Thursday, 20 November 2014

Hexie Paper Piecing, Maker Showcase & a new toy...

Hello there! My it's been a hectic few weeks, so nice of you to drop by.

Yesterday I picked up my new toy... a brand spanking new camera. It's a Canon Powershot SX600. Now I've yet to really use it properly so will hold off on any sort of review. As you may have guessed I'm far from a practised photographer but the prospect of waving goodbye to the one-out-of-five usable pictures situation amid the blur from my old camera is pretty exciting!

I'm determined over the next few weeks to now photograph and document some finished projects which have been lurking, so perhaps you'll be seeing a bit more of me.

In the mean time -Ta-dah! A few snaps from my cutting table this morning.

I've been sewing my little heart out, during the very limited free time I'm currently afforded, to get some bits together for Make and Do's third Artist / Maker showcase this weekend alongside Emma who will be launching some brand new paper piecing packs complete with pre-cut templates AND fabric (so if you fancy trying your hand and like me are lazy when it comes to prep they're just brill!).

I've been working on some quilted natural linen storage baskets (a few still sitting on my cutting table waiting to be finished). I've hand basted and pieced scrappy hexagons for the front and machine quilted the backs. They're finished off with a little 'Handmade with love' tape tucked in the side seams.

I think they'd be great for storing fabric scraps or supplies but could be lovely hamper bases for toiletry gifts etc for Christmas.

I've also made a few linen patchwork 'Purselets' with either card or mobile phone pockets secured with 'Kam' snaps. They've also got a little lobster clasp for keys. If everything is together I stand more chance of leaving the house on time (Other half & I lose what probably amounts to a significant percentage of our lives looking for keys!).

They have hand stitched lining and are also finished with a little 'Handmade with love' tape as a little extra finishing touch.

After the event this Saturday (22nd Nov) I'll list the remaining items in my folksy store. I'ts a really limited run so there are only a handful of each! ...if I can bring myself to part with them of course.

I hope you're all enjoying the onset of Autumn, I'm off to London for a long overdue visit with a dear friend. So more on our little adventure upon my return!

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Flea Market Finds

This post is semi-belated as Steph and I went to a great little flea market in our home town Bristol on the first Sunday of the month.

I thought I'd share a few pictures today as I've also been working on a dress for the Make & Do November window display which is made using one of my purchases from the day -a 1970's vintage pattern. It's a very 1940's tea dress shape but there's no denying it's from the 70's as just look at the hairstyles and those sleeves!

The pattern has a facing not a lining, but due to my fabric choice I decided to take the time to fully line it piecing it all together like a big jigsaw puzzle! You can see in the picture above that I gathered the sleeve head and lining as one and will then hand stitch the bodice lining at the armhole to reduce the bulk. I've done the same with the under bust gathers.

I love the little button loops and I'll use fabric covered buttons. It's still just pinned so when it's finished I'll take some better pictures to share.

So back to the flea market! I set out with a few things in mind to purchase, namely a small bookcase, a vintage beveled mirror (the kind hung from a chain in you Nan's house) and some sort of glass pendent lampshade for our bedroom. Luckily I managed to get two of the three things on my mental list and then 3 vintage patterns for the bargain price of £2 each!

My first find was the octagonal mirror below. It's a little beaten up but I like it's character. The other is a beautiful 1930's white glass pendent shade with dashes of yellow and pink -just perfect for our bedroom. The chain to suspend it needs replacing but I thought it was a steal regardless.

Unfortunately it's getting to that time of year when the light starts to fade as I get home so gloomy pictures! I'll take more once they're installed and hung.

A great haul! Definitely planning to go again.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Lily's Small Blog Meet

I'm pretty new to quilting, having dabbled with some basic rail fence designs and recently tried my hand at english paper piecing (I've gone hexie mad! Photo evidence here!), so I'm always on the hunt for inspiration ahead of a couple of pretty large scale projects which I have in the pipeline.

Lynne's blog 'Lily's Quilts' is a quilting goldmine, and I mentioned recently that Steph and I were lucky enough to run into her at the NEC Festival of Quilts.

Small Blog Meet

Anyway Lynne hosts a 'Small Blog Meet' which I thoroughly recommend checking out if you're also interested in patchwork / quilting as there are some great small blogs listed which are well worth perusing. A couple of my favourites so far include some gorgeous long-arm quilting over at 'QuiltingIsMyYoga' and a bright zingy wedding band quilt at 'DorisBatting'.

I'm always after more reading material so if you have any craft blog suggestions then do drop them in the comments below!

Saturday, 20 September 2014

First Birthday & Fabric Love

I finally have a 'Riding Peplum' by April Rhodes waiting in the wings to be photographed. Here are a few sneaky pictures of it's first outing at Make & Do's first birthday tea party (aren't the button cupcakes amazing!).

So more on that one later! I've not had much time for post writing of late but I have squeezed in a little perusing of the virtual world for fabric.

Two that have recently made it onto my Pinterest board are 'Panache Profondo' from 'Petal & Plume' by Bari J and 'Adventure Springs' from 'Hello Bear' by Bonnie Christine -both for Art Gallery Fabrics.

I love the muted colours and simplicity of the prints, right up my alley (you may notice a bit of a theme developing on the board). I also love the fact that a selection of knits including these two are available from both collections as I've been intending to branch out a little with more knits (like Kitschy Coo's Lady Skater) making their way onto my 'To-Do' list.

Alas, these projects may have to take a back seat as the dreaded C*****mas sewing will shortly be commencing (the C-word is still banned by other half in our home!).

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Deer & Doe Wish List

Firstly 'Hurrah!!' ...this is my 100th post, so the usual milestone comments about my sticking power and how it's a minor miracle that I'm still picking away at my little blog apply!

So that's all very exciting -but so is this! French pattern company 'Deer and Doe' have released a beautiful new shirt dress pattern which is firmly on my wish list. It's called 'Bruyere' and is long sleeved, fitted to the waist and flared to tunic length over the hips.

The 'Datura' blouse has long been on my dressmaking to-do list but I've held off on purchasing it as I've not spotted any in the UK. Shipping from Europe is not inexpensive but now that this little beauty has just been released I may have to bite the bullet and order them both!

I love the aesthetic of this indie pattern company. The designs are clean and simple but with really lovely little touches to set them apart. Be sure to have a look at the other patterns available at their online store not least of all the free (yes, free!) Plantain tee pdf pattern.

Fellow blogger Anna at Paunnet has some gorgeous examples of various Deer and Doe garments and her blog is just brilliant so if you're not already familiar with it then do head over there too!

Any other takers? Which would you go for?

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Sewing Space & Vintage Finds

I'm having my first 'proper' sewing day in my newly decorated sewing space today! It's not completely finished but very nearly there (muslin café nets made -now just awaiting other soft furnishings and pictures).

The furniture has been moved into position and I've actually managed to sort through the majority of my sewing stash. Embarrassingly not all of it will fit in the unit shown below.

Whilst I was having a big sort out I happened upon a whole load of vintage bits and pieces given to me by my mother. I thought I'd share a couple of pictures as I just love the packaging. A lot of it has the old 'd' marking meaning that it predates 1971 (if I'm not mistaken) when the new currency was introduced.

It was my mother who introduced me to sewing (via needlework and knitting / crochet) at a young age. I consider myself very lucky indeed to have grown up in a household where making things was an everyday occurrence, in fact probably not a single day went by wen I was growing up where my mother wasn't working on something -be that a jumper, pantomime costumes or enormous cross stitch pieces.

So thanks Mother! Not just for all the stuff but for showing me what to do with it! x

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Festival of Quilts

Why hello there! In my last post I mentioned that a few folks including Steph, Jemma and I were heading up to the Quilt show at the NEC, Birmingham to get some inspiration (and some goodies!).

I've been busy decorating these past few days so thought I'd take a break from the painting (pictures soon!) to share my little haul.

Having already subscribed to the rather brilliant new 'Quilt Now' magazine before it's launch last month, I couldn't resist the offer of another subscription to 'Love Patchwork and Quilting' for an unbelievable £3 for 3 issues! Having had a look through the latest issue I'm quite sure it'll be full of plenty to add to the 'To Do' list!

Freebies wise I was given a great 'Love Craft' tote bag for subscribing plus a little handmade flower brooch kit, then just around the corner the lovely folks from 'The Warm Co.' were giving away whole metre samples of their insulating batting. It keeps hot hot and cold cold so will get my thinking cap on for ideas for the best use of that one.

I was trying very hard to stick to items from my list but when I spotted this fat quarter from 'The Eternal Maker' I couldn't help myself. I first clocked it a year ago and it's been sitting on my 'Fabric' Pinterest board ever since. I wasn't sure it was still available so it was a must. It's a gorgeous jolly print called 'Laddies and Poppets' by Michele Brummer Everett for Cloud9.

I found a pretty good coral colour match to use with the Eloise Renouf 'Bird and Branch' fabric which I had already purchased for my Bedroom. I'm planning on creating a single horizontally striped curtain panel to be hooked up on one side (more on that later).

Lastly fabric wise I got myself quite the bargain -a HUGE piece of miscellaneous mint coloured dressmaking fabric for £2 (think that one's destined for a 'Riding Peplum' dress by April Rhodes) a metre of lovely mint texture print cotton for £5.75 and a good chunk of grey floral cotton for some sort of blouse for £3.50.

I've had my eye on a hexie die cutter for some time so treated myself to a 1.5" to use with the 'Big Shot' we have at the store and also found some great little pre-cut plastic templates to take a little of the preparation fuss out of paper piecing (Yes... I'm really lazy!).

Whilst browsing the sissix stall I was lucky enough to get to have a little chat with the lovely Lynne Goldsworthy, whose quilt is featured on the cover of the magazine above. I thoroughly recommend having a look at her blog 'Lily's Quilts' as it's a wealth of useful information and inspiration.

A couple of buttons for good measure (grey, of course) and there we have it! A great day was had! back to painting.