Monday, 31 December 2012

Where did the year go?

There's about 9 hours of 2012 left, so time for a bit of  housekeeping (new blog header!) and a review. Non-quilty we had some fantastic holidays this year, my brother-in-law got married and he and Jane announced that they are expecting in March 2013. We had a fantastic summer of sport and celebration, and although I didn't go to London for either the Olympics or the Jubilee, the atmosphere in the whole of the UK was fantastic. There have been downs as well, but in general I think 2012 goes down as a very good year!

My sewing machine has been very busy this year: I finished four lap quilts in December and presents for my parents (and a joint effort on a toddler quilt, which I haven't included in the collage):
Notebook cover, Countdown to Christmas (2), Braided Chain, NYB Placemats, Papillon, Mod Pop

I finished some other quilts this year too: four baby quilts, three bed quilts, five lap quilts (four pictured, plus another Papillon quilt) and a tablecloth

Sebastian's Farmer's Wife Quilt, Swoon, Melrose, Amelia, Noah's Quilt, Mini Swoon, Sew Intertwined, Oh My Stars, Yellow Tablecloth, Farmer's Wife, Joshua's Churn Dash Quilt, Chasing Chevons, Ambrosia

And some smaller items:
Owl Cushion, EPP Pincushion, Incubator Quilt, EPP Christmas Decoration, Wassail, Mum's Birthday Mini, Indian Summer Cushion, Incubator Quilts, Mug Rug, Farmers Wife Blind Runner, Tango Challenge, HST Cushion, Hopscotch Mini, Lego cushion.

I took part in my first swap - and then six more.... and also started designing my own embroidery designs - here's what I sent
Mug Rug Swap, Swoon Inspired Cushion, Christmas Decoration Threadbias Swap, Pincushion for MSM1, Placemats for MSM2, Hoop La La, Basket for MSM2, Polaroid Swap, Sewing Machine Cover for MSM1

...and the beautiful things I recieved:

and I joined a bee - Stash Bee

I was Queen Bee in October and asked for the Purple blocks. I haven't made my December block yet!

I have "met" some wonderful people and read some amazingly inspirational blogs.

But what for 2013? Well, I'll admit it, I have some WIPS - just one or two....
Three Peaks, Hot Cross Buns, Pembrokeshire Quilt, Vignette, Daniela's Quilt, Neon Stained, Pac Mania, EPP Hexagon Table Runner, Sampler Quilt, Mario Cushion.

I have some fabric which doesn't even qualify as a WIP yet, but soon will.

I've signed up for two BOM:

Pile O' Fabric
I'm going to host my own BOM - I'd love it if you popped back tomorrow when I'll give you a bit more information, but for now, here is a first peak at Block 1.

And I'm starting two more sampler quilts: Sylvia's Bridal Sampler and Dear Jane.

Oh - and I guess I have to go to work too. And sleep. But hopefully not quite as much eating as in 2012...

I wish everyone all the best for 2013 - happy new year!

Linking up with Lily

Lily's Quilts

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Braided Chain [finished]

Before Christmas I showed you five quilts that needed basting, quilting, binding. Before Christmas I finished four of them. I knew that the fifth would not be gifted until my parents went home, so I had until they left to get it finished. We had a quiet day on 27th so I used the opportunity to my Braided Chain quilt finished.

I really struggled to photograph this quilt so that the sashing colour showed the right colour. A lot of the photos show it quite orangy, but it is actually pink - this first photo is perhaps one of the closest to the correct colour.
I started this quilt way back in February with a Cabbages and Roses Jelly Roll from Northcott as a class at my LQS. The pattern is from Pam and Nicky Lintott's "More Layer Cake, Jelly Roll and Charm Quilts".
post-washing crinkle
The backing is one of the fabrics my Gran gave me over the summer. There was over 3 metres and it was a perfect match to the fabric I'd used on the front. It's a Robert Kaufmann fabric (but I can't remember which).
post-washing again
I quilted the patchwork panels with a free motion stipple (really need to learn some more techniques in 2013!).

Normally I don't wash quilts before gifting them, but I knew the recipient may struggle to wash this monster herself, so we washed it and it now looks all beautiful and crinkly.

The finished quilt (before washing) is 64"x76" and I bound it with a scrappy binding made with all the left over Jelly Roll strips.

This may be my final link up for the 2012 Finish Along. But there is still some time for a sneaky finish, so you never know!

2012 Finish-A-Long

And Leanne announced yesterday on her blog that she will be the hostess with the mostess for the 2013 Finish Along - I was so thrilled, as this Finish Along has really pushed me to finish some quilts that may have otherwise not been finished. So here's her button too!

she can quilt

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Fabric and a sneaky peaky

I hope everyone had a very very good Christmas! I certainly did - made even better because Christmas day was at Aunty Barbara's house and not at ours! Rosie absolutely loved her new quilt, as did the three Aunts. We had some lovely food and lovely company. My sister-in-law had a lovely hangover :)

Boxing day was at our house and I fried up two enormous pans of bubble and squeak! My wonderful husband bought me tickets to see Phantom of the Opera in London at Easter and my parents bought me a new camera. So I had a play with it - look at some of the lovely fabric I've got.

From my Mother-in-law I got a fat quarter bundle of Mama Said Sew by Sweetwater.
plus a green fabric that I just liked!

I ordered a fat quarter bundle of Architextures.

And I got an early birthday present from my parents of a fat quarter bundle of Noteworthy (also by Sweetwater)

And here are my purchases from today including some Art Gallery Floral Elements, and some batiks. And a Charm Pack of Simply Colour to go with the same one I got in our secret Santa at work - Santa was very clever!

And before I sign off for today, come back later this week for more information of a stitch along I'm going to be hosting in the new year - here's a sneak peak!

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Finished for Christmas

My last quilt for Christmas is quilted with a free motion squiggle and bound. It's the second jelly roll hexagon quilt in the Papillon fabrics. The only difference between this one and the first is the fabric we've chosen for the borders.
Today's finish: quilt number 2
And quilt number one!

This is what the quilts look like in full (this is the first one)

This is another for the Finish Along.

2012 Finish-A-Long

If you can count, you may have noticed that I am a quilt short against the ones I listed two weeks ago. The final quilt isn't urgent - Mum and Dad will be taking it down home with them just before new year to give when they get back home, so I have a bit more time for that one!

I hope you are all ready for Christmas! My house is tidy and my parents and brother have arrived. My husband has decorated the tree - he put on all of the decorations including fairy lights, before plugging in the fairy lights and realised they were totally broken. My brother then decided to help out by removing the fairy lights, which had been put on first, without removing any other decorations. The tree now looks a little bedraggled.... and I still need to wrap ALL of my presents.... there's still a day to go!

Happy Christmas everyone!

NYB Rainbow Place Mats

It's ok - Christmas can happen: the place mats, a present for my Mum, are finished!

They don't have quite as much embroidery on them as I had planned, as I couldn't transfer the design with much success. But now they are finished and laid out together, I do like the simple running stitch. They are quite small - only 12 x 10" - but that suits my Mum's table.

The pattern for the New York Beauty Block can be found here and I used the freezer paper foundation piecing technique (great tutorial here). I have then quilted wobbly lines, added the running stitch in DMC threads to match the fabrics (which are all batiks), then finished them off with a batik back and some top stitch (which very nearly broke my sewing machine when then needle snapped!).
I love the leaves on the yellow fabric

To finish off the present, I took some of the off-cuts and stitched them together to create a "ribbon" in the loosest sense of the word, and tied a bow round them.

Now I have to wait to Tuesday to see if Mum likes them!

Edited to add - it looks like the link to the PDF is broken - try this one!

Saturday, 22 December 2012

The world hasn't ended...

.... so I guess I'd better finish off those Christmas presents!

I started off with working on Mum's place mats. They are now fully pieced and quilted. I really love the New York Beauty blocks. Tomorrow I need to finish them off with some embroidery, hand quilting and backing.

Aunty M's Jelly Roll hexagon quilt is quilted. I just need to bind it and that is finished too. This is the one I was dreaming (nightmares) of still working on on Christmas Eve. I'm now close enough to the finish that I hope that won't be the case.

I got a new project today. Linda has made a quilt for her Dad, my husband's Grandad, and had decided to free motion quilt it herself. This was her first attempt and it didn't go well - she went into total melt down... I'm going to encourage her to sign up for some FMQ lessons in the new year. In the mean time I quilted the quilt - a small scale stipple in all the background areas. It has really made the stars pop - I hope she likes it.

And this evening I finally finished Dad's notebook cover.

I'm really pleased with it - it's a bit oversized, but that means he can store other paperwork in the internal pockets.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Pink Christmas

I completed three pink quilts today.

The first one is a Christmas present for my mother-in-law's cousin's daughter who is about 15 months old. Linda wanted to make her a pink quilt, so we pulled all of our pinks fabrics out of the stash and Linda cut 6.5" squares from each, which I then pieced, quilted and bound (the binding did not go particularly smoothly, but I think I've rescued it!).

We've used polyester wadding to make it easier for Mum and the finished quilt is about 36 x 36".

While she was cutting 6.5" squares from all the pinks, Linda also cut 3.5" squares for another project. Back in November I received an email from a lady who had found my blog while searching for incubator quilts for her twin girls who are currently in hospital. I said I didn't know where she could buy incubator quilts or covers, but that I would make her a couple of incubator quilts. She asked if they could be pink with the girls' names on. The finished quilts are only about 21 x 15".
They are backed with a Robert Kaufmann flannel and I didn't use any wadding to keep them soft and light.

I got them finished today and posted - they may arrive in time for Christmas, or just after. I hope they bring some happiness and comfort in what must be a really hard time.

Countdown to Christmas [finished]

Two down, three to go!

The Countdown to Christmas Jelly Roll Sampler Quilt is finished! This is for a friend of my mother-in-law's who saw my quilt this time last year and asked me to make one for her. She bought all the fabrics and I made it up. I didn't refer back to my original at all when I was piecing this one, so although it's the same fabric, they are all in different places, so it looks totally different (you can see the two side by side in my last post about this quilt here).

The quilting is different too. Since last year I have learned (but definitely not mastered) free motion quilting, so I did a stipple all over the quilt, instead of last year's wobbly lines. The thread started off as a YLI spring green. My sewing machine did not like it. It refused to FMQ with it, so I did a mad dash to my LQS and found an Aurifil (it hadn't been there when we'd bought the YLI or I would have started off with this thread in the first place) in practically the same colour. My machine was much happier, though there was the odd hiccup. I don't understand how one quilt goes without a single hitch and then the next one, with exactly the same settings, brand new needle etc. has problems.

The backing is also different to my original pieced back. Margaret picked a large bauble print. Although it isn't from the Sweetwater range, the colours are almost a perfect match and it's such fun (you can see the quilting on this photo)!

This is another tick on my Fourth Quarter Finish Along list!
2012 Finish-A-Long

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Mod Pop [Finished]

One down, four to go - quilts for Christmas, that is!

Today I quilted and bound my Mod Pop Quilt. I started this with Leanne's QAL and used my collection of browns and blues which turn out to be mostly from Pure by Sweetwater (I really do have a bit of a Sweetwater thing), but there are some other random fabrics added in.

This was the first time I've done a quilt with lots of curves - I've done a sampler block of a drunkards path and I'm working on my Pac Mania quilt which is large scale curves, but Mod Pop was proper curves. Leanne has a great video for how to sew curves without pins. I think if I had had to pin all of these curves, this quilt would never have been made!

There were loads of options for quilting this. The way Leanne quilted her first Mod Pop is stunning, but it was a bit too modern for the recipient of this quilt, so I went for a free motion stipple in the "background" - the brown - and left the blue un-quilted so that it pops out a bit more.

You can see the quilting better on the back. I picked an extra wide plain calico for the backing, and then used a dark brown thread in the bobbin so that there would be some interest on the back of the quilt. I bought a 200m reel of the brown thread and cut it quite close - I had just 20" of thread left when I finished.

 The binding is a brown from Kona and nicely frames the quilt.

So  at least one person is getting a present a week on Tuesday! And this is one of my quilts I listed in the fourth quarter Finish Along!
2012 Finish-A-Long