Sunday, 29 April 2012

Jubilee Union Jack Block Tutorial (v.2)

Materials Needed:-
  • 1x rectangle of fabric 10"x14" mine is Green with Blue spots;
  • 2x WOF (Width of Fabric) 42"x2" in different colours mine are 1x Pink and 1x Blue;
  • 1x WOF 42"x0.75" of plain White;
  • 1x WOF 42"x 1and5/8" of plain White;
  • 2x WOF 42"x1" of plain White; 
Use a 1/4 inch seam allowance throughout.

1. Sew the two unequal White strips, to the long side of whichever colour strip you want to use as your diagonal crosses.

 2. It will look like this once sewn and pressed open:-
 3.  Now cut that strip into quarters.
4.  Now sew two of the quarters back together along their short side but make sure that you have flipped one around.  Its important that you sew this strip together so that it ends up looking like the picture below.

I had to unpick my flag on the first go because my thick strips ended up on the wrong sides, so beware!
5.  Now take your piece of rectangular fabric and cut in in half on the diagonal.

6.  Now sew your strip into it with a 1/4" seam allowance, ensuring that the join in the strip ends up in the middle of the block.

7.  Now measure this strip.  We will be trimming half of this measurement off of each piece after the next diagonal cut.

8.  Now cut the block in half on the other diagonal and trim 1and (just over)3/8" inch off of each side along the diagonal.
 9.  Sew the other strip into the middle.

10.  Next cut the main block in half along the short side of the rectangle and this time trim either side of the cut by 1and1/8" (one and one eigth of an inch).

11. Then cut each part in half again this time along the long side and trim the middle of each side by 1and1/8" again.

You should end up with four rectangles that measure approximately 6 1/4" x 4 3/4" (Six and a quarter inches by Four and three quarter inches).  Each one as below.

12. Now take a 1" strip of White and sew it along the bottom of the top two rectangles and along the top of each of the bottom rectangles.

13. Then sew a 1" strip of White along the inside edge of each of the rectangles.

14.  Now take the 2" coloured strip (mine is blue) and sew it to one inside rectangle side.  Cut it down to size.  Then join it to the other half.

15.  Repeat for the top.

16.  Nearly there!
Now sew one long strip of the 2" fabric across the whole length of the inside, first to the bottom and then to the top half.

17. You are finished!!!!!!!!!!
Hip hip hooray!

I hope you will enjoy this tutorial and make your very own Jubilee Union Jack block.  Please let me know if you do and maybe share a pick in my Flikr group too.  I would love to see how your's turns out.
Any questions or comments are welcomed.

Kind regards

Union Jack block (v2)

I am overwhelmed by the great response to my Jubilee Union Jack block tutorial.  It's so lovely to have such great feedback.  It's also wonderful to have some constructive criticism.  My own personal motto is "to strive towards excellence".

One of the comments I received to my block tutorial the other day pointed out to me that the Union Jack flag looks slightly different to my original interpretation.  St Patrick's flag and St Andrew's flag interchange which gives the diagonal crosses their unique pattern on the flag.  This was something I had learnt at school many many years ago but I had become desensitised to it over the years.

So I have been puzzling over whether or not I could come up with an easy way to make a more representative version of the Union Jack in quilt block form.  There will always been some artistic deviation, for example I am not sticking to the correct colourways or the fact that the flag should be twice as wide as it is high, but I am really pleased with the new improved Union Jack block (v.2).  I hope you will love it too.

I will post a version 2 Tutorial later today.
Kind regards

Saturday, 28 April 2012

The Trouble That One Little Piece of Fabric Caused

Today it has mostly just poured with rain... all day... with no respite.
But that meant that I managed to throw together something quick and simple.  It was inspired by a post over on Aneela Hoey's blog, Comfortstitching, a little while ago.  She was talking about habits and it turns out that one of hers is sewing together simple square tablecloths.  I wanted to make one ever since and today, it turns out, was the day.

But first a bit of a confession...

I ordered a few gorgeous pieces of fabric from Fabric Rehab a couple of days ago and they arrived this morning:-

I seem to have developed a bit of an obsession with one particular fabric line.   Don't tell my husband, but I bought one of those Charm Packs especially for one piece of 5"x5" square fabric in particular!

Please, someone, tell me you've done this too!!

Anyway, the rest of the charm pack was just perfect to be my first (notice how I am already planning more) simple small tablecloth.  I have lots of little tables, just desperate for a cloth!

The great thing is that, using a charm pack to makes this meant it only took me about an hour and a half tops, start to finish.

Oh, and that one tiny piece of fabric that the whole pack was bought for...



ROFL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! but it sure does make me feel HAPPY.

Cheerio for today
Kind regards

Friday, 27 April 2012

Dancing Grass and Dandelion Kisses

Dancing grass and Dandelion kisses.  

At least, that is how my day began.  

Some days everyone just wakes up in a good mood.  

And today was one of those days.

The two little Dandelions' friendship has really blossomed recently and it is so wonderful for me to see their precious interactions.

After the frantic school run, our dog walk was bathed in happy sunshine.  It was blustery but this meant that the whole enormous field seemed to be dancing furiously for our entertainment.

That speck in the distance is our mad chocolate Spaniel running, like Phoebe does in that episode of Friends, with reckless abandonment.

Today I thought I would show you my fancy-dan spectacles case!  Its been a very welcome addition to my bedside cabinet and always makes me smile when I slip my glasses into it last thing at night.  

You see my little Dandelion boy likes to wake me up in the morning and for a while he would grab my glasses off the side and prod them vigorously into one of my eye sockets. Y-Ouch!!!!!!!!!!

So, now you can see why this little sewn item is such a treasure to me.  And it really doesn't hurt if I get a thwack with these as my wake up call.

 The tutorial for this perfect peachy case is on Skip to my Lou here.

And finally... our newest rainbow windmill which was whizzing around manically as I took this photo, making a whirring noise as if it really wanted to be included in today's blog post.  So I had to oblige!

Cheerio - I hope you have a lovely stitchy day 

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Great Gadget Cases

I was so pleased to find a really adaptable, easy tutorial to follow to make up a couple of gadget cases as presents.  These were lots of fun to make and the tutorial includes a simple equation so that it can be made to fit the particular gadget its required for!  Brilliant!  

Its on the most fantastic blog called Amy's Creative Side  and here are the two I made.

I had to go out of town today on a course with work.  It was held in the historic town of Lewes which is a little way from where I live.  In fact, its a very pleasant train journey away on an unbelievably amazing train route where the track runs right along by the pebbles with the sea just a stone's throw away, followed by spectacular views of the undulating English countryside.

As I walked up the high street, I just happened to look sideways down a little side street and this is what I saw...

pretty and quaint and almost looking too perfectly old to be real.

Cheerio for today.
Thanks for reading.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Jubilee Inspired Block Tutorial

This is my first ever tutorial, so please bear with me.  I am more of a visual learner and love all the wonderful free tutorials online.  I have learnt nearly everything about sewing from an online tutorial somehow or another.  So this is my chance to give something back to the wonderful sewing community in blogger blogland.

I couldn't find a free online block, so this is how I made my Jubilee inspired block in mostly pictures and a few words...

Materials Needed

To make a finished block size 9 inches by 14 inches approximately
  • 1 rectangle of fabric for the base of the block (mine is blue) measuring 9" x 14";
  • 2 different colour strips of fabric measuring 2" x 42"  (approx 2" by the width of fabric)**; 
  • 8 white 1" x 42" strips of fabric 
  • sewing machine
  • thread
  • iron

** alternatively, if you want to use a FQ or scraps for these pieces, you need two 2"x20" strips (of same fabric); and one 2"x18" and one 2"x11" (both of same fabric).  The white 1" strips need to match these lengths as well.  

How to:

1.  Start by cutting your fabric to the sizes listed above.  Here is my main blue rectangle which measures 9 inches by 14 inches.
2.  Next up take your two long coloured strips (these will make up the crosses on our Union Jack) and sew a white 1 inch strip down either long side.  It makes it faster if you chain piece these.
 3. Press the seams open and you will end up two strips with white borders on all their long sides.
 4.  Next cut your rectangle in half diagonally.
5.  Now you are going to take whichever strip you want to make your St Andrews' cross (mine is the solid pink strip) and sew it right sides together along the diagonal cut.

Repeat for the other side of the rectangle.

Lining up tip:  When you sew the second side of the strip into the diagonal, I found it helpful to line the rectangle up face up, then slide the rectangle side over so that its in the right place before flipping it over so that right sides are together.

 This is what you are aiming for:

6.  Now measure your strip, it should measure 2 1/4".  We need to know this measurement for our next series of cuts.
 7.  Now cut your rectangle in half on the other diagonal.
 8.  From each diagonal edge, cut a strip off measuring 1 1/8" (One and One Eighth inch) off.  Thus making room for your strip which you know will end up with a width of two and a quarter inch.

You should have now cut each of your triangles down by 1 1/8" each along the diagonal.
 9.  Sew in your next strip as before in step 5, aligning carefully on your second side.  The picture below shows how the stitching line for the second side of the strip.
 10.  Trim the ends of the strips so that you have a perfect rectangle again.
11.  Now we are going to start on our St George's cross part of the flag.  Cut your block in half on the longest side so that you end up with two long thin rectangles.  To find my middle, I just fold my block in half and crease the middle with my finger.  

12.  Once again, you need to trim 1 1/8" (One and One Eighth inch) off either side of the middle of your block.  
 13.  Sew your other strip onto each side of the rectangle, ensuring that you line up accurately on the second side.
14.  Now for our final set of cuts!  Bet you feel like a seasoned pro at it already!!

Cut your block in half again this time so that you end up with two short fat rectangles.  Then cut 1 1/8" (One and One Eighth inch) from each side.
15.  Sew your last strip into the middle gap and voila...

Your Union Jack block is complete!

I hope that all these instructions make sense.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch.  If you make one, please link back to this tutorial if posting pics online and I would love it if you would add your pic to my Flikr group.

Many thanks