Friday, 28 December 2012

Phone Cover Finished and Gifted!

Hey all! I have two finishes this week, but only one I can show you. Hopefully, I'll have three more finishes by the end of this weekend, all secret though, unfortunately. But next Friday they'll be gifted and I can show you!! Yay!

So, the phone cover. I decided to get Paul his first smartphone for Christmas. It's for his Irish number but because he can use lots of apps with wifi for free in America, which has lots of free wifi, it'll be so much easier for us to stay in touch! Then, I was like, well he'll need somewhere soft to keep the phone so it doesn't get scratched up in his bag or against his keys, etc, etc... And I still have some of the Pac-Man fabric and the lovely brushed cotton rainbow fabric, PERFECT!

Sorry for the picture quality, but I did this late one night when I just needed a FINISH of any sort.
The cover took hardly any time to do. I have exactly the same phone I bought Paul, so I just used that for sizing. It turned out a little more snug than I'd anticipated, but at least it won't fall out easily! First I cut the outer Pac-Man fabric to size, and cut a piece of batting the same size, but one inch shorter in height.

I cut the inner fabric the same size as the batting, but slightly shorter in length (as it has to fit on the inside). The picture above is me figuring out the sizing. Then I quilted the outer fabric and batting, just in straight lines, nothing fancy! And folded it over and joined up the edges to make a it into a little pocket.

Turning bias tape into the loop took the longest time!
I attached a loop for the closure to the brushed cotton interior, and then sewed it closed so as no seams would be on the interior to scratch the phone. Then I sat one into the other, and sewed it closed at the top by folding over the extra length on the Pac-Man fabric. I tried to do that with the machine, but it went horribly wrong, twice. So I gave up, unpicked it all and sewed it closed by hand. Much much faster!

And voila!

The yellow button just glows no matter where I take the picture...
I'm hoping that some time soon I can replace the yellow button with a Pac-Man badge (button), and keep those ghosts on their toes!

I'm linking up today to Link a Finish Friday #47 and Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? - I've wanted to make a phone cover for ages without using a tutorial, but have been putting it off. Necessity for Christmas gifts at the last minute will get you over the fear!!

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Sew Solids Crew Monthly Stash Club

It arrived yesterday. Just after we'd locked ourselves out of the house! Made me so fricking happy. Loved the pink parcel and the blue tissue and then the PURPLES!!!! Amazeballs. Thanks Justine!
My plan is to make a Japanese x and + quilt like Badskirt Amy's. I'll be using texty prints for the background. They arrive from America tomorrow with Paul :D
Woohoo for Christmas, fabrics, and Paul!!!!
PS let me know if the links are off, first time posting from my phone!

Friday, 21 December 2012

Coffee Press Cosy

Today I'm linking up to Link a Finish Friday at Richard and Tanya Quilts (check it out, a pic of my quilt from last week is on today's blog! happy dance), sponsored by the Fat Quarter Shop (how cool!).

The coffee press in question is a fairly recent buy of Paul's, and it lives in our flat in D.C. and makes him feel all grown up and fancy. Since then he's even bought a coffee bean grinder to get even more sophisticated! So for his 30th birthday on Monday, I needed a present that would easily ship from Ireland to the States and I thought Coffee Press Cosy!! Ages ago I had bought this material to make something for him, but with no idea what to do... Perfect opportunity to use up my stash :)

Pac-Man!!!!!! It's also really soft.

I used the Pac-Man material as the front and back, with a layer of 100% cotton batting in between.

Et voila! You'll notice I didn't cut anything particularly straight or anything...

Then I quilted in straight lines with black thread, in between the circles (which didn't line up on the back, so Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde got somewhat sewn over... good news for Pac-Man!). I bound the cosy in red bias tape.

Bias tap pinned onto the back, slight fuzzy...

Unfortunately, I decided to put on the binding as I do with quilts. Then I realised that I didn't have quite enough bias tape and that it would make the corners super bulky. So the corners are quite bad, and will fray and fall apart at some point. Inevitable, as it will get spilled on and have to be washed.

I couldn't get the camera to focus, but you can just make out the white hole at the corner :(

But then I realised that I live with him, when it falls apart I can buy more bias tape and fix it. And next time I'll refer to this post and remember to DO IT BETTER! Velcro was the fastener of choice, as the cosy will have to be taken on and off so the coffee pot can be cleaned, and it needs to fit under the handle to get all close and cosy with the glass!


So, the cosy has been finished a while. I had to send it off to reach Paul in time for his birthday. It arrived early and he was very good and didn't peek at all! But I couldn't post the finish here cos he would have seen... But it's all good. The waiting means that now we have a photo of the finished product on the coffee pot it was intended for!

Perfect fit! Yay!!!!!


Friday, 14 December 2012

Working with Flannel - a super quick quilt.

This quilt was something of an experiment and an indulgence. I had wanted to try out sewing with flannel, particularly after reading this post from Katy at I'm A Ginger Monkey. And I'd wanted to use some of Thomas Knauer's fabrics, after following his blog without realising he was designing fabric for a few months (god love me, but I'm slow upon occasion). Then, luckily for me, friends of Paul's were having a baby due in November. The perfect reason to try out these things!

I bought a bundle of fat quarters of Savanna Bop in flannel from the Fat Quarter Shop, and added a half yard of the yellow elephants and green vines so I could make a flannel backing to the quilt as well.

Cheerful and interesting, nice.
I decided to go super simple, and just halved each fat quarter, took one of those halves and cut them in half again. Then built up the quilt with alternating long and short blocks. The two half yards and a couple of leftover blocks made the backing. I cut and sewed the whole lot together in a day - which is super, super speedy for me.

Instead of stitching in the ditch, my default when I want to be speedy and not take any chances, I decided to quilt on either side of each seam about 1/4" away. This would have been a brilliant idea if I'd not just cut each fat quarter in half and half again, but actually measured and squared up the blocks. Hence the lines get a bit skewy in places... but the baby won't mind, right!?

Here is is pre-wash, casually slung so as to disguise not-so-straight seams!
The flannels were super soft and lovely with which to sew. I spent a lot of time stroking them. And they frayed a lot less than I was expecting! I will definitely work with flannels again, just interested now to see how they hold up to repeated washing. It washed beautifully for me, once I'd bound the quilt in Kona lime.

Proof of loveliness, and a partially clear sky in Ireland in mid-December!
And so I have a finish to report this week :) And baby Georgina will have a Christmas present. And I have managed to make it ok for myself to experiment with flannel, Thomas Knauer, and add to my fabric stash!! Win all round really.

Plus I have little blocks of the flannel left over, and I will at some point (post-Christmas) have to make some of these burp cloths by Cloud 9 Fabrics! Bonus points!!

I'm linking up this week, for the first time, with Link A Finish Friday and TGIFF :)

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Knitted Dinosaurs - an almost complete work in progress

This week, I've been mostly knitting as the most pressing pre-Christmas deadline is the last post from Ireland to England for parcels! My sister is spending her first Christmas away from home this year, down in Brighton. So it's very, very, important that these parcels arrive on time. For some reason, I left her dinosaur to last to knit... True, the pink stegosaurus was more pressing (having to travel to Australia via Washington D.C.), but the blue allosaurus won't be handed over until a couple of days before Christmas at the absolute earliest!!! Clearly, I have prioritising issues.

Just so you have an idea, here are the finished dinosaurs!

The fearsome Allosaurus - on the hunt for biscuits, near you!

A stegosaurus for a little girl.
And the state of the one to be posted Friday....

One dissected dinosaur!
I just finished knitting all his legs and horns and tail clubs today. Tomorrow it will be a frenzy of stitching and stuffing to get this guy ready!! Wish me luck.

My other works in progress this week have been the quilting on my bed runners. Two quilted, one to go, and then the binding to make and put on... Here's one I quilted earlier :)

There's another (secret) quilt waiting in the wings to be quilted and bound as well. So I've plenty to keep me busy along with all the regular Christmas shopping and prep.

This is my first time linking up to Freshly Pieced's WIP Wednesday, can't wait to see what other people are making!

Monday, 10 December 2012

PJ Monsters!

These dudes are the from the talented mind of Jodi at Sew Fearless. I bought the pattern when I saw them, even though I have no children, because I wanted one! It's already been a great investment and I haven't even given any as presents yet. So far I've made three monsters, and everyone who has seen one has loved them.

These are my first two, made from the same fabrics. Unfortunately, all three have never met as the truly crazy lad (on the left) is going on a global adventure before Christmas!
The first two were made out of the end of a bolt of purple poly-cotton, with brushed cotton feet and mouths. So they're paws are lovely to stroke! The third guy was made in green quilting cotton and with the same brushed cotton feet and mouth.

The rare pyjama-eating monsters, seen here basking in some of the notoriously elusive Irish winter sun.
As you can see from the picture, I put the green monster's legs on sidewards, accidentally... Oops! My favourite part about making these pyjama-eaters is that their mouths unzip and reveal their bellies (where you stuff the pyjamas in the morning, to keep them quiet and not tear up your bedroom in boredom while you're at school). This led me to think about what else would bold pyjama monsters eat if given half the chance!

 The purple guys are fond of snacking on random insects they find - helpful for preventing you swallowing a spider in your sleep, perhaps! The green monster prefers larger meals and will eat zoo animals if he finds them unattended.

The purple poly-cotton, brushed cotton rainbow and bugs fabrics I found in our local fabric shop here, The Crafty Fox. The green fabric is Bella Solids in lime and the eaten zoo animals are from Bungle Jungle by Tim and Beck for Moda, both bought in the Fat Quarter Shop.

Blogger has decided I'm not allowed write beside the last picture, so he shall be my sign off! I loved making these pyjama monsters, and shall be making many more! So much scope to be inventive and such an easy pattern to follow :)


Saturday, 1 December 2012

November Doings for Small Blog Meet

Today I'm linking up with the Small Blog Meet hosted by Lynne at Lily's Quilts!
Lily's Quilts
This month has seen a fair amount done but only one true finish. Everything I've been doing though I want to finish by Christmas and the New Year. The lack of finishes has left me feeling a bit stuck in a constant go-go-go but getting nowhere mood.

A. is one of three bed runners in Amy Butler's Cameo, B. is the front of a baby's flannel quilt made from Savanna Bop by Thomas Knauer, C. is my first (and partially stuffed attempt) Beauregard bear, D. is a secret quilt, but the top is fully put together now, and E. is another secret, so I'm only showing a corner but it's a coffee cosy!
My long list of small things to make (this post) has been putting me off moving the furniture and spending an afternoon basting the five quilts. However, seeing them again in pictures is spurring me on to finish them. They'll be so pretty when they're done.

I think I'll try and blitz all the small projects between now and Wednesday (ignoring the knits, because the always take me longer) and then hopefully be at my leisure to quilt and bind the other 5 before Christmas. Then I can happily not feel guilty when I go out to meet friends or spend a whole evening watching movies and eating chocolate instead of sewing :)

That's the plan, anyway!