Tag Archives: Sandy Sews

Bloggers’ Quilt Festival Spring 2010: My Very First Quilt

Once again Amy from Amy’s Creative Side is hosting a Bloggers’ Quilt Festival. And this time, I even have a quilt I can enter (woohoo!). Granted, it’s not the craftiest of quilts and the quilting is a bit of a laugh (it’s of the let’s-see-whether-we-can-feed-this-through-the-sewing-machine-oh-look-I-can-quilt-a-straight-line! variety), BUT it was sewn with much love (and that is what counts, isn’t it?).

I sewed “Rebecca’s Quilt” for the baby daughter of a very good friend of mine. Rebecca loves animals and so the fabrics of Moda’s “Love U” line were perfect for her quilt. This is the front:

And the back:

And the cute label that was included in the Love U ABC panel:

This was the very first quilt I finished (so far, it’s also the only quilt I’ve ever finished – I do hope I’ll have some more time for sewing later this year) (in autumn, perhaps), and sewing process was full of “yay, I can do this!” discoveries. As can be expected, there were also a number of ooops moments as when I sewed a flower-head pin into the quilt ….

(See how neatly the flowerhead has been attached to the back of the quilt?)

… or when I realised after the quilting was done why the back and the batting should always be a bit larger than the front.

Ooops, indeed. But hey, all you need to do in such a case is to adjust the size of the binding. 😉

Despite all the quilt’s minor (or major, depending on your POV) flaws, I am very happy with the finished result. And more importantly, Rebecca is, too.

And now please head over to Amy’s and have a look at all the other wonderful entries!

My Very First Clothing Project

Here’s one of my sewing WIPs – my very first garment project, to be exact. It’s the Sencha blouse by Colette Patterns.

The blue cotton/poly blend was on sale at Karstadt (for just 1,50 € per metre!!!!), so it doesn’t really matter whether I mess up with my first blouse or not. (Though it would be nice if I wouldn’t mess up, of course!) The fabric is very smooth and has a beautiful drape. Unfortunately, the colour makes the result look like an ER shirt. *sigh*

I’ll try to save it by sewing a round of decorative stitches around the neck and the sleeve hems.

Apart from the small matter of the colour, I’m rather satisfied with how this blouse is coming along – by now all the darts as well as the shoulder and side seams are sewn, thus I could already try it on, and it seems to fit. Hooray!

My very first quilt

This weekend I finally finished my very first quilt – just in time to give it to my friends’ toddler daughter when I went to them for dinner on Saturday. The quilt was a big hit – hey, there are birds and butterflies, what’s not to like? 🙂

And here it is, freshly sprung from the sewing machine after quilting:

All nicely cut and laid out on the floor of the mini-library. Front looks good, but …

… the back, oh the back. Why have I bought umpteen quilting books when I don’t properly read the instructions? The batting and the back should always be cut somewhat larger than the front before you start quilting. And here’s why:

But don’t worry, if you choose a relatively large binding, nobody will notice that you’ve messed up with the back of the quilt! 🙂

And here’s the completely finished quilt with binding:

And the back:

And the cute label that was included in the Love U ABC panel:

And what do you do with the selvage? You keep it and use it as a ribbon around the folded quilt.

How to secure a pin

When you prepare a quilt sandwich for quilting, it’s really important that you make sure that the pins don’t shift around. The best way to secure a pin and keep it from shifting? Sew it onto the quilt, of course!

Like this:

See how neatly the flowerhead has been sewn onto the quilt? That‘s how it’s done, people!


But hey, that’s my first quilt sandwich, so a few accidents are to be expected.

Isn’t the fabric adorable? It’s Love U by Deb Strain for Moda. And that’s only the backside. Wait until you see the front (= Blue Sky panel + Rosy Red Flowers & Butterflies)!

Sunshiny Birthday Bag, or, How to Celebrate the End of the Winter Term

The winter term ended last Friday with the graduation ceremony. I served as the entertainment program, or rather, my speech on “Doctor Hat & Featherboa” was the entertainment program. I talked about being a university lecturer and romance author, and about doing research for historical romances. The lecture hall the graduation ceremony was held in had been outfitted with new technical stuff, and as a result the pictures I showed the audience during my talk (like the pic of the pineapple folly below – isn’t that folly just wonderfully absurd?) were ginormously big and looked simply awesome. So all in all, it was a very successful afternoon. 🙂

To celebrate the end of the term, I spent Saturday smooching with my sewing machine and put together this sunshiny birthday bag as a present for a friend, who gave a party on Sunday. (All right, I admit it: I hadn’t expected that it would take me the whole day to sew this rather simple little bag. But it did and it was great fun all the same.)

I learnt lots of new things when sewing this bag – not just how to sew a bag! I learnt how to make button loops …

… how to make yo-yos …

… how to sew letters and keep the fabric from puckering …

… how to use one of the decorative stitches of my machine in order to create an edge with lots of little curves …

… how to make fabric-covered buttons.

And as you can see, the Kitteh was eager to help.

I love how the yellow lining looks against the dark denim.

And here’s the finished birthday bag, filled with goodies from Britain:

Twinings’ vanilla tea and Whittard’s Hot White Chocolate. Yum.

Sew & Tell Friday … er … on Saturday

or, On the Search for the Religiously Neutral Christmas Present 🙂

Take: One of the patterns from Gail Pan’s lovely A Christmas Wish BOM.

Trace, stitch, cut out, add a backing and a nice ribbon, stitch together, turn, stuff – finished!

Nice, easy, oh-so-fast, and the result is just lovely. Instead of the normal cotton stuffing, you could also use some dried lavendar and thus transform your pendant into a moth repellant. 🙂
simply square button

Sew & Tell is organised by Amy. Click on the button to see what kind of projects other people finished this week!

Sew & Tell Friday: The Little Red Bag

Remember the little blue bag, my very first sewing project? This week I finished a little red bag (one of two):

Take a few stripes from a Moda honey bun (I used Aster Manor), sew them together.

Choose lining fabric, layer with batting, sew, turn right side out, hand-stitch opening closed – and voilà:

Quilt in the ditch (aka along the seams of the honey bun stripes) with nylon thread, fold, hand-stitch sides closed and as easy as that the itty-bitty bag is finished:

This is what the inside looks like.

It’s just perfect for small gifts like a CD or some bags of tea or a nice card with a gift certificate. And don’t you just love those reds?
simply square button

Sew & Tell is organised by Amy. Click on the button to see what kind of projects other people finished this week!

Edited to add: I cut the jelly roll / honey bun stripes in half before sewing them together!

The Birth of the Flower Bunny

As it’s now past midnight, here’s my Tuesday post: The Birth of the Flower Bunny on Monday Evening.

First there was a piece of fabric and a chibi-bunny pattern (from my little mochi).

And after two hours or so, there was this:

You might have noticed that the flower bunny doesn’t yet have a face at that stage. That’s because I wanted to try what everybody else is doing, namely doing the face after the stuffing.
Bad idea.
Really bad idea.
Embroidering the wee bunny’s face became a major nightmare, but after an hour the flower-power softie finally had a face. Then I only needed to stuff the rest of the body and sew the bottom shut. And here’s the finished bunny:

I hope the recipient is going to like it!

(Is it just me or does the flower bunny look like a flower mouse???)


Now that teh horribelz dragonz are slain, I’ve finally got time again for other things. A life, for example. 🙂 As I mentioned a few days ago (oh, I posted that when I was working all through the night), one of the things I planned for The Time After was to sew a doll. So while I was printing out the dratted diss, I bought a pattern from Wee Wonderfuls, and after I had left the dratted diss at the photocopy shop to be bound, I went and bought some fabrics, too. And on Thursday, after I had handed in the dratted diss, I started the doll.

This is the front with the embroidered face (the eyes were supposed to be round, but apparently my satin stitch only lends itself to oval eyes)

And here’s the finished torso, stuffed tight. As you can see from the wrinkles at the bottom and the knobbly bit on top of her head, I had some problems sewing her bottom and head shut where the triangular pieces from the back, front, and the sides meet.

This going to be dolly’s hair: wrap wool around a piece of paper (or thin cardboard, if you’re using a sewing machine) and then sew down along the middle of the wrap (or wherever you want dolly’s hair to part).

Then remove the paper and sew wig onto dolly’s head.

This is what the back of the head looks like. I chose multicoloured wool because the different streaks of colour make for a nice effect.

Now dolly only needs arms and legs and some clothes.

Well, and her hair needs to be trimmed a little bit. All in all, I’m quite happy how my first doll is turning out. 🙂