Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Oh Tannenbaum, Oh Tannenbaum...

As it is now the end of November I feel justified in showing off some of my Christmas sewing.  I have attended two Christmas sewing workshops this month and have another one booked for mid December.  We don't go overboard at Christmas at our house but slowly we are starting to get some nice Christmas decorations together and more recently these have been made by me.  I like the idea of heirloom Christmas decorations which come out each year and then having the feeling of being reunited with an old friend.

First of all, here is my Christmas Tree wall hanging which I made with a group of friends at Patchwork Garden.  The pattern was written by Sarah Williamson and we had the privilege of her tuition as well.  The pattern is amazing and it was wonderful to see the different variations we all created.  Sarah is a super talented sewer, quilter and pattern-writer and she taught us lots of tips and tricks along the way.  We had a wonderful time and I am already keen to book onto another course with her.

This Christmas tree does not have traditional Christmas colours, but it will look perfect in our house at it matches a table runner and some bunting I made last year.  I wanted to create a "scene" so added blue fabric for a winter sky and white fabric with a silver print to create the look of snow.  I love the crispness of the look.  I then tarted it all up with plenty of ric rac and then buttons to look like baubles.  I did two "shadow" quilting lines around the tree in silver thread to give it that blinged look.  I need to put a star on to finish it, but I couldn't resist including it here today.

As if that wasn't enough, I have also attended an Advent Calendar class, again at Patchwork Garden.  A friend bought me the panel last year, but I did not get around to making it (and I also felt rather daunted as I was not as good a sewer then.)  I had so much fun making this and already want to make another one next year.  My mum loves traditional Christmas scenes (I usually spend lots of November and December hunting down nativity Christmas cards for her) so this will be going to her.  She loves Christmas decorations and will love putting gifts in for her grandchildren, especially as it tells the story of Christmas.

In typical fashion I have put quite a lot of quilting on here and could not resist gold thread to outline the stable, to include in the sand and to outline the star.  As it is a wall hanging I used a cheap man-made wadding, which was trickier to work with, but as it had greater "loft" (listen to me!) it gave the overall hanging more depth.  My mum will love this so it quickly needs to get in the post so she can start advent promptly.

I did both of these projects with sewing friends and sewing classes so it seems appropriate to link this blog post to Lorna McMahon's blog Sew Fresh Quilts who has a Wednesday "Let's Bee Social" link up.

Happy Advent!

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Sunday Stash #4

I haven't done a Sunday Stash for a while.  I have still been buying fabric but I have been slightly more reserved.  This Sunday Stash I'm only showing off the five fat quarters I bought, though it is likely I will add more of the range to my stash at a later date.

These fabrics are by Lynette Anderson and are part of her Pocketful of Daisies range.  They are just adorable!  I love the gentleness of the colours but the distinctiveness of the patterns.  Lynette Anderson is not a designer you will find in every fabric shop in the UK (probably as they start life in Australia) so it is great that they are available at Craft Den in Sheffield, which is a stone's throw from me!

My husband is really into allotment gardening and we have some great friends as a result.  I know that I will be using these fabrics soon to make Christmas gifts for them.  Just perfect!

Have a lovely Sunday!

Friday, 21 November 2014

Conquering 3D

Recently I've been making crafty things for sale at a friend's Christmas craft stall.  I've been doing my bit by making phone cases and these iPad cases:

I know that to most people these look a lot less complicated than my usual quilts, but I find anything 3D tricky.  My brain just cannot figure out what to do - there's just too much inside out and upside down and it messes with my head!  I think I've made about twenty cases in total now and I am now at the stage that I can make them without consulting the tutorial I made for myself, photo by photo, on my mobile phone.

I've really enjoyed making these iPad cases because I have worked with lots of different fabrics and put great combinations together of outside fabric, inside fabric and zips.  Here's hoping that people like my efforts and part with their money at the stall.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Scrapisfaction Quilt - Four Star Quilt

My obsession interest in scrappy quilts continues!  I enjoyed making my large scrappy star so much that I decided to make a quilt with four scrappy stars, though on a smaller scale.

I used the same technique as before, making a slab of fabric and then cutting it to make half square triangles and then doing piecing as you would in any other quilt.  It really is scrapisfying!

I have a lot of pink fabrics in my stash and use it regularly, which creates lots of lovely scraps.  I have seen other scrappy quilts which are very strict in their use of colour, but I like to put lots of different pinks side by side and even have plenty of white backgrounds as well.  The great thing about working with scraps is that it is much less controlled and the finished quilt a lot less predictable.

The quilting was easy and looks particularly good on the back.  I quilted the stars a couple of times and then quilted each of the eight points in each star individually.  This did create plenty of ends and the finishing off was tedious, but I can do that and justify watching tv.  On the front I quilted in a deep pink, but on the back I quilted with a variegated thread which goes from light baby pink to deep crimson.  I've used it plenty of times before and I think it makes the back that little more interesting.

Last month I linked up with Mrs Sew and Sow and who hosts a Scraptastic Tuesday along with She Can Quilt and I got lots of visitors and lovely comments.  I'm linking this blog post to Scraptastica Tuesday (yes, I do know it's Friday.)  Here's hoping the fellow scraptastic quilters like this quilt.  As it's also a Friday Finish, I am also linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts.

Scraptastic Tuesday

Thank you for visiting.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Ribbons Quilt: my pattern!

I seem to have been slack with my blogging recently, not because I haven't been sewing much, but because I have been doing so much sewing.  There is so much going on right now that it is going to take a few posts to explain everything.

Today's blog post is especially exciting for me because I get to show off my Ribbons Quilt and direct you to the pattern and tutorial I wrote.  I have mentioned this quilt pattern in a couple of previous blog posts but this week it was posted on The Village Haberdashery's blog The Daily Stitch.


It's called "Ribbons" because I used three colours and pieced them in such a way as to create ribbons of colour.  I was really keen to use the unicorns from Far Far Away in the blue, green and lilac colourways but the rest of the fabrics were picked out by the ladies at The Village Haberdashery and they did a great job!  The colours look fantastic together and in this pattern they all seem to shine.  This is the top pieced but not finished, but you get to see the pattern.

24 Pieced

The Half Rectangle Triangles took some working out.  I have previously used a Bloc Loc ruler to create them but I had to work out a different technique in order that anyone could make them without expensive equipment.  I made all of the HRTs using my own tutorial so I knew it could be done.

I really am proud of this quilt - I hope you like my efforts too.  Thank you for visiting.