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.

Saturday, 30 May 2015

She likes dogs ... and girly colours!

That's what my friend said when I asked her about what style of quilt our God-daughter would like for her 18th birthday! 

I found some lovely dog fabric online and it inspired the colour choices for the rest of the fabrics:

I made this block and then just built around it:

Friends know I am challenged by straight line quilting - whether, it's me, my machine, the way I baste (spray not pin)?? Who knows ... but I gave it a go on this one using my zig-zag stitch. I put my gloves on, I went slow, I gripped (and it hurt my shoulder!) This was what happened with the walking foot on:

But it didn't happen when I just had the ordinary foot on?? Go figure ... so I quilted it without the walking foot, persevered and after a glass (or 2!) of the white stuff:

And using both my chins:

It was done ... Phew!

Finished sewing the label on this afternoon and took a few garden photos:

I love it! I think she will too ... dogs and girly colours she has! Linking up with Amanda Jean @ Crazy Mom Quilts and Sarah @ Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Hitting the right note ...

Do you ever get that excited feeling? When you start making a new quilt and you just know it's going to be a good one? I have that feeling about my 'Piano Quilt' and I really can't wait to get at it again today.

My boss is retiring after 37 years and I wanted to make him a special quilt. I know he plays the piano and enjoys many a soirée at his home entertaining his guests, so I did a Google search for musical themed fabric. There wasn't a lot (in the UK) so I narrowed the search to 'piano quilt'.

And now I am so happy! It is perfect:

I couldn't find a pattern anywhere so have been working just from the image. I bought some new fabric (as you do!) but also used a lot from my stash: 

12 x 14 is a lot of squares to cut. I never clear up as I go along! Do you?

I made the piano keys first - figuring that once they were made, it would be easier to build around. They were fiddly and time-consuming and my fingers got very close to the iron! But the overall effect is worth it:

Just the rest of it to piece today then! You can check out my progress on Instagram (@glindaquilts) but I will blog about it too :)

Linking up with the lovely Lorna and Lee:

Sew Fresh Quilts