Sunday, 30 January 2011

Forest Ideas

Any thoughts?

I've been playing with my Block Lotto trees, and although I could mix them to make one biggish quilt, I could use the negatives and the positives separately to make two smaller quilts
The coloured trees on black could be staggered randomly like the black trees, or they could be in rows with black infill like this (except there is one red tree in the wrong place!)
These will probably be charity quilts, so two cot size quilts will be fine

Ho, hum, but I shouldn't be working on these yet anyway, so they can all go back in the box for another day

Some finished projects, and a new skill

I have saved a number of photos of quilts and other things I'd like to try, but haven't found a way to go back to the website or blog that the photo originated from.  Whilst I am under no illusions that people will be flocking to my blog for inspiration, it did occur to me that watermarking photos wasn't a bad idea.

So I asked my friend Mr Google to help, and he directed me to this site and I can now get my photos watermarked ... for free.

So here, multitasking as a watermark example, is a photo of projects finished in the last 24 hours ... a skinny quilt for the BQL swap (that is NOT the required size, oops), two rug mugs that kind of go with the skinny quilt, and the completed rugby logo designed and stitched out for customer approval

Saturday, 29 January 2011

ANOTHER sale from ETSY

ANOTHER sale from ETSY :-)

geting organised, and posted lovliness

I have now taken three projects downstairs to hand sew in front of the TV, so that helps at bit, and I am tidying up.  

The downside is that I got an envelope of SCRUMMY fabrics today from Cross Patch (10 FQs for £10) which I want to make lovely things with, and I have also decided what to do with the brown and green moda layer cake, so I don't really want to work on any of the workbench stuff :-(
I know, I have to eat my greens before I can have pudding!

Here is the hand stitch project that I have been working on since Christmas.  It is "Arabesk" from Maud Von Bergh Arnoldus.  I bought it at the Festival Of Quilts last summer.  I didn't much like the solid colours, or the shades of blue they suggested, so am using scraps in red, blue, yellow and green. 

I've done half the blocks, just need to do all the greens, most of the blues and a few more red then I can add the border.  I'm really enjoying this

New Fonts

Blogger have released dozens of new fonts ... hope you like this new one ;-)

Friday, 28 January 2011

too much on the work table

As I sit at the computer this is what I see to my left
from left to right ...
  • blocks and fabric for Hilary's textured quilt
  • stacks for block lotto
  • rug mugs (from stacks which went wrong, to skinny quilt that I didn't like, to rug mugs)
  • landscape hangings, possible for skinny quilt challenge
  • Zebra drawstring bags half made
  • Rugby trousers to be repaired
  • Rugby logo to be digitised
  • Christmas sack for Henry
  • Pinwheel quiltlet, poss for skinny challenge
  • church stoles to be restored
  • pinks and green blocks
  • Calendar quilt that I started 12 months ago
and that doesn't take into account the fabric on the shelf for a fruit quilt (6 yards) a quilt for our sitting room, (6 yards) a brown and pink cupcake quilt (3 yards) a yellow and orange quilt that has been started, and the layer cake I won from Stash manicure, as well as all the one-day-this-will-be-perfect fabrics and the half dozen flimsies that need to be backed and quilted.


Mum I know your sewing area isn't like this - what about anyone else out there in blogland - come on Jackie - confess!

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Do what you love, love what you do

Just over a year ago my Uncle Geoff died of cancer. During the 18 months he was living with cancer he never complained, and during the 6 weeks he was dying of cancer he still never complained. Seriously, never, not once! He was only 68, cancer is a cr@ppy disease, he was entitled to complain, but he didn't.

I have been thinking about this on and off, sometime almost subconsciously, and I think part of his attitude was due to his life style. He lived very simply (just how simply is a family joke) and had spent over 40 years managing, coaching, and refereeing youth football and cricket teams. After he took voluntary redundancy 15 years ago this, along with a love of music and quizzes was his life

A real example of doing what you love, and loving what you do.

Yesterday I went to see Sally at Chertsey Museum about delivering some children's craft sessions, and mentioned the Fun with Fabric that I'm doing in Windsor - Sally got really excited and is going to try and get funding to pay me to do the same there. There is also possibly another parent and toddler craft session in Windsor, and a Material Mummies session at a new Children's Centre ... If these all come to something I can trade the school job for a number of crafty projects, and can ... Do what I love, and love what I do

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Sold a dove design

An ETSY customer just bought this dove design ... another $5 in the retirement fund :-)

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Crafty Saturday (part two: The Church)

 The Craft Session in church was only decided on Wednesday, so I knew that this month I would be on my own.  I started on the restoring of some old stoles, and did a little bit of hand sewing.  The vicar mentioned it in church today, and I think there will be a number of us next month (19th Feb if you are around!)

(St Michael's Church, Horton, between Heathrow airport and Windsor castle)

 The first stole, pale green) has a perished lining.  The original was probably silk (it feels like lining material, burns rather than melts, and tears very easily along the weft or warp) and has now been removed
 The second stole is cream and again the (probably) silk lining has perished so I have removed it.
  • I need to re-line these two, but don't have the knowledge or skills to know whether I should use silk again, or lining material, or cotton or linen, or something else.  
  • Also should I cut it straight or on the bias?  
  • I presume I do a sort of needle turn applique (but I'll be turning a good inch or so under so I have some expectation that it will stay until it's stitched down.)
 This third, claret, stole is in great condition, but someone had added this rather naff piece of lace at the neck ... so I removed it
 (that makes one restored stole right?)
 This purple stole (below) is the biggest worry.  I have removed the lining although it wasn't too bad, but the purple fabric has worn in places;  
If I put the stole on me, the worn areas are at the same height, about lower chest height.  I am guessing a previous vicar habitually grasped the stole while he was preaching?  I guess I could make that part of the front narrower, but the embroidered section isn't that far away from the worn section, and is quite wide.  I could border it with bias binding, but I think that will look naff, and could result in someone taking it off in 50 years wondering what idiot added it in the first place (see the claret stole, above LOL)
I am very open to suggestions, as I know I am working well above my ability here!

 Other naff  'improvements' I thought I'd share with you ... there are a number of square things (sorry don't know the right word) which hang on the front of the pulpit, and each one matches the alter cloth, and generally matches the stole that the vicar is wearing for that particular season.  These square thingies have Velcro on the back and get attached to a grubby piece of linen on the pulpit's lectern and hang down.

...WHO thought red Velcro was a good idea, and then made the middle section too short so the Velcro didn't even reach the square thingy???
Don't worry - I'm working on it.  Brian and I have a cunning plan!

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Crafty Saturday (part one: The Library)

As I'd already volunteered to teach Fun with Fabrics at the library one Saturday a month, and then wanted to start a monthly Craft session at church, it made sense to run both on the same Saturday... and for January that was today

The session at the library was making No Sew bags.  (One lady thought maybe some clever way of folding a square, but confessed she much preferred what we actually made!)

I had made them basic bags just sewing 3 sides together, and they first pinned cut or ripped denim from the top of one side, down and up the other side (becoming the warp), and then wove other lengths around the bag (the weft)

This time I had my phone with me so I managed to get some photos ...

Steph used just one pair of jeans, so the bag has only subtle colour variations, and she managed to include a pocket panel which I hadn't thought of

Tita nearly finished her bag, just wanting to add a border around the top
 Kate managed to get hers finished - she dithered about some buttons but decided it was finished without
Kathy has nearly finished hers, and will carry on with it next month
And Jess finished hers ... When Brian looked at the photos he said that was obviously the expert's one!  Jess has far more imagination than us: she used uneven strips, some flat and some folded, and came out with a bag that is very unique, and VERY Jess!


Friday, 21 January 2011

SLIK pinwheels

I am not a fan of traditional pinwheel blocks (using half square triagles, where you take two squares of fabric, stitching two parallel lines from one corner to the opposite and then cutting down the middle).  Cant explain, just don't like it, so when I saw this method it appealed to me

This is an amalgamation of a number of pinwheel tutorials that I have seen, and results in a quick, easy and accurate way of making pinwheel blocks from strips of fabric.  (there is another way using squares, but that is for another day)

I used strips from a jelly roll, so my strips are 2.5 inches wide.   I stitched two strips together along BOTH long edges
 I then cut the strip into 2.5 inch squares [note, if you are layering blocks to cut a few at a time they need to all be the same (ie dark fabric on the bottom, otherwise you get some as mirror images ... guess how I know!)
 Now cut each square into two triangles, corner to corner (cut all  blocks the same direction)
 The triangle will have one long seam, and one diddy little seam just a few stitches long (you would see this if the photo wasn't out of focus!).  Slip your finger between the two layers and this will easily open
 Press all the newly formed 'twin' triangles open, seam to the dark side
 Now join these twin triangles in pairs to form quad triangles.  Press seam to the dark side
And then join pairs of quad triangles together to form a pinwheel block.

But now we have a problem - we cant press to the dark side as there are two dark sides ... top left and bottom right, on opposite sides of the seam.  Can you see the first two diagonal seams have been pressed clockwise, and we'd like to treat the centre seam as TWO seams and press each one clockwise
So ... we are going to do some 'spinning'!
Remember the seam that joined the twins to make quads?  It is now the seam that is perpendicular to the centre seam.  Confused?  OK, photo time.  The centre seam is shown black on this next photo, and the first seam is red.  We aren't interested in either of these.  The green seam is the one we want.  We need to unpick the top few stitches - from the edge to the centre line
Once we have done this, we can push / encourage / persuade each half of the final seam to spin, and lay flat clockwise (showing this cute little pinwheel in the centre)
... and Bob's your uncle
One pretty close to perfect Pinwheel block :-)

For Indi

India, (my niece) starts pre-school next month, and the parents are asked to provide bedding and a towel that the child can recognise as their own.  Indi asked for a rainbow, or Disney's Belle.  Belle raises all sorts of copyright implications, so I thought I'd suggest Lisa gets her a Disney towel, or I can send one, and I would stick to the rainbows.  It has taken my longer than it should as I needed to wait for the new machine, then I had too much choice of cot size bedding (cotton, terry, flannelet, yellow, pink, blue, cream, white, not all fabrics available in all colours...) and then finally I decided I would stick to Brother threads for this machine rather than the cheap and cr@ppy threads which I usually use ...

So finally, now that all the excuses are resolved,


India has a set of rainbow themed, recognisable stuff, about to go in the post ready for going to school!

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Bits & Pieces

Three more pairs of trees have arrived :-) 
These - from Michelle,
and these from Deana, thank you ladies (I do hope I am getting the right names to the right trees!  My list has first names, and the envelopes have surnames, so I give it my best guess)
These cuppas went off with Mr Postie - To Lisa at Uni, to Mum, to Jackie, to Tante Berit in Norway, and one to Niki, here.  4 have been received, hope my favourite Nonagenarian gets hers soon!
Today Lisa and I went to Sandown, to the The Stitch & Creative Crafts Show, and had a great time.  Here is a photo of our haul, especially for Jackie :-)

The Hoopla cone is a long strip of t-shirt type material - we are gong to have a go at crochet!  Next (clockwise) is a mini iron for Lisa (she's been using her hair straighteners to smooth fabric!), followed by three tins of 505 spray adhesive, and two tubes of an Aloe Vera hand cream that we've had before and really like.  Then a small jelly roll of creamy coloured 2.5 inch strips for Hilary's tactile quilt, and 4 FQs in landscape prints (grass, pebbles, stones and bricks)

Carrying on round, clockwise, and two tiny packs of 2.5 inch strips for Lisa's postcards and 6 business card sized boxes suitable for buttons and other bits and bobs, finally in the middle, three packs of buttons for Lisa

The show was good, but only about 10% patchwork stuff, and slightly more each of card making, scrapbooking, other crafts, and knitting, with another third being ready-made stuff, or random stalls of bread, licorice, hand cream etc

Still we had a lovely day out!

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Sewing and postal lovliness

I have finished and delivered Jessie's quilt, and mum is very happy.  Jessie's birthday is on Thursday, so I should hear then whether she is happy !

I worked on the three Round Robin flimsies: not all to Kate's instructed sizes, but I don't think she'll banish me from the group!

The pink version uses up more orphan blocks, and adds (at the top in this photo) the big liberated star, and the skinny inset together with a bit of extra pinkness to bulk it out.  I think I might prefer it on the bottom, enclosing the very pink piano keys, but that puts the stars close together, so I'm not sure

 For the blue I made three log cabin blocks, and these are pretty much the right size.  However I think they need to be moved too from the right side to the left, distributing the cream sections more evenly.  It's strange that it is easier to see this in the photo than looking at the flimsy itself!
The black and white piece level 7 addition didn't work at the top or the bottom of the piece, so I have changed it from a squarish finished top to a rectangular one, adding the new block to the left.  However with this photo too I am thinking maybe it would be better on the right.  Deep sigh, almost a productive day!!!
I received more trees, this time from Kathie  in Pennsylvania who sent a lovely chatty letter (which I will reply to Kathie, thank you) and a half yard of fab turquoise fabric...

and Belinda in Texas who sent these great wonky trees and some really sweet strips of valentine's fabrics, which I 'm sure I can use!

Thank you ladies :-)

Friday, 14 January 2011

MORE squishies :-)

I got back from a lovely (although wet and misty) day at Mum's yesterday, to find Mr Postie had brought me two more Block Lotto squishies:
 Thank you to Julie D in San Jose for the lovely turquoise and yellow trees
and to June (in San Diego) who sent these fab blue and orange trees, together with a spare piece of fabric

Thank you ladies :-)

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

another sale

This Whale design has just sold on ETSY - happy me!

I love my postie

What a day this has been ... first I received a sparkly red package from the lovely Madam Samm from Stash Manicure, with so many goodies I went weak at the knees... look at these thimble thingies, notions and scrummy Layer Cake (mum, this means 48 coordinating fabrics all cut to 10" squares) Lovely warm earthy colours.  I'm thinking of making this quilt from them, adding maybe brown or dark green to make the diamonds

Then there were all these quilt patterns ... so many choices!


Then ... the postman handed me a bunch of envelopes and I was still looking at the bills when I realised some of the envelopes were squishies :-)

These lovely trees came from Laura in GA, USA

 These fab trees came from Cathy in Australia...
And these super bright trees came from Maree in New Zealand - what an international forest this is going to be!

Thank you, thank you, thank you, all of you :-)


My new embroidery machine arrived a day early, so I haven't even had time to clear a space to unpack the box .. so that is my next job!