This is my first blog post of the new year and yes I know January ends tomorrow and that the first month has gone but it has been a very busy month! This is the first of one of my new year’s resolutions which is to create a post each month on all/some of the crafty things I have been making. Hopefully it will inspire you to get the sewing machine out or sit down in the evenings and pick up some crochet or cross stitch!
I was at home the first week of January but sadly for me and my sewing machine I spent most of that week working on assignments for uni… I then came back to Southampton and straight into revision and exams. Even though I bought my sewing machine back with me it didn’t see any day light at all during those two weeks. Partly because I knew if I got it out revision would stop and sewing would begin! I couldn’t go two whole weeks with no sewing though! Whilst tidying my room at home over Christmas I found a cross stitch
bookmark kit – this initially started out as a grand idea to try and finish it before I went back to uni (we all know grand ideas like this rarely turn out to work!), but I ended up finishing it in the evenings after revision.
I decided to adjust the pattern slightly – particularly the back-stitch round the eyes on the face. In the pattern there was a lot of back-stitch here showing eyelids (i presume) etc which I thought was just too much. Other changes were much smaller – I added some quarter square crosses (not really sure what these are called but lets call them mini cross stitches!) just to fill in some gaps around her hair and the spout of the watering can. I also decided to put some cardboard in-between the felt behind and the cross stitch on the front just to give it some added rigidity. This proved to be rather challenging though when stitching it up as I couldn’t pin it so I ended up pegging it with clothes pegs which to my surprise were rather effective! Overall, i’m quite pleased with it, it was a nice small project which was easily ‘finishable’ and gave me the opportunity to practice my cross stitch! Plus I have a bookmark now so I can stop using post-it notes!
After my exams finished I had a week at home and I crammed the sewing in, I don’t think I’ve ever done so much sewing in my life but I loved it! I started off the week with a commission cushion cover which I had attempted to design beforehand but as with all these things the actual design and sizing isn’t decided until just before the fabric is cut… Due to this it took a lot longer than I had planned but I was rather pleased with the result so I made a second one which will be available to buy very soon!
This project was then followed by an attempt to design a case/bag for my cutting mat and ruler made out of some gorgeous chicken themed fabric I had picked up in the sale at Juberry Farbics. This didn’t go particularly well to start with… I had spent the previous week and a half trawling through Pinterest (click here to see my Crafty Projects board where I get all my inspiration from!) looking for a pattern to follow and there aren’t many out there to be honest. Most had the pocket for the ruler on the front which then created issues with what pattern to do the patchwork in and how to stop the pocket gaping etc. This was then exacerbated by the fact I picked up a smaller ruler in Hobbycraft at half price, however, it wasn’t until I got home I realised it was 6.5″ wide not 6″ like my longer ruler, meaning I had to adjust all the measurements… In the end though I went for a pattern not dissimilar to this:
I decided to make my rectangles 3″ x 6″ (excluding seam allowance) meaning that each block (set of 3 rectangles) was 6″ x 9″. Each row had 3 blocks and there were 7 rows. This was because I decided to fold the quilting in half rather than create a bottom seam which would potentially be a weakness in the bag. I also decided to place the ruler pocket on the inside where I thought it would be safer.
To make the divider in the lining I folded a piece of fabric in half with heavy weight interfacing on both sides and sewed it into the bottom and side seams of the lining fabric. For the handles I used hessian tape which works really well with the fabric I used, plus they are nice and strong so unlikely to break in the many trips to and from uni! I also decided to create some little ties to hold the bag shut. Finally the top edge is bound with the inside slip-stitched down. Having only just finished this it is hard to say how good it will be and how it will last but i’m really happy with how the patchwork and quilting went on the body of it!
Now I’m back at uni and hopefully into the flow of things again posts should be slightly more consistent than they have been!
Happy sewing everyone!