Friday, 30 October 2015

The puffin has landed!

At the beginning of the year I taught some classes to children from a Home Educator's group - my children included.  The brief was for an appliqued bird.  Miss M chose a puffin and drew the design initially which was transferred to fabric using applique with bond a web.

It got to an almost finished stage and then it was left on the shelf.  No amount of encouragement, motivation or support (or nagging!) from me would get her to finish it.  It languished there for 7 months until the annual Flower Show came round.  Miss M was never sure what she was going to turn it into but decided to enter it into the show as a picture in the Something You Have Made category.

She was delighted to win First Prize in that category!!  But the frame had come off the wall and needed to be put back on the wall with the original picture in.  In the end she decided she would like it as  wall hanging but didn't want to do anything else on it herself.  Cue Mum!

A little bit of binding later and it was all done - finally!!  It is now hanging on her bedroom wall and she is justifiably rather pleased with herself!

This is another project to be ticked off my rather long list for the Finish Along 2015 Q4 over at On the Windy Side. x

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Dog Gone Cute ta-da!!!!

Finally it's my turn at the Blog Hop run by Lorna over at Sew Fresh Designs.  When I first saw her Dog Gone Cute blocks I thought they were adorable and when a Quilt Along and Blog Hop were mentioned I jumped straight in.  This is my first time participating in a blog hop so please be gentle!
Well what can I say about the blocks and patterns?  Sooooo much and I have soooo many pictures that I don't know where to start.
The pattern was a dream to work with, once you got your head around all the pieces involved!!  In an attempt to be organised and efficient (that's my engineering background coming out) I set up a production line ........  I quickly reverted to making one block at a time because I found I was just using the quick unpick too much. 
The blocks were made using a stitch and flip method which I had never tried before.  Note - please do follow the pattern designer's instruction - sometimes they just happen to know what they are talking about ...... Let's just say that I didn't believe in ever ironing seams open before I made this block .... now I believe that ironing seams open has it's place - especially for precision on stitch and flip blocks!  I loved seeing the dog emerging from all the pieces ....

The blocks come in two sizes but I actually only ever made the smaller size.  I decided to use the blocks for a quilt for my daughter's upcoming birthday.  She had previously requested a quilt in blues and pinks so that's what I worked on.  She had no idea I was making it for her birthday and the secret sewing in a studio with the door closed was very different to how I normally work.  But then again I don't usually make a quilt in under three weeks!

I knew I didn't have the patience time to make a quilt solely made up of these blocks so I used some plain patches as filler and then decided to put my daughter's name on the side.  I liked the stitch and flip method so much I designed letters using this technique.

I had the backing already on my shelf but when I went to get some more fabric for the border (I went to get blue but came back with pink!) I saw the most adorable fabric with cats on and knew my daughter would fall in love with it.  It wasn't quite wide enough so I made a pieced panel to put in the middle.  I love how it turned out and the best part was it used up nearly all the scraps and my mistakes from the blocks which I kind of love!
The quilting was always going to be stippling.  Since I got my longarm machine in July my daughter has always loved the texture of the quilts which I have stippled so it was a no brainer!  But how to do the faces?  I decided that I would quilt over them but ensure I didn't go over the eyes or mouth.  I think it worked well!  Here's a before and after shot to see the difference the quilting makes.

And of course the all important person to impress .....

She loved it!!!  It was on her bed before we left for London that day ......

And if anyone's still reading(!) here's some full shots I managed to take of the quiltonce I got it off her bed!!

And for the back ....

So that's it.  I've named it Cats & Dogs.  I've been bursting to share it with you since her birthday which was two weeks ago!!  Thank you soooo much Lorna for a wonderful pattern and for hosting the blog hop.  I have loved making this (and I certainly would not have made it so quickly without the blog hop commitment) and loved visiting the other participants who have made such different things from the same pattern.
Oh and it's a tick against one of my items on the Finish Along 2015 Q4!!
To see some other makes here's the full list of the participants:
Tuesday, October 6 Karen of Run Sew Fun
Kris of Kris Loves Fabric
Anja of Anja Quilts
Kelly of Quilting it Out
Tish of Tish’s Adventures in Wonderland

Thursday, October 8
Carol of Just Let Me Quilt
Nina of Inchworming
Doris of The Quilting Queen Online
Brandy of Pampered Pettit
Leena of Creative Instincts

Tuesday, October 13
Ruth of Charly and Ben’s Crafty Corner
Tanya of Tanya Quilts in Colorado
Laurel of Quilts by Laurel
Kathy of Kathy’s Quilting Blog
Deb of New Creative State

Thursday, October 15
Anita of Daydreams of Quilts
Gina of Quilts and Cakes
Beth of Words & Stitches
Rachel of Quiltineering
Julie of Mack and Mable

Tuesday, October 20
Cathy of A Quilting Chick
Selina of Selina Quilts
Shauna of Shauna’s World
Gayle of Pedal Sew Lightly
Kathy of Kayak Quilting

Thursday, October 22
Sandy of Upstairs Hobby Room
Heide of Heide’s Quilty Hugs
Britt-Inger of Hill Valley Quilter
Judy of How ART You?
Louisa of Sewmotion
Tuesday, October 27
Teje of Nero’s Patch and Post
Stephanie of Jak and Will
Valerie of Val’s Quilting Studio
Ellen of Georgia Florida Studio
Cristina of Pretty Little Quilts

Thursday, October 29
Abigail of Cut & Alter
Magdalena of iloveneutrals
Jenn of A Quarter Inch from the Edge
Anne of Batiks by the Bay
Susie of Susie's Sunroom
Tracy of Tracy’s Bits N Pieces



Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Not much sewing ....

It feels like a long time since I have actually been in my studio and sewing.  I have spent some time this last week sorting, tidying and cleaning which is great and makes for easier and quicker sewing but it's not much fun!
I finished the last house on my Italian Houses which I started last week.  I then had to put it back on the shelf because none of the blue fabric I had worked as the sky .....

Cue a Quilt Show at the weekend - Malvern Autumn Quilt Show to be precise.  Whilst I have lots of lovely images of that but they will have to wait for another day.  But the roll of handyed fabric I bought from Farne Designs did not disappoint.  The softest blue at the top works perfectly as the sky!

Some crochet has been done .... these whilst watching the second semi final of the RWC.  Of course watching the first one, All Blacks v South Africa, was not conducive to crochet!!  These require one more blue round and then they will be made into badges for the street collectors for Gaga UK.  I have been helping with The Remembering Tree and thought it would be fun for the street collectors to be wearing a rather bright crochet motif!  If anyone out there who knits or crochets would like to donate a square or two there is still time.  All the information can be found over here.  If you happen to be Home Educators then please get in touch with me and you can send squares to me because we are going to be yarn bombing our own HE community tree!  My square total now stands at 28!

This one has come all the way from ....... Canada!  Isn't it amazing?

This weekend saw the end of British Summer Time with the clocks going back an hour.  An extra hour in bed?  No, don't be silly!  But it did mean that I got all the dinner prepared before 8.30 in the morning .... all under the watchful eye of Smiggle.

Garlic and lentil soup which felt suitably autumnal and body nourishing ......

and apple crumble - always a failsafe recipe in this house.

And finally I made it down to my studio last night.  Whoops I got side tracked and this is what happened .......
My eldest daughter would like a black and white quilt.  I had very little in my stash so some fat 1/4s were purchased at aforementioned show and together with a few reds (I'm not sure I want to make just a B&W quilt) they are looking rather good together.  She requested a cat quilt ..... still not sure on that either.  The Dog Gone Cute quilt I made for my other daughter was gratefully and enthusiastically received for her birthday and it's my turn to shout out it on the Blog Hop tomorrow.  Thank goodness my day is here I've been almost ready to burst with wanting to show the finished quilt!!
Here's a sneak peek ........
Be sure to pop back tomorrow to see the finished quilt.  It's worth taking a little time and visiting some of the other participants because there are some lovely finished projects - and all so different.
Linking up today to Let's Bee Social over at Sew Fresh Designs and WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.


Friday, 23 October 2015

My first ever mini quilt swap ...

** This is a very photo heavy post!!!! **
Here's what I made for the Schnitzel & Boo mini quilt swap over on instagram.
My partner's colour preferences were purples, blues and greys ...


And some little extras ....
three crocheted cotton snowflakes

a FMQ decorated mug, a rather festive mug rug and a little something tucked up safe in the dotty pouch!

And all ready with 10 days until the posting date!! x
I am linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts today and her Finish it up Friday party.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

A new project started ...

Yesterday I went on a course run by Gillian Travis for her Italian Houses.  I have seen these at various shows and was intrigued how she got such detail.  Now I know however, as can be seen from my photo below, there's not much detail on mine at the moment ...

In fact I can't quite believe that this was all I did in a whole day workshop ... I guess you get quicker with practice!  The threads above were on sale and so I bought some lovely bright colours to do the all important free machine stitching  which will transform it into something like ...

My mind is already whirring with the potential designs for different houses and buildings that I love - watch this space!
The other things I have been working all were all put down on my Finish Along 2015 Quarter 4 list.  It's pretty long but I have already completed some and well on the way to ticking off some others rather soon!

An almost finished mini for the Schnitzel & Boo Mini Quilt Swap going on over on IG ...

With a label made on my vintage typewriter - which I love!!

Made a couple of extras but still have something else in my mind which will hopefully be created tomorrow and may just make it to the Finish it up Friday party. 
Last but not least I have been working on hand pieced hexie project.  I decided just to do one more round of hexagons to what has been on my shelf for nigh on 4 years.  Then I think it will become a cushion - hopefully by the weekend!
All this goal setting and sharing progress is definitely working for me.  I was just thinking last night about what I have achieved since starting my Straight Line Bow quilt back on 08 August.  Having a photographic record is really rewarding and great look to back on when I feel that I'm not achieving much!  x
Linking up to Let's Bee Social and WIP Wednesday today.


I am so pleased to announce that my new website has been launched.  It's taken me some time to build and it's not all finished yet b...