Thursday, 31 January 2013

My biggest finish ... with love from UK to USA xx

It's just like me "last minute Jen" to finish this quilt by the end of January with only hours to go! But I have done it :)

I have blogged about making this quilt here, here, here, here and here ... but you probably just want a little prĂ©cis (I don't blame you) so, to recap: the lovely Tonya of Crazy Mimi Quilts for no other reason but that she wanted to, sent me a bag full of Moda charm packs last year and I immediately knew I had to pay it forward. 

I know there are many genuine causes that would be very grateful for a quilt but I was really moved by the stories around Hurricane Sandy and so I decided to make a twin size quilt for a child who had been affected. I used two of the charm packs (Cape Ann - ideal for a little girl) and added some pink Benartex fabric in the front and bought the same fabric but in a soft brown for the backing.

Did my usual 'make it up as I go along pattern' so it's finished at 82" x 58" which I don't think is a standard size twin but is definitely big enough for a little girl to keep warm and snuggle under. It's the biggest quilt I've made so far and my little Juki really did a good job. 

I wanted to try straight line quilting but I'm still really not very good at it so I did a little bit around the centre panel, then reverted to my stippling FMQ around the pink fabric and side borders. I used a raspberry pink cotton to quilt it which, being darker than the fabric, didn't forgive any of my 'mistakes' but quilting needn't be perfect to be beautiful ... a bit like life, hey?

I had enough of the backing material for the binding - 310" of folded 2 1/4 " - machine sewn on the front and hand sewn on the back - 4 hours! I'm not an experienced hand sewer so I'm sure others could do it quicker but I think this is my favourite part so I don't rush it. I also love burying all my threads during this phase - sat in front of the TV ... it's so relaxing :)

So, I will wrap and post this lovely quilt and say goodbye to it and hope that whomever it says hello to has a brighter future and knows that someone 4 thousand miles away cares about them and hopes they stay warm and safe. God bless you.

Sharing my finish over at:
A Lovely Year of Finishes

and at Crazy Mom Quilts - Finish it up Friday

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Thanks for the thanks :)

When I left the house at 0625 this morning for a long day at work, I did not know that the lovely Carla from Creatin' in the Sticks had sent me such a sweet message of thanks. Reading it on the train really brightened my morning of dreary travel and lifted my mood, I can tell you. You'll remember Carla won my Giveaway. Here's an extract of what she wrote:

"I received your package today and wow, what a great package it is.  I love the pants bag.  It's beautiful and perfect!  You do fabulous work and I love the label inside.  I will cherish it always."

Now that I know the Pants Bag has arrived safely, I can share some photos:

I am soooooooooo glad you love it Carla!

And here's me, just home, quick dinner and binding my Hurricane Sandy Quilt ... I WILL finish this by Thursday :)

Hope you're all  having a good week.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

And she's back ...

"My point is, life is about balance. The good and the bad. The highs and the lows. The pina and the colada.”
― Ellen DeGeneresSeriously...I'm Kidding

It's not that easy sometimes to fit everything into 24 hours, hey? Back from a fabulous skiing holiday to a full week at work and dear Mutter was with us until she went home on Thursday so today was the first day back in the loft at my sewing machine ... and it was truly W O N D E R F U L :)

I spent the day working on my Hurricaine Sandy quilt - I'm sure it's the biggest quilt I've ever made at 82" x 58" so basting was a bit of a drama this morning (sorry DH for snapping at you!) but we got there in the end.  I did some straight line quilting and some FMQ (stippling) too. Took me about 3 hours to quilt it (without a break ... naughty, I know!) I've made the binding too - all 310" of it - which I'll attach and hand sew in front of the TV in the evenings after work next week:

Come back later in the week to see the finished photos - I've joined Shanna at Fiber of All Sorts  - A Lovely Year of Finishes - so I have to have this baby all done by Thursday!

Sunday, 13 January 2013

My 2nd passion :)

You know how much I love sewing and how quickly I came to love sewing but I also love skiing (though it took me a few years to love it - I was a late starter!) and we're on our holiday at last ... yay!

Arrived a couple of hours ago in Avoriaz, France and it is PERFECT! 

The chalet is beautiful, there's been fresh snow and we get to spend the week with dear SIL and hubby. 

Just taken this photo from the chalet lounge:

Oh happy days! And there's free wifi so I can keep in touch with you all :)

Friday, 11 January 2013

Announcing Giveaway Winner!

Thank you to everyone who entered my 100th post / 1st year blogging anniversary giveaway - I really loved reading all your comments and 'hello' to my new followers ... I'm up to 31 now ... yay!!

Drumroll please ... and the winner of all of this loveliness and a Pants Bag of your colour choice:

chosen by Mr Random Generator:
is ...

Well done and congratulations, Carla (from Kansas!) - I will send you an email for your address. Then I had better get a move on to make your Pants Bag before I pack!!

PS I think I'll have to do just a Pants Bag Giveaway soon - I was touched by how many of you wanted to win one, bless you :)

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

WIP Wednesday ... Charity Quilt :)

Although I'm really happy to have this quilt on its way to being finished - well, I still have to baste, quilt, label and bind it but at least the top's now finished (85"x 65"- my biggest yet!), I'm a little worried that this will be too late for the charity I have in mind :(

I blogged about making this quilt here after my dear Texan quilting friend, Tonya, posted me a pile of charm packs. This is what I've turned them into with some cute pink Benartex yardage I bought. It's too big for my tables - basting and quilting's going to be fun:

My idea to pay it forward seemed timely in November - to make this quilt for a Hurricane Sandy victim but now it's January - is anyone still collecting? I've emailed eQuilter to see if they are still co-ordinating something with Timeless Treasures. Fingers crossed I'm not too late.

Well, I'm going to crack on anyway and get it finished by the end of the month. Hope your WIPs/UFOs are coming along nicely :)

Linking up to Freshly Pieced's WIP Wednesday - loving the new logo! 

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Meet Mutter :)

I have a bit of a fuzzy head today! Last night was my cousin Heather's 40th party and I must 'fess up - I may have add one G&T too many! 

My dear Mutter (did I tell you she's German?) has come to stay for a couple of weeks to see her family and look after Nell whilst we are skiing. She's 75 and such fun! Here she is all dressed up before we went out - last night for the Crimbo tree - that came down today :( 

Being a special birthday, we gave my cousin a bottle of pink champagne and I also made her a pink Pants Bag: 

Highlight of the evening? Bopping to The Nolans, I'm in the Mood for Dancing! Never heard of it? Then check it out:

It may be decades old but it still hits the spot at a party ... well, it does for me! Happy birthday, dear cousin Heather and thanks for the party - you rock x

Friday, 4 January 2013

100th post GIVEAWAY :)


Hey everyone, I'm thrilled today ... it's the first anniversary of my first blog post and my 100th post so I just have to mark the occasion with my first giveaway!

I'll be honest, I really wasn't sure about this blogging malarkey when I first dipped my toe in and, when it took so long in the beginning just to write a post and upload photos (cos I did not have  a scooby what I was doing!), I nearly threw in the towel. I'm so glad I didn't. I know everyone says it but I really have 'met' some of the nicest people through blogging - what a generous, diverse, supportive and fun bunch we are, hey?!

So here goes, this is what I'm giving away today:

1) 7 co-ordinating 100% cotton fat quarters (50x56cm) 

2) 6 red/pinks 100% cotton fat quarters (50x75cm) from the Victoria and Albert Museum quilting exhibition held here in London in 2010 

3) A 'Clover' fusible bias tape maker (12mm/1/2")

4) Dotty garden gloves (I have them in pink - of course - and they double up as great quilting gloves)

5) If that wasn't enough for you, I'm also going to make you a 'Pants Bag' in your favourite colour! Just check out my '2012 collection' (gosh, I love 'bigging myself up' with my delusions of grandeur!) and you'll see the 34 I made last year! 

How to enter my giveaway:

1. Leave a comment letting me know your favourite colour for a Pants Bag

2. Leave a second comment for another entry to win if you are one of my followers or become one (this is entirely optional)

3. Pre-giveaway followers only - leave a third comment just to say hello to be entered again

This giveaway is open to everyone and the winner will be chosen by

Giveaway will be open for one week only so that I can make your Pants Bag and get to the post office before I go off for a week's skiing in France!

Giveaway closes on Friday 11th January at 8pm CET
Winner will be announced before I get on the  
'plane ... Promise! 

GOOD LUCK! and a Happy 2013 :)

Thursday, 3 January 2013

First finish of 2013 ... and it's for meeeeeee :)

And so 2013 begins ... yay!

I'm excited to have my first finish done by today AND that it's for me! Especially as I know I probably will only make 1 more project for me this year and that will be my Farmer's Wife quilt :)

I've needed to replace my living room cushions for some time ... embarrassingly, most of my family and friends have handmade new quilted cushions (I know cos I made them!) but mine - which once had been lovely - were sadly falling apart and would not survive another season :( 

I made a card trick cushion first and then, thanks to the fabby advice of a few of my adorable followers in this post, I made the other 3 cushions using the same fabric but with a different centre panel design. I really like the end results:

... do you?

I always quilt the front of my cushions, I think it gives them a bit more substance. Also, it means I get to practice my FMQing in between making quilts, though I really must try something new this year - da da da da daaaaaaaaaaa - yes I WILL have a go at straight line quilting ... soon :)

What new thing are you going to try this year? 

Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday