Sunday, 22 September 2019

Gift bags

I love making little gifts such as pencil cases and bags but don't always remember to record them here. I thought I'd share these ones as the tutorial I used is so good I thought it was worth sharing again. The elephant drawstring bag was made with some scraps of this organic cotton from M is for Make. I bought this fabric years ago to make curtains for my son's nursery.  They didn't fit in our new home so I washed the fabric and unpicked it all.  It was used to make this quilt and bedding for a dolls bed but I still have plenty left.

This was a present for the son of one of my best friend's so it's nice to use special fabrics for special people!  I chose this book as it was one of Harris's favourites when he was 3/4 years old - we now read the Jolly Rodgers chapter books but he still likes the picture books too of course.

So lets get to the tutorial! It is called the Kids Washbag Tutorial from Handmade Jane.  Obviously it is meant for waterproof fabrics but the tutorial works just as well to make bags for all other purposes.  The one I made for my son is used to transport Lego, cars and other toys when we go on holiday.  The elephant one was used as a book bag but with the intention it would work as a toy bag too.  I've made some before and will definitely make them again!  I made my son's one to match his pencil case but now he's asked if he can have another pencil case so that he can have one in his school bag and one at home so maybe I'll make another drawstring bag to match a new pencil case. This time he's requested superhero fabric so I'll need to do some shopping for this one!

As an aside, I'm not sure how many people still read blogs. I mean I know I do but I definitely don't comment nearly as much as I used to, mainly because the Bloglovin app was so terrible on my phone and I never really got round to looking into a replacement.  I hope people still read this but when I was thinking about whether or not to post I realised I post here as much, if not more, for me than for anyone else. having this reminder of everything I've made together like this is very good for me. Whenever I feel anxious or stressed about what I am doing, or not doing, one way I can cheer myself up is to look at my blog and remind myself of all the things I've created. So that's me up to date with finished makes, now it's time to get on with some of those unfinished ones - cushions, quilts, EPP project etc etc!

Thursday, 19 September 2019

Modern fans quilt

You'd think I hadn't been sewing given that my last post here was in June! I haven't finished many projects but I have been sewing over the summer, quite a lot of EPP work on my Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt as well as a drawstring bag for toys for our holiday. The last big project I finished was this gorgeous quilt made using Suzy Quilts Modern Fans quilt pattern.
I bought this pattern for the sew-along which Suzy Quilts hosted but then of course didn't get round to it at the time. Plus I couldn't really have posted about this on Instagram during the sew-along as I was sewing it as a surprise for a friend's new baby!

The starting point for this was the Moda Yucatan fabric with the cactus. I bought it from M is for Make last summer and had been saving it.  When I saw this pattern I thought it would be perfect.  The gorgeous limey yellow colour is Cirrus solids in Sprout, also from M is for Make. I've had the green and pink fabrics for ages and they worked well with it.  The blue is a Cotton and Steel fabric but I can't remember which one.  The backing fabric is from the Wonderland range of fabrics by Rifle Paper Co. and is the most beautiful quality fabric with so many lovely details in the illustrations.
I was a bit apprehensive about all the curves but Suzy's tutorial is so good I needn't have worried.  I also found using my walking foot helped, both to keep everything together and also because I don't have a 1/4" foot so the walking foot is the only 1/4" measure I have. It definitely meant this piecing was more accurate so I'm using my walking foot for piecing all the time now.  I enjoyed the piecing on this one as it was a bit more involved than the last few quilts I've made.

I did my usual binding method, machine sewing to the front then hand sewing it to the back.  The quilt pattern is just a simple grid and I'm really pleased with how it looks with the curves. I really love the colours in this and think I'll need to buy some more of the Cirrus solids in Sprout, in fact the quality of the Cloud 9 Cirrus solids is lovely and looks a bit linen-like.

My next plan for this quilt pattern is to make a cushion for our house and I'm sure I'll use it to make a quilt again in the future.  Right now though I'm starting to think about Christmas sewing, anyone else?!

Thursday, 13 June 2019

Starry Skies quilt

I think this quilt was my first sewalong quilt #starryskiessewalong, I didn't finish by the deadline but having the sewalong was really lovely, seeing everyone's progress and chatting to people.  The quilt pattern is the Starry Skies Quilt by Then Came June patterns.  I finished making the quilt top in May 2018 and finally got it quilted in May 2019!
Starry Skies quilt, pattern by Then Came June
I really should keep a note of which fabrics I buy specifically for projects as it would be interesting to see. In this case I really can't remember. I think I may have bought the Cotton and Steel crosses yellow and mint for this project but I think most of the others were ones I already had. The peach, deep pink and white are the only second-hand fabrics in this quilt, the peach was a large piece of fabric I got in a charity shop in Wales years ago and it's been used in lots of things. The white is a 100% cotton sheet I got in a local charity shop. The pink was given to me by a friend whose grandmother had passed on lots of fabric to her. The small diamonds are from a pink Betty Jackson fabric I bought in Cloth House years ago and made a tank top with, it wasn't very well made so it came apart and has been re-used for quilting projects.  I love these two centre fabrics, I think the terracotta is April Rhodes for Art Gallery Fabrics and the horses is a Leah Duncan print.

I found this instructions for this so clear and easy to follow and I love how the stars aren't in straight lines.  It is obvious in these two close-ups that my stars are far from perfect, they don't line up properly at all. However I don't really care as I love the colours I used and this quilt makes me happy.  I think I'm getting more precise now and have found using my walking foot helps with this as it has a proper 1/4" seam allowance, previously I'd just been using my standard foot and assumed the edge was 1/4" but it's slightly bigger. Also I am slightly more careful with cutting out now than I was a year ago. But really, I'm not that into being precise and perfect anyway, I'd rather have it finished and loved!

Quilt backing, photographed in a garden.
For the quilt back I found a single IKEA sheet in my local charity shop.  I didn't buy it the first time I saw it, kept thinking about it and went back the next week to find it was still there.  The terracotta colour matches the April Rhodes fabric on the front really well and I added in some other pieces as it wasn't quite big enough.  The binding is made from all the little scraps, not cut on the bias this time as there wasn't enough fabric.  This is the second quilt I've made for our own home and by the end of this year I'd like to have another 2 finished for us.  Seeing this quilt, and the one I made for my son's bed, every day brings me joy!

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Gift sewing - free pattern

I feel like this post should have a warning - contains many photos of pencil cases!

I had a wee spate of making book bags for gifts in 2017, then again in 2018, though for some reason the second lot never made it to the blog.  Now it seems I've moved my attention to sewing pencil cases.  The main reason for this is the pattern is just so good!  The pattern is the free Canvas Pencil Pouch tutorial from Noodlehead Patterns.  I found the instructions so clear and easy to follow and the result is a really neat professional looking pencil case.  This is a free pattern, thanks Anna! It only has 3 pattern pieces and is perfect for using up scraps.  All you need to add is one 10" zip and some interfacing.

The first one I made was for my son for Christmas and it's already all covered in pen on the inside but I don't mind.  When I create things I want them to be things that are used every day and I love seeing him bringing this out on the table to do his drawing or practice his letters.  The yellow stripes are scraps from my Stripes & Herringbone quilt and the sweet panda/polar bear fabric was a fat quarter from Sew Scrumptious.  I picked up a bunch of lovely metal zips in a charity shop a while ago and this is one of the 10" ones I had, it's perfect for small hands as it has a built in zip pull. 
Photos of pencil case sewn using Noodlehead free canvas pouch tutorial

Then I decided that the older brother of the recipient of my recent Monochrome quilt really needed a pencil case in matching fabric so I made this one up. For this one I interfaced both the outer and lining fabrics to make it a bit sturdier.
Photos of pencil case sewn using Noodlehead free canvas pouch tutorial
This one was for a friend's daughter's 7th birthday.  I love this horse fabric which I also used in a recent quilt top (which still needs quilting). I thought it went really well with this scrap of Kona pink from my Sleep Tight quilt panel. The lining is a lovely wavy stripe fabric I bought years ago in Liberty from their quilting cotton section and I love how nice and bright this pencil case turned out.  I'm sure there will be more to come!

Photo of pencil case sewn using Noodlehead free canvas pouch tutorial

Photo of pencil case sewn using Noodlehead free canvas pouch tutorial

And finally I made this one very last minute for a birthday gift on Saturday, 2 hours before the party. It's nice to know I have a reliable pattern I can whip up quickly now. I bought this fat quarter of flamingo fabrics ages ago with no real purpose, I just really liked it.  It was perfect for this little girl and I've since heard that she really likes it which is great!

Photo of pencil case sewn using Noodlehead free canvas pouch tutorial

Photo of pencil case sewn using Noodlehead free canvas pouch tutorial