Monday, 24 January 2011

Crazy Nine Patch Blocks

I mean - why finish a quilt when you can start a new one? I'm not really feeling the wonky log cabin blocks and have a mountain of fabrics in my drawer (I went a little mad at Christmas *gulp*) and kept looking at the Crazy Nine Patch block on the Oh, Fransson! blog. I chose rather masculine fabrics for this one. I am unsure whether I will use them for the lattice quilt or use my own design - will have a play when the blocks have been made up

Here are the fabrics I chose (a half yard selection from Fabricworm - they put together the cutest mixed manufacturers selections!)

 Ready and cut into 9 1/2" squares (I did 3 sets):

And here's the cutting process

After 2 cuts
After 3 cuts
The first 9 blocks
I'm off to CHA (Craft & Hobby Association show) in LA on Friday - I really should be thinking about what to take, packing etc - but why do that when sewing calls????! My beloved is home on Wednesday - one more night and then I really must spend some quality time with him before jetting off!

We'll see what tomorrow brings xx

Sunday, 23 January 2011


With my beloved in Europe skiing with work (I know!!), the evenings are now full of guilt free sewing (when I'm not too tired from being kept awake by our darlings)

A lot of handsewing is taking place and progress is being made on the  stitcheries I mentioned previously.

Tonight, however, I resurrected the red & turquoise wonky log cabin blocks and a little more progress has been made...........

I think progress on this quilt is so very slow because I am not entirely sure exactly what to do with it. I know I'm going to sash between the blocks because I don't have enough fabric to make enough blocks for a decent size (am aiming for either 4 x 5 or 5 x 6 blocks, depending how it goes). But I'm not entirely sure which colour to use. White would be the classic, but I'm not really feeling it. I love all the charcoal I'm seeing around and am tempted by that, but would it look to dark next to these colours? Another alternative would be a fawn type colour like I used on Penny's quilt

Any thoughts??

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Elizabeth Susan

My sister gave birth to Elizabeth Susan this afternoon at 2:45pm, weighing 7lb 12 1/2oz. Mum & baby doing well. I am thrilled - she has two boys and now a girl to add to the equation - how perfect!

We are trekking over to Wales tomorrow to see her - the twins will stay and play with their cousins whilst I get to go and have fabulous newborn baby squidges and I cannot wait!

Not wanting to go empty handed, and having given my sister a quilt for Elizabeth for Christmas, I decided to knock up a quick taggie blanket for her. It's not something I have made before but was fairly simple. Luckily I have an abundance of ribbons! I chose velvets, grossgrain, picot edge, satin, ruffled, stitched - all different textures to give those 10 perfect little fingers a little something to be entertained by. I chose more fabrics from the Patricia Bravo Dreaming in French FQ bundle I bought at Seamstar - Courtney is fabulous and had teamed it up with some solids for me, which were perfect for this project. The backing is a fabric I bagged in the Christmas sale at Fabricworm - I bought half a yard of pink and the same in blue, just incase! I used Warm & White batting inside (an offcut from a quilt I made last year). Super simple quilting on either side of the "ditch" rather than in it (I think it looks so much nicer like that - show off the quilting, don't hide it!) and topstitched around the edge of the seam

Have just realised the quilting looks puckered at the bottom in this pic - it's not, honest!

Hope she likes it!

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Busy few days!

I've been incredibly busy in my job which is always a blessing in January. This has left me wiped out come the evening, however, and less sewing has been done this week.

That said, I have started stitching the comic strips to go on James' Block of the Month quilt. Boy, this is going to take a looooooooooooooong time! That said, it's nice to have something to curl up infront of the telly and do without having to haul out machines, cutting mats, rulers, iron & ironing board etc etc each night

My stitching is straight - honest - The photo was rather rushed this evening..........

Yesterday I had the urge to finally paint J & A's table & chair set from good ole' IKEA. So, I nipped to Homebase and got the necessary paint etc and this is the result (have to say am rather pleased with this!!)

They are also very pleased with their new table, although every time I wipe up after food, James asks me if I'm trying to wipe the paint off - so cute.

Finally, look what came in the post for me Friday:

Tulla Pink's Parisville. I loved this line but simply could NOT justify buying any more fabric after my spending spree. So, I settled for a Jelly Roll. Am sure I can make something nice out of it - I have a few ideas up my this space!!

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Block of The Month

I signed up for a block of the month in October (it actually started in August) and since then, have been receiving the most beautiful parcels of fabric & threads and instructions. I have poured over the instructions, the pattern (which I adore - from Hatched & Patched called "A Boy's Story"), have started a couple of the needle turn applique panels, but had yet to start actually "doing". I think I was enjoying the "Modern Quilting" thing too much and this is so totally different.

I have been a little under the weather this week - the start of a cold,  I think, so didn't feel quite so inspired & wanted to simply follow a pattern. So, for the past couple of nights, I have embroidered, turned with a needle some more, cut, ironed, sewn and squinted at a not so good picture to work out which fabric goes where & this is where I'm at..............

It's my first attempt at needle turning applique and so far, it's blooming hard! I will persevere, though. Hopefully it will get easier. The pattern is gorgeous - am making it for James for a big boy's quilt - as he's only 3 I suspect I shall wait until he's a little older. I think this will be hand quilted too so it may be a few years before it's finished anyway!!

So now, I need to find an equally gorgeous pictoral quilt for Amelia (Also 3). Any suggestions??

Monday, 10 January 2011

Red & Turquoise

Red & turquoise go together like bread and jam. I don't know what it is - whenever I see this colour combination, it just looks right. I was determined to make a quilt using these colours, so when my Christmas present purchases started arriving, including a little collection of turquoise and red fat quarters from Fabricworm I knew it was time to start

I had bookmarked the Old Red Barn Quilt Along some time ago - the wonky log cabin had caught my eye. For some reason, it scared me. I think it was not having a clear pattern to follow that was the problem. Instructions, I can follow - having to make my own decisions (other than those on which fabrics etc)..........? I'm not so confident about that. The tutorial from Quilt Dad was fantastic, though

So, I put my big girls pants on, grabbed the fabric and the iron and pressed it all. When that was all done, I cut off the selvedges of the fabric (soooo many fabulous projects out there using selvedges I just have to keep them now!) and proceeded to cut all 16 FQ's into strips of 3", 2 1/2", 2" and 1 1/2". I then took a deep breath and started sewing. And when I did, I wondered what I was actually so scared about! Here are the three blocks I made last night (each measuring 12 1/2")

Block 1

Block 2

Block 3
Not entirely sure how many blocks I am going to make but I am enjoying the process

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Unfurnished Quilt is finished!

Measures approx. 45" x  60"

I finished quilting this baby on Friday night, stitched the binding last night and then spent a very happy 3 hrs hand stitching it on whilst watching The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I didn't manage to finish in that time, so spent another couple of hours playing catch up watching Holby City whilst the kids were upstairs having "quiet time" (they decided about 2 weeks ago that they no longer need a lunchtime nap)

I am really pleased with the pieced back - I managed to use some of the fabrics I didn't get onto the front too, which is good

A close up of the binding strip to show where I've added a small piece of the orange flower fabric. I had intended to add this to the bottom right of the quilt with the flowers the right way up, but it was only when I'd machined the binding on (before hand stitching it to the back) that I realised that the quilt was upside down so it is now actually on the top right hand side of the quilt (and upside down). I toyed with the idea of unpicking and restitching, but in actual fact, I rather quite like it there now. I do like to add a bit of contrasting fabric to the binding for interest

This quilt is going to be a raffle prize for our forthcoming retreat in March. We will be raffling this to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support. Let's hope it raises plenty!

Saturday, 8 January 2011

New Stash

We decided not to buy each other Christmas Presents this year (we both have birthdays relatively close to Christmas and didn't really have anything we neeeeeeded). I did, however, warn my husband that I would be doing a "little bit" of fabric stash shopping

It's all started arriving now. I think I am too ashamed to show you all of it (it never seems as much when you are ordering collections online!!) but here are some of the pieces to arrive so far.................

Just some of my dots - I have a bit of a thing for dots - and they are fabulous as binding, I have found

Both of these are Patty Young Sanctuary fabrics - they are delicious and so soft to the touch (remind me of the Patricia Bravo fabrics I have worked with recently). This bottom picture reminds me - going through my stash I definitely have a thing for blues & greens (green being my absolute favourite colour)

My mind is whirring with ideas. Which one to choose.......................!

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Free Motion Quilting

Last night, the back for my Unfurnished Quilt was pieced and basted and today, before work, I got on with the quilting. Stippling again for this one. I did toy with the idea of hand quilting around each of the squares in a co-ordinating thread but decided this quilt would look better stippled. So the sewing commenced.

I left the quilt in the machine with the hope of carrying on this evening but work took over and I have only just finished.  There are two reasons I am not now continuing with it:

- I have no energy left to quilt (Lianne & I had a rather energetic session of "Let's Dance 2" on the Wii before lunch to power up for a heafty paperwork session this afternoon and the aches have started!!)
- The photo below should show the second reason - the black mass to the left behind my machine is, infact, our 13 yr old black & white cat, Phoebe, who has decided that the quilt is a far more comfortable place to sleep than anywhere else in the house - typical!

The part quilted pieced quilt back

Phoebe napping on my quilt behind my machine - not much chance of continuing with that this evening!
We are forecast snow again for the morning - hoping it's not too bad. Still, no need to go out - kids are not in nursery and we have plenty of food in. Lazy day for us!!

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

A Market Bag

I bought this pattern from Artsy Crafty Babe earlier this year and made a few bags and then stopped when the quilting started. It uses vintage sheets and I just love it. I made one for mum, one for me and a "Sunshine Bag" for a very special lady who's going through a tough time right now. I didn't get around to making one for my very best friend and have been meaning to. That has now been rectified and here it is (sorry about the multiple photos - it really is very hard to get a good pic of such a slouchy bag!)

Monday, 3 January 2011

A little more............

I have today chosen the layout for the stacks and sewn them together into columns

Just need to press, trim & sew together and top will be complete

Not quite sure which colours for the binding yet - am quite fancying dark brown but will peruse my stash tomorrow (hopefully!) and decide. Lots & lots of work to do tomorrow and J will be helping as his Chicken Pox are not clear enough for nursery. Let's see how far we get! At least Lianne will be here *yay*


......has been made this evening. I now have a huge pile of this
Which came of these............
Which, with a little more sewing, time and cutting..........

Became these...........

This is not the final layout - just to give an idea
I am now waaaaay too tired to carry on (it's 01:04 as I type) and no doubt the twins will have me up at 06:30 so I'd best make tracks up the wooden hill...................................what do you think???

Not sure if anyone actually reads this - please leave a comment if you do - would be nice to think that at least someone is sharing my excitement of this quilting journey with me xxx

Saturday, 1 January 2011

I started cutting!

So I have started to cut the fabric for my next quilt. Progress is slow as the shoulder is still giving me a little grief and with J & A both now refusing lunchtime naps and bearing the spots of Chicken Pox, time is precious!

Here is my progress so far:

Can you guess what it is yet??!

I hope I will have some actual sewing to show in my next post!

S x