Sunday 23 December 2012

Two hearts....

An angel block came out of the cupboard and lo and behold it came upon another and joyously did they become one....cushion!

Another Christmas make!

Thursday 20 December 2012

Christmas Making!

I am still finishing off a few things for Christmas and this cushion is for my godson who has just got some new bedding for his room!

I am hoping that is sets it all off!

This was a quick fun make using a little orphan block - the centrepiece in the second and last photo from the left!   All blues as requested and with a check theme to match - fingers crossed - the bedding!

Tuesday 18 December 2012

Bad blogger!

I seem to be giving more attention to my Flickr groups at the moment than this blog and the consequence of that is I make comments on Flickr and forget to update my blog with the same information.

I am rather horrified therefore to realise that I have thanked my lovely Bee a Brit Stingy swap partner on Flickr but haven't shown on my blog what I received!

My partner was the lovely Janet who doesn't blog (as yet) but is here on Flickr!

And here is the great basket and goodies she very kindly sent me!

The basket is very cute and has a matching needlecase !  I think this may become my EPP basket!   The chocolates were delicious - sorry they seem to have disappeared!   And the cute robin tape nearly did the same thanks to one playful pup but I managed to retrieve it after a little chase around the lounge - she does love that game - and fortunately no damage to pup or tape!

And then there are scraps - how I love other people's scraps, a wee snowflake which seems to match those fussy cut squares on the basket and a label!

I think we have all enjoyed our wee hampers!  And everyone seems to have stalked their target well.  Can't wait for the show to begin in earnest in January!

Sunday 16 December 2012

Star Turn!

The sun shone for a few moments today.

I made this quilt top yesterday from some plaids in my stash - yes I must have had a thing about plaids as I seem to have a lot!   

The black fabric was a gift from the lovely Helen who used it as a backing for her circles quilt.   All this was left over...

My youngest was the star in the nativity tableau at church today - she did sparkle!  So it seemed like I should show you this!  

Wednesday 12 December 2012

Plaid Away!

Why have I not been blogging?  

I have had my nose to the grindstone finishing a quilt and a mini hamper for my delightful the Bee a Brit Stingy Secret Santa swap!

First off the quilt!   

I started and finished the string pieced centre section of this quilt in  July/August 2011.  I had joined in with the marvellously productive Julie at juliekquilts on her string along!  Since then it has hung around waiting for a border and backing.


Then I decided to ditch the idea of a complicated border after all there is quite a lot going on already!  

Once the border was done I decided this quilt would leapfrog to the top of my list with a simply pieced backing!

I fell in love with this star - inspired by Katy-I'm a ginger monkey - Jones! and this gorgeous quilt that gave me the impetus I needed to get this quilt finished!  Yeah you have to love that!

So how to quilt it!?   As there are lots of little bits on the string side and for quickness I favoured machine quilting.  I briefly toyed with the idea of concentric circles but tossed that aside in favour of straight lines!  I know who would have thought it!  I love to do FMQ but wanted something simpler for this quilt.
Straight lines then but I didn't want to shove the whole quilt through that 9" gap of my sewing machine throat - so each quarter is quilted in an L shape.  With all the L's joining back to back in the middle - hope that is clear??   

Next question - what colour of thread ?

I got a few likely colours out and thought they looked so good together I'd use them all - in fact I used some others too thanks to my marvellous win from the lovely Lynne and Aurifil!

 So I did some plaid quilting on my plaid quilt.  Lots of colour, close lines of quilting, then gaps - seriously fun to do except for the winding of bobbins!  And my trademark quilted label - Plaid Away!  Was I thinking football or something else when I named it? 

And now here's what I sent to my partner in the Bee a Brit Stingy secret Santa swap - it has been safely delivered by sled and she seems to like it!   Woohoo!  Or rather Hohoho!

Any ideas who it is for??

I'll let Mr Giraffe reveal all....

Get better Jan !  Big hugs and hearty best wishes from the South!

Friday 7 December 2012

Plaid string and star!

Another UFO I could finish before the year end!  It will be close though...

I have introduced you to the plaid string side which now has a simple solid yellow border instead of the complicated one I had planned before.

But the giant star is new!

Was hoping they could pair up and make a quilt together....what do you think!?

I am going to give it a go at least!  And as usual I seem to prefer my quilt back to the front so I guess this is the new quilt front??

[Edit: I should have told you I was inspired by Katy Jones and this quilt who was inspired by Jeni and quilt and tutorial - my squares are a touch smaller at 15"]

Thursday 6 December 2012

Fabricate could be coming your way!

Kerry, at PennyDog Patchwork , was my partner in the Mouthy Stitches 2 Swap.   She asked for a Carl the Chameleon tote and she got it!  

After Susan paired me up with Kerry I realised I had seen and was taken by a quilt she had made at the Festival of Quilts - in fact is was the only one I got around to blogging about!

Well Kerry is multi-talented and not only does she sew, make jewelry and lovely chocolates she has talents in publishing.  She is now keen to launch a new modern British quilting magazine.  What a clever woman she is!

But first  she needs some support from the quilting community to make this happen.  If she can get enough people signing up to subscribe, donate or place adverts she will launch ....

You can find out more here and here!  And she now has a free sample project you can download from that second link - look in the gallery section!  Have fun!

Not sure what you are waiting for!  Go and look - I have put myself down for a six month subscription - can't wait!   Love a good read with a cup of tea!

Wednesday 5 December 2012

Side tracking!

Oh if you know me you know it doesn't take much to lead me down a side track.  It's ok I only get distracted onto another sewing project - nothing illegal or untoward at all - ok maybe eating a whole bar of chocolate by myself when no-one is looking!  Grin!

Well amidst all the things I need to be doing I decided to push on with a UFO I had put to one side and thought would wait till after Christmas.  But it looks like I have been following my own advice - who would have thought it!

I recently wrote about my turkey quilt that if you no longer love doing it , love to do it differently which I did when I machine quilted it instead of hand quilting it - job done!  

Well I had plans for a complicated border on this quilt 

but have now realised it would take too much measuring, maths and precision piecing for me to accomplish - so it now has a solid border on and it is ready for basting ...

Or would be if I hadn't decided to piece the back - oh well you win some...

Despite this side track I did however get another bee block finished!

My first ever attempt at the circle of geese - or any geese actually!

This is my last block for the Sew & Bee Happy bee and is for for Emma!  She has waited 11 months for her turn and asked for either the circle of geese in rainbow colours on white or a Mod-Mosaic block.  I remember looking at this bee before joining and asking Kat if this was the standard required as it had been one of the blocks requested and I thought : my that looks too complicated for me!  Kat reassured me that the blocks were not usually so demanding and that is how I joined my first bee!   I didn't know anyone in it apart from Kat but then Cindy and Jude joined in !  

Well one year on - strictly 11 months I guess - and I have done it! Maybe I am making progress and part of that is thanks I guess to Carl the chameleon and Kerry of course!

Talking about Kerry......oh I will leave that till tomorrow!

Tuesday 4 December 2012

I'm a basket case!

As a prequel to starting the Bee a Brit Stingy bee in January 2013 we are exchanging mini Secret Santa hampers using Ayumi's lovely tutorial for a fabric basket as our hamper.

I thought I'd practice a bit

OK quite a lot then....but I thought they would be great teacher/guide leader etc presents and so that has been done - some have been filled and handed out already!

I used up some Christmas fabric which I have had for years and never used and mixed them up with some Klona solids and some newer fabrics.  I also incorporated a few pieces of so-called ugly fabric I received from a dear friend - can you see that glitter fabric??

And now I have made two further baskets - either of which could be for swap my partner

I love plants, seedheads and leaves - hence the Mrs Sow in my blog name!  I love the work of the artist Angie Lewin and enjoyed quilting some exotic flowers inspired by her prints.  I lined it with a bit of Loulouthi and made handles from the same print.

My next basket was inspired by Helen and her gorgeous pincushion.  She used the Paris fabric I chose for the Japanese Charm Swap in natural.  During the swap I also found the same print in a pale blue colour which happens to match a linen fabric I have.  Teamed with a further Paris print as the lining I think this turned out to be one chic basket...

I would send either to my partner or keep either quite happily!  She just has to choose ....or I may just make another one .....or two....!

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'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...

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

Sunrays & pebbles

This was better as there was some variation!


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!


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