Pot holders

Today my mother asked me to make her some pot holders, as she had just burnt hers. My  first reaction was… Oh no… So much work for just Pot holders!!…. that will get all grubby or burnt!….. Silly hey. I was over thinking the simple pot holder,  making them with HST´s or strip quilting etc. Then I looked at mine and realised they were very simple with no quilting.

I remembered seeing a simple pot holder tutorial at: http://www.marymarthamama.com/crafty-cat/easy-peasy-potholders/ Great! Made them in  no time at all 🙂 I actually enjoyed making them as it was so nice to finish a Project so quickly…. Yipeee.

I used fabric that I had once bought from a store that I wandered into, and couldn´t find anything I really liked, but was too embarrassed to walk out of without buying something (the owner kept hovering over me), I know  I know,….I have this problem, that´s why I generally try to avoid empty stores, otherwise I end up buying stuff I don´t really need because I am too embarrassed to walk out with nothing!

But anyway it´s the type of fabric my mother likes, so all is good.

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And here they are! not to shabby for my first Pot holders, and the good news is, if she burns these, I still have loads of the same fabric 🙂

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The Purple One!

A while back a friend of mine asked me for a purple quilt. I kept putting it off because purple is just not my colour! and also because my time is so scarce, and I had other projects in mind, so I couldn´t summon up the enthusiasm to make it. But then the universe conspired against my unwillingness to make this quilt.

Another very good friend from Mozambique come for a visit and brought some batiks for me, and wouldn´t you believe it, 2 of them were in purple hues! A week later when I was at our nearby seaside village São Pedro de Moel, that on Sundays has a few stalls, and when I say few I really mean few, it´s usually just the 2 that sell the same thing 🙂 identical clothes! Anyway, the one stall is owned by a Senegalese couple, and lo and behold  they had a purple and yellow batik! So I got myself some, and that’s when I knew I would have to make the quilt. I bought another 3 purple fabrics, 2 of them solids.

Here is a photo I took of São Pedro de Moel, a few years ago. It´s very pretty, the photo doesn´t do it justice.

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Anyway, I decided to make it using the scrappy trip method. So although I only had 6 different types of fabric, I went ahead with this method on the Purple One…. Shame, that’s what I called it all the time, The Purple One! in the beginning it was really not very loved, but over time it started to grow on me, and as I put it together I started to like the purple combinations more and more.

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Initially I was just going to bind the quilt without making borders, but it really would have been quite boring, so I added the two white borders and the pieced border in-between. I think the borders changed the whole look of the quilt and it turned out quite nice. I  quilted with wavy lines in a cream coloured thread.  I was going to use purple thread, but wanted the white borders to have a clean look, so I used the cream, for the back I just used a plain white fabric.

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So finally I was all finished and in love with my purple quilt, and off it went into the Washing machine, threw in some color catcher sheets, used detergent for mixed colors…… and would you BELIEVE IT! ….The quilt lines on the back were stained purple, everywhere that the Senegalese batik and the darker solid purple were. Well… thats it, I am officially back to hating purple, this quilt has taken its revenge!

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I´ve always been told not to pre-wash fabrics when quilting, but if I had, maybe this wouldn’t have happened. After this disaster I took a swatch of both fabrics, quilted them and put them in bowls of water with detergent, and this is what happened, the dark purple bled into the water, and the batik did not, however after drying, the batik had the quilt lines stained and the dark fabric not! How confusing is that!!?? I think I´ll have to take up another hobby, it´s very frustrating to spend hours and days on a project, in my case months, because I have so little time, and then this sort of thing happens. I don´t know whether to scream or cry.

Here you can see how the bowl that had the batik is clear, but how the colour bled in the plain purple quilted swatch, and yet it´s the batik that bled to the thread.

 

Has this ever happened to any of you? If anyone has any ideas please let me know.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elephant Parade Quilt

Finished my elephant parade quilt! I came across this pattern at Sew Fresh Quilts – Lorna is an absolute genius when it comes to patterns, especially animal patterns. When I saw this pattern I just knew I had to make it, it just reminds me sooo much of home!

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For the big Ellies I used a batik fabric that I have had for over 20 years, it was bought in Mozambique, and in my younger days, when I didn’t have any money to buy Picasso, it hung on my lounge wall, actually I still don’t have money to buy Picasso 😉 somethings never change…..Anyway since I grew out of my  bohemian decorating style, the batik has been  packed away, so now I took it out and with some sadness at cutting it up, and yet… happy that it was getting a new revamped life, I went ahead and cut it up.

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I must say that I was worried, that It would be too hard to make and that I would lose heart, but Lorna´s instructions are so precise and easy to follow that I made it, Yay me!

 

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I quilted with wavy lines, and because I wanted some loft  I spaced them 5cm apart (2 inches), for the binding I used both fabrics from the Elephants, big and small.

I´m gifting this quilt to my daughter Andi, who loves animals especially elephants.

I must say that making this quilt was a wonderful challenge, I love the way it all come together, and will probably try my hand at the giraffe pattern soon.

Thank you for visiting!

Baby mat, or dog bed… you choose.

When my youngest Megan, was a baby, she had a fabric play mat that had a tubular round edge all around so that she couldn’t roll out of it, and also when she got older, she could play inside with her toys without them rolling out onto the floor.

So the other day, Andi my eldest daughter was saying how she would like something similar for Isabella, so I decided to make one.

Since this item will always be on the floor, I wanted a darkish fabric, so I chose a robust fabric for the bottom panel, a cotton twill blend in grey, and a 100% cotton for the top and edge, the top fabric has a farm motif.

I must say that one of my friends said the fabric was more suited for a boy than a girl, but really it has pink piggies so that´s good enough for me 😉, ……and I admit she also said it looked like a dog bed(maybe I should get a new friend 🙂 )….  she is quite right though, it does look like a dog bed…… and it would have been less costly to buy a dog bed!!, But I didn’t let that bother me, when baby has outgrown it, I will give it to Jack or Oscar, they both love to tear up dog beds.

Anyway for those of you who might be wanting to make a baby play mat that resembles a dog bed, or make a genuine dog bed, here goes!

For a 0.98cm square mat, you will need;

  • A bottom square of metre fabric, this includes the 1 cm seams on both sides, mine was the grey twill.
  • A top square of 1m fabric, this includes the 1 cm seams on both sides, mine was the cotton farm pattern.
  • A strip of the top fabric of  +- 4.20m x .32cm, the strips will have to be sewn together to get the required length, also I always make the tube bigger than necessary to allow for the corners etc.
  • A square of 1m Polyester blend batting.
  • Enough filling for the round ridge that goes around the mat.

Take the top square fabric right side facing up, and attach the square polyester batting to the bottom by sewing a quick zig zag all around the edges. Trim the excess batting

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Take the strip of fabric and fold in half so that the wrong sides are facing each other and sew together to make a tube, leaving only the top end open. Once its  sewn turn the tube inside out, so the right side is now facing out.

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Next, attach the tube to the top part of the top square fabric, right sides facing, before reaching the end cut the excess fabric, so that it will be flush with the top square. remember you still have one side open to stuff the tube.

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When that is done, attach the bottom fabric to the top part, right side facing  the tube will also be inside. Leave a small gap to turn the whole thing inside out when done.

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Once the mat has been turned inside out through the gap, fill the tube with whichever filling takes your fancy, I used shredded foam because it was the cheapest, and it need loads of filling. handsew the opening of the tube and the gap of the grey fabric on the bottom of the mat, and that’s it, all done.

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Of course you can add all sorts of toys to the mat, I didn´t because I know the utility of this mat will be pretty short, once baby starts exploring a bit further than what siting on her bottom allows her to do. So we just put toys inside which can be taken out and played with anywhere.

Well there you have it people, a baby play mat or a dog bed, both useful and easy to make. 😊

African Urban Chic …cont.

Well I finally finished my African Urban Chic quilt 😉. It took me so long, because I recently became a granny! Yep I´m all Granified! And so baby gazing and cuddling all take up chunks of time 😍

Anyway, in the last post ( HERE ) I was looking for fabric to make the borders,  I finally decided on black, a printed cream fabric and an orangey binding.

On this quilt I did straight line quilting, I had never done so many quilting lines before!…… and I can tell you….. it takes a while…. Much longer than what I thought it would take!

And I learnt something else too….. my straight-line quilting made some of my blocks look crooked! All these blocks that were all nice and straight….. started to look a little wonkey! So, at first I had a little melt down, even punished the quilt by putting it down in a corner! Then while looking at  quilting sites, I found some straight line quilts, where you could plainly see crooked blocks….. I kid you not! Some fellow quilters were actually quite proud of the crooked look, so I immediately jumped on That band wagon, forgave the quilt and resumed the straight-line quilting.

So there you have it. All finished and I love it!

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Jack helped out with the pegs.

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While Oscar helped by holding it up on his head.

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Think I´ll go sit in the sun and do some quilt gazing 🙂

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What do you think, was I right to forgive it for going a little wonkey on me?

 

 

Baby Clothes Pouch

Having finished the nursing pillow, I had some fabric left over, so I decided to make a pouch, which is very quick and easy to make.

These pouches are useful for a whole bunch of things, especially when you have to leave the house with baby, we generally use them to keep a change of clothes for baby. They can also be useful  when the little tots start nursery school, then you can just sew on some straps to the back of the pouch or a handle to the top, and they can wear them as a back pack or bag to take an extra set of clothes to school or whatever.

You can make them any size you want, just adjust the measurements. Mine is approximately 32cm x 23cm, including 1cm seams, so when finished it will measure 30 x 21. The little Flap for the pouch is 12cm x 23cm

After you have cut 2 parts of the outer fabric and 2 parts of the lining, (Lining and outside fabric are the same size), and cut 2 parts for the flap . Attach interfacing to both sides of the outer fabric, and to one side of the flap.

 

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Right sides facing each other, sew around the edges of the outer part, the lining and the flap, leaving the top parts unsewn. In the lining leave about 6cm unsewn on the side, this gap is where the pouch will be turned inside out once it´s finished.

To give the pouch some depth make box corners, on both the outer part, and the lining.

To do this fold the corners into a triangle, measure about 3cm from the outer edge in the center, mark with a ruler and stitch along the line.

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If you look carefully you will notice that I forgot to leave a gap open on the side of the lining, but no worries, if the same happens to you, just unpick some stitches.

Cut off the triangle bits, but before cutting them off, turn the bags inside out to make sure that the corner seams are aligned, if they aren’t, just unpick and redo. The first photo below shows  my seams,  not perfect but good enough.

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Now the Flap ….turn the flap inside out and fold in the corners so  they become diagonal.

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Next pin the flap to one side of the outer part.

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Then with the right side of the lining facing the right side of the outer fabric, slide outer part including the flap inside the lining.

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Pin around the top and sew all the way around, 1cm from the edge.

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Trim off the excess bits on top and turn everything inside out through the gap on the side of the lining.

And there it is.

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Top stitch around the edges of the flap so that it looks neater, and add some snap studs. Oh… and don’t forget to sew the gap in the lining closed.

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And there you have it……. a new nifty pouch. 🙂

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Here is a photo of another one I made, but here I chose a different fabric for the flap, and the pouch is slightly smaller.

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Nursing Pillow

Recently I made 2 nursing pillows, one for my daughter, and then for a friend of hers, that´s also pregnant. These nursing pillows are really very comfortable for mother and baby and quite easy to make.

The measurements of the pattern are basically what you see in the diagram below.

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Fold the fabric, so that the straight edge of the pattern A is on the fold, cut the fabric allowing for 1 cm seams.

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Cut a second piece on the fold again.

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Do a quick zig zag around the edges to strengthen the fabric, especially as we will be snipping around the edges later.

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Then sew both pieces together except for the curved inner part, also leave a +- 9 cm opening on the top so that you can stuff the pillow later on. I´ve placed  scissors where you´re not supposed to sew, so that you get a better idea of what I mean.

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To make the slip cover, cut one piece on the fold, this will be the front part.

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For the back part of the slip cover, you have to make allowance for the zip. So fold  part A (see first diagram) approximately 10 cm then cut the fabric on a straight line but leave an additional 2.5 cm to attach the zip. and cut the rest of the fabric following the lines of the front part of the slip cover. Below in the photo, The part for the front of the slip cover is being used as a pattern for the back.

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Then cut out another part on the fold, equal to the part that you folded out of the way (see photo above) , but leave an additional 2.5 cm above, for the zip

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Next, attach the zip to the back of the slip cover. Place zip along the  edge of top part and measure from the edges to sew the fabric strips to the ends of the zip. then cut off the excess zip edges.

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and sew the zip to both parts of the back slip cover, making sure you allow for 1 cm extra which will be folded over the zip

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Iron and top sitch along the edges .

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Then sew both parts together right sides facing each other, but do not sew  the curved part. As you can see in the image I also sewed a quick zig zag around the whole outer edges to strengthen the fabric.

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Now for the tricky part…. Measure around the inner part of the cushion covers, then cut a strip of fabric approximately  the same size, mine was +-  64cm (always make the strip a bit longer than what you measured, to allow for the curvature). Fold it in half and cut it so that it tapers from 7cm in the center to 3 cm at the end, these measurements include the seams allowance, your final strip will be approximately 6 cm to 1cm.

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Pin and attach to the curved part of the covers.

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Then snip around the seams of both covers, so that when the cushion is filled, it allows the outer edges of the fabric to slightly fan out.

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Turn the cushion cover inside out through the little hole that was left on top and fill it. I use  cotton stuffing fiber, about 1.5 kg  until it is really taught. then just hand sew the opening on top.

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All done, just slip on the cover slip and Voila, you have a nursing pillow!

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Thanks for stopping by 🙂

African Urban Chic Quilt

I´m currently working on a quilt, that when I showed my daughter, she said it looked very African Urban Chic….. What is that exactly??…. No idea! ….but I love the sound of it, and because I actually bought the fabric with the tortoise motif, because it reminded me of  home  – Africa, I have staked my claim to name my quilt – African Urban Chic.

Well anyway it´s basically a disappearing 9 patch square. The pieces are pretty big 15cm x 15cm (6 inch) squares. img_1468

I cut the the middle squares in half

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And arranged the new blocks in the order that most pleased me. You´ll notice that I´ve pinned numbers on the blocks. I have to do this or I lose my way completely!

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Sewed the blocks into rows.

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And sewed the rows together.

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Well that what i´ve done so far, and believe you me, this quick to make top, has taken me forever, because it is soooo…. cold at the moment, that my sewing room is freezing, so I basically sewed for 5 minutes a week 🙂

Well next step will be to sew some borders to this top, ….but of course,  in this neck of the woods that I call home, I´m having trouble finding fabric that complements what I´ve done so far.  I Will have to forage further afield during the weekend, perhaps in the next village they´ll have what I´m looking for 😉

Stay tuned, and stay warm!

 

 

 

Baby Cosmetic Bag

A friend of mine made a lovely cosmetic bag, so I asked her to show me how she did it, and made one for baby, it will come in useful to keep the baby toiletries when mom and baby visit granny 🙂

I wanted the bag to be biggish, so I cut strips of alternating fabrics, 7 cm x 20cm (including the 1 cm seams on either side)

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Top stitched the sides of the panels.

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After I had ironed on the fusible batting, I joined the animated panels by sewing them together on the top and bottom edge, so the orange fabric just peeps out between the animated panels.

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I then added an orange panels to the top, and finished up the cosmetic bag.

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A great tutorial on  how to line and attach a zipper to a cosmetic bag can be found here –  http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/make-and-decorate/crafts/how-to-sew-a-lined-makeup-bag

Then just to make it cuter I added a few odds and ends, a little zip-puller, a bow at the front and knotted accessory at the top edges 😉

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So now baby has her very own cosmetic bag! I love the way it all just came together so prettily. hope you like it too 🙂

Crib Bumper

After finishing the baby quilt for my granddaughter, I made the crib bumper. I didn´t want it to be too busy, so I opted to use only 2 fabrics the white and the striped fabric that I used as one of the borders on the quilt.

For each bumper, I cut the white fabric into 3 strips of 17cm x 40cm  allowing for 1cm seams on either side, and the striped fabric into 2 strips of 9.5cm by 40cm.

So the final measurements of the bumpers will be 60 x 38cm each. Of course you can adjust the measurements to any size you want, it all depends on the size of the cot.

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Sew the strips together

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Iron the seams towards the darker fabric.

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I did a zig zag along the edges of the strips.

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Sew the top of the bumper to the batting and trim the excess batting.

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Next, make the fabric tubes  to tie the bumpers to the crib.

Cut 24 strips of 9cm x 38cm (allowing for 1 cm seams) in the white fabric. Again you can use your own measurements.

Fold the strips in half and sew along the length and the top, leaving the bottom open, so you can turn it inside out.

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Once you have them all sewn.

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Turn them inside out, I use a chopstick to push the fabric inside itself, it´s so quick and easy!

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Once they´re all turned inside out, sew along the edges on the right side, it just sort of makes it look neater and prettier.

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Attach 2 of the ties to the sides of the bumper and sew along the edge.

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When you´ve sewn the ties to the bumper it should look like this.

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Next you pin and sew the backing to the front of the bumper (right sides together).

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Leave a gap on one of the sides , about 12 to 15 cm.

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Then sew all along the edge and turn the whole thing inside out through the gap that was left open.

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In order to keep the theme of the zig zag, which I had also used on the quilt, I chose to sew a zig zag border, about 7cm from the edge.

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Ok, so here is the part where I cheated 😉

Of course the gap should be closed, by hand sewing a running stitch, but because I hate hand sewing, and the bottom of the bumper will be tucked in by the mattress and won´t be seen. I just machine sewed the gap!

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Next step. Wash, iron and attach the 3 bumpers to the sides of the cot.

And here´s how it looks on the cot.

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Well that´s it, Super easy and quick!

Hope you like it 🙂