Last week I attended a Patchwork Class at Quiltessential at Cromford Mills, Matlock. This will be a lap quilt for my eldest niece for Christmas. I need to make six blocks the same, although I’m not sure I have enough fabric for all six so may make two of them with different patterned fabrics against the pale lilac. The owner of the shop Ann, runs the classes and makes up the samples, whilst her husband designs the quilt patterns! This design is called A Step Too Far.
As all crafty and creative people know, if you are making gifts for Christmas presents, or as in my case for Christmas Craft Fairs you have to start early! This weekend I am babysitting in Shropshire and wanted to take a hand sewing project with me to sew in the evenings. During my card making years I bought many cutting dies for my Bigshot and they are brilliant at cutting through felt, so this is what I am using to make some Christmas decorations!
We all love having a new handbag, and I’m no exception. But when it comes to bags mine needs to be cross body and not too large but big enough to fit all the usual stuff in including my new sunglasses case, which my present bag doesn’t. But finding one proved harder than I thought so after numerous hours of browsing through Pinterest I designed my own, and here it is!
There were five elements to the bag which were important to me. A pocket on the front to fit my mobile phone, an inside pocket, a swivel hook inside to hang my keys from, a recessed zipper and an adjustable strap. First I needed to source the metal hardware for my new bag. U-Handbag was my choice of on-line store where I could get everything I needed including a chunky zip. I love the ‘handmade’ tag which I’ve put on the front of my bag.
The main fabric I bought from Closs and Hamblin where I happen to work every other Sunday! I wanted the lining to complement the stripe and found this wonderful fabric from Lewis and Irene in Lovely Jubbly Fabrics in Ferndown, which was the exact colour of the stripes. Love it! The kid leather which I used for the bottom of the bag and part of the strap was a donation to the Dorset Scrapstore my other place of work! It is absolutely gorgeous and great to work with.
This was my first attempt at a recessed zipper and it took some investigating to work it out, lots of unpicking and re-sewing until I got it to a point where I was mostly happy with it. It’s a technique I will try again , practice makes perfect!
I loved making it and as it’s not very often I make myself something, I will definitely make another one.
Why unconventional hearts? Do they always need to be red or pink? Nooooo! As this quilt is for my youngest niece, who can be a mini Glastonbury girl one minute or a crazy tomboy the next they definitely can’t be conventional. This is the start of her quilt. Each of the blocks will be 6″x 6″ square when stitched together. I will be making 50-60 heart blocks and then decide on what pattern to stitch them into.
I used this tutorial from Cluck Cluck Sew to make the heart blocks but I wanted the hearts to be pointed at the top so I altered the size of some of the pieces to achieve this. The tutorial gives instructions on what size pieces to cut for different size blocks. The blocks are really quick to put together so hopefully it will come together quickly!!
Today is my last craft fair until later in the year so it’s time to make a start on other projects which have a taken a back burner, and need to be made for Christmas! Whilst I was in the States at Christmas last year I visited Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Superstore. If you are in the States and love fabric then GO! There is so much choice it can be a bit overwhelming, but for a fabricholic like me I was in fabric heaven!
So, whilst we were there and surrounded by all this choice of fabric I decided that I would make my two nieces quilts for Christmas. On asking both of them their favourite colours the eldest who is 9 said black, the youngest who is 7 said orange! Aaargh! I was not keen on working with black fabrics so Sofia has shades of purple and lilac which will tone in much better with her bedroom, and Elyza (Ginge to her friends!) will have one in orange but with green to balance it out.
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I have found the patterns I am going to use but will save those for another day.
Since I started attending craft fairs as a seller earlier this year my fab best friend Hazel from Peach Crafts has been helping me at these fairs. I have been meaning to make her a money apron similar to the one I made for myself, but, as usual I left it until the last minute to make something. So instead of an apron I made a cross body bag which the money can be kept in. It’s great to have Hazel’s help at the fairs, I couldn’t do it without her.
It has taken a loooong time to get this sunglasses case made. My crafting buddy, Hazel from Peach Crafts and I have been talking about making a case for a couple of years, and this weekend we finally got around to it. Hazel had bought two purse clasps so that’s what we decided to use, and that’s when the fun started! The instructions for drafting a pattern for the clasp were proving to be a bit frustrating. After watching a couple of YouTube videos and reading tutorials, Hazel had a eureka moment! Hurrah! And this is my finished sunglasses case.
One of my favourite designers is Tone Finnanger who designs fabrics and sewing projects under the name of Tilda. I have nine Tilda books so far so you could say I’m addicted! What I love about her books and designs are that the patterns are really simple to follow and the books are beautifully photographed. I have made many dolls and animals over the years and here is a small selection of those makes.
My latest lined pouch. I made 4 patch quilt blocks using 1.5″ squares and sewed them into a strip, then sewed to two pieces of linen and top stitched. I haven’t sewn any patchwork for a while so it was fun to do. This is for sale in my Folksy shop.
This was only the third quilt I had ever made, and the other two were quite basic! I had bought the pattern in a Quilting Shop in Australia when I was there the previous year. Most of the fabrics I already had in my stash, it was only the pale pink I needed to buy. The flowers above the hearts are embroidered by hand. There were techniques I had never encountered before, such as half square triangles and sashing! I hand embroidered the label for the back of the quilt. It is the project I am most proud of to date and I am hoping it will become an heirloom quilt and will be passed to my nieces in time.