Thursday, 22 January 2015

Valentine Hearts

With Valentine's Day coming up, I thought it would be fun to make a new version of my ZigZag Love quilt. I've had this idea for quite some time now, curious to see what a more bold and simple colour scheme would do to the look of the quilt.

Here are the original and the new version together. Quite a difference, don't you think?

The hearts on my new version finish at three inches. It's still a work in progress, as I am yet to decide whether to make it a little quilt to hang, or a cushion cover. Either way, this will be the backing:

If you'd like to make a zigzag heart quilt of your own, you can find the pattern in my Craftsy store, here. There are several sizes included in the pattern, as well as instructions on how to make a heart in any size you choose. And as ever, I'm just an email away if you need any help.

Bye for now, and happy sewing!

Hope x

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Scrumptious! Zigzag Run Table Runner

Hello! 2015 is well under way, so I thought it was about time I shared the very last thing I sewed in 2014 - my Zigzag Run pattern made up in Scrumptious by Bonnie & Camille for Moda.

These fabrics give the runner such a different look to the original, and I love it. In some lights it appears quite soft, in other lights very vibrant. Such pretty fabrics.

I chose a green polka dot I had on hand for the backing, and quilted in an all-over meander. Very simple and very quick! Another aid to a speedy finish was sewing the binding on entirely by machine. I do love how fast it is, but still prefer the look of a hand-finished binding.

The binding fabric is a print from Botany by Lauren + Jessi Jung for Moda.

I didn't make the place mats included in the pattern. I have other plans for the triangles left from this runner, and have sewn them together in pairs by colour.

Watch this space!

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Thank you x

Happy New Year! I really do hope it is happy for you, and full of wonderful experiences, fun, love and good health.

I would like to say a big thank you to those who have supported me over the past year or so, by purchasing my patterns, posting lovely comments or sharing your quilts with me. It means so much to know that people actually want to make their own versions of my patterns. I still pinch myself sometimes. Thank you x x

2014 didn't go quite to plan, but still I'm happy to have 4 patterns for sale now, and 3 mini quilt block patterns available for free. I plan to bring out more of both this year, and also provide some ideas on what to use your mini blocks for. I have so many quilt designs and ideas in my head, on paper, drawn up on the computer... the hardest part is knowing where to begin!

So, here's to a good year, a productive year doing what we love!

See you soon x

Friday, 12 December 2014

Christmas Reflections - Runner and Mini Pattern

A while back I made this table runner from some red and aqua fabrics I had in my cupboard. It was a spur of the moment thing. :) I designed it to fit a certain space in our dining room which is teal and aqua. It's called Christmas Reflections, which was my Mum's idea.

The runner was quick to cut and sew, and the little bit of applique was so relaxing to sit and stitch. I had so much fun quilting it. It's supposed to look a bit like snow falling from clouds and settling between the trees. 

The space between the stars and tree trunks had me stumped for a while, but after a sketching a few options, I went for this long swirl design, and I like it! The scale is tiny. There's just a couple of millimetres between the lines of quilting. 

Prior to any quilting on the runner though, I made a little mini quilt to trial a design on. I got VERY frustrated quilting this because my thread kept breaking. I think it was because I had the feed dogs down... It may sound odd, but my machine seems to prefer free-motion quilting with the feed dogs up and my stitch length set to zero. I've had no trouble with thread breaking since. 

The reason there are some wavy lines in with the swirls is because of that thread-break issue. I thought the thread might cope better with lines than swirls. I was wrong though - it still broke. 

The pattern for this runner AND the mini quilt (all in the one pattern) is now available in my Craftsy store, here

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Wander Through the Woods - A New Pattern

I am so excited to tell you that I've just published my newest pattern!

Wander Through the Woods is a jelly roll friendly lap quilt or wall hanging, full of pine trees that zigzag their way across the quilt. It's put together in rows, there are no triangles to cut, and no points to match (though you will want to be careful not to cut off the tops of the trees) - easy, right?

Made up in Christmas fabrics it's the perfect quilt for the festive season, but it would also work well at any time of year with a change of fabric. I'd love to see a whimsical version in cute fabrics full of fairies, mushrooms, and woodland creatures.

As well as the main quilt pictured, I've designed multiple variations all at the same lap size, 40.5 x 48.5 inches, plus there's a mini 12.5" square version, all included in the pattern with fabric requirements and instructions. One of my favourites is the ombré version:

And of course the mini:

I've really worked hard to make this pattern great value, and have written it with the beginner in mind. There are diagrams galore, tips and tricks for better accuracy, quilting suggestions and illustrations, full binding instructions... plus I show you how to make your trees whatever size you like.

I do hope you'll give the pattern a go. It really is a fun quilt that doesn't take all that long to make, and honestly is quite easy to sew. It's available now on Craftsy.

Let me know what you think!

Happy Sewing,

Hope x

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Waste Not, Want Not - Storage

I was cleaning up my sewing area today ready for the next WIP to be finished, and needed something to put my little binding clips in. So I rummaged a bit in my stock of 'might come in handy' items, and found a little Shrek lolly tin that I've had for maybe 7 or 8 years. Perfect! It got me thinking about the rest of my sewing storage solutions, and I was struck by how much is made up of re-purposed packaging. See?

My patchwork pins, the fine ones I use when piecing, are in a little pudding cup that had tiramisu in it. My basting pins (thicker flower head pins, not safety pins) are in a Pringles tube.

A project I am cutting out is kept organised in a (very well washed) meat tray and the little trimmings (which I keep - I'll tell you why another time) are put in the lid of a Ferrero Rocher box. The small, usable off-cuts from my Farmer's Wife Sampler are in a larger Ferrero Rocher box.

I store my sewing patterns in the plastic zip-top bags that some bed sheets came in, and hang them in my cupboard.

My cross stitch patterns and aida are in a sturdy plastic bag from a clothing store. My buttons are in a mustard jar.

I try my best to be "eco-friendly" in all that I do - though I don't always succeed - and that includes my sewing. Every purchasing decision I make is done after a long internal dialogue that weighs so many different considerations (mostly environmental and financial) it's a wonder I ever buy anything. I don't buy pretty storage. I never used to give it as much thought, so I do have some pretty storage items, but these days I make do.

I love the pictures of sewing rooms with all the pretty baskets, matching jars, decorative boxes... but I am lucky enough to have a cupboard to pack the 'less-than-pretty' things away into, so I'm more concerned with function than form. I can always pretty them up a bit if I choose, but I doubt I will.

And you? What do you use to store your sewing odds and ends in? Do you also hoard potentially useful packaging and find the perfect use for it years later? :)

Bye for now,

Hope x

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Sneak Peek

I have been working on a new pattern and it's almost ready for release. Just a bit more proof-reading to go, and it'll be done! Here is a sneak peek:

Trees, trees and more trees! I hope you'll like it.

Bye for now - I hope to be back soon with all the details.

Happy Sewing!

Hope x