Friday, 24 October 2014

A busy week!

Hey everyone! Is it just me, or is time flying by at warp speed at the moment?! It's been a crazy busy week with harvest festival x 2 (and on the same day too, I debated camping out at the school!) and then a phonics lesson with my 4yr old which included learning how to write 'van'. My 8yr old thought it was hilarious when we were talking about our day over dinner!

I also made myself a new bag!!!!! I am so very pleased with it - it turned out exactly how I had hoped, and I am super chuffed that my pattern matching worked - check out that front pocket!!!!!

It caused me quite a bit of head-scratching I'll be honest, and I had to recut one side panel to make it work, but it all came together in the end. The pattern I used is Michelle Patterns Messenger Bag - I'm reviewing it over on Sara's blog today as part of Purse Palooza (eek!) if you'd like to read about it in more detail - and I will definitely be making more of these. It would make an excellent Christmas present don't you think?

Other than that, my week has mainly involved receiving fabric parcels - yay! I was the lucky winner of a Fly Away bundle from Fabric HQ.....

Lots of Siblings Together bee blocks have been arriving - I asked everyone to make scrappy trips with no set theme, so it's going to be a riot of colour (and will hopefully all come together in the end!)...

And I treated myself to one of Karen's gorgeous scrap packs, so now I just need to decide on what to make with it all!

Hope you've all had a good week? The kids finish for half term today so sewing might be tricky over the next week, but I'll give it a good go! In the meantime, Mr f&f have got a weekend away by ourselves. I might be just a little excited!

Speak soon,


Todays sky ● overcast and drizzly. Boo!

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Oakshott Autumn Blog Hop::: Falling Vista Lap Quilt tutorial

Helloooo everyone and welcome if you've popped over from Lynne's blog! I'm so excited to kick off the Oakshott Autumn blog hop, there's some amazing bloggers taking part so I can't wait to see all the reveals over the next week or so!
The Oakshott Autumn Blog Hop

So, let's crack on shall we?! When I first saw the autumn bundle my heart did a little skippity jump - I love autumn! It's my most favourite season with all the colours and the need for warm winter clothing and cosy knits! My first thought was a maple leaf quilt but then I started thinking of the view as I drive towards Wales and the hillsides full of trees changing colours. It really is spectacular and was my inspiration for this quilt::: Falling Vista

And because when it's autumn there's nothing better than snuggling under a warm and cosy quilt, I've backed it with fleece for extra snuggle factor!

*** I would like to say a huge thank you to Oakshott for providing the fabrics and Aurifil for providing the variegated thread ***

1 x Oakshott Colourshott Autumn F8 Bundle (21 F8s)
3/4yd  Oakshott Colourshott Celebes (background fabric)
1/2yd Oakshott Colourshott Iris (binding)
2yds extra wide fleece (or 4yds backing fabric and wadding)
Tree Template (download here)

Finished size of lap quilt: 50" x 55"

Please remember to read through all the instructions before starting.

Cutting Instructions
Print out a copy of the Tree Template. Make another template out of cardboard - I kept a seam allowance at the bottom of the template to ensure that there would be enough overlap when appliquéing the shapes down.

Press each F8 before folding into thirds.

Use the template and cut around with a minimum 3/8" allowance. I found it easiest to do with a rotary cutter.

Three shapes per F8 will give you 63 trees

NOTE: if using printed fabrics you will need to cut your fabric strip into thirds (for a rectangle approximately 9" x 10")and layer them right side down in order to ensure that all trees go in the same direction

Cut the binding fabric into 5 x 2.5" strips by the width of the fabric

Preparing the trees
To prepare each of the trees for appliquéing;

A::: Lay down a piece of tinfoil, fabric (right side town) and cardboard template.
B::: Ease the tinfoil around the curved edge of the template. Press with an iron.
C::: Gently unfold the tinfoil and remove the cardboard template.
D::: Turn the tree over to give a final press.

Repeat for each tree shapes. You can use starch to stabilise the shapes.

Making the quilt
Lay the background fabric on a flat surface.

Place the trees on the background to arrange the layout as per the diagram. Once you are happy with the colour placement, pick the pieces up working left to right for each row, place in a pile and label them to keep in the correct order.

Starting with row one, take the first tree and place on the right hand side of the background fabric and pin in place.

Using the paper template as a guide - both above the trees and within the trees (as pictured) place the second tree in position and pin in place. Continue across the width of the fabric until the whole row is in place

Applique the shapes onto the background. This could be done by hand using slip-stitch. I used the sewing machine set to a narrow zig-zag using Aurifil variegated thread.

A::: starting on the left hand side of the shape, zig-zag around the tree. Cut your threads.
B::: Lay the fabric flat, and pick up side of the next overlapping tree.
C::: Pin the next tree in place on the already appliqued tree, and sew around the shape as in step A. D::: Continue along the row until you are finished. Turn your quilt top over and trim away any excess blue fabric behind the trees.

Repeat the above steps for your remaining rows.

NOTE: I was a little organic with the placement of my trees, as allowed by my additional seam allowance, so it is worth being generous with this at your cutting out stage to allow a bit of wiggle room!

When you have finished sewing all of your rows into place, square up your quilt top.

Finishing the Quilt
Make a quilt sandwich from your backing fabric (right side facing down), the wadding  (if using) and the quilt top (right side facing up). Make sure all the layers are nice and smooth with no wrinkles and baste the layers together. Quilt as you prefer – I used a 3-step zigzag in rows 2" apart following the angle of the tree-tops.

Trim any excess backing and wadding fabrics.

Join your binding strips together and bind your quilt in your preferred method.

Snuggle and enjoy!!!


I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial - if you have any problems with the download (it's my first time trying to create a shareable document, so please bear with me if there are any teething problems) or the pattern then please let me know,

Thanks for popping by and don't forget to check out these fabulous bloggers over the next few days;

22 October     Rossie Hutchinson
24 October     Mary Menzer       
28 October     Alison Dutton      
29 October     Nicholas Ball       
30 October     Kati Spencer       


Todays sky ● blue with clouds and very windy!!!

Sunday, 19 October 2014

A busy week

Hey everyone! I can't believe a week has gone by already! I had a great time at the Knitting and Stitching show, although it was very tiring (not helped by the nighttime activities of the people in our neighbouring hotel room, but let's not dwell on that!!!!) and Monday was a bit of a wipe out for me. I don't know how Lynne survived 5 whole days!!!

I've been to this show quite a few times now, and I have to say that this year I felt that there was a lot less choice of fabrics to my taste, especially dressmaking fabrics, which was a bit of a shame. I did managed to pick up these though from Fabrics Galore (which is always worth a visit!): working from top to bottom some home-dec weight for a new bag, a grey jersey for a tunic/dress (I think!) and some fleece for backing a quilt. Which takes me on to.....

....this weeks job which has been appliquéing a quilt together out of glorious Oakshotts and Aurifil, which led to....

....the need to clean the kitchen floor so that I could do some quilt basting! Please tell me it's not just me that does this?! Just some photos of the finished quilt to go and then all will be revealed on Tuesday when I take a turn on the Oakshott Blog Hop - please do check it out as there are some fabulous bloggers taking part.

The Oakshott Autumn Blog Hop

Hope you've had a great week,


Today's sky ● blue with some clouds

Friday, 10 October 2014

This week was mostly about.....

.....making some clothes for the monkeys, they're a bit less indecent now!!!

.....playing with some Oakshott and and getting ready to play with some Aurifil. Doesn't that sound like a match made in heaven?!

.....pattern testing a new sewing machine pincushion: my old one is starting to look a little tired now and I did a class (eek!) at my local guild yesterday and figured I need to give it a whirl! Am planning to put a tutorial up on the blog next week.

......getting ready for a road trip! I'm heading off to London to visit the Knitting & Stitching show this weekend, I'm as excited about the browsing as I am about having a couple of days away with a friend!!!

Hope you've all had a good week,


Todays sky ● Changeable!

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Fun of the Fair giveaway winner

Hey everyone! Apologies for being a day late, time run away with me!!!

Thank you all so much for your lovely comments, I loved reading about all your loved toys and especially how many of them were handmade, it gives me hope that just maybe my monkey's will be loved in years to come!!!!!

So, I've consulted Mr Random Number generator and the lucky winner is......

Congratulations Arianna, I've sent you an email!

S x

Today's sky ● very changeable!

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