Monday, 30 April 2012

Unfinished Stained

It's not finished!! This is the amazing Stained QAL that Sarah cleverly designed! Need to add borders but thought I'd show you where I'm up to :) - apologies for the shoddy picture, the wind was crazy and I couldn't be bothered using any more tape!!

I've also been doing a bit more stitchery for the Fat Quarterly retreat swap, I'm making tea towels:

The patterns for these ones came from this fabulous Sublime Stitching book I bought the other day:

I also got this one after seeing Annabella's beautiful embroidery:

I'm looking forward to reading them properly and learning some more, plus they both have the cutest patterns included.

And just because, I got a few bits from Prints To Polka Dots too!

Some of which are ready to be turned into pouches:

But this but I'm keeping in my stash... I just love it!

excuse the wrinkles!

Look at the cute vintage keys and buttons, adorable

This is from the Walnut Hill Farm Collection by Blend.

If you've not seen it already Prints to Polka Dots have agreed to sponsor an *amazing giveaway of Blend fabrics* as part of the Fugly Fabric Party, go look!!

Charm About You

Linking up to these fine places:

Sew Happy Geek Fresh Poppy Design

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Cheapo recipe for FUN superhero accessories

This was inspired by Lynne's recent post, so blame her ;)


- children (preferably your own, relations or friends)
- cardboard tubes (loo rolls work best, if using kitchen rolls I recommend cutting them in half first unless the children have unusually long arms)
- colouring pens
- a computer/laptop

1. Take the computer, locate YouTube and set it to some old superhero theme songs or clips.

We would recommend:

2. Plonk the children in front of it to be entertained by old fashioned good graphics and camp humour.

3. While they are fascinated/enthralled/bemused, decorate the cardboard tubes in various superhero graphics

clearly from my examples you don't have to be at all artistic, providing your children are small enough to believe you are brilliant at anything and will accept pathetic drawings. Anyway you get the jist.

4. Once the YouTube clip has finished present the children with these amazing creations to adorn their wrists. Shut off the computer and let them play superheroes for hours (or how ever long before they get bored/ lose focus/ get hungry) wearing their new superhero cuffs!

***WARNING Charm About You can not be held responsible for any hijinks or chaos resulting from following the Superhero cardboard tube recipe***

oh and in case you missed it yesterday, check out the Fugly Fabric Party and giveaway announcement!

Friday, 27 April 2012

The next Fugly Fabric Party - sponsored giveaway!

It's time to announce round 2 of the Fugly Fabric Party!!

If you're not yet excited about it, you will be when you see the amazing giveaway :)

I've updated the Fugly page (on the tab above) to include all the details and it's basically the same as last time...

The idea behind the party is to pass on your unwanted, fugly fabric. Or you might have something that's actually pretty but you know you're not going to use and would like to destash.

You write a post offering the fabric in a swap, a giveaway, a competition or whatever. Include the Fugly button in your post and link up to the party. That's it!!

Please read the Fugly Fabric Party page to get the full details.

The link for the party will open on May 8th and stay open for 6 days. Everyone that links up with be in with a chance of winning the giveaway. The winner for the party will be announced on May 15th. Please only link up once.

I'm so happy to announce the sponsored giveaway is from the fabulous Prints to Polka Dots!

Prints to Polka Dots are a UK based supplier of the best in contemporary fabrics design. We search out great fabrics from new and known designers and achieve great prices by buying in bulk. When a bargain comes our way, from our network of suppliers on both sides of the pond, we grab it and pass the discount on to you! 
We only buy the best quality fabrics, so if you see a fabric from a design house you don't recognise, don't worry the quality is assured. 
We pride ourselves in going that little bit further for our customers and so if there's anything you want to know, or a fabric you would like us to source (even if all you know is the theme you are interested in) then please get in touch - we enjoy a challenge!

They really do have wonderful deals and bargains so make sure you visit the website and I recommend signing up for their newsletter so you can be first to know about new arrivals and special offers.

So what's up for grabs??

Prints to Polka Dots have been incredibly generous and are offering the chance to win this amazing mixed bundle of 17 fat quarters - that's a LOT of fabric!!

All the fat quarters are by Blend and are from the following collections: Babysaurus, Believe, Calypso, Pretti, and Kitchy Kitchen. All of Blend's collections can be seen at

Count them!! 17 gorgeous fat quarters

How cute are those dinosaurs? Those girly flowers and princesses are adorable too

Really those veggie prints are stunning (I've been eyeing them up myself!) and look at all those great stash builders!

So if you'd like to get your hands on this fantastic bundle, get digging through your fabrics and hunt out those fuglies ready to link up on 8th May.

Please grab the button and help spread the word!

Charm About You
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Thursday, 26 April 2012

Scramble Net Patchwork Piecing

I wanted to show you how I put my blocks together, depending on the layout this method isn't always possible, but I like to get things done quickly when I can!

I'm sure some of you use this method already and it's nothing original but if anyone is new to quilting or wants to speed things up, you could give it a go and this is how I do it.

I started making a rug for the kitchen the other day and used what I'm calling the scramble net patchwork method, it's a great way to put blocks and quilt tops together...

Scramble Net Piecing Method

Please read all the way through first if you want to give this a go :)

For this tutorial I am using squares of fabric but it could apply to finished blocks too.

To start lay out your project in whatever arrangement you like. Take a picture, always useful for reference.

Put each square from column 1 right side down on top of the square next to it in column 2, put 3 onto 4, 5 onto 6 (etc. if you have more rows! ).
Perhaps this wasn't the best project to demonstrate because I have an odd number of rows but life isn't always perfect. I sewed column 7 together separately.

So excluding column 7, you should now have 3 columns (with the fabrics right sides facing). Collect up each column, rotating each pair of squares as you gather them so you know which ones to sew together. Make sure you work in one direction, i.e. take the pairs from the top and work down each column, that way it will stay in the layout you have chosen! Here's my pile:

Now you can go ahead and chain piece the pairs together, once you've finished only cut the threads between the original columns do not cut between each pair!! So you'll end up with 3 separate columns and each pair of squares is connecting by a little thread:

If you open your pairs out, you'll have this... (those of you who are highly observant will see that mine is upside down compared to my original layout, the rows are still the same though - this is because when I made my pile of pairs I started at the bottom!)

Now grab the tops of the newly created column 1 and 2 like so...

and chain piece them together (ignoring the threads connecting each column). I find this super easy because it's clear which fabrics to sew together, if you find yourself unsure I recommend referring back to the picture of your layout.

You will have now created the first part of your row. In the picture below on the left you can see that I have sewn the first four squares in each row together. Keep chain piecing your connected columns together:

So your rows are now finished and are connected with little threads. Don't cut the threads!!
There's really no need and I like that my quilt is already in the layout I want for sewing the rows together.

Keep your rows joined together and press the seams of each row in opposite directions (row one - press to the left, row two to the right, row three to the left and so on)

This allows you to butt your seams up against each other so they match up nicely.

To sew the rows together fold the top row over so it's lying fabric face down on the row below (right sides facing each other) - note I hadn't actually pressed my seams when I took this picture, yours should be by this stage!

Now you can butt those seams at the top and pin ready for sewing

You will have a little loop of thread from where the rows are connected (from the chain piecing) so just make sure this is sticking up out of the way when you pin and sew. Go ahead and sew the rows together. Once you've sewn rows one and two together fold them over onto row three (right sides facing), butt your seams, pin and sew the rows together. Continue this method until all your rows are joined!

I bet it'll take you about ten minutes to do this once you've done it a few times!!

This is also the method I used to sew together my Dead Simple Quilt top (amongst others!):

bad night time picture but you see the scramble net effect!
pretty finish
For me it sure beats sewing rows one by one!!

Linking up to the fabulous

Thursday Think Tank

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

If I had a bigger sewing space would it still be a hot mess?

because this is the shocking state of my sewing table right now!

I DO NOT like mess!!
I really have to get to sewing to clear this lot up!!

So onto what's been occurring this week...


not a whole lot, in fact only this mini quilt, I did fanny about with picmonkey and made a pattern if you'd like to make one yourself!

- Big Polaroid Picture

- Name Swap
I also got to reveal the name tag I made for my lovely partner to wear at the Fat Quarterly Retreat:

new projects

- Secret Swaps
Going along with the embroidery theme I also made a start on the secret swaps for the retreat too.

An explanation because my husband wasn't sure what these were. Clockwise from top left: a spilt bowl of water; a cracked egg; a kitchen timer ; salt and pepper pots (he did get that one) 
Ultimately these will be making their way onto tea towels. I really wanted to make something people would use and doesn't everyone need tea towels??? Let me know if you'd like tea towels fellow swappers? (If if helps the tea towels themselves are 50% cotton, 50% linen and could always be cut up into lining fabric or something else if you hated them!!). I'll show you more progress when I've made it!

Oh and Susan knows why that salt pot is nearly empty ;) I love French knots but they are time consuming!

- New Kitchen Rug
I just couldn't resist making this tutorial by So Sue, when I saw it at Sew We Quilt (Madame Samm rocks my world). We have a gaping hole in our kitchen floor, which I previous covered with this rug I made but it's looking crap, takes years to dry because it's denim (what was I thinking??!!) and no one likes it ;)

So I got this pieced SUPER fast (I'll show you how tomorrow - although I'm sure it's nothing new), quilted it and now just need to trim and bind it.

I was going to use a pile of left over binding I had to bind it with but honestly I think I'd hate it, so instead I'm going with...

not making my heart sing

I managed to get a few bits of DS Flea Market Fancy and I know some of you might shout at me for using it on a kitchen rug (along with those delicious charms, the vast majority of which I got in the Somewhere Over the Rainbow charm swap held by Emily) but really I can't think of a better place to put these fabrics. I'm in the kitchen everyday and the rainbow loveliness will make me smile!


- Stained QAL, I've finished all my blocks for this one!! Hurray :)

but I haven't sewn them together yet :(

- Retro Flowers QAL, I did this much cutting...

and then vowed not to do any more until I've at least finished the Stained top. So I'm behind, what the hell, I always am!! ;)

no progress

 - Rose Star blocks, feel sad I didn't do any work on them this week. Is it weird that I miss them and think about them every day??

completed: 1
new: 1
in progress: 5

Linking up to Freshly Pieced:

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

p.s. I've not forgotten about the next Fugly Party, just stalled slightly!