Sunday, 21 August 2016

More Summer Sewing

 The joy of a little bit of retail therapy this week - I was close enough to The Cotton Patch to actually visit in person, rather than by mail order like I usually do.  It made a nice change and I came across these variegated shasiko threads that I didn't know existed!  Lovely colours!

I also topped up my thread stash and treated myself to a charm pack. The 'utility' purchase is of heat 'n' bond lite - the fusible that I have most experience of, ready for a world map project.  All exciting stuff!

 Away from my sewing machine for a week, I've been able to make progress on this little wall quilt.

I was happy with the left hand side, lines of sewing up and down.  It took me a while to decide what to do on the right hand side and what I'd be doing.  I knew that I didn't want to do just either straight up and down or straight left to right.  Perhaps I'll be able to show you a bit more progress on it next week!
This shot shows a little more of the gorgeousness of the thread that I've been using.

Now, of course, on the right hand side I'm using my new variegated shasiko thread!

Hope that you are having fun stitching too!

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Summer Silliness!

 So here is my project using those QST's I talked about - all laid out on my 'design bed' - no design wall on holiday, but when you are sewing at the dressing table there is likely to be handy bed, isn't there?
 Here it is all sewn together - an off centre design in the modern style. 

I'm going to make it a bit less modern, though, as I've decided that it needs a couple of borders to bring the size up a little.  Planning a soft grey followed by an orange, so it should be nice and zingy.  Then I'll need to make time to turn it from a flimsy into an actual quilt!
I've got so many projects flying around my head at the moment, and so many WIPs that I want to make more progress on, but in the real world (as opposed to my parallel sewing world!) I haven't had much time this week.

I did have time to have a play date with Benta, though.  I made this pin cushion (about 3" square) in the same time that the prolific Benta made three!  See them (and more!) on her blog here!

She also gave me one of her selvedge pouches - aren't I the lucky one!  It's a very cool bit of sewing!

Happy summer sewing, everyone!

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Week of WIPs!

I'm away on my holidays - of course, taking my sewing machine and some projects with me!  Unfortunately my packing wasn't as rigorous   as it might have been and I arrived without either rulers or quilting gloves.  I ordered a ruler straight away - and if I'd have realised that I didn't have my gloves I'd have ordered another pair of those too!
 I didn't realise in time, though, so this hexagon piece will remain unquilted until I go home.  I just got as far as appliqueing it onto a larger piece of fabric and wondering if the size was just slightly odd.  It may work in my favour that it's unquilted, as I might add to it in order to get a more useful size. 

Before going on my hols I made four blocks on the 365 challenge - but I messed up the one on the top right so badly that I think even I (with my appallingly low standards!) will need to remake it.
 I did some border adding on the project, though, and added first the inner dark border.....
.....and then *most* of the light border.  I seemed to come away without three of the light blocks.  Really not my best attempt at packing!

Despite the lower LH corner being missing, as shown in this photo, I'm pleased with how it's coming together.

With my newly delivered ruler I'm starting to make the 50 QST's that I need for my next project.  I hope to have more progress to report next week, when I'll be safely back in my quilting cave with ALL the equipment and supplies that I need (for the moment!).

Happy sewing everyone!

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Busy, busy!

 Lots of sewing this week - delighted to have my sewing machine back from it's service!

 A total of 14  x 3 1/2" square blocks this week - I'd forgotten how fast these little blocks can go together.
 Some of them are nice and square, others need a bit of a trim and square up!
 Some had triangles that were teeny tiny by the time we'd finished!
 This is another pin cushion made with some of the scraps - about 3" square.
 Three post cards - all variants on a 9-patch theme and roughly 6" x 4".
 A hand stitched improve pin cushion - about 3 1/2" square.
Finally, three more 'wild women' - when I excavated the sewing machine for its service I found these three unfinished 'dolls'.  Roughly 2" x 3" plus hair, legs etc.  Good to get them completed and ready to give away at some point!

Now I need to decide which projects to take with me on holiday - always an exciting prospect!

Happy stitching, everyone!

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

This and That!

 Ta-da!  The final 6 1/2" 'light' blocks from the second border are complete!

I haven't made any of the 3 1/2" dark blocks this week as my regular sewing machine has gone away for a service, and I don't trust the accuracy of my daughters machine which I've borrowed!
It was fine for making a few more sweet pea pod purses, though!
But the piecing on this 16 patch looks decidedly 'improv' even though I did start off with 16 x 1" pieces!

The windmill on the RH pincushion was the left over bits from the centre of the block in the first photo - too good to lose into my scrap basket!

My machine should be back by the end of the week and I'm looking forward to it!

Happy stitching, everyone!

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Baden Powell Award and Bits and Bobs

 What a proud and happy girl!

DD1 worked hard and got her top Guiding award - completing the Baden Powell challenge.  She had to undertake 10 tasks (in her case these included taking her Water Safety badge, writing up notes about a visit to a wildlife reserve, cooking a meal from another culture - all sorts of things) and to go away with some Guides to take a challenge, where you weren't allowed more than two or three other girls that were from your own Guide Unit.  Quite a challenge for DD1, but she managed and feels very proud, as she should.

Thank you, Girl Guiding, for giving her this opportunity - and in particular thank you to her Guide Leaders for encouraging her!

 I've been getting on with my 365 challenge blocks again.

Almost at the end of this round of 6 1/2" light blocks.  Just two more to make and I'll have enough for the second border (not that I've sewn together the first (dark) border yet!).
 The little dark blocks are going to be the focus for the next couple of months, I think.  These ones could have done with a bit more contrast in my fabric choices, I think....I'll have to relearn that!
 I've also made this ready for the end of term - it was tricky to get the thread outline just right for the dragon, but I'm quite pleased with the final result.
 I also ordered some crushed walnut shells as I feel a pin cushion festival coming on!

Here are my first two attempts, made in response to seeing the ones on crazymomquilts.

I have lots of scraps, so I think that I might well be making more little lovelies!
Plate bag for DD2's camp made and filled.
Another small batch of sweet pea pods made too - that should cover the next couple of birthdays that I'd like to give a homemade gift for.

Phew!  Loved all my sewing this week, and I'm looking forward to getting more sewing done this week before the school holidays start and things get a bit busier at home!

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Some blocks and a finish

 Another 8 365 challenge blocks this week!  I know that's not much of a catch up, but at least I'm not sliding backwards still!  I'm up to the 25th June now, and quite happy with my progress.
 More pretty blocks!  I'm enjoying the journey of this quilt, although I still have no idea what I will do with a quilt that is going to be so large.... apparently the blocks we've made already are sufficient to cover the top of a double bed!
 The finish is the Project Linus quilt that the girls started.  Didn't they do a good job?

Here it is in its fully bound glory.

We have our local Project Linus coordinator coming along to the Richmond and Kew Quilters next week - perfect for handing this quilt and a couple of others that I've made over to her.
Here it is showing the backing, which was two printed cot quilt  panels.

Off to make some more blocks and a plate bag, ready for DD2 to go off to Guide camp later this month.  She's shopped my stash and chosen something - and chosen fabric for the shoe bag needed once she moves up to secondary school too.  I'd better track down the cord that I know I've got somewhere!

Happy sewing everyone!

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

More Cake, More Blocks, More Sewing with a Good Heart.

It's been a busy week - with some time taken to rant about the upsetting referendum result.

This is my favourite 365 challenge block that I've made over the past 7 days.  Shown here at it's 'raw' 6 1/2" square, it won't be long until we have sufficient blocks to make the next 'frame' on the pattern (not that I've actually assembled the inner darks yet - still a project for another day!).
I managed six blocks this week.  I'm only about 10 days out of date on it, which I'm quite proud of!

 We hosted DD2's 11th birthday party at the weekend - Snoopy themed.  Who amongst us quilters could resist asking the guests to help make a quilt for Project Linus, after explaining to them that the charity was named after the Charlie Brown character?

They set to with gusto, and are seen here admiring their handiwork.
I've added a few more strips to this 'stitch and flip' quilt (so pieced and quilted all at once - a great way to make a simple hardwearing quilt).  I just need to complete the binding now.  Well done girls!  It just shows how willing young people are, in any situation, to help create something for people less well off than themselves.   There is hope.
My other sewing has been a few more 'sweet pea pods'.  Quick to sew - I need to find a source of zipper pulls to add to the zipper teeth that I have left!

Finally, a snap of the cake that I created.  Relatively simple to decorate, using toys that I bought from eBay to complete it!

Planning a more restful week now!

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Midsummer mum

 I took some time to myself to make these four Hazel blocks....
 ....and these eight Hazel blocks (that's me all caught up now on Hazel, at least!).

Aren't they great patterns?  I love how these ones play together to make a great secondary pattern.
But the rest of my time I've been being a mum!  I took DD1 shopping on her day off from school on Monday (and we both lived to tell the tale - and even had fun whilst doing it!).

Yesterday my attention turned to DD2 - and yes, you might have guessed, we gave her a camera for her birthday!

Midsummer 'mumness' is fun, but I wish that I had the energy to both sew and put that amount of energy into parenting!  Still, I shall stay happy with being able to be a mum and thinking that it is appreciated by my lovely girls.
I also made these sweet pea pod purses (one boxed out, one not) for a friend of both girls who also had a birthday yesterday!

Thanks to Lazy Girl Designs for selling me this PDF pattern and showing me how to reattach zipper pulls to zips!  and big thanks to whoever it was that showed them on her blog last week, making me buy the pattern and order some 16" zips!

Gotta love the world of blogs!

Happy sewing everyone.  Hope that you are cherishing your family relationships too!

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

A bumper week!

 Life isn't always perfect - and I'm here to show you that blocks aren't always perfect either!

Spot the mistake with this block?  Hmmm.  Yes.  Me too - not even I could sweep this one under the carpet!

I wasn't feeling the love for it, so confess to just chopping the extra fabric off, thus losing the chevron effect.  Oh well!  Only you and me know that, no one looking at the finished quilt will ever know that it was designed any differently!
 It was only one of twelve, yes, TWELVE, 365 challenge blocks that I made this week.

There are some glorious patterns to enjoy!
 Here's that rogue block with the outer parts chopped off - and some others with their points intact.
 Some of these blocks are quite fast, others seem more time consuming - but it's all good fun!
 Yesterday I started to cut out the pieces for my Little Hazel (last months part - oops!).

I even got as far as making up one of the eight blocks that are going to be produced - just as well, as I need to look at where the points are ending up on the outer edges!

If I wanted to boast about how productive I've been, I might also mention the 'army' trousers (simple pull on trousers in camo fabric) that I've made for my DD2 for a school production.  Such a long time since I've made any sort of garment, but it was fun to draft a simple pattern based on a pair of her pyjama bottoms and get something that more or less fitted!

Another pair coming up later this week as one of her friends needs the same sort of costume!

Have fun with whatever you are sewing too!

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Blocks and Pink Loveliness!

 This is one of the nine 365 challenge blocks that I've made this week - shown on it's own as it is the closest to 'real' colours that I've snapped this week.

 These are some of the lovely other blocks that I've made this week - lots of pieces!
 And these blocks too!
And the pink loveliness that I mentioned?  My two beautiful daughters, all tricked out in pink ready for the Race for Life.  They raised £100 - thanks to all their sponsors - as part of a large team that raised over £1500.  Well done to them all!

I'm off to unpick the next block (I should have paid more attention before I sewed some of the elements together!) and then start some more!

Happy sewing, everyone!