Saturday, 31 December 2011

Happy New Year!

It is almost here 2012- I am excited about this year, after all it might be our last ;-)

I have no predictions or anything, just a great big thank you!! Your sweet comments and emails have brightened up many a grey day this year :-)


1. + & X blocks Quilt, 2. Log Cabin Potholder, 3. I ♥ my new dress!, 4. Egg rug, 5. Luna Lovegood Scarf, 6. Shirt block for Amisha -detail, 7. I'm on a mad cushion making spree!, 8. For my partner.., 9. Big Squares quilt ~ quilting~, 10. slippers, 11. Kerry's Afternoon Tea - Patchwork 318 Bee - October, 12. scrappy log cabin organizer, 13. Mother's Dream Cushion

I wish you all a wonderful exciting and creative New Year, may it bring you all you could ever wish for and more!

I'll be taking a short break for some much needed rest and family time {away from the computer - eek!} in order to start the New Year off rested and refreshed ...well that's the idea anyway ;-)

x Leila

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Blogger's Choice Contest

If Fat Quarter Shop gave me a shot at putting together one of their famous  Blogger's Choice fat quarter bundles this would be it.

Blogger's Choice

I can tell you it's taken me forever to narrow the choices down and come up with a selection that I absolutely LOVE {and must have!}.

For more details on how to enter the contest and have a shot at creating your very own Blogger's Choice bundle head on over to Quokka Quilts.

x Leila

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Bee blocks November/January ~ Houses ~

It's been all about the house blocks for me lately. I am sure it is just one of those crushes that will pass eventually, but for now it is all about houses!

For Melinda's month in Cocorico we're making vintage Christmas blocks. I decided on a gingerbread house. Not quite finished yet, it needs to be a bit bigger, I will add a border of some sort to get it up to the right size. But I am letting it sit for a while as I could not decide exactly where to go next with this.

Vintage Christmas for Melinda - Cocorico January

Meanwhile in Patchwork 318 the bee, three amazing ladies made the most beautiful blocks for my "Home sweet home" month. Seriously my heart skipped a beat each time one of these blocks appeared!

First up is Kerry's block, full of vintage style as only she can. I love the Dutch people curtains and the lady in the doorway, it even has my house number on it!

Next is Ayumi, she made the sweetest ABC house block, she is so clever! And it is very appropriate as I am still in the midst of getting the little man back up to speed with school, the ABC song can often be heard here ;-)

House Bock for Leila ~318 Bee ~
Charise blows us all away with her interpretation of a Marken house filled with buttons, pincushions and sewing goodies!

Marken House for Leila
I am sooooo thrilled with each one of these blocks, they are full of wonderful personal touches that make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside - thank you so much ladies!!

In other news, I got invited to the mother of all bee's and I am both thrilled and petrified!!
We don't start the next round till March so I have time to prepare myself for the bee with a name like a rockstar.. ;-)

x Leila

Sunday, 18 December 2011

if you're on my Christmas list, best not read this!

How is your Christmas sewing coming along?

I really thought I was not going to make it in time! I was starting to get a little short and snappy bitchy over the last week, frantically glancing over an enormous 'to do' list feeling overwhelmed and inadequate.
So I decided a self intervention was in order and I bought some gifts - yup clutch your pearls ladies, I didn't shop on Etsy either but hit the department stores -gasp!
Rest assured though, there also will be plenty of handmade under the tree this year ;-)

I am torn between wanting to show off what I have made and knowing my lovelies do occasionally glance over my blog. So I am opting for tiny sneak peeks as not to spoil too much of the surprise.

Last warning, if you are on my list this Christmas click away now!

There will be a few of these,


and this

 another one done,

and a few of these

Come April next year, remind me to start on my Christmas present early, will you? ;-)
So, how are you coping with the busiest season of the year?

x Leila

Saturday, 17 December 2011

We have a Winner!!

Well that was fun!
Thank you all so much for making me laugh with your embarrassing stories and funny little quirks. Also, a big warm welcome to my new favourite people, I hope you will enjoy it here!

Ok let's get on with it, shall we.
True Random Number Generator in it's infinite wisdom declared the winner to be:
Which is Sarah who said:

Yay Sarah, congratulations!!
Your package will be in the post soon.

x Leila

Monday, 12 December 2011

Give Away Day!

I don't know what it is about Sew Mama Sew Give Away Day but it always makes me feel like Christmas morning, how about you?

I know you are all busy and have lots of blogs to visit so I'll try and keep this one short and sweet.

Up for grabs today is this cushion cover. I myself think it looks rather christmassy with the red, white and green but since no actual Christmas themed fabrics were used this cushion would look great all year round.

The give away is open to anyone, anywhere I will ship international.
No hoops, you do not have to follow my blog, twitter or heart my shop. Of course I love it if you do all these things, but none of that is required to be eligible to win.

To Enter:
  1. Leave a comment on this post. Tell me something interesting about yourself; a funny or embarrassing story, childhood memory, quirky habit, random fact etc.
  2. I love my readers! So if you follow my blog just leave a separate comment to say you do for a bonus entry.
That's it, two comments maximum per person please!
If you have forgotten something and would like to add a new comment, please delete your old comment and place a new one. This keeps the final count fair for everyone.

Please make sure I can get a hold of you through email. If your email is not disclosed in your profile include it in your comment. If you win and I can not get a hold of you I will have to draw another winner.

I will not answer any comments on the give away post, but rest assured I do read each and every one of them!
The give away closes Friday 16th of December at midnight CET.  I will draw the winner with random number generator and announce them here sometime the 17th.

Good luck!!

x Leila

Saturday, 10 December 2011

It's that time of year..

..when everything I sew is either a present, surprise or something that can not yet be blogged about!

I have something I can show today though.
In anticipation of going to the London Fat Quarterly Retreat I have made myself a little needle book.
I used Amy's - Nanacompany - wonderful tutorial and pieced my initial on the back with a pattern from Patchwork 318 by Kumiko Fujita.
Needle book

The little man has missed a lot of school, so I am doing my bit at home, in an attempt to get him back up to speed. We have lots of assignments that need to be made. But so far he is less than impressed by my teaching skills ha ha!

needlebook inside
I can tell you it has given me a whole new respect for those of you that home school - it isn't easy!!

needle book - back
I'm off to whip up a few more home made Christmas presents. Don't forget to check back Monday as it is Sew Mama Sew Give Away Day!

x Leila

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Fresh Sewing Day November

It is the first of December and that means it's Fresh Sewing Day!
November was an extremely productive month for me, so much so I feel almost embarrassed is that weird?
So just to remind you all I have been stuck inside for the entire month with nothing else to keep me sane all right? Next month will be different I promise!

There were scrappy organizers

My creation

Clutches and camera wristlets

My creation

Phone cases

My creation

and some more ...

My creation

pfiew! No wonder I'm tired ;-) I am happy to say that a lot of this is gone already, thank you all for making my first Black Friday - Cyber Monday sale a huge succes!

I'm about ready for a nap now how about you?

Don't forget to head on over to Lynne's to see what everyone else has been up to.

Fresh Sewing Day
x Leila

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Advent Calendar

I had all the right intentions of making an advent calendar of my own this year, but I've been swamped. Between caring for my sick little one and keeping up with my blog and shop there's been no time to sew for myself. I am happy to say my little monster is feeling much better! He's not 100% there yet he still has to take it slow, which is quite a feat for a mischievious little boy!

Anyway, no handmade advent calendar for us this year but a store bought Cars2 one, it has chocolate so it's all good ;-)
I have however contributed a little freebie to the French/German/Dutch Etsy advent calendar that will kick off tomorrow.

I know I'll be checking daily to see what fun freebies they have! {plus I don't know which day I've got so I'll have to check back often to find out lol!}

In other news, Sew Mama Sew is hosting another Give Away Day soon! I will be participating again this year. Not sure what I'll be giving away yet but there's still time to think about it. Meanwhile you can help me out by telling me what your favourite kind of give away prizes are. Mine is fabric for sure, can't go wrong with fabric!

x Leila

Monday, 28 November 2011

Front Page Material

How was your weekend?
For those of you that celebrated Thanksgiving I hope you had a wonderful time!

Something exciting happened today, I was featured on the Etsy front page whooohoo
Look see, second from the left in the second row...that's my clutch :-D

This is the last day of this weekend's sale. Somehow I messed up the time frame for the app I was using to discount everything in the shop. So for today only you can use CYBERMONDAY20 to receive 20% off everything in my shop.
x Leila

Thursday, 24 November 2011

save the date!

save the date!, originally uploaded by ImAGingerMonkey.

Have you seen this?! Woop I'm so excited, this should be very doable for me!
Head on over to Katy's blog for more info

So who's coming?

a bit of shameless self promotion

I'm having a Black Friday to Cyber Monday sale in my Etsy shop this weekend! I've been sewing up a storm getting new things listed there's new cushion covers.

Cute little clutches

New camera case wristlets

And a few more things I'll try and add to the shop today.
There is 20% off everything from Friday midnight (my time) till Monday midnight.

Happy Thanksgiving to those of you that celebrate this holiday, and happy Thursday to the rest of you all!

x Leila

Monday, 21 November 2011


For the last month I have been pretty much homebound as my little monster's been quite seriously ill. Don't worry, he will be fine! I mean serious as in it is taking a really long time for him to recover and fully work this virus out of his system. Antibiotics have no effect, there is no quick fix so we're just going to have to sit this one out.

I'm looking at this time as a blessing, I believe that with the right attitude any ordeal can be a blessing in disguise. Despite the unpleasantness of the illness we're both making the most out of it. And although some days the walls are caving in on me I'm rather enjoying getting to spend all this exclusive time with the one person I love most in the world!

It is making me so grateful for blogging, and Flickr and all you lovely people! Knowing you all are out there just one email away makes me feel much less cut off from the real world than I know I'd otherwise would have felt.

Thank you so much!

x Leila

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Do you ever get these ideas that you have to put into action straight away?
Well I had one of those creative flashes yesterday and it lead me to a frantic sewing spree!

I have been pondering on a key chain design for quite some time but I couldn't quite figure out what I wanted. Most of my initial ideas were based on things I had seen many times before. And although practical, I wanted something a little more fun. 

Leaf Key Chains

The leaves are improvisational pieced from teeny tiny scraps of fabric, and layered with batting and backing. I cut each leaf shape by hand with my scissors so no two are exactly the same. The edges are finished with a tight V stitch, this makes them a little jagged and curl up a little just like real leaves.

I am loving these leaf key chains to bits and I'm sewing up a couple more to give as Christmas presents as soon as I have restocked on some essential supplies!
Meanwhile these are listed in the shop

x Leila

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Reversible Echo Totes

It's been buzzing around blogland for quite some time now you've probably not missed out on hearing about Lotta Jansdotter's latest fabric collection; Echo.
If you have not seen it in person yet, go buy some it is fantastic!! As soon as I opened my order I wanted to abandon all other projects and sew with it.

reversible echo tote

I think the prints are perfect for every day use, so a bag it had to be. But with most bag patterns I use a combination of prints and I could not make my mind up which print to feature and which to use for the lining and or pockets. So I decided not to choose at all and make reversible totes!

I drafted a simple pattern after browsing through lots of images of reversible totes on Google. I had never done a one piece bag before and it took me a while to figure out how to sew the handles closed, but after spending some quality time with Mr. Seam Ripper I managed to figure it out ;-)

I love this slouchy hobo style bag, it's a casual every day shopping, going to the beach, running an errand type of bag.  But all that is just an excuse to carry around a bit of Lotta with you every day ;-)

reversible echo tote

They are listed in the shop

x Leila

Monday, 14 November 2011

Ananas Pillow Pattern

I am so exited I can finally share this pillow with you all!!
I was tickled pink when Tacha asked me if I would like to contribute to Fat Quarterly Magazine.

This issue is all about colour, as usual you will find plenty of lovely patterns for all sorts of wonderful projects and more!
My entry is the Ananas Pillow, which means pineapple in Dutch. It's an easy- no paper piecing- way of creating a pineapple block using a rotary cutter and clear ruler.

Main Photo

I mixed scrappy with lots of text and numbers prints on white background to make it a little easier to bring more colours to the mix - I hope you will enjoy it!
The issue is out tomorrow and you will be able to purchase your own copy here

This is a big day for me :-)

x Leila

Friday, 11 November 2011

this week...

This week, I received the most perfect pillow from Jennifer as part of the Pillow talk Swap. I got so lucky this round!! I had been secretly hoping this cushion would come my way, it's just perfect don't you think?

PTS Received!!

Not only does it look stunning from the front it has an equally amazing back too.
As if that wasn't enough she also sent a ton of fabrics and some very cute fabric labels that made my heart skip a beat!

Thank you so much Jennifer, you need not have worried I really, really LOVE it!!

I finished this month's Cocorico Bee block for Krista.
Her theme was 'hit the slopes' and there are some truly amazing blocks produced already by my bee mates. Well worth to have a look at the group pool here or you can click the new button Megan made for us on my side bar.

I used Kerry's paper piecing pattern but decided to mix things up a little. I used the freezer paper method as I prefer it to traditional paper piecing and just made the individual segments. I improvised the suit case and then played around with my individual blocks until I was happy with the layout. Then I added strips to make everything fit. I finished up with some hand stitching to accentuate the fact that there's a mitten missing.
I know nothing about winter sports but I do happen to know about packing for a trip and somehow there's always a missing mitten!

Let's hit the slopes! November Cocorico Bee block for Krista

I wonder if the lost mittens just ran away from home to hang out with the lost socks. I bet they are smoking behind the bike shed hoping not to get caught and sent home again ;-)

x Leila

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Scrappy organizer ~ a tutorial

As promised; little tutorial for all you wonderful people out there looking for fun handmade gifts to sew for Christmas {or any other time of year }.


 I decided to make the tutorial for an organizer with interior pockets for a passport or something of similar size - card pocket - pencil pocket and key fob. But the interior is easily adapted to fit your own needs, make it bigger to fit a checkbook and some pens. Smaller with felt pages stitched in the center for a needlebook. Or make narrow slip pockets for the sides to fit in a day planner or calendar. There are plenty of options!

organizer inside

This organizer is fairly quick to whip up and will allow you to use quite a few of those scraps I know you're hoarding.
organizer back

and most importantly it will make a lovely gift!


About this tutorial 

As with all tutorials and patterns please read all the way through first before you begin.
Press your fabrics along the way.
All seam allowances are 1/4" unless it's stated otherwise.
You are welcome to make as many scrappy organizer as you wish for yourself and to give away as presents but please do not sell anything made from one of my tutorials - thank you!

What you will need:

For the exterior
  • Scraps of different fabrics and prints.
  • 6"x 9" piece of batting {I cut mine larger than this and trim back later}
  • 1 button
  • 44" baker's twine or ribbon
  • one piece of double sided fusible interfacing for applique optional

For the interior
  • 6" x 9" lining fabric + interfacing
  • 6" x 8 1/2" for the large pocket + interfacing
  • 6" x 6 1/2" for the smaller pocket + interfacing
  • 3" x 9" for the pen pocket + interfacing
  • 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" for the keyfob.
  • 1 split ring or lobster clasp

Step 1
This block is improvisational pieced there are no cutting instructions. If you have never made a liberated or wonky log cabin block before don't worry it is easy - I promise!
You just add strips of fabrics to a center square going round clock wise or anti clockwise - the choice is up to you. It really is as simple as that!

to make the scrappy log cabin block:
Place two scraps of fabric right sides together on top of the batting, just eyeball the position you don't have to start in the precise center. Sew straight on top of the batting, fold open and press.

* Tip: I use a pressing cloth as the batting does not agree with my iron, you could also just finger press since these pieces are very small*
Place your next piece of fabric right sides together and sew -again straight through the batting - and press.

You get the idea right, it's just like any other liberated log cabin you would make the only difference is you're sewing directly onto the batting. This is exactly the same way I make my log cabin cushions and coasters - for those of you who have been asking ;-)

Since we're making a rectangular log cabin I try to add wider strips on the top and bottom and narrower ones for the sides. This way I can add more rounds to the log cabin which will make it nice and scrappy. I do not measure my strips beforehand, just pull my fabrics straight from my scrap bins, and trim them back a bit of necessary.

be careful not to cut straight through the batting!
Just keep adding rounds to your log cabin...

.. until your batting is completely covered.

Trim back to 6" x 9" and zig zag the edges.

Step 2
 I am going to add a bit of applique for fun!
Roughly cut out the piece of fabric you would like to use and apply double sided fusible interfacing. Trim back, peel off the backing paper and fuse to the top.

If you have a fancy stitch on your machine you never use this may be a good time to use it, or else just zig zag around the outer edge of the applique.

Secure the bakers twine in the center of the back with a couple of stitches.

I use a safety pin to keep the twine safely out of the way for when I'm ready to sew the organizer closed.

Step 3
Fuse interfacing to the lining and pocket fabrics.

to make the pockets:
Fold both fabrics in half and top stitch each one.

Place the smaller pocket on top of the larger pocket and sew to the right side of the lining fabric with a 1/8" seam allowance.

To make the keyfob:
 Fold in half lengthwise, press both edges towards the center and fold in half again.

Top stitch along both sides. Fold in half with the split ring or lobster clasp in the center and stitch closed. If you want to stitch right close up to the split ring you will need to use a zipperfoot, I'm lazy so I just switched the needle position way up to the left.

To make the pen pocket.
Fold in half right sides facing and sew right side closed. Clip corner and turn right side out.

Top stitch and pin onto the left side of the lining fabric.

Sew right side of the pen pocket, and top edge of the key fob to the lining fabric with a 1/8" seam allowance.

Measure 1 1/4" from the side of the pen pocket and mark for sewing, I run the back of my seam ripper along my ruler to create a line but you can use any type of non permanent fabric marker you like.

Sew to create the pen pocket.

Step 4
Pin lining and exterior together right sides facing and stitch all the way round leaving a 2"-3"opening for turning. Clip corners, turn right side out and press.

My keyfob is refusing to lay flat so I'm going to stitch it down, if you have read all the way through before starting you may want to stitch down the key fob before sewing the lining to the exterior.

We're just a few hand stitches away from being done now!
First slip stitch the opening closed.

Then attach a button to the front.

Wrap the twine around the organizer twice and twist around button and...
voila all done!


I hope that everything was clear, if you have any questions I'll do my best to answer them. 
Should you happen to make one of these scrappy organizers or anything else from one of my tutorials I'd love it if you added them to me brand spanking new Flickr group here
It's just me alone out there at the moment so please take pity and come join me ;-)

x Leila