Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Orla Kiely Inspirations

Her designs are so en-vogue that you can even buy a DAB radio in the multi-stem pattern! And I will confess to owning two of her handbags. However, I haven't been able to purchase Orla Kiely fabric so I decided to use her designs as inspiration for some needlework.


Her lovely designs, handbags and more can be found here (and visit the shop in Covent Garden, it's lovely) http://www.orlakiely.com/uk/

A note on how I did it: I transfered the design from postcards to graph paper for cross stitch and pattern paper for applique. I was also very fortunate that Nanny (my late grandmother) gave me her stash of old embroidery threads (from the labelling most of which I suspect are older than me!) so I had a wide range of colours to select from without stepping near a shop. I appliqued the designs to simple cushion covers. I love how these worked out but having lived with them for a few months I can't tolerate the colour I used and have relegated them to the airing cupboard. I plan to repeat the project with higher quality, less blue home furnishing fabric... you know, when I have a spare hour or three!

Woo hoo here's the sun

At long last we have had a warm sunny day. I'm sitting in the garden and all is well.

Tucson Botanic Garden, source: Vasenka via flickr

Friday, 11 May 2012

Quilts for Fabulous Kids

For him...

Last year I made quilts as Christening gifts for my niece and nephew. It was, as usual, a bit of a rush to get them finished and wrapped so in all the haste I forgot to take photos. I am therefore absolutely delighted that my sister-in-law just sent me some photos of the quilts. She has enough on her plate looking after the kids without me pestering her for pictures that flatter my sewing ego!

For my nephew I made a Charm Squares Baby Quilt (don't tell him though - he's nearly 4, not a baby!).

I got lucky with the material in my stash at the time. I had splurged on gorgeous fabrics from Celtic Fusion Fabrics - an affordable indulgence with their Fabric Smallies. The fat eighths in these packs are perfect for cutting up for the right size charm squares and half squares.

This quilt used one pack including some prints from Carolyn Gavin's Spring Street Collection (I've link to a posting on another site back in 2011 as the fabric is no longer available on the Celtic Fusion site), some lovely bright dots and stripes - I think both were from Kauffman - and a Tanya Wheelan white spot on blue. The sashing is a solid ecru, the backing is a green gingham, and the binding is orange spot on red.

I loved using this pattern and have every intention of doing it again. It's so simple and really allows the fabrics to shine. My quilting could be better but it was the first time I'd tried free motion quilting!

As the quilt is for a very special occasion I hand embroidered my nephew's name on one of the squares. 

For her...

For my niece I came up with my own creation inspired by the hand-pieced patchwork (English Paper Piecing) my Mum created when I was very small. I used various scraps of pink fabrics to make the flowers with this method. I then ironed the flowers flat before removing the papers. The ironing keeps the edges neat. I could then attach them to the background by top stitching the whole way 'round the flower in a zigzag stitch. The background is a patterned white and the backing is pink gingham.

See that pink gingham flower in the centre? That was the fabric decorating the jar of sugar almonds I was given as a wedding favour at my sister-in-law and her husband's wedding. Their little girl has a bit of their wedding in her quilt. And her name is hand embroidered on one flower.

I'm not entirely happy with this quilt. I used some cheap batting and it was a big mistake. It has too high a loft so the free motion quilting didn't work well. I just wish I'd learned this lesson on a less significant project. Ah well, it's still cute.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Everything you need to change a dolly's nappy (diaper): tutorial

My eldest daughter and my niece love to play dolls. They push them around in buggies, give them milk and change their nappies. So when I saw this dotty dolly diaper post from Gail at Probably Actually I knew I had to make some. And then having retrieved Treacle's changing mat from Poppet's hands again decided that Baby (we aren't very creative when it comes to naming toys!) needed a changing mat too. Oh, and a little pouch for the wipes.

Nappies for a 12" doll, mat, wipes and wipes pouch. Jersey nightdress exterior, solid pink cotton and pink gingham lining.

Nappies for a 16" doll, mat, wipes and wipes pouch. Exerior in Meadowsweet by Sandra Henderson for Michael Miller fabrics. Lining in double layered cream cotton lawn.


See dotty dolly diaper post. I made mine using pattern piece H from McCalls 4338, extending the tabs and adding velcro following Gail's advice. The pattern has a 12" doll option, and a 16" doll option - the pink ones above are for a 12" doll. The green dotty ones below are for a 16" doll.

Nappies for 16" doll. Meadowsweet by Sandra Henderson.


See dotty dolly diaper post.

Doll wipes made from flannel and edged using an overlock stitch.

Wipes Pouch - oh so easy!
materials for making the wipes pouch

1. Cut two pieces of fabric and two pieces of medium weight fusible interfacing 6" by 4". Fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric.   

2. Cut a circle from the centre of one rectangle. I did this by folding the rectangle in half, and then half again, and cutting away a quarter circle from the folded corner. Finish the inside edge of the circle with a fairly narrow zigzag stitch.

3. Place the two rectangles right sides together matching all edges. Stitch along all edges with a .25" seam. Finish edges with a zig zag stitch or pinking shears.

4. Clip corners and turn right-side-out using the hole made in step 2. Press and stuff with adorable little flannel wipes.
    Wipes pouch. Meadowsweet by Sandra Henderson.

    Changing Mat - a really quick tutorial...

    • 9" x 13" of an exterior fabric and a lining fabric. The fabrics can either be a single piece or patchworked from scraps.

    • 3" x 3" exterior fabric

    • 9" x 13" batting or fusible fleece
    • 1.5" strip of .5" velcro
    1. Cut one piece each of exterior fabric, lining fabric and batting, all the same size. Cut one piece 3" x 3" for the tab that will hold the mat together when folded.

    2. Take the tab and press one edge .25" to the wrong side. Fold and press the adjoining sides .75" to the wrong side - they should meet in the middle. Fold in half and press.

    3. Top stitch three edges, leaving the raw edge unsewn. Cut a 1.5" piece of velcro and stitch the hook part to the finished end of the tab.

    4. To attach the loop half of the velcro to the mat, take the exterior fabric and mark a point 2" from the right and 1" from the top. Align the top right corner of the velcro to the mark you made and stitch in place.

    5. Layer the fabric - batting, lining right side up (there are two layers of lining in the photo because I was using cotton lawn and needed the extra weight) and exterior fabric right side down with the velcro in the top right corner.

    6. Take your tab and place it between the lining and exterior fabric, in the top left corner, 2" from the edge, velcro side down, raw edge aligned with the raw edge at the top of the exterior fabric.

    7. Stitch all layers together with a .5" seam. Leave a 3" gap in the stitching on one edge. Trim seam allowance, clip corners and turn right side out. Press under the unsewn edge  and top stitch around all edges. Press.

    8.  Fold in half, and half again, and use the tab to secure.

    Changing mat. Meadowsweet by Sandra Henderson.

    Copyright 2012 Poppet + Treacle
    All rights reserved. For personal use only. Please do not sell items made from this tutorial unless permission has been given. If you wish to sell for charity that's fantastic - go ahead! I'd love to hear about it too.

    Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives