Tuesday, 27 March 2012

WIP - Flowers For The Bees

I've hardly had my nose out of this book since it plopped onto my doormat a couple of weeks ago. I'm a big fan of Lynette Anderson's designs anyway, but this book is just stunning, everything I hoped it would be... and then some. My only problem is that I want to make everything ... the designs are just 'so me'.

How to choose where to begin? The one design that had me oohing and aahing the most is called Flowers For The Bees, an appliqué wall quilt with a sweet beehive, daisies, vines and delphiniums (made from yo-yo's), a lovely cat and of course... buzzing bees. Perfect....I love to watch the bees in my garden, last year I put up a breeding box for solitary bees. The tubes were fully occupied within weeks and it has been in a sheltered spot in the garden all winter. Now the warm Spring weather is here I'm hoping the new bees will emerge soon and buzz round my garden!

Here's what I've done so far.. this central panel measures 17" x 21".  Most of the right side is complete, I am working on the yo-yo's for the delphiniums next and then I'll add the bees. Then it's borders and quilting time.. lastly I'll add the buttons in the daisy centres.

I really want to complete this before I start on any of my new goodies from the NEC... and a little while ago I signed up for Lynette's new button club and mystery BOM - Fernhill. 

The first block should be here soon and I just know I'll be itching to start that as soon as it arrives! It will be my first BOM and I am so excited about it :)

Right... back to the yo-yo's :)
Chris :)

Monday, 26 March 2012

Goodies from the NEC

On Saturday, my elder daughter and I toddled off to the NEC (National Exhibition Centre) in Birmingham. There were three different craft/sewing shows on at the same time in adjacent halls and our tickets gave us entry to all three. My daughter, just getting back into card making, wanted to visit the Hobbycrafts show and I wanted to visit the Sewing for Pleasure show... in the end we went to all three!

What a fantastic day we had, so many new ideas to inspire us,  such beautiful work to admire, so many gorgeous goodies to tempt us. And tempted I was... I came home with 2 books, 2 quilt kits, several patterns, some fabric, a mini iron and a lovely wooden carousel for my desk. I'd saved some money to take and my lovely hubby gave me some money too... plus I had some 'mad money' tucked away. Not much money came home with me... but look at what did....

I spent most of my money in the Sewing for Pleasure show at Daisy Chain Designs... how lovely their stall was, with lots of stitched samples and gorgeous quilts. I bought two quilt kits from there and some lovely sewing accessory patterns.

Isn't this quilt just gorgeous!!! There are a lot of techniques in this quilt that I haven't tried yet so it will be a real learning curve... and quite a slow process too I think! 

This is the fabric I bought, beautiful beiges, reds and aqua... very yummy indeed and absolutely irresistible :)

Now I have to save hard if I am to go back to the NEC in August for the Festival of Quilts... and as I live only half an hour away it would be rude not to go... wouldn't it????

Happy stitching,
Chris :)

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Quilter's Day Swap!!

I'm SO excited!!! I just signed up for my first ever swap, organised by Heidi.
I have copied the following info from Heidi's blog.


Yes - It's time for a SWAP!!

Thank you all for your input on what type of swap we should do. You had some great ideas.  

After much thinking.. and discussion with my cousin (aka Bobbi @ Crafty Vegas Mom) I decided to host a "Quilters Day Swap"!!

I'm not sure if there already is a "Quilters Day".. but there is now!!

What will we swap you ask?

Well, that's the best part.. Anything you want to make!!

That's right - you can send your "Secret" Swap Partner a pincushion or a mug rug.. or a potholder.. or apron... or a zipper pouch.. etc. You get the picture.. ANYTHING!!

How does that sound?


Well it sounds good to me Heidi!! If you would like to join in too, visit Heidi's blog for all the info...

Happy stitching,
Chris :)

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

cushion covers

A pair of new cushion covers for my sofa... using up some of the Blueberry Crumb Cake jellyroll I had left over from Tis The Season.

They were really quick to make, using 2.5" squares and straight line quilting (love my new walking foot!) I added some piping and an envelope closure on the back.

Happy stitching!

Friday, 16 March 2012

Tis The Season... finished!!

It's just over two weeks since I started this... and it's finished!!

I had thought it would take me quite a bit longer, but once I started working on the stitcheries I just couldn't put it down! I am so, SO pleased with how it turned out... the Blueberry Crumb Cake fabrics are perfect for my lounge. I started with a jelly roll and three pieces of yardage... and there is still a lot left.

Maybe I'll make a couple of new cushion covers with some of it.....

Happy stitching!

Thursday, 8 March 2012

walking the line....

When I was quilting my block keeper I had so much bother with it bunching, despite it being pinned to within an inch of it's life. I'd done straight line quilting before on my machine, turning down the presser foot pressure and using a longer stitch seemed to work ok. Mind you, I was using up some cheap polyester wadding for my block keeper so maybe it was that? The cotton/bamboo I normally use seems to grip the fabric much better.

Then I got to thinking... I've made good progress on my Tis The Season stitcheries and once the blocks are completed I'll be doing straight line quilting on that. Hmm... time to bite the bullet and get myself a walking foot. What a peculiar looking thing it is... like a mechanical crab complete with pincers!!!

I was itching to give it a try, so I grabbed some strips and pieced together a table mat and a little mat for a flower vase. I was glad I'd chosen the open-toe walking foot, it was much easier to see where I was stitching. As for bunching... none at all. It quilts like a dream :)

I'm much more confident about quilting my Tis The Season hanging now...

But first I need to finish the stitcheries and get those blocks pieced!

Happy stitching...

Sunday, 4 March 2012

I made a block keeper!

If you had asked me what this was was two days ago... I wouldn't have known. Nor would I have known that I needed one, really needed one!!

It all came about because I decided to start piecing together the first block from my Gardener's Journal quilt. Strewth... are those 1 1/2" squares fiddly!! Stitch, press, stitch, press... and fairly soon I had one block completed... yay! Yes, I know it's a bit wonky in places but I'm hoping the quilting will sort of hide that. Maybe I should do another and see how that one turns out? So I did another.. pressed them both and pinned them to my ironing board.

Yesterday I needed to move them to iron hubby's shirts. But where to put them? I really didn't want to fold them up and I knew if I rolled them in a towel and popped them on a shelf I'd end up dumping something on top of them and creasing them. What to do?  I wondered what other people do? I knew someone, somewhere would have an answer.  At times like this I turn to Google... it's amazing what you can find on the internet.  And sure enough, Google came up with a brilliant tutorial for a block keeper.. it's on Teresa'a blog here. Fabric, wadding, glue, postal tube... and a couple of hours later... 

It's just the perfect thing! 

I must get those shirts ironed though....

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Dydd Gwyl Dewi Hapus!

Happy St. David's Day!!

It's the 1st of March... St. David's Day, and I am sitting at my desk with my morning coffee. I have a jug of daffodils, a Welsh daffodil mascot (sent to me by my daughter in Wales) and I'm wearing my Welsh socks :))

There is so much I miss about living in Wales.. my family, the green-ness, the hills... even the sheep! I miss  all these and more every single day. As soon as my hubby retires we intend to move back to Wales... away from the city suburbs and it's rows and rows of houses. One day...

But for now I celebrate St. David's Day in my own little way.

If you want to know more about Wales and maybe understand why I miss it so much... visit Wales Cymru - the official gateway to Wales. There is a page dedicated to St. David's Day here

Now if only I had a nice slice of Bara Brith to go with my coffee.....