Beach Bag

With Spring around the corner, thoughts of hot summer days, lazy afternoons at the beach etc, have started to creep into mind, so I made a beach bag!

 My daughter Megan saw a beach bag that she liked last summer, but it was a tad expensive, so I told her I would make one. I really just wanted an excuse to make something new, useful and creative, because lets face it after purchasing all the bag making essentials, it probably cost more…….. but that’s crafting!………. why buy it for less when you can make it for more 🙂

 The main fabric is from Ikea, I bought it quite a while back because I really liked the pattern, and I think it looks quite pretty as a beach bag, then I added the green fabric at the bottom and the green pom-poms on top, I made 2 pockets and 2 loops on either side, so she can clip her keys, to them.

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Well Megan likes it and will soon be parading it up and down the beach 😉

 I´m so bored with this horrible winter weather that we are having, and can´t wait for summer! How about you?

Patiently Waiting

After gifting the last 5 quilts that I made, I thought it was time to make one for myself . I ordered charm packs of Kaffe Fassett reds and  greens.  I had to order them from England, because I can´t find them in Portugal!!

I want the quilt to be very  basic, just plain squares sewn together in a pleasing manner, but because I´m a bit of a control freak, I placed the squares, so that if you look carefully you can see a zig zag effect.

Well it´s up on my design wall, I´m still playing with the layout, I like to walk past now and then and change the odd square, so every day it looks slightly different. 🙂

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It might stay there for a while. I decided a month ago to learn the piano, it´s been a dream of mine since I was a child, and now at 50, I have finally decided to give it a shot. So what with a full-time job, sewing up the odd present  or two (I´m currently making another baby pouch), and now the piano lessons with the hours of practice that go with it…..my little quilt patiently waits to be pieced, but it feels the love I´m sure! 🙂

Have a great week!

Ellie Applique

Apparently, nowadays children are getting a whole lot of homework at a very early age. Ever since my 10 month old granddaughter started nursery school 2 months ago, she has been given homework to do, and because she really doesn’t like doing homework, her mum and dad have had to do it!

Well last week, she was told she had to make a fabric block with Love as the theme, so I was roped in to do my bit, actually I was thrilled, I have been wanting to try applique for ages but hadn´t had a clear idea of what I wanted to do, so here was my chance. We chose to make an elephant with hearts, so printed an elephant from clip art and I made the block.

Ok, it´s not perfect, I still need loads of practice on my appliqueing skills 🙂 but I loved making it, so it was a well named theme, the Love theme!

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Thanks for stopping by, Have a LOVELY day!

 

 

Isabella´s Backpack

Well here we are again, and once again Isabella is the muse for this post, ever since she  started school, I have wanted to make her a backpack, because it´s very important for 10 month olds to take their nappies, baby wipes, bottles and toys in a pretty backpack to nursery school, and also because I´ve been wanting to make a backpack for ages and this was the perfect excuse 😉

For most of the fabric I used  scraps left over from the quilt I made for her cot Here and also bought a strip of owl print fabric, I just love owls!

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Before assembling the bag I quilted  with straight lines along the seams. The bag is lined in plastic so that it can be wiped down, it has press studs on the top of both sides so it can be opened up easily, and the straps are adjustable so that when she starts university she can still use it 🙂

 

Well here you have it, all finished and ready for Miss Muffet to use.

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Thanks for stopping by, have a lovely day!

 

 

 

Stone Paper Pouch

Last Saturday afternoon, the local craft store had a workshop on Stamperia stone paper, so I went along to support Manuela the owner and also because it´s always fun to learn new techniques. I must say I had a lot of fun making the pouch. I had never heard of Stamperia stone paper, so it was really interesting and the end result is a leather look.

So this stone paper is made from natural fibers, it doesn’t tear, and can be painted, stamped, sewn, and apparently can even be washed in the washing machine, but honestly, I don´t think I´ll try that!

We took a sheet of the stone paper and glued bits of printed rice paper onto it, basically just like the Decoupage technique, added modeling paste with the help of stencils to the paper, and then just color washed with different colors using the aqua colors from Stamperia, brushed on varnish and finally sewed the sides with cord.

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The initial process

There you have it! a cute pouch all done during a fun-filled afternoon. You can actually make loads of things with this technique,  such as bags etc.

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I found a tutorial online for this technique at https://www.livemaster.com/topic/2286289-making-a-diy-cover-from-scratch?vr=1  just in case you´re interested 😊

Thanks for the visit, and have a fun-filled day!

 

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Car Bin Bag

One of my best friends is a Sales Rep, so her car is her office, which she keeps  impeccably clean and tidy. One of her accessories is a little plastic bag that she hangs on the gear shift, so that she can throw in the daily rubbish, dirty tissues etc.

I decided to make  a special little quilted bin bag for her. The inside has plastic lining so that it can be wiped clean, and the handle is only on one of the sides, so that it can hang from the gear shift onto the passenger side.

here is what it looks like.

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My friend lives in South Africa so I had to send it via DHL,  she received it yesterday and sent me a message saying how much she liked it, so that makes me happy!

One of the joys of sewing is being able to make and gift items, that are handmade with a special person in mind.

Thanks for stopping by, have a great day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And there you have it

Autumn Nine Patch

When I started this quilting adventure, one of my best friends mentioned how she would like a quilt in autumn tones, so for her upcoming birthday, I decided I would gift her with one.

Because as usual I am pressed for time and the quilt had to be all done in time for her birthday, I went ahead with a simple 9 patch disappearing quilt top. I couldn’t help myself and added some green blocks, in autumn you can still find bright green leaves right?  The binding is a scrappy one, and the quilting is simple wavy lines, the quilting is quite spaced out because I want the quilt to have loft and be supple.

I did have a few hiccups along the way, I bought beige background fabric at our local market, where I was assured that it was 100% cotton bla bla. But when I started ironing the seams of the sewn up blocks, the fabric literally shrunk before my eyes, pulling at the printed fabrics. Very frustrating. I had to unpick everything and buy new fabric, soooo… a lot of wasted time and money.

But all´s well that ends well, I finished the quilt ahead of time and hopefully my friend Amanda will like it.

Here it is.

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Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

 

 

 

Veggie Patch

Today, it´s not about sewing, it´s about gardening. My hubby is the type of person who can literally do anything, quite irritating  😉 just kidding!! it´s great having someone who can fix anything, he´s a real MacGyver!

Anyway, he decided he wanted a vegetable garden, so that´s what he did, it started off in 2012 with just some shelves and soil bags that you cut  holes into, and plant lettuce etc. We were so excited when the lettuce started growing, it was like Yay, we can actually grow edible food 🙂

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Over the years he has stuck to his hobby. Some years, all we harvested apart from  lettuce which is very forgiving, were some tiny tomatoes and one or two strawberries, but this year we had a bumper crop, huge tasty tomatoes, a few cucumbers and  most amazing of all…. Butternuts.

The butternuts were a real surprise, basically last year they started growing in the compost bin from seeds that we had thrown in there, so hubby took the shoots and planted them in his veggie patch and the plant grew, flowered and died. So this year we did some research and apparently the female flowers were not being pollinated, so hubby played Bee, Yes…Bee, as soon as he had a female flower and a male flower (squash have female and male flowers)he would fertilize the female flower by taking pollen from the male with a cotton bud and pollinate the female flower,….. and would you believe it, 3 of them took and grew into butternuts.

Here are the butternut flowers.

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And here is our first butternut

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Here´s another one.

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Our gorgeous tomatoes, they are incredible tasty.

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Jack likes to inspect everything thoroughly, a real hands-on inspector! that’s why we have a high wooden fence 😉

Well needless to say, the vegetable garden is now very much part of our home, and a place where the family congregates to ooh and aah 🙂

Thanks for popping by.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.