A slight obsession with books

Crafts, cats and books


Mug Rug #2

I needed to try another Mug Rug after the last one didn’t turn out as expected. It was ok, and is a very good iron stand in my craft room, but I wanted a Mug Rug for the table next to my comfy sofa. Emmely left me a link in the comments from the first Mug Rug pointing me towards an easier method of binding that might be better for my cheap machine.

This is the result using that method.


The tutorial for the cheat binding is at Made by Rae and uses the backing fabric for the binding instead of a separate strip. This reduces the bulk and my sewing machine liked it much better. I still had issues with the fabric rucking up, despite using a walking foot and a quilting needle but it was a definite improvement.

The back is a little messy, but I won’t see that and I’ll get neater with practise so I’m not going to worry too much about that.


Ok, looking at the photo, it’s probably a lot messy, but it’ll do.

This time I used some of the narrow strips from that honey bun that I used for my cushion. As they were going to be in the same area I thought it’d be nice if they matched.


I’m still without my new cutting board and ruler that I ordered two weeks ago. Ups lost the parcel and the Ebay seller is being very quiet. I’ve escalated to Ebay customer service now so hopefully I’ll soon get a refund and can go elsewhere to buy what I need. So frustrating when I just wanted my parcel delivered.



Rail Fence cushion

I’ve had great fun making this cushion. It’s one of the projects featured in the first issue of the new quilting magazine – Love patchwork and quilting. It’s supposed to be good for beginners so perfect for me to have a go at. This is the mag picture that caught my attention.


Pretty, isn’t it. It calls for wide strips but I thought it’d be a good way to use up some more of the never-ending honey bun that I used for the monthly cottages. I adapted it to narrow strips in a variety of colours instead of shading from light to dark in one colour. The honey bun is Kansas Troubles, Sandhill Plums. I love those colours!

First I made my four squares. I tried to make them go from light to dark although it was difficult to decide which was lighter in some cases. I think it looks about right though. These are the four squares before being tidied up.


After joining the squares together and pinning the cushion top to the batting and muslin, I then needed to decide what I was going to do about quilting it. On my earlier attempt at quilting, when I was just trying it out, I did stitch in the ditch, but this time I wanted to do something more adventurous. The magazine example is done ‘on point’ and looks gorgeous. I thought I’d do mine like that but instead of doing different widths, I’d do it so it matched the strips.

Like this.


I’ll be honest, I did think I’d been just a little bit too ambitious but I had a picture in my head of how it would look and I really wanted to try it. It took me longer than I thought it would, but once it was finished I was very happy with it. It actually came out just how I’d planned. As the fabric is in several different colours, I decided to go with navy cotton. Whichever colour I picked was going to show somewhere so I planned for it to make a statement in the centre. I’m not sure if that’s the accepted way of doing things, but I like it 🙂

Once the top was quilted I had a mild panic attack when it came to the zip. I’ve done a couple before but the instructions for this were different to how I’d done the others and I really wanted to get it right. I had my own personal cheerleader though, (thanks Jackie!) and managed it with it only going slightly wonky.


The back is in a red fabric that matches the strips in the Honey Bun. The only other yardage I had to match was in a brown or a green and I didn’t want to use either of those. I think the red looks fine though.


Once the zip was in, all that was left to do was sew up the three sides and insert the cushion pad. I got several at Ikea last time we were there so it looks like I’m going to be making a few more cushions yet.

The finished cushion is now on my sofa and I’m leaning on it now. It’s very comfy. I’m chuffed to bits with how it turned out and I really enjoyed making it.


Stephen is very impressed. He wants me to make a quilt for the bed now with matching pillow cases. I think I may make a few more cushions first though. Just to get a bit more practise.

One last close up of the finished cushion.



December’s Cottage – framed

The last one, all framed and finished.

I found a lovely fabric for it. It’s green, with red in it, and it also has blue. Ok, so there’s no blue in the stitching, but the greens have a bluey tint to them so I think it goes quite nicely. It’s from the same Honey Bun as all the rest were.

I am so happy to have finally finished these. I had no idea it was going to take so long to get done. It’s not that it was a time-consuming process. It’s more that I have so many other things that I want to be doing and it was taking time away from them. Doing four or five would have been fine but twelve was definitely pushing it.

Having said that, I’m chuffed to bits with how they all look on the rails. It may have taken almost a year to do, but it was worth the effort.


I have lots of the Sandhill Plums fabric left so I’m planning on using it for other things now that I know which colours I won’t need for the Cottages. I’m using some for a cushion . At least, I hope it’ll be a cushion. I have to get a zip in it yet.

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November’s Cottage – framed

Another one of the fabric-framed Monthly Cottages. The colours in this one didn’t appeal when I received it, nor when I was stitching it. It did grow on me slightly while I stitched but it wasn’t a favourite.


Now I have it framed, I like it a lot more. I’m really happy with the fabric colour that I picked to go with it. I think it tones down the green and red of the house and blends in with the autumn colours.

Just one left to upload. It is finished, I just need to get a photo of it and another one of all of them up on the wall.


October’s Cottage – framed

This was one of my favourite cottages to stitch. I love October colours and I love pumpkins so I was looking forward to seeing what this one was going to be like.


I picked a darker fabric for this one. It’s a greeny colour, which isn’t showing up too well on my laptop. There are orangey dots in it, which I think look good with the stitching.

Just two to go now.


September’s Cottage – framed

This cottage was one of my least favourites when I originally stitched it, but I like it a lot more now it’s got its frame around it. I think it was too red before and I prefer it with more brown.


I’m getting through these quite fast now. It’s helped a lot doing prep on them such as cutting all the batting to size and ironing on all the interfacing. All I have to do is pull out each one and the fabric is sitting with it, with the backing cut to size. All I have to do is cut the linen and the Honey Bun and put it all together.

The poles they’re on are looking good now. I’ll take a final photo of them all hanging up once I have the last three finished.


August’s Cottage – framed

It was quite difficult to find a fabric in the Honey Bun to match this one as it’s so pastel, but I think this one does the job ok. Once again the bottom looks much more wonky than it actually is. My camera has such a sense of humour…


Eight down, four to go.


July’s Cottage – framed

I think this is one of my favourites. It’s the one that I tweaked quite a lot to make it more British as it was a 4th July theme in the original design.


I’m really happy with how that fabric goes with the design. It’s like little stars to match the fireworks.

That’s seven down, just five to go.


June’s Cottage – framed

June is finished and hanging which makes me half way done. I quite like the fabric I used for this one. I’m loving this range of designs in the Honey Bun. That was definitely one of my better ideas to get that. I’m looking forward to finishing the cottages so I can have a play with what’s left over too.


I’ve done a bit more to get the other six cottages ready. They’re all now backed with interfacing and the batting is cut to size. I’ve also cut all the backing pieces and selected which strips from the Honey Bun will be used with each one. The next half will go much faster than the first, I’m thinking 🙂

This is what the first rail looks like with six hanging on it.


Looks like I’ll be needing to move that map of Vancouver and the menu from Ghirardelli soon.


February’s Cottage – framed


January looked lonely swinging on that pole all on its own so I sorted out the fabric for February. It’s the same range – Sandhill Plums by Kansas Troubles, but to match the colours in February I chose the brown strip from the Honey Bun with the matching yardage to back it.

02Wfabric01I followed the same procedure as I did for January’s cottage and it turned out just as nicely. I do like it with the brown fabric. It matches those little flower pots so well.

This is the back. I used the plastic poppers to fasten the hangers again. I like that technique. It’s much easier to make and it’s also easier to attach to the pole. I think this one may be slightly wonky but it’ll be easy enough to move one of the poppers down a bit.


And this is what it looks like hanging next to January. Next up is March which is mostly greens.