Wish upon a star?

Can’t avoid it any longer. It’s time to pick up the quilt again. I wanted to mark on the star shapes I’m going to quilt. Sounds simple. Not so. How does one draw a 5-pointed star? I’ve consulted Google and had a go but I’m not happy with what I’ve come up with. Any tips? Help me!

This is the effect I was going for/the quilt I’m copying:

This is the best star I’ve managed to create:


It just doesn’t look right. I’m tempted to abandon the stars and just sew diagonally from corner to corner of each square. What do you think?

UPDATE: found a helpful tutorial which has resulted in this:


Needs tweaking tomorrow, but all is not lost.

Tool belt completed

My little man has had a long nap this morning, so I’ve finished the tool belt I started yesterday. Hurrah! It’s also helped me learn a couple of things about my sewing machine. I started by cutting along the side seams and below the waistline to remove the front of the jeans.

I then removed the side belt loops.

These loops were too small to reuse as loops to hold a hammer/other tools so I cut some lengths of seam from the trouser legs to use as tool holders. The instructions I followed said to make one, but I made two; one for each side.

I then decided that the ‘shorts’ were too long so I took a chunk off.

Pinned it.

Got sewing machine prepped, sorted my stitch. Then realised that I needed a walking foot. So I had to work out how to attach it. At least that’s sorted ready for quilting now. One less thing to learn!

I also discovered how to lower the feed dogs. Instruction manuals really are useful, I should refer to them more often rather than making it up as I go along 🙂 Anyway, it’s probably the wrong stitch to use, but I used a zigzag stitch to hem the bottom of the belt and to secure the tool loops. And voila!




New project – upcycling old jeans

I know I’m not supposed to be taking on any new projects … BUT as I was finishing my last post I spied a second pair of jeans my husband has ‘retired’. I had a quick Google to see what, if anything, I could use this denim for. Thinking along the lines of dungarees for my little boy. But I got another idea – a toolbelt. Very timely, as it’s my husband’s birthday on Weds. So the quilt remains on the back burner and I’ve made a start on the toolbelt.



To be continued tomorrow as he’s just told me he’s on his way home. Quickly squirrelled it away. On with the dinner!

Uncrafty post – Farnborough Air Show

Not done much in the way of craft, hoping to start marking up my quilt today, with where I want to quilt. I’m going to quilt some stars on it; there’s no way I can do that freehand.

Anyway, today was the last day of the Farnborough Air Show and we met a few friends at our local park to watch it. Thought I’d share some of my photos of the Red Arrows. Already looking forward to the next Air Show in 2015. I’m not a plane fanatic, just nice to have an excuse to sit and drink Pimms with friends on a sunny afternoon. My little man seemed to enjoy it too.DSC_0117

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Now, back to my quilt!

Mother and daughter craft time

Third attempt at this post …

Little man and I have escaped the noise of the Farnborough Air Show for a few days in Suffolk with my parents. Having realised on Monday that the bunting I’d offered to make for a friend’s little girl’s 1st birthday needed to be done this week, not next, I brought all the stuff with me.

It was a great excuse to test out /show my Mum how to use her new sewing machine (which is a newer model of the one I have).

She made a patchwork cushion and I made my bunting in one evening. A lovely time was had by all!

Something is better than nothing

I find my mantra as a new mother is ‘something is better than nothing’. A few stitches on my cross stitch – better than nothing. Quick run or short gym workout because I’m too tired/busy to do more – better than nothing. The same with my quilt. Yesterday, I added the two vertical stripey borders in nap time. Today, I’ve added the two horizontal stripey borders. Neither took very long, but it’s all I’ve been able to squeeze in. Better than nothing!


I also paid a return visit to a lovely little fabric shop housed in an old kiln workshop yesterday. It’s where I purchased some of the fabric for the quilt way back when last summer. Yesterday, I went to get the wadding and backing. I’ve ended up with double the amount of wadding. Just in case I ever decide to make another of these quilts. Perhaps a blue, green and yellow one for my little boy …..? No, no more new projects. Apart from some bunting I’ve offered to do for a friend’s little girl’s 1st birthday. Oops. But I’m thinking I can use up the leftover fabric from this quilt to make it. Anyway, here’s the wadding and backing.


This is where the instructions get a little vague …


I’m waiting for my new fabric marking pens to arrive. I’m going to mark on where I want to quilt, so that I don’t mess it up. So I’m a bit stuck until they arrive.

I also need to work out how to attach and use the walking foot I bought for my very basic machine.


In the meantime, I’m going to curl up and read up on techniques in the books I got given for Christmas 2012, when I first started quilting. I say started, all I’ve made so far is a notepad cover in classes I did with some friends with a local lady. And that was over a year ago. Have no recollection of the binding bit!


How to find craft time with a baby?

Was supposed to be in bed half an hour ago to try and get some sleep in before the wee hours which have become somewhat disrupted of late, thanks to my little man. So will keep it brief.

After a couple of nights off/feeling sorry for my tired myself, I’ve got back on the quilting horse tonight. Have attached the white border to my quilt.


Eagle-eyed readers will note that the white differs to the centrepiece. That’s because I messed up when I was cutting the centrepiece out and then ran out of fabric 😦

Anyway, I don’t think it’s the end of the world. I gave it a quick iron and this is how it looks now.


Stripey border to do next.

Building blocks – the progression of my first quilt

Brief hiatus on the quilt front due to a few days at the seaside (Sheringham, Norfolk). This is the fourth year that my family has decamped there. And this time the sun shone! Despite the lack of quilt progress, I did manage to get some cross stitching in in the evenings.

Anyway, back to the quilt. Despite feeling a bit ‘can’t be bothered’ due to a 5am start with little man, followed by a day at work (keeping in touch day as I’m on maternity leave), I decided to get stuck into my cot quilt and I’m so glad I did, it’s come together nicely.

I started by laying out all the blocks which I’d sewn way back when – last July! They needed a bit of ironing after being crumpled in a bag for a year.


Then I pinned and sewed them together. Love my pretty quilting pins, but I did come a cropper later by being lazy and not taking them out as they neared the needle.


Ending up with rows like this:


Then I sewed the left row to the centrepiece, followed by the right row. Unfortunately, at this point, my needle broke when it caught one of my lovely pins.


Onwards and upwards, with a new needle in, I attached the top and bottom rows and it currently looks like this.


Not perfect in terms of matching seams. But pretty pleased with the progress I’ve made this evening. This blog is certainly motivating. I’m making lots if quilting errors on my way, if you saw the back, you’d be appalled. But it’s a start. How did you all learn to quilt? Am I mad going it alone?