Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Sewing’ Category

Our older daughter was married last weekend.  It’s been a busy time with preparations, and I was able to use my home sewing skills to make some special things for the big day.   🙂

My daughter liked this style of ring pillow, so I made this one for her:

We purchased our bride’s wedding dress from a bridal shop, but we couldn’t find just the right dress for our younger daughter to wear as a bridesmaid.  So…back to the ways of my childhood, I did as my mother would have done, and we went to the fabric store to look at patterns and fabric.  We found just the right shade of pink silk dupion as requested by the bride, and my little one chose McCalls 5795 pattern as the dress she would like to wear.

This is a lovely pattern, and the instructions are easy to follow.  I had a few problems putting in the zipper, but I think that was my own fault from inexperience, as I had never sewn anything so complicated before.  I had difficulty managing all the layers — silk outer fabric, taffeta lining and tulle overskirt — even though I had carefully hand-basted everything together.   But after the second attempt, it was fine, and next time it will be easier!  🙂  Now that I’ve made this one, I’m eager to try it again.

Here’s the dress almost finished, just needing a bit of handwork:

It turned out really well, and here are our two lovely girls on the Big Day:

I suddenly realised that my “little one” isn’t so little anymore.  And my “big girl” is all grown up.  Where does the time go?

Happy Quilting — and Sewing!  🙂

Read Full Post »

Our weatherman says the UK is suffering the fiercest winter we’ve had in 30 years.  I believe it.  We’ve had snow on the ground since December 17, with more snow falling several times a week, and it’s only now starting to thaw.

Our front hall is always freezing cold.  It has a metal door (those are magnets stuck on) and double-paned glass, but in weather like this, it’s just not enough insulation.  I don’t know why, but it took me all these years to finally think of a solution!  😉

This beautiful fabric is a perfect match to the Amethyst Cream paint in our hall.  It’s called Almost Paradise Batiks and was designed by Ro Gregg for Northcott Fabrics.  I don’t know how old it is — it’s been in my stash for many years.

I made one panel the width of fabric and lined it with plain cream-coloured muslin.  To save time, I machine stitched the hem.  This is more of a utility curtain than for beauty, although I did want it to look nice.

I made it long enough to cover the mail slot since cold air can blow through there, too.

And here it is, all finished!  It’s attached with velcro strips at the top of the door and the top of the curtain so it can be removed in the daytime and nice weather.

I used three yards of fabric for this project — 54 inches each of print and lining.

The postman also brought me one last package of fabric that I had mail-ordered two weeks ago — 2 yards of cream background for the Challenge quilt I am working on.  That brings my totals for Week 3 to:

Bought this week:  2 yards
Bought year-to-date:  9.75 yards
Used this week:  3 yards
Used (net):  -6.75 yards

To see how others are doing with their Stash Reports, please visit Judy’s blog, Patchwork Times.

Happy Quilting!

Read Full Post »

This week I’ve been sewing 18 pillowcases for Christmas gifts for family members — everyone is getting two pillowcases each because I had lots of fabric!

I used two of my all-time favourite fabrics, which I have been saving for a “worthy purpose” like this.    🙂

Ribbons…

and Cute Chairs…

I’m not sure where I bought these fabrics, but they came with me from America when I moved to England in 1997!  Vintage, I call that.   😉

Here are my two favourite pillowcase patterns:

1.  Mary Johnson’s great pattern with a step-by-step tutorial, which has all enclosed seams and is very good when you have larger pieces of fabric;  and

2. Mary Lou Weidman’s pattern at the Benartex website, Bee Happy Pillowcases, which works well with smaller pieces of fabric and looks fine with overcast or serged seams.

Here’s my stash report for Week 50:

Bought this week:  0
Used this week:  20.25
Bought Year-to-Date:  24.875
Used Year-to-Date:  149.875
Net Used: 125

Is this naughty?  I’m thinking that since I’ve reached my goal and exceeded it a little bit, I could even buy some new fabric before the end of the year without getting myself in too much trouble.  My stash of neutrals and backgrounds could use a boost.

To see how others are progressing with Stashbusting this week, please visit Judy’s blog.

Happy Quilting!

Read Full Post »

This week I have been sewing more shopping bags for the Christmas fair at my daughter’s school.

This is a great stash-busting project!  I am only using new fabric from my stash, and I’m absolutely flying through the yardage!  What fun!  And I have discovered that my “what was I thinking when I bought that” fabrics are making the very cutest bags!  🙂

I’ve been trying out some different patterns for variety, but my favourite for “quick and easy” sewing is this free pattern from Morsbags.  Tipnut blog also has a list of 35 free bag patterns.

Stash Report for Week 48

Bought this week:  0
Used this week:  28.125
Bought Year-to-Date:  24.875
Used Year-to-Date:  120.5
Net Used:  95.625

Please visit Judy’s blog to see how others are getting along with their stash busting this week.

Happy Quilting!

Read Full Post »

This week I’ve been making cloth shopping bags for the Christmas Fair at my daughter’s school, using fabrics from my stash.

Shopping bags

These bags are made using the free pattern at the Morsbags website and take a little less than 5/8 yard each to make.  They go together quickly and easily, and when I took some samples to show at the PTA meeting, everyone liked them very much.

I have found some other cute free patterns on the Internet, too.  This design by Silver Seams is for a cloth bag in the same shape as a plastic shopping bag.  I like the way the handles and the bag are cut in one piece.

This roomy bag designed by Nanette is recommended for denim or canvas to be super sturdy.  This pattern will be perfect to recycle an old denim skirt that I’ve been saving for just the right project.

I also like the look of this free grocery bag pattern from The Creative Thimble.  I think this would make a great tote bag, as well — perhaps with a heavier-weight home decor fabric.

My Stash Report for Week 42 is:

  • Bought:  0 yards
  • Fabric used this week for bags:  3.125 yards
  • Year to Date Bought:  24.875 yards
  • Year to Date Used:  84.875 yards
  • Net used:  60 yards

To see how others are progressing with Stash Busting this week, please visit Judy’s blog.

Happy Sewing!

Read Full Post »

I spent most of my sewing time this week making this dress for my little girl to wear to school on Monday.  They usually wear school uniforms, but their year group is doing a history project, and she needed something “old-fashioned” looking to wear.

Little dress3

It looks huge on the coat hanger!  Here it is on my little model.

Little Dress

She chose the fabric herself, from my quilting stash.  It’s one of my “vintage” fabrics from when I first started quilting.

Little dress print

It’s cold and blustery here, so the dress is completely lined for warmth.  I used 4 yards to make it, so my totals for this week are:

  • Bought 0 yards
  • Used 4 yards
  • Year to Date bought 24.875 yards
  • Year to Date Used 80 yards

I’m also still working on Judy’s Quilt for an Hour, the Roman Stripes UFO, and the little boxed squares but don’t have any significant progress to show.

Happy Sewing!

Read Full Post »

My “new” sewing machine, purchased on eBay, arrived today.  I have named her Sylvia.  She is a Singer 507, and she was made in 1975.  She is very similar to the sewing machine I had in America before I moved to England.

Sylvia came with a nicely-done instruction manual, which someone scanned from an original and printed on a colour printer, then spiral-bound.  She also has a genuine Singer foot pedal and a new re-wired electric plug.  My little daughter and I sewed on her all afternoon, and she works great.

Here are some photos, because I just have to show her off!  She’s so beautiful…

Happy Sewing!

Singer 507 Sylvia

Singer 507 accessories

Read Full Post »

My Bears in the Farmhouse quilt top, now renamed “Bears in the Art Museum,” is finished!

bears-finished-top1

This project was part of Judy Laquidara‘s Quilt Along.  Finished quilt tops by other participants can be viewed here.  Judy said about 300 participants started the project, and more than 150 carried on through the final step.

Thank you, Judy, for this beautiful pattern.  I’ve learned some new techniques and a more efficient method of assembling a quilt top.  This is also the most technically perfect quilt top I’ve ever made — and I had to unpick a few seams and redo them to make sure of that!  😉

It was really good fun, too.   🙂

Happy Sewing!

Read Full Post »

I’ve finished my second UFO for the Stashbuster UFO Challenge for 2009.

It was originally planned as a wallhanging for our old house, and I started it in 2000 with blocks and scraps left over from the larger quilt featured in my homepage banner.  We don’t really have a good wall for it to hang in this house, and my husband and daughter both said they liked it better as a table topper, so…table topper it is!

ufo2-finished

The quilting was done on my domestic sewing machine.  I drew the motif on the fabric with a white pencil using the stencil as a guide, and modified it to use only a single line of stitching instead of the double line.  I thought the double line of stitching might be too heavy for this small project.  It measures approximately 31 inches square.

Now I get to report it on the Stashbuster list as a Finish, just in time for the end of the first quarter of the year!

Happy Sewing!

Read Full Post »

The HeartStrings Quilt Project group is making Quilt As You Go (QAYG) blocks for Jan MacFadyen of Victoria, Australia, during the months of March and April.

Jan is a member of HeartStrings, and she will be finishing these blocks into quilts for Victoria, Australia Bushfire survivors.   Volunteers estimate approximately 5000 quilts will be needed for this project.  Jan has two blogs with photos and complete details on her work, including her postal address if you can send her anything to help with this project:

http://sewmanyquiltstoolittletime.blogspot.com/

http://ozcomfortquilts.blogspot.com/

She also has an excellent two-part Tutorial on the method used for constructing these blocks from strips of fabric (strings) and scrap pieces of batting.

Part 1:

http://sewmanyquiltstoolittletime.blogspot.com/2009/02/quilt-as-you-go-block-tutorial.html

Part 2:

http://sewmanyquiltstoolittletime.blogspot.com/2009/02/finally-tutorial-part-2.html

Here are some of the QAYG blocks that I have made for Jan so far.  I’ve finished 23 blocks, and need to make 12 more to have enough for one entire quilt.  These blocks will be for men’s and teenage boys’ quilts.  My husband helped me choose the fabrics to make sure they are suitably “manly.”  😉

qayg-blocks-for-jan

Here is my Stash Report for Week 12:

  • Bought          0
  • Used               5  yds (for QAYG blocks – fronts and backs)
  • YTD Bought    10.75 yds
  • YTD Used       72.5 yds

Happy Sewing!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »