Friday, 30 October 2015

30 months, 6 friends, 1 broken shoulder !!

Doesn't every quilt have a great story behind it? Well, this one's no exception ... in fact, this has to be one of my best :)

In June 2013, I joined my first quilting bee, thanks to my dear friend (now) Fran @ patchyroses suggesting me as a participant to our lovely Queen Bee, Maria @sewlovetosew. The other 3 talented ladies were Amy @cloudcoucou, Julie @mackandmabel and Sarah @quiltcandy. The idea was a strip quilt - we'd each make a strip and pass it on, adding a strip to compliment as we went along until all six quilters had added a strip, then the quilt would be returned to its owner.

Here was my starting strip:

Each quilt was very different, I learnt some new paper piecing skills and played with different fabrics and really got to know my fellow Strippers along the way!! 

In fact, we were getting on so well, I invited everyone for a weekend in March 2014 so that we could meet and hand over our finished quilts in person. The day before, I went grocery shopping and, with two heavy bags, I tripped in the street, fell hard, dislocated and smashed my shoulder ... ouch!!

I was devastated - not just for breaking my shoulder - I had to cancel the weekend :( 

The ladies were marvellous about it and Queen Bee organised everyone and they made me a delightful wall-hanging strip and sent me extra gifts too: 

They made me cry:

Everyone was still keen to meet up and, thankfully, we didn't have to wait long. In June 2014, we finally got together. Here am I (you can spot the poorly shoulder) with my finished quilt:

And here's the whole crowd - from left to right: Sarah, Amy, Julie, Me, Maria and Fran:

My shoulder was really smashed so it took me a while before I got back into basting and quilting so she was put on the UFO pile for a year :( But recently, I got her out, dusted her off, added some borders and started quilting:

And here she is, at last - complete:

It took some time but I have a lovely quilt, my shoulder is as good as it will ever be, I can make quilts again and, more importantly, I have 5 new friends ... just like their quilts; they're all different, all unique, all very special. Thank you, ladies, you rock xxxxx

Linking up with Amanda Jean @crazymomquilts and Sarah @Confessionsofafabricaddict

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Nid yw hi'n hyfryd?!

That's Welsh for - 'isn't she lovely?' And this little Welsh baby is adorable. Her name is Tanwen (= white fire) ... a beautiful name for a beautiful baby.

I started making this baby quilt for her just a few weeks ago and it came together really quickly once I had picked the fabrics. The fun fat quarter was new and the rest (including some Riley Blake spots) came from my fabric stash:

Once I'd chosen the fabrics, it was easy to make a design with 16 X 10" squares:

And here is the top:

Quilted with my favourite free motion quilting:

A metre of daffodil fabric on the back - the daffodil is national flower of Wales so a perfect choice:

And, saving the best until last, some 'action shots':

Linking up with Amanda Jean @ Crazy Mom Quilts and Sarah @ Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Sunday stash ... and gifts :)

I am trying to curtail my fabric purchases in 2015 and use up my (vast) stash ('Yeah, right', I can hear my friend Fran say as I type!) but I did just have to pick up a few fat quarters at my LQS Liberty Bell recently. They don't all have writing on the selvage so I might have to pop back next week! 

I really love the peachy birds fabric - it's by Irene & Lewis who are new to me but now I've found them, I'm going to look at their Christmas stuff - all looks so delicious! The little red love hearts is 'Under the Mistletoe' by Anni Downs for Henry Glass fabrics and the cream low volume fabric is 'Basically Hugs' by Helen Stubbings for Red Rooster fabrics:

A couple of online purchases from eBay too! This cute birds fabric is Sophia by Makower (think the spots is Makower too): 

And some happy mail in the post on Friday from my dear blogging friend Shauna @ lovinquiltin - four delightful Christmas fat quarters - sent all the way from Canada - no reason ... just because:

Thank you, Shauna, you shouldn't have (but I'm glad you did!) Quilters really are the most generous of friends :)

Let's go and see what everyone else has been buying - then I may not feel so guilty! 

Molli Sparkles

Friday, 2 October 2015

Love, friendship, gratitude ...

I have a very special finish this week; extra special because of the wonderful friend I have made it for. We've been friends since 1996, having met through work. She introduced me and DH in 1998 so we have a lot to be thankful to her for. And because we love Judi so much, it was only fitting the quilt would feature a big heart.

If you've not been on this Robert Kaufman site, you should - lots of great patterns and the pixelated heart was perfect. Apart from the white background squares, all of the coloured fabric was from my stash (some of the fabric has been used in bags, Pants Bags and cushions Judi and her 3 gorgeous girls have had / made with me over the years.) I cut 225 X 4.5" squares but you could make them any size:

I now press my seams open all the time; I have also started to pin differently (after 5 years), I used to put one pin in the centre but now I pin either side of the seam and have found it gives me a much nicer finish: 

Lots of pins here:

And - keeping it real - we all make mistakes! Upside down pinning meant a bit of unpicking:

I'm still not fond of straight line quilting so I decided to stick with what I know:

Binding really is my favourite part of making a quilt - I know, crazy lady! I decided to stick to the same colour as the backing as there's enough colour in the heart:

And speaking of the backing, this panel was so fitting:

And the front - including DH's feet (bless him) - it's perfect:

And the label:

I am so grateful for our friendship, Judi, and I love you so very much xx

Linking up with Amanda Jean @Crazy Mom Quilts and Sarah @Confessions of a Fabric Addict.