Monday 28 November 2011

Greetings from Vienna

I had a great time, a few photos just for a laugh - I hope you love my new hat

We visited 5 or 6 Christmas Markets

And saw lots of "Hummm, I could make those" things

And lots of pretty lights

And drank a fair amount of Gluewein (brilliant idea, the mugs come with the drink for a small deposit, so you can drink while you are shopping, then return the mug to any drink stall at that market, and get your 2 euro back, or keep the mug). Nicky, Liz and Liz

We did sit outside with hot chocolate, thanks to the Ikea blankets provided by the cafe, Jane

And this is Hayley showing us a big pair of Mozart's Balls
 (Sue, how did you manange to avoid photos?)

Thursday 24 November 2011

Time for bed

I'm off at 5am tomorrow, for a girly trip to Austria (Vienna!) so this is just a very quick post to show you . . .

. . . this (Nephew's car track quilt, ready for hand quilting on the plane)

and this little bag for a secret Santa swap

and these goodies for another partner in the swap

and here they are ready to be posted

Where is Mr Ripley? I dont think he would believe this

I have to show you this photo

A colleague at school was clearing out a cupboard and found two boxes of knitting needles.

I kid you not, their brand names were . . .

Wednesday 23 November 2011

SLIK and Quick covered bag

I LOVE these covered bags

So much space inside, but also lovely and safe as the contents are covered, and the draw string can be put over your arm along with the straps to prevent anyone from helping themselves.

I made a number of these bags earlier in the year: they are based on Ayumi's (Pink Penguin) lunch bags, but I scaled them up to make handbags.  And then I lost the scrap of paper that I wrote the handbag size measurements on!!!

Luckily Jackie had made a note of them when she was last here, and she emailed them back to me, but I felt it was time I recorded them somewhere that I wouldn't lose them!

Refer to Ayumi's instructions if you want to make these for the first time, as they are very detailed, and loads of very clear photos, what follows here is more of a reminder, using different measurements

So I cut two pieces of canvas like fabric at 18" wide, 14" deep and stitched them RST at the sides and at the bottom.  I did the same for the lining fabric

Not shown - I added a full width pocket on the lining fabric before I joined the pieces, and stitched a few vertical lines to divide it into sections.  This lining fabric is very stiff, if it wasn't I would have added stabiliser

I squared off (or boxed off) the corners to make a flat bottom, stitching where the line measures 5 inches (Ayumi shows this very clearly)  This needs to be done for the bag and the lining.

Next I made the handles.  I like mine quite long so I can use one hand to put the bag onto my shoulder.  I cut two strips 28" by 5".  I folded each one in half lengthwise, an then opened it out.  I folded each side in to meet the fold and folded along the fold, and pinned.  I stitched both the open side and the folded side.

Then I made the rim for the bag.  Two pieces cut at 18inches (bag width plus seam allowance) by 2 inches

Join the each rim piece as a circle, press open.  Place them together RST, and put the handles in between them as shown.  I measured the handles starting 4" from the bag's side seam

Stitch the rim where the pins are shown, open and re pin, and then top stitch.

Assemble lining inside bag (wrong sides together), and the rim on the outside, straps hanging down, and stitch with scantest possible seam

Next take thinner, patchwork, cotton for the cover.  Cut to finish at bag width (so in this case 34") by 10".  Joint to make a tube, but leave two inches at one end.  Open the opening into a V shape and stitch down opening (go back and forth a few times over the seam)

Make casing for ribbon

Take the cover, and put it, top down, RST, over the bag, lining up the top of the bag with the top (bottom really) of the cover.  Stitch down with a generous seam allowance to hide all previous stitching

Ta da!!!!

The bag can be used as an open shopping bag with purple lining,

Or as a secure handbag with a purple cover


[As always, very happy to have any errors or illogical instructions pointed out :-)., thanks]

That is the last essential finish before Australia!  Now just a few more things that I would like to do, and a name-on-a-blanket request from a neighbour that I said I would do, but no more panic!

Monday 21 November 2011

The Bag Lady

I have finally started on S-i-L's bag, and nephew's car track.

The bag is this awesome heavy weight Echino fabric: black with sights of London on it in bright colours.  There will be an instruction post, as I lost my piece of paper with scribbled notes, but it an adaptation of Ayumi's lunch bag over at Pink Penguin

Marley's Car Track Mat has been created and basted, and I can now quilt it pretty much as much or as little as I want to on the plane.  Photo will follow, but it's in the car at the moment as I was working on it during Fun With fabric.

We have moved the day for the Broom Farm FWF, and I'm not around for the last 3 weeks of term, so we havn't promoted it, and there are just two mums at the moment.  M is working on a Christmassy table runner, and C has been working on Christmas stockings, but has today started a dragon applique [click here for the Fun With Fabric blog and more details]

Sunday 20 November 2011

Weekend Round Up

I've had a busy few days: Fun With Fabric on Friday, Church Craft and Christmas Fair, followed by a baby shower on Saturday, and sewing today. 

I didn't get any photos of the 'homework' from last month at Friday Fun With Fabric but I did get plenty of moans about how difficult the binding had been!  I did remind them that we had been working with fairly small units, and that binding a large quilt would be much easier, but promised them something easier for this session.

As I hadn't finished my sample, I took them on a Magical Mystery Make instead!  Based on a tutorial from Lis at Piece 'n' Peace, (thanks, Lis) I got them making Christmas Coasters that DID NOT NEED BINDING!!!!  Just for fun I didn't tell them what they were making, just gave them one instruction at a time!

Ready for some photos?

Saturday was mostly spent setting up and then attending the Church's Christmas and Craft Fair.  I didn't take anything to sell as I don't have any stock, but I have an order for a Christmas sack for next year, and I was also promoting the church version of Fun With Fabric, and got some interest in that.  I also managed to finish the binding on Swirls, so when I unpack the bags that can go up on the wall, yippee (only 15 months!)

From there I went to a friend, Lisa's's, 40th birthday Champagne Tea Party.  As Lisa is also 34 weeks pregnant with her first baby (Congratulations Lisa) we turned it into a bit of a baby shower too.  I had cut 36 8" squares, and had the 'girls' decorate them with fabric pens.  After the baby arrives I shall stitch them together into a quilt.  Most of the squares are fab . . .
I knew I would late arriving, so I had done a sample block to remind them that they had to leave me some seam allowance - I thought I made int fairly clear, but these six blocks will need some creative work to be able to include the words that went right to the edge!

Ho hum!

Anyway, today I managed to get some more ticked off from the list: the draught excluder / door stop for school - done

A very girly baby quilt for Jane who became a Great Aunt - done
 with Amelia's name (need to wet that water soluble pen mark in the middle of her name!!!)

And a name onto a knitted blanket for another customer (yuck - knitted blanket are 'orrible to embroider onto!)

Now off to do some work of a bag for S-I-L and a play patchwork for nephew

Friday 18 November 2011

Block Lotto entries

I L.O.V.E the blocks being made for this month's Block Lotto.  I have managed to make 6, so that gives me six chances to win.  Have a look at the site to see some more
The block is from Bonnie Hunter's site: its a sort of technicolour yawn with a black Irish Chain  running through it.  Even if I don't win any blocks, I think I'd like to make one of these with my scraps

The Door Stop is under way, but is too long and thin to photograph well.  I have made the tube, and need to acquire something to give it the weight it needs to be able to hold a heavy door open . . . next door have pea shingle on their drive, do you think they would notice if I 'borrowed' a few cup fulls?

Thursday 17 November 2011

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways

Dear Mr Postie

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.  Or instead I could count the packages that he managed to squeeeeeze through my letter box today

Firstly came a fab, very squishy surprise from the lovely Plum: she ran a session at the Richmond and Kew quilters on Monday making chickens.  I had planned to go, but in the end too much real life got in the way, and I had to pull out.  Plum took pity on me, and sent me everything I need to make my own chicken!

And then the next package was my Give Away winnings from Lis's blog: a package from Keira at Kiki's Craft Corner.  I had left it to Kiki to choose me a charm pack, and I bought from her a metre of a contrasting fabric that I could use for sashing.  I love the warm colours in the charm pack (Moda's Cattails and Clover) and the extra fabric is gorgeous - plain enough not to detract from the patterns in the charms, and mottled enough not to be plain.  (I think I need to revisit the website to get some more of this range!)

Actually, much as I love my postie for bringing the squishies, I need to paraphrase another cliche: dont shoot  love the messenger: Plum, and Lis (and by extension, Keira)  I love you all, thank you so much!!!

Wednesday 16 November 2011

Christmas is coming . . .

. . . and Elsa is ready!

11 year old (!) Elsa started this stocking at the Windsor Baptist Fun With Fabric session on Saturday, and then we ran out of time.  I was only able to give her very quick instructions on how to finish it, and just look what she's done!

How fab is that???
And just in case you didn't appreciate the finer details . . .  here is the top in close up, including bells which were all her idea!   (Thanks Tina for emailing the photos)

 Could be difficult for Santa to  put in the pressies without waking her - was that the plan Elsa?

(I will post something about MY sewing one day soon, just as soon as I do some!!!!)

Tuesday 15 November 2011

I won something!

Late last night I opened an email from the lovely Lis form Piece'n'Peace.  She's just  posted her FIVE HUNDREDTH blog post, and had a giveaway to celebrate - and I have won a charm pack!

Not only am I delighted to have won (and have have come over all unnecessary), but I have never worked with a charm pack before, so it is very exciting!  I think I shall go and lay down under the letter box just so I don't miss it arriving!

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Lis

Monday 14 November 2011

The Reds are reducing

I've managed to take a few more paniccy red projects off the list on the right, thank goodness, as it's now just 16 sleep until I go to Australia - and I have a girly weekend in Vienna to squeeze in before that too!

To into the "FINISHED" category go . . . 

. . . .An I-Spy quilt for mum's boss's new granddaughter

. . . And Christmas Sacks for one of the teachers I used to work with, and for the nephew and niece in Australia (the naughty / good is only to show the design, not to indicate the Lucy is naughty, or that Marley and Indi are good!!!)

In other news this weekend, Mum finished Lisa's VERY warm wool jumper, exactly to specifications:
  • warm wool - check
  • mottled wool that mustn't go stripy when knitted - check
  • big neck - check
  • not the big cable on the pattern, but not plain at the front - check
  • long enough to cover her bum - check
  • holes about 3 inches from the end of the sleeves so she can put her thumbs through - check
 I think Lisa looks rather pleased with it!

And Niki finished an I-Spy quilt for her friend Jade's new baby sister, Maisie. 

Cheesy grin, but permitted given the great job she has done (and this is the daughter who claims she DOESN'T sew!!!)