Thursday, 26 April 2012

learning when to stop

this is not something I am very good at! Today I have learnt that trying to cook a quiche whilst basting a quilt and putting the children to bed all at the same time is NOT a good idea, it will only end in a pointless waste of home made pastry and lovely goats cheese filling when you DO burn it!

I didn't learn and went onto quilting, despite being weary and a little over-necessarily upset about the quiche (but oh the pastry AND I had blind baked it any everything!). I have now learnt it is not a good idea to wear a charcoal woollen cardi whilst man-handling and wrestling a predominantly white quilt thought the machine. It will be ok, it will come out in in the wash (or with the lint roller failing that).

So for now I am going to stop, watch some c**p on TV and eat things I shouldn't. AND let the lovely post I got cheer me up.

So pretty I didn't want to open it....but I couldn't resist!

Look look look! It is from Hadley and it is awesome! AND she sent me one of THOSE moon cards ;-)

I love it, thank you Hadley, I still can't believe it is mine and keep going to stare at it. Whoooo roll on June so I can wear it!

I must also mention I had lovely post from Lucy too, she sent me a couple of the Melody Miller typewriters after I gushed about how much I love them. What a lovely lady she is :-)

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

sqiffle waffle doo daah!

Well, I don't know about you but I am not cool enough to ALWAYS think of something intelligent and appropriately awesome in my title, so today 'sqiffle waffle doo daah' will do!

I was naughty last night, I SHOULD have been sewing together the blocks I had made for the Siblings Together Quit2 during the day

But I didn't. I should also have been getting my name badge for the FQ retreat swap finished....but I didn't!

Instead I had a compete whim to suddenly have a go at some fmq. I wanted a really plain canvas to work on so made up a quick mini quilt, I also had a little length of dowel kicking around the studio I have been saving for about a year for just this purpose. Earlier in the day I had found the amazing quilting by Krista Withers and for some unknown reason I had ideas of making my own mini quilt in a similarly awesome quilty style.

How wrong was I! I was so excited, quilted away and then soon got disheartened! I used 2 different thread colours (the first ran out!), I am telling myself it doesn't matter as it was just a practice, truth be told I don't like to waste anything so I always secretly hope the practice is good enough to use!

Anyway, I finished it, felt rather disappointed and went to bed thinking I had wasted the evening making something awful when I had so much else I should have done.

I got up today, not remembering the quilt and was pleasantly surprised when I saw it in the daylight

Nope, still don't like the darker thread side!

It is not brilliant but it is mine, I would love to have a quilt long arm quilted in this style, but I doubt I will ever afford it. So I have my 15 inches squared of amateur fancy pants quilting. Perhaps when I get over how testing this was I may make another so it is not so lonely on the wall!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

The early bird catches the worm!

Well, the sunshine anyway!

Wonky Stripes lap quilt is finished and ready for posting off to Siblings Together. So that is kind of half a tick on the list, as I have enough fabric from Jennifer to make one more quilt.

Everything is wonky about this quilt, the stripes, the quilting....lets just pretend it was all planned, yes?!

Love how some of the birds look like they are sitting on a 'telegraph line' of quilting, that was planned too, of course.

Obligatory folded shot

And of course the hanging on a barn door shot, you all have one of these right?!

I must of course mention Jennifer, who donated the fabric and Sarah who donated the batting, without the kindness and generosity of these lovely ladies it wouldn't have been possible for me to make this, thank you.

Quilt Details:

Wonky Stripes for Siblings Together Lap Quilt
Fabric used: Donated by Jennifer, includes Erin McMorris (the only one I can pick out and name!)
Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 Batting
Backed with fabric donated from Jennifer and my LQS Serendipity Patchwork & Quilting
Machine Bound

Monday, 23 April 2012

Sewing for Siblings with Mary (and the pillow weekend)

Today I went to Mary's house to sew, with a basted quilt, a 2 year old and a bag full of snacks, toys and vintage sheets for bartering swapping.

I left a few hours later after lots of lovely chatting, some tea, delicious home made soup and bread for lunch, a fair bit of sewing along with a nice new pile of vintage fq's from Mary's stash having watched our little ones play adorably.

Photo taken from Mary's blog, we were too busy sewing to remember to take any! And yes that is a rattle on the table, not some new-fangled sewing tool!

I was on a roll and when I arrived home after picking up the other small one from school I managed to finish the last few lines of quilting, attach the binding and get the Siblings Together quilt in the wash. It is now dry and waiting for some sunshine (pah!) to photograph it tomorrow. I am very pleased to go from a messy looking un-trimmed top yesterday to a completed quilt today.

I must give a HUGE public thank you to Sarah, for she sent me the wadding that enabled this quilt to become a finished article. Such kindness, thank you Sarah.

This weekend I popped into my LQS as the lovely owner had offered me some fabric for backing the siblings together quilts. Whilst there I couldn't help but notice a bolt of Michael Miller fabric, plaidsportation, it stuck out like a sore thumb in all the 'traditional fabrics' mostly stocked there. I quickly raced over and grabbed a fq. Now I know I have a little girl but she is very much into cars and diggers and anything automated!

I used almost the full fq to run up a new pillowcase for her toddler sized pillow, adding just a little piece of flannel to make it up to the required size.

She had great fun spotting all her favourite types of vehicle!

And snuggling up with it almost as soon as it was finished!

Not wanting to leave big sister out, I came across the tumblers Mary cut me using her Go Baby last time we got together. Feeling slightly guilty that they had been lingering at the back of the cupboard for almost 3 months I thought it was time I used them!

Made with tumblers cut from vintage sheets and bound in vintage sheet too, I bordered it using fabric from an old pillowcase. This old pillowcase is quite special. It belonged to a friend who we once took Eloise to stay with when she was very little. I have a beautiful picture of my husband and Eloise snuggled up on this pillow. Recently my friend had a clear out and gave it to me, I am so glad she did, there are such memories in this new pillow already!

I love how it matches in with her giant star quilt, even Pudsey seems pleased with the new addition!

A simple envelope back but this time I bound the edge and I am pleased I made the effort!

My two favourite prints, love those anemones.

So, we won't run out of places to rest out heads for a while, I now have the small matter of a FQ retreat name badge to nail and get in the post asap and another Siblings Together quilt top to plan/cut....good job I like being busy!

Friday, 20 April 2012

Happy post

Apologies for my tardiness in blogging this lovely post that came to me, the gods honest truth is that I started using it the moment I unwrapped it and it blended into my life so well it was like I always had it, then I kinda forgot I hadn't blogged it!

I was very fortunate in the recent Mouthy Stitches swap to have Susan as my swap mamma. She heard that my  'real' partner had been suffering really bad flooding and may not be able to sew me up a pouch. Not wanting me to miss out she so sweetly whizzed one up and sent it my way.

Then a few weeks ago a mystery parcel arrived from Australia. I am such a geek when it comes to international mail. Despite having some friends over I still got all excited, what could it be? I wasn't expecting anything. So I ripped her open and found this lovely inside

I love this little covered button and flower.

Fab label and details!

And all these lovely fabrics too! Look at those funky bunnies.

The pouch was made up by Keera who blogs over at Live-Love-Sew. You should go and pay her a visit. I am very pleased she was my partner!

Not much sewing here the last day or so, I scheduled a little housework and hoovering in yesterday and found myself ripping up the disgusting old brown carpet in the bathroom and painting the floor boards and walls white! Whoops! I did manage to finish this block off though

Now onto painting the hallway  stitching up September's birdie block and basting the Siblings Together quilt!

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

second finish of the quarter!

Wow, if I keep this up I will be done by the end of the month. That is very unlikely however...i'll explain why in a minute.

First of all thanks to the kindness of friends (sewing and quilting folk are SO generous and lovely!) I had the floss I needed to finish this off:

(Boo for drizzly English weather and dark photos!)

So that is my second tick on the finish along list, I have even moved onto the 8th block for August, I am determined to finish this Birdie Stitches quilt this year lol!

Yesterday I managed to find enough odds of thread and finish off the wonky stripes quilt top for Siblings Together. Then I popped out to the local discount store to buy the horrible very reasonable poly wadding to get on and quilt it. They only had 1 roll of 2oz wadding and it was all hard and lumpy, as if it had been over heated and started melting in the bonding process. I told the staff I thought it was faulty but being a discount store they are not bothered and won't be ordering any more in until it runs out. As I cannot afford to buy my usual Hobbs wadding I am a bit stuck now.

My lovely friend Mary is going to 'host' a Siblings Together sewing day on Monday (read as - I am going to Mary's house on Monday to talk a lot, eat some cake and try and get some sewing done!) If we can't source the wadding by then we will spend the day whizzing up blocks with her fabric donated by Celtic Fusion Fabrics.

I cannot wait!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

A Tick on The List!

I am hoping to get a good start on my 2nd quarter finish-along list, with the fq retreat in June I know time will fly!

First off I wanted to make more of these for Trudi's Siblings Together group quilt:

So here are 3 more! First Tick yeahy! These are already with Mr postie on their way to Trudi.

Then I set about another item on the list, turning this into quilts for Siblings Together.

I got to this, 4" random strips of print

then this, strips with random widths of white solid between them, 2 left to join....

then this happened! Oh dear I seem to have caught this affliction from Susan!

But I did get some amazing post last week whilst I was away. I spent my $25 gift certificate at The Intrepid Thread, my win in the Sew Happy Geek QAL. I am really pleased with my parcel, it was very hard to choose though, Julie has some great fabrics!

My lovely fuglies arrived from Annabella too:

And I had forgotten about these! A while back I ordered a couple of screen-printed FQ's from See Kate Sew, the colours are hard to make out here but there is a Mint and a Cantaloupe. I just have to think of something to make with them now!

I am off to hunt down some suitable pale coloured thread to finish the quilt top with!

Monday, 16 April 2012

Stop Press - I NEED your selvedges!


Have you ever seen something that makes your heart beat faster, makes you want to run straight to the sewing room and start right away never-mind the fact you are half way through too many things already! Something that helps you to forget the awful job you've done on making a wonky-wont-lie-flat quilt top for Siblings Together (that one may just apply to me!)

I have seen it, the project that is so ultimately and completely me, that I know I will use all the time and I just have to try and do it.....but I NEED your selvedges! Does anyone have any they would like to donate, do you simply throw them away? Can you send them to me if you do? I am happy to cover your postage costs.

Please help me make this

I am off to email Jodie to ask if she'd mind a bit of copying flattery!

EDIT - Jodie said yes! Now to figure out what body parts I can swap for selvedges!

Soluble Fabric Bowl Class

Before I went away this week I made the most of my husband being off work and ran off for the morning to play at my friends house!

Liz is an amazingly talented lady, it is down to her that I ever started quilting, she is so inspiring! I find that I almost have to go to her studio with blinkers on or I find myself distracted by all the wonderful projects she has on the go.

I am very comfortable doing fme, it is one of my favourite techniques, I love doing stitched pictures with it but I wanted to see what other applications it can have.

This time we got to grips with soluble film.

We popped our film into an embroidery hoop and using this as inspiration set off!

Once we had finished our embroidery (lots of bobbin changes later!) we dissolved the film in a bowl of warm water and shaped the bowl around a balloon. Then used a hair dryer to set it, you could leave it overnight if you have time. 

Next time I will use a smaller balloon as I'd like higher 'sides' on the bowl but I am still really pleased with how this turned out.

I highly recommend having a go a this, it is so simple and loads of fun, the possibilities are endless!

I am hoping that next time we get together we can make up one of these bowls (bit of a bowl theme going on, but you can never have too many bowls!)

Now all we need to do is source the cotton clothes line in the UK, in the US it is very easy to buy and very cheap - not so much here!

Sunday, 15 April 2012

2nd Quarter Finish-Along Goals

Wow, why is it that a few 'restful' days away leaves you with a mountain of chores when you return! 

I feel like my to-do list is endless so I am prioritising my finish-along list, leaving off some of the small jobs and not putting everything on here (for fear I may faint!)

1. Make the Siblings Together Quilts from the fabric that Jennifer really kindly sent me to use. I am still blown away by her generosity! The least I can do is make the quilts.

2. Make some more Granny Square blocks for Siblings Together using the white solid that Trudi kindly sent me.

3. Make my Mother-In-Laws 70th birthday present, I am not decided on what to do yet but I love this lamp and possibly another fme bowl to go with it.

4. Make my name badge for my partner in the Fat Quarterly Retreat swap
5. Make up the remainder of the sample swap items for the FQ Retreat (2 made, at least 2 more to do)
6. Get July's Birdie Stitched block finished (part started but ran out of embroidery floss!)

Hopefully an achievable list - it has to be as none of these finishes are really optional!

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Quick little gifts....

do you need a last minute Easter gift? Shops shut? Well I certinaly did!

Thank goodness I found this video tutorial and the postman arrived today with these, a lovely limited edition Easter bundle from M is for Make. 10% off and free shipping on the bundle until Tuesday!

So armed with instructions and some cute fabric I whizzed up these

Lovely little baskets ready to fill with home-made cookies, eggs or whatever you can find in cupboard!

I love how they are round but only have a few straight seams. I didn't use the sizes given in the video, I just worked with what I had (I brought the fat 1/16th bundle so made 9" squares). I also played around with the distance I set the corner seams in to alter the height of the basket.

I like them so much I went off and ordered another fat 1/16th bundle from M is for Make as soon as I was done so I can make some for myself too!

Happy Easter everyone!

I'm off for some well deserved down time at the inlaws in the wilds of Exmoor for  a few days but I'll be back with some fun quilting how-to's soon. Apologies to anyone I haven't managed to reply to comment wise, with long shifts at work and lots of sewing to be done, not mentioning normal family life things have slipped a little! I hope the Easter bunny bestows lots of lovely choccy goodness on you!