Thursday, 29 August 2013

Working on a very old UFO!

Last month I pulled out 2 very old UFOs. I sent some of the blocks over to my fellow bees to enlist their help to make some blocks for me and try to get those 2 projects closer to a finishing point. One of the 2 UFO was also my goal for my August Lazy Bum challenge. So I started the month with this pile of blocks

with the aim to make a quilt top with them. Until last week I didn't think the pile of blocks would move an inch but... I am really happy to report some progress! I ironed all the blocks and sew them together into rows and I also sew the rows together into a top.

Now I am still waiting for a few blocks back from my fellow bees so I couldn't finish my quilt top but at least there is some progress. I need to unpick one row that I have added at the wrong place and I need to add 2 extra rows for the top. Of course, I haven't made the borders yet either but at least I know what I want to do now! Who knows, this one might move out of the UFO list soon?
Linking to WOW, We did it Wednesday, Whoop Whoop Friday. Check Sarah's blog for a book giveaway and you can even get one more chance by linking to her Whoop Whoop Friday linky party.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

English Paper Piecing

Summer is always a busy time in our family with lots of car trips across the Channel and this year has been no different with maybe even more trips with the Christening of Miss Baby. One of the advantage of spending a lot of time in the car is that I get some time for some hand-sewing and English Paper Piecing so during our recent trips, I finished my little hexie stars for Get Your Hex On! for Cinda

and also my 2 hexie flowers for Grit. If you like hexies, you want to go and check her great blog and pattern for her fantastic hexies quilt La Passion.

Linking to Building Blocks Tuesday.

Monday, 26 August 2013

September in the Hexagon!

Welcome to my stop on the Hexie Blog Hop Be a Hexie Queen!

I am a hexie lover and always have an emergency supply of hexies in my bag for when I am on-the-go (which is actually very often) and when I first signed up for the blog hop, I thought I would show you a EPP (English Paper Piecing) hexie project.
That was until I remembered a long forgotten UFO that was laying in a plastic bag in my cupboard. I thought it would be the perfect occasion to get the dist and cobwebs out (no it wasn't that bad really) and give it a new lease of life!
It all started with a few scrap strips and ended with a few more strips! I ordered and received a scrap bag of Moda fabric a few years back and I received a pack of off-cuts of Migration by Holly Taylor.

I wasn't sure what to do with it until I saw this Hexagon quilt-along on Julie of Jaybird Quilts' blog that I know I wanted to join in, it was all about hexagons! And although there were machine-pieced, there was no horrible Y-seams! Sounded promising.

So I cut all my strips to the same size (2.5') wide and sew them in pairs to obtain a 4.5' strip made of 2 fabrics. Next step was to cut the strip into equilateral triangles (60° angles) to obtain 2 sets of 6 triangles. Now my strips were slightly too short for 2 sets of 6 but more about this later!

Once you have your triangles, the fun part begins as you can play! By turning your triangles around, you can get lots of different patterns in your hexagons as shown by Julie in her different blocks layouts

and of course you increase the possibilities by mixing the sets or more if you fancy!

So I played and decided to explore the possibilities to have a random quilt.

Once you are happy with your arrangement, all the hexagons are sewn together into strips first as half hexagons (3 triangles together to make a half-hexagon, attached to another half-hexagon) and then the strips can be sewn together to make the full hexagon. Easy peasy isn't it?

My next question was on how to arrange all the hexagons shapes together and DH gave me the answer: why not make a big hexagon with your hexagons? Of course, why not? Again I tried to keep some random in the fabric placement etc which is harder than it always seem and because I was short of a few hexagons, I raided my stash to make some "plain" ones in the same colourway.
And of I went to make a few more hexagons along the way.

Now I have this big hexagon made of hexagons ready to be quilted (yes I know I was planning to show it to you in a complete state but as usual I was a little bit over-ambitious with the summer holidays, the travelling back and forth to my home country for the kids at the week-ends and work in the middle of it!) but I know what I want/need to do next with it. I have planned to quilt it in a spiral pattern. I will use some of the vine fabric for the background because I have bought years ago and it has been sitting in my stash ever since! So if you care to come back in the next couple of weeks, I am hoping to be able to show you a quilted hexagon (by end of September hopefully).

And now if you have read so far, well, well done to you! You might wonder why I named my quilt-to-be September in the Hexagon? The colours of course reminds me of autumn which starts in September where I live. And when I grew up, September was back to school time but also the time where the hunting season started again and there are some birds on the fabric, the time where the leaves start falling off the tree, the time where the apples/grapes are picked to make cider and wine. And of course, France where I grew up is often referred to as The Hexagon.

Oh yes and those incomplete sets I mentioned earlier. For all the strips, I managed to cut 11 triangles and 2 off-cuts so I used the 2 off-cuts to build the missing equilateral triangle which of course is not perfect but then can be used!

Now I am sure you are very keen to go and see what my Hexie Friends have got in store for you! So hop over to


Linking to Sew Darn Crafty, Sew Cute Tuesday.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Winning times, UFO and swap

First thing first, I am involved in a fabric swap (about layer cake size pieces I believe) with some European ladies and we are looking for a few more players. We did a swap before the summer for text fabric and this time we are swapping map fabric. The swap is centralised by May in Germany and you get a great selection of fabric, a great stash buster. Want to swap along? Come over here.

And also if you want to play along with us, we are going for a second year of Lazy Bums, in an attempt to finish some UFOs. I have to confess that I played along last year but didn't finish anything on my far-too-ambitious list! Never mind it was great fun to play along and get motivated. Hop over here if you too want to join, the more the merrier!

For August, I am working on a very old UFO (err... 2005) that I had stashed away for all those years. I asked a few of my fellow bees in Bee Europa to make some blocks for me, which they have of course! So I am hoping to go from a PAIB (Project Abandonned in Bag) to an UFO (Unfinished Object) to a WIP (Work in Progress). Wish me luck!

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Festival of Quilts

The Festival of Quilts is over and although I wasn't sure whether to go a few months back, I am so happy I went. I had such a great time. I went with my Mum and miss C who at 4 attended her first 2 children's workshops.

She absolutely loved it and didn't want us around. She also loved shopping there and bought (with Mummy's money!) some fabric and buttons and beads... She should be busy for a while. Of course, I did some shopping too
day 1

and day 2

OK not all of it was on my list, and not all of it is already accounted for but how could I resist!
I also met some lovely people and saw some again! It was a very enjoyable girlie week-end! We stayed over for the night, just the 3 of us, which was great too! It almost felt like a holiday. Miss C was very tired when we got to the car on the Sunday night but she really enjoyed herself too.
Here are a few quilts that I really liked. I don't know the talented people behind each of these beauties, I am sorry!
Linking to Brit Sewing Thursday Linky.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

blocks, blocks, blocks

So it has been over a week since I last posted anything, but such a busy week. We came back from a great week of holidays in Vendee where the sun was shining and we had a lot of fun with the kids, chilling out by the seaside. While we were away I finished my hexie block for Ana for Get Your Hex on! with her lovely batik flower. I love having a portable project for when we are travelling as we usually spend hours in the car!

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Granny Bee Blocks - a tutorial

I know there are a number of tutorials online to make these blocks and I have so far used 2. One by Katy which uses 2.5' strips of fabric, which is perfect to make several of the same block. And another one by Blue Elephant Stitches which uses 2.5' squares which is perfect if you want to cut 25 squares different or not. I have come to use a method mixing both tutorials to make one block using a different fabric for each ring and I thought some of you might be interested in using the same method.

Friday, 2 August 2013

July in review

Another month has flown by. At long last it was a month of sunshine, after a very long and cold winter. I took refuge in my sewing room a couple of time over the month when the temperature was getting too high outside and you can see below what I managed to achieve! I am quite proud that I have even been able to add to my OPAM list this month!
Linking to Fresh Sewing Day.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Bee Blocks

While I was finishing my teacher's presents in the last couple of weeks, I also found inspiration to make my two blocks for Elisabeth for Sew Euro Bee an. Elisabeth had sent us some solid blue fabric and has let us free choice with regards to the block design/size etc. A great opportunity to create which sometimes turn into that fear of how to get it right! Anyway, I flicked through my 99 Modern Blocks book for inspiration and found 2 blocks which I thought would suit Elisabeth. The first one is called "Link Up" by John Adams aka Quilt Dad. I choose a London fabric for the centre and I thought this block would be a great choice for Elisabeth when she was just coming back from the Fat Quaterly Retreat in London where John was teaching.

The second block I choose reminds me of a succession of doors, the original was designed by Angela Pingel of Cut to Pieces but I didn't have enough blue to make a similar blocks to hers so I redesigned mine to fit the fabric I had. Elisabeth is about to move country so again I thought that a new door to the future might work for her!
Linking to Building Blocks Tuesday.


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