Sunday, 11 March 2018

2018 Wk 11 - Gillian Travis appliqué 

I spent most to the day at a workshop arranged by Richmond and Kew quilters.  It was run by Gillian Travis ( who does a lot of repeated applique blocks where blocks are made in twins on light on dark and dark on light.

Simply put, a square of bondaweb is ironed onto a square of batik.  A shape is cut out of the batik, and both the shape and the square missing the shape are placed on, and bondawebbed to, contrasting squares.  Gillian has done vases, mittens, sweaters, pomegranates, pears: all sorts of shapes.  

Many of the ladies used a fab array of colours, but I stuck to two colours, 4 different fabrics (all provided by the lovely Plum)

I really enjoyed this part of the class.   Next I need to trim all the blocks to exactly 4” square, and arrange them on backing fabrics butting up to each other, and zigzagged together.   The next bit will be much harder!!

I will be dropping the feed dogs and free motioning around the shapes.  I have 20 blocks so far, each pair of twins representing something from my life - I will make some more as I think of other things, but this could be procrastination to put off the day when I have to start the free motion sewing!!

Saturday, 10 March 2018

2018 Wk 11 - Almost Snowing Again

It isn't really snowing again - it's just that I am working on a very old Christmas snowy quilt!  Plum reminded me of it earlier this month - We met through being members of then Yahoo BQL (British Quilt Lovers) group, and back in 2011 I offered to embroider BQL badges for the ladies who were going to Festival of Quilts.  They offered to pay but I asked for green scraps for a scrappy quilt I wanted to make.

I got the scraps and started the quilt but it then stalled.  It was last blogged about in 2014 when the tree was shown plonked on the sky fabric

At some stage since then the tree and the sky were joined but nothing further.

Today it has moved forward to this

The details don't photograph too well, but the star above the tree and the candle flames have been embroidered with a glow . . . in glow in the dark thread!

The top of the snow glistens with a glitter fabric attached on a gentle curve

and snow drifts have been topped with more sparkle

It's still a bit tall and thin but it's doing much better than it has for the last 4 years!

Sunday, 4 March 2018

2018 Wk 10 - two quilts!

Quilt 1
After the previous disaster with June's quilt I have now made a replacement. Amo suggested a way to salvage the original which I will do, but for now June's replacement is ready to go to Texas, and with the right name!

Quilt 2
I was inspired, many months ago, by a quilt I saw in a fabric shop in quaint village called Grayshott.

My version was planned last August

but never got stitched until this weekend.  I considered the lines of quilting in the white sections, to make it look as if they were pieced, but didn't feel the love.  I rummaged in the quilting threads box and found threads that were close to the colours in the fabrics

and I quilted and quilted and quilted - something like 130 yards of quilting, all triple / bean stitch, and I'm really pleased with the result

I just need to find suitable fabric for the binding

We've had  few days of the country going into panic mode - Brits can go through a World War or two with nothing defeating their spirit, and have shown terrorists that our best comes out in times of disaster - but a few inches of snow has achieved the results that the terrorists planned and hoped for! The country shut down!  Schools were closed, flights were cancelled, people panic bought at the shops that were open.  Niki was flying back from Budapest: the flight was delayed not due to the two foot of snow there, but the two inches of snow here!

Another casualty of the weather was Niki and Lisa's front door.  They could not get it open!  Their home insurance comes with an emergency call out service - but the operators couldn't get to the call centre so they were no help at all.  so . . . Daddy to the rescue

It was the only way in!  He did manage to remove the lock and fix it so at least he could leave by the front door rather than the kitchen window!

And finally, Janet from Crafty Church has created another "Horton Hug".  Completed blankets are appearing in church and then being taken to a good home - to someone who needs a hug!  I love the colours on this one

The snow has now gone, the weekend has nearly gone, and this blog post is done!  Hope you had  good weekend

Sunday, 25 February 2018

2018 Wk 9 - A Catch Up 

My work bench seems to be permanently cover with Parish Council papers and Pumpkins uniforms to be embroidered, but that’s all far too boring to even photograph let alone blog about, so here is some other stuff:

I’ve printed and laminated all the templates for the Farmers’ Wife blocks (I’m calling mine a Handyman’s Wife quilt!)

And they’ve all been cut ready for each block as I get to it (I’m currently making the blocks in order)

Number 4 is finished, and number 5 nearly finished

The girls’ kitties are suitably appreciative of quilts, especially if rolled up to make a nest for them! (Yes there are two kitties, even though Luna looks as if she’s Thor’s shadow, and half his size!)

These patches were done for a customer - I’m trying not to get too twitchy about his intention to glue (!) them onto their eventual home

And we had Stitch yesterday: welcoming 8 new members (including one very brave but lovely lad) and have a lovely pile of bag and liners ready, and next month we will concentrate on the shields.

We had two smashing teenage girls too - who now know how a sewing machine works and used one to make some liners, and also had a go on an overlocker (here on the right) . Next month they are going to make themselves a bag each!

Sunday, 11 February 2018

2018 wk 7 - more retreat making

I did have slightly longer than usual in Ireland than usual, but considering one of us was a bit under par  I am astonished by how much we made.  Much of it is on yesterday’s post, but here comes the rest . . .

I hand stitched three Farmer’s wife blocks (thanks Plum for the book, and Jim for the fabric!). A slightly unconventional fabric choice but I’m loving it!!!

We made these,

Which open out to these

(One is slightly narrower due to someone forgetting you can’t iron vinyl!)

We used some more cork to make these Pythagoras pouches

With an inside pocket

We made two girly baby changing wallets - exactly the same method as Plum’s notebook cover but big enough to pop a nappy in one side and pack of wipes in the other.  We added a hanging look and a closing loop in case they were useful

Our final project were these two pouches - a useful 9 x 9 inches with a 7” vinyl pocket front and back.  Jackie wanted hers with a boxed bottom and I didn’t so that’s why they look different heights.

Then I had to take the long lonely journey back to Dublin - just me and the hire car!  Why don’t hire cars have a place to put a mobile phone / sat nav?  Luckily I had a scrunchy with me so I bodged a phone holder.

Now I’m home - it’s all over for a couple of months!  Love you Jackie - thanks is for a great 4 days xxxx

Friday, 9 February 2018

2018 wk 7 - Irish retreat

I’m at Jackie’s for a lovely long weekend.  Sewing has been a bit slow but chat and catchup and cuppas has more than filled any gaps!!!

We made cork boxy pouches

We made a leather zippy pouch and coin purse

We made a blocking octagon so these yummy crocheted octies can be blocked before being joined

And we’ve worked out a way to join these La Passigalia cogs

Jackie had made a knitting project bag (from Attic 24) but it stretched as stuff was added.  We folded a length of fabric into four, then drew around the bag also folded in 4 and ended up with this shape.  We’ve stitched into a lining shape and are now joining it to the bag.

Saturday, 3 February 2018

2018 wk 6 - ooops

I was making a quilt for my step-sister’s second grandchild.  Six months ago I made this for the first one, Liam

And knowing his cousin was on the way I planed a similar but different one for her.  She arrived in December, and I remember thinking June was an unusual choice of name for a December baby.

But somewhere along the line ... maybe having spent an afternoon with my friend Jane, and having Rod Stewart’s Baby Jane song in my head for some reason, I managed to finish her quilt and embroidery her A name

Just in case you missed the problem - baby is called JUNE, quilt is embroidered

So, sigh, now I’m making *another* quilt to send to Baby JUNE!

So far so good

Fingers crossed the name goes ok tomorrow!

I also making 30 or so patches for the pre school (being hand stitched to little fleece zippies) before starting on 60 or so sweatshirts and polo shirts.

Next weekend will be MUCH better - I’ve just booked my flight to Ireland for 4 days with Jackie!,!

Sunday, 28 January 2018

2018 wk 5 - class prep

I actually got to turn on my sewing machine today - woohoo!!  After I’d finished the meeting minutes and helped Lisa with her tax return I ignored the big boxes of uniforms to be embroidered and cut some fabric and sewed it back together!!!

Sooooo therapeutic!   I made a sample twisty thread catcher.  It’s not finished so I can show the ladies the various stages

I also did some painting!  I’m teaching a class later in the year where we’ll stick fabric and fabric related stuff onto card, paint the whole lot with black gesso (?) and then add a thin layer of bright colour (I’ve got purple, red and blue) then add a little bit of metallic wax (pewter, bronze and mother of pearl) to highlight the raised textures.

I expect it has a name in card making circles, but “painting” is all I can give you, apart from photos

Nice result but only just fabriccy (and the black gesso is like tar - sticks until you can eventually peel it off hands, jeans, cutting boards (!) etc) but the ladies want to try so we will

Friday, 26 January 2018

2018 Wk 5 time to sew??

Its been a bit of  a struggle to find time to sew, although this weekend is looking promising.  To get myself back in the swing of things I *might* have popped in to Helen's to buy a little bit of fabric (possibly just over eight meters, but lets not dwell on that!!!!)

There has been some making - the never ending embroidery (for the preschool and the scouts)

a taggie for a new grandma at church (well obviously not for her, but you know what I mean)

attending a master class for the Days4Girls sanitary sewing


and a lot of boring agendas and minutes

The sewing room is starting to feel like home (husband has been invited to share but so far hasn't shown any interest so I'm kind of filling 'his' area!!)

And the the Days For Girls ladies had a really productive morning - some of our early shields didn’t pass muster with the charity but aren’t being wasted - one of our ladies is off to The Gambia next week and will take a dozen kits with her

And apologies if I haven’t been to *your* blog for a while - I’ll be there soon - In one week’s time I go down to 4 days a week at work which will give me some time to return to the creative world!!