These are a few of my favourite things…

Hello everyone,

Are you singing the song from The Sound of Music?

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens,
Bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens,
Brown paper packages tied up with string,
These are a few of my favourite things.

I’m so excited because it’s November and that means it’s my turn to receive my little packages of quilt blocks made by all the other participants in the Foot²Freestyle block swap organised by Kate and Sue. I’ve chosen to receive blocks in bright blues and purples. Just in case my fellow swappers are still looking for inspiration, I’m showing a selection of some of my favourite things that I’ve made over the last couple of years in those colours.

I love traditional, symmetrical blocks, and although I like lots of different types of fabrics, my favourites are blenders, marbles, batiks and solids. This is probably my most favourite of all the quilts I’ve made. It’s huge and it’s bright. Click here to see the original post which has more photos.

Image

Next up is a very simple tote bag which now has a large purple button for the fastening instead of a pin. I went through a bit of a bag making phase. Click here to see the original post.

Image

Finally, a little bag which features some of my late Aunt Edith’s lace from her craft box. There’s a link to a really good tutorial that I used here. If you want to read my original post, click here.

CIMG3489

I had thought about making my own three blocks a while ago but decided it might be better for me to wait until I’ve seen what the other ladies send me first. There are eleven other crafters taking part, so I’ll receive 33 blocks and then make 3 of my own.

I wonder whose blocks will drop on the doormat first. I promise to show them here as soon as they arrive. However, you may prefer to have a sneak preview. Kate and Sue’s blogs (links above) will be showing all the blocks that have been posted to me so far. I won’t be looking so please don’t tell me what you see. I’m waiting for the postie to call with my surprises 🙂

This month, I’m going to try to get ahead and make the blocks for Miss December. I’m off to have a look around her blog to see what kind of blocks she likes best before I get started.

Happy crafting!

Avis x

Advertisements

A New Quilt Plus a Pinwheel Tutorial

CIMG3841
CIMG3839This is the contents of the charm pack I used to make the pinwheels for this quilt.
CIMG3876If you haven’t made pinwheels from charm squares before, here is one method.

Put each charm square with a square of the same size of plain fabric, right sides facing.

cimg3844

Draw along one diagonal with a pencil.

cimg3845

Sew one quarter of an inch from both sides of the diagonal and through both squares.

cimg3846

Cut along the diagonal line.

cimg3847

Turn the triangles so the darker fabric is on top.

cimg3848

Lift the darker fabric and press away from the seam. Trim the tails.

cimg3850

I usually do these steps with all of my charm squares on a sort of assembly line. That is, make all of the pairs. Then draw all of the lines. Then sew all of the seams. Then do all of the pressing and so on.

cimg3852

Lay out so that opposite sails are the same.

cimg3859

Sew pairs together. Press the seams towards the patterned fabric.

Then sew the top and bottom rectangles together.

cimg3860

The back will look like this. It is tricky to press the last seam without getting a

lump in the middle caused by all of the layers of fabric.

cimg3861

Look where my pin is pointing here. Those two stitches on both sides should

be unpicked. You will then be able to press your pinwheel lovely and flat. Be

careful not to take out too many stitches. You can always take out another

one if you didn’t do enough but it won’t be easy to put it back again!

cimg3862

If you press it correctly, you should have a mini pinwheel in the centre.

cimg3863

Here’s what mine looks like on the back with all of the pressing done.

cimg3864

Almost finished.

cimg3865

You just need to to square it up now and make more.

cimg3876

It’s time to make Christmas Decorations

Good evening everyone,

You may remember that I started making Christmas decorations early last year.

CIMG3120

I’ve finally got around to putting a photo tutorial together for this one. All you need is two small pieces of fabric, a button, ribbon, thread and a needle. I made mine on the Green Mean Sewing Machine but you could make some by hand if you wish.

Cut one circle of about eight inches diameter from each of two contrasting fabrics. I drew around a pan lid but you could use a small plate etc.

CIMG3098

 Pin right sides together.

CIMG3099

Sew a quarter inch seam around the edge, leaving about two inches open for turning.

CIMG3100

CIMG3101

Turn inside out and smooth the edges with a pen or other blunt instrument.

CIMG3102

My opening is at the top of this photo.

CIMG3103

Turn the raw edges of the opening to the inside and hand sew to close it. Then top stitch one quarter of an inch all the way around the edge.

CIMG3105

 Fold in half.

CIMG3106

Fold in half again. Finger press the folds at the very edges of the circle. You will need the positions of the folds for the next steps.

CIMG3107

Sew through the fold positions from front to back close to the edge.

CIMG3108

Sew through a couple of times to secure it. Don’t break the thread.

CIMG3109

Re-fold, if necessary, to find the next stitch point.

CIMG3110

Now sew through the right fold from front to back.

CIMG3111

Pull the thread until the right hand side meets the previous stitches. Secure with a couple of stitches. Don’t break the thread.

CIMG3112

Now sew through the left fold from front to back.

CIMG3113

Pull the thread so it comes together like this.

CIMG3114

Secure with a couple of stitches. Don’t break the thread. Flatten the back to make a square with the four petals standing up.

CIMG3115

Open out one of the petals.

CIMG3116

 Turn it to the back.

CIMG3117

Tidy it up. Repeat with the other three petals.

CIMG3118

You’re almost there…

CIMG3119

Sew a button to the centre and add some pretty ribbon to the top for hanging then you are done.

CIMG3120

Off you go and make a few for your Christmas trees now. Has anyone been Christmas shopping yet?

I hope you enjoyed the tutorial Smile

Avis x

Pretty little zipper pouch

Hi everyone,

Just popping in to say hello and show you what I’ve been up to lately. Not nearly enough in the crafting department I’m afraid!

Anyway, after using the batik fabrics on my last project, I remembered that I had a few scraps of other batiks in my stash. I haven’t had time to tackle a quilt top but found a lovely tutorial for this zipper pouch and I couldn’t resist making it.

CIMG3489

I used different fabrics on the front and back. From the other side it looks like this.

CIMG3490

The main fabric here isn’t a batik but it matches very well.  The inset fabric is my favourite Moda Bella solids which are available in my shop.

CIMG3492

CIMG3493

It is also fully lined with white Moda Bella Solids.

CIMG3491

Did you spot the pretty lace? Well, that belonged to my late Aunt Edith so it is probably from the 1960’s. It would have been left over from one of the bridesmaid’s dresses that she used to make. If you’d like to make this bag, pop over to Pattydoo where you will find the pattern and a fab tutorial. I know I’ll make many more bags using this pattern so thank you very much to Ina for sharing Smile.

I’ve also just finished stitching a card for my daughter’s birthday which you can see over on my other blog Sewing Beside the Sea. It would be nice to see you over there!

Enjoy the rest of the weekend,

Avis x

Funky chickens and a sneaky peek!

Good morning everyone,

Just popping in this morning with two announcements. Firstly, I’ve been buying more fabric in greys, lemon and olive green. They are most unlike me! I usually go for bright designs but it’s nice to have a change sometimes.

CIMG3380

I can feel something modern coming on Smile. In fact, I’ve already started making something but you’ll have to wait a while to see what it is. I know, it’s a bit of a tease!

Secondly, I’d like to introduce Anne in Texas. She’s new to blogging and she won the last Chicken Run. This is just a couple of the chickens she has made for you to choose from if you win the giveaway/swap. There’s a really funky one that would be my first choice but you’ll have to go and look for yourself to see it. Details are on her latest post at Peacock Hill. So, please hop over to support her blog soon!

Anne from Texas

That’s it for now. Many jobs to be done here, so no sewing today Sad smile.

Have fun,

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.

CIMG3362

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.

CIMG3359

I also added a fabric tie.

CIMG3358

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.

CIMG3361

I think I like the back the best.

CIMG3360

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

CIMG3357

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

cimg2511

CIMG1423

CIMG1425

CIMG1426

CIMG1427

CIMG1527

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

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.

CIMG3269

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.

CIMG3270

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.

CIMG3272

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.

CIMG3273

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.

CIMG3142

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.

CIMG3143

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

CIMG3144

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.

CIMG3145

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

CIMG3146

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!

ChickenRun1

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

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.

CIMG2933

And the quilting.

CIMG2971

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.

CIMG2939

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.

CIMG2941

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

CIMG2944

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.

CIMG2945

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.  

CIMG2946

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.

CIMG2950

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.

CIMG2951

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.

CIMG2952

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.

CIMG2953

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.

CIMG2957

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

CIMG2969

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.

CIMG2961

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.

CIMG2963

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.

CIMG2964

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.

CIMG2967

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.

CIMG2968

I couldn’t stop!

CIMG2972

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

CIMG2973

Here they are all together.

CIMG2976

%d bloggers like this: