Monday, 18 August 2014

Another Sew Together Bag

Before Retreat, I was lucky enough to be sent some Alison Glass Field Day for a project I was working on (more on that another day!). I had some of the panel print left and whilst pondering my need (yep, need!) for a Sew Together bag I realised it would be perfect for the exterior panel.

To add a bit of interest (and because I just don't trust fusible wadding!) I added three lines of 3-step zig-zag stitching either side of the panel print in a bright pink and the exterior was done.

For the inside I used a mix of Alison Glass sunprint for the pocket linings and fabrics from my Simply Solids stash club for the pocket exteriors. A little more Field Day for the binding and it was done.

As before, I finished all the binding by hand and then machine stitched the zipper tabs to the bag for added strength. I found that the easiest way to do this was to turn the bag almost inside out like so and pin/glue baste in position.........

I am so happy with how this came out - it's overly bright and a little bit bonkers but I love it and it holds so much stuff! It was finished in time for retreat and even a random lady on the train commented on it!!!!

I did make a few adjustments to the original pattern:

- Moved the exterior pocket fold line out by 1/4"
- Cut the binding at 2" and hand-finished it on both side seams and top zip
- Interfaced the zipper tabs

I love it so much I've even used a scotch-guard spray to stop it getting dirty! Have you ever used a scotch guard? It's fantastic for bags and really does help to protect them......I remember making my Liberty Lapin Noir and on it's first outing - which happened to be to a toddler group - a cup of juice got spilt all over it and I was able to just brush it off with no absorption. Magic I tell you!

Back soon,


Todays sky ● a mix of blue and sunshine and grey and rainy

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Parquet - a jelly roll quilt

Hellooo!!!! One of the things that I didn't mention about the fabulous weekend that was #FQR2014 was the handing over of all the Siblings Together Quilts on Saturday night. So many lovely quilts and such an amazing cause. 

As well as the Bee quilt I also handed over this jelly roll quilt, which I showed as a quilt top a little while ago

It's a pattern that I created designed to be quick and easy, showcase the fabrics and be as big as possible!!! It's made with a jelly roll of Comma that I'd won in the raffle at Retreat last year, paired with a dark grey blender, Kona Charcoal for the binding and IKEA Nummer fabric for the backing. It's a good sized quilt finishing at 56" x 70" and did I mention quick and easy to put together?! For quilting I kept it very simple going a 1/4" either side of each of the squares and even attempted machine binding using Lynne's fab tutorial, except that I attached the binding to the front and then machine-bound on the back..... It's more difficult to spot my slightly wavy lines on the dark blender fabric that way!
And if nothing else, this quilt makes a great cloak as modelled by my 5yr old!!!

Now you may remember that I made a second version of this for Justine & Lisa using a Chloe's Closet 1930s Playtime jelly roll and Kona White that got sent off to Trudi for some quilting magic. Doesn't it look amazing?!

And I'm really excited to let you know that if you'd like to make your own Parquet Quilt the pattern is now available as a free download from the Simply Solids website here. Or if you're at the Festival of Quilts then pop along to stand E16 to pick up a free copy of the pattern and have a look at the quilt in real life! 

I'd love to see if you make any quilts using this pattern, maybe you can use #parquetquilt if you post any photos to social media?

Have a great day,


Today's sky ● Grey, overcast and looking like rain for the whole day. Boo!

Monday, 4 August 2014

What a fabulous weekend #FQR2014 was!

Hello everybody! I can't believe it's been over a fortnight since retreat already, time really has flown!!! I came back very happy, very tired and smack bang into the summer holidays, a birthday party and a four day camping trip. It's been hectic!

So, Retreat!!! It was the best weekend: lots of fun meeting up with old and new friends, uninterrupted sewing time and learning lots of new skills. First up we received a fabulous goody bag filled with Aurifil, Moda Mini Charm Packs, Robert Kaufman, Makower, Soak, a voucher for Duckegg Threads and some fabulous notions from Korabond. Pretty good!

My first class was with Brioni where we were learning to do petals. I'd been debating what to do with my class samples and I decided early on that these blocks would be perfect for making a new sewing-machine cover (I had one of those soft ones with mine and it's pretty very tatty now and barely doing it's job). I've got Brioni's book and had always admired her petals quilt but having cut out my 32 petals I have even more respect for the quilt (and the knowledge that I will probably never make it, I don't think I have that much patience!!!!). And I even got to play with a new machine as Janome were sponsoring the weekend. So much fun!

I think Friday night was my favourite part - sitting out on the terrace chatting with Lynne, Mandy and Jo and then moving inside to chat with the lovely Jen Kingwell. You've probably heard already from others how lovely Jen was, but she really really was! There may have been some pawing of her Green Tea & Sweet Beans and Gypsy Wife quilts......oh my, they are beautiful. I think I was probably the silly one stood there holding the quilt with my mouth open going 'wow' a lot. And the stories behind some of the quilts were so interesting too. An amazing night!

Saturday morning saw me learning about how to get patterns in to print with the lovely Jen from Love Patchwork & Quilting and then going on to embroidery with Jo. I learnt so many new tips and tricks, I can't wait to get my sampler finished when I get some time.

Saturday afternoon was a lesson with Jen Kingwell for applique and hand-stitching GTSB quilt. See, Jen is such a lovely person that she even made us all a little finger pin-cushion which got handed out with a copy of the pattern. I got to sit next to Hadley during this class (who may have laughed at how poorly organised I was!) but aside from the mick-taking it was really great to spend time with her as I'd not really had a chance last year. It took me ages to trace the templates and cut them all out, and I still haven't finished my starter blocks but I am so going to make this quilt one day. I said to Jen that GTSB is a quilt that I've always said I'm going to do when I'm a grown-up (!) but I now have the confidence to make a start on it. 

Saturday night was great fun. After some more chatting on the terrace with Kerry, Jo, MalmesburyJen and some others there was a little bit of shopping at the market night before we settled down for the quiz night. I was on Team Butler with Hadley, Jo, Thomas Knauer and many others and I don't think I've laughed so much in a long time. And did I mention that we won? Another Jen Kingwell pattern - Stardust this time. My bucket list may be starting to look a little silly now!!!!!

Sunday morning saw me learning tips & tricks on Touchdraw with Lynne which was brilliant and then modern knots with Thomas: a really fun class with lots more laughter and chatting. And this is pretty much the only sample that I've actually managed to finish so far - just some binding to go.

So there you go, a pretty long summary of my weekend. It doesn't cover sharing a room with Trash and Margerite (who were fabulous roomies!) As you've probably gathered from my witterings it really was lovely!!!! There was lots of laughter. Lots of fun and I so want to go again next year if I can clear a weekend pass with the hubby. A big thank you to Lynne, Brioni, Tasha, the Two Jacks and many others who I've probably forgotten to mention.

See you soon, 

S x

Todays sky ● blue and sunny and then cloudy and rainy. Meh!

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!

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.


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!
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