Tuesday 31 December 2013

December round up and 2013 review.

What's New?

Here we are at December 31st 2013 and here in London UK the New Year is 2 hours and 15 minutes away.I always like the New Year as it feels like a new beginning but I'm not making any resolutions as they tend not to last beyond the end of January. Instead over the year I'm going to try and make some small sustainable changes that will help make life more comfortable. For now back to a review of my December goals and an overview of the year. 

In December I set myself two goals. The first one I completed and felt really pleased about. My main goal was to complete my holiday quilt and use it on my bed for Christmas. This was completed in time and I love it. Scamp decided he needed to try it out and to be in the photos.

Hand stitching the back of the binding seemed to take forever. I'm sure there were a lot more than four sides to this quilt.

My second goal was to finish knitting John's jumper. I still haven't quite finished the back but I got him another Christmas present and he will have the jumper as soon as it is done. 

I started my NewFO for December at the end of last week and I can't show you my progress so far as it is my project for the 'Wake up to Kona' blog hop. I will show all on my day which is January 10th. Here is a photo of some of the fabric cut out and awaiting sewing.

The quilt top is more or less finished but I need to add the borders.

So before I finish this post I thought I'd look at what I have done this year as NewFO's

Scamp's quilt. was my January NewFO and also a finish.

 February NewFO and finish.

In March I had 2 NewFO's, my Nancy Drew quilt and my swoon quilt.

Both quilts have been completed and gifted to their new homes. The swoon quilt looked very crumpled in this photo as it had been wrapped up and transported. (I forgot to take a photo before it was wrapped.)

There were two NewFO's in April. A mini quilt for our notice board at Guides,

and a schnibble - Hat trick. This used a few pieces from my scrap boxes!

NewFO's in May included a 'bird quilt. The quilt sandwich is made but I need to quilt it

Another Schnibble, this time Gentle Art. This was given as a cuddle quilt to a friend's new baby.

Also a mini quilt for a swap

In June I made another Schnibble quilt. I quilted this one recently and it is ready to go to its new home. Unfortunately I can't remember the name of the pattern

I also made this cute tote bag

and started this catalicious cross stitch. I haven't quite finished this. I get bored easily with cross stitch but I will get it out again soon and complete it.

July's NewFO was a baby quilt for one of my work colleagues new daughter.

In August I did very little sewing but I did take Guides to Switzerland for a two week camp. My NewFO was made for the Hexi queen blog hop. I love the fruit fabrics.

My September NewFO's were two baby quilts and to start my'It's a dogs life' quilt

The larger baby quilt has still to be quilted. The smaller one is finished and has gone to it's new home.

The first block of the dog quilt.

In October my NewFO's were mug rugs.

Finally November's NewFO was to start the quilt that Lucy wants made for her friend Jennifer.

The first block completed.

I'm exhausted  having gone through what I've done this year. This is just the pieces I have labelled as NewFO's so there are lots of other projects. So before I go and lie down to recover I'm going to link this post with Melissa at Sew Bittersweet designs for the final link party of 2013 A lovely year of finishes. Also linking with Barbara at Cat Patches for her NewFO linky party and Connie at Freemotion by the river for her Tuesday link party.

Wishing you all a very Happy and Prosperous New Year.


Sunday 29 December 2013

A little post Christmas sewing

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas. Ours was peaceful and restful. The weather on Christmas day was nice and clear and not particularly cold so after a late brunch and the opening of presents we took Scamp for a long walk over the common. We always have a late Christmas dinner and this year was no exception. A really nice day with good company, good food and presents.

Yesterday I decided I needed to start my project for the ‘Wake up to Kona’ blog hop. I had several ideas in mind but all those went out of the window when we read in a Christmas card that one of our nieces had recently had a baby boy. Every baby needs their own quilt so I decided to make Edward a quilt as my blog hop project. My day is the 10th January so you will have to come back then to see what I made but here are some of the pieces cut out and ready for sewing.


This morning I made several of the blocks and will finish it  tomorrow. I haven't decided yet what colour I want to use for the borders.

Last night I sat and knitted whist watching Harry Potter. I've nearly finished the back of the jumper just 1 more inch to knit. Later there is a new Agatha Christie, Miss Marple mystery I want to watch so I shall hopefully be able to complete the back and also finish off this months stitching on my 'It's a dogs life' quilt block.

I started this block in November but so far have only finished the top two dogs. I need to complete 'play' and 'run'.

For now I need to go and get dinner organised. John has gone to collect Kathryn (older daughter) and boyfriend and we are going to enjoy a family meal with them. This time it is Lucy who will be missing. I guess that's the way it will be from now on.

I hope you are having a good Sunday.


Tuesday 24 December 2013

Wishing you a very Happy Christmas

Here in London it is Christmas Eve and I’m almost ready for Christmas. The food is all organised (except I need to get some parsnips), presents almost all wrapped and I just need a couple of little bits for the stocking. Older daughter is away with her boyfriend visiting his parents and son and younger daughter are still at work but will be home later today.

Once I’ve finished the last few bits Scamp needs a walk. Yesterday the weather was very windy and wet but we should manage to get out this afternoon. We have a friend coming for dinner this evening and then the next two days will be family time. Christmas day will include a trip to church and a walk for Scamp but otherwise we will pull up the invisible drawbridge and enjoy our time together. I’m hoping to be able to combine family time with a little hand stitching and knitting but the sewing machine has gone away until after the holiday.

I wish you all have a very Happy and peaceful Christmas.

Love and hugs


Monday 23 December 2013

Finished just in time.

This month I had set myself the target to finish my holiday quilt. This has been made from the Aneela Hoey Cherry Christmas jelly roll I won from Melissa at Happy Quilting in her Tetris quilt along 2012. 

That was such a fun quilt along and nice and easy to make. It was the icing on the cake to win the jelly roll in one of the weekly draws.

The quilt usually lives along the back of our settee and Scamp likes to keep watch on the world outside from this vantage point.

I started the quilt earlier this year using the Granny Square pattern. 

I finished the top a while ago and put it away until nearer Christmas. I am very pleased with the result. The finished quilt is 86 X 80 inches and took quite a bit of effort to man handle on my home sewing machine. 

Scamp decided he liked it even before it got  laid out on the bed. Once on the bed he settled down to checking out the blocks.

The quilt was given his seal of approval.

I helped Kathryn make some shortbread to give as a present to her boyfriend's parents. We used the recipe for Cranberry shortbread from Red Brolly. Unfortunately we forgot to take a picture but it is delicious and very easy to make so if you want to try it use the link.

Having finished my quilt I realised I had time to make the oven mitt for Kathryn and so got out the fabric I had bought.

I just love the cats. The fabric is from the CocoLand collection by Kisa and is imported from Japan.  Even the selvedges are so cute with little cats running along it. Several people asked for the pattern for the oven mitt I made for myself so I will do a little tutorial as I sew . 

Having shown you the picture of the cat fabric I just have to show you Picasso. He really does get into some odd positions when he sleeps. He also seems to know when you point the camera at him and opens one eye. He tends to sleep with one of his back legs stretched out as he injured it before he came to live with us. He used to be completely black but his fur is now showing flecks of grey.

How do you move a cat out of the chair when he looks so comfortable?

I'm linking this post to Richard's Link a finish Friday. Having got my quilt finished I still have time to start my December NewFO. 

I hope your Christmas preparations are going well. Take care if you are travelling . Here in the UK strong winds and heavy rain are predicted for the next couple of days and I know there is snow in some areas elsewhere.

I'm off to fit in some sewing time as most of my preparations are complete.


Sunday 15 December 2013

NewFO challenge 2014

2014 NewFO Challenge

Barbara over at Cat Patches has been running a monthly NewFO party for quite a while now and today is holding a link up about our projects for 2014. For those of you who haven't come across the NewFO challenge the idea is simple. You start a new project each month without the stress of having to finish it. It can be big or small but you must start something new. I love it as it means I get the pleasure of going through my stash and pulling fabrics each month. Oh the joy of stroking fabric and deciding which pieces to use, it is just so relaxing. It also means I have created some UFO so I can join in the link parties to get projects finished. It feels like a win win situation.

So what are my planned projects for next year. I have several in my head but haven't decided the month they will be started,it all depends on what happens. Because of that I'll just number the potential projects. I do reserve the right to change my mind.

1. Double wedding ring quilt. This is for me and John. We celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary this year and this seemed a good present to us. I have all the fabric for the top and have been practicing the techniques I need so this will be started early next year.

Double Wedding Ring Quilt

This is the image of the front of the McCalls pattern.

2. My son wants me to make him a quilt. I promised I would and since then he has been considering the design he would like. The reason for not starting this quilt this year is that the design keeps changing.  This is a watch this space project.

3. Catalicious quilt. This quilt combines stitchery and patchwork. It was designed by Bronwyn Hayes of Red Brolly. If you want the pattern just follow the link. This was originally done as a BOM but all the patterns are free to download for personal use. She also has some lovely designs in her shop.

4. This also a design by Bronwyn Hayes at Red Brolly and is called 'The wish' This Christmas quilt is another stitchery and patchwork project.

5. The Gutterman Sulky BOM for 2013 'I love sewing'. I don't have an image for this but will post one when I start it.

6. Another McCalls pattern. Cat stairway to heaven. This is made using patchwork and applique. I'm a little worried that I have two cat quilts that I want to make but Picasso thinks it's fine.

7. I want to make a string quilt as I have lots of strips that need to be used up. I love quilting for using up all the small pieces. I haven't decided what sort of pattern I want to make.

I have several Scnibbles patterns I haven't yet made. These patterns are by Miss Rosie's Quilt Co So number 8 is Clover,

9 is Morning Joe

10.  Canasta.

11 and 12 are both bag projects.

I'm sure that will be changes as the year goes on but those are my current plans.

I'm linking up with Barbara at Cat Patches for her launch party of the NEWFO 2014 challenge which includes a give away.

Over the last 10 days I haven't had any time to post but I have now caught up with work and will be on holiday for two weeks over Christmas. I'm hoping to be able to get back to my usual routine of sewing. I hope you have had time for stitching and creating.


Thursday 5 December 2013

It's December already?

This year seems to have whizzed by and here we are in the run up to Christmas once again. Not that I'm complaining as I do love Christmas but time does seem to be rushing by faster and faster each year. Wouldn't it be great if we could just slow it down and enjoy a more leisurely pace?

Anyway here we are on the 5th December and I need to think about what I would like to get done this month.  I'm going to keep it realistic so that I stand a fighting chance of achieving something and if I do more it will be an added bonus.

My main goal this month is to quilt my granny square Christmas quilt.

I had planned on quilting this by hand but just haven't got round to it so I will try and machine quilt it so it can go on my bed for Christmas day. The quilt sandwich is already done so this is a case of getting on with it.  As far as I know I have no commitments this weekend so can make a start on Saturday. A bit each day should see it finished in time.

My second goal is to try and finish my husband's jumper.  When last I showed it I had knitted this much of the back.

It has grown from this point and the back is almost done. It took some time to get the pattern into my head even though there is only 4 rows to it but now I can remember it the process is much quicker

I have a couple of oven mitts to make for my daughters and I will need a computer cover. It's my birthday on Sunday and my husband and son have bought me a new laptop as this one is getting rather old and keeps having problems. I've been asked if I will do a tutorial for a laptop cover so I will have a go over the next couple of weeks.

It's getting rather late here in London (11.45 p.m.)  and I need to be up at 6 so I'm making this a short post. I received a swap through the post earlier in the week and I have a finish so hopefully I will be writing again tomorrow.

I'm linking this post up with Melissa at Bitter Sweet Designs for the December goal setting party of A  lovely year of finishes, Lynne at Never too hot to stitch for her 2013 The year of the finished project December link and also with Connie at Freemotion by the River for her Tuesday link party. Pop over and see what people have been doing and what there plans are for December, there is lots to see and enjoy.


Saturday 30 November 2013

November round up, a winner and a NewFO

Before I look at the sewing from November I must first wish Happy St Andrew's Day to all my followers and readers from Scotland .

Also well done to all the men who have grown a moustache in support of Mouvember to make men more aware of prostate cancer. It's a fun way to raise awareness and also the cash raised in sponsorship will help with research. The different styles being sported around London have been fun to see.

I hope everyone had a very Happy Thanksgiving. I have loved all the recipes being shared in Blogland and have clipped lots into evernote to make over the coming weeks.

This month as usual didn't go to plan. I set myself 5 goals and have achieved two of them. I was hoping to finish the blocks for my Votes for Women quilt. I would have liked to have finished the whole quilt for Christmas but I knew that this was very unlikely to happen. I had got it into my head that I only had 6 blocks to make but having made a whole pile this month I still need to finish another 12. Note to self - always check how far I've got with a project rather than trusting my memory. Here are all but one of the completed blocks.

The completed quilt is for my daughter Kathryn. She hadn't seen the blocks so when she came over the other evening we laid them all out on the floor again and started to plan the sashing and borders.

My block for 'It's a Dogs Life' is still only half done as I've been trying to get on with the jumper I'm knitting for my husband John. The jumper wont be finished for Christmas either but that isn't a problem as I have another gift in mind.

I did finish my project for the blog hop and now have a beautiful new oven mitt.

The mini quilt has had it's binding sewn on the front but needs it stitching down at the back and my final goal was my NewFO. This has squeezed it's way in at the last minute. My NewFO was to start the quilt that my daughter Lucy had planned to make for her friend.

This is a lovely pattern as some of it is pieced and some appliqu├ęd. So far having read all the way through the pattern it seems easy to follow and is well laid out.

I said this NewFO had just squeezed in for November. Earlier today I cut out block 1, the friendship star and pieced it together. I rushed it so much I didn't get the points matching properly. I knew I should have just gone with the cutting out.

Lucy's friend is coming to stay early January and she would like to give her the quilt then so I had better get on with it.

In the title I said there was a winner. This is from the 'Giving thanks' hop with Quilting Gallery. The random number generator picked number 76 who was Lee D who said

'greetings from Calgary Canada. loved all your thankful pictures. thanks for the chance to win these cheery batiks'
I've sent Lee an email for her postal address.
So that's my round up of November. It wasn't a great month for any form of needlecraft but maybe December will be better as I have some holiday coming up. I'm linking this post with Barbara at Cat Patches for her November NewFO linky party.  Why not visit and see what everyone has been up to.
On the 8th December it's my birthday and I'm planning a give away so do come back and visit.  I hope you'll have some time for sewing this weekend.