Friday, 29 March 2013

Book Review Friday- "Ultimate Quilting Bible: A Complete Reference with Step-by-step Techniques" by Marie Clayton

I have accumulated a few books on my progression from one of life’s less creative folk, to a lass who just loves to be tinkering at… anything! At any given time I may be; knitting on my sofa, planting a few herbs, brewing blackberry wine, sewing a dress or foraging for wild garlic. The more you make, the more you want to create and the more I buy books.
I bought this book in anticipation of making quilts more regularly than what I actually have done. Only now have I begun to make a quilt, the “Rainbow Crayon Quilt” is shown in the book under the term “Triangle Squares”

I scrupulously research my book purchases and thought that I would write a review every week to help with the decision of what book to buy on what topic. The books that I am reviewing have been purchased with my own money and bought because I wanted them, unless otherwise stated.

So, to the review.

  • ·     Hardback
  • ·     304 pages
  • ·     Published by: Collins & Brown (1 July 2009)

Very helpful instructions on how to save time and understand the quilting process; my particular interest is the patchwork quilt, which has a 92 page chapter to educate and whet the appetite. Interestingly enough, the first ever quilt that I am making is actually the first demonstrated project of the “Pieced Quilt” chapter. Intuitively, I have chosen to make the easiest and more straightforward pieced quilt. Good. At the very least, I am starting as I mean to go on and develop my quilting skills gradually instead of jumping in at the deep and being a ropey and mediocre quilter.

Chapters are set logically into:
1. Introduction
2. Getting Started
3. Quilt making Basics
4. Whole cloth and stripy quilts
5. Pieced Quilts
6. Appliqued Quilts
7. Embellished Quilts
8. Folded Quilts
9. Advanced Techniques
Then… Glossary of Terms, Resources, Index and Acknowledgements.


Artwork wise, it’s beautiful. Aspirational, yet achievable in the setting, I particularly like how it demonstrated how a quilt can be a modern addition to a home and with the right planning- can look amazing in the home.


VERY clear. Quilting is not a mythical and complex process. It requires tools, planning, fabric and imagination. In no way does this book lead you into thinking that you can’t do this. You can! The pictures in the instructions and diagrams and the end results are beautifully pictured leading to the thought process of… “I can do that…”
If you have decided on starting a project, there are templates that you can photocopy and use. Included are hand-quilting sewing templates and also pieced quilt templates like a log cabin design. Very helpful and can be enlarged using a photocopier to your desired size.

Good Points:
  • ·         Beautiful pictures
  • ·         Logical in layout
  • ·         Templates to photocopy

Bad Points
  • ·         Not for an utter novice, if you have never wound on a bobbin before… this is not the book for you. It requires basic sewing knowledge
  • ·         No ‘voice’ from the author. I don’t see this as a bad point; but some people will. I do believe that this will put some people off in our ‘craft community’. We like to chat, to share and to express ourselves. I don’t ‘hear’ the author’s voice as I read through this book; she is very clinical with her explanations.

In conclusion, I do think this book is lovely. If you are interested in owning a book to compliment your quilting journey, this is for you.  



Monday, 25 March 2013

Rainbow Quilt... Part I. Meet the Rainbow!

Visually, the spectrum has always made me happy to look at. I love the flow of the colours and how it's such a natural beauty, from a rainbow to a crystal catching the light.

I am going to embark on my first quilt, it's not going to be a hexie bonanza... it's going to be a Crayon Quilt, kindly tutored and explained by the very talented Sew Mama Sew

I'm going to make it into a play mat. My plan is to make it very thick, so bambina will be comfy crawling, rolling, napping and playing on it. With the help of 2 layers of batting encasing a layer of 405 GSM fibre bond wadding, hopefully should be thick enough. 

The end mat should be about 115 x 115 cm (or 45 x 45") 

Part One...

  • I have cut the squares into 7" squares, 25 in total in 7 different shades: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple and Pink
  • In total 25 squares

Next is the not so aesthetically pleasing job of cutting out 25 white 7" squares.

I am in no rush to get this finished quickly, I am just enjoying the process and hoping this will lead to a very pretty result!

Any ideas what fabric to use as binding? The pic above uses a yellow check. If you have any suggestions, please leave a comment with the link to the fabric.



Friday, 22 March 2013

Strawberries and Mint - Burda Baby Sleeping Bag #9640

This pattern is the "Baby Sleeping Bag Burda Sewing Pattern No. 9640"

or a 'Grobag' as they are more fashionably called!

I love the idea of this piece of clothing, wrapped up but with room to move- whilst looking gorgeous. PLUS... they are really yummy mummy fashionable and you can be spending £45 on a top-end one... frugal thoughts enter my head and I have to out-do in quality and price!

I have so many ideas brimming for this little girl I'm having! It seems the more I find out about her and time I spend brewing her, the more I make and think and plan to make for her arrival!

In my (messy) room, I have ongoing:

  • Another growbag
  • A knit cardigan
  • A Crayon Quilt that I'm making with REALLY thick wadding for a play mat
  • Nappy covers


After a real crazy decision-making stint with every fat quarter and remnant I had, I found this combination as my current favourite mix of fabrics. I love that it's girlie but not yucky as there is pink to show, world, that she is a girl but the green neutralises any yuck and goo into a piece a bit more summery-chic than candy-floss.

I made the piece out of quilt-weight cotton, rather than the suggested sweater-weight knit. Instead I used a cotton interlining to make the weight and the tog of the grobag much warmer. To be honest, this looks like it's ready to eat on a summers day yet warm enough for a March snow drift! 

I loved the underlap detail. No pinching necks and skin here... doesn't bear thinking about, does it?! Anyway, its a lovely detail. I used the lining fabric to get even more pink (dark pink) in there. Underlaps like this are basted onto the zipper fabric and then permanently attached when the lining is applied. 

For the maths; bambina will be born in August. I made a 3-6 month size. So that gives me at least November to February of use and most likely, as this is massive... up until next March! Not bad going.

To clarify, the pattern does not require the addition of piping. I just thought that it would bring the bias arm and neck lines into the piece a bit more. I really like the look of it and anyone who knows anything about sewing will know that additions such as these are a sign of spending that little bit more time on a piece and adding that little bit more quality.

Lining, piping and bias was all made from the same fabric. I am so happy with the results. This is truly one of the best things I've ever made. I just love it!

The lining is so simple, too. In construction this grobag, you make two- one outer and one lining. They are attached by the arm and neckline and then covered with bias tape. The lining is then turned and hand stitched to the zipper fabric. Thanks to my bombshell dress, I knew how to make this baby look almost invisible!

So here is little ones growbag, I hope you like it!

I bought the sewing pattern from: Sew Essential. A cheap and fabulous shop of all your essentials at a VERY reasonable price

Fabric is from Backstitch. I used Klona Cotton: Ice Frappe and Berry and Leaf by Lizzy House. Bias and piping material was just a pink metre I had from Lincoln City Market, I do believe.


Fabrics: £2.60 Ice Frappe (1/2 Metre), £1.50 Pink Fabric (1/3 metre) and £4.00 berry fabric
Zip: £1.00 eBay job lot
Interlining: Free from a remnant after I made a pair of curtains for a friend
Pattern: £3.95

Total cost: £13.85

All in all, this seems like a lot- much more than I have spent for some of my own makes in the past. However in comparison to the cheapest baby sleeping bag on the John Lewis website @ £22.00,  I think that mine wins! John Lewis Baby Striped Sleeping Bag, 2.5 Tog, Navy

Time Taken? I faffed. Should have been 3ish hours. Took me 6 hours. I tried different zip insertion techniques... basting is bestest.

Make again? Yes. For gifts and maybe one more for lickle lady.

Until next time.


Wiksten Tank v4 "Air of Africa" *Finished Object

Last of my Wiksten pregnancy makes!

I have made this final Wiksten using The FabricGodmothers' fabulous African wax print, it's so east to work with, doesn't shrink when washed and is show-stoppingly different and funky!

I think this top will look great with some shorts, sandles and funky wooden beads for summer... and of course, bump for the ultimate in summer-style!


I hope I have portryed my excitement and love of this fabulous and versatile pattern. I made some very simple and quick alterations to this pattern and have made what I can only explain as a wardrobe staple for my mid-term pregnant state!

Next few blog posts will be baby-based, but in Bundana style! I have made a lovely and funky 'grobag'. Its fabulously easy and a perfect present for an expectant mother, if you are not a mother or father yourselves!

Until next time


Thursday, 21 March 2013

Wiksten Tank v3 "Rumble in the Jungle" *Finished Object*

There certainly is a rumble in the jungle! You may remember, back in Summer last year- one of my bestest friends got married and I made a Sew Retro! Bombshell Dress. I adored the fabric, the dress and the uniqueness of it all. The dress got fantasic wear, I wore it independantly out about 6 times... I just couldn't resist!

Readers, it will be a long time until I wear this dress again...

So, in light of me buying three-times too much fabric in the first place, I made a maternity Wiksten tank out of some of the remaining fabric. This acts as a homage to where I have been and where I am now going, from party gal to motherhood!


I originally bought this fabric from The Fabricgodmother, it's not stocked anymore from what I can see. Believe it or not, this top is so nice to whack on at the weekend, in the sun, with jeans and Uggs! I felt really bright and breezy, but also comfortable.

I estimate these tops, with my alterations, will last me until about 7-8 months. I may even get away with them full-term.

Last Wiksten tomorrow!

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Wiksten Tank v2 Saddleback Birds *Finished Object*

I am having somewhat of a Wiksten week this week! I have three to show you all.

This is the first of my collection, I got this fabric as a pregnancy gift from The Fabric Godmother, what a gem! I loved this fabric too, the animals! I just love the birds. There is also this and this in the bird theme on the website at the moment.

Actually, all the fabrics I have used for these Wiksten's are from The FabricGodmother... Because I just love what they stock! Have a look at the cotton ranges, pure class!

Anyways, I was very grateful of this gift but in my current 'state', I'm all about maternity clothes at the moment and slightly in love with my pattern that I made with the Wiksten Tank. FG was kind enough to give a metre of this lovely fabric, however I needed just over a metre to make a Tank.


Using the selvege as a guide I used the colour indicators to know that there was black in there. So I made the front as usual with the 10 cm increase in length and 4 cm girth increase.

Then, I added a black band to the back to make a 1m x 1m piece of fabric go into my desired form of a Wiksten Tank.

I am overjoyed with the result, it's exactly what I need for my purpose. I wear to work...

Ugg Boots
Long Cardigan...

... Long Top.

I'm a nurse, so I spend my working day in uniform. I'm pregnant, so I need to comfort and utility. I'm vain, so I want my clothes to look nice, unique and 'Bundana'. These wants lead me to one conclusion... Wikstens are exactly what I need!

Over this week I will be putting on the three Wikstens that I've made, I love the versatility of it!

Take care

In other news:
  • I'm knitting a cardigan for my final part of my Winter-Three-Piece-Set
  • I've got some lovely girlie ideas for my little girl!
  • I'm 20 weeks now, she's cooking nicely