Category Archives: sewing

Finish: Fabric memory game

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My toddler is a very lucky boy, he gets lots of presents from the whole family, and from Santa Claus! So for Christmas, I wanted to make him something special (from Santa Claus 😉 ) that would also be unique. I like games for children that are fun but also good for development, so I decided to make a fabric memory game.

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I made 24 fabric “cards”, using pairs of fussy-cut images from fabric in my stash, added a white border, a lining of batting and light blue backing. (Side note: fussy cutting is such a wasteful use of fabric! It’s the first time I’ve used this technique and I was quite shocked! Oh well, at least I have some new additions for my scraps box.)

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To keep everything in order, I made a small drawstring bag from the backing fabric to put the cards in.

By the way, my son loves his game! 🙂

Finish: Friendship star quilt

Quilt outside

TA DAAAAAAHHH! This is a finish from late 2014 of which I am very proud. Over the last couple of years, I’ve shared my progress with you all, from the completion of the quilt top, to lessons learned, to its basting. That basting was my first attempt at pin-basting (previously, I only hand-quilted, so I used thread-basting) and after starting to quilt with my sewing machine, I realised that my pins were spaced too far apart! This resulted in ugly puckers on the back of the quilt (and not little ones that I could turn a blind eye to, either!). So, I had to unpick all the teeny tiny quilting stitches I had done, and remove the pins, then re-baste. I was quite discouraged, so I left the quilt aside for several months until I was motivated enough again to finish it. This time, with the pins MUCH closer together, quilting ran a lot smoother – there are now NO puckers on the back of the quilt! It’s heavy work to pull a king-sized quilt through a domestic machine, I can tell you.

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For binding, I decided to have a scrappy binding using Pezzy prints from Moda that I had in my stash.

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I also added a label which I hand-embroidered myself.

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Here are the specs for the quilt:

Quilt size: 250cm x 220cm

Quilt top: English paper pieced diamonds, quilting cotton, poly thread. Fabric: solid white, various cotton prints. Border: Solid white cotton

Batting: Quilter’s dream poly.

Quilt back: Pearl Bracelet in Anchor by Lizzy House for Andover fabrics.

Quilting: Machine quilted with white thread.

Binding: Double-fold bias binding, using 12 different fabrics from the Pezzy line by American Jane for Moda Fabrics.

Bread bag – finished

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I finished this project a few weeks before Christmas but I couldn’t post about it because the recipient follows my blog! 🙂 I used this tutorial from L’atelier de Gladys (I’m afraid it’s in French, for some reason, English speakers don’t seem to make too many bags for baguettes! 🙂 ). The fabric is a linen/cotton mix, I love the sort of vintage feel to it. I already showed you the embroidery I made to embellish the bag. I trimmed the patches of embroidery with some lace rick rack (if that’s what you call it).

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It fits up to six baguettes, and it’s useful because the bread dries slower than if it’s just left out in the open. The bag now has pride of place in my mother-in-law’s kitchen. It always makes me happy when I see someone else using (and enjoying!) something I’ve made!

Chequebook cover

I don’t know about you, but I have a handbag like Mary Poppins! Everything I could possibly need when I’m out and about is in there. It’s all very convenient but I do find my cheque book gets all dog-earred and messy, which bothers me a wee bit. Solution? This very simple and cute chequebook cover!

Chequebook cover

I whipped it up in an hour, following the tutorial from Crazy Mom quilts: http://crazymomquilts.blogspot.fr/2008/09/gifts-to-create-for-christmas-08.html . It’s very easy to follow, but CrazyMom gives you some more involved alternatives if that’s what you’re interested in.

I used some Indian embroidered batik fabric, I like how the embroidery makes the project look more detailed and complex that it is! And now my chequebook is pretty and protected!

WIP – Friendship Star Quilt – Basting

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My Friendship Star Quilt top has been finished for so long (since last March!) but I’ve been putting off basting and quilting it. This is for several reasons, mostly I’ve been intimidated by it’s size, and by the fact that it will be the first quilt I’ll machine quilt!

It has been niggling at me for a while, and so I made a sort of New Year’s Resolution to finish it in the first half of 2014. I needed a free day when I had nothing else on, and had my son in day care, for basting. The reason? Well, I baste on the floor of my apartment, it takes several hours to do, and basting and toddlers running around don’t mix! 🙂

Anyway, I decided to pin baste, because that’s what my Quiltmaking for Beginners book advises if you’re machine quilting. I’ve always thread basted previously, so this was much quicker because I didn’t have to pin first. I still ended up with sore muscles, but the finished quilt will be worth it! I plan to quilt it in the next fortnight.

One question, how far apart do you put your safety pins when basting? I’m not sure I used enough.

Baby smock

Happy New Year everyone!
My little boy is really getting into feeding himself. That’s fantastic, but I’ve found that normal bog-standard bibs just aren’t cutting it in terms of protecting his clothes from food and drink spills. In the winter, it’s hard to get clothes washed and dried easily so I had to think of a solution.

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I decided on a sort of smock that would cover his entire body. I took a piece of blue cotton fabric, folded it over, and used one of my son’s t-shirts to determine the width and to trace the collar. Right sides together, I sewed this onto a towel (for absorbency). I cut out the collar from the cotton and the towel and then turned the material right side out (after trimming the excess). I finished the collar using a zig-zag stitch on my machine. Just to make it a bit more interesting, I top-stitched around the edge, as well as sewing a square of Summersville Spring fabric (by Lucie Summers for Moda) to the front of it.

I’m sorry the photos aren’t better quality but he doesn’t sit still for photo ops and now it’s being used as is a bit stained!

I’m going to make at least one more as a backup, as it’s so easy to do.

WIP – Grandmother’s Garden progress

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In the last few months, I’ve posted about my new hand-sewing project (here and here, if you are interested!). I’ve put the flowers I’ve made so far together, with a white hexie border, and some mini yellow flowers between the big flowers to cut the white space a bit. I think they brighten the quilt, don’t you?

I’m happy with how it looks so far, and maybe I’ve gone a bit crazy, but I’ve been having so much fun that I’ve decided to make it into a full king size quilt! 🙂

Christmas Stockings

The 1st of December has come and gone, so I think it’s alright to mention the “C” word! Yes the Christmas season has arrived and I decided to make some homemade decorations. Normally, I have these really ambitious plans and they just overwhelm me, so I end up doing nothing. Or, alternatively, I go home to Ireland to my parents for Christmas, so there is no point decorating in France! This year, we will have our first ever family Christmas in our own place, so I thought it would be nice to give a little homemade touch to the decorations. And in order not to become overwhelmed I have decided on two easy projects for this year, one of which I will tell you about today, and the next one in two weeks.

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I made three simple Christmas stockings (one for me, one for the OH, and one for the baby), following this FabricWorm tutorial, which is nice and easy to follow. I used novelty and modern Christmas fabrics from Makower Fabrics. Overall, I had no problems, except for when it came to sewing the cuff onto the stocking: the cuff was too large and I didn’t understand the instructions for how to deal with that problem. So there is some slight puckering at the joins. If any of you reads the tutorial, can you clarify it for me?

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I was thinking about adding appliquéd initials to the stockings but I think they are nice enough as is. What do you think? Also, I can’t pick which one I want for myself!

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Are you making any Christmas decorations this year? If so, what? It’d be nice to get some inspiration for next year! 🙂

I’ve been nominated for a Liebster award! :)

I was so happy today to see that I got nominated for a Liebster Award by Kristine over at Bright Tuesday, one of my favourite blogs! Kristine writes wonderfully about her life, family, hobbies and faith.

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The Liebster Award is given to blogs who have less than 1,000 followers.  I have to link back to the poster who nominated me. I have to answer ten questions given to me by Kristine. Then I nominate five deserving bloggers for the award, and ask them to answer ten questions of my own. Here are my answers:

1)  How did you pick your blog name?

My “real” first name is Sarah, and I wanted my blog to be about all the crafts I try. CraftySarah was already taken so instead I decided to take the Irish version of my first name which is Sorcha (pronounced Surka).

2)  Why did you start your blog?

Several reasons. I wanted to share my love of crafting, I wanted to network with other crafters to be inspired, and mostly to motivate myself to do something crafty every single week.

3)  Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give to your teenage self?

Don’t worry so much about what people think about you, they are too busy worrying about what people are thinking of them that they’re not looking at you!

4)  What are three things you cannot live without?

My son, tea, and my computer!

5)  Of all the blog posts you have written, which one is your favourite?  (Link, please!)

My post about the Dresden plate cushion I made, because it’s the project I’m most proud of so far. http://craftysorcha.wordpress.com/2013/05/19/dresden-plate-cushion/

6)  Describe yourself in three words.

Chatterbox, friendly, honest

7)  Who is your favourite author and why?

I don’t have a favourite author, I love so many authors, I’m a total bookworm!

8)  What single quality do you appreciate most in people?

That’s a tough one. People being non-judgemental is important to me.

9)  What is your favourite quote and by whom?

Carpe diem, seize the day. I don’t know who wrote it originally but I first heard it in the film “Dead Poets Society”.

10)  What super power do you wish you had, and why?

I’d love to be able to squash 48 hours into one day to get everything done!  🙂

And now here are the blogs I have nominated for the Liebster Award.

  1. MyNorthernCottageView
  2. GardeningNirvana
  3. Love those hands at home
  4. Lil & Destinations
  5. The Green Dragonfly

Here are my questions for them to answer:

1. How did you pick your blog name?

2. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?

3. What’s your favourite recipe?

4. What your favourite post on your blog (link please!)?

5. How do you spread the word about your blog?

6. What’s your perfect Saturday night?

7. Who is your favourite fictional character?

8. Describe yourself in three words.

9. Cat or dog?

10. What is your favourite destination?

Thanks for reading!

WIP: Grandmother’s garden, hexies so far

I spoke to you all a couple of weeks ago about my current hand-sewing project – a paper-pieced Grandmother’s Garden quilt. So far I have made five flowers. It’s so relaxing and much much less awkward than paper piecing friendship stars (no problems with points, and no holes in the centre!).

As far as I know, most grandmother’s garden flowers have just one “layer” of petals, but some have two and I quite like the possibilities that gives for playing with colours. Also, it makes the flowers bigger and means fewer are needed to finish a quilt!

I like my flowers so far but I will be also using warmer colours for a bit of balance, they are a bit “cold” in my eyes so far! Do you prefer “warm” or “cold” colours when crafting? Or does it matter at all?