Sunday, 22 July 2012

No sewing but plenty of sun


Just back from a lovely weekend by the sea. 

The car journeys were awful but it was great to see family at my father-in-laws 60th, spend a bit of time at the beach, and the girls loved their sleepover with Nana. Meanwhile...

Steve and I got to stay at a fantastic guest house with an amazing sea view. The pictures were taken with my phone, so not the best, but it was great to have a peaceful night in luxurious surroundings. And what a breakfast. Wow! Pastries, salmon, poached eggs on muffins, yogurt, coffee... All courtesy of my brother in law, Dave, the man in charge at The View Guest House in Margate. I recommend it (just don't take my kids in the back of your car!).

Monday, 16 July 2012


Since I read Babar the Elephant stories as a child I have felt quite affectionate toward elephants.

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And then when I watched the Disney Tarzan movie back in 1999 I fell in love with Tantor - "want an elephant hair? I got a whole tail of 'em" (Check it out here )

It seems I'm not the only one who has a soft spot for this paciderm - see Kristen of Skirt as Top encouraging her daughter's love of all things Elephant.

Recently, I saw the fabric below in my local sewing shop (not known for modern and exciting fabric), and wanted to buy up all three rolls.

I revisited the shop this week and checked that they still have this fabric. They do, but the rolls are getting skinny. I need to decide what to make and act quickly. Would a soft toy elephant made from elephant fabric be too much? Perhaps.

One of the first things I made for Poppet was a soft elephant using a pattern in Last Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson. I was really impressed with the clarity of the instructions - perfect for beginners - but a little disappointed that he didn't look quite as cute as the one in the book. Now I've made him a playmate (well, until we give him away) I realise it was the lack of print that made him look a bit somber.

The original Edgar the Elephant and his new friend, Edgar Jnr

I put less stuffing in Edgar Jnr and really like the result. A vibrant happy Elephant, with the name of a special baby on his blanket.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Scraps and other news

To give myself some TV-friendly hand sewing I've been working on english paper piecing. I find this a satisfying way to use up scraps. So satisfying in fact that I have now trimmed even the smallest of scraps into patchworking pieces.

2.5 inch squares, 1.5 inch squares, hexagons, 3.5 x 1.75 inch rectangles

No prizes for spotting the Amy Butler peacock fabric! There are also glimpses of Eric Carle's Hungry Caterpillar.

While the hexagons are perfect for english paper piecing, I'm not sure what the approach with the 2.5 inch squares will be - probably machine piecing. The rectangles will be used to make juggling balls/pattern weights. I have been piecing the tiny squares together freehand.

Hand-pieced 1.5 inch scraps

I think the effect is really lovely, even if it's not particularly tidy (it hasn't been ironed in the pic so looks worse than it might be!). I am considering making this an 8x8 square and adding a border to make it into a cushion front. 

When I haven't been cutting things up, I've been re-attaching buttons and other mundane tasks. On this theme I have been adjusting a pair of shoes for Treacle. Not just any shoes... gorgeous bloch shoes.

These adorable little things were a Christmas present but Treacle has such tiny feet they have only just reached fitting point. I have been adjusting the elastic because Poppet attempted to put them on her extremely-large-for-her-age feet and stretched it. Ah, the infuriating cuteness of kids!

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

The baby brick photos

I finally took the photos of Treacle's baby bricks

Fabric selection this time was Michael Miller's Forest Life in aqua, Flutter Butter in pink and (I think!) Tanya Wheelan white spot on blue. Along with that I used a solid red and solid white and a coordinating felt for the applique.

More on the construction on my previous post

And some actions shots...