Friday, 26 February 2016

What a celebration ....

my 100th blog post, a finish and a giveaway!!!
 
100 posts - admittedly when I started blogging again things were slooowww but I've got a rhythm now and I love the sense of community that is present amongst quilting and craft bloggers.  It's so lovely to take some quiet time and catch up on what everyone's been doing and of course ogle over all the lovely pictures!  To celebrate I am having a giveaway - details at the bottom of the post.
 
But onto a finish first ...... my Rainbow Swap mini quilt is now finished.  Whilst I have a lot to say about this quilt and the process (when do I not have a lot to say?) for today a few pictures will suffice.  I will just say that I am really happy with how this quilt has turned out and I will be a little bit sad when I have to send it out into the big wide world.




I am linking up this finish to Finish it up Friday over at Crazy Mom Quilts today and it is also a finish from my 2016 Finish Along list.
 
So onto the giveaway .....  UPDATED 03/03/2016 This has now closed.
 
There are two prizes up for grabs, both containing everything you need for a spot of well deserved R&R, all you need to provide is the mug!  The latest issue of a quilting magazine, chocolate, tea bags and a double sided quilted mug rug made by yours truly!  I am happy to post internationally .....
 
Option 1 - magazine is Love Patchwork & Quilting


Option 2 - magazine is Today's Quilter


If you would like to enter then here's what to do:

::  One entry for a comment on this blog post, stating which option you would prefer if you have a preference

::  One entry for a comment stating how you follow me, if you wish to start following there is a Bloglovin' button over there on the left and I can also be found over on Facebook and Instagram

You can also have extra entries if you comment on the relevant posts over at FB and IG.

The giveaway will be open until 03 March 2016 and will be drawn that evening UK time.

Hope you all a great weekend. x

Thursday, 25 February 2016

My kind of birthday ....

Today is my birthday - hip hip hooray!!  Yesterday a card came through the post and I assumed it was a birthday card when in fact it was a card from the lady whose quilt I recently returned after longarming it.  This is what she had to say:
 
"I would like to thank you so much for the lovely quilting you have done for me on my applique quilt. In particular the additional spirals on the sunflowers and the extra detail on the leaves. I am sure ...... will be most thrilled when they receive the quilt ....."
 
The quilt in question can be seen over here.  What a fantastic birthday present to get!
 
The morning started with presents .... lots of handmade ones and my youngest daughter made us all pancakes.  It doesn't get any better than that.
 
I thought my daughter had bought this set but when I asked her where she had got it from she told me she had made it and just put it in an old package she had!
 





 
I am just blown away by their creativity sometimes .... and all this made in secret without me knowing about any of it!  My eldest daughter is cooking dinner tonight and I don't have to do any clearing up - bliss!!
 
 
 
I have also had time in my studio and am well on my way to finishing my Rainbow Mini quilt for an IG swap.  Hopefully it will be a finish tomorrow for Finish it up Friday and there will also be a giveaway announced. xx

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Work in Progress .....

I can't believe how quickly you can make blocks when you have bought yardage!!  My normal practice is to make do and cobble together bits and pieces but yesterday I bought some fabric and it makes the process so much easier and quicker.


I love the polaroid quilts I have seen on the WWW and IG and decided to make one as a cot quilt.  For the practice ones I used a grey as a surround and whilst I love this I didn't think it was best suited to a cot quilt.  Instead I have chosen Moda Grunge Pool in Aqua.  I hadn't seen any Grunge fabric in real life until yesterday when I saw the whole range.  They are gorgeous!  It also co-ordinates with the some of the colours in the backing fabric (there's a snippet in the corner there!), which may also have an accent border on the front.




I have also been working on my daughter's quilt, which is needs a border top and bottom and then some applique on the front.  She is wanting to 'catify' her room so, of course, cats are going on the front of the quilt and the backing is all cats!


The other project which really should be taking priority, due to the shipping date being next week, is my Rainbow Mini Swap.  I have been posting updates on Instagram but haven't said much about it here.  The top is finished and has been on my frame for two days but I think I have Quilter's Block.  Is there such a thing?  I can picture it fully quilted in my head but I am not sure if I can produce my metal image in reality.  I guess I just have to take the plunge and start ......


There are lots of other projects at various stages of completion but these are what I am physically working on right now.  I like having multiple projects to chose from because you can do what you feel like at the time but ........ I don't seem to have had any finishes recently, which is always such a mental boost!
 
I am almost at 100 blog posts and it's my birthday week sooooooo I think a giveaway is in order.  Be sure to pop back on Friday for my 100th post!

Linking up to Let's Bee Social today over at Sew Fresh Quilts.




Tuesday, 23 February 2016

A little shopping therapy ...

My husband has taken this week of work and will be with the girls so I have a week in my studio.  I have never had such a long period of dedicated studio time and I can't believe how much I achieved yesterday.  Well, working today consisted of some shopping!  I had a good sort out yesterday trying to match tops with backing and realised that I would have to buy some.  So a trip to The Bramble Patch was in order.
 
I think this cat print is adorable, as does my daughter who it is for .....
 
 

however, it really doesn't go with the top.  Hey ho she's happy with it and that's all that counts right?

 
The next purchase was some backing and sashing fabric for a new quilt ....

 
and a few blocks made up.  Wow blocks are made sooooo much quicker when you have yardage and aren't trying to cobble together all your scraps!


Then three fabrics that will make two backs.  Hmmmmm, see yesterday I was trying to save money and piece together a back for my heart quilt.  There was so much piecing going on that it almost turned into another top.  Compounded with a couple of cutting errors which meant more piecing I decided that it really should be a quilt of its own hence why I needed fabric for two backings!

 
At the weekend I went into my local WHSmiths and was surprised and delighted to see Simply Moderne on the shelf.  It is not the latest edition but that doesn't matter  - I can always keep an eye out for that now I know they stock it.  It's certainly not a cheap magazine but the first copy I bought I read from beginning to end and just loved the article and quilts.  I have not finished reading it yet as I am savouring it!

 
On Sunday I went to the CHSI Stitches trade show at the NEC and came across Karen Lewis Textiles Blueberry Park stand.  I approached a lady on the stand who was free and started chatting away ..... little realising that it was Karen herself!



Check out those awesome bunnies!

 
And the quilt in the corner?  That the lovely pattern by Mary Emmens.  I have seen both this pattern and the Blueberry Park range all over the WWW and IG and have admired from afar.  But to see them in real life was wonderful. x

Monday, 22 February 2016

A heart update .....

46 heart blocks for Project Linus have tumbled through my letter box so far this February ....
 
 
These are from people I have connected with in quilting group on Facebook and through Instagram ....
 
 
You're not too late if you want to join in ... pop over here to see the details!

 
Since becoming a Project Linus co-ordinator I have been astounded by people's generosity.  If you are on Facebook head over to Project Linus - Warwickshire and see some of the lovely donations that have come my way.
 
Last week I had an enquiry from the Project Linus UK website and I arranged to meet the lady last Friday.  Just look at what she came with ....
 
 
5 finished quilts and 8 knitted blankets of various sizes!  Needless to say these had their PL labels sewn on that night and are now ready to be distributed.
 
I have also finished a heart .... My club's challenge in the New Year was My Secret Valentine and I made one for myself whilst I was making for my partner.
 



And just because I am rather pleased with the quilting, here are some close ups!

 



 
And yet more heart related quilting .... I am very excited to be working on this heart top again.  It's been a UFO for so long that it's great it has reverted to a WIP.  It was started all the way back here and is now rather well travelled.  Hopefully I will get the right quilting thread tomorrow and then it will be on my frame by the end of the week - fingers crossed!
 

I needed to piece the backing - I didn't realise that in the process I would almost make another quilt!

 
Phew - that's it for today! x
 

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Feathers everywhere ....

Last week I went on the HandiQuilter Advanced HQ18 Avante at the Cotton Patch.  I actually did the Beginners course before I bought the machine because I had to satisfy myself that it really was going to do what I thought it should!  The support and follow up education has been a real bonus of buying this machine. 
 
So my samples from the day include feathers, feathers and more feathers.  Oh the versatility ...... they can go in borders, they can fit in squares, they can fit in triangles and circles ..... oh I am seeing feathers everywhere!






Working feathers around a corner border ....


Dividing feathers ....


Feather wreath in a circle ....


Feathers on leather ....


This was remarkably easy and didn't even require a needle or tension change.  You need to go a bit slower than normal (and I am a fast stitcher) and have breaks more often because the leather causes the needle to heat up.



When I got home I thought I would have a look at my older practice pieces ....

 

and a feather done in the early days .... definitely some improvement there!
 

I have had such fun on this longarm journey so far and met so many lovely people.  I am really glad I have started quilting and blogging again and look forward to many years to come!