Thursday, 16 April 2015

Messenger Bag

Le Challenge - Tradition
@the_littlest_thistle has just launched a new pattern for this messenger bag. It's a great size for me ❤️ I enjoyed pattern testing this one #TheLittlestThistleSewingPatterns
Sewing has been a tradition in my family for many years. My maternal grandmother was a tayloress and my mum is very good with a sewing machine too. They both had quite modern Singer machines for the time. My Grandma's machine had discs that slotted into the top to give a variety of different stitches. I still have it hidden away in a cupboard. That is unfortunately a tradition I've inherited is to keep everything, hoard it away ..... For just incase!!!!My mum made lots of my clothes and she would make soft toys to sell in my Aunts grocery shop, I especially remember the rabbits at Easter.

Rag doll that my Maternal Grandmother made me about 40 years ago. I love her cheater print dress #lechallenge - Tradition
My Grandma made this doll for me about 40 years ago and my mum has just made me the rabbit that was in a recent edition of Love Patchwork and Quilting.

My dad was a telecom engineer and my Granddad worked in Layland Motors making trucks. My mum also worked in a bank, Both were good at maths and very logical.

It's a good job there's 31 days in March! Bee blocks and bag to finish �� #TheLittlestThistleSewingPatterns
I have inherited from all a love of maths and sewing! So I've combined the two when I was pattern testing this bag for Katy. I love the maths print fabric which was from my LQS and thought it was ideal to make a messenger bag from, with a little Melody Miller to add some sparkle.

Finished off an internal pocket using the tutorial on @the_littlest_thistle Blog. I used Pritt Stick to hold the zip in place ��
The pattern was very easy to follow. I added an internal zip using Katy's tutorial and a longer strap as I'm tall and like to wear it across my body. If you pop over to The Littles Thistle Blog you can see a whole variety of bags that the other testers made and there is a link to Katy's Pattern shop too.
Also have a look over at Le Challenge to see what others have been inspired to make from the word "Tradition". Next month's word is "wood" .... Small childish chuckle, join in and you have a chance of winning $25 .... I'm keeping my fingers crossed x

Monday, 16 March 2015


Bento box lunch bag made for @patchworkmummy From @ayumills tutorial using #makower  juicy fabric scraps plus a bit of Nicey Jane. #makefriendsswap
When the Le Challenge subject was announced as Passion for this month I immediately thought of Passion Fruit. Not having much fabric with passion fruits on them I thought it might be included on this Juicy fabric from Makower....there's everything there except passion which will have to be included in the Tropical fruits! I though the Nicey Jane stripe fabric matched brilliantly and was great for the draw string cover. I save the cut off bits from when I boxed the corners to finish off the draw string cord.

I made the bag for Jenny who is @patchworkmummy on Instagram as part of a #makeafriend swap organised by Di Willowbeck. The free tutorial for this Bento Box lunch bag is over on Ayumi's Pink Penguin blog. This is the third one of these I've made and I love the wipe clean oil cloth interior, though you can't see it in the photo I found some lovely Anna Maria Horner Loulouthi laminated fabric in House of Fraser that is ideal for these bags.

The bag I received from Jenny is absolutely awesome .... But I can't show you as the pattern is being published in a book in December. So unfortunately you will all have to wait ... though I can,t wait to see what is in the rest of the book if this zip bag is anything to go by :o)
Here's the little spring bag I made for @patchworkmummy using @quarterinchmark brilliant pattern. #makefriendsswap
I also made Jenny a spring Kin-cha-ku bag from a pattern bought from Chase, 1/4" mark blog. I love hand quilting these and I'm hoping to build up a few pieced bag outers so that I can quilt them while we are away in our van. The Lecien cheater fabric is brilliant for this and complements the Bonnie and Camille Happy Go Lucky yellow squares. Jenny has just set up an online fabric shop "Sew Smile Fabrics " and has a lovely selection of Miss Kate and some Moda scrap bags at a great price.

Both these bags were made from scraps that I have bought and that's why I had to do some pattern matching on the pear fabric but really happy how it turned out. Linking up to Scraptastictuesday too.
Le Challenge
Scraptastic Tuesday

Wednesday, 24 December 2014


#KinChaKu Draw string bag pattern by Chase @quarterinchmark ��I will be making more of these as it's an easy to follow pattern and very cute. #scraptastictuesday
At the last meeting in Exeter of the South West Stitchers I saw Kerry had a beautifully made little draw string bag for all her sewing bits and bobs. It was made by Chase from Quarter Inch Mark who also sells a pattern for the Kin-Cha-Ku in her Etsy shop.
The pattern was well illustrated with lots of photos and very easy to follow. I love the fact it was hand quilted as this adds a lovely texture to the finished bag.My machine is packed away for family Christmas get together today, so back to hand quilting ��
I'm not sure how it ended up this colour as I started out with the scrap of the little deer and the Heather Ross mermaids. I put one row in upside down, but I left it as it was, as it was meant to be. I quilted it with Coats Dual Duty Hand Quilting thread as it was available from Trago for a reasonable £2.95. Only when I got it home did I find out that it's not cotton, but a polyester blend. It looks ok though.
#KinChaKu the other side. Pattern by @quarterinchmark ✂️   @verykerryberry can you see what I lined it with �� Brown, pink scraps and a few other #artgalleryfabric bought from @lilysquilts #scraptastictuesday
I'll certainly be making some more Kin-Cha-Ku, which means draw string bag, in the New Year ...... Merry Christmas to you all .... And see you in 2015 xx

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Kantha Embroidery

#kantha embroidery finished and now to turn it into a book cover. Started in a workshop with Angela Daymond #fenlandtextilestudio at the #WestCountryQuiltShow
Last month I went up to the West Country Quilt Show in Bristol. A fantastic show with lots of quilts on display and a variety of workshops to attend. There was also the usual trader stalls with lots of bargains .... But unfortunately not many people were there on the Friday that myself and QuirkyHannah visited.
I went to a Kantha workshop run by Angela Daymond from the Fenland Textile Studio. There was only two of us and Angela provided a wonderful bag of fabrics and a variety of threads.
All the fabric and lace, some of it vintage, had been dyed using natural dyes. These included red onion skins, tulips, turmeric, woad and one I might try ... Boiling fabric in an aluminium pan with a variety of berries. The aluminium from the pan fixes the dye.
Angela explained about the history of Kantha and how it was used to make a new cloth from old saris. Traditionally it is all running stitch with different areas of Southern Asia having a different style.
I found making this very relaxing as there wasn't a specific design to follow and the stitches don't have to be accurate or all the same length.
I love the texture of this #kanthaembroidery #lechallenge
I knew I wanted to turn this into a book cover, but unfortunately it wasn't quite big enough and so I added the extra red onion skin piece at the bottom left and also the piece above it. I use a random cross stitch with some beautiful threads which I bought from the Cowslip Workshop christmas fair. The threads are hand painted to make them variegated in lovely colours. I used an old shirt for the inside of the cover and decorated it with some rarely used machine embroidery stitch. I added the lace as I can then tuck extra bits and pieces inside the cover.
The theme for Le Challenge this month is Ink and so I'm linking up with Nat and Lucy.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Patchwork Please Triangle Patchwork Box Pouch

I've loved looking through the Patchwork Please book and so a couple of months ago I attempted the Box Pouch using a Moda Scrap Bag. There was a sew along when the book first came out and so there was some advice on various blogs. Some said they made it without many problems ... But I found it quite difficult to make.
The book says that there is a 1/2" seam allowance, but the triangle pattern has a 1/4" seam. I sewed all of it with 1/4", this was probably where I went wrong!
I wasn't sure how to attach the top zip panel to the sides, but Alyce from Blossom Heart Quilts explains on her blog that you sew it on the same as you mitre the corners when doing a quilt binding ... that then made sense.

The outer came together ok, but then the lining didn't fit :o(

I left it the right way out for ages and it looked very nice ... But I couldn't use it. Then at the weekend I finally stitched an extra panel in the lining to fix this hole. It's still very badly fitting ... But once filled with stuff it is ok.

Today I went to "Stitch Club" and filled it with bits to finish the clamshell block for my Green Tea and Sweet Beans quilt .... Or Grean Beans and Rich Tea as we have been calling it!
I love the boxy look of the bag, but I won't be making another one for a while. I will try out some of the other box pouch tutorials first.

Off to "Stitch Club" for the afternoon with my newly finished box pouch. It only took me about 6 weeks to fix the lining �� #scraptastictuesday #patchworkplease
Linking up with #scraptastictuesday over on Leanne and Nicky's blogs.

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Monday, 3 November 2014

318 Patchwork Patterns

I've loved seeing blocks from the Japanese version of this book over the past couple of years. So when it was published in English I knew I had to buy it. I was even happier when I found out that Allegory from athousandneedles blog was organising a blog hop which included some of my favourite bloggers!

So I though I'd try the easiest blocks first and make them 4". As I don't have a scanner or access to a photocopier I took a photo of the block as square as I could and then put it into word before scaling and printing. I was also able to reverse the Ice cream cone to paper piece it. There are not many directions in the book as to 'how to do this' and so the blog hop has been useful.

All went well with the first two blocks, once I realised I'd have to add boarders to finish them off, and so being Halloween I thought I'd make the cat and cake at 5". I printed the pictures directly onto freezer paper which I'd cut to A4 size and they came out fine..... But the cat has beaten me.... It's just too small, so I've moved onto the cake but it's not finished as I wasted loads of time messing with the cat :o(

I will return to the cat after a bit more practice at freezer paper piecing as described on Kerry's blog. I have a plan to turn these into 3 nesting boxes using 4", 5" and 6" blocks. I need 12 finished blocks so I'll try again to finish the cake.
If you have this book....and some of you must as when I checked Amazon it said only 2 copies remaining, then why not join in the blog hop?
EDIT ... The book also includes a really useful alphabet and so they were quite quick to piece, although those pesky skulls gave me some trouble. in the end I was just happy that they were the right way up!

The #318patchworkpatterns book also includes a really useful alphabet. I struggled to match those pesky little skulls and in the end I settled for them at least being the right way up! #pp318qal

Monday, 27 October 2014

Cat Rowe Textile Workshop

Last weekend I went along to South Hill Piecemakers for our Christmas workshop. We had seen samples of Cat Rowe's work at the Cowslip Christmas Fair last year and I had bought a lovely calendar.
Cat lives in Cornwall and usually teaches smaller groups, but 16 of us all had a fabulous day and hopefully didn't give her too much trouble! We also had a lovely shared lunch but I didn't get any photos of that.
This is what I achieved on the day, lots of Bondaweb and fiddley cutting and sticking. Cat had many useful tips about the best fabrics and how to best cut out the smaller parts. I had just started to stitch them down when it was unfortunately time to go home.

Cat provided 3 different Wintery designs or if you were adventurous then you could design your own. The free motion embroidery to do the writing was interesting! I had a go, but I did resort back to my walking foot for most of the stitching.
Below are 4 of the other ladies pictures.

I was super keen to finish mine as otherwise it would have joined the rest of the WIP's. So here it is ..... Framed too!

Then I thought I'd make a card from the robin and a mug-rug from the snowman design. These are now finished too.

So that's it for now, though I love all the pictures in Cat's calendar and I've been asked to make a Polar Bear!

By pure coincidence I bought a 'New Home' card from Waitrose and then found out it was a Cat Rowe design, lovely.

Location:Golberdon, Cornwall