Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Siblings Together Giant x&+ Quilt

Hello everyone! I'm so excited today to finally show you the Siblings Together quilt from when I was Queen Been (ha!) back in November. I've been thwarted by bad weather making it really difficult to get a photo that did the fabric and quilt justice but I think I've finally managed it. So are you ready?!

Ta dah!!!!!

The quilt is based on a Giant x&+ block which finish at 20" using Mimi Chez Moi by Moda with some Kona Snow added in for a bit of calm.

Quilting this was an interesting (read challenging) process! It's the biggest quilt I've done to date and although I started off pin basting lets just say that after some unpicking I'm now a big fan of spray basting!!!! It is straight-line quilted 1/4" either side of the x and + seams which has created some fun extra crosses within the crosses!

The backing is an extra wide Botanics in Yarrow and I love it! It helps to balance and complement the quilt top, and did I mention that it's Botanics? What's not to love?! The binding is a 'scrappy' collection of three different colours of the same print from the Mimi range.

So, quilt stats:

Pattern::: Giant x&+ block
Fabrics::: Mimi Chez Moi by Moda, Kona Snow and extra wide Botanics Yarrow
Wadding::: Sew Simple Super-Soft Cotton Blend
Size::: 60" x 80"

I feel so privileged to be a part of this bee that has been sponsorsed by so many generous companies and would like to make a special mention to those that donated towards the making of this particular quilt - Moda Fabrics, Fat Quarter Shop for the backing and Lady Sew and Sew for the wadding



       
            
      


And of course a big thank you to all my Bee mates for making the gorgeous blocks for me!

Sx

 Todays sky ● largely grey and wet. It's getting a bit boring now!

Friday, 24 January 2014

This week has been mostly about.....

......pondering fabric samples! These are the current candidates to make a Collette Albion coat. I'm leaning towards the teal at the moment as I think it will be fairly classic (and won't be a nightmare on matching like the checks!) ....but am procrastinating as coat fabric isn't cheap so it's a big commitment...

....signing up for the Colour Intensive course which starts in February. I'm really excited about getting stuck in to this!
Color Intensive Online Workshop

.....still buzzing from the Gloucestershire Modern Quilt Guild sit and sew day on Monday. We've another scheduled for Monday 3rd March and meet on the fourth Thursday of each month so if you're local  (or even if you're not!)  and would like to pop along then please get in touch with Anna or I - we'd love you to join us!!!

......sewing the binding onto the Siblings Together Quilt. After a false start on quilting it I'm now on the home straight and can't wait to show you the finished quilt!

...salivating over all these lovely scraps that Hannah sent me. They're all going towards #economyblockalong blocks, the current quilting obsession on Instagram that I've not been able to resist!

Hope you all have a lovely weekend, I'm hoping for a quiet one after a few disturbed nights with the Littlies!!!

Sx

Today's sky ● mostly overcast and soggy. Meh!

Monday, 20 January 2014

Making a pin cushion

Hello! Do you remember a little while ago I mentioned being inspired by my Christmas book and wanting to make the pincushion threadcatcher? Well, I did it!


It was such a fun and quick make. One evening was all it took. The longest part was waiting for the sand to dry out - I asked a friend to raid her sandpit for me and it took nearly a week for the soggy sand to dry out. Agonizing!!!!

Hopefully it will mean that Mr f&f won't have to give me pointed looks everytime he sits on the sofa and needles/scissors/pins/general sewing detritus rolls towards him.  There haven't been any injuries so far but I feared it was only a matter of time!!!

I had some mini charm squares of Happy Go Lucky left over from Archie and it seemed like the perfect match. As I only had 30 squares left I made the thread-catcher three rows deep (instead of four) but it's still a good enough size for sofa use. I also added a little ribbon holder into the lining for my scissors so that they'd always be easy to grab, as I figured it would get annoying if they kept dropping to the bottom of the bag amongst all the threads!

I'm already planning on making more of these - they're the perfect gift for stitchy friends I reckon!

Hope you've all had a lovely day,

S x

Todays sky ● mixed, but largely bright!


Thursday, 16 January 2014

Pink is......

.....something that I've always considered an overly girly colour, one that I associate with girly girls or the opulent black/pink living schemes that are a little too bold for my taste. So the Stitched in Colour palette competition has been a good exercise in stepping outside of my comfort zone!


My fabric choices have tended towards the rich and jewelled tones of pink going into purple, with a a couple of dashes of turquoise and orange to pep it up a bit. Can't have too much pink, can we?!

What could you come up with?! The competition is open until the 23rd January and you can enter up to two palettes........who knows, I might even manage a girly one!!!!

S x

Todays sky ● very mixed, there's been lots of rain. Boo!


Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Valentines Knickers Swap - sign-ups open!

Hey everyone! Hope you all had a good weekend? Ours was very relaxing, lots of time with the kids mixed in with a bit of time to read and sew and the sun even came out to play for a bit. Bliss!

So, fancy making some gorgeous knickers for a fellow sewist for the Valentines Knicker Swap?! I cannot express how fun and quick they are to make! You only need one fat quarter of fabric, a small piece of jersey fabric for the gusset and two metres of elastic to make a pair of knickers.

There was quite a lot of chatter on Instagram about fit and size. I'm afraid I'm not quite ready to model my knickers for you (ha! I don't think you're ready for that either!!!) so just in case you're wondering, you can make up to UK size 18 knickers out of one fat quarter of fabric and because the pieces are cut on the bias and then edged with elastic they do not feel saggy and fit well. And if you're anything like me, then I'm sure you've got at least one or two fat quarters fabric lying around......!!!!

The Trixie Lixie knicker pattern is banded on UK sizing - small (8-10), medium (12-14) and large (16-18) - so once everyone has signed up I will send you an email asking for sizing/colour preferences. I will let everyone know their swap partner by Sunday 26th and then during that week do a blog post about making knickers. And then I'll sit back and wait for all the pics to arrive in my IG feed........!!!

So, are you ready to join in the fun?! Trixie Lixie have very kindly offered a discount of 15% to anyone who would like to buy their pattern or a kit using the code SEWKNICKERS at the checkout, valid from now until the 8th February 2014. You can find the Trixie Lixie website here. I can highly recommend their kits as a starting point as it includes everything that you could need and is a great way to try it out.

So, what do you need to do?!

✿ Leave a message saying that you'd like to join in the swap fun - sign-ups close on Wednesday 22nd January - and I will email everyone a short questionnaire, so please make sure that you're not a no-reply blogger
✿ Use the hashtag #sewknickers if you're on Instagram/Twitter
✿ Make sure that you post your knickers to your swap partner in time for Valentines Day

If you want to make knickers but not join in the swap, then don't worry, you can still join in! On the 14th February I will write a post where you can link up to Flickr/blog post to show knickers that you made/swapped and one lucky person will be picked by Mr Random Number Generator to win a prize from Trixie Lixie of 2 FQs of fabric and 5m of elastic.

And that's it! Looking forward to sewing along with you all and hope lots of you join in the fun,

S x


Todays sky ● blue sky with clouds. There's even been sun!

DISCLAIMER: I am not being paid by Trixie Lixie to host this swap. I approached them with the idea and they very kindly offered to sponsor it to see how many lovely knickers you lot can make!!!!



Thursday, 9 January 2014

Knickers!

So today I'm going to talk knickers 'cos I mentioned in one of my posts about how I bought a kit and then went on to make three pairs of knickers in a week!

There are lots of patterns out there - some for using cotton, some for using jersey, some free, some not. I spent ages looking at patterns and decided that I really wanted one that used cotton fabric, as I have so much of it! I eventually settled on the Trixie Lixie pattern - I really liked the shape of the knickers and there were some good reviews so I bought a kit so that I had everything needed.


I ordered it one day and it arrived the next - brilliant! After tracing and cutting out my pattern it only took an hour or so to make my first pair of knickers.
Trixie Lixie knickers by fabricandflowersuk

And the last couple of pairs took even less. These are a seriously quick satisfaction project needing only 1FQ of fabric and a couple of metres of knicker elastic. I've been posting my pics on Instagram and lots of people seemed interested and it got me thinking........ how would you like to do a Valentines Knicker Swap?!

What do you think? Sound like fun? I've spoken with Trixie Lixie and they loved the idea and have very kindly offered to sponsor the swap so there'll be prizes and everything! Let me know if you'd like to play and I'll post more details soon........

Sx

Todays sky ● still changeable!


Tuesday, 7 January 2014

January Sibling Together Bee Block ✔

This month we were asked by Jen to make a Giant Broken Wheel block - finishing at 18.5" - using the lovely Bluebird Park fabric. Two months of bunnies in a row, anyone would think it's nearly Easter!

It was a great block to put together and I love the sketch fabrics that come in this range. I must of course mention the wonderful sponsors who are donating all the beautiful fabrics and wadding to make these quilts possible;



       

            

      


In the past few days I've had the chance to join together all of the blocks I received back in November. Here it is ready to be basted;
Giant x&+ quilt top ready for quilting by fabricandflowersuk

It's a child free day tomorrow so the quilting can commence!

S x

Todays sky ● very changeable! Grey and raining to glorious blue and sunshine!

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Christmas gifts

Although Christmas has all been packed away (it has to be all taken down on the 1st Jan in this house!) I realised that I hadn't shared my Christmas makes with you. To be honest, there isn't a whole lot to share as I didn't do much this year - too little time and inspiration.

First up, shall I show you the sewing box that the lovey Mr f&f got for me? I remember similar ones when I was little with legs, in an orange pine with a big box handle. Do you know the ones I'm talking about?!

I love this one! It's not massive but is big enough to carry a little project (you can see the beginnings of one of my Skill Builder blocks there) and all my notions. It's already had the green light to be taken on holiday and I think Mr f&f is hoping that he's less likely to sit on needles/fabric/scissors when we're sitting in front the of the tellie of an evening (the trials and tribulations of being a sewists husband, eh?!) I'm planning to make the pin cushion thread catcher from Brioni's book as it should fit neatly in the top compartment of my new box whilst being portable and helping me to keep the sofa even more tidy. Bonus!!!

And you see that little pouch up there? My friend - who only got her first sewing machine in the summer and had never used one before - made it for me. I love it and she did such a fab job - always great to have another pouch for different projects!

So, Christmas makes! I made some Super Hero coasters for Mr f&f (you may notice a bit of a theme following on from his Laptop Bag!). This was some wrapping paper that we had and it seemed way too good to throw away. I got a cheap pack of bathroom tiles and a spray varnish sealer type thing and I was good to go. They're a lovely quick project to put together and if you wanted to make some of your own then you can find lots of tutorials on Pinterest (like this one). I used Decopatch glue instead of Modge Podge and it seemed to work fine, although I'll let you know if they start to deteriorate. And Mr f&f was very happy with them!
Superhero drinks coasters by fabricandflowersuk

And knickers! No, I'm not cross, I actually made knickers! Three pairs to be exact, one for me and two to gift. They started out as a bit of a jest - a friend and I went to the Knitting & Stitching show last October and was laughing at me when I said I wanted to try making knickers. So I told her, in my most deadpan way possible "I was going to make you some for Christmas". She laughed and it became a thing that I had to do! So much fun I tell you! They're really comfy and you can use all your favourite fabrics too!!!
Knickers by fabricandflowersuk

I'll be back to talk knickers soon!

Hope you're all having a lovely Sunday,

Sx

Today's sky ● very changeable, but mostly cloud and rain


Thursday, 2 January 2014

In to 2014 we go.....

I'd planned on posting this earlier but I've been thwarted by a dodgy internet connection which keeps conking out. Very annoying!

So, firstly I hope you all had a lovely Christmas? We had a great time with friends and family and I was lucky enough to score a few crafty presents too: a quilty book, a 45mm rotary cutter and a sewing box.

Thinking back over 2013 it's been a real year of change with my Mum having a tough time with her treatments and me struggling to 'find' myself over the past few months with Littlest Boy going off to nursery, both of which meant that my crafting and blogging being fairly intermittent at times. I'd been really looking forward to having some time to craft in daylight hours once the Littlies were all at nursery/school but in reality it's thrown me into a bit of a spin about who I am, what should I do and the like. Anyway, enough of my internal debate. Here's a peek at all the things that I managed to make this year!!!!

There's a little bit of everything really - some clothes, lots of bags (I blame Sara for producing so many lovely patterns!) and a fair bit of patchwork too.

My highlights of 2013 have been;

Going to Fat Quarterly Retreat Managing to put faces to the names of so many people I already 'knew', going outside my comfort zone in Lu's Improv class and getting to meet Kerry (I really tried not to be star-struck!!!). It was such good fun and I'm hoping to be able to go again this year

Joining the Siblings Together Quilting Bee My first bee and I have so enjoyed it. I've got to know some fabulous ladies, had lots of fun and I think it's helped grow my patchwork skills no end!

Taking part in the Stamp It Up Swap I've always wanted to have a go at hand-stamping so when Nicky posted about this swap it was so good to have an excuse to finally try it!

Winning a couple of competitions It was so lovely to be one of the lucky winners of a Liberty Lifestyle competition and to be chosen by Minerva fabrics to make a dress. I was even lucky enough to win a fabulous giveaway and have my quilt planned already

The not so good bits;

Skill Builder BOM I started off with good intentions and then it all fell apart in April when there was lots of hand piecing. I managed to finish off one of the blocks over Christmas and am determined to do some more (either the whole thing/enough to make a good sized lap quilt) as I was really enjoying learning so many new techniques

Farmers Wife Quilt - I has such good intentions, cut out all of the templates and that's pretty much it! I've already got the fabric lined up so I'm hoping to make an actual start on it this year

Taking too long I've had some projects that I've meandered along with here and there and then got annoyed with because it's taken too long to complete. I started a quilt back in March/April last year, and after two hours sewing last night had a quilt top finished. It's frustrating that it's taken up so much brain space when it really didn't take much to finish!
Candle holder made by Mr f&f!

So looking forward to 2014, what do I hope to achieve? I've been pondering this a lot lately and I've seen lots of people on blogs/IG picking a word for the year. I really like this idea and have struggled to narrow it down to one but have finally managed it: Time-Management. Well, it's two words but hyphenated, so I think that's okay?! It probably sounds very worky but I think it encompasses the two main things that I've struggled with in the past few months, organisation and balance. If I can get my time management right I think (hope!) the rest will follow. There are things that I really want to do this year and I need to be organised to do it all and not feel guilty that I'm letting myself/family/friends down. So, in 2014 I really want to.....

Make more clothes! I'm in love with the Colette Albion Duffle coat and would really like to tackle that soon alongside some more everyday clothes

Do more patchwork! I've got lots of projects started, some I want to start and so many ideas floating around in my head of things I'd like to do that I have to make them because they're stopping me from sleeping at night! I'd also like to join another bee because I'm having such fun

Do more knitting/crochet! I don't think this will happen until later in the year when all the Littlies are at school, but I'd like to get to a point where I'm sewing during the day and then either hand-sewing/yarn-crafting in the evening so that I can be a bit more sociable with Mr f&f

Try hand-sewing! See above! I really enjoyed the hand embroidery class that I did at retreat and would like to incorporate it into my projects

And that's it! Plenty to be getting on with me thinks! Thanks for sticking with me on this post - you can probably tell I've been thinking about this a lot lately!

Sx

Todays sky ● beautiful blue sky. We even managed a walk!
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