Saturday, 30 April 2016

Bags, bags, bags!

I'm still in catch up mode round here, it's really not sewing and blogging season, it's gardening season! But just time to squeeze a quick post in....

After finishing my Cathedral Windows Tote Bag, I was in the mood for more bags, and decided they'd also make good Christmas presents - yes, it's Ho, ho, ho time of the month again, the perfect way to get yourself organised for Christmas well in advance!

So here are another three:

First up, this one was a thrifted embroidered cushion cover originally. But it was one of those covers which is just slip stitched closed on one side, so if you want to wash it you have to unpick it then sew it up again when it's clean. Those kind of cushions are never a good idea in my house, they basically would never get washed! But it was very easy to convert it into a quick, lined tote bag - in just the same kid of way as my Cathedral Windows tote.

Then a patchwork snail bag in just the same way, it had been way too long since I'd made any snails...

More earthy colours this time rather than my regular rainbow snails

And lastly this bright, cheery one.

This one is looking slightly creased because it's actually a fold away one and it's spent the past few weeks folded up into a small bundle. I loosely followed instructions here, but the main part of my bag came from a table cloth which already had beautifully neat seams so my version was a little simpler, and I decided to box the corners on the bottom of mine too.

Here it is all folded up, perfect to tuck away in a handbag.

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts and Celtic Thistle Stitches - for Ho, Ho, Ho. Happy Weekend to you all, extra happy in the UK since it's a longer, Bank Holiday Weekend, hurray!


Friday, 22 April 2016

Spring Flower Patchwork Cushion

This is actually last week's finish, but I've just had too much going on - good and bad! - to get round to posting!

You last saw this project as a scattering of hand sewn wool squares in progress early in the New Year here.

They look so much more vibrant now in bright Spring sunshine.
But these squares really grew from a comment by Yvonne - Quilting Jetgirl - way back in the Autumn here. My post had been a short one about inspiration for colour schemes for cushions. And Yvonne's suggestion for her colour scheme had been:
'Lots of shades of green with tiny pops of bright orange, yellow, and purple for a field of spring flowers. :)'
I really liked that idea and this is my take on it - thanks Yvonne, and hope it says 'field of Spring flowers' to you!

And as a finish it's perfect timing since we are happily into Spring round here and have a good smattering of flowers about and definitely loads of green everywhere.

As with the scarf I made along these lines, I simply machine sewed the squares directly on to a background fabric. I found an amazing remnant of corduroy in just the perfect shade of green in a charity shop a couple of weeks ago, which pushed me into finishing up this project.

And finishing it has now made me wonder about what three more cushions might look like - inspired by the other three seasons. So what would your four seasons cushions look like?

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts again and hoping you all have a special weekend.


Sunday, 10 April 2016

Patchwork Feathers and the start of a new quilt

This week I have a teeny, tiny finish, and a teeny, tiny start.

The start is the beginnings of a new quilt. This is a quilt that has been queued up to be made for well over a year now, and I've been struggling to come up with a plan which felt good. I think a lot of the problem is that the only thing I have to go on with this quilt is that it has to go with a particular wall of wallpaper, and unfortunately, don't tell anyone, but I really don't like the wallpaper. That's felt like quite a tricky hurdle to get over for me. I finally came up with something that 'interested' me a couple of weeks ago, and to be honest, I'm really not sure it's going to be a success, but I decided this week I just need to make a start and see how it goes.

So 2 blocks done, and I'm still really not sure it's going to be a success! But I'll persevere a little longer.

Perhaps I might need to try and engineer a change of wallpaper instead though!

Anyway, for a bit of cheering up, light relief, I made some patchwork feathers for my tiny finish. I have long fancied making some patchwork feathers, but I've never come up with a 'reason' to make them. Well, this week, just wanting to make some felt a good enough reason.

And here is one which has already now found a purpose, predictably on a hair band!

The others may end up on hair bobbles or clips too, I haven't decided yet. But they were all fun to make.


Friday, 1 April 2016

Cathedral Windows Tote Bag

After my last experiment with Cathedral Windows patchwork, which was a bit of a disaster from a colour perspective, I really wanted to give it another go with a more muted colour palette. And I sewed up a block in a very neutral off white with some blue and yellow prints pretty much straight away. I liked it, but didn't love it. And my centres were pretty good but not completely perfect. I really wanted to add buttons to it, but I had started it thinking it would become a cushion, and I'm not mad keen on buttons on cushions. So it's just been sitting there for the last couple of months while I dithered.

This week I bit the bullet and added buttons. And happily, all of a sudden, I did love it.

I really should have taken some before buttons photos too, you'll just have to take my word for it that it looks much better with them!

But then it was a matter of what to do with it now it was no longer going to be a cushion. After some thought I decided on a simple bag. A couple of oblongs of fabric folded over for the outer bag and the lining, and some extra fabric for handles.

The construction is very much along the same principles as the baskets I've recently made. And I'm sure there are lots of tutorials out there already for bags of this kind (one here that's very similar for instance), so I won't go through every step.

But obviously the first step was to sew the patchwork block on to the front of my outer fabric. A cathedral window block is kind of all neat and complete in itself, the process creates a ready quilted piece with no raw edges. It seemed to me that this was crying out to be used as a large front pocket, rather than purely as a decorative panel. So I just sewed 3 sides down, leaving it open at the top.

Then I carried on with the normal bag construction. The patchwork pocket was a little heavier than the rest of the fabric so the pocket gaped open, but that was easily fixed with a popper.

And in a very short space of time I had me a bag.

It felt a tiny bit wrong to be using quite a time consuming piece of patchwork in a very basic bag, which most likely will be used for grocery shopping. 

But then I reasoned why not have a more special bag to brighten up the chore of shopping? And I think this one will become a present, and spending time on homemade presents never feels wrong, so I'm not worrying about it any more!

Linking up with Finish it up Friday again, and wishing you all a happy weekend,