Friday, 21 November 2014

Quilt As You Go Bathmat Tutorial

Do you need to inject some colour into your bathroom? Do you know a friend that needs a little pampering? Hop over to The Sewing Directory for my QAYG bathmat tutorial!




Team it with some bath salts and candles and you have the perfect gift for that hard to buy for person!

Many thanks to Coats Crafts and The Sewing Directory for supplying the materials for this project.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Fat Quarter Feature Pillowcase Tutorial

Yeahy! Finally a tutorial!

It felt so great this morning to carve out time to get this tutorial together for you. I have had the fabrics sitting waiting for what feels like a long time and with Halloween over and Christmas fast approaching I wanted these bad boys stitched up and on my bed!

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This tutorial is based on the amazing cuffed pillowcase guest tutorial over on Bugs and Fishes by Susie of Flower Press - it is my go-to pillowcase tutorial, it is quick, simple and gives fantastic results and she even gives different sizes for different countries! You have to check it out.

My tutorial is an adaptation, out of necessity really, based on the fact that I really never have yardage in my stash, just fat quarters. So that meant I never had enough fabric for the dimensions of the pillowcase, yeah I have lots of sheeting perfect for the back but I want something really nice on the the front. So I altered the tutorial to make it fat quarter friendly, this way you can now show of those large print fq's you didn't want to cut up before, there is no wastage and you get a professional looking pillowcase too! I have also included so very helpful tips on what to do if you have directional fabrics and if you want to make a matching pair for a double bed so that they end up as opposites of each other which I think looks much nicer on the bed, I do love a bit of symmetry!

(I am working with a UK sized fat quarter cut of 20" x 22" aprox)

FQ Front 20" x 21"
Cuff 20" x 16"
Back 20" x 36 1/2"

Cut the three pieces, you many need to trim your fq to size and cut off the selvedges. If your fat quarter is slightly small and nearer 19" than 20" then simply adjust the measurement on the two other pieces to match, all that will happen is you will have a slightly snugger fit on your pillowcase.

Fold the cuff fabric in half along the length with the right sides facing out and press. Place the folded cuff onto the fq front piece on the right hand edge with the raw edges aligned and pin. Take care to have the fq facing the right way up if using a directional print, if making a pair for your bed then pin one cuff of the right and one on the left side.

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Sew the seam using a 1/2" seam allowance and finish with a zig zag or overlocker. Press the cuff away from the front piece and topstitch 1/4" away from the seam on the cuff.

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On your back piece turn one 20" edge over by 1/2" and press, then another 1/2" and press again. Top stitch to hold in place, this will be your edge on the flap. if you are using a directional print for the back you will need to turn the appropriate edge over - for the front with the cuff on the right you will need to press under and topstitch the left hand side of the backing (left hand side as you are looking at the fabric right way up) and for the front with the cuff on the left you will need to press under and topstitch the right hand side of the backing.

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Lay your front down onto the backing, with the right sides facing and the cuff at the end with the flap edge you just stitched and align with the raw edges of the other unsewn end.

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Now fold the excess backing over the front, you are aiming for a neat tight fold against the cuff.

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Pin along the three raw edges and stitch the seam at 1/2".

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Finish the seam using your preferred method.

Turn the right way out and enjoy!!

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Saturday, 8 November 2014

Perfect Pattern Parcel 7 - Handbags, The Blog Tour! The Daphne Bag from Clover & Violet

Have you heard about Perfect Pattern Parcel? Its a fantastic initiative where you can purchase a wonderfully curated bundle of PDF patterns all from indie designers.

Pattern Parcel #7: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win

Each parcel is only available for a limited time and runs along a theme. You can buy the parcel for the price of your choosing! ALL, yes ALL of the profits go to a charity called Donors Choose which funds and supports educational projects in the US.

Parcel 7 is currently available and is a fantastic collection of bag patterns, perfect for those Christmas gift makes and there is such a great selection, from handbags, purses to overnight bags. AND this is the last pattern parcel of the year!

I jumped in with both feet when I saw one of Clover and Violets designs, The Daphne Bag, was in the parcel, I love their bags and they really appeal to the quilter in me!

Pattern Parcel #7: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win


Having made other Clover and Violets designs in the past I knew this would be a 'real' bag, not just a flimsy tote style bag. This is a proper handbag, with lots of great finishing details.

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I took the chance to use the patchwork panels on the bag to show of my treasured collection of Tula Pink fabrics, this way I get to have them with me all the time rather than just in the cupboard!


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I used Thermolam wadding for my bag rather than the interfacing and flannel combination suggested by the pattern. The Thermolam is great, adding a little bit of pouf and softness to the otter of the bag whilst still retaining some body and strength without being rigid. I do love Thermolam!

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I sourced my bag hardware from Bag Clasps, fantastic service and a great selection of products. The zip is from a great little ebay shop, I love a quirky little zip. I would have preferred a teal or green but the red is still fun and I couldn't resist it for the zipper pull!

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And the strap presented the perfect opportunity to use a precious half meter of Tula Pink ribbon I brought at FOQ in 2013.

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Thank you so much to the organisers and designers in Patten Parcel 7, if you want to go and grab your own parcel, do it here, remember the parcel is only available for 2 weeks!

Pattern Parcel #7: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win


Parcel #7 includes: 
Barcelona Bag and Wallet by Pat Bravo 
Butterfly Sling Purse by Emmaline Patterns 
Evelyn Hangbag by ChrisW Designs 
Midtown Messenger Bag by Betz White 
Betty Bowler by Swoon Sewing Patterns 
BONUS PATTERN: Daphne Bag by Clover & Violet 

Bonus Pattern:
Choose a price of $32 or greater for Parcel #7 and you will automatically also be sent the Bonus Pattern! That's just over $5 a pattern. The Bonus Pattern for this Parcel is the brand new Daphne Bag pattern from Clover & Violet. The Daphne is a slouchy satchel that can be worn cross body or as a shoulder bag. The zip top keeps your gear secure and the internal pockets keep your accessories where you need them. This is a brand new, never been seen before pattern and is an exclusive opportunity for Parcel #7 customers!

How Pattern Parcel Works: Here at Perfect Pattern Parcel, we believe in supporting independent pattern designers. It’s our opinion that indie patterns are just, well, better than big box patterns, and we’re pretty sure our customers think so too. So, we allow customers to show their support in naming their own price for each Parcel. We also encourage customers to allocate part of their Parcel price to the charity Donorschoose.org in order to help classrooms in need. Pattern Parcel donates all profits after expenses from Parcel sales to the charity as well. Its our goal to raise over $20,000 for Donors Choose this year.

Pattern Parcel #7: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win!

Pattern Parcel #7: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win

Parcel #4 Inspiration Tour Schedule:

Friday, November 7 Stitched || Sew Exhausted

Saturday, November 8 Made by Sara ||Oliver's Fancy || Strawberry Patch Ramblings

Sunday, November 9 from a box || Mia's Creations || MOMENTS

Monday, November 10 owen's olivia || While she was sleeping

Tuesday, November 11 Nutta || Radiant Home Studio || La Pantigana

Wednesday, November 12 Sew Fishsticks || Stacy Sews || Stitching Insane || GnomeAngel

Thursday, November 13 Needle and Ted || Patchouli Moon Studio || Sprouting JubeJube || The Crazy Tailor

Friday, November 14 Casa Crafty || A Jennuine Life || 'So, Zo... What do you know?'

Saturday, November 15 Stitches by Laura || Rebekah Sews || Serger Pepper

Sunday, November 16 Blogs Like A Mother || Vicky Myers creations || Blossom Heart Quilts

Monday, November 17 Shanni Loves || So Sew Easy || GYCT Designs || Tiger In A Tornado

Tuesday, November 18 The Nosy Pepper || Keep Calm and Carrion || There & Back || Sewing Sober

Wednesday, November 19 Sew Like My Mom || Knot Sew Normal || Stacy Sews || sewVery

Thursday, November 20 Mimi's Mom || Our Family Four || shades of BOLD || Modern Handcraft

Friday, November 21 Shawnta Sews || Lulu & Celeste || Amanda Rose || Robin's Fabric Nest || House of Pinheiro

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Baggy Pouches

Baggy pouches.....saying that makes me think of that song with the line baggy trousers (I do hope someone else knows what on earth I am on about!)

Anyway, I am not here to fool around, no I haven't been quiet for so long only to come back and lark about. No, I mean business. And the order of business is to let you now about some splendiferous new patterns from the very talented Aneela Hoey.

A few weeks ago I had the immeasurable pleasure of pattern testing one of these new releases for her and I would like to share my efforts with you, because quite frankly I blimmin love them!


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Its been hard keeping these beauties quiet and out of my Instagram pictures for the past few weeks, I put them into action the moment they were finished!

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I love the superfly tips Annela gives on utilising those machine embroidery stitches you try to forget you have (come on admit it, you know you ignore them). It was fun trying out different combos and I am head over heels with the ones I used on the yellow Heather Ross pouch.

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I used a beautiful charcoal grey 100% silk thread from Au Ver A Soie, it stitched so perfectly! Aneela has great pointers on how to line them up evenly with the curved top of the pouch and I couldn't resist adding in a little leather tab. Seriously, I seem to be putting these on everything lately!

Talking about the curved top, the shape of the pouches are perfection, I love that they are different from that standard boxed corner zippy pouch. They make you look oh so clever with their fancy shaping but really it is so straightforward and simple.

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There are two sizes included in the pattern, the large is wonderfully roomy, holding two full cakes of yarn for my first foray into colour work knitting. I used Thermolam fleece for my pouches, it gives great structure and body to the pouch without adding any stiffness.

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And thats not all, the clever lady also has two more patterns out too. I know they will be perfect for the organised person and the person who is not so organised who could use some help! Go and check them all out here!

Monday, 13 October 2014

As seen on TV!

I made my TV debut last week on the very first episode of Craft Daily TV!




If you caught it you would have found me instructing you on how to make a simple no-pattern gathered skirt. Part two airs today at 10:30am UK time and can be viewed on Sky channel 192 or Freesat channel 402 as well as being streamed live on the Craft Daily TV website at the same time.

There were some great beginners crochet tips last week, along with a fab introduction to english paper piecing hexagons from Elizabeth Betts. Expect more exciting craft tutorials this week too. If you miss the show it is repeated again on Thursday evenings at 7pm.

I had a great time last week at the launch party for the show, wearing my new Tula Pink Prince Charming Emery dress which I had made the weekend before during my sewing retreat at a gorgeous cottage deep in the Devonshire countryside, 3 days of eating, sewing, sleeping and a lot of laughter! Here is a classic bathroom mirror selfie, just for you my lovely readers! (you can see how I feel about the selfie from that comical look on my face, born 20 years too late to grasp the automatic reflex to pout and press a button at the same time without looking stupid!)

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Some lovely people even tweeted to let me know they have seen me on the big screen at the Knitting and Stitching show at Ally Pally this weekend. Needless to say I am investigating bodyguards already for fear I will be mobbed at sewing events. Chuckle.

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I am really grateful to FW Media for the opportunity to be a part of this exciting new venture, it was such a blast to work on. Teaching is something I am so passionate about, I love being able to pass on my knowledge to others and ignite that spark of excitement when they realise they can do it, and they love it! 

Speaking of teaching, I have a busy Autumn term of classes on the local quilt shop circuit underway already, it is such fun going out and seeing all the ladies! I also have a few more magazine commissions to work on, but the bulk are now done and dusted and awaiting publication. Which means soon I should have time for a new blog tutorial! I have had an idea up my sleeve for ages and I promise just as soon as I have time and a nice sunny day I will get that one on here for you all.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Craft Daily UK

Less than a week to go now until the launch of the UK's first instructional craft TV channel. Find it on Sky channel 192 and Freesat 402 or watch online here.

Launching on the 6th October at 10:30am.

You can find me in Episode 1!





Brought to you by the experts at F + W, the largest craft media group in the world, each craft daily episode will present an unparalleled hour of high-quailty 'How-To' craft instruction in an entertaining magazine format.

On Craft Daily, world class teachers and demonstrators will explore the nation's favourite crafts - from sewing, embroidery and quilting to knitting and crochet, paper craft and more - with techniques, tips and tutorials to help viewers gain confidence and learn new skills.

Craft TV......Craft Now.....Craft Daily!

Oh, and of course, Craft with Me!

Friday, 12 September 2014

Love Sewing Magazine Feature

In shops now, Love Sewing Magazine issue 5 - featuring my dresden footstool pattern!



As you can see, I am pretty pleased with being featured! Expect lots more of me in print, I have already been given six more article commissions to work on, yeah!