Move over Nigella - Mrs F is in the kitchen! I've seen lots of pictures on the internet of G&T cupcakes and last night I decided it was about time I made some of these decidedly grownup cupcakes myself. The recipe that I used really was very simple. Once all the ingredients were gathered together, it didn't take long to make them and bake them and get them iced. It made a nice change to spend the evening in my kitchen rather than in the sewing corner. And yes I did lick the leftover icing from the bowl, and yes I did feel a little bit squiffy afterwards. And the results? Well I can assure you they tasted as good as they looked!
My latest commission - a cosmetic bag for a friend's daughter, for her birthday. I used one of her daughter's wedding photographs, which was printed onto an EQ printable sheet. I used a selection of cream fabrics for the bag and the lining, and trimmed it with some vintage lace. This cosmetic bag was based on the pattern "Anna's Sminkepung" by the Norwegian designer AnnAKa. These patterns are printed in Norwegian, and are available from quilt shops in Scandinavia (there are links to some Scandinavian quilt shops on the side bar of my blog). And no, I don't actually speak or read Norwegian, but I've just followed the diagrams. Although I've made so many of these bags, I could probably make them in my sleep!
Last week I was busy stitching a very special, top secret project. My Bernina has been working overtime, while I've been busy piecing fabrics, and embellishing with applique, and quilting and labelling and binding. I can't share any pictures of the "secret" for another few weeks, but as soon as the "secret" is common knowledge, I'll share lots of pictures on here. My machine has been cleaned and oiled and is having a well deserved rest while I'm keeping busy with some hand embroidered projects.
One of my friends in Norway has been celebrating the arrival of a new grand-daughter, and I needed to make a baby quilt (I'd made one for the baby's brother and sister when they were born). This pretty Jelly Roll "Martinique" by 3 Sisters for Moda has been in my stash for ages, and decided to use the "Mini Charm Mix" pattern (a free download from the Fat Quarter Shop website). The pattern is a PDF file and easy to print off. There is also a Youtube video to show you how to make this. This was really simple to piece together...
...I used Mettler fine embroidery thread for the machine piecing in a pale grey shade as this blends with all colours, and a Schmetz Microtex size 60 needles. Oh and I pressed and pressed and pressed all those seams! The seams are all "nestled and wrestled" and fit together perfectly. One final press and it was time for a quick photograph before the quilting stage...
...I always use cotton wadding for baby quilts, and this is the brand that is stocked at my local quilt shop Quilters Haven. It comes in two weights, select and request. This was made with the select weight. My favourite thread for quilting is Aurifil, and it was just perfect for this project. I quilted lots of straight rows, using the edge of the walking foot as a guide, so the rows are quilted every 1/2"...
...this shows a close-up of the machine quilting. These straight rows give a lovely ribbed effect to the finished quit. The next stage was to add one of my labels to the back of the quilt. These are machined into place, stitching close to the edge sewing through all the layers...
...scrappy binding is one of my favourites, and I picked out a few strips that were left from the Jelly Roll, and stitched them together using mitred seams. Then the binding is folded over double, and pinned into place along the edge of the quilt. This was then machined into place 3/8" from the edge of the binding, and then folded over to the back of the quilt and stitched into place by hand using ladder stitch, and the same Aurifil thread...
...and finally here is the completed quilt. This will be wrapped up and taken to the post office later this morning and will soon be in Norway to keep the new baby cosy.
I've made a start on my latest project "United Stitches" designed by Rosalie Quinlan. The starter pack arrived a few days, (this was ordered from Under The Mulberry Tree) and I was keen to get started on the first 2 stitchery designs. These designs have already been screen printed onto linen, so you don't need to worry about tracing the design accurately. These Cosmo threads are beautiful to sew with, an the colours are really vibrant. I've fused weaveline interfacing to the back of these designs and as you can see I use a wooden embroidery hoop to keep the linen taught. My favourite brand of hand sewing needles are John James embroidery needles...
...each pack comes with 2 stitchery designs, one to stitch for yourself and one to swap with a friend. I really do love these Chirpy Lola fabrics. I'm not sure how long I can resist making a few of the pieced blocks for this quilt!
I really do have the best postman ever! This is the latest parcel to arrive from Australia - it's the starter pack for "United Stitches" - a BOM designed by Rosalie Quinlan, that I've subscribed to online from Under The Mulberry Tree. Last week the fabric and thread pack arrived (a FQ bundle of Chirpy Lola fabric also designed by Rosalie Quinlan and a beautiful selection of Cosmo threads for the hand embroidery). You can guess what I'll be stitching in the evenings! I just need to get my thimble ready and a new packet of embroidery needles and I'll be ready to make a start!
My postman delivers the nicest parcels. A few weeks ago I signed up to Lynette Anderson Designs Thread Club. Each month for a whole year a selection of 10 beautiful hand-dyed Valdani threads will be sent in the post and the first parcel arrived today, with some personalised wooden thread spools. These really are absolutely gorgeous! If you missed out, have a look at Lynette's shop Little Quilt Store, where there's a second chance to join the Thread Club.
Block 4 of "Simply Blessed" by Rosalie Quinlan Designs arrived in the post from Australia - I'd signed up to this BOM from Under The Mulberry Tree, and I'd chosen to do the Tilda version. This included all the fabrics, the printed linen, instructions and the Cosmo variegated thread shade 8049. It's been the perfect project for stitching in the mornings with a nice cup of tea...
...once the embroidery was completed, it had a quick press on the back, and was ready for the next step - the applique. A few weeks ago I bought some apliquick rods from The Fat Quarters, and these really are brilliant. I'm using the paper and glue method for the applique, so decided to spend a day at the weekend catching up with some recorded TV shows and busily tracing and cutting and gluing and stitching...
...and finally Block 4 of "Simply Blessed" is completed. This is the result of several relaxing hours of hand embroidery and appliqué, and 10 minutes of machine piecing the borders in place. Now I can have a rest before block 5 arrives!
Blogs I follow
These are the UK shops that I use to purchase my quilting supplies - fabrics and threads etc.