Monday, 14 April 2014

Crystallised - cushion finish

A long time ago I made a cushion for Princess' friend for her birthday. At the time I promised to make one for Princess, but never got around to it.  About a month ago I bought a feather inner at Spotlight, which then sat on the back of the couch waiting to have a purpose in life.

One hot pink cushion extravaganza

During the week, Hubby and princess spent some time going through Pillow Pop to choose the best cushion design. Princess decided on a half square triangle design called Crystallise. I think she has great taste, because it was one of my favourites too.  After all my recent hand sewing, I was keen to get on the machine this weekend.

All. The. Cushions.  Including mine - huh.

First I cut 100 3" squares (50 each in cool and warm colours). I then sewed the squares in pairs (one cool and one warm) down the diagonal (1/4" either side of the middle). Then the 100 new squares were pressed, and trimmed down to 2.5". That was definitely my least favourite bit. The best bit was laying the squares out in the design. Princess thought it was just like a puzzle.

A side trip to Spotlight was necessary to pick the hot pink corduroy backing, hot pink ric rac (I hate piping mummy) and hot pink zip. I then sewed it all up on Saturday night when little miss was in bed.  I inserted a panel of quilting fabric in the back to break up All. The. Pink.

The back in all it's glory

There may have been a moment on Sunday when I nearly traded Princess in after she announced she didn't like the ric rac after all.  It all seems to be sorted now, after we spent some time looking at all the special animals and pretty flowers.  I am not allowed to give the cushion away, in any event. I think that's a good sign.

Spoiled little madam. It's lucky I love her.

Turtle and snail
The feather inner was 25", but it was a bit sparse, so it squidged perfectly into the cover, which is finished at 20" square.

Fish and baby turtle
I pointed out to Hubby that if I had made the blocks 10" finished instead of 2.5", that we would have a quilt big enough for our bed, for the same amount of work.  *sigh*

More little fish
It is pretty cool to have enough of a stash to just get the fabrics you need for a project without going to the shop. It is a bit spoiled too.

Wee wander little footsteps
 I even used a snippet of Heather Ross.  Princess doesn't know just how lucky she is...

Heather Ross bees and mice

I think this might be a good week for some link ups (if I remember!) to Needle and Thread Thursday, Show and Tell and Crazy Moms. Hello visitors!









Sunday, 6 April 2014

Super simple baby quilt 4

I had a sudden thought that I should get a baby quilt started on Friday evening after work.  I recalled that the baby was due on Sunday, so I thought that something super duper easy was in order.  And it doesn't get much easier than sewing six fat quarters of fabric together (18' x 20").  But I thought I could do a little bit better than that!

All wrapped up and ready to go and keep a baby warm.

I decided to do an appliqué word at the bottom.  I had some spare iron on appliqué stuff (I can't for the life of me remember what it is called), but couldn't figure out a word.  The baby name is the usual choice - but I didn't know that.  I have also seen the great "eat, play, sleep, repeat" baby quilt, but that seemed like too much work!  The main fabric gave me a hint in the end - zombies are attracted by loud noises and lights. See, it says so ...

Critical zombie survival information.

And as Princess rightly said, "shhh..." is what you say when the baby is sleeping.  Precisely.

Terrible inside photo taken first thing this morning.

The appliqué was done by printing up the letters "S" and "h" from Microsoft Word.  The font is American Typewriter, and I used size 600.  I then cut the letters out and traced around them (back to front) with a pen on to one side the iron on fusible web.  The letters were ironed on to the back of the fabric.  Then I cut them out along the shape of the letter, and ironed them on to the quilt top.  I blanket stitched around the edge in white thread.  If I was more confident with my machine appliqué skills with Bernie, I would have used colour thread.  I'll save that for next time.

The fabric is Zombie Apocalypse by Emily Taylor Design for Riley Blake.  I discovered there are zombie doll panels on fabric.com this morning.  My life is pretty much incomplete without one, so a panel may have fallen into my shopping cart.  Like I don't have enough fabric or projects.


I used some soft towelling for the back - it is drapey and warm, and 100% cotton, which I think is important for baby.  I love minky, but find polyester doesn't breathe.  It has been quilted in my favourite new quilting technique - wavy lines across the quilt, 2" apart.  The chevron binding is also from Riley Blake.


On reflection, I would have preferred to use dark grey for the lettering - but that is a lesson learned for next time.  As it turns out, it was just as well I didn't muck around with the quilt.  While I was doing the quilting, the baby turned up at Saturday lunch time on a friend's bathroom floor.  Daddy helped deliver him together with the help of emergency services over the phone.  The little guy is doing well, and Mum looks fantastic.  Phew.  Talk about making my hospital delivery look like high tea at the Hilton.

Hope you're all doing well and had a great weekend!

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Sew together bag overload

Those of you who follow me over on IG have already Had Enough of hearing about my efforts this weekend to make a @sewdemented Sew Together bag (called so because it is spacious enough to keep all your sewing bits and bobs together).  I purchased the pattern for this when Crazy Mom showed the version she made a while ago on her blog.  That Amanda Jean has a lot to answer for, you know.  Anyway I loved it and Had To Have It.

But the kick up the bum I needed to get this off my to-do list was the cute little 3" square charm pack of Lizzie House fabric that I won from @queenbeefabrics on Instagram.  *awesome*.  So off I went to Spotlight to get some zippers (because I had forgotten about the pile of them I had in my sewing box - durrr).

This was my plan.  It looks simple, but that's because you didn't spend an hour with me messing around with the charm pack before I realised that I liked the look of it if better if I removed the yellow and green tones.


The pattern has faced a bit of flack on-line for being a bit tricky and lacking in graphics.  Luckily for me, there has been a sew-along held recently over at Quilt Barn.  I had a look through the tutorials they put up, and of course, having seen the pictures, thought it was just fine.  I have made plain zipper purses before too, so I know the basics of zipper installation, which helps.  Overall, I would say don't be scared - you can't go too far wrong if you just get started and do one step at a time.

Although I had the outside fabrics, I felt the need to get some linings.  Those two pink spots are Kaffe Fassett - this is the first time I have used his prints - the photos do not do them justice.  The low volume purse linings were from my stash.  The grey and navy dots are Riley Blake.


Here it is all finished - this is the front.


This is the inside.


And this is the side - with a little label - cause I'm posh, you know.


In terms of tips - I found that Bernie handled the fabric thicknesses just fine, even with a quilting needle.  But if you're on a smaller machine, I think that a thicker needle would help with the parts where you sew the inner and outer together.  I extended my stitch length to 3, which helped too.  I quilted the outside, but used medium fusible interfacing for the internal pouches, which gave it just the right amount of body.  I also used 10" zippers, and trimmed them down, because Spotlight doesn't sell 9" ones (as recommended).  They worked just fine!

So that's it.  If you are keen on making one, have a look at #sewtogetherbag on Instagram for some inspiration.  There are heaps of gorgeous examples.  You won't be able to choose!

Now I have to figure out what to use it for - sitting and admiring it on my table is only useful for so long.  Any family members who want one for Christmas better let me know now - it is a pretty time consuming labour of love!

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Super simple baby quilt three - finished

This quilt got started some time ago, in a bit of a rush, when of the girls at work had her baby very, very early.  The baby has done really well, and went home recently.  In the meantime, I handed over a whole pile of the wee man's toys and clothes to him, so the quilt seemed an unnecessary extra.

Super simple baby quilt three - bold and quick

The blocks are 10" unfinished, so it is suitable for a layer cake, and super easy to put together - which is the point of super simple baby quilts!  The sashed blocks are made with a 5" centre square and 3" sashing.  I know there is a tutorial out there in blogland for the block, but I can't find it.  Let me know if you can, and I'll link it up.  The most time consuming part was trying to place the fabric so that it looked artfully scrappy.  I used a fat quarter bundle of "Fox and the Houndstooth", with some Spotlight specials to add extra fabrics.

I started quilting it with stitch in the ditch down the blocks, to hold it in place while I decided exactly how to finish it.  Because I was rushing, I did an absolutely rubbish job basting, with the result that it developed what I described as a mother-pucker on the back.  It was huge and ugly.  Because I couldn't be bothered fixing it, the whole thing sat on the back of the chair in the lounge for ages.

All of a sudden I decided to finish it last weekend. I unpicked the worst of the puckering, and then quilted the whole thing in wavy lines about 2" apart - an idea I stole shamelessly from Megan, who finished her own quilt with this technique just recently.

Attempt at a quilting shot, with the wee man doing what wee men do - racing around, getting into everything.

It was bound today, in orange Riley Blake small spots.  Awesome all purpose fabric.  And now it's done.  Why oh why didn't I just finish it before???  Although I have to say, the wee man trying to help me quilt today wasn't that awesome.  He alternates between trying to thump on the foot pedal (fingers near the needle beware) and attempting to rip out the power cord.  The knee lift for the presser foot has long since been removed because that is an irresistible temptation for little fingers.  We are safety conscious here, I tell you.  It would have been much easier if he just napped.

That is a handsome wee foxy, looking smart.

The back is a DS 2011 check.

Over exposed backing shot, with puckers et al.
Now the quilt is off for a wee trip around the world, with Alison's Mexican orphanage the final destination.  When Alison told me they want quilts in all sizes, because there are babies and toddlers there too, I was heartbroken.  The least I can do is send something special to show that people do care.  If you have a moment to make some quilt blocks to help her out, I'm sure she'd appreciate it.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Citrus Sweet Love and a finished cushion

Hello people.  How are you?  I am having a break from stitching tonight, so it seemed a good chance to catch up with you.  One of the reasons for needing a break is that I have been working on my Citrus Sweet Love blocks, which are tremendously time consuming.  I finished the February block ages ago, and I can't remember if I have shown it to you - so here it is.  Can you see the chocolate stain?


But more importantly, this is March's block.  It took me suuuuuch a long time.  I hand pieced all the curves, and then machine pieced the straight lines.  The centre circle was appliquéd on with the method in Sarah Fielke's Craftsy course, and fitted pretty well.  I love the two teeny little bits of liberty in the arrow heads.  I am pleased I took my time though, because I would have been gutted if I had stuffed it up.  There is only one main block to go now next month, although I have the appliqué blocks to finish.

The lesson I really learned was that it is time for me to try machine piecing curves though.  I say it every month!  But I am determined to give it a go. 

Sorry about the rubbish night time photo.  But you can still see the matching points okay. *smug*


In addition, I have finished my little birthday cushion.  Despite my plans to bind it in blue or turquoise, somehow it ended up being a solid persimmon.  Hubby approves - orange is his favourite colour.  The orange really shows off those little umbrellas!


This is the back, with Hydeeann's gorgeous English Paper Pieced block.  I echoed the hexagon shape in the straight line quilting.


What have you been up to?  Having fun sewing?  In other news, I have recently acquired an overlocker, so there may be pretty dresses and skirts in the near future.  For Princess, not me!

Linking up to Needle and Thread Thursday and Show and Tell.  Howdy visitors!

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Hello, hello

How are you my lovely quilty friends?  I have missed you!  Life has been a little bit busy here recently, and unfortunately blogging has ended up at the bottom of the list of things to do.  However I had a stinking headache this morning so have packed in work for the day in favour of a decent sleep and trying to get rid of a runny nose (is that too much information? - heh).

I have heaps to tell you, which means I don't know where to start.  So I'll start with the most recent thing I have been doing - a little memory cushion.  I have been spoiled rotten for my birthday, and wanted to do something with all the special bits of fabric I have received from all over the world.  I have been terrified of losing them, and have been umming and ahhing about the best way to show everything off.  In my usual way, I have given up thinking and just starting sewing.  This is what happened ...



It couldn't be simpler - a little 12" cushion top for the bed.  This is the front.  It includes handmade lace from Tiina's mother in Finland, Hydeeann's special little rain showers fabric from the States, Deborah's gorgeous royal blue print from Indonesia and a mix of low volume fabrics from here in Auckland.  The squares are 3" finished - I was going to make them smaller, but in the end didn't want to cut up the lace - I was scared it would fray, and I would lose the effect of the pattern.  It is also a good size to get a decent selection of those little umbrellas.

You can see I have fussy cut some of the text print.  I am pleased that everything is safe in one place now!  It has been straight-line quilted in one direction.


And this - tah dah - will be the back.  Hydeeann sent me one of her EPP blocks as well.  I feel very privileged.  So I will appliqué this on to some of the low volume prints and then quilt.  It might be a good opportunity to try hand-quilting.  Eeeeep.

I think I will pipe the cushion once it's finished.  I'm not sure whether to go with dark blue or aqua.  What do you think?  I am an aqua fiend ...



Aren't I spoiled?  And because I haven't forgotten to share the love, the winners of my two 40th birthday extravaganza giveaways are:
  • for the cushion - Megan! - yay ...
  • for the charm pack - Schulz Family! - woo hoo ...
Send me an email with your address details, and I will do my best to remember to post your prizes before the end of the month.  It will get there, I promise!

And because I have been spoiled with Hydeeann's EPP, I have a wonderful excuse to link up to her In Hand EPP party.  Howdy visitors!

Saturday, 22 February 2014

A little finish for Friday

So I have been doing some little bits of sewing - here is one finish.

One finished zipper pouch

One of the girls at work did me a favour, so I thought I would make her a wee thank you gift. Hubby found some lovely treats to go with it. I suspect they have come from my yummy bath treats stash in the spare bathroom, which will be frustrating when my body wash runs out. So if I start to smell bad, blame him. 

I used the measurements from the Noodlehead zipper pouch tutorial, but inserted the zip using this tutorial. I like being able to use a little snippet of something cute by the zip, but next time would have a fabric with more contrast.  I like how tidy the zip is this way, so I'm pretty sure I'll do it again.


Ahoy there me hearties

I took the photo at the top, but realised I needed more on the way to work. The others were taken in the rush hour crawl to the traffic lights. Here is my little tag, which I have recently had printed at this Etsy shop. It has washing instructions on the back, so I can use them for quilts.

Belle & Boo fabric from Spotlight

The navy spots are from Riley Blake, but the other two fabrics are from Spotlight, and I thought were surprisingly good quality for them. I think this little couple are pretty cute!  The lining is a pale blue with other cute bits and pieces on it. 

Hugs in the woods.  Something Princess will not be allowed to do.

Linking up to Crazy Moms, TGIFF and Confessions of a Fabric Addict. I guess I will pick the prizes for my birthday pressies (see my last posts) on Sunday or Monday, so now is your last chance to share in the Shush birthday love!  I am beginning to get birthday fatigue, because it was hubby's birthday yesterday, and the Wee Man turns one on Monday. But after Monday, we are done for the year, and then we can relax!

Have a lovely weekend!