Friday 29 June 2012

The week in photos

I love you Instagram
Guess who finally joined the 21st Century and finally got an iPhone? I love it. I've stopped short of sleeping with it under my pillow, but if I did I bet there would be an app to enhance my sleep. Anyway, for a long time I have been meaning to carry a camera with me everywhere. I have consistently failed to do this, but my new love has a great camera and Instagram. I love you too Instagram. So now I can take photos all the time and capture endless dross fascinating insights.

Monday: walking the dog first thing. Life post-dog is very different to life before. I find myself out first thing in the morning walking her for miles and discovering beautiful new landscapes that have always been on our doorstep. I am yet to capture it well, but the view on our regular walk is amazing, the views over Brighton are so expansive that you can see the curve of the earth where the sky meets the sea. After school if the kids are up for it, we do the walk and stop on a bench to enjoy this view. I love that they are out getting exercise and fresh air, they put up less of a fight at bedtime. Win, win.

Another one of my favourite apps is Nike +, last week I covered 50km through walking and the occasional run. So to conclude, if you need a bit of exercise, get a dog.

Tuesday - a horse named Anabelle
Tuesday: This week is sport's week at my daughter's school, I jumped at the chance of getting her a taster of horse riding. The teenage girl inside was a little excited at the prospect of going to a stables (possibly a more excited than my daughter however I managed to rev her up into a state of excitement in the build up to the big day). My gorgeous girl rode this nippy boy called 'Arundel' being a girl she incorrectly named her 'Anabelle' which I think is a much nicer name. Half a day of horsey stuff - riding, brushing manes, painting hooves later and I picked up the happiest little girl. It made my heart ache to see her like that and I may have made her rash promise to bring her back.

Seven Seas
Wednesday: I am working all hours at the moment on something shiny, new and exciting for M is for make. I'm so immersed in this that this lovely delivery from Cloud 9 fabrics caught me by surprise. I love these nautical prints, the kids had some friends round and it's great fun asking them which are their favourites. Sea Critters got the popular vote.

Thursday:  I am working on a new quilt using fabric from the Quilt Blocks collection. I have made 2 blocks, after struggling with a small seam allowance on the first block, I increased it on the second. It wasn't until I was ironing the finished block that I noticed the second block was much smaller than the first. Clearly my calculations went wrong. Time for sewing is so short at the moment, that a mistake like this is extremely frustrating.

Happily oblivious to my frustrations, Foxy sleeps on in a very undignified manner.

Friday: Catching up with a friend and my favourite biscuits. This really is the best biscuit recipe, I have included a chunk of Milka Diam on the top. Because it is the best chocolate I have ever tasted, and I have tasted a few. Together they are a delicious if fantastically unhealthy snack.

Another fabric delivery, this time 'Running Stitch' by Patty Young. I think it will be a brilliant coordinate/stash staple, it's not in the shop yet, but you will see it soon I promise.

And thank goodness for Friday, wishing you a lovely weekend wherever you are,


Thursday 28 June 2012

Seven Seas now in stock

Seven Seas by Michele Brummer Everett for Cloud 9 fabrics is now in stock, you can find it here.

Saturday 23 June 2012

New Sewaholic Thurlow pattern in stock

New in, the Thurlow pattern from Sewaholic!

A modern trouser pattern designed for curvy hips, fuller thighs and a narrow waist! The Thurlow Trousers sit below the waistline, with a slightly flared leg. Pockets in front are subtle slash pockets that won’t add bulk to the hips.

A great feature of this pattern is the centre back extension. Both trousers and shorts have extra-wide seam allowances at centre back so they're easily altered for a custom fit at the waist. Try on your pants when they're partially sewn, and fit them to your body! Sizing is proportioned for a pear-shaped figure: smaller waist, larger hips and thighs.

The pattern includes a cute pair of cuffed shorts as well as full-length pants. Wear the shorts cuffed or un-cuffed, with an optional grosgrain ribbon belt.

Tuesday 12 June 2012

Rogue hexagon quilt - complete

Finally, the rogue hexagon quilt is complete. Gone from being a rather scrappy mess found abandoned around the house for the last few months, to the finished article. I love how it all comes together at the end.

I love this quilt, it really has been a labour of love, hand-stitching those hexagons into submission took hours and hours. But it was nice to have an excuse to sew cozy-ed up on the sofa rather than hunched over my machine.

I used my favourite colours and fabrics on this quilt and it's lovely having them all in one place, like a snap shot of M is for make at that time as many are now sold out. I used grey honeycomb dots for the backing and linen blend in flax for the binding. I quilted a bit more than usual, zig-zagging down alternate rows, I can't deny I still find this process really tedious but I was pleased with the result.

Then came the binding, usually my favourite part, but me being me, I managed to incorporate a mistake or 2 here. Despite measuring (I thought) really carefully and adding in plenty of spare in my length of binding, the 2 ends met with a seam allowance of barely 5mm. It was so close, I also managed to time a couple of the seams on the binding with the corners making them bulky and hard to sew. Which was rather frustrating. But the transformation that binding makes to the quilt made is worthwhile. It is so very satisfying.

I almost forgot to mention the words I put on the side of the quilt. I had a few corking mistakes here too. I programmed the phrase in with my daughter which was great fun, she looked up the letters in the manual and I typed them into the machine. I did a test run and we watched mesmerised as the needle did it's work. It all went well so I started on the binding only to realise part way through the first few letters that I had started too close to the raw edge meaning the letters would be eaten up by the seam allowance, so I to start again. The second time went smoothly, but I had put the words on the wrong side so that the text was visible from the front rather than back of the quilt as I intended.

I decided just to go with it as honestly, I just wanted to finish the darn thing and I'd had enough. I used a very similar colour thread to the binding so the text is not that obvious unless you are looking for it, I hoped to minimise future embarrassment to my son. My mum cleverly spotted mistake 3: no date. How on earth did I forget that? Maybe I will try to hand embroider that in later so that I can terrify myself in years to come with how long ago it was that I made this quilt.

I finished hand sewing the last bit of binding whilst watching the Jubilee celebrations on TV. I presented it to my boy and he was overwhelmed with emotion to receive such handcrafted loveliness from his mum more interested in playing in the garden.

It was a busy bank holiday weekend of Jubilee shenanigans like rainy garden parties, but it a quieter moment when back at home, he did spontaneously say 'thank you for my lovely quilt'.  That boy can wrap me round his little finger. The first night he had it on his bed (it has returned to mid-winter weather after a brief, tantalising glimpse of summer) I had to go and release him from it as he had wrapped it round himself like a cocoon and was slowly cooking like a fine leg of lamb.

Look how it coordinates with his toys, he does have toys that are not grey, but I have locked them away so his room looks perfect and ready for a magazine shoot.

Where to next? I am part way through making one of these with this. But whilst it is so freezing, I'm feeling a little uninspired by summer dresses, so here is a hint of where I might go next. I'm thinking this and this.

PS as requested a photo of the back...

Monday 11 June 2012

VeloCity by Jessica Hogarth

New at M is for make; VeloCity by Jessica Hogarth.

I adore these graphic prints, they remind me of the type of prints that I use to obsess over in Habitat before they cruelly closed their Brighton branch. 

Which is your favourite?