All manner of bits and bobs

I haven’t been working on anything too big since my friend’s two bags, which I gave her today – It’s so lovely to see her reaction, she was so thrilled! Particularly with her bag, she loved the size, pockets, shape, purse feet and particularly the fabric – and I gave her a few wee accesories to go with it, which was a nice surprise for her. She really is a darling, it’s hard not to give her more, she’s so appreciative!

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And the accessories – I actually stole the bigger flat zip bag on the left to keep all Kiddo’s wee toys and things for my bag…

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Drawstring bags by the way! They are the business, it’s the cord and toggle that did it for me. I love this one and was tempted to steal it too, but my superego won in the end and did the right thing. My friend was pleased with it, so I guess it was the right thing to do!

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Meanwhile I got some thick insulating batting from my local fabric shop at a good price – like a loon on ecstasy I couldn’t resist it, even though I had no idea what I’d do with it. It is thicker than insulbrite wadding which I’ve used for insulated lunch bags, but it would make rather bulky lunch bags. But tea cosies on the other hand… they are supposed to be thick and, well, cosy. And I had the perfect fabric:

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Then I realised that I never use a tea cosy, and hardly even this tea pot. So it is going to be a present to my friend Caroline, who has an amazing farmhouse cottage in the middle of gorgeous countryside with the most stunning views of the sea… and who insists on using a tea cosy every time – how aspirational is that?! And I seem to remember she has china mugs with exactly this pattern on it. I may become number one friend ๐Ÿ˜‰ She is making me Godmother to her beautiful daughter in August; she gives me a daughter and I give her a teacosy. Not an equal exchange but she will have warm tea.

Next up is a commission from a girl in our village, who bought a travel chalkboard for her little son at the craft fair and got in touch asking for one for a gift. This is for a litttle boy too, so I used some Thomas the Tank Engine fabric I had – it’s a fact that all little boys love Thomas!

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These are great and with ours I roll up some paper and sheets of stickers, and put chalks and coloured pencils in the pouch, so it’s a lightweight but sturdy complete art pack on the go.

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I used a zipper pouch rather than velcro spots as the child is still quite young, and I worried in case the spots came off despite the most superduper glue ever. I think it’s an improvement – and then the hubby said ” I don’t know why you don’t make the pouch as tall as the board, then it will fit full size pencils in too”. Doh! Of course. It is a bit more fabric, but I think it’ll be worth it – I’ll try it next time.

And finally…

My lovely neighbour has had a new grandson. She is a huge fan of handmade, and bought several things from me for him whilst he was still snuggled in his mummy’s tummy, including these two quilts (both detailed in my Flickr stream)

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So I thought I’d make the baby a wee present, this time of some bunting, for his room, maybe on the wall above his cot or above his door:

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Hamish! Isn’t it a sweet name? I can’t wait to meet him ๐Ÿ™‚

Well I think I should get some sleep now – we are having the best summer I have ever seen in Scotland – Kiddo and I even paddled through the sea yeasterday and the water was warm! Actually WARM! But all this summer makes you get out and do things all day, and frankly I’m pooped. I tell you, we wouldn’t be a naation of couch potatoes eating deep fried mars bars and goodnaturedly grumping at our lot if summers were like this more often – the country has been transformed! We have builders working in our garden just now who didn’t touch the chocolate biscuits I gave them with their coffee but ate all the fruit! What the??!

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Till next time,

Poppy xx

ps you can email me at poppy@cuckooblue.co.uk

or visit my flickrstream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/cuckoo-blue/

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Needleplates and paper flowers

So yesterday I mentioned a quilt I was making –ย  it’s for my brother and his wife for their new house. They’ve bought an amazing Victorian house near London and have been doing it up.

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(from blog: http://victorianrestoration.tumblr.com/)

This is a picture of their living room, which is on their blog. Isn’t it lovely? On the basis of that, I’ve chosen what I think is the perfect fabric collection for a vintage but modern, cool, quirky but elegant quilt. I’ve made the top. Very happy with it. I chose cotton batting and have basted it. I thought I was so in control. Then I started quilting it.

ARGHHHHHH!!! Total disaster! It felt like the fabric was snagging all the time, especially at the turns (stippling, so a LOT of turns), and on the back – looped stitches, puckering, birds’ nests, the lot. Very unhappy. Deep breaths.

Messed with tension. Changed needle – 3 times. Re-threaded bobbin. Cleaned out sewing machine. OMG I could have stuffed a cushion with the lint! For every sewist reading this – CLEAN OUT YOUR MACHINE RIGHT NOW! Thought I’d cracked it. Machine easier, quieter, but just as bad.

Finally I saw this as I was reassembling my machine –

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See that there? That tiny tiny little nick in the needle plate at the bottom of the hole where the needle should go through? THAT’S MY NEMESIS.

Eventually I ordered a new plate, and I’m machine-less for a few days till it’s here. Almost hyperventilated at the thought.

So I revived a very old love – origami, which I used to do as a kid, and decided to make myself flowers! Origami Lilies to be precise, very therapeutic! Here is the start of my bouquet:

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I used Hello Luscious By Basic Grey- the paper version of the “Hello Luscious” quilt I did for my niece Florence (below).

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I loved those colours, but with a boy-filled household (even including the dog!) I couldn’t justify making one for this house – so perhaps the flowers will be a compensation!

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I just have to do a few more and fit stems to them – will keep you posted. By the way they are so easy to do – if you fancy a bouquet which won’t die or give you hayfever, google origami lilies and have a go! It stopped my idle machine-less evening hands baking anyway… good news for waistline, bad news for husband and son who are active hungry boys who care not about waistlines!

Hope the sun is shining where you are,ย  till next time,ย 

Poppy xx

ps you can email me at poppy@cuckooblue.co.uk

or visit my flickrstream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/cuckoo-blue/

Baby Emily arrives! well, she’ll need a baby quilt (and her mummy needs a bigger bag)

My good friend, Jane, just had a baby girl, whom I met for the first time today, just days old! She’s so gorgeous, and tiny and precious. I got all clucky! The kiddo liked her too, but loved more that I had taken car lego with us to keep him entertained – I don’t think he is champing at the bit for a sibling – just as well!

Anyway, I had made her a baby quilt – the collection is Sophie by Chez Moi, cotton batting, stipple quilting, a pretty rose print cotton from Ikea for the back. It’s a charm pack quilt with 1” white sashing, 38” x 43” ish, I think. I just remembered to photograph it as we were getting into the car to go see her, so the backdrop of my driveway is less than inspiring, but here goes!

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And she had requested a changing bag, as her previous one was too small already for her 3 year old, let alone a baby too. The spec –ย  “not too girlie” “some flowers would be nice” “maybe purple” but “husband would like gender neutral”… Hmmm. I chose a large messenger (15” x 12” x 5”) style, charcoal grey exterior and interior, waterproof interlining (actually I just sewed in some of Ikea’s acrylic coated fabric), interfaced with fusible fleece and flap made from Amy Butler’s Memento in Mulberry from her Love collection. It was hard to keep faith that it would look nice whilst I was working with ALL THAT GREY but once the flap was on, it looks just great, and I hope she’ll be able to use it as an overnight bag/ large bag when her 2 kids are no longer needing changing equipment!

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She LOVES her bag and it got a full seal of approval from hubby, so hurray! And I got to use purse feet which I love, I have no idea why I love them so much! Maybe because they are easy to use, but makes the finished bag look so much more professional, win-win. ๐Ÿ™‚

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I’m kind of jealous of this bag. I think I might have to indulge myselfย  with something smaller but similar. Even with a three year old you still need a big enough bag to lug the water, snacks, sticker books, cars, trains, change of clothes (he’s a boy, if there’s mud, water or muddy water to be found, he’ll find it)… It’s so easy to get bored of the one you have (ahem, ones you have)… I feel some freebird entering my life very soon ๐Ÿ˜‰

till next time,

Poppy x

ps you can email me at poppy@cuckooblue.co.uk

or visit my flickrstream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/cuckoo-blue/