• Welsh warmers

    Thursday, 22 January, 2015

    With the cold weather continuing I have decided to use up my stash of beautiful welsh wool fabrics to make a lap quilt - but before I show you that - here is my little bag, from last week, finished with a lovely pair of handles -
     I was so pleased to find these handles locally - and they were so simple to hand stitch in place as the holes were pre-punched in the leather heart.
    I think I will make some more of these bags - experimenting with different size squares to change the size of the bag.
    So now for the lap quilt - it's only cut at the moment - and I'm not sure how big it will be, or if I'll be able to use all of the different colours together -
    I have cut out rectangles using Bigz die 658113 - 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" unfinished
    and squares using Bigz Die 659838 - 4 1/2" unfinished square -
    This should be a very quick quilt to make - and I'm going to use a fleece fabric for the backing - so next week I hope to have a quilt to show you.
    Keep warm - and keep sewing.

  • Little Welsh Bag

    Thursday, 15 January, 2015

    What a cold week! - I hope you're all wrapped up warm and cosy. Last year I went on holiday to Norway - and it was very cold - but the Norwegians have a saying - there is no such thing as bad weather - just the wrong clothing - so with that in mind I've found some of my beautiful welsh wool fabrics.
    Now I know a bag won't keep you warm - but it made me feel warm making it ( and I still have quite a bit left so it may become a winter lap quilt!)
    I know it doesn't have any handles at the moment - but I'm trying to find some that I really like.
    Now this bag is so easy it only takes a couple of hours to make - and can easily be made in different sizes - just by changing the size of the squares used.
    For this bag I used the 4" finished square along with the Big Shot Machine and I cut 17 squares in a mixture of colours -
    I laid them out in 5 rows ready for stitching together -
    I pressed the seams flat open to reduce bulk, and then joined the rows together.
    As the wool fabric can stretch a bit I decided to use an interfacing for strength ( you could use a wadding but that will add bulk to the bag) so I used the stitched shape as a template to cut the interfacing, and then cut the lining as well.
    Pin the interfacing to the wrong side of the bag, and quilt to keep the layers together ( I stitched in the ditch) and then join the 'v's together -
     pin the first 'v' matching points A together, and then stitch from A to B, and then match point AC to C and stitch to D
    Here's a photo so show you how that should look -
    Repeat with the other side of the bag, and then repeat with the bag lining.
    Next join the side seams - but only half way ( which is where there is a seam to make it easy)
    Repeat with the lining.
    Turn the bag right side out, and put inside the lining ( which is wrong side out). Pin the edges together and stitch, leaving an opening to turn the bag right side out. Stitch carefully and then snip the seams at the 'v' at the middle front and back of the bag.
    Turn the bag right side out and then slip stitch the open edges together.
    Now all that remains is to attach straps - you can make straps from matching fabric, or you can buy ready made straps - which is the way I have decided to finish my bag - but I haven't found what I want yet - but hope to have them ready to show you next week.
    By the way I found my welsh wool fabric because I tidied my sewing room - it's not quite ready to show off  - but almost everything now has a place and I can walk right across the room, and use my empty table for sewing!!! - now that is a win for me.
    As ever it's time for a cup of tea, and then I might just see if I have enough wool left to make a little lap quilt.
    Bye for now.

  • Very quick flower quilt

    Thursday, 8 January, 2015

    I know this will look like a cheat - it's quick because it is only 50cm square - it's a quilt for my grand daughter Abi, it's her 4th birthday next week and I've bought her a dolls bed - so I had to make a little quilt -
    As you can guess she likes pink and purple.
     As I mentioned last week I really like this die - so it was an easy choice. the fabrics are all from my stash/scraps - I fused adhesive web to the back of the fabrics and cut 2 sets of flower, centre and leaves from each fabric.
    I cut 2 pieces of white fabric and 1 piece of wadding - 52cms square - and stitched them all together - leaving a portion of one side open - so that the quilt could be turned right side out. I slip stitched the open edges together.
    I then randomly arranged the flowers, centres and leaves, and fused them in place.
    All that remained was to machine stitch the flowers, centres and leaves in place using a straight stitch.
    All that remains is to make a little pillow - and it's complete.
    So how have I got on with sorting the sewing room? Well it's not completely sorted - but I can see a lot of the carpet now, and the piles of things to be sorted are diminishing - so I hope it will be one last push this weekend.
    One problem that has emerged from all this sorting and tidying is that I have found quite a few unfinished projects, and lots more that haven't yet been started yet - so I need to exercise some discipline and get these stitched before starting lots of lovely new things! I'll keep you updated with progress.

  • New Year New Dies

    Thursday, 1 January, 2015

    Happy New Year to you all, and yes I really am writing this on New Year's Day!
    I've decided this year that I'm going to make just one resolution - I'm not going to the gym or starting a diet - I may do these later in the year - but not while outside is cold, and lovely stews and deserts with custard are so much more appealing than a salad!!! - so this year I am going to delay these things until the weather is warmer.
    So what am I changing this year? - I'm going to make a real effort to keep my sewing room tidy - now that may not seem much of a challenge - but then I've never let you have a glimpse of it have I now. I am still in the process of tidying and sorting - but with the purchase of one more shelf I'm quite confident that the muddle will be a thing of the past. The significance of this will be that I will be able to put my hand on any die that I want to use, and be able to sort quickly through my fabric to find just the right one for a project - instead of spending ages trying to sort through the chaos - I may even be able to show you my sewing room soon!!!
    But for today I want to show you  new dies - well they came out in the Autumn - all are designed by Stephanie Barnard and I can't wait to start decorating things with them -

    I love the slightly quirky flowers and the irregularity of the hearts and with Valentines day only about 6 weeks away, and then Mother's Day and Easter I am sure these dies are going to become firm favourites. I know I will be featuring them in future blogs - so watch to see what I create with them.
    That's all for this week - now back to the sorting and tidying.


    Thursday, 25 December, 2014

    I hope so far you have enjoyed the day - and like me managed to make and prepare everything that needed to be done, and that you have had some time to relax and enjoy the meaning of the day.
    It's just about time to put the kettle on and enjoy a nice cup of tea - and here I am showing off some of my makes from the previous weeks ( sorry I couldn't resist making a matching tea cosy ) -
     also in case you notice how light the photo is - I took the photo early - knowing that today day would be a little too busy to stop and take a photo.
    That's all for today - and the next blog will be on New Years' day - 2014 has passed so quickly - and we don't know yet what 2015 will hold for us - but I do know we have some lovely new bigz dies coming out and I hope to be able to share more ideas and projects with you over the coming months.

  • Baubles before my eyes!

    Thursday, 18 December, 2014

    You remember last week when I said I hadn't done any shopping or writing of Christmas cards - well - I still haven't started the cards - but fortunately my husband has - and all the cards that need posting have been written! I have bought some presents - so I'm still fairly confident that I can sleep sometime between now and Christmas eve.
    So this is my final offering for quick makes for Christmas - using another die designed by Tim Holtz  - Retro decorations otherwise known as Christmas Baubles  -
    and I've used it on a place mat for the dinning table and also on a hand towel - which can either be the finishing touch to your festive decorating - or an easy small gift for an emergency -
    I used the same die and method for the towel and the place mat - fusing web to the back of the cotton fabric before cutting using the die and Big Shot.
    For the place mat I pinned and stitched some narrow white and silver ribbon in place -
    and then positioned the baubles- fused them in place and stitched around the edges. to complete I tied 4 small bows with the ribbon and stitched in place at the top of each bauble.
    For the towel I only used the 3 oval baubles and placed them along the non looped border, fusing and stitching them in place, and then added a small bow to the top of each one.
    So that is my last pre Christmas make for this blog - I hope you like these simple ideas.
    Now I have to layer up and quilt a lap quilt for a friend and them make 3 dressing gowns for my grand-daughters - the kettle is on!
    I hope you all have a lovely Christmas, and manage to relax and enjoy this very special day.

  • Christmas present

    Thursday, 11 December, 2014

    Is it really only 2 weeks until Christmas? yes it is and I haven't really started my Christmas shopping, or written a single Christmas card yet. At this point I have the choice to panic!! or roll up my sleeves and get started. Seeing as the first option will take me to next week with nothing done my sleeves are being rolled up and the fun begins - but first I have to help my colleague Kayleigh with a cushion for her niece for Christmas.
    To begin we cut the fabric for the cushion front - 45cms by 35cms from Little Red Riding Hood fabric. For the back we cut - one piece of red and white spot, and one of plain red - both measuring 45cms x 30cms.
    We ironed fusible web onto one side of the plain red fabric before cutting out the letters, once cut Kayleigh positioned the letters onto the cushion front and ironed them in place - now because Kayleigh hasn't done any sewing I stitched around the letters for her.
    We cut 4 circles of plain red using the 2" circle on die 659845, to use to cover 4 buttons for the back fastening.
    A double 5cms fold was pressed along one long side of each of the fabrics for the back of the cushion. Using the red spot piece we marked the position for the 4 buttonholes -
    Once the buttonholes were stitched, through the double fold of fabric, the buttons were sewn onto the double fold of the red fabric, to match the buttonholes (the fabrics overlap by 5cms).
    The cushion back and front were pinned right sides together and Kayleigh, carefully machine stitched around all 4 sides, and then turned the cover the right side out.
    Here is the cushion - and Kayleigh's smile just shows her sense of achievement ( next year she might attempt a small quilt!)

    A good evenings work!
    Now this only took a couple of hours for Kayleigh to make - and if you are confident sewing then it could be made in about an hour - so their really is still time to make that special gift.
    Now where is my pile of Christmas cards to write?

  • Snowflake placemat

    Thursday, 4 December, 2014

    It's December - and the Christmas quilt is complete -  not only am I pleased with myself for completing it - I also really like the quilt -
    and so to these little cuties -
     - as you can imagine  the excitement is growing - I think the Christmas tree might have to be put up and decorated this weekend!!!
    So now the adrenaline is flowing and maybe just a touch of panic can be felt - how about a really quick easy present to make?
    I have 'discovered' this beautiful snowflake die - - which cuts fantastic snowflakes -
    So I have bought some ready made place mats, and a table runner, and with the aid of some fusible web, and my sewing  machine I have embellished the mat in a matter of minutes -
    Now if this colour co-ordinated with my china I would be keeping this and not giving it as a gift!
    If you can't find the colour you need in ready made then there maybe time to make it all - it depends just how crazy your life is at the moment!!
    I love this die so much I'm going to play with some other ways of using it.
    We also have another snowflake die that I have used to make some bunting - -

     This is again a very quick make - I fused to layers of fabric together to make it double sided - and then I stitched them together using  machine - stitching down the middle of each snowflake and leaving a space between each one.
    Honestly I could just keep using these 2 dies over and over again!!!.
    So next week I  hope to have some more quick makes for you to enjoy - until then I think it's an evening with some mulled wine and soft candle light -mmmmm can't wait!!!


  • Scandi Star Christmas quilt

    Thursday, 27 November, 2014

    Hello there - I'm happy to share that the Christmas quilt is coming along very nicely - and here's the photo to prove it -

    and here is the complete top -
    As each block is 16 1/2" this quilt only needed 12 blocks! and so the quilt can be cut and pieced in a day -add another day or a couple of evenings and this quilt will be complete - there is still time before Christmas!!
    I used 12 different fabrics from Scandi Christmas fabrics and needed 40cms of each, and there is some left to create a pieced binding.
    Cut the following pieces from each fabric using
     1 x 8" square die, , and the Big Shot Pro ,

    With the Big Shot and die 657520 - 8 x half square triangles - ,

     4 quarter square triangles,

    and 4 squares -

    Mix and match the fabrics - I used dark reds with light greys, light reds with dark greys - so that each square is different.
    The piecing instructions are on my blog for 13th November.
    When the 12 blocks are completed, and pressed, lay them out in 4 rows of 3 blocks each. 
    Join the blocks together to complete the 4 rows and then join the rows together.
    I will probably machine quilt for speed and then make a pieced binding to complete - I hope to have it ready to show you completed next week - and maybe some little girls snuggled up under it.
     Well that will be another first for me - a Christmas quilt - hope you like it.

  • Blog hop - Advent cones

    Thursday, 20 November, 2014

    It’s that time of year for the blog hop – and as I prepare my contribution I start feeling excited about what our other bloggers will make – I can’t wait to see.

    Here's our Blog Hop line-up:
    Monday 18th November: Jo Carter 
    Tuesday 19th November: Katy Jones
    Wednesday 19th November: Jessie Fincham
    Thursday 20th November: Angela Southey
    Friday 21st Trudi Wood 
    Saturday 22nd November: Mercedes Jiménez Campuzano

    ... And to celebrate this festive Blog Hop, we have a giveaway with a selection of fantastic dies and the Big Shot™ Machine up for grabs! Click here to enter 
    So here’s my contribution – I’ve been thinking for a long time about making an Advent Calendar – but wanted to make something slightly different – this year I had this idea – hope you like it – I know my grandchildren will!
    So here they are! 

    Advent Cones
    You will need about 75 cm of fabric for the circles and about 1.25m of fusible interfacing.
    For the numbers you will need about 15cm of contrasting fabric.
    You will need 10m of ribbon cut into 20cm lengths ( you will need 48, two for each cone).
    I used the Big Shot Pro and die to cut 24 circles in Christmas fabrics and 24 in fusible interfacing. I fused the interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric circles.
    I used Tim Holtz Word Play die to cut all the numbers 1 -24 , for the numbers I fused some fusible web to the wrong side of some Michael Miller Fairy Frost fabric and then cut out the following quantity of each number ( remember to lay the fabric RS down to cut out ),  -2 x 0, 13 x 1, 8 x 2, 3 x 3, 3 x4, and 2 each of numbers 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9.
    Fold,  the circles in half to create semi-circles, press the fold and then fuse the numbers in place - 

     (as these are only used for a short time I haven't stitched the numbers in place but you can if you want to)
    Pin 2 lengths of ribbon to each semi- circle  - and zig-zag stitch around the edge, and across the ribbons.
    Overlap the straight edge of the semi circle, by about 4cms/ 1 1/2", to create a cone, pin and straight stitch in place photo 4

    Your advent cones are now ready to fill and enjoy, and they are large enough to put more than one chocolate in!!! I have made the ribbons to be tied for hanging so that you can hang them anywhere you like - so if you don't put your Christmas tree up until part way through Christmas you could hang the cones around the house - in a sort of treasure hunt. Have fun.


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