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"