Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Full steam ahead!

I'm delighted at the progress I'm making in finishing up my various UFOs and PIGs and haven't got sidetracked (much) yet.  With the Bonnie Hunter mystery for this year started, it spurred me on to finish last year's quilt, Allietare.  Allietare means to gladden in Italian, and it certainly makes me glad when I see it. 

I made half the blocks, as usual, and it makes up at 66" square.  Big enough, I think.  I quilted it mainly in the ditch, as I think the quilting should enhance the design, so I wanted the geometricity to stand out.  I'm happy with that. 

My patchwork of the crosses quilt is finished too.  Just four blocks which were teaching samples, but they make a nice Linus quilt.  

Even nicer with this Michael Miller fireflies fabric on the back.  I don't usually splash out on such fancy fabric, but when I was in Manchester recently I paid a visit to a shop called Abakhan.  It's near the city centre so well worth a visit if you're in the area, as they sell fabric by weight!  It's remnants, not yardage, but some of the remnants were 3 or 4 yards, so not small pieces.  The quilting fabric is £22 a kilo, and for £24 I bought about 6.5 yards.  Good value I'd say.  The shop also has an extensive range of beads, sequins, trims, feathers and lots of other things you've never seen before, but are very covetable!  
So, what now?  I have pulled out my challenge blocks, as they will be easy to sort out. 

A bit more modern than my usual quilts, but the blue/green/white palette looks very fresh and clean.   I think it needs another row of blocks, so it will be 48" square.  A simple green or blue binding will set it off.  I just need the four extra blocks! 

Saturday, 26 November 2016

It's that time of year again!

I don't mean Christmas, because it's still November, but it's time for Bonnie Hinter's annual mystery!  This year it's called 'En Provence' and is based around images of lavender fields in Provence.  Here are my colours ready for the off. 

We have dark purple, lilac, sunflower yellow and grass green.  Fabulous! 

Add to the mix a piece of magenta for the constant, and of course neutrals, and I was all set yesterday when the first clue was announced. 

So, here are the first blocks.  Neutral four-patches.  I love these as the fabrics have come solely from my 2" scrap bin!  Using up the scraps first, although since I have to make 111 blocks (I'm doing half of the requirements, as usual) I may have to creep into my yardage before I've done them all. 

I've also made up some taster kits for any one to make a few blocks each time and then donate them to be made up for Linus.  These should be fun! If anyone not coming to Knit and Stitch next week would like one, let me know and I'll pop one in the post. 

Friday, 25 November 2016


Madeleine was so kind to give me her hexagon top for Linus, but I was struggling to finish it.  She had used light card as papers, and while I was sewing the hexagons together to even it out a bit, it was hard going.  I know you don't actually sew through the edges of the card, but you can't help catching it in the stitches slightly. 

I sewed a few, then gave myself a rest.  When I came back to it, I couldn't find my needle, so I went a little crazy and took a new one out of this packet. 

All of a sudden the sewing was a breeze!  The needle went through the fabric like a hot knife through butter!  We are all used to changing our machine needles regularly, but I hadn't connected that the same goes for hand sewing needles too!  We just blithely carry on using the same needles time after time, and new needles cost pence.  Why not retire your hand sewing needles and replace them with new ones.  You'll be surprised at the difference! 

Monday, 21 November 2016

Finishing, finishing.

I'm still enjoying finishing my UFOs and ticking them off on my list.  This one was good to quilt, as I think the quilting in the ditch round the pinwheels has really made them look good. 

I'm still sewing the binding down - black binding isn't such a good idea at this dreary time of year! - but I think it's turned out better than I'd thought.  

Here is my Bonnie Hunter Allietare from last year.  This too has turned out well. I just need to quilt the dark grey final border when I've managed to get some thread the right colour.  I only gave light grey, which wouldn't look good.  Just a reminder that Bonnie's 2016 mystery will be kicking off on Friday.  Why not have a go?  Just remember to either do half the blocks (like this one) or a quarter, as Bonnie's quilts are always very big! 

I've started putting the next border on my lozenge quilt.  This is using up some HSTs from my scrap box.  It's always good to have a few components all ready done.  

And here is my hand project.  Madeleine gave me her first attempt at patchwork, these pretty hexagons.  The blue was only down one side, and as there were some blue rosettes already completed, I thought I'd even it out.  I'm not quite sure where I'm going with this one, but I'll get the blue row on and then have a think! 

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Rocheberie BOM blocks

I go to a lovely group in Rugby, and we have been doing a block of the month this year.  It's been quite simple, based on triangles and flying geese, and has been very popular.  Several people have been awed at how to make these basic quilt components, just confirming that there are plenty of beginners out there.  Hooray! 
I made all my blocks in red, for a change. 

Here they are, in their basic arrangement, although I will probably shift them around.  The one on bottom right is a bit dark, so needs careful placement. 
I'm looking forward to seeing all the other versions of this design.m

Sunday, 13 November 2016

No iPad

Last weekend I had a lovely time visiting first my daughter in Cambridge (new house, lots of excitement!) and then my son in Manchester (theatre visit and Manchester city centre on Saturday night, quite scary!). All was well till I arrived home to find I had left my iPad in Manchester.  I might as well have left my right hand there, as of course, all my contacts are on it, and I was adrift.  Luckily it was sent back to me, so I'm now back on track. 

I have put together my Sarah Fielke top.  It was a puzzle to put the blocks out, as every time I thought they were looking good, I saw one which clashed with or was too like its neighbours.  I'm not completely happy with the turquoise appliqué in the centre, but it was the best arrangement.  Now I have to wait for the border instructions.  Do I go pieced or wimp out and buy a piece of fabric for the border?  I'll wait and see. 

Another completed centre is the circles quilt.  I'm really pleased with this, and have managed to get more of the teal and purple fabric for the final border.  Unfortunately I couldn't get yardage, just fat quarters, but I've joined them carefully, so I think it'll be OK. 

And here is a Linus quilt I'm bigging up.  The Snoopy fabric is so gorgeous, and as a change from flying geese I made some Delectable Mountain blocks for the border.  The red corners are not right and will have to be replaced by green ones I think.  Shame, as they were out of my spare parts box.  They'll just have to go back in there and wait for their chance to shine!