Tuesday, 20 May 2014

A Start!

 I'm pleased to say that my final module has passed the internal verifier - just a month to wait for the external verifier.  It was good to get everything organised and sent last week!

Now I'm playing Katy-Catch-Up and trying to make my 'May' quilt.

I pulled this stack of fabrics, then took out one of them so that I had four blues, four pinks, and a multicolour potential binding fabric.
This is the pattern I shall be making - obviously a slightly scrappier version, but I like to use Quilt Pro to work out sizes / fabric requirements.

I'm planning for this to be 64" square, which will take 4 yards of fabric. I may add a border too - I'll decide one I've got all the blocks together and seen which backing I'm going to use.

It's nice to have a plan to do some 'real' sewing on the machine.  Of course, even better might be a plan to tidy the craft room, or even to tidy some of the rest of the house!  Maybe that could all wait until after half term?

Happy sewing and I hope that you find extra stitching time over the Bank Holiday if you are a UK stitcher.

Thursday, 15 May 2014


Eek!  Is this all the sewing I've done this week?  I'm afraid so!

I'm in my last 'push' to try and complete my C&G patchwork and quilting course.  I'd love to get my work submitted in time for external verification this year - which means that it all has to be with my tutor by Friday.

Its been nip and tuck, but I think that I'm just going to scrape in by the skin of my teeth (mixed metaphors?  Me?).

So this has been a week of  finishing notes, reviewing samples (and adding the odd missing one, hence this blob with lots of curves to show off 'curved edges with bias binding'), and generally trying to dot the 'i's and cross the 't's (although for part of the week I seem to have been dotting the 't's and crossing the 'i's - you know how it goes sometimes!).

Perhaps I'll manage some 'real' sewing again after this.  I've still got a couple of quilts that I'd like to get made in good time for the end of the school year, as well as some projects that I'd like to do as part of my quilting group challenges.  As usual, a head full of ideas, a cupboard full (and overflowing) with fabric, but still time and energy challenges!

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Tutorial: Book Cover

I know that there are dozens of other book cover tutorials out there, but I've finally found a method that I'm happy with, so I want to record it here and share it with you!

1) Start off with the notebook of your choice and measure it.
You need four pieces of fabric in total:
Sleeves: 2 x (height of the book plus 1/2") x (width of book + 1")
Cover / lining: 2 x (height of the book plus 1/2") x  (2 x width of book plus depth of the book plus 1").
 Did that bit of maths put you off?  As an example, a book that is 6" x 4" and 1/2" deep, needed 2 bits of fabric that were 6 1/2" x 5" and 2 bits of fabric that were 6 1/2" x 9 1/2".

2) If you want to quilt or decorate your outside cover now is the time to do it.

3) Fold your sleeves in half longways (tall ways!) and iron the crease in place.

 4) Put the cover face up on the table and add the sleeves on top, lining them up carefully with the folded sides towards the middle.

5) Put your lining piece face down on the top of this pile and pin carefully.
 6) Starting in the gap between the sleeves at the bottom of the pinned fabrics, sew around the rectangle using a scant 1/4" seam.

7) Stop sewing when you have a gap of 2 - 3" left (you can just see it here if you look carefully).

8)  Clip the corners to make it easier to neaten them when they are turned through.

 9) Turn the cover through. 

10) Slip stitch the opening closed, and iron if wished.
11) You are now the proud owner / maker of a notebook cover with NO RAW EDGES LEFT ANYWHERE!  This is why I love this method so much!

I can't believe that it's taken me so many years to finalise a method that actually leaves me completely happy with the result!

Of course, when I say completely happy, you may wish to twiddle with the measurements slightly - I'm probably going to add another 1/4" to the width of the cover in the future, as even with a scant 1/4" seam it feels *almost* too snug.

I shall leave you to make your own choices, of course!

This is a quick make (20 mins start to finish for this one), but would be much nicer if personalised or made with a lovely quilted or embroidered piece, of course!


Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Slightly late for April!

 It is slightly late, as although I'd almost finished this little quilt in April I didn't manage to finish hand stitching the binding down until this week.

I took the opportunity to use some of my 'leaders and enders' scrappy nine patches to make this little quilt.  The nine patch squares finish at 1" square - so 3" square for each nine patch.  I added some jelly roll strips to bring them up to a useful size before joining them to make the central panel.

I then added two strips of 'dancing hen' fabric - I'm working through my novelty fabric stash.  I hadn't realised that the fabric had such  pronounced dark sections in it.
 It hasn't come out too badly, as it looks like the fabric is also patched (from a distance!).

Backed with my Ikea choice, bound with something lively from stash.  It's finished at 39" square.

I also spent about a minute putting together my version of a cuff book, inspired by SweetiePie50.  Of course mine will never be as beautiful as hers, but I thought that it would be a nice casual hand stitching project for when I am on the train (more train journeys than usual at the moment as my dad isn't well.  To get to him is three train journeys and a taxi - and the same to get home - I do sometimes miss the ability to drive!  hard to believe that it's 15 years since I last took the wheel).  Unfortunately, I've found that it's almost impossible for me to stitch on the train!  Before getting ME I didn't get travel sick, now, not so great.  Heigh ho!  Even if my cuff isn't being stitched (or anything else!) I am catching up on some Radio 4 pod casts, so things aren't all bad.

At least I have my cuff book ready and waiting in my bag for when I'm waiting at ballet / swimming / the adventure playground.  Always good to have a portable project set up and ready to be grabbed.

I hope that you are managing some early summer crafting.