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A place of my own

2014 October 15

This post is bought to you in association with Santander. For more information on this type of post please see my Disclosure for Readers page.

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It is that time of year again where I dust off my Etsy page, have a little play around and think about reviving my little old business – Petit Fromage. I love to sew, I am happy to do it every day but I always forget how much work everything else that is included is. making something, photographing it, editing the pictures, writing a listing. Pricing things up. That is all before I even start to market everything.

Until now all of this has been completely organic. But now I have my very own studio and suddenly it all seems a bit more real. The truth is that I had outgrown our front room and one more fabric delivery would have just made the house go pop. It was impossible to find anything, and when I got in the swing of things I would have a couple hours to sew and have to end up putting it all back away again. It was getting too stressful and then I started to think that until we could find a solution or a bigger place I should put it all away in storage. I was actually considering stopping sewing.

Then one day I had the perfect idea. A real light bulb moment. I should find somewhere else to sew. A quick google and the stars aligned and I found somewhere that we would be able to afford. I went to see it and it was perfect. Within a week I was moving all my stuff in.

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That moment when I got the keys was amazing. So, so exciting and perfectly timed at the start of the school year.

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Moving in

I love it there. I have the opportunity to spend time there three days a week at the moment when I am child free. It is so liberating to just walk in and sew whatever I want. Bag down, radio on, and sew. And then I can leave it all at 2.45 and rush off to collect Piran from school without packing away. I have rigged up a piece of batting hanging from a long dowel and some hooks which is amazing. We had too much furniture in our front room so all of my lovely old reclaimed items have come with me and Mr C is living his Ikea dream.

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After unpacking, ready to sew

I can feel the pressure though. Suddenly I feel the pressure to make something really good, to earn my place as it were. Luckily I am in the position where money wise the studio is more storage solution than business decision. But I want to learn more and do more and eventually make a bit of money from doing what I love. So I am researching when I have the time, thinking about moving from Etsy to Folksy, considering the best way to market, what I really need to do. Will I ever need a loan? It is overwhelming though.

I have given myself until next September to decide what I really want to do. When Kate starts school I will have 5 days a week child free and at that point I will really need to have a plan. Until then I can just enjoy my little haven full of beautiful fabric, radio 4 and blissful alone time. My actual ‘Place of my own’.

Finish Along 2014 – Quarter 4

2014 October 14
by Kelly

I started Quarter 3 with 10 projects on my list and I finished 6 (1 of which I didn’t blog about because I cannot find a picture. I will catch up with that when I do). I am loving having a list to work to and actual goals – it is definitely helping me to focus.

I am rushing to get this list written and linked up by the deadline so I hope I can remember what I want to make!

1) The Just Big Enough Blanket {carried over} {STILL on the list}

This is Mr C’s Christmas present that I STILL haven’t finished. I am just not in a crochet mood at the moment. It is too warm. Looks like this is more likely to be Christmas 2014’s present.

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2) Coco for me

I have the pattern and the fabric. I still just need to get in gear with trying to sew a different type of fabric.

3) Wiksten Tank

I have the pattern and the fabric. I have even made one of of muslin to test the fit. I just need the confidence to do the binding on the armholes and neck. That bit scares me. But I did the armhole binding on the washi so I will give it a go.

4) PJ Bottoms for me

I want to make some out of Tilly Walnes book Love at first stitch. I bought and pre-washed the fabric months ago.

5) Tiles Mini Quilt

I made quite a bit of progress on this last quarter. All sewn together just needs backing, quilting  and binding.

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6) Instagram mini quilt swap quilt.

This is a fun one. An EPP owl I am working on. It is coming along great I just need to make decisions on backing and binding. Plus sew the owl to the background fabric and I need to decide what that is too!

7) Minecraft cushion for nephew

I have sketched out a design I just need to find the right colour fabrics. Will be a Christmas present.

8) Napkins for my mum.

Mum is having Christmas at home this year so for her birthday next month I am making her some Christmas napkins. And maybe some every day ones too but I might give her those at Christmas.

9) Bottle gift bags

A project that I have been working on at my studio. I just have some tweeking to do on these so it should just be a hour or so of work.

10) Giant Star Quilt

I am having a sewing weekend at Kat’s this weekend – and top of the agenda is one of these. I have fabrics picked out from my stash I just need to decide on the background colour.

Made it: Triange City EPP cushion

2014 October 6
by Kelly

This one was a WIP for a whole year. My Triangle City EPP that I started at Fat Quarterly Retreat 2013. If I am honest I struggled a lot with this but it was a real learning curve and it didn’t put me off EPP forever so that’s great.

I basted it and quilted in one big spiral which was fun.

And then I made it onto a cushion and gave it to my sister for her birthday, just over a month after her birthday. Ah well she loved it and that is all that mattered. I am a bit rubbish though – as I flew down to see her I couldn’t even give her the cushion insert to go in it. Which is why I only have a close up picture of the front.

Triangle City EPP cushion

This was one of my projects in my Finish Along 2014 – Q3 list.

Made it: Feathers Mini Quilt

2014 October 6
by Kelly

This was a prize for the giveaway I ran on my bog at the start of the summer. Happily the recipent knew what the summer holidays are like and was happy to wait until September for this. I had great fun making it. I knew the sort of colours that she liked and that she was a fan of Anna Maria Horner fabrics.

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I backed it with a hot pink Kona cotton and I used Aurifil 40wt for the quilting for the first time. I really loved the lime green but the purple didn’t look as good to me. I was still pleased with how it turned out. The texture was lovely after quilting.

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This was one of my projects in my Finish Along 2014 – Q3 list.

Made it: Needlebooks

2014 October 2
by Kelly

A last minute decision to go to Fat Quarterly Retreat this year on a day ticket meant a chance to take part in the Sample Swap again this year. I decided to make these needlebooks – a mixture of improv piecing and portholes. Such fun and really simple to make I think I will make some more of these to sell. They were certainly well received and are a great project for using up scraps too.

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This was one of my projects in my Finish Along 2014 – Q3 list.

Made it: Hexagon Cushions

2014 October 2

Almost 2 years ago I needed something to do whilst running my one and only attempt at a craft market and so I grabbed some Lotta Jansdotter fabrics and made some hexagons. Then I didn’t know what I wanted to do with them so they just sat in wait. Then I sewed them together in a pattern that I liked and back into the cupboard they went. A few months later I appliqued them onto the Kona Snow background and then eventually I machine quilted them. Then, a further six months or so later I finally made them into cushions.

As expected it was super quick and simple and I wondered why it took me so long. I had cushion inserts and they were big and plump and perfect. And then I bought them home and my children stole them for their own beds.

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hexagon cushion quilting

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And so I am back to the drawing board, making two cushions that don’t match but that are just for Mr C and I alone.

This was one of my projects in my Finish Along 2014 – Q3 list.

Snippets: Improv

2014 September 30
by Kelly

I finished two lovely cushions recently for my bedroom and they were immediately stolen by my children. And so, I’m starting again! This one was fun to make with my own screen printed swirly images and some improv. My new studio design wall made it even more fun!

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I am not getting much computer time at the moment and there’s so much I want to share that I thought I would start writing these little posts direct from my phone. More soon.

How home insurance can keep you happy and healthy

2014 September 30
by Kelly

This post is bought to you in association with More Than. For more information on this type of post please see my Disclosure for Readers page.

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How home insurance can keep you happy and healthy

You may have heard the drill before from family or friends stressing the importance of home insurance, the investment into your future and the safety net that insuring your home provides.

You may have wondered if it’s really worth it. Much of the time it may seem simply as money exiting your pocket, never to be seen again.

However, investing in home insurance can be beneficial in the long run, with the potential to keep you happy and healthy in a number of tangible ways. Below are some of the top reasons.

Better peace of mind

Firstly, the peace of mind that investing in home insurance can offer to a new home owner has the potential to drastically decrease anxiety levels. After you’ve finished unpacking and are settled in your new home, the last thing you want to think about is the potential for something to go wrong, such as having items become stolen or damaged. Home insurance will help you relax knowing that your house and all that it holds is protected and safe from any potential accidents or external interference.

As new home owners are often low on cash – your funds may have all be spent getting yourself settled into that brand new house or flat, making it as homey as possible.

Home insurance offers you a financial fallback, with the knowledge that your money is being well spent in protecting your investment, paving the way for a happier and potentially healthier financial future.

Benefits of budgeting

Whether you are a new homeowner or have owned in the past, home ownership forces you to budget. By paying money into your insurance company you are compelled to think logically and sensibly about how and where you spend money. The responsibilities brought on by both owning and insuring a home will likely encourage a more sensible use of your money.

Home contents insurance will make budgeting easy and help you to appreciate the contents of your home but more importantly, budgeting will help you keep better track of your finances and spending habits so you can see where your money is going.

Caring for your home

Finally, insuring your home will encourage you to appreciate its value. When paying to protect something, you may have a better appreciation of its worth and take care to keep your home and its contents safe and secure which can create a happy and healthy mindset overall.

Made it: Washi Dress

2014 September 27

I did it. I finally felt brave enough to try and make myself something to wear. I decided to use this navy polka dot fabric from my local sewing store for my first try. I have some special quilting cotton set aside for a dress but I had to have a go at it first. I wanted to make myself a Washi dress – I have had the pattern for a while but after talking to Joanne at Fat Quarterly Retreat and admiring her Anna Maria Horner Echinacea version I had to try.

It is not perfect – I managed to sew the neckline facings to the front of the dress – happy this is an option for contrast fabric and on this fabric it hardly shows up at all. It was a very proud moment when I cracked the shirring – it wasn’t easy and without this video explaining what I needed to do to my machine I would never have done it. I messed up the armhole binding, but I know what I did wrong.

I love the dress. It fits well and it has pockets which all dresses should have. The fabric does not photograph well so sorry if it sends your eyes funny!

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I have already started my next one in my precious Cotton & Steel fabric, for a wedding that I am going to this weekend. I can see many Washi dresses in my future.

This was one of my projects in my Finish Along 2014 – Q3 list.

Ringwood Toll Play Trail

2014 September 26
by Kelly

Last Saturday we were all home together and I couldn’t wait to just get out and have a walk. There is nothing better than being outside together. For months I have wanted to investigate the Ringwood Toll Play Trail which is near a National Trust garden nearby – Sheffield Park. Instead of going into the garden we headed out across the sheep field and found an absolute treasure.

A relatively short trail through some woods. Every now and then there were different activities for us to do – climbing, den building, tightrope, balancing beams, a rope swing.

Ringwood Toll

 

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With the walk across the fields as well it was the perfect length for Kate’s little legs. And because it is a National Trust property, there was a cream tea at the end in the cafe. Perfect on all counts.