Monday, 21 July 2014

A bit of garden news

I think this is the first year that I have been able to enjoy some flowers in my garden.

I have been focused on ensuring that I have a lot of greenery in the garden, I hate the winter garden when there's nothing to look at and I always wanted to make sure that certain plants I put in the garden would be evergreen and that's worked so far, but in the summer I was lamenting the fact that I didn't have a huge amount of flowers, and this year I bought flowering plants!



My chocolate plant is also in flower and some ranunckles which I love and put in as bulbs!

My plan was also to put some edging around the border of my grass (which I might add is not looking so great this summer).  Note to self buy some more grass feed.

I don't think the edging will happen this year, not with starting up my own business, have to concentrate on that.

Happy with the colours in my flower borders though! 

Sad news for one of my climbing hydrangeas, something was eating the you know what out of it so I just took it out, I bought it a couple of month's ago, shame...

Now to check if it's time to start planting any spring bulbs, have to be so ahead eh!

That's all my garden news for the moment!

Fi


 

Monday, 14 July 2014

Sizzix

 
Well I was very busy this weekend up in my craft room, between making patchwork balls for the shop and customers to finishing off a quilt.  And it's the quilt I would like to share with you.
 
I make my pram quilts using mostly fabrics pulled from my scrap basket, which I have to be honest is sadly dwindling.
 
I was a bit stuck for inspiration so I decided to flick through my Sizzix dies.  I chose this one which gives you a 4" finished square (4.5" unfinished).
 

I layered up my fabric on the die.  I only put about 5 layers at a time, I am sure it's not going to break it's just me. 

I made a Sizzix sandwich by placing a cutting mat on either side of the die, i.e, one on the bottom and one on top.  So cutting mat, die, fabric, cutting mat.


Rolled it through the Big Shot machine this is my favourite part!!

Hey presto!  5 x 4" squares with little or no hassle!


The odd time you might have to snip a thread that hasn't come away from the die, but that's no problem at all!

I cut another load until I had 20 squares in total and then started assembling blocks.



Working through all my scraps I made twenty blocks measuring 6.5" x 6.5".

Keeping it nice and simple I sewed four blocks together to make a row.  I did this until I had five rows in total.  Then sewed the rows together.  I added some white cotton around as a border and personalised this little quilt for a little baby boy.

Basted it and quilted it and finally bound it with some Stof fabric.  Here is the result.


I hope he likes it!


Full shot.


I have already started cutting fabric with two other dies for a scrappy quilt, blog post will follow soon, but the squares are 2" finished with a 2" rectangle, so excited!

X Fi





















 
 
 


Sunday, 13 July 2014

How to glue hexies

 

 So I have a secret project on at the moment which involves making loads of hexies. I have been basting them methodically but thought about a pic I saw on IG where a lady was proudly showing her glued hexie. 

So I rummaged around and found my Sewling Glue pen.  Hoping it hadn't dried out, although I had never even opened the packet I gingerly took it out of it's packaging.


Had a quick read of the instructions, very simple.

I started gluing. I still pinned my paper template to the fabric just because, but I soon stopped once I got the hang of it.


I dabbed a bit of the glue along the top of the hexie, on the fabric that is, folded the fabric over the paper template and smoothed it down.

I then moved along to the next side of the hexie and on each corner dabbed more glue and folded the fabric over the paper template.


I continued the process all the way around and ended up with a nice little hexie that took next to no time to make!


Simples!


EDIT:  Just to reply to a question that one of the girls left in the comments, I found it easy to take off the paper backing, I learnt quickly that only a proper dab of glue is required, don't go crazy.  Yes you can reuse the paper templates, not a problem. Hoping that helps. x

x Fi

Friday, 4 July 2014

Another beautiful giveaway over at Celticfusion Fabrics

My sponsor Celtic Fusion Fabrics is hosting another beautiful giveaway!
 


Would you like to have a chance at winning 10 Fat quarters from the new 'September Blue' collection from Dashwood Studios?

You can enter either via her Facebook page by leaving a comment and follow her page and for a bonus entry you can leave a comment on her blog.



Giveaway closes 10th July 2014.

Best of luck!


 

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

A or rather E coin purse - A er E Tutorial

I got an order for a patchwork ball for a little baby boy, but my customer asked if I could make his big sister a purse just for her, her name was Evelyn or perhaps just the first letter of her name.

So here is my tutorial on how I made E her purse, it measures finished size at 5" x 6.25" roughly.  You can apply this tutorial to any purse without going for the alphabet letter, just make two scrappy panels instead.

The front 
The back 
Materials required

  • alphabet letter template for paper piecing
  • scraps of colourful cottons for outer panels
  • 100% cotton for lining 
  • cotton wadding
  • zipper
  • thread
  • sewing machine 
To make the front panel with the letter E, I used the letter E from the Quilterscache.  For instructions on how to paper piece check out Ellison Lane's video tutorial here.  PLEASE DO NOT BE DETERRED BY PAPER PIECING IT IS VERY VERY STRAIGHT FORWARD. 

Once I had my letter paper pieced I attached random scraps of colourful pinks to make a panel about 7" wide by 6". Apologies for approximate sizes, I only decided afterwards to make a tutorial.  The scrappier the better.

front panel
Now for the back panel.  Sew together loads of scraps to make a panel about 7" x 6".  Again scrappy as can be.


Take your cotton batting and place it behind each panel, you can quilt the fabric to the batting, decide on whatever design you want, straight lines, stippling, anything you desire.  


I did some straight line quilting on mine with amethyst Egyptian cotton but unpicked it as it clashed too much with the scraps, it would have been fine I think if I had used the white cotton, so instead I went for the stippling effect using my free motion foot. (Any questions feel free to email me or leave a comment).  

I repeated the above steps (without making the same mistake of straight lines) for the front panel. 

At this stage you should have two panels, both quilted to the cotton batting.  Trim them down to 6.5" x 6" or to a size that you are happy with.  There is no wrong or right way with this, you make it to suit your taste. 

ZIPPERS - do not fear the zip!

I swear by Ayumi's way of putting in a zip, I like it, it's explained very well.  You can pop over to Ayumi's blog for the tute, but I have photographed the steps myself below for ease of reference.

I cut two pieces of cotton for the lining 6.5 x 6.  Same size as outer panels.

I took my zipper which measured about 8" but that doesn't matter because you can trim the end off at a later point.  



Place your zipper along the top of your piece of lining fabric, ensure that your zipper pull is 1" in from the edge of the lining fabric so that you don't sew over it.  Then I pin the zipper to the fabric and using my zipper foot sew nice and slowly along the zipper, no rushing, steady does it.

When you reach the half way point of your zipper, stop, and unzip the zipper see photo below. 


Now continue sewing until you reach the end of your fabric piece.


Take your other piece of lining fabric and repeat the process only this time your zipper is going to remain open, look at my picture above to see how the fabric is attached to the zipper, you are placing your lining fabric right side facing down on to the right side of the zipper.  See again pic above.  Sew.

 
Repeat the exact same steps for attaching the outer panels, just keep your lining pieces smooth and out of your way.  


When you have gotten through this stage you are nearly done, your work should look like this, one panel on the left with lining underneath then the zipper and the other panel and lining on the right hand side.

Progress so far.
At this point you are going sew your coin purse.  

IMPORTANT IMPORTANT IMPORTANT, OPEN YOUR ZIP HALF WAY OTHERWISE YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PULL YOUR PURSE RIGHT WAY OUT. 

Put the two outer panels right sides facing to one side of the halfway open zip and the lining pieces right sides together to the other side of the HALFWAY OPEN ZIP. 

I usually trim the batting along the zipper to cut down on bulkiness, see pic below. 

Batting trimmed along the zip
Pin everything.  IS YOUR ZIP HALWAY OPEN?


Using your 1/4" foot sew the whole lot together remember to leave a good 4" opening at the bottom of your lining panel, this is where you will turn your purse right side out.  Take it nice and easy over the zipper, I usually sew over the zipper section a couple of times to make sure it's really secure in place



Trim off the end of the protruding zip.

Opening in lining for turning purse
Now you can turn your purse right side out and sew closed the opening, I usually run my machine along the bottom of the lining.  Iron the lining.


Push your lining into the purse cavity, iron your purse, not the zip, stay away from the zip. 

Sit back and admire your work!  Well done!



Any questions please don't hesitate to contact me.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

New in Celtic Fusion Fabrics

What's new in Celtic Fusion's shop well look at these beauties!

Retro Orchard designed in the UK by Wendy Kendall for Dashwood Studios.

These really make my mouth water, they are so colourful, cheerful and funky!


Gwen also has some new Tilda charm packs in stock.

Seaside Life


Sweet Christmas is another bundle Gwen has available.


Oh and look at this one I LOVE this Michael Miller print.  It's called Birds of a Feather.  How adorable!


Mini cloth stack native birds of a feather, want this!


Enjoy your day everyone!

x

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Where have I been? Why right here!


Meet my best friend for the past week!

My trusted bicycle.  I bought this bike in Faversham, Kent (loved it there).  About a month later found out I was pregnant with son no. 1 and never bothered getting on it.  When we moved to Ireland I brought my bike with me, I just couldn't get rid of it.  Thank goodness I didn't.  My butt is killing me but it got me out of a bind when the car had to go to the garage for a WEEK! 

Engine trouble.  The mechanic was giving me such bad bad bad looks. 

Mechanic "When was your last oil change?"

My response.. "oil what? I top up the oil?" 

Well suffice to say the guy wasn't impressed, and lesson (expensive one) learnt, I will be paying a lot more attention the car. 

We have had spectacular weather, luckily because we were walking and cycling up to school and back and to the shops etc.  I enjoyed it (butt regardless) and we are weather permitting going to keep cycling!

I took this pic at the beach yesterday, it was funny but not sure if it's coming across properly in the photo, but the first lad and the third one are my two boys.  The little one was trying to keep up with his brother and his mate (the chap in the middle), the whole way to the rocks he was jogging behind them trying to keep up, very cute!


I was following the sun round to the front of my house, it's a sun trap.  And of course Toffie our little cav was with me, see her there between the chair and the flower pot?


I finished a little boy quilt, very scrappy this time.  I am really happy the way it turned out. 



 And I made a personalised cushion for a little girl called Faye.


So that's my update for the moment, now I shall hobble off and settle on a nice padded sofa to keep the butt happy!

x Fi