Friday, 30 May 2014

Broken arm works a charm ...

Corny headline, I know! But very apt in the circumstances. I have a finish! Yay! Well - a finished top - you know it counts all the same. This was my low-volume charm square quilt without a border, which was coming up a bit small:

And here it is today - finished with a 5" border - it was a bit blowy in the garden - I got there eventually:

I think it will be a while before I can baste and quilt it - although the arm is getting stronger, I still only have about 40% range of movement in the shoulder and it hurts when I overdo things. Knowing me, as you do, that's quite a lot!

And how was our holiday in France? Amazing. Poignant. Breath-taking. Very moving. We packed a lot into our 5 days in the Somme region. It was lovely to get the chance to holiday with our friends and their wonderful girls. We visited lots of World  War 1 sights and also had some fun playing cards and bingo back at the Gites each night. Here are just a few photos:

And on Monday, we drove to Ypres in Belgium to hear the Last Post - played every night at 8pm at the Menin Gate - The memorial bears the names of 54,389 officers and men from United Kingdom and Commonwealth Forces (except New Zealand and Newfoundland) who fell in the Ypres Salient before 16th August 1917 and who have no known grave:


If you ever get the chance to visit these countries ... do it. You won't be disappointed. But you will be sad. I'm thankful to be home and grateful for the world I get to live in because of their sacrifices. 
Linking up with Lorna, Amanda Jean and Sarah :)
Sew Fresh Quilts

Friday, 23 May 2014

Au revoir!

We're off to France tomorrow for a few days with our dear friends and their three wonderful daughters. I'm so looking forward to it. Lots of WW1 battlefields to tour and we're staying in a farmhouse in the Somme Valley. I haven't ever read much about the Great War so am expecting to learn a lot.

We had our dear niece and her fiancé visit us this week - it's almost rejuvenating being in the company of a couple of 24 year olds. We're very lucky they want to spend their precious days off with us 'old folk'! Or maybe it's just the hot tub they're keen on visiting :)

So no sewing to share with you. Not a jot. Nothing. But some exciting news ... the Strip Bee quilting retreat I was going to host - but had to cancel because of my accident the day before everyone was due to arrive - has been rescheduled! Yay! So stay tuned because there will be lots of sewing stuff to share very soon - can't wait to see the 6 different quilts we've made! 

And it will be the last lot of sewing in my lovely sewing room (loft) before we move house. I shall miss this room :( here's one of my aforementioned friend's wonderful daughters when she came to play last year:

Also, am really hoping my arm will continue to get stronger and I can get around to basting these lovelies when I get back. They're waiting patiently on my table:

Hope you have a great weekend ... à bientôt :)

Sunday, 18 May 2014

At last! Size IS everything :)

Think I got this one right! I have FINALLY made an online purchase and got the sizing perfect!!

Remember the 'substantial' fat quarter shelf that turned out only big enough for holding threads:

And the 'large' scraps bin? Yes, just a bit bigger than my radio!

And let's not forget the 'HUGE' blanket chest:

Yes, as a quilter who should know her centimetres from her inches, I hang my head in shame! My recent online purchases, and my penchant for ignoring measurements and just going by the sellers' photos,  have given us much merriment. But at last, I got it right. This 'little' bookcase is EXACTLY what I wanted to hold our favourite cookbooks on the new (to us) kitchen table in the new house:

And a dear friend rescued me from daytime TV when I was off sick recently by taking me shopping!  And, no, I shouldn't be buying fabric at the moment but I couldn't resist this little Cath Kidston bundle ... am thinking with a wave of my wand, I can turn this into a great kitchen table cloth / runner and some napkins:

Even found a place for them, with the rest of the family!

She's an avid golfer so I'm going to turn these lovelies into a golf shoe / Pants Bag for her as a thank you:

Happy Sunday :) Linking up:

Molli Sparkles

Thursday, 15 May 2014

A WIP and a finish ... not too shabby!

I have had a good few days. The movement in my arm is increasing daily and I am sure sewing helps! I still have to do some ironing with my left arm but the rotary cutting is getting easier ... though putting in a new blade at the weekend might also have helped there! 

I decided to add 2.5" sashings in plain cream to my low volume charm square quilt ... it's only taken it to 50" x 50" though, still a bit small for a lap quilt - hmmmm - maybe I should add a 5" border? What would you do?

And a little finish for the lovely Jasmine over at Quilt Kisses (what a pretty blog name) she's just finished a gorgeous quilt for the charity Hands 2 Help and does fabby feather quilting. I'm glad I popped in on Jasmine this morning as I really need to make another charity quilt ... can you fit one in? There's so many worthy causes, I know, it's good to help wherever you can :)

Jasmine's favourite colour is purple so I have made her a purple Pants Bag - love this colour - was able to use up some of my favourite scraps and buy some gorgeous lining fabric. I know she won't be able to resist peaking at this post so I won't photo the surprise I put in with it:

Linking up:


Sew Fresh Quilts

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Gently does it?? Me?!

I am really happy to be sewing again. It's been 6 weeks since I broke my arm ... that's gone quickly! Did you know I was impatient? And stubborn? And a perfectionist? Hmmm, not my best characteristics :) That's why quilting is a great hobby for someone like me - it forces you to slow down, accept mistakes and go easy on yourself ... apparently!

On Friday, I started making a cushion (pillow) ... yes, I could have 'stayed simple' but I wanted to try out a new pattern and I've had this book for weeks, it was calling to me:

This is the block I was attracted to because I wanted to use lots of fabrics. So I raided my stash:

And started cutting. I'm going for an 18" cushion so I reckon 4" squares and 2 1/4" corner squares will make a nice size inner block which I can then frame with the backing fabric:

I could eyeball or draw a line across each of the 2 1/4" squares but it's easier on my arm to iron them in half and sew corner to corner just to the left of the crease line:

Before cutting off the corners, I sew another line - now I'll have lots of 1 1/2" squares to use up. For what? I have no idea!

Here's the first block ... almost perfectly square:

And all four sewn together:

I then added the border, quilted it, made the envelope back:

And voila! Took a lot longer to make than usual but it was worth it. Thanks for the inspiration:

Now to make something simple?! Yeah, right :)