Wednesday, 26 March 2014

WIP Wednesday [BFFBOM]

Nap times this week have been spent on embroidery - I'm working on the Rosalie Quinlan block of the month Best Friends Forever and this morning I finished the first embroidery. It will need a bit of a press...

This was the first time I've used hanky linen - it came pre-printed - and I really like it - its a shame I can't find it locally.

And on Monday my little baby girl turned 1 month old! That went fast!

And this is my favourite photo from late last week!
I figure Mia is my biggest WIP at the moment!

Linking up with WIP Wednesday

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

WIP Wednesday [Embroidery]

It's Wednesday. Little Miss Mia is now 3 weeks old. I've been doing a bit of sewing. My third block for my Patchwork of the Crosses quilt is finished - this is a great project for five minutes slots when Daddy does the nappy change!

And I'm starting a new project - before Little Miss arrived I'd been collecting the Best Friends Forever Block of the Month from Rosalie Quinlan as I thought this would be a good project for nap times. But I  failed to do any preparation before she arrived.  So this evening's nap time was spent picking out the threads and getting ready.

I've written this post one-handed and it's now time to feed, so I'm linking up with WIP Wednesday and I'll be back later to see what everyone else has been up to!

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Pantone Quilt Challenge [Radiant Orchid]

For the last couple of years I have taken part in the Pantone quilt challenge: A Tangerine Tango mini quilt from 2012 and an Emerald Green block keeper from 2013. This year the colour is radiant orchid. Reading the comments on this colour, it isn't universally popular, but I like purple, and often find that when I ask people what colours they would like in a quilt, they say purple, yet it's such a hard colour to find when fabric shopping. Hopefully a year of Radiant Orchid will result in some more fabric collections which include purple.

Last year I made a cushion cover for a swap in purple, pink and turquoise and at the time I knew it was a colour scheme I wanted to revisit (and keep), so I raided my stash.

I decided to use the challenge as a way of solving two quilting requirements: last September we went to the quilt show at Harrogate with some friends and Liz was on the look out for a new project. She saw this quilt on display (I've found the blog - scroll to July 2013 - since starting this quilt with a little help - thank you Nan). There was no information on the pattern, so I agreed to draft it for her. Having never worked with octagons before I needed to check my maths was right by making a few blocks. The second requirement was one of Michael's colleagues had a baby girl in January and every baby needs a quilt!

Before Miss Mia arrived I had a finished quilt top! I had planned a piano keys border like the original at Harrogate, but just didn't have enough fabric, so picked up a nice busy print from a LQS.

On Sunday, Michael held the baby and I basted the quilt, with help from two four-legged friends... Then I had to decide how to quilt it. I was going to do a free motion stipple in the background to make the applique and the octagons pop. But my machine obviously knows I have a new love in my life and refused point blank. I'll fight that problem another day. So for this quilt I did fairly minimal straight line quilting around each octagon (inside and out) and around the border. I had thought about some hand quilting too but that may be just a bit too much at the moment.

So I'm calling this finished. I love the patchwork and applique and the colours. I'm slightly disappointed with the quilting, but imagination and machine let me down... ho hum! I am pleased that with a three-week old baby in the house I have finished this in time to enter the Pantone challenge.

The finished quilt is 38" x 38" and the fabrics all came from my stash: Kona Snow, Pearl Bracelets, Tilda, Acacia from Tula Pink, Beatrice Chain from Michael Miller, Art Gallery Oval Elements, Painters Canvas, Art Gallery Textures, Rosalie Quinlan from Lecien, Robert Kaufmann blenders, Art Gallery Poetica, Moda Flirt and some other random fabrics from my stash. The backing is Moda marbles in purple and the binding is an unknown purple stripe.

2014 Pantone Quilt Challenge

Hopefully Little Miss will sleep a bit longer so I can check out some of the other entries - a quick glance at the linky thumbnails and I can already tell there are some stunners!

Monday, 17 March 2014

Sampler Quilt Love [March]

Nappy 1: I'm grabbing five minutes while Daddy does the nappy change to blog about my Sunday sewing. Of course, if Miss Mia decides to pee just as the nappy comes off again, then I may have ten minutes, while Daddy fights her into another sleep suit. If not, I may need a few nappy changes to get this full post written....
Daddy teaching Miss Mia to stick her tongue out!

On Sunday morning Miss Mia had a nap and Mummy did some sewing - three Farmer's Wife blocks - not particularly difficult ones but linked with the theme of four patches.

Homeward Bound

Northern Lights 

And Prairie Queen

I also picked up some Safari Moon fat quarters when we introduced Mia at the local patchwork shop on Saturday - I'm thinking of using this colour scheme for my Toes in the Sand quilt - I finally got my hands on the pattern last week.

Nappy 2: I didn't quite get the post finished in one nappy change. But Miss Mia did come down stairs in a different sleep suit to the one she went upstairs in - turns out that whilst Daddy was distracted with the nappy end, there was action at the other end! That makes sleep suit number three for the day!

Friday, 14 March 2014

Vice Versa [Block 2]

More nap-time sewing this morning - these blocks took two naps to complete!

I'm still getting used to the look of an all-solids quilt - a little bit out of my comfort zone... but these blocks are nice and straightforward so ideal for snatched moments.

Gen X Quilters Vice Versa BOM

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

WIP Wednesday [Patchwork of the Crosses]

My husband turned to me tonight when he got home and said "you seem more energised today". I guess with a two-week old baby in the house, that's quite a  compliment! I think a number of things have contributed to this today. The first was a lie-in - Mummy and Mia both slept until 10am today! Going out for lunch also helped - down to the cafe on the quayside with Linda, Steph, Ellie-Jo and Mia.

But the key to a good day is some sewing - even if it's just ten minutes snatched while Daddy does nappy duty. It makes me feel normal. And my go to project has been some English Paper Piecing in the shape of Patchwork of the Crosses (you can find more info on this project in my previous post here).

I've completed my second block

And block 3 is basted
Linking up with WIP Wednesday

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Vice Versa [block 1]

I'm a bit of a sucker for BOMs so when Anne Marie over at Gen X announced her 2014 BOM back in December I decided to play along. Never mind that I didn't get any further than the February block in last years BOM.... (and still haven't).

Gen X Quilters Vice Versa BOM

The plan was to make a Hangover Blankie for my husband - he picked out the colours and I picked out fabrics from my stash and selected Kona Shadow to go with them as the background. Then I didn't do anything. I really wasn't impressed with the colour scheme or the fabrics I had picked. On Sunday I decided to make a change - swap out the prints from my stash for solids. On Monday morning I ordered Kona Canary, Lime, Purple, Tangerine and Denim and they arrived this morning.

Mia is asleep at the moment and I have made the January blocks.

And I couldn't very well leave you without a picture of Little Miss...

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Naptime Sewing

I am seriously going to enjoy nap time. Unfortunately nap time is a little elusive at the moment... Mia fed for 5 hours straight this afternoon.

Such a cute grumpy face!

But yesterday she napped and I stitched with some good friends. I started a new project - some English Paper Piecing - easy to pick up and put down again. The project is Patchwork of the Crosses. I hadn't heard of this pattern until a few months ago when Sharon started the same
project. It looked interesting and I read up the background of the pattern.

The original quilt was made by Lucy Boston, an author, quilter and gardener who lived at Hemmingford Grey - a manor house in Cambridgeshire less than an hour away from where I grew up - doing so much American style patchwork I was totally sold on something so local for me. I started pinning to my EPP pinterest board and then picked my current favourite colour palette and lots of fabrics from my stash.

So the plan is initially 9 feature blocks and see how we go. Fabric is cut and block 1 is made.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Bucket List

A six-day-old baby in the house means no sewing time - I have basted a few hexies.... in the quiet moments. This was a photo from yesterday with a very besotted Granny - I love this photo.

But I have had a lot of thinking time whilst feeding. Yesterday Stacey at the Tilted Quilt posted about her Quilty Bucket List and that got me thinking... so what would I love to make/finish (obviously long term given recent developments).

The Tilted Quilt
Double Wedding Ring Quilt: When I was little I remember my Gran making a double wedding ring quilt (by hand) and ever since this quilt has been in the back of my mind. Last year my local quilt shop offered a cutting service for this pattern, and I leapt at the chance. I'm using Poetica from Art Gallery and haven't made much recent progress but one day this quilt will go on my bed.

Dear Jane: I love sampler quilts and this is the Mummy of all sampler quilts. This is another project I have already started and will be a very long term labour of love - I do a few blocks and then leave it for a few months, but one day I will have my very own Rainbow Jane.

Toes in the Sand and Parkbench: these are two quilts I've come across in the last year from Jaybird quilts and I've finally ordered the patterns. I haven't planned fabric or timing yet, but one day....

Vignette in Stitches: this was the quilt which got me into blogging and the online quilt community. I haven't got very far  but I still love the pattern and the fabrics I picked.

Tail Feathers: This was one of the earliest quilts I fell in love with - it combines piecing, applique and embroidery and I have the pattern and the fabric ready to go...

Quilt made with Botanics/Architextures: another started project and another long term one.... I'm making 6" blocks from a variety of sources until I get bored or end up with a quilt that's too big to work with.

Patchwork of the Crosses: this is a pattern I've come across only this year, but I have fallen in love. I really enjoy the and piecing of EPP, and the history of this quilt is from Cambridgeshire, just an hour away from where I grew up. The fabric is cut and ready to play with.

A hexie quilt: the idea is that this would be a scrap project using the tiniest scraps - 1/2" hexies in a rainbow. I've started basting but this is a very long term project....

Something that strikes me about this list is the fact that if I want to do something, I tend to start it. The above list is not far off of a WIP list (with a couple of exceptions). So what's on your bucket list?

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Meet Mia

***warning - lots of photos***

It is the first of March and therefore time for a review of what I achieved in February. There was some sewing for the first 23 days - I finished the quilt for Baby

I made progress on the quilt for a friend's Baby and I finished my Thread Along Quilt top

I made some Dear Jane blocks (you can see them here, here and here) and some Farmer's Wife Blocks

And then on 24th February I went into labour and 12 hours later at 11.26pm we welcomed Amelia Lily to the world. Mia for short, weighed 9lbs 1 oz (4110g). We came home on Thursday after a few days in hospital and now we are juggling feeds, nappies and sleeps.

Three hours old
I love how suspicious she looks in this picture...

We had a very handmade home coming with a knitted cardi and blankie from Grandma - my name was mud as the blanket was over 230 rows each with over 230 stitches plus a border.... I don't knit so I don't really understand - Grandma made sure I understood by the end.

This is my absolute favourite picture

And this photo was taken this morning - five days old

Linking up with Lily's Quilts for the Fresh Sewing Day
Lily's Quilts