Sunday 30 October 2011

Ta Da

The finale of the Mystery QAL is now available HERE.
And this is the completed image -
 If you haven't followed the QAL, and like the look of it, the instructions and patterns are all still available via the link above.
I'd like to say a big thank you to all of you who took the leap of faith and jumped into this Mystery - I look forward to seeing the final quilts in our flickr group.

Saturday 29 October 2011

The Thistle & the Rose

I have been reading several posts this week that are taking part in the Bloggers' Quilt Festival. I haven't made any major quilt this year but I have made a special gift which I thought I might share with you (again!!)
My friend's daughter, Lorna, got married in May, to Matt. I have known Lorna since she was a young girl, watched her grow up and turn into a wonderful young woman.She loves Scotland, its countryside, seaside, imagine our surprise when she decided that an Englishman was to become her husband!! The lovely Matt hails from Sheffield
So my wallhanging was designed to combine elements of them both.....soft hills in tweeds, appliqued thistles and rose (white rose of Yorkshire), then a row of tartan hearts - that'll be the lovey dovey bit........and in the foreground, a bit of beachy seasidescape that Lorna loves so much. She grew up by the sea and has returned to live close to it once more.
I was really touched that Lorna & Matt chose to hang the little quilt behind their table at their wedding venue. It was a very special time for us all.
Lorna has just started her own blog, because she is also a quilter now - maybe you could drop by and say hello - it's called Outsideinspiration

I am linking this post to the Quilt festival, if you click on the button it will take you over there where you can visit heaps and heaps of talented quilters and their lovely quilts.

Wednesday 26 October 2011

Time is Tight....... we approach Christmas, time seems to go faster doesn't it? I thought I'd share with you today, my go to, quick make when I need a wee hand - made something.The idea isn't originally mine, got it from years ago and have lost count of the number of these coasters that I have made.They are rdiculously quick to make but still I seem to have a lot of photos (really need to brush up my photography skills, my apologies in advance}

For 1 coaster you will need - six 5" squares, can all be different, 4 will show on top so you could go 2 + 2.....great for using odd charms. You also need one 5" square of flat wadding.(you will see one of my squares has a corner missing, doesn't matter)
 Choose the four squares you want to see on top of your coaster and press them in half, wrong sides together.(the missing corner has now disappeared inside a fold)
 Now assemble the remainng two squares & the wadding square - fabric wrong side up, wadding on top, then fabric wrong side down. The fabric you see now, on top, will end up on the bottom of your coaster.
 Now it's just an assembly job. Place 1st folded square down the right side of your "sandwich" with folded edge to inside, and raw edges out.
 Now place 2nd folded square across the top, fold to centre, raw edges even.
 Lift up the first strip you laid down and fit the 3rd strip under, fold to centre, raw edges even.
 So far, so good?
 Now, gently lift strip 3, and tuck the 4th strip under. All folds will meet in the centre and all raw edges should be even.
 And it should look like this.Pin thro all layers where the folded edges are and with pins pointing to edge so you can stitch over them.(sorry, forgot to take pic)
 Ready to sew now.If you have placed all your folded pieces in the sequence given, you will not have to fight seams. I like to start halfway along one side, use your walking foot and use its width as your seam allowance. These babies have a lot of layers that shift about a bit so don't even think of going for a 1/4" seam.
 Stitch all the way around until you are back at the start. Turn over to check that everything has been caught in your seam ok. Then clip corners.
 Looking good so far.........
Now wiggle your finger in thro the centre, and turn right side out - this is the magic reveal!!
 Using your weapon of choice, mine is a chopstitck, poke out your corners neatly.
 Ta da!! Press.
 These wee coasters make great with a mug full of sweeties all wrapped in cellophane, great for teachers. A pile of 4 or 6 tied with ribbon or raffia, a delightful hostess gift or for a work colleague perhaps?
These two are going in with my cushion to my partner in the Pillow Fight.
I hope you have a go and make some and if you do I 'd love to see you post a pic on my flickr group, bluepatch quilters.

Monday 24 October 2011

Happy Days

Not a bad day considering it was dull & wet........I got pressies -
one from a blogpal, and one from a real-life pal - thanks girls, love it all!!

After the excitement of doing my food shopping.......I got stuck into quilting my cushion for the Pillow Swap -

I also got the binding on tonight but the light is useless for a photo so will keep the finish for another day.
Last night saw another couple of hexies ticked off my total -
 and lastly, something from last week, month, decade.........I might have mentioned before that I collect and gather all the cotton cuttings that we normally throw in the bin. Running classes and working in a fabric shop means I have a bag or two every month - they go to a contact who has a contact (still with me?) who gives it all to a rag man for money! The money is given to the Mary's Meals charity, and I believe the rags go on to be transformed into toilet paper for the third world. So far, so good. Back before the summer one of the ladies in my classes, who has been with me from year 1, gave me a bag of such scraps........but they weren't tiny offcuts, they were REAL scraps, chunks way was I passing this lot on. I had a workshop planned for the end of September - Improv Day - where I planned to introduce those who came along, to the delights of Improvisational Piecing - in Margaret's bag there were scraps and orphan blocks, lots of goodies, she had just grown fed up looking at it all.
So the workshop came and went, a good day was had by all, and I played with Margaret's scraps.
The centre block was all but made, a failed Friendship Star that I converted to a Contrary Wife block, turned it on point and even found the setting triangles in the bag! The dodgy, wonky star is mine, not my finest hour.
It's not a beautiful piece of work, but no new fabric was harmed in its making. Even the back was a bit of recycled furnishing fabric.
I admit I was in two minds about handing it over to Margaret last week as I knew she had moved on a while ago from the fabrics used - I even recognise one print that she used in her first quilt back in 2004!!
Well, she seemed tickled by it - I suggested it could maybe be used as a mat under her sewing machine.
Sometimes it's fun to make something out of nothing, isn't it?

Saturday 22 October 2011

The Man from Rio

I am sure many of you know of Rio Designs - it's a great online source of software and sundries for the computerate quilter. You might also have come across Lawrence at some of the quilt shows around the UK.
I have ordered several things over the years and the speed of delivery is brilliant.
Anyway, I have just received an email flyer from him about something called Stash, I haven't come across it before -  it's a CD that contains professional scans of all the new fabrics released over the last 6 months and some of the new ones due to be previewed at the trade show in Houston the end of October. They can be used in  EQ5, 6 or 7, or as a stand alone product.
I have tried recently to scan in my own swatches from online shops etc but it doesn't always work out at the right scale.
This product sounds pretty useful and Lawrence also sent a pdf doc listing all the ranges that come on the CD. If anyone would like a copy just email me.
I have no tie-in with this product or website, but can see its possibilities and thought some of you EQ users might be interested.

Friday 21 October 2011


Look what was in the post when I got home today!
I won these in my lovely blogpal Judith's giveaway, and they were kindly provided by Gone to Earth - thanks again Julia. I think I am going to be spending quite a bit of time on the Moda Bake Shop looking for ideas......

Wednesday 19 October 2011

Crisp & Sunny

So, the sun is shining again today after two days of torrential rain and wind.
Monday was especially miserable - I spent the day in Glasgow with my old school pal from Edinburgh, we meet up every couple of months and despite the non-stop rain, we managed to visit our usual haunts and blether incessantly.
Today, I have been catching up on some blocks for Judith's Bee, hope to have these finished by the end of the week.
I have also added another four hexies to my wall - now have 70 done, the pace has slowed but I am determined to keep going, think I want to get to about 100 to make it a decent sized quilt. I have been a bit concerned that the muted look is really translating to dull and instead of throwing in whole white hexies, I tried mixing the white in with other fabrics.
I have also been deliberating over my cushion for the Brit Swap 2. Then when I was browsing some blogs the other night I came across a tutorial on Leila's and, mindful of my partner's likes, I thought this might just fit the bill........

I have pieced my cotton with a linen mix background which is, in real life, a pale, pale green. I really hope she likes the direction I am heading in......................

Sunday 16 October 2011

Penultimate Clue

Well done all of you who have stuck with me and my Mystery QAL - today I am posting my last block HERE.
 This last block to be pieced, is Peaky Star and is constructed by a combination of foundation and rotary cutting.It's a 12" block.
As there is only one more Mystery post to go I thought I'd share a few of the blocks made so far by some clever sleuths.
Thanks to everyone who has taken part - sorry I can't get the credits to show on my mosaic but if anyone wants to look further please visit the flickr group where you will find the above images, and so many more.

Saturday 15 October 2011

12 Gifts of Christmas

12 Gifts of Christmas Blog Hop

Just found a Christmas bloghop via Ayumi's blog today - each day until 25th of October, different bloggers will be posting a tutorial for handmade CHristmas gifts.
Sounds like a great idea - why don't you join in and maybe pick up some great ideas.
Ayumi has posted a tutorial on simple fabric baskets which I reckon could be really useful, and adaptable.

Wednesday 12 October 2011

as one swap closes........

...another opens.
I managed a great piece of timing this week. On Monday night I put the finishing touches to my Scrappy Swap Goodie. I had made a log cabin block in colours that my partner indicated that she likes........I then bound the block and turned it into this rather frivolous, hanging bag to put stuff in piece of nonsense, but it was made entirely from scraps and stash.

The idea came from a more artistic version in an old Quilting Arts magazine, designed by Linda & Laura Kemshall who are both incredibly talented ladies. I did my C & G course with their Design Matters company online, way back in 2003 - their website link is on my left sidebar if you would like to take a look. They do a subscription TV show too now.
Anyway, mine was a bit less arty, but I did have fun embellishing with bits and bobs from my drawers (no knicker elastic tho).- I am hoping you can't make out the words on the label as I think it might give the game away to my partner.
So, all ready pretty much, to ship out towards the end of this month.
And then last night, got in from work to find our partners in the Brit Swap Pillow Fight have been allocated.
I have done a bit of stalking and feel a bit in awe of my partner but my brain is beginning to shift gears and an idea or two is forming...............
Meanwhie, amidst all this swapping I have returned to hexie heaven and produced a new small batch.
Isn't this a fun print?
As if the online swaps were not enough for me, I have persuaded many of my ladies in class to take part in a real life Secret Santa Swap.......those who are joining in are being allocated a secret partner and will make a small Christmas goodie for them. A bit of fun for the end of term...............

And lastly, Lynne from Lily's Quilts has come up with another idea, this tie to encourage us to share our ideas for Christmas gifts with friends and family........if you join in this ruse, you could win some rather nice goodies, this week she is giving away some yummy Aurufil threads.
Christmas Gifts for Quilters

Go on - press the button.

Monday 10 October 2011

The Mystery of the Mariner's Compass

Ahoy Mystery Quilters!

My huge apologies to those of you who have struggled with the MC block - and thanks to Terri and Siobhan for bringing the discrepancy in the block, to my attention.
I have now had a bit of time to re-visit my diagrams and can see the mis-matched seams - my only excuse for this is poorish eyesight and bad counting - I miscounted a point along the chart when drafting on EQ and in my final quilt layout the discrepancy didn't jump out at me. I have actually had to re-draft all of the blocks for this QAL as my originals from class were all lost a few yrs back in a computer muddle.......hence my surprise Terri, and comment about my students not having had the same problem!
Today I upped the scale and felt sick when I saw the mistake - I am so sorry to those of you who are thinking they have gone wrong.
I have to say the blocks that have been completed so far don't look any the worse for the blunder but of course, we all strive for perfection in a block like this.
  The pic below is of  the completed block with matching seams and before the day is out will get fresh patterns uploaded to ScribD.
Almost at the last fence too! Trust me to fall............. 
Updated link now HERE.

The Prodigal

Was working Saturday, and then yesterday, favourite son graced us with a visit. He was staying overnight so my sewing room (spare room) was slightly compromised and my sewing style rather cramped.
However, I did make a start on my Scrappy Goodie.....this is for the low key swap I have taken part in. We have to swap a fat 1/4s worth of scraps and a goodie made from scraps. I have stalked my partner and played about with my scraps (I have rubbish scraps)and did a bit of stitch and flip..........I will reveal my further plans for this block later in the week, I hope.
So, more of that later.
Got up rather early this morning to take The Prodigal to local airport - he's flying off to Spain for a week to watch Scotland v Spain footie match..........and soak up some sun.
My plans for today include a little light wallpapering...........

Friday 7 October 2011

Modern Missus

So - not long in from work to find a lovely package on the mat -
 Oh, we love these don't we?
It was my recent win from Little Island Quilting, courtesy of Cotton Blossom Farm in Mississippi! What a small world this is.
and inside?
21.......yes, 21 fat quarters od Veranda by Amanda Murphy for Robert Kaufman.- I am just so thrilled to have won such a great prize and this really boosts my growing love for the modern fabrics we are becoming surrounded by.Now I just have to think of a nice, new project. Thanks again to Alison for hosting the giveaway - (I think Alison is my lucky charm as she was also my very first swap partner in the 1st Brit Quilt Swap)..and of course, thanks to Cathy from Cotton Blossom Farm for her generosity.

Earlier this week I got going on my first baby quilt for the coming grandbaby - I am going to make a couple to cover pink and blue baby options and let my daughter choose.
So my first cutting was done on this.........
This is part of my stash of 1001 Peeps by Lizzy House and this is the dusk palette, I love it but think it might be the girly option. This range reminds me of Aladdin which was my daughter's favourite Disney film when she was a wee girl. I have designed my quilt on EQ6 and will keep you posted on its progress.

And. still on baby stuff, daughter asked me this week if I would make a "taggie" for her friend's baby, Lily.
Didn't take long to do, made from scraps of fleece and ribbons...............
Lastly, I got another couple og hexies made last night - my hexie mojo was a bit dented last month - my classes had all started back and time was a bit limited for me.Am now settling back into a routine and happy to hex again....
Have a great weekend everyone.

Tuesday 4 October 2011

My name is..........

bluepatchquilter - why? Dawn from As Sweet as Cinnamon is asking just that question. She is offering a giveaway prize if you blog about your name and link up to her blog.
So - my incredibly original and wacky name, not, came about from my ebay sign in.........when you get to my age (lol) you don't need too many identities and I remember way back (yes, I do) when I used to ebay a lot, they gave ideas of how you could choose a sign in name which would be unique to yourself. Choose your favourite colour they said, and your hobby or pastime...........and bluepatch was conceived. When I started my blog I laboured for hours before coming up with the ingenious addition of quilter.


Monday 3 October 2011

Playing with colour........

When Lynne posted about a Dead Simple Quiltalong, I knew I didn't want to do a big quilt but anything to help with colour has to be a good thing, yes?
Lynne gave us ideas of where we could find colour palettes to inspire our fabric choices. I pinned a few but chose this one to start looking thro my scraps..........
My "quilt" is only going to measure about 18" x 20" so might end up as a floor cushion or similar - I don't think Lynne will mind that I am not following the rules properly, she is a bit of a rulebreaker herself.
Out of interest, these wee squares were my first cut using my Accuquilt Go - more of that when I have had more practice.
I think I might do some machine embroidery on it.......but then maybe I won't.
I love the way the colours all look good together because they were inspired by a pleasing pic.


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