Thursday, 19 December 2013

2013 - My year in sewing

For my last blog post of this year, I thought I would take a look back at what I made during 2013.

Some of the items have already appeared in posts, but a few have not made it to the blog until now. My sewing was split fairly evenly between items for others and items for me, though my poor husband has been waiting for over a year for a pair of pyjama trousers (and is still waiting). I guess that should be my first project for 2014.


  • Baby quilt top (which turned out to be too “old” and will be turned into a quilt for Project Linus)


  • Scrappy Trip Around the World quilt (for my mum)
  • iPad Case (for me)
  • Baby quilt for my great nephew (a quick change of colour scheme was required as a great niece was expected)


  • Mommy Poppins Bag (for me)
  • iPad Case (for a friend’s birthday)


  • Mini ironing board
  • FQR name tag


  • Caddy pin cushions for FQR swap
  • Mini pin cushion rings for FQR swap
  • Notebook cover (for me)


  • Disappearing Nine Patch baby quilt (for a work colleague’s new arrival)


  • Butterfly Wristlet (this was donated to the Hospice Christmas Fair)


  • Hexie Christmas cards (I can’t believe I was thinking of Christmas so early)


  • Quilt for me
  • Notebook covers and tote bags (for Hospice Christmas Fair)
  • Button cards and lucky dip bags of buttons (for Hospice Christmas Fair)


  • Quilt (for my mother-in-law)
  • Phone cover for my new phone using scraps from the quilt for me.
  • Oval zip pouch (as part of a friend’s Christmas present)

An ongoing project through out 2013 has been an EPP quilt using Liberty lawn and 5/8" hexies.  Here's where I am at the end of this year - let's see what progress has been made by next year's review.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

A Quick Quilt for Christmas

After struggling to find a Christmas present for my mother-in-law, I decided to make her a quilt. The only problem was that I had just two weeks to make it as we were seeing her before Christmas. Fortunately luck was on my side and I finished it with a week to spare.

I started on the Monday evening by picking out fabrics from my stash that would go with the burnt orange walls of her bedroom. 

Tuesday saw me buying just one extra fabric in my lunch hour and then cutting the squares in the evening (with a furry helper). 

Wednesday and Thursday evenings were spent sewing and by Friday all the blocks were made and it was time to decide on the width of sashing and whether or not to include cornerstones. 

The sashing was cut on Saturday (with a different furry helper) and the top assembled. 

Tacking, quilting and machine stitching the binding was done on Sunday. 

The binding was hand stitched at Liverpool Sewing Club on Monday evening and the final loose ends stitched in on Tuesday evening.

It was satisfying to make this quilt as it used mainly stash fabrics and it went together without any hitches. As the quilt had to fit into a cabin bag, I used a fleece backing which made it easier to pack. I didn't add sashing at the edge of the quilt as otherwise I would have had to piece the backing. The binding was done with the same fabric as the sashing which I think compensated for the lack of the outer sashing. The quilting used Aurifil 50 wt along the inside of the sashing and a variegated Aurifil 40 wt around the outside of the centre square of each block.

My mother-in-law was asking lots of questions about my sewing and quilt making, so hopefully when she opens the present on Christmas Day it will be a nice surprise.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Stitching and Knitting Show*, Harrogate

I seem to have visited lots of shows this year and I had been looking forward to going to Harrogate with some of the ladies from the Liverpool Sewing Club, but last minute changes of plans meant I could no longer make that date. Just when it looked as though I was going to miss the show, I spotted a coach trip in the local paper for a day I could make and then in a further moment of serendipity, I won a ticket for the show from Pin It and Stitch.

So on a sunny Saturday morning I was sat on coach, stitching a few EPP hexies and on my way to Harrogate.  We arrived about lunchtime and had four hours before the coach left, so it was straight into the show.  After stopping off at the Pin It and Stitch stand to say thank you for the ticket (and being tempted by some skinny quarters), I started to look round the rest of the stands. Last year I visited on the Sunday and so I was expecting the Saturday to be a lot busier but I didn’t find that to be the case.  Generally I have thought the shows to be quieter this year than last year and at this year’s Harrogate show there were also some stands that were notable by their absence. One improvement (or perhaps it was just better sign posted) for this year’s show was the extra seating and “picnic area” in Hall F – very welcome when it came to finding somewhere to eat lunch.

I had a shopping list with me, but seeing as my list always includes “bargains” it is quite easy to claim that I stuck to it. As well as the skinny quarters from Pin It and Stitch, my purchases included a Kona Charm pack and some Wickerweave from Simply Solidsa couple of bargain bag frames from Bag-Clasps, some Egyptian cotton sheeting from Empress Mills (which I want to try pairing with Liberty lawn), a ¼” clear foot with guide for my machine, a pair of teeny scissors for my travelling EPP kit (I already have a pair, but am bound to lose them one day) and a vintage pattern from Judith Mansfield Books.

After all my sewing shopping, I had about an hour left to visit Harrogate’s shops and do a little bit of non-sewing shopping. 

Then it was back on to the coach (amidst all the chaos that is Harrogate's coach pick up zone) and home in time for tea. 

(*I hadn’t realised until I came to write this post that the show is actually called the Knitting and Stitching Show, but as I'm a stitcher not a knitter this could explain why I get it the wrong way round.)

Friday, 22 November 2013

Make Yourself a Hexie Little Christmas Tree

After seeing some mini quilts of hexie Christmas trees many months ago before I was even thinking of Christmas, I was inspired to go even smaller and use the idea to make Christmas cards.  By using ½" hexagons, the trees are the right size to fit on to an A6 folded card blank.

These cards are an ideal project to use up scraps of fabrics and you can soon have a small woodland of trees after just a few evenings of stitching.

To make it easier to glue the trees to the corrugated surface of my card blank, I first stitched the tree to backing paper. The trees can be embellished with a much or as little bling as you wish – I chose to add just a star to the top of the tree.

Full details on how to make the cards, including hexagon templates, can be found in my project section.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Quilt Finish

I finished my quilt a few weeks ago but had to wait a while for the weather to be good enough to get it washed and line-dried. There was a certain element of trepidation as I put it in the washing machine –would the cream backing come out pale pink – but a couple of colour catchers did their job and the red did not run.  I was hoping for some bright winter sunshine for the photographs, but “not raining” was as good as it got.

The backing is a Robert Kaufman fabric with woven pattern of circles that I got in the sale at Quiltessential and is pieced with the cream designs from the two French General layer cakes.  The binding is charcoal Color Weave that I picked up in the buy-by-weight section at Abakhans. All piecing and quilting was done with Aurifil 50 wt.

Despite spending several hours working on a layout so that the same or similar prints were not together, whilst snuggled under the quilt I spotted I had not been successful. I think I should just enjoy the quilt and not look too closely again.