Sunday, 26 February 2012

Leather Handbag Class

Yesterday I did a great Leather Handbag making class at Sew Over It, a fabulous sewing cafe and shop near Clapham North tube station. The class was great and was all helped along by endless pots of tea and several slices of cake (all included in the class fee and very much appreciated). I had to use all my willpower to resist the temptation of the lovely sewing bits in the shop and came away with only the bag I made and some bondaweb I needed for a project but I am sure I wil be back there soon.

We had a wonderful teacher for the class, Danielle Budd who showed us some great tips and techniques for working with leather. It is really not so different from making a fabric bag although there is a lot more gluing involved. I had a beautiful soft blue suede to work with and teamed it with some lovely blue paisley delilah fabric for the lining. I am really pleased with the result and hope to make some more leather bags soon.

I would really recommend the class, it was a great way to spend a weekend and I will definitely be trying some more classes at Sew Over It soon. You can also bring your own projects to work on in the sewing cafe and they have a domestic quilting machine (as it says on the web-site) which turns out to be a Janome memory craft! I will certainly be taking some of my half finished projects along to finish off on their super swanky machines without the help of my cats!

The finished bag

Close up of trigger ring, eyelets and rivets.

Lining and pocket

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

WIP Wednesday

So lots done this week but am now too exhausted to write much! I finished my FMF quilt top and am delighted with it. I wish it hadn't taken me a year to do it. On the up side though it is finished just in time for the re-issue of FMF so I will be able to get plenty of pink seeds to back it - joy!
I also have come up with a bit of a design wall - the front of my wardrobe - makes a change from photographing everything on the bed.

Next I very nearly finished the star quilt top. Just two bits of sashing and the border to do. I'm glad to have it nearly done but I have got to admit that I don't like it. I started it a long time ago and I knew it wasn't right but I still wanted to finish it up. I am going to back this one with pretty Tanya Whelan Delilah Paisley fabric, it goes really well with the front and I will like the back at least, perhaps it will grow on me in time.

Lastly there has been lots of knitting (and TV) and the cardi is coming along well, I just love knitting baby things, so cute and so quick :)

Tops completed and awaiting quilting
  • FMF quilt
  • star quilt
  • cardi for Molly
No Progress this week

  • circle of flying geese quilt pillows
  • punctuation quilt
  • Amy Butler skirt
  • guinevere gloves
  • yellow and grey quilt
  • crochet blanket

  • Completed projects - 0
    New Projects Started - 0
    Currently in Progress - 9

    Sunday, 19 February 2012

    More Progress

    I have managed to do quite a lot of sewing this week and have made good progress with some of my WIPS (read - abandoned projects) which has been really good.

    I started this quilt last summer but I was not sure about the design and ground to a halt. I love FMF and wanted to have large sections of the fabric framed however I just wasn't sure about it all and so left it for a while many months. I can now see this is a bit of a habit with me, if I am not happy with the way something is going I start something else. Sometimes this is good because often, after a break, I come back and know what I need to do to fix it. Sometimes this is bad, especially when I get a kind of mental block and just can't face  finishing it. That's what happened with this quilt and I now realise I must keep going and not give up on a project.

    I made half the blocks with white sashing around the fabric but it looked rubbish. I should not have stopped because I just needed to do the other half of the blocks to make it look pretty. I'm so pleased with how these blocks look now I can't imagine why it took me so long to finish them.

    As usual I have photographed these on my design wall bed. I really must find a better way of doing this. I am so lucky to have a lovely light and bright flat with big windows on both sides of each room but it does limit the wall space - you have got to put the furniture somewhere!

    All the blocks are squared up now, look at these pretty scraps, I can't bear to throw them away!

    Wednesday, 15 February 2012

    WIP Wednesday - stars, stars, stars

    So quite a lot of progress this week. Partly motivated by knowing I have to post something for WIP wednesday but mostly motivated by my desire to finish up stuff so I can join the swoon-along (somewhat belatedly). I have had the swoon pattern for a few months and have collected quite a lot of fabrics to use but I am sticking to my resolution to get stuff finished before I start it (sigh!).

    First up I finished my February blocks for See Bee Blissful. Sarah chose a rainbow star block and I was really excited about trying something new until I started it and realised it was the exact same block I used for my nephews quilt last year, it just looked so different with the white background and rainbow star. They were fun blocks to make and look so pretty. This is going to be such a pretty quilt.

    Next up I finished the two remaining blocks for my star quilt. I bought a jelly roll of Moda Rose Parade last year and started this quilt but ground to a halt as I was not sure I liked it. I'm still undecided about it but I guess it is better finished than just hanging around in my sewing room. The blocks are massive, 29" square and just need a border, hopefully the top will be done by next week (fingers crossed).

    Lastly because I have a week off and feel guilty about sitting around watching daytime tv I started knitting a little cardi for my baby niece. It's a pretty lace pattern and is growing quickly although it does look like a bit of a dogs dinner at the moment.

    I know I'm not supposed to start new projects but this is knitting not sewing and now I can sit around in my pyjamas all day watching Columbo and not feel guilty :) What else is a week off in February for?


  • circle of flying geese quilt pillows
  • punctuation quilt
  • FMF quilt
  • star quilt
  • Amy Butler skirt
  • guinevere gloves
  • yellow and grey quilt
  • crochet blanket
  • cardi for Molly

  • Completed projects - 0
    New Projects Started - 1
    Currently in Progress - 9

    Saturday, 11 February 2012

    Pink Tweed Curvy Clutch

    Hmmmm so my self-imposed fabric ban is not really working out. So far I have bought 5 fat quarters of DS quilts fabric, some delicious echino, two fat quarters of Lecien flower sugar for my Swoon quilt (that I have not started yet because I resolved to finish the projects I have before starting a new one*) and some white Moda (but that does not count because I need it to finish a quilt).

    When I went to put this DS fabric in my fabric drawer I noticed that it went perfectly with the left over fabric I had from my pretty pinafore purse.

    DS Quilts Denyse Schmidt Sugar Creek Kitschy Tile Pink Red Rhubarb Fabric 1yd

    And so the Pink Tweed Curvy Clutch was born.

    I used the Curvy Clutch pattern from Keyka Lou and made the wristlet. This style is a great little going out bag as it can fit everything you need for a night out. Although I love big bags I always feel more glam carrying a clutch.

    The DS quilts fabric works perfectly with the tweed

    And I used this sweet heart shaped magnetic snap on the inside. I'm so happy I can't wait to take it out.

    I don't even feel (too) bad about the fabric purchases :)

    * OK I confess I started a new project today, I'm knitting a cardi for my baby niece because it is perfect knitting weather :)

    Wednesday, 8 February 2012

    WIP Wednesday

    I FINISHED A QUILT!!! YAY!! I did it all by myself and it turned out good. I am so relieved. I love the piecing but I don't really love the quilting. I was nervous of messing up my lovely quilt top and it was really hard to fit it in my machine so I dithered and procrastinated and put it off for as long as I could. Eventually I bit the bullet and did it. And you know what? It was ok, the worry was worse than just getting on and doing it. It's not perfect but it is done and I love it.

    Last week I finished the quilting, this week I did the binding. Initially I wanted to make the binding out of pink, spotty fabric but I didn't have enough so I decided to go with a scrappy border and I am so pleased, it worked out much better than the spotty pink would have.

    Scrappy Binding Close-up

    Scrappy Binding

    I used this cherry blossom print cotton sateen for the back. It feels lovely and was a dream to sew with. I'm not sure it is quite the right match for the front of the quilt but I do love it.

    Finished and Bound, not a great picture but it is too cold here to go outside and try to take quilt pics.

    This weeks stats

    Completed projects - 1!!!
    New Projects Started - 0
    Currently in Progress - 8

    Sunday, 5 February 2012

    London Modern Quilt Guild

    This morning I braved the snow and freezing cold and set off for my first meeting of the London Modern Quilt Guild. It was such a great meeting, well worth getting out of bed at 7:30am on a Sunday to attend. We all brought quilts for a show and tell and "ugly" fat quarters for a fat quarter swap. I came away with an Amy Butler Amaranth FQ in an orange colourway which was none too ugly and is just the right colours for my 4x5 bee members.

    The show and tell was really inspirational. Such a lot of talent in the room it was awesome. I snapped away while chatting so I apologise for the quality of the pics but I really wanted to show how great the work was.
     Ruth's beautiful Amy Butler quilt

    Amy's great plaid quilt

    Michael's awesome london
    underground quilt

    Sydney's pretty quilt featuring gorgeous embroidery

    Charlotte's fabulous oakshott cotton free cut quilt

    Colette's pretty hand quilted cushion cover

    Danielle's paper pieced quilt - yes really! Can you believe she paper pieced this whole thing???? I'm in awe.

    It was such a great meeting, I'm so looking forward to the next one. I hope it's ok for me to post these pics here. I'm not quite sure of the blogging ettiquette here but if anyone is unhappy with their quilt picture being displayed just email me and I'll remove it.

    Happy Quilting!

    Wednesday, 1 February 2012

    Small Blog Meet VS WIP Wednesday

    EEEEK! So it is Wednesday. Wednesday is meant to be for WIP but it is also the first of the month AKA Small Blog Meet which puts me in a dilemma as I resolved to do both for my New Years Resolution. Tough decision but since there is only one first of the month but four wednesdays I'm going to go with Small Blog Meet (this is also handy as I must confess there has not been much WIP this week - only one lovely wristlet and some binding made for my quilt).

    So my January was quite productive, I actually finished quilting my mod-mosaic quilt (YAY!) with the help of the kitties, made four bags, completed two HST blocks for Sew Modern Bee and got lots of lovely blocks back from the wonderful ladies in Sew Bee Blissful.

    I've also joined the London Modern Quilt Guild and am really looking forward to my first meeting on Sunday. We all have to bring our favourite quilts along as well as an ugly fat quarter to swap. It sounds like great fun. I can't wait to meet some other london quilters.

    January Makes

    Mod-Mosaic Quilt