Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Final finish of 2013

I hope everyone enjoys their New Year's Eve celebrations. I have just finished Pippa and can now put on some fancy nail polish and head out to party.

Having gone through the process of writing down all of my UFOs and WIPs over the last week, I thought a sheet of 21 labels would be enough to number and label them all. Excluding three group projects, I think I'm heading towards 30. At least I can now cross one off my list and have now started working on my Sweetwater TATW quilt which I forgot off my original list. I am also sewing up some Bee blocks at the same time, though once the New Year celebrations are over, I need to get a client quilt finished to deliver to Guernsey on 5 January. I have enjoyed just sewing for myself over the last 10 days. Once the client quilt is delivered, it's then time to focus on finishing quilts for the local Eisteddfod including the group Farmer's Wife quilt and my own Bee in my Bonnet row along.

I love the foxy fox with her long eyelashes. I just wished I'd added in a bit of variety in the fabrics as there are only 18 different fabrics in the range and the bottom of the quilt looks a bit pink / red heavy. I followed the pattern and quilted the whole quilt apart from inside the embroidery in almost straight lines 1/2 inch apart. I used a scrap of wadding from my cupboard along with some pink Ikea fabric with small red polka dots for backing which goes really well with the quilt and at £5 a metre, it is a bargain.
I have even started sorting my scraps by colour and the few scraps left from Pippa are already sorted into the respective bags. The pattern is ready to be passed to a friend along with another small pressie in the New Year.

January Siblings Together blocks

Elfin Patch requested two 12.5" blocks in one colour for each block so I grabbed everything I could find in yellows and reds. The quilts will be given to children so I added in some red balloon fabrics and the yellow London fabric.

I'm a little worried that these are more improv log cabin than what Elfin Patch requested but they were fun to make and I revisited some old favourite fabrics.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Siblings Together 2 Quilt bee block instructions

Copyright Flutter Kat
I spotted this quilt top by Flutter Kat last year and thought at the time that it would make a lovely child's quilt.  I plan to make a quilt that is four 10" blocks wide and long in a rainbow palette. Flutter Kat has a tutorial for 17.5" blocks here. My blocks will start with 2.5" squares rather than 4" squares. The squares can be cut from left over jelly roll strips or scraps. The star points are made from scraps of white or white on white. The centre of the star can be placed in any position in the middle nine squares.

As I had yellow and red scraps out for the January ST2 blocks, I decided to prepare my samples now even though I'm not the Queen Bee until May. I'm pleased with how they've turned out.




Sunday, December 29, 2013

Welcome Christmas

I won the pattern for this cushion from OPAM Peg. I decided to change it to be a bit more me and a bit more modern:
  • I changed the colours to anything I could find in my Bonnie & Camille basket
  • a pom pom trim replaced the piping
  • I also did machine applique with Bondaweb instead of needle turn applique
  • the holly leaves were cut using a Sizzix die - nice and quick. Thanks Jenny and Lorraine
  • The berries are some red buttons I picked up at John Lewis.
  • I replaced the red ric rac with some vintage daisy trim from Janine's Mum. I also raided the boxes of haberdashery she gave me for the zip closure on the back.
I like the original but this is more me and sits very nicely on the hall settee. Now I need to find a flying geese unit that I've lost and clean my work table.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Simply solids bee - January

January signals the end of the year long Simply Solids Bee. That is, if I'd finished my quilt and the December block. However in the meantime, here's Lucy's choice.

I was expecting these blocks to be cut at a 45 degree angle on the chevrons but they're not so it's just as well I actually read and followed the instructions. I think next to be done are some more sample blocks and possibly my Christmas cushion as my red pom pom braid has now arrived from the Village Haberdashery. Better late than never. I have just listed some of my UFOs and the cushion didn't even make it to the top 21, so I think I should finish it in December.

Quilty Fun sew along

Already seven weeks of Quilty Fun have passed. So we are more than a third done as there are 20 weeks of pdfs in all. And I am now caught up as I have completed my flying geese units. I used some of the spare units from the row along. I obviously needed my calculator as I still have some units left. Whilst I wait for the next set of instructions to be released, I should progress my row along from the same book.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Stash Bee hive five

I have a few January deadlines looming so I bit the bullet and worked on one of the three deadlines yesterday. Although it was Christmas Day, I did the cutting whilst everyone else was still asleep. The food was all prepped by about 9 and so I amused myself with starting my sample blocks for the Stash Bee. My deadline was to sew up my sample(s) and post the tutorial on the blog by 1 January.
This morning I have photographed and updated the instructions on the blog and scheduled my post for 1 January and it's not even 8 o'clock yet. Today I'm hoping to get another bee commitment completed and in the post tomorrow. I have two January and one December block to complete. I may not necessarily start with the December block.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Introducing Pippa

You didn't really expect me to resist the lure of a new project, did you? The iron on transfer worked very well after I'd worked out how to turn the steam off. Another time I would do a lighter transfer. I also think this would work nicely as an appliqué with stripes for the stockings.

I actually sewed the quarter square triangle units earlier in the week alongside the other sewing I was doing so it was completed without any extra effort. My only concern is the not regular size of the units made from 5" squares.  But the embroidery is an irregular size too so it should all work out in the end.

It's now Christmas Eve and surprise, surprise my DH is ill, so having completed all of the other shopping, it will now fall to me to go to the vintners to buy wine and soft drinks. Let's hope they're open today. First job is to get Matthew up for his ten o'clock driving lesson. At least I don't have to take him on a practice run today.

Wishing you all a Happy Christmas.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

December bumbling honeys block

Due to my poor organising skills we ended up with a bee commitment for December for the FQR bee but Kathie was good to us and gave us a simply stunning block. The tutorial for this gemstone block can be found here.

I'm not sure what to tackle next - I have one more Bee block to be done for December, a bee block to sort out for the Stash Bee as I am Hive Five mama and a quilt to finish for a blog hop. Decisions, decisions.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Cute chubby chevrons

Try saying that at speed after a few Christmas drinks. I fitted in some sewing yesterday along with taking Matthew out to practise his driving. He drove us up to St Lawrence to see some curtain samples and I think we may have some curtain fabric at last. Not in time for Xmas but a larger returnable sample has been requested for us.
 At the same time as sewing my chevrons, I also grabbed another Fat Quarter Shop 2012 BOM block. This is block 3 and is called weather vane. I also found a printable foundation piecing pattern for the sashing blocks which I'm trying out. I've decided I need to parcel up the rest of the blocks for my Bee.  My month isn't until March, but I will have finished too many of them by the time March comes along. I have printed off the foundation piecing patterns and will finish the test block over the next few days. They can then be enveloped up ready to post when I'm in London at the end of January.

Today I plan to finish a Christmas cushion and finish the flying geese row form the row along so that I can use any leftovers for the Quilty Fun project. and I must also write a shopping list for tomorrow as we are collecting our turkey and I want to get all our vegetables and fruit at the same time. It's horrid weather today and Matthew has a two hour driving lesson scheduled. On the other hand, I am playing canasta at a friend's this afternoon which is a very pleasant way to spend a grotty afternoon.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Catching up with cocoa cups

I have abandoned customer work in favour of finding time for myself at this busy time of year. I had fallen behind on the Quilty Fun sew along so I decided to prep the cocoa cups which is this week's unit first.

And to have something to sew along with this quick block I broke out one of the 2012 Block of the month packs from the Fat Quarter Shop. I had intended these to be a bee block but that isn't until well into 2014 so I may have finished them by then. First I have to draft up a flying geese unit for the sashing as I didn't realise I needed to buy a pattern or kit for the sashing. There's plenty of extra fabric to make the units and if I'm short of any fabric I'll make the units scrappy.

Next on the cutting mat are the chubby chevrons from last week and block three of the BOM.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Ahoy me hearties

Shiver me timbers, I've quilted Jane's boat quilt which she gave me last night in plenty of time for her 23 December deadline. I hope she's pleased with it. This is her third quilt since me giving her a few pointers at the end of September. I used the Japanese Cloud pantograph again and used a variegated thread called Sands of Time.

Jane designed the pattern herself and has used the same line of fabrics as her chicken quilt but with fewer different fabrics. I have another quilt promised for later this week with a January deadline and the Guernsey quilt is next to be loaded. I have just unwrapped it and it has a lovely Kaffe Fasset millefiori fabric for the background.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Big and beautiful

This is a BIG quilt measuring almost 100" by 90". It is now quilted and trimmed ready to be delivered at our Guild party tonight. When I think Jane will be delivering her next quilt which has to be finished by this time next week, no pressure then. :)
Joy chose the Japanese Clouds pantograph which is my current favourite and I might try and persuade Jane that it would look nice on her boat quilt.
I love the backing fabric that Joy chose. So just two more quilts to quilt for clients this year and then I am going to quilt for myself for January and February.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Christmas spirit

I'm still looking for my Christmas spirit, despite eating more than my fair share of mince pies, it's still missing. I even went to the Christmas tree festival yesterday. Here are a couple of little gifts I've received over the last few days. They show me up as I haven't started present buying, with one exception which was a big expensive fail, and cards are still unwritten.

Firstly there's a beautifully wrapped reindeer tea light holder. Michelle and I bought a couple of these for our WI raffle last week. There were other gorgeous raffle prizes, but our number didn't get pulled. Both Michelle and I like reindeer items so I was gifted the tea light and the candy cane reindeer made at cubs. I almost forgot the reindeer ribbon.


Our Bumbling Honey's bee is having a simple Fat Quarter swap. I have bought the Fat Quarter, I have me partner's details and that's it. however Sue was well organised and sent me this Anna Maria Horner fat quarter and a lovely draw string bag. I love the card too which I think is made using recycled Christmas cards. Love the idea.
Lizzie is ill today and sleeping, so I haven't been able to quilt or sew so I have been very virtuous and caught up on some admin, ordered a new cheque book - I always run out at this time of year and eaten some Christmas treats.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Funky Chicken

Jane's second quilt is now quilted, trimmed and ready for binding. I hear that her third quilt is also ready and wanted by Christmas. I'm not sure what my other clients will have to say about that!! The grass is damp and my quilt holders are out, so this is the best I could achieve.

Jane wanted a big stipple similar to the quilt in the book from which this is taken from Dessert roll quilts by the Lintotts. I also added in a few random feathers but I think many look like leaves.
Time to put up my feet and read my copy of Quilty Fun which arrived this morning along with another Xmas present from Claire which is definitely out side my comfort zone.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

A year of Schnibbles - Morning Joe

Finished just in time for Sinta to roll out our finished quilts. The pattern is by Carrie Nelson and is called Morning Joe. I think the colours I've chosen are more spring like than winter.

The charm packs were Happy Go Lucky by Bonnie & Camille. The quilt called for a few more charms than 80 so I added in some other Bonnie & Camille fabrics and some Simply Style by V & Co. The white on white is some scraps from a backing and I had some more left of the same backing which I was able to use as backing too.

 I used a new feather design for the first time and I was pleased with how it looked. My quilt is a little bigger than the pattern as the pattern called for half square triangles made from 5" squares to be trimmed down to 4" but I trimmed mine to 4.5" to cut down the waste. Unfortunately it made it just slightly too big for my stash of Ikea fabric for backings.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Did you enjoy black Friday?

Even though we are nowhere near the USA and didn't celebrate Thanksgiving, I may have made a few purchases on Black Friday. I picked up the free Long arm quilting class at Craftsy.

I also shopped at Fat Quarter Shop where they had 25% off everything. I might have bought myself a copy of Quilty Fun. Then I'll have the measurements for the row along without having to work them out myself.

Some Scrumptious by Bonnie and Camille.
And more Bonnie & Camille. I have seen plenty of finished quilts using this Block of the Month and a 30% discount was too tempting. I think I'll send this out as my next bee assignment as it'll be ready to send out with little more effort, I hope, than addressing the envelopes.

And finally from Simply Solids some bottles of Best Press which is recommended instead of spray starch. Ooh it's now out of stock. I wonder who was greedy and bought all of the available bottles?

Craftsy class sale

Now I love a good workshop, but sometimes the dates are just inconvenient or you can't remember what the teacher said when you get to the next stage months later. Have you tried Craftsy? You can even try it for free with some of the free mini classes - I've just spotted "A new look at long arm quilting", there's the free Block of the Month with Laura Nownes and basic quiltmaking skills.
Craftsy guarantees:
  1. 100% money back guarantee. There was a class I didn't like and they swapped my class for another. See the conditions though
  2. Watch classes on your own schedule wherever, whenever you want. Wearing whatever you want too
  3. Your access never expires.
A few classes that caught my eye were by Camille Roskelly whose fabrics and patterns I love. I love the Quilt as You go patchwork bags class which demonstrates a technique you'll use time and again and the class includes the pattern for a bag. Don't do like me and put the wrong side of the pattern on the fold. Completely my fault. One day you'll see a finished bag.
Affiliate link

Craftsy has brilliant savings for a limited time only! All their online classes are on sale for $19.99 or less. With classes priced up to 66% off, now is a great time to get the classes you've been eyeing all year! Craftsy classes also make a great gift, so do some holiday shopping for the crafter in your life.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Craftsy yarn and fabric sale

Black Friday Sales at Craftsy!

Craftsy Yarn and Fabric sale up to 80% off from 11/27-12/2!
Craftsy has brilliant savings on the craft supplies you want! With up to 80% off yarn and 65% off fabric, get the best prices of the year while you can.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Shopping is the best medicine

When you're feeling under the weather and full of cold and snuffles for two weeks and it's cold and wet outside, what is a girl to do. :) I love the spotty mailing bags that The Village Haberdashery use. The fabrics were prettily packed but that didn't last very long as you can see.
Having failed to find more than two text fabrics at Knit & Stitch, that was first on my shopping list. The fabrics on the left are Sun print by Alison Glass and we were given a piece of this in the Foundation Piecing glass at FQR for our typewriter block.
Next are some feather prints also from the Sun Print range. Not sure how I ordered half yards of two colour ways.
Then a few basics to add to my stash including four mirror ball fabrics. I made a bee block using a scrap of the skulls fabric which received several favourable comments about the fabric, so I purchased it for a Christmas swap we're doing.

Lastly some leaf prints canvas that took my fancy. I panicked when I realised (too late) that I had ordered canvas, but they feel just like regular fabric not thick like canvas. I also asked to buy some scraps from the basket that's always by the desk at The Village Haberdashery and I'm very pleased with the selection which will be added to the scraps being used for the Quilty Fun sampler.
I have to say I am now starting to feel a great deal better and perhaps it's because this very pleasing medicine arrived. :)

Friday, November 22, 2013

Christmas Tree festival

One of the local parish churches holds a Christmas tree festival with trees decorated by various organisations. One of the quilt groups I attend, decided to aprticpate this eyar. To provide a cohesive look we were each provided with a 4" embroidery hoop and the colour scheme is cream, red, green and possibly gold.
November has just rushed by an next week is the deadline for our pieces. Astra has something special in progress for our "tree" which should look amazing. I will visit the church next month and take lots of photos. I bought a copy of the book Hoop-La!: 100 things to do with embroidery hoops by Kirsty Neale and it had this lovely crosss stitched star. I soon realised the star was too small for my hoop, so I enlarged the centre which gave me wider points on my star and then I outlined it in red to make it even bigger. My friend Jenny came to my aid with some cream Aida shot with gold and I used the Weeks Dye Works threads left over from The Frosted Pumpkin projects. I glued everything into the hoop and then realised I'd prefer to have the screw the other way around but it was too late.

I'm very pleased with how it has turned out and the hand dyed thread is also very effective.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Fat Quarterly Retreat 2014

Tickets are already on sale for the 2014 event. I may have bought my ticket. :) Does anyone want to join me?
Baden Powell House, Kensington

Friday 18 July 1pm to 9pm,

Saturday 19 July 9am to 11pm, and

Sunday 20 July 9am to 12pm.
My plan is to fly over to London City the day before and fly back on the Sunday. It's a shame it's the weekend that the schools break up but I am booking my flights now to get the best price. The Docklands Light Railway only costs £3 to Victoria whereas from Gatwick in the rush hour it's now over £20.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Quilty fun - courthouse steps


It's Monday and that means another Quilt Fun block set. It should also mean our Guild meeting tonight, but my stinking cold is still very much present so I am not going to spread my germs to friends. However I have sewn these cute courthouse steps blocks for the Quilty Fun sew along. It took less than an hour to cut, sew, finger press, a final pressing once complete and blog. My sort of block.


Next week is basket blocks which I know will take longer so I may select the fabrics in advance of Monday.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

November Schnibble

Last Tuesday I decided to plan a new project for my day of sewing with Chez Soi. The one project I wanted to work on needed some working out of measurements. It has been a couple of months since I participated in the Year of Schnibbles hosted by Sinta and Sherri. I quickly purchased the pdf pattern, printed it off, dug out two charm packs of Happy Go Lucky by Bonnie and Camille, along with some scraps of white on white left over from backing a quilt. I was ready to go. Unfortunately Lizzie had a cold and decided Wednesday was the day she'd stay at home. So I sewed half square triangles alone in the kitchen. 160 of them plus a few extra for luck.

Then to trim them all. Not something I can do at one sitting so I trimmed a few and sewed a few stars together and then trimmed some more. Lizzie went back to school on Thursday but I was distracted by the Sirens WI AGM on Thursday evening so ploughed through the paperwork for that and got myself ready for my last AGM as president.

Fast forward through days of chest infection and cold to today when I have finishing sewing it together ready to quilt whenever I feel better. I had hoped to feel better today but I actually feel worse. So no Chez Soi quilt group again tomorrow. I don't want to pass on my germs.

So it's now ready to quilt and I think I'll use some more numbers fabric from Ikea as backing and hope to quilt it up ready for next Wednesday when I can sew on the binding at my quilt group. Then I'll take a better photo.