Wednesday, 29 May 2013

A new pincushion

I was aiming to finish my Aeroplane bag over the last couple of nights. And then it happened: that little idea that I just had to try out Right Now, spurred on by the fact that I was going to be using some scraps of Liberty Lifestyle Bloomsbury and there's a competition which finishes tomorrow, and I love working to a deadline!

Like all ideas, it was inspired by a couple of things and led to doodles. I remember seeing a pin cushion attached to a sewing machine a while ago (similar to this) and thinking it was a good great idea. I've been thinking about it a lot more lately as where I sew the table placement in relation to the socket means that my machine is right on the corner of the table (with the cable taut, a veritable trip hazard, but Mr f&f is very understanding and tolerant about this!) and either cannot find a handy place to put my pin-cushion or balance it precariously on the side of the table and then inevitably knock it off and spend ages looking for it again.

After a few doodles I decided to Just Go For it. I used foundation piecing to create "Pins" - which to be honest I've never done before - so although I attempted to plan it out, I did wing it in a few areas.

For the cushion padding I made a bit of a wadding sandwich (approximately 2" x 4") - plastic for the base to stop the pins marking my machine (a washed out milk bottle was sacrificed), two layers of wadding, a scourer cut to size in attempt to keep my pins sharp, two more layers of wadding and then a further piece of wadding which was wider and folded over and glued to the plastic to keep everything in place.

I made a strap longer than the neck of my machine, about 3/4" wide with a little bit of elastic sewn in to ensure a snug fit, which was stitched securely to one side of the pincushion top. When it came to creating the cushion the short sides were folded in first and laced together, followed by the longer sides and then I slip-stitched some felt over the back to keep everything in place, having fixed a KAM snap in first. And then it was done. Do you want to see it?!
Sewing machine pincushion by fabricandflowersuk

I'm really pleased with it, although in retrospect I wish I had used a lighter colour for the letters, so instead I embellished with running stitch to make the letters stand out more.

So there we go. I now have a pincushion which will no longer disappear. Now it's time to get back to my Aeroplane Bag!

Hope you've all had a lovely day wherever you are,

S x

Todays sky ● grey, miserable & wet: does the weather not know that it's half term and that the three Littlies really need to go outside (for all our sakes!)

Monday, 27 May 2013

A bit of everything!

It's been a fun long weekend over here - even the sun came out to play!!!!!

Friday night saw me home alone so I made a start on my Aeroplane Bag, which I'm planning on taking to Retreat with me in July. Being me I can't resist making a few changes so it's taking a little longer than it should but hopefully it will all work out okay...!

Saturday and Sunday my Mum and Dad visited for a couple of days which involved lots of chatting, leisurely meals and some gentle walking: lots of fun!

Today we finally ventured in to the Forest of Dean. We've not really had much chance to explore since we moved down so it was really lovely to get out and about and see some of the beautiful scenery. It kind of felt like we were on Holiday!

We were headed towards the Sculpture Trail, specifically to see the Giants Chair. It was really big (as you'd expect!) with great texture and I really enjoyed how the chair 'framed' different pictures depending on where you stood. We're planning on going back again to explore a bit more of the trail sometime soon (Littlest Boy wasn't too keen on the steep hills, so we need to build up his stamina!)

So I'm feeling quite relaxed and ready for half-term week and lots of sewing! I hope you managed a weekend of fun? See you soon with a new bag!

S x

Todays sky ● blue with clouds but we did see the sun!

Monday, 20 May 2013

A patchwork morning

On Friday I went with a friend to the Malvern Patchwork & Quilting show. Given our recent move and my fairly new interest in quilting (I still consider myself a newbie after 18mths!) this was my first ever visit to such a dedicated event: I even managed to negotiate a child-free morning with Mr f&f so that I could go. It was like my perfect day!

There were lots of stalls and I did buy a few things treat myself to a few little purchases, not with any particular plan in mind but you know, just because.....

....I even splashed out on a backing for my William Morris quilt, the mustard with white spots: I love the combination and at £4 a metre, it seemed rude not to!!!!!

After checking out all the stalls, we then spent quite a lot of time checking out all the quilts. I didn't get a programme, so forgive me as I am not able to credit the creators, but I would really like to share a couple of them with you (and if anyone happens across the post and can fill in the blanks for me, then please let me know so that I can add their details)

I really liked this star quilt. It had been started by a mum, using scraps left over from dressmaking and crafting, and then eventually finished by her daughter. Some of the stars were scrappy, others more co-ordinated, and the overall effect was just glorious. I think it would make a really nice on-the-move project.

This medallion-style quilt was really eye-catching and what was really clever about it was that on closer inspection the central panel & co-ordinating border panels were a patterned fabric which had been embellished with machine stitching, really changing the texture of the quilt.

My favourite from the show - and the one I keep coming back to in my mind - is this one

I think it was called the friendship quilt, as the maker had used scraps given to her by friends. They'd then been made into 1/4" hexies - yep, you read right! - to create this beauty! I cannot begin to imagine how long it took to put this whole things together, and how fiddly the hexies were! But what memories must be sewn in! And then to top it all off, it had been quilted by sewing a french knot into each white hexagon

I actually thought they were seed beads to start with! This quilt has truly blown me away, the colours, the scale, the detail. Everything about it just seems perfect to me. Although I'm not sure if I'd ever have the patience to make one for myself.

I really enjoyed seeing all the quilts, there were lots of different styles and I've even started deliberating if maybe one day I might enter a quilt into a show but I think I've got a way to go yet! I'm already looking forward to going again next year!

I hope you've all had a lovely weekend,

S x

Todays sky - overcast and miserable. Boo!

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Unexpected holiday

Look at that. Nearly a whole month has gone by since my last post. Time seems to be going by in a blur and I fear that you're bored of reading from me 'the days just pass so quickly'. But they do! This last month has flashed past with chicken pox times two (clearly Boy 1 and Boy 2 had to have it separately which took about 4 wks), Mr f&f travelling away with work a lot, and a sudden spurt of gardening with the warm weather that arrived. Although the sun seems to have disappeared for now. I keep thinking things will get easier but in reality this probably won't happen until October when all the Littlies are settled in school/pre-school but I am going to be blogging more frequently than I have been and you can always check me out on Instagram if you feel so inclined!

I've still been fitting in some sewing and knitting here and there though. A couple of weeks ago I visited Wonderwool on what was a glorious day and a much needed break from spotty children! I bought some goodies for planned projects, as well as a couple of impulse purchases because they were just too pretty to leave behind!

...there's now just a couple more rows to go until I can cast off my Mara Shawl. I think it will make a great shawl for the changeable weather that we're having.

....starting work on my William Morris quilt. I'm using the free Stellar Stars pattern from Simply Solids and can't wait to get the quilt top finished, although working on such autumnal colours has felt somewhat at odds with some of the glorious weather that we've had recently!

...buying the Aeroplane Bag pattern and waiting on some fabric to arrive from the US. I'm so excited to make this and if all goes to plan it will be done in time for Retreat!

And finally - but by no means least - I've volunteered for and been lucky enough to be accepted on the Sibling Together quilting bee.

It's being organised by Lynne with the goal of making twelve quilts in a year. If you've not heard about Siblings Together it aims to reunite siblings that have been separated through the care system and there's a great post here with more info. If after reading that you'd like to be involved in a UK based bee then please do check out this Flickr group. It's a cause that I'm really honoured to be supporting as I have friends that have adopted siblings or have gone through the care system themselves and from speaking with them, it would have meant so much to them to be given such a gift. It's going to be great fun and I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't a little bit nervous, but mostly I'm just very excited. Especially when I found out yesterday that Lynne and Kerry have written a quilting encyclopedia book called 500 Blocks due to be released a couple of months before it's my turn to chose a block. I think I know where I'll be looking for inspiration!!!

I hope you've all had a great weekend,

'til next time,

S x

Todays sky ● overcast grey and miserable, with a few flashes of blue

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