Sunday, 30 September 2012

Joyous Mod Pop!

I finished two quilts this weekend. So I get to start two more. Those are the rules, right?

I signed up for Leanne's Mod Pop-Along, but it was only yesterday that I finally got round to starting it. I made myself some plasttic templates and played with some scraps. Leanne has a great video tutorial for sewing curves without pins. It's just as well. The pattern calls for about 120 Drunkards Path units - pinning those would kill me. It took some practice, but I think I have it sussed! I'm glad I didn't start with my proper fabric first, as the unpicking leads to much fraying.

I spent three hours this morning rotary cutting the units from which you cut the curves, and then the rest of today making up the first block

Just one dodgy bit that I had to unpick, so I'm calling this a sucess. I'm even managing with templates!

And last night, after I'd practiced curves, it was too late to really start on the real fabric, so I pulled out the Joy Jelly Roll I've been threatening to cut into for a while. It was pretty mindless sewing strips together, but it does mean I have two starts this weekend! And both need to be finished for Christmas - ModPop is going to be a present, and Joy is Christmassy, so won't be much use if I don't finish it till January!

We had a guests this weekend - Michael's friend from Uni, Tom, came to visit and they did some off-road rallying. And Tom brought Baxter with him - the world's most enormous red labrador with the world's longest tongue. Archie and Charlie were not impressed.

p.s. This is what we're having for tea tonight - microwave chocolate cake in a mug - it takes just five minutes!

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Swooned again - Mini Swoon finally finished!

Another day, another finish. I was looking back through my journals and found out that I actually started this little quilt back at the end of January! So it's about time I finished it.

When I got my new walking foot ready to quilt my big Farmer's Wife quilt, I decided I should really practice first, before tackling the big one. I was planning on straight line quilting my Mini Swoon quilt but never got round to it. I had backing and batting and thread, so basted it up and made a start.

Things I've learnt: make sure the fabric is feeding through evenly (and not caught under my elbow). If I'm following a line, remember which part of the foot I'm using to line it up with (!), sew slowly!

It's not perfect, so please don't look too carefully, but I'm really pleased with the result, and I'm glad I didn't give in to FMQ (I never thought I'd consider FMQ the easy option!).

The fabrics came from my LQS. I was at a class and the lady next to me was planning her next quilt and pulled out the duck egg blues that I've used for three of my stars. I spent all day watching her work with these gorgeous fabrics and there was a sale on! What was I supposed to do? I have always loved the brown since it's been in the shop, and it worked perfectly, I picked out another turquoise-y batik, and then found the background, which is spotty! I knew I wanted to do a mini Swoon so did the maths in my head for the amount of fabric. I have lots left of the background, but cut it a bit tight on the brown! It was only when I got home I twigged I'd bought a striped fabric. But I managed to create my Swoon block despite the stripes! All of the fabrics, except the stipes are Moda.

Each Swoon block is 12" square (original Swoon blocks are a giant 24" square), and I used wider sashing to make the stars work. The whole quilt is 34x34". I have no idea what I'll do with it now, but I have added a means to hang it on the back.

This was the quilt I failed to finish for Quarter 2 of the Finish Along, but I shall be linking it up to Quarter 3 in just a couple of days time!
2012 Finish-A-Long

Friday, 28 September 2012

A Green Finish

I have a finish this evening:

This is a baby quilt for Sebastian. We met Sebastian this week. He is now out of hospital and weights 5lb 4oz at 4 weeks old. He is soooooo tiny. He may have to grow into the quilt as it's about 35x50".

I picked 35 blocks from the Farmer's Wife Sampler Book and pulled loads of greens out of my stash, along with a Kona that isn't bright white, but not far off.

I had originally planned to sash the blocks with the same colour fabric as the background and then quilt roound each block in a contracting thread to frame it. This was my first finish using the walking foot, and although I'm really pleased with it, it isn't perfect, and when I used a contracting thread you could see wobble. So I pulled it all out and used white. It turns out it didn't need a contrast to frame the blocks as the quilting does this on it's own.

This was a good practice with the quiting, as I intend to something very similar with my big Farmer's Wife - in a matching thread!

I love the backing: it's a moda fabric from a range called Love U (I think). The binding is a Nancy Halvorsen fabric I picked up this afternoon - I'd been planning on binding it in white too, but that would have been too much.

This is another one for the Third Quarter Finish ALong

2012 Finish-A-Long

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

I think it may have stopped raining

So it may have stopped. 36 hours of rain. 1.5 month's rainfall. Check out this photo - it's just a few miles from us! Like when it snows here, it was gridlocked roads rather than flooded roads that caused the most trouble - I tried for an hour and half to get to work yesterday (I can do it in 15 minutes on a good day), and failed miserably - worked from home instead....

I have also managed to get some sewing done. This time last year I started a jelly roll sampler quilt from Countdown to Christmas. One of Linda's friend's saw and put in an order. She bought all the fabric there and then (unfortunately I couldn't find one print in the UK - she wanted it so much we ordered it from the US and that meant I could justify adding all that Happy Mochi Yum Yum to my basket which I used for my Swoon).

I have finally started working on the quilt and made the first two blocks

Star Choice

and Rolling Pinwheel

I also have a Jelly Roll of Joy that I'm desperate to cut into. Maybe at the weekend.

Monday, 24 September 2012

It's still raining

The weather forecast has just said that we can expect 6 months rain in 24 hours!

But here it's just raining green blocks.... 13 more over the weekend and tonight:

Waterwheel (rotary cut)

Peaceful Hours (my favourite) - the centre and corners are rotary cut and then I foundation pieced (with freezer paper) each of the "funny blocks"

Linoleum - rotary cut - I treated the corners like snowball blocks

Greek Cross - this is the block I made to replace Homemaker - one day I'll attempt the Y-Seams in the original block

Gentleman's Fancy - foundation pieced

Friendship Star take 2 - rotary cut

Friendship Block - rotary cut

Homeward Bound take 2 - rotary cut (I'm still not sure)

Economy - foundation pieced

Broken Sugar Bowl - rotary cut

Box - rotary cut

Big Dipper - rotary cut

Batwing - foundation pieced

I must be nearly there!

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Papillon Finish I

Today I finished a quilt! I hadn't planned to work on this particular quilt this weekend, but I called out to me this afternon.

I started the day with this

and ended the day with this.

Trimmed, borders added, basted, quilted in a free motion stipple and bound.

The finished quilt is 51x53" - a fairly small lap quilt. The fabric is a custom jelly roll of Papillon by 3Sisters for Moda. The backing is a extra wide cream calico which is dead boring. Although I'm calling this finished, if time, opportunity and inclination present themselves, I may use some of the offcuts to make some small hexagons flowers to applique onto the back. We'll see how that goes!

Not bad for a day that started at A&E because Michael though he had broken his finger playing football yesterday! He hasn't. And his sister, who is a nurse at A&E, just laughed at him!

This is the first of two matching quilts for two Great Aunts. I have started the second, but not made much progress.

This is one of my finishes for the third quarter of the Finish Along, so at the end of quarter three (next week) I'll be linking up to Rhonda! I don't think Papillon II will be making the cut though!
2012 Finish-A-Long

Saturday, 22 September 2012

A Green Friday

Yesteday was Friday Night Sew In.

Handmade by Heidi
I sepnt most of mine at an Italian restaurant in Newcastle celebrating my friend Michelle's 30th Birthday.

But before I went I did a little sewing. I'd prepared in advance by cutting all the fabric and drawing out the foundation piecing patterns for 10 Farmer's Wife blocks. I managed to piece four before I headed out. No illusions - they were all quite straightforward ones!

Calico Puzzle: rotary cut

Friendship: freezer paper foundation pieced. I could not get the points to match properly on this one....

Contrary Wife: rotary cut

Churn dash: rotary cut - this is still one of my favourite block designs.

How was your Friday night?

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Oh My Stars: Quilt Label

Mum has adopted my Oh My Stars quilt, at least until I have made her a quilt from the fabrics she picked last summer!

But I really wanted the quilt to have a label before it was used. So I designed myself one to embroider on my summer holidays. But hexagons got in the way and I never started it.

Last week I finally started it, and I appliqued it onto the back of the uilt just before we left Mum's on Sunday. I have finally labelled a quilt - I should really label all my quilts....

Monday, 17 September 2012

A weekend at home

Isn't it odd, how even though me and my husband have our own house, full of our own crap treasures, every time I visit my parents in the house where I grew up, I'm "going home"?

Well this last weekend I went home. Michael went to a stag weekend in London, and is still recovering from paintball (he has some beautiful bruises), and me and Archie and Charlie stayed at my Mums.

We went "up the hills" - Barton snuggles at the very end of the Chilterns and the hills are a National Nature Reserve and SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interests) because of the rare plants found there. At Easter a small purple flower called the Pasque Flower blooms on one of the hills, called Plum Pudding, and the legend is that it only grows where Danish (i.e. Vikiing) blood once fell. And in the woods on the opposite side of the value is a very rare orchid. We didn't actually go up the hill, but did walk along the stream.

And we photographed the Farmer's Wife Quilt.

And then my Uncle visited and he spent an hour looking at the quilt - the different colours and shapes. It happened to catch the light - the sun was streaming through the window, and the next thing I knew we were holding the quilt up against the window - look what it does to the colours!

I think I may be doing something else in batiks very soon for him. He has a habit of falling asleep on the sofa, so he will actually use a quilt!

And we finished up the weekend by giving Aunty Marion her quilt - the Sew Intertwined quilt - which she absolutely loved, we basted the Farmer's Wife, and we had a lovely roast dinner with lamb!

Just after I'd written my last post, I called in on some blogs and discovered that I had won one of the prizes in the Sew Intertwined QAL! Wohoo! Thank you Jenna and Melissa!