Saturday, 30 January 2016

A little crazy

I'm back at my 1/4" hexies again. Working on this lovely inspired by one seen at last years Sydney Quilt Show. I need the papers out for another project! Not sure if those little spaces on the right should be red or something else.

It's slow going but I've finally turned the corner with Sacrlett Ribands. I am so excited about finishing this one day and hanging it above my bed.

School is back for two of my boys.....seems odd that one of them didn't go (he leaves for Uni in three weeks). I just have to share Mr 14's holiday creation. It's a folding pocket knife made from an old pallet. To be honest I didn't think it would work when he showed me the design, but to his credit and with a small amount of help from Dad he's done it. Kept him occupied for quite a while. 

Happy Saturday!
Susan x

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

A new beginning

I have made a start on my new project. This is the centre, although I haven't quite made up my mind about the hexi in the middle. I have drawn it out to scale on a huge piece of paper that DH brought home, and I think it's going to be an interesting experiment!

And this is where the blackberry picking is happening. It's a bumper crop! My fingers look rather ordinary, all purple and scratched, but it hasn't stopped me sewing.

Susan x

Monday, 18 January 2016

Catch up

It's been a busy start to the year. In Sydney to see the Sydney Kings play basketball last weekend, and Newcastle for a 50th this weekend just gone. Add returning to work, and not much sewing has happened!

I was lucky enough to visit Post Office Patchwork for five minutes on the way to Sydney, with 30% off too. And a little online retail therapy at Cherry Pie Designs as well.

I'm thinking about my next big project, and dabbling with a design of my own, and that's what the supplies are for. Think I need some more green and wish I had a whole quilt shop at my disposal, or at least a good one in town!

On a boring housework note, I upgraded my vacuum cleaner to a Dyson Animal Barrel yesterday. It should also be called the thread catcher! All those pesky threads don't stick to the carpet anymore! How exciting and blog worthy is that!

Stop the press...........just went to check on my own personal blackberry bush and it's harvest time! I'll apologise in advance to the farmers reading this, but I am a very responsible blackberry grower. My DH is very handy with the poison, but keeps one little patch for me. Blackberry pie coming favourite!

Susan x

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Reel Holder Tutorial

After some requests and encouragement I am starting 2016 by writing my first ever tutorial! It's for the cotton reel holders that I made before Christmas. It is by no means an original design, I used the one given to me by Lea, and made a few adjustments. Please let me know if you have any trouble following my instructions!
The finished reel measures 2 3/4" x 1 3/4".

8" x 6" outer fabric
8" x 3 1/2" lining fabric
2" x 1 1/2" woven wool or felt scrap
6 1/2" x 5" firm iron on interfacing. It should be firm enough to hold its shape, but soft enough to roll.
One shank button
DMC thread
Perfect Circles or cardboard to make circle template

  • From the interfacing, cut one body piece 6 1/4" x 2 1/2", rounding the corners on one short end. Cut 2 circles of 1 1/2" diameter.
  • From the main fabric cut one body 7 1/4" x 3 1/2". Take care if using directional prints.
  • From the lining fabric cut one body 7 1/4" x 3 1/2".
  • Iron the interfacing to the wrong side of the main fabric. Place main fabric and lining right sides together, and stitch using the interfacing piece as a guide. Stitch beside the interfacing, but not through it. Leave an opening on one long side for turning.
  • Trim seam allowance and corners, and clip curves. Turn and press. Don't worry if the interfacing comes unstuck, as long as it stays in position.
  • Slip stitch the side opening closed. Sew the button on the main fabric side, centered and 1 1/4" down from the short straight edge. I like to sink the knot into the layers so it doesn't show on either side.
  • Sew the wool piece to the inside curved end using a simple running stitch and two strands of DMC. Don't let the stitches show on the front. I used pinking shears to cut the wool edges.

  • Iron the interfacing circles to the back of the remaining main fabric. Cut out leaving at least 1/4" around each circle. Cut two slightly smaller circles (I used 1 3/8" diameter), also leaving 1/4" for turning.

  • Make a small running stitch around each circle so the seam allowance can be gathered. Press. Slip stitch the fabric circle to the wrong side of the interfaced circle. Repeat to make two ends.
  • To attach the ends I use quilting thread to match the main fabric. Begin by sinking the knot into the seam at one of the square corners. Hold an end piece with the smaller circle facing towards the lining. Do a couple of small stitches to anchor the two pieces, then continue to slip stitch the end in place, stitching into the main body seam as you go. The lining fabric should not be visible.
  • Sew around the end piece until 2 1/2" from the curved end. Do not finish off yet. Repeat for the other end. Make sure the end points on both sides align, and that your reel will fit snugly. Finish off with two small back stitches to secure, and sink the knot into the fabric layers. I have not worked out how to add a PDF to my blog post, but I have taken a photo of my pattern to be used as a guide.
  • Using 3 strands of DMC make a blanket stitch button hole loop about 1/2" wide in the centre of the curved end. Sherry has an excellent tutorial for making a thread loop.

Enjoy, and please contact me if anything isn't clear.

Susan x
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