Monday 29 July 2013

The toucans are taking over the asylum!

Well they are a bit mad you have to admit!

I started off with this crazy Drunkard's Path block from my FQ class with Lynne and somehow those toucans wormed their way into my consciousness and just wouldn't let go!

So having purchased a Big Shot and DP die -  oops did I say that out loud? 

- I cut some more bits out and was considering this layout

Or rather this one

But then the toucans told me that wasn't crazy enough for them and it has ended up like this!

Am I the only crazy one listening to the birds on her fabric!??  OK yes I am!

Saturday 27 July 2013

FQR - what I made!

Well ....closer friends has to come tops of this post as for me that is what is special about this event!  Although I barely got a word with lots of people I know - next time I'll get you!   Or there is talk about meeting up in between times which I will look forward to if it happens - I know everyone is very busy!

And new friends!  Met several people for the first time - all lovely and it is great to put a face to a name!  Some turn out smaller/taller than expected but all enthusiastic about fabric/sewing and the like so no shortage of conversation.

Still many people I missed ....well there is always next year!  Perhaps we should do a speed dating thing so that everyone gets to meet up and know the faces even if we can't remember the names!

But now I come to what I actually did class wise and my projects from the classes!

First up was photography with Judith  - er I will try to take better photos - Work in Progress that one!   No evidence as yet but some do's and don'ts!   I will try to remember Judith!

Next I had cutting stamps out of erasers with Tacha!  Have to say I loved this!  Such fun!   Here are my two stamps and how they print on paper.  

Must go and buy some fabric ink stamp pads as mine are for paper.   Very pleased with my two stamps based on the Mackower fabric in our goody bag!

Nerdy girl that I was I cut this one out at the hotel on Saturday evening!  Bit obsessive I am and totally hooked although this one isn't as clear as there are just two many lines in the face so it is a bit confusing but catching Tacha for a moment she suggested leaving the face blank and adding detail with a pen!  Also means you can change the expressions - will have to try this!

Followed by an intense class with the lovely Joanna and Julianna  - two lovely Polish speaking girls who managed spectacularly to teach a class in English!    We were creating this block which I finished at home!

I made life difficult for myself by using that wood fabric as the desk - it took several attempts to get the grain going in the right - horizontal - direction until Julianna shared her trick with me!  Now I get there a bit quicker!

I am pleased with it and used the lovely text fabric donated by Alison Glass from her new line of fabrics!  Yum!  Loved all the colours it came in!

I have to say now that I couldn't have progressed as far on the day without the help of Liz who let me have a piece of her goody bag fabric as I miscounted the number of fabrics I needed!   Thanks Liz!  Hoping to meet up sometime soon!

My last class was with Lynne - she did mention last year that I omitted to join a class she was teaching so I thought I'd better rectify that.   So I joined her for precision piecing.  I have to put my hand up and say my blocks are not always 100% accurate though I am going in the right direction - I hope!   Joining lots of bees has made me pay more attention to this and a helpful hint or two picked up from Jude and Helen have made a difference.   Thanks girls!

Here are my blocks anyway!

The nine patch - I changed it a bit!

The curved block - facing my fear here but all made simpler using a Sizzix machine to cut out the DP pieces!   Now want to do more of this till I feel comfortable with curves!   Do you love/hate those toucans??  

I just had to buy them and have been wondering what to do with them!  Guess I have the answer!

From now on I will be lining up my fabric on my mat and checking it all with my ruler carefully before cutting.  

It can be a bit tricky for me cutting left handed with a right handed cutter! 

Had you noticed most rotary cutters are for right handers??  I hadn't realised till my friend Carolyn Forster changed my blade around and it has been a lot easier since - doesn't work with every cutter but it does with this one!

Still do things awkwardly at times but less likely to cut myself cutting towards me!  DO NOT DO THAT!

And as for piecing, Lynne said sew your pieces together and the sub-unit measurements are more important than the holy grail of that quarter inch seam.  Apparently not all quarter inch seams are the same!  Pressing can help find a bit extra if needed - do NOT iron your pieced bits! (no going backwards and forwards - up and down only)

Well that's a wrap - my next post is about the shopping ...but you probably don't want to see that do you?

Monday 22 July 2013

FQR - the bee blocks I received!

Oh happy days!

Throughout FQR I was fortunate enough to be handed some little special parcels as several bee mates came and personally handed me their blocks!

Normally I give a little shriek - at least inwardly when I receive a something handmade by someone!  I had to show a little bit of decorum in public - especially when they were handed to me in class or in mid conversation!

So apologies bee mates if you thought I was ungrateful!

I am totally not!

Look at these gorgeous blocks altogether from the Modern Stitching Bee!

Received from Susan, Cindy, Emily and Di - for heaven's sake she came all the way from the US just to hand deliver my blocks - didn't she???   I took Susan downunder's block and mine too as I thought they would love to make friends as early as possible.   I was right!

I have a feeling this is going to be a spectacular quilt which I am going to adore!

Looking forward to receiving the other installments - I know some will take a bit of time for various reasons but the wait will be so worth it!

Did you think that was all?

No it is so not!

Catherine handed me these beautiful blocks and they are not even due till next month

Love them Catherine - you do love your blues and for some strange reason I always choose aqua rather than proper blue so my true blue stash is very limited.  Like that you help bring some equilibrium!  I do really like blue by the way!

You think that is is done ??  Wrong!

I have been receiving blocks from May's Star of Africa bee on the theme of children's books and Di from Quiltova vounteered to help my international bookshelf - I did give her something too!

After consulting her local Czech experts she made me this absolute cutie!

  A little mole!   And yes I still need to practice his name Di!

I know he is going to make great friends with this little cutie from Cindy!

Ok this little FQR show is over - there could well be more!

Had a great time at FQR?   Oh yes!

Glad to be home?   Yes as I'm quite worn out, and no as well as I didn't get to meet everyone and I am already missing lots of you!

Will I be going again?   You bet if at all possible!  After all a sore back didn't stop me this time!

Wednesday 17 July 2013

Spoiler Alert!

I have been printing patterns for workshops, buying erasers and craft knives!

Trying to get ready!   Haven't looked at fabric yet!

Except for the fabric to make this

I agreed a side swap with the lovely Di of Quiltova fame.  This was the brief: 

Oh how about a nice block that I can make into a cushion cover for the
kitchen.  Modern, whimsical, I don't mind much.  We've just painted the 
kitchen and everything is fresh, but the cushions are really crappy! 

Colours - grey, yellow and brown.   I used this pattern from the fab team Sew-ichigo - hope she likes it!    I will be handing it over at FQR!

And this little one

Another little side swap - this time with Catherine @ Knotted Cotton.  I admired Catherine's lovely Union flag in Liberty fabrics in Ali's recent ATC swap.   I told Catherine I liked it.  So she made one specially for me!

Tuesday 16 July 2013

First Finish of Quarter three!

So pleased to have this little quilt finished before Friday!

Stingy Bee mates our work is complete!  

This quilt was made as a joint effort!   Blocks provided by the Bee a Brit Stingy bee, border and backing provided by the lovely Helen and I put it together.

The backing is Oakshott and makes this quilt so light and soft it is a dream!

I started out with minimal quilting as I wanted to keep the softness and didn't like it much but doubled the quilting and like it better now!

It has made me realise that I am not that into doing straight line quilting. 

Don't get me wrong - I love when I see it on quilts but I just hate doing it!   It seems that I prefer any shape with a bit of a curve to it and this is my comfort zone!

Now I have two quilts to deliver on Friday towards the Siblings Together charity.


Monday 15 July 2013

Last minute lulu!

Yes that is me!  Trying to keep plates spinning, juggling balls in the air and sending my son off to Turkey for a holiday with friends while getting ready for FQR and hosting a patchwork 'how to' at our church!

So much fun all at the same time!  Lucky me!  

However before I can give my whole attention to FQR there is one bit of housekeeping to do - writing my Finishalong list for Quarter three.

I have had a serious case of startitis this year - causing my dear friend Helen to have lumps on her head as she bangs it on the desk in despair of me ever finishing anything.  

Last quarter was a bit thin on finishes!  Argh!

Only this one!

So I still have all these to finish from Quarter 2.

You've seen this one every quarter I think - and it is still hanging around!

No progress made on the Wonky houses this past quarter but only a border to add....

This is for my daughter in the above photo - she loves red and has tidied her bedroom - best room in the house now !   She deserves a finished quilt...

This one will be done by Friday!   Quilting has started - just need to add a bit more and bind!   It is the Stingy Bee group quilt for Siblings Together.

 These blocks are the product of my first bee Sew and Bee Happy - to make a hanging for my sewing room.   

I want to add in some picture blocks of sewing stuff....I was thinking Foundation Pieced but maybe I should fussy cut some printed pictures after all there is enough sewing related prints out there....even got some in my stash!

My Kona colour chart to be!  I have many more colours to add...

But my plan for Quarter Three was to add these to the mix!

My International book shelf from my Star of Africa bees!  

And Sana's red riding hood block which I love but can't find my own photo to share with you here so Sana said I could use hers!   Isn't it just the cutest and Sana's first attempt at this sort of thing - you have to agree she has mastered it first time around!

My Rose Star quilt - I'd just like a bit of progress on this one!

My basket sampler - an oldie which I fell out of love with - it was just too pink until I added the grey round it!   Now I think I could do something with it!

Yes I did start the Farmer's Wife...

And the Hexalong with Lynne...

Well now I will just have a mammoth list and will see how far I get through these UFOs.

And just in case I don't have enough I might tackle these more recent projects!  They are more my current style I think...and therefore easier to work on I think....

The Scrappy? Sew bee it quilt - My Charmers top nearly done!

My Arrowhead Star bee quilt!  I am getting some of my blocks at FQR when I meet some of my lovely Modern Stitching Bee mates!   Eek excited about that!

And another bee quilt in the making - my choice as QB for August in Stingy Bee - the offset cross quilt

Then there is this Pyramid quilt I cut out inspired by the lovely Annabella!

And Baby Bear Paws inspired by Lucy and Janine - both lovely too - and hosting a Bear Paw group on Flickr!

And I have this project - Tulip Star which I want to write a tutorial for - there is only one block so far but you can do wonders with a mosaic!  

And finally a project I haven't shown on my blog yet!  Made in purple and grey from delectable mountain blocks but sewn in a more contemporary layout.  Modern mountains perhaps??

OK only 18 projects here!  Haha!  I am crazy but my nature is such that as soon as I tell myself I have to do one project that becomes the last thing on earth I want to do!  Stubborn, procrastinating, obdurate, timewasting - all good descriptions of my wayward ways.

I thought if I list everything I might get something done or a bit of progress on every one would be good! 

Linking at last with the lovely Leanne....

Friday 12 July 2013

One step forward....

I have just finished the Smitten quilt which will be joining a whole heap of quilts being donated to the Siblings Together charity.   It was quite a big pile of quilts last year but I think this year we might top the previous total.

Here it is!

And I'm rather fond of it!

Lizzie Allen kindly donated the beautiful feature fabric which is Moroccan Mirage by Khristian A Howell for Anthology Fabrics

I added the background, the wadding and backing and bought the Smitten pattern to put it together.

After a consultation with the lovely Helen I decided to quilt flowers in the blocks and loopy quilting in the background.

I think it works well and I like the scrappy binding!

Hope the young lady who receives it will love it and know that we care!


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