Monday, 30 December 2013

Last finish of the year

I have quilted and bound my Kim Diehl applique quilt!  (It hasn't got a label just yet, but you can't do everything!)  I'm delighted with it, as it's worked out well, and I've finished it by using only fabrics and orphans from my stash.   It's so satisfying to 'use it up'!
Here's a view of the back, which shows more 'use it up' and also some of the quilting. It's mainly in the ditch, but I did some free machine feathers on the setting triangles, which are always good fun.

So now, it's time for me to take stock on my progress this year.  DH says I'm obsessed with quilting, and he's not far wrong!  This year I've been to exciting exhibitions in Malvern and Birmingham, and helped stage one here in Lutterworth.  I've been to group meetings where I've heard international speakers and seen their fabulous work.  I've been to classes and workshops and taken them - I always learn so much from both.  I've been spreading the word by quilting in a pub (The Western in Leicester, thank you very much) and in an old folks' home (Brook House in Husband's Bosworth, it was a privilege).  Our local group has been able to give over 100 local eleven year olds in local schools the chance to make a patchwork cushion or bag, thanks to some funds given to us by Waitrose (that was so rewarding).  Add to that the inspiration, the encouragement, the help, the sharing, the chat, the laughs and the love which quilting friends have given to me, and it's been a great year!  Many thanks to you all and happy quilting in 2014!

Friday, 27 December 2013

Sewing again

The festive season has been particularly hectic for us, what with DH's (early) retirement, our wedding anniversary and our annual Christmas show, not to mention the festivities themselves, so it seems ages since I had the chance to do more than prepare meals, clear up and then prepare more meals!  No, seriously, it was lovely to have friends and family here to help us celebrate Christmas, and we had a great time.  But it was lovely to have a bit of me time today to do a little sewing.  I had challenged myself to finish various UFOs at the beginning of the year, and this was one of them.  It's a set of applique blocks designed by Kim Diehl which I had made as a portable holiday project. 
Some time ago I put them together on point, using a little UFO pinwheel as a centre.
And today I added side triangles using fabric from my stash, and then another border of half square triangles which I had made for my 'Lazy Sunday' quilt, but hadn't liked.  They look really good here.
Just one more border to pull it all together and then I might be able to layer it up on Sunday when DH goes to the football.

It's very 'in your face' but I love it, and in any case - it's a finish!

Monday, 16 December 2013

A request

I had a request for three Linus quilts, one with butterflies, one with diggers (Paula completed that with fabric kindly donated by Debbie) and Peppa Pig.  The Peppa Pig one was a bit problematic as it was very specific, and there was no such fabric in the Linus boxes.  I had to buy some from ebay, and boy, was it expensive.  I got sixteen 6" squares (very little more than a fat quarter) for £5.99 and then had £1.50 postage to pay on top of that!  I decided to sash them to make them knit up big, and I think any Peppa Pig fan would be pleased with the results.
If you have Peppa Pig fans on your quilt list, a word of warning.  The fabric is not only expensive, it is terrible quality!  It's 100% poly (nearly lost a square when I ironed with the wrong temperature!) and the thinnest imaginable poly at that.  How do the manufacturers get away with it?
As a complete contrast, here's the lovely needle case I made at my Tuesday group.

Previously we have been out for a Christmas meal, but after being rather disappointed with the experience last year, decided to have a bring-a-dish lunch instead.  And as a special treat, Jenny and Bunty designed and organised for everyone to have a kit for a needlecase to be sewn on the day!  It was great fun seeing others' progress, and the way people changed the design to suit themselves.  Have a look at Jane's here.

This time, the quality of the fabric was beautiful, and the colours very suitable for a folk art project. Here's the inside, with lots of space for different types of needles.  Many thanks to Jenny and Bunty in particular, and all my Tuesday morning friends for all the fun and love you've provided this year!

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Tula Pink

My challenge group have decided to make blocks from Tula Pink's new book '100 modern quilt blocks'.  I decided to make mine in a monochromatic scheme, and since I have more blue than any other colour in my stash, I decided to use that! 
Here are the first 9 blocks I've made.  they aren't difficult, although I have had to be less slapdash than usual, as precision is required here.  Many of the pieces measure 1", so an accurate quarter of an inch seam is vital.  That's a challenge in itself!

I wanted to make these blocks fun (they'll probably end up in a Linus quilt) so used some beach hut fabric here.

And here is a little island with seagulls.  Lots of fun.

Friday, 6 December 2013

I wasn't whining!

I wasn't whining when I said I was disappointed that Bonnie's first post in her 'Celtic Solstice' mystery quilt looked tricky.  I was only saying that I thought some of the people I've encouraged to have a go at the mystery might have been daunted when they saw it.  I love Bonnie's mysteries (and her designs) and I love the way she is so generous with them, and would never complain or criticise.  But ...... I was right.  Meeting some of the ladies this week, they had all looked at the post and been overwhelmed.  What a shame.  Luckily I was able to point them to the templates part and reassure.  I'll wait for developments!
Here are my tri-rec blocks in process.  (I've finished them all now.) 
And I was delighted to see that today's instructions are for much simpler blocks, with rectangles and squares.  I started by looking through my 2" box.

There were enough 2" neutral squares already cut to make the size I want!  I love being able to use these leftovers!

There weren't enough green strips, but there were a number, and the rest will come from yardage.

As to the yellow 2" squares - only two!  Still, it's a start!

I have been doing other sewing too.  I've finally finished my Orca Bay!  It was one of Bonnie's mysteries from 2 years ago!  I did a plain border, which I think is the perfect foil for the piecing. 

And I have also made this Linus quilt.  I had a request for a quilt for a little girl who loves butterflies, so made this one up for her.  The butterflies are from a Fons and Porter magazine, and really knit up big!  A pink binding will finish this off perfectly.