Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Mojo Monday Birthday Card

A card based on the square layout over at Mojo Monday.
I love the matching stamp set for the Decorative Label punch from Stampin' Up.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Card Patterns Birthday Card

A couple of cards made using the Card Patterns design below, flipped upside-down.
I used Stampin' Up 'Heart to Heart' and 'Decorative Label' punches, and their 'Perfectly Penned' stamp.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Vanilla and Chocolate Cupcakes

My parents came on Valentines day, and the kids were on holiday from school. We had some cupcakes at lunch...
 Last night I went to a training evening, and made some cupcakes for the refreshments. I find it very relaxing decorating them, though less so clearing up the monumental amount of mess I have created afterwards...
I used vanilla butter icing, and a chocolate cream cheese icing, plus some rolled fondant.
 Here they are all tucked up in my new Cupcake Courier. The only thing I think lacking with the design of the carrier, is a couple of lowered points each side of the cupcake holes, for you to get your fingers in and lift out the cupcakes. Still really happy with it though.
 Another few cupackes I made, using a Cuttlebug embossing folder. I've also been trying to improve on my fondant rose making. I now cut out 6 or 7 circles, flatten them some more, and stick them together with water. The first petals I add curling inwards, and the last few curling outwards.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Cupcakes and The Cupcake Courier

I had a fun (and very messy) day yesterday making cupcakes, for refreshments for my book club meeting last night.
Here are a few that were left over this morning!
I should also mention that I got the polka dot and stitched textures on my cupcake tops by rolling icing onto embossing folders (- designed for using with cardboard in die cutting machines, for card making). These only cost about £3.50 each, rather than buying expensive textured rolling pins. I buy embossing folders from here.
Also in the post today I took delivery of a 'Cupcake Courier'. It's fantastic!! A great alternative to carrying loads of old 'Celebrations' tubs with only a few cupcakes in each. This holds 36, and my younger boys and I had a good time swinging the case around to test how much of a bashing the cupcakes can take without being damaged. (The answer is quite a lot... you have to virtually turn the whole thing upside down to do any damage.) I got it from here.
 I was also pleased with the depth between each layer - you can have the icing quite tall and it will still fit in. (Approx. 6cm in total from the bottom of the cupcake.)
 And a nice big chunky, airtight lid.


I needed to make a lot of cards this week - to send to the girls in the Youth programme which I help run. Here are a few I made, based on a design I saw on Pinterest, by Joy Taylor.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

String Quilt Cushion Cover (Tutorial)

I haven't been well this week, and have spent far too long looking at lovely stuff on Pinterest, but today I was itching to make something.
I had seen a tutorial for making string quilt blocks which used paper piecing, but I wanted to have a go with a fabric base in order to make four blocks for a cushion. Here's what I did:

I want my final blocks to measure 8'' when made up, so cut 4 squares of plain white fabric, to 9'' (in theory I only need 8.5'', but I want to allow for a bit of extra trimming space.)
In water soluble pen I drew across the diagonal, then drew 2 lines 1/2'' either side, then 2 more lines 1/4'' out from those.
I want to end up with a 1'' white stripe down the centre of each block.

I cut my first fabric strip for attaching. I want my stripes to remain parallel to the central stripe, so am cutting each one with parallel edges.
I lined up my first strip, face down, neatly to the very top blue line I drew. This is pinned in place, then sewn with a 1/4'' allowance (which means my first strip is now attached along the blue line that was 1/2'' from the centre line.)

 Lift up the attached fabric and iron.

Lay your next strip, face down, matching one edge to the top of the previous strip.

This is again sewn, and ironed upwards.

Carry on in the same way, till that half of the block is completely covered with strips of fabric, then start on the other half in the same way.

The first strip on the next half is again aligned with the top blue line that was drawn on. In this way I created the 1'' white centre stripe that I wanted.

Keep going, lining up edges, pinning and sewing!

When the block is covered, flip it over and trim it. I measured up the diagonal line on my ruler with the centre of my white stripe, then trimmed the whole thing to 8.5''

I love how the back of it is so neat! So unlike my normal quilt top backs!

Four blocks later...

I sewed them together with 1/4'' seam allowances, and considered using it just like this for the cushion top, but decided to quilt it, with thin wadding and muslin on the back.

I love it when it goes all bumpy!

I then trimmed the edges again.

For the cushion back, I overlapped two pieces of heavier fabric (with raw edges turned over a couple of times, ironed then sewn) right side up, to make an envelope opening.

This was all pinned in place, then I sewed 1/4'' in from the edges all the way around.

My final job is to add binding, in the same way as I would to a quilt.
(I did actually sew on some bright red binding, but it made it look like a Christmas cushion, so I cut it all off again!
I'll be binding it in white I think, shortly...)
The final cushion is here.

Thursday, 2 February 2012


We have been having a bit of a change around in our house recently, and I now have a dedicated sewing space! When I started quilting, I worked at a plastic fold-out table, which I handed over to my husband last year when he started teaching an early morning Skype class for teenagers from church.
We got rid of our old computer at the weekend (Laptops only now!), so Scott can now have that space for preparing his lessons, and I have pinched my oldest son's desk!
It's been nice getting a bit more sorted out. 
My cottons before...
 ...and after! 
I bought this thread storage rack on ebay yesterday, and it arrived today...
Cannot resist rainbow organisation.
This used to be my desk when I was a teenager - it's an old teachers' desk, complete with little sliding door for an inkwell (ideal for the wire for the treddle!) It brings back memories to be using it myself again!
 My favourite books are now in reach.
 And I truly am working out of my dining room drawers!

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Purple Cupcakes

Tried out the new Hydrangea cutter and silicone mould which I got for Christmas, for the first time...