So far I am keeping to my promise to myself that any presents I give this year will be hand-made.  I am hopeing to continue the trend but it will depend on how busy I get in the garden.  Progress on that will be in another post soon.

Both my stepdaughter an grandson had their birthdays in March, so I had been wondering for a while what to make.  Those that have been following know the cushions I made for my niece’s wedding so I thought a themed cushion for my grandson in his favourite colours would be good.

On asking what colours he would prefer he came back with gold and navy – and he’s only 8!  Sounds a very grown up colour choice to me.  I had some star fabric that I had bought but not used, plus some plainer blue left over from a basket block blue and cream block swap.  They were just the thing – but what to embroider on it?

His bedroom has been decorated on a pirate theme, so that seemed the obvious choice – but I just couldn’t find anything I liked.  In the end I downloaded some free clip art and digitized them myself.  This was a first for me to digitize from scratch.  Since I bought the software in February (I think) I had only manipulated and resized already digitized designs.

Here’s how his present ended up –

I had planned to make my own piping, but I was sent some lime green piping free from Passion4Quilting, as they had managed to send the wrong thing in my latest fabric order.  I really recommend the UK website for fabric and service.  Both are quality and so reasonable priced.

The lime green seemed to go so well with the darker blues and give them a bit of life.  I’m pretty pleased with the overall result.

As I said March was also my step-daughters birthday.  I had recently found a delightful pattern on You-Tube from PattyDoo for a ‘Zippered Pouch’, so I decided to make one for her. We call them zips here in UK so I prefer to call them Zipped Pouches or Bags.

Here is the link to her website, and there is a link there to the You Tube video – https://www.pattydoo.de/blog/2013/06/sewing-tutorial-pouch-susie/  The site and the video are generally in German but the video has excellent English instructions – and off course you can stop and read and make sure you are doing exactly the right thing as you go along.

I made one the exact size of the pattern to begin with to test it all out.  It turns out the size of a small make-up bag and I found it a bit fiddly to box the corners as the pleats ended up quite close to where I was stitching them.

Once tested I increased the size of the pieces so it ended up more toilet bag size.  I think if I made it again I wouldn’t make it quite as big, but I was pleased with the result.  I made the final one out of Downton Abbey fabrics and quite unknown to me it turns out my step-daughter is a fan of Downton Abbey!

Here they are together so you can compare sizes