Thursday 31 December 2009

2009..Going, Going,....

I don't write much about personal stuff here on my blog, I like to keep it quilty. I am guilty (which rhymes with quilty!) of sneaking in a little of my crochet endeavors and my Mum's lace making activities here and there, but mainly, I try to keep it quilt related.

Maybe you know me, maybe you don't but you follow this blog... whichever it is, you will know that 2009 has not been a smooth year.... more like a prize winning roller coaster actually!... and believe me, I don't like roller coasters at all.... I am the one who saves all the bags and coats whilst I waits for everyone else to hop on... but this 2009 roller coaster had me fastened in the seat, good and tight.... phew... I'll be sooooooo happy to get off this one...
2010 has to be a better year.... more positive, more fun, more productive, less painting, no more packing and way less stressful, please.... says I, the optimist!

Time to pull myself together and get on with it eh..... not that I haven't been trying....
We all had the Winter Vomiting bug in our house over this last week, so Christmas was quite a sleepy time for us all.

Onwards and Upwards......
I wish you a very happy & extreeeeemely quilty New Year!

Thursday 24 December 2009

Happy Holidays

Happy holidays to you...
I'm busy! Veeeerrry busy!he he he
Sometimes you just can't show others what you are doing, can you.....
I've made a few seasonal post cards, I've baked, I've shopped, I've wrapped.

My babies (20 & 21) will be here, so I might be missing for a while... hope you are enjoying yourselves too!

Friday 18 December 2009

A Little Gift

The postman came...
he brought me a soft envelope....
twas very exciting....
a mini quilt from Maxine...
what a lovely surprise for me...
you know, this means we are real friends!
so, I have 2 now... he he he

Wednesday 16 December 2009

A Bit More Stitching

I did exactly as I said I would... blanket stitch.
I do look through the other stitches and I do try to use different ones... I come back to the blanket stitch every time, you might think I am being boring... but, for me (the only opinion that really matters.. he he he) it's perfect and exactly what I want on my quilt.

On my Bernina it's so easy to do too (to do too!! he he he) because the # 20 foot is open, it's easy to see where I am going, that and the ability to sew half a stitch at a time, if I want to, is great for the accuracy.
Can you see how brilliant the light is? It goes all round the needle so I don't have any shadows... all bright and clear! I've found other machine lights to be a bit yellowy, this one is white white.

If you click on the photo and make it very large you can see how fluffy the thread is... and it is YLI, I was surprised about that, so I might just look at my other brand threads 'blown up' to see how fluffy they are... hmmm....

Sunday 13 December 2009

Post Card Swap

This is the post card sent to Garen.
It was made by Jackie, who now hosts and runs the quilt group in Portugal and the PIP Blog (Patchwork In Portugal). This was one of the first to arrive at it's destination... 15 minutes along the big road!

She has a Pfaff sewing machine which does lovely fancy stitches, as you can see here. Jackie tells me that it doesn't like quilting though, so it is back in the shop for revision.... I told her to buy a Bernina!! he he he

Saturday 12 December 2009

I Been Stitching..

This project has been ongoing for years. I can't even remember how long I have had it on my "To Do" list, there's no date on the pattern, do you have any idea? I don't usually follow the colours of a pattern, but this time I wanted it just like the picture....
About 2 years ago I traced and cut out the Steam a Seam stuff and put it into a plastic box. Some time last year I chose some of the fabrics and added them to the box. Recently I pieced the background and ironed the fabrics to the pattern pieces... then, back in the box it went. All of a sudden I have the urge to finish it
... woooohoooo. My bird is the wrong way round, a small artistic moment... more like a Duh moment whilst tracing it actually... but who cares which way a bird is looking? I know I don't!

I didn't want to use the ric-rac stuff for the stems so I sliced some green, blotchy hand dyed fabric on the bias and tri-folded it, ironed it and pinned it in place... I do have the 1/4" sticky stuff but opted not to bother with it... This is one of my favourite Bernina feet... Number 10. It has a guide that enables me to sew straight stitching really really close to the edges without falling off!
I chose this YLI variegated thread... it all adds more interest to the finished effect... so all the stems are stitched, using Number 10 foot. I have changed to the Number 20 foot now as I am considering a blanket stitch for the leaves and flower bases, Number 20 is an open foot so it's easier to see where I am going.... more later....

Friday 11 December 2009

Post Card Swap

This postcard was sent to Helen, who lives NEAR Ikea in Lisbon.... not in Ikea (I'm Laughing again!). It was made and sent by Garen who lives local to Lisbon. It took this lovely postcard 7 days to do a 20 minute journey, tee hee.
Garen has requested that we do another postcard swap in the new year... you know.... I think we will! It's fun...

Post Card Swap

This postcard was sent to Ursula, in Portugal, from our Birte in East Germany. I thought Birte had exchanged her Bernina for a new sewing machine when I saw this, but she told me that she had borrowed a friend's machine... only for the fancy stitches...
It's a little funny to see her using these colours.... which are lovely, don't get me wrong... but where's the pink Birte???? there's always pink! he he he

Thursday 10 December 2009

Our Postcard Swap....

Recently I organised a post card swap with my quilty ladies from Portugal, that is... all the ladies that had been members of my quilt groups in Portugal at one time or another. Many of them are no longer in Portugal, which is quite normal with the ex-pat way of life, so I thought it would be a great way for us to stay in touch.
My card came today... woooo hooooo, It's quite exciting to find a little quilt on your doorstep when you come home... Mine is from Irene, a Dutch lady (you guessed that though right?) If you remember, she is the quilty lady that likes to make fiddly things... she was a regular in My Quilt Cave.... Thank you Irene I love it!!
Ronny, who now lives in Holland, received this lovely postcard from Helen who lives in Ikea... oooops I mean near Ikea in Lisbon (see, it still makes me laugh Helen, sorry, he he he) I'll post more of our post card swap pictures if and when they come to me.

Tuesday 8 December 2009

Uttoxeter Quilt Class

Not all of the ladies have their fabric sorted out for the next project so I thought I would teach Paper Piecing. I took in little kits, enough to make this little tree, kinda Christmas green... which makes it a bit Christmassy... don't you think?
This is Normal Maureen's tree. By the end of the day it was backed, sandwiched, quilted and the binding was sewn on! Maureen's been practicing her half square triangles ready for the next project too.
Jenni's tree.... the corners are a little different... it is always good to learn about 'fudging'. This mini quilt had borders in Christmas fabric at the end of the lesson. I think she said that it would be a pot holder when it's finished.
Gillian's very Christmassy tree. She is going to add a little embroidery to this mini quilt... we did suggest a partridge and a pear but I think Gillian decided on a robin.... he he he

The ladies did show signs of not actually liking paper piecing not long after we started... as do most people when they first start to learn. They now "get it" and will try a further paper pieced tree for homework, because they love the accuracy it gives.

Our next meeting is Tuesday 29th December.

Monday 7 December 2009

A Polo Mint?

Take one ring shaped thing, in this case a polystyrene wreath, (it's not a polo mint, that was a joke, tee hee) and cover it with Christmassy fabric... I chose red, that's Christmassy!
start covering it with thin strips of fabric, also Christmassy colours... unless you want other colours..... (black and white ... humbugs!!!)
keep going until the hoop thing is full and trim the bits that are too long..... or don't and leave them long!
find one unfinished Christmas ornament from last year and attach it to the centre, he he he ... hang it on a door.... simples!!!

Sunday 6 December 2009

A Christmas Tree

A lovely crocheted Christmas Tree with fluffy, soft snow... I didn't make it, I am still battling with my crocheted bag... My mum made this one, she ran out of green yarn though so it won't get any bigger than this. If you make it as instructed here it makes a very cool advent calendar.... it's a bit late now I suppose it's the 6th December ALREADY!

Saturday 5 December 2009

Eye Candy...

I went on a mini-mission to locate the two quilt shops from the meeting on Thursday evening.....
Pollyanna Patchwork is just inside a small shopping centre in the high street of Eccleshall. There's plenty of free parking in the streets near by. It's a lovely bright shop..... as you can see.
Look in the bottom left corner, see the chair with the quilt draped over it? That is Pollyanna's "Chap Chair" he he he.... it's the one your driver/husband/dad/bank manager/ can sit in while you shop! he he he ... of course Mums and Aunties and girl friends can sit on it too...
I found Zigzags shop too, in Newport, Shropshire.... but I forgot to take pictures.... oh no, I will have to go back another day!

Friday 4 December 2009

Staffordshire Patchwork & Quilters'

The meeting was a little different than usual, t'was party night.... The organisers had invited three ladies to come along and give us short demonstrations...
This one was so cool, you know how we think we don't need the 'slivers' of fabric? the ones we throw away unless we are stuffing things... the ones you might get from cutting the folds off instead of wasting time ironing them out... look what you could be making..... Alison was demonstrating these little cuties... she invented them all by her very self whilst fiddling with the tiny bits one day..... brilliant! and what a great thing to do with those cute buttons we can get these days....

This is Zigzags quilt shop... they demonstrated little gift tags made using lutrador and painted newspaper, and tiny little gift boxes, and greeting cards too... all quite useful. Ineke Berlyn is going to be at their shop in Newport tomorrow, signing books and available to chat with... Zigzags doesn't have a web page just yet but it is under construction.

This demo was fabulous, I didn't catch the lady's name but she was lovely and made fabulous art out of stuff we generally throw away... she gave us permission to eat chocolates and sweets, just so we can save the lovely wrappers! now that's a winner!!!!! back on track.... she starts by painting bondaweb... underwonderwonderunder... I forget what she called it, anyway, it was so good that I am going to organise full day workshop with her. She can do it for 10 ladies... I will let you know when I have news.

We had a short 'show and tell' at the end of the evening. Great colours in this one.....

One lady had made this as a Christmas gift for her grandson, can you see the lighthouses? She should get a huge hug from him for this one eh!
It was a good evening, we had fruit punch, tea & coffee and a pot luck buffet, a raffle, a snowflake competition and the 3 demo's... a good evening all round!

Wednesday 2 December 2009

Uttoxeter Quilt Class

Gillian has not only finished her Rail Fence table runner... she didn't bring it in today because it has taken pride of place on her table all ready for the upcoming holiday that shall not be spoken about in this post...! This is Gillian's second project, a baby quilt. It is one of those already printed tops so it only needed quilting. Gillian quilted round all the framing and will hand quilt some of the pictures... this needs to be finished before baby starts school!
This is Jenni with her very own Bernina Aurora 440 QE. She has been studying the manual and learning how to love it even more!!! he he he. She is adding the binding to her table runner in this picture and, a little later, she went on to make a label for it.
After making the label we started learning a few of the many ways to make half square triangles. Starting with the 'cut 2 triangles and stitch together... being very careful not to stretch the bias and not to let the triangle points disappear into the feed-dogs" method... I call it "the old way", he he he. We moved on to drawing the line on a square and stitching either side method with a few little tweaks of my own.... making perfect half square triangles. Jenni was impressed with the sheet method.. you know... making lots at one time where you mark a bigger piece of fabric and sew it all BEFORE cutting anything... love that method.... and just for fun because we made so many HST samples, we made some hour glass blocks too. Don't worry about the colours here... it was just for practice! he he he
Dotty Maureen bought in her Inekle Berlyn landscape quilt, the one she started at the workshop last Friday. She has been adding the applique things and has starting embellishing with decorative stitching, doesn't it look fabulous!

I've had to change some of the lesson dates for the Utoxeter classes so, if you are interested, please check out the right side column of this page for the new dates.
I am hoping to get more classes started in the New Year, which is only just around the corner now!
Remember... if you would like me to bring Aurora 440 QE sewing machines for you or your group to play me

Tuesday 1 December 2009

Fabric Storage Cupboard

My new Ikea wardrobe, the one I built all by my very self and posted a picture of yesterday, has generated quite a lot of interest.... so I thought I would post some information about it. The wardrobe is from the Ikea Pax range, link here ... I had the one that is 210cm tall because I wanted to put my batting rolls on the top. It cost £65.
The baskets can be found here from the Komplement interior range. I bought 8 of them but you can choose to have shelves as well. The baskets are £4 each and come including the sliding things that you screw to the wardrobe sides. It was all very easy to build.
I hope this helps those of you who were curious.