Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Drunk Love 2 Tone Quilt

So I have not blogged in a very long time.  I still read plenty, but studying and starting a new career has zapped a lot of my free time. 

However the sewing machine has been out and if you follow me on instagram @craftyclaire74 then you can see what I've been up to.  It's sewing and food most of all.

Anyway I've been working on a project since July 2015 which is now finally finished.  It is the Drunk Love 2 Tone quilt from Denise Schmidt's book Quilts.

I bought the fabric from Hancocks of Paducah costing $102.  I think the exchange rate at that time was pretty good. 

Here is some of the journey:

Turquoise back. I stitched in the ditch to quilt it but I love how you see it on the reverse. 

Nearly there, you get the idea.

Mitre corner - I still marvel at how this works.

Some of my quilts that I have made. From top: Castle Peeps by Lizzy House, My first ever quilt from Sew Hip Magazine, a quilt made from Amy Butler's Midwest Modern fabric  scraps and the bottom one the Denise Schmidt Drunk Love 2 Tone.

More pictures are on my instagram feed, please hop over and take a look.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Upholstered Chair - Summer Project #1

I was lucky enough to save this chair from the landfill about 3 years ago!  I liked the shape of the chair and knew with new fabric and some varnish that it could look great again.

Apologies for the lack of before photos but you can see the original fabric below, a thick faded yellow stripe:

This is the back rest cushion, which was just stapled down at the bottom.  It's attached to the chair with screws so you cannot see that bit.  One less bit to sew!

I did not know what was going on in the inside of the back rest, so it was interesting to remove the fabric cover and see the construction.

The webbing and foam needed replacing, I followed the instructions in a book called House Proud by Danielle Proud, which worked a treat.

My husband helped me stretch and attach the herringbone webbing with upholstery tacks.
I then tacked on a piece of hessian over the webbing.  The 1" foam was laid down on top of that and then lightweight batting was stretched down on top of the foam and stapled into place to hold down the foam.

To make the fabric for the back rest piece, I unpicked the back rest cover and used that as my pattern piece.  I have reupholstered the chair with Anna Maria Horner's "Drawing Room" fabric in home dec weight.

 The cover was just pulled down tight over the back rest frame and stapled firmly into place.

I made a box cushion to cover the new 3" foam seat pad, that has a zip fastening at the back

Obligatory gratuitous shots:

I am really proud of our efforts here.  My husband still has to sand and varnish the wood, but I've done my side of the bargain.  I bought all the webbing and upholstery supplies from ebay shops, and the foam locally.  Now that I know we have sorted out the structure, I wouldn't be worried about changing the fabric again.  Any questions, please ask.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Hello, it wasn't meant to be this long

It may have appeared that i have fallen off the planet, but I've just been busy studying, working and raising a family.  In the summer break I have lined up a load of projects to tackle.  

The Hawthorn dress by Colette Patterns has queue jumped all the way to the top.  I am going to tackle version 3 (sleeveless shirt dress) in this bird print fabric which I found of ebay here.  

It is described as a cotton lawn, I am waiting for it to arrive.  To make it even more exciting there is a sew along on the Coletterie blog.  I will definitely be following that step by step.  Here's the schedule:  
  • June 26 – Buying fabric and making your muslin
  • July 1 – Full and Small bust adjustments
  • July 3 – Wide or narrow shoulder adjustments
  • July 5 – Fitting the cuffs (a quick and easy adjustment)
  • July 8 – Interfacing, Staystitching, Darts, and Shoulders
  • July 10 – Collar, Facings, and Side Seams
  • July 12 – Attaching the skirt or peplum
  • July 15 – Version 1, short sleeve
  • July 17 – Version 2, 3/4 length sleeve
  • July 19 – Version 3, Armhole
  • July 22 – Buttons, Hem, and Finishing
  • July 29 – Hawthorn Parade: Vote for your favorites!
Looks like I need to make by muslin ASAP!  I will only do that for the top as it's a wide skirt.

Will you be joining in? 

I also have to make up a cushion cover for a chair which has been waiting patiently for 3 years! 

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Jewellery Holder Tutorial

I have been looking for a jewellery frame holder for a while, to hang my necklaces from, to stop them tangling up.  I found an example of one that was ok from Cox & Cox for £35.  I didn't really want to spend that on something that I wasn't that keen on aesthetically!

So an idea of how I could make one started to come together in my mind.  Yesterday I was out and about and saw a cheap corkboard, and I was off!


60cm x 40cm Corkboard £4.99 from Burts Homestores,
Staple Gun £4.99 from Robert Dyas
Hooks £3.00 from Robert Dyas
Wadding from stash
Fabric from stash

Cut the wadding a few inches larger on each side of the notice board and firmly staple in place.Pull tight, try not to stretch.

Then attach the fabric (get the right way up) and staple into place firmly all the way around.  Again pull tight, don't over stretch.  If I was doing it again I'd tuck the edges under before stapling.


Close up of staples - see how many I put in.

Front view

Hooks put in (they just screwed in)

Necklaces attached, tangle free, looking alluring!.

I hope you enjoyed my tutorial.  It was really quick to make, under an hour.  I am very happy with how it has turned out.  Please let me know if you do one too.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

2012 Thank You Totes

I have been making these totes as thank you presents for three years now for my children's class teachers.  This year I went with the following measurements:
 w: 49cm x h:22cm for the top rectangle.
w: cm x h: 30cm for the two outer bottom rectangles
w:13cm x h: 30cm for the bottom middle rectangle

Back was w:49cm x h:52cm
1.5cm seams throughout 

You can see the front on the picture below:

  I also made some inside pockets.  One was a flat one and the other was a stand out one, I used directions from Lisa Lam's "Bag Making Bible" book.  They were all fully lined.

I went with three colour ways (the teacher's favourite colours) and my children embroidered the hearts.

I hope you like them as much as the teacher's did.  I think these make a great present, and tend to be much appreciated by the receiver.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Beignet ..a long journey!

Many many years ago (three in fact), I bought my first ever Colette Patterns skirt pattern, the Beignet.  I had my new machine, it allegedly did buttonholes like a dream (best not to look too closely at them!), I bought my fabric and I was all set to make this snazzy little number!

The pattern, itself, is a dream to make.  It has brilliantly written instructions, which are very easy to follow.  Sarai has set a very high standard for other independent pattern makers (and the big companies too).

Of course, my sewing standards are not quite as high as they were needed, and somehow, my hemming was atrocious, with a wonky bottom.  So I unpicked it all and put it away!  For THREE years!!!  Oh dear, was it really that long?

Well I have decided in this financially tight time, to get out all my WIP/ UFO and to complete them.  So the Beignet is finally finished.  It is a red linen skirt, for the spring/ summer.  It is fully lined, so it's quite warm,  I will definitely wear it, and I am pleased with it overall!

I also have a few patterns and fabric brought for some projects that I have not made yet.  I will probably try and do those too!

UPDATE:  Sew Magazine are offering the Taffy Blouse from the Colette Patterns Handbook as a free download to print and make

Wednesday, 27 June 2012


As you can imagine something has to give when on top of a busy life I added in studying for a degree too!  I hate to say it but housework was shafted to a degree. Not the hoovering/ dusting/ mopping/ laundry that gets done every week, but those bigger less frequent jobs.

We moved into our flat 5 years ago and at the start everything was pretty organised and had a place, but as time goes on we have acquired more stuff, the children have aquired a lot more toys and things haven't been kept up as they should have done.

We have 2 big cupboards in our hallway, one is the "bike cupboard".  It has my husband's bike, spares, tools etc in there.  He is a one man workshop!  The other we have organised by using medium and large plastic boxes with lids from Matalan and Asda.  They are all stacked on top of each other. Or on the shelves in the cupbroard.  Each box is for a different thing eg gardening/ light bulbs/ paint & painting tools/ xmas decs and so on.  Plus our drill/ tool kit etc.  We don't have a garden shed or a loft/ attic/ basement to store any of this stuff in so we have to find a space in the flat.  The hoover is also in there!  We have put some hooks on the back wall to hang bags with our welly boots and walking boots in.  Plus an over the door hook for more bags of wellies and the Ocado shopping bags for online food shopping. 

The kitchen is another story, and hasn't had the same attention to detail of late.  I shuld have taken a before photo but I was just too ashamed!  I only have 3 drawers in my kitech (screams NOT ENOUGH!).  The top one is for our cutlery and a few other bits and bobs.  The bottom two are pretty deep so all kinds of stuff has been dumped in them.  Sometimes because there is nowhere else for the item or out of laziness.

On the weekend I finally tackled these two drawers and a big awkward corner cupboard.  I got rid of old, no longer fit for purpose kitchen linens.  Moved items to their rightful homes around the flat. In doing this relatively quick job I've made a ton of space!  The bottom drawer has the kitchen towels and teatowels folded nicely and ready to use.  Plus I utilised an old icecream tub for the bits and bobs that I DO WANT in the drawer.  It's not perfect, and I'll see if I can find something a bit bigger for the job.

The middle drawer has utensils in it now, I'll probably get some kind of divided container for them to stop them moving around so much.  What frustrates me is how much DEAD space is above this drawer.  I would really like some removable tray to sit on top that I could store some things in.  If anyone knows of such a thing please point me in the right direction.

It's small steps and I still have to do our larder cupboard which is full of CRAP!  The door is organised as husband fitted a load of handy hooks on it for the broom, dustpan and brush etc But inside it's just not working.  See?  NOT PRETTY!  The wheely rack (which used to be our veg rack in a previous home is just wasting space) and I have too many plastic bags that are not really needed.  This is my next task, along with the upper corner cupboard which is a disgrace too!!

Having had an inspirational look on Pinterest I came across this brilliant blog The Complete Guide to Imperfect Homemaking and a series called 31 Days to an organised house.  I love this series, loads of great, cheap ideas to sort your home out with.

I will be tidying, sorting, binning, recycling as necessary and I haven't even mentioned by bedroom wardrobes!!!!  That's a whole other post!