Rainbow Twist Quilt, Love Patchwork & Quilting, Issue 68

Rainbow Twist Quilt, Love Patchwork & Quilting, Issue 68

I cannot tell you how excited I am to finally be able to share the Rainbow Twist quilt that I made for Love Patchwork & Quilting back in July!

Rainbow Twist Quilt, Love Patchwork & Quilting Issue 68, pattern by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

Its the biggest quilt I’ve ever made at 85″ square, and I had such fun choosing all the Kona colours to create an ombre effect – I used 27 in total!

Rainbow Twist Quilt, Love Patchwork & Quilting Issue 68, pattern by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

Rainbow Twist is based on a Drunkards Path block (I used my Drunkards Wheel template set, or you can use any 4.5″ set). As the pieces are so big, despite the size of the finished quilt, it does go together quickly. The trickiest bit is making sure that you keep all the colours in the right order! One of the things that I found helpful was to write the colour on a piece of masking tape and stick it to the top piece of each relevant pile (do check your own fabric before doing this to make sure it doesn’t mark – painters tape/washi tape would probably do the same thing!).

Rainbow Twist Quilt, Love Patchwork & Quilting Issue 68, pattern by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

Quilting wise, I had decided early on that I wanted to do 1″ lines in the background. It seemed a good idea, and I love the finished result…….BUT!!! Do you remember that heatwave we had? When it was so ridiculously hot that us Brits struggled to do anything? Yep, that’s when I was buried under this beast of a quilt!!!!! I may have questioned my sanity – and uttered a few unseemly words! – during the quilting process, but I am so glad I persevered! It is quilted entirely with Aurifil 50wt threads – I used the mid-tone of each colour and they blend in beautifully.

Rainbow Twist Quilt, Love Patchwork & Quilting Issue 68, pattern by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

I went for a face (or invisible) binding to finish the quilt. If you’ve never done one before, I can highly recommend Silly BooDilly’s tutorial. I also curved the edges on two corners to mimic the twist of the quilt, I am looking to add a tutorial to the blog for this over the next few days as it was such a fun technique to try and I’d love to share with you how I did this!

Back soon,

S x

Today’s sky::: grey and miserable and raining. Again!

Zippy Pouch Along – finishing the Zippy Pouch!

Zippy Pouch Along – finishing the Zippy Pouch!

NOTE: this post may contain affiliate links. It will not cost you any money if you click on them and just means that I get a small commission for recommending it, which helps to keep the blog running. Thank you.

Hello! Are you ready for the finishing touches on your (Not So) Little Zippy Pouch?! The final step is adding the binding and, if you wish, a zipper pull.

I prefer a narrow binding of 2″ but if you like a thicker binding please alter to your own measurements. When attached the binding, it is important to remember that we are using a width of fabric strip around corners, so we need to ease the fabric in to get a nice smooth binding. I have found that the best way to do this, is by pinning the binding on from the front. Normally, I will pin in the centre of the curve first (where we marked for joining the front/zip band together) and then either side for the rest of the curve. 

Zippy Pouch Along - finishing the (Not So) Little Zippy Pouch, pattern by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

To sew the binding in position, I will sew from the zip band side. This means that as I work my way around the corner I can stop, lift the presser foot and rearrange the fabric as I go to stop any bunching. When it comes to sewing across the bottom of the pouch, make sure to push the zip band/pouch down flat. Due to all the layers in the centre of the zip band, it is worth going slowly to achieve good stitching and save your machine needle! 

Zippy Pouch Along - finishing the (Not So) Little Zippy Pouch, pattern by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence
Zippy Pouch Along - finishing the (Not So) Little Zippy Pouch, pattern by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

Fold the binding up and over towards the zip band. If you have added pockets, you may find it helps to trim some of the bulk out from the seams before wrapping the binding over. I slip stitch the binding in place, as I would for a quilt. 

Zippy Pouch Along - finishing the (Not So) Little Zippy Pouch, pattern by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

And Ta-Dah! You’re all done! If you would like, you can check out my Mini Macaron Zip Pull Tutorial or check out this tutorial for the fabric tassel that I added to this Not So Little Zippy Pouch. I’m even been looking at a few enamel pins which I think I’ll be adding to my Christmas wish list to put on the front, the bat is my favourite so far!!!! (click pics to find the makers!).

Enamel Pin ideas for quilters by fabricandflowers

I hope you’ve enjoyed this sew along and I can’t wait to see all your finished pouches. I have adjusted the timings slightly – all pictures posted by Midnight on the 4th December GMT using the hashtag #zippypouchalong will be eligible for the lovely prize from Rose Garden Patchwork, with the winner being announced on 5th December.

Don’t forget to follow @fabricandflowers and @rosegardenpatchwork and use the hashtag #zippypouchalong so that I can see all the fabulous pouches that you’re making! If you are looking for a copy of the pattern, check out my Etsy shop here. And please do sign-up to my newsletter if you would like any updates or news sent straight to your inbox.

S x

Today’s sky::: overcast, grey and raining. Boo!

Gingerbread Man Christmas Banner

Gingerbread Man Christmas Banner

NOTE: this post may contain affiliate links. It will not cost you any money if you click on them and just means that I get a small commission for recommending it, which helps to keep the blog running. Thank you.

Have you seen the Gingerbread House quilt-a-long that Love Patchwork & Quilting are running this month? It’s a row-by-row design by Gracey of Burlap & Blossom Patterns which you can find in Issue 66.

Gingerbread Man Christmas wall decoration with details on how to add embroidered words by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

I was asked if I would like to have a go at making a block and after a quick look at the pattern, I couldn’t say no! I decided upon a Gingerbread man, because who doesn’t love a good gingerbread man (although Boy 2 was a bit disappointed when I told him I’m made one only for him to then realise it was in fabric and not an actual biscuit. Oops!)

There are a lot of little pieces in this block – the buttons are cut at just 1″ (so, finishing at 1/2″!) and I’d been gifted some fabric with little snowflakes on which I thought would make cute buttons!

It’s a fun make and actually comes together quite quickly.  I wanted to use stripes for the cuffs. If you would like to do this too, make sure that you cut your squares out at a 45* angle to the selvedge (on the bias) so that the stripes are going in the right direction. along the arm.

Gingerbread Man Christmas wall decoration with details on how to add embroidered words by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

As we have enough cushions in our house (according to Mr f&f anyway!) I thought a Christmas Banner would be a fun make.  The blocks finish at 10.5″ inches but for mine, I extended the top and bottom border (piece’s A and G) by 4.5″ and 5.5″ respectively, as well as curving the bottom of piece G to mirror the writing. 

Gingerbread Man Christmas wall decoration with details on how to add embroidered words by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

To add a more festive touch, I printed out ‘Merry Christmas’ so that I could trace the words on to the fabric using a water-soluble pen (if you are wondering, I used the Tempas Sans font at size 120 and curved the words slightly in Microsoft Office).

Gingerbread Man Christmas wall decoration with details on how to add embroidered words by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

It took a little time to embroider each of the letters – I used a padded satin-stitch – but I think it was worth it!

I’m so pleased with him, although I might have to find some little button eyes in green, I think that would finish him off nicely?! Have you started any Christmas makes yet? You can check out this post if you’re thinking of making your own family sized Advent Calendar.

I think I’m going to have to make a present list and get started on it soon! And if you’ve enjoyed this post, please sign up to my newsletter to find out about new tutorials and patterns.

See you soon, 

S x

Today’s sky::: grey, windy and miserable. Meh!

Candy Swirls quilt and mini

Candy Swirls quilt and mini

A while ago now I finished a quilt which I’ve been itching to show to you, and today is finally the day!

Candy Swirls quilt in Love, Patchwork & Quilting, Issue 64 by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

A few years ago, I made a cushion for Fat Quarterly magazine using Gardenvale fabrics. Trying to channel my inner Jen Kingwell (!) and with the theme being curves, I played around with Drunkards Path block, splitting the quarter circle with a curve and called it the Drunkards Wheel. I had lots of fun making the cushion, and playing with how the block could be tessellated in different ways to create new patterns but then…..life! It’s been in the back of my mind for a while now and earlier this year, I decided to pick it back up and Do Something With It.

Drunkards Path & Drunkards Wheel template set by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

I found a lovely UK based company who could make the templates for me – which makes the whole cutting process soooooo much easier! – and set about writing instructions, finding packaging and everything. It was quite confusing and exhausting at times!

Drunkards Path & Drunkards Wheel template set by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

The templates are a transparent blue to help you locate them on your desk (or maybe it’s just me that loses them?!) but still fussy-cut fabric if you desire. There are five pieces – the traditional Drunkards Path pieces, and the Drunkards Wheel sections as well as a little cut-out for making applique circles (these pieces can create fabulous flowers!). They come in a cardboard box – which will arrive with you in a cardboard envelope – so that you have somewhere to keep and store your templates together when they are not in use. The sets can be purchased in my Etsy shop here.

Drunkards Path & Drunkards Wheel template set by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

I really believe that everyone can sew curves – it seems scary, but I promise it’s really not! There are so many different techniques to try to find the ones that work best for you……before you know it, you’ll be sewing curves without thinking about it!

To help with this, I have included a number of tips to help you find what technique works best for you – there are so many and I would love to hear from anyone who has any others!

Within the instruction leaflet, I have included some of the different ways in which the templates can be arranged. I have also created a downloadable booklet with larger layouts so that you can plan which size quilt you would like to make and calculate fabric quantities.

If you would like to make your own Candy Swirls Quilt – or experiment with sewing curves – there is a special offer in Love Patchwork & Quilting Issue 64 for a discount on the template set, which you can buy here.

Drunkards Path & Drunkards Wheel template set by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

I’m looking forward to sharing more projects with you over the coming months, every time I sit down to play with the layout drawings I come up with lots of different patterns. It’s never ending!

And finally, I’ve been wondering if anyone would be interested in a sew along for the Drunkards Wheel? If there’s enough interest then I could look to put something together, although it probably wouldn’t be until September when the kids are back at school!

S x

Today’s sky::: overcast, grey and raining. Yuk!

A hand-pieced Wedding Quilt

A hand-pieced Wedding Quilt

NOTE: this post may contain affiliate links. It will not cost you any money if you click on them and just means that I get a small commission for recommending it, which helps to keep the blog running. Thank you.

Earlier this year, I finally gifted a quilt to my brother-in-law and his new wife for their wedding. It was a little late by about a year, but not bad by my normal standards!

Wedding quilt: 8" hand-pieced Kansas Dugout blocks by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

I don’t know about you, but as much as I love making things, I am quite careful about who I actually create for……some just don’t appreciate the effort that goes in to making something, and there’s maybe also a bit of self-consciousness from me that they feel I’m fobbing them off with something hand-made?

So, when my brother-in-law announced his engagement, I asked them firstly, if they would like a handmade quilt? And secondly, if they did, what sort of style/colours would they like so that I could be as certain as possible that it would be exactly what they wanted! They said they would and so I passed them a copy of Jen Kingwell’s ‘Quilt Lovely’ book (one of my favourites!) and they soon came back to me saying that they loved the Home Run cushion – which is based on the Kansas Dugout block – but in blues and greys please.

Home Run cushion by Jen Kingwell, inspiration for a wedding quilt by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

Image Copyright: Jen Kingwell – Quilt Lovely

I was planning to hand-piece the quilt, and as my BIL is over 6′ it was going to need to be of a reasonable size. Eeek! Eventually, I settled on increasing the size of the blocks slightly to a finished size of 8″ (with a finished block layout of 6 x 8 to give a quilt size of 48″ x  64″) using the following cutting measurements;

Wedding quilt: 8" hand-pieced Kansas Dugout blocks by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

I collected a range of blues and greys (and snuck some teal colours in too) – quite a lot of Carolyn Friedlander, some Jen Kingwell, Cotton & Steel, batiks and a few other blenders.

Wedding quilt: 8" hand-pieced Kansas Dugout blocks by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

When I eventually finished piecing the quilt – which was quite a workout towards the end – I started looking for some backing fabric and came across some Wild & Free fabric in midnight by Maureen Crackenell that I had in my stash. It was a few inches short of the length I needed and then I remembered the diagonal cutting technique…..it’s not one I’d tried before but I have to say it’s like magic! Essentially, if your fabric is wider than your finished top, you cut the fabric diagonally from corner to corner and then slide the two pieces along the cut edge – so the sides come closer together – until you get the desired width/length that you need (I found this website calculator to be useful). As a bonus, if you’re using the right kind of fabric, eg. one with a fairly abstract pattern, you can hardly even tell there’s a join!

Wedding quilt: hand-pieced Kansas Dugout blocks by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

I went for a simple quilting pattern, stitching a quarter inch either side of the seam of the bigger sections to reveal a grid pattern, using an Aurifil variegated blue and yellow thread, which worked perfectly to knit all the colours together.

Wedding quilt: 8" hand-pieced Kansas Dugout blocks by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

For the binding, I decided to try something new and went for a 1″ wide binding: the blocks were so bold, I thought it would help to tie them all together. On the recommendation of a blog post I saw, I went for a single fold binding and, whilst it worked well, I will go for my normal double fold binding next time…I just prefer the feel of it on the finished edge!

Wedding quilt: hand-pieced Kansas Dugout blocks by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

Now that it’s completed, I can say that I am really pleased with how it came out but, during the making process, I did struggle a little. They’re not my usual colour choices but actually, in retrospect, it’s good to go outside the comfort zone and try different things as sometimes it’s surprising how much you like the finished results. What with this and the Green Triangle Quilt, I seem to be doing it quite a lot recently!!!

S x

Today’s sky::: overcast but still warm!