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 appliquéd. 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.


Wednesday 27 November 2013

Black Tie Boogie.

Today I'm taking part in the Black Tie Boogie hop. Madame Samm comes up with such fun themes for these hops and it's a great way to share what we've been making. Vickie from More stars in Comanche is our head cheerleader and has done a wonderful job.  Many thanks to both of you.

My project for this hop started when I saw this fabric at my local quilt store.

I had a project in mind to use this fabric. I needed new oven gloves as mine have been around for ever and are looking rather tired and in need of retirement. Also I want to make some as presents for my two daughters. This way I get to make new oven gloves for me and then having got the pattern clear in my head make some for the girls.

I decided that I would add a pop of orange as the binding.

I used two layers of wadding for the gloves. The outer layer was a thermal layer and then I added a second layer of cotton wadding. With my old gloves if the pan was super hot or you ended up holding a hot pan slightly longer for example carrying it to the dinning table then the heat came through. I haven't tried them out yet but I'm not expecting any burnt fingers when I use them.

I quilted the gloves with a cross hatched design using aurifil thread. The thread works so well in my machine, no tangles or breaks.

Then this afternoon I had a few moments free and was looking for a new quilt pattern. In my search I came across a cute Thanksgiving Turkey Mug Rug by Amanda Weatherill of The patchsmith from 2012. I just had to make it. Since I only started it this afternoon it isn't finished yet but all the pieces have been fused to my background.

Now all I've got to do tomorrow is appliqué round all the pieces. I'm going to do that by hand. I think I may take it to work with me as I have to attend two graduation ceremonies in the afternoon . I should have time between the two ceremonies to get quite a lot of it stitched. I hate waiting around without anything to do.

Now you need to go and visit the other participants for the day.

November 27

I'm enjoying the fact that there are smaller numbers on each day of this hop. I've actually managed to visit everyone so far and have got so many ideas for future projects. 

Enjoy the rest of the hop and I hope you all have a very happy Thanksgiving.


Thursday 21 November 2013

Giving Thanks

Blog Hop Party with Give-Aways

Michele over at Quilting Gallery has organised a 'Giving Thanks' blog hop Party. Now you know I love a party so I had to join in. The party is running from today until November 26th so there will be loads of time to hop around and visit everyone. Also it's a party with give aways so lots of chances at the end to leave with goody bags. 

As it's a 'giving thanks' party I started thinking what particular things, events or people I was particularly thankful for. I have to start with my family and in particular my mom.

I can't make this picture any bigger as it is an old photo of me and mom taken years ago when I was about 7 or 8, that I scanned in. Mom is important not only because she was my mom but because she taught me to love sewing, knitting and lots of other crafts.  She also taught me the importance of passing on those skills to my family and here is Lucy my younger daughter working on her first quilt.

I love her look of concentration. 

I am also giving thanks to all those quilters who show their quilts and share the beauty of their creations. Last year I visited the Festival of Quilts at the NEC Birmingham UK. There were so many beautiful quilts on display. These help to inspire us and encourage us to try new techniques. Blogland also provides all that inspiration as in blogland everyday can be a mini quilt show day. I love the linky party as you can visit lots of people all in one place and the blog hops encourage me to make smaller projects to a deadline. Over the last 12 months I've taken part in several blog hops organised by Madame Samm at Sew We Quilt

There was 'In your own Words' For this I made my knitting bag. This is currently bulging at the seams with my Christmas knitting.

The 'All about me' hop was great fun. I created me as a cover for my quilt patterns folder.

For the 'Dare to Dresden I created a cushion to match my Dresden plate quilt which I finished in time for the hop.

The Nancy Drew 'Is it a clue' hop quilt. Those question marks took ages to appliqué on even though I used the machine.

For 'Shake your Pom Poms' I created this mini quilt for the Rainbow, Brownie and Guide notice board.

The quilt I made for  the 'for the birds' hop is still waiting to be quilted. I must get this finished as it is for my husband to keep in his car. It will be useful now the weather has turned colder when he goes bird watching.

Finally my little table topper for 'Christmas in July'. 

Of course there's lots of other things to give thanks for . All family members of course - here's a photo of my son.

Friends we make along the way,

Our pets, particularly those ones that just have to help with the quilting process. Here are my two helpers, Picasso

and Scamp.

There are also all the lovely swaps we receive. My Gardem mini from Kim in the USA

From Scarlett in Chile

Scarlett also made me this cute pouch that I use to keep the piece of embroidery I'm working on clean and safe.

The mug rug swap. I'll have to add the name of the person who made these later as I can't find the post with the information on.

The April showers, May flowers mini by Rebecca from Canada

The mug rugs from Meg in Japan plus coffee mug and coffee.

Once you get started giving thanks you realise there is so much to be thankful for. I've just kept my post to quilting but I could have gone on for ages about all sorts of things but you have lots more people to visit so I'm going to stop here with a final thank you to all of you who visit my blog and all my lovely followers.

This party has a give away and mine is these two batik fat quarters.

I will ship internationally. To enter you just need to leave a comment. It would be great if you wanted to follow my blog but you don't have to for the give away. The give away will close at midnight EST on November 26th (for those of you in the UK this is 5am GMT on Nov 27th).

Now you need to go back to Quilting Gallery by clicking here or using the party button at the right at the top of this page so you can visit everyone else. Good luck in the give away and I hope you visit again soon.

Have a great day.


Wednesday 20 November 2013

Work in Progress

Way back in August 2012 I signed up to make the Votes for Women quilt over at Grandmother's Choice. Barbara Brackman posted the blocks as a block of the week and along with the block gave some of the history. This was just what I was looking for, 49 blocks to improve my techniques and learn new ones linked to a historical theme. The BOW was finished back at the beginning of August but I had got behind and have been playing catch up. If possible I wanted to have the quilt top finished this month.

Anyway over the last week I have been busy making blocks. I'd left some of the ones I didn't fancy attempting till last. The 'boy breeches' block I tried to make when it was first posted and it still took two attempts to get it right this time. For some reason I kept on turning the leg shapes the wrong way which threw the whole block out. Here are the 9 I've made this week.

I thought I'd made more than I had, even having made that 9 I only have 37 of the 49 completed. Here are 36 I've made. I've still got to finish the appliqué on the other block. I have certainly learnt a lot along the way. The two circle blocks in the front row were my first attempts at curves. I've now got this mastered but it has taken some time. I did originally plan on remaking these blocks but I'm not going to as they are part of the history of the making process.

It's interesting how the colours alter when photographed. The fabrics are all shades of green purple / lilac and white but some colours look more blue and some quite pink. At the moment I think I will use a darkish green for the sashing with star cornerstones in white. Of course I'll probably change my mind before I get to that point.

Picasso has had a lot to say about the flurry of activity on this quilt. He feels he's missed out on cuddles and possibly snacks so he sits on my cutting board and generally gets in the way.

Scamp feels it's very unfair that Picasso can just jump up even though he gets told off and put back on the floor. Poor Scamp can only lean against my leg to see if I'll be finished soon. When he finds that I'm planning on continuing sewing he curls up again in his basket.

The quilt when finished is for my older daughter. I was hoping to finish it in time for Christmas but I'm not sure I've got the time to quilt it. Still she has a birthday in April and it will definitely be done by then.

For now I must put the machine and computer away and collect together all the things I need for this evening's meeting of Rainbows, Brownies and Guides.

I'm linking up with Connie at Freemotion by the river for her Tuesday link party and  with Lee for her work in progress at Freshly Pieced and Sharon's WIP at Pinangle

Opps I forgot to announce who won the give away from October. The 5 inch squares go to Tammy and the 3 inch to Bea. I have contacted them both by email. Apologises for the delay.
I hope you're having a good week. Come back tomorrow for a give away


Friday 15 November 2013

Good gracious where did the time go?

Good gracious where did the time go? It seems like only yesterday I was writing my post 'for the boys' and here we are a week and a bit later. I had promised myself that I wouldn't let the time run away from me this month but as always it's proved impossible. Still moaning about it won't make the time reappear so I'd best get the sewing machine wound up and get a wriggle on with my projects.

Back in September, Sandy, the owner of one of my local fabric shops asked me if I would be willing to teach a beginners quilting course. I agreed as it sounded fun and I wanted to pass on my skills. The idea was for the participants to make a quilt 30 x 42 inches. Around the time the course was due to start Moda, the cutting table were running their 'Size Matters' blog hop. This gave a range of different quilt blocks with a variety of sizes. This certainly made my job easier. We decided to concentrate on squares and rectangles and make the blocks 12 inches. 6 ladies joined the course (all there is room for) and we had a fun time. 

2 of the ladies decided they wanted larger quilts and made 9 blocks.

One of the ladies made 6 different blocks including some with HST's. She was very pleased with her quilt which is a present for her baby nephew. I love the musical notes on the one fabric.

Several of the ladies hadn't even used a sewing machine before but all of them completed their quilts and were looking forward to starting another project. Sandy has asked if I will run another course in the new year and maybe a follow up one for people who have already got the basic skills. I must admit a fun class to teach  and there's no marking involved!

I recently took part in the fall mug rug swap at Quilting Gallery. My partner was Meg from Japan. I received two beautiful mug rugs and additional presents.

The rugs are perfect for Autumn and I love my Tokyo Starbucks mug. The coffee is also lovely. Thank you so much Meg.

I had a little space last weekend to make 4 more blocks for my Votes for Women quilt. I'm nearly finished making all the blocks but I have some appliqué ones to do.

I've also been knitting. I bought the wool for a jumper for John when I visited the Stitching and Knitting exhibition at Alexandra Palace back in October. This is supposed to be a Christmas present but I don't think I'll have knitted it by then. The pattern doesn't really show up very well unless it is across the two needles but it has cables and chevrons in it.

Tomorrow I won't get much time for sewing as I'm out all day at a training for Guides but Sunday is free so I want to try and finish the remaining blocks I need to make. For now I'm going to deal with some emails and finish some marking before bed time.


Wednesday 6 November 2013

For the Boys

Here is the Schedule….

Today is the first day of the latest hop from Madame Samm at Sew We Quilt. Samm does an amazing job of coming up with the ideas for the hops and the organisation.  Sew We Quilt is most definitely;

Sew we quilt

and provides us with lots of ideas from these hops and a chance to share our projects. Madame Samm does not work alone. Each hop has a chief cheerleader  who keeps us motivated and on target. For this hop the incredible Amy from Sew Incredibly Crazy has given support and advice and kept us all in order. Thanks Samm and Amy, great work ladies.

Now on to the topic of the hop - 'One for the Boys'  For this hop I had a few  items to draw my inspiration from.  First there is the computer. My son loves his computers and in particular his Lenovo Think Pad. Recently he bought himself a new one. My son  likes to keep his belongings neat and tidy and would not be happy to find a scratch on his computer.

Item 2 was some fabric I had bought.

The skulls fabric is a Michael Miller design and the robot fabric is a Rebekah Ginda design. When I bought a half metre of each fabric I didn't have a project in mind I just knew I loved the fabric.

The final inspiration is my not so little boy, my son Richard. He doesn't particularly like having his photo taken so we don't have many and he wasn't sure if he wanted his photo on my blog but when I said I wanted to post this one he readily agreed. This is 6 years ago when he spent the summer working at Downe a Scout camp site.  The older gentleman is Bob who was the climbing instructor and they spent a lot of time chatting.  Richard has a gold nose and bear whiskers painted on his face but unfortunately they don't show up very clearly. 

Yes they are the long and the short of it. Richard is 6 foot 5 and Bob is quite short.

Richard asked if I would make him a cover for his computer. It normally lives at home but very occasionally he will take it to work. He always carries it in a shoulder bag but wanted something to protect it from scratches.

I had originally planned to use the robot fabric on the outside and the skulls for the lining but that seemed such a waste of a fabulous design. Therefore I used both fabrics for the out side and also lined the flap with the skulls.

To protect the computer further the main pocket is lined with fleece. Here is the computer sniggled in it's fleecy lining.

To make the cover I cut all the pieces for the outside and assembled them into a long strip which I then quilted using 100% cotton batting. I choose to do a random box shaped pattern for the quilting. I didn't worry about the squares being perfectly square. Here is the quilting from the batting side as it doesn't show up very clearly on the front. The pattern makes a change from a random meander pattern.

Once I'd decided how I wanted to make the cover it went together very quickly and looks good. I don't think the computer will be suffering any scratches when snuggled in it.

Now you need to visit the others who are sharing their projects today.

Thank you for visiting me and I hope you'll visit again soon. I can wait to see what everyone has made.

I hope you all have a good Wednesday.