Friday, 28 September 2012

Finishing in style

The end of the third quarter is upon us and that means confirming what I have achieved. I know without checking the only things left on my list are the few Zakka projects that I missed and my mums birthday present.

The present was made a few weeks ago, just not blogged.

Mum had asked for some Cath Kidston cushions to brighten up her sofa, I used a pack of 4 cotton napkins that cost £15 from the CK shop and simply added some white cotton backing at £2 a meter, not bad for 4 cushions :-)

Mum was very pleased with them, yay!

Now about the Zakka projects, I had thought it would be very cool to make every single one of the projects in the book, but I ended up missing a few as I couldn't sew along each week. Of course I made more of an effort on the week's where the projects excited me, looking back though there are some that I missed that I am not sure I will ever make, sorry patchwork ribbon!

I also missed the pot-holder and tote bag, I expect these will get made at some point when I need a gift although it may be a while for the tote, what with the Mouthy Stitches swap going on and my current collection I am having my fair share of bags for now!

Today though I needed a little gift and thought I'd use the house pouch project

Of course I had to make one for myself too!

So that's me dusting my hands of this quarter, for the first time I wont have done everything on my list, but I don't care.....I have so much to look forward to in the final quarter!

Thursday, 27 September 2012

I'm so stitchy...

Oh yes I do! by Emily Levey
Oh yes I do!, a photo by Emily Levey on Flickr.

Yes Sir-ee I do!

Happy Thursday everyone....I've had a lovely day playing with bee blocks for my first ever month as a queen bee....tonight I'm treating myself to some Jane Eyre on Netflicks and some epp, bliss!

Monday, 24 September 2012


 Ok, I have had a very long overdue clear out and listed some items on my facebook business page for sale, not really quilting fabric, but they are for sale at very silly cheap prices and I thought perhaps some of you might be interested in them.

After all, I am selling them to make money for something exciting next July wink wink ;-)

EDIT - MORE FABRICS ADDED, You can see them on Faceache here or I will post them on the blog tomorrow.

Micheal Miller Scooters Quilting Cotton 110cm by 1 meter with a small square cut out aprox 41x44cm.

Art Nouveaux style Fabric 130cm x 1 meter

Lovely Textured Silk effect 144cm by 3 meters

Soft furnishing/upholstery fabric with lovely 'slubby' texture 90x90cm

Boden Check Cotton Flannel 82x156cm

Moda Sunflowers quilting cotton 68x80cm aprox

Teflon treated (stain resistant) floral fabric 140x55cm plus a square 55x53cm

Large cut of polycotton dressmaking material 150 x 140cm with some scraps that have been cut into

Large piece of soft furnishing fabric 90cm x 155cm aprox

Bundle of silks and soft furnishing materials,

Bundle of dress net, a few meters of white and coloured scraps, ideal for childrens tu-tu's


Bag full of stretch lycra pieces.

Nylon lace edging, no idea of length but at least 15 meters.

Large reel of lace, aprox 12cm wide, not sure of length but i'd say at least 10 meters.

Blankits Tea Cosy Kit, never used, contains wool felt and all items needed and full insutructions. rrp £20

All prices exclude postage costs, please comment or email me at emilylevey(at)yahoo(dot)co(dot)uk if you are interested in anything.

There may be more on the way too, I still have my quilting cotton cabinet to tackle!

Friday, 21 September 2012

The value of low volume

these are addictive! by Emily Levey

these are addictive!, a photo by Emily Levey on Flickr.

I am in a new bee, Bee a Brit Stingy, along with some amazing bloggy friends new and old. It doesn't start until January. The problem with that is we are sharing ideas and pictures of current projects to keep the interest going until then. Karen posted some new + and x blocks in the bee pool and I just loved them. I tried to resist but it only took 2 days before I was making my own!

The thing is, I was aiming for low volume, I love the fresh look it gives, almost calm and uncluttered whilst seeming to be able to contain a lot of different prints. I love that combination. However, I don't seem to be unable to do low volume! I haven't many suitable fabrics in my stash but I was sure I had enough for a few blocks to start with. But the colour sneakily crept in!

It got me thinking, as much as I love low volume, how would it work in our house, with a potty training toddler, a messy 7 year old, clumsy husband and a grubby dark haired dog?!

One day I will have a low volume quilt, I will also most likely be retired, have no children at home and a lot more money spare to buy the right fabric! Until then I will have scrappy busy quilts that can hide stains well (no-one is to mention the insane amount of white in my just finished Aneela Sample Quilt, OK?!)

I'm going to be spending the weekend hoping I can hunt out more suitable scraps to make into blocks :-)

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Getting Perspective

I've finished my Aneela Sample Quilt top!

I had loved every single minute of making this quilt top, from collecting in the scraps to making the blocks, probably because I think Aneela's designs are fab and each and every block was chosen because it was one I loved.

I was so excited seeing it come together, how could it get any better?

Well yesterday a surprise visit from my little brother (I haven't seen him since I stayed with him during the fqr in London) gave me the time to join the last seams and get outside in the sunshine for some photos, with eager helpers of course!

That;s when I got a new perspective. The quilt just looks so different from afar, I can't say how or why, it just does! Something about looking at it through a photo rather than up close on the design wall changes it. I love it even more!

It seems my helper just can't stop looking at it either (excuse the bed hair!)

Sigh, I love it!

 A perfect day chilling with my lovely brother, watching Dr Who and eating biscuits, I couldn't ask for more. Well, perhaps less of a breeze would be nice, apparently someone found it funny!

Hmm, not sure this is any better, but it makes me smile, I love that stained glass effect.

Of course now I have decided that the quilt top is utter perfection and far better than I could ever have anticipated I am too scared to quilt it! Guess that job will just have to go onto the final quarters FAL list to make me do it ;-)

Thank you so much to everyone who sent me scraps to go into this quilt top, I am going to treasure it forever, it may actually be my most favourite quilt, ever!

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Polishing a turd

When picking out block designs for my Aneela Sample quilt recently I knew it just had to have a dresden in it, I love dresdens!

Luckily for me the Shape Workshop for Quilters has a desden plate block, complete with template. I duly sent my book to work with my husband to photo copy/enlarge the template as required. The book calls for 100% enlargement of the template for the 12.5" unfinished block.

Whether due to my husbands photocopying error, he assured me that doing it at 100% just made it come out the same size as the original, or a printing error in the book (seems unlikely to me, sorry husband!) but my dresden plate was NOT the right size for a 12.5" block, more like a 6" block! So having used up most of my Walk in the Woods charms, and not having any of that line left, I made up a different block with the tiny scraps left and he copied me the template at 200%, thinking this would give me the size I needed.

I got going again, moving onto a new fabric line using up the very last of my large Little Apples scraps i'd been sent, piecing some together as they were too small. It wasn't until I had joined about half of the blades together I realised this dresden was going to be far too big.

Oh S**T!

With most of my large scraps gone I had to abandon the dresden and do a different more scrappy block for the quilt :-(

If anyone can advise me at what rate I should enlarge the template in the book to be able to make a 12.5" block i'd be very grateful. Our photocopier only gives options for 100%, 140% and 200%.
100% comes out exactly the same size as the original (i.e too small) and 200% is far too big, giving me more like a 18" block. Is it our photocopier or the book that is in error?

My two mis-sized dresdens reminded me of Aneela's bloom quilt, being a bit pee'd off with the whole dresden thing by now I decided to turn my 'crap' into something that perhaps would look like it was done on purpose and not just rejects! I couldn't waste my wonderful donated fabric after all!

So for the better part of this week whilst getting over my migraine (seriously, it has taken a week and I can still feel the lingering's of it!) I have been 'polishing my turds'!

 I decided I couldn't be arsed to make  it worked fine without the third dresden plate to make it like a mini bloom quilt and put it onto my brand spanky new Madrona Road Memoir fq and hand quilted the hell out of it.

I echo quilted around the large dresden with embroidery floss and large stitches. I quilted straight lines under every second line of text with some crochet cotton in black. I love this because it is a little more subtle than pearle cotton or embroidery floss but stands out more than hand quilting thread on the spool.

I then used my finer hand quilting thread to quilt between each dresden blade and around the smaller dresden, doing this in the ditch so it was invisible. I love how you can see the design on the back. This is the first thing I have hand quilted entirely, I am so glad it was a mini!

Now I just need to decide what to bind it with, any suggestions? I am thinking plain black or dark grey perhaps.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

I'm a mouthy cow me....

and I am so excited to be in Mouthy Stitches part deux with all the other gobby ladies! We are going to be making each other tote bags this time, yay!

I've spent a nice quiet evening putting together my mosaic, recovering from a belter of a migraine :-( My husband threatened to take me to hospital last night I was in agony, much better today but no sewing and I've limited myself to laptop time to try not to overdo it.

Looking at all the amazing work on flikr has made me feel much better, although more irriated and wanting to sew, NOW!

If you want to know who made these lovelies you can find out here.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

I love swapsies

I am back online, hurrah!

One working laptop and some lovely mail to boot this week.

My BQS3 parcel arrived from Sadie and I had a very willing helper to open it!

Oh the concentration!

Such pretty packaging....what could be inside?

Stunning! My little girl exclaimed  'look Mummy a quilt'! That is a lot coming from a 2 year old....she was as excited as me. I just love everything, the textured background solid, the colours, the prints, the quilting, perfect!

And look how neat the label is!

And there was more tissue paper for little hands to rip!

Sadie sent me a gorgeous V&A sewing kit, perfect for my travels. But the best was for last, just look at the face on her!

Lets just say that there was quite a struggle after this photo was taken, fear not, I won. I did share a few squares with her though, I am not THAT mean ;-)

Thank you so so so much Sadie!

I love the excitement of swaps so much, in fact I think I prefer the anticipation of making and watching the flikr group to actually getting the parcel, only because that means it is all over, much like a holiday. Waiting for something is that bitter sweet agony! So I, along with a LOT of other crazy women (including some that weren't even sporting undergarments) scrambled to get my sign up form in for Mouthy Stitches 2 today, I do hope they'll have me!

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

I am not really here!

Well, just for today I am as a wonderful friend has loaned me their laptop :-)

I should be back to normal in a few days when the laptop part arrives now that I have been able to order it, phew!

Despite being a little cut off interweb wise I am still reachable from the outside world and I had some lovely post yesterday from Kelly, she is awesome, I love her!

Lovely little piles of scraps from each of Aneela's range, now I am sure to be able to get my quilt finished along with the charm pack of Sew Stitchy on its way from the USA. Thank you SO much Kelly :-)

Speaking of which I guess the Aneela quilt was really my only WIP, I have managed to move it along a bit in the last few days

All of the embroidery blocks for the top row are now complete and I just have 5 sampler block to make and then sash everything. The pieces of paper are noting which blocks are going where, so far I have decided on a constellation star (seeing as the one I made Hadley went down so well!) a dresden plate and a wonky star 9 patch (from Shape workshop for quilters). I just have to come up with 2 more...that's the bit that is slowing me down!

I have also managed to add quite a few projects to my WIP whilst having all this internet free time on my hands!

I blame Lucy for this one! I have finally caved in a decided to start a rose star quilt, I held off for so long as I don't usually do long term project but I just couldn't resist any longer! I got one made yesterday, I adore it and there is even brown in it. Perhaps making Hadley's joke mini has done something terrible to me, eeek!

I was so excited by my rose star block that I went and pulled all my most precious fabric from my stash for the rest of the blocks. I seem to have a lack of aubergine/browny prints though and I need more text fabric on a creamy/snow background...if anyone can suggest any current lines that might help? I am not sure if the sweetwater print I used is still available.

I have also made a new block for the Liberty Mini, just two more to make, these will come when inspiration strikes! Thanks to Lolly for being my churn dash muse, I couldn't not make some little ones after seeing her Brit Bee blocks popping up everywhere!

Finally, I have been asked to make some Christmas stocking for a friend - 6 of them! I can't believe I am sewing for Christmas so early but it was fun choosing fabrics with her. We settled on these prints from Kate Spain's Joy line.

That's not including 2 lots of bee blocks also to do this month. All in all, a lot more going on than I usually like, being a virgo and all that (read neurotic about having half finished things laying about!). Lets hope that laptop part does take a few days to get here so I can get a head start!

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Enforced blog-break!

Hey all!

My laptop is under the weather, so sorry I've not been around, commenting as much. I am trying to keep up with all your going's on using my smart phone but it's not easy!

I'll be back real soon, LOADS of sewing to show you....I have a new addiction-rose star blocks :-)

Oh, and I have gone from pretty much no wip's to a list as long as my arm, eek!