Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Almost at the end of February

And soon the March BOM patterns will be released. I'm still catching up with February. Yesterday I allocated the day to finishing the admin work for our local Eisteddfod needlework section - 780 entries at the last count. I just need to move 20 entries from one class to another and print out 780 adjudicator's comment forms with entrant's details. I would have finished that yrsterday except I was waiting for approval of what I'd done before printing them out and I only have about 200 forms, so I need a few more  to complete the task. I need to add a printer cartridge to my shopping list today as I don't want to run out on Sunday.

On Sunday I finished the February Lucky Stars BOM. I felt quite daring using two greys for the background. :) However Hadley used lots of low volume creams for her background and I love it but wouldn't be that brave or have the righ stash.

Yesterday I finished the Blogger Girls BOM for February. I found this complicated but effective and with a little more forethought I could have had all of the text going the same way. This is made with Kona charcoal, Sweetwater and Bonnie & Camille.

I was quite shocked by two comments made to me at our UFO day on Sunday. The first was a personal comment about a member of my family. Why do people think it's their place to say these things?  Almost as personal was a comment about a fabric choice. I only  express an opinion about someone's choice of fabric if I'm asked. I will rarely say I don't like something but may ask if they've considered, another colour or a lighter shade for example. Especially as we had just been discussing the Eisteddfod adjudicator's comment from last year - "an unhappy choice of colours". Colour is a very personal choice, and different colours make us happy.

Here are the blocks that generated the comment. The background is we've been given three co-ordinating long quarters of fabric to make a 40" to 50" lap quilt. Now if they hadn't liked the last fabric on the right above, I'd have agreed. I have decided to make sixteen 12" scrappy trip around the world blocks. I was only given the fabric last week and it needs to be done for December but I want to get a head start and get it finished. So these are the four blocks I've made so far:

Do any of the fabrics leap out at you as not fitting in? Perhaps the lime green? Certainly not the innocuous blue, in fourth position on the first block? Ah well never mind, it's designed to be scrappy and as I come across green, turquoise and blue fabrics in my piles, I'm cutting them up into 2.5" wide strips. two for this quilt and the rest of the yardage for the Fat Quarterly retreat swap in July.

I am using the challenge fabrics on the main diagonal which dosn't show up yet as I've only completed four blocks. If I find some more fabrics to cut up, more blocks will be constructed.

Time to get ready for the day. I have another all day sewing session today and I also need to give in my Eisteddfod entries to the group this morning. I think I may just do some cutting out for the Row along and come home to sew. I can't face lugging my machine down the stairs again. My Eisteddfod entries are labelled, bagged and ready apart from one. I am going barmy looking for three mislaid items: Vignette magazine to return to Val, Union Jack pillow for the Eisteddfod and sample badge for Sirens WI. All equally important and equally annoying.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Mission accomplished


On Monday morning as I wrote my blog post, I noted down three jobs I wanted to complete:
1. Quilt the Siblings Together quilt
2. Quilt the two Mother's Day mini quilts
3. Trim the Bee in my Bonnet flying geese units

And I achieved all three by lunchtime, giving me time to trim the two mini quilts and the lap quilt ready to sew on the binding today.

Here's the mini quilt I'm sending in the swap, I'm not sure about what more to add. I am a less is more person, but my recipient doesn't have a blog to stalk for inspiration. What do you think? a group of rainbow buttons in the centre? Bind it and do no more? I'm just not sure. Grey binding or a rainbow striped binding?

Tuesday's jobs are :
1. Sew binding onto the Siblings together quilt
2. Sew binding onto the mini quilts
3. Piece the basket weave block I started at the weekend, whilst using flying geese as leader and enders.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Row along spools

Row along spools by libertyjsy
Row along spools, a photo by libertyjsy on Flickr.

Lori Holt is now up to row 12 on her row along and I think this is only my seventh row. I had planned to work on this row at our UFo day on Sunday but I left my white on white fabric at home, so I have quickly run these up today. Unfortunately the other five rows I need to complete to catch up are not as easy as this one. I'm going to the row of apples next.

Sugar Block Club February

Sugar Block Club February by libertyjsy

Sugar Block Club February, a photo by libertyjsy on Flickr.
I'm starting to catch up with the February blocks of the various blocks of the month I'm following.

February's Sugar Block Club block is foundation pieced and I love foundation pieciing so this was a quick make, once I'd decided on what fabrics to use. I just had enough of the turquoise fabric which contrasts well with the grey.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Simply solids bee March 2013

Carol sent us some white, aqua and blue, purple and green 5" squares for the March block for the SImply Solids bee.

She posted a tutorial for a variation of the Disappearing Nine patch block on her blog

It was great to get down to some simple block sewing yesterday in prearation for our Guild UFO on Sunday and I finished these ready to post on Monday. So that's one March commitment already finished. Now can I get it to Carol in February. :)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

One more Eisteddfod entry to locate

I finished the last client quilt for the Eisteddfod today. All of the entries have to be handed in on 2 March. I have never helped at the handover and this year there are more entries than ever in the Needlework section. I imagine it must be frantic on the day with one school having 200 entries as well as adult groups having up to 60 entries in over 40 classes.

Anne' quilt showcases nine candle-wicking blocks. I have kept it simple and stitched in the ditch on the sashing and done a big stipple around the patterns to make them pop.

All of my Eisteddfod entries have been located, labelled and bagged. I found two pairs of threads on my hopscotch quilt to sew in. I have not yet found my Union Jack pillow. I have a vague recollection of putting it somewhere safe! I have a total of fourteen entries - one for Caesarea Quilters and thirteen for Chez Soi. So thirteen are ready to go and one to find. A job for another day if it's not under my bed.

Tomorrow I'm looking forward to meeting Sarah from Quilt Candy and prepping for our guild UFO day on Sunday. I wonder if it's a Friday night sew in tomorrow or did I miss it last week?

Aargh - I have lots to share with you, but can't

I need to stop using the rubbish photos taken on my phone but I need to recharge my new camera AND work out how to get the photos onto my computer without a slot for an SD card on my new computer. I did have a USB holder for the SD card but it has been moved and no-one's owning up to knowing anything about it. Never mind. Today I will finish the last quilt for clients for the Eisteddfod and then I'll deliver it to the client so that I can sew whatever I want.
On my early morning read of blog updates on, I came upon a Quilt Along on Hadley's blog. This week's task is finding fabrics (look on the floor of my sewing room) and cutting. I love the text fabric used in the original but I think I may have plenty of Bonnie & Camille's grey dots left.
I was shocked when Lori posted yesterday that we're up to week 12 in her row along. Lordy I'm still on row 6 and those aren't all complete. Row 12 is this lovely row of baskets.

I have two all day guild sewing days in the next week, starting with this Sunday. On Saturday I plan to do some cutting and work on:
One Block of the Month
Sweetwater scrappy trip around the world
Carol's bee block
The row of baskets. The row of spools looks simple so I may cut that too.

Wish me luck.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Back from Denman

We arrived back from Denman last night. A group of 20 went in a group organised by sirens WI (mainly me) and included 19 members and one guest. However we were surprised to meet two Trinity members at Denman on the same course. What a shame they hadn't heard we were going too, as they could've come on our bus and benefitted from group rates. Everyone took our unscheduled diversion to Bournemouth airport instead of Southampton in their stride. Fortunately our coach driver came to meet us and we only arrived one hour late at Bicester.

I was very light on the shopping stakes and purchased the following.

I bought the blue typewriter print from darn it and stitch in Oxford, which is a sweet little shop. The grey fabric from Denise Schmidt was purchased at John Lewis. We were surprised to find at Denman that there is a small haberdashery shop stocked with donations from members. We will endeavour to send some stocks when a Jersey member next goes to Denman. So I was able to buy some unusual colours of Aida from the haberdashery shop. The Cath Kidston book was a gift from the other members thanking me for organising the trip which appears to have been successful.

Above is pictured a small mini quilt which is the last entry I need to complete for the Eisteddfod. I ran this up on Thursday evening to enable me to do a little bit of stitching whilst away. I managed to stitch down the binding and the hanging sleeve on the reverse of the mini quilt and do a little of the big stitch quilting in pink and red Presencia threads. I plan to get this mini quilt finished by the end of the week. Then I can start on a few projects that are not needed on the Eisteddfod, that will be fun.

In case you're wondering - the furry item in the picture above is a hat that Louise bought for me in primark. Elizabeth was very embarrassed when I came out of the baggage reclaim area wearing it. Mission accomplished!!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

One more project done for Eisteddfod

A mini quilt for January. A month late for January but a month early for the Eisteddfod. This is a block of the month programme from Shabby Fabrics. Just one more project to do for the Eisteddfod - February mini quilt.

I had fun adding the beads and rhinestones. I'm a less is more person but for this I had to channel my more is better side.

Caesarea Quilters have been doing Farmer's Wife demos for the last twelve months plus. Anne and I spent a companionable three hours deciding the positions of over 70 blocks. We then pinned them down before sewing a few rows together. We finished enough to do a demo on Monday evening.

Tomorrow I am on the red eye with 19 WI ladies to Southampton to do some shopping in Bicester, Oxford and Southampton and attend the wi's college in Oxfordshire. I really need to start packing. I also need to revert to taking photos on my camera rather than my phone as these are pants.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Farmer's wife finish

I have finished at last. I've just sewn the last portion of binding and have even put a hanging sleeve on the back.

And a few favourite blocks.

Now just our group Farmer's wife quilt to finish and we're getting together tomorrow to move the project forward. Also Jenny's quilt to finish for tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Farmer's progress

We have just spent a few days in England visiting Matthew's school and having parents consultations. Before I left I finished quilting my farmer's wife quilt on my long arm. I found a ruck in the backing only as I was finishing trimming the quilt. That meant I couldn't reloaded it back onto the machine. Before leaving for our trip I unpicked the offending area which was about 6" x 18". I then spritzed it with spray starch to try and get some of the fullness out.

Now that we are back I have put the quilt on my domestic machine and followed the lines of the pattern already quilted I have requilted the area. I was pleased to have prepared the red spotted binding at a recent UFO day and that meant I could quickly apply the binding once I had retrimmed a small area of the border. I now have 360 inches of binding to hand stitch over the next two weeks. As I used a pencil to mark the quilting lines I will need to get the quilt washed and dried in time for 2 March when all Eisteddfod entries need to be handed in.

We were delayed at East Midlands airport for three hours on the way back. My time wasn't entirely wasted as I took my woodland sampler cross stitch with me and having precut some threads I managed to finish most of February's raccoon. Photos to follow later in the week when it is finished.

I have also loaded Jenny's quilt onto the frame this morning. The machine isn't behaving itself so I will leave it and come back to it tomorrow. I promised it to Jenny for Thursday so that will give me two days to finish it.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Progress on Farmer's Wife quilt

Finally my Farmer's wife quilt is on the machine. I have two further quilts for clients waiting. I hope to do Jenny's next in the three days I'm here next week. Whilst it quilts I can sew the binding onto this quilt, I hope.

Whilst my Farmer's Wife quilt is in progress, I plan to cut some more scrappy trip around the world blocks using sweetwater fabrics and also strips for the strip swap. I want this quilt to be perfect so I don't dare leave the machine unattended. I must also remember to check the thread after each row.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Thursday tool time

Having spent most time this week either cutting 2 1/2 inch strips for my scrappy trip around the world blocks or the scrap strip swap, this 2 1/2 inch ruler has been a godsend. This is a new acquisition and I find it to be much more useful than the six and a half inch by 22" ruler which is very popular. I used to have one but found it too long and after sitting on it twice, it not surprisingly broke!!

The other ruler that I use when trimming quilts is the 22.5" square ruler which is great for squaring up the corners of a quilt. I recommend the large rotary cutter if it's in your budget as you can cut more layers of fabric in one go. I only remembered this after I had cut several separate pieces of fabric for my scrap strips. Also buy the largest mat that you can afford. The blue mat is a3 in size but I might swap it for the a2 may that I keep under my sewing machine upstairs.

Here is my fourth scrappy trip around the world block.

And this is a picture of the four blocks to date.

What size ruler do you use the most and what one have you not used as much as you thought?

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Still rethinking

Today I quilted Judy's lovely star quilt. I love the colours of this quilt and Judy's piecing and pressing are very precise.

Whilst watching my machine quilt this quilt, I decided to clear the table in the room to make a cutting station for myself. I used this table today to trim both Lorraine and Judy's quilt and also cut up some strips.

I am organising a scrap strip swap at the fat quarterly retreat in July. Each person has to cut 12 different strips 2.5" x 18" and put them in a bag. They can swap as many bags as they like. I thought it would be a good idea to start cutting some strips today. These scrap strip bags will enable the participants in the swap to quickly make up some scrappy trip around the world blocks. I also allocated some of the strips to make blocks for the siblings together charity quilts that the kinky bee participants are putting together also to be donated at the fat quarterly retreat.

We are making one boy quilt and one girl quilt for siblings together. The girl quilt is to be aqua, pink, mauve and grey with a hot pink main diagonal. The boy quilt is to be light blue for the diagonal with blue, grey, aqua, white and green.

And here is block number three. I am trying to get a grey diagonal in all of the blocks.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Great expectations

Again I chose three items from my To Do list to action yesterday. However I realise now that when one of those items is to quilt a client's quilt which needs a lot of attention and can't be left to itself, I need to downgrade my own expectations.

So yesterday the three items to do we're:
1. quilt Lorraine's quilt;

2. fix two problems on my Farmer's Wife Quilt; and
3. press and starch the backing of my Farmer's Wife quilt. I must add a can of spray starch to my shopping list.

I managed two out of three so that wasn't too bad along with a hospital appointment and a lovely crafty lunch at Lorraine's. I also managed to do another scrappy trip around the world block which makes two so far.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Scrappy trip along 1

I am trying to set myself three small jobs every day to make more progress on my UFOs. Yesterday I decided to do:

1. Siggy square for Teresa and fix the stripes on the Carpenters wheel block. The stripes on two of the diamonds didn't match the other diamonds. I should have stopped when I spotted the mistake but I decided I could live with the mistake. Except I couldn't so it needed to be unpicked.

2. Quilt Anne's Christmas quilt from lottery blocks ready to deliver to her on Wednesday.

3. Add the borders to my Farmer's Wife quilt so that it is closer to being quilted ready for the Eisteddfod.

As you can see I was successful yesterday and even managed to complete my first scrappy trip around the world block.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Turning cartwheels

Actually it's a carpenter's star. This is Teresa's choice of block for February for the honey bee group. She also provided sheets of triangulation paper to help us make the half square triangle blocks. I had thought this was new to me but then I remember all the little one inch finished half square triangle blocks I made for the quilt show block of the month 2010. Fortunately these are a little bigger. The block is 16 inches finished and the fabrics are from Art Gallery.

This is one of three jobs I set myself to do today including installing art and stitch on my new computer. Just one more job to do. Tomorrow I plan to quilt on a client's quilt, make the Signature square to accompany this block and finish adding borders to my farmer's wife quilt.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

February FnwF

As I was out last night, I satrted my Friday night sewing at about 4pm after a lovely lunch at Durell with Jane. The stiching took less than an hour and then I got out my new (and cheap) staple gun to attach it to a small canvas. I think Lizzie will like it. Another finish for the Eisteddfod.

Pattern by The Frosted Pumpkin stitchery at
Customer quilt to get finished this weekend and I have my February caprenter's wheel block for Teresa half done. You can see it peeping out from under my Elements of Love stitchery above.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Get it done February

First let's start with what I have achieved this month from January's list:

January get it done list
1. BOM commitments:
Blogger girls (6)
Lucky stars (12)
The sugar block club (12)
Sisters ten (10)
Woodland sampler (12) - the only one not completed but almost there
2. Hopscotch quilt - finished
3. Farmer's Wife Quilt - needs two borders and quilting on long arm - to do in February
4. Pink heart embroidery - done
5. Live laugh love - done
6. Convert one Christmas stitchery into a mini quilt (five to do in total) - no
7. Mini quilt for February  - I'll need to get this done in February as I'm planning this as an extra entry in the Eisteddfod

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So my February get it done list looks very similar
1. BOM commitments:
Blogger girls (6)
Lucky stars (12)
The sugar block club (12)
Sisters ten (10)
Woodland sampler (12)
2. Farmer's Wife Quilt
3. Christmas stitchery into a mini quilt
4. Mini quilt for February 
5. Bee blocks for Simply solids and honey bee
6. Chemical elementz cross stitch

1. Hopscotch quilt
2. Farmer's Wife Quilt - needs two borders and quilting on long arm
3. Live laugh love
4. TQS BOM 2010 - ready to quilt
5. Christmas stitcheries
6. Pink heart embroidery

7. Honey bee paper pieced stars - two more blocks coming to me from Jojo which is sufficient to finish
8. Thimbleberries book club quilt - need to finish the quilting
9. Dear Jane quilt
10. Pink and grey quilt from Carolyn Forster workshop
11. Jan Krentz star quilt
12. Tree skirt - ready to qult

Extras:TQS BOM 2012 - I will try and do one month per month after February
Xmas star blocks
Hugs and kisses
Elefantz BOM
Vignette quilt - least said the better
Floral cross stitch
Hug cushion
Simply solids bee quilt

Linking to:

A Lovely Year of FinishesLily's Quilts