Finished Quilts

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

totes emoshe!

I am so down with the kids (or so I like to think!). Except when it comes to making quilts for toddlers as I just can't embrace the primary colour style so the baby quilts I'm making are taking an age to come together.  I'll post some progress tomorrow, hopefully.

In the meantime and much more excitingly, a fabulous package arrived on my doorstep from Saskatoon, Canada yesterday - the most fabulous Mouthy Stitches tote bag EVER.  I may have had a wee tear....

it's got it all!

The super talented Patti (blog:, Flickr ID: retiredtoquilt) has made a wondrous thing of beauty and indulged my love of all things Melody Miller and Echino.  This bag has already had a trip out to be shown off to the agog shoppers of Morrisons.  Patti was so considerate that as part of her stalking she saw that I'd received a couple of really cool webbing based key fobs and made me a different kind.  I love the hand quilting, the colours and the Tula frogs!  It is perfect and I continue to be bowled over by the fab-u-lous creations of all my Bee and Swap partners.

Check out Patti's blog - she makes awesome things.  Istarted following her when I joined the Mouthy Stitches swap and saw her inspiration mosaic and thought now there's a woman with style. I am IN.LOVE. with her feather cushions (the Tickled series)...

check them out here @
Thank you so much Patti - you are a star!

Monday, 29 October 2012


I have soo-o-o-o-o-o-o-o many things on my sewing "to do" list that it's stopped me in my tracks and I need to refocus and reprioritise.  Do you ever get like that?  Too many new ideas that you want to start now but it stops you doing anything.  Anyway, no sewing of any substance took place this weekend, which is a real shame as I had most of Saturday to myself to do some. 

As a way of clearing my head, I spent some of the time drooling over the lovely quilts on show in the BQF Fall 2012. Of course, I now have a much expanded "to do" list for 2013! One of the posts I read directed me to the Herring Run Quilters' Guild website and the following:


Here are short versions of quilter conversations:
  • NESY: Not even started yet
  • FQ: fat quarter
  • LQS: local quilt shop
  • FART: Fabric Acquisition Road Trip
  • FIU: Finish It Up
  • HSY: Haven't Started Yet
  • OBW: one-block wonder
  • PIGS: projects in grocery sacks
  • PIPS: projects in process
  • SABLE: Stash Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy
  • SEX: Stash Enhancement Expedition
  • UFO: UnFinished Object
  • USO: UnStarted Object
  • VIP: Very Important Project
  • WHIMM: Works Hidden In My Mind
  • WIP: Work in Progress
  • WIWMI: Wish It Would Make Itself
  • WOMBAT: Waste of Money, Batting, and Time
  • WWIT: What Was I Thinking
  • WISP: Work In Slow Progress
  • WIVSP: Work In Very Slow Progress

It made me giggle and remember this from an old The Bitchy Stitcher post.

I'm hoping to finish at least one WIP and tackle one USO this week!


Saturday, 27 October 2012

BQF Fall 2012 - compliwhatsits

Amy's Creative Side

I love Amy's Blogger's Quilt Festivals.  They provide a fab chance to see some really inspiring work and to read the stories behind them.   2012 saw a return to quilting for me and I've decided to enter the Sparkler into the Fall 2012 Festival as it represents a number of firsts (but particularly because of the last on the list).
  • It was the first Quilt-along that I actually started let alone finished!  (even though it took me 6 months longer than the QAL! to complete). 
  • It was the first quilt I've finished where I had all the fabric cut out, blocks sewn and trimmed before I started to sew them together. I usually get bored during that bit and crack on before accepting that I need more blocks!
  • It was the first quilt I ever hand quilted.  I broke 3 black and gold quilting needles in the process!
  • It was the first quilt I ever put a label on, even though the label isn't about me ;)
  • It was the first quilt where I didn't use scrappy binding
  • When we were young, the family joke was that compliments were so rare they were called compliwhatsits.  This was the first quilt that my dad actually compliwhatsitted me on.  (hugs dad if you're reading this - that meant a lot ;))

organisation was key!

getting excited by how it might look

the final layout

mistakes happen!

first ever attempt at hand quilting

never as wide as you think they will be!

a gift for some lovely french friends
The Sparkler now resides on a sofa in south west Brittany, France and is looking forward to moving into its new house when it's completed.  They are building a room in it for the wee man, which is nice. :-)
Finished quilt measures: around 60" x 72"
Pieced and hand quilted by me
Best category: throw quilt, hand-quilted quilt

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

WIP Wednesday - magpie tendencies

Last week I was teaching my 1st year undergraduate students about learning styles and preferences and it occurred to me that quilting is teaching me a lot about my own style of learning.  In fact this "light bulb" moment happened during the class and slightly threw us all off of our stride (thought it best not to explain my sudden glaikit* look by talking quilting - they thought it was my cold!). 

I'm most comfortable with a pattern or a recipe or a proven way of doing something and can even wing it a little as long as I have this rock to stand on.  So my quilting and sewing tends to replicate other people's work or patterns - I see something inspirational but don't always feel comfortable giving it my own spin.  My Brit Swap quilt was kind of like that - AMH feathers being the inspiration - and I fretted for ages cos I couldn't find a pattern for them (bad googling skills as it turns out).  SO I had to work it out myself, which was a painful process but I felt really good after I did.

So to the Modern She Made swap that I'm working on at the mo.  It has to include triangles and my partner is keen on a pillow cover.  I was inspired by this quilt by Faith from Fresh Lemons

Cutting Edge Quilt

She mentioned that she paper pieced the blocks and had written a pattern for Spring Quilt Market as it was shown there but was waiting for it to be released.  So I decided to have a go at working out how to make the block myself.  Thank goodness for EQ - what a help.  But because I can't get my head round paper piecing yet (mainly due to the amount of snot in my head at the moment - TMI?), I decided to cut and sew. 

My partner is really keen on Essex linen (flax) so I bought some of that and quickly realised that spray starch was going to be my best friend!  So here's where I'm at...

first lay out - matchy matchy with inspiration quilt
second layout - a bit tweeked

third option - a slightly different approach?
For option #3 I would add a square in the middle and pieces of Essex Linen to fill in the gaps.  Which would you choose?

I've never made a pillow cover before so this is well out of my comfort zone and I like it!

Linking with WIP Wednesdays over at Lees @ Freshly Pieced

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

*glaikit - a fine scottish word for stupid/vacant

Monday, 22 October 2012

a head's up

just a wee note to let you know that Amy's Blogger's Quilt Festival Fall 2012 is about to begin:

Amy's Creative Side
This festival always excites me - lots of creativity and inspiration to savour.  Now to decide what to enter :)

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

#it'ssounfair one of the hash tags for my Tuesday, another being #fullofcold :(  

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Great British Bake Off and it's the final tonight but it's also international football night so there is no way I'm getting near the TV.  BAH!  So, I'm going to have a crack at at least one of the baby quilts I have on my list, with the hope of putting at least half of the fabric I've pulled into some sort of use.  #stepawayfromtheonlinefabricshops

I'm going to base one of them on this quilt, possibly even two.  Is that bad?  They will be going to homes where the little ones don't know each other.  I've been ar*ing around trying to decide on quick and easy styles for too long and have to get a crack on.

Meanwhile, these beauties went in the post back to Jo today:

Such fun to make and I think her quilt is going to be ace.

By the way, have you seen these?

How flipping gorgeous?  #seriouslynomorefabricthismonth!

Monday, 15 October 2012

bee-ing a good girl

Saturday is my allocated day for a lie-in.  I'd rather it be Sunday but you take what you are given, right.  I used to have a "not before 10am" rule where I wouldn't even consider putting a toe out of bed before 10, let alone entertain any communication.  That was BWM - before the wee man.  Now, I can't sleep past 7, even on a Saturday. I try really hard to stay in bed and chillax but I usually get all het up about sewing that could be done (and a little envious of the raucous laughter from downstairs!).  So I get up and sew a bit, which is nice.

This Saturday, that meant catching up on some FQR Kinky Bumblies bee blocks.  Having made a right hash of cutting up the fabric for Sue's japanese + and - blocks that were due back in August and needing to ask for more, I finally bit the bullet and made them....

this is going to end up a pretty cool quilt, I think
I then got cracking on Jo's Polaroid blocks.  This meant spending time with The Stash and what's not to love about that!  I needed to find some suitable fabric to fussy cut and I was nearly done sewing them when it was my turn to do wee man duty.  I'm planning on finishing these tonight so will have something to show tomorrow.

Saturday night's alright for dancing too now so whilst watching Strictly, I finished the binding on Alex's quilt and got it in the washing machine sharpish...... October (just before the rain came!)

some DS Hope Valley stripes for the binding

I am still not in love with this quilt and keep seeing all the things I'd do differently but the girls at Tanya's Stitching Together night last Wednesday night were really nice about it so I should focus on that.  It's going to the lovely Alex tomorrow so I hope she and her equally lovely mum like it.

I really enjoyed Wednesday night with Tanya, Di, Heather and Helen and the cake was deeeeeeevine.  Heather is going to teach us crochet next time...gulp!

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

hash tag tuesday

Everyone knows I love a hash tag.  I use them in texts, on FB and sometimes in normal talk (complete with hash tag hand gestures  #suchaloser).  So when I was working on Betty's QATWII block, the air was thick with hash tags #quiltingisgoingtobethedeathofme, #followtheinstructionsFFS being two of the more acceptable ones.

Tuesdays are a half day working from home for me.  So after dropping the wee man off at nursery, I decided to get cracking and finish Betty's block as it's kind of gotten stuck in the loop #noblame.  She wanted pale pink/pale green/white only and her starter block was beautifully pieced.  I made a decision a while back that I would really push myself into making new to me blocks for the QATWII bee ladies.  I found this one on Anna's fab blog, loved it and thought it would take an hour of my morning before starting work.  #3hourslater......

not quite what I had planned but it's not bad for a first attempt #excuses

together with Betty's second starter block
I hope Betty thinks the green is pale enough.

#whatapalaver.  I think my problems stemmed from not having a clear enough work space.  I share my sewing space with my home office so I was trying to work around things when I should have taken the time to prepare properly.  My seam ripper has had a brutal work out this morning and the fabric placement is not what I wanted.  It was ok the first time I sewed the first pieces then I got all confused, ripped out and started again and got it wrong.  Still, it's kind of nice #relief.

So I have a massive number of hash tags to describe my Tuesday and it's only lunchtime!  At this stage it should be #gettowork but I've just had great news that my baby nephew is getting home from hospital after a few days there due to whooping cough so it is going to be #homeboy.

What's your hash tag Tuesday?

Saturday, 6 October 2012


On Thursday I had one of those days where my pants seemed to have a massive disagreement with my trousers.  They were all over the shop.  I was also teaching my module for the first time in 18 months so it took all my concentration to keep my hands above waist level for the two hour session.  I should have guessed that meant Thursday would be trouble.  When I got home and sewed together my Mouthy Stitches tote bag, both the handles were sewn on back to front and upside down! Just like my pants!

So, it wasn't until last night that I finished the tote bag....

I tried to make a wonky chevron block but it didn't quite work as I'd hoped.  But the lovely comments on Flickr encouraged me to push on and I think it's a funky finish.  I added orange bias binding to the handles. I wanted to frame the block in orange but didn't have the right colour or thread to make it work.  Still I like it.  I interfaced with fusible fleece (Vilene H640)  but only on the sketch and block fabric not the radios.  Now I have to think about a key fob which I'm hoping to make without recourse to online shopping #doubtful.

Having finally conquered top stitching, I spent the rest of the evening (prior to Strictly Come Dancing of course) quilting Alex's quilt.  I'm using a guterman variegated thread which is working well.  I was worried about how it would look on the back as the fabric has a white background but it's looking good. 
slightly wonky straight line quilting

The only issue I am having is that every now and then, my thread bobbles....

can you see?
Any ideas on why this would be happening?  My aim is to get the quilting finished and the binding on one side in time for a trip to Tanya's on Wednesday night for cake and sewing and cake.

Now, where's my purse? #FQRticketsonsalein45minutes!

Monday, 1 October 2012

fresh sewing day

Lily's Quilts

October huh?  Well, I've always had a soft spot for October - I can wear cardigans whenever I want without comment from Laughing Boy about learning to embrace the summer. I can tsk at the young'uns for not being dressed warm enough with truth on my side. It's like a breather before the build up to chrimbo. 

September was a quiet sewing month - back to work with a bump, hand quilting and visitors all limited what I have gotten up to but it was definitely a month of quilts...

Just three things but a whole heap of chuffedness.  This month will be mostly baby quilts, mouthy stitches and bee blocks. Hope the month is good to y'all.