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If You Go Down In The Woods Today

14 Jun

I am back with further admiration for Sue Box Designs.

I refuse to go through the hassle of stitching badly digitised embroideries and so I tend to stay with the designers I know never come into this category and she never seems to sell a bad design.

I bought some of her Timeless Teddy designs when there was a not to be missed deal on some months ago.  When I was looking to make a baby quilt they were the obvious ones to use.

I had never made a triple Irish Chain design quilt so I thought I would have a go. Unfortunately my first attempt ended up with a rather long, thin quilt but I solved this problem by making it into two square quilts, eminently suitable for protecting both floor and baby. I think floor quilts for babies are a very sensible idea. We never wear shoes in our house yet the carpets still need cleaning from time to time and as for houses with dogs, well what can I say?

Obviously serendipity.

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The thing that always strikes me with her designs is that the original artwork is superb. However, the detail in the artwork must make for a lot of work in the digitising.

If you want to try out her designs there are lots of free ones on this link.   If  you want to try out a particular collection before buying each collection has a free sample.  The one for the teddies is the last one I posted above.

If you fancy making a triple irish chain google it. There are lots out there but this one is easy to understand.

 

 

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Sunbonnet Sue Strikes Again.

7 Jun

For someone who purports not to like Sunbonnet Sue I am again showing signs of inadvertent addiction. I once made two bags using free Sue and Sam patterns from The Quiltery. Later I joined their pattern club when it was a very reasonable price and two of the downloads were the same Sue and Sam but more of them. (see this link).

So far I have appliqued ten blocks to make two quilts. They are fun and easy to do and I think they turned out well.

See what you think.

DSCN3136 DSCN3137 DSCN3138 DSCN3139 DSCN3140 DSCN3141 DSCN3142 DSCN3143 DSCN3144 DSCN3145Now I just need to work out what to do about their faces. The sideways ones are fine but I think too many blank stares could cause nightmares amongst the young.

Anyway I am working on the rest of the top in my dungeon so pop back another day if you would like to see the results. I’m on a roll so it shouldn’t take too long. After all housework is not good for the soul, only the conscience.

I used the fabric I dyed myself and put into a blog last year.   I find it much easier to get variations whilst tying colours together using a fabric with lots of shades and patterns in different densities.

 

They also do matching embroideries. (see this link.)

Here is one I did earlier.

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Crazy Christmas Fairies

25 May

Having taken delivery of the Loralie Very Fairy Christmas fabric I just had to make something from it. This is what I came up with.

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I started with a square of batting and a panel from the Loralie Very Fairy Christmas panel.

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Cut strips of matching fabrics and stitch in a crazy patch.

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That gives you this.

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This is what the back looks like.

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I could have stitched through a backing layer as well if I had wanted the quilting to show on the finished back. However, I cut squares to fit and pinned them on the back.

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To join the blocks together I used quilt as you go (QAYG). I cut 1.25″ strips of sashing for the front and also to match the back. I stitched the sashing strip right sides together on the front.

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At the same time I stitched the strip to match the backing to the back.

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I then attached the next block right sides together on the front only.

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The back looks like this.

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Pin the strip over the seam folding in the seam allowance.

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This can be hand sewn or stitched with a straight, zigzag or fancy stitch either from the back or the front.

DSCN3126I also followed  the same process to attach the borders forming the thin strip between main section and border.

Binding consists of a 2.5″ strip folded in two and stitched either from back or front. I did it from the front.

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This was folded over and hand stitched to the back. It could have been stitched to the back, folded to the front and machine stitched.

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This won’t get the baby a new bonnet.

I am supposed to be tracing pattern pieces on Adobe Illustrator but unfortunately the ability to do that sort of thing left me along with the ability to understand the instructions for flat pack furniture in about 1985. Luckily I don’t like flat pack furniture but I do have to trace the patterns so I guess that needs to be the next project. Perhaps I should get a sandwich board and try a quid pro quo. With my luck I’d get a house full of furniture and still be without the tracings.

Ramblings apart. If you want to do crazy patch this should give you some idea. There are some more detailed blocks in the Tips and Tricks section – Crazy For Butterflies.

 

 

Loralie Fairies and the Soft Shoe Shuffle.

4 May

It’s not the first time I have showcased my  shoe bags but they are so far down the archive list that newcomers may never find them. As such I thought a few pictures of a new selection might be in order. These are really satisfying to produce. They can be made in so many different styles and colours and also used for so many different things as well as shoes. If you want a well organised suitcase a few of these bags will assist. They are also a rather more attractive substitute for the plastic bag for carrying dirty shoes.  A row of them on the coat rack looks so much more attractive than a row of muddy shoes on the shoe rack. Obsessed? Who? Me?

 

For the ladies.

blue green orange.

 

green green purple

 

beige pink pink

 

green pink mauve

 

brown blue red

 

white red green

 

green boot

For the dancer.

beige pink dance trainer

 

linen effect lined green yellow dance trainer

 

For himselfbeige swirl green yellow

 

green blue trainer

 

brown purple grren

 

If you want to have a go at your own how about buying one of my shoe quilt patterns and using the appliques to make your own.

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Men’s

 

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If you are feeling lazy try a ready made one.

Ladies’ Use this link to the web site.

Men’s Use this link to the web site.

I am awaiting delivery of another Loralie fabric. This time it is Very Fairy in time for Christmas. Be honest if you don’t start now will you really finish before Christmas?

First the panel.

very fairy panel

very fairy panel right

very fairy panel left

Matching Fabrics.

very fairy tossed

very fairy holly

very fairy red scroll

very fairy green scroll

verey fairy canes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crazy for Butterflies.

9 Apr

I needed to make a quilt for a king sized bed. Making the top was not a problem but what about the cost of having it quilted. My little quilt frame would not even look at it and even if it would my albeit semi professional machine would be working on minus inches by the time the whole thing had rolled up under the arm. The only thing to do was quilt as you go. I have never done one of these before but never let it be said that I would let a little thing like that stop me. There has to be a first time for everything.

First I did crazy patch squares using strips of butterfly fabrics on a sandwich of backing and cotton/polyester wadding . Having chosen to go with a butterfly theme I was going to do some reverse applique butterflies but decided that it would either make or break the project. With my luck it would be the latter. Instead I experimented with embroideries.

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Once I had drawn myself a rough plan of which colour went where to prevent adjacent duplicates it was a doddle. I had sewn the blocks into sections of two rows of eight blocks. The whole quilt was to be eight blocks by eight blocks so I had four sections. the added bonus was that as the blocks already had three layers no stabiliser was needed. It also meant that there would be butterflies the colour of the bobbin thread on the back.

I made my rows and sections by joining blocks with narrow sashing. The sashing is sown to both blocks right sides together on the back.

 

 

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The front is only attached on one block right sides together.

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It is then folded over and either hand or machine stitched on the right side. As life is too short and too filled with future quilts I used a fancy machine stitch trying to keep it parallel with the edge. A straight stitch would have been a nightmare keeping it neat on the back.

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I hooped the quilt sections and embroidered butterflies. I could have embroidered the butterflies before constructing the strips but this way I could get nearer the edges of the blocks but that was just my preference. I don’t like things too ordered.

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Sew all the strips together, add a wide border to match the sashing and Bob’s your Uncle.

As an extra little touch I stitched butterflies all round the border using Sulky Solar thread. This means that at night a row of luminous butterflies lights the room. Who needs a night light when you have luminous butterflies.

I thought I might try making some baby quilts with luminous embroideries. they will either provide the comfort of a night light or produce mildly confused children. What is life without a little experimentation?

 

Fancy Cats, Ladies Tea and Sew Paree.

30 Mar

I am hoping to get a delivery of fabric from Loralie Designs tomorrow. I had a bit of a marathon trying to pay the duty on Saturday but we got there in the end and delivery was promised for tomorrow. Anywhere else in the country that would probably mean it would be. Here, not so much. If you are behind with your deliveries we are a very good place to miss in order to make up time. Still it isn’t Christmas so we live in hope.

It wouldn’t normally be a problem but I have to load up ready for the Spring Quilt festival at Westpoint, Exeter on Wednesday. this means that all new panels must be cut and packed and all fabrics ready to load. Fingers crossed.

Nothing like going to the wire. As far as excitement goes I’ll take what I can and be grateful.

The fabrics are Fancy Cats Fancy Cats Panel

 

Matching Fabric

Fancy Cats

I do get asked for cats so hopefully these will go down well along with the other two animal prints.

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We also have arriving, Ladies Tea featuring much tea drinking and teapots.

Ladies Tea Panel

 

Matching Fabric.

Tea Toss Fabric

 

Last but not least Sew Paree.

Sew Paree Panel

 

Matching FabricSew Paree Fabric

 

I have also had to do a reprint on my most popular pattern – Plundering Pirates. Not sure why it goes down so well. Maybe because it is a bit different.

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It shares top spot with my Funky Farmyard Quilt.

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If you are around Exeter and the fancy takes you come along and see what we get up to. There are lots of quilts to see and goods to buy. If that doesn’t grab you come for tea and cake.

 

Unbearably Loveable

31 Jan

I have not used many Sue Box embroideries but every time I do I wonder why I don’t do more. These are my latest efforts and I think they are really lovely.

I only use well digitised embroideries. I don’t want to plan a project only to be let down by the quality of the digitising. However, if asked what the difference between these well digitised embroideries and all the others I have bought I would simply say they are heirloom quality.

The designer is Carolyn Lorking and the original designs are perfect. Sue Box then makes a lovely design into a lovely, troublefree embroidery.

Don’t take my word for it, have a look. Bear in mind that she uses Robinson Anton thread and I use Madeira so I had to convert the colours. This sometimes results in a less than perfect finished embroidery but in this case it seems to have worked. They may not be identical to hers but they are still lovely.

I bought 5 of them but there are lots more on this link.

The nightshirt on the first one is actually blue, nothing to do with the colour conversion, more the camera.

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I think my favourite is the sailor. Which is yours?

I  thought I would make a quilt probably involving the bears paw pattern. Watch this space

Mining the Stash

19 Jan

I tidied the dungeon today. If we are being literal, I tidied half the dungeon.The problem was that, having rearranged the area I sew in I turned round to discover that although I had one lovely tidy section, I had moved everything surplus to requirements down to the other end. This now means I have to start tidying that bit tomorrow. Perhaps I should just place a large dustbin by the door and save myself the trouble.

The flaw in this plan is of course that if I throw out anything it will be just the bit of blue or green I need to finish a project. Not that I would ever find it at the moment but that is a detail. Luckily I get a certain amount of satisfaction creating order out of chaos. That is until I try to find something that is no longer where I knew it was. Still at least the dust bunnies have hopped off for a few weeks and the resident spiders will be spending tonight re-spinning the webs I hoovered up this morning.

Since writing the above I have bought myself some plastic drawers. Now I can see all the small fabric pieces I did not throw away. They are colour coded and perhaps will stay tidy now. The times I have thrown everything out of a very large box in order to find a tiny piece of just the right yellow. No more.

It is amazing how just the act of completing one job, ie the fabric organisation, kick starts other projects.

I have had this quilt on the frame for weeeks if not months but couldn’t find the motivation to finish it. I was looking for something to demonstrate the use of a fabric panel in a quilt and came across a pattern at Blank Quilting.  It is actually a pattern for use with the Fashion Beach collection but would lend itself to any of the Loralie Designs panels and other makes too. I adapted it for the Belles Collection of fabrics.

See what you think

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Close up.

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Simple but effective.

The Cheapskate’s Way to Unique Applique.

28 Nov

You may have noticed that patterns are expensive. They are also not always what you would choose. For instance, suppose that your child likes a particular character from literature or TV. You may not be able to get a pattern for an applique of same but you can probably find a colouring book. How obvious is that and how many people never think of it? I never have used this method but I’m considering it.

The other day I was browsing in a local shop that sells a lot of end-of-line  and remaindered stock and I found a  colouring book featuring snowmen. It is a bit late for this year but I will be making at least a snowman themed wall hanging  next year. In theory I could do it  now but I have a queue of UFOs and  refuse to allow a new project until at least some are finished.

This  book is ‘Colour with Frosty’ from www.holland-publishing.co.uk . This particular book is no longer on the site (probably why it was reduced) but there are lots more. The best place for cheap books is one of the remainder shops like The Works. If you want a closer look than the internet affords they have a store finder from your post code   and you can go along and grab an armful.

There were lots of other animals; bears and penguins for instance but these are the ones I have chosen on the snowman theme.

The Book – I am not sure  it is the actual Frosty the Snowman but that’s what it says on the tin so I’ll go with it.

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Unless you are a McKenna Ryan fan choose pictures with large pieces and no fiddly bits. Having said that, if you see something you really like and it has lots of fiddly bits, have a go. I use the satin stitch method of attaching my appliques and I have not yet found anything too difficult, small or fiddly to deal with (even McKenna Ryan). In fact she has a beautiful new quilt with snowmen too. Have a look. If you like kits her fabrics are lovely.

If you need instructions on applique have a look at the ‘Tips and Tricks’ page on the heading at the top of this page. There are several applique projects with the basic how tos.

One note of caution. The books are someone’s copyright. If you use them for yourself I cannot see there would be a problem, although I am no expert. If you try to sell the resulting quilt, in theory you could get into copyright problems so best not to do it.

Richard Madeley and the Polperro Music Festival Auction

9 Nov

STOP PRESS.PARKING FREE FOR THE EVENING OF 30th NOVEMBER

I live in a pretty little place called Polperro situated in Cornwall.

The Outer Harbour

The Outer Harbour

View

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Every Year a music festival is held there and in order to be able to afford an impressive fortnight of music with equally impressive musicians, the village needs to raise money. This year there will be an auction held at the British Legion with presenter Richard Madeley as Auctioneer.

He is donating a lunch at the Talland Bay Hotel for three people.

I am giving one of my handmade dolls.

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and one of my Kookaburra Cottage Quilts.

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There will be lots of other goodies too. So whether you are a fan of Richard Madeley, want a quilt or doll you cannot get anywhere else or just fancy a trip to a beautiful place, come along.

November 30th at 8:30pm at the British Legion in Landaviddy Lane Polperro. Park in the car park and take a short walk down into the village as there is no parking in the village. Don’t forget parking is free for the evening.

Put it in your diary and see you there.