Tuesday 30 August 2011

Bedtime Blogging again!

I have got all the sashing quilted on the Texture Quilt, and the binding machine stitched on the front, and have started the hand sewing onto the back.  the sashing and binding fabric is quite thick, so I have had to resort to a thimble to protect my finger, but I'm not used to using one, so it's a bit slow going. 

I have also found two blocks that need a bit of TLC, so they will need to be done before it is finished.

Sewing time is sadly starting to run out:
  • visiting Lisa in Greenwich tomorrow,
  • shopping with Niki on Thursday to get ready for the new term, 
  • Mum coming up on Friday, 
  • village Garden Party (fair) on Saturday,
  • a day out with Hadley on Sunday (wish I could remember where we are going, but hopefully Hadley will let me know - needless to say it had something to do with textiles, or fabrics!), 
  • and then (cover your ears eyes as I utter write a four letter word), and then, I have to go to work!!!  :-(  
I got very used to not working over the last six weeks!

As well as working on the texture quilt, I made one of the Mug Rugs for Fluffy Sheep's swap.  My partner said she liked rainbows, spots and stripes . . . I think this covers it!

Monday 29 August 2011

Off to bed, but first . . .

Just want to show that I have been working on the texture quilt

It's got the stage where lots of work only looks a little bit difference.  All the blocks and the sashing have now been joined, and some of the sashings have been quilted.  A bit more quilting to do and then the binding, and it's good to go to it's new home.

I splashed out on some Aurifil quilting threads at Festival of Quilts, and they really are much better than the cheap tat I usually use, but I didn't think to get cream!  I'll have to start building up my Aurifil collection!

Next deadline is for a Graduation quilt for 10th September: it's pieced and basted, but only partially quilted.

Sunday 28 August 2011

I got distracted!

It was like this . . . I had black thread in the machine for the pastcards, so I might as well do some black mending . . .  and then I could add the diamonds top and bottom of Swirls . . .

then I could start on Heather's Black and White and Pink.  I put a book on the audible, and started listening to Steig Larsson's Girl With a Dragon Tattoo (much easier to follow all the characters when you hear their names rather than read them) while I cut and stitched and ironed and cut and stitched and . . .  ooops, i'm supposed to be working on the Texture quilt, and instead I've almost pieced  the B+W+P!

This is a rubbish pic as I dont have a design wall, just a design bed, and I cant get high enough to photograph the whole top.  It will be 12 squares x 16, and each block is 4 inches finished.  At the moment I have 12 assembled pieces: each one is 4 squares by 4, and apart from the ones that create an H they can be moved around to their best potential.

I'm not too sure about the H, should the horizontal bar be three squares wide (as it is now) or should it just be two squares wide?

It was inspired by this quilt, and I hope Heather loves it as much as I'm enjoying making it.  I'll put it to one side now (her 21st is in November) and get on with the texture quilt, but it was a lovely distraction!

Friday 26 August 2011

Mug Rug Swap

There are lots of swaps happening in Blogland, and I don't normally join in.  Certainly when it comes to quilts, if I make one that I am pleased with i like to give it to someone I know, and if I'm not so please with it I couldn't give it to a stranger in a swap, so I figured swaps were not for me. 

However, you may notice a new button on the right side bar - yes I have caved in and joined Cindy (Fluffy Sheep Quilting) for a Mug Rug and goodie swap.  I have all of September to decide and make my partner's mug rug and goodie, and that should be enough time even for me.  It's not a direct swap so i wont necessarily be making for the person who is making for me, and I wont know who is making for me.

There is a Flickr group so we can see what each other likes, so I guess I'd better go off and learn how to play Flickr!

(and I wonder why I don't have any time?)

Meanwhile, I have been embroidering more school jumpers today, so while I (ie the machine) am doing each one, I (ie me) have been doing some hand sewing:

Hand quilting the Flying Geese

And hand sewing some embellishments onto some machine embroidered cards for a swap coming up.  I seem to have rather overdone the quantity, so if anyone would like one of these, let me have your snail mail address (by email, Benta@SLIKstitches.co.uk, not as a comment)  and I'll send you one!

Thursday 25 August 2011

A bit of excitement, and some work

I have been asked to embroider some school jumpers: a friend's boys' school have switched uniform suppliers and the new quality is poor, so could I embroider on some M&S ones for her.  It wasn't a problem except i translated 'jumper' into 'sweatshirt' as that's what the local uniform is, and she really meant jumpers, and they are much harder to design for.  I didn't have any sacrificial jumpers to practice on, so I picked up one in a charity shop.

Thanks to Loronda who is a very accomplished designer and who has helped me quite a few times over the years, I got the design sorted: although it did take several practice stitchouts!

A boring job, but at least in brings in some money!

And the excitement: Postie brought me something:

A clue . . . Someone could have got it free with a car

Another clue . . . It cost me a couple of hundred pounds.

A third clue  . . .  If I break it I can replace it for about £15

Any idea yet?

There are some people who will think this slightly sad, and possibly pathetic (that will be Brian), but I think this is VERY exciting.

My car has a new registration number . . .

ta da!

Apologies for the flash reflection, I had to wait for Brian to come home, and the nights, sadly, are drawing in.

Wednesday 24 August 2011

A Great Day!

So today mum and I popped along to Eternal Maker.  It's just about 15 minutes from Mum's, and I have to say that if it hadn't been for other inhabitants of Blogland I never would have known it existed.  Even if I had driven past it several times I still probably wouldn't know what it was.  So thanks to Sarah for mentioning it (several times) and Hadley for the great directions . . .


Fabrics (about a gazillion rolls), buttons in every colour and size and shape imaginable, and assorted 'stuff' piled high in a labyrinth of delight!  We will definitely be going again, as it was too much to take in during one visit.  Mum just bought one key ring.  I did get everything on my list, and just a teeny bit more besides!

Do you want some photos?

This fab London themed canvas will become a Pink Penguin bag for my Sister In Law for when mum and I go to visit her and my brother in Australia in December.  The plain pink (I LOVE the Kona selection) will be the cover.  The pink is also for sashing between the pink and green blocks which will become pin wheels.

The scraps of fabrics here are from other fabrics destined to be Pink Penguin bags - I took them with me to colour match: the bright blue will be the cover for the Barbados Shells and the bright zebra fabrics, and the dark red is for the postage stamp fabric.

The red flowers here will be the border for the Aunt Grace 9 patch quilt, and the black with scissors will be for Heather's black and white with pink quilt.  I have bought lots of blacks with white now, but I'm thinking of using the left overs in a blanks and batik bright courthouse steps, so of course I needed more

This fabric was totally unnecessary: it was not on my list; I have no idea what I am going to do with it, but there was no way I could leave the shop without it, so there you go!

Finally a bit of alteration: I found a fab top in M&S yesterday:
     Fortunately it was in the sale,
          Unfortunately  it was far shorter than I like to wear my tops,
               Fortunately I found another top that was the same cotton
                     Unfortunately it meant I had to spend more money
                          Fortunately, It was a charity shop, and I didn't
mind at all!

(does anyone else have conversations like this with themselves?)

 Anyways . . .  to the right is an original as seen in M&S today, and to the left is a Benta original (4" longer) as seen on Benta today :-)

Can't hang around for long

I'm on my way out for a day trip to Portsmouth (to see Mummy) and then to Chichester . . . via Eternal maker (yippee!!!)

I plan to be a good girl - there are two project on the to-do list which need need fabric purchases, so I am taking blocks with me so I can get what I need!

I did get some sewing done yesterday, so here is a quick, photo heavy run though . . .

I started hand quilting the Flying Geese as a sample for next month's museum class

It then occurred to me that if any one comes in September but hadn't come in August they wouldn't have a foundation pieced block to quilt, so I'd better make a few just in case.  So I made these

(I'm enjoying foundation piecing much more than I thought I would)  I then wondered what I would do with any left over pineapple blocks.  That's when I realised that the fabrics had all come from fabrics planned for the Citrus Hole in the Ground top.  I made the centre piece ages ago, but it was very big, and very square.  I'm not a great fan of square quilts, so I though I could add some strips to it.  I had added some pink and orange chequerboard blocks to one end, and need something yellow to finish that off, but still have loads at the other end . . .  the pineapple blocks will be ideal!

I am attaching the strips to the top and to a fleece as I go (see my lazy quilt as you go method here) and have done some echo quilting and free range line quilting.  Now I have to wait until mid September to see which pineapple blocks are left for me to use!

I have pinned one diamond strip to the Swirls, and love it.  I think this will become a rectangle too, with diamonds just top and bottom.  Where I want to hang it wont take a square.

I pinned and tacked and eventually stitched nephew's shirt.  I'm taking it to mum's for approval before I press and topstitch it.  Not perfect, and a bit messy on the inside, but I'm quite pleased with it, and he cant 

My replacement 1/4" foot arrived so I was able to finish the pinned section of the Texture quilt.  Now I need to cut and fix some 2" strips of wadding in the wide sashing, then I can start on the final strips for the top and the bottom as we look at the photo

Finally a photo of the most innocent cat in the world:

"What me, pull the washing off the line?  Nah, wasn't me.  I was just sitting here, minding my own business, when a gust of wind blew the quilt cover off the line and pushed it under me.  And even if it didn't happen that way, you wont mind washing it again as you love me"

Monday 22 August 2011

Diamonds for Swirls

Last time I posted I mentioned an idea for the border for the Swirls wall hanging.  Linda explained how to do some lovely diamonds, but she did hers in one colour, while I wanted to use the same scraps as in the log cabin blocks.

So I cut 2inch squares, and attached them to a 3" wide piece of black fabric.


I then separated the two part units, pressed them, and then added black to the other end of the coloured squares.  then I separated and pressed each unit again, and trimmed each one to 2 inches wide

Then they got stitched together again, but slightly offset, so the squares have now become diamonds! 


Thanks for the instructions, Linda, I loved buzzing and bumbling my was through these!

Brief post

Gosh, today went quickly!  Along with church and various breaks for cups of coffee as assorted daughters and friends appeared and disappeared, I managed to add another owl to the Owl Wall hanging

For those who are concerned (you know who  you are), The pink owl (formally knows as Pink) is a Home counties Arial Diving Longwinged Eagle Yelloweyed owl, (now known as Hadley) These are born beakless.  You may have seen a documentary about them on Country File: there is a charity which helps these poor birds, and it only accepts fabric donations.  I am happy to accept contributions here!

Where was I?  All that creative writing has distracted me.  Ah yes, another Owl appeared in my in box today:  Jess attends the Windsor Library class, and by Saturday afternoon had finished her owl, and attached it to her jeans where it looks very much at home with her other owls:  Thanks to mum Kate for the fab photo :-)

In other news, Swirls has been basted and pretty much quilted:

You can't see much quilting details, so here it is from the back. 
I just want to do some quilting in the black sections, and then start the binding.  I am going to use this tutorial from the lovely Linda at Buzzing and Bumbling, and use the scraps with black around the edges.  A bit fiddly using scraps, but so worth it

However, for now, it's time for bed, night night

Sunday 21 August 2011

Chertsey Museum Part 2

So Friday's project with the Chertsey ladies was foundation flying geese.

This is the sample that I took along to show them what they would be doing

 And this I brought to show them what this could lead to! (just one block to finish,then two blocks to join and then I'm ready for borders . . .  only taken me a year, each block is 2.75 inches square!)

 Deborah went for some tiny flying geese, and managed to get quite far along her panel

Carol "saw" a Christmas tree in the geese, so we adapted the first section into a tree pot and she's off with green triangles for her tree

Denise started a wall hanging

While Kay is planning to make four two-geese panels and then assemble them as a pin wheel

Susan is new to the group, but as each project is unrelated to the others that wasn't a disadvantage
I thought I'd got photos of everyones work, but it would seem not.  Iris is also planning a pinwheel design, Beryl is making a wall hanging, and also took a piece of the tiny stars which she will use in a Christmas card, and Jenny had a couple of false starts, but I'm sure will wow us with her achievements next month.

Next month will actually be a sort of continuation project.  They want to do some quilting, so they will bring back their finished flying geese, and we will quilt them

Saturday 20 August 2011

Quick Post

Just a quick post before I go out to teach class two this weekend (I LOVE my teaching weekends :-)

Friday was Chertsey museum: a healthy number (eight today) of ladies who can mostly already sew, and I'm sure teach me as much as I teach them!  A lovely group

One of the Chertsey ladies, Jenny, has been very firm with herself: all projects must be finished . . .and then she brings in the finished item for a bit of show and tell.  It is starting to rub off on some of the others too

So last month was stained glass owls -These are Jenny's trio (fusible bias, needle turn and cut away).  She made a padded wallet for A4 paperwork out of them.  She used buttons for the eyes which I think worked really well, and added some star buttons in the sky

Deborah made a little bag to bring her scissors to the class, with one owl each side
 And Carol finished this lovely chap (using buttons for the eyes again) with the cutest feet . . .

 and then went on to make a fish

The general consensus was that they much preferred to fusible bias method - so that helps me decide what to take to Windsor Library for their go tomorrow.

Today the Chertsey ladies did foundation flying geese, but those pics can wait until tomorrow, I need to unpack today's stuff and pack tomorrow's and then get to bed!

Friday 19 August 2011

This foot? Or that foot?

Today I have been getting ready for the three classes I am running this weekend, and I have been brave: using feet (for the sewing machine!) that I either don't normally use, or have never used!

I used the quilting foot to free motion quilt the tree branches and the sky (not something that I often do). I used some Aurifil thread that I got (on blog recommendation) at FoQ. I have to say that based on the fmq it is great. My reluctance to do any significant quilting is due to unhappiness with tension issues, and this seems pretty darn even!

and then I used this foot that I didn't even know I had - like the 1/4 inch foot it has a little blunt blade that sticks out below the foot.  Where as the 1/4" one guides the fabric, this one seems to sit it the ditch, so where I used in the ditch stitching to quickly attach the back of the binding, the seam is actually in the ditch and is invisible - I'm really chuffed!

 So the Owl wall hanging is [almost] complete ready for the library class (yes, Hadley, I just realised Pink still doesn't have a beak, I will sort that out eventually!)

I have also not finished but prepared as far as I want to the flying geese for the Museum class

So that's a big green tick for all my homework :-)

Thursday 18 August 2011

The Bag Lady

I'm obviously in a bag sort of mood today

The girls' God Mother's birthday was nearly two weeks ago, and none of us have seen anything perfect as a gift for her, and my God Daughter (her daughter) hasn't been able to suggest anything.

So I made a bag for her - the same design as the one I made a few weeks ago, but that Lisa "dibsed" before I even got a photo of it!

It's based on a lunch bag from the Pink Penguin (!) but I made it bigger as more of a biggish handbag / shopping bag.  I LOVE the drawer string liner.  It means your purse and phone are safe on the bottom, but letters to post, umbrella or bottle of water are accessible on top.

Next I finished off the lovely summery bag that Jackie made for me, it just needed top stitching, and slip stitching the turn-inside-out gap

But I was STILL in a baggy mood , so I made another version of the Pink Penguin bag.  This fabric I have had for ages . . .  

Husband went to Barbados a few years ago with his sister and her boys for her 60th birthday.  One of the conditions was that he bring me back some patchwork fabric.  A few days into the holiday, he rang me, almost in tears, (having survived a very Barbadian bus ride to the town) to say there was too much choice.  Ten minutes later he called again even more distraught - he'd found an upstairs with even more fabric!

When he came home he proudly produced four  lengths of fabric.  Three of the fabrics were obviously usable (even though they were all  heavy weight canvas, not patchwork fabric - sometimes men can be very 'special' can't they) but the fourth one was, um, slightly, er, masculine

Anyway, I now have a shopping bag, and from the off cuts, Brian has a new phone case!

The 1/4 inch foot hasn't arrived, what can I do now?