Sunday, 27 February 2011

Quotes of the week

Most weekends, we have James' two kids to stay. They are super gorgeous and say the most hilarious things.  This weeks collection includes:

Pip (age 5) - "I'm not supposed to be in the deep end of the pool, I stay in the shadow end"
George (age 8) lecturing his little sister - "You're not the boss of me, or Dad, or Ceri, or Felix, you can only be the boss of yourself"

Quite true, hee hee.

I'm making slow but steady progress on a baby/ little person/ lap quilt at the moment, using some of the colours from the Starburst cushion.  I can't quite decide which of the above it will be as it's not classic baby colours. Will decide when it's finished I guess!

Anyway, have decided to document progress here in order to keep momentum up!

Today's picture - The fabric cut and arranged.

Tomorrow, the white sashing between the coloured slices. Am halfway through so this shouldn't be too big an ask :)

By the way, those comedy phrases from the kids reminded me of a cracker my brother came out with when he was little.  When asked what his favourite music band was he promptly replied "The Ketchup boys"...

It was some time before we realised he was referring to the Pet Shop boys!


Saturday, 26 February 2011

A day of mini disasters and a Starburst

Yesterday, Nikki and I went for a trip to Eastbourne.  It turned out to be one of those trips of silly comic disaster with:
  • miserable, sniffy babies who grizzled (aww)
  • half-term queues
  • food so bad we sent it back
  • getting the price of things wrong and then having to change our minds at the till 
  • oh, and a friend who joined us managing to drive her car with roof box into a multi-storey car park only to find, there was NO way it was going to be able to get out again.  This little event required us to stand in a multi-storey for half an hour whilst the security guards were sympathetic (with thinly veiled amusement).  Dragging the husband home from London with the roof box key was, it appeared, the only answer.  No one ever likes to confirm the "baby brain" reputation, but for a moment that's how we felt!
Anyway, I was determined to finish the Starburst cushion for Nikki, to make up for the day, and finish it I did, aided by Paella and half a bottle of sparkling wine :)

(You can see my earlier progress here - using an excellent tutorial from Film in the Fridge).

Thanks for your comments on how to finish it.  In the end I opted for a rectangular cushion with the starburst set off-centre.  James also persuaded me to quilt it, to make the colours stand out, and he was right! (amazing for a guy who really does NOT do fabric).

It's backed with a piece of Valentino cashmere (I know!) which I picked up for £2.50 in a charity shop, and a little touch of purple.

Oh and I'm linking up to Sew and Tell Friday over at AmyLouwho!  I know it's Saturday, but I did finish it yesterday, honest!


Wednesday, 23 February 2011

One World One Heart prize received!

Big thanks to Sam Bonney at Cornish Contemporarys: "Flotsam and Jetsum" who hosted a One World One Heart giveaway on her blog. Sam is super creative, and does some lovely seascapes and really cute inchies. I was lucky enough to win her second door prize, this gorgeous vintage tag, which came lovingly wrapped in the post today.

Thanks Sam!

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

I am in love with this...!


Check out this fantastic machine raw-edged appliqued work by Aneela Hoey of Comfort Stitching ...  I found it blog-surfing whilst eating my cereal this morning via Quilt Story.    LOVE LOVE LOVE this style!   It's going to get added to my ever growing list of things to do, which I have now decided to publish on the sidebar on my blog...just to keep the impetus going  :)

Ceri x

Monday, 21 February 2011

Your views please!

I've offered to make Nikki a cushion, and thought I'd try something different.  I found a gorgeous Starburst quilt on Film in the fridge, so I followed the excellent tutorial that accompanied it, thinking I'd make one block for the cover of my cushion.

Apologies for the poor pics (midnight in our kitchen on an iphone!)

Here is the block in progress...

and where I'm up to now. 

The thing is, I can't decide whether to:

a) follow the tutorial and trim this to a square.  I'd then need a border for a square cushion or I could put the square onto one end of a rectangular cushion (I'm thinking I'll use my grey flecked cotton for the borders)

b) or trim this block to a circle and applique it onto a square cushion?

Hmmm it's a dilemma I can't face tonight so I'm going to bed, but your views would be very much appreciated!  (including yours, Nikki!)


Saturday, 19 February 2011

Curtains, and number 2 in a series

Not as much productivity as I would have liked on the stitching front.  I spent yesterday evening hemming a pair of curtains, which is possibly one of the worst sewing jobs ever.  I moaned all the way through and consumed copious amounts of vodka and diet coke. As a result, when I hung the curtains today there is a centimetre difference where they meet in the middle. Hmmmm... I figure they'll be open most of the time so no one will notice :)   

The saving grace for these curtains was the fabric - check out this lovely bird print I got in the sale at C+H fabrics. Prestigious Textiles - Berkeley Square. It's SO yummy that I made matching cushions with red velvet backs!

Other than that the only creation this week has been the second cushion I've done in the stack of books design. I reversed the colours on this one, and am pleased with it, but prefer the first one. See below for

I can't resist leaving you with another image of said cushion. When I ventured into the garden yesterday to take a picture of this cushion, our lovely builder Dave insisted on modelling it (I did check if his hands were vaguely clean first!)


Ceri x

PS That's our house in the background - eek!

Friday, 18 February 2011

OWOH - and the winner is....!

One World One heart is over!  Thank you so much to all you of you who visited by blog and left lovely comments - they really made my week!   To top it all, I managed to win two giveaways!  Yeay! these are my first wins since I started blogging and I can't tell you how excited I am!   More about those later (they deserve a post of their very own!)

And now for my door prize which was this heart cushion, a completely one-off creation by InspiredbyFelix.

I received 123 comments and have used, as follows:

It's pretty small so in case you can't read it, the result is...103!  The 103 comment was left by..........(drum roll)......
Ellen from Shimmer and Tulle in Canada!   Ellen, I will email you separately for a mailing address


Ceri x

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Don'ts for Wives

My other little Valentine's gift was this splendid book of advice - Don'ts for Wives (1913).  I quote:

"Don't greet your husband at the door with a catalogue of the dreadful crimes committed by servants during the day"

"Don't think it beneath you to put your husbands slippers ready for him. On a cold evening, especially, it makes all the difference to his comfort if the soles are warmed through"

hee hee - highly unlikely that I obey either of these rules (since we have neither servants or slippers!)

However, I think I can manage this one (for all us crafters)

"Don't 'fuss' your husband....occupy yourself in reading or doing needlework" (yeay!)


Monday, 14 February 2011

The cure for crafters indecision

If in doubt, buy fabric!  Yes, yes I know I don't need it, but when faced with a half decent selection of patchwork cottons (at C+H fabrics in Eastbourne on Saturday), I just cave.   James and Felix gave me 10 minutes (they both seem to find fabric shopping rather torturous) and I came out with the following:

A lovely selection of purples for a baby quilt. I'm planning on a sliced coins design (click here for gorgeous examples from Don't call me Betsy's quilt along ) in graduated pinks, purples and maybe the odd green.

A metre of this delicious lightweight cotton lawn for a summer dress for Felix

My "of the moment" favourite grey flecked cotton

and for no particular reason this Amy Butler print - the green got to me.

It hasn't been all shopping and no making.  I hemmed a curtain on Saturday night, and then unpicked it because it wasn't straight  :( grrrrrr

Oh, and I did attempt one of those vintage soft toys from my earlier post.  My favourite is the tortoise, but it turns out she is supposed to be a pouffe and is 14 inches high.  She's still on my list (don't worry Nic!) but I thought I'd start with something simpler, and I went for this owl pattern.

Only my version was going to be cotton, smaller and hopefully a little more modern (!).  In the end I sketched my version of the pattern and winged it.  Here is the result:

Almost unrecognisable? Cute or creepy? I can't decide!

Anyway, I'm on a roll now, so expect some more stitchings in the next couple of days...

PS Happy Valentine's Day - and big thank yous to James for my gorgeous "Felix proof" bracelet xxx

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Crafters indecision

Here's the latest offering by InspiredbyFelix. I think the design is called "Stack of books" ? 

I quite liked it so I'm working on No.2 in the series,  a reverse one, where the "books" are grey and the edges patterned. (sorry about the picture, iPhone snap taken just now!)

As for the next project, I'm torn.  I want to make (in no particular order):
  • A baby quilt for Felix
  • Fabric shoes - an idea I got from Sunnie Fairy over at Andrea's Garden
  • The soft toys in my last post
  • More cushions (obviously)
  • Something using my own fabric, printed using Spoonflower, which is an amazing website that allows you to do this.  (Something I only discovered after seeing the fabulous design done by Miss Pixie at I drew this)
  • Plus a load of things for a craft stall that we've yet to arrange!
Hmmm, instead of doing any one of these things, I'm sitting here writing this, because choosing where to spend my time is too difficult :)  Oh dear.


Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Fabulous vintage

You may be expecting a cushion, and of course there is another cushion on the way (there's ALWAYS a cushion underway!), but more about that tomorrow when I've had a chance to take a picture in daylight.

In the meantime, I've been talking handmade soft toys with lovely friend Nikki.  Nikki has rediscovered her sewing machine (the knitting phase is over, apparently) and has been making velvet elephants - very cute. 

We think a few vintage style animals in gorgeous fabrics might go well on the craft stall so I went searching in our basement for the old craft books I know I own.  Twenty minutes later and with that grimy feel to my hands I emerge with a couple of gems to give Nikki and I some inspiration.

They are:
  •  "Design your own stuffed toys" - Anne Dyer 1971
  • "The complete book of handicrafts" Ed. Jill Blake and Joan Fisher 1976
Here a just few images from these fabulous tomes (as is the fetching picture at the top of the page) to get your creative juices flowing!

If anyone would like patterns or instructions for these then leave a comment and I'll scan them in for you, I think these cuties should be admired by many!

Will let you know if we have success (with the animals, not the hats!)

Friday, 4 February 2011

One world one heart - my first giveaway!

How exciting! I've decided to join in with the One World One Heart blog event, organised by Lisa at A Whimsical Bohemian.  This is a cool idea whereby bloggers all over the place are encouraged to visit each others sites.  It seems a great way of finding other like minded bloggers and hopefully picking up some new ideas.   The incentive? Each blogger offers up a "Door Prize" draw as a thank you for visiting.

So if you've found your way here through this event, welcome to InspiredbyFelix!.  I am a new mum on maternity leave and am rediscovering my love of crafting (mostly in the evenings!).  I primarily work with fabric, but tend to have a go at anything that catches my eye. 

It's only right that my door prize should be a cushion, since I seem to make so many of them.  This cushion top has been hanging around for a while and I hadn't got round to finishing it, until this week when I picked up some lovely dark grey furnishing fabric super cheaply.  It is perfect for the backing for this cushion so I have now finished it, and would like to offer it as my giveaway.  The cushion top is made from a vintage pinstriped skirt, and I appliqued a simple heart design.  I've done an envelope back which is edged in that fabulous orange polka dot, to zing it up a bit!

The rules are simple, visit my blog, have a look around if you like, and leave a comment on this post.  After the closing date (17th Feb) I will pick at random one entry from all of the comments and mail this cushion to them!  Good luck, and hope you enjoy InspiredbyFelix!

PS Click here to see the other participants!

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Lovely things!

Two lovely things for you today - first off the bunch of scraps I have sorted out for my cousin Alice who is just venturing into the world of sewing.

What is it about photos taken in the garden that makes simple things look lovely?!

And secondly, a container for lovely things. 

This is my latest make and was an experiment. If you fancy having a go at a cute keepsakes box like this then the abridged version of instructions are as follows (and the learnings are at the end!)

1) I started with a box that was left over from one of James' Christmas presents (he's not a box keeper). 

2) I measured it and cut a cross shaped template, with little flaps at the top and on one edge of each side.(I used white sheeting, but paper would also work)

3) I transferred my template to fabric

4) I used spray glue to stick the fabric to the box, tucking in the flaps to give a neat finish on the edges (note that I'd tried white fabric before the blue, which didn't work because the glue showed through)

5) I then repeated the process for the lid

6) For the label, I used my favourite technique of ironing a piece of cotton to quilters paper and then using my printer to print my chosen words onto the cotton.  This label uses a free font I found online which I think makes the box much more quirky

7) Finally I machine stitched the edges of my label and glued it in place

Ta-dah!!  fabric covered box!  Did I make it look easy?   Here are the bits I missed out:

  • Don't use pale fabric for this, I found the spray glue shows through
  • Don't forget to cut the flaps when you do your template (doh!)
  • Don't cover the box in too thick a fabric - the lid won't fit on afterwards (doh again!)
Anyway, your honest views would be appreciated on this before I embark on making a few more. Do you think these boxes would sell at a craft fair?  or are they just glorified cardboard boxes?


Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Productivity resumed!

I've just finished the next cushion, which is a much belated Christmas present for my lovely friend Emma.   I would normally be horrified at delivering a gift so late, but Emma is routinely at least 3 hours late every time I meet her....therefore I think she will be tolerant of my tardiness!

Emma is quirky and artistic, and just a little bit girly, so I hope this cushion fits the bill.  It's my own design, using "June song" from the Alexander Henry June Bug collection for the central panel and then adding fabrics from my stash to match the colours of the print.  The outer border and the back are a lime green chenille type furnishing fabric (left over from curtains!) and I've done an envelope back, but edged it with the pink print to make it a little more special :)

Hope you like it, Ems!

Oooo and I've also decided to enter this into the Bloggers pillow party that I found when blog surfing.  This is being hosted by Stitched in colour and this month judged by Red Pepper quilts. From browsing January's entrants, I can see that lots of very talented folk enter so competition will be stiff, but I thought it'd be fun to give it a go :)

Blogger's Pillow Party