Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Upcycled patchwork

Here's what's been keeping me good for the past few weeks; old shirts!  Inspired by Frugal Queen's tutorial on using old shirts for quilt making (you can find it here).  I've used some of Mr CB's old shirts that are too big for him and bought some at 3 for £1.49 in a charity shop bargin bin.  I've bought several others two, all for under £2 each.  All are in good condition and either cotton or good quality poly cotton.  I also got a like new cream coloured sheet for the background colour for £1.50. It's amazing how much fabric is in a men's shirt.  These are some of my unpicked shirts, tied into bundles and ready to be ironed and chopped up.

I've got an old sewing machine but it doesn't work very well so I'm using the English Paper Piecing method and making lots of  1 1/4 inch hexagons on paper templates...

...sewing them together into flower motifs...

...and joining them to make the quilt top...

It will take awhile to make as I'm doing it all by hand but I'm really enjoying it and in the mean time I can be on the look out for a duvet cover in good condition to use as a backing for the quilt.  The only new material I'll need will be batting for the middle layer of the quilt so that will be the only expensive bit.  Hours of thrifty fun!

Monday, 30 December 2013

Proud little doorstop

I've got really bad at thinking what to write; knowing what I want to 'show and tell' is one thing, writing about it in a way that makes sense is quite another!  Therefore, without further ado, here's my latest make.  It's a doorstop to replace the crappy little knitted one I made when we first moved in.

I cut out six 15cm x 15cm squares, sewed them into a cube template...

...then into a cube.  I made a handle, attached it, stuffed the new doorstop with the old doorstop and some stuffing and fabric bits then sewed it closed.  The fabric was an upholstery remnant that I've had for years so I was pleased to use some of it up.

Lot's of people say "Oh I could never make anything, I'm too stupid", but most people do far more complicated things many times every day.  Can you really say you're too stupid to join two pieces of fabric together, yet you can drive a car, hold down a job,raise a family, use a computer and lots of other mind boggling tasks?!  We're all capable of making things as soon as we take the pressure off for it to be perfect and just enjoy making something instead of relying on a stranger in a factory somewhere to make it and for a big company to sell it to us.  So my new year challenge is:

Just give it a go!

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Simple Sewing

The first thing I made when my friend showed me how to hand sew in October was a pair of cushions for my Mum's birthday, made out of posh remnants.  Since then there have been several more cushions!  I made these two for myself...

...and these two for someone special for Christmas...

They're all easy to sew envelope cushions made from fat quarters (very similar to the ones in this tutorial at The Happy Housie).  My friend advised me to make the covers a little smaller than the cushion pads as it make for plump cushions, and as you can see it's worked.  The fabrics for the top two were from my local haberdashery and the guitar fabric is from online shop Fabric Inspirations.  Taking up sewing has introduced me to all the beautiful and quirky craft cotton that's available;  I've already stashed several fat quarters and could easily spend a fortune.  At the moment I'm working on a recycled fabric project though so I'll resist...more on that tomorrow.

Anyone else discovered a new craft or other hobby lately?  Do you find it's brushing away some of those Winter cobwebs?

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Upcycled baby fleece

It's been weeks since my last post and I'm annoyed with myself as there have been so many things I've done where I've thought "Oh, I must put that on my blog" then not got around to it.  I think most bloggers are familiar with that feeling!  Since my last post I've been doing lots of hand sewing so I'd like to get back into my blogeration by writing a quickie tutorial for something I made on Tuesday.

I had a naked hot water bottle and wanted to clothe it so I snapped up this baby sized fleece when I saw it in a charity shop for £2.

I chopped off the arms, cut off the bottom to shorten it a little and trimmed down the sides.

I put the arms aside incase I think of something to do with them.  Legwarmers for a dog?!

I turned it inside out, pinned it, and cut off the corners so I'd have rounded corners when it was sewn.

I then sewed around the open sides, turned it right side out and popped in the hot water bottle.  Simple as that!  It took less than half an hour and was a fun and useful project.  If I can find more fleeces the right size I'd like to make more for gifts.

I sewed this 'by eye' ie. without measuring it as the fleece was already nearly the right size, so it shows what a simple project this is.  I want to share pics of other things I've made but will have to wait until the weekend to take photos when I can get some daylight.