Sunday, 26 October 2014

Chickens ...

I have been working with my 'unsexy fabric' again today making more HSTs ... just 20 more to make :)


A month ago, my dear SIL bought 3 rescue hens. She has wanted some for years and has finally pecked her hubby into agreement! Meet Mabel, Gertrude and Hilda:





They are adorable, sis loved them immediately, and they've already produced a few eggs. I wanted to make her a little Christmas quilty gift so, of course, it had to  be hen-themed. This bundle caught my eye on eBay so I just had to buy it:



There was no selvage so I went back to the ebay listing and it only described it as - midnight blue hen house fabric - so I Googled that and it is made by Westfalenstoffe, who I admit I've never heard of. It says it's organic fabric sourced from Egypt and Pakistan ... never used organic fabric before - seems very fitting.

I'm going to make her another charm square bag (her choice) from this fabby  tutorial by Missouri Star Quilting. This will be her 'winter bag' - this was her summer birthday bag (which she really liked): 



Linking up:


Molli Sparkles

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Not so sexy Sunday Stash :)

Sometimes, your fabric choice just doesn't grab you. This Makower Spraytime bundle (and some others from my stash I'm using) is not the stuff to get your heart racing, it won't get me any 'oohs' and 'aahs' and it certainly wouldn't win any prizes in the Míss Fabric beauty contest! 

But, it is what I'm working with at the moment so I'm just going to have to suck it up and get cutting and sewing. 52 HSTs done and 92 to go:



This is for my 'frolleague' who has had a nightmare conservatory-building experience this year so am hoping the gift of this lapquilt will help her relax in there now it's all built and it has been designed to match her rug (the inspiration for this quilt):


Why don't you pop over to see the delectable Ms Molli Sparkles where there is a bundle of far sexier fabric to ogle at! Or my friend Lorna @ Sew Fresh Quilts who's fabric wins all the prizes this week :) 

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Gorgeous gift and a little finish :)

Like most of us, I'm sure, when I first started blogging, I wasn't sure if anyone would ever read my blog or if I'd even enjoy blogging. I hoped I'd at least make a friend (or two) along the way. And I have! One of my newest friends is Jasmine @ Quilt Kisses, a really sweet lady who makes the most delightful quilts (check out her latest for Halloween!)

This week, she sent me this gorgeous mini-quilt 4,500 miles across land and sea as a house-warming gift ... I love it! Thank you xx And the cutest handmade card:




Jasmine is not afraid to try out new stuff and her quilting is even better close up. I wish I had an 1/8 of her talent. 

She spurred me on to have a little finish of my own and I've been meaning to make a cushion for the fireside chair in the snug. So yesterday, I took my design inspiration from the rug in there:


Here are some steps along the way. Had to push Nell off the ironing table! I love making cushions with binding:





I tried some fancy black cotton quilting in the centre square - it did NOT work out! Hence the appliquéd centre 'kiss'! And the finish:





Linking up with Amanda Jean @ Crazy Mom QuiltsIt feels really good to have made something this week ��

Monday, 29 September 2014

Still here!

I cannot believe it's been nearly 3 weeks since my last post but I haven't been sewing and I didn't know if non-quilting events would be of interest to anyone but, in the absence of anything creative to share, I'll bring you up to speed. 

I may not be sewing but I am still shopping! Look at how happy the arrival of  this bundle of gorgeousness from Craftsy made me: 



Although why do I need more fabric when I'm not using up the vast amounts I already have?? Hello, my name's Jennifer ... and I'm a Fabriholic!

DH is still overseeing the various workmen coming and going at the house and he even did some brick carrying last week up and down the ladder for the chimneys to be rebuilt. Here's him having a little break:



And I attended a school reunion the week before last - 28 years after leaving the sixth form, a crowd of about 40 of us got together at a hotel back on Anglesey - the place where I grew up: 



I loved school (most of the time) and made some very good friends over the years - here's me with two of my best friends (from then and now) just before we headed out for the evening:


New boots to go with a new dress - apparently it's  the footwear of choice these days ... who knew?!



What fun, catching up with old mates, reminiscing about teachers and big events - was a little apprehensive, I'll be honest, about whether I wanted to go and take that trip down Memory Lane but I'm so glad now I went as it really was an enjoyable evening. I think we'll be doing it again in a few years when we all hit 50!

Last week and this week, I'm away from home having physio on my shoulder (hence no sewing) and am staying in this glorious place:


Happy hydrotherapy classes, daily delightful physio, wonderful walking; I'm swimming, reading and relaxing - indeed, it's a little bit of heaven on earth!

I'm not fixed, it will surely be a little while longer before my shoulder is fully mended but this stay is getting me there and I will be basting very soon as I'm desperate to finish some quilts.

Thank you for staying close, normal service will be resumed soon :) 

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Pants Bag and a new ... DRAGON?!

Dear niece's fiancé had his birthday on Sunday so the obligatory family barbecue was organised! He's going to learn to drive so we gave him an IOU for a couple of driving lessons but a birthday boy has to have something unexpected to open, right? So I decided to make him a Pants Bag. 

Chris's football (soccer) team is Newcastle United (so, he's not perfect!) - here is their kit for this season:



Which gave me all the inspiration I needed. I used this fabric for the lining:



And here is the finished Pants Bag:



And the back, kindly photo-bombed by Nell:



He loved it! Poor Chris had to do his ice-bucket challenge on his birthday. I bet he'd 'scream like a girl' (I did when I did mine!) but he took it like a man - bless him:



And DH and SIL went shopping last week for chimney pots and bought a dragon roof finial! Have you ever seen such a thing?




Quite fitting really now we're living in Wales - the dragon is the most important symbol for the Welsh. It appears on our national flag (also called Ddraig Goch = red dragon), supposedly dating back as far as King Arthur (5th/6th century) and the oldest recorded use as a symbol for Wales dates back to 829AD! 

The minute he starts talking about 'the old Welsh Dragon', and looking in my direction, it's going straight back to the reclamation yard!


Linking up with Lorna and Heather and looking forward to more sewing when I get home tomorrow :)

Sew Fresh Quilts       Fresh Poppy Design

Monday, 1 September 2014

Around the World Blog Tour ...

Even though I'm really not comfortable talking about me (would much rather talk about the quilting), when the lovely Maja over at Majas Paradis asked me to join in the Around the World Blog Tour, I couldn't say no :) 

Here's her post from last week - she is a very clever lady who makes beautiful scarves and quilts and bags - and I love the fact we are blogging friends. Will we ever meet for real? Who knows - she's in Sweden, I'm in the UK ... it could happen!

So here goes with the four questions, starting with - what am I working on?

Not much at the moment! It's been a crazy summer with a house move and seeing lots of family and friends - hasn't left me much time  to sew - I have a few quilts waiting to be basted but I need space, time and DH to help me - I would love to finish these soon:

My 'soldier's quilt':



My Strip Bee quilt:



My 'broken shoulder' quilt:



I started making another quilt yesterday - my first in months (because of the broken shoulder and house move!) This is going to be a simple quilt for my friend designed to go with the picture she sent me of her floor mat:




2) How does my work differ from others?

I'm not sure it does. When I started quilting 4 years ago, I looked at loads of blogs, Google images and read many magazines for ideas and inspiration. I do think my work has evolved - I'm willing to try most things (except curves and Y seams!) and when I look back at creating this quilt for my SIL, based on our holiday in Amsterdam, I'm amazed at how much I've learned:


But I also like the simplicity of this quilt (made for my Swedish friend's Mum):


I guess most of my work is tailor-made for the recipient, whether it's the colours or the design, so is very individual to them but not necessarily different from the work of other quilters.

3) Why do I write / create what I do?

Because I'd go mad if I didn't! And I have so many fabrics just dying to be turned into something, I know I shall never tire of this delightful hobby. I get so much enjoyment from being part of a special group of crafters. It gives me the most amazing rush when I can turn this:


into this:


I just know I would be totally bereft if I had to stop. The writing I wish I was better at but I keep trying so let's (all) hope I continue to improve!

4) How does my writing / creative process work?

It varies. I'll start with a person, a piece of fabric or an image and just wait a while and let it flow. It's never let me down. I love drawing my designs in a graph book and working out how much fabric I'll need, what fabrics to put together, adding as the idea evolves. I'm a very tactile person ... I could touch fabric all day long!

My writing is like me - honest and does what it says on the tin! Perhaps I'll take lessons ...

So that's me and I'm now nominating Jennie over at Porch Swing Quilts who is a Quiting Mom of 5 SuperWoman! Jennie designs delicious quilts and bags and is a great blogger too. Please check out her post next week (September 8th) I know I will :)

(I would have nominated more blogging friends but all my favourite people had already been asked! Check them out: Carla @ Creatin in the Sticks, Fran @ Patchy Rose, Amy @ A Quilting Sheep - such talented and generous ladies - I'm so thankful to have met you x )

Linking up with another fabby quilting friend - Lorna:

Sew Fresh Quilts

Friday, 22 August 2014

Made a bag, got a bag :)

Like many quilters and bloggers, I am enjoying a very busy Summer and I'm not getting much sewing or blogging done ... but that's okay, hey? 

Last week I made a tote bag for Angie (a friend of the family) to say thank you for gifting us these fabby brass jugs for our new house:


I love making these tote bags. Angie said she liked rose pinks so I raided my stash / scraps and here are some of my 'along the way' photos:





And it doesn't matter how many times I get to this part, it always makes me smile because I think, 'no way this is going to work' ... but it does:






So that was the gift I made and this was the gift I got from my dear blogging friend Jennie over at Porch Swing Quilts - she makes amazing bags (you must check out her 'Weekender' bags) and she sent me the bestest little Sew Together Bag - look at those 3 delightful zipped pouches:




And see what she added on the front - a Glinda wand! She makes all these beautiful things AND has 5 little ones to look after - SuperWoman indeed! Thank you sooooooo very much, Jennie, I adore it! You're incredibly thoughtful and I'm sending you a big hug all the way to North West USA from here in the UK (North Wales) x

Linking up with Amanda Jean @ Crazy Mom Quilts and Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Enjoy the rest of the Summer - I will :)