Because life’s celebrations shouldn’t cost the Earth

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

My Very First Quilt - Finally Blogged!

Rail Fence in Zig-Zag

Regular readers might remember that I started my first full sized quilt back in the summer, a classic rail fence design, stitched from old duvet covers and one of Mr Larkin's work shirts.  I found the whole process of cutting out hundreds of rectangles pretty boring and moaned about it in this post!  Some kind, and very experienced, quilters suggested I should try strip quilting to speed the whole process up - Although by the time I blogged my woes, I had already started my next quilt an upcycled pinwheel shirt quilt which unfortunately wasn't suitable for this method.

I actually got the quilt finished in just a couple of weeks but I find the process of taking decent photos even more trying than cutting out rectangles.  I snapped these shots on a sunny day back in the summer and didn't really want to blog them as they make the quilt colours looks very insipid. However, I've finally acknowledged to myself that I'm not ever likely to retake them!

I've now started my next quilt project a scrappy string quilt but my lovely Bernina 440QE was pulling to the left and has been sent off for a service, so progress has been halted.  It also means that for the first time ever I'm not stitching up any Christmas presents, so I'm not sure what to do instead....

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Christmas Crafts - Sewing World Magazine 2015

DIY Quilted Dog Coat Tutorial

The fantastic Christmas issue of Sewing World Magazine is in the shops now and it's full of inspiring seasonal makes including my quilted dog coat tutorial and pattern.  I set out to create a coat that was quintessentially English, with an added festive twist! 

The coat is fully lined for warmth and I stitched mine using an old child's kilt which I picked up for pennies at a local car boot sale!  It's super easy to make and the magazine comes with a full-sized pattern, for a medium sized dog, which can then be resized on a photocopier to suit any size of dog.

The kilt buckles provide a lovely traditional feel, perfect for a posh looking pooch! 

The festive touch comes courtesy of a cute 'Santa Paws' applique! 

I used our neighbour's dog for my model - Thanks Yogi! 

The issue is on sale until 18th December, so there's still plenty of time to get your Christmas stitch on!

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Upcycled Shirt Quilt - Finished!

Pinwheel Blocks

 Blogging has taken a bit of a backseat over the last couple of months as family life has a habit of getting in the way!  I've still been stitching though, including a number of 'secret' projects which will be published in various sewing magazines over the next few months.

I've also been working on an upcycled shirt quilt which was inspired by this absolutely stunning quilt made by Debbie over at Serendipity Patch.

As I didn't want to directly copy Debbie's fantastic work, I decided to stitch more obvious traditional pinwheel blocks which suit the quilt perfectly.

I laid all my finished blocks out on the double bed in our guest room so that I could rearrange them into a pleasing 'random' fashion. However, our very naughty cat was obviously jealous of my attention being lavished on something other than her!  At first, this simply translated to her lying on top of the blocks but, having failed to distract me from the task in hand, she then decided to attempt to completely shred the blocks by scratching them vigorously with all four clawed feet!

Some of the blocks ended up with caught threads and runs and had to be swapped for new ones but the quilt is now finished and the perfect size for multiple occupants to snuggle under whilst sat on the sofa in front of a roaring fire!