Love Patchwork & Quilting

You may or may not have read my about me page.  If you have you will know that ‘quilting’ is not on my learning curve list.  However that is all about to change.  Love Patchwork & Quilting Magazine has created an itch which is not going to disappear anytime soon…

Now quilting is something which has never really appealed to me.  My Auntie creates beautiful patchwork and quilted items which make me drool in envy and awe at the meticulous perfection.

This is a project bag she made for me.  Where I go, my adorable little bag doth go too!

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I was looking for a magazine to take away with me on our seaside break.  None of the crochet magazines on the stand appealed to my tastes (I already had Simply Crochet stashed away at home) and so I decided to go with the eye-catching front cover of Love Patchwork & Quilting.

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Saturday afternoon I managed to grab an hour of me time, so while the rain hammered down and the wind whipped up a storm around us  I took up my magazine and sat snug and warm in our little caravan, with tea in hand and a blanket on my legs.

As someone with a hell of a lot to learn in the sewing department I have often felt intimidated and overwhelmed by quilting.  To me, it always looks intricate, confusing and complex – I have to confess that these are not words which sit well in the mind of a perfectionist (I can only imagine how many times the seam ripper will be out on this little adventure!)

Saying that, Love Patchwork got me interested.  It didn’t scare or frighten me.

It made me want to be bold with neon brights

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I didn’t shudder at the complexity of quilted cushions.  Instead I sat and pondered what colours and patterns I would incorporate into my rail fence cushion.

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It lead me to blogs which inspired, impressed and encouraged me to try something new (additions to my ‘inspiring blogs’ list coming very soon!)

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Towards the back of the magazine there is a section called ‘the guide’ this takes you through the basics and gives you everything you need to get started.  It is full of informative yet digestible snippets of information which don’t overwhelm or scare but instead coax and nurture us newcomers into giving this quilting game a dam good try.

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From front to back Love Patchwork & Quilting is an unexpected pleasure – Packed with ideas, inspirations, must-have-a-go projects, techniques and how-to’s which I immediately fell in love with.  Even Stan had a quick read…

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When I say this magazine created an itch I was not kidding.  As soon as I arrived back home I did this

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And the money I saved with the fab offer went towards the beginners quilting course I booked myself on.

They say a picture speaks a 1,000 words so I’m going to end todays post with this…

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Sarah x

Handmade = Personal

Happy Friday everyone 🙂

I need to keep this brief – I shouldn’t even be here.  Serious slip of discipline.  I should be writing poetry!

One of the absolute joys of handmade pieces is that when they are given as a gift, they have a special personal touch.  Every stitch, every wrap of the yarn is done with love and care, something which sadly, is missing from many shop sold items.

It was my friend’s birthday yesterday.  Last weekend I decided I wanted to make her something unique, just for her.  As she is a busy Mum I thought a bag would be a cute yet practical idea.

I turned to Cath Kidson, Sew and traced the pattern for the large tote bag.

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Now incase you are looking at the book and thinking I’m a pattern piece short, I omitted the front pocket from my bag as I didn’t want to break up the pattern on the fabric.

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She LOVES owls so this beautiful linen was perfect.  I went with a plain black lining as I didn’t want a busy fabric inside to detract from the super funky owls on the outside.

I don’t feel I need to go into too much detail with regards to the making of the bag as the instructions in the book are nice and easy to follow, with great written and picture tutorials.  But I do have a couple of handy tips…

A Cool Little Helper

If like me, you would love an overlocker but simply do not have the space, you should look into purchasing an overedge foot.   Image

Fray prevention becomes as simple as butting your fabric up to the foot guide and taking a nice steady stitch to the end of your fabric.  No need for any tricky ‘zigzag as close to the edge as you dare then trim the excess without cutting the stitches’ with this little gem.

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A fray-free edge in minutes.

A Handy Strengthener

The pattern comes with an inside pocket.  The step I am about to show you isn’t included in the instructions but is something I was taught at college.  I think it’s handy, so I thought I would share…

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As per the pattern, I separated my pocket in two.  If you place a ‘V’ of stitches on the dividing line (yes the ‘V’ was supposed to hit the middle line perfectly, I’m a beginner, be nice!) It gives the seam a little more strength against all that hand in and out action that these pockets endure.

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So, here it is, one finished tote.

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One cute owl tote finished in just one afternoon…

But hey!  Wait a minute… No handmade piece can possibly be complete without a little crochet addition.  So I headed to the internet and found this delightful pattern by Hopscotch Lane. Image

One hour and two pompoms later and we have ourselves a charm.

Bag complete!

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Time for a well deserved cuppa

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Should you have any questions about the pattern or construction of the bag then please feel free to comment below or email me and I will do my best to help.

Have a lovely weekend one and all.

Sarah x

Building, making and crafty blog-loving

We are in the process of extending our home.  The plans have been passed and the hunt for the ‘perfect builder’ is on.  It was these plans that originally got me curious about sewing and crochet.  I wanted (and still do want) to add tiny touches of handmade goodness to each room in our home.  I’m talking a cushion here, a blind there, a blanket on here, few coasters there…

When I began my handmade adventure last November I had no clue that it was going to spark such a passionate love affair with wool and fabric.

Now, although I attended college to learn some of my sewing and crochet skills, other techniques and projects have blossomed from reading some amazing blogs written by breathtakingly talented people from all around the world.

Here are just a few of my favourites which are more than worthy of half an hour your time.  So, grab a cuppa, crack open the biscuits and click on a link or two…

http://pompomintheattic.blogspot.co.uk/ – A charming and eclectic mix of craft and inspiration

http://flossieteacakes.blogspot.co.uk/ – Flossie is the perfect stop point for all things sewing and quilting.  Her work is not only beautiful but also incredibly inspiring.

http://www.attic24.typepad.com/ – Lucy is, without a shadow of a doubt the queen of crochet.  Her blog is fully of very generous tutorials and infamous ‘Ta-Dah’ moments.

http://emmallamb.blogspot.co.uk/ – Emma’s blog is packed full of inspiration and crocheted goodness.

http://www.tillyandthebuttons.com/ – Tilly shot to fame when she appeared on ‘The Great British Sewing Bee’ however she hasn’t let fame go to her head and still keeps us mere mortals in dressmaking tutorial heaven.

http://patchworkchickens.blogspot.co.uk/ –  A beautiful blog about sewing and life in the Yorkshire Dales.

http://onesheepishgirl.blogspot.co.uk/ – A cute peek into the life of a knitter

http://www.afashionablestitch.com/ – Superb sew-alongs and tutorials

These are just a handful of the blogs I love.  I’m hoping to, eventually, create a page listing them all.  In the mean time, if you have any favourite blogs you think I should know about then PLEASE do not keep them a secret – You know me, any excuse for a tea break…

Have a lovely weekend,

Sarah and May

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