Sunday 31 May 2015

A Needlebook for my Sister


When my sister commissioned a Liberty needle book. I thought I would be making something similar to the one I made myself.  However my sister had seen this needle book, that she thought would suit her needs better.  She duly ordered herself the labels for each type of needle and sent them to me.

After making my Liberty hexis, I appliqued them onto natural linen, then cross hatch quilted it to hold everything firmly and stop the linen from stretching so much.

The next steps had me stumped for a little while, cos I wanted to make the cover stiffer than my usual needle books and have it look more like an actual book with all the felt pages it would need to contain. (Eight in total).  After a little bit of faffing around with cardboard, I created the outer cover, which has a spine. When folded it measures 5" x 7'' x .75"

The next step was the interior, after deciding on natural linen, I fortuitously found some felt in my collection that co-ordinated with the Liberty I used for the scissor keep. I also used this Liberty fabric for the top and lower edge binding.  The page labels have been attached with a double sided tape - specially for fabrics that I received in swap.  Much easier than sewing them on.

 I have kept a record of my process, of what worked and what I would do differently should I make a needle book in this style again.

I am really pleased with how this has turned out, and enjoyed making it for you.  I hope you enjoy using it little sis.

Tuesday 26 May 2015

Hexi Love - Tips and Tricks

Ever since I made the hexi flower earlier this year to be used in a quilt for a quilting friend, I seem to have fallen under the spell of  making them.  They are the perfect portable project, and great for working on in the evening, when it is too much hard work to concentrate on a large project.

Anyway I thought I would share a couple of tips and tricks, that I have found useful when making them.
  • I have punched holes in all of my purchased precut templates, this makes it easier to pop them out with the tip of some fine scisssors when I have finished.
  • I use this tutorial for basting them, ( I also trim my squares to just over .25" on the diagonal corners) just on the wrong side of the fabric,  and not through the templates.  This saves me having to unpick it all later,
  • I use wonder clips to hold them together when stitching, saves them slipping, especially when you have quite a few stitched together.
  • Another thing I haven't done yet, but will soon, is to make some clear templates the same size as my card ones for fussy cutting.  It will be much easier then to cut a more accurate square.
I hope these help if you are new to hexi making, and please feel free to share any useful tips that I may not know.

Monday 25 May 2015


Real wintery weather arrived here this weekend, perfect for staying inside cooking and sewing, and relaxing with books, magazines and hot cups of tea.
  • Playing with my Liberty again - gosh I love this fabric so much.  This time a needle book for my sister, totally different in style to any of the others I have made.  So far all I have done is cut lots of 2.5" squares and yes there will be some hexis in it.
  • I made another couple of feather blocks, this time downsizing them.
  • Homemade fresh crusty Turkish Bread - recipe from the new Annabel Langbein Winter annual.  It tasted pretty good, and when I make it again and remember to put the salt in, I am sure it will taste even better.  A really easy recipe.
  • New magazines from the library and Earl Grey tea - perfect.
Hope you all had a great weekend too.

Wednesday 20 May 2015

Scenes from my Week

From the kitchen
  • homemade chicken and corn chowder with my favourite bread
From the morning walks
  • it must be autumn
From the sewing room
  • another block for the scrappy sampler quilt
From the sofa
  • the other end of where I am sitting - lots of handmade goodness here

Monday 18 May 2015


Believe it or not, I did other things apart from sew all weekend.  I just didn't take photos.  Anyway as you can see, I am still inspired by my scrappy sampler quilt idea.  I have been having a lot of fun sewing new blocks, using precious scraps of fabric.  I am noticing  I seem to have a bit of a fascination with orange and purple toned fabrics, so I will have to start making some with a little more blue and green in them.

The Scout walked into my sewing room on Saturday night after being away for a week and commented on the mess. Organised chaos is what I call it, needless to say it has been cleaned up.

Hoping you all had a fabulous weekend, and here's to a great week ahead.

Friday 15 May 2015

Sampler Blocks

I didn't work yesterday, and because it rained all afternoon, I spent time in the sewing room.  I think my sampler quilt idea has restored my sewjo.  I had fun playing with scraps and created these two blocks from pattern #1 in  Tula Pink's City Sampler book.  I love how just by changing fabrics each block as a different focal point.

Here's to a fabulous weekend!!

Wednesday 13 May 2015

Wednesday WIP

Way back in February,  I made three paper pieced arrows for the sake of sewing something. I had know idea what I was going to use them in.  The other day when I was cleaning up my sewing room, I came across them again, and put them to one side.

Last night, when I should have been asleep, but the brain was too active, I had a brainwave.  I am going to attempt to make a scrappy sampler, or very ambitiously maybe a medallion type quilt. Those days when I feel the need to sew something, I can sit down at my machine and make one or two little blocks, or a simple row of flying geese or simple squares to add to the collection.  Today I made this star using the July Star Block tutorial from Cluck Cluck Sew.

This will be a slow long term project, but will give me the chance to try new blocks and techniques without committing to a full sized quilt.  So now I am busy perusing my quilting books, and bookmarking blocks that I have wanted to try, so when I have my next 'gotta sew something' moment, I have some projects lined up.

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Sunday 10 May 2015


Britomart Train Station

Robert Russel's Cradle Boat

Lighthouse Lamps

Model of the Ururoa

Art outside Shed 10

  • Mother's Day flowers from Miss B
  • From Mr J, breakfast in bed - pancakes with lemon and brown sugar
  • Scenes from my day trip into the city with Mr J.  We caught the train in and spent the day at the Auckland Maritime Museum
  • Happy mail - my beautiful pillow and extras I received in the Great Pillow Fight Swap from Leila and a lovely pouch from my flickr friend Pennie.
Hoping you all had a fabulous weekend too.