Saturday, 30 November 2013

Christmas Stocking Tutorial and free pattern

Christmas fever is rising in our house! I LOVE Christmas and as we will be away in America for two weeks over Christmas visiting my hubbys Granny and Grandad, I thought I really ought to get the tree and decs up two weeks early in order to enjoy them to their full. You see the logic! In the process of untangling lights, fawning over all our lovely baubles again I found our stockings. The plainer one Dave made for me for our first christmas together and the following year I returned the favour for him with holly trim and buttons.

As people have requested a template for these christmas stockings,  I have made two different sizes, 1 large and one small you can down load the Large stocking template here and the smaller stocking template here. I have also done a photo tutorial ( Click "read more") so you can make one too!

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Wallpaper envelopes DIY

Today Im going to show you how to make these super cool and easy customised envelopes! 

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Saturday, 23 November 2013

Free Downloadable Blog Post Planner

For quite a while now I have really wanted to get my blog up and running more professionally and try and get a post out at least once a week, and now I'm doing supply work I have the time to do that which works out perfectly! I really wanted to get more organised and plan out what I was going to post so that I didn't get writers block, and I could see in advance all the lovely things I had to write about. I have looked online for individual post planners but I couldn't seem to find many at all, only a full week plan, which would make me feel defeated as I only wanted to post one day a week! (How do you post something everyday!!??) So instead I thought I would make my own! I have looked at various planners to see the sort of thing that need to be included, like links, photo lists, publishing dates etc and  also included a little mind map space a the bottom (with a cute little cloud :-), as sometimes I structure my writing all wrong, so jotting it down first helps. Not only do I think it's cute and pretty, but I hope you will find it really useable, I certainly do! Help yourself to the free download here or click on the picture. Enjoy!

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Saturday, 9 November 2013

Floor blanket for baby

I've wanted to make a small baby blanket/play mat after seeing some really cute chevron fabric in John Lewis, there are so many nice fabrics, I didn’t want to use it up on small projects, but instead I wanted to display it in a large chunk so it could be fully appreciated! I had never done any quilting before this and it was such a good starter project. I didn’t have any cotton batting and didn’t really want to buy a load in case it didn’t work well, but a friend suggested a cheaper solution-thermal curtain lining! I can get it for £4.50 a metre in John Lewis and it’s really wide as it is used to curtains, so it works out really rather reasonable. They grey fabric I used came from a double bed sheet that had a tear in it and couldn’t be fixed, so good up-cycling there! I made a paper pattern of the size I wanted and then divided it up with a pencil until I was satisfied with the division. I then cut along the lines I'd made and used the paper as my pattern pieces, adding 1cm when I cut out the fabric. then I simply stitched them together. Once I had made my back and front, they had to be “basted to the batting” (batting is the filler that goes in the middle, you can get 100% or polyester and you can get it different thicknesses depending on what you need) . There are several ways that you can baste (which basically means temporarily joining the fabrics together so that you can stitch them on the machine without them moving)
1. Basting by hand-hand stitching the layers together in big stitches to stop the layers shifting around when you stitch
2. Basting spray-Spray on quilting adhesive that sticks the layers together and doesn’t affect the finished look or feel of the fabric (this seems to be the most popular and easiest)
3. Quilting safety pins-(they look like normal pins but have a kink in them, although I used normal ones and they worked fine) joins the fabrics together and can be removed as you sew.
I decided to use the safety pin method as I was in a hurry (like usual!) and didn’t want to spend ages hand sewing. I used the walking foot (good tutorial here: Anyone Can Quilt) to stitch the layers together, I didn’t do anything fancy, just straight lines so as the stitching didn’t distract from the fabric patterns. I thought I had to use bias binding to bind the edges of the quilt and really wasn’t looking forward to it as I’m hopeless at getting the binding to sit equal on the edge of fabrics-BUT hope was at hand! I found this amazing photo tutorial from Old Red Barn Co and Diary of a Quilter that shows how to bind a quilt using strips of fabric. It means you can make your binding out of whatever you like, make it matching if you need, and it’s much easier to get it equal and professional looking. You do half of it on the machine and the other half hand stitching, but its really vey quick and easy, so don't be put off! One thing i'll say is, that I found the more lines I added the stiffer the blanket got, so now it is definitely more suitable for the floor and not so much for wrapping a child in, I’d like to try and make a more flexible one in the future, and might try some free machining,  so watch this space!

Here you can see the full blanket and how I divided up the strips of fabric, with the grey in between. I had originally bound the blanket in yellow, but it looked horrible, and so I ordered the aqua green fabric from e-bay. It's not 100% cotton, which is a shame, but the colour was perfect and I was in  a hurry to get it done to be honest!

This picture shows how I bound the corners, and also shows a bit of my straight (ish!) stitching across the blanket.

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