Friday, 16 August 2013

y seams - the tutorial

 due to popular requests from those following my hexie megathon on instagram this week here is a tutorial to demystify and hopefully simplify y seams. like anything it's easy when you know how!

the key thing with y seams, like any precision sewing is accuracy of cutting and measuring.

first up cut out hexies of whatever size you want to use. i've cut just 3 here to show how to join 3 together. it goes without saying that you can join as many as you like and this is simply for illustrating the y seam.

now, as they say, the sciency bit...
draw lines on the reverse of your fabrics 1/4" from the edge and mark where they cross with a dot. this is really the key to sewing y seams. you always want to leave this 1/4" edge free when joining together with y seams.

once you get more proficient you can do without drawing the lines in and simply mark where the dot goes. that's the really important bit.

these dots mark the beginning and the end of the row of stitches to give room to turn your y seam and for the seams to lay flat.

start with 2 hexies right sides facing and sew along the line (1/4" allowance) between the dots. at the beginning and the end do a couple of reverse stitches to secure. this is another important tip for keeping your hexies in place.

now let's put that 3rd hexie in, the one that makes you feel super clever!

put the 3rd hexie, right sides together at the top of the pair already sewn together as you are going to do 2 seams one after the other.

firstly sew along the first side as you did previously, remembering to reverse stitch at the beginning and end.

next, keeping the needle down - another important tip to keep the hexies in place, twist the top hexie round to sew the second side on the second hexie.

align the 2 seams together and sew along the line, as previously, between the 2 dots.

and are done...1 perfect y seam!
iron your seams flat and you are ready to add more hexies in the same way!

add as many hexies as you want in exactly the same way.
i hope this has helped and demystified the dreaded y seam. 

and it isn't just hexies you can sew together in this way. any shapes that meet together in a y seam can be tackled in this way.

have fun and i'd love to see what you make!

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

in familiar territory...

 this may look a little familiar...
giant hexie quilt in blues and greys...with yellow binding...

a customer was so taken with the original that she wanted me to make a replica.
fine by me...i'm a bit partial to this colour combo.

this is a replica with a difference however, as who has the exact same fabrics in their stash 2 years later?
evidently not me.

the lovely thing about doing the same thing again but different is that it gives you chance to try things a little differently that you didn't think of first time round.

like the binding for instance.
not having the same lotta fabric for the binding meant nothing else quite worked for me. 
so instead i opted for scrappy...result!
this was particularly pleasing on the back which was kept more simple with this fab ikea piece.

 and then there was the quilting...
i jumped in rather quickly first time and did a simple tracing of the hexies in zigzag lines. this worked thanks to some additional hand quilting but without that it needed something different.
i remember being bowled over by Laura's concentric circles quilting on her fantabulous scrappy trip along quilt and thought that would work but not too fussy. (just realised i've used the same backing as laura too!)ikea

so one replica giant hexie quilt with a difference done... customer deciding she wants one bigger!

the good news is that i get to do a take 3...who knows what improvements will be made on that one.
the other good news is that this one is in my etsy shop for one lucky buyer looking for a pretty quilt...go check it out here.

the other good news is that i am so pleased to be back in familiar territory with my giant hexie pattern that i think that is the first thing i am going to make when i get my hands on some of Leah Duncan's tule...can't wait for that.

Monday, 12 August 2013

fickle with fabric

 i don't know about you but every now and then a fabric collection comes out that blows me over and i can't imagine there ever being a more perfect fabric line...ever...
and then a different one comes out.

i know...i'm fickle.

i was blown over by cloud 9's simpatico and more recently rashida coleman-hale's tsuru for cloud 9, not to mention heather moore's cut out and keep. ok so i love cloud 9 fabrics (can't wait for Eloise's bark and branch and heather's up up and away) and it goes without saying that i adore everything lotta lansdotter has produced so far.
did i also mention my love for carolyn friedlander's architextures?


but i think a collection has finally come along that couldn't possibly be more perfect. i don't think i will ever feel the same about another collection...ever.
have you seen tule by leah duncan? i have always been a fan of leah's and am absolutely wrapped at the thought of this collection and what i will do with it.
not only are the colours spot on but the entire collection is so fresh and contemporary yet classic.
i simply can not wait for it. 

and because i simply can not wait (it's out sometime this month for goodness sake) i had to buy these from a previous line of leah's.
i'm not even sure what i was thinking as i bought these on etsy to be delivered to my aunt's in know how i let her personally bring me over some fabrics to make her feel like she's being kind and doing me a favour (it's good to make people feel wanted). well that's all very well and good but she isn't coming until the end of october.
all very well and good scratching the leah-duncan-must-buy-fabric-now itch but i will be able to get my hands on tule way before i get the above.
still, you can never have too much of a good thing.

so we've established that i am fickle with fabric but think i may have found the one. do you have a collection that has blown you over way more than another? only to be usurped by the next collection on the block?

do tell.

Friday, 9 August 2013

a house full of lewis'...

 the bristol branch of the lewis's came to play this week...well 5/6 of them and since there are still only 4/5 of us until sam comes home on sunday after 3 1/2 weeks away (counting down the days? i think so!) we were down by 2, which only meant a little more room around the table at meal times.

i love my in laws...i really really do...and feel very lucky that people i would choose as my friends are my in laws.

and since top on their list of things to do whilst up with us was to do some screen printing, i love them even more!

even the boys wanted their turn. how cute are these despicable me characters?!
not only are they so lovely, they are a talented bunch my in laws.

my sis in law is just the best. 
i just wish she lived might just mean our timing would be better and we wouldn't look quite such unsynchronised non-starters in the photo booth.

imbetween all the over-excited jolliness there was a photo shoot for this thing that shall not be named yet. i packed the family off to bolton abbey for the day and temporarily got down to business.

yesterday was ruby's birthday and her choice of day trips was brimham rocks.
it's our absolute favouritest place ever and surprisingly we hadn't taken the bristol clan there before and so for those that don't have a fear of heights, an exhilerating time was had.

we didn't have to go too far to have fun with this lot...
a trip down to the park and a race on the field would all have ended happily if an over competitive mr leeds lewis hadn't got a little too enthusiastic and pulled a groin muscle all in the name of fun.

thankfully stopping for a swift pint on the way home seemed to make everything ok again.

last night was a tearful farewell after a really special week.
the only thing to cheer me up was a printing sesh today...which in itself was the start of something rather exciting.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

ig/blog update...oh and a new pinnie

 thank you all for leaving your comments on the previous post. it was really interesting what came out of it and what i pretty much thought...

in an ideal world we would all love to sit down and read each others blogs on a daily basis and leave comments and interact.
and we do try and do this, particularly when there is an interesting process and project we would like to read more about.
in reality this doesn't always happen and IG (sorry, instagram...i apologise Su for being lazy and using the abbreviation) is certainly a way of keeping up even if in a somewhat transient kind of way.
what was also interesting was most comments were left by those of you that don't do instagram (am trying not to be lazy Su) and does that mean that instagrammers have on the whole ditched blogs?

some interesting things to come out of it but on the whole the feeling is we love blogs and hope they are here to stay.

and in the spirit of supporting blogs and giving more details behind the pics i'll leave you with a little extra blurb today...

as i have been hinting - and still can't really say too much about but not long now i promise - i am involved in a big exciting project. this project involves a photo shoot which is taking place on tuesday. in the name of presentation i needed a clean apron for this photo shoot so rather than idly lying in bed this jolly sunday morning i was up with the larks, hangover n all, making a new apron for the aforementioned event.
it's a great roomy cover all hardy kind of apron, with a nice big roomy pocket.

it should do the job rather nicely...well it is clean at least.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

future of blogs...

 here's a thing...
do blogs have a future?
or have the likes of IG taken over?

i am a huge fan of IG and use it daily...several times a day...and as a consequence i feel that maybe we get all we need from sites like that. 
a quick fix of visual information. 
and when we blog we are repeating what we have posted there. or is that just me getting lazy? or am i over using and over posting on places like IG leaving nothing fresh for my blog?
take this quilt for example. those that follow me on IG have seen all these pics. so do you want to see them again here?

i have to admit that i do like my blogs to have pictures...pretty pictures and i think this is why IG works for me. i can see what people are up to and interact with them in real time.
IG generally gives me all i need and i think there are plenty of others like me about as it seems visitor numbers on blogs have dropped off as have comment postings.

what do you think? i'd love to know. do you still read blogs as avidly as you once did? or do other sites do it for you?