Tuesday, 30 July 2013

It'll Soon Be Christmas

I was very fortunate to be given a charm square pack at the weekend so I decided to make a table runner with it.  I found some very clear instructions by the lady from the Missouri Star Quilt Company on You Tube and set to work.

I began by laying the squares out rearranging them until I was happy with the placement.

Then I stitched them together in rows and pressed them.

I stitched the rows together to make the zigzag runner.

Then I cut some wadding and sheeting fabric for the backing and layered them up.

I sewed around the outside of the runner, leaving a gap for turning, then trimmed the excess wadding and backing fabric and clipped the corners to make it easier to turn right side out.

I turned the quilt the right way out then topstitched all around the outside to make a decorative edging and secure the seams and opening.

Finally I stitched in the ditch to secure all the layers.

The finished table runner, completed in a couple of days.  I think it looks fantastic (it's a bit too long to photograph in one go).

Thank you Dawn for the beautiful gift!

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Oh - It's Green!

Today has been a little traumatic but some very good friends have seen me through.  HUGE THANKS go to Sylvia, Sheila and Dawn for their massive contribution to my sanity and their help in reminding me of the colour of the carpet in my craft room.  Love you!

Thursday, 18 July 2013


This is my other half modelling my recently made tea cosy.  Why do men feel compelled to put everything on their head?!!!!

Shortly before the modelling took place he was challenged by someone who shall remain nameless to see how many Maltesers he could fit in his mouth in one go.  This was rather foolish as anyone who can remember the marshmallow incident would attest!

Sadly this was at the end of the evening when a significant proportion of the Maltesers had already been consumed.  Surprisingly no alcohol was involved!

How many?  Just 18 on this occasion.

Saturday, 6 July 2013


Recently I've entered a phase of finishing off various projects.  Some of them have been projects by themselves, others have followed on from other, yet to be completed, projects ...  here are some of them.

We are in the process of installing a new kitchen so I thought it would be fun to make some bunting to decorate it.  I cut all the pennants out for the bunting and stitched them up but I have yet to finish this particular project - I don't think there's too much of a rush, the kitchen has been a while in the making and there's no sign of completion in the immediate future - but having cut the pennants I had a heap of fabric offcuts, the bits between the pennants.  What to do with them?  The fabric was far too good to waste but wasn't very big pieces.  I mused this conundrum over a cuppa one day and hit on the idea of making myself a tea cosy.  A quick search online lead me to a couple of blogs where people had made their own, unfortunately I can't remember where I found them.  I liked the shape of one cosy but loved the design of another so I amalgamated to two and hey presto, my tea cosy was born.  First of all I cut tiny squares from my remnants and stitched them together as a patchwork then oversewed the seams with one of the fancy stitches from my machine.

 I ironed Bondaweb onto some small pieces of fabric and marked a circle on one of the pieces to make the body of my appliqued tea pot then cut a handle and spout.  Once ironed on to the main piece of fabric I quilted steam coming out of the spout.  For this I had to drop the feed dogs on my machine and stitch freehand which was a little big scary and involved quite a lot of unpicking - I must practise more as it's fun to do but requires more skill than I currently have.

The design I liked also featured a motto stitched on a panel at the bottom so I found some offcuts of calico and some space-dyed thread and having marked them in fade-out pen I set to work embroidering the words.

A further search online found a YouTube video which demonstrated an easy way to line a tea cosy then I added a bit of binding to complete the cosy.  I found a ribbon off a box of chocolates we'd treated ourselves to while we were on holiday earlier in the year and stitched this in place which holds the lining in place too but I felt I also needed something to go on the other side.  Inspiration struck when I remembered the Kanzashi gadgets I bought recently.  I used them to make a fabric flower using the tiniest of the remaining offcuts and added a button from my stash.

I am very pleased to have made good use of fabric that would otherwise have been thrown away.  All I need now is to have the kitchen completed and to have some friends drop round for a brew.

The second project I have finished in the last couple of weeks is my second patchwork bag.  Once again the fabric is all leftover from other projects (in this case I'm using up my friend Sylvia's leftovers http://sylvias-ramblings.blogspot.co.uk/) other than the fabric for the straps and binding and the lining fabric which was in my stash although I have no idea where it came from.  I think it's another very stylish bag and it has already been used to transport a quilt-in-making (more about that very soon!)

The final project for now is a rather quirky owl.  He seems to be a bit of a Marmite figure, some people love him, others dislike him with a passion!  I think he's oddly appealing.  He's made up from a kit I bought last year when I was on holiday in Oxfordshire.  I went to Village Fabrics in Wallingford and picked up several of the kits and projects they were selling (see earlier blog entries featuring a quilt and some chickens!).

I think that's all I have to tell you about for now but I'll be back again presently with some more of my projects.  I hope you've enjoyed reading this and I'd really appreciate any comments you'd care to make.