Finished Quilts

Thursday, 20 March 2014

the gift of giving

In a blatant move to avoid some seriously late bee blocks (top of the list now I promise), my sewing over the past week or so has focused on gifts.  Latest finish but first up, my dearest friend hit some dizzy heights last year after a hard slog and I've only now managed to make something to say how proud I am of her....

I got the exterior fabric from Spoonflower - it's by Patty Sloniger and the flowers are pretty big (5.5" tall).  I wanted to showcase them so needed to draft a pattern that would be big enough to do so.  Cue lots of googling and remembering that the best tutorials helping you draft your own pattern are from Rebecca Lynne, Lisa UHandbag and the lovely Emily.  Using all three, I managed to make something that fit really well into the frame (7" x 3.5"). I meant to square off the corners but in my excitement, I forgot #oops.

The interior fabric was gifted to me by a lady with a beautiful soul and it felt right to use it for someone who is similarly blessed.  That makes me insanely happy.  I just need to wait for the glue to dry so I can clean up the frame before sending it on its way.

Next up, a gift for the kitty fabric lady who had a significant birthday recently - it was a bit late (obvs.) but it has been received so I can show it now....

mirror balls and tula!
I bought the mirror ball fabric from Kerry and promptly forgot all about it until our recent guild get together where it was handed over.  The Tula Pink was also gifted to me, this time by the lovely Liz,  so again it felt right to use it here.  Again, I had to make a new pattern for this frame.  I had the baguette purse pattern from Lisa UHandbag already but that is for a smaller frame (6"x3") so I took a punt and printed it out at 110% and just went for it.  It worked out pretty well, shockingly, just some little puckers along the top where it was slightly too long for the frame but the sides fitted perfectly, which has always been my issue with that pattern so #phew. In my rush to get it in the post, I wrapped it and posted it before realising that I hadn't done the glue picking part or added the couple of little mindings that I had sorted. I'm such a numpty.

Finally, our next door neighbours have been having some big kitchen renovations that meant scaffolding in our drive and other inconveniences.  But it's all done now and they had a big party to show it off last weekend.  I couldn't go as I was at the ballet (Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake - chuffing awesome BTW).  They were kind enough to give the wee man a Christmas pressie as a way of thanking us for helping them out so I thought I'd make some big place mats as a well done for getting through the last 6 months.....

they're pretty big... 18" x 12" ish

front and back
I used some IKEA home dec fabric for the back and some some linen IKEA for the front, along with some Flora and Fauna and Kona Teal I've had for donkeys years.  They have been gifted, I don't know if they like them or not #heyho.  I only recently realised that they have been calling me Marianne for the past 7 years - I thought I was just not listening right!  They know my actual name now ;)

Decks are being cleared for another bee block marathon but probably not before a wee man free weekend in Edinburgh this weekend #woopwoop......

Linking with Sue and Brit Sewing Thursday Linky

Just Sew Sue

Saturday, 8 March 2014


Finally, the lurgy is getting bored with me, I think!   What it has taught me is that I can't sew when I'm poorly - mistakes happen more often than normally.  I am also regretting not taking my pelvic floor exercises during my pregnancy pilates classes more seriously #TMI.

Anyway, this morning I feel able to sew and add up so have started my swap pouch.  The East Midlands Modern Quilty ladies are having a swap with the Saskatoon MQG.  I wanted to try out a bit of fabric manipulation and this is what I've got so far:

 Not the best photo, obvs.  But here's a wee tutorial on how to create this effect.

I wanted to have 3 pleats and for each pleat to be 1 inch wide so cut the following

3 x 1.5" essex linen
2 x 1.25" liberty fabric (you could make these a bit wider if you want)
2 x 2.5" liberty fabric

Sew these together so you end up with....

I added the rest of the pouch fabric on either side

Then using the seam on the first pleat as a guide, mark a line 0.5" to the right of the seam

I used a frixion pen - I hope you can see the lines
Fold the pleat in half, lining up the seams, pin and sew....

Repeat for each of the pleats and you should end up with this....

Then find some nice thread (perle or similar) and start to smock by pulling either side of the pleat together and sewing a few stitches over and over.  I used red thread and started the stitch about 1/8" from the seams on the pleat...

You could add buttons at this stage if you want.  You could make the smocking uneven.  Lots of options.  I am still trying to decide whether to so the same for the other side or not.

Anyway, I hope you are all having a good weekend. I'm off do do some ...ahem... exercises... and clench!