Quilted cushion

Boy the weeks are flying by now I am back at work after maternity leave, I decided this week I really needed to make a concerted effort with sewing because my machine was gathering up some serious dust. So in stepped the patchwork cushion cover from love patchwork and quilting magazine, the pattern is by the very talented Ali from very Berry handmade.co.uk

Here is my effort

  

It is funny because if you follow me on Facebook you would have seen that I was not sure on the pink with the lime green but I ended up loving that colour combo but disliking the center panel, it just doesn’t seem to fit in with the other fabric. 

This cushion held some more firsts for me, my first lined cushion and my first bias binding. 

   
 

After not absolutely loving my fabric choices I decided to make some more cushions but with different fabric. 

  
These are similar in colour to the cushion I have just made but the prints are less busy so fingers crossed. 

  
My other choice I am not so confident in, I am dithering over the green. What do you think? What colour would you replace it with?

A finished Quilt or is it a blanket?

I have finally finished my oldest sons quilt! I may have started this when he was a toddler but he will start big school (primary school) in September! I am blaming time for how long this one took, has anyone else noticed how quickly time has been passing recently… In the last 2 years… ? I swear it is not my fault projects seem to take so long.

But here is my first ever finished quilt

On his bed already
On his bed already

Now technically this may not be a quilt as it has no wadding/batting and is not really quilted. It has a fleece back and the front is patchwork made from my sons baby clothes.

Now I am proud of this for several reasons:

1. It is my first ever FINISHED as in COMPLETED quilt!

2. It has appliqué on it in three different places and I can count on one hand how many times I have attempted appliqué.

Appliqué

Appliqué monstersApplique3. Because my son loved it.

A bit of everything

So what have I been up to? Quite a lot actually!

On the baking front, We (I do all my baking with my son, he picks out what we make) made these yummy strawberry cakes

Strawberry cupcakesStrawberry cupcakes

This was my first time using a piping bag and the outcome was well worth the extra washing up. Do you have a favourite cupcake recipe? If you do let me know we are always on the look out for reasons to bake cakes!

We also had mothers day where I got this gorgeous plant from my son

Mothers day plantAND we had a couple of nights away at Legoland, it was not planned we had all been unwell and this was the first time both my boys were unwell at the same time and it went on for about two weeks and it was all quite overwhelming really so we just felt we needed a break, there was many other reasons as well including the fact that I have to return to work soon boo hoo.

Legoland ride Now if you have no children you may want to stop reading now because I am going to be gushing about Legoland and if you do not have any children I could imagine it would be quite boring.

Well where do I start? Whilst expensive staying in the hotel was well worth it, my son was just blown away by everything, the pirate room which had pirate bunk beds (As a side note to parents the room was clean, we could not fault it) They left a mini treasure hunt for my son which was really fun for him to do as we unpacked and the hotel itself was just WOW all I kept thinking was if this had been around when I was a kid I would have been amazed and speechless which I rarely was by all accounts. Also again whilst expensive the food was very good and there was a lot of choice. My views may be slightly tainted as we was able to go Sunday to Tuesday whilst the schools were still in so the place was relatively quiet on the Monday the longest we queued for a ride was 5 minutes. Before I forget the hotel entertainment was just great as well my son had so much fun he didn’t want to leave. So Legoland gets a definite thumbs up.

Again I have been doing bits and bobs in sewing, I have a draw string bag to show off and an almost finished quilt top as well as some more patchwork blocks to show off so hopefully I will be back soon with an update and some pretty pictures.

Quilt block boot camp

At the start of the year I joined the Facebook group quilt block boot camp. Little did I know how much I would enjoy the challenge, patchwork is fast becoming my favourite thing to do.

Patchwork heart

Patchwork heart

I am always a little behind as I write this I have just finished last week’s and this weeks so I am all up to date until tomorrow when another one comes out.

Patchwork block

Cat patchwork block

My personal favourite so far
My personal favourite so far

I have been so behind on everything because both of my boys were quite unwell so much so I was falling apart a bit and started to feel sorry for myself and wondering how much more I could take but then I just gave myself a mental kick up the bottom because of course things could be a lot worse. I have a lovely husband who helps out around the house, two beautiful boys (if I do say so myself) and we are all usually pretty healthy. I am glad to say both boys are on the mend and my kick up the backside made me realise I have a lot to be appreciative of even when things are a bit chaotic!

Pinwheel

Patchwork block

Have a think about it, what are you grateful for?

Baby make

I have a friend who is pregnant and wanted to make something for the baby on the way but I was not sure what until I decided on burp cloths. With all the materials in I cracked on with it, I had looked up some tutorials but it is all quite straight forward so decided to make my own size/shape. The mother to be is very petite (read: Shortie) so I decided not to make them too big and also decided to make them rectangular, I had thought about a kidney bean sort of shape but the expectant mother does not live close by so decided to go with a safe option as I do not want it to be too big.

Without further a do here is what I ended up with I have only made two so far but wanted to get some other sort of cute fabric to mix it up a bit, which hopefully will happen this week…..

Burp clothBurp cloth

Now all I need to do is see how they wash up before I send them out to her, fingers crossed and wish me luck!

Sew Along

I had decided to follow a sew along this year, a patchwork one that would help me improve on my skills and learn new things and after a great amount of searching the net I settled on Pat Sloan’s sew along.

It is a mystery BOM (block of the month) and I have completed January!

Just look at this beauty, she may not be perfect but I was so pleased with it.

Pat Sloan block of the month

I learnt HST (Half square triangles) Which I had never attempted before and heard of a scant 1/4 inch seam for the very first time. I completed my block before hearing about this little tip unfortunately but hey I like the little block warts and all.

Not quite as pointy as I would like
Not quite as pointy as I would like

If you wanted to take part in a sew along I would say this is a good one to try, the instructions are very detailed and easy to follow I can only imagine how much work Pat put in to it.

The cherry on the icing (yes there is more!) comes in the form of her sew along facebook group, it is huge yet everyone is just so lovely which can be unfortunately so rare. Not only do you get lots of inspiration from every ones quilts you also get a sneak peek at sewing rooms, advice and very beautiful scenic views- boy there is a huge amount of snow in some places at the minute!

If you liked the sound of the sew along you can get more information Here.

Fabric, Fabric and more fabric

Well I may have gone a little crazy with buying fabric this month. I bought from four different online shops, yes you read that right FOUR! I would say I need help, send me to fabric rehab (There is a shop by that name by the way) but I don’t want to have to stop buying fabric it is just too much fun.

So without further a do….

IMG_2079

fabric

textile

I have more fabric but I seem to have lost the pictures! I will just have to get all the fabric out again tomorrow and take more, there is nothing like looking a fabric don’t you think?

Christmas cushion….

Now I am either really late for 2014 or really early for Christmas 2015, I will leave it up to you to decide!

HOWEVER I like to see this as the new more organised me and that I am smashing my new years resolutions already…

I finally finished my Christmas cushion

Patchwork
Patchwork

This is really special to me for several reasons

firstly because I have only ever done the bog standard square patchwork and this is not just squares.

Patchwork cushion

secondly, I adjusted a pattern to suit what I wanted and I have never attempted to adjust a pattern before. I am in love with the magazine QuiltNow and this cushion is adjusted from their christmas wishes cushion in issue 4. Talking of the magazine if you have not picked it up before run down to the shops now and pick up a copy it is full of inspiration and has loads of different projects at all different skill levels so even a relative newbie like me can find something to try.

He wanted to be in a picture and when I said no I got this little face!
He wanted to be in a picture and when I said no I got this little face!

and last but not least this is the first time I have ever put a zipper in a cushion!

Told you I was smashing those new years resolutions, one of which is to learn new skills…..

This also takes a project off of my to do pile, I tell you my shoulders have never felt so light… ok ok that last one may be a slight exaggeration because every time I open a drawer lately I keep finding half finished projects.

But for my first finish of 2015 I am pretty chuffed.

What has been your first finish of 2015? and was it an unfinished project from 2014? please tell me I am not the only one with a pile the size of a baby elephant?!

My year in review

I am going for the alternative review today so here goes:

Most special moment:-  Well this one is easy my son was born in August and my oldest son is over the moon with his new little brother, what more cold I ask for.

In the hospital
In the hospital

Projects still in progress:- Well I couldn’t really do a list of my work completed as because quite frankly it would be very small.

  • THAT Scarf, that is what I call it now seriously will  it ever be finished?a little longer
  • A christmas cushion
  • a tote bag
  • my son’s patchwork quilt
patchwork
patchwork

Disclaimer: this is probably not a complete list, there may be more hidden round the house that I may have stored for a later date.

Did I blog at least twice a week? (as per last years resolutions) Hahaha That is all I have to say on that one!

Seriously though this has been my year of learning…

What did I learn from this year:

  • How to cut straight with a rotary cutter, seriously this was not easy for me! (p.s I could not remember the name of that knife thingy, I had to look it up on the net until I came across what I was looking for: rotary cutter. Oh 8 hour sleeps how I miss you)
  • Not to be so critical of myself when it comes to sewing, my sons quilt rarely matches up but you know what he will love it so why was I worrying? (well he will love it once it is finished that is!)

What did I achieve?

  • I guess giving the tote bags away to family was a big thing. Hardly anyone in my family (or friends) knew that I was blogging or sewing!

I hope to have an actual finished project list for 2015. Fingers crossed….

New year new me?

Well we had a wonderful Christmas and new year, I hope you did too, but one of my most favourite things is the start of a new year, the blank page, the pristine sheet of fallen snow before anyone walks across it.

With a new year comes new years resolutions, please do not groan because I understand you either dislike new years resolutions with a passion or you are just sick and tired of hearing about them by now am I right?

If you are like me and love goals or maybe need goals for motivation then read on….

goals book by: Migoals
goals book by: Migoals

I have a little secret to confess… I did not meet any of my goals from last year! not a single one and in some cases (like blogging regularly) I was way off.

So this year I thought lets make it a little different, not so strict so I came up with:

1. Cook through my cookbooks, I don’t have a huge amount of cookbooks but I do have a few and I never really use them so this year my goal is to work through them one recipe at a time. This means we will branch out from our comfort zone and try new things and may find we like some things that just don’t sound that appealing, I mean who likes the thought of cream of artichoke soup? but hey it may be amazing I just don’t know yet. There will be no set date to finish a book, I may not even finish one book but hopefully we will find new dishes we love so there will be an achievement.

2. Be more organised, this is on my list near enough every year in one form or another, for the last few years it has been to remember peoples birthdays well this has never happened! I have trouble even remembering which date my husbands birthday is on- is it the 23rd or 24th? It is in January by the way so I am about to find out.

SO how could I make this goal of being more organised more achievable? well I am ditching trying to remember birthdays and have bought myself a diary and I can be quite organised I have a weekly meal plan and before baby number two it used to be a monthly meal plan! If I can do that I can surely shape up in other areas too so this year my goal is a cleaning rota, I am going to try and stick to it but have a 5 day rota so anything that gets missed I will do at the weekend. I have also popped it up on the fridge so I am reminded of what I need to do at least 4 times a day, no excuses right?

3. Last but not least to be more conscious  of my sugar intake. I am addicted to chocolate and can’t seem to give it up entirely but last year I cut out sugar in tea and then cut out sugar in coffee. So this year I want to do better with breakfast… See I am a snacker so I figure a more filling breakfast will help keep me full until lunch time. I have started with porridge sometimes I have a little fruit and sometimes not. we will see how I go.

I have other goals, many little goals because that is how I work best, todays goals was one load of washing, helping my son write his thank you cards and modernising my blog a little, all of which I have achieved, I know some people may call it a to do list but where is the achievement when the list is complete? completing a goal is much more of an accomplishment right? plus does a to do list ever end?