Saturday 23 February 2013


I have some lovely online friends and lucky me gets to be in a bee with them too!

Its my turn to be queen for a month in the Bee a Brit Stingy bee and I asked my mates to make me low volume + and x blocks to go with those that I started last year. As I am making the smaller 8" blocks I thought it would be nice to have some help getting enough blocks for a quilt!

And they are doing me proud ;-)

bee blocks

I'm so excited about these blocks I think I am going to have to make a second quilt!

Today I am teaching a one to one dressmaking full day lesson.....hoping to still feel human at the end of it! Hope you all have a lovely weekend, stay warm!

Emily x

Monday 18 February 2013

Mini Makes - napkins

Small children + dinner time + mouths wiped on sleeves (yuk!) = napkins needed!!!

mini makes napkins

One each, all different - the girls ones have pompom trim, fun! 

mini makes napkins 1

Perfect for afternoon tea and cake whilst blogging!

napkin and cake

These took less than an hour to make, they make me feel all grown up (never saw the point in napkins when there were always bibs and wet wipes around!) and I am definitely making more! After all these are only hours old and the kids love them so much they've been though the wash already.

Thursday 14 February 2013

....more handmade wardrobe!

ready for more?!

Here is my favourite dress, I just LOVE it! Its my £1 dress :-)

washi dress

I brought this lovely vintage cotton from a charity shop around 2 years ago now and I am so pleased I have finally used it (even if it does make the £1 fish song go around and around in my head!)

I used the washi dress pattern from Rae with a couple of my own little tweeks.
washi dress collar

I added a little peter pan collar with some teeny ric rac trim and lined the bodice - I find this so much easier than doing facings or binding the armholes.

washi dress pocket

And I added a contrast print on the skirt pockets. I love this little detail even though I am the only one who really sees it.

Of course one washi dress isn't enough for a girls wardrobe so I made another.

long sleeve washi

This time I had a little help from the lovely Jennie. I couldn't source the fabric I wanted in the UK so I had some sent to her and she shipped it on from the USA, the first time ever I've brought yardage of a quilting cotton....the checkout felt a little painful but when it arrived I knew I had spent my Christmas money on the right thing!

I added long sleeves to this one, I only wish I'd ordered a tiny bit more so I could have had full length sleeves. I hate the cold and I also dislike the elasticated 3/4 length sleeves riding up inside my cardigan  I may yet alter these.

long sleeve washi 1

I also did a bodice lining on this dress and used the same pleated skirt method rather than the gathering. I like the flatter fit this gives over the front (a little hard to see on this fabric) and on both dresses I chose to do an elasticated back making a channel at the bottom on the bodice lining rather than the shirring.

long sleeve washi pocket

And of course I just couldn't resist adding in contrast pockets again, these have to be my favourite with the little Scottie dogs.

So a nice new wardrobe ready for warmer weather. And that's not the last of it because I've been pattern testing this week and have a gorgeous new spring dress, but you'll have to wait until the pattern is released before I can show you!

My Handmade Wardrobe

I have always loved to make clothes but recently I seem to have become a little obsessed, I have almost doubled the handmade section of my wardrobe and my little girls since Christmas!

I blame Rae and her tempting Patterns!

hanmade wardrobe

I've rounded up as many as I can think of (yes embarrassingly there are more!) to show you, hopefully you are interested!!

Starting with Mini Me's new wardrobe, here is the boxing day Geranium Dress

geranium umberallas

I made this with a beautiful soft cotton that I got from Kerry last summer in her destash, I've been waiting for the right project and just love love love it, I don't want her to outgrow it!

I fully lined this dress and it didn't make the project much longer to complete, I managed to eek the fabric out despite having much less than the recommended yardage.

I was so delighted with this lovely dress that I decided to make her a tunic top using the Geranium pattern.

I ordered some precious Nani Iro from Miss Matatabi on Etsy, bit of a story behind that with a nasty customs charge but I managed to make myself a top from it too, so yay for fabric economy!

I had to compromise a little with the fabric placement on the back bodice pieces because I didn't have much left to play with, but I still love this cute little top with its quirky turquoise buttons from my Nannies button tin.

nani iro geranium top
nani iro geranium top 1

I had so little fabric left that I ended up using my selvedge as the hem! And here is my little top too!

self drafted nani iro top

 I'll be back tomorrow with my new dresses!

Tuesday 5 February 2013

Travel Handmade - Luggage

I am off on a rather important trip this weekend and of course I need some rather special luggage. I have been admiring all the weekender bags but me bring me I needed something a little different. Add that to the fact that I needed an excuse to buy myself some AMH velveteen with my Christmas money and you have a project set to go!

I used this duffel bag pattern from Studio Cherie, it is a simplicity pattern that I had seen Jeni at In Color Order make, shame I didn't have yards of Heather Ross to use too!

travel duffel finished

Because I had only brought half yards of velveteen I had some tricky maths and placement to work out to get my fabrics where I wanted them. Essentially the pattern is one really long quilt for the body with two squares for either end. I used a lovely Orla Kiely pillowcase I had been stashing for the lining and handle trim, it was a perfect match! 

travel duffel handles

I must say that the pattern wasn't really clearly written for my liking but common sense prevailed and I worked it out. You do end up with lots of raw edges inside. I finished these with a tight zig-zag stitch. IF I make another I think I would go to the effort of binding them instead.

I added several extra pockets not included in the pattern, my favourite are the elasticated shoe pockets on the inside to keep my shoes away from my clothes.

travel duffel lining

The bag is VERY roomy, just to prove a point (because stuffing 3 quilts inside seemed boring somehow) my 8 year old daughter offered to help me demonstrate climbing inside. No children were harmed in the taking of these photos!
child in bag

Yep, thats her, right inside the bag!

child in bag1

Trying to get back out!

child in bag2

And for scale here she is out of the bag!

All in all I think this is a great bag (although I may just need to get a weekender out of my system some time soon) and I cant wait to use it!

travel duffel finished1

Sunday 3 February 2013

the one in which I 'fess up to several quilt finishes

So my lack of blogging recently means I have several quilt finishes that I haven't shown you. Some of which you didn't even know I had started.

I took some (very poor) photos a few days ago when the sun was out so I could share them with you. I think I got them all except the two Christmas quilts I made for the girls - as these are now packed away for next year.

Scrappy trips finished

Scrappy Trips. Finished and on the bed now since about the end of the first week on January. I am really glad I chose to put a dark colour running through the centre of each block, I like the way it highlights the diamond design.

Scrappy trips finished1

Scrappy trips was made entirely from stash, bar the binding which cost me the princely sum of £2.49! Love love love this quilt. So do a few family members so I can see more being made in the future.

Scrappy trips finished back

Backed with half of a duvet passed on from my mother-in-law. Not the most exciting print but I wanted something I already owned and low key for the back....the other half is being used for swoon, bargain!

aneela sampler finished

Next up is my Aneela Quilt, finished before Christmas and I put off blogging because I am finding it really hard to photograph the quilting well!

aneela sampler finished detail

I have lots of favourite spots in this quilt. There is this signature from the Fat Quarterly Retreat last year.

aneela sampler finished quilting detail

The quilting and the swirls and feathers are another of my favourite parts, I spent 3 days quilting this quilt and an insane amount of thread!
aneela sampler finished quilting

I just love free motion quilting, can you tell?!

aneela sampler finished quilting1

The quilting and some of my all time favourite fabrics means that this quilt is my real treasure  one that I would definitely run back into a burning house to save! Huge huge hugest thanks to everyone who helped me make this quilt by sending scraps into me. I still have quite a few left and 'may' have started an Aneela Spiderweb quilt ;-)

scrappy flannel finished

Lastly (see you made it!) my new flannel quilt. I say mine because this is just for me! It is living on my little armchair in the studio and I have already been sitting under it when doing some epp, it is heavenly.

scrappy flannel finished quilting

I have always lusted are a flannel quilt and I won a wonderful box of scraps from Katy, added a couple of half yards from the sale at M is for Make and just pieced the scraps together as I picked them up, no plan other than that. Hey presto, a quilt top!

You can just about see the quilting in this picture at the bottom. I tried an Orla Keily style stem design, along with some wavy lines (because I was tired of the stems, my arms where aching and I was running out of thread!) I am fairly happy with the fmq, especially now it is washed and you cant see my shaky mistakes so much!

scrappy flannel finished back

I splashed out and backed and bound it with my favourite field study print, I would use this leopard in every quilt if I could somewhere!

scrappy flannel finished 1

Thank you Katy for the scraps that got this going, I love this soft snuggly riot of colour!