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21  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Turning leaves for my mother outlaw on: February 24, 2009 03:56:50 PM
It was my MOL's(me and the man are not married, she's not an inlaw, she's an outlaw) 70th birthday over the weekend and having only given myself a month to do it I was very pleased to have finished this in time.

She likes strong colours and happened to turn up to her birthday dinner wearing rusty reds and gold, so when she opened the parcel she matched the quilt! I was really relived as it's always a little daunting picking colours for someone.

Here it is in all it's glory, pinned to my work room wall.
I had a crisis half way through and thought it was all a bit garish(I do love to add a bit of disco sparkle to my quilts), but now I reckon it's all come together OK.
She LOVED it and that's really the only thing that counts.
This is the first time I've tried this sort of random foundation piecing on a quilt. It's cool...
Had to keep the quilting fairly simple. Time was ticking away and I must admit I find the putting colours and designs together part much more interesting than the actual quilting bit.

Appliquéd centre leaves

First time using those curved quilting pins...Fantastic... I used to baste things all together by hand, not any more!

The quilt is about 5' square. Big enough to sit beautifully on the top of her bed or used as a sofa throw, but she said she was thinking of using it as a wall hanging so everyone can see it. Grin
22  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / A cushion for nana to cuddle on: February 22, 2009 03:13:00 PM

I had the idea for this while sorting all my wee boy's tiny baby things for storage.
Hamish is my folks first grandchild and because they live 500 miles away they don't get to see him as much as they would like, so I wanted to make a nice soft cuddly "commemorative" pillow for my mother to hug when she misses him.

I took one of his tiny vests(guess you call them onesies in the states) and stuffed it with a layer of quilt batting to give a kind of quilted effect then did the same with a pair of socks. I appliqued the vest to one side.

I'm really liking doing free hand writing on my lovely sewing machine, so I put his name (forgive the airbrushing I feel a bit funny putting his whole name up here)and birthday on and sewed the socks in the middle.

She loves it, it made her cry!
23  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Octopus evolution- now with rough pattern... on: December 07, 2008 06:58:25 AM

I started making a few fabric balls for my toddler as he's reached that "lets chuck everything around the house to wind up my mum, stage" and I needed something safe and appropriate to use for indoor football practice.
When I'd made a few, an idea started to come together in my head and soon the simple ball pattern began to elongate and legs appeared.
With a wee bit more tweaking and some chunky textured velvet, my octopus was fully formed and ready to meet his public!

Except for a few sock monkeys,this was my first soft toy animal and I'm really happy with it.
I'm especially happy about how the pattern just kind of happened! Grin

Here's a picture of the paper patterns I used for the balls and the octopus.
I suggest that you try putting together a ball first, it's good practice for getting mr octo's head right:
 Cut 8 shapes, sew together in pairs then sew the resulting ball quarters together so you get two halves then sew these together leaving a gap to turn it right side out and stuff. I found doing it in this order made it easier to get the points to meet neatly at either end.

The octopus top can be pieced in a similar way, but only join the pieces together as far as the wide centre point leaving the righthand  sides (roughly marked with yellow dots- a bit to small to see on the photo... sorry) free as these form the tentacles.
The undersides need to be stitched together along the short left hand triangular shaped bit(marked with purple dots - you can see them if you zoom in) so they fan out into a star shape. leave the final join unsewn to give you a hole to turn him right side out through. Pin the underside of the tentacles to the tops and stitch together. turn right side out through the gap in his underside. it took me a lot of time and poking about with a knitting needle to get his tentacles right. Stuff the head and tentacles firmly but don't put too much in the flat skirt shaped part of his body. sew up the hole in his underneath and quilt in triangles between his tentacles to give the webbed effect.
His eyes were just circles of white fabric I sewed with a running stitch, then pulled up to make a little pouch which I stuffed and sewed shut then hand stitched on eyelids made of the body fabric and slot like octopus pupils made of black felt.

Sorry I couldn't find the time to do a more detailed tute with pictures, but I'm up to my neck with work all to be finished by Christmas!
24  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Le sac de chocolat - puffy drawstring bag. on: November 04, 2008 07:08:38 AM
Made for the Chocoholics Unanimous swap.

I wanted something to contain all the tasty treats I was sending my partner and an excuse to try out a bit of free hand, machine embroidery.

The fabric was a tasty white chocolate coloured shot silk and I did the stitching in a dark chocolate brown thread.
Couple of close ups

25  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Triple chocolate wham bam bag on: November 04, 2008 06:51:58 AM

This was made for the chocoholics unanimous swap,

My partner had this fantastic looking "Triple chocolate wham bam" bar on her wists and since I couldn't run to 12 QUID (!?!)  Shocked for a chocolate bar, I thought I would have a go at producing my own rather more economic and practical version

For more frighteningly expensive chocolaty goodness have a look here http://www.hotelchocolat.co.uk/chocolate-bars-Chcoslab/

I had some dark brown linen, lighter brown brushed cotton and ivory silk in my stash, so I layered them up and traced the swirly design from an enlargement of the original picture on to the silk.
I straight stitched round the shapes and cut out various layers to produce a kind of reverse appliqué. Then satin stitched in ivory over the raw edges. I satin stitched some in contrast dark brown thread to make it look a bit swirly-er.

Finished bag.

Here's the lining, A lovely scrap of spicy orange silk with rusty red stylised flowers.

hope you like it!
26  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / soft structured ergo type baby carrier on: June 11, 2008 04:59:17 PM
This is my first project posted on this very wonderful and addictive site.
I didn't really know where to put it, as it isn't really clothes and it is re-conned from a pair of old jeans, a camping mat and a broken back pack, but this seems to be the place for baby slings...

Anyhoo... lots of my mates have those fantastic ergo baby carriers and I was extremely jealous. I figured I couldn't stretch to spending THAT much cash on something, that being made of cloth must be make-able by me.

I had a good look at the ergo web site and checked out a couple of tutes for mei-tais. Ergos are basically a mei-tai with back-pack style straps after all
This was definitely the best
I tweaked it and patchworked it for maximum oooohhh factor at mummy and baby meetings

detail of large back spot

action shot... 'scuse the background chaos

I'm pretty happy with the fruits of my labour and it's seems pretty comfortable for me and my small bald passenger.
Don't you just love the smug inner warmth of a job well done and a massive heap of cash saved?    Grin
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