It’s been all about the sewing lately. Knitting has definitely taken a back seat. The last knit was the Christmas Elf so it was high time I did some real knitting.
So a jumper for Dougie then. I love knitting with Sublime baby cashmere merino silk. It lives up to its name. Last year sometime we saw a sample knitted up in Clare Wools on Great Darkgate Street and loved it.
The pattern is from the Ninth Little Sublime Hand Knit Book, which is all patterns for boys. Now there’s a rare thing!
It’s a deceptively simple 4 row pattern worked with 2 strands of yarn which gives a lovely texture to the finished knit.
I enjoyed knitting it but the collar was a fiddle to fit and I nearly forgot to add the gorilla button when it was finally in place.
Dougie looks very snug in it but I don’t know how he feels – that’s his ‘Uh oh’ pose!
with my new sewing machine. And just look at this!
I’m obviously in very good company. I’ve no idea when or where it was taken but apparently it was well known that John Lennon liked to sew.
Good choice of machine John!
Just One More Cushion!
While I’m on a roll! I might as well do the last plannedcushion. This time for the rocking chair. The one that is about to get a makeover with from a pot of Annie Sloan chalk paint. When I manage to drag myself away from the Pfaff that is! I’ve been going to do this for years, I bought the foam pad from Wheelers in Machynlleth a long time ago, and the inspiration came from an Aberdashery post on Facebook when I saw this fabric. Great paisley and complementaries from Camelot Cottons. Lovely. The block pattern I chose was from ‘Love Patchwork and Quiltling’ magazine. I’ve just subscribed and promised myself I will use and not just gaze lovingly at fabrics! So I’ve made a started, the original pattern was for a table runner but I liked the look of it. It took a little working out and it took me a little while to work out the fabric orientations so it’s far from perfect so needless to say I learned a lot.
The ‘Flying Geese’ were tricky, I haven’t done much with triangles really. There seemed to be lots of cutting and much more working out where everything should go.
BUT what a lot of scraps – all of them triangles so out with the idea of both sides being the same and in with my own little scrap plan for the reverse.
I had lots of practice at quilting straight lines and zig-zags, could be better, could be worse. Must do more.
Love my heart pins but I think they’re getting blunt!
Anyway, we have one more cushion, it’s better than the scrappy ones that have been on there for years. Coming soon soonish, a revamp for the chair itself. Watch this space.
I haven’t made new cushion covers for ALL the cushions in the house since moving, but it’s beginning to feel like it. When the Laura Ashley Hydrangea cushions were new they were lovely, but they had been demoted to the least used bedroom even before we moved. The lovely ribbon work wasn’t bearing up to the wear-and tear of the Hughes household and was parting company from the cushion. I wanted a little bit more of the seaside theme in what has so quickly become know as ‘Dougie’s Room’ cushions are always a quick and easy way to add some colour.
Making this paper pieced block with Mel gave me the idea for the first cushion and the appliqué boat on the first cushion was the inspiration for the second.
I had plenty of scraps for the block and I felt very satisfied by another attempt at foundation piecing and look forward to a spring course to improve.
I took the block home and the next day I appliquéd the little boat and built up the block with the blue and white pinhead spot and some solid blue.
I love buttons. I have a massive button box, many of them inherited from my mother and lots of vintage ones I’ve collected over the years but I’ve always wanted to have a go at the fabric covered ones.
I made the first ones ever on the Bento box cushions for the living room and I had some left so on they went. Nothing quite like them for a perfect match.
The seaside fabric I originally thought would be curtains is certainly going a long way, and it hasn’t finished yet. I have another idea up my sleeve but it may be a way off making.
The beach huts were going to feature on cushion two. There are four different ones and they just fitted along the cushion. So no patchwork, no borders, just the little beach huts appliquéd and some waves and clouds quilted on to the cushion front. This was a really quick make.
Since making my very first Little Caddy Bag with Mel I’ve made lots of them. She said I would. I had a grand plan of making a stock to have to give as presents but I keep giving them to friends and family as soon as they are finished! Love making them, love giving gifts so win, win really!
Well they are easy to make and I want to have a go at writing a proper tutorial on here, so here’s my first try. I’ve played around with writing little instructions for blocks and the like but nothing really serious. Many thanks to Mel. So here goes. If anyone does read and use the tutorial please leave a comment so that I know. Thanks.
Little Caddy Bag Tutorial
Materials Main Fabric A for the sides and the base and pocket linings.
Fabric B for the pockets .
Binding fabric, can be different or fabric A or B.
1.5 metres of cord
Fabric A Four 6.5″ x 11.5″ rectangles for the sides. Five 6.5″ squares for the pocket linings.
Fabric B Four 6.5″squares for the pocket fronts
Lining Four 6.5″ x 11.5″ rectangles. One 6.5″ square
Binding Two 2″ x 12.5″ strips Two 2″ x 6.5″ strips
Wadding Five 6.5″ squares
FirstMake up the pockets
Use a quarter-inch seam throughout unless stated otherwise.
Click on the photos for a larger view First make four sandwiches with squares of fabric A, fabric B and wadding. Sew as close to the edge as you can. Take the four shorter binding strips and fold and press in half lengthwise with the right side showing. Sew the open sides of the folded strip to the top of pocket. Fold the binding strip over the top of the pocket and hand sew in place. You can choose to machine sew the binding but I prefer the invisible look and it only takes minutes.
Next sew the four pockets to the bottom of each of the fabric A rectangles. The next step is the most important of the whole bag.
When preparing to join the four side make sure that the bindings of the pockets line up perfectly and pin in place. You need to have a clear line around the top of the pockets for a professional finish. If the tops or bottoms don’t line up just don’t worry about it, you can adjust later. Once you have joined all four sides sew into a tube.
Make the base of the bag with just a square each of fabric A and wadding.
Sewing the bottom into the tube is tricky but just go for it. Turn the tube inside out, align one side of the base square with one side of the tube making sure that the needle is down as you finish. Lift your presser foot and manipulate into place for the second side. Do this for each of the four sides. When you’ve done that turn to the right side and check that you have caught the corners and none of the pocket seams are showing. Don’t worry if they are just go over them again – this will be hidden under the lining!
Make the lining by joining the rectangles and sewing the base in place in the same way.
Before dropping the lining into the bag I’ve found it easiest to press the seam around the top of each section. Pin the lining and bag together around the top before sewing as close to the edge as possible.
Now you need to make the pocket for the drawstring to run through. Take the two 12.5″ strips and press a quarter-inch hem along all four edges then pin each strip about an inch from the top of the bag and leaving gaps in between for threading and drawing the cord. Sew around, again as close to the edge as you can and taking care not to sew through any other parts of the bag.
The only thing left to do is to thread the drawstring through. A tip for anyone who hasn’t worked with twisted cord before is to beware that it can unravel with unexpected ease. Before cutting wrap tape around the cord and cut through the centre of the taped area to avoid this. Cut your cord in half and thread the two pieces in opposite directions. Knot the cords tightly.
Now that you have made one you can see how easy it is to adapt the size of the bag. I know I’ll be making quite a few more and I think I just might try a waterproof one next. Here they are in yet another colour! Thank you Mel!
I did love the Christmas cushions. They were bright and warm and very cheerful, but they did shout ‘Christmas’ and in the middle of January it was definitely time for a change. The trouble was that having them made the original sofa-matching ones look dull, stiff and over-stuffed. Time to make some new ones. I loved the pop of red, and it picks up on other little accents so keep that.
Bark and Branch
I’d bought ‘Bark and Branch’ by Eloise Renouf for Cloud 9 Organic Fabrics some time ago and really wanted to use that. What to do with it? I added a couple more fabrics from my stash and started with a Disappearing 9 patch but that didn’t work for me at all. I searched in all the obvious places for a block I fancied and what came to mind was the Bento box I’d used for the Christmas table runner. It was fun to make and I thought the mix of dark and light in the collection would be good.
Two blocks, quartered and pieced ready for two cushion tops.
I added a red border – for the colour pop then once my quilt sandwich was made it was time to try out the new machine. I free motioned the centre and the wider pieces but put the machine to work on the narrower pieces and on a little asterisk stitch to bring in a little more red. So easy!
I wanted to try out buttonholes too, so for the back two halves with two fabric-covered buttons. The buttonhole function is so simple; once the foot is on and the size set just sew and cut and there you have it! I made a third cushion adding some red from the ‘Winter’s Lane’ collection I used for my Festive Table Runner to make a spiral block. The overall look of the cushions is a great mix of the blues and reds from the room, the cool winter blues and the hot red. Close up? Well I think I’m making some progress in piecing, design and quilting . Satisfying.