Friday, February 26, 2021

Friday finish - Hel's Belles WI bag


I was the founding President of Hel's Belles WI on 21 October 2014. Our logo was designed by a member's sister and we have used it ever since. at some point I made a pennant to take to formal Island events and the test bock has remained in a drawer ever since.

 Fast forward to 2020 and I decided to make a bag for the current president using the block and the pattern for the Totes Amazeballs pattern by Angie Wilson from her book "Fussy Cutters Club". we love a bit of purple so I pulled out my small bag of purple scraps including many screen printed fabrics and added some achromatic fabrics into the mix.

I then made the slabs necessary for this huge bag and did improv by numbers (my own invention), when I get stuck I choose an improv technique and apply it to all of my sections. I then sourced some vinyl locally from Rachel's Textiles, then put it back in the drawer to mature.

I quilted the panels using alternate straight and wavy lines and used a more forgiving 1/2" eam allowance to put it all together. Angie suggested two lines of stitching on the handles but the wadding I used (retrieved from the floor) was very floofy so why use two rows of top stitching when you can use seven!! I love the end result.

Pat Sloan is encouraging her followers to bust those UFOs in the last half of February and I have completed two so far. I even found a piece of Ikea fabric to use for the lining in my labelled bags of backing. There's not enough left now for much more than a mini quilt so I have added it to my stash of low volume fabrics.

Next I need to dig out my knitted advent cushion to finish.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

WIP Wednesday - Rainbow advent cushion


This WIP didn't even make my list and you would be hard pressed to spot much difference between the two photos. I knit up the daily stripes during advent and planned to Kitchener stitch the top closed and there it has sat since Christmas Eve. However I have now joined the top and hidden the end so this project is also complete.

The details as this was knit without a pattern:
Yarn : 24 10g mini skeins of Scheepjes stone washed and river washed from a colour pack 
Fibre content: 78% cotton and 22% acrylic.
Needles: 200 stitches knit on 3mm KnitPro zings and cast on using a Turkish cast on and finished with a Kitchener stitch

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Christmas wreath Clue 4


I was so excited to download clue 4 of this pattern by The Frosted pumpkin Stitchery as I'm actually keeping up with the SAL. It's looking great. Below Santa's chin there is a spot for one of three specialty buttons. I haven't ordered them as postage would be silly money, so I will look for a substitution over the next six months.

The pattern link arrived Friday afternoon and by Saturday evening I had finished the stitching. It can now be put away until next month. I need to buy one floss in the meantime as I have very little left of the blue used on the snowflake ornament.

Just a few days until the end of the month and I have my March cottage to finish by Country Cottage Needleworks and the Year of Celebration for February by Hands of Design. I think I will work on the February piece next as it is small but I am aiming to finish both by the end of the month.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Monday make - Fraktal quilt

The sewalong came to an end last weekend and I have successfully finished my quilt. The quilt was designed by Paula Steele and kitted up by Modern Quilt Club at a good price. I knew that there was a lot of cutting to do and a lot of half square triangles and flying geese in the first two weeks so I cut the fabric out between Christmas and New Year. I muddled up two of the pinks so I had time to order another fat quarter and still be on track.

I stalled for a few days last week as having quilted and trimmed the quilt, I just couldn't decide on binding. I only had three options:
  • navy binding
  • navy binding with rainbow flange - who doesn't like a good flange
  • rainbow binding

Included in our kit were 2.5" width of fabric strips of each of the Libs Elliott rainbow fabrics. I don't usually use such wide strips for binding so I used a 3/8" seam allowance to sew the binding to the front of my quilt and that is the width of my walking foot to the inside of the foot. I then machine finished the binding using loads of Clover binding clips

I used a baptist fan digital pantograph to quilt the piece and I love how modern it looks despite being a traditional design

I have joined a free block of the week as I don't have much piecing to do at the moment. It's a small enough commitment that it will deter me from starting a more complicated project until some more UFOs have been finished.

Friday, February 19, 2021

Friday freebie - heart in house


Isn't this just the sweetest Valentine decoration? This was a freebie for signing up to the Clover & Violet newsletter. I made the block, cut some wadding the same size as the hoop and quilted the block. Then I added some foam to fil the void behind the block, trimmed the excess from the block, gathered the excess backing and added a circle of felt to the back to cover the raw edges and neaten it up. A ribbon and button were added to the top of the frame to finish off the little project.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

WIP Wednesday - Economy blocks

I have been busy piecing my Plaidish quilt over the last week as there have been plenty of opportunities for leaders and enders. I have scheduled in my Todoist app to cut an extra ten blocks every month but  I need to piece most of those that are already cut to get an idea of how many more of each colour need to be cut. I use my Accuquilt die cutter to make fast work of the cutting.

I made nine blocks last week. It looks like it was the week of the strawberry and flowers. I plan to sew at least two blocks every week so I will have one hundred by the end of the year. I decided to put up the blocks sewn so far on my design wall and I already have 37 blocks made.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Monday make - minimalist wallet


This pattern was my number 8 UFO for the Jersey Modern Quilt Group challenge for 2021. This number hasn't yet been chosen but I needed a small project to sew so I made it on Saturday morning. I had cut out the fabric and interfacing in January but found I didn't have the required 7" zip. There was no hot pink zip at my local LQS so I went with a contrasting turquoise instead.

This hot pink thread from Aurifil was just the perfect colour for the top stitching.

I love the hidden pop of orange for the lining of the coin pocket as I only have fat quarters and it wasn't quite enough to make all sides of the pockets in the pink. Before turning the project the right side out, you have to grade some of the seams. The horror, I found a pin somewhere inside the project. I pushed it out of the seam I was about to trim and crossed my fingers. Fortunately when everything was turned right side out, the pin dropped out. Phew.

I can see that this will be very useful to grab and go and put either my phone or glasses in the back slip pocket. I should also add in a mask just in case my daily walk takes me past a shop.

Pattern : minimalist wallet by @noodlehead
Fabric: Create by @quietplay for @rileyblake
Thread: @aurifil in colour 4020

In other news, it was my father's 93rd birthday on Friday but we couldn't see him as we are in isolation as our daughter travelled back to the island from Scotland last weekend, so instead we provided scones and lemon drizzle cake for him to have a celebratory afternoon tea with my sister. Joanne was also kind enough to deliver to my brother and aunt (91).

Friday, February 12, 2021

Friday freebie - Plaidish quilt


This pattern is a free download here. I added it to my 2021 UFO challenge list for Jersey Modern Quilt Group with not much of a plan.  had reviewed my stash and realised that I have a lot of black and black and white fabrics as well as a whole basket of low volume fabrics. More recently I realised that I have a lot of yellow green fabrics and as I don't love green, I decided it was time to use some up. I pulled my scrap bags and a selection of fat quarters for each colour group and decided to get cutting. By the end of Iuesday, I had sewn up half a dozen blocks and cut all of the A and B blocks. It just remained to cut about 20 C blocks which are mainly green.

By Wednesday I had made great progress. It is an addictive project.

Fast forward to Thursday night and all but five of the blocks are cut and the fabric for each block is pinned and ready to sew together and bagged according to block type. I decided to focus mainly on the B block as there are only 12. These are now complete and on my design wall with what I've stitched so far. 

There is no rush with this quilt as I am waiting for a delivery of wadding. I must also check what backing might be suitable. I think I may have ordered the backing in the Sew Hot sale and just need to refresh my memory.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Work in Progress Wednesday - BOM


Despite the current delays in post, I received the top up of Kona Nightfall to enable me to complete my London block for the  Around the World quilt by Whole Circle Studio. January was Cairo and February was London. I am using Kona plains from my stash and predominantly those from the Tattoo quilt which I recently finished. I underestimated how much of the background fabric this block would use so as unable to finish the block last week. However it's now finished and put away with the other block.

For me there is a connection between the two blocks as in January 2020, we made our only trip of the year to London and whilst there I was able to secure tickets for the three of us to see the Tutankhamun exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery. It was beautifully displayed with lots of room around each exhibit.

Nick, Lizzie and I went to see the latest Cirque du Soleil extravaganza at the Albert Hall too. Lizzie came down to Manchester to see us as Nick was in London for an operation at the Princess Grace Hospital. we were lucky to be able to get to London and the op was successful. Like many I really want to get off our little island even if it's just to visit the UK. Lizzie is back from Aberdeen so we are on day 4 of self isolation and she needs to get a negative day 10 test for us to be able to move freely away from our home and venture as far as the supermarket or go for a walk. 

Today we have woken to a smattering of snow so I will take a few outdoors photos of the Fraktal quilt which is now quilted and will be bound next week.

Monday, February 08, 2021

Monday make - 2002 Santa

Having finished the 2020 Prairie Schooler Santa recently, I kitted up the 2002 Santa who is a drummer boy. I have also finished my February UFO and have been working on customer quilts, so it was easy to pick up this project and it has been a quick finish.

I didn't have the correct blue for the flag which was DMC 311. I googled alternatives so I could finish this project. I used the tool on Closest DMC Thread-Color Lookup Tool (

I have now kitted up the 2014 Santa in the bag I use for the Santas. However I need to work on my February cross stitch projects and have brought out the March cottage.

Full details:
Pattern: 2002 Prairie Schooler Santa
Fabric: 32 count Belfast vintage stormy night
Substitutions : Red 321 and a brighter green

Friday, February 05, 2021

Friday finish - Geometric unicorn


I have finished my February UFO challenge for #jersymodernquiltgroup and it has already found a recipient to enjoy it. I completed the block between taking the photograph for our challenge and today so it was a relatively quick project unlike last month's UFO. I have also quilted two customer quilts this week with a third to be completed tomorrow, so a productive week.

My finishing options were fairly limited as I didn't have much of the onyx Basic Grey grunge 108" backing left. So I made the block up to 12" as it was 10" unfinished. I then plundered my boxes of Aurifil threads and found this variegated 12 weight thread in pink. I took it very slowly and only had a few thread breaks. I kept the quilting very simple as finished is better than perfect.

I then looked for some Alison Glass fabric for the binding and found this pink Christmas fabric but only a small amount show on the front so it isn't obviously Christmassy.

On the back I used some Cam snaps to close the cushion and some Pearl Bracelet fabric from Lizzy House. The binding was attached on the front first, then folded to the reverse and held in place with Clover wonder clips. I then attached my guide foot to my Bernina and finished the binding from the front. A quick and pleasing finish which I have gifted to a friend's great grand daughter or I will gift when I go out to the west of the island. My daughter is coming home on Sunday so we will go into at least ten days self isolation again until she gets a negative test on day 10.

Pattern: Geometric unicorn
Designer: @quietplay
Thread: @aurifilthread MAKO 12 weight in colour 4660
Fabrics: @alisonglass @basicgrey for @modafabrics @lizzyhouse

#makemodern # 2021falq1finish

Wednesday, February 03, 2021

WIP Wednesday - February plans

 It is good to look forward this month and formulate a plan. A phrase we often use in our family is "a lack of prior planning, often leads to p**s poor performance". After a satisfying start to 2021, well as far as crafting goes, I am looking forward to escaping the rock some time in 2021. We only had one trip in 2020 which was in January to London for a successful op for my husband. We were so lucky to fit that in when we still could.

1. The February UFO for our group challenge is a foundation pieced unicorn block which is already completely pieced. I see a cushion in my near future.

2. February mini for A Year of Celebrations.

3. March monthly cottage from a Country Cottage Needleworks.

4. February block for Around the World BOM

5. Month 4 of Christmas Wreath by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery

The optional extras will probably include

6. Fraktal quilt

7. By Annie travel bag.

And three client quilts have been delivered (socially distanced) now that my tattoo quilt is off my machine.

Monday, February 01, 2021

January makes

Well that was January 2021. I am very much looking forward to February as my brother booked our vaccinations at some ridiculous hour this morning and our appointment is on Saturday. So excited.

I got more done in the month than I expected as I was beavering away on my tattoo quilt. I finished both the Country Cottage Needleworks cottage of the month and the January mini for A Year of Celebrations.

Whilst waiting for threads to be delivered to finish my tattoo quilt, I made two blocks for our Jersey modern Quilt Group charity project.

I also finished the 2020 Prairie Schooler Santa and have kitted up another as I'd like to complete four this year.

I have kept up with my Blocks of the Month and finished the Cairo block for the Around the World quilt by Whole Circle Studio.

I've also finished clue 3 of the Christmas wreath by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery.  And a drum roll please, I finished my tattoo quilt at 11pm last night. Apologies for the poor picture but it's bound and done.

And I almost forgot, I finished the binding on this pouch for my daughter. I am surprised at how much I completed as I spent a lot of time on my tattoo quilt.