Wednesday, 29 August 2012

A few small projects and ANOTHER Union Jack...

With family over and the bank holiday, not much sewing & crafting going on this week...

1. I did manage to finish my LOVE paper piece mini quilt. More project details on this post.

2. Finished my mug rug...

3. I've nearly finished all the embroidery on my coffee project. I don't know how to finish it off though. Should I leave it in the hoop? Turn it into a little wall hanging? What do you guys think?

4. I swore I wasn't going to do another Union Jack cushion (my first two are here and here) but when my big sister requested one for her birthday, I couldn't say no. She lives in Pheonix, AZ so with such slow international shipping from the UK, I thought I better get a move on.

5. And finally some good news...I won my very first blog challenge! I entered my DIY map frame project for August's inspired by Pinterest and I was the top pick! Hooray :)

Until next week...

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Friday, 24 August 2012

"True Love" Paper Piece

My guild's challenge this month was to create a paper pieced block of your choice. I decided to try my hand at paper piecing a few letters and I've have had my eye on this pattern for a while. So here is my paper pieced "True Love" mini-quilt...

I started with the "Aimez" fabric and then built the rest of the fabrics around it. I used it in the "O" and for the background and binding as well. All the fabrics were scraps from my stash and the solid grey is Moda medium grey.

I embroidered some running stitches around the letters and then straight line quilted the rest of it to frame the letter. I mentioned in a previous post that I had some problems with the wadding coming through the embroidery stitches. After pulling it out a few times, I ended up placing a piece of scrap fabric behind the wadding which seemed to do the trick. I then backed the quilt as usual.


I used a free pattern by kelbysews and you can download it from her site or from Sew, Mama, Sew! Here's the original...

image via kelbysews

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Coffee Anyone?

For my W.I.P. Wednesday...

No quilting this week but rather, I've been teaching myself how to hand embroider. I started with this little fella...

And I think I'll add his friends "Mr. Decaf" and "Mr. Donut"...

I think I might be addicted :)

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, 20 August 2012

Festival of Quilts 2012

It's Monday and I'm recovering from a weekend of quilts and fabric. I was lucky enough to make it out to Birmingham over the weekend to visit the Festival of Quilts 2012. 

There were so many lovely quilts on display but I think I was too distracted to take many pictures of them. Other highlights included a visit to the Eternal Maker booth (my favorite), gawking at Liberty's new quilter's cottons from Fabrics Galore and seeing Tula Pink's new fabric & book at the Coats & Clark booth. 


Oh, and here are some of my favorite purchases from the show:

Cloud 9 simpatico fat quarters, scrap bag and gorgeous zippers from The Eternal Maker.

 Liberty fabric and quilter's cotton from Fabrics Galore. The fabric on the left is called Tuesday Trees and is one of the designs by Lauren Child, author of Charlie & Lola. My daughter really likes C&L so I was even more pleased that I found it :)

Liberty 9 patch cushion kits from Alice Caroline. I'm giving a friend a sewing lesson so I thought this would be a great first project.

Did anyone else out there enjoy the festival?

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

W.I.P. Wednesday

DH was away for most of the week so I wasn't able to get much sewing done. I suppose a little progress is better than none!

1. A scrappy coaster and mug rug for me. The mug rug still needs some quilting...

2. I started hand embroidering the LOVE paper piece block that I'm doing. I ended up taking out the stitching about 3 times though. I was having issues with the batting coming through the stitches in the front and then I didn't like seeing the back of the stitches on the backing fabric. I think I've got it all figured out now and I can get started with the machine quilting. It stinks being a perfectionist sometimes!

I've decided to just make it into a wall hanging and will use the fabric that I used for the center of the "O" for both the backing and binding. 

3. I'm going to take an embroidery class next month and thought I should brush up on my skills. Ok, I have no skills but I'm a fast learner :) I haven't decided which pattern to use for my starter project. Perhaps I'll get a chance to do both!

Cute coffee cup (from Wild Olive)
That Cat! (from Lazy May)

Linking up with Freshly Pieced for today. Until next week...

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, 13 August 2012

London Transport Museum

One of our favorite day trips out in London is to the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden.  There are plenty of working models and interactive exhibits to keep your little ones engaged. Little miss just loves being able to "drive" all the real busses and trains. Also, your ticket entitles you to an annual membership so the museum is great value as well. 

The old double decker route masters are so cool :)

A really gorgeous exhibit of transport inspired art...

The gift shop is really nice and not filled with the usual fodder. They even sell textiles! Check out this display of really gorgeous pillows...

Since it was the last day of the Olympics, we wanted to soak up the atmosphere and we weren't dissapointed. Just look at how crowded Covent Garden was...


Oh and if you're itching for some cupcakes, check out sweet couture cupcake boutique which is only a 5 minute walk from the museum. I always pop in when in the area :)


Wednesday, 8 August 2012

W.I.P. Wednesday

Here's me very first Work In Progress Wednesday post...

My new guild's August challenge is to create a paper pieced block of your choice. I decided to brush up on my paper piecing skills and try my hand at letters. Plus, I've had my eye on this pattern for a while.

Choosing Fabrics...



Oh, and here's my version of a Teddy Bear Hospital. Lots of toys in need of mending!

Linking up with Freshly Pieced for today...

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, 6 August 2012

Pinterest Inspiration...DIY Map Frame

*Update - this project actually won the Pinterest Challenge for August 2012. Hooray!

Pinterest Challenge

Do you Pinterest? I'm sure you do! I love using Pinterest for gathering different ideas for crafting, cooking sewing and decorating. For a friend's recent engagement party, I turned to Pinterest to find ideas for a unique engagement present and here is what I came up with...

{PS - I used these sites for inspiration: Hello Lidy and Martha Stewart. I also used this post by homemade by jill as inspiration for the venn diagram.}

The happy couple got engaged while on holiday in Scotland so I thought a map frame would be very appropriate. I used a simple white matted frame and purchased the map from my local book store.

Since there are other tutorials out there, I'll just add a few tips:
- Try to look at your map before you purchase it. I wanted to find one that clearly featured the area where the couple got engaged and ended up choosing mine from 3 different maps.
- I wanted to feature a specific city so I made sure that I cut the map to include it (in this case, the city is featured in the upper left-hand corner).

The inset features the couple's initials and also served as our engagement card.
- To create the venn diagram inset, use a graphics program to overlap 2 different colored circles and add the text initials inside (I used MS Powerpoint to create this). Then add your message. Finally, print on paper or card stock and cut to size.

Btw, I'm linking this up with The Pinterest Challenge.

I'm Topsy Turvy

Friday, 3 August 2012

Sherbet Pips Quilt - Finished!

I have finally finished my Sherbet Pips quilt! Hooray! I got side tracked by lots of other projects so unfortunately, this quilt took me a few months to complete. One of those projects was a matching Sherbet Pips pillow.

However, it's my first finished quilt in a very long time (we're talking years) so it proved to be a good exercise in brushing up on all my skills. I'm super pleased with it and it's now lovingly referred to as Little Miss' "special blanket."

A few stats:

- Fabric: Sherbet Pips charm pack (center), kona medium grey (borders) and Sherbet Pips scarf stripe in pink (backing + binding).

- Pattern: Originally, I intended to use the Charm Squares Baby Quilt Pattern from Elizabeth Hartman but I miscalculated the amount of sashing fabric that I needed. So instead, I just sewed all the charm pack rows together (after following Elizabeth's piecing instructions) into one piece and then used the sashing fabric for a border.

- Borders: Although I typically hand finish my borders I wanted to try a machine sewing technique instead. It was a bit fiddly but found it to be much quicker to finish.

- Quilting: I machine quilted with simple straight lines approximately 1" apart.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

July Projects in Review...

The summer holiday was in full swing this month so I was surprised at just how many projects I was able to complete.

1. Dog bandana (for a cousin's greyhound dog)
2. Clothkits doll (for the little one)
3. DIY map frame (engagement present)
5. Sherbet Pips Quilt (Ok I nearly finished this, all it needs is binding)
6. Retro bunnies quilt (baby gift)

I went to my very first meeting of the London Modern Quilt Guild (where I met some really nice fellow quilters) along with Thomas Knauer at Ray Stitch in Islington.

Also, it was my birthday this month and DH's amazing Aunt gave me her vintage Bernina Record 830 as a present. Words cannot describe how grateful I am. I'll definitely post more about the machine very soon.

Finally, I'm linking up with Fresh Sewing Day and Small Blog Meet over at Lily's Quilts. The idea behind this is that you post a recap of the previous month's work and I'm linking up for the very first time. Enjoy your August!

Lily's Quilts
Lily's Quilts