Star Quilt

I’m a real Pinterest fan, and I love getting my inspiration for making quilts from other peoples designs. I See a picture of a finished quilt I really like, and then follow through to the web page of the creator of it. I look to see if there are instructions for making a similar quilt, and then try it our for myself. This is probably the reason why I like to write up my quilt making process, and load up some photos. I hope that someone is helped along their quilting journey, by checking out my posts on pamperstamper, or some other persons blog.

The link below was the quilt I fell in love with, and decided to copy. If you open up the link you will see that there are wonderful and descriptive instructions on how to make this design. I have also taken photos of the journey of creating my quilt. You will see the similarity ๐Ÿ™‚

Charming Stars Quilt

1. Pick your colours. Cut out all the squares, and place them in the way that they look their best to you
2. Four of the squares in each block will need the smaller squares sewn into two corners
3. Continue to sew the smaller squares into the same patterned material. Trim to sewn edge and iron flat
4. You will end up with a pile of stitched and unstitched squares that will create your block
5. Join the rows of three squares and iron the seams in the same direction for the top row and bottom row, but the other direction for the middle row. This will help the next lot of stitching line up easier
6. You now have a completed block. Continue to do the same with the rest of the blocks for the whole quilt
7. I used the little squares that were cut off the corners to fill in between each block, and also strips of the same material as the star. In my quilt I chose white
8. Continue to join all the blocks in rows using the white strips. Make a joiner row using just the while strips and little blocks, and then join all the rows together
9. Now you can border, layer, and bind your quilt.
10. I chose to topstitch my quilt by outlining the stars and blocks. I was kind of pleased with how the back of the quilt looked. It had a pattern of it’s own

Can you believe how easy it is to make that wonderful star pattern block with just 9 initial squares of material? Having the centre block, the little squares that are cut to make the points, and the strips the same colour makes the stars stand out. This could be a great quilt for using up lots of scrap material. You could make the quilt using different materials for every block.

Maybe I could make that next time?

Now if I have encouraged you to try making this patterned quilt for yourself, please let me know how you got on. A photo of the finished product would be great. I look forward to your response.

Chevron patterned Quilt

I’ve always loved the Chevron pattern. I have made two crochet blankets in a chevron pattern, and now I have also made a chevron patchwork blanket.

My first chevron crochet blanket.
The chevron pattern looks great!

This blanket was suppose to be for our youngest Grandson. He was born November 2016. I made it in pure New Zealand wool, but it ended up being so heavy. I would have to pay a fortune in postage to get it to London, where he lives. My eldest daughter now uses this blanket at work. On a cold day it is perfect to wrap around her legs and keep her toastie warm.

Great colours for a little baby boy ๐Ÿ™‚
This photo shows the colours better

This was my next attempt, and I am really pleased with how it turned out. I made it out of acrylic, which is really great for wash and wear. It was also much lighter and cheaper for postage ๐Ÿ™‚

Look how snuggly this blanket turned out! Little grandson is tucked up nice and warm in his Nana made blankie.

Now onto sewing Chevron. It is actually a whole lot easier than it looks. In fact with patchwork, there are often little secrets to the sewing that make the whole process a lot easier than you think. Thank goodness for that, because, by nature I am a rather impatient person, and to have shortcuts really suits my personality.

Here is the process I used to create my quilt.

Start off with two piles of square cut materials. One pile is plain fabric. I used calico. The other pile has a number of each colour. The amount depends on how big you want to make your quilt
Place the two squares together, good sides facing each other, and sew a quarter inch seam right around the outside joining the two pieces of material together
Using a cutting mat and quilting ruler, cut diagonally in both directions
You will end up with 4 new squares from each of the original squares. These ones have a join in the middle and have two different materials
Once all the squares are cut and pressed, lay them all out to work out the pattern and colour scheme you want
Sew each row together and iron the seams one way on one row, and in the opposite direction on the next row.
I keep the rows in order as I sew, so it is easier for ironing and joining
Now you sew the rows together. As you sew them together, you will notice that they fit together nicely when the seams are ironed opposite.
once the mail chevron pattern is sewn together, you can pick how you would like to border the quilt. Put the layers together and do your top stitching
I’m lucky to have a lovely big craft room with two big tables that I can spread my quilts out on. This makes putting the layers together a little easier. I love the curved safety pins that I can use to temporarily hold all three layers together while I do my topstitching.
I do all the topstitching with my cheap brother sewing machine. It has served me well, I can tell you. I roll up the quilt, and slowly feed it through as I sew. This is a process that requires lots of perserverance and patience. I do my own topstitching as I am too scroogey to pay for it to be done professionally. I’m quite happy with the finished effect.
The finished product

To finish my quilt, I did multiple rows of stitching on the outside border. I then sewed the binding on and it was complete. I love it and it has become my quilt that is used the most. I can just throw it in the washer and it comes out great. A very practical quilt that is pretty to look at as well ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope you can follow my instructions and create your own Chevron Quilt. You can finish it off to your own liking. Please post a photo of yours in the comments below. I would love to see what you create.

Easy Zips and Binding a Cushion.

I have been sewing for years, having learnt most of my techniques from my sewing teacher at high school. That was approximately 46 years ago! Over time I have been able to sew most things, so my teacher did a pretty good job of teaching me. Having a seamstress as a sister was also pretty helpful, and she was great for giving advise or help when needed.

About 6 months ago, I decided to recover the squabs in our caravan, and looked to ‘You tube’ for instruction. Iย  wanted to make box shaped squab covers. I had the idea of how to make them, but watching a video of someone else sewing these covers, helped to confirm the technique. It was while I was watching them, that I saw of a new process to me, of putting zips in. And I used that process on the squab covers. It was so much easier and quicker than my old way.

Here is the process.

I am making a cushion cover and this is a fat quarter that I am using for the back of the cushion. It needs an opening for the soft pillow insert. The best way for that opening, is to put in a zip that is just under the size of the width of the cushion. I have folded over the top of the fat quarter and sewn a seam about a half inch in. This seam is sewn in the biggest stitch possible, as it will be taken out at a later date. A big stitch length is easier to unpick!

Cut open the fold

Overlock the seam edges, and press open the seam.

Now place the zip on top of the seam, making sure that the zip opening is right on top of the sewing stitches.

Sew the zip in with the zipper foot on your sewing machine. It is a little tricky around the zip pull. I stop sewing, adjust the zipper pull, and then restart sewing again.

You can see by the photo above, that I have stopped sewing about 2 inches from the edge. This is so I can undo the seam a little to allow the zip pull to move away from the sewing machine zipper foot. Now just finish sewing the zip in.

This is what it looks like on the good side of your cushion cover

Carefully use your seam ripper to undo the first seam that you made

And you now have a zip in the back portion of your cushion cover. How easy was that?

I had already made the front of the cushion cover.

As I like to bind the edge of the cushion, all I have to do is place both pieces together and overlock the edges. This helps to keep it all neat and tidy while you commence the binding.

The two pieces are held together by the overlocked edges. Note both good sides are facing out.

For the binding, I cut strips of material at 2 and a 1/2 inches wide. Place the corners at 90 degrees, good sides facing each other, and stitch diagonally across both pieces

iron the seam open

and cut the edge off to leave about a quarter inch

Press the seam open again, nice and flat ๐Ÿ™‚

Make sure that you have enough binding to go right around the edge of your cushion. You need to leave an nice long tail as you start sewing. When you have gone around, stop about 8 inches from the start point. You will need to lay the long tail from the start on top of the binding left over at the finish. The overlap needs to be the same size as the width you cut the binding. Mine is 2 and a 1/2 inches. Cut the two and a 1/2 inch overlap and discard the rest of the binding. You can join the two together , and you will have the exact amount left to finish off binding the whole cushion.

When you get to a corner, you will need to sew up to a quarter inch before the edge. Turn the material, and sew off the corner. Fold the binding back on itself and then down the direction of the next side. You can then put the pressure foot down, and keep sewing. This will make a perfect corner when you turn the binding over to the back.

Fold the binding around to the back and stitch into the ditch on the good side. This will catch the binding on the back and sew it all down nicely. You will need to fold and turn the corners to match with the front.

Undo the zip and insert your soft pillow insert and zip up again. You now have a completed cushion to admire and cuddle up to ๐Ÿ™‚

The challenge is for you to make one as well (or more). Follow my instructions and make a few scatter cushions for your home, or as gifts for friends and family. Please send me a photo of your creation in the comment section below ๐Ÿ™‚

Pink Minnie Mouse Cake

I thought it would be great to show you the process I used to make Ella’s 4th birthday cake.

I decided to make her a vanilla cake. It is nice and plain and yet moist and tastes yummy. I doubled the mixture and it cooked nicely in 50 minutes.

Next was to even the cake, make it level and cover with butter cream icing.

Once covered with the buttercream icing, I put the whole cake into the fridge to harden the butter so I could smooth the icing ready for the fondant.

I was a little worried here as the cake was very cold and the fondant once rolled and placed on the cake, sweated and went quite shiny. It actually worked well for adding the next layer of fondant.

White fondant placed on top of the pink, so that the Minnie mouse face will eventually stand out. I just cut it with a wavy edge.

The next step was to print out an outline of Minnie mouse a few times and then cut out the layers on the paper. These layers were placed on the coloured and rolled out fondant and cut out with a sharp tipped knife. I was pretty pleased with how easy it was to do, and how it all fitted back together.

This was going to be my finished product, but I just wasn’t happy with the bow. It should be white spots not green!

I was suppose to put a lot of white dots in various sizes around the sides of the cake, but decided that little flowers would be prettier.

Ella is pretty happy with her first look at her cake.
I brought the correct ribbon and made my own hair clip bow for the top of the cake. Bonus was that Ella has now got two bow clips to wear ๐Ÿ™‚

The new pink bow with white spots looked great! I added white lettering to say Happy Birthday and a pretty pink number 4 candle. Around the bottom edge of the cake I rolled little balls of pink and white fondant and placed them all around.

Ella’s pink Minnie mouse cake

It turned out great, and Ella was very happy with her cake. You don’t even have to have lots of cake decorating products. I have a mat that I purchased from Ikea to roll the fondant on. This mat can roll up with the fondant on it, and then I unroll the fondant over the top of the cake. I guess that mat is my one purchase that I can’t do without. The playdoh letter cutters have been used many times, and they aren’t even sold as cake decorating things. The rest can be cut out with a paper pattern and a sharp tipped knife.

I hope that you are encouraged to give this cake a try. Let me know how yours turns out. Maybe you can add a photo of yours in the comments ๐Ÿ™‚

Cake Creations over the past 2 years

Since late 2015, I have had three of my grand children living here at home. Our third son, their Dad is living here too. The empty nest didn’t stay empty for long! So I am back to having a pre-school child back in the house, and two primary aged kiddies, and I love it. Just when we were slowing down, and getting a little selfish with our time, we now have these wonderful children to help us to think young again, and give us plenty to do ๐Ÿ˜‰

And I have had the opportunity to once again create some children’s birthday cakes. The first grandchild’s cake I made was actually for Sophie, who lives in London. Her daddy and her came for a months holiday and she was turning one just after she arrived back in London. I wanted to give her a New Zealand birthday as well. I found a very cute birthday party set of cups, plates, napkins and table cloth of a pink ladybug. I copied the picture of the bug and made that the design for the cake.

The table decorations and the cake
I made some cupcakes as well, and we needed balloons, of course
The birthday cake banner

The first of the three who live here was the oldest of the three, Jayden. He turned 10 late January, 2016. He is really into minecraft! He watches you tube videos of people playing the game, plays it on the PS3 and talks about minecraft all the time!

Here is his cake.

Cake number 1.

This was such an easy cake to make. Just a simple round cake, green fondant with little fondant squares cut out in various shades of green, fondant letters cut with playdoh cutters, and minecraft ‘lego like’ blocks. Jayden also liked creeper and wanted a minecraft creeper cake, so I made him an extra cake as well. This was a pretty simple cake to make as well.

Minecraft cake number 2

Next birthday was just one week later and that was Ella. I had decided on making her a Barbie cake with the doll in the cake and the cake as a dress. Daughter Joanna brought the Barbie doll while I made the cake. Once putting them together I realized that to get to doll to fit the cake, I would need to cut her legs off, or make an extra cake to make the dress part bigger. It was getting late into the night and I had a bright idea to use doilys instead. Ella was turning two, and I didn’t think that she would be too fussy, she just wanted a cake. He is how it turned out ๐Ÿ˜‰

With a bit of imagination, I extended the dress for Barbie ๐Ÿ˜‰

And with the added cupcakes for the party.

Ella’s cake and cupcakes

Ella was a very happy little girl and I was quite happy with the finished product.

The next birthday was in the May, when Christian was turning 7. Look at his cake! It was a big one!

Super Hero Theme

I had so much fun making this cake. I had brought the party supplies from Spotlight so decided to make the cake to go with the table decorations. Christian loved it. He is a very active little boy and it suited his personality totally. We even went to a indoor trampoline park for his party. He and his friends jumped around like superheros the whole party!

Skip the rest of the year, and we are now back to Jayden’s Birthday. This time his 11th. The theme for this party was Pokรฉmon. This kid collects Pokรฉmon cards, and has about 4 albums full of them! He also likes, and knows the names of heaps of the Pokรฉmon characters. So it HAD to be a Pokรฉmon cake and themed party.

We started off Jayden’s birthday with a Pokeball hunt. Each Pokeball had a little character inside.
The Pokemon party table and decorations
Jayden’s Pokemon cake

So, I am now getting lots of practice making Birthday cakes again. The week after Jayden’s birthday is Ella’s birthday. This time (after searching Pinterest) I decided in making her a princess themed birthday, making her cake out of lots of cupcakes. It was lots of fun, and I had to stop myself from putting too many decorations on the cake!

Princess Ella’s pretty princess cupcake dress cake
The Princess party table and decorations

For Ella’s birthday celebration, we went to the movie Ballerina with some friends. Ella had party bags to give her friends at the movie.

Party bags for Ella’s princess party. We even went to the movie Ballerina, and the girls were able to eat the goodies during the movie.

After Ella’s birthday in the February, I travelled to Sydney for Grandson Luke’s 3rd birthday. Now, I didn’t make this cake, but his Mummy did, and she did a great job. Luke loved his cake and he had a wonderful birthday party.

Happy Luke with his Cars cake!

In May 2017, came Christian’s 8th birthday. By now I’m loving Pinterest! And as I was looking for easy boys cakes, I found this one! It became the theme for his birthday, and presents!

The Incredible Hulk Cake. And a very happy Christian ๐Ÿ™‚
Incredible Hulk hands around the cake!

2018 came along pretty quickly, and I have now made another two birthday cakes. First is Jayden again late January. He turned 12 this year, and decided that he was quite happy with having a plain cake rather than a themed and decorated cake. Phew! He still had to have a cake though. And this is what I came up with. He was happy ๐Ÿ™‚

A nice simply iced cake

His cake had two layers. A Vanilla cake for one layer and a chocolate cake for the other. I put the layers together, and iced all over, with vanilla buttercream icing. Broken flake chocolate for the top, number 12 candles, Jaffas (chocolate/orange lollies) around the bottom edge and it was finished! It lasted all of two days!

While shopping in Spotlight one day, I came across a pink Minnie Mouse party pack and decided that as Ella has a Minnie Mouse that she cuddles and plays with a lot. Pink Minnie Mouse should be her birthday theme! I also brought some Pink Minnie Mouse Curtains and decided that I could definitely make something out of them to fit the theme of the party.

Ella’s pink Minnie mouse cake
Pink minnie mouse theme
Decorated for Ella to wake up to on her birthday morning
Before the food and cake was brought in. Cute pink minnie mouse plates etc. Look at our cute Ella minnie mouse!
The pretty pink minnie mouse skirts. I made 5 of them. One for each of the little girls that came to her party.

After her party and an all afternoon play at Rumpus Room indoor playground in New Plymouth, Ella thanked her little friends with her own little gift. In their gift bags were lots of Minnie mouse games and girly things, like bangles and ear rings and hair ribbons. Then they each got their skirts. We had 5 little pink Minnie mouse girls running around the playground, and 3 boys. They had a great time. I did too. All the preparation of food, serving the food, party games and clean up was provided by Rumpus room! So good ๐Ÿ™‚

Scrapbooking while in Sydney November 2015

I know… ย  I know… ย I seem to always be in Sydney ๐Ÿ™‚

Eldest son Matthew and his wife had a trip to Las Vegas for a conference and some fun as well, and I am here to look after the two youngest grandchildren. The eldest is now 18 and very independent. She is studying to be a nurse, has a part time job and drives herself everywhere ๐Ÿ™‚ I am feeling extra blessed to be spending time with baby Luke, who is actually not so much of a baby now. He is 19 months old and such a happy and busy boy. I’ve had so much fun with him ๐Ÿ™‚

Luke loved playing with the hose on the trampoline :-)
Luke loved playing with the hose on the trampoline ๐Ÿ™‚

And Casey has been such a great little girl while Mum and a Dad have been away. Every morning she got up and got herself organised for school, including making her own lunch. I had the priviledge of doing her hair some mornings ๐Ÿ™‚

Just one of the hair styles (a little messy), But I did french plait as well :-)
Just one of the hair styles (a little messy), But I did french plait as well ๐Ÿ™‚

I love to be productive no matter where I am, so while Luke has his afternoon sleep, and once the children are in bed at night, I have been scrapbooking. I love the feeling I get from creating a page and being able to finally look at the finished product. Mostly the pages are finished, but as I don’t have all my embellishments here with me, there will be a few little extra things I will add when I get back home.

This page was made using the scraps left over from an Echo Park Kit. It was lots of fun to make and looks great (well I think so anyway) The grandsons are so cute :-)
This page was made using the scraps left over from an Echo Park Kit. It was lots of fun to make and looks great (well I think so anyway) The grandsons are so cute ๐Ÿ™‚
A fun photo taken at St Ives in Sydney. Paper use is Echo Park.
A fun photo taken at St Ives in Sydney. Paper use is Echo Park.
A portrait photo of Leeara and Jessica taken a few years ago.
A portrait photo of Leeara and Jessica taken a few years ago.
Simon and his boys Jayden and Christian. This page is mainly made with Echo Park papers.
Simon and his boys Jayden and Christian. This page is mainly made with Echo Park papers.
Christian talking to Uncle Ben on the phone on his 4th birthday. Created with Bella! papers and some Echo Park.
Christian talking to Uncle Ben on the phone on his 4th birthday. Created with Bella! papers and some Echo Park.
Leeara in Uniform and going to School. Her irst year at Willoughby High School. Page using Basic Grey and Bella! papers.
Leeara in Uniform and going to School. Her First year at Willoughby High School. Page using Basic Grey and Bella! papers.
At Dreamworld on the Gold Coast. Page created with Teresa Collins Papers, Tell your story :-)
At Dreamworld on the Gold Coast. Page created with Teresa Collins Papers, Tell your story ๐Ÿ™‚
Beautiful eldest daughter Joanna at her graduation. Pages used are Echo Park, This and that.
Beautiful eldest daughter Joanna at her graduation. Pages used are Echo Park, This and that.
Photo of Leeara when she was about 8 years old. Papers are Echo Park.
Photo of Leeara when she was about 8 years old. Papers are Echo Park.
Jessica and Leeara on a quad bike! papers are Fancy Pants Designs, childish things.
Jessica and Leeara on a quad bike! papers are Fancy Pants Designs, childish things.
My friend Julie and myself after a bike ride. Relaxing with a coffee and chat :-) Echo Park papers, this and that.
My friend Julie and myself after a bike ride. Relaxing with a coffee and chat ๐Ÿ™‚ Echo Park papers, this and that.
Another Leeara page. I'm trying to catch up on completing her album. this page was created using a Kaisercraft Kit.
Another Leeara page. I’m trying to catch up on completing her album. this page was created using a Kaisercraft Kit.
Another page using a Kaisercraft Kit. This one of Jayden and Christian while on holiday in New Plymouth.
Another page using a Kaisercraft Kit. This one of Jayden and Christian while on holiday in New Plymouth.
Christian on his 4th birthday using Bella! papers.
Christian on his 4th birthday using Bella! papers.
Our Scrapbooking Christmas party about 2 years ago.
Our Scrapbooking Christmas party about 2 years ago.
Photo taken 10 years ago. Page created with Authentique Paper, and the Delightful Kit.
Photo taken 10 years ago. Page created with Authentique Paper, and the Delightful Kit.

I still have another two days left in Sydney and then it’s back home to get my gardens tidied up. I really want to get our vegetable garden producing some great vegetables for us over the summer. So it will be all go once I get home, and no time for Scrapbooking!

I wonder if I manage to produce another page or two before I leave?

I did it! Two more pages ๐Ÿ™‚

Leeara amd Jess with their milk mustaches. Teresa Collins papers.
Leeara and Jess with their milk mustaches. Teresa Collins papers.
These girls love having a face mask together. Echo Park paper
These girls love having a face mask together. Echo Park paper

And now it’s time to pack my bags!

 

The Disappearing Nine Patch

I can’t believe it! I have made another blanket! I’m really on a roll at the moment, and thoroughly enjoying myself.

This time I used the disappearing nine patch block for the main part of the quilt and then added a border and binding. The material is a Riley Blake fabric and is very pretty and bright. I’m not actually sure if I will give the blanket away or keep it for myself to enjoy. I have never made one for myself as I usually have a person in mind, or a reasonย for making the blanket before I start.

Here are the instructions…

I chose nine different fabrics with the 'busy' fabrics placed in each corner. These are the squares that remain whole and I wanted the pattern to be complete. I wished I had replaced the left middle fabric with one that was more of a plain fabric, but as it matched perfectly, I thought it would be okay :-)
I chose nine different fabrics with the ‘busy’ fabrics placed in each corner. These are the squares that remain whole and I wanted the pattern to be complete. I wished I had replaced the left middle fabric with one that was more of a plain fabric, but as it matched perfectly, I thought it would be okay ๐Ÿ™‚
Firstly sew the rows and press the seams in opposite directions. This helps them fit together nicely and the sewn lines to join up when you sew the rows together.
Firstly sew the rows and press the seams in opposite directions. This helps them fit together nicely and the sewn lines to join up when you sew the rows together.
The nine squares have now been sewn together and pressed. Can you see how the seams fit together nicely. That is the aim, so when you top stitch at the end, the lines are straight :-)
The nine squares have now been sewn together and pressed. Can you see how the seams fit together nicely. That is the aim, so when you top stitch at the end, the lines are straight ๐Ÿ™‚
This is the exciting stage. The nine squares are now cut directly in the middle in both directions as shown.
This is the exciting stage. The nine squares are now cut directly in the middle in both directions as shown.
The cut 'new' squares can now be placed together again. You can put them in any direction as you like. Try them all out to see what you like best before you start to sew them together again.
The cut ‘new’ squares can now be placed together again. You can put them in any direction as you like. Try them all out to see what you like best before you start to sew them together again.
I chose to have the two little yellow squares opposite each other in the middle and the other two at the far corners.
I chose to have the two little yellow squares opposite each other in the middle and the other two at the far corners.
I have placed all the fabric pieces together to get an idea of the finished pattern. I liked this layout so next stage is to sew them together. I sew each row, and then join the rows up. Making sure to press the seams after sewing. The rows have the seams ironed laying opposite directions. This is to help the joins to fit together nicely when you sew the rows together
I have placed all the fabric pieces together to get an idea of the finished pattern. I liked this layout so next stage is to sew them together. I sew each row, and then join the rows up. Making sure to press the seams after sewing. The rows have the seams ironed laying opposite directions. This is to help the joins to fit together nicely when you sew the rows together (as I did with the first nine squares)
All sewn together and pressed. I'm loving these bright colours!
All sewn together and pressed. I’m loving these bright colours!
A bigger photo so you can see the overall pattern.
A bigger photo so you can see the overall pattern. Here is where I realised that the red pattern square, that I chose to be cut up, was still a bit too bold. It has blended into the main red square too much and made them both a little too busy. Never mind. I won’t do that again!
I decided to make my border the same width as the squares that I started with in the beginning.
I decided to make my border the same width as the squares that I started with in the beginning.
I have fast tracked the project. If you want to see how to put the wadding and backing material onto the patchwork, you can look at my previous blog post. I did do one thing different this time though... As it was a larger blanket, I used fabric spray on glue to help hold the materials together. It washes out and causes no long term damage to the blanket, but it certainly makes life a whole lot easier when it comes to the top stitching :-)
I have fast tracked the project. If you want to see how to put the wadding and backing material onto the patchwork piece, you can look at my previous blog post. I did do one thing different this time though. As it was a larger blanket, I used fabric spray on glue to help hold the materials together. It washes out and causes no long term damage to the blanket, but it certainly makes life a whole lot easier when it comes to the top stitching ๐Ÿ™‚
And here is the finished blanket with a cute little narrow yellow binding. This blanket is a 1 and 3/4 meter square one. Plenty big enough to cuddle under :-)
And here is the finished blanket with a cute little narrow yellow binding. I used the ‘Stitch in the ditch’ method of top stitching. This is when you sew right on top of the seam. The stitch line just disappears down into the stitched seam, but makes the blanket hold together firmly. On the back the stitching looks like a big graph and is neat and tidy! This blanket is a 1 and 3/4 meter square one. Plenty big enough to cuddle under ๐Ÿ™‚
And with the little pieces of fabric that I had left over I made a pillow to match! I'm rather proud of how they both turned out. The pillow was just little strips sewn together and the red used as a filler to make them square :-)
And with the little pieces of fabric that I had left over I made a pillow to match! I’m rather proud of how they both turned out. The pillow was just little strips sewn together and the red used as a filler to make them square ๐Ÿ™‚
The fabric that was left over from the two blankets I wrote about in my previous blog post, made two lovely pillows. The one on the left I used the same process as the blankets, but the one on the right is another design which I will demonstrate in another blog post. It is really easy and looks great!
The fabric that was left over from the two blankets I wrote about in my previous blog post, made two lovely pillows. The one on the left I used the same process as the blankets, but the one on the right is another design which I will demonstrate in another blog post. It is really easy and looks great!

Now you can try out the disappearing nine patch block on your own blanket. I suggest you make a little babies blanket first so you can practice before commencing a larger one. It really isn’t hard and looks great when finished. It’s one of the first block patterns that I tried, and I have been really happyย with the finished blankets. If you look up patchwork in the categories, you can see my previous quilts and blankets. See if you can find the other disappearing nine patch ones ๐Ÿ™‚

 

The Creative Juices Are Flowing

There is nothing like a baby being born to get me in the mood to create!

Over the years I have made hundreds (a slight exaggeration) of bibs, cuddle blankets, leggings, little tops, cardigans and bootees. And, if you search through my past blog entries you will see that for my youngest three grandchildren, I made each of them a crochet blanket, and I also made them patchwork ones.

Robins niece had her second little baby girl on the 18th of April. It’s nearly a month later, and today I finally popped in to meet little Fable and give herย our gift! I spent all day yesterday finishingย the blanketย off, and it turned out great! (even if I must say so myself)ย I was so happy with the finished blanket that I thought I would share the process with you, my reader. There are often little tricks with Patchwork that make something that looks very complicated, actually quite easy to put together. Of course the material choices make quite a difference to the finished product as well, and that is often trial and error. Luckily the combination of fabrics looked great this time.

Awhile ago Spotlight had a sale on and I purchased 8 different materials that would blend together, and about a quarter of a metre of each one. I then purchased two different plain fabrics that matched one of the colours in the fabric pieces. I got approximately a metre and a half or two metres of this solid colour fabric.

So here are the instructions…

Firstly I cut the 8 different materials into 3 inch strips (each is the full width of the material). I then match two groups of four strips. Here are the blue/green strips.
Firstly I cut the 8 different materials into 3 inch strips (each is the full width of the material). I then match two groups of four strips. Here are the blue/green strips.
Keep the colours in order I sew them together with a quarter inch seam.
Keeping the colours in order, I sew them together with a quarter inch seam.
The last of the pink/yellow selection sewn together.
The last of the pink/yellow selection sewn together.
And you end up with two long strips, each of four different materials. Please note these have been pressed neatly. I have my iron out and going the whole time I sew, and press the materials frequently.
And you end up with two long strips, each of four different materials. Please note these have been pressed neatly. I have my iron out and going the whole time I sew, and press the materials frequently.
Now to measure and cut. Even up the ends of the strips first.
Now to measure and cut. Even up the ends of the strips first.
You need to cut the material up as wide as it is high, right along the long strip. I got four big squares off each one.
You need to cut the material up as wide as it is high, right along the long strip. I got four big squares off each one.
Here are the two groups of four squares.
Here are the two groups of four squares.
Keeping the patterns in order line them up beside each other with one colour group having its stripes going at a 90 degree angle.
Keeping the patterns in order line them up beside each other with one colour group having its stripes going at a 90 degree angle.
Put the two different ones together with the right sides facing each other and sew a quarter inch seam right around the outside of the square.
Put the two different ones together with the right sides facing each other and sew a quarter inch seam right around the outside of the square.
Sew neatly around the outside edge :-)
Sew neatly around the outside edge ๐Ÿ™‚
From corner to corner cut with your rotary blade, then spin around and cut the opposite diagonal.
From corner to corner cut with your rotary blade, then spin around and cut the opposite diagonal.
You should end up with your large square cut into four like this!
You should end up with your large square cut into four like this!
Press the seams and turn over. Voila! Look at that! Aren't they so pretty! These four have been placed making a little mixed square in the centre.
Press the seams and turn over. Voila! Look at that! Aren’t they so pretty! These four have been placed making a little mixed square in the centre.
Or you could place them with the little triangles to the outer corner. Or you could mix them up totally. The last way is extremely hard to keep control of when sewing together. I get lost! So I kind of like to still have some order (among the chaos).
Or you could place them with the little triangles to the outer corner. Or you could mix them up totally. The last way is extremely hard to keep control of when sewing together. I get lost! So I kind of like to still have some order (among the chaos).
Once all four big squares have been cut up, place them together again in the way that you want to sew them up.
Once all four big squares have been cut up, place them together again in the way that you want to sew them up.
Sew up each row making sure to press the seams once finished.
Sew up each row making sure to press the seams once finished.
Then sew the four rows together. Don't they look pretty :-)
Then sew the four rows together. Don’t they look pretty ๐Ÿ™‚
On this blanket I chose the green with little pink flowers for the first border. Sew on the top and bottom first and then the edges. Make sure to slightly stretch the material as you sew. This makes it easier for the quilt to keep shape, and for the top stitching later on.
On this blanket I chose the green with little pink flowers for the first border. Sew on the top and bottom first and then the edges. Make sure to slightly stretch the border material as you sew. This makes it easier for the quilt to keep shape, and for the top stitching later on.
My next border was a very cute yellow tree pattern sewn exactly the same way as the green border.
My next border was a very cute yellow tree pattern sewn exactly the same way as the green border.
Because this is a smallish quilt (or blanket) there is no need to top stitch through all layers. On this one I have added the wadding to the back, and if you look closely, I have top stitched through both of the layers. This keeps the blanket looking neat and holding together well after many washes. There are many ways that you can top stitch on a quilt. I have just made quarter inch lines alongside the seams and it looks very tidy.
Because this is a smallish quilt (or blanket) there is no need to top stitch through all layers. On this one I have added the wadding to the back, and if you look closely, I have top stitched through both of the layers. This keeps the blanket looking neat and holding together well after many washes. There are many ways that you can top stitch on a quilt. I have just made quarter inch lines along each side ofย the seams and it looks very tidy.
Now I have added the backing and finished the outer rows of top stitch through all the three layers.
Now I have added the backing and finished the outer rows of top stitch through all the three layers.
The next stage is the binding. I cut three inch strips and joined them together to make one big long strip. Fold it in half and iron the fold.
The next stage is the binding. I cut three inch strips and joined them together to make one big long strip. Fold it in half and iron the fold.
With the cut edges together sew the binding on stopping about a quarter of an inch from the corner and sew diagonally off the edge.
With the cut edges together sew the binding on stopping about a quarter of an inch from the corner and sew diagonally off the edge.
Turn the cloth around and fold the binding to have a straight edge along the top, then just recommence sewing the seam.
Turn the cloth around and fold the binding to have a straight edge along the top, then just recommence sewing the seam.
Iron the binding out from the edge and fold it around to the back. At the corners fold the binding in the same way as you did when you were sewing and they will just fit together nicely. I then stitch in the ditch on the front of the blanket, and it catches the back and sews the binding down neatly. you can hand stitch this part if you want the stitching to be completely hidden.
Iron the binding out from the edge and fold it around to the back. At the corners fold the binding in the same way as you did when you were sewing and they will just fit together nicely. I then stitch in the ditch on the front of the blanket, and it catches the back and sews the binding down neatly. you can hand stitch this part if you want the stitching to be completely hidden.
And here are the two quilts that I made in two days. I must admit that each one took all day, but they were wet days and not a lot else could be achieved, except housework! And that is always there anyway!
And here are the two quilts that I made in two days. I must admit that each one took all day, but they were wet days and not a lot else could be achieved, except housework! And that is always there to do anyway!
All folded up ready to be given to two very special little babies. Fable got the green edged one, and Zoe got the pink edged one.
All folded up ready to be given to two very special little babies. Fable got the green edged one, and Zoe got the pink edged one.

Now I find that there is no greater pleasure than to give a gift that you have hand crafted.ย I pourย my love into the blanket asย I sew it up and I imagine the little baby that I am making it for, laying on it, kicking their little feet happily. I pray a little blessing on the child and hope that the Mummy enjoys seeing her child playing on the pretty blanket.

I also get a great sense of satisfaction seeing how the colours and patterns fit together. These two blankets had the inside panels the same and yet the outside borders were completely different creating a unique blanket for each child.

I hope that the instructions are clear enough and you can now be bold enough to attempt your very own patchwork quilt or blanket. Let me know how it goes! Send me a photo of your oneย finished so I can enjoy the colours and patterns thatย  you have created.

ENJOY ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s a Pom Pom making day

Another wet day in the Naki! And another day to entertain the grandsons indoors. I taught grandaughter Casey how to make a Pom Pom the last time I was in Sydney, so thought that it was the perfect opportunity to teach the boys as well.

Pom Poms are really easy to make and are a great way of using up all your old balls of wool. Especially if you only have one ball left of a colour, or a batch, or there isn’t enough to make a whole garment.

If you’ve never made a Pom Pom before, here are the instructions…

Cut out two circles of cardboard with another circle cut out of the centre

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Put the two circles together and start winding the wool around and around.

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Keep adding more and more wool until the centre is full.

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Complete filling it up using a darning needle with a super large hole threated with the wool.

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Now the tricky part! You have to cut the Wool between the two circles just like the photo below

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Wind a piece of wool between the circles and tie it tight so it will hold all the cut wool together

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Rip off the cardboard circles and do a little trimming to neaten it up and voila! You now have a Pom Pom!

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Our Pom Pom was thrown around as a soft inside ball. Great entertainment for two active boys.

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And when the fun of a new Pom Pom had worn off Maisy the dog found it on the lounge floor. She was loving it! Tossing it around like it was made just for her! If I hadn’t rescued it I imagine it would have been destroyed in no time!

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All in all our Pom Pom making experience has been quite fun! Jayden wanted to make another one straight away. He loved the idea of using a needle but I was happy with just one big Pom Pom for awhile. Perhaps we can make another the next wet day ๐Ÿ™‚

 

A little bit of my crafty life…

While expecting the three new grandchildren to arrive this year, I decided to get back into some of my older craft activities. Amazingly, the Scrapbooking has been put aside until I’ve completed these baby gifts! But I will get back to it as there will be so many photos of each new grandchild to make pages with… I can’t wait!

I’ve now been sewing baby clothes, wraps and bibs and also had the knitting needles and crochet hooks out….and I’ve had fun! Nothing like a new baby to give you motivation.

So first to be born this year was Ella Sofia Hill on the 4th of February. I made her a crotcheted blanket just like the one I had for my children when they were babies.

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Ella’s Blanket. I had to feature some pink!

And here is beautiful little Ella tucked up and sound asleep with her new blanket. Hopefully she will be able to keep her own ‘Nana made’ blanket for years ๐Ÿ™‚

Doesn't she look so peaceful
Doesn’t she look so peaceful

While I was making Ella’s blanket I had another pink one on the go. With having two grand daughters arriving I needed/wanted to make one for each of them. The other blanket was quite different. Instead of crocheting in rounds I crocheted in rows of treble crochets.

Now...this is a much brighter pink!
Now…this is a much brighter pink!

I had fun making this blanket as it was in 12 ply and grew very fast. Trouble was it used heaps of wool up too and I ran out doing the edge! As it was such a bright blanket I decided to tone it down with a fancy white edging. This blanket is now in England waiting for grand baby girl to be born. And….I can’t wait to hear the news as it could be any day now ๐Ÿ™‚

In the end I loved the white edging. It brings such a contrast and is quite lacy
In the end I loved the white edging. It brings such a contrast and is quite lacy

Here is a close up of the lovely white lacy edge…

I think it is really pretty. I just hope her little fingers don't get caught in it all the time.
I think it is really pretty. I just hope her little fingers don’t get caught in it all the time.

So Ella was born in February and on the 10th of March I headed for Sydney to be there when Grandson Luke was born. I took a suitcase of wool with me to crotchet Luke’s blanket with. I had 20 days! He arrived on the 18th of March, one day before his due date.

Waiting for Luke's day of birth. I'm crocheting and Rebecca is journalling
Waiting for Luke’s day of birth. I’m crocheting and Rebecca is journalling

I started a pattern of so many rows of the blue/green wool and then two rows of white. The blanket ended up huge, as I had to complete the pattern…and I ended up having to race to ‘Spotlight’ to buy more wool. But in the end I was really happy with it…and I got it finished

It was big enough to cover the sofa!
It was big enough to cover the sofa! And this isn’t the finished size! I still had more rows of colour to do and also the white edge!

And because I had brought more wool I decided to use it all up and make a pillow to match…although the pattern was different as I had more white wool left than the coloured wood.

I managed to make both of these in 20 days...so happy :-)
The finished blanket and pillow! I managed to make both of these in 20 days…so happy ๐Ÿ™‚

I have a photo of Luke laying on his blanket in the previous post. Go and have a look at him…he is such a little cutie!

I enjoyed crocheting so much I have started another blanket. It’s so easy to just sit and crotchet while you are watching TV, or a movie, or even while you are talking. I feel like I’m being productive even while doing nothing.

Now isn't that cute :-)
Now isn’t that cute ๐Ÿ™‚

I should really be using a bigger size crochet hook but I didn’t have mine with me when I started and I didn’t want to undo it and start again….so it is very tight crocheting and quite firm! I hope it’s going to be okay when it’s finished.

Now, when I was in Sydney I also finished off knitting a little blue cardy. I started it when Rebecca first found out she was pregnant….so it has definitely been a work in progress! Apart from sewing the buttons on, which I left for Rebecca to do (I didn’t have any and didn’t have time to shop for some), I got it finished! Phew!

Minus the buttons and a little bit of sewing up :-)
Minus the buttons and a little bit of sewing up ๐Ÿ™‚

So along with the knitting and crocheting, I have also been making myself a couple of dresses and some baby items as well. I forgot to take photos of the baby things apart from these two little dresses…

One for Ella and one for Sophie :-)
One for Ella and one for Sophie ๐Ÿ™‚

I usually find it hard to make clothes for myself that fit okay once sewn up. I’m not very good at altering the pattern for my body shape! I usually sew it up as much as possible and then put it on inside out and pin the seams to fit better! I decided to buy a new pattern as see how it turned out by just cutting and sewing as the pattern said! This is the pattern…

This pattern is really easy to use! I was really happy with it :-)
This pattern is really easy to use! I was really happy with it ๐Ÿ™‚

I purchased my material from ‘Spotlight’s’ 30% off sale. For one dress it cost $12! Now that’s a bargain. especially if you don’t count the value of my time taken to make the dress. I made it for me for free ๐Ÿ™‚

This is the first one I made. Excuse the fact that my body has got wider through the middle as I have got older. I need to exercise more but I am too busy sitting down doing craft!
This is the first one I made. Excuse the fact that my body has got wider through the middle as I have got older. I need to exercise more but I am too busy sitting down doing craft!

This dress has pockets at both sides. It has been cut and sewn just as the pattern said and fits me perfectly. You have no idea how happy this makes me feel. So happy that I had to make another dress!

This one I decided to make a contrast top on it like in the pattern :-)
This one I decided to make a contrast top on it like in the pattern ๐Ÿ™‚

I just have one more dress cut out to sew up for me, and the crochet blanket to finish, and then I can spend some time creating with these beautiful fat quarter fabrics. They have been washed and are just sitting waiting for me to find some inspiration and spare time! Aren’t they fabulous!

Now what am I going to make????
Now what am I going to make????

I will be spending a wee bit of time on ‘Pinterest’ looking for ideas I think ๐Ÿ™‚