Saturday, 22 February 2014

A little finish for Friday

So I have been doing some little bits of sewing - here is one finish.

One finished zipper pouch

One of the girls at work did me a favour, so I thought I would make her a wee thank you gift. Hubby found some lovely treats to go with it. I suspect they have come from my yummy bath treats stash in the spare bathroom, which will be frustrating when my body wash runs out. So if I start to smell bad, blame him. 

I used the measurements from the Noodlehead zipper pouch tutorial, but inserted the zip using this tutorial. I like being able to use a little snippet of something cute by the zip, but next time would have a fabric with more contrast.  I like how tidy the zip is this way, so I'm pretty sure I'll do it again.

Ahoy there me hearties

I took the photo at the top, but realised I needed more on the way to work. The others were taken in the rush hour crawl to the traffic lights. Here is my little tag, which I have recently had printed at this Etsy shop. It has washing instructions on the back, so I can use them for quilts.

Belle & Boo fabric from Spotlight

The navy spots are from Riley Blake, but the other two fabrics are from Spotlight, and I thought were surprisingly good quality for them. I think this little couple are pretty cute!  The lining is a pale blue with other cute bits and pieces on it. 

Hugs in the woods.  Something Princess will not be allowed to do.

Linking up to Crazy Moms, TGIFF and Confessions of a Fabric Addict. I guess I will pick the prizes for my birthday pressies (see my last posts) on Sunday or Monday, so now is your last chance to share in the Shush birthday love!  I am beginning to get birthday fatigue, because it was hubby's birthday yesterday, and the Wee Man turns one on Monday. But after Monday, we are done for the year, and then we can relax!

Have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Another birthday giveaway to share the lush Shush love

Well this has to be a super quick post because I'm at work. I meant to do this yesterday which was my actual birthday, but in between all the lovely things that happened (*awesome) and actual work (*not so awesome) I just didn't have time. 

So here it is. For those of you who aren't interested in a new Shush exclusive cushion (see my last post), I have a a lush Uptown charm pack to give away. It's my way of sharing all the birthday love I have recieved, and again saying thanks for being my quilty friends.  I have met so many lovely people online over the last year and a bit. It is fabulous. Particularly when some of you spoiled me yesterday (you know who you are :-)). 


The rules are:

* leave a comment to enter 
* no reply bloggers leave an email address - if I can't contact you you can't win
* followers only 
* international entries welcome. 

PS. I'm going to turn 40 again next year. So far it's been great!

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Shush celebrates (and says how we pipe a pillow)

Goodness me it's birthday time - for me on Tuesday it will be number 40.  To celebrate I thought that I would show you how I pipe a pillow.  Are you suitably amazed and overwhelmed?  I mean, what a gift, right?!

At the Modern Modern sewing Saturday I managed to get this finished.  After pretty much everyone voted for turquoise (apart from two renegades), I went and got some cotton corduroy backing and other supplies from Spotlight at Friday lunchtime.  BQF and I have little lunchtime fabric road trips every now and then.  It is very good at breaking up the monotony of lawyering.  As we inevitably have drive through lunch, it is not so good for the waistline.

It's the pillow stack. AKA a stack of pillows.

Anyway - to focus - this is how I piped the cushion.  This method is suitable for a cushion that sits on a couch or a bed (i.e. you don't really see the bottom) and has the zip inserted at the base.  That is because I only pipe three sides of the cushion.  I never would have considered doing this until I realised our existing couch cushions are only piped on three sides and I never noticed.  So clearly, piping all sides is not essential.  You will need:

* finished cushion front
* finished cushion back (same size as the front)
* piping long enough to go around 3 sides
* fabric to cover the piping (I recommend something textured, and that matches the backing for this method - it makes the fact you're only doing three sides unnoticeable.
* zipper

First, make your piping.  I won't give you all the details, because it depends on your cushion and piping size.  I cut 2.25" strips of fabric for mine - long enough to reach around three sides of the cushion (sew strips together if you need to) and sewed it around the binding with my zipper foot, like so.  I also stitched along each end, over the piping, so it wouldn't slip along the casing.

Then pin your piping it to your cushion backing, along the two sides and the top.  The piping faces the centre of the cushion, and the raw edges match the raw edges of your cushion.  The key here is to make sure that your stitching (on the piping) is less than 1/4" from the edge of the cushion back so that it is hidden when you sew your cushion together.  The edge of my piping ended up needing to be over the side of my cushion back, so once I had sewed it on, I trimmed the overhang back to the size of the cushion backing.

All pinned up.  This is the important bit, so don't rush it.

Don't forget to clip your corners.  You can do this before you sew, or as you go.  Then sew the piping to the cushion back, roughly along the line you have already stitched.  Basically, you are basting it together, so it doesn't have to be that tidy, as long as it is hidden within your 1/4' seam allowance.  Pivot at right angles at the corners.  I forgot to take a picture of this, but I have confidence you can visualise a row of stitches.

Then insert your zipper along the bottom.  I use this technique, which is nice and easy - although as you can see, I sew the zipper in from the right side - I think it gives a much tidier finish.  I have found that I need at least 1/2" seam allowance to insert a zip nicely - you may want to take this into account with your cushion size (i.e. make it slightly longer than wide).  Then UNZIP your zipper.

It's not scary - give it a go.

Sew the remaining three sides of your cushion, right sides together, 1/4" from the edge, using your zipper foot and trying to get as close to the piping as you can.

All done.  It's time for the big reveal.

Turn it right side out and admire your awesomeness.  Give those corners a good poke with your finger to pop the piping out.

Oh yeah.  Wow.  High five.

Happy sewing day

Then stuff that baby with a good large inner.  It looks best overstuffed, so that the lack of piping on the bottom doesn't stand out.  

You can see for my backing, I quilted a strip of the fabric from the Bee and Lotus range I used on the front, and then topstitched the corduroy either side of the quilted section.  I liked how this turned out - I think I will do it again!.

Straightish line quilting
So - do you like the finished cushion?

Finished front.

Finished back (hello little label)

If you do (and I mean really do - I want this to go to a loving home, not someone just wanting something for the sake of it) then please put a comment below (followers only - this is to thank you for being part of the Shush family) and I will draw a winner at random next weekend.  Inner not included :-)

Thank you for celebrating my big day with me!  Linking up to TGIFF and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

WIP Wednesday

Hello quilty friends.  What a surprise to have time to blog during the week.  I don't expect it to last, but I'm enjoying it while I can!

Last month I was very naughty in not getting my act together to do any EPP and link up to Hydeeann's EPP party.  This month, I've done (wait for it ... wait for it...) this:

Ballerinas and dots make good blocks

That's like, ummmmm, two thirds of a block.  Are you impressed?  At least that's better than no block though, right?  As they say, take care of the pennys and the pounds will take care of themselves.  This will get finished eventually.  It is such a great project for slobbing in front of the TV, but it has taken a back seat now that the Once Upon a Time sampler has taken over the household.

I think Princess is probably the brunette on the right

I use this fabric in pretty much every girl's project I can fit it in.  I really wish I had bought more.  It's funny how impulse buys can end up being your favourite!  Look how cute those wee girls are.  I love how they are in all colours and flavours, so that all little girls can enjoy it.

In addition, I have finally dragged out another project I started working on aaaaaaages ago.  It is a plus pillow from Pillow Pop (one of my favourite quilty books - heaped of ideas that can easily be scaled up to a quilt size).  This is a 20.5" quilted cushion top.  I just need to put the back and zip on.  I don't know why I leave these things sitting around so close to finished.

I am going to try and get some backing fabric this week, so that I can get it done at the Monday Modern sewing day on Saturday.  That leads my to other awesome news.  BQF and I have joined a real life quilty group.  The relief at meeting people who are equally mad about fabric is, well, liberating.  It's nice to know I'm not the only person who likes to sit and admire my fabric piles (although not at the moment - my fabrics are one hot mess).  And ... we got to meet some of the lovely Auckland quilt bloggy peeps for real, which was strange but cool!

1/2" straight line quilting

Which leads to my question - turquoise blue or zingy orange backing?  You tell me!  The fabric is from Bee & Lotus on Spoonflower - I won it forever ago in a giveaway from Little Mushroom Cap.  Bee & Lotus were clever enough to print the different fabrics in the range in 5" strips, so you get the whole collection in a yard.  I like that!

Bee & Lotus goodness

This is Hubby's favourite print.  It has a lovely organic feel about it.  Of course now that we have chosen the new wallpaper the colours don't go in our lounge, so I think the finished pillow might get to be given away shortly.  Maybe that will be when I feel inspired to celebrate my forthcoming significant birthday (as the instagram peeps know - come join us on IG - you get to know everything first!).

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced and the In Hand EPP party at Hydeeann's.  Go and have a look at the lovely quilty creations.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Shush snippets and stash and stuff

Have you had a nice weekend quilty friends?  I have had all sorts of little bits and pieces happening, so I'll tell you now what has been happening, while I remember (it's my birthday soon, so my old brain is a bit slow these days).

First, in honour of Sunday Stash, I thought I would show you a little of my recent shopping.   *happy place*  If you are fabric dieting, turn away now, because this is Wee Wander by Sarah Jane.  I'm sure you've seen it around blogland, because it is so delicious.  I managed to nab a fat quarter bundle from Hawthorne Fabrics, who shipped it so fast, I thought they had sent it by rocket.

Wee Wander

I don't know what I am going to do with this yet, but it will have to be something special! If you have any good ideas - let me know!  I love pretty much everything about it - the prints, the colours, the cute little animals.  See the little horse.  How can you resist him?

Wee Wander again

There was other fabric sent too (one must make the most of the shipping cost!) but I don't want to rain on the wee horse's parade, so I'll show you that next week.

In addition to fabric shopping, I popped down to my local embroidery shop for cross stitch supplies yesterday.  I have joined the Facebook group for the Once Upon a Time sampler, and one of the girls there mentioned monofilament thread for adding little sparkles to her bubbles.  Naturally, I thought I had better give it a go.

Going into a brick and mortar shop was deadly.  After finding the thread, there was the DMC gold which looked good for the crowns.  And a variegated floss for a golden ball.  And a Q Snap frame to replace my splintery old hoop - which is square to keep the linen from distorting, and plastic so it doesn't catch the fabric (even so, I covered my precious linen with paper towel before clipping it on.  You can never be too careful).  Oh and the hot pink scissors.  I needed those, you know.

I got three stamps on my new loyalty card.  I don't think that's a good thing.

Embroidery supplies.  Sparkly goodness.

And just to prove I do more than sew, here is something from the garden.  We are harvesting tomatoes by the bucket (literally) at the moment.  These are the first of our Green Zebra tomatoes - they are ripe - they just stay green.  And stripey.  They taste pretty good.

Mmmm tomatoes

What have you been doing?  Lots of lovely sewing?  I'm linking up to Sunday Stash.  Come and have a look at the lovely fabrics.  Mmmmmmm.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Shush submits to the economy block craze

Well I've finally done it.  Despite the fact that they're all over blogland and Instagram, and are a bit, well, faddy, I've joined the economy block craze.

If you don't know what an economy block is, here's a picture of 25 of them.  If you check out #economyblockalong on Instagram you can see, like, a million billion examples.  Some of them are very very cool.  Some of them are less cool, but designed with specific decor in mine.  Like so:

One complete economy block cushion with its boring cord cushion comrade

I used the tutorial posted by Rita at Red Pepper Quilts to make 5" blocks. I had absolutely no intention of making such small blocks, but the cushion form I was using was 25", so I didn't really have much of a choice. We have some cushions in the lounge which were a delicious brown and green stripe, and I liked the sage green backing and piping, but not the front. Hence my plan to make some new fronts for those babies.

I do like it when a designer puts together something especially for you, don't you?!

The intention was to find some fabrics that matched the wallpaper which we've just bought from the UK. I was very pleased when I discovered that the stash of Sarah Fielke's On the Pond I had recently nabbed in the Spotlight sale was exactly the right colour way. It was clearly meant to be!  I've decided that Sarah can be one of my peeps now, given that she's obviously trying so hard to help out.*

There was a touch of text print and Hello Tokyo added for some "pop" (to quote hubby)

I found the blocks a bit tedious to make at first. However I began to enjoy the zen of trimming and cutting when I got near the end. But I'm not sure that I will be making a quilt with these blocks any time soon though - not at 5" in any event!  I have great respect now for those quilts I have seen with hundreds of blocks.

Quilting - boring but effective straight lines

For the most part I have the points matching, or thereabouts.  I quilted the finished top with "stitch near the ditch" (my specialty) and straightish lines (another area of expertise) across the diagonals.  Interesting tip - if you mark your straight lines with a hera marker, then a walking foot with a seam guide (a metal guide marker in the middle) follows the mark in your fabric quite nicely.  I discovered this when I was too lazy to change my walking foot attachment after ditch stitching.

Then I unpicked the old cushion and re zipped and sewed it back together with the new front. When I tried to take some photos after work, I kept getting photo bombed. See. 

One slightly grubby Princess doing her best to get in front of the camera

Anyway, I'm pretty pleased with how it all turned out. Now we just need to wallpaper to arrive. Well, and for me to make one more cushion top.  One thing at a time though, right?!

Linking up with Crazy Mom, Confessions of a Fabric Addict and TGIFF over at Quokka Quilts.

* the story about me stalking Sarah Fielke on Instagram to try and purchase of all of her fabric in the recent great Aussie destash will have to wait for another day.  Perhaps one of my less cool (and slightly single white female) moments.  I was cool though.  Really.  Really, I was.  Are you still there?

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Snow White meets Apple

Wow - it has been the busiest week at work this week.  Sometimes you just have to act like a grownup and earn your pay, right?  That has meant pretty much no sewing.  But there has been a bit of a Princess coup in the house.  Princesses of all types.

First, you may remember that hubby bought me an exciting new ipad mini smart case for christmas, which created some quilting drama (of the best sort) in the Shush household.  Well, after finishing his new Star Wars iPad cover, there has been a little Snow White in my life.  I absolutely love this print from Kawaii from Hawaii, and putting it on my iPad seemed a great way to enjoy it everyday.  Here is the finished cover - on the inside and the binding is some Hello Kyoto.

Hello Evil Queen.  I did the Once Upon a Time character quiz, and I was Regina.
I guess I was channelling my inner lawyer!

 It is keeping my iPad snug and safe and adds a little quilting happiness to my work day.

The other Princess extravaganza was the 4th birthday party we had last weekend.  I forgot to get a picture of the finished table with all the little knights and princesses, but this will give you an idea of what it all looked like.  In all the rush I forgot a picture of the cake too (sacrilege) but I can assure you it was a confection of pinkness and floweriness and glitter.  The kids ate the icing off and left the rest, which is to be expected!

Little fairy tale cupcake toppers, thanks to the local shop.

Finally, I have my Once Upon a Time cross stitch sampler finished for January.  I am totally and utterly addicted.  And I've managed to suck Juliet and Leonie into the void of cuteness, which I am very proud of. When I was stuck at work very late during the week, all I could think about was how annoyed I was that I couldn't work on the border.  Much more interesting than whether a deed of company administration should be terminated under s239ADO or s239ABCD blah blah blah (still awake?) of the Companies Act.

We ignore the bits of the pattern which are a bit wrong - it adds to the interest.

The February sampler arrives TODAY which I am very excited about.  What will it be?  Princess has voted for Sleeping Beauty, which I think would be great as long as there is a dragon!

Linking up to Crazy Mom, TGIFF and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.  Howdy visitors!  I hope you all have a lovely weekend.