Monday 24 February 2014

And the winner is.........

2 Bags Full

Hi I'm sorry to be so late announcing the winner for the Grow your Blog party but life got in the way of my sewing and blogging yet again. My apologies for the delay and I can tell you that the random number generator came up with number 42 who is OhioLori who said;

Love your quilts...specially the one bein modeled by Scamp! :) Looooove the Nancy Drew charms I see!!

I've been a follower for awhile..thru GFC & Bloglovin...

Nice to have you following and I have sent an email for your snail mail address.

Tomorrow morning I'm teaching a quilt class but will then have time for some sewing. I am really looking forward to getting on with quilting my bird quilt. I also have some photos to share of the orchids on display at Kew gardens. Oh and I can't wait to catch up with my blog reading. I've really missed reading about what my blogland friends have been up to. 
I hope you'll come and join me tomorrow.


Thursday 13 February 2014

Hugs and kisses

Here is the Schedule for HUGS AND KISSES

When I signed up to take part in the Hugs and Kisses blog hop I had never tried paper piecing as a technique. I'm always up to learn something new so I decided that taking part would give me the push I needed to find out what paper piecing is all about. I love English Paper piecing but that is totally different. 

For this hop we received three paper piecing patterns that had been designed by Madame Samm from Sew We Quilt and Soma fromWhims and Fancies. I printed the patterns off and at that point I wondered if I could actually manage to make something. 

The first sheet was fine as it just had the pictures of the hearts and kisses shapes but underneath lurked a confusing diagram. What to do? 

Well as a Brit there was only one thing to do ..put the kettle on for a pot of tea.  A little later feeling calmer and refreshed I decided to stroke some fabric before taking another look at the pattern. I found this lovely FQ from the Lovey Dovey Collection from Riley Blake designs.

So back to the patterns. There was a kiss, a heart and a heart with an arrow through it. I decided the one with the arrow would be good to make.I'd already looked up how to paper piece in my quilting techniques book so now to put it into practice.

I decided that now would be a perfect time to start my double wedding ring quilt that I am going to make to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. The arcs in this design are paper pieced but the pattern is much simpler than the ones for this hop.

The arc worked well and was easy to make. I did find it rather wasteful on fabric but that could be because I'm new to the technique. Having had this practice I was now ready to get on with the pattern. I had decided that I would make a small mat. The block finishes at 10 inches square which is perfect for a candle mat.

As a first attempt at this technique I am very pleased with the end result.  The shaft of the arrow where it enters the arrow head went a little wonky but I enjoyed the process and will be doing more paper piecing in the future.

Thank you Madame Samm for organising this hop, it has been fun and I've learnt something new.  I'm going to make up the other two patterns in the future.

Now you need to visit the rest of today's participants.  There's sure to be lots of great projects to see.

Lady Beth

Lady Jenny

Lady Britt-Inger

Lady Carla

Lady Marian 

Lady Lyndsey

Have a great Thursday


Wednesday 12 February 2014

February NewFO, scraps and post.

So here we are in the rain soaked UK. I appear to have developed webbed feet and worryingly I think I'm starting to quack. Even the ducks think the rain has gone on long enough. Because we live in London itself we are protected (by the Thames Barrier) from flooding as a result of high tides meeting the flood water flowing down the Thames. The last time London flooded was 1928.

So what do you do when the rain keeps poring down? Well stay in and sew of course. I must admit we did go over to Hampton Court on Saturday for a (wet) walk and to visit a quilt shop I'd just found out about. That meant I slightly overspent my February hobby budget but I did get most of the fabric I needed to make the top of my February NewFO.

My son has been a Star Trek fan for as long as I can remember and ages ago he asked me to make him a star trek quilt. The quilt shop had lots of star trek fabric so I bought several fat quarters and some yardage. On Saturday evening I roughed out the design and worked out my cutting plan to get the most from the fabric. By Sunday I was ready to start cutting and to stitch up the first part.

I'm making four blocks that finish at 12 inches and them sewing them together into a 24 inch block. There are 9 blocks in the top which means that with sashing the top will finish at 80 inches and then there will be the borders to add. A nice simple and straightforward top to put together. I have also got some other star trek fabrics to use. The fabric for the top is all cut and ready for sewing so I'm hoping to have this done this month. The angle I've taken the photo makes the block look squiffy which it isn't. The blur on the bottom right is the end of Picasso's tail.

I have also been trawling through my scraps. This months colour in the Rainbow Challenge (button on the sidebar) is pink. I thought I had lots of pink since I've made several baby quilts for little girls. It shows how bad my memory is because I completely forgot that I used a lot of the scraps to make prem baby quilts. Anyway I found enough to make the 4 nine patches I needed.

I'm going to have to wait until I've finished my 'Hugs and Kisses' project to make this months hexie block. That will be nice and relaxing to stitch in front of the TV later in the week.

Yesterday I spent the morning with a lovely group of ladies doing some English Paper piecing patchwork. As a result I have restarted work on Lucy's quilt which is a rainbow grandmother's garden quilt.

When I got home yesterday the post man had delivered a lovely packet from Barbara at Cat Patches.
Barbara lives in Oregon and I have been following her blog for a couple of years now. Her blog is about her beautiful quilts, her delightful cats, travelling, recipes and much more. She also has quite a few give aways and I was lucky enough to win this beautiful ceramic pin. Barbara had also included a lovely FQ. Thank you so much Barbara, I'm currently wearing the pin and I have an idea for the FQ which may well be next month's NewFO.

My plans for today are to finish my project for the blog hop. My day is tomorrow so do pop back and see what I made. I was going to take Scamp for a walk before I started sewing but it has just started raining again so I'll play with him instead. Picasso is curled up as close to the radiator as possible and snoring little kitty contented snores which means as soon as I get the machine working he'll be ready to get into mischief.

I hope you're having a good Wednesday. Stay warm, dry and safe.


Tuesday 4 February 2014

A lovely day spent sewing.

This morning the weather was clear and bright so John, Scamp and I were able to enjoy a walk across the common. There was still a lot of standing water where there should have been grass but it wasn't as deep as it has been. Although it was bright it was cool at about 4 degrees C. As we were heading home we saw an area of crocuses bravely fighting the odds against the rain and the cold.

Once home I quickly got my machine set up and spent the rest of the afternoon sewing. I finished up all the blocks for the row along.

I love the way these blocks look.

I also made 5 more blocks for my Votes for Women quilt. First this one,

The blue is actually violet. Next there was this one,

Number 3

Number 4,

and 5. For some reason when I started making this one I totally forgot I had to match the points. Guess I'll unpick and remake another day.

I don't seem to have done much but the cutting for the blocks takes ages. Tomorrow I have to work but on Thursday I have a morning free to sew.

Hope you've had a chance for some sewing.


January NewFO, and February Goals

It's already February and I haven't posted about my January NewFO yet. In fact last month I started 2 NewFO projects but I only managed minimal work on the main one. Project one is a quilt being made as a row along with Sherry from Quilts, Fabric and Thread Tales. The row is released on the 20th of the month and there are 6 rows in the quilt. The row along started in January.

The row consists of 4 identical blocks This is block 1 of the row and I still have 3 blocks to finish but all the half square triangles are done. I'm not working today so I will finish them up then.

My second NewFO for January was to start my Double Wedding Ring quilt. I am using the McCalls Vintage pattern from the Annual 1999/2000 issue which can be found here. This is my January 'Let's book it' project.


The 'Let's Book it ' challenge is the brain child of Sharon from Vroomans Quilts. I'm going to try and link this challenge with my NewFO challenge each month.

So what have I done on my Double Wedding Ring Quilt so far. All I have to show is one arc (only 97 to make). I'm making the arcs in solid colours but I'm not sure if I want the colours to be random or the same in each arc. Some of the colours in the photo are not true to life which is a shame.

The arcs are made using paper piecing and this is a technique I'd never tried before. So this was my something new for the 'Something Old, Something New' challenge that Lynne is hosting on Never Too Hot to Stitch. I have also been working on my Project for the 'Hugs and Kisses Blog Hop'  starting on the 12th February which is a paper piecing project. My only complaint with paper piecing is it seems wasteful on fabric. Otherwise it works fine and makes a very accurate block. Sorry no peeks on my project for the hop, come back on the 13th to see what I've made.

My Something old for Lynne's challenge was to complete my green and pink baby quilt. This quilt was my second finish of the month.

My goal for Lynne's challenge and ALYOF 2014  in February is to complete my Birds quilt.

I'm looking forward to getting this quilt finished.

I'm not sure yet what my 'Something New' will be for February but I already know my NewFO and the book the pattern is from!

I'm linking this post with Melissa at Sew Bittersweet Designs for the February ALYOF goal setting party, Barbara at Cat Patches for her January NewFO party, Lynne at Never Too Hot to Stitch for her 'Something Old, Something New'  January link party and Sharon at Vrooman Quilts for her 'Let's Book It' link. It's great having friends so many parties to go to.

I'm off to take Scamp for a walk as the weather here is clear and bright at the moment. Then i'm getting on with a some sewing. I hope you all have a great day.