Sunday 28 July 2013

Bonnie Prince George

Hooray for a new little prince.

But you don’t have to be Prince William or the Duchess of Cambridge to have a prince ... or princess.   
Just ask any new parent or grandparent!

Saturday 20 July 2013

A Royal Delivery from the Patchsmith

It seems the whole world is waiting for news of the new royal baby.  And I am just the same as I check the news channel each morning to see if we have a new prince or princess.  (Secretly I am hoping for a princess so that history can be made - the new princess will become the first English monarch to succeed to the throne irrespective of her having any male siblings.) 

But the media are watching the doors of the hospital where Catherine is due to give birth when they should be looking to the sky for sighting of a stork!

There are many myths and legends regarding why a stork is associated with birth and I like the tale of the stork bringing the soul of the baby down to earth.

This just leaves one question ..... will the stork bring a girl?

Or a boy?

Or maybe, just maybe the stork will bring one of each.
Now that would be interesting!

Friday 19 July 2013

A Gem in Blogland

Sometimes you come across a gem.  You may not know it is a gem when you first encounter it – you may think it is another pebble on the beach just like you.  But over time the shine brightens until you see the pebble for what it really is – a true gem.

The gem to which I am referring is Amy from Amy Made That.   We first met on the Zakka sew along last year when we swapped hints and tips, laughter and fun.
The mug rug I made for Amy
Then Amy invited me to swap mug rugs with her and I undertook my very first mug rug swap.  I wasn’t nervous at all because Amy was so relaxed about it all.  
One of two mug rugs Amy sent to me
From there we joined with Amy’s sister, Susie (another gem) to form the Across the Pond sew-along group.  The group, like Amy, Susie and I, is very relaxed and full of fun.   It was our very first project, the Anita Vacation Tote - a pattern from Amy's pattern shop - that showed me just what a gem Amy is. 
Amy's tutorial pattern showed me how to make a professional looking tote bag complete with inner zipped compartment.  And it was so easy - I just followed Amy's clear and clever instructions. 
Amy's Topiary Pillow
And now Amy has introduced me to zipped cushions where the back of my cushion looks as professional as the front.
My version - with a touch of gingham - of course!
Can you believe this is a free pattern?  It is Amy’s make for the Christmas in July blog hop that we participated in this month.
Yes, I made this zipped cushion back - I am well chuffed!
I whipped up this cushion in an afternoon with the zipped back taking just 30 minutes! 
But then it was easy because Amy made it first and she made sure even the most ardent zip-a-phobe would be able to complete this project.   This is my project for the Christmas in July theme of our Across the Pond sew-along.

Amy has another free cushion tutorial - the snowflake cushion - which would also make a superb Christmas project if you fancy joining us..
Are you in?   If so don’t forget to post your pictures to the Flickr group.  If not that is fine also.  On sunny days there is always so many things we like to do.  But do check back on the first of every month for a new theme or pattern – you never know just when you might want to jump aboard this merry band of land-lubbers. 
p.s. Amy is having a sale on all her patterns at the moment so you can pick up the Anita Vacation Bag pattern for just $5 (about £3.50 in English money).  Check out her Craftsy store.

Saturday 13 July 2013

Joy and Gingerbread Bunting

The sun is shining, the garden is blooming and there’s not a cloud in the sky.  July is the perfect month to think about ....... Christmas!  Yep, you heard right.  Warm, relaxed, summer days, or evenings, are the perfect time to complete a little Christmas project – something quick and easy that will give you a sense of being ready for the end of year festivities. 

Christmas Delivery Mug Rug Pattern

Of course, there are always mug rugs to make - perfect for gifts, table decorations and wall art.  Mug rugs are ideal for sending through the post (lightweight and small), for batch making for colleagues at work and for using up some of those scraps left over from a larger project.   
But if you fancy something a little bit different then how about stringing up some yuletide bunting with the 'JOY' bunting pattern.

This pattern is very simple, very quick and very effective - all you need is one charm pack, a length of ribbon and my free Joy Bunting PDF pattern.

Of course bunting isn’t just for Christmas – change the word and you can hang it for birthdays, Easter, weddings, anniversaries, Halloween – even JULY!

You could always create bunting using the cheeky Gingerbread men from my Gingerbread Cup mug rug pattern.

You can download the FREE pattern HERE.  The pattern gives you have two delicious methods for making the gingerbread men - you can fuse these little chaps for a neat, firm finish or stitch them together with a frayed edge for a rustic look.

Whether you prefer hand or machine stitching – these guys will always turn out sweet and whilst I hope you buy my Gingerbread Cup mug rug pattern for the gingerbread man template – you really don’t have to – a cookie cutter would work just as well.  

Gingerbread Cup Mug Rug Pattern

I’m not the only one sharing Christmas joy this month though - seven days with seven projects - check out the schedule of the 'Christmas in July' blog hop so you don't miss a thing. 

Sew until next time .....................

Monday 8 July 2013

Christmas in July Free Patterns

As promised I thought I would share with you some of the great free Christmas patterns you can find on the web.  (Click on any of the images to go through to the free patterns.)   

Let’s take a trip back in time to 2011 and Moda's 'Christmas in July’ blog hop:
photo courtesy of Moda Bakeshop
This Starry Eyed Quilt, made from charm packs and a layer cake, uses quick strip-piecing - so there is plenty of time to make a full-size quilt.  But if you want something smaller, the block size is 16 inches - just the right size for a table runner.

And what about this super-easy advent calendar made using just 24 charm squares:
photo courtesy of Moda Bakeshop
If you want something small and quick then how about colourful Christmas tree ornaments from Sew Can She and the Sewing Loft
 photo courtesy of Sew Can She
And there'll be no skirting around with this Christmas tree skirt from Sew Can She and Sew Crafty Jess - make it as big or as little as you like:
Photo courtesy of Sew Can She
Now that the tree is nicely dressed we need to do the same to the fireplace so let's pop over to Create Kids Couture for a free pattern that will have your toes pressing down on the sewing machine pedal before you can say 'Jingle Bells':
Photo courtesy of Create Kids Couture
And from there it is just a short sleigh ride to bring us a little closer to home ..... to Amy made That and her very lovely, very easy snowflake cushion:
Whilst you are there check out her elegant but easy-to-create zipped cushion backs.  And don't be too quick to leave the Amy house of Christmas cheer because Amy will be posting another free pattern this Friday (12 July) as she kicks off the Christmas in July blog hop. 

And then on Saturday you have yours truly – with two free patterns for bunting – one made from charm squares and a delicious gingerbread string.  There will also be a Christmas give-away.
Sew until Saturday .......

Tuesday 2 July 2013

Christmas in July

Susie's Christmas Table Runner
The project has been decided for this month's Across the Pond sew-along – it is ‘Christmas in July’ – a topic Susie declared yesterday morning only to have MODA follow in her footsteps in the evening.  

Courtesy of Moda Bakeshop
This is a great help as there are sure to be lots of lovely projects and free patterns in the Moda Bakeshop throughout the month.   If that isn't enough there will be even more inspiration when Julie, the Crafty Quilter, hosts a  'Christmas in July' blog hop with free tutorials, lots of ideas and the odd give-away or two. 

Our own Amy, from Amy made That, is kicking off the blog hop on the 12th of July and I am following in her wake (again!!) on the 13th.
Amy's project is sure to be something elegant - just look at the wonderful gift tags she has made for the Sew Along project.

But I haven't been idle either.  I have been adding to the seasonal patterns already in my Etsy pattern store.
First there was a Christmas mug rug for Gran using the Patchsmith's Mug Rug Alphabet ...... 
and this was quickly followed by the Gingerbread Cup mug rug pattern .......
which led to the Gingerbread Man mug rug project - three of the little gingerbread men on one 10" x 6" background .......
And from there it was just a short sleigh ride to one of my projects for the blog hop - Gingerbread Bunting.   But those cheeky little fellows have run amok and are hiding all other Patchsmith Palace.  There are crumbs on the bookshelf ......
spices in the flower ......
and cookies in the ..... biscuit barrel ......
I better go round up those mischievous men and find a way to string them up before the 13th of July.  Be sure to pop back on that day as I will be sharing a free pattern for super-quick Christmas bunting together with a Christmas give-away.
(Don't forget to post your completed projects and share your Christmas project finds in the Across the Pond Flickr Group - we'd love to see them.)

Sew until then .......