Friday, 25 January 2013

Building Blocks

It's been a crazy busy few days over here - we keep getting snow which means the children get snow days (and it's only a few centimeters - anyone from a snowier clime would thing it crazy, but there we go, that's the UK snow reaction for you!) and then it takes a few days to catch up with myself.

Yesterday, Little Girl went back to school after a day off and the two Little Boys fell asleep after a busy morning at playgroup/nursery. I very selfishly left them in the buggy sleeping and set to making myself a quiet lunch whilst catching up on some blog reading. It was an unexpected moment of bliss in my day!

The boys woke up as soon as I put the spoon down after my last mouthful of soup but still, I had a very relaxing twenty minutes!!!

This week I've been working on my Skill Builder BOM blocks. I've been quite nervous about doing them as I really love the fabrics I'm using and didn't want to make any mistakes in the placing of my fabrics. I spent a few days pairing my FQs together in different orders, walking away, then coming back and re-arranging them. In the end I gave myself a stern talking too and set to cutting, pressing and piecing.

First up was the Soundwave Block. This is the one that I spent the most time rearranging my fabrics for, starting off with the strips grouped by colour, then lights to darks and eventually just random. I actually made a school boy error in joining my strips together! I'd originally laid them out running in the opposite direction to how they are below (so the colours would have run right to left). I don't think it matters too much though, and no-ones going to know unless I tell them....and you'll keep it a secret for me, won't you?!

It's by no means perfect - I'm not sure that my columns are entirely equal all the way down - but for a first attempt at piecing together 1.5" strips I'm quite pleased. Starching all my pieces before cutting them  out definitely helped on the accuracy front, although I think I might have to find another alternative to the can of spray starch I've been using as that's a bit niffy (VeryKerryBerry mentioned one the other day which I might have to check out, there seems to be a starching revolution going on!!!). Interestingly, when I was talking to my local quilt shop owner the other day, she recommended sewing each row together from opposite directions (eg, top, bottom, top, bottom) to stop the fabric curving, which I think I'll have to try out next time.

Next up was the Magnum block. I was quite nervous about this one, mainly because of using the bold flower print, which although it came in a FQ bundle stood out quite a lot from the other softer and more vintage-y flowery prints. In hindsight, I'm wondering if I should have either done the green and/or brown strip a bit thicker, but I think it works okay. 

There's a fair bit of balance in bold print vs. block of colour though so I'm going to stick with it - in the past I've unpicked things and fiddled with them only to realise that it's not made that bigger difference, so I'm going to leave it as is this time!

I'm really enjoying my first ever BOM and it's great doing it alongside lots of other people too as everyone has interpreted them slightly differently and used so many fantastic colour combinations. Sometimes it feels a bit like eating out at a restaurant though....I've spent ages perusing the menu (the fabric shop!), ordered my meal (fabric choices!) and then, when the waiter brings out everyone's dishes there's a slight moment of 'ooooh, there's looks soooooo good, maybe I should have ordered that instead?!'

Next week, we start on the FMQ as we're doing Quilt As You Go, which should be interesting. And if you'd like to check out some of the other amazing blocks then do go and have a look at the flickr group 

I hope you all have fun crafty plans for the weekend - mine is to finish off the sky blanket and maybe make up a top....I've got my sewing groove back!


Todays sky ● white and chilly cold, no extra snow yet though!

Monday, 21 January 2013

From Cushion to Project Bag!!!

Hello all! How was your weekend? Was it snowy? We haven't had any more snow since Friday so it was a slippery walk into school this morning!

Back last week I made a trip to my local Dunelm determined to get a nice squishy cushion pad for my patchwork cushion, as the one I'd used for the pictures was a little too small. Whilst having a browse, I came across a bargain basket of cushions at £1 each for a cushion and a cover, which seemed much better value than £2.50 for just a cushion pad! So I quickly made my purchase and headed home.

It seemed a shame to throw the cushion cover away as it was quite pretty and had a zip closure at the back, I just didn't have anywhere to put it....after a bit of pondering, it came to me: I could make myself a little project bag!

I used Noodlehead's Open Wide Pouch tutorial as, having made one before, I knew it was easy to make and I just love how the pouch opens up nice and wide so that you can see everything 'cos, you know, when you're working on a project you always lose something at the bottom of the bag!!!

After trimming off the sides, I carefully removed the zip and chopped the 'height' of the back piece in half (if that makes sense?!) to maximise the size of my pouch as the zip closure had been placed 3/4 of the way up. My pieces ended up measuring 12" x 8".

I fussy-cut two 12" x 8" pieces for the exterior of my pouch, and added some sew-in interfacing to give it an extra bit of firmness (I'd run out of of fusible interfacing - boo!).

I followed Noodleheads instructions all the way through, using a measurement of 2.5" when squaring the corners. I did make a few extra modifications to suit my project bag needs;

✿ Adding a tab at both ends of the zip and placing the zip so that it extended beyond the pouch at both ends
✿ Adding an internal pocket so that I can squirrel away patchwork templates and the like
✿ Putting in a lanyard that I can clip my scissors too and find them with ease (this is of course assuming that I remember to actually re-attach my scissors after using them. Mmmmmm!)

So here it is.....ta-dah!

I'm quite pleased with my thrifty pouch, and hope to be using it very soon for some more patchwork. Or maybe some knitting. And if you're looking for a quick gift, I would definitely recommend this pattern - it's ace!

I'm going to link up with Lets Get Acquainted as my latest make hot off the machine!

See you all soon,

S x

Todays sky ● mostly white, but the sun is just starting to peep through

Friday, 18 January 2013

Spring Bunting

I can't help but feel the irony in posting about Spring Bunting on the day that we first get snow! It has been a fabulously snowy day mind, althought the Littlies weren't too sure about it: it took about thirty minutes to get them all dressed up to go outside, only to have them want to come in after ten minutes because they were too cold!

Back to the Spring Bunting though! I first got the inspiration when I was reading Tracy's blog and saw the beautiful scrappy bunting that she'd made. I'd found some linen scraps whilst starting to sort through my sewing space and thought that it would make a perfect alternative to my autumnal wreath, which was starting to look a little unseasonal!

I went the shabby chic route and zig-zagged around the two sides and bottom edge of my scraps, lining up the edge of my fabric with the edge of the sewing machine foot...

...used a seam-ripper to tease out the outside threads to leave me with frayed sides...

...had a sort through my thread collection to pick out the perfect colours (I went with lilac and spring green in the end!) to attach my flags to the ribbon...

...and then went through my button collection as I wanted a couple of buttons at each end of the garland to hide the loop that I'd be hanging them up with (I went with pink in the end)...

..and that was it - I was ready to go! So here is my Scrappy Spring Bunting all hung up, except now you can see snow on all those trees and plants in the backgound!!!
Scrappy Spring Bunting by fabricandflowersuk

I hope you've all had a lovely day - maybe even a snow day?! - and see you soon, 

S x

Todays sky ● white! It snowed most of the day!

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Slowly organising

Oh, I've been so busy with the Littlies back at school and trying to get things organised that I only realised yesterday it's been over a week since my last post. Naughty me!

I'm still working away on the sky blanket: after joining the two halves that first border row has taken f-o-r-e-v-e-r! Straightening out the ripple did take a bit of extra time but I'm done on that now, so it's just the final rows. And I'm going to need more yarn as I've run out of grey. I was clearly way too optimistic about having nice blue skies!!!

The organising of my craft space is taking a while, it is a bit of a disaster area at the moment and I'm at a loss of where to start. So I'm taking small steps each day and hopefully will get it sorted by stealth! I'm itching to get back to my machine but the chaos that currently exists in my sewing space is making it very difficult to be productive. What is it they say - a tidy space equals a tidy mind? If that is the case, then I think my crafty little mind is a bit like a tornado at the moment!!!!!

I have however been doing a lot of planning for when my crafty space is all sorted, mainly getting organised for the Skill Builder BOM. I wanted to use as many fabrics as I could from my stash (which, despite Mr f&f's protests, I believe is actually quite modest!) and on searching through came across this beautiful bundle of FQs (Martinique by 3 Sisters for Moda, if you're wondering!) that I bought at the Knitting & Stitching show a couple of years ago.

It was a good start but I need more more variation in the shape of lighter/darker shades of each of the hues. I found a few more FQ's in my stash and after a little trip to my local fabric shop (ahem!) I've finally got my selection all ready to go, which is a good job as the tutorial for the first block goes up tomorrow! 

I'm both excited and nervous - the blocks are unlike anything I've ever done before, I'm working with different colours to my normal palette and also patterned fabrics whereas the blocks were posted using solids. Still, I'm sure with a little bit of fussy cutting and some careful planning it will all come together. Fingers crossed, anyway!

I've also had some fabric arrive all the way from the States - a pack of 18 FQs to use for my Farmers Wife Quilt. I will use these with some white fabric to really make the fabric 'pop'. Again, they're slightly different to my normal palette but I'm really excited by how fresh they look. I think this will be a slow burn project for the year! I'm a bit nervous about taking these out of the box though as I'm not sure I'll ever get them back in again!!!!!

I also managed to fit in a little bit of crafting over the last week and managed to whip up some shabby chic bunting - more on this next time!

Til next time, 

S x

Todays sky ● gloriously blue!

Sunday, 6 January 2013

The past few days have been mostly about...

...working on the sky blanket! I've finally dealt with all those pesky ends (yay!!!!!) and after a couple of evenings of constant hooking have sewn both halves of the blanket together and even made a start on the edging...

...grabbing an hours sewing time the other afternoon and taking a bunch of scraps...
...and turning them into a needle case for a stitchy friends birthday. Sometimes it's so satisfying to make a quick project.

...signing myself up for my first ever BOM! I'm a little bit scared (in a good way!) as it includes so many things that I've never tried before - improv quilting, quilt as you go and quite a lot of hand-stitching I think - but I figure what better way to learn?! I'm quite excited, although I've yet to figure out my fabric choices!

Pile O' Fabric

...having a bit of a revamp of my blog. What do you think? Do you like? I'm hoping it's a bit easier on the eye and would love any feedback.

I hope you've all had a fabulous few days?

S x

Todays sky ● mostly overcast, although there was a hint of blue briefly this morning!

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

December in crochet

It was a busy month and unfortunately, looking back, I seemed to take very few pictures of the sky. Maybe because it was so miserable and I didn't want permanent pictures of the grey?!

Having said that, there were some beautiful sunrises this month.....

...and the most perfect, glorious sunny morning which happened to conincide with Mr f&f and I having a night away in a hotel over-looking the Thames. Talk about good timing and fantastic views!

...and towards the end of the month quite a lot of this...

I even started on all those pesky ends and the blanket is starting to look all neat...

The last seven days of December will be forming the border for my blanket and with the exception of Christmas Day which was blue with clouds, it's going to be six rows of grey. I was so hoping for a little bit of blue to make it nice and bright but no, the weather just didn't want to play. Here's the blanket up til Christmas Eve.....
December in crochet by fabric&flowersuk 

This afternoon I dug out the other half of the sky blanket, laid them next to each other and do you know what? They matched perfectly! I literally whooped and did a little jig in the kitchen (much to Mr f&f's amusement!)
Sky Blanket by fabric&flowersuk

I can't wait to join it all together! That's tonight sorted then....and then onto that border.

See you all soon, 

S x

Todays sky ● overcast with tiny little hints of blue occassionally

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Happy New Year!

Welcome 2013! Happy New Year to you all!

I'm still feeling slightly reflective about 2012, can you believe that another whole year has passed?! A lots happened in the past 12months...

...I started this blog...

...we moved over 100miles to a new house...

...I started adventures into dressmaking and quilting and had lots of fun making stuff...

...I did lots of sky watching and crocheting (and still got a little bit more to go) and the finish line on the Sky Blanket is in sight...

Thanks to everyone who's joined me on my journey into blogging in my first year - it's been great getting to know you all and I'm looking forward to meeting lots more people in 2013 so I'm joining in with Lynne's Small Blog Meet Up and will be visiting lots of new-to-me blogs which is exciting!

Lily's Quilts

I hope you've all had a lovely first day of the New Year,


Todays sky ● blue with some clouds. Beautiful!

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