Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Aviatrix Quilt Along week 2 - cutting fabric

This week on the Aviatrix QAL, we are cutting the fabric. I don't know why but I thought we were sewing block 1. A lot is going on this week with son returning to school in England yesterday - flight delayed again and daughter still suffering from headaches as a result of concussion. We had a meeting with her school's headmaster this morning as she starts a month of GCSEs next Thursday and we wanted to ensure that the school do the best to provide any assistance she needs.
I cut most of my fabrics last week, but had been dithering about the grey. Fabric 5 in the greys is a Kona colour called Seafoam. It looked like a green grey in the instructions, but when it arrived it was definitely green, so I had been scratching my head over what to substitute. Decision made, and the fabric is cut. I have stuck a sample of each fabric to a reference chart which I have laminated with my new laminator. I was unbelievably excited about laminating something. The machine and two packs of laminating pouches came to about £20 so I didn't have high expectations, but it worked and I'm delighted.

All of the strips and pieces have been bagged up into numbered pouches. Where the pieces have a bias edge, they will be cut in the relevant week. I will start the centre block at our group all day session tomorrow.
And because the piecing is my favourite part, I may have sewn a few blocks to break up the marathon cutting sessions.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Retro Bake by The Henley Studios

This lovely collection of fabric arrived from Fat Quarterly magazine yesterday for me to participate in their Designer Challenge. You will have to wait until June to see what I make with it.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Brit Sewing Thursday - New York Beauty

Just Sew Sue

The last Thursday of April. Where did the month go? I've had a fairly productive month as I've stayed at home to encourage my eldest to study and I've had a nasty cough for a month too. I won't say it has gone as I did that yesterday and promptly had a coughing fit.

Much to Jane's disgust I have finished my New York beauty cushion. This was a Craftsy pattern and a bargain at $3. If you haven't yet discovered Craftsy, I have an affiliate link in my side bar if you'd like to sign up. Do try some of the many free classes too.

I love this cute Buddha ant. I don't know who gave me this fabric. I always love other people scraps, they are so much more interesting than my own scraps. The franked background fabric is from The Running Chicken which I bought at Knit & Stitch last month.
 I quilted from point to point in the middle circles which joined up to make a star. I didn't have a long enough ruler for my long arm so I quilted it on my Bernina with Aurifil thread. I need to add a long arm straight ruler to my shopping list.

I am really pleased with the back of the cushion which was made up from bits from my black scrap bag. I tipped the bag onto the table and pieced bits together, chopping and straightening as I went along. Strange though how the scrap bag seems to be as full as when I started. I then quilted the back in straight lines spaced 1/2" apart with a few random smaller spaced lines. Then I bound it with another black fat quarter from my stash.

What have you been up to this week? Do link up below so we can visit your blog and see.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

One of two

Jane has patiently (most of time) waited for me to quilt my Eisteddfod entries (February) then get my long arm fixed. This is one of a pair of quilts for her mother's spare room.

The pattern of Japanese Clouds really stands out on the reverse of the quilt which is quilted with Aurifil white thread.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tuesday mail

We haven't had any mail since Thursday due to no deliveries on Saturdays and a bank holiday on Good Friday and Easter Monday. Annie told me to expect my fabric order today (yes I was being impatient) and it did arrive.
These are all fabrics for my Aviatrix quilt. The timing is perfect as this week we are to cut out our fabrics. Last week I also received a laminator that I'd ordered from Amazon. My plan is to laminate my fabric reference page from the instructions with all the 1" squares of each fabric I've cut out and carefully stuck on as reference. with over 30 fabrics to play with this chart is going to be essential.

Annie has labelled all of the Kona solids for me which is also a very useful reference. I have a Kona chart but it's already out of date and many of the greys used in this quilt were not on the chart.
I also ordered a bottle of Flatter to try - it's starch without the starch. This is the yuzu scented version. We first came across the fruit yuzu when selecting macarons in St Malo. I fancy a day trip to St Malo soon.
Today I'm quilting one of a pair of quilts for Jane. We loaded it up ready to quilt and then found one of the leads to the motors wasn't connected. I go into panic mode with anything technical, but fortunately Jane reminded me that it wasn't a lead in the wrong place as I'd quilted another quilt since the machine came back from being serviced. It took me a while to find the right lead, of course it was the one you can't see!!  I also want to finish binding my New York beauty cushion today to include in Show & tell at our guild tonight.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter

I hand stitched the binding of my Hugs & Kisses quilt last night whilst watching rubbish on television. I don't like the current trend of Britains's Got Talent to bring overseas professionals to compete.
I used more of the Ikea Bitten fabric on the back which I hand dyed. I'm using the last piece to quilt the New York Beauty today. I also used the same fabric for the binding. I hope the weather is better where you live than it is here. It's wet and horrid so a perfect day to quilt (me) or study (Matthew). 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Back in business

Hooray, my long arm arrived back on Thursday. Yesterday Matthew helped me put it on the frame. Ten minutes later, I had connected all the cables and it was ready to go.
It didn't take too long to quilt my Hugs & Kisses quilt. It was already loaded onto the leaders so I just had to Velcro the leaders back onto the rails. I used a pantograph called Cusco with a tropical theme to reflect the fabrics I'd used.

When I'd finished that quilt, there was enough wadding and backing for my New York Beauty block. However my rulers weren't long enough to do what I wanted, so I've basted it ready to quilt on my Bernina.
Today's job is to sew on the binding on the Hugs & Kisses. I may put another of my quilts on the machine tomorrow, ready to quilt tomorrow and then Jane is coming around on either Monday or Tuesday to help me load her two quilts. She has been very patient for these and finished another whilst waiting.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

New York Beauty - Brit Sewing Thursday linky

Just Sew Sue

Another week has flown by. The good news is my cough seems to be going after a month of discomfort, drugs, nebulizer and Vitamin C. Also my long arm should have come in on last night's boat. I am now stalking the UPS tracking so that I can swoop down and pick it up once it has been logged as arrived. Customs did a quick job of clearing it yesterday so there should be no delays today. Still waiting for my aviatrix fabric to be delivered.

Jane sent me a link to Flickr on Sunday, asking where she might get the pattern for it. Fortunately I identified the block as New York beauty with flying geese and in two clicks of my mouse I'd found it on Craftsy. So what is a girl to do. :)

This morning I inset the centre circle, which won't dominate quite as much once I've appliqued the centre smaller circle. I changed the pattern, and have joined the pieces into a circle so as to eliminate the seams in the centre circles and the background.

So just the circle to be inset into the background and the centre circle to be appliqued

Sometimes when you live in a place like Jersey, you forget how lucky you are. yesterday morning I went geocaching in the Portelet area and I sat down to write a log, looking at this view. Just one dog and owner on the beach. It is a four hundred feet hike back up and my breathing was wheezy to say the least.
What have you been doing? Do link up to the Brit Sewing Thursday linky.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


You know I just can't resist a good quilt along and another took my fancy at the weekend. - Aviatrix by Elizabeth Hartman. Elizabeth's solids version is pictured above. The schedule starts today with selecting fabrics. I bought the pattern on Saturday and impatiently waited to hear what the background fabric was, whilst digging out my Kona shade card to match up some prints and plain fabrics from my stash.

I even had an attempt at being organised. I printed out the pattern twice. The first time the printer didn't have enough coloured ink so I attached the black and white copy of the fabric chart to the second copy of the pattern and stuck in a 1" square of each fabric that I chose. You can see that I was pretty successful and have all of the fabrics chosen from my stash cut up. I have then ordered the remainder from The Village Haberdashery and I hope they'll be here by Wednesday. Each colour family will have three printed fabrics and two plains. This was more by chance than design.

With Matthew's help I put together my Ikea trolley which Jenny was kind enough to buy for me in France. I have bagged up each border of Aviatrix in its own labelled bag ready to sew each week. The scraps are also in a separate bag just in case I need them.

And because I find just cutting for hours on end, very boring, I've put together a few blocks. These are for borders 2 and 5. I will finish these once the other fabrics arrive and I will finish the preparation before starting the centre block. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Stash Bee quilt

The blocks received from the Stash Bee ladies have now been put into a quilt top with five additional blocks that I made last week. I have tried to go from yellow in the top left to red bottom right. I have enough of the Ikea pink and red spot to use for backing, so I just need to wait for my long arm to be shipped back to me.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

THIS WEEKEND ONLY: Craftsy's Surprise Spring Flash Sale!

Surprise! Craftsy has just announced a Spring Flash Sale for this weekend only! Discover huge savings on select online Craftsy classes, but for a very limited time. Visit Craftsy to reveal what classes are on sale, but hurry, this offer expires at 11:59 MT on Sunday, April 13, 2014!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Spell it with Moda

I've had the directions for the monogram B from the Spell it with Moda blog hop printed since the blog hop. This block was designed not surprisingly by Bunny Hill designs. As I've made good progress with several UFO projects, I decided to treat myself to a quick new project. Having tidied my desk, I even knew where the pattern was and I pulled out some of the leftover fabrics from the Fat Quarter Shop Designer BOM for 2012 which used Bonnie & Camille's Vintage Modern range.

The mini was soon put together so today's job was to put on the binding. I cut the binding last night and stitched it to the front ready for some hand sewing. I chose this lovely Tim Holtz grunge butterfly fabric for the backing as it's too pretty to cut up. I also glued down the binding before hand sewing and used the wonder clips to keep the binding in place until the glue dried.

Binding done, I located my rhinestones and tried to choose the bunny's eye colour, pink and red didn't look right so I went for black. I used Aurifil Mako for the piecing, quilting and hand sewing of the binding as I didn't want the quilting to overwhelm the piecing. This is the first time I've used Aurifil threads and so far I'm impressed. The quilting is simple quarter inch spaced lines in the background and also I stitched in the ditch around the letter B and the bunny.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Brit Sewing Thursday Linky - Patchwork Please

Just Sew Sue
Where has the week gone, I'm still coughing away, with no sign of improvement, but at least my long arm is back with the supplier and should be looked at today.  Another UFO has been dug out of the cupboard and its storage bag thrown away and the leftover fabrics sorted into my scrap bags. It's finished and ready for use.
Here's my finished embroidery pouch from Patchwork Please by Ayumi Takahasi. I started this during the sew along and had the front quilted and the pocket flap sewn for months. The vinyl I had was a little thick so I purchased a lighter vinyl last week which enabled me to move forward with this project.
All of my supplies were stored in a brown paper bag ready to go apart from the instructions on how to add an extra vinyl fronted pocket. I thought it was on Very Kerry Berry's blog, no, on the Flickr group, no. Then I gave up and made it up for myself. and I'm pleased with how it went. Vinyl is new to me, so that was challenging. One technique I used successfully was to glue the vinyl to the fabric in the seam allowance.
So as to avoid having to stitch tape around the whole of the pocket, I set it into the bottom seam. I also used a folded piece of ribbon to bind the pocket. This was selected from Janine's Mum's boxes of haberdashery that I was given. So as to secure the vinyl down well I did four rows of stitching and deliberately didn't do straight lines. The pocket flap is made from some fabric from our screen printing workshop with Lu Summers. A reminder of a very pleasant day.

I added a layer of heavy iron on interfacing to the back cover before adding the binding to give the whole piece a bit more body. Also the binding was first glue basted and then stitched from the front and then two rows of zig zag stitching was added to the centre of the binding to firm up the binding. The whole was then finished with a vintage button and a hair elastic pinched from Lizzie. I might add some press studs to the pocket lid, but that might tempt fate now that it's all finished. I think it's probably best to call it finished and enjoy using it.
And of course, after finishing the pouch, I did some blog hopping and found the vinyl pocket adaptation over at Hadley's blog.
What have you been up to this week? Please do link up below:

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

April FQR Bumbling Honeys block

The fabric for Jo's two blocks arrived on Monday morning, and having completed the week's ironing, I decided to make a start. Jo's block is simple but striking and she sent us some lovely fabrics.

I made the mistake of evenly distributing the low volume fabrics between the two blocks, to find after I'd made the centre cross that the border fabric for one block was also in the low volume fabrics.
The blocks were soon pressed and trimmed and are on their way back to Jo. In other news I also received my last bee block back from Liz. even though, it's not on my schedule to do this month, I may lay it out on my design wall and start putting the top together. My long arm has also been delivered back to Birmingham.
I am being very careful about what I work on during the day as Matthew is back for Easter and has lots of studying to do for his A2s. So Monday morning we each wrote down what we wanted to achieve that day. Needless to say these blocks were not on that list!!

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

ALYOF April 2014

I have just found the linky party for the A Lovely Year of Finishes challenge and it closes in 43 minutes (now 35 minutes), so you will have to accept my apologies for the poor photo as it's only 7am here. This quilt has been on an off the long arm frame over the last month as my sewing machine engineer attempted, without success, to fix the timing on my Avante.

I had dreams of practising marvellous feathers on this little quilt, but I decided that it needed to be finished so it will have an all over pantograph which will take about two hours. I even fished out a piece of hand dyed Bitten Ikea fabric from the cupboard to use as backing and it picks up the colour of the deepest pink in the flowers. Hopefully my machine will be back in about a week and I can test it on this quilt before loading up Jane's two quilts which she has waited for patiently.

Monday, April 07, 2014

I have a plan

Finish Along 2014

I have been stalking the progress of my long arm on its journey back to Birmingham and especially through Customs. Apparently it is now out for delivery. That is step 1 of 3, next it needs to be fixed and step 3 will see it being returned to me. In anticipation of its return, I thought it was time to plan Q2 sewing.

I have dug out my list of UFOs, a few of which have been finished already. I've allocated each remaining item on the list to a month in 2014, so the next quarter looks a bit like this:


  • April showers mini quilt - already completed
  • Spring Sampler
  • Hugs & kisses - ready to be quilted on the return of my machine
  • Zakka Flower baby quilt  - can be quilted on my Bernina
  • Zakka embroidery wallet

  • Japanese X and + for Stash Bee
  • FQS Designer BOM - just waiting for one block from my bee
  • Quilty Fun
  • Designer Challenge for FQR - I have a plan but no fabric yet
  • Social tote
  • Zakka apron
  • Elefantz stitcheries into mini quilts - FQR sample swap
  • Zen chic quilt - ready for quilting

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Easter mini

I received a large envelope from Sweden on Friday which had been torn in the post. Fortunately everything inside was in perfect condition. I couldn't think who would be sending me anything. Once opened, I found my Easter mini quilt from Carin. My April Showers mini has now been taken down and replaced by Carin's lovely quilt. Carin also included a little bundle of charms of the fabric she'd used tied up in a pretty spring ribbon. Thank you Carin. I think I need to work on my summer mini this month so I'm ahead, though my cough has not abated so I'm mainly loafing around feeling sorry for myself.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

FNwF wonky crosses

Susycat placed a call for 9" wonky cross blocks in blues and greys earlier this week. I scheduled it in my diary to do last night. However I did not make sure I had removed from the car the scrap bags I'd bundled up and priced to sell. Matthew is home from school so took my car to air cadets and also transported Lizzie to her activity with a scrap bag of blue fabric perfect for these blocks.
I did however manage to find some more blue fabrics in my bag of fabrics waiting to be sorted and made up six blocks.
This morning I retrieved the blue scrap bag and quickly cut eight more blocks to sew. This is a fun, quick, scrap busting block to sew. Fourteen blocks are now ready to send to Susycat.