Thursday, 11 December 2014

An Apple for My (Daughter's) Teacher

So it's that time of year again; everyone's feeling festive and the mood in school is lightening as work winds down and they start having some fun!  

My daughter's in year 1, and she's worked incredibly hard this year, and come on so much, even since September.  And it's all due to her wonderful teacher Mrs L.  So what better way to express my thanks than to create a little hand made gift.  As soon as I saw the apple fabric I knew it had to be for her!  

I love that green fabric to, that I refer to as my 'pear' fabric.  What better a match than pears to go with the teacher's apples!  

I'm really looking forward to my daughter giving this notebook to Mrs L.  Teachers do such a great job, and hopefully they know how much they are appreciated. 

Sarah x

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Needle and Thread Thursday

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

A Christmas Cushion

I'm struggling to keep up with blog posts for the things I've made recently, so here's a little cushion that I made a few weeks back, ready for our home when the festive season is upon us!  

I just love the background fabric and knew as soon as I saw it that I wanted to make a snowflake cushion.  It was lovely to use a combination of techniques too; machine applique, machine quilting for the background, and some hand quilted detail.  I had forgotten how much I enjoy hand quilting!  

It was lovely to make something for the family, and I look forward to getting this cushion out every winter, hopefully for many years to come.  

Thank you so much for stopping by,

Sarah x

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Fresh Poppy Design

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Autumn 2014

It's that time of year again, the Blogger's Quilt Festival 2014!

So if you are new to my blog, firstly, welcome, and secondly, I hope you enjoy listening to the story behind my entry.  

I made this quilt for my daughter's 5th  Birthday.  She adores Hello Kitty, and I knew that I wanted to make her a quilt for her birthday, so a Hello Kitty quilt was perfect.  I got the original inspiration from a cross stitch pattern, and it didn't take me long to blow it up and turn it into a pattern for a quilt. 

That's when I realised there were 720 squares!  I wanted the quilt to have a real 'pixel' effect, so I didn't cut corners, I cut and sewed back together even the white background squares instead of using strips...that did seem a little crazy!

I'm not one to use solids a lot in my work and so this was a real departure from the norm for me.  And with so many white areas, I really wanted the quilting to add texture and depth to the quilt.  So I matchstick quilted it, which took what seemed like forever, but hopefully you will agree was worth it.  

I also included a new technique that I wanted to try; piping around the binding. This is something that I had seen done by my quilting icon, Philippa Naylor.

I think it's a really lovely detail, that I will most certainly be using again.

So here is 'Hello Kitty' basking in the sun in our garden back in the summer.  

I do hope you like her as much as I enjoyed bringing her to life!

Quilt Stats:

Pattern:  Hello Kitty Cross Stitch Chart
Size: Approx 50" x 60"
Fabric: Kona Coal, White, Azalea, Carnation
Backing: Kate Spain
Thread: Aurifil
Quilting: 1/2 inch horizontal straight line quilting
Pieced and Quilted by: Me

Thank you so much for stopping by,

Sarah x

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

It's beginning to look a bit like...


I know it's early, but I have lots of stockings to make, including for my Little Candies...I could hardly leave them out now could I ;-)

They have a little bit of hand stitching across the top...

And another appliquéd star on the heel on the back.

I can't wait to give them to them on the 1st December to hang by the fireplace.

Sarah x

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Thursday, 2 October 2014

The Stitch Gathering 2014

It was a few weeks ago now that I found myself in Edinburgh with the wonderful Jo in the lead up to, during and after The Stitch Gathering 2014.  What a weekend it was!  I was having so much fun, I hardly took any photos!  But here we are in the afternoon session, working hard, chatting and generally sharing the sewing love with like minded people.  

Can you see Jennie from Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine, she was there too and getting stuck in to some EPP!

In the morning I made a cafe apron with the lovely Julie and just yesterday I gifted it to a very special friend of mine.  I'm pleased to say she was delighted with it.

She wasn't the only one who loved these aprons.  Here's Jo's husband Jonathan modelling...I think he looks rather fetching!

It really was a fabulous day, and we were completely spoiled.  We all got a wonderful goodie bag (Thank you Coats, Very Berry Fabrics, Aurifil, LP Magazine, Dashwood, Blend, DMC Threads, Anchor!)  and of course there were a few swaps.  We were all given a special SG bag before hand and asked to decorate it.  Look at the bag I received, it's gorgeous!!  Thank you so much Nikki!  

And here's the EPP and yo yo bag I made for Jane.

I also took part in the name tag swap, and my goodness I hit the jackpot with the badge that I received from the delightful, gorgeous Hikaru.  And she also wrote me a tiny, perfectly formed letter with such beautiful words, I nearly cried.  Thank you so very much Hikaru xx

Here's the badge I made for the wonderful Di, of Willowbeck Designs.   who I'm pleased to say has become a friend after meeting at FQR London both this year and last.  I was so happy to make this badge for her!

If you get the change to go to the Stitch Gathering next year, I say grab the opportunity with both hands, it was just fab.  And of course it's a fantastic excuse to look around the beautiful city of Edinburgh too :-)

Sarah x

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Stitching for the Stitch Gathering...

In just a few days time I shall be on my travels, this time to Edinburgh to see my wonderful friend Jo and attend The Stitch Gathering. 

For once I'm organised and ahead of the game (well sort of!) and I am ready to pack:

1)  My Liberty decorated Stitch Gathering Tote

2) Nametag for my secret partner

And hopefully not too much else as I plan to squeeze in a few fabric purchases from Jo's gorgeous store!  

I'm so excited to have another weekend with quilting friends.  Let the fun begin!

Sarah x

Linking up with:

Fresh Poppy Design

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Summer Roundup

I hadn't planned to have a blogging hiatus over the summer, but life just got so busy with the two little Candies that it had to take a back seat.  

So I thought I'd do a quick round up of the holidays, starting with the fun and merriment that was had at the Fat Quarterly Retreat in London.  

Here I am with Kerri, Liz and Nikki, who came up to meet us all on the Friday night.  You can't beat catching up with sewing friends!

And this was us on the last morning, chatting, hand stitching and enjoying the sunshine.  Can life get any better?!

I had a great time taking part in so many classes and table top sessions, and I was particularly pleased that I actually got to finish a quilt top.

I think I'll add some big white borders to this quilt so it's a bit larger, and to really make the colours pop.  I can't wait to finish this one, and it's for keeps!

So anyway, after the FQR, I was lucky enough to visit the Harry Potter Studios, which was just fantastic.  Do you know this street?!

I did also manage a few makes once I got back to Jersey.  

This summer was particularly special for me, because my daughter made her very first quilt!!  Here she is with her patchwork quilt (technically it's a blanket) for her toy lion, Simba.  

Thankfully there was also time for a family summer holiday, first to Disneyland Paris and then the Dordoigne in France.  

And now it's all over!  But it will be nice to get back into a routine again, not to mention catching up on all the blogs I've missed reading over the summer.

I hope you've had a great summer too.  Thanks for stopping by,

Sarah x  

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

A Quilt Made with Love for Siblings Together

In just 3 days time I'm going to be bound for London, heading to the Fat Quarterly Retreat 2014.   I'm so excited!  I had such a fabulous time last year (read about it here) I just can't wait to meet friends old and new, and have some quilty fun all over again.

This year I'm not going empty handed.  I shall be handing over this quilt to the charity Siblings Together. 

I used a couple of charm packs, mixed and matched, and went for a very 'loud' but fun pink dot border.  I love pink and orange, so I quilted the central panel using a bright orange.   

The binding is a funky geometric design, part of the Comma collection by Zen Chic.  It's crazy but I like it!

I really wanted the recipient of this quilt to know that they are loved and that someone is thinking about them. So I appliquéd a little heart on the back, capturing this little humming bird.

Tula Pink's fabric also features on the back for an added injection of colour!

It's not a big quilt, but I don't think it needs to be.

All I have to do now is sew on the label Catherine sent me, and squash it into my 'hand luggage' sized suitcase.  This is one finish I will be happy to part with, knowing that it will brighten someone's day knowing that they are loved.  

Sarah x

Friday, 4 July 2014

Hello Kitty!

It's the eve of the 5th birthday party.  My goodness it's been a long time coming.  Preparations have been under way for weeks.  No months.  Because about 6 months ago I had the crazy idea to turn a cross stitch pattern into a quilt.  Not just any quilt.  Oh no. It had to be a very special Hello Kitty quilt for my daughter's 5th birthday.  Which seemed like a good idea at the time, until this week when it was touch and go whether it was going to be finished in time for the Hello Kitty Party.  

It's been a crazy week of stitching.  I mean, non-stop stitching in between being a full time mum and part time teacher.  But I did it.  All 730 two inch squares of her.  Phew!!  And here she is.  

Can you see the horizontal quilting?  It took me a loooong time.  But I think it's worth it.  I wanted all that white space to have lots of lovely texture, and I think it has, what do you think?  

I also used this quilt as an opportunity to try out a new technique that I learnt in a workshop with award winning quilter Philippa Naylor.  

I just love the look of the piping next to the binding and it's definitely something I'll do again.  Sure, it's quite a bit of extra work, but I think it's worth it.  

I'm feeling pleased that a little vision of turning a cross stitch into a quilt actually worked.  This is how she started. 

And here she is as a quilt.  Kitty's favourite pastime is laying in sun.  

And I'm very envious because I can't remember the last time I laid in the sun for more than 5 minutes...I've got a party to organise!  

Quilt Stats:

Pattern:  Hello Kitty Cross Stitch Chart
Size: Approx 50" x 60"
Fabric: Kona Coal, White, Azalea, Carnation
Backing: Kate Spain
Thread: Aurifil
Quilting: 1/2 inch horizontal straight line quilting
Pieced and Quilted by: Me

Sarah x

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Monday, 30 June 2014

Strip Bees - United at Last!

So last weekend I took a little trip to London, to meet with the wonderful Strip Bee Ladies for the very first time.  

Packing my suitcase was a bit deja vu, because our original meet up was planned for March. Just hours before I was due to fly, Jen, our host for the weekend fell and broke her shoulder and we had to cancel. She couldn't have done it if she tried! 

So meeting up took on extra special meaning, and my goodness did we have a wonderful weekend.  First I met Amy in London and we took every opportunity to be tourists.  We just had to dive in to the M and M store to see the M and M wall, which I think would make a wonderful quilt. 

Of course we had the obligatory trip to Liberty, and then we headed to Chocy Wocky Do Dah, a wonderful chocolate shop, with cakes like you've never seen before.  I think this one was my favourite.  

We also visited The Cloth House which is even more beautiful on the inside.  Check out their brand new website, which even has video footage of the store, to some very 'folky' music! 

We also happened to be walking past Hamley's Toy Store, and I knew they had lifesize figures of the Royal Family on display upstairs.  So we endured the noise, flying toys and crowds to see Her Majesty in all her glory - isn't she fabulous!  

The next day was the day were we were all 6 together, hooray!  And we had a wonderful afternoon receiving our quilts.  They started off a year ago as just one strip, which everyone then added to.  Here's some shots of the Big Reveal.

And finally, here we all are with our quilts, on a glorious sunny summer's day. 

I had such a fantastic, special weekend.  It was so wonderful meeting everyone, and Jen looked after us like Kings.  I can't wait to do it all again, hopefully one day very soon!  

Sarah x

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stitch by stitch