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 had an urge to dig into my stash this weekend and do a spot of sewing. I’ve never made one of these cathedral window pincushions, which are very popular, so I thought I’d have a go.
The fabrics were fat quarters that I bought in JoAnn‘s many, many years ago on a holiday to Florida. It was nice to finally use a little bit of them.
I have to say I did find it a little tricky. The inserts under the curves kept slipping, but I got there in the end and I’m pleased with how it turned out.
I finished my Mirabelle quilt this week and overall I’m really pleased with it.
It’s by no means perfect though. There are lots of alignment problems but I think since I started this quilt two years ago, my piecing has become more accurate. The machine quilting isn’t as good as I’d like either. I quilted in the ditch, which was made easier with a dedicated ditch quilting foot, but it’s still more wrinkled that I’d like, especially the horizontal sashing, which you can see in the photo above. Mum seems to get her quilts so smooth when she quilts them.
Things that I learnt whilst making this quilt
- Always piece on the same sewing machine. Failing that, check the accuracy of your sewing/seams as you complete each block. As I made this over the course of many months, I used different sewing machines when piecing. I found that some machines did a more generous ¼ inch seam than others and it wasn’t until I’d done a good number of blocks did I realise that they were coming out at different sizes because the seams weren’t quite the same. I had to remake some and trim down others. If I’d stuck to the same machine, even if the seams were a fraction bigger than they should have been, at least they would have been all the same!
- Press the seams the same way. With the cross pieces in each block and sashing, I pressed some seams away from each other, and some towards each other. Because it is a pale fabric you can see the seams underneath through the top and it doesn’t all look the same.
- Cut all the sashing from the same piece of fabric. Unfortunately all my horizontal sashing pieces were cut from a different piece of plain fabric. It was the same shade of Moda Bella Solids, however it was from a different bolt and the colour is very slightly different. It wasn’t until I’d sewed the whole quilt top together, that I noticed the colour variation. It does annoy me a bit as it looks like it is a bit grubby, but I couldn’t face re-doing it.
If you’d like to make a similar quilt, I’ve written a short tutorial here.
I made up my Japanese rice bag the weekend before last, using the kit I bought at the quilt show. I love it, although I don’t know what I’ll use it for 🙂
I thought I would show you the baby quilt I put together this week.
It was the quickest quilt I’ve ever done, because there was no piecing. This is a complete quilt panel. I simply added wadding and backing, quilted it and bound it.
The quilting was a mixture of straight lines around the boxes and then some free-motion quilting around some of the animals and lilypads.
I also did some quilting in the blue border area using Mum’s new Parrs-Reel Ruler which she bought at Westpoint at the weekend. Unfortunately the photo here doesn’t show up. It took a few attempts to get it right at first, but I did get the hang of it after a while.
If you’d like to make this quilt, you can buy the Paul and Sheldon quilt panel here.
I thought I would share a couple of small sewing projects that I have completed this past week.
First of all was this Lil Red doll made from a Moda Fabrics panel. Lil Red is a new collection of fabrics featuring Little Red Riding Hood.
The panel includes the doll, her shirt and cape, quilt, pillow and Mr Wolf.
She was very quick to make and I enjoyed myself!
The second thing I made this week was a tote shopping bag which folds into a pouch.
This was a pattern my Mum devised a few years ago and I thought I would make a new bag using some of the new Aria fabric by Kate Spain. I love this fabric range and was dying to make something with it.
I love Moda’s Candy Packs – they are mini charm packs containing 42 2.5″ squares. I find it very hard to resist slipping one or two into my stash every time we get a new set in at the shop.
I’ve used them to make a couple of different cushions in the past – one using the Sunnyside collection and one using Aspen Frost. However I had a spare Mistletoe Lane mini charm pack which the designer, Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs, gave me and I’ve been wondering what to do with it. I didn’t want to make another cushion.
Then I came across a mini quilt which Anne Sutton had made with a Mistletoe Lane mini charm, as part of the Moda Love Blog Tour. This tour saw all the Moda fabric designers make something using the same quilt pattern and using either a layer cake, charm pack or mini charm. I just loved how it looked, so as the weather forecast was awful for this weekend and my husband was out with the boys on Friday night, I borrowed a sewing machine from work (my own is in storage in preparation for our house move) and got started.
This is the basic pattern – some half square triangles mixed with whole squares and obviously the larger the precut, the larger the quilt.
It’s been quite a while since I did some quilting and it was nice to be able to complete the whole thing in the weekend. I still can’t get my machine quilting as smooth as I’d like, but I guess I just need to practise more. I must also remember to alter the stitch length to 3.0 as I forgot at first and had to unpick a lot of tiny stitches!
You download the free instruction sheets here on the Moda website.
I make another one with a Canyon mini charm which is more summery 🙂
I’ve finally finished the jumper called Drift that I’ve been knitting in Sublime’s Natural Aran yarn. The shade I chose was a new one for this Autumn called Minky – a lovely dusty pink colour.
The pattern is in the The Second Sublime Natural Aran Hand Knit Book (687) and was fairly straight forward to do as it’s basically just 2×2 rib. The cabled ribbed detail on the front had to be done by following a large chart, which I find ok as long as I have a ruler up against each row so that I read it correctly.
There were two adjustments I had to make though. The armholes weren’t big enough. When I tried it on it was just too tight, so I had to make them bigger than the pattern suggested. I also changed the neckline. The neck shaping in the pattern is such that it gets higher in the middle so felt like it was almost choking me and it was also a bit tight to get my head through and I don’t have a particularly big head! I don’t like anything tight up against my neck, so I changed the shaping completely so that was higher at the shoulders and made the neck opening larger.I’m much happier with it now and will hopefully get lots of wear out of it this winter, although it is so mild at the moment, I’m not sure it’ll ever be cold enough!
I finished the Hitchhiker scarf at the weekend. As I got closer to the end, the rows took longer and longer to complete, but my husband was watching three games of rugby back to back on Saturday afternoon (Rugby World Cup), so I just sat with him to the watch the matches and was determined to get this scarf finished.
I’m really pleased with the outcome. The colours of the Araucania Puelo yarn are really me.
It’s currently on display in the shop, but I’ll probably end up wearing it around the shop as the weather gets colder.
Last week I found that my to-do list wasn’t too long, so I took the opportunity to grab a few hours at work to make one of this year’s advent calendars from Stof Fabrics.
Rather than the traditional colours, I decided I would make one in the copper colour way to show people just how lovely and effective it is! Stof do some really lovely Christmas fabrics.
I had fun with a little free motion quilting on the top too, trying to follow the swirls 🙂 Think I succeeded ok!