Never again (well not for several months!)

I took part in my first Friday Night Sew In last night. I’ve been wanting to join in for ages but never found the time but when the sign-ups came out this month, I decided I would make time. I’ve been counting down till Friday all week and even had an easy dinner planned so I could jump right in and get sewing!

I ended up making a taggie for friends who’ve just had their second son. I usually make them from one square of minky and one of velour, but as I was running low on velour, I bordered a square of that in some cute baby fabric.

For a change, I managed to get the ribbons all pretty straight. Normally there’s at least one at a completely wonky angle, necessitating unpicking, resewing and swearing (not necessarily in that order…). But to make up for the ribbon non-wonkyness, the velour was out to get me last night!

First off I forgot it’s not cotton so managed to melt it to my iron. Then it kept slip-sliding as I was sewing seams so nothing lined up correctly. The whole process was a great reminder of why I don’t make these things regularly! I leave enough time for the pain to be forgotten, then think “oh, I know, I’ll make a taggie!”, LOL. I’m sure I’ll make another one as they make great pressies. It’s just it won’t happen for another 6 months!

Stats:

  • 9″ finished
  • 3 ribbons down each side
  • Wide ribbons were cut to 4.5″, thin ones were 5″
  • Finished with 2 rows of top stitching

Completed: Another cathedral window pincushion

I’ve been getting quite a few visitors to my blog looking for cathedral window pincushions and a tutorial to make one as I made one back in August last year. So I thought I would make another one and maybe try my hand at a tutorial whilst I was at it.

It’s amazing the difference a year makes. I found it so much easier to make this one and I think my stitching is much neater and less visible. It is a bit of a monster at 5″ square though – possibly more of a small doll’s cushion than a pincushion!

One of the new things this time round was machine stitching round one of the windows (the blue and brown one). I hand-stitched the other one (the pink and green one) and I’m not entirely sure which I like best. I also used a ladder stitch to close the ends up which looks a lot neater than whip stitching.

Tutorial to follow once I’ve waded through all my photos and got it written up!

Get Excited and Make Things!

I saw this poster a while back and just loved it. Check out the spanner crown – how cool is that!

Original image by moleitau

It’s inspired by the good old British “Keep Calm and Carry On” poster from WW2 and I just loved the twist and how it’s the perfect crafty motto. It completely sums up how I’m feeling, especially now I’ve got my new machine!

And how could I not mention my Janome 7700? I found/made some time on Sunday (by skipping chores!) and did an unboxing photo shoot and, more importantly, a test drive – fun fun fun 🙂 Photos and first impressions to come!

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!

Completed: Minky & Ribbon Comforter

So my minky & ribbon comforter is done. It’s so super soft and snugly – how old do you have to be before you stop using one of these?!

I put it together by sandwiching the loops of ribbon between a square of minky and a square of velour. I then stitched round the edge before turning it the right way out and top stitching round the edge again. But everything kept shifting out of position and one of the ribbons ended up at a completely wonky angle so I don’t think this was the best approach.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned crafty club before (where my friends Anna, Sarah and I meet up for a night of chat and crafty goodness), but I made this at crafty club and Anna was making one at the same time. Her approach was to sew all the ribbons onto the velour before sewing the velour and minky together. It seemed to work much better so next time I make one of these, I’m going to try that.

Oh and mental note for the future. I shouldn’t wear fleece when handling minky because it’s a minky fluff magnet and I was covered in the stuff by the end of the evening!

Completed: The Baby Quilt of Many Redesigns

The label for this quilt says “Hearts and Stars”, but to me it will always be “The Baby Quilt of Many Redesigns” 🙂 As I was labelling it just now I was thinking back over all the ideas I had for this quilt and I remembered that originally I was going to make a Sunbonnet Sue quilt if the wee one had been a girl. I don’t think I could have made anything more different if I’d tried!

I did fairly minimal quilting – just outlined the solid squares. It’s backed with one of the Moda Love U fabrics and bound in a cute alphabet and spotty blue fabric. Oh and the dark blue solid was once a pillowcase before I needed an emergency injection of fabric!

I couldn’t finish without an attempt at an arty photo! I’ve thought my photos are a bit dull so have be trying to take more interesting ones. I like the way this one looks under the top layer of the quilt to the backing fabric!

Completed: Cars and Ponies baby quilt

Well, sneaking in as my final finish for 2009 is the Cars and Ponies baby quilt! This is for a friend’s sister whose baby is due in January. I’m glad this is done because I was getting kinda worried that my friend would ring up saying the baby had arrived early and where was the quilt?!

The quilting is straight lines again (I really need to make time to learn FMQ-ing!). The white squares are outlined and then there’s a single line down the centre of each stripe. Pretty simple but seeing as I was stopping and starting at each stripe, I had a LOT of threads to finish off! Not sure I’ll be doing that again in a hurry!

Merry Christmas (well, better late than never!)

Merry Christmas! I hope you had a fantastic day and santa was good to you 🙂

I got my embroidery finished off on Christmas Eve, and Mum loves it, which is good!

Completed: Colour Wheel Embroidery

Done and lots of fun it was too…

The stitches at the bottom left of the wheel don’t come quite to the edge, but it’s ok because I kept measuring all the way round so that the segments were the same length. Now the fabric’s out of the hoop, the circle looks pretty symmetric and I’m planning on sorting out a frame for it at the weekend.

Big thanks to Amy for her original inspiration and tutorial!

Completed: Heart cot decorations

Just finished these 2 cot decorations for a baby shower on Sunday. They can be tied onto the cot bars (or chairs if you want to take a photo and don’t have a cot).

Completed heart cot decoration 1

Completed heart cot decoration 2

Sorry about the rubbish photos. I’m really struggling to find a way to take decent photos given that there’s not much natural light at this time of year.

The pattern came from Gifts for Baby: 30 Simple Crafting Projects to Welcome the New Arrival which has loads (well 30!) of cool projects in it. Top of my list to try is the pattern for the mini Mary Janes (on the cover of the book). They are just too cute!

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