I have banned my parents from reading my blog for the next ten days so tonight I can show some progress! Here is a picture of Charlie, so if Mum loads the web page, she can read this far, realise she shouldn't go any further and log off, before seeing anything!
First up, my Dad's Christmas present. Inspired by this cushion (I WILL be making one of these in the new year for MYSELF), I'm making a notebook cover. It will take an A4 notebook when I'm done (I hope). I asked my dad what his favourite colours were, and he said he didn't know, but nothing bright. I'm not very good at "not bright", so I had some help from Nicola picking the fabrics.I think they are from Collections for a Cause. Here they are together.
I wobbly-line quilted it, and then embroidered the outline of the UK to the front.
Normally when I embroider, I place the design behind the fabric and trace through with a pencil. But I couldn't see through the cream fabric (and yes, I tried before I layered it up), and even held up against the window, there was no way I could see it well enough. So I used Golden Threads, which is a bit like tissue paper, and is what I always use to use for foundation pieceing. I traced the design onto it, then tacked the paper to the quilt sandwich and embroidered through, then tore away the paper. It wouldn't be my first choice technique, and it was harder than my regular way of doing things, but it turned out really well.
I am undecided whether to embroider some special place names echoing the line of the pieced strip. I will see how time goes tomorrow.
Also today, I finally made a start on my Mum's Christmas present. She really liked the place mats I made for the Modern She Made Swap Round two, and had been looking at place mats when she visited in October, so I checked with her (it's safer that way - she's not really keen on surprises) and she said she would love a set herself, but wasn't keen on the grey, so I suggested black to match some mug rugs I made her for last Christmas.
Back in February I signed up for the New York Beauty Quilt Along, and never made a single block. I decided instead of a star as I did for the swap, I would use these foundation piecing patterns. I got the pattern here. And I used the freezer paper method. And in just a few hours I had got to here.
It's turned out so pretty! I love it. There obviously needs to be some more black added and there will be embroidery too, but I've finally made a start, so it feels achievable now.
And finally, there is a lovely lady in the canteen at work called Hazel - it's like having your mum at work and we all love her to bits. So I wanted to make her a little something for Christmas. I know her favourite colour is purple so I used some recent Art Gallery purchases and the ribbon I received from Cori in the Hoop La La swap and made a Christmas ornament a la my recent pincushion with English Paper Piecing.
I haven't started quilting the pile of five quilts yet - maybe tomorrow!