Sunday, 4 February 2018

Time to make quilts for Siblings Together

Last year the fabulous quilting community made lots of quilts like these....

....for the charity Siblings Together.  

This charity helps to keep children in the UK care system in touch with their brothers and sisters.  Many children from the same family are not placed with their siblings.  The charity tries to keep the family bonds by reuniting children with their siblings at activity camps in the school holidays.  

Our campaign to make #100quiltsforsiblingstogether provides quilts for the children to take home - a fabulous memory of their experience and a quilty hug from the quilting community.  

This year I'm hoping you will join me again in the quilt block drive to make quilts like this...



...a new pattern I have designed just for this quilt drive.                                

The quilt is made with two blocks.  

This block, is a great beginner's block, using just HSTs in a colour (aqua in this case) and low volume fabric, to create an arrow head. 

Make four HSTs measuring 6 1/2" (6" finished) using your preferred method.   

For those new to quilting, take a pair of seven inch squares, one coloured and one low volume, and place them right sides together.

Draw a line across the diagonal of the low volume square and stitch a quarter inch away on both sides of that line. 

Cut along the line and trim both resulting HSTs to 6 1/2" square (6" square finished).  Repeat to yield four in total and stitch together as above.  Your block should measure 12 1/2" square (12" square finished). 

The second block in this quilt, isn't that much harder especially when you foundation piece it!   You can use paper or freezer paper.  I find using freezer paper works better for me and just wanted to share something in return for all the kindness you show in making blocks for the charity.

Here is a link to the pattern which you can download. Please check that your printer is set to print at 100% and NOT fit to page - it makes a difference to the size of your template otherwise.  

And here is how I use freezer paper to make it: 

Print or trace the pattern onto freezer paper and fold along the stitching lines.  

Use the kite template to cut four kite shapes.

Cut four rectangles from your coloured fabrics, 7 1/2" X 3 1/2".  Pair rectangles, right sides together,  and carefully place your ruler diagonally across the rectangle and cut.  This yields enough side triangles to complete one block.  

You will notice that half the side triangles will fit on the right side of your kite shape and the other half on the left.  Sort them so that you attach the correct triangle.  It is easy to pick up the wrong one! 

Press the kite shape on the freezer paper, making sure the fabric is centred.  

Fold back the freezer paper as previously creased.   With right sides together, align the first side triangle along the edge of the kite.  Stitch along the seam line, as shown in the middle photo above.

Once stitched, fold the fabric onto the freezer paper and press.  Repeat on the other side.  Trim to 6 1/2" square and remove freezer paper pattern and reuse.

Make three further pieced squared, and stitch together as in photo.

Now you are maybe asking yourselves which colours to use - if you know me you will know my answer is all of them!   Let's see how many different colours we can get through....  

Thanks in advance.  

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

It's time to link up your list of unfinished projects that you propose to finish in Q4 of the FAL. We are hoping that the FAL community will be finishing a lot of projects as we move into the last quarter of the year.

The FAL is hosted by a community of bloggers across the world. Our hosts are:
  • Sarah - Sew me - Northern Ireland

For those of you who are new to the FAL, it is a place to find motivation and encouragement to complete those unfinished projects that are hanging about becoming UFOs. Every quarter you post a list of projects you hope to finish in the next three months, and then at the end of the quarter, you post a link from your blog, Flickr or Instagram of each successful finish from your original list.

Each finish is an entry for wonderful prizes from our sponsors. There is no penalty for not finishing a listed project, so feel free to make your list long or short, as you wish. The 2017 Schedule and Rules for the FAL are on my permanent FAL page, let me know if you have any questions.

Here are the fantastic and generous sponsors for Q4 of the FAL - you can see each of their prizes listed under their logo (think about visiting them and saying thank you):

It's time to round up those projects you want to finish over the next three months, take a photo of each one and make your list. Please ensure that you have at least started your projects - pulled fabric with a pattern is considered a UFO, and remember it is only finished projects that will get you an entry toward the above listed prizes. So while we love to see your bee blocks, the "finish" is when they are a completed, usable project.

It is very helpful if you tag your list as #2017FALQ4yourname when posting on social media: Flickr, Facebook & Instagram. Using the same hashtag over the quarter when sharing progress or finishes before the link, helps the hosts find your original list quickly - especially when this is done over a 3 month period. IMPORTANT: Don't forget to link your finishes up when the quarter closes.

The 2017 Q4 link for your list of proposed finishes is now open below on my blog and on each of the hosting blogs. You need only link your list once, on one blog - and that link will show up on all of the blogs. If you are using Facebook, Flickr or Instagram, link a mosaic and put your list in the description. Katy of The Littlest Thistle has a great tutorial on how to link-up if you need it.

We also ask that you become part of the FAL community. Please check out the links of others - visit and comment on their lists. We all need encouragement to get those finishes done, so please share some of your own too. When creating your list there is one thing to remember....No deductions for not completing something so ..... Aim High! Nothing to lose!!! Well Now..... Get those lists together and get linked up. 

The Q4 proposed finish linky party will stay open until 11 pm EST, October 7, 2017- as we are global, you might want to check your time zone to determine your last possible time to link. Remember: you only need to link up on ONE hosting blog and it will automatically show up on all hosting blogs. 

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Welcome to my blog and I thought I'd start the Finish-a-long tutorial week with a very quick seasonal make.

A tiny pumpkin pin cushion or two...

Please read through all the instructions before you start.

You will need:

Pumpkin coloured fabric - I used quilting cotton but any similar weight of fabric would do if it doesn't fray too much.

A round shape to trace around - I used a roll of tape for the larger sized pumpkin and a jam pot lid for the small one.  The size of your circle will determine the size of the piece of fabric required.

A pencil to draw with or marker or your choice

Stuffing - I used some kapok I've had for years but polyester toy stuffing is a good alternative

Matching thread and needle

Small scraps of green and brown felt

Green and brown cotton perle 

Step one:  Draw circle on pumpkin fabric

Step two: Cut out your circle with a rough quarter inch allowance.  Thread your needle with a long thread, doubled over, placing the cut ends in your needle.  Do a running stitch around the outside of your marked circle.  Thread your needle through the loop at the beginning.

Step three:  Gather your fabric by pulling your stitches to begin the pumpkin shape.

Step four: Once you start the shaping you can begin stuffing.  When sufficiently stuffed to hold a good rounded but still squishy shape pull the gather threads tight and tie - but do not cut your threads yet.

Step five :  Cut a leaf shape from green felt and make a running stitch in green cotton perle around the edge and also mark the veins.  It doesn't need to be that precise.  Cut a square of brown felt about 2 1/2 inches for the stem.

Step six:  Tightly roll the brown felt and stitch along the length with a running stitch in brown cotton perle to hold the roll together.  You only need to stitch through the top layer and into the one below.   

Keep your cotton perle attached as this will be used to attach the stem to the pumpkin.  Make sure you have a good length of thread as in the photo.

Step seven: Use the pencil to open up a hole in the top of your pumpkin.  Place your stem in the hole, thread end downwards in the hole.  If necessary help that stem make its way through the stuffing using the pencil or similar.  

Rethread your needle with the brown cotton perle attached to the stem.  Now make a stitch through the top of the pumpkin and out through the base.  This attaches the stem to the pumpkin and adds a dimpled bottom to your pumpkin. 

Make a stitch back up through the centre of the pumpkin and into the base of the stem.   Repeat several times until the stem is secured.  See photo below for dimpled base.  Finish off your cotton perle thread.

Use gather thread to neaten up the top of pumpkin and stitch to stem.

Attach leaf with a few stitches covering any untidiness around the stem.  Finish off thread.

All done - it's that quick and easy but if you have any questions - just ask....

I will be using mine as tiny pincushions or maybe just autumnal decoration....what about you?  

Instructions on making the toadstools can be found on Instagram using the hashtag/link:    #toadstooltute  (Hmm maybe I should write that one up on my blog too)

Hope you have fun with this quick seasonal make.

Monday, 25 September 2017

It might be hard to believe but we have made it to the end of the third quarter of the 2017 FAL and it's time to link up your Q3 finishes!

The 2017 FAL has a community of bloggers across the world jointly hosting the FAL. Our hosts are:
  • Sarah - Sew me - Northern Ireland
  Before you link up, let's give a huge thank you to our fantastic sponsors:  

For the 2017 FAL, we continue tutorial week. Here is the schedule of fantastic tutorials, so you can visit them all:

The 2017 Q3 link for your finishes is now open below on my blog and on each of the hosting blogs - you only need to link on one blog for your finish to appear on each blog. Link-up "rules":

  • Add one link for each finish. If you want to link a round up post of all your finishes, use that link to enter one of your finishes and then link the rest of your finishes separately. Please, only one link per finish, as your link is an entry into the randomly drawn prize draws.

  • Please ensure that the photo or blog post you link up contains a link or reference back to your original list so that we can verify your entry (make sure it is from the appropriate quarter). Feel free to and tag your photos #2017FALQ3yourname (substitute your name), this makes it easier for us to match your finishes with your lists.

  • Please become part of the FAL community. Please check out the links of others and comment. We all need encouragement so let's applaud each other. The 2017 FAL Facebook page is here and follow us on Instagram @finishalong. 

  • Our hosts will also link their finishes to share in the community, but they are not eligible for any of the prizes.

The Q3 Finishes link will stay open from now thru September 30 at 11 pm EST - link up your finishes early and if you have a last minute one, add that one later so you don't miss out. The prizes will be awarded as soon as we can verify all the entries and do the drawings. We will post the winners on each hosts' blog.

And don't forget to start making your Q4 lists as the Q4 list link opens on October 1.


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