Thursday, 27 December 2012

another year over...

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas time!

I don't have a large family and they live scattered all over Europe so spending these days together isn't always a given. This year we managed to all get together and enjoy a fancy Christmas dinner. It's been good fun and I am so grateful my family took the time to travel down here.
Now it is my turn to pack the suitcases and fly out for a few days to celebrate the new year with my Mr.

Since I'll be gone and not planning to spend my days glued to the computer I thought I'd take this moment to wrap up 2012.


Looking back on the year I can see I've been mostly practicing and improving my paper piecing and dress making skills. I finally feel like I got the hang of this paper piecing thing and I understand the basics of designing my own patterns and more importantly how to use Photoshop Elements to do so.
I've also grown much more confident in my dress making abilities, I can tackle some minor pattern adjustments and I'm not afraid to cut into my precious fabrics anymore. Mum, your sewing lessons are finally paying off! ;)

I'm already cooking up some plans for the new year. I started on some quilt blocks that I think would make a fun QAL if you fancy one? I've been dyeing more scarves, I'm playing around with Touchdraw - I've got lots more to learn on pattern design! I'd like to fit at least one swap in this year and I'm also itching to do a bit of hand sewing I'm thinking sashiko...

For now I just want to thank you all for your kind comments and support! May you have a wonderful creative new year!!

xx Leila

Monday, 17 December 2012


This weekend I decided to experiment with some fabric dye. I picked up a few metres of plain sheer cotton and two colours to play with.  I went for the ever popular ombre look by simply dipping the ends of the scarves in the dye first and slowly working my way to the middle.

Experimenting with hand dyed scarfs. I should have bought more fabric to play with, this is fun!

The results are not too shabby, two hand dyed scarves that are very easy to wear. My only regret is that I didn't buy more fabric, I have a few more ideas I would like to try out.

x Leila

Thursday, 6 December 2012

two more bee blocks

These are my last two bee blocks for Cocorico.

First up is Erin who has a little one on the way and asked us for nursery rhyme blocks. I settled on twinkle twinkle little star. I used Lynne's ET phone home block because I loved how the stars in this block also look a bit like a brilliant cut diamond 'like a diamond in the sky'...

Erin's block completed. It turned quite soft with a sort of vintage feel, I like it. Hope Erin will like it too!

I took a snap shot with my new toy, isn't Instagram the best!

This block has a very soft vintage sort of feel to it, which is exactly what I wanted - result!

Next up is another house block for Kerry. I used a pattern from Patchwork 163 (I got my copy here) it's a lovely book I'm dying to make so many more of these blocks!

House block for Kerry #cocorico

I tried to incorporate as many cute fabrics as I possibly could without it becoming too busy. There's little fussy cut pieces of Kumiko Fujita and Shinzi Katoh for the door and windows, a bit of Suzuko Koseki for the main body of the house and some Denyse Schmidt for the roof. House blocks are possibly my very favourite thing to sew!

With these two last blocks I've finished a years worth of Cocorico blocks. I think a mosaic is in order don't you?!

Cocorico blocks for 2012

I sure hope we will be doing another round in 2013!!

x Leila

Monday, 3 December 2012

Christmas Pudding ornaments - tutorial

I'm slowly but surely getting into the Christmas spirit - yay! I whipped up a couple of cute ornaments and thought y'all might like a little tutorial?
These Christmas Pudding ornaments are fun to sew and very easy to make, so lets get started!

christmas pudding smaller

Christmas Pudding Ornaments Tutorial

You will need:
  • Pattern
  • Brown wool felt
  • White wool felt
  • Green wool felt
  • Red wool felt
  • Stuffing
  • Bakers twine or ribbon for hanging.
  • Embroidery cotton

  1. Cut 2 brown felt circles
  2. Cut 2 white felt icing shapes
  3. Cut 2 green felt leaves. (I found the stems of the leaves too fiddly to cut so I left those off)
  4. Cut 3 red felt berries.
If you have a circle cutter use it! I don't have one so I use my trusty old scissors to cut the circles by hand. I find it easiest to cut as much as possible in one go starting at the base of your scissors moving the felt round as you cut.


  • Applique the white icing on top of the brown circle. 
You can either applique the shapes on by hand or machine, the choice is up to you. I chose a simple running stitch for this tutorial but I'm currently using a blanket stitch on another ornament, it looks great!

  • Fold a length (about 15'') of of bakers twine in half to make a hanging loop, stitch in place.

  • Place both circles wrong sides facing and stitch together. 

You can machine sew the shapes together or hand sew them using a blanket stitch as I did.
  • Leave an opening of about 1'' to stuff your ornament before closing up.

  • Applique leaves and berries.

 You will only need a few small stitches to secure them. The thread will sink into the wool felt leaving your stitches near invisible, it helps if you use matching thread.

Voila all done! 
Now go sew some more they make great little gifts :)

As always if you make something from one of my tutorials please add your photo's to my Flickr group. It really makes my day seeing what you all come up with :)

x Leila