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Planning my Next Patchwork Quilt

April 12, 2013

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!

Patchwork Quilt Inspiration

April 3, 2013

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.

This is actually the back of an antique Dutch quilt made in about 1610, and by far my favourite.

 

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.

A Blog Giveaway, and an Appeal to Help a Boy get to Space

February 14, 2013

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.

mini bunting

wallet for giveaway

giveaway wallet

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:

Let’s get Tom’s votes up!

 

tom

 

Scrap Fabric: A Selection of Baby Bibs

February 9, 2013

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.

Scrap Fabric: Some New Cushions for the Bed

February 3, 2013

After the introduction of my quilt to our bed, Mr. B and I agreed that neither of us really liked the old cushions we had on the bed, so I went about making some new covers for them. In keeping with my pledge not to buy any more fabric until I’ve made a significant dent in my stash, I went through all my bigger scraps and found some suitable fabrics.

Two of our cushions were a little worse for wear, all flat and limp, so I rolled them up into tight sausage shapes, secured them that way with a row of stitches, and made them into little bolster cushions!

I really wanted to get the four new cushion covers done quickly, so I didn’t bother with piping or even putting zips in like I usually do, I just gave them all envelope openings. It took about 45 minutes to make all four, not bad really!

Scrap Fabric: Play Teabags and Patchwork Hotmat

January 27, 2013

Here’s my first scrap fabric project of the year, a nice fun little project making little play teabags out of scraps and a little patchwork padded hotmat, all to take into my class of reception children. I put a small amount of dry barley into each teabag to give it a bit of weight

. I started a new job in January as a reception teacher, so I am no longer supplying, and I absolutely love my new job. I forgot how much I love teaching that age group, and how much scope there is for being creative.

I used some of my smallest scraps in this project

scrap fabric teabags

If you have small children , or work with them, this is a great little project to make, very easy and helps use up from scraps. My class loved have been playing with them all week in their role play area which we’ve currently got a tea party set up in.

2013: The Year I Sort Out my Scrap Fabric Stash

January 23, 2013

A bit late I know, but I have finally decided what my challenge will be for this year. I am going to sort out and use my huge (huge) scrap fabric stash that I have been hoarding and accumulating for years.

I’m pretty sure I have a problem (and I know I’m not alone in this, having lurked on sewing forums). I actually cannot throw away fabric, unless it is literally less than half an inch square, I keep it. I have jars full of tiny scraps, I have boxes full of medium sized scraps, and I have bags and bags and bags full of all the other scraps. I also have a lot of fabric that probably wouldn’t be classed as scraps but is left over from all the sewing I did in 2011 that I really need to sort out.We are in danger of being burried under an avalanche of colourful cotton as piles of folded or scrunched up fabric teeter higher and higher on the workstation and shelves.

So, my aim this year is to not buy any more fabric. Although the thought of not being able to buy any more fabric brings me out in a cold sweat, I know I have to do it. It will be hard, I know, but it will ultimately be worth it. I have run out of places to hide store my fabric, and I have forgotten about the fabric I already own.

My first job is going to be to actually sort out all my fabric, and iron it (maybe). Then I am going to sort all the scraps into three different sizes and cut up all the smaller scraps into 1.5 inch squares for a postage stamp quilt.

I am also going to spend a lot of time browsing Pinterest for ideas on what to use my scraps for. I will try to actually get on with making some of the things I find on Pinterest, instead of just pinning them and getting distracted with pretty pictures.

If anyone has any good ideas or suggestions for what I can make with my scraps please do let me know! I am invisioning lots of patchwork items, definately at least one quilt, but I really don’t want to end up with hundreds of little pincushions of fabric bookmarks!

What do you do with your scraps? And do you have any clever tips for sorting and organsing them? And do you want to come over and iron them for me? I’m off to Pinterest to do more pinning…

Some photos of my scraps, so you can see just how serious the situation has become:

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