Another pair of kids leggings

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On the serger, my daughter made a second pair of leggings. (Wearing a tiara whilst working of course)

On the serger it all took less than 20min to come together. A bit more for the fiddly elastic casing which I sewed on my sewing machine for her. But all exceptionally quick, and now I have a leggings master pattern for her.
I think we could have made the lower leg tighter, but I quite like that it’s not too tight. We could possibly lower the waist too, but she says it’s fine that high!

Black lycra as she requested! Shiny side out of course!

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Now I have a long legged princess who is ready to run at any moment!

(That’s a hair piece by the way!)

Sewing Leggings

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I followed this great tutorial to copy a pair of leggings for my daughter. Wow, how come it’s taken this long to discover twin needle magic?!

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It was really easy and fun, so how hard could it be to make adult ones?

I had a go at drafting my own leggings. I followed this tutorial here one little minute draft your own leggings.

The one thing I found was that the knee was a bit tight, and around calves. I have wide calves, and this drafted pattern didn’t allow for that. But it was a very good fit around the bum (which also a bit wide!)

Then I bought the custom fit Espresso leggings sewing pattern. Honestly, I could have just adjusted the drafted pattern I had, but there’s something comforting about the Espresso instructions and I love the way you fill in the dots on this innovative pattern.

I learnt from my own draft to allow a measurement for my calves and I lengthened the pattern by 2″.
Now I have a great fit. I’ve made 2 pairs for myself. And I can see a few more on the horizon (cycling short, 3/4 length etc).

I made both my pair and my daughters with the sewing machine. I can imagine that making them on the serger would take no time at all!

“Girl fabrics are prettier!”

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“Girl fabrics are prettier!”

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My 6yo son has a quilt, but has demanded another one. He was in tears the other night (exhaustion playing a major part) saying that his quilt isn’t as pretty as the one I’m finishing for his cousin Nel.
TEARS! “Girl materials are much prettier Mami” he wailed!

A few days later after sewing some dolls house quilts with my daughter I told him to choose some fabrics he liked from my big box.
This is the result. He picked lots of greens and red in charm squares. And he was VERY specific that he wanted a big square of bug fabric right in the middle.

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It’s very different to what I would have chosen for him, but he loves it. He also helped me piece the majority of the quilt top. (So there are a few wobbly seams and squares which wont match up, but I love it! )

We also put a panel on the back to make it a quillow (but I haven’t yet put any applique on the pillow bit, so it’s just plain beige fleece at the moment.
It’s backed with the fleece just as he wanted.

His quilt, his choices, his hard work and I’ve got the happiest 6year old in the world!

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Now my daughter wants another quilt!

A sew along I couldn’t resist! Trunks!

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A sew along I couldn’t resist! Trunks!

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I have been diverted from my ongoing quilting projects to make… Underwear for my husband.

When I saw the Comox Trunks Sew-along I couldn’t resist joining. I was late to the party, so sewed up two complete underpants today, more catchupalong really!

When I told my husband what I was doing he raised an eyebrow and more or less said he didn’t think he’d wear them, why on earth was I making underpants!

I wasn’t put off…I was determined to prove him wrong!

I mostly serged them together.

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The first pair was too big, and too messy, I had a nightmare trying to put on the elastic – the jersey was curling really badly.

I decided to hem the legs with a twin needle, but it didn’t really feel that comfortable.

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The second leg I hemmed with a stretch (broken) zig zag – much softer. But both legs were a bit wavy… I had clearly stretched the fabric a bit whilst hemming.

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So I made a second pair.
I went down a size and this time I serged the top after construction so that the elastic went on easier. I also made ABSOLUTELY sure that I didn’t stretch the leg fabric when I hemmed them.
Much much better. My husband’s verdict: not bad at all, he will wear them after all. If he had one criticism, it was that he’d like the back to be higher. No problem- that could probably be easily done with the pattern pieces.

Result! Quick, easy, satisfying project!

Comox Trunks Sew-along: Schedule and Prize Photos

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I never make anything for my husband. So I’ve added this to my to do list (ordered my elastic aready):

Thread Theory

I’ve made up the schedule for the Comox Trunks Sew-Along and also a page on our blog side bar where you will be able to access all the posts indefinitely.  Even though the Comox Trunks take very little time to sew, I’ve stretched out the posts to include no more than half an hour of sewing per post so that new or busy sewers won’t be intimidated.  I hope these dates work for you and that you are looking forward to joining us!

  1. April 4th: Choosing your fabric and elastic
  2. April 6th: Picking a size and ideas for customizing (lengthen the legs, enlarge the front cup, create narrower legs, or remove the right exit fly)
  3. April 8th: Cutting out your fabric and preparing your machine
  4. April 1oth: Sewing the trunks front
  5. April 12th: Sewing the trunks back
  6. April 14th: Hemming the trunks
  7. April 16th: Attaching the elastic waistband (or adding…

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Weekend Project – The Quillow

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I love this idea, had to reblog as I’m planning a quillow now for the children. What a great camping quilt for our summer hols.

Check out Amy’s original blog. Lots of lovely projects.

Purls and Polka Dots

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This weekend saw a lot of time dedicated to making a Quillow. Possibly one of the greatest things ever to be invented, a quilt that folds into a pillow (I know right? It’s amazing I tell you) is the most snuggly and treasured gift to give. Each one is a labour of love, but are so darn worth it. We call the ones in our house the ‘sleep makers’ because they are impossible to stay awake under… Impossible.

The original tutorial I used was from the wonderful Nova at ‘A Cuppa and A Catch up‘ with this detailed and easy to follow tutorial.

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Since then I’ve branched out and tried other quilt top patterns. If you stick with a square block top pattern you can use the above tutorial no-sweat. If you’re trying something different, then just sewing a pocket on the back and lining one side with polar-fleece…

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Surprise Porthole Baby Quilt

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I needed to make a baby quilt for a good friend of mine. I had blocks left over from a previous jelly roll project, I played around with them and made this.

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I wanted her son’s name on the quilt, but felt the front was busy enough as it was, and adding it to the back was probably a better idea. I also had lovely bug fabric that I bought to make something for a boy. This coupled with seeing all the lovely portholes made at this year’s Fat Quarterly Retreat got me thinking. Why not have a surprise porthole on the back, and sew his name around it? The bug jar could be fussy cut to show through. (I took Lu Summers‘ porthole class in last year’s Fat Quarterly Retreat)

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I’m really happy with how it turned out. I quilted most of the quilt in straight lines, but added FMQ to the center panels, and echoed the porthole too.

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Celebrating a long awaited finish!

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My big pink quilt is finished and I just love it!

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I had it basted for over a year (not kidding) and the backing was really bugging me, it was too much for the quilt. So I took off the flowery backing that you can see in this post, instead I made my first pieced backing in greys and a row of the same prints as the quilt top.

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After this year’s Fat Quarterly Retreat i felt brave enough to tackle FMQ on this huge beauty too. Thanks Trudi for the instruction in that class – it made a huge difference to me. Of course, I used Aurifil 50wt thread too after seeing how it behaved in that class. I didn’t have one thread breakage!

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Now i’m new at this FMQ, so this quilt is full of rookie mistakes and flaws. I probably shouldn’t have used red on the back. It would have been much better to have have a dark grey matching thread – my flaws wouldn’t have been so visible! But I was a bit nervous of using different threads in the top and bottom. I shouldn’t have been. Next time I will take more care whilst considering the colour of the bobbin thread.

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There’s build up of thread, overshooting my line etc etc…. but do you know what… I STILL love this, and it has pride of place on our bed.

Is it weird to have a “favourite bit” of the quilt – do others have this too? Well mine is the very small pebble bit at the corners of the light blue sashing. Did I say I’m new at FMQ… I kept my dodgy pebbling to a minimum!!

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So there she is – she’s big, she’s bold, she’s not perfect but she’s flippin’ marvellous! I’m so proud of her.

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Pattern and most of the fabrics are Kaffe Fassett.

Maybe I SHOULD be a thread snob

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Maybe I SHOULD be a thread snob

During the Fat Quarterly Retreat in London I took some classes with the amazing Trudi Wood. I love her work and her class was a bit like opening a door on the mysteries of free motion quilting. I have dabbled with FMQ in the past, experimented and stumbled in the dark… but after her classes (in FMQ and FMQ design) I am completely confident in going for it! My FMQ is full of mistakes / flaws or “design features” as she might put it, but I feel that it gets easier everytime I sit down and try.

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The photo above was done with my proper machine, but during the class I was using (well…wrestling) with my 25 year Jones machine. She wasn’t happy, she was presenting me with huge eyelashes all over my practice sandwich.

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I changed needle.
I changed tension.
I adjusted the bobbin tension with a screwdriver.
I rethreaded.
I swore.
I gave up and took a coffee break!
During coffee I was moaning about my frustrations to Cara who suggested that maybe I should change thread completely.
So I went back and rethreaded with Aurifil 50. Now I originally didn’t want to
use my precious Aurifil for these practice sandwiches but look at the difference it made!

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It was as if a little fairy had come down to make it all better! Who knew that a change of thread could make that much of a difference?

This is what progress looks like!

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I’ve made a few more luggage tags. If there’s interest at the Fat Quarterly Retreat I might sell them. If not, they will be gifts.

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I have to say I’m not sure I’d make these again. They’re very time consuming and fiddly, but they’re really pretty.

I have also made progress in my Finish A Long list.

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I pieced my multi colour baby blanket.

I also quilted my daughter’s quilt and started binding.

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I’ve started hand basting the binding to the back now too. And with the left over binding, I’m keeping it safe on a toilet roll!

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UFOs I’m coming to get you

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Time to join my first finish-a-long I think. I have far too many UnFinished Objects around here:

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1. my potpourri quilt:
This beauty needs a new plainer backing, needs quilting, and binding. Poor thing has been waiting for a LONG time.

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2. Hello Daughter quilt.
Needs quilting, and binding

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3. My son’s play quilt which needs quilting and binding.
Jelly Roll Challenge FQR 2012

4. A pillow of appliqued flowers, needs quilting and finishing into a pillow.

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5. Solid baby quilt, at the moment it’s in strips, not even a quilt top. This WILL be finished (even though the baby it was intended for has outgrown it!)

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So there’s my wishlist, or as Canadian Abroad coined it, my wishful thinking list, because despite all good intentions, I always get sidetracked with other projects!

I’m linking up with Leanne from She Can Quilt‘s Finish-A-Long 2013 Q3. Have a look who else will be facing their UFOs!

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Ugh! It’s all gone a bit Pete Tong

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Ugh! It’s all gone a bit Pete Tong

I was trying to follow a pattern for a boxy pouch / make-up bag.
And um…it all went wrong.
It’s the wrong shape, the tags are all wrong, it’s just a mess!

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At least I know now what I did wrong, so I’m going to have another go!
Moral of the story… Don’t sew whilst ill!

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Back to the drawing board, and back to bed to make sure I’m better by the retreat!

Rip off the backing! Go on do it!

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This quilt has been languishing in full “baste” for AGES.

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I know why, the backing I chose is just not right. After months and months of feeling unhappy about this I have decided to follow my instinct and act on it.

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This floral backing is far too loud and too busy for a quilt that is sleeady a riot of colour. In the back of my mind I can see a lovely minimal grey backing with a pieced strip of left over fabrics.

So I’ll soon be taking the plunge and “unbasting” (is there such a word?) the monster quilt and starting again with a new calm backing. I love the front, so I need a back that I will also love.