Friday, January 31, 2014

Lucky me

Just returned home from three lovely days in London, with my friend Sharon. I did shop a lot. ;) More about that tomorrow. I came home to my prize from Scott at Blue Nickel Studios of 21 (yes twenty one) fat quarters of grunge fabric in all sorts of useful colours.
Then early this morning I received an e-mail asking if I'd like a jar of homemade lime curd. Would I. :) Lorraine bought a large bag of limes at a local farm shop for £1. A bargain. I also have two magazines on loan to browse.
And the eagle eyed may have spotted the background to today's photo, I have to deliver this to a friend this morning as a surprise gift. If she sees this post, she'll know it's for her so I'd better get there quick.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Sewing room swap 2

Just a few sneak peaks of the trivet I've made for my partner. I so enjoyed making the top one for myself from the Zakka book, that I made one for my partner in similar colours. I'm getting mixed messages about colour so I hope she'll like it. we don't have to post our gifts until the beginning of March so I'm ahead at the moment.

I thought a homemade cake might show off how I've been using mine. It's decorative under a vase too.

Monday, January 27, 2014

A Lovely Year of Finishes - January 2014

Not a finish but certainly significant progress with my Row Along. I have progressed from completed rows with some issues to sort:

To a sashed quilt top which just needs borders. Perhaps if we hadn't experienced a two hour power cut today, it would have been closer to being finished. I wish I wasn't going away for three days as I'm sure I could have got this finished.

I have also ordered some backing today and will use the extra length that I don't need for the thin border. The pieced outside border is done and ready to add. So near and yet so far. However I have finished my Japanese X and plus quilt and three scrappy baskets this month. My Scrappy trip around the World needs some had stitching of the binding and that will be my February target - both finished.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Quilty fun

Still keeping up with the Quilty Fun schedule. From a blog posting by Lori Holt, it sounds as if we will be putting some sections together before the whole project is finished.

I have been working from the book on two other projects today:
  1. Sewing machine cover for the Sewing room swap 2. Very nearly finished with just the ties to make and sew down the binding. I thought I'd try it on my machine for size. Much too small so I now need to find out how big my partner's machine is and fix it to fit. Very disappointing.
  2. Row along, have all but four rows sewn together. One row was too short and I'd forgotten to put the vertical sashing between each butterfly. So that needs to be unpicked and sewn together. I hope to get it finished tomorrow as far as the outside border as I think I need to sew some more units for that, but hopefully not too many.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

FNSI January 2014

Last night was Friday night sew in (FNSI) hosted by Sugarlane Quilts. What to work on? Trim and bind the Scrappy Trip Around the World quilt that I finished quilting on Friday afternoon? No a bit boring, leave that for another day. So I worked on my Once Upon a Time sampler from Frosted Pumpkin.
Lots of stitchers have finished the whole border, but there are so many other projects that I want to finish that I have only attempted the January corner. Just a few faces and details to complete before February is released in a week's time.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Stash Bee hive 5

Little parcels of blocks have started arriving for me from the US and Malta. Here they are so far. This is the same Japanese X and plus block I showed you in solids earlier this week. I was lucky enough to also be sent some Bonnie & Camille from Maria in Malta and Bonnie from New York sent me some extras of several fabrics including the city scape background which is only available for the City Quilter in New York. I know a few more blocks have been posted so I hope to have a larger selection to show you next week.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Love in mist


Jennie chose Love in Mist for her February block for the Siblings Together charity blocks. I dug deep into my scrap bags and found lots of 2.5" strips but finding 3" squares was more tricky. My blocks are an eclectic mix of recent purchases and fabrics that I bought over a decade ago. A few 2.5" squares were also cut from the scrap strip swaps from FQR.

As these quilts are destined for children, it is fun to use up some novelty prints so you'll see text, typewriter keys and polar bears.
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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Wagga wagga quilt

I have just finished quilting this for Sue and I apologise for the bad photo as my usual quilt holder is in Guernsey. This was a pattern from a workshop by Carolyn Forster. The pattern is simple and I think that's why it was not well attended, but Sue who is an experienced quilter said you got so much more out of the workshop than just this quilt. Carolyn brought a car full of quilts and samples with her on the ferry. It was good value for money. Carolyn was here for five days and many who booked into the last session wished they'd booked for more sessions. I think I only did one day and that quilt is actually finished.

Before I saw the whole of the quilt which is comprised of veg and fruit fabrics, I suggested a free pantograph I downloaded months ago called Strawberry Fields. Sue was delighted by the suggestion and pointed out the strawberry fabric. It does look good. I am impressed at anyone who is able to mix such busy fabrics so successfully. My fabric choices are much tamer.
Then Sue used this potato print as the backing. Time to get my scrappy trip around the world on the frame as Jane is itching to get her quilt quilted. I'm waiting for my first order of aurifil threads to quilt Jane's quilt, another client quilt and hopefully my Bee in your Bonnet row along in the next ten days.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Wake up to Kona blog hop

Today's the day to tell you all about my project made from solids. But don't forget to visit the other participants too:

For the last year I have participated in the Simply Solids Bee as part of the UK Amaranth group. I provided the red centres for the plus and grey for the backgrounds. Everyone else provided the other colours from their stash. Bees are always a learning experience. I didn't think I'd have to say not to use red in the X part of the block so a few came back with reds which lose the contrast.
I was so please with myself that having sorted my plain scraps into one bag, I was able to cut all of the binding apart from one piece from the scraps. Score. However a scrappy binding meant about eight different colours of thread were used when I hand sewed the binding down.
I was also economical with the backing and used four fat quarters I'd sewn together for an abandoned project and then added the grey patterned fabric which was laying on the floor, a spare block and yardage of grey to piece the backing. I had fanciful intentions of quilting the blocks individually, but I'm pleased with how the interlocking feather design looks in a variegated grey thread.
For more solids inspiration take a look at the blog hop or visit the Simply Solids Flickr group. Also Amanda Murphy has written a book all about solids called "Color Essentials"


Monday bits and bobs

The house was empty except for me by 8am this morning so I had five straight hours to sew before playing canasta this afternoon and Guild this evening. I have progressed the following, some more than others.

Sweetwater scrappy trip around the world (TATW). Looking good. Top is now pieced so I think I'll break out the Ikea bitten fabric for the backing and hope I have enough.

I also pieced some binding from the leftover jelly roll from the scrappy TATW. It may or may not be long enough but I have other pieces still left over.

A trivet using fabric from my colour co-ordinated scrap bags. Looking good so far.
Some of the 90 scrappy quarter square triangles for a sewing machine cover from Quilty Fun for the Sewing Room Swap 2.

And I started the February Love in a Mist block for the Siblings Together 2 swap. The top left hand fabric isn't as dark as it looks, but I may replace it tomorrow. again, all from my scrap bags and when I was short of a colour, I dug in my bags of fabric and added to the bags. 2.5" squares were easy to find, but the 3" squares were more tricky.

Join me tomorrow for the blog hop when I will be visiting lots of blogs and attempting to finish quilting a client quilt.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Unscheduled quilting

I had not planned to do any customer quilting this month until my Eisteddfod projects were completed and possibly for the first two weeks of February. However Jane asked so nicely and knew that her request didn't marry with my January plan, but I couldn't say no to this request.

Once again, I preferred Jane's colour choices to those in the book. I like her low volume background which I wouldn't be brave enough to pick and it works beautifully. She chose the thread colour "Karnak" which has both the turquoise and brown in it. The pantograph is Japanese Cloud. Jane said this was quick to make and I quilted it in one afternoon and evening. Jane's quilt was so well prepped - beautifully pressed and no loose threads.
Pattern: For Emma by Jennifer Goldstein from the book Jelly Roll Dreams compiled by Pam & Nicky Lintott
Fabric: Flirt Jelly Roll by Sandy Gervais for Moda
Thread: Superior Threads Karnak
Pantograph: Japanese Clouds

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Quarter square triangles

I seem to have been making lots of quarter square triangles over the last month. First there was Pippa above. Today I've just finished this week's Quilty Fun sewalong which is twenty quarter square triangles.

I have also started making a sewing machine cover for my Sewing Room swap partner - 90 2.5" quarter square triangles. Trimming them up gets a bit boring so I'm going to trim up a few each morning and hopefully by the end of the month, all ninety will be trimmed and sewn together. I will aim to substantially complete this item at our January UFO day on 26 January. The squares for this were mainly drawn from my newly sorted scrap bags which is satisfying.
Linking to:

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Getting ready

I have finished quilting our Farmer's Wife group quilt with almost a week to go before our next meeting. I loaded it on my machine on Friday whilst waiting for Astra to deliver some wadding. It started quilting this on Saturday and it was finished by Saturday afternoon. With the binding already prepped, it didn't take long to trim the quilt and add the binding ready for other members to hand stitch the binding next Monday. Although it's not a personal UFO, it feels good to have it almost finished.
This isn't a particularly good photo but I promise it looks even better in real life. What to work on next? I have put my Bee in my Bonnet row along back in the cupboard in disgust and will dig out my Simply Solids bee quilt to finish for next week's Blog Hop.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

2014 Quarter 1 FAL list
I am joining in with the Finish along over at the Littlest Thistle. Three months is a long time to predict what I will work on but here goes, in no particular order. It includes the projects I've listed to work on for another finish along which is monthly.
  1. Bee in my bonnet row along
2. Japanese X and +s for Stash Bee. I am bee mama for January so should have all of my blocks by the end of February
3. Simply Solids Japanese X and +s - this is my next project to attack.
4. Scrappy scrap baskets - finished in January
5. Thimbleberries quilt. Mostly quilted but has been abandoned for two years.
6. Farmer's Wife group quilt. Not my UFO but I have done much of the work to get it this far. Hopefully will be bound by members on 20 January.
7. A project from Quilty Fun for a swap - 90 3.5" squares cut out ready
8. Zakka trivet for the same swap and I plan to raid my scraps, once I find the book
9. Woodland sampler - I think I've half done October and all of the other eight months
10. Sweetwater scrappy trip around the World - blocks done, just need to put them on the design wall.
11. London embroidery - a recent start which I work on at our Wednesday group.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Put your scraps to work

FairyFace Designs
During 2013, I did more projects than ever before from scraps and FQs rather than a fabric range or purchased specifically for a project fabric. As I'm trying to cut down on my purchases and tidy the stash I already have, the idea of working from my scrap basket for a small project each month, is certainly appealing.
I have already made three co-ordinating scrap baskets this month and I will have to make something for the Sewing Room Swap II over the next two months which could be a scrap project too, so I am going to join in with the scrap challenge over at FairyFace Designs. Many of our bee blocks for the Siblings Together Bee have also been from scraps.


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Quilty Fun - trees

I'm loving these small blocks which then build up into a large quilt. This block took less than an hour and I sewed some bee blocks at the same time. My new colour co-ordinated scrap bags helped too as I dipped into those first. The fabrics are from left to right: Sweetwater, Mirror Ball and Simply Style by V&Co.

Visit The Jolly Jabber for more information about this Sew along. I was on tea duty at our Guild this week, so I took my scrap basket along and sorted my newest scraps which was very satisfying and I actually got something accomplished rather than just sitting there chatting away and not sewing a stitch.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Scrappy rainbow log cabin blocks

Or Bumbling Honeys bee block for January for Liz. Liz sent us a selection of fabrics to use and I added a couple to the mix. She also provided a lovely tutorial. This block is different to most log cabin blocks as the strips get larger with each round. I'm pleased with how they turned out and will pop them in the post later this week.

Then each block is framed by a narrow "low volume" fabric.

And if my calculations are correct that's all of my January bee commitments completed. However I still have other projects to complete this month, so I plan to stitch up a storm tomorrow.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Wishes quilt along

The Wishes Quilt along started at the Fat Quarter Shop last week. I was going to buy some white on white as we need 5 yards but looking in my stash I may have enough of my favourite Moda white on white to make the blocks and some of the sashing. Also there was only one WOW in my LQS's sale. I did buy 1.6 metres of a neutral backing and a reel of thread.
I followed the instructions diligently. However I changed the pressing for the final seams and did the spinning of the seams where you unpick a few stitches above the last seam line on both sides and press the seams in the same direction. I think this technique eliminates a little bulk
I soon realised that picking the stripe and solid in the red and the pink wasn't a good idea but having cut them out, I decided to go with it.