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! The bags were on my fal list for Q3 so that's another one ticked off  ✓

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.

Friday, 17 July 2015

(nearly) wordless friday

second Igloos block from Green Tea and Sweet Beans done :)

linking up to finish it up friday at crazy mom quilts

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

direction ~ le challenge ~ tissue holders

ok so I have to be honest and say this was plan B. I usually like to tie my le challenge project in with something else I'm doing (my limited sewing time means this is kind of a must) so I had to rethink when plan A failed. Actually it didn't fail but I was hoping to have my English Paper Pieced mini finished by now. The 14th has snuck up on me and I realised there was no way I could get it done (even if I pulled a couple of all nighters). EPP is not for rushing!

So yesterday I looked at what needed to get done and handily I just wrote my Finish-Along list. Obviously I had to do a quick sew and Kelly's tissue holder tutorial was the perfect thing! She posted a clever and simple tutorial on instagram and I thought they would be perfect to add into end of year gift bags for my kids teachers.

This is such a fast sew, I encourage you to look at the tutorial and make a few! They'd be perfect to have on hand as extra gifts / stocking fillers. Cute to carry in your handbag and nice for kids school bags too. Thanks for sharing your tutorial Kelly! Six tissue holders complete and the first check off my FAL list.

I chose to make this for the le challenge theme because of the wonderful teachers my children have. Under their direction my kids have had really good school reports this year! Clever hey?! 

We always have amazing, creative people linking up so come and take a peek and join in if you have a finish that ties in with the theme 'direction' at le challenge

Le Challenge

Monday, 13 July 2015

get serious ~ FAL Q3 2015

I made 4/8 finishes from quarter two but they were only small makes and I feel like I haven't finished a quilt in forever. I have more small makes to add this time round but I am really hoping to crack some bigger projects and actually finish some quilts (I feel like I've said that a lot this year *sigh*). So, despite the fact that the kids will be off school, I am being ambitious and hope you will all cheer me on in getting actual quilts finished this quarter!

The first four projects I need to finish are rolled over from last quarter...

1. The commissioned vintage quilt that I'm hand quilting, I'm making slow but steady progress:

2. Summer dresses for my girls, I cut all the pieces last year and now I'm worried they won't even fit and summer might be over already (!) but might as well give it a go:

3. Baby star quilt, I think I have one row to add and it's been sat in a crumpled state next to my sewing table for way too long!

4. A skirt for me, just because I couldn't resist this beautiful Japanese denim - I would like to prioritise some selfish sewing:

And the new projects that I've recently started or need to get done...

5. Another make just for me. I loved the drawstring tote I made using Svetlana's pattern so much I immediately bought supplies to make one for myself. It's such a perfect size, really handy for nipping to the shops or for carting home the kids crap models and art from school.

7. Teachers gifts for the end of term - which is next week so need to get on it. I'm planning on making some drawstring bags (I like using Jeni's tutorial) and to put inside I got some mugs for the kids to decorate, so that should be fun! I got this Pebeo Marker, which I've read works better than a Sharpie so we'll see:

8. Just today I saw a fabulous instagram tutorial for these cute tissue holders by Kelly - she kindly let me borrow her picture (thanks Kelly!) - check out her IG feed! I think these will be a nice little extra to pop in the bags for the teachers so I've picked out some fabric ready to sew.

Finally I'm making samples of patterns I've designed to teach at Patchfinders...

9. An English Paper Pieced mini quilt, which I started a few days ago:

10. A pencil quilt (no pictures of my messy quilt maths allowed but I will be using some solid fabrics!):

11. An embroidered needle case, this gives me a great reason to use my new Fat Quarter Shop Aurifloss Set:

I also have to whip up a few samples of free motion quilting patterns for a class, not sure I'm allowed to count that in the fal since they will probably stay as quilt sandwiches but it's more stuff I have to get done so I'm noting it here anyway (maybe a cheerleader can let me know if class samples like this count?!).

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Friday, 10 July 2015

a different finish

This is not my usual sort of finish. No fabric involved but it was something I have wanted to do for a while (don't worry there's some pretty fabric at the end of this post!). We have an area of our kitchen counter that gets used for dumping letters and various paper stuff and it drives me mad! I bought this from ebay in the hopes that I could start clearing off the counter and organise the paper clutter:

But I'm not a gardener and it's a bit twee for my liking so I broke out the paint and now have this:

Not a perfect job but much better. I'm thinking of hanging bull dog clips off those hooks so I can clip important notes or letters I need to respond to on there. Now I just have to get it hung up and hope it prevents the dumping ground! 

If you would like a deal this weekend then head over to Green Fairy Quilts because they are having a massive sale with up to 50% off fat quarter bundles.

I love the dots from Riley Blake, they have a whole rainbow of gorgeous Robert Kaufman solids, as well as gorgeous prints from Moda, like this Paradiso by Kate Spain, and much more. Head over and check it out!

Have a fabulous and fun filled weekend everyone :)

linking up to finish it up friday at crazy mom quilts