Friday, 15 June 2012

Two finishes!

After the gorgeous weather at the end of last month, it turned cooler and much, much wetter... very windy too.  Definitely not gardening weather.... so what better excuse to settle down in my sewing room and sew, sew, sew!

I have finished my Worn and Washed quilt!  It took hours and hours and hours to do all the hand quilting, but I am so pleased with it and am determine to do more hand quilting in the future. All that rhythmic stitching really is very addictive :)

And here's a closer look at the quilting... it is SO soft and snuggly.

My second finish is a new bag. I fell in love with this pattern as soon as I saw it (Twitter and Stitch by Daisy Chain Designs)..  those appliqué birdies are so cute! The bag is made from linen and it has a brown/cream spotty lining. I used a piece of plastic canvas in the base to give the bag a good shape. It's a great size, I'm thinking it would be perfect to take to quilt shows, I could get a lot of goodies in it :) On the outside there are two handy side pockets...

and here's the back of the bag...

the inside has a zippered pocket and also a pocket for my mobile phone. I used magnetic fasteners instead of the tape recommended in the pattern.

I'm really, really pleased with how this bag turned out... I can't wait for the next quilt show now!

Have a great weekend,
Chris :)

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

a rainbow in my garden....

We've had days and days of unbroken sunshine and HOT weather... at last!! The only downside is that I couldn't put it off any longer... I just had walk to away from my sewing and get out into the garden and get those weeds pulled. After all the heavy rain we'd had in April and early May, it was like a jungle out there.  I've been doing a few hours each day, in the early morning before it gets too hot. Now I can see just what is blooming.. I found a rainbow in my garden!!

red poppies

more poppies... orange ones

yellow nemesia

green - acer and ferns by the pool

blue  forget-me-not

indigo - Cerinthe

purple - Jacob's Ladder

No sewing to show you this time... though in the evenings I have been busy working on  the Worn and Washed quilt. I'm about 3/4 done, this hand quilting does take time but the effect is worth it!

Hope you are all having a great week
Chris :)

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

worn and washed quilt

It all started with this....

I was at Quilts UK at Malvern last week and had stood and gazed in awe at the fabulous quilts on display. Absolutely stunning they were, so much work had gone into them all. They were all worthy of first prize ribbons. But... they were so perfect that I just couldn't visualise them on a bed in my own home. They were just too lovely to be used... know what I mean?

While I was wandering around the vendors stands I was thinking about the very early patchwork quilts... the ones made from flour sacks, scraps from worn out dresses and aprons. I know they were made out of necessity but was there any less love stitched into them because the fabrics were worn? All the stands at the show were heaped with the most glorious rainbows of fabrics... many of them with the latest ranges. Gorgeous... really gorgeous...

Then I spotted a stand selling what looked like huge 5" wide  jelly rolls. Turns out the rolls are made up of old fabrics... I had discovered worn and washed fabrics! The finished quilts on display were just soooo soft and snuggly and they were all hand quilted with running stitch. The owner, Kim, was so friendly and helpful too... and I came home with one of the flannelette rolls and the backing, enough to make a 60" x 50" quilt. I couldn't wait to start my's my progress so far...

If you had told me last week that I'd be hand quilting a quilt I'd have howled with laughter. But hey, I'm hand quilting this one! Just simple rows of small running stitches, alternating the direction. I'm using a piece of twill tape as a row spacer, and to help keep the rows straight.

It is an absolute delight to work on... the fabrics are as soft as a baby's skin. I just can't help smiling while I'm stitching....

Hope you are enjoying your stitching too...
Chris :)

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Mug Rug swap packages have arrived!

This morning I received a package from my swap partner for the Mug Rug swap, organised by Ally at Quilting Mumma. My partner for this swap was Vicky at The Accidental Crafter, all the way across the ocean in Australia. How exciting is that!!!

Oh my word... Vicki really spoiled me, just look at this pretty packaging...

Inside was the most beautiful zippered pouch.. and it was stuffed with other goodies too! Oh, I tell you... I was overcome... still am. Look....

Everything is so beautifully stitched with such thought and care. I love my rug mug so much!  I wish you could feel that zippered pouch, the texture of the linen, the softness of the lining... and I wish you could smell the lavender inside the cute 'tea bag'. It is all so, so lovely. Vicky, you are an awesome swap partner and you have put a HUGE smile on my face on this rainy, grey  Saturday morning... thank you xx

And this is what I sent to Vicky... minus the fabrics which I had left on the ironing board.. oops! I did remember to pop them in her package though :)

Vicky received her package yesterday, she has put some gorgeous photos on her blog, do check out her work while you are there, it is gorgeous.

Time to put the kettle on and get a fresh mug of coffee on my lovely new mug rug!

Have a great weekend,
Chris :)

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Jelly Roll Flower Garden Quilt

I bought the kit for this quilt at the NEC in March. I knew it was going to be a challenge... there are 14 different blocks in the central panel, most of them using techniques I haven't yet tried. The stitched example at the show was stunning...  I just stood stock still and gazed in awe... my mouth open in a big round 0.. and fell in love! :)  It didn't seem to matter that I didn't know all the techniques.. I just had to have it! After all, I've got the Internet.. Google and YouTube are my best friends... I can learn...

And learning I am... slowly but surely I have made the first 5 blocks. These will be trimmed down to 6.5" before pricing together around the central appliqué block.

Top row:
Honey Bee - piecing and applique (hand embroidery to do yet)
Log Cabin - foundation paper piecing (this was such fun, I loved it!)
Fancy 9 Patch - strip piecing

Bottom row:
Sister Block to Fancy 9 Patch - even tinier strip piecing (those weeny patches are just 1/2" square!)
Jelly Roll Curves - making templates and curved piecing (hmmm...)

So far so good.. though the curved piecing really stumped me at first. I just couldn't get an outward curve to fit into an inward curve. You'd think it would be easy on such a small block... but oh no. It's a good job I had cut two extra pieces from scraps to practice on - after several attempts they had holes in them from all the stitch.. unpick.. stitch... unpick!! Nightmare. Then I found this great tutorial on YouTube. I still didn't find curved piecing easy... but I did eventually complete the block :)

Next is  a Flower Pot block - diamond templates and piecing with inset 'y'seams

Hmm... well I did say I wanted a challenge!
I may be some time ...

Chris :)
If it's Mother's Day where you are, I hope you're having a wonderful day x

Edited to add fabric details - I'm using a Rouenneries Deux jelly roll with oyster yardage from the same range.... gorgeous :) The pattern is Jelly Roll Flower Quilt (Hawthorns Quilting) - I bought it from Daisy Chain Designs. It is available either as a pattern only, or as a kit. No affiliation, just a very happy customer :)

Thursday, 10 May 2012

a plate of blueberries....

Well not exactly... but sort of!

It all started when I found this fabulous Dresden Plate tutorial on YouTube. I really fancied trying this out, so I bought one of these...

Over the weekend, I hauled out the remnants of the never-ending Blueberry Crumb Cake jelly roll... and made this!!

A plate of blueberries :)

It was really easy to make and it was great to learn something new.... though I keep looking at that centre circle and thinking it's a bit big?? Out of proportion?  Is it 'cos it's a dark colour? Or is it just me???  I followed the directions exactly... next time I might just tweak that circle :)

It looks very nice on my sofa though...
and I still have quite a bit of that jelly roll left!!!

Happy stitching,
Chris :)

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Quilter's Day Swap arrived!

It's here... all the way from Canada... a package for me!!!!  I was beside myself with excitement when it arrived... even more so when I opened it! This swap was organised by Heidi and my swap partner is Ginette from The Quilting Princess,  it turns out that this was her first swap too, how exciting!

Pretty purple packages.... and a card

and inside....

How gorgeous is this mug rug!!! Just look at those sweet little hexies.. I haven't tried making hexies yet and I'm so thrilled that I have some in my sewing room now :) Ginette's stitching is just so lovely too! Inside the card is a sweet little note.. and on the back is a pattern for a Bear Paw block... something else I haven't tried yet. Ginette even sent me these gorgeous fabrics for the block, so thoughtful of her :) But hey.. there is more excitement yet! When I turned the mug rug over... look at this!

Canadian flags!!!!! 

What a wonderful swap partner you are Ginette.. thank you SO much. You made my day x

Chris :)