Sunday, 29 January 2012

Another day, another bag

Hi. I've made yet another bag but I just couldn't resist.
It's from the latest copy of Mollie Makes from a pattern by Little Tea Wagon. I don't feel too guilty for making another bag as I used up some offcuts and didn't buy anything new.

In fact this is the second bag I've made from the vintage yellow fabric (yep old curtain) as I have a well loved swing bag made from it too.
This bag has some miles under it's belt as I've taken it on holiday every year since I made it.
Being fabric it makes the perfect beach bag as you can throw it in washing machine when you get home.
Anyway back to the new bag......

I added a few extra pockets on the inside as I can never find my keys so I have room for my phone, house keys and car keys. Even the lining was an offcut I picked it up for 45p.

I had a mini hexagon flower all ready to applique as well as the butterfly and I'd had the denim 'ruler' ribbon tape for ages but I was brave and snipped it. The lace trim had been taken from a linen tablecloth and I bought a whole length of it. I'd been wanting to use it for while but couldn't find the right project. The same went for the East of India label 'Sewing Mends the Soul' but I was happy to sacrifice it as the last finishing touch to the pocket.

If you fancy a go at making your own messenger bag run to the shop and pick up a copy of Mollie Makes or failing that Little Tea Wagon has some very nice ones in her Etsy Shop

Monday, 23 January 2012

A New Pillowcase = A Fabric Album

I recently bought some new pillowcases and when I unpacked them out fell some cardboard packaging from inside. It looked just like the cover of an album. So I remembered not to leave it out so it was safe from the recycling bin.

Then an idea began to form of how I could put to good use some of my new found quilting techniques and make a fabric cover.
I pieced together some of my favourite scraps and included a tiny crocheted doily that I found along with some decorative scissors and buttons.

The rear view

Rather than using machine quilting I handstitched all the panels and added some ribbon and felt flower details.
Inside I attached a strip of card reinforced with some washi tape with holes punched where I could thread the book rings through. It was a bit tricky but I got there eventually. The cardboard 'album' simply slips into the pockets on either side.
I'm going to use this album to record my sewing projects completed in 2012.

I realise now I should have shown you how the album started life but I did buy a new sheet at the same time so there could be an album number 2.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Somewhere over the rainbow.......

......lay a brilliant binding tutorial at Crazy Mom Quilts. This was the bit I'd been dreading but by using this tutorial it all became a little easier and no where as bad as I'd imagined.
I used this tutorial for a colourblock mug rug to help me create this mini rainbow and practice some binding and of course use more scraps.

News update on the progress of the baby quilt:
I've gone for free motion quilting, not sure I like it but it's too late now!

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

My New Love

Today I have a layout to share dedicated to my new love. You've probably guessed, my new sewing machine.
It also gave me the perfect opportunity to use a White Stuff label that I'd saved. You know, one of those 'I've just got to save this' things that you put away and can't bear to throw out. It was probably more luck than judgement that I found it again but I'm glad I did.

Come on look at those sweet buttons. Admit it you wouldn't have thrown it away either would you?

See you soon with another recycled project.

By the way I seem to be experiencing problems commenting again on blogger anyone else had the same? Sometimes I can't scroll through posts either but I am still visiting and leaving comments where I can. I'm hoping it's just one of those glitches that resolves itself soon.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Scrap and Quilt

Hi. I'm back with my next learning experience in quilt making. With my quilt top finished I now have to move on to quilting and binding but before I ventured to try this on the baby quilt I'm making I wanted to make sure I could master both techniques or at least have some idea about what I was doing.

So a quick scout around Pinterest and I came up with some very helpful advice and tutorials. As always I got a little distracted but it was all good.

This brilliant tutorial allowed me to use up yet more scraps and inspired me to find out about the stippling free motion technique used for the quilting which I found here at Oh Fransson. Some really great instructions which helped me to make this mini quilt.

I really love the process of piecing together all the scraps although mine are a more regular layout to those in the mosaic tutorial. I made a scrappy block too.
These would be great as cushion covers or blocks made into a many ideas.

Things I've learn about quilting:

  • Make sure you have a good supply of thread. It's suprising just how much you use.
  • Quilting the baby quilt is going to be hard work.
  • I understand now why I saw weird photos of people with rubber gloves on when machine quilting. It's to help grip the fabric when sewing and allows you to move it about under the needle easier. I haven't done this by the way!
Next time I'll share what I've learnt about binding.

Monday, 9 January 2012

I'm back with a bit more sewing. Over the Christmas break I hunted out some small projects that I could sew using my new quilting attachments for a bit of practice. It's been addictive fun.
I made the fabric book bag from the latest edition of Mollie Makes and knitted up a bookmark to go with it from a free pattern by Tricksy Knitter. Great for holidays don't you think?
Looking at my fabric I decided I had lots of scraps and after I made the cathedral window pincushion wondered what else I could make from them. After a bit of searching I came across ticker tape quilting. What a great idea, being able to use up all those little bits that I thought might just come in handy and tiny bits of my favourite fabrics that I couldn't bear to throw away.

Of course it also gave me an opportunity to use my new walking foot.....
....... and brought out the scrapbooker in me it was just like creating a new layout. Add a photo and some journalling and it could be. These scraps are sewn onto a background fabric and batting sandwich. The unfinished edges of the scraps give it quite a rustic look but all that sewing was quite relaxing and I tried not to worry if one ended up in not quite the right place or a little wonky. I also found another fantastic technique for using scraps but more on that another day.

This new enthusiasm for quilting has also seen me agreeing to make a baby quilt. So far so good. Deciding on fabric was hard, so many choices.

These are my rows all pieced together awaiting pressing. Again I was able to use fabric that I'd kept just waiting for that right project. See the fabric with the washing line? I made a teddy out of that for a friend who was having a baby. That baby is now 14! Me a hoarder? 

Anyway, I've now got my quilt top finished and ready to move onto the next step, tricky quilting and binding but things I've learnt so far:

  • Piecing together with a 1/4" seam foot saves so much time and frustration
  • Always press the seams
  • Careful planning and calculation help in the long run
  • It looks like using white as a background or sashing could be my style
  • Using a rotary cutter is essential
I'll keep you updated on my quilting progress

Friday, 6 January 2012

A new year and a new machine

Hi and Happy New Year. I was very lucky to find that Father Christmas delivered a new sewing machine to me for Christmas which came complete with a kit of quilting attachments. Just what I wanted.
It can also do free motion stitching which I've been wanting to try for ages. Unfortunately my old machine couldn't do that but I still managed to put it to good use in the run up to Christmas.

So - New Year, new sewing machine I thought maybe I should have a new pincushion too. I took a look at my Sew Perfect board on Pinterest to see what inspiration I could find and here's what I came up with.

The perfect project to practice with and getting used to sewing with a machine without using the foot pedal has taken plenty.
I've really enjoyed making these and although the linen one is my favourite the multicoloured one is good for using up scraps. I've made whole cushion covers made up of these cathedral windows before but being handstitched took a lot longer than running one up on the sewing machine.

If you fancy making one of your own or are just intrigued as to how they are made take a look at the link below the first photo to visit the tutorial.

I'll be back soon with something for the book lover and an idea for using up more scraps.