Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Merry Christmas!

I hope you all have a fabulous time with friends & family.

Merry Christmas and here's to a happy and healthy 2014!


Today's sky ~ mostly wind and rain!

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Christmas Floor Cushion

Do you remember the giant x&+ blocks I asked everyone to make back in November? Well, I'd made a test block to check out my maths out of Christmassy fabric with the thought that I could turn it into a squishy cushion for when we're going to have more bums than seats on the Big Day!

It's quilted with red Aurifil 40wt thread echoing the central plus, with an enveloped style closure on the back. The binding was a good game of chicken - I compltely winged it by just joining a few strips and reckoning that it would be enough (that'll teach me not to do the maths!) but I just made it with half an inch to spare. Phew!

Little girl already seems to have adopted it as her own! Now to make a gingerbread house with the smalls before trying to squeeze in some sewing later. Have a great afternoon everyone!


Today's sky ● very changeable! Lashing rain & black skies this morning and now beautifully bright & sunny

Monday, 16 December 2013

Musical Tumbler Quilt

Back in the summer I was catching up on blogs when I came across Lynne's Vinyl Quilt and I knew immediately that I would have to get some of the fabric: our friends were expecting a baby and the Dad-to-be and my husband love their music so it seemed appropriate to make a music themed baby quilt. It might also mean that the quilt would be useful way beyond the baby years!
Musical Tumbler Quilt
Musical Tumbler Quilt by fabricandflowersuk
I got four prints from the orange colourway and added in three blender fabrics. I have to confess, I wasn't sure of the orange and brown but I think they help to balance out the busyness of the novelty prints! I went with a giant tumbler block, making up a template measuring 9" across the bottom, 5" across the top and 8.5" high.
Musical Tumbler Quilt
Musical Tumbler Quilt by fabricandflowersuk
It was my first time doing a tumbler block and after a bit of nerves on joining the first blocks and off-setting them to ensure that they sewed in a straight line I found it quick and easy to put together. Just a few hours to make a quilt top measuring around 46" square! I  kept the quilting really simple sewing 1/4" either side of each seam and backed it with the ever popular Ikea numbers fabric (although it was my first time using it!)
Musical Tumbler Quilt
Musical Tumbler Quilt by fabricandflowersuk
I bound it with the same green fabric that was used in the quilt to try and balance out the orange (which isn't quite as bright as these pictures indicate, but is still a strong colour), added a little label with the babies name and her date of birth and was ready to send off. Hopefully it will get lots of use in it's new home!


Todays sky ● mostly overcast and grey

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Winner!

Wow! You lot blew me away! I was expecting maybe 30 people would be interested in entering my giveaway, and instead 194 of you entered!!!!!

So the lucky winner of the pouch and scraps is.....

Thank you so so much for all your lovely comments, and a big 'Hello' to any new followers! There were so many that I'm not going to be able to respond to all of you but please know that I really enjoyed reading all your comments.

Hope you're all having a lovely weekend, We're finally getting ready to put our tree up, in amongst building a snow world (gotta love school projects!)


Todays sky ● brilliant blue this morning (yay!), grey this afternoon (boo!)

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Superhero Laptop Bag!

A couple of weeks ago Mr f&f had a birthday. It was a significant birthday and I decided a while ago to make him a laptop bag with super-hero fabric on the inside. 'Cos you know, no boy is too old for super heros!
Lilium Laptop bag by fabricandflowersuk

Back in April I'd happened across a piece of wool felt and had guessed that I'd be able to squeeze a laptop bag out of it somehow. I decided on the large Lilium Laptop bag and after some very careful cutting I had about 2" of fabric left. Talk about cutting it fine!!!! I was able to match the checks on the flap and main body of the bag, but ran out of fabric to match the sides
Lilium Laptop bag, with bag feet by fabricandflowersuk

As the felt is so thick already I omitted the soft and stable/foam and used interfacing on the lining only as per the pattern. The main change I made was to lengthen the front flap by 2-3" and mirror the curve from the main body of the bag, which I then replicated in the flap accent. 
Lilium Laptop bag by fabricandflowersuk

I used a slightly wider webbing at 2" for the strap and lengthened it by around 8" as Mr f&f likes to wear the bag across his body sometimes. Top-stitching this was....interesting! The wool felt made it crazily thick and even with using a jeans needle on the machine there may have been a few rude mutterings and talk of the need for a new machine for Christmas with an adjustable foot and bigger throat space but eventually we got there!!!
Lilium laptop bag by fabricandflowerusk

For the lining I used a mix of Klona black (this is quite new to me and fantastic for bag making as it feels a bit thicker than normal quilting cotton) and Avengers fabric for the inside flap and slip pockets

I love how the bag looks all grown up and sensible until you start to lift the flap and then......BAM! Hopefully it will bring a smile to Mr f&f's work days....he seemed happy with it!!!

I'm linking up to the Sew Mama Sew Sew Sweetness Bag Contest - do go and check out all the othe fabulous bags that have been made. I think the Kennedy bag is next on my hit list!


Today's sky ● grey and overcast. Not a good photography day!!!

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

December Siblings Together Bee Block ✔

This month, the lovely Hannah sent us fabric from the Pot Luck by American Jane for Moda range and asked us to make a giant 20" churn dash block based on this tutorial but enlarged (obviously!). I can't wait to see this one all together, doesn't it look all Eastery with those chicks and the colours?!

As always, a big thank you to our very generous sponsors who are making this all possible;




I've now had back all my blocks from last month (I squealed with excitement every time the postie bought me a package!) and can't wait to start piecing it all together. Hopefully I'll get some time over Christmas as I'm looking forward to seeing it finished!
Some giant x&+ blocks made by my bee friends!

See you soon,


Todays sky ● a bit overcast but sunny! Woo hoo!

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway day!

Hello all! And welcome if you've popped by from Sew Mama Sew Giveaway!

I really enjoyed seeing all the giveaways last time and thought I'd join in the fun this time around. I'm going to giveaway a Noodlehead Open Wide Pouch which measures around 8.5" wide x 7" high x 4" deep - big enough as a project bag or for all your necessities. I love these bags, they hold sooo much stuff!!!1

And because it seems rude to send such a big bag off all empty I'm going to include all these scraps too. There's around 65g in weight and a right old mix of fabrics - some Amy Butler, Nordika, Pat Bravo and some that I'm not so sure of! I've tried to make sure that nothings smaller than 2.5" square and there are some odd shapes too, just so you know! Good for patchwork, scrap vomits or whatever takes your fancy. I've tried to include a rainbow of colours so there should be something you like!!!!! 

Ah, doesn't it all fit together nicely?!

I'm going to keep it really easy and just ask you to leave me a comment letting me know what you're looking forward to over Christmas. For me, it's doing a bit of hand-stitching that I can fit in around the cooking of the turkey and house visitors!

The giveaway will be open until 1am GMT on Saturday 14th December (5pm PST Friday 13th December), is open internationally and will be drawn at random, although I plan on being asleep at 1am so you may not find out until later on the Saturday!

Thanks for popping by - please feel free to have a nose around and don't forget to check out all the other fabulous giveaways that are available too. And just so you know things don't always go smoothly around here, my 'helper' thought it was hilarious fun photo-bombing with his football slippers!!!

S x

Todays sky ● overcast and grey but no rain, so not all bad!!!

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

The last few days have been mostly about...

....lots of baking and gift making!!! Last week I made my Christmas cake and now need to start drowning feeding it brandy!!!!

...whipping up a patchwork blanket for a friends new baby, my first attempt at tumbler blocks! It was such fun and when the weather's a bit better I'll get some pictures for you

...making a laptop bag for Mr f&f's birthday using wool felt and superhero fabric (what man doesn't want a superhero laptop bag, eh?!)! I'm just waiting for the strap thingimy bobs and then I'll be able to tell you all about it!

...and then today as it was actually Mr f&f's birthday there was the baking of sweet treats and cranberry sauce for Christmas. Phew!

Hope you've had a fun few days too,


Today's sky ● overcast and grey. Yuck!

Monday, 25 November 2013

Patch Fabrics Blogger Project - Christmas Mats & Stocking

Helloooo everyone! I'm not sure if I ever told you, but a little while ago Claire from the lovely Patch Fabrics put out a call for bloggers and I was one of the ones lucky enough to be chosen!

A couple of weeks ago, I received a lovely bundle of fabric from Claire: a panel, a charm pack and a fat quarter all from the Winters Lane range, which I happen to love. For me it's the perfect balance of being seasonal but not overly so, if you know what I mean?!

The panel is printed with eight bunting flags, a cushion and some gift tags. I spent a while deliberating what to do......the easiest thing would have been to make it up as so, but I always like a bit of a challenge! Instead I made table place mats, a mug rug for Santa's mince pie and tipple and a stocking
Christmas projects by fabricandflowersuk
If you would like to make any of these, here's how;

Please note: all seam allowances are 1/4" unless otherwise stated

❄ Table Place Mats  (finished size 9.5" x 13.5") ❄

5 x 5" charm squares (or 6 if not using a panel picture)
Panel picture
10" x 14" backing fabric
Fabric for binding (I used 2" x width of fabric Klona Cardinal

1. Cut around each of the panel pictures leaving a 1/8" seam all the way around level with the frame rather than square to your cutting mat as sometimes the printing is a little skewy on the panel (a technical term!) but it will all get straightened up when we sew it together!

2. Take five charm squares: cut one in half and sew to the top and bottom of the panel picture

3. Sew the remaining charm squares into pairs. Iron the seams open. Join your three strips together - to ensure it was central, I finger pressed the centre line on the middle panel and matched this to the seams on the outer strips

4. Trim so that all sides are even

5. Layer your place mat top, wadding and backing and quilt as desired - I lightly echo quilted around each square

6. Bind 

7. Set your table and admire your handiwork!

Winters Lane place mat by fabric&flowersuk

Santa Mug Rug (finished size 9.5" x 9.5") 

4 x 5" charm squares
Additional fabric for applique (I used two charm squares)
Gift tag from panel
Embroidery thread
10" x 10" backing fabric
Fabric for binding  (I used 2" x width of fabric Klona Cardinal

1. Sew squares together in pairs and then sew pairs together to make your mug rug

2. Write a message on the gift tag (I used a Frixion pen) and embroider over it. Alternatively, you could use permanent pen

3. Cut Bondaweb to the size of your gift tag and iron on to the wrong side of your gift tag. Peel off the backing paper, place into position on your mug rug and then iron to fix

4. To make the snowflakes cut two squares from bondaweb (1 x 5" and 1 x 3") and iron onto the fabric. Peel the backing paper away, and then cut into a snowflake - I used the instructions from here as a guide. I found that using a Clover clip to keep all the layers in place did help.
Making the gift tag and snowflake

Now I won't fib to you - trying to cut through the multiple layers of fabric is quite tricky (there might even have been a little bit of muttering going on) so it is handy to have little scissors to hand too. If you've got a Sizziz Big Shot I would definitely use that instead! Or you could go for a different applique shape - a reindeer, holly leaves, gingerbread man - whatever you fancy! 

5. Once you're happy with your snowflake, place in position on your mug rug and iron in place. I cut my smaller snowflake in two and positioned on the sides

6. Layer your mug rug top, wadding and backing fabric. Applique/free motion your gift-tag and snowflake in place: for the gift tag I started on the shortest edge, using a narrow zig-zag and went carefully around the entire shape before then going out to the edge of the mug rug in a wavy line

7. Add  binding 

8. Load up with goodies for Santa! (he normally has a tipple of Whisky but as it was midday when we took the photo we went for milk instead!)
Santa Mug Rug by fabricandflowersuk

Christmas Stocking  (finished size 9.5" x 13.5") ❄

Cushion Panel
Lining fabric
4 x 5" charm squares
2" x 6" for the hanging loop
1 x gift tag
Embroidery Thread

1. Make a template for your stocking and cut out two from your panel and lining fabric: to make the biggest stocking possible (!) I used the measurements below and curved my edges using a roll of sellotape because that's what I had close to hand!

2. To make the stocking cuff cut the charm squares in half. Sew all the pieces together using a 3/8" seam allowance. Iron the seams open. Sew together the last seam to join into a circle and fold it in half 

3. If you're adding a gift tag, follow steps 2-3 for the Santa Mug Rug, making sure that you leave enough string on your gift tag so that it won't be covered by the cuff

4. To make the hanging loop, fold the fabric in half and then fold the edges in to the middle (as if making bias binding). Iron and sew the open long edge

5. Place the outside fabrics right side together, place wadding on either side and sew around the edges leaving the top edge clear. Repeat for the lining fabric (excluding the wadding!) leaving a 3" gap in the longest seam for turning out. Clip into the curved edges

6. Turn the outside fabric the right way round. Place cuff around the top edge and pin the hanging loop in place on the back seam. Place inside the lining and stitch all around the top edge of the stocking

7. Pull the stocking out through the turning hole, iron and slip stitch the seam.

8. Hang and wait eagerly for Santa to stop by!
Christmas stocking by fabricandflowersuk
Phew! That was one pretty long post! I hope that it all makes sense and if anything isn't clear or you have any questions then please do just drop me a line. I'd love to know if any of you make anything from here!

See you soon, 

S x

DISCLAIMER: Patch Fabrics sent me all these lovely fabrics to play with as part of the Patch Fabrics Blogger Team, and sent me additional fabrics as a thankyou☺

Todays sky ● grey and dreary. Meh!

Thursday, 21 November 2013

The Purse

Whilst I was going through my craft stuff the other week, I came across a sew in purse frame that had been free with a magazine. I knew that I had some Oakshott lying around and thought it would make a lovely little purse to use with my dress. 

I looked around for some ideas and happened across this which had the kind of shape I was looking for, without having to create my own template. Score!!! As my purse frame was smaller at about 4" I printed it out to 55% scale. 

I've always loved how Oakshott looks different depending on how the light hits it and thought I would add pleats for a bit of detail and interest to the purse. So I added 1.5" to each half (on the centre fold) so that I could add three pleats to each half of the purse. I ironed the pleats into place and then sewed each exterior piece to sew in interfacing before making the purse up as per the instructions in the tutorial.
Small pleated purse by fabricandflowersuk
It only took a couple of hours to pull together (the pleats were a bit of a pita!), although I did cheat slightly by gluing it into the frame, rather than sewing (ever the rebel!). I'm really chuffed with how it came out and I think the pleats add an art-deco look to it. It's not the biggest of purses but enough for the essentials!
And the inside...just big enough for essentials by fabricandflowersuk
Back soon with the knitted shawl!


Todays sky ● a real mix today, but lots of blue skies in the afternoon

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