Friday, 23 January 2015

Finally, some sewing for me!

The sewing machine has been going full pelt and my sewing room looks like a bombsite, but there's been little quilting going on.  It's panto season here in the UK and I have been busy sorting out the costumes for Ali Baba and the forty thieves.  Luckily there weren't forty thieves to dress, but there were four pantomime dames - the proper dame plus three of her friends!  Anyway, it was the first night last night, so apart from a few repairs, I've been able to do something for me.

Here is my Grand Illusion, so far.  I've made all the blocks - I'm going for 16 - and just have to join them together.  That's the easy bit! 
I'd just like to share a block made by a member of 'Quilting Together' in Shepshed (Paula and I went there to collect Linus quilts, but that's another story). 

She felt the block was too busy for her, so calmed it down with a pink centre.  Good idea. 

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

It's a girl!

DD's friends baby has arrived, and it's a girl, Ruby Jayne.  I haven't seen her yet, as I want to get the quilt finished before I visit.  Here is the completed top.

I wanted it to be gender-neutral, and bright, as strong colours stimulate babies' visual cortex (plus, I get so bored when I use pale colours!)  now I'm quilting it, and hope to have it done by the weekend.
This doesn't mean I've abandoned my Grand Illusion.  

Iit looks very dark here, but it's the light levels rather than my fabric choices which have done that!  I made half the block components, so should be able to make 12.5 blocks.  I think I'll go for 16 as that'll make a fairly decent size.  The blocks are going together very quickly.  If you missed out on this mystery, it's not too late to look on and catch up!

Friday, 2 January 2015

Leopards and spots

It's said a leopard never changes its spots, and (both as a quilter and in other ways) neither will I!  I never let a current project get in the way of something new, so despite the fact that DD's friend's baby's due in a few days, I've packed my 9 patches away.  

I've done the right number of blocks, arranged them pleasingly, and even joined up the first two rows.  So, what is it, you ask, which has demanded your attention?  Bonnie Hunter, of course!  She has revealed her Grand Illusion mystery quilt, and I couldn't resist making up a block.

Here is the block.  It goes together really well, with few match points.  Shal I do more, or go back to the baby quilt?  Hmmm. 

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Nearly there

It's New Year's Eve and the festivities are nearly over.  I love this time of year, but can't say I'll be sorry when normal service is resumed!  I haven't had much chance to sew, but have managed to snatch a little time at the machine.

My Celtic Solstice is finished!  I've quilted it with spirals, and sewn the binding down.  Now it's complete, I have found the block which jumped out of place before I sewed it.  Typical.

Here it is, at the bottom left of the circle.  I know people who would unpick and correct, but I'm not one of them!  It stays!  I love the quilt and really enjoyed making it.  Looking forward to the Grand Illusion reveal.

I also layered and finished this Linus quilt.  It's a double nine-patch, and the blocks were made by a group of friends.  It's gone together well.
Now I need to make a baby quilt for a friend of DD.  I decided to make nine-patch blocks from a tutorial on funwithbarbandmary.  You start with squares, instead of strips, and they go together really quickly.  (I started with 7.5" squares, so they have knitted up big!)

There are only six blocks here, but as you can see, you get a positive and negative block from each two squares.  Neat. 
Have a great time tonight, and I'll see you in 2015!

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Two finishes

Things have been busy round here with Christmas things (lunches, days out, shopping etc) but I've managed to keep up with my Grand Illusion blocks.  

I made them using the flip and stitch method, and no, I didn't make any bonus triangles, I just cut off the excess and threw it in the bin!  Sometimes, enough is enough!  I'm glad I only aimed for half Bonnie's number, as it took several sessions to make even that number.
And I went to the Christmas celebration at one of my groups, Talking Textiles, and this is what we made. 

Isn't he cute?  But wait.  There's more.

What about that!  Bunty and Jenny showed us how to use conductive thread (who knew that even existed!), switches and stuff to make his nose light up.  If you're interested in making your own, there is a free tutorial on and you can buy the items you need from them too.  Great fun!

Friday, 5 December 2014

Another challenge

I have finished my quilt using the 'Dear Jane' blocks, and since it's for Rhiannon, have called it 'Dear Rhiannon'.  DS will take it down to hers on Sunday.  Hope she likes it.

So what am I doing now?  Can't let the sewing machine remain idle!  Apart from the blue string blocks and of course my Bonnie Hunter Grand Illusion, I needed to get on with the Linus Winter Challenge.  This was just an idea of mine to get some quilts which were gender neutral.  I bought some fabric with dogs on it, and cut into half yard pieces.  I had had wadding cot packs donated by the Warm Company, so gave out a piece of fabric plus the wadding and challenged people to make a quilt.  The results will be judged in January and a prize of a layer cake and book awarded.  

Here is the fabric (why is it upside down?) and here is my progress so far.

I cut the dog fabric into 4.5" squares then had a rummage in the orphans bags and found all the half square triangles etc to fill in the spaces.  A couple of borders and it'll be done.  Easy!

Monday, 1 December 2014

Grand illusion part one - completed!

Well, although I've completed what I need to make, I've only aimed for half the number of blocks Bonnie stipulates.  I'll see if I want to make more later.

Here are my 50 broken dishes blocks and 40 half square triangles.  I made the HSTs in the 'sew either side of the line' method, as my pieces of fabric were suitably sized.  What's next, Bonnie?