I feel like May was a super busy month but I didn't achieve half of what I wanted to do! I always find it useful to go back over what I have done and to plan for the month ahead. I didn't manage to write up the patterns and tutorials that I wanted to do, but that's ok, there's always this month for that.
I did make a few gifts and they were well received which is always so lovely.
Attending the bunny making workshop by Katy Livings at Needle and Thread Workshops was definitely the highlight of the month for me! I loved every minute of it, it was so special.
I'm up to date with my Sew and Quilt block of the month which is great, looking forward to the next box now.
I started a log cabin quilt and I still have a lot left to do on that project so I'm hoping I can do some more this month, as well as a little tutorial on this blog.
June is going to be the month that I try to learn a new sewing technique! I've signed up to the Summer Book Club QAL and that involves foundation paper piecing. I'm really excited to try this technique because it looks like magic to me! I just hope I can do it because it is quite complicated! The QAL involves making book blocks and they are so fun! I'm going to turn them into something special for my son. I will try to document this journey of learning a new technique here and I will share any tips I come across.
On top of all of that, I really want to make some t-shirts for my little boy this month. I have lots of fabric that I need to use up before he grows too big!
What are your sewing plans for June? I'd love to know so please let me know in the comments. Happy sewing!
I'm lucky enough to have been able to sign up to the Sew and Quilt Block of the month subscription box so I thought I would tell you all about it. Sew and Quilt is a lovely online quilting shop based in Cornwall. For the past few years, they have been running a monthly subscription box where you receive all of the materials and paper pieces needed to make part of a quilt (English Paper Piecing) and at the end of the year, you will have a completed quilt! I've wanted to join up for a long time but I've been unsure if I could keep up with it each month as it involves a lot of sewing and I have lots of other projects on the go. This year they released an additional quilt to their subscription boxes called the Row by Row quilt and when I saw it, I knew it was the one for me! Each month you get everything to make a horizontal row of the quilt. The beauty of this quilt design is that every month is different (except the first and last months are the same to make the design symmetrical.) This appealed to me greatly as it wasn't going to get too repetitive and each month would be really exciting as it would be something new each time.
The materials arrive each month in a lovely pink box and you get detailed instructions so you can't go wrong. Each month always includes some Liberty Tana lawn fabric too.
As soon as mine arrived I set myself up to cut the fabrics into the required shapes and I used glue to baste my hexagon shapes. That took me two days to complete. I then did a little each day to stay on track and so far I've managed to keep up with each month's box.
Once all of the shapes have been sewn together, the papers need to be removed and it then needs to be sewn to the backing fabric. Each strip of backing fabric is then sewn together to form the quilt. Here is mine so far.
I love making this quilt so much and I really look forward to receiving the special box each month. It's really fun to sew along with other people and I love the community aspect to this project.
Jessie, who owns Sew and Quilt, designs the block of the month quilts and she always picks the most beautiful fabrics. I love her style which is why I knew I would love this subscription.
This month's box is my favourite so far. The design is Dresden flowers and they are so pretty! I love the fabrics that have been included too.
Have you ever signed up to a block of the month subscription? If so, which one? I think they are so much fun, I'm already thinking about which one I might do next year!
Do you use Pinterest? I've been really getting into Pinterest lately and I'm finding it such an inspiring place. I have a lot of different boards over there, ranging from quilt inspiration to home decor, English Paper Piecing to making things for children. I fill my boards with images that I love, as well as images of things I've created. I'd love it if you would like to check out my boards, you can find me here. I spoke in my last post about how I think my style is vintage with a modern twist so here are some images that I think really sum that up.
I love brightly coloured patchwork quilts against a neutral backdrop. I think it's the white walls that give this image a modern twist.
The room below looks so cosy.
I love vintage china too!
Do you have a Pinterest account? Let me know in the comments and I will be sure to check yours out too.
I've changed the name of my website from Rose Petal Patterns to Vintage Sewing Box and I just wanted to take a little moment to explain why. When I started Rose Petal Patterns, I set up a separate Instagram account and kept my personal one (vintage sewing box) going at the same time. The idea was that I would just show my own patterns, designs and tutorials on Rose Petal Patterns and save Vintage Sewing Box for other makes not designed by me. It soon became difficult for me to keep up with posting to two accounts regularly and something had to give. So I stopped posting to Rose Petal Patterns and decided to just show everything on my personal account.
Recently there's been a bit of confusion about my two names, so I made the difficult decision to change my website. This also led me to rethink what I want to do with my website. I've decided I want to continue writing my blog as I really enjoy it. I also want to continue with tutorials because I love creating those. I want to develop more video tutorials as well as written/photographic ones and I definitely want to develop more free patterns.
It feels scary changing my name here, I've worked hard on my website and I could see that I was getting lots of regular visitors which is so lovely. Even though my name has changed, not much else will actually change! So I hope you will all still pop over here to see what is going on!
Vintage Sewing Box is a name that describes me really. I have a love of old, vintage, sewing treasures and I love how sewing connects me to the past. However, I am also really passionate about giving vintage style a modern twist to bring sewing into the 21st century and to get the younger generations into it. I think it's such a great hobby, I really want to inspire everybody to pick up a needle and thread! So moving forward, I think you will see more of me and my style over here, and I hope you enjoy what I make.
Thank you for reading this, it really does mean a lot to me.
On Saturday 4th May I was lucky enough to be able to attend a workshop at Needle and Thread Workshops called An Introduction to Doll Making, taught by Katy Livings. I'm guessing that if you are reading this, you are familiar with Katy's work. She makes the most exquisite heirloom dolls and rabbits. Her attention to detail is perfection. I've followed Katy for many years and it really was a dream come true to be able to take part in the workshop and learn from her.
I've also followed Needle and Thread Workshops for a long time and I've longed to attend a class there. They run the most interesting array of workshops, all of which appeal to me. They are located in Lincoln which is three hours away from me, so I've never been able to go before. However my husband realised his childhood friend lives 15 minutes away from there so it was the perfect opportunity for him to take our son to visit friends whilst I did some sewing!
The location of Needle and Thread Workshops is stunning, a converted barn in the countryside, the perfect setting. When I arrived I was given a warm welcome and really taken care of with cups of coffee, slices of cake and a delicious, healthy lunch. If you ever have the opportunity to take a class there I highly recommend it. They have lovely sewing machines for you to use and if you need any help they are only too happy to support you.
The first thing we did was look at the examples of Katy's work. Her dolls and bunny's are so beautifully made. It takes her four days to make one and you can really see how much love she puts into each and every single thing she does. She talked about her career and how it has lead her into doll making and it was really interesting to learn more about her.
Katy then gave us patterns and we cut out what we needed. Then we could choose which fabrics we wanted to use and there was such an exciting selection, it was heaven! I chose to make a brown bunny out of cashmere wool and I'm so happy I did. It is so soft and luxurious and really makes my bunny feel special. I also chose to make the legs from gingham fabric and I picked denim for the skirt. For the body, I used vintage fabric that I had brought with me. It belonged to my Gran and I wanted to incorporate some of her things into my bunny as a way of remembering her. Katy showed me how to line the fabric I brought with calico as it was a fine fabric and this gave it much more structure. I also added a vintage trim to the skirt I made and this belonged to my Gran too.
Katy is such a brilliant teacher. She is very generous with sharing her knowledge and I feel like I've learnt so much from her. She shares tips and techniques for every step of making the bunnies and dolls, it really is a masterclass. I loved the step by step examples she had brought of each stage of the making process. I'm a visual learner so being able to refer back to these throughout the day really helped me to understand the process and now I feel equipped with the knowledge to make more bunnies!
I had so much fun taking part in this class. It's so lovely to be in a room of likeminded people and to learn from other sewists around you. I didn't quite finish my bunny on the day but that's ok! I was excited to get home and finish her off and I'm really happy with how she turned out. I think now she needs an apron, a cape, a bag, some shoes, a quilt...
Well April has flown by, where did it go? I can't believe it is the first of May today! But I'm really excited to see what May brings because I have some lovely things planned.
So I managed to stick to my plans mostly and I actually made quite a few things. I made my vintage baby quilt and blogged about it, and I included a step by step tutorial for how to make it. I love doing tutorials and I hope to do more in the future. It was gifted to a lovely little person for her first birthday and I hope she enjoys playing with it for years to come.
I took part in a few 'Sew Alongs' on Instagram this month and I loved it! There are so many fun challenges to get involved with, I wish I could do them all. I chose to take part in the Sunny Day Supply log cabin sew along and I made a log cabin block using all kinds of fun prints from my stash. I turned it into a little pouch and I'm using it to store my rotary cutter and rulers.
I also took part in the Trixie sew along, hosted by Kate Webber designs and I made another log cabin block using lovely Trixie fabric by Heather Ross. I turned this one into a cushion cover and I think it looks really sweet. As well as the cushion cover, I also made another pouch using Trixie fabric, but I made it using Hexiform EPP shapes which give it a squishy feel and mean you don't need to include wadding! I love this little pouch and I'm currently using it to carry small EPP projects around with me.
My favourite make of this month was this little bunny bag. I made it for my son for Easter and I filled it with chocolate bunnies. The pattern is by Minki Kim and is a free tutorial. I embroidered it with a Peter Rabbit inspired design. I embroidered it freehand, but I've had a request to turn it into a pattern. I'm hoping to get round to that soon and it will be available for free on my website.
I made a small amount of progress on my liberty quilt and didn't manage to write up a recipe for it as planned, but I will aim to do that this month too. I got up to date with my Sew and Quilt BOM and I'm so happy with how it is looking.
The final thing I started was a scrappy project involving tiny hexies. I don't know what this will become but I'm going to keep making hexie flowers out of my scraps and see where it takes me.
I share what I'm making most days on Instagram, I'm @vintagesewingbox over there if you'd like to see.
I'm so excited about May, mainly because on Saturday 4th I am going to a workshop at Needle and Thread Workshops. It is a workshop with Katy Livings who I have admired for such a long time. I'm so excited about this! I will of course share lots of details about the day over on Instagram and here on the blog too.
Other May plans include a log cabin quilt and I have a few gifts to make too.
What are your plans for May?
Continuing from my last post, you should now have all 12 blocks finished and ready to turn into a quilt. Play around with your blocks and decide on how you would like them to be arranged. You may also want to trim you blocks at this point to ensure they are all 6 inch squares. Now it's time to add the sashing. We will start with the vertical sashing between the blocks.
1. Cut 16 strips of fabric that are 6 inches long and 2.5 inches wide.
2. Take the first block of your quilt and lay a strip of sashing on top of it right sides together, lining up the raw edges on the left side as they face you. Sew together using a quarter inch seam allowance, open out and press the seam open. Repeat this to sew the sashing on the right side of the block.
3. Take the next block in the row and place it on top of the righthand piece of sashing, right sides together. Line up the raw edges on the right side and sew together with a quarter inch seam allowance. Flip open and press the seam open.
4. Next add the another piece of sashing to the right side of block two, in the same way as you did in step 2.
5. Continuing in this way, add the third block in the row and the final piece of sashing.
6. Repeat these steps for the remaining three rows of your quilt.
7. Next add the long, horizontal sashing strips to join the rows together. Take your first row and place a sashing strip along the top, right sides together. Sew with a quarter inch seam allowance and flip open and press the seam open.
8. Repeat this for the sashing on the bottom on the top row.
9. Now add the next row to that piece of sashing by placing the row, right sides together, on top of the sashing, lining up the raw edges. Flip open and press the seams open. Continue in this way to add each row with sashing in between. Now your quilt top is done! It's time to quilt.
10. I don't have a huge table for creating my quilt layers, so I use the floor. Spread out your backing fabric with the wrong side facing up and secure to the floor with masking tape.
11. Next lay the wadding on top and the quilt top on top of that.
12. Pin the layers together using quilters pins, making sure your pin goes through all layers. I put a pin every few inches apart as I also sprayed some quilters basting glue on my layers to keep them together. If you don't use the glue, make sure you use more pins.
13. Now remove the masking tape and begin to quilt. I stitched in the ditch (sewing along each seam on the right side) and I quilted my squares diagonally but you can choose however you wish to quilt them.
14. Once the quilting is done, trim your backing fabric and wadding to be the same size as your quilt top and remove your pins.
15. Now it's time to add the binding. Press your binding in half and pin in place on the quilt top, lining up the raw edges.
16. I turn the raw edge at the start in on itself to encase it. Sew in place with a quarter inch seam allowance.
17. At each corner, I sew off the edge at the corner, lift the presser foot and readjust the angle of the binding so that it is a right angle. I then continue to sew along. This will give you a mitred corner.
18. When you get back to the beginning, put the end of your binding inside the beginning of your binding to encase it.
19. Now flip your binding round to the back of the quilt and stitch in place by hand with an invisible appliqué stitch.
Your quilt is done! I hope you enjoy this tutorial. If you have any questions please contact me. Happy sewing!
Let's start making the quilt! To start we need to cut our fabrics. This is really easy because we are working with strips that are 2.5 inches wide for everything! So that keeps things nice and simple.
For the coloured nine patch blocks, you need will need 24 strips of fabric that are 2.5 inches wide. Each block uses two contrasting fabrics. So you will need one strip to be 10 inches long and one to be 12.5 inches long.
1. Cut your 10 inch long strip into four 2.5 inch squares. Cut your 12.5 inch long strip into five 2.5 inch squares. The photo shows how to line your ruler up with the 2.5 measurement in line with the edge of the fabric. Then you can cut along the edge of the ruler.
2. Decide which fabrics you are going to pair up for each block if you haven't already done so. We will be creating a pattern like this;
Once all of that cutting is done, it's time to get sewing! We will be sewing each block a row at a time, then joining them together.
3. Take the top left square and the top middle square. Place them right sides together and sew in place down one side using a quarter inch seam allowance.
As I've used white thread I've drawn over it on the computer in blue to show you where to stitch.
4. Open it out and repeat on the other side of the central square with your top right square.
5. Now there are different opinions about what to do with your seams. Some people press them to one side. I press them open. I like this because I find it easier to line them up when joining them to other pieces. I've never had a problem with fabric showing through to the other side. So press your seams open if you wish.
Repeat steps 3, 4 and 5 for the middle and bottom rows.
6. Now it's time to join your three rows together. Lay out your three rows how you'd like them to look when finished, with the right sides facing up. Pick up the top row and flip it over on top of the middle row so that the right sides of each row are facing each other. You need to make sure you have flipped the top row over towards you before placing it on top of the middle row, so that you are lining up the bottom raw edge of the top row and the top raw edge of the middle row! Sounds complicated but it isn't, it's just tricky to explain in words! So here is a photo. Sew along the blue line with a quarter inch seam allowance.
Top Tip! It is important to line the two middle seams up of both rows before you sew them together. I use pins to do this and I stick the pin through the middle of each seam, catching the middle of the seam on the other piece.
7. Open it out and press your seam open.
8. Repeat steps 6 and 7 to join the bottom row, making sure you flip the bottom row up, lining up the top raw edge of the bottom row with the bottom raw edge of the middle row!
9. And that is your block finished! Repeat for the rest of your blocks and you will be ready to add sashing. I will be back tomorrow showing you how to do that! As always, if you have any questions or need me to clarify anything, leave a comment or send me an email.
I've been sharing on Instagram a small quilt I've been making and I think it's perfect for beginners. It is the ideal size to be used in a pushchair/buggy or for a child to use with dolls and teddies as it measures just 26 inches wide and 34 inches long. I've created it using a simple nine patch block and I repeated that throughout the quilt, separating the blocks with sashing.
What's nice about this quilt is that you can easily make it larger if you wish and also, the nine patch block looks more complex than simple squares, but it really isn't hard to do at all. As a beginner, you'll learn some useful techniques that will have you feeling confident enough to tackle your next quilt.
It's entirely up to you how you make this quilt. You can play around with fabrics, colours and size. To keep it simple, I will provide a list of what I used.
That's it! Gather your supplies and I will be back with the next steps - how to piece the quilt top. Happy sewing!
I'm starting a new series of blog posts aimed at anyone who would like to make a quilt for the first time and is not sure where to begin. There is already a wealth of information out there but it can be quite overwhelming. So my aim is to break it all down and to make it easy to understand and follow. This post will explain some quilting terminology and there will be subsequent posts about the materials you need, how to make a simple quilt top, how to turn it into a quilt and how to bind the edge.
As with any craft, quilting comes with an array of terminology that might be confusing to you if you are entering the world of quilting for the first time. So let's simplify some of the common terms.
1. Quilt - a quilt is made up of three layers, a quilt top which is created using some sort of patchwork, the middle layer which is some sort of wadding or batting which gives the quilt its warmth, and a backing fabric which is typically one single piece of fabric.
2. Piecing - this means the creation of a quilt top, by cutting fabrics into smaller pieces and joining them back together again in a particular design. This is typically done on a sewing machine.
3. English paper piecing - a style of patchwork that is done by hand. It involves cutting fabrics into small shapes and wrapping them around paper templates, joining them together with other shapes to form a design and removing the paper templates when the quilt top is complete.
4. Binding - a strip of fabric that is wrapped around the edge of the quilt to conceal the raw edges.
5. Blocks - Quilts can be large so they are usually made from small segments that are joined together. These smaller parts are called blocks and they are usually square.
5. Quilt sandwich - this refers to the layering up of your quilt, comprising of your quilt top, your wadding and your backing fabric. The wadding is the 'filling' and the quilt top and backing are the 'bread'.
6. Basting - a temporary way of keeping your layers together whilst they are being quilted. You can baste them together using pins, spray glue or tacking stitches which will be removed when the quilting is done.
7. Quilting - this is the act of using the stitches to sew through all three layers to quilt them together. This can be done by machine or by hand.
8. Walking foot - a special sewing machine foot that helps to guide the layers of fabric through your machine in a way that prevents them from slipping. This foot is essential for quilting, unless your machine has a built in foot like mine does.
9. Free motion - this is when you drop the feed dogs on your sewing machine (the teeth that pull the fabric through the machine) and using an open toe free motion foot, you can quilt through the layers in any direction in which you move the fabric yourself. This opens up a world of design possibility.
10. Long arm quilting- this is done on a special, huge machine. The quilt is put on a frame and can be quilted with larger, all-over designs. This is a professional finish although some home sewers do have these machines.
11. Applique - the application of fabric shapes to a backing fabric. They can be sewn by hand, turning the edge of the shapes under first or they can be stuck to the backing fabric with either glue or iron-on fusible webbing and then sewn around the raw edge. Applique is a lovely technique for creating pictorial quilts.
12. Sashing - fabric strips that are sewn between the blocks of the quilt to space them out and create a clean, fresh look.
13. Low volume - this refers to fabrics that have a more neutral colour palette and have a less busy pattern. Low volume fabrics are important for creating contrast in your quilt design and allowing intricate pieced designs to really stand out.
14. Fussy cutting - when you cut your fabric into smaller pieces for patchwork, rather than cutting anywhere, you can pick a motif or part of the fabric that you want to be the focus of your shape, and centralise it. Fussy cutting offers a lot of scope for creating new designs from your fabric and you can create very intricate patterns this way, but it inevitably creates more fabric waste.
And that's it for now! If you have come across any more terms you are unsure of then please leave them in the comments and I will try to answer what they mean.
I will be back soon with another post about getting started with your first quilt.
Thanks for reading and happy sewing!
About the Author
My name is Emma and I love all things sewing. My little blog is the place where I document what I'm making. I hope you enjoy reading what I'm up to. Thanks for stopping by. All opinions are my own and there is no sponsored content or affiliate links on my site.