Monday, 14 December 2009

Cup cosies and coats

I'm finally back in the sewing groove. I had some time off sewing when I was really busy at work and decided after sharing so many non-crafty posts the next one had to show something I had made. But then I'd had such a long break from blogging that I thought I had to show you something really good, because taking in tops and repairing clothes is just not interesting enough, right?

Two of my friends (Michelle and Nikki) have started sewing (yay) and they got my itching to make something.  But again, I wanted to share something great, and have fantastic photos... Unfortunately in the rainy north west the light is not great in the winter, or even good.  

So, I thought just get on with it and finally stopped waiting for daylight, so without further ado... du du dur... 

Any idea what this is?

It's the lining from my winter coat.  

It's a good quality coat but the the lining fell apart.  In my pre-sewing days I went to a few repair shops and they said it would cost about £70 to have it relined!  So the coat patiently in my wardrobe for a few years until I would attempt to do it.  With some encouragement and the fact it's freezing cold (always a good motivator, and I gave my only other winter coat to a charity shop), I used what was left of the lining and made a new lining using some colourful fabric from Ikea.  Here's it finished:

I have also been making brew cosies:

I made them for some friends at work and when I told them, the conversation went something like this:
Me: I'm making a little present for you.
Them: Awww, really, what are you making?
Me: (silence... and turning bright red with embarrassment).
Them: OMG, you're going red, what are you making?
Me: Brew cosies....
Them: Brew cosies... (howls of laughter) what are they?
Me: It's like a tea pot cosy but for your mug, the little quilt will keep your cup of tea warm.
Them: Can't we just drink our tea quicker???
Me: !  
They really do like them.  I showed them to my quilt group and they loved them too, again there was a lot of laughing. 

- - - - - 101 in 1001 - - - - -

My time away has meant I have made some good progress with my 101 list:

13. All of the little people in my life are to have something handmade By Gillian.
25. Go to a comedy show.
26. Visit the ballet.
49. Do 5 things in the Britain Lonely Planet Guide. (5/5)
37. Go away for a weekend with the boy. (2/2)
63. 3 of the above books must be classics. (3/3)
66. Write a list of 25 things I like about myself.
79. Link my 101 list to my present list.
89. Decorate the office.
90. New carpets. (3/3)
111. Choose caterer.

Friday, 28 August 2009

London baby

At the being of June we went for a long weekend in London. We jumped on the train after work on Thursday and 2 and a half hours later we were in the capital.

Considering I found the apartment I thought we were staying north of the river, but we stayed a couple of minutes walk away from the beautiful Tower Bridge.

It was nice to have a little home away from home for a few days even if the design was a bit strange. The building has offices on the first 3 floors and accommodation on the rest but that's not the strange bit. Look at the 2nd photo blow, the bedrooms face the inside of the building and have floor to ceiling windows, outside the windows there's glass on the walkway floors, the window blinds did not hang properly and with the walkway lights shine through, lets just say if someone wanted to he/she could watch the inhabitants!

The next day we visited the Tower of London, did you know that people still live there? I didn't. The crown jewels are amazing (sorry no photos), the guide said they belonged to the country's citizens, that includes me then, and I want to borrow them - even if it's only for a day.

Front of a house at the Tower of London, I want my house to look like this

In the evening we watched Blur in concert in Hyde Park.

On Saturday we walked through London, past the Houses of Parliament, by Westminster Abbey, through Regents Park to Buckingham Palace to watch the change of guards and finally headed to the Victoria & Albert museum. Did you know the museum have a collection of quilts? Unfortunately they were in storage, but next year from the 20 March to 4 July they are exhibiting quilts dating from 1700-2010. Anyone want to go?

In the evening we watched Wicked. The singing was amazing and the show was funny, I would definitely watch it again. Photos are not allowed during the show so this is the only one I could get.

On Sunday we met the boy's brother and his girlfriend and headed to the second-hand markets and shops around Brick Lane.

I searched the shops for a pre-loved tablecloth to make into a blind but this time I was not in luck. Instead I found this cat in a suitcase and a stall selling tops with pieced hexagons.

We had a great time.

- - - - - - - - - -

One last thing, the designer behind Don't Look Now! is giving away a beautiful quilt to celebrate her 100th post. I love it. You will have to be quick, the giveaway closes on the 2nd September.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Head on over...

to Trends and Traditions, quilt and fabric designer Heather Patterson's giving away two beautiful quilts and charm packs to celebrate her one year blogiversay. If you have not visited her blog before spend some time reading her posts, not only are her quilts beautiful but her home is stunning, I am jealous.

Good luck,

The Festival of Quilts

Yesterday I headed to Birmingham with my mum and aunt Megan to The Festival of Quilts. Here are my favourite quilts from the show.

Hundreds of hexagons

This is the back of a quilt, I love the quilting

The lady in this was painted onto the fabric and the contours stitched on top

A group project

One day I want to make a quilt like this (unfortunately half the quilt was in the shade)

And this (the quilt was so big I could not get all of it in one shot without loosing the detail)

And this (the dark fabric is actually blue)

Miniture quilts

The stitches on this quilt are minute

I loved this one, the the pieces were tiny

I was good and only bought a few fat quarters, some backing fabric and quilt wadding.

My mum hits the big 6-0 this November and is retiring, she's still going to work two days a week, look after my nieces a couple of days a week when my sister is working... and with the (little) time she has left she's going to learn to sew. My dad's mum sewed all the time and jokes he was happy when he found a wife that did not sew, now she's going to buy a sewing machine, it was his birthday on Thursday - I should have bought him ear plugs LOL. Happy birthday dad.

It took a while, but I have finally read all 500+ posts - phew.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

I'm back

Wow, I can't believe it's been a month since I last posted. Well actually I can.

Remember this?

It became this:

It's a present for my friend Alison and her husband Guy, they had a little boy called Rory in December last year and I thought it was about time I made them a quilt for a cot bed. It's called the 'Descendants Quilt' and I designed it so the parents can record the birth of each new child and pass it down through their family. In each white patch they can sew or write the names of their children, the birth dates and the mother and father's names. Each patch has 2 boy and 2 girl colours so it will work for both sexes.

I frantically finished the quilt before I met up with Alison and my other not-so-old university flat mates in the Peak District for a weekend. It was tight but I finished the quilt on the drive to Laura's house, thanks for driving Lauren! On Saturday we celebrated Alison's 31st and on Sunday, Laura's 30th birthday. It was a great weekend, Laura and her mum really looked after us. Here's some photos of Sheen:

We don't get together as often as we used to as Laura now lives in Dubai and Michelle in the Australian outback, thank goodness Lauren, Fiona and Alison still live in England.

When I'm sewing I like to have noise in the background and whilst finishing this quilt I watched Twilight for the first, second and third time... plus the commentary, and all in one week! Lets just say I got slightly obsessed and read all four books in the Twilight series in the next two weeks, missing lunch with friends, leaving work as early as possible, you get the picture. I've now read practically everything on Stephanie Meyer's website and can't wait to see the next film. Thankfully I have a friend who also likes the film as much as I do and we're going to the cinema together and hopefully we won't look like two strange women in their 30s surrounded by hundreds of teenage girls.

Right now I have over 500 posts to catch up on, you have been busy.

- - - - - 101 in 1001 - - - - -

35. Spend a weekend with the girls.
37. Go away for the weekend with the boy.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

That's my dress!

So I'm sat on the sofa reading a post about the principles of fabric selection by oliver + s, and imagine my surprise when I scrolled down to see a photo of the dress I made. Lets just say I have a big smile on my face. In case you missed the photo of the dress from my last post, here it is again:

I especially liked how the designer used the words 'elegant and sophisticated' - I am honoured.

This is the first and only item of clothing I have finished (I have a Gillian sized dress I started to make for St Georges day but it's still not finished). In January I wanted to join an evening class to learn holiday level French, to you and me, that's asking for a bread without the locals muttering under their breath. But all of the French classes started in September and lasted a year so I could not join. I had already decided I wanted to make an item of clothing and so joined a dressmaking class to learn the basics, the group met two hours a week for ten weeks - perfect. I love the oliver + s patterns as the designs allow children to look like children and had looked through the flickr pool quite a few times as it's a great source of fabric inspiration. So as soon as I joined the class I ordered the tea party pattern.

My niece loved her party dress and I would make it again.


Sunday, 19 July 2009

101 in 1001

Late last year I read craftavist's blog and her 101 in 1001 and 31 before 32 lists, and they really inspired me. I wanted to start off small, so for the first time in years I made New Years Resolutions, all 7 of them. I had only one requirement, they had to be fun, 3 months later I had completed 6 of them.

I really wanted to do more and found many people in the blog world with their own 101 in 1001 list. It was started by the Day Zero Project. The idea is to write a list of 101 tasks and goals you want to complete in 1001 days (2.75 years), and for me that's the 28th October 2011.

Over a month I contemplated what should be on list and was happy with its content. Then I went and get engaged, that totally threw me. The list is quite a bit longer (it's the wedding's fault) and as long as I finish about 80 of my 101+, I'll be happy.

I'm not quite ready to put my list out there for all the world so see so I'm going to list the tasks I have completed at the bottom of my posts and add them to the left side bar. Maybe one day I'll post the full list...

But for now, I have completed 13 out of the 111 tasks, they are:
1. Sew an item of clothing.

Here's the tea party sundress, designed by oliver + s, made by me and modelled by my niece.

and a close up

20. Visit an art gallery/museam. V&A
24. Go to a concert. Blur
27. Watch a musical. Chicago and Wicked
30. Skiing. Indoor
59. Take an evening class. Clothes-making
61. Watch a new foreign language film.
93. Plant irises.
94. Plant crocuses.
96. Plant a tree.
103. Choose engagement ring.
105. Choose wedding location.
107. Choose wedding dress.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

More fabric

At the Sticky Fingers quilt show they had fabric samples donated by sales people, magazines and cakes for sale, and all proceeds go to Breakthrough Breastcancer. As it's such a good cause I had to help out by eating homemade cake, and by buying fabric samples I was finally able to get my hands on some of the Farmers Market range by Sandi Henderson, here's a sample

plus another sample

and another

and another

and another

and a sample from another designer, sorry I don't know who

the last one, I promise

I really need to start sewing.


Friday, 10 July 2009

Sticky Fingers quilt show

Wife and husband team Wendy and David own Sticky Fingers, a little craft and quilt shop in the village of Coppull in Lancashire. Wendy runs piecing and quilting classes in their building 'Next Door but One', isn't it a great name! And yesterday they held their first quilt show, supporting Breakthrough BreastCancer, they displayed quilts and wall hangings all made at some point at Next Door but One. They also had items made for City and Guilds and a Clutch of Cushions entries. Here are my favourite quilts:

The quilts in the photo below were both hand pieced.

The fabric in this quilt is a lot lighter in real life.

Over 50 cushions were made for a 'Clutch of Cushions', all participants purchased a fat quarter of the beautiful dark pink fabric (donated by Makower) and had to incorporate it into their cushion. This is the cushion I voted for, I do not know who made it but I suspect it's by a lady in my quilting group. I'll find out on Tuesday.

I have just realised the boy and I have made plans for the same weekend as the Festival of Quilts in August - argh!!!! I did not go last year and really wanted to go, let's hope I can do both.


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