Spring is in the air!

Hi everyone,

Spring is definitely in the air here in the sunny North-East. We must have had at least a whole week of sunshine over the Easter holiday!

Sunshine makes me want to sew bright colours. So here is my latest creation. I hope you like it. I tried to make the coloured chevrons pop using two shades of the same colour for each band and it seems to work.


I densely quilted the white areas and contemplated quilting with the relevant colours on the chevrons but decided against to keep it crisp. Less is more Smile


The colours are actually much brighter in real life.


Following the last post about my red, white and blue sampler, I received some emails about machine stitching the binding. The method I used was to prepare the binding strips at two and a quarter inches wide. Press in half along the length. Sew the binding to the front of the quilt through the raw edges of the quilt and fabric strips. Turn the binding to the back so the back edge is just past the front edge of the binding (you will be able to feel this). Sew to the back with a zipper foot and take care not to catch the front of the binding with the stitches. I didn’t use pins. I never use pins! There is no need. Just keep an eye on it. It’ll be just fine Smile


That’s it for today. I’ve just received a parcel and can’t wait to get inside!!

Avis x


Another year over…

Hi everyone,

It’s been a while since I’ve been in the quilting zone. I’ve been concentrating on lots of hand stitching over at Sewing Beside the Sea. I’m sure the quilting bug will find me again when my sewing room warms up a bit. At the moment it is far too cosy in the living room sitting with my feet up, doing a bit of blackwork, cross stitch, knitting and crochet….not all at the same time of course!

I was just updating the “Finished 2013” page above and I can’t believe how many things I managed to complete, especially as it has been such a busy year for me apart from sewing. I’ve enjoyed every single project as well as reading all of the lovely comments and emails from people along the way. Your blogs have been very inspirational too, so I have many ideas stored up for future projects in 2014.

Here is a little gallery of my finished projects this year. Please note that from May onwards, I only included patchwork and quilting projects on this blog. So, if you’d like to see the hand sewn projects from then on, just hop over to Sewing Beside the Sea. If you’d like to visit any of the posts relating to the pictures in the gallery, just go to the “Finished 2013” page above and then click on the photo.

Happy New Year to you all. I hope you have lots of exciting projects lined up for 2014 🙂 Now….where did those chocolates go?

Avis x

Pillow talk!

Following my post about the chevron pillow/cushion cover, I’ve received emails asking me how I made it. So I thought it would be a good excuse to make more covers and write a tutorial at the same time. My cover is quilted through three layers on the front and is fully lined. The closure is envelope style. I’m sure many of you already make covers in your own way but this is my way. I like it because it doesn’t require buttons or zippers, though you could add them if you wish. Also, there are no fabric scraps left.

Here is my chevron version again, in case you missed it.


And the quilting.



You will need: 19.5 inches (half a metre) off the roll for the outside of the cover and the same size for the lining, assuming that both fabrics are 42 inches wide. Also, a piece of wadding/batting which is about 21 x 21 inches.


1. Cut the selvedge edges off both sides of both pieces of fabric. I chose bright orange with white spots for the outer fabric and white lining.


2.Lay the lining fabric to one side. Cut a square which is 19.5 x 19.5 inches from the outer fabric. Cut the remainder in half to give two rectangles measuring 19.5 x 12 inches approx. If yours is slightly bigger than 12 inches, that’s fine. It will give a larger overlap on the envelope closure.

3. Repeat with the lining fabric to obtain exactly the same sized pieces as you did for the outer fabric.

4. Take one rectangle of each fabric and place them right sides together.


5. Sew a one quarter inch seam along one 19.5 inch side. Repeat with the other two rectangles.


6. Lay these pieces on the pressing board with the outer fabric uppermost and the new seam at the top. Lift the uppermost fabric and press away from you so the seam is pressed towards the outer fabric.


7. Now put the rectangles with wrong sides together and press along the seam so that the outer fabric is just peeping around the edge. Trim the lining in line with the main fabric along the long edge. Repeat with the other rectangles. The back pieces are now finished.  


8. Next, the quilted front of the cover. Lay the wadding/batting flat on the table. Place the wrong side of the lining square on top of the wadding. Make sure it is lying square and smooth it out.


9. There should be a small amount of wadding all around the edge of the lining which you should trim away so they are both the same size.


10. Carefully, turn the double layer square over and place the outer fabric on top. You should now have lining on the bottom, wadding in the middle and the outer fabric on top.


11. Sew along one side through all three layers, close to the edge. This will anchor this side ready for quilting. Place pins at intervals through all layers.


12. Quilt as desired. For this cover, I folded my square in half and sewed a line along the fold from the stitched edge to the opposite side. I then attached my little gadget to the machine so that I could sew lines parallel to the first one at intervals of 1.5 inches.


13. I then folded my square in half diagonally, sewed a line along the fold and repeated the paralell lines process.


14. Now, all we need to do is sew all of the pieces together to make the cover. Lay the quilted square on the table with the right side uppermost. Place one of the rectangles with the lining uppermost at the edge of the square. Pin in position.


15. Now pin the other rectangle to the other side of the square. If you are using fabric that has a pattern with a right way up, now is the time to change positions if you need to. Don’t wait until after it has been sewn together.


16. Sew all the way around the cover through all layers. Take care to stitch slowly over the thicker parts where the fabrics overlap. If you have a serger, this stage will be much faster as you will be able to sew a seam and overlock the edges at the same time.


17. I don’t have a serger so I switched to zig-zag stitch and sewed around the outside edge of the seam. Trim the edge and snip across the corners.


18. Turn the cover to the right way, press the edges and insert a pad. Stand back and admire Smile.

Here is my finished cushion. I hope you like it.


I couldn’t stop!


I quilted this one with another different pattern, keeping it simple.


Here they are all together.


Sunshine versus sewing!

Hi everyone,

I hope you are well Smile.

I woke up to glorious sunshine and birdsong today and thought long and hard about whether I should be spending time in the sewing room. However, my new fabric has now arrived and I couldn’t resist the temptation to play.

Here’s what I made.


The front is quilted in a very plain and simple pattern to complement the chevron fabric design.


The Mean Green Sewing Machine coped easily with the quilt sandwich. In fact I was having such fun quilting, I also went along the other side of the white chevrons.


The back, which is not quilted, has an envelope closure with a good overlap.


I like my cushion covers to have a bit of substance so this one is fully lined.


I can certainly feel a few more new cushions coming on and there might even be a pattern on the horizon Smile.

I hope you have enjoyed the weekend. Maybe you have had sunshine too. I hope so!

Avis x

Me SHOUTING? Well that doesn’t work either!

I’ll get straight to the point and then move on and be done with this…..and sorry, in advance, for this text-heavy rant to all of my lovely readers.

Over recent weeks, I have found several breaches of copyright from my blog and the latest one has really upset me 😦

I made it very clear and politely wrote in my copyright paragraph, that yes, I am happy to share , otherwise what is the point of putting all of my own hard work up here on the internet.  I requested people should ask me first if they want to copy content which includes pinning (some people think pinning isn’t copying). In other words if you don’t ask, you are breaching my copyright. Anyway, pinning is only the tip of the iceberg as far as the latest breach is concerned and whatever happened to “bookmarking” and “favourites” anyway? Several of my images have been “borrowed” in the night and then reproduced elsewhere. I’m talking 20 to 30 images at a time and this has now happened many times. These people mean business!

Maybe you’ll agree with me, maybe you won’t but that makes no difference to my copyright. I’ll outline what happened to me and you can decide for yourselves. I won’t name the culprit as the issue, from my point of view, is over (for now).

Anyway, I “found” one of my tutorials on another blog. All of the photos were mine, the design images drawn up with my software were mine. My photo tutorials are pretty self explanatory, I’m told, but being aware that some people prefer words for the fine detail, I always include them. My words had been changed (badly).

I thought about contacting the blog provider as their terms and conditions warn that blogs will be shut down if copyright is breached. I really thought hard about this, particularly as other content on the same blog is obviously copied from other sources. But you know what? I’m really not a nasty person and I felt that it would just make me even more upset about what had happened if I didn’t give the person the opportunity to change their ways. I’ve been through all the excuses in my head. They may not understand the rules, they may not have read my copyright, they may have meant no harm….even to the point that surely I should be flattered that someone thought my tutorial was so good that they wanted to copy it. But it was my hard work….that was the bottom line. Also, the terms and conditions of all of the blog providers, pinterest etc. make it clear to account holders that they are personally liable for breaches of copyright. If they don’t read or understand them, liability is vicarious.

Anyway, I emailed the blogger….no reply. I then left a comment on their blog politely requesting the removal of my work and they responded saying they were sorry I was offended and they had removed my photos and design. I wasn’t offended, just violated, but I accept that could have been lost in translation. You see, benefit of the doubt given again.

Yesterday, I changed my copyright again in an attempt to make it even more clear that copying is not allowed. Should I really have to spell it out?

Low and behold, Pinterest struck again overnight. Permission sought? No! Exasperation! JUST ASK FIRST! More form filling for me….like I said, Pinterest is just the tip of the iceberg.

I am now considering watermarking all of my design images and photos as I just can’t seem to get through to a very small number of bloggers. I know it would take me a lot longer to prepare my work and would spoil the look of the blog so the jury is still out. Maybe blogging is not for me after all 😦 It isn’t worth the upset.

Line drawn, enough said, move on…..until the next time.


Happy Sunday everyone, this is the real me 🙂

My lovely friend Teje strikes again! This time she has inspired me to be a bit more organised. She discussed a great idea of her own with me which I’m sure she’ll be sharing soon and I came up with a version of it that I really needed. The result is two new pages on this blog for projects that I finished in 2011 and 2012. The page links are at the top of this page. They are a sort of gallery so I can see my progress since December 2011 when my crafting attempts really took off. All of the photos will link to the original posts if you want to click on them. This will be useful for me as I often try to find something I’ve made on the blog and can’t remember which month it was. These photos will take me straight to it. Let me know what you think it and whether it was worth the effort. Sorry about the copyright-ish statement at the top. I’m a bit sensitive at the moment!

Also, here is another update, probably the last on this project before it is finished because it unlikely to drape nicely on this chair after today 😉 I’ve now got three stripes of each of the eight colours completed. There will be a total of eight repetitions when it is finished. I thought about varying the width of the stripes and I’ll need to make a final decision very soon. I hope you like it!


And finally, my fabric giveaway will be drawn tomorrow. It is easy to enter here. Good luck everyone 🙂

Time to crochet!

Avis x

Ripple blanket progress check

Hi everyone 🙂

Here is a quick update on my progress with the ripple blanket. I’ve now completed each of the eight colours twice. I’m really pleased with the 1970’s look and how fast it is growing!

Also, don’t forget to enter the giveaway here. Thank you to everyone who has already entered. I’m pleased you appreciate that I’ve made it really easy for you to have a chance of winning. We seem to be stirring up lots of happy memories together so I’m loving reading all about your favourite gifts 😀

Time to crochet!!

Avis x


I can’t put it down!


New project on the go….

I’ve been wanting to crochet a ripple pattern blanket since I finished my Granny Squares one in May. My favourite ripples are at Playing At Craft, The Lazy Crafter and Attic 24. The great thing is, Lucy at Attic 24 has written a very clear photo tutorial here which is great for beginners like me.

My yarn arrived a couple of days ago. It is Stylecraft 100% Acrylic Double Knit so it didn’t break the bank. It was actually recommended to me by the lovely Trish at Made by Patch. Her blog is well worth a look. She mainly does crochet but there are several other strings to her bow. Go and see for yourselves!

Here is my yarn. I have two of each of eight colours. Maybe there’ll be some left for other hooky magic 🙂

The pattern suggested you should try a practice piece first which turned out fine. You can see how clear Lucy’s pattern is. I shrunk the photos before printing it to save trees 🙂

All going well…so back along the other way for row 2.

I was happy with the trial run so I started the foundation chain for real. It seemed like a never ending first row. I had enough chain for 308 stitches plus 3 chains and needed to end on the correct stitch. I don’t know what I would have done if it hadn’t work out! In case you don’t know already, the ripples are formed by a series of trebles, decreases, trebles, increases then repeating all the way along. (I think trebles are doubles in the States but don’t quote me on that. )

Now the 2nd row…

Time to change colour. That will hold my interest in a big project.

Nice colours but I’m beginning to worry. I kept calm (my OH would disagree here!) and carried on. Have you spotted my reason for concern?

Maybe you can now…. The foundation chain is too tight and is causing the edge to flick up 😦

So I contacted Lucy the pattern writer…..Is this supposed to happen or should I have made a much slacker chain? If I had to start again to put it right, so be it. Within minutes Lucy advised this is a common problem. I should have done a slacker chain or used a larger hook to make it. Oh well, time to wind the wool up and start again. NO!!! That was the cry of my OH who strongly suggested I leave the first one intact and get the new one going before pulling the first one out. I wish I had his wisdom 😉 I didn’t really mind having to start again. It was only an evening’s work and I’d enjoyed doing it and getting used to the pattern.

So I started again and I hope you can see the difference. I certainly can. It was worth keeping the first one just to see the difference here 😀

Then more rows were added.

All is well that ends well so they say 🙂 Thanks to Lucy and Missy Patch again. You both did a grand job:-)

I can’t put it down!

Avis x

WIP Update

Hello everyone 🙂

The chevron quilt top is now finished.

The only trouble is….I don’t have any wadding left! Never mind, it can sit on the pile to be quilted and I can get on with something else 🙂

I’ve now started work on a new project which is a secret. In fact, there are three secrets on the go at the moment. All will be revealed in good time 😉 It is most unlike me to be working on more than one thing at once.

Here are a few close up shots of the chevrons. I’m off to eat Maltesers…..nom, nom.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Have a lovely crafty weekend 🙂

Avis x

Checking in with a quick WIP report…..

Hi to all of my lovely bloggy pals 🙂

Just a few lines today to introduce my latest work in progress. I’m making chevrons with a Moda charm pack called Etchings teamed with some Moda Bella solids. There will be a touch of banding between the chevron strips. Progress is slow but ongoing…..


%d bloggers like this: