Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Not quite what I had in mind!

For the forthcoming 'zip evening' at my local quilt group, I've been thinking about how to make a simple tote bag with a zip in an hour!  Well, I know you couldn't make the whole thing in the hour, but at least you could get the zip technique under your belt and finish the bag later.  I had more fabric left from my previous bag, so chose a zip and contrasting fabric to do the job.  I added tabs to the zip, and thought I could just bind the edges of the bag, and that would be easy. 

Here is one of the tabs.  It seemed like a good idea, but getting the biding round the corner was very tricky, and it limits the opening to the bag.  Plus, one side is bigger than the other, and one has a tuck in it! 

I suppose it doesn't look too bad  (you can see the tabs have more room on one side than the other, here!) but I think I'll have to go back to the drawing board on this one.  Unpicking is never my first port of call, but this time it'll have to happen! 

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Getting ahead

I'm not a person who thrives on pressure.  I like to keep ahead of the game and be prepared.  So, here we are. I'm doing a zip workshop in July, so have made a sample already. 

This zip is integral, and has an inside pocket.  Normally I would put it in a bag lining, but since the workshop is just an hour, I thought it would be good to make something manageable.  This simple bag 
Can have a zip put in it very quickly, so people can get the technique under their belt.  
Then I made my challenge blocks.  Circles is the challenge, and here is my first block. 

I wanted to needle turn, but couldn't face the stress of trying to keep circles circular, so used the foil method.

You need a circle of cardboard the correct size.  Make a pile with a piece of foil, a circle of fabric larger than you want the circle to finish on top of it right side down, with the card on top. 

Pull the foil tightly round the card.  Make sure it's very circular, with no points. 

Iron on the front and back.  

When the foil has cooled, undo it, and hey presto!  A perfect circle ready to appliqué!  You can use the foil several times before it's too crumpled.  Good idea! 
Hope the recipient will like the blocks. 

Saturday, 30 April 2016


I recently bought an Accuquilt Go! die with cars on it for Project Linus use, but hadn't had chance to use it.  We are always looking for boy quilts, and this seemed like a good idea for several.  I combined the cars with the inevitable MAM blocks, with some success, I think.

I haven't joined the final border yet, but I think this looks bright and cheerful.  At least it's another way to use up MAM blocks and reduce the stack! 

Wednesday, 27 April 2016


After our recent holiday, I realised that my holiday bag had come yo the end of its days.  The handles had begun to come away, there were a couple of little tears in it and it was looking very shabby.  Time for a new one.  I made one from the same pattern again, as I found it so practical. 

Big enough to get an extra cardie in, yet light.  Long enough handles to go over a shoulder, but also good for carrying in a hand.  

And inside, an inside zipped pocket for important stuff, and three open pockets for sun cream, sun glasses, bottles of water etc.  Perfect! 
I also made another of these little dumpling bags. 

Small, but easy to make and very cute.  Again, great for holidays, to put chargers, tablets, coins or any small items in. 
Then, tired of forgetting to bring an ironing board to Linus sewing sessions, I made a small ironing pad which will fit in a Curver box with all the Linus equipment. 

I cut down a piece of cardboard from a fabric bolt and covered it with wadding, then some fabric.  Not very snazzy but hopefully very useful. 

Thursday, 14 April 2016

That's better!

People who know me will say that I'm not one to use the unpicker very much.  I'm queen of bodging, my mantra being, if it doesn't jump out and poke you in the eye, it'll be fine!  But this time, I just had to unpick.  I wasn't happy with the orientation of the strings, and the more I tried to convince myself that it was fine, the more I decided it was not fine, and that the unpicker needed to be tracked down and utilised.  So, from this, 

To this. 

Much better! 

Saturday, 9 April 2016


At the last meeting of Piecemakers, we had a sewing evening, and people made string blocks.  This was a new technique for some people, and everyone enjoyed working in just one colour.  We've been away for a couple of weeks, but since I've been back, I've been making up some of the blocks into tops. 

Since there were pink, red, yellow, blue, green and purple blocks, I put these together into a rainbow.  This will cheer someone up! 

There were quite a few pink blocks (some left over from another time) so I grouped these together into fours to make this lovely sashed nine patch.  Pink binding will complete it. 

Then there were some lovely blue blocks, but not enough for a quilt.  I think they look great as a border round this teddy panel. Mill add the printed border top and bottom, then finish with a royal blue wider border.  
The blocks left have gone into the 6.5" orphan bag, ready for another day! 

Monday, 21 March 2016

Block Of The Month

At the Rugby quilting group I belong to, Rocheberie Schoolhouse Quilters, we are doing a BOM.  Well, it's not actually a block a month, as we meet every two months, but it works out to twelve blocks over the year, so it's basically the same!  
Here are my two March blocks.

The one on the left is Flying in a Circle, and made from flying geese and half square triangles.  (I also used hour glasses, but you don't have to.). The one on the right is Disappearing Hourglass, and it went together beautifully. 

Here are my four blocks so far.  Ive not decided how to set them yet, but I don't think it'll be like this!