Thursday, 22 July 2010

52MM Week 3 - Patchworking

Now this is probably cheating with the rules of the 52MM challenge, as I am showing you development rather than a new 'make', but I figured the quilt is going to take many weeks to make, so I am allowed to show its progress over the weeks! 
If not, feel free to kick me out of the club Thrifty Mrs!!

So last week I made a little bundle of hexagons, and my intentions were to keep making them til I had several hundred, then begin to sew them all together, but I thought I might enjoy the process of joining the pieces if I did it more gradually. So I picked a random selection and started sewing them together.

This took me several evenings, as the stitches need to be reallllly tiny and invisible, so it requires care and attention from me! I have sewn 14 hexagons together so far, and am thinking I need more blue squares added to stop this from going into pink over load!

I would love some opinions, is it already too pink? Too floral? Just right?
Next week I promise I'll post something other than hexagons (probably!)

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

52MM Week 2 - Fabric Hexagons

Sorry I am a little behind in posting my second week of the 52 Marvelous Makes challenge. So this is really what I was working on last week, and I will catch up with this weeks project tomorrow! Still with me?! Anyway, perusing eBay (as you do) I came across this gorgeous piece of Cath Kidston paisley fabric, one of my absolute favourites. In fact, of all Cath's prints, her paisley ones are my favourites.

So when the lovely piece of fabric arrived I decided I wanted to make hexagons with it, as I had really enjoyed making my hexagon cushion a few months ago, and wanted to try and aim for a hexagon quilt. There I said it, I want to make a hexagon quilt, even though I still haven't finished my large square quilt. The reason thats unfinished is because my lovely kitten Jack decided he wanted to rip the wadding I had bought for it to shreds, so my wadding has a huge hole that I may or may not get around to fixing!!

So I cut out some paper pieces and starting making hexagons. I usually do these in the evening while watching TV, or when there is nothing good on TV! I am not a big TV watcher, I watch certain things each week - One Tree Hill is my big weakness! I can't miss an episode!! So this keeps my hands busy while I'm watching!

I just basically dived into my box of usable sized scraps, mixed with some of my precious Cath Kidston pieces (very kindly sent to me by some lovely bloggers) and have made about 50 hexagons. I probably need about 400 to make a quilt! Maybe it could be more of a baby size quilt. Any thoughts?

I do love watching them stack up like this, and you will notice, the colours are mostly pinks, blues and greens, so I hope the quilt pieces co-ordinate with each other once they have been painstakingly hand sewn together!!
Back tomorrow for Week 3.
Gemma x

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Little Lady Cushions

I promised to show the cushions I made for the girls in my next blog post so here they are, both were requested to be pretty, pink and flowery. They both meet the requirements, but in slightly different ways!
Firstly this is the bolder of the two, made from a cute pink strawberry/cherry print with a pink polka dot E initial on the front.

I cut into my Cath Kidston pop flowers fabric and added six blue flowers around the letter for a little extra decoration.

The back is made from the same sweet fabric, and closes with two beautiful pearlised buttons.
Now I know this little girl loves pink, so I really hope she is pleased with it, I have really enjoyed getting out the most girly  and cutest fabrics for these cushions!

The second is a little bit more toned down in pastel colours and very pretty, made from a pale pink gingham fabric with a floral print D appliqued on the front as well as six little flowers too.

The Cath Kidston flowers work really well for applique, as they are just the right size for this kind of project. I also cut out two flowers from the same ditzy floral print too and appliqued them around the D.

For the back I used two of my very special pink glittery buttons and added a Roses and Gingham fabric label. I really hope these go down well with the two ladies, and I hope their mummy's like them too!

As I have more than enough fabric to make another one of two of these I decided to add them to my Folksy shop, you can find the polka dot cushion here, and the gingham cushion here

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Something For A Little Man

I have really been enjoying making for little people lately, what with the birth of two little boys the last few months, it has been lovely to have someone to make things for. I was asked by my cousin to make some cushions for her niece, nephew, and a friends daughter, and this is the one made for her nephew.

I found this brilliant retro style car print fabric and made a personalised cushion with his initial on the front. I appliqued it on in a red fabric, and added two red stars to the front. 

Its a really lovely material to work with, and the print is wonderfully nostalgic. I backed the cushion with the same fabric, and it closes with an envelope backing and two vintage buttons.

I am hoping the little man will like his handmade cushion.
I have listed two of these in my Folksy shop if you have a little man you'd like to order one for.
I'll be back to show you the two girly cushions I made next!

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Making Brooches

For some crazy unknown reason, the other day I thought it would be a brilliant idea to spend my morning cutting out about a hundred small circles for my craft class at Emporium to make my floral brooches. So I raided my scrap box for bright, colourful and cheerful fabrics and got cutting.

The huge pile did make me smile though, so many different colours and patterns all mixed together ready to be sewn into colouful brooches.

So using a circle of felt at the back, and a small brooch bar, the children made themselves a really pretty brooch each, some decorated with buttons, some without, but all very cheerful!

The great thing about these brooches is that they look really bold when worn, but are really simple to make, and they take less than an hour (well, not if you include cutting hundreds of circles!)

So I was pleased I remembered my camera for this lesson as the finished brooches look really lovely, and  its good to have a photos of what they are making to show anyone else who is interested in signing up fot the classes.

My lessons are actually finishing this week, and will be back next September for new classes.

Hope you enjoyed seeing their brooches, I know my blog is linked to the Emporium website so the girls might get to see these on my blog!

Friday, 9 July 2010

New Handmade Goodies

I wanted to show some of the things I have been making lately, I must say my craft mojo seems to be back and I am really pleased. I think it always helps when people take an interest in your makes and show enthusiasm, then you find yourself more enthusiastic about making!
So I have been hoarding this gorgeous rose print globaltex fabric for about a year now, I blogged about it when I bought it, and thought it must be used for something special, something worthy! 

My brother asked the other day if I could bring over some of my handmade things for him to show to family/friends etc, and I realised I actually didn't have very much stock. Lately I have been making things just on request, for special orders or through Emporium and had not really got much to show, so with a few hours to spare before I was due to see him I rustled up some goodies.

I love making cushions, and I think they are really great for showing off a gorgeous print, or a bold pattern. I think thats why I hoarded this fabric, because its thick cotton duck weight, so its not practical for quilting, and the scale of the print means it really needs to work on a larger item. So this may or may not be sold by now, but lets just say, if its not, I wont be too gutted as I'll have a(nother!) gorgeous cushion for my bedroom!

I thought some hearts might be good to bring too, because everyone loves a fabric heart, and as time was limited I did them the zigzag method, which is a lot faster, and also in my opinion a whole lot prettier than trying to turn it inside out, and do an invisible slip stitch (not my strongest stitch!)

So I did one using Cath Kidston blue star fabric and some gorgeous Patch gingham ribbon.
I think this would be lovely in a little boys room for a new baby gift.

Then a pink star Cath Kidston print for a baby girl perhaps? These were really small pieces of fabric sent to me by a lovely blogger, and I have been hoarding them too long. (I suppose thats because I hoard all the good stuff!!)

So I was pleased to make good use of them, and make them into something pretty. I also added pink gingham ribbon from Patch again.

I did another using a sweet candy striped floral print fabric, and used yet again more Patch ribbon - Patch ribbon is some of the nicest I've used, and I'm not just saying that because Claire's my mate! But honestly, its nicer quality than John Lewis, and definitely nicer than the ribbon that is available at my local haberdashers!

Pretty ribbon isn't it?

And lastly, using some lilac print vintage Cath Kidston fabric, I made a pretty country style heart which is a little more chic and grown up.

I love this deep purple polka dot ribbon, just gorgeous!

So I hope you like my new makes, if I have any goodies left over I think I'll be adding them to my Folksy shop, which has been a little neglected lately.
Happy Crafting! X

Thursday, 8 July 2010

52MM Week 1 - Carrot Cake

This week marks the official start of my participation in the 52 Marvelous Makes Challenge, so I aim to post once a week with my make for the week, and maybe post some ideas of other things I'd like to make through the course of the challenge.
Anyway week 1 :: carrot cake. 
Something I have never made before but I am a big fan of carrot cake, especially when served with hot custard...mmm!
So my recipe comes from the ever lovely Lucy at Attic24.

So I got my ingredients together, and my ringbinder notebook which holds all of the recipes which I've found online, through blogs and in magazines and some of my own altered and adjusted recipes too.
I always use basic flour when baking, and my cakes always rise beautifully, I really am not a food snob at all, and am still really enjoying being the person in charge of the menu and food budget at my house! 

Ooh do you see my lovely pink spoony-spatula? Its by 'rice' and works brilliantly for baking! I also love to use this vintage bowl when baking, its just the right size, I know these types of bowl have a specific name, but I can't for the life of me think what it is! Any help anyone?

I also decided, seeing how as I am enjoying being in the kitchen a lot, that the Cath Kidston tea towels should be freed from the cupboard and actually used in the kitchen! I know, what a shocking concept!!
So in goes the flour and butter....

Add carrots, sugar, oil and ground mix spice and whisk away. 
This recipe is a little different from the normal cake recipes in that it doesn't use any eggs, which gives it a thicker, more batter like consistency, rather than a light fluffy mixture.

Heres my mix ready to go in the baking tin, unfortuately I didn't have the size of cake tin recommended for the recipe so I used my trusty loaf tin instead!

Ready to go into the oven, and looking a little sloppy I must say!

And here it is. Perfectly risen, and nicely browned. 
Now my attempts to make the icing didn't work out so well, it was soooo runny and sloppy that I decided against icing the cake and have left it au naturel. Better for me anyway, as I'll only be pouring a load of custard over it anyway :)

So I thought it might be a good idea for me to keep a list in my sidebar of my makes each week, and also, to make a list right here of things I'd like to make/achieve over the next year:

a hexagon patchwork quilt
flapjacks/oat bars
something for my sister for her birthday
a beef casserole
a union jack cushion for my brother
a sucessful coffee cake (mine have been disasterous!)
a handmade item of clothing (probably some sort of top)
learn how to use zips properly and make something using one!
chocolate chip muffins

Thats about it for now, would love to know what you are planning if you are part of the challenge! X

Thursday, 1 July 2010

52 Marvelous Makes Challenge!

Yesterday I popped over to The Further Adventures of A Thrifty Mrs blog and decided to join Mrs T and many others in The 52 Marvelous Makes Madness Challenge!
The idea of the challenge is...and I quote from the lady herself:

"the challenge is to make 52 things you'll enjoy making in the space of a year."

I am excited and slightly nervous about the prospect of having to keep myself on track for a whole year, but as Mrs T says, there are no strict rules or time limits! 

Anyway, I hope some of my lovely readers will pop over and join in the challenge!
I am working on my first weeks project as I type!!
I aim to blog regularly about my makes, be they craft, cooking, baking, or any other kind of "make" which I hope will give me a bit of a kick start with my blogging which has slowed down rather more than I would like!
If you are taking part in the challenge, let me know by commenting, and tell me what sorts of things you have planned for your 52 makes!