Monday, 30 April 2012

April challenge finished!

Here is my Barbara Brackman Civil War Quilt finished!  It was a 'block a week' series, and of the 53 blocks (there were 53 Saturdays in 2011) I made 48.  I love the colours I chose, although purple is out of fashion at the moment, and I found it difficult to buy fabrics to add to the mix.  I'm pleased with the quilt, and pleased with my attempt at quilt as you go.  Liz's suggestion about zigzagging the wadding was a good one, and one I'll definitely use again.

Here are some of my favourite blocks.
This one is Kansas Troubles, but it should have been called Lynda's Troubles, as I found it quite tricky!  It was worth it though, as it looks good.

Here are the Seven Sisters.  I love needleturned applique, and enjoyed this block, despite all the points (or blobs in my case!) 

This one is Little Blue Basket, even though it's turquoise and purple!  I like basket blocks, and this was straightforward to piece.
This block is New England, and was another easy one to piece.  There are lots of stars in the quilt, all different and interesting.
And here is my all-time favourite, which is H, and is one of my initials!  I'm not sure the contrast is quite enough, but it's done now. 
Now to sew on the label, and wait for May's challenge to be announced.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

More finishes

I am really on a roll here with finishes, as I am determined to get my UFOs out of the drawer.  Here is my challenge group scrappy quilt all done.  It's a design by Rebecca Collins, where you start with a dark and a light triangle, and by joining them, end up with one big half sqare triangle and five small ones.  These can be made into blocks in many different ways.  This one is a pinwheel designed by Rachel.  Look here for her design and lots more devised by the clever students at my class.


I must say I like the half square triangle border, which mainly were leftovers from other projects and came from my scrap box.  This is the backing, which I bought from a sales table.  It's a love or hate fabric.  I think it's funky faces: other people think it's decapitated heads!

And here is my nearly finish for April's challenge from Patchwork Times.  The quilt as you go borders worked well, but for the last two I used Liz's suggestion of butting the border wadding up to the main top and zigzagging it, to hold the parts together.  I think I would do that again, as it was easy and made it secure. 

All I have to do is hand stitch the binding, and it'll be done!  What shall I finish next?

Monday, 23 April 2012

Happy birthday, big boy!

Today is not only Saint George's Day (watch out any dragons reading this blog!) but also the birthday of the main man, William Shakespeare!

He would have been 448 today and he's looking pretty good at that!  As you can tell, I'm his number one fan, as I think his plays are absolutely awesome (except 'Troilus and Cressida' but everyone's allowed to have an off day) but maybe you're nor convinced about his importance.
Have you ever said about someone that her makeup was laid on with a trowel, that a child - or visitor - is eating me out of house and home, or said you can picture something in my mind's eye? If so, then you're repeating expressions which Shakespeare crafted over four hundred years ago!  One that I hear on the news regularly whenever something awful happens, is that it beggars belief, and usually it does.  Some more popular epressions are flesh and blood, neither a borrower nor a lender be, a ministering angel, the green eyed monster, every dog shall have his day, it was all Greek to me, and the one oft heard in childbirth when an episiotomy is required, the unkindest cut of all!  And of course, the one expression dear to all our hearts, shreds and patches!  Happy birthday, Will!

Sunday, 15 April 2012


I have always been very good at procrastination, and it's served me very well over the years, so why change?  I'd like to, but it doesn't look as if it will happen!  This time (apart from other things!) I've been procratinating about my Patchwork Times Challenge.  Judy pulled out number 10 this month, which is my Barbara Brackman Civil War quilt.
I don't know why I've not got on with it, as the pieced centre is all joined together, backed and quilted, and all I have to do is add the borders.  But there's the snag.  I'm not really sure how to do it.  So, after a lot of thinking, I've taken the plunge.  I joined a narrow purple border and a wider turquoise one together and added it to one edge of the quilt, sewing through all the layers.

Then I cut a border from the backing, and sewed it onto the back, again through all the layers.

So from the front, you can just see the two layers of fabric.

Next I carefully laid a piece of wadding (Hobbs 80/20) between the two pieces of border fabric and pinned them carefully together.  So far so good.  Will it work?  I'll let you know!

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Easter holiday

 DH has had a week offwork for Easter and that has meant that I haven't had much time for sewing.  We have been decorating (the lounge - big job), visiting family and friends, and had a couple of days away.  We went to the North Wales coast and had a lovely time.  The weather has been fresh but sunny and we visited several National Trust properties.  This is the view from the amazing Penrhyn Castle.  How about waking up to that every morning? 

Then we went via Conway (lovely) to Llandudno.  This Victorian resort was looking and feeling very spruced up and upmarket.  We were late finding a hotel, and were lucky enough to have to slum it in the last room they had left at the St George, at a satisfying reduction!  It was actually the bridal suite, had a jacuzzi in the bathroom and a private balcony.  Luxury!

 But now we're safely back home, I've had chance to do a little sewing.  I made four of the stars with made fabric and decided to quit there (all the bias edges made for interesting joins!)  A couple of borders using some leftover blocks and I think that's a good result. 

So what did you get up to over Easter?

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Oh dear.

It's not my fault that I've been distracted again, honestly.  When Julie suggested that if I liked Mile a Minute I should look over at I thought it only polite to do so.  This is the result.
Well, it's a work in progress.  The star block with 'made fabric' triangles is in quarters.  Not looking too bad.

Now it's the moment of truth.  Just one seam to go.!
Hooray!  The points match beautifully and after a bit of serious ironing to sort out the slightly domed bit in the middle it's ready for the corner triangles.
Hey presto!  Finished, and the surprising thing is that it's suposed to be 15" finished, and it's squared up to 15.5"!  Shall I stop here and use this block for a bag or central medallion?  What do you think!

Sunday, 1 April 2012

March finish!

I know it's actually the first of April, but I made my March finish deadline last night (honest!)  Here it is in all its glory, and I think it looks good. 
I've called it '100 pink flowers', because it has 100 MAM blocks and I have free motion quilted it in pink Aurifil thread with meander and put a flower in each block.

 You can see the flower clearly on this block. 
This is the backing - good fun with sundaes and lots of pink.  I have a recipient in mind, so once it's labelled it'll be ready for giving.  Wonder which number will Judy be pulling out of her hat for this month!