Thursday, 10 July 2014

A sewing kit

Hey everyone! Firstly, thanks to everyone who stopped by and made a lovely comment on my Roses table runner - you really made my day!

Today, I thought I'd pop in and show you a little gift that I made for my husbands colleague, Sue. They've worked together for years now and Sue is a bit of a whizz at making and decorating cakes and has made us some pretty special ones over the past few years. Recently, she started a sewing course and I thought that, as a bit of a thank you (and to encourage a potential seweee!) I'd make her a little sewing kit.

I decided on the Pink Stitches Boxy Pouch Tutorial as I'd fancied trying out the pattern for a little while and it looks lovely and roomy for carrying stuff! I made some QAYG panels for the side - which was the longest bit! - and then followed the pattern. It came out really cute, if not a little bit novelty-fabric-tastic!

I also made a needlecase and pin-cushion using some scraps of fabric that I had lying around and the little sewing kit was all complete!

The Boxy Pouch is a great little tutorial and I will definitely be making more, but next time I will add in a little tab at the end of the zipper to help with opening/closing the pouch as I think it would add a nice little touch, and isn't that the whole point of handmade?!

And the best thing of all is that Sue was over the moon with her kit. Yay!

See you soon,

S x

Todays sky ● glorious blue with some wispy clouds

Monday, 7 July 2014

Oakshott Colourshott Bloghop::: A tablerunner and coasters

Hello everyone! And welcome if you popped over from Lynne's to check out my stop on the Oakshott Colourshott blog hop.



It was so lovely to be asked to be a part of this and after some rapid response emails with Lynne and the other blog-hoppers (seriously, it was the email equivalent of pointy elbows at a fabric sale!) I was sent a Fat Eighth bundle of Colourshott Oakshott Brighton Rock

Now, I confess that I'm not really a pink type of girl, but it's very hard to resist Oakshott in any colours and these are just gorgeous. I think it's the way they shimmer and shine depending on how the light catches them. This colourway instantly reminded me of roses and I just couldn't get the idea out of my head so in the end I ran with it!

This summer table set will give you one table runner and six coasters. They are made up of hexagons that are built up like log-cabins with the different colours used to suggest the varying shades that you get in a rose bud.


Before we get started, I thought I would share with you the recommendation that if you make an Oakshott project and wash it please make sure you use colour catchers: I washed this table runner with two colour catchers and they came out quite pink, but they did their job as the white is still white so all is good, thankfully!!!!!

So, enough waffling - lets get started!

Materials
1 x Oakshott Colourshott Brighton Rock F8 pack
1 yd Backing fabric
1/2 yd Wadding
1/4 yd Binding fabric
  
Finished size of table runner: 12 1/2” x 50”

Please remember to read through all the instructions before starting. All seam allowances are 1/4” unless otherwise stated.
  
Cutting instructions
Cut a 3” wide strip from the short end of each F8: from each of these cut 3 x 1.5” hexagons

Cut the remaining F8 fabric into 1.5” strips length wise

From the backing fabric and wadding cut 6 x 6" squares for the coasters, 15" x 55" for the table runner 

Making the hexagon roses
Tip: Each rose is built up like a log-cabin block. I took each long strip, sewed it on to the hexagon, cut to size and then trimmed properly after pressing to make the process a bit speedier!



Following the above diagram for colour placement as you work your way around the hexagon, mixing up the light/dark fabrics on each of the roses so that there is an even distribution of colours across the table runner.

Take a hexagon. Pick up your first strip in the same colour and sew on to one side of the hexagon. Cut the strip. Press upwards.

Using a ruler, line up with the outside line where piece 2 will go and ensure it is square with the opposite side of the hexagon (on round two you can square up with the seam on round 1) (A) 

Trim your rose following the line of the hexagon (B)

Rotate the hexagon to trim the other side in the same way as before (C & D) 

Take your next strip and continue in the same way around until the rose is complete.

Make 6 roses up to round 1 (piece 6) for the coasters
Make 18 roses up to round 2 (piece 18) for the table runner

Tip: because of the pressing needed, it is quicker to sew all the Strip 1’s on, before pressing/ trimming/cutting, then Strip 2 and so on.

Cut five of the roses in half.

Making the table runner
Lay your roses out as per the diagram.

The roses are sewn together on the machine using the y-seam method.


For this step I'm going to send you over to Karen's fabulous tutorial which is the one that I used: it very clearly describes each step and I think that she should have all the credit! If you've not sewn y-seams before, then please don't be put off at this point as this was also my first time and it really is a lot easier than you would think!

When adding in the half roses, position the bottom short edge to the table runner and work out to the outside edge to ensure an accurate fit.

Trim each end to form the point following the line of the outer hexagon, and trim the long edges

Layer the quilt top, wadding and backing to make a quilt sandwich.

Quilt as desired. I stitched a 1/4" around the outside of each rose using a variagated thread.

Bind the table runner in your preferred way.

To make the coasters 
Layer the wadding, backing fabric (right side up) and rose (right side down). 

Starting at piece 6, sew around the outside leaving a hole for turning, securing the beginning and end stitches. Trim the excess backing fabric and wadding and the corners so that the coasters will lay flat.
Turn out through the hole using a chopstick (or some other pointy thing!) to push the corners out. Press.

Topstitch to secure the opening and quilt as desired, again I used a varigated thread and stitched 1/8" inside round one and the hexagon.



Enjoy!!!

If you'd like to see all the lovely things that the other wonderfully talented quilters/bloggers have been making with their Oakshott Colourshott bundles (or have yet to be revealed, but they're guaranteed to be great!) then check out the rest of the blog hop. Here is the full schedule:

31 June:  Jo from My Bearpaw
1 July:     Kerry from Very Kerry Berry
3 July:     Nicky from Mrs Sew And Sow
4 July:     Helen from Archie The Wonder Dog
7  July:    Sonia from Fabric And Flowers
8 July:     Charlotte from Displacement Activity
10 July:   Trudi from Trudi-Quilting Prolifically
11 July:   Susan Claire from Gourmet Quilter

And finally a button because what's a blog hop without a button?! 

Lily's Quilts

Thanks for stopping by and if you have any questions then do drop me a line,

S x

Todays sky ● gloriously sunny with blue skies and a few wispy clouds. Perfect!

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

A Sew Together Bag


If you're on Instagram (where you can follow me as @fabricandflowersuk) you have probably seen some lovely Sew Together Bags by Sew Demented popping up in your feed. As soon as I saw it I knew I would be making one: lots of pockets and space, a cool design and a snazzy handle, whats not to love?! And it looks like it's holds a lot of stuff - perfect!

Back last year when we did the Stamp it up Swap Nicky had sent me through six 2.5" mini charms that she had printed herself and I'd been waiting for a project to use them in. This was perfect! Although it looks complicated, it really isn't and if you take it step by step it goes together before you realise it......and I can highly recommend this sew-along by Quilt Barn to help you through too.



Having said all this, I was going through one of those ruts: you know the ones where everything you do goes wrong on every single project? The unpicker gets waaaaaaay too much use, things keep getting miscut (hello Mr Seamripper again!) and the whole way through there is indecision (or is this just me?!). I was about ready to give up sewing!!!!!

But eventually I got there. There were a few changes I made that I thought you might be interested in, just in case you want to make your own, which were tips I picked up on Instagram (unfortunately I can't remember who to credit them)

✿ Moving the press line for the pocket attachment a 1/4" closer to the edge (the point) so that there is a more equal gap between each of pockets
✿ Handstitching the binding down for a neater finish


I am really pleased with the finished bag but I just didn't love it, so I've gifted it to a crafty friend who really liked it and I know will appreciate it. When I make it again (which will hopefully be soon) there are a couple of things I will do differently;

✿ Cut the binding a bit smaller at 2" for a snugger fit as I think it will look neater
✿ Add some interfacing to the zipper tabs: I'm not sure if it's just because I used a pale fabric but there is a definite difference in the strength of the fabric between the end of the zipper tab and where it's sewn to the bottom of the bag and as it is meant to be a handle it needs to be a little stronger for me.

Hope you have a lovely sunny day wherever you are, 

S x

Todays sky ● blue with a few clouds but nicely warm

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Hello July - Fresh Sewing Day

Phew! I can't believe it - actually posting on the first of the month!!!!!
Lily's Quilts

First up I wanted to show you the Siblings Together Bee blocks that I made for Jo last month using these instructions, it's going to be a really bright and cheerful quilt I think!


There's been lots of sewing, some of which will be revealed in a few days in the Oakshott Blog Hop (eeep!)
Lily's Quilts

There's been a bit of quilt making and lots of prep for Fat Quarterly Retreat soon....

I've also been slowly working on my Schnitzel & Boo mini quilt and am hoping to finish it off tomorrow and send it on it's way......

Back soon with some more sewing..........at the moment (on possibly one of the nicest evenings) I'm wrapped up in a fleece, scarf and sipping down ibuprofen, hoping to nip it in the bud as I've got too much to do to be poorly!

Sx

Todays sky ● gloriously warm with blue skies (apparently!)

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Fun Post and a Bat Patch!!!!

Helloooooo! It has been a lovely weekend here - the sun has been shining, there's been some relaxing (!) and it all started off on Friday with some fabulous post!!!!

I received this lovely nametag from Pippa as part of the swap in the lead-up to Fat Quarterly Retreat. Isn't it perfect?! And look at the lovely little extra's that I got too. Thanks Pip - I love them!

And my partner recieved the tag that I had sent. I was a little nervous when I got Trudi in the swap as her quilting is just incredible but if you follow her Instagram feed, you'll also know that she makes some fairly fabulous cakes too, so that's what I went with!!!!!

I found a free paper-piecing pattern here which comes out at around 3.5" square. The only difference that I made was to make piece 7 the whole width of the pattern and sewed it on last making sure it was a little bit longer so that I had space to put a name. The cake is a mixture of botanics, oakshott and a dotty fabric (mmmmmmm!!!) and I fussy cut the cherry and used a bit of bondaweb to stick it on before securing with a few hand stitches. A little hand embroidery for Trudi's name and it was all done. I think it worked out quite cute in the end!

And then yesterday I did one of those really quick little projects which makes you feel all happy with yourself!!! Little Boy had got a new Batman shirt a little while ago and within 24hrs had managed to rip a hole in it (boys - sigh). After a quick google search, the main solution for fixing jersey fabric seems to be interfacing but the hole was quite big and right near the neckline so that would have looked a bit rubbish.....and then it hit me: I could make a Bat-patch!!!!!

Using some bondaweb I traced the bat on the tshirt, ironed it onto some black cotton before cutting out (the tricky part!) and ironing it into position on the tshirt. I then carefully - with a very narrow zig-zag - went around the outline of the bat to try and prevent it from fraying too much in the wash (because lets face it, it'll be washed a lot!). And voila!!!!

I'm so happy with how this came and Little Boy is also chuffed with the extra battiness of Batman!!!!! Lets just hope I don't have too make too many more Bat-patches - they're fiddly little blighters to cut out and sew around!!!!

Hope you've all had a lovely weekend,

S x

Todays sky ● glorious blue, some clouds.....lovely and hot!!!!
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