Saturday, 19 October 2013

Better late than never! (This blog post...not the quilts!)

Jacob and Oscar's quilts are done. And they are just gorgeous! Bright and cheerful, which is perfect for the dreary Autumn weather which has descended upon us! 

I adapted the same pattern (Framed by Camille Roskelly, from her book Simply Retro)for both quilts. It is the perfect pattern to use for showcasing the motifs from special clothes. 

Each quilt had a "star" item. Jacob's had the rainbow onesie and Oscar's had the lion onesie and I used these as inspiration for the backs.

Let it be said, I LOVE these quilt backs!! I can't pick a favourite. They are just so bright and cheery

Each quilt has it's owners name on the back, pieced from scraps of clothes...again, LOVE!!!

I feel so lucky that I get to take these clothes and all the precious memories they hold and create something lasting from them. Not only because I love doing it, but also because I love seeing how much it means to the moms. What better way to keep all those baby memories fresh than with a nice warm quilt to snuggle under?!

I hope you enjoy your snuggles Jacob and Oscar! 

Lisa x 

Thursday, 3 October 2013


Gracey is a special little person who I haven't met yet. She is the new baby of a good friend of mine and my best friend's brother! 

When she was born, I was super excited! I have 2 boys, most of my friends have boys and most of the memory quilts I've made have been for boys! So the fact that there was a new girl on the block (even if that block is in faraway South Africa) was exciting cos it meant I could make something pretty! 

I had a few Posy mini charm packs sitting in my stash and knew they were the perfect choice! I love all the colourways and prints.

I have stitched them into a simple checkerboard design and added a panel with her name embroidered onto it. I used Sarah over at FairyFace Design's tutorial for some great tips on hand embroidering and love the extra something special it brings to a quilt.

All I have to do now is add the sashing and baste, bind and quilt it. Hopefully that will happen in the next few weeks.

Thanks for stopping by, 

Lisa x

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

where does the time go?

I can't believe it's nearly October...less than 100 sleeps 'til Christmas! Where has the year gone? There still seems so much to do and so much sewing to complete! 

With that in mind, here are 2 lovely little quilts I'm working on at the moment.

They are the smallest ones I've made so far, measuring 70cm square, and so have gone together super quick! Each panel is the front of a baby t-shirt or onesie with special memories for that child! Love it!

I have used a pattern from Camille Roskelley's book Vintage Modern. It's a great book. Her instructions are so clear and the photo's just make me want to make everything! But as I much to little time!

I foundation pieced the names using scraps and I love how they turned out! 

I've pieced one of the quilt backs and will get the other one done's going to be rainbow strips. Then "all" that's left to do is applique the names on, baste, quilt and bind!

Check in next week and see them finished!

Linking up to WIP wednesday at Freshly Pieced! Hello everyone!

Have a great Wednesday!

Lisa x

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Labelled, rolled, delivered...They're done!

On Thursday I delivered two gorgeous quilts to a very nervous/excited Mummy and her 2 boys.

These quilts have been a huge learning curve for me...not in technique or sewing skills, but in time and the severe lack of it during the school summer break! Boy did I underestimate how little sewing I'd get done! 

Fortunately for me, Zoe is a very understanding lady! 

I love these quilts! A large part of why I make memory quilts is the history in each item of clothing and what they represent to the parent and child. Zoe actually delayed our initial meeting because she was having trouble "prioritising" the memories in each item, as most of the clothes had been worn by both of her boys. I was really touched by just how much thought went into each and every piece of clothing. She was super emotional handing things over and equally excited with each update I sent.

Each quilt was a simple grid with rectangles, squares and small squares. I quilted them with simple vertical lines. 

I love that they are actually quite mature quilts, even though they have been made for 2 young boys. 

I am particularly pleased with the binding on these quilts! Binding is my least favourite part of making a quilt. Well it was, until I stumbled across Rita of Red Pepper Quilts' Binding tutorial. Do yourself a favour if you struggle with machine binding...go and have a look! I have a long way to go before I am anywhere near the perfection of her binding, but I am on my way and certainly heaps more confident than I was this time last month!

Personalising quilts is always fun and I always try to do something different. For these 2 I foundation pieced each letter and then appliqued them down onto the plain grey quilt back. I love how they turned out! 

I hope you love your new quilts Ben and Adam, your Mummy put a lot of love into choosing the memories that went into them, and I put a lot of love into each little stitch that made them!

Lisa x

Friday, 30 August 2013

Nia's cushions

Nia is a friend of mine who has been nanny to another friend (Tanya) of mine's children for the past few years. We have spent a lot of time together and she truly is a special person. As Tanya's kids are now getting older and are starting school the time has come for Nia to move on and share her love with a new family (sniff!)

Tanya asked me to make something for Nia that she could look back on when she is old and grey and remember Michael and Megan, and that also shows how much they appreciate all she's done for them.

So, I thought...cushions! 

Cushions with handprints! And a message on the back! 

Tanya did some handprints with the kids and I sourced fabric that you can print onto and the image doesn't wash out! Exciting? YES!!!!!
I scanned the handprints and printed them onto the fabric using my inkjet simple! I was super pleased with the results! The detail is amazing!


I decided to go for a simple grey/white theme as the handprints and their border were quite bright. I bought some scrap packs from Karen at Blueberry Park a while ago and they were perfect! For those of you who don't know about Karen, do yourself a favour and go and have a look at her website. She screen prints her own fabrics and also quilts and sews gorgeous products! 
pink handprint from Megan

blue handprint from Michael

I was so pleased with the front of these cushions! They turned out just as I had pictured them in my head! Yay!

Then it was onto the backs. Tanya and Nia are both Welsh. They can both speak it too which always amuses me as it's such a sing-songy language! Tanya wanted a simple message to personalise each cushion with the welsh link there too. So we decided on a simple...

Thanks! Love, Michael xxx

Thanks! Love, Megan xxx

I embroidered these messages with my own 2 hands! Oh yes I did! Thanks to this great tutorial from Sarah at Fairyface Designs.
I have a long way to go before my embroidery is quite as good as hers, but I was pretty impressed!

I am really pleased with these 2 cushions and hope that Nia will enjoy them for many years to come!

Thanks for stopping by!

Lisa x

Wednesday, 21 August 2013


I have several projects on the go...all of which need to be done fairly soon. 

Firstly, my 2 memory quilts are all quilted and ready to be bound. Hopefully I can get that done by the end of the weekend! I'll be sad to see these go, but at the same time I'm pleased they're nearly done. I completely underestimated how little I'd get done over the summer. Thank goodness the friend I am making them for is understanding and in no rush to have them! 

threads waiting to be tucked away.

just hanging around...waiting to be bound.
Next on the list is a quilt for a new baby girl called Gracie. She was born a few weeks ago to a dear friend of mine and my best friend's brother! So she is very special in the new baby rankings! I have recently started using the Threadbias Design Tool, and quite like it. What do you use? Are there any simple to use programs that don't cost the earth that I should know about? 

It seems that most of the quilts I make are "boy quilts" and as much as I love them I've been needing to make something pretty! Enter Posy by Aneela Hoey! It's so girly and I am loving it! 

I'm using 3 mini-charm packs to create a super simple white and Posy patchwork...I don't want to over complicate things.

It's coming together quickly, but not quite as quickly as I would like! I need a few uninterrupted hours to get it done.[read...I need school to go back!] My boys are super independent, but at 4 and 2 they still need a lot of supervision! How do you get sewing done with little people around?

Linking up to the lovely Lee at Freshly Pieced. 

See you next week! Hopefully with a few less WIP's! 

Lisa x

Thursday, 15 August 2013

A bit of this + a bit of that = seemingly not very much done!

It's been a funny old week. Summer holidays are taking their toll on what little time I have to sew and I can't seem to get anything done! 

Having said that, I have got an order for 2 cushions and also, 2 baby quilts. So it's not all bad.

I spent yesterday deciding on fabric for the new quilts. FUN!! I love starting a new project. Everything is fresh and new and exciting! 

Quilt one is going to be made up of multi-coloured clothes with a rainbow backing.
Quilt two is going to be made up of predominantly blue clothes with a blue ombre backing. 

I can't wait to get started, but I have to finish the Berryman Boys' quilts first. I just have to bind them, so almost done! 

 I have a gorgeous little stack of shwe-shwe fat quarters that I bought last time I was at home (Cape Town, South Africa). They are printed in lovely reds, oranges, greens, pinks and golds as well as the traditional indigo and I've been waiting for the perfect project to use them.

Enter...Swoon by Camille Roskelley. Everybody in the quilting world seems to have made a Swoon Quilt, except me. Well not for long. I don't know when I'm going to find the time, but I am going to make an African Swoon!

Finally...thanks so much to all of you for your advice about the varying stitch lengths. I think it was getting caught/stuck on my extension table. Simple things hey?! 

That just about sums up a very disjointed week sewing wise. How do you manage to get sewing done during the holidays? Any clever tricks gladly accepted!

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Work in Progress Wednesday... I've been following WIP over at Freshly Pieced for a while now, and today is the day I'm going to join the party. I figure it'll be a good way of keeping tabs on myself and the progress I'm making.

I don't have all my "works in progress" out to photograph at the moment, but there are a few (read a lot!) of them. Quilts, cushions, bibs, burp goes on and on. 

My primary WIP for this week is a lovely memory quilt for a sweet boy called Benjamin...and one for his brother Adam. 

Please excuse the train track and shoes in this shot!

I basted Ben's quilt on Monday and started quilting when this happened! 

I have a new needle, a clean machine and my walking foot...some stitches are perfect (on the right), while others are teeny tiny! I don't know why! If anybody can help I would appreciate the advice!

So I've unpicked the offending line of quilting and am going to have another go later! Just straight lines, nothing too stressful.

Wish me luck!

Monday, 5 August 2013

Octonauts T-shirt

So, my first born turned 4 last month! F-O-U-R!! Seriously! That is ridiculous! Anyway, he wanted an Octonauts themed birthday party...what self-respecting 4 year old boy wouldn't right!? 

So Mom set to work! The first thing I did was delegate the cake making to my very talented friend who came up with this! How amazing is that!?

I spent the weeks before wondering what I could do instead of the usual party bag business...I really begrudge having to spend money on rubbish that (lets be honest here) most kids look at for about 3 seconds and then never touch again! 

So I hit Pinterest! And found a brilliant tutorial for making t-shirt designs. 

Alas, I can't find the link now ('cos I'd like to give credit where credit is due), but I'll do my best to show you how it's done!

It really is very simple. All you need is a t-shirt, some freezer paper, some fabric paint, a sponge or roller and an iron.

You start by tracing your design onto the freezer paper and cutting it out. I used a blade for this. 

Then, iron your template onto the t-shirt wax side down.

Grab your fabric paint and paint over your template. Make sure you put something in between the layers of the t-shirt to stop any paint seeping through.

Leave these to dry for the time specified on your paint. Add another layer of paint if necessary.

When the paint is dry, pull off all bits of freezer paper, leaving your design! The fabric paint I used required that you press the paint with a hot iron to finish off.

And ta-daaaaa...a gorgeous party favour! The kids loved them!

Fin's Cushion

So the sweet little person that inspired me to make my first quilt (a whole other story!) has just been christened. What do you get a little person on their christening day? I wanted to give something that he (and his parents) would know had been chosen with love. 

As he already has the FIRST QUILT I EVER MADE, I decided to make him a cushion. I wanted something simple, but interesting. So I settled on "sweet pea" from Camille Roskelley's book Simplify

I chose some red, white and blue fabrics all with stars, dots and stripes and got cutting!

It came together really quickly, both because of the simplicity of the pattern and also because of the seemingly random way the blocks are pieced.

I quilted the cushion top with randomly spaced horizontal and vertical lines. I really love how it turned out! 

Finished size 40" x 40" 


Wednesday, 12 June 2013

The Windsor Emporium

Let me start by saying... 

I am officially crap at blogging! The days just seem to pass by in a blur and I realise I haven't posted anything...AGAIN! 

But anyway, let me tell you about my first experience at a market. 

I finally bit the bullet and decided to get a stand at The Windsor Emporioum. What a grand setting for a market! In the Guildhall, right next to the castle, looked down on by huge portraits of Kings and Queens.

I spent a few weeks before sewing my little heart out, trying to get enough bits to have for sale. The fact that I make memory quilts poses a bit of a problem in that I can't make them ahead of time. So I borrowed Callum's Quilt back from him for the day. I made up some cushions, embroidery hoop pictures and had 4 other quilts for sale too.

I was super excited by the time the first Sunday in June came around and ready to go and sell everything I had! 

Unfortunately, it was the first proper hot, sunny day in Windsor so everybody wanted to be outside...NOT looking at lovely handcrafted items INSIDE! It was very quiet. I had quite a few people have a look and ask questions, several of whom took a card, but that was all. Nothing sold. Nothing. At all. 
Nobody else really sold anything either though, so that made me fell better!

I did learn a lot and met some lovely people! And ate a lot of very nice cake (what else can you do when you're bored and there's lovely cake about? It would have been rude not to!)

I am planning on going to another Windsor Emporium in a few months time...maybe stop by and say Hi!