Friday, 30 November 2012

Kids 'Good' reward chart

Despite my best attempts at cajoling the children to help me finish the project for them they just were not interested! So I finished it last night and they've spent the morning admiring and playing with it.

This isn't a full tutorial but I give an idea of my process and how it was constructed.

Here is our list of house rules before and we have had various homemade sticker charts but they never last long and the children lose interest:

Although I love the sentiment, this just was not that pleasing to look at! And since I now know how to sew, it only made sense to make something prettier:

It is a reward chart and rule reminder in one. I decided just to call it 'Good' - after all that's what I'd like my kids to be!

It was made of really simple elements and the stitching took the most time. I did some embroidery on a long length of plain fabric, to which I added a pocket, a felt panel with their names on and our list of house rules (with the new addition of 'always try your best', thanks to school!). The rules were printed from the computer onto some fabric especially designed for printers - this was a first for me and really fun to do.

Once I'd sewn the front bits together how I wanted them (leaving space for the felt panel) I sewed it to some wadding and added some hanging tabs. Then I put the backing fabric and the front panel right sides together, sewed around the edges (leaving a space for turning), turned it inside out and stitched around the edges. Then I added the felt panel by stitching it on with perle thread and I also hand stitched around the rules.

For the backing I used the lightweight numbers and letters fabric and you can see where I've hand quilted the panels:

The 'rewards' are these little embroideries I made, all the patterns are from 'Sublime Stitching' by Jenny Hart (as are the lanterns at the top). The inspiration to make them into these little circles came from Wild Olive and Mollie's fabulous tutorial for school merit badges. I didn't use pins but just stuck some velcro on the back so the kids could easily stick them on themselves.

The really fun bit for me is, as the kids get fed up looking at the same pictures, I can easily stitch up some different ones. Win - win!

You could incorporate whatever you wanted into a chart like this for kids, maybe using the embroidered badges as reminders of chores or routines in the household. I would love to see if anyone makes one and please let me know if you do!

This is another check off my finish-a-long list with Quilter in the Gap.

We might have very well behaved children this weekend, what with the novelty of the chart and the joy of Advent calenders.

I'm also planning on going to the Portable North Pole again this year so I can make a couple of free videos for them both from Santa. If you have young children you really have to take a look at this, it's just brilliant! Oh and don't be afraid to say they've been naughty, Santa is very kind and tells them there's still time to behave. It is really well made and so nice that it is free (obviously you can buy them or buy other merchandise but you don't have to!). Off to decide whether mine have been good or bad!

Linking up:

at the wonderfully creative Making Rebecca Lynne this week
(go see her gorgeous Liberty scarf and I personally love that wallpaper!)

and Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts


Thursday, 29 November 2012

feeling old

... for several reasons really:

Being the size of a house and with only about 6 weeks until Baby Charm (named by Heather!) shows up; I can't walk very far anymore, or carry things, or do anything useful. I learnt this after a quick trip to the shops the other day to get some fruit etc. and nearly collapsing by the time I got home. It is so frustrating!!!
- Oh and please don't give me any lectures - I already had a big one from my husband and MIL - I promise I will give up attempting anything or doing anything physical and I will have to be accepting of all the help I can (even if it means I have to ask him to bring some milk home everyday!!). I sit down to move the laundry from the washing machine to the dryer so I am already learning new ways :)

My little girl turned 3 this weekend so I feel like I officially no longer have any toddlers, just proper children. That might sound strange but 2 is still so little and 3 somehow seems so different, she'll be going to nursery school next September.  I am imagining the baby arriving is going to age me further!
I know all mother's say it but my gosh they grow so very fast.

I have my son off school today because he's poorly - coughing all night :(
We will see how long my patience lasts, although I have high hopes of getting them to work on the kid's project that I've been ignoring - it would be great to finish it together...

I did these embroideries a while ago
 - they are from the book 'Sublime Stitching'

I also have a box of Fruit Loops sitting in the cupboard and since no one actually seems to like eating them as cereal I am thinking of making this recipe this afternoon. I was tempted by the yummy looking 'treats' you can make but I have no marshmallows. I will let you know how they work out!

Linking up:

Thursday Think Tank
at She Can Quilt this week 
and she has great ideas for Christmas gifts for teens!

Live A Colorful Life


Wednesday, 28 November 2012

going further

I have managed a bit of a catch up on the How Far Will You Go? QAL blocks.

First I made the Dutch Rose, which is a 20" block:

Then I made the Clay's Choice blocks:

It's been a little while since I've worked on this and I've fallen in love with the fabrics all over again. It's so fun picking out which ones to use in each block. I have no grand plan, I just chose fabrics before starting work on each block.

Here's a collage of all the other blocks I've made so far, with no accurate depiction of scale mind you!

I really am learning a lot doing this QAL and the blocks are so fun thanks to the great tutorials by Jess and Jess. They've actually posted all the tutorials now and I'm playing catch up as there is another couple of weeks before they focus on putting the blocks together. I'd really recommend checking it out!

How Far Will You Go? QAL

Linking up:

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced 


Tuesday, 27 November 2012

happy big pouch

Welcome to my contribution to the Happy Little Pouch Hop!

Mommy’s Nap Time

If you're new here, please stay and have a look around my blog, I'm busy sew-nesting as I'm expecting a baby in January so I have been trying to get lots done before then. It's always fun to get to know other crafters too so please comment away!

My make is not so 'little' - it's actually the biggest pouch I've made so far. I needed something to keep my templates in and once I saw the fabulous Vintage Sewing Machine and Notions paper pieced pattern by Charise Creates I knew I had to make it.

The zip pouch measures about 10.5" x 11" so a great size to keep large notions! I love the idea of using paper pieced blocks for pouches like this. They add stability and there are so many fun and different patterns available.

Most of the fabrics I used were from my scraps, although the black glittery text fabric is a Kokka print and the draped fabric is this sewing machine stitches print by aldea from Spoonflower.

I'm still fairly new to paper piecing and there were some frustrating moments where I made mistakes but for the most part I am really happy with how it turned out and it was so fun working out what fabrics to use.

This gorgeous vintage notions fabric I used on the other side was sent to me by the lovely Rachael some time ago and I was saving it for something special - it works so well and I just love it.

I also love the crazy green and orange zip combination. Makes me smile.

Be sure to go and visit my fellow happy little pouch hop blogger Courtney at Mon Petit Lyons today, who has a great tutorial for making a zip pouch with a handle! Don't forget to add your pouch makes (made during the Hop) to the Flickr group for a chance to win prizes from these great sponsors:


Linking up:

Fresh Poppy Design


Friday, 23 November 2012

Retro Flowers Quilt

I am so happy to be able to show you my finished Retro Flowers Quilt. It has been a long and sometimes arduous journey, which started in April, full of good times and bad. The making of this quilt would not have been possible without the kindness of my wonderful bloggy pals, Deborah, KaelinSusan and Jamie Lee who gave me the beautiful Denyse Schimdt fabric that I used for the petals. Thank you so much! I now have a quilt that will live in our house, made with fabrics I adore that will forever remind me how generous and giving people can be. Also thanks to Megan and Bianca for hosting the Retro Flowers QAL, although I took a lot longer to finish it was the kick I needed to get started!

This quilt was made using the fantastic pattern by Christina - The Sometimes Crafter, which you can get here.

I bought the templates from Tabslot and very glad I did. I didn't use the curve master foot though, I used my regular 1/4" foot and NO PINS, for sewing curves without pins I definitely recommend this youtube tutorial, it makes it so much easier.

I had some help deciding on the layout, in fact my daughter had the final say!

The wonderful trick of taking a black and white photo also confirmed the layout (I did take one at the layout stage but managed to somehow delete it but here's one when it was being basted)

Wouldn't this design look SO cool in monochrome?

The background fabric is Essex Linen in Steel, the binding is Prism Break by Hoffman and the backing is a vintage sheet that belonged to my beloved Great Auntie - so it really is retro flowers.

I quilted it using straight lines at random intervals and got a bit quilty happy - honestly it got to the point where I thought I'd try and use up all the lovely King Tut variegated thread (962) but that baby just kept going and the quilt was getting way too crinkly to add more lines so I stopped. It does have an amazing texture and is so snuggly. Check these out:

For the record my husband's head is not a macbook
The little girl happily chilling - the quilt fits the back of my sofa perfectly,
I couldn't have planned that.

This is an unexpected check off my Finish-A-Long list and I'll be so happy to link this up with Quilter In The Gap at the end of this quarter.

And just to give you an idea of how VERY grey it is here in Manchester:

Make sure you stop back on Tuesday because it's my turn for the Happy Little Pouch Hop!

Starting Monday, November 26, there are two weeks of pouch inspiration, pattern reviews and tutorials from some happy pouch bloggers! We've started a Flickr group too so that you can join in the fun, and we will have prizes that will be awarded each weekend of the blog hop.

Here are our Happy Little Pouch Blog Hoppers!

Emily from Mommy's Naptime
Elaine from Dashasel Sews
Courtney from Mon Petit Lyons
Lucy from Charm About You
Hollie from Undercover Crafter
Katie from Katie's Korner
Lindsay from Lindsay Sews
Michelle from I Like Orange
Sara from Sew Sweetness
Holly from Bijou Lovely
Heidi from Fabric Mutt
Elizabeth from Don't Call Me Betsy
Emily from Mle BB
Shruti from 13 Woodhouse Road
Beth of Plum and June
Kaelin from The Plaid Scottie

and of course, 

Please join us in the fun and share your pouchy makes in our Flickr group

Prizes have generously been donated by:


Linking up:

this week at Sewing by Moonlight

and Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts