Saturday 31 August 2013

Zipperdy Do Dah Zipperty Ay

I'm trying to get into the habit of using up fabrics that are left over from a project: either cutting into 2.5 inch strips, or on a little project.  So I had a play with the scraps of the Beach Bag project.  I used a large piece of the wooden planks for the front

And joined the smaller scraps with some of the solid for the back

Did you see what I did for the front?  Did you?  (back to the first photo) It's a first for me, and it worked better than I thought, I'm not very good at following instructions so I kind of made it up as I went along.

Have you worked it out yet?

I fitted a zip!!!!!!!!!!!!

So here it is zipped

And here unzipped.  I lined it with planks on the inside back, and there is more of the solid inside front.

The lovely Fiona at CelticThistle blog has a New To Me link party each month: I don't normally join in as I tend to repeat rather than try new things, but I'm linking my zippy bag as it's my very first zip, ever!!

Celtic Thistle Stitches

I couldn't get my head around hiding the raw edges (as I usually try and do in bags), so I've just zigzagged them, but I'm quite chuffed with what I've achieved.

Friday 30 August 2013

Bag Distraction

I need to put some more time between me and the Northern Lights quilt, so today I worked on a bag I'm making for a friend's 50th at the end of September

Jane (just two days younger than me!) works for a local habi / fabric / curtain shop as a curtain consultant.  She is an amazing knitter, and knitted this awesome meetcat for my birthday last year!

She recently mentioned a bag she had fallen in love with. This bag, made by one of her colleagues, sits in the window of the shop, so I went and had a good look through the glass, and took this photo
Jane specifically commented on the colours and the flying geese ("tiny triangles").  My first concern was the flying geese: I'm not very good with sewing on the bias, and then I realised I couldn't make an exact copy as I could only find one FQ of the beach hut fabric and none of the seagulls, so I added a solid to the mix and changed things around a bit

One side of the outside

I decided to have a go at the flying geese, Issabella has inspired me to have a go even if they are a bit blunt beaked: her project looks awesome

Inside there are 4 big pockets

I feel the frustration of the Northern Lights problem slowly ebbing away

Thursday 29 August 2013

How Many Hexies?

Over the last few evenings I've tacked and whip stitched about 200 three quarter inch hexies.  I have sewn them together in strips, and when I've sewn the strips together it will look like this

This isn't even half the full project as once the centre is filled in I'm adding borders in solid colours that match the dotty fabrics - a few more years' TV project me thinks.

At least it's growing - rather than the darn Northern Lights project which got unsewn yesterday and has been staring accusingly at me all day today, I need to do a lot of rethinking to get the effect I want

Wednesday 28 August 2013

Unsewing :-(

I decided the northern lights design wasn't doing it for me, so this is the result of today's time in the sewing room

The expanse of sky is now strips of sky

Pah!  Good night 

Tuesday 27 August 2013

Northern Nights

I'm starting to run low on sewing time as school starts up in less than a week and my to do list is a bit long, but I have been working on the holiday memories quilt

So far so good, I'm now trying to turn the corner, this is the work on progress photo of the next section, the bumps are where I need to resew as the angles were too steep

Monday 26 August 2013

Scrappy Sunday

I finally finished the machine embroidery on Sunday, and also managed a bit more quilting.  This scrappy Fractured string quilt was asking for a concentric quilting pattern, but I didn't feel up to circular quilting,

So I went for a more angular design, quilting concentrically about an inch apart

It look ages, but I think it's worth it.  Yellow binding then got stitched to the front, and the whole lot is now in the waiting-for-cooler-weather pile: it *almost* doesn't count as a UFO any longer!!!!

Sunday 25 August 2013

Quick Quilting

As you may know, I'm a patchworker far more than I'm a quilter: I tend to go for minimal, in-the-ditch quilting if I have to do anything, and even then I shoot off the edges, or fall out of the ditch far more often than I'm happy with. Part of my reluctance is that I don't want to spend more time on this quilt: I want to get on with the next one!

 However, this top needed to be quilted

So I pulled on my big girl pants, and quilted free range echo lines either side of the zigzagged seams.   I didn't worry about going straight exactly to the seam and turning, instead I curved around it, and that made it much easier and much quicker

And I used grey top and bottom, so the curves showed on the back of the quilt too

I'm rather chuffed with this

I then machine stitched grey Spraytime border (one of my favourite go-to fabric ranges) and this is now in the rather monstrous pile waiting to have the binding hand stitched to the back

Saturday 24 August 2013

Picture Postcard and Plagiarised Poetry

I'm still catching up with the overdue Star Of Africa blocks: Leanne asked for a block representing a postcard: I already had in mind what I wanted to make for her, but needed to find the postcard that matched it (not necessarily the conventional way, but it worked)

So I was delighted when I found this postcard

with swans, the castle, and bearskin guards, it ties in perfectly with this embroidered block

Hope Leanne likes it

Best Friend, oh Bestie,
How do you love me?
Let me count the ways *

(I apologise to poetry lovers everywhere for that awful mutilation of a lovely romantic poem)

Actually, I'm not sure I can count how much Jackie loves me - she loves me enough to sizzix all these hexies for me.  She has sorted and cut and trimmed and then posted them to me so I can get on with the Yellow Hexi quilt

Love you Jackie x x x
* "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways..." by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)

Friday 23 August 2013

Chertsey Kids

I had a great day yesterday with a lovely bunch of girls at Chertsey Museum: aged 5 to 15 they all had great ideas about what to make

Individual photos here

And my favourite creation, and mosaic pics below

Thursday 22 August 2013

Holiday Memories

I have finally got round to planning my holiday memories wall hanging.

I am using the Bargello style of patchwork, (inspired by Eldrid's northern lights wall hanging) but needed to know how to get the curve, so I practised with paper.

I made the horizontal strips

Then cross cut and tried to arrange them.  I was doing OK until Quilt Inspector #2 came to help

Thanks Scratchy, just make yourself comfortable why don't you?

Finally she got bored and let me finish my paper quilt

Now to do the real thing!

Wednesday 21 August 2013

Wordsworth Wednesday

As a treat for getting through 50 or so polo shirts (another dozen or so to go) I decided to work on one of the outstanding Star of Africa blocks.

Veena wanted a flower that represents our country, and black and white fabric bordering the flower.  I know daffodils are Wales' national flower, but with Wordsworth's Wondering lonely as a cloud 

And then my heart with pleasure fills, 
 And dances with the daffodils.

and Daffs being my favourite flower, I decided to use them

To tie it more to the UK I used some London themed fabric (although all the Images are also seen in Windsor) for the case, and finished it off with this lovely "how to sew a cushion" fabric.  Hope Veena likes it!

Tuesday 20 August 2013

Button Box

Following my button picture post, I had some comments about buttons - did I have many left?

Well this *was* my button collection

And then a friend gave me two boxes from her late father 

So I sorted these (I only keep the ones that lay flat, not the ones with a shaft, does anyone want them?) and now my jars look like this 

They look lovely on the window sill with the light shining through, but there are quite a lot now!  Maybe just as well I'm teaching button pictures soon!

Monday 19 August 2013

Basting and Binding

While the embroidery machine is chuntering away I have little to do, but cant really get distracted by another project

You can see from this photo that the parts of the polo shirt that have been pushed away are just waiting for me to pay attention to another project so they can flop down and get included in the embroidery

But after basting a few quilts over a coffee break, I managed to quilt around the flowers on this little quilt while the other machine was embroidering, and then quickly add the binding to the front before I started the next shirt

 And then the same again with this one

Then in the evening Shawshank Redemption was on TV, a crazily long movie, but one of my favourites, so I settled down with glasses and needle and thread and hand stitched binding on this

and this  

Yay two finishes!!!!!

(really chuffed with the scrappy binding on the Oakshott Triangles)

Sunday 18 August 2013

While I'm Working

I'm plodding though what looks like a thousand jumpers, poloshirts and sweatshirts - a great way to fund my fabric habit, but very boring to blog about.

So instead, I thought I'd share some more Quilts from the Festitval of Quilts last week.  These are together as they respresent pictures.  As before, the pics in the mosaic, and other pictures are on the 'Private Use' page.  Click [here] for the link, or use the tab above

Saturday 17 August 2013

Bag Ladies of Chertsey

I taught a fab class last night at Chertsey Museum, part of their series of Wine and Craft nights:  titled Bling up a Bag, or sometimes Tart up a Tote, The ladies brought friends and wine, the museum provided the bags and nibbles, and I brought felt, fabric, bondaweb, buttons, embroidery threads, cute stuff, rubber stamps, and other stuff . . . and we had a great evening

Just look what they made (individual pics on the Fun With Fabric blog)

We've got three more classes booked:
25 October (Animal pin cushion, based on Plum's chicken, thank you Plum),
15 November card making,
29 November Creating Cushions (again)

fancy joining us?

Friday 16 August 2013

Wind The Bobbin Up

Apologies to anyone who has had kids, or worked with kids in the last 30 years - that song has now probably wormed its way into your head and will stay there for hours!

But it's what I was singing to myself as I prepared a few embroidery machine bobbins for the tasks ahead

Why so many?

Well this bunch of school jumpers was delivered (some of the mums don't like the generic ones, so they buy Marks & Spencers' jumpers and get me to do the school logo)

And this load of tops was delivered to have a transport company's logo stitched to each one

I'll see you on the other side

Thursday 15 August 2013

Oooh, oooh, Ooops

I've joined May's Map Fabric swap, so I HAD to buy some map fabric

I got this map of Paris from Fabric Rehab,

And they offered flat rate posting so it was rude not to sneak in anything else

. . .  so I got some of one or two others!

No, no ideas what I'm using them for! 

Wednesday 14 August 2013

Holiday Wallhanging

The lovely Fiona and I have become friends through the Star of Africa bee that we are both in, and she has given me a little bit of a much needed kick to get one with a particular project: She has invited people to join her Holiday Memories - Mini Quilt competition

She has arranged judges, prizes and even a button
Grab button for Celtic Thistle Stitches
And given that I had the holiday of a lifetime this year, and have already planned the quilt and bought the fabric . . . I think I need to sign up!

Oh, and I need to make the wall hanging too, I've ordered some more dark fabrics and once they arrive I'll get going