How to make a very easy flannel baby blanket.

organic flannels blankets

Flannel fabrics are just made for the winter months. Their soft cosiness is just perfect for snuggling up in. It’s lovely to sew with too (if you can stop stroking it for long enough), and perfect for whipping up a simple and quick baby blanket.

Organic Flannel Baby Blanket

This is so easy to make I hesitate to call this a tutorial.

Flannel Blanket Sewing SuppliesGather together your sewing supplies:

Fabric, I am using 2 pieces 75cm x 95cm to make a crib size, but you can cut the fabric to whatever size you choose. Just remember to cut 2 pieces.

You will also need pins, scissors, rotary cutter and mat, ruler, fabric marking pen, hand sewing needle and embroidery floss. Oh, and a sewing machine of course.  Continue reading

Sonday Sewing

Yesterday I spent a lovely Sunday afternoon doing some sewing with my son. (That’s why I called the post SONday sewing…I know you thought I didn’t know how to spell Sunday!) He turned six at the end of September and it seemed that he might be ready to try the sewing machine. He loves sewing, he made his first felt owl when he was three years old from a kit with pre-made holes and a blunt needle. Last year we progressed on to a sock monster using real thread and a real needle. It now seemed time to take the next step. Needless to say he was very excited by the prospect.

Here he is intently concentrating,

Sonday SewingHe’s standing up using the foot pedal in case you were wondering about the logistics. He made three Christmas tree ornaments, each one is made differently. I was trying to find the easiest way for him to make them with minimal help from me. Here they are finished.

christmas tree ornamentsHis favourite is the middle one, it is all his own design. I tried to get him to use a lovely ribbon instead of the ric rac, but as you can see my powers of persuasion failed. Each of the tree decs are filled with a polyester wadding, the middle one was the easiest for him to sew, it is just the two pieces of fabric with the wadding in the middle. I drew a square about 1/2 inch from the edge to give him a sewing line to follow. The other two are turned out which also meant more help needed to close the openings.

He was great with the sewing machine. I do have a computerised machine with a speed control so was able to lower that, however he was still able to learn how foot pressure changes the speed of the machine. We had a great time together, he is thrilled with what he has made and now wants to make a quilt for one of his toys.

Lisa at The Quilting Bird

 

 

 

 

TUTORIAL: Personalised Drawstring Santa Sack or Toy Bag

This week I have been working on writing a tutorial for how to make a santa sack. I have had so many lovely messages about the santa sack I finished last week (view that post here), from people who are new to sewing, I decided to share how I made mine. santa sack tutorialThe santa sack for this tutorial has a simplified version of the patchwork, I did on the other sack. There are no seams to match up, so it is not too scary for anyone new to patchwork. The construction on a drawstring bag is also pretty straightforward for beginner sewers. Of course if you choose different fabrics for this tutorial you can make a large toy bag instead.

drawstring toy bag

This toy bag was made with an old sheet and fabric scraps.

Drawstring Toy Bag

Back of toy bag showing patchwork.

I would really love to see your finished santa sacks, you can email them to me at the address on my about page and I will feature my favourites. If you are a beginner (or like me you find patterns seem to be written in a foreign language) and you get a bit stuck, please drop me a line and I will do my best to help you out. Continue reading

Sew-vivor 3: Hexies

50592-sew-vivor3competition

It’s the third and penultimate challenge of Sew-vivor 3: Quilters Edition. I can’t imagine the stress and nerves the competitors are feeling now we are nearing the end of the competition.

The challenge for this week was to sew and quilt anything using the hexie design. Hexies are used extensively in english paper piecing (epp) and given the number of projects I have seen lately using both hexies and epp, I was very interested to see what this challenge would yield.

There are only 5 entries this week so I am only showcasing my favourite, which is this adorable floor cushion made by Nicole from Snips Snippets.

hexagon floor cushion

I love everything about this. The fabric choice is beautiful and has been used to create a secondary design in the centre of the cushion. The star design is clearly visible yet it does not overpower the hexies, in some of the other entries the hexies were lost among the design features, but this cushion is beautifully balanced. The points on the stars also being a star fabric shows great attention to detail. The whole cushion is made in the shape of one big hexie, which finishes the piece off perfectly.

To find out more about how Nicole made this gorgeous floor cushion, and to see some cute pics of her boys, head over to her blog Snips Snippets.

Voting is underway to send the final 3 through to the final challenge where they will be tasked with making a lap quilt. Cast your vote on Sew-vivor3.

And remember you can still join in the fun by posting your own challenge entries on flicker and instagram, where you might even win a prize.

Lisa at The Quilting Bird

 

 

Thank Friday It’s Finished! Lined santa sack

Santa Sack

I showed this as a work in progress in a previous post. It has now had all the markings washed off, stray threads clipped and has been ironed so it is nice and crisp.

The fabrics are some gorgeous fat quarters I picked up from Kaleidoscope quilt shop’s stand at The Festival of Quilts 2014. They currently have the fabrics in stock in their online shop. I have used Christmas Wish by Lizzie Mackay for Dashwood Studio and Winter Wonderland by Moda. From my fabric collection I added in some metallic prints from Makower UK.

Santa Sack

The starry fabric for the back is another metallic print called  The Henley Studio from Makower UK, I purchased this from Hobbycraft. I got my fabric in store and they don’t seem to have it listed online. For the name I used Stained by Sharpie fabric markers, this was the first time I used them and they are really easy to work with on fabric. These fabric markers have a brush tip and can make thin or thick lines depending on the angle of the brush and how much pressure you use.

Santa SackI have lined the Santa sack using a calico (muslin) and stitched a 4 inch strip of the backing fabric to the top, so when the drawstrings are pulled you see the pretty fabric, not the boring calico (muslin). I added a grab handle that can also be used as a hanging strap.

All the fabrics used are quilting cotton. The finished size of the Santa Sack is a very roomy 60 x 65 cm (23.5 x 25.5 inches). I wanted it to be large enough to fit those bulky presents in and thought it would be a useful way organising the under the tree presents. The handle also makes it versatile so it can be hung up instead of a Christmas stocking.

I made this for a friend but loved the way it turned out so I have added it to my Etsy shop.

There are a lot of shop links in this post, I have added these for your information and I am not affiliated to any of the shops mentioned, (apart from my own of course).

Santa SackLisa at The Quilting Bird

I will be linking up with Needle And Thread Thursday, Crazy Mom Quilts, TGIFF, Let’s Bee Social, Show and Tell Tuesday Sew Can She

 

 

 

 

 

Free Dashwood Studio fabrics

I was able to attend The Festival of Quilts 2014 in Birmingham, which I was very excited about. Unfortunately I do not have any photo’s due to technical difficulties (I forgot my camera…what can I say). Anyway, I arrived home to find this waiting for me.

Dashwood Studio Fabric

This lovely fat quarter bundle is a fabric collection from UK based textile design company Dashwood Studio, click here to read about how much I love them. This particular fat quarter set called Retro Orchard by designer Wendy Kendall.

The fabrics are really fun and lively so I have designed a simple quilt pattern to really show off the fabrics.

But the best thing about getting this fat quarter set, is that it was completely FREE. Yes that’s right, I didn’t have to pay for it. I took out a subscription for Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine and got this lovely bundle of fabric worth £25 FREE. You can get your free fabric bundle too, the offer is running until the end of October for UK subscribers.

Support British talent.

Lisa at The Quilting Bird

 

 

 

Sew-vivor 3 Quilters Edition: Top 16 announced

50592-sew-vivor3competitionThe top 16 contestants were revealed on Monday. There are some really great pieces of quilting in there. To have a look at the 16 who made it through to the competition click here.

Some of my favourite entries only made it into the runners up position, choosing just 16 contestants must have been a very difficult task for the judges. From those that made it through I want to share with you my favourites, in no particular order as they say…

Sewvivor top 16no1

This is made by Kerry Wilkinson from PennyDog Patchwork. I love to see quilts that I simply do not have the patience to make, this pixel quilt would so try my patience! Well done Kerry.

Sewvivor top 16no2This cute dress is made by Chelise Patterson.

Sewvivor top 16no4Here is my last fav made by Jade Prossor from Stitch Mischief, she describes it as simple yet striking and I have to agree.

Well the competition is under way, the first challenge has been set to sew anything quilted with a nautical theme. Remember you can still join in all the fun and quilt along on Instagram #sewvivor and there is also a Flickr group.

Lisa at The Quilting Bird

You might also like to have a little peek at my Etsy shop TheQuiltingBird