Sunday, 26 February 2012

Sunday Sewing ~ sampler quilt

How is your weekend? We have had a glimpse of spring here - yay!
I spent a few happy hours on the sofa watching dvd's and hand stitching a few blocks for my sampler quilt to be.
I made two granny squares.

Weekend sewing - Granny Square
  I drew the block in Photoshop rather than follow the tutorial, because I wanted my blocks to finish at 6". I simply traced the squares and triangles on some freezer paper added seam allowances and hand stitched them together. 
Weekend sewing - Granny Square
There is no real reason for hand stitching them other than I felt like it!

My sampler of course needs a + & x block, I followed the same method as with the granny squares to make a 6" block. I find it easier to just make templates for these blocks than doing the maths.

Weekend sewing - + & x

And I made two cute little house blocks following Kerry's latest tutorial, machine pieced this time. After working through several blocks from Patchwork 318 those y seams do not scare me much anymore so I chose the version that included them. But Kerry has made templates for piecing the block without y seams and foundation paper piecing as well - she is kind like that!

Kerry's mini house
They finish at only 4" isn't that sweet?! I am not sure if they will end up in the sampler because they are a different size but for now they are included. I can imagine a whole quilt of these would be fab! You can find the free pattern for this block on Kerry's blog here

So feeling that I had been rather productive I spread all my precious blocks out on the floor in happy anticipation of seeing the quilt grow.
Sampler quilt my blocks so far
The house blocks were made for me by Ayumi, Kerry and Charise in Patchwork 318 the bee.

  Well, the amount of blocks may not be that impressive but they sure are pretty together don't you think?

Did you sew anything good this weekend?

x Leila

Monday, 20 February 2012

Weekend Sewing

I have had a wonderful weekend in, sewing my little heart out!
A little while back I splurged on Wiksten's Tova pattern, not exactly what I am used to paying for a sewing pattern but I had seen so many wonderful tops and dresses made. I simply could not resist.
I made both the dress and the top version and I love them both!

For the dress I used a wonderfully soft cotton muslin, it is black so it will go with pretty much anything and I think I will get a lot of use out of this dress.

I also bought this lovely sheer cotton voile on our local market and decided this would be perfect for a soft floaty summer top. I changed the collar a bit to make it look less dressed up and more like a tunic. It was easy enough to do I cut one collar piece and just folded it under like you do for the sleeve cuffs. I am pretty happy with the results!

Wiksten Tova Top
The only problem is I am all dressed up now and nowhere to go on a Monday afternoon ;)

What did you do this weekend?

x Leila

Friday, 17 February 2012

Patchwork 318 Bee

This is my last block for Patchwork 318 the bee. Charise asked us all to make a basket block and I could not help myself it had to be the sewing basket!
Patcwork 318 Bee - Basket for Charise

Kumiko Fujita's basket blocks are deceivingly tricky and  I spent more time with my seam ripper than anything else making this block. It did not help that close to completing I finally noticed my 1/4" seam foot has a pin missing -for who knows how long!- which explains a lot about my struggles with seam allowances lately.

Picnik collage

I have really enjoyed being in this small bee, thank you ladies for inviting me!

Yesterday I took out the few Farmer's Wife quilt blocks I made and mixed them up with the bee blocks I received and I love it! So the plan is now to make a sampler quilt with bee blocks along with whatever patchwork block strikes my fancy.  I have been watching all the lovely granny square blocks take over Flickr, a few of those would be fun and perhaps a hexabetty or two!
My creation

It is going to be a long term project as I want to include blocks from Cocorico and Ringo Pie as well. I am thinking it will be a nice winter of 2012 project to find the perfect lay out for them, debate whether or not sashing is in order and make the quilt - what do you think?

Have a lovely weekend!

Leila x

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Scrappy Leaf Key Fob Pattern

Today is a rather exciting day for me because I have completed my very first pattern -eek!
These scrappy leaf key fobs are so much fun to sew and you get to use up some of your scraps in the process. I don't know about you, but to me that is always a bonus! They are fun and easy to sew up and make great last minute gifts for friends and family!

impeoved keyfobs all
The pattern includes templates for paper piecing, but there is also the option to string piece the patchwork leaf and improvise with the shape and size. There are plenty of possibilities to put your own spin on them!

I am very grateful for the help I got from my wonderful pattern testers Penny, Nova and Charise, I owe you one girls!

We are in different time zones, but if you head on over to their blogs a little later today I am sure they are happy to show you the pretty leaves they have been sewing up. There might be a little something in it for you too...just sayin' ;)

And of course you can buy a copy of the pattern in my shop here.

x Leila

Monday, 13 February 2012

Cocorico February ~ Pippi

It is Muriel's month in Cocorico and she chose Pippi as her theme. I got all excited about this because I adore Pippi! If you have not read the books or watched the films I can highly recommend them.
I had plenty of ideas for blocks but had to drop one after the other as they were all way over my head! I finally settled on a block that does not feature Pippi herself but one of her favourite foods....cake, preferably eaten for breakfast ;)
Pippi takes all her friends to the candy shop where they buy up a ton of sweets and goodies and have a very good time together. So that was my inspiration.

Cocorico February for Muriel

I drew up a rough sketch of where I wanted what to be, and then made paper piecing patterns for each individual section.  I am particularly pleased with how the bow on the chocolate box came out, I was not sure if I would be able to pull it off!
Do have a look at the flickr group Amy and Kerry both made amazing Pippi blocks this month!

x Leila

P.S please check back tomorrow for some exciting news....!

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Cuppa tea love? a paper piecing tutorial

As promised today I have a little Valentine's Day paper piecing tutorial for you all!
I designed this block to be beginners friendly, but also included some smaller pieces to give you something to practice on ;)
The pattern is divided up in sections from A to F, each section is pieced individually and then all sections are pieced together. I will be using the freezer paper method for this tutorial but feel free to paper piece whichever way you like best of course!
With freezer paper piecing each pattern piece has it's own freezer paper template. I like to print a paper copy of the pattern to keep next to my sewing machine for reference as I piece each section. Rather than tracing the pattern on freezer paper by hand, I print a copy of the pattern directly on to the dull side of my freezer paper and save some time. Doing this does mean you will have to cut with a 1/4" seam allowance around the pattern once ironed on.

Lets get started shall we?

Cuppa tea love? a paper piecing tutorial
Finished size: 5 3/4" x 8 1/2"

What you will need: 
Download the free PDF pattern - be sure your printer is set to 100% or no scaling when printing.
-fabric, you don't need large pieces, scraps, layer cake squares or fat eights will do just nicely
- freezer paper
- a clear ruler with 1/4" mark
- normal sewing equipment

Pattern Templates
Print out a copy of the PDF Pattern. Like I mentioned earlier I like to keep one paper copy of the pattern for reference and I print my pattern templates straight unto the freezer paper.
Cut out each section of the freezer paper templates and save a piece of the excess freezer paper for later.

Step One - piecing the heart tea bag
We will start with the pieced heart tea bag in section A. Cut out each piece of your freezer paper template.
The two corner triangles 3 & 5 are rather small and might get lost under your iron if ironed on directly to the fabric. I will draw one new template for these two pieces including seam allowances.

 Simply trace section 5 from the reference pattern and draw 1/4" seam allowance to all sides. Since the corner triangles are mirrored you only need one new template. But do remember to iron the freezer paper to the reverse of the fabric for section 3!

Iron the templates to the right sides of the fabric and cut with 1/4" seam allowance on all sides, except for section 3 & 5 where the seam allowance was already added to the new freezer paper template.
( remember to iron the template to the reverse of the fabric for section 3!)

Sew each piece together in the order they are numbered

Step Two - section A
Iron the pattern templates for section A to the right sides of the fabric and cut with 1/4" seam allowance on all sides.The smaller corner triangles of sections 1 & 2 are conveniently the same size as the corner triangles 3 & 5 of the heart tea bag so we can use this template again. Remember to iron one to the right side and one to the wrong side of the fabric, and no added 1/4" seam allowances for these pieces!
Piece together in the order in which they are numbered.

Step 3 - section B
Iron the pattern templates for section B to the right sides of the fabric and cut with 1/4" seam allowance on all sides. If you find the corner triangles a tad on the small side trace new freezer paper templates including a 1/4" seam allowance, like we did before.
I used the freezer paper templates from my printed copy.

 Piece together in the order in which they are numbered.

Step 4 - Section C
Iron the pattern template for section C to the right sides of the fabric and cut with 1/4" seam allowance on all sides. Sew to section C to section A
Step 5 - section D
Iron the pattern templates for section D to the right sides of the fabric and cut with 1/4" seam allowance on all sides.  Piece together in the order in which they are numbered.
Step 6 - Section E
Iron the pattern templates for section E to the right sides of the fabric and cut with 1/4" seam allowance on all sides.  Piece together in the order in which they are numbered.

 Step 7 - section F
Almost done now! So at the risk of repeating myself ;).. Iron the pattern templates for section F to the right sides of the fabric and cut with 1/4" seam allowance on all sides.  Piece together in the order in which they are numbered.

And you are all done!
I added a little embroidery for the tea bag on this block. It is not finished yet but I think I will add some borders and make a cushion cover with it once I find the time! 


I also experimented with the scale of the pattern and made a smaller version that is just right as a mug rug. Change the scaling in your printer settings or edit the pattern size in a photo editing program if you would like to try this as well.

The smaller the block the smaller the pieces of course which means the construction is a little more fiddly. I did not piece the heart on the tea bag this time but fussy cut some fun tea fabric instead.
I just wanted to show you how you can play around with the pattern and make it fit your own needs.
If you make this block or anything else from one of my tutorials I would love to see it! Please add your photo's to my Flickr group here

I hope you enjoyed my tutorial! If you have any questions just shoot I will do my best to answer them.

x Leila

Monday, 6 February 2012

Sewing again

Thank you all for your lovely comments on my new and improved sewing space!
I have been busy messing things up again in there working on a few new designs for patterns, tutorials and bee blocks.
I have a little paper piecing tutorial in the makes, it will be a fun and easy block to sew just in time for Valentines Day. Here's a little sneak peek...


I will be busy writing up the tutorial over the next few days!

x Leila

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Know when to quit..

I am done! The room is not finished but I sure am finished redecorating it ;)

Blackboard door

Sewing table
Inspiration wall

cutting ironing area

If you would like to read a bit more head on over to Lawson and Lotti's as I am featured today on her Sundays Sewing Space.

x Leila

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Sew Out Loud


Have you been wanting to have a go at paper piecing but not knowing where to start? Wonder where others find those pretty text fabrics? You may want to join Sew Out Loud {quilters wordplay} Quilt Along.
Sew Out Loud is all about sewing and text, with a fair dose of paper piecing thrown into the mix sounds good right?! 

Eleven of my favourite bloggers have come together to design a block each, I just consider myself lucky to be one of them. The 12th block will be designed by one of you. There are lots of fantastic prizes to be won and our winner will be chosen by a very special guest judge....I am bursting to tell you who it is but alas I can not ;)

Fat Quarter Shop has very generously agreed to be our sponsor and has sent each of us designers a lovely stack of fabrics to use in our blocks.

Sew Out Loud - FQS fabrics

Are you excited yet? I really hope you will join us, it is going to be so much fun!
Now, head on over to Julianna's and Kirie's blogs for the full QAL schedule, details on the contest and to enter the kick off Give Away!

x Leila