Beautiful things for you and your home!

Lots of homely thoughts on sewing, baking, papercrafts, gardening and all the things that go towards making your house a home

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Making Custom Map Cushions

First of all, this post was supposed to be up on Thursday and very nearly was! I couldn't sleep and got up early and thought I'd get this post done.

After fiddling about and arguing with Blogger about the fact that it keeps turning my portrait pictures into landscape mode, I finally figured it out, with the help of Google, and got the post done, and the pictures in. And then managed to delete the whole thing!

Trying to move the picture, I ended up highlighting the whole thing and obviously pressed a random key that deleted it all! Blogger really needs to put an 'undo' button on this site. Either that or I need to start using another service. So, as you can imagine, I wasn't the best chuffed at all that and, didn't have time to do it all again then, so here I am again now! Fingers crossed!

A short time ago, we went to the Eclectic Maker Shop so that I could get the circuit board fabric to make up a tablet case for hubby. Whilst we were there, having a nose around (as is mandatory in such circumstances!), I spotted this map fabric.

I'd been wanting some map sort of cushions for a while. I'd seen quite a few different ones around, and in magazines but not any that were exactly what I was looking for, or weren't a ridiculous price! I have a bit of a thing about maps so I'm always drawn to them. I think it's the promise of travel and discovery that they instill.

So, I bought a metre of the fabric, which gave me four complete maps, and some natural linen for the backing. I soon realised that I wasn't going to be able to find pre-made cushion innards to fit the size of the map so I did some measuring and made up some custom sized, hand stuffed, hand finished cushions instead.

Ta dah! The finished results! I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out.
I hope you like them! I've got some more cushions planned (could do with a bigger house!), this time using this elephant fabric from the Karavan range in the Free Spirit line. I'm still deciding as to what exactly to do with them. I have some ideas but I think it'll be another case of fiddling and seeing what happens!
I'd love to hear what you're making so feel free to leave a comment below! In the meantime, happy crafting!
Love, Maxi

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

The Great British Sewing Bee 2

I can't believe we are at the final for the Great British Sewing Bee!  The weeks have flown by and I could quite happily sit and watch it all again.

It's certainly been a lot more challenging this series than the first one. I wonder if anyone has had a bit of a shock at what they've been asked to do? I like the fact that this time there's been some more in depth explanations of things with Claudia going off to visit places like The V & A Museum and the Fashion and Textile Museum which helps give us background on some of the items, or techniques, the contestants are having to deal with.

I used to watch Project Runway in the States, but ended up stopping because of the bitchiness of, not only the contestants, but also the judges. Obviously it's a much bigger deal there with a chance to show at New York Fashion Week, etc but I felt awful for the participants when they'd stand with their creation and then have humiliating comments tossed at them by the likes of Michael Kors and Heidi Klum. I realise that they obviously have experience in the fashion world - that's not in question, but I do think they could have put their criticisms across more constructively. That's why I love our Sewing Bee! May and Patrick obviously have a huge amount of knowledge between them but they always try to advise constructively, even if something's not to their taste.

I was sad to see Lynda leave last night. She's been such a lovely addition to the group; so kind and thoughtful towards the others and generous when anyone asked her anything. It's hard when it gets to this stage to see anyone go. I'd really like Heather to win it now, but Chinelo is super talented too and would also be very deserving of the title. How to choose?!

It'll be a tense time next week for the final challenges. What will they be?!

In the meantime, I'll be getting back to my own sewing! I've just made up two cushions from this fabric and just have a little hand sewing to do to finish them off. I'm hoping to get the last one finished off later so that I can photograph it and put it on here to show you.

I love that the Sewing Bee has inspired so many people to either drag out their sewing machine from a dark cupboard, or learn from scratch. Attending the NEC's Sewing For Pleasure a couple of weeks ago, I was amazed at how much busier it was this year than when I went a couple of years ago. Last time I went, it took about an hour for that side of the show to start filling up, but this time it was busy from the opening of the doors!

I'm still deciding whether to go to Creative Stitches and Fashion & Embroidery at London's ExCel which starts tomorrow. I have a complimentary ticket so it's just the train fare to find. The last time I went though, it was pretty tiny. I don't know whether the upsurge of interest in sewing will have boosted this exhibition or whether The Knitting and Stitching Shows held at Alexandra Palace and Olympia have fulfilled the need for London shows. I was surprised to find that Sew Magazine wasn't at the NEC show this year, having always attended before but again, perhaps they felt that attending the Ally Pally and Olympia shows in Spring and Autumn are enough. I have attended the Ally Pally one a couple of times but the last time, a couple of years ago, it was so busy and so cramped, it was unbearable! I don't know whether they have rectified that problem at all now and would love to hear from anyone who has attended more recently.

Did anyone else attend the Sewing For Pleasure show? What did you think?

In the meantime, happy GBSB watching and happy sewing!