Wednesday 30 May 2012

So much to do, so little time!

I am mad I know but particularly so this week - having made a pirate costume last week - my son announced on Sunday he needed a hooded cape to be a murderer in the 'Scottish play' tonight!  Eek!  

Phew I made that photo yet but I will try to cajole him into it soon!  [ He was quite convincing though I will give him that! - not sure that is reassuring though?]

I am also supposed to be getting ready for that retreat but still have four sample swaps to finish as promised.  So what do I choose to make ??  Something quick and easy?  No - something that seems so complicated that I don't know how I will make it...

You see it started with this.....a machine embroidered skyline of London showing Big Ben, the Gherkin, St Paul's Cathedral, Nelson's Column, the Millennium Eye and the Tower of London...

Next question what on earth do I do with it?

I know I'll make my London souvenir into a very practical pencil case....a boxy one so that my scene shows nicely on the side!   So how do I actually get it in the right place?  No tutorial I have seen made it easy to work out where the side panel would end up - lots of thinking and panicking later....

Then I come up with this ....maybe it could work!

Now what should I put on the other side - bright colours and patterns would kill my little London Skyline so it needs to be something subdued right!?  What about the golden ticket!  Great idea but not so easy to do....that writing is pretty hard to follow!

Now the colours to go with - there must be some colour - well Jubilee weekend, Union flags flying everywhere - it has to be red and blue!

So here is the outside 

- with a tiny hint of crazy traffic - expect even more when the Olympics start!

Some themed tape to go with!

Now the lining so represents me in my current state - completely dotty!

Here they all are lined up ready to go and ready to go home with one of you...

Why didn't I go for something simple? - I mean - I am not even sure anyone but me will like them!  

Monday 28 May 2012

Fat Quarterly Retreat London!

Apologies to those not coming!

Yes I'm going to that thing!

Very excited!  Nervous even!  

Sightly panicky as everyone seems all set to go and I am so not ready!

But anyway....

I have been sewing since I was little - since about the Victorian times if you listen to my children!  I started with making soft toys - Dandelion is still with me!

....then clothes for me - don't think they have survived which is probably just as well!

Only after my first child (of three) did I get into patchwork at an evening class - which was as much about having adult conversation as making - you may know what I mean!

I pottered along starting lots, finishing little until introduced to blogs in 2010, started my own in 2011 and wow!  I just haven't stopped....this last year has been amazing - meeting you fabulous and lovely and inspirational people online!

Suddenly I have tried lots of new things and challenged myself !  I feel like a new person!   

Can't show you a genuine photo of me as there was this old wifie who kept jumping in the way every time I tried to get that glamour shot of me!  Hehe!

Can't wait to meet you in real life if I manage to escape the looking glass world....but linking in the virtual world for now!

Fat Quarterly

You will find me doing Frame purses, Embroidery, FQ Challenge and Portholes!

Sunday 27 May 2012

Bee-ing good!?

Have you noticed I have been good!?

I have been sticking to my plan of finishing UFOs - well almost - the Siblings Together quilts being the exceptions, but that was for charity so I'm sure they don't count as being bad!

I also had a pirate costume to make, which was on my daughter's list since Christmas, though I seem to have missed it off mine - obviously it should have been there!

I am feeling very virtuous!  Heehee!  You know there is a but..... coming don't you?

So when Lucy wrote about a new bee starting I followed like a lamb and found myself in the midst of chatty girls and lots of fun - aka Scrappy? Sew Bee It!

Scrappy? Sew bee it!
Button by the lovely Lucy!

Well it's all Cindy's fault apparently as the Bee mama May fell in love with Cindy's  Stargazing quilt which I contributed two blocks to in January!  I am expecting to see this quilt finished at FQ Retreat next weekend - pinch me, I can't believe it! - adorned with Trudi's beautiful FMQ!  Now she is a Queen of FMQ and I cannot wait to see someone's work who can do it properly!

Anyway here is a sneaky peek of my third Stargazer block....

And a siggy block to go with...more can be revealed once it lands in May's hands but she just wants to see a glimpse!  I may have revealed too much already!?   Yes and excuse my writing - eugh - this is the best I can do - honest peeps!

My virtue continues as I have done two converging corners blocks for Bee Blessed as asked by Jude!  This is a bee which makes quilts for people in need in Jude's community and prolific they are too!  

On a purely selfish point I enjoy the challenge that Jude sets me each month and all the tutorials she creates or points me to!  This block makes stunning quilts - go check it out!  So if you want to help out and learn at the same time - why not join in!??   There is no obligation to play every time and fabric is always welcome even if you cannot make blocks! 

I was in a very green moment and just hope they fit in!   Jude offered to collect them at FQ but I am entrusting them to the Royal Mail as with my record recently I would no doubt leave them behind!  But I am looking forward to meeting Jude at FQ too!  

And I know a girl called  Martha May (my beautiful bag that I won from Jude) that wants to be re-united with her mama!  I love this bag!

One or two things left to do before next weekend - my swap samples - panic not I hope to finish them today - and if I can fit it in, another Siblings Together quilt!

Saturday 26 May 2012

Pieces of Eight!

Odd title I know but I have been making a Pirate costume for my eldest daughter this week!

It has been a bit of a struggle moving from quilt production to costume production but I think I have succeeded!

I got a request for said pirate costume on the Christmas list - it had to be ready for Saturday 26 May!   My daughter would be wearing it to Comic Con in London!

She has been patiently reminding me as it has come closer to the event - I think she thought I would never start....well I did too!  Bad mother!

Until last weekend when we raided my store of non-quilty fabrics and found a red velvet curtain - it had to be red!   But I knew from the outset there was not quite enough of this fabric to make a pirate coat - but I cut out what I could!  

Next up was a trip to the local fabric shop and with a bit of discussion I found some black gaberdine - did you know that Gabardine was invented in 1879 by Thomas Burberry?  

I married the two and added some gold braid and brilliant buttons and here she is at 5 am this morning !

Have to say she doesn't usually like getting up this early!

I also made the lace jabot!  And bought a hat from the party shop which I stitched up at the sides to make that tricorn pirate shape, added the matching ribbon and feather - the original hatband was purple and the feather yellow - yeugh!

So getting up early to catch the train to London myself next week should be a  dawdle!   Yes?  

Monday 21 May 2012

Just in Time!

Here is my entry to the fabulous Blogger's Quilt Festival run by Amy of amyscreativeside !

Amy's Creative Side

This is my first entry and it is just hot of the sewing machine!

For those of you new to my blog I posted about this quilt yesterday but I still had borders to quilt and the binding to put on!  I didn't believe I could finish in time ....but this is the lesson this quilt has taught me - believe you can and you will!

It started with a workshop in November 2009 with Carolyn Forster!

I finished the top but was daunted by it's size - how was I ever going to quilt something that big??

It sat on a shelf until I got stuck into it this month - working from the middle to the outside edge - machine quilting it. 

I am fairly new to Free Motion Machine Quilting and just started back in September 2011 - practicing over six weeks with Cindy at Fluffy Sheep  on a virtual meet up for FMQ Friday!  To begin with my FMQ was pretty dire....

But with practice I got more confident and tried bigger and bigger things to quilt - so this is the biggest thing I have quilted and also the most complicated quilting I have done!  I didn't believe I could!  But you never know whether you can do something until you try can you?

So here are the borders and binding I finished this morning....

And here is the quilt back.....


Plus some close ups of the quilting

And here is the obligatory photo of the rolled up quilt 

And one final shot just to show you how close I was to not entering this quilt...

I am so pleased it is finished and it has exceeded my expectations.  And what's more it is destined for my bed! 

(just in case you are voting - I am number 520!  Nomination form here! and it is all quilted on a domestic sewing machine - hint, hint - teehee!)

Sunday 20 May 2012

Pretending to Longarm quilt!

I have had this quilt top finished for such a long time!

It started out as a workshop with Carolyn Forster way back in November 2009.

I then decided it would be good to make it into a quilt for our king size bed - so I put my blocks on point and added a plain alternate square, then added one border, then you do!  Finally it was big enough for our bed!

But at the time it was too big to quilt !  I ran away like the chicken I am and left it on the shelf waiting!  Now for some crazy reason I decided it was time to get it done and put it in the list of quilts to complete in this quarter's Finish-along list!  Well that was the easy part!

But getting over my block on how to quilt it and my dislike of basting I suddenly launched myself into have seen one post about my quilting it.  

Well since then I have been beavering away and quilted all the pieced blocks....and all the alternate squares....and now all the triangles!  

All the blocks quilted!

The folded quilt shot!

Getting more challenging in the quilting...

And here's a close up!

Outside enjoying some fresh air!  And showing those quilted triangles!

Bottom left corner!

The whole thing!

The whole thing from the back!

Yes I am going mad but this time in a good way as this long neglected quilt is getting closer to being finished!  Prepare those trumpets girls as I soon hope to be able to request a fanfare...but not quite yet - still those two borders to quilt!

But soon, I am hoping it will be soon!

Friday 18 May 2012

Cock-a-doodle done!

I have now finished the second Siblings Together quilt made with some lovely fabrics from Yvonne  - a Moda Farmyard charm pack and some Kona Banana.

I hope she approves!

I added some Kona Ruby Red, a bit more Banana and a crazy chooky fabric for the back.  

Since the last time I have posted about it, I have layered, basted and quilted it! 

The back

I had thought about quilting funny chickens on it or words about chickens but thought that might be too young for the age group so for the first time ever I have attempted stippling in a yellow Aurifil thread!  The centre has smaller stippling and I have scaled it up sightly for the border. 

Close up of the stippling
I did contemplate changing the colour of thread to a red to match the border but was bold and carried on with the yellow.  Slightly scary and not perfect by any means but I think the wiggly lines look like the worms the hens would so love to catch or they mimic the paths that they travel as the wander round the farmyard as these are definitely Free Range chickens!

Lastly I used the lovely red/white striped fabric from Yvonne for the binding!  Influenced by Red Pepper Quilts!

The obligatory rolled up quilt...

The quilt in the tree shot!
Two down and one to go!  Will I make it in time to take with me to the FQ Retreat in London - cue scary music - I do not know but if I don't I will have to send it in the post! 


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