Sunday, 26 April 2015

Blue shoos - do.Good Stitches Comfort Circle May 2015


It is my turn to be quilter again and I have decided to go for a classic block - the Shoo Fly.
I've seen some lovely quilts recently using a single block in different sizes so that is what we are going to make.

This is a straightforward 9 patch variation using squares and half square triangles (HSTs).  The following is a brief tutorial - not because I think any of you lovely ladies need it but sometimes it is helpful to have all the info in once place.

The cutting directions are based on my preferred method of making HSTs but of course you should use whatever method you prefer.

Colours and sizes

I'd like you to use a blue print fabric and a pale solid neutral (white, off-white, cream, beige) and I'm asking that everyone make one 12.5 inch block and one other block, either 9.5 inch or 6.5 inch.

Cut fabric as follows:

Block size
Blue fabric
Background fabric
Trim HSTs
12.5 inch
2 – 5”x 5”
1 – 4.5” x 4.5”
2 – 5”x 5”
4 – 4.5” x 4.5”
4.5” x4.5”
9.5 inch
2 – 4” x 4”
1 – 3.5” x 3.5”
2 – 4” x 4”
4 – 3.5” x 3.5”
3.5” x 3.5”
6.5 inch
2 – 3” x 3”
1 – 2.5” x 2.5”
2 – 3” x 3”
4 – 2.5” x 2.5”
2.5” x 2.5”

1) Take your two larger blue squares and two larger background squares and mark a line diagonally from corner to corner on the background squares

2) Place one blue square and one background square with right sides together and sew a seam 1/4 inch either side of the mark.  Repeat with the other two squares.

3) Cut along the marked line and press.

4) Trim the HST's to the appropriate size (I was making a 9.5 inch block so I trimmed to 3.5" square).

5) Take your four HSTs and the remaining pieces and place in the following layout

6) Sew the blocks into rows and then sew the rows together.  You are done!

 Looking forward to seeing what you make and hope you enjoy this block.


Saturday, 21 March 2015

A bundle of baby quilts

I love making baby quilts - they are nice quick projects because of their size and I don't let them become UFOs (which I have a bad habit of recently!)

So when I found out my cousin was expecting twins I knew I'd have the chance to make at least two baby quilts this year.  At the end of January she gave birth to two adorable boys and so I immediately started trying to decide on a pattern - I wanted something that was fun, not babyish and relatively simple (as I'd be making it twice).

I have been eager to make something from Beyond Neutrals by John Q Adams (Quilt Dad) ever since I bought it last year and this seemed a good opportunity.  I decided to use the top left 4 x 4 block section of Pacific Crest (the quilt featured on the cover of the book).

I shopped my stash and following a colour consultation with my Mum by Skype, settled on a colour scheme of navy, jade/turquoise and orange with a sort of royal blue for background.

I decided that I would do one quilt as per the pattern and then for the second I'd make a mirror image, so that they would be similar but individual, just like Aidan & Charlie.

I backed them with a blue minky/plush fabric as my kids love minky and think that all quilts should have it.  Luckily Plush Addict stock a great range and offer a colour matching service so my backing and blue solid were a great match, which I like when I back with minky as I bind by folding over the backing.

They ended up being quilted very simply with diagonal lines in the direction of the Vs - not my original plan but I was struggling with horrendous tension problems with my machine (thankfully now fixed) so it was the best compromise.

Then last month we discovered that one of my husband's university friends had just had a little girl.  Whilst we haven't seen her or her husband that much recently, they are good friends and so a quilt was in order.

I had bought Hazel Hedgehog II by Elizabeth Hartman (Oh Fransson) planning to make a large cushion cover but I was so inspired by all the fabulous Hazels made during the Hazel Hedgehog QAL run by Angie of Gnome Angel that I decided to made a rainbow Hazel.

I love it and will definitely be making more Hazel's in the future.  It was backed with a lovely Riley Blake flannel and quilted with a cross hatch.

All the quilts have arrived at their destinations and will hopefully be used and snuggled for years to come.

I'm feeling pretty chuffed to have finished 4 quilts already this year (still haven't photographed my son's new quilt as he is sleeping with it every night).

And I am now in the exciting position of having no sewing commitments/bee blocks etc for the next couple of months.  Shall I - a) use the time wisely to finish up some of the UFOs that are taking over one cupboard or b) start something new - guess which one I'm leaning towards!!

Happy sewing

Friday, 13 February 2015

Testing, testing... can anyone hear me?

Well, I know I'm an infrequent blogger but I never intended to be away so long!

So, where were we, oh yes sewing!  2014 did turn out to be a better year than 2013 but it got off to a slow start.  Radiotherapy knocked me for six and then I went straight back to work so I basically had no energy for the next few months.  But slowly, slowly  life got back to some form of normality and I started sewing again, kicked into action by a request from my nephews - the Mammoth Minecraft project, but that is for another post.

Fast forward to more recent stuff.  My daughter started school in September and she found the transition hard (thankfully things are much improved now).  Although she had been going to nursery for three days since the time she was tiny she suffered terrible separation anxiety.  Her teacher, two classroom assistants and the lady who runs the school breakfast club were so fantastic with her that when Christmas was approaching I wanted to make them something nice.

A photo on Instagram led me to the fabulous Lilipopo and it didn't take long for me to buy some of her gorgeous patterns and get stitching.  Once the embroidery was finished I used Elizabeth Hartman's Perfect Zip Bags pattern

We filled them with chocolate and they went down a treat.

I enjoyed making them so much that I made a couple more for my sewing buddies

And then I remembered that I had still not got round to making anything for my Craft it Forward bods, which gave me the perfect excuse to make some more!  Yes I did get a little obsessed (I actually made another one for my hairdresser but I forgot to take a photo of that one) but they are so cute and so much fun to stitch.  And over the Christmas holidays I always try to be more sociable so it was lovely to have some handwork to do in the evenings.

They were well received which is the important thing and I definitely see more Lilipopo in my future!

Bye for now