Showing posts with label alex. Show all posts
Showing posts with label alex. Show all posts

Saturday, November 16, 2013


I don't particularly want to make a t-shirt quilt, but when Alex last went through his clothes, there were a lot of t-shirts which no longer fit (dang these growing kids, anyway!) - including some real favourites, like a handmade one from a friend and the touristy ones from our previous trip to the US (as well as a few others). So I decided we'd at least accumulate some t-shirt squares and consider the possibility of a quilt someday - not enough shirts yet to do more than trim and put in a drawer, so that decision will be deferred for a while at least!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

ATCs with the kiddies

Today we made some ATCs together for a swap - we did them all as round robins - we each made a background to start, and then passed left and let the next person add an element and so on until we'd gone all the way around. These are for a swap of ATCs done with your kids - the kids will each get an ATC to keep, in return.

This first one is my background, Alex's jewel dots, Olivia's mushrooms and Sarah's butterfly.

This one is Sarah's background, my leaf in the foreground, Alex's small leaf and woman's face and Olivia's black and white flower (the music was part of the background).

Here is Alex's background (half blue, half rose), Olivia added the bird, Sarah added the stripe of red tea paper and I finished it off with the word "rose" and the cut out roses on the bottom half.

And finally, Olivia's background; Sarah added the white glittery stripe and flower, I added the woman and the flower and dragonfly punches and Alex finished it off (with some trial and error and consultation) with the red gems and the red bird.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Here's the promised photo of this quilt finished - it was hard to get the small boy off it long enough to photograph it and it has gone upstairs with him to bed. Bless. Someone asked about the fabrics - the solids came from my stash, but I think the noveties all came from his - or mostly, anyway. Today he enjoyed trying to work out which ones he still had some of in his stash...

The other thing I did today was to make some more reeds for the May block lotto. I made two back in the sneak peek period, but didn't have a chance to do any more until today. And here they are. I love these - perhaps I'll be lucky enough to be one of the winners...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Triangle meander what I used to quilt this - doesn't really look that finished in this photo, but the observant among you will note the lack of safety pins... It's not heavily quilted (for once) but it will certainly do for what it is - a quilt of favourite fabrics of a small boy. Binding soon, I hope!

A closeup of the triangle meander - not very exciting, but gives an idea - it's like a loop meander but with triangles instead of loops. It's actually a hard one to do on the DSM as you need to move the quilt quite freely, which I find tougher under the DSM - probably why I usually end up doing dense quilting - not so much need to always be travelling large distances!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

UFO progress

I forgot to post this yesterday - it's one of the things I worked on. First, I made the binding and attached it to the shoe quilt, which I will probably finish off completely this weekend. Then, I pieced together the backing for this quilt (piecing backing is probably - no, definitely - my least favourite aspect of quilting!) and layered and pinned it. No idea when I will get around to quilting it - probably not this weekend, as there are other things waiting to be done. But at least it's there and ready...

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Here's what I did today - one of the things, anyway. I've been making some words for something which is hush hush at the moment and Alex spied them and decided he needed me to make his name. He provided the border fabric from his stash, but he doesn't really have a lot of tonals - mostly larger novelty prints (being as he's a 6YO boy - nearly 7, as he frequently reminds me - this is perhaps not surprising) so we raided my fabric for the orange and blue. Not sure what it wants to be - a pillow perhaps? We'll see...

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Cold, Snowy (slightly) Saturday

Well, it's been ages since I had a block to work on for the Bloggers Round Robin - this was due to a hold up along the way with one of the participants. Yesterday, I finally got another set of blocks to work on (these are lovely, by the way - I wish these were coming to me!) and so today, I have taken the chance to make a nice block in batiks to go with them. I'm not sure how many more are due to come to me (I think we have 24 people, total, but I wouldn't swear to it!) but we are getting closer to finishing... It's been great fun - I'd love to do it again if there is another round.

I was going to do some more sewing after that, but I had to contend with a very impatient small boy (nearly 7, as he constantly reminds me - his birthday is in a month's time) who wanted Something To Do. He decided on sewing (having rejected playing with lego, reading, stickers, colouring, a puzzle, etc - all things that would have involved minimal Mummy participation) and so a house was made. He's big on embellishments, bless him. This house features very little actual sewing (only the edging), but at least it kept him occupied for a while.

And finally, here's the finished tablecloth quilt - I stitched down the last of the binding tonight and am really pleased with the effect. I love the stars, and the row setting really suits them, I think. Olivia thought the curved corners were particularly fun and was happy to hear this one was a keeper.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Beach House/Alien

Despite a weekend relatively clear of obligations, I only managed to do a small amount of sewing. Yesterday I just had one of those uninspired days - or rather, there were things I could have done, but I knew that what I really needed to do was make a Tropical Cabana house front for Michelle - the last of the house fronts in this year-long (but bimonthly) swap and I was having problems working out what I wanted to do. Consequently, I felt I couldn't really work on anything else until that was done - you know how it goes, sometimes! - so in the end, I just hung out with Alex while the girls went swimming, read, cooked, played games, and so on.

Today, I did finally manage to work out how I wanted to approach Michelle's theme - I had a good rummage through all my bits and pieces and while I couldn't find the little flip-flop motif I thought I had, I found something better, which I had forgotten about - a sheet of fabric images with a seaside theme. A little alteration and this bathing beauty was a perfect basis for the cabana. I was going to move on to work on a set of ATCs using some of my prepared backgrounds, but my lurking 6YO expressed some interest in making stuff, so we worked together to create a cosmic arch - his design, mostly, but the execution is largely mine. Though he worked the pedal. A very successful alien, I think. Maybe he should join next year's swap!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

All kinds of goodies

Spent the morning in the car, to and from the airport to collect my mother, who has come for a 3 week visit. She brought with her loads of lovely things for me, which I shall show below, but first, a couple of recent arrivals for Alex (birthday last week) - first, this cute little (about 12x14") panda quilt (he being obsessed with pandas), which came to him from Cathi - the panda is from a colouring book, aparently - he adores it, but not QUITE as much as this great shirt, which came from "Toby and Jack" - though we all know it was more likely their mummy who was responsible - he said, on opening it "this is like the best present ever". I think he was happy with it - thanks so much, Karol Ann. And thanks, too, for the photo, which I nicked from your blog - I had hoped to get a photo of said child wearing the shirt, but it hasn't happened yet - though I'm sure it will be the shirt of choice on the weekend, once school uniform is no longer required!

In addition to all the stuff that my mother brings without any prompting on my part, I do also sometimes use her as a courier for things from the US - for instance for swaps, or to save postage costs. This little quilt on the left above is from the Twisted Mystery 4 on the quiltshoppe forum and I had it sent to my mom's house because the first time I played in the TM, my quilt went astray (the one to me, not from me). I've had lots of things safely sent and received since then, but I hate to take the chance. Anyway, this quilt came to me this time (my fabrics, at least mostly) - you may remember the Hallowe'en quilt I made for my partner in this swap - who turned out to be Colene, who I "know" - which was fun. Actually, I might never have shown this quilt, as I wasn't allowed to do so at the time, and who knows if I ever remembered to do so - I don't see a photo of it on the blog, in a quick look - anyway, Colene blogged it here, so if you are interested, you can have a peep. Genny & Mary (who are mother and daughter and worked on their Twisted Mysteries together) did a great job on this quilt for me, which used a particularly challenging feature fabric - which is why I'd never managed to do anything with it yet! It also features log cabin blocks, which are a firm favourite, though they couldn't have known that as they didn't know who they were making for!

On the right, is a great piece of oriental fabric from LisaJo, who sent it as a thank you for the string square blocks I sent her. Not sure what I will do with it yet, but I do love it.

And here is some more fabric - for this, I have my mother and her local JoAnn's to thank - actually, it's not her local anymore, as it shut, and it was never a great branch - there's a much better one a bit further away - but when it was going out of business it had fabric and notions for some stupid prices, so she went and bought some for me. My mother is every quilter's dream mother - she loves fabric, loves to buy it, but doesn't sew. So guess who gets the fabric?! The pieces on the left are quite large as they were really cheap ($2/yd or something like that) but you had to buy 2 yards, minimum. On the right, fat quarters.

And below, on the left, some notions from the JoAnn's closing sale, along with a bag of buttons from a yard sale/flea market, some handkerchiefs from the same, and a gorgeous piece of heavier red fabric with dragonflies on it - not sure what I will do with that, but something, for sure.

And finally, on the right, some fabric I ordered from eQuilter with a voucher Cathi gave me for my birthday. I waited until they had their big sale and made my money really go a long way - all this fabric was something like $4/yard. Aah, fabric. Always nice to perk up the stash a little. Now if only there were somewhere you could go to order more time for sewing in!

Won't have any work to show for another day or two, though I do hope to get some done this weekend. I have been adding beads to the little blue and white winter quilt, which is now bound, so might have that to show in the next few days. But that's about all for now...

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The last quilting of the year...

Well, here's two things accomplished today - finished the last of the string blocks and put them together into a top - this will wait until later in the year to finish - I want to get some fleece to back it with (and not put batting in) as it is quite heavy already, with the foundation layer under the strings. I might be able to find some at the fabric sale at Farnham Maltings, which I think is the 11th of January.
Most of the sewing time today was spent helping Alex make something with some of his fabric. This is 18x24" as is for some of his stuffed toys to sleep under. Just what everyone needs, right? He did some of the work - he chose the fabric (the black was my idea - I thought it would be a bit too busy otherwise), I cut, he counted squares, we both sewed (he ran the pedal), he snipped the pieces apart and I ironed. Later, we both pinned and then I quilted it quickly with a stars and loops meander. I still have to bind it - I originally thought I might do a pillowcase finish, but I wanted to use lots of small batting scraps, so that didn't seem too practical. Anyway, I don't mind binding - I'll get it attached on Friday and sewn down shortly after.
Tomorrow will be a non-sewing day (though I might post my cross-stitch progress) as traditionally I take down my Christmas decorations, clean house and move pottery & knick-knacks around on New Year's Day. A fresh start to the new year...
Thanks for being here in 2008 - hope to see you all in 2009!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Teacher cards & other bits

Did a little less work today - shoulders still feeling all that quilting yesterday! Though I did take the quilt around to Sharon this morning, and she seemed very pleased with it, so that's good. Anyway, one thing I did do was put some hanging tabs on this little beauty - I was going to do a sleeve, but decided not to in the end, due to the height of the hanging rail (which was already on the wall) - this way, I didn't have to move the rail down, and also, I quite like having the blue at the top again. It's not the same fabric which is in the centre, but it's very similar, so works well. I have moved the quilt which was in this space - the spring Four Season's quilt - it was actually a little large for the space anyway. Not sure where I will put it yet, but I will find it a home before too long...

I also did my journal quilt from last week, which really bears no relationship to the week, except that the kids and I had the sequins out today. The background is a paper napkin from a pack I bought in Sainsbury's (but they are much too nice to be used as napkins), I then quilted it a bit, added a few feathers, and a load of sequins. Simple, but effective... and done!

But the main thing I did today was to help the kids do their end-of-year cards for teachers - which mainly involved wielding the rotary cutter, fusing, and in Alex's case - helping with the glue. The design is entirely due to the children in each case, with relatively little input from me, other than the occasional reminder not to put stuff too close to the edges (as that hinders the satin stitched edging later). I did also do all the edges - more for time's sake than anything else. The three above are Alex's (he has two TA's in his class) - and below, Sarah's are to the left and Olivia's to the right. No surprises there - some people may think "less is more", but Olivia is certainly a "more is more" type of girl!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Journal Quilt Week 14 & a visitor

Today we spent the whole day doing almost nothing. I am coming down with a cold, so I didn't even feel like doing much sewing. But I had promised Alex we could make him a pencil roll, so we had to do that - he worked the pedal until about halfway through when he got bored. But he's very happy with it, which is what matters.

So then, I decided I should really do my journal quilt for the week (what with it being over tomorrow and all) but I really didn't feel like doing much, so I decided this was the opportunity to use something I "prepared earlier" - rummaged through my stash of bits and found these little squares, already sewn together and only slightly larger than I needed for the JQ. These struck me as being perfect as my week was largely made up of sewing together squares anyway... As I received my new (to me) book in the post this week, I decided to take a stab at mock-Tavishing them (which is what to call an attempt at McTavishing when you've only read the book a little and are just making it up as you go along).

But here's the real excitement in my life today - ta da - an actual fellow blogger, here in my house! Apparently, according to Ruth, this doesn't count as meeting a fellow blogger because Cathi and I knew each other before (in fact, we knew each other before blogs - before the internet - heck, practically before personal computers). As she only just got here after being on a plane and then trekking around London looking at exhibitions, I decided it would be unkind to ask her to turn around and smile (and anyway, she was busy checking email and bloglines, so who am I to interfere?). Anyway, instead, I have treated you all to one of my favourite photos from college - me and Cathi out sailing on the St Mary's River. Again, you can't really see Cathi's face, but I do love the photo. (And yes, I really did have loads of curly hair - it was permed, though, not natural, hence the lack of curls now.)

We have a fun weekend planned - a trip to a quilt shop, lots of charity shops and maybe even a little sewing. Progress to be duly reported over the course of the weekend!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Impatience is a virtue for some

Ever since we got home from Sandown with new fabric purchases in hand, Alex has been nagging me "when are we going to make a quilt from my favics, Mummy?". And when I say nagging, I mean asking me dozens of times a day. So I decided that that would be the order of business today - some blocks for a quilt top using Alex's new fabrics and also some of the others he already has in his stash (yes, my 4YO son has a stash, LOL). Rather that just sew them all together, which was his idea, I decided to do something a little easier on the eye. Hence the square in a square in a square blocks above (just blocks at this stage, not sewn together yet). And just his thing - sharks and bears and pandas and aeroplanes, kitties and fish and cars and planets. And so on.

And this beauty in the post today - my DD2 hasn't seen it yet, which is probably a good thing, as I wonder if it would go walkies (she's into faeries big time). This is from the Picture Frame swap and is from Sue W. Nice ribbon, Sue. Sue says she got the ribbon at Sandown - I think I remember seeing it there, though you may have noticed I didn't buy any myself...

Monday, May 28, 2007

A day full of quilting

Remember this? This is the nesting row robin which I've been working on which will be for Olivia for Christmas or therabouts. Each month I get an instruction, and I'm doing each row in a single colour (and black). The blue baskets waited a long time before being sewn in to a row because I was going to stitch the flowers down first (they are just fused, though the baskets themselves are pieced). I did one today, then decided that it would make more sense to stitch them down during the quilting process anyway, so went ahead and attached them.

The next instruction for was for Grandmother's Fan blocks - the purple row - so I am doing quite simple blades, just four per fan. Here they are shown laid out on the black background, not stitched down. I decided to get them ready, though, as I have a few days coming up at my MIL's house with no sewing machine (and no computer, so prepare for a few days' quiet from me!) - as the fan edges can easily be hand sewn, whether I do curved piecing or applique (haven't decided yet) I thought I'd take them with me.

I didn't do much sewing yesterday as we spent the day with friends, but I did do a little bit of quilting in the postcard holder - here's what I decided on in the end - I'm using a pale variegated thread within the postcard spaces. It won't actually show when they are cards in them, but I think it will look better than the quilting in the sashing, which I have almost finished removing. It just looked too busy, as the sashing is so narrow. I also did this little heart postcard, a one-off for someone on one of my lists who needs a little cheering up.

I did some other postcards, too - worked on the green and brown series - three of them are mostly done, as I've added a variety of hand stitches and a button each, the others I got ready to be worked on by hand, as that is another thing I will take up to my MIL's house, along with the green threads and some buttons. I will also take some beads & the flying geese - hopefully, that will keep me busy in the evening if I am watching telly.

And one more thing I did today:
worked on the London series of cards. I used a Big Ben fabric background (scraps, believe it or not - not even from my stash, but from a friend's), a piece of fabric printed with an aerial view of my house (ok, it's technically Greater London, but I think I can get away with it), some London icon stickers - taxis, beefeaters, Tower Bridge, postbox, telephone box - a stamp of an old London posting mark and a charm of a teabag. Only one has the charm sewn on so far, but I think they look pretty cute. Couldn't resist the chance to use my own house in something, though. These were fairly simple, and not as fibre-oriented as many of my cards (a lot of paper in these) but still pretty fun.
It probably sounds like I spent the whole day sewing - more or less, I did. It was a foul day today, cold and rainy and we were out all day yesterday, so we didn't really do anything. Geoff pretty much read and check on work stuff on the computer and the kids watched telly, played bizarre role-play games and did some sewing themselves. They all three worked on their quilts as well - Olivia finished the cross-hatching in her nine-patches and quilted around the first border, Alex pushed the pedal while I worked on his panda quilt, and Sarah did two more SITD rows on the log cabin - only a few more to go, and then the borders. Perhaps these quilts will be ready in time after all! Photos of the kids' quilts soon, I promise.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Purple postcards and sewing with kids

Did a little sewing this morning - enough to finish off the purple postcard series, except for the sewing the backing down - the one on the right has that done, but not the others. Still, that's a matter of moments, I can finish it quickly tomorrow or some other time.

The reason for doing little sewing is that I was helping Sarah to finish piecing her log cabin blocks - the blocks themselves are all done now - she has done every bit of the sewing and almost all the ironing. I did the rotary cutting and some of the unpicking, where necessary. There are some small imperfections, but frankly, I have been in blockswaps where some of the blocks weren't made any better than these. Now the task is to sew them together, of course - we will begin that later in the week, probably. She wants to enter the quilt into Sandown (National Quilt Show), which is in June, so we need to get it together and then quilted (just going to stitch in the ditch, nothing fancy).

Of course, Alex wanted to do some sewing as well, so I cut some squares from his collection of panda fabric and let him push the pedal while I did the rest - he's happy, as he considers that "sewing". He's too little to reach the pedal on his own, of course, but frankly, at four he's too young to use the machine, regardless. If he wants to sew next year, I will teach him to handsew. Neither of the girls used the machine until they were at least 6.

For the moment, this panda piece is just a top, which his toy panda is using as a blanket (you've probably guessed this - he's very into pandas at the moment). It's not very big - the central 9-patches started as 4 inch squares, and I cut the top and bottom border at 8 inches, so the whole thing is about 18 inches wide and 24 long, I guess. Plenty big enough for a blanket for a stuffed panda.