Monday, 31 May 2010

An apology present!

Okay, so one of my best friends tells me she's pregnant.  Do I get excited? No - I sulk!  I'm not ready for my friend to stop coming out drinking!  So, now having come to terms with the fact, I decided that I should put my new sewing skills to good use and make an apology present. I found instructions for a baby book in Homestyle Sewing magazine and realised that I practically had everything that I needed.  I've got sooooo much fabric, and some left over wadding from my quilt, so with a bank holiday weekend to fill I got going.

I didn't realise how loooong applique takes.  I thought it would be a relatively quick make, but doing each of the animal heads took forever!  I did quite enjoy it though. May fav is the dog - he's so cute!

So, now to see my friend and actually make the apology!

Thursday, 13 May 2010

My new bag!

So my second completed project was a tote bag, from Sew Hip magazine.  I had great fun looking for fabric and found this fantatstic fabric with ducks on that I love.  I did realise once I'd bought the fabric that if I just used it as one piece the ducks would end up upside down on one side of the bag, so I had to cut it in half and stitch it back together.

I picked a plain yellow fabric for the lining.  And I love it.  I'm using it every day now.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

A Sunday afternoon project!

Yay! Something I've started and finished in an afternoon.

My sister gave me a cloth kits skirt for my birthday.  Whilst I'm trying to lose a few pounds before making it (as I would definitely like to fit into it!) I thought I'd try my hand at the bonus hat that also came with it.  Cloth kits print the pattern straight onto the fabric and send you everything you need to make the item, so as well as the main red fabric, there was black lining, fabric, a zip and a roll of thread in the right colour.  In the extra spaces on the fabric were printed the pieces for this hat.  It's fully lined and was quite easy to make.  It's real cute, but don't know if I'll have the guts to wear it in public!!

My first ever quilt!

Well, I've done it!  It's taken me a few weeks and a sore finger but I have finished my first quilt.  I found this pattern in Sew Hip magazine, issue 15.  I fancied trying something different and I thought a quilt was a good challenge for me.  As I wasn't entirely conifdent i my ability to get this one done well I thought I would do something to go in our spare room, so I picked a couple of fabric bundles from Fabric Rehab that included greens and yellows and got going.

Lot's of measuring, lots of cutting ... I got a bit confused over how to pin the circle quarters to the background fabric on each quarter, but got there eventually.  My measuring obviously wasn't spot on as there was quite a bit on wonkyness in this. I got the main front of the quilt done a while back:

I then stalled for quite a while as it was the next bit I was nervous about - actually quilting the damn thing. I got some lovely green backing fabric and some batting and eventually got going.  It didn't work out for a while as there seemed to be an issue with tension on my sewig machine  I spent ages testing on scraps and trying to get it right.  In the end I worked out that there was an issue with my bobbin - once I swapped bobbins it was all good.

Well, I say all good, but this project has shown that I don't have complete control over my sewing machine - my straight lines aren't exactly straight!  I quilted along both sides of the main seams across.  Also, in areas of extreme wonkyness I had to add in extra fabric to square it off.

Interestingly, I quite enjoyed making my binding.  I got a thin quarter of yellow fabric and sewed strips together with a diagonal seam.  Sewing the binding fabric onto the front of the quilt with the machine was a joy ... hand sewing it onto the back was not so fun.  I think I see the purpose of a thimble now!

But it's done. And I think it looks fab.

The colours are perfect for my spare room - we've got a green sofa bed from Ikea in there and a print of my favourite painting, Surprise! by Henri Rousseau, which has a lot of green and yellow in it.  One day, I plan to paint the room yellow!

Monday, 3 May 2010

"Project" bag

Right, so let's talk about something I have actually finished.  My first creation after buying my sewing machine was a "project bag".  It was a simple task, one to get me into using the sewing machine after all these years.  I didn't realise how small it was going to be though.  It was described as something you could keep your current projects in, but I can barely keep my spare material in it (and certainly not my current project of a quilt!)

Anyway, made from one fat quarter it was incredibly easy - just simple straight lines - and done very quickly.  It was a good intro back into using the sewing machine and does now give me somewhere to keep my material.  It was supposed to have ribbon sewn on but I am currently just tying it up with a saints and pinners ribbon, which does the job for me.