Archive for category Patchwork and Quilting Projects – General

Sewing My Autumn/Winter Wardrobe Part One and a Half

Well, I started in autumn and now it’s winter – tempus fugit and all that.  Plus, I showed you a mustard coloured blouse I made a few posts ago which I counted as autumnal so that’s why this post is numbered one and a half.   Just in case you have nothing better to do than wonder about the title of a blog post.

Anyway, behind the scenes of patchwork reindeer heads, crochet dogs, aprons made from tea towels and other various makes, I have actually been doing some dressmaking with varying degrees of success.

I bought the two most recently published patterns by Tilly and the Buttons – ‘Nora’ a boxy shaped sweatshirt type of top and ‘Ness’ a denim style skirt – mostly because I didn’t have anything similar in my pattern library.  In the case of the top, there might actually be a reason for that.

I’m quite short and top heavy so, if I’m honest,  a cropped boxy shape with stepped hem is probably not ideal for me and I feel a bit swamped by the style.  To be fair, I used some very heavy 4-way stretch black fabric I had in my stash which doesn’t help with the swamping and it doesn’t really work with this top – in fact, I’m not really sure what it would work with.  I think I might have had a wrap dress in mind when I bought it but it’s so heavy it would probably be akin to wearing one of those weighted vests you can get to make you sweat a lot and lose weight which would be both exhausting and not very pleasant for anybody you were spending the day with.  Anyway, I might try the pattern again in some french terry or some lightweight sweatshirt fabric which I did intend to do, thinking I had some in my stash, but there wasn’t enough of it when I dug it out from the depths.

A long distance photo (because I’m not happy with it) but you get the general idea from that and the line drawing.

Surprisingly, I didn’t have a classic ‘denim style’ skirt pattern so the ‘Ness’ pattern seemed to fit the bill.  I went for somewhere between the mini and the midi length.  I used the shorten/lengthen line which is what you’re supposed to do but it seemed to result in a slight pouch around my bum which I could probably fill with one of those ‘make your bum look bigger’ appliances you put in your knickers – and Lord knows I need help in that area – but maybe I’ll just do more squats instead.  Next time, I’ll just chop the surplus length off the end.  Still in my ‘mustard phase’ I chose some corduroy to make it with – which looks more camel than mustard in the photos.  I chose corduroy despite a previous nightmare experience with some black cord which I now realise must have been very poor quality – I found it in a charity shop so who knows where it had been, or how long it had been there,  before it came home with me to wreak its black and dusty destruction on my sewing room.

On the other hand – probably because I paid more for it and it was new – this cord behaved very well with only minimal shedding and the skirt instructions – as is always the case with Tilly & the Buttons patterns – are very well written and illustrated.  It all went together very nicely and I used some contrast fabric for the pocket bags in a bit of a fancy touch that nobody will see unless they prise those pocket tops away from my body and peer inside which, I can’t really imagine anybody doing unless invited.   I was very pleased with the fly front which is my third to date as I made a pair of shorts a few years ago and, more recently, a pair of jeans which will not be discussed here yet as I am still not quite over the experience.

Unfortunately, with just the side seams to sew up, my last fitting showed I needed to come down one size at the waist and two at that hips which then caused a bit of bunching which hadn’t been there before. – mostly due to the fact that the pocket bags were all nicely stitched in place so there were multitudinous layers of fabric being taken into the seams which had been laying very nicely before I actually decided to make it fit me.

(I don’t know why that right hand pocket looks curved on the left bottom corner – it must be a trick of the camera – see below for proof!)

Never mind, it’s wearable but not as perfect as I thought it was going to be with all my nice felled seams, fly front and patch pockets.  Mr. T. even put some rivets on here and there.

I was going to tell you about another make in this post but I would think you’ve had enough by now so I’ll leave it until part 2 (2 and a half??) which will contain yet another mustard make and another corduroy skirt – can you see a theme?

In a complete change of subject in an effort to keep my non-dressmaking readers engaged, my blocks for the F2F block swap have already been received by Esther in the Netherlands (a swap partner a little nearer to home for December), so I thought I’d add two of those on the end to show you.

Esther chose colours to match her garden pots which are a mixture of soft greens, mint greens and grey blues.

This is my first ever Churn Dash block which is surprising only because it’s a really popular block in patchwork and I’ve never done one before.  I used the central square to show off a unicorn because any excuse to show off a unicorn has to be seized with both hands and a sewing machine.

This is the Zeppelin block I’m making for everybody in the swap as well as one for myself in the colours chosen each month so I’ll have another set of blocks needing assembling and quilting to add to the ones I already have 🤔

Back to the sewing room now to continue with a ‘secret sewing’ project I am hoping to have done in time for Christmas – if not, I’ll be joining up to Amazon Prime for a next day delivery emergency gift to go under the tree 🤞

 

 

 

Advertisements

, , , , , , ,

23 Comments

A Scrappy Christmas In November

 

A couple of years ago (could be more) I bought a pattern from Sew Fresh Quilts and made this dog cushion…….

………as well as this block which is yet to be made into anything.

I might make another cushion out of it and put it in the raffle at the upcoming old and disabled doggy fundraiser Christmas Fair, if I get the time.  I think I must have done a similar thing with the first one as I can’t find it anywhere.

Flushed with stitch and flip success, I bought a more Christmas themed block last year but, unfortunately, my Mum suddenly became very ill and such things got put aside.

Looking for a new project to work on with my sewing friend on a Wednesday afternoon, I remembered the reindeer and we started searching through our scraps of brown, black and white fabric – actually quite difficult colours to find as brown and black fabric isn’t something I buy that often  Anyway, we found enough between us and shared out what we had.

The pattern is available here

I must say, it was a different prospect to the dog as those antlers are formed of quite small pieces.  Accuracy is not my strongest point when titchy bits of fabric are concerned and I found trying to keep the seams and resulting larger pieces straight quite challenging which is a euphemism for ‘I undid seams lots of times, had to re-cut fabric on a few occasions and swore a lot’.  No fault of the pattern at all, I must say, but I find working in somebody else’s workroom a bit weird.  For this reason, I’m not that great in lessons or workshops – too many distractions.  I like to have my own things around me and to work at my own pace.   Also, we only meet once a week for a couple of hours and, often,  the project we’re working on goes ‘off the boil’ for me.

Anyway, after a few Wednesdays of plumbing the depths of my Anglo Saxon vocabulary, it was done.

But what to do with a pieced reindeer head I hear you ask.  I’m big on blankets around the place but not so keen on cushions or wall hangings – although I have been known to succumb now and again.

Remember the table runner for my coffee table I made from a Tim Holtz fabric selection recently?

Well, I thought I could make a more Christmassy one using the same quilt as you go method as before but with the reindeer head in the middle and various strips of leftover Christmas fabric either side, thereby using up some scraps – and some of my friend’s too as she had lots more than me.

First I bedecked his antlers with some festive bunting.  Not at all because I was trying to hide the fact that my piecing left something to be desired.  As if!

Then I joined scraps of Christmas fabric  in strips of varying widths on to the backing and batting.

Then I quilted it some more using wavy lines across the width and used a double fold binding stitched down by hand on the back as I do on quilts.

So, I don’t think I have any more Christmas scraps left now – I used up the smaller pieces on the binding.  Result!!

It will look quite festive at Christmas on the coffee table – at least the glimpses of it under the usual covering of bucks fizz glasses, mince pies and chocolates  – once the morning’s over it might get worse 🤣

Oh, and I found a felted bead in my stash of ‘things’  – I don’t know where it came from, but I knew exactly where it could go.

 

Joining in with Kate & Gun’s ScrapHappy Day Challenge which focuses on using up your scraps of fabric/yarn/paper/wooden offcuts/anything leftover.  More details and list of participants here.

Now I must go and convert more tea towels into aprons for sale at the Twilight Retirement Home for Dogs Christmas Fair on Saturday 24th.  I know how to have fun.

 

 

, , , , , , , , ,

47 Comments

ScrapHappy Zeppelins in October

When the new session of the F2F block swap started (details here), I decided to make a scrappy block every month in the colours each participant had chosen – partly so I’d have something to show on Scraphappy day if I’m honest – which I always try to be with you dear readers.    I made a couple of blocks with random scraps then changed my mind and decided to make the same paper pieced block for each person plus one for myself using the remains of the fabric used for them or similar colours from my scrap bin.   I confess the scraps are quite big scraps (more like small remnants ) as anything too small wouldn’t work for the design I’m using.   I’m still putting it forward for ScrapHappy day this month though because the fabric was all leftovers and because I haven’t had time to make anything with smaller scraps as I’ve been in a bit of a dressmaking frenzy which will be the subject of a future post.  I hope Kate and Gun will forgive me for using biggish scraps instead of littleish scraps.  (‘Littleish’ – now there’s a word you can really get your tongue around.  Is it even a word? If not, it should be.)

On a side note, if you think paper piecing is wasteful of fabric – what about dressmaking?  I can’t believe how much goes in the bin and most of it’s no good for scrappy stuff being too thick or thin or whatever.

Anyway, I have adopted a paper piecing pattern called Zeppelin which you can find on Craftsy here as a free downloadable PDF.  It doesn’t have too many pieces which is good when you have to make quite a few of them and I like the clean lines and contemporary look of it.

I started in July with Claire’s colours of turquoise, grey, black and white.

Then, in September, Nanette’s colour choices were blue and blush pink.

I parted with some of my precious ombre fabric for this one.

Moira chose browns and creams with duck egg blue as a highlight in October.

Earlier on in the swap, I was ‘Miss June’ and later made one in my own neutral(ish) palette of greys, creams, and vintage pink.

I still need to make one in Sue’s colours  – I missed making a ‘Sue Zeppelin’ in July.  Her choices were similar to Nanette’s but with white instead of blush pink to go with the blues but, eventually, once I have a Zeppelin in all nine participants’ colours, they will make a small quilt or throw which will be quite a nice souvenir of the 2018/2019 block swap.

The four scrappyish Zeppelin blocks so far flung against my  design wall.  I say, ‘design wall’ though it is just a flannelette sheet held in place by books on my bookshelf – but you get my drift.

Wondering what ScrapHappy is?  Have a look on Kate’s blog here and join us once a month – or less if you can’t come up with a duplicitous way round it like me – well, let’s call it a ‘compromise’.

, , , , , , , ,

38 Comments

An Eclectic Runner

Do you ever have those times when you’ve not even thought about a a new project but, all of a sudden, something pops into your head and you have to start on it there and then despite having numerous others on the go?  Of course you do.

Ages ago, I kept spending loads of money with a company called Massdrop (are they still going?) until I realised the error of my ways and unsubscribed.  However, I will always be grateful to them for my stack of beautiful ombre fabrics

and my thick felted wool ironing pad thingy which is in constant use.

Anyway, one of my impulse purchases from them was a stack of fabrics from Tim Holtz called ‘Eclectic Elements’ which has languished in my stash ever since as I couldn’t imagine any of them in a quilt and keep forgetting about them when I need something a bit ‘quirky’ in a  craft project.

 I decided (all of a sudden as previously mentioned) I needed a table runner for the coffee table in the living room.

My décor – such as it is – in there is not really something calling out for my usual selection of quilting fabrics so I thought these would work being more subdued in tone.

I took out the blues as they definitely don’t ‘go’ with anything in the room and added a couple of toning fabrics from elsewhere in my stash.

The ‘Suchard Chocolat’ piece was in the original Eclectic stack but I had already sewn it in to the runner by the time I’d thought to take a photo because it’s my favourite piece and I used quite a bit of it as the central strip.  My second favourite is the butterflies which might be moths – must put my specs on to read the teensy writing, something I’m finding myself saying more and more often these days.

I was intrigued by a method I saw here where you cut out the backing and batting to size, cut your strips of fabric and lay one centrally, right side up,  across the backing and batting.  Then, you lay the next strip right side down on top of the first and sew a quarter inch seam, then press seam open.  On the other side of the first strip, repeat with another strip and carry on like that, alternately in each direction, until you reach the ends of the runner.

I had this red and cream floral fabric in my stash which I think coordinates well with the other fabrics and also with the room it will be used in which has a red theme going on but not a bright red.

So you have, effectively, sandwiched and quilted the layers at the same time – a sort of alternative ‘quilt as you go’.  You can leave it like this or add some further quilting – which I did, using a very French makeshift template.

I bound it the traditional way with a double fold binding and some plain red from my stash.

I’m surprised how much the quilting pattern showed up once the runner was in position – especially here where the sun was shining right across it.

Oh look, there’s blue in my rug – I could have left the blue fabrics in after all.

I would be drummed out of Instagram for not plumping up my sofa cushions before a photography session.  Still, let’s call it ‘keeping it real’ this time and be amazed there’s not a dog or three draped across it.

So, not a ‘pretty, pretty’ table runner one often associates with quilting projects but I don’t think that would have worked in this room so I’m quite pleased with it.

Now to get back to whatever it was I was supposed to be doing when this popped into my head.

 

, , , , , ,

36 Comments

Big Scraps, Little Scraps And Some In Between

Can a person get addicted to a crochet pattern?  If so, I’m on my way to rehab.  Remember these two Little River Blankets? (pattern designed by Emma Varnam )

The one on the right is made with Scheepjes yarn from the original kit and, to be honest, is still my favourite due to the softer feel of the cotton/acrylic mix and the more carefully planned out colour scheme which the pattern provides.  The one on the left is made with 100% cotton yarn and I made the colours up as I went along.

All the yarn came in cute little 10g balls and, in the original, only one row is crocheted with each ball.  Even so, I still had some leftovers from both projects

Perfect for yet another version using the scraps and enabling me to participate in ScrapHappy day this month.

I am breaking the rules with this one due to the limitations of using scraps and am having to change colour part way through a lot of the rows.  I’m just trying to keep some sort of blending going.

This is it so far,  unwoven in ends and all.  The blue I’m using to create the unifying ripple every 7th row and the eventual edging is the only new yarn I bought for this version.  The 7th row should have been the 5th row but I forgot and didn’t want to frog it so decided to keep it at every 7th – who will know?  Or care?

I think the reason I’m addicted is the pattern is easy, though not totally mindless, so perfect for getting something useful done when I’m Netflix bingeing in the evening. It also keeps me from having a glass of wine or falling asleep – the two usually go together.

A double whammy from the scrap department this month.  I made these two blocks for Kate’s newest quilt project for Ovarian Cancer Australia.  Their colours are teal and cream and Kate likes to indulge her love of puns when naming the quilts.  We’ve had ‘Tealed With A Kiss’, ‘Signed, Tealed, Delivered’ amongst others in the past and this one will be called ‘Go Teal It On The Mountains’.  So, Kate and some of her readers of the patchwork persuasion are making blocks with a mountain theme.  For some time now I’ve had a stash of of teal blues (and similar) kept specially for these projects.  The blocks are assembled, quilted and finished by Kate and then auctioned to raise funds. You can read a bit more about it on Kate’s blog here.

This first block of mine was just a case of joining strips really.

I found the original idea online here

My second block was foundation paper pieced, a method I have come to love.

Free pattern found on Craftsy here 

Kate asks for 12 inch finished blocks and this one was only 7 inches but I found this useful guide on how to enlarge and reduce paper pieced patterns here

Here’s another little scrap

Yuki hunting grass

Joining in this month with Kate and Gun’s Scraphappy Day for some inventive uses of scraps and interesting blogs. If you want to use up some scraps and show what you’ve done with them – could be paper, yarn, fabric, leather, wood, whatever, just let Kate know here and she can add you to the list of participants even if you don’t want to do something every month.   Find more details on Kate’s blog here

, , , , , , , , , , ,

41 Comments

A Question Of Quilts – Well, Two Actually.

Inspired by Cathy’s big, beautiful hexie quilt top in progress she showed us recently, I ferretted around in my workroom and unearthed my box of hexies started a few years ago.  I had bought some thin card pre-cut hexies along with some fabric ones and, filled with the enthusiasm that is always evident at the start of a project, I started making them.

Then I stopped.

Although I did put one ‘flower’ together.

As you can see, this range of fabrics is very retro – it’s Chloe’s Closet for Moda called ’30s Playtime’ but there have been many variations of these so I don’t know which one this was.  They are all along the same lines however.

Then, probably the year after or maybe later, I bought a jelly roll of ’30s Playtime’ which is a different variation but near enough to make no difference.  I haven’t unwrapped it yet but I’m hoping there are more pups and bunnies.

I think I haven’t progressed much with the hexies because I have no clear idea what I’m going to do with them.  I know, almost certainly, I will never have the patience to make a whole quilt with them. So, my question is, do you think I could join the ones I do make into a row – or however many rows I have enough hexies for – levelling that row (or rows) off to make straight lines – then make the rest of the quilt top with the jelly roll strips, inserting the hexie rows wherever they look right?

I also have some larger fabric hexies – just waiting for their paper/card inners – so the rows of hexies would be slightly different sizes.

Any ideas? Please! I have searched Pinterest without much joy as everybody else is obviously far more patient than I am and have mostly made quilts out of hundreds of little hexie flowers or similar.

Now for the second question.

Have you ever used double gauze fabric in quilting?

Double gauze has 2 layers of very thin gauze fabrics fused together, to create a soft, full bodied fabric.   I have some in the perfect colour for backing my F2F blocks which are all in neutral colours with a sort of ‘dirty’ pink – let’s call it ‘vintage’ pink – as a highlight.

When I get around to putting the blocks together, I will be using the ‘quilt as you go’ method for construction which, for the non-quilters amongst you, who probably aren’t reading this anyway, means I will make a wadding sandwich with the top and backing squares and quilt them individually, then join with sashing.

So, as you can see, my hedgehog block is sitting nicely against the colour for display purposes but I just wondered if any of you have any experience of this fabric in quilt making or in any other sewing projects.

Thank you muchly for any ideas, suggestions or general comments.  I know I can count on you.

 

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

36 Comments

Playing With Hedgehogs

Firstly, please accept my apologies if I haven’t commented on your blogs for the past week or so but we drove down into Spain/Catalonia for a break while my daughters house/dog/cat sat and, as one daughter doesn’t live here permanently, we’ve also been having some family time and I’ve been keeping off the screen and sewing machine as much as possible.  Mlle. Tialys the Elder is here for another week but I just dropped in quickly with an update on the F2F third block swap organised by Kate.

During the 2016/2017 swap, I discovered the pattern for Elizabeth Hartman’s Fancy Forest quilt and made a couple of blocks featuring her foxes and also two hedgehogs because they were easily made into the correct size for the finished blocks (12 inches) that this block swap calls for simply by adding a border.   It was interesting matching the colours they had chosen for their quilts to the pieces of hedgehog and each one is unique – I can guarantee you won’t see any of these in the wild.

So, in 2016, Susan over in Texas got this one –

and Claire in France got this one

I couldn’t resist revisiting this pattern for this year’s swap and – bearing in mind the participants who have already received one and the fact that not everybody might like a hedgehog in their quilt (although I can’t imagine why not 😉 ) – I made this blue and white one for Sue over in Washington as one of her three blocks for July.

I’d never made one for myself so, not to be left out, I made one in the neutral colour palette I’d selected as my colour choice this time round.

Plus, a paper pieced favourite of mine called ‘Banded Star’ – a pattern you can find free on Craftsy here.

With the receipt of these brilliantly executed (though not brilliantly photographed) blocks from Moira …….

and these lovelies from Nanette………

I now have all my blocks here and ready to be assembled into one big beautiful quilt or, quite possibly, two smaller fabulous throws.  I chose a neutral palette so that I could display them in the living areas of the house more easily so two smaller ones would make sense.

As usual, with sampler quilts, I will probably QAYG (quilt as you go) and might even have a go at hand quilting this time so you probably won’t see the finished article any time soon but it’s time I tried to improve my quilting skills and this will be an ideal project to do so.  Expect minimalism!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

, , , , , , ,

18 Comments

Scrappy July

Two more scrappy blocks to show you this month.

I’ve decided to make them – or at least nine of them – using scraps left over from making the F2F blocks so, each month I’ll make three 12 inch blocks for that month’s participant and, with the scraps, make a block for my eventual scrappy quilt.  That’s the plan anyway.

Confused? Join the club.

I was ‘Miss June’ and chose neutrals for my F2F colour palette so this is the scrappy block I made after making my own three blocks (well, I’m still part way through the third one but you get my drift).

Sue, from Washington, is ‘Miss July’ and her colour choices were different shades of blue with white.  Some of these scraps don’t appear in the blocks I made for her – the butterflies wouldn’t have been right for instance – but it’s predominantly blue and white so will serve as a reminder of the blocks I made for her.

I have loads of yarn scraps left over from my Little River Blanket  – remnants ranging from 3g to 5g – and I’m wondering what to make with those.  Anybody got any experience using up such things?  I’d be grateful for any ideas.  As I’m making another of these blankets, I’ll have another 48 so the possibilities are endless – aren’t they?

If you want to make use of your own scraps – can be anything, fabric, yarn, paper, whatever – just contact Kate or Gun who organise ScrapHappy Day on the 15th of every month and, if you have something, Kate will link to your blog, if not, nobody will mind.

Here’s a link to Kate’s post this month where you will see a link to the other participants.

 

 

, , , , , , , ,

25 Comments

More Calming Neutrals – Keeping It Real

blah

blah

blah

blah

blah

final blah

 

This was the draft for my next blog post.  I was looking at it and thought it would be fun to show you what passes for my thought process.  Lots of blah, blahs  is how my posts always start and, some might say, how they generally carry on.  So now you know.

I must just put in a bit of real blah though to say that all these gorgeous blocks – going towards my neutral palette F2F quilt – were received in the last few days from (in order of photos) Robin in Australia , Esther in the Netherlands and Kate, our esteemed leader, also in Australia.  Those last two were ‘spares’ sent by Esther and Kate in case I wasn’t happy with one of the other three they sent me.  As if! I don’t call them ‘spares’ I call them ‘bonuses’.

Normal blahing will be resumed as soon as possible.

, , , , ,

22 Comments

A Neutral Notion

You may remember – if not, I’m about to remind you – that I’m taking part in Kate’s Foot Square Freestyle block swap again this year.

This was one of my photos for colour inspiration and I apologise right now for causing the other participants problems with what, I suppose, is a fairly difficult colour palette to reproduce.  I’ve even had trouble finding the right pinks myself so I sympathise.

My reasoning was that a neutral quilt would go with all different colour schemes and would fit in wherever I want to put it.  Also, I have a few quilts for beds which I try to rotate and, this time, thought I might make a couple of smaller ones, or throws, to drape across a sofa back in an arty farty fashion.

Anyway, I was the first out of the hat to receive blocks from the other participants this year and three have been quick off the mark – probably to get my weird colours out of the way – and have sent me the three blocks each that we commit to every month for this swap.

Firstly I received these lovelies from Sue in Washington

Then these three beauties from Kathy in South Dakota

Then, from a little nearer home, this gorgeous group from Claire who is also in France

I try not to be too overawed by the excellence of everyone else’s piecing – it only makes me try harder with mine when I know the standard is this high and, although nobody is going to be the Quilt Police (at least I hope not) I don’t want to disappoint.  Thank goodness it won’t be me that will be quilting their blocks – not my strong point!

I think they’ve all done a great job in interpreting my neutral vision and I’ve already started to think about the sort of thing I want to use for sashing and backing.  I’m wondering about a darkish grey marbled with pink – if I can find such a beast.

I’ve only made one block for myself so far – I thought I’d wait until I see what everybody else makes first so I can go with the predominant flow at the end.  I’ve been making Miss July’s blocks instead but I can’t show you those as it would spoil the surprise.

If anybody knows where I can get marbly grey and dirty pink fabric, please advise 🙂

, , , , , ,

17 Comments