Saturday, 5 April 2014

Gift for a new baby

At the end of last year I completed a few baby quilts to stash away ready for a few babies I knew were going to be born this year.

Our next door neighbour's son and his wife had their third daughter on 29th March.
From my stash of quilts I chose this cheerful Rainbow Strips Quilt:

This quilt for Freya joins the two others I gave to her older sisters, Isla and Neve.
I have been searching my quilt photos for a picture of Isla's quilt but frustratingly I cannot find it!
A few years ago I made a series of baby quilts featuring appliqued cats and teddy bears which you can see on my Flickr page, koshka2 photostream. They can be found in the Teddy bear quilts and Cat quilts sets.
Isla's quilt was the same design featuring cats and Sunbonnet Sues and Overall Bills.
However, sister Neve's quilt is this one:
It's nice to be able to welcome a new baby into the world with a quilt for snuggling.  Isla and Neve have loved their quilts so I hope little Freya does too.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

More Soy Amado blocks

I had great fun making 5 more Soy Amado blocks for Alison ( Little Island Quilting ).

This time I went with Scrappy Stars, combining Crumb Blocks ( Bonnie Hunter style ) with the Wonky Stars of Gwen Marston.  Really please with the result. 
This time I added a bigger border so that after quilting I could trim them to exactly 12.5" square.

I did a little machine quilting and then hand quilted around the star shape with a mauve/purple variegated Perle Cotton.

Here they are:

And here is my favourite one:
Can you see the funky cats peering out of the centre?
I love making Crumb Blocks, using really tiny bits of fabric.  I have a whole tin full of them back in the UK, probably 80 or so, and now have a little stash here in New Zealand too.  I couldn't get a 4" square ruler at our nearest NZ Quilt Shop so bought a 4.5" instead which has worked very well.
Do take a look at littleislandquilting.blogspot and perhaps make a block or two for Alison's excellent project.
I was thrilled to find some of my first blocks in two quilts:  Soy Amado 6 ( littleislandquilting.blogspot/2014/03/soy-amado-no-6 )

Little People Premature baby quilt

First finish of 2014! Ta da!

This is my first finished quilt of 2014.

As I have been in New Zealand since the beginning of the year I have done very little sewing.  I belong to two Patchwork groups here and I needed some sewing to take to meetings so  I had some hand quilting to do.
I made two simple Premature baby quilts and a few days ago I finished the first one.

All the fabrics were in the small stash I keep here.  I can't even remember where I got the feature fabric but think it was some fabric scraps someone in the group was clearing out.  It is very quirky and I wonder if it is from the 1940s or 1950s. I think it was originally used to make a child's dress and the scraps were odd shapes, like you would have left over from dressmaking.
If anyone has an idea about the age of the fabric please leave me a Comment on this post.

Today I went to my last Patchwork meeting before we go back to the UK and I worked on the second small quilt.  Same design, different fabrics.  I will donate both to my local hospital in the UK.

I have also been making some Soy Amado blocks for Alison of little island quilting and will blog tomorrow about those.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Spiderweb Cushion

At the end of last year I made a Spiderweb cushion for one of my quilting friend's special birthday ( one of those ending in 0 ). 

As a Group we had made Lynne a Spiderweb quilt, using the colours she loves and uses a lot in her house, Cream and Autumn shades.  It was a pattern I had wanted to do for a long time and was thrilled when another member of our Group suggested this as an idea for Lynne's quilt.  I worked out how much cream on cream fabric we would need for the centres of the blocks and there was enough for the binding too.  Then the whole Group brought strips of fabric in the Autumn colours we had chosen:  yellow, gold, orange, tan, brown, red, lime and various greens.  We had a real variety of fabrics, some old, some quite new but together they looked fabulous.  We chose a meeting when we knew Lynne was away and all picked lots of strips from the piles, making sure we had some in every colour.

As the Spiderweb block was an unknown one to many of the Group I made some sample blocks using white Kona cotton for the bases and pastels and brights for the strips.  I had fun making them up to various stages of production so I could demonstrate the method to the rest of the ladies. 
In the UK we have a great children's TV programme called "Blue Peter" where presenters show the viewers how to make various art and craft items.  They always have a completed one to show the children what they are aiming for and always say: "This is one I made earlier". I felt rather like I was a presenter on Blue Peter and indeed, did have "one I had made earlier" as well as several blocks in various stages of completion.  I must have demonstrated it OK as everyone managed to complete their blocks ( without too much hassle I hope!).

As a Group we finished the Quilt and it was handed round to each member to do some of the hand quilting in cream Perle cotton, put on the binding, hand stitch it down and finally embellish with little red buttons in the spiderweb centres.  We all agreed that the red buttons "made" the quilt!

Unfortunately I was in New Zealand by the time it was Lynne's birthday on 11th February so couldn't see her face when she opened her gift.  However I have had several email reports from other Group members who said she was "stunned" and a lovely "Thank you" email from Lynne.

I left the cushion I had made to be gifted to Lynne when the quilt was given and I know she liked it from her email.

I was really pleased as this is the first time I have put a zip in a cushion and it turned out well.
The zip is at the bottom  of the cushion.
When I am back in the UK I will continue to make the Spiderweb cushion I began as a demonstration.  Should make a pretty quilt.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Donation blocks

I recently read about Alison's Soy Amado project on her blog Little Island Quilting.

Please take a look at her post Soy Amado if you haven't already seen it.
Such a worthwhile project and I am sure it will be well received by the Quilting Community.  Quilters are always so generous with their time that I am sure Alison's project will be well supported and QAYG blocks will be flooding into her post box.

Here are 6 blocks I have made which I hope will be OK and help to make another quilt to keep a Mexican Street child warm.

The quilts Alison has already made using her own and donated blocks are so cheerful and colourful they are bound to put a smile on the face of the child who receives one of these quilts.
We are still having gorgeous weather here on the South Island, New Zealand so this is all the sewing I have accomplished during this week.

Those quilters in the Northern Hemisphere are probably sewing away like crazy, trying to forget the rain, winds and snow outside.
Happy Sewing!

Monday, 10 February 2014

First finish of 2014 and it's NOT a quilt

Very quiet on the sewing front.  Enjoying the sunshine too much to sit indoors at the sewing machine.

But this evening I have completed my 4 year old granddaughter's Ballet cardigan.  I made her one in pink in January last year when she started Ballet classes.  But she has grown and needed a larger size.  Annalise decided that this time she wanted blue as their Ballet outfits are a royal blue.  This isn't quite the right shade but it was Annalise's choice.  We bought the yarn before Christmas and I brought it out to New Zealand with me to knit.

It seems to have taken a long time to make. I actually knitted all the main pieces whilst I was watching the Australian Tennis Open on TV but it has taken until today to complete the sewing up, knit the bands and ties.

But on Thursday it will be posted back to the UK.  Just hope it fits!

Maybe I will have some sewing to show in my next post!

Saturday, 1 February 2014

What happened to January?

2nd February today and This is my first post of 2014!

A good reason as I flew off to Hong Kong en route to New Zealand on New Year's Day.  Since then my DH and I have been having a lovely time reacquainting ourselves with our NZ house, neighbours and friends.  Almost no sewing has been done, a little knitting, and a lot of socializing and enjoying the sunny summery weather here.  Just what anyone in rain-swept Britain wants to hear. Sorry!

So no quilting photos to share but on Tuesday I may visit a Patchwork Shop and on Wednesday I will be going to my Quilting Group so a little sewing may be done.

I have been enjoying following Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville blog, watched a couple of her Quiltcams and feel fired up to try some of her Leaders and Enders Split9Patch blocks.  Before I can make a start I have to cut up some of the stash scraps I have here in NZ though. In the UK I already have a box of 2.5" squares, not here though.  But when it is sunny I will not be sitting indoors at the sewing machine but I could cut cut up a few scraps on the table on the back deck.