Sunday 30 June 2013

Sunday Stash 30/6

This week's delivery was fabrics that I had bought specifically to try and build up my stash.  I usually buy collections of fabrics and use them together in a quilt and don't really like to separate them into what I would call a 'stash'.

I got this gorgeous bright yellow and orange gingham, some tiny dots on aqua, green and purple, and a red & white geometric print.

Not bad if I do say so myself!

If you are a UK Quilt Blogger and would like to take part in The UK Fabric Stashers Blog Hop in September, please get in touch with me.  Well be looking at what people are buying for their stash, where from, highlighting UK fabric shops in the process and obviously getting to know more UK quilters as we go!  There is a page link at the top of my blog with more information.

Linking up with Sunday Stash over at Finding Fifth today, and  now we're going out to enjoy the sunshine and soak up some much needed vitamin D!

Q2 Finish-A-Long - Kaleidoscope Quilt

My second finish for the Q2 Finish-A-Long, hosted by Leanne at She Can Quilt, is the Kaleidoscope quilt.

I started this quilt back in July 2011 as part of the quilt along at Don't Call Me Betsy.  It was put on the back burner for well over a year after my templates had printed incorrectly and I subsequently cut my pieces wrong.  The resulting mess could not be fixed at that time as my level of experience wasn't up to it, so I am super pleased that I have been able to resurrect this gorgeous quilt!

Made with mostly Denyse Schmidt Picnic Fairgrounds prints in the blue, green and red colourways, with Kona White for the blocks. 

The back is a gorgeous Cath Kidston stars duvet cover and I used Kona Robin Egg Blue for the binding, it's such a pretty light blue shade.

I quilted a diamond pattern radiating out from the centre of the quilt every 4", I marked it out with masking tape and it came together so quickly.  I'm really pleased with the outcome.

The quilt finishes up at 50"x60" and is off to Devon to the newest addition to our family, a beautiful new baby girl called Mia.

You can see my original Kaleidoscope finish post here, and my original Q2 Finish-A-Long link up post here.

Q2 Finish-A-Long - Spring Whimsy

It's time for me to link up my Q2 finishes for the 2013 Finish-A-Long at She Can Quilt.

My first finish for the quarter was my Spring Whimsy Quilt, made with my Laurie Wisbrun Modern Whimsy Layer Cake and co-ordinating solids.

I really fell in love with the bright springy colours of this quilt and the cute lambs and bunnies of Laurie's prints.  I used a Cath Kidston-esque duvet cover for the backing and quilted on the diagonal in double lines, which gave me a little trouble but we got there in the end!  I also added my first stripy binding and I love that too!

The quilt now resides with my friend Susana, so I can snuggle up to it whenever I'm visiting her house, and now her hubby wants a quilt too, seeing as I had already made one for their daughter.

You can see my original Q2 link-up post here and my original finish post for the Spring Whimsy quilt here.

Saturday 29 June 2013

Just One More...

... Quilted Notebook cover.  This time for our school's Reception Class teacher who has announced that she is retiring at the end of this school year.

Now Mrs Z is quite eclectic and can be seen in school most days wearing paisley or cow print with bright neon leg warmers and plastic croc shoes!  But the kids love her sense of style and colour and my boys always used to come home and say things like; 'mummy why don't you wear glow in the dark socks?'!!!

Even though my boys aren't in her class this year, I have worked in her class nearly everyday this school year so I decided to make her a little leaving pressie too.

In conjunction with the Kate Spain Blog Hop hosted by Blossom Heart Quilts (I'm multi-tasking and killing two birds with one stone here!) I made my latest quilted notebook cover with a couple of my Central Park scraps.

If you haven't seen my tutorial for these notebook covers, you can find it here.

I used a lovely bright blue for the inside and a coordinating ribbon for the bookmark.

And here's the back.  So simple and yet so pretty and functional.

I hope it's funky enough for Mrs Z!

I'm linking up with the Kate Spain Blog Hop Projects Page

Hope you're all having a great weekend!

Friday 28 June 2013

Something Old Something New Linky Party Page

Something Old Something New Challenge!

Take an old potholder


That I made when I very first began quilting.  The quality of it's construction, the quilting, the hand stitching of the binding is all pretty poor!  It never made it into the kitchen.

Having small children around sharp scissors and rotary cutters is never a good idea so I used to hide them in this potholder.  Then I thought that now the boys are older I could have them out and more accessible, so why not adapt the potholder to become a scissor holder?

I painstakingly took it apart.  Binding is even more of a pig to unstitch than quilting - who would have thought it?!?!  

I cut down one side, attached some binding, reattached it to the back and then stitched in some lines to separate the scissor pockets.

I had some Robert Kaufman ribbon that had once been wrapped around a layer cake, it's colours co-ordinated so I used it as ties, then I made some new bright green binding (Kona Chartreuse) and Voila!  A shiny new scissor holder that hangs next to my desk!

So lets have my very first linky party!

Now I challenge you!

You have 4 weeks to link up your very own Something Old Something New project.  Please link a blog post showcasing your project, it could be;
  • items made from vintage fabric
  • something from your home repurposed for the sewing room/space
  • something transformed (like my potholder) and given a new lease of life
The choice is yours!

Please include a text link in your post linking back to the linky party page, you can also grab the button if you like!  If you could also help spread the word about the Something Old Something New Challenge that would be great!

Remember to try and visit a few of the others who link up and be generous with your comments.

Each Friday for the duration of the linky I will be checking in and featuring my favourite links from that week

Good luck with your updating, recycling, repurposing! I can't wait to see what projects get linked up!

The Linky Party Page can be found HERE

And I'm linking up my Scissor Holder finish at all the usual parties!

Wednesday 26 June 2013

Sewing Room Reveal #2

My WIP for the past week has been my new sewing room, and here it is folks, my new favourite space...

Outside looking in.  Even Buster wants in on the action!

We have 2 small rooms at the back of our garage, this one and hubby's even tinier office.  It opens out to the garden.

Mum gave me a small Lloyd Loom chair, it needs repairing a little and is crying out for some patchwork cushions don't you think?  My bargain shabby chic pine cupboard from eBay has been filled to the brim!  

How is it that when you are in the corner of a room, just shoving things here and there it doesn't seem like you have much?  And then you start pulling it out and it just keeps coming and coming...!

have put rolls of wadding, scrap buckets and unsightly paperwork in the lower half of the cupboard and covered it temporarily with some green fabric.

My stash and rainbow scrap jars have been put on the top shelves.

Quilts and baby Minky ribbon blankies are being stored on the top of the cupboard. 

My wire basket rack holds more wadding and sheets & duvet covers to be used for quilt backs.  I've covered it up by hanging some WIP's on it!

Another bargain is the Ikea desk.  The wall on the right will become my design wall, I've planted a seed of creation in hubby's head for this!

I'm still using the UK shaped ribbon and thread holder but I need something more fit for purpose really.

There's a tiny corner for the ironing board, when the right hand outside door is closed there is room for the ironing board to be opened out there.  That's the door to hubby's little office.

And with both the doors flung open to make the most of the sunshine I can look out on the patio and garden - and there's my 2 little treasures hiding in the flowerbed!

There are still a couple of things to finish up but I'm so overjoyed with it! I've been finishing up my Sewing Machine Cover Tutorial for 2 days so haven't even had a chance to actually sew anything in there yet but I'll be sure to let you know when I do!

Thanks for stopping by.

Linking up with WIP Wednesday :o) 

Tuesday 25 June 2013

Sewing Machine Cover Tutorial

I'm pleased to share with you today my take on how to make a quilted sewing machine cover.

First we need to measure the sewing machine.

Measure across the front of the machine, including the fly wheel on the side, this is going to be called the Machine Width.

Measure across the machine from front to back, this is going to be called the Machine Depth.

Measure the machine height, from the table, to the top of any knobs or raised parts on the top.  This will be called the Machine Height.

Using these measurements you can calculate the sizes of the pieces you require.
I am allowing a generoous half inch for seam allowances.

For the front and back pieces;
(machine width measurement + seam allowances) x (machine height measurement + seam allowance)
mine was (16" + 1") x (13" + 0.5")
therefore my pieces will measure 17" wide x 13.5" high.

For the side pieces;
(machine depth measurement + seam allowances) x (machine height measurement + seam allowance)
mine was (7" + 1") x (13" + 0.5")
therefore my pieces will measure 8" wide x 13.5" high.

For the top piece;
(machine width measurement + seam allowances) x (machine depth measurement + seam allowances)
mine was (16" + 1") x (7" + 1")
therefore my piece will measure 17" high x 8" wide.

If you would like to add a pocket to one or both of your end sections;
I decided to use a square piece of fabric the width of the side panel, so 8"x8"

Because we are making a quilted cover you will need to cut an outer fabric piece, a wadding piece and an inner lining piece for each of your top, sides, front, back and pocket sections.

The sizes you have calculated above represent the size of the finished piece you will require AFTER quilting. As the act of quilting can reduce the measurements of the fabric slightly by pulling the fabric down and into the wadding, I cut my pieces slightly larger than needed and trimmed them down after quilting.

If you have a handle on the top of your machine and would like to make a handle hole you need to measure the length and width of your handle, mine was approx 6" long x 1.25" wide.
You may also need to measure the position of your handle - mine is slightly off centre.
The handle hole will be larger than the measurement you just took but we will work this out later.

You can go ahead and draw a diagram with all your measurements on if this is helpful.

You will need;
For my machine I used approx:-
  • just under 1 FQ for the front panel - Sewing Machines print
  • just under half a yard for the sides x2, pocket x1 and back - Keep Calm print.  My print is directional, so I had some wastage after cutting, you may use less if you use a non directional print.
  • a piece of fabric for the top
  • about 1 yard of fabric for the inner lining
  • about 1 yard of wadding
  • fabric for binding the top of the pocket panel and the bottom of the cover
  • a piece of fabric for the facing piece for the handle hole, I used plain white, the size of this piece will be determined by you later.
Now we can begin assembly.

For each cover piece you need to layer as follows:
Inner lining fabric, right side facing down
Wadding on top of this
outer fabric piece, right side facing up.

Baste these three layers together, I used pins but you can spray if you prefer.  Then quilt as desired, once quilted, remove pins and trim to your measurement as calculated above.

If you are making a pocket at one or both ends you need to layer, baste, quilt and trim your pocket square  to size and then attach binding to the top edge.  There are many great tutorials online for making and attaching binding, I use these links at Jaybird Quilts.

Then you need to lay your quilted and trimmed side piece, right side up with the pocket panel on top of that, also right side up.  Pin in place.

Now using a half inch seam allowance attach one piece to the other as directed in the photo below.

I recommend backstitching and oversewing when you go over the binding to make it nice and secure.

Continue layering, basting, quilting and trimming to size all your pieces - front, back, top and 2 sides until you have a lovely pile like this.

Now we are going to make the opening for the handle hole.

I measured the position of my handle and pinned out the rectangle shape according to where I thought it should go, I then laid my top piece over the machine and the handle and adjusted my pinning until I had it in just the right place.  I then, very carefully, using my fabric shears, cut a slit in the middle of my pinned rectangle shape, see below.

If you are having trouble balancing your top piece over your machine and pinning at the same time, you can always attach your front and back pieces to the top piece, shown below, so that the cover will drape over the top of the machine and almost support itself.
To attach the top piece and the front piece;
Lay the top piece on the table right side facing up, lay the front piece on top of it, right side facing down.  Align what will be your top edge and stitch using a half inch seam allowance.  Open out, now lay the top piece back on the table with the right side facing up and now lay the back piece on top of it with right side facing down, align what will be your other top edge and attach with a half inch seam allowance.  Open out, and you should now have something that looks like the picture below.
Now back to our handle hole.  I gradually snipped away at my hole until I was happy it was in the right position and was big enough to maneuvre the handle through easily.  It turned out bigger than the measurement I originally took and that's fine.
Here's a more close up picture.

Now take your fabric to be used as the handle facing piece, I made mine quite a bit larger than my handle hole so that I had some fabric to hold on to.  Pin in place over the handle hole.

Using a quilting pencil or chalk we are going to draw on the shape of your handle hole, but slightly larger.  Feel for the edge of your hole through the fabric and then mark your line a quarter inch bigger, or to the outside of the hole, so that when we sew along this drawn line you will be sewing through all your layers of fabric, a quarter inch from the edges of the hole.

Now topstitch all the way around your drawn rectangle and remove the pins.
Now draw a triangle shape at each end of the rectangle as below, and then join the points of the triangles with a straight line.

Using shears or scissors cut along these lines you just drew.

Taking one side of the facing fabric at a time, fold the fabric tightly through the hole to the underside and pin in place.

Your outer top piece should now look like the picture below.

Topstitch all the way around your handle hole, quite close to the edge to hold the facing fabric in place.  I topstitched around twice, see below.

Remove your pins from the underside and trim back any excess fabric.

Now for the final assembly. 
If you haven't already joined your top, front and back pieces as mentioned above, you can do this now.

Looking at your top piece, mark the middle of the left hand side short edge with a pin.
Now grab your left hand side piece and mark the middle of the top edge with a pin too.  You can see my pins in the top of the picture below.
When we sew the sides on we will be starting at one bottom edge, going over the top and then back down the other side all in one go, so firstly mark with a quilting pencil or chalk a + where the corner intersection of your sewing will be, so half and inch from the top and half an inch from the side edge.  See the picture below.

Lay your back piece on the table, right side facing up. 
Lay your left side piece on top, right side facing down, alinging along the right hand edge and pin in place.
Start sewing up from what will be the bottom of your cover, using a half inch seam allowance. 
Stop sewing with the needle in the down position when you get to your + mark, lift your machine foot and wiggle your cover around so that you can now sew across the top edge. Make sure your pins marking the middle of each piece line up, see below.

  Lower your machine foot and sew along to your next + mark, then stop.

Again with the needle in the down position, lift your machine foot, wiggle the cover around, lower the machine foot and continue sewing down to the bottom edge of the cover. 
You have now attached one side!

Repeat this process for your right side piece.
You should now have a completely pieced cover!  You can trim away any fabric excesses in the corners to avoid bulk, be careful not to cut too close to your stitching.

Now turn your sewing machine cover out the right way, pressing your finger in the corners to push them out as neatly and as far as they will go.

Lastly you will attach binding to the raw bottom edge of the sewing machine cover.  You can use the links for binding tutorials as mentioned above.  I machine stitch the binding to the front and then fold the binding over to the back and handstitch in place.

Voila!  A gorgeous Sewing Machine Cover!  Well Done!

Please do not hesitate to ask me if you have any questions, and if you make a cover please add pictures to the Flikr group for me to see!

Happy sewing!

Linking up to the parties here.

Monday 24 June 2013

Sewing Room Reveal... over on Instagram!

Find Quilty Creations over there for a quick reveal, I'm off out to help arrange some wedding and hen night things this evening, so hopefully I'll get time to write a reveal post tomorrow!

I can't stop smiling!

Sunday 23 June 2013

Sunday Stash 23/6

We've had a really busy weekend, it's hubby's birthday!  One of our friends was having a masquerade ball for her 40th so we celebrated for hubby there last night seeing as his best mates were there too...

It obviously involved posh frocks...

And hubby prating about whilst looking like James Bond!

We're feeling a little jaded today - we don't bounce back from late nights out and lots of wine as quickly as we used to!  

But I couldn't forget my little stash report now could I?

Stocking up on my new favourite solid colour Kona Jade Green and a couple of Sew Stitchy FQ's slipped in there as well, and these ARE for stash building - I'm trying...

And they were on sale (!) at The Village Haberdashery.

Hope you all had a fab weekend!

Linking up to Sunday Stash.

Friday 21 June 2013

A Kaleidoscopic Finish!

Holy Smokes! My second finish in a week! I'm cooking with gas this week!

I started this quilt back in July 2011 as part of the quilt along at Don't Call Me Betsy.  It was put on the back burner for well over a year after my templates had printed incorrectly and I subsequently cut my pieces wrong.  The resulting mess could not be fixed at that time as my level of experience wasn't up to it, but here I am now with a gorgeous quilt!

Made with mostly Denyse Schmidt Picnic Fairgrounds prints in the blue, green and red colourways, with Kona White for the blocks.

The back is a gorgeous Cath Kidston stars duvet cover.
I used Kona Robin Egg Blue for the binding, it's such a pretty light blue shade.
I quilted a diamond pattern radiating out from the centre of the quilt every 4", I marked it out with masking tape and it came together so quickly.  I'm really pleased with the outcome as I'm nervous of the quilting stage, my little machine doesn't always cope too well.

It was tricky to catch the quilting in the light today so I have 2 photos for your perusal!

The quilt finishes up at 50"x60" and is off to Devon to the newest addition to our family, a beautiful new baby girl called Mia born on 4th June.
Linking up with the Friday Parties;
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