Wednesday, 29 August 2012

This week has been mostly about......

...playing with hexagons! I'm getting a little bit obsessed with these things at the moment! On a whim the other night I made up some teeny tiny hexies (these babies have a side measurement of 3/8"!) using some pink scraps. I won't lie - they were a little fiddly to baste (I really must get some of those glue pens!) and sew together but it didn't take long...

...and by the end of the night I'd finished my little hexagon flower. I hand-stitched it to some lime green felt, added a little brooch pin and I now have a little summery something to add to my winter coat!!! I have to say that I'm really pleased with this - a quick little project which just makes me smile whenever I look at it!
Hexagon flower brooch by fabric&flowers

I've also been working on some larger hexagons as a side project which I'm now slowly hand-stitching onto some backing fabric...

...taking yet another road-trip yesterday and stopping for lunch whilst the Littlies burnt off some energy and soaking up the gorgeous sunshine

...having some home time this miserable afternoon and enjoying seeing the Littlies making the first use of my jelly roll quilt (Little Girl was very excited once she realised that it no longer had pins in and could actually be used!!!!)

I'm so sorry that I've not been blogging as much as normal - I'm still trying to keep up with everyone but the summer holidays have knocked me out of kilter more that I thought they would and there's changes afoot in the f&f household which I'll let you all know about soon! 

Hope you're all well, 

S x

Todays sky ● grey and rainy. Ugh!

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Another finished quilt!

In my last post i mentioned how my sewing machine was going in for a service...although I felt a bit jittery at the idea of not having my machine I had a list of things that I wanted to sort out (mainly re-organise my sewing room) and near-completed projects that I wanted to finish. Sadly I was wildly over-ambitious both in terms of the size of my list and the time:inclination ratio. I did make a start though - moving slightly closer to my goal of being able to fit all my craft books in my desk!

One of the projects I really wanted to finish was my jelly roll quilt which I started way back in April.

After that post I did rip out a couple of the seams and reposition the rows which wasn't entirely necessary, but did reduce some of the pooling and makes me feel happier with the quilt. I then added a border around the outside and added some brown fleece for the backing before quilting with wavy lines down each row of the blanket. I had my age old problem of not using enough pins and having some puckering but this was quickly rectified, and having done two quilts now I am learning that Pins Are the Key!

In the second photo (taken in May!) you can see where I've pinned the binding before I started to slowly sew it in place. But it took me a-g-e-s and eventually got interrupted by a quilt order and holidays and then sat neglected in the corner. 

So this weekend - being one of the hottest the year and all that! - felt like the ideal time to finish this off. The binding was completed last night and I have to say that having this draped over my lap whilst it was so hot was not my best idea athough it did give Mr f&f a laugh! All the ends were woven in today and it's even been washed and dried already!

So here it is, finally finished...
Jelly Roll race quilt by fabric&flowers

The colours and patterns still make my heart sing, I love that they dance on the retro/modern line. In case some of you are wondering why I went for a beige/brown border and backing it was mainly because Mr f&f was not too keen about having something "pink and flowery" in the living room which is where I wanted to put it so I tried to subdue the girliness just a little!
Jelly Roll race quilt by fabric&flowers

What I really like with this quilt is how when it's artfully draped  all scrunched up in a chair it has real character and that you get a glimpse of all the different fabrics that were used. I particularly love all the paisleys.
Jelly Roll race quilt by fabric&flowers

So, details;

Fabric ::: October Skies by Verna Mosquera for Freespirit jelly roll (40 strips); STOFF for edging; Brown fleece for back

Pattern ::: jelly roll race quilt - although I cut each of the jelly roll strips in half so that I would have more variation in each row

Time it took ::: I wrote down how long it took me to do each row and annoyingly I can't find the piece of paper anywhere. Grrr!!! If I find it whilst tidying my space I'll update this, but from memory I think it took around 45mins to join all the strips together and around 30mins to sew into the quilt top
ETA - I found my times! Just in case you're interested they were;
   Joining strips together - 44mins
   1st row - 36mins
   2nd row - 22mins
   3rd row - 14mins
   4th row - 8mins
   5th row - 4mins
   TOTAL - 3hrs 25mins (or 0.3 strips per minute!)

Finished size ::: 61" x 48"

I'm really pleased with it and will probably do another one at some point as they're quick and effective to make: an ideal present! And I'd definitely recommend it to someone thinking of having a go at making a quilt top - it's a great introduction to quilting.

For now though, I think I'll have to fold my blanket and tidy it away until the weather turns a bit cooler - although I'm already looking forward to snuggling underneath it!
Jelly Roll race quilt by fabric&flowers

I hope you've all been enjoying the sunshine and had a lovely weekend?!


Todays sky ● blue with clouds but very hot!

Saturday, 11 August 2012

This week was mostly about....

...lots of baking for Little Girls birthday

...feeling slightly panicky about putting my sewing machine in for a service and being without it for up to a week. What will I do?!

....adding some more blue to the sky blanket

...getting overly excited about the launch of Liberty Lifestyle fabrics next week!!!

Hope you're all having a lovely weekend,


Today's sky • blue with clouds

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Trying new things!

What I love about blogsville is having my eyes opened to lots of different crafts: some (Mr f&f for one!) would argue that I have enough projects started/on the go/wanting to start already that I really don't need to be shown lots of new ideas. I love it though - although it often leads to sleepless nights as I'm excitedly planning what I could try out next it also helps me to learn lots of new skills which is always good fun.

One of the crafts that has been catching my eye lately is paper-piecing: both the more traditional English Paper Piecing of hexagons and diamonds (with some beautiful examples by Florence) and the new-to-me pieced patchwork pictures (some beautiful examples from Kerry and Charise): they amaze me in there detail and scare me every so slightly with the number of small pieces there are!

Recently, Charise launched some new patterns which I thought were just the cutest things ever! And the apron really called to me: after the beautiful apron that Elizabeth had sent me, a thank-you email had felt a bit paltry. I wanted to send something in return and as soon as I saw the apron pattern I was a woman on a mission! I downloaded the pattern and set-to with my first attempt at paper-piecing.

After printing out the pattern, and cutting out all the pieces I had a slight moment of scaredy-cat as the paper literally seemed to explode in front of me: how on earth was I meant to sew all these back together?! 

After deliberating fabrics (at one point I had five different prints!) I eventually decided to keep it simple and go with just three, before then spending some time deliberating how to position the border stripes to look right as they went around the apron. It took a while to cut all the fabric pieces out, and the smaller pieces in particular were very tricky, but eventually I got there.

The sewing together of all the pieces really wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be: I reckon that it  took me a little over an hour to sew the block all together and it would have been a lot quicker if it hadn't taken me four attempts to get the bow just right!!! In the end, I resorted to using a pin to help me align the seams of the bow on the two corressponding pieces and then it sewed together seamlessly and all was good! Do you want to see how it turned out?
Vintage apron by fabric&flowers

I added a border and popped it in the post to Elizabeth and am now very excited to see what it's turned in to!

Oh, and did you notice the different look to my photo's today? I've taken the plunge and joined Instagram this week. I'm still trying to find my way around and get used to it all but would love to join up with you if you're on there. I'm fabricandflowersuk!


Todays sky ● I think I'm going to have to say grey....although there's been flashes of blue there's been torrential rain!

Friday, 3 August 2012

July in crochet

Ooohh, it's been a while since I've posted one of these, hasn't it? A couple of days late but finally I'm all caught up with sky blanket.

It's fair to say that we've had very changeable weather this month.....


As you all know I'd fallen quite a way behind with my blanket - you could say I wasn't racing so much as dragging my feet. To be honest I've started to feel that the state of my sky blanket is reflective of what's going on in my life: there's lots going on in the f&f household at the mo which has been making me feel most unsettled and out of kilter. Combined with holidays and end of term madness the blanket went on the back burner. But no more! I've been crocheting at every opportunity (my house is a messy testament to this!) and just take a look at it now!!!!!
fabric&flowers sky blanket

fabric&flowers sky blanket: June & July

On the 28th June I started a new foundation chain for the second half of the blanket, which felt quite momentous: I'm on the home straight! So if you look at the blanket in all it's glory (?!?!?!?!) January is at the top of the picture going through to nearly the end of June, and then the 'shorter' blanket represents the end of June, all of July and the first three days of August. Get me being all up to date (we're going to ignore the few ends that are sticking out in June!)

I'll be working my way up the blanket until the last seven days of the year (so Christmas through to New Year) which will make up my border. I think it's going to be a bit of a beast to border! But I'm already very excited to see the finished blanket.

And here's a close up of July because I feel that we need to revel in those glorious blue days that we had...
fabric&flowers sky blanket: July!

It feels to be good to be up to date again. Now to catch up on the rest of my to-do list!

S x

Todays sky ● blue, cloudy and the odd drops of rain!

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