Now that I’m on maternity leave, I’m finding some time to get some sewing and quilting done. I’m hoping to get a few WIPs completed before the baby arrives.
I have managed to get a fair bit of quilting done on my Whitewashed Cottage Layers of Charm quilt which has been languishing for AGES! and I actually finished this mini quilt.
The pattern is Vintage Tulips Mini Quilt by Thimble Blossoms and the fabric is a selection of Bonnie and Camille fabric from my stash. I’m really pleased with how bright and fresh it looks. Not sure what I will do with it though. I suppose it will hanging the shop as I don’t have a sewing room at home to pin it up on the wall.
My husband loves dandelions and so I decided to make and embroider a cushion for him, for our 4th wedding anniversary.
The cushion itself is made from half a metre of Barkcloth fabric from Moda. Barkcloth is a soft, thick, slightly textured fabric, so named because it has a surface like that of tree bark – but it doesn’t feel rough like a tree! It’s heavier weight means it is ideal for home furnishings or bags.
My husband also likes the sashiko work I’ve done in the past, so the embroidery was meant to resemble that style.
I have finished the baby blanket! I used Sublime Baby Cashmere Merino DK yarn and the pattern is from Sublime Little Hand Knit Book 600. It was a nice easy mindless project to knit, especially with my baby brain at the moment!
It varies slightly from the pattern, in that I’ve used 6 colours, not 4 and I’ve done mitred corners on the border.
Doing mitred corners was easy. I picked up stitches along the edge of the blanket and then increased into the first stitch on every subsequent row. I then mattress stitched the corners together.
I’m currently knitting a baby blanket which requires me to pick and knit the border along all four sides.
I’m not a fan of picking up stitches and it can sometimes look messy and I wasn’t 100% sure of the best way to pick up stitches on a garter stitch edge. Books usually only show you how to do it on stocking stitch pieces. However this video explains it well.
My first side looked great but when I went to pick up the stitches on the second side I found that the stitches on the edge of the blanket were pulling to the right as you can see in the photo below.
It didn’t improve when I knitted that return row. So I undid it and tried with a smaller needle. However the same thing happened.
Then I had a brainwave. Why not try knitting into the back of the stitch when picking up and knitting. And voila! The stitches remained straight as you can see here.
Buying maternity clothes has not been easy. Hardly any shops have them for you to try on. 99% is online only and it’s very annoying!
So I ordered a Burda pattern to make a top and possibly some cropped trousers too. The pattern said it was super easy and I thought it would be good to have a go at sewing with jersey fabric too, which I’ve never done before.
So this is what I did over the Easter weekend last week.
My first decision was whether to use an overlocker to seam and finish at the same time, or to use a stretch stitch on my sewing machine instead. I chose the latter figuring if something went wrong I’d be able to fix it easier.
My sewing machine has different stretch stitches and overlocking type of stitches for neater finishing of seams, so I experimented on some left over pieces of fabric after cutting out the main pieces and settled on the stitches I would use.
On the whole it was pretty easy to put together. I particularly liked using the twin needle. The hems look quite professional finished this way.
The only issue I had was with the neck. You had to cut a strip, fold it in half lengthways wrong sides together and tack it all the way around the neckline. You stitch in place, snip around the curves, then fold it back inside the top and tack and then top stitch in place. The problem was that when I folded it back inside the top and tacked it, I could see it wasn’t going to lie flat.
After showing Mum, I mentioned that the strip for the neck barely met at the ends. She suggested that I needed to sew the strip into a circle first, slightly shortening it and then ease that into the neckline. It might bring it in.
So I spent ages unpicking the line of stretch stitching that I’d done. It was very tedious and fiddly. Grrr… and after all that, the neck looked even worse and curled out. It was like there was too much fabric when I folded the strip back.
So in the end I didn’t fold it back. The strip was quite happy to sit as it was. So I just neatened the seams and voila!
I’ve finally finished knitting our baby his first cardigan. I started it before we had the 20 week scan so we didn’t know if it was a boy or girl. I knitted it all apart from the button band and then had to wait till mid-February to know which side to put the buttons and buttonholes on.
Trouble is, I lost momentum then and started knitting something else.
However I picked it up again recently to finish it off and thought to myself that it was look quite large, for the 0-6 months size. When I measured I found that it was a bit too big in places, so I had to undo and shorten both front pieces and the sleeves. (The length of the back was fine!). Don’t know how I measured them before but they were longer than they should have been.
Finally sewed it together and put on the buttons this week and I’m pleased with the outcome.
The pattern is a Sirdar one: #4423 Cardigans in Sirdar Snuggly Baby Cotton DK and that’s the yarn I used too. Sadly it has now been discontinued, but any DK yarn could be used instead.
The last three months have been a bit up and down in terms of my energy levels. I thought the second trimester mums-to-be were meant to have lots of energy again, however this little one still takes it out of me some days! He’s getting quite wriggly and obviously having growing spurts. My friends keep commenting on how much my tummy seems to be growing!
We’ve set up the nursery with a jungle theme, largely inspired by the Makower Baby Jungle quilt panel and fabric, which we got in the shop earlier this year.
A few weeks ago I spent an hour making a lampshade for the nursery in the Jungle Scenic fabric. Previously we had a lampshade which made the room quite dark, but this new one makes such a difference.
And finally, this week I found some time and energy to make up one of these panels into a quilt for our little one.
I simply added a couple of borders in co-ordinating fabric and backed it with the scenic fabric again to tie in with the lampshade. Instead of a traditional binding, I did the inside-out method (at least this is my name for it!). I put the front and back pieces right sides together with wadding underneath, sewed almost all the way around and turned inside out. I then quilted it and stitched up the gap for turning.
I’m so pleased with it!