Monday, 29 August 2011

Pin block cushion

Happy Monday! It's a bank holiday here, which means I've had my husband at home so a bit more of a chance to work on my quilt :)


I don't have any space to have a design wall, I use my floor! The wall next to my sewing machine is full of pictures, mostly from our trips before we had children ;)




With two kids running around I sew a lot after bedtime but sometimes I might layout a block in preparation. This becomes a problem. There's no way I'm leaving a good arrangement laying around and there's no longer many spaces out of arms reach, so to keep things organised I came up with a neat solution:




I realised 12.5" blocks can be pinned neatly onto a cushion! I have been doing each layout for the blocks of the sampler quilt by pinning them in the design I want to sew. So far they're not interested in this strange pin cushion and I just pop it on top of the books on my desk ready to pick up later! It's a great solution when you don't have much space and also helps me keep on track with what goes where!




Here's some blocks pinned, ready to sew into four patches to sew to the sashing for the quilt-a-long (while my son plays with Playdough! Actually after I took this picture we had a good game making and playing Octonauts. Cue me doing my best Captain Barnacles impression!).


I have finished all 12 blocks of the quilt-a-long from Crazy Mom Quilts, I laid them out but actually once the top is finished it will have sashing, a border and those four patches!
I'm really happy with my blocks though and itching to get it finished:




I've also done some cutting for my next quilt (I know, I know... I always seem to be doing fifty things at once!). I'll show you those next time because I've not taken pictures yet.


Off to sew, hope you had a happy Monday :)

Living off pasta and love (or what I've done this Summer)

Well hello there!


This blog was originally called 'Living off pasta and love'. When my husband and I were really broke I told him we'd probably have to spend a couple of weeks eating pasta for dinner. He replied with a calm and kind response, "We'll be living off pasta and love". That is one of the many examples of why I love my husband so much! He's always my rock and I know that together we'll make the best of any situation.
Although his words mean a lot to me I changed the title to reflect my quilting hobby (and a reference to those clever charm squares!). It also is part of the song 'Cheek to Cheek', which I have sung to my son every night before bed. We're big Fred Astaire fans :)

So soppy stuff aside let's get to the crafty stuff! I wanted to keep track of all the things I make and share them with anyone who's interested. I read a lot of crafty blogs and use lots of the patterns and advice so I will scatter links throughout my posts. I would love to hug all those who so kindly share their talent and take the time to write instructions so a novice like me can get her craft on!
I don't have a snazzy camera or lots of room so most of the pictures are taken on my mobile phone and in whatever light is available, please excuse any ugly looking shots. I tend to take them fast so I can get on and sew!! This is what I've done this Summer.


Here are some 'cats' that I made for my kids:




This is how the kids met them, I left them holding hands on the window sill and when the kids woke up they grabbed them straight away :) My son's is great because I decided to use the back pocket of a pair of jeans for the face. I don't like putting buttons on kids toys (mine like to USE their toys and I'm always scared the buttons will come off) but that pocket is sturdy as anything and he loves stuffing things in there! I also hand embroidered their names on the back... well if I'm totally honest I got carried away finishing my daughter's and forgot to sew her name on so I just wrote it on with permanent marker. oh dear!


I fell in love with these cushions on Living With Punks and had to make them for my two:





They are so useful! Pillow fights, bouncing, tables, stools, pretend planes/trains!! They are by far one of the best things I've sewn and the tutorial is FANTASTIC. Living with Punks is a great site and there are so many brilliant ideas, definitely worth a read (dare you not to make anything!!).


I also made some girly things for my daughter because the house is full of boy's toys and clothes:



I made these 'yo-yos' following the instructions by Heather Bailey. It makes plain t-shirts a little more girly. These t-shirts were £2 for 3 from Asda!


This was hard work! Lots of hand stitching and a lot of patience, which was tested when I realised I'd sewed some blocks wrong. arrrrggh. Got there in the end though. It was made from a kit bought by my Auntie called 'Kath's Kubes', it's not separate blocks but a toy that twists so each side has different fabric that you match together. I'm not explaining it well and it's much better than it looks in the picture! She bought it from the Quilt Museum and Gallery in York, you can get one from the quilt museum shop.


I also made this hair clip holder, those bloomin' things get everywhere!!


Not wanting to leave the boy out I made a rug for his room but it seems to have found a home in the kitchen and my cat Amber has adopted it!!...




I made this from some old jeans (including my maternity ones!) and an old double sheet. I followed the instructions from Rag Rug Cafe.


So I was truly hit by the crafty bug and following lots of encouragement from my Auntie and my Californian cousin I began quilting. I had made a couple of baby quilts a long time ago but I hadn't done them 'properly' and this time threw myself into it! I read a lot and followed a lot of blogs to get advice and see how others went about it, then I did my own thing! My lovely cousin had sent me some gorgeous fabric and a great Yellow Brick Road pattern so that's what I used. 






I like seeing it on the sofa because it makes the colours pop! The fabric is all butterflies and flowers, I used a soft lilac fabric for the borders and backing to make it extra girly. This is my first 'proper' quilt. As such it meant a lot to me and I wanted to give it to someone special, no one fits the bill more than my 93 year old Nan. We're very close and I knew she'd appreciate it. Here it is all ready to go:




She loved it! That made me so happy!


So on to the next...
I had started working on a sampler quilt while I was getting up the nerve to actually quilt the quilt top I made for my Nanny. I still have a couple of blocks to do but here's a picture I took when I'd reached over the half way point:




They won't be going together like that, there is a border and some sashing but you get an idea! I am loving making this quilt and am messing up learning so much as I go along! It actually is a quilt-a-long and I am doing it about 4 years too late but all the instructions are still there and there's even more fantastic quilt-a-longs (I'm itching to do the star one!). Check them out, they are so easy to follow at Crazy Mom Quilts.
I've also cut all the squares for the border, there's so many! I have hid them in a tin until I'm ready to use them:




This was an extra long post with lots of pictures of the things I've made. I have a whole list to get through and so many more things I'm inspired by but hopefully I'll be blogging as I go along. I hope you'll join me and follow as I ramble and share my passion for quilting!


I'll leave you with a warning:




 Remember to check pockets before you put washing on! Whoops.


**I'm linking up to the Summer sewing wrap up at Fairy Face Designs because this is what I made over the summer - please take a look at some of my recent work too :) **