Sunday, 8 April 2018

Design issues

Confession time. Ok, I bought fabric. I needed a particular type of design for that birdie swap.

But, yes, but. I loved the colours, and the design, so I got rather more of it than I strictly needed. Apart from the fact that they were not exactly going to sell me just three or four motifs, now were they?

And I got some coordinating fabrics too.

And I had an idea for a quilt top using these with some solid alongside.

And then I got to planning.

So, the next thing is to look at how the motif will fit in the item, and to measure the repeat.

This is where it all starts to go pear shaped.

( Interesting reflection from the window there almost looks like a pattern piece... )

The horizontal pattern repeat  is 6". In other words, Quilt-Speak as it were, 5 1/2" finish, maximum. 

Then the vertical repeat is 3 7/8", so that puts us into 3 3/8" finished, maximum.
What on earth can I do with those figures?

Apart from that, either the pattern is not quite printed straight, or the fabric had warped, so it is not quite cut straight. There will be some waste.

So, watch this space, I am working on it! I have some ideas, but.....

Any suggestions out there? Please?

Saturday, 31 March 2018

Little bits...

So I decided to make another wallet, for a daughter. I was not at all sure if she would go for it, but an hour or so after receiving it she was quietly transferring stuff into it, so I guess she was quietly pleased!
 You may notice, this is the same fabric as the bag she was given at Christmas. I think that bag was a tad small, so is not seeing a lot of use. I hope this will be more useful.

This comes from the Zakka style book,  but this time I took fewer liberties with the pattern.

Yes, I did sew the binding onto the outer before I sewed on the zip, which definitely made life easier.

Another time? I would insert the zip pocket before cutting the outer to size, as it was just a scrap tight, so came out overall a little smaller than it would have done.

I love that the whole thing opens out flat,


 And did you see these wee cuties? On the zip pull? 

Dead simple to make- a bit fiddly, but not difficult. A pin from pinterest gave the instructions, but lots of pictures made it simple to follow. 

I am planning a couple more of these, but will need to go and get longer zips than those I have currently in stash.  Who has a zip stash?? Me, I am afraid. Guilty. I hate being stymied in a project because I need a different zip!

And then I spent a bit of time this morning, dressing a wee bear. 

This chap came with a new car. But he was all naked except for a bow. He told me he did not wish to remain bare, as well as bear... so could he please have a waistcoat? 

And here it is. 

Isn't he a happy chappie now? I hope he does not also now demand trousers.

Sunday, 11 March 2018


My birdie pouch came through just as I posted off mine to my partner.  so, here is what I was gifted with,
Would you believe, my brave partner had never installed a zip before. Well, I can tell you, I would never have known. She did a perfect job. 

And look at my goosey heads! aren't they just lovely! I love the bright colours and the 'attitude' they emanate! 

And then there were extras. Wee notelets, flannel printed with birds, and some plushies. 

I think I did very nicely thank you!

And the twist? I sent to her and she sent to me! fair exchange, eh?

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

last swap

I joined a group a wee while back, and have had a few swaps with them. Sadly the numbers swapping have diminished, so now the swaps are done. Not enough folk happy to make and post off to who knows where for the joy of an exchanged swap. So, my final offering for this group was
'Put a Bird on it... and in it!'
 I found amazing glorious rich fabric with a bird, just perfect for putting a porthole into, and showcasing the little chap

I love a sneak peek, so I out up this picture and my partner quickly responded, so I was certain she liked where I was going.  The blue linen I had had for another task, so it was a simple choice to make, and I had a pretty variegated thread which pulled up the colours in the bird fabric.

 I saw a tutorial on youtube, which showed how to make a pouch with multiple pockets. I vaguely followed that, but made my own dimensions, so this ends up with two large pockets, one small zipped pocket and two slips between the small zip pocket and the larger pockets. All fastened with one large zip across the top.

To put a bird in it I looked at owl pincushions here there and everywhere... I looked at how they were constructed and then off I went and redesigned the dimensions to make my own version- thank you everyone out there who has published their own versions!

Basically, you draw an isosceles triangle, then a shorter fatter one. Cut from chosen fabric.  Match the bottom edges, and sew one to t'other, and then sew the other side, wrong sides out , also stitching the top part of the larger one. Flatten him out, and trim the point, then turn. Fold down the top point and stitch firmly to the middle of his tummy. Gather stitch round the base.

Cut out a suitable size cardboard circle- I use the famous cereal packet for this- and cut a circle of fabric for the base about an inch larger in diameter. I then interfaced this circle, and gather stitched the edge, and pulled it in carefully round the card. Press like mad.

Now stuff your Wol, as fat and firm as you please. I used polyester filling, but walnut shells are probably better- just a major dirth of these in my house- and hand stitch the base to Mr Wol. Plump him up, add suitable eyes, and you are done. He is a really quick make.

Confession time- I meant his feathers to point down, but cut him wrong... so he has slanty feathers. Sorry partner.. But she is quirky.   She has been named Georgina, by her new human. Most suitable I think!

I was rather chuffed with the finish. I think there may be one or two more of these before I am done...

  When I was making my pouch I managed to make a boo-boo. I put my bird in facing the wrong direction. hey, it happens. So now, I have a piece that needs using, but is not quite what had been planned.

A few years ago I got a book- given? bought? not sure. called something like Zakka style.. This wallet was in it. not quite the same size, but I adapt most things, so a variation on the theme of the zakka style wallet appears.
I love how it opens out quite flat. You can see my birds facing away from one another. It works for this though!

Again, I think a few more of these may appear shortly.

A couple of owl buttons, and a few other sundries, and my parcel was ready to wing it's way across the Atlantic, which it managed in just under a week...

My partner has received her package, and seems to like it!

This was a secret partner swap, so nobody knows who is sending to them...  Sneaky swap mamas gave us each other! Fantastic sneaky mamas!

I will blog about what I received soon! It was rather lovely... don't hold your breath though.. I am busy just now.. Costumes.

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

So how long does a UFO wait?

There are projects. And then, there are PROJECTS.
You get so far and somehow do not make further progress. They stall somewhere between a partial finish and a complete one. So, the first one is a quilt along. From the lovely Crazymomquilts.  Now I know she was doing it in 2008, but I am not certain when DD2 and I decided to have a go. And I have no idea how I came across it.
 So here, I proudly present.... Drum roll..... Trumpets....  our Star quilt!

Here laid out on the sewing room floor. It has many many faults. Points that are nowhere near pointy, seam allowances that wander to and fro, squares that fail in the first requirement- to be square-ish... But, when I look at it all laid out, I feel good!

 and laid on DD2's bed
 All rolled up- that is obligatory isn't it?

And, in the scene of crime!

I shall see if my DD2 can recall when we got it going, but I reckon it is at least 5 years ago.

And then...

This piece of work resurfaced when I was doing a clear out of the sewing room. This is almost a piece of history. It will have been worked in the days before I had children. That places it over 30 years ago. I worked it, and put it away so that I could do something with it - eventually. I am pleased to say, eventually has appeared! I had just finished the quilt, and this sat waiting my pleasure. Now, when I was doing my clearance, I also found a number of oddments of velvet. I thought one of them might just come in for this treasure.. I auditioned a couple of colours, and settled for this one..

I have mitred corners, while ensuring the nap runs correctly, and inserted a zip at the bottom, other than that, keep it simple.
I suspect I shall rehome it with a friend because of the colourway, but it may just quietly sit in the hall here, and grow good.

Two finishes in one day, and just before the next costume marathon begins! Roll on costumes!

Sunday, 21 January 2018


It is not every day one turns a hundred. However I have just returned from just such a celebration.

So, what does a 100 year old get for a present?
Well, all the usual options are there- flowers, plants,. sweets, biscuits, and so on. but she has a house full of stuff, eats far less than once she did, and, let's face it, the world and his wife will give flowers and sweets...
A little thought is needed.

so this is what has been achieved, for an Irish Aunt, who is a fit and healthy 100 years old!

Celtic lettering for the initials, to ensure it is very personal and then the Celtic style interweaving for a border, in colours I thought she liked. Do not look too hard, there are some errors there, but by the time I realised, I was not unpicking all the way back to that first corner!

a more subtle Celtic design on the reverse

 and the relevant dates on the reverse, too. They were hand chain stitched, and if you know hwo much I love hand sewing you will understand the dedication...
 Applique letters first, that light turquoise is a favourite colour..

and bias tape made from linen for the interweaving.

Happy birthday Haunt! Love you.

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Elephants work!

So, I said I would show some of the goodies I received... this gorgeous item came from my lovely DD3-ish bod! She is most talented, and clearly understands me far too well!

Sharp eyed souls may notice that there is a tiny scrap of moomin related fabric up there at the top...

A lovely mix of strips with all sorts of variations- Liberty, moomin, William Morris... 

 and then, she goes and plonks an ellie on it for me!  I do love an ellie! and that gorgeous hot sun, in a porthole! oh goodie! I have something to help keep me toasty warm at night when I need it

Thank you miss Oh sew Cultured!

Back in the summer I was bemoaning the fact that jam labels were stupid. they are too big- except when they are too small.. they have detail on which I do not require, or they are distressingly boring... Well. Someone was listening. He took photos in our garden, and in a few other places too, and produced custom labels. I now have two sheets of labels, and some more label sheets to print as desired. A lovely thoughtful gift, thank you babe! My lovely DS!

At some point someone was commenting that a lunch bag would be desirable. Big enough to contain various bits and bobs, secure, washable.

So I put on a thinking cap and found a suitable design from Sewmamasew, and here it is

Tweetie birds, and a difficult handle- Probably more difficult because some idiot decided to use wipe clean fabric to do the outer.

For those who wish to know, the lining is in PUL, ( from plush addict), and the outer is from a huge range at our local Dunelm Mill.  It also has a thermolam lining between the PUL and the wipe clean fabrics.

I hope it does it's job.

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