Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Lucky Black Kitty Cat Pin Cushion

I have promised to offer an alternative to the Dachshund Pin Dog at the next meeting of Sprat & Winkle Quilters. I previously made up my first ‘trial’ using a free pattern from the internet.

Free internet pattern

My first attempt – version1

There are several areas that I would like to improve  and so I sat down and re-drafted/redesigned the pattern.

I added a long upright tail to the body and spent some time working on a design for the head that would also be included on the body pattern. By doing this rather than attaching the head separately it should do away with the ‘weakness’ that one often gets at the join. We don’t want a floppy-headed Kitty!

I used a fat quarter of Black background cotton fabric from my stash to make version 2 of the Kitty Cat Pin Cushion.

Pattern payout on a Fat Quarter of fabric

First, I made the ears which were turned right side out and folded before inserting into the dart on the side head part of the pattern.

Stitched up and ready for stuffing

Unfortunately by not paying attention, one of the ears is folded the wrong way and I think they are a little bit too ‘perky. They need to be wider at the base and set slightly lower down the side of the head but for this trial version I don’t think that it matters a great deal. I found that I still needed to make the darts in the leg parts of the underbelly gusset as otherwise Kitty would have legs splayed out flat rather than standing on all four paws. There is a gusset for the head which still needs some refinement as I think it looks more like a terrier dog’s head. Stuffing took a while, starting with the tail, moving onto the back legs, then the head and front legs and finally the main body.

  

Version 2 – Ready to play!

I feel that I have nearly perfected this project. Hopefully the next version will be the definitive Kitty Cat. Miaow.

Kitty Cat Pin Cushion

As mentioned in previous postings, I regularly make and teach ‘how to’ a Dachshund Pin Dog.

Personally I am more of a cat lover so thought I would make my very own Kitty Cat Pin Cushion.

After surfing the internet I came across a free pattern for Terry cat. (http://dollmaker.nunodoll.com) that I printed off.

The instructions were rather sparse and were originally been designed for construction from towelling, so it was a good thing that I have previously made stuffed toys.

Here is the first version of Kitty made from a scrap of fat quarter of quilting cotton. I have used a felt tip pen to draw in her features. She is not perfect as her head definitely requires some ‘finessing’. 

For now though, I have a ‘jumping off point’ to perfect my pet pin cushion.

Fabric covered Lever Arch File

I always find it difficult to find the perfect gift for teenagers.

Inspired by this project when it was featured on Sewing Quarter I have made a version for my friend’s daughter’s 16th birthday.

I used a pack of fat quarters from New Threads Quilt Shop plus some fusible wadding and a length of plain White polyester cotton from my stash. I had previously purchased a kit for a similar project featuring gardening print fabric, so had the instructions to hand. I also watched the you tube video (Sewing Quarter 7th February 2018) to clarify a couple of points of which I was unsure. If you want to make this project, be aware that the seam allowance is ¼ inch which I could not find mentioned anywhere in the instructions.

   

The construction went easily enough as I made a strip of patchwork pieces from 5 of my different prints, fused the wadding and worked a few rows of quilting. The only slight confusion arose when I was folding the ends of the work to make the flaps at each end into which the file is slipped. I especially liked the glitter clear plastic vinyl that is used for the label pocket on the spine.

I hope to purchase an eyelets kit as I plan to make the coordinating inserts using eyelets to place the envelope pocket and zip pocket into the file. The gift has to be completed by Wednesday so tomorrow I shall be on the lookout for eyelets!

SEW SOUTHAMPTON – 28TH JULY 2018

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to be able to join with over 30 like-minded ladies (and 1 gentleman) on a get together arranged by Sian, Gemma and Clare.

We met at the entrance to John Lewis at west Quay Shopping Centre for general introductions and group admiration of each others hand made garments. Sian arranged for us to be grouped together into ‘mini groups’ (not compulsory!) and goody bags were distributed.

We then invaded the Haberdashery department of John Lewis. There was a fair selection of fabrics and ‘habby’ but I think, like me, most were saving themselves for Fabricland and Ikea!

We retired to Ed’s Diner for lunch, Halloumi salad and a Diet Pepsi (!) where I shared a table with Laura.

Next, onto Fabricland which is the largest of their stores that I have visited, it even had an ‘upstairs’ (although personally I don’t think there was any more variety and stock than the Salisbury store). I was very restrained and purchased a single length – 4 metres of a pretty (and for me fairly subtle) cotton print.

Not quite sure what it will be but at time of writing has been overlocked and laundered, just waiting to dry.

By now I was pretty much exhausted so left the others to refresh in ‘The Slug and Lettuce’ before going on to IKEA.

A straightforward drive home before collapsing into an armchair and enjoying a fresh cup of tea!

This morning I checked out my goody bags, as just by chance I was given two! Lots of discount vouchers, brooches and badges, Spoonflower sample set, business cards and fabric!

A fabulous day out that I thoroughly enjoyed and cannot wait until the SEW SOUTHAMPTON TAKE 2.

Pearl’s a Singer!

For my birthday next week, my DH has bought me an old sewing machine! Not as bad as it sounds. The old machine in question is a Singer Featherweight ‘born’ just 14 days after me some X years ago. Pearl’s a Singer (Elkie Brooks song – see what I did there?) is a Centenary edition of a famous machine produced in the Singer factory based in Kilbowie on Clydebank in Scotland.

In 1933 when the first Featherweight machines were displayed at the World’s Fair in Chicago, the domestic sewing machine market was dominated by big heavy machines usually housed in cabinets or on treadles. The Featherweight appeared on the scene and was immediately hugely popular. It was marketed as the ‘Perfect Portable’ and salesmen predicted that it would be passed down from mother to daughter and beyond. It was compact and came in its own small box and moreover it was easy to maintain. Today, 48 years after manufacture ceased, it is highly sought after, especially by quilters who love its perfectly formed unique lock stitch. The 221 version was made both in the USA and Scotland where it was called the 221k. From 1933 – 1969 3.5 million of these 221’s were produced so there are still plenty out there looking for a good home!

Over the years that the 221 and 221k were produced there were only small changes in its appearance. Pearl’s a Singer is an early model with a ‘gothic’ faceplate and has Celtic Knot decals .

It is possible to date each machine using the serial number underneath and that is how I was able to obtain a machine ‘born’ in the same year as me.

With very many thanks to Lizzie I made contact with ‘featherweight Phil’ who restores these machines beautifully, he makes them safe and does not charge the earth! Should you wish to contact Phil to purchase your own featherweight – contact him at philip.enstone@virgin.net.

My DH was delighted to be able to purchase such an appropriate gift for me and I can’t wait to settle down and stitch!

 

Haul from the Sandown Park Quilt Show

Last weekend I had an early start as I and three Sprat & Winkle quilting friends were off to the Quilt show at Sandown Park. Having met up at a local out of town car park we set off. We arrived just before the doors opened and met up with another sewing and crafting gal, raring to go and enjoy a whole day of all things quilting and sewing related, plus of course, LOTS of chat!  

Before viewing all the beautiful quilts I had a shopping list to fulfil. The Fabric Buying Ban is no longer in force as I simply cannot resist, so why fight it? However I have to stop buying sewing patterns and on this occasion managed to ignore all those naughty patterns that were calling to me!

Armed with my list that included Calico and fabrics in Plains, Spots, Stripes, a particular Linen print from Rosenberg & Sons that I had seen on a.n.other’s blog and anything appropriate for Dachshund Pin Dogs. I failed with the Stripes but achieved the remainder of my list.
Spots – tick, pretty print – not on the list! Doggy print – absolutely perfect! Cats in spectacles – could not resist!

Rosenberg’s Linen print – tick

Calico in 2 weights – tick, Plain Double Gauze – tick

Slider sheet for use with free-motion quilting, quilting templates, 4 x overlocking threads, seam gauges, bobbin controllers, Best Press spray.

So, a successful shop. I am delighted with my purchases and by the end of the following day most fabrics had been laundered and are now ready to sew&go!

After a tasty lunch I enjoyed viewing all the fabulous quilts – photos currently being downloaded from my phone and will appear in a separate post.

We left the show around 3pm and by 4.30pm I was home, hot and tired but very happy!

Until further notice I will be concentrating on the quilting on the Drunken Caribbean Birds quilt so keep your eyes peeled for a reveal of the completed project – and listen out for a big sigh of relief!

 

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

For my first post of the New Year –  something different and unusual – I have made an alteration to a brand new project.

I was not happy with the ‘Apples & Pears – where did my waist go?’ dress that I posted recently. As it was, I knew that it would never be worn. I had nothing to lose and therefore decided to ‘hack’ it!

I removed the bias frill from the hem and cut off 8 inches from the length of the dress before adding the frill back on again. I now have a flippy, flirty, new tunic dress that co-ordinates well with my grey leggings. The length of fabric that I had removed from the dress was converted to a detachable cowl collar. Result!

Newly hacked flirty tunic top

An experiment that failed in the final furlong

  Stitching showing through from the internal pockets

A little while ago I made my first ‘Peek-a-boo’ wallet with vinyl pockets. I am pleased with the result but have always felt that there was room for improvement.

End of the zip ‘ripples’ at the edges

I was unhappy with the way that the KAM snaps were inserted, that the shaped end was left open for turning rather than the straight end, that the zip teeth went right to the edge of the wallet and ‘rippled’ and finally that the stitching of the pockets on the inside came through to the outer cover. I decided to address these issues and make a new wallet using some remnant Skandi print Christmas fabric and leftover shower curtaining from a.n.other project.

All went exceedingly well until the final furlong which involved inserting the second KAM snap into the flap that would enable the wallet to be folded up and secured.

I realise now some of the reasons for the failure are; 1) I have used a thicker polyester wadding and 2) the flap not only has wadding, 2 layers of fabric AND some medium weight interfacing. All these layers mean that it is a struggle for the snap to be inserted fully. I used the ‘male’ snap on the flap and try as I might (at least 5 attempts) I could not get sufficient closure on the snap so that it would ‘pop’ into the ‘female’ part. I wish that I had used an alternative closure!

So a lesson learned. I will definitely make this wallet again and next time will avoid issues with the KAM snaps by using a button and loop instead.

Here is the final wallet, closed but not secure!

Coordinating Coat Hanger

First thing this morning I went into the sewing room and saw that I had a large rectangular remnant from the recent wrap bodice dress. As this is a jersey fabric I have also noticed that the dresses often fall off the slippery coat hangers. Ah ha! I will make a coordinating coat hanger for my dress.

I now have the construction down to a fine art but Idid not have a co-ordinating zip handy. Hmmm….I know, I will use some KAM snaps on the opening. All went very well until I came to apply the very last component of the snaps. It took three attempts to get a popper to set correctly. But all done now.

Front of Coat hanger

  Reverse showing KAM poppers

Despite the trials and tribulations with the last KAM popper, the coat hanger cover took less than 1 hour to complete. I have hung the dress on its very own coat hanger and am immensely pleased with myself!

Getting Ahead with some Simple Sewing

As I gradually worked my way through the list of samples required for classes I took a little time out to make a couple of basic items that will go into my stash for gifts.

I have made a 16-blade Dresden Plate cushion cover and yet another padded coat hanger cover with concealed pocket. Both items are enjoyable to stitch and make use of remnants of fabric (of which have masses!!).

The cushion cover with patchwork takes a little longer but I am delighted with the end result. I especially like the fact that I ‘fussy cut’ the butterfly for the central circle.

For sewing the the coat hanger cover, I now have this down to a fine art and if I exclude the additional zipped patch pocket on the reverse, this project now takes less than one hour to complete.

Materials requirement is minimal – one wooden coat hanger, one Fat Quarter, same of wadding and a long zip (taken from my stash). I have ordered more plain wooden coat hangers and intend to review my FQ collection so that I can get a head start on Christmas gift-making!