Thursday 31 May 2012

Quiet Quilty Confession

I have just had my first quilt properly quilted (not my first quilt, but the first quilting if you needed that explaining)

I shall code the experience, just in case husband ever finds himself here, but I should first say I AM DELIGHTED - Thank you Steph, it's FAB!

A big stipple all over, with a few whirls added in

And the whole quilt

But I think this will be a one-off!  The cost of the wadding, backing fabric and thread was the cost of (say it very quietly) 28 fat quarters.

The cost of the quilting was (even quieter) 30 fat quarters

At least the binding was just the cost of 2 FQs . . . and how accurately did Helen calculate how much binding I needed!

 So now there are 4 quilts waiting for cooler days so I can hand sew the binding!

(* And I'd like to draw your attention to the irony that yesterday's embroidery earned me money equal to 61 FQs - and this cost me 60 FQs - actually not a bad exchange rate for services!!!!)

Wednesday 30 May 2012

Epic Embroidery Project

I have been slogging away at an embroidery order for a customer: 44 fleeces and polo shirts with the school logo and name on them.  Boring, but  it earns some money (*), so I haven't complained too much

(*About 61 FQs worth, but consider this value when I finish some binding and publish my next post)

While I was finishing this order, nephew came over - wanting to get some polo shirts embroidered for his father-in-law's birthday next week.  As I wanted to finish my lot, and as I figured it would be good for him to do the work himself, I gave him a starter lesson on PEDesign software, and off he went.  I was watching over his shoulder, and I did give him some help, but after a while he was fine on his own, and by the time the machine was free, he had come up with this:

Well done Ant - another skill to add to your CV!!!!

Monday 28 May 2012

A to Z broject, penultimate session

As usual, the photos are on the FunWithFabric blog, but I'm posting a mosaic of the latest creations here

Aren't they fab!

Sunday 27 May 2012

Birthdays and Bondage

So - how many of you are here for the title? 

Bondage is defined as the practice of being bound . . . and the current tense of bound is bind . . . and that's what I've been doing! [smirk]

The binding still needs to be hand stitched to the front of the quilts, but that can wait until slightly cooler weather.

I have pieced, basted, quilted and machine bound Laura's Black and White and Green Quilt . . .

and what is being called the Green Twin Sibling Quilt  . . .

And the Blue Twin Sibling Quilt

 (The spotty  fabric behind the twins is the yummy fleece backing for Laura's quilt)

 And the birthday . . .   Well, somehow this gorgeous newborn baby . . .
  became this amazing adult

Tuesday 22 May 2012

Am I having an Affair with my Postie?

Maybe husband hasn't noticed how often Mr Postman comes to our front door - if he I'd I'm sure he's have his suspicions:

The first visit was to bring me a package from the lovely (and tolerant) Meg at New Threads.

The conversation went "Can I have a box of Aurifil please . . . but can I have a mixture of 40 and 50 weight please . . . and can I choose the colours , . . . and no I don't have numbers for all the colours . . . um . . .  not quite off white, more a milky coffee sort of colour . . ." all this by email about 11 o'clock at night - Meg you are customer service personified!

The second visit from Mr Postie came from the equally lovely Katherine at Quilt Direct - again email convos at a time when people should be having their own life, not helping me ponder the great questions such as What size hexi templates do I really want, and is my fabric big enough?, add to that a big can of lazy baste, or 505 at it's trading name, and giving me advice too, fab!

Thirdly, a super quick delivery from Jaycotts, with more Brother orange thread  for the pumpkins I am embroidering (plus spare black, and some new needles)

Finally the word has obviously not gone out to ignore me as an online customer . . . I first met Cindy when she hosted the Goodie Swap last year, and have been a regular visitor to her blog ever since.  She has now opened Fluffy Sheep Quilting as an on-line store, and I managed to mess up my first order (totally my fault, not hers or the site's fault), so THAT took emails to sort out, but was so worth it . . .

I got the Kona Coal and the dark Violet as I think both will look fab with the hexies, thank you Cindy :-)

Monday 21 May 2012

Mistakes don't matter

Do you remember the quilt I made where I embroidered Henry instead of Harry?  Well I made a replacement for Harry, but still had a Henry quilt that was more or less homeless.  There have been several comments since when I have embroidered a name on anything, and to be fair they were justified, but I am very happy to say that  a really good friend of mine became a grandma yesterday - and the baby is being named after grandad . . . and while we all call grandad 'Harry', he is really Henry, as is the baby, so the quilt now has a home to go to!

I spent most of the weekend getting stressed about my impending Adult Education OFSTED inspection (which didn't happen today, grrrr) but I did manage a bit of therapeutic sewing.

One of the Sibling Twins has been quilted

And the quilt for Niki's friend Laura's 18th had been assembled and quilted (my QAYG method) onto this seriously yummy green-and-white-spot fleece

And I was delighted to see this quilt in my issue of Popular Patchwork which came out today. 

I tell the students that mistakes don't matter, and this shows that even professionals make mistakes

The square outlined in yellow is twisted the wrong way!

Friday 18 May 2012

Plodding and Pottering

I haven't managed any significant makes in the last couple of week as when I haven't been trying to recreate my kitchen, I've been spending most evenings embroidering school uniforms for a customer - but between hooping, un-hooping, snipping, etc, I have managed a bit of sewing, so I thought it's time to show:

Endless Ribbon has now become twin quilt tops for the Siblings Together charity: similar to one another, but different, they both have lots of I-Spy quilts in them

The hexies that I have been working on downstairs have reached almost the end of the light fabric: there are three "Grandmother's flowers" here, and two large random hexies, and there will be one or two more in the mainly dark fabrics.  These will probably become back and front of a hexi bag, and others appliqued onto some Kona Coal for a table runner

Having got close to the end of the hexi fabric, and needing a project to take on the train on Monday, I cut some small pictures from fabrics at Broom Farm, and tacked these I-Spy hexies.  No particular plans for these, but it will take a while to get enough to make anything anyway

a few posts ago I posted a pic of a height chart of the baby at Chertsey Museum

but didn't post a pic of the finished quilt that was made from the other blocks made by the ladies there

And I embroidered her name too

Not too bad going for two weeks eh?

Thursday 17 May 2012

Monday makings and Windsor Wednesdays

Busy week, this one:  Lessons on Monday and Wednesday, and Friday and Saturday!  If they all go as smoothly as the first two I'll be delighted.

As usual the pictures are available in more details, with some words, on the Fun With Fabric blog, they they are just for me to show off what I can inspire people to create (LOL, or what they can do perfectly well without my help!) . . .

Monday at Broom Farm

And Wednesday in Windsor with the A to Z project (not a very catchy name, but it is what it says on the tin)

If you go to the other blog, have a really good look at the stitching on the J block.  I'm not sure if N is 7 or 8, but fantastically neat stitches.

There is a website where we can make a kind of mosaic, but it's like a design wall, so you can put pics of blocks as they've been made, to get an idea how the whole patchwork will look - does anyone have any idea of it's name?  I'm thinking blue frog, or green cow, something like that?  But Mr Google cant help me, so I hope someone else can

Wednesday 16 May 2012

Project on a Budget

Lynn, over at Lily's Quilts, is offering the opportunity to win £20 of fabric, to make something with a Jubilee theme. I've added her button here to show you, but I don't want anyone to go and join in, as that will reduce my chances!
Lilys Quilts

Tuesday 15 May 2012

A humble apology

This is a humble apology to the patchwork and quilting world: there is a new patchworker amongst us, which means that our share of the available fabric, threads, wadding, notions and gadgets will be a tiny bit smaller.  And it's all my fault.

13 months ago I started Crafty Church at my church: just two hours on a Saturday afternoon once a month, and when Janet started attending she seemed a normal person.  She brought along a patchwork bag that she wanted to copy - and did, and then did again, and again.

(I am sorry sisters, I should have seen the signs)

I make the mistake of taking her to Sandown last summer, and that when I started to worry about what I had unleashed - we had to leave early as I was worried about just how many quilts she was buying supplies for.    You know normally people start with squares: something simple, no, she started a triangles quilt one session, and brought it finished as a "Show and Tell" the following month.  First quilt, ever.

She then started quilt two,

Then she didn't sew for a while, as she spent three months in New Zealand (visiting fabric shops?)

She came home with a photo of a quilt like this,

and a suitcase full of fabrics, and two template pieces (which I couldn't make head of tail of);  luckily Jackie was there to unravel the mystery, and less thatn three weeks later Janet has pieced the top, basted and in-the-ditch quilted, and is ready to bind it.

I need something that's going to slow her down!!!

Meanwhile my creating has been restricted by the old problem of not-enough-hours in the day.  I have managed to join three donated blocks and make them into a growth chart for Jessica - the daughter of Sally at Chertsey Museum - to go with the baby quilt that all the ladies contributed to.  The presentation will hopefully be on Friday

And Blogger seems unprepared to check my spellings for me, so apologies for any errors!

Wednesday 9 May 2012

Windsor Weeks

Since I updated here, we've had two sessions at school working on the A - Z wall hanging project.  As usual, the full photos are on the Fun With Fabric blog, but here are the mosaics:

Week 3 (including our first finished square)

and Week 4

No pressure, but I've been told Adult Education is being inspected by OFSTED in two weeks - and to expect a visit - gulp!

Monday 7 May 2012

Bank Holiday Bonus

So far today . . .

Endless Ribbon has been renamed Ribbon Race, as it's down to 6m long which hardly qualifies as endless.  I wish I'd used more picture fabrics as I think it would make a great I- Spy quilt.  Maybe next time

I have started on an embroidery order of  sweatshirts and fleeces for the local pre-school

I have made scissor tags for A who I will be seeing tomorrow (and who has sons who have little respect for fabric scissors not being designed to cut other stuff)

And I've been proof reading a 2500 word essay on ": Leibniz argues that our freedom rests in the fact that reasons ‘incline without necessitating ‘. Assess the concept of freedom in Leibniz and compare its strengths and weaknesses with at least one other rationalist’s concept of freedom." - wonder why I've got a headache!

Sunday 6 May 2012

The best sort of shopping

You may remember I made a quilt for a friend of Lisa's 21st. [Heather's Black and White and Pink]  Well her mum, Carol, asked if I would make another one, for her sister.  In purple please

I don't know about you, but purple is one of the coloursI have problems matching - so many shades.  I pulled a whole load from my stash, and sent them off with Heva (Heather!).  There were a few Carol liked, so we agreed to meet at Helen's - a log cabin in Helen's garden where she sells fabrics and holds classes.

Like me, Carol likes Spraytime, and the one I think of as snakeskin: we had a lovely time choosing these fabrics.  So just to make this very clear . . .
  • I got to go to a fabric shop, 
  • I come out with fabrics that I can cut into (however I like) 
  • and stitch back together (however I like)
  • and I didn't have to spend any money


I didn't think the day could get any better, until Carol asked if I could make some place mats too, so we had to choose MORE fabric for me to use

I even got some sewing done: no pic as it's just a pile of fabric, but Endless Ribbon got ironed pressed (thank you Jackie) and the first row stitched - it is now 27.5m long and 4.5 inches wide - What a fab holiday weekend!

Saturday 5 May 2012

Kitchen Kapers

Not a stitch, or a thread, or a FQ in sight, but here is my new love.  Black, pretty, and oh so shiny, meet my Rangemaster 110 Classic:

 And proof that I cook (very occasionally)

With raw, fresh ingredients, even if I don't have a whole or complete kitchen.

We have bought the sink and the taps, and think we have found a work surface we both like: but the shop was closing so we haven't spoken to a salesman yet

Wednesday 2 May 2012

Scrappy Sewing (Take 2)

Darn iPad - since blogger changed, I cant see posts to edit them on the iPad.  I assumed they were just not showing - until I tried to publish a draft post from the iPad, and there it was gone!

So here I go again

Niki has asked for a green and black and white quilt for her friend Laura's 18th in a month's time.  I bought the blacks and whites at Lady Sew and Sew's a few weeks ago, and Niki was inspired by [this one] I'd pinned on Pinterest ages ago for another project.  So I cut and stitched, and stitched and stitched, until I had 11.5m of striped blacks / whites / green fabric
 but then it needed pressing, so I looked around for something else to do

I have a drawer full of 2.5 inch strips left over from the last 5 years or so of projects.  On the rare occasion I rootle in there for a particular fabric or colour , I usually cant find it, so I decided the time had come to reduce it.

I really enjoyed the Jelly Roll Race I made a few weeks ago, so decided to join all the scraps into one almost endless ribbon  (Does anyone else remember 'Endless Grey Ribbon' from Nick Lowe in the 80s?  I loved that album)

So this . . .

 Got reduced to these . . . a 55m endless multicoloured ribbon, and a few scraps in a box
But then the endless ribbon needed pressing too, which is why I wrote the blog post . . . the one that the iPad ate

Tuesday 1 May 2012

Happy Hexies

These . . .

became this

and will become this (ish).

I enjoyed piecing these over a chat and a cuppa at the church Craft Fair

It only used about 1/4 of my tacked hexies . . . I think I may join some more too!