Tag Archives: sew

BFG inspired Sophie’s Quilt II


This is my WIP: To make it 99″x 99″ each block is 9″ and the quilt is made up of 10 different blocks

The outside red edge is actually binding, so the outside blocks don’t need that 2nd stripe of red. 

The fabric requirements:

The quilt from the film is scrappier than this I think (although difficult to tell without a photo!). I also think that the outside fabric is much wider. But I’m happy to go with this one as I want one inspired by the movies’ version not a total copy.
Still a work in progress though. Arguably this is far too big, at 99″x 99″. I could shrink all the blocks down to 6″ maybe. (Making it 66″x66″)
Have you seen the film? Did you notice the quilt? Any thoughts / comment welcome!


Sewing shoes? Yes honestly!


I bought a kit (prym, it contained two espadrille soles) from Tikki in Kew recently  and within a few hours of buying them I had finished one shoe in this crazy Wonder Woman fabric!   

I do need to adjust the fit. I didn’t sew the sides tight enough (and I might add some elastic to the back too to make sure they don’t slip).
They’re a surprisingly easy and quick project. The video that The Makery did on Youtube was very useful to watch too. I’d add that you need to be extra careful you sew through all the layers of fabric where they overlap! I missed a bit of the inner fabric on the first shoe I made. 
All you need to be able to do is a bit of blanket stitch!

I love how you hide the knots within the rope structure of the soles.   

Also you will need a lot of pins! 

I love these, so much fun! My daughter, sister in law and niece have already said they want me to make them a pair!

Initial cushions

Initial cushions


I recently offered to make personalised cushions in a fundraising promise auction. The winning bidder wanted one with S&D on it for her sons, and I said how about two? One each. She agreed.

When I’ve made name cushions in the past I’ve appliqued the letters on the cushion tops. But with one large letter, especially for young boys, I thought I needed a more robust construction. So one night it came to me, why not use the porthole technique I learned in Lu Summers’ class at the Fat Quarterly Retreat 2 years ago?


It worked really nicely, and I love how it’s a little window onto the seascape fabric underneath. I decided to frame the letters with 2.5″ squares.


Onto the quilting. I worried that swirls might be a bit too girly, but actually it was perfect – a hint of sea waves! I’ve been taking some Craftsy FMQ classes (Angela Waters) and I have to say it’s given me a great deal of confidence. That, as well as a face to face lesson by Trudi Wood at last year’s Fat Quarterly Retreat, has fuelled my love of free motion quilting. This is done in Aurifil 50, which is thinner than my usual 40wt, one of Angela Waters’ tips is thinner thread, and thread that blends (hides a multitude of slips!) and I’m a convert!


I love the quilting inside the letter D!


Best of all the boys and their mum love them. One of the boys took his straight to bed with him, and was still cuddling it in the morning!

Wavy quilted cushion



I’ve had Jenny Pedigo’s Quick Curve Ruler for absolutely ages, but didn’t even take off the plastic backing paper until the weekend. I love her blog, and admire the quilts she makes with this ruler, so it was about time that this baby got an outing.


I kept it simple and decided to make cushion covers (for a creative quilter I had NO home made items in the lounge). I have sewed curves before and I did find it very quick and easy to do these blocks. My mind is racing now with ideas how to make more cushions with this ruler. I am oficially a fan.

Then I decided on straight line quilting because I love the texture it creates.


Then I tried binding by machine to save time…

20140428-125018.jpg mmmm… made a complete mess of it… and decided to unpick and bind by hand instead…

20140428-125147.jpg aaah! That’s better!

Apparently Lily’s Quilts will be posting a tutorial on machine binding on Thursday. I’m hoping it will help with my clearly rubbish technique!

Can’t stop stroking my new cushion now!


Baby quilt

Baby quilt

Remember my son complaining about the quilt I was making for my niece? Well here it is:


It’s finished, washed and has crinkled up just as I like it.


Made with charm squares, quilted in straight lines and FMQ with star, heart, swirls and swirly designs. And here’s her name emboidered on the front:


Quilting and piecing with Aurifil thread, embroidered with Perle cotton. Hope she likes it!

Great sewing project for me and my seven year old

Great sewing project for me and my seven year old


I wanted an easy, quick project that I could do with my seven year old daughter. From the Tikki quilting shop in Kew I bought a ready cut bunting kit. I could have easily made my own, but the kit made everything much easier for us.

My daughter sewed the triangles together, we both turned them inside out (she’s now an expert at using the purple thang to make pointy corners), then I ironed them flat.


She pinned them on the binding in the order she wanted them… And then we both shared the final sewing together. (I think she did a lot more than me at actually).


By the end she was sewing confidently and even removing pins without stopping. I made sure I was using aurifil thread, so that we didn’t have any thread breakages… Just uninterrupted sewing!

She got the feel of what speed was comfortable for her and understood how to correct any mistakes. Although to be honest, the only mistakes she made were when I had left the machine on full speed accidentally!

I love the finished bunting, and we have a few triangles left over to put another short bunting on her pink fireplace.

I think this would be great with some space fabrics for my son too.


Another pair of kids leggings



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!


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

(That’s a hair piece by the way!)

“Girl fabrics are prettier!”

“Girl fabrics are prettier!”

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.

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!

Now my daughter wants another quilt!

A sew along I couldn’t resist! Trunks!

A sew along I couldn’t resist! Trunks!


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.


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.

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.

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!

Surprise Porthole Baby Quilt


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.


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)

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.


UFOs I’m coming to get you


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

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

2. Hello Daughter quilt.
Needs quilting, and binding


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.


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!)


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!

she can quilt

Ugh! It’s all gone a bit Pete Tong

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!



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!

20130712-214115.jpg And don’t sew whilst ill AND catching up on Nashville episodes back to back!

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

Luggage Tags


I decided to have a go at a pattern I have had for a while on my computer Sew Cherie’s duffel bag came with a pattern for luggage tags.


It’s quite fiddly, and I did make a few mistakes with this one. I have cut enough fabric to make eight more, I thought they might be something I’d try snd sell on a craft stall. (I’ve never done anything like that before though, so we’ll see.)


It needed an eyelet so I asked my husband whether he could find his grandad’s old leather working kit.
Here it is:


He was a handbag maker, isn’t it lovely that we can still use it today? In fact I was a little scared to use these but my lovely husband has now given me instruction, so the next one will be done with the old tools.

There’s even straps that he worked on in the box, with beautiful stitching.

And when I finished my hubby said it’s lovely, what is it?!!!!! He thought it was a mobile phone cover. Maybe because of the vinyl on the front. So here it is with an address label in!


FQR London 2013. Fi/Me

FQR London 2013. Fi/Me

This is me

(Old picture, my hair is much longer now!)

I will be taking these classes:
Friday pm
Katy Jones’ Spring Carnival class. I’ve already bought her templates. I haven’t decided on fabric yet. This will be my forst foray into English Paper Piecing. Wish me luck!

Sat am
Free motion with Trudi Wood. Although sadly I’ll be there with my small old machine. I’m a bit nervous about taking my great heavy Janome 6600 on the tube! She’s very heavy, and there are quite a few steps to climb!
At the moment the actual quilting is my least favourite step in quilt making. I love the piecing and binding. So FMQ, I’m tackling you head on!

Sat pm
Trudi will be sick of me, I’m in her free motion design class too!

Hand quilting with Lu Summers, the designer of the lovely Summersville fabrics. I have bought my needles and some perle cotton from my LQS Tikki in Kew where I pick their brains and get great advice. (It’s also where I did my first ever quilt course).I have also ordered some perle which will be delivered to the retreat via Cindy at Fluffy Sheep Quilting from Ireland. I’ve always admired hand quilting, but never had a proper go.

So who else is going to be there? Have a look! Anyone doing the same classes?

For some other projects I’m planning, I phoned U Handbag for some advice on interfacing yeasterday, and by today my order had arrived! Amazing service, thank you!

And now I’m looking forward to use these lovelies:


Print on Fabric using your home printer tutorial

Print on Fabric using your home printer tutorial

Catrin (what a great name!) asked me about the paper I used to make print on fabric so I thought I’d show you how I did it.
The paper was bought from Ebay, and it’s transfer paper for inkjet printers. You can use it for T shirt printong too.


You create your design in your word processor and then, here’s the crucial part, print in MIRROR IMAGE. It’s one of the advanced printer settings you can choose.
Don’t forget to switch that feature off when you are finished!

Then iron onto your fabric and peel back the backing paper. This is one of the other designs I tried out for Catherine’s nametag. I also printed lots of small labels with my name on, and have ironed those onto the cotton webbing that you see in the pic. Those are my little quilt labels. I also used them for tags on pouches I made for the teachers last Christmas. How easy is that?