Sunday, 29 November 2015


It's been nearly 2 years since I last wrote a blog post and in that time we have welcomed our 3rd (and final) baby boy in to the family.

I found life got too busy for blogging - being on my own with 2 children under 2 years old all day and then off to work in the evenings was exhausting and left me with little lust for anything except a sleepy, cheeky read of other people's blog posts in bed.

Apart from a little job I've kept on, I'm taking some proper time out with this baby and concentrating on my family. With this change, I've discovered the return of my sewjo, creativity and the desire to write again. 

This won't just be a crafting blog or a mummy blog (eeek!) but an outlet for my musings and ideas that I would like to share with you all.

Thanks for stopping by.....

Sunday, 17 March 2013

(A sewer's) dreams are made of this!

So my last post was on 23rd December! Oooops! I am what can only be described as a Bad Blogger but I do has a good excuse:

Caitlin was born on 12th January and weighed a whopping 3825 grams (8 lb and 4 ounces!!) Let's just say she tore her way out -.big ouch!!! She's now 9 weeks old and has been sleeping through the night for a week so I am starting to feel human again. T. is being a fantastic big brother; after a few difficult weeks at the start, he's now stroking her and rocking her to sleep and being extremely patient when I'm feeding his sister or settling her. 

A few weeks before Caitlin arrived, I stumbled upon an auction for a collection of 16 English paper piecing blocks on English Ebay. They looked amazing - vintage fabrics so intricately pieced and stitched that I couldn't believe the aution had started at 99p. There was only 1 other bidder and I won the collection at a steal for only £5.Yes, 5 quid for 16 precious blocks!!!

Just take a look at the colours and detail in these beauties:

I imagine they belonged to an old lady who passed away and had spent many hours lovingly sewing them. What was she planning to do with the blocks though? Join them together? Or was she just experimenting with shapes? I presume a relative found them when clearing out the house and didn't appreciate the work that has gone in to them as much as I do! Each piece has been perfectly hand-stitched and it must have taken an absolute age just to cut the paper templates out so perfectly and neatly.

My absolute favourite is the sun block. Each piece has been so carefully cut and ridiculously neatly hand-stitched:

 The vibrant star block particularly stands out too:

And I love the delicate fabrics used in the Dresden plate:


I think I might use the building blocks in a quilt for Caitlin:

And I would love to make a summer quilt from red, yellow and blue fabrics, using these blocks as the central pieces:

I have no idea what to make with the other blocks though! What are your suggestions? Should I make cushion covers? Or do you have a better and more creative idea?  

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Simple curtains - the nursery is complete!

I love the blackout blinds on German windows - they are excellent for baby daytime naps and I'm sure they prevent early morning wake ups when the sun rises:

With this in mind, I decided that full curtains with linings were not really necessary for the nursery- much better to save the extra material for matching bedware ;-) (Plus the fact that my bump is now defying gravity, rendering any kind of fabric cutting and machine operation extremely difficult!) 

I love this material! I wanted to find something baby-like, dreamy and pretty that complimented the border and this was an absolute steal at 4 Euros per meter from Tedox:

So I made simple sheet curtains, with matching ties:

So here's a look at the finished nursery. Your room is waiting, it's time to come out and meet us Miss C.:

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Thrifty gift sewing!

In this day and age, living on one income for a few years requires some serious budgeting. With all of the little people birthdays that crop up once you have children, you need to find ways to give nice gifts without spending a fortune on them. 

As the birthday of one of T.'s little friends was approaching, his mum asked me if I could sew a cover for his medical booklet to stop it from getting damaged/wet. A. told me that she liked patchwork and blue floral prints. I thought this was a great idea and an excuse for me to create something unique and personalised so this is what I came up with:

I don't know if you get something similar back in old England, but I do love the medical examination and injection books that are given to parents from day one here. Such a handy way to remember which injections your baby has already had and a great reminder not to miss the developmental check-ups.  Indeed, T.'s medical book has a list of check-up dates until 2016! Now is that German efficiency at it's best or what!?

Here's the said medical check-up and injection books in a cover I made 

Creating a patchwork cover is a great way to make use of your scrap stash too. I love the Robert Kaufmann animal print at the top, my most expensive fabric to date and sadly all used up now:

I also made a notebook cover for another little boy:

 I'm currently working on a purple, personalised notebook cover to thank the lovely older lady who goes along to my pre-natal appointments with me to keep Toby entertained.

I'm absolutely huuuuuuuuge now at nearly 37 weeks and sewing (or doing anything productive really!) is getting very uncomfortable although I have finished the nursery curtains and am currently working on a little something for Christmas...... watch this space!

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Baby girl quilts and the return of my sewjo!

For a few weeks I thought I was seriously losing my sewjo; I'm definately not someone who finds pregnancy easy physically and DEFINATELY NOT emotionally and when you're this big, it's hard to bend down to cut fabric, let alone sit at a sewing machine:

Luckily I managed to scrape together some energy and time to make a baby quilt for the bestie who's just had a baby:

 I'm really in to mixing pink with purple and lilac at the moment:

In fact, I loved this mix of fabrics and colour so much that I had to make an almost identical one for Miss C.'s nursery:

The nursery is coming along nicely at the moment:

 I just need to find the energy within my whale-like body to lay out and cut the material for the curtains.

The giving birth nerves are starting to kick-in now. Do I read through the birth report that I wrote last time but never read back to myself in preparation? Or are my memories of giving birth best kept as blurry for now?

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Ultimate, snuggly patchwork sofa throw/ quilt

Phew! It's been a busy few weeks for this patchwork lover! We've been decorating the nursery and I've been working on a few commissions and making a quilt for a friend. This left me with 0 daylight hours but I just had to fight the Sandmann to finish off a little exciting project for our lounge that I started some time ago.I feel like I'm racing against the clock at the mo as the baby bump is getting to that uncomfortable stage when it's difficult to sit at the sewing machine.

It's all about the thrift at Haus Brentnall at the moment. After discovering part of the sofa had come unstitched, I wanted to create a nice throw to cover up the tear and double up as a snuggly quilt for film viewing. 

I'm still loving the hexagons and couldn't resist a family banner in the centre:


It had to be red-based to fit in with our living room decor, but I managed to use up a lot of my stash in the process. I didn't really start with a pattern in mind, but worked from the centre just patching out. I did make it as symmetrical as possible this time though, as I didn't want it to look too crazy in the living room:

The whole quilt/throw measures 155 x 120cm.

Here's the backing material:

  And I couldn't rest until I'd completely finished off my stash by making a matching cushion:

 And here's bowling ball belly testing out her make. (Complete with a baby Musli stain on my jeans- I'm just keeping it real!) I've reached the uncomfortable stage now at 31 weeks.

 All in all, I'm really pleased with this quilt as it's my neatest yet. I managed to quilt it without the slightest bit of puckering for the first time!

What do you think of my choice of materials/ pattern? Do you think it's too 'busy' for a living room?

If you'd like me to make a sofa throw/quilt for you, please just post me a comment or send me a mail. I can make them in any colours/ style to suit your tastes!

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Patchy patience and a prompt work of patch!

If there's one essential characteristic needed for teaching, it's patience! I used to think I had pretty much mastered the art of patience - with people and when it comes to solving problems and learning stuff. When I started sewing just over a year ago, I was really intrigued by the English Paper Piecing method for creating patchwork, so I painstakingly cut out shapes from paper, cut and pinned the material to the the paper and sewed the pieces together by hand.

This project took me about 20 hours in total and was mainly created at stupid-o'clock, in between T.'s night feeds:

I wanted to create a 30s inspired vintage cushion cover. The white broderie anglaise patches are made from my old, favourite summer skirt which I ruined by sitting on a dirty old bench and getting rust stains on it which wouldn't wash out:
And I was so anal, that I even sewed the tiniest piece of yellow fabric into the corner to create a perfectly rounded edge. Can you see the piece in the top, right-hand corner?:

 I hand-stitched a bag for a little friend of mine:

And didn't cheat by making the back plain, that's also patchwork:

I then went on to hand-piece and hand sew this bag from Cath Kidson fabric scraps as I really wanted a CK bag, but I was less enthusiastic about the cost of them:

Plus this hand-stitched cushion, which became one of a pair:

I even created the odd dribble bib by hand:

But something has ruined me, has stripped me of my patience and created an impetuous sewing freak who just wants to get the project finished and move on to the next exciting adventure in patchy land: 


My first ever sewing machine which I bought in June and now don't know how I ever sewed without it!

During this half term break we're decorating the nursery and I wanted to create my first wall hanging. It was to be lilac in tone and hand-stitched to show love, care and attention to detail but the temptation of the machine was too much and apart from hand-sewing the hexagons (as this is the neatest way I can do them!), I wipped the lines of patchwork up mechanically and quilted it in no time. 

I'm really loving hexagons at the moment and planned  to create the whole quilt from 7 patch hexagons stitched together, but again, this seemed like an arduous process that I just don't have the patience for anymore. Can you spot the broderie anglais? These are the last pieces from my old, beloved summer skirt. I need a new skirt like that:

What do you think to my colour/ material choices? I've tried a completely different type of layout, do you like it? And do you think it will work as a wall hanging? (Photos to follow once the nursery is all painted up!)