Sunday, December 22, 2013

Chateau Hexagon

Month 6 - ...continued

After stitching The Flower Patch the six blocks are joined together

Month 7 - Lilypads

"The Lily pond with its Lily Pads and Flowers are in the middle of the driveway that leads to Chateau Hexagon".
You will see that the Lily Pads and Flowers have been appliqued and embroidered and my next task is to place onto the larger check circle adding ric-rac around the edge as I sew.  The check circle and driveway then have to be sewn to the 6 blocks adding strips of hexagons along the top 2 seams.  Pleasurable for sure and a lovely way to spend any free time over Christmas.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Yet another AnnAKa pattern - Annas Sminkepung!

This time a Christmas gift for Wendy

Wendy's daughter and her family recently moved to Switzerland for a couple of years.  She is so looking forward to visiting them for Christmas and I thought this little pouch would be useful to pack in her suitcase.
The fabric is, again, Emily's Accessories and I cut out one of the small panels and, using iron-on adhesive HeatnBond Lite, attached this to the front.  My thread choice around the little square panel is Madeira Metallic and the scroll fabric along the zipper has also been used to line the bag.
Now to wrap and tag.

Chateau Hexagon

Month 6 - The Flower Patch

Another great block to sew - the 6th and final one for the wall-hanging.  Lynette says how she "loved watering the flower patch, running out to see if the seeds had sprouted and then as the little plants grew strong and tall waiting, hoping that they would have flowers." 

The blocks can now be joined together!!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

"All About Anna"

I recently purchased a PDF tote pattern from Stephanie Dunphy of Loft Creations called "All About Anna" and I'm delighted with the result.
Anna measures 15 1/2" W x 3" D by 11" H (19" with handle drop).  My fabric is called "Asian Harmony" designed by Lonni Rossi for Andover Fabrics and I used a Madeira Rayon thread for quilting.  The bag front has a pocket divided into 3 and the back also has the lovely pieced top. 
Anna may be made using purchased handles, but there are instructions for fabric ones.  I didn't have sufficient fabric to make the "pattern" handles and used black webbing with fabric stitched down the centre.  I've used this method before and really like the result.
Stephanie says to use a "fantastic" button, but I struggled somewhat in finding one with a shank and in the end cut one from a "not worn anymore jacket"!!!
And then there were two!!

When my DH saw my blue Anna he suggested I make one for our neighbour who very kindly takes in parcels when we are away.   This time my fabric is from Makower UK called  "Emily's Accessories".  The collection has some lovely small panels, which are depicted on the "Emily Scroll" fabric, and I cut 2 strips and then made the bag in the same way as before.  My thread was Superior Gold Metallic  for quilting around the small panels and a greeny coloured McKenna Ryan thread for the front pocket and bag back. 
Stephanie has some lovely bags on her website and I especially like her latest creation "Caity - Did"

Now I really must stop enjoying myself and get back to Chateau Hexagon Button of the Month, unless my DH thinks of other worthy "Anna" recipients!!

Rita's Diary

My friend Rita and I go back a long way and usually meet once a month for lunch and a chat.  A few years ago I made Rita a space dyed silk velvet diary cover, which was machine embroidered and lined with silk, but I'm told it's beginning to wear and needs replacing!!!

I gathered together noir silk space dyed fabric, from the Festival of Quilts last year, and painted lace (by Janet Humphrey) and after stabilising the back of the silk divided the fabric into quarters with tacking thread.  The lace was attached using invisible thread then it was ready for embellishment.  (I hate invisible thread, but it does have a purpose).

As I knew the diary would be getting a lot of use I planned to embellish mainly the front, but I couldn't stop!

The threads used are hand dyed Chameleon, The Cherry Tree, South Africa (purchased from Lorna Bateman) perle 8 and 12, also Soie Cristale by Caron (from Stitchin Bits & Bobs) which  is 12 ply 100% silk.  My beads were from JBS Beads - tiny size 15's with just a few size 10's.

So, after what seems 100's of beads, many many French Knots here's Rita's Diary all ready to hand over at our December lunch-date.



Totally impractical I know, but you may just be able to glimpse a voile sleeve I've sewn which hopefully will extend its shelf life!  I so enjoyed watching this grow.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Chateau Hexagon

Month 5 - Hollyhocks & Roses

This block was a delight to sew and, as Lynette says, "the yoyo flowers that are used for the hollyhocks add a wonderful dimension to this block".

I'm a little behind, as November marked the arrival of Month 6, but I have made a start!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

An Elephant for Oliver!

Oliver is aged 1 and my Great Nephew.  When one of my Sewing Group turned up with this delightful Elephant I knew I had to make him.

He measures 13" high and 14" wide from the tip of his trunk to his tail!  The back of his lovely big ears are lined with red fabric as are the bottom of his feet and his ears are lightly padded.

First of all I had to make roughly a metre of fabric from 2 1/2" squares before cutting out the pattern!  He was a very hungry elephant and enjoyed 400 grams of toy stuffing!  Would I sew him again, well??  Oliver is visiting with his Daddy tomorrow and I hope he likes his new friend.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Chateau Hexagon

Lynette Anderson's Button of the Month Club update
Month 3 Flower Barrow
(clumpy fork, but hoping its lost somewhere in the overall design!)
Month 4 Cranky Geese
Month 5 Hollyhocks & Roses
(just arrived and raring to go)
Yoyos, embroidery and a lovely birthbath hand painted button - happy days!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Frill Top Bag

Having made my Bed Runner earlier in the year I still had quite a stash of Moda French General Rouenneries Deax fabric

I also had a pattern from Quilter's Trading Post for a dear little summery bag.  It's rather sweet and measures 9" in height and 11" in width with a 3 1/2" bottom.  The pattern states 3 x Fat Quarters for the outer bag, base and handles and 50 cm for the lining and frill, but I pulled scraps from my stash.  The bag is lined in the same fabric as the frill, handles and base.

I deviated somewhat from the pattern instructions and stitched the front and back panels using "quilt as you go" method and to keep their shape I inserted TV cable in the bag handles.  Although the bag bottom had been quilted it was still quite soft and to maintain a neat shape and create a firm base I covered a piece of cardstock with wadding, which was then glued (using PVA glue)  onto the base and this was then hidden by the lining. 

Another little gift??

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Pauline 80th Birthday

Yes, it's another one!  My friend Pauline is 80 years of age on Friday and I thought she might like this AnnAka zipped pouch.  Pauline has a holiday home in sunny Florida and I feel sure she will find a use for this little bag on her travels.

"Happy Birthday Pauline"

To Ellen with Love

A "Thank You" gift for a friend.  This Moda fabric has been in my stash for a very long time and I cannot now recall whether it's" Wuthering Heights" or "Paris Flea Market", anyway it's very pretty.  The squares were already joined together so it was just a case of cutting to size - simple!!  To baste the fabric and batting together I used one of my Bernina's embroidery stitches to create wavy lines along the seams.
I wrap my gifts in tissue paper and add a personalised tag using the same fabric.  The tags are attached to gift bags with crinkly seam binding.
Ellen enjoys days out and I hope she will find her new tote useful

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Gifts for a sewing friend

Bit of a mixture here! 
Pouch from a Norwegian pattern by AnnAKa
Needle-book - online tutorial by Nana Company

Scissor Holder - designed by Lynette Anderson
You will know by now I do have a fairly large stash of this Moda fabric!!

Monday, August 5, 2013

All Folded Up!

Being a Member of Daisychain's Quarterly Craft Club I am always eager to receive Sue's parcels and couldn't wait to make this latest project, which is a Folder using a lovely range of Stof fabrics.

Waiting for the sun to shine following torrential rain so I could take this photograph of my finished Folder.  The cord was made using 4 lengths of 6 stranded embroidery thread and looped around a sweet heart shaped wooden button.

This shows Panel 1 and you may be able to see from Sue's pattern that it is meant to hold a note book, but I thought a pocket would be more useful for storage of fabrics for a current project.

The centre Panel holds my ruler, scissors, rotary cutter and a small pocket for bits and bobs.  Perhaps I should mention that the inside fabric is Osnaburg.  You will see the delightful little wooden buttons,which include hearts, thimble, spools and tape measure.

Panel 3 holds my A4 cutting mat.
Well, I'm All Folded Up and heading to my sewing group on Monday.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Chateau Hexagon

Sampler Block
(a little alphabet sampler style)
Month 2

I'm happier with the result of this block having used my Pigma pen for transferring the design and just love the Flower Button.  Each little block measure 10 1/2" x 6 1/2".

Looking forward to Month 3

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Chateau Hexagon

It seems sometime ago now since I received my usual Newsletter from Quilters Haven announcing Lynette Anderson's new 2013 Button Club "Chateau Hexagon".  My interest was immediate as I have been sewing many hexagons recently for my Sewing Basket and Sewing Accessories and I do like buttons, but "Button Club" what on earth was that I asked myself?  Following a telephone call to Quilters Haven I discovered that this was a nine part mystery button block of the month including embroidery, applique and piecing.  Each month participants receive a pattern, painted button and over the 9 months watch as the quilt grows, just like the Chateau's garden.
Already loving Lynette Anderson's books, kits and buttons how could I possibly resist and said "Yes, please, count me in"  Fabrics and threads were also offered.
Fabrics and Threads 
 Month 1
Birdhouse Corner
You will see the ever so delightful Birdhouse Button in the middle of the stitchery. 

Lynette suggested 3 different methods of applique - traditional needle turn applique, fusible web applique and Apliquick applique.  I chose the third method which involves tracing the applique shapes onto water soluble single sided fusible applique paper and then glue plays a part!  There are excellent tutorials on Lynette's website.

Chateau Hexagon means lots of learning having never used this method of applique and I cannot recall doing this type of stitchery.   For Birdhouse Corner I transferred the design using a Pilot Frixion Pen and although the traced shapes disappear as if by magic when an iron is passed over them I am not totally pleased with the result, (perhaps a little too rustic!) so for Month 2 I have reverted to the more traditional method of using a Pigma Pen.

The finished wallhanging will measure 26" x 37".  By the way I have to make 106 1/2" Hexagons!!!!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Sitting Pretty!

Well, although not having blogged for a little while I've kept myself quite busy making this Sewing Accessories Kit designed by Sue Rhodes of Hawthorns Quilting and purchased through Sue Fowler of Daisy Chain Designs.  You will recognise the fabric - La Petite Odile ("not again" I hear you say).  The Kit comprised Pincushion, small Oval Basket and a Needle case, but as every girl knows you have to have somewhere to keep your scissors handy, hence this little Scissor Keeper taken from a Lynette Anderson design.

Really enjoyed making these sewing accessories and feel they would make a lovely gift for a sewing friend.  Looking forward to putting them to good use - I'll be the smartest sewer in town!!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Annas Sminkepung

Two further bags, both large and small, using AnnAKa's pattern.   I'm really hooked on these and feel they look quite delightful made up in Moda's Petite Odile fabric for French General. 

Petite Odile is the story of a little French girl who loved to sew.  At a very young age she was taught by nuns how to embroider, sew on a button and repair a hole in her dress.  This collection of rural inspired 19th century French prints in shades of flax, taupe, faded reds and blues is from Petite Odile's closet of handmade clothes. 

Add antique lace, tiny buttons and a zipper pull to make the bag "one of a kind".

Friday, May 31, 2013

Sewing Basket

My completed Sewing Basket 
Sue Rhodes is correct when she indicates that this project is suitable for those with some experience!  Hexagon Baskets adorn the outside of the bag and inside there are 9 pockets of varying sizes decorated with Hexagons arranged in Grandmother's Flower Garden Design - each hexagon measures just 1".

The fabric is by French General for Moda called La Petite Odile.  I'm hoping to take my Basket with me to Sewing Group on Monday stocked with lots of sewing goodies.  There is a Needle-case, Pincushion and Scissor Keeper to match, but they will wait for another day.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Christmas in May

As the weather has been so cold and horrid recently I decided to begin making Christmas Gifts and my first offering is a simple Charm Square Tote Bag.  The pattern was purchased on a visit to Bramble Patch, Weedon, but I have altered the handles.  Fabric is a design by 3sisters for Moda called "Sentiments".  This roomy bag measures 17 1/2" x 14" x 4" and has applique flowers on the sides.
Inside Facing

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Birthday hearts

Silk birthday hearts for Ann

I have a collection of Silk Theme Packs purchased from The Silk Route, which seem just too lovely to use, but as I really like the "Hearts for Christmas" pattern by Sarah Wellfair decided that this was a perfect opportunity to make a few cuts!!  Each little pack contains five small pieces of silk, the colours are so luscious and this collection is called "Rose".  My friend Ann adores anything pink and I hope she likes these hearts as her birthday gift.  Ann also loves Pandora Jewellery and has a beautiful bracelet, so I embellished one of the hearts with a piece of Pandora ribbon and added a little silver heart charm.
"Happy Birthday Ann"

Monday, April 22, 2013

Another Annas Sminkepung

Well, I did threaten to make a few more and this was how I spent my Sunday afternoon.

The fabric collection is by Makower and has been lying around a long time, its called "Emily Accessories".  I especially like the border fabrics depicting rows of perfume bottles and shoes, but perhaps they are for another time.  When my little bag was completed I was disappointed, but can't quite think why!  Anyway, it looks better amongst the spring primroses so perhaps whoever becomes the recipient will also have to be given flowers.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Bags in the Garden

Well, the sun finally shone yesterday and I seized the opportunity to take my camera into the garden and photograph a few bags.  My local sewing group call me the "Bag Lady" and I have to live up to my reputation!!

This bag was made some little time ago at a workshop with Janet Humphrey.  Janet is a very kind lady and generous with her talents.  Together with a sewing friend I have spent many happy hours learning from Janet who treats us to afternoon tea with homemade cakes.  Janet's craft buildings are at the bottom of her very large and beautiful garden and I well remember the day we dyed lace and hung it from her fruit trees to dry whilst sitting in the sunshine drinking tea, ah happy days.  Sadly Janet doesn't hold workshops at The Stables nowadays.

This bag was made at a workshop held at my local quilting store.  I really love the "moody" batik fabric.  Firstly we had to randomly machine pleat the fabric and then cut it up before sewing it back together again!  Well, that's what we do isn't it??  As we all know fabric multiplies when cut and I have used this particular one on many occasions and it appears in Sarah's Travel Journal (India).


Another local workshop bag.

I was very lucky to make this beauty at a workshop with Amanda Hall of Monkey Buttons
Amanda's design is called "Southern Belle" and she put together fabric kits in a couple of colour ways, the flap and lining are made using a linen fabric.  Amanda attends many of the large UK Quilt Shows and I'm looking forward to seeing her later in the year for more goodies.


This saddle bag design was from Sue Fowler of Daisy Chain Designs.  Another lovely and generous lady and, like Amanda, she can be found at many of our Quilt Shows.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

"Annas Sminkepung"

Gift for Alison's Mother
I've really enjoyed sewing this bag - there may well be more!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

AnnAKa Patterns

"Annas Sminkepung"
I was introduced to AnnAKa Patterns by Nicola Foreman and although they are printed in Norwegian, decided to place an order with Lapp-Elisa Quilts, based in Sweden.  The patterns arrived this week and I couldn't wait to begin.  When a work colleague asked me to make a little bag for her mother to keep sewing projects in, I knew I had the perfect excuse except not being able to understand the wording.  However, the patterns had good diagrams and, with the help of Google Translate, here are my fabrics, threads, wadding and trim ready to begin.

I quilted the fabrics, added a little lace and am ready to insert a zip, which will sadly have to wait until I make a visit to my local sewing shop next week.