How could a chicken be so lucky?

Hi everyone,

I’m still rather busy up here by the sea but the Chicken Run Giveaway Swap is still chugging along in the background.

Carla, the latest winner from Dancing Moon, has made lots of funky chickens and one of them could be flying off to you. If you’d like to win, pop over to see how to enter.

Here’s a sneaky peek at the quilt I’m working on at the moment. It’s the one with the Bali Pops. My sister is going to love it because she bought me the fabric. I’m such a lucky girl!

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It’s the Brown Sugar colourway………deeeelicious and it was so worth doing those partial seams.

Bye for now,

Avis x

A finish and a new project

Good morning lovely crafters!

The sun is shining and it’s blowing a bit of a bluster outside today. What a perfect day to do some patchwork. Yesterday, while I was working (playing) in my sewing room, the rain was bouncing off the windows. I love listening to rain. I went to my table by the window to cut more fabric as the sun made its appearance and, as I looked across to the sea, there was the biggest, brightest rainbow I have ever seen. I stood for what seemed like forever, staring at it and trying to find both ends, wondering where the pot of gold would be and then I came to my senses and went to get the camera. Typical! Flat batteries! Oh well, I’ll have to be content with the lovely memory but I’m quite sad not to be able to share it with you today. Hopefully, you can all remember being mesmerised by a rainbow wherever you are in the world. Aren’t they magical?

So, what have I been up to? I could share such a long list with you but I’ll stick to the crafting. You might remember a few weeks ago that I showed this photo of some fabrics waiting for a project.

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Well, I eventually decided to make some modern blocks and actually got the quilt finished much quicker than the time it took me to decide what to do. That often happens with me. I rarely use a bought pattern, preferring to do my own sketches and maths. Then, away I go to hide in the sewing room with my green mean sewing machine.

I came up with a simple design with clean lines, just what this fabric needed I think. I’m in love with these prints, so subtle and calming, most unlike me Smile.

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I reserved some of my favourite print from this bundle for the binding and decided on a crisp white backing. The quilting reflects my coastal location Smile.

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I found making this quilt very therapeutic. I have no idea why. Anyway, it’ll soon be for sale in my shop and will hopefully make someone else feel good too Smile.

What else have I been up to? Well, most of you will already know that I love to sew in all sorts of ways. My cross stitch on my other blog is coming along very nicely. It’s now time for me to think what I want to hand sew next as the current SAL project is almost complete. There are so many ideas and much inspiration out there, especially on all of your lovely blogs, that it makes it so much harder to decide. I just want to do everything!

Next up, I have news to report on the Bali Pops that my lovely sister bought for me. They have worked their way to the top of the fabric pile and now must be made into something beautiful. I love these colours Smile.

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I’ve spent several days, spinning ideas around in my head and sketching design ideas. I eventually decided that these fabrics would look fabulous with solid black. Yes black! I was thinking stained glass, wrought iron….yes, black would work great with this block.

Then my other half pulled a face! He had planted the seed of dilemma. Usually, he says things like “Don’t ask me, you know best when it comes to colours.” or “You decide, I’ll like whatever you choose to make” but this time I got a pulled face. Do your friends and family generally leave the decisions up to you? Do you ask for an opinion about fabrics and designs?

Anyway, I changed my mind and decided on teaming them up with my beloved Moda Bella Solids white. However, next time…. Winking smile

I was really pleased with how the block turned out on paper but then wrestled with how to put it together. It’s all very well, liking what you see on a sketch but transferring it into an actual, physical collection of patches of fabric is another matter as you know. I knew what I wanted to do but there were going to be too many seams for my liking. Partial seams were the answer. I hadn’t done those before but I know several patchworkers who hand stitch and they know all about partial seams. In fact, I’d say they are experts! You can see their wonderful work here, here and here.

Anyway, here are some of the blocks I’ve sewn so far.

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The partial seams were nowhere near as difficult to do as I’d built them up to be in my own head. Minimising the number of seams has been well worth the effort for the finished effect. It’s nice to be challenged now and again and it feels so good to have worked things out for yourself doesn’t it? What’s your latest challenge/achievement, crafting or otherwise?

Today, I’m going for a walk along the cliffs and then, when all of the cobwebs have been blown from between my ears, I might treat myself to sewing together a few more of these batik blocks.

Whatever you choose to do today, enjoy! I’ll be catching up with you all very soon Smile.

Avis x

Is it a mug rug?

Good morning everyone!

What a glorious sunny day it is here in the North East of England. I hope you are all well and that crafting is keeping you happy. For me, it’s just been work, work, work these last couple of months so I’m very pleased to be back here with my crafty friends at last.

I finally had a day off yesterday and decided to finish a little project that I’d started weeks ago. Those of you who read this blog regularly will know that I don’t like scraps of fabric. If I make something, I cut the pieces in the most economical way and often achieve no-waste projects. It takes an awful lot of planning but the pleasure I get from having used every square inch of available fabric makes me very happy.

So, not having any particular project in mind, I decided to get rid of a few scraps. I had several strips of blues leftover from bindings so I split them up the middle and began to sew them together not knowing what it was going to turn into. Before long I had two different rectangular blocks that I thought would make a nice mug rug or maybe a mini quilt table topper.

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It is actually rectangular in real life Smile.

Well, just before the binding was sewn on I had a brainwave (which doesn’t happen to me very often). My tablet could do with a case! So I turned it over, grabbed some more scraps, made a lined pocket and HEY PRESTO! It’s a tablet case Smile.

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I also added a fabric tie.

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Look at that wobbly edge at the bottom. That happened because I stretched the front block as I was attaching the lining Sad smile. I used nice thick wadding/batting to protect the screen.

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I think I like the back the best.

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Here’s my tablet, all snug as a bug in a (mug) rug Winking smile

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Some of you may remember my previous scrappy playtimes. Here’s a quick reminder.

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All proof that you can make it up as you go along. Have fun scrap busting! I did Smile.

Avis x

Another giveaway swap!

Hi everyone,

I’m too busy to sew at the moment but my blogging friends around the world are still crafting YEY!

The winner of the last chicken called Lovedove from Wanda’s Life Sampler, was Sarah over at Here We Are. Sarah has been sending me photographs of all the chickens she has been making while she patiently waited and entered (for five months!!) for her turn to win one of the Chicken Run swaps. You can see them all in the Chicken Run Gallery above. She just couldn’t stop making more and more chickens!

I would like to introduce you to her latest little brood from the USA. You could win one of these beauties if you follow the simple rules on her blog here. Sarah is allowing the winner to choose one of these four as their prize.

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She has also included a fantastic photo tutorial on how to make a log cabin chicken. So come on, what are you waiting for? If you haven’t visited Sarah’s blog before, now is the time to grab a cuppa, put your feet up and hop over to see what else she gets up to while you decide which fabric scraps to use to make your own chicken.

Have fun!

Avis x

Red, White and Blue!

Happy Sunday everyone!

Just popping in to show you my latest finish in red, white and blue. My friend pointed out that this one is very patriotic, being the colours of several national flags around the world.

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I love red, white and blue together. This is a simple sampler and great for any beginner. My free fourteen part photo tutorial is available in my tutorials at the top right of this page if you want to make it. It’s a large lap quilt size which would also work well as a single bed topper. My favourite block is the card trick which is the blue and white one in the middle of the second from bottom row. It probably has other names too depending where you come from.

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The quilting is in a waves pattern as I’m Sewing Beside the Sea. This is such a relaxing design to do in free motion quilting, really good for my muscle memory Winking smile.

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I first attached the binding to the front by machine and then, for a change, machined it on the back. I’m really pleased with how it turned out as I usually prefer to stitch the binding by hand. A change is as good as a rest, so they say Smile.

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I’ve got a very exciting new project (well for me anyway) to post about over at Sewing Beside the Sea so I’d better get on with it and then catch up with what you have all been getting up to.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend Smile

Avis x

Scrappy Stars

Hi everyone! I’ve been such a busy girl in the sewing room over the last few days which means I have a new quilt to show you.

I made the quilt top some time ago and stored it in my box labelled “To Quilt”. I already have a tutorial at the right of this page showing how I made the stars. I know there are several other ways to make this star block but my idea this time, was to use a complete charm pack plus dark and light solids.

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I split the charm pack into 20 light and 20 darker squares and paired the light ones with burgundy solid and the darker ones with ivory.

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I used the patches as a kind of grid to position the swirly quilting.

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I didn’t actually like this charm pack very much when I opened it up but I think it coordinates really well with the solids I’ve chosen.

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I like to use a solid fabric for the back as it really highlights the quilting. This leaves no room for errors!

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The binding is also ivory solid, sewn to the front by machine and hand-stitched to the back. I hope you like it Smile

I’m linking up with the February Made It Challenge over at Woolhogs. It’s just a bit of fun but if you want to win a gorgeous prize, enter your own February finishes. Maryanne has pulled out all of the stops again to bring us all a fine bunch projects to ogle. Hop across and take a look for yourselves NOW! If you want to enter, there’s only a few days left so get a move on 😉

Happy stitching,

Avis x

Chicken Run Giveaway/Swap Stage 2

Good morning everyone,

I’m pleased to announce the next stage in the Chicken Run Giveaway/Swap.

Carla, over at Granny Maud’s Girl has made three chickens, so the winner gets to choose which one they would like to win. Here is her little brood taking the sun in Australia. If you would like to win a chicken there are a few simple rules to follow. Pop over and enter today!

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Aren’t they cute? Granny Maud’s Girl has even provided a nice tutorial if you would like to make a chicken using the foundation paper piecing method.

Enjoy! Avis x

Two mini finishes!

Hi everyone,

I hope you are all well and happily crafting this week! I’ve got a couple of small projects to show you.

Firstly, I made another log cabin chicken and sent it to my friend Claire for her birthday.

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She has called her Twinkle because she has stars in her eyes Smile I attached a felt circle and a star-shaped bead for each eye. I wasn’t too sure about adding them but I’m sure Claire can cut them off and recycle them if she wishes. I filled this one with split red lentils so it is nice and heavy too.

Now, if you know Claire and visit her blog, you will know that she prepares for Christmas all year long. She’s always making little things which she squirrells away for presents and stocking fillers. In fact, she had me making things for Christmas last October!!! I’m usually the kind of person who is still running around on Christmas Eve. Anyway, as a surprise, I also made Claire a Christmas decoration and sent it to her wrapped in Christmas paper. Yes, I do know it is February Winking smile She could choose to open it or keep it until Christmas 😆 I bet you can guess what she did.

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I’ve seen these decorations many times on the internet and in magazines and they are really simple to make. This one took me less than half an hour so I know I’ll be making many more. Let me know if you’d like a tutorial and I’ll post it here for you very soon.

The news from my other blog is that my ripple blanket is now finished. Hurray! If you haven’t seen it yet, pop in and take a look over at Sewing Beside the Sea 🙂

I’d also like to give a shout-out to my dear friend Teje who has just published a wonderful pattern for a crocheted scarf on Craftsy. The pattern is full of clear photographs to show you every step of the way, as well as having written instructions, and I can’t wait to make it myself! You can find out how to get the pattern from Teje’s post by clicking here. Here is a sneaky peek. You’ll have to go to Teje’s blog for lots more colourful photos and to find out who is modelling the scarf. I wonder…. Enjoy!

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It’s almost the weekend and I’m on holiday next week YEY!! I’m going to sew, sew and sew some more Smile

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.

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And the quilting.

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Materials

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.

Method

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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.  

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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I couldn’t stop!

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

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Here they are all together.

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Mystery Blackwork Stitch Along Part 6 (The Final Part)

Welcome to Part 6, the final instalment of my Mystery Blackwork SAL 🙂

Here is the sixth part completed.

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Please respect my copyright.

I hope you have enjoyed stitching along. I know you will have lots of ideas on how to finish your embroidery and I would love to include your final photos in the gallery. Please send them to me as usual for part 6 and of your final finished project.

I have chosen to display my blackwork in a frame after adding a little extra pulled thread embroidery around the edge.

If you have been following the stitch along but didn’t tell us before, please send me a photo of your finished work. It would be lovely to include it in the gallery with all of the others 🙂

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Happy stitching everyone! I’m looking forward to seeing all your lovely ideas 🙂

Who knows, maybe I’ll share another one of my own designs with you in the future…..if anyone is interested.

Take a peep in the gallery before you go!

Avis x

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