Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Busy doing nothing . . .

. . . working the whole day through... But not a lot of quilting going on. I seem to have been run off my feet lately - cleaning my car - inside and out, taking Patrick and his friends swimming, even a bit of gardening. Shopping, cleaning, washing. . . blah ! And I also sold a bit of stuff on Ebay.

So I am just about ready to have a good sewing session - maybe tomorrow. I have made a start on a new quilt and I want to get going on that.

Those little cracker blocks I made a week or two ago are being sewn into groups of 4 like this.

I then decided to add a bit extra.

Out of all the fabrics in my stash the one I wanted was the dark green and I only had half a metre of it. Tracked it down though and ordered another 2 metres which came yesterday so I am all ready to do some more.

A while ago I saw a lovely idea for some sashing. I think I saw it on Karens blog. It has been on my mind to try this out so that is what I am attempting on this quilt. I need lots more of these flying geese before it all comes together.

The paler fabric is the one I got from Ebay that I have been searching for for years. That is why I used the dark green - so it would go with the purple and lilac. Not sure how this will turn out. Your guess is as good as mine - lol !

Funny thing happened earlier in the week - not quilt related but kitty related. I have 3 cats - 2 of whom go out and about but the youngest one Tizer likes to stay in. The door can be open all day and he is just not interested in venturing out. Occasionally he steps into the garden for 10 minutes but that is enough. Anyway Tizer had a little mouse bed that had got a bit scruffy so was heading into the rubbish bin. I stuck it outside on a trailer we have and forgot about it. About 15 minutes later we heard that really strange mewing cats make - you know when they sound like babies crying ? Went outside to find this

A strange cat we have never seen before had taken a shine to the old mouse house and was making himself comfy much to Tizers outrage. Strange thing is Tizer and the intruder were almost identical in looks. Very similar markings etc. I had to shoo the stranger away eventually as Tizer was very annoyed. He was a lovely friendly cat though so I'm sure he'll be back. Tizer was very relieved when he'd gone and was cuddling up to us all day which is a bit unlike him. He normally doesn't go in for a lot of cuddles.

My 4 seasons quilt is ready to post - even has a label on which I am really bad at doing.

Roll on tomorrow - itching to give my machine a work out !!

Take care.

Monday, 21 April 2008

One down...one to go !

Miniature quilts that is... I have signed up for Kates quilt swap but before that I needed to get my 4 seasons quilt done and dusted.

If you remember this was as far as I had got and I was talking about an applique border. Weellllll.......actually I did this..

I was choosing a fabric for the little inner border and somehow this is what happened. I made each of the 4 borders a quarter inch bigger than the previous one . The first border finishes at half an inch - then three-quarters etc. I had cut out some leaves etc for doing the applique border but when I laid it out I wasn't sure about it so went with this instead.

A couple of nights hand-quilting - including these little free-hand flowers and a scrappy binding and I'm almost there. Just need to add a label and it will be away. Hopefully the new owner will like it and it will fit in with her idea of spring. Fingers crossed.

Had a sortout of some magazines the other day and found a lovely pattern in one of the Quilters Newsletters so made this

very fiddly as some of the pieces had to be cut out from templates and some were rotary cut. Could be the start of a new quilt but maybe not. Can't seem to decide lately what to do next. I know something - I can see why so many hexagon quilts are left unfinished. I have been doing a bit most nights and I am getting tired of them. I think I will get a little more of my stitchery done and alternate the 2 projects. Sounds like a plan.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Bit of stash enhancement !

First of all thanks to Karol-Ann for these lovely fabrics.

She and I had a swap some time ago. I sent her some rose print fabrics and I got these in return. The parcel took about 11 weeks or so to get here from South Africa and I think we were both a little anxious. But they came yesterday and I love them. Wracking my brains now to come up with something special to use them. Thanks Karol-Ann.

I also received a little order from http://www.zandsfabrics.com/ .

I loved my postman yesterday - not so much today - he brought me the phone bill lol !

At the weekend I went to the fabric sale and bought some fabric too but forgot to take photos of that and they are currently whizzing about in my washing machine...

One last thing I am waiting for is some fabric from ebay. When I first started quilting 5 years ago I bought 1 fat quarter of a great fabric. It was one of those that was too nice to use. Anyway I did eventually use it in a quilt for my mum and dad and have mourned it ever since. I have always looked out for more of this with no luck - UNTIL last week. Yes a lovely lady had some for sale on http://www.ebay.com/ - 3 yards to be precise :-) And because she did priority shipping she could fit up to 8 yards in an envelope. Well it made perfect sense to see what else she had for sale and a few clicks later . . . .

So altogether this week I have expanded my stash by about 24 yards. Excellent only I have nowhere to put it as my drawers are bursting at the seams. Think I will try and refold it somehow and try and squeeze it in. What fun !

Bought this too

Great for cutting out and folds away out of the way. I have been doing my cutting on the floor for a while as Jason has my old table for his computer bits and pieces. Now and again I have trouble with my back and this will be much better. These last few days my back has been troubling me and sewing on my machine seems to make it worse so i have been doing lots of handwork - i.e hexagons.

I need to make 6 of these with one more colour round the edges. It is sort of a medallion thing and once these are done they will be attached to the main middle section. Click on the photo to see my new slippers. These make me laugh although Jess thinks I am the saddest mum around. Doesn't take much to please me - lol !

Before my back started hurting I was working on some little cracker blocks with my leftover strips from the scrappy log cabin. I used all the dark ones and just cut some pastel triangles for the corners. I have made quite a lot of these and am just deciding what to do with them. I may set them into blocks of 4 and add a dark scrappy sashing - who knows. They are 3 inch blocks.

Its absolutely freezing here in Wales today - heavy fog too. I have turned on my heating and plan to get some serious sewing done. Hope you all get some done too.

Friday, 11 April 2008

Lovely hearts !

Thanks to Anne I am now the proud owner of this

We had a little swap - this very pretty quilt for some fabric. Great swap - I love it. I am now getting quite a collection of mini quilts. I have a three I made myself. My winter 4seasons quilt from Emily. A blog prize from Dawn and now this one. I am also doing the spring 4seasons swap and another that Kate is organising. Such fun !! I am going to have to come up with a proper way to display all these. The walls by my sewing table have a sort of hessian type wallpaper and at the moment some of the quilts are just pinned on in the corners. Not ideal - I will have to get my thinking cap on.

Talking of mini quilts here was the block that was supposed to be the start of my spring swap. The plan was to do a sort of medallion quilt. I've had it pinned in front of me for a few weeks and it just isn't doing it for me. SO onto plan B. . . .

This was inspired by an antique quilt shown by Wendy and I absolutely loved it. At some point I would like to make a full-sized version but for now this will do. I have cut enough 30's strips to make another of these to keep for myself but I will concentrate on this first. I am going to put an applique border on this. Now applique is not my thing. I love it but have never really mastered the knack of needleturn which is what I would really love to do. I will have a try and if it all goes horribly wrong I will do some machine applique instead. The little blocks are just about 2 inches finished.

This week in my effort to finish off ( or at least make some progress on ) some older projects I have dug out my blue hexagons. I have not shown this as yet.. It is definitely a long term project as I started it ages ago. I have been doing a bit in the evenings between finishing supper and going to pick up various family members from work - 2 learner drivers in the family. It is coming along but will not be finished anytime soon. I am in no rush.

Here is Kasper making himself comfy in the basket I had just emptied as I decide where to put my next row of hexagons.
There is a sneak peak in the background. I will show some pictures when there is a little more progress.
I have also been making some little scrappy blocks but haven't took pictures yet. Bad blogger.
There is a quilting roadshow tomorrow quite near my home ( about 35 miles ) and I am debating whether to go or not. It is a big fabric sale by Doughtys . I am trying not to buy too much lately as my drawers are too full to close but I might miss out on the bargain of the year - lol ! I will sleep on it :-)
have a lovely weekend. I plan lots of sewing as my housework is all done. . . . . .

Saturday, 5 April 2008

And the answer was...

Yes - she wanted the quilt ! In fact she absolutely fell in love with it. Part of me is pleased that she liked it so much but the bigger part is sad that it is sold. I won't do that again in a hurry. I am thinking of maybe re-doing it in all my very favourite fabrics - you know the ones you don't think you can bear to cut ? I will have a think about it.

My friend Sue told her friend that she was under no obligation at all to take it but Sue said her eyes lit up when she saw it and that was that. She said her daughter would cherish it and it would be passed down and become a family heirloom. That's how much she loved it. She told Sue to re-assure me it would be well cared for and to thank me SO much etc etc. So at least I know it has gone to a good home and will not end up in the dog's bed - we've all heard horror stories like that.
Anyway, I will put the money towards a new sewing machine that I'm saving for. But in the meantime to cheer myself up a bit I went to my fabric warehouse in search of some tone-on-tones. Whilst rooting through my stash for fabrics for Bonnies new mystery quilt I found I was lacking in this department. I bought these
Some were absolute bargains - the pale pink marbled stuff is Michael Miller Krystal and was reduced from £9.35 a metre to £2.60. :-) Most of the other stuff was sold by weight and works out at good value.
I've had a bit of a yen for some crochet and have been doing this.
I'm now on my third one and am enjoying it. Once I'd figured the American abbreviations are slighty different to the UK ones I was ok. What we know as double crochet is the equivalent of American single crochet. Our double crochet is treble etc. I never knew that - you learn something new every day - lol !
I have the luxury of 3 hours un-interrupted sewing just as soon as I get my bum off this computer chair. I have a new project on the go as I have been quite good at getting stuff finished. It is another scrap-user and involves these bits and a few other odds and ends. Pictures as soon as I have anything to show.
I seem to be having a few new readers lately leaving comments but sadly they are showing no-reply. If I haven't responded to your comments that could be why so I thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to chat. xx
have a great weekend !

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Me and my big mouth !!

First of all here is a photo of the hour-glass quilt with borders on. The fabric is a Moda one and I think works quite well. I didn't want this to be too pink and kept coming back to this one. Don't know when this will get quilted but at least it's a step closer - I usually stall at the borders.
Anyway as to the title of the post. Do you ever wish you had put your brain in gear before you opened your mouth ? Well I do..... A few weeks ago my friend asked me would I be willing to make a quilt for a lady she works with for her daughters birthday. The girl will be 18years old and her mother wanted to buy her something a bit different. Now I don't normally make quilts to sell and as the birthday was just a month away I knew I wouldn't have enough time anyway. BUT I found myself saying I had a quilt half made and if I finished it in time she could buy it from me. This quilt had been sitting about for months and I was hand-quilting it and it was taking a long time. Basically I had lost interest in it and kept doing other things instead.
So I got on with the quilting and have worked really hard to finish it. The whole middle section is outline quilted around every piece and the border was machine quilted in a cross-hatch pattern. Here is a photo of the binding going on. This is truly a scrappy quilt which was made to use up some scraps. I was never sure what was going to happen to it when it was done.
BUT - the more I quilted it the more I started to realise that basically I don't think I want to part with it. In fact I would go as far as to say I love it. As I was quilting away I came across fabrics I had used in other quilts. Some of the fabrics I don't have anymore so I would not be able to make another the same even if I wanted to. So what do I do ? The lady who may buy it hasn't actually seen it yet so I am sort of hoping she doesn't like it and doesn't want it. I can't go back on my word as that is not right. Honestly I am so silly sometimes !! Also all my friends at my quilting group say the price I am charging is not enough. My family agree !
I am taking it to my friends tomorrow and she will pass it on to the potential buyer. I think I may just have to put this down to experience and think twice - or even three times before I do such a thing again. I have told my friend to tell her colleague that if she doesn't want it that will be absolutely fine and not to feel like she has to have it because I have finished it for her. Will let you know the outcome when I know anything. I could slap myself sometimes - lol !!

Anyway because I have been working on this excusively for days I am a bit behind on emails and such. Not to mention cleaning !! Some serious catching up to do...