Saturday, 27 February 2010

Marshmallow Buggy Blanket

Marshmallow Buggy Blanket is now finished, it is so scrummy and warm I wanna get in that buggy myself, ho hum I know my lot is to push, lashed by rain and winds. boo. hoo.

Bizarrely the sun is shining today, it's quite springlike, but we all know it is a big con as tomorrow we get storms according to the weather peeps. yuk.

I find a colour combination gets stuck in the subconscious and comes out all over the place. I have been looking at my Jessica Levitt Timber pile for a week or so now, kind of waiting for the perfect idea to work itself free of all the 'but what if like this...?' thoughts that whirl about a new project. Turns out that while I've been cogitating the fabric, the woolly version has knitted itself....looks like another quilt/blanket combo is in the offing, you know i do so love those!

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Sashing,String Piecing and Smarties..........

...........are the only antidote to snow, sleet and sneezing!

It's grim outside and we've both got a cold, but Baby Button and I are warm and cosy indoors, sewing sashing onto Buttons Big Bed Heather Ross Quilt.

String piecing for the borders of my Hope Baskets Quilt

..and eating smartie cupcakes. Hope your day is cosy too.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Doodle Tutorial

Well half term passed in a whirl of fun and frolics, and back to school this morning in a blizzard - proper face fulls of snow. Every year it's hard to believe that spring can only be a matter of weeks away, it's always a surprise when the season suddenly changes. Anyway in an attempt to inject a bit of colour into my white-out world, here is my Doodle Quilt Tutorial;
1. First you need to draw your doodle template. I used brown wrapping parcel paper on a roll, but use any big piece of paper you can find, the back of old wallpaper roll, cereal boxes taped together etc. Make your template to the size of the quilt you want to make. I made a baby quilt ( 70cmx80cm). Draw your doodle from side to side of the paper. It's best just to be spontaneous and go for it, if you think too hard about your doodle it looses its feeling of loopy joy!

2. Trace each of your doodle loops onto freezer paper

3.Cut out the doodle shape on the traced line, then iron onto the wrong side of the fabric you choose.

4.Cut out approx 1/4 inch around the ironed on freezer paper shape

5. Using a water soluble glue, stick the edges around the shape, easing around the curves to make a smooth edge. Make all of your coloured 'doodles' shapes this way

6. Decide on the colour for your doodle-line. I decided to go with a graphite grey ( Kona Coal). Cut strips on the bias. To make the doodle line you will need a bias tape maker. I used a Clover 12mm (1/2") version ( the yellow one). Using this size I cut 1inch strips on the bias. You then feed them into the bias tape maker and iron as you pull the tape through the maker - it's magic.7. Join the strips end to end to make a long length.

8. Using your paper template lay your quilt top on top and trace using a soft pencil the doodles on to your quilt top. It can help to outline the doodle on the paper with a black marker pen first.

9. Take the bias strip and fold it in half along it's long length. Begin to pin to the quilt top. When you reach a doodle circle gently ease around the shape folding the shape inside the bias tape by wrapping it around the edge as shown below. Pin in place to the quilt top. Continue across the width of the quilt top.

10. Then using the sewing machine sew along the edge of the bias, this will also catch the edge of the doodle shapes too.

11. When you have done all of the doodles, working from behind cut out the excess fabric from behind the doodle shapes, exposing the freezer paper. Then put the quilt top in warm water and gently pull out the freezer paper

12. Dry and iron the quilt top.

Have fun doodling!

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Yarn Love

I'm having a bit of a yarnish week, I am all a-love with wool at the moment. My new love crochet has been consuming my creative time, although progress is still quite slow, I'm almost at cushion size I think?! The postman bought me this lovely book, so I am looking forward to going geometric on the granny squares, and making some circles, pentagons, flowers - a whole new world of crafty fun has opened up! Learn a new skill, I promise it's the best energy kick there is. It should be on prescription for the February-depressed!

I also succumbed to the naughty temptation of John Lewis haberdashery dept and bought this gorgeous flumpfy wool. It's Debbie Bliss Como, a superchunky wool/cashmere mix. After several false starts ( stocking stitch is too flat, cable too chunky etc I settled on moss stitch as the perfect foil for this woolly marshmallowy wool. I am knitting a buggy blanket for Buttons ( coz she only has about 20 quilts and two knitted blankets to choose from!). But I think it would just make the most fabulous cushion covers, oh and imagine a big soft moss stitch beret, like having your head wrapped in a cloud ! Yumm

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Come On Spring!

It's been a waiting kind of week. Baby Button had a tummy bug, lots of pacing about, no sewing. Outside winter had another try, but spring forces are starting to fight back. Daffodils on the table are one of my favourite things.

I did finish my LemonDoodle quilt top. I have had such fun doing this - it's great to just do something spontaneously as it comes into your mind (or is doodled whilst daydreaming about spring in your garden). I looked at the sinuous loops which i had started to colour in with the bucket of kids pencils in front on me on the table, suddenly the light bulb went ping - wouldn't that make a lovely quilt?

An hour of Baby Button sleep time later ( oops no tea cooked, no dishwasher emptied, no laundry on) and much more big scribbling on a roll of brown wrapping paper and the template for the doodles was in place. The pencil scribble line was a bit less easy to arrive at, but creative problem solving is also a very nice way to pass the day. Next week I'm going to try and write you a little tutorial for this method as it's actually so easy once you're away, and lends itself to so many uses, anyone fancy scribbling names across their quilts? Messages? Anyway, next week is half term so you will have to be patient, I expect I won't get too much done - perhaps a giant banner with 'pick it up, fold it up, put it away' doodled on it??!

I've also had a visit by the postman with these lovely fabrics, they are called Timber by Jessica Levitt and they came from Hawthorne Threads. Aren't they wonderful? I love the art deco patterns, I want to do something very graphic and deco, maybe like deco stained glass. I feel some very satisfying research coming on...i'm off to play on google images!

Monday, 8 February 2010

Egg-cited about Crochet!

I've finally cracked it! I can crochet!

Regular readers may remember that I have had several failed attempts to teach myself crochet, it has not been an easy journey. My mum tried to teach me here. I was not a patient pupil. Sorry mum. I got a book out of the library, it ended in cross near-tears. So I decided to put myself in the hands of the professionals and ta dah, my first new years craft resolution is fulfilled - I finally get it

I enrolled on a course here at Nimble Thimble in Buckingham, our newest local patchwork and knitting shop ( it's great, visit it, lovely wool and a modern selection of fabrics, and fantastic list of classes and teachers). The course was taught by Sarah Hazell from Rowan yarns. Now if you ever get a chance to go on any of her courses ( she teaches all over the country)I would say DO IT! The woman is both a saint and an inspiration! As we hamfisted our way through her flawless instructions and fun mini projects she was unfailingly encouraging and optimistic of our abilities, and do you know what - we did it!

I am now completely obsessed with my mini egg inspired, mini granny squares blanket. Don't check back regularly for a ta dah mind you - it's v slow work for me at the mo! Got to speed up though, I'm signed up for further crochet later in the spring.

Friday, 5 February 2010

LemonDoodle & Lemon Icecream

I had 101 things that I should be doing today, but the sun shone and the only things it seemed right to be doing were lemony golden too.
Lemon Ice cream with a spoon of lemon curd frozen in the bottom of the glass, and my new LemonDoodle quilt started to take shape. Sunny days are the best.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Projects Interrupted's so frustrating when you are half way through a project only to discover that you don't have enough/the perfect fabric to continue. Especially if, like me, you don't live within popping distance of a fabric shop. It's at least a 2.5 hour round trip, even without browsing! So it's out of the question especially when your life is ruled by the 2 hour slots the day is divided into between various school runs. I have three projects on hold awaiting the postman (Hope Valley Baskets, Princess and the Pea, Baby Button Big Bed Quilt). Therefore I am suffering from Project Interruption Malaise Syndrome (PIMS) - it's a definite syndrome, which involves much idle doodling, moping, looking wistfully out of the window every time someone goes past on a bicycle ( postman?), or a van goes by ( much excitement, I know, I do live in the sticks, its an event if a delivery van goes down our lane!)

So imagine my joy when staring out of the window, i spot this..........
And, look carefully at the parcel colour, yes it's def bright neon, that means it's fabric from here.

And joy of joys, it contained a big stack of Kona Cotton Solids, but best of all my new favoured reading matter....... a Kona Cottons Colour Card. Never again will that perfect pink turn out to be slimy salmon coloured on arrival. It's fabric colour Nirvana!