Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 a year in review

As we approach the end of 2012, like many, I'm taking time to look back at the year I turned 50. Some of the highlights include:

  • Winning the Caesarea Quilters trophy at our local Eisteddfod with a UFO that got finished this year.
  • Baltic cruise to celebrate my 50th
  • Inaugural Fat Quarterly retreat in London
  • Visiting Knit & Stitch with Claire to celebrate my birthday
  • Having a pattern published with Simply Solids

I was disappointed to end the year with so many client quilts waiting to be quilted as I've been without my Pro Stitcher for over a month and the timing has now gone on my machine so it will be a few weeks before I'm back in business.

I'm looking forward to:
  • Second Fat Quarterly retreat
  • Visiting Knit & Stitch to celebrate Claire's 50th
  • Stepping down as President of Sirens WI and Chairman of our Guild. It's time to let others take the reins and it will release a lot of time for me.
  • WI trip to Denman with a lot of shopping along the way.

My tree skirt will not be finished for even twelfth night, so it becomes another WIP.  My next priorities should be to decide what I'm going to finish to enter in 2013 Eisteddfod and tidy my craft room. I need to do this before our next Guild meeting so that I can make full use of the sales table.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Quilt label

I have done the Swirling Star test block for the Lucky Stars BOM. There appears to be a mistake in the templates as the block is 1/2" too big. The same appears to be true for the 12" version of the block, so I will use this oversized 6" block for the label on the quilt.

Fabric is Marmalade - Bonnie & Camille and Kona solid for the background.

As I can't sew the large block until the templates are fixed, I guess I have to do some tidying of my craft room.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

I treated myself

I've been thinking for a while of buying a Kona colour card, especially as I have joined another Bee which uses only solids.

The only progress I've made in sorting out my craft rooms is to put all of my solids and white on whites in one basket. I've taken out a grey FQ today to use for the Lucky Stars block of the month along with some Vintage Modern - more of that tomorrow.

To get back to my point, Simply Solids' sale started today so I treated my self to a Kona colour card with 20% off as well as some greys for the Lucky Stars blocks and some reds for the Simply Solids Bee. That's my Christmas money from Mum & Dad spent.

Simply Solids

I'll look forward to some more happy mail next week, I hope.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

I know I shouldn't

Sigh, but you know my will power is zilch. I've signed up for this block of the month. For $10 at the moment, you receive a paper pieced pattern for a star on the first of every month in both 12" and 6" finished sizes. I'm thinking a pale grey plain background and some Aneela Hoey prints I got at a bargain price from The Fat Quarter Shop.


Tomorrow I will be loading my tree skirt onto my long arm to do some freehand swirls to compliment the white background fabric.

Boxing Day

We survived Christmas. I received a lovely new camera with Wifi capabilities. I guess I'll have to read the manual to work out how to use even 10% of its capabilities. Nick has not survived Christmas and is ill in bed. So I've had to get the teens up to help me prepare vegetable for today's lunch of Coq au Vin. Dessert will be the Boxing Day tradition of Baked Alaska. Matt and Lizzie prepared most of yesterday's veg which was a great help so I was able to applique some more houses.

Now I need to do more of the seven trees and also the green windows on some of the houses. It may even be finished before New Year's Eve!! I ran out of the red thread but have substituted a deep pink which works fine.

This is a pattern from the Fat Quarterly Christmas edition 2010.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas everyone

The tree skirt may not be finished but it's Christmas Eve and time has run out. Nevermind it's something to work over the next few days when I have a few spare minutes. All of the pieces are fused to the background and I have started doing buttonhole appliquéing around all the houses. Five houses are complete and a few just need the doors stitched. A lot of progress has been made today as only the big houses were fused when I started this morning.

Happy Christmas everyone and I hope you have a healthy New Year.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Are we ready?

Almost. We survived the long queue for our turkey and bought everything we wanted from Waitrose apart from little gem lettuce, mince pies, submarine rolls, and selection boxes. Nick has promised to go out tomorrow and buy the rest as well as presents for me!!

I plan to sew tomorrow what Nick shops. I don't think we'll have a tree skirt for Xmas day. But today I have made seven recyclable money / voucher wallets.

I saw something online over the last couple of days which used sticky back plastic. Yesterday I purchased some Bondaweb and have sandwiched two different red fabrics together. Then I cut out a 7 x 9" rectangle with a triangle on the top which was two and a half inches from the top of the rectangle.

Then I pressed the flap of the envelope down with the iron and then brought the base of the rectangle up to meet the flap.

Once pressed I sewed the two sides down, however for the poppy wallets I started on the right hand side sewed down turned round and then went back up and then sewed a quarter inch seam around the wallet flap and down the other side.

A decoration was stuck or sewn to the flap of the wallet and then a Velcro dot stuck under the button to secure the wallet.

These are perfect for using for giving, money, vouchers, CDs and DVDs and then you can recycle them another time.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Bee in my Bonnet Row row along seven

Row eight is a cute set of mittens and now I definitely have to do my tree skirt.

And here they are altogether. Now I just have two more rows to complete to catch up which are rows 5 – flying geese and  4 - apples but these will have to wait until after Christmas now.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Bee in my Bonnet row along 6

I know I should be working on my Christmas tree skirt, however I much prefer piecing to appliqué. I have now finished row six which is cups with the new fabrics I received about 10 days ago.

And here are the rows that I have finished so far in a group photo.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Scrabble jewellery

Lizzie is making some Scrabble jewellery with tiles from a couple of old sets of Scrabble. The ring bases arrived yesterday so she made these cute rings for her friends with the initials.

She is now waiting for the bails to make some necklaces to match the rings.

Not much going on from me as I am full of cold and sore throat. Christmas cards may not get sent this year.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Big bang finish

Michelle loved these Pixel People from wee little stitches almost as much as I did. I promised to make her son Ethan a book mark of Leonard - his favourite character from Big Bang Theory (Channel 4 if you've missed this series).

I've just finished the book mark and stitched it onto some grey felt. I love Leonard's hair, but I wish there was more contrast in the browns of the jacket and trousers.

Michelle had no idea that I was also stitching the full chart for Ethan too. I showed it to her on Tuesday evening. I thought I'd finished it this morning and even gave it to lizzie to check. I was told one of the S's could have been done better, but like me she completely missed that I had missed out the word bang!!

And here are both items together, ready for me to drop to Michelle. I've left the framing of the piece to Michelle. Now I need to get on finishing my mittens from the Bee in my Bonnet row along and make a start on my tree skirt.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Houndstooth quilt kit

I met Justine and her cute newborn son of Simply Solids at the Fat Quarterly Retreat in June this year. This is what Justine has posted on her website today:

I was so thrilled to collaborate with Justine to produce this kit for her shop. It is avaialble in various sizes from cot quilt to double and in your choice of fabrics, so the variety is limitless. It would look lovely in red and white, shades of the same colour, black and white, football teams or house colours (Go Nelson).

This is what Justine wrote about me (blush):

Simply Solids are really pleased to offer this great Quilt Kit designed by blogger Sue Bone.

I first met Sue at the Fat Quarterly Retreat this year and was really pleased when she wanted to collaborate on kits with me – her work is great. You can check Sue out at her blog and here’s what she has to say about herself!

“Hi my name is Sue Bone and I live in Jersey. Whilst I am a qualified accountant, I am now a domestic engineer and I spend many enjoyable hours immersed in fabric. Last year I invested in a Handiquilter mid arm machine so I also quilt quilts for many of my friends from our local guild – Caesarea Quilters. I made my first quilt over 30 years ago – eek. It was a hand pieced hexagon quilt from remnants from the clothes my Mum made us. The first sewing machine I ever used was my grandmother’s treadle sewing machine with its shuttle instead of a bobbin.

I went to the inaugural Fat Quarterly Retreat in 2012 where I met many lovely bloggers, but never got to cuddle Justine’s lovely baby who I only ever saw sleeping. I have already booked for 2013 and am looking forward to meeting old friends and new and doing some fabric shopping at the retreat. My favourite fabric designers at the moment are Bonnie & Camille, Lori Holt and Lu Summers. Whilst the family still sleep, I start surfing the internet for inspiration from my favourite bloggers and shops. Living on an island, I rely heavily on internet shopping but you get two thrills from internet shopping, the first is when you order, then you have the anticipation and finally second thrill arrives when your fabric drops through your letter box!!”

Thanks Justine. feel free to ask me again.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Friday night with friends

Last night I stayed in and sewed with virtual friends around the world interspersed with taking Nick to his works dinner and picking Lizzie up from her dance show at the Arts Centre and taking her to JACY. I'm lucky that her friend's Mum brings her back from JACY so I don't have to wait up.

So last night I finished sewing the rows of my Farmer's Wife quilt together. I couldn't find my red moda dot and I needed just twelve 1.5" squares to finish it. My local Moda retailer didn't have any and neither did Lorraine. Sigh, so near and yet so far. And then yesterday I found some in a pile!!  And this morning I found even more amongst the fabric for the Bee in my bonnet row along. I mustn't use it up on other projects as I still need it for my Vignette BOM and the binding for my Thimbleblossoms Hopscotch quilt.

So now I just need to put one border on it and the top's done. Most of the foundation papers have been taken out but finishing that could take an hour or so (a job for Wednesday morning). Then I'll have to wait patiently for the PC that runs my long arm to come back from the menders, which will hopefully be before Christmas as I have quite a backlog of customer quilts. I daren't count how many.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Inspired by Linda

Linda made cute zippered pouches for the Fat Quarterly Retreat sample swap and I was lucky enough to be in her group for the swap. I have been using the pouch to store my stitching so it has been constantly in my line of sight over the last week. I finished this weestitches free pattern - Avengers and wondering what to do with it, I thought I'd make a zippered pouch for Lizzie to put her stitching in. Lizzie is working on the wee little stitches Big Bang Thoery chart.

Chez Soi are having their Christmas party this week and the challenge for 2012 was log cabin blocks and their many variations. So this is a very last minute make for this challenge and I've done the back and around the stitchery in court house steps with a little wonk.

If I was stitching this chart again on the grey Aida, I would change the prescribed grey for Thor's helmet to a darker shade which doesn't match the background.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

In Blogland

I found a couple of interesting blogs whilst participating in Lily's Quilts small blog meet last week and I wanted to mention a couple of other blogs you may not have found yet.

The first blog I came across was Sarah's Quilt Candy blog. I was surprised to find that Sarah lives in Jersey and is friends with Liz Dandelion. I hope we get to meet in the New Year after Sarah's trip to South America.

Shanna left me a comment and suggested I install the Google Friend Connect button. I eventually managed it after getting distracted by Google +. Thanks shanna for the suggestion

A blog that I read every morning is which is a list of posts from blogs all over the world. Mine is one of them and so is Lily's above. It's a great way to keep up with news without having to click lots of links.

And lastly the Weestitches blog, which as you know is a current addiction.

Time to go to the dentist or I will be late and you know I hate being late.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Bee in my bonnet row 7

I have given up waiting for my fabric order to arrive. I seem to be waiting for lots of parcels at the moment - blinds, fabric, thread, moda prize, book club book, biscuits and the list goes on. And I haven't even started online shopping for Christmas yet.

So here is row seven along with the other three rows so far.

Seven rows have been released so far and by my calculations row 8 will be published on Wednesday. I will take a break from these until new fabrics arrive. I fancy doing the apples (row four) next.

In the mean time I have sewn together all the rows of my Farmer's wife quilt and today I will sew those together between appointments. I hope to have the quilt top ready for when my long arm is back in service. However I have four customer quilts waiting to be quilted too as one more was delivered yesterday.

And Lizzie is now working on her Big Bang Theory cross stitch, but again we're waiting for threads to be delivered. I also gave her the Paul needle case yesterday which she appreciated. She was having difficulty threading her needle yesterday bu has made it quite clear that she doesn't want a needle threader as an advent gift. :)

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Advent calendar

For day one of advent, as well as chocolate, Lizzie received a Big Bank Theory cross stitch chart. It would have been a nicer gift had the threads arrived in time, but we do have white, black and flesh to get her started.

For day two I have made this needle case with the Paul cross stitch, some denim from Michelle and some felt.

I have put a piece of ribbon on the outside to hang something from it. On the inside I used felt as the backing to the denim and for an insert to store needles. I pinked the edges as the denim was too thick to stitch and turn inside out.

A busy day for Lizzie tomorrow with a dance show dress rehearsal and a nativity rehearsal. A chance for me to do some sewing I hope. I am halfway through another row along row of leaves and I should continue my Farmer's Wife.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Fresh Sewing Day and Small Blog Meet

Today I'm looking back at what I've created this month and joining in with:
Lily's Quilts

I have sent off my results to Peg of OPAM (one project a month)  - seven finishes this month and whilst looking for photos for each, I realised that I hadn't shown you the red coin purse. That'll have to wait. I've also done three rows of The Bee in my Bonnet Row along and two lots of bee blocks.  

I worked on a nice variety of projects this month and have also managed to change my blog header and edit my favicon which makes me smile every time I see it.  

I now need to sit down and decide what projects I want to finish for the 2013 Eisteddfod as that's only three months and a lot of work away. Probably I should start with my farmer's Wife Quilt so that it's ready for when my long arm is back in action. I have about two thirds of the blocks sewn together so it's not a big job.