Sunday 29 March 2009

Finished at Last!

At last I finished this Chocolate and Turquoise quilt. Its taken me about a year to do, and has been sat on my frame to be quilted since before Christmas! The top is from a little book call, 'More Strip Piecing', and can be made using a Jelly Roll. Needless to say, not having found a completely turquoise JR, I set about cutting my own. I was really pleased with the top, but now it is quilted, I love it. Unfortunately, this little baby is going to be re-homed soon. Made by special request, it is going to my partners sister. she hasn't seen the finished article, just when it was in the flimsy top stage. I'm sure she will love it as much as I do. I hope so. It's always hard trying to meet someone else's expectations of what you can achieve, don't you think. Today spring was almost in the air, the clocks went forward, and the blackbird is nesting my my clematis at the bottom of the garden again. And the sun was out, so at least I could get a half decent pic of the quilt on the washing line. Do you like?

Well, between the frustration of builders dust and a faltering kitchen remodel, I've also been working on quilting my Op Challenge quilt. I've been playing with the ideas in a book by Suzzane Earley from an earlier post. And I'm really loving the results. But its not all been plain sailing. I'll tell you more about that soon. In the mean time, happy quilting!

Saturday 21 March 2009

Happy Mothers Day !

Happy Mothers Day to all of you! This is what I made for my Mum, another postcard, and I remembered to photograph it this time. I forgot to do the other four and they've already been re-homed. Mental note to me!

My DD surprised me with breakfast in bed! And what a great job she did on her own too! Don't you think! As well as a pot of tea, all for me, croissants, Pain chocolat, and Belgian sugar waffles (my favourite! Nothing like the real ones hot from the street seller!), she also made the fruit salad herself, no supervision with the sharp knives! No cuts or blood anywhere to be seen!
She did get me a card too, and 'Duchess' on DVD and small box of Thorntons chocolates. How lucky am I? :o) I went to watch Duchess when it was on at the cinema with my friend Jean, we both cried and so did ALL the rest of the audience, including the men! I shall watch it later today when I do the ironing. Mothers Day or not, there are still chores to be done!

I hope all you lovely Mums out there have a lovely day and are spoiled rotten by your own special darlings! And not to leave everyone else out, its a beautiful day here, happy spring!

More Retail Therapy!

The post lady came a calling today! And look what she brought me! I was so pleased with the FQs I got from Chilford, I went onto the vendors site and this time, restraint went straight out of the window! 40 Batiks and 20 Kaffe Fassetts. Mmm, yummy! lol

I had already made my mind up that I was going of to Heaths Country Store, about 40 minutes from here. Tomorrow is Mothers Day here in the UK, and I wanted to be sure that I didn't miss out on their sale, or on something nice as a Mothers Day treat to myself! So, with DD in tow
, much to her disgust, off we went trundled in the car. That IS 6 meters of 'City Girl' for a one block wonder. The blue check is to go with my 'Green for March' quilt I am doing, one of Bonnie Hunters patterns. The purple check I think will go nicely with those lovely Oakshott fabrics I got at the show. And the jelly roll, ah ... well, that was a weak moment. Now don't tell me you don't have those? Surely you have fallen prey to a little fabric temptation on more than one occasion?!!! Let me know what the most memorable one was.

Now, back to finishing my Mothers Day gift for my Mum.

Wednesday 18 March 2009

I got Mail !

Well, Wednesdays are always a challenge for me, with it being like Mondays, as in my first day at work, it's sometimes hard to let go of the weekend (especially as I am so lucky to have extended ones - yeay!). And I had got on so well with my quilting, having finally got back in the zone. More on that in a bit.

It was wonderful to come home to a package in the mail. Now I had been expecting this, but 5 days from the States is a record for me. Thanks Suzanne! As you can see, great book by Suzanne Earley, that's now got me even more fired up than I was before, and some gorgeous Empress Woo fabric. Its so pretty, it may well feature with my recent purchases. But, then again, it may be used for something completely different, I am still to decide.

So, as I said, I got back into my quilting zone over the weekend, I've been having a real mental block finding the time and enthusiasm to go and just quilt. In fact I've had this quilt on the frame since before Christmas. Now that's bad! I'm pleased to say that I've only got the final row of blocks and border to go and it will be done! At last I hear some of you say. About bloomin' time too! Hopefully, this weekend I can finish it and get it off the frame ready for binding. And it may even be ready for someone's birthday! The plan is to then quilt a couple of my older tops before I tackle a newer one. But which one? I have done so many recently. That decision is for another day. I have been trying to quilt older/oldest tops in between new ones since I got my frame. I find its a great way to feel like I'm reducing the pile but still achieving new things too.

Tuesday 17 March 2009

Oh dear .... I fell off the wagon!

With all the work and chaos in the house, I really felt the need to go to the Childford Spring Quilt Show on Sunday. I know, I know, I didn't need to put myself in the direct line of fire of temptation, but, really, I'm struggling with not being able to express myself with fabric and needed to see others' creativity. The house work could wait!
So my first visit was to the Oakshott stand, such beautiful handloom woven fabrics, and the colours just shine. I was tempted by these pieces, which total approximately 5.6 meters. OK, so they are a little luxury, but please, I'm feeling deprived! lol :o) So whilst I was getting my fill of stroking and placing fabrics next to each other, I casually took note of the lady also so intent on the fabrics on the stall. I have to say, it was with great delight I was rubbing shoulders, (quite literally) with Lynne Edwards, yes, The Lynne Edwards MBE!! A delightful lady, who is totally down to earth, I was thrilled! Anyway, back to the fabric, I'm not sure what I will end up doing with these, I may have to add some more to them when I go to the Festival of Quilts in August. The man from Oakshott was telling me they have been listening to us, and will be taking bolts of fabric with them to the show along with their sparkling packs.
So from one surprise to another, Doughty's were also present. And as always, their value for quality fabrics is unsurpassed. And with selected Kaffe Fasset fabrics reduced to a give away price, who could pass up this opportunity! Yes, I know they are coming up to Lincoln to do a sale day next month, and I still have my pennies saving up for this, but ... but ... but oh well, so I bought a bolt of it! It will be great to mix in with some of my other fabrics, and the main reason is it will be a fabulous backing! I just love doing something surprising on the back of my quilts.

Chilford is a small show, very intimate, but close enough to feel the benefit of the inspiration all around you. Personally I don't go for the quilts, don't get me wrong, they are lovely, but its more about the occasion, the traders are always so lovely, and because it is such an intimate show, you can actually get to the stands and ask the questions and really talk to the traders. I got this lovely pack of fat quarters from the QuiltersCloth stand. I had such a difficult time trying to decide which bundle to buy, I almost came away with two! Yes, restraint did actually enter into my day! Though looking at my big bag of purchases, its hard to see where! (grin) With these, it was the combination of purples and lime green, I just go soft at the knees ! I may seek out more batiks from my stash to see what I can come up with these. But one thing that seems obvious to me know, is I definitely am drawn to eye candy, and resistance is futile!

The one traders stand I was really looking forward to was Sew and So's of Bungay, they have such a fabulous array of fabrics and I always get something from them. And of course, this visit was not exception. I have been eyeing up Japanese taupe's for quite some time. I struggle with doing subtle, and these really are subtle, I even know what sort of pattern I am going to use them in. Isn't it great fabric really speaks to you and says, not only, buy me, but, make me into this, do that and then..... now I know I'm not alone in this! I'm really looking forward to getting my hands on these and having a play session with them. I know it will have to wait a while, whilst the work on the house continues, but they really are in the forefront of my mind. I shall have to make sure they don't get put away to a safe place!
My final purchase, well apart from a book/magazine and some cream on cream was this little pail kit, I was drawn to the colours and the ingenious design of the bag! It is such a cutie, I failed again to use restraint. I've definitely got to do something about this impulse buying! At least I can say this is definitely a project all on its own, and I can use the pattern again! Am I sounding convincing ... or just desperate now!!! LOL

Well, I really must get on with the chores, I can't put them off any longer. Today will be a productive day, I am determined!
Happy quilting :o)

Wednesday 11 March 2009

What's on your bed?

There has been much talk in 'blogland' of 'whats on your bed? ' so I thought I would take a few moments to show you what's on mine! They change with the season, with a change of mood, but especially when they have been newly finished :o) I'm always so excited when I have accomplished a quilt that will go on the bed, there is something so comforting sleeping underneath the weight of a quilt that has been hand made, especially when it is for someone special or a special occasion, don't you think.

My piecing has slowed down, to an almost stop, as my house is currently being remodelled by builders. As we look each night into the great big hole in the wall in our living room, I know why I moved all my fabrics :o) How come brick dust can get into so many places you forgot about? Its going to be a long slog, new fire, remodelled kitchen, including, I'm hoping a marble worktop, and new solid oak floors throughout the downstairs. So chaos and disruption abound. I have managed to rehouse, and re home much of downstairs, and the majority of my fabric has made it back into the sewing room. (have I shown you my 'office'?) This is the one place I have tried not pile things into for storage, so I have somewhere to retreat to when things start to get unbearable. Even if I am not piecing, I can go and quilt on my frame and hopefully get a few more finished too! Now that will be a big bonus. I counted up about 15 tops that have been made last year and this! I have some catching up to do, but the ideas in my head still come flooding in. Is it just me that has these thoughts coursing through day and night? How does your creativity come to you?

Tuesday 3 March 2009

OP Challenge Top Done

Well, after a great weekend, I can report that I pieced the borders for my OP Challenge quilt. Yeah !!! lol I also put borders on my Portugese Tiles. I also pieced the centre of a new quilt (now named Boston Diversion!) which used all the left over fabrics from my Boston Quilt. Boy, I was on a mission this weekend. But somehow I lost sight of my concentration, so proud that I had completed all the blocks for this new top. When I came to lay them together and join them, Wow, what a shock, horror set in as I discovered I had pieced 55 the right way and 57 in reverse!!! I hope you are all laughing, can you imagine the colour of the air?! lol So we came up with a plan. Needless to say, this was not the last of my frustrations with this top. Having laid them out after making new blocks for the centre to pull the quilt back together, I discovered whilst sewing rows that some of the blocks weren't even pieced correctly. I tell you, there was a significant amount of reverse sewing going on! (grin) Hence the name of the quilt! I am pleased with the results, and have come home with just the borders to add, as I didn't take them with me. And guess what I couldn't find when I got home? You guessed it.... the border fabric that had been put in a very safe place! I found it yesterday.
So I have been fed, watered, relaxed, laughed till it hurt, and sewed like a mad woman (I know, no need to state the obvious! lol ) It was a great weekend and I'm looking forward to the next one in May :o)