Monday, 31 December 2012

2012 - The year I embraced sewing...

and became addicted to fabric!!!
I started 2012 by being a bought a sewing machine by my mum and dad and I resolved to sew as much as I could and to feel confident when using it.
One of my main aims was to learn to sew a quilt, and I think I may have just done that!
One mini, three single bed and one full twin size quilts. All in one year!!  I know the Spinning Stars is only a quilt top and is not yet quilted but I'm still pleased to have completed that part!
I also tried to fit in some other projects.

1. Cath Kidston bag, 2. Socks on, 3. Zakka Style pin cushion, 4. Zakka Style sewing kit, 5. My Swoon cushion, 6. Purple Swoon Cushion, 7. Sailing clutch bag, 8. Hexagon pouch inside, 9. Handmade with love Cross Stitch, 10. Kerry's tea cosy, 11. Finished passport holder, 12. All finished and the missing passport arrived!!!, 13. Monthly Make cardi, 14. Kerry's tea cosy, 15. Edie's Flower Jumper, 16. Tote bag, 17. Music Box Jumper, 18. Elephant Softie, 19. Festive Money Pocket, 20. Christmas Tree Skirt, 21. Simple Drawstring Bag, 22. Simple Drawstring Bag, 23. Pouches for presents, 24. Fabric envelope personalised, 25. Fabric Envelope, 26. Shirt bag, 27. HoHoHo Cushion, 28. p Cheeky Christmas apron, 29. p Birds and Bees pouch, 30. pot holders, 31. pot holders, 32. honey cowl, 33. honey cowl, 34. Chinese Takeout Boxes, 35. MillaMIa Gustav Hat, 36. Jacqui P Stamp

I'm amazed and quite pleased it's not all just fabric. A bit of knitting, some cross stitch, a first dress and a hell of a lot of learning!! I've made quite a lot of Christmassy things and am so so proud that my tree skirt won the Sew Seasonal prize, picked by Kate Spain (Yes! I am still going on about it!!). I received my winnings from Intrepid Threads yesterday, I'll share a photo of them as soon as I stop stroking them!!
I've loved joining in with all the sew alongs over the year and hope to join a few more next year. I am hoping to tackle hand quilting and try some more clothing, both for the little people and maybe for me! I have also got an awful lot of unfinished projects that I really need to tackle.

But, for now I'm off to eat more chocolate, decorate a cake and sing happy birthday to my youngest, who turns two today!!! I can't believe how quickly this year has gone.
She was far too busy with presents to smile! 
Happy Birthday Pickle xxxx

See you next year xx

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Ruby Star Wrap ALong - Week 7

Well, this is the last week of the wrap along and I have loved joining in and seeing everyones gorgeous makes. I have ended up with lots of new way to wrap presents and not just for Christmas!!
A few Christmas presents have even been wrapped and already gifted along the way, saving the mad rush near the big day!
This week I have tackled my favourite project from the book, the Button-Down Shirt Bag.
This started life as a very well loved shirt, that had been worn to within an inch of its life. My Husband put it into the charity bag a few months ago, but I pulled it out as I loved the fabric. Yes, I do often rummage through check what he's passing on to the charity shop and save things I like the fabric of or have an emotional attachment to!! (My name is Joanne and I am a hoarder!!)
I didn't have a plan for it then, but as soon as I saw the book I knew what it would end up as!!
I used chambray for the lining and the handles and do wished I'd popped in a magnetic snap now, but oh well!!
My Husband has no idea that I've made this, he did see the shirt on the cutting mat, but I told him I was using it to practise my cutting!!(and he believed me!!) I doubt very much that he would read this post as he has quite enough of me wittering on about sewing, fabric and wool every evening.
So the plan is to use it to give him his presents on Christmas day, it is fairly large so I can get a few in!
I just have to keep it hidden till then. Only 5 days to go! But Im not panicking....................yet!

I'm linking this project up with
Ruby Star Wrap-Along

                                                    Ruby Star Contest

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

A posse or a clutch perhaps?!?

I'm not sure what the collective noun is for a group of zipper pouches? Any ideas?
Or how about blinking brilliant and amazingly quick?! Because that what this pattern was!
It's the Wide Open Zippered Pouch by Anna @Noodlehead. I know I'm a bit late finding this pattern, but I can't believe I faffed around with joining the outer and lining fabric separately before! Why didn't I listen to the raving about this pattern!!
These were all made yesterday evening while my husband watched the football!
The Moustache one is for my brother-in-law.
I didn't box the bottom of this, because I'm popping some CD's into it. The fabric is "Where's my 'Stache" by Alexander Henry and the lining is Weave in Coal from Summerville by Lu Summers. I bought both from Eternal Maker but they seen to have sold out!

The boxed ones are for a few girlfriends and I'm planning on popping a few emergency Christmas supplies in them, like some chocolates, a note saying count to 10!! and maybe a miniature bottle of wine!
I have made these in some favourite fabrics from my stash that I have been hoarding, but must start using!

I used firm interfacing (Vlieseline h250) , as the pattern asked for Pellon 101SF and it has worked well, but the spotty Nicey Jane pouch isn't looking perfect! It's like the interfacing is creased! Has anyone had any trouble like this? Or should I have used a lighter interfacing or a thin wadding or have I not applied it properly? Any help or advice gratefully received!
I'm hoping I get a chance to make myself a large one for my knitting, as it would just be perfect it fit everything in.
The big day is fast approaching and I am far from ready. But I hope to be on top of all the present buying and making by tomorrow and whats not got can stay forgotten!
I hope your preparations are going smoothly!

Friday, 14 December 2012

Ruby Star Wrap Along - Fancy Fabric Envelope!

Blimey, it's week 6 of the Ruby Star Wrap Along and I think next week is the last week!!
I have really enjoyed making things from the book and there is still loads in there that I want to try.
This week I made the Fancy Fabric Envelope and they are genius!!
They were so simple to make and yet again I just love how the book lets you make something in a size you need! So the instructions show you how to work out the fabric required to get the finished size you want!!
These are to give some Amazon gift cards in, so I made them to finish at 5'x7".
The Cherry Christmas one is for my Goddaughter, so I embroidered her name on it and the Joy! one is for my friends son. I haven't put his name on his one, as boy's don't tend to keep things and reuse them (in my opinion!!) and I thought if I don't put his name on it, his mum can reuse it herself! ha!
I'm going to pop a tag through the buttonhole of his.
Talking of buttonholes, I still can't get on with them, you can see it gaping open above the card! I don't know if it's my basic machine or just me, they always seem to look so untidy,  but I saw some gorgeous snappers on IG last night so I will order some for future envelopes!
I off to tackle an enormous list of things I must do, but don't want to!!
As every I am linking up with Sukie and her fantastic Ruby Star Wrap Along....

                                                               Ruby Star Wrap-Along

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Vintage Holiday Quilt Ta-Dah!!

Please be warned, this post is photo heavy as I'm in love with my newly finished quilt and very excited about a win!!

So, I've finished my Vintage Holiday Quilt!!!!! I am super super happy with it, not only is it full of gorgeous Christmas fabric, but it's just the perfect pattern to make me feel so Christmassy!!
I used a lot of Joy! by Kate Spain in the blocks, with some Cherry Christmas by Aneela Hoey. It is sashed in Cloud Circles from Walk in the Woods by Aneela Hoey and the border is Dots Candy Apple (I think thats it's name?!) from Vintage Modern by Bonnie & Camille and the binding is Cloud Circles again. 
It's backed in a butchered IKEA duvet cover, which if your in the UK and have a toddler you will recognise from Mr Tumble!! 
I've quilted it in loops (said loosely!) and it was my first attempt at them! But I figured if I messed it up, the quilt would only be seen for a few weeks of each year anyway!! I saw the quilting on Aneela Hoey's blog and Kristy @ Quiet Play's blog loved the look of it, so gave it a go. 
I got better at it as I neared the end of each row and definitely improved by the end of the quilt. Although, some bits are decidedly wonky and I did have to unpick a bit that had very loose stitches on the back, but it's all a learning curve! 
It fits on a single bed, but I'm not sharing!! 

It spends it's days on the sofa in the kitchen, being fought over by the children and then of an evening I drag it into the front room to keep  me warm! 

Quilt Stats:
Pattern is Vintage Holiday By Camille Roskelley
Size 49 x 61" all washed and dried

And I can see another Christmas quilt in my future ......... and maybe in more Joy! 
As my Christmas Tree Skirt has only gone and been picked by Kate Spain (herself!!) to win a FQ bundle of Joy! in the Sew Seasonal Blog Hop!!! 
I'm so so happy, I never in a million years thought I'd win!!! I'm off to dance around the kitchen and re-read what she said about my tree skirt!!! WooHoo! 

Friday, 7 December 2012

Ruby Star Wrap Along - Simple Drawstring Bag

I didn't get a chance to make anything last week from the Ruby Star Wrapping book, I was spread a little too thin on the time front.
But this week I really wanted to make the Simple Drawstring Bag as I had an idea for using one.
I started with the IKEA Santa Fabric that I had stashed from last year and made it in minutes, but unfortunately it didn't gather as it should!
I did everything as the instructions in the book said, even spraying it with water and it did gather slightly, but not what I was expecting.  
I think the problem was I used a too thick fabric, so back to the stash and sewing machine and these two were produce. One with a bit of Kona Solid at the top and the other with a scrap of Joy! by Kate Spain.
By using quilting cotton at the gathered section, it worked perfectly and I love them. The small one is to be attached to a present with chocolate coins in and the larger one is at this moment at the post office on route to a special person with a gift in it! 
I will be butchering the one that didn't work this afternoon and adding a thiner top to it.
I am really impressed what a little shirring elastic can do to fabric, I've always thought it would be really tricky to use. I kid you not they took minutes to make! 
These bags will be made again and again by me for wrapping presents and not just for Christmas. I think it leaves a lovely bag to be used after as well.

I'm linking these up for the

                                                           Ruby Star Wrap-Along

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Tree Skirt Ta-dah!! & a Winner!!!!

I've finished my tree skirt!! 
I started this on Tuesday when I was stuck in waiting for the UPS man, I was unable to finish the aprons as I'd ran out of the red thread and remembered that I had downloaded this pattern. I had seen all the amazing blog posts during the Sew Seasonal blog hop and knew just what I wanted to make with them, so got cracking on the blocks. I didn't enlarge them, but went with the 5" size, as it meant that I could have more going around the bottom of the tree skirt and wouldn't have to pick between my favourites! 
The pattern was super simple to follow and as I went with the small size it enabled me to use lots of my tiny scraps. 
I had my first go at FMQ on it, and I don't think it's too terrible!! I got stuck in a few points and have crossed over threads a couple of times. 
It was a family discussion as to how big the hole should be and now i'm a little worried that it's too big, but I'll have to wait till we get the tree stand down next weekend!! 
And now to the winner of my 100th Post Giveaway! 
Thank to all that entered and all those new followers out there, but Mr Random picked..........
I didn't know how to get this on the post, so took a photo!!! So low tech! 
Mary who said

Ooo congratulations - love the cushion. What am I making for Christmas? Who knows? I've just got the Ruby Star Wrapping book so I might make some things from there, I'd also like to make some bunting oh and a pile of gifts! I'll start next week?!
WooHoo!! I'll email you after I've attended this afternoons school torture play to get your address and get it in the post to you!!! 

I'm linking my skirt up to 

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

It's Wednesday!!

Time to look at what I've got on the go at the moment and if I've crossed anything off the list!


Christmas aprons.
One is nearly finished (and one hasn't been started yet)! I ran out of red thread yesterday and was stuck in waiting for the UPS man so I couldn't get anymore.

But, I bought another reel this morning and all I have to do is attach the waistband and ties and that is done!

Money  Pockets.
I have three of these to make for crack of dawn on Saturday!

I have cut out the fabric but need more heavy interfacing, so they will have to be done tomorrow!.

Tree Skirt.

I decided yesterday that I needed a tree skirt and had downloaded the these paper pieced patterns a few weeks ago. So while trapped in the house yesterday I made these gorgeous little 5" blocks.

I'm not sure what fabric to put in the centre, but I quite like the white with red dots! What a surprise!

My Vintage Holiday Quilt is all finished and washed, I just need to take some photos and post them.
The HoHoHo cushion is all done and in use!!

Phew!! We've had a playgroup party this morning and have school shows over the next two days, so things are looking a little busy........

Remember, I've got a giveaway on here, it's only on till this evening UK time!!

I'm linking up with

Saturday, 1 December 2012

November Sewing

All I have done is moan to anyone who would listen yesterday that 'November had just flown by in a flash' and 'Where has this year gone!' I've officially turned into my mother (which is no bad thing)!
As a child I can remember my mum saying just those phrases to adults at this time of year and them all agreeing that Christmas would be here in no time. All the time I would be thinking 'we've got ages!' and 'Christmas will never come!'
I feel completely unprepared for Christmas and the fact that Father Christmas takes most, if not all the credit for the work is leaving me feeling quite Bah-humbug! Last year I'm sure I was more prepared and had made a fair few presents by now!
Ok, rant over!
Here is my sewing for November
I've got my Spinning Stars quilt top together and am completely in love with it, but am going to wait to hand quilt that till the new year. Mostly as I've got no time and also as I've not hand quilted anything so am a little wary.
I'm giving away a copy of the book Pretty in Patchwork Holidays here if you would like to enter.
I'm off to work in the freezing cold and this evening as I defrost will be popping over see all the other amazing Fresh Sewing Day posts over at Lynne's blog.
                                                                                    Lily's Quilts

Friday, 30 November 2012

HoHoHo Ta-Dah & A 100th Post Giveaway!

It's my 100th post, nearly December and a Ta-Dah!! I can't quite believe that I've written 100 posts and that people have read and commented on them! It really makes my day when someone leaves a lovely comment with an idea or a great link for a pattern or just to simply say they have liked what I've made or making! And I really feel like I've made some amazing virtual friends though blogging and I think someone deserves a present for putting up with me!
But, firstly (just to drag it out!) to show you my finished HoHoHo cushion!!
It is so Christmassy and the children have been fighting to sit on the chair with it, so thats always good sign to me! I've used lots of the fabric scraps from my Vintage Holiday quilt (I'm binding that today!) like Joy by Kate Spain and Cherry Christmas by Aneela Hoey, and I used two large scraps of the IKEA spots on the back.
It's large enough to fill the armchair and took a 16"x24" pad to fill it! I do love a BIG cushion!
I did fiddle with the end product slightly, as you can see from the book above. The pattern left you with a cushion the size of a bed pillow and even though I like a big cushion, that was just a bit too big for me. So I left the ends off and made it with an envelope back.
The pattern is from a book called Pretty in Patchwork by John Adams aka  Quilt Dad, and although the book has lots of Christmas patterns it gives you ideas how to adapt them. For example how cute would this cushion be with a child's name on it? But, not the name of my middle child who thinks its really funny to keep turning the cushion around so that it reads...........
Mind you thats probably what I will be saying nearer Christmas!!!
Now for the GIVEAWAY!
As I love this book so much and can see lots of future projects coming from it I've bought another copy and am offering it to one of you out there with a Charm Pack of Joy by Kate Spain.
All you have to do is leave a comment, maybe telling me something your making for Christmas and you will be in with a chance.
For a second chance leave another comment if you are a  follower, old or new I don't mind!
Please leave an email address if you are a no-reply blogger otherwise you might miss out!
I'll post it to anywhere that has a postal address, so everyones welcome to join in.
The giveaway closes on Wednesday 5th December at 9pm (GMT) so only a few days to enter!!
Good luck!!

Monday, 26 November 2012

Money Pocket Ta-Dah!

By the skin of my teeth, I managed to get my money pocket finished in time for work on Saturday morning.
Excuse the dodgy photo, but I was running out the door when I realised I hadn't taken a photo and asked The Husband to take one! I was worried if I left it till the end of the day it might have fallen apart! The weather was appalling on Saturday and it didn't stop raining all day, but I definitely felt cheered up wearing this.
This is what I would normally be wearing, so it's a vast improvement.
Photo from The Baggery
The other two ladies that I work with want one now, so I'll have to get busy this week. The only thing is, theres no pattern, as I made it up as I went along. I will have to get the tape measure out and try and work backwards!
The fabrics are Dash Away All by Alexander Henry for the reindeers on the front, red spotty bedcover  from IKEA that I bought and cut up for a quilt back and the green stripe is from last years IKEA Christmas range.
I made the ties extra long so they could do up at the front, as depending on the weather and how many thermals I have on my waist can grow and shrink quite a bit. I used magnet snaps to close the pockets as my brain could think how to put zips in neatly and a spare bit of pom pom trim along the bottom.
Thats one thing of my to do list, but it has ended up adding another two! Argghhh!

Friday, 23 November 2012

Soap Opera Box

It's week three of the Ruby Star Wrap Along and this week I have made the Soap Opera Box!
It was so fast to put together, I used a shoe box as recommended in the book and wrapped it in IKEA Christmas paper. Instead of adding the ribbon around the box, (because I could find one in my stash that I liked!) I made the Newspaper Flower from the book in a matching stripy paper.
It looks perfectly festive, and has already been filled with some Christmas food treats for my sister. It's a great way to wrap and give an awkwardly shaped present, or something fragile!
I'm off to try and finish my money pocket for tomorrow! I'm nearly there.....
Linking up with
                                                           Ruby Star Wrap-Along

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Wip Wednesday!

I feel like I'm sinking a little today after having a look at what I've got in progress! But, there are a fair few Christmas makes in there and some I'm clearly ignoring!
In Progress.

Today I am basting my Vintage Holiday Quilt, not a clue how to quilt it, but its a bit of progress!
I would love wavy lines or some loops, but I need to be realistic as I've never tried anything fmq-ish.

My Spinning Stars are now joined and are a quilt top!
It's not perfect....some points meet and some miss, but I love it!!It is so bright and cheery! It's now hanging around waiting for a nice day to take a photo, which could be awhile seeing as the weather here is grey and wet! I want to hand quilt this, so it may have to wait till the New Year! Any hand quilting advice is very gratefully received.

I've started (I know!!) a Christmas cushion from Pretty in Patchwork.
I've been using the scraps from the Vintage Holiday quilt and wish I wouldn't have used those paler fabrics, but I'm not unpicking it now. I hope to finish this by next week. (I may have bought an extra copy of this book for a 100th post giveaway next week with some Christmas Charms!!)

I've also started (yes, another thing!) knitting a Honey Cowl, the pattern is so easy, it a great tv knit.
I'm using Fyberspates Scrumptious dk in Denim, It is so soft and gorgeous and the colour is stunning.

To Do.
I've got a plan to make a festive money pocket, as on Saturdays I have to work on my family market stall.
It's so cold and wet working outside that I thought I'd make something to cheer me up over the next few weeks. I've just got to sew these together and hope and pray that my plan in my head works!!

My last to do is some Christmas aprons for presents. I got some great fabrics with 30% off from Tracey at Quilt Me Happy. I haven't got a pattern but I'm aiming for a retro look half apron with a ruffled edge.
One will be for my sister and one for a friend, I don't know if they will like them, but who wouldn't love a hunky man or a surfing santa on a Christmas pinny?

I'm linking up with


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