Saturday, 2 February 2013

Windmills and Things

What a week.  No school for Little Bun as her school flooded.  The snow melted and the ditch at the back burst through. On Monday I'd agreed to take Mr Bun's classes so he could do a presentation to Headteachers. With a 7am phone call to say no school I had Little Bun running around cheering and I was frantically thinking what to do. Torn between a promise and wanting to look after my girlie on what was really my day off work. Grandma came to the rescue and took her to work with her. An office with my mum and her mate was much better than learning a range of new shiny words from 16-18 year olds. We juggled and changed plans until Thursday when the older children could go back into their mobile class in the playground. Little Bun found it really sad seeing her school wrecked.

Feeling exhausted and with lots of plans for making things in mind I was thrilled to see Friday on the horizon. A day off all to myself, not having to talk to anyone - yay. Not so though as two girlies went to bed poorly on Thursday night and woke with burning temperatures on Friday morning.

Plan one had been to see if I had enough of this delicious 1940's French fabric to make a summer tea dress from. I couldn't resist when I was having a look over at Donna's sumptious emporium. Plan two had been to make a few more shoppers to re-stock my etsy shop. Back-up plan became realise you can never ever make plans when you are a parent.

Other exciting Friday news that I can now share is that my man's project Blue Cat Initiative won the Big Society Award. It was released by No 10 yesterday with DC tweeting how much he likes the project. In fact he's so impressed that the press office at No 10 have been in touch to see if they can film the work that goes on. What better support can we ask for. Getting the accolades is fabulous, but the real point of it all is to ensure Blue Cat gets known for being a learning provider of excellence. Then getting the funding to help more disadvantaged teens and adults will be made easier.

Back to the sickness of the day. As much as I hate seeing my girls poorly I'm no nurse. I feed, give medicine, make sofa beds, say oh poor you and wipe the odd brow, but after that I'm done. I'm not a fusser. I took off to have a look at the new library books and start cutting a few squares for the Springtime Florals quilt I want to make. I reckoned this would be more do-able as every few minutes I got a "mummy, I want you" shout and had to keep dropping what I was doing.

This morning I got chopping. I've been braving the world of the rotary cutter which I'm slowly getting to grips with. Last week I hacked the end of my finger with it so I was in a mood with the darned thing for a while. I want to get more adventurous with my quilting patterns so I thought I'd try moving into the world of triangles. A rotary cutter would make this all a lot quicker. 

With triangles there's just so many patterns to choose from. Could be too many choices, but I'm feeling most drawn to the windmill shape, especially the pink red and white one.

Now making the triangles is the bit I've been itching to try out. I thought I'd better share it with you in case you don't know about this technique. In a nutshell it's a stitching and cutting method that saves you making lots of triangles and then trying to stitch them together. All you have to do is cut out squares. Actually there are two ways of doing this. The first one I got from a book and the second one from a friend of mine.

I cut 13cm squares, which with a rotary cutter had straight sides for the first time ever - hooray. To make two large matching triangles you need to lay the squares right sides together. Then simply mark a line from corner to corner.

Stitch down both sides 5mm from the line, don't cut the thread just lift the foot and turn to stitch from one side to the other. Once stitched cut along the line to make two sets of triangle shaped squares.

These are them before pressing and trimming. I made an extra square up so I could see what a windmill pattern would look like. All I need to do is sew the squares together which will be so much easier than the flags I made last time.

The other way of doing this and getting four triangle shapes is super easy too. First lay your squares right sides together again and then stitch all the way around the edges.

With your rotary cutter (I'm getting quite brave about using this thing now) cut across the square from corner to corner both ways to make four triangles.

Open them out and there you have more triangles made in super quick time. I really like this way of doing things. There'll definately be a few windmills being made this weekend.


  1. Congratulations to your DH and his Big Cat project, hopefully this recognition will help young people get the help they need and deserve.
    I imagine that was very disheartening for pupils and staff at the flooded school. Hope it can soon be restored.
    Thank you for the tips on quilting. Love your material from Donna Flower.
    Wishing you a lovely weekend and hoping the lurgy has now departed from the young ones.
    Carol xx

  2. I love your friends method! That's even quicker than the first ( the one I use). Will have to give that a whirl. I also have that book and its brilliant! X

  3. Well done Mr Bun!
    Glad you've explained that triangle business. I've always stuck to squares, thinking anything else was probably too complicated. I'm going to have to give it a go now.

  4. Love the fabrics you've got there can't wait to see the finished bags. Thanks for showing us how to sew "triangles" I'll give it a whirl, as they say "easy when you know how", (or in my case maybe not!!)Lucey x

  5. Hugest congratulations to Mr Bun. Hope the girls are feeling better. And thank you for that last triangle tip, it's a cracker :D

  6. Now this looks like a great idea, the nine square patch thingys I've been making use a similar method. Rotary cutters.....they are good, bit scary but very accurate, I however have just realised I've been using one for a right handed person, and I use my left! No wonder it felt odd, so new cutter needed I think! I'd love to be able to whip up a quilt in a day, but that ain't happening any time soon!
    Well done to Mr Bun on the Blue Cat recognition, why Blue Cat?
    Yes, I bet it's hard for the kids to see their school damaged, hope it get sorted quickly and they can get back to normal :) x

    1. I bought him a nodding Blue Cat for his car missus and that gave him the idea. I have a huge pink nodding dog in mine. There you go. x

  7. I've just discovered I quite like quilting, although I'm nowhere near the cutting triangles stage yet..........great tips though. Hope your little ones feel better soon.

  8. Congratulations on Blue Cat ... you and Mr Bun must be delighted ... so sorry to hear the Buns are unwell ... this time of year is horrible for catching bugs ... roll on spring and the sunshine ... I love your friend's triangle tip ... ingenious ... wishing you a lovely weekend ... chat soon ... Bee xx

  9. Gorgeous, gorgeous fabrics!! Your windmills look fabulous too :) Rotary cutting is quite hard to get used too, but super quick once you get the hang of it! Saves so much time :)
    Have a lovely weekend, xo

  10. Oh, just love those fabrics!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  11. Thanks for those amazingly quick and easy tips Lisa, making a patchwork duvet cover is on my list of 2013 things to do for sure! I'm really pleased for your hubby too, that is such celebratory news, well done! xxx Penelope

    1. ps. Hope all the bugs are at bay now, Alice has been rotten with a cold this weekend too. Oh and I chopped off a rather large part of my thumb with my rotary cutter...lethal they are :o( x

  12. Beautiful fabrics and windmills!!! xo Heather

  13. I really want to get into patchwork but I don't seem to have the confidence I did try last year and thought it was going to be my new favourite craft but just couldn't get into it. I must try again - thank you for the inspiration :)

  14. Such pretty fabrics you're working with ... glad you've moved along in your quilting with triangles!! Hope your girls are feeling better (my mom never fussed over us either, we too had to yell to get her to our bedside!). Wendy

  15. I have had a mixture of my three boys off school/college at various times for what is starting to seem like months. As much as I feel their pain, I am now desperate for some me time.
    Today is the day!!
    Sewing machine, tea and M&S Victoria sponge.....YES!
    Loving your patchwork, I am about to embark on one myself, i am currently a patchwork virgin (the shame).
    Emma. X

  16. This looks very interesting, am dying to have a go at these triangles :) I have just realised your link isn't working on my blog so have missed your lovely posts! Off to go catch up xxx take care lovely Lisa xxx

  17. Sorry to hear about the school and your girlies feeing poorly - I hope all three are on the mend now. And congratulations to the Mr!
    I love windmill quilts and these two methods for making them look easy enough. I echo your sentiments on the rotary cutter though, scary! I've not tried patchwork before, but it's on my list for this year, maybe I'll try some triangles like yours. Thanks for the explanation!
    Alex x

  18. Hi, I have tried emailing my swap partner and you (but both emails cannot be delivered). Please can you confirm Allie's email address, love Sam x


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