Monday, 19 March 2012

Memory Cushions

Having had a manic week at week (nothing new there, however...), I've had a lovely day off today making a custom item for a good friend. She wanted something incorporating some of her daughter's old baby clothes - and this is what I made.

The spotty fabric is Cath Kidston, with a plain cream centre. The babygros have been backed with lightweight interfacing to help with cutting and attaching the individual pieces, and the back of the cushion is a simple envelope style. It's been made to fit a 14"x14" cushion pad - I've found that to make the cover fit snugly without loose bits at the corners, it's best to make it slightly small - this cover is actually 13.5"x13.5" and it fits perfectly :-)

She loved it so much, I've had a request for 2 more - twins due in the next couple of weeks, so fingers crossed for her on that one!

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Attack of the mad ruffles!

Well, I have been a busy bunny since my last post - the new workroom has stalled somewhat due to many things.  As I often say, why procrastinate today when you can procrastinate tomorrow?!?

I purchased a lovely FQ bundle from Cath Kidston, 8 pieces, and used them to make a log cabin quilt for a friend who will be having twins in the next few weeks.  The front piece came out beautifully

The actual dimensions of this quilt are 28" x 28" (71cm x 71cm), and it was a joy to put together with my 1/4" foot - another recent purchase...

I've just ordered some polka dot pink fabric for the backing and will quilt it over the weekend.  I am also planning to attempt to self bind the edge rather than use commercial bias binding - watch this space for an update on how that went.  I've found a couple of tutorials with the basics, so I should be able to have a reasonable stab at it.  After all, who needs clean clothes, or food or a clean house - sewing is waaaay more fun than housework!

So, once the log cabin quilt was finished, I had a fair few strips left over, and one whole FQ that I hadn't cut into at all.  Obviously, something had to be done!  And this was it - a 20" x 20" (50cm x 50cm) cushion cover - shown here not made up, but I made it up with an envelope style back in a pale blue star pattern fabric, also by Cath Kidston.

As you can see, I was starting to run out of long strips by this point, so the cover has taken on a more patchwork appearance.  But wait - there is still fabric left over - these FQ bundles really are a lot of fabric, although they don't always look it at first glance...

My final make with the bundle involves my recent birthday.  My lovely husband bought me a ruffler foot for my sewing machine, and I've been itching to do something with it - and this was the result.  This is a scrappy patchwork ruffle skirt for my 4 year old daughter, in various stages of development.  I had to cheat very slightly and use a couple of strips from another FQ, but I did very very nearly get all of these projects from one bundle - I needed 3 x 2 1/2" strips to complete...

The waistband is flat at the front and elasticated at the back, using 1" elastic.  The flat front is interfaced to give it a bit of stiffness, and the first tier is not ruffled at all.  The following five tiers are all slightly ruffled - but it is a proper sticky out skirt, perfect for flouncing and huffing in.  Which 4 year olds do a LOT!

I am very impressed with both my creative frenzy and the sheer amount of fabric you get in a FQ bundle.  Anyone else with lovely FQ projects out there?  And anyone else been overtaken by an attack of the mad ruffles?  They are a seriously cool piece of kit, and the engineer in me just marvels at the lovely clicking ratchets doing their work...

Next project is to get my workspace done!  Onwards and upwards...

Monday, 30 January 2012

My New Workspace!

Finally - the day has come! The (very, very slow) carpet fitter has been, and our new loft is ready for occupation!

We knew when we bought our house that, basically, the roof was knackered. But given the ample loft space, when we finally bit the bullet and decides to have to roof done, it was a no-brainer to get the loft converted as well. It would create 2 new double bedrooms, and given that we don't (yet) have enough children to fill them, one was earmarked for a study / sewing space.

And today, it is done. The builder started at the beginning of October last year, but to save money we did the decorating ourselves. Also very, very slowly, as it turns out! But now I can start shifting my sewing machine, my stash and all my bits and bobs to somewhere where my darling, inquisitive children can't get at it!

And I'm really hoping that this will mark a new creative stage in my life, I'm brimful of ideas for projects and I'm about to take the plunge into writing a tutorial to blog about. Watch this space...

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Creativity Returns!

After a long period of zero inspiration and motivation, I have finally found my creative juices flowing again. With a busy period at work and a slight misunderstanding about what the phrase "I don't mind helping out a bit if you need some help" ACTUALLY means, time has run away with me somewhat.

Anyway, a lovely friend of mine who is a florist offered to make me a Christmas wreath for my house in return for a 'crayon snug'. Apparently these are a small fabric pouch that you can store crayons in so when you are out with small children, you have something to entertain them with. All well and good, but I got to thinking about how to improve the concept - that's the engineer in me coming out! And of course, the first thing I though was - what about the paper?!? No use having crayons if you don't have any paper... So this is what I came up with.. All the pieces are oilcloth, so it's wipe clean - and said lovely friend is a fan of Cath Kidston, so here we have it!
Folded up, ready to travel
Folded out, ready to play!  Crayon pocket flips up while in use...
View from top while folded - just right to fit in a large handbag...
Sized to take an A5 writing pad, and a packet of crayons
For scale...