Sunday 29 April 2012

a quick catch up

Oh I am so sick of this weather!  The only upside is that a) my garden is looking lush and b) its a good excuse to stay inside and sew.

I havn't really been doing anything major, just little bits of things:
I have made some more of these, but have kind of come to a halt as I don't really have much of another colour to make any more: I want to go with red, so will put this to one side for now (and start buying red fabric!!)

I have been making a few more of my hexies (this is about half of them) and then playing around to see what I want to do with them: they look too much all sewn together, so I need to space them out, but still not sure where I am going with this project!

I got a fab book from the library the other day, 'Simply Stars, quilts that sparkle' that has some amazing quilt patterns with stars-a lot of them are paper pieced. I wondered if I could hand sew them as well, so decided to do a test run with some scraps.  Not sure what this will be made in to when done, or whether I really could do a whole quilt like this, but it is fun to do in the evenings when I'm watching telly

 And I am still hand quilting my mystery quilt - I really love this quilt. 
 I have gone around or through most of the stars now - with the exception of the big red and yellow one in the bottom right corner (not sure how to do that one)
 I am using a variagated perle cotton, which I really like, and just doing different things for different stars.  I am sewing yellow stars on the green border too, but not matter how I tried, I just couldn't get a good photo of that.
So, the rain is helping with my quilting too: I am plodding away slowly on different projects!

Tuesday 24 April 2012

Two nations

You may remember that I posted about my name tag that I made for my secret partner for the London FQ retreat.......  this was my sneak preview

well my partner has now received her package - it went to the lovely Leanne at She Can Quilt.  Thankfully she is pleased with it! 

Leanne is coming over from Canada, so I really wanted to do something to reflect the 'two nations'.  I had an idea in my head, but wasn't sure how to translate it, until I saw the material (see the pouch above)  Cutting out the maple leaf for the canadian flag took a couple of attempts, but I got there in the end

I used the red white and blue perle for the embroidery (which by the way, is put to shame when you see what Lucy did on my name badge!!)

I was so thrilled to get Leanne as a partner as she made for me in the Christmas table runner swap and got me spot on.  I have been so lucky with my two partners in this swap: Lucy who made for me and Leanne who I made for - can't wait to meet them both in person!

Saturday 21 April 2012

Hello - my name is ....

My name tag has arrived today!!  Anybody remember seeing this during the week....

over at the amazing Lucys   charm about you (her pic was much better than this one).  Picture the scene: I had done some of my revision this morning and Beccy and I were now at the kitchen table tackling some algebra equations: both of us were losing the will to live and then Jenny dropped an envelope of the table: this could be my badge I thought.  I waited until we had gone over the last algebra question(thankfully we were near the end anyway and I showed great restraint) and then this

Look at the lovely bird sellotape!

 when opened I revealed this lovliness

 with a lovely hand written note on the back of this postcard 

 I am in awe of this amazing embroidery, and love the needle and thread

and look at the even smaller embroidery for my blog name

 And some gorgeous scraps too

 I do need to apologise to Lucy for having such a long name and then such a long blog name: I bet her hear sank when she saw my name on her email! 

Now that I have my name badge I am even more excited - it makes everything seem that much more real, and there are so many people I can't wait to meet: and to give Lucy a great big hug for making me something so fantabulous

Monday 16 April 2012

Nothing of mine

I have nothing of my own to show today, having just finished a 12 hour day at work :-(
(large glass of wine is calling me)
So I thought I would share what Beccy made for her 'bestie', for her birthday a few weeks ago

 she did a fabulous job, with very little help from me:  I only helped out with sewing the seams together at the end

Once I had shown her how to blanket stitch, she just got right on with it.  She saved herself a fortune too - I have seen similar cushions going for about £12!!

Sunday 15 April 2012

Big blocks

The girls have been away for the last couple of days, which has meant lots of sewing time for me and not really having to think about what to cook (bliss, especially after the last 2 weeks of very hectic work)

The other day I was looking through some old American quilting magazines to look for something for someone and came across this

Liberty's Crown Quilt, from Big Block Quilts

Having done some paper piecing for the mystery quilt, I decided I had to give this a go.  I have enough scraps (or so I thought) to do some nice bright colours

It was fun to do and this one has used up a lot of my green scraps.  I think I have enough for three other circles, one with oranges and yellows, one with purples and one with blues.  Which leaves a dilemma as I need one other circle.  And I may not have enough blacks.  But I will scrape it all together somehow - I may have to buy another black FQ of some kind.
I have never sewn curves before.  So I went to Leannes you tube tutorial (thanks Leanne, it was so easy to understand) and then gave it a go 

I think it came out ok, but the test will be putting all 4 peices together.  I am changing the original pattern slightly, with a different arrangment of the circle - whenever I next get a chance to pick it all up again

I met the girls at Stansted this evening (only about 40mins from here), well the services on the m11 just by Stansted.  They were on their way home from a family reunion (on their dads side) and were dropping aunty and uncle off at the airport.  They live in Inverness but also have a house in Spain and were jetting off there for 7 weeks, so we all caught up for a coffee, which was so lovely as its been about 6 years since we last saw each other!  We just need to arrange flights and we can pop out for a week in the summer: fingers crossed!

Saturday 14 April 2012

Messing around with a bucket

I made another bucket bag today:

 This one seemed to take so much longer than the other one that I made, mainly due to the binding, which I made wider this time (and wish I hadn't-it wasn't worth the fuss) and me messing around with said binding
 The inside is yet another charity shop find - some silky purple bed linen - this photo doesn't do it justice
 So now this may be my bag of choice for the retreat in June: altho I have no idea what I could wear to co-ordinate with it!
It looks great against a white background, so something white I guess

None of our horses did anything spectacular on the national today.  I made my annual visit to the betting shop and fought my way through the crowds: I did smile at the 'Britishness' of it all - all of us there for our annual bet!!

Friday 13 April 2012

1st finish of 2nd round

About 8 years ago I saw a pattern for this mug quilt, done in very muted colours and before I really started quilting - and I thought - I want to do that.  Ta da: it's finished!!

I used lots of scrappy bits of fabric and it is a lovely bright quilt

 Its all hand quilted in different colours to try and contrast with the material
 The back of the quilt is a duvet cover that I picked up at a charity shop for a couple of quid
 I blanket stiched around each mug
 and I know exactly what I previously made out of almost every scrap of fabric on here
 This quilt has been a few years in the making, mostly down to all the blanket stitching! I think it is one of my favourites.  AND its my first Rhonda's FAL finish of the 2nd quarter!

I have also started on my next FAL project: which invovles the green and orange perle (just wanted to show you that fab red, white and blue perle too!)
 my mystery quilt is up next - I have already started hand quilting.  This was a hard one to decide how to quilt, so I went for the easy option and will stitch in the ditch around most of those stars
I have no children this weekend, so if you need me, I will be on the settee in the conservatory : hand quilting!

Tuesday 10 April 2012

2nd quarter

Time for the 2nd quarter of Rhondas FAL.  I had a 50% success rate last quarter, so would like to aim for 75% this time!

I'll start with this one as it is soooo nearly finished that it is a guaranteed finish!  This is a carry over from last quarter
 And another carry over, my mystery quilt.  I love this and am determined to get it finished.  I now have the binding and the wadding so there are no excuses!
 And two new ones: this giant star quilt, which I have a very soft fleecy backing for so no wadding required

And last but not least, my stained: I really want this one done for the summer

Looks like I might be busy then!!

Monday 9 April 2012

Jubilee name tag

We have had family down this weekend: my brother, his wife and their two children who are very close in age to my two, so we have had a great weekend.  I am now shattered!

The only sewing I have done is the name tag for my swap partner for the FQ retreat.  I was so thrilled to get the person that I have made for and I really hope she likes it

In celebration of it being Jubilee weekend, I went very patriotic.  I can't show any more of the name tag as it would be a complete giveaway.  I've had the idea in my head for a while, it was just translating it!
The swap rules did state that there should be a safety pin/brooch on the back but when I saw that Hadley had gone with a lanyard, I decided to shamelessy use her great idea!  (and she broke the rules first...)
There is another picture on there and their name and their blog.  Also, I loved the material so much that I made a souvenir pouch for the person too-Ireally admire this persons work so it was great to make something for them! It will hopefully go in the post tomorrow.
Next on my to do list is update my FAL for Rhonda!

Friday 6 April 2012

Ruby tablerunner

Well, thankfully I now have four days off.  Last week was very long and stressful.  I have about 35 schools to visit over the next month, to help out with year end.  I spend the whole time feeling sick in case anything goes wrong when you press that 'final close of year' button!! 

I had a new table delivered on Wednesday, just in time for a house full, due to arrive later today.  So I made this for it

I sat out in the sunshine this morning and put the binding on, so it's all finished just in time

 I actually cut out the pieces with a completely different design in mind, but didn't like how it was working out, so did a bit of re-designing.  I used a ruby charm pack that I won from Sarah at Sew Me and some light grey that I had

 I couldn't find anything in my stash that I wanted to bind it with so when I was doing my mammoth shop at Sainsburys yesterday I had a look at their pillowcases to see if the right colour was there. Sure enough, two lovely duck egg pillowcases at 2.99 for the pair!!! Quickly cut in to binding.  (I think I will use the remainder for my stained quilt)
I fmq'd it - successfully too I think!! No issues on the tension etc

I am really pleased with this, even more so because I designed it from scratch sitting on my kitchen floor surrounded by pieces of fabric!

Am hoping to finish off my mug quilt over the weekend and catch up on family time, whilst sewing and drinking the fizzy stuff!!

Sunday 1 April 2012

April over at Lilys

Having missed the last couple of months over at Lilys quilts, I am able to post this one as it is a weekend (I just don't get the time during the week at the moment!)
Whilst you are over there take a moment to have a look at
Quilts for Siblings Together
It is such an amazing cause and lots of people have already come together to help out - this is the quilt that I am donating

Its great to think that it is going to such a great cause.  Take a look and see if you have a spare quilt or have time to put something together?

Anyway, back to March:

 I got my stained quilt all sewn up.  I just need to get it all basted now
 my lovely blueberry crumble lap quilt: I love these colours!
 This bag that I gave to my cousin for a birthday present

And this lovely bucket bag, that I made for myself and have used loads.  I have bought more material to make some bags so will have some more to show hopefully

I have spent a lot of march hand quilting this in the evenings:

It is so nearly complete and I can't wait to get it all finished, it has been a long time in the making as all those mugs are appliqued on to the quilt!

I hope April is a productive one for you all