Wednesday 31 August 2016

The one where I use Insul-Shine

Carrying on from yesterday's post where I use Insul-Bright, I am now using Insul-Shine.

I got a free sample pack of this at Festival of quilts - Thank you The Warm Company! (see this poster that they had in their stall offering a freebie if you email them)

However, there aren't a lot of suggestions on the internet: Mr Google has very few ideas a to what exactly we should DO with Insul-Bright, so I though'd I'd have a go myself.

It keeps hot things hot, and cold things cold.  I have a yard (which is amazing, thank you Warm Company) but I could have as many as 12 ladies on Friday, so I cant suggest lunch bags or similar as there wont be enough to go round.

So I thought I'd made a cold water cozy.

I cut a rectangle 6½ x 9 inches to go round the bottle, and then had to dust off primary school maths to work out the circumference of the base:
C = 2 π R which ends up with R = 1.43 and therefore C = 2.86

So I cut a 3" circle from the spaceman stuff, and cut the same again from fabric. The Insul-Shine is already attached to wadding so it's fairly simple.

Join both rectangles into a short fat tube right sides together (ie two rectangles = 2 tubes) (you could leave an opening for turning in the Insul-Shine tube)

Attached circles to the base of each (RST) and remember to say Thank You to the person who invented Wonder Clips!

Turn the outer tube right sides out, and tuck it into the inner tube (if you want a strap now is the time to add it)

Clip the top edges together but just stitch half closed

Turn through the hole and arrange (the bottle may help push everything into place)

Fill with a bottle of frozen water and admire!

(I'm testing mine now to see how long it keeps the water frozen.  If it's too good at its job I'll freeze HALF a bottle then top it up with cold water when I go out so I'll have cold water to drink straight away)

PDF & printable version available here

Tuesday 30 August 2016

The one where I used Insul-Bright

I'm trialing a variety of pot-holder 'recipes' for a class I'm teaching on Friday.

This is a pot-holder 'recipe' is for a pot holder of my own design: it is inspired by a number of others but I don’t think I’ve seen the same on the net.  (Apologies if someone else has done it the same way first)

Cut a 8½" circle from card to use as a template.  Using this cut 6 circles as follows:
  • Cut 1 from wadding/batting (then cut this in half)
  • Cut 1 from Insul-bright
  • Cut 1 from a cotton fabric you aren't too keen on (for the inside)
  • Cut 3 from a cotton fabric you like (for the outside)
  • Optional: a scrap of fabric 3 x 5 folded & stitched, or 5 inch length of ribbon for a strap

Wrap one piece of outer fabric around one half of wadding, and repeat for the second half of wadding

Baste around the curved edge and stitch along the straight edge, about an inch away (or quilt if you fancy)

Create sandwich: 
  • First layer : lining fabric, right side DOWN
  • Second layer: Insul-bright
  • Third layer: outer fabric, right side UP
    • (at this point you could stitch across the middle to make folding easier when it's being used, or quilt if preferred)
  • If using a strap, fold in half and insert here, loop in, raw edges out
  • Fourth layer: two half circles as created previously, right side DOWN
Pin though all layers: stitch with a generous 1/4 inch seam, ensuring all layers are included

Turn right way round and admire!

If raw edges bother you, you could bind them with bias binding, or you could top stitch, making sure you capture the raw edges inside the top stitching

(A PDF and printable version of these instructions are available here)

Other shapes also available: See Leafy Tree's Heart Version here

Monday 29 August 2016

The one where I worked on the Rainy Day Rainbow

Today saw all the rainy day strips being stitched together and pressed

I'm really pleased with the effect of the rainbow, but the tops and bottoms need a bit of attention


Do I hack off to even it up, or do I try and add surplus strips to even up the edges? All suggestions welcomed!


Sunday 28 August 2016

The one where I started sewing Rainy Day Rainbow Quilt

My quilts usually get names after they've been finished, but this one has its name much earlier!

I used the grey fabrics from FOQ that were cut into 10 x 2½ strips about ten days ago and started stitching them in strips with the rainbow sections.  The grey reminded me of a rainy day - hence the name Rainy Day Rainbow!

In case anyone is interested (including Future Benta), I actually have the initial 'recipe' for this quilt, and thought it worth making notes here!

I cut 10 20" x 2½" strips - one each from a variety of rainbow fabrics: I felt these worked well together (although the order changed a bit in the final version, and the pale blue got ditched)

I used 11 grey FQs, cutting each one into 14 bricks 10" x 2½": (Actually I cut up 13 FQs, but so far have only needed 11, but there wil be borders and binding needed, so I cant see there being any waste)

I took pairs of different grey bricks and joined them at 45O: when opened they make a straight line.

I made 11 strips that were 8 grey bricks long (using the 45Omethod) 

I made another 10 strips that were each made of 6 grey bricks and one rainbow strip long. (These I actually made as a circle as I didn't know where the top and bottom would be)

And then I started laying them out on my 'design bed' - splitting the rainbow strips as appropriate (it's left a jagged top and bottom but that will be sorted later)

I decided to stagger the all grey strips as my seams aren't 100% even, so this way any dodgy seams aren't as glaringly obvious

(OK, not fab, but they are just being auditioned in this pic, - it gives you an idea)

I then started pinning.  From seam to seam the grey bricks now measure 7½"

The seam on the staggered strip then needs to be joined to the middle of the adjoining brick  It needs to be pinned at the 4" point, so that a ¼" seam hits the diagonal seam ¼" earlier, ie at half of 7½"

I've pinned about half the strips to their neighbours, but now I'm done for today, (and I've run out of pins) so the next part of the instructions will be sometime in the future

Saturday 27 August 2016

The one where I zigged and zagged

A beautiful bundle of cotton batik type fabrics has sat maturing in my sewing room for at least 2½ years:

I made a decision back in May, and cut and pieced rain fence type blocks and back in July I got them laid out

but hadn't progressed much further until today

They have now started to be joined together onto a fleece and are looking like this:

And I have to say I am rather in love!

Maybe I can get the piecing finished tomorrow

Friday 26 August 2016

The one where you can win some money!!!

My nephews have set up a website where you can win money - and it's free and they will never sell on your details.  I know it sounds too good to be true but it is genuine (or I wouldn't be telling you about it!)

The link is here, and this is how it works:

Everyday (that you visit the site) you get given 5 'lucky patches'.  You then get taken (by the magic of Google maps) to a map of your current location (best to play on a smart phone so it knows where you are) and can claim that many 'patches' of land - each one is about the size of a car  You can save the patches up if you want, and you get extras for your friends joining.

One 'owned' patch is chosen at random per day - if  it's one of yours that is chosen  you stand to win at least £100.  The boys get their income from the adverts that you scroll past (or visit).  The ads are chosen by Google AdSense - so they are relevant to you: Lisa was looking at Kipling bags on Google, and got a Kipling discount ad - so win for her and Niki has won £100!!!

There is a blogger in Brighton (click here to visit her) who has loads of patches - just look what her area looks like!

Some people block out their house, or their road, some draw pictures - it looks as if Laurie or friends had a go at writing Hi and Hello and drawing a heart, but other people have claimed more patches nearby so it's not as clear as it could be.

I went for negative space and identified the school where I used to work

Someone graffiti-ed Ascot Racecourse with their initials and a picture - I'm only showing half the pic to save your blushes!

but of course its only virtual graffiti so no harm done!

A friend of mine lets her two year old grab the patches each morning - Little B jabs at the screen until she tells Hannah "Mummy all green gone" - This is what their area looks like!

My immediate area has been totally grabbed - all 4 of us are playing

So I save my patches for when I'm visiting somewhere new

Have you noticed a little character in the last two pics?  Meet Bob - he sometimes appears near your patches - and if you click on him you get £5 added to your potential winnings, and you get 50p added each time you log in too

Have I tempted you?  You can email Bob if you have any questions (  or click on this link and have a play!

Good Luck!

Thursday 25 August 2016

The one where I embroidered me a t-shirt

With full time employment looming ( just 11 sleeps until I start properly) I need to remind myself to keep some sewing time for me:

I saw something similar to this and decided this will be a good pyjama top at the weekends:

And that's pretty much what I've done all day - stayed in my PJs, drunk coffee and sewn - plus a few cold showers to help me cope with the heat!  In fact so many cold showers I ended up running a cold bath and leaving it so I can get in and out as often as I like!  (it's been 82 F / 28 C and 70% humidity and I have been a sweaty mess all day!)

Wednesday 24 August 2016

The one which doesn't look much

I've spent a few days at my new job, learning from the girl who does it at the moment - I have a lot of things to learn, but I'm looking forward to starting on 5th September!

I managed to spend a few hours in the sewing room today, but apart from some boring school uniform embroidery I cant show you very much.

I made some hearts (which are more exciting than they look)

and some boring school uniform jumpers

Sorry!  Day at home tomorrow, so if I don't melt I should be able to produce something

Monday 22 August 2016

The one where I worked on another UFO

More chores today - leaving me doing my couch potato impression this evening. (The guilty secret is that Lisa is watching The Gilmore Girls on net flicks, and once that's on I'm rooted to the sofa!)

I could have gone upstairs to get yesterday's UFO and done more work on it, but that would have meant missing a few seconds, so I dug this out of the sewing box in the sitting room


And made a few more flowers

So now TGG represents time well spent, instead of a guilty pleasure!

I'm spending the next three days at my new job, shadowing the girl I'm replacing, so there might not be much sewing happening!


Sunday 21 August 2016

The one where I quilted a rainbow

Keeping to a trend: I ignored the pile of current projects on my desk and instead picked up an old UFO and started hand quilting while watching some junk Sunday afternoon TV (which stretched into junk evening TV!)

Rainbows do make me very happy!  Here it is laid out pre quilting

It's probably a dangerous move to quilt before I've finished piercing but the temptation was too great!!!

Saturday 20 August 2016

The one where I planned May's block

Today's been a bit full on- Niki and I tried a yoga class this morning - I'm going to ache tomorrow!!! 

And there was Crafty Church this afternoon (where I forgot to take any pics) and we're out this evening, but I have managed to pull the squares for May's calendar block!

Anyone know why it's red white and blue?

Hope you're all having a good weekend xxxxx 

Friday 19 August 2016

The one where I started a rainbow

You know if you have lots of UFOs you should really finish *something* before you start something new? Yeah, I laughed too, and then I pulled these rainbow fabrics
And then I cut the new greys into 2.5" strips

And then the guilt (and the mess) finally won and I finished the April calendar block

So you'll have to wait to see my rainbow plan!