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!

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Works in Progress: Searching for hope...

Works in Progress: Searching for hope...

Read this blog post and wanted to pass it on. A beautiful ray of hope portrayed in this beautiful sunshine yellow Spiderweb Quilt.




Sunday, 13 July 2014

Little patchwork bags for little girls

This afternoon I finished the second of two patchwork tote bags I promised to make for my granddaughter to give as party gifts to her little friends.

As both 4 year olds have short names I was able to applique them onto the front of their bag.

I always have a stash of 2.5" squares, fusible webbing and suitable pieces of fabric for linings and handles so everything was to hand to make the bags.

Here they are:
 
 
 


Little granddaughter was very pleased with them.  Nice and colourful and just right to hold a 4 year old's treasures.
 
 

Friday, 11 July 2014

Sewing with my daughter

Over the past few weeks I have had a few great sessions sewing with my daughter.
She has always enjoyed seeing the quilts, cushion and bags I have made but doesn't sew herself.  I was thrilled when she suddenly asked if we could make two cushions together as a "Thank you" gift to the Nursery where our little granddaughter has been a pupil for the past 18 months.  She will be going to "Big School" in September so my daughter wanted to mark that end of an era with a gift the future children at the Nursery could enjoy and came up with the idea of cushions that could be used in the Home Corner or the Reading Corner.

Caroline looked through my stash of fabrics and we came up with two ideas.
One featured a panel I had, a cute Daddy Bunny pushing his babies in a wheelbarrow. This became the centre of a log-cabin design.

Daddy Bunny cushion:

 
 
Then we made an Owl cushion based on a lovely Robert Kaufman Urban Zoologie fabric
A piece of this became the centre of the design and we framed it with two borders.
 


And here they are, side by side:


Caroline handed them in to the Nursery staff on Monday and they were thrilled.  Our granddaughter was also delighted, especially with the idea that Mummy and Granny had made them.
Granny was also delighted that Caroline not only suggested the idea but that we did them together.  I even overcame my fear of putting in zips and added zips to the bottom of each cushion as I am sure they will have lots of washes!
 

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Soy Amado Blocks catch up

June rushed past in a blur!  I was busy doing so many things that are not quilt-related but I did finish the last of 6 Soy Amado blocks I was making for Alison's project.

A couple of weeks ago I posted them to her.

Here they are:



I was very pleased with them all, nice and bright, which will hopefully add a cheerful note to a Mexican child's bed.

I was thrilled when I looked at Alison's blog yesterday (Little Island Quilts) and discovered she had sewn all 6 blocks into her quilt Soy Amado 47 which you can see on her blog and also on her Flickr page.  My four Star blocks have made the corners of the quilt and the other two appear in it too.

I have so enjoyed making the blocks and am full of admiration for all Alison's hard work in assembling all those random gifted blocks into marvellous quilts for such a worthy cause.

Hope to write another post soon to show other projects I have completed.  However, it is Wimbledon! And tennis takes priority at this time of the year!