Books for Baby quilt top

On Wednesday after a couple of days of paper piecing (which I’ll show you soon) I had a look at the Patchwork Please sew along project for the week and discovered that it was the Books for Baby quilt.  A few weeks ago I had decided that I would like to make this quilt in fabrics suitable for a boy and had pulled a pile of possible book covers.

It was the last day of school for the girls so my last day of quiet sewing with a small boy for company.  It didn’t take long for me to sew up this:

Book for baby quilt block

I loved the fact that I could fussy cut the text print AND that it complemented the book cover.  My only regret is that I didn’t use the orange print on the spine as well as the corners but I wasn’t about to unpick!

Spurred on by how quickly this came together I spent the evening cutting fabrics for 11 more blocks.  I’m not quite sure how but by the end of Thursday I had made all the blocks and pulled fabrics for the borders and sashing!  I promise I didn’t neglect my children!  We did a food shop, a puzzle:

puzzle girl

and they didn’t go hungry.

While I was selecting fabrics I came across a text print that said something about ‘falling in love with the robot maker’ so that had to go with the robot book (Madrona Road maybe?):

Books for baby quilt

I don’t think it’s that wonky in real life!

A book about bicycles, tricycles, tandems and trailers:

Books for baby quilt

And watch out this may have a snappy creature inside, don’t be fooled by the cute sea creatures on the cover!

Books for baby quilt

On Friday morning while still in my pj’s I sewed the borders around each block, then went off to my mum’s to fruit pick, coming home with most of this lot:


Once the children were tucked up in bed last night I continued sewing and managed to put the whole quilt top together:

Books for baby quilt top

For a seemingly complex quilt I am amazed at how quickly it came together, the paper piecing was straight forward and most of the fabrics for the spine and book corners were from my scraps box. Now I just need to decide how to quilt it – any suggestions? I’m thinking that for the first time ever I might hand quilt it as it seems a bit too special just to machine…

Linking up with:

Paper Piecing Party

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How long will these stay clean?

For as long as I can remember (which is at least 3 years ago) I’ve wanted to make placemats for my children and would you believe it this weeks project in Patchwork, Please! was placemats.

I didn’t really plan to make them but after wiping my little boys placemat one morning after breakfast decided that now really was the time as once it had looked a bit like this:

and now the vehicles are almost unidentifiable.

So I pulled out a pile of charms I have from 2 Japanese charm swaps and selected 8 charms that I thought would work for fussy cutting. I also had bought a pair of linen trousers from the charity shop for £2 for the purpose of cutting up for zakka projects.  The trousers weren’t really wide enough to cut a 12″ square from, I managed it for the first one and then on the other 2 pieced two 6.5″ pieces together.

I paper pieced the side panels as my brain couldn’t quite work out cutting the correct shapes out with seam allowances etc, my excuse being that my eldest daughter (Bethan, 8 yrs old) was away from home for the first time on a school residential.

Anyway it came together quickly, I jumped on Lynne’s tip of using a thin strip of fabric (5/8″) instead of ric rac which meant I could get the project finished then and there:

Diamond Patchwork Placemat M

Mathias was quite delighted, this is his empty bowl after dinner tonight, he won’t eat sauce with his pasta which is why it looks so clean!

My daughter Leah (who was not away) quite liked the idea of a placemat but I was unable to pin her down to choose fabrics and I was fairly sure that if I used my initiative I would be wrong.

So on Friday morning before school Bethan (back from 3 days away) asked if I would make her a placemat and duly chose fabrics, spurred on by her sister, Leah realised that she might have the time and patience to choose fabrics now and unsurprisingly surprised me with her choices:

Diamond Patchwork Placemat L

Yes there is a pink fabric in there; yes, that did surprise me but then it does have cake on.

Bethan’s choices were mainly animals and one featuring the Eiffel Tower, both girls are keen to visit Paris one day.

Diamond Patchwork Placemat B

I used Summerville Crosshatch in London Bus red for the backing of the first placemat, Leah asked for the same as her brother despite being told she could choose whatever she wanted from my stash.  Bethan given the same option went for Summersville Fall in London Bus red and I must say I love how this looks.

So Mathias has spilt yogurt on his and it’s been washed already, I finished the girls mats this afternoon and by the end of dinner there wasn’t too much mess to be seen but it might not be a bad idea to have a few spare!

Linking up with the Paper Piecing Party at Kristys:

Paper Piecing Party

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June’s projects

June saw not much progress on the house front but I got some sewing done;

June's projects

Projects from Patchwork, Please! my first ever bee block (check out the speedy Lynne who has already pieced the top), paper piecing, a quilt top for Siblings Together and on Saturday I organised a Dress A Girl Around the World event in which 36 dresses were stitched and more taken home to be finished.

With a lot of hard work I hope that July will be the month of a floor in our extension and a kitchen.  So who knows if there will any sewing but there may be a new sewing space for me!

Linking up with:

Lily's Quilts

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No cooking going on here!

So this weeks project from Patchwork, Please! was the Polka Dot Cafe Apron.  I like aprons, I rarely wear one and if I do it tends to need to be a full rather than half size one!  But a good place to start was the actual blocks for the apron.

I fussy cut the fabrics concentrating hard to make sure that the shapes were on point where necessary!

I made one block, I thought about paper piecing it as others had suggested but didn’t and it worked, the finished block was 6.5″ square which I think is right:


I cut another piece of fabric and sewed the two pieces right sides together and then turned them right side out. My plan was to use this as a patch pocket on a dress. Yesterday I organised a Dress A Girl Around the World event using the school hall, I had hoped that there would be a plain dress suitable to stitch this patch on to, but none were quite right.

So please forgive me the slightly unfinished project and maybe the sight of 36 gorgeous dresses ready to go to Malawi will help:

I will continue to hunt for a suitable dress to add the pocket to!

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At least I have a kettle

This weeks project from Patchwork, Please! is the Tea Cosy and Teabag pouch.

I decided to continue to use Essex Linen and the Sew Cherry scraps that I used last week on the tea towels:

Tea Cosy

In hindsight I wish I’d altered the letter ‘E’ making the middle stroke shorter to make it more E like.

Tea Cosy

I used two charm squares from the Addicted to Text swap for the tea cup, using the tea cup print and the ‘Earl Grey’ text.  I’m quite pleased with how my fussy cutting worked out, it was very tricky to get the tea cup on there as it was pretty near the edge of the charm.

Tea Cosy and Teabag pouch

I used Crosshatch in London Bus red from Summersville for the binding.

Tea Cosy - lining

The instructions in the book are for an exposed seam on the inside – I wasn’t having any of that and made some binding to cover the seam.  I used some Honey Tune by Lecien for the lining.

I quilted the tea cosy using Aurifil 5006 50wt from my Pat Bravo Quilitng Heart box of threads, it went brilliantly with the aqua in the Sew Cherry fabrics and adds a lovely detail to the quilting.

Sadly I don’t actually have a teapot to hand to add to the photo’s, there is one packed away in a box somewhere waiting for the day when we have a kitchen again, but as least we still have a kettle and teabags.

I also made the teabag pouch which came together a lot quicker than the cosy!  This time I use an orphan Sew Cherry block and added to it from the scrap pile:

Teabag pouch

Sadly I don’t have any ‘nice’ teabags to insert into it so you’ll just have to imagine them for now!

Teabag pouch

I hope you’ve managed some sewing this week, Zakka like or not.

Linking up with Kristy’s:


PPPQP button[3]

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I do do dishes

Last week’s Patchwork, Please! project was simple and fun.  This week…I was taken by the idea of the tea towels and for some reason decided to make all of them!

I bought some Essex linen approx 18 months ago, in the packing up of the dining room and my sewing cupboards I misplaced it.  I looked for it on a number of occasions and eventually found it the middle of last week.

So tracing, cutting, sticking and sewing I have been.

(Beware picture heavy)


I pulled charms from my Addicted to Text Charm Swap pile:


Just seen that I need to add some holes to the top of my salt and pepper pots:


We are still without a proper kitchen, but we do have a nice big empty space which is great for photography. I also bought a table from the charity shop a few weeks ago, I just happened to be passing and spotted a yellow vintage formica drop leaf table and decided it would be great for my new sewing space. Tobit used it to photograph on hence the rather bright yellow background:

IMG_0173Breakfast, lunch and dinner towels

I pretty much followed the pattern to the letter, I’ve full of miserable summer cold for a week or so and my imagination wasn’t up to much, I didn’t even think about just making one!

Breakfast, lunch and dinner towels

Maybe I’m just dreaming about the day when the floor screed is dry and we can lay flooring and fit the kitchen, we’re almost at 60 days since it went down!


For the letters I used scraps from the Sew Cherry FQ bundle I had last year for 2 Siblings Together quilts, I’m so glad I kept them, only small bits but plenty for the letters and still some to spare for another project.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner towels

So probably the most labour intensive tea towels ever, but I love them, tempted to keep them for a lovely gift for someone, but I think that once we have a kitchen again I’ll be celebrating the reinstallation of our dishwasher and hanging them somewhere to look pretty!

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Peppers please

Last week I showed you the paper pieced pencil case I made for my niece from the Patchwork, Please! book.

This week the Patchwork, Please! Zakka Along 2.0 kicked off, the plan is to work through the book with a project a week, linking up and sharing your makes (oh and there might be prizes too).

The first project are some fairly simple coasters, made in the shape of a bell pepper.  I had fun pulling scraps from my collection but realised that I do keep some pretty small scraps in those boxes and not many were suitable and big enough!  Despite having joined in the text charm swap last year I also discovered that very few of them worked (in my mind) for this project (but happily I’ve taken part in another text charm swap so will have more to choose from soon).

Ok so I will confess that I sewed the red backing to the orange pepper and only realised after I’d trimmed the pepper with my pinking shears and yes incredibly I was patient and unpicked it carefully and sewed the correct parts together:

Bell pepper coasters

As I sewed these I did think that with a little tweaking you could make butterfly coasters or round them to make them look more apple like and to be honest one of my children thought they were apples!

I’m adding these to the flickr pool, check it out for everyone elses take on the projects.


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Made in May

Another new month, another round up of makes, this month has been mostly about clothing:

Made in May

I made a pyjama top to go with the trousers I made in April, the top fits well and he loves to wear them.  I made clothes for me (blogged here), and a pencil case for my niece (blogged here).

I’ve made a couple of other things which I will share in more detail soon (i.e. when time allows), for now here is a sneak peek or 2:


If you follow me on instagram you might already have seen both of these.



Linking up with Fresh Sewing Day and hopping over to see what others have been making:

Lily's Quilts

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Paper pieced pencils

Just recently I happened upon a new blog; Dapple and Grey, I can’t remember how but I did.  Amber was holding a giveaway of Patchwork Please and I couldn’t resist entering, and would you believe I won!

The book arrived a week or so ago and I’ve been browsing the pages thinking about what to make. I was quite taken by the Vintage Style pencil case and knowing that I needed to organise a birthday present for my niece overseas I thought that would make a good starting point.

I dug out some scraps that I thought would work well for pencils and some linen left over from a pair of trousers I bought from the charity shop last year for the Zakka Style sew along. (Somewhere I have yardage of Essex linen, but in the moving of my fabric stash it has disappeared, I am really hoping that it hasn’t made it’s way to the charity shop when I was being ruthless in clearing out some not quilting cottons!)

I traced that pencil points from the book to paper piece with, I’m guessing that I wasn’t as accurate as I could have been as some of the ends aren’t perfectly straight.

Vintage Pencil Case

Now containing some British sweets it’s off to Germany hopefully in time for her birthday.

Vintage Pencil Case

I had suggested to my girls that these might make nice end of year teacher gifts but I’m not sure I want to make more just yet!

Oh and if anyone ever comes across those double pull zips that Ayumi uses on her pencil case then please let me know, they are so smart and I’d love some!

I’m linking up with the party over at Quiet Play:

Paper Piecing Party

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2012: another year of sewing

It’s the end of the year so I’m having a quick look back at what I’ve achieved in the last 12 months, I am pleasantly surprised!

Quilts: all started and finished in 2012

Eight big quilts (and a few baby size), six of which I have given away!  Quilts for Siblings Together was a big project in the early ‘summer’, it was a joy to sew for others and wonderful much later in the year to read Lynne’s post about the giving of the quilts.  I already have plans for next year!

Bags, pouches and purses finished in 2012

A selection of bags, purses and pouches that have been made, featuring heavily is the Lined Drawstring bag (pattern by Jeni), I love it.

Clothing finishes 2012

At the beginning of the year I joined in the Sewing for Boys sew along, I guess I managed 4 months before life got in the way.  But it inspired me to think about sewing for the children again, and I love the Treasure Pocket Pants pattern, making 5 pairs of those.

Other finishes 2012

There was other ‘stuff’ cushion covers, zakka style sew along items, gifts and I even wrote a few tutorials, and of course the weekend away at FQ Retreat.

A big step for me this year was teaching.  I’ve never done it before, but I lead a couple of evenings at a friends home sewing for Dress A Girl Around the World and Siblings Together.  In July I taught my first workshop at Arrietty, teaching six ladies how to make frame purses.  I’ve done a few more since then and have also taught some private one-to-one sessions.  I’ve loved teaching, sharing knowledge, inspiring and giving others confidence in their abilities (and starting fabric habits in others – hahaha!).

So that’s it for today, I have vague plans for 2013 but output may well be determined by building work on our house.

Here’s hoping you have a wonderful 2013.


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