23 April 2017

A pretty cupcake Potholder....almost good enough to eat!

A couple of weeks ago I was cutting some 'Spinkles' fabric by Stacy Iest Hsu for a customer order, which got me thinking about cupcakes (as you do!) and before I knew it I had a whole new project on the go...all be it a little one.

I hand drew a simple pattern for the cupcake and then used the interfacing method to create the appliques.  As always I had fun adding all the little 'extra' details..... some lace, which I hand sewed to the cupcake case and then tucked the ends underneath as I appliqued it in place.  A polka dot button for the 'cherry on top' and a little decorative stitching in Aurifil 12wt.  The pattern for the potholder can be found in Sedef's lovely book, Quilt Petite and can be rustled up really quickly.  Would you believe I made this in an evening and then it sat there waiting for the ribbon loop to be sewn on for almost two weeks!  Am I the only one who does this?.....please say no!

I hope that you've had a lovely weekend full of Happy Stitches!

19 April 2017

Slow.....Slow....Slow weekend

I do not think Easter weekend could have come at a better time....... I was absolutely pooped!  My plan for the weekend was simple......spending lots of time with the family, a little gardening, as little housework as possible whilst still maintaining a modicum of cleanliness and some slow hand stitches.
On the stitching front, I wanted to catch up with my Happy Flower QAL blocks.... I think Block 14 is my favourite so far.  I decided the pieces were way too small for the Interfacing Method of applique and needle turned all the petals and leaves.  When I previously needle turned, I have drawn the outline of the shape on to the right side of the fabric and used this as the guide to turn under the edge.  On this occasion, I tried out the authors Atsuko Matsuyama's freezer paper technique, instructions for which are clearly detailed in the book and loved it!

For the centre circle I used Sarah Fielke's method where by you cut out the finished size circle in card, place the fabric with seam allowance on top and then wrap silver foil around the whole thing carefully turning under the seam allowance.  Once you've got a neat little silver circle, you then press it and the heat from the foil keeps the seam allowance folded in place.  This worked a treat!

I also finished off last weeks block......I have to say you can tell I was feeling a little bit peeky when I made this one, but I am sure when it one block amongst nearly 100 it will be ok!

On the home front...we're currently planning a new kitchen.  We moved in to our home when Jamie was six weeks old...... oh the naivety of being first time parents!  We moved from a Victorian semi to a nearly new build, which at the time only required a little decorative update.  But as Jamie approaches his 13th Birthday, it's now looking a little tired.  We are slowly working our way through the house, last summer we did the bathroom and ensuite.  So far this year we've tackled the living room, painted, laid new carpet and bought new sofa's....we've never looked to neat and tidy!  Later this summer the outside is getting new fascias and guttering etc.....not terribly exciting, but the kitchen certainly is!  

On Saturday we had a trip to a kitchen showroom where fingers crossed we have found the kitchen of our dreams..... think painted wooden units, oak worktops....sigh!  We softened the blow of kitchen shopping ...for some reason Poppy and Jamie are not quite so excited by the prospect of a new kitchen.....with a trip to the coast.  We went to one of our favourite beaches, it's between Skegness and Mablethorpe and is about an hour away from us.  It's perfect, you can park right next to the sand and all you can see is more sand and sea and not much else.  Obviously the boys are never happier than when they have a rugby ball to throw about....

.....and Poppy still loves to build sandcastles.....  I did partake in a little bit of both, but I had half an hour or so just sat in the car in the warmth of the sun all on my own..... doing nothing, not even sewing..... just watching them and the world go by....absolute bliss!
 On Easter Sunday we went on a Easter egg hunt...

and in the afternoon after finally working my way through trimming the HST blocks for Jamie's quilt,  I sat down for some more slow hand stitches.  I've been playing with EPP paper pieces and combining compatible shapes.  
which soon became two.
The weekend passed by in a flash and mum and I were back to work yesterday packing all the orders that came in over the Easter weekend...thank you!  Before signing off for today, I just wanted to share some rather important news about our Ruskington Bricks and Mortar Shop opening days, for those of you who come and visit us in person....... with effect from the 1st May, our Ruskington shop will no longer be open on a Wednesday.  Thursday, Friday and Saturday opening hours remain unchanged. 

Obviously this is not a decision that has been made lightly.  We absolutely love having our Ruskington shop and the opportunity that it gives us to meet our fantastic customers in person.  We are however very aware that some of things that we are asked for on a very regular basis, we can not always do as quickly as we would like.  By not opening on a Wednesday, this will give us back a few additional hours to do some of those extra things.... more quilt kits, fabric bundles, more projects here on the blog etc which hopefully can be enjoyed by everyone.

Right I'll be back soon as I have some finished projects to share!

Happy Stitches!

10 April 2017

Weekend Stitches

Not quite a finished block this week for the Happy Flower Quilt-A-long.... I really like this one, I think it's because I've used lots of red, which is my favourite colour.  As you can see the circles were made with the interfacing method and they will look much better, more circular, once appliqued.  The leaves will be needle turned and I'll share the finished block next week...pinky promise!

The main reasons I didn't get the block finished were because......

1/  I was distracted by hand quilting this pretty Half Square Triangle quilt......more about this very soon........
2/  The glorious weather..... we went out yesterday searching for new garden furniture, ours after 13 years sterling service has finally had to go.  We didn't get any furniture, but I couldn't resist these pretty Primula's......I'm not sure they're terribly football friendly, but we'll see how they go!
 3/  I started a new quilt as a surprise for Jamie, hopefully for his 13th Birthday in May.  I felt so guilty the other evening when, whilst watching me hand quilting the above HST quilt, he asked "when was I going to make him a new quilt?". I felt so bad, I have been promising him a new one for months/years to replace the one I made for him when he was a toddler.  He really is a gentle soul (apart from when he is playing rugby that is!) who doesn't ask for much at all and seeing that he his now inches taller than me, the toddler quilt really is cutting it anymore.  Rather happily and by good fortune, some new Liberty Gatherings fabrics had just arrived that mum and I had chosen months ago, so the timing could not have been better. I grabbed a Layer Cake (perks of owning a quilt shop), some modern low volume backgrounds to keep it young and fresh, plus the Janet Clare plane print....a nod to Andy's 30 years in the RAF and as soon as I finished work on Saturday, I set too making yet more HST.  The benefit of always sewing means that he didn't even question what I was up to, although I'm not holding out much hope of a surprise, as Poppy did pay attention (I'm sure it's a girl thing) and twigged exactly what I was up to, so chances of him not finding out are very slim!  This quilt is definitely inspired by THIS ONE that very talented and extremely modest Carolyn made...you must take a peek at her whole Instagram feed it's beautiful...when I grow up, I want to live in her pretty cottage, surrounded by her beautiful quilts!!!!
I manged to get all 320 HST sewn together on Saturday..the wonders of chain sewing..... if only trimming them was just as quick....... I'll keep you posted on my progress!

I hope that you have a lovely week full of happy stitches....until next time!

4 April 2017

Happy Flower Quilt-A-long Week 5

It's such a pretty block for this weeks instalment of the Happy Flower Quilt-A-Long.... I just love Lily of the Valley.  I remember when we were on holiday in the Peak District a couple of years ago whilst out walking, we stumbled across a very pretty cottage and it's front garden it's borders were just full to brimming with it......... oh the smell was just heavenly.  I decided there and then the moment our back garden became a ball free zone, I would definitely be planting some!!!  In the meantime, I was able to dream and stitch...although sadly without the scent!

I managed to use the usual interfacing method for the leaves and the two little bells, but that teeny oval was needle turned.  In truth the pieces were so small this week, I think it probably would have been quicker and easier to have needle turned the whole thing, but hey ho!

Sorry there's only the one photo, I was struck down late last week with tonsillitis and I am only just starting to feel human again...good for the diet though...(I always try to look of the bright side!).   I used just three fabrics this week and I don't think my photo captures just what a pretty green the Lecien Pin Dot background fabric is, the flowers are also in a Lecien Dainty Dot and the leaves were made in a pretty ditsy floral from the lovely Elea Lutz's Apple Farm collection.

Can I just say thank goodness for mum's, my mum (Penny) has been a complete star as usual and things at Pretty Fabrics and Trims have carried on completely unaffected by my absence...although I think she will be glad to have me back!!!
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