Sunday, 2 June 2013

Quilted mat

Hi everyone,

First of all, a HUGE thank you to all of you who commented on my last post. Your advice about borders and sashing was extremely helpful. I've been a bit scared to carry on with my charm quilt because of all the sashing but hopefully I'm a bit more ready now to give it a go.

Over at Sew Delicious, there has been a quilted mat sew along. I haven't done mine at the same time, but I kept the link and decided to have a go this weekend. 

Here is my finished mat

I really, really struggled with the binding. I haven't yet done any before so this was going to be a learning curve for me, but I know I have to learn because I need to finish my quilts! I'm using my mat just sitting in front of my laptop so my arms rest on it. I might make another, just to practise the binding.  One of the problems I have, is although I have the most beautiful old Merritt sewing machine (and I love it), when you sew it's either fast or nothing! I now have a new sewing machine fund that I'm putting my £1 and £2 coins in and am slowly saving. 

Overall I'm quite pleased though. The patchwork was good and the quilting was nice and easy. 

See you soon 

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Charm Quilt


Before I start, I just want to say a HUGE thank you to those of you who have answered my questions. As you know, I am a complete beginner and am more or less teaching myself, so I have lots and lots of questions.

On my last blog post, I asked why I need to measure borders and not just attach them and then cut to size. Thank you for all your replies, but I still don't get it. You say that it keeps the blocks square. How? Let's say the quilt is slightly bigger at the top than at the bottom. Do you have to physically make the quilt fit?

I'm going to move on and show you a charm quilt I've started. Be warned, this is photo heavy! I bought this gorgeous charm pack.

It's called Honey Honey by Moda. I found a pattern on the net and am on my way to making but stupidly, or wisely as I have to learn, the quilt is blocks of 4 charms together, with borders around. Seeing as I'm struggling with borders at the moment I guess it's do or die!

So I've made a start and sewn the charms into blocks of 4.

I haven't decided what colour to do the borders yet. I keep looking at them but can't decide. 
I'm quite excited that I now have Works in Progress (WIPs). Yay me!!!

That's it for today.


Saturday, 18 May 2013

Baby Quilt Update


I haven't been able to update the blog for a little while. Blimmin work always gets in the way!

So here is an update on my baby quilt.

As you can see, I've put a white border all around the edge and am now putting a pink border around the edge. The back of the quilt will be made from the same material as the border.

Thank you to all of you who read my blog and take the time to comment. Thank you so much. It means a lot to me.

I have another question. I've watched lots of youtube tutorials on how to add borders to quilts. The majority say that you measure 3 times and then take the average. Why can't I cut longer and then trim to size? It would be so much easier! Does the same apply when I am adding borders to blocks?

I had my monthly meeting at the quilting group I go to. We had a talk by a lovely lady called Helen Howes. She was taught by Jennie Rayment and her quilts are fabulous. I like the way she doesn't stick to rules and applies her own spin on things. You can see more about Helen on her website here. The meetings are only held once a month but I really look forward to them.

I've been up to quite a bit of sewing and hopefully I'll be able to share some more with you soon.


Saturday, 11 May 2013

Baby Quilt


The weather is a bit cooler today but at least the sun is shining. 

Today I thought I'd show you an update on my baby quilt. I have now sewn all the pieces together.

This is my first move away from just squares and I'm really pleased with it.  Now for another first. I am going to try and make a border. I'm having real trouble trying to cut lengths of fabric when my cutting mat is only 11" x 17". Oh well. I'm still hanging on in there!


Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Operation destruction


So do you remember this?

Yes it's the black and white quilt again. I had some lovely advice and realised that just a few of the blocks were in the wrong place. So Sunday, I set about moving those blocks. The more I looked at the quilt though, the more I was unhappy with it. Then I realised that I just couldn't cope with the way some of the blocks were so toally out of operation destruction began! Yep, I've decided to take the WHOLE THING apart. I am going to cut all the blocks down and either remake the quilt, or, use the blocks to start experimenting with some blocks. 


Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Baby Quilt


So how are you all? The sun is actually shining. Doesn't it make everything feel much better?

I've started a baby quilt. I was rifling through my small stash and managed to put together enough pinky fabrics.

I saw this layout on another blog. I can't remember the name of the person whose blog it was. I daren't go looking and mention the name or put a photo in case I get my knuckles rapped again. Was mortified by that and will not be doing again. So here are all my squares and rectangles laid out. I'll show a picture in my next post of how it's coming along. 

I still haven't altered the black and white quilt, but I will, I promise. I also had a lovely reply to my last post about my 'new' vintage sewing machine and how it wouldn't reverse. Well I'm really pleased to say that is sorted now so thank you very much!

Lastly, I think (hmmmm still not sure yet as I don't think I'm experienced enough) I'm going to join the modern blocks QAL.

Grab button for ASWC QAL

I am about to button on the right hand side of my blog if you would like to join in too. Please let me know if you are. I'd love to have a 'buddy' to do it with and maybe gee me along!

So that's it for now.


Sunday, 28 April 2013

Vintage sewing machine


The weather here is finally turning spring like. It feels like the winter has lasted forever. Just so nice to have sunshine!

I've been moaning a lot about my little sewing sewing machine which doesn't sew very well. Well you'll never guess what ... I was talking about it at work and one of the other teachers at school said she had a machine in her loft that a friend gave to her. She was emigrating to /australia and it was too heavy to take. My friend at school has had it in her loft ever since.

So here it is!Heavy wasn't the word. My goodness it weighed a tonne! I opened the case and although it smells a bit musty it looked beautiful (can a sewing machine be beautiful?). It has the original manual too. When I opened the little bit on the side, inside was loads of little bits.
There are threads in there too. 
So I threaded it up and put a piece of material underneath and it sews like a dream! I am soooooo happy! There are a couple of issues though and one is quite major. Firstly, there is no reverse, so I can't secure the stitching. I really don't know what to do about that. Secondly, after about 15 minutes, the machine starts stitching all by itself! I have to turn it off and wait  or so minutes and then just do a few short bursts. Something is obviously overheating. I need to find someone who can fix it. Just don't know who!

On to the black and white quilt. I've had some lovely advice, especially from Helen. I'm going to unpick some bits and see if I can fix it. 

I've also started a baby quilt. Pics of that to follow. 

Have a great day.


Saturday, 20 April 2013



So carrying on from my last post where I showed you my strips and mistakes, I then sewed all of my strips together.

Now, I am pretty chuffed with it. but you can see in the top right hand side that the pattern has gone wrong!

Gutted! I had followed my plan to the letter (or so I thought).

This probably looks like a load of scribbled rubbish to you but meant everything to me!!

So the question was, what to do next considering it really isn't any good? Do I carry on and make it into a quilt so at least I've had a go at the complete process of quilt making OR maybe unpick the lot and try something different.

What do you think?


Monday, 15 April 2013

Making progress


Carrying straight on from my last post about finding black and white squares.

I have decided to just put them in strips and made myself a plan (well it's legible to me anyway!)

So I set about it ... deep breaths.

I happily started sewing my squares together and the strips started forming.

In the photo above, I have joined strips in pairs. I had to do a lot of unpicking in order to match some of the squares up.

So far, so good. I changed the thread on my machine and it is now working lovely.

Fingers crossed that the part goes as well.

So that's me for today. Happy quilting.


Saturday, 13 April 2013

Look what I found!

I was rummaging around in my material draw and I came across all these black and white squares. I have absolutely no idea where they came from. They were all cut in 4.5" squares too and I have no recollection of doing that either!

There are 9 different fabrics altogether, so I've matched them together and I have about 10 of each. So I made a sketch and I'm going to make my first quilt!

I'm going to take it easy and just do strips. Really really nervous but watch this space!


Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Ipad pillow

So here is my attempt at an Ipad pillow and I am really really pleased with it. Considering I only started sewing in the last couple of months I think I'm doing pretty well!

I've been oogling at lots and lots of quilts on the net and am desperate to make one. I've found myself a quilt group to go to. The next group is next Thursday so I'll let you know how that goes.


Sunday, 7 April 2013

Sympathy needed

Hi everyone,

I guess you're wondering about the title. Well, I happily got up this morning, went to step into the shower and my back gave way! I can't stand up straight and have been stuck in bed not able to get comfortable at all. I've had as many painkillers as I can but it's not touching it. Anyway...let's move on .....

and talk about my new love for sewing. I just love, love, LOVE it. I want to sew all the time. I have a beginners sewing machine but am desperate for a better one. This one is ok, but is VERY basic. The thread is always breaking. I spend more time rethreading the needle than I actually do sewing. 

I swapped some of my card making crafty bits that I haven't used in ages for some scraps of materials. Here is a nine patch cushion that I have made.

I have now put the right size cushion pad inside so it's looking a little more plumper than it does in the picture.

Despite the amount of time it took, because of the machine, I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of making it. 

Not bad for a first attempt I think. Can't wait to start my next project now. Decisions, decisions!

Hope you like it too


Thursday, 4 April 2013



I am desperate to start making a quilt. I absolutely love patchwork and I can look at handmade quilts all day long.

Unfortunately, I just don't have the money to buy any material just yet (sob sob). I found a crafty swap site on facebook where you can swap things you no longer need for things you would like. I was lucky and managed to get quite a bit of fabric pieces. I don't have enough nice pieces for a quilt, but I have been able to make little things. I'm currently making some coasters so I'll show you pictures of those when they are finished. At least this will keep me going until I can afford some luscious fabric.

I looked around for some local classes and there is only one and they wanted £79 for a 6 week course! Not going to happen, so I've trawled youtube kept loads and loads of tutorials and I'm going to teach myself. Brave step I know but I really want to do it.


Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Victoria Sponge

Hi everyone,

I treated myself the other week to a new cookery book and bought this one from Sainsburys...

Not on;y was Jo a winner of The Great British Bake Off, she also only lives about 5 miles from me!

I don't know about you but I love a good old plain Victoria Spong. I made mine using the recipe from this book, which you can read in a moment. I happily followed the recipe and this was the result ...
I used jam and buttercream to fill and top the cake and it was absolutely delicious!
You can visit Jo's blog here

So here is the recipe:

Serves 8

200g self raising flour
1tsp baking powder
200g caster sugar
200g margarine, at room temperature
4 large eggs, beaten
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

4tbsp strawberry jam
2tbsp caster sugar

You will need 2 x 20cm sandwich tins

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Butter and line the base of each cake tin with a disc of buttered baking parchment.

Tip all of the cake ingredients into the bowl of a free-standing mixer and beat for 2 minutes until smooth. If you don't have a free-standing machine you can use an electric hand held mixer.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared tineand spread level using a palette knife. Bake on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes or until golden, well risen and a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and carefully turn the cakes out of the tins, peel off the parchment and leave to cool on wire racks.

Place one of the cold cakes on a serving plate, right side up, and spread with jam (and buttercream if using). Top with the second cake and sprinkle caster sugar to serve.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.


Sunday, 31 March 2013

It's the holidays, so I'm back!


It's the school holidays so I have time to blog. I do try during term time but I'm either busy or too tired. I must try harder!

I made this super cute handy tissue holder the other day. I put mine beside my bed, but they can easily go in your handbag. I think I'm going to make lots and sell them (amongst other things) at a summer craft fair. 

Hopefully I'll be blogging a fair bit more during the next 2 weeks. See you soon.


Saturday, 16 February 2013

Shaped card

Good morning everyone. The sun is shining, the wind has dropped and the snow has gone. Doesn't it make everything seem so much better?

I bought a Hunkydory kit a while ago. I really like them. The quality is fantastic and their card is fantastic. I made this lovely shaped card from it, which has some decoupage on the front.

Quite sweet I think.

I was wondering if you use any kits. If so, which ones and why?

Hope you like the card
Speak soon

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

It's been a while!

Oh my goodness. I've really neglected my blog lately. To be honest, work has been full on and I lost my mojo for a while. Half term is looming so I'm hoping to get back in the swing of things then.

So today I've got a card to show you. 

 Here is the inside
The image is by Pink Gem and is called Josh with Puppy. I've coloured it with promarkers.

Hopefully I'll be back soon!


Sunday, 6 January 2013

First bake of the new year

Hi everyone and welcome to my new followers. I'm so glad you're here!

I decided that Saturday is going to be my regular baking day. So I kicked off yesterday making vanilla thins. I am going to write out the recipe for you below, but I got the recipe here from the Good Food site.

I have a brand new oven which is uber efficient so at the moment I am still getting used to it and trying to get used to it, hence they are a little too brown.

Here is the recipe:

325g plain flour
200g chilled salted butter
125g/4½oz golden caster sugar
2 tsp good-quality vanilla extract
2 large free range egg yolks

(I love my mixing bowl. It was given to me by a friend last year)

1.Tip the flour into a food processor. Cut the butter into small pieces and drop them into the bowl, then whizz until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
2.Add the sugar, vanilla and egg yolks and whizz to a small dough.

Rubbing in
If you haven't got a processor, rub the butter into the flour in a large bowl, then add the remaining ingredients and mix to a dough with your hands.

1.With your hands, roll the dough on a lightly floured surface into a sausage shape about 25cm/9in long and 5cm/2½in in diameter. Wrap the roll and chill for at least 1 hour. (The roll can be frozen for up to 6 weeks. To use, remove from the freezer and allow to thaw for one hour at room temperature so that the dough is soft enough to be sliced into biscuits.)

2.Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4/fan 160C and lightly grease 2 large baking sheets. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into slices, each a generous 5mm/¼in thick, then arrange them on the greased baking sheets, spacing the biscuits slightly apart so they have a bit of room to spread as they cook.

3.Bake for 20 minutes until the biscuits are just turning pale golden around the edges, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Dust generously with icing sugar. The biscuits will keep fresh for up to one week stored in an airtight tin.

These are my finished biscuits.

Now, I didn't get around to dusting them with icing sugar before they were wolfed down and mine weren't particularly neat either, but by goodness they were yummy. Give them a go. Really easy to make. Plain yet tasty.

See you soon

Friday, 4 January 2013

It's a boy!

Hi again. 2 posts in 2 days. I'd like to say that this is the way it is going to be this year, but I think I'm setting my expectations a bit high. I'm starting a new teaching job on Monday and know that whilst I have really good crafting and cooking intentions, in reality I will be mega tired and I'll get round to it at the weekend if I feel up to it!!

Anyway, making the most of it, here is today's card:

This is the front of the card. I've used a digital stamp by Pink Gem called Baby Boy Bundle.

and here is the inside.

I am entering this card into the following challenges:

Simon Says Stamp - New something (new baby)
Cute Card Thursday - Something new (new baby)
Milkcoffee - New beginnings
Sarah Hurley - Celebrate (celebrate the arrival of a new baby)
Totally Papercrafts - Something new (new baby)
Crafts4eternity - Something new (new baby)
Crafty Catz - Anything goes

Hope you like it.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Birthday card for a girl

Well hello and happy new year to you all!

So, this is the first card I've made this year. I hope it's one of many!!

For this card I have used an image by Pink Gem called Faye on a Toadstool. I've decorated the card with papers from Dovecraft (Back to basics III) and flowers from Wild Orchid Crafts. 

 This is a close up of the image and flowers.

Because of the flowers, I had to make a box to post the card in.

I am going to enter this card into the following challenges:

Cards galore - anything goes
Papertake weekly - anything goes
My mums craft shop - anything goes
Crafty creations - anything goes
Inky impressions - anything goes

Hope you like it. Speak soon!


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