Monday, 14 April 2014

Baby quilt

So my best and oldest friend is having a baby and I wanted to give her something personal that she could hold onto for a long time, so it had to be a quilt!

I have never made a baby quilt before, I've made double, king size, lap, table runners - all of the above - but never a baby quilt.   So this was going to be a fun and quick project.

I went to my local fabric store and picked out some fabrics.  They don't know what they're having yet so the nursery is going to be lime green.  It's actually pretty hard trying to pick out fabrics without knowing the sex of the intended recipient... if you ask me there's not enough selection out there!  Anyway I found these lovely ones and thought I could do something with this little lot!

To start with anyway!  Once I decided what pattern I was doing I needed to buy some extra bits and pieces.  

I eventually decided on the Log Cabin design.  I just loved how easy it was to make up when I made my Kingsize Quilt last year, so I decided to go with that pattern

I used the pattern book 'Quilt in a Day' series, which is great.  I'd really recommend that series of quilt pattern books.  They're just super easy to follow.  Really good, clear instructions.

You start off by cutting your fabric into strips.  

The idea is you get 3 lights, 3 darks and a centre square.    Here are mine cut and ready to go!

Then you simple take your first fabric and the centre square and sew them together (right sides together)


Then you open those up and cut into squares.  Here are mine having a good press

In quilting - it's important to know which way to press your fabrics - as it all comes together in the end and you want to be able to not only align your fabric, but when it comes to quilting you want as few bumps as possible.

Then you basically keep going in that vain, adding another strip, trimming

Adding another strip, trimming, pressing and so on

Until you get one complete square!

I managed to cut off the outside edge on this pic but you get the idea!

Then once you have all your quilt squares you need to decide on a layout. 

This is the tricky part!  Well it is if you're like me and bad at making decisions!

See the different effects you can get just by laying out the squares differently


Do you see how the light and dark comes in too?

Anyway I went for this one - the Zig Zag! 


So then it was just a case of sewing the squares together.  Your pressing becomes really important here as you want everything to sit nicely together.

Here's a better picture of the squares!  I love that chick fabric.  It's beyond cute.

I loved it so much I used it in my border.  I liked the pea one too.

So then you have to pin your quilt to stop it from slipping when you put it through your machine.  This is the bit I hate the absolute most!  Bent over a table, sticking in pins and usually pricking my fingers!  But there we go.  Some folk use the spray solution but I'm yet to be entirely convinced by this.

Then you quilt it!

I only have a wee machine so a baby quilt was just about right for the size of my machine!  Can you imagine the struggle I had with the King Size!  

Mind those pins!

I use the stitch in the ditch method of quilting, because my freehand machine quilting skills leave a lot to be desired.  Something I will improve upon.

Then whizz on the binding and here we are!

One complete quilt!  Oh and don't forget to label it!  I had a slight problem with my zig zag stitch so don't look too closely.  At this point I couldn't be bothered unpinning and starting again - I just wanted it finished!  But the label looks OK from a distance!\

Got it out in the post today.  Baby's due to arrive with us tomorrow.  Fingers crossed he/she likes it!

Friday, 14 March 2014


So as we approach another weekend (hurrah) I finally have a moment to update you on last weekend.

Saturday was one of those days where you have a long lie and then manage to put something in the slow cooker before heading out for the day.  I had a joint of pork, so I put a spice rub on it, braised it...

And then stuck it in the slow cooker with some lager

And then left it to do its work.  I sometimes find Pork just a bit too fatty so I made sure to remove all the fat before I put it in.

We then took the dog for a walk along Glasgow Green

You can just feel Spring time in the air now.  Here's the pup and the boyfriend outside the People's Palace.

I then nipped off to the hairdressers and to Mandors to add to my fabric stash 

before heading home to check on that pork.

I whipped up a quick coleslaw and then had this yummy mess to munch on.  Pulled pork tacos, with corn, avocado, sour cream, cheese, salsa and that coleslaw!

Man it was good.

So then we had a snuggle on the sofa and watched Saturday night TV

Sunday was spent in the sewing room.  After the success of finishing my first Tilly Mathilde blouse I set about making another one.

So I used the spotty fabric I bought yesterday.

I had plenty interfacing left over

I love these cute pins!  They came free on a magazine

Pleats in!

I got a full day at it.  and whipped it all up to the point of the sleeves but then disaster!  I tried it on and it's too small!  I'd forgot that the adjustment I'd made on the last one was to let it out a bit, not in.  Oh well - all the more reason to go on a diet.  I'm going to finish it anyway and then see if I can add a section to it to make it larger.  

I'd bought buttons and everything.

This weekend I'm going to tackle a baby quilt for my best friend who is due her first next month

But all in all a pretty darn good weekend!

Friday, 7 March 2014

Mathilde blouse

So it's been a long time coming but finally I have managed to complete my Mathilde Blouse  as designed by Tilly

As soon as I saw this shirt on Tilly's blog I knew I had to make it.  My staple wardrobe is made up of blouses and jeans.  I'd already made the colette peony dress at my class and so I thought I might be able to tackle this on my own.

One of the things I really struggled with was fabric choice - not which pattern, but which type of fabric.  I'm new to dressmaking fabrics and so didn't know anything about drape, different types etc.  So I bought the Fabric for Fashion Swatch Book and read posts on other peoples blogs about how to pick the right fabric for a particular pattern.  I'd read some good reviews about Liberty Lawn but knew it was expensive.  It was a risk given this would be my first unassisted project but I took my time, followed the amazingly clear instructions on Tilly's blog and I got my blouse!

I narrowed it down to between these two fabric samples:

I went with the light blue as it was summer when I started making this! (ssshhhh!)

I printed the pattern off using the office printer (again ssshhh!) and I thought it would be a right pain to assemble at home.  It wasn't.  It was really easy.

And the construction was really easy to follow too.  I even managed to put french seams in!

It was all going swimmingly and then it was the lead up to Christmas and sewing for me had to stop as I had 2 quilts to make and a bunch of table runners that I wanted to give as presents.  

So fast fwd to the new year.  Picked it up again early January and really struggled with my buttons.  I use a Janome CXL301 and I just couldn't get the automatic button hole to work.  So I took it into the lady I did my course with and I'd not been waiting for it to beep once it had put the first button hole in!  Hurrah.  Easily fixed.

So I went home and put them on right away

don't look too closely as there are a few errors there from the aforementioned buttonhole fiasco!

I also think my neckline is a little high, so I'd maybe make that adjustment next time

And it's slightly tighter than I wanted - but that's my fault.... I cut a bit of the back off as it seemed too big.  So I'll just leave it alone next time.... and there will be a next time.

All in all I'm really chuffed with it.  I want to do a polka dot one next time!

Monday, 3 March 2014

Nice day for a Wedding....and a birthday!

It's been a while since we attended a wedding.  We went through a spell there where there was one every other weekend.  And we've done the rounds of bridesmaid/bestman duties so this weekend it was our turn to just be the guests and it was great.

We got dressed up, drank champagne and saw our good friends get wed!

I'm wearing my Pin Up Girl clothing Ava dress in Jade Green - which I just loved. The boyfriend's looking pretty dapper in his 3 piece!  I do love him in a suit.

and the beautiful bride - Ali.  Looking stunning.  Here we are with Robyn.

The boyfriend posing on the steps outside.

And as well as being a lovely weekend for a wedding.... this little pup also turned 2

She was technically born on the 29th of February, but her KC certificate says the 1st of March so Saturday is her nominated birthday.  Love this dog.  She's got really long hair just now and is a fluffy ball of sweetness!

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Vintage Plates

Another beautiful find on our antiques hunt last Sunday.  The lady at the shop threw these in with my cabinet for free.  I have a bit of a thing for antique crockery.  There's just something so delicate and pretty about it.  The finish, the china, imagining who ate of it, what they were doing, who they were, that I just love!

I have quite a few bits and pieces now.  Vintage Kitchenalia is really a passion of mine.  I never thought I'd get into antiques the way I did, but I guess years Production Managing the Antiques Road Trip show has rubbed off on me!

I used to find myself in these bric a brac, shabby chic, antiques, vintage (whatever you want to call them) stores for work.. hanging around whilst the Director got the cutaway or the expert got the deal they wanted, but now I shop for pleasure!  To be fair, I had to ban myself from going on shoots when we were in production because I always came home with a boot full of 'stuff'!  

Sewing Space Update

We went antiquing last Sunday and I found this gorgeous 1950s display cabinet that I took home and turned into my long awaited fabric stash cabinet!

I spent last night organising my fabric into colours and type.  Dress making on the top.... quilting on the bottom two shelves by colour.  It's so good to finally see all the lovely fabrics I have.  They were just stuffed in a plastic crate underneath the computer desk but now they're on display to inspire me over and over!  It's amazing what a difference a bit of organisation can make!

I got all my patterns out too.  I have the  Macaron Pattern by Colette to do.  I've been trying so hard to find time to start this but never quite getting there.  I'm also half of the way through the Kimono Burda top as inspired by Handmade Janes recent blog and I recently bought a couple of Simplicity patterns that I saw over on Adventures in Dressmaking that I want to try.

With all this sewing to do I'm going to have to buy more fabric - but now I have a gorgeous place to store it all!  

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Sewing Room Upgrade

I don't know about you but I always feel slightly relieved with January comes.  The over indulgences of December are over, it's a time to hibernate and regroup and get ready for the year ahead.

It's also usually a quiet time in terms of work for me - but maybe not so much this year.  Regardless I am taking every opportunity I can to get on the sewing machine.

I have started a new knitting project and keep making the Granny squares for my crochet quilt when I'm in front of the TV and the sewing room is about to get a make over.  Starting with this little beauty - my new thread organiser!  The simple things..... it just makes me so happy to look at it.  I'm constantly looking for the same colour thread and can't find it..... especially invisible thread.  Turns out I have 8 reels of invisible thread!  I just kept buying more for my log cabin quilt as I thought I'd ran out!  Oh man.  Anyway now I can see what I have.

The next thing on my sewing room agenda, is a book shelf and a display cabinet to keep my stash in. I'm going to hit the antiques shops this weekend and try and grab a couple of bargains.  Then finally I'm going to get a better table.  I have an old one from my boyfriend's parents garage and it has been great, but I feel like I want one with a few drawers in to keep the essentials.

A book shelf will be amazing as I can display all my books and lovely little bits on.  I'm going to turn it into a real sewing sanctuary.

I also think I shall obtain some wall hangings until I have time to make my own.  My sewing room is also our spare room for if we have anybody stay over, so it needs to serve a double purpose.  

We are working on a new show about dealing at auctions at the moment and I think perhaps that should be where I am hanging out looking for these bargains!  

I'll keep you updated on how it's coming along..... watch this space... literally  - lol!