Tuesday 29 January 2013

colour running

I think I like making collages almost as much as I love making quilts.
I really enjoy racing round the house like an excited puppy
gathering all my quilty ideas,
like 'getting it down on paper'.
I am so into coral right now (not orange)
It began last year with the purchase of the coral rowan fabric seen in my mini quilt.
It is such an intense hue, it really sings to me.
 Especially when coupled with a turquoise snowday quilt.
For now I'm thinking pink vintage sheet for the backing, 
with a plain coral binding!!!!
Definitely hand quilted, 
possibly in red and white.

                     * fat face
All my photographs have been photoshopped
there is just no sun to be had.
If you still haven't given collages a go 
try out picmonkey
it really is easy and it's free!!
                                    * paper piecing tutorial here

Today I'm linking to Rachel @ Stitched in Color
who is currently rocking similarish combinations.

Wednesday 23 January 2013

snow go go slow

 Moving on from yesterdays silliness.
The snow has all but gone...
unless you count my snowday quilt,
which is slowly growing.
The basic technique for this pattern
can be found here in my fussy cutting tutorial
 My templates for paper piecing have increased in size of late.
I have realised the devil that sits on my shoulder
causing me pain
has a name.
He is called EPP.
(English paper piecing)
As a epp addict,
 the larger my templates, the less fiddly it is
and the best thing is
 I have a quilt in no time.
So remembering my word balance
I am taking things slow...having high hopes and feeling crafty at least twice a day!
There has been a lot of talk lately about how a quilt is born.
How do you choose?
Firstly you need to decide on your style
If you are going to the effort of making a quilt 
you have to love it now but also in the future.
Green may be flavour of the month right now,
but will you like it next year?
I like orange 
I have made quilts which include orange
I have orange fabric..
yet orange decor is not my style.
Flashes of orange yes,
but in general teal will win out every time.
I also like to use objects with great colour schemes,
which shows my colour/pattern inspiration.
If you are still in doubt make a scrap quilt or a hexagon quilt
with no colour restraints,
they seem to fit into any homestyle.
Deciding on the pattern for me evolves mainly in my head
epp projects follow on from each other really.

My next machine project started with a challenge
batik fabrics.
 A number of hours spent perusing my quilt books
and searching online,
a purchase of some charcoal kona cotton 
gives me high hopes
that I will create a thing of beauty
and not something new age hippie
(which is highly probable given the materials!)
There's nothing wrong with hippie
 I am all hippie.

Tuesday 22 January 2013

downday updo

 having a 'down in the dumps' day?
put your hair up
take photos of yourself in the orange thing
make a collage and post to your blog....
thats what I do.
note to oneself
you dont like pictures of yourself,
definitely not profile ones!
I really do have lovely hair
I just dont know how to 'do'

signed a 50s housewife.

Friday 18 January 2013

snowday sewday

How could I not share today.
After a day of quilters block yesterday
I set about starting my new epp project.
This is a two fabric project,
just some vintage sheeting and some white cotton..
I'm finding it hard to steer away from calling it snowflake!

Thursday 17 January 2013

my challenges...

should I choose to accept them.
 Produce a quilt using batiks.
Before you roll your eyes,
my Mum bought these back from Canada
I am not a fabric snob.
It's not what you've got
it's what you do with it.
er-hem moving on..
*still a Molly Flanders quilt!
 Get back into painting.
I'm thinking my garden, my quilts, my home.
How cute are these tubes!
Grow lots of brightly coloured zinnias on my allotment.
Start a new epp quilt using only two fabrics. check
Make recipes from my cookbooks.
Ride my bike at least once a week.
Spend more time doing these things and less time blogging!!

Do you like my design wall!!!
*the butterfly hairclip is from my childhood,
and a favourite thing.
** plate from Anthropologie

Tuesday 15 January 2013


As an alternative to a new year resolution
I've chosen a word to live by instead.
My word for 2013 is balance.
It's a fairly self explanatory word,
so I'll let you do the thinking.

Over the years I've blogged about lifestyle, gardening, crochet and quilting.
Last year after changing my name to selfsewn
I concentrated on breaking into the quilting world,
with a few flickr groups and some good tutes
I found I soon gathered like minded folk.
Connect was my word for 2012,
and thanks to blogging
the world has become a smaller friendlier place to be.
My blog is my diary so it's only natural that it evolves..
as do my tastes in blogs.
I therefore look forward to sharing my 2013 well balanced blog with you.
Clare xxxxx

Friday 11 January 2013

whats your style?

As you know I am not a magpie I am a squirrel.
The subtle difference between the two
 is the ability to control the gatherings
and to find unusual items that make an interesting home.
The squirrelling has in the past included magazines
Every now and again they strike a chord with me
and the homestyle I've been secretly living is broadcast to the nation.
Obviously I like to share,
but sometimes I want to shhhush the magazines
and my their wonderful ideas.
I'm an arts and crafts kind of girl,
(you'd never guess right?)
Charleston House and the Bloomsbury set, Barbara Hepworth and Grey Gardens
are all a big inspiration to me.
 The latter being a recent find.
Grey Gardens is a film based on a real documentary
depicting the tragic, but uplifting life of a mother and daughter.
The main character is the decaying once glamorous house.
If you can, I urge you to find a copy of the original documentary,
then you'll understand where I'm coming from..
it's a faded beauty kind of thing.
 Starting this year with a new room,
some of my oldest finds are finally finding their place in this house.
This little glass dish was one of my first finds in a charity shop,
it's one of my favourite things 
I've had it over twenty years and probably cost pennies.
These two platters have similar stories.
I particularly love the smaller one.
They are both pretty shabby*,
but that's the look I like.
*(never to be confused with shabby chic)
When you are scavenger collector like me,
you cannot beat the rush  of finding an unusual object.
 Anyone remember this purchase from Shepton Mallet fair?
I finally got round to covering it with a piece of vintage fabric.
Many would paint this piece,
but I actually like brown furniture.
Remember when I said I had stuff squirrelled away in the loft?
Well, meet the bar stools found in a junk shop nearly twenty years ago.
Sometimes hoarding can be a good thing.
They are in original condition rust included!
I quite like them how they are..
I started hanging some of my old plates,
that's another post!
Have a lovely weekend whether you are a magpie or a squirrel.
I believe snow is forecast,
I'm an old fashioned girl so let it snow!

Wednesday 9 January 2013

Monday 7 January 2013

the rag trade

 I have been itching to make a rag rug forever!!
The Dresden block was great for small scraps 
but rag rugging is great for those huge 'unloved' pieces of bedding etc.
in fact I think you can use anything and it will look good.
 This is not a tutorial, but I will help out with a few tips along the way.
I searched online and found a number of tutorials,
I didn't follow one strictly speaking.
 This is a braided rag rug project,
not to be confused with crochet.
My materials are mainly from old bedding with some fabric purchase mistakes.
I cut my strips roughly 1.5 inches by 2 metres.
Start with 3 strips sewn or tied together at one end,
pin them down to something and begin to braid or plait 
making sure the right side (if there is one) is folded outwards.
The style of braiding is the same as plaiting your hair,
but when you plait you need to pull your fabric all the way through,
otherwise the other ends will plait themselves.
(the reason why you shouldn't make your pieces to long).
The next bit I sort of made up as I went along.
I did find some strong thread,
which is advisable, though I'm almost out of it now.
I started coiling and stitching.
To change colours I used a method from one tute,
but after some lumpy joins I
resorted to machining instead.
I am braiding, stitching and then adding fabric,
this way I can work out roughly how my rug will look as I go.

Before you all tell me how clever I am 
I will point out that at this stage the rug looks more like a Mexican hat,
as the middle keeps popping out...
I think it's something to do with my braids being to tight?
I imagine practise makes perfect.....
I'm already wishing away the green bullseye!!

I have found that to achieve a flat rug
you must stitch it on a flat surface like a table or the floor!

We've been chatting on facebook if you'd like to join in?

Friday 4 January 2013

the first piece

Scrap quilting has become quite the most popular 
'New Year' thing.
Out with the old and in with the new?
 There's no prettier block for using up your scraps than the Dresden.
This one is from Material Obsession.
Yes I am the last person on earth to actually own a copy!
The lovely ladies are also bloggers and can be found 
I must admit that I haven't used scraps,
this was a test piece really.
I think it's good idea to try out patterns and colours 
before you take the plunge.
I'm not sure about this colourway for 2013?
I'm thinking of something more sophisticated...
 Whilst we're on the subject
just look what the very sophisticated Mary sent me for Christmas!
The loveliest notepad!!!!!!!
 The cutest purse for my pennies.
And this totally lush tea towel.
Mary you know me so well
thank you x
So that's applique ticked off my to do list!
I'm off to try out some rag rugging,
another terrific way of using up your 
big scraps!!

Tuesday 1 January 2013

not another 2012 round up post!

 Now that I have conquered the collage here
 I give you my 2012 patchwork makes!
Anyone else wondering just how I got my bad shoulder.....hmmm
I'm shocked by my output!
I wonder what 2013s collage will look like?
My predictions are applique, ragrugs, ragquilts and a little painting.
I love a clean slate...though something new is already on the horizon!
Yay...remembering now what sewing with fabric is like LOL!!
Wishing you all a very Crafty New Year xxxx