Saturday 26 May 2012

Embroidery update

I haven't spent much time doing my embroidery over the last month. However the last two evenings I have finished stitching the kangaroo and Fountains Abbey whilst watching television. I am going to try and complete the next block, a hot air balloon this week.

On the right of this blog is a button for Pets on Quilts. This is an on line show in August of pets on quilts. The pets may be our cats, dogs or other animals that like to help us while we quilt or could be quilts with animal patterns on them. Take a look at this site if you love your pets and think about entering your pets on quilts pictures. Enjoy browsing the pictures from 2011 and 2010.

Wednesday 23 May 2012

Finished at last

Didn't feel too bright due to a migraine over the weekend so no sewing got done. However I have now quilted and bound the baby quilt destined for the Guides quilt project.

Rather pleased with this one. It is a shame the prints in the quilt don't show up very well on the photo.

I have also cut out the fabric needed for the block of the baby quilt I am making. Indiana had her daughter Isobel on Friday morning. I decided to make a quilt using the broken dishes block using these fabrics.

Indie isn't a lover of pink so I think the batik fabric will work well as it has darker colours as part of the pattern- as well as a little pink.

Hopefully this coming weekend will give me more time for sewing. I need it as I have to add the borders to the rainbow quilt and then quilt and bind it by next Wednesday.

Wednesday 16 May 2012

Using up fleece

I  had a long strip of fleece left over from the Guide's baby quilts. It wasn't wide enough to back a quilt so I decided to make a rabbit from it. The pattern is a simplicity one and is really easy to make. I am going to make it a waistcoat or dress and then we will use it as a fund raiser at the fair in June. I think guess the name of the rabbit with the rabbit as the prize would be OK. All I need to do now is finish the rabbit. I would also like to make some smaller rabbits from the same pattern so I am going to scale it down.

I also have another quilt top which will go to the Linus project once its quilted. The photo doesn't really show the elephant print or the cat print very well.

The week seems to have flown by with only limited time for stitching. Some of the things I have been doing are linked to my stitching projects but took me away from the fun part of creating. I have heaps of purple bunting in various stages of cutting and sewing but I wasn't sure about how much was needed as the group hadn't decided how to decorate the boats. So Barbara and I went to the boat house armed with a long tape measure to work out the details. There is only one way the boats can be decorated so it doesn't get in the way of the rowers and so the cox has good vision - it would be awful if boats in the pageant crashed. It means about 40 foot of bunting for each boat so I can now complete this task.

Still trying to find the right fabric for the borders on the rainbow quilt top. However in going through my stash looking for fabric to complete that quilt I have also been considering fabric to use to make up some traditional quilt  blocks to make a sample quilt. The problem with this hobby is it is so addictive that you hardly finish one thing before you are rushing on to the next.
Just wish I had made time for it over the last 15 years because I have missed out on a lot of fun.

Friday 11 May 2012

The start of a stamp collection.

I haven't had much time for stitching in the last two days but managed to make time to try making a stamp collection block. I had been thinking of using this block with the blocks I am cutting from the old patchwork quilt I was given. I had decided that I would make the stamp collection block 12inches which involves cutting 144 one and a half inch squares.
 I made the block using the interfacing technique. This is a photo of the squares pressed onto the interfacing before sewing.

I was very pleased with the finished block. It is important to slit the interfacing along the stitched seams and press the seams open to get a nice flat block.

I am also amazed at how neat the back of the block looks. I will definitely be using this block in my next project. Its now back to the cutting board for the rest of the blocks I need..

Wednesday 9 May 2012

Yesterday was Sunny

Yesterday was sunny in London but I didn't venture out as I had set myself the task of completing the yellow and brown quilt. I still had a small amount of quilting to do and of course the binding. Well despite numerous interruptions I finished the quilting during the day and the binding was completed watching television in the evening.  Scamp in his usual style thought I put the quilt for him to lay on when I tried to take the photo.

I also revisited the fabric Beth had given me as I thought I remembered some blocks in with it. Sure enough I found several in shades of browns. They are 4inch but the stripped ones are not accurately cut with some being up to 1/2 inch smaller.  There are about 20 of some with only 3 of the black with the brown pattern. Using these up is my next project. I quite fancy making a tote bag and I also need to make a new knitting bag as one of my daughters has my old one. I now need to go back to my fabric stash to find fabric to work with these blocks.

On the knitting front all the baby blankets for the Linus project are now complete and I am about to wash them before packing them up. This means I now have time to return to a discarded project, a jacket I started knitting last year. Since the ball of yarn is so large it isn't very portable and so hasn't progressed very far. I intend to finish this by the end of June. I am still knitting the hexipuffs and now have quite a pile of completed ones. They don't take up a lot of room so are very portable.

I am going to add the borders to the rainbow quilt this morning and cut out the fleece needed for backing the rest of the guide quilts. Then stitching will have to be put away for the rest of the day as I have work to prepare for Friday.

Monday 7 May 2012

Nearly at the finishing line

This week has been a time of nearly finishing several projects. I have almost finished quilting the yellow and brown block quilt and then just the binding to go. Also nearly finished the toddler quilt which I haven't yet shown you a photo of.  The Rainbows (5 to 7 years old) have finished their rainbow quilt top. This has been made as part of our Linus quilt project. The girls designed the top. They all drew out what they would like on the top after we had talked about it. As a group we then put the ideas together and I drew out a picture of what it would look like. I still have to add the borders to add and I have to appliqué some raindrops, a crock of gold and some butterflies. The girls really enjoyed pining the squares together and then stitching them on the sewing machine. They did extremely well with only two squares needing to be unpicked and re-sewn. It has taken 6 months to do this project as we haven't worked on it every week because we didn't want the girls to get bored since we wanted them to enjoy making it. It seems to have worked as they want to sew something else now.

The photo doesn't show the top of the quilt which has a cloud on one side and the sun on the other. Each square is 2.5inches so without the border the quilt is 45 inches square.

On the bunting front I have loads cut out and waiting to be sewn. I have put medium weight interlining between the two layers of fabric to give it more body. I have  piles of completed flags waiting to be sewn onto the tape ready for it to be used. We still haven't decided exactly how much bunting we need to decorate the boats. However if we make too much there isn't a problem as the group hold a summer ball every year and the bunting will be used to decorate the venue.

I have had quite a bit of time travelling this week so I used the time to make 'flowers' for my grandmother's garden quilt.  My pile of completed flowers has now grown to 30. I have also decided I am making the quilt for Lucy. I thought about only using fabric with Roses on as her middle name is Rose. However I have already made several 'flowers' with other flowers on them. Chatted with Lucy about it and we decided that the fabric had to be floral to be included.

On the knitting front I have about 20 rows to complete the last baby blanket and I am still working on the hexipuffs. I haven't managed to fit in any embroidery this week but will do so once the guide quilt project is over. Finally yellowy has been finished and is drying having been washed. This was a little traumatic as he is very fragile having had so much love over the years. I will take a photo of him for my next post. Once the Guide quilt project is completed I can start work on the old quilts I was given. I know many people have loads of projects on the go at any one time but I find I waste time deciding what to do if I have too many things to choose from.

On Saturday John and I went walking with friends, completing the next section of the London loop. This section was from Enfield Lock station to Chigwell. It managed not to rain for most of the day and was a very good bird watching walk with herons, cormorants, a little egret, greylag geese and lots of coots with chicks. There was also  a field of Shetland ponies and a red fox.

Tuesday 1 May 2012

The rain doesn't matter I'm having fun stitching!

What an incredibly wet weekend it has been with very little time to get out into the garden or even to take the dog for anything but the shortest of walks. Even the cat who usually spends most of the day outside has been prowling the house making a lot of noise because he can't go out. However the up side to all that is that it means sitting and stitching is not seen as wasting time that could be spent on all the other jobs that need doing.

This weekend I set out with the intention of completing the brown and yellow quilt and making a start on quilting the toddler quilt I have made for the Linus project.I also thought I might get a chance to finish the Rainbow quilt that my Rainbow unit designed and have helped to sew. The girls have really enjoyed learning how to use the sewing machine and only one block needed unpicking and resewing. So on Saturday afternoon I set about making my quilt sandwich. I had got it all beautifully flat and ready for tacking and decided I would have a cup of tea before I started. When I came back I found that Picasso our cat had crawled between the layers and I had to start all over again.

He decided he would be helpful for a while so I had to put it away. On Sunday I got it all organised and started the quilting. He decided he would play catch my hand by poking his paw under the arm of the machine. The only way to get anything done was to banish him from the room which meant putting up with his loud mewing through the door. I didn't complete the quilting as I needed to prepare some teaching for yesterday. Never mind I will finish it tomorrow.

I also spent time this weekend sorting through my scraps and organising them. I would love to be able to copy an idea on one of the blogs I have read of sorting by colour into large jars. The scraps look so pretty but unfortunately I have limited storage space and the pieces take up less room in bags in a box.

Having got all the ironing up to date I was going through my wardrobe and realised I don't have any summer dresses. A quick search through my fabric and patterns provided me with a project for next week once all the quilting is done. 

The tutorial on English patchwork is almost complete I just need my son to do a couple of photographs for me - impossible to photograph your own hands doing stitching without the aid of a tripod.