Thursday 29 November 2012

WIP - Yes a little progress.

It seems like ages since my last post but it is in fact just a week. I'm not sure exactly why it has been impossible to post but every time I've gone near my computer something has got in the way. The same is also true of my various sewing projects. However I have managed a very little amount of progress over the week.

First I have managed to do a small amount of work on my cross stitch. I have almost completed the Santa Maria.

I've started doing the outlining and there is still the date and name of the ship to add. I was hoping to get two or three of these small areas completed before Christmas but I am now planning on completing this piece by February. 

I have also found time to cut out the pieces for the 6 mini tote bags I need to put the Christmas presents for my Guide leaders in.

These are the piles of strips ready to be sewn. I thought about using the bag for the girls presents but there really isn't time to get them finished. So I have pulled up a paper pattern I have using wrapping paper. I'm going to start making them tomorrow.

I have also started cutting out 2 and a half inch squares from the Cherry Christmas roll I won at Happy Quilting earlier this year. I have decided to make a Christmas quilt. It may or may not be finished for this year but it will certainly be ready for use next year.

As you can see I haven't got very far but I only decided to do this last night just before I went to bed. I am now completely sold on the use of pre cut fabrics. The roll is 21/2 inches wide and is cutting up really easily. I'll be able to post a photo of a completed block tomorrow.

On other projects I haven't done any work on my Dresden plate quilt as I have been sewing an advent calendar together. I need to get it finished for Saturday. I think I need to go through my work basket because I can't even remember my other ongoing projects. I'm hoping that December will be a good month for sewing as I finish work for the Christmas holiday on December 14th and don't go back to work until January 7th. 

I am linking this post with Sharon at  Pintangle and Lee at Freshly Pieced. Why not check out what everyone has been working on this week.

Wednesday 21 November 2012

Holiday Lane

Today is the first day of the Holiday Lane blog hop. Thanks to Madame Samm for organising the hop and to Pauline for being our cheerleader. Thanks also to Jill Finley from Jillily Studio Designs for designing the pattern.

I found this pattern really fun to make and it went together really easily. I decided to use blue fabric for the sky rather than the suggested black. I also decided on a lighter colour for the pillow surround and backing fabric. I made the pillow as a pillow slip closing with buttons. This way I can change the pillow slip with the changing seasons and holidays and only have to store the slips. This is important as we have a limited amount of storage space.

The trees gave me the chance to do a little embroidery and embellishment using sequins and buttons.

I also machine embroidered 56 on the door (the number of our house) and a Christmas wreath. I love the pictures on the Christmas fabric  I used for this house.

The panel is quilted in the ditch around all the shapes. Wherever I put the pillow to photograph it Scamp kept following determined to be in the picture.

I really must take him to be clipped, the poor dog can't see where he is going. In the end I resorted to the floor to get the full picture.

Not a great angle or photo but you can see why I'm so pleased with the finished result. Roll on the Christmas season so I can put it in pride of place.

This has got me all excited for Christmas. Whilst visiting my favourite quilting shop in Bath I bought a panel to make Lucy an advent calendar.

I shall be starting work on this tomorrow which should leave me time to make one for my older daughter before the beginning of December. I expect I shall have to fill the pockets with sweets as well. I will then be using the Cherry Christmas jelly roll I won from Melissa at Happy Quilting to make a Christmas table runner. I also want to make some mini tote bags from Christmas fabric to put presents in.

You need to go and enjoy the rest of today's blog hop. Here are the other places to visit.

Have fun and enjoy the great work on view. I am also linking this post to Connie's Tuesday link party at Freemotion by the River. So once you have visited everyone on the blog hop pop over to Connie's for even more quilting eye candy. 

Saturday 17 November 2012

Look Down

The optional theme on this weeks photo finish was 'look down'. While walking with my husband I looked down from the river bank to find these lovely black necked swans.

I also spotted this heron.

Why not click the Foto Finish button on the right to visit Cat Patches and see what photos everyone has posted.

Now I'm off to finish my Holiday Lane Pillow. The blog hop starts on Wednesday.

Wednesday 14 November 2012

WIP - Dresden plate wallhanging.

I say I have had very little time for sewing but I seem to have got quite a lot of bits and pieces done. Maybe when you are busy you just make better use of your time. Or is it possible that my husband is right and I've ignored the housework in favour of sewing? No the answer is simply that I need to sew. It is perfect for unwinding and calming frayed nerves after a busy few days at work. That's why I like a variety of different projects on the go at the same time. I pick the one that will help me chill out the most on that day.

This week as well as making Picasso's quilt I have also been working on my Dresden plate quilt. This has been a year in the making so far but because of all the small pieces and lots of seams it isn't as relaxing as other projects. I have now finished the main area of the top and all I have left for the top is to add the two borders.

There is still a way to go because the borders are made like the sashing. I also need to trim the backing fabric from behind the plates so they will 'puff' better when it is quilted. I am thinking about hand quilting it. I know this will take a long time but I will be able to do it while I watch TV. Hopefully there will be some good programmes on over Christmas.

I've also been working on my millennium cross stitch. My husband bought me this for Christmas 1999 and I still haven't finished it. It's one of those projects you pick up for a while and then put down for months. 

I've now finished all the cross stitch on the scrolls. For some reason this was the bit of stitching that I found the most difficult to keep working at. 

As you can see I've only done a small amount of the back stitching on the scrolls but that's quite straight forward with a good light. The individual areas take me about a week to complete so this project will definitely be rolling over to 2013. That's fine as I only work on this in the evening and there are quite a lot of long evenings snuggled indoors to come in January and February.
I thought you might like to see how this has progressed this year. This photo was taken back in May.

I'm linking this post  with Connie at Freemotion by the River for her Tuesday link party and with Sharon at Pintangle and Lee at Freshly pieced for their work in progress Wednesday. Why not visit and see what everyone has been up to.

Sunday 11 November 2012

A finish, new projects and a sneak peek.

Earlier this week I showed you Picasso's Christmas quilt I was making to replace his old crocheted blanket. I finished this last night.

The backing is plain black as is the binding. I have quilted in the ditch. I did think about practising my FMQ on this quilt as it is small but Picasso was in a hurry to try it out. He loves to sleep in shallow boxes that have enough room for him to lie with his back along one side and allows him to stretch his legs out. He also loves soft items to sleep on. 

I am also making a quilt for Scamp our Yorkshire Terrier. During the day he loves to sleep on the back of the sofa and soak up the sun. 

He is really shaggy at the moment as he desperately needs clipping but I haven't been able to schedule it in due to my work. Scamp also loves quilts either for sitting on or snuggling under when it gets colder.

I have quite a few doggy fabrics. I loved the  two fat quarters with the paw prints and bones when I saw them at the stitching and knitting show. I just had to buy them.

This piece has been in my fabric stash for years. I think that one or other of my daughters asked me to buy it for a project they wanted to make but there is hardly any of it gone.


The grey one is 'Boys will be boys' by David Walker for Free Spirit. I am planning on using this to make Scamp a new coat. When we take him out on hikes he stays lovely and warm whilst walking but chills off when you stop. So when we find somewhere to eat our sandwiches and have our coffee I put his quilted coat on him to keep him warm during the stop. Small dogs lose 
heat quickly.

A quilt using the green dog print and the blue prints is going to be far too busy even for a dog so this is going to need some thought.

Finally I have been working on my pillow for the Holiday Lane blog hop. Here is  a sneak peek at what I've been doing.

This is going to look great when it is finished.

I think I've got time now for a quick half an hours sewing before my daughter gets here. She is coming over to use my sewing machine as she has some clothes she wants to alter. I must hide some of my fabrics as she likes to go through the stash and claim pieces she really likes. I know she will love the Clarice Cliff fabric panels I bought the other day to make place mats so I must go and hide it. Other than that and the pieces I am using for my current projects I am happy for her to raid my fabric stash as it means I have space for new bits.

I hope you are able to make some time for your projects today.

Saturday 10 November 2012

Time changes the light.

The theme for this weeks Foto Finish was time. I wanted to use my photo of the meridian at Greenwich for this but just can't find it in my archives. So I decided to show you the view from the tenth floor of the vertical campus that is The School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Care, part of The University of West London where I teach.

I took these photos on my phone earlier this year. The first one is looking east into London. The university is on the western outskirts of the city. The elevated road is the M4 motorway bringing traffic in from the west of the country. It narrows to just two lanes each way at this point and is carried at the level of our 4th floor. The photo was taken during the late afternoon.

The second photo is looking out towards the west and show the corner of the international headquarters of Glaxo Smith Klein which is across the road from our building. You can't see the motorway in this shot as it follows the curve of the building and passes between the two buildings. There are often amazing sunsets to be seen  from this side. This photo was taken later the same day.

Not the prettiest view from a window but it gives a panoramic view of the area to watch the changing seasons. Go and visit Barbara's blog Cat Patches to see everyone's photos by clicking here

I'm now off to continue work on my November NewFO's Hope you all have a good weekend that includes some time for stitching.

Tuesday 6 November 2012

A sewing day at last and a winner.

Since making my blocks for the Wicked Blog Hop I haven't had any time for sewing but today I managed to ignore both my work and the cleaning. 

In our family everyone gets Christmas presents including the pets. usually the pets get treats and maybe a new toy but this year I decided to make them both quilts. So today I decided to get sewing on Picasso's present. A while ago I had bought a lovely cat print and I decided to combine this with black and orange solids. I also decided I needed to practice my half square triangles. The top is finished.

I am really please with my half square triangles except the one on the top row on the left. Unfortunately for some reason I cut this one wrong and so it doesn't line up properly. Normally I would have ripped it out and cut a new block but unfortunately I had used up all the orange. I went to my local quilt shop where I had originally bought the fabric but they didn't have any so I will just put up with it. Anyway I'm sure Picasso wont notice.

I had fun deciding which way to sew the half square triangles because depending how you place them you get a very different appearance. I liked this arrangement. 

Picasso was a rescue cat seven years ago. We got him from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home and he came with his own crocheted blanket. He still has the blanket but Scamp likes to run off with it and it is now looking rather sad from repeat washings. At the moment he is enjoying curling up on the quilt I made for snuggling under when watching TV. So hopefully he will like his new quilt when it is finished.

Whilst at the quilt shop I spotted some fabric that I just had to buy

These 4 sections are part of a 5 panel piece across the width of fabric called Clarice Cliff and designed by Fabric Freedom, London. I love the designs Clarice Cliff used to paint and fell in love with these panels. I need to buy another width as I want to make place mats with them. I shall have to go back tomorrow as the shop only had a small amount of the fabric left. Its always the way - you go to the shop to buy fabric to finish a project and end up buying fabric that starts a new project.

In the title of the post I mentioned a winner. On my day of the Wicked blog hop I had a give away. The winner is comment number 50, Annette. I have already emailed her for her mailing address and the batiks will be on their way to her in Canada soon.

I am linking this post up with Connie's Tuesday link up over at Freemotion by the river. Why not pop over and see what everyone has been up to this week.

Sunday 4 November 2012

Wicked blog hop giveaway - winner

Sorry I'm late letting you know who won my give away. My computer has been getting slower and slower so I asked my son to upgrade it for me. So now it has more RAM and new hard drive and is running windows 8 and it's looking good so far. The down side is that he still has to reload all my programmes and documents onto the new hard drive and I haven't had access to my computer. However the internet is up and running so I was able to get Mr Random number to choose a winner for me.

The winner is number 55 who by my counting is Judy B. Unfortunately Judy you are a no reply blogger so I can't contact you. You need to change your settings so that your comment shows your email. Connie at Freemotion by the river has a tutorial on how to do this. Then leave a comment on this post by Tuesday. If I haven't heard from you by then I will choose another winner.

Thursday 1 November 2012

October NewFO

I am linking this post with Barbara at Cat Patches who has a brilliant monthly linky party about the new projects you have started in the month. No quilt here about not having finished an old project just joy at starting another quilting project. I love starting new things and I am really lucky as I don't have many unfinished projects.

So what have I started new this month. Well first I have linked with grandmothers choice to take part in the Votes for Women block of the week quilt. This started on September 1st but I didn't start my blocks until 5th October.  One of the blocks - Kansas sunflower caused me several problems but I managed to make a passable version of it. I may redo it in the future.

So by the 5th October I had also completed,

 and since then I have made,

I am making the quilt for my older daughter as she is a staunch supporter of women's rights.I am using green white and violet / purple fabric for the blocks as these were the colours of the Women's Social and Political Union in the UK of which my grandmother was a member.

I am still one block behind and the next is due on Saturday. I love all the history that is included with this block of the week. On Saturday I make myself a cup of tea and enjoy the read.

This month I also took part in the Wicked Blog hop and for this I made a table runner. You can read about what I did here. This was a start and a finish in the month.

Since the blog hop it has looked very seasonal on my dinning table. 

I had several other projects that I had hoped to start but my work and two trips away got in the way of my stitching. I shall be starting the first of these projects on Saturday so that means I will definitely have something to share for November NewFO link up.

For now I am off to the kitchen to bake a cake having just read Barbara's post at Cat patches about making a Maple-Glazed Pumpkin-Cranberry Coffee Cake. Yum, how delicious does that sound. Why not pop by and see what everyone else has started during October by either clicking here or using the NewFO button on the right of this post.