Sewn bits and bobs

Portfolio case for sewing supplies

Entirely made from scraps...


(The triangles are from Swoon, the red strips from Amish with a twist, and the black dots are left over binding from dog gone cute)

The pattern for this case is by Kerry and can be found as a free tutorial here.


It was fun to make, quite time consuming with the patchwork outer, but would be almost as cute (and much quicker to put together) if you used a single fabric for the outside.

It holds all of my miscellaneous sewing paraphernalia...

20161107_160211 you can see!

I realised right at the end when I was trying to attach a too wide zipper tab, that the zip I used has a narrower tape than the one Kerry used, which means my case is not quite as three dimensional as it should be. I am guessing now that this is why a separating zip is specified in the pattern, maybe they are normally wider. Anyway I just used what I had on hand, but that's something to bear in mind if you want to fit some bulkier things into your finished case.

I am pleased with my sewing portfolio and happy to be able to claim another finish along finish!

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!

Stitchy pies


Cute needle cases made using Lucy's stitchy pie pattern.


Two for me (one for machine needles and one for hand sewing needles) and two for birthday's later in the year. I used a 22.5 degree wedge ruler to cut the pieces and a 3 inch (finished size) circle for the centre.


It feels so nice to have all my needles organized! In the process of filling my new needle books I have discovered why I couldn't find a new 80/12 machine needle for this project, I have NONE! Having everything in one place will make things a lot easier!

20160725_173756...outside... and the (empty) interior...20160725_173818

My first finish from quarter 3's finish along list (hurrah!).

Powerful Pierre

A cushion made for a penguin loving six-year-old:


The pattern for the block is by Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts and is available here for free. I used the 12 inch block and added a 1.5 inch (finished) border of the blue background colour followed by a nice bright red to match his bowtie :) 


The pattern was very well written and I had so much fun seeing him come together. He is named after a song I had running through my head as I was stitching away, I think it suits him very well.

The cushion back I did not bother to photograph as it is totally unglamourous... plain mid grey bella cotton with a hidden zip made following Adrianne's excellent tutorial. The binding is Moda dottie in black.

I hope my young friend will love him!

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...



I have a few random crafty items to report on today! Firstly, do you like my handsome little Jack Russell in the picture above? He was a wonderful surprise gift from my lovely cousin in the form of a card for my recent(ish) (40th) birthday - thanks Donna :)


I couldn't bear to tuck him away in a drawer, so I ordered him a smart frame and mount from here. Now doesn't that suit him nicely?


In first picture of this post you may also notice a couple of bags hanging out on the door handle... the back one has its own post here, the front one is a scrap bucket bag I made this week as a surprise for my mum (she had mentioned several times how much she liked the one I made for myself).



I used up a bunch more orphan blocks from my scrap box, including the last remaining Farmer's Wife block seen above. The lining is a Liberty cotton twill that I have been hoarding for about the last ten years! It's nice to finally put it to good use!


Finished with a homemade twisted cord (Rowan cotton glace, no less!).

The final miscellaneous item to show is the finished shawl that I mentioned previously here. I think it turned out quite nicely, don't you?


Full details over on Ravelry :)

There we go, random ramblings complete!

Two patchwork tote bags


Similar to this one I made for Mum, but different enough to avoid confusion (I hope) as they are for a couple of her friends.  The monogrammed one is a birthday gift for Auntie Margaret and the other is a "commission" for a lady Mum knows who was rather taken with the original version.



...and back of the first bag,




...and back...


...of the second. I was quite pleased to be able to use four orphan blocks that I somehow ended up with when I made the original version back in November.

This time I used cotton webbing for the handles which I bought from Backstitch.  It looks (nearly) as good and is a LOT cheaper than the fancy handles I got for Mum!

This is the first finish from my quarter 2 finish-along list and I will be linking up this post at the end of the quarter.


Farmer's Wife Zippy Pouch

I put together this little bag using those four stray Farmer's Wife blocks I mentioned at the end of my FAL post the other day. I needed a way of keeping all my smaller rulers and templates together as they have a natural tendency to distribute themselves randomly throughout my craft stuff and much time can be wasted looking for the one I really need!


As well as making use of the abandoned blocks, I also used a reclaimed zip and a piece of baby-cord for the backing which was from an old skirt. For the lining I used a piece of cotton chambray left over from pyjamas I made years ago, so altogether a throughly thrifty project!


It measures about 30cm square and is padded with some fusible fleece to give the rulers a bit of protection. I added a couple of pockets to the inside of the front panel to house the smallest tools and made sure they are easy to find when I need them!