WIP Wednesday – dressmaking

When I went to Ottawa last month (almost to the day) I bought another yard of the Lizzy House red dinosaur print from Natural History at Mad About Patchwork. I already had maybe a yard and a half but it wasn’t enough for my shirt pattern and all its yoke-age. I pre-washed it as soon as we unpacked the suitcases but I had just left it in an untidy pile on a stool for the last few weeks.


I’ve actually now cut the pieces out ready to sew together. I am dying to make a knee length skirt from my dachshund print and make a couple of Companion carpet bags, but I must finish something before starting another project (I have also cut up my two men’s shirts and am about 1/3 of the way through tailoring them, last picking it up…. 2 months ago).

I’m out tonight at Bob’s thing so this will have to wait a little longer! I hope it comes together easily so I can quickly move on. Tomorrow and Friday are sewing evenings this week so I don’t see why not! I’m thinking of taking Hank along to this on the weekend, but he’s not very “capable”- maybe they’ll have a stupid-but-adorable category he can enter, or most-likely-to-scratch-you-silly? Other than Gwen (who’s never entered anything), all our dogs have a rosette for something, so maybe this is Hank’s year? Is it a bit sad to go for a day out round a show with just my dog?

Linking up…

Bits and Bob’s

Yes that apostrophe in my title is correct, because this cushion is Bob’s! Turns out obligation is a great motivator, so I’ve been back at the machine before my apathy for sewing turned into a proper thing.

I Photoshopped and printed his face out onto inkjet fabric I had lying around and integrated him into the union flag design (excellent tutorial taken from Liz’s blog– come back Liz we miss you!). Mr Slayer has bought a double decker bus to use as a comedy venue (called the Blundabus) at the Edinburgh Festival this year, and is stopping off in Leicester tomorrow. He asked me to make him a cushion for it and because I can’t say no, this is what I made.


I was just going to do one of just his face, blown up, cut out and stuffed with wadding, but I wouldn’t have got the fabric back from Spoonflower in time. I always intended to make something garish, but maybe that would be going too far? Here’s the back with the logos (and Becky‘s drawing) printed on the other piece of inkjet fabric I had- I put a zip fastener down the side so it can be used either way round. The piping was left over from a previous cushion- I made too much and shoved the rest of the bias tape in a drawer. So glad I did.


Also in the bits camp, I made this All-in-One Box Pouch for someone who deserves a little gift (OK it’s actually pretty massive), and that I have owed something to for ages- like getting on for a year. This is going in the post ASAP. The pattern is by Aneela Hoey if you fancy making one. The main fabrics are Cotton + Steel prints as I thought that was a pretty safe bet. It took quite a bit of interfacing and cutting out in general. I used up four FQs from my stash, which means my collection of empty comic boards is growing and my stash is getting smaller- not necessarily a bad thing since I need to fit it into one box with all of the rest of my sewing paraphernalia.

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A bigger “bit” – I made this mini quilt for my Dog Mini 2015 swap partner!


It’s made from my usual freezer paper, scraps and glue process, which took me a full Monday evening to piece together, and an hour and three quarters to quilt with three different threads (four if you count moving onto a new spool of grey). The background fabric is Dashwood Studio’s Streetlife. It’s already on the way to the recipient!

I think that’s pretty good progress for saying I was out on Thursday evening, away from home half the weekend, working on an extra computer job at home and on Sunday we were car booting a bunch of our stuff…

Sorting the stash

I think I’ve mentioned many times that I organise my stash by colour. I like to have my fabrics on display then I can see what I have and nothing gets forgotten about.


Plus I keep solids separate. I’ve been deviating from this a bit recently though and I’m not sure if it’s right for me. For example I have a section of bear fabrics and a small section of my favourite Charley Harper prints waiting for me to do something with them. I’ve stuck these on cards.


But I’ve also been getting some FQ bundles, and sometimes I use some of the prints and the rest go into stash like these Best Day Ever prints I’ve got left over from Shine Bright.


Sometimes though they languish on my shelves in a pile. I don’t mind so much when they’re Moda bundles tied up with tape.


I just don’t know what I should do with these more “unofficial” bundles. Currently I have three- a Bo Bunny set, a Mini Pearl Bracelets set (minus white) and some of the latest Cotton + Steel prints which I may or may not use together. Should I put them on cards too and get some kind of divider system or leave them folded?


What is your system for bundles? Do you mix with the rest of your stash or do you neatly store them somehow?

Shine Bright: Preview Part IV

Turns out I printed off my second part pieces too big somehow so this round has been a bit of a bodge and the reason for losing interest in sewing a bit! Still I have Y Seams (I need to practise these more) and I’m ready to go with the last bit of piecing before the borders now- no more Y seams!


Just noticed the block in the centre is on point in this pic- it shouldn’t be! Whoops.

My latest Lane Raglan

I resewed the seams and now my latest Lane Raglan is safe to wash and wear. It’s made from a Charley Harper knit from Birch that I bought from The Village Haberdashery a little while ago. I made it exactly the same size with the same cut down sleeves as my last one.

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Losing my Sew-jo?

I’ve been back a week and I’ve only been at work for half of that time, plus I’ve been at a East Mids quilt group meeting however I’ve only managed to cut out (with templates) and sew four reasonably easy blocks including the session time. My next step is two lots of four Y-seam block joins on the Shine Bright quilt and I’m feeling very sluggish and uninspired. I’m also in the hate cycle of my love-hate relationship with my extension table.

The problem is, I’m tired when I get up and have opted for 15-30 minutes more sleep instead of a good chunk of sewing before work. I’m finding it hard to drift off at night with lots of thinking that I’m struggling to switch off and I’ve not had the inclination to do much when I’ve got home from work, partially due to medication withdrawal (it’s OK folks I finally got my prescription yesterday) and partially due to trying to have a huge house clear out with the energy I have left.

Our spare room is piled with stuff to car boot, and the general untidiness that comes with getting rid of a load of stuff (including furniture) is depressing me too. We’re in limbo for over a week yet until we know what we are left with after car booting.

Maybe I’ll get more into it with a whole weekend to sew?

By the way I have a couple of projects in print this month…

Popular Patchwork – July issue

Quilt Now, issue 13

Thank you to those that have bought from my Etsy sale, by the way. I had a pretty good couple of days, but unfortunately in said clear out, I’ve discovered more things that I hadn’t listed, so the sale must go on!

Crazy mad Etsy sale

I’m having a crazy mad Etsy sale because…
*announcement bugle*
…we are emigrating to Alberta, Canada :) Now my family know, the only people that don’t is work, and I don’t think anyone there is anyone there remotely interested in my past times so I think I’m safe to share that with you now.

We haven’t set a date (hence not telling work), but by Spring next year is the target, and as soon as we possibly can. So we can be plane ready at any time we are having a huge clear out at home, which means my Etsy shop too.

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Prices are half price or less for this limited time only. I’m incredibly aware that the stupid prices on these things will devalue the market if I’m not careful, and I have a whole lot of respect for crafters and their deserving of a fair wage, so once it’s gone it’s gone. Also I’m probably making a loss too! But things need to go and so an attractive price point it shall be.

Then when we set up our new home I’m back to fair market pricing again.

Please take a look, tell your friends!

A zigzag issue – and giveaway winner

While I was out on another continent, my sewing machine went on a little holiday of its own.

When sewing knits, it was creating this monstrosity of a stitch…


That’s supposed to be a zigzag! It doesn’t do it on woven, its got a stretch needle in and I’ve done everything you get told to do when something goes wrong so it’s the last resort- the shop. Apparently the timing was out on stretch.

I’ll show you the finished top I was making soon as I now have to resew the sleeve seams. The machine is back but still misses the occasional stitch so I don’t really know what to do about it.

Anyway the winner of the Sunburst Clutch plus three FQs of the new Loominous collection by AMH is…

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I’ll be in touch shortly Lori!

Q3 – Lets do this. (Finish Along Goals)

Time to get real and deal with this stuff. In light of our big move, we’ve had to declare what we are taking with us for customs purposes well in advance (like last week when we officially activated our status on holiday even though we’re here for some time yet). I have formally declared these quilts as finished and coming with us, so they must be finished for the customs lady/man to check off the checklist. My goods to follow list is basically Hank, some quilts and cushion covers (I’ll repurchase inserts out there), a couple of binders of magazines, excess clothes and fabric. Predictable?!

So my list is….

 Log cabins- I’ve made some good progress on this recently and I am nearly halfway through making the blocks. I plan to quilt this in four sections and then join together as it will be big! I want this one for our bed in our new house.

 Hello Chevron. I’m planning on gifting this one. I need to suck up and get on with these HSTs.

 Shine Bright is a new entry, I want to finish this one soon and roll out the pattern.

 Baby Jane quilt – I’ll probably gift this one too.

 A FAL list would not be complete without the Left Alone Star. Still needs just as much quilting to happen as before. I want to bring this one with me too but it’s still full of pins waiting for quilting! I want this one for a sofa quilt in our new house. I plan to be a bit more experimental quilting this one.

Linking up…

1000 post giveaway!

This is my 1000th post! And it wouldn’t be right not to have a giveaway would it? No, it wouldn’t.

I’m currently on my 11 day nearly-tour of Canada so let’s see what I can find for you…

Here’s the lovely Mad About Patchwork shop, of course I wasn’t going to buy anything… AHEM COUGH SPLUTTER

Apart from these things…

AMH Folk Song (not sure if I will keep it all yet), Franklin charm pack and a free FQ

Yardage! More dinos because I didn’t buy enough for my shirt before, $6 a yard Pretty Potent and some Nomad…

How about a Loominous prize?

You could win these 3 FQs…

Also included is this clutch, a joint project between myself and Sam – the pattern is for sale here but you can win the cover clutch all finished and ready for use!


For your chance to win these prizes, you can enter a few times.

Firstly, leave me a comment, a fun fact or about Canada might be an idea if you don’t know what to say, like “Canada has six time zones,” or,  “Alberta is entirely rat-free and has been for 50 years!”. Maybe you’d just prefer to tell me what is the greatest TV programme of all time?
Secondly, please let me know if you follow this blog on some kind of reader or by email.
Thirdly, if you follow me on one of the social networks, let me know that too. I’m on most of them.
Fourthly, you get another entry if you share this giveaway in some form, perhaps on Instagram or Twitter?

Thanks for sticking with me all this time! I’ll draw a winner when I get back to Blighty (where does that name come from? Another idea for a comment…). I land on 9th July so soon after that. I will also post internationally, even if it means repatriating this fabric!