Friday, 22 July 2016

Results!

So I had good reason to be cheerful as Andy Murray went on to lift the Wimbledon trophy for the second time - I particularly enjoyed the film montage showing his progress from a young player to the fine sportsman that he is today.
The first time I recall hearing about him was when he won the US Open - Juniors, and probably the mention that he was Scottish made my ears prick up - it's great to have a national sporting hero and following Andy's progress has elevated our interest in tennis from just watching Wimbledon for two weeks a year to becoming interested in many different competitions.

Our weather certainly cheered up when we enjoyed summer for a day with high temperatures not often enjoyed in these parts.Unfortunately, the high daytime temperatures also gave us high overnight ones making it almost impossible to sleep well. Since our one day summer we have experienced much rain, and what we would describe here as - clammy weather.

In sewing I have continued with the Rozelle project from my last post, it's a whisker from finished and I'll be sure to share a finished photo with you when it is.

A bigger project which was started and finished was the recovering of our dining chairs. We picked up a super quality G Plan dining table & six chairs locally, via Gumtree. I think the chairs had previously been recovered but I was keen to get rid of the dull fabric and the old foam padding - I really couldn't have done it without the help of Mr Bluepatch - he laboured long with his pliers and gained one or two blisters removing the hundreds of staples...........

I ordered some foam and wadding from a very helpful eBay site and used fabric purchased at our Open Day back in April. I had to buy extra to allow for pattern matching and the carvers being a bit bigger. Once again, Mr B helped, weilding the electric staple gun this time.


And here is how they turned out - I also made a little cushion for Ava's Ikea chair and I plan to use some leftover fabric to make a seat pad for another old chair that I have that had to be used last weekend when numbers required it.




        So, quite hard work, but so worth it - I love them and I reckon they look a lot cheerier.

I have also been working on a couple of projects that I won't be able to share for a few weeks, and then today I found myself with some unexpected time so I got all my Today's Quilter BOM blocks and magazines out and made a start on catching up. The latest edition landed on my doormat this week and I am hoping we have now received all the instructions so that I can finish off this project.

And finally, as usual, an Aurifil plug - this week I added a few more colours to my shop...........


Next Saturday (30th) I shall be attending The Stinchar Valley Quilters' Exhibition with my wee Aurifil Pop Up shop so for all you local ladies who like to see what they are buying why not have a day out in the lovely village of Barr, Nr Girvan. The exhibition is on both Saturday and Sunday and will be held in Barr Village Hall from 10 - 4. Admission is £3 which includes tea, and I believe - cake!!

For those of you who are unable to attend, enjoy free P&P on orders over £25 (EU & UK)

Have a lovely weekend.



Saturday, 9 July 2016

Reasons to be Cheerful

1. Charlotte won the Great British Sewing Bee and watching her progress and her eventual win was feel good tv. Congratulations to Charlotte.

2. Andy Murray is in the Wimbledon final - the mens' quarter finals possibly shaved moments off our lives but it was magic to watch - just wish there was a slightly longer gap between the high profile matches so we could at least get the tatties on!

3. Sewing - yes, for everything else, there is always sewing.

I have completely ignored my BOM and will return to it later.

Ayrshire Quilters are having an exhibiton in Rozelle House, Ayr, in September/October. We have been asked to make a piece of work, no bigger than 20" square, inspired by Rozelle.
The house itself stands in large parkland, fringed by woods, only a stone's throw from where I live - We are very lucky to have a second large park / golf course almost adjacent to Rozelle so  we often take a walk through both parks in our efforts to make our 10,000 steps!

In the last year, some of the wooded areas have been cleared and the most wonderful tree sculptures have appeared, to commemmorate WW1, the work of someone very skilled with a chainsaw!













That is my Rozelle - and I came up with a wee plan to represent my "Walk in the Woods"

The basic plan was 20 little log cabin blocks, each finishing at 4" square - Lots of greens with a brown "path" of 5, four patch blocks running through diagonally.


In the top right section, the logs were made up of slightly bigger, and therefore fewer, strips and had centres of pale blue - the sky!

All the other log cabin blocks were made up of skinnier strips and had centres of fuchsia or purple - these colours remind me of the beautiful rhododendrons that are so prolific in the park in early summer.

The bottom left corner consisted of four log cabin blocks, pieced in a more considered fashion, marrying brighter greens with creams/whites and arranged to produce a central area to accommodate a bit of applique.

The applique is a simple silhouette of the Scottish soldier - I printed off the picture of the soldier, fiddled about with the size, then traced his outline on to Bondaweb, then used some plain black fabric for the actual applique. My daughter thinks it is a woman, my grand daughter thinks it is a dolly........


And here is the top, all stitched together. At this point, like many of you I am guessing, I instantly feel I am going to spoil it by moving on to the next stage - the quilting! But I plodded on. I quilted all the green/brown log cabins in my twisted log cabin quilting pattern, and the four patches with my usual, unimaginative "Sheila's Star". For the applique area I did some straight line quilting and then decided to fill in with seed stitching by hand - I haven't finished this yet but decided to go on to straighten and bind yesterday while I had the time. I used a magenta batik from my stash to bind and also popped a hanging sleeve on.


I have really enjoyed the process of taking this challenge from an idea to a quilt. For those of you interested in such matters, all of the fabric came from my scrap stash - I might have finally wiped out my green scraps.........I used the following threads to piece, and quilt -


L to R - Aurifil 2325 (so useful, blends with lots of colours), Gutermann 9938, Aurifil 1240, 
Aurifil 5023

Which leads nicely on to a question for you - what is your favourite Aurifil shade, considering the huge variety available, that is a tricky question. But, is there one that you consider a staple for you, one that you return to again and again? For example, I wouldn't be without col 2600 - Dove - such a pale grey I use it sometimes instead of white if I can't be bothered changing bobbins or top thread.......
Another one that I have grown to love is Col 2847 - Bright Grey Blue. I have long considered grey thread to be so clever, blending with many colour themes. It often is the answer to your quilting thread dilemmas. 2847 takes it to another level, blending with so many colour schemes. I only have it in stock at the moment in 40wt. 
And just a reminder that there is free shipping on orders of £25 and over (UK/EU) in my shop.

Have a great weekend and...........C'mon Andy!!











Sunday, 26 June 2016

The times they are a changin'

In two weeks since my last post so much has happened - we lost a young and vibrant mum, gunned down in broad daylight whilst just doing the job she obviously loved and believed in.

After a dishonest political campaign (by both sides IMO) we are now a country in turmoil, divided and facing an uncertain future.....

Day to day however, life goes on but routine here at Bluepatch central has been a little disrupted - following on from Nursery Sports Day, we have been taking precautions to avoid - NITS - we have all been under the weather with what might be hay fever, all the while waiting for the inevitable eruption of chickenpox!
Finally this weekend it is well on the wane and the little 'un might make it for her last day at nursery year 1, on Tuesday,

The event that I mentioned in my last post, in aid of Memories are Better than Dreams went ahead last Saturday and was very well attended, with over £2000 being raised.

For those of you who were involved in my Open Day fundraiser back in April for "Team Beth" and The Glasgow Children's Hospital Charity, you might be interested in watching this video - it lasts quite a few minutes and shows off Scotland at its best. I am proud to say my son in law is one of the cyclists taking part - they did so well.

Tip - Watch it fullscreen.




So on a sewing theme I have been plodding on with my Today's Quilter BOM by Jen Kingwell, still working on Month 9 (Month 11 has just been published) but I am happy to say I have just finished all eight blocks for month 9.



I might have to take a little break from the BOM as I have decided to take up an Ayrshire Quilters' challenge and make a small quilt for an upcoming local exhibition, hope to have more info for my next post.

I managed to make a quick block for Leeds Modern Quilters' Guild in response to their "Quilts for Jo" - they are hoping to have enough blocks to provide Jo Cox's children (and family members) with comfort quilts. (see opening para)

And I almost forgot - I made a start on my Luna Lapin kit by Cool Crafting. I treated myself to this back in April when I was at the Knitting and Stitching Show. I have thoroughly enjoyed making her, and have the kit to make another dress, plus coat & shoes - she will be one smart bunny.

And finally, I took delivery of a lovely selection of threads from Aurifil for my shop.
I have a super selection of 40wt & 50wt large spools, a fabulous boxed collection by Karen Lewis Textiles, and some Aurifil storage boxes. One of the things that frustrates me greatly about my shop is the fact that just one spool of Aurifil thread constitutes a small parcel in Royal Mail eyes - I could also fill a shoebox with spools for the same postage rate - crazy!! So, I have played with my calculator and am now offering free shipping on UK / EU orders of £25 and over. I hope you agree that coupled with my competitive prices, this offers great value.

Enjoy the video!





Thursday, 9 June 2016

Repeat...........

Yes, I feel like I am siting down to repeat my last post.

Amazingly, Ayrshire is still basking in summer sun. On our local news last night, the newsreader asked the weather man "is it just a Scottish thing where we keep saying, (in a doom laden voice)"......."oh it cannae last forever"..........!!

Well in these parts it feels like forever already and we are loving it.

As my OH had last week off we felt particularly blessed smug, and even took ourselves out into the lovely Ayrshire countryside for a good walk - pity I hadn't checked that it wasn't all particularly flat, heh heh, now in hindsight I can say the effort was well worth it - so was the pub lunch that followed.
I think I have now finished making wee things for the upcoming event in aid of Memories are Better than Dreams. Just a reminder to all my local readers that the fundraiser will take place in the Jennie Campbell School of Dance, (New Road, Ayr), Saturday 18th June from 2.30 - 4.30. 
This week it's been all about my Tiny Totes for Tiny Tots - easily made from charms or scraps - if you would like to have a go there is a tutorial in my Tutorials Page.



Still lagging a bit on my BOM blocks but finished another two from month nine. I think a whole quilt of these would look fantastic but I am NOT going there.

Lost a bit of definition in this next one, should have used a darker value for the star points, but didn't have a dark purple, hey ho.


In shop news I am awaiting delivery of quite a big Aurifil order so stay tuned to see all the lovely colours I will be adding, including quite a few at 40wt.

As I begin to clear my feet in my sewing room my thoughts are turning to a new quilt that I have been planning for some time. Maybe by the time I write next, I will have started to cut, exciting times.

Meanwhile, I'll leave you with a few shots from nursery sports day.

Mummys' race (wouldn't have missed this for anything)


Daddys' race


and my little winner (1 of 28 little winners, of course)


Hope the sun is shining where you are. x








Tuesday, 31 May 2016

May's Last post

Another month bites the dust and as we progress into June we have been basking in glorious sunshine here in Ayrshire.
Now I realise not everyone in the UK is sharing this gorgeous weather - sorry!

Despite the good weather I have managed a bit of work sewing.

I continue to make little things for a Charity table that will be part of an upcoming event in Ayr - it's a fundraiser to be held in the Jennie Campbell School of Dancing on Saturday 18th June from 2.30 - 4.30. The funds raised will be going to Memories are Better than Dreams - this is a new charitable organisation who support the end of life wishes of children and their families and who are currently supporting Beth and her family, who inspired Bluepatchquilters' own fundraiser back in April.
I made a few coin trays - my daughter suggested the wording that happily coincides with upcoming Father's Day here in the UK.


Once I started recycling denim, I went on to make a couple of fabric baskets....

I found some orphans lying about that just needed finishing............


I recently started and quickly gave up making blocks for the Splendid Sampler, a great project but beyond my time availability..........so the blocks made have been turned into mug mats.

And all that this next mat (?) need was a bit of quilting. Can't recall just how old this is but it was made using shot cottons, so lovely to quilt.


I have also managed a bit of my own stitching - I am trying to catch up on my Block of the Month project from Today's Quilter. I am working on last month's block - we have to make 8 of these 12" blocks and I started by making all the centre nine patches. The quilt is designed by Jen Kingwell and up until now I have been throwing all sorts of scraps together in the hope that it will all come together in the end - it worked for My Small World. However, although still using scraps, I decided to be a bit more planned and coordinated and so far I have completed three from eight. here are the eight centres.

And my blocks so far,



I started these eight blocks thinking it was a bit of a chore but now I am really enjoying the process - I am reminded of an article in last month's Today's Quilter by Lynn Edwards. There is so much rushing about trying to make quilts in a weekend that sometimes we forget to slow down and just enjoy the process. I have no deadline for this BOM, if I am a month or two behind, nobody will scold me or condemn me. Worth thinking about sometimes.

And finally, as the Father's Day coin trays seemed very well timed, I thought I'd try a couple out in my shop -

Papa's pennies has already sold but the other is in my shop 

And for all of you who love to use Aurifil thread, I will be adding to my stock very soon.

Have a great week.x














Sunday, 15 May 2016

Mid May Madness

I am feeling very happy today as Andy Murray beat Djokovic in Rome. So in a moment of madness I decided to offer a discount coupon across all items in my Shop

Spend £20 or more and receive a 20% discount - just use the coupon code MidMayMadness, one time only, and your discount will be applied. Valid now, until Friday 20th May at Midnight, UK time.

As far as sewing is concerned, I have managed a few tasks this week despite the weather being too good to stay indoors. Hard to believe we are now experiencing the second weekend of sunshine in a row.

I made a second spoon dolly for Ava - I was surprised how much she took to it considering the amount of "proper" Disney dolls she has.............I got the idea to make Merida HERE. And for the Merida purists out there, she has been to the hairdresser as she fancied a colour change - ok!!

Later in the week I set about giving some old director's chairs a facelift. I "inherited" these from my daughter a couple of years ago and have wanted to make them a bit cheerier for a while. I got the fabric from Croft Mill. I used to shop with them years ago when they operated by mail order with a paper catalogue. (Imagine!!) The style of writing always made me chuckle and I recognise it still in the fabric descriptions.



And finally, my daughter asked me last night if I had any little items suitable for a table sale - part of another event that will be held in Ayr soon to raise funds in Beth's name for Glasgow Childeren's Hospital Charity.

I made some of my stand-by coasters - (Tutorial here if you are interested)


I have some other ideas up my sleeve for quick makes.

I treated myself to these this week, from Aldi. Couldn't resist their patchwork look.


And yesterday we had a wee stroll around our local Burns Centre...........MidMayMadness indeed.


Hope you all have a good week - don't forget that coupon code!!








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