Friday 31 December 2010

Say Hello, Wave Goodbye

My new year's eve is spent sewing, not by choice but by error.  All I can say is prewash your new fabrics- I rarely do and it has caught up with me, I have been a naughty girl and learnt my lesson the hard way.
I wave goodbye to my favourite makes of 2010- it is the top left project that has given me a whole evening of trouble, dereliction of my duties as a partner and mother etc......

Say hello to 2011- maybe a retro song to welcome it in?  Nothing like a bit of vintage, trends may come and go and I don't really care, I will always be a vintage girl- Happy New Year x  
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Thursday 30 December 2010

Pillow Presents

Now all the recipients have their presents I can show you what I made, starting with cushions/pillows.  This one is for my brother.  There are lots of little clues for him in the fabric . Iconic brands- he is a graphic designer, Peanuts Dr fabric- he has had a lot of  trips for allergies this year but is all sorted now
ironic references to coolness- he lives in London
random words and mispelt Japanese London fabric
Food and lego- a fine combination!

Something a bit calmer for my sister, she is a poor sleeper so this is a intended as an aid, a balm to sleepness nights.  The fabrics relate to the forest surrounding sleeping beauty so a bit of Joel Dewberry Herringbone  Modern Meadow , some dandelion clock seeds from V and A, a bit of vintage orange, some Lecien Folklore tucked away in the meadow and Suzuko Koseki at the very edge.
I stamped the linen and heat set it with an iron- the hush label came from a scarf.
 Sweet dreams...
And the tiniest was a little mini log cabin lavender bag for my swap with Ingrid, I thought she would like the little bird and its fruity garden.

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Tuesday 28 December 2010

I hope you had the best time you could have over Christmas.  Some of my lovely goodies below...
The bag was from Damian and custom made by the very talented Mia.  The fox reminds me of Lottie and the whole bag makes me smile.  She even included a little foxy keyring.  Mia sent me the beautiful Snowman coaster/mug rug as a pressie too as a thank you for taking part in her advent blog makes- she is such a sweetie x
This little bundle is from Lula- she knows me too well.  The compass and protractor are because I am always cadging these things off her when I am in the middle of a quilting sewing idea.  A compass with its own pencil leads- I love precision stationery!  Ayumi knows this too- she sent me a surprise gift which just reached me just in time to go under the tree.  Cooking cute writing stuff and an amazing Martha Stewart stamp set with loads of letters and gridded mounts, circle ones too- stamping and typography heaven.  I have so many plans for this, she is so generous x 
Our Christmas day was good but lots of family and extended family is a bit exhausting and I feel a little haunted by the ghosts of not so good Christmas' past so I am often a little tense.  We still had snow which made for a beautiful post lunch dog walk.

Boxing day was wonderful, just me, D, Lula, my brother and mum.  I do the food and drinks- soup, bread, crisps,olives, rocky road, fruit cake plus cocktails and juice.  Eating, drinking and playing board games- 221b Baker Street .  Have you played it?  A great game for adults and older children- relaxing, thoughtful, quiet and funny- although that could've been the participants...
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Tuesday 21 December 2010

Shortest day, last quilt of 2010

 Love hate love hate love love love   
 - is how my relationship with this quilt has been-finally finished, hurrah!  And I admit to being very pleased with it, although not as pleased as Lula is which the best thing as it is for her.  She refused to let me drape it artfully over a snowy fence, that can wait for another time, so bedroom pics for the moment.  
The germ of this quilt started last year when Manda McGregory included a little Urban Chiks Swell Moda charm pack baby quilt in an early edition of Sewhip, and I bought the charm packs and a jelly roll from USA after searching for them feverishly online.  I mixed with a little Cath Kidston, Katie Jump Rope, Old Laura Ashley fabrics (the Cath Kidston figure of  1970s and 1980s), vintage prints and the placement of large applique motifs inspired by this quilt (Material Obsession)
Lula chose her favourite themes- ice cream, cup cake etc and I made these the feature blocks.  She helped me layout the charm squares to avoid repetition.  The quilt was made in six sections, each is quilted and then joined to the next section with narrow strips- quilt-as-you-go style.  This Happy Zombie tutorial shows the technique but I machined instead of hand sewing when finshing the back strips.  The binding- attaching this was driving me nuts this morning, it took forever- is pieced red and pink strips from the jelly roll.  I use Rita- Red Pepper Quilts machine binding method but I start attaching on the back and so my final line of stitching on the front.
You can see her pillow case and a bit of wall paper- both Cath Kidston, that the same print is repeated in the quilt here and there.
Each time I embark on a quilt I forget how long it takes me to finish one, I refilled the bobbin four times this morning.
Quick view of the back- not too exciting, all old Laura Ashley prints, the largest part form an enormous circular table cloth I picked up at the boot sale.  
A little stamped label.  I asked if she would prefer 'Mum' or 'Mummy'- you can see her choice x
You can see another proud mummy quilt at Leila's blog Where the Orchid's Grow.  She beat me and finished yesterday!  It made me laugh when I saw her pic, I felt the same need to get mine done for Christmas, and the extra cold weather driving me on.  I made 4 quilts this year, it seems paltry compared to some amazing mosaics I've seen recently but I made a whole load of smaller stuff and each quilt is a labour of love and a labour of plain old hard work.
I love making clothes and small stuff but the quilting is intensely rewarding, especially when finished!   My next biggish project- a baby quilt for a friend- baby due Feb.
 This is my last entry before Christmas so a vintage pic of seasonal good wishes on the shortest day of the year and a big thank you to all of you who read,  comment and email- I am truly touched when you do so!
Have a lovely Christmas, wherever you are and however you choose to celebrate x

sib blog

Saturday 18 December 2010


The view at 8.00am, wonderful light.
I am lucky, I have had some lovely packages through the post, all as a result of blogging and Flickr friendships.  Sardaana from Austria offered a swap- I sent her some Suzuko Koseki 'recommended' fabrics and some Cath Kidston prints plus extras (can't show as my parcel to her has yet to get to her) and she sent me Lecien Kitchen prints- I have this in turquoise already, one of my favs- and Suzuko Koseki buttons print.  Thank you Sardaana xxx. She also added a tiny bias tape maker, nice little gadget- I am going to try this later.  Sardaana has the most beautiful shop in Salzburg which I just know I will get to visit one day.  
Ingrid of Ingthings sent me a surprise swap- I have sent hers, again postal service has slowed to a grind here, I hope it gets to her soon.  She sent me these vintage goodies.
The crane, starts and winter card are already on our tree.  And she included these wonderful fabrics and textiles too, wonderful, thank you lovely and always generous Ingrid x
 I won a little giveaway a couple of weeks again and it arrived yesterday, a cute little selvedge star decoration.  Thankyou x to Diane and Nancy- check out Nancy's etsy shop here.
And amidst making family Christmas gifts too secret to show to spying family eyes, I am making a coaster for Suzuko Koseki as part of Ayumi's generous idea, 18 crafers from 8 different countries, 18 coasters.  This was inspired by vintage type writer keys, paper pieced- it needs a square background and quilting so a way to go yet.   At the moment less than 4 inches across to give a bit of scale.  Check out the others here, inspiring stuff!  Thanks to Ayumi too, I have added a great little device to make blog entries print friendly, very useful for tutorials- click here to add it to your website/blog.

sib blog

Tuesday 14 December 2010

Old and New

I haven't posted much vintage stuff recently and I have been bringing out a few favourites for Christmas so I thought I would share.   I have liked old stuff since I was little.  I remember going to what were then called flea markets.  The name perplexed me even then, I do remember wondering if some of the stuff had fleas as the venues and some of the stock were dark and dingy places.  But, there was always the chance of finding treasure.  These trips were from the age of 8 or 9 with my dad.  He was a frequenter of junk and charity shops, partly because he is a cheapskate and partly because he is a collector too, it must be genetic.  Vintage style wasn't the rage in the late 1970s and if your clothes came from a charity shop you kept that very much to yourself.   I used to ache for the old china faced dolls but they were way out the range of my pocket money.  
I did buy this back then for pennies.  It usually stores precious little paper memories- a select bunch of old tickets and cards but the robin lends itself to Christmas.  
This book is a little ex school (Oliver and Boyd) book.  It has the most wonderful simple pictures so it always comes out at Christmas to rest on my cluttered shelves
I have a lot of cookie cutters around as well, they make easy decorations.  I love the stars in the pic below surrounded by circles, and Mary with her blanket.
I don't just bring out the old.  This book is new, great title, just on the right side of a pun.  It is from one of my music class mums who has known me a long time!  Thank you to Ma x x  If you are a knitter it is worth buying, it has funny and creative ideas and it uses the characters to tell the story too, very cute.
And to offset the drama of X factor and over sentimentalised  singing, take a look at this version of Your Song from Green Wing, thanks Kathy who reminded me of this, it gets me everytime :D
sib blog

Friday 10 December 2010

P is for Procrastination, presents...

So much to do, this was the state of my sewing area- I have since tidied it.  When I do a new project I pull out all the possible fabrics I might use and then dip into the pile as I sew. As an approach it is ccreative but messy, putting back doesn't have the appeal of getting it all out.  I am procrastinating, I can't help it,  so I thought I might as well blog and share some stuff.
Vintage feed sack squares, loving these, just arrived from USA great value from this ebay seller Shabbyvintagelady
Essentials from M is for Make  I didn't mean to buy a set of co-ordinating prints but my head must have been heading that way.  The herringbone Joel Dewberry print is to sash my Ringo Pie blocks, I am aiming for a printer's block wooden drawer look.
These are from Amy's soon to close fabric shop, I have been thinking about buying this bundle for too long, bit the bullet and it was worth it
I have made some Chirstmas present things and now Damian has sworn not to look I can reveal what I made for him but first here he is with our dog Lottie
A mug rug for work.  There are a lot of in jokes here but a few other more obvious things like tea, chocolate, biscuits, love and kisses.  The D paper pieced pattern is from Kumiko Fujita 318 Patchwork. Man quilting is always a test of fabric selection, colour etc. 
The back of projects is always more revealing than you think it will be, especially with the applique lines.  Reminds me of an old exercise book.
And Lula has been busy, a scrappy hoop for baby cousin Sophie.  She procrastinated too but got there in the end.
Back to the sewing machine x have a great weekend x
And a hello to new followers, there has been a few lately :)
sib blog