Friday, 27 March 2015

Love [a finish]

When Vicky and Karl first got engaged, I said that I would love to make them a full size lap or bed quilt, they just needed to let me know what they liked. They picked out this pin from Pinterest and my heart sank. It's pretty boring isn't it.... I know marsala is quite brown and that's the colour of the year... but it's still brown. Lots of brown. A little negotiation ensued and I offered to make this as mini with an open offer of a larger quilt at some point in the future.

The "engraved" details are hand embroidered in DMC stranded cotton and I've then used reverse applique to add the "bark". It's not a smooth heart because although I have never engraved a heart on a tree, I imagine it's pretty hard to get it smooth.... right? Also, it's quite a difficult shape to get smooth using the technique I did....

I used Aurifil 40 weight to do some wood-grain quilting and just scraped together enough scraps of the remaining brown fabric to add a narrow binding - this was a bit hairy - as I got closer and closer to the end I was sure I wouldn't have was so tight that I didn't trim either end when I joined the ends. I have no intention of cutting it that fine again. Please remind me to plan bindings better - I get to that point and then wonder what the hell to do as I don't keep much in my stash bigger than a fat quarter and for any quilt bigger than a mini, a fat quarter just doesn't cut it! The back is my favourite Ikea print. Intentionally sideways... honest.

This was on my Finish Along list at the start of the quarter and to be honest I didn't really expect to be a finish at the end of the quarter... quite a nice little surprise!

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

WIP Wednesday [binding]

My WIP is all about binding at the moment... I've nearly finished binding my UK mini swap

I've started binding the "brown one"

I've just attached binding to the "purple one"

I'm really hoping for a few finishes soon - these three minis are so close!
And Mia is also sharing WIP Wednesday - the scraptastic edition!

This little fruitcake took her first few steps yesterday!

Linking up with WIP Wednesday

Monday, 23 March 2015

Moccasin Block of the Month [3]

Three moths in and I am still keeping up to date with this block of the month. It might be some kind of record!

Last month we just made one block because of the curved piecing. Curved piecing doesn't really bother me so it meant an easy month.... to make up for it, this month there are three blocks. And although half square triangles are nice and straightforward, there were quite a lot of them...

I made two shoo-fly blocks

And a crows foot block

When I planned out my colours for this quilt, I took each of the colours in the original and lined it up with a colour from my palette. For the last two months it's taken me longer to work out the colours than to cut and piece the fabric. So this month, after the first 20 minutes of trying to work it out I decided to chuck out that method and just pick fabric combinations I liked!

Friday, 20 March 2015

Preppy the Whale [a {lovely} finish]

It's been a fair few months in the works this quilt. But it is finally finished and it has to be one of the coolest quilts I've ever made. I can take little credit for that, however, as it's mostly down to the fabulous pattern by Elizabeth Hartman. Let's be honest, I've even stolen her fabric placement.

The whales are all made from solids, all except one are Kona solids - a bright pink Art Gallery slipped in to make up the numbers!

The quilting is quick and simple cross hatch at 3" intervals.

The binding was very nearly a disaster. I cut the binding fabric in advance, making use of the rarest of events - a clear cutting table. And then a couple of weeks passed. And then we did some packing. And of course, the binding I had cut disappeared entirely. I even unpacked boxes looking for, but it is gone.  So the next step was to pull out the remaining fabric. I looked at it, laughed in desparation and shoved it back in the box - there was no way I could get enough binding out of it. And my Kona colour card is packed, so I couldn't match it (and that box was at the bottom of the pile). It also meant I couldn't colour match any of the whales as an alternative. I pulled out the piece of fabric and remeasured. If I shrunk the binding to just 2" cut I could get just enough out. So I did. When i came to joining the two ends together I trimmed just 2" off. Phew. And I really like the narrow binding in the end!

This will be winging its way to the baby who is now 6 months old in the next few days! Better late than never. In order to push this quilt to the top of the priority pile, I set this as my goal for March for A Lovely Year of Finishes (link up no. 43)...

...and it's also on my Finish Along List for Q1!

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Tuesday Club

**I'm totally using this post to share random photos you've all seen before!**

I missed posting for WIP Wednesday yesterday. I like to try and to do this each week as it means I check in regularly and I also post about things in progress, not just finishes, as I have fallen into the habit of mostly just posting about finishes... but life sometimes gets in the way: Michael was out of the country with work, Mia decided not to go back to sleep after her 4am bottle and I had a commitment on Tuesday night that left me exhausted - but in a good way!
At the end of the talk, people came up to me to tell me which quilt was their favourite - I think this one got the most votes: it currently lives folded up in a cupboard but on the basis of Tuesday night, it's now going to live with Linda!

My mother-in-law, Linda, is an active member of the local Methodist Church and attends Tuesday Club. Apparently it use to be called the Young Wives, but as my mother-in-law is one of the youngest there (and she just celebrated a significant birthday herself), they went for a name change! It's a bit like the WI - they sing a couple of hymns, spend some time in prayer, and have a guest speaker. And this Tuesday I was it!
Neon Stained was another favourite

It's been in my diary for nearly 9 months, but by a stroke of bad luck, Michael was sent away with work at exactly the same time. I meant I walked out of the house on Tuesday night with my daughter screaming in the arms of my cousin who had come to babysit. It can't have been too bad, because she still wants her for a sleepover!

And the shear size of this quilt made it quite popular too

I decided to give a short potted history of my life as a sewer - cross stitch, embroidery and then quilting, and then to show them some of the various techniques I use, before talking about the importance of the quilting community online. And at every step I got to show them some quilts.

Some of my old cross stitch got an outing!

It took me ages to collect up all the quilts and cushions about the house - we use a lot of them every day, so most had to also go through the washing machine before I dared share them! I had my notes, I had the quilts in order, I had four big bags... I was set.

During the talk my mother-in-law and Aunty-in-law held up the quilts as my glamorous assistants and the 40 or so ladies all ooo-ed and aaah-ed in the right places. It was absolutely lovely to share all of my quilts, and to see them being enjoyed by others. And it was quite a surprise to me just how many I had when I put them all together. Now I simply have the problem of three large bags of quilts in the dining room....and where did I put the zippy pouch with all my hand sewing in it?

Friday, 13 March 2015


I love earrings. I'm not in any way slim or petite, so the clothes I want to wear hardly ever fit, so I make up for it with earrings. And that means I have quite the collection. A couple of years ago I made myself a travel roll for my earrings, with the intention of making something more usable for when I'm at home. Well of course, that never happened, the earrings stayed in the roll. Or rather on the roll because I never bothered to put them away properly.

Fast forward to last week when I had a huge pile of earrings, hair accessories, bracelets and necklaces (which I rarely wear) in the middle of my dressing table. I was late for work and could not find a pair of earrings for love nor money. I forgot to take a picture of it at it's worst, but we'll call this the before picture!

Back when I originally had the idea I had bought the frame I needed and the ribbon I needed and they were all carefully packed away. I even found them. Originally I had intended low volume hexagons as the background, then that became squares, and in the end I found a beautiful fabric I had forgotten about and made the whole thing from a single piece.

And this was the result. The after picture at the top of the post. Much prettier, much tidier and most importantly running-very-late-friendly! Why did I wait two years when this took me just under an hour?

Thursday, 12 March 2015


It's shipping - my gravity quilt kit is on it's way! And the ruler I need has already arrived. All I need now is a quilt-along.... oh wait! Myra at Busy Hands Quilt has just announced she'll be organizing one!


Anyone else want to join in?