A tale of 3 quilts……

As usual I seem to have overcommited myself on the Christmas sewing front. Every year I say I’m going to take it easy this year and every year I have a huge pile of ‘stuff’ piled up next to my sewing machine.

I have managed to complete a lot already. All swap commitments completed and sent away, 25’ish bags made and distributed amongst work colleagues, school friends and teachers. Now I am left with finishing off quilts.

I have three quilts that I must finish off 1 for a 7 year old girl, 1 for a 5 year old boy and 1 for a 16 year old boy. For the first two I combined fabric ranges with some of my stashed away fabrics but for the third I went the whole hog and bought all the fabrics from the same range…..some bought more than a year ago and topped up with new colours and designs this year.

Quilt 1 – Sherbet Pips

You may recall that in the summer I made my daughter a Sherbet Pips quilt. This quilt has a very similar look and feel and is made from all the fabric I had left over from the first quilt.

I know that this range seems to be either loved or hated by people but I firmly sit in the love corner. The mixture of red and grey is just perfect when you want to make something that is girly but will last beyond the pink phase!!

I mixed in lots of dots and circles in grey and red aswell as some plainer fabrics. The quilt is quilted very simply with red straight lines following the rows and the binding is white with red dots. I have completed the quilting and added the binding just need to sew the binding down. Should have this one finished off in no time.

Quilt 2 – Super Heroes

For this quilt I really wanted something that was boyish but wasn’t the usual cars and trains. I went for some fabrics from Michael Miller (Super Heroes, Super Fun, City Lights and Bunting Scallops). I started with a bundle from Fabric Worm but ended up by needing to buy some extra fabrics from Frumble fabrics….when I also added some alien fabric.

I combined the fabric with a range of blue, green and yellow fabrics. Again they were primarily dots and circles but I also added some multicoloured stripes and squares. I really love how all the fabrics have worked together.

For the quilting I have again gone for blue straight lined following the rows but also a few top to bottom lines following the block edges. I haven’t made the binding yet but I think I will go for a scrappy binding using up some of the left over scraps. Right now the quilt is all quilted and just waiting for binding so should get the binding on today and be ready for Christmas.

Quilt 3 – Funky Monkeys

This quilt is for my son. The Prince of Rock has had a toy monkey (Ernie) since he was 7. The monkey still sits on his bed and gets taken away on trips, gets dressed up etc. When I saw the funky sock monkey range last year I just had to have some so bought lots of it and stashed it away. This year I saw some of the funky sock monkey santas and fell in love with them too so bought some fat quarters of it and stashed it away. My daughter has been desperate for us to turn the fabric into a quilt but it is difficult to secretly make a quilt for someone who lives in the house.

I have finally managed to work on it by cutting the fabrics while he was at college and then piecing it together on Sunday whilst he was in Manchester at the football. The block pattern that I went for was an alternating pattern of one large block and then 4 smaller squares. I love these fabrics so much….the fat santas are hilarious as are the mug shots of different santas. I just know he is going to love it.

This quilt is the one I am now panicking about. I have the quilt top made but I still need to baste, quilt and bind it but I don’t have access to my sewing machine after today….aghhhh!!!! I may have to banish my son from the downstairs of the house so I can get it done.

I also have to bake my Christmas cake, make mincemeat, wrap presents, write cards….oh dear today is going to be a very busy day……..

Planes, trains and automobiles…..

This year seems to have been the year of the baby. So many friends have been having children ….maybe its the lack of money keeping them at home making their own entertainment! Earlier in the year when I worked out how many babies there were going to be I started purchasing children’s fabrics, whenever I saw them on offer, so that I could whip little quilts or bags. I probably bought a larger range of girls fabrics as I knew I could use them for other projects but I also bought 3 half yards of Ann Kelle’s Ready Set Go range. I thought this fabric was perfect as it had a large graphic and the different colours would combine well with some of the strips of leftover fabrics I have stashed away.

Well would you believe everyone has had boys! Not one girl amongst them all. I have had to be creative in using the three fabrics and combine them with more of the stashed away fabrics than I originally planned. This morning I quilted a large floor mat/quilt and pieced together the top for a smaller cot sized quilt/changing mat. I’m really pleased with the brightness of them and they definitely look like boy quilts. The tops are very simple and I have just used straight line stitching for the quilting. I was worried how much washing any fancy piecing could cope with – we all know the amount of washing you need to do with anything that goes near babies/toddlers.

I still have some scraps of fabric left which I thought I could use to make a drawstring bag to keep the changing mat quilt in. The problem I have now is that I have two other boys to make gifts for. I don’t have much more boy themed fabric but as I am trying to hold back on fabric purchases at the moment I will need to be even more creative in how I eek the fabrics out. I have some superhero fabrics stashed away for a Christmas project, included as part of the bundle there were 3 fat quarters of some car themed fabric so that is what I will need to work with.

Do you find it difficult working on projects for boys? Do you have any ideas on how I can make two boy themed baby gifts from just 3 fat quarters of fabric? I will of course add some spots and stripes from my stash but I don’t have anything very exciting. I will need to find a design that accentuates the patterned fabric so that you don’t notice how little of it there is!

Scooting about…….

My daughter is a bit of a scooter addict. Whenever there is a letter to be posted or a pint of milk needed from the local shop the scooter appears in the porch in anticipation of a trip!

Earlier in the year when I spotted the Sherbet Pips range from Aneela Hoey I just knew I had to buy some and make Cupcake Princess a quilt. When the fabric arrived I had lots of other things on the go and so it was stashed away for a rainy day. Over the months I have seen some really cool quilts being made aswell as bags, cushions etc…each time I have seen one the bag of fabric has come out to be stared at and then stashed away again. I have seen various postings about the fabric range (good and bad) and felt very disappointed about some of the negativity around the popularity of this range as I think it is perfect fabric for little girls. For me the best bit about it is that it isn’t too girly. I bought the grey and red options which have such a wintry feel….CP is getting a bit old for lots of pink!

I finally pulled the fabric out a couple of weeks ago and started work on a really simple quilt incorporating other red and grey fabrics that I have stashed away. My intention is to make some of these quilts for Christmas presents so this was the first prototype. I cut lots of strips of fabrics in two different depths/widths and created a random pattern layout.

It all looked good when I had it laid out on the floor however when I stitched it together I was extremely frustrated that some of the seams in the strips lined up (see 2, 3 & 4 on right hand side plus rows 6 & 7). All that effort to get them staggered and I managed to line them up! As this was a prototype I didn’t unpick it all but it has taught me that next time I will do a more ‘planned’ random lay out – I feel a graph paper purchase coming on.

For the quilting I went for a very simple set of straight lines following the strip seams.

 

I found the stitching on this reasonably easy. It’s the biggest quilt that I have quilted so I was really worried whether I would manage it but with some careful rolling and bending of the quilt it was finished without too much stress.

I’m so pleased with the fabric combo and general look of the quilt. If I squint my eyes I can make the straight lines look a bit staggered……. and therefore more pleasing to my critical eye. More importantly Cupcake Princess absolutely loves it and has been snuggling up under it ever since it was finished.

The back of the quilt was made from some Ikea polka dot fabric that I bought years ago but which were a perfect match for these fabrics. Dont you just love it when a plan comes together!!

Now I’m gathering up some fabrics to start making the Christmas quilts. I’ve been scouring the online shops to look for some additional Sherbert Pips so I don’t run out of the variety of fabrics I need. I’ve picked up some bits from Fabric Rehab and Seamstar but I’m still looking for any more bargains that might be out there.

(Quilters Confession: Whilst looking for Sherbet Pips I gave in and purchased some of Aneelas new Little Apples range…I couldn’t help it, I had to have some!!)

A summer owl snuggle rug…..

I’ve been quiet for the past couple of weeks. This wasn’t because I have been having a break from sewing but is in fact because I haven’t had access to write any posts because of being away working plus visiting my husband’s family in Edinburgh. Time for a catch up……

I received a fabulous package of fabrics from Fabric Rehab a couple of weeks ago which included a piece of the Anna Kell Urban Zoologie owl fabric in the green/blue colour option. I had intended to make some bags with the fabric but the minute Cupcake Princess spotted the owls she wanted them. She really loves owls and turquoise blue is her favourite colour.

I searched through my box of fabrics and found some other fabrics which coordinated with the owls and set to work on making a new snuggle rug for CP She has the flannel snuggle rug I made for her last year but now it’s getting warmer it is a bit too hot for her so a lighter weight one seemed like a good idea.

I could have put together some intricately pieced top but in reality she loves the owls as a strip of fabric and would be just as a happy with a simple pattern. I’m not one to make work myself so simple sounded good to me……let the fabrics do the work rather than me!

I quickly pieced together the top, quilted it and partially attached the binding….before taking it in the car for our long journey to Edinburgh so that I had something to keep me busy for all those hours!

I didn’t have a chance to take a picture of the finished quilt until yesterday……I’m really pleased with how it came out. It’s really bright and summery. It also has a sense of being a childs quilt but isn’t childish (if that makes sense).

I really love the owl fabric…..you have to look for the evil looking owls that are dotted about.

Dont you just love those owls!

Cupcake Princess has already started to use the quilt and it came in handy last night when we had a barbeque and it started getting a bit breezy.

New Year Catch Up 2

Before Christmas I mentioned that Cupcake Princes and myself were making gifts for my niece and nephew but I didn’t get a chance to share the finished items. Unfortunately I also didn’t manage to get good photos of the finished items before giving them as gifts so instead I am sharing photos of the finished items with their new owners!!

First of all you may recall that I made a Russian doll wall hanging for my niece. The wall hanging was made using a drawing that Cupcake Princess did plus fabrics that she chose……thankfully her cousin loved it!

Russian Doll wall hanging delivered to its new owner

Our second gift was a pirate game for my nephew. We bought some pirate fabric a few months ago which we turned into a pirate board game with matching game pieces and bags for storage. Cupcake Princess wrote out all the game rules and game cards so it was a big project!!

Pirate game board

Bags for the game board and pieces

We played it over New Year and had great fun going around the board and falling foul of the pirate tricks!!

Playing the pirate game.....

The children had a great time with all their gifts as you would expect BUT they also had great fun helping me make mince pies. It’s amazing how enthusiastically children throw themselves into cooking activities. We had a great little production line of cutters, fillers, brushers and snippers. What’s even better is they all tasted delicious at the end.

The mince pie makers.......

10 days to go……

So, work has been continuing on the sewing. I didn’t really get anything done today as I left home at 5.30am and have just come home but I did do some hard work last night.

I finished 3 stockings, which I dont have photos of right now but they are great childrens stockings…. I will share some pictures with you when I can get a decent photo!! The light is really rubbish for photos right now.

I pieced together the top of my 6 Christmasy place mats……

I also pieced together the first 2 rows of the quilt I am making for my mum to give to her grandaughter for Christmas. I will let you know some more info on the fabrics, inspiration etc another night when I have more pieced together and some better pictures.

Time is running out but I still think I can get everything finished……just!!

Clearing out the working area ready for Xmas projects….

At the moment my living room looks more like a fabric store! I always have some of my projects to hand to work on in the evenings but they seem to have taken over in the last couple of weeks since I got my Christmas project box out. I’ve decided to put my non Christmas projects away in my sewing cupboard for the time being but first I thought I’d try to get some work done on finishing the piecing of some projects.

Last night and this morning I pieced together all the houses and ladies for my The ‘ Burbs quilt from Material Obsession. You can still see all of Cupcake Princess’s names pinned to the blocks….I’m thinking of embroidering all their names on.

 

Laid out ready to piece

 

The piecing was fairly easy although I started to run out of the background fabric which was a little stressful.

 

Piecing started

 

I didn’t manage to finish it last night because we had a powercut! There are a lot of things I can work around but a lack of power is not one of them. I got up early this morning and finished putting it together.

I nipped out to the garden and tried to get some pictures of the quilt top but it was a bit difficult as it is so big. Hopefully you can see what it looks like even if the pictures aren’t great. I’ll try to get some better pictures tomorrow when my family are back from a trip and can help with holding up the quilt.

 

All pieced together

 

Close up

 

The next step will be to add lots of flower embellishments, paths, names and quilting but it may have to wait until after Christmas.

 

A snuggle rug for a poorly Cupcake Princess….

This weekend Cupcake Princess has come down with a horrible cold, sore throat and chest infection. To keep her busy I worked on a project using some fabrics we bought from a company called Worn and Washed a few weeks ago (http://www.wornandwashedfabrics.com/). The company specialises in fabric strips taken from old sheets etc…all nicely washed and cut up into usable strips. We mixed the Washed and Worn fabrics with some new fabrics (for some extra strength and colour) and made a snuggle rug (as CP calls it). Cupcake Princess has decided she would like to tell you all about the project so now I’m handing over to her…..

Here is my environmental friendly snuggle rug. Its made with reused flannelette sheets and the middle wadding is made with old green plastic bottles.

First we lade out the old flannelette strips and added some of the new strips to the quilt .

Laying out the strips....

Quilting in the stripes...

Next we sewed together the strips then we quilted the snuggle quilt so it would not be loose and baggy .

Finished off the quilting....

Add on some binding.....

When we finished quilting we did the difficult binding which mummy did because it needed precision. Mummy finished it after I went to bed when I got up I saw it straight away and tried it out on the sofa.

Do you like it? It is really snuggly and warm. My favourite pieces are the bright blue flowers. I also love the cute little chicks on the back because they are adorable.

Finished snuggle rug....front

Bird fabric on the back of the rug...

Wrapped up in my snuggle rug

Castle quilt top is finished…..

As promised the builders were back today to work on the castle gardens…..

Builders planning out the maze......

It is always difficult to choose the right materials…..but its even harder when you want the garden to go with such a magnificent castle! In the end we decided that all castles have to have a maze and that there should be some horse statues to decorate it.

Castle maze and statues......

The final piece to put in was a promenade for all the Castle Peeps….

Castle Peeps promenading in the garden....

Now that all the pieces are complete its time to look at the castle and all its outside areas…..

The finished castle quilt top....just waiting to be quilted

I haven’t decided yet exactly how to quilt this but it needs to be something that doesn’t distract from the piecing.

I have a few left over bits and pieces of fabric to use for the back and I am going to be making some finger puppets from the left over Castle Peeps. I thought I could put a little pocket on the back to keep the puppets in.

Cupcake Princess can’t wait for me to finish it off….she has really enjoyed working on the plan with me.

Just before I go I’ve got to share a couple of photos from my attempt at getting a picture of the whole quilt top. It looks like something from the Wizard of Oz with my sons striped feet sticking out under the castle!!!

The wicked wizard is dead.......

We may have some height but what about the other side!!!!

Building the castle farm……..

This afternoon the builders were back at the castle working on building a new house for the chickens….

Chickens in the yard....

The builders got a little bit carried away and built the chickens their own little castle…..

Castle for the chickens.....

Once the chickens were housed the serfs came out to work on bringing in the harvest…..

Bringing in the harvest

The castle dwellers wont be hungry now that the castle farmland has started to be worked…..

The castle farm.....

Tomorrow the builders are planning to start work on the castle gardens….