A quilt for Natalie

One of many quilts under my Christmas tree this year, but this one has particularly special meaning for it. It’s for my beloved manager, Nat. She is one of the few people who have stood beside me through a whole year of illness, and pain, and uncertainty. She kept my position open at work, and was always checks on me and seeing how I was. She even kept my position open for 11 months because she had such faith I was coming back.
With Christmas so soon, I knew she had to get something extra special. A quilt was definitely in order!
Her favourite colours are blue and green, so the colour scheme was easy enough to figure out. The design is a simple chevron made of scrappy half triangles, which I love the look of. The majority of the colours were scraps from other projects, supplemented with a couple of fat quarters I had on hand.
Again, the whites are scrappy too. Is have love to make them all coherent and identical but I just didn’t have the fabric. That’s what you get for buying multiple shades of white at a time!
The backing fabric is a pale green polkadot I thrifted specifically for this project, and the binding is more of the pastel blue poplin I previously made into a shirt. Even after those two projects, there’s still scraps left over!
I can only hope she likes it, since she’s expressed interested in my quilting before.
That’s just a fragment of my holiday sewing, so I hope to share more as the holiday season continues.


A quilt for baby Leo

Leo's QuiltMy recent quilting endeavours seems to be largely limited to small quilts for small people at the moment. This one was a little commission for her mum; one of her friend’s had just had a baby named Leo and he was in desperate need of something handmade and cuddly. I used the Moda Spell It With Fabric instructions for the L in the middle, and then simply added more and more borders around it until I felt it was big enough/I ran out of matching fabric.

The brief was that it would be something quite modern in colour and design, and that the mum in question really loved yellow. I only  had enough fabric for a yellow binding but hopefully she’ll be happy with the hints of yellow in the other fabrics. The fabrics ended up being mainly scraps (including the grey polkadot which is from an in-progress dress) but my scrap drawer doesn’t seem that depleted.

The lining is the fluffiest quilt batting I could find and is very lightly quilted so as to retain as much puffiness as possible. For the back I just used plain white since that was the only thing i had on hand.

It should reach its recipient sometime in the next week so I can only keep my fingers crossed that he likes it and his mother approves!

In the meantime, I’ve been working on my dressmaking (so many things to show) and starting to get back into work and volunteering, which is probably the most exciting development of the last 10 months of being stuck at home.

Until next time!


Little quilts for some little superheroes


Warning: picture heavy post

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I’m working on a handmade care package for a friend of mine who was recently diagnosed with cancer. Along with bits and pieces for her, I wanted to include something for her young twin daughters. The coming months are going to be hard on all of them, so I thought they needed a special presents to bring them a moment of joy.

I made each of them a miniature quilt with their initial on it, doubling up the batting so they are super fluffy and cuddly. My sister pointed out to me when they were finished that they also make great superhero quilts. So that’s what I’m calling them: superhero mini quilts.


The red one on the left is for Scarlett, hence the S. I wanted them to have an old-fashioned patchwork feel, which I feel I’ve achieved. The S is from Moda during their ‘Spell It with Fabric’ blog hop. I used a large number of different fabrics in this to keep it young and not too matchy-matchy. The basis for the colour palette was the reds and pinks in the Marmalade range by Bonnie and Camille, with the addition of several scraps I had hanging around. The binding is a very pale wide pink and white stripe, and the backing in red with white polka dots. The quilting is wide diagonal lines, though not exactly at right angles; my machine was very unco-operative!


The green on the right is for Kiera, hence the K. Again, I used 3 inch squares to create the patchwork background; and the colour scheme was drawn from Marmalade. I wanted to inject a few darker blues as well, so I included some gingham and a beautiful daisy print from remnants of a soon-to-be-completed dress. The binding is a bright blue, two tone polka dot and the backing is more of the super soft blue gingham. My machine behaved a little better with this quilting (although its essentially the same as its companion) so the lines are a bit straighter and more regular.

Overall, I’m happy with them. They’re not the most technically impressive quilt, nor the most detailed of creations, but they’re squishy, warm and bright enough to hopefully please two very deserving little girls.

Vogue Elements 9614: So I made a shirt


Credit to my little sister, the photographer

So I made a shirt… It didn’t have a very good start in life; Monday it was a piece of poplin at the back of a basket in my local Vinnies. But a bit of thread, some serious trimming and a couple of hours and it’s transformed! I borrowed a simple shirt pattern (Vogue Elements 9614) and made my own adjustments.


Apologies for the sideways picture

To get the look I wanted I had to forgo the sleeve which accompanied the original design, because I feel it would look a little too matronly on me, rather than cute and retro-esque. I had to do several adjustments to got the fit just right. The pattern was already cut in a 12 so I worked from that, taking it in in some areas and letting it out in others.

Specially, I took in the shoulder seam and massively in the back (I seem to have a very small back…. need to that that into considering in future endeavours) and let it out around the chest. As I reasonably experienced sewer I’m a bit embarrassed to admit this is my first serious foray into buttonhole territory. The buttons themselves are off an old shirt, so I was happy to give them a new life!

I’m considering adding some details to the collar, but I’m still undecided. Thoughts? Maybe a bit of lace or embroidery? Anyway, it was a very straightforward pattern and most of it I played by ear. I’m happy with how it turned out (though as I’m writing this I’ve noticed a slight discrepancy in the hem which needs to be fixed) and love how it looks with my pink Alannah Hill skirt; talk about high-low fashion!

This was the first completed project in my return to dressmaking, and I think it turned out alright. Not amazing, but not shabby either. Definitely a pattern to make again should the right fabric come my way.

A little something something…

A few days ago a dear friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer. She is one of the strongest people i know and the absolute last person to deserve this. Due to my own ill health, i haven’t been able to see her for some time and probably won’t for a little longer. So I decided to get together with some mutual friends and create a care package for her, filled with goodies to make her (and her family) feel better.

I particularly wanted to include some homemade bits and pieces to show her how much she means to me, and how we are all supporting her in this terrible time.

This first little project for her care package is one I’ve been wanting to do for a while. I love little make-up bags and have way too many myself, so I decided to sew one for her in some bright colours and fill it with goodies to pamper herself with. I used this tutorial from The Sewing Directory and made my bag with Darla by Tanya Whelan fabric. Since I wanted fewer seams on the outside, I hand-stitched the lining in place (just a simple white poplin). I know the black zipper doesn’t really go, but I kind of like the juxtaposition between the soft and the hard aspects. Particularly because my friend is one of the fiercest, strongest people I know.

As I make more for her care package, I’ll update this blog with what I make, and give a few better pictures when its all put together.

Waiting for Hyacinths…

I thought I’d start a blog mainly to keep track of things. Since i’ve been forced to spend most of the last year at home due to ill health, it’s given me an abundance of time to rekindle my love of sewing, and creativity in general. So while I wait for the hyacinths and assorted bulbs in the front garden to flower, I’m going to put my energies into this blog and crafting in general. Mainly I tend to make things for other people, so this is a great way to remember all the things that get gifted. And also an excuse to make more quilts…