Wednesday, 28 December 2016

My Best of 2016

Having read other people's posts for My Best of 2016 hosted by Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs, I thought I would take a few minutes and look back at my year (I also took the opportunity of getting some pages up to date at the same time).  One thing I started this year was a monthly review and I have really enjoyed looking back at the months. Sadly I stopped this from August but having just browsed through my posts this is something I would like reinstate for 2017.

However, now we are looking back .... in no particular order and with no particular scientific way of picking them I give you My Best of 2016 ....

I love this little quilt that I made for my Mum's 80th birthday.
I tried lots of new things on it and they all worked.
Best of all she loves it and has it hanging in her lounge!

This gets on the list because it was my oldest WIP - over 6 years to finish but it has stood the test of time because I still love it.
Also it won a rosette at a show in May which made me rather happy!!

This was such a wonderful group to be part of and I learnt so much about so many things!
I am hoping I fit the criteria to be able to join again in 2017 because I still have so much to learn.

My first ever block design for this Blog Hop.
I really enjoyed the process and would love to design more in 2017.

This is definitely my favourite make of 2016, in fact it might be my favourite make to date!
I love that the design in my head came out into the real world just as I imagined it.
I was also really excited to find that I won a Best Piecing rosette at a show in November.

Today we are starting to take down the decorations and I will then be able to look to next year.  I would love to join Yvonne's #2017PlanningParty but I need some quiet time to get my head into gear and really think about what I want to do in 2017.  We have big changes coming up on our family front which I have still to get my head around!!

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Dachshund Cushion No 2

My youngest daughter is also rather partial to dachshunds and, with her birthday being just a month after my eldest, it only seemed fair to make her a dachshund cushion aswell.  My eldest received this one here.

This pattern is also by Juliet at Tartan Kiwi (psst she has 25% off her patterns until 31 December 2016 if you use code Happyholidays2016) and was lovely to make - even though I was somewhat apprehensive about some of the tiny pieces.

For the first time whilst paper piecing I bothered to get my light box out and it made such a difference.

I worked through each section and was pleasantly surprised at how quickly they came together.

It was lovely seeing him come to life ....

.... but not so lovely seeing his backside when he was complete!

He was at this stage for a while before I was able to get a big enough cushion inner.  He finishes at 20" and I didn't want to lose much of the background otherwise he looked a bit funny!

Finally all finished and gifted ..... just a little late!

This is another finish on my 2016FAL - Number 5 on the list.  I really need to check on this list.  I know I haven't made great inroads on it but I think there are a few things that I have done but not yet posted about - nothing like the end of the quarter to get you motivated!

Linking up to Let's Bee Social over with the lovely Lorna!

Friday, 16 December 2016

Finish It Up Friday

The finish for Finish It Up Friday over at Crazy Mom Quilts this week is also a finish from my 2016FAL.  It was started in June as a QAL over at Modern Quilters Ireland and was the first QAL I have taken part in.  The progress posts can be found here, here and here.

It was at this stage for many weeks months because I didn't really like the grey background fabric I had used and I didn't really know what to do with it ..... is it bad to admit that?!!

I then thought that I would enter it into a Quilt Show as a cot quilt so the parameters of size were set to maximum 36" on either side, which meant the border was easy to add.

Then I got it into my head that I wanted to match the thread with the colours ...... why did I do that?!  At the end I do not think it was worth all the colour changes for this quilt and wish I had just gone for the grey all over (although it is nice to have some more colours in my stash!).

Time was running out by now and I just had to come up with a plan ....... nothing came so I thought that I had better load it onto my frame and just get started!

Straight lines in the coloured sections first.  I did actually try feathers aswell but I really didn't like them so I unpicked (after doing two sections just to make sure I didn't like it!)

My favourite quilting motif was used in the background, paisley AKA swirly pearls.  I love this and I can now do it quite quickly which is a bonus. 

I thought I may do something different in the middle of the quilt but, after the unpicking of the feathers, I decided to just stick with more straight lines.  My ruler work has certainly improved and I quite enjoyed the dexterity of using the rulers and for them feeling more comfortable for me.

I love this stage when it's all trimmed and ready to bind.

I am not sure what the backing is - it was picked up at a show earlier in the year.

And the final result hanging at the West Country Quilt Show.  Do I like it?  No not really!!  I like the pattern and really like other people's interpretation from the QAL but I have to say this isn't a favourite of mine.  But it is done and it's a tick off my list.  I also learnt that I do not like marbled fabric and so will never be tempted to buy any again!

Whilst I am not enamoured with this quilt I am still very much in love with Should I Stay or Should I Go?  I decided, at the last minute, to enter it into the same show and was delighted when I arrived at the show on Sunday morning to see it had a rosette by it - Best Piecing.

I have enjoyed entering quilts into shows this year and have quite a few in my head for next year! x

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer - a tutorial

In November I received a package as part of a Travelling Bee I am in.  I realise now that I have never blogged about this Bee .... hmmmm not sure how I have managed to miss that because I love it.  Anyway that post will be for another day because today I am going to share a block I made for Jessie (@jessiemarie1202).

She loves Christmas and always knew her quilt would have a Christmas theme.  I had seen 4 months of blocks being made for her and I had an idea in my head what I would make for her.  However, whilst her notebook contained lots of ideas the one that struck me most was a little pixelated reindeer. 

I quickly got out my graph paper and made a sketch and worked out some cutting measurements.  I was delighted to find that it all came together well the first time!! 

This is the one I made for her ....

 I decided that I would like a Rudolph cushion and thought that I would do a quick tutorial at the same time so here goes.  I decided to do the antlers and face in different fabric as shown below:

I have created a simple .pdf tutorial which you can see over here

If you make one I would love to see it so be sure to tag me in (@cutandalter on IG) or leave a comment below. x

Linking up for the first time in ages to Let's Bee Social over at Sew Fresh Quilts.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Where to begin?

It's been over a month since I last visited this space and I don't know where to begin now ..... It's been a busy month with highs and lows and some really big decisions to be made.  I think we're almost through it and will soon be able to welcome December with open arms and look forward to Christmas.

One thing that came to an end this month was the Stash Bee.  2016 was the first time I had joined a Bee since 2010 and I have enjoyed it greatly.  November's Queen Bee wanted a Ribbon Star block in autumn colours ....

I had seen this block before so was really pleased to make it up.  It comes together really easily and quickly and I think could make a gorgeous quilt.

I enjoyed the Stash Bee so much that a month or so ago I put up my hand to be a Hive Mama next year.  I know that it is mostly US based but I thought I would volunteer anyway.  Diana at Red Delicious Life is taking over as the Bee Mama next year and I was delighted to hear that she would like my services!!  This is a first for me and I am going to have to be really organised but I hope it will be lots of fun getting to know everyone in my Hive.

The other blocks I made for this Bee this year are ....






June - my choice as Queen Bee!





I have liked making all these blocks and have learnt lots of new things throughout the year.  We had a wonderful Hive Mama in Audrey from Hot Pick Quilts and I now know lots of lovely ladies in the US who were fellow Hive members.  

We also got together to make a surprise quilt for Audrey whilst she was pregnant ....

which was gratefully, if somewhat tearfully, received!! x

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Finish Along Quarter 3 No 15 :: Christmas Quilt

A quick post to show you my second completed project of my 2016FAL Q4 list, which was to quilt a Christmas top for my Mum.

She 'found' it in the cupboard recently ....

but she doesn't remember making it.

She didn't realise that it had 24 pockets in ....

but she does happen to have a box of little wooden Christmas figures in another cupboard and there just happens to be 24!

So now it is quilted and she can bind it and attach the ornaments .... that is if it's not forgotten again!

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Works in progress ....

I have had my first illness of the season these last few days and, lacking in energy and with a head that hurt to move, I thought I would slowly give my studio a sort out.  I know I have lots of WIPs, a fair few made it onto my 2016FAL Q4 list, but I wasn't quite sure where I was on them all or what I needed to proceed.  So here is a summary:

My Bee Hive Quilt
I was Queen Bee earlier in the year and having seen Michelle tackling her blocks I was motivated to get mine pieced together.  

I had also asked for signature blocks so I pieced these, along with two blocks, into the backing - I love how this worked out.

All I have to do is cut the wadding and then it's ready to quilt.

New Zealand fabric Christmas Quilt - what a catchy name that is!
This quilt didn't get touched last quarter, or the quarter before, but I am determined to get it finished to use this Christmas.  I needed to make some more blocks to get it up to size and happened to have some pale green solid fabric, Kona Pond, on my cutting table whilst making them and so decided to outline several blocks in that instead of the red wickerweave.

I need to order a bit more Kona Pond to make a small border before a larger red border.  I happened to have a suitable backing in my stash.  I bought this at Quilts UK in Malvern earlier this year as a bargain so I am delighted it works with this quilt.  This quilt is proving difficult to photograph because I can't get a true reflection of the colours.

So to proceed on this one I need to order fabric, get borders attached, piece a panel in the backing, cut wadding and then it will be ready to quilt.

Feathers Quilt
This is a quilt for my daughter who chose for the backing Feathers from the new Lewis & Irene To Catch a Dream collection.  I have never ordered fabric for backing before and usually like to touch fabric before buying!  However, I am hoping this is the same quality as all the other Lewis & Irene fabric and that both my daughter and I will like it when it arrives.  There has been a delay in it arriving in the UK but it is in the country now and I am just waiting for it to be dispatched.

Once the backing has arrived I have to cut the wadding and then this will be ready to quilt.

Rainbow Rose Quilt
This is ready to quilt right now.  I know what design I am going to quilt on the grey background but still undecided on the coloured parts ..... I think I just need to load it onto the rollers and start!
Back to Front Quilt
This needs to be cut into again and have some more improv blocks placed in it.  There is a chartreuse/lime accent in a few of the fabrics and I have decided to get some solid fabric in that colour to highlight some of the areas.  I had wanted this done ready to gift next week but in reality I think I will have to deliver it myself a few weeks later.

Accent fabric needs to be ordered, some more piecing needs to be done, backing needs piecing, wadding cutting and then this will be ready to quilt!

In an effort to be more efficient and tidy I have decided to use my hanging hooks for all my quilts in progress ....

So there's the five quilts listed above plus an extra one - a customer quilt!  It is so exciting to be starting to quilt for other people and it's a real honour to be entrusted with their quilt tops.  This one is a pirate ship for the lady's grandson which should be great fun to quilt.

And, as if 6 quilts wasn't enough, I sorted out all the blocks I wanted to make into cushions or minis.  My husband kindly got me the cushion inserts on Monday, I have figured out what zips I need to purchase and I have found suitable backing fabric.

So that's me - as soon as I feel well enough I will be quilting up a storm!  It feels good to get organised and my studio now feels clearer even though nothing has actually been moved out yet.  I am hosting a sewing day in early December where 5 ladies have to be able to sew so I am slowly working towards that goal.

I am linking up with Lorna's Let's Bee Social over at Sew Fresh Quilts today.


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