Sunday, 24 July 2016

The one where I did some quilting!

I'm not a quilter- I'm a patchworker! But very occasionally I feel that a patchwork is asking to be quilted!

For a long time some ladies at my church house group have been stitching HSTs together. They are not necessarily comfortable with a needle and thread, and some of the stitches are bigger than I would choose, but I'm all for encouraging them! After laying out the design and sewing the squares into strips on Friday, I got them assembled today and that's when they started asking to be quilted. I'm on holiday, and have the time so I decided to listen and start quilting.

Liberated echo quilting, nothing fancy, but I'm really pleased with the result

Just the binding to be hand stitched and then it's done. It's for one of our ladies who had a baby girl last summer ... 1st birthday pressie!

I also managed to finish the Gay Pride bag

And I've finished and embroidered a quilt for a cousin who has just had a baby girl, Annie

Now back to embroidering school uniforms!

Saturday, 23 July 2016

The one where I made a bag and did some embroidery

I'm making a bag for a friend who is going to a Gay Pride event in Brighton later in the year. She wants a bag that says "I support your cause but I'm straight"!

She loved the tshirt I showed yesterday so I got on with the bag while my embroidery machine was busy earning me some money.

The front of the bag - inside (with slip pockets) and outside with a big zip pocket


And the back of the bag - inside (with a small zip pocket) and outside


The embroidery is for the local preschool - just a few items!

At least I've got some done today


Clarification on yesterday's post - I haven't retired, just resigned - I'm looking for a new, full time job, so this theme of sewing and blogging every day won't last for long!!!


Friday, 22 July 2016

The one where I finally did some sewing!

School finished yesterday! And not just for the summer in my case, but forever! I have resigned- I felt it was better for the school that I left at the end of a year, and could leave everything ready for my replacement, rather than either giving notice during the hols and not going back or going back for a few days or weeks in September and leaving things half done.

The parents and staff were very kind - I got lots of lovely cards and gifts! And today I got to sew!

This pile of HSTs stitched by the ladies at church

Have been stitched into strips


And this tshirt has been rescued from a charity shop to be made into a bag


Tomorrow? More of the same!!!!


Saturday, 16 July 2016

The One where I made the Crafty Church Ladies Crochet!

I advertised this month's Crafty Church as a crochet special - suggesting that we use some of the donated wool to make 12 inch granny squares, then stitch them together and make charity blankets. This pic from Pinterest  was my inspiration:

We had a dozen ladies at Crafty Church and they all got crocheting - these were the ones I managed to get photos of

Here they are all hard at work 

As for me - I started laying out my zigzag quilt

and pinning the blocks together

4 more days at school and then I'll have plenty of time to sew the blocks

Thursday, 14 July 2016

The one where I make a double zipped pouch

Hopefully the following zillion photos show how to make a double zipped pouch!  If you want to print it there is a PDF 6 page printable version here

I've used fabric with a specific repeating pattern: these instructions are for general fabrics with hints where appropriate.
Cut six rectangles as shown. My front piece needed extending, but as the bottom will be inside the smaller zipped section I'm happy to bodge. My measurements are based on what fabric I had. If you are matching parts of a design check the pocket piece lines up with the front piece about 2" below the top of the front piece.

I also cut fusible fleece for the three outer pieces and ironed that on.
Gather up pocket lining, one zip, and pocket piece.
Pin them so all top edges align

Stitch through all three layers using a zipper foot (this allows you to get close to the zip teeth). Check whether you need to change your needle position . . . Q: How often do I change needles? A: Every time I break one by trying to stitch into my zipper foot!

Once stitched you can breathe

Fold the fabrics open and top stitch in place

Judge by eye where you think the pocket should be on the front piece. Flip it up and pin 1/4" from the edge of the zip, flip down and see the bottom of the pocket lines up,with the bottom of the front (and your design matches if it needs to). If not repeat until it works!

Stitch using zip foot. Flip into place. This is now your front piece.

Now line up the top of the combined front piece, the top of the second zip and the top of the front lining. (Right sides together, and the front piece right side to the front of the zip) You may prefer to check both zips pull the same way

And stitch. Then flip open and top stitch

Repeat - lining up the back, the zip and the back lining piece, stitching and top stitching
So now it should look like this from the front / outside pieces...

And like this flipped over / inside pieces

I seem to be very good at losing inches (off my fabric, not off my waist!) so now I trim it to size. Take care if you need to trim over a zip - and if your zip is longer than necessary make sure you move the zip pull to the inside

Now move the zip pulls to at least their middles

Arrange the pieces so the lining pieces match up, and the back and front pieces match up (RST). Pop the strap (folded in half) between the back and front pieces just below the main zip, with the raw edges slightly proud of the edges.

Trim the corners, either by eye, or draw around a cup or mug

Pin all round, leaving a 4" gap in the lining. I pin parallel to the edge apart from either side of the gap, that reminds me to stop in the right place

Stitch (going slowly over the Zips). You did move the zip pulls to the centre didn't you? If so you can turn this through (aka give birth) and then stitch the gap closed


Then fill and admire again!

(Then, if you wrote this tutorial, spend ages worrying that you should have used a lighter fabric, or taken better pics, or written it differently . . .)

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

The one where I didn't have to be sociable

I got home from work to an empty house - shovelled in some food and then off to the sewing room!!!


If you're my friend on Facebook you might have seen these blocks that the Richmond & Kew ladies made on Monday night


There were some fabric strips kept over so several of us took some home to make more - and I finished four tonight - these will all be made into project Linus quilts


I also did a bit of work on a tutorial for a two zip pouch like this one, but that'll be a post for another day.

In the meantime I'm counting down the days until school breaks up (just six more days) and celebrating Jackie having today finished the chemo part of her treatment, and her grandchild not choosing to arrive just yet!!!!


Sunday, 3 July 2016

The One where I only managed 15 minutes of sewing

After 44 hours of work last week (two school and two teaching gigs) I was then out at a family do all Saturday, and mostly tidying up and putting away today . . . but a girl has to do some sewing in the week!

I picked up some Chinese indigo dyed fabric from a speaker at Richmond & Kew quilters last month (Jennifer Hughes) and had a recent delivery of zips from the Zipit lady so I had a play, and 15 minutes later had this finished

I expect my thumb will eventually be clean!

The weather at the family party was alternating tropical rain and brilliant sunshine- thank goodness for gazebos!

Some family pics: (specially for Jackie)

Niki and Lulu

Nina and Niki

Anthony with a poorly Sammy