Monday, 8 December 2014

A Scraptastic Quilt!

Oh my gosh, time is flying by at the moment. A few weeks were spent mainly looking after poorly children......we've managed a fairly impressive three weeks of successional illnesses. But Hurrah! I think we've come out the other side of it now - yay! Now it's all the Christmas mayhem of plays, disco's and the like to navigate - along with some last minute pressie making - and then I'm on the home straight!

One of the thing's I've been itching to tell you about for ages is my latest project in Quilt Now (Issue 5). It almost seems daft talking about it now as the next issue is due out in a week or so, but this is the secret sewing that I was working on over the summer and is the biggest quilt I've ever made coming in at 80" square so I feel it warrants a mention!

I have a real love of scrap quilts - I always admire how people put so many different colours together and BAM! it looks amazing - but have never actually made one myself. I'm just too much of a perfectionist and control freak to feel comfortable throwing fabrics together - I always second guess myself as to whether or not those colours really will work together in the end. So when I designed Scraptastic I threw in lots of background/neutral squares to help balance out all the other crazy colours. 

The quilt is made up by making two different sized blocks (lots of each, obviously!) which are then pieced together with partial seams/step-down piecing. It sounds scary, but it really isn't....this was my first attempt (honestly!).
Picture borrowed from Trudi when Scraptastic was on the quilt frame!

I had a chat with the lovely Trudi at FQ Retreat and sent her Scraptastic to work her magic on and wow - she really did the most amazing job, it really made the quilt. I can't wait for it to come home so that I can put it on our bed and snuggle now that the weather is getting colder!!!!

If you have lots of scraps Issue 5 of Quilt Now really is packed full of lovely projects (and I'm not just saying that!) that I want to try out, especially the scrap baskets!

See you soon,

S x

Todays sky ● mostly sunny but cold!

Friday, 14 November 2014

The past week (and a bit!) has been mostly about......

.....making a friendship star block for my local guild which will be made in to quilt for auctioning off for charity next year...

.....making shell pictures for our bathroom. We collected a load of shells from a lovely weekend visiting friends who live (obviously!) near the beach and using some flan tins and plaster of paris each of the kids made a little picture. I'm really pleased with them!

.....starting to quilt my mini for the #igminiswap with some gorgeous variegated Aurifil . I'm really hoping my partner likes this, it will be posted soon so not long to find out!

.....and finally there have been some duvet days! I seem to be averaging a call a week from the school at the moment, but the boys are at least taking it in turns to have a day at home!

Hope you all have a great weekend,


Todays sky ● cloudy this morning, but lovely and bright this afternoon 

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

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