28 July 2017

Faded Red, White and Blue Log Cabin Quilt

Last week our delivery of Snowberry by 3 Sisters for Moda Fabrics arrived.  I have been waiting with baited breath for this beautiful collection, as I've been planning a red, white and blue quilt for my conservatory.  I've also been saving fabrics from my stash and cutting snippets from the shop, in readiness for the project.  

I wanted my quilt to have an aged, antique feel, so I've gone for faded reds, cool blues, duck egg blue and soft ivory and I've picked fabrics from across makers and collections.  So in addition to the Snowberry, I've added in some French General and Minick and Simpson all by Moda, plus a healthy dose of Lecien from the Durham Quilt Collection and Kate Greenaway and some pretty duck egg blues from Elm Cottage by Windham.  From my stash again there's a mix of Moda and Lecien from collections dating back quite a few years.  I don't know about you, but it's so easy to hang on to your favourite fabrics and be reluctant to cut in to them isn't it, but this project is just a perfect opportunity and I will get to enjoy them for many years to come!  Whilst I'm aiming for an aged, antique feel, I still wanted to keep the quilt feeling fresh so I've also included some sweet red text prints I'm loving the edge that they give to the quilt!
Each log cabin is made up of a traditional light and dark side, but by the very nature of the fabrics I've chosen it's not one of high contrast, but when there's a few blocks together I think this will show up nicely.  I've also decided to have a red centre to each of my blocks, which symbolises the hearth of home and for this I've chosen Faded Red by French General...it's absolutely one of my favourites ever!

Each of the log cabins starts of with a centre square and I have chosen to then construct my log cabin blocks using the same method as I did HERE, rather than pre-cutting the pieces for each block to size prior to sewing.  There is something very liberating to this process!  So effectively what this means is, that other than cutting the centre square (a) to size at 1 1/2" square, the remaining fabrics were simply all cut into strips measuring 1 1/2" wide by the length of the piece of fabric.  I then divided them in to lights and darks. Than at random, I chose a dark fabric strip (b) which I sewed using a 1/4" seam allowance to one side of the fabric square (a), then trimmed away the excess and then finger pressed the seam towards the dark strip away from the centre square.  Then rotating clockwise, I added a second dark fabric strip (c) followed by a fabric (d) light strip, then a second fabric (e) light strip and carried on as shown in the picture below.... repeating two darks, followed by two lights.  The finished block measures 9 1/2" square.  Once I sewn the whole block I then gave it a good press.

This is what the back of the block looks like....

To help with the randomness, because actually I find doing random really hard.....I found it useful to put the remainder of the strips that I cut off as had sewn them in to two new piles (one dark and one light) and kept sewing log cabins blocks until I had used all my fabrics and then I started again.

As to how big the quilt be.... at this point I don't really know.  I'm just going to keep sewing for the time being as and when I have a moment, in between other projects.  It really envisage this project being good for when I want to sew, but I don't really have the brain power or energy to sew a project that needs a great deal of concentration...do you know what I mean?

I shared my completed blocks earlier this week on my Instagram and Facebook feeds and I was completely blown away by the response ..thank you so much!  I then had quite a few emails asking if there would be quilt packs...thank you again!!  So, as I am unable to do exact replicas, I had great fun creating an 'inspired by' bundle, which are always so much fun to do....... here's what it looks like.....

Thank you again for all you lovely comments, it really is a complete joy to be able to share my creative endeavours with you and also to receive your orders at Pretty Fabrics and Trims.  Thank you so much!!  

Have a super weekend and Happy Stitches!

18 July 2017

A Hexie a Day Update

As promised last time here's an update of where Mum and I are with our 'a hexie a day' project....did you see what I did there.........this has now become a joint project, which is rather good fun!  Despite my very good intentions, with so many projects on the go, this poor little work in progress kept getting placed to the bottom of the list.  So when mum mentioned that she would like to sew some hexies, I very quickly put together a bundle of fabrics and EPP papers for her to get stitching, which she has been doing so now for the last few weeks!

As you can see whilst we've not managed a complete hexie flower a day, we do have a very lovely stack of flowers..nearly 80 and there is something very satisfying when you lay out the flowers on mass like this.....

I'm so pleased with the pretty colour scheme and fabrics, which are all Lecien fabrics from a variety of collections..... Durham Quilt Collection, Rococo and Sweet, Quilters Basics, High Tea, Mrs March etc.

You may remember, my initial plan, had been to sew the hexie flowers together with no path, but as the project has progressed, mum and I have decided to add a round of Bella Solid Porcelain. I think this will allow the fabrics in each of the flowers to sing.  The plan then, is to possibly add a second path using a contrasting colour to join the flowers together..maybe diamonds (6 point diamonds work with hexagons) combined with equilateral triangles rather than more hexies...but that's a long way off, so hold that thought!
The next round, which will involve in the region of 960 further hexies and a fair few glue sticks, which means this will be an ongoing project for quite some time.........

However...I think without a doubt, the end result is going to be worth all those many happy hours of stitching.

If you fancy a go at Engish Paper Piecing, you can find my little happy tutorial for how to make the hexie flowers HERE.  Honestly give it a go, it's the perfect project to take with you when you're out and about and for evening stitches whilst watching tv!

See you again soon and Happy Stitches!

11 July 2017

Catch up Time!

As always, at this time of year the weeks are flying by with the usual end of term activities..... sports days, summer fairs plus the general day to day antics of being a self employed, quilt shop and website owning Mum.  It's always a bit of a juggling act to keep all the plates spinning, but at this time of year it's even more of a struggle......thank goodness so far I've remembered to be in the right place at the right time......but oh my it is fun, and I wouldn't change it for the world!

In addition, last weekend we celebrated Mum and Dad's (Penny and Ian's) Golden Wedding Anniversary...what a milestone and my nephews 2nd Birthday.  So go and grab a cup of tea and a slice of cake, I've have got lots to share with you!

We're not a huge family, in fact, there is just my family of four, my brother's family of four and mum and dad!  We had lunch out and then returned to mum and dad's house for cake and present opening.  The sun was shining all day and we all had a fantastic time, so much so, I failed on the blog front and didn't take a single photo!  Sorry!

I did however manage some before photo's of the cakes Poppy and I made.....

For the Golden Wedding cake we used Peggy Porshen Lemon Limoncello Cake from her Boutique Baking book, but we substituted the buttercream for a swiss meringue butter cream, flavoured with lemoncurd.   We also added a drizzle of crushed raspberries from Mum and Dad's garden between the layers.  It was decorated with lavender, herbs and berries from the garden and to add a golden touch a sparkly 50 and a spritz of gold lustre.

Poppy was in charge of my nephews cake, a delicious chocolate cake (and cupcakes, which we forgot to photograph!)  She used our 'go to' cupcake recipe from The Hummingbird Bakery.  These were also topped with the swiss meringue butter cream that we flavoured with vanilla and as you can see she went for sprinkle, sprinkles and more sprinkles!

For a little present, I made another Heart Mini Quilt.... you can find the 'a little happy tutorial' for this HERE.

This time for the heart, I used a mix of Durham Quilt collection fabrics in the Natural colourway, with a pretty Lecien dot and a tiny pin dot from the Kate Greenaway collection.  The binding is the text print from Poetry.  The eagle eyed will notice the change of background dimension...I forgot to bring some Essex Linen home with me so I used a smaller piece of Putty, that I had to hand.  This measured 8 1/2" x 12 inches.  I also added the extra cotton label using some pretty tape I had in my stash.

Right I think that's all for today and I promise to be back soon...for those of you who follow me on Social Media will know, I've got a new Block of the Month quilt that I'll be sharing soon plus a pretty Tilda Dresden plate quilt that is nearing completion.  Mum has also been working behind the scenes on the Flirty 30's Dresdens and the 'a hexie a day' hexies...so LOTS to share.

In the meanwhile......Happy Stitches!
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