Sunday, 23 March 2014

Liberated sewing

This weekend I gave myself some much needed time off from quilt making and deadlines :) Instead I turned my hand to sewing clothes. I've always been mind-boggled by the process of dressmaking and my past attempts at it have mainly been child sized. Last year I bought a heap of Sew Liberated patterns from Backstitch and vowed I'd get a grip on dressmaking. Since then the patterns have mainly been gathering dust on my shelf. I finally bit the bullet and opened up the Esme top pattern... wasn't long before I had all the pieces cut out and ready to go :) I had a large cut of Liberty, that Mum had bought me in the New Year sales last year, that was perfect!
The highlight of this pattern is it comes with a detailed step-by-step video! I honestly can't recommend it highly enough! All the gobbledygook (to me, anyway) written instructions were sidelined for the videos, and within 2 sewing sessions Jess has a new top! It is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination but I think it's fair to say that Jess will be able to wear it out in public without people laughing at the homemade top she's wearing.
 The buttonholes were a bit squiffy but it's not too obvious now the the buttons are in place and the pattern almost matches :)
 I love the lines of this top. The sleeves are so pretty with their cuffs.
I felt particularly smug when Jess tried it on for me, (excuse the pouty teenage face, not best pleased at being roped into a photo shoot), because it fits!
Spurred on by this success I have spent this afternoon cutting out another pattern, for myself this time, but that can wait for another day :) Catch you soon x

Friday, 14 March 2014


After finishing my last hand sewing project I was keen to get cracking on another one :) So, I had an idea that I'd like some sort of star. A bit of fiddling around, on TouchDraw on the iPad, later I had this plan.
 With my new found love of gluebasting it wasn't long before I had it ready to sew together in fabric form.
I sew all the thin triangle pieces to the central hexie then fill in with the larger grey triangles. They are quick, fun and addictive :)
I've been showing my progress on Instagram and quite a few people had asked where I got the pattern from so I thought I'd share the templates here for anyone that might fancy a go at there own :) If you do have a go I'd love to see! #hexiestars

You'll find the EPP template pdf here

Catch you soon x

Thursday, 13 March 2014

An awesome finish!

Fair warning, this is a photo heavy post!

Today the postman delivered the most awesome package from Trudi! I had handed over my precious Not-so Lonestar quilt to Trudi at the last meeting of the East Midlands Modern Quild Guild. My vague instructions to Trudi for quilting were "all-over feathers, just do your thing." I've seen Trudi's work in person before, it is fabulous but nothing really prepared me for how awesome my quilt would look once she had worked her magic! When I opened the parcel this was my first peek at what was in store for me.
There was much squealing and petting of fabric. There were almost, but not quite, tears and lots of crack your cheekbone grinning! Take a look at these next few photos of the corner stars...
 ...I mean WOW!

There were all kinds of bias issues in the centre of those stars but you'd never know it now! Here's the centre of the Lonestar... again no sign of my dodgy bias issues. Those feathers are perfect!!
Here's a close-up...
...the texture is amazing!! I asked for a grey thread as I wanted it to blend in with the riot of colour in the fabrics. Aurifil to the rescue of course ;) 
I had cleared my afternoon to make sure I could get on with the binding, all 10 and a bit metres of it! I was lazy in the end and applied the binding by machine. I justified that to myself by wanting it to stand up to the many washes that it will undergo in its lifetime. I fully intend for this to be a well loved and well used quilt! I took my time to make sure it was as neat as it could be. Front..
 and back.
Then it was time to dress the bed :) I think we need a bigger bed. It's very difficult to get the whole quilt in the shot!
Here's a final shot of it from another angle :)
It's safe to say that this is my most favourite quilt to date! Trudi's quilting has pushed this quilt into the stratosphere! I am so proud of our combined efforts :) Enough of my gushing for now. Thank you Trudi, you rock! Catch you soon x

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Diamonds, kites and stars - The free pattern

Well guys and gals there was enough interest in the pattern for me to knuckle down and get it written :) I've added the pattern as a page at the top and the blog. You'll find links at the bottom of the pattern to a PDF version, along with PDF versions of the paper templates.
In a weekend of madness I've gone ahead and chopped a very limited number of scrap packs from my rather fabulous (even if I say so myself) stash. Many of the prints I used in these two cushions are included in the scrap packs which you will find in our Etsy shop. There are only 3 pink, orange red and radiant orchid (purple) packs and 3 navy, green and radiant orchid packs. I have learnt that I don't really enjoy cutting up fabric knowing that I'm not going to be sewing with it, so you can rest assured that scrap packs from me are going to be as rare as rocking horse poo!

As always I'd love to see any WIPs or finishes of this pattern so please do feel free to email me or upload a picture to our flickr group or use the hashtag #diamondskitesandstars on Instagram. There might even be a special little something for the first person who finishes their own version...   

I hope you've all enjoyed the weekend. Catch you soon x

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Diamonds, kites and stars revisited

After making my first Diamonds, kites and stars cushion someone suggested that I should enter it in to the Pantone Quilt Challenge. Unfortunately as I'd started making it last year it wasn't a candidate for submission, so I resolved to make another one to enter. Rather than bore myself senseless by making an exact replica I went for a different colour scheme. The Radiant Orchid was a prerequisite (being the Pantone colour of the year) and I decided to throw blue and green into the mix this time.
I crazy straight line quilted with a 'radiant orchid' Rowan thread. Slightly tricky to capture the colour in the photo but I'm sure you can imagine it ;)
I'm pretty chuffed with how it turned it out! I couldn't resist taking this shot on our bed with the original cushion. It would appear I have a thing purple...who knew? ;) 
This time around I tweaked a few things in the construction process and was delighted how well it went together. I've taken loads of process photographs and I'm now contemplating writing a pattern for it. I'm taking a straw poll here: Would anyone out there be interested in the pattern and/or a scrap kit to make your own? I promise not to be offended :) 
I've got a ton of sewing to get done this month so I'll hope to be back with updates on progress soon. Catch you soon x

Edited to add: This cushion finished up around 18" square :) Free pattern now available here.