Sunday, 30 October 2011

Bloggers Quilt Festival ~Autumn 2011

I came home just in time for Blogger's Quilt Festival yay! If you clicked through from Amy's blog, welcome I hope you will enjoy my blog.

I have no new quilt to share today, so instead my entry is the plus and x blocks quilt I finished last June. In many ways this is my most loved quilt ever.

Plus & X blocks Quilt

Piecing the plus and x blocks was a very slow process - as in the blocks
take f o r e v e r to piece - but I enjoyed it very much because I got to play with all the pretty bits of fabric I had collected.
I didn't have much of a plan for this quilt, I just loved the block and wanted to get started straight away.

+ & X blocks Quilt {postbox}

I found that whenever I added fabrics I loved most to the mix they would somehow work. And whenever I started doubting my choices and tried to add fabrics because I thought I needed to balance out the colours, or make it more 'modern' {what a silly thought!} the blocks didn't turn out so great.
In short I learned to trust my instinct more, which apparently is something I need reminding of over and over again!

&X Blocks Quil {close up for Julianna}

My quilt top ended up being a little puckered in some places where the bias cut pieces weren't laying flat. I love when accidents turn into a blessing because the puckers pushed me to go one step further and add applique to the top.
I started to cover up the few puckers first and then added more numbers, that I roughly cut out of left over backing fabric.  I think it has added much more interest to the overall design.


Want to read more about this quilt? you can find my previous posts here
If you have a few hours to spare go have a look through all the other entries in the Blogger's Quilt Festival here.

x Leila

Friday, 21 October 2011

Nani Iro skirt

I am used to having to shop far and wide to get my precious Japanese designer fabrics. So I was delighted to find a Dutch webshop that carries a nice selection of some of my favourites; Mondaysmilk

I made this same skirt with a Nani Iro double gauze knit before and I wear it all the time, so it was about time for a new one. Is it just me or do you worry about wearing out your favourite clothes too?

Decapitated me as usual because I couldn't be asked to put on some make-up ;-)

The pattern is from 'one piece & skirt' and it's the only thing I have dared to make from this book. I have little faith in my dressmaking skills, and the fact that it's all in Japanese doesn't help either, but simple skirts I can handle.

I could live in this outfit especially since the skirt has nice deep pockets,  love me some pockets!


So I may just need to make one's the right thing to do really, since I already have the fabric ;-)

Ok- I'm on my way to enjoy the Cornish coast for a few days, and I'm turning the computer off {she said bravely} - wish me luck wit the withdrawal that will set in any minute now!

x Leila

Thursday, 20 October 2011

mad pillow making woman

I've been on a mad cushion making spree over the last couple of days!
Besides the ones I showed you here already,

patchwork squares...

patchwork pillow

log cabin..

log cabin pillow

I made another log cabin...

log cabin cushion #2

and more patchwork squares!

Patchwork pillow

All four of these have flown out of the shop faster then I could whip them up, I am most pleased!
I will be busy making some more, but I probably will not list them until I get back from my little break next week :-)

 I also found time to sew myself a little cushion to keep.

I'm on a mad cushion making spree!

This is a wee 14" cushion, the house block is a pattern from Kumiko Fujita's patchwork 318.

I'm thinking my month in this bee will have 'Home sweet home' as a theme. There are some really cute house blocks in this book. But there are also lots of applique blocks, a combination of both would be lovely don't you think?
I am not sure if this is a worldwide thing, but I think it is.. We get these decorative wall tiles, you know the ones I'm talking about right? They usually have a decorative motif stenciled or painted on them with a corny saying like ' home is were the heart is or 'seize the day' (I mean no offense by calling them corny- if you have a whole collection of them you rock!)
I was thinking of mixing up house blocks with these flowery applique blocks and corny sayings about love and home and family to turn into a large cushion or wall hanging or something.
I still have time to change my mind,  what do you think?

x Leila

Oh and one more thing, you may have noticed (Anna!) I'm wearing a new Nani Iro skirt in the last two pictures. I will show it off properly soon!

Monday, 17 October 2011

October Bee Blocks

Thanks to all your wonderful tips I finished this months cocorico bee block .
I tried most of the suggestions for the antennae, before settling on these .The bias tape applique looked too whimsical, which is not what I was after with this block. After a few stitches of embroidery I thought it didn't show enough contrast.. I can not for the life of me master free motion so I just 'stitched and turned'

Annabel's Orchard - Cocorico Bee block October
Annabel's Orchard

 I'm pleased with how this block came out and I do think it rather looks more like a moth/butterfly than a half dresden now. Annabel asked for 12" x 16" blocks to make placemats for her dinner guests. Although I do think she has changed her mind on letting food touch her blocks now ;-)

Next up is the block I made for Kerry for our Patchwork 318 bee.
Kerry chose 'afternoon tea' as her theme, which I love. I drink it by the bucket so this was definitely a theme I could work with ;-)

Kerry's Afternoon Tea - Patchwork 318 Bee - October

I actually think Kerry's afternoon tea is a lot more refined than mine. No buckets there but a fine collection of vintage cups and saucers she picked up on one of her trips to the car boot sale.
This block measures 6 1/2" unfinished.

Next month we'll hit the slopes with Krista, she and her family enjoy skiing something I know nothing about! The bar has been set amazingly high already have a look at Amy's block!!
And I get to choose a theme for the 318 bee, I have not settled on a final idea yet but I will keep you all posted.

x Leila

Friday, 14 October 2011

Friday Favourites

This week flew buy without much of anything happening here.  Just the everyday little things.

make up pouch lace

Our early morning bicycle rides to school have gotten less pleasant by the constant autumn rain. There's the piles of laundry that finally got the better of me and demanded my immediate attention. Wiping noses, supermarket trips, cooking dinner, picking up dirty socks around the house, stepping on those pesky bits of Lego - they are everywhere!

make up pouch sashiko close up

Inbetween these pleasures of motherhood, I did manage to sew up some new pouches for the shop. Including my new labels from gutentags Cassie was very fun to work with and I love the look of my new smaller tags. I have a long blog and shop name and it's been difficult for me to find labels the right size, these will do me just fine!

Here are some of my favourites from Flickr to inspire those weekend sewing projects.

Friday Favourites

1. Double Wedding Ring Basket, 2. Tiny coin purse side 2, 3. for Tasha, 4. Patchwork Pinwheel pillow, 5. Little House Ornaments, 6. the twins..., 7. From Quilter's Studio, 8. autumn collection part 1, 9. clutches3

Have a happy weekend!

x Leila

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

about a pillow, crochet and photography in the dark..

Is it really Tuesday already?!
I am missing a day here surely, you know that feeling when for an entire week you're living on the wrong day? Well that's me right now.

First as promised the other pillow- or cushion cover if you wish - I sewed up on Friday.

log cabin pillow

One big scrappy liberated log cabin, I love it! This type of log cabin block is still my very favourite to sew up. I pull tons of scraps from my bins and make a huge mess of the floor. I sew everything straight onto the batting,  and love the freedom to create as I go without a plan or design. Every piece of fabric I pull leads me to the next. If my strip is too short I'll just add another piece to it that will make it fit, and before I know it I'll have the top complete and quilted as well.
I have it listed in my shop here


I've been doing some crochet on my lazy weekend and I'm almost done with a small 'ordinarily extraordinary blanket', using Dottie Angel's tutorial.
Now help me wish for a patch of clear sky so I can go outside to take pictures of it!

I have learned lots about taking better photo's from reading tips and tricks online. I can find my way around Picnick blindfolded now if I must.  But I still haven't mastered the art of taking half decent photo's when it rains outside and it's dark inside. Do you use the flash or not, I'd say not, but what to do for light? And I really don't want to have to go as far as building a home photography studio with special lights and whatnots! Do you have any tips and tricks you use during the dark months? Enlighten me ;-)

x Leila

Friday, 7 October 2011

Friday Favourites

Today was a typical autumn day with gusts of wind and plenty of rain.
Perfect sewing conditions!
I made two new cushion covers today, but I'm lazy and only edited the photo's of this one ;-) I am loving these earthy neutrals they're very serene don't you think?

patchwork pillow

This weekend I plan on staying cooped up inside with no obligations I'll sew if I feel like it but perhaps I'll be really bad and just veg out completely.
There's no place like home on cold and rainy days!

Friday Favourites

1. Yarn Project 2, 2. footrest, 3. Teeny Houses, 4. Finished!, 5. Home Sweet Home, 6. PP9 From my House to Yours potholder set, 7. Block for Bearpawandbearpaw, 8. Felted Slippers, 9. full frontal

What are your plans for the weekend?

x Leila

Thursday, 6 October 2011

More on slippers ..

Some of you had a few questions about the slippers I made from Suzuko Koseki's book Natural Patchwork, so I'll try and answer them here.

The main thing of course with slippers is finding the right size.
I enlarged the pattern by 200% as per the book's instructions and the slippers fit me perfectly.
I am a European size 37 which conversion charts tell me to be US/Canada: 6 1/2 - Australia: 5 - UK: 4
The pattern measurements indicate that the length of the sole is 9 1/2" I'm hoping this will help you determine if your pattern pieces need to be larger or smaller.


I used a double layer of cotton batting for the soles, which I'm pleased with. They are nice and warm and still very soft and flexible. For the bottom soles I used a left over bit of home dec weight canvas, this is not as slip proof as I hoped. Next time I may try using a rubber sole if I can find a pair.
I may also try and secure the lining somewhere in the toe as it's only attached to the opening and slides out a bit.I think a few hand stitches should solve this problem easily.


Apart from being the cutest pair of slippers I've ever had the fact that they're all cotton allows your feet to breathe unlike the fuzzy synthetic slippers you'd buy in the shops. No smelly slippers ladies, isn't that a big plus?!

Happy sewing!
If you have any more questions just shoot and I'll do my best to answer them.

x Leila

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

w.i.p ~moth bee block~

I'm back!!

I freaked a little when they told me yesterday they were confident to have my internet restored in 5 working days...I mean five whole days without internet who could handle that?! ;-) But 27 hours later I'm back up and running.

I need your opinions on this bee block I'm working on for Annabel in the cocorico bee
I was inspired by Meg's Bee block and though it could do with a moth friend. After excitedly piecing the wing part I realized there was no way I could piece that scalloped edge. The only solution I could come up with was to applique the whole moth onto the background fabric. Now after all this needle turn applique I'm not so sure if I like it at all!

w.i.p. bee block for annabel

It obviously still needs antenna, and perhaps I'm just quick to judge and the antenna will make all the difference.
My little monster saw this and asked what it was. When I told him 'it is supposed to be a butterfly dear' he said 'well that didn't quite work out then mum did it!'
So what do you think, carry on or reject pile? And if carry on is your answer any suggestions on how I should do the antenna?
I'd love to hear your thoughts!

x Leila

Hi everyone, just a quick note to let you all know, construction workers across my street have dug up our DSL cable leaving us all without internet!!
I hope to be back soon, but in the meantime if you don't hear back from me you know why.

Till soon!

x Leila

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Fresh Sewing Day September

Thanks for all your kind words and well wishes on my previous post!! The sun's been shining for the last couple days and I'm happy to say I'm feeling much better :-)

It is the first of October and that means Lynne is hosting Fresh Sewing Day!
Here's what I've been up to last month.


It's a  little bit of everything. I made a couple things just for me, a few bee blocks. Some things for others and I've added quite a few new items to the shop as well.

This month I'm hoping to finally get my AMH quilt finished it is taking forever to hand quilt those flowers so it better be worth it ;-) And I'll be back in a few days with a give away for you all!

Now head on over to Lily's Quilts to link up!

Fresh Sewing Day

Have a fun weekend,

x Leila