Saturday, 29 August 2015

Birthday quilty gifts :)

I'm not sure when I was 4 if my Mum's crazy quilting friend had made me a quilt for my birthday, I'd have known what to say but I know this little girl will adore her birthday quilt from Aunty Jennifer and will know exactly what to do with it! I made this quilt for her Mum and Dad as a wedding gift and she cuddles under it all the time:

Oh, and makes tents with it!! So, I know she will love this - my own improv design, using charm squares, a couple of fat quarters and all that lovely pink is Makower Spraytime (my favourite blenders - they have a great range of colours) and I finished it just in time for her moving into her 'big girl's bedroom':

And I still have fun making binding:

And it was her Mormar's (Grand-mother) birthday a couple of weeks back and I made her this cute Dresden plate tote bag. I'm enjoying practising these free-motion swirls:

This weekend, I'm hoping to finish a quilt I started last week - got the idea out of my favourite new quilting magazine - Love Patchwork and Quilting (enjoying making this so much, will do a full post later):

What are you working on this weekend? Are you trying something new?

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

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Holidays and high days :)

What a great week we've had. When we moved to Wales last year. we were a little worried we might lose touch with our friends in London but we are blessed to have the best friends and five of them came to visit us this week. The weather was a little temperamental but look how glorious it was at the top of Beeston castle yesterday:

Aren't they a beautiful family? We also had a wonderful day out at Llandudno; a walk along the Pier, fish and chips on the Prom, a ride on the tramway up the mountain, ice cream in the rain and my most favourite part?? The 2p push machine in the arcade - the most fun I've had with £3 in ages:

And I managed to get some sewing done too! The girls were desperately in need of new Pants Bags. The ones I had made them a few years back were well used (and loved) but were also not of my best earlier work - unlined and without a drawstring action - so each girl was let loose in my fabric stash and they chose their own fabrics and created their own designs. My friend Judi also asked for a Peg Bag and Millie wanted to make her Nanna a zipped bag so I helped her with that:

I showed Millie how to make the tissue holders and gave her some templates and fabric so that she could make them at home. They were only home an hour and she sent me a photo of one she has already made for her big sister. Clever girl:

And also for my dear friend, I had made her a cushion - just for her - just because:

When they drove away today, my eyes were a little moist :'( but we will see them again soon. I am very thankful they are in our lives and it was a most fabulous holiday ... thank you, dear friends xx

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

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Gifts - bags, tissues, quilts :)

I hope I never stop thinking, 'I love my hobby' because I really do. I love playing with different fabrics, planning my next makes, finishing little projects, starting big ones and giving them all away! Two fat quarters, a bit of lining fabric and ribbon - a couple of hours sewing and voila - a bunch of gifts for a few little girls:

I have been sewing a bit crazy the last few weeks making zipped bags and tissue holders ... great gifts and a wonderful use of fabric leftovers. The iPad case in the top left, I actually made for me:

I made 4 yesterday! This one is going to the USA for a friend who's been a bit under the weather:

And the others are going to friends in Yorkshire, France and Sweden:

Isn't that the great joy of quilting? Spreading the love all over the world?! 

I've also been making a quilt for a colleague who retires in September (best I get a move on quilting it then!) This is my own design, based on the things he loves (photography and rugby) and what he does at work (drinks tea and eats crisps!), using 'boy' fabrics:

Here it is on my ironing table; must make the back and baste today:

Linking up with Amanda Jean @Crazy Mom Quilts and Sarah @Confessions of a Fabric Addict. Happy weekend :)

Sunday, 19 July 2015

A few finishes :)

I have been enjoying this little hobby of mine lots lately but haven't been blogging much. Aunty told me off yesterday (she loves to read my blog) so a quick round-up of what I've been making.

A new quilt - made for a much longed for little boy:

And I tried some different free motion quilting, which I think worked out okay:

Better to see on the back:

Great timing, I had the fabric but was waiting for inspiration to hit me ... bought the Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine:

thank you for the dresden plate templates - turned them into this bright chicken table runner for dear sister's birthday:

Appliqué, zig-zag and stippling:

The back: 

A peg bag for my friend Fran @PatchyRose:

And my latest quick gifts? Some tissue holders - aren't they gorgeous??

Have been posting regularly on Instagram - mustn't forget my blogging friends - linking up with Sarah @ Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Off to create some more loveliness now! Happy weekend x

Saturday, 4 July 2015

A masterpiece?

I am not a brilliant maker of quilts; there are certain aspects of my hobby I really need to improve upon (and I will) but this finished quilt is one of my all-time favourites and I was immensely proud of my work when I handed it over to my boss this week.
When I was at the thinking stage, knowing Mike played the piano at home, I googled 'piano quilt' and found this image of a set of coasters: 

There was no pattern but I worked one up pretty easily with 5" squares, HSTs and the piano keys. I raided my stash and made a few purchases:

The image was a real help guiding me on the correct fabric placement. The piano keys took some time as I appliquéd the black onto the white first and then built the rest of the quilt in stages around them:


With lots of 5" squares came lots of pinning and chain piecing so I had to keep my book close by ... to avoid confusion, I gave each fabric a letter (A-Q ... so that's 17 different fabrics used):



The quilting was tricky, using different threads to FMQ the light and dark sections and I hand to hand quilt around the black keys; I think that part alone took me 8 hours but then I have never hand quilted before (and may never again!!) 

I FMQ'd a little musical note in each corner:
It finished at 60" x 70" (one of my biggest) and I estimate I spent around 100 hours selecting, ironing, cutting, sewing, appliqué-ing, pressing, pinning, piecing, basting, quilting, binding, labelling ... and it was worth every minute:
My boss was speechless (a first!) and after 37 years of service, it was lovely to present him with such a unique quilt - a memorable gift for a memorable boss, who's been hugely supportive of me and my work over the past 4 years - I will miss him. Happy retirement, Mike x

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

Saturday, 13 June 2015

I'm nothing special ...

... well, I am special - we all are, aren't we - in our own way? But I mean I'm no different to thousands of other quilters across the world in that we just - keep - giving. I have been busy making lots of little gifts over the past few weeks - and I just want to keep going! 

Friends and family often comment, 'you should start charging' or 'you can't keep giving everything away for free' ... but I can. And I will (until circumstances dictate otherwise) because I really do love my hobby. And I love how much happiness a small gift can give.

Take my friend Shauna @ lovinquiltin who won my birthday giveaway. She received my gifts this week and wrote the most lovely post. Please go and check out her blog - it was her birthday this week too!) This was the sewing mat I made for her:

It was Mum's birthday (at the end of May) and I made her a new peg bag (the last one I made was very sun faded) I struggled to find an easy tutorial so just made it up as I went along. Anyone recommend one, please - my friend wants one now!

DH said we 'needed a big one' - your wish is my command, m'dear (that's our old one next to it!):

Dear niece needed some new cushions:

And my little zipped pouches have gone down a storm at work (perfect for keeping things tidy in your handbag) so I have been making lots of these as well:

Speaking of DH - he was 50 last week and I surprised him with a trip to the homeland of his father - Poland - we had an amazing time. It is my new favourite European city and we will go back:

 We loved the flavoured vodka - even made our own cherry beer one night:

Loved it so much, we brought some home! Didn't spill a drop :

But I mustn't be distracted further this weekend! I have two more weekends after this one to finish my piano quilt for my boss. Just needs a border today and basting - then I will have to think seriously about how to quilt it:

All of this activity has meant I have been neglecting my blogging friends and I have missed seeing what everyone has been up to. I shall link up with Amanda Jean @ Crazy Mom Quilts and Sarah @ Confessions of a Fabric Addict and check in later on everyone else's finishes.

Have a great weekend and whether you sew for yourself or others - it's your job or just a hobby - you get paid or give it all away - enjoy yourself. And never forget - you are special too.