Sunday, December 27, 2015

2015 best nine

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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Advent crafting

Although my lack of posts might indicate that I'm slacking, nothing could be further from the truth. I have one last pre-Christmas quilt on my machine for a customer. Inspired by the Bakery Bears cosy blanket advent knitalong, I have been cross sticking a Christmas pattern, one square per day and do far I'm keeping up with my expectations.

This is the It's a Kawaii Winter Wonderland from The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery gals. However I have taken out the Kawaii elements. 

I have also been sewing up one kitty a day from Elizabeth Hartman's pattern and again, I'm keeping up. This morning I cut out six more blocks as I have found it's the fabric preparation rather than the sewing that takes the time.

Here's today's block called Daisy in the pattern which I have named Driving Miss Daisy.

Back to some binding on the customer quilt. I have used up all of my 1/4" steam a seam tape do will have to try dome other methods to secure the binding to the back of the quil, before machining down the binding.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Working with scraps

My system for sorting my scraps is very basic. I have a basket with bags for each major colour and when I have scraps, I add them to the basket. About one a quarter I take my basket to my morning quilt group and sort any loose scraps into their correct bag.
I chose not to cut the scraps into specific sizes like Lori Holt advocates and I do the cutting when I want to make something. We did a scrap swap at the Simply Solids retreat and I came home with more than I took, so I think a bigger basket will soon be needed. what do I consider a scrap? A part strip from a project, odd charm squares, fabrics I no longer love but would use in a scrappy quilt.

Also at the Simply Solids retreat, my friend Carol won a copy of Lori's Cozy Cottage 2016 calendar. As Carol already had a copy she was happy to swap with me for my prize of fabric. As part of a blog hop, Lori showcased this mini quilt which uses the cosy cottage pattern from the calendar. I dived into my scrap bags and pulled and cut fabric like a mad woman. The window of the house is some Blueberry Park hand printed fabric which was someone's scrap. I had been looking for just the right project to use it in. The girl with her hula hoop was fussy cut from an older Aneela Hoey print. I'm also pleased with how it turned out.

For the quilt backing I used a fat quarter that isn't my cup of tea but it came in a bundle and the off cuts have gone into the scrap basket. The binding also came from my scrap basket and was pieced and ready to go. So remainders of binding also go in my scrap basket.

This doughnut pincushion was a kit from Sew and Quilt from our retreat good bags, but paper piecing is always a good use for scraps.

And I love the perfect buttons from a friend's mother's button box which I was given last year. Scraps of wadding were used to stuff the pin cushion and that was another scrappy project from last week.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Bee block for Carole - bright birch trees

Carole requested blocks on a bright background using this tutorial.  I enjoyed making the block and it will be a jolly quilt. Here is my block (orange background) along with Jane's block which I'll post tomorrow.
I'm up to date with bee commitments, although I still have more retreat photos to share with blocks made over that weekend. I am the bee mama for the CQ Jersey bee, so get a month off. Beautifully planned by me as Lizzie and I are off to Barcelona to cruise with NCL for the half term week.

Friday, October 16, 2015

On my long arm - boats

A baby quilt for a boy who was expected to be a girl. I quilted this in Frozen Swirls to conjure up a storm at sea.

And a super cute backing.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Simply Solids retreat -.swaps

Are you tiring of my mini reports from the retreat? Sorry there's a few more to come. Next is swaps. As well as the secret sewer swap, there were badge, scraps, name badge and FQ swaps.

I didn't participate in the name badge swap and I used mine from the first FQR in 2012. I didn't have badges to swap by I did have some badge like zipper pulls and I received the above in return.
I made up three scrap packs for swapping at the retreat and received some lovely fabrics in my bags including some Summersville and Blueberry Park which are handprinted by Karen Lewis. Jenny brought lots of scraps that she didn't want to take home and Jacqui who is the distributor for Art Gallery Fabrics also added some Art Gallery fabrics onto the table. Even after we all had taken a few extras, there was a huge bag of extras for Justine to take back to the shop. I also picked up a blue checked fabric to use as a backing for a project. A great swap. Thank you Pippa for organising the swaps.

Friday, October 02, 2015

Farm Girl Friday - the final week

I have now finished all of the blocks in the book along with a few of the extra blocks - corn, pig and tomato. This si the Winter Star block which I have made 18" square. It uses some of Katy Jones' map print for the background along with my favourite pearl bracelets.
And here's the final block called Woolly Sheep. I will add the legs once I've either quilted it or put the top together. Another cute block.
Completing this top is my goal for October's ALYOF challenges. First of all I need for my long arm to return from being serviced.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Simply Solids retreat goody bag

When the party started at noon on Friday, we checked in at the desk and were given a lovely tote bag. Those of us who paid for our retreat in full on booking also received a £25 gift voucher which I spent on Sunday. More on that this Sunday.

The tote was a great quality and stuffed full of good stuff. Thank you to Lisa and Justine for the extra tote to be used as a giveaway at the Jersey Modern Quilt Guild's first meeting on Saturday 3 October.
What did the bag contain - well what didn't it contain more to the point. We also received a raffle ticket and the winner - Shevvy - won a box of Aurifil threads. I may have had the gingerbread man for breakfast whilst starting to unpack my stuff.
We received ever popular Aurifil threads. One of these may not have come from this goody bag and may have been one I took with me to make a bee block. That block is the only thing that hasn't come to the fore in my unpacking. Give me a few more days and it might appear.
A very generous gift from Sewline of a glue pen, marker and water pen to get rid of the lines from the marker.

We received two mini charm packs and a Kona FQ, but I particularly liked these FQs from Dashwood Studios. The fabrics also appear in a project in the issue of Quilt Now in our bags. A generous and quality goody bag all round. Thank you Justine and Lisa.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Simply Solids retreat - secret sewers

Our mission for this swap was to stalk a fellow retreater whose name we had been given by Pippa and make three gifts for her. The smallest to be given on Friday, a medium size gift on Saturday and the final larger gift on Sunday when we would reveal ourselves.

I was lucky that my recipient was on the next set of tables to us, so I could drop my gift on her table when she was distracted or absent from the room. I made this Kilner jar pin cushion before finding out that a similar class was being run at the retreat. The first gift didn't get much of a reaction which had me worried.

The second gift delighted Iris and I heard her say that she loved the fabric. I wasn't the only swapper to make the goody goody binding bag. Free pattern here.

My final gift which was also made from Indelible which I purchased from Cotton Patch was a Super Tote by Noodlehead. Many Noodlehead patterns were made for this swap. I used Soft & Stable instead of interfacing and it makes a sturdy bag but is expensive. I would have happily kept this bag for myself. Iris seemed delighted with the gift when she found it under her table, an hour after putting in there.
And the gifts I received were all delightful. Gill stalked me well. I received an orgy of Bonnie & Camille/ Apparently I was difficult to sew for as I made every item Gill was considering. My first gift was a charming needle case with a yarn charm and some needles.

Then I received a lovely scissor case with some Bonnie & Camille fabric. Perfect.
One of my gifts was also wrapped in a FQ of Bonnie & Camille. All of the Bonnie & Camille goodies will go straight into my basket dedicated to Bonnie & Camille. Hmm. I am making a basket pattern at the moment using scraps of Bonnie & Camille so I might add these into the mix.

And just when you thought it didn't get any better than that, a bag to fit my A5 Filofax into. Apparently Gill got some funny looks when she went to Paperchase to take some measurements. A perfect set of gifts. Thank you once again Gill.
The blue snips are very useful and are the same ones Jane added to her second gift. I must put them in my tool pouch for today's all day sewing session.

And just as you thought I'd finished, here are some photos of other people's gifts:

We put all of the gifts on a table to admire.  Jane received chicken themed gifts from Helen. we sussed that out early as the gift appeared after she came to chat with us.

Jacqui made these lovely items from a not yet released fabric line from art Gallery Fabrics. The bag is a Craftsy pattern apparently.

Many wished they had participated as each and every gift had been carefully thought out and beautifully made.
Maria had to buy orange fabric for her recipient Jenny who loves orange.
Come back tomorrow when I will show you the contents of the very generous goody bag.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

ALYOF thimble berries quilt for project Linus

After several years as a UFO, this Thimbleberries scrap quilt has been finished and is ready for donation to Project Linus. You can see that even the backing is pieced from miscellaneous Thimbleberries scraps.

The quilt was already half quilted and unfortunately, half trimmed, but I unpicked a few bits and then practised some techniques from the Angela Walter's class I took in August. I didn't find that my machine moved very smoothly but the Longarm Facebook group recommended moving the brackets holding the pols and then took the weight of the poles off the machine. Matthew moved them for me whilst I was away for a few days.
The quilt has been washed to remove most of the felt pen markings and is now ready for donation. My machine was delivered by my husband to the Cotton Patch on Saturday as he headed to his parents from Loughborough Uni where he had dropped off Matthew for his second year of Mechanical engineering. I heard yesterday whilst in Manchester Airport (long story) that the machine had been serviced and UPS have it on their van ready to deliver to Nick at his parents' home today, thereby saving me about £150 of shipping to and from the UK.
 Now to decide what to chose for my October goal. I think it will be my Farm Girl Vintage or possibly not.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Farm Girl Friday - week 22

My first block is a small and perfectly formed Welcome block. Unfortunately I think I will have to remake it as a 12" block as I am short one 12" block. Never mind, it's an easy one to finish. The deep pink fabric is Alison Glass and came with the turquoise in an I want her stash bundle. The cherry fabric is by Lori Holt.
I used the same fabrics again for the Waterturn block for which I drew my own foundation pattern in EQ7. the green corners are by Carolyn Friedlander and has possibly been overused in this quilt.
I'll have to find a use for the little welcome block - a project bag perhaps?

Friday, September 18, 2015

Farm Girl Friday - week 21


Only two more weeks and four blocks to go. I love this sunny sunflower with the Crops block which combine to make a lovely big block. The sunflower uses fabrics including Basic Grey Grunge, Cotton + Steel and Carolyn Friedlander.

And this 12" Tumbleweed looks great in fabrics by Lori Holt, Moda dotty and the turquoise print is from I want Her Stash again. The water melon fabric was from a friend's destash.
The blocks look great together and I'm keen to get the top pieced together so I can quilt and bind it for A Lovely Year of Finishes for October.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Farm girl vintage - week 20

Week 20 and just three weeks to go in the sew along. At least 40 blocks made in sizes ranging from 6" to 18". I have added the pig block recently released by Lori and this week I have made my version of the corn on the cob block.  The first block is summer star and the sunflower yellow and grass green fabrics shout summer.
The Sunday morning block is only 6" large and I love the summery green that I chose for this block too. All of this week's blocks sort of co-ordinate, but not deliberately so.

And then there's the summery corn on the cob block, but my variation of it. Again it looks very summery.

And here are this week's blocks together. I think they go well together. I like the 6" by 12" corn on the cob block. I think I need to make my crops block from June into a flower with next week's sunny sunflower block. and I also want to make a 6" tomato block for next week.