Tuesday, 27 December 2016

plan together ~ Mrs Keller and Carrie

I have been quietly hand stitching in the evenings and have finished a couple more Farmer's Wife 1930's Sew-along blocks. Both of these blocks were hand pieced, to see my hand piecing tutorial click here.

#69 Mrs Keller
As someone that doesn't do well with change, I really admire the author of this letter for her determination and acceptance of the fact that her and her husband needed to return to the farm. "I was determined that I would go to that farm and like it, in spite of myself". The grey Carolyn Friedlander print represents the town and the Cotton + Steel Sprinkles is for the farm. The central fabric is both sad and happy, it looks like tears but the colours are very pretty. It turns out that she was not unhappy living on the farm, "We work together and plan together. To be sure we have had disappointments, but they are part of life, so we meet them together".

#21 Carrie
Another letter that focused on triumphing over adversity. I used Liberty fabric for this block. The brown pixels and the blue swirls are for the "the dust [that] fogs over us when it blows". The roses are for the fact that the family felt "blue" until they decided to go to Sunday School and the lesson was a "balm to our tired souls]... Now we sing as we work, and next year is another year".

I am still catching up on blocks though I'm choosing to skip a few here and there. I currently have 52/99 blocks and suspect I won't actually sew them all, preferring instead to make a quilt when the sew along finishes rather than to try and make all the blocks. The OCD part of me really hates that but I think it's more realistic and enjoyable for me to just make the blocks I like and actually have a quilt*! Does anyone else have this struggle?! Would you make them all or prefer to finish with what you had?

* I have decided on a layout, other than the one in the book, that doesn't require me to have all the blocks completed. I'm ok with that.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

teacher's gifts ~ snappy coin purses + ornaments

It's a bit panic stations over here, madly sewing presents for people. I have a couple of other gifts to finish but I actually managed to complete all the teacher's gifts just in the nick of time - it's the last day of term tomorrow!

These cute little coin purses are a great way to use up scraps. I had a lot of fun diving through my big scrap bag, mixing and matching prints. 

I added my favourite Kam snaps - I got a selection of different colours and handy snap pliers from a set on Ebay - for those of you in the UK a quick google has just shown they also have them on Amazon, there is a dedicated online shop Kam Snaps UK and Plush Addict stocks the snaps.

I love the way the little purse opens; perfect for holding coins, business cards, maybe a little emergency kit (plasters, safety pin etc).

The tutorial is the snappy coin purse by Rashida Coleman-Hale and I definitely recommend it, even after making 10! There is a bit of hand sewing to finish them off and it was a nice evening sofa job.

Each of the kids made ornaments for their teachers too. Just glitter felt, cut out circles and some shapes, confetti and pens! I punched a hole and added some baker's twine.

They wrote their names and the year on the back of the felt. I think it's a nice gift and I hope the teachers do too!

Monday, 19 December 2016

denim + Pam Kitty apron šŸŒ¹

Today I finished this cute apron, a commission for a lady that loves gardening. I was given a couple of pairs of jeans to use and I decided to combine it with some gorgeous Pam Kitty Garden fabric.

I appliquƩd her name to the front of the pocket using a simple zig zag stitch. Since the apron is going to be used in the garden it seemed a good idea to line the pocket with the same waterproof canvas I used for my Geeky Flying Geese Bag. To line both sides, I constructed the main panel of the apron like patchwork, I put the canvas in the centre and surrounded it with denim.

The apron is backed in the same fabric as the appliquƩ letters. I sewed the right sides together leaving a gap, turned it through and stitched around the outside, as well as stitching around the pocket so the lining wouldn't be baggy!

Originally I was going to use denim for the straps but it would have been a little too 'utility' and decided instead to use the same as the binding fabric.

It's nice to have that seam showing from the original jeans and I stitched vertical lines on the pocket to create three separate sections in the pocket (before sewing the lining on!).

I hope the recipient likes it! I certainly enjoyed making it.

This is a check off my FAL list 

Now I've got a zillion things to sew before Christmas and very little time to do it so I better get back to sewing! 

I hope everyone's week is off to a good start. Anyone else panic sewing?!

Sunday, 11 December 2016

shiny sunday stash

Like a magpie I can't resist nice sparkly fabrics and there's a fair bit in my latest haul from Simply Solids. I saw the new Luster by Zen Chic and had to get some!

They are even more gorgeous in real life and just look at these selvedges:

To add more shine I picked up some Essex Yarn Dyed Metallic in Sand, it's really pretty and quite subtle, though it does sparkle when it catches the light:

And then just because they are sweet I picked up a couple of Dashwood prints:

 top to bottom: Washi, Paper Meadow by Jilly P and Midnight Spot, Paper Meadow by Jilly P

This week I also bought a comic book. A really special one. My friend Robin Scott draws comic strips about his daily life and they've been published as a collection by Good Comics.

I inhaled it. Literally sat and absorbed it in one go. It is normal life, thoughtful and observant, and also amusing, familiar and comforting. His artwork blows me away and conveys so much just with a pen.

Get a copy of Every Life I Ever Lived for yourself (or as a gift!). My son is currently reading it and it's opened up a new world for him. Since he's used to action / superhero comics, now he is thinking about drawing in a different way, which I think is excellent.

A lot of crafts and drawing goes on in our house, here's Lois thoroughly concentrating. It's hard to see but she also made pen holder out of a juice bottle by covering it in feathers and lollipop sticks.

 And finally I finished this:

except that I didn't! I put the binding on my rose star quilt and all the time I kept looking at the back and the front and thinking I should have quilted the hexagon shape around the central hexagons in the 'roses'. 

I can't not do it because I think I would regret it. As nice as it would be to finish it now it wouldn't sit right with me.

So you'll have to wait a little longer for the final finish as I'm adding more hand quilting!

Molli Sparkles

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Gilmore Girls mug rug ☕

Whether you are a fan of the show or not, this free pattern from Anorina at Samelia's Mum is adorable and you could easily add your own quote. I happen to love the show and the new series. I listen to the theme song Where You Lead by Carole King on every episode!

It was a lot of fun picking the fabrics. The soft Make Drafts, Maker by AGF Studio is a sweet cup and I tried to balance it with the bold Shadow Dot, Hadley by Denyse Schmidt, which also fits nicely with the coffee theme!

I enjoy doing embroidery and a little project like this is a nice quick make. I used two strands of Aurifloss #2530 and a simple backstitch for the text. 

I added some hand quilting, steam coming from the cup and some little crosses to mimic the fabric print, using Aurifil 12wt #2021.

This is my first time doing reverse appliquĆ© and, while it's far from perfect, I'm really pleased with it and definitely want to do more. I had no clue what I was doing so I used this Fons & Porter video tutorial to help me. I had the perfect brown Aurifil 50wt #1285 to do the top stitching. I did needle turn appliquĆ© the cut out of the handle but it looked odd without the top stitching so I added it! It would be super quick to make this and just do raw edge appliquĆ© but it was nice for me to try and challenge myself.

I loved Anorina's mug rug so much that I decided to add in some trim. I have a bag of it that someone gave me and is the perfect finishing touch!

Now I'm not sure I want to put my coffee on it so it might live on my bedside table instead!