Sugar Flowers Finals Day

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Today Was a Good Day.”

It has taken a few days to decide what to post for this challenge, mainly because days I could post as a good or great day, I don’t necessarily have many photos recording them. Or I wouldn’t want to post them for the whole world to see, or you probably wouldn’t want to see them. Today was a good day could be about the days I gave birth to my sons (both night babies) or probably the best one would be the day I not only found out I was expecting Maxi Mister, but my gorgeous niece was also born. A picture of a line on a pregnancy test, and a short text from my brother-in-law do not exactly make up a series of photos representing how good the day was.

So here you have the photos I took the day I completed my sugar flowers course. Six weeks of incredibly hard and fiddly work (including remaking those  flowers I dropped and smashed on the penultimate session) culminated in a 5 hour arranging session, trying not to break anything more before the assessment.

That day was a good day because I passed my diploma!

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Calculating Hexagons

I have been working on building up basted hexagons for one of my quilts whilst we have been away. The eagle-eyed among you may have noticed that I started including a Hexie Counter to my widgets a couple of weeks ago. It is not perfect, but it does the job of giving me a visual reminder about how many I have reached. I am actually keeping an Excel spreadsheet, just so I don’t lose count!

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Hexie Counter

Now you may think that this is a little obsessive, especially given that I have been sorting all the basted hexies into colour sets and storing them like that. OK, it probably is, but there is a good reason. I need a massive number of hexies for even a small quilt and since I am not following a pattern and haven’t yet decided on the final size, I need to keep a track.

I found a great site when Googled how to work out the number of hexies required. CD Designs has a variety of helpful pages, but the one that has been most useful to me is the Calculating Hexagons page. Some wonderfully helpful person has worked out some formulae that give you the number of rows, columns, hexagons and half hexagons you require, dependent on the size of your hexagons and your intended quilt.

As I haven’t yet decided on the size of my finished quilt, I put in the figures for a twin (single), a double, a queen and a king, keeping my hexies 1 inch. The differences are huge!

               No. Hexies.       No. Half Hexies

Twin:           2532                 60

Double:       2930                 62

Queen:        3692                 71

King:            5538                 79

I wasn’t happy with just these figures (oh dear…). So I then decided to work out how many flowers I would need to make overall if I was to stick with my original idea for a Grandmother’s Flower Garden Quilt. And that depends on the size of flower and whether I put any ‘paths’ between them. You see how much I really need to get round to deciding!!

1 layer hexie flower

1 layer hexie flower

2 layer hexie flower

2 layer hexie flower

1 layer hexie flower with paths

1 layer hexie flower with paths

The number of flowers would give me the number of centres required, and since I have decided to go with Kona Solids for the centres (Woo-hoo! A decision I have actually made!) I needed to know how much material to prep.

I won’t bore you with the table of figures I came up with. Suffice to say that I need anything from 54 to 400 centres! For the moment I am aiming for a mid-point in these figures.

So far, having basted almost all of the Zoe Pearn ‘A Beautiful Thing’ fabric, I am up to 160 hexagons with 72 more prepped to baste. I am going to be spending a long, long time making this quilt.

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I have, therefore, decided that when I have finished the current lot, I am going to take a break and try to complete another of my projects. I don’t want to get hexie fatigue! Keep an eye on the counter though, as I will update it as I complete more hexies.

(Please note that this is not a sponsored post in any way. All opinions are my own)😊

Creepy – The DP Photo Challenge

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Creepy.”

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I haven’t posted much this week, but then I haven’t made very much or attempted new things as we have been away. We were with family (although staying separately to them) and I asked advice from them on this week’s challenge. The answers given were slightly (actually very) weird and began to make me worry just a little more than usual about the sanity, or lack of, of us all!

Then I spotted the Pierrot on the window sill. I don’t necessarily find Pierrots creepy, but clowns are another matter. Pierrots I can cope with as long as it isn’t dark and spooky where they are. Clowns freak me out completely. I had a play around with the photo app on my tablet and made the Pierrot look more creepy than it did in full daylight with everyone around me. I can’t give you a picture of a clown, as we don’t have any around (thank goodness!) and to be honest, I wouldn’t want one on my nice cozy blog because it would be there, staring at me every time I logged in and went to my Media Gallery.

The Pierrot belonged to Mum, and I am sure she sewed me a Pierrot costume when I was little. I can vaguely remember the scratchiness of the netting ruff. I don’t think I will be attempting one myself!

Quick Makes 1

Just did a lightning fast make, a random idea after my niece’s tooth fell out this afternoon. Since we are all away from our homes at the moment, my middle sister and her family staying with my Dad, and our little family staying in a gorgeous little cottage 10 minutes from my Dad, the tooth needed to be put somewhere less likely to be lost.

As I had my hexies on me, I thought a would make a pocket for the tooth with scraps of material. It was easier, in the end to make it hexagon shape as everything is already cut.

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All I did was baste 2 hexagons, sew them wrong sides together using tiny whip-stitches round 4 sides, and then whip stitch the edges of the 2 remaining sides on each hexagon. I did remove the basting, but it probably could be left since I only basted the seam allowance and not through to the front of the hexagons.

I think it could be improved with the addition of a snap at the top point to hold it closed, but I don’t have mine with me, so it stays as it is, certainly for the moment. It could also have an appliquéd or embroidered name initial on one side, or even make it out of smaller hexies and diamonds. In fact, there are endless possibilities…

What do you think?

Just hope the Tooth Fairy can find her way here…

Beneath Your Feet – DP Photo Challenge

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In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Beneath Your Feet.”

I have made the decision to aim to complete the Daily Post’s Photo Challenge as a weekly regular post. I think it will be good for me to have to think about something more challenging, and since I use lots of photos anyway, it fits quite nicely.

Beneath my feet is the floor of our living room and the pedal for my sewing machine. A yellow ball has snuck into the picture. These represent my life at the moment – although I am not sure if the stripy socks are included in that!

I was sewing chair cushions last night, hence having my foot on the pedal. I have actually managed to finish one of my projects! It did take me til midnight to finish, but the covers are done. I still have several projects to complete…

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The yellow ball is one of a very large number that seem to be permanently decorating the living room. Mini Mister loves his ball pit, but that also includes kicking balls out of it, tipping it up to let more out, or upturning it to crawl around underneath. It is like having a brightly coloured tortoise crawling round the room! I gave up trying to pick up the balls yesterday after he had emptied the lot 3 times. I think some of them are still there now 😀

And the floor. Well, it is laminate and drives me insane currently, as I have to clean it at least once a day. It collects everything, which is not good when you have a messy eater and a baby who is weaning. I despair of ever having it clean for more than 5 minutes.

But it is the floor we chose when we moved in. The house was new and the first we owned together. A lot has happened since then. The house has seen us get engaged and then married from it. The early loss of 2 babies and the arrival of a rainbow baby (Maxi Mister). The beginning of my caking journey (and vast amounts of sugar) and the rediscovery of my sewing interest. And finally the arrival of a miracle baby (Mini Mister), who actually arrived in the house as he couldn’t wait for me to get to hospital. Luckily he had our lovely new bed to cushion his arrival, rather than the hard laminate floor!

So, there it is. Beneath my feet is my life, and I love it!

Inspiration – The DP Photo Challenge

mum embroidery

Embroidery, beading and appliqué pictures created by Mum

I enjoyed completing the photo challenge last week, so thought I would have a go at another. This week The Daily Post have gone with the following:

Inspiration : This week we want you to show us what inspiration means to you.

mum cakes

Cakes created by Mum in the 1970s, with no amazing sugarcraft tools or ingredients, no formal training, and definitely no internet tutorials. The chocolate owl is mine and I have never forgotten it!

Last night I wrote a very long, meandering post that was trying to be clever. I thought better of it and will just leave you with these collages of a tiny proportion of the wonderful things my Mum made when we were very young. They inspired me and my sisters to have a go, and continue to do so.

Here’s to you, Mum. I hope we make you proud!