Saturday, 24 November 2012

Bee-ing better

 Trying to be a better hive member and get those bee blocks off to their new homes before the end of the month!

So here are bee blocks for Rosa in Scrappy? Sew bee it!





I think this quilt of Rosa's is going to be fabulous but then she was inspired by this Red Pepper beauty.  

The top right is actually Kona Pomegranate but the colour doesn't seem quite right in the photo - lots of grey sky and not much light around here at the moment.

And these Depression blocks are for Cindy - another super quilt in the making - 





and my second contribution to a Cindy quilt as I was lucky enough to make a few stars in this quilt which I love!  




That Cindy is fantastic at picking a good bee quilt - one that we love to make blocks for and looks fantastic.


And as there are no fluffy sheep in my blocks I couldn't resist putting one on the siggy block 




Hope the girls like them!

Thursday, 22 November 2012

The three Bs

What are the three Bs you ask?

Bee Blessed Blocks in this case....



Three Big Kisses are off to Northern Ireland and Just Jude, to make quilts for people in need of a bit of comfort or consolation!

Marvellous work Jude and her colleagues are doing in this charity bee!   She is always interested in more donations if you want to join in.  I have to say I love doing the blocks she chooses and this is another one designed by Sarah - couldn't be easier really following Sarah's tutorial so why not make one or three?

In this economic environment the need will be growing...it's a little thing to make a few blocks but it all helps towards some great quilts and a little love spread around the world!

Of course you may be making charity blocks for other causes!  If so let me know  with a link and maybe some of us can join in!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Catching up on Bees!

I have been a bad bee or hive member!  

I have fallen behind in my blocks but I am determined to catch up this week!

The lovely Jen in the Star of Africa Bee has been very patient in waiting for her bee blocks which were due in August/September - right when our puppy arrived on the scene!  I'm afraid sewing took a back seat at that point if only to preserve my carpets and furniture from the ravishes of a wee pup!

Jen wanted blocks of animals from our native country to make a soft book for her children!  My first block was a red squirrel!  That was already late but then I decided I wanted to add a Hamish the Highland bull and a Nessie - two animals I had made in previous months for the Star of Africa bee!  

Where had I put my patterns though??

Well I have found them - they were in a safe place - so safe I had to search for  them!  But the blocks are done and will be posted off today!



Hope they don't frighten the children!



Now I am the mama in October/November -  I asked my fabulous bee members for a character from a book, myth, or legend from their country.  I want to have an international library so I am going to frame these blocks so they sit on a bookshelf and each block will be a book on my shelf.  I have also asked for a siggy block to mimic a book spine.

I have only just got around to making my block!  Told you I was bad!



This is of course Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson!  I had toyed with trying to make Long John Silver but took the easy way out and made the map!  I'm sure that is Captain Flint in the island or rather what is left of him.  

Sometimes novelty fabric has it's uses and Sheila you will probably recognise a bit of Debbie Mumm here - the ship, the waves, the compass!   Sevenberrys provided the skeletons, the fish is I think Japanese and the palm trees came from a scrap swap I think!  

I will add more detail when I quilt it but hope my bee members do not realise that I have totally ducked my challenge and not included a book character at all!  Oops!  I may yet need to do something about Long John Silver after all!

But my bee members are brilliant as so far they have made me ....


 The Grinch by Jen!  



A Stork by Fiona





Fiona is a fellow Scot but she is representing Latvia in our round the world bee - why you may ask?  Well because she has lived there for many years but now she is back in the UK!

And Elsie Piddock  - I don't know this book yet - by Janine!




So happy am I, I could skip like Elsie!



Sunday, 18 November 2012

Talking Turkey!


I started off blogging with about thirteen quilts at the top stage which had become UFOs.  I have been working on them - and other things I confess - steadily and have made good progress.  Largely due to a lot of cheerleading from bloggy friends and some Flickr groups I have joined!

The first group I joined with this aim was called UFO Domination run by Staci, then I looked on as others joined Sarah's Summer Sewing and Winter Stitching - I just wasn't organised  enough to join those ones- but I did join Rhonda's 2012-finish-a-long this January and did well enough in the first two quarters!  And May's Lazy Bums - she told me I had to - hehe!  

Well since about July I have been a bit pathetic in the finishing off stakes though I did get a commission quilt finished, and my Hallowe'en quilt done - albeit in November!  

So why am I wanting to talk turkey?

Well it was a challenge laid down by Janet in the Lazy Bums group, to tackle a turkey as it was coming up to Thanksgiving in the US! 


Ok not one of these but a quilt we look at and think why on earth did I start that - what was I thinking??

I am pleased to say that I have been turkey wrangling this month and have finally laid to rest a quilt I am not in love with.



This is a basketweave quilt which I put together in strips in a Quilt as You Go way and just sat there!  


My original plan was to showcase my handquilting with lots of detail including a couple  of intertwining leaves and tiny cross-hatching in the background.  Well I only got as far as doing one panel....  





My next idea was to stick to the leaves but in cotton perle - I didn't even finish one panel!

But I have finally finished this quilt with machine quilting. 



 It is now a sampler of quilting patterns - some I like, some I don't.  I don't think that really matters though - it is finished!



Several patterns are taken from the Angela Walters book, Free Motion Quilting...

Pebbles
Love the texture this gives but hated doing it - so tedious!

Sunrays & pebbles

This was better as there was some variation!

Boxes

Think these were supposed to be more rounded - but hey !

And my favourite - super fun!

Flower power


Others are inspired by this sourcebook of Pattern Motifs from different countries and periods of history



A MacIntosh Rose in the Art Nouveau Style



A representation of water in a Japanese style



I may still not adore this quilt but I enjoyed attempting the quilting of it and therefore it was finished in a week!  And I am pleased that it is now FINISHED!

My lesson from this is to love what I'm doing .......or love doing it differently!

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Photos in the morning mist!

...if I've been quiet it is because I've been busy!

I got so far with the Frite Nite quilt but not far enough to finish for Hallowe'en.

But having got so close I couldn't just leave it there...after all this quilt is on my finishalong quilt list this quarter and was last quarter.  I also had it on my lazy bums list for two months too - all without making much progress.

I had the bit between my teeth and with encouragement from you my friends I have finally finished this quilt - ok imagine me doing backflips and cartwheels - we all know I cannot actually physically do them but I feel like I should be able to!

I was asking the fabulous Trudi what colour of thread to use in quilting and was thinking of grey but when I looked at the grey thread on the quilt as she suggested it just didn't look right so some of you may have to look away as I actually used brown ! 




I know it seems like madness quilting brown on black but I think it works - it shows but not so much it takes away from those graphic skulls.  It looks good on the creamy white skulls ( I make that almost seem quite friendly - hehe!)  and keeps the warmth of the red and orange on the other side. 




The motif I used was a spiderweb which is a brilliant overall pattern - so easy to fit into a space and move in different directions, can be made denser or more open at will and quite forgiving I thought as I haven't necessarily filled every piece of the webs because I thought in nature they are often damaged - I think that fits this quilt well!   


Look away if you are arachnophobic for where there are webs there must be....





So here are lots of photos!   Can you tell I am pleased to finish this??

The Red Side!




The Dead Side!





My last bit of happiness is due to my quilt label.  For some time - since learning to FMQ - I have been quilting my label info straight onto the quilt.  I am lazy and really cannot be bothered adding a label onto a quilt after binding it.  Plus there has been some chat of quilts going missing and labels removed when entered into a show - not that I do enter my quilts in shows but I like to be ready!  


And then I also like to have double sided quilts and a label added after isn't that pretty a sight so this way the information is there but not so visible that is is the first thing you see!




Anyway this time I thought I needed scary letters!  So I have 'written' my letters as if they are hidden under a sheet -  I tested it on my hubby and with a bit of help he managed to read it!  My theory is if he can then ..... you know the rest!















Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Hallowe'en !?! Nearly made it!

Last year as part of the Across the Sea QAL hosted by Jennifer and Sarah I made two quilt tops

This baby sized one made from some Dan Stiles fabric featuring submarines and whales






And this laptop size which I called Fright Nite as I used some leftover Hallowe'en fabric and a red solid, and then just because... I added toothy sashing to give the quilt some bite!




Well this year I was racing to finish this quilt in time for Hallowe'en but a mouthy tote and a commission quilt had to come first and I had quite a time-consuming plan for the back based on a gorgeously scary mini quilt made by Hadley for our friend Sarah in the distant North!


Here is my first attempt which I had thought would be big enough on it's own - it wasn't, not for the impact I wanted...





I realised I needed more - each pieced from 90 x 2.5" white-ish squares of fugly fabrics (seemed appropriate to use scary fabrics on these!)

Two....




Three....including a reversed one!





When I got to four of these I ran out of black for the backing and having considered all sorts of complicated piecing options I decided just to re-order the black - so here is my backing or fronting fabric 




I have put my sky remote in the photo so you can judge the size of these blocks!  I think the bottom two are serenading each other ...wonder what they are singing??
I seem to prefer this side now - that often happens with my double sided quilts.

Just got to put it all together in time for ....next Hallowe'en or the next scary film we watch!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Fabric posting!

I joined in the Addicted to Text - UK Charm Swap!  

This was my choice, all cut and sent off



The last day for posting was Saturday so I will be waiting by my letterbox for a little parcel next week sometime, maybe!? I am quite excited I have to say! There were a couple of sneaky fabrics that jumped in my basket at the same time as I bought my contribution




I shared them with Sarah in Shetland as a little thank you for the Japanese Charm Swap.  Somehow that makes me feel not quite so guilty about buying them in the first place!

Sarah sent back this adorable fabric - isn't it cute - love those moustaches!   And I adore all Hans Christian Andersen stories! 





I love that this fabric came from Japan, to somewhere Sarah bought it from, then up to Shetland and down to the south of England  - that is one well travelled piece of fabric!    

 Thank you so much Sarah.

Some kind soul also pointed me in the direction of Dana's destash! - well I visited and this little horde arrived on the same day!




My previous visit to Dana's destash was incorporated in my Mouthy Stitches Tote bag!  And also into the background of my second feather block for the lovely Lucy(one on the left)



And here is my siggy block


I have at last posted these and they should be with Lucy next week!   Sorry for the delay!

Talking about Lucy - we are both working on some EPP Rose Star blocks and having found out we were working on the same size I suggested a swap!  

Lucy agreed and awesomely organised and quick as she is, she beat me to it and sent me this fabulous block, which I am ashamed to say I haven't shown here as yet!





It will add a little sparkle to my blocks as there is a touch of glitter in that centre hexy!   I have a few other sparkly fabrics to play with - hmmm, maybe they can join my Rose Star blocks or indeed Lucy's??

Isn't it fun to spread some fabric love around the world...well this little corner anyway!

Saturday, 3 November 2012

The delinquent blogger!

I cannot deny I have become a delinquent blogger - my crime is having things to write about but not getting around to it!  Serious isn't it??

Ok how much community service should I be doing or would you put me behind bars??

Just before my collar gets felt by the boys or girls in blue I thought I had better let you see something....

Yesterday I was visited by a dear friend who shares a birthday with my eldest.  So I made her a wee present from my latest book purchase... 




available here!


This is the bag I made for her using the Compact Groceries Tote pattern





I changed a little thing - the wrap around strap was supposed to have a metal snap fastener to close it but I went for an old fashioned bit of elastic and button approach as I had those to hand and thought my button was prettier anyway!

My friend likes to use her bike a lot and to visit the local market so I thought this would be useful.  Hoping it was the pear-fect present for her this time!

She didn't come empty handed though as she brought some yummy homemade jam and a freshly baked cake!  She is welcome to come again (wink)!

We were both eyeing up the bike panniers on the front cover for next year so I have a bit of time to master sewing laminated fabric.  It is on my to do list!




My friend made the acquaintance of our furry addition to the family and we went for a rather muddy walk in the woods.  We had our wellies on and Maddie managed to keep out of most of the mud by her agile leaping.  We met a couple of dogs on the way and some small children - I think Maddie preferred the attentions of the children to be honest! 

Now here is a photo of Maddie pursuing her new hobby - 

Well what did you think I was doing??

.......birdwatching!   
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