…..Is never put your pins next to your cup of tea. Well that’s according to Jacq anyway.
Yesterday I spent the day at the first meet up of a sewing group organised by my blogger friend Rachel Pinheiro. If you haven’t read or heard about Rachel’s blog you should definitely check it out, she creates beautiful garments on a regular basis and always has great tips to share. We meet up once a month to spend the day sewing, planning projects, helping each other and of course chatting.
Jacq, Emmie and Chris hard at work.
As it was our first meeting we all found it quite difficult to know what to take with us, 4 hours sounds like a long time so we wanted to take plenty to do but once we got going the time really flew. Some of the ladies took a few different projects but then couldn’t decide what to work on whereas I opted for taking a larger project than I knew would keep me busy for the day. Having said that I did also take a rucksack full of yarn just incase I changed my mind.
The project I chose to take is a birthday present for Monster no2. His birthday is in December and he is Wreck It Ralph crazy, so I’ve designed a quilt for his bed now he’s in a big boy bunk bed. I’m not the best at quilt design by any stretch but I figured Wreck It Ralph wouldn’t be too taxing as he is a pixelated computer game figure, plus I’ve got a bit of a thing for pixelated quilts so it was perfect!
I then spent the end of last week cutting just under 1,000 2 1/2″ Kona Solids squares ready to start sewing. I split the quilt into large sections to make piecing easier and started on Fix It Felix.
I did consider using varying shades of pattern fabric but I’m really pleased I went with the solids. Robert Kaufman Kona Solids offer such a wide range of colours, I had great fun with my swatch card matching all the colours I needed . I managed to get every shade I wanted from Plush Addict, they carry a huge range of Kona Solids as well as loads of other great lines and haberdashery items.
This quilt is going to mean lots of night shift sewing and while Monster no2 is at nursery, he’s just too nosey for me to work on it while he’s around!
If you’re a regular reader of my blog you probably already know that I hold a sewing group once a week at my house. If you’re new to my blog hi and thanks for popping over!
We called our group The Ladies Wot Stitch and we’ve been meeting up for over a year now. We all like different crafts, some of us sew, some crochet or knit but we all really enjoy each others company.
Earlier this month one of our group, Natalie, got married. Her and her husband had a beautiful ceremony in Cyprus, then last Saturday they had a lovely reception party locally for us all to celebrate with them.
As a wedding gift the rest of The Ladies Wot Stitch and I decided to make them a Wedding Quilt. We opted for a turquoise, white and grey colour scheme and I came up with a simple heart themed pattern. Not all of the ladies have made quilts before, or even used a sewing machine, so I tried to keep it quite straight forward for all levels.
For the centre of the quilt my clever mum, Julie, cross stitched their name and the date they got married. We all wanted to incorporate some cross stitch into the quilt as Natalie always has a cross stitch project on the go and she is forever telling us how much her husband moans about the amount of cross stitch they have in the house. We just knew it would put a smile on her face!
To stabilise the fabric to enable my mum to cross stitch onto the quilting cotton she used some dissolvable Aida. She said it was great, once you have finished your work you simply soak it and tease the dissolving Aida away. I plan on giving it a go on a future project as I really liked the look of the finished block.
We were all really happy with the finished quilt. I love how everyone’s personality comes across in their block. It’s funny how when a group of people are given the same set of instructions how they interpret it, how different we all see colours and patterns.
For the back we chose Robert Kaufman Spot On wide quilt backing in Steel. I decided to keep the quilting light as I didn’t want to take away from everyone’s hard work.
We gave Natalie the quilt at the reception party. I think her expression says it all.
This might not be the most complicated quilt but I really enjoyed making it and I think it was just right for the occasion. I’m so proud of our group, especially the members who had never attempted patchwork before and I think that the quilt sums up our friendships perfectly.
******WARNING – This post is photo heavy. Sorry!!**********
Recently it was the hubby’s birthday and being the super wife that I am I decided he needed a break. I arranged for my amazing mum and dad to have the monsters, dropped the dogs off at the kennels and took him to Berlin for the weekend. Now you can imagine how many super wife points I racked up for a monster free weekend in a swanky hotel in a country that loves beer.
We weren’t really sure what to expect of Berlin, so we went with an open mind. We were totally overwhelmed by how beautiful it was. Both Sean and I instantly fell in love with the city, how open and green it was, the architecture, the history and of course the food and beer! We didn’t manage to see anywhere near as much as we wanted to but we gave it a good go.
We stayed in the East of the city. It was a really lucky choice, to be honest I didn’t really have a clue where would be best to stay, but as it turned out we were within walking distance of nearly all the sites we wanted to visit.
The TV Tower
I fell in love with the pedestrian crossing lights
TV Tower from the East Side Gallery
East Side Gallery
The contrasts of history (section of the Berlin Wall)
The Holocaust Memorial
Gendarmenmarkt Cathedral (I think it was the French one, but I may have been a bit tipsy!)
I made Sean take my picture with every Berliner Bear I could find, this one was outside our hotel……
…….And we bumped into this guy in the Rittersport store
I can’t really explain how much of an amazing time we had, we both completely fell in love with Berlin. We plan on visiting again soon, next time with the boys as we didn’t manage to see much of the West so would like to spend time exploring and visit the zoo.
Since we’ve been back I’ve been busy working on secret projects and Christmas gifts so I can’t share those with you yet, but before we went away I did manage to squeeze in a selfish crochet project. I made myself a scarf to take away, I decided on this Elise Shawl pattern that an Instagram friend had recommended (you can find it on Ravelry). It’s the first larger crochet project I’ve attempted and I found the pattern pretty easy to follow.
I even blocked it which was a first for me too!
I opted for a sock yarn in pinks and purples as I wanted to keep it light to wear through autumn. I’m already planning a second in a heavier yarn for winter but I really have to get on with my Christmas projects before anything else!
A while ago a friend of mine asked if I could make a rucksack. The kind that instantly takes me back to the 90′s, quite slouchy with pockets on the sides, drawstring top and a flap with buckle fastening. Well I do like a challenge and wanted to try making a new bag pattern so I decided to give it a go.
I found this really fun fabric at Ikea which was just the right weight for my bag. What made it even better was I got to colour it in!
I wanted to keep the bag pretty simple so decided on just a pocket on each side for the monsters drinks when we are out. Inside I did contemplate putting a zipper pocket, but I’m glad I didn’t as I was worried it might alter the shape, I really wanted it to look nice a slouchy.
The lining I chose was some tape measure print from my LQS and I opted for a white cord for the drawstring as I didn’t want to detract from the outer fabric. I got the buckle and strap findings from this website, they were really reasonably priced and arrived quickly so I’ll be shopping there again!
The pattern didn’t take too much tweaking considering it was the first draft, I only had a bit of an issue deciding on the height. Apparently I’m not as tall as I think I am. Attaching the outer base was a bit of a bugger but once that was done (and I remembered I had a new walking foot) it was pretty straight forward. The walking foot handled the quilted straps and handle beautifully. I think it’s my new favourite toy.
I have to confess this bag isn’t going to my friend, I’ve made it for me to use as hand luggage on a trip Sean and I are going on soon. Sorry Lisa, but I promise yours is next! I’m not planning on taking any other luggage so I’ve made the rucksack quite large, while still keeping within the airline restrictions.
Overall I’m really pleased with it and will definitely be making more, I’m thinking it would look cute in laminated cotton.
Well the summer holidays are officially over and I’m hoping we return to normality over the next few days. It’s been great having the monsters at home, but I think they are both ready to be back at school.
Sean managed to take a few days off so we made sure we had a few fun days out, here are a few photos of our last few weeks of summer fun.
A trip to London to see Buckingham Palace, a local air show, Legoland.
It’s exciting times at JAK & GEEGEE headquarters. My Ladies Wot Stitch friend Tracy and I are holding crochet classes at our local yarn shop, Aquarius Wool Shop. This is a first for both of us and we are really excited to start sharing a crafty knowledge. All the details of our first class are below so if you are local and would like to learn to crochet why not get in touch!
Would you like to learn a new craft? Want to learn to crochet but just don’t know where to start? Or do you just fancy a fun morning trying something different? Well why not come along to a beginners crochet class at Aquarius Wool Shop, Coxheath. Our first class will be held Saturday 21st September 2013, 10:30am – 12:30pm.
The class will be held by the lovely Tracy who will be teaching you how to make this cute granny square pin cushion.
This class is a great introduction to crochet. You’ll learn how to read and follow a simple crochet pattern, what the abbreviations mean, plus the basic stitches to get you started in the wonderful world of crochet!
All materials and patterns are supplied, along with refreshments, for the great price of £18.
We like to keep our classes small, only 6 per class, to ensure we offer students the best experience. So hurry and book your class before all places are filled (depending on demand an extra class date may be added).
To book your place please contact Polly on 07970874937 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Surely my blogging silence need no more explanation? The summer hols mean I have two hyper, “helpful”, monsters at home with me and I can honestly say they are cutting my sewing time seriously short.
So far we have had lots of fun, swimming, two trips to the cinema, camping with friends,
The boys loved their T-shirts thank you Auntie Frankie & Uncle Wes!
We aren’t even half way through the holidays and I’m bloody knackered!
As you can imagine with all this going on I’m finding it hard to get on with my long list of crafty projects. I just keep looking at my to do list in the hope it’s magically started completing itself. Having said that I have managed to keep up with orders so at least my customers are happy.
How are you coping with the summer hols? I hope you’re all enjoying them as much as we are here.
For a few weeks now I’ve hardly touched my sewing machine, which is seriously out of character for me. The allotment has been taking up a lot of my time but I’ve still managed to finish this EPP project I’ve had on the go for a while now.
When I say finished I’m probably stretching the truth a bit, the top is done but that’s it. I just can’t really decide what to do with it? Don’t you get that, you see some fabric and just get the urge to make something with it, get so far then realise you don’t actually know what you want it to be. I’m slowly warming to the idea of a floor cushion? A table cloth? Oh I don’t know, it can just be hidden for a while and then I’ll decide later.
This year I’m trying really hard to plan ahead, so I’ve started planning gifts for the ‘C’ word (not the rude one, the one with the guy saying “Ho Ho Ho”). I’ve even finished one!!
I’m so pleased with it, I am really loving crochet and have found loads of projects to add to my to-do list. I found the pattern for this Beanie on Ravelry. It’s called the Urban Jungle Beanie and was really easy to follow and make,seriously if I can do it anyone can. I’m going to make myself one too. I’ll be honest I would of kept this one but the person it’s for has a much bigger head than me!
After this little lot my neglected machine got a lot of use this week. I was busy with a couple of custom orders for Etsy customers and getting teachers gifts done. Monster no1 is moving into year 1 so he and a few of his class mates each drew a portrait of their teacher and teaching assistant on fabric for me to sew into cushions. I opted for a plain cream for their works of art and a heart print for the back, it’s even got metallic gold hearts, as if that’s not the best?
They’ll be giving the cushions to the teachers tomorrow so I’ll let you know what they thought soon.
After what seems like forever the British weather has finally let me photograph my #scrappytripalong quilt.
I made it for Sean and as soon as I finished hand sewing the binding the monsters had it on his chair, I haven’t even managed to wash it yet!
To be honest as I was quilting this bad boy I really wasn’t sure, in fact I started to dislike it. I’ve never really felt like this with a project before and it upset me a bit, especially as it was a gift for hubby. I don’t know what it was that I didn’t like but it didn’t sit well with me. Once it was on the chair and I ignored it for a few days it finally started to grow on me, in fact I love it now and had great fun photographing it with monster no2 in the park.
The quilt top was made using only scraps, some of which were given to me by the lovely Karen. The backing is an Ikea bargain which is a firm favourite with a lot of quilters, I managed to get nearly 3m for £6! For the binding I went for a tape measure print which was actually a free metre from my loyalty card at Hometown, Rochester. So all in all this was a bargain to make, which I guess makes me like it even more.
Oh before I go, I’m sure you’re all aware that google reader is for the chopping block. If you are looking for a replacement I can highly recommend Bloglovin and if you click on the button below you can follow my ramblings. Great huh?
“Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear blog, Happy birthday to you!”
I can’t really believe it but I have been writing my blog for one whole year now! I feel like its gone so quickly, but on the other hand I don’t remember life before blogging. I’m really enjoying sharing little snippets of my life with the world, even if the world isn’t that interested ha!
It took a while for me to pluck up the courage to start blogging but I would say to anyone who is contemplating it – give it a go! It’s a good way to order your thoughts, it’s more fun than a diary and a great way to meet new people (even if only virtually).
I can’t exactly give my blog a birthday present (that would be a little weird right?) so instead to celebrate I’m offering 10% off any orders placed this week in my Etsy shop, including custom orders. Just use code BDAY1 at the checkout.