Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Happy New Year!

I am sitting here enjoying the last few hours of 2013. It is just myself,OH and the dog. Robbie Williams is on the TV so I have a smile on my face. 

2013 was another wonderful year. I've been so blessed. I wonder what this New Year will have in store? Whatever comes along I will share it with you all here on the blogs.

I hope as we pass the midnight hour and enter the New Year that 2014 will be a good year. I wish you love health and happiness and as always I wish you ENOUGH.

A lesson in fabric pre-cuts.

Yesterday I did a blog about Fat Quarters which are very popular amongst quilters and other sewists.   However they are just the tip of the iceberg as there are many speciality pre-cuts out there.  Most top manufacturers offer specialty cut items in conjunction with their collections.  These pre-cuts shorten your cutting time and give you an affordable way to purchase an entire collection of fabric without breaking the bank.

Pre-cut items are fabrics cut into specific sizes and typically packaged by collection. There are many different sizes but they are based on the most common cuts used by quilters. The most well-known and perhaps the most useful pre-cuts are charm squares, layer cakes and jelly rolls so we shall look at them first.  

Please note that some fabric manufacturers use different names for the same pre-cuts. The popular names tend to be the ones used by Moda fabrics.

Charms or Charm Squares.   These are 5 inch squares usually in a pack of 40 coordinating fabrics.  Total average yardage approx. 1 1/8 yards.  NB. Riley Blake calls their 5 inch squares “Stackers”.

Layer Cakes.  These are 10 inch squares, usually in a pack of 40 coordinating fabrics.  Total average yardage approx. 2 ¾ yards.

Jelly Rolls. * These are 2 1/2" pre-cut strips, cut the width of the fabric (WOF), from selvage to selvage. So generally 21/2 x 44 inches. Jelly Rolls are sold in sets of 40 strips from a coordinating fabric line; total yardage yield is approximately 2 3/4+ yards.

The above are the most popular pre-cuts but there are many more and as I said you may find that different manufactures use different names.

Here are some more.

Dessert Rolls or Fat Rolls. These are 5" wide pre-cut strips x width of fabric from selvage to selvage.  These rolls are fabric strips from a coordinating line of fabric, typically 40 strips of 20 different fabrics; total yardage yield is approximately 5 1/2+ yards.

Honey Buns or Sweet Rolls. These are 1 1/2" pre-cut strips cut the width of the fabric from selvage to selvage.  These are 40 strips from a coordinating fabric line; total yardage yield is approximately 1 3/4 yards.

Candy Squares or Mini Charms. These are 2.5" x 2.5" squares they usually come in packs of 40.

Turnovers.  These are 6" pre-cut triangles of 40 fabrics from a coordinating line; total yardage yield is approximately 1 yard.

Spoonfuls. These are by Moda and are 8-1/2" squares.

Bali Bitty Bundles. These are by Hoffman - eight fat-eights (9" x 22")

Honeycomb Hexagons.  These are new by Moda fabrics. They are collections of 40, 6" hexagons. Each Honeycomb hexagon measures 6" from point to opposite point, with a horizontal measurement of 5 1/4". Moda Fabrics are the industry leader when it comes to inventing new pre-cuts.

*Other names for Jelly Rolls include: Bali Pops by Hoffman Fabrics, Rolie Polies by Riley Blake, Roll Ups by Robert Kaufman Fabrics and Stone Strips by Northcott Fabrics.

As you can see there are a whole host of wonderful pre-cuts out there just waiting for your next project. There are also many, many books and tutorials on how to use them all but that is another blog!

Before you dive in and get started, I have a last note about pre-cuts……. DON’T PRE-WASH!

The following information comes from The Fat Quarter Shop:-

“If you prefer to prewash your fabrics before cutting and sewing, learn to resist the temptation to wash or even rinse your pre-cut fabric strips. Washing could cause the fabric to fray, ravel, or shrink, resulting in pieces that are no longer an accurate size”.

For my Merikan friends The Fat Quarter Shop is a great source of all pre-cuts.  UK friends can find good suppliers in my Fantastic Suppliers list over on the left-hand side of the blog.

Please feel free to leave links to your projects in the comments. 

Jilly @ Fabrilushus

Monday, 30 December 2013

Fat quarters and other cuts

The United Kingdom supposedly underwent metrification many years ago.  I believe it was around 1965 when it all began and it was voluntary back then.  Some 15 years later, around 1980 we were forced to follow European directives that would apparently see off the old Imperial system for good.  Of course we all know that only happened in part.

So are you a metric girl or is your brain still hard wired to the old ways?  I confess to being an Imperial girl. I still weigh in pounds and ounces and I measure in feet and inches. It’s nothing to do with metric but for the record I’m also a Fahrenheit girl for temperature.  I simply cannot get my head around centigrade.

Sometimes I think my Imperial brain puts me at a disadvantage but there is one area where it helps……. Sewing and quilting. Have you noticed how many suppliers still sell fabric by the yard?  OK, I know department stores the like of John Lewis sell in meters but the smaller independent fabric retailers work in yards.  Bolts of fabric are still generally measured in inches wide.  As an example a common width is 44 inches.  36 inches and 60 inches are also common.

Nearly all quilting patterns will quote the fabric requirements in yardage. Of course sometimes you may not need a full yard so fabric is sold by the half and the quarter.  Many shops will sell you as little as 6 inches if that is all you need.  

As a quilter one of the most common requirements is for a fat quarter or FQ.  It took me ages to actually figure out what this is.  If you are a quilter you will no doubt have a stash of fat quarters but do you know what they actually are?  If you aren’t a quilter you probably have no idea what I am talking about!

Fat quarters are pre-cut pieces of cotton fabric. They are taken from one yard of fabric, cut in half lengthwise, and then in half width-wise. The dimensions are approximately 18" x 22" (46cm x 56cm).
A normal quarter yard cut from a bolt would measure 44" x 9" (112cm x 23cm). This is usually known as a long quarter or occasionally a thin or skinny quarter.

A Fat eighth is half of a FQ but can be cut vertically or horizontally giving different dimensions.  Some places also sell pre-cuts known as sweet sixteens, which you have guessed it…… they are half of a fat eighth and again will come in 2 different sizes depending on the direction of the cut. 

This YouTube video gives a good explanation of the various cuts.

Fat quarters are extremely popular with patchworkers and quilters as they can be used in so many ways.  If you are using 5 inch squares in your design then a FQ will yield 12 whereas a standard quarter yard will usually only give 8.

Fat quarters are often pre-cut and sold with coordinating fabric, so they’re easy to pick up and add to your stash.  Be warned they are addictive!  Most quilters will have quite a collection and quite often purchase bundles with no idea in mind what they might use them for!  I am guilty of this!  

So do you have a stash of FQ’s? What are your plans for them?  If you have ideas that you would like to share about using all those FQ’s then please get in touch and we can arrange a guest post.  It is always nice to see what other people do. 

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Fabrilushus Mega Sale.

Good morning.  Hope everyone is fit and well and that you all had a great Christmas.  Did you get lots of pennies to spend?  If you did then I invite you to check out the Fabrilushus MEGA JANUARY SALE. Nearly 100 items have 50 % off.  Just use the code JANSALE at the checkout.


Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Happy Christmas

Well the last post has gone so that is it for my Fabrilushus shop for this Christmas.  I will be making some changes in 2014.  I am going to concentrate more on my best selling items. I also have some new lines. 

From 27th of December there will be a 50% off sale on many items so please do drop by if you have Christmas pennies to spend. http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/Fabrilushus

All that is left to say is, I wish you all the very best Christmas and many blessings for 2014.

Monday, 23 December 2013

All I want for Christmas

Is my two front teeth, my two front teeth. Remember that song? I don't remember the days when I was missing those teeth but my little granddaughter has recently lost her first baby tooth so I expect it won't be too long before she is sporting that cute, gappy look.

Those days seem so long ago now. What I do recall is that our expectations back then were much more simple than seems to be the case today.  So I have two questions for you in the lead up to Christmas.

What would have been top of your gift list when you were about 7 and what is topping your gift list this year?

When I was 7 I was desperate for a tiny tears doll.  I was a lucky girl as I did get one.  I still have her today and my little granddaughters play with her.  I think I will try and photograph her and do a blog over on my personal blog, "Don't Worry Be Happy".

So what do I covert this year? Well if money was no object then I would be asking Santa for this.

It is a Janome Memory Craft 15000 and I think it may just do the washing up too.  Isn't she gorgeous?  She is a sewing and embroidery machine also perfect for large quilting projects due to her size. She works with an iPad so you can even do your own designs.  I am in love.

Sadly I know my Santa does not have the kind of money that this machine will cost. I will have to content myself with dreaming.  I haven't even dared to look at the price of her but I am guessing at around the £4000 mark.

I do have a good Santa though and I think he may just be bringing me a new camera. A much more powerful camera so that I can improve my skills...hopefully. It is something that I want to do next year, learn more about photography.  I'll let you know next week if I am a lucky girl.

I hope you all get what you are wishing for. Don't forget to try and do something for those who won't be as lucky as us.  Oh and don't forget to answer my questions.

NB. I have managed to find out the price of the machine and I underestimated!  It costs £6495,!!!!  That is roughly $10,609. Where on earth do they get a price like that ? Don't think I could justify that kind of money even if I was super rich and actually had lots of money.  Crazy!

Sunday, 22 December 2013


Just a quick blog today so that you know why I have been missing.  It is with much sadness that I have to tell you that we lost our beloved Alfie on Thursday the 19th of December. It was very peaceful and he died at home in our arms in his favourite place on the sofa in the living room.  We are beyond distraught and will miss him always.

Run free my baby.

I have several Fabrilushus posts ready to go so will put them up over the next week or so. In the mean time, I would like to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and a super crafty 2014.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Everything Etsy

Everything Etsy is a blog that is SO much more than just Etsy.  In fact having the word Etsy in the title may put some people off from having a peek.  You may think it is just a shop but it is way, way more.

This is what they have to say:  "We blog about all kinds of creative awesomeness! Handmade Gifts, Selling on Etsy, Ikea Hacks, Free Printables, Blogging & Social Media and so so so much more! Follow along and join over 100,000 fans and followers. Blogging since 2008"

If you don't know of them then I suggest you get over there pretty quick and take a looksie for yourself. There is some amazing inspiration for your Christmas decor including links to 25 handmade Christmas wreaths.  Here are a few examples.

The one above was done by Tricia of Simplicity in The south.  A great blog worth checking out.

As well as a whole host of tutorials and lots of free printables, there is also a fantastic resource area full of advice for anyone wishing to sell their handmade goodies online.

One of my favourite tutorials on Everything Etsy right now is the one for Soy Candles.  I am SO desperate to have a go at making some of these.  Perhaps in the new year!  My new year is going to be packed full!

You can see the tutorial here: Soy Candles  if you want to have a go. To pique your interest here are a couple of photos from the tutorial.

From this
To this
To this

Aren't they just so drool worthy?

If you are looking for craft inspiration or help and advice to get you selling online then I can thoroughly recommend Everything Etsy.  If you do have a go at any of their tutorials, please drop by and tell us all what you made.

Jilly @ Fabrilushus

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Redwork embroidery

Who has heard of Redwork? I had heard of Blackwork,* I have even done some Blackwork many years ago. There are many similarities.  I came across Redwork recently, I can't remember where or how though. It may have been a Facebook post or on Etsy. Either way it piqued my interest and I had to investigate.

It seems that Redwork was popular between 1880 and approximately 1920. It involved stitching patterns on muslin using red thread although sometimes blue was used.  I have no idea if that was then called Bluework! **

The patterns were mainly stitched in what we today know as back stitch or outline stitch but at the time it was known as Kensington stitch because the craze was started by the Kensington school for girls.  They used red cotton thread from Turkey which was strong and colourfast. Because of the origin of the thread the work was also sometimes known as Turkey Redwork.

Many companies at the time sold what were known as "penny squares" which were small squares of muslin with stamped designs ready for over stitching. They sold for a penny hence the name.  Many themes were used for the designs on penny squares but the more popular ones were historical figures, flowers animals, household items and nursery rhymes.

Often the pictures had special meaning. EG. Horseshoes for good luck, angels for watching over children and each different kind of flower would have its own secret meaning.

Children were often given penny squares to practise and improve their stitching skills. Starting as young as 4 or 5 years old.  Beats computer games don't you think?

The designs ranged from the fairly basic to the far more intricate.  The example below was made in 1910 by a 10 year old girl called Helen Wells. It shows English nursery rhymes.  The pattern for this can actually be purchased via Grandma's Attic website.

Penny squares were often incorporated into quilts and it is some of these surviving quilts that are today responsible for a bit of a revival in Redwork.   The quilting community see the antique quilts at auction and then replicate the same design elements.  This has led to new Redwork designs becoming quite widely available.

Redwork is also being used for much more modern designs.  I think the technique is equally as charming today.


This is just the bare bones about Redwork.  Should you be interested then there are many places online to check for more information. The Information for this post came from several places:

If you want to have a go yourself then check out Grandma's Attic for free downloadable patterns. I am adding Redwork to my list of To Do Projects for 2014.

* Apparently it would seem that Blackwork is actually a totally different thing altogether.  I should know this, I have done Blackwork.  It seems Redwork done with black thread is properly known as Black Redwork!

**  I have found out that work carried out using indigo blue thread is in actual fact known as Blue Redwork as all elements are identical except the colour!

Jilly @ Fabrilushus

Monday, 9 December 2013

A custom order completed.

Evening all.  How are you?  I am recovering from dental surgery this evening.  I had to have a back, upper tooth removed due to a nasty abscess. I had it done under intravenous sedation so I am still suffering from a bit of brain fog!

I have several blogs half written and a few in the planning stage but I need something relatively easy tonight so I thought I would show you my completed applique cat cushion.  It was a custom order for a lady who had already purchase an owl cushion from me.  I showed you a photo of it in the early stages.

Here it is completed.  My customer was delighted with it.

I do enjoy making cushion covers and they are one of my items that seems to be doing better.  My top best selling items are, in order:

1. Wire, heart hangers for quilts and wall hangings.
2. Hip pouches or bum bags or fanny packs, seems to go by different names depending where on the globe you are!
3. Cushion covers.
4. Tote bags.

I am wondering about making changes to Fabrilushus in the new year to reflect what seems to be selling best for me.  We shall see.

I have just sold My lovely red Dalmatian cushion.

Sold 3 hip pouches this week too.  This one is a custom order from a friend of my daughter.

I have just listed this new one but I need to take better photos.

Lastly, we received a custom order for a Christmas tree hanger and this is what we come up with.  The photo needs urgently redoing but it has already sold a 2nd one.

Speaking of the need for better photos, I am in the market for a new one so any suggestions or advice will be gratefully received.  I don't want anything too complicated.  I am thinking of a bridge camera maybe?

 Jilly @ Fabrilushus

Tuesday, 3 December 2013


Who has heard of Craftsy? If you haven't then you are missing out. Craftsy is one of my favourite places for inspiration on a whole host of crafts.

Craftsy is an online community of creative people who are passionate about their crafts and who want to share their knowledge and to learn together.

Craftsy covers a whole load of different crafts including, sewing, quilting, jewellery making, photography, embroidery, knitting, crochet, baking and much more. All classes are from the best instructors who are eager to share their skills.

In addition to the "paid for" classes Craftsy has lots of free mini tutorials which are absolutely brilliant if you are looking for inspiration for a fast and easy project.

If all of that is not enough, they also sell patterns and supplies.  They also have a really good blog which it is well with signing up for and you will get a weekly email with the latest projects.

Today I wanted to show you a project that I would like to do this week if I can just find the time. I love quilting and small, quick projects are great because you get such satisfaction from a project completed. This project is for mug rugs.  So fast to do and you can never have enough mug rugs, right?

Need a cute Christmas present for a friend?  Make them a set of mug rugs.

This link will take you to 6 free mug rug patterns.  My favourites are the snowman and the heart glow.

Which are your favourites? If you explore the Craftsy archives you will find many more mug rug patterns.  Hopefully I will soon be able to show you the ones that I have made.

Check out Craftsy for yourself and if you make anything that you would like to share here on the Fabrilushus blog then please contact me and we can set up a guest post.

Laters  alligators.

Jilly @ Fabrilushus

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Barks and Bunnies

Today's post is something a little different.  The Fabrilushus blog usually features people who knit and sew and do other crafts.  However it is primarily about quality, handmade goods and that includes home baked goodies. 

You all know how much I love my dogs and all the other dogs at the rescue where I volunteer so I was intrigued when I came across Barks and Bunnies. Amy makes handmade dog treats using quality, natural ingredients.   She has very kindly agreed to do a guest blog for me today telling you all about her Company. Please do visit her website and treat your dog to some home baked goodies for their Christmas stocking.  

Take it away Amy........

What do you feed your dog?

You are probably now thinking words like Pedigree, Royal Canin, Arden Grange, Fish 4 Dogs.

So what if I ask the question ‘What does your dog eat?’

Now you might be thinking of the things they are fussy about, maybe you are thinking they love to eat cheese, but they cant stand Satsuma!

My point is that most likely for the majority of people we still haven’t answered the question of what ingredients and foods your dog is actually eating as their primary food source. We can answer a brand that they eat and we can answer the treats that we give them and the things they don’t like but when it comes to their regular every day meals we generally don’t actually know what we are feeding.

For example there is a brand who has recently been in the press for allegedly including bird feathers in their kibble as a filler. Astoundingly this is perfectly legal and falls under the loopholes of the well known packaging phrase ‘meat or animal derivatives’ which simply put means that any part of any animal could be included in the food.

There is also another well known brand that when you search the internet reveals many concerned owners, trainers and vets who believe that one of the ingredients is potentially a carcinogen and responsible for increased cancer rates in our dogs.

This is part of the reason why we created our own handmade dog treats. As the owner of a dog with Colitis we have to be very careful about what we feed him because his tummy is so sensitive, we also want to be sure of what we are feeding him and that it won’t cause him any harm.

Our handmade treats are made with simple, fresh ingredients and nothing else. We use fresh bananas, parsley, honey, and cheese, all our biscuits are made with ingredients of a quality that we as humans can eat ourselves. In fact I can often be found snacking on them myself when out on our dog walks! http://www.barksandbunnies.co.uk/collections/dog-biscuits

I love to bake our dogs their own treats, I know what they are eating and they enjoy nothing more than waiting beside the AGA for the timer to beep signalling that their treats are ready!

So next time you buy your dog their food please take a moment to look at what you are actually buying, read the ingredients and try to work out what they actually are. And if buying treats from a company such as my own who specialise in handmade dog treats or food please make sure they are fully licensed, insured, registered with Trading Standards and most importantly of all have an Animal Feed Registration Number.

And as a Christmas Treat please do stop by our website to look at our Winter Walks Dog Treat raising money for Oldies Dog charity to help fund the vet bills for all the dogs in their care. http://www.barksandbunnies.co.uk/collections/dog-biscuits/products/winter-walks

We would also like to say a huge thank you to Jilly for inviting us to write this blog, she has some wonderful items for your home and beautiful products which you can give to friends as a gift http://www.etsy.com/shop/Fabrilushus.

I hope you all enjoyed Amy's post and please do go and check out Barks and Bunnies. 

Like us on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/BarksandBunnies

Follow us on Twitter - https://twitter.com/BarksBunnies