Thursday, 30 July 2015

Some Summer Sewing

Well, we may not be getting summer weather in the UK, but the wet weather has meant more time spent sewing, mainly little projects that I’d finished and move onto the next one before thinking about blogging about them. So here's a catch up of the last couple of months.

First up were a couple of useful items - a tiny biscornu pin cushion and case for my sewing glasses. The pin cushion was a quick handsewing project using 1" squares of Liberty tana lawn. As tana lawn is so fine, I reinforced it with some fusible fleece after piecing the four patch block and prior to sewing it together.

The glasses case used up the left over ½” hexies from my Union Jack quilt and was lined with some silk twill from my trip to the Adamley sale. At some point I’ll write a tutorial for this, but in the meantime the layout of the hexies is shown to get you started.

Next was an apron for Love Stitches’ apron festival which was raising money for a local hospice. This was in the patchwork sewing apron category and each apron needed a title and so this one was called “Measure Twice, Cut Once”. The patchwork elements were the block border at the top and foundation paper pieced scissors on the pocket (made using a pattern from Craftsy). In keeping with the title, the neck strap and waist ties were made from tape measure fabric.

Sunday was a washout weather-wise but productive for sewing. First was a very quick phone case made from leather for my husband's new phone. This was just a matter of cutting a piece of leather to size and stitching the sides together. I used Aurifil 28wt thread which was thick enough to give a little extra strength and not too thick to cause problems with the machine’s tension.

Sunday afternoon was spent making a batch of boob bags for knitted knockers! Knitted Knockers UK are a group of volunteers who provide free knitted protheses for women who have had a lumpectomy or mastectomy. One volunteer was having problems finding gift bags for the larger cup sizes and so I offered to make some. This cause has actually got me cutting into my Liberty stash as the fineness of the tana lawn means the drawnstring bags do not end up being too bulky.

Sewing plans for August include a trip to Festival of Quilts, finishing my husband's quilt (I've actually started it after several years of waiting!) and making a picnic blanket which is more in keeping with my new picnic basket that the existing £4.99 Lidl special.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Building Blocks Quilt

The boats quilt was well received in Norway, so much so that a second one was needed for my great nephew’s step-brother. After some discussion about what is popular these days with eight-year old boys, I decided to go with a Lego theme. Using Moda’s Blockhead baby quilt as a starting point, I planned a pattern using Quilt Assistant for a bigger rectangular quilt with no borders.

Apart from the backing, this quilt was made entirely from stash. The Lego blocks were made from FQs (including some left over from the boats quilt) and the background is some Timeless Treasure black/rainbow rain fabric found in the bargain baskets at Abakhans a few months ago. I backed the quilt with fleece and added a narrow binding in bright red.

An advantage of making a two-layer quilt with fleece is not having to worry about the distance between lines of quilting. I simply stitched-in-the-ditch around the Lego blocks using Aurifil 40wt in black, adding in a few “ghost” blocks where there was a large area of background. For these ghost blocks, I drew a template on freezer paper, ironed it on, stitched around it and then it was just a matter of peeling it off and ironing on in the next spot.

I’m pleased with how this Lego quilt turned out and I really enjoyed the design part of it, especially working out how to piece the blocks together with the minimum of seams. The Timeless Treasures fabric was a generous 44” for WOF so I just need to work out cutting instructions for slightly narrower fabrics before putting this pattern in my tutorials/project section.