Monday, 16 January 2017

For the love of Ivy

Things have been busy here as our annual panto is looming.  (It's 'Aladdin' and will be very good, so make sure you have your tickets!)  I've been sewing sparkly stuff, taking in, letting out, lengthening and shortening, as well as driving all over to collect cow costumes and dame costumes etc.  Fun times!  
But of course I've still been doing some other sewing - it keeps me sane! 

This beauty is finished and once I've sewn the label on, will be winging its way to Ivy in Stoke on Trent.
Hope she likes it.  I'm very satisfied with it, especially since I only needed to buy half a metre of fabric for the border, and that has been just about used up!  
I know we all say it, but I am on a mission this year to buy less fabric and use what I have.  I've decided to put it in writing, so will be confessing every time I purchase, and will try hard to buy what I need, rather than what I want!  Having said that, I did buy some gorgeous fabric with bees on it at the weekend. 

My excuse is that I'm always on the look out for novelty neutrals, they're such fun.  Plus we had Jeannie from Quilteez as our trader on Saturday at Rocheberie Schoolhouse Quilters, and I wanted to support her, as a small trader.  I only bought a fat quarter, so that brings my total fabric purchases this year to 0.75 metres.  Not bad so far. 
I didn't have to look outside my stash for fabric for these two blocks. 

My challenge group are looking at historical fabrics this year and using some examples in Pat Sloan's BOM for 2016 Botanical Garden.  Since we're away in February, I thought I'd get my two blocks done so I'm ahead of the game.  In the left hand block I've used stripes and toile from the early 19th century, and in the right hand block stripes and seaweed designs from the same era.  Check out Pat Sloan's blog as she has several BOMs still available plus a new one for this year, Children's Library.  All free, so what's not to like? 


Sunday, 8 January 2017

Ooh la la!

I found out (rather late) that Bonnie Hunter's latest mystery quilt had been revealed!  If you look on you can see it for yourself.  She showed the last step and the finished quilt on New Year's Day, when I wasn't expecting it!  The quilt is gorgeous, and I love the way the design 'floats' on a border of neutrals.  Lovely.  

So here is block number one and sashing section one.  The sashing sections come together to make magenta stars, which float across the quilt and all round it.  This will be another stunning quilt. 

I've also been continuing with finishes.  Here is my challenge group quilt completed.  A bit of a departure for me, but I like it.  I quilted in the ditch round all the coloured rectangles, then just meandered all over the white.  The green stripe is perfect for the binding. 
Back to 'En Provence'! 

Tuesday, 3 January 2017


After all the UFO work I have done recently, I decided to have a bit of fun.  Last year I had bought Sujata Shah's lovely book, 'Cultural Fusion' so that was naturally the first place to look. So much gorgeous colour in that book, I was spoiled for choice. Finally decided on Rocky Road to Kansas. 

So far so good.  The first few blocks were done using light and dark fabrics.  I don't like them as much as the ones with the two strong colours together, but since I aim to make more blocks (16? 25?) I can dot them about.  

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Happy New Year!

 We had a Christmas filled with family, friends and fun, then a New Year's Eve filled with steak, red wine and relaxation, and I hope others had similar good times!  I love this time of year, but then, I'm also glad it's nearly over, so now I can get back to some normality!  There has been a little sewing over the last week, I'd go crazy without my 'therapy', but now I'm ready to start getting back in gear.  
Liz brought a UFO challenge to my attention.  It's on and you'd think I wouldn't have any UFOs left after my heroic finishes last year, but it turns out that I have!  
So, the challenge is to list 12 UFOs, and then at the beginning of each month, check back to the site, where that month's number will be revealed.  I made the list, and the project to finish first is number 6!

I have all the blocks done, I just couldn't be bothered to put them all up on the design wall!  That will be an easy finish, especially since I went over to Manchester and couldn't resist another visit to Abakhan, where I bought 1.64kg of gorgeous fabrics especially for backing.  I even participated in their button bag discount promotion, where picking a button out of a little bag, could entitle you to free shopping!  I got 10% off, which is not to be sneezed at! 

Once the shops return to normal, I'll be looking for border fabric for Ivy's quilt.  I decided to sash it in the end, and although I would have ideally used the pink fabric for all the sashing, there wasn't enough - the story of my life!  So I used the red round the outside.  It looks good, and I can't wait to finish it.  
Happy New Year! 

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Whoops times two!

One the few evenings we have been relaxed in front of the to I have been doing some appliqué to keep me sane at this time of year.  A new baby, called Ivy Winter, has arrived in the family, so I searched in my stash for quilt inspiration.  I found a Baltimore panel of eight squares which was dated 2003, and seemed just right if I could make another block to make up into a 9 - patch. 

I used ivy as my theme, and was quite pleased with it until I assembled the blocks on my design wall, to find that the new block stuck out like a sore thumb as it was white!  Whoops! 
Never mind, I decided to tea dye it, to tone it down a bit. 

Oh no!  Too much tea and the block still stands out like a sore thumb because it's too beige!  Whoops again!  I quickly dunked it in some biological washing powder, hoping that would take some of the tea away. 

Result!  Not quite the right colour, but pale enough now not to poke you in the eye! Phew!  Now to decide where to go from here.  To sash or not to sash, that is the question! 

Friday, 23 December 2016

New stuff

I knew I wouldn't be able to keep finishing UFOs, but have done very well so far. 

Here is the Snoopy quilt finally bound and done.  That makes 306 quilts donated to Project Linus Leicestershire this year!  Great total, and many thanks to all the people who sewed, donated fabric or bought from the rummage box to fund wadding etc.  The U.K. total for the year is over 30,000 quilts, so that's lots of love! 
Once that was done, I had the urge to start something new.  I started by looking in the strip boxes, as the 2.5" box is very full.  However, I found that it had a lot of ugly fabrics in there, especially quite a bit of brown and taupe.  Ugh!  But then I remembered the old dancing gingerbread men pattern, and got going. 

There are a few, with eyes, mouths and buttons embroidered on.  I've actually cut more components and made them into a kit for Knit and Stitch in January.  They are quick and fun to make, so should hopefully take someone's fancy! 

Sunday, 18 December 2016

It's a top!

LI have thoroughly enjoyed working on the Sarah Fielke design 'Happy Days' but was unsure about which border options to choose.  Sarah suggests either a one fabric border, a border made of large equilateral triangles or one with embellished equilateral triangles.  I wasn't sure that such a busy quilt needed more busyness, or at least, I should say, l wasn't sure that my busy quilt needed more busyness - other people have to decide what is right for their quilt.  So I started at my local quilt shop, Sew Charming.  The owner of the shop is used to me bringing tops in and spreading them out to choose border fabric - the only way I can see if it's right is by auditioning fabrics. 

So here is my choice!  A narrow turquoise border and then a wide Kaffe Fassett magenta fabric with orange spots.  This isn't a perfect photo, but was the best I could manage, and it gives a good idea of the result.  I'm delighted with it, but not looking forward to the layering up and quilting!