Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 Round-up…

One of the nice things about the end of the year is that I can look back and see just how many projects I completed in 2012 and I have to admit I’m rather surprised.  Even more so as it's not even the complete list as I have yet to blog about the things I made as Christmas presents…that will have to be a post in January as the pictures are still on the camera :o)  Some items weren’t big and some items were things I started before 2012, but just the same a finish is a finish and it was really nice to get a few things crossed off the list.  Here are some of my finishes in 2012…click any of the pictures to see the original post.

This little purse was made earlier on in 2012 and has proven to be invaluable.  It is just the right size to hold a thimble, a spool of thread and a pair of scissors.

A Lynne Anderson kit for a pin cushion was a great project to start the new year with and so useful too :o)
This was the first of 2 bargellos made this year in an attempt to reduce the scraps piling up in the cupboard.  I love how quick this pattern sews up and I can’t wait to make another. I made this quilt over the last 2 years with a local group.  The book it is from is Lynne Edwards’ Sampler book.
This was the second bargello made with 2” strips.  If I had to pick a favourite for the year then this would be it.  It now lives on my bed and I love looking at all the fabrics.  This was the second sample quilt made along with the one above.  All made from homespuns and old shirts it is incredibly comfy.  In the end I over dyed it with beige dye to give it an aged look.
Another scrappy challenge and again such good fun to put together.  This one was given to Project Linus.
There were a few project along the way for Project Linus, some where I might have only done the quilting or stitched on a binding.  A worthy cause and one I plan to continue to support in 2013.

This was my Cheddar Cheese quilt made a couple of years ago.  Again it was a great scrap buster.
This was another favourite in 2012.  The granny craze swept through blogland and many of these quilts were made.  If you haven’t made one, then get to it!  These blocks sew up quickly and it’s fun to play with the colour variations.  Here’s the original link and here’s Lynda’s variation on piecing them which I found made them even easier to piece.

When the original cover for the basket grew old and tired I made a new one…

My mystery quilt from a few years ago finally got finished and put to good use.

So there you have it…my little round up of 2012.  Along with quilting and sewing I also managed to contribute to the 112 in 2012 challenge.  I didn’t quite finish it, but the pictures I did take I’m quite pleased with.  There is a 113 in 2013 group starting if you think you might like to join in this year.  I found it was quite helpful to have a running list of things to focus on and it made me take pictures I wouldn’t have otherwise. 

Well I’ll sign off here as my last post of 2012.  Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!

Until next time...♥

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas…

I’m in the final stages of prepping for the big day with my turkey crown defrosting the fridge.  It’s been there since last night and still solid as a rock!  Someone please let me know that it will be thawed by tomorrow morning!? I haven’t done turkey and all the trimmings for a number of years so I’m panicking slightly :o) 

Everything else is ready…the mince pies are made and the Christmas pud is ready too.  The gifts are wrapped and all ready to go under the tree. So I guess all that is left to do is wish you and your family a happy and healthy holiday season.  May your days be merry and bright and filled with laughter and cheer!

Until next time...♥

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Christmas Crafting…

Just under a week ago I mentioned that I had entered Holiday Making Mode and I can tell you about the first things I made.  In the latest issue of Mollie Makes they had lots of beautiful ideas, but the one that caught my eye and looked the most achievable were some badges made from covered buttons.  A quick look on eBay found me a seller that had 10 self-covering buttons at a reasonable price and with them delivered in just a couple of days I knew I could get something made quickly before the rush of the season.

I made 3 reindeer badges and used fun foam for the antlers…

and three robins…

They weren’t difficult to make and will make excellent stocking stuffers :o)

Until next time...♥

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Steam Train Excursion…

Last weekend 12 of us boarded a train in Cheddleton in Staffordshire…not just any train but a Santa steam train!  I’d never been on nor ever seen a steam train up close before and it really was quite something to see.

As it roared into the station the steam billowed upward and I had only a second to take in its majestic entrance and snap a couple of pictures.  It’s really hard to tell from these pictures how big that steam cloud was nor the way that it enveloped you as it went past.

As we waited patiently in the cold for the earlier passengers to get off, members of my family toddled up and down the platform to keep warm.

The station was all decorated for the season and it was just the thing to put me in the Christmas mood :o)

They even had a couple of jolly clowns on hand to keep the children busy while we waited.

It wasn’t long before we were settled in our carriage and the big man himself came through with gifts for the children while the adults snacked on mince pies and sweet sherry.

It was fun for the whole family and there were smiles all about making it easy to catch great pictures of the family.  Many magic memories were made on the day!

Until next time...♥

Monday, December 03, 2012

Into Holiday Mode…

There is something about December that makes me shelve all projects and head into gift making mode… 

I will be back with updates as and when time allows :o)

Until next time...♥

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

No Longer a Mystery…

March 2009 does really seem that long ago, but that’s when I, with a friend, ran a Mystery Quilt Day at my local quilt group.  We ran it where each person brought so many strips and so many HST and then on the day there were told how to put them together.  To increase the mystery further the instructions were only for 1/4 of the quilt and to get the full effect one had to sew all 4 quarters together.  Since then I have seen several of the quilts turn up at exhibitions and show and tells, but never had I finished my own…that is until now.

In each of the 4 corners there was an empty space which could be used for quilting, applique or as I did on my quilt, a bit of stitchery.

I opted for meandering quilting through all the white spaces, but didn’t stitch over the stitchery.  Instead I let it puff up and act as a feature.

It turned out better than I hoped and is a nice lap sized quilt which will be going to Project Linus.

Until next time...♥

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Doing the Happy Dance…

As promised, pictures of the recent finished quilts :o)  First it is The Scrappy Bargello.  Started in March it has 1812 individual squares.  There weren’t all sewn one by one, but rather I used Bonnie’s great tutorial to strip piece it.  I’m thrilled with the results and for me this is a keeper and has gone straight on the bed to keep me warm as the nights draw in.

Next is this little quilt for Project Linus.  They are, in fact, 5 orphan blocks from my Crossed Canoe class that I taught this year.  (You can read more about that HERE.)

Lastly is this quilt that was started at a Project Linus day.  Someone had started to piece together the Rose and Hubble fabrics and I just carried on, but added the white triangles to try and lift it from being too dark.

It was machine quilted with loop-de-loops and a few hand quilted hearts in the centres of the white squares.

Finished projects can only mean one thing….it’s ok to start something new!

Until next time...♥

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Is it a Pillow? or Is it a Quilt?

Back in September 2007 I did a workshop with two friends of mine (Bunty & Andrea) for a Quillow.  For those of you that might not be familiar with the term,  a quillow is a quilt that folds up into a pillow.  Traditionally the quilt is tucked into a panel at the bottom of the quilt, but the one I made folds into the middle and 4 flaps from the front fold around the quilt to create the pillow.

I used blocks that I had on hand at the time which I think came from a quilttalk block lotto I did back in Canada!  So a LONG time ago and way before blogs!

You start with a pocket in the centre which can be used to store a book and some chocolates :o) and the blocks sit around it.  Also sewn in are 4 triangle flaps which have loops of elastic at the tips which secure to the buttons.

I quilted it using a swirly vine.  I wanted to try something outside of my comfort zone and try something other than meandering.  It was a great pattern to stitch, but it did use A LOT of thread.

Here it is all opened up with the flaps secured to the buttons on the side…

…and here it is as a pillow.

The flaps fold over the folded quilt and again the loops of elastic latch onto the buttons and secure the whole thing together :o)

Back in December 2007 I made 2 smaller versions for my niece and nephew.  I used ribbon instead of elastics and buttons which worked very effectively as well.

Until next time...♥

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Move over Granny…

Anyone who knows me well, knows I love a quilting challenge.  I especially love getting a bunch of orphan blocks and trying to work out how to use them in a quilt.  Often these quilts are for Project Linus and often I have to think outside the box to make a pretty and usable quilt.  You might remember these two quilts HERE and HERE where I had to think of creative settings to use up the blocks. 

So you can imagine that when I made 154 crumb blocks I really had to get my thinking cap on as to how I could use those blocks creatively.

As I loved making the Granny Square Quilt back in July, my mind began to think..what would happen if I used crumb blocks instead of squares?  hmmmm well yes, I think that would work quite well!

As the blocks finish at 4” I had to do a little math to work out the set-in triangles.  I also decided to keep the colours the same for the centres and each of the rounds.  As there is enough busyness going on in the individual blocks I didn’t want it to look to messy.  The neutral and same fabric background also gives the eye a place to rest.

Quite conveniently the finished block measures 17” finished.  Nine blocks together with a bit of sashing makes for a very respectable 54” square quilt.  Perfect for Project Linus! 

I have enough blocks to make 2 more quilts, one with a blue background and one with a pink background.

If you are interesting in the Granny Tutorials here are the links:

Granny Square Quilt made famous by Blue Elephant Stitches.

Or the Great Granny Block from Bee in my Bonnet.

Lastly, I had to share this pic I grabbed at the Supermarket with my phone (hence the bad quality!) It’s a patchwork car! 

Until next time...♥

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Works in progress…

I've had one of those of those really good weeks where I got things DONE. :o)  Several tops that have been tops for a long while have been turned into quilts…one of which dates back to September 2007! And a few new projects have been started with very little guilt as they will use up a lot of these :o)

Hopefully the light will be decent enough in the next day or two to take some finishing pictures so I can share with you the 5 (count them 5) quilts that are done done done :o)

The last few evenings have been all about sewing the bindings, but now that they are done I can turn my hand back to my applique houses.

I bet you would love a sneak peek right of some of those finished quilts? 

Ok, here’s a pic of the quilting on one of the quilts.  The colours are a bit washed out, but it gives you an idea :o)  I saw Liz’s quilting on her red and white quilt and liked it so much I decided to have a go.  I believe she got the idea from Angela Walters.  Such fun to quilt and very achievable on a domestic machine.

Until next time...♥

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Last of the Autumn Colours…

Earlier this week I caught a couple of pictures while on the school run.  The school has a wonderful maple tree in the grounds and every year I think I should try and catch its autumn colours.  The weather wasn’t cooperating before half term, but on Monday the sun was shining and I figured it was my last chance.  Enjoy :o)

Until next time...♥