Tuesday, 30 March 2010


I have managed to finish the scrappy top I made from a bag of Andrea's leftovers. (It's my Easter holiday, so I've had a bit more sewing time!)

I'm really pleased with it! Nearly all the fabric was what Andrea was going to throw away, except for the borders, where I had to add some calico from my stash. I still have plenty of fabric left for the binding, and another quilt! The pattern was from one shown on Jacquie's blog although hers is more controlled. She has a tutorial on her blog, but here are the instructions and measurments for mine.

First sew random strips together. You can join strips or add pieces of cut up blocks to make the length. Cut them into 4.5" squares.

Arrange the blocks into a four patch, with the stripes going in alternate directions. (I've mixed the patches up a bit, to get some variety.)

Cut two 4.5" squares from cream fabric, draw in (or iron) the diagonal. Put a pin on the bottom triangle, to mark the piece you will cut off. Sew along the marked line, and then again, about 0.5" away from the line on the pinned piece. Cut between the two sewing lines and press open. You will have two half square triangles. The bigger one is needed for the block, and the smaller one is a bonus! Cut four 2" triangles, mark the diagonal as before and place in the top corners of the two top blocks. Sew along the diagonal lines. Trim the outer corners. Open and press.

Sew the pieces together as a four patch. Hey presto!

And for every block, you get two free scrappy half square triangles! Now what shall I do with those?!

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Two finishes

Hooray! I have completely finished the hexagon quilt which had been driving me crazy with boredom. I can't abide waste, and wanted to make up some of these rosettes for Project Linus. I've decided never again to do hexagons and managed to find the rest of them a good home with Kathie (I'm so glad she wanted them!).

Here is the completed quilt, looking quite sweet and fresh.

And I've also finished the stitchery from Caroline's blog. Once I had looked properly at the pattern, I realsied that she had clothes on, after all! Caroline will be posting another block soon, so make sure you check it out.
So, on to the next project. Andrea shocked me by saying she had a lot of scraps which she was going to throw away! I immediately volunteered to have them for Linus, and she gave me a carrier bag full of bits. Other people's scraps are always so enticing, don't you think? I'm part way through making something from them, so wait and see!

Friday, 26 March 2010

Graduation II

No, it's not a film, it's another family member to graduate this year. (It's a bit like buses. None for ages and then two come along together!) This time it was DS, who now has the letters MFA (Master of Fine Art) after his name! Well done Chris!

Chris knows his own mind, and doesn't like a lot of fuss, so decided he didn't want to go to the ceremony. His course had only nine people on it, and just one of them was going to the ceremony anyway. Chris decided he wanted to go to London and have a nice meal with his family, then go to a post-ceremony drinks thing with course-mates and families.

Here we are lunching in Wahaca in Covent Garden, eating Mexican street food - delicious!

Here is the young man himself outside Birkbeck College in London, ready to celebrate with friends. The get-together was perfect, informal and friendly, and left us all with a rosy glow - or was that the red wine?! What's more important is that Chris thoroughly enjoyed the day, which is all that matters.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Photos on quilts

This year my challenge group's theme is 'Flora'. Each meeting will be a challenge to try a new technique and make something with it. I have decided to make a seies of small quilts representing different times of the year, which I can hang in my kitchen. The first task was to print some photos onto fabric and use them in some way. I have printed photos before, but have never been really successful at incorporating them into quilts.

I decided to print some pictures of crocuses which I found on the internet. Some were purple and some yellow.
They were different sizes, but I managed to get them to play together quite well by bordering the purple ones with yellow and the yellow ones with purple.

Then sashing it all with green.

A piano keys border of yellow and purple, some lilac binding and here it is on my kitchen wall! Very suitable for this time of year!

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

A star finish!

I have finally managed to finish one of my February challenge projects. It was a set of Lemoyne Star blocks which I got from the proceeds of a 'raffle'. Nine people made the same block in purples, and then one block was pulled out of the bag to determine who got to take them all home.

It was tempting to just put them together in a nine-patch and make a lap quilt, but they are all so lovely, I wanted to do more with them. I designed an Irish Chain block to go between them, and am very pleased with the result. This one will be snailing its way to my sister-in-law's in time for her birthday next week.
By the way, you can see that my garden is still mainly sleeping, except for a few brave crocuses!

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Whoops! Nudity?

I have recently been inspired by the lovely stitchery posted on Caroline's blog as a free BOM. (Check it out, you're certain to like it too!) I'm not sure what I'll do with it, but I thought it would make a great present in some form or other.
I haven't done many stitcheries before, but this one really caught my eye, it's so pretty, and looks easy as well! As you can see, I've only done about half of it, but it looked a bit strange. Was the lady with her feet up really naked? Had I stumbled into Calendar Girls' territory? I checked the pattern. Of course, I hadn't read the instructions properly! They clearly state navy for the body, not just continue with the flesh colour. I'll have to unpick it - or on the other hand, it could be quite a talking point!

Wednesday, 10 March 2010


I have completed the feathered star quilt! It must be one of the quickest quilts I've ever done. I know the feathered star was ready to go, but still, a completed and labelled quilt in five days is pretty good going!

Here is the completed quilt - looking good, though I say so myself!

The quilting was mainly in the ditch, with a little echo quilting round the big white shapes, with one of my favourites (meander with stars) in the border. I have sent the quilt on its way, and hope the proud grandma will appreciate it.

Taalking of appreciating someone's kindness, I have been awarded a Beautiful Blogger Award! Caroline, over at Serendipity Quilts has given it to me! Thank you so much. Caroline. I'm really touched. I would like to spread the love by awarding this to Loulee, over at Manxgirl and Lisa-Jo at Blackbear Cabin. Both ladies have beautiful blogs, which just reflect their beautiful personalities! (And I'm actually being serious here.)

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Baby, baby

Since I dismally failed to complete my challenge, I should by rights be trying to finish off the two quilts which just need quilting. But then, my attention span has never been very long, so I've started another project! A work colleague's daughter has been expecting a baby. I didn't make her a quilt, as she is a beginner quilter herself, and her first (and only) project has been a cot quilt. But then, a friend said those wise words, 'You can never have too many quilts,' which is of course one of the fundamental truths of the world, and I thought that maybe I'd make something. Then on Tuesday, the baby, Joshua, was born! I had to get a move on. Luckily I had a feathered star block in my UFO box, so added a couple of borders, and it should be ready to give next week.
Here it is under the machine getting a bit of in the ditch quilting. I'll probably quilt meander with stars on the border and I'm sure it'll be appreciated.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Failed (and succeeded!)

I set myself a challenge to finish five of the current projects I'm working on by the end of February, and have failed dismally! I'm not unduly upset, as I always think it's good to set up a challenge - I wouldn't have got any of them done if I hadn't!
So what did I achieve?

Two Mile a Minute Linus quilts completed. (One only needed the binding slip stitching, but never mind, it's a finish!)

One top completed, layered and mostly quilted. I'm aiming to buy some dark purple thread today to quilt the border, so it'll be done soon.

One hexagon top completed and ready to layer. The backing and waddng are ready and waiting.
As to the rest of the projects, they're all still as they were. So, it's just two out of five for me. Not a wonderful score, but better than nought!

And the success? I've found a loving home for the rest of the hexagons! I have decided to send them to Kathie over at Inspired by Antique Quilts, as I'm sure she will be able to appreciate their charm, and have the fabrics to compliment them. If you send me your snailmail, Kathie, I'll be delighted to get rid of them - sorry, speed them on their way!