Sunday, 24 April 2016

Scrap busting to make way for new fabric!!

I have had the best birthday weekend and I want to thank you all in Blogland and on my IG account for your birthday wishes. The winner of my birthday giveaway was Anu in Finland and she chose the pouch and tissue holder so my friend Kate gets the Pants Bag for her birthday tomorrow! (The log cabin pouch is an iPad case for me!) 

Giving really is as much fun as receiving:

Speaking of receiving, as well as some perfume and little bits and pieces, DH got me this wonderful stash of fabric from Craftsy:

The top 4 yards are Blueberry Park by Karen Lewis, the smaller two are Cotton and Steel and the 17 fat quarters are 'sweet petites' by Michael Miller. 

I feel very blessed not only to have all that new loveliness to play with but to have a husband who truly gets my obsession hobby and doesn't moan about all the time (and money!) I spend on quilting ... thanks Nick X  

As if that wasn't enough, I also received these gorgeous birthday gifts from my very kind and talented friends Fran and Maja. From Fran, a mini Pants Bag:

And from Maja, two delightful little pouches:

And on to my scrap busting because I need more space! I am continuing the theme of my scrappy Siblings Together quilt by using up more blue scraps for the backing. Not sure exactly how this will turn out yet! And I pulled some drawers and bins of other colours and have started on some log cabin duet blocks. Again, no idea where this is going!

I used to trim my scraps but find grouping them by colour now is more productive to me than by size - that way if I see two pieces of a similar colour, I pick the one closest to the size I want, thus saving the bigger piece for another project on another day. My scraps are kept in drawers, bins and a birdcage:

More scraps were used up in this 20.5" block for Nicky @mrssewandsew who is the queen of Siblings Together quilt making, bless her:

Linking up with Molli Sparkles showing off my new fabric and sharing my scrap-busting with Cynthia @quiltingismorefunthanhousework 

Friday, 22 April 2016

Can't help but play with fabric scraps :D

Since pulling all the blue and grey scraps out for my Siblings Together quilt, I cannot seem to stop touching my fabric scraps! What's strange is the more I use up, the more I seem to make! 

Today, I have made a few gifts all from scraps. Firstly, I look at the fabric colours and sizes and that helps me to decide on a design / object. Also I find great inspiration from the Internet and other quilters. This block was inspired by Cathy's quilt:

All made from pink scraps and white leftover binding strips. I needed a new iPad cover and now I have one:

It's my birthday tomorrow (and St George's Day) and also my friend Kate's on Monday so I decided to make some gifts for Kate and as a giveaway! I raided the red bucket and made an open wide zipped pouch (great tutorial by @Noodlehead):

The large glass of bubbles was for scale but did get drunk eventually! Then I made a Pants Bag (so called because when I travel, I don't like putting my drawers in other people's drawers so I can just keep my pants in a bag hanging up!):

And here they all are together with a tissue holder I made too:

Would you like the Pants Bag or the open wide zipped pouch and tissue holder? Leave me a comment saying which (giveaway open for 24 hours only) and I shall then pick a winner. I will also offer this on my Instagram account tomorrow and will announce the winner on Sunday. 

As I was tidying up, I just couldn't but help touch some more scraps and quickly made these two log cabin blocks in no time - not sure what to do with them yet:

Have a great weekend - I know I will!

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

Friday, 15 April 2016

Scrappy Quilt ...

I made a start on this quilt top before bedtime last Saturday and cracked on with it on Sunday; I was on a roll and finished it today ... am thrilled! 

My post earlier in the week linking up to Scraptastic Tuesday showed the beginnings:

Once all 20 blocks were made (totally from scraps), I concentrated on the sashing and added 1.5" strips with 1.5" squares for the friendship stars:

Aren't they cute? Am so pleased with their '3D effect' (thanks for that, DH x)  that I think I will use this method again. And here he is - my finished quilt top, ready for me to baste and quilt: 

This will be my second of three quilts for this year's quilt drive for the charity Siblings TogetherA reminder of why we do this:

I love this craft; I love my hobby, I really do. 

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

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Scrap busting / stash using ... c'mon!

Last year, I made this quilt for the Siblings Together charity quilt drive all from scraps (except the sashing):

... and I STILL had zillions loads of scraps left over. So, when I got my new ironing / sewing room table, I bought some baskets to house most of the scraps:

On Saturday, I made a mess in my sewing room ... yes, really! So, after dinner, I went back in just to tidy up (honest!) and put some scraps in the baskets:

But then I got to thinking - what if I made a boy's quilt for Siblings Together from scraps?! And that was that ... before going to bed, I had decided on making improv blocks - 12.5" so reckoned 20 blocks should do it and I started:

By bedtime on Sunday, I had made all 20 blocks! They were a dream to make and I tried not to trim the scraps too much and just looked at each block as it formed to see what strip would go where next:

Did I tell you I was a messy quilter?!

I don't have a design wall but I do have cream walls and washitape:

And today, I started to add some sashing:

I think this will be a great quilt for a boy / young man. Linking up for the first time with Nicky at Scraptastic Tuesday.

Scraptastic Tuesday

Friday, 8 April 2016

Little finishes this week ...

I'm not sure what gives me more pleasure ... one big finish (like last week) or lots of little ones - who am I kidding? I LOVE ALL FINISHES EQUALLY!! 

I work and live in London in the week and then I am home (and sewing) Fri-Sun so just 3 days to get lots of things done. I try not to neglect DH and our families too much (I try!) but I do love to sew and make quilts so am often found in here:

Here are some of the things I've finished in the last week or so and shared on my Instagram including a couple of 'flat-bottomed' cosmetic bags:

And I finally got around to making Kelly @kelbysews 'one hour basket' and I am now addicted!! The prototype was to made to plan: 

Then I went on to make two smaller ones:

And I made this little lap quilt (30" X 30") for my special Aunt last weekend for her birthday:

She's special for lots of reasons but she bought me my Juki back when I started quilting in 2010, which was an amazing gift and a leap of faith - I had no previous sewing experience and no idea how important quilting would become to me. My darling Juki and I have worked really well together since then and she has definitely helped me produce all of my loveliness (thanks again, Aunty G xx).

The cat block was totally inspired by Elizabeth Hartman and I just worked out fabric sizing to fit my own measurements. DH helped choose the Makower Spraytime shades for each of the four cats and the background fabric is by Robert Kaufman:

And it came together really quickly. My default is meandering / stippling free motion quilting and it took less than one bobbin and no time at all:

The backing fabric was gifted to me in 2012 by one of my first quilty blogging friends, Tonya, and I had held on to it all this time because it was 'too nice to use' - do you do that too?! 

Labelled 'NOONIES' as Aunty G and her adorable cat, Bonnie, have an afternoon nap most days where Bonnie cuddles up on Aunty G's lap:

What will you be working on this weekend? I'll be working on this quilt for my nephew (and probably lots of other things):

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Charity doesn't always begin at home ...

Because in this case, charity began in the USA with Joan (IG account here) asking if someone would take her beautiful 42 quilt blocks and turn them into a quilt for Siblings Together ... and I said YES.

Siblings Together is a wonderful charity - you can read more about them here and I have taken this from their website:

Siblings Together is a UK based charity that promotes positive contact between brothers and sisters separated in foster care, kinship care, residential care, or adoption.

I started supporting this wonderful charity last year - there are dozens of quilters in the UK (and further) who make quilts for the children who come together at camps ... my contribution is tiny compared to others but this year, I am part of a monthly group (Siblings Together Quilting Group - please visit the blog), who exchange blocks of the Queen Bee's choice - I will post again about that and I will also be making a second quilt. 

When Joan came on the IG feed a few months ago asking for a volunteer to finish her quilt, I was happy to do so. Sending stuff across the Atlantic can be a bit risky (and we had a little battle with Customs but they refunded me, Joan!) but her gorgeous blocks arrived safely at the end of February:

I started putting them together - aren't they delightful?

And the rows just grew and grew:

This was asking for a border, which, thankfully I had just the right fabric in my stash for:

Dearest darling hubby helped me baste again in the decorating tables we put up in the hall:

I still cannot manage decent straight-line quilting on a quilt this size so stuck to my tried and tested stippling / meandering in a variegated yellow:

DH also chose the binding:

This really is my favourite part of the process:

And the all important label (donated by Spoonflower) attached yesterday (so it was a Friday finish, honest!):

And here she is in all her glory:

Joan, thank you again for trusting me with your blocks ... I hope I did them justice and that the child / young person our quilt will eventually go to loves it as much as we do.