Day one of the studio build

Day one of the studio build

Day one was actually just half a day as Seb and Joe, my amazing builders, arrived at 1 ish. However they achieved millions in the four hours or so they were at work. First they set about demolishing a whole shed, scaring away many spiders in the process (including some fearsome and large False Widow spiders)

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I may re-use the shed panels as fence panels as they are in good condition. As my back neighbours have an impressive collection of dead fridges and lawnmower a in their garden it may be nice to put up a proper fence!

Then collectively we cleared the ground, I was pulling up the remaining sticks an roots of the Kerria Japonica that had spread like crazy whilst poor Joe was hacking away at the stump of the Mahonia that until last week had been a good 2.5 high and about 3m wide! More spiders were relocated in the process 😉

Materials were ordered, tea was drunk, funny stories exchanged and all of that in gorgeous sunshine. By 5ish the boundary of the studio was roughly marked out and cleared and I watched the sun set over a garden filled with rubble sacks full of ivy, brambles and bits of shrub. I pulled up some more nasty bindweed roots and finally stopped for the day.

Here’s some pictures of what it looked like last night:

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Easy peasy PJ trousers tutorial

Easy peasy PJ trousers tutorial

Here’s a super easy way to make your kiddo some new PJ trousers.

1 get some of their old ones and lay one leg on top of your folded fabric. If they are no too short or small cut some extra width or length. In any case add 1.5/2 cm seam allowance. Whatever you like working with. As long as you remember what you used 😉
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2 cut around the leg and fold the crotch back to expose the centre crotch seam and cut around that too. IMG_6387.JPG

3 lay this cut out piece on the next piece of folded fabric. Cut slightly bigger widthways for the back. IMG_6388.JPG
4 lay two leg pieces right sides together, pin, and stitch the outside leg and inside leg. Not the crotchet seam! Repeat for the other leg.

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5 notch the curved seams if you need to (if they are very curved or the fabric just won’t sit nicely if you don’t)

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6 turn one leg inside out.

7 put the trouser legs inside each other, the one you turned the right way around inside the other one. Line up the crotch seam, starting with the centre seam and pin out from there.

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8 stitch the whole crotch seam. Voila you now have some pants!

9 hem the bottoms

10 cut some chunky elastic. I use 2.5/ 1″ wide elastic as it’s nice and comfy. I cut it slightly smaller than my son’s waist circumference.

11 fold over the waist by 1cm and stitch. Fold over by 3cm and stitch again? Leaving a gap at the back for the elastic to be fed through. I like using a triple zigzag stitch at this stage

12 feed the elastic through. Hold the ends of he elastic together and stitch them together securely. Make sure it’s not twisted before you do so!!

13 catch your kiddo and make them wear them so you can take their picture!

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A quilter’s mixology book review

A quilter’s mixology book review

I ordered A Quilter’s Mixology a couple of months ago and it has been begging me to make something from it ever since. I buy a lot of craft books but most of them are flicked through a few times and then parked on the shelf. This one however spoke to me. I loved learning a perfect foolproof technique and for piecing curved seams and I love pretty much all the projects in it.

The quilt projects are in many different styles but it is thoroughly modern in it’s outlook. So be the project quite Moorish or very 60s Mod, the fabrics are funky and colourful and the photography is lush.

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I got cracking on a simple four patch yesterday and loved making it. It wasn’t a pattern from the book as such as I just wanted something small and quick to try out the curved seam technique. I didn’t even have an end goal in sight. As it was I made a small (bit too squishy!) cushion with it. But I digress.

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Stitching the curved seam was super easy. I loved it and it was pretty addictive! I snappily made four and slung em together with a simple envelope back.

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Now I’m ready to tackle a bigger quilt. Which one though??

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A little quilt love

A little quilt love

I finished this quilt for an old work colleague. The first quilt I ever made was for her and she’s ordered two more since.

I experimented with pinwheels for this one as I’d always fancied a pinwheel quilt. I stuck to a limited blue and red colour scheme as per the brief. Probably the quickest quilt I have ever made. Hurrah for the summer holidays and not being interrupted for the school run and swimming lessons etc!

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Here’s a quilt I made last year. It lives on my sofa and gets taken on outings a lot, picnics and camping etc. Today I got up to find my middle son had slept on the sofa, covered in this quilt. It’s not quite big enough to cover his lanky frame anymore 😉

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All my quilts are available in my Etsy shop: Www.Etsy.Com/shop/handmadebycheeky

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Sewing machine reviews pt 2, Elna Grasshopper

Sewing machine reviews pt 2, Elna Grasshopper

Last Christmas my dad turned up with this little beauty. She was made in 1947 and still purrs away today. I use her all the time as she makes a gorgeous straight stitch and has a tiny free arm. And looks so handsome too 😉

She is operated with a fold out bar which you push with your knee, rather than a pedal. It takes a little getting used to but it’s pretty cool. At least it never wanders off like pedals do.

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It comes in an at green metal case, making it look like something used in WW2! The case folds open to provide a work table around the machine, which is very handy.

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To wind a bobbin you place the empty bobbin on the pin at the side and the machine “knows” you are winding a bobbin and automatically turns off the needle. That is something that wasn’t incorporated back into machines again until fairly recently and is very snazzy!

She’s a beautiful old lady and I would highly recommend getting one if you ever see one for sale. It still stitches as beautifully as the day it was made!

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cheeky handmades