’ll be back in business!

Scorched…

I was having a look at my Baby Jane blocks recently as I like to do, just because they’re so cute! Anyway I noticed something bad – scorch marks. L-7 is the most obvious:

I don’t know if you can see it, but the corner squares are whiter than the other “white” pieces which are scorched. There are five of fifteen affected, and naturally two of the most complicated (A-2 and C-10) are in the group.

I really don’t know how I’ve missed this. Perhaps because they were made in winter the light wasn’t as good as it is now? It’s really obvious now though :(

The white is an Ikea “Dvala” sheet, a tip I picked up here. Anna has also been using one of these in her current project and has also got scorch marks so I think I can safely say that it’s not our irons. We also bought ours separately, months apart, so I don’t think it’s down to a dodgy batch.

I have a feeling that the fabric is just not good enough quality to withstand lots of ironing. It’s maybe ok for blocks which don’t need much pressing, but not for ones with lots of seams. One thing’s for sure though – I won’t be using a Dvala sheet again, which is a shame because they’re great value and so many people seem to use them without problem.

I went to my LQS and picked up some white fabric. But when I got that home I found it’s a different white to the Ikea sheet. The Ikea sheet is really white, but this fabric is almost cream even though the bolt said white.

So what to do? I would really, really appreciate some input because I am completely undecided on what to do. My current thinking is one of the following:

Stash update

I came home to a gorgeous package of fabric this evening so figured it was time for a fabric update! Today’s bundle of yummy-ness brought these 3 FQ’s that I chose with my Baby Jane quilt in mind:


Aren’t those mushrooms just the cutest?! Bizarrely, they’re from a range called “Froggies” for Exclusively Quilters, as are the pink dots. The bubbles one on the left is from the Kaleidoscope range for Fabric Freedom. It’s probably a bit too purple for my Baby Jane though so I think it’s destined for my general stash.

I have to heap praise on Lymington Fabrics where I ordered these from. Not only was it free P&P on all orders, but I only ordered yesterday! Speedy delivery or what! Their prices were good too and I could pay with paypal which I prefer to do. I’ll definitely be a repeat customer!

Next up is a Make Life charm pack from Sweetwater. This was meant to be for my month in Bee Europa, but I’ve fallen in love with it so the fabrics aren’t leaving the house! I think this might turn into a stacked coins quilt…

The shop this time was Thread Bear, and they charge P&P at whatever it costs them to send the fabric – 96p in this case! I was just about off to Italy when this arrived so what’s a girl to do but take it with her so that she doesn’t have to wait a week to checkout the pretty fabrics! So here’s the charm pack sitting pretty by the swimming pool at the villa!

Finally are a couple of fabrics I’ve had my eye on since my friend Sarah made a lovely tote bag with them. Not sure what range they’re from, but they’re so pretty. I think they’re destined to become a bag of some sort for me to take stuff to crafty club.

So lots in – that should keep me busy for a while!

Blogger’s Quilt Festival – Spring 2010

It’s time for another Blogger’s Quilt Festival, and I really wanted to join in this time, so welcome to anyone arriving from there! The quilt I’m sharing is called Cars and Ponies (I’m good with imaginative names like that!) and I made it at the end of last year.

One of my oldest friends asked me to make this for her soon-to-arrive niece or nephew. It was so, so, so exciting to be asked to make something for someone else – all my previous quilts were gifts to family and family have to be nice about home-made gifts don’t they! But making a quilt for someone else to give as a present – eek! Did I mention I was excited?! Oh and really, really worried about messing it up!

My friend decided on the cars and ponies theme because her sister and her husband are mad about cars and ponies (they have a couple of Shetland ponies) so male or female, the baby was going to have a lot to do with both! As we were on a very tight budget we ended up using a FQ with horseshoes on it by Michael Miller, with the other fabric coming from Ikea.

The cars fabric was lovely to work with, but the other Ikea fabric was kinda coarse. I definitely learnt a lesson in fabric quality with this quilt!

I quilted it by machining a straight line down each of the strips bordering the car squares. I changed the colour depending on the main colour in the fabric which meant a lot of stopping and starting and huge numbers of ends to sew in. But I like how it emphasises the block pattern on the back of the quilt (it’s not really clear in the picture below, but hey, it gives me a reason to post a pic of the back!).

And after all the worrying, my friend and her sister loved how it turned out, which was an awesome feeling!

Then a month or two ago, I had an email from my blogging friend Nancy who was wondering where the cars fabric came from. She doesn’t have an Ikea near her, so we did a fabric swap and she made her own cars quilt (pic down the bottom). She chose a more liberated style and I love how we’ve made similar but different quilts from the same fabric!

So that’s my quilt! Thanks for stopping by and a huge thanks to Amy for all her organisation for the festival!

Bee Europa – May block design

Cheryl’s Workshop in Progress is focussing on process right now. That suits me perfectly – I can’t do much on the making front, but boy am I busy planning!

First up are my May blocks for Bee Europa. Beatriz requested we make blocks inspired by these and sent some beautiful fabric (isn’t it wrapped it up all nice and pretty?!). There are two heavy linen type fabrics, one in beige and one in white plus two lighter weight fabrics, both in the same pattern, one in blue and one in red.

I had a quick look at the inspiration image when I got the instructions and had a minor freak out as this is so totally different from anything I’ve made before, so I took a few days to swirl ideas around in my head.

When I’m coming up with ideas, I don’t tend to put anything on paper until I’ve done multiple revisions in my head and have a pretty good idea of what I want. I find that my ideas stick around, even through going to work and sleeping etc so I don’t have to get them on paper right away. Once I’ve got a good idea of what I want, I sketch it out, usually on the back of an old envelope (nice and eco-friendly). This was my first set of ideas:

I really like the second version of the block on the left, but after revisiting the inspiration image, I think it is too structured, so as much as I like it, it’s out. I’m not so keen on the block on the right, but I do like the small rectangles and the way one of them is at a 90 degree angle to the others.

So after a few more days of swirling ideas in my head, I sketched out a new set of ideas. I abandoned the envelope in favour of scrap paper to give myself a bit more space and broke out the colouring in pencils. As I’ve only ever used black and white sketches up till now, it turns out I don’t have any colouring in pencils. I could have sworn I did, but apparently not! So I had to make do with ink pens…

I think this is closer to the look Beatriz is after. I added the rectangles I liked from my first set of ideas into block 2 and have completely redone block 1. The only hitch so far has been with the second version of block 1. I liked the big blue square but realised the fabric I have isn’t wide enough, so had to split it into two pieces in version 3.

So that’s my process. I just really need to buy some colouring in pencils now…!

Exciting Stuff!

I got home to a parcel which the other day, which the postie had cunningly concealed under the doormat. Given that the doormat was left sitting at an angle half off the floor and my first thought was “there’s a parcel under the doormat”, I’m not convinced it was the best hiding place, but it meant I didn’t have to make a trip to get it from the post office, so I’m happy!

Inside the parcel was some awesome fabric from TrueBlueQuiltingNana. We arranged a swap as she was after the cars fabric I used in the Cars and Ponies quilt, and I’m currently after anything pink for my Crazy Baby Jane. And here’s what came:

I’m so excited. The one on the left is totally destined for my Baby Jane quilt and the other two are earmarked for the next girl quilt I make.

On top of the fabric Nancy also sent a quilty magazine. I’m now totally jealous – as well as having far easier access to way more fabric, it turns out the lucky folks in the US have better magazines too! This one had pattern after pattern after pattern. In the magazines over here, we’re lucky if there’s two or three. So all in all, this was a fantastic parcel, thank you so much Nancy. It made my weekend :)

Nearly the most expensive fabric in the world… ever!

I have a compulsion to make this crochet hook holder. I don’t crochet much right now, but it’s on my “to learn” list and I’m sure I’d do more if I had a cute clutch to store everything in *cough*. Anyway I went shopping for some FQ’s for the pattern and also picked up some blue flowery material for (my first attempt at) a skirt.

I’m not quite sure what happened at the till, but when I put in my pin to authorise the £31 (and the display was definitely showing £31), it didn’t work first time and when I entered it again and pressed ok, it went through at £31,000. Cue major panic until the transaction was declined by my card-holder. For some reason they weren’t keen on letting me spend that amount of money on fabric!

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