Friday 29 June 2012

This little tea kettle went to Liberty

You already know that we all got a great preview and hands on experience of Liberty's new quilting range, Liberty Lifestyle and you may well have read about the desgin process behind its first collection, 'Bloomsbury Gardens' on Katy's blog.  The fabric has started to arrive in USA stores and I know Annie at Village Haberdashery is stocking some of the 55 variations- that's 5 colourways and 11 prints!  
Michelle, otherwise known as Liberty Lifestyle lady, asked me to make a Lifestyle teacup just like the Liberty Lawn version I made testing Laurraine's Quilted Teacup pattern.
I was more than happy to oblige.

I love the mix in this collection, it is not matchy matchy- some prints look like they will never work with each other but they do and with a kick!  I added a label for Laurraine- her cute and easy label tutorial is here.
The linen is the same as the previous cup, Robert Kaufman's Essex linen/cotton blend in 'Unbleached'.

These pics remind me of vintage tea china sold in pairs and trios in antique shops!
And as the teacup was going to live a new and glamourous life in Cafe Liberty, I thought a little tea cozy would be a suitable traveling companion.
I was drawn to this print, Copeland, for the main body of the tea kettle.  Bold, dramatic and with a hint of bygone age.
tea cozy in Liberty Lifestyle
Next to the teacup, it looks just about the right size to fill the cup!
I used some Lecien Cosmo embroidery floss for steam and a little Liberty pun on the cozy reverse.  you can find Cosmo at Eternal maker

The selvedges gave me just enough text for the handle and knob.
A bit of vintage Liberty lawn for the lining and a little label using Laurraine's tutorial inside.

You can find the tea kettle pattern on individual sale here and as a set here.  The tea cozy tutorial is in my free patterns and tutorials here.
sib blog

Thursday 28 June 2012

Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou

I am catching up with some overdue thankyous.  After I made this house block using one of Ingrid's memory cards she sent me a little package including the original house card and lots of other beauties.  Ingrid's blog is always such a pleasure to visit.  She posts almost every day an idea, a sketch, a thought and it always feels like an inspiring place to visit.  Thankyou Ingrid x
My good friend Kathy, who lives close by, gave me this print for no particular reason, just her generosity.  It is by Marcus Walters and not surprisingly, it is about to live in my kitchen where I can sit and stare at it while drinking tea.  I love overlapping colours in screen prints and bits where the the teapot and biscuit jar lids overlap and the spoons are 'in' the cups just thrill me.  Thankyou Kathy x

And Mia of the pretty colourful blog Mia's Handmade kindly sent me this award.
It always feels like sunny weather on Mia's blog.  Her work is so colourful and optimistic.  Thankyou Mia!  With awards, I like to send you to new places so these are my Sunshine recommendations:  Yifarn shares tips, translations and free patterns from Japanese books.  A very generous blog with lots of resources. Regular, often daily posts on retro and retro styled finds.  Bad for my wallet but good for vintage style! An international blog based in Tokyo and New York showcasing all aspects of Japanese design
Pat Sloan's show- this episode features Nanette from Freda's Hive and I could identify with so much of what she said about design and fabric choices.  You can find it for free on itunes!

sib blog

Tuesday 26 June 2012

Posting at Purse Palooza

You can find me at Sew Sweetness today as part of  Purse Palooza. It is all about this little bag...
and there are chances to enter giveaways and read other purse/bag related posts - go take a look!

sib blog

Sunday 24 June 2012

Summer Clothes

Summer always brings out dress making thoughts. Floaty tunics, strappy dresses, bare legs in the sun.  All wonderful apart from the wettest June in the UK for 100 years.  I am trying to stay optimistic.  Make 1 was a vintage 1970s pattern that I have had stashed away for years, Mccalls 4473, tunic/dress in a size 12- vintage 12 is just right for me- in todays sizes I am a small 10 or sometimes an 8, shows howbody shapes have changed over the years.
 The fabric is Liberty lawn from their seasonal Art range.  This print is desgined by Grayson Perry and called Phillipa after his wife.  I am a big Grayson Perry fan, his pots combine subversion  and tradition and his recent tapestries on class ( i beg you to click and look at the imagery) have been stunning to see develop.
These photos are slightly low resolution, I was playing with self timer apps on my ipad and this was a free one- until I realised it was worth spending £0.69 to get a better quality pic- I opted for Self Timer which was a big improvement on these pics.  The tunic is similar to the Tova  top but the shaping is created with pleats which are sewn down like tucks.
See that glimpse of blue sky?  That was on Monday, hasn't been seen since!
 I added a couple of rouleau loops and vintage buttons otherwise my ribby chest would be out for all to see!  I found the next dress in a box of fabric at the car boot sale last weekend. It is a homemade delight and its generous seam allowances gave me a chance to make it a comfortable fit rather than a snug non eating one!
It gathers under the bust with a tantalising but unnecessary slit feature which is quite fun.  It reminds me of a lot of pics from my childhood and makes me very happy.  A great find.
And lastly the Theresa dress from Burda patterns.  A great pattern with a twirly pocketed skirt.  I wore this at the Fat Quarterly retreat and it was comfortable to stay in all day long
Liberty Grayson Perry again, a design called Cissy, a mix of dollies, hand grenades, prams and guns- love it!  Come back summer, I want to wear my dresses!

Tuesday 19 June 2012

Paint box

For the first time in ages, I completed a Bee block in the right month.  In Cocorico, Amy had asked for blocks from the 'Artist's Studio', great theme!  I knew where this was going.  When I want to do a quick colour sketch, I reach for my little water colour box, and that was my inspiration.  I drew this out on quilter's graph paper and used that to rotary cut and improv piece the block. 
watercolour block draft for Amy Friend, Cocorico bee
  I am not a massive fan of rainbow themes.  I find them a bit predictable, they don't excite me, but this works for me with all the patterns and prints, old and new.  

Paint box preparation
  The hardest thing to piece was the paint brush, straightforward by itself but an awkward shape to fit into the rest of the block.
Part way through paint box for Amy
The smudgy multi-coloured vintage fabric was a bit of a gamble.  It was meant to represent colour mixing in the lid palettes but I think in hindsight a dirty moda grunge in cream would have been better  and given a little more clarity to the design, but I like the little cubes of paint.  
 My favourite part of sewing a block like this is choosing the fabric, put little words and pictures that fit, love that!
sib blog

Sunday 17 June 2012

Eternal Maker Treasure Hunt Giveaway Winner!

Random number magic picked ...
Helen Lay! 
I have sent you an email Helen, Anna should be in touch to arrange sending your prize very soon.  Thankyou to everyone for all their entries, always better to be in with a chance than not at all x
sib blog

Friday 15 June 2012

Rainbow Rack of Spools

Amber's theme for Ringo Pie in April was 'Sewing' and I have just finished her block- a Rainbow Rack of Spools.  Sewing is always a great theme and has brought inspirational blocks from Ringo Pie members!

Rainbow Spools Rack
All freezer paper pieced, the same method that I did at the Fat Quarterly Retreat- and there are more spool patterns and how to do Y seams in the Fat Quarterly Retreat issue- available here!
Rainbow Spools Rack
I love spools, I never tire of them, even with all the Y seams- practice really helps.  I added a few Aurifil spools here too, in amongst the wooden ones!  I am working on a pattern for this and variations with Penny for a mini sewing starter themed set for Sew-Ichigo- more news soon!
sib blog

Tuesday 12 June 2012

318 Bee Table Runner

I have had a little mini stack of bee blocks waiting patiently to become a table runner,  I was in 318 Patchwork Bee a little while back and my theme was "Afternoon Tea".  I always had these blocks in mind for this purpose and now it is sitting on my table it makes me smile and think about all the people who made a block or two- Ayumi, Tamiko, Charise and Leila.  Simple construction, sashed with Kokka teapot print linen and mini fussy cut squares, I quilted it without backing...
Then added the backing to make a combined backing/binding blanket style edge.  It is an easy finish so her is a quick tutorial if it is new to you!   After the quilting, attache to a backing at least 1 inch bigger all round.  I use 505 spray and a few safety pins.  For a finished 1/4 inch bound edge, trim backing over hang to just over 1/2 inch from the edge of the runner all round.  At the corners, pencil a 1/4 border from edge of runner and then draw a  45 degree diagonal across the corner- just like the pic!  Trim this off with scissors.  
Fold the freshly cut edge in so it fits behind the corner of the runner.  Press the long unfinished backing edges  firstly towards the runner, and then turn the folded edge so it forms the binding around the runner.
Pin the binding on the front at each corner.  Hand stitch the mitred corners using ladder stitch- (Search on youtube if you are not sure what this is! It is a very useful stitch).  You can then stitch the rest of the binding down, by hand or machine- up to you!  I chose a small zig zag to add a bit of zing!

We have a smallish table so this is a narrow runner- it now lives along the back edge by the wall with my radio and cup of tea permanently on it!
And it constantly lifts my heart, thankyou to the block makers...loving your work! Left to right, tea pot- Tamiko, Cherry cup-Ayumi; Teapot/cup- Leila; Milk/Sugar- Tamiko; Tea/cup- Charise; Kettle-Ayumi.
If you like a bit of paper piecing, Leila's new house pattern can be found here, and Charise's Spool Starburst is here.
sib blog