Sunday 27 January 2013

Birthday Presents Required!

My youngest has a party to go to today and couldn't think of a gift for her three friends hosting the party.  

In steps mum with her big mouth .....and so I spent yesterday making these....

The two heart ones are a total copy of these lovely cushions by the fabulous Karen.  Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery I say!  Just hope she agrees...

The other one is made with an orphan block from years back!  Hope they are well received but if not there is a bar of chocolate included.

Tuesday 22 January 2013


According to my friend Susan , KISS = Keep It Simple Stupid!  It is a phrase that  seems to appear a few times on her blog and I have decided to take her advice for once regarding the back of a quilt.

She often teases me for making double sided quilts but I am just trying to get two UFOs out of the way or more recently desperate to try something new I've seen and my only excuse for a new project is if it helps me finish an existing project.

Well for once I'm just stitching big blocks of fabric together for a speedy finish and I love it!

Bye bye UFO, bye bye old fabric from my stash and soon bye bye quilt !  My daughter would like to give it to a friend and I am happy for her to do so!

The front

The back

The finished quilt with a scrappy binding....

Details of the quilting - oyster like shapes in the background sections.....

 and straight lines in the borders at different angles....

I am liking the quilted bits !  Not at all what I had planned up until the very moment that I stuck it under the needle!  I had intended to quilt the stars - ah well heigh ho!   Plans are over-rated in my opinion....

KISS! KISS! XX   First of my FAL projects completed!

Monday 21 January 2013

I've just...

signed up to a swap!  What another one!?   I keep saying I will stay away from swaps as it can eat up your time stalking and all that but this is a quick and simple one (er ....I hope)!  I did join in the first round, missed the second (too busy) and am joining in round three...

Here are the deets in case you want to join in...Modern Scrappy Bits Swap! Round 3

Sign up for Round three here! You will have until March 8th to mail your scrappy swap package out. If you complete your projects sooner, please do not mail before the third week of February. This way there will be some element of expectation for everyone that is receiving.
The swap is pretty easy going. You can make one of the following handmade items:

Fabric Baskets
Small Pouches

Please send a minimum of one fat quarter's worth of scraps to your partner. (when laid out end to end and side to side) You can always send more if you like. 

Last time I made this

And received this

Lucky ol' me!

Thursday 10 January 2013

If you think she does sewing 24/7...

Sometimes I distract her with a bit of this....

WARNING : Several tidbits were harmed in the production of these photos !

Or this....

And you just never know this might happen for a few seconds!

Just while I'm thinking what I can do next to take her away from that noisy machine?

Busy Bee

I joined one bee - Sew and Bee Happy in January 2012 and liked it so decided to join another, and another, and another....till I was in 5 bees including Jude's charity Bee Blessed!

Every month therefore I am making 6 blocks plus siggy blocks if required and however many blocks I get around to making for Bee Blessed - it varies!

I fell behind in August when Maddie our payful pup came on the scene and have been playing catch up especially with Christmas in between - this month is no exception!

My block for Janine - star_of_africa_bee - needs a little more stitching and the siggy bit on the butterfly body, was due Nov/Dec.  The stitching is supposed to be reminiscent of Charles Rennie MacIntosh!?

My block for Deborah - Scrappy? Sew bee it! due in December and finished today - a 36 patch! 

Only after cutting up my fabrics did I notice one had a directional print so I unpicked the last square of every other row and added it to the beginning or some of the flowers would have been upside down!  

I think she asked for bright but this may need some sunglasses!   My first attempt was badly cut and too quiet so I went to the other extreme perhaps?

My block for Christiane - same bee due in January - a scrappy Spiderweb block - still got a siggy to do!

My blocks for Jennie - Modern Stitching Bee - two quatrefoil blocks plus siggy!  I saw on the Flickr group that she liked bicycles so I was happy to provide another one, with elephants!   The orange fabric has little scallops on it and they reminded me of the Ellie ears so they had to go in the block!   And the blue fabric cos of the footballs - I expect they will start riding the bicyles as soon as they finish their game!

And strawberries bought from the lovely Cindy @ fluffysheepquilting - they are ever so cute and she still has some left!   Go have a look!  Roll on summer I say - can we get it back from the downunder guys do you think?

There are some ladder blocks for Bee Blessed and more to come as I'm clearing out a bit of novelty and Jude doesn't mind she said, as they are making quilts for children!  Win win I say!   No photo of those yet!

And just because I cannot seem to leave my plaids alone, now I have started playing with them, here is a Dresden plate which may or may not get some friends...

It needs a centre circle!  Actually having tried out lots of fabrics I'm thinking just white might be right!

Wednesday 9 January 2013


Sometimes it is quite star-tling what you can achieve when you get stuck in!

My two little star blocks 

Reproduced to become a heap of star scrap

And a pile of quarter blocks

And have joined together to become this...

Wasn't that keen on the blocks before but now they are a quilt top they look quite twinkly and cheerful even on a gloomy day!

The tops are stacking up - that makes four already!

Tuesday 8 January 2013

Star struck!

I did make the London Modern Quilters Guild on Sunday!

We swapped pincushions 

I swapped this one 

For this one from Kelly aka Chunky09

It is very cute - thanks Kelly!

There were quilts to look at, chat about quilts, fabric to discuss and lunch!   I then followed Danielle to John Lewis' and bought some gorgeous yarn in the sale

Baby alpaca and mulberry silk mix from Debbie Bliss - the colour just begged to come home with me but no plans as yet what it will become except perhaps something fairisle?

I had to run for the train home and I plonked myself down in one of the few spare seats on the train opposite this lovely lady 

I nearly told her she looked like the long suffering wife of New Tricks detective Brian Lane who has an obsessive-compulsive disorder that can lead to startling episodes like thinking his wife is a spy!   Well she would look like herself wouldn't she, but I was only confirmed in that when I looked to the side and saw I was sitting next to her husband 

I didn't say anything about them being who they were - in fact I hardly talked to them at all - so unlike my normal state.  But I was stitching some Rosestars and Susan Jameson did say that was a good idea to do something useful ... and I do believe she is right!

I am not star struck (title)  about this episode though!

But I am about scrap

which means....a little galaxy of star quarter blocks to mix and match 

One UFO on the go...

Monday 7 January 2013

Quarter 1 Finish-along List!

I have promised to try and end the year 2013 in a UFO free state !  Eek !

Foolish I know especially looking at the long list of things to be done.

I am counting anything as a UFO if I started it before this year began - there that is my definition!  So if I haven't started it yet I don't have to finish it this year but will still try to anyway!   

I have a list of 13 projects so that means at least one a month - better try and get 4/5 done in the first quarter as I did absolutely nothing in Q3 last year!

So here we go:

1 First project is also my oldest!  Dating from 2005!  I will get this one done!

I just need to piece the back, layer it up and decide how to quilt it - but it is very big!  And that is putting me off at the moment..

2   Spools quilt - top completed - thinking of making this the centre of a large spool block!  Then maybe an improv style back would suit!

3 Wonky Quilt - blocks complete from a swap and there are lots more than this - just need to piece it together and get this one quilted

4 Scandi Hearts table runner - I designed this block from scratch though it may already exist out there.  Thinking of a runner in linen and light coloured prints and solids - would be a lovely finish for February!


5   Stars  - two blocks made! - this might just become a quilt back - If you know me you will know I like them pieced!

It is my Lazy Bum project for January to make 10 more blocks!  Imagine my surprise when I found some pieces already cut and ready for stitching but only in these fabrics - think it needs lots of different colours so must go and cut some more - I love a scrappy look.  Lots of plaids in here and some with GLITTER running through!  

6 Asterisk blocks - two blocks made! - will this be a quilt?  Maybe another quilt back then?  Or more likely a quick cushion or now I think about it a tote bag!!?

Now there is little chance of me getting all of this done but I am ever hopeful and what doesn't get done this quarter will roll forward to Quarter 2!  If I got 4 out of 6 done I reckon I'd be happy...

Linking up with Leanne!  What about you?

Thursday 3 January 2013

Playing.....getting ready for Sunday!

On Sunday I am hoping to make it to my third meeting of the London Modern Quilting Group which meets up at the Star Tavern in Belgravia - I tell you no slumming it here!

As you trudge the nearby streets you can brush up on your geography as Belgravia is Embassy land in London - lots of them, big ones, small ones all with their flags outside and technically each a different country within London!  Now that is an easy way to travel...

Occasionally there is an armed police guard outside an embassy where trouble is anticipated and I think there was one outside the Syrian Embassy last month!   Does make you sit up and take notice as armed police are thankfully a rare occurrence in this country and long may that remain so!  

Anyway this month there will be a lucky dip pincushion swap and I had to think of something quick as it was only yesterday I decided I could escort daughter into London - she is returning to Uni there - and attend the meeting!

So inspired by this make on Flickr I made my own version!

Reminded me of a reel of Aurifil!  What do you think?  This brand is LMQG of course!   Hope you like it partner whoever you may be - but if not there is a twopence bit in the bottom to help stabilise it so you could always spend a penny or two....?

And here it is with my prototype in brown - apologies for the 'b' word to those who are of a sensitive nature!  No twopence in this one just a plain old washer!

Wednesday 2 January 2013


While trying to finish that hand quilting that I only just finished in time to make a 2012 deadline I diverted my attention and decided to make progress on another UFO!  

I do that...... a lot!   I need to get one thing done so start work on something else - it is a disease with no known antidote!  I am sure I am not the only sufferer - maybe we should band together - form a support group ?  You know - Can'tfinishthethingI'msupposedtobedoingstartsomethingelseinstead Group!  May need to find a catchier name though....

Well the something else I started is another UFO.  It was only 18 blocks worth before Christmas !  

This is a quilt that I started at the last workshop I attended with Carolyn Forster back about 15 months ago!   This is the back of Carolyn's head talking us through the y-seam thing... 

And these are some of Carolyn's quilts - pretty soft colours!

Have to say if you get the chance of some teaching time with Carolyn you will not regret it - she is an excellent teacher and lovely with it!  I have enjoyed every workshop I have had with her!

But back to my quilt - for me this was a new adventure in using mainly solids - just one little printed detail in the centre of each block...and it was a new colourway for me  - teal, aqua, mustard, grey, stone, cream.  I have added to the original colours but have stuck pretty close to the original plan....

And now I have 81 blocks all sewn together.  Why if it was that simple did I not finish it before I ask you?

Anyway they are sewn together now but to make a quilt I think it will need a simple border - maybe it could be the centre square of a giant spool block?  Still thinking that one through!

So here it is....with a bit of backlighting as the sun actually shone yesterday!

Not a glimmer of sunshine today though!  But nearly a quilt top finished - that's progress!  Got to love that....

Tuesday 1 January 2013

No quarter given here!

I may have been quiet of late but I have still been sewing!  Frantically finishing off!  I have been conscious of the end of the year 2012 approaching and the end of the finishalong hosted by the lovely Rhonda!!

I had three projects on my list for this quarter - a rollover from last quarter, I have to confess, as I did not make any progress in Q3.   I have now completed two of my three listed projects, but only just...

The first finish was Frite Nite - a Hallowe'en quilt only finished in November (hangs head in shame at totally missing that end of October deadline)...

The first side used some hallowe'en fabric leftovers from making some bunting and was made in the acrosstheseamodernqal!  Yes I started that long ago!

I added teeth sashing to this quilt top to make it a bit scarier.

The other side was inspired by Hadley's Resurrection Tea Party mugrug for Sarah but oh so much bigger!

I love this side!   I seem to love oversized blocks,  I used up some pretty ugly fabrics making the pixelated skulls and I quilted cobwebs all over it - I loved doing that too!

Then just finished in time on New Year's Eve, I finished handquilting a quilt which I have called Churning Grannies!  It is made in solids and thirties repro fabrics leftover from another quilt.

The first side has large churndash blocks with nine-patch blocks centres - the idea for this side came from Julie who just seems to make endless scrappy quilts at the drop of a hat!

But true to form I like the other side even better!

Granny blocks were everywhere when I started this and having made as many as I could using the thirties fabrics I made a wide border in the shape of a giant   churndash!                   

This quilt is handquilted in an attempt at an overall clamshell pattern.  I did it freehand so the size of each varies which is actually hardly noticeable looking at the quilt overall but it wouldn't bother me if it did.  I am a freehand sort of person not a meticulous marker out!

I have also changed the colour of the cotton perle from yellow, through green and back to yellow - probably only seen on closer inspection!

And I handquilted the label too, as I now prefer, straight onto the quilt - I like my label to be integral!

ok not that easy to read in the photo but it does say Churning Grannies, honest!

Phew!  That was close!

Here is the one that got away and lives on in UFOdom to be completed another year!  I will get that sucker done!

My UFO list from the beginning of 2012 listed 11 quilts and all but this one have been completed!   Plus many other things - but I think they may need a separate post!

Rhonda's FAL has helped me enormously in making progress on that dreaded list and I'm glad to say that FAL continues into 2013, hosted this year by Leanne!   

I will be drawing up another list of UFOs soon - dare I say it - my aim is to finish 2013 with no more UFOs!  I will probably regret saying that but in for a penny, in for a pound!

Why not join in!?  And you may also join the Lazy Bums group another support group for people with eyes bigger than their stitching capacity!


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