Friday 30 October 2009

A little on the side ...

Yesterday I found a blog with a great tutorial on it for a cute little fabric basket. Unfortunately I can't remember which one it was, so I can't give credit to the right person, Sorry :o( I'll do a bit of digging and see if I can find it for you, she had some great tutorials on her blog.

Edited note: Thank you to Sue Stubbings for telling us the blog address for Ayumills great blog 'Pink Penguin', you can find the tutorial for the baskets Here :o)

So I had a little play, my first attempt, using some charm squares trimmed down to 2 1/2" It's nice, the larger size works well, but.... well it just didn't quite do it.

So today I made the little one, when the fabrics were laid out, I realised there needed to be some separation between the base and the blocks, so I added some piping. Now I really love this one! They were so quick and easy to make, I can see a few Christmas gifts featuring these in the near future!

Happy weekend!

Thursday 29 October 2009

Busy, busy busy ...

... and still sooooo tried! But that's not what you came over to hear about, so lets get back to the busy bits :o) Last week I went to my LQS for a class, I've signed up for them because I'm really missing the creativity in interacting with other quilters. I get so much more from bouncing ideas with other like minded folk. Anyway, this is what we did last week, a bit of applique and reverse applique and not a hand stitch in sight! Not brilliant, but I had fun learning this!
I've since added binding to this that is reversed too! Just need to sew it down on the back.
And for the weekend I was away in Grimsby again on a retreat. As I no longer have my back brace on, did I tell you I'm free? Yep, corset free and finding my limits all over again! Back to the quilting.
I saw a quilt similar to this done by Amanda Jean over at Crazy Mom Quilts, and loved it. So much so I e-mailed her and asked is she minded if I did my own version. Thank you Amanda Jean! I grabbed a load of Amy Butler fabrics the last time I went, the blocks had been made for a month, and now it's ready for quilting. Somehow I don't think this one will be long in the waiting pile!
I've been trying to piece 2 yellow quilts for my partners mother for most of this year. Again, the blocks have been pieced for some time, now I have once top complete and the other getting there too :o)

I also managed to finish the piecing of the borders and attache them to this middle from a month ago. It's a bit small by my standards, but it didn't feel right when I tried adding other borders, so it stays as it is.

I also got the binding sewn onto a quilt that I quilted recently too, more hand sewing to be done. The nights are drawing in so its definitely the right time to be cozying up under a quilt to finish off the binding :o) I'll save a pic of that one for when its all done.
So its been a little busy lately, and my energy levels are still a little wobbly, but I'm so much better.

Happy Quilting!

Monday 26 October 2009

And the winner is ...

I had a great weekend away at a quilting retreat, and I confess I was too tired when I got home yesterday to count and post a winner. Today after a few hours down on the allotment, after eating the spoils of our work, I asked my partner to pick a number between 1 - 35. Drum roll please .....

and the winner is...

#26 which is Doina.

Congratulations Doina, e-mail me your address so I can get your goodies sent to you in Romania!

I would just like to thank all of you for posting your comments, I read every single one, and thoroughly enjoyed them all, some made me think, some made me laugh out loud, (Greg!) but on the whole, the overwhelming consensus is that celebrating with family is the most important thing to you all.

Happy quilting

Sunday 18 October 2009

Celebration Giveaway!

In honour of my 100th post, I thought I should celebrate with a little give away. I have rummaged, contemplated, stroked lots of fabric in an attempt to get the right things to celebrate with. Fabric was always gonna be on the agenda, that's a given, right? I love to celebrate with a little drop of the bubbly stuff, in fact I'm a little partial to it! (though I haven't touched a drop since before the surgery) Perhaps it's time!

Now I can't stretch to a bottle of the ol' bubbly in the post, and with the postal strikes looming, I'm not so sure it would make it out of the sorting office! I have to thank Tina for suggesting eating 100 Maltesers, now every one loves chocolate right! I know I do, mmm, yummy! So I went with the bubble thing. And I love the naughtyness of the Maltesers adverts too!

Whilst I was out at the LQS on Friday, I picked up these morsels, ( no, not the chocolate!) They are mainly fat eighths, (1FQ so far) and I am sure I can find some more dotty fabric to go with it by the time I send them out.

So if you fancy having these arrive through your letter box in the very near future, just leave me a comment telling me how you like to celebrate special occasions. Yep, that's all, no posting about it, you can if you want to, no follow me, or anything like that, just leave me a comment and I'll count you in!
Closing date will be a week today, midnight (2359 hrs GMT) Sunday 25th October 2009. I'll let you know as soon after that, (I will be sleeping) who has won.
I would like to thank all of you for coming over to read my blog, leave me encouraging comments. I do love to receive your comments. Over the last 10 months, yes it's only been 10 months since I started blogging, I have made 19 quilts (15 published), found the drive to complete more, start new and exciting things I would never have tackled without the encouragement and inspiration from all of you out there in blogland.
So to all of you, I Thank You!

This giveaway is now closed. Thank you to everyone for your lovely comments and congratulations.

Saturday 17 October 2009

Happy Dance!

I had some great news yesterday! I had a last minute appointment with the spine specialist, after another xray, he was very pleased with my progress.

And .... I no longer have to wear the dreaded back brace/corset.... yipeeee! In fact as soon as he told me, I took it straight off right there and then. Fortunately he saw the funny side of it!

And.... I'm now allowed to start driving again! Talk about Happy, I've been doing the happy dance ever since, OK, gently doing the happy dance!

I have been sewing too! I've been working on some quilting on the frame, I'll save that for another post. (yeah, I know I'm a tease!) But I also found Block Lotto, so I've been beavering away on some of these!

I have also gathered a few bits together for a giveaway in my next post! I hope you like celebrating with bubbles :o) Thanks Tina for planting the seed of an idea!

Happy quilting!

Friday 9 October 2009

Bloggers Quilt Festival - Fall 2009

Yes it's that time again! Amy over at Park City Girl is hosting the Bloggers Quilt Festival. It's time to sit down with a cup of your favorite warm comfort drink (mine's Lady Gray Tea!) turn off the phone, and settle in to have a good read about everyone's quilts. I assure you there'll be some great stories! (Based on the spring festival, you might want to do this over the next week, there's gonna be hundreds! Yes hundreds!)
This is my 'Summer Ice Cream' quilt. A trip around the world, done with the tube technique. This was the second version I did, the challenge was I had a collection of 16 Fat Eighths which I knew would make a great trip around the world, but working out how many strips of each colour, but most importantly what size to cut them and not run out of fabric!
The squares are all 1" finished in size! And I literally only had itsy bitsy bits left from each strip sets, not even enough to call a scrap! I made this quilt whilst I was serving in The Netherlands back in 2002. The centre went together really easily, and although there were two quilt shops close by, neither had just the right fabric for the border. So whilst I was back in the UK for the weekend I snuck up to the local quilt shop to get something. Unfortunately I'd left the quilt top back in Holland! I chose this beautiful rose fabric, I knew it was just right, and the plaid would be perfect for the binding! Sometimes things are just meant to be, and this was definitely one of those times!
I machine quilted the quilt on my old Janome, the feed dogs didn't drop down, the plate that went over them used to wobble every time I tried free motion quilting. I wrestled this and other quilts on that beast, it may not be perfect but I have always been very pleased with this quilt. The colours just remind me of all the ice creams lined up in the shop tempting you to make you own unique selection of flavours!If you look closely you'll see that the tension wasn't quite right on the back. I've learnt a lot about free motion quilting since I made this quilt, but I still love it and think I did a darn good job of it back then! It's such a happy quilt!
Go on over to Amys blog, or use the button on the right which should take you directly to a Mr Linky with all the other bloggers taking part in the festival.
Have fun and thanks for stopping by!

Happy Quilting!

Thursday 8 October 2009

Play Time!

Yep, I've been playing! I had a great day yesterday creating my Sis Boom Pow blocks for V! Head over to the blog and see them there!

But here's a sneak peak!
Today, as well as starting the quilting an older quilt top on my frame, I dropped the feed dogs on the Bernie and grabbed my sandwich piece I use to check the tension for the Juki and had a little play with some proper free motion quilting. It's been a while since I did it this way, but I wanted to see if I could do pebbles/circles. OK, there is room for improvement, but for a first attempt I'm pretty pleased, and it became easier as I went along too!
I guess a little practice everyday will improve these and samples.

So what am I striving for? well to improve the standard of what I do, to enjoy the process, ultimately to really be proud of my quilting. Perhaps I should get myself a little motivational strategy, although I am driven by the creativity, should I structure it more? Could I achieve more by doing this?
How do you organise your crafting/artistry? Are you like me flitting from one thing that grabs you to the next, sometimes (OK, most of the time, (grin)) leaving projects as work in progress, or do you stick to one project at a time, structure your creativity, and if so, how? Perhaps I should concentrate on one thing mastering it to the highest level before I move on ...
... like I said, I need a little motivational strategy!
Happy quilting!

P.S. I just thought I'd warn you, this is post numer 97 for me, I'm hunting my stash for something to celebrate 100 with a giveaway, so watch this space!

Wednesday 7 October 2009

Blocks, blocks and more blocks!

Every where blocks! Well, I thought I better show you what I've been doing over the last couple of weeks. I saw a great quilt over on Crazy Moms blog. So good, I knew that the pile of Amy Butler fabrics I've been hording would be great for it, and I always have a good stash of white on white fabrics. So after asking Crazy Mom for permission to do my own version of her design, these are my blocks so far. 80 Blocks.

Once again, I'm at that stage where laying out is a problem, but thanks to several suggestions by my facebook friends I'm working on a plan.

Whilst I was cutting the strips and squares from the 38 different fabrics, I cut an extra 2 1/2" strip of each. They look great bundled up as a roll don't you think. Well, my friend Jean has been wonderful to me whilst I've been recovering, so this little baby has made its way to her stash as a very big thank you. Thanks Jean :-)
Remember that Arcadia Layer cake I got, well, these are the blocks, all 42 of them! They went together really quickly, and though these two sets of blocks are pretty much the same in construction, it's fascinating to see how different the resulting quilts will be.

Isn't it always awesome how two people can make the same quilt, but fabric choices make them so very different. I'm often in awe of the wonder design and personality has on this obsessive craft!

Happy Quilting!

Tuesday 6 October 2009

Sis Boom Pow fabrics arrived!

My fabrics have arrived! Go have a peak at them and see the blocks that have already been made too! Use the button on the right of go here.

Monday 5 October 2009

Oh, and this one too!

I forgot to mention I put this top together too! I still have to do an inner border and an outer pieced border. This particular quilt is from a book I saw on Blogland here. Very rarely is there a book that grabs you and you love and want to make your own version of most of the patterns in it, but this book did! Not just me, but everyone that has had a look at it too! I'm looking forward to Kim's next book!

I started piecing the blocks for this before I went to hospital, and then continued with them when I could sew again. I'm hoping to show you some progress on it sooner rather than later!

Happy quilting!

Sunday 4 October 2009

Last weekend I went away on a quilting retreat. It was my first opportunity to sew sitting down. (mainly because my kitchen has only just been completed!)

So what did I do, do I hear you ask? Well, mainly laying out some of those blocks I've been working on, the tables meant I didn't have to keep getting up and down from grovelling on the floor!
This is disappearing nine patch I couldn't resist when I saw it on Moda Bake Shop some time ago. In fact, these blocks were done before I went into hospital. I enjoyed the process, and would do this pattern again, I had a great time laying them out, and can see so many possibilities with more of them.
I've been drawn to fresh modern quilts over the inactive days of summer, and I saw something along these lines on facebook. I'd taken all the sashing and cornerstones cut ready to lay out. I hadn't expected it to take me all day to sew together!
I've been stalking flicker too, and loved the look of the stacked coins I found there. So this is my version, made with a Dandelion Girl charm pack. I'm pleased with the result.
I admit, I did get very tired, but that's the beauty of being in a hotel when you get everything else done for you, and you can go a lay down when you need to. I had a great weekend, and it did me the world of good too!
Happy Quilting!