Monday, 20 May 2019

2019 Wk 20 - The week that was


I have a finish!!!!!

The new delivery of washing line rope is white rather than off white and I didn't feel the love - but I eventually did feel the need to make a new rope bowl!

The bowl started off a bit square: I used a piece cut off the Liberty Society Kantha Stitch along piece when I made it into a bowl (and then gave it as a gift without a photo first :-(

I used the square (still with its stitching) and started the zigzagging around it

I then used the rest of the embroidery threads from the kantha stitching as occasional wraps to give the bowl some colour (using this method to avoid ends and knots)

I then decided to finish off the top by wrapping the rest of the thread around the top coil.

If you are thinking about having a go, my best advice is DON'T!!!  I had no idea how much I needed so I had miles of thread all getting knotted.  Finally I wrapped the thread onto clothes pegs after threading them through holes in a sheet of cardboard to keep them in the right place

They still sopun and twisted like I don't know what - not worth the effort!

Last week at Richmond and Kew quilters one of the ladies showed a lovely EPP hexi quilt she made.

The lovely randomness is due to her making flowers and the joining them rather than making lines / rows

Just a few bits of information for you to dwell on ...


  • It took her six months.
  • She made it all from stash
  • she hand sewed it - back stitch
  • She didn't use any templates


Do you want to read that again? 

She used a die cutter to cut the hexagons then started sewing into flowers and then into widths using backstitch and not quite sewing to the edge of the fabric so she could inset the next piece

The pic isn't fab, but she brought along the brown strip as she'd decided not to include it so I could check it out!

Finally - the new bathroom floor is lino: the old one was wood decking tiles from Ikea.  They were going to be thrown away but we've started taking them apart as himself says he might make me a new garden table from the blocks!!!

Pretty eh?

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

2019 Wk 20 Days for Girls

I did a Corporate talk about Days for Girls today.  I think was even more scary because a good friend and a daughter actually work there and I desperately didn't want to let them down!

I did my talk (it went well) and then the staff helped pack kits for us - and what a load they did!

As they started to run out of components they carried on packing - and adding a label noting the missing parts (starting with 'missing two knickers) 

(all pics can be clicked on to enlarge)



And ending with "missing two knickers, 7 liners 1 x pod" . . . that means the bag only has a shield, a bar of soap and a flannel LOL, but it means we are ready to fill them as we make the rest of the stuff on Saturday!!!

And the other side  of the project is the distributing!  Here is Briege with some of the local ladies!  These ladies make the kits at Local Enterprise units.  They learn a skill and can support their own families, and the kits can be 'sold' - not necessarily to local ladies, but to individuals and groups like you and me and my Stitch group, to then be donated to local hospitals, schools or villages - isn't that great!










Saturday, 11 May 2019

2019 Wk 19 - since last time

Since the last post  . . . The Chertsey Museum ladies made fabric baskets (thank you Plum)

And Briege has been busy in Kisumu (near Nairobi) handing out our Days for Girls Stitch bags


The cat has been happy sitting on the first half of my rainbow flowers hexi quilt (grrrr) while I finish sewing the other half of the hexie flowers - now to sew the rest of the flowers on!

And I have been inspired by Instagram's #libertysocietykanthastitchalong  So I have sorted some scrappy liberty squares and some liberty hearts (thank you Amo) and some lovely embroidery threads and have been stitching to my heart's content.  Before stitching . . .

And after stitching happily for a few hours . . .Look at the difference!


 And a different version of Kantha stitching (or stitch doodling!) - this is my sample fabric basket made for the Chertsey Museum class, now finished

Annnnnnd, I have also been working through this pile of spotty strips . . . 

. . . making these blocks (foundation paper piecing) . . . 

. . .  which will eventually look like this - curves with just straight lines!  I will scan the template and add it when I get a chance




Tuesday, 30 April 2019

2019 Wk 17 - old stuff and new stuff

A lovely memory came up on a friend's FB page: her now 8 year old still sleeping under a quilt I made when she was a baby . . .

Followed by a new post to FB . . . of a *very* old quilt!  I don't even remember making the quilt but I recognised it straight away as I made myself a similar one (which later became the family camp quilt / poncho).  I has to ask Elaine when her son was born so we could date it - 1992!!!!
 Thankfully my patchwork skills have improved a bit since then!!!

The Stitch ladies were busy a few weeks ago

And husband has been busy in the bathroom!

A leaky shower 

drove him to remove the old bath / shower cabinet

replace it temporarily with a spare shower cubicle from the shed (everyone keeps stuff like that in shed don't they?)

and then start planning the new room (no we don't have a second bathroom!).  So now the spare shower has gone, and the new floor has gone down, and hopefully the new shower will be in place before I smell too much!

Hand sewing has seen this all pieced, and put away until I love it again

The advantage of the bath unit being banished is that we got a skip - and cleared all sorts of other junk out too.  The patio may not be perfect but anyone who has seen it will agree this is much better that usual!

And the garden is looking positively gorgeous!


Saturday, 27 April 2019

2019 Wk 17 Windowed Pouch

Jackie and I made some windowed pouches when she was last here but I found the instructions strange and felt sure there was an easier method, with much less binding.

So I made one differently!

(The previous version)


I plan to make more, so the instructions are here for me, but feel free if you fancy a go!

I cut a piece of vinyl for the window - mine happened to be 16.5" wide by about 6" deep.  (Don't go for much narrower or it will be difficult to machine later on)  I cut a length of binding 2.5" by 17.5" (width plus 1 inch).

I folded the binding in half along its length, and folded in 1/2" in each side to get rid of the raw edges at the two short ends, and then (using a teflon / non stick foot) stitched the raw edge to one long end of the vinyl


I got a zip that was longer than my 16.5", and cut both ends off in a V shape, then separated the zip into two long halves (I'm only using one half for this).

I folded the binding over to the back of the vinyl (*just* showing through the vinyl)  and put one half of the zip behind the binding, with the teeth and about 2mm of zipper tape showing.  The zip ends stick out equally at both ends

I top stitched through the folded binding and the zip tape.  I actually did three lines to make sure I had caught everything.

I folded the zipped vinyl in half (WRONG sides together) so the two short edges aligned.

I replaced the zipper pull.  It's a bit fiddly, but there are YouTubes and other bloggers who explain it well

I cut another 2 lengths of binding: 2.5" x  about 7".   On one piece I folded one end in to lose the raw edge, and then wonder-clipped the binding to the vinyl, covering the sides of vinyl from the top of the horizontal trim to below the end of the vinyl.  The other piece of trim got folded and pressed it in half along its length and opened it up.  I then folded the edges in to the middle, folded in half, pressed, and top stitched to make a strap.

I stitched the binding piece to the vinyl, then tucked the strap piece inside the top opening.  I folded the trim over to cover the edges of the vinyl and machine stitched it down as far as I could.

The top was far too bulky to machine stitch so I hand stitched it closed and also hand stitched the top closed to keep the strap in place


And breathe!

Next I checked the amount of vinyl remaining visible (ie the width of the pouch).  Mine was exactly 16 inches


So I cut lining and outer fabrics width plus 1/2 inches (16.5") wide and sewed them both into tubes (right side together, 1/4" seam allowance).  Another time I would line one piece with fusible fleece first

I then upended the zipped vinyl top and clipped the lining and outer fabrics in place to the raw edge of the vinyl, right sides to the vinyl, raw edges all meeting the edge of the vinyl.  The side binding just folds flat against the vinyl.

I stitched this seam with about 1/2 inch seam allowance, then flipped both fabrics down and pinned them to each other through the vinyl (with added wadding sandwiched between them).  At this size this just fits over the free arm of my machine - any smaller and it would have been fiddly

I top stitched at the top of the fabric, and then carried on quilting in a spiral.

I then needed to create a base.  I remember from school that C=2πR, but actually it's much quicker to use this link and input your own circumference.  So my radius came to 2.55" (and I should have added 1/2" for seam allowance - doh!)

No pic, but I folded a sheet of paper in 4 and marked just-over-2.5-inches from the folded corner in several places and joined the dots with paper scissors!

I used this template to cut outer and inner fabrics and wadding, and quilted them in a spiral shape

I clipped the circle to the inside-out pouch and, having marked the 1/4s on the pouch and the circle, I wonder-clipped the circle evenly to the pouch the whole way round.  I stitched this, then zigzagged it twice.  That's no longer a raw edge in my book so no binding needed.

Finally the whole thing gets turned right side out again

and is finished

ready to fill with goodies!  By using just one half of a zip it wants to stay open with a more-or-less circular opening, and by having half a zip remaining you just kind of have to make another one!!!