Sunday, 31 July 2011

Lazy Days

Well I say lazy, but don't feel like I've stopped this weekend! The kids school uniforms are ordered & paid for, the house has been tidied, new storage solutions bought (see above), a fabulously lush new chair from Laura Ashley in their sale which I just had to go back for, a new wardrobe of clothes for James who seems to constantly be growing at the moment.......................

..............James went to a party, Amelia & I went pottery painting, I went grocery shopping *phew* and then Ross & I had a lovely meal with a bottle of fizz in the evening (at home) - and that was just Saturday!

Sunday (today) was much more relaxed. Amelia begged for a day at home (suited me fine!) and James had requested a barbeque. They were both happy pottering in the garden & with their toys whilst Ross & I did a little more sorting, then this afternoon my parents came over and we had a fabulous lamb barbeque with salad & roasted veg & rounded off with the most amazing soft fruits with meringue & cream. James & Amelia ate so much today and now they are flat out in bed - it's lovely and peaceful and I am about to get the machine out to continue with one of my WIP's (not quite sure which just yet)

These photos are of some storage we found in Matalan on Saturday. It's meant to be a bathroom caddy (and we bought one for the bathroom too) but with a few WIP's on the go already, I commented to Ross how fabulous it would be to keep them all together & tucked out of the way. So that is what I have done - two WIP's in there right now with room for one more..................................great stuff - don't you just love it when you find things like that? So despite having run around, I do feel nice and relaxed now and it's been nice to have a "home" weekend this weekend instead of the usual "have to" things we have on.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Going Solo

My first quilt was this one by Kate Conklin - I fell in love with the pattern & had to make it there and then! Some fabrics were purchased from Seamstar and the rest were Amy Butler from John Lewis.  I love Kate's stack & slash method and wanted to replicate it in a quilt design all of my own. So I set about designing 3 blocks which would end up 12 1/2" square. And here they are............

I'm now starting to think that they should have been designed to finish 24" square - I think this quilt is going to take me a loooooooooooooooooong time! I do like the fabrics, though (Amy Butler again - Soul Blossoms this time). I saw Amelia's version of Kate's pattern without sashing and absolutely loved the idea.........however now that I have started making the blocks I am wondering whether I should sash and whether it should be interspersed with some white squares. I'll keep making at some point and see how it pans out. It is fun trying to come up with a new*ish* design.

I have far too many Works in Progress now - does anyone else find that? I am trying to back some of the quilt fronts I've made but keep seeing new ideas or getting new ideas and want to try something new. I wonder if that feeling will ever die.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

HST Quilt - Joel Dewberry

As promised I managed to hurridly baste the quilt to the back so that I could show it off here - I had 25 minutes before going to collect the twins from pre-school and thought I would challenge myself to get it done...............and I did! Just! I use spray baste 505 in a can (by ODIF) and it is absolutely the best thing to use for basting quilts (my good friend Julie, who taught me everything about quilting, told me this and she is so right!) After all, why spend hrs pushing pins through and taking pins out, when a spray will do the job just as well?

So once I had the kids, we quickly went out into the garden to take some pics. James was so excited to see another quilt being pinned to the line and immediately knew he had to go and get his camera "wait for me mummy" he squealed. He kept saying "it looks gorgeous". He's such a character!

You can just see the edge of Amelia's dress, who was trying to get in on the photographing action too
And here is the back of the quilt - just a simple zig zag which I carefully matched up to the front when basting. It was only when I took it outside that I realised I have used different whites for between the zig zags and the body of the quilt. Hopefully once quilted it won't notice as much. I hadn't noticed it inside - it must just be in the cold light of day. Hey ho - I like to use my scraps up

 I still can't decide whether to hand quilt or machine quilt - any ideas?

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

It's a Modern Affair

Chicago last week was amazing. The show seemed a little smaller than usual but the products did not disappoint and the plastic has been well and truly flexed! The weather was almost unbearable as they see a huge heatwave over there - the temperature was around 100 every day and the humidity almost unbearable. However, we survived and have returned batteries recharged & ready to go!

I was itching to stitch when I came back, so after the jetlag calmed down, I found time yesterday evening to pull out some of my "put away for best" fabrics from Pat Bravo's "Modern Affair" range (I've gone with the oranges, greens & greys, leaving the blues for another day) and made a start cutting out 3 1/2" squares to make a quilt using Lily's fabulous LynneBobSquarepants block (quite an apt block to start making, seeing as my two have just "discovered" Spongebob and are mildly obsessed

This is where I was at last night - further progress has been made today with the first block having been stitched & further HST's stitched ready for the next couple of blocks. It was only when I started to trim the HST's ready to do the layout below, I seemed to vaguely recall how much I hated HST's at the end of the Joel Dewberry Modern Meadow quilt. Hey ho - I love the finished result so am sure it will be the same again this time (although last time I was working with larger squares on a smaller quilt - go figure!)

The trimming shards - boy, how time consuming is that?

The layout of the finished block (which is now together)
I have also pieced a back for the Joel Dewberry quilt - once it's sandwiched I shall take a pic (if I remember & the weather holds!). Which reminds me - we had a wasps nest in the back garden under the decking of the kids' playhouse just before I went away. A fabulous pest guy came & injected it but it looks like he didn't get the lot as I saw quite a few wasps scurrying down there again today - must call tomorrow to see if he can come back. What a pain!

Tuesday, 12 July 2011


The picnic quilt is finally nearly done

VAT is finally finished for another 3 months - why oh why do I always leave it 'til the last minute??!

In other news, the picnic quilt has been quilted & binding chosen & stitched on - just the hand stitching to do now (half way there!), passes for CHA bought and printed, itinerary printed, travel insurance purchased & dresses chosen. Isn't it amazing how much can get done when you're avoiding doing your Taxes?

I leave you with a quick layout I created at Lou's last weekend from a sketch one of the DT created for this month's challenge

Need to check the date and add this plus a little journalling of my memories but ran out of time (typical me!)

Just kits to get out, orders to pack and my packing to do and Chicago here we come!!

Saturday, 9 July 2011

A month already!

Wow how time flies! I've had a busy sewing month and a super busy work month. Work-wise, we've had a huge Summer Sale running which has kept us rushed off our feet(!!)

Sewing-wise, I became a little obsessed with making Amelia dresses (she now has 4 from that same pattern) and a fifth is cut out. I have also made them for two friends little girls - Sophie and Penny but completely forgot to take pictures of them - I'm such a bad blogger!

 I have also started a quilt for Amelia using a block I created myself using Kate's "stack & slash" method. It's going to be a long slow process but I'm enjoying having a go when I can.

Finally, I've been making pencil cases galore!

The twins had their 4th birthday mid June & we had a little party with their cousins on the Friday at the local soft play centre followed by pottery painting & McDonalds with Penny & Sophie on the Saturday. I made them all pencil cases (including the twins) with felt tip pens, mini colouring books & chocolate bars for their party bags. They were well received (which was good) and here they are:

Initials on these for my nephews

For the girls - cute felt flowers stab stitched with a silver heart bead in the middle

All four of these were made using Osnaburg - I just love the textures & naturalness of this fabric (is that even a word???!)

I've since made another 3 for parties the kids are going to in the coming weeks. We had a last minute invite to another party tomorrow so that's another one to make to replace the one I'm pinching from next weekend's party!

I've also made the girls' cards - boys I struggle a little more with but I do have a few ideas

These were the two I settled on - like the doilies? We got those in stock yesterday - cute, huh?

I saw a card based on this sort of idea whilst blog hopping - sorry - can't remember the blog now - but decided once it was made up that it was probably a little too "mature" for a 4 year old girl so am keeping it for another birthday

 I've also finished quilting the picnic rug and chosen the binding fabric. Just need to get that sewn on and hand stitched to finish.

Oh and I'm off to Chicago a week today for CHA (Craft & Hobby Association - a huge buying trip for us plus a bit of r&r time for Lianne & I) - can't wait!!

In the meantime, the VAT returns are calling *joy*