Saturday 31 August 2013

August Finishes and NewFO

This month has been a bit of a whirl wind month due to our two week camping trip with our Guide unit in Switzerland. We got back yesterday and have still got to collect our camping kit and get the tents dry as it decided to rain overnight on Thursday. Because I knew it was going to be busy I only set myself a few goals this month. So here is my round up of what I achieved which I am linking with Melissa at Sew Bittersweet Designs for @A lovely year of finishes' linky party and with Barbara at Cat Patches for her NewFO linky party.

I set myself 4 goals this month. First one was to finish my swoon quilt top. I have now decided to call this Happy Anniversary. Yippee I actually finished this top and I am so pleased with how it looks.

I took the top outside to get a better picture  but this was the best I could do as it was fairly windy. Now all I've got to do is decide how I'm going to quilt it and what fabric to use for the back. I have had some very helpful comments from my followers and will be making my decisions soon.

My second goal was to finish my Hexie Queen project. For this I made a hexagonal table topper to sit under my fruit bowl. The topper is called fruit bowl and I love the fruit fabrics I used to make it. I had to take this to Switzerland with me as I hadn't finished sewing on the binding. This was my NewFO for the month. 

My third goal was to work on my 'It's a dogs life' embroidery. I haven't touched this at all this month. I decided not to take this with me as I didn't want it getting dirty or worse still lost.

My final goal was to work on my 'Votes for Women' BOW as I am rather behind. Unfortunately I didn't get to make any of the blocks. Still I should be able to catch up over September.

I did finish one of my June NewFO's. I'm very pleased with this bag and intend making another one.

Not a great month for sewing but at least I finished the quilt top. Now I need to think about my September plans and some time this year I want to start on my own anniversary quilt. I have all the fabric I need, I just need to get my act together.

Use the links in the top paragraph or the buttons in the side bar to visit the linky parties and see what everyone has been up to. I'm off to stroke some fabric and dream of what I will sew this month. I'm not going to do anything tonight as I know I will make lots of mistakes but I will be fully rested by Monday and will be eager to get back to my sewing machine. 


Tuesday 27 August 2013

Hexie Queen

I love hexies so when madame Samm announced this hop I knew I had to take part. My coffee table is hexagonal and I wanted to make a table topper to go under the fruit bowl that sits on the table. Many Thanks to Madame Samm and to Debbie our cheerleader.

Last year I won some fabulous fabric with fruit on it. I think the line is called farmer's market. I've already used some of it before but I had enough left to make this topper.

The grapes looks so tasty,

 and I love the bananas

Apricots are one of my favourite fruits.

Ah fresh lemons, great as a slice in a gin and tonic but I fancy lemon drizzle cake.

The apples look tasty.

When I'd stitched all my hexie fruit together I added white hexies around them and finally made it into a large hexie using half hexies at the corners.

My finished fruit bowl made with hexies. 

Now you need to go and visit the rest of the ladies taking part today.



Saturday 24 August 2013

Trip to Kandersteg

We are now in Kandersteg in Switzerland. The internet where we are is very unreliable and incredibly slow and putting up posts is difficult. I have posted some photos on my other site so click  Here to go visit. The scenery is beautiful. and the weather has been very hot and sunny. The first two photos were taken as we walked along the River Kander to Kandersteg from the International Scout Campsite where we are staying.

The next few pics were taken when we visited the lake on Oeschinensee

Yes that is snow on the tops of the mountains.

The photo below is the white church in the centre of Kandersteg with Oeschinenee behind.

I need to upload photos from various cameras so I can post more picture. We visited the Trummelbach Falls and Interlaken on Thursday so I will post those photos later or tomorrow.

We are having a great time and I managed to sew the binding on my hexie project for the blog hop. My day is Tuesday so I will get it written up and schedule it to post at the right time. . Since the internet is working at the moment I'm not going to risk losing it. I hope you've had some time for some sewing or for yourself.


Sunday 18 August 2013

Happy Anniversary Top Finished

I've had a great week of sewing. Although I am trying to get all organised for our trip to Switzerland on Tuesday I have managed to finish both a quilt top and my bag. I posted about the bag earlier in the week but just because I like the picture here it is again.

and a close up of the centre panel. I still haven't decided if the flower needs a button or something to give the centre detail.

Getting that project finished would have been great on its own but yesterday evening I sewed the final border piece to my Swoon quilt which I have named Happy Anniversary since it is for a friend's 25th wedding anniversary. This morning I took it to the common when we walked Scamp to try and get a reasonable photo.

There was the distinct possibility of rain in the air and the wind was a little blowy which meant it was impossible to find somewhere to lay it out without the risk of it blowing away. However you do get to see how well the red and the purple work together.The grey solid is called silver and looks more silvery in person. The red looks like a solid here but has a tone on tone design on it which you can see a little better in the photo below. I love that you get different patterns within the blocks depending on how you use the medium and dark fabrics. My friend told me her favourite colours are red and purple. When I started the top I thought it was a great idea to use both colours but then I went through a panic that it would look awful. Now I'm really pleased with the final result.

While I'm away I need to decide on what colour backing fabric I want. Could be red, purple, silver or white. If you've got any thoughts please leave a comment. When I get back this top needs to turn into a finished quilt as soon as possible as the anniversary was back in July. 

I'm taking part in a 'Lovely Year of Finishes' at Sew Bittersweet Designs and I'm linking this post with the mid month linky party. I'm also linking up with Richard's Link a Finish Friday , Can I get a whoop whoop and Amy's TGIFF Why not go and check out what everyone has been doing.

I've got the rest of today and some of tomorrow to sew before I leave my machine behind for 2 weeks. I've already sent hand sewing in my personal kit. All the camping and personal kit is travelling by truck and we fly out on Tuesday. I will be posting photos of our trip both on this blog and on Guides Have Fun. I hope you'll join us on our trip.

Enjoy your day


Thursday 15 August 2013

Bags of room

Over the summer I try to catch up with all those jobs that just don't fit into the time available through the year. Running Rainbows, Brownies and Guides I always seem to be behind with the paperwork and the accounts. plus you have to plan for the next year as it does run much smoother with an overall plan. Along with that plan is the need to have something to keep and carry the books and records for the groups and this is where my June NewFO came in

I decided I wanted to make a large bag for the books that would be colourful and could be carried on my shoulder. There is a gate and door to unlock to get into the hall where we meet so you need your hands free.

The pattern I chose was designed by Emma Corbett and Lisa Harper for Buttonberry and is designed to use a charm pack. However I found some fabric I loved and so cut my own charms.

I very quickly finished the front of the bag. It was meant to be done quilt as you go but I didn't have any batting so I stitched the blocks together and quilted it later. Here we are in August and over the last two days I found time to finish the project.

It went together very easily The flower and heart were hand appliqu├ęd using buttonhole stitch onto the background. I'm still considering putting a button centre to the flower. I did a line of stitching 1/4inch away from the heart itself and I quilted the backing fabric with a small meander. The rest of the bag was quilted in the ditch.

I'm pleased with the finished bag and it is very roomy. Finished size is 18 X 18 inches with  41/2 inch side and base panels. 

Having made the bag I'm now in a quandary. I can either use it as my bag for carrying what I need each week for my guide meetings or I could use it as a present bag for a project I am currently working on. It would be big enough and means the recipient actually gets two presents in one. I just can't make up my mind. Either way I need to make a second bag. Quilting is self generating, you finish one project and it immediately generates another. 

I called my post bags of room. Over the last few weeks I've been organising my scrap fabric. I've cut some into 5 inch and 2 1/2 inch squares. Some has become rectangles and the bigger pieces have been ironed and folded properly. It seems I now have lots of room for more fabric so maybe I'll need a shopping trip before work starts again next month.

I'm going to try and finish up my swoon quilt top over the next couple of days and I must finish my project for the hexie blog hop. I hope you have a good day today.

I'm linking this post with Connie's linky party at Freemotion by the river Why not go and see what everyone has been doing.


Tuesday 13 August 2013

Pets on Quilts 2013


At last the quilt show packed with a high fun and ahhhhh factor has arrived. Our chance to show off both our quilts and our pets. One of mine, Scamp our Yorkshire Terrier is in pride of place in my blog header. Picasso wouldn't stay still long enough to be in the photo.

Both Scamp and Picasso like to lie along the back of the sofa to sunbath. The window faces South and picks up the sun all day. Normally they are both lounging on the quilt but Picasso saw the camera and shot out the door.

Our rocking horse Flash lives behind the sofa in the bay window.  One of my daughters put the hat on him and Scamp loves to drag it off and play with it. The quilt was made when I took part in Melissa's Tetris quilt along last August over at Happy Quilting. The instructions are still on her blog. This year she is running a star burst quilt along.

Scamp is looking quite respectable at the moment having had his fur clipped last month. He doesn't enjoy being groomed so we keep his fur fairly short. Last year when my youngest daughter Lucy made her first quilt he was much more fluffy (or do I mean scruffy?).

He was absolutely sure Lucy was doing the whole quilt sandwich wrong and managed to disrupt the process completely several times. He kept on appealing to me to agree with him and make her start again. In the end we had to lock him out of the room.

At the end of last year I made both Scamp and Picasso quilts of their own to go in their beds. Here's Picasso settling for a snooze in his basket. 

I found some really cute fabric to make his quilt

Scamp's quilt has dogs on the border and bones and balls on the main blocks. My first attempt at FMQ was to write woof around the border. Unfortunately the photo is particularly good.

You will have already noticed that Scamp is more likely to get involved with testing the quilts than Picasso. Here he is seconds before he settled down for a nap on my holiday pillow made for one of Madame Samm's blog hops over at Sew We Quilt

However Picasso does appear to supervise when Scamp is out walking with my husband or son. He thought this little Schnibble quilt showed off his black fur rather well.

However Picasso is more into the technical support since he can get up on the table and help with the sewing. He likes to check out the machine to make sure it's running well.

Just making sure the needle is in right and the thread is OK

He also likes to supervise when I'm using the rotary cutter to square up my blocks. The trimmings are great for playing with and end up all over the floor.

However Picasso does make good use of the quilts once finished. He loves his own quilt and spends ages rearranging it and his blanket to his satisfaction. He told me it makes it easier for him to hide Scamp's toys and chews.

I hope you enjoyed seeing a little more of our pets. In case you were wondering if they get on I'll leave you with a picture of them curled up together on my husband's lap

This year we have to indicate which category we are entering. Since Scamp has been the most co-operative I think it had better be Dogs on quilts.

Go visit the rest of the pets on quilts you'll really enjoy it. Click on the Pets on quilts button at the top on the side bar.


Wednesday 7 August 2013

A walk in the country

If you are looking for the HO HO HO hop click HERE

As those of you who read my blog regularly know, John (my husband) and I like to go walking or maybe it's hiking when we get the time. Although we live in London UK there are a vast number of walks available within the area. Not that long ago we complete a long distance route around London called the London LOOP - London Outer Orbital Path which circles the whole of London and covers a distance of around 150 miles. Obviously we did it in stages and because of work, family, other hobbies and other reasons such as bad weather it took quite a while to complete. Now we are walking a shorter route which once again circles London, the Capital Ring. This is only 78 miles long and goes through the suburbs of London so in some parts you are walking along roads but it also travel through parks, gardens and along the banks of rivers, canals and streams.

So on Saturday we set out on the 3rd section (for us) of this walk from Greenford to Hendon Central. The weather was beautiful, sunny but not too hot. The journey to Greenford on the tube was very long but I made good use of the time to catch up on some reading.

Once we left Greenford station it was a short walk to Paradise Fields Wetlands which was created on the site of a former Golf Course. A number of rare bird species nest 
there but we didn't see any on our walk. At the end of Paradise Fields we joined the Grand Union canal tow-path. From the bridge the canal looked very quiet.

As we walked we saw several families of Mallards. 

and several long boats went past us. This one was like a mobile garden centre as its roof was covered in pots and containers bursting with plants.

Just before we turned off from the canal we came across an area with a lot of moored boats. The weeping willow trees were beautiful.

At Ballot Box Bridge we turned away from the canal and headed towards Horsenden Hill. The hill is 275 feet above sea level and gives great all round views of London . During World War I, the summit of the hill was a site of an anti-aircraft gun. Horsenden Hill was populated by iron age people 2,500 years ago and large amounts of pottery from that time has been found here.

I took the photo just down from the summit of the hill. With the eye you can make out landmarks but the camera doesn't pick them out.

This walk was a one of hills with Sudbury Hill next and then on to Harrow on the Hill.

Harrow on the Hill is the home of Harrow School which occupies most of the village. Harrow School was founded in 1572 by John Lyons, a local farmer and landowner. Harrow is one of Britain’s foremost public schools and  it has educated many well known people, including Winston Churchill, Pandit Nehru, Lord Byron, Richard Brinsley Sheridan and Anthony 

The buildings were beautiful. Non of the pupils were around as it is the summer holidays but the buildings were in use for short courses . Most of the students attending seemed to be international students.

These were just some of the buildings that caught my eye. We left Harrow on the Hill and Harrow School via their sports fields

The next part of the walk took us past Northwick park Hospital, which is huge and has even more building work being carried out. As we reached South Kenton we had walked only five and a half miles but because of the heat it felt much further and we were tired so we decided to stop at this point.  It was nice to sit on the tube and read my book on the journey back home.

On Monday and Tuesday I had to clear some work but today I managed some sewing and I'll tell you more about that tomorrow, I hope you are having a good week and you are finding time for sewing or other hobbies.