Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Fancy Foxes!

I spotted this pattern on Instagram a few months ago and went on the hunt for the pattern.  I love these foxes.  Full of character, especially the dude with the glasses! 

In December we had our annual "Show & Tell Evening" at The Quilt Shop.  I needed to make something quickly since I had given away almost everything that I had made in the past year and had nothing to show! I did have my Storm at Sea Quilt top but nothing completely new and finished!

I decided to make the Fancy Foxes Quilt by Elizabeth Hartman (Fransson) in lap quilt size.  It meant just 4 simple blocks. 

Today I grabbed my mini-models to take a few pictures of the finished product.  They did their best to hold up the quilt for me to take a picture but it's very difficult when the quilt is bigger than you!  Sams eyebrow though (on the right), makes me laugh everytime I look at this next picture!

Two evenings and it was done and dusted!  I handquilted it with PerlĂ© Cotton No. 8 in a simple heart design and used my scraps for binding.  The backing is another fox print - super cute little foxes that look like their are looking for mischief (just like the new owners of this quilt)!

On the front the quilting is subtle but it shows nicely on the back and the colour works very well with my backing fabric!

 The only thing I didn't get round to doing before the Show and Tell was sewing down the glasses.  I wanted to do it by hand with a buttonhole or blanket stitch and finally almost 6 months later, I pulled it out this week to do that and the boys having been having fun with it since!  It's hard to see the details of the stitching in this picture.......  I love buttonhole stitching though - and I love doing it by hand instead of using the machine!

It started to hailstone mid-photoshoot, hence the big black dots on the quilt...........the boys loved it though!  They were dressed for the weather, unlike me - I was out in my pj's since I've been sick all week!

You can see they love it!  They were watching tv here and most possibly mid-wrestle but still, they were snug as bugs!

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Hexie Love!

My father had a short stay in Intensive Care a couple of months ago, just before he passed away.  We spent long days and evenings at the hospital.  I know I got a few funny looks while I sat in the family room with my little Bionic Gear Bag full of fabric scraps and hexie templates but I've said over and over again for the past 3 years that my sewing keeps me sane at times....... and while my hands and brain were busy, I was able to be there for hours on end.....and it served its' purpose, it kept me sane and one lovely thing I discovered during that tough time is that I love my newest portable sewing project - hexagons!! 


Recently, I won a little prize from colourmehappy2 on instagram.  I showed you the picture of my prize in my last blog post but this is it again.........


I made a tumbling block using English Paper Piecing way back when I made my Sampler Quilt but hadn't tried it since.  In my head, I had convinced myself that I couldn't make the points match.  How daft, the papers take all that effort away! 

After a few long days in the hospital, I grabbed my bionic gear bag on the way out the door and got through basting most of a pack of deliciously pretty Moda Mini Charms from the Best Day Ever Range.  How could anyone not be distracted by the beautiful bright colours? 

I tried two methods of basting - firstly, I was using a tacking stitch.  It's easy, it makes the paper or card templates secure but obviously you have to pull all those tacking stitches out later.  And next I decided to use the Sewline Glue Pen from The Quilt Shop (where I work, for those of you who didn't know) and see how that went.  I have had this in my sewing kit for well over a year and never used it.  I thought it was a glorified pritt stick and I just couldn't imagine it holding the fabric securely or for any length!  Well.......... I was wrong!  It was fast, super easy and way more secure than I could have imagined!  I have one less step to deal with when pulling out all the templates too!  Consider me converted! 

When I started, I honestly thought I would string a few together and make a notebook cover or a pencil case but I'm in love with these colours, so I'm going to make a lapquilt.  They're deliciously scrappy together and so bright and beautiful. As time has gone on, I've added quite a few extra colours from Moda's Daysail and another range called Just My Type (thank you to The Fat Quarter Shop for that mega sale) and some random scraps! 

This quilt will be totally different from ANYTHING in my house.  I have 3 sons and a husband, so my house is not what you'd call girlie.  However, check this picture out....... my husband bought me 2 of these footstools as part of my anniversary present recently.  How well does it match?  Now, I'll admit, I'm a bad wife, I took his gift back to the shop and exchanged them for 2 more sedate versions.  They actually have similar colours but aren't so ultra-violet-hi-viz-like......... and they still work great with the quilt!  If he was trying to match something though - he did well!!! 

I'm just about finished piecing the quilt top.  I'll shop it off properly once it's been quilted and bound.   I'd say it's about 45" x 55" roughly.  A nice lap quilt size and I'm seriously thinking about redecorating my livingroom to give this a proper home (alongside my new footstools)!

It's nice to slowly get my motivation back for sewing, it feels like I was off-track for the past while (understandably) but I feel like I'm getting somewhere again and it feels good!