Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Furtling in a Solitary Style

How the world can change in a month! I plan to concentrate here on recent sewing pursuits.
 I find myself in a Grandchild free zone so thankfully my sewing, being allowed out for a walk, and being fortunate enough to have a garden all makes it easier to cope. Face Time is a big help too.

So March saw the joint birthday of two grandchilren, brother and sister, just 7years apart! For Ava's first birthday I made rather an elaborate fabric book with each month depicting a significant development in her first year.

Before her brother Murray came along, we were blessed with another Grand daughter Macie and she turned one last November. For her birthday I made her a Patchwork Pup.

Murray's birthday book was quickly conceived and executed with the help of my new embroidery machine. It was great fun to make. I was able to use little scraps of faux suede for some animal faces that I found squirreled away, which proves that things do come in handy.

Although I won't see them at Easter, I still felt the need to make little bunny bags for the kids after seeing Judith's great free tutorial. Again I made use of my embroidery machine and managed to source a pattern for a bunny face. Whilst doing that I also found a bunny's bottom, not something I say every day. I constructed the bags from fine calico with a solid yellow lining and then picked out bunny details and ears using a patterned fabric in pink or blue. Ignore silly arrow, it's that iPhone motion thingy.

Moving on from bunny bottoms, I have also worked hard on an older project. Back in 2015 I was still a member of the Stingy Brits online bee with a great bunch of girls. I think it was our last project, and for our sins we came up with a hexagonal shaped centre portion for our quilts , made our own and then sent them off on their travels.By some miracle I have found an image from my old blog of my own centre.

There was a bit more added to this to make it hexagonal (much of which looks a bit odd now but hey ho) The next sketch is our basic outline of a whole quilt and if I recall we sent off our centres plus a large square block and an infill triangle block.

It would be a long time before I attempted any sort of construction and by then I had changed my mind about inserting the rather brightly coloured (my choice) 16" blocks. I still have them and will put them to good use but for this quilt I wanted a lot more LV to tone in with the triangles I had received. So I set to and made 6 x 16" blocks with some precious scraps of my focus fabric (??) for the block centres.When construction had taken place I then hit on the idea of a little applique dresdens to break up the LV and add a bit of balance.
With enforced stay at home time on my hands I put on my biggest girl's pants and attempted to quilt, having layered up at my last monthly Social Saturday sewing group.
I started in the centre and did concentric circles went so far until it became obvious the shape would dictate the rest of the quilting.
In a mad moment I opted to free machine the big square blocks, treating each patch with a different pattern and referring back at times to a cushion I had made in a previous life, at a Sheena Norquay workshop.
I think I became a little obsessed, it isn't perfect, but I like the texture and it won't be looked at by any quilting judges.

and the front -

I did wonder about trying to square it off but thought I'd just embrace it's shape and (I found it too hard) Binding the weird angles was interesting too. It measures 60" across from any straight edge to another.
Thank you to my Bee Mates for their contribution, I am so glad to call this a finish.

Whilst finishing I couldn't helpt starting to play with scraps, just to keep busy (wink) I began sort of improv log cabin using creams and beiges on one side and darker beiges through orange to pink on the other. No real measuring but a lot of trimming later I have 16 little 6" blocks and I think I am going to use those blocks as the centre of a quilt sort of medallion style. Before the final trip I added a bit of wonk and I quite like it so far.

As always I am linking to Mini Archie's Furtle thro the Blogosphere

Archie The Wonder Dog

Say home, stay safe, stay well. x

Monday, 23 March 2020

Free Patterns

Following on from my discounted pattern last week, the Covid 19 crisis has intensified.

Many of you will be isolated and perhaps looking for a new sewing project.

If you click on the FREE PATTERNS page above you will have access to three patterns which are yours, free, at the click of a button.

Enjoy, and stay safe everyone.

Sunday, 15 March 2020

Uncertain Times

There's no denying we are experiencing unprecedented times - we are all thinking and talking about one thing.

So in an effort to divert myself and offer a litttle cheer I thought I'd figure out how to discount one of my popular patterns.

So from today, 15th March, untill 22nd March, you can get a huge 50% discount on my Mega Pinnie Pattern.
Just use this link and it will take you directly to my Etsy shop. If you need to enter a Code it is Mega7.


Enjoy xx

Saturday, 29 February 2020

Leap Day Furtling

I felt the need to make sure I blogged this month especially the 29th February!!

So I feel I have been quite busy in the sewing room this month but will wait until March to share a couple of gift items that I'd like to remain a secret.

I was in the mood for a little scrap playing but lately have liked to keep my scraps in some sort of colour order, have moved on from the dog's dinner stuff that I have indeed produced in times past.

So I started with scraps of a Lewis and Irene range, Big Bear Little Bear and hopefully keeping to a sort of controlled palette I added strips to squares until I had 4 blocks by five.

I then found just enough pale aqua from another scrap box that lightened things up and picked out aqua details from the Bear fabric, added some little connecting squares and managed to have a quilt top completed. I had lots of fun trying to achieve the block size (7") and am delighted to have also found a metre of fabric in my stash to back this little quilt. I'll store this one.

I can't lay claim to this next project as it was achieved by Grandaughter Ava a few days ago. I gave her a pile of pre cut scrap squares which she assembled and then sewed on her machine using a 1/4" foot for the first time. I ironed, she sewed, and I was delighted at her squeals of joy as she realised she had actually joined the pieces together. We used a piece of fleece for the back and "bagged it", a technique that she found "magic".

And today she was at my design wall working on 2 1/2" squares....................


And to finish - remember I told you about the hoodie I'd been knitting for three years? Ripped down, it has become this -  the guilt has now slipped from my shoulders, phew.

As always, am linking to Archie's Furtling Adventures.

Archie The Wonder Dog

Friday, 31 January 2020

New Year, New Decade, Still Furtling

January doesn't seem to have been as endless as it usually is and I am feeling reasonably pleased with my progress for the month.

I continued with my hot water bottle covers making them after reading Helen's success in making hers more rectangular than bottle shaped.

I made a normal sized one -

Then a wee one - very squinty stitch and flip!

and for comparison -

In recent months whilst browsing Pinterest I found lots of articles and instructions for making a burrito style pillowcase - I hadn't come across this technique and became slightly desperate to try it out. ( Do have a browse online, you'll find lots of references to this) Anyway, I bought some white polycotton and partnered it with cotton from stash and was delighted to make a pair of these -

The main difference to a usual pillowcase is the lack of the envelope flap but I enjoyed the process and would do it again.

My next accomplishment was a finish, first of the year - am I the only one who starts off a project with enthusiasm, even almost gets to the finish line and then, it sort of gets forgotten about for some considerable time. The benefit with this one was that it didn't take too long to complete it. I haven't actually hung this yet but I do have a space planned for it. I decided to add a frameless binding which I think is just right and doesn't take anything away from the impact of the pattern's design.

I found the pattern for this puss at the Festival of Quilts in 2018 from craftyretreatts.com
I have just checked the website and see no mention of such patterns but I do have the correct link so if you are desperate to find the pattern perhaps an email would work?

I also made another decision in January - almost 3 years ago I bought wool, sorted out a pattern and got started on a hoodie for my grandaughter. I think my knitting dreams are beyond my capabilities and I would struggle  at times, many times, and when I actually got to the hood, many months had elapsed since the previous knitting spurt and I was totally unhappy with it...........as this year dawned I finally accepted that Ava would be 8 in March and had just turned 5 when I cast on.

So I ripped the whole thing down and am now happily knitting a simple blanket. I do feel like a weight has slipped from my shoulders, I am so glad not to have this UFO looking at me.

I will keep on furtling and am linking to Mini Archie's Furtling adventures

Archie The Wonder Dog

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Last Year, New Year

So, another decade begins and I am still not up to scratch with my blogging.

Like most of you, the run up to Christmas is alway so busy. I can see from my last blog that my Christmas sewing must have started pretty much after Halloween and first project was a stocking for youngest Grandchild, Murray. I used my favourite pattern from an old Thimbleberries book, I love its traditional look and usually add in the name using my embroidery machine.

Moving on from this, I had planned, in my head, a book cushion for each of my nephews. I looked on Pinterest and on blogs and cobbled up a mixture of all, taking hints and tips where I found them. Once again I made good use of my embroidery machine as well as using piecing methods for one of them. 

I included a torch in the smaller pocket, and slippped a book token and some chocolate into the bigger pocket. They were well received.

It was during this project that I began to entertain thoughts of upgrading my embroidery machine. I had been gifted my Janome 300E by my very generous employer, back in 2005 and I reckon I had given it a fair run but machine embroidery had never overtaken my quilting. It can however be successfully combined with quilting so my deliberations continued until I decided to go ahead and after even more thought I plumped for the Janome 500E, now affectionately referred to by me as Mission Control - suffice to say, furniture had to be moved to accommodate it. I am enjoying it a lot and got started quickly on my first project - an apron for my son in law. Now he loves to BBQ and will do so at all times of the year, with his addition this year of a pizza oven for the barbie, he has produced many a fine pizza, so was born my themed selection of gifts for his Christmas.

It stitched out beautifully and I have to say so far my favourite feature of the machine is its automatic clipping of jump threads - pure heaven. And I am glad to report that this gift also was well received.

My next project was a birthday gift for my quilty pal Janet who has this year, become the most amazing crocheter. I combined both of my techniques and with guidance from a You Tube tutorial, I made a quilted Japanes knot bag for her crochet. I added a little embroidery which might have tested the depth of our friendship, but glad to say all is well. (wink)

Other gifts that consumed my time in November / December were these Ouch Pouches and inspired by this pattern.

These were well accepted and make a great wee gift, can be tailored to the recipient's needs, and are so handy to keep in the car.

I continued to play with my new machine and made these quick projects.

A slightly wonky Christmas bird,

A cheery coaster

And a quilted notebook cover. 
Being back into embroidery I was re-acquainted with Emblibrary and bought this design for a "Pillow Wrap". I made a couple - one for daughter and one for daughter in law. It's a great concept if you have plainish cushions, to Christmas them up a little.

My current wip is a new hot water bottle cover and I am inspired in this by Helen, whose recent make has taken us from shaped cover to a more boxy (and brilliant IMO) shape. Just waiting to purchase some bias binding to finish this one off.

(SO far, made entirely from stash - a piece of very old flannel for top, a piece of Ikea microfleece in place of wadding, and yet another of son in law's cotton shirts to back!)

And I'll leave you lovelies with a pic of my own wee lovelies when I got them altogether on 28th.

                   Happy New Year. Linking to Mini Archie's Furtling Around the Blogosphere.

Archie The Wonder Dog

Friday, 1 November 2019


I have discovered, as far as sewing projects go, that I like a deadline. I say, for sewing projects, as it clearly doesn't apply to my blogging.

I was sorry to miss a post last month, I knew the end of the month was creeping up on me and I was full of good intentions..................

Another lesson I have learned of late, I don't seem to multi task so easily as I get older - has this happened to you too?
i just seem to get a bit exciteable and flustered if I have too many balls in the air - Old Lady Syndrome out to get me!!

Anyway, back to sewing. I know one or two of you were interested in my Patchwork Puppy, started months ago and tinkered with right up to this week when I was able to call it a finish! I have made it for my Grand daughter Macie who will be one on Monday, such a quick year.

I've been quite busy on some Christmas gifts too recently but none absolutely finished, hopefully I'll be ready to share next month.

I borrowed a Krista Moser ruler from a generous friend and played about with diamonds, think this ruler can go on the Christmas wishlist. This is a wee table topper I made from scraps -

And I seemed to get into quite the Halloween frame of mind - a quickly made (and finished) table runner.

And these little tykes are really what keeps me quite busy!

                             Linking up with MA's October Furtle around the Blogosphere

Archie The Wonder Dog


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