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

                                                           



Friday, 16 November 2012

Elephant Softie

It's week two of the Ruby Star Wrap Along and this week I have picked the Elephant Softie to have a go at. It looked so cute in the book and I knew it was something that I would definitely use.
The idea is that you can use him or her to pop a gift card in the cute little pocket on it's back.
I used some gorgeous elephant fabric by Daiwabo for the body and then some Joel Dewberry Honeycomb and Aneela Hoey Sherbet Pips for the pocket.  
I personally think this would be an amazing way to give money or a gift card for a new baby! It took no time at all to sew together and I think he looks very cute!
I didn't make it the recommended size, but shrunk it down by printing the template two on one page. So he can't fit the card in but I can use him for money, which was what I need him for.
I think one of things I love most about this book is that the patterns are so adaptable. You don't have to stick to their sizes rigidly and a lot of the patterns actually show you how to make the item to the size you need! Also you are encouraged to use scraps of fabrics and recycle lots of household items, not keep buying.
I'm off to link this project up in the hope of winning one of the wonderful prizes in the wrap along!! Please pop over here to see all the other projects that are being made.
                                                         Ruby Star Wrap-Along
                                        

Monday, 12 November 2012

Decision, Decisions........

Yesterday I managed to finish the last four blocks for my Spinning Star Quilt, but this now poses the question how do I lay them out?
With a little help from the family we tried 3 different ways.

The Organised Random


This one, the children were given one of each colour for each line and they picked the placing.

The Completely Child-based Random

This time the children were given free rein!!! I locked myself out of the room for this and resisted moving some before I took the photo.

The OCD

This was planned to within an inch of it's life by me!!

Everyone in the house had an opinion, even The Husband and he hardly interferes in fabric decisions as he said I normally ignore his suggestions!! Anyway, he felt the OCD took the eye away from the stars and focused on the  line of pink circles. Whereas The Organised Random was very balanced!!
So, what do you think??? 1, 2 or 3?

Also, I have managed to get a photo of my Vintage Holiday quilt top all together.
And I love it, it's hanging in the hallway and every time I look at it I burst into a smile. It's just so cheerful!!
I now need to pick a backing and was going to piece something but can't be bothered. I had a peek at Ikea's fabrics and spotted this music one for £4 a metre, I just wish it was the music for a Christmas tune!

                               MARGARETA Fabric IKEA
Or this bedding set that I could cut up for £15    
                              STENKLĂ–VER Quilt cover and 2 pillowcases IKEA Quilt cover with concealed press studs; keeps the quilt in place.
They normally have more Christmas fabrics, but there wasn't any on their website, I fear a visit may be needed. Anyone have any other ideas for me? Help!!!

Friday, 9 November 2012

Fabric Wrapping!!

I have a thing about wrapping presents nicely! I don't care if it's money in an envelope, a gift card or a handmade present. A bit of time and care in the wrapping can make all the difference and I'm known as a bit of a wrapping control freak, especially at Christmas!! I always go with a colour theme and all adults presents are wrapped in coordinating paper. All the children's ones are wrapped in the same fun paper  and I have to pop a decoration or chocolate santa on the present with the tag as an extra thing to eat or use year after year and although I have very little control over Father Christmas' wrapping department, his also always arrives very well presented!
So, when I saw the Ruby Star Wrapping book I knew it would be a book for me and ordered it and loved looking through it. Then last week I saw that there was going to be a Ruby Star Wrap Along and I knew I'd have to join in!!! It's hosted by Amy and each week different bloggers are showing their take on an item from the book. This week it's Anna at Noodlehead and the item is Chinese Takeout Boxes.
Now, I fear I may have got carried away, as I loved making this project so much I made three!!

Yes, two in the regular size and one small! The great thing about this book is that it gives you a link to print out the templates. So I printed one at regular size and one with two items on one page to make the tiny one.
They were so simple and no sewing required!! I just know they will be great at Christmas for small items like jewellery, sweets, for gift cards or even homemade treats like cupcakes or rocky road! And I even think they will look great as decorations around the house or could you imagine 25 of these as an Advent Calendar.....................ok, I'm getting carried away again!!

I know that Christmas is months and months away (buries head in the sand!!) and I haven't bought a thing, but at least I know I've got a few boxes for last minute money or gift cards!!!

                                                                Ruby Star Wrap-Along
                                           
Oh, and please remember to go and have a look in the Flickr Group

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Dress Ta-Dah!

Woohoo! Watch out I'm on a finishing roll......I've finally manage to get my backside into gear the Music Box Jumper dress finished.
After bribing the model I managed to get a good idea of the length it needed to be and was able to hem it and do the buttonholes!!



I went for multi coloured buttons as the Chambray is quite plain and then it will go with all different coloured tops and tights. I forgot how much I hate buttonhole making, when I make it in the corduroy I may even go for poppers as my sad excuse for buttonholes really spoil a lovely dress! 
I know this was meant to be a practise dress but I'm so please that I made it in wearable fabric, so that it can be used, rather than the muslin that I was planning on using. 
So, the pattern was very straight forward and is for beginners. I haven't followed any dressmaking patterns since textiles in school and I still found this so easy to follow. It's got a full glossary for all those technical terms that I never knew and lots of advice can be found on the Oliver + S forum from people who have made the pattern. 
I did have trouble with the yoke lining up with the skirt, My yoke was bigger than the skirt and I didn't realise till the last minute, so I just let out a pleat slightly on either side of the back panels. But that does mean that on the side the seams are not inline, as you can see! 
Next time I will think of this earlier and adjust the pleats on the front a tiny bit each and that should make them join up better. I loved that the pattern asked you to hand sew the inside of the yoke, so the inside looks so neat. 
The pattern gives you sizes from 6months to 4T and I made it in 2T as Rose is 22months. I thought I had shorten it a fair bit, but when I used the buttonhole guide it was the exact length it should have been. 
It fits her wonderfully with some space for growing (which she is doing at a scary rate) and she received many compliments on it when she wore it and I didn't tell anyone I'd made it.
I will definitely be making another dress, once the fabric budget allows! Now, where did I hide my card!!!!

Monday, 5 November 2012

Tote Bag Ta-Dah!!!

So after working away on Wednesday I finished the tote bag for my friends birthday!!
I have seen these bags popping up all over blogland due to the Mouthy Stitches swap and I fell in love with one that Liz over at Dandelion Daydreams had made several weeks ago using the Japanese + and x block. So using this super easy tutorial I made this bag!
It came together really quickly, the longest part was picking the fabrics and I made sure that I used lots of favourites in there from my scrap bag. I used Weave in Black from Summersville for the main body of the bag and Circle Dots in Lime from Modern Whimsy with more Weave for the lining. 
I added a small pocket, but I do wished I'd thought of putting a magnetic snap in it! But oh well! My friend loved it and was pleased to receive a homemade present. I always think it's so hard to give handmade presents, I worry I'll look like I'm being tight or trying to show off! Which couldn't be further from the truth. Also, my friend was an amazing textile student when we were at school so I was a bit worried she would see any fudged bits. 
But, it came out so well, I'm already thinking of making some unquilted ones to use as gift bags for christmas presents. You can make them any size to fit larger presents, or to group families presents for traveling. I've got loads of Ikea Christmas fabric left over from last year already in mind! 
Right, I've vowed not to start anything new until I tackle some of my wip's!! So I'm off to bury myself in unfinished projects!! 

Thursday, 1 November 2012

bye, bye October!

So, it seems that October was the month where I didn't finish anything! I started lots and thats probably half the problem.....

Spinning Stars, Vintage Holiday,  MillaMia Wrist warmers and Music Box Jumper Dress with a cute model. 
As you can see from the mosaic I nearly finished a few bits, and I have already written a long list of stuff I have to start finish in November, wish me luck. I'm off to hem that dress if I can only keep the model still!
I'm linking up with Lynne's Fresh Sewing Day

                                                                         Lily's Quilts
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