2 weeks ago

I made a birthday present for my niece:

hand made fabric basket

Pattern: Pink Penguins’ Fabric Basket.
Fabric: Various Tanya Whelan prints with Essex Yarn Dyed in Denim for the base.

Made for:My 13 year old neice E who will be getting her own room soon.

Time taken to:March 5th  – 6th 2013




I really like this little basket and can see myself making some more soon.


I also took delivery of a competition win of 3 fat quarters by Simply Solids:


Fat quarters from Simply Solids

Fat quarters from Simply Solids


Over Easter Justine had appealed on Twitter for photos of Easter weekend makes using Simply Solids fabrics  and I had sent her this photo:

hexagon squares cut out & ready to sew

hexagon squares cut out & ready to sew


I got them finished over Easter & blogged about them here. It was a lovely surprise when they came in the post Justine & I look forward to using them.

I’ve also transformed Oscar from a hairy beast:



To a sleek and handsome boy:



and had a lot of left overs but unlike fabric these went in the bin



It seems that I’m forever playing catchup on here so I’ll try & post again soon…




Easter sewing

I’ve not been able to do much sewing recently for reasons I’ll reveal in another post. However I was determined to change that this weekend.

I started off on Friday using a Scrap Pack that I’d bought from Simply Solids and tackled a job I’d been putting off for a while, repairing one of our duvet covers. We both like pure cotton bedding and  in Super King size duvet covers are expensive so I did a colourful repair.

I started covering the holes caused by DH’s stubble  with a red block and then realised that an area adjacent to it was also thin so applied the yellow. With a bit of planning I should  have applied the yellow first as it would look much better but I just did as I went along.

Primary Geometric repair job

Primary Geometric repair job

The damage was just on the top fold of the cover where it sits near his face during the night so during the day only a flash of red can be seen:


Repair to duvet cover

Repair to duvet cover

I knew that I wouldn’t be able to do an invisible repair to a stripped cover so went with something bright and bold. We both like it and with stitch and tear stabiliser on the back it should last for a few years. It’s a fiddly job as the fabric had to be hooped and as the cover is HUGE it was a pain but it’s done now.

Next up was a far more enjoyable task, making some hexagon flowers.  I started this project last summer but haven’t done any for ages.

Hexagon flowers from scrap fabrics

Hexagon flowers from scrap fabrics

These were made using hexagons already cut up.

Skull and Cross bones hexi flower

Skull and Cross bones hexi flower

This one is my favourite so far. The centre fabric was left over from a make up bag I made for my daughter and the surrounding red fabric from another I made for one of my nieces.

Then I used the Scrap pack again and cut out more hexagons with my Accuquilt Go!

Sewn up but un-ironed they look like little colourful flowers:

Hexi flowers

Hexi flowers

Pretty flowers...

Pretty flowers…

Ironing transforms them:

Hexagon flowers made from a Simply Solids scrap pack with a few hexagons from printed scraps

Hexagon flowers made from a Simply Solids scrap pack with a few hexagons from printed scraps


Added to the flowers/blocks I did the day before:

Even more Hexagon flowers

Even more Hexagon flowers

and finally the whole lot:

Lots of hexagon flowers

Lots of hexagon flowers

All piled up:

Hexi flower tower

Hexi flower tower


Afterwards I found another un-ironed flower that I’d missed:

Last little hexi flower

Last little hexi flower


I’ve roughly worked out what I’m doing with them but haven’t chosen the backing fabric yet. I’m leaning towards a textured solid like Essex Yarn Dyed or Essex Linen at the moment but need to see samples before I can make up my mind. Size wise I’m not sure yet but it’ll be staying here. Nearly every piece of fabric has an association and it’s a big investment timewise so it won’t be given away.

Seeded rib socks

PatternDavid’s Toe-Up Sock Cookbook by David Schulz with the Seeded Ribbing stitch pattern inserted.
Yarn: 100g of 100% Superwash Fingering Merino
Needles:  2x 2.25mm circulars
Made for: me, UK size 7
Method: Toe up two at a time with a Turkish Cast on and a stretchy bind off.
Time taken to knit: November 21 2012 til February 22 2013


This yarn has been in my stash for a number of years and periodically I would get it out for a cuddle.  Eventually I decided that it would be better to have it as a wearable pair of socks rather than a potential pair of socks.



One sock is darker than the other which is understandable given that it’s hand dyed yarn. I love the combination of burgundy  purple and yellow.


The yarn has softened beautifully with washing and it’s bloomed.

I always swatch a yarn before I cast on to work out the stitches per inch and per row as per the pattern, so that I can ensure the socks fit me perfectly.  After doing this I then swatched 3 different stitch patterns until I was happy with my choice:


Above the plain stocking stitch Seeded Rib, Waffle Rib and at the top Seeded Ribbing. It was painful to spend all this time on swatching but totally worth it I think.


They also make a great snail!


Handmade birthday gifts


I’ve been absent on here for a bit but it’s due to a busy life rather than anything sinister.  Recently I spoilt another knitter in a birthday swap and really enjoyed planning what to make.

I sent to  MummyWright  and ‘stalked’ her to find out what she liked, her favourite colours etc.  She has two young children and often knits for them so I decided to make her a project bag to accomodate ‘small persons knits’.


Knitting Project bag

The bag was made to my own design using some Jelly Roll strips in Moda Fa la la la la by French General.  I wanted it to be big enough for a toddler garment, for it to sit well on the floor and also be able to be stuffed into a handbag or the bottom of a buggy.


I used Kona Bone for the lining which worked well with the prints.

MW is also a big tea drinker so I made her a little something to make her tea ritual even more enjoyable :


Coaster made from Lakehouse Dry Goods, Cream Teacups

The fabric was a single charm square that I received as a little gift with an order from Simply Solids backed with Kona Bahama Blue.

For her children I made two Flossie Teacakes Sleeping bags for their toys:


A boyish non-babyish theme for her 4 year old son J


And for her 1 year old daughter H a cute cupcake design bound with Kona Bahama Blue to lift the pink a bit

I practised free motion quilting on both and had enjoyed this well written pattern.

Apparently Js’ favourite toy is a large fish with a huge fin. Luckily they have two of the same doll and he also plays with them too. Just as well as it would have been very hard to make a bed for a big finned fish!


With thanks to MummyWright for this photo

Finally I also included a little sweet treat for MW as I know these are her favourites:


The gifts were well received and little H takes her baby to bed with her in the sleeping bag!



Merry Christmas

I hope you’re all having a lovely day with loved ones.

We’ve had a relaxing day and will be eating a wonderful meal soon prepared by my husband. I’ve got Tendonitis in my right hand at the moment so haven’t been able to do much to help or even knit 🙁

Oscar also enjoys Christmas and got the best present ever…


Knitting catchup

I’ve nearly finished the baby cardigan:

hand knitted baby cardigan incomplete

No arms yet but nearly there…

The neckband is finished now and all the parts are being blocked. I’m hoping to be able to sew it up in the next few days.

We went away for a short trip to Brugges the week before last and I started a new pair of socks on the outbound journey:

Incomplete handknitted socks

I’ve had this yarn for a few years and finally stopped stroking it and cast it on. I adore the colours but have found that so far one sock is brighter than the other.

I’ve definitely got my knitting mojo back –  it disappeared after my accident and I’ve been searching for it ever since.



Better late than never…

As I am spending a lot of my free time at the gym at the moment finished items have a bit thin of the ground recently but at last I have something to share:

Handknitted socks knitted in Regia Design Line Easter

Socks knitted in Regia Design Line Easter

Time Taken to knit: 29th of March – July 30th 2012

Yarn: Regia Design Line in Easter

Pattern:  David’s Toe-Up Sock Cookbook with a 2×2 twisted rib

Needles: 2mm Knit Picks Circulars

SPI: 9

Technique: Knitted toe up two at a time

Hand knitted socks

Check out those stripes!

The colours are so spring like and cheerful:

sock roll

I love the bright colours


I started these socks in March, the timing seemed apt given the name of the yarn but they took a while to reach my feet.  The knitting went quickly enough but I ran out of yarn during the cast off. So they were ignored for a while but the knitting elves didn’t pay a visit. Then I spent half an hour tinking back & redoing the cast off only to leave them again for a bit due to the yarn ends. Finally last week I spent another half an hour sewing the ends in whilst chatting to Arianwen on the phone and then rather than ignoring them (yet) again I washed them.

Hand knitted stripey socks

Happy feet!

I’ve worn them already and like the other pairs that I’ve made with this pattern they fit perfectly.  It’s really nice to wear a pair of well fitting socks that make you smile whenever you catch a glimpse of them.

The baby cardigan is nearing completion and I’ve already swatched for my next pair of socks…


New fabrics

I got paid a few days ago and had a little shopping list ready (as I’m sure many of us do every month). Mine was fabric related this month and the results are gorgeous.

Last month I bought a Kona shade card from Simply Solids as solid fabrics are something that I REALLY struggle to find. Decent fabric shops are at least an hours drive from where I live and the only local offering is HobbyCraft, which in addition to being expensive, often doesn’t have what I need. There is a great shop an hour and a half away where fabrics are only £6 pm but again solids are a bit sparse. Prints, no problem but it’s hard to get a solid to suit the prints and I do like to use a solid. Then I found Simply Solids.

Kona color card

Kona fabrics shade card

With 243 colours it’s so big that it was difficult to get into one photo.

So then the fun began and I dug out a number of UFO’s and also fabrics for future projects. It’s great to be able to have a really good choice of shades rather than just one or two in a single colour. The individual swatches of fabric can’t be moved which is fine when matching with a print but more difficult when trying to work out if two solids will work together but Justine of Simply Solids replied to my query very quickly (would Bright Pink & Banana look good together? see photo lower down in this post).

On my birthday last year I bought a charm pack in Moda Sunkissed, from the Quilt Museum in York, purely to play with. I’d been following Auntie Noo’s progress with her Disappearing 9 Patch quilt and LOVED it so decided to have a go. The charm pack gave me 4 blocks measuring 13 1/2″ square:

Disappearing 9 patch block made from a Moda Sunkissed charm pack

Disappearing 9 patch block made from a Moda Sunkissed charm pack

I’d realised that these 4 blocks weren’t enough for a full sized quilt so bought a Layer Cake in the same line (to cut up into another 4 charm packs as it was a cheaper option) plus a meter of the spotted fabric (rectangle on the right in the above photo) which then joined the blocks in my fabric cupboard as I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with them.  They stayed there unloved for over a year but the shade card has meant that they’re back on my WIP list. I love using solid fabrics with prints and had great fun choosing which colours I wanted:

Picture of a Disappearing 9 patch block with 4 solid fabrics alongside

Moda Sunkissed with Kona solids, Bright Pink, Banana, Olive and Ash

I also liked an orange shade called Butterscotch but that wasn’t in stock but Justine has very kindly offered to add to her next order (along with a number of other colours that I wanted) which is fantastic customer service in my opinion.  I took advantage of free postage on orders over £15 and delivery took 3 days which is great considering I didn’t pay for it.

I also bought some Kona Lime to go with this whale fabric:

Whale fabric with Kona Lime

It’s not an exact match but by far the best I’ve found so far and by the time the fabrics have been cut up and mixed with the other solids that I already have I think it’ll work really well.  This project might well get finished before the Sunkissed quilt but both are behind another in my WIP list. However I have started cutting up the Sunkissed Layer Cake so the order is definitely subject to change:

Moda Sunkissed Layer Cake being cut into 5" squares

Moda Sunkissed Layer Cake being cut into 4 Charm Packs

Another company that bought from this week is LOVE fabric. One of the owners is the lovely Lisa of Lisa’s Stitching Life and I’ve watched this company with interest. A few months ago they had a number of colours in Spraytime but not black which is real favourite of mine instead of solid black. So after a quick email volley and black was added to the next order list!

Spraytime fabric in black, semi solid


I bought 2m of this but it has no definite projects at the moment. I’ve loosely assigned it to a University quilt for my 17 year old daughter but she’s only just started her A levels so I’ve got nearly another 2 years before she leaves home. Normally she isn’t too bothered about my sewing but when she saw some little gifts I’d made with this fabric (as yet unblogged but I’ll try to remedy this soon), she mentioned that she really liked it.

Prior to LOVE fabric offering to get it in for me I had failed to find another supplier in this colour as my previous source (the aforementioned stupidly expensive Hobbycraft) no longer stocked it. Postage on all orders from LOVE fabric is only £1 and took 2 days which I was really pleased with.

So fabric stocks have been replenished and my WIP sewing list has been reorganised. However as the temperature has dropped recently I’ve mainly been knitting rather than sewing due to our woodburner:

W-A-R-M-T-H…. I haz it

I sew in our dining room my sewing room but we don’t use the central heating all the time and the woodburner in the living room is soooooo lovely.  Maybe I should dig out my thermals, add layers and just get on with it…





Bright tumbling quilt

A long time ago, (Boxing Day 2011 to be precise) I started playing with the Accuquilt that I had got for Christmas the day before.  I had nestled in my stash a pretty set of 5 fat quarters that Arianwen gave me as a birthday present a year or so back.


The 5 patterned fat quarters on their own didn’t give me enough fabric so I added 3 solids from my stash.

These were sewn into strips and much unpicking went on as apparently I failed to notice when I sewed 2 together. My daughter helped a lot in this stage as we moved tumblers around & around trying to make sure that the colours weren’t touching or pooling:

Fabric Tumbler shapes sewn into strips

Mini Tumbler shapes sewn into strips

Then work was halted as I had other things to make and also went back to work after the Christmas holidays.

Eventually I picked it up again, added a black border to make the colours ‘pop’ and quilted it onto a fleece backing.

orange fleece backing on mini tumbler quilt

Orange fleece backing showing the quilting lines

Then it sat in a corner for ages as I had decided that I wanted to add a strip of piping before the binding. However it was a technique I had never done before so it again waited until I did a workshop and found out what to do.

The piping used the red fabric that I had originally intended for the binding but luckily I found the blue bubble Fabric Freedom fabric in my stash for the binding.

This poor little quilt then had to wait for the binding again as I don’t like doing that bit but recently I forced myself to finish it.

So here it is…

Bright mini tumbler quilt

Finished size: 103cm x 86.5cm

16 mini tumblers x 10 rows


Corner detail of mini-tumbler quilt showing the binding, piping & border

Corner detail showing the binding, piping & border

I added a little label on the back sewn in turquoise onto orange fabric but the message is a personal one so no photos I’m afraid.

Stained glass effect of the quilt held up against a window

I absolutely love this little quilt and I always intended to send it to my father who loves bright colours. He’s had a difficult year so this was a much needed hug sent through the post. He absolutely loves it so I’m happy to let it go.

Morning light

We’ve had wet and windy weather for the past day or so and winter is definitely on it’s way.

This photo was taken at 7:15 this morning from our bedroom window and doesn’t give the light full justice:


Half an hour later whilst being blown to pieces walking the dog I took this:


Now it’s finally light but it’s been a weird morning…

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