Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Zig Zag Quilts Round Up

I don't recall which zig zag quilt first caught my eye, but this week I reaslied that I keep coming back to zig zag quilts when thinking what I want to do with my Cloud 9 Simpatico fabrics.

In my research into how to combine these fabrics and construct a zig zag quilt I found these amazing examples. (Sorry for the lack of pictures but I don't want to breach the copyright of my fellow bloggers).

A quilt is nice
A detailed tutorial for piecing a 40x48 inch quilt top. This one uses a single fabric for each zig zag, all of them with pattern and colour. Some of the rows are very low volume giving the quilt contrast. 

Purl bee
Another detailed tutorial for a baby quilt - this time 32 x 44 inches. A combination of colour-matched fabrics is used for each contrast zig zag. These are separated by two solid white zig zags. this is probably the most extensive use of white space in a zig zag quilt I've come across. It really makes the colours blast from the quilt.

Red Pepper Quilts
A beautiful example of a zig zag quilt. Sadly not a pattern offered for sale by Red Pepper Quilts, but I've been studying the images for guidance instead! Like the purl bee example, this uses a combination of colour-matched fabrics in each contrast zig zag. Where it differs, is that there is just one solid white zig zag between each coloured zig zag. The alternation between colour and white works brilliantly to highlight the pattern. This is a slightly larger example - 49 x 63 inches.

Shannon has blogged about her experience of making a zig zag quilt. She's followed the same method as Rita of Red Pepper Quilts and although her zig zags are not colour-matched I still love the result.

Four lovely examples. The approach used by Rita and Shannon is definitely the way I want to go with my version. I plan to make the quilt for Poppet so it will be single bed (twin) size. Larger than any examples I've seen which is a bit intimidating. I've calculated that I need around 120 solid white 5 inch squares... see you soon, I might be a while ;-)

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Quick Sew - Commuter Cowl

Having daughters of similar ages I enjoy following Shannon's blog luvinthemommyhood. I can symphathise with her challenges in balancing work and life, and really love her fabric choices. She's not daunted by anything and I really wanted to support her pattern release for the commuter cowl. I made this almost a year ago and with autumn on the horizon I'm glad I've got this to wear again. I may make myself a new one this year, perhaps in a voile but closer fitting to the neck.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Cookies are a girl's best friend

And her worst enemy!

I have been fortunate to be offered a Mint Choc Cookie made by a friend a couple of times, and every time I am blown away by how good they are. I thought it was a secretly guarded recipe but this week found out that they are from Nigella Lawson. I've got visitors tomorrow, so what further excuse did I need?

Get the recipe for Chocolate Mint Cookies from the Nigella website

As with all things you make yourself, they don't taste quite as lovely as when someone else makes it for you, but boy, these are good!
And I had all the ingredients bar peppermint essence in the house, so now I have some, and I know these are going to get made on a regular basis.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Animal baby book

2012 was definitely a baby boom year among my friends - I love the excuses it affords for making lovely little gifts. I'm always doing so in a rush and seldom manage photos but this was definitely my favourite of the year.

A soft baby book with applique animal faces! I have to say I think this worked out well and I would love to have made it for my kids. If I was being critical I'd say I don't love the red bird - I think I prefer the slightly less aggresive colours!

Now, the reason I am quite proud of this is that it is for a lovely little boy born to really good friends of mine. He gave his Mum a pretty rough ride during pregnancy so for him to be here and her to be feeling fitter is great for everyone. Soppy reasons aside, I am also very proud because the pattern was *horrendous* to follow.

It's from the same book as the Awake-Asleep doll but the amateur/improvisational approach the author takes caused me a *lot* of problems.

None of the templates include seam allowances. Even those that are both drawn and give full dimensions. How ridiculous is that to draw a picture and give precise dimensions, that the reader then has to recalculate?

And, in the instructions to cut fabric to create pages, she gives dimensions "including seam allowances". What she means is "adding seam allowances". I cut every piece for this project twice. Thank goodness I have a lot of scraps.

It's a really fun project if you have scraps from quilts or cotton clothing for kids. You get to combine lots of colours for the front colour and then coordinate them into a colour scale on the inside pages. You could of course take a more eclectic approach throughout the pages. The benefit of the pattern would then be the directions on how to assemble the pages... well, it would be if any of it made sense! I'm actually going to rewrite this pattern for my own use so I don't go so crazy next time around.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Summer must be coming!

Oh heck, what happened there? I was going to get back on the blogging thing and lost my way again. Today's flurry of lovely dress activity on the blogs I follow has led me to make the effort today.

Oliver + S are releasing two patterns tomorrow. Kristin from skirt as top has been pattern testing and I love both her take on the Roller Skate Dress and the one posted on the Oliver + S blog! If you follow the links to the other bloggers that have shared in Kristin's pattern testing the tunic version looks brilliant too.

I've got fabric and several dress patterns and have even put in an order to my Mum, but the chill in the weather has put me off so far. I am now desperate to get them made - not least because Poppet has outgrown so many clothes - so I can try this pattern too! So why am I sitting here typing instead of sewing? Right, let's get this done!

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Out of hibernation

Perhaps a little early as there is more snow on the ground than we've seen in 11 months, but yes, after what I now realise was a massive break from blogging, I'm back.

We were out of our home for six weeks and returned to a gorgeous new floor, kitchen, and a rearrangement that means we have a dedicated play room. Most importantly we are now confident that the wildlife is staying outside!

Autumn turned very quickly into the Christmas season and preparations for us to host my family for the first time. As you can imagine it left little time for sewing, but I had made gifts earlier in the year that I can now share so watch out for those posts in the next little while.

I received some great Christmas gifts - almost all sewing related. Scissors, a mini-iron, basting gun and a knitting bag. I will admit that the knitting bag was spied in a craft magazine and purchased from kntting supplier www.loopknitting.com (they don't appear to stock it anymore) but I have no intention of putting knitting in it. It's just the right size for my swimming gear!

During, and perhaps a significant reason for, this period of hibernation a friend lost his fight against leukemia. There are no words that can express how we've been feeling. Pulling together with friends to support his beautiful family has been cathartic for us, although I'm sure it's only taking a drop from the ocean of pain for them. If you happen to read this please consider becoming a blood donor and a stem cell donor.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Dreaming of stitching

Right now I am dreaming of stitching. Dreaming of sewing a thousand things for my house, and before the Christmas season is here.

Alas, it is just a dream. We have discovered a rodent problem in our house and in the process of working out how, where and how bad, we've had to pull apart our kitchen. So right now we are in temporary accomodation. The rodents have gone, but the kitchen is still a mess... until later this month when a whole new one is fitted... so so so excited!

We are lucky enough to have found a house to stay in for a month so that we can escape the chaos however the house is rather bijoux. Not a lot of room for sewing! So, sadly for me, I won't be doing Elsie Marley's Kids Clothing Week Challenge this autumn. Anyhow, I managed to make Poppet a skirt last week, and they've got plenty of clothes... waaaaay more than they need!