Wednesday, 16 April 2014

chair cushions

One of the items on my FAL list for the first quarter and this quarter is chair cushions for my dining room.  It's also my ALYOF goal for the month.  Yep, I really want to get these done!  The chairs are quite low and being a short-arse, I need a cushion so I bought the cushion pads and the fabric about 2 years ago.  I pieced together one panel.  I can't find the damn thing!  So I had to work with what I had left, about half a layer cake of Lily and Will (so I used half on one panel?!?) and some yardage.

First up were these Plus blocks by Holly DeGroot in Love Patchwork and Quilting issue 1.  I love this design, I could make a quilt like this...

I've seen Friendship Stars around blogland recently and love the design, I found this Friendship Star in 501 Quilt Blocks.  I probably could have used a bit more brown in this one.

Next I made some flying geese, following the cutting instructions for Fast Geese in 200 Quilt blocks.  I then arranged them and rearranged them until I liked the design.  Having said that, I've just noticed in the photo that the bottom right block and the bottom middle block use the same fabrics... that looks a bit weird...

Look!  Look what I did!!  I accidentally used some bunny fabric!  If I'd spotted it, I would have saved it for my bunny quilt.  Damn!

The flying geeses were not without their errors.  I sewed 10 sets right side to wrong side.  Ooops. I unpicked and resewed, then when I was sewing the blocks together, I discovered I'd done the same thing earlier.  It's staying like that!

This little pile is the offcuts from the flying geese.  They are destined for the fourth and final chair cushion...  Then I just have to quilt them, cut them out to the pattern I've drafted and sew them into chair cushions around a piece of foam.  No trouble there then ?!?  Why do I do these things to myself?

Saturday, 12 April 2014

more project bags

Last month I made a project bag using this tutorial  by the lovely Vera of Negligent Style, you can see it here.  I made the first one to check I knew what I was doing, then I planned to make a whole rainbow of them.  I've since been contacted by Vera to say I made the bag wrong, which shows how bad I am at following instructions.

I wanted a whole mix of shapes and sizes and a rainbow is always nice!  I sorted through my zips, finding them in all the lengths and a rainbow of colours, I dug through my scraps, only having to dig into an FQ for the yellow bag.  These went so quickly.  I didn't do them production line style as each one used different coloured thread, even so, they take about 10 minutes.

The smallest is 4" x 4" and the biggest is 16" wide.  They should fit a wide range of projects.

Each has a ribbon loop, so I've hung some of them on a book ring and they're hanging off the curtain tie back knob, full of stitchy projects.

I'll fill some more with sewing projects upstairs, they'll help keep everything together in one place.

I'll use the smallest ones for jewellery projects started but not finished.

Wonder how long it'll be before I have more WIPs and have to make more bags?

Friday, 11 April 2014

Plea for help

I am interrupting the regularly scheduled blog posting to ask for some help.

I have just discovered a new line - Jubilee by Bunny Hill Designs.  It seems a number of these fabrics have bunnies on them.  I can only find three of them!  I've found the bunnies medallions in mauve, the bunny damask in mauve and bunny damask in light grey, but it seems these fabrics were printed in 7 colours?  I can't work out if they're a new line or an old one!

So to all my UK friends, if you come across this line in any UK online shop, can you please let me know?  Comment on any post and I'll see it.  UK only as I can't afford US postage.

Thank you!!

Thursday, 10 April 2014

El Mosaic

I think I showed you a snapshot of this when I was working on it?  It was a kit I got for a birthday or Christmas that was waiting for me to start it.  The tray was provided in the kit, along with the tessarae which are tiny tiles for this piece.  I traced the design onto a sticky sheet using the carbon paper provided, peeled the back off and stuck it to the tray.  I then peeled the top off in sections which gave me a sticky surface to put the tiles on.

This mosaic was different to the house number kit I did as that used glue to stick the tiles down. Also, you could cut these tiles with normal scissors, and I had to cut loads of them as the pattern is so curvy.

Now I just need to grout it and paint the tray.  Jojo asked why I didn't paint it first.  The honest answer?  Piss Poor Planning.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Save the Stitches - can I save MY stitches??

You may remember that I've done a bit of blackwork embroidery.  It's a technique I really love.  It's done on evenweave linen (or Aida if you prefer) and consists of straight stitches in a variety of combinations to make filling designs.  It doesn't have to be black either.

I came across a wonderful blackwork blog, Blackwork Journey.  Elizabeth Almond is writer of the blog and a pattern designer.  She has designed a huge blackwork project where sections are released one at a time.

I've had in mind to do a larger sampler-style piece of blackwork for a while, so I bought the recommended materials and got to work.  Above is one of the blocks.  Each of the squares has a different filling design and metallic threads and beads will come into it later.

Stitching this is a little fiddly as it's 28 count linen, that means 28 threads per inch.  It's small.  Very small.

See what I mean?  And that could be a problem... it was pointed out to me that it should be stitched over 2, whereas I've been stitching over 1.  I'm just awaiting confirmation from Elizabeth but I might have to rip out this 4-5 hours work.... 

Update:  Yep, I did it wrong.  Cue lots of cursing...

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Craft Book Review - Spring on my wrist

The lovely folk at GMC sent me another book to review.  If you usually click away from my reviews, I do always make something from the book, there are photos further down.

The book this time was Jewelry For All Seasons.  Yep, Jewellery is spelt wrong...
Before we go any further, the disclaimers.  I was sent the book for free to review but I was not told what to say and all opinions are 100% my own.  I didn't receive any monetary compensation.  Links in this post, as with all my book posts, are affiliated.  If you click over and buy something, I get a few pence towards an Amazon voucher.  

This book is beautiful.  I have flicked through it countless times already as the photography is gorgeous and the projects are inspirational.  This is a bit of a first for me as I don't usually make projects from jewellery making book, other than beadweaving and polymer clay that is.

At the start, there is the usual equipment and techniques sections, covering all kinds of materials you can use to make jewellery and giving some basic techniques for wrapped loops and other essential components.  Then it goes a bit further and shows you how to make your own clasps and shows the methods for working with shrink plastic, moulds and casts, resins and paints.  Some great information there, a lot of it new to me.

The book is split into 4 sections, one for each season, and each season begins with an inspiration double-spread like the one above.  

There are 24 projects, each with a photographic step by step.  Only one or two projects are earrings which is great for a jewellery book as obviously earrings are quicker and easier projects to include (and of course earrings freak me out).

When it came to choosing what I would make, it was a little difficult as I didn't have all the materials required to make a full project and I wasn't willing to go shopping as I have enough jewellery making supplies to kit out most of Nottingham in accessories.  Instead, I chose to make the bracelet structure from the project above, and free-style the decoration, heavily inspired by the book.

This project in particular provided a lot of inspiration, although it looks nothing like my finished piece.

I really wish I'd taken a photo of the bare bracelet structure for you as it was a new-to-me technique and it's pretty much covered up in all these photos!  However, it was getting towards evening and I was really unwilling to stop and leave it until after the weekend!

I threaded loads of these lucite flowers onto headpins, held in place with a seed bead for the small ones, or a seed bead and a larger bead for the larger flowers.  I then added some of the seed beads to wire, threaded on the flowers on their wrapped loops and wrapped and wrapped and wrapped!  Some areas are thicker than others!

As you can see, I went for a rainbow effect.  And we had some sunshine last weekend when I took these photos!  The bracelet was made to 8" as directed, with the ends of the wire coiled back.  My wrist is tiny.  Did I scale the bracelet down?  No.  No I didn't.  This meant that when I added the clasp and loop, it was enormous.  I had to remove the loop, attempt to open the wrapped loop I'd made and use that as the loop to hook the clasp through.  Not my best work.

I love that clasp though.  It was SO easy to make, I honestly don't know why I haven't made my own clasps before.

I've worn it out in public already.  It is quite big and I wasn't sure if I could pull it off, but I enjoyed looking at it and that's all that counts.  Some of the wires I used to wrap it jabbed me though, I should have taken more care tucking them in.

Next up I want to have a go at something based on this lovely wintry necklace:

Book details:
  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Gmc (26 Feb 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1861089562
  • ISBN-13: 978-1861089564
  • RRP: £14.99


I was given a review copy of the book by GMC however this review and all opinions are 100% my own, I was not told what to say.  Amazon links are affiliate links.

Related Posts

Friday, 4 April 2014

April goals

Before I list my goals for the challenge's I've joined in with, I just want to make something clear.  These challenges, as with things like the Quilty Bucket List I wrote, are not definite, planned goals that I must complete.  It's a bit of fun, helps keep me on track a bit and I do not beat myself up at all if I fail to achieve any of them.  I know some of you are concerned for my sanity, but don't be!


This month is "Spring".  I have a few ideas.  I have the pattern for a crewel alphabet in very spring like colours which could be a contender.  I'm also working on an applique of a vase of flowers.  I'm using lots of different stitches and some bead embroidery, so that could fit the bill.

Sew Kitschy paper piecing bom 

This month we have a fab teapot, I can see this becoming a mat for our tea/coffee making worktop.

2014 FAL 

It's the 2nd Quarter, so time for some new goals.  I'm going for the sling-em-all-on-and-one-might-get-done approach again!  Ladies, don't panic, I really don't expect to do them all!

1. Chair cushions for dining room

2. Finish the latch hook - ha ha ha!  (I'm laughing to myself as it's about a million hours' work)

3. Silhouettes x stitch

4. Jacob's quilt

5. Mosaic tray.  Yes, it looks done, but it needs grouting and painting.

Something Old, Something New

For my "old" project, I'm going with finishing half of the latch hook rug. For the "new", I'm going to wait and see what happens...

Something New for 2014

I've got a silversmith course coming up, so that will be the first one!  Maybe I'll learn something else too.

A Lovely Year of Finishes

It has to be the chair cushions, they've been languishing too long.

Craft Book Sew along

I'm not going to nominate the books I'll use in advance, I'll wait and see what happens.

Rainbow Scrap Challenge

April's colour hasn't yet been announced, but am making scrap buckets for each colour, so I'll carry on with that.

Smalls SAL

Another cover kit, though I'm also hoping to do some more on Quilty Stitches.

Related Posts

March review
March goals
February review 1
February review 2
February review 3
February goals
January review