Saturday, 27 February 2010

Never again!

I know it was part of my self-imposed challenge, but these hexagons are driving me bananas! I seem to have spent ages and ages working on them, and still the blinking top doesn't seem big enough to use as a handkerchief!

I'd also forgotten how hexagons make a very uneven shape, and you have to fill in the edges if you want a square or rectangular quilt!

I got so fed up with it yesterday that I decided to zigzag the remaining few shapes just to get it done. I'm not altogether happy with this solution, as if you do small zigzags, they make a dense edge to the join, but if they're bigger, I'm not confident that they'll hold. Ah well, I only had a few to do, and it got it into a manageable shape.

After a couple of borders, it looks quite pretty. (Just look how the yellow and blue borders have brought the yellow and blue nicely to the fore and pulled it together quite satisfactorily.)

But, I am heartily sick of these hexagons, which were given to me by the daughter of a lady who made them in the 1960s and 70s. She wanted them to go to a good home, and if you feel like you could give them the respect and love they deserve, please contact me and I'll gladly send you the whole blooming lot!

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Two down, three to go!

I have managed to finish another of my current projects. It's a Linus mile a minute quilt and I'm pleased at how it's turned out. I didn't have enough of any suitable green to make the borders, so used four different greens - very suitable for MAM!

I quilted it simply with some loops, and with a red binding it looks fine.

Only a week to go, and while I've layered up my purple stars quilt, I don't think I'm going to achieve my challenge of completing another three projects in a week! Ah, well, at least I'll give it a go.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Sorry, Gwen

I love Gwen Marston's books and have three on my shelf, but I have to admit that when I saw she had written 'Liberated Quilting II' I was underwhelmed. I have been conditioned over the years to think that anything with a 'II' after it is less than desirable. If it's a film, it's like 'Home Alone II', and exactly the same plot with slightly different scenarios, and if it's a book, it's just more of the same idea. Still, I had some birthday money so thought I'd treat myself to something I wouldn't normally buy.

How wrong can you be! In Gwen Marston's case this book takes the original idea (that of deliberately creating blocks without precision) resulting in quilts which are more lively and interesting than their perfectly controlled sisters, and pushes it in new directions. There are quilts here for traditionalists, piecers, applique fiends, art quilters, in fact everyone who works with textiles and loves colour. If you haven't yet got your copy, I can't recommend it highly enough. At a meeting this afternoon, I showed it to four people and three said they had to have it - it's that good! Now all I have to do is restrain all the fabulous ideas in my head so I can finish my project challenge. I wonder if I'll make it?!

Wednesday, 17 February 2010


I know I should be getting on with my current projects, but I suddenly realised I had to take two 12" stars to tonight's 'Piecemakers' meeting, and I hadn't even thought about them! The group has decided to make a charity quilt for the Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance, with the theme of stars. Each participant is to make two different stars in autumnal colours (and Ruth and I will have the challenge of putting them together.)

I know I said I wouldn't be making any more of Carol Doak's paper pieced stars, but they are so gorgeous, so here we are. All the points don't meet perfectly, but it looks pretty good.
Then I decided to make something a little less challenging - the Barbara Fretchie star.

It's made from half square triangles, and the only problem is getting all the triangles going the right way.
It took DD's eagle eye to point out that I had failed at getting the pieces in the right places! Why do they insist on jumping around when you're not looking?

That's better. Simple, yet effective. Can't wait to see the others tonight.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

One down - four to go!

In my last post I decided to challenge myself to finish five of my current projects by the end of the month. I'm such a dilettante that I have various things on the go all the time (apart from my big box of UFOs, you understand!). Well, so far so good.

This Linus mile a minute is finished now.
I used a fabric with Snoopy playing football as the centres, and I think it's bright and cheerful for a football-loving boy or girl.

I have also been busy putting borders on my purple stars quilt, luckily out of my stash! The purple fabric I bought ages ago in a sale. The lighting was poor in the shop, and I thought it was navy, and perfect for backing a quilt for DS. When I got it home, I found I had bought 5 yards of purple fabric, and it has taken me a while to get through it! (The selvedge has the date 1996 on it - but surely I haven't had it for that long?!)

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Work in progress

I have decided to share the things I'm currently working on - no, not my UFOs, they're still safely in their box! - just the things which I have been stitching on in the last week or so. I like to have different kinds of quilting on the go, in case I fancy something challenging, something mindless or a bit of hand sewing for in front of the tv.

Firstly, of course is the purple stars quilt which isn't any further forward despite my having the border fabrics ready. I need to concentrate to do this, and haven't felt like it!

Sometimes I'm just in the mood for some mindless chain piecing, and since I am such a cheapskate, always have plenty of strips and scraps to use up. These blocks have been enhanced by a LOVE block of free pieced letters in the middle, and are ready for a border.
Here is a Linus mile a minute with Snoopy images for the centres of the blocks, which just needs its binding sewing down and a label. This will be finished today while I'm watching the tv later on.

A few years ago, a lady gave me a lot of hexagons and rosettes her mum had made in the 60s or 70s, and while clearing out, I came across them. Since there were plent of rosettes, I decided to sew them together, and make a pretty Linus quilt. I'm still sewing.

The old quilt which I have decided to finish only needs one more hexagon (which I have made) to be ready for a border. What a lazy girl I am!

Another replica quilt I am unquilting. I machine quilted wineglass shapes without marking them, and they look awful! I am gradually unpicking them, but it's taking a while.
And finally, the lovely house I made at a workshop, which will be made into a 'Welcome' banner.
I really need to finish some of these projects before I start any more. I will challenge myself to finish at least five of them before the end of the month! Too ambitious? We'll see!

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Nearly a top

I have had chance this weekend to do some more work on my purple stars quilt. I had an idea on how to make a double bed sized quilt out of nine 12" stars.

I need to add borders (probably green then purple) but I'm quite pleased on how it's turned out. I wish the green cornerstones had been darker to show up the Irish Chain a bit better, but maybe once it's quilted the diagonals will be stronger. What do you think?

Monday, 1 February 2010

Lovely day

Last Friday we went on a family trip to the seaside. Can you guess where it was?

No, not the Orient, but sunny Brighton! It was DD's graduation ceremony for her master's degree, which was being presented in the Brighton Pavilion. This rather fancy building was built as a little love nest/seaside cottage by Prince George in the early 19th century and is absolutely fabulous to visit. If you like the exterior, the interior is even more sumptuous, and decorated in an exotic oriental style. The presentation though, unfortunately wasn't in the main palace, but in the Brighton Dome.

This building was originally the stable block to the palace, but is still decorated inside with beautiful wall and floor tiles, wonderful carvings, doors and pillars. It was converted to a performance space and corn market in the mid nineteenth century, and now is a prestigious performance venue.

Here is the graduand (someone who's finished their course of study but not been presented with their certificate yet) checking that her name's in the programme, and she's come on the right day! This is the graduate with proud Mum and Dad.

And here is a silly family doing jazz hands - maybe it was the effect of the bubbly we'd all drunk!