Saturday 27 October 2012

Taking a break ...

Just to give you some notice that with half term upon me, I shall be taking a break and all orders placed 30/10/12 - 3/11/12 will be posted on 5/11/12.

Wishing you a great week and wish me luck as I try to sew a ghost bride costume for Halloween for my 8 year old!


Thursday 25 October 2012

Wiksten patterns now in stock

It seems like Wiksten patterns have been everywhere in the last few months. Blogs, Instagram, Flickr; they are full of people making beautiful versions of these patterns over and over like an addiction! Well I have become part of the action and am now happy to stock the Tova and Tank patterns from Wiksten.

Take a look at all the different Tova's on Flickr for some inspiration, it's such a versatile top. There is no denying that it is one of the more expensive patterns that I have in stock, but it comes on beautiful thick paper and you will use it over and over as your addition takes hold!

The other pattern is the Tank, every wardrobe needs several of these as a basic. Again, Flickr has some great examples.

There are some more sewing patterns on the way, so do check back if you are thinking about adding some new additions to your wardrobe.

Monday 22 October 2012

Chickopee Quilt

So I can finally show you some finished pictures of the Chickopee quilt. 

Anyone who has organised a wedding with know the hours and days and months of planning it requires. It was wonderful to be part of this very special day and give this quilt to it's newly married owners.

I've been thinking about a triangle quilt since earlier this year when Katy very kindly gave me some Thangles. Although it made the timescales a little tighter, I waited for Chickopee to arrive to make this quilt. The hot, strong colours seemed perfect and I could contrast one dark half of my triangles with a lighter half. It's such an easy way to make the squares - the accuracy of the shapes and stability of the paper made sewing them much easier.

Once I'd made them all, I lay them out on the floor and tried to place them as randomly as possible without having too many of the same colour grouped together but also trying to make a few interesting shapes by putting 2 together here and there. It was surprisingly difficult, but maybe that's just me being a perfectionist. I made sure I photographed the finished order and then piled them up into labelled rows, to make it a bit easier to store inbetween sewing.

I sewed them together in a chain to make the rows and then sewed the rows together to make the quilt, the second stage was really quick and the progress from strips to growing quilt, very satisfying.

I used the programmable text feature on my Janome to write a message on the binding, even after checking and double checking the words I did hold my breath before seeing it finished.

I used the dottie quilt backing in aqua for the back as it matched the Chickopee really well.

And despite checking the length of the binding several times after getting it too short on the last quilt I made, I somehow made the same mistake again, clever old me.

Still, I absolutely love binding the quilt, tidying up those rough edges into something perfect and neat. I save it for a night sat cosy under that new quilt on the sofa, carefully hiding my stitches and slowly making progress around the outside.

I'm really pleased with the final quilt, it was hard to wrap up and take to it's new home as I've grown rather fond of it. But there is something very special about giving a handmade gift to someone you cherish, especially on their wedding day.

And look, the bride (and her bridesmaids) had beautiful bouquets of felt flowers made by a very talented friend, aren't they stunning?

Friday 19 October 2012

Quilting must have: 1/4 inch seam foot

As a relative new comer to quilting I have definitely struggled with the 1/4 inch seam. It's so tiny and unforgiving and my erratic skills at sewing in a straight line are not suited to it. But I appreciate how much fabric you can save, how the seams are less bulky and there must be something to it as everyone is doing it.

So, on my latest quilt (more on that to follow) which was positively swimming with seams, I finally bought myself a 1/4 inch seam foot. Heading over to the Janome site I was confronted with a lot of different feet which were rather enticing, think of all the clever things I could do with them? 

Firstly I was stumped by the category of my machine, as there were different feet for different categories. A quick call to Janome and the lady on the phone informed me of the correct one for my machine (a Janome  TXL 607). And the next day the foot arrived.

See how at home it looks. I am a total convert, it has transformed my sewing of those tricky little seams, no more fruitlessly trying to match up my fabric to the guidelines on the machine. The black guard lines up the seam perfectly and I can now zip through without really having to engage my brain. Which is probably my favourite way to approach most things in life.

My only regret is that I didn't buy this little beauty earlier. What's your sewing much have? A close second for me is a quilters ruler which was a horribly expensive piece of plastic but again quite in-disposable now I have it.

Thursday 18 October 2012

New Colette Patterns now in stock ...

Two gorgeous new patterns from Colette Patterns have just arrived. Firstly the Anise Jacket...

and Juniper trousers...

which will you make?

Tuesday 9 October 2012

Jane's peaceful cooing Alma blouse

I've been meaning to share this beautiful Alma blouse made by the very talented and extremely lovely Handmade Jane. The blouse is made using Nani Iro Peaceful Cooing fabric and Jane has made clever use of the border print on this double gauze fabric.

Something to inspire you to dust off your sewing machine perhaps? You can read more about it on Jane's blog here.

Friday 5 October 2012

The week in pictures

It has been a busy week, lots of catching up and trying to fit everything in, even a night out - I took this photo on the way home of the Brighton wheel lit up as it looked so pretty.

I have done loads of sewing this week for a special quilt I am making for a special person for a special occasion that is really soon. It has been great fun making it, but yes, you can detect a note of panic in my voice.

I've been promising to make jam tarts with the kids since we had some delicious ones on our holiday this summer in France. We picked loads of blackberries at the end of the summer and I had my first experience of making jam (half fruit, half sugar, yikes). So it felt very satisfying to make these with our own jam, they were easy and lovely. And not too painful to make with the kids.

It's been a foul and stormy week and it's getting to cold and rough for this pup to go in the sea. Much to her disappointment.

So perfect weather for staying in and sewing and sewing and sewing. I have made great progress and it has been very therapeutic, I hope to be able to share the finished quilt with you very soon. It has not quenched my need to create a triangle quilt and I'm going to have to make another soon.

I have also been busy adding about one new bundle a day, it takes a bit of time to get the balance right but I'm really pleased with the new selection, I hope you like them.

Thanks for all your lovely comments on my last post, which was a difficult one to write, like sewing, writing (and reading your comments) is also very therapeutic,

Have a great weekend,

Wednesday 3 October 2012


So this quilt continues to grow, as do the memories. The last few years I have dabbled with different kinds of sewing, but in quilting I think I have finally found my place.

Especially this hand pieced quilt; it has travelled everywhere with me recently. I often find myself reaching for it to add on another piece or to stretch it out and see how much it has grown.

It has been a comfort to me in the dark days after losing my dad when it was the only thing that could temporarily relieve the tight, painful knot that refused to leave my stomach.

When it felt like my world was a snow globe that had been given a sharp shake and everything eventually would settle back into place. But it didn't.

It really isn't that long since I was sitting next to my dad, explaining how it all fitted together, showing him my tiny stitches. Painful memories that in time I hope will mellow to something more bearable. How I love this quilt.

Here is is nestled against my current project, a gift for a beloved friend. And with more quilts planned in my head for very special people, I think my life will be filled with quilting for quite some time.

Tuesday 2 October 2012

Helsinki bundle

I have been meaning to get some new bundles in the shop for a while now, starting with the Helsinki bundle. There will be more to follow!