Thursday 30 January 2020

It's Been a Long Time

It has been a long time coming this postage stamp quilt. In fact some decent weather to photograph it has been a long time coming too. It was my new years resolution to finish it in 2019 and it is now complete and completely gorgeous.

The topper was finished in October but I just didn't seem to get around to buying a sheet and batting to complete it. Anyway, I did in the end, and here it is.

Some burning questions you may need answering:-

The quilt is for a single bed size

It has 1400 little squares that are cut at 5cm and sewn with a 0.5cm seam allowance

It is hand quilted with embroidery threads and running stitches.

The backing is a new flat sheet from Dunelm.

Some squares are fussy cut to reveal a picture and others are cut to squeeze the last out of a tiny piece of fabric. There are houses, birds, dogs, fungi, butterflies and flowers.

It has a name plate called 'All the little bits of you' 2020

It is for my god daughter for her 18th Birthday (she is 14 in April!) Oh yes, ahead of schedule.

The fabric is from everywhere. Take a look, some might be from you: Christina, Linda, Shirley, Helen and many others. Thank you to you all. The key to this quilt is not quantity but variety. Each block has 64 squares so you need as many different fabrics as possible in each block. Some, not all, have 64 different ones in! 

You can only really achieve this by sharing fabrics or buying scrap packs. There are many  pieces from Christina at Colourful life. We did a fabric swap and sent each other some tiny scraps in the post. This meant that most of the orange/mustard/ocre tones which would have been missing from my quilt were represented and lifted the other colours significantly.

The other key to making this quilt is to be as free as you can allow yourself to be. There is no planning, no procrastinating you just sew tiny squares together with gay abandon. I had one rule and that was that two fabrics could not sit next to each other - and then I spotted one when it was finished!

I used an extra wide binding from frumble which was left over from another quilt so all in all I bought the wadding and a flat sheet. I also had a gift voucher given to me when I left a job in December and I bought this little stab thingy called a micro stitch. It fires out tiny plastic ties (like you get on new socks but much smaller) It is perfect for quilters to hold your layers together when you hand quilt. Then you snip them out and put them in the plastic recycling.

Hope you like it. If you want to check out Christina's version click here to see more riotous colour.

Jo xxxx

Sunday 26 January 2020

Cutting Paper Once

I was excited to get my hands on this pattern. It seemed so versatile and I thought a pattern that made lots of different tops without having to keep cutting out paper pieces all the time would be a good idea. It was...

The first version I made last year has been worn a lot. The photo on the front of the packet was what really drew me in to get it in the first place. My first blouse looked very similar, made in cotton dobby.

I chose a Ponte Roma to make a short sleeved version next but the sleeves were a little stiff and made an unsavory silhouette so I made a box pleat and added a button. It is a good top to wear tucked in with a skirt or worn out more casually over trousers. I think there are a lot more opportunities with this pattern to use up some of my left overs to make the peplum version or the gathered sleeves. 

This pattern is a winner. Thanks for dropping by. Jo xxx

Wednesday 22 January 2020

Good, Pink and Wrong.

I am deeply engrossed in knitting my Loki Sweater. It is totally addictive.

Before I started it, I made a quick little knit to get me ready for the long haul. It is always good to start an epic project off the back of a successful one. I used my favourite vintage baby pattern to make this little cardigan. I like to keep a boy and a girl knit up my sleeve for friends. Then today, my friend came round and said her sister is expecting in June - sorted.

This one used up some Sirdar snuggly which was given to me a while ago in a destash. The other colours were used to make a couple of baby blankets last year.

On a slightly less successful note, I have been trying to knit some mittens for Little M to match the cowl she knitted for herself but I can't seem to get the sizing right. This is my third attempt - the next attempt will involve some kind of bedtime shenanigans where I am trying them on her while she is asleep. I knit at night, never in the day so this seems a likely option. Maybe I can get her to make a card template of her hand - oh the desperation!

What are you knitting - successfully or unsuccessfully?

Jo xxx

Saturday 18 January 2020

Easy Peasy Sewing Time

I was looking for a nice little starter project for my sewing group and this came up on my pintrest feed. It was so easy to make, I thought I should share.

The pattern was a tutorial from here.

The curve at the top of my first one was not the right shape but I nailed it on the second version. I used up some recycled denim and some precious Liberty left overs. It was a great make without the need for zips, button holes, studs or spring clips. 
Simple is sometimes the best.

I am going to knock out a load of these for teacher/colleague gifts. I guess mine will have to be the pilot one! Why not have a go. It uses fusible fleece which can be expensive but I used normal wadding left over from a quilt. A great way to use up some scraps.

I won't be needing sunglasses for a while, but for now, my close work glasses can stay safe. Thanks for dropping in. Jo xxx

Sunday 12 January 2020

Loving - recent Sunsets here in the UK

Making -  My Loki sweater and enjoying a few rounds every night. I have touched little else in fact because I love making it so much.

Wearing - My newly sewn Mathilde blouse from this Minerva fabric. No ironing just wash and hang it on a hanger for next time. 

Eating - The last of our Christmas cake

 Disliking - running out of time

Buying - A staircase balustrade

Building - Our bathroom at the new house

Repairing - a little hole in a crochet blanket, you have to catch them straight away.

Collecting - Up lots of fiction books my children have read to donate to school

Sewing - a Portland Tie back top from some slinky viscose from Minerva ready to go on their new website which will be arriving soon.

Feeling - Like the house needs a good clear out, again!

Enjoying - seeing my succulents take root that I poked in some soil last Summer. Two out of three of my spider plat cuttings have taken too. 

A short this month but I have enjoyed reading others.
 Jo xxxx

Thursday 9 January 2020

Building Bits

We have worked tremendously hard on our new build over the holidays with some of the bits you might actually want to see! When there is wallpapering involved, you can't help but get a tiny bit excited. Here is the latest building gallery for you catch up with.

Painting, painting and more painting.

We found out that the black plastic matting the builders put down last year had indeed kept the floor protected during building work (especially the time when the dog knocked a can of paint from the landing down onto the hallway floor) but the plastic had also been retaining moisture from the underfloor heating. We peeled back the corner to fit some skirting board to find there were grey mould spots on the wood and it was soaking wet Aghhhhhh! Anyway we pulled the plastic up and are now walking on large pieces of cardboard. It looks fine and has dried out really quickly. It just needs a light sand now. Phew!

We don't get to see our friends at weekends as much as we would like to unless we invite them to the building site. Here are some pretty resourceful girls painting a mural on some left over cardboard. That floor gets lovely and warm by the way... warm, I did some painting in my socks because it was better than having my boots on.

Cheeky monkeys. It is a good job they didn't write something else they had seen written on the back of a white van this week - it was something to do with cockerels I think!!


It was nice to paint a colour that wasn't white for a day. This was described as 'Clay' on the tin but I would say it is more of an agricultural/army green. Anyway, it is the wall we will hang our coats on so it needed to be a bit sludgy and now I really love it. The oak is some boarding we had left over from another job and it will stop the dog messing up the wall - well that is our thinking behind a half clad oak wall.

Other moments of greatness include door frames which need the corners sanding, curtain poles which need curtains and doors which need latches. Andy has learnt how to do all of this woodowrk and I have waxed all of the wood.

So you may be asking the same question that everyone asks, "When will it be finished?" By the end of the year we hope. We don't have a bathroom yet and the outdoor farm yard is untouched and unsafe for our dog.

It is too misty to see the hills today but we can see the rubbish which will one day become our garden!

At the end of a particularly long day we all sat down in the kitchen to admire the wonderful view from the bifold doors. We too were wondering "When will it be finished?" so that we can look at this every day.

Jo xxxxx