Jungle Chums

flamingo square

My progress with the jungle chums blanket I started for Bertie quite some time ago is slow but I am gradually getting there.

Work is constantly  busy and because it stays at our house, I only get to work on it at weekends. Recently there has been no time and we have had visitors so there hasn’t been much sewing for me.

tiger and banana tree ready to appliqué into place

There are 7 squares completed and 5 more to go before I can attach and appliqué them to the main green cover. The finish will be plain backed, a brown edge and then I will hand quilt the spaces between the animal blocks.

If I were doing it again, I’d probably do it a bit differently and make it more like the patchwork of Max’s blanket or Henry’s blanket with the appliqué squares forming the middle of each repeat. I am attaching the animal squares by appliquéing them to the blanket so I will have to get my edges spot on.

elephant

I love the characters, especially the lion (who has also become a favourite cushion for little boys like Jack and Arthur), the tiger and the elephant.

the leopard waiting to get his spots

I’m hopeful that my next blog about this will be it completed!!

flower cushion

scattered flowers cushion

scattered flowers cushion

This is one of my long awaited ‘to be finished’ projects and I have taken advantage of a quiet weekend to finally give it some attention. it is now finished and I’m pleased with the effect.

a bunch of flowers

a bunch of flowers

The idea had been floating around in my head for ages.

I loved the playful and pretty fun of the flower basket cushion I made ages ago and sold at Harringay Market for someone’s christmas present. I wanted to do something that was floral but less figurative and randomly dotted with flowers.

detail

detail

The fabric is a remnant from the curtain making lady that my friend Anna gets offcuts and roll ends from for me and the flowers are from pretty scraps left over from bunting and previous makes.

ready to appliqué

ready to appliqué

The flowers vary in size and style but it is very jolly and reminds me of the summer as we settle into the dark evenings and mornings of autumn.

Anyway, I’m off to take advantage of the quiet and finish a few more bits!!

storage solutions

yummy scraps of fabric

yummy scraps of fabric

It makes me quite sad and certainly fed up not to have been sewing or blogging for what seems like so long.

I really miss it and it cheers me up so much when I am doing it, it should be on the NHS.

overflowing

overflowing

I’ve spent what feels like weeks with my lovely work station visible out of the corner of my eye but just out of reach and not a single one of my projects has been completed nor a new one started

BUT

I have sort of been busy with stuff related to my sewing.

I, like most makers (read hoarder) can’t bear to part with even the smallest scraps of pretty fabric.  It’s great to have around and always comes in handy. There is always one bit that is just perfect for a certain something.  It brings with it storage difficulties though.

boxes

boxes

All makers have storage issues to a greater or lesser extent and there just doesn’t seem to be the perfect solution especially if you are badly short of space.

neat and tidy

neat and tidy

I just couldn’t resist these two lovely wine cases that I found at a car boot sale (where else??) recently. They are a very good and attractive storage solution for my appliqué scraps that have been, until now, either escaping the confines of a shallow sided basket or in a deep hessian bag which makes getting at all of them a bit of a challenge.

neatly stored away

neatly stored away

These little beauties will sit under my sewing desk where the bags used to reside and I am happy that they are an attractive and tidy solution.

I have separated the patterns from the plains to make it even easier and I am quite pleased with the results.

tada

tada

I look back over the few months since I set up my work space in here and it has really changed. I’d like to think it is becoming more interesting but I’m fearful that it is just getting cluttered!

Let’s not think about that, got to get on with the making bits now!

fabric bowls

remnants from The Cloth Shop

remnants from The Cloth Shop

I was inspired some time ago by my purchase of a dear emma fabric bowl to make an odd one of my own but  I wanted them with a fold over top and contrasting linings.

cutting out

cutting out

I wanted them for use around the place for the various ‘bits and pieces’ that seem to need a home but don’t have a specific one or are in transit to somewhere else.

outside ready for patterned lining

outside ready for patterned lining

My original need for them was so that I had somewhere to put all the threads that I am using so they are easy to get at. Since thinking about making them though, my big top drawer on my sewing table seems to work well for these so the bowls will now be used for lots of other things sewing and miscellaneous alike.

lined and turned the right way for finishing

lined and turned the right way for finishing

I got a remnant of some fabulous heavy upholstery fabric from The Cloth Shop recently that is weighty enough to make a fabric bowl work so I got on with it this weekend.

pinned ready for top stitching

pinned ready for top stitching

They are surprisingly easy to make if you get the basics right and allow yourself a little tolerance here and there.

tada!!

tada!!

Preparation and making sure you don’t skip on the stages is the key to neatness but you really have to have the right fabric to make them stand up.

3 different sizes with 3 different linings

3 different sizes with 3 different linings

I love the fact that they are completely reversible to suit your requirements and I will change the combinations and what is on the outside depending on where the bowls end up living.

grouped together

grouped together

I will make more (possibly a nest and definitely some as presents) that are pretty and contrasting but also some that are decorated on the outside with applique.  These plain ones, however, are perfect for and will go into my work room and onto shelves around the flat.

complimentary fabrics

complimentary fabrics

A very satisfying little project before I get on with the rest of the things that I want to do and those that I still need to finish.

contrasting lining

contrasting seersucker lining

Pencil Rolls

pencil roll

pencil roll

My friend’s eldest daughter Millie had a birthday recently and although I have been completely rubbish and have yet to deliver her gift, like most others from us, it has been hand made.

satin lined pencil roll

satin lined pencil roll

Millie comes from an artistic family of designers, painters, sculptors and jewellers so she was bound to have flair and indeed she and her sister are both creative.

tie ribbon detail

top stitching and tie ribbon detail

So I thought, what more appropriate and useful thing to make for her that is also pretty than a pencil roll?

pencils in the roll slots

pencils in the roll slots

I have an ancient cadbury’s pencil tin from my school days that still hold all my charcoals and drawing pencils. It saw me through my art foundation course and also college but the pencils all rub together and they get grubby from broken graphite tips. A roll will keep them clean and protect the tips.

bright floral roll

bright floral roll

Each roll holds about 16 pencils which will take you through the most popular of the H and the B pencils quite easily.

finished

finished

I’m going to persevere with my old tin but the pencil roll inspired me to make myself a crochet hook roll.

M for Millie

M for Millie

I only have my gran’s old case which is full of her mum’s lace crochet hooks so it is perfect for mine which are a bit lumpier and currently rattling around in the bottom of a sewing box.

more unfinished projects

hand appliqued leaf detail

hand appliqued leaf detail

In between burger bears, loo roll bags and cushion commissions, I have been quietly wading through my unfinished work.

There was so much more than I realised but the pile is slowly diminishing.

the finished cushion

the finished cushion

This week I managed to complete a cushion I was trying something out on.

It’s a nice leafy fabric that is quite current in design. Although completely lovely, I don’t add twiddly bits like piping or frills to my cushions generally so they are quite simple.

leaf details highlighted

leaf details highlighted

My thinking with this fabric was that I could make it slightly three dimensional by appliqueing the leaves on top of the fabric again (if that makes sense). I picked random leaves but generally with a band leaves across the middle.

ikea small worktop ironing board with folding legs

ikea small worktop ironing board with folding legs

It is a lot simpler than most things I make but I like it.

The best thing about it was being able to finish it off in my new work room; the first thing to come out of there but it isn’t my first complete creation to be made in there as I have yet to find the time to do that.

ironing the finished item

ironing the finished item

Can’t wait.

LOVE is in the air

heart of buttons

heart of buttons

I really am being rubbish at the moment but work is very full on and there seem to be sooooo many demands on my time

but

I did get another of the unfinished projects finished.

Alas, I have probably missed valentine’s day shoppers as it is a tad late.

Still, very much along the same lines as my last post about the valentine cushion, this one has the word ‘love’ on it but the ‘O’ is a heart and it is covered in buttons.

love heart cushion

love heart cushion

It’s quite cute and a completely different shape to all the other cushions I have made in the past.

It’s nice and neat and I have been thinking about doing some doggy cushions and think this one lends itself to a dog image. however, since I still have a load of things to finish and a commission to squeeze in, I will have to hold onto that idea and do something about it another time.