Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Making amends

Months ago I finished this quilt, I enjoyed playing with the design in my head first, and then on paper. My heart skipped a little beat when I found the perfect fabric to work with. When insecurity set in I threw myself out there and asked for your help and received such great advice and encouragement - thank you!
My heart sang as I sewed out a horrible period in my life into these pieces of fabric. And when it was finished I was in such a hurry to share that I tripped over myself, taking pictures in bad lighting,editing without knowing how to, wich resulted in me cringing each time I look at them.

So today I'm making amends, I love this quilt for all it means to me personally, for how my friends both on and off line have responded to it so dearly.  It deserves a better photo...or two ...oh go on then three ;-)

Birds and Empty Cages.

B&C on fence #1

B&C detail

B&C full #2
my tall brother holding the quilt up for me :-)

Phew that feels much better!

I've been happily sewing more +&x blocks {love them!} and will be back soon with some progress shots.

x Leila

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Happy Easter!

We're spoilt with great weather, delicious food and lovely company. Hope you are all having a wonderful Easter too!

x Leila

p.s did you spot my Easter coaster on the table?

Saturday, 23 April 2011

+ & x blocks

+ & x blocks, originally uploaded by Where the Orchids Grow.
Yesterday Amy Badskirt posted a tutorial for these blocks. I just had to drop everything and start sewing them up. I love them!

Have a very happy Easter weekend

x Leila

Monday, 18 April 2011


How was your weekend?
Mine was nice and slow I spent it watching a couple of dvd's, strolling out in the sun and sewing two new tops. It was hard enough taking pictures of me wearing just the one so you'll only get to see me in the grey top. The other is identical but in blue, you're not missing anything trust me ;-)

Polkadot Top

In case you wondered...I have a head just not one that's fit to be in this particular picture!

I have this sudden urge to improve my dressmaking skills and fill up my tired old wardrobe with fabulous handmade creations. It's not exactly working out that way yet, remember the dress I started on? Well it's half finished and not working for me at all! Chucked on the 'I'll get to this later" pile looking all sad and sorry making me feel guilty.

Anyway, despite perusing my patterns on hand frantically I could not find what I wanted to sew so I reverted to the full proof method {ahum!} of drafting my own pattern from a top I already had. This worked out brilliantly as you can imagine and resulted in a very baggy unflattering top destined to end up on the same pile as the dress - poo!
We can't have that now can we, if that wardrobe of mine is to be updated anytime soon. So I decided to improvise. Trust me normally this never works out to my advantage, but this particular time the sewing gods were on my side and I actually managed to produce not one but two tops that I am not ashamed of wearing in public- yay!

I have weid elbows

I particularly like this low cut back, but what is up with my elbows?! I need some anti-wrinkle elbow cream asap!! {is there such a thing and if so where can I get it?}
What do you think should I enter this in the Spring Top Sew Along 2011, or should I keep on practicing?

x Leila

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

~Bee Blocks Parade~

How are you all doing?, it's been a while since we've last talked!
I had an unfortunate flu outbreak in the house and have been couch bound for the last week. But I'm up and about again. The sun is shining and I'm hopeful that was the last of the winter's cold creeping it's way out of our system.

 April happens to be my month in the Fresh Modern Bee 2. I have sent out fabrics from my Anna Maria Horner stash asking for 'simple' blocks using squares and rectangles only. At first I was worried this wasn't going to be enough of a challenge. But I do love a simple block and find that there's lots of possibilities to be creative using simple square shapes.

Innocent Crush for Leila
Lynne's block.
We're only a couple of weeks into April and not all blocks have been made yet but there are some pretty ones popping up in the group already that I'd love to show off to you all.

First up is the incredible Lynne. It's hard to imagine her making a mistake, anything she touches turns into gold. I love how these two outer borders give your eye a place to rest and really help to sort of calm down all these little bursts of colour.

fresh modern bee2 april 2011 block
Chickenfoot's block.

Next is Chickenfoot's block, nice clean and simple squares and rectangles, it lets the pretty fabrics shine. I can't wait to finish this quilt and stroke all the beautiful soft voiles.

And there's Flightin's block wich is a stunner, look at this!

FMBII - April 2011
Flightin's block.
I love everything about it, the combination of fabrics is perfect, the fussy cut center.. notice that teeny  dobby voile border around it? Love!

I never knew just how exciting it is to see the blocks for your month appear on the group pages, now I do I think I am hooked! Can't wait to get these babies back home and look at them up close and personal {do I sound like a quilting perv now? lol!}

I'm really enjoying my month, and looking forward to seeing the rest of the blocks being made :-)

x Leila

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

I received my lovely doll quilt from the wonderful Brittney!

DQS10 Received! From Inaudiblefall

She did a wonderful job making this Roald Dahl inspired little red riding hood. The illustration from his book "Gruesome Rhymes" shows little red holding up a gun, this was causing a bit of a stir in the Doll Quilt Swap group. So Brittney decided to give her a rotary cutter instead, making little red just about as bad ass as I am ;-)
My partner received her quilt as well so that wraps up this swap for me...sad face. It was lots of fun and I can not wait to do the Doll Quilt Swap again!

Yesterday I got an email from the lovely Elaine showing off her version of my circle quilt tutorial. Isn't this beautiful?! I love it.

Did you see the hearts she added instead of some of the circles? Sweet! This turned out such a warm and cozy quilt it makes me want to snuggle up on the couch under this and eat lots of chocolate and watch crappy telly. When you click on the picture it will take you to Elaine's blog where you can read all about this quilt and her other fun sewing projects.

Thank you Brittney and Elaine!!

x Leila

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Placket Pocket ~tutorial~

Have you joined the Goodie Bag Swap over on Flickr yet? I have and I can't wait to get started!

I learned a very neat way how to make a placket pocket the other day, and thought it would be nice to share. It's not difficult to do and it's very useful for bag making as well as dressmaking. Let's get started shall we?

~Placket Pocket Tutorial~

You will need a piece of outer fabric and two pieces of lining fabric for the placket and pocket and some fusible web. (I used smaller scraps of canvas for this tute but ideally you would make this pocket in your bag lining or exterior)

Fuse a strip of fusible web to your exterior fabric, you don't have to measure exactly where it should be as long as you can eyeball it's position covering the entire placket position.
Measure from the top of your exterior fabric and draw a center line. I marked 3"from the top.

Next mark the center of your placket {my exterior fabric measures 8" so the center would be 4"} and make a small dot, measure from the center however large you want your pocket to be. Mine will be 5" so I measured 2 1/2" either side, mark the ends. Now draw a line 3/8" above and below your center line. Also mark 3/8" from the ends and draw a dart like so.

One placket drawn up one more to go. Fuse your webbing to your lining piece of fabric and draw the same placket {this step is not absolutely necessary as long as there's some fusible web on your lining you're good. It does help a little to have the drawing on both sides)

I placed the webbing at the top of my lining piece do not copy this! You'll see why in a minute.
Pin exterior and lining fabrics right sides together and sew your 3/8" lines from corner point to corner point ending and beginning with a a couple of backstitches.

Sew rigth up to your marked ending.
Next we're going to cut the center line through both layers of fabric up to the dart point.

Cut the dart only on the exterior fabric {teal}

Flip over to the other side and cut the center line straight through the {orange} lining fabric only!
Now you can pull your lining fabric through the opening.

Time to heat up that iron and do some pressing. First you want to press your corner darts out of the way.
I pulled the lining to the back for this step.
Next you want to press both top and bottom seams open, it's important to press your seams open and not to one side
After you've pressed your seams open you will press your lining fabric back like so.

So I'm keeping things real here, you will notice my top lining is coming up short (@£%&**$$£@@!!} ideally yours will be at least 1/2" longer or more. I managed to complete the next steps for this tute but trust me you need more lining on top!

This is what the front looks like after pressing.

 It's already starting to look a lot like a pocket :-)

Place your lining fabric on the back. pin and flip to the side so you can sew both lining pieces to the placket seam you've just pressed open.

sorry it's not your eyes it's my shaky hands trying to hold the camera and show you where you'll be sewing!

Sew right next to your first seam. Repeat this for the bottom side. This is what it will look like when you have sewed both top and bottom seam to your lining pieces.

this is where my too short lining was causing troubles. Yours will be nicely secured on top.

Almost done! All that is left is to sew the sides of your pocket closed. You need to catch both your corner darts in your side seams so they're nice and secured. Again sew right next up to the line you drew.

You can now trim your pocket, press, stick an old wooden peg in your pocket, and there you go! Not that hard was it?

Let me know if you have any questions.

x Leila

Friday, 1 April 2011

Fresh Sewing Day

Fresh Sewing Day @ Lily's Quilts

We all love Lynne aka Lily's Quilts don't we?! She is hosting a fun link up over on her blog, Fresh Sewing Day.

Last month was all about small sewing projects for me. I made coasters and a potholder, and now I can not bare to actually use them and get them dirty :S And this little egg rug that I love!

I really enjoyed making this egg rug tutorial. It just makes my day when I see other people frying them up! here and here

Today I'm enjoying some self indulgent sewing. The weatherman predicted summer for tomorrow so when I found this lovely soft voile at the market this morning I could not resist a new summer dress.

new dress

Now lets hope that sun will shine tomorrow and that I actually manage to finish this in time to wear it.

Off to browse through some new blogs now. Don't forget to link up for Fresh Sewing Day!