Monday, 31 March 2014

Mouse in a Tea Cup

After making my flower in a vase brooches a couple of weeks ago, I had the urge to create more brooches along the same lines - ie brooches that would 'hold' something.

And first up had to be mice...

Little wool finger puppet mice, very similar to the one in my pumpkin back in the Autumn.
 In tea cups!

They just fit in perfectly!

I made this one first, and didn't quite appreciate the order I needed to sew the cup and saucer pieces together, so it has no saucer! But I quite like it saucerless.

Inevitably I had to make one with a patchwork cup too!

I have 2 girls very keen to model them for me! But unfortunately I haven't sewn on the brooch backs yet, and you might have noticed a couple of the mice haven't quite got all their detail yet. Too many ideas and not enough time to sew them all! All the more so when one idea just seems to lead to another...

Back tomorrow,


Sunday, 30 March 2014

Happy Mothers' Day

Happy Mothers' Day to all UK Mums! Hope you're all being spoilt today.

Most recent brooch - I'm determined not to waste even the tiniest scraps of these batiks!

Friday, 28 March 2014

This Moment

Here's a link to Soulemama's moment, and here's mine, and I'm even sticking to the rules for a change this week...

{this moment}
A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.
. . . . . . . . . .

Have a great weekend,


Thursday, 27 March 2014

Quilted Farm Play Mat

I've been so preoccupied with my new mini quilt this week that I haven't shown you the farm quilt from last week all finished up.

As you can probably see the gates all 'open', and the barn door too.

I finished it off with a few extra details - like the button flowers around the house, and button door handles.

And a few fish in the river.

 But generally I stuck to leaving it open for imaginative play, since, as a play mat,  that's what this was designed for. It would be lovely to make a bed quilt along these lines too, and get to put more on that - like the sheep, pigs, chickens etc.

Usually I like to make a 'quilt bag' for quilts I give as presents, but this time I decided to have a bit of a change and make a cushion cover...

It's just the right size to fold up the quilt and stuff the cushion with it.

It was definitely a fun quilt to make, and I think it would translate well to making it in bright, cheerful cottons as well.  But I really enjoyed using the wools and it's got me wanting to make another 'picture' style quilt from wools now - maybe a seaside scene.

Back tomorrow,


PS Oops, almost forgot, I'm linking up with Needle and Thread Thursday over at My Quilt Infatuation today.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

'Blackbird has Spoken' Mini Quilt

Linking up with WIP Wednesday again over at Freshly Pieced today. So here's how I left my 'Morning has broken' mini quilt at the start of the week.

And here's how it's coming along...

Some quilting lines and, as you can see, blackbird has now spoken...

The tree branches are just machine embroidery...

And the blackbird is raw edge applique with quite a bit of machine embroidery for the detail, you might just about be able to make it out...

Just got to add my 'quote' (the plan is to create a wall of mini quilts all with a quote, this is number 5 so far, find the others at the bottom of 'My Quilts' page.) and then bind it.

That's it for today, off to have a browse through some of the other WIPs now.


PS Just been having that browse and one of the WIPs I visited (with some lovely looking 'ant' fabric which hooked me in) has another linky party going on, I'm in a linky mood so I'm now joining in there too - Lets Bee Social, at Sew Fresh Quilts.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Leftovers - Cuff Bracelets

I had quite a few very small pieces of batik fabric leftover from the mini quilt yesterday. Much too small to keep them for future quilting projects, but I'm not very good at throwing away fabric at the best of times, never mind when it's beautiful, fresh pastel batiks that I only had a few scraps of in the first place. I really wanted to use every teeny, tiny, last piece. So I turned them into a cuff 'bracelet'.

Just like a mini, mini quilt really, with a couple of layers of wool in the middle and lots of stitching to give it enough stiffness to hold its shape.

It fastens with a button and a small loop of thin, cord elastic - sorry I should have taken a photo of that too. As soon as Venetia saw it she wanted one, and I had just enough of my tiny scraps to make one for her too:

She got to choose her own buttons and sew them on - although she got bored with that after the first couple tonight, there were more exciting games to join in with going on around us!

She's very happy with the end result still though. And then of course little Miss Maria wanted her own bracelet. I wanted to make something a bit more Maria-like for her, so here's her completely different version:

Lovely odd shoes to add to the look!

So, three bracelets whipped up from next to no fabric and a few buttons. I sort of wish I'd done button holes for the fastening rather than my loops of elastic, because I'm not sure how the loop will hold up to being pulled frequently. I sandwiched it between my fabric layers and zigzagged over it several times but I'm not convinced it'll last. I was just being lazy really, I don't much like doing button holes. If the elastic comes out I'll have to overcome my dislike and put button holes in them instead.

See you again tomorrow,


Monday, 24 March 2014

'Morning has broken' Mini Quilt

We've had quite a lot of really beautiful mornings over the last few weeks. Beautiful, magical mornings when the light has just been breath taking. When you go outside early and breathe in the cold, fresh air and the world is full of birdsong and the promise of an amazing day. Very difficult to capture the full beauty of these mornings on camera. These are attempts from this morning, but they really don't do it justice.

Every time we have a morning like this I find I have a particular song going through my head for most of the day - 'Morning has broken'. I think this song captures the beauty of these mornings better than my camera does! For a few weeks it's been on my mind to try and make a mini quilt to fit the song and the mornings, and this morning's light inspired me to get going. I've been mulling over how I might go about it, dithering over whether to try and recreate a realistic picture or whether to just try and convey a bit of the magic of the light and the feeling of the mornings. In the end I decided to go with the latter, a realistic picture just couldn't compare with the real thing.

I bought this roll of gorgeous batik fabric scraps at a Quilt Fair last year and I've been waiting for a good opportunity to use them.

This seemed like the perfect opportunity.

The cat is another fan of these bright mornings, he always finds the sunniest patches and I had to turf him off my mat before I could get going!

Because it's only a mini quilt it came together very quickly.

And I got a backgound sewn up pretty fast.

Next I'm going to work a bit of applique over it.

Wishing you magical mornings this week too.


Friday, 21 March 2014

This moment

Here's a link to Soulemama's moment, and here's mine.

{this moment}
A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.
. . . . . . . . . .

A different kind of cheat this week. You've probably seen/heard about the trend on Facebook for posting a 'selfie' with no make up, and, if you can, texting BEAT to 70099 to donate £3, then 'nominating' others to do the same. As well as raising money, the aim is to raise awareness and encourage people to check for early signs of cancer. After the craziness of 'neknominating' not that long ago, when it felt to me that the world had gone slightly mad and that Social Media was a very dangerous thing, this particular craze on Social Media feels like something very positive. I was 'nominated' yesterday by a lovely, and very beautifully bare faced, friend, and I thought I'd share my 'selfie' on here as well as Facebook. I'm doing this partly because I never normally wear make up anyway, so sharing my selfie on FB with my 'real life' friends isn't really any big deal, they're all used to me looking like that! But sharing it with my 'online' friends is more of a stretch because I've always, deliberately, kept my blog fairly 'faceless'. So here I am...

There's an article here about the trend if you've not heard about it so far.

And instead of 'having' a moment from my week to remember, I'm 'taking' a moment to remember, 'publicly', a very dear friend of mine, who I lost to cancer quite a while back now.  I say 'publicly' because I remember and think of her every day 'privately', but she would really have rocked the no make up selfie craze, she was beautiful all the way through, so this is especially for her.

Have a great weekend, and if you feel like continuing the 'selfie' trend then consider yourself nominated!


Thursday, 20 March 2014

Farm Quilt Progress

I've been sewing like mad today, trying to get my Farm Play Mat from yesterday finished. And I'm frustratingly close but not quite done yet. It seems to be a project I look at, and it appears very simple and not too time consuming and yet somehow it has consumed large amounts of time. I suppose that's quilts generally for you.

Although I've done reasonably well keeping it as a blank canvas for imaginative play and avoiding detail (particularly those sheep I've been itching to add), I couldn't resist the temptation of a couple of ducks in the pond.

And I also added a wheat field today, because I remembered the thrifted wool cardigan I bought the other day that had lots of texture to it - and it seemed perfect for a wheat field.

The gates are all 'constructed' but I've still got to 'hang' them all! I'm planning on just sewing them down one side so they can all be 'opened'.

Maybe a few more teeny details to pretty it up and then I've just got to bind it. Hopefully all doable tomorrow, since the party is Saturday!

I'm linking up with Needle and Thread Thursday over at My Quilt Infatuation today. Take a look at some of the gorgeous quilts already linked up, and I'll be back tomorrow,


Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Farm Play Mat

There's too much starting going on around here, and not enough finishing at the moment. Although that is good for WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced. My most recent start is now a Farm Play Mat in wools, as a present for a little boy who loves tractors. 

I've started out with my backing fabric - a piece of a wool blanket:

With a plain, old blanket piece as the 'wadding' next.

And I drew a very rough design on to this.

And now I'm sewing wools directly on to this to create the design and quilt it all in one.

Still a fair bit to go, roads and hedges and gates apart from anything else. It's been tempting to put lots of detail on it - like maybe a lovely field full of sheep. But I want to try and leave it open for imaginative play, perhaps some model sheep will be moved around on it for instance. And the main imaginative play is likely to be a tractor driving over it!

That's about it for today,