Sunday, 20 January 2013

Small is beautiful

Honestly, when it's like this outside the only sensible thing to do is stay in and make stuff

I've always wanted to make a patchwork quilt, I bought a book about it years ago but have never plucked up the courage. Also I was a bit worried about 'tweeness overload' - it was a very old book and obviously dated. I thought the idea for a patchwork quilt for our bed might tip P over the edge - he is very supportive of my craftiness but wouldn't choose 'fussy' decor. However, he just smiled and suggested I start with something smaller than a quilt for a king sized sleigh bed - he might have a point!

Since I started following sewing blogs I've seen some beautiful modern quilts and the itch to make a quilt has grown. I like the idea of repurposing and using up scraps of fabric so I'm squirreling away suitably coloured bits and pieces when I come across them - I have some beautiful old pillowcases I found. Our giant quilt is still some way off but I'm working towards it.

When I made my Scrapron for Karen's Apronalong the seed was well and truly sewn. And whilst I don't have the biggest stash in the world I am genetically incapable of throwing even little bits in the bin so patchwork strikes a chord for me.

Then I found the tutorials by Jenny at Missouri Star Quilt Company. Wow, what a resource, I was blown away by the number and quality of the videos, it's so clear. I love craft books (my collection is reasonably described as 'out of hand') but I learn things more quickly if somebody shows me and I have a go. I feel like Jenny's my own tutor - I should probably add her to my Christmas card list!

I might be just a little obsessed, but it's really got me fired up. So I decided on Friday night to make a doll's quilt as part of Little A's birthday present, she is 2 tomorrow. It's been really useful to practice on something so small (which I failed to take a photo of once I'd bound it!). The binding is pale blue, the backing fabric is lilac and I quilted it. The wadding I have would have made it too thick, and a bit stiff, so I just put an extra layer of thick cotton in the sandwich and that seemed to work fine. Totally made up using scraps - bonus!

My enthusiasm is obviously catching because my SiL has asked me to make 2 quilts for my niece and nephew (OK, I'll be honest - having a little panic!). Little A will be moving out of her cot and into a bed in the next 6 months and they're planning to redecorate the children's room. This calls for a more direct approach to quilt fabric shopping - I can't just wait to stumble across the perfect pieces.

As Wednesday was my NWD my brother 'Han' and I headed over to Rochester to Hometown. I might have bought some fabric for both the children but it's OK because I have a project so actually do need them. Oh and I got a charm pack to try one of Jenny's tutorials - I think I need another small project before I go for it properly and crack on with the quilts, hone my skills a bit. I'd planned to browse, my brother's an enabler, perhaps because he has such a yarn buying habit himself. Our mantra Wednesday was 'can I afford it? do I cause anybody harm by buying it?' - you can end up with a lot of stuff if the answers are 'yes' and 'no'!

My only other crafty achievement this week is these ...

Jammie Dodgers roughly following the Matt's tutorial at accordingtomatt

Some crocheted biscuits, again for A, as she is getting a toy kitchen for her birthday. Really easy to make and again using up scraps.

Hope you're warm and toasty wherever you are.



PS - I forgot to say, the Harry Potter Studio Tour was brilliant. I would recommend getting the audio tour if you can, I learnt lots about the costumes - fascinating. I didn't know they would have 10 versions of many of the costumes so that they could age them, show them damaged after magic spells etc. i'd post photos but we took 180 - suffice to say it's worth a visit. So glad our tickets were for last week though, I would not have fancied the journey in the snow!

My cape outside No 4 Privet Drive


  1. Aw, that little quilt is so sweet, as are the Jammie Dodgers. Mmmm, I'd love a Jammie Dodger right now!

    Did you manage to get to the birthday party today, or was the snow too bad?

    I meant to ask you about the Harry Potter studio tour, I'm glad it was worth the visit. I really must go, seeing as it's so close to me. I normally shy away from audio tours, but this one sounds like it was worth listening to.

    Your cape looks suitable fab again!

    1. Yes we got to A's birthday party but it changed from a birthday tea to lunch, so we could get there and back in daylight. My SiL made a brilliant cake, a lion with zebra striped sponge on the inside. We had to leave earlier than we'd planned as it started to snow heavily - I was glad P was driving, the motorway was down to 1 lane and people drive so fast, madness.
      If you enjoyed the HP films it is definitely worth a visit, my geeky nature loves knowing how it all worked!

    2. Glad you managed to make the birthday party, although the journey home sounds pretty horrible!

      I'm one of the geeky ones that always wants to know "how they did it" as well.

  2. Your quilt looks great! I love the fabric you've used, there's nothing twee about it at all! And I love the photo of you outside Privet Drive - so jealous. :)

  3. Thank you - and most importantly my SiL says A loved it, wrapped her 'babies' up to keep them warm, very sweet. If you're a HP fan I would recommend a visit if you get a chance :)

  4. I love the cape, it looks great on you! I just looked at which blogs you follow - we follow about 8 of the same blogs! Such a strange coincidence.

    1. Then I am definitely going to check out your blog list - you obviously have impeccable taste! :)

  5. I love your cape and those boots! (I have an insane obsession with boots). The quilt is cute - I'm sure the ones for your niece and nephew will be just adorable.
    I hope to hear more about the Harry Potter tour - it's funny, my son and I went to see all of the Harry Potter movies and we loved them all. Now he works at Universal Studios at one of the Harry Potter attractions - it's the busiest part of the park and he enjoys working there. I'd love to go see those costumes!

    1. Oh I love boots too and these are my absolute favourites - they go with everything and have a heel but not too high so are really comfy to walk in. P bought them for me 4 Christmases ago and I dread them coming to the end of their days as they fit really well (I got told by a saleswoman in Clarks that I have scrawny legs! Needless to say I didn't buy anything from her!). So I've had them reheeled and resoled each winter and I have my fingers crossed they'll keep going! :)

      I'm planning the quilts for F and A, I'm having a lovely time colouring in on graph paper - about all I'm fit for this week!



Thank you so much for taking the time to comment :)