Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Sunday, 27 October 2013

From naked teddy...

Undressed teddy

to dressed teddy.  

Dressed teddy

DD got her sewing machine out and with the help of this tutorial and me, teddy was dressed.  Took a bit longer than I expected, but as I can't think of what to sew/finish I can't complain!  I think most of the things I want to do are complicated for me so I'm employing avoidance tactics!

My only finish of the week was this mug rug.

Mug rug

My swap ATC's are waiting to be backed, but the timtex is still in the post and having seen ATC's with timtex I'm prepared to wait. I have started an under the sea themed one, still early days, I'll share later.

This is an early post so there may be more, if not today then during the week, as it is holiday time!!

Got to go sew!

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Happy day!!

Oh my!

Sometimes the nicest things happen.  It's been a long week and today was no exception.  As DD told me she lost one sock at school I kept thinking it would be nice to have some happy post to come home to.

Imagine my surprise when I saw this...

ATC 2 envelope

I couldn't remember ordering anything from Singapore, but it wouldn't be the first time I had ordered something I forgot about. Even better than a fabric delivery was the arrival of my ATC from the Very Berry Handmade swap!  Happy day!!

ATC2 swap

I also received some jasmine tea and a lovely note from Angela at Pretty Little Things in a Box.  There are lots of elements to the ATC and it is currently taking centre stage in the lounge so I can study them all.  

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Do you Moo?

how are things?  I'm ignoring the things I'm not enjoying and focusing on the fun!

So while I was at the LMQG meeting chatting I spotted some rather fetching Moo mini business cards.  There has been much indecision about this step.  The business cards will be useful, but it implies there is a business to run.  

Bullets have been bitten and I've set up an empty shop.  So empty that I'm not even going to share the link yet. It has allowed me to order the business cards though and they are rather nice :-)

I'm sharing a link to refer a friend for a 10% off your first order, I get £4.50 Moo cash. Their business cards are rather nice and not too expensive considering you can upload 100 images for 100 cards!

Moving on.  There were some finishes at the weekend.  

Pink and Green quilt

This was just the binding to do.  It's one of the fastest start to finish quilts I've done and I used mitred borders.  

Pink and green quilt

So easy! I followed this tute and used less fabric in the mitring process.  I like it.

The needle books have their beads on and I am waiting for the business cards to put into them so they can be posted.


Everything else got to a hand stitch place and then life got in the way.

Hope your week is going well and maybe we can catch up at the weekend. 

Sunday, 13 October 2013

It's been a funny weekend

I was sent home from work on Friday.  I think I looked a bit too grey and the fact that I was planning what to do when I was sick was enough for everyone to not want me there!

After a lot of sitting and self nursing there was some sewing on Saturday afternoon.  I finished the needle books for the swap and after a quick photo op and wrapping they are to be sent off.


Then there was the wedding reception; great fun and a bit of dancing!

Late to bed, early up to my first meeting at the London Modern Quilt Guild.  For some reason I got the time wrong, but I found the pub and joined in.  It was quite comforting to see faces I knew from Fat Quarterly Retreat '13.

There were less people than I expected but I guess the bad weather and Knit and Stitch show will have impacted.  It was still fun; to see others show and tell and discuss new books, magazines, tools and fabric lines.  In my 'face to face' life there are very few people that I know that are interested in fabric and crafts so it was a definite welcome change.  I'm hoping that I can now say I'm a member of the London Modern Quilt Guild!

Sunday, 6 October 2013

I made it through the wilderness...

So things are not quite back to regular yet and I've been arguing with a cold this week.  Not much of a fight needed as I managed to work all week.  So I decided to plan in some sewing over the weekend just to even things out.

Hoorah! I'm managed my bee blocks for this month already.  The mushrooms are from here and I'm hoping that the improv'd filler block is ok.  
FQR Bee blocks
Now just have to remember to post them!

Then there was a bit of binding, didn't get done; an ATC, can't decide which design to do and if I need more fabric (no I don't but when did that ever stop me) and a needle book which I need to finish start very soon but like the ATC, can't decide on the design and then I have to pick fabric.  I see evening sewing in my near future...

With all that indecision I made a mug rug instead.  

Mug rug

It's ok, there were some moments with the inner corners but I found a solution.

I also washed a finished quilt.  
Just wing it quilt
Need to work on my photographic staging!
Something that would have happened weeks ago if the colour catchers had been bought!!  I like it with the soft crinkle.  I started this so long ago and now it's finished I can see all the things that hopefully I have improved on since I started it!

Anyway, with yet more significant changes happening tomorrow, here is hoping that the week is full of fun for you and me!

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Well, how was your week?

Hi, I've been back at work for about 4 weeks now and this week I'm feeling a bit discombobulated.  Normally by now everything has settled, but so far no.  As usual I have also spread myself too thinly and am feeling it.  I think the two things aren't helping; I do feel for my family.

But moving on from that, I have actually managed to get things finished!!

There was Moira's block...
Block for Moira

A needle book for a swap...
LMGQ needle book swap 1

And a start on the first of my ATC's for 'Very Berry Handmade' Ali's swap...
I like to leave the final reveal for my swap partner!

So maybe not all bad.  Hope your week went well and enjoy the weekend.

Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Binding with pictures!

It's been awhile but I have at last done some more bias joined binding.  Not only that but I remembered to photograph each stage (I think).  I guess you could call it a tutorial but so many have done it before and I don't even think it is different, anyway I ramble...

  • Leave about 6 inches free at each end and each end should over lap by the width of the binding and a bit more.

  • Lay the binding out and crease each end so they join (butt them together)

  • Cut one end to the crease 

  • With the bit cut off open it out, lay it on top and perpendicular to the other side (this give you the join point plus the width of the binding)

  • Cut any excess off (cut is made on the further side from the crease)

  • Putting right sides together, lay the shorter end perpendicular and on top of the other side.  Draw a line across the square that is made.

  • Stitch along that line.

  • Check that the stitching is correct in direction and length before trimming

  • If you stumble across these instructions, hope they help. 

    Saturday, 31 August 2013

    Some finishes

    Things have been complicated for the last few months, but sorting themselves out now. 
    Two weeks ago I wanted to show you these finishes:

    It's a large doll quilt or small table topper.  It's also my first try at free motion quilting and it's very 'free'!  I have had huge problems with the thread snapping which I think is down to the small eye on the needle; 2 people have now told me that you need a larger eye.  

    Since this I have only done straight line quilting so I need to try again and see if the larger eye and not more expensive thread will solve the problem.

    I also finished my cathedral windows from FQR.  Not sure if I would do it again or if I just needed to do a bit more machine work at the start.  It is lovely and surprisingly heavy for it's size.

    Last week was also tricky and I didn't get the sewing machine out.  Instead I made a box.

    Interesting learning curve;
    • I need curved needles to make it work, hence the improvised one in the photo.  I took a regular needle and bent it around the edge of the ironing board!  
    • Despite measure twice cut once the cutting could have been better, but all in all I am very happy as now I have somewhere to store my ATC's.

    Yesterday I finshed 2 mug rugs.  Well, there was one that just needing binding and for some reason I just hadn't got around to it.

    The other I started on Thursday evening as I have always wanted to try string blocks but not make a whole quilt.  I was very pleased with how it looks and also to have it done before dinner yesterday.  

    So that's me, hoping that you like the photos and enjoyed the summer.

    Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts.

    Thursday, 29 August 2013

    It's wordless Thursday

    I've been trying to post for the last 2 weeks but life is unravelling.  Not too many wonderful days, so here are photos, enjoy!
    Giant star quilt
    Just needs binding now

    Another top done. Getting ready for Christmas

    I made a box! (Spot the improvised curved needle)

    Couldn't help but buy more fabric and start another quilt!

    Friday, 9 August 2013

    Twice in one day?

    Well, things are a bit calmer now we have food.

    Yesterday I managed to finish the centre of the scrappy quilt top I have been putting together.  
    Scrappy quilt top3

    I think I was channelling a log cabin thing at the end.  I quite like it in a 'wow that's everything, everywhere' way.  So today in the everything else to do list I threw in a trip to the local fabric shop to get the border fabric.  

    Here is where I could do with help, what colour for the border?   I looked at orange, yellow and blue was favourite, but the shades were wrong.  I'll try the local quilt shop next then online.

    After lunch, I went for a quick win with a flexi frame purse.  I bought the frame at FQR 2013 and it was one of those things that I didn't want to just put away and forget about file carefully.  I altered the top as the frame I had was smaller than the one in the tute.

    Flexi frame purse

    The opening isn't as big as I expected, you can't really test it until you put it together, and it has a wicked snap shut!  Probably not suitable for small people.  The man has asked for one for his change but a bit more manly.  Think I'll try another shape for his.

    Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts.

    My FQR 2013 Roundup (part 1)

    I had hoped to do this last week but found myself off the grid all week while on holiday. It did mean that I got lots of hand sewing done, but more on that later.

    So there are lots of round ups with better photos than I have; I forgot to take any! So I'm going for the next best things, the people I met and shopping.

    Friday; meeting Jenna was very cool and I can only thank her for taking care of me that first evening.  We went to our classes and agreed to go to the Village Haberdashery after.  So after 3 hours of photographic instruction with Judith, which was brilliant fun, especially for us compact camera people!  Jenna and I went shopping!  I came back with this lot

    Village Haberdashery shopping
    Jenna mentioned The Staple Dress that Mandy had been wearing, and how quick it is to make, and I have been after that Collette pattern for a while.  The scraps are for a top I started a while ago, I needed some more variation.

    Then I met my room mates; Jane, Moira, Angela, Jo and Kate.

    Saturday; the day of free motion quilting.  Trudi was informative and helpful as I machine quilted with hand quilting thread and broke a needle *hangs head in shame* (because for 2 years I advised people on thread use!).  

    Mandy gave me some tips on my curvemaster foot, which, 1 year on and never been used successfully, will be written up to experience as the chance is it's a duff one as I can't fit it onto my machine.  And introduced me to Aurifil which did quilt like a dream.  
    I never knew thread could be so involved and I did buy a reel of Aurifil, but only one after Ann told me how much she loves it but her machine doesn't!

    My FMQ attempts and Aurifil
    Rachel had planned to take a group to Shaukat for a quick Liberty fix.  I went, but didn't buy as it would have been for a Staple Dress and I wasn't sure of the quantities.  I'll be heading back though as the Liberty was extensive and I have plans!

    Francine and I rushed back for our afternoon sessions and I spent 1 1/2 hours practicing my free motion design.  It's interesting how differently you have to think to keep the pen on the page.  Every so often I lifted so I started again.

    There was time after for some for some EPP so I sat at a quiet table with Mandy and others and sewed.

    So that's part one and two will be coming soon, but I have to go do things with the kids so until later...

    Monday, 27 May 2013

    First finish

    It went quiet over here because of the testing times at school.  A whole new situation for me and I found it quite draining.  All over now and the sun has been out too!

    Maybe last month, I finished my cushion cover and it now replaces the destroyed one.  

    I really like it, even the bits I could have done better (aren't there always those!)

    Now it's going to be a short post (I think I have to do each FAL in a separate post), but hopefully there will be more this week as school is off, although the yearbook that I have to finish is calling and I really need to get it done.

    Saturday, 13 April 2013

    An early finish

    when I'm at work I like to use any free time to create, just to keep me busy!  I don't have a particularly high finish rate but even when I do finish something I forget to photograph or blog about it, which was the point of me doing this blog!

    So these are finishes from some time ago that are currently in an exhibition at a Clandon Park:

    Just after the new year, I was fabric shopping with a friend from the Guild who said "so have you started your piece for Clandon?"  There was much confusion and a degree of fear from me and lots of "you'll be fine" from her!  Well, I panicked and while babysitting for another friend decided to get started.

    I've always wanted to do something based on the tree of life and this is it.  It's based on lots of different ideas but as usual with me I needed to keep it simple.

    This piece I completed in my lunch breaks at work (previous job).  It really was a 'I need something to do for the free half hour of lunch' project and I love it, so does the girl.  Unfortunately for her, it sold!  And will be going to a new home in Devon next week

    This mini quilt was my hand project for last summer holiday.  Which I had fun finishing and I'm guessing I've got away with including as I'm quite new to the embroidery game.

    If you have time between now and next Wednesday, I recommend a trip to Clandon Park.  The house looks interesting and the textiles exhibition is stunning.  I've very lucky to be in a Guild of such talented people!

    Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts

    Friday, 12 April 2013

    2013 FAL Q2

    I've been looking, and feeling slightly shamed, at how much is achieved by joining in with a FAL (Finish A-Long).  I have tried before just listing things here but clearly it didn't work! :-)   So I've decided to join in with Leanne from She Can Quilt. 

    So, in the style of Pointless (BBC program), in order of least likely to most likely to finish:

    1. Giant start quilt

    I started this at new year eve 2012 and had the top done just before my brother and family arrived. I don't have a day off work anymore and sew on the dining room table which has put me off starting the quilting.  I think i pieced the back and basted it on a free day I had between my two jobs.  I have to quilt and bind it and at about 2m square I'm expecting it to take me awhile.  I'm going for circles which should make it easier but it will be my biggest quilt done at home (read:nervous).  This holiday has helped me reconnect to my sewing machine so hopefully by end of June.

    2. Swoon
    Moe and Joe (my mojo) left me so I've only got 4 blocks done.  The guilt has been high watching others finish and just not wanting to.  Then I saw others only got as far as 4 and stopped.  It gave me the permission to stop and make the 4 blocks into a top.  I know, I shouldn't need permission, but... well this time I did.  I have to finish the top, quilt and bind this.

    3. Just wing it quilt
    I started this a while ago, then it was lost carefully put away. About 3 weeks ago I had a massive clear out and tidy and found it again (hoorah!).  All it needs is binding.

    4. Embroidery page
    I am a member of the Embroidery Guild.  Last year we celebrated the Queens jubilee and this years project is a fabric book.  Each member from our branch is making a page.  This has to be done by next month; no pressure!  I'm new to embroidery so I'm keeping it simple.

    5. Cushion cover.
    I'm playing with square sizes for another project I would like to start and I made a few blocks from my scraps. 

    They were so pretty I didn't want to put them in the 'what to do with pile' so DH suggested a cushion cover to replace this...

     that has been attacked by the boy over the last 6 years.  I had the cushion for about 20ish years before it was "played with" so comprehensively.

    I'm going for a more than 50% success rate and I don't think I'm putting myself under too much pressure.  If it goes well maybe I can up my game in Q3! 
    Good luck everyone!  Here's hoping we all achieve what we are aiming for.

    Linking up with She can quilt FAL Q2