Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Spooky goings on...

The kids are on half term this week, though we've been hit by a horrible tummy bug :(
To keep things fun we've been crafting a lot and in the spirit of our paper/cardboard makes we've another treat for you:

This is a fantastic articulated papercraft skull by Noah of Skull-A-Day. The kids adore them and had fun colouring and writing on them while I was cutting the others out!

They'd make cute decorations too. It was easy to put together, I've not constructed anything like this since I was a kid making paper fortune tellers and other stuff. The picture was clear and the guide made total sense once you are putting it together. I had run out of glue and had no double sided tape so I just folded little bits of sellotape and they work fine!! I also printed the template on thick paper but thin card would have been better. I could make these ALL DAY. such fun!

And just in case that looks a little too professional... here's some spiders we made yesterday:

The ingredients were an egg carton, some sticky eyes and black Klona cotton from Abakhan. Spooky, fantastic and hours of freaking mummy out!

In sewing news there has been some little bits here and there, I had a blogging break last week and I don't have time to get too much done at the moment or indeed think about what needs doing!

I made a couple more rose stars:

I stitched up this gorgeous Donkey after Erin gave the link to these adorable patterns - I plan on doing some more for the baby's room and displaying the hoops:

Of course I had to make the Donkey purple in homage to the fun that is Donktober! You should definitely check out all the great Donkey projects and you still have time to make some of your own and link up for some really fantastic prizes:


Finally I have been working on some more tooth fairy cushions, all the prep is done at least:

I also managed to finish my friend's baby quilt but you'll have to come back on Friday to see it - I'm hosting TGIFF this week :)

Tonight I shall mostly be totally avoiding the television because I HATE horror films and being scared in general, which is odd since I love Halloween! This is about as spooky as I get, dancing skeletons!! hilarious.

Linking up:

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced


Monday, 29 October 2012

Spinning into the Festival

Amy's Creative Side

I am linking up for the Blogger's Quilt Festival at Amy's Creative Side. I love this virtual display of quilts, there's so much talent. If you're visiting from the festival, welcome and thanks for taking the time to read my blog and quilt story!

My entry is Spinning Stars, a baby quilt I made for a friend using Anna Maria Horner's pattern. I was slightly nervous of the template pieces but was lucky enough to have a friend make me some acrylic templates, which made the process easier, although I still spent a long time cutting.

The fabric was a bundle my friend had bought long before she was pregnant but had never used, it was clearly meant to be. She gave it to me and I chose the backing and binding fabric to coordinate. I kept that a secret and she didn't know what pattern I was using either so the quilt was still somewhat of a surprise!

This is the first (and so far only) quilt I've completely hand quilted and I loved every second of doing it. I used Anchor Pearl Cotton, which really helped highlight the shapes of the pattern.

It now happily lives with the loveliest family and has been rolled around on by the most adorable baby boy.

A lot of love went into making this quilt.

Blogger’s Quilt Festival Stats
Finished quilt measures : 36" x 54"
Special techniques used: Tremendous willpower in gifting the quilt when I really wanted to keep it  
Quilted by : Hand-quilted by me
Best Category : Baby Quilt, Hand-quilted quilt


Monday, 22 October 2012

The Mancunian Travellin' Pic Stitch

I love my city. Manchester, England. I've visited lots of fabulous countries round the world and beautiful places here in the UK. Manchester is my home and even if I ever move it will always remain home in my heart.
Manchester has so many areas of interest, fabulous architecture and a wonderful history of industry, including the cotton and textile trade; hence it being called 'Cottonopolis'. It has also more recently been dubbed 'Madchester' (reference to the music scene) and 'Gunchester' (we'll totally ignore that one!!).

I decided to make an English Paper Pieced block inspired by my city but I failed to really get any pictures of the most amazing sights, so please Google it and trust me! I did manage to get some cool shots though, mostly taken on a journey down Oxford Road (the main road from the South into the city centre). So here's an idea of where I live:

we have lots of trains and tracks

red brick

The Academy venue and the Contact Theatre in the background

bars, there's loads of them (loads of students too)

A wall in my neighbourhood

None of this really summed up my Manchester enough for me... so I scoured the internet and though I was tempted by lots of images of the beautiful mills and warehouses there's one building that means a lot to this Manc, Affleck's Palace. I spent WAY too much time in there as a teenager, it is an amazing building and such a fun place to explore. I also love the rain soaked street in this photo!

I used the palette builder at Play Crafts, source of photo.

I ended up with this bundle of fabric:

I chose to make a rose star block, since I'm working on a quilt using those blocks already and it would be fun to include one that reminded me of Manchester. I love how it looks:

It is a little different from the others and a bit more toned down but it still works and since this is my 21st block I thought I'd show how they all look together! I'm working on some low volume blocks to connect them together and I still want to make a lot more to get it to the size I want (to cover our bed... yeah I still have a LOT more to do!). My centre hexies are 1 1/2" each side.

This post is part of the Travellin' Pic Stitch Blog Hop.  From 1st October - 30th November we are hopping all over the world EPP-ing in some fantastic locations.  Check out the full list here.

 On 30th November it's over to you to link up for a chance to win these fabulous prizes! Sponsored by Paperpieces.comFabricwormPink Castle Fabrics  Marmalade Fabrics, the Fat Quarter ShopWantItNeedItQuilt, and Aurifil.

Full details for competition entry can be found here.

Make sure you check out all the brilliant Travellin' Pic posts, tomorrow it's the turn of the talented Claire at Sewing Over Pins!


Friday, 19 October 2012

Girly Garden Quilt and other presents!

I finished sewing on the binding on the Girly Garden Quilt last night. It's a gift for my daughter's friend who will be 3 next week.

It's made entirely from my stash. I already had the charms cut out, some left from other projects, and it has a planned but scrappy look that I really like!

All of the fabrics are from Prints To Polka Dots and I mostly got them from the fab sale section (with FQs from £1.35 you can't refuse!).

More stash fabric for the back and quilted it with straight lines using a lilac thread.
I also tried out 'The Binding Tool' by TQM Products that I won from the lovely Jenniffier and, once I got my head round it, it worked perfectly! I will use this every time now. It means that you literally can't tell where the binding ends because it matches the seams in the binding strips and there's NO bulk.

I made a couple more presents for my son's friends who are having their birthday parties this weekend:

I used an adorable mini charm pack of Aneela Hooey's 'Walk in the Woods' and had two squares left over!

On the other side I appliqued the girls' names and used my newly discovered 'baseball' stitch on my machine:

And now the winner of my Donktober giveaway:

Congratulations Jan! I've emailed you. I hope you'll enjoy the pressie from me and I look forward to seeing what you make with the donkey fabric! Erin's cute finish this week might give you inspiration :)

If you missed out make sure you're following along with the Donktober blog hop because there's more gorgeous fabric being given away on Monday


Linking up to:

at Echinops and Aster this week

and Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts


Thursday, 18 October 2012

If I owned a take away I'd so call it...

I have been laughing at this for days since it dropped through my letter box...

Sometimes it really is the little things that can brighten your day! Seriously. I'm still laughing!

I have discovered that my machine can do funky embroidery stitches... my mum kindly gave me her machine for my birthday when mine broke at the beginning of the year. I saw funky patterns on the side but could not figure out what they were - now that sounds really stupid but I just couldn't see how to get the machine to do them. It was bugging me so I turned a couple of dials, had a play and although there's only about 10 (and a couple are fugly!!) it's still pretty cool. I fell in love with this one that looks like baseball stitches (could be leaves but I sewed them and looked at it horizontally so I'm going with baseball) and I'm using it on the pouches I'm making for little people's birthdays!

Honestly I am just having stupid fun playing and sewing at the moment. I've been painting leaves and doing prints with my little girl today and it was heaven. Funny how telling yourself to take the pressure off to be perfect or even be good at stuff comes as such a relief and lets you just enjoy!

Linking up:

Thursday Think Tank
Live A Colorful Life