One-hour pyjama bottoms and a giveaway!

***GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED*** I'm so excited to be guest blogging over at Girl Charlee this week, with a tutorial for a really fast and easy pair of pyjama bottoms. I have about a million* pairs of these, and they are perfect for kids too. (*may be a slight exaggeration) As a celebration of all things comfy, Mark at Girl Charlee is giving away a generous 3 m cut of fabric to make your very own pair of pjs (or pairs, if you've got a small person to sew for). All you need to do is pop over to the Girl Charlee website and join the mailing list via the little box on the home page, then come back here and leave a comment so that I can enter you into the draw. The giveaway is open for a [Read more...]

Piping – you can do it!

I don’t know about you, but when I see a pattern that says “piping optional” I always think, “good, I’ll just leave it out”. Because what could be more of a hassle than making your own piping, right? But actually, making piping is really simple and well worth the time spent to add that perfect finishing touch. Piping is made of two components: piping cord and bias-cut strips of your accent fabric. The Super Tote calls for piping that is 1/2” finished, so I used 1/4” cord and 1 1/4” bias strips of linen to match the bag gusset. The extra 1/4” width of fabric is needed so that the piping finishes at 1/2” once it is wrapped around the cord. The first thing you need to do is identify the [Read more...]

Prettify your sewing machine! A sewing machine cover tutorial.

  My sewing machine came with a very uninspiring vinyl cover, which is practical but utterly depressing. This tutorial can be used to make a cover that either fits directly over your sewing machine or over the vinyl cover, whichever you prefer. You will need:   About 3/4 yard of outer fabric (I used yarn dyed Essex Linen in Flax) About 3/4 yard of lining fabric (I used Postage Due from Dowry) Batting or fusible fleece Two 6” (finished) patchwork blocks (I made a couple of churn dash blocks in Dowry/True Colors) 6” x w.o.f. for binding. To make the cover:   1. Measure your machine. You need to take three measurements: the circumference of the machine base; the height [Read more...]

Bee-friendly Courthouse Steps Tutorial

I love being (beeing, geddit?) part of an online quilting bee. It’s so lovely to sew for others and have them make blocks for you. Not to mention, you get access to a whole new range of fabrics that aren’t in your stash. The only fly in the ointment is the understandable and pretty much unavoidable inconsistency in block size that comes from even the tiniest person-to-person variation in seam allowance. It is my turn in Bee a Brit Stingy this month (hello, ladies!), and just to make things difficult for myself and/or everyone else I have decided on courthouse steps blocks, with a (hopefully) accuracy-ensuring method. So here you go – a bee-friendly 12.5” (unfinished) courthouse [Read more...]

Migration – a bee block

November is my month in the Stingy Bee, and I seem to have gone a little bit goose crazy.This 16” square block is made of three sizes of flying geese (1 x 2”, 2 x 4”, and 4 x 8” finished). Use the stitch-and-flip method to make four of the tiny geese, 19 medium geese and three large geese (and an extra reverse goose as a siggy block). And look, I’m getting all scientific and technical with my cutting instructions:I’d love the background fabrics to be as scrappy as possible (but each goose to have only one background, please), with shades of grey and white (solids, prints or subtle batiks), but no cream/ivory. The geese can be solids or prints (and batiks in moderation) in shades of lime, [Read more...]

Refraction block tutorial

April is my month in the FQR Kinky Bee, and I've chosen a simple (albeit rather huge block) that is pretty improvisational and hopefully a lot of fun to sew.The block gets its name from the way that the blue lines are shifted out of alignment by the addition of each section, just like the way a pencil looks broken when you put it in a glass of water. I really like that effect, which is convenient because trying to line the buggers up each time you add a new strip is a total pain.For one block (finished size about 22 x 14") you will need:22 x 13" background fabric (I used Kona medium grey)5 strips, each 1.5 x 22" (I used a selection of blues from a Kona FQ bundle)Using a ruler, cut the [Read more...]

Tea bag wallet tutorial

Here it is, a super fast and easy gift idea for all those weird herbal tea drinkers in your life. These take about 45 minutes from start to finish, including cutting time. Of course, if you are like me, you will spend considerably longer than that choosing your fabrics.You will needOuter – 6.5 x 7.5” fabric, 6.0 x 7.0” interfacingLining – 6.5 x 7.5” fabric, 6.0 x 7.0” interfacingPocket 1 – 5.5 x 7.5” fabric, 4.5 x 7.0” interfacingPocket 2 – 4.5 x 7.5” fabric, 3.5 x 7.0” interfacingPocket 3 – 3.5 x 7.5” fabric, 2.5 x 7.0” interfacingApproximately 18” of coordinating ribbon.Seam allowance 1/4” throughout.InstructionsFuse interfacing to wrong side of outer and lining [Read more...]

Kindle cover tutorial!!

As promised, here is a tutorial for the Kindle cover I made the other day. Please let me know if anything is confusing or if you have any questions.This holder was designed to fit a Kindle Paperwhite (6 5/8” x 4 5/8”) but can be adapted for other tablets/readers. Just measure your device and adjust the dimensions as necessary. Cut: Pocket/holder5.5 x 8.0” – two each of fabric and fusible interfacing, one of fusible fleece Closure2.5 x 3.5” – two each of fabric and fusible fleece Main body11.25 x 8.0" – one each of outer, lining, fusible interfacing and fusible fleece You will also need:Magnetic snapTwo elastic hair bandsTwo pieces of plastic canvas, each 4.5 x [Read more...]

Wrapping up the Pervalong

Well, that's it - the official Pervalong schedule is now complete. The flickr group will of course stay open for questions, and I would really love to see any other quilts that get finished. I have loved hosting this quiltalong, and watching all the beautiful and varied versions being made has been so fantastic. Thank you all for sewing along with me - I hope you have enjoyed it!I wish that I could send prizes to everyone that linked up, but Mr Random has dictated that the first prize of a Kona roll-up in the bright colourway goes to... (insert dramatic pause here) ...Gemma L (Silver Fox Cub).The second prize (generously sponsored by The Village Haberdashery) of a Field Study charm pack [Read more...]

Pervalong – border 2 and finishing your quilt top

This week in the Pervalong we will be adding the outer border (border 2), which is made up of 20 squares. There are a few things to note before you start piecing this section (look at me getting all fancy with the bullet points!):If you are planning on binding your quilt with your outermost fabric, please be sure to set aside your binding strips before you cut any bits for piecing.Because these blocks are significantly larger than the others you will actually need to press each seam with an iron as you stitch, rather than finger pressing.Some of the squares (11, 12, 14, 16 and 19) include seams that are not strictly necessary. I like to include them to add interest to an otherwise largish [Read more...]