Wednesday, 31 July 2013

A little bit on my WIP ...

Just a little sewing tonight but it was lovely. Whilst measuring and cutting, pinning and sewing, pressing and thinking, I was listening to BBC Radio 2 at the Proms with Ken Bruce and Petroc Trelawny - presenting 'a treasure of British light music classics performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra live from the BBC Proms'. I loved it :)

I finished sashing my Swedish Quilt and am now onto the border. I have just done the one strip for now: 1) I ran out of time and 2) I haven't made my mind up about the other 3 sides yet :)

It won't be staying on the floor ... there's a little bundle of furry gorgeousness lurking in the loft!

Linking up to Lee @ Freshly Pieced WIP Wednesday and checking out what everyone else is up to. 

Here are some of my favourites this week:

  • Stephanie @ Quarter incher has made a fabric box ... hmmmm :)
  • Liz @ Shush I'm Quilting is mixing up straight line and stipple quilting in her quilt - an idea for my Swedish Quilt, maybe?
  • Sarah @ Georgia Girl Quilts - who hasn't had much time for sewing because of a yard sale. My kind of girl - after all that hard work; it's got to be a bottle of beer!

Going to have to stop browsing now or me and the duvet will be fighting at 0530 when the alarm goes off!

Sunday, 28 July 2013

A good weekend's work ...

I know we shouldn't complain about the weather (but that's what we Brits do!). It has been very warm again this weekend, which saps all my energy and then I'm in danger of wanting to move very little -  the thunder and lightening we had yesterday was pretty spectacular, though, and it does feel cooler this evening as I sit now writing this post with the garden doors open :)

DH has worked really hard in the house and garden, bless him. Remember when we cleared the loft, all the 'stuff' went into the spare bedroom:

Well, this is what it looks like tonight after we sorted, binned, charity shop gifted and stored what we are keeping! Ta daaaaaaaaaaa:

It desperately needed doing - dear MIL and SIL arrive on Thursday for a long weekend and though they said they'd happily room share, it was just the push we needed to get it done. And I managed to find some sewing time too ... don't I always?! Here's where I'm up to on my Swedish Quilt:

Just some more sashing to attach and then I need to think about whether it needs a border ... tempted to add a wide 6" out of the blue roses fabric - what do you think?

Have a good week, whatever you're up to :)

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Surprise Scrappy WIP Quilt :)

Feeling the heat in London today but also feeling the love after the birth of Prince George - hearty congratulations to all :)

So I went a looking in my stash tonight and came across this fat quarter (which I've had for ages and can't even remember where I purchased it!) 

I decided to make a quilt out of it combined with some scrappy charm squares and whatever else takes my fancy. 

I cut and sewed a bit tonight in my sewing room (loft) after the sun went down but it's so muggy up there, I've given up ... but here's where I'm up to:

It really is a surprise quilt:

1) I didn't know I was going to make it until 830pm tonight
2) I have no pattern or finished size in mind
3) I don't know who I'm making it for

Note to self: if you are going to leave your FW blocks on the floor, don't be surprised to turn around and find Nell playing with them!

Linking up with Lee @ Freshly Pieced - WIP Wednesday 

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Oh, the pressure :)

My dear niece and her fiancé went home today :( we miss them already. We have had such a fun week with them, they do make us laugh and keep us young!! (Not that we're that old!) We met up with them for dinner and drinks in London after work on Thursday:

We took Friday off work and had a picnic down at Hever Castle:

It's such a cute castle - the childhood home of Anne Boleyn - beautiful gardens too - the photo on their website does it far more justice: 

It was so hot, the water maze was a must and I made a friend:

And we bought these beautiful flowers for our garden there:

Yesterday, we got the train to Rochester and dear niece tried on wedding dresses! I cried! I would love to show you the photos of her in the dresses she tried on but I can't ... you'll have to take my word for it - she looked GORGEOUS :)

After a bit of charity shop and book shopping, we had a bite to eat (oh, and another drink - they're such a bad influence!)

And then got the train home. We watched 'Beautiful Creatures' last night - a film we probably wouldn't have chosen for ourselves but really enjoyed. Young adults' choices are good! Great cast and a lovely story:

After they left today, I did a little sewing. I wanted to complete the next strip of my Strip Bee Quilt ... I'll admit to feeling under a lot of pressure to make my strip to properly compliment Fran's. And even though the lovely Fran (@PatchyRose) told me not to stress, I was! This was as far as I had got in a week - just picking out fabric from my stash that I might use:

I really was getting myself into a tizzy over what pattern, blocks and fabric to use. After the wise counsel from DH (who really has got an eye for colour), I chose some different colours, went with a 3-block design and I cracked on this afternoon for a couple of hours and I have now finished it! I can only show you a sneak preview, otherwise it'll spoil the surprise for Fran:

So no more pressure and I'm weeks ahead of schedule ... yay! I can do some more of this next week:

1) sash Swedish Quilt block
2) complete a Farmer's Wife block
3) hand sew some Hexies
4) crocheting a blanket

What fun will you be getting up to next week?

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Swedish Quilt ... coming along nicely :)

As hot as it is in London ... and it is! And with dear niece and fiancé visiting, I haven't had bags of time this week to crack on making this quilt but I'm getting there. I still have to cut and attach all the 2.5" sashing and decide on a final layout but I'm confident I will have it all done by my deadline of the 10th August. I'm not sure yet about the layout - same colour rows or rows of alternate colours? Blocks all facing the same way or mixed up? Hmmm:

As I visited Lee's blog to link up, I read about her feelings about her Farmer's Wife Quilt - I'm also 'stuck' with mine. I was a frenzied FWQ block maker last year (I started mine in October) making 6 blocks a week but then the unmade blocks got harder to make and I was making other quilts and Pants Bags so, bless, it just got abandoned.

I laid them all out tonight (not in any particular order): 

You know, I really want to finish this this year so am setting myself a little goal - a block a fortnight until I have enough (I never intended to do them all). I know I can do it :)

Linking up with Lee @ Freshly Pieced WIP Wednesday.

Monday, 15 July 2013

New quilt WIP :)

So my dear SIL's birthday bag arrived today in time for her birthday and she is THRILLED with it ... Happy Birthday, Deb ... I'm doing a happy dance!!

It's been glorious weather in London ... if you like it at 30C (90f) ... I'm sorry, I don't! Hey, I grew up in North Wales - we had one hot day a year :) So, when everyone else was in the garden over the weekend, I started a new quilt. Nell was also a bit hot too: 

I bought this fabric whilst on holiday in the Isle of Man. I particularly like the blue roses:

This quilt will be for my friend's Mum's 70th birthday in a month's time ... doing it to myself again - will I never learn?! Inger is Swedish and immensely proud of her heritage so the yellow and blue fabric was a given and my friend suggested adding the white. We went to my dear friend's wedding in Sweden in May - what a beautiful country.

Next - choosing a pattern. I looked at some Boston Quilts and Googled 'yellow and blue quilts', I also Googled '3-colour quilts' ... hmmm, nothing really grabbed me. So, I looked at my books - I know ... BOOKS! And, get this, I found a pattern in this book - the same book I used for my friend's wedding quilt:

Did all my cutting first:

Then I marked all the squares and began sewing just to the right of the line. I know some quilters 'eyeball' the sewing line ... I can't, so I'm happy to spend a few minutes drawing the lines:

And thanks to the tip from Julie @ MackandMabel, I am saving those triangles - who knows what they may come in handy for:

My first few blocks which will need white sashing:

Dear niece and fiancé arrived last night for a week's stay and made us a delicious Chicken Fajita dinner when we got home from work (they can come visit again!):

Linking up with Plum and June:

Friday, 12 July 2013

Everything happens for a reason :)

You'll know from my post on Wednesday - 'Lost my (sewing) Mojo' or, as called by Liz and Karen - my 'Sewjo' ... that I was a bit upset that I had messed up the handles on my SIL's birthday bag and had no more of the Cath Kidston fabric to play with. Well, thankfully the bag workshop tutor (the lovely Kate) realised where I had gone wrong. In short, because I wasn't cutting the fabric from a half metre on the fold, I should have reversed the fat quarters when cutting ...

... it still didn't solve the 'no more CK fabric' problem but thanks to having had to move everything out of the sewing room, I had come across an old bag of curtain / fabric remnants and remembered seeing some light denim fabric that I thought would be perfect ... and it was!! AND there was just enough to make the handles. To keep it in the CK theme, I sewed some of her pretty ribbon down the middles:

Well chuffed with them, I can tell you, and then it didn't take me long to get it to this stage ... I love it when you look at this and go, 'No way, that's never going to turn into a bag!'

But it did and I actually think it's turned out better than if I had used the original fabric for the handles: 

And I added a little flower to the other side:

The inside:

And the best bit? I'll get in the post tomorrow and dear SIL should receive it on her birthday on Monday! Thank you for your lovely, funny and supportive comments on Wednesday - it all worked out for the best in the end :)

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday - loving Amanda Jean's Wonky Log Cabin Quilt - it's so bright and summery!

And for the first time, please Can I get a Whoop Whoop?

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Lost my (sewing) Mojo!!

But only temporarily, I hope!

Seriously, what with being evicted from my sewing room whilst the loft roof was fixed, followed by some weekends away, visitors, a holiday and the hot weather we've had this week ... I'm all in a tizz cos I have forgotten how to do stuff :(

I bought this Cath Kidston fabric to make my dear SIL a bag for her birthday - it's a thicker cotton than usual quilting fabric (but not quite linen) and about FQ sized:

I made these two bags relatively easily just 2 months ago and tonight I followed the pattern, looked at some photos I took during Kate's class and worked from my memory, which should have been enough ...

But the handles are all wrong, first the original lining I cut didn't match up so I had to substitute them with plain cream then the two handles didn't match - the short ends are sewn to the short ends but the spots are supposed to be on the same side ... I just cannot work out what's gone wrong *sigh* and now I've no more of this fabric ... oh, and it's SlL's birthday on Monday :(

On a brighter note, my fellow Strip Bee quilter, Fran @ PatchyRose sent me her strip today - isn't it pretty? Along with our strip, we are sending a photo of our progress and a notebook - just look at her cute quilted book cover ... clever Fran :)

And I'll be sending  mine off to Amy @ Cloud CouCou tomorrow ... by the time I see it again, five talented and lovely quilters will have added a strip of their own design to it! Exciting stuff!

The birthday bag is definitely my work in progress this week ... wave your wand, Glinda ... wave your wand :)

Linking up with Lee @ Freshly Pieced:

Friday, 5 July 2013

Finished Holiday :(

Oh, it's the last day of our holiday with our Mums on the glorious Isle of Man and after some temperate weather earlier in the week, the sun shone on us all day today. Back at the cottage after another truly fabby day sightseeing (and shopping!), we are watching Andy Murray before packing :( and then we take the ferry from Douglas to Liverpool tomorrow afternoon. 

Yesterday, I bought some wool ... yes, wool and a little bit of pink fabric in the Craft shop in Ramsey. Mutter crotchets blankets so she taught me how to do it last night and here's my efforts so far:

I have really enjoyed it, especially as Mutter gives her praise so generously so I'm rather pleased so far. I shall keep going until I have used up my 6 balls of wool, then we'll have to schedule another visit so she can tell me how to finish it or it'll be a WIP for the rest of my life!

On our way to today's sightseeing venues, we stopped at the Jurby Junk Shop and made a couple of purchases. Then we carried on to Cregneash ... and I'm so glad we did! Cregneash is a living illustration of a farming and crofting community in the 19th and early 20th century. It was a wonderful place and the Manx people really are the friendliest I have ever met on my travels.

And to my utter amazement, look who greeted us in one of the thatched cottages:

Please let me introduce you to Chris Eastham ( who was hand sewing what they call the 'Isle of Man Roof Pattern' with a Manx cat called 'old Ginny' on her lap. We had a great time chatting and she told me all about how quilts were made in the olden days. I picked up a couple of her kits so I'll do another post soon about making this - it was so interesting.

We also saw a sheep being sheared, what a clever man:

After a glorious lunch in the tearooms, I was in the shop paying for the kits, when in walked a lovely lady called Carole (from the West Midlands) carrying a gorgeous quilt which I could see was a quilt made out of this pattern. She had bought a kit last year and had added to it to make a big lap quilt and had brought it back to show! We got chatting, as you do, and we exchanged details ... hope we might meet up again one day! There was another lovely lady (I wish I'd asked her name) but she took my blog details so we might 'chat' soon.

So, I have finished my holiday - it's been a lot of fun. And I finished my shopping today ... here are all my purchases:

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday