Friday, August 31, 2012

Cot Quilt & Pillowcase


Remember last Saturday I posted a photo of my disappearing four patch block that I made. It was the start of a cot quilt that I was making for my friends new baby girl. Well I finished it last night.
I had planned on more blocks but after checking cot quilt sizes on the net I discovered that there were several sizes to choose from so I chose this one, 47.5" x 33". It only needed 24 8" x 8" blocks and because I had originally planned on making it bigger had enough left over to do the pillowcase and also add some to the back of the quilt.

This the largest quilting project I've done to date. I didn't have any fixing spray so my first attempt a FMQ it was terrible. I managed to solve the problem by using some of this. Sorry I don't know the name. I placed it between the fabric and batting and ironed it to stick the two together. I also did this for the back so didn't have to use any pins at all to quilt it. Great stuff. It's sold by the meter and is 150cm wide.

This is the back of the quilt and pillowcase.

Because this is for a baby I didn't want a zip on the pillowcase. I also made the stuffing for the pillowcase with this. It looks like snow. Measurements for the pillowcase are 20" x 13".

I decided to sew the binding by hand because I think it looks so much neater. Took me three and a half hours to do the two.
Here are some more photos some with my two babies as models.

Just needs to be wrapped up now. I thoroughly enjoyed making this quilt and hope to do more in the future, for the moment though it's clean up time.

~ Maria ~

An Outfit for Me


Anyone who knows me well will know that I really don't like making clothes but sometimes a girl has to do what a girl has to do.
I had a wedding to go to and needed an outfit. Quickly scrambling through my limited wardrobe I came up with a trouser suit I had made some time ago.

I didn't take a photo of the trousers but they were just black ones to match the jacket. I made the silk flower also and bought a button to sew into the center.

This is the front fastening on the jacket and the little top I wore under it. I didn't make the top.

Now I needed to make something to wear over this outfit. Not wanting to buy more fabric I searched through my stash and found a piece of fabric that I have had for the past 18 years. Yes, you read it right, 18 years. I just new it would be useful one day. Actually hubby bought it for himself back then to make a suit but he's not a suit person so I used it. LOLLLLL Don't think he'll notice after all this time.

I bought 8 meters of a sequin trim and came up with this.

It took me days to sew the trim on by hand, all 8 meters of it. When I wore it I flipped one of the front panels over my shoulder so it looked pretty. The pattern was from a Burda magazine. 

And to complete the outfit I used this clutch bag which I made as a test bag for Christine, you can see her Eve Clutch's here

Now maybe it's time to take some classes to learn to make shoes. LOLLL

~ Maria ~

Zippy Bag


I have a few things to post so will start off with the Ziggy Bag.

I tested this bag for Jen Giddens, about two weeks ago I think, but have been waiting for the bag to be named and for Jen to put it on her blog before I posted here.

This is Jen's blog  Go over and take a look at all the other bags made by her testers. Such a variety with all the different fabrics used. It's amazing how one pattern can be made to look so different.

Ok here's mine.

As usual being the rebel I am I had to do my own thing. I chose upholstery fabrics rather than cottons and made a pleather strap instead of a fabric one. The other thing I did which wasn't on the pattern was the hand stitching around the gusset, oh yes and I used metal zips which were a little wider than the ordinary zips used in the pattern. Apart form that it's the same. LOLL

This really is a useful bag with the two separate zip pockets on the outside and two pockets on the inside.

There's also a main zipper closure so all your personals will be safe and sound in this bag.

You can also make the strap as long or a short as you like. It make a really nice across the body bag.

Thanks Jen for having me as your tester. I'll enjoy using this bag.

~ Maria ~

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Disappearing Four Patch Block

My latest project has come about thanks to the birth of our friends baby girl and I don't have much time. I decided to make a cot quilt. I've never attempted anything this size before and trying to calculate how many squares has been a bit of a chore but I think I've got it worked out now. If it's wrong I'll just add or take away a few. LOLLL
I'm doing 30 8" blocks. I'm still undecided as to whether to add a border or not. I guess I'll wait and see when they're all put together.
Last night I cut out all 120 5" x 5" squares and sewed them together ready for cutting into disappearing four patch blocks.
This was my first test block

I woke up this morning and rushed upstairs to my sewing room to start some more before beginning the household chores and managed to make another two. Three down, twenty seven to go. I'm hoping that by the end of the evening I'll have them all completed. Fingers crossed. I'm aiming to finish within the next three days and if time allows I'll make a pillowcase to match.

If you'd like to make one of these blocks I used this tutorial 

Instead of making my cuts 1" from the center sewing seams I used 1.5"

~ Maria ~

Friday, August 24, 2012

New Cats on the Block

Years ago when my daughter was still living at home and desperately wanted a pet that we wouldn't let her have, decided to tame a couple of Ferrel kittens that wandered into our garden. We have a lot of Farrel cats around here.
This is brother and sister, Patchy and Honey when they first came to us and mum is sitting in the background keeping an eye on them. At this point they still hadn't been tamed and I sneakily took this photo from the kitchen window.

This is them tamed and older.

Honey left us before she was a year old, we never found out what happened to her but Patchy stayed on for a few years. With these two cats in the garden the other Ferrel's started coming in and before we knew it we had 14 all at one time. Most of them gave birth while they were with us.

It was a nightmare feeding all of them. I had to cook all their food everyday, it was like a soup kitchen. LOLLLL

Of all the cats we had my favourite was Fluffy, a Persian kitten. He wandered into the garden one day and after a few days he was tamed too. LOLL
Isn't he cute.

This is him just over a year old.

Sadly he never saw his second birthday, he was knocked over by a car. A truly sad day for me. My daughter had this picture of him put on a mug which I keep on the shelf in front of my computer. He'd often climb up onto the flat roof of the kitchen and come to my sewing room window for me to let him in. He loved sitting on my knee while I typed away.
Not ever having pets as a child it was an amazing feeling I got when I stroked and cuddled all of them. A sense of calm as if nothing in the world mattered.
Eventually all the cats grew up and left home so I was delighted when I saw 5 new kittens from my room today.

 I won't be taming these cuties but it saddens me to know that their mum will abandon them at three months old and leave them to fend for themselves.

~ Maria ~

Triple-Zip Pouch

Finally got some sewing done. That is sewing of the kind I like. I've been trying to get an outfit together for a wedding and it's a nightmare because I don't like sewing clothes. Found a solution to my problem and that left me with a clear head to do some sewing of the kind I like.
So, while my daughter was sleeping, she's been hogging the sewing machine lately, I quickly went to my room cut out the pieces for the pouch and ran them up quickly.
I was given the link by my blogger friend Sandra over at

take a look at hers, it's so cute as are her other pouches. This lady is supper quick on the sewing machine, by the time I've made one pouch she's turned out a hundred of them LOLLLLL.

This is the original link for the pouch.

 Its by Debbie one of my newest bloggy friends and it's a free tutorial. This little pouch certainly gets around.  I've seen it posted on my sewing groups, passed from blogger to blogger and on Pinterest.

Here's mine

As usual I can't behave myself and use fabrics like in the patterns, I have to make life difficult for myself. This is a denim one that I also used fusible fleece on. Then I did top stitching on the top zipper which wasn't mentioned in the pattern and that was a real ordeal.
Loved making it though, it's a really quick project and will make another with cottons next time.
Thanks for the tutorial Debbie.

~ Maria ~

Saturday, August 18, 2012

I'm Featured


Wonderful news. Karen Wetherall from has written an article on Christine's Bags.

This is Christines blog

Christine's bag patterns are really wonderful to follow. You must check them out. In fact she has a freebie called the Coco Bag, so you can try before you buy. LOLLL

As one of her bag testers I was featured in this article. WOOO HOOOO a first for me.

Here is the link to the article

You'll also be able to see photos of bags made by other testers too.

~ Maria ~

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Another Chance to WIN the Rosie Patchwork Bag Pattern


I've just been checking out Samantha's blog and noticed that she is giving away 3, yes that's right, 3 patterns to 3 people who leave a comment on her blog. You don't have to be a follower or subscribe to her posts just leave your comment. The giveaway is on from now until 9pm GMT 20th August.

Here is the link.

You can also see some of the bags made by other testers and comments that Samantha has left about us. She say's I'm her most vocal tester. LOLLLLLL

Best of luck to you.

~ Maria ~

Monday, August 13, 2012

Rosie Patchwork Bag Pattern Giveaway Winner.

Hi everyone.

We have a winner for the Rosie Patchwork Bag Pattern Giveaway.

I'll keep you in suspense just a bit longer. LOLLL Thanks to all of you for leaving a comment. It's always nice to receive them.
A big thank you to Samantha at for letting me test her bag and also for providing a free pattern for the giveaway.

For those of you who weren't fortunate enough to win her pattern you can still go to her etsy shop and buy the pattern at a discount by providing the code NEWPATTERN15.

Ok here it is the winner chosen by is  # 27  barbjolly. Sorry I don't have your first name but I'm supposing it's Barbara. I'll send your email addy to Samantha straight away and she will forward the pattern on to you. Congratulations and hope you enjoy making it.

Once again thanks to all of you for taking part.

~ Maria ~

Friday, August 10, 2012

Kitchen Set

I've been staring at my new fabrics for long enough and decided it was time I started cutting some up. I chose my favorite one first. There was no need to cut out different strips of fabric to get this pattern because the fabric came ready looking like a patchwork. Easy and quick.

The table runner measures 37" x 15.5" and the potholders 6" x 6". I made the tea towel from white cotton fabric and trimmed it with the same fabric as the table runner and accessories to tie it all in together. I also managed to get a fabric box out of it and lastly a Velcro tie with yo yo to hold the tea towel onto the oven door handle. Not bad for half a meter of fabric and there's still a tiny bit left. I wish I'd bought more now.

Now I'm looking over at my Gingham collection and wanting to do another set with those. Unfortunately I won't be able to cheat with those fabrics, I'll have to do the piecing myself.

~ Maria ~

Monday, August 6, 2012

A New Bag & A Giveaway

Before I went to visit my kids I finished testing the Rosie Patchwork Bag for Samantha over at
you can check out her bag there.

This is my bag made from her pattern.

It's been a long time since I've made a patchwork bag so had loads of fun making this one. It has a couple of slip pockets on one side on the inside and a zipper pocket on the other. Very versatile and you can choose to do any kind of patchwork you like or even leave it plain.

Now for the GIVEAWAY

Samantha is very kindly giving away a FREE Rosie Patchwork Bag pattern to one lucky winner. All you have to do is leave a comment here and I will pick a winner with
The Giveaway starts from now an is open for a week. I will choose a winner on the 13th August.

Please leave your email with your comment so that I can reply to the winner. Some of you are on no reply or anonymous which means I can't get in touch with you. 

Nearly forgot. If you are not lucky enough to win a copy of the Rosie Patchwork Bag Pattern and would like to buy one you can go to Samantha's etsy at 

Samantha is giving a 15% discount to my lovely followers and friends, all you have to do to get your discount is type in the code:     NEWPATTERN15

Best of luck to all of you.

~ Maria ~

Keeping It In The Family

It feels like ages since I posted. In fact when I mentioned it to my daughter she said, it's only been a week, anyone would think you haven't been on for months. LOLLL Well the truth is I love posting and I love reading your comments even more.

I've been away visiting my daughter and son, I stayed with them for a week and it was fun being with them. When my son left a few weeks ago to take summer work, before starting uni again after the summer, I thought it would be wonderful just me an hubby alone and I suppose it is but I kind of miss the little devil. He has so much energy he wears me out just looking at him coming in and out of the house. LOLLL

Me and my daughter had a day of fabric shopping. She is keeping the family tradition, although she's still not as crazy as I am when I see fabric. We went to a huge indoor shopping center with about 250 fabric shops. Heaven for me. I was like a kid in a sweet shop. At one point I lost sight of her while looking for fabric and was trying to find her and keeping my eyes on the fabric at the same time. After we had bought a few pieces she managed to drag me away. She 'still' has more self control than I do but I don't think it will be for long.

These are the fabrics that my daughter chose for herself.

I think she did pretty well don't you?

And here are mine.

I didn't do so bad either. I'm so looking forward to my next visit. I now have a partner in crime. LOLLL

~ Maria ~