The quilt of purpleness

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My Mum loves purple.  I don’t – or didn’t.  After making this quilt, I’m coming around to the idea!

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It was truly a pleasure choosing the fabrics to make a lap quilt for her birthday, and I love the way they work together.  I added in some pink from my stash, but everything else was bought for this project.

The pattern is adapted from the Day to Night Quilt from Quick and Easy Quilts  by Lynne Goldsworthy.  It’s a great book, because it combines some more tricky techniques with simpler ones, making the quilts relatively quick to make, but still being interesting to look at.

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The triangle/pinwheel centre took some time, but the brick pattern around the outside was very quick.

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I backed it with some daisy print cotton in grey/blue, made wider with a line of colourful bricks.

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And finally, some scrappy binding!

Quick and Easy Quilts  by Lynne Goldsworthy

Purple fabrics from Sew Hot

Make & Review – Sew Now magazine

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Have you seen the new sewing magazine Sew Now? I’m not a huge reader of sewing magazines – I tend to only buy them if I want the free pattern – but I really like this one.
 
I counted four projects that I’d like to make straight away, and the first was this Spiderman wallet for my smallest nephew. Perfect to give him with his birthday voucher, and he loved that his present was in a present!
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I love all the details – the zip pocket is so cute.
 
Though I must admit I went for a simpler pocket inside. The instructions are for two side pockets and a card holder.
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The next project I want to make is this gorgeous back pack.
 
My beach bag ‘died’ this summer after 12 years (!) so I’m going to replace it with a backpack using these fabrics.
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So what else is in the magazine?
 
Although I’m more interested in the accessories patterns in this issue, the focus is on fashion sewing. Patterns include the Simple Sew Zoe dress and top pattern, a child’s dress, pencil skirt, knickers, refashioning a dress, and a dress/blouse pattern (and several more).
 
There are some very interesting articles about sewing businesses – Madalynne, Baboosh Designs and Kirsty Hartly (Wild Things to Make).
 
I also enjoyed the pages highlighting current fashion trends with some lovely pattern and fabric recommendations to go with them.
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And there are masses of projects in the accessories supplement.
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I was very impressed with this magazine. I’ve subscribed, and look forward to the next issue.
 
There is a ‘3 issue for £6’ offer at www.practicalsubs.com/1224
 
I was given a review copy of Sew Now via Fiona at The Sewing Directory. All opinions are my own.

Make & Review – Sewing Happiness

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I’ve been making a few projects from Sewing Happiness by Sanae Ishida this month.  A while ago, I volunteered as a pattern tester and Sanae very kindly sent me a copy when it was published.

As well as a book of projects, Sewing Happiness is part memoir, and account of how Sanae came to sewing.  Like Sanae, I’m a huge fan of enjoying ‘the practice’ and doing something regularly to get better at it.  Without pressure, but also wanting to improve.

Last year I took part in the 100 Day Project.  Every day for 100 days I cooked a new (to me) recipe. And guess what – I got better at cooking.  I’m more confident, more able to substitute ingredients, more willing to give a new technique a go.  Some days were more successful than others, but it was always edible!  Sanae’s experience of sewing sounds very similar.

I also like her take on using social media “There is an overarching sense of terror about creating something that didn’t exist befoe and putting it out into the world for judgment, but when you do it repeatedly, the confidence muscle strengthens”.

I’ve made four of the projects from the book so far.

The fabric origimi butterfly above is for a tooth fairy pillow.  There is a little pocket formed by the wing folds.  It took me a little while to get the folds right, but I’m delighted with the result.  It is so pretty and delicate.

Then I made a fabric bucket to hold bottles in the bathroom.

The blue triangle bag was my tester pattern and is another project that uses origami folds.  I especially like the strip of contrasting fabric used as the handle.  The infinity scarf is made from double gauze – melissa makes made me one as a gift, and I’ve since made several for friends inspired by her use of contrasting fabrics.

It’s unusual for me to try so many ideas from one book.  The projects are straightforward, but have some interesting and unusual techniques too, and they are perfect for showing off special fabric.

Is still want to make some aprons, a dopp kit and try some sashiko.  And surely  there is room for a floral crown in my life?!

If you want to make beautiful presents which don’t take forever, it is a wonderful book to have.

I’ve been reading…

dottie-doodle-books-october-2016When I’m not sewing, I’m often reading. Here are some of my favourites this year.
 
A three-month old baby girl is the only survivor after a plane crash, and she is claimed by two very different families. Beautifully constructed, with memorable characters, and it kept me guessing until the very end.
 
This is brilliant. Nearly 500 pages, and I read it on holiday in a day. I couldn’t put it down. Kate wakes up in hospital after an accident with post-traumatic amnesia. But she does have memories, which belong to a lady who lived 400 years ago. Reminded me of the BBC series The Living and the Dead.
 
A series of interconnecting tales. Absorbing and covers so many aspects of modern life – from reality tv to the supernatural.
 
Frank is 82 and decides to risk his home and life savings to fly to help his daughter in Los Angeles. Funny, sad and crazy. I loved it.
 
Yasmin and her ten year old daughter Ruby set off on a journey across Northern Alaska to search for Ruby’s missing father. This is recommended on the back as a thriller – and it is – but the narrative of most of the book moves at a slow pace and Rosamund Lupton writes beautifully about love and having trust in a person. It made me want to watch Ice Road Truckers too – I never thought I’d say that!

Union Jack Quilt – finished!

I finished my first quilt! Very very happy with it, and I loved the whole process.
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The pattern is the Union Jack Quilt from Hexa-go-go by Tacha Bruecher. I especially like the combination of hand sewn hexis (sewn in the evening mainly, in front of the TV) and machine sewn borders (because there came a point when I just wanted to get it done!).
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I bought most of the cream fabric and three FQs of blue, but everything else is made from scraps or small stash pieces. I was able to include plenty of the vintage scraps I’ve been hording, including some seventies Laura Ashley.
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The back is made from two large pieces of batik (intended for a dress, but it was too heavy) with a strip of blue squares down the middle.
 
I had no idea how to make a large quilt when I started, so I broke the process into sections and learned each one as I went.
 
I was most intimidated by the quilting, and how to handle the bulk of the quilt on my machine. I watched a Creative Bug class on machine quilting basics which was brilliant. Much easier than I thought it would be. I quilted three lines across the cross and diagonal lines, with some triangles on the blue sections.
 
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For the binding, I cut alternating strips of vintage Laura Ashley sprig and some modern quilting fabric and used Kerry’s tips from the Simple Sampler QAL. Very pleased with my mitred corners – and they weren’t difficult.
 
Hexagogo is a lovely book, with lots of ideas for combining hand and machine sewing. I will certainly make another of the quilts one day, but my next project is the Simple Sampler QAL. If you’d like to keep up with my progress, I am dottie_doodle on Instagram.

Simple Sampler Quilt Along

I was on holiday in Corfu when Fiona announced the Sewing Directory Simple Sampler Quilt-Along. I love the sampler quilt look and there are some interesting techniques I haven’t tried before.

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Colour inspiration was all around me.

Blues, greens, sun bleached stone, bright pink flowers, and some sparkle.

I’m also including the amazing teal/sea green I see when I’m swimming in the sea – bit difficult to get a picture of that!

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I love scrappy quilts (and I’ve got a lot of scraps to use up!), so I’ve pulled out some smaller pieces from the big bag in the cupboard. Liberty Lifestyle, Amy Butler, screenprints from Umbrella prints and some scraps of pink Gypsy Bandanna from around 6 years ago.

Metallic Essex linen for the golden light and sparkly sea. Pictured with Moda Mixologie green and stone scraps.

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These are bigger pieces. The blue floral is Liberty City Poplin (from a dress which didn’t suit me), chambray left over from a skirt, Rifle Paper Co Rosa Floral and Rhoda Ruth Starry Sky in teal and shadow.

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I’m looking forward to taking part, and seeing all the other lovely colour combinations.

Link to the Simple Sampler Quilt-A-Long

Sewing for tiny niece

2015summerdressGreta-002 I’ve been too busy to do as much sewing for Greta as I’d like, but I thought you’d like to see her in a couple of quick patterns I have managed to make.

It’s also a chance to share this beautiful photo, taken by my sister, Jo. She looks like a little fairy!

The dress is the smocked one I made at the beginning of the summer, here, with a matching pair of shorts from McCalls 5416.

Next is the free halter dress pattern from Prima Magazine, July 2015. 2015summerdressGreta 2015summerdressGreta-001

Doesn’t she look adorable? The fabric is a Tilda quilting cotton, and Jo says it’s a really useful dress. Very quick to make, so a pattern to keep and make again for next summer.

IMG_4323 There is an adult version too – I’m going to try out this for our summer holiday!