Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Scrappy quilts

I tried to post this blog several days ago.  not sure what happened but the blog post that was published (twice!) was empty.  Then I ran out of time.

Finally getting back to it and hope this time it works.

I love scrappy quilts .......... my favourites on my Flickr page (Koshka2) have so many scrap ones and I have several Galleries of them too.  I have admired Imagingermonkey's Scrap Vomit quilt but not yet made one.  Now I see that another quilter I follow, New Zealander Deb of Works in Progress is making a Scrap Vomit quilt and challenging other quilters to join her in making  (or completing) a Scrap Quilt.

Have a look at her blog and especially Deb's scrappyquilt challenge.

I have been wanting to make a Wonky Stars Quilt, a Bonnie Hunter (Quiltville) free pattern.  I made 4 Wonky Star blocks as QAYG blocks to send to Alison for the Soy Amado Project.  I loved making them and I know it would be a great Scrap Quilt to make.

Reading about Deb's scrappyquilt challenge has prompted me again.  I have quite a few 2.5" blocks already cut and stashed but need loads more, especially neutrals for the Wonky Stars, so the other day I found lots of neutral scraps in my stash and cut loads of 2.5" squares.  So now I need to find time to sit and sew a few blocks!

I am continuing to handquilt my single bed sized Rainbow Beeline Quilt and put together a baby boy's quilt.  It is sandwiched ready for quilting.  I am going to machine quilt it but again I need to find time to sit at the sewing machine.

These were the Wonky Stars blocks I sent to Alison and I am posting this photo again as a spur to get me started on making some blocks.  Hope it works!

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Calling all Scrap quilt lovers

If you read my blog you will know that I love Scrap Quilts: making them, gazing at pictures of them, looking at them in shows! I have quite a collection of Scrap Quilt books on my sewing room bookshelves and loads of patterns  in my ring binder file.

So I was delighted to find Deb from Works in Progress is not only making a Scrap Quilt ( Katie Jones Scrap Vomit one) but is encouraging quilters to make a scrap quilt or finish one they have already started. No doubt there are hundreds of UFOs hidden away in cupboards all over the world!

Here's the link: #scrappyquilt#quiltalong

Have a look and get inspired and don't forget to add your quilt or block pictures to Deb's link.

I love Deb's quilts. She has a great eye for colour and design and all her work is so cheerful - I find myself smiling when I see her quilts.

So, this has spurred me on to start making some blocks for a Wonky Wishes quilt, a free pattern by Bonnie Hunter on her Quiltville blog.  Earlier this year I make four of these blocks which I  did QAYG style for the Soy Amado project.  I loved making them and was very pleased with the result  and would love to make a whole quilt. I have a lot of 2.5" squares already cut but I will need to cut a lot of neutrals for the star centres.  So this week I  intend to look though my stash for neutral scraps and cut out as many 2.5" squares as I can and put some scraps to be used for the star points into a ziplock bag so I have everything ready to make the blocks. My intention is to make it alongside another baby quilt I hope to start very soon.

 I am hoping that by writing a post about my intentions I  will actually start to do it.

Happy Scrappy Sewing to you all!


Wednesday, 17 September 2014

My Giveaway Win

About a month ago I was amazed to learn from Rita of Red Pepper Quilts that I had won one of her Giveaways!.  I nearly always enter the Giveaways Rita hosts as they are always fabulous - either bundles of very desirable fabrics or vouchers. I was fortunate enough to win a $50 US voucher from Poppyseeds Fabrics.

I then spent a happy time trawling through lists of fabrics and trying to maximize the amount of fabric I could buy for $50.  I was paying for the postage from the USA to the UK so wanted to buy fabric that would completely fill the mail envelope.  It took a few emails back and forth because several times other customers had chosen the fabrics I had requested and I had to choose again.  However I spent my money, adding just a little bit extra of my own and then waited for the parcel to arrive.  It came really quickly - mailed last Friday and received yesterday, Tuesday.

And here it is:

And these are the fabrics I chose:

Several Pearl Bracelets and also a selection of Amy Butler fabrics. Aren't they gorgeous?
I have admired Pearl Bracelets for so long on so many Flickr and Pintrest photos but never owned any until yesterday.  I am a fan of Amy Butler designs and have bought and used several of her designs, including the Full Moon Polka Dots one in Caramel which I chose for my bundle.  It's quite an unusual colour but works well with the variety of pink fabrics I have paired it with in the past.
I made a baby quilt I called Emerging Butterflies.
Here the caramel fabric makes a striking border:

I made a pieced backing for this quilt and used a large piece of the Caramel Polka Dots down the centre and also for the binding.  I love a spotty binding - a tip I picked up several years ago reading Rita's blog!

The backing and binding:

I am delighted to have another yard of this useful and pretty fabric in my stash.
So, thank you Rita and Kimberley for this great Giveaway.  I will enjoy adding the fabrics to my stash and using them all in the months to come.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Sewing down Memory Lane

Not sure where the summer has gone, I certainly haven't done much sewing although I have enjoyed the sunny weather and the garden.  I have also spent a lot of time with the family, especially my four year old granddaughter.

So, now it is September, the schools start again this week and our little girl starts school!  She will be attending the same one her Mummy went to and where I taught for the last 9 years of my career.  So lots of happy memories!

More memories as I have been sewing name tapes on her school uniform and I also made her a Patchwork PE bag.  When her Mummy started school I made her a drawstring bag too although it was very basic ( I didn't really sew then, had not discovered my obsession called "Patchwork and Quilting" and certainly didn't know how to create a proper fully lined drawstring bag with a casing!). I am very pleased with the resulting bag and hope the family is too when I pop round this afternoon with it.

Ta da!!!

And now, a photo of the undrawn one to show off the patchwork and appliqued name!

I had to include a square of Peter Rabbit fabric as Annalise adores him.  She spends many happy hours pretending to be him and inventing various escapades where Grandpa chases her round the garden as either Mr Fox or Mr McGregor!  I am wondering how many milliseconds it will be before she spots him on the bag!

She also likes butterflies and owls so they are included too.

Back in June I made a baby quilt as a commission for a neighbour to give as a gift to a baby girl who was born on 22nd June.  My neighbour wanted to hand the quilt over in person and the first opportunity was last week.  Apparently the parents were thrilled and didn't stop "oohing and aahing" for ages!  Just the sort of response one hopes for!  I have been promised a photo of baby lying on the quilt in clothes matching the quilt colours.  I chose the colours because I thought they were feminine and pretty but didn't realise the baby already owned clothes in the same colourway! Serendipity!

This the quilt:

I have almost completed another baby quilt top.  This time for a boy (in case one of the three expected babies I know about is a boy).  Just have the two borders to cut and sew on, then I shall be ready to sandwich and quilt it.  Now I have discovered machine quilting I think this may very well be a machine quilted one. There are a lot of small HSTs  which surround the blocks so I think quilting in the ditch may be the answer.  Stay tuned!

Happy September Sewing!


Friday, 8 August 2014

Shop till you drop

Yesterday saw the first day of the Festival of Quilts 2014 at the NEC, Birmingham.

For 9 years I worked at this Quilt Show as a Quilt Angel but for the last 3 years following my health problems I just visit!

Yesterday I went with my big sister and we had a great day together.  Pat doesn't quilt but she has been a sewer and knitter (she used to make my clothes from when I was a little girl up until I finished college) and she even did upholstery.  However, Pat does enjoy looking at quilts and is always interested in the quilts and bags I produce - some of them have been for her grandchildren. We mostly concentrated on the Competition Quilts, all beautifully displayed and all of a very high standard.  We had fun trying to decide which was our favourite - an impossible task! We had a little look at the stalls and I bought 3 well-priced fabrics.

Today I went on my own with a shopping list in mind.  I mostly make baby and children's quilts so I am always on the look-out for cheaper fabrics to use as backing and binding and also good deals on batting.  Some of my Quilting friends had bought bundles if white Egyptian cotton at previous shows which are ideal as sashing for baby quilts.  Found one of those at an excellent price. Also topped up my supply of machine thread and bought 2 more Perle cottons, a turquoise and a pink as they are colours I use a lot.

Then I went mad on fabrics:  some yardage and lots of FQs at cheap prices. And a Jelly Rolly - the first one I have ever bought.  Got a great deal on batting too so I am now well and truly stocked up.

Here's a photo of my haul:

I will put it all away tomorrow but for this evening I am going to sit down and have a rest.  I have been using a Fitbit for the past few weeks and today I clocked 31/2 miles, walking to and from the train to the Show and walking around the Show.  Good exercise as well as good shopping!