a special quilt for a precious baby

Ever since my delightful Goddaughter was born I have been meaning to make her a quilt. I was very happy to be able to make her a cot sized quilt for Christmas.

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I ummed and ahhed over what pattern and fabric to use, eventually settling on some lovely squares of floral liberty of London fabric (purchased here!). I was so happy with the beautiful selection of prints, and the owner Katie kindly set up a custom listing for me when I needed some longer lengths of some of the fabrics.

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I knew I wanted to sew the charm squares into half triangle square blocks, I think they are so cute and they are very satisfying to sew too! As usual, I used the method outlined by Karen Walker over here at Craftsy. Next came the decisions of how to join them.. rows?chevrons? pinwheels? With the help of pintest and my beautiful Mum’s design eye, I settled upon a radiating design, moving from smaller lighter prints in the centre to the bolder prints on the edges.

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The borders were another big decision, I had intended to seperate each colour with a white border, but found that distracted from the main piecing. I like how the binding is just a little darker than the outer border. Craftsy came in handy once more, with a binding tutorial  by Christa Watson guiding me through the process. daisy quilt 4

I’m not really a big fan of trimming my blocks, I just hope the errors all even each other out in the end! I was surprised to see how well that theory worked! The corners are nice right angles and it actually folds up on itself pretty well.

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I so enjoyed making this quilt, and best of all, I think mum and bub really like it too!

Backing, binding and batting

I got to choose my backing and binding fabrics today! It was so hard to choose – so many different options with completely different feels. I went in looking for something big, bold, floral, and yellow or red. 

These were some of my strongest contenders.  

 

I loved the yellow and it ticked so many of my boxes, however, were only 2 m left, not the four I needed! The bright blue matched my zig zag border well, and the pinks were good too, and mini circles on the back would have been cute with the big ones on the front. But it’s pretty pale and I was looking for something more punchy that stood out from the front. Which brings us to the riotous floral – a great colour match for lots of my reds, blues, yellows and greens, but in a funny way all that wildness ment it didn’t stand out enough for my liking either! So my surprise winner was a modern, painterly, deep blue number! Some how it just works! Maybe because the blue plays off the front background fabric, and the yellows, reds and turquoise pick up little bits throughout the top. It was the winner! 

 

I knew from early on I wanted a red binding, I love red, there is a lot of red in the quilt, and it contrasts well with the blue and white stripe borders I still need to add. 

  

These are the selvedges for future reference. I didn’t realise at the time they were both made in Japan! So that’s kinda cool! 

I like to mix old and new in my quilting. Traditional and contemporary fabrics, different manufacturers and lines, and hand and machine quilting. And somehow (I hope) it all comes together  on a cohesive quilt at the end. So looking forward to finishing this one! 

French Market Medallion Quilt Progress Report

It’s sure been quiet around this blog but I have been managing some crafty things!! Making leaps and bounds is this lovely quilt I began last year…  

  

I had sewn the centre and about 20 of the 48 circles last year, and then in a burst of productivity I finished off the last 28. I didn’t plan which fabrics would be paired up beforehand, so laid them all out and enlisted my mum and dad to help me shuffle them around into a pleasing layout.

  

Toffee was very keen to participate, and as you can see here she was exhausted by all of her helping. 

  

It was great fun looking over all of my fabrics again, and once the layout was set I sewed the whole lot up production line style. I even got a blister from all that ironing work! And I may iron, but I do not trim! Living on the edge, cause that’s how I roll. 

Now I need to choose a backing fabric! I’m excieted for the next time I can go to the quilting shop!! 

Oh baby! 

As soon as I heard the news of my dear friend’s sweet girl I jumped out of bed to start sewing! 



First up, this little watercolour heart cat dress. I was so happy to have enough fabric left over from my own dress! 



Of course, once I had made the first version of Rae’s free little geranium dress, I loved it and couldn’t stop at one! The first version was in lawn, and the second quilting cotton, but both were easy to work with and looked cute at the end. 



I highly recommend this pattern! Super cute outcome, easy to sew, you get a great finish, and the contrast potentials are really fun! You can find it here. The method Rae recommends for gathers is genius! Rae was very generous to make the littlest size free, and I will definitely wanting to buy the bigger sizes once I have some older girls to sew for! There are tons of cute variations in the full version that I’d like to try!



I finished the backs of both dresses with little snaps, firmly hand sewn on. I still need to figure out how to stop the stitches showing on the other side! Any good tips? 



All up, a very fun project, and the new parents really liked them! Yay! 

Starting the Smitten Quilt

I have been having so much fun working on a new english paper pieced quilt for the last few weeks. It’s the smitten quilt by Lucy Kingwell and was recommended to me by one of the lovely ladies at my local quilt shop.

There are endless opportunities to play with pattern and colour and I am loving that aspect!! I have been english paper piecing – I only bought three sizes of papers and then chopped them in half to make any other templates. I also had to cut out the biggest hexagon myself.

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I based my fabric choices off two I fell in love with in the store right away, then walked around and added some more and some more at home from my stash.

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I’ve gotten a few comments on Instagram about how I mix my fabrics, and thought I would sit down and try to think about what I do intuitively. I also thought it would be a good little exercise before I go to buy a few more bits!! I think I will run out of fabric before I finish the quilt top otherwise! I thought it would be handy to have a little reference with me.

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I’ve realised I have a pile of pink…

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Another of green…

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And one of blues.

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I also have a bunch of neutrals.

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And now let’s look at my finished hexies! I wanted to show off my biggest prints with the large centres. I think the points around the middle hexie help soften the block.

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This one features another of my largest and very loved prints. I wanted something soft bordering the plates so as not to overwhelm them, and then made it a little more punchy with a pink outside.

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This centre was another of my starter fabrics. I tried to use each colour from the centre, and kept the two busiest and whitest prints away from each other. I think the outer green stops it from being too harsh.

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For my fourth block I wanted to use the plates again because they fit so nicely at this larger size. But I also made myself a rule not to use any of the same fabrics as last time. I’ve contrasted modern and delicate prints, and again used the border to soften the more punchy colours.

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For my last hexagon of this design I mixed lots of busy prints, but tried to use contact and colour to separate them visually.

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And here are all my hexagons playing nicely together!

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I am loving this project!

Windrush Shirtdress

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A little while ago some amazing Liberty fabric caught my eye… As I googled the various colourways, I stumbled upon this amazing story on uppercase magazine about just how the print was made. Helen Musselwhite hand cut the whole thing! Definitely a worthy read…

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I didn’t think I would splurge and buy any of this fabric, until my mum offered to buy some special fabric for me for Christmas. I ordered it online from Shaukat.

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I wanted to make a dress, and to choose a pattern that would help break up the repeat a little. I flirted with the idea of a BHL Sabrina dress for a little while, but then settled on the Pauline Alice Camí dress. I quickly made up a toile and had the whole dress done over one weekend because I was determined to wear it on my first day at my new job!!

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What a great print matched with a great pattern! And funnily the fabric name ‘windrush’ is pretty appropriate to the pattern – walking in the city you can get some good billows!! But the skirt is not indecently short by any means so no major troubles so far!

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This dress sewed up very nicely, and after making so many Archers I didn’t really need to spend too long reading the instructions! The invisible zip made me most nervous, by my new Janome I treated myself to last year handled it well. Hooray for invisible zipper feet! And automatic button holes!

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The buttons are from the Alannah Hill factory outlet store in Fitzroy, they match so nicely! I should have taken a close up.

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I loved making and love wearing this dress, and I have another cut out! The next version will be in a very different but still very lovely floral… Hopefully this weekend sees some sew time!

Double Gauze Baby Blankie

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Aaand the present for the new mum and bub is unveiled!

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Almost as soon as I knew there was a baby on the way I jumped online and ordered this double gauze from Miss Matatabi (always beautiful fabric and sweet service there!). This blue colourway seems to be sold out now, but this yummy pink is still in stock!

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The girls at BHL really helped me out with the corners. I was super sceptical, but their instructions for perfect corners were actually amazing. Sorry for doubting you girls!! You are fantastic!

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I like how this project worked out – particularly the spots lining up so nicely on the borders!

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And even better, I think my lovely friend really liked it. I’m looking forward to meeting her little babe soon!

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Mini Cinnamon Scolls

One of my oldest friends is having a baby shower next week.. So this week I had to test drive a recipe for the mini cinnamon scrolls I have said I will bring!! It was the perfect activity for a rainy long weekend.

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I had a look on Pinterest for the perfect recipe, but wasn’t won over. Too much premade pasty, too sugary, too sticky, too involved.. And then when I wasn’t even looking, I stumbled across the perfect article on the Guardian website – Ruby Tandoh’s best bakes from the past year, all gathered together. Ruby, I hadn’t heard of you earlier, but you are a genius!!

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I really liked how Ruby used olive oil instead of butter, and I found the whole process very enjoyable. My main alterations were making them mini, not using a spring pan, leaving them to rise extra long (because the oven had a yummy baked dinner in it!), and leaving off the sugar syrup for a lighter sweet.

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Stage One
300g strong white flour
1½ tsp instant dried yeast
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp brown sugar
140ml water, lukewarm
60ml olive oil

Mix dry ingredients, then add the water and olive oil and mix. Knead the dough on the bench for 5 minutes or more – you don’t even need to put flour down, because of that lovely olive oil. Put the dough back in the bowl for at least one hour – it should really rise a lot!!

Stage Two
4 tbsp olive oil
75g brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp cinnamon
A pinch of salt

Mix up the ingredient for the filling, dust a surface lightly with flour and divide the dough in two (just to make the rolling more manageable!). Roll the dough into a long thin piece, spread the sugar mix on top with a brush, and roll up the dough from the long edge. Use a knife to cut little wheels, and arrange them in a lined greased cake tin. Let it rise again, and bake at 180C for about 20 minutes.

Stage Three
Devour.

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These taste lighter than your regular cinnamon scroll, but are very yummy in my opinion! Just what I was after!

Also, I made this dress! I must take proper photos and give it it’s own post!

Scout and Cloud

I have another scout-out-fit for you today!

I love wearing this scout! Batik fabric from Thailand, hem straightened out to keep the selvage, it’s crisp and happy.

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This is how I wear my scouts most often/ what I wear most often full stop. Scout, skinny jeans, flats if it’s warm, cardi and boots if it’s cool. Too easy! And I get to enjoy wearing lots of fun fabrics!

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Isn’t this little cloud cute? Stumbled upon him and was happy I was wearing something unblogged! Thanks mum for the pics!

What’s your go to outfit?

Sunday Sewing

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I love to have plenty of projects on the go at once. Big ones and small ones, machine quilting and hand stitching, garments and accessories, crochet and knitting, easy and demanding. I like a project for every mood and occasion.

This english paper piecing I’ve been working on is the perfect crash on the couch project. (Once all the bits are cut that is!). I am enjoying it very much!

Do you work on multiple projects at once? What is your easy go to project please?