Friday, 31 August 2012

Tetris Picnic Blanket

I joined in the Tetris QAL at Happy Quilting because I loved the concept and it looked like fun!

It really was and I'm pleased to say I've finished it.

A quick finish because I made it into a picnic blanket, using some canvas type fabric my mum gave me for the backing. I sewed the front and back right sides together, turning it through and top stitching around the edge.

The backing has a camping/holiday theme, which seems appropriate.

Happy it's already being loved and enjoyed while we play with yet more cardboard in the garden!!

I also managed to finish another Rose Star block, that's 18 and counting:

The giveaway is open until Monday so make sure you enter!

Linking up:

at the awesome Missy Mac Creations this week!

There and Back


Thursday, 30 August 2012

217 miles

My husband is driving the kids back from Glasgow today. I've had a couple of days to myself - done a lot of sewing, relaxed and now I'm missing them all like crazy. I know they'll be driving me mad again by tomorrow but the peace and quiet is getting a bit suffocating and I need hugs! Getting weepy about how much I need them all around me now. It's funny how the grass always seem greener but I think we all need a balance of time to ourselves as well as with our family.

Even the cat is stalking the windowsill awaiting their return...

And while we wait I've been sewing these little Liberty hexies:

**The giveaway is still open!**

Linking up:
 Thursday Think Tank
Live A Colorful Life


Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Free house and working on WIPs

I'm busy sewing and I have the house to myself, I'm going to be brief so I can get back to it!!

The 'you pick' giveaway is still open so make sure you enter if you haven't already :)


- Pinwheels in the Forest quilt

- Tutorial for cube pincushion and baby blocks

I've also finished the hand quilted baby quilt for my very dear friend. I can't show pics as I want it to be a surprise, I will be handing it to her this weekend though and getting lovely baby cuddles too! Good job I'm already pregnant or I'd be majorly broody!


- Tetris QAL. I'm not a huge fan of borders so I added three big pieces of fabric to one side - the jewels and the habitat prints really echo the tetris game. Quick and easy! Quilt top done!

- Blogger's BOM this month's tutorial is at Amy's Creative Side and I really like this one:

- How Far Will You Go? QAL - this is so fun and the two Jess' really are awesome!

St Louis Star - fabulous paper pieced pattern here

Jack in the Box blocks - great tutorial here

- Vintage Holiday QAL

- Sailor Mouth Swap, keeping this one under wraps until it's done and posted!

no progress

- Retro Flowers QAL (are you surprised?!) I will make one more so I least have a row's worth by next week. Think there's any prizes for being the slowest?! - Rose Star blocks
- All the other million projects that are in my brain!!

completed: 3
in progress: 7
new: 0

Before I leave please go and check out Rebecca's awesome charm swap! You can nab a place if you're quick and the fabrics in the Flickr group are really gorgeous. Also the people involved are all brilliant, which is nice!

Low Volume Swap

Linking up:
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced


Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Gleaming the Cube

If you're visiting from the Let's Get Acquainted Blog Hop, welcome! Thanks to Beth for including me.

Plum and June

I'm currently having a giveaway and have a few new lovely followers so hello to you too!

A quick introduction... I'm Lucy, wife, mum to 2.5 kids (a boy, a girl and one due in January). We live in Manchester, UK. I started this blog about a year ago as a way to document the stuff I make. I had no idea what an awesome quilting community existed online and am thrilled to have been lucky enough to make some fantastic blog friends.

I mostly quilt, have a new found love of embroidery and occasionally make utter rubbish out of cardboard with my kids. Please check out the pages on the tabs above to see some of what I've made (the sewn stuff not the cardboard crap!).

I take part in too many quilt-a-longs and swaps and generally can't keep up but I'm having a great time trying. Have a look at some of what I'm involved in on the right sidebar   ------------->

I have started a little obsession with cubes lately and decided to create a tutorial for the Blog Hop. I have two makes, a cube pin cushion and a baby block (random? yes but definitely useful for gifts!). The principal is the same, although the method is slightly different. I'm doing some English Paper Piecing (EPP) for the pincushion. If you've never done any EPP before I recommend taking a look at this tutorial by Clare.

These projects are really simple, can be done in front of the TV and are a great way to use up scraps! I have included the sizes of templates I used but you can make them whatever size you like.

Cube Pin Cushion

I started by taking a 2" square template and fussy cutting 6 squares of fabric, making sure I created a 1/4" seam allowance:

Lay them out in this cross shape. You want to think about how you are placing the fabric if it is directional because there will be a top and bottom to the pincushion. I always take a picture of layouts because it's great for reference and to check you're sewing things together the right way:

Chose a layout and then take a picture!

Cut a 2" square out of cardboard - I used a cereal box - you will use this inside the box to give a bit of stability.

Baste your squares and sew them together according to the layout. I did this using EPP, right sides together until you have the cross layout as above:

sorry - late night shot!

To sew the edges together, use a ladder stitch (slip stitch), forming a cube shape. Leave two adjoining sides open for stuffing.

On one edge I inserted a bit of ribbon (just stitch through the ribbon as you stitch the sides together) so the pincushion can be tied onto a pouch or wherever you keep your sewing supplies. Once you've reached the final two seams, rip out the basting stitches and the papers.

Place the cardboard in the bottom of the pincushion and stuff with filling of your choice - I use polyfill.
Sew the final seam closed using a ladder stitch.

These make cute gifts and are handy to have around!

The fabric I used is Button Box from the Walnut Hill Farm collection by Blend, available here.

Baby blocks

The baby block is made in almost the same way, the difference is that I cheated used one piece of fabric and one big template so there's no EPP:

You could make this the same way as the pin cushion if you wanted to fussy cut your fabric.

I used a 3" inch square to draw my template. Pin to the fabric and then cute round, creating a 1/4' seam allowance.

I snipped slightly into the corners to make it easier to baste.

Fold the paper on the lines between the squares and finger press, give it a quick press with the iron on the creases:

Baste and then sew together the sides of the block using a ladder stitch. Leave two adjoining sides open for stuffing.

Once you come to the final two seams, rip out the basting stitches and paper and stuff with polyfill. Then stitch up the opening. You can leave the papers in if you chose (I did!) - it gives a nice crinkly sound that babies would enjoy!!

You can make stacks of these blocks (I haven't had time) and there are so many possibilities. You could embroider them with different animals or pictures, applique letters onto each block to spell out the baby's name, make I-spy blocks, number blocks, the alphabet, etc.

The fabric I used is ABC 123 in Manilla from School Days by American Jane, it's available from Fresh Squeezed Fabrics here.

If you make any blocks using these tutorials please link back to this post and leave a comment with a link to your blog/pictures below. Thanks!

More blog hopping fun:

Visit Ella at throw a wench in the works today

August 30th - Elaine at Dashasel sews
                       Jess at The Elven Garden

Linking up:
Sew Happy Geek


p.s. You get major brownie points if the title of this post made you think about a Christian Slater film!!

Monday, 27 August 2012

Pinwheels in the Forest Quilt

**Click here for the GIVEAWAY - open until 3rd Sept 12 - good luck!**

Can I make a quilt in a weekend? Yes I can!

Hubbie is visiting friends back home and they've just had a baby boy so I asked him if I should make a quilt (while already mentally sorting through my stash to see what delights I could use!) Obviously he said yes and, while he kindly entertained the kids, I created this Pinwheels in the Forest quilt:

I used this tutorial by Rachel of Four Wise Monkeys, only making 9 of the pinwheels for a smaller quilt - it measures approx 54"x 54".

It's a right mix of fabrics! Can't remember them all but there's definitely some Riley Blake 'Fox Trails', Lizzy House 'Outfoxed' (hedgehogs, foxes and more still available here), Joel Dewberry 'Heirloom', Suzanne Ultman 'Critter Community' and Rashida Coleman-Hale 'I Heart' in there. The background and sashing is Kona snow. It was all pieced using Aurifil 50wt (didn't even have to change the bobbin!) and quilted with a Coats thread in very pale baby blue.

The back is pieced because I didn't have anything else that was quite right. I made a border and then realised it wasn't big enough so had to add another strip of solid to one edge, which makes the panel of Fox Trails off centre but oh well, it's still cute!

I did some basic straight line quilting using my nifty walking foot guide with the rawl plug!

I stayed up too late last night hand sewing the binding - I was tempted to machine it but honestly I cannot get it to look nice at all and wasn't up for faffing about!

Fingers crossed they'll like it!

I'm very excited because today I signed up for the Low Volume Swap at Making Rebecca Lynne - seriously go here and sign up

Low Volume Swap

Check out the Flick group for the gorgeous fabrics already part of the charm swap. SO LUSH!! You can visit the group if you have any questions, Rebecca is really helpful! Also Helen at Archie the Wonderdog posted some amazing examples of what you can do with low volume fabrics. I've seen a few of these around and I just adore them - especially when they are contrasted with bright modern fabrics.

Rebecca is super organised, she's planned everything really well and I'm positive this will be amazing swap! It's a fantastic way to get at least 112 charms of beautiful fabric. I know I can't wait to get mine :)