Friday, 31 July 2015

breezy summer cushion ~ Rodgers of York #MyHomeMade series

Today I am making up a simple cushion, perfect for a quick make to help brighten up your space! This is a basic tutorial suitable for beginners and there are useful tips for everyone to ensure a great finish.

2 x square pieces of fabric measuring 50cm x 50cm
30cm zip
sewing kit
cushion inner

I used my sewing machine for a fast finish but you could hand stitch if you don't have access to a machine.


Firstly you need to decide which direction your fabric is going, if it's stripes do you want them vertical or horizontal? Does your fabric have a pattern that needs to be the right way round? It is important you look at both pieces and make sure you attach the zip to the bottom edge!

1. Start with the fabric right side facing down, fold over the bottom edge of the fabric by 1.5cm and give it a good press with your iron, repeat with the second square.

2. Take one square and centre the zip in the middle of the folded edge. The zip needs to be face down (so the teeth of the zip are facing down) and line the edge up with the open edge of the fold.

3. Sew the zip to the fabric. You will need to move the zip head out of the way to get a straight line. To do this, as you are sewing before you approach the zip head, leave your needle down and lift the foot. Pivot the fabric around so you can move the zip head behind the needle. Move the fabric back to the original postion, put your foot down and continue sewing.

4. Place the two squares right sides together, it's important to check you have the bottom edges together! You can mark the position of the zip if it helps and then sew the zip to the other square.

5.  Open up the zip to the middle. Sew around the all sides of the cushion using a 1.5cm seam allowance. Sew as close to the ends of the zip as you can but don't worry too much as we will finish this by hand.

6. Once you have sewn all the edges you can finish them by using a zig zag stitch over the edges or you can use pinking shears to prevent fraying. Clip the corners diagonally (not too close to the stitches). Turn the cushion right side out and poke out the corners.

7. Using a needle and thread finish the ends of the zip to close any gaps. I use a ladder stitch to hide the stitches.

You are done! Enjoy your new cushion :)

The fabric was supplied by Rodgers of York, check out their beautiful soft furnishing fabric to make your own cushion or other home accessories!

linking up to TGIFF at From Bolt to Beauty and finish it up friday at crazymomquilts.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

it's all good in the sewing department

Seems like having a deadline is working for me. I finished, quilted and bound my epp project. The reveal will be when my class is scheduled :)

I also finishing piecing another top for teaching, which I have now quilted in Aurifil 12wt. (with 50 wt. in the bobbin). I LOVE how this looks! I just have to finish burying all the threads, I use a self threading needle for that job and it makes it so easy.

As a reward for my progress I picked up my green tea and sweet beans and started on this basket block:

It's normal to reward good sewing with more sewing right?!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Sunday, 26 July 2015


I have been collecting selvedges (the edge strip of fabric that has the designer/manufacturer info on it) for a while, with the plan to one day do something with them... what that is I still don't know. Any suggestions welcome!

I store them in this coca cola tin, which is very hard to close so I will need to find something bigger to keep them in unless I use them soon.

Selvedges can be so fun, I love ones with little pictures and nice text on. 

So I will keep on collecting them until I decide what to do with them!

Thursday, 23 July 2015

little random

This poster is outside a church near me, they always have the best posters and this one makes me smile every time I go past (for those not familiar those sweets pictured are called liquorice allsorts!)

Our summer holidays started with us hanging around in our pyjamas and having tea parties :)

I played around with this fun site chanrio maker to make a little Sanrio version of myself. There was no sewing machine so I chose a wand to help me have super quilting powers!

It kind of worked because I've finished my EPP quilt top, completed half a machine sewn quilt top today and am feeling positive about getting them finished very soon!

Happy Thursday everyone x

Live A Colorful Life

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

sticking to one thing

I'm feeling pretty proud of myself today. I actually managed to stop myself working on the five different projects I thought about starting or continuing and stayed focused to work on this EPP project. I have one more row to sew on, hopefully I get that finished tonight. Then I can crack on with quilting :)

I panicked that this mix of fabrics is just a little too mad (and maybe it is) but I'm loving it and hopefully it will inspire people who want to take a class with me.

What motivates you to get a project finished? I am on a deadline and have other projects I want to make and teach, so working on one thing at a time seems sensible right now!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, 20 July 2015

a finish, a purchase and something new!

Today was Fred's last day in infants (I still use the old school way of thinking!) and he'll be starting juniors in September so I was a little teary. I'm ok really, I cry at anything, but it is a milestone. It was also Joan's last day in early years (new school lingo) so I wanted them to make something fun for their teachers' thank you gifts. I got this Pebeo Marker and let the kids draw on some coffee mugs. They also made one each for themselves and they've gone through the dishwasher and come out perfectly, I would vouch for it's staying power thus far! I let the mugs sit for a couple of days and then baked them (as instructed on the packet). For their teachers Joan drew some cute characters and Fred went for diggers, faces and a clown! They also wrote little thank you cards.

To wrap the mugs and the tissue holders I made, I went for my favourite drawstring bag pattern by Jeni. I let the kids choose the main fabrics and I picked out the accents. I wanted to try something a bit different and decided to use my Fat Quarter Shop Aurifil Thread Box, The Finishing Set in Scone to add some chunky stitches to the drawstring casings with 12 weight thread. I used 50 weight in the bobbin and lowered my tension slightly. The colours worked perfectly, I think the Fat Quarter Shop really chose the colours for each box so well. I also love that this gave the bags a more homemade look, in a good way! When you go to the effort of making something you want people to realise that you did!

I was a little pushed for time so I used ribbon rather than make ties and honestly I don't love making fabric ones anyway so this was a win.

The teachers all loved their gifts, I'm happy that the kids got involved and they are pleased they got to keep a mug!

A bit of fabric came home with me from Patchfinders the other day, I got some Widescreen by Carolyn Friedlander. Black for backing and binding and white for background, I already started cutting it for a quilt pattern I'm hoping to teach.

And finally onto something new. The Quiltmania team have created a new magazine, stylishly titled 'Simply Moderne' and Issue 1 is now available. The cover features part of a stunning quilt 'Bubbles' by one of my favourite quilters and bloggers, Rachael of Blue Mountain Daisy and that'd be reason enough for me to get it! You can buy Simply Moderne on their website here (available in English or French) or if you're in the US you can buy it at Barnes & Noble. You can even get a sneak peek inside on the website too if you need more tempting! 

I ordered my Special Spring Issue of Quiltmania (the one with the very popular My Small World by Jen Kingwell pattern) from them online and it was delivered very quickly to the UK so I'm very much looking forward to receiving my copy of Simply Moderne.