Plane-ly hand sewing


I started this last weekend…

It will either be another large cushion or a stool top depending on just how big it finishes up. This week I’ve been getting a lot of prep done ready for my flight tomorrow. It’s always good to have a portable project.

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This is my 999th post- which means there will be a giveaway next post! I plan in doing a couple of blog posts while I’m gone but mostly, see you when I get back, otherwise I’m still on Instagram while I’m away!

A Finish: Hadley Doughnuts

My Hadley quilt plan became a large cushion. It just felt right not to make too many of these, and the fact I got to stash most of the fabrics again had absolutely nothing to do with it of course…


The background is Kona Natural I think, and it uses a mixture of techniques. Firstly, there is improv foundation piecing going on with the feature fabrics, appliquéd turned circles for the middles and the background is done with the reverse appliqué/ facings/ portholes technique to ensure no raw edges at all in this design, which is how I like it. I hate raw edges.


I made piping. It’s never my favourite thing to make so I put it off for a bit but it came together with no problems so I think I’m getting better at it. It’s also a Denyse Schmidt print but it’s a Chicopee one. I’m looking forward to Denyse’s New Bedford line to see if I like those just as much. I wasn’t too taken with the whole collection of any of Ansonia, Franklin or Shelburne Falls, but I have a few selected prints.


The background is just improv pieced from 5″ wide pieces of what was left over. I stuck a flap and metal zip in too.

Here’s the deets.

Size – 24″ square
Number of blocks – four
Time to make– about four hours?
Fabric – Hadley by Denyse Schmidt, Kona Natural
Backing Fabric – Hadley by Denyse Schmidt
Binding Fabric – A plaid from Chicopee by Denyse Schmidt
Threads – My amazing £3 cone of white poly from Boyes that has lasted three projects so far with no issues
Batting – 80/20 Soft and Elegant
Quilting- “organic” spiral, off-centre, starting in the middle of one of the doughnuts.


2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

This is my second finish this quarter (Q2) for the finish along which means I’ve achieved half.  I didn’t think I’d do that well to be honest! Gearing up for Q3 and one of the two project will roll over, there will be two- possibly three- re-entries and a new addition to the list. That’s not really a spoiler, it’s a predictable list!

Bodge it (and Badger)

A reference for all of you familiar with early 00’s Children’s TV…

I mentioned before that I made these City Gym Shorts (free pattern) shorts but hadn’t shown you them.

They’re perfectly wearable (ignoring the seam in the crotch from when I ended up with upside down dinosaurs and no spare fabric), if only I hadn’t made them so small in the waist!

This seam shouldn’t be here, there isn’t one at the other side…

I’m not quite sure how I got it so wrong. I thought I made the correct size after measuring my hips, lengthening them by 1 1/2″, and didn’t overlap the sides too much, just possibly a tiny bit more than I was supposed to.

Time to fix this.

When I unpicked the side seams I figured I could do with some extra fabric there, so I created a panel for each side 2 1/2″ wide and top stitched that in. Then I chopped the existing waistband fabric nearly in half lengthwise and added a few more inches to the end. Instead of feeding the elastic into the waistband, I followed Lladybird’s tutorial.

Ta da!

I would definitely make these shorts again despite the heartache these ones caused as they’re reasonably quick to do but I would a) double check the sizing and definitely use a bigger size in future and, b) Check the direction I folded the pattern before cutting out the pieces and most importantly, c) Use shop bought bias binding, those edges as nice and matchy as they are took me HOURS! Lengthening the pattern was definitely a good idea too else these would be slightly hot pant-y.

Fabric is from Jurassic Coast by Lewis and Irene.

Still procrastinating the Lizzy House Dinosaur shirt (no I don’t know what my dinosaur obsession is about either)! Pattern pieces are cut out, fabric is washed and ironed and buttons are selected so I really should just get on with it!

Badger! I almost forgot I promised you a badger…

Hank had this for literally a day before badger lost his head fluff, squeak and facial features. The ear was gone in minutes. Poor badger. He replaces fox (RIP) who went to his dustbin grave with no feet, head or tail, just a smelly empty body tube…

TUTORIAL: Simple tablet case (for Hudl2 and others)

I got myself a toy for the sewing room with my Amazon gift credit this week. My tablet is a Tesco Hudl2 and I’m really pleased with it. It’s replacing my clutter of books, CDs and magazines.

Anyway I needed to make a case and thought I’d make a tutorial too.

Fat quarter for outer – I used a stashed watercolour effect Liberty lawn
Fat quarter for lining
Half yard of cotton wadding or bump
Two 28mm buttons
A yard of bias binding

For a Hudl2, I cut the following:
OUTER FABRIC 1 – 7″ wide x 14″ tall, 1 – 7″ wide x 11″ tall.
WADDING 1 – 7″ x 14″, 3- 7″ x 11″

Depending on the size of your tablet, you will want to cut your smaller pieces 2″ – 2 1/8″ wider and 3″ – 3 1/8″ taller than the tablet itself. The longer piece should be 3″ taller than the shorter piece.

On the longer pieces, round off the top two corners. I drew round a small roll of tape and then trimmed with scissors.

Make two stacks – The first with smaller pieces – wadding, wadding, lining right side up, outer fabric wrong side up. The second stack should be all aligned at the bottom in the following order – smaller wadding piece, longer wadding piece, lining right side up, outer wrong side up.

Leaving a gap at the bottom for turning, sew all the way around on both stacks. Clip curves, clip corners and turn through the gap. Press.

On the smaller piece, measure 1 1/2″ from the centre and 2″ from the top. Mark. D0 the same for the other side of the centre.

Position a button centrally over each mark and stitch in place.

Measure 1/2″ from the top of the longer piece and mark the button width. Sew buttonholes with your machine 1/2″ from the edge. Refer to your manual to find the best way of doing this. Some machines (like mine) are one step and you program in the width of the button, others have a special button hole foot that requires a button in the back and others are more manual. Cut open buttonholes.

Pin the smaller piece to the longer piece with linings facing each other and bottoms aligned. Attach binding around the inside edge with a 1/8″ – scant 1/4″ seam, Curve around flap corners, join ends and complete stitching by machine all the way around.

Fold over the binding and clip in place if you wish. Hand sew in place with matching thread and a slip stitch like you would when binding a quilt.


Shine Bright: Preview Part III (the moron edition)

I am a moron. You knew the next set of blocks needed to be a similar size as the centre didn’t you? That’s 12″. So why on Earth did I make them 18″?


EQ7 told me they were 18″- but what it meant was tall and wide in the layout- as in, they’re on point, dumbass. I didn’t realise this until 10 minutes AFTER I emailed technical support asking why the maths was wrong.

Sigh. I guess it would have been worse if I made them too small, at least I could recut the fabric from what I’d sewn already.

This is what it looks like now- CORRECT!- after a whole bunch of wasted time. It took two to three hours ripping seams and cutting pieces down to what they should be, without actually sewing them back together. I had trouble with accurate cutting as the pieces were no longer crisp and lovely. Onwards and upwards…

There’s another diamond shaped round to do now which I am going to piece as normal, and then I’ll be getting onto those Y seams to finish round IV and it will be one whole piece next time you see it. It gets easier from that point, but the borders are pretty full on compared to my usual style!


Moronic sewing confession 2 – I made a pair of City Gym shorts last weekend and cut off part of the elasticated waistband thinking it was excess as it was longer than the top of my shorts. This resulted in shorts 2″ too small to get over my thighs. Oh and I’d messed up the directional print as well prior to this so I had to piece the crotch. Yes that’s right, there is an extra, asymmetrical seam exactly where you don’t want one of those to be. I will unpick the waistband and make another soon using Lladybird’s technique. I’m still a bit nervous to do it in case it’s a bigger problem than just the waistband and I desperately don’t want to write off this whole metre(ish) of fabric.

Scraptastic Tuesday

I’ve got this week’s pair of log cabins done-

I’m not sure about that yellowish strip on the left block- I think now maybe it’s higher volume than I thought but we will give it a go. Some of the strips are a bit thin at the edges on the right block to make sure the block was big enough but I’m trying not to overthink it.

I’m starting a secondary sorting system (beyond separating white/low volume from the rest). Some of the strips are pretty short and only suitable for the first round, so those are being put into a little basket as I find them. They’re all less than 6″ long. Thing is, now I want to create another for strips over 12 1/2″ so I have the edge strips ready too but then I’m in danger of making it less spontaneous.

Make sure you link up your scrappy projects this week with Nicky or Leanne to be in with a chance of winning prizes.

Scraptastic Tuesday

Bear bears bears

My bear collection is growing, I got three more prints from M is for Make this weekend (yes I know I’m not supposed to bebuying fabric shhh)


And this is the rest of my collection so far- please do let me know if you find or are destashing any grizzly bear prints that I don’t have!


I keep them together on my shelf now…


Shine Bright: Preview Part II

Time to show you the next stage of the pattern that I hope to put on sale in the Autumn as part of a new series of fat quarter friendly patterns I’m coining Quilt Workout, which are designed for intermediate quilters to practise their skills in different areas of patchwork to build up to the finished design. This quilt is the standard piecing, paper piecing and Y seams workout, I am doing one that involves curves and appliqué too but I’m a way off starting to test that one yet. I also plan to cover inset circles and partial seams in the future

The centre block was some simple piecing I showed you about a week ago or so. The next step is four diamond shaped paper pieced blocks…

The next reveal will show you what goes between these blocks, thankfully it’s standard piecing again! I’m not convinced that paper piecing is entirely my bag. However, I will need to crack out those Y Seams to make it one continuous piece…

Scrap bustin’

When I last blogged I had nine log cabins with an aim of making two a week until I had 49.

It turns out I like the break they offer between more “clever” sewing and so I have rattled off four before the week is up!

Hopefully this weekend I’ll be able to show you the next stage on the Shine Bright pattern quilt. Paper piecing part is halfway done. For now though, back to more boring, non-sewing work this evening…

Back doing what I love best

All my sewing commitments are done- unless you count #dogmini2015 which I’m not starting for a month yet- something that hasn’t happened in maybe over a year! I have made stuff for magazines and am now kind of backlogged (erm, four projects, three articles…) so I can kick back and play for a while. OH is at work this weekend so I have the house to myself and other than a bit of cleaning and computer work, no distractions, dogs permitting.


I decided I needed to declutter. I actually enjoy tidying my sewing room, I find it very comforting to sew in a tidy environment though I’m not a very tidy person usually, and the process itself as a means to reach nirvana is always worthwhile. Plus I get to look at pretty fabric while I tidy! However, I also need to start getting on top of exactly what I have in this room in anticipation for moving. It’s this reason I’m on sort-of a fabric diet (read that as there are three fabrics I really want right now but I will have to clear out some of my stash before I allow myself to buy any of them). So much so I’ve run out of black and white solids- unheard of. I’m working around it.


Anyway, a binbag later and it looks like this! The design wall is lint rollered, the fabric is pressed and put away, the bin is empty, it’s a harmonious place to sew now. I’ve cleared out the drawers too but you can’t obviously tell…


Not that it was really bad before…

Anyway I’ve looked at my bulging carrier bag of string scraps again and I don’t really want to be taking that with me either so frankly, it’s time I made some more log cabin blocks, even if they don’t become a top yet, just to get them out of the way. I’m going to aim to make two at a time, once a week in order to reach my target of 49.


So far I have nine- these are the three new ones. But I have also separated out the white/LV/cream contract strips as so much time was being wasted digging around for those when the actual selection is random and organic. The carrier bag has been changed to something a little more attractive and the white strips are located in the same box, just not in the bag.


I am now multi-projecting. I love doing this too. Along with the log cabins I now have Hadley Doughnuts going on, plus my new pattern is making progress.

I have a shirt to start soon too, the fabric is washed and ironed so it may be cutting time before too long!