Tuesday 28 April 2020

A Pond Of Turtles

I wrote about working to finish this Turtles quilt in Quilty Quarters a couple of weeks ago (Click here if you didn't see it) I forgot to post a Fabulous and finished picture, so there wasn't a Toot toot toot fanfare for my very own self, tisk! 
At the time we were all locked down for three weeks and I was quite content to wait to deliver My Turtle gift to our beautiful, new little man. 
Weeks have ticked by, he's growing so fast, 6 weeks already! 
There's no sign of the end of travel ban yet, don't take that wrong, I am quite happy to conform to rules for as long as it takes, so it's not a complaint...
So, on Thursday last week, I decided to parcel the Turtle Quilt up, along with a pile of 'Welcome Anders' cards still undelivered, and brave a trip to the local Post Office. Luckily for me, I was the only person in the Post Office, so that was a relief.
This special parcel arrived at Lilly's home on Saturday morning, excellent service, and at only £3.10 it was excellent value to boot.
Lilly videoed opening  the parcel for me... oh my goodness! That was such a thoughtful thing to do... I got to share the experience, as near as I could... It was wonderful... happy 'wow's', happy tears, happy, happy, happy. I loved my video. Anders and Lilly loved the Quilt... And here is the beautiful quilt  little man himself!  He looks like he is playing with the turtles in their very own pond and they all have their googly eyes on him!! Bless him xxx

Of course there has to be a label...
We will meet soon...
I hope Anders will be prepared. He'll be squished by everyone.
Weeks and weeks of saved up cuddles... arriving all at the very same time, Oh my!

Monday 27 April 2020

Stitching News

The best way to start a blog post is with a fabulous and finished fanfare... New Sue finished her monotone gifting quilt. It's a wedding gift, just a little bit late, the wedding happened last November... but these wonderful art works cannot be rushed... Toot toot toot Sue.

Our Carol lost her sewing mojo when we were first told to stay home. Lots of people were left a bit nonplussed with the news at first. Carol wasn't in the mood at all for sewing, until she saw that her skills were needed for making scrubs...

Hats and hairbands... Well done Our Carol. A much needed resource and, as they are all fabulous and finished... you can have one of our special quilty toot toot toot fanfares.

Back when life was the 'old normal', a lady named Victoria came to my shop to purchase gifting fabric to take to the other side of our world. What a lovely thing to do! Judy, who lives on that other side of the world, sent this photo to show us what she made with her wonderful gift of fabric. Thank you Judy, toot toot toot for your fabulous and finished quilt.

Sunday 26 April 2020

Stitching News

One little pooch from the Elizabeth Hartman collection of patterns. It's called Dogs in Sweaters. Fiona Too has made this design a few times for gifting cushions. Each time she has fun personalising them. This particular gifting cushion needed a more scruffy/less smooth  pooch, so hand stitched embellishing was added 

Pleased with enhanced look on the face, Fiona added stitching to the tail too... just the right effect she wanted. We can't toot toot for the fabulous and finished cushion just yet, although it only has one step to go...

The back is ready, complete with a piped covered cushion flap... But Fiona has no zip!!! What a shame, but a cushion zip is at the top of her shopping list for when we are released.
Thank you for sending the photos Fiona.

Monday 20 April 2020

Stitching News

New Sue finished this lovely quilt She used two Moda Charm Packs for the colourful centre and lots of different cream fabrics chosen from her stash for the edges. A great design for 5" squares don't you think? Toot toot toot Sue, it's a fabulous finish.

On the Thursday of last week that my wonderful shop was allowed to be open, Sister Susie came to purchase something to play with... she was very wise and knew she was going to be staying home. This is the very same Moda Charm Pack that New Sue used for the quilt above... how very different they look.
Sister Susie needs more fabric to finish the Charm Pack quilt so isn't able to continue sewing that project. Having been inspired by Our Pam's quilt in a recent blog post, Susie's been making these blocks from fabrics in her stash... Lovely they are too.

Kate's Lynda is also digging into her stash and making up these heart blocks. She says she's going to make this quilt for her very own self... It will be a lovely reminder of these strange times... and the fact that it's not pink is quite amazing!

All Day Di spent many a happy hour sorting out the fabrics for this delightful Apron... Pleasing her very own self and changing the fabrics over and over as she went along... for months and months. With this lock-down she's been able to finish it, so we get to hold up the trumpets... Toot toot toot Di, a fabulous finish.

Sporty Sue's project... it's Cross-Stitch but still on a patchwork quilt theme. I think I'm remembering correctly that Sue said it's a monthly sew along Cross Stitch, like a BOM (Block of the Month?) so she's working to stitch just at the right speed to keep up.

Our Pam is quilting one of her large scrappy quilts at the moment... and you know how that can be a challenge on the shoulders! So for a little light relief she put it to one side for a day and did a bit of appliqueing. She needs a few little Teddies ready for a new baby quilt... Can you see this teddy has 3D ears!! 

I have finally caught up on the Gift Vouchers for my very own shop... All hand painted with water colours... I'm no artist but don't they look great! I've put them away so they don't get covered in dust... This shut down will go on for ages yet.
Hope you are all stitching?

Wednesday 15 April 2020

Have You Checked Your Bottom!

Unless you're one of those avid gardening types (my neighbours are but I am not... and they are making my garden look really neglected!) you have probably found time for a good amount of machine stitching... hoooorah! but...
Have you thought to care for your machine? I think you will be surprised by how mucky it is... Cleaning your bobbin area, and lifting out out the bobbin casing to clean underneath it, should be a very frequent job. I would say for every other bobbin re-fill. Keep the top working parts as clean as you can. 
All of the customers who come to my classes and workshops know how to do this, I even do it for a lot of them, I think it's a lovely maintenance job and the machines usually sound so much better after a good clean up.
You're probably aware than the majority of my classroom customers own Juki sewing machines. Recently we decided that it was time for many of them to be sent back to Franklins for a full service, this is a great thing to do, a little costly but your machine will come home with a full 12 months further guarantee, brilliant.
Alas we were all stopped from sending our machines for the service, due to the current situation. 
That's not news is it!!!
Now, back to before we were locked up...
Farmer Lynda keeps her Juki lovely and clean. Usually giving a good doing the day before she comes for class so that she doesn't get accused of being a mucky pup, ha ha ha. With the bobbin case out, she accidentally dropped her cotton-bud and it fell through the workings and couldn't be reached. She was worried then, so she came to my shop for help. I tried but couldn't reach it either, I couldn't even see it.

See these two screws?... I very tentatively unscrewed them, I don't like to mess too much with the machine workings... but all was good. I found Lynda's cotton bud right there on the bottom and she was very relieved... But... oh my goodness did we find a lot of fluff, threads and lint... it was really terrible, and that's with Lynda regularly cleaning her bobbin area!
After that I encouraged all the ladies to look at their bottoms... All ladies, without exception, were really surprised to see such a fluff-itty-ness. Whilst on our retreat we all helped each other clean our bottoms. and best of all... The Jukis love it.

Don't scroll down if you are tickle stomached!!!

Click on the picture for a closer inspection of this!!!
This is not Lynda's Juki, this one belongs to another customer. I'm not going to say who's this is, that would not be fair... She does a lot of beautiful quilting though. She messaged me to say her Juki sounded a bit noisy, so I walked her through what to do... Tip the machine over carefully... where the two screws are etc WOW!!! what a dirty machine... poor Juki!!!

Much better in this picture but still quite a bit of fluff to get out. If you use a cotton bud, carefully and don't drop it of course, and twist it like a miniature candy-floss stick, it will pull out more linty-stuff. Be careful not to mop up any grease, that needs to be there, just get rid of the fluff. Christabelle says her Juki is sewing a lot smoother now! ha ha ha
So remember, clean your sewing machines !!!
Feel free to send me pictures of your Juki bottoms, before and after! ha ha ha

Saturday 11 April 2020

Stitching News

Our Pam finished her Turtle quilt top. She even went outside to place it on her lawn to take this stylised picture for us! I bet those turtles wanted to run! ha! Thank you Pam. Like my very good self, she was very relieved to have finished blanket stitching around all those fun, googly eyes.

Christabelle continued with her Free-Motion quilting...
This is the centre part of the design, remember I explained that  will be joined apartment-ly 

This is how the back will look, no fabric changes, Chris bought the whole bolt the day it arrived in my very own (now neglected) shop, just to make sure she had enough. It shows up Christabelle's quilting really well... isn't it wonderful!

No photo description available.
Louise Merlot started this project during our recent retreat to Alison House and my goodness did she enjoy working on it... well who wouldn't... it's such a fun design. It has this wonderful centre. The pattern has lots of fun borders... as many as you like really. 
No photo description available.
Toot toot toot time now... Kate has this fabulous and finished quilt... This all started with a monotone theme...black, white and all the greys in between. It's now a bright and cheerful number with a punch... a big punch, of bright, summery Yellow

Nuttie is rather an expert with knitting and with crochet.
This is a gifting project she's working on at the moment.
Gosh how very clever! Not quilting but hey... it's crafting!
I hope you are coping and staying sane...
We are so lucky to have Quilting, Sewing and any other craft to lean on.
I can't imagine this Staying At Home malarkey without my Quilting Addiction.
Sewing is helping to cure my new cleaning virus... don't worry,  I'm recovering quite well from that beast!

Friday 10 April 2020

Stitching News

Lets get started with a fabulous and finished fanfare for Fiona Too... toot toot toot. Most of these fabrics were gifted to her by her Son, (who, Fiona says, has had a good talking to because they were not purchased in my very own shop, ooops)  It looks like it has been woven doesn't it.... Quilt-As-You-Go blocks (or stitch and flip as some people call the method) all joined together apartment-ly with a crackingly perfect, white and black Art Gallery fabric. Faux Piped Binding too. Splendid!

Norma has finished her quilt top and now she's preparing ideas for the backing so she can get it sandwiched. There are grandchildren where Norma is locked up, so not a lot of sewing time is permitted. Well done Norma, your quilt is very good, different from our plan... but good and done! ha ha ha

New Sue finished her quilting. Got the binding on and, as you can see, got it all clipped in place so... that's just a bit of hand stitching to be done. Sue didn't have enough fabric for her binding to be done a traditional way so she had to use her noggin and invent a new method... no-one will even know!

This is a customer quilt, Poppie's Mum made it. All of the fabrics and even the book with the pattern, were purchased from my very own shop... Isn't it wonderful, and so very different. I think I am right in saying that it was quilted by Amanda in Stone. Toot toot toot Annie, a truly fabulous and finished quilt.

Keep your tooting trumpets up now for our Pam... A beautiful Scrappity-Doo-Dah apron. If you remember lots of my customers were making scrappy aprons to wear as 'Walking Art' at the now postponed, Uttoxeter Quilt Show... This one was a bit of a challenge with a slightly different method of piecing. Lovely though Pam, toot toot toot .

Nuttie is making great progress with her Half Square Triangles for the Ocean Waves blocks. I think she said she was up to 22 blocks last time she messaged, well done Nuttie. It will be so beautiful and bright with all those fabrics.
If you haven't seen the Quilt news for a while....
Our May Quilting Retreat, at the wonderful Alison House in Cromford, has been cancelled. None of us were surprised... We can retreat at home, it's not the same but I'm sure we can cope.
I've provisionally booked May 2021!!! ha ha ha

Our Annual Pilgrimage to the Festival Of Quilts at the NEC will not be happening this year. They took the very sensible decision, to call it off. That needs no explanation really.
I've booked our coach for the 1st August 2021 though, woop woop!

Monday 6 April 2020

Log Cabin

Log Cabin designs are a favourite of mine... 
Going round and round and round and round... ha ha ha
I learned how to knit a Log Cabin design too. This is a cushion front. I used Kaffe Fassett sock yarn. I think it gives a fabulous distressed-y paint effect... very arty farty eh. I've only been knitting the cushion back for two years...  it's a work in progress,

So, while I have a little bit of time on my hands and the evenings are lighter for longer, I've been getting on with it. Now then... isn't that a lovely wool pot/ yarn bowl!!! I painted it at Pretty Pots  last year with a small group of friends, what a lovey day that was, it involved a rather extravagant Afternoon Tea too.  

Sunday 5 April 2020

Stitching News

Thank you for the photos quilty ladies... I have enough for a blog post, here goes...
Norma hadn't really managed to have any time for sewing. There are little kiddos in her house so she was playing, entertaining and helping to home school. Now though, she had to be isolated in her very own 'private wing', just a precaution. In her very own private wing, she was able to sew! Every cloud eh... she's making a kiddy quilt... it looks good Norma, keep it up.

Nuttie had been inspired by the Ocean Waves quilt top that I was working on it at our last retreat. (I'm hoping it was NOT our last retreat) She's decided to make her very own Ocean Waves quilt while she's locked up (isolated)... with all these wonderful colours, I'm sure it will be fabulous. There are loads of patterns on this website, have a look... you could use up a bit of your stash.

Sister Susie's fabulous and finished autumnal table topper... Toot toot toot! It's been made with the Twister method which is very time consuming, just when you see it looking almost done, you have to cut it all up again, twist the blocks a bit then sew it all back together... sounds crackers eh? We made up the design.

Christabelle has decided to use the apartment joining method for this project, she's done it before with a huge quilt so she knows what she is letting her very own self in for. Such a beautiful block, it is an Anna Maria Horner pattern called Folk Flowers, if you fancy a go, be forewarned, it's not as easy as it looks... but it is lovely and Chris is not phased.

Rose is making a very useful and quite large tote bag.
It's standing up all by it's very own self because she used the fabulous foam stuff, In R Form. The fabric is an Art Gallery Canvas, very easy to work with.

Lynda  has been working hard, she made a production line... these are Peg Bags. She's using up her stash of fabrics to make the peg bags for a charitable sale... 
Toot toot toot toot toot toot, 6 fabulous and finished Peg Bags... 6 toots, ha!

Wednesday 1 April 2020

Stitching News

A few photos were sent to me yesterday... most pictures snapped on mobile phones... It's good to see some people are getting a little time to stitch... If we learn anything from this experience, and let's face it, it is a new experience for most of us, it's that I take great photos with my perfect purple camera!!! ha ha ha
My Mum Gwynneth is very pleased to have finished the hand piecing on this Tula Pink Quilt Kit  top. She's been working on it, on and off, for a few years. Hand piecing is a great caravan project. Now mum will need to decide how to finish off those edges... she might not like my great idea, ha ha ha.

Rosie popped in to my shop recently to purchase one of my 'Eye Spy' packs of six inch squares and made up this lovely baby gifting play mat. It has now been gifted to the new baby girl, and she loves it. It's a fabulous and finished gift, Toot toot toot, and as for the fabulous and finished gifting quit... toot toot toot, ha!

New Sue sent evidence that she has started on her quilting. This quilt is a great design for a charm pack isn't it. Sue used a William Morris inspired Charm Pack from Moda. It could also be great for lots of different pieces of any size squares really... like scraps!! I love scraps.

And speaking of scraps... Our Pam finished this lovely strippy quilt-as-you-go and apartment joined quilt. We were all working on scrappy projects in readiness for the no longer up and coming Uttoxeter Quilt Show... until a couple of weeks ago when it was called off. It's a fabulous and finished quilt Pam, toot toot toot. We will use it for our inspirational, demonstration booth  in 2021 !
More soon...