Tiana’s Quilt

SONY DSC

My most recent quilt was for Tiana, my friend Kal’s little girl, who was one year old this week. Tia and Jesse have been the cutest little friends in their first year together whilst Kal and myself hung out lots on our maternity leave, taking walks, attending baby classes, sharing baby worries and funnies and, most of all, eating a lot of cake!

The colours I chose for this quilt – pink, turquoise, orange and red, I think are perfect for Tia: girly, gorgeous and bright. They are all by Riley Blake, that I got from my local, and favourite, place to get fabrics: B&M fabrics, who are located in Leeds Market but have also just opened a second shop on the outside of the market selling designer prints…I’m a regular visitor!

SONY DSC

I used a pinwheel pattern for the patchwork around the edge, Tia’s name in the middle, surrounded by some appliqué lotus flowers: a symbol for prosperity, fertility, eternity, and eternal youth.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

 

SONY DSC

Unlike the quilts I’ve made previously, where I’ve sewn the designs using either regular appliqué or free-hand machine appliqué, for Tia’s I couldn’t quite decide which; so I used both!

SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC

 

As well as machine quilting the pinwheel patches, I hand stitched a running stitch around each of the nine centre patches using embroidery thread of alternating colours. I love doing this stitch as I think it really adds an extra bit of detail.

The orange floral fabric that surrounds the centre panel also backs the entire quilt and I’ve edged it in cream lace binding (which I love using on girly quilts).

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

 

SONY DSC

Pretty Drawstring Bag Tutorial

SONY DSCThis pattern is a real favourite of mine and have used it sooooo many times for a range of different types of bags. It’s really easy, quick and can be adapted to suit whatever size you want to make (or fabric you have spare!)

You will need:

  • Fabric for your outer
  • Fabric for your lining
  • Small piece Bondaweb
  • Coordinating ribbon
  • Coordinating thread
  • Chalk and a pencil
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine, pins and needles
  • Iron

SONY DSC1. Cut out your pieces of outer and lining.
Fold your fabric in half, right sides together and cut a rectangle (the size of mine is 14.5 inches x 11 inches). Repeat with your lining fabric so you have four rectangles in total.

SONY DSC

2. Add your applique shape to your bag.
On the paper side of your Bondaweb, draw the shape you want to add to your bag – I’ve decided to draw a pair of pants!

SONY DSC

Place your Bondaweb, glue side down (paper side up) onto the wrong side of a small piece of contrasting fabric – I’m using the same fabric as my lining. Press for a few seconds, until the Bondaweb sticks to the fabric.

SONY DSC

Cut out your shape and peel away the papery backing of the Bondaweb.

SONY DSC

Place your shape (pants) onto one piece of your outer fabric and press, so the shape sticks.
Using a contrasting colour thread and a small zig zag stitch on your sewing machine, stitch around the shape.

SONY DSC

Tip: When you get to the corners of your shape, stop sewing, leave the needle in the fabric, lift the presser foot up and spin the fabric to the direction you need to continue to sew.

Snip your threads to neaten.
Here, I’ve decided to add a little bow to my pants. I made the little bow from ribbon and hand stitched it to the outer fabric.

SONY DSC

 

SONY DSC

3. Sewing your outer and linings together.

Place one piece of your outer fabric, right sides together with a piece of your lining fabric.

SONY DSC

Pin across the top (the short side of the rectangle).
Using a 1/4 inch seam allowance, sew across the top, attaching one piece of your outer fabric with one piece of your lining fabric.

SONY DSC

Repeat the above steps with the other outer and lining piece.
Press your seams open. You should now have two sides of the bag (made up of one outer and one lining).

SONY DSC

 

SONY DSC

4. Sewing your bag together.

With right sides together, place one side of the bag on top of the other, with the outers facing and the linings facing (so here we have the florals on top of each other, and the spots on top of each other).

SONY DSCLine up the seam and pin all around the bag.
Using a ruler, measure 1 inch either side of the seam line and make a chalk mark. Repeat this on either side of the bag.

SONY DSC

 

SONY DSCStarting at the bottom of the lining, sew all around the bag, stopping and starting at each chalk mark (so you have a gap 2 inches wide over the seam line). Stop sewing about 2 inches before you get to where you started (so you have a gap for turning the bag the right way round). Stay stitch (sew a few stitches forward and backwards) at the beginning and at the end. Snip your threads.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSCTip: Use a larger seam allowance on the bottom lining of your bag – this way, the bag lining will fit better inside the outer.

Trim your excess at the bottom of your lining.

SONY DSC5. Turn your bag the right way round.

Press the seams open of the gaps you made in the bag.

SONY DSC

Snip all four corners.

SONY DSC

Pull the bag through the gap at the bottom of the lining.

SONY DSCTip: Use a pencil to poke out the corners.

Press your bag, paying attention to the gaps, so all the bits that need to be tucked in are!
Hand sew closed the opening in your lining.

SONY DSCPush the lining into the outer and press.

SONY DSC6. Finishing

Using a contrasting coloured thread, starting on one side of the channel (the bit where we will be threading the ribbon around the top of the bag), top stitch all around the top of your bag. Stay stitch at the beginning and end.

SONY DSCUsing a safety pin attached to one end of your ribbon, thread it through one opening at the side of your bag and all the way around the top of your bag, through the channel, and out of the other opening on the same side you started. Cut the ribbon and tie the ends together.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC SONY DSC

SONY DSCYou could finish here and have just one tie, I like to have two, one on either side, so I threaded another length of ribbon around the top of the bag, through the opening on the opposite side of the bag.

Beautiful! You’ve made a little pants bag.

This tutorial is really versatile; you can adapt the size, colours, applique shape and it can have a multiple of uses; I’ve made a number of these for underwear bags, smaller ones for gift bags and larger ones for laundry bags and even Santa sacks.

Use two contrasting fabrics on the outer and change the applique shape to suit…this bag below was for my mum who asked me to make her another after I gave her one for her birthday and she likes it so much!

Add a pocket…

The possibilities are endless!

Brogues for Baby Barney

I haven’t made much new to shout (or post) about lately as before Christmas I was really busy with Christmas stockings and Santa sacks…those that I made last year were even more popular this year! I didn’t want to post about them, however, as pictures and descriptions of these are already on this blog, my Instagram and Pinterest (ahhh Pinterest, how I love you so, but…note to self: be more prepared for the influx of your own enquiries this year, it’s not just you that uses it!).

This time last year was all new with the arrival of my baby, but it’s all change and new routines again this year with returning to work and Jesse starting nursery. So, after having a little bit of a break after the stocking making, for the first ‘make’ of the year, I eased myself in gently with a gift for another new arrival.

Remember my Twin cushions? No, well, as I little reminder I made another of these just before Christmas as a Christening gift.

SONY DSC

I adapted this cushion for baby Barney who arrived at the beginning of January. For the cushion cover I used a blue medium weight Japanese cotton/linen fabric printed with mini robots, bought a little while back from an Etsy shop. The lemon spot is also an Etsy purchase. Etsy is brilliant for finding fabric when you have a specific design, style or colour in mind, there is a great range to choose from.

SONY DSC

Picking out the colours of the robot fabric, a matched fabrics to make up the letters of his name, first machine appliqueing these, then hand sewing a running stitch around each letter with embroidery thread.

SONY DSC

I change little Mary Jane shoes with a button detail, that I’d sewn for the girl’s cushions, to mini brogues to suit a little boy. I hand drew the brogues, using roughly the same outline as the Mary Janes, to get a similar shape and size, adding the parts of the shoe by layering up the tan and blue coloured felt pieces, and machine and hand sewing the stitching detail, finishing them off with embroidery thread laces.

SONY DSC

There is alway got to be something I’m never fully happy with; on this cushion it’s the right shoe, but I think this is just me being picky! Overall, I think it’s cute and I think will become a regular on the list of gifts for baby boys (hopefully perfecting the shape of the right shoe!).

SONY DSC

Lucy’s Quilt

It’s been exactly one year since I made a baby patchwork quilt. Last September I made a quilt for my university friend Rachael’s new baby Stanley (see Stanley’s Quilt). This September, I made another for my other university friends Elena and Ozzy (real name Mark) who had their second daughter Lucy in August. Lucy is baby number four of five to add to the next generation of Team Hull Uni!

SONY DSC

The main mix of fabric was a bundle I bought at last year’s Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the name of the shop I bought it from but it was a bundle of cream, teal and yellow fabric printed with various designs of sheep, chicks, bees and flowers. This fabric was just waiting for a baby girl to come along!

SONY DSC

As has become standard with my last few quilts, I decorate the centre panel with various designs that I think are fitting for baby. So, this time there were: bunnies (everyone loves bunnies); I wanted to add another bit of colour so I included a flower with colourful petals; [what has seem to have become my signature…just because I think they look pretty] swallows; and a colourful kite flown by a little hand-embroidered girl on the centre square, also displaying Lucy’s name, birth weight and date.

SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC

Whilst I used almost the same patchwork design as Stanley’s quilt, what differed (other than the fabric) was instead of machine appliquéd designs with a uniform zig zag stitch, this time I used free-hand machine appliqué (similar to that in Annabelle’s quilt)…which I’m always a little scared of. I LOVE the look of this type of stitching – it’s like drawing with your sewing machine – but only if it goes well! If it doesn’t, it can end up a right old mess! Lucky for me, this time, I think I got away with it!

IMG_6305

SONY DSC

 

Pocketful of Petals

Having a baby boy means that I get massive clothes envy. I love buying clothes my son, but whenever I’m shopping I like to have a wander around the whole of the baby clothes section, not just the boy’s! Girls’ clothes are just so gorgeous…and you get so many more varieties of styles, fabric and colours.

SONY DSC

When my nephew, Jacob, was born I had the intention of making baby clothes. Jacob is now three years old and has yet to receive an item to wear! I struggle to think of many items to make for boys that I would actually dress them in, other than perhaps a funky printed shirt (and I’ve been a bit scared of attempting these).

Girls, on the other hand are much easier…dresses, skirts, pantaloons, tops…pretty much anything looks good in florals, spots, stripes, animals or other children’s printed fabric. (And simpler to make than a shirt!).

SONY DSC

So I was pleased to be asked to make a skirt for a two year old little girl, Eva, with matching bag…well, every lady needs matching accessories!
A girl’s skirt with elasticated waist band is quite straight forward to make, however; I wanted my skirt to have a flat waistband at the front, to give it a neater look than those that are elastic all the way around the waistband.

SONY DSCThree practice skirts later, and I had measurements and the ‘know how’ in order to make the skirt I wanted; including a neat flat front waistband, elasticated in the back to allow to pull on and off and fit with ease, and ties to fasten into a pretty bow at the back.

SONY DSC SONY DSC

The fabrics I used were light-weight cotton with a small bright pink and orange floral print for the main body of the skirt, and contrasting pink and white spotty for the waistband and skirt edge; both from The Eternal Maker.

I also added a cute gathered pocket with embroidered flowers to the front of the skirt.

SONY DSC

I loved this skirt. The only problem is that, to date, I can only make it in size age 2…and unless I figure out other sizes, my new born niece is going to have to wait a couple more years until I can make one for her! As for Jacob and Jesse, they are just going to have to wait until I get around to attempting shirts!

Mamma’s got a brand new bag

When I first started sewing, hmmmm maybe about 5 years ago now, one of the first things I made was a tote bag for my mum…it was very basic! She did, however, use it all the time so now the colour is less navy and white more navy and brown, and the appliqué apple (bit random…who knows why I decided on this for a decoration!) is now just an outline of stitches, the inner fabric as worn off.

So for mum’s birthday this year I made a new bag to replace this well loved but pretty disgusting old one. The pattern for the bag was from U Handbag which has a great easy-to-follow tutorial that you can print.
The fabric I used, bought from Favourite Fabrics on Ebay, was a cotton/linen blend, strong and hard-wearing for every day use, in a pretty vintage-style blue and pink floral print for the outer and pink and white polka dots for the lining. The tan leather sew-on bag handles were also from Ebay.

SONY DSC SONY DSC

Slightly better than the old one I think and mum was pretty pleased with it too…here’s to another five years.

Due to the popularity of this bag amongst my other family members, my sister also got one for her birthday a month later, with just a couple of changes: the same fabric but different colour; and the handles, again leather, but brown, slightly longer, and different in style (I think slightly more modern looking than mum’s) – I bought these from www.bag-clasps.co.uk. I also added a pocket inside the bag to keep her phone or keys, knowing how they always seem to get lost amongst the Mary Poppins range of items in a girl’s bag!

SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC

I just need to make one for myself now and we’ll have a matching set.

Jesse’s handmade gifts

Those who know me know I am partial to a hand made item. Being a crafter myself I know how much work, time and effort, is put into creating something unique for someone – and this makes it more special to receive.

When Jesse was born, and even now, a few months on, we have receive so many gorgeous hand made gifts, it would be rude of me not to share …(and give a shout out to those so generous).

Appliqué vests and softie from Laura F (who is currently due her baby – I’ll have to come up with something good in return!)

SONY DSC SONY DSC

Audrey (mum and ‘commissionee‘ of my friend Laura D) – who is probably one of the world’s greatest and fastest knitter, who can turn her needles to anything including this cosy teal sleeping bag with wooden buttons.

SONY DSC

Gorgeous patchwork blanket from Linda, whose quilting talent I can only aspire to.

SONY DSC

Oh so beautiful and intricate knitted shawl from my Aunty Shirley – can you believe this was made by hand…just wow!

SONY DSC

Mini knitted baseball boots…cuuuuttttee! (again thank you Aunty S).

SONY DSC

Appliqué elephant card from new mum and fellow crafter Lou. This is getting framed and mounted on Jesse’s bedroom wall.

SONY DSC

Winnie the Pooh quote print personalised with Jesse’s name and date of birth, created by Jane, another piece of wall candy.

SONY DSC

More gorgeous knitted goodies – a mountain of cardies and jumpers (and hats and booties) from my Aunty Maureen. So beautiful and with a quality no shop could match. And, a range of sizes to last him many months…yeay – he’s certainly going to be the smartest boy in town!

SONY DSCBall taggie from Katie (yet another new mum – they are certainly setting the standard for mum/crafters!). This is made with a range of fabrics with different colours and textures and includes little sticky out ribbons, great for his learning and development (and entertainment).
SONY DSC

Colourful taggie from Helen – LOVE this fabric and super colourful which Jesse finds extremely attractive. This has some many different and interesting tags – satin ribbons, canvas tags, buttons and jumbo ric rac – for Jesse to feel (and chew on!).

SONY DSC

A big thank you from myself and Jesse for these gorgeous gifts; they’ve also given me inspiration for gifts I’m sure to be making in the future!

 

Pretty Pastels

Well it’s been a while since I’ve made anything, other than the odd bit of bunting here and there, so it was lovely to get back into things with these pretty bags…

SONY DSCI made this first bag for my friend Rose who was 30 a few weeks ago, but it was a kind of joint birthday/wedding pressy (she is honeymooning it up as I type!)
SONY DSCI used a mint green duchess satin under the ivory lace to coordinate with the colour of her bridesmaid dresses.
The ribbon, sewed to the lining which reads: ‘to have and to hold, from this day forward, is available from the lovely Wedding in a Teacup, who I also make lavender bags for. I thought this added a nice little wedding related touch.
SONY DSCAs an extra, I also added a bronze chain that matched the purse frame, which I think gives it a more vintage look, and allows Rose to use it either as a little bag or clutch.
SONY DSC

The next set of bags I made for Susie, a bride getting wed in Ireland at the end of June, as gifts for her bridesmaids.
SONY DSC

She sent me a photo of her beautiful bridesmaid dresses (and a sneak peek at her wedding dress…eeek!) which were all a different pastel shade: one lilac, one mint green and one nude.
Susie asked if I’d make all the bags the same colour, similar to that of the nude coloured dress, again with the ivory lace.
SONY DSC

I found a gorgeous shade of nude/beige duchess satin to use for the main bag, and lined them all with a super pretty pale pink floral fabric.

SONY DSCSONY DSC

I was so pleases that the bride I made these for like them so much she requested another two; one for herself and one for her mum. I hope her maids like their gifts.

A special patchwork

I wanted to post up some pics of one of my most treasured baby gifts.

A few weeks before my baby boy was born, my friends arranged a surprise baby shower for me.

DSC_0239

Having run craft workshops for hen dos and baby showers for the past couple of years with my friend and business partner Sam with our business Love Me Sew, it is only right that I should have one myself right? So I don’t know why it took me so by surprise…so much so I thought it was going to induce labour!

Sam sneakily fooled me into thinking I was helping her set up for a workshop only to arrive (wearing very unflattering maternity leggings and my dog walking boots!) a room full of my lovely friends and family, some who had travelled from far and wide just for the day: London, Newcastle, Coventry! I was overwhelmed, I had not a clue that this little celebration for me and baby had been planned.

post3

After a few tears, lots of hellos and hugs, the crafting commenced! Sam had designed a patch for each letter of the alphabet that the girls, most of whom had never sewn before, then spent the afternoon sewing – either by hand or machine and using a range of fabrics, felts and buttons, with the help of Sam and Lauren, her assistant for the day, or myself (even though I was technically off duty I just can’t help myself!).

post1

After a few hours of sewing, eating cake and, mostly, chatting, the patches were well on their way to being finished and looking fab! Sam took them all away, finished off the extra letters, and put them all together.

SONY DSC SONY DSCSONY DSC

SONY DSC

Jesse was born just a couple of weeks later so Sam also stitched on his name and date of birth.

SONY DSC

I had an amazing day, it was such a special surprise and I was truly humbled that so many people came for us, and now we have this gorgeous blanket that was created with so much effort, it will be loved forever. Thank you girls (Jesse’s pretty excited about it too…).

Since having my baby I have decided not to continue with Love Me Sew so I can spend all my spare time, once I’ve return to work in January, with Jesse. I’m sad to say goodbye but it’s the right decision for me. Sam is continuing to run the workshops, including baby showers and, of course, I would thoroughly recommend; they are a day to remember, well planned and organised, and of course you get an amazing gift at the end! For more information, pop on over to the Love Me Sew website and get in touch with Sam, who will go to any lengths to ensure you get the best experience.

 

Make lovely Lavender Bags…my DIY Tutorial.

I’ve written many a DIY blog posts over the past couple of year but for other blogs, so I thought it’s time to add something of value for my own blog readers by posting some on here. Some will be repeats of those I’ve posted elsewhere but I will also add new ones when time allow.

I’ve started here with a nice simple tutorial for lavender bags; these are easy to make, can be made with any pretty fabric and size, decorated, and make lovely little gifts (perfect for Mother’s Day).

SONY DSC

You will need:
● Pretty Fabric
● Pretty Ribbon*
● Paper template (I’ve made mine 3” square but it’s up to you on the shape and size of
your bags)
● Dried lavender
● Coordinating thread
● Tailors chalk or pencil
● Pins
● Scissors

SONY DSC

I’ve written this tutorial based on the use of a sewing machine. However, these lavender bags
can also be made by hand sewing, just allow for more time.
*The ribbon I have used in this tutorial is available to buy from Wedding in a Teacup.

1. Cut your fabric
● Fold over your fabric, right (patterned) sides together and pin your template to the fabric.
● Using tailors chalk or a pencil, draw around the template.

SONY DSC
● Remove the template, but place a pin in the fabric to hold the two pieces together while
you cut.

SONY DSC

● Cut our your lavender bag shape from your fabric. You should now have two pieces (one
for the either side of the bag).

SONY DSC

2. Sew your lavender bag together.
● Pin right (patterned) sides of your lavender bag together.
● Using approximately ¼ “ seam allowance, sew around three sides of your fabric.
SONY DSC
Tip: When you get to the end of one side, leave the needle in the fabric, lift the presser foot and
spin the fabric to continue along the next side.

SONY DSC

Tip: Most sewing machines have a reverse function, at the places you start and end your
stitches, sew a few stitches forward and back – this will help to keep the stitches in place when
you come to turn the bag the right way out.
SONY DSC
● Turn your bag the right way out and press. It may help to poke the corners out with a
pencil.

SONY DSC

3. Fold the top seam.
● On the open side of your bag, fold the fabric approximately ¼” inwards and press.

SONY DSC SONY DSC

● Half fill your lavender bag with dried lavender.

SONY DSC

4. Making your bag loop.
● Using some pretty ribbon*, cut approximately 12cm (or longer if you prefer your loop to
be larger), fold the ribbon in half and place the ends in the open edge of the bag.
● Pin this open edge of the bag together making sure to catch the ends of the loop.
SONY DSC

5. Finishing your lavender bag.
● Topstitch a few millimeters across open edge of the bag closed making sure to sew over
the loop ends. Add a few reverse stitches at the start and end of your run of stitches to
ensure these are secure and don’t come unravelled.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

As I mentioned above these make great gifts, for any occasion (although probably mainly for the ladies in your life), are perfect as little wedding favours or just to keep your undies drawer smelling delicious!
I often make a few in one go as they come in very hand as little additional extras to accompany birthday or Christmas pressies, and you can decorate them to match decor or personal likes. (Take a look at the little selection I made just before Christmas…which I’m still giving out now!)