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

Friday, 19 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

Tuesday, 16 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

Monday, 8 September 2014

Find me on Facebook

So, I took the plunge and started up a Facebook Page. I hope you will come and say hello.

Bye for now, and happy sewing!

Hope x

Friday, 5 September 2014

Ella's Heart Quilt

I received a lovely email this morning from Sue, who has finished making a gorgeous twin size quilt using my ZigZag Love pattern. I just had to share it here (with permission of course). Look at all those hearts! Such bright, cheery colours, perfect for a little girl. A lot of time has gone into this quilt, and I dare say a lot of love. 

The quilt is for her baby granddaughter Ella. Lucky girl, I say, to have such a quilt to grow up with, and won't she feel special when she's old enough to appreciate how much time and effort went into it? 

Thanks so much Sue for sharing your quilt. 

Bye for now, and happy sewing!

Hope x 

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Pretty Little Pillow

It has been so long since I've popped in here, hasn't it? I'm still around, but life gets funny sometimes and blogging takes a back seat. I thought I would quickly share a photo of a pillow I made a little while ago to go with the doll quilt my niece and I sewed together.

The back is the same as the front, minus the heart. It was so fast to put together and required very little fabric. Just four 5" charm squares (two for each side), a strip of fabric and a heart (cut from fabric fused to some interfacing).

To stuff this sort of thing I use the innards of an old, lumpy pillow. I machine-washed it, then cut an opening in the end so I can reach in and pull out the stuffing. Great to have on hand for pin cushions, little stuffed toys and the like.

Bye for now, and happy sewing.

Hope x

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Why I Pre-Wash my Fabric - Part 2

Greetings! I made this little quilt with my niece on Monday for her 7th birthday. My sewing machine is still away, hopefully being fixed up, but I was lucky enough to borrow my Mum's sewing machine for the occasion. While we were making it I remembered that I was going to do a post on why else I pre-wash my fabric. (The first post is here.)

The little quilt, fresh out of the washing machine.
You see, when we were pressing the pieces, there was a smell. Not too overpowering while making such a little quilt, but not particularly nice. I think it must be from the chemicals that are used to treat the fabric in the manufacturing process, I don't know. It's something I notice whenever I use pre-cuts, which are the only fabrics I don't pre-wash. After a while I get a headache from it. I also find that I get sore eyes, and the skin on my hands can become irritated (which also happens when I handle new fabric purchases when I get them home).

Now, I have a sensitive nose, and sensitive skin, so this probably doesn't happen to everyone. For me though, it's definitely reason enough to pre-wash my fabric. Actually, I'm seriously contemplating pre-washing my pre-cuts now too.

Do you ever experience the same thing? Craftsy have a blog post on the subject, here. It's interesting to read through the comments at the end and see what people have to say on the matter.

Bye for now,

Hope x

P.S. By the way, the fabric we used is Domestic Bliss by Liz Scott for Moda. I'm not sure about the purple - there's nothing on the selvedge, and I've had it for years.