It’s only taken two months!

Good evening,

I’m trying to catch up on some posts that should have been shared with you ages ago. This one could have been published two months back if I’d had some free time. Life gets in the way of blogging sometimes doesn’t it?

Anyway, a dear friend of mine had a birthday in May. She is the type of person who is always so incredibly busy, making and doing and caring for everyone else, that she rarely makes anything for herself. At times I think her brain is wired in a way which means she doesn’t even think about herself. She’s also been having a tidy up of her crafty goodies and passed some of them onto me. Well, it was about time she had a nice present and as it was her birthday as well, she was doubly deserving.

I’d made a storm at sea block for Esther as part of a recent block swap (see previous post) and decided to make a different part of that block as a cushion front for my friend. Here’s what it looks like.

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I know I’m going to make a lot more of these blocks. They are so striking and I love all the spikey bits. It’s amazing how much enjoyment you can get from making one project, especially when it is for a gift. I kept the quilting very simple so as not to compete with the patchwork design, using variegated thread which has quite a bit of lustre, almost metallic.

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You’ve probably guessed there was a lot of starting and stopping of the machine when quilting around each of the shapes. The quilting alone took a whole day to complete but I enjoyed every minute.

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I decided to experiment and didn’t think it would work, but it did. I had planned to line the cover with the same white solid fabric but didn’t want the dark thread ends or the quilting to show on the inside. So I only quilted through the patchwork and the wadding/batting and then lined it. I was concerned the inside of the machine would clog with fluff  but it didn’t so the inside looks as good as the outside I think.

My friend had no idea what I was making for her. In fact, I thought she might have seen the beginnings of the patchwork when she came to play in my sewing room but I got away with it. Phew!

I promise it won’t be so long before I post again.

Avis x

Third birthday in December!

Hi everyone,

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas (if you celebrate it) and you are now ready for the New Year.

The title of this post is ambiguous. Does someone in my family have a third birthday? Or do we have three birthdays in December? The answer to both questions is yes. My Dad, sister and great niece all have birthdays this month and my great niece will also be three years old. She’s growing up so fast!

I sent an email to my nephew to find out whether she had a Santa list and, if so, what was on it. One thing she was hoping Santa would bring was a cot for her dolls. I did a bit of searching on-line and found several. After reading the reviews I decided to go for this one from John Lewis. I’m not being paid for advertising here. I’m just really happy with the quality of the cot. It came with its own pink bedding consisting of a thin mattress, a pillow and cover, as in the first photo below.

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As her birthday is also in December so I decided to make a patchwork quilt to match the cot as a birthday gift. My sister was concerned that I was burning the midnight oil (what’s new?) but I had to come clean. The real reason I chose to buy a cot from the list was so that I would have an excuse to sew LOL. I definitely don’t like dolls as you learned in my previous post.

Here’s the quilt I made, complete with 1960’s lace trim from my late Aunt Edith’s sewing box. Is that 4 generations? It’s a simple design with girly pink floral fabrics to match the cot.

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The reverse is crisp white with a gingham ribbon trim.

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There’s pillows to match.

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They look pretty together. Mix and match…

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Next, the five star hotel look…

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Or florabunda shabby chic Smile

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Anyway, I had so much fun making them and I hope she enjoys playing with them for a long time.

Happy New Year!

Avis x

A Birthday Bag!

Hi Everyone,

I can finally show you what I’ve been up to lately. It was my sister’s birthday recently and she had mentioned ages ago that she was looking for a new knitting bag. So I just had to make one and hope that she didn’t buy one in the meantime. I did consider giving her one of these three bags that I’d made earlier but decided that she had already seen them and that a knitting bag should be bigger than these.

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Then the scraps of a Bali Pops jelly roll were calling to me. My sister had actually bought the Bali Pops for me (for my birthday) and I’d already made a quilt top from them. There was still plenty left and I had some lovely matching solid fabrics to go with them. Maybe, she wouldn’t like the idea of me using a present from her to make something to give back…hmm. I decided I was only using the scraps and that way she would be getting fabrics that I knew she would love otherwise she would never have bought them for me in the first place Smile. I searched the internet for a bag pattern that was just right. However, I wasted a lot of time. I just couldn’t find anything the right size with all of the pockets that I wanted etc. After several days of thinking, sketching, measuring and head scratching I came up with this.

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There are three pockets behind the batik fabrics panel on each of the front and back. The middle pockets are the perfect size for knitting patterns or books. The base is flat and large enough for the knitting to lie down, even if it is on large chunky needles and there’s plenty of room inside for all of the yarn for a whole project.

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I used straight line quilting so as not to compete with the gorgeous fabrics. The quilting continues on the wrap-around base.

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There are two lined patch pockets inside. One is big enough to take large scissors and the other is for buttons etc.

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Plus I added a loop at each side to thread the yarn through.

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Once I’d decided how I wanted the bag to look and how to put it together, the sewing part was easy. The bulk of the work was in the design process. I’ll definitely make more bags like this one.

My sister really liked it which was good news too. That makes me very happy Smile.

Merry Christmas to you all!

Avis x

Eye Candy for Fabric Lovers and a Puzzle!

Hi everyone,

Be warned! This post is full to busting of fabric photos. I make no excuses, my jaw is still on the floor since my daughter arrived home from India last night. I have been spoiled, THOROUGHLY spoiled and I just had to share some photos with you so you can imagine what I will be getting up to over the next few months. You have got no idea how pleased I am that she travels light with a large suitcase!

She was very fortunate to be invited to spend two months with her wonderful local host who made sure she ate well, travelled widely and generally got a taste of what life is really like in India with lots of fun along the way. It has to be the best way to see a new country, sample local culture and customs and make the most of any trip abroad.

If you want to read more about her trip, you can find it in her blog Sun and Cake.

Where’s the fabric, I hear you call….

The instructions were simple, please bring me fabric, sari silk, cotton, batiks, anything that I can make into lovely things. Here are some of the sari silks which are all from Salem in southern India.

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I’m going to have so much fun with these.

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The photos really don’t do them justice. The shimmer and lustre and silky softness is gorgeous.

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Aren’t those tassels lovely?

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There are several designs on each piece and they are all huge!

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Now for the cottons, also from southern India Smile.

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Exciting times are ahead!

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The quality is fantastic, perfect for patchwork and quilting.

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This style can be found on wall murals and works of art.

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This one has an interesting chequered weave which doesn’t show up to the naked eye.

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Some are block or screen printed with one or more dyes.

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This one uses the batik technique with wax. There’s a whole rainbow of underlying colours.

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This one is hand painted with gold dye.

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The purple parade. You all know I love purple Smile

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And finally, some hand painted cottons from Jaipur in northern India.

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The pattern is very sparkly Smile

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The north Indian fabrics are the same good quality, brilliant for all sewing projects.

Now for your puzzle….

This was another of my requests and I really didn’t expect my daughter to find one, let alone bring one home. I’m going to show you a few detailed photos and I want you to guess what it is that she brought me for my birthday which was on Valentine’s Day while she was away. All of the embroidery has been done by hand.

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It would be impossible to show all of the details here so I’ve only picked out some of them. I have no idea how old it is but it is definitely not new. I can only imagine how many hours went into all of the stitching and I’ll treasure it forever Smile.

So, do you know what it is? Would you like to guess?

Have fun guessing!

And finally…. have you heard of the Holi Festival? If not, you can read about it here and see images here.

This is a photo of my daughter on the right and her host (the best tour guide in India) on the left during the Holi Festival. Fun, fun, fun Smile

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Oh, to be young again!

Avis x

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