Tuesday, 27 November 2012

The days are getting shorter......

.......and it's nothing to do with winter! It's definitely something to do with the run up to Christmas.
Life sure is busy just now. Since my last post, I have made another kiddy pillowcase with integrated pocket for a little soft toy - I made the first one in the summer during the Zakka sew a long and this one is for the little daughter of a friend of my daughter. She is going to be two soon.
 The solid cotton is the palest pink so that hopefully it won't fight with any current decor.

I fitted in a tiny bit of shopping at my LQS, Sew Materialistic and got these two fat quarters. 

They are from a range called Mod Century, by Jenn Ski for Moda - I might have to get me some more.

Most of my classes are held in a local community centre, managed by volunteers. Last Saturday was the annual Christmas Fayre and now that I no longer work on Saturdays, I was able to contribute a bit of time to  run a stall.........I found myself offering to do a White Elephant - for those of you unfamiliar with this term, think Bric a Brac. I put out a plea to my classes and soon became swamped with white elephants. My friend Delia and I piled it high and sold it cheap making just over £60 which will go into our Charity fund. Thanks again to all who supported our efforts.
Then on Sunday, it was time for my Hexie workshop - several ladies who came along to the workshop had done English Paper Piecing before, heck , some of them could remember their Laura Ashley kits from the early 70s - I had one in needlecord, never finished.
But new to most of them, I think, was the use of downloadable graph paper, the idea to print it onto freezer paper and the endless possibilities of dissecting hexagons into a myriad of interesting shapes. Little did they know that they would be spending their Sunday discussing equilateral triangles and I even overheard someone say the word rhombus!! Who'd have guessed.
We all had a lovely, if chilly day, without the constant whir of sewing machines and here is a peek at some of the hexies made on the day. I apologise to any of you whose hexie doesn't seem to have made the mosaic.
To make up the numbers on the mosaic I popped in my latest EPP project, bottom right. I intend it as a Christmas cushion, it is making up faster than I thought.
I had hoped for much sewing today but spent time instead tidying up my sewing room. I had an extra shelf put up last week so was able to sort, and change stuff round in my endless quest for order amongst the chaos.......getting there!

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Swaps & Bees

I was surprised today to receive a package postmarked Galway - I didn't have anything outstanding from Cindy at Fluffy Sheep so what could it be?
I didn't manage to take a pic today to do justice, (so I pinched this one from Anneliese) as it never really got properly light - these lovely goodies came from Anneliese, - she had started by making me a mug rug that got too big (oh, what a shame....) so went on to make me a second one!! Aren't they super!
I also got a  pile of scraps, always good to have someone else's...........
Thank you Anneliese for the lovely surprise
Of course, all swaps are two way and my offering is this journal cover + scraps, of course!

I have had a good couple of sewing days - I have made progress with my Chinese Whispers project that I can't share with you until 2014 - yes, 2014..........I have been working on another secret project too.........I got the binding on to my strippy Velocity quilt, so the end is in sight, and I have made a couple of blocks for Judith's Bee Blessed. These were quick and easy to make and I reckon would make a stunning quilt, in fact I think I might make more blocks using a charm pack that I have, adjusting the dimensions just a little to save waste on the charms.
                                                             You should try a couple..........

Sunday, 18 November 2012

A Little Winter Sunshine

Sometimes I seem to take a while to finish things - usually it's because I am making along with my classes, like with this cushion.
I used the front to demo the NYB blocks and the curved piecing.
Then I came up with a quilting pattern.
And then I showed how I piece and quilt my cushion backs nowadays - I make an envelope back and always used a couple of pieces of cotton. But I started to quilt my cushion backs and love how substantial it looks. I bind the raw edges that overlap and this gives me the opportunity to demo single fold binding.
But it is finished now.

The peaks of the NYB were all made from a charm pack I had ( I have even started a little something with the offcuts but that will be for another day, waaaay down the line.)
The fabric I used for the borders and backing are from the Sunrise fat 1/8 pack of Kona cotton that I got from Fluffy Sheep Quilting, this particular combination was put together by Susan
Brings a lovely bit of sunshine to a grey November day, doesn't it.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Quilts of Valour

Three of my classes this year are making a medallion quilt - I call it Topsy cos it keeps on growing. I have given everyone a choice of central blocks and several ladies have taken on New York Beauty - and have blown me away with their fabulous work, nothing fazes them!! Here is a small snapshot of some of the quilts in progress, although one, top right, is completely finished now.Go Katrina!!

The quilt in the bottom left corner was made by Marjorie, it is also now finished and she has made this for 
Quilts of Valour. You might be interested in reading more about this wonderful cause that provides injured servicemen & women with a quilt. Marjorie told us that 1000 quilts have now been distributed in the UK and she herself has now made four. Although you never know exactly who has received your quilt, some feedback on regiment is provided.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

I am watching this........

live, now........

Live broadcasting by Ustream Total eclipse of the sun about to happen in the next half hour, Palm Cove, Queensland. Wow. The wonder of technology..........

Monday, 12 November 2012

Final Update on Hurricane Sandy Appeal

Managed to piece the blocks together on Saturday and decided to whip up a length of binding too.
I did try a few layouts of the blocks but went for the simple, all facing the same way, option.
And today it was posted off to Rachel, the quilter, in Oregon.

Let's hope it will bring a bit of comfort to somebody this Christmas.
Thanks again to all the ladies who contributed.


For anyone who has not yet had an email from me entitled HEY - don't open it.
My BT a/c appears to have been got at, my apologies.
If you have in fact opened the email, and clicked on the link - as I did, as it came from a known source - then check your email outbox - I nearly passed out.
So sorry for the inconvenience, it may be as well to change your email password.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Update on Help for Sandy

In my last post, I put out a plea to my classes for blocks for the Hurricane Sandy Appeal. Before I could collect in any blocks I discovered that the appeal had closed at 300 blocks! Yes, - 300 blocks.
I contacted Jennifer at Knotted Thread, who has masterminded this drive and sh e has agreed to take whatever blocks I have. I suggested piecing into a top and  I would need 30 blocks to do this. Today, I am happy to report that 30 blocks were achieved.
Thank you to all the ladies this week that responded to my appeal and who managed to produce blocks at such short notice despite a local shortage of white cotton!!
Thank you, Janet, Wendy, Pat, Caryl, Freda, Amanda, Clare, Eleanor, Audrey, Maggie and Marjorie (who made an astounding 10 blocks!!).
                                  I should have the top finished tomorrow to show you.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Bee Happy

As many of you know, I am taking part in my first Bee soon, Brit Bee Stingy. A couple of weeks ago the bees all swapped pincushions with each other.
I made one of my Mega Pinnies for Nicky, and had one or two comments asking for a tutorial.
Well, I had this project on the back burner for a class in the future, but then I thought, Bee Nice. As we are all approaching that mad season, I really, really, don't have time to make another and do all the pics for a tute, BUT, I have written up a pattern and popped it into Google Drive so if you click here, you should be able to download a copy of the instructions.If you like it, maybe you could spread the love?

Our Stingy Bees are currently making little fabric baskets for each other in a Secret Santa Swap.
We are all following the same pattern by the brilliant Ayumi at Pink Penguin. I went for a sort of modern Christmas look that might be ok the rest of the year too.We are to fill our mini hampers with goodies, but nothing too extravagant, us being stingy bees an' all.

These are really sweet wee baskets, the patchwork is made from 2" squares so real scope for using the smallest of scraps, the finished baskets can be filled with all sorts of goodies for different themed gifts.
I have also made my scrappy item for my partner in the Scrappy Swap 2 - I decided to make a book or journal cover. I made it to fit an A5 sketchbook I have and it's a great fit but bought an A5 notebook yesterday and it is a mighty tight fit - grrrr.

Lastly, some of you lovely readers might recall the Mystery Quilt........this was a super quilt project that I ran in class back in 2008 as a proper Mystery. Then, last year, I also ran it, through this blog, as a Mystery project. Since then I have had a few enquiries about the pattern and have sent a few  copies out to those who have asked so nicely.
But, marketing the pattern has also been on the old back burner and finally, yesterday, I popped the whole pattern onto my Etsy shop. If you haven't come across Mystery Stars before, it is an eclectic mix of different sized star blocks, some rotary cut and others foundation pieced. If you go HERE you will find the flickr group of all the lovely quilts made by my brave blogging friends. And if you go HERE you will see the beautiful versions made by the pattern pioneers in my classes.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Hurricane Sandy - Help

Hadley alerted me to this appeal a couple of days ago.

We all see the images on TV of one disaster or another and if you are like me, here in the UK, you quietly give thanks for living in a country not threatened by such extreme weather - I know there are areas of the UK that have suffered terribly in recent years with flooding, but somehow, the scale and destruction that Sandy left in its wake is almost unimaginable.

We, as quilters, are in a unique position to help out, just a tiny bit, by making a block, a couple of blocks or in some instances, whole quilts, that help to bring a crumb of comfort to the poor souls affected by disasters.
I imagine it might not be just the actual quilt that brings such comfort, perhaps it is the knowledge that total strangers care.

If you would like to lend a hand please read this post over at Knotted Thread and then go to the flickr group where you can find out the instructions for making a block like this -

These three blocks took me no time at all, and so much more pleasurable than Hoovering.

If you are in one of my classes, and you would like to make a block, if you can get it to me in class this week, or by Friday, I will undertake to post them off to the US.
In fact, if you have a class this week and would like to make a block in class then all you need to bring along is an 8.5" square of plain white cotton, and an 8.5" square of another colour, or print.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

October, in pictures

That was another quick month, but I always like this chance to take stock and see if I have achieved as much as I might have wanted.
October was the deadline for swaps, Totes made and received in Mouthy Stitches 2, and Pincushions, made and received by the Bee Brit Stingy Quilters.
I managed to make a sample for a new upcoming workshop and progressed with a couple of other ongoing projects.
Next month I hope to do more of my ModPop quilt.
                              Hopefully, still in time, I am linking with Lynne's Fresh Sewing Day.


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