Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Fabric Frenzy

So much pretty fabric arrived on my doorstep on Monday! Happy times. What's best, I've only had to pay for one yard out of 12.5 and two charm packs! I love fabric parcels, even more so when they've been sponsored by others. I love them so much and they're integral to my next big projects, so I just had to share.

The first parcel contained lots of Ready, Set, Go! which will be converted into quilts for a baby and his toddler brother. The fabrics are lovely to look at and I literally can't wait to start working with them this weekend. The stars are from a different line and I've planned to use them for the binding to add a (even more) whimsical touch.


The second parcel came from the Fat Quarter Shop, like the first. Side note: I just love how neatly and beautifully they pack their parcels. It's a shame to open them instead of just hugging them close to your body in their arranged beauty. What you're saying? That's just me? Oh well..

The parcel contained some Aneela Hoey and several organic prints, which I don't have specific plans for as of yet, but they've been on my radar for a while and when my mum offered to feed my fabric addiction buy me some fabric I jumped at the opportunity to get my greedy little fingers on them. My first charm packs, too!

The final parcel contained a yard of Flea Market Fancy, Grey Eyelet. It's the only print that really intrigued me, but it has done so ever since I started reading quilting blogs and with the fabric selling like hot cakes, I had to make sure I'd get them.

With these latest arrivals I've finally got all the fabrics that I intend to use in our wedding quilt top. Lots and lots of Echo which I got for Christmas, some Secret Garden, some Little Apples, and the FMF Eyelet.

I still have to get some fabric for the backing, but I'm in no rush (yet). Actually, I'm considering to print one or two pictures of us at Spoonflower to sew into the backing, as a special and semi-secret detail. Do you have any experience with Spoonflower? Or printing (lasting) pictures onto fabric?

Wishing you a good week!

Monday, 26 March 2012

Foxy Frame Purse

With the curtains as well as my knitting finished, I had Sunday off to do whatever would please my fancy. After contemplating making a zippered pouch for a while, I decided to go with a framed purse instead. I've made two in the past and the first ended up a bit wonky (lesson about matching up seams when adding a boxed bottom) and the second is very nice but still suffered from my inexperience with glue. Yeah, the frames were a bit smudged. Given that I would like to make my wedding purse myself, I gathered it would be good to get some practise in, so I cut into my recently obtained Outfoxed and came up with this little beauty:

The fabrics are reversed on the other side and I made sure that the seams match in the bottom. Despite a lack of photographic evidence, I can assure you that the boxed bottom itself is also much much better than my first attempt nearly two years ago. I decided to echo the design in the lining and added my label to the plain side.

The purse is just right to carry my powder, powder brush, and some more when on the go. The last one I'd made is double the size. Great to store cosmetics at home but too big for a night out or to take to work. The frame is smudge-free, too. I'm really pleased with the results.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

The One In Which I've Survived the Curtains

I did it! The curtains are finally finished and ready to be delivered to my sister this afternoon. After hemming them, I treated them to a wash in the machine and hung them in my living room windows to dry over night. They looked seriously wrinkled. Nothing unusual, really, but as my sister does not have an iron (she despises ironing more than I do), I foresaw scenarios of me washing and ironing these pretties in the future. Ha! In the morning they did look fab, though, nearly wrinkle-free. Yay! I ironed them one last time and now they're a nice and heavy(!) parcel. Eight yards of curtains.

Hopefully she'll have curtain rods soon because I really want to see how they look in their new environment and take a couple of pictures, too. An unexpected bonus of all the stress with the curtains - it gave me incentive to clean my windows and wash my curtains. Spring, here I come. :)

On the knitting front, I finished the Owlie Sleep Sack and Hat by weaving in the ends on Friday night whilst watching some TV. They're soooo tiny, especially the hat, it's difficult to imagine an actual baby in them. ;)

Given that I still had some wool left and differently coloured remnants of the same in my stash, I tried to knit up a striped hat last evening. It was half finished when I realised that I'd made a mistake in my row count so I unravelled it to start all over again. The hat was three fourths done when I messed up a colour change in a decrease row. Whilst attempting to fix it, I lost a couple of stitches which couldn't be salvaged. So, once more, I unravelled the whole thing and went to bed. Annoying, sure, but in retrospect I'm glad. It was my first attempt at knitting with different colours and the bit with the changes didn't look particularly good despite my attempt to use the jogless jog method (or because of it?). The Pattern's short cut of not carrying the second yarn all the way with me didn't help the looks, either, I think. Therefore, I'll take it as a lesson to do a bit more research before my next attempt and not just jump into things. :)

As there's still some left of my weekend, I'll see what I can come up with to do post-lunch. How was yours?

Monday, 19 March 2012

Curtains, Curtains, Curtains

I still don't quite know how I did it, but I managed to sew not only two but three curtains! I was on a roll until I ran out of thread! Thread! *grumblegrumble* All four curtains are now hanging in my living room and bedroom instead of my regular ones. They still need to be hemmed and two are lacking the three rows of vertical topstitching that I added to give the curtains more body - but they will be done next weekend. So soon! After a wash and final ironing I'll give them to my sister and hope to get a nice picture of them for blogging purposes.

The knitted baby sleep sack is nearly finished, too. I didn't spend as much time on it as expected, due to my slaving away on the curtains, but I'm confident to finish both hat and sack in the evenings before Friday. With all these things out of the way I'll be able to fully concentrate on two matching quilts for a toddler and his baby brother. Very much looking forward to that.

I even managed to work a little on my Dresdens.

Such a busy busy sewing weekend. I felt exhausted at times, but the progress has been worth it. How about your weekend?

Friday, 16 March 2012

Forethought Friday

I spent the past 2.5 hours getting a head start on the weekend's sewing. Yay. First I ironed, cut, and pinned the panels of curtain no. 2. I'd washed the fabric in the morning and today's beautiful weather worked in my favour, so now panels five and six can be found on the balcony. After moving our big table, cutting mostly took place on the floor this time. I think less folding and fussing helped to get more exact results and pinning was less of a pain, which does not equal painlessness, though. At least I can start sewing straight away tomorrow!

I also cut 20 more wedges for Dresden Plates out of my beloved echo fabric to reward myself after sewing curtain no. 2 and prepping curtain no. 3 first thing tomorrow - I really really want to get them done and off my mind as quickly as possible and am bribing myself into it. Can you tell?

Now I'll enjoy the evening doing some easy-peasy stockinette knitting. I started this Owlie Sleep Sack earlier this week and all the cabling is done, so I merely have to keep track of my place markers. Pie. Easy. As. My future sister-in-law has asked me to knit something cute for an upcoming baby boy photo shoot of hers and as I'd been keen on trying owls I happily obliged. I'll also make the matching cutie of a hat. The pattern has been easy to follow so far with only some basic cabling to create the adorable owls.

I'm looking forward to a relaxed yet productive weekend. Maybe my muse will find me and whisper in my ear what to make with this, should some time be left over?

What are your plans for the weekend? Whatever they may be, have a good one!

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Aquas, Greens, and Blues

I love aquas, greens, blues, teal - oh my gosh, TEAL. When I was a little girl my favourite colour was blue. I was never fond of pink, in any of its shades. I think I accepted that some things only came in that colour but I much preferred things that were coloured differently. The first Barbie I chose didn't wear a pink sparkly dress but a blue pinstripe suit.

Growing up, green became more prevalent in my colour palette and once I dyed my hair red in my very early twenties the deal on teal was sealed. I think it's just perfect for delicate skin tones. But I'm babbling. I wanted to write about the pillows in my header. How did I come to sew these lovelies? 


It all started with my urge to sew a quilt using Film in the Fridge's rectangle squared block. I got most of the fabrics for my birthday in March 2011 but added a pretty teal STOF fabric and bought the Kona Snow for the sashing myself. I didn't buy the backing fabric, Kona Everglade, until much much later. With large projects I tend to buy what I need when I need it. Step by step to space the bills.

Obviously I had to mess up the math of the block because I wanted to work in centimetres and not inches as well as a different block size. I also decided to change my seam allowance after cutting the strips and squares - how very sensible, not.. Yeah, so I had to square up my blocks quite a bit afterwards. Whatever, a valuable lesson learnt

I did, however, delay completion quite a bit - I was once more scared to screw up my work. I dreaded to quilt my baby! This was when I needed a quick and easy project and the pillows were born. I used's free "Gather Up Pillow" pattern but tweaked it in size. My pillows are 60cm x 40cm, larger than the pattern's 12" x 16". (The quilt is roughly 1,10m x 1,50m, or 43" x 59".)

Fast forward another two months or so and I got round to beating the fear. I wanted to make a baby quilt for a friend and had to "sacrifice" my quilt so hers would definitely be giftable. I certainly did mess up once or twice and the lines aren't all perfectly straight, but I really don't care. I was proud to have finally tackled my fear and this is my very first quilt, after all. Who'd expect it to be perfect? Is anything ever perfect? I love it dearly.

please ignore the wrinkled sheets

Okay, truth be spoken, the binding proved daunting and delay-worthy, too, and I abandoned my quilt in favour of the quickly approaching Christmas deadline. I machine bound the baby quilt. It is a lovely quilt (another post) but I wasn't 100% happy with the binding. So I hand stitched mine. Me! The one who used to hate sewing buttons onto clothes. Totally worth it, though. I possibly won't ever again resort to machine binding. I love the neat look and it's a pretty soothing exercise in the evening with a nice movie on the telly. Need to get a good extra lamp besides the sofa, though, or I'll strain my eyes too much.

 back detail

Final picture, my lovelies together. I really must take better pics but I must make do with my old camera and on top of that its still nasty and cold outside providing crappy light inside. Soo looking forward to spring and summer. Not a winter girl at all. :)

Okay, so this turned out pretty long.. babble babble..sorry. :)
Wishing you a wonderful week!

Sunday, 11 March 2012

The One Where I (Nearly) Swear Never to Sew Curtains Again

I've nearly finished a curtain today and it nearly finished me.. But first things first.

A couple of months ago my sister showed me a picture of a hotel's window treatment that she'd fallen in love with on her holiday. She asked me whether I'd come across fabric like that. I hadn't but several weeks later whilst windowshopping online I saw something similar.

French Dress Stripes Aqua/Teal/Brown by Laura Berringer for Marcus Fabrics

She liked it a lot better than the original window treatment's fabric because it had more brown and less blue. Together we decided to use Kona Cotton Espresso for the backing and ordered 8 1/2 yards each as my sister wanted four curtains. 17 yards of fabric - the horror. The mere sight of the masses of continuous fabric scared me. Knowing I had to cut and wash and iron all that did not entice me at all. Especially the ironing! I've grown used to the need of ironing in sewing but that doesn't mean I particularly love it. I let the fabric sit on my shelf for a couple of weeks before I decided to finally get a start and cut two half yards for the hangers and eight approximate panels for the bodies of the curtains. Those panels went straight back to the shelf but I pretreated the half yard cuts and turned them into 20 hangers.

 a set of hangers

Then life got in the way and I had no time to busy myself with curtains. I guiltily thought of them now and then, trying to come up with an attack plan because the amount of fabric and ironing still terrified me, until, having regained sewing time from the real world, I finally took action this weekend. I washed two panels on Saturday evening and dedicated most of today's afternoon to create this:
curtain no. 1, still unhemmed

The ironing didn't take up as much time as I'd dreaded but went pretty quickly and smoothly - much much quicker than my prolonged episode of kneeling on the floor trying to pin this mess after I'd cut exact 2 yard panels and trimmed off the selvages. Bleurgh. I was so glad to finally be able to sew after what felt like hours and hours. Then more ironing (of course), more pinning, topstitching, some more ironing (lovely!)... I think it took me 3.5 hours to get to this point. It could've been less if I hadn't been so eager on getting everything right and properly straight. I was determined not to have to use my seam ripper so I took my time.

I put the curtain up to revel in the result and to let it hang a while before hemming it. I think I won't actually hem it until the other three are done, too. That way I can be sure they're all the same length. Not sure when that will be, though. Ninety minutes and a dinner later I feel rather exhausted which doesn't leave me longing to return to this project. I had planned to wash two more panels this evening so I could iron and cut them tomorrow but I just don't feel like it. I really need to get other, non-sewing things done tomorrow and I mean, they're not even for me! *gasp* Given that I'll be working on two quilts soon, I should possibly dedicate the next weekend to finishing two more, though. Simply to have them off the radar. With spring and sunshine approaching my sister will also be thankful to finally have curtains for her bedroom. So I guess I'll bite the bullet of having a non-me-sewing weekend, then. I doubt I'll take on another curtain project any time soon, though.

Thankfully this weekend was not entirely lost to curtains. I discovered the joy of Dresden Plates on Friday. I'd resisted them for months but finally gave in and quickly made up three. I know loads more will follow. Here is one of them, no need to picture bomb anyone.

sunflowery Dresden Plate from Echo fabric by Lotta Jansdotter

They're not finished yet because I need to decide on what to use them for. Pillowcases? Or make plenty more and make an appliqued blanket? I might have to buy some more plain fabric to play with. Either way, I've fallen in love. They're much quicker to make up than I'd anticipated and are so darned cute! I followed Sew, Mama, Sew's tutorial which has a template and is really easy to follow. I ironed all my petals after turning them so I would have really neat points and edges. 

That was my weekend in sewing. Part exhausting, part addictive, certainly joyful. :)

Friday, 9 March 2012


So here I am. After months and months of putting this off due to time constraints I've finally taken the plunge. There still are time constraints, so I'm not sure whether I'll get into posting regularly but I still want to share my creations now and then - in the the hope that someone is reading. ;)

I've started my sewing journey in May 2010 wanting to create things that would finally fit me just the way I want them to fit and not some obscure standardised size chart. Several skirts later and with Christmas around the corner I got into bag making as well as back into knitting - 14 years after primary school needlework lessons. Not very much later I got into quilting. Whereas previously my birthdays and Christmasses had been mostly devoted to obtaining more books, they've now turned into the opportunity of feeding my ever growing fabric obsession, erm, love. (Still hooked on books, so it's a tough call to find some balance!)

Nearly two years later I make whatever I find the time, money, and/or an audience for. I love gifting handmade and am lucky to have several people in my life who appreciate it. (No sense gifting people who don't enjoy it, right? Spoils the experience.)

I've got several projects coming up but will post about old projects, too. I think. Let's see how it goes.