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!

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Thrifty finds and a little mending

I always enjoy poking around Charity Shops, especially when I am visiting different parts of the country.

On our recent trip to Canterbury I spent a happy hour wandering around the many Charity Shops they had, including an Oxfam book shop where I found an excellent copy of a children's song book, music as well as words.  Lovely to keep at home for when our 4 year old granddaughter visits.

In another shop, one which was aptly devoted to a children's charity, I found a little girl's pretty pink duvet cover and matching pillow case set.  The design was fairy princesses and castles which was very appropriate for Little Granddaughter who loves anything pink and princesses are high on the list too.  Reasonably priced so I bought it as a little gift from Canterbury. Spare bed linen for children is always useful.

Isn't it pretty?
 I washed it yesterday and as I ironed it this morning I discovered a little hole in the duvet cover.  No problem as I knew I could cover it with a little heart shaped applique. 
Took about 15 minutes, and here it is:

Can you spot my applique?  It's the heart directly above the princess's head.  I used Bondaweb and tiny hand blanket stitch in a matching embroidery floss.  Hope our little girl likes it too.
I pass on a lot of things to our local Charity Shops so it's nice to find useful bargains myself.  I am a fan of "making do and mending" and not throwing away items that still have plenty of life in them.  So my two Canterbury finds fitted my bill exactly.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Poppies for Remembrance

Yesterday was a very important day in our country's calendar. 
6th June 2014 was the 70th Anniversary of the Normandy Landings, also known as D-Day, when the Allied invasion of Normandy during WWII began.  This eventually lead to the end of the war and meant that my generation was able to grow up in a peaceful Britain.  We owe everything we hold dear to those gallant men who fought and, in many cases, died that we could be free.

My newly planted pot by our front porch was appropriately flowering yesterday, in time for those celebrations.
On the sewing front there has been a little hand blanket stitching taking place during our few days away in Kent.  Whilst we were resting before dinner I managed to do a few more stitches and completed almost three of the seventeen Sunbonnet Sue blocks I need for the baby quilt I am currently making.
Here they are:

I love hand sewing so this is not a chore, although I do need to get a move on with these blocks now and start to put the top together.  I will be hand quilting it too so lots to do and the baby this is intended for is due this month. No pressure there then!

I have been continuing to admire Alison's QAYG quilts for her Soy Amado Project.
Each one is completely different and she has now finished 35 quilts!  Alison turns these quilts out so rapidly it just amazes me.  If you haven't seen her quilts, do take a look at her blog:

I have 5 blocks ready to send and one more I want to complete before I post them to Alison.

Off to do more blanket stitching!