Sewing for the Home

All cushions great and small

Well I am still here and still crafting, it has been hard to find enough daylight to take halfway decent photos over the last couple of months (you know, go to work in the gloom, come home in the dark, rain or fog on your day off!). Today is quite bright, so I am going to attempt a bit of a catch-up.

Here are some cushions I made to go with the tee-pee:


You can probably see they are very simple envelope-backed covers to fit 18 inch cushions. I cut the fronts 18 x 18 inches and the backs 18 x 13 inches. I did a double fold 1 inch hem on the back pieces and stitched them together using a 1/2 inch seam allowance. I just finished the seams with my pinking shears. A nice quick finish from my quarter four finish along list.

So that covers the small cushions, now here is the great...


Isn't it fab! I can't take the credit though. This started out life as a mini quilt from the Brit Quilt swap in 2012. My partner totally nailed it and I loved the quilt so much, but at 24 inches it was an awkward size to accommodate on the wall. It had a perfect little nook in the hallway at first but had to come down to make way for a new coat rack. It then languished in a drawer for a while,  I felt bad every time I saw it there. So spool forward to October this year when Alexander asked me if I could make him a REALLY BIG cushion... that sparked a light bulb moment which led to the conversion of quilt to cushion cover.


All I had to do was make a zippered back (following my favourite tutorial). I then unpicked the hand stitching on the back of the quilt to free the edge of the binding, attached the new back by machine, and stitched the binding back down by hand. I bought an enormous squishy 26 inch inner so that it would be nice and plump!

Now we can enjoy this beautiful piece every day.

Peg Bags (first finish for quarter 4!)


I gave my Mums' best friend (my honourary auntie) one of these for her birthday back in May in a vintage style floral with a taupe background and light blue lining (you will have to use your imagination as I did not take a photo!). She really liked it and asked if I could make her a couple to give as Christmas presents. I am glad to cross these off the list! I did not want to end up leaving them until the last minute!


I'm sure that these are the eighth and ninth peg bags I have made to this design, trawling through the archives I documented the making of four earlier versions, the others were gifted as soon as they were finished and never made an appearance on the blog.

Posts relating to previous versions:

Peg bag

More Peg Bags

A couple of things I have been meaning to do for ages

So that's the first finish from my quarter 4 list, I will be linking up this post to the finish along at the end of the year!

Wig-Wam Bam! (or more accurately Tee-Pee Time...)

Made at the request of a work colleague (to be part of a bedroom make-over for her sons fourth birthday):

DSC_0017 (1)

Please excuse this particularly scruffy part of the garden, it was the only large enough flat bit of lawn I could find!


I used this tutorial (in 2 parts), but modified the assembly of the cover as I was using an upholstery weight fabric rather than sheeting. I hemmed the panels BEFORE joining them together, then closed the bottom end of the pole casings individually once the cover was assembled. The hardest part of the whole operation was inserting the poles into the cover, it felt like trying to dress an uncooperative octopus!

Anyway, job done!

Industrial sewing Saturday


I am usually at work on a Saturday but due to a bit of shift swapping this week I found myself with a few free hours this morning... time to tackle a bit of heavy-duty sewing!

The task: to sew a new mattress cover for Daisy's bed. The previous incarnation was a colourful patchwork affair, but I decided to go for something a bit more utilitarian this time around for my senior doggy (14). I ordered some waterproof 600 denier polyester canvas, appropriate thread and velcro from here. So, with pieces cut and the machine armed with a size 16 jeans needle I set to work... it was a bit awkward wrangling such stiff fabric but I got the job done!





Don't worry, I put her quilt back in the bed after my little photo shoot!

I am on a roll so far this quarter, that's the second finish from my Q2 FAL list :) I wonder if this productivity will continue?!

A few useful little things...

Some mini napkins for packed lunches (they are about 20cm square).

I cut ten inch squares and finished the edges with mitred corners following the guidelines in this tutorial but using the shortcuts descibed here. I am quite pleased with how they came out!

Next up is this non-slip mat for my sewing machine made following this tutorial (I chose to hand stitch the binding to the front).


This finished at about 10.5 x 23 inches and made good use of a discarded 16-patch block and some co-ordinating scraps.

Finally, I have been doing a bit of cross-stitching recently (of which more another time) and have found myself in need of something a bit better than a plastic sandwich bag (current solution!) to keep my scissors and needles handy. Enter the pixie basket!


Cute, isn't it? I actually followed the instructions for this exactly (that doesn't happen often!) the only difference is that I only had 1 inch wide twill tape on hand, so my tabs are a bit chunkier than they are supposed to be.

Cheerio for now...

Q3 FAL 2015 - serious startitis

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

So quarter two was as predicted with 2 finishes and 2 roll overs.

My list is a bit longer this time around as I have been a bit distracted by new ideas and have several barely started projects.

  1. Kingfisher tapestry (for mum). I have progressed slightly on this, but haven't taken a new photo. I am going to try to do a few stitches each and every day in the hope that it will eventually be DONE!SAM_2062
  2. Delectable Mountains quilt (as proposed here). Still currently no more than a pile of triangles. SAM_2204
  3. Duvet cover for Daisy (the dog). Currently a bunch of nine-patches. 20150629_073956
  4. Dresden quilt. I bought a new ruler and this happened. I have a plan, I think it's going to be great!20150709_175756
  5. Merchant and Mills Madison dress. This appeared on a list I made way back but I have only just bought fabric for it a couple of weeks ago; I purchased the pattern in April 2011!
  6. Artisan Apron, made as a bit of a dressmaking warm-up before tackling the above project, it is in need of a serious bit of embellishment before I can properly call it finished! 20150709_200638
  7. Scrappy spiderweb quilt. I have a bunch of "middles" done, I am thinking that this will be next years Siblings Together quilt, so I am not really expecting it to be done this quarter, but I am adding it to the list just in case it turns out to be the project I feel like working on most. 20150709_200726

Linking up with the rest of the Finish-alongers here.

A couple of things I have been meaning to do for ages.

Both of which fall into the category of "household items" so not super-exciting but here goes:

Firstly a new peg bag for myself.  Following peg bag mania a while back (three years ago, really?) I had intended to make one for me, but by the time I had fulfilled all the requests generated by the prototype for mum I was ready to move on!

This revolting thing had been gracing my washing line on laundry days:


It was made by me probably at least 12-13 years ago, in a make-it-up-as-you-go-along kind of fashion using what I had to hand (left over fabric and dowelling from cutting down a roman blind, as it happens!) and as such it turned out a bit on the small side.

So here is the new improved, bigger, non-holey version:


I have had this Clarke and Clarke print (Bird Trail) stashed away since I made that last batch of peg bags. The lining is a mystery red cotton sateen which I have no recollection of buying, but which seemed to be just right for the job.  Amazingly I managed to find the pattern that I drew up 3 years ago and just made it in the same way, although I didn't bother with the rickrack trim this time.

The second project was to revamp the kitchen table.  I suppose we could do with replacing it but that would involve shopping (yuck!) and the hassle of getting rid of the old one (trip to the tip- double yuck!).  The table in question is just a simple laminated particle board job that we bought from Ikea when we first rented a flat together (1998).  It is now in its fourth home and although still sturdy, it is begining to show its age.  The main issue is that the thin wood veneer is starting to crack along the joins, which looks ugly and doesn't seem especially hygenic!  So this is my solution:


I love it! 1 metre of oilcloth (again Clarke and Clarke, but of unknown design) purchased this morning on a whim (it was on sale!) on my way to the dentist.  I just had to go in for a routine check-up, but it was chaos in there as all their computers were down, and they didn't appear to have any idea as to who was booked in when and with which dentist; I'm glad I thought to take my appointment card with me ;)


This is a better shot of the design.  I'm liking the way it ties in my blue chair cushions to the cream and terracotta of the kitchen too!  I wonder how many more years we can get out of the table?  16 and counting... probably quite good going for Ikea!


My first quiltalong finally finished!

I had a change of heart after posting the washing line shots of my finished quilt top the other week, it was just too little to be of much use, so I dismantled it and made these:

Lovely Single Girls!


Two lovely big fat cushions! I really enjoyed hand quilting these (I had wanted to give it a try, but honestly did not expect to enjoy it!). I finished them with concealed zips in the side seams and squished 24" cushion pads inside to make them nice and plump.

Single Girl cushions


I finished them on friday and they have already been used, napped on and generally enjoyed.