Friday, 29 August 2014

Patterns and fabrics

I recently bought these lovely fabrics.... and the Colette knit dress pattern

I just need to find time to make them now.  The green bird fabric is going to be a dressing gown

In other news I've been attending an advanced dressmaking class and I've just about finished my hawthorn blouse - just sleeves and buttons to go in - but man those plackets are a nuisance!


So anybody who follows me on twitter or instagram you will know I have been getting really into crochet lately.

Whilst I love my sewing - I find it quite anti-social and when i'm in the sewing room I can't interact with the boyfriend... and when I'm sat watching a movie or box set with him I feel guilty I'm not sewing so I wanted something to do with my hands.  I do knit but on anything more complicated than a straight stitch it's impossible for me to knit and really watch something.  The boyfriend says I'm an angry knitter - not really the point, right?  But if he interrupts me when i'm in the middle of a lace pattern what do you expect?!  lol.  So anyway crochet seems a perfect fit.  I'd been wanting to learn for a while and I just started following videos on youtube and taught myself.

I'd been making granny squares for a while.... so I still have those piled up to put together in a blanket... so I just decided to keep going...

It started coming up fairly quickly

Soon enough I had a Pippa sized blanket...

She seemed to get pretty comfy in that there blanket....

And then later on that night still wouldn't let it go..

That face just says it all right?  Don't steal my blanket mum?  lol

Anyway I did (cruel mum) and it's still coming together really well now.... except I ran out of wool just a few crochets away from the end of a row - so I'm now awaiting my ebay delivery (hopefully tomorrow) as I'm getting crochet withdrawals.

It really is the perfect craft to do in front of the box and a great way to use up yarn!


Sunday, 27 July 2014

Recent Fabric Purchases

I have bought quite a bit of fabric recently.

Let's start by admiring this amazing silk Liberty bird fabric.

It's amazing.  I love it.  I feel like I need more practice making blouses before I start to cut this up!

So I took advantage of a sale on Minerva

And bought this gorgeous bundle.  I've started to make the Hawthorn Colette Pattern at my Advanced Dressmaking Class  and I think I will use the dark green cotton.  Then if I have time I think I'd like to do it in the blue satin.  I've never sewn anything with satin before, so I want to get the shirt right first and then use the tough fabric.

This final bundle is an old purchase from my last trip to the States, to JoAnns.  It will make up my next quit, which I think will be a Flying Geese design.  

But for now after finishing those last quilt projects, I'm going to concentrate on dress making and get the most out of my course.

Quick Diamond Quilt

I've been meaning to make a quilt for Pippa for some time.  She always loves my quilts and I hate how the dog/cat hair gets stuck to them, so I figured if I made her, her own she could stop stealing mine!

I used some bits and pieces of either scraps I had left over, or fat quarters I have had in my stash for a LONG time

I wanted to make it pink for a girl dog! ;)

Out of each fat quarter I managed to get a rectangle piece for a triangle and a strip for binding later on

The bigger rectangle pieces I cut on the diagonal

Then use one light and one dark

And lay out to sew together... 


Use a dark, light, dark, light combo pile


This is for ease of grabbing, next to your machine

Just sew along the edge

Chain stitch to be thread economical!

Then iron to the light side

And this will be your first part of the block.  You need four of these to make one block

You make your diamond, by sewing the light or dark edges together.  You want to alternate how you do this for effect on the top.  I did a 9 block quilt. 

This is me trying out different designs.  I finally settled on the light vs dark design, rather than a giant pinwheel.

So I had 9 of these blocks, 3 per row.

The smaller strips from earlier I just sewed together to make a binding.  You could use it as a border and then use a plain colour for a binding, but I was happy with this.

So many different opportunities to play around with this design.  

I think Pippa's happy with this one tho

 She jumped straight on it.  Yawned and fell asleep

So that's one sewing companion happy.

Next it's time for Sparky to get his own quilt.  Here he is next to my machine on his favourite perch.

Falling Charm Quilt

I started this quilt quite a few months ago.  I seem to have been doing it for ages, but not because it's hard or tricky to do - just a lack of sewing time.

It's a Missouri Star Quilt Co youtube tutorial.  I got 3 charm packs off ebay and used up white fabric I had leftover from a previous project.

So it's a bit like a log cabin, but without all the strips.  The charm packs are a great way to save all the cutting!  

I spent a little bit of time considering a layout, so that I didn't have similar or same charms too close!

You also want to make sure you get the 'falling' bit right.

Once you get a layout, I always find it useful to snap a pic, so I have it to refer back to

The dog thought she'd nip in there and get in this pic.

Then it's just a case of sewing each square together and then each row together.

Pinning!  I wish I had an adjustable table as my back is always killing after this bit!

I just stitched round the ditch of each of the charm squares.  It was a bit fiddly and took quite a bit of time.

I had a jelly roll that I used for the border and binding

The binding took forever to put on - the jelly roll was just too narrow  - note to self; don't do that again!

So I was up until 1 in the morning last night binding and then gave up.  

I was also using a new wadding - Mountain Mist which I bought from the Create & Craft TV website.    I had a few problems with it.  I think it took a bit more effort to get through the machine compared to warm & Natural and it kept getting stuck on my walking foot upon entry to the quilt top.  I also had quite a lot of creases.  Part of the reason why I was up so late last night as I had to do a lot of unpicking.  So I don't think I'll use it again.   I will just find the extra money and stick with the reliable quality of the Warm & Natural brand.  

But here's the finished result - I'm quite pleased with it!  

Friday, 13 June 2014

What we've been eating...

As we've had a bit of extra time together, we've been making busy in the kitchen.

Breakfast is one of my favorite meals

This is a quick hash I threw together last weekend.  Jersey royal potatoes, spring onion, pancetta, parsley and a sprinkle of cheddar with scrambled eggs

this was so yummy I made it for tea last night too!

I also made some home made Turkey burgers out of this lot - just whizz it all together in a food processor and let it rest in the fridge and then fry


Some BNS chips out of this lot - turned the spices into a rub and then coated the squash in them with some cornflour.  So good!  Tip is to soak your squash first too - get rid of some of the starch.  Yum

And I made my first ever chocolate mousse - which turned out pretty good.  Used a classic mousse recipe and chucked some cointreau in.  

I'd have put in more liqueur in hindsight.  But this is definitely a recipe I'm going to make again and again so will post a proper blog 'how to' soon.


I've also been really busy in the sewing room and signed up for another dressmaking course.  I'll update on all of that soon!

The last month....

So aside from Rome, camping.... we've been busy just doing nothing basically.  

We had a really good night watching Eurovision - we got lots of 'picky bits' from Tesco and did ourselves a wee platter.

I put a tenner on the bearded lady and so she made me £20.  Not bad.  Was pretty happy with that.

Pippa and I have been getting to hang out together loads.  Love that dog.  She's my world

The boyfriend and I have been getting to hang out together loads too!  As he's office based for the most part at the minute.

Puss has just been hanging out.  He's a cat - he don't need nobody! 

I've been crocheting, knitting, sewing....... Pippa's been keeping me company

The weather has been OK - not great, but any time there's a break in the rain we've been heading out for walks with Pips.  This is Mugdock Reservoir - one of our favorite places. 

We managed a wee bbq in the back garden a couple of Saturdays ago

Just some sausages... Pippa enjoyed it.  She managed to steal FOUR sausages in total

That face - you'd never believe she was such a thief!

I just love this picture of her with her chew.  She got her pet passport recently so we've been in and out of the vets - there's a wee pet shop next door that she always gets a treat out of after a vet visit.  She went nuts for this jerky.  Carried it the whole way home..... 
Best of friends!

She's definitely the Lady of our Manor

We went for a lovely walk along the canal last Friday night after work.... and saw these beautiful swans

If you look close enough you'll see one of them is hitching a ride on mamma swan!  Not an ugly duckling in sight!