Thursday, May 30, 2013

Distracted by Deckade the Halls

Distracted from finishing a UFO once again by another can't miss Sew along. This time it's the Deckade the Halls by Fat Quarter Shop. Their quilt uses ten fabrics to celebrate a decade in business from the Basic Grey Aspen Frost range. I am using a selection of fabrics from my stash to make up the quilt. I love the ornaments quilt I made last year from Bonnie & Camille stash so I'm hoping this one will work out equally as well.
Here's a picture of the full quilt from the Fat Quarter Shop blog.

And here's my version of the first row. The next pattern will be released in two weeks time when I will be able to use the alphabet pins I made earlier in the week.

From left to right the fabric I've used is: Lu Summers Summerville Spring, Sew Stitchy by Aneela Hoey and Pearl Bracelets.

May 2013 Schnibble

May 2013's Schnibble chosen by Sinta and Sherri was Gentle Art . I chose a Sweetwater Mama Said Sew charm pack and used an off white for the background instead of a variety of charms as the pattern is written. I'm pleased with how it has turned out and I hope it will go with my new kitchen if we ever get to a final design.
Visit Sherri and Sinta's blogs on the 1st June to see all of the quilt tops made with two charm packs using the Gentle Art pattern and see what June has in store.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Lots of little jobs

Tuesday was virtually a bust as far as getting any sewing time as I had lots of little jobs to accomplish out and about as well as lunch and a bit of geocaching with a couple from Guernsey.

My first job was to pick up some haberdashery to complete two projects. I picked up some buttons to cover as well as some pins. The pins are to make some lettering pins which I was inspired to make yesterday morning. Let me explain. I was distracted from putting together my star top by the publishing of week 1 of the Deckade the Halls Sew Along by Fat Quarter Shop. In the video they mention these row marking safety pins. I don't need to place an order at the moment so my mind wandered to how I could come up with something similar. So armed with some pins, alphabet beads and glossy accents, I made my own set.
Then finding I had two more full sets of 26 letters, I needed more pins to make some more to giveaway at a later date. When I eventually got home, I covered a button to complete my Patchwork Please pin cushion for which I used some linen which Lucie Summers screen printed and which came in a scrap pack. The other fabrics I used are Aneela Hoey Sew Stitchy and a line by Lori Holt.
Looking back I'm not sure what I achieved otherwise yesterday - I dropped our passport applications into the passport office and they'll be ready on Friday as I paid for the express service, I dropped a birthday card to my niece, Fiona, and failed miserably at the bank as it seems we completed a bank mandate incorrectly for WI and we only now have two signatories. Another job to add to the list. I also made two visits to one of the kitchen designers we're working with to design a new kitchen. Today I hope to finish my FQS gingerbread men to share with you tomorrow.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Bank holiday weekend

And no internet for the first two hours of the day. An automatic update last night seems to be the culprit as Nick rolled back the system to an earlier time and I could get on, two hours wasted this morning booting and rebooting. Then I headed off to my group's monthly UFO day where I completed two blocks for the Simply Solids June mama.

The request was star within a star and to stash bust. I used two different yellow backgrounds even though they look the same and did a simple star.
#siblingstogether June bee
I also sewed together three rows of stars for my Honey Bee star quilt, so perhaps tomorrow, I might have a completed quilt top? We have a kitchen designer coming around tomorrow to discuss draft 2 so I hope to get plenty of sewing time.
Linking to:

Plum and June

Friday, May 24, 2013

Siblings Together Bee

The FQR kinky bee has now finished so I have committed to another bee to make blocks on a theme from stash. June's theme is wonky stars. I used a tutorial from sew mama sew to piece yellow, orange and red scraps into this 20" block.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A very early birthday present

My internet server has been annoyingly patchy this week so who knows how long it will be before I can blog this.

I have lost my mojo but before going out for a lovely lunch today at El Tico overlooking St Ouen's Bay, I pieced a bee block. On my return from lunch I had a lovely parcel of Collage fabrics from Tacha. These are for a Fat Quarterly Design Challenge so I am awaiting instructions.

And yesterday I received a prize package from Debby Kratovil. The fabric are even more luscious than I expected.

And last but not least a very early birthday present from Lorraine. Carolyn Forster demoed this rotating mat at a workshop and my mat is very poor so this is a welcome replacement.

Did I share these "99" cupcakes with you. They came out very well for a first attempt.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Blazing star

I started and finished two stars as planned yesterday evening, though I wasted some precious fabric as I'd labelled the die wrongly and cut the wrong pieces from the wrong fabric. Sigh. More fabric scraps to donate to Astra. Eventually I had the right pieces, then some got sewn the wrong way and had me scratching my head and abandoning my sewing for a while.

Eventually I got my brain in gear and the stars came together very quickly. The points are almost perfect and that's good enough for me. A successful FNSI.

Handmade by Heidi

I won't be going to craft club today as we have some appointments with kitchen designers to view their plans. However yesterday I was out geocaching with a friend and we happened upon a kitchen designer that I'd forgotten about, he came around three hours later to measure up and is already working on our design. I'm hoping what he comes up with is good as we already feel he may be the one for us. The clincher was that during installation he visits every day to check on the work and no-one else has said that to us.
Thank you to WI friend, Michelle for texting and e-mailing me to let me know of a double duty cake stand she'd seen and it had 20% off. I'm not sure my husband sees why it's different to any other cake stand, but never mind.
 And Michelle, you can tell your son that I don't think it's a good idea to shave his head for charity!!

Friday, May 17, 2013

FNSI May 2013

I've been in a quandary as to what to work on at the moment. I briefly dug out my TQS BOM 2012, but that's been put away again. I have the Accuquilt cutter out with the double wedding ring dies to do a block for Roz but it looks so hard.

Tonight is FNSI with Heidi so this morning I have made a decision as to what I'm going to work on over the next week. I have just one more client quilt to work on and then I can quilt something of my own. So drum roll please, I have dug out my Fat Quarterly retreat honey bee star blocks. And what do you know I still need two more blocks to make a nice square quilt.

Lorraine picked up this blazing star die at a craft show for £5 and it has also sat on my cutting surface all week. So I now have a plan. I'm going to make two more star blocks with this die and start piecing together the quilt top. I also need to put my hands on my favourite white on white to finish the top. I think I'll need to buy some more to finish the Bee in My Bonnet row along though.

I need to play some more with the layout of the blocks and then I'll need to square some of them up ready to quickly piece together the top. I must remember to take a photo first so I can remember where verything goes.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Fresh as a daisy

This quilt that Lorraine started several years ago is as fresh as a daisy with its yellow and blue fabrics. We chose to use a white thread so as to not overwhelm the stars and picked up the star motif which is also in one of the fabrics in the quilting motif of stars and meandering.
Just finished. A lovely fresh quilt pieced by Lorraine B
I hope Lorraine is pleased with how it turned out. It is now trimmed and ready for her to collect. Lorraine was lucky enough to win a gift certificate for quilting services at our Guild AGM so no invoice to raise for this job. I have a craft crop penned in for Saturday but I have no idea what to take with me. No one else sews so I want to be fairly quiet but I don't want to do prep all day.

Spring mini

My spring mini is now on display in my lounge, bringing a splash of colour on this lovely morning.

I had to use a different quilting design for this one as my machine was playing up due to the numerous small seams. The buttons have been strategically placed to cover the place where the design should match up but didn't!! Does anyone have any tips for getting rid of the needle marks without washing the whole piece.

Today I will be focussing on quilting a client quilt which is already on the frame. I also need to catch up on some paperwork.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

That looks better

I knew there was something not quite right with the quilt top I shared yesterday and it eventually dawned on me that the middle rows are off set by one block. It was so tempting to leave it but I think the unpicking was worth it.

That's better. I forgot to offset the middle row.

And from some spare blocks I made this variation. I'm not sure if I'd prefer it with the strips going all the same way? Time to get ready to Zumba

Same units different result

Monday, May 13, 2013

Flower power

Small quilt made with half a Riley Blake jelly roll and the lazy angle ruler
I dug this project out of my cupboard a few days ago and it's now a completed quilt top. The fabric is half a Riley Blake jelly roll paired with some cream fabric from my stash. The jelly roll was a prize from Riley Blake and when it arrived it was as Jenny quite rightly said "Cor blimey". That being said this is the second small quilt made from the jelly roll and as the fabric doesn't have a lot of cream in it, it works very well. I used the Lazy Angle ruler and book from Creative Grids and I was inspired by Jaybird's Hugs and Kisses quilt. As the fabric is busy, it allowed me not to anguish over the block placement and which is very liberating and a time saver.
My plan is to attempt to do some feathers on my long arm, but I have two customer quilts to finish first. I also need to shop my stash for a backing and binding. I found some plain fabric in the storage area yesterday which I'd forgotten about which could be dyed. Perhaps I should have a go at a purple backing this time. I think I need to finish my Bee in my Bonnet row along next.
Linking to:
Plum and June
Hosted by Alyce at Blossom Heart Quilts

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Pink Perkiomen

Pink Perkiomen

Another finish!! And I also got another project out of the cupboard which should be a finished quilt top by tomorrow. However I can't put that on the machine until I've quilted one customer quilt. Then I'll have just one more to finish to be up to date. This was a workshop with Carolyn Forster for Caesarea Quilters. It is a very simple but striking blocks. We were pleasantly surprised by the amount of tips and tricks Carolyn shared throughout our five days with us as although the projects were simple and well within most participants capabilities, we all learnt something.
Pink Perkiomen
I backed the quilt with the fuchsia hand dyed Britten fabric from Ikea which I dyed last week.
Pink hand dyed Ikea Britten backing on Pink Perkiomen quilt

There was plenty left over which I used for the binding as it used the same dye colour as the middle pink square of each block in the top. There was still some left over so I cut it into strips for the Scrap Strip Swap taking place at the Fat Quarterly Retreat in July. So now it has all been used up and there's nothing left to put way other than the grey fabric I used in the quilt. Perhaps they may get cut up for the swap too. It would be quicker than putting them away tidily.

Pink Perkiomen Ikea Britten binding
I quilted a Batik pantograph all over the quilt using a variegated pink thread from Superior Threads. It is a lovely pantograph.
We are out to  cultural lunch at la Mare Vineyards, enjoying a picnic on the lawn with friends listening to jazz, so I have an hour before we leave, so I plan to cut a blazing star with the Accuquilt die that Lorraine bought for our Guild for £5. In the US it is $70 according to the Accuquilt website. What a bargain.

Friday, May 10, 2013

3D flying geese

I learnt the technique to make these 3D flying geese units over ten years ago and they immediately sprang to mind when Siobhan asked for flying geese blocks for May for her month as Bee Mama. So I started with a simple block of identical units so as to work out the maths. Success, however I realised later that I could have eliminated four seams with more careful planning.

FQR kinky bee May block one of two
Next I had a go at a more liberated approach by doing geese of varying sizes and positions along each row. The block didn't quite get to 12.5" square as I literally ran out of fabric. I'm sure Siobhan can add a strip to the top or bottom to suit her layout. This is going to be an interesting quilt when completed.
  FQR honey bee block May 2 of 2 3D flying geese

So my Bee commitments for May are finished which is great. Tomorrow I'll machine the binding onto the Perkiomen quilt and if I can resist long enough I'll take it to my Guild in a week's time to work on during the demonstrations. I'd better check I'm not down to teach a demo though.

Thursday, May 09, 2013


Freedom is much underrated. But today is Liberation Day and we have a bank holiday in Jersey to celebrate the liberation of the Island on 9 May 1945. There is a week full of activities, with the main focus being in Liberation Square today. On Sunday we are enjoying a picnic at a vineyard listening to jazz with friends Jane and Mike.
Early this morning I trimmed my Perkiomen quilt with the pink Ikea backing. I'd even moved my ruler and rotary cutter downstairs last night to be ready so I didn't disturb a sleeping daughter when I move around at silly o'clock. I then cut my binding from the leftovers making sure to cut it down the fabric to get a few peeks of the script. I'd usually just finger press the seam open and fold the binding as I go along, but Jojo pressed and rolled the binding she sent me for the Siblings Together quilt and it went on much more nicely and there's something satisfying about how it looks whilst it's waiting to be used.

Ikea Britten fabric dyed and used for backing and binding
May's bee mama at the FQR honey bee, gave us freedom to make flying geese blocks with the fabric she provided. I have been slowish to start this month. I like some constraints, this had too many choices. The one choice I made early on was to use 3D flying geese. It's a long time since I made these, so the first block is a simple block of four large geese so as to practise getting the measurements right
FQR kinky bee May block one of two
I don't have enough fabric for the geese to make another block of large units so I'm going to make some big and some small and play around with them to make a 12" block. Winging it is so not my style so I may be gone a while.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Pink fingers

And no I don't have any photos of my pink fingers. Why do I always skip putting on gloves when doing messy stuff. You'd think I'd have learnt by now. My journey started with seeing this fabric used on several quilts while surfing a few quilty blogs. Of course I only decided I "needed" it a few days after coming back from a UK trip where we were within  spitting distance of an Ikea in Southampton.
It doesn't come across online that the lettering is large but I knew from quilts I'd seen that it was largish. I was getting impatient as I'd finished a top that I could use the fabric for as a backing. Quilt 60" backing 59" so two lengths would be needed. I pondered how to get my hands on some as I drove to my parents to take them to the airport. Who would be near an Ikea with more than just hand luggage so that 3 metres could be stashed away. Damn, that's when I realised my parents would be in view of an Ikea later that day. Well the long and the short of it is, with the help of the Premier Inn, I got details to Mum & Dad and they purchased enough for me at £3 a metre.
Fast forward to Monday and I checked the repeat on the fabric and there wasn't enough for the intended project BUT Jenny will be at Ikea on Monday with a car, so I need to try out the fabric so she can buy me some more if required. So I cut up the fabric and dyed two lengths. One I dyed brilliant red with a hint of black to make it darker and the other fuchsia which pretty much worked.

So now I'm going to load up my machine with this quilt, the plain pink of which I dyed myself a few years ago and I think the dyed Ikea fabric works pretty well with it as a backing.

I decided not to go to my quilting group this morning and press on with this quilt, it would be lovely to have another UFO finished.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Sue's memory quilt

This was a big one with 10" half square triangles!! To we decide to go big and I doubled the size of the "Celebrate" pantograph and used a multi-coloured thread in the bold colours used in the quilt. Both of us recognised there were issues with the quilt but in the end there were no major problems.

Sue collected the quilt today and was thrilled with it and says she will see me again with some more work. I must pop into our local quilt shop on Saturday and thank the assistant for passing on my details.

I had promised myself that once I've finished a customer's quilt I could put one of my own on the machine. So this is what I've got to show until the end of the month when the Vintage Schnibbles Parade is unveiled.

Working with some sweet water and schnibbles

Monday, May 06, 2013

Basket weave star

Basket weave star
Whilst blog hopping one morning I came across a link to the Basket Weave Star tutorial by ADD crafter. A scrappy star which is foundation pieced. I saw a chance to use up some small strips from my BOM stars to tie in all of the fabrics into one block. I sewed this along with a few other projects last week and then forgot to share it with you.
If you use the tutorial, don't forget to switch off scaling when printing the pattern so that it is printed at the right size for a 12" finished block.

Linking to:
Plum and June

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Kinky bee Siblings Together girl quilt

FQR Kinky bee STATW quilt for Siblings Together
Whilst waiting for Jane at Kempt Tower in St Ouen's Bay, I quickly took a few photos of the girl quilt made by members of the FQR kinky bee for the Siblings Together charity. The quilt will be delivered to the 2013 Fat Quarterly retreat in July.
FQR Kinky bee STATW quilt for Siblings Together
My contribution was the wadding, quilting the quilt and sewing on the binding which was beautifully prepared by JoJo. Gertie Pye (Lisa) donated the backing. I have used a pantograph called batik to quilt it and I went as large as I dared.
FQR Kinky bee STATW quilt for Siblings Together
I'm pleased to have this ready to go in the FQR drawer with my sample swaps and scrap strip swaps. Now I need to finish my Japanese X & Os quilt and Stars  quilt to also take with me, however I will need to leave some space as there is a vendors mall on the Friday evening. :)

FQR Kinky bee STATW quilt for Siblings Together
I may donate another quilt which I've made or is in the progress of being made. Today I've been quilting a client's quilt. The half square triangle blocks are huge and I've now got to the stage where I can't ignore that the quilt is not square and will have to adjust it as best as I can.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

There's no place like Gnome

If you're following the Frosted Pumpkin Woodland sampler stitchery, you'll know that May is a sweet little gnome and was my choice of project for May's Friday Night with Friends (FNwF).


He's all finished but I still have some work to do on January, February AND April. March and May are finished as they were small and cute. One way to work quicker is also to have your floss organised by project and in numerical order. I've just been winding my floss for the Winter wonderland chart. I should have read the Ebay listing for the threads I bought more carefully as two colours have been substituted but they weren't listed as available. I think a quick trip to Imagination is on the cards today as I have no room left in my floss box.

 Tonight is World Wide Flash Mob with a Star Wars theme. Thanks to Michelle's boys, I have light sabres. Not sure what we'll do today as there are no men in the house so we can do as we like apart from dancing this morning and the flash mob this evening. Bliss.

PS I've just discover the Grab the HTML/BBCode on Flickr, much quicker than uploading the photo. :)