Saturday, 28 July 2007

Experimental Quilt !

After making a few of the tiny little flying geese blocks I started thinking about what to do with them. I really didn't want to make another big quilt as I have several I'm working on in various stages of completion. Now these little blocks are fun to make but I knew they would lose their appeal after making too many more - short attention span !!

So after making 24 of them I have decided to call a halt for now and use up what I've made so far. I still have loads of scraps roughly cut to size so I will probably be making more at some point - just not now !

I have been quilting for about 4 years and although I have made many quilts - I will have a count up one day - there are still lots of things I haven't done and want to ! Included in this list are mitred borders and a viney applique. SO this quilt will be an experiment and will include those 2 things. Not sure if it will look right or not but I'm going to have a go.

Did my first mitred border today and although the little red inner border does not match exactly I am pretty pleased with it. Will get the other 3 corners done tomorrow and start the applique. I am going to hand sew the bias strip for the vine and then machine applique lots of leaves in different colours. I have done a little machine applique but not much so should be fun - there may be tears before bedtime - lol !

Lastly here is a photo of my DS - Patrick. He is such a good thoughtful boy and is quite interested in my blogging activities. He quite often comes and sits next to me on the bed at night and reads around the blogs on the laptop with me. He asked me the other day if there was a picture of him on my blog. So here it is. The car he is next to is not mine unfortunately - lol ! He has a bit of an obsession at the moment with fast cars and we came across this one on a day out. He was so excited to see it and knew everything from valve size and horse power and all sorts of things that went right over my head - lol ! And miracle of miracles we actually had the camera with us ! He is 10 years old and still my little boy for the time being ! Hormones haven't kicked in yet !

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Use it and abuse it !

This is what teenagers get up to when they have too much time on their hands. Jess finished school several weeks ago and does not start her new college 'til the middle of Semptember ! So here she is having a little nap outside on one of the sunniest days we have had for a while. The quilt she has covering her is one I made about 3 years ago. She has a pet lizard called Gizmo and we bought the lizard fabric used in the border soon after she got him. I bought piles of the stuff in 2 different colourways.. I am going to make some Project Linus quilts with what I have left I think.

Jess also has a queen size quilt I made but that hasn't seen the light of day for ages. Every time I go into her room ( usually to take some clean clothes ! ) I see it crumpled up at the end of her bed covered in stains.. She is definitely of the "It's ok to sit on your quilt " way of thinking. And you know what I'd much rather she has it screwed up and sat on and such than folded up and pristine ! Our quilt group held an exhibition last year and I rescued the quilts from the pit and washed and dried them and they turned out great - good as new ! When I was taking them to display I had a stern warning from Jess to make sure they were looked after - so I know she appreciates them -they are truly well -loved !!

I made my sister a big quilt 2 years ago for Chtistmas and I had to really nag her to put it on the bed. She was frightened of getting it dirty - just bung it in the wash I said ! What if it wears out then - I will just make you another I said !

Tomorrow our quilt group is running a cake stall at a fund-raiser for the British Quilters Guild and this is my contribution - Banana and fruit cake. I will chop it up soon and pack it up ready to take - after a little taste test - yum !

I am still paper piecing away - it's seriously addictive !

Saturday, 21 July 2007

Twisted Sister quilt.

Another of my UFO's ( or PHD's - lol ). This one is a christmas present to my oldest friend Jacqui. Last christmas I hasten to add. Naughty me - completely ran out of time ! The plan is to quilt this and send it to her in Scotland in time for her birthday in September. Should have plenty of time if I start soon. Then that will be another one out of the way.

This quilt is nothing like the stuff I usually make. I hardly ever make quilts with just 3 colours - scrappy wins everytime. Not my type of colours either but I think Jacqui will love it. She has always had a thing for red and black !

It is made using the twisted Sister template set by Ami Simms and went together in no time at all. In fact because the top was finished so soon I dawdled on quilting it as I thought I had plenty of time and thats why it's still sitting in my UFO pile when it should have been long gone !

I would like to do a scrappy version of this sometime. Who knows when ??

Monday, 16 July 2007

English Paper Piecing

Here is the quilt I started a few weeks ago and have mentioned before ! It is from one of my favourite magazines - Australian Patchwork and Quilting. It is all done over papers and is actually surprisingly quick to do.

What I've been doing is when I've got a spare hour cutting a load of papers and then tacking the fabric to them another time. Then when I've got a lot prepared I sew the blocks until I run out and then start again.

There are 2 different blocks - I need to do 20 of the small star blocks and 30 of the other kind which are called Castle Wall blocks - so the magazine says. So this is my castle quilt - appropriate as we are surrounded by castles ( or remnants of them) in Wales. I have 20 Castle walls blocks made and 9 star blocks.

I have started to sew a few together to get an idea of what it will look like. I don't want to do too much of this though until all my blocks are made as I may have to add a few more fabrics. These are all cut from fat quarters. I have seen the fabric I want for the borders and will be ordering that tomorrow. It's from I've ordered loads of stuff from them and have never been disappointed. It works out so much cheaper to order from USA even with shipping and tax. Our quilt shops are really expensive.

I tend to sew on this in the evenings -nice and relaxing ! I will also take this to my little quilt group on a Tuesday. I have a load of the background cream shapes ready to tack so that's what I will be doing later - no doubt with one of my kitties snuggled up on my knee !

Thursday, 12 July 2007

Best Friends

Thankyou so much for all your kind comments on my last post. I am trying to reply personally but some are no-reply ! I don't want to appear rude ! I am still working away on the little flying geese and my english paper-piecing that I keep forgetting to take a photo of. So I thought I would dig out a few quilts to blog about. This one is my best friends quilt. I saw a photo in one of the American magazines and liked it immediately - even though I'm not a huge fan of Sunbonnet Sue. When this pattern came up on Ebay from a UK seller I was determined to get it. I can't remember what I paid but it was more than I intended. Think it would have been cheaper to have ordered it from the States but never mind !
I had a lovely time making this - all hand pieced and quilted. I am a sucker for pretty pastel prints. I have declared this quilt to be given to my first grand-daughter ! As my kids were only 15 and 9 years old when I finished it there was much eye-rolling and mutterings of "how sad". It has been folded up in my cupboard for a while so is a bit creased. I have since read an article about folding quilts on the bias for storage to reduce creasing and that is what I've done to this one now ! Not sure if it will work !

Monday, 9 July 2007

Not my fault -honest !

My very first blogger post clearly states that I will not start any new quilts. So a few weeks down the line I am wondering how come since that first post I have started 3 new projects- lol !
One is done - Millies quilt, and one is a nice hand -piecing thing that I can do in bed ! But the third one !!!!
I go to a small quilting group every Tuesday. No pressure at all there just a few ladies doing a bit of stitching and a lot of talking ! Last Tuesday my friend Jill casually hands me a bag and says " I was wondering if these are any good to you - I know you like scrappy quilts."

"Ooh yes please ! " said me snatching her hand off.

Got home and tipped them out thinking I will just sort them !

Some of these were strips that I've put to one side for another time but a lot of them were odd shaped little bits. Too good to throw away that's for sure. The cogs were starting to turn. In my scrap drawer I have a lot of bigger scraps and I was thinking of a way to combine them. Because the little scraps were uneven I thought paper piecing would be a good idea. Combined with a bit of left over cream calico here's the block I came up with.
Each block measures 4inches finished so I have a way to go to make anything of a decent size. This will be an inbetweeny project I think. I've roughly cut some triangles of the 2 sizes I need and they're perched next to my machine ready for when I have a few spare minutes.
So really it's not a new quilt - more of a time-filler ! I've almost convinced myself lol !

Saturday, 7 July 2007

Pay it Forward

I just joined in this fun thing on Annes blog at

I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I don't know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week... LOL... but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.

So if anyone is interested and wants to join in feel free. I will get my thinking cap on as to what to make !

Friday, 6 July 2007

Thank God It's Done !

Yippee ! Millies quilt is finished except for the hand sewing of the binding----boy did I have some fun with this !!

I quilted it on my ordinary sewing machine and what should have been a quick and easy job turned out to give me a whole extra batch of grey hairs -lol ! My machine nearly went through the window I can tell you ! I have quilted loads on here with no problems but for some unknown reason it decided to play havoc with this quilt. The stitching was great on the top but on the back was like spaghetti about crows nests !! For 2 hours I re-threaded, took off the foot plate- de-fluffed - searched for loose threads - tried again -re-threaded - adjusted tension....still no better. After wasting so much thread and unpicking countless times I was at my wits end. Eventually I decided to re-wind the thread on to a different bobbin and hey presto !! As if by magic it worked a treat. Now these 2 bobbins were bought together from the same place and looked identical in every way - I ask you !! I've thrown the rogue one away - what a palaver ( as my mum would say ! )

Anyway its done and although my machine quilting is not the best I'm sure Millie won't be too critical - she is only 3 ! ! Since I backed it with fleece I've sewn the binding on the back and will flip it over to the front to stitch down as I find this easier. I will do that tonight in bed -I LOVE binding !! This weekend I will do a bit more of my new English PP quilt that I started. I will try and post a couple of pictures of what I've done so far. I had a good hour last night cutting out the papers so I'm all prepared.

Lastly here is my dd - Jess ! She will very rarely pose for a camera unless she is pulling a silly face or something - this is just typical of her !!

Monday, 2 July 2007

Quilt for Millie

Had a lovely few hours on Saturday picking fabrics for my friends little girl Millie. Her birthday is in 2 weeks and she will be 3 years old. She has an older sister Abi who I made a quilt for a couple of years ago and you know the saying - you can't give one without the other !!!!

Seeing as this quilt will get a hammering I decided not to do a really fancy one but something fairly simple and colourful. I pulled these fabrics to have a play with -

I didn't know which of these I would use. After a bit of thinking I decided to make a spiders web block and started cutting strips. I've been doing a lot of hand sewing lately so it was good to give my machine a bit of a work-out ! Plenty of long straight sewing ! I got all my blocks made on Saturday - 12 of them and cut my sashing strips too. Here is one of the blocks -

I have put most of the sashings on and will post a picture when I have the borders on. I think I will back this with fleece and just a quick meander all over should do the job.

My 16 year old daughter Jess is always asking me why I am making YET another quilt and usually my answer is - just because ! She does not have a crafty bone in her body ! She usually just rolls her eyes at me as if I am mad or sad ( or both ). She doesn't get why I love quilting ! Anyway this time when she asked her usual question I had an answer for her - it's for Millie. That stopped her eyes rolling at me.

And here is a picture of my last baby - Marley ! He is 2 years old and honestly no-one will ever love me as much as he does ! He thinks the sun shines out of my backside - lol ! He is the best behaved out of my 3 cats .. He has accepted the younger 2 - after a bit of hissing and letting them know who's the boss ! He was here first !!