Sunday, 31 January 2016

January ....

.... went quickly! 
- the first week was spent blatantly ignoring the fact it was a New Year.  I wanted to slow down this year and not over commit, either creatively, mentally or on the Home Education front. 
Whoops - this was spotted on 04 January!
 - the second week was spent organising and feeling like I was playing catch up!

 - the third week contained a big decision on the part of my youngest daughter, which had the capacity to totally change the life we lead.  It left me in limbo for a while but once the decision was made I could breathe again and continue.  Our life is not about to be changed drastically for which I am truly thankful.
- the fourth week was feeling like we had a rhythm to our days, including creating, home ed and home cooking aswell as our activities.  It also contained what would have been my Dad's birthday.  It's been just over 2 years since he died and whilst the old saying that time heals is true it still takes a lots of time and there's still a wound no matter how long has passed.
Creatively it involved a workshop with Gillian Travis (to be blogged about soon!), the start of three Bees I am involved in, handmade birthday presents - made by me and my daughters, the start of the Farm Girl Vintage blocks, Project Linus quilts and organisation and lots of planning .....
Home Ed wise it contained Oceania, illuminated letters, hibernation, healthy eating, the Periodic Table and what elements a body needs, ice skating lessons for the girls and a return to ice skating for me - after a break of over 30 years!, stop animation workshops, lots of art and cooking and 1905-7!!!

Baked by Cassia, aged 9 - it was a Christmas for my Mum and it was delicious!!

Christmas Spiced Nuts - recipe from Deliciously Ella

Homemade Nutella - recipe from Deliciously Ella
Made by Cassia!
I have read a mixture of books, adult, children's and teen, recommendations from my daughter and my mum and random ones from the library shelf!

I feel like I am in 2016 and look forward to welcoming in February tomorrow! xx

Friday, 29 January 2016

A week of finishes - Day 4 ....

It's been a week long of finishes so of course I am going to link up to Finish it up Friday over at Crazy Mom Quilts!

So previous finishes this week include:
a cute little quilt for Project Linus, click here

an ATC for a swap, click here

and a Harry Potter cushion, click here to see more and a very cute Dobby wallhanging!

The biggest finish however was the longarming of my first customer quilt!  What a range of emotions that provoked - before I started I was excited but really apprehensive, then I was nervous, then I thought things were good, then I had a problem with my machine and then I just wanted the quilt finished and off the frame!!  It certainly was a learning curve both emotionally and technically.  I'm not returning it to the customer until next week but I hope she will be pleased.  She asked for stippling around the applique and then a sunflower design on the pieced border.


Looking forward to visiting some others in the linky party and see their finishes this week. x

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

A week of finishes - Day 3 ....

.... a Harry Potter cushion for my niece's birthday!  This is another project that was on my 2016FAL list.
I cut the squares at 5 1/2" to give a finished cover size of 20" and then appliqued on the animals and H.

I learnt why some people use a pressing cloth whilst ironing on the applique .... I have rather shiny patches where I ironed over the seam.  I have never experienced this before and wondered whether it was because I was using Heat n Bond for the first time rather than BondaWeb?

I quilted it with a small stipple stitch on my longarm machine.  It always makes me laugh to work on something so small on my longarm machine because my frame is 12ft long!

And we have a cushion!!


And whilst we are on the Harry Potter theme here's a stitching my daughter made for her friend's birthday.  She was delighted with the result and her friend let out a squeal when she opened it so that was a great result. x

Linking up with Lorna today at Let's Bee Social.

Monday, 25 January 2016

A week of finishes - Day 2 ....

.... my ATC for the Very Berry Handmade ATC swap.  This swap's theme was Winter Comforts.
I started with the label first - because I knew what I was doing!!  I recently got a new ribbon for my old typewriter (that I had for Christmas when I was 9) and labels, that won't require washing, are often typed straight onto calico.

I had a few ideas turning over on my head but when I had some time in the studio to start work on this I found it was a totally different idea that I started playing with.

A full bookshelf is a must for winter, in fact any time of the year!  And with a little yarn project aswell that spelt Winter Comforts for me.

Finally putting it all together and finishing off the edges ....

This is another finish on my 2016FAL Q1 list - it feels like I am powering through them ..... although this momentum has always slowed after the initial month of the FALs!

Whilst I was at it I made another one .... for me to keep!  On this one I added a little extra quilting to the background but apart from that it's the same books, although maybe different versions because the covers are different colours!

Also linking this post to this month's (March 2016) theme over at Le Challenge - reading!

Sunday, 24 January 2016

A week of finishes - Day 1 ....

.... a Project Linus quilt.
If you have visited here before you may remember that I mentioned having a large box of fabric sent to me for Project Linus.  Well this cute little top was folded up in there and just needed to be finished.

This was a quick and easy finish with wadding from stash and the backing was made from another piece of fabric from the same box.  This has made a cute little quilt which will be given to a child in need at a later date.

This is also another finish from my 2016FAL list.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

2016 Finish Along - first finish!

I have my first finish from my list for the 2016FAL.  I have plenty more to finish but I am always excited by the first finish!
I was recently sent a box, anonymously, with lots of fabric, blocks and tops in.  The sender was donating it for Project Linus and I have recently become a local co-ordinator and so was very appreciative of all the material goodness inside.
This cute little top was just folded up in there waiting to be turned into a quilt.
I used some yellow sheeting fabric I had on my shelf for the backing and the wadding was a hi loft polyester that I happened to just have enough of ... no idea where it came from.  Due to its loft it has made a really fluffy quilt which is very touchable!

The backing is rather unforgiving and trying to do arcs of a circle freehand is pretty hard!  However, the overall effect is fine and hopefully this will soon be bringing comfort to a child who needs it.

And as for the other things I was working on last week:

- the Harry Potter cushion cover has not been touched, other than to move it from place to place!

- the Bee blocks are all done, you can see them here if you like

- the canning jar block from the Farm Girl Vintage is now pieced.  It's not perfect but ..... if I started unpicking  all the time the quilt would take years to finish so I'm going with it!

- but the project that has been taking up most of my time is longarm quilting my first customer quilt.  It has been a very exciting, nerve wracking and frustrating experience which is almost over and then I can show you the results!

I am linking up with Lorna over at Sew Fresh Quilts and Lee at Freshly Pieced today. x

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Quilting Bees .....

Why oh why has it taken me so long to join in with a quilting bee again?!! 

I enjoyed them when I lived in New Zealand where I participated in a couple of them (click here to see some of the blocks I made) so at the end of last year I was signing up left, right and centre to join some more.  I am now officially a member of the Stash Bee, The Bee Hive and the Neighbourhood Block Swap on IG.  love them .......

The block you are asked to make may be:

1.  one you have seen before but never considered making

2.  one you have never seen before

3.  may be one you have made before but have forgotten about so it acts as a timely reminder

4.  one you don't even like .... but even these challenge you and you only have to make one or two after all!!
All my bee commitments for January are now completed, which is very satisfying.  Audrey, over at Hot Pink Quilts, was first up in Hive 5 of the Stash Bee and she requested the Five Crosses block in blues and greens .... and that's what she got!

This block was a dream to cut out, all 2.5" pieces and came together so nicely and quickly.

Katrina was Queen Bee in The Bee Hive for January and she asked for the Bunting block in red and white.

I really enjoyed making these blocks and decided that for each Bee block I make I would make an extra block for me.  That way at the end of the year I will have enough blocks to put together easily into a quilt.  It should be a lovely reminder of the year and the fun I had taking part in the Bees.  So my two blocks for January are:

For the Neighbourhood Block Swap Jessica asked for houses that were similar in style to the buildings in Welcome to the North Pole.  Well that was great because I have the book and I had the dark fabric she requested for the night sky.
 Now I just have to wait until February for the next blocks! x


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...