Sunday 31 July 2016

The one where I failed a challenge

I have been a virtual friend of a lovely lady called Kathy for many years.  She blogs at Running with Rocket. She isn't a patchworker, but makes all sorts of lovely fabric things (many of which I am the proud owner of following some swaps.  See here and here and here and here and here!)

Recently she has been making washing line bowls, and inspired me to visit the local hardware store to get some washing line and have another go.  She issued a red, white and blue challenge.  For her it was a step out of her comfort zone as she was adding colour by wrapping fabric scraps wrapped around the cord, where as for me adding colour by using coloured thread was enough out of my comfort zone!

Kathy's turned out beautifully:

Mine was a bit less successful!!!  From a distance it's *OK*

But the closer you look, the worse it is!

It broke several 11/80 needles, but Kathy suggested I try a 14/90 and that helps with that problem . . . .but I think maybe the machine needs a service

Saturday 30 July 2016

The one where I forged an autograph

A friend of a friend is a black belt in Karate, and at a recent show had her Gi autographed by two of her heroes.  She was worried that the autographs might wash out, and had asked Lesley if she knew anyone who could embroider over the autographs . . . and that where I came in!

I've started on the first one . . .

. . . leaving the harder one to last!  I do have Denise's permission to just follow the centre of the chunky line

I also machine embroidered another 18 pre-school t-shirts, but that's far too boring to bother with another photo!

Friday 29 July 2016

The one where I worked on a £7 quilt

Not much time for sewing today, (appointments in town and a visit to mum), but I did get the solid & strings HSTs stitched, trimmed and pressed.

I'm really happy with how it's looking

And just for a giggle - I took this pic of mum and a fish we caught near her home ...


Thursday 28 July 2016

The one where I started a £7 quilt

A while ago I joined a Facebook group called the £7 Quilt Group, I blogged about it here. I've had the fabric for about three months but just haven't had the time to do anything.

Today I started sewing random strips from my stash


And I've pinned triangles from the £7 bag to them, with a plan to make half string and half solid HST blocks. I think it may be a bit busy, but enough of the strips are I-spy type fabrics that I think it will make a fun quilt for a child.


I'll be adding fabric to the "bucket" and then it will be ready to be passed on . . . If you fancy joining in the fun, search £7 quilt on Facebook and add yourself to the group.


Tuesday 26 July 2016

The one where I got a job!

No pic today as I didn't get any sewing done, but I have got myself a new job!!!

I'll be doing the admin and reception for the local office of a company that helps the long term unemployed get back into work. They don't need me to start for six weeks so I get the summer to play fabrics and then I start on September 5th

Monday 25 July 2016

The one where I did a bit of sewing and a lot of driving

My cousin (who lives in Kenya) is staying here for a few days. Her teenage son came over with his dad for a cousin's graduation- dad has gone back to Kenya leaving the lad with an uncle and aunt until mum comes to pick him up! We planned to get him tomorrow but he was desperate to leave, so lots of driving today!

I did however get the binding stitched onto the pink HST quilt

And a whole load more uniform embroidered

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 . . .)