Messy scrap patchwork

I don’t think this is what this method is called, but that’s my name for it! I got given a big bag of fabric from a friend of a friend, and it included some pre-cut squares and other little bits of quilting fabric. There is also some other lovely dress fabric which will be the subject of another post… Anyway, I’ve been using the pre-cut pieces and bits from my special tiny scrap draw (I literally don”t throw anything out) to make these patches. They are surprisingly therapeutic and look quite nice all lined up.nessy scrap patchesI suppose my patches are a variation of log cabin quilts, but not as tidy! With most of the patches I’ve done so far, I started with two triangles, and then worked around the square using rectangles to bring the patch to the right size. Being quite untidy and lazy, I trimmed off any excess where the patches were not quite the right size.

messy square patches laid outMy plan is to use them to make a cushion cover for a friend – I’m going to use either some plain linen or pale pink tweed I have in my stash to break up the pattern and to make the backing.

I also want to show you these super-cute fabric buttons my friend gave me for my birthday. Obviously, my button addiction is becoming (in)famous!
fabric covered buttons

My guest blog post at Seams and Scissors

Back in August, I was asked if I would like to do a guest blog post for a brand new website Seams and Scissors. I have shared a couple of tutorials on their sister site AllFreeSewing

I challenged myself to do something a bit different and useful, and came up with a pack a bag (made from some lovely curtains I bought AGES ago). I really enjoyed making the bag, and figuring out how to sew it all together (the mini bag took lots of attempts to get right!)
cocojude pack a bag tutorialThe tutorial is on Seams and Scissors from 6th September, and it will be posted on my blog too at some stage. But head over to Seams and Scissors if you can’t wait til then!

Perfect bird fabric ATC

As it has ended up being a cold and wet Bank Holiday, I have been doing some crafting. I finished my ATC for the Very Berry Handmade swap (with time to spare – it needs to be posted in early September). The theme is getting away from it all, and my partner apparently likes nature and animals.  perfect bird fabric  atcI used so many little scraps up to make it, and was aiming for a little bit rough and ready. The bird was cut out from one piece of fabric, and I sewed on a tiny bead for the eye. The background was made out of some of my favourite fabric ever, it had embroidered flowers and leaves all over it. I only had a tiny piece though. The other green and yellow fabric is what I used to make my cat from ages ago.

I ended up using a bit of the Beatrix Potter fabric I used to make bunting from as backing for the bird, and to cut out the “perfect.” I have learnt from bitter experience that my handwriting is not good enough for decorative purposes. I am toying with the idea of getting a set of letter stamps for the future to make printed fabric. The little button I found after going though my button collection to find the right one to finish it off. I then promptly dropped it and lost it under to sofa, but luckily I had a spare!

There are a couple already up on the Very Berry Handmade Flickr page, why not take a look?

Envelope cushion tutorial

My friend asked me to hem her curtains for her new flat, and in return took me to see Amelie at the Preston Manor outdoor cinema, which was all set up in the lovely gardens.  I got round to sewing the curtains up today, and had loads of fabric left over, so decided to make a quick envelope cushion to match.  The front fabric is a sample scrap from C&H fabrics, which cost me 20p!  It is a nightmare of fraying-ness, but it looks very retro.  This is more of a mini tutorial, but thought it may be useful.  It took me a few minutes to make sure I was making my cushion-cover sandwich the right way round. pink and purple fan cushionFor the length, measure the cushion pad and then multiply by 3.  I used one third of one fabric for the front, and two thirds of curtain fabric for the back.  For the width, measure the width of the cushion pad and add a seam allowance.

Hem at both ends and line up nice and flat.  Fold the front piece so one third of the fabric is on top of another third.making an envelope cushion step 1Then flip the other end of the fabric to cover the front and middle thirds of fabric.  You should now have a fabric third sandwich, which you can just make out in the picture below. making an envelope cushion step 2Sew up both of the sides, and zig zag the edges if your fabric is particularly fraying (like mine was).  Turn the whole thing the right way around, and then stuff in your pillow.  I added a few decorative buttons to hold my front fabric in place as it was gaping a bit, I think because it was so loosely woven.

Please let me know if you have any trouble following the instructions, and I’ll do my best to help!

Aside

The mechanics of sewing

Just a quick post today – I spent my morning having a lesson on how to use my overlocker. I booked it through Sew in Brighton, who do an overlocker day class, but I did mine today on a one to one basis.

I got a Pfaff Hobbylock 794 a while ago off the internet, in a fetching colour combo of brown and cream, for about £30. Yes, I know this is risky and when I got to my session this morning, it wouldn’t start at all! It turned out there was no fuse, but once that was in place and we jigged it round a bit, it ran fine. Apart from the fact that it appears to be stuck on “on” or “off” so can’t currently be controlled by the foot pedal. So it needs a service which I will get done over the next few weeks (if you live in or near Brighton, I recommend Richard Mouland who has previously serviced my sewing machine and got it working again when it broke).

All in all, I think it will make sewing stretch so much easier, and it was by far not as scary as I thought it would be. I’m going to book another session once my Hobbylock is serviced, to learn some more of the ins and outs, and hopefully sew my first stretch tshirt!

All this got me thinking, I really need to get myself a more reliable sewing machine. My machine is very basic, noisy and temperamental. I spend far too long rethreading, sorting tension and tangles out. Does anyone have suggestions of an affordable, reliable machine? I don’t need anything mega fancy – just a workhorse really.