Tuesday 30 April 2013

Baby Boom

All of a sudden there seem to be babies under construction: two assistants at work, a friend of Lisa's, and a friend's daughter. I usually have a few I-spy quilts on hand but they have all gone, so I spend a few lovely hours cutting, sewing pressing, sewing, and I had this,

and this ready for binding

Monday 29 April 2013

Chunky Chevrons

I managed to spend some time sewing on Sunday, and then a bit of time quilting (!!!!) and here is Chunky Chevrons in Yellow.  I cut half a dozen yellow fabrics (mostly FQs) into 5 inch strips and then started with a triangle off centre along one side of a fleece blanket.

The strips were then added (right sides together, stitch and flip method) on alternating sides until the fleece was full.

I then echo quilted each side of each chevron with more or less straight lines, and also a few extra echoes on every other one

Now I just need to get some more yellow for a binding!

Sunday 28 April 2013

Happy St Georges Day

OK, so St George's Day was last Tuesday, but this is the first Sunday after. I only had one child at Sunday school today - Rodney, and he was telling me about the St George's Day parade he was going to later, so we scrapped the planned lesson, and taught each other about St George, and made a picture.

After the service, Sunday School always does a Show and Tell, and Rodney (age 9) told the whole story himself. I just tried to do the glamorous assistant bit and held up the pic!

Annoyingly I then came home to a flat tyre, so I spent the rest of Sunday Morning at Kwik Fit getting it repaired.

I did manage to get to the sewing machine in the afternoon, but I'll show you that tomorrow.

For today, I will leave you with this sent to me today by my boss

Saturday 27 April 2013

Astonishing Archaeology

I didn't get much sewing done today as we had a bit of a day out.  In our (small) village there is a big gravel extraction plant, it's been there 10 years already.  They have an archaeology team working one month ahead of the diggers, and today they held an exhibition of their finds in the village hall of the neighbouring village.

Completely free, they had over a dozen of their staff there answering questions (did you know there was such a thing as an osteoarchaeologist? she was fascinating) And lots of information as well as the items themselves on display

Phil Harding from Time Team on TV was there, flint knapping, and chatting

There was clay for the children to make their own pots - and plastic bags for them to use to take them home

Assorted 'finds' that we could pick up and feel

and gold beads from a necklace worn 4300 years ago (!!!!)

All the items on this poster were there for us to see

And this poster shows where they are known to originate from, FOUR THOUSAND YEARS AGO

They also had photos of evidence 4 extremely rare Early Neolithic houses (5500 years old) There are only a few dozen found at all in the UK, and they have never previously found more than one on a site.  The BBC has more info here

A lovely day

Thursday 25 April 2013

T-shirt Sweat Shop

Well the school football shirts finally got finished and delivered

A shame they went wrong and I had to spend an age hand sewing ten patches on, but the football coach is delighted , and I'll get paid, so all's well that ends well (-:

I then moved onto the next project: six tshirts for a group of teenagers doing the London to Brighton cycle ride in June.  A number of designs had been discussed, but in the end they went for this one - it was my favourite too

These are being stitched in my 'time off' - the time that I'm at home rather than at school.  I do usually work hard at school too, but today I took a little 'me' time and sat with my new friend - I've called her Sunshine

She came from one of a dozen eggs delivered, with an incubator, on Monday.  As I left school today six had already hatched - an amazing experience for the kids to actually see this happening in their classrooms!

Wednesday 24 April 2013

Chertsey and Crafty Church

I just realised it's been a while since I shared the creations from the two monthly sessions I am involved with.  This has partly been due to me having problems with Big Lab mosaics, but today Janine made a suggestion, and

Tada . . .

April at Chertsey Museum

And April at Crafty Church
Just click on the links to get to the Fun With Fabric blog with details of the April sessions, and class info

Tuesday 23 April 2013

Moo Moment

I've heard a lot about Moo cards, but it wasn't until I got a link from the lovely Plum that I actually went onto the site.  I was reasonably controlled, and so far have just gone for the free card, but I can see I will be buying some in the future

They look exciting before you even before you get to your own design of cards

But when you then see your own quilts - back AND front of the cards, it really is a lovely sight!

They do postcards too, yes, I may need to spend some money there!

Monday 22 April 2013

A Yummy Mummy

On this occasion I'm not writing about my mummy, but a mum at school - or rather an ex school mum!

Julie and her family moved to Amsterdam last summer, and I had sent some stuff to help the kids get places at the school out there.

Julie is back for a weekend, and popped in to school . . . And brought me these yummy batik fabrics as a thanks for my help!

Isn't it lovely when you get such appreciation for just doing your job :-)

Thank you Julie, it was lovely to see you, and I love my fabrics

Sunday 21 April 2013

Soccer surrender

I should have listened!

When I asked for suggestions for putting the badges onto football shirts the general advice was to stitch onto a patch and stitch the patch onto the shirts.

Well I ignored you

And I shouldn't have

To start with it went OK, not brilliant, but acceptable

But then . . .

I did all the usual, change the thread, change the bobbin, change the needle, but it still shredded the thread and made a pig's ear of the shirt.  So I've given up on 'my' idea, and I'm reverting to 'your' idea and will spend the evening stitching patches onto football shirts.


Saturday 20 April 2013

Super Strings

When I posted my string quilt flimsy a few weeks ago, Jen messaged me to offer me some more string blocks.  She had these from a swap, but didn't know when she would get around to using them, could I use them?

Well clearly I don't have enough fabric, or UFOs (please don't look at the UFO & PHD tab) so of course I accepted, and just look what she sent me.  FAR too gorgeous to cut down to extend the previous top, and with just a few more squares will make a fab top in its own right.

What can I say? Except thank you, thank you, THANK YOU Jen

Friday 19 April 2013

Super Star

The final star block from my month of the Star of Africa bee arrived today:

The lovely Sana lives in Berlin, and made me this picture of the iconic Berlin TV Tower for my Star of Africa star quilt.  I love the ribbon with the skyline that she added to the applique.

And with the other four blocks that  very greedily asked for from each of the girls . . .

How awesome is that?  Now I need my mum to come home from holiday so we can arrange the blocks on her spare room floor as I don't have any space big enough!

Thursday 18 April 2013

And Another One

I so enjoyed making yesterday's bag, I thought I'd make another one, from more summery fabrics:

Again with a pocket

Again reversible.  The pocket is across the whole of the bag, and then stitched down randomly to create smaller sections for train ticket. sunglasses etc.  These bags don't close so not really ideal for a handbag, but for a book and a bottle of water - ideal!

Wednesday 17 April 2013

Bag Lady? Or Bucket Lady?

I had a bit of fun making a bucket bag today, a reversible bucket bag to be more precise!

I put a strip of pockets around the bottom, and adjustable straps. I'm rather chuffed with this but it seems a bit dark for (hopefully) spring.

Pockets on the outside: (the red is the top of the pocket and the pocket lining)

Plain on the inside

OR reversed so pockets on the inside

And adjustable straps

Tuesday 16 April 2013

Happy Hexies

A few weeks ago I cut spotty fabrics into hexies, with a plan to use them with yellow to bulk them out.  But as I started stitching them together I realised that even with the added yellow there wasn't going to be anywhere near enough to carry on with this density of flowers.
Lisa had two brilliant ideas when she was home last week.

Firstly to do two bands of flowers, top and bottom, and to then have the middle mostly yellow with random flowers and hexies dotted around.

Secondly, for her to take some tacked hexies on the train and she would stitch them on the way home.

Yay!  Thank you Lisa, love you xxxx

Monday 15 April 2013

School Football Shirts & Newspaper Charms

One of my tasks for the holidays was to embroider the school logo into the team football shirts, but I'd been putting it off - after all, it's not very exciting is it?

I have now completed the design work, and I've done some trial patches (they wanted some that they could sew onto track suits etc).  The patches have come out fine, so I was ready to risk stitching on the football shirts . . .  but . . .

Given that the I'll be stitching onto red and blue on the shirt, I couldn't decide what colour to use for the stitching?  Navy? Red? White? Black?

At the moment, indecisiveness is a good excuse not to start stitching yet!

So instead . . .  I have been cutting fabric.  It's only sort of for me.  I've joined another charm swap, this time for text fabric.  I'm actually contributing stash fabric.  I bought some fab newspaper print fabric in Amsterdam years ago.  I got it in heavy weight and in vinyl, then two years ago I was there again and got it it cotton, but I have been saving this for the right time.  So I have now cut my precious newspaper fabric into 56 charm squares, and I'm posting them to the lovely May.  She will received 55 similar bundles, and then will make 56 bundles of assorted fabrics, one for each of the group members.  If you are interested there may be places left, so hop on over and take a look

Sunday 14 April 2013

Marvellous Mosaic

As a creature of habit, I tend to sit in the same pew each Sunday (unless there are kids in which case we're in Sunday School on the mezzanine floor) and I tend to go to the left of the alter rail for communion. Each Sunday I look at these tiles and contemplate making a quilt based on them (I love the secondary star, but too many HSTs)

Last Sunday I happened to go to the right of the alter rail instead, and looked at the floor there.  This Sunday I remembered to bring my camera

Do you see what I see?

This middle one isn't a star!

Saturday 13 April 2013

UFOs & Mission Impossible - fact or fiction?

I have a rubbish memory for dates, (I have a rubbish memory full stop) but I know I started making a yellow and white quilt for a friend, S, and his girlfriend, T, and I know I met T when Niki was a baby - she is now nearly 19. Anyway, S and T split up not long after, and the quilt never got fully finished.  Half got completed and was used on the kitchen sofa - and got eaten by the rabbit, so that has long since gone, but while I was looking for something else in the shed I found the other half.

Oh boy have I learnt a lot since then!!!

I have declined to take close up photos as its only just passable from a distance!

I have chopped the remaining piece into 2- The first part is now assembled and quilted. My thought is that it may go the the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU), but they need everything washable at 60 degrees (c).   I'm washing it now, although I haven't put the binding on, to see if it copes with the hot wash

What I should be doing - is tidying Lisa's bedroom!

In 48 hours my cousin and her son arrive from Denver, on their way home to Kenya - and they need to be able to put their luggage in this room, AND sleep in it!  Anybody want to come and help with my Impossible Mission?

Friday 12 April 2013

Bizarre But Brilliant

When Jackie recently said she had a present for me, but handed me some toe separators, I was a bit confused.  I though Jackie realised / knew me well enough to grasp that I was very low maintenance - and that stuff from the beauty counter was not likely to get used much, if at all!

But then she showed me what it was *really* for:  4 bobbins, and they wont come unravelled at all as I drag my sewing stuff around the countryside

Jackie - I love you!

Tuesday 9 April 2013

Strings and Things 2

Also in the box of HST string squares there were 35 string squares.  I have no idea what I'd planned to do with them, but I'd been making them up from scraps from other quilt tops (all in the Before Blogging days)

Looking at lots of the fabrics, I can remember the quilt that I made, and who it was for - others I'd have sworn blind I'd never seen before, LOL

Anyway, I have long loved Nicky's (mrs Sew and sow) Fractured quilt, and I wondered whether these string blocks could make a colourful version of it

Here is Nicky's (hope it was OK to pinch a pic from your blog Nicky)

So I used her photo to create my own Scrappy Fractured:

Monday 8 April 2013

Strings and Things 1

While I was finishing the embroidery I also started rummaging through boxes of UFOs, and found loads of strings that had been stitched into squares about a hundred years ago. Some were HSTs, and some were just string squares. So some got combined into pinwheels

Sunday 7 April 2013

Fabric In, Fabric Out

The fabric for the Rainbow charm swap has been cut into 5 inch squares, and is now ready to be posted back to Cindy

Crossing with that package was a package from Cindy.

I want to do a Bargello type wall hanging, but no one near me sells the Kona range, and I was reluctant to buy just from a website.  I sent the lovely Cindy some photos of the Northern Lights as seen on our recent holiday. 

And she sent me these perfect fabrics (which have not photographed perfectly, but are spot on in real life)

So, as if I didn't have enough projects I want to start, I'm now wanting to start this one too!

Saturday 6 April 2013

Foundation Failing

Kristy at quiet play is hosting a Foundation Piecing block of the month, and I confess I have been struggling.

This is what it is supposed to look like.

And here is my attempt

Spool 1 (brown) was fine. I was really pleased with spool 2 (green) until I realised I'd used the wrong background fabric. Spool 3 (purple) had the same background as 2, but I've run out of wood fabric, so the 'wood' is the same fabric as the thread in spool 1. You may have guessed I'm not very pleased with the way this is going! And oh gosh some of those pieces are small!

So change of plan! Kristy, I have learnt from you, and I am now using that knowledge!

I drafted a plan

And I made by own block - I used selvedge edges as the 'thread'.  Sorry Kristy, but this is about me being useless, not about your insructions being off!!!