Friday, 30 October 2015

Trick or Treat! It's Halloween!

Granted we don't go into Halloween the way our American and Canadian cousins do but it can be found here from time to time. Trick or Treaters can be found and they will need a bag to put their bounty into. Best of all, it is a quick make - you've still got time before it's time to go out!

Enter this little sweetie for your sweeties!

How about that!

The delight is in the details

So, what do we need to find this time?
-2 cute and quite light Halloween prints. Fat quarters will do the trick.
- fat quarter 272 Thermolam wadding from Vilene
-fat quarter of something cute for lining
-plain black bias binding for the flat piping
-a 20cm scrap of ribbon for the tab
-a small 'd' ring
-beads in silver, black, orange and white
-some other cute embellishments for the charm - think crochet flowers, felt flowers and buttons; scroll down through the pattern and you will see what I have in mind.
-Black or orange Kam snap set
-spray baster
-your usual sewing needs

This make looks complicated but really it is so easy that it doesn't even need a pattern template! So if you are ready, we can get sewing...

Firstly, make the charm so that it will be ready to attach to the bag in a couple of steps time. Fold the ribbon in half and place the 'd' ring in...

Layer up your chosen embellishments and sew them on about two thirds down the ribbon. I have used a crochet flower, a felt flower and a button....

Thread some beads onto a piece of thread and then fasten them to the 'd' ring at the bottom.

NB: I am sure that I don't have to tell you that beads are a choking hazard so sew them on securely or leave them off if you are unsure - We all watch our little ones like hawks but sometimes they can be quick! Be safe.

Your charm is ready to go now and it will be tucked in under the flat piping in a second.

Now choose one of your fabrics and cut two rectangles 26cm x 8cm. Spray baste to a piece of wadding and trim....

Cut two from the lining fabric too but these don't need wadding.

Now cut two further rectangles 26cm x 18cm from your second fabric. Cut two from lining too. Baste to the wadding and trim. Find something round (a plate would do) and round the bottom corners of the rectangle....

Take the flat piping next and sew it to the top of each of the larger rectangles like this...

Decide which panel will become the front of the bag. Tuck the charm under the piping about 6cm in from the left hand side.

Take your top panels next and sew to the top too....

Iron open and then top stitch along the bit just over the piping. This helps to keep the bulk down and it looks nice and finished too. 

You can add a label too if you like....

Love that little scrap of orange lace *sigh*.

Prep the lining now by sewing a small rectangle to a large one like this...

Repeat for the back.

The handles are made from the same fabric as the rectangle tops. Cut two pieces 12cm x 50cm and fold in half length ways. Iron...

Now fold the raw edges to the centre and iron them....

Top stitch along both sides a couple of times....

My handles are generously long because children are notorious for getting sick of carrying bags. The shoulder option is easier for them.

Attach one handle 5cm in from each outer edge and sew securely - they have to take the weight of all that candy!

Now take a lining piece and place it right sides together with an outer and sew along the top edge only. Make sure that the handles are tucked down when you do this.

Repeat for the other two pieces.

Open the bag components and then with the right sides together, pin lining to lining and outer to outer. Make very sure that you match up seams correctly! Leaving a gap in the lining, sew all around the outside of both.
Turn out through the gap. Close it. Stuff the lining down into the bag and top stitch around the top edge to keep the lining down and neat....

Pop a Kam snap set into the middle top (between the handles) to keep the bag secure....

Well all that is left now is to get that costume on and enjoy your trick or treating! Here is that bag again...

Happy Halloween peeps!
Love and hugs
Debbie xxx

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Patched Pumpkin Cushion

One week closer to Halloween and I have a cute way to use the Patched Pumpkin black from last week - if you missed it, you can find it here.

I am afraid that we can no longer pretend that we are still in 'late summer' now. It really is autumn and nature is not backward about rubbing our noses in it.

Leaves are falling before our very eyes

Everything is moving through the orange and  red spectrum to brown

And the shadows on the trees feel deathly and cold

Brrrr! Well it is stay indoors weather so let's nest! 

Cushions make the house a home. They can change the look of a room quite cheaply and they make a cold day feel, well, less cold. Best of all, they can be made from scraps and quite small pieces so the cost is potentially low. To add to the frugality, I have recycled my cushion by reusing an old insert. It was only the outside that needed a boost. Here is this week's offering...

Cosy! And very easy to make.

So what do we need this time?
These requirements are to make a cover for a cushion 50cm x 50cm.
-a 50cm sq. cushion insert
- your pumpkin patch from last week's post
-some grey Essex yarn dyed linen (a fat quarter will do the job)
-272 Thermolam wadding from Vilene which you can get here.
-some fabric for the back of your cushion- again, a fat quarter is all that you will need.
-maybe something interesting to make a label. Have a look at that tute here.
-black and white bias binding
-your usual sewing/quilting needs

To begin with, the BOM this time is a little larger than ideal so I will begin by trimming the outer rows back by 4cm all around.

Now cut two pieces of linen 8cm x 40cm and sew one to the top and one to the bottom of the pumpkin patch....

Cut two more 8cm x 50cm and attach to the sides....

Lay this over a piece of wadding that is 2cm all around larger than the ironed block.
Quilt 1/2 cm each side of each seam going straight onto the linen each time

here is another view

When you have finished the quilting, trim the wadding back to the size of the top and make sure that everything is square.

Add your label if you are using one. I have used Kraft-tex because I love the faux leather look that it has. Fabric tape and even a piece of linen works well too.

I love the little pop of red provided by the ribbon scrap tucked in to the side of the label.

Take your backing fabric and with the wrong sides together sew around the outer edge leaving a gap to insert the cushion. Do this and then close the gap.

Bind the raw edges of the cover with your bias binding.....

Just love the way that the black and white works with the Autumn colours. By the way, if you want to make some black and white bias binding - it can be hard to find on the market, choose a black and white striped fabric with diagonal stripes - then it will come out as straight bars like mine when you cut it on the diagonal to make your binding.

That's how you make a cushion folks! This is an easy method and you don't have to back the quilted top because it will be hidden inside the cushion cover. 

No zipper is needed because all of the materials are washable so you can just put the whole thing into the washing machine. Bliss!

Love and hugs
Debbie xxx

Friday, 16 October 2015

Block of the Month - October 2015 Patched Pumpkin

Okay, okay, I know that I said that the new regime for the BOM week was that it would be in the second to last week each month and then a relevant make the following week but this month is special. Halloween is the big event at the end of the month so, just this once I promise, we have moved the feast. I hope that is okay....*crosses fingers*.

This weeks big moment comes from Simply Homemade magazine here in the UK - it's Christmas pretties time! Christmas begins embarrasingly early in magazine land! Check this one out anyway...

Simply Homemade 61 on sale now

I love using little squares up and this time a few squares and a few half triangles equals a patched pumpkin! Add a text print around the outside and you have a classic pumpkin block.

So what do we need? Scraps of orange fabrics and scraps of text prints. The scraps need to be large enough to cut a 9cm square plus a couple of 10cm squares - you will see why in a second. You need a small amount of brown too.

Just to clear something up - the 10cm squares are on the edges of the pumpkin and give it a rounder shape so two of them are cut from orange and two are from the text print and then you mix them up so that the pumpkin looks scrappy.

This is a larger than usual sized block at 47cm sq. and you can reduce it (or indeed increase it further) by adding or subtracting a centimetre to each side.

Okay, here we go. Construct this block in rows and to make your life easier, begin with the centre.

Row 1 :The centre row is constructed with four mixed orange squares 9cm x 9cm with a text block on each end like this...

Row 2: Add a row under that of two whole orange squares with a HST unit (from the 10cm squares) on each end and a text block either side of that....

Here is the HST unit by itself...

Row 3: The bottom row is text squares (9cm x 9cm) mixed up.

Row 4: Now go to the row above the centre one and repeat row 2 in mirror image....

Row five: Is the one with the stalk. The first and last two squares are plain text 9cm x 9cm. The two in the middle (browns) are 9cm x 5cm with half brown and half text...

Join them together and you have this.....

The brown 'stalk' adds up to 9cm x 9cm now with the magic of mathematics.
Now add the other bits of the row...

Finally, the top row is plain text...

Give it a good press and you have a pumpkin block! Here is a slightly closer view...

That's one purdy punkin! I think that I I had my time over again, I would make the stalk darker so that it stands out more against the newsprint. This way is subtle though so......

Consider some black applique to make it into a jack-o-lantern or leave it as it is. As I said, this is a large block and it is very likely that I will be cutting the outer rows down to make them fit better with the project that I have in mind. And this is perfectly alright. you can make blocks and then adapt them to all sorts of things.

Next week's post will show you how to quilt it and turn it into a cushion. Till then!

Love and hugs
Debbie xxx