A Perfect Match – WiP Wednesday

Liberty and linen really are a perfect match; they work together beautifully. So of course when I found a lovely piece of linen in the bargain bin at a local fabric store I couldn’t resist getting out some Liberty lawn to team up with it.

RAHQ3Because the linen is a heavier than what I would usually use for piecing with lawn I decided to try my hand at some reverse appliqué as I’ve been meaning to try it out for some time. Much to my delight I found it to be much easier than I had anticipated and it is a technique I can now see me using a lot more of in the future.

RAHQ2I’ve also been trying a little hand quilting, also a first for me. This, however, I found more difficult to get to grips with. There was so much to learn: anchoring the threads, achieving an even stitch length, keeping my circles evenly spaced and so much more. My attempts are far from perfect but I feel I am making good progress.RAHQ1

As well as this project I am still working on my Liberty EPP butterflies. I have now 6 designs ready and the second one has been completed.EPPbutterfly2

I do love how the two butterflies I have now completed look against a linen background so I think that any future plans I have for including these in a quilt is going to also involve lots of linen.

EPPbutterfly1_2It’s not all been Liberty and linen here however. As part of my plan to get organised for Christmas this year I’ve dug out the beginnings of the Warm Winter Blessings quilt that I started on last year.

Snowmen1-3I had begun on the first three of the eight snowmen blocks but got not further. This year the quilt will get finished and this project is one that I intend to work on month by month as part of the Ho, Ho, Ho and On We Sew series being hosted by myself and Fiona over at Celtic Thistle Stitches.

I have also spent a lot of time planning  other holiday projects that I can work on month by month and look forward to sharing them with you as the months go by.

If you are sewing any holiday projects this month then don’t forget to add to this months Ho, Ho, Ho and On We Sew link party which remains open till the end of the month. If you maybe feel inspired to start sewing and get organised this year then don’t forget there are great sales in Christmas fabrics going on at the moment like the one at the Fat Quarter Shops Christmas Cloth Store.

Linking up with Work in Progress Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced.

Ho, Ho, Ho and On We Sew – January

Hello, and welcome to the very first Ho, Ho, Ho and On We Sew Link Party. If you missed the introduction to this Link Party or are not sure what it is all about then have a quick read of this post which should tell you all you need to know about it and when you are done there don’t forget to pop over to Celtic Thistle Stitches to see the project that Fiona has to share this month.

To kick start this year of getting organised I would like to share with you all the tutorial for my fabric tree decorations.

CDTtree1If you have ever made a strawberry pincushion then you will know exactly where I got the inspiration for these beauties from, if you haven’t then let me assure you that these decorations are very easy to make up and even if you don’t want to make some tree decorations you can always try your hand at some pincushions.

First you will need to gather your materials. These decorations do not use much material so are ideal for using up scraps, charm squares and left over jelly roll strips. In addition to fabric you will need

  • scissors
  • needle and thread
  • crochet cotton size 10
  • 0.75mm crochet hook
  • stuffing
  • optional embellishments (ribbon, lace, beads, etc.)

CDT1To start you will need to create a template for cutting out your pattern. Each decoration is made from a half circle of fabric 5″ in diameter. To make a cutting template draw a circle 5″ is diameter, cut it out, fold/cut it in half and you are ready to go.

Once you have your template use it to cut out one half circle of fabric for each decoration you wish to make.

CDT2Fold the piece of fabric in half, right sides together and sew a quarter inch seam as indicated in the photo below. I prefer a slightly rounded end to my decoration, hence the bend in the seam at the end. If you prefer a more pointed tip then just sew a straight seam to the tip.

CDT3Turn the decoration right side out and using a double thread run a line of gathering stitched around the open top of the decoration.

CDT4Stuff the decoration with your chosen stuffing and then draw the gathering stitches closed and fix with a few stitches.

CDT5The hanging loop for the ornament is simply created by crocheting a length of 40 chain. Once fastened off, the start and end threads of the chain length can be used to attach it to the ornament.

CDT6The final addition to the ornament is crocheted snowflake. I use the following pattern which results in a snowflake approx 1.5″ in diameter. Please note that these instructions are in the UK format and use the following abbreviations: ch (chain), sl st (slip stitch), dc (double crochet). For those of you who follow the US format then simply replace the dc with an sc (single crochet) in the pattern.

To start: Ch 5 and sl st into the first ch to form a ring.

Round 1: Ch 1, 1 dc in ring, ch 3, (2 dc in ring, ch 3) 5 times, sl st into first ch

Round 2: Sl st into first chain loop. Into this first chain loop work ch 1, 1 dc, ch 3, 2 dc. Into each of the remaining 5 chain loops work 2dc, ch 3, 2dc. Sl st into first ch.

Round 3: Sl st into the first chain loop created in the previous round. Work 1dc, ch 3, 1dc, ch 5, 1dc, ch 3, 1dc, ch 2 in this and each of the following five loops. Sl st into first dc and fasten off

Once the snowflake is completed and the threads finished off you simply thread it in place on the hanging chain through the central starting ring and secure in place with a few stitches in matching thread. Your ornament is now finished.

CDT6bIf you can’t crochet then you can easily make the ornaments using ribbon for the hanging loop and a length of gathered lace or other ribbon in place of the crocheted snowlake. In the example below I took a 6″ piece of lace ribbon, gathered tightly along one side and then joined the ends together to form a circle before placing the ornament.

CDT8Once you have mastered the basic ornament you can try all sorts of variations. Transform any plain fabric into a festive bauble with the addition of some fancy trim.

CDT11Want to use up smaller fabric scraps? In the example below I foundation pieced various small scraps of fabric together to create a slightly larger decoration based on a half circle with a 6″ diameter.

CDT9For a longer or more tapered ornament start with a circular template that has a diameter twice the length you wish your arnament to be, divide this circle in four, or even five and use the quarter or fifth slice as your cutting template.

CDT10There is no end to the varition that can be achieved with this simple design and I do hope that this tutorial has inspired you to have a go at making some tree ornamets for your own home as I have done.

CDTtree3 CDTtree2 CDTbowlIf you decide to try you hand at making some ornaments of your own or have been working on any other holiday projects that you would like to share then please add them to the link up below.

The link up will remain open till the 31st of January and everyone who links up will be in with a chance to win the Ornamental and Sew Seasonal pattern bundles from Quiet Play’s Craftsy Pattern Store. The winner will be randomly drawn and announced here on February 1st.

Flutterby Butterfly

It’s taken a couple of weeks but I am slowly getting back into my routine and starting to make some nice progress on the first of this years sewing projects. This week in addition to working on my project for the first Ho, Ho, Ho and On We Sew Link Party I have also been trying out a new EPP project.

In the past my EPP has been very much limited to working with hexagons, large and small, quarter inch small. While I really enjoy working with hexies I would also like to try out a few other ideas and so earlier this week I sat down to my computer, did a little drawing on Inkscape and came up with a few different patterns for EPP butterflies. I got my husband to cut out my templates using his Silhouette Cameo, I dug out my slowly growing stash of Liberty charms and set to work on the first of the butterfly designs.

EPPbutterfly This is one of the intermediate designs I had created and was very much a test piece to assess how well the design transferred to EPP and how easy or difficult it would be to piece. My aim is to piece together a series of various butterflies and use them to decorate a quilt. To date I have four different butterfly designs but hope to work up a few more before I decide on a colour scheme and get stitching. In the meantime I think I will use this first design to decorate the front of a linen pouch.

Linking up with Needle and Thread Thursday over at My Quilt Infatuation.

NTT Button 1

It’s all in the Organising

Christmas Eve last saw me frantically sewing and trying to finish off those last few gifts for under the tree. New Years saw me tidying up the piles of festive fabrics scattered around my sewing space and bemaoning the fact that yet again another year had passed without me making all that I had planned, or in fact making any of the items I had planned for my own house.

Christmas Link Party Button2It was then I knew that something had to be done about it all. Would I just make them now? Would I tackle Christmas in July? Or would I yet again wait till later in the year to start and yet again run out of time? No. The solution is even more organised than that. Let me introduce you to Ho, Ho, Ho and On We Sew.

While bemoaning our disorganisation of Christmas past myself and Fiona over at Celtic Thistle Stitches came up with the idea of hosting a monthly Link Party. The idea is a simple one. Each month there will be a Link Party for all those festive projects that are in the making. This year we are going to be organised and by making something each month will be all ready to celebrate by the time Christmas rolls around again.

The Ho, Ho, Ho and On We Sew Link Party will open on the 18th of each month and will remain open until the end of the month to give you plenty of time to link up your projects.

Each month there will be a tutorial for a gift or decorative item from either myself or Fiona, or one of the other talented bloggers who are joining in during the year. We hope these will help inspire you to get creative and organised with us.

If all of that wasn’t incentive enough there are also some great prizes lined up for the Link Party.

The first Link Party kicks off here on Saturday 18th when I’ll be sharing a tutorial for some easily made decorations.

So what are you waiting for grab a button, join in the fun and let’s all get organised together!

Grab button for Mud, Pies and Pins

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Pretty in Pink

Lots of little girls love Barbie, and lots of little girls love pink. So when it comes to making a gift for a little girl who loves both pink and Barbie I couldn’t resist breaking out some Liberty Tana Lawn charm squares and pieceing together a quilt and pillow set.

BarbiequiltsetFor the quilt I used 2.5″ squares in a 6×5 patchwork and added a strip of plain cream along the top of the quilt. A strip of lace seperated the cream strip from the patchwork below.

BarbiequiltFor the back I choose a pretty heart print fabric and beacuse I felt a binding would detract from the lightness of the quilt I simply made my quilt sandwich with the fabric right sides together, batting on the bottom and then stitched most of the way around before turning inside out, slip stitching closed and then quilting in diagonals across the squares.

Barbiewrapped BarbiequiltinglaceI made three different types of pillow. One pair were rectangular and simply made in cream with a lace stripe matching that used on the quilt. The second pair were square and also made in cream, but this time I added a flower in quarter inch EPP hexies on the front with a button as it’s centre. The final cushion was made in pink Hera Liberty as I had just enough left over from the quilt.

BarbiepillowsI must admit that I am very much in love with the finished result and wouild love to make a scaled up set for myself although I think that much of what I love about this set is due to it’s small size and how well the fabrics work together on this scale.