Category Archives: Challenges

Finished! Simple Sampler Corfu Quilt

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I started this quilt at the beginning of October last year, as part of The Sewing Directory Simple Sampler Quilt Along.

I hadn’t made this type of quilt before, and most of the patchwork techniques were new to me.  Kerry explains them so clearly, I really enjoyed the process.

The fabric I chose was inspired by a Corfu holiday,  and I’m so pleased with the way the blues, greens, pinks and neutrals have come together.  I’ve included some subtle metallics to represent the light on the sea and stone.

I planned to make a lap quilt and used the bonus partial seam sashing tutorial to join the blocks together.  When I realised how much bigger this made the quilt I decided to go further and add 6 extra blocks to make it into a small double bed size.

I wrote about some of these blocks in a January post, and the others are –2017-03-09

  1. Folk Flower by Anna Maria Horner.  Creativebug
  2. Butterfly – Sew Magazine, October 2016 (You can get back issues of Sew Magazine on Readly, with a free months subscription using this link)
  3. Whippersnapper by Anna Maria Horner. Creativebug.  I’m very pleased with the placement of the little house on this one.

The back is a cream and black floral, with a stripe of cream Moda Zen Chic scraps.

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And I mustn’t forget the support of my little fluffy helper.  Hetty thinks anything on the floor belongs to her!

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Thank you very much Fiona and Kerry for organising the QAL.  I learned so much, and it’s inspired me to carry on quilting!

 

Ice Cream Soda BOM – fabric pull

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I love English Paper Piecing, but I’ve only used hexagon templates.  So when I heard about Tales of Cloth’s Ice Cream Soda block of the month club I thought this was a chance to try putting some more shapes together.

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Ice Cream Soda photo from talesofcloth.com

Kerry of Very Kerry Berry spoke at the South West Modern Quilt Guild last week about choosing fabrics for a quilt, so I’m using her excellent advice to help with my fabric selection.

I started with my ‘hero’ fabric, which is Kaffe Fasset’s Millefiore in orange (top photo).  It has lots of colours in it which can inspire other fabrics choices.  The next step could be to buy other fabrics in the same collection, but I like my quilts to have a scrappy look.  So I went to my stash of scraps and smaller pieces.

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These are the golds and oranges, with some mustards coming in too.

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Kerry suggested using some of these added fabrics as inspiration to lead to other colours. The flower print (bottom left) has the gold, but also grey and black, so I added some of those.

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Then I put a black and white filter on this photo of my whole selection to check the contrast.

I’d like some more dark fabric.  There is a burgundy in the Kaffe Fasset that I don’t have.    Also some more pale blue and paler neutrals.

One of the things I really like about the Ice Cream Soda quilt is that you can make a few flowers and see how they work together.  I plan to use the fabrics I already have for the first couple of months.  Although I do have a shopping trip planned with my very talented friend Nicola, and it would be rude not to buy any fabric then, wouldn’t it?!

More quilt blocks – and an app recommendation

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After deciding last week to make my sampler quilt bigger, I’ve been searching out some new block designs and making a few.

First is the Polk Block by Carolyn Friedlander (you can find it on CreativeBug).  It took me several hours to make with all those little pieces, but I love the result and I’ve used up some teeny scraps.  Always enjoy being thrifty!

Next I used Red Pepper Quilts tutorial for the Economy Block

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A Double Pinwheel

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Finally, this stripey one from Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine (issue 42)

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And that brings me to the Readly app, which I discovered this week and is my new favourite thing.  The app gives you access to lots of different magazines (back issues too).

I stopped buying magazines a few months ago because I found I only enjoyed one or two articles in an issue.  Then they just sat on the coffee table like a reproach, taking up room.  I have been happily whizzing through these electronic versions, bookmarking knitting patterns, quilting blocks and sewing ideas, and reading the articles that interest me.

You can get a free months subscription by clicking this link.

Thanks for reading – I’m planning some garment sewing for next week.  If you would like to keep in touch, I’m dottie_doodle on Instagram.

2017 Make Nine Challenge

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New Year, new challenges – there are so many interesting ideas around, and I’d like to join in with lots of them, but I must be sensible and not over commit!
 
I am going to add one more to my #52weeksofblockprintandstitch though, because I really like the #2017makenine challenge.
 
The nine I’ve chosen to sew this year are a mix of patterns I’ve had for ages, a year old UFO, some which need me to learn new sewing skills and a few for my smallest niece and nephew.
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1. This Burda 6987 coat has been hanging unfinished in my wardrobe for over a year! Top priority.
2. Another Banksia top – I loved the first one I made, but the fabric wasn’t great. I have a beautiful soft chambray for this.
3. Vogue 1395 – one of the many patterns I bought with great enthusiasm, and didn’t make up.
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4. Sew Over It Ultimate Trousers – I haven’t made trousers before, and these have had great reviews. I love the shape.
5. Colette Beignet – bought it, didn’t make it. I have some denim for this and the trousers.
6. DKNY Vogue 2941 – the skirt is a beautiful shape, with a gathered hem. I like the camisole and kimono top too…
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7. I’ve had Girls Style Book for ages, waiting for tiny niece Greta to be big enough for the patterns. There are some beautiful things for summer, including this dress, some bubble shorts, a wrap back top – I like almost all of them.
8. Burda kids 9482 – I want to use up some of the larger knit remnants I have left over from other projects. Hoodies seem ideal, and it’s nice to have a pattern for nephews too.
9. Gigi dress by Olive Ann designs – that bow back! And it comes with a matching pattern for an 18″ doll dress. Perfect.
 
I have masses of other patterns I would like to make, and plenty of fabric to make them, but if I can make these nine I’ll be very happy.

2017 Weekly Resolution Project

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My New Year resolution for 2017 is year long, as I’m joining in with Kristin of Brooklyn Haberdashery‘s #our52weekproject on Instagram.

I took part in the 100 day project a couple of years ago and loved it.  It can be a life changer, and was for me, but it is a huge commitment.  I’m sorry to say I gave up after a month last year.

Committing to a weekly project over the year seemed more managable, and I think the steady commitment will help me grow creatively and establish good habits.  The main lesson I took from my 100 day project was that if you keep doing something you will get better at it!

My project is #52weeksofblockprintandstitch.  I’ve kept it quite broad so I can carve blocks, print with them, or stitch with the fabric I’ve printed – or do all three if I’m feeling inspired that week.

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This week, I printed some hares onto gold and silver metallic linen, and I’ll be incorporating them into patchwork panels for pouches.

If you’d like to keep in touch with my project, I’m dottie_doodle on Instagram.

UPDATE! In February, I changed my project to #52weeksofquilt.

The 100 Day Project – Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwich recipe

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Today is day 100 of The 100 Day Project – I did it!  I challenged myself to cook a new (to me) recipe every day for 100 days.

To celebrate the final day, I’ve created my own recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches.

Ingredients:

100g soft brown sugar
120g coconut oil in solid form
2 eggs
200g plain flour
50g cocoa powder
half teaspoon baking powder
pinch salt
50g chopped dark chocolate (or chocolate chips)
200g full fat cream cheese
150ml double cream

Preheat the oven to 200 C

1. Beat the sugar and coconut oil together (I use a food mixer, but you could use a wooden spoon).
2. Add the beaten eggs and mix
3. Mix in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt – adding a little at a time.  You should have a smooth, pliable ball of dough.
4. Mix in the chopped chocolate.
5. Roll into balls, flatten slightly, and place on a baking tray.
6. Bake for 10-12 minutes.  The cookies will still be soft – you want them to be quite ‘cakey’ in texture, not crisp.
7. Cool on a rack
8. Whisk the cream and cream cheese until stiff.  Use to sandwich together pairs of cold cookies.

Enjoy!

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This has been an incredible, inspiring project to take part in.  If you’d like to see more the hashtag on Instagram is #the100dayproject.

500 things challenge – done!

One of my resolutions this year was to get rid of 500 things.  I completed the first half of the challenge in February – and that was fairly easy.  The second half was hard!  The obvious stuff had gone, so I had to really search.

508 things gone in 6 months

508 things gone in 6 months

Mr D was a star.  He had a major wardrobe clear-out so that was 52 things in one go.  Most of my clothing contribution were winter things that had worn out.

I gave away 48 sewing and knitting patterns during the 6 months.  Some of them were gifts and I held a blog giveaway, so those didn’t linger in the house too long.  But I bought most of them, and the majority were unused.   I definitely had ‘want to join in and sew all the things’ madness when I first started sewing and blogging!

It’s been a lesson to me to think a bit harder about the clothes I want to make and wear.  Maybe learn to adapt the patterns I have as well – there are still plenty in the drawer…

My resolutions now are to be more thoughtful about what I buy, and keep on top of giving away things we don’t need.  I find pausing for a day or two before clicking the buy button helps.  Pinterest is great for keeping wish lists, and not-so-subtle birthday present hints.

The main benefit I’ve found is I feel lighter, less distracted, and more focussed.  It’s quite addictive!

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The second 250 –

Mr D – 52 items of clothing

Me – 35 items of clothing
1 pair of wellies (failed to mend)
1 pair shoes
1 bag
33 sewing and knitting patterns
3 Burda magazines
25 books
Two 2014 guidebooks
2 bags of ribbons
15 pieces of fabric
1 bag fabric scraps
2 bags of yarn
2 bags of buttons
1 pair bag handles
1 bag purse making things
1 wire basket
1 pot glue
4 food items
2 plant pots
5 ornaments
1 bottle perfume
3 dog toys (Hetty strikes again!)
3 pieces of jewellery
1 watch
3 badges
6 storage jars/ boxes
Set of Project Life cards
4 unused beauty products
12 miscellaneous things from the kitchen drawer
3 pet food covers
soap dish
Photographic film splicer (we have no idea where this came from)
5 CDs
1 DVD
1 notebook
6 cleaning materials
7 bedding/towels
2 cameras
8 pieces of stash fabric used

You can see the first 250 here.