Saturday, 31 December 2011

I did it!

Measures approx. 60" x 70"
My Echo Quilt Top is finished & I am very pleased with it. Still plenty of my FQ stack left to make the back and some other bits and pieces too - am very much looking forward to that in the New Year

The rain finally stopped - a better "outdoors" pic
And now for the big clear up ready for our neighbours who are visiting tonight to see in 2012. My Trivial Pursuits set (from my sister & brother in law for Christmas) is at the ready, we are ordering takeaway from our fabulous local Indian Restaurant (this has become a New Years Eve tradition!!), the bubbles are on ice and the kids are super excited about having a sleepover with Penny

I hope you have a fabulous evening whatever you may be doing. Thank you to all of you who visit and those of you who take the time to comment on my little blog. I really do appreciate it. Wishing you all a healthy, prosperous New Year

With much love xxx

PS I have linked this post to Lily's Quilts Fresh Sewing Day

Friday, 30 December 2011

The blocks are done!

Okay the blocks are now done and laid out on the lounge floor

First layout - not quite right
Getting better but too many similar blocks together on the bottom two rows
Probably what I'm settling on - having  a think!
Do any of you do this? Lay out your blocks and take pictures? I've sewn blocks together in the past and only when they are quilted have I seen how I would probably have done it a little differently. This time, I am photographing and pondering - I find a picture on my laptop screen so much easier to see glaring "errors" than looking at the blocks on the floor

Not sure if I have the energy to trim & sew together tonight but would very much like to get this stitched together before the New Year - we have friends over tomorrow night with their daughter so if it's not done tonight it will be next year

We'll see................

Thursday, 29 December 2011

A Lotta Blocks

These p(f)un titles just have to stop! I have now cut everything out ready to sew blocks together. I have made a good start tonight but am shattered & it's mum & dad's anniversary tomorrow & we have a busy day planned so enough is enough

Here's the progress so far (again - crappy almost midnight pictures but they're the best I can get in this light). This is not the final layout - it was just to give me an idea how it was all going to hang together.

I've used the block designs from Fresh Lemon Squares Lemon Quilt Tutorial. This is yet another I've had in my faves "to try" but hadn't. I decided that these would be the perfect fabrics to use for it. Hope I'm right!!

Over half way and I'm liking how it's coming you?

I likey a Lotta!

When The Echo range from Lotta Jansdotter first started hitting my screen I was absolutely smitten & just knew that I had to bag me some of that. So, when the e-mail marketing from Courtney at Seamstar arrived in November, my hands were literally trembling as I purchased a fat quarter of each of the fabrics in the range (I was so pleased she decided to get them all!)

Since then I have been stroking & admiring but at a loss to know what to do with them. Tonight I decided to bite the bullet and started cutting & sewing

The more I work with these prints, the more I love them - I can't wait to get these blocks cut & stitched together!

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Drawstring Bags

I can usually work out most things. But drawstring bags had me completely stumped. I botched a couple for the kids at nursery to take their PE kit in but wasn't entirely happy. Then the other day on Pinterest I came across a tutorial I thought I should try. With my sewing bug well and truly en force (and not a lot of time to feed it), it seemed like the ideal project.

It came together really easily and I cut into 3 FQ's from my stash *gulp* (I couldn't quite bring myself to use some for the handles and opted for the easier choice of twill tape). I shall keep trying little projects like this to try and get over my fear of using my stock piles. I so want to be more like Lynz who buys with a project in mind. It is just too hard for me to resist those pretties (particularly when it's sale time!!!) And I don't think I'm brave enough to pledge a New Year's Resolution to use more than I buy as Hadley did but I will certainly try that..............maybe....................!!!

Monday, 26 December 2011

A bit of playing

Hope you all had a Merry Christmas? I had itchy fingers on the eve of Christmas Eve. My father in law arrived from Northern Ireland for the Christmas break and once he and Ross had retired to their respective beds for the evening, I couldn't settle. So, I grabbed my scraps box (the blue & red of which are handily kept in a chest here in the lounge rather than next door in my craft room which is next to our spare room) and dug out this tutorial which has been sitting in my favourites for some time and had a play

And do you know, all (even the lining) is from scraps? I am rather in love with it and am sure that I will be making more - it came together rather quickly (although the seam ripper did come out once when I realised that I'd sewn one of the internal pieces upside down which meant that I couldn't put cards or lip balm in the pockets created *d'oh!*)

However,  I need to stop worrying about using little scraps of fabric and start using the fabric mountain I am disappearing under!! I fall in love with fabrics, buy them and then can't use them - does anyone else suffer from this affliction? I love it when I do use a stack of fabrics - see the Lou Lou Thi post or the Hello Kitty items I made but I simply don't do this enough! I also feel that I must save all fabrics for quilts instead of making cute little items like this and the iPad case I've been promising myself forever! Watch this space......

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

A Hello Kitty Christmas!

Hello Kitty Strip quilt measuring approx 44" x 60"
There are two beautiful and very important little girls in my life - my daughter and my BFF's daughter. Both of them (thanks to the latter........) are Hello Kitty obsessed. Whilst in NYC last week, we nipped into Forever 21 (one of our fave cheapy clothes shops in the States - always a clothing bargain to be had - always $24.80, it would seem!). Anyway, we noticed in Chicago in the summer that they have a fair few Kitty bits & I bought some pocket tissues there which went down well & have been in my handbag throughout the recent months. So, I stocked up again ready for a serious amount of making when I got back with the fabulous Hello Kitty half yard stack I purchased from Fabricworm a few months ago

So, I made them each a strip quilt

Oops! Hadn't noticed my foot sneaking in that picture!
I used a simple white cotton on the back with a strip of fabulous Fairy fabric I purchased in the sale (I forget where from & haven't looked at who it's by - sorry) and good ole dotty Michael Millar for the binding - can't beat a bit of polka!

To go with the quilts, I also made them each a little sock monkey (using Hello Kitty socks, of course! These were picked up from M&S)

And a little Buttercup Bag (free pattern picked up a couple of years ago from Made by Rae)

I still have enough fabric left for a pillow for them each - it was my intention to make these for their presents too but time has been against me and I am starting with another cold *joy* so those may just have to wait for their birthdays or Easter, maybe?

My sewing machine is back up and running after it's little séjourne at my local machine shop for a little TLC - turned out the bobbin case had worked it's way loose from it's screws & that was the reason it was spinning wildly if I went more than quarter speed & broke 2 packets of needles in an evening before totally giving up!

So, my needle is on fire and lots of bits & pieces are being made for Christmas - how about you? Are you more organised than me? Is everything made, wrapped & ready or are you a last minute gal? No matter how hard I try, I am always to the wire!

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

More HST's!!!

I really am going to have to get my head around using a different pattern. But this really is just my absolute fave at the moment and definitely a "go to" present quilt. This one is for someone very special and I really hope she likes it - time will tell!

The fabrics are another Fabricworm fat quarter bundle - Patty Young "Sanctuary" and they remind me of the sea, which is just perfect for the recipient.

Please excuse the pants pictures - the weather has been attrocious today. Hailstone showers like I have never known. I had to change ALL of my clothes this morning after walking the kids to school. Nice!

Still - NYC here we come on Thursday - Lianne & I are having our Christmas shoppping weekend there and I cannot wait!

Lots more making to do & a poorly machine with "issues" I am hoping my fabulous local sewing shop can sort for me whilst I am away. Pfaff is off to the mending shop!!


Monday, 28 November 2011

A little bit of cardmaking

Lianne, Jen, Helen & I all descended on Lou yesterday for our monthly get together for paper crafting. I wasn't really in the mood for scrapping so took some bits to make cards with, including some Stampin' Up! supplies I purchased recently & had yet to try

A day of eating & chatting & a little crafting produced 7 cards - not bad, eh?

The birdie is a Stampin' Up! punch, as are the stamped sentiments. The doilie trees are based on an idea Lou found on Pinterest yesterday morning

A fabulous day was topped off with Lianne & I going to see the first part of Breaking Dawn at the cinema. Yes I am a Twiglet fan - great to get an RPatz fix after so long!

Saturday, 26 November 2011

A Bit of Lou Lou Thi

*Picture heavy post coming!*

I am still here - it's been a mamouth month with my 39th birthday (eek! Too close to 40 now!!) and our 3rd Sarah's Cards Ltd retreat at the beginning of the month followed by monthly kit packing, grab boxes and then a nasty cold to contend with. But I have still managed a little sewing

I bought a half yard set of Anna Maria Horner's Lou Lou Thi range from Fabricworm a little earlier this year and have been pondering what to do with it. In the end, I made 3 quilts! It's surprising just how far 5 yards (10 x half yards of print) will stretch when teamed with solids - in fact, I still have enough scraps for a few pots or pencil cases if patchworked together. We'll see. I am trying to build my scraps a little to make a string quilt eventually.

So, for the first, I purchased some Kona Ash from Mandy and set to making another HST Quilt. I had slightly miscalculated, so had to order more for the back, but really like how it came out.

I used the same fabric to make a scrappy binding for this one and quilted on the grey Kona, around 1/4 inch away from the coloured fabric. It makes the colours pop more somehow

The next one I made using Bleach White Kona (almost ivory white - it suited these prints - I think white may just have been a little too stark)

I had intended to make a zig zag quilt using these HST's when I first started but really wanted to see how it would look in this pattern (which is my absolute fave right now!).

I do want to make a zig zag quilt at some point but when you've gone to all the effort of 130 HST's (to include the zig zag on the back) I somehow feel that zig zag is the "easy looking" option. I may try Crazy Mom's Quilts zig zag without the HST's - we'll see!

Finally, I made another stacked coin quilt

I just love this and love love love the colours of these fabrics together. I always lean towards blues, aquas, greens, browns & greys so it was great fun using these brighter prints.

The top grey sashing quilt is finished - the other two have backs but need to be basted & bound - a job for the coming week. All three quilts are destined as presents - I wonder if the recipients can guess which is for them??!

Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it Up Friday, week 5 (yes I know that technically it is Saturday here but, hey! It's still Friday somewhere in the world!)


Sunday, 23 October 2011

Oli's Birthday Present

It was my nephew's 8th birthday earlier this month. His request was a bright quilt and this is what I made! I used the same stack of fabrics (with a few added from my scrap bins for good measure) as this quilt. My nephew has high functioning Autismn and despite being 8, has become very attached to his doll "Baybo". So, I decided to make Baybo a quilt too

Oli loved it and I loved making it. Dolls quilts are the best for using up scraps of fabric and scraps of batting. I shall be making more for future presents, for sure!

Once again both quilts have been quilted using stippling. I just think it suits this kind of quilt best. The countdown is on for our retreat - less than 2 weeks now and I'm busy busy busy! Not entirely sure how much quilting/sewing will be going on but I will give it my best!

Friday, 21 October 2011

Another Baby Quilt monkeying around

Jen has been on our Design Team for a few years now. We were delighted when she announced at our first retreat last March that she was pregnant and even more so when baby B was born last October. Hard to believe that a year has passed and he celebrated his first birthday earlier this month. Because I'd made Abigail a quilt, how could I not make one for B??

This is another charm pack from Adornit - this time their Buckaroo Stack in Blue. I backed it using a remnant bought at the Quilt Show this Summer (brown with tiny blue dots - perfect for this quilt!) and bound using black Michael Miller Ta Dot. Simple stippling quilting all over in white.

And when Jen mentioned that B was having a Monkey party - well, I couldn't resist making a sock monkey for him now could I??!

My two cheeky monkeys saw me making this and wanted to make their own..............more on that another day!

Must go - Ross' 40th tomorrow & his chocolate cake is baking in the oven - nothing like leaving things 'til the last minute!

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

When it's VAT (Tax) returns time.....................

..............what better to do than sew?

Ross was out Friday night having pre-40th birthday celebrations with work so I had some time to myself. I had promised that I would sit and do paperwork with the VAT returns due again. But no. My fabric pile (which is ever increasing) called & so I started


pressing & trimming some  more.....
I chain stitched & pieced & ironed & trimmed until finally on Sunday afternoon I had this:

This is the first time I have used Kona Ash from Mandy's fabulous shop and will definitely not be the last. I am about to order again - I didn't think to order for the back *d'oh* so this will stay as a quilt top until that arrives

So, this quilt is destined as a gift for someone special. I think it may just be called the procrastination quilt or the Tax Return quilt. Isn't it amazing just how much you can get done when there's paperwork calling? I've always been the same. Still, at least I was productive!