Friday, 8 August 2014

Modern Stitching Bee - August 2014


Trumpet fanfare please for the most regal of all Queen Bees, Queen of the Cumberland Gap, the majestic Rhonda!

Rhonda asked for Union Jack blocks in brights and white so here are the two I stitched up for her:



This first one is my favourite.  I love the red and yellow together!


The second one is orange and a beautiful shade of jade which hasn't pictured very true here.  Looks more turquoise here but it isn't.

Rhonda pointed us in the direction of this tutorial from Molli Sparkles.  It works beautifully but does require some attention when orientating the diagonal segments for cutting.  Mind you, paying attention was worth it, I reckon!

Great block choice to finish up a year in the Modern Stitching Bee.  I've made a ton of blocks this year, been introduced to many low volume backgrounds, learned some gentle curved piecing and just been made so welcome in the Bee by Rhonda and Leanne and the other Bees.  Thanks ladies for letting me join in with this year's fun!

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Giveaway Winners!!!

Popping in quickly to announce the winners of my giveaways for the first issue of the Quilt Now magazine.



Winner of the blog draw (high tech as you can see and expertly done my my beautiful assistant aka hubby) is Leanne from She Can Quilt.  Yay!  So pleased to be able to send you this copy Leanne.  You will recognise lots of the faces in here.



And, the winner of the IG giveaway copy is Liz whose IG name is iz_bliss.  Congrats Liz!

Ladies, please get in touch asap to let me know where you would like me to address these to.  Got a Post Office run on Thursday so it could be headed your way very soon if you get back to me.

Thank you everybody for entering the giveaways!



hipBees - August 2014




Amy's block choice for her regal month in HipBees was a nice straightforward cross on low volume backgrounds.  She spoiled us by sending everything already cut so it really only took a very short time to whip these up for her bee quilt.


I have no idea why, but I just love these cute lobsters, don't you?

Hope you have a fantastic, fun quilt Amy!

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Quilt Now Giveaway!

Did you miss out on a copy of the first edition of the gorgeous Quilt Now magazine?



Well, here's a chance to win one.  I found two remaining copies yesterday in a newsagent in my nearest city and I snapped them up to share with my lovely blog and IG followers.

So, no hoops - here's the deal.

To be entered in to the random draw for a copy of the magazine just leave ONE comment here. International entries are welcome. Entries close at 6pm Tues 5 Aug 2014.

I am giving away the second copy on Instagram so if you are on IG you can find my feed at sewmesarah and have another try. Again only one comment on there.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Sparkling Gemstones Quilt - a start


About three years ago I ordered this selection of bright Kaffe Fassett prints with a plan in mind.


These aren't my normal taste in fabrics but one of the quilts in this book - Jelly Roll Quilts by Pam and Nicky Lintott - inspired my purchases.


This Sparkling Gemstones quilt caught my eye and I thought I'd give it a go.  However, the fabrics waited and waited and waited for some attention.  They waited rather longer than I had anticipated, so, when I joined in with the Finish Along this year, I thought it was time I made good on my plans.


So, I've been chopping fabric and chain piecing like crazy to create the required 108 blocks.  (I should note that no jelly roll was actually available for this quilt, so I had to cut my own 2.5"strips from a selection of long quarters. A pre-cut jelly roll would obviously have sped up this process.)


A few nights ago I laid out all of the blocks on my living room floor.  I switched a few here and there and am sure some of you might spot more I should swap around, but honestly I just had to call it done at one point because the knock on effect of swaps when 108 blocks are in play are practically endless!

I LOVE how this looks even though those fabrics are out of character choices, and I can really see how the Kaffe Fassets create the sparkling gemstones name of the quilt.  It feels great to have finally made a start on this long neglected project!

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Wee pretty

A bit of late night QAYG last night started a small cosmetic purse to match my QAYG tote bag.  It didn't take much more stitching this evening to finish it.


More Bonnie and Camille goodness - using up scrappy bits and pieces.



I don't carry lots of cosmetics so I made this pouch less deep than usual.  Though I think that the contents of the pouch are beginning to betray my age.


No glamour cosmetics for me these days.  Oh no!  Hand cream, 1 lippy, glasses wipes, indigestion tablets and paracetamol are my necessities these days.  Oh well, it may be sad but it looks pretty in there!  

One last pic just to show off my co-ordinating accessories -




Friday, 25 July 2014

Oval Crocheted Rag Rug - finish and a pattern



I did it!  I managed to figure my way through the maths of creating an oval(ish) crocheted rag rug and I now have a finished rug and a FAL Qtr 3 list result!

Being totally honest this is my first ever attempt at drafting a pattern and I'm sure it isn't perfect.  More experienced crocheters and pattern writers will no doubt spot flaws but, if you could live with your rug being the shape that mine is above then perhaps you can try the pattern at the bottom of this post for yourself.

Before you get to the pattern, here are some hints and tips from my experience:

1.  Brace your fingers - this is a bit industrial!

2.  Using safety pins to mark the slip stitch at the end of the round and to mark the beginnings of each curved section and each straight section is very helpful for all the counting involved and makes it easier to spot early if something has gone wrong.  Pic to illustrate is on this post.

3.  I used 1" cotton fabric scrap strips for this project.  Again, this post explains briefly how I stitched them into rolls.

4.  This rug is fantastic for using up leftovers from other projects or for recycling cotton or polycotton items you might be finished with.  I used poplins (these were good because they frayed less than others), quilting cotton scraps, klona cotton (which was heavier and a little harder to work with but still possible), old duvet cover and pillowcase remnants, those offcuts from quilt backings like Ikea Nummers which are too small to be useful because of the large scale of the pattern, lighter weight fqs which I ordered before realising they weren't such great quality and a few ugly fabrics that I knew I would never use in anything else (remember, in strips and crocheted in you cannot tell they were once uglies).

5.  I discovered that working with my 1" strips and 10mm hook each round grew the size of the rug by approx 1" width and height.

6.  While I didn't measure how much fabric I was using (because I simply went to my scrap bins to make these rolls) I worked out that 1 dc used approx 6" length of fabric.


7.  Throughout the process my rug was occasionally wavy in the middle (not at the edges where it indicates a problem with the increases).  All it needed was a gentle stretch to flatten it all out each round.

8.  It is a bit messy as all those strips tend to shed fluff and fibres as you work with them.

9.  Although rag rugs aren't particularly something I love, I had a creative itch to scratch just to see if I could make one.  I'm so glad I did.  I had fun making it and I do quite like this wee scrappy rug even if I won't be decorating my whole house with them!

10.  The finished rug is 34" x 24" which, for those of you who are quilters, is approx the size of a large cutting mat.  It would make a great bath mat size too.

Ok, so on to what you came for:


Oval Crocheted Rag Rug - Pattern

Fabric strips 1” wide
10mm crochet hook

Rug approx 34" x 24"

Work dc into the back loop only of the dc from prev round.


NB -  For this rug I made all of my double crochet (dc) stitches into the back loop of the previous row, not through both loop of the prev stitch. (See pic above.)

UK terms
ch = chain
dc = double crochet  (US equiv = single crochet)
sl st = slip stitch

Ch 17. 

(You could adjust this number of chains to elongate the rug.  If you do, you will end up with 2 less dc stitches than the no of ch you make and you will have to adjust the number in blue in the pattern for every round to your number of stitches.)

Round 1
dc into 2nd ch from hook, 1 dc in back loop only of next 15 ch, 3dc in last ch; continue along the other side of the foundation chain (so that you are working in a round) working 1 dc in the remaining loop of each of the next 15 ch, 2 dc in the first ch of this round, join with a sl st to first ch.  (Your curved ends will now have 3 sts each.)

Adding the safety pin marker in the sl st is a good indicator of the beginning of each round
and a reminder NOT to work into the sl st.
(I found it easier to mark this slip stitch with a safety pin and yarn after making it, as you do not want to work into it in any of the next rounds.  Move the safety pin up to mark the slip stitch made at the end of every round as you progress. It also helpfully identifies the starting point of the rounds as you go along.)

Round 2
Ch1, 1 dc into same place as sl st, 1 dc in next 15 dc, 2dc in each of the next 3 dc, 1 dc in next 15 dc, 2 dc in each of next 2 dc, join with sl st to first ch. (Your curved ends will now have 6 sts each.)

Round 3
Ch1, 1 dc into same place as sl st, 1 dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 15 dc, (2dc in next dc, 1 dc in next dc) 3 times, 1 dc in next 15 dc, (2dc in next dc, 1 dc in next dc) twice, join with sl st to first ch. (Your curved ends will now have 9 sts each.)

Round 4
Ch1, 1 dc into same place as sl st, 1 dc in each of next 2 dc, 1 dc in next 15 dc, (2dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 2 dc) 3 times, 1 dc in next 15 dc, (2dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 2 dc) twice, join with sl st to first ch. (Your curved ends will now have 12 sts each.)

Round 5
Ch1, 1 dc into same place as sl st, 1 dc in each of next 3 dc, 1 dc in next 15 dc, (2dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 3 dc) 3 times, 1 dc in next 15 dc, (2dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 3 dc) twice, join with sl st to first ch. (Your curved ends will now have 15 sts each.)

Round 6
Ch1, 1 dc next dc, 2 dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 2 dc, 1 dc in next 15 dc, (1dc in next 2 dc,  2dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 2 dc) 3 times, 1 dc in next 15 dc, (1dc in next 2 dc,  2dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 2 dc) twice, join with sl st to first ch. (Your curved ends will now have 18 sts each.)

Round 7
Ch1, 1 dc next 2 dc, 2 dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 2 dc, 1 dc in next 15 dc, (1dc in next 3 dc,  2dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 2 dc) 3 times, 1 dc in next 15 dc, (1dc in next 3 dc,  2dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 2 dc) twice, join with sl st to first ch. (Your curved ends will now have 21 sts each.)

Round 8
Ch1, 1 dc next dc, 2 dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 4 dc, 1 dc in next 15 dc, (1dc in next 2 dc,  2dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 4 dc) 3 times, 1 dc in next 15 dc, (1dc in next 2 dc,  2dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 4 dc)  twice, join with sl st to first ch. (Your curved ends will now have 24 sts each.)

Round 9
Ch1, 1 dc next 3 dc, 2 dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 3 dc, 1 dc in next 15 dc, (1dc in next 4 dc,  2dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 3 dc) 3 times, 1 dc in next 15 dc, (1dc in next 4 dc,  2dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 3 dc)  twice, join with sl st to first ch. (Your curved ends will now have 27 sts each.)

Round 10
Ch1, 1 dc next 5 dc, 2 dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 2 dc, 1 dc in next 15 dc, (1dc in next 6 dc,  2dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 2 dc) 3 times, 1 dc in next 15 dc, (1dc in next 6 dc,  2dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 2 dc)  twice, join with sl st to first ch. (Your curved ends will now have 30 sts each.)

Round 11
Ch1, 1 dc next 2 dc, 2 dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 6 dc, 1 dc in next 15 dc, (1dc in next 3 dc,  2dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 6 dc) 3 times, 1 dc in next 15 dc, (1dc in next 3 dc,  2dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 6 dc)  twice, join with sl st to first ch. (Your curved ends will now have 33 sts each.)

Round 12
Ch1, 1 dc next 4 dc, 2 dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 5 dc, 1 dc in next 15 dc, (1dc in next 5 dc,  2dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 5 dc) 3 times, 1 dc in next 15 dc, (1dc in next 5 dc,  2dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 5 dc)  twice, join with sl st to first ch. (Your curved ends will now have 36 sts each.)

Round 13
Ch1, 1 dc next 6 dc, 2 dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 4 dc, 1 dc in next 15 dc, (1dc in next 7 dc,  2dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 4 dc) 3 times, 1 dc in next 15 dc, (1dc in next 7 dc,  2dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 4 dc)  twice, join with sl st to first ch. (Your curved ends will now have 39 sts each.)

Round 14
Ch1, 1 dc next 2 dc, 2 dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 9 dc, 1 dc in next 15 dc, (1dc in next 3 dc,  2dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 9 dc) 3 times, 1 dc in next 15 dc, (1dc in next 3 dc,  2dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 9 dc)  twice, join with sl st to first ch. (Your curved ends will now have 42 sts each.)

Round 15
Ch1, 1 dc next 8 dc, 2 dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 4 dc, 1 dc in next 15 dc, (1dc in next 9 dc,  2dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 4 dc) 3 times, 1 dc in next 15 dc, (1dc in next 9 dc,  2dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 4 dc)  twice, join with sl st to first ch. (Your curved ends will now have 45 sts each.)

Round 16
Ch1, 1 dc next 6 dc, 2 dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 7 dc, 1 dc in next 15 dc, (1dc in next 7 dc,  2dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 7 dc) 3 times, 1 dc in next 15 dc, (1dc in next 7 dc,  2dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 7 dc)  twice, join with sl st to first ch. (Your curved ends will now have 48 sts each.)

Round 17
Ch1, 1 dc next 9 dc, 2 dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 5 dc, 1 dc in next 15 dc, (1dc in next 10 dc,  2dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 5 dc) 3 times, 1 dc in next 15 dc, (1dc in next 10 dc,  2dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 5 dc)  twice, join with sl st to first ch. (Your curved ends will now have 51 sts each.)

Round 18
Ch1, 1 dc next 3 dc, 2 dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 12 dc, 1 dc in next 15 dc, (1dc in next 4 dc,  2dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 12 dc) 3 times, 1 dc in next 15 dc, (1dc in next 4 dc,  2dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 12 dc)  twice, join with sl st to first ch. (Your curved ends will now have 54 sts each.)

Round 19
Ch1, 1 dc next 9 dc, 2 dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 7 dc, 1 dc in next 15 dc, (1dc in next 10 dc,  2dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 7 dc) 3 times, 1 dc in next 15 dc, (1dc in next 10 dc,  2dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 7 dc)  twice, join with sl st to first ch. (Your curved ends will now have 57 sts each.)

Round 20
Ch1, 1 dc next 4 dc, 2 dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 13 dc, 1 dc in next 15 dc, (1dc in next 5 dc,  2dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 13 dc) 3 times, 1 dc in next 15 dc, (1dc in next 5 dc,  2dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 13 dc)  twice, join with sl st to first ch. (Your curved ends will now have 60 sts each.)

Round 21
Ch1, 1 dc next 11 dc, 2 dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 7 dc, 1 dc in next 15 dc, (1dc in next 12 dc,  2dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 7 dc) 3 times, 1 dc in next 15 dc, (1dc in next 12 dc,  2dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 7 dc)  twice, join with sl st to first ch. (Your curved ends will now have 63 sts each.)

Round 22
Ch1, 1 dc next 7 dc, 2 dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 12 dc, 1 dc in next 15 dc, (1dc in next 8 dc,  2dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 12 dc) 3 times, 1 dc in next 15 dc, (1dc in next 8 dc,  2dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 12 dc)  twice, join with sl st to first ch. (Your curved ends will now have 66 sts each.)

Fasten off.  Stretch out your rug and admire.




If you are keen to try a rug for yourself, I hope that this pattern will work out for you.


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