25 April 2016

1930s Farmer's Wife QAL ~ #64 Monette

So behind the scenes I've been beavering away on my Farmer's Wife Blocks...this is officially my longest work in progress and boy have I learnt A LOT since I started.  Where possible I've used quilty maths and where the maths has had me flummoxed I've used the templates contained on the disc in the back of the book.  Today I'm joining Kerry to share Block #64 Monette.
Monette is a pretty block with some very small pieces...57 pieces in a 6 1/2" square..... madness!  I cut pieces 64B, 64C and 64D using the templates and cutting guide in the book, as shown on my previous post HERE.  However for 64A, rather than cutting 48 individual tiny squares as directed (24 in each colour)  I used template 64A as a guide for the depth and cut long strips in each of the two fabrics, which I pieced together and then sub cut these down into two patches, again using the template for the width of each piece.  I found this helped with the accuracy of the piecing rather than having to deal with lots of teeny weeny squares. Another 'little happy tip' is use a spritz of spray starch on the finished block, this really  helps to flatten out all those seams.  My starch of choice is Best Press which is available in our bricks and mortar shop, (sorry it's sadly not on our website for fear of spillage whilst on route.... which as Craig Revel Horwood would say would be "a disaster darling"!)

My fabric choices for this block are:
Dotted Daisy Royal from Bread n Butter by Moda which is HERE
Blooms Pink from Toy Chest Florals by P&B Textiles which is HERE
Apple Dot Red from Morningside Farm by Robert Kaufman which is HERE
I've added Monette to my stack of Farmers Wife Blocks..... ohhh so satisfiying..... and I can not help but ponder over just how many blocks to make and also what layout to use...
I swing between the traditional layout from the first book and the chevron layout of the second book.....I was completely swooning over the chevrons when I first saw them, but there is something equally gorgeous over the sashing with cornerstones....oh and do not mention the other layouts that I drool over when searching through the hashtag #fwqal on Instagram!

Don't forget to pop over to Kerry's Blog to see her version of Monette, she has been sharing some amazing information and top tips and you should see all her other blocks, they're stunning!

If you're on Instagram take a look at the following hashtags to see some amazing blocks:

#fw1930sqal
#fwqal
#farmerswifequiltalong

and for individual blocks try

#Monetteblock
#fw64Monette

See you next time

20 April 2016

Strawberry Biscuit Blog Hop

Welcome to Day 3 of the Strawberry Biscuit Blog Hop! Oh my goodness.....I was so excited to be to take part in the Blog Hop alongside some amazingly talented designers and bloggers.   Today I get to share my little project made using Elea's gorgeous new collection Strawberry Biscuit.  As a huge fan of Elea's work (hands up if I'm the only one who wished that they had hoarded Milk, Sugar and Flower!) this new collection does not disappoint...... sweet kittens, roses, strawberries, poodles.... oh happy days!  So would you like to see what I made....... after another little peek at the fabric that is......

My inspiration for my project was Penny Rugs, you know the ones which are traditionally made from wool or felted wool from old clothing and blankets.  Typically they incorporate circles made from drawing around coins and some include images from everyday life such as cats, flowers, birds and shapes such as stars and hearts.  When I looked at Eleas gorgeous fabrics, the designs (kittens, flowers, birds)  just called out to me to be fussy cut and appliqued, so here's my take on a traditional Penny Rug........



I used my favourite interfacing method for my appliques and then hand stitched them to the background fabric, which is the Riley Blake Hot Pink Swiss Dot, it was a tough decision as to which colour to go for between the Hot Pink, Aqua or Red let me tell you, all of them looked fabulous!  To give you a sense of the scale, the centre circle measures 9" across, ( I used the largest ruler from this set)  the hearts 3 1/2" across and the small circles 1 1/2" across ( I used a template from the Bloom set).  


To create that vintage feel, I went for some simple hand quilting around the outer edge and around the perimeter of each circle.


To celebrate the blog hop...cake was in order and to add a little flourish I made some Flutter Flags, it's been so long since I made any .....


They're so sweet, I think this one may permanently live in this vintage bobbin in my sewing room!
They are also super easy to make...... here's how:

1. Make a triangle template out of card, mine measured 2 1/2" wide by 2" high. Fold your fabric in half, press and then cut our your flag, you will have a diamond shape.

2. Smother the wrong side of the fabric with PVA glue.

3. Place a cake pop stick in to the centre of the diamond on top of the crease mark and carefully fold the fabric over the stick wrong sides together to create a triangular flag.  Working quickly, create the flutter, by pressing the flag over a pencil....... then leave to dry overnight.


Believe me, one Flutter Flag is never enough!


'Strawberry Biscuit' is now available in quilt shops worldwide and if you're in the UK at Pretty Fabrics and Trims (if all goes well, the full collection is arriving this afternoon   Hooray it's arrived!!

The Strawberry Biscuit Blog Hop continues today with Megan of Quilt Story and tomorrow Minki of Minki's Work Table and Heidi of Fabric Mutt will be sharing their projects, so please do hop over to see what they made!

Thanks so much Elea for inviting me.

Oh and that cake......yes it was delicious and yes it's all gone...but you knew it would be didn't you!

17 April 2016

Lovely Little Patchwork ~ Back to School Pencil Pouch

Having worked yesterday, I had today all mapped out..... sewing, sewing and a little more sewing.  Obviously I was in cloud cuckoo land when I'd had that thought........I didn't factor in food shopping, a little housework and the sun was shinning so I hit the garden for a couple of hours.  When I finally made it to the sewing room this afternoon, I needed a quick fix.  My project of choice was the Back to School Pencil Pouch from Kerri Horsley fantastic new book Lovely Little Patchwork (you can find it on the website here)  Seriously there isn't one project within its pretty cover that I do not want to make!!!  I've been stitching some half inch hexies over a couple of evenings this week in readiness......

..... and with those all stitched and appliqued the pouch came together really quickly.  Using a lace zipper from the shop mean't even putting in the zip was a dream......
 I used fabrics from the this month Flirty 30's Club for the hexies and the pretty pink dot is from the Essential Dots collection by Moda, which I teamed with Essex Linen in Natural.  The hand quilting was done in gorgeous Pink Aurifil 12wt.

So the title of this project is the Back to School Pencil Pouch...let me me tell you though, this one is mine all mine and will absolutely not be setting foot anywhere near a school..... evil laugh!
As I said earlier, this is just the first of many makes from this book that I have planned and I really do give it a HUGE thumbs up!

I know I said last time I had another finish to share, well all will be revealed on Wednesday, when it is my turn on The Strawberry Biscuit Blog Hop being hosted by the fabulous designer extraordinaire Elea Lutz and Penny Rose Fabrics.

The Blog Hop will run for two weeks with an amazing array of talented designers (and me) sharing what they have been making with Elea's beautiful fabric.  It kicks of tomorrow with Karen at Creamcraft Goods and Sedef at Down Grapevine Lane, so please do hop along with me.

I hope that you had a lovely weekend! See you soon.

12 April 2016

The Flirty 30's Club

Yesterday was a very exciting 'happy' post day, as parcels full of loveliness containing the inaugural 'The Flirty 30's Club' bundles started popping through letterboxes across the country.   Each month, club members will receive ten different 30's reproduction fabrics, carefully chosen by us from our vast collection.  You can read more about the Club HERE.  Here is this months bundle......
Mum and I had a lovely time choosing the fabrics, our picks were inspired by the promise of Spring.....
.....our idea being from the 10 fabrics, various pretty combinations that can be put together for what ever project you fancy making.  We also thought it may be useful to share which solids are a good match should you wish to build a stash of 30's inspired colours.

Obviously, as I'm sure you knew,  I could not resist sewing with these pretties.  I have a plan.......each month, I'm going to make a small project, using snippets from the bundle, this may be a pencil case, mug rug, a mini quilt etc. This months will involve these little half inch hexies which I stitched watching a film marathon with Poppy on Sunday.  I can definitely recommend Matilda if you've not seen it before, Pops and I loved it!  


I also wanted a longer term hand sewing project.  I've got various machine quilts in progress at the moment, which I'm thoroughly enjoying, but some days all I want to do once I'm back from the shop and supper's sorted is collapse on the sofa and do some therapeutic hand stitches.

So as I'm Dresden mad at the moment, I decided to do an EPP version.  My plan is to stitch three English Paper Piecied 8" Dresdens each month for a year.  These will then form the basis of vintage inspired 30's quilt...... (I've been Pinning like mad!)
Unlike my half inch hexies, I'm using a Sewline glue stick, which is fabulous for getting those lovely curves and THESE reusable papers.   These are then hand appliqued on to 9" squares of  Bella Bleached White PFD 97, which I will eventually trim back to 8 1/2" squares once the Dresdens are in place and I'm ready to piece the quilt top together.  I'm putting together 'a little happy' tutorial of how I'm stitching the Dresdens, so watch this space!

Here's this months completed blocks .......





That's all for now, but I'll be back to soon with pictures of another finish....I'm on a roll!

8 April 2016

Happy Stitches ~ FREE Embroidery Pattern



Remember that work in progress I shared last time, well it's officially a finish woohoo!  I loved every happy little stitch that went in to making it.  The pretty Sommer fabrics (which you can find here) that I used for the dresden plate inspired the embroidery, which I stitched over a few evenings completely free hand without a hoop or following a pattern...... I just went with the flow.  I used Aurifloss, which if you haven't discovered....is a dream to stitch with.  It's a 6 stranded cotton embroidery floss and I used a mix of 2 or 3 strands.  I don't know about you, but the wooden spools had me at hello!





I hadn't intended on adding any wording but stitching 'happy' captured my mood perfectly!

The dresden is fast becoming a favourite block of mine and comes together so quickly and easily........ as with all the dresden plates I have made, I used THIS fantastic ruler designed by Darlene Zimmerman to cut the blades...... it's really great, you can adjust the size of your blades and therefore the finished dresden by using the measurements marked on it.  I used the 4" ruler from Lori Holts Circle Ruler set for the centre circle.  To get perfect curves I find the interfacing method of applique gets the best results for me.  I use THIS 'sew in' interfacing.  Lori Holt has a brilliant step by step tutorial for this method of applique on her blog here.


By the way, the gorgeous background fabric is Essex Linen in Pewter.  After much umming and agghing I opted for some simple hand quilting using Aurifil 12wt (#2360 in Chocolate Brown).   The binding is the soft yellow gingham from Windermere...... (please note it's not stripey as per my norm!!!!!)



I had so much fun making this I thought it would be nice to share a little happiness, so I drew up a little happy pattern for the embroidery, which you can download for free HERE



Wishing you lots of happy stitches!

25 March 2016

A little happy Tutorial - Super Speedy Stripey Quilt


Last Friday a customer came in to the shop, we got talking over a few bolts of fabric and she told me that she would like to make a baby quilt to give as a gift to a friend... actually two quilts as her friend was expecting twins.  She had however never made a quilt before and was looking for a little help.  Her criteria was that it needed to be very easy to make, quick and not too expensive.

This is not the first time I've had this conversation...... and it got me thinking.  A possible solution could be my Patchy Heart Quilt, but could there be an even simpler quilt, that would meet the criteria that we talked about, plus be just as pretty........never being one to shy from a challenge, I said leave it with me and I'll have a think and a play.   My Super Speedy Stripey Quilt is what I came up........


It was certainly speedy, I had this cut and pieced from getting home from work, to supper being ready (admittedly it was a box curry from the supermarket which Andy prepared...well popped in the oven!) TICK for speed.  The design itself it very simple and easy to piece, it's a simple combination of full width of fabric strips pieced together, so perfect as a first quilt.  TICK for simple.   It took 1.25 metres of fabric (3 Long Quarters* and a 1/2 Metre) for the quilt top, with the smallest amount of waste or leftovers.  TICK for cost.

* When purchasing fabric from us, the fabric is cut as a Fat Quarter, which generally measures 50cm x 55cm, it's no problem for us to cut a Long Quarter, which is the same volume of fabric, but it is cut across the whole width of fabric, so generally measures 25cm x 110cm.  If you require Long Quarters, please leave a note at checkout to let us know.


For mine, I chose a mix of fabrics from Lecien gorgeous collection Flower Sugar on white backgrounds for the quilt front and the most gorgeous pale grey Flower Sugar design for the back...isn't it pretty! (all of these are available here)


This quilt would equally work with solids, I like the idea of creating an ombre effect.  What is critical to make the design work is that the fabric you choose is not directional.  For newbie quilters, I would also avoid anything with a too obvious pattern, so ginghams, patterns in a row, etc....I mean there is nothing worse than a piece of fabric cut with the pattern going skew-wiff!  So plains, ditsy prints, pin dots etc get my vote!   The lovely binding fabric is this one by Pam Kitty.... Pam Kitty and Flower Sugar is match made in heaven...some of you may remember the Simple Star quilt I made last summer....


It's in the shop at the moment if you want to see it in person....the gorgeous quilting by the way was done by Trudi Wood.  Anyway I digress, back to the Super Speedy Stripey Quilt.... I quilted mine with horizontal lines, spaced at 1 1/2".  To do this I used my Hera Marker and quilting ruler to mark my first line at the halfway point.  I then quilted the lower half of the quilt moving downwards from the centre point.  I then quilted from the centre upwards....easy peasy!  It would also lend itself to some hand quilting.



So if you fancy making one, I have put together a FREE pattern for you, which you can find HERE.  If this is your first quilt, you may find it useful to read through how I made my Patchy Heart Quilt before you start.  You'll find lots of photo's and instructions to help you with piecing, pressing, layering and binding your quilt.  Have a go and if you have any questions, please do get in touch!


In other news, this week saw the launch of our brand new Monthly Subscription Club.....




Each month, memebers of the club will receive a gorgeous bundle of pretty 1930's style fabrics through your letter box. The monthly bundle will contain 10 different fabrics from a variety of our favourite designers, for example Bonnie and Camille, Darlene Zimmerman, Chloe's Closset, Judie Rothermel .... and fabric houses....Moda, Penny Rose Fabrics, Windham, Marcus Fabrics... all carefully chosen and cut by us in our unique and popular mini size pieces, (each piece measures 25cm x 35cm). Sounds good doesn't it...you can find out more and join the club on the website here.

We also had some rather gorgeous new arrivals from the Sommer Collection by Sarah Jane for Michael Miller


Sommer, the Scandinavian word for Summer, is a collection of designs inspired by Sarah Jane's love of beautiful Scandinavian summers. Featuring pretty flowers, swans, birds, bunnies and lots of fresh colours, it's a collection that is sweet enough for the children, but sophisticated and feminine for the ladies too.  It's been super popular, so I do not think it will be in the shop for long!



Obviously as is usually the case, I grabbed some to do a little sewing with.....



but more of that next time!
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