This summer we went on our annual climbing and camping trip to France, and before we left I decided to quickly make a big double quilt to take with us and keep us cozy at night. Keeping with the spirit of using up my scraps this year, I looked through my fabric stash and pulled out lots of the darker colours. I figured I might as well make it a darker quilt to hide any possible camping dirt and it turned out I had quite a bit of purples, reds, blues and turquoise fabric that would do the job nicely. Because I only had a week to make this quilt, I opted for quite large squares. I did end up buying the fabric to back the quilt, but the cotton sheeting fabric was on sale and it cost me under £2, so I figured it was worth it!
I also bought two narrow feather pillows and made some pillow cases to go with the quilt, and I have to say it was very cozy at night in our tent, and far nicer than just sleeping in slippery narrow sleeping bags. We also used to quilt to wrap up in in the evenings after supper, while we stargazed outside. It was big enough for the three of us to keep warm under, and it will definitely be a permanent part of all future camping trips.
I made these simple macrame knot bracelets recently as I loved the colours of the knotting cord and wanted to make some thinner more elegant bracelets than my usual chunky beaded ones.
It was a struggle to get the tiny gold plated spacer beads onto the cord at first, and then I remembered the trick my friend Sally (who owns The Beaderie in Cambridge) uses of putting nail polish on the end of the cord to make it stiffer. Once I had done that it was a doddle to quickly thread the beads on and then tie the macrame knots either side of them and add a slider knot fastening at the end to get them open and closed.
I like them. What do you think? If you fancy making some like this you can buy everything you need online at the Beaderie.
You will need 2 metres of this nylon Chinese knotting cord which costs 20p per metre and a pack of these gold plated spacer beads (50 for 95p). Of course you could make them with any beads along the middle, or even with a long tube bead instead. Happy jewellery-making!
And finally I am back to blog about my second patchwork quilt that I talked about in my last post. We’ll gloss over the time-delay for now, as I want to get on with explaining how I made all the patchwork squares for this quilt! In case you didn’t read my last post, I made this quilt using nothing but my smallest pieces of scrap fabric (probably the kind of scraps most people would throw away). I cut my scraps into 2 inch squares and stored them all up, and then used 1620 squares to construct the quilt, which is big enough to cover a single bed.
The quilt is arranged in 45 blocks of 36 patchwork squares, and in order to sew all 36 patchwork pieces together with the seams lined up I found a brilliant technique online that I used. The technique involves ironing all 36 patchwork squares onto a piece of iron-on interfacing, that I had drawn a 36 square grid on, then ironing a seam down each row and column where the squares of fabric met, and then sewing along each ironed line, trimming the edge and ironing the seam open, and then repeating for the next row. I don’t think I am explaining it very well, so hopefully the photos will explain it all a bit better!
As you can see in the photos I added strips of white in between the patchwork blocks, and a wider boarder of white all around it. I also made the binding using up all of my strips of yellow scrap fabric sewn together into enough binding to go round the whole quilt. I will post finished pictures of the quilt with the binding in my next post (I just need to photograph the finished quilt). The quilt is backed with an old white tablecloth I bought at a charity shop for 50p (I knew it would come in handy one day!). The quilt is not perfect, and my machine quilting is not very good yet, but I still love the finished quilt, it is the perfect size for Mr. B and I to snuggle up under on the sofa in the colder evenings, and it has massively reduced my stash of very scrappy small scrap fabric, yay!
My goal this year is to use up all of my fabric scraps, and try not to buy any new fabric until I have depleted my already vast fabric stash. Inspired by my first ever patchwork quilt, and driven by the quilting bug, I decided to sink my teeth into an even more ambitious undertaking for my second quilt: a postage stamp style quilt using nothing but my scrap fabric.
I am new to this quilting malarkey, and self-taught to boot, so apologies if I get the terminology wrong here. Trial and error has got me here, and I am really excited about this quilt project.
The first thing I did was round-up all my fabric from their numerous hiding places all round the house, including behind the sofa (if you’re ever short of space to stash your scrap fabric, I highly recommend behind the sofa) and try to sort through it. I selected any fabric that I thought would work for the quilt I had in mind, and focussed on the smaller scrappier pieces in particular.
My quilt is going to be completely random, with no particular colour theme. I thought this would be the best way to use up my scraps and not be tempted to buy any new fabric for the project. I have no idea how the finished quilt is going to look, it might be hideous, but at least I’ll have used up some scraps
Once I had chosen all the fabric I wanted to use, I ironed each piece ready for cutting out. I already knew I wanted to make a postage stamp quilt (which I think means a quilt made from tiny little patchwork squares that resemble stamps), so after all the ironing I decided to use squared paper to actually draw out my quilt design and do some fancy maths to see what I was letting myself in for.
This quilt is going to be smaller than my last one, and made to fit a single bed, and I worked out that if I used 2″ squares of scrap fabric, arranged in 45 blocks of 36 squares, separated by strips of white fabric, I would need to cut out 1620 2″ squares of fabric. Seemed a daunting figure, but I decided if I took it slowly, with no deadline in mind, I could just work away at it and eventually get there.
In order to track my progress while making the patchwork blocks, I decided to colour each one in as I made it, which was very satisfying! In my next post I will explain the method I used to make each patchwork block of 36 squares, as it wasn’t nearly as difficult as I first thought it would be!
Once I knew I had to cut out 1620 squares, I got cutting. I used my rotary cutter and ruler to cut out long strips 2″ wide, and then piled the strips 4 or 5 high and cut the strips every 2″ to give me 2″ squares. I did this for what felt like many days, piling the little squares up in storage boxes, it was quite satisfying.
What do you think? Will it be a nice quilt? Do you like the randomness or do you think quilts look nicer if they have more order or a repeating pattern to them?
I can’t wait to just get making it!
After the success of my first ever quilt, I am getting really into patchwork quilting, or, to be more precise, getting really into searching the web for quilting inspiration, ideas and tutorials. I thought I’d share some of the beautiful and inspiring quilts I have found here.
Right, that’s enough looking at pretty pictures of other people’s amazing quilts, I better get on with my own! I have a WIP (work in progress) quilt that I am almost ready to start blogging about, I am very excited about it, and it is made entirely from my scrap fabric stash! Result.
This post is for a blog giveaway, and an appeal, an appeal to all my lovely readers and supporters to take just a moment of their time to vote for a very dear friend of mine, Tom, to help him realise his lifelong dream of going into space.
I’m not one to usually use my blog’s popularity to my own advantage, but I’m sure all my lovely readers and followers will forgive me for using it, just this once, to promote and hopefully try to gain some votes for the lovely Tom.
Here’s your incentive: vote for Tom, leave me a comment letting me know you have, and you will be entered into my blog giveaway to win one of my mini bunting kits and a wallet I made.
Tom is young. Still only 21, and despite living his whole life so far in the uninspiring flat Fenlands, he is full of adventure and has a burning desire to explore the world. He regularly jumps out of planes for fun, and his adventurous spirit is coupled with a kind heart and sensitive, generous personality. Like most people, he could do with a little boost to his self-esteem, and if I can help get him more votes I have no doubt that would help! He regularly checks how many votes he has accumulated, and I would love to just up it a bit to see the smile on his face!
If you would like to enter my blog giveaway click on the link to take you to Tom’s voting page to get him into space. Vote for Tom, and then leave me a comment here with your name and an email address. I will close the blog giveaway at the end of February and pick a winner at random after then. Thank you so so so much to anyone in advance who takes the time to vote for Tom, I really appreciate your help in getting his numbers up!
Click on any of the following images to vote for Tom:
It seems that suddenly a lot of the people I know have either just had babies or are expecting the little bundles of joy, so I thought now would be a good time to learn how to make a few baby items. I figured as babies are so small anyway I could probaby make some pretty cute little things out of my fabric scraps, and I settled on making a vareity of bibs.
The first bib I made was a simple little number, reversible, trimmed with bias binding and finished of with a velcro closure. I used black and white floral fabric and a hot pink fabric for the binding (which looks red in the photos for some reason). I found a template through Pinterest that I then adapted slightly as I wasn’t happy with the shape, but it was pretty straightforward and simple. The lining is fleece.
After making one of these bibs I started wondering how I could improve on the design to make a more substantial bib that would actually offer some protection to clothes when a baby was eating. And that was when I remembered that I had bought some iron-on vinyl over a year ago and that this might actually be the project to use it on! This iron-on vinyl is pretty cool stuff, a bit like sticky-back plastic but for fabric. I was a bit wary of using it at first, but it ironed on painlessly and turned by normal fabric into the perfect fabric for a baby bib.
After a bit of thought I decided what I needed was a bib that was based on the same design as an apron, and I did a bit of online searching and found exactly what I had in mind: The Bapron! The best thing about this was it came complete with a wonderful little tutorial, so thnak you Craftiness in not Optional for taking the time to write up that tutorial. I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to make a really good weaning bib.
Above you can see some of my larger scraps of fabric left over from other projects, that I got out to choose bib fabric from. I made lots of bias binding from some hot pink fabric and some yellow fabric.