Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Quick post.

A few of you have enquired about the warehouse I go to. Unfortunately a couple of the ladies who have asked about it are coming up as no-reply so I can't answer directly. It is called Abakhan Fabrics and is on the coast road near Mostyn, North Wales. They have a website and give directions on there. This is a great place to go if you are a fabric junkie - especially for dressmaking. Sometimes their selection of quilting fabrics is terrible but lately they have had some really nice fabrics. I bought a piece last week - I measured it when I got home and it was almost 3 yards long and cost me £3.04. I have said before that sometimes the fabric has a fault in it - a small rip etc. Out of the 3 yard piece there was just a tiny section measuring about 4 inches square that I could not use so really good value.

Well I had a great trip on Sunday to the car boot sale. Not a sewing machine in sight but I bought loads of books as I read a lot and have trouble keeping myself supplied - lol ! I was on the lookout for anything I could use for quilting and got these

3 100% cotton shirts which I will have great delight in chopping up.

I got these 2 nice thimbles - picture is lousy sorry. I don't collect thimbles but took a shine to these.

And the bargain of the day was these

The pink is a Laura Ashley print and measures 46 by 68 inches and cost me 50p ( about $1 ) and the green is also a Laura Ashley print and is actually a pair of curtains. Each curtain is about 80 inches long and 50 inches wide. For these I paid a pound ( $2 ). Less than a loaf of bread - lol ! Not quite sure what they will be yet but I was really pleased to get them. They are pretty fabrics in excellent condition. I also bought a great little wall shelf which I will sand down and re-paint. There is another sale on Sunday in a differnt place so we may venture there too. The kids refuse to come as they say it is a load of old rubbish. Admittedly a lot of it is - I've chucked out better stuff than some people were selling - lol ! I'll be on the lookout again - you never know what you'll find.

Talking of finding stuff I came across these this week - a few abandoned Dear Jane blocks. I made about 60 and changed my mind about colours. The others got made into a quilt top but these are unloved and abandoned. I may just have a play with these....The picture actually makes them look nicer than what they are - they are very wishy-washy !
Not a lot of quilting done this week as I have been making cushion covers for a lady I know. I have been cursing the person who invented zips - lol ! Can't wait to do them then I can get back to the interesting stuff. :-)

Friday, 23 May 2008

Sunglasses at the ready...

I have finished my swap quilt for Kates ALQS and it's bright - lol ! MUCH brighter than these photos show.

I must admit I never used to quite see the attraction in miniature quilts but now I LOVE them. Because they are small it is nice to experiment with colours, techniques etc knowing that if it completely comes out rubbish you haven't wasted much fabric. So for this little quilt I decided to do a block I've always admired - the pineapple. I picked my fabrics and did one just to see. This is 3 inches finished..

Yes I liked this so I made some more.

Then borders which took me ages to decide on. I was considering a pieced border but the blocks itself are so busy it would have been overkill. Very simple quilting in the ditch with invisible thread inbetween the blocks. And some straight line quilting with ordinary thread in the borders. There you go - job done.

Just because I wanted to I counted there are 328 pieces - lol ! I hope **** likes it.

Besides this I haven't done a great lot of sewing this week - seem to have been running round like a headless chicken.

I was a bit naughty the other day and managed a little trip to the warehouse... I only went for some curtain lining - honest ! Only another 12 yards to add to my bulging cupboards :-)

Seeing as how I'm on a bit of a mini quilt fest lately I've also started one for myself. It is quite hard parting with these little quilts so I've made these little 3 inch stars to cheer myself up. With a bit of luck I will have time this weekend to get some more done. We are going car-boot sale hunting on Sunday. I have a dream of finding a Singer Featherweight waiting for me for about £10 - lol ! I live in hope.

Have a great weekend and I will try and post a bit more next week xx

PS . A few of you have asked for the pattern for these little stars. It's a free pattern from this site. There is some good stuff here for paper piecing.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Fingers crossed !

I warn you now I'm feeling chatty - I think because I haven't managed to get to my quilt group for 3 weeks I'm having the urge to have a quilty chat with people who understand the lingo - lol ! My family - god bless them - don't really get it although they do their best. I can see their eyes glazing over ever so slightly - ha !

Anyway thanks for all the suggestions - the general concensus is for piano key border. A lot of you said I should finish off the edges with another goose to complete the sashing. You know what ? You're right ! That's exactly what I should do before I go any further. Only trouble was I knew I didn't have much of the dark purple left. I measured my meagre scrap and worked out I only had enough for 16 more flying geese instead of the 24 I needed. A visit to the fabric warehouse was called for. Now I was lucky a few weeks ago when I had run out of a particular fabric I needed so I was not optimistic this time. For those of you who don't know this place sells fabric by the piece and sometimes they only have ONE piece of a particular fabric. Off I traipsed and what do you know ? I found some more !!! YES ! It's about a yard and a half so I will have enough to use in borders as well. The quilting angel was smiling on me today - lol !

I also came away with these.

Look at that green print ! That will go great with the frog fabric I bought last week. I quite fancy a froggy bag although my kids will definitely disown me. Mereth had a fantastic old-fashioned bonnet on her blog recently. I jokingly commented that I must get one to mortify my kids. Now a frog bonnet would certainly do the trick - lol !! They already think I'm a few sandwiches short of a picnic :-) I really need to get out a bit more....

Enough being silly... Here is what I came up with by using my charm pack.

It is Moda Allspice Tapestry and all I added was the 2 setting fabrics. I used a light and dark cream for a bit of variety. I think some of these fabrics are a bit samey so it needed something plainer to break it up a bit.

I tried to pick 2 contrasting charms and from each pair got 2 9-patches, 2 strips and 2 end bits. Like so :- Each 5 inch charm was cut into 4 strips measuring 1.25 inches.

Once the main middle piece was done I used the plain fabrics in the pack for the little border and pieced together the end bits and strips for the side border. Any squares I had not used in the 9-patches were quartered and sewn together for top and bottom borders. I'm dead chuffed with this. Any scraps left will go into the back. It only measures 18 by 24 so will either go on the back of an armchair or if Jason is very lucky I will hang it up by his computer - what a good wife I am. I told him this and he looked a little baffled - lol ! I want to quilt this soon probably by hand as it is nice and small.

I have also been doing a bit for my ALQS hosted by the lovely Kate. Sometimes when you have so much fabric you can be a bit over-awed about what to use - I know I am. So I decided to use an old trick taught to new quilters. Pick a nice fabric and pick out colours from it to use in the quilt. I'm sure you all know about this. Heres what I picked

I love this as I have a great fondness for paisleys and I think the colours of this are nice and cheery. So this is what I'm using as inspiration.

Forget to mention my lovely chicken.

Every time I go shopping I chuck my loose change into my pottery chicken that sits on my windowsill. When she gets a bit heavy I count out the coins and change them at the bank. Today I had a little count and got £55 ( about $110 ) bagged up. So really my little trip for fabric cost nothing. I have been driving Jason mad all day talking about my "free money". I told him I was buying him lunch with my free money etc. I know it's not really free but I do like to wind him up now and then - lol !
If you've made it this far well done and you deserve a coffee or some chocolate or whatever your vice is.
Take care xx

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Well, things don't seem quite as bad this week. Thanks for your good wishes. Summer has arrived here with a vengeance. Hot, hot, hot ! Andyou know what I hate it ! Summer is my least favourite time of year. I hate feeling hot and sticky. I hate being unable to sleep at night. I hate flies and bees - I could go on - lol ! So I have been hiding out in my sewing room which is relatively cool and playing about.
First of all I got the main section of this quilt done.
Still not sure if I like it or not. I think it's growing on me. I do not know what to do for borders. Any ideas ?? As the blocks are scrappy I want to do a pieced border of some kind. I have loads of the dark green left. I don't particularly want to use any more of the lilac print. I think I will stew on it. I love the sashings and may do this again.
There was a lot of workings out to do on this as it is basically one I designed as I went along. Here is my pattern - lol ! On here is all the cuttings sizes and sashing amounts I needed etc. I kept losing this blessed thing... I made a few mistakes working out sizes etc but it all fit in the end.
I have started a new summer project but have no photos yet but whilst I was sorting out my stash for this I came across a charm pack I had bought some months ago. This is the first and last charm pack I have bought. I have sort of challenged myself to make something nice from this and have been having great fun with it. Here are a couple of pics.....

See you all soon..

Thursday, 8 May 2008

What a funny week !

And I don't mean funny - haha ! We had some bad news last week which has rather knocked me for six and so any sewing has gone out of the window. Nothing life-threatening but bad news all the same. Anyway I'm hoping things will be better now and I can get back to my quilting.

I really want to finish the sashing that I'm making the flying geese for so that is my priority and hopefully will be done before too long. I'm about halfway done. Then I will looking for ideas for a border. To be honest I'm really unsure if I'll like this but I'm too far along to quit now. We'll see.

Also last week I got rid of 5 UFO's. Yes that's right ! I sold them on ebay. These were quilt tops that I knew I wouldn't get round to quilting at any point soon and to be honest I had no desire to anyway. I didn't make a huge amount of money but I was quite pleased and I know they have gone to people who will finish them and turn them into actual quilts. Plus there is now a bit of spare room in my drawers. Well actually there lies a tale.

As I was sorting through my fabrics I decided that I would put myself on a fabric no-buy for a month as really I need to make some space. Easy peasy I thought. Some of you know I have a small business going making curtains and such like for a few customers. I have a lady who wanted some cushions and curtain pelmets making and she had bought the fabric but forgot to get zips. I said I would get them as we were visiting my in-laws who live very near my favourite fabric warehouse. I got the zips and doings she needed and just had a quick look at the quilting section. Well who could resist these frogs...Sorry pictures so dark - Jason has done something to my pc and altered some settings. Men will not leave things alone will they ?

And a few other bits snook in too. All in all about 5 yards so not too bad.

So my no-buy lasted all of about - lets see - 8 hours. World record lol !

See you soon x

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Spring Surprise !!

Look at this little beauty that arrived in my post box this morning.

Isn't it gorgeous ? Tiny little hexagons, lovely colours and wonderful hand-quilting.

Thankyou so much Laila. I will treasure it. It even has a hanging sleeve stitched on the back. Laila also gave me a cute little pre-printed stitchery to do. I love these little swaps. Again thanks to Margaret for organising this.

Mine too is on it's way to it's new home. I am so proud of this label.

This is actually the first label I have ever "made". I have only ever labelled one other quilt and that was the Winter swap quilt that went to Julia and for that I used a ready made label that I just wrote on. Bad quilter - I will try from here-on to label my quilts.
Back to my flying geese. . . .