Sunday 31 March 2013

March NewFO


Happy Easter everyone. Today started with losing an hour and an early church service. Here in the UK our clocks went forward last night. For the last couple of weeks we have been 4 hours ahead of EST but we are now back to the usual 5 hours. Anyway on Easter Sunday we always attend the dawn service which this year because of the change in the hour was at 5.45 a.m. so quite a civilised hour. It's always a fun service as it starts outside with the lighting of a fire from which the Easter candle is lit. Some years there is a worry that the priest's robes might catch fire as they get blown towards the flames but this year there was no wind. The service then continues indoors by candle light and slowly the dawn light fills the church which makes it even more special. Following the service we all share a communal breakfast before returning home. 

As well as Easter day today is also the March NewFO day run by Barbara at Cat Patches.  A day to look back through the month and remember the new projects started. The joy of this challenge is that it is about the starts and not the finishes. If you've never visited Cat Patches do pop over as Barbara combines embroidery, quilting, gardening, recipes, cats and lots more in her posts.

This month I started and finished my first mug rugs as part of a mini swap run by Michele at Quilting Gallery. The patterns were provided by Amanda Weatherill at The Patchsmith and they were easy to follow and fun to make.

I also took part in 2 blog hops with Madame Samm from Sew We Quilt. For the Nancy Drew hop I made a quilt. I couldn't finish the top as I wanted the red magnifying glass fabric for the borders and needed to order this. I enjoyed appliquéing the question marks and machine embroidering 'Is this a clue'. This quilt will be my planned finish for April so that it can go to it's new home.

The other hop 'stitch me up' involved embroidery. I wanted to take part in this hop but realsied that i probably wouldn't have the time to finish one of the larger patterns we were given so I picked this cute one and turned it into part of a tray cloth. Unfortunately the finished photo tends to blend the stitching into the background fabric but it does cheer up my boring wooden tray.

My major new start this month was the anniversary quilt for our friends who are celebrating 25 years of marriage in July. I decided to make a swoon quilt and so far I have finished piecing together one block. the block went together very quickly and easily. I have cut out all the fabric needed for the remaining eight blocks and I would like to have the top finished by the end of April. It's strange working with such a large sized block, the block finishes at 24 inches square.

This month I also finished the top of my Holiday quilt. This will now be put away for a little while  so I can decided how I want it quilting and more importantly what fabric to back it with. This was my December 2012 NewFO

As for the rest of today well that is about family time. Our older daughter and boyfriend are joining us for dinner this evening and I have a lamb joint for the main course but I still have no ideas about the vegetarian option (both our daughters are vegetarian)  so I'd better go and get organised and make my final decisions.

I hope you all have a very happy day and that like me you are able to send it with those people most precious to you. A few minutes stitching somewhere in the mix would be the icing on the cake!


Saturday 30 March 2013

Holiday Quilt top finished!

Yippee I finished my Holiday Quilt top. Only just in time as this was my planned finish for March. This quilt started as a result of winning a jelly roll of Cherry Christmas by Aneela Hoey from Melissa at Happy Quilting during her Tetris quilt along last August. I knew I wanted to make a Christmas quilt but couldn't decide on the pattern.

Between August and December I saw quite afew granny square blocks around blogland and I liked the way they looked so In December I started my quilt as part of Barbara's NewFO challenge over at Cat Patches.

Because I was using a pre cut it was extremely easy to cut out the pieces needed for the blocks. So this stage took next to no time.

By the end of February all 49 blocks were pieced but needed trimming and I needed to cut the sashing and borders. The trimming took a lot of concentration but was soon completed and I could start sewing the blocks together.

I have now finally finished all the sewing and got John to hold the quilt up for a quick photo. It needs to be ironed and all the loose threads picking off. John stood with his back to our front window which faces south. the sun was shining brightly when this photo was taken.  The quilt is large at 80 x 88 inches.

I'm now going to put this one away as I don't need it until later in the year.

I have also finished the bird cross stitch. I have already washed this but there is a stain at the top which didn't come out completely so I will rewash later. I have also missed out two stitches which I didn't notice until I took the photo.

Finally whilst I was busy with my sewing machine John was sat reading with the dog on his lap. Scamp thinks that anyone sitting down is only missing a dog on their lap to be truly comfortable.  Picasso also likes to curl up on a lap occasionally  especially if the dog is already there so here is a photo of the pair of them. They both like to be stroked whilst they are there - not for themselves but to help lower our blood pressure and make us feel better you understand. Scamp likes to scrunch himself up very small whist Picasso loves the camera.

I'm linking up with A lovely year of finishes, Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, Thank goodness its finished Friday at Never to hot to stitch and Link a Finish at Richard quilts.

If winter has dragged on too long where you are I hope the weather is finally cheering up and spring is on its way.


Tuesday 26 March 2013

I'm in a 'swoon'

I had a lot of plans to do heaps of sewing this holiday which started yesterday - Monday. Well I made the decision to go into work yesterday to try and sort out a few things that I needed to get done. That didn't really work as I was asked it I could sort out a couple of problems and didn't get time to sort out my own things. Well I did manage to complete my travel expenses so that was good. So today was a good day to do some sewing except I had lots of errands to run. I did the grocery shopping Monday evening but I had to do some banking and get a new tyre for my car for starters. In the end my list of errands is only half complete and I still need to book a dental appointment and an eye test.

So this evening I sat down to try and get a few bits done. I managed to sew in the ends on a blanket I had finished, not a baby blanket to go to Linus but one to go to the Dogs home. The Guides are knitting blankets for the dogs and cats home as their community action project this year. It's going to be a great way to use up all my odds and ends of double knitting wool. (I have a huge bag full ). I also finished my bird cross stitch and I washed it. I'll post a photo when it is dry.

I remembered that I wanted to show you the mug rugs I received in the Quilting Gallery mug rug swap.  These were made for my by Anne Matthews in South Australia. Everyone involved in the swap received the patterns from The Patchsmith. Hop over and see the patterns that are available.

I was planning on getting the sewing machine out and stitching together my first block for the quilt I am making as an anniversary present for my friends who celebrate 25years of marriage in July. I had been seeing a lot of swoon blocks around the place and liked the quilts so decided to get the pattern. The pattern is from Thimble Blossoms and is clearly written and easy to follow. It makes up a quilt of 80" by 80" I'm not sure why I printed the pattern onto yellow paper.

On Sunday I cut out the pieces for one block. My friends favourite colours are red and purple so an interesting combination to work with. Each block has two colours as well as white.

The grey is silver grey and is a lot paler in person than on the photo. The pieces go together nicely and being such a large block there are no small fiddly pieces to deal with or lose. This was a relief after some of the blocks for the votes for women quilt. 

Tomorrow I am going to Bath to pick up Lucy for her Easter holiday. She has to finish writing her dissertation so she needs to bring quite a few books home, too many for her to carry on the train. So there will be very little or no sewing time tomorrow and then on Thursday we are heading out for a long walk provided the weather is suitable. The snow seems to have left but it is still very cold. Maybe the weekend will bring more free time as I need to finish the top of the Holiday quilt for my March finish in 'A lovely year of finishes'.

For now I need to check I've got the music I want to play in the car on my ipod. I feel in the mood for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, maybe some Traveling Wilburys not to mention Deep purple and Led Zepplin. I wonder if I'll get time to visit the quilt shop........

I'm linking this post with Connie's Tuesday Linky party at Freemotion by the River.

Have a good day.


Monday 25 March 2013

Catching up with BOW

Back in August of last year I started the block of the week run by Grandmother's Choice  called Votes for Women. I liked the idea of these blocks and the history that Barbara gives each week is fascinating. As my grandmother was a member of the W.S.P.U. here in the UK I thought this would be a good quilt to make for my older daughter who is also a staunch supporter of women's rights.

I started really well and managed to stay up to date until about November when I found myself a little short of time and one or two of the blocks proved a little tricky to make. These were the first six

I found this one very difficult and in the end it took three attempts to get it made. It's still not perfect so I may remake it in the future if I have time.

Later blocks included these two

When I looked at the block released on Saturday I realised that the BOW was already at week 30 and I had only completed 13 blocks. So today I set out to make at least four blocks.

Here are the four I managed to get done. I had to miss out one of the recent blocks as there was a template for it but neither of the printers would work, one needed more toner and the other would copy and scan but not print. I'll print the templates at work and make it during the week. 

Once I'd made these blocks I started cutting out the pieces for one of my new big projects. I haven't taken any photos so far but I will do that tomorrow. I also need to take photos of the lovely mug rugs I received on Saturday from my swap partner in Australia.

The weather here in the London has been very cold and snowy over the weekend so staying home and sewing was perfect. Going into work tomorrow to clear up some bits I didn't get finished and then Holiday until 4th April. Yippee. 

Don't forget the 'Stitch me up' hop continues tomorrow over at Sew we quilt. The schedule for Monday is;


Beverly @That Other Blog



Friday 22 March 2013

And the winner is .....

Beat the Winter Blues - Quilters' Blog Hop Party

I got rather delayed in announcing the winner of the cat fabric from the beat the winter blues blog hop.

Mr Random number generator choose number 24 Irina who said;

The best thing about winter is the cozy fires...and hot chocolates! thanks for the chance to win such a cute FQ, I love cats!

Looking to the future I am celebrating my 1st Blogoversary in April with a give away so please come back and visit.

Thursday 21 March 2013

Stitch me up

Well a great day for a little stitching. Thanks to Madame Samm from Sew we quilt for organising this hop and to Jane from Jane's fabrics for being our cheerleader. I must also thank Debbie from Busy as can be and Cyndi from Stitch stitch stitch for the designs we were given, they are beautiful. For this hop we were asked to stitch up one or more of the patterns we were given. Although all the patterns are lovely I chose quite a small one as I wanted to be able to complete the whole project and wasn't sure I could protect my free time enough to take on a larger piece.

The sneak peek I showed you a few days ago looked like this

That wasn't a lot to go on so here is a larger photo

This piece was a very pretty pattern that was perfect for a mug rug or for a tray mat. The backing fabric matches the tea cosy I made for Verity at the weekend and this mat will be going to join the cosy ( although it certainly cheers up my boring tray)

I have also drawn out the house pattern and will be starting that shortly. I learnt to embroider when I was quite young as my mother loved to stitch. She produced beautiful work and I remember lovely embroidered table clothes that decorated our tea table. She had a lot more patience than me and unfortunately although I love to stitch I do not have her skills. I have some of her pieces hanging in my home.

I love this particular piece as it really reminds me of mom. She loved to use a whole range of stitches and was always eager to try new techniques. She loved geometric designs.

Sorry for the glare but it is behind glass. A lot of my stitching is cross stitch but several years ago I completed this little picture that normally hangs on the wall in my bedroom.

I rather like stitching flowers. A final favourite of mine is this one which either needs to be framed or used in some way.

I hoped you enjoyed seeing the pattern I stitched for this hop and also some of my mothers embroidery and some of my older pieces. Now you need to hop over to the other ladies taking part today.

 THURSDAY March 21st

Janice@ That Other Blog
Angela@ That Other Blog

Have a good day and I hope it includes some stitching.


Sunday 17 March 2013

Tea Cosies and Winter quilt.

Lucy, my youngest daughter, had asked me if I would make a tea cosy each for the two girls she lives with. Having agreed she followed my instruction for measuring the pots and I choose the fabric but at that point the project stalled. Although they are quick to make there never seemed to be a space to start and finish them at one go. So today was the day for getting them done. 

The two girls are very different. Verity is very much a girlie girl and loves anything pink. So the decision for the fabric for her cosy was easy. The lining is deep pink. You can just see it in the edging fabric. Cathy on the other hand isn't a great lover of pink but when Lucy and I saw the skull fabric we knew it would be perfect. The stripped edging is also the lining and works well with the skulls.

At the risk of having you all tell me that the only thing the Brits do is drink tea I thought I would show you my teapot collection. These all live on my dresser  the little one with the yellow flowers and the blue pot are both one cup pots and sit in their own cup. I use the yellow one when I am the only person at home. I saw the town house teapot while on holiday and just had to buy it.

The blue teapot below was part of our wedding present from my then boss. Max was Chinese and gave us a set of Chinese bowls, spoons cups and teapot. He was an amazing cook and I loved it when he invited us to dinner plus he taught me how to make Chinese food. I used to always cook our Chinese food but I have got lazy recently and we buy in from the take away. Must get back to making it myself as it's much tastier and cheaper.

My mother had a collection of tea pots and this little one was her favourite. Oops I should have dusted it first. It only holds one small cup of tea so spends it's time on the shelf.

As well as making tea cosies I have been working on my winter quilt. My aim this month for 'A lovely year of finishes was to piece the top together. I had already got the fabric for the sashing so it was just a case of cutting the sashing  before I could get on with sewing it up.

At the start of the month all the blocks were made and trimmed and now I have sewn all the rows together and the sashing to go between the rows is sewn. I now just have eight long seams to do, making sure I match them properly. This is a big quilt. The blocks are 8 inches square and there are 49 of them in seven rows of seven. The sashing is 2 inches wide and I want to add a border. I am working next week but then I'm on holiday so I should be able to get the top finished by the end of the month.

For now I'm making some small items. I have some skull fabric left over and a request for six small mug rugs. With nothing special happening this evening I should be able to get that done. I will also get Mr Random number to draw the winner of my give away from the Beat the winter blues blog hop and I will post that tomorrow.


Tuesday 12 March 2013

Nancy Drew- is this a clue?

Today is my day on the Nancy drew blog hop. Thanks to Madame Samm for organising the hop and to Carol from Just let me quilt for being our cheer leader.

If you had asked me when I was growing up who Nancy Drew was I would have had to admit I didn't know. Eventually Nancy Drew was shown on British television when my daughters were children and at last I found out what all the fuss was about. It is always fun to have a girl taking the lead in solving mysteries. Since then I have read several of the Nancy Drew books and found them enjoyable. Here in the UK we had the Famous Five written by Enid Blyton although the characters were younger and only four were human. The fifth was Timmy the dog.

Anyway the daughter of one of my friends loved the Nancy Drew stories and when I said I was going to take part in this hop asked if I would make a quilt for her daughter to snuggle under when reading. She's too young to enjoy Nancy Drew yet but the books are all lined up in the bookcase for when she is older.

I wanted to keep the quilt simple to make and decided on Irish chain. So I bought a charm pack which I cut into 21/2 inch squares.

On the white squares I stitched question marks and on two the words 'is this a clue?'

The question marks are machine appliquéd using buttonhole stitch. I had originally planned to use some fabric  from my stash as the border but my friend's daughter decided she wanted the red magnifying glass instead. I thought it had been difficult to find the Nancy Drew fabric in the first place eventually resorting to buying online from America. It has been very difficult to get the red magnifying glass fabric but that is now ordered, again from abroad. It should have been here on Saturday but still has not arrived and so my quilt is still waiting to be finished. Here is the top so far.

I love this fabric, its so bright and cheerful. By the time the borders are added the quilt will be very cheerful for a young girl. I'm hoping the fabric will arrive this week so I can get it finished.

Now why don't you visit the other places on today's hop.Here is the schedule. There's sure to be lots of fun things to see.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013 
Sew Many Yarns (you are here)

Enjoy the hop and I hope you have some time today for sewing.


Mug rug swap


I've been busy finishing the mug rugs I was making for Quilting Gallery's swap using the patterns from the patch smith. These are the first mug rugs I have made and they are such cute patterns.

I really love these cute owls.I hand appliquéd them and I must admit to altering the pattern slightly by adding extra flowers.I used flowers cut from a FQ as I liked the centre designs on them. The pattern was great for using up some scraps.

The second one is a winter birdhouse. The roof of our garden shed was a little covered in snow today but it didn't last.

These are now in the post to my secret partner and soon I will be receiving 2 from another secret partner.

On Saturday we had our guide county day which is a training and exchange of ideas day. In the afternoon we showed some of the leaders how to make prem baby quilts. One of them had sewn her own clothes years ago but had never tried patchwork. They all loved the Kate Spain charm pack. This is the happy group that were there at the end of the afternoon.

Yesterday was Mothering Sunday in the UK and I had a great day with all my three children at home plus older daughter's boyfriend. Lots of lovely presents and cards. It was great to have them all here and dinner was very noisy with several conversations going on at once.

Beat the Winter Blues - Quilters' Blog Hop Party

My give away for the Quilting Gallery blog hop party is still open go here to read this post. Click on the button on the side bar to visit more sites for give aways.

I'm linking up with Connie at Freemotion by the river for her Tuesday linky party. Go and see what everyone has been doing this week.

I hope you all had a good day today with time for some sewing.


Friday 8 March 2013

Beat the winter blues blog hop party

Beat the Winter Blues - Quilters' Blog Hop Party

Hi I'm Lyndsey and today I'm joining in with Quilting Gallery's Beat the winter blues blog hop party. This winter has been very wet and cold with some snow here in London. It has been so wet in fact that the Thames was up over its banks in Richmond. The ducks seemed to like it.

There was snow and I got to have a 'snow day' at home and play with my sewing machine. I hope there is snow next year.

We had some beautiful sunsets and sunrises

Of course in the midst of all this weather I had to keep my spirits up and this meant playing with fabric. I tried to keep up to date with the Votes for Women blocks at Grandmothers choice. These were my first 6 blocks as I realise I haven't posted any photos of the blocks for ages.

I worked on my Dresden plate quilt and finally finishing it in February.

I took part in blog hops such as the holiday lane pillow hop. This was such a fun pillow to make.

Of course there was Christmas to enjoy with family and friends

and new jumpers were needed to keep warm

I love winter because it's a perfect time to stay home and sew. It turns out I'm not suffering with the winter blues  so to celebrate I'm having a give away. Would you like the chance to win this cute fat quarter?

This give away is now closed

Everyone needs a cat to help with their quilting don't they?

To have a chance to win simply leave me a comment telling me what's the best thing about winter. I will ship internationally. You don't have to be a follower to take part but if you would like to follow my blog I love having lots of friends. The give away will remain open until midnight on March 15th. 

Now remember to go over to Quilting Gallery  to see who else is taking part. To get there click here or on the name quilting gallery above or use the button on the side bar. Remember this is a blog hop with give aways. Good luck.

I hope you have a great weekend.