Sunday 31 January 2010

I Quilted

Tomorrow I shall clean the house and catch up on the chores... because today, I quilted... for almost all of the day, I stitched.... and to top it all off perfectly, I found my quilting mojo!
I've picked out the fabric for the binding, I've pulled fabrics to finish another PHD.... looks like I'm finally on a roll!!

Fabric Plant Pot

White hyacinths, from the 'hardly alive and therefore a bargain corner' in Morrisons supermarket... it looks like I have successfully revived them! Every time I look the flower heads are a little bit bigger... don't they look lovely in my scrap fabric flower pot! inside though, they sit in a plastic bag as my pot isn't waterproof, he he he

Friday 29 January 2010

My New Quilt Group

As you can see, I was sewing all by my very own self again today. I chose a different place to sit this time, which is about the only advantage of being the only person there! he he he....
but today was not the same as last time, 15th, not at all. I had many people pop in to see me, my quilts, to look at the room, to ask questions and make general enquiries. One lady will definitely join me next Friday. She was so happy to find me! (I'm smiling!)
Other ladies have taken leaflets to show to friends with my contact details... so hopefully they will call me to book a place or two.
I didn't waste any time at all... in between all the visits, I cut out a Rail Fence, girly-pink baby quilt top! I cut the strips to 2 1/2" wide, sewed all the strip sets together and cut them into my blocks... cute isn't it... all Brazilian fabrics.
I also popped down to the restaurant and had a lovely cup of tea... it smells soooo good in there, the food is really delicious, did I mention that it is included in the daily price?

Thursday 28 January 2010

I'm Quilting....

I made a sandwich yesterday! he he he... of course I mean a quilty one. I pondered a while about how to quilt this project. I really like this wall hanging and I don't want to favour it less, that's a more positive way of saying 'I don't want to spoil it'. I'm just going to finish round the applique with the walking foot then I'll change the foot and do a little (or a lot if I get carried away) of free motion quilting... I'll start with a shadow line following the design and go from there. The light on my Aurora Baby is brilliant, the light you see there is from the machine alone... no camera flash and no room light on... well there's light coming in through the window too.

Wednesday 27 January 2010

A Fabric Sale!

The Craft Locker in Uttoxeter is selling patchwork fabrics with 30% discount on marked prices!!!
Now, I'm no 'mathemist', but... that's almost a third of the price knocked off! There's a good variety of colours and designs to choose from... including Christmas fabrics (which we always need because we have a Christmas every year don't we?)
I found it really hard not to buy three fabrics in particular... like I need more fabric! but I haven't stopped thinking about it... not yet!
The reason for the sale? Simone has new fabrics coming in and she needs to have these shelves to put them on. The sale lasts until the fabric is all gone.

Tuesday 26 January 2010

Uttoxeter Quilt Class

Giggly Gillian brought this wild quilt in to show us. She has done a bit of quilting in the past and had kept it a secret from me! This is lovely, it's hand quilted and has embellishment to boot.
The fabrics Gillian is using for her Log Cabin project are what she had left over from that project, here she is hard at it. She made 14 blocks at home so everything is coming along nicely.
I took this photo only because Gillian requested that I get her lovely, new, pink nails in on my blog post... she will probably be shocked when she sees that I took her seriously! he he he
Lizzie has been working away at home too. She brought in all her half square triangles finished, 72 of them, and the 24 blocks only needed one more green strip to finish them. Today she made the sawtooth blocks ready for the borders, laid out here, it looks fabulous! I bet she'll bring it in finished in two weeks time!
Messy Maureen had a head start because she came to class on Sunday too.... so her top is finished,,, woohoooo. We made the backing but, as Maureen didn't expect to finish it, she hasn't bought the batting yet. She left class 15 minutes early to go looking for some. Next class she will be making a sandwich!

Sunday 24 January 2010

Uttoxeter Quilt Class

I had the camera in my hand, quite a lot to be honest, it's a shame though... I forgot to use it! So this is all I have for you today...
Liz made a perfect booboo... have you ever done this? Quilting away only to find that you have quilted another part of the quilt to the bit you were working on? I've done it... more than once... but I am not going to tell you that!! he he he
Ian (my Sunday "Guy" who is the subject of some of my emails...) was concentrating so much while quilting his project... he wanted every line so perfectly straight.... I'm sure he wasn't breathing while he quilted!
Anyway, this is himself an hour later, he was so stiff and full of tension that Liz, his partner, had to sort him out with a quick massage, much to the amusement of us gals... who obviously have way more stamina!?
Messy Maureen was with us today too, I missed getting a picture of her log cabin progress, but it is looking good, I'll show you on Tuesday after the next Uttoxeter Class. We are already discussing her next project, woooohooo. She told me today that she is finding the whole process quite addictive, he he he, ya think?

Thursday 21 January 2010

A Birthday Surprise

Look what my Mum made for me!!! She has been working on this for ages. Isn't it absolutely WONDERFUL!!! So many different colours! Mum says it was really hard to ensure that no two hexagons are the same, even my Dad got involved with that part! Now Mum finds she is suffering with cold legs, he he he, she has had this draped over her lap for months while she was crocheting and is really noticing it's not there any more, he he he.... but my knees are toasty and warm! ... as are my feet! She made these cool socks for me too, they come up just over my ankles... I don't know about you, but only when my feet are warm, am I good to go! I confess, it was my birthday on Tuesday 19th and I spent my day with my son, Mum and Dad... playing MahJong!! I love playing MahJong!

Wednesday 20 January 2010

Maureen's Colours

Dotty Maureen popped over yesterday and brought her Log Cabin (Lilly's Colours?? not) quilt. I almost had to dig out my sunglasses!!!
It was border decision time.... Luckily she had just enough of the black fabrics to finish all the main and saw tooth HST blocks. When I say just enough... she has barely got and inch of any of them left! I love it when that happens, don't you?
Not so good though...the yellows have also run out, which isn't so convenient as Maureen wanted to add yellow borders. but don't go worrying about that..... She pulled a window blind out of her bag?... it's cotton and a good yellow... she is going to unpick the seams on it, wash it, cut 3 1/2"" strips of it... and all will be perfect!!! I guess she will have to make another window blind now though, but needs must!

Sunday 17 January 2010

Uttoxeter Quilt Class

What a beautiful day it was today, we had sunshine! Most of the ice has gone now and the temperatures have soared up to +4!! My goodness, a heatwave?
Ian and Liz made great progress again today... they each added two borders, both using the Aurora's this time. Ian opted for HST corner stones... to add a little more interest to the white outer border and still keeping with the rugby team theme!
Both made a sandwich and Liz invented a new quilting design, quite by accident.... it looks great , especially on the back.
They seam (ooops!!) seem very happy with their new projects, and rightly so... don't you think?
Messy Maureen joined us for the afternoon shift. She didn't make too much mess today though. She worked on her HST blocks ready to piece her Sawtooth block border on the Lilly's Colours project.

We've booked the room for the next Sunday, so we will have class on the 24th January too.

Friday 15 January 2010

My New Quilt Group

Today was the first day for my new Quilt group in Forsbrook. As you can see, the room has great light, large tables and plenty of room to get around. It has excellent tea and coffe making facilities, lovely loos and it is all very clean and toasy warm.
There's also plenty of parking as this room is above the lovely gift shop on the grounds of a farm, which also houses a large garden centre. There are a few stairs to get up here but, should you wish to come, I will be more than happy to help you carry your supplies up to our new room... I should mention that I am a very helpful person... he he he
I was sewing today on the fabulous Aurora 440 QE, easily spotted in this photo.... I made more half square triangles for my Ocean Waves PhD... but that is all that happened, not a single sewing soul came to my new little quilt group... what a shame.... but it is early days, not many people are out and about because of the weather, so I will be there again on the 29th January, 10am - 3pm... won't you come join me?

Thursday 14 January 2010

My PhD & Scraps

As you can see here (I know the photos are rubbish but... hey ho) I have only got a small pile of tiny scraps left in my tray. I realise that it is going to fill again, goes with patchwork really, but I intend to keep on top of them from now on... it did get a little ridiculous...
I've completed a further 5 crumb blocks, some 14 more are almost done. I love that black and white squarey fabric and I almost didn't use it.
This has two centres sewn together early on, can you figure them out?
Another block.. you know, I can remember where almost all of these scraps came from, which projects they are left over from or who gave them to me etc... almost all, that's not bad eh?
This is my PhD wall... ha ha ha...
I found this PhD idea on another blog or site, not sure where it was... these projects are not UFO's you see... because they have not been left unfinished... they are Works In Progress... WIP's but I like PhD, it sounds 'more clever-er' , don't you agree? That's 'Projects Half Done'... just in case you haven't figured it out for your very clever self! ha ha ha

Tuesday 12 January 2010

Uttoxeter Quilt Class

Dotty Maureen has kept herself busy over the holiday. Here are just two of her many projects. This is her paper-pieced Christmas Cactus all but the background colours are hand dyed fabrics, and you know from previous posts that when Dotty does hand dying it is for real... she's had blue, bright pink, red and green hands!
This is another Dotty project. The purples are a kind of suede feel fabric... lovely and soft. This pattern is from "Quilt in a Day" TV, it's called Orion's Star.
I need to re-name 'Normal Maureen' and call her 'Messy Maureen' he he he, she does like to have her stuff everywhere while she is working. Today we had to have the ladies use only one table each, so funny containing them! That's Dotty working opposite with those lovely bright yellows.
Gillian is now making her quilt with animal prints and beige. It wasn't her original plan, but once I saw her pile of lovely prints and a few metres of the beige from another bag.... he he he, I stepped in and she loved the idea! It's going to look very cool. grrrrrrrr...
here she's trimming up the 24 centre half square triangles using Dotty's brilliant ruler from Creative Grids.
This is Lizzie, back from her holidays in the USA. She went to a lovely quilt shop and to a Jo-Ann' fabric shop while she was there, lucky thing eh!... anyway, she's chosen to make her project in three shades of green, light, medium and dark, this project should be a calming one then eh! In this picture she is also trimming her 24 half square triangle centres.
Messy Maureen made 6 full blocks today, she was using the little Bernina 230 PE and has requested to use it again... at this week's Sunday class.... addicted???
How fabulous are these black & yellows? Dotty received them in a 'Sweet Treat' package that she signed up for. She never knows what will be in the package so it is a lovely surprise every time... Dotty might have to wear sunglasses to use this quilt! he he

Sunday 10 January 2010

His & Hers Class

Today saw the launch of my Sunday Sewing Classes at the Bank House Hotel in Uttoxeter. Two people came... well, I gotta start somewhere eh. This is Liz.. she got to use one of the Aurora babies.. and she loved it!
This is her partner, Ian. I gave him the Bernina 230... for today. I suggested that next week they could swap, but Liz doesn't want to, I'm not surprised... so I will take an Aurora for Ian too. He has never used a sewing machine before and I have to say... he's very good at it... very straight lines.
They both got a lot done.. of course we were doing my favourite beginner project.. a Rail Fence Table Runner.... Liz chose Autumn colours....
Ian chose the colours of his favourite Rugby team..... Leicester (I think) ... red green and white.... so his project matched his shirt!
They both finished the centre of their quilt tops today so next Sunday, we will add the borders, make sandwiches and, hopefully, quilt them using a walking foot.

It's still snowing and freezing here, very pretty!

Saturday 9 January 2010

Birte's Quicky

Birte sent this photo, drunken snowmen... at least that's what she called it, I see her point! She says it was a very fast, paper pieced quilt. Like a lot of people, Birte wishes that the paper would just disappear once the block is done.. he he he.
Birte, you could buy that wash off stuff you know? It is a bit (very) expensive but it dissolves in water.

Friday 8 January 2010

Close Up...

I'm not really understanding why people are asking me for patterns to make scrappy crumb blocks... I promise you... you don't need patterns.... maybe is it because it is too easy?

All you do is take a few tiny scraps, any shape, and sew them together... nothing more...
after you've joined two, you trim/cut a straight line and sew on number 3 scrap to the unit, kind of 'log-cabin' style, but it really doesn't matter if you do it in a different way... no real rules...
as the block gets bigger you start to use strips....

if the scrap isn't long enough, don't worry, you can always sew on another bit to fill the gap...
you can see here that I had added tiny triangle bits to some corners, that's because the strips weren't long enough so I needed to fill... the resulting shape is a little wonky, this isn't a problem... trim it!
If I trim this particular block to the desired 9 1/2" I will have tiny thin strips on the edges... which complicates joining the blocks a bit...
here is a cunning trick, slash it in two, doesn't have to be level halves...
flip one side round and stitch it together again.. brings the whole thing closer to a square....
Next time I make a block, I'll take pictures of the process from 2 bits to 9 1/2" block, maybe that will help you see, it is all just too easy?

Wednesday 6 January 2010

Snow Day...

I had to cancel the first quilting class of 2010. I had everything stacked up by the door but as I went to load it all into the car it started to snow again, heavily. I haven't had to deal with snow for 15 years and I am a little afraid of driving when there's such thick ice on the road, so for safety, I cancelled... I'm sorry, because the ladies were really looking forward to getting back to a little stitchery.
Not wanting to waste the day I cracked on with much needed housework, but not for the whole day... he he he. I worked on my crumb blocks! wooo hoooo... mindless sewing, perfect!
I now have a total of 50 x 9 1/2" blocks completed and 25 others over half way done. That pile you see in the picture is all I have left of the tiny /small scraps, I have quite a large container of longer strips on the other side... hopefully I will do a little more later... yeeha!

Monday 4 January 2010

Bernina Cutie

Isn't this a little cutie?
When Bernina & Bambers gave me the 4 Aurora 440 QE machines to play with in classes, they also gave me this
230 Patchwork Edition. I was sewing with it yesterday, lovely! It is slightly smaller and lighter, obviously, but it has a lot going for it... especially this one. It is on promotion at the moment. So for the normal price you get extra stuff!! The free hands system, a 1/4" patchwork foot #57, a walking foot, the brilliant CFL light that stops any shadowing, the extension table is thrown it too... all at no extra cost!!...

Saturday 2 January 2010

Post Card

This is the post card that I sent to Javhlan. She lives in Lisbon but was here in the UK over the holidays so she only just now got back home to find a lovely surprise waiting... Apart from a few stray threads, it seems to have survived the journey very well.