Finished Quilts

Friday, 27 April 2012

Kitty's Quilt

I have finished Kitty's quilt and handed it over - huzzah!  Kitty and her mum left on an extended holiday last night so I was under pressure to finish it and get it washed and ready before they left. 

thanks to Kitty's mum for doing the holding in Laughing Boy's absence

the beautiful girl and her first ever quilt
The backing fabric is home dec stiffness and matches the curtains in her nursery.

I loved making this quilt.  It's the first that I have quilted and bound (binded?!) for about a year I think so it was a great way to jump back in.  I was reminded how slippery a walking foot can be and had to remind myself how to sew on binding (particularly mitred corners).  I consulted Elizabeth @ Oh Fransson's fab tutorial and produced my finest corners to date!  I remembered how much I LOVE squaring up a quilt after quilting in preparation for binding - it is sooooooo satisfying and gave me a real kick.  I also love hand sewing the binding once it's been machined on.  Jamie Cat loved sitting on the quilt on my lap as I sewed.  And it was lovely and crinkly when it came out of the washing machine (late late Wednesday evening!).  Kitty's mum loved the straight line quilting - even though I think it's not all that and a bag of chips - which shows that it's best to relax and accept that simple is good. 

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for her (last for a while) Finish it up Friday and feeling a wee bit chuffed :)

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Simple pleasures

I let out a small (unashamed!) squeal in front of the postie this morning when she handed me a parcel that I knew contained this....

note the chocolate crispies freshly made for the keyworth mums
I'd ordered this wa-a-a-a-a-ay back in October I think and a couple of days ago I got an email from Amazon to say that it won't be here in June as originally anticipated but to expected it this week.  YAY! Although I haven't really had time other than to skim through, I have to say I think it is a cracking little book.  It would be invaluable for a new quilter and, as someone relatively novice, I love the way they have chosen 6 common shapes and each of the Fat Quarterly authors have given their interpretations on how to use them in a design.  Lots to ponder and inspire..  Bravo!

I also got this book a couple of weeks ago....

a couple of my favourites

and I am sad to say that I was a little underwhelmed.  I feel that it is a little sacrilegious to say that and the book has grown on me.  But some of the projects have already become the current fashions in modern quilting blogs (eg the chevron quilt pictured above) - perhaps the time lag due to the printing processes - so that it seems a little "last year".  I don't know why I should feel so awkward when I say that I wasn't as impressed as I thought I'd be - Denyse Schmidt really inspired me when I first started and I love the use of mainly solids, it's my kinda thang. I guess I am currently more inspired by what's happening among the amazing quilters in blogland.  The book may be a grower......

So it's back to the simple pleasures of quilting books, a cuppa and a chocolate crispie (I can provide the recipe if you like (not just melt your chocolate ;-)  ....delish!)

Tuesday, 17 April 2012


Although not particularly productive, I've had a real buzzy creative thoughts kind of head over the past couple of weeks, which is being partly fuelled by the wee man finally enjoying an extended lunchtime nap *shhhhhh*.  I now feel that I need to work out exactly what I want to get done so I'm not jumping all over the place.  My motivation for being a wee bit more organised is twofold - Amy's Bloggers Quilt Festival will be held soon and I want to submit something for that and I'm planning on going back to work in June so want to make the most of my time before then.

Fortunately Rhonda from Quilter in the Gap is having a Finish Along (by the quarter year, which really suits) so I can set myself some targets through linking up with her.  So, by the end of June I hope to have completed:

The wheelchair cape:  I have to finish this by next weekend as we're back up to Scotland for a visit and I need to hand it over to my mum then.  I've got the plans drawn and have cut the fabric

I've even started sewing it up but my mum has asked for extra padding so I need to get some thicker wadding this weekend to finish it.  I also need to make a bag for her as a gift for one of her friends.  She asked if I had "one on the go" - bless :)

Kitty's quilt:  It's basted and the binding has been made, just gotta quilt it...

I've made a shed load of binding!
I was going to try FMQ'ing this but as it's for someone else I don't want to ruin it with my first formal FMQ attempt so am pondering circles or straight lines at the moment.

Sparkle Logic QAL quilt: got to press again, baste (once the backing fabric arrives), quilt and bind this beauty before it heads off to France as a house warming gift. 

I'm hoping to take it to the FQ Retreat and hand quilt it (another first!).

FQ Retreat Name Tag:  I know it's a wee thing but it needs to get done sharpish.  My first attempt is half done....
obviously still need to add the name part!
I'm not sure about this but feel a little warmer to it after seeing a similar style button/brooch on the Coletterie blog so maybe I'm more fashion forward than I think! *snorts in derision*.  I think I'm going to make some additional "stuff" for my tag recipient, maybe to help ease the disappointment ;)

After these, I have a mad list of other things I'd like to jump on the Retro Flower QAL, maybe make a top for myself, finish my UFO quilt top, and so it goes on.  But I am trying to be realistic for once.   Wish me luck :)

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Giving something back

I've tried all week to be productive but the focus of productivity would appear to have been purees and mush and making choc chip cookies!  Now that the freezer is full to bursting, Laughing Boy decided he was taking the wee man to B&Q (some kind of rite of passage....) so I could have the afternoon to catch up on my Siblings Together blocks.  I've been worrying out load about being able to do what I had promised and I think he felt sorry for me *bless*.

Anyway, for those who don't already know, the lovely Lynne from Lily's Quilts is organising the creation or donation of a number of quilts for a charity called Siblings Together.  This project provides the opportunity for siblings separated through going into care to maintain contact, for example through holiday camps.  The idea is to provide each kid with a quilt at the end of this year's summer camps - something of their own that will remind them of the camp and being with their sibling(s).  Lynne asked her quilting friends if they want to help out with getting together around 40-50 quilts by the end of May, in time for the camps.  And everyone has responded with gusto.  It underlines one of the reasons why I love being part of this online community (even if only on its sidelines) - it is so full of support and enthusiasm.  Some people have donated already finished quilts, some are creating them from scratch and others are providing blocks for some brave souls to collate into quilts.  Yet more are basting, quilting and binding.  It's quite an enterprise!

I initially had grand plans to make full quilt tops (if not completed quilts) but I am now being realistic with what I can actually achieve in the time (mindful of sunbeams etc...).  So I signed up to make some blocks for 3 different groups.  I've done blocks for 2 out of 3 so far...

Group 1: Granny Squares organised by a delightful lady called Trudi:

my first attempt at this block
Group 2: Simple Log Cabins under the direction of lovely Judith:

Group 3 is specifically for older boys and a nine patch block.  Brilliant idea from Maria.  That's my next wee project.

Working on these blocks has been really interesting.  I worried a lot before I started about what the people sewing the blocks together so I've been extra careful, cutting off as many loose threads as I could find, pressing all the way.  And you know, it has paid off - whilst perfection is still a daydream, I'm not embarrassed about sending these on and it didn't add that much extra time so I'll probably be a bit more careful in my normal sewing now too.  A win-win!

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Distracted by sunbeams....

What an effort this was but I have finally finished my Sparkle Logic QAL quilt top *collapses into a heap next to overworked seam ripper and iron*. 

needs one last pressing of those seams though :(
You can tell it was a late night finish due to the darkness of the photo.  I was determined to finish it on Friday as my sister and her family are coming to stay for the weekend and I needed to return my sewing room back into a bedroom.  At times, I thought I'd never finish.... there was plenty of this....

D'OH!  seam ripper, where are you?!
And a little bit of this....
always on the blocks I wanted to sew next!
But as slow as it was in the beginning, it whipped together dead fast in the end.  I realised a few things about me and my approach during the process too.  A few months ago I was watching Live at the Apollo with comedian Ed Byrne, who was telling a story about his cat playing with this mouse and when the mouse was nearly dead and one more "play" would have finished it off, the cat was distracted by a sunbeam and sauntered off.  Well, that's me (without the dying mouse though!) - I am sewing up in a (fairly) methodical manner then I get a notion that I need to start from the other end or I should sew the smaller blocks I have into bigger blocks before finishing all the small blocks or I desperately need to press the seams of blocks I had done ages ago or I should look out fabric for the Siblings Together blocks I'm making or something more interesting than I am doing.  So I get distracted by sunbeams and wander off.  It takes A LOT of self control to get me to focus back on the methodical approach. I mean things get finished but this probably explains why I am a bit of a slow coach.  Something for me to ponder over the weekend....

I am linking up my Sparkle Logic QAL quilt top for the TGIFF over at Dreaming in Patchwork.

Have a great Easter x