Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Cross stitch update

Quite a lot of progress this week, though I have run out of the colour for the bird - but I've ordered some more and should have it before I desperately need it again.  This week, it's back to the cupcakes, which I'm sure I will finish, as there's only a little left. Not sure what I'll do when that's done - have to have a look and see what I fancy. Something quite different from this bird piece, as the contrast is nice. Keeps me motivated.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

African blocks

No sewing today as Alex and I went up to town to go to the zoo and hunt for some more Wenlocks and Mandevilles on the Mayor of London trails.  But the other day I was thinking about my African blocks and wondering how many I had and what they looked like, so I've laid them all out and had a look. I have 20 - which is a good number. I'll have to play with the arrangement, I think, to balance the ones which are less black. But still, they'll make a nice quilt...

Monday, August 27, 2012

The 5" square mystery...

Nicole commented yesterday (I can't reply directly, unfortunately, as you are set to no-reply!) that I seem to have a lot of 5" squares spare. Actually, this is no longer true - I have relatively few hanging around (except for 4 or 5 charm packs recently acquired and not yet used) - but the reason I have what I do, and why I used to have a lot more is I used to cut my scraps into a number of specific size squares, and that was one of them. I no longer do this, so I am gradually using them up. I also used to sometimes sell charm packs (homemade) on eBay. Something else I no longer do!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Charming Stars

This is what I've been working on today - I had a selection of 5" squares (charm squares) from my visit to Karol-Ann and I was looking for something to do with them which still showed a lot of the fabrics, so after some googling, I decided on the Moda Bake Shop Charming Stars pattern, which has the virtue of being easy, versatile and attractive, as well as still showing most of the fabric in each square.   I supplemented the charm squares with selections from my own 5" squares collection - I don't have tons, but I have enough - and I think they are looking great. It's a good pattern (I only used the stars part, though, not all the sashing, etc). 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Gifts of Knitted Goodness

Got several lovely knitted gifts in the post this week - from my friend Wendy, who I recently sent a small quilt to, a knitted chicken (actually made by her guy, James)...

and a matching hat and scarf, which I forced Sarah to model for me - she only agreed because she'd just had her hair cut the same day and it still looked salon-awesome.

And then, these mitts from Karen, who sent them as a PIF (pay-it-forward) swap payment from her PIF, which I signed up to back in January or so.  Yes, I know I still owe a few out there - I will get them to you, I promise!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Hawaiian Scrappy top

Here's all the Hawaiian scrappy blocks assembled into a top - it's very scrappy, but it think it's fun as well.  This one is staying with me for the moment, though I do have plans for it before too long.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Cross stitch update

As you can see - nearly done. Only a bit of the lettering left to do and the rest of the little stars in the background. Will easily finish next time.  Wonder what will be next?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Hawaiian scrappy

Another scrappy pattern from Bonnie Hunter. This time, I decided to use some more of the fabric left from all my dad's Hawaiian shirts. This will be very scrappy, but fun, I think. I have something in mind to do with this one when it's finished (for once), so it's nice to have a plan. 

I started by cutting the required number of pieces from each fabric - here's a stack. There are 24 shirt fabrics (although I have now used one up, so there are only 23 left), which means 24 blocks, which is perfect.

Here's the remaining fabrics - really getting down there now - even after I made the initial 4 quilt tops, this box was totally full!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Slash a stash

This quilt top is from a pattern called Slash a Stash by Susan Fuquay.   It's a fantastically easy pattern involving only 6" squares and 3.5" strips, with blocks then sliced into asymmetric quadrants and re-sewn.  In the original pattern, a limited number of fabrics are used, but although I repeated block centre fabrics (two each in my 20 blocks), all the border fabrics are the same - great way to use some smaller pieces of fabric. I've decided that I like this one a lot - the effect is brillliant - so it will be going on the keeper pile and the pattern will definitely be used again. 

This photo shows my bed quilt under the finished top, so just ignore the purple fabric and the trip around the world blocks!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Finished Applesauce

Here's the Criss-Cross Applesauce top all stitched together - I might well make this one again in other colours - I could see it with blues and yellow or orange in the place of the reds here... or other combos.

And this may not seem impressive to you, as it's an empty basket, but this is the basket that I keep my mending in. And sometimes some ironing, though I don't do a lot of that, and it tends to get sorted quite quickly, in between pressing quilting stuff. I'm pleased with myself as I tackled all the mending: buttons on one shirt and two pairs of trousers; two small holes fixed, the hem on a pair of shorts tacked up, and a shirt pocket mended.  Dull, dull, dull!  But at least it's done.  

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Criss-cross Applesauce

I looked up the name of the pattern from the other day, and that's what it was!  I now have 20 blocks made and trimmed, so the next step is just sewing them together. I also started working on something else as well (of course) - can't do one thing at a time!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Red & Green

One of the things I brought back from Karol-Ann's house, other than scraps of fabric and challenges, was a small collection of scrappy quilt ideas.  This one is from one of Bonnie Hunter's books (and I'm too lazy to go upstairs and get the name of the pattern) but it was attractive partly because it was attractive (!) and partly because I knew I could use a lot of 5" squares that I had. I've cut enough pieces for 20 blocks - it's a small block finishing at around 8" - which would make a good size baby quilt top, and get rid of a stack of green scraps...  The greens don't look very green in this photo!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Cross-stitch update

I took this cross-stitch away with me to Yorkshire, and I did actually get some done - probably more than it looks like as I got not only the outline of the larger bird partly done, but also, most of the branch on which the birds are sitting. Yes, it really needs some ironing!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Fabric-y treats

I didn't do any actual sewing when up in Yorkshire visiting Karol-Ann, but she did manage to make a couple of stars  for our African block swap...

And together we sorted out a large amount of fabric castoffs she'd been given recently. Some of the pieces are larger and in lovely colours - she's kept those for various projects. Some wasn't really to either of our taste, so some of that has gone in the pile for charity quilts. Some was fabric which doesn't jump up and say "love me love me" but is fine - with that, we sorted, ironed, cut into charms and strips and she kindly gave me a big pile of it - this is a large pile of charms (she has an identical pile - whether we will both make things with them, well, let's not go there), some strips, and a few larger pieces. The piece at the back right is a challenge piece for me to make something with. The fabric says it's Hampton Court Maze - quite fitting for me to give it a go, I think.  I know I'm supposed to be reducing scraps, but this is different. How, I'm not quite sure, but trust me, it is!

I also brought home this selection of fabric, which is what remains of a quilt swap package Karol-Ann had put together for a swap a while ago. The quilt which came back from the swap is sweet, but unfortunately, doesn't really suit the space where she'd hoped to put it, so I offered to try to make something more suitable.  Luckily, there's no time deadline on this...

And finally, the black and white and orange fabric is a package of FQs I bought in a small quilt & fabric shop in one of the local villages - I really liked the colour combination and the price was very reasonable. The black fabric on the side which says "Edwin" is another from Karol-Ann's stash which I thought would be fun to try to use - so she gave it to me. Perhaps I should have kept my mouth shut!

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Quilting start

Despite not being a large piece, I did not get this finished today. This was sort of my fault and sort of not my fault. It's my fault for leaving pins in things (I know, I know) but it's not my fault that my machine decided it didn't want to fmq backwards anymore (regular stitching and forward FMQ was fine, backwards FMQ, not so much).  Problem appears to be a nick in the bobbin case on which the thread is catching; little man in sewing shop will sort it out either by sanding it down or ordering a new part. And he'll service my machine at the same time (needs it anyway, hasn't had one in a couple of years).  Good timing, really, as he says it should be done by next Wednesday and I'm going away until Tuesday evening to visit Karol Ann, anyway! 

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Cupcake Update

Good progress this week, thanks to some Olympics on telly...

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

A bit of quilting

So, today the kids were all at tennis camp for the bulk of the day - so after I did some grocery shopping I went home, set up the sewing machine on the dining room table, got out my cutting out and laminating for school in September, and made myself a carousel of activities. I can't quilt for too long at once as it makes my back hurt (and my hands), so I did a little quilting, a little cutting &/or laminating, a little going on the computer then a little doing small jobs around the house.  It all worked nicely, and I finished quilting this small piece - it's only little, but I quilted it quite densely with a sort of swirly pattern.  

Tomorrow I am taking a day uptown while the kids are at tennis, but Thursday, I'll be doing my sewing carousel again with another small quilt - not sure which one yet. 

Monday, August 06, 2012

Scrappy top, revisited

Thanks to everyone who commented - in the end I decided to add another row to balance the quilt. I'm too obsessive not to- plus I already had one of the QST blocks leftover, so I only had one to make. And it used 4 more string blocks!

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Cool Ladders

The block lotto for August is for Jacob's Ladder blocks in cool colours. I made nine blocks back in the end of July, finally getting around to showing them.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Another scrappy top

It wasn't until I finished this one, that I realised it's not really balanced.  I guess it works ok, though. Adding another row would make it an awkward size, I think, though maybe that would work better. What do you think?

Friday, August 03, 2012

Blue Geese

Two more geese - for July, the colour was blue, so I've done one dark and one light blue. 

And because I almost always am asked, it's a paper pieced pattern - you can find it here.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Goal review

So, July was a fairly busy month, though luckily, I had some time after school finished to do a bit of stuff...  Did I manage to achieve my few July goals?
What's on the cards for August?
  • Blocks for August block lotto - these are already done - I did them in the sneak peek period, although I haven't blogged them yet.
  • At least one charity baby quilt top - I'm sure I'll get there on this one - two are either done or nearly done already, though again, I haven't yet blogged them!
  • Rainbow Scrap Challenge flying geese block - not sure what the colour is this month - her blog is still blue!
  • Bind Red & White quilt  - got this back from the longarmer recently, but haven't done anything with it since
  • Quilt and bind pastel pinwheel quilt for commission
  • Quilt at least one other small quilt
As I am home for a lot of the time in August, a few more goals than in a normal month!

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Cross stitch update

One week further along, and I've finished the letters on the bottom of the left hand panel of the triptych, plus filled in a few bits, and started the small bird in the centre triptych.  Moving along nicely!