Tuesday, 31 December 2013

New Year's Eve

No sewing to show you this week but I was given a lovely book for Christmas.
It's called Quilt me! by Jane Brocket.

 Jane has used inspirational fabrics to create over 20 beautiful quilts. In some cases the fabrics were old embroidered tablecloths which she showcased in her quilt.  I read the book from cover to cover and know I will dip into it for inspiration when I want to use a special piece of fabric.

This is the second book by this author that has been given to me. 
The other book was called  The Gentle Art of Quiltmaking in which Jane again showed how to use lovely fabrics to their advantage.

Two different friends chose two books by the same author.

As it is New Year's Eve I have been looking back over what I have sewn this year.
Interestingly I have made exactly the same number of quilts in 2013 as I did in 2012.

16 quilts:  4 were Preemie quilts and 4 are UFOs which I am so happy to have completed.
Then there were smaller projects, gifts for friends and family:
2 needlebooks, 2 Patchwork Totes and a Patchwork drawstring bag, my first zippered pouch and a quilt top made completely from donated scraps and bits from my stash for Project Linus.

In addition I was successful with my Quilting New Year's Resolution: to continue to use scraps of fabric and batting from my stash and to make quilts entirely from stash wherever possible. 
My bits of batting are certainly reduced, as are my scraps and container of 2.5" squares.
I used loads of those squares to make the 3 bags:


Some firsts for me too this year:

I made my first Zippered pouch which I gave to my friend for Christmas ( inside were lots of lovely beads for her jewellery making hobby). She was so thrilled with the gift, especially as she knew this was my first attempt at a zippered pouch.

I also made my first Drawstring bag - see photo above.

And I put a zip in a cushion - another first!  No photo to show yet as this is a surprise gift for a friend's special birthday coming up in a few weeks' time.

So, a good year on the Sewing Front.

My aim is to continue next year with the same resolution. 
As I use tiny bits of fabric to make Crumb blocks as a leaders/enders project I already have a tin full of completed 4" Crumb blocks ready to use in 2014. 
I made several quilts with these blocks this year and I am pleased with them all.

 and these little Preemie quilts:

I just checked my tin and there are almost 80 Crumb blocks waiting in there!  I pin them together in 10's so it's easy to keep a tally - an idea I picked up from one of Bonnie Hunter's Quiltcams.
So, a Happy New year to everyone and Happy Sewing in 2014!


Monday, 23 December 2013

Last 2 quilt finishes for 2013

I am a fan of Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville blog.  I love scrappy quilts and think Bonnie's ideas for using up small scraps accords with my approach to quilt-making.  Hence my Crumb blocks and the quilts that I create from them.

Another of Bonnie's ideas is her "Leaders and Enders" projects.  Instead of using scrap bits of fabric as Thread-catchers she adds to blocks for her next project.  In this way she sews a whole pile of blocks as a sideline to the quilt she is focussing on.

This is how I make my Crumb blocks and how I have made these two little Premature Baby Quilts:

I had been given a huge pile of scrap triangles, trimmings from blocks a prolific quilting friend had collected together.  She knows I enjoy using the tiniest of scraps, so as a series of "Leaders and Enders" projects I first created the small HST squares and then put them together in fours to make the kite-style blocks.
I had some of the Rabbit fabric left over from a child's quilt I had made for Ava so cut strips of this to intersperse with the kite-block strips.  Then more scrap string for the borders and I had made two Premature baby sized quilts.
I had a quick sort through more small left over pieces of fabric for the backing  and another look through my bag of leftover bindings and I was able to complete the little quilts.  One has pink binding scraps joined together and the other a mixture of blue scraps.

So, my final two Quilt finishes of 2013.
After these were finished I sorted out my sewing room.  Put all the scraps away neatly in drawers and sorted out my Crumb blocks-in -the-making tin so I could leave it with the lid shut!
Then a big dusting and Hoovering session and the room is packed away until 2014.
Only one more thing to do now - embroider a label for this quilt:

Baby Charlie was born on 11th December so this is a gift to welcome him to the world.  I will post it after Christmas to, hopefully! , avoid it getting lost in the Christmas Post Rush.
Strangely I have just realised that the Rabbit fabric leftover strips were from Charlie's big sister Ava's quilt!

Happy Christmas!


Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Another finish in time for Christmas

I managed to finish a Tote Bag for my little granddaughter as an extra present for Christmas.

I picked up some Beatrix Potter books and a set of the stories on CDs which I wanted to put into a hand made tote.  Nice and bright and jolly. Annalise already knows and loves Peter Rabbit and Mrs Tiggywinkle and now there are 7 more stories to add to her repertoire.

Here's the bag:


And the lining:

I have almost finished my sewing for this year.  One more Premature baby quilt I would like to bind and then I can tidy away my sewing room until next year.


Monday, 9 December 2013

My first Zippered Pouch

A week last Saturday I made my first Zippered Pouch, following a tutorial on Make it Perfect.

I followed the instructions to the letter, working with my iPad beside my sewing machine!

I have only ever put in a couple of dress zips, back when I was 21 - a very long time ago! - and had a try at dressmaking.  I hated sewing then, sewing machines were alien, and I had never dared try to put in another zip.

However, I love all the Zippered pouches that pop up on Flickr and discovered this excellent tutorial so decided to give it a whirl.  It is for my very best friend Barbara for Christmas.  She enjoys making jewellery and we have a great Bead Shop in town so I thought I would make the pouch and put some lovely beads inside.  In one afternoon I made this:

I have no idea why this photograph has turned itself sideways! It appears perfectly normally on my file and on my Flickr page!
I added a few little flower embellishments that I had in my stash and I am really pleased with it.  Tomorrow I am off to the Bead Shop to choose some pretty beads to put inside.  And then that can be another gift finished and mailed on its way.
I am joining in with Clare's Thursday Brit  Linky.  Very late this week as the day after I made the pouch I went down with a horrible bout of Norovirus and spent over two days in bed.  Then I was extremely tired so was working very slowly and trying to catch up on things I should have done whilst I was ill.
Gradually working my way through various lists.  My lovely husband offered to have some of the tasks delegated to him to I am pretty much back on track.
Hoping to make a patchwork tote bag for my little granddaughter as an added present for Christmas.  I bought some good-as-new Beatrix Potter books at the Church Christmas Fair which I will put inside the bag.  Not much time this week, working round too many social engagements.  However, I am determined to make a bag for her, so watch this space.