Fun Sewing with Boys

Teddy is all ready for some good weather fun with a brand new sleeping bag.

Sleepingbag1

Now I must admit that I can’t take any credit for this lovely creation. In this case all the credit goes to my 6 year old son who’s been working away at the sewing machine over the past few days.

First he asked to make a cushion. I let him loose on my fabric stash, helped him to cut out the requested fabrics and then supervised while he machine stitched the pieces together, turned them inside out, stuffed his little pillow and finally hand stitched it shut.

Handsewing

I can honestly say that he was more than delighted with his creation.cushion

Once the pillow was made he wanted to make a sleeping bag. So back to the fabric he went. I helped him with the design and cutting the fabric but the sewing was all his own.

Quilting

He even did some trimming once the quilting was done, strictly supervised of course.Rotarycutting

I think one of the most difficult parts may have been turning the almost finished sleeping bag right way out, Turning

but he manged and it wasn’t long before all his old teddies had somewhere comfortable to lay their heads.

Firstmakes

After these first creations he was eager to stitch some more so he went about creating a second sleeping bag for his little brother’s teddy.

Sleepingbag2

It was definitely a big hit and a lovely gift for a poorly little man who was under the weather with chickenpox.

SleepingbagConorNow that all of the teddies have somewhere comfortable to lay their heads he wants to move on to making a bag. One with buttonhole closures, because he wants to see how the buttonholer on the machine works!

Making these sleeping bags has actually been a good starting point for such a project because, as you can see by comparing the work in progress shot below with the finished sleeping bag above, they are simply my flap closed pouches with the flap section stuffed to form a pillow instead of a flap.

Dinosaurpouch

I find it wonderful to see how much he loves sewing and to watch the engineer in him trying to find out how all the different presser feet and stitches on the machine work. I will certainly be encouraging him to create as much as he wants, even it if means I get less sewing time for myself as a result. I will also enjoy the challenge of helping him design and create as much as he likes. Generally there appear to be very few resources out there aimed at sewing with boys but we certainly aren’t going to let that stop us!

Linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday over at Blossom Heart Quilts

Tangrams and Quilting – Fun in Fabric!

Tangrams and quilting. When you think of one you don’t usually think of the other, do you? Unless you’re me perhaps. When my son got a Tangram book from his Grossmutti and Grossvati (Swiss grandparents) for Christmas the first thing that I thought of as I browsed through all the different designs was EPP. So of course when I decided to make a springtime quilt last week I knew I had the perfect oppertunity to try out my idea.

Bunny Green

If you’ve been following me on Instagram, or facebook, then you’ll know I started by pulling a bunch of spring time fabrics from my stash. I focused on pinks, greend and lemons, with an added Moda scrap bag of the low volume prints from Sweetwater’s Sunkissed line that have been sitting in my stash for way too long. If you have ever used one of these scrap bags you will know that they are filled with width of fabric selvege edge strips of fabric all of varying width, but all perfectly useable. I sorted out the widest strips from the scrap pack fabric roll and once I had that done I started cutting into them. At that stage I didn’t have a plan or a design so I really was doing things a little backward. Fom the widest strips I was able to cut 54 6×3″ rectangles. Once I had those I got planning. I took some inspiration from a quilt I had designed as part of a challenge a couple of years ago. The Sunkissed fabrics I had cut up would, with some off-white fabric from my stash, form the background of the quilt. After that I had plenty of blenders that I cut into to make some EPP tangram bunnies and applique flowers.

Bunnies

The quilt came together very quickly. By the end of the first evening I had the background pieced, the bunnies pieced and the flowers all ready to fuse in place. The following day I settled on the arrangement of the embelishments, stitched the bunnies in place, fused the flowers, and then it was back to my stash to find some backing fabric and my favourite Quilter’s Dream cotton batting. I wish I could tell you what the backing fabric it is but I don’t have a clue. It was a remnant of cotton that I found in a local sewing store so I have no idea what it is.

Backing fabric

Once I have my quilt sandwich the quilting started easily. Outline stitching around the bunnies was the obvious starting point. Then I decided I would brave free motion quilting for the flowers. I have never free motion quilted a quilt before (doll’s quilts don’t count, right?) but this seemed like a good project to start on. I got out a paractice quilt sandwich, set up my machine and as soon as I started to stitch I knew this was meant to be. The stitches were coming out perfectly right from the start. There were no tension issues, there wasn’t a single loop on the back. I had somehow stumbled on what seemed to be the perfect setting for fmq on my machine, something I had never managed before it should be said.

FMQ Blooms

I did a double row of stitching around each of the flowers. I then got out my flower template, drew lots more on the quilt and then went on to stitch each one of those as well. I used 50wt Aurifil for all of the quilting, and the piecing too for that matter. Natural White #2021 is always my go to thread for piecing light fabrics and in this case for the outline quilting on the bunnies. Variegated Lemon #4658 was the perfect choice for the rest of the quilting. It has a lovely mix of lemon and orange hues that perfectly picked up on the colours in the Sunkissed fabrics and carried them through to the rest of the quilt.

Quilt on Grass

I’m sure the quilting is far from perfect but to me it is perfection. Yes some of the flowers looks as if they have beeen attacked by a caterpillar but I like that in them, and I do not for one second regreat making this my first ever free motion quilted quilt.

Intree

The binding is pink, Timeless Treasures Sketch in Peony. I just love the Sketch fabrics. They are ever so versatile and I always have to have some in my stash for that reason. I started with my bundle of fabrics on Friday morning and Saturday evening saw me catching up on a few episondes of  Call the Midwife while stitching down the binding. My springtime quilt was ready just in time for Easter, a fun spring day when we saw as much sunshine as snow.

Eastereggs

On Snow

At 44″ square this quilt is just the perfect size to throw over the back of the sofa, and have at the ready as a lap quilt. It’s been so much fun to make that I will defintiely be making a few more along the same lines. After all there is a book full of tangrams just waiting for me to EPP them and put them on some quilts!

 

 

Silver Linings – WiP Wednesday

Easter is just around the corner and for us that meant the start of spring holidays from school. We were going to have some family time in the mountains, maybe even some enf of season skiing for the boys, playdates and outings. We had plans. And then the pox hit. The chicekn pox that is. My eldest was a little off-form in the latter half of last week but I just put that down to his busy schedule. Saturday came and I realised I was wrong when I saw the spots. And so our plans went out the window. But with that pox ridden cloud came a whole host of silver linings. We got to start the holidays a little early. My son may be spotty but he’s in great form so my two boys are getting lots of play time together. There are puppet shows and train trips, holiday outings, lego builds and so much more and all are taking place right here at home. We have lots of Easter crafting to do in the days ahead and plenty of time to do it. And Mummy is getting a lot more designing and sewing time than she has been getting of late.

Now I do have quite a pile of works in progress that I should be finishing off. For the most part these are quilt tops that need basting and quilting but these are remaining on the side for now. These will require careful planning because space to baste and space to quilt is something that I do not have here on a day to day basis and something that really requires some advance planning. EPP Liberty butterflies and bloom made by Paula @ Mud, Pies and Pins

What I am getting on with is some English Paper Piecing. I have finally finished off my collection of EPP Liberty butterflies, or at least I have decided that I have made enough because in all honesty I could just keep designing and making these forever. They have some blooms to flutter around and now they need their final setting. I have dedicated a lot of time to researching ideas for this over the past few days and am finally decided on an Irish linen background. Now all that is left is for me to actually source what I want.

WIth that project in it’s final stages I knew it was time to start another new EPP project that could be my new long term project-on-the-go. While I often have several mini projects that I can bring with me when travelling I do also like to always have at least one long term project on the go and ready to bring on my weekly train commutes, or on spur of the moment outings when I am not workign on something else. So I designed a quilt. An EPP quilt that would again feature Liberty fabrics, as my stash of those is ever growing. And then just when I thought I was ready to start sewing the post arrived. And in the post was a package containing the Mercury and Grove Sun Prints by Alison Glass. And straight away I started cutting. And covering papers. And sewing.

WiP Sun Prints EPP quilt by Paula @ Mud, Pies and Pins

And so it looks like my Liberty quilt idea may have just gone out the window.

WiP Sun Prints EPP quilt by Paula @ Mud, Pies and Pins

I’m only three blocks in to this new project and I have to say that I am in love with this design, with the movement inthe blocks, with the way the colours and fabrics are working together.

WiP Sun Prints EPP quilt by Paula @ Mud, Pies and PinsBut this is not my original vision for this quilt. This is a spur of the moment creation, one that I am admittedly very much in love with, but one that is unplanned all the same. In my eagerness to see this quilt progress I am sewing more and more of it every chance I get and so this is defintiely not going to be a long term project, but the Liberty version will be.

I need to tweak the block design a bit for the Liberty project, make it bigger, split it down into even more pieces. It will be different, but still somewhat the same. It will be what I wanted it to be, and envisaged it as being and I image that for a long time it is very likely to be a work in progress, just as I had planned!

I’m linking up my silver linings / works in progress with Work in Progress Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced. What about you do you have any projects that have arisen as silver linings?

Ho, Ho, Ho and On We Sew – March

It’s March. It’s spring, or autumn, depending on where you are, but no matter where I’m sure for many thoughts of Christmas are far, far away. I, however, discovered last year how liberating it was to work on gift and décor projects month by month throughout the year and thus totally avoid the pressures and stresses of a last minute rush in November/December. This year is no different and with the monthly Ho, Ho, Ho and On We Sew link parties to keep me motivated I work on items as and when ideas come to me.Knitting cowls/scarfs and hats with Knit Collage yarns / Mud, Pies and PinsNow I must admit that this month I don’t have any sewn items to share, but only because the projects I have been working on are all knitted. I’ve always loved knitting although in recent years the needles have been stashed away. But before I share my latest makes with you let me first remind you about this month’s Ho, Ho, Ho, and On We Sew link party.

Ho Ho Ho button photoThis month’s link party is being hosted by Sally over at Wonky Patchwork so be sure to pop over and find out what Sally has been making this month, along with details on the link party giveaway. This month’s link party is being sponsored by Patchwork Elephant, who have provided a meter of festive fabric for one lucky linker. Patchwork elephant

All you have to do to be in with a chance to win is to link up any festive make that you have completed this month. Don”t worry if you haven’t made anything yet as you can still start sewing. The link party remains open till the end of the month so plenty of time to get something made.

Now that I’ve told you how you too can join in this month’s fun let me get back to sharing all about my knitting. Thanks to both myself and my mum the boys both had plenty of jumpers to see them through the recent winters, and I too had more than enough to keep me going. This year however I knew it was time to get back to some knitting and amongst other things I decided to make myself some shawls, hats and scarves/cowls. In my perusal of ravelry I discovered the candy cowl pattern and the stunning knit collage wool it featured. I decided to give it a go and I can honestly say I was hooked on both the pattern and the wool.

I started with my version of the cowl and with the leftover yarn I designed myself a fun matching hat – there was no way I was going to waste a single piece of that wool if I could help it. Knitting cowls/scarfs and hats with Knit Collage yarns / Mud, Pies and Pins

Buoyed on by that success I quickly set about adding several more skeins of knit collage wool to my stash, although I’m not sure I can really say I added them to my stash as I found myself knitting them up almost as soon as I had purchased them.

Knitting cowls/scarfs and hats with Knit Collage yarns / Mud, Pies and Pins

Hats and cowls, hats and scarves. Between the chunky wool and the large needles I was using they knit up so effortlessly and I quickly found myself churning out set after set.

Knitting cowls/scarfs and hats with Knit Collage yarns / Mud, Pies and PinsSome have been gifted already, some have been put away and I still have plans for more. I think I should really knit myself another set in red and white that I can keep for the festive season.

Knitting cowls/scarfs and hats with Knit Collage yarns / Mud, Pies and Pins

I had never come across art yarns until I start knitting with the knit collage yarns and I can honestly say I am absolutely head over heels in love with them. The yarns I have used for these projects are whimsical and fun, beautiful to knit, soft to the touch. Each one is different and as I wind and knit each new skein I love finding out what fibers and embellishments have been woven in with the wool.

Knitting cowls/scarfs and hats with Knit Collage yarns / Mud, Pies and Pins Knitting cowls/scarfs and hats with Knit Collage yarns / Mud, Pies and Pins

I have found some other beautiful art yarns on etsy which will make for beautiful knitted gifts or personal items and I look forward to sharing these with you in the future,

What about you? Have you been getting ahead with you festive sewing this month. If you have be sure to pop on over to join in the link party over at Wonky Patchwork. I look forward to seeing you there and reading all about your latest makes.

#LoLSwapRound2 – Package Received

Last week I shared with you the EPP lotus blossom pillow and other items I had made for my partner in the Instagram Liberty of London Swap Round 2, #lolswapround2. Today I’d like to show you the beautiful items that I received from my partner @cosertejercrear, otherwise known as Mariana from Coser Tejer Crear.
As my regular followers will know I have been knitting a fair bit this winter. Knitting? I hear you wonder, when this was supposed to be a post about Liberty of London. Well bear with me and all will become clear. In the past I always used metal knitting needles, most of which were inherited from my grandmothers. I never really had any proper storage for them but kept them paired up in a bag in my knitting supplies box. More recently I’ve started to purchase and use bamboo and other wooden needles and I knew my ever expanding needle collection was in need of better and more organized storage. Because of that one of the possible swap items I had listed for my partner to me for me when I joined the swap was a knitting needle case. So you can imagine my joy when that was exactly what I received.

Knitting case cover

Isn’t this just stunning. Not only is it a Liberty knitting needle case (or roll), it is an EPP’ed Liberty hexie knitting needle case! I’d been following Marianna’s progress on IG as she made this case and was in love with it from the very beginning. The combination of fabrics in the cover is just perfect. It’s so delicate and coordinated and so very much to my taste.

Knitting case inner open
The inside of the case is just as stunning as the cover. There are a multitude of pockets that will be perfect for all the different needles that I own. The little flecks of Liberty lawn inserted into the inner fabric are just stunning, and the stitched details on the top flap are just one more beautiful feature that makes this case so stunning.

Knitting case inner closed
I can honestly say that I will cherish this case and it will be very much used and loved.

Pincushion
Marianna sent me lots of lovely extras as well. There is an adorable Liberty pincushion that features more decorative stitching and has the cutest little pin in it. It now sits happily by my sewing machine and my eyes are drawn to it every time I sit down to sew.

Swap items recieved

As well as two stunning pieces of Liberty fabric which I will definitely put to good use there was also some dark chocolate which is my favourite, and which was very much enjoyed; a pair of the cutest owl sock which go so very well with all the other fun socks in my sock drawer; and adorable little cross stitched picture, did I ever mention that cross stitch is another of my hobbies; and a couple of other goodies which are all finding great use in my sewing room. It really couldn’t have been a more perfect package.

Knitting case collage
I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this swap. It’s been so much fun to swatch everyone’s progress on IG, to see all of the finished pieces and swap packages as they are revealed and to meet so many new IG friends and you can be sure that if there is another round I’ll be in line to sign-up.