Saturday, September 28, 2013

For me? You certainly should have.

After doing jewelry making at school and then working in a jewelers part time when I was at Uni I got a bit 'jeweleried out' and haven't felt the need to buy much over the last ten years.
Now that has changed!!

A number of weeks ago I was checking out my Instagram feed and saw a gorgeous teapot brooch. I don't know what happened but I was so excited.
Brown paper packages - sewing patterns - tied up with string. Sweet!
I contacted the lovely and very helpful Christina of Christina Lowry Designs and asked if she'd be able to make me a teapot pendant instead of brooch
High Tea
Ta dah!
Isn't it gorgeous???
Of course I had to have some pretty teacup earrings to go with my pendant.

Christina was great to deal with, she couldn't have been more helpful. It's so nice to have a great customer service experience.

Check out her blog and her shop.
Who knows, you might find a fabulous present for yourself too.
Ab x

Note: I was not asked or paid to review Christina's products and this is all my own opinion. I just want to highlight a good buying experience, a lovely hand-maker and a fellow crafty gal.

Friday, September 27, 2013

I thought she sewed quilts?

I haven't been able to ignore the clothes sewing urge.
It's something I have always wanted to do and sewing simple items like pants for the babies has satisfied me for a while but now I want to take it to the next level and move on from slightly oddly shaped pajamas.

The only downside is the same thing I discovered with the knitting lark - where the hell do I squeeze in the new stash???

After reading a whole lot of new-to-me seamstress blogs I decided to buy The Colette Sewing Handbook. I've had a quick read and confirmed that I have a lot to learn but that it will help.

I made this 'wearable muslin' as a first try at making a top.
I'm fairly happy with it. It was the first time that I had done french seams which I quite liked. The top itself is too wide across the back which I didn't realise until after sewing it all together.
Lesson learnt to measure myself properly and to have a better look at the shape/size of the pattern. Using my seamstress expertise....I made a small pleat in the back which is fairly well hidden in the busy fabric. I shortened the length so it sits nicely with jeans and I just have to hem the sleeves and it's done. I'm not overly eagre to make it again but we'll see.

Then I decided to bite the bullet and sew with knit fabric. I think sewing with knits is going to be a bit like free motion quilting - it seems really daunting and you suck at the start but practice and a devil may care attitude will help you get better. 
I've worn it several times and it hasn't fallen apart so that's got to be a good sign.

I had a quick break from the tricky stuff and made my souz chef an apron (he calls it his smock). This is the 'I just snaffled a corn chip from the bag, stuffed it in my mouth and am trying to finish chewing before you realise' face. He has a lot to learn before he'll eat my chips without me knowing ;-) 

Having gained 'so many skills' making one top I decided that I would make a dress to wear to a wedding. Not one to shy away from a challenge and feeling the need to create some grey hairs I chose a pattern that I could breastfeed in but also happened to have a whole lot of gathering as it was a maternity pattern. I ended up removing all of the gathers with a bit of advice from Jules and Aunty Pam.
I like how it turned out but wussed out of wearing it to the wedding, I felt like it wasn't quite formal enough, probably due to being made of quilting cotton. It looks nicer than in this pic but that's the calibre of photo you get late at night and with an IPhone.

In case you were worried I'd gone seamstress crazy and forgot my quilty roots....
 A triangle (and very wrinkly) quilt top for a friends daughter and an oodle of strips to be turned into binding if I get some sewing time tomorrow.
Happy sewing,
Ab x

Thursday, September 26, 2013

6 Months

Time keeps moving and he keeps growing.
As does that other one on the left.
He used to look like this.

Love them both.
Lucky me :o)
Ab x

Sunday, September 1, 2013

No, really, I do still sew stuff..... sometimes

I finished this quilt a couple of months ago. It's another one for The Retreat
It was always my intention for all of the beds to have quilts, which they do, but there are a few of my special ones there so I'm slowly making more so that I can bring those faves home.
This pic is really washed out due to the light coming in the bedroom window - it's actually a lovely buttery yellow and charm squares from 'Celebration' by Lecien. 

This is Harvey's quilt.
He managed to get to the ripe old of age of two and a half before I'd made him his own special quilt. Not that I haven't bought the fabric for lots of potential quilts for him.... 
I was going to raw edge applique his initials but I'm not happy with how the fabric is fraying so I'll remove these and do some needle turn ones.
It's inspired by the Scrappy trip around the World quilts but with novelty fabrics and a rainbow of solids.
He loves eye spying all the different animals, cars, planes, bikes etc etc

This quilt was started several years ago as part of a Block Swap Bee.
I didn't like it for ages but decided it needed to be finished and now I love it. 
It was suggested its name should be the Washi Quilt as the strips look like Washi tape.
It's the perfect name since the six rolls of Washi tape that I own are either silver or green. 
It will go to The Retreat too. 
This last quilt has become a favourite even though it started out as just a way to use the leftover charm squares from the first quilt pictured. I bodged some scraps of Jules and dived through my fat quarters and scrap box and came up with a quilt that I love.
It's going to be gifted to someone special just as soon as I work out what to bind it in so I'll show more when that's done.
This one is another 'just because' quilt. It's not really for any purpose other than the fabrics kept yelling at me from their spot on the shelf near my machine.
The range is Cuzco by Kate Spain. Her base cloth for her ranges is really, really lovely to touch.
I've ordered some fabric for backing and binding because lately I've gotten a bee in my bonnet about having the right backing, not just any old thing. It never used to worry me because it was just the back...I guess I've changed :o)

Ab x