Saturday, 29 September 2007

9 patch and more !

What a funny old week it's been. Seems to have flown but I can't really think what I've done with all my time ! Had some work done in the house midweek and had workmen traipsing about looking thirsty......Seems the more cups of tea I gave them the faster they worked - lol ! Still all done now.

I've done a little sewing. Saw the disappearing 9 patch on Helens blog and thought it looked interesting. Anyway on Wednesday I had the perfect excuse to have a dabble as one of my best and oldest friends gave birth to a little boy - Alfie. I have yet to see him but you can be sure I will be going there this week. I have been friends with Samantha for 34 years. Yes - we met in Primary school and have stayed friends ever since. Out of all my friends she and I are the only ones who share a love of sewing ( and knitting ). Samantha has 4 brothers and I have great memories of her and me making clothes on an old hand-turned Singer with one of her brothers turning the wheel for us - lol ! This usually took place in her front garden and I can't remember if we bribed her brother or threatened him or what. We used to get the bus into a small market town near our homes and buy dressmaking remnants from a stall and come home and make things. We never used patterns and god knows what we looked like but we always wore the things we made. I wish I had photos.

Last year her cat had kittens and that's how we got our lovely Tizer.

We already had 2 cats and had no intention of having another but when I went to see them she offered him to me. She had some-one who wanted him but was reluctant to let him go to them as they lived near a busy road and she was worried about that. Of course I said I'd have him then. So glad we did as he is a little love and a real character. There is a point to this - honest. Anyway because of this I wanted to use some nice kitty fabric for Alfies quilt and this is what it came out like. Perhaps a bit unusual colours for a baby but they all seem to work well together.

Have you ever read the books by Lisa Boyer ? In one chapter she mentions a fear of floral fabric and couldn't find anything with flowers on. When rooting through my stash for fabrics for this I realised I have the opposite affliction. I have so many floral fabrics it's unbelievable. I struggled to find some nice fabric for this without any flowers on. That's why the quilt is not as babyish as it could be. Still I like it and as it's a bit dark will perhaps not show up the sick marks so well - lol !
I also found time to visit my warehouse again and came out with more treasure.

Can't seem to keep away lately. When I re-organised my fabrics last week I made a bit of room and I have a fear of empty drawers - :-p My order also came from Thousands of Bolts and this is luscious. Took 12 days to get here ( the longest time ever ) and I was on Postman watch from day 6. Thought it was never coming ! I have a bit of a plan for this stuff but not just yet.

I also started knitting myself a cardigan. I have lost quite a bit of weight this year and need new clothes. Went clothes shopping with DD Jess in the week and couldn't find anything I liked. And clothes are so expensive - I will not pay £50 for a jumper when I could make it for half that amount - would rather buy fabric !! So got the old knitting needles clacking away last night. Will show pictures when it's done - if I don't lose interest by then. Just off to baste Alfies quilt now. It measures something like 30 by 40 inches so shouldn't take too long.

Just realised I forgot to draw for the UFO - will do it tomorrow ! Enjoy your weekend xx

Sunday, 23 September 2007

A good sortout and a giveaway !

No - it is not a special 50th or 100th post or anything like that but all will be revealed soon.

Yesterday I dragged my lovely DH down to that fabric warehouse I've spoke about before. I know how to tempt him there now - they make a lovely bacon buttie - lol. So while him and Patrick fill their faces I'm off and running. They had some great stuff there and I came away with about 12 -14 yards or so of nice fabric. Also a pack of wool as Iam feeling in the mood for a spot of knitting. When I got home it all went in the washer ond once it was dry I was faced with the problem of where to put it. I don't have a great lot of storage space in my house. Once Jess leaves, her room will not be empty for 5 minutes I can tell you. As she is only just 17yo I think I have a bit of a wait. Never mind - just got to shove things in where I can.

Anyway myself and Anne are having a little swap. She is making me a lovely needlecase in return for some fabric. So while I was rooting about in my stash for something I think she will like I decided to have a good sortout at the same time and find a home for my new fabric. 5 minutes into the job and DH Jason decided to wander through and see if he can get to his pc. Err - not really . . . .

A short while ( ok - a long while ) later everythings looking a bit more in order. I have some stuff ready to send to Anne, a pile of fabric I will put on Ebay as I either bought too much of or I now hate the sight of, and a few pieces for a lady in my quilt group. The bits on the floor to the right are now going in my scrap box and I have some large lengths to go in one of the drawers under my bed upstairs. I also have a small chest of drawers in my bedroom full of fat quarters but that is tidy enough.

OK - over at Quilting Pirates blog there is a wonderful thing going on. She has decided to hold a draw every week and the prizes are some of her UFO's. What a fabulous idea I think !! I knew I had an old UFO lurking about that I really know I will never finish and guess what I found today ???

I made this (as you can see by the date ) in 2004 and it has been shuffled about since then. It was part of a Christmas in July thing going on at Quiltchat and I was fairly new to quilting. I have no wish to finish this at all and one persons trash is anothers treasure and all that. So if anyone wants to do me a favour and take it off me please feel free to leave me a comment. I will pick a name next Friday - 28thSeptember and it's all yours. It measures 32 by 42 inches and basically needs quilting although there are some pieces of fusible web applique that I have just ironed on and not sewn down. This will be one less UFO to bother about. I will post anywhere - thanks for reminding me to say that Dot !Enjoy the rest of your weekend !

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Small things amuse small minds !

I don't know whether that is an actual saying or not. I'm sure I heard it somewhere - lol !! Anyway I have had so much fun ( and made so much mess ) making this mini quilt. I have had this pattern for ages and thought it was so sweet. I have decided that I love doing mini quilts ! So quick, use little fabric and best of all - the basting takes about one and a half minutes - lol !!

The whole quilt measures about 10 inches by twelve so some of the pieces were really little. I am going to put it on my wall alongside the log cabin houses quilt I showed a while ago.

The cat is actually brown and not as dark as the picture shows. I deliberately used a colour different to any of my cats because then I would have had to make 3 - one of each colour. Just in case any of them got jealous you know - lol !!!

The fabric I used for the border is one I bought a couple of weeks ago. I plan to use it for setting squares for an on-point 9-patch. But I couldn't resist using a bit in this as I love it so much.

Talking of fabric I topped up my stash a little last night at my quilting group. Our lovely fabric lady turned up and I bought these

and this very cool stuff.

which was- just as I thought it would be- a big hit with Patrick. He has asked me to make him a quillow for quite a while now so just maybe . . .

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

OK - I admit it....

I got carried away with the little zig-zag blocks. Some of the pieces in this I've had hanging around since I started quilting. Only 4 years but I'm fed up of seeing them - lol ! However after making this there are still a few of them lurking about. Bad fabrics never die I'm sure !! I bought a lot of fabric from Ebay in the early days and quite a few of them are a bit suspect.

Anyway when I got to the borders I was determined to get them done. Very often this is where I stall. I think I am borderly-challenged.... Because I already had some squares and rectangles cut that is what I used and I like the effect. I have tons of that Moda purple fabric so that went in too. I have enough to use for the back too although don't know when I will get round to quilting it.

Once that was done I decided to make a little quilt for a change. Keep getting sidetracked and making unintentional quilts - lol !! Don't know what it is but my quilts always turn out bigger than I planned..Anyway I am doing some paper piecing with little itty-bitty pieces. Looky at this mess -

With a bit of luck I will get some more done on this today but I have a distraction.

Poor Patrick was sent home from school yesterday feeling grotty. Griping pains in his tum and a really sore throat so I think he's coming in for something. He's just started reading the Harry Potter books so I will try and get him to lie quietly and read.
It's a gorgeous Autumn morning here - the grass is lovely and frosty and the sun is out. Beautiful weather and I love it. Roll on the dark nights !!

Saturday, 15 September 2007

Playing catch-up !

Loads of sewing done this week but nothing at all quilty I'm sad to say. As everyone went back to school, college and work I have had plenty of time to myself this week and so I got ORGANISED. As I work from home - you can imagine the distractions of 3 other people sharing the house so while it was all quiet I got some work done for customers and out of the way.

I have altered trousers, shirts and made curtains all week and I'm pleased to say it's nearly all done. Just one jacket to adjust and I'm a free woman ! Sometimes I have a lot of work to do and other times I'm quiet. It just seems that it all comes at once and then I get myself a bit stressed trying to get it all out of the way. I would prefer a steady stream of jobs but that's not usually how it happens - still beggars can't be choosers - lol !!

I did actually finish the baby sisters choice quilt - all quilted and bound and away to it's new home. Apparently Jenny (my mum's hairdresser) was delighted with it so that was good. I used hobbs wool wadding and it was so cuddly. I hope baby Chloe will love it as she gets older.

Here are pictures.

I only did very simple straight line quilting as to be honest I was a bit pushed for time but seeing as all I do is quilt in the ditch and meandering that was fine - lol ! One of these days I will try to broaden my machine quilting horizons but for now it works for me. I'm far more of a piecer than a quilter. I do like a bit of hand quilting except it frustrates me a bit on how slow it goes.

So that's my week. Oh I did make a few more of those funny zig-zag blocks to use up some of my bigger scraps. You know sometimes that some of your scrap pieces seem to be hanging around forever and you are sick of the sight of them. Well I'm planning to use up some of THOSE bits to get rid. My friend Sue has a birthday soon so this may end up as a quilt for her - who knows. Depends how the wind takes me :-)

Thanks for all the good wishes for Jason on starting his new job. He was really surprised by all the lovely comments. So far he's getting on really well - thank goodness.

Last here is a photo of 2 of my 3 cats. This is Kasper (grey) and Tizer (tabby). They are only young and when they get together are quite naughty but such good fun. Tizer will only ever stay in our garden when it's sunny but Kasper is a bit braver and ventures out to the field at the back of our house.

Friday, 7 September 2007

Thanks Mereth !

A little while ago Mereth showed a quilt she had made which she called Feathered Crosses. You know when you absolutely love a pattern and can't stop thinking about it ? Well I fell in love with this pattern and asked Mereth a few questions about size etc. She very kindly gave the background story to the quilt and yesterday gave directions for making the block. Completely ignoring everything else that was calling my name ( boring stuff like cleaning, dust and things like that ) I made a sample block.

I really want to make a whole quilt with this but for now can't decide on colours. I may make each block completely different for a scrappy or I'm leaning towards something a bit more controlled but not sure what ! So thanks Mereth - I'm very grateful !!

I had a little visit to the fabric warehouse this week and got a few bargains. As many of you know quilting fabric is expensive in UK so when I see something I like at a good price I get it. I only went for a few reels of thread but ended up buying about 12 yards of fabric. This one is my best bargain -

It is a Moda fabric and is a lot darker than the photo shows - a real midnight blue. I may even make my Feathered cross quilt with this as the background. It was at the ridiculously low price of 89p a yard.

I also got these -

My books also came from The UK Amazon didn't stock these so I ordered from the States. I was quoted a delivery date of 21st September but they were both here by the 5th. Not had time to read them properly but will soon put that right. I love Judy's quilts so had to order that one and I love pieced borders and got the other for ideas.

My other big news this week is that after being made redundant 6 months ago my darling hubby - Jason starts a new job on Monday. His previous company went bankrupt owing us a lot of money so things have been a bit of a struggle. But now, he is excited about his new job and he will be out from under my feet - lol ! Well done Love !

Happy, happy, happy !!

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

The Verdict

Well, thanks for all your lovely comments about Joans quilt. I do try and reply to as many as I can as I think if people are good enough to take the time to comment it's only good manners to respond. Sometimes however there just isn't enough hours in the day to do it all. So if I don't get round to replying please know that your comment is very much appreciated and welcomed.

Also I do try and visit all your blogs and comment as much as I can. Never thought blogging would be this much fun.

Anyway I went to my group last night and gave Joan her quilt. She was delighted and so surprised. She kept thanking me and saying how quickly I had done it. She was thrilled with how well it came out as she wasn't sure about her fabric choices. It was much nicer in the flesh than my photos. I never mentioned before but I actually used a fleece backing as I found a piece that I had here that was just the right size and colour. Meant to be !!! It was a really thick fleece and quilted up ever so well. I used a big meander and it was lovely and snuggly.

Some-one asked Joan what she was going to do with it and she replied that although it was originally intended for a grand-daughter in Canada there was no way now that she was going to part with it. She says she is going to use it to keep her knees warm in the Winter. I mentioned she has arthritis so keeping her joints warm is a must.

Joan is a really lovely lady and I was so pleased that she was pleased - lol ! It was nice to do this for her. I told her my housework has been neglected this week as I wanted to get this done. That made her laugh !!

Anyway back to my own quilts now. Here is the picture of the next round of my medallion quilt. The little block in my last post was my trial one and here is what I was intending. I like it although my corner block points do not match exactly with it's neighbour but I can live with that. I like things to look nice but a few mis-matched points don't keep me awake at night. The only thing that does that are my frequent visits to spend a penny - lol !
I also made a few of these with the triangles I cut off. I am so proud of myself - when I think that before I knew better I used to throw my scraps away - I will try not to dwell on that - lol ! These measure 2 inches !

Not sure what to do with this next . . . . I need to think about it.

I am getting tempted by doing some more of those funny little zig zag blocks. Shall I or not ?

Monday, 3 September 2007

Joans quilt !!

Here as promised is the picture of Joans quilt that I just literally finished sewing the binding on. I really hope she will be pleased with it. It's funny working with some-one elses fabrics and colour scheme. I will have to dig out my version of this. It is completely different. Oh I just remembered - it's been on my blog. It's the one that was covering my DD Jess when she was asleep in the garden - lazy madam - lol !

I actually quite like this although they are not fabrics I would have chosen. A little bit samey but very nice nevertheless. I just quilted it with a big meander. I used some of my own stuff for the little border and binding - hope Joan approves. I thought the red gave it a nice touch !

I will give it to her tomorrow. After all this rushing I bet she doesn't come - typical of my luck. I know I didn't have to do it so soon but this is another quilt that I hadn't planned on making ( along with the MAM ). The sooner it was done the sooner I can get some of my planned stuff on the go. I haven't made any new DJ blocks for ages. Will try and put that right.

In between quilting this I did a little more to the applique block that will be the centre of my medallion quilt. I made a block first using some scraps and love how it turned out. I can just imagine a scrappy ziggy-zaggy quilt using this. BUT no I won't do it !! Concentrate !!
Happy sewing !!