Another challenge

January 3, 2012 Leave a comment

Ok, so I probably need to stop reading the blogs over at the Small Blogs Meet – well, for the rest of today, anyway – cos I just found something else I really want to do! 

 SewCalGal  is hosting an FMQ challenge this year and this is something I really want to work on. I love a good stipple (doesn’t everyone?) but I dream of feathers and leaves and .. er… swirly things 🙂 So, I’ve signed up – hurrah! … I think …. need to go lie down now …..

Categories: Uncategorized

Building houses :)

January 2, 2012 4 comments

Ok – you know I said I’d lost a bit of focus lately? Well, I just found some !! 

I was browsing some of the other blogs on Lynne’s Small Blog Meet  (thanks Lynne) and one of them (thanks Karen at K’s Quilting Corner ) mentioned a quilt-a-long (can I call it that?) being hosted by Jeanneke over in the Netherlands, making a houses quilt from teeny scraps – what a fab idea! I’m in – no more will I wonder what to do between larger projects, my friends – no, I’m going to be ‘building houses’  – ahh 🙂

And hey, look at me, 3 (yep, that’s t-h-r-e-e) posts in 2 days – it can’t last! Gotta go – I have scraps to sort …..

Categories: Uncategorized

Today I learned something new..

January 2, 2012 6 comments

… like how to make a photo collage – yippee!  I was reading Lynne’s blog over at Lily’s Quilts  yesterday and saw she’d written about reviewing the sewing year – click on the button at the bottom of this post to go take a look at some of the other lovely people joining in with ‘Fresh Sewing Day’. I really wanted to put together one of those photo-mosaic things, but didn’t have a clue how to do it – luckily, a few clicks on the internet took me to Shape Collage  and voila! this is a lot of what I did last year –

 

I was pleasantly surprised to be honest – it’s easy to forget what you’ve achieved when life is so busy, so it was good to remember all those projects, large and small! Plus it’s a useful reminder to keep my camera with me, cos I know there are many things I did that DIDN’T get photographed – usually because they were meant for someone else and got rushed out of the door the minute they were finished!

Ok, so that’s another 2 New Year Resolutions: 1) take more pictures 2) don’t leave everything til the last minute 🙂

Oh – and maybe 3) blog more often (2 posts in 2 days, going well so far !)

"Fresh

Categories: Uncategorized

Happy New Year!

January 1, 2012 Leave a comment

Wow, where did 2011 go? It seemed to fly by in a flash, but it was a great year for me quilting-wise – I feel like I made some great progress last year, so thank you to those of you who asked me to make a quilt for you, I had a lot of fun and learned loads!

As I said in my last post, I kind of lost focus a bit towards the end of the year – so many things I wanted to make, but time – as always – is in short supply! I was pulling myself in a few different directions, so I can’t say that the last couple of months were very productive – I did get some Christmas bunting made, however, and some other small bits and pieces. Here are some pics

I made 5 sets of bunting using some of the Christmas Candy range by Riley Blake – so all traditional red and green – and sold 3 of them in the shop too (woo hoo!!) (btw, come and visit us at Storrington Gallery in West Sussex if you are in the UK 🙂  I still have about 50 flags left that didn’t get made up, so I’ll save these until next year.

 

Peace and Joy are a couple of cushions I made to practice my applique and free motion embroidery – I’ve got very rusty! I love these fabrics from Art Gallery – they’re so soft and beautiful to work with, yum.

I’ve also been trying to get a pattern for a mobile phone case worked out – I made this one using some left over quilt wadding (I hate throwing anything away – you should see the tiny scraps of fabric I keep!!) – it seemed to move around a bit though and wrinkle up, so I got some interfacing to try and that’s so much better. I’ll try and post the pattern here soon.

 

The biggest thing I made lately is this sampler quilt top – I’m not a fan of sampler quilts generally, but I saw a few of the Dear Jane and Farmer’s Wife quilts made using one or two colours and thought they looked gorgeous, so I decided to use some of my red and orange stash to make this – it was originally intended for a houses quilt, but I like the way this turned out – it’s a bit too square for me, though, so I need to add another row of blocks I think!

And that’s pretty much what I was working on before Christmas.  

My biggest news – and excitement generally at the moment – is that I’m now the proud owner of EQ7!! I’ve hankered after this all year but haven’t felt I could justify the cost of it but, thanks to my fab parents, I got it a couple of days ago – and I love it!! I’ve already started to put some of my patterns onto it – it’s fantastic how you can manipulate the blocks so easily and change the colours – it must have saved about 3 trees already 🙂

So – my New Year resolution is to get my focus back, finish my business plan and open up an online shop. This year I hope to start publishing some patterns. I’m so excited!

Whatever your plans for 2012, let’s hope all our dreams come true. x

Between projects

October 24, 2011 Leave a comment

Well, kind of.

I finished the last ‘big’ project I was working on a couple of weeks ago and have been dabbling a bit ever since – I feel a bit lost at the moment, to be honest, a bit lacking focus, even though I really do have ‘stuff’ to do!

This is the last quilt I finished – for a little baby girl who is due quite soon

It’s not easy to see from the picture what the different fabrics are but there are a couple of pale pinks – a plain pink and a pink and white gingham, plus a white with a pale pink spot. The darker pink fabrics are from a bundle I bought at the festival of quilts – a plain dark pink (hot pink? fuschia?) and then one with small white dots and one with a subtle geometric pattern. Like the Delilah quilt, I alternated light and dark fabrics around a central white square – simple, but quite effective I think. I’ve had a lot of fun with squares and working round them in an almost-log cabin style over the last few quilts.

   

I also made a cot bumper to match

Not the easiest thing to photograph still! I’m looking forward to hearing when the new baby arrives and starts to put these to good use 🙂

Since I finished the ‘pretty pink’ quilt, I finally started on the Sampler quilt that is my quilting group’s challenge this year – I was very undecided about it, although I have been collecting the block instructions at group meetings every month. I haven’t been a big fan of sampler quilts in the past, but the Dear Jane and Farmer’s Wife quilts I’ve seen on a number of blogs have persuaded me to give this a go – in fact, it was one Dear Jane quilt in particular that really sold me on the project –

  

 You can find a link to the blog it came from here  – I like that the quilter (Hanne) called it her ‘Nearly Insane’ quilt – I can imagine it did nearly drive her insane, but I absolutely love this!

I’ve been saving up some red and white fabrics of my own over the year – well, actually, they are red, white and orange if I’m honest! They are mainly some of the Tufted Tweets collection by Laurie Wisbrun, but I’ve also added some of Saffron Craig’s Mignon Trees and some Ta Dots in orange / white – they all seem to go quite well together.

My original plan was to make a red, white and orange houses quilt with this little stash ( I love houses – have you seen the ‘Neighbourhood’ quilt that Seewtwater made from their hometown fabric? I love, love, love it but haven’t been able to persuade myself I should get some yet :o(

Anyway, when I decided to give the sampler quilt a go, I thought these fabrics would be good fun!

 Here are the blocks I made so far – Card Trick, Dresden Plate and Rail Fence – I really like how they’re turning out 🙂 There’s Drunkard’s Path, Tumbling Blocks, Rose of Sharon, Spiderweb and Maple Leaf  to add, plus a stained-glass effect Tulip block. The deadline is 2 Dec, when it’s the group’s Christmas Party – hope I’ll have a quilt top to show if nothing else!

I did get this cushion finished recently – it will have a partner when I get around to adding some more applique

I’ve been a bit stumped with what to add, though – flowers maybe? The fabric I used for the lettering on both of these cushion covers is from the Bazaar range by Pat Bravo (Art Gallery fabrics) – I picked up a couple of pieces at Sandown in June and I absolutely love them, they’re so soft and the colours are gorgeous – not sure the pictures do them justice, but trust me, they’re fab! 

Once I decide how to finish off the cushion, I have some bunting to make from these Christmas fabrics from Riley Blake

 

And a mug rug or 2 from these

Plus, I have some pieces of fabric cut out for mobile phone cases that really need making up. And, while I’m procrastinating over that lot, I’ll be finishing off a few more blocks of my crocheted Sunshine Afghan from an Alicia Paulson pattern.

So, like I said, I’m kind of between projects at the moment – good job it’s half term this week, maybe I’ll actually get something done! (Just need to bribe the kids to play out 8 hours a day and I’ll be laughing!)

Categories: Uncategorized

Fabric Addiction …

September 18, 2011 Leave a comment

I admit it, I’m addicted – to fabric, that is (although coffee and chocolate come pretty close!)

I finished my latest quilt last week – it’s another new favourite 🙂

This quilt (for a newborn baby boy called George) started with some teeny tiny zoo fabric (from Alexander Henry) that I bought a few months ago on a whim – you know when you see something you like and although it doesn’t go with anything you just have to have it? – I know I’ve felt this with the odd piece of clothing (the red trousers I’m wearing right now spring to mind) but usually, it’s fabric. I must have enough stashed away to make at least a dozen quilts, but this doesn’t stop me visting virtual fabric stores at every opportunity (hallelujah for the internet and 24/7 shopping) and adding all sorts of crazy prints to my basket.

One of the green fabrics came from a stall at the National Quilt Championships at Sandown – another impulse purchase, along with some Pat Bravo prints (in purply colours – gorgeous!!) The grey and white polka dot (called summertime, strangely – unless they mean summertime in England, I guess!) was from my stash and although it didn’t seem an obvious choice to team up with the zoo, it seemed to go well. The solid green (Kona cactus, I think) and solid navy were also from my stash, waiting for the right project to come along, while the large grey dots and the navy/ white polka dot were bought specifically to complete the set: 2 green, 2 navy, 2 grey border fabrics. I wanted the zoo to be the star of the block, so cut a large rectangle and framed it with white, then cut strips from the border fabrics to surround it, 2 in each colour making 12 blocks altogether.

I love the way the white sets the zoo fabric off and the varying size of the border strips meant that I could place the rectangle in different positions when lining the blocks up. I dithered for a bit over how to arrange the blocks and then decided to run the green blocks down the middle and have the blue and grey blocks on each edge, so that they mirrored each other. The only thing I really planned with this quilt was the size of the block and the position of the rectangle – everything else kind of developed as I went along, which is a bit a change for me as I usually like to know where I am going – stops me worrying about running out of fabric! That did nearly happen here, as I decided to use the last of the zoo fabric for the binding and had a 3 inch gap to fill round the edge – aaaaaarrrrrrrgh! Luckily, I had enough small pieces of fabric to join together and finish it    

There were some big pieces of the other fabrics left though, so I decided to use these as the backing – another change, as I usually go just for white on the back with odd scraps or leftover blocks added, but I really like the result here. I’m not sure I’d do this every time, as patterned fabric can be so expensive, but this worked out well and makes the quilt more interesting – and colourful – to look at. I like the lime green stripe down the edge!!

I treated myself to a trip to the Quilt Room in Dorking last weekend to buy the wadding for this quilt and had a lovely time drooling over  looking at bolt after bolt of fabric, along with jelly rolls, layer cakes, charm packs, fat quarter bundles – aah, heaven! Charlotte (who’s 7) came with me on the promise of some post-fabric-fix toy shopping and couldn’t really understand the attraction (yes, she even said she was bored once or twice – I mean, how is that even possible???) I told her it was like a sweetie shop for mummies and I think there was a glimmer of understanding 🙂

I have another ‘squares’ quilt on the go at the moment – for a new baby girl this time – so I should be back soon with some pictures of that to show you. Then I might just have to buy some more fabric – a girl can never have too much fabric, you know 🙂

Some endings, some beginnings and a middle

August 22, 2011 1 comment

We got back from a week’s holiday on the Isle of Wight on Saturday – a whole week without my trusty sewing machine, which felt a little strange! I took some crochet with me to keep me busy (a lovely Afghan blanket using a pattern by Alicia Paulson), but it was nice to pick up the threads of my quilts again 🙂

Since my last post, I’ve finished the single bed quilt which used the Delilah fabrics – I managed to post some pictures to my Flickr gallery before we went away on holiday, so some of you may have seen this already. I really, really loved this quilt, even though I’m not normally a big fan of pink (although having said that, the Sugar Pop quilt was mostly pink too – maybe I’m denying that pink side of me too much at the moment!!) – anyway, it turned out very girly and looking almost vintage, thanks to a squiggly quilting pattern and a run through the washing machine (great for producing crinkly quilts!)

The quilt uses 35 blocks, which are 10 inches square. The block is almost like log-cabin as it builds up around a central square.  The white ‘centre’ is framed twice, using two narrow sides and two wide sides – these narrow / wide sides are then alternated with the second print. I’m not sure I’m doing a great job of describing it here,so maybe this close up of the block will help!

I love how well the block shows off the prints and have alternated them so that some have a pink inner and some have a blue inner and these are alternated across the quilt. I think it helps that there are an odd number of blocks in the rows – it feels balanced, as each row begins and ends with the same colour.  The pattern was from an American magazine, and is all in inches which was a bit of a challenge as my ruler is metric! I’m just about to start a couple of baby quilts and I’m planning on using the same pattern but I’ve changed the size of the blocks a bit so that I can use my ruler without a calculator, pen, pencil and emergency chocolate (in case of stress) by my side ! They’ll have 4 rows of 3 blocks – it’ll be interesting to see how the adjusted, slightly larger, blocks look together.

I used the hearts and loops quilting pattern (thanks Tracey!) and was really pleased at how it turned out – I’ll definitely use that one again!

Some other finished items:  

The cushions to match the quilt.

Matching quilt and blanket for dolly / bunny / teddy etc

So, as well as some endings and new projects on the go, I’m happy to say I have a middle to report – yes, the teatime bunny quilt top is finally all put together, hurray!!!! Now, I have to say I like sewing by hand – I do, really, – and if I weren’t so darn impatient to see the end results, I might make more quilts by hand rather than by machine. However – I’m very glad that the 256 pieces that make up these bunny blocks are all finally sewn in place and sashed together! I’ve been working on it since March so Charlotte (age 7, whose bed it is destined for) is also very pleased to see it get to this stage before she leaves home and starts a family of her own 🙂

 I’ve promised her that this week we will buy wadding and some fabric to go on the back!

The question now is – should the bunnies have eyes? Or will that be too weird? Charlotte thinks they should – I’m not so sure. What do you think?