It’s been an interesting few days, it has to be said.
Back last week, I had a nasty fall, like the decrepit old baggage I am, tearing some muscles my hip. Fortunately, X-rays showed it’s not broken, but apparently it’s likely to take a good month or two to get better. So not only am I not really at all mobile at present, relying on a wheelchair and a pair of crutches to get around, I haven’t been able to get much sewing done recently.
Well, until yesterday, that is. When for the first time in a while I had a real urge to sew.
But what to make? I didn’t fancy just doing some mindless piecing, but I didn’t want anything too complicated. I was looking for a little project to work on that wouldn’t take too long, didn’t require too much thought, and would provide me with instant gratification.
And I found it, thanks to the lovely Ms K, over at Easy Patchwork. A few days ago, she’d posted a picture on Instagram of the cutest little messenger bag she’d made, using a tutorial from mmmcrafts. Now, Mum’s been dropping some not-so-subtle hints recently about how useful such a bag would be for when she’s out walking her dogs, so I’d been on the lookout for a simple pattern to try my hand at.
And now, it seems, I’d found it! Perfect 🙂
But before sewing a bag for Mum, I decided to make a practice one for me. I thought it would be very useful to have a bag I could wear slung across my body over the next couple of months, leaving my hands free for crutches etc, until my hip gets better.
Good idea, non?!
Now, I didn’t follow the pattern exactly as given in the tutorial. For a start, I only had a half metre of the outer fabric I wanted to use (a beautiful Echino butterfly print) – so I had to scale the bag pattern down to fit what I had available. It actually measures 9 1/2″ square, rather than the 12″ square of the original. And, as luck would have it, it’s turned out to be the perfect size for a dog-walking bag. Well, I think so, anyway 😉
As per the pattern, I added a cute back pocket to keep my phone in. Check out that pattern matching!
But I also added a magnetic bag closure for security.
And used some co-ordinating Echino stitched webbing I had leftover from another project for the strap.
All in all, this little project was quite the success. Super easy to make, as well as to adapt. Pretty and practical, too. And quick to put together, thus providing that all-important instant gratification!
I’ll definitely be making one for Mum at some point, but in the meantime I think I’ll just sit back, relax, and enjoy making good use of the fruits of my labours.
For the longest time, Mum has wanted me to make her a quilt. And I was going to. Really I was. Then, just as I was about to cut up the fabric, I happened to ring her, and she just happened to mention she’d redecorated her bedroom, and all my carefully laid plans were scuppered.
But having got that far, the idea stuck. Mum deserved a quilt. I’d made one for Dad (out of desperation, when I had no clue what to get him for his birthday, and using the colours of our rugby team, Bath Rugby). I’d made one for my sister (for her 40th birthday). I’d made one for my niece, the beautiful Miss B. I’d made one for Mad Cousin Jude when she got married, and a baby quilt when she had little Jacob back in September. I’d made quilts for various friends, sundry babies, and several for myself, and yet no quilt for Mum. I felt like a terrible daughter.
And so, over Christmas, I hatched a plan.
I had a trip back to the UK booked for January, to spend a couple of days with Mum. A bed-sized quilt was out of the question in the time available, given my exhaustion following my pre-Christmas sewing frenzy. In any case I wanted to check out the new colour scheme in her bedroom before I made a decision about bed quilts. But, I wondered, could I make a lap quilt for her before my visit? Mum has a beautiful conservatory on the back of her house, and she loves to sit there and read in the morning, but in the winter it can be rather chilly first thing. A lap quilt would be ideal!
And sitting in my sewing room, in a box, all forlorn, were the remnants of the kitty camouflage quilt. This consisted of a stack of 9″ half square triangles, a tangle of unused jelly roll strips and a yard or so of border fabric that I’d decided not to use on the original quilt. All in warm colours that I knew Mum would love.
So what to do with half square triangles? A pinwheel and hourglass quilt, of course! And because the triangles were already pieced and squared up, it went together really quickly.
I pieced the backing from the leftover border fabric and some of the jelly roll strips, and I used more strips for the binding.
I quilted a large circular flower motif in each of the 12 original pinwheel blocks…
… and a smaller, travelling floral and leaf pattern in the centres of the secondary pinwheel and hourglass blocks.
I finished the binding last Monday evening, the night before I went to visit Mum.
And so on Tuesday I arrived at Mum’s, and I gave her the quilt – happily, she loved it! As did her dogs, Barley and Anna (although fortunately their fur blends in reasonably well with the colours on the quilt…) It’s already installed in the conservatory and has already been put to use on chilly mornings.
Quilt dimensions: 50″ x 66 1/2″ (127cm x 169cm)
Fabric for top and backing: Cinnamon Spice by Blackbird Designs for Moda Fabric
Batting: Quilters Dream Select Cotton
Thread – Isacord 0651 polyester
Anyway, I’ve now promised Mum a bed quilt before too long – to match her newly decorated bedroom, and to try and blend in with the fur of My Friend Samantha, her lovely, affectionate cat.
Looks like it won’t be a white quilt then!