Friday 30 September 2011

Lucky lucky me

I was so caught up in making things for my Goodie Swap partners, I'd sort of forgotten that I would also receive two packages.  Well one has arrived . . .

Beautifully wrapped (but not for long . . .

Just look at the yummy goodies my partner Caroline sent me: as well as the Mug Rug, she made a lovely little pin cushion (much needed) and the sweetest little pouch with . . .  a zip!!!  I am so in awe of anyone who can do zips!

Here is a close up of the Mug Rug - I love the rainbow circles, and the spotty binding, and the quilting is great

Thank you Caroline, thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I love it all

I haven't been at the computer or the sewing machine much - I was offered permanent work at  the school I've been temping at, but it includes earlier mornings and learning a new computer system, so my brain has been reeling this week, and I've mostly just crashed in front of the TV of an evening.

 I have a growing pile of strips waiting to be basted, but I loved the brown flowers (to be called Flower to the Power of 9, or
(not easy to do on Blogger, but mathematical minds will understand the pun!) Thanks to Katy at the littlest thistle who came up with the name, so I started another version of it:


Sunday 25 September 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!

Had a lovely day today: presses from mum and from Brian this morning, then we, and Niki went to Greenwich to visit Lisa where I got more pressies from the girls, plus a scrummy lunch in the sun at the side of the Thames, followed by a shopping spree in the Market, and meeting Verity - a fab day!

The outside of the Painted Hall at Greenwich (and my thumb!!!)

I'm posting this on the iPad, and the photos are on the phone, so this could be just words, but photos will follow when I come to grips with blogging while the PC is switched off!! Photos now added (obviously, but I had to resort to switching on the PC!!!)

From Brian I got a sonic cleaner for jewellery etc
 And from mum I got a lovely scarf and some Troll earrings (just trying to work out how they work - do any of you know?)
Lisa got me a pretty bead necklace and had one of her owls framed for me, and Niki gave me a much needed (and perfect) new purse. Between them they gave me solution to my quest to find the perfect butter dish!!

The lovely Plum (with whom I share a birthday :-) made me some fab beaded earrings - with a pair of scissors on them! They are great! Thank you Plum
It was great to meet Verity (miss Ginger makes) at the Market, and I had to buy just a few bits of scrummy fabric from her!

Lovely day - thank you all ! ! ! !

Saturday 24 September 2011

MORE piecing

I usually buy fabric with a vague idea as to how I'll use it, then change my mind several times, then change my mind again . . .you get the picture!

BUT . . . as soon as I saw these two fabrics I KNEW what I was going to make with them, and yesterday I got the urge!

The fabric got 

cut into 6 inch squares, 

stitched into Nine Patches,
cut into quarters,

stitched back together again


and again

and again, 

and just look at the scrummy yumminess that resulted!!!

I am so in love with this combination, but have no idea what to call it, or what to do with it.  Hopefully someone will have a baby girl soon!!! and hopefully a better name than "Brown & Flowers Disappearing 9 Patch" will occur to me!!!

Meanwhile - Jackie - I've run out of the fabric, if you are seeing AnneMarie before you come over can you get me a yard of the brown, and half a yard of the flowers for the borders and the binding, pretty please

Thursday 22 September 2011

MORE cutting and sewing

I'm obviously in the mood for piecing at the moment.  (If you saw that amount of stuff that husband has on the dining table you would see why I'm not basting anything at the moment!)

I have been asked to make two quilts (which I will get paid for :-) for babies due about Christmas time.  One will be a boy, so blue please, and the other will be a surprise, so creams for that one.  I have an idea for the cream (but no fabric) I saw a vanishing 9 patch where the un-cut squares were 9 patches, or pinwheels, or HSTs so I think that will be the idea for that one.

For the blue quilt, I took a big gulp and started to cut into the Sweetwater Pure fabrics I got a while ago (get me, quoting fabric design names!)

There was enough for two quilt tops, each about a metre square, of a random brick wall design
The tops have been sewn into strips, not flimsies, as I will join the strips to each other and to the wadding and backing as part of the basting / quilting stage.  (Have a look at this post to follow my lazy quilt as you go shortcut).  Most of my recent quilts have gone straight onto a fleece blanket, but these two will have wadding and backing, so I just have to go to the shop to get the creams and the backing fabric - such a shame!!!

Wednesday 21 September 2011

Design Bed problems

I tried to arrange the red blocks today, but the largest (clear) horizontal surface surface at home is my bed - and that isn't big enough to lay out all the blocks!  So the red "Cricket Stumps" quilt will have to wait until I can either get to mum's or to my nearest patchwork workroom.

I did spend a bit of time preparing some cotton for a quilt project a friend is planning.  I cut the cotton into 8 inch squares and have bundled them up with fabric pens for people to decorate before I get them back to join together.
Hopefully nothing significant will be lost in the seam allowance .... do you think they'll get the message!

Tuesday 20 September 2011

more mindless sewing

I have carried on with the dark red blocks and the pink and green pinwheels today.

I've got 48 red blocks, and I think it will work to arrange them on point (at 45 degrees) - I'll lay them out on my 'design bed' tomorrow and see if they work as I expect

I have done the pinwheels: most are stitched and pressed, a few just need the final seam sewing.  I seem to have ended up with 13 of these which is NO good for a quilt.  I guess it will be a 3 x 4 quilt with one block in the orphan drawer!

I also made things with these three fabrics, but they are being posted as surprises, so no details about what they are or who they are for until after they have been received!

Sunday 18 September 2011

a bit of sewing

Nothing too fancy, just a bit of mindless sewing, interspersed with cutting and pressing:

These blocks will become a cuddle blanket for the living room (I've been collecting dark reds for ages, and now that I'm cutting into them it occurs to me I may have too many!!!)

And these pink and greens have been half square triangles for ages, but are finally being assembled into pinwheels ready for the school's next 'Pink Day' raffle, raising money for the local breast cancer unit
Hope you all had a good weekend

Thursday 15 September 2011

The Texture Quilt is FINISHED!!!

At long last (nearly 12 months mother tells me) the texture quilt has been finished.  The last of the binding, and the burying of the thread ends, and the snipping all got done tonight in front of the TV (four episodes of The Big Bang Theory) and IT IS DONE!!!

For those who have been with me on this epic journey, you can just congratulate me on finally finishing it, and skip the rest of the post, but for anyone who wants to know - here follows the evolution of the idea of the quilt, and details of each block.

Mum has friends, Geoff and Hilary, who asked her to help with some ideas on redecorating.  Hilary is blind and mum thought therefore that texture was important as well as appearance.  I had seen some textured blogs on a few blogs and thought a texture quilt would be fun to do..  In fact thinking of the 24 blocks has been challenging, and changing my mind from Quilt as you Go to conventional quilting half way through was maybe foolish (!) but I got there eventually.

So here it is
(sorry, rubbish photo - will try and do better at the weekend!)

And here is each block (from top left)

Twisted pin tucks

Machine embroidered squares with textured fill

Pinwheel centre with inset log cabin border

Giant rik rak, in woven pattern

Ripped cotton strips

Folder Prairie Points

"Hilary's Texture Quilt " written in font and in braille.  Machine embroidered, and unknowingly checked by Hilary - I asked her to check the work Texture for a project I was doing!

Folded Log Cabin block - very fabric hungry, mega thanks to Jackie for the extra!

Trapunto block. The flower is raised, and the outside is flattened with free motion quilting

Whole cloth block, quilted at 45 degrees

A spiral in a rope design, machine embroidered

A heart of antique buttons (mostly donated by Mum and Hilary's friend Fenner's mum, thanks Jane)

White on white fabric conventional log cabin block, with silk cross stitch embellishment

One inch squares in 'postage stamp' block.  Quilted diagonally

Folded Flying Geese block

Traditional English Pieced (over paper) hexagons in Grandmother's Flowers arrangement appliqued onto calico

Pin tucks smocked into a honeycomb design

Labrador puppy, machine embroidered

Celtic knot.  Fusible binding, hand stitched

Labrador: machine applique using fleece

Strips of Lace and Beads

Raw edge applique

Suffolk Punches (also known as yoyos) donated by Avril (thank you Avril!)

Folded panel

Phew - that's it, all done, 
Good Night!

Tuesday 13 September 2011

I'm still here!

Not got much sewing done, but yesterday I did join The Richmond and Kew quilters for a talk by Sara Impey who created one of the quilts in the V&A Quilt exhibition last year.

This is a photo of the V&A quilt (photo taken from the book: I did get told off at the V&A for taking a photo of this quilt, but I cant find that photo)

Sara gave a really interesting talk on how she makes these, and how they evolve.  The V&A quilt was make on one piece of fabric, using different coloured threads ( these letters are the unsewn areas)

I have an idea to do something like this to look like an old fashioned telegram - but as ancient as I feel, I cant quite remember what telegrams looked like, so I will need to do some research, sometime when I have some free time!

Sara has gone on to do others where the letters are the stitched areas

Then onto colour blocks (she has a great sense of humour) like a paint chart

 And then free hand writing

I went to the R&KQ Group with Plum, and had a lovely tea and chat at hers first -  I love this cushion that she embroidered!

I received this lovely leaf postcard from Sue W (left) and sent her a dressmaker's dummy very similar to the one on the right

Time for bed now, night night