Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Sew much for that

By today Christmas already feels like a while ago, but just before the start of 2015 I would like to show off some of the Christmas gifts I made and received.  I've seen a lot of blogs recently with sewn pouches which have been given as gifts.  For the first time in my life I am part of a trend as I made plenty of these for gifts as well.

First up are three of the Liberty pouches I made.  This one is a Kindle case and I love all the Liberty blues with the gingham interior.  Classy and timeless, I think.

Next up are purple make up bags.  I used some of the same fabrics in them but the different zips and inner fabrics give the bags a different feel.  The top one with the deep purple is really vibrant.  The bottom one has a lilac zip and inner and it feels a lot calmer.

 I also made a glasses case for one of my uncles, who is notorious for losing his glasses.  He is also an allotmenter, so this gardening fabric is just perfect.  This could be my all time favourite fabric.  It's by Alexander Henry and is called "Little Green".  It came out in 2011 (before I had even been on a sewing machine) and I have sought it out on many occasions, only to be told you can't get hold of any more of it.  I love it so much!  I really wish they would bring it out again; I would buy metres a bolt and make so many lovely things with it.  The fabric also has ladybirds, and I love those little critters.

I received lots of lovely presents but the sewing ones are worth sharing here.  I got a couple of notebooks, which I love for writing down my ideas and inspiration.  (Thanks Amy and Lorraine.)  I also got some sewing chocolates from Nicola (thank you!) which not only looked great but tasted yummy, too.

 Lorraine also bought me some Liberty squares and a Liberty pouch.  I was thrilled with both.  I have a lot of Liberty fabric, but I am always happy to add to it and there were loads of fabrics in this pack that I don't have and (shock horror!) there are even some I don't know the name of!

 I hope you all had a nice Christmas and have an enjoyable 2015.  I'll see you next year!

Thursday, 18 December 2014

It's beginning to look...

a little like Christmas.

All I seem to show on here at the moment are Christmas projects, which probably gives you the impression that I am ready and raring for Christmas and loving the festive period.  Nothing could be further from the truth - I haven't bought a single present, I've not written even one card, and yet despite being so behind in my preparations I have found time to make a couple more Christmas projects.

First up is this table runner.  I worked on this at the weekend with some friends.  This star had originally been a cushion made from orange colours and I think it was called "Tropical Star".  (I forget from which magazine).  It was a lovely cushion but we decided to jazz it up and to turn it into a festive table runner.  I am so pleased with it.  It's definitely all about the fabric and I love the richness of the purple and red here.  I quilted some of the key shapes in gold thread to make it even more glitzy.  I already had a nice Christmas table runner which I made last year, but it has already had to be replaced with this one.  Maybe they will appear alternate Christmases.

I'm really beginning to enjoy foundation piecing and I want to have a go at designing a pattern of my own next year.  You get such lovely points and you can't really go wrong because the numbers tell you what to do.

The second project my sister-in-law has requested I make for her mother-in-law (still with me?)  In typical fashion I am helping other people with their Christmas gifts instead of my own.  She wanted an elephant iPad case and I had some lovely scraps from Christopher's baby quilt.  It was nice for me to use up these bits of fabric and create a pretty gift in the process.  I think it will make a nice gift.  If not, I'll just have to keep it for myself.

I hope your Christmas preparation is going well.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Sunday Stash #5

I have a couple of recent purchases to show off today.

The first was bought on Black Friday.  I watched people on the news getting into scuffles for a flat screen tv and wondered how people could work themselves into such a frenzy.  Then on my twitter feed I saw Eternal Maker's 15% off everything Black Friday deal and just had to join in.  This is an Aurifil Basics Collection and as many of the threads are so muted they can be used to quilt lots of different projects.  The pink you see was not in the original collection, but the lady phoned me to say they had sold out of one of the greys so she let me choose something else instead.  Baby pink is always going to be useful for me.  I've already made a start with one of the threads, but I know it will take me a while to use them all.

This rather large collection of Christmas fabrics is by Lynette Anderson and is called Candy Cane Angels.  I was pondering whether to buy these fabrics for a while and finally decided to take the plunge.  There are 25 fabrics in total and there is a fat eighth of each, which is enough to make a nice Christmas quilt, but not too much as to feel overwhelmed with Christmas fabrics.  These colours are so muted for me, but I think I can make something really cute with these and I think I am going to keep the colours in their three groups, though I have no other design ideas than that at the moment.

Enjoy Sunday!

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Townscapes course by Gillian Travis

Last month I attended an amazing course at The Bramble Patch.  (I'm sorry for only getting around to blogging about it now.)  It was quite a journey for me and my friend Rachel.  Anyone who knows me well can tell you that I am a home bird.  I like being at home and in Sheffield and I don't like travelling.  I love to visit different places but I find long journeys off-putting, so Rachel did a good job of convincing me that the two and a half hours on the motorway would be worth it.

Rachel was so right!  The course was inspiring and I learned lots.  Gillian's work is like nothing else and it was clear to see why she has won awards and why she tutors around the world.  My favourite piece she showed us was of Yorkshire, so this was literally "right up my street."  Please check out Gillian's other work here.

She really encouraged us to have a go and taught us how to break down a townscape.  I felt exhausted at the end of it.

One of my most favourite places in the world is Whitby in North Yorkshire.  It's about three hours to get there, but that's one journey that never bothers me because I know what awaits me when I get there is nothing but bliss.  I went there in October with my husband and had as good a time as ever, so it was clear that I would work on a Whitby landscape on this course.

I tried to capture the Abbey, the Georgian houses (which I adore) and the fishermen's cottages on the cliffs.  My work looks nothing like Gillian's (wow is she talented!) but I think it's an acceptable first attempt and she did manage to get me to do some free motion embroidery (never an easy task!)

This is no where near finished but I am going to have to put it on the back burner for the time-being as I have lots of other sewing commitments at the moment.  It's definitely something I want to come back to, but I will need to have a day to myself and be in the "zone".

As for The Bramble Patch, it on its own was well worth the journey.  It is such an inspiring place - great teaching facilities, amazing fabrics, long arm quilters on the go and helpful staff.  It is clearly a destination shop and one I will be visiting again.  Inevitably I bought some bits and pieces and found some backing fabrics in the sale section.  I came home tired but inspired on lots of levels.

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Kaleidoscopic cushion

I love quilting books and quilting magazines and will happily spend time browsing fabrics and design, but I very rarely make anything from them.  I think they provide me with ideas and inspiration which I then go on to use in my own projects.  But then I saw the most amazing Kaleidoscopic Quilt in issue 5 of Quilt Now and I knew I had to make it.

I love this quilt so much.  It's by Reene of Nellie's Niceties and I think it's a stunner.  I love the colours, the shapes and the fact it is made from scraps.  I have only done a little foundation piecing before, but it's definitely something I want to do more of and this pattern is great for a beginner.

With all my Christmas sewing there isn't time for me to make a big quilt at the moment, but I have found time to make a cushion front.  One of our cats, Jackson, has a dicky tummy and was sick on one of our cushions this week, so they are now out (I had gone off them in any case.)

The colours here are not my usual palette, but they will suit our brown sofas.  My autumnal colours give it such a different look and feel to Reene's.  I love the fact that most of the fabrics here are scraps, which otherwise had no destiny but which now are going to have a permanent home in our front room.

I am going to make a couple more cushions, which use the same fabrics but in a different order.  I will keep the cute little hedgehogs in the centre of them so all the cushions have something in common.  Also, I have to have a critter in the project somewhere.

It's not a true Friday finish, but I feel some sense of achievement.

Thank you for visiting.