Friday, 24 October 2014

The books have arrived!!

The new books that I mentioned in my last post have arrived!! Yay!! I know that I said I was trying to cut down on buying any more books but, I just couldn't resist these!! The first was an absolute MUST as it is the latest Tilda book written by Tone Finnanger, 'Homemade and Happy'.

As you can see from the cover, there are some very pretty projects inside and, one I think I really must make are these cute stockings featuring sweet little owls and other woodland creatures.  There are many others that I have my eye on making too.

I recently had one of those 'recommended for you' emails from Amazon which featured this next book. As soon as I saw these cute little appliqued beach huts on the front cover I was convinced that I needed it.

Now I have the book, 'Applique Art: Freehand Machine Embroidered Pictures', which is written by Abigail Mill, I can tell you that it is absolutely beautiful.  Very artistic and with lots of tips and hints how to produce applique artwork!  There are definitely some more projects going on my extremely long 'to make' list from this book!!

Hope you like the look of them both too!! Thank you for visiting me and, I wish you a happy and creative weekend!!

Thursday, 23 October 2014

A few busy days....

Hello! It has been busy here since I last wrote. 

The time just seems to disappear.... I don't know where it goes but, I have managed to finish off a few little projects to show you.

In between all the usual household 'stuff' that there is to do, I have managed to get some time in my sewing room and I have made a few fabric covered notebooks. 

I am really pleased with them. They all have a little bit of embellishment.... some ribbon or lace and a button or a little applique.

I also made another fabric basket.  This one I made using a different technique to the last time. I am very pleased with it as, it stands up well. 

I started with a piece of batting and I fused some bondaweb to it.  I then peeled the backing paper off and covered the whole piece with scraps of fabric which I then fused into place.  I overlapped the pieces each time I added them. I finished all the raw edges using a machine zig-zag stitch.  I then used the finished piece of patchwork to make the basket.  The bondaweb gave it extra support which is useful in a basket. I finished it off by adding a little butterfly button. Hope you like it!

I'm eagerly awaiting a couple of new books which should be arriving this week.  I'll show you them next time if I have them.

I also have to start making some progress on my next sew-a-long project.  I have only got as far as tracing the embroidery design and hooping it ready to be stitched so far!! Hopefully, I will get some more done over the next few days.... until the next time xx

Monday, 20 October 2014

Weekend sewing.....

How was your weekend?  Mine was really nice.  On Saturday we met up with family and friends for a lunch out at the St Moritz Swiss restaurant in Wardour Street in central London. It was a real taste of Switzerland and brought back fond memories of the mountains.

On Sunday, I also had some sewing time and, managed to get some cute little projects finished.  I made some little egg cosies to match the tea cosy I made recently.

I appliqued a flower/heart to the piece of fabric for the front of the egg cosy, finishing it with a small machine zig-zag stitch.  The fabrics I used were Tilda.  I think they look really cute sitting on their egg cups!!

I also stitched up a small fabric basket.  For this I basically machine stitched fabric (Tilda) scraps to a piece of background batting.  I then made it into a basket by sewing the two shorter sides together to form a tube.  Moved the seam to the back and stitched across the bottom and then squared off the two bottom corners.  The same was done to a piece of lining fabric and the two then joined together by sitting the outside inside the lining (right sides together) and stitching round the top edge.  It was then turned the right way out and the lining pushed down into the basket.  The top edge was then turned back down over the top edge to form a rim.  

I decided it might look nice to add a piece of ribbon to the rim, so I cut a small piece of ribbon and appliqued it in place.  I am pleased with how it has turned out.

Hope you all had a nice weekend and, have a lovely week!! x

Friday, 17 October 2014

Finished Mug Rugs!!

As I have mentioned in a previous post, I have been participating in a Mug Rug Swap which was organised by the Quilting Gallery.  I signed up for the swap in September and, received my links to the patterns soon after. From time to time I had a look at the pattern instructions and got some fabrics sorted out ready but, I didn't really start work on them properly until a couple of weeks ago.

I started by cutting out the background fabric and tracing the embroidery and applique shapes as directed by the pattern.  However, what I didn't realise was that my printer settings were 'fit to page' settings rather than at 'actual size' settings when I printed the pattern meaning that they were considerably smaller than they should have been.

I spent a very trying evening peeling the tiniest pieces of fusible web paper off the applique shapes and fusing them to the background fabric only to read the next part of the pattern and discover that the patchwork pieces were not going to fit with the applique design. There are a couple of lessons to be learned here.... to read through all the instructions before you start and.... to make sure when you print patterns from the internet that they are at the correct size!!

It wasn't difficult to correct the sizing problem by enlarging the patterns using the photocopier function on the printer but, it did mean that I had to start again from scratch. They have been a lot of fun to work on.  I loved hand finishing the applique shapes and stitching the embroidery.  I also enjoyed doing a little simple machine quilting on them.  

I have finished these two cute little mug rugs now and, although I had thought that I would let them be a surprise for my swap partner, a lovely lady from Oklahoma called Denise, I just can't resist showing them to you.  

You can see from the photographs below the difference in scale between the finished mug rugs and those I had originally started.

The finished mug rugs are going in the post first thing on Monday morning along with a few other little gifts for Denise which will be a surprise for her!! I hope she likes them all!!

If I have the patience, I may still finish off the two tiny versions.... I think they will be really dinky!!

Enjoy a wonderful weekend! xx

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

What's new?

What is new in my sewing room today?  Well, I am afraid I don't have anything finished to show you today but, that doesn't mean that I am not working on a few different projects (goes without saying!!)

I have been working on a new crochet cushion.....

I wasn't sure about the colour combination to start with but, it is growing on me and I have come to really quite like it!!

I have been working on the mug rugs for the swap I am participating in.  I have been cutting and appliqueing and embroidering.  I can't show you a full picture of the front because I don't want to spoil the surprise for my lovely partner when she receives them! What I can show you is that I have used a few scraps of these fabrics.....

and some of these lovely embroidery threads.....

I hope my swap partner will like them when they are finished!

Of course, I can't have a 'What's new?' post without showing you the new fabric I ordered from Pretty Fabrics and Trims and which, I have just received. Some Tilda bundles.....

and some beautiful fabrics designed by Allison Harris of Cluck, Cluck Sew called 'Oh Clementine'.  I have a very special project in mind for them which I will share with you another day!  

Have fun where you are, even if it is raining..... like it is here!!  Now to finish those mug rugs!!

Monday, 13 October 2014

Sew-a-long: Project Four

It is time to show you my next project in the 'Patchwork Loves Embroidery' Sew-a-long hosted by Martina at Sunshine Quilting.  It was a bit of a race against time to get this project finished as I have been busy working on all sorts of other projects at the same time.

However, with a little bit of determination I have managed to get my 'Redwork Tote' finished. I did cheat a little though as, I didn't hand quilt it, I machine quilted it but, I think it looks just as nice with the machine stitching.

It was a fun embroidery to stitch and I loved using my Stef Francis silk thread in shades of red.  The fabrics I used were all designed by Nancy Halvorsen and I am really pleased with how they all coordinate together.

My next project which, will be the last of the sew-a-long, is going to be the 'Cinnamon Delights' drawstring bag.  I love drawstring bags, so I saved this for my last project.

I have found some delightful Anni Downs fabric that I think will be perfect for it!!

Do go across and have a look at the other finished sew-a-long projects at Martina's blog, there are some other fabulous projects to see!!

Friday, 10 October 2014

Time for tea!

A few weeks ago when I was shopping with my youngest daughter for items that she needed to take to university with her, I found a very cute sugar bowl and cream jug set on sale.  It was remarkably good value for money so, although I can't say that I was in desperate need of a new sugar bowl and cream jug, I felt it would be silly of me not to snap it up at its bargain price.

It is from a 'Katie Alice' collection  called 'Cupcake Couture' and, I do already have a lovely cake stand from another Katie Alice collection called 'Cottage Flower' which, my children gave me as a gift so, I really didn't need any more persuading to buy this cute little set!!

Please note that visiting any of the above links I have given may result in an irresistible urge to order very pretty china!!

You may wonder why I am telling you all this and, there is a very good reason! I didn't feel that I could use my new sugar bowl and cream jug as I didn't have a teapot which coordinated with them (being a perfectionist about these things prevents me from using clashing china!!)  However, I have found the solution to this problem.

I have made a lovely new tea cosy using spotty (Tilda) fabric which looks right at home with the china.  Now, I can use any teapot under the cosy and no-one (except you!) will know that it doesn't match!!

I used some ric rac to make the flower stems and then cut out and appliqued the flower shapes and leaves to the background fabric using a small machine zig zag stitch. As a final touch I hand embroidered some french knots on the flower centres.

So now it is time for tea!!  Anyone for cake?

Have a lovely weekend!