Monday 30 April 2012

No Stopping Me

And on to Week 5 of the Zakka sew a long. This week it's a pencil case - I decided I didn't really want a pencil case so decided it would be the right size for a pair of spectacles.

 This is another small and quick to make project - although I have made many a pouch and bag I scratched my head a few times over the final assembly of this little case - it was pretty clever though. I also tried my hand at stamping for the first time - it's a bit messy but I hope to improve with practice. Kerry is masterminding this week's project and has some brilliant tips and links on her blog.

Another month gone!! Be back tomorrow for Fresh Sewing Day.

Saturday 28 April 2012

On a Roll

During all the madness that was last weekend, I managed to keep up with my Zakka Style sew a long project.
In fact I did a Hadley and made twins.
 The plainer fabric is a shot cotton in a dull red with a shot of green, and not a horrid brown colour as it seems to look in the photos.
 I added a bit of quilting, for fun, with a variegated cotton thread.
Hope you are all enjoying a bit of sunshine this weekend, like we are, in sunny Ayr. (yes Katy, again!!)

Wednesday 25 April 2012

Enjoy the Show

I can't believe it's Wednesday already - I have spent more hours than is healthy, with my laptop, editing and sorting photos from Sunday's Open Day.
It was a great day - despite dreaming that someone had built a brick wall across the hall, all went well, there was no wall, and with the help of my wonderful band of quilt fairies (and elves), we were ready ahead of time to open the doors.
I could not have pulled off this event without  help, and, without the quilts, of course!! So a huge thank you to all concerned, you know who you are.
This year saw a change of venue - in 2004, the first "Open Evening" was held in my house.......8yrs on and we have taken a hall and we made a day of it.
We started a bring and buy stall a couple of years back, selling anything related to crafts, and this year we added in teas and cake - a sure winner. My Tea Team were kept busy all day and took in about £140.
The Bring and Buy ladies brought the total up to a staggering £460, and that superb sum has been transferred to the Vanessa Riddle Appeal - we wish her well.
My "Photography Team" provided me with 100s of photos and I have whittled down the selection for this post.
I reduced their size, selected my favourites and put them into order. However, I had huge problems keeping the order in flickr. I had numbered the photos  but in flickr could only re-order alphabetically. I ended up, uploading 123 photos, one at a time - phew!
EDIT - Cracked it! They should all be the right way up now!!
So make a cuppa and enjoy the slideshow - I am sorry but you might have to twist your head a few times - flickr also changed the orientation of some of the shots and I just couldn't find how to change them.
You can view full screen - once you press the "play" arrow, you will see a little icon in the bottom right corner with 4 tiny arrows pointing in 4 directions - hit it!!

Saturday 21 April 2012

Photo Finish

Phew, there is nothing like a deadline.
A couple of hours ago the last quilt was dropped off for tomorrow's Open Day. It will be exhibit number 66.
Just minutes before the doorbell rang, I put the final stitches into the binding of my hexie quilt.
I started this project, in Julyl last year when Lynne and Gail launched their Hex a Long. I had quite consciously avoided hexagons and piecing over papers, for about 13yrs, never liked Grandmother's Flower Garden.
But this HAL was different and I was enchanted by the variety of shapes that were emerging from the humble hexagon. Oh, if my maths teacher could see me now.
My hexie project became a bit of an obsession - even yesterday, on the way to work, I stopped and took a picture of a pavement.

I played along and didn;t really have a plan to make a quilt but it just sort of happened. I started with a selection of soft greys and teals, then popped in some pinks, leftovers from other projects, a wee bit of purple 1001 Peeps, more purples, any old was - fun!!
I have had great support and advice from others in the flickr group and am now declaring a finish.

 Can I spot a licorice allsort in there?

I don't do a lot of hand sewing so this was new for me - all hand pieced. However, I chose to machine quilt it - I used a 30wt variegated Sulky thread in 100% cotton.

I don't really trust my hand stitching to stand the test of time so I pretty much quilted all the seams using this fancy stitch (above wip) this stitch is on most machines as a utility stitch and is called, I think, a faggoting stitch. I also use it to join offcuts of my 80/20 or cotton wadding/batting. It works beautifully. I don't always recommend using fancy stitches to quilt as their default stitch length and width often produces a tightening effect on the quilt. On my trusty machine I am able to change the stitch width and length on most stitches so I can create the look I am after.
In the case of this quilt, which has a traditional look, the fancy stitch harks back to the days of crazy quilting.
I treated the borders differently but have forgotten to take close ups so will come back to that in a day or two.Rumour also has it that I might add a wee bit of hand quilting here and there too.......
Meanwhile I am going to put my feet up and relax before tomorrow - it promises to be a busy day. Hoping to share some photos with you very soon.
Hope you are all having a great weekend.x

Monday 16 April 2012

Slasher and Sasher

I am in danger of slipping into headless chicken mode this week. I spent this morning collecting quilts for Sunday, and also picked up a couple of old wooden easels from a friend, whose husband had the brilliant idea that they might be useful for displaying quilts - they will!!
But, I also have some sewing under my belt -

 This is my Zakka Style Sew Along project for week 3 - a simple pincushion that I enjoyed picking just the right fabric for to go with the red linen. I rather like it.

I also made a start on my FAL project for this quarter. I already posted pics of all my orphan blocks "before" and I won't bore you with all the "after" pics, but it was fun slicing and dicing. But as an example, this next pic started life as 6 x 6" blocks.

and after a collision with my rotary cutter, became this -

I made quite a mess -

Cut up some sashing - 1" wide.

and made the first "new" block. What do you think?
I combined the techniques from Elizabeth Hartmann's mosaic pillow with the ideas from Rayna Gillman's Freeform Quilts

Slasher & Sasher, a couple of new reindeer to join Rudolph?

Saturday 14 April 2012

Pros and Cons

If there could ever possibly be a downside to putting on our Open Day, it has to be the state my house is in...........
On Friday you saw the pile of Linus quilts that has filled my conservatory.........
This chair is in my sewing room - I can just about pick my way past it to my sewing machine. This afternoon I sorted through those bags and made up some scrap bags, ironed fabric, sorted cottons from non cottons, piled up magazines, books, wool and patterns..........all donated.
This is under my stairs........all the quilts folded and ready for next Sunday, well, almost ready. I have photographed each one and before the Big Day will affix a number to each one. Every visitor to the Open Day will then get to vote for their favourite and a prize goes to the winner.
Then there are the quilt stands in the garage.........the upside of all this mess means there really isn't much point worrying about housework! (I rarely do worry about housework)
Earlier this morning, we took a trip to Costco for some supplies -  sadly, we love a trip there, it is far enough away to be fairly infrequent so a bit of a treat,  if trailing around a large cash & carry could ever be described as a treat!!
I had a super little package in the post this week -

These little beauties are 1300m reels of Aurifil 50wt thread, perfect for piecing. Even with shipping at almost the same price as the thread they still were amazing value and given that we have no local Aurifil stockist, I was happy to try Tristan Threads. thanks to spotting a link on Jennifer's blog, the Enchanted Bobbin.. I have read many comments about slow post from Canada but have to say this package was with me within 6 days of ordering, from British Columbia too.
Now, in case you think I haven't been doing any sewing, I have indeed been doing this -

I have managed to quilt the body of my hexie quilt and one border. I thought I might have a chat with you all about how I go about doing my quilting. But I'll keep that for another day - I have a pincushion to stuff!!

Friday 13 April 2012

The Goodness of Others

There is a lot of good hearted energy coursing thro' blogland at the moment so I thought I'd share some local goodness with you.
Yesterday my postie delivered this -
My classes finished a couple of weeks ago but I am busy getting ready for our Open Day on 22nd April.
Each year, just after Christmas, I challenge my ladies to make a Linus quilt for our local neo natal unit. At the Open Day, our local rep goes off with a pile of these wee quilts, they usually measure about 28" square.
The above quilt came in the post because its maker, Jackie, won't be able to make it on the day, but still took the trouble to get the quilt to has joined the others -
Some of my ladies choose to knit, or have a neighbour with a mum who know how it goes.........

As well as making all of this, for the last two years we have held a "sewing/craft" themed bring and buy stall with all proceeds going to charity.
This year, our Open Day is expanding into a larger venue over a longer period and we will also be serving teas/coffees and home baking - imagine, an afternoon of Cakes & Quilts!! What could be better.
So, hopefully more dosh will be raised, and this year, we are supporting this local cause - The Vanessa Appeal..

Yes, for sure, quilters have generous hearts..........thank you ladies.

So, for those of you who know you are coming, this is a reminder. For anyone else out there who fancies a day out in sunny Ayr (yes, always sunny here), come along to Alloway Village Hall - opposite Burn's Cottage, Sunday 22 April from 11 - 3. You'll be made so welcome.x

Wednesday 11 April 2012

All About the House

Firstly, there's this wonky one for Judith's Bee Blessed. I made this in no time at all and had great fun doing it.
If you haven't tried one, go on, go on.......(sorry J.)

Last week I joined in the 
Zakka Style Sew A Long over here. The idea is that each week, a different blogger will host a project from this book...............

 ....................... over 24 weeks until we have made everything.
Each week we link our finished project and have a chance to win a prize. I didn't quite get off the starting post in week 1 but later on there will be a catch up week for stragglers.
However, this week I have completed the task in good time. More good fun was had making this house pouch - it seems to me that if I keep up I may  break the back of this year's Christmas list.

Early days tho..........

Sunday 8 April 2012

Finish A Long - 2nd Quarter

I enjoyed finishing stuff last quarter thro Rhonda's Finish A Long, so I went to my UFO drawer (yes, labelled and everything!!) to see what I could tackle this quarter.
I have a few small quilt tops and rather a lot of problem is samples. In class I will probably have a finished sample but choose to make another along with the classes.Sometimes (quite often) these further samples end up as forlorn, forgotten UFOs.
I reckon if I had possessed good foresight when I started teaching then I might have decided upon a colour palette and stuck with it for all sample blocks, in the hope that one day I might make something useful from them.....
.....anyway, I have dug out all these poor blocks in blues.....
 These awful blocks were samples of different applique methods to 4 different classes.
 A beginners' 9 patch and how to make multiple HSTs.........
 Oh, these pre-date my classes and were a stab at scrappy piecing...
 Foundation piecing demo.............
     Leftovers from the year we did "Log cabin with attitude"....................
 Some plaiting, and a couple of spare hsts.....
The beginnings (and end) of my "Victory Quilt"

So what am I planning?? Well, a couple of weeks ago my friend Janet lent me this book -

Janet has just shown me this cushion that she has been inspired to make after reading the book - isn't it just fab?

The book was so interesting - I was particularly taken with the chapter on breathing new life into old blocks.
So, I am going to take my rotary cutter to the above blocks and inject some of this........
and see what I end up with!! Wish me luck.

Thursday 5 April 2012

Come in Number Four!

I did use Mr Random to choose my winner but didn't have time to footer about getting it into this post.......I can assure you that the winner truly is -
Number 4! 
(and I have just noticed that the numbers have disappeared from my comments, wonder when that happened!!)

 Quilter in the Gap said...
Great tutorial! I left a question on Sarah's blog but never thought about it going to Sarah & not you D'OH!! I want to make one of these but I need a bigger one. Will it be ok to double these measurements? Congrats on 300 posts!!!
Well done Rhonda, will get the mat off to you as soon as you email me your address.

Sunday 1 April 2012

Oops, almost a fool!

Almost missed Fresh Sewing Day, can't have that now!
March was a truly significant month but not for my sewing.
It started with receiving my lovely pouch in the Mouthy Stitches swap.So yummy.
I finished my Caribbean Creatures quilt.
And I made my Dead Simple sample into a knitting bag.
I started playing with selvedges. (Defiinitely a WIP)
I took part in the Modern Mini challenge...

Then this little person came into our lives................

And Ava's quilts were labelled and handed over..........Peeps.....

                                                                                 and Pips..........

And then my crafting took a slight detour...............(baby Uggs)

and my most recent make has been these two Monster Bunnies for my two little nephews' Easter.

These were made courtesy of a pattern drafted by my young pal Alana, who blogs at frankenstitchery
I also managed to do a guest tute on Fairy Face Designs this last week and for those of you who maybe missed it, my own post on the subject was my 300th and I decided to give away the pot stand from the tute.
You still have time to enter if you fancy winning it. Just click here.

As always, linking to Lynne's Fresh Sewing Day - am off to have a read of some others' March pursuits.x


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