Thursday, 11 November 2010

Union Jack cushion cover

Here is my finished Union Jack Cushion Cover and I must say I am pretty pleased with it!
I made the block that formed the Union Jack using the tutorial from Lily Quilts and then added some sashing to make the front of the cover.  The back was made using an envelope design (so no zips, buttons or poppers).  I even used a small strip of the sashing material to edge the front of the envelope panel on the back & I think it gave a very nice finish!

Lily has a Union Jack group over on Flickr for anyone to add photos of their Union Jack projects and I have added mine.

I have another cushion to cover but this one is larger & square in shape.  I fancy either doing something with yo-yo flowers or maybe do a wonky log cabin block on the front....all using my scraps.  I am off now to put my thinking cap on!

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

New Projects

I think I have now settled on the Kona Coal for the sashing on the quilt I am going to make using the Amy Butler Jelly Roll....I just need to get around to ordering it!

In the meantime I have not been idle - I have been working on some cross stitch.  I was given some charts from Heaven & Earth Designs for Christmas a few years ago - they are beautiful designs but much more of a challenge than other cross stitch patterns that I have attempted.  The designs are based on pictures of fantasy figures and fairytales by a wide number of artists and these pictures are then translated into cross stitch patterns. The resulting patterns are huge!  The one I have started with has a pattern that is 22 pages long....and they are stitched on 25 count aida but 1 over 1!!!  This makes the stitches very small indeed.  

I started my current project about 2 years ago & have only completed 2 pages of the pattern so far.  To make it easier to keep track of what I have stitched I colour in the pattern as I stitch so eventually the whole paper pattern will be coloured in.  I am not sure how long it will take me to complete my cross stitch - probably a good few more years yet & then I have 2 more to do, one of which is called The Queen of Hearts...its a beautiful picture, full of deep & rich reds.

I am also in the planning stages for a couple of cushion covers at the moment...I have 2 un-covered cushions in our playroom which are crying out to be covered but I am not sure what to do yet.  One is square & the other is a rectangle shaped cushion.  The rectangle one could easily lend itself to a Union Jack cover & I have found some tutorials for Union Jack patches and for the other I would like to perhaps make a cover incorporating some yo yo flowers (I have the tools to make them but have not so far used them in any projects). 

All the fabric I need is hopefully in my stash - I purchased some nice fabric at the Knitting & Stitching Show which could be used for the Union Jack cover and I have a lot of Amy Butler Love Fabric left from the tops I made back in the summer....I just need to get myself in to gear & get on with it!

Thursday, 4 November 2010

At last the Birdie Quit is finished!

asAnd so at last the Birdie quilt for Granddad is finished.....this has been a labour of love and I have enjoyed every minute of it...I am quiet sad its now done - that's how much I have loved making it.  I decided to make the quilt for hubbie's Granddad, who is now 88 as he had made us some lovely wooden planters for our garden & I wanted to make something creative for him in return.

The design was based on the Holiday Quilt from the Material Obsession book.  I took the design and made it larger, adding my own backing design and designing my own birdie panels.

I am very proud of this achievement - it is only my second large size quilt (the size of a double bed but no over hang) and its my first go at appliqué, triangles & zig zags! There were no major mistakes, all of the seams joined up nicely and best of all - no puckers (well not that I have spotted any!).

I have never been to a quilt festival (the Houston Quilt Market has just finished & I long to have been able to go) and so I thought I would join in with the Bloggers Quilt Festival and submit my quilt !
Amy's Creative Side - Blogger's Quilt Festival

Now the quilt is all washed, labelled, ironed and I have stored it in the airing cupboard until its time to wrap up for Christmas....sigh.

I have plans for my next few projects in my head...I want to do a stacked coin quilt for HM - I have a lovely collection of Amy Butler Love Fabrics in Jelly roll strips and I have a few ideas for Christmas presents including some table runners and perhaps some more napkins.

One difficulty on the horizon though is what fabric to use for sashing with the Amy Butler Jelly Roll -there are a lot of different colours in the strips & I want to use something that will complement the fabrics but will also allow them to stand out. Also I know that white will go with all of them but I don't think it will have the impact I am initial thoughts were pale green but now I am leaning towards dark grey - Kona solids coal maybe? but that would not be a very girly colour for an 8 year old...more thinking I think!

Saturday, 9 October 2010

so so sorry

so....its been such a long time since I last blogged - I can not believe how quickly the time has flown!

There is so much to say to bring you up to date...

1)  I am still working on the Birdie Quilt I started in the summer - progress has been made;
2) I have fallen in love with an Amy Butler Love fabric Jelly roll (so much so I have 2);
3) I have a copy of the new Amy Butler Style Stitches Book;
4) I have purchased a copy of the Jelly Roll Quilts book by the ladies who run the Quilt Room in Dorking;
5) I went to my first Quilt Show with my sister; and
6) I visited the Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace with my dear sister today.

I am sure that there is much more to say but there it is for now whilst I rest my weary legs from all the walking today!

Friday, 18 June 2010

Another week, new fabrics

So another week has past. My birdie sample is complete so I have begun work on my full sized version.

So far there have been a few teething problems. I cut the white fabric for the background panels wrong so instead of being able to cut out six panels from it, I have only been able to cut out four. On the bright side you always need white fabric so the fabric left over will be used up in future projects I am sure.

Most recent mistake was with the brown border fabrics. I ordered a fat quarter of brown roman glass fabric by Kaffee Fassett. It arrived and although I did not think it was brown enough I really like it so am planning to use it. It crossed my mind that one fat quarter may not be enough so I ordered some more when I was ordering some fabric for another project (more about the other project later). However the fabric arrived and is not the same as the original fat quarter. I am in two minds about what to do and which one to use.....I shall make up my mind when I have made up some of the panels.

I am pleased to say that I did complete the first panel today .... (photos later).... I have sewn on some yellow birds with blue wings, some leaves and I have departed from the pattern by embellishing the birds with some beads.

Tonight I will be taking a break from the birdie quilt and will be starting my Amy Butler tunic top project but that again involves a mistake...but this time not my own! I decided that I will make a top for myself but also a top for HM. We will have the same tops but I will use the Amy Butler Daisy Chain Wildflower fabric in turquoise for me and the same fabric but in rose for her.

The fabric arrived this morning. I checked the invoice to ensure I ordered the correct amounts and started to wash it....I was excited. I then hung it out on the washing line and discovered that instead of there being 2m of fabric for me and 1.5m of fabric for HM, there was 1.5m for me & 2m for HM. I called the retailer where I purchased the fabric from and she was lovely. I am sending the 1.5m back and the retailer will send me 2m in return and I will keep the other 2m as well.

Anyway it will all be sorted out and I can play with P watches the footie xxx

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Sorry for being a bad blogger.....

This week I have fallen in love (again) with Ann Marie Horner fabrics....this has stemmed from my newest quilting project....the Kathy Doughty "Holiday Morning" quilt or Birdie quilt as I am calling mine. Its from Material Obsession by Kathy & her friend Sarah Fielke. It is described as being an Intermediate quilt & there is quite a bit of applique using foil which I have never attempted before.

The book gives instructions to make a wall hanging sized quilt but I think I might increase the size by making it with 9 panels instead of the 4 described so that it is big enough for a bed. Firstly have I chosen my fabrics, which I purchased from Fabric Rehab (very pleased with the speed of delivery). I chose a variety of different designs but one of them was the Citrus Little Folks Flower. I was amazed by how soft and beautiful this fabric felt (wished I had bought more than a Fat Quarter). I still needed some blue and more brown for the borders so I have also ordered some more Little Folks fabric in blue and pink (not sure what the pink is for but if its as soft as the citrus, then I just have to have it!).

Anyway that explains my renewed love of Ann Marie Horner back to the birdie quilt! Before embarking on the new applique technique & cutting into my lovely new fabrics - I decided to make a small sample birdie panel out of my scraps that I had lying around. I squared off a panel of plain white fabric and sewed a few strips of brown fabric together which could be used for branches and trunks. Then, against all instinct I cut vertically through the panel of white and then cut the panel halves horizontally at different angles - I then sewed them all back together again with the brown branches and trunk in between as see in the photos.

For the applique I traced the shapes onto greaseproof paper & then on to card, cut them out and used the card templates to mark the shapes on to the fabric for birds and leaves. The shapes were then cut out with a scant 1/4 seam allowance added on. Next was to cut out foil shapes, slightly bigger than the fabric shapes.

Now the fun! Following the book instructions I had to place the card shape on top of the fabric (right side down) and then place the stack on top of the foil. Gently fold the foil up & over the fabric & the card & finger press the creases in. It said not to iron as you end up with points on the creases around curved edges on the shapes but in doing this I found it very fiddly to pin the shape to the panel. I did resort to using the iron and found that if I was careful to pin so as not to get points, the shape was much easier to pin to the fabric. I then used slip stitch or blind stitch to attach the shape to the white panel. The final step was to cut away the white fabric underneath the shape - the idea being that there is less fabric to sew through when you get to the quilting stage.

So that is as far as I have got with the sample - now I need to add a border & wadding and then I am going to have a go at hand quilting the sample before attaching a backing fabric and perhaps some might even be good enough for a present for someone....anyway there are some photos of my work so far for you to take a look at.

I must also say that apart from this project I have not been idle but have neglected to take photos of my other creations....I have made a set of Amy Butler stash bags using the Amy Butler fabric shown in a previous post, I have also made an iphone pouch and a Tilda Doll for HM. I promise to take some snaps & upload them when I get the chance.

As for the rest of the week ahead, dearest PM is off on his annual boys jolly (which he denies as being a holiday) so I will be home alone looking after the Twins, HM, the rabbit & the plenty of time for sewing projects & spending time with my sister too...happy days xxx

Monday, 24 May 2010

slow progress

Apologies for not having updated my blog for so long - its been a busy & hot week!

Tuesday - my order from Saints & Pinners arrived - very quick indeed so I received my Amy Butler fat quarters & stash bag pattern (I had decided to have a go at these before attempting some of the clothing patterns that I have my eye on!). During the day I took the Twins to Bluewater - HM needed a new school summer dress & the Twins needed swimming trunks for holiday. I took the opportunity to pop into John Lewis whilst I was there to have a look at their range of fabrics. I was pleasantly surprised to see they stocked Amy Butler & Tanya Whelan Amy Butler tunic pattern happened to find itself a new owner & came home with me too :-)

So got home but no time to play but I did manage to fit in some jam making - my best raspberry jam got made whilst doing dinner for the Twins....yummm.

Wednesday came and I took the boys over to see my sister & her two monkeys. She lives near to Ikea so we went there to have a look at the fabric. Unfortunately the fabric that I had liked the look of was not on the shelf but the range of fabric was a fair size and some of it was rather nice. I purchased some grey and some off-white patterned fabric which I intend to use for the napkins and table runner for Grandma. The pricing was also good - about £4 per metre but they have an odd system there - you choose the fabric - cut the amount you want off the bolt itself and then a member of staff weighs it and prices it up!

Thursday came & went - it was not very memorable but I think that was the day I made some chocolate cupcakes (see pics)...I also ordered the Sewing book by Alison Smith (I had a flick through it in WH Smiths over at Bluewater on Tuesday but I didn't want to pay £25 for it). Amazon had the book available for £15.

Friday - I managed to cut the fabric for the napkins and pin them - this was a big job in itself & took ages as the pieces were so large. I think it took me nearly 2 hours to cut the 12 squares required! In the evening I managed to get out into the garden and plant up some of the summer plants which had been growing happily in the mini greenhouse.

Saturday was a family day - we all went to Homebase to get compost & more plant pots & also to Pets at Home to get the cat some food. After that we went to see Nanny & the children played with their Cousins in the garden. Our Mr J terrified us all by standing up and letting go on the top of Nanny's big slide! There was more gardening to be done once we got home but then we had the treat of going out for dinner (minus children) so no time for sewing.

On Sunday we were blessed by really hot sunny weather....we spent the day with my sister & the children splashed around in the paddling pool. By the time we got home they were all tired out but once they were in bed I set about continuing the napkin project. I sewed the napkins using the same method I had for my trial run. I got the seams all sewn, turned them the right way round and then got the stitching done around the edges - job I need to plan the table runner...I shall have to get a bit more fabric to contrast with the Ikea fabric but that is for another day.

So far to day I have had the pleasure of cutting out the fabric ready to make the Amy Butler coin purse from the stash bag pattern. P is out tonight so once the boys are in bed I can start sewing...yes, it was hard but I did cut through the beautiful

Monday, 17 May 2010

New projects & New challenges

Sorry for the lack of blogging yesterday but don't worry, even though it was fairly busy there was no lack of craft!

As you saw I had completed the latest wall hanging and was ready for my next project - a small coin purse for HM. I was adventuring into the world of zips.....

I had picked up a cheap zip from the haberdashery shop in the town earlier in the week - they only had blue so that restricted my fabric choices (also my stash is beginning to run a little low so that limited my choices also). I had some pretty floral blue fabric left from making some birds and mice so I chose that.

I had directions to follow from the most recent issue of Sew Hip Magazine - I had read through them a few times before embarking on this project - I think this is important so you are familiar with what you need to do & so you can follow the process through in your head. The instructions were easy to follow & the whole project too me a maximum of 2 hours...I thought this was quick even for me (also kidding myself that this is evidence that my sewing skills are improving lol).

The only tricky part was the zip - the instructions in the magazine differed to the instructions in my sewing machine manual - I followed the magazine instructions as they were more simple & in the end it turned out ok. Overall - a nice quick project for learning the basics for sewing in a zip & I am pleased with how it turned out.


Now that I had completed the coin purse I was free to turn my hand to another project...this time a doorstop for HM's room. Again this project was from Sew Hip.

I had acquired a few pieces of felt and some suede-type material from my Great Aunt so I thought these would be perfect for this project. The doorstop instructions were easy to follow & there was a pull-out paper pattern inside the magazine. The doorstop was to be in the form of an owl - lovely for children & could be easily converted into a soft toy. The whole project again took 2 hours from start to almost finish - I still need to find something heavy enough to put inside so that it holds the doors in our house open as we have self-closing doors. I also used my machine blanket stitching skills from the wall hanging project to add detail to the appliqué feathers on the front of the owl - I promise to post pics when it is finally completed!


It was an early start today - I had to take HM to school with the Twins in tow as P was taking my car in for its annual service. Luckily I managed to get my ironing done before leaving for school so when I put the Twins down for their mid-morning nap I was free to craft!

I had decided that I would make some napkins & perhaps a table runner for Grandma's birthday & christmas. I found a guide a few weeks ago & thought this morning would be a great time to make up a trial version using some scraps that I had laying about. I found some creamy coloured cotton & a dark creamy/floral cotton which could be teamed together. However I did not really have a suitable coloured thread so I opted for a bright pink thread so that the stitching would be highlighted.

Again it was another easy project - 1 hour at the most. I cut out a rectangle of each fabric measuring 16" x 13' - sewed them together - right side facing each other & leaving a gap of about 4' along one edge for turning. I trimmed the corners before turning & then carefully pressed the fabric on the right sides before using the 1/4" foot to add the seams on the right sides of the fabric. I then added some embroidery on my machine for a bit of fun.

I am pleased with how the napkin turned out & will definitely make a set for Grandma - its just a case of choosing the correct fabric for her now!

Also - did I mention that I placed an order at Saints & Pinners in readiness for a future project?....shussshhhh - just don't tell P :-)

Saturday, 15 May 2010

The finished article

So the wall hanging is completed.....hurrah....I took these pics in the garden as the sun was shining for a change & Bluebell the rabbit decided to get in on the action!

Friday, 14 May 2010

Almost done - the last leg

This morning I managed to get the front of the binding for the wall hanging done - almost without having to refer to any instructions!!!

I measured the outside edges of the hanging, added them up and added 12 inches to the total. I then cut enough strips so that when I sewed them together I would have one strip long enough to go round the whole of the hanging. Carefully I pinned and sewed with the machine until the binding was nearly all attached to the wall hanging. The joining of the two ends is the part which I find most difficult but S had found a really helpful pdf guide to show us how to do it. Using the pdf I got the ends joined!

My last job of the morning was pinning the binding around the back of the wall hanging so that I can hand stitch the binding to the back of the wall hanging with blind stitch. I hope that I can get it finished tonight & then I will post some pics of the finished article...happy days :-)

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Nearly finished

A quiet evening & I managed to get plenty done on the wall hanging. I must admit that I am very pleased with how well this project is working out and I can tell that my sewing and cutting skills are improving.

I cut the border strips first of all but I also had to trim the background fabric down as when I started this project I had cut it larger than the pattern required (on purpose). Once the border strips were cut I then sewed the first one to the bottom of the background fabric, sewed the patchwork panel to the bottom of the first border and then attached the top and bottom borders. Thankfully as I had been accurate with my rotary cutter I achieved all of this without a hitch for once!

The next task was to cut and attach the side borders. I checked the length of the wall hanging to make sure that the size required by the pattern would fit (I found that the side strips would extend out further than the length of the wall hanging but this was no problem as I could trim them down once they were attached.

Once the side borders were attached I had to layer up the wall hanging with the wadding and backing fabric. I had some polyester wadding and some cotton wadding left over from previous projects. Unfortunately the cotton wadding was not wide enough to fit the wall hanging so I had to use the polyester wadding (having worked with both types I definitely prefer the cotton as it is much nicer to sew through although it is thinner). I laid the wadding out & placed the front of the wall hanging on top & then cut the wadding to size, leaving a nice wide margin of wadding extending out from underneath the wall hanging top. I repeated this process for the backing fabric.

Now it was time to baste! Even though this was a small project I still found it a bit tricky trying to ensure that all the fabric layers were pinned together nice and smoothy and pucker free. I wish I had some 505 spray to help the layers stick together as I was pinning them. After a bit of fiddling about I did manage to get the wall hanging basted.

Before I started quilting I changed the needle on the sewing machine....I had noticed that the previous needle was starting to make a slight popping noise as it was going through the fabric when I was sewing the borders. I hadn't changed the needle since buying the machine and I guess that the quilting I had done on the previous project had blunted the needle slightly. I also changed the presser foot on the machine for the walking foot.

My last job of the evening was quilting the wall hanging. I chose to use navy blue thread for this as the borders are blue on the wall hanging and I think it looks nice.

The last job is to add the binding. I am saving this task for tomorrow. I have not yet decided how I am going to do this. The pattern suggests that you do each side separately but I might do it as continuos strip binding to practice what I learnt on my first big quilt....anyway we shall see what tomorrow brings....nighty night xxx

Quick stitches

So yesterday I spent most of the day with my dearest sister but instead of any stitching we spent time at her house baking - chocolate eclairs & apple pie samosas. Delicious...the apple pie samosas will make a lovely alternative to mince pies at christmas so I must get the recipe from S so I can make some at home...they can be frozen so I'll be able to make some in advance of Christmas.....

Anyway after collecting HM from school we headed over to my Mum's for our usual Wednesday night dinner. Whilst there I managed to get the hand-stitching of the wording on the wall hanging completed.

After dinner we went home & put the children to bed & I was able to carry on with the wall hanging. I cut out the tiny bits of fabric for the small bird & flower & then stitched them on. Next I measured and cut out the fabric for the patchwork panel - this took some time as I wanted to ensure accuracy. Finally I stitched them together using the 1/4 inch foot for the sewing machine. As the pieces were small I did not need to pin them together.

I called it a day after that as the next stage is to cut out and sew together the border strips & I did not want to do these whilst I was feeling tired. P is out tonight so once the Twins are put to bed I can carry on - its such a lovely thing to look forward to!

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Wall hanging - third session

So more work tonight on the flower pot wall hanging - in between live BBC streaming of the comings & goings from the Palace & Downing Street (I love watching history happening live!)

Time to blanket stitch the flowers using the sewing machine.

I was anticipating a bit of a struggle as I had last night but much to my surprise it worked very well and I was able to judge where to stop and turn the fabric at which point of the stitching action. I am very pleased with the finish to the flowers and I found that taking it slowly helped a lot.

The next part of the instructions required me to stitch the letters on to the fabric backing. I had originally planned to do this by machine if possible but I had a play with the free motion foot on my machine and found it quite difficult. This is a clear case of practice makes puuurrrrrfect so I have decided to hand stitch the letters instead (save free motion stitching for another day & another project). So far I have stitched the first three letters but will do the rest tomorrow. I might also attach a large button over the O but will make that decision once I have done some more work on this project. I have posted some more pics of tonight's progress.

So far, no sewing yet today but I thought I would spend some time updating the blog & I also made some scrummy coconut slice for hubbie & HM (my daughter) for tea tonight as a treat. I have not made coconut slice for ages and to make it even more special I used some of my best home made raspberry jam inside it. Also above is a photo of the blanket stitching I did last night around one of the flower pots on the wall hanging....its a bit difficult to see but I hope you get the general idea.

Wall hanging - second session

So the children were tucked up in bed & I sat down to work :-)

First task was to make my final fabric selection for the flowers and quilting. I referred to the finished design on the front of the pattern, using that as my guide. After choosing the fabric for the flowers, pots & stems I cut out the flower stems, pressed them and then decided to use my machine to attach them to the backing fabric (as I have a new machine I might as well use it as much as possible in the project & it will enable me to discover more about the functions & all the different stitches).

Stems attached, next came the pots & the flowers. I traced the pots & flowers onto fusible interfacing & then ironed them on to the fabric. I cut out the shapes now ironed on to the fabric, peeled off the paper layer on the interfacing and then ironed the fabric shapes to the backing fabric in the desired position.

The pattern instructions then advised to use a decorative stitch to securely attach the shapes to the backing fabric. I like to use blanket stitch but decided to do it by machine & not by hand. Again, this was a new function of my sewing machine that I was going to use. I practiced a little on a scrap of fabric before letting myself loose on the wall hanging. In fairness it probably will take just as long as sewing it by hand as I found it quite tricky turning corners & ensuring the stitches ended up in the right direction. Overall the finish is probably not as neat as I would like here but I am viewing it as a learning process & frankly practice makes perfect :-)

By the time I finished doing the blanket stitch around the flower pots it was time for bed & I decided that I will tackle the flowers this evening....

Monday, 10 May 2010

New projects - new adventures

So today I am starting my new project...a House on the Hill wall hanging. My very first patchwork project was a similar wall hanging but this one is a little bit bigger than the first. I love the House on the Hill designs and luckily there are many UK suppliers.

I have chosen the Flower Pot Quilt pattern but there isn't really much patchwork to this design but it should nicely fit the gap between my last project and my list of future projects. Hopefully the skills I learnt and improved doing my last project will help give this project a lovely finish.

I took a few minutes whilst the Twins were napping this morning to read through the instructions and to make a start. I have previously chosen my fabrics and they are already washed and are ready to go.

The first task was to cut the fabric I had chosen for the background. I had found that with the first wall hanging, the fabric frayed as I was working on it, so to prevent this I decided that I would overlock the edges I had cut. It was my first time at overlocking & on my new machine. It worked out fine. I did find that once the edges of the fabric are sewn that you need to set the stitches again to get the fabric edges to lay flat, otherwise they creep up a little.

The next stage which I managed to complete this morning was to trace the pattern on to the fabric. It is nice and light in my kitchen so I taped the paper pattern to my kitchen back door, attached the fabric over the pattern and used my tailors pencil to trace the pattern on to the fabric....I now should be ready for more jobs tonight, once the Twins are in bed :-).....

Sunday, 9 May 2010

My first large scale quilt is complete at last!

Today is a special day - I have completed my first large scale quilt (well its half a king size but my biggest quilt so far!).

For this project I had decided that I wanted to make a small quilt for my lounge, featuring mainly green fabrics.

I chose an easy and simple design from my favourite quilting book, Material Obsessions, which my sister gave to me for my birthday. I then chose the fabrics I liked when I visited The Wandering Line, in Purley. A fab shop dedicated to quilting.

Making the top layer of the quilt was a quick and easy job. I simply trimmed down the fat quarters into 18 1/2 inch blocks. I then cut the sashing strips into 3 1/2 inch strips (some needed sewing together to reach the desired length). All of the top layer was pieced together using the old Singer 533 machine given to me by my Grandmother (in law).

All the fabric and threads I had used so far were 100% cotton so I decided to used 100% cotton batting for the middle layer of this quilt (I made sense as I wanted it all to be made from natural fibres). The batting was purchased from Thread Bear, Hamsey Green, another local shop.

The fabric which I had chosen for the backing layer was not long or wide enough to cover the back of the quilt in one piece so I had to piece together two sections. This I did with the help of my sister. Together we taped the whole piece of backing fabric to her kitchen floor so that it would not move and then used 505 adhesive spray over the wrong side of the fabric, laid the batting on top and smoothed it all out. Then we used the 505 spray again and laid the quilt top on top of the quilt sandwich, smoothing the fabric out and pinned all the layers together for safety.

My sister & I both agree that using the 505 spray greatly reduced the risk of the layers of fabric slipping against each other and puckering when you come to quilting.

The purchase of my new Janome machine occurred in the middle of the process of making this quilt. I played with my machine for a while prior to getting ready to quilt my quilt and even trimmed off some of the excess backing fabric and batting from the quilt to practice on with the walking foot attachment which came with my machine.

The walking foot for the Janome made quilting the layers together easy as pie. The walking foot grips the top layer of fabric and feeds it through as well as gripping the bottom layer of fabric and feeding it through the machine. This again reduces the risk of puckers and slippage.

The last job to do was to join together the binding strips, stitch them to the front of the quilt and then blind stitch them to the back. I had not done any binding using the continuous binding strip method, so I enlisted the help of my sister. I stitched the binding strip to the front of the quilt using my machine and walking foot and then spent the last couple of days bind stitching the back.....completing my task tonight!

I am very pleased with the result. It is by no means a perfect quilt but it has given me the confidence to try some other projects.

I am already looking forward to my next project and am dreaming of future projects too...I can't help myself, I am so excited about where this new craft and machine can take me. Tomorrow I aim to start on a simple wall hanging for the hallway, then I plan on a simple purse with a zip so I can learn how to fit a zip, then next might come some embroidered napkins (I plan on making a set for Grandma for her birthday and if she likes them, maybe even a table runner for Xmas!) Eventually I would like to have a go at making some Amy Butler clothes that I like the patterns for :-)

Anyway enough for tonight...speak soon xxx

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

A new arrival

So now the christening fun and games is over...its time to turn my attention back to sewing.

My lovely hubbie had an extra day off work today & for something to do we went to Tunbridge Wells. Luckily for me there is a sewing machine shop there and we decided to pop in to have a look at the sewing machine which I had been researching.

The model I was looking for was not on display so I asked an assistant for help. I assume it was the Manager who then came over and found a machine, got it out the box and spent a good while with us showing what the machine was capable of.

I was impressed. He offered to match the price I had found on the web and I became the owner of a brand new Janome 4900qc & a very happy lady.

I will be having fun with my new toy tonight!

Saturday, 1 May 2010


Tomorrow is the day of our childrens' baptism so today we are busy with the final preparations. I have done the final bit of food shopping, picked up the cupcakes from the bakers (decided on cupcakes instead of a traditional cake) and the house is mostly tidied & clean.

The final bits & pieces will have to be done once the boys are put to bed tonight & then it will be an early start in the morning as the Service starts at 9:30am!

Unfortunately I think I will be too tired for crafting tonight but I may sneak a quick visit to one of my local sewing shops to pick up some wadding for my latest project....

Friday, 30 April 2010

Hi .... my name is Amanda and I am a crafter :-)

This is my first journey into to blogging so please bear with me here for a while.

A little about myself.....married to a wonderful hubbie and we have 3 children together - our daughter, who is 7 and twin boys who are now 17 months old. I am lucky enough to be at home looking after our boys full time but in my former working life I worked in Environmental Health.

Another important piece of information is that I am a twin myself & my sister & I are very close.

My aim is to use this blog as I craft, recording what I have made, found and discovered. At the moment I am exploring quilting (along with my sister) but also have recently discovered preserve making.

Anyway tonight I have just finished the top layer of my first lap quilt but I will be back to talk more about it another time as I am tired now & ready for some shut eye....

Nighty night x