Sunday, 31 March 2013

Zzzzzzzzzz ... It's finished :)

Nearly 12 hours quilting and binding (and burying lots of knots!) on this jelly roll quilt today and I'm not going to kid you - I am knackered! I stopped sewing just after 6pm:

and sat down after dinner at 7pm to sew the back of the binding: 

and have just sewn the last stitch at 11pm:

I have lots to say about making this quilt and it is so special it deserves a proper post that I can keep my eyes open for and photographs that will do it justice. Please pop back tomorrow for the full story, what I've learnt and lots of photos.

But I said I'd finish this by the 31st and I have ... just! And I wanted to link up to Shanna at Fiber of All Sorts - A lovely Year of Finishes before going to bed ... which I will :)

Oh, and I did help DH with the decorating today - I cut the lining paper:

Happy Easter, Good Night and God Bless xx

Friday, 29 March 2013

I got distracted and he was busy!!

Can I please count a finished top and back as a 'finish' for Amanda Jean's Finish it up Friday? When you see the size of it, I was never going to get this baby basted, quilted and bound in one day! Also, DH - my able basting assistant - was busy with his own Bank Holiday weekend project ... he's decorating our bedroom. Here he is hard at work:

I'll have to grab him first thing in the morning! 

Remember I was going to back my jelly roll quilt with this? 

Sadly, the seller contacted me to say she didn't have the 2 metres I needed after all :( so I quickly found another seller who had 2 metres of the purple which arrived yesterday. However, and this is my own optimistic fault for thinking that 2 metres would be enough, when I added my borders to the top of the quilt:

I was about 16" short in the width ... oh dearie me! Now, as luck would have it - 'see DH: that's why I have a large(ish) stash' - I just happened to have enough of the lilac spots left over that I'd used when I got caught short with the front! It was meant to be - don't you think? So with a little bit more cutting and sewing, I now have a finished back too:

As well as DH decorating, I also got distracted by the quilt I started to make yesterday for dear niece's, partner's Grandma's 80th birthday in May. I only made the one star yesterday and made another 5 today! Just 3 to go :)

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday and keeping my head down in case the 'Not really a finish Police' come investigating :D

Starting Grandma's 80th quilt ...

Dear niece (who loves all my work!) has asked me to make a quilt for her partner's Grandma who's celebrating her 80th birthday party with family in May ... so I have a few weeks then!

'Greens and creams' was the only stipulation. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, we 'Facetimed' last week so that Hannah could choose a fabric from my stash as a starter.

During the week, I visited my LQS and here are my purchases:

More off-white than cream but it'll work (fingers crossed!) The green is a Robert Kaufman and the florals (which I love!) are from Tanya Whelan's 'Delilah' range. Not sure who's the white is (it's mine now!) but it's got cute little flowers embossed on it.  Yesterday, I trawled through hundreds of google images for '4-fabric blocks' and I've decided to go with stars and here is the first one:

I've made them a bit bigger than usual - the individual units are 5 1/2" before sewing - so a 3 x 3 layout should give me a 60" x 60" finish. I'm also going to mix the colours up a bit so in the next block, I will swap the green and white over ... I know, I'm such a daredevil, aren't I???

Sunday, 24 March 2013

A good day's sewing :)

As promised, yesterday I spent the whole day sewing in the loft sewing until DH came home from the Whisky Live event :)

It was a quiet day; I miss Mutter, who went home on Thursday :( We had a lovely week whilst she visited us. She makes me laugh soooooo hard and we both end up with tears rolling down our faces ... she has an amazing sense of humour and I miss her when she goes home but, being the middle child, I'm used to sharing her! So, we went to see The Lion King in the West End on Tuesday and she LOVED it. Here she is outside:

And here we are inside, enjoying a fiercely expensive G&T (but then it was Tanqueray!):

We didn't tell her anything about the show beforehand and so her face was a picture when the 'animals' came down the aisle. We had strategically placed her on the end of aisle seat so that she'd get the best view though I'm not sure the elephant, dancing along, minding his own business, was expecting to get his tusk felt by a giggling 75 year old!! Oh Mutter, I love you so much - you are one in a million :) xx

And to my 'Saturday Sew-in' - I think I was up in the loft for about 8 hours ... doesn't time fly when you're having fun? I did stop for a little lunch:

But mostly I was pinning and sewing and ironing open a million seams:

It's taking lots of time ... really lots of time but I'm enjoying the different stages of seeing it come together and I totally love the bright colours - thanks again, dear Carla, for the giveaway jelly roll, though part of me wishes I'd chosen an easier quilt to use it on! But this is intended as a special gift, so it's worth it. This is where I'd got to by 7:10pm last night:

Now I can see it nearly finished, I've chosen this (out of the 42? possibilities) fabric for the background:

I guess my question to my few devoted readers is, 'how should I quilt it?' You know I don't have a variety of quilting in my repertoire but I'm not sure that my usual FMQ stippling / meandering will be the best for this one ... HELP!!

Friday, 22 March 2013

Lots of little finishes :)

Happy Weekend, everyone :)

I haven't made any more progress on piecing this jelly roll quilt this week but I have at least finished cutting and sewing all the 150+ units and am planning to sew all day tomorrow to piece as much of the top as I can! Here are the smaller units in all their finery:

Last Saturday, I sewed my first ever zips and made 3 quilted iPad cases. I only meant to make one (as a birthday gift) but I immediately fell in love with my 'first born':

Quilted iPad Case

so I just had to make some more: 

And I was asked to make three more bunny cushions after this one I made for the church raffle was such a big hit. I had just enough of the Peter Rabbit fabric left over to make this one:

But no matter how hard I tried, I could not find any more of this fabric - anywhere :( don't you just hate it when that happens? So after a bit more searching on t'internet for 'bunny fabric', I found an alternative that is more than acceptable:

I left the loft to get some coffee and when I came back, this bundle of furry loveliness was in my seat and would not move:

So I played around with the colours and eventually discarded the blue and just stayed with the peach and green and here are the finished cushions:

And silly me for turning my back again on her gorgeousness, 'I'm just trying them out for you, Mummy!'

I moved her along and managed to tempt her to nestle down again:

Have a great weekend - stay warm - happy sewing :) linking up with the gracious Amanda Jean of Crazy Mom Quilts - Finish it up Friday 

Monday, 18 March 2013

Mid-month check in ... oh oh :)

Just a little post this evening to register my mid-month check in with Shanna over at Fiber of All Sorts. All I can say is thank goodness this is a 31-day month and DH will be out all day Saturday drinking Whisky at the London 2013 Whisky Live Event being held at this amazing venue - The Honourable Artillery Company:

He'll have lots of fun and I will be sewing without interruption ALL day long! I'll need to as I haven't made as much progress on this quilt as I would like:

Here's my pathetic effort so far:

It's not that bad really when I count the following events and makes since March 1st:
  • Weekend in Chester
  • Lap quilt for Joan
  • Sewing Room tidy-up
  • Ironing Board Cover
  • Mutter coming to stay for a week
  • Sunday Lunch and visit to family near Canterbury
  • Baby Quilt for Kirsty
  • Three iPad Cases
and tomorrow night, we're off to see The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre :)

What do you reckon? Think I'll get this quilt finished by the 31st??

A Lovely Year of Finishes

Sunday, 17 March 2013

I did it! I sewed in a zip :)

Hooray, hooray, hooray - and more cheers, please  ... for I am a happy little sewer - is that the right word; best I check. Ewwww, obviously, I am referring to the last bullet-pointed meaning!!

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia,
Sewer may refer to:
  • Part of sewerage, the infrastructure that conveys sewage
  • Effluent sewer, a collection system that transports only the liquid portion of wastewater through small-diameter pipes laid at contour
  • Sanitary sewer, a system of pipes used to transport human waste
  • Storm drain, a collection and transportation system for storm water
  • Combined sewer, a system performing both the functions of a sanitary sewer and a storm sewer
  • Sewer, one who does sewing

Yesterday at 0900 hours, I was the first through the doors of my local craft store to buy some 9" zips. Zips? Me? I never use zips ... I don't even know how to use a zipper foot! That may sound a bit lame but I've never had to and, to be honest, I thought it would be way too difficult and would be one of those things I just never got round to doing.

I wanted to make an iPad case for my Aunty's birthday and most of the patterns out there called for the use of a zip. So, to the trusty Google search engine and thanks to Sewing Parts Online for this little gem, I now know which one of those 'spare bits of metal' is my zipper foot, how to fix it on and how to use it.

Next, and another search led me to the very glamorous Debbie Shore at Thimble Lane and her YouTube tutorial on sewing this zipped make up bag. It was so easy to follow - the only difference was I quilted my outside pieces. I even did straight line quilting - it was okay (though, I think I'll still struggle with this when doing something quilt sized): 

Then, following Debbie's clear instructions, within 30 minutes, I had made my first iPad (zipped-up) Case:

Isn't she lovely? Look at that cute label! Aren't those my favourite colours? Oh oh ... I'm in trouble :) She is lovely and pink! I want to keep it for meeeeeee! What's a girl to do? The only thing a girl can do ... Yep, keep your 'first born' and make another one! Here's Aunty's:

Later in the day, my friend (and #1 Fan!) came visiting and fell in love so now I just had to make her one too! She picked her own fabrics and ... ta da, here's number 3:

LOVED, LOVED, LOVED making these - wish everyone had an iPad so I could make some more!

Hey, I know it's not on a par with inventing penicillin, landing on the moon or conquering Everest but it was my greatest achievement yesterday! And I'm still crowing about it today :D

Aunty Monika loved hers and we all had a great St Patrick's Day lunch this afternoon with the friendliest Landlords Sean and Sue, at The Fordwich Arms (near Canterbury, Kent) - here's a picture of me wearing the obligatory Guinness hat to prove it:

Hope you had (or are having) a wonderful weekend and I'd love to hear about your sewing achievements :)

Friday, 15 March 2013

Baby Quilt :)

I have had a fabby Friday. My dear Mutter (Mum) arrived yesterday and will be staying with us for a week. We have tickets for The Lion King next week - she's very excited! I took the day off work today and whilst I sewed, Mutter knitted - we've had the best day.

I did a lot of cutting and sewing on this quilt and finished just the one block:

... it's taking quite a bit of time! But I mostly spent the day finishing up the cutest (well, Mutter and I think so!) little pink baby quilt. My brother asked me if I would make this quilt for a young Mum and her new baby, who's a friend of the family in Wales. Of course, I said, 'Yes!' and although there was no time limit put on it, I wanted to finish it before Mutter goes home next week so she can take it with her and Amanda Jean keeps me on track (most weeks!) for a Friday finish ... you too, hey?! 

So, this little darling came together for me in the last 3 days. I Facebooked this photo to my brother earlier this afternoon, with the question, 'What do you think of it so far?'

To which, he responded, 'I think it's lovely and so are youuuuu. x' Bless him :)

Although I would have (happily!) gone shopping for new fabric, I didn't have to - all the material came from my stash! And the back is a lovely fleeced fabric: 

I still haven't mastered straight line quilting  :( so I free motion quilted with my usual stippling/meandering in a pale pink cotton and, being such a manageable size, it took me just over an hour. And here is the label:

On to the binding - my favourite part:

Even more enjoyable when Mutter handed me an ice cold glass of crisp dry white wine - naughty Mutter ... it was before 6 o'clock! Oh well! Yummeeeeee:

And the finished article ... It really is very cute. I could make pink baby quilts ALL DAY LONG :) 

Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts - Finish it up Friday - and going to go and have a good look at all the other blogs linked up now! Have the best weekend :)

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Proper WIP :D

I first blogged about making this quilt a couple of weeks ago - at that point I queried whether it was an actual WIP or just an IIMH (my new acronym - idea in my head!) Well, after all my selecting, measuring, cutting, piecing and head-scratching this week ... I do believe this definitely now qualifies as a 'proper work in progress' :)

In case you don't want to visit my previous post, this is the quilt I'm making from the Jelly Roll I won from the lovely Carla:

The pattern, 'Stormy Weather' features in this book, by the very talented mother and daughter team, Pam and Nicky Lintott and, whilst it was a slow start, I'm now on a (jelly!) roll! (note to self: must not laugh out loud at own jokes!): 

Because my Jelly Roll isn't predominantly one colour as in the pattern, I did experience a little 'too much choice-anxiety' and umm'ed and ah'ed for ages at separating the strips but, eventually, I put on my big-girl's pants and just got on with it:

Took a while to sew the 48 x 4-patch blocks but thank goodness for chain-piecing:

Once all 48 units were made, I started to trim them down to 4 1/2" even though I'm not sure they needed it. Trouble is, once I started, I couldn't stop and when you look at the little pile of trimmings at the end of it, I don't know whether I'd bother in the future. Would you:

Then on to the tricky bit :( The pattern calls for using one of these triangle rulers which I don't have (much to DH's surprise, "I thought you had every quilting contraption on the market!") Hmmm ... obviously not my dear:

Tried being clever and cut out the first 2 triangles without measuring and I realised after sewing them together, it was too small - 4 of these were not going to amount to a 4 1/2" finished square in a square. But, I'm no quitter so I practised different angles and sizes by cutting on scraps but it just wasn't working  ... this was going to be easy. I knew some clever quilter out there would have blogged about this - I didn't need to buy another ruler and wait a week for it to be delivered. So, thank you Google and KarrieLynn of Freckled Whimsy - I finally found your HST tutorial from 2010 which told me to sew both sides of the jelly roll together and use an ordinary square ruler like this:

Brill ... but ... the pattern said I should have got 24 HSTs out of the strips and this was all that was left after cutting 20:

Never mind, that's what a healthy stash is for! See DH - told you there was a very good reason for me buying fabric 'just in case!' I went for plain black and lilac polka dots so as not to clash with the black and purple patterns and colours in the jelly roll. Think it works ok - do you! 

And, sometimes you just have to photograph the back of a block:

I had a go at the 3rd unit - this wasn't as tricky as I thought it would be ... again, it just took a bit of time. You have to mark the back of the squares with a triangle template then sew 8 of them to a strip. The pattern doesn't call for pinning but I did:

No blocks to show you yet, as it takes a bit of time to cut and sew the individual units that make up a block. But I will get some done over the next few days so please come back for a visit soon :)

Linking up to Lee at Freshly Pieced's WIP Wednesday.