Category Archives: Finished Products

I Made A Thing! And Some Moving News

warning: written on this bloody ipad so the links aren’t all HTML. Ugh.

Oh my goodness, you guys have been SO supportive about my battle with depression (see post below)- I was overwhelmed at your kindness! I was afraid when I wrote the post that no one would even read it as I’d been away so long, but I really felt I owed you all an honest apology. Thank you so much!

And I’ve been sewing again! I’m a member of Romsey Quilters ( and it’s their 30th anniversary this year so we’re making mini quilts to celebrate. Here’s mine:

What do you think? I got the tutorial and templates from Lee at Freshly Pieced ( and I’m now hooked on making minis from her templates. Seriously, why didn’t I make minis before? I can nearly get one from start to finish in a single day. Talk about instant gratification!

And we have moving news! Apparently we’re moving Friday the 8th. I’ve paid for the movers, and even paid the extra so they will pack us up. However, there are still things we have to do and pack ourselves. I’m especially protective of my sewing supplies. (Aren’t we all?!)

I promise I’ll post pics of my new house soon! I probably shouldn’t post any now since technically it’s not ours yet and that would probably be a bit creepy…

I’ll be really glad when this moving thing is over. I’m so stressed that I guess I’m clenching my jaw all day long without realising it, so at night I can’t sleep because I’m in agony. Seriously, I didn’t get to sleep till 5:30! I’m so silly.

I hope you are all having marvellous weekends, and if you lived nearby I’d have you over for my housewarming party. If I ever get off my bum and have one. Maybe we could have a sewing day instead…


Posted in Finished Products, Finished Quilts, Random Ramblings | Tagged , , , | 30 Comments

Friday Feature and Finishes

Our feature this week isn’t a quilt, but it’s been made with great skill and eye for detail:

Kelli of Seriously…I think it needs stitches made this lovely lil donkey using a Ric Rac pattern (designed by Jodie Carleton). Isn’t is superb? Thank you for sharing, Kelli!

And I have a couple of finishes to report:

Another drawstring bag!

Another drawstring bag – this one is the size from Jeni’s tutorial, so you can make one too. I used the eye-catching Modernology range by Pat Bravo, which was provided by Hantex Ltd. If you’re in the UK and want to buy some, there’s a list of Hantex stockists here.  If you’re in the US/Canada and want to buy Pat Bravo fabrics, Fabricworm and Fat Quarter Shop sell them. It’s a really beautiful line – silky and rich in detail and colour.

I also finished this 16″ pillow:

Pillow finish :)

It uses the same block that I used in the Je’taime Le Thames bag (below) that I designed for Fat Quarterly online magazine – the Britannia edition, with my tote bag along with a stunning array of other patterns, is still available to download.

Tomorrow I’m taking a coach trip to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Ally Pally, and I am SO excited!! I’ll share my goodies next week. What are you up to this weekend?

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© J C Excell, 2012

Posted in Feature Friday, Features, Finished Products | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Abakhan Sponsors: Klona Cotton Solids & Lined Drawstring Bag Pattern Review

I mentioned in Tuesday’s post that I’d do a review of the Klona solid cotton fabric that I used to make my Tula Pink LOVE quilt.
ABAKHAN (2) 300px wide

The fabric was provided by Abakhan Fabrics, where it’s available for £7.25 per metre. It’s a full 135 cm wide instead of the usual 114 cm, so it’s a very good deal.

It’s a bit stiffer than, say, Kona solids, which means (for me, anyway) that it doesn’t really need to be starched before you can work with it. It’s also a bit ‘rougher’, not quite as silky. However, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it means that it ‘sticks’ to other fabrics easily. So if you like to press your pieces together so they are completely flat before sewing, Klona solids will ‘stick’ and stay there until you can pin. Indeed, if you’re working with smaller pieces, you don’t need to pin as long as you’re careful.

I was a bit worried that it would still feel stiff after washing and drying my LOVE quilt, but it hasn’t – the motion of the machines seems to have softened it up considerably.

I had a bit of the Klona red left over, and today I decided to make myself a posh knitting project bag from a pattern I bought from Jeni of In Color Order. You don’t have to have the pattern to make one – there’s a tutorial for a slightly smaller version of it on her website. If you do want larger or smaller bags, you’ll have to get the pattern. It only costs $6.50 and is fantastic. There are 8 bag sizes and full instructions, including the formula if you want to make one to your own dimensions. It’s very clearly written, and I’m so pleased with how mine turned out that I’ve decided to make them as Christmas gifts. It was really quick to make, and the finished product is superb. They look quite professional, and if you wanted you could make the interior out of plastic so it could be a wash bag or makeup bag (my students use a cheap shower curtain to make wash bags).

I used the Klona for the interior, and again it was a breeze to cut and sew. I definitely will use the Klona again, and I really recommend it. It comes in many, many colours so you’ll be able to find one to match, and it’s SUCH a good value considering how wide it is. If you’ve never used Klona solids before, I recommend giving them a try – you may discover a new (cheaper!) favourite!

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© J C Excell, 2012

Posted in Finished Products, Reviews, UK craft blog, UK Modern Quilt Blog, UK quilt blog, UK sewing blog | Tagged | 4 Comments

Knitting: On and Off the Needles

Hello!! I’ve been intending to start incorporating my knitting into my blog posts, but as you guys know I haven’t been feeling that great lately. I’m happy to report that I’m feeling a bit better, and I’ve even been sewing and knitting a bit too. (I’ll do a full blog post on my mood soon – it’s no good showing only the bad on here!)

So. Finished product first because I’m so pleased with them!

These are from the Narrow Lake Mitts pattern by Katie White Designs. ($5) This is actually my second pair, and the pair I most prefer as the others grew too much and are a bit big now. I LOVE this pattern – it’s fun, it’s interesting and the mitts look so impressive!

The thumb detail is so clever. Ok, Modifications: First of all, I used a sport/baby weight yarn for this instead of the DK weight called for. My first pair was DK weight and as I said, they’re kinda big now. (I wear fingerless gloves ALL the time in the winter, and if they’re baggy they get in the way of knitting and typing, etc.) I used Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino (available at Abakhan for £4.79) The yarn is very soft, and one 50g ball was just enough to do the pair, so they’re a good value too. I haven’t blocked them yet, so we’ll see how it goes. Also, I used a 3.5mm needle for the entire glove, not just for the ribbing. They’re VERY stetchy and that helped it stay snug. And I did my favourite all purl bind off.

Obviously these are a WIP. It’s from the Merletto Mitts pattern by Jody McKinley. (FREE!!) I’m using Fyberspates 4 ply (Sheila’s sock). And since my sister doesn’t read my blog (that I know of), I feel pretty safe telling you this story: My sister lives in IL in the big ol’ house we grew up in, and it’s freaking cold in winter. So I thought, I’ll make her some pretty fingerless gloves to keep her hands warm for Xmas. So I ordered the yarn and got started. Fast forward to Texas: I’m knitting them at the table and my sister sits down. I pass over the finished one and casually ask her what she thinks of it. I really should’ve thought this through better – I guess I was thinking that if I adore them in cold weather, everyone would feel the same… Instead she declares that she’s never seen the point in fingerless gloves. Either you’re wearing gloves or you’re not. Oops!

And in an effort to be honest, I’ll also share the boo boo with you. The lesson I learned from this is NEVER work on lace while attempting to have a conversation. I didn’t notice it until it was much, much too late, so this pair will be a little quirky. Mods: I am using 2.25mm needles for this instead of the 2.75 and they’re STILL huge. If I was doing it again, I’d cast on about 5 or 10 fewer stitches for the back (which is just stockingette anyway so it doesn’t matter.).

I’m doing the BFF cowl by Ysolda Teague and tiny owl knits (FREE!) with my wonderful friend Bonnie. Again, I’m using Fyberspates. Can you tell how much I love Fyberspates yarn? Bonnie is doing hers in a deep purple colour, and I’m doing mine using Ysolda’s Sugar Mice colour. It’s lovely! I don’t have any Mods for this pattern. But I did kinda mess up a tiny bit:

Oops! I accidentally slipped WYIF instead of WYIB! Think it matters? Should I undo it? Bonnie, what do you think? Would you be appalled to get this in the post??

So that’s all I’ve got for this week. Hopefully next week I’ll have more of that cowl done, and maybe even a start on a cardigan for winter. (Again with the Fyberspates! LOL) I’d love to hear about what you’ve been working on!

Happy crafting! :)

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© J C Excell, 2012

Posted in Finished Products, Knitting, Works in Progress | 11 Comments