13 August 2014

Love is all you need......
















Last week was all about my brothers wedding, it was without doubt, apart from own, the most emotional wedding that I have ever been too..... I laughed, I cried but most of all I felt such a feeling of joy that they they had found each other......  
It was very much a homemade wedding, Leigh and Paul spent hours working on all the finishing touches, Mum made metres and metres of bunting and table runners and I made the cake (don't look to close!).  I very last minute made my dress, I used my favourite pattern and the blue floral from the Country Girls collection and after deciding it was a little too short added a frill in the navy polka dot by Sevenberry.  For my flower brooch I used a combination of Pam Kitty Ping Pong, with the polka dot and a lovely mother of pearl vintage button from my button tin.  Poppy looked gorgeous in her dress, which I made back here and she did lots of twirling, so I think it was a success!

So after a completely amazing day, most sensible people would have had a quiet day after, but no not Mum and I, we boarded a coach at 7.45am and headed off to the NEC for the Festival of Quilts.  Now I would like to say that I have lots of photo's to share, but to be honest I failed on the blogging front as I forgot to take both my Ipad and camera....doh!!!  It was however brilliant....there were so many beautiful quilts on show, so inspiring.  If your on Instagram, pop in the hastag #foq and you'll be able to get a taste.

On the shopping front I was very restrained, I did however finally get my hands on a copy of Quilty Fun by Lori Holt, which as regular readers will no is one of my favourite bloggers.

On Sunday I couldn't resist making a little project from the book and pulled some of my favourite 30's florals, plus a little Tilda and made the bee block, which I turned in to a little mini quilt, with the addition of some pretty lace and flower wooden buttons......
On the back I added some little pockets at the top corners so that a dowel can be inserted for hanging.  The pretty yellow fabric is some vintage Laura Ashley which use to be curtains in my first flat 20 plus years ago.....I'm a terrible hoarder when it comes to fabric!

So I think that's me all caught up, but just to let you know we're off on our summer holidays on Friday for two weeks, so if you're planning on purchasing a parcel full of loveliness from the website and would like it sent before you go, we'll be packing right up until mid afternoon tomorrow.

See you soon!

1 August 2014

Hello Buttercup......








Sometimes (well quite often!) when a new fabric arrives for the website, I think I must have some of that..... So the other week when Sweet Home arrived I knew it was just a matter of time before I would have to make something out of it.  I was equally rather desperate and curious to have a go at the pre-printed panel to make Buttercup Bunny..... my opportunity came yesterday.....  Poppy was at Dance School for the day and Jamie, well he was in the land of Minecraft.   I grabbed a Fat Quarter of each of the prints from the collection and some yellow stripe from Unforgetable and settled myself down for some bunny making.......
This is the first time that I've used a panel like this, so I thought I would share the process with you, not a step by step tutorial as such, but hopefully some little helpful tips on how to get the best result.  The panel itself is printed with all the pieces that you need to make Buttercup, plus instructions on how to make her.  In addition to this you also need toy stuffing, 61cm of jumbo ric rac to trim the dress, 15cm x 20cm of both lightweight fusible fleece and heavy fusible interfacing, which are used in the construction of the ears.   Now as this was a spur of the moment thing I didn't have any fusible fleece, so I used fusible interfacing instead....more of that later.

The first step called for me to cut out all the pieces.  For the duration of the summer holidays, I have decamped my sewing machine into our conservatory, so that I can be on hand (which actually means keep and eye on) for the children.  With the current spell of excellent weather, I have every available window and door wide open, so I pinned the pieces together with the labels also printed on the panel, so that they didn't blow away, it was also very useful for limb identification purposes!
I could then start sewing.  The body was constructed first and I was instructed to leave an opening for each of the ears.  The position of these was marked on the fabric, but to make it extra clear I added some pins to help.  I should mention that a 1/4" seam allowance is included on all the pieces.
The ears themselves are made up of two pieces, a stripy front and a spotty back.  The pattern calls for fusible fleece to be adhered to the stripy front piece and heavy fusible interfacing to be adhered to the spotty back.  As I mentioned earlier I didn't have any fleece so I used the interfacing for both pieces, which has worked brilliantly, albeit I would imagine that the fleece would have given them a little plumpness.
As with all softies, the pieces tend to be rather small, so when it comes to turning them right side out and stuffing them I find a chop stick invaluable.  I've also seen other crafters use surgical forceps and tweezers to help them, although personally I've always got on fine with my trusty chop stick!

The Sweet Home collection is designed by Melly and Me who is not only a fabric designer she is also very well know for her softie toy patterns.  As a result, the instructions for Buttercup are extremely easy to follow and also include some top tips themselves.  For example when it came to filling the legs and arms, she recommends stuffing them firmly until you reach the top 2" and then stuff lightly.  The end result means that she is lovely and flexible, which makes her very endearing I must say!

Right back to Buttercup, not the most flattering of photo's, but once her legs had been attached and her body stuffed, the gap inbetween her legs is stitched closed using ladder stitch.  This is one of my favourite stitches for sealing closed stuffed items, such as hearts, cushions etc.  Once completed it is almost invisible....here's how you do it.....

I like to sew with a double strand of thread for added strength and I always bury my knot inside the opening.....

You then take the needle to the opposite side and insert it in the fold of the seam, bringing it back out a very short distance along......
 You then return to the original side, insert your needle bring it out as before a short distance along....
 you then simply repeat this process until the gap has been sewn closed.....

finally, pull the thread tight and you end up with a lovely neat closed seam.  The arms are also attached using ladder stitch.
 Once I've finished sewing and have knotted off securely, I also like to hide all my end threads inside.
When it came to the dress, again the instructions were super clear and easy to follow..... the dress itself is trimmed with jumbo ric rac.  This is sandwiched in between two layers of fabric (the skirt and lining) and so that I didn't have the ends showing on the outside of the dress I made sure that I positioned them away from the fabric, trimming away the excess before turning the skirt through to the right way.
A pretty tie fastens the dress and is threaded through a casing, a safety pin makes this process extremely quick and easy!

Before I knew Buttercup was ready to be cuddled and what a joy she was to sew.  Of course I couldn't just stop there...... I mean all bunnies need a quilt don't they!  To make this I cut out some 3 1/2" squares from the other fabrics from the collection and sewed them together in exactly the same way as I made the front and back pieces for my little patchwork bag

  For a change I crosshatched quilted and to finish added a binding using the pretty yellow diagonal stripe.

I thoroughly loved this little project and Buttercup Bunny is delightful.  Just before I started her, I was doing a little catch up of my favourite blogs.  By co-incidence, Jo over at Three Stories High had happened to have made the sweetest knitted teddy, she commented in her post how the face of a softie can make or break it.  I absolutely agree with her and one of the things I love about Buttercup, her face is so pretty and being printed is a guaranteed winner whoever ever makes her!



If you would like to have a go at making your very own Buttercup, the Panel plus a separate Fat Quarter bundle of the pretty Sweet Home fabrics are available with a 10% discount on the website until 8pm GMT on Monday evening (4th August).  Find them here, you'll also find all the fabrics listed individually in a choice of sizes so that you can pick just the right amount should you have another project in mind.

I hope that enjoyed reading and found some of my little tips useful, oh but look.........it's obviously hard work being a bunny......night night Buttercup.......