Saturday, 19 April 2014

Early Summer

Well we are basking in glorious sunshine up here on the West Coast of Scotland and apparently set fair for a couple of days yet, we must make the best of it as it might be our summer.

Although my regular classes finished at the end of March I had a couple of one day workshops in early April. Last Thursday's was a new one, Mile a Minute quilts - a few months ago someone came along to our Guild coffee morning and showed us her Mile a Minute quilt.............I immediately knew it would be a fun one day project. It's not a new or difficult technique, just scrap busting fun, it's a bit like Crazy patchwork & Log Cabin rolled into one. In preparation I had knocked up a few blocks in a short time and with the workshop date only a couple of days away I converted the blocks into a wee quilt. I had a green theme going on with my scraps (well there's a change!) and decided to sash in brown.......this is a llittle quilt destined for the outdoors so nothing special. Luckily, I was at the quilting stage just as blog pal Nicky was telling us about her FMQ circles. Even though I teach FMQ (for the truly terrified) I rarely actually jump in and fmq an actual quilt. Nicky was showing us the results of some online tuition from Angela Walters and the idea was to mark out circles and quilt within the circles. I found this so liberating even though the circles were controlling me.

Most of the work done by my bluepatch ladies this last year, will be on show soon at our Open Day on Sunday 27th April. As always it will be held in Alloway Village Hall which sits right opposite Robert Burn's cottage. If any of you are within reasonable travelling distance you would of course be so welcome to join us - there will be teas, home baking, a sales table for charity - this year Alzheimers Scotland - and we will also have a craft sales table.

In preparation for the Open Day I have been keeping busy, mostly of a sorting and cataloguing nature but a little sewing too - in September I will be having a Tumbler Cushion workshop. I have had a tumbler die for my Accuquilt Go so this becomes a helpful feature of the workshop - then I came upon Fiona's cushion in a recent I Love P & Q magazine and loved its clean lines. I took them just a bit further and created a fully quilted cushion, back & front.

I woud have preferred a more subtle thread choice but had to use what I had which in this case was a variegated one. The tumblers were chopped from a charm pack.

I managed my Bee Blessed blocks the other day, a bit of slicing and dicing - quick and fun.

Just peeking in at the bottom of the picture is a glimpse of my finished Chinese Whispers wallhanging that I mentioned in my last post. I am unable to share it in it's full "glory" until after the Loch Lomond Quilt Show. not sure if you can stand the suspense!!
Some of us in the Bee a Brit Stingy Bee have had a wee Easter swap, a mini basket with some goodies. I made this little basket which is meant as a thread catcher and was intriguing to construct - I got the tute here.

So my little basket + some extras, went to Janet and then I received this generous bundle from the aforementioned Nicky. Wow!!

And lastly, still on an Easter theme, I made one of my Tiny Totes for my Tiny Tot! I adapted my own wee pattern, for speed.

Wherever you may be and whatever you are up to, have a great weekend.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Finish Along - Quarter 2

I was somewhat distracted at the beginning of the year so missed out joining in with Finish Along First Quarter.
Standing in the midst of the chaos that is currently my sewing room - I am amassing all the exhibits for my Open Day ni 2 weeks - I turned 360 degrees on the spot and clocked 5 wee projects that I reckoned I could pledge finishes for. Apart from number 1, they are all about The Princess!!

1. I hope Katy accepts this snippet as proof of a project - it is to be my entry for the Chinese Whispers exhibition in this year's Loch Lomond Quilt Show - I am not allowed to let anyone see it yet, just as well as I have yet to absolutely finish it.

The Ayrshire branch of the Quilters' Guild are entering two groups of quilts into CW - the idea is that the first person in the group gets a photo and has to make a small quilt, inspired by the photo - she sends her quilt to number two on the list who is inspired by it and makes a small quilt, etc, etc. I was number two in my group. My friend was number 3 so she didn't mind that my quilt wasn't bound or had a hanging sleeve. I made it in November 2012 and knew I had ages to complete it, I now have 2 weeks.

2. I was Queen Bee in the Bee a Brit Stingy Bee last month & I asked for two different blocks to help me make two different quilts for my Princess & the Pea project, the one where I am making 20 quilts for an Ikea dollies bed. My first block was a mini Grannie.

3. And the other was Bright Hopes..........

4. Is another "Princess" quilt that I made ages ago from the scraps of my Mod Pop quilt - it just need a binding, how hard is that on something that measures about 15" x 12??

5. My friend Janet loves a bit of improv and likes to use up the smallest of scraps - she offered me this next little piece recently for the Princess bed - I have trimmed and layered it up, so it just needs a bit of quilting and a binding.

I think all very achievable so I am linking up with Katy for Q2.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

March Roundup

It's been a couple of months since I did a roundup to link with Lynne's Fresh Sewing Day and I want to get back in the habit. Instead of a mosaic I'll just list my makes as I don't think I blogged them all.

1. An iPhone case - present for a friend and following this tutorial.


2. I had an early birthday present this month, a new camera, my first step up from a point and shoot. So I thought it deserved a smart strap..........found the pattern in an old Mollie Makes.

3. I got a sample made in plenty of time for an upcoming 2 day Introduction to Patchwork course (Still have a couple of spaces on this one - email me if interested)

4. And as I posted on Sunday, I also got my Modern Sampler completed in time to show my classes before they finished - this is next session's project.

5. I managed a couple of Pippi blocks for Judith's Bee Blessed - the first needed a diet and as I popped them in the post I noticed I had pretty much cut off her shoes. Hope they are ok.

6. No Bee a Brit Stingy blocks to make in March as I was Queen Bee - I asked for tiny blocks to make a couple of quilts for my Princess and the Pea project. This is how things are coming along so far.......
  Bright Hopes blocks

 Wee Grannies

7. I made another block for Alison's Soy Amado quilts. She is looking for 12.5" quilted blocks so that she can join them into quilts. I have quite a few orphans lying about and although some are pretty much 12.5" I find after quilting they can shrink quite a bit - so in this next one, a Scrap Happy block, I decided to add narrow strips all around, quilt and trim back to 12.5". In reality there wasn't really much trimming to do and there would have been really narrow borders all around so I decided to make it a bit wonky, looks better for it I think.
If any of my ladies are reading this and fancy making a quilted block, I would be happy to collect at the open Day and pass to Alison.
8. I had a nice delivery of fabric but it came surface and my patience almost wore out..

9. I got my Sarah Fielke Mystery quilt layered up and quilted last week. I have one corner to unpick and re-do and then the binding - sent off for some black & white spots, this was a quilt full of circles so I thought I'd keep with the programme. I quilted a sort of spider's web, more pics at a later date!

10. And finally, I got ahead of myself a bit and made the April Stingy Brit blocks for Di - a mix of Maple Leaves in different sizes.

and the siggy,

And that was March.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Under the Wire

Slipping another post into March before it's too late.

March has been another busy month as all my classes have come to the end of their sessions. It's also the month when I reveal my plan for next session and hope that it appeals enough to encourage my students back to me in the Autumn. (I know it's not the coffee!!)
So this is what I have been beavering away on since the New Year - my Modern Sampler.

I love the way the sun is shining through it in this shot - the reflection of the "whirly gig" clothes line makes me smile.
When I plan a new project I have quite a few different considerations to make - all my classes are a mix of experience so I need something to suit all. I like to include different techniques. I like to teach QAYG so plan my quilt in sections if possible. I like to offer a bit of flexibility and scope for personalisation. I think I have covered all the bases with this sampler. Some blocks are easy but with tweaking can be more challenging. Some are constructed in different ways. They are all a standard 12" so easy for students to substitute their favourites as alternatives. I am also hoping to encourage this quilt as a stashbuster with the main outlay being the background fabric and I am hoping some of my ladies might be brave enough to go for a dark, or even a patterned background - watch this space.
Modern Sampler has been received very well resulting in extremely brisk booking for next session. I have only 3 spaces left over 4 classes. And I promised better coffee!!

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Bag Ladies

Not quite finished, just the lining to insert but I couldn't resist sharing. I feel like I have had a multiple birth experience, minus the pain.

My apologies to those ladies whose bags have not been captured yet but final photoshoot will be at my open Day on 27th April. Can't wait.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Couldn't Wait............ share the first glimpse of some of the Overnighters. My clever class this morning pretty much all had their bags to the stage of making the lining and internal zipped pocket, achieved despite my rather duff instructions - sorry ladies.

Looking pretty fabulous aren't they............I shared the secret of my firm bottom today so next time they will all be looking even more fabulous, if that is at all possible.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Where Do I Start?

Well, I'll just follow on from my last post - I did mean to do the end of February thing but the days are flying past and technical issues have conspired against me too.

So I finished up my orphan quilt, orphan in as much as all but the four corner blocks were really old and ignored stuff, lingering in drawers. I put it all together and tried to cheer it up and in the end, you know, I was pleased to have made something from nothing. I posted it off yesterday so hopefully it will eventually bring a little comfort to someone..........

And I also sent off a few single blocks to Alison, in case you are not aware of her cause, have a look here
The first two blocks, once again, were just loitering in my drawers, so to speak, and the last  one, just a bit of machine embroidery on a solid background. 
If any one in my classes has such orphans lying about and you want to help - all you need to do is layer up and quilt the block and let me have them to pass on. Just be sure they finish up at 12 1/2 " to make things easier for Alison to QAYG.

I have been working like a dervish to complete next session's project which will be a quilt - all should be done in time to reveal in a couple of weeks. Meanwhile as this session draws to a close my "Bag Ladies" are producing wonderful results with their "Overnighters" - I am so excited because I think tomorrow's class will actually have theirs joined up and looking like - a bag! I will be sure to snap away and hope to share some pics with you.

A certain little someone in my life will be 2 next week - hard to believe - she had a play kitchen at Christmas, so every good cook needs an apron & hat, yes??

I made this from a tea towel but followed this great pattern. The neck strap is elasticated and the tie closes with Velcro, enabling the wee one to put it on and tie it herself, so clever.

The chef's hat, another great internet find, is being modelled here, by Mickey, who at 30yrs old, is feeling a bit put out. Mickey is doing rather well, having lived in the attic for many years. He has a box in his back into which cassettes are placed (if you don't know what a cassette is - Google it!!) After all this time he still talks and tells stories, with eyes rolling & mouth moving. He will however, now always be known as "Hotdog".

I am Queen Bee this month in the Bee a Brit Stingy Bee - I think my fellow Bees are a bit amused at my request. Still on an Ava theme, one of my longer term projects is to make 20 wee quilts for an Ikea dollies' bed. I have about 8 done and will share them with you another time. I thought it would be fun to ask the Bees to make me some blocks to make another two quilts and decided on these........

A little Bright Hopes block - this involves partial seaming, and I have asked for absolutely any fabrics but with a white centre.

And in aquas and pink, most appropriately, a Wee Granny!

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