Sunday, November 25, 2012

Blog Hops, Tutorials and Givaways

First of all don't forget its the start of the Pouch Blog Hop tomorrow which lasts until  9th December.
Then straight after that from the 9th Dec - 15th Dec there's a Blog Hop Party. You can find more details on Daryl's Blog, Patchouli Moon Studio and if that wasn't enough there's also Deck the Halls tutorials and giveaways over at Ellison Lane Quilts from 26th Nov - 7th Dec. That should keep you all busy and out of mischief. Myself included. LOLLL

Happy sewing to all of you.

~ Maria ~

Saturday, November 24, 2012

My Blog was Featured

I'm thrilled to bits today. Not only was my Denim Rag Lap Quilt  featured on Threading My Way but so was my blog too. Thanks so much Pam, you've made my day.


Head over and visit Threading My Way by clicking on the featured button and see what the other talented ladies have made.

~ Maria ~

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Denim Rag Lap Quilt & Table Mats

I finished this lap quilt a couple of weeks ago but couldn't post it to my blog as I was giving it as a gift to my friends daughter. Today I handed it over so now I can share it with you.
My friends daughter is in Scotland so wanted it to have some Tartan fabric as well as some Christmas fabric.
Personally I love it and hope she does too.

I had just finished washing it and it was drying out on the washing line when I took these photos so you may see some loose threads still hanging around that I trimmed off when it was dry.

I love the back nearly as much as the front.

The most stressful part of making this rag quilt was when I was snipping away at the edges. I really didn't think it was going to look right after washing it but to my surprise it did.

My daughter came over just before I handed it over and she fell in love with it too so now I have to make one for her. The amount of thread and fluff that comes off it is unbelievable and also all the bits that collect in the washing machine after washing it. It took two loads of washing before all the loose threads disappeared from inside the drum and that was after cleaning it out.

I also made these three table mats for my friend. Again some Tartan fabric which we saw when we were together out shopping and then I sneaked back into town to buy it.

~ Maria ~

Monday, November 19, 2012

A Pouch Blog Hop

I was just over at nissaMade taking a look at her gorgeous Hobo Bucket bag she just finished and noticed she also mentioned a Pouch Blog Hop and wanted to share it with you. I know many of you make pouches so this sounds like fun.

                                                      Happy Little Pouch Hop

Starting Monday, November 26, there will be two weeks of pouch inspiration, pattern reviews and tutorials so make sure you check it out.

~ Maria ~

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Add a Button for a Discount

Recognize this button.

Yes it's Christine Welsh's button. Most of you know by now that I am one of her bag testers and really can't praise her patterns enough. Beautiful and original designs and well illustrated with loads of clear photos for those of us who are very visual but Chris also includes a text version so you don't have to print out all the photos if you don't need to.

Ok here's the deal. All you have to do to get a massive 50% discount on her patterns is add her button to your blog and email her to let her know you've done it and include your blog link. Simple as that. In my opinion her patterns aren't expensive at their normal price so this is an excellent deal.

Go and visit Christine's blog, grab her button and get your discount.

~ Maria ~

Friday, November 16, 2012

Tiny Tree Decorations

As you've already seen I'm into the Christmas spirit and have started making things for Christmas. Every year I make something new for the tree and was delighted when I came across a tutorial for some really easy tree decorations over at Noodlehead. Check out Anna's they're so cute.

These are mine, some of which I will be giving to my daughter if she doesn't claim them all that is.

~ Maria ~

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Reversible Christmas Table Runner


The weather is a little better today so was able to take some photos of my completed reversible Christmas table runner.
I originally made one of these for myself last year and back then it was an advanced project for me as I was very new to quilting. A lady saw mine and liked it and wanted one for herself. Unfortunately I couldn't get the exact same fabrics as mine but it came pretty close and she did say that it didn't matter if they weren't the same. Also I found this time round that after cutting out the 12 tree blocks the size wasn't right so after checking the distance between my needle and the edge of my presser foot, noticed it was larger than the required 1/4". So cut them all out again, that's how I came about making the mug rugs/potholders, I had 12 to spare. LOLLL All worked out in the end.

This is the reverse side.

And here are the two together so you can see that if you don't use a 1/4" seam allowance like the pattern says it can make quite a difference.
The original one that I made the mistake on is the one on the left.

~ Maria ~

Christmas Stocking


I'm back again. Since my last post on the mug rugs/potholders I went and sat down to make a scrappy Christmas stocking and have just finished it. How quick was that!!!!!!

You can find the tutorial here.

The only thing I did different from the tutorial is that I used batting on both the front and the back pieces. The top of the sock looks narrower in the photo for some reason.

This is the back. Again my camera is telling porkies, the green is lighter than this.

A comment was left on my last post by Linda that the watermark detracted from the photo so I tried making it lighter. I was going to put it in the corner but then that would defeat the object of having a watermark. I'm still keen to hear what you think. Personally I think this is an improvement on the last.

~ Maria ~

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Mug Rugs/Potholders


I finally finished the Christmas table runner that had been ordered for christmas and also made up some what could be used as mug rugs or potholders. I'll take photos of the table runner tomorrow during the day when the lighting will hopefully be better. It's been cold, wet and dreary.

I've made six and have another set of six blocks ready to quilt. Each one measures 5 1/2" x 5 1/2".  I always finish off the binding by hand stitching it but just lately it's been taking me ages on larger projects and it's also putting a strain on my eyes. I experimented with sewing the binding with a straight stitch but that was no good for me as the stitching on the reverse side wasn't catching the binding in places or the binding didn't look even, then I tried a zig zag stitch but had to scrap that one too as my machine kept skipping a stitch at regular intervals. I finally found a decorative stitch on my machine that I can just about live with.

This is the reverse side. I used the fabric from the dinner table set I made a while back.

Apart from sewing I've also been playing around with watermarking my photos. I'm still not sure about it and may change it somewhere down the line. What do you think?
I'm off to sew some Christmas decorations now. Is anyone else getting ready with their Christmas sewing or am I the last to start as usual.

~ Maria ~

Monday, November 12, 2012

Winner of the Stella Bag Pattern Giveaway


Today is the day to announce the lucky winner of the Stella Bag Pattern Giveaway. It's probably morning where some of you are and evening for others. I'm in the middle so thought this was a good time to announce the winner.
First of all though I want to thank Samantha for having me as her tester and for offering this giveaway. Also I want to thank all of you that left a comment. Don't worry if you didn't win, you can still have a chance by visiting Liz and Dee blogs, they too are doing a giveaway for this bag and if that fails Samantha is giving 30PERCENTOFF on any or all of her patterns on her etsy shop for the next 30 days.

Ok, the winner is...................... #10 Pgraham.............. Sorry I don't know your first name. Congratulations and hope you enjoy making the bag and clutch from the pattern. I'll forward your email to Samantha and she will send the pattern to you.

Thanks to everyone for taking part.

~ Maria ~

Sunday, November 11, 2012

One Year of Blogging


I can hardly believe that a year to the day has passed since I started blogging.

 My very first post was about the Savannah Bag I tested for Christine. Back then I only had my cell phone to take photos and when I look at them now I cringe at the poor quality of them. Since then I've tested many other bags for Christine and also Samantha from At home with Mrs H, Anna at Noodlehead and Jenn Giddens, all of them wonderfully brilliant designers. A few months ago hubby bought me a beautiful new camera so I could take nice photos for my blog and if they're still not all that brilliant then it's my fault for not learning how to use it properly. LOL

During this last year I have also been learning to do more quilting and what started off as sewing for fun has now turned into a very small business that I hope won't grow too large that the fun goes out of it. I've also learned a tremendous amount from people who I've come across through blogging, whether it's to do with blogging or sewing you have all been wonderful.

The best part of this year has been seeing my followers list grow to a grand total of 78. I want to thank each and every one of you. Thanks to you I have been inspired to sew more and it's a wonderful feeling when you leave comments. Also I know I have followers that just pop in regularly and never comment on my blog, yes I'm referring to you in particular Suzanne, she's my best friend and critic and would be lost without her. In fact it was Suzanne that got me into bag making in the first place. We were out shopping and I saw a bag that I liked but was too expensive and she encouraged me to make one like it. I did, loved it and then someone else did too and bought it from me so I was back to square one again. LOLLLL

Once again a BIG thank you to all of you for your inspiration and friendship and I hope that the following year you will be inspired by my creations as I am inspired by all of yours.

Just before I go don't forget that tomorrow I'll be picking a winner for Samantha's Stella Bag Pattern and as a bonus Samantha is giving a 30PERCENTOFF on her etsy store on any or all of her sewing patterns for the next 30 days so if you don't win tomorrow and still want to buy the pattern you'll be getting an excellent deal.

Also if you want to increase your chances of winning pop over to Liz and Dee blogs. They too are doing a giveaway, all you have to do is leave a comment.

Thanks again

~ Maria ~

Friday, November 9, 2012

Freshly Baked Bread


There's nothing nicer than the smell of fresh bread baking in the oven first thing in the morning. Those of you who know me well know that I hate cooking with a vengeance. LOLL So you're probably thinking, well done. Actually I can't claim the credit for this delicious bread it was made by my hubby. Yes, can you believe it, he makes bread. LOLL He's the one that likes cooking, although not all the time, just on occasion. Shame I could do with someone doing it everyday for me.

Here's photos of his masterpiece.

Really yummy, and guess what, he's making the lunch as well. It's certainly my lucky day today. LOLLL
In the meantime I've been sewing and have some things completed that can't be blogged about yet. 
I've also started a Christmas table runner and some pot holders or mug rugs that were a result of making the blocks too small for the table runner. I misjudged the 1/4" seam allowance. LOLLL 

Ok I'm off to make use of my kitchen free day and get some more sewing done.

~ Maria ~

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Sew Seasonal Blog Hop


I'm sure most of you are more organized than I am and have already started making things for Christmas. But if you're a late starter like me then check out the Sew Seasonal Blog Hop

It is being jointly hosted by Alyce at Blossom Heart Quilts and Kristy at Quiet Play
It started on the 1st November so I am trying to catch up. So far there have been some really great projects and I'm looking forward to seeing more. The blog hop ends 13th November.

Happy Sewing

~ Maria ~

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Dining Table Set


Finally finished this table set of table runner and eight place mats. It took me longer to sew the binding on by hand than it did to make the whole set up. I thought the hand sewing would never end. I did try to machine sew the binding on a potholder first to see how it turned out but wasn't happy with the finish so went back to hand stitching.

This table set was made especially for the table it is shown on which is in my friends shop. I tried the set on my own table but it didn't fit properly. My table is narrower.

The runner measures 59" L x 16.5" W and the place mats 15 3/4 L x 11 3/4 W. I love the colours of this fabric and didn't have to piece any pieces together as this was the design of the fabric. I just had to decide where to cut it.

I still have quite a bit of this fabric left over so maybe some kitchen accessories would look nice.

~ Maria ~