Monday, January 30, 2012

In Progress...

January has proved to be a rather productive month.  I completed my first set of blocks for the "Just take 2 Challenge" and I'm well on my way to completing set 2.  I will be using dark blues and whites for this challenge... I figure you can't go wrong with blue and white.

Next was two afternoon sewing session that got this scrappy bargello sewn into a top.  I used Bonnie's instructions, but instead of 2 1/2" strips I used 3 1/2" strips.  I don't think the effect is as nice as it would be with the smaller strips, but it will be perfect for Project Linus.  I don't know many patterns that come together as quickly as this one did and I already have another bin of smaller strips ready to go to make a second one.

Until next time....

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Sew Hip...Sew Cool!

Lookie lookie.... I hope you don't mind but I wanted to share with you the little article on page 15 of the current (March) issue of Sew Hip.  How cool is that?!
If you are here because you found me through the magazine, then welcome!  I hope you enjoy your visit and that you'll visit again soon :o)

Until next time....

Friday, January 27, 2012


Well I resisted as long as I could, but in the end I couldn't help myself...and sploosh I dove straight into making a house from the Building Houses from Scraps blog.  I figured if I made one then that would satisfy the itch...right?

I redrafted the original pattern in EQ7 so I could work in inches.  (I just couldn't get my brain to work in centimetres as the original was 7.5 cm) This does make my blocks a little bit bigger finishing at 3 3/4"...but in cm or inches it is still small.  I printed my templates onto freezer paper and set myself up to hand piece the block.

So can any of you bright sparks out there see the mistake?

Well it would seem I forgot to mirror my templates so my house will be facing the other way!  :o)  Doesn't really matter (unless there is some reason it should face the other way) and it is still cute.

So did I just stop at one?  Well you will have to wait and see :o)

Until next time....

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

112 in 2012 (#3)

Another set of pictures for the 112 in 2012 Challenge.
As January comes to a close I'm rather pleased with how many pictures I took. Normally January is a rather blue month, but this year I conscientiously decided I wasn't going to let it get me down.  It has helped that we've had some sunny days and I've made sure to grab the camera and my children when inspiration has struck! :o)

#74 Backlit
I like her reflection in the glass too...
Taken when the sun decided to make a rare appearance...

#88 Silhouette
Slightly tweaked in Gimp to increase the glow. Taken during the busy morning school run.
(one should always have a camera handy!...and be prepared to have "Mom, are you done taking pictures?" chiming in the background) :o)

#24 Black & White Portrait
Caught during an impromptu "photo shoot..."

Until next time....

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Local Quilt Shows - Part 2

Last Wednesday 4 of us, Lynda, Liz and Muriel (no blog) and I went to the Heart of the Shires to see the exhibition of student's work at Crafts and Quilts.  There were some fantastic projects and I wish I could give credit where credit is due, but I didn't take note of the names...I know terrible!

I love this draft stopper!...but I also love the stripey quilt you can see behind it because that is the work of one of my students that took what she learned on my FMQ class and put it to use!  For me that is the biggest compliment to know that I empowered someone to go forth and quilt!  Just wonderful!

Now this next piece is so stunning...An English walled garden!  So many details and so much work!!

Look at the little gate...

..and the outside as decorated as the inside...

You can almost hear the water...

..and the dog and his lead.

These teddies were sweet.

And here's Alice's cardigan...
Now I'd like to draw your attention to the label.  Started in 1993 finished in 2011!
You know what this means?!  There is hope for the oldest projects in the UFO box!

Lastly, but not least another example from a student who used FMQ for the trees.  I think she did a fabulous job!

Until next time....

Friday, January 20, 2012

Local Quilt Shows - Part 1

I found an happy surprise when I checked the files on my pocket camera only to discover the pictures I took at the Bramble Patch exhibition which took place before Christmas.  It's never too late to show you some of the treasures that were on display, so here is the post about them...enjoy!

These close-ups were of a stunning quilt made by Janet Howes and I have just checked the Bramble's website and it would seem it was the winning quilt!  Congrats to Janet.  If you liked to see a full picture there is one with Janet on their site.

I also loved this scrappy quilt and the gorgeous hand pretty and so bold to use red thread!
Love it!

Then there were these lovely hearts with buttons...

I thought these were sweet and would lovely in any sewing space.

Tomorrow I'll post about my trip to the Heart of the Shires....stay tuned :o)

Until next time....

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Grab your Daughters, Grand-daughters and Nieces to watch....

This video, which I first saw on Violet Posy's Blog, is so clever and so true!  If you have young females in your life then this is worth a watch...

Fotoshop by Adobé from Jesse Rosten on Vimeo.
This commercial isn't real, neither are society's standards of beauty.

Until next time....

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

112 in 2012 (#2)

Well I might actually stick with this photograph challenge.  It is only week 2 and I have another set of pictures.  Granted I have another 50 odd weeks to get through, but it is promising to get a few more snaps done at this early stage.  The whole point of the challenge is to keep the camera handy and keep taking pictures and that's what I'm doing. :o)

This week has seen chilly weather hit the U.K.  (granted not nearly as cold as Canada where Montreal saw -19C!  Now that's cold!)  Check out Lina's post and you'll see what I mean! But with the chilly weather brings some beautiful crisp blue skys and plenty of picture taking opportunities.

#75 Five minutes from home
Taken last Saturday while the sky was clear and crisp. Slightly modified in Gimp to give it a bit more punch.

#51 Winter
The cars were covered in these amazing snow crystals.  If you look closely you can see the odd hexagon!

#51 Winter (yes another one)
More icy crystals... couldn't stop at just one entry for winter..

#93 Reflection
I was really please I caught this water droplet as it dripped just after the picture was snapped...I love the cool reflection captured.  Once again my little pocket camera is the best for these close up shots.

Until next time....

Monday, January 16, 2012

Big Stitch Quilting...

Another block finished and only 2 more to go!  I shall actually miss working on this quilt as it really has been good fun.  As each block got completed and quilted you could really see how it would all come together.

I've used size 12 perle cotton and the big stitch.  I had my quilting needles from JMM Marketing size 4 betweens which are perfect for the larger thread.  They have sizes 1 through to 12..1 being the biggest and 12 being the smallest.  I chose size 4 as that's the size I've always used, but it is personal choice you could go larger or smaller depending on your preference and choice of thread.  You do need to buy 100 needles at a time, but they aren't that expensive and they are worth it as they are very easy to thread.

To further "age" this quilt I was contemplating over-dyeing it with some tan Dylon dye.  Has anyone tried that?  I thought it might knock back some of the whites plaids I have used which I find are just a wee bit too bright.  I'd love to hear any success (or horror) stories! :o)

Until next time....

Saturday, January 14, 2012

New Sewing in Progress...

New Year, new sewing projects to start.  As I finished 2 projects at the end of the year I thought I'd allow myself to start a couple of new ones.  At last count I have 13 unfinished projects and 4 tops, so I feel like everything is under control especially since I'm not far off from finishing 2 more quilts.

The "Just take 2" Mystery quilt has me intrigued and I have decided to do mine in blues and whites.

Here are my hearts ready to be cut out and appliquéd for block 5.

And the pieces stacked with their instructions for the other blocks.

I've also signed up for the block party that Lynda Hall is organizing.  These are some of the fabrics I've pulled using her instructions for guidance.

So far those are the only new projects I've started, but after seeing some of the cute scrappy houses being made I feel myself slipping...and really fancy joining into the building houses from scrap challenge.  I can afford one more challenge right?!

Until next time....

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

112 in 2012

As 2011 drew to a close I had an email from my friend Kitty about joining in the photographer's challenge of 112 pictures in 2012.  The subject matter of these pictures is quite vast and I thought having a challenge like this would keep me clicking.  They can be posted in any what I'm doing is taking pictures and then seeing which categories they fit in and then closer to the end of the year I will focus on the one's I'm missing.  These are my first 3 entries...

#82 Sharp or Spiky
Pretty self explanatory why I'd choose this shot for sharp and spiky... I like the DOF (depth of field) too :o)

#37 Feet
Perhaps an odd take on the subject "feet" but I thought it would be a bit of fun.  Paw prints are related to feet aren't they? :o)  DD1 got a nail art kit for Christmas and we tried it out last night.

#64 Bottles or Jars
I just HAD to catch the colours in this jar of cherries sitting on the counter while the sun peeked out this morning.

Until next time....

Friday, January 06, 2012

Expanding my Quilting...

The last of the blocks for my Lynne Edwards Sampler Quilts are finally nearing completion.  Each block has been quilted and all that remains is to piece the blocks together and sew up the backing in quilt-as-you-go style.

I'm really pleased with this block, not only because of the curved piecing, but because of my freehand free-motion feathers!  My friend Liz loves quilted feathers...she often adds them to her quilts and although she probably didn't realize I was taking note...she's been influencing inspiring me to give them a go :o)  She might have a point...I love the effect on this block and have already been thinking about what else I can feather! :o) Thanks Liz.

I hope it won't be too long before I can reveal this and its homespun twin in their entirety in the next few weeks.

Until next time....

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Stitching into 2012

If you recall from this post I was going to spend some of my free time in the holidays stitching...and that I did.
I managed to get the pin cushion pattern from Lynette Anderson finished well before Christmas...

So pretty when it was finished and now it looks a little different as it has already been pressed into service and looks more like a porcupine! LOL But it will service me well as a pin cushion as it is quite a good size and won't get lost as easily as my old one.

It went together so well that I was spurred on to do some more stitching, but not before sorting out my stash of embroidery floss.  As Christmas Eve isn't really the best time to be heading out to the craft shop I decided to look online to see if there were any printable spools.  Lucky for me Wild Olive had these printable bobbins which were perfect for the job.

As I didn't want another pin cushion nor to start something large like a quilt, I decided that what ever I chose to stitch should be something useful and practical. :o)  Jumping on the band wagon, I printed the Keyka Lou pattern for this darling little dumpling purse and prepped some green linen for stitching.

I'm so thrilled with the results and how easy it was to make.  The instructions were really easy to follow and I can see myself making a few more in the future.  Now I just have to decide what I'm going to use my little purse for...any ideas? ;o)

Until next time....