Monday 30 November 2015

November stitching

November has been a good month for finishes and I'm feeling really happy. My goal for 'A lovely year of finishes' was to complete and post the quilt for baby Ella.

It was quilted as an all over meander with variegated sulky in shades of pink. The backing was a small pink on pink print and I used my pink polka dot for the binding.  My colleague wanted a girlie and pink quilt and I think this fits the bill.

One of my students and his partner have just had a baby boy so now I need to make a baby quilt for Lucas. I do like making baby quilts as they are a very manageable project to make and can be completed quite quickly.

My second goal was to finish The turtles. My son Richard screenprinted this fabric several years ago whilst still at school. It was part of his school art and design coursework. The fabric hung in the school art showcase for several years after he left but we eventually got it back thanks to his sisters who went through the same school.

Originally we decided to leave the outer border unquilted but I may add a meander. I love the shapes on the back of the quilt. If you're part of the quilt police don't look too closely at the stitches as they just aren't of an even length but I don't care, I'm happy with them.

So having finished my main goals I also finished the 'It's a dog's life' quilt top. All the stitcheries were fun to do and I think the top looks fab.

As the top came together all my concerns about the fabric melted away. I had thought the patterns together were a little over the top but it really works well.

My finishes didn't stop there as I turned the 9 patch blocks from last years rainbow scrap challenge into a top.

This top is just so clean and cheerful looking, I love it. I'll quilt this in the new year.

I also almost finished the top for the hexi quilt blocks from the 2014 rainbow scrap challenge. It still needs its outer borders . I love this quilt too. I will be keeping one of these for myself but the other one may go to my younger daughter Lucy.

All of that leaves me doing a very happy dance. I think that's the most sewing I've done in one month all year. With December 1st tomorrow I need to think about what I want to get finished before the end of the year.

I'm linking this post with Melissa at Sew Bittersweet Designs for the November link up party. I love checking out what everyone has been busy finishing. I hope your November has been productive.


Friday 27 November 2015

A finished top

I hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving. At guides on Wednesday we had a thanksgiving themed evening which the girls really enjoyed. They wanted to try some recipes they had found from America and the one that won the day was roasted sweet potato and marshmallow. Mmm tasty but very filling. Some of the girls thought it was the best food ever whilst some complained it was too sweet. Whatever their feelings about the food we tried they felt it was a great idea to theme the evening around a celebration from another country. By the end of the evening some of them had devised a list of religious and other celebration days from around the world.That takes care of planning for quite a few weeks next year.

I haven't had a lot of time for stitching this week but I made good use of the time I did have. I finished up the top for the 'It's a dogs life quilt'. The more I stitched this top the more I liked it.

Unfortunately today in London has been wet so no pretty photos taken outside. Our bed had to supply the background. I am very happy with how this quilt top looks. I've got some other projects I'm going to be working on so this wont be quilted until next year.

I have also been working on my hexi quilt from last years rainbow scrap challenge. This top still isn't finished as I have to add the borders.

I love this top and I can't wait to get it finished.

Finally I was asked by older daughter if I would make her an advent calendar. There were quite a lot to choose from but most were aimed at children and Katy is an adult. In the end I bought this one.

I've already added some of the pockets. It takes a bit of fiddling and a lot of concentration to get the pockets to match the background pattern.

I must remember to get our advent calendar out the loft this weekend and buy the sweets ready for the first of December.

Earlier today I realised I have 3 weeks at work before my two week break over Christmas and the New Year. I know we all tend to say the year has flown by this this year really does seem to have vanished. Realising Christmas was so close sent me into a spin until I remembered I've just about finished my present shopping and just need to make a final decision on the menu. I do need to make a quilt for Buddy for Christmas. It's a shame that he's such a big dog. If he was the same size as Scamp it would be a quick job.

I'm linking this post with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday  November has been a great month for finishes for me. I hope November has also smiled on your quilting projects.


Monday 23 November 2015

Great Sunday stitching.

Today has been a good stitching day with some machine work and some slow stitching. On Saturday evening I stitched the quarter square triangles and trimmed them. The trimmed pile looked so neat and tidy. I also cut the sashing ready for stitching this morning.

I managed to get the sashing attached and the rows put together. I also stitched together the outer borders.

Tomorrow I will add the inner bordesr and hopefully add the pieced outer border as well. I'm hopeful this will be a completed top by Friday. 

At the start of today I had a neat pile of hexies. 

This afternoon whilst watching Pride and Prejudice (the BBC version with Colin Firth) I stitched this block together. As I hadn't put the machine away I sewed the block to the backing fabric. Here's all the blocks with the brown one in the middle.

I was going to make extra blocks for this quilt but I decided to leave it with the 12 blocks. Now I need to decide on the colour for the sashing and then there's the borders to think about. Sometimes John complains that I seem miles away when I've been sewing but all I'm doing is trying to visualise the blocks with different colours next to them. I think I'll have to surf through my stash to see if I have anything suitable.

Scamp usually sits on my lap when I'm stitching but today he snuggled in his basket. I got him a new pillow for his basket as the old one was all flat. He would spend ages pushing the old pillow around trying to make it more comfortable. With the new one he turned a couple of circles and then settled down for a long nap.

Picasso tried to push him out of the basket but Scamp wasn't giving way. Now that the weather has turned cold Picasso isn't keen on being outside but he doesn't know what to do with himself in doors. All summer long he's a very active cat and then he has to slow down for the winter but it takes him a while to get used to the idea.

I'm linking this post with Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching Go and take a look at the projects being worked on this week. 


Saturday 21 November 2015

Prep for stitching.

The last couple of days have been very slow as far as sewing is concerned. I haven't been near my machine and it's sitting on the dining table moaning to itself about not being loved. This evening I gave her a few strokes and promised that I would get on with the blocks tomorrow. Machines are tricky items and I don't want any tension tantrums or broken needles when I finally get a chance to sew tomorrow evening. Saturday is usually a good day for catching up on my projects but unfortunately we have two graduation ceremonies at work tomorrow so John and I will be out most of the day. Never mind there will be some space tomorrow evening.

This evening I took the half square triangles I'd made and marked a diagonal line across the middle and paired them up ready for sewing tomorrow into quarter square triangles.

I'm hoping to have this top completed by the end of next week so I need to get a wriggle on.
I also prepared the brown hexies ready for stitching together to make the next block. I love all of these brown fabrics, they just make me feel happy.

I spent a little time finding my scraps for the Rainbow scrap challenge. I'm a little behind this year - well 3 months blocks behind to be exact. I was hoping to get the block pieces cut out so I could just sew them together tomorrow but I just felt too tired.

The weather here has gone a lot colder with the top temperature tomorrow due to be 5 celsius but feeling like -1 because of wind chill. A few weeks ago I bought myself a new duffle coat so I'm excited to get the chance to wear it. 

I hope you've had some sewing time this week.


Tuesday 17 November 2015

Friends, winds and pattern

Today I was working in Reading. This is a train journey away and because I catch the stopping train it takes about an hour and 20 minutes. Usually I spend the journey reading or sewing but this morning I was still tired and no matter how hard I tried I couldn't stay awake so no stitching got done. Today after work I met up with Karen, both a friend and my ex boss. We went shopping first and had a very girlie time trying on dresses and boots. I didn't buy anything but Karen bought a new coat and a pair of boots We then had pizza and followed it up with sticky desserts. Sorry I was so hungry I didn't stop to take a photo. I never realised that gossiping and shopping could make you so hungry. After a great afternoon and evening I enjoyed the Christmas lights as I walked back to the station.

I love the tree made of globe lights and further along the trees had lights that appeared to drip through the leaves. Luckily whilst I was walking it stayed dry but the wind was a little blustery. All day there had been heavy rain on and off. The train journey home was uneventful but when I was walking to the bus stop for the final leg of my journey the wind was really strong and kept blowing me along and almost blew me off my feet. I was very pleased to be home and Scamp and Picasso were pleased to see me. They were home alone as both Richard and John were still out. They were happier when I turned on the TV to cover the sound of the wind.

It was 10 p.m. by the time I got home and there is no time for stitching but I printed my new stitching pattern onto fabric solvy. I need to buy some fabric to stitch the designs on. If the weather is good tomorrow I'll walk up to the fabric shop and see if there is anything suitable. The pattern i've decided to work on is by Red Brolly and features Brutus at Christmas. I'll take a photo tomorrow when I have it all set up and ready to go.

My aim for tomorrow is to make the quarter square triangles for the 'It's a dog's life' quilt. For now I need another cup of tea before I sort out the furbabies and get ready for bed.


Monday 16 November 2015

On my design wall

As I wander around blogland I enjoy seeing what other people have on their design walls. At present I don't have a design wall or a dedicated area for sewing. I use the dining table to sew at and I usually lay out what I'm working on either on the floor or the table. As we slowly rearrange our house I am hoping to turn what was the girl's room into a sewing cum guest room. First Richard will be moving into this room for a while whilst he decorates his own room and builds himself a desk.

Anyway on my design table/floor  today I have the 'It's a dog's life' quilt. I have finished all 8 stitcheries 

I need to trim these blocks to 9 and half inches before I can add the sashing. That will have to wait until tomorrow night. The four bone blocks are all made.

I have the 5 inch squares of the red and white fabric already cut.

I have already drawn the line diagonally across the white squares and I'm ready to stitch the red and white together to produce half square triangles. They then need to become quarter square triangles.. Lots of sewing needed. My machine is all threaded and ready to go when I get home from work tomorrow. Having got this close to completing the top I really want to get on with it.

I have a new project in mind to start next week but I need to give it a little more thought. When I'm planning a new quilt I usually draw it out on a squared paper pad. John offered to buy me some software to help me design quilts but I like the old fashioned method better.

Here in the Uk we are expecting storms tomorrow. We tend to be lucky and miss much of the worst of them. I'm travelling by train tomorrow so I'll be taking hand stitching with me, just in case the train is delayed by the weather. I'm wondering if this is the start of the colder weather. I do love winter as you don't need an excuse to curl up in front of the TV with some stitching

I'm linking this post with Patchwork Times for design wall Monday. I hope you've had a good Monday where you are.


Sunday 15 November 2015

Slow stitching,organised.

Slow Sunday Stitching

Although I do some hand stitching during the week I always look forward to Sunday. Kathy over at Kathy's Quilts runs a great Sunday linky party for quilters who like to spend time hand stitching. Linking up with Kathy helps me make time each week for some hand work and this means I do eventually finish my various embroidery projects but they do take me a long time.

Over the last couple of weeks I've worked on the millennium sampler.

I still haven't finished the horse - in fact the horseman is still headless but I have got most of this picture completed and I have done more work on the border.

I have also done some work on the crewel embroidery. Again I haven't done much but I finished the numbers and some of the flowers.

This afternoon I settled down to watch Sense and Sensibility on TV and continued the stitching on the hexi block. There was only one seam to do on this row but I still had the next row to add.

By the end of the film I had a completed block.

Now all I need to do is stitch this to the backing fabric. I haven't started work on the orange hexi block so I'll work on that during the week. I spent some time this week hunting out my christmas tree cross stitch. I started this last year and need to do some more work on it as we move towards Christmas.

I know I won't complete the piece this year but it will be interesting to see how far I can get..

Tomorrow is a work day and I need to get into the office early so I'd better pack my stitching away and sort out clothes and things for tomorrow. This is a busy week and I need to get some sleep. My Jawbone UP wristband is always telling me I don't get enough sleep. Before I snuggle down in bed I'm linking this post with Slow Sunday Stitching

Have a great week.


A trunkful of quilts

Online Quilt Trunk Show | Whims And Fancies

An online quilt trunk show, how exciting.  A chance to show off the quilts I've made and also visit others to enjoy a lot of quilt eye candy. I got into quilting 3 years ago after a very long break from needlecrafts. Since then I've had a lot of fun.

The first one, the disappearing 9 patch was made from scraps I had been given. My guide unit were making prem baby quilts for charity and I decided to make a large quilt. 

The second quilt was made for baby Isabelle. Her mom didn't want a girlie quilt and I thought this quilt fitted the bill perfectly.

I made this quilt for charity with a young child in mind. The fabrics were all left over from items I made for my own children when they were young. It was nice to think the fabric would be enjoyed by another child.

This quilt was made as part of the tetris quilt along run by Melissa from Happy Quilting. This was the first quilt along I took part in and I won a jelly roll on one of the weeks.

With the jelly roll I won, I created this Christmas quilt. I wish it could be Christmas all year round so I could keep this one on my bed.

John bought me the kit to make the dresden plate quilt when we visited the Stitching and Knitting show. The fabric is Liberty Tanna lawn and feels absolutely fabulous. I love this quilt.

I made a Star Trek quilt for Richard. Scamp is chief quilt tester and loves to get in the photos.

I made the votes for women quilt for Kathryn. 

I have also made many small projects, cushions:

Mug rugs,

and lots more. Quilting is one of my hobbies and it's a great hobby to have. 

I hope you've enjoyed seeing some of my quilts, now either click on the button on the sidebar or click here to visit Whims and Fancies to peep inside other people's quilt trunks. 


Saturday 14 November 2015

Baby quilt and scrappy top

It's time for Friday finishes and this week I'm doing a happy dance as I have two finishes, plus this is the second week in a row I've been celebrating. It's such fun as it has been a while since I finished anything.

First I put together a top with the 49 blocks made for the rainbow scrap challenge in 2014. These nine patch blocks finish at 6 inches and the quilt top overall is 58inches square.

I love this top it's so bright and cheerful it just makes me smile. I haven't had time yet to go through my stash for a backing fabric. However I wasn't planning on quilting this at the moment. I want to work on some of my other unfinished projects.

My second finish was the baby quilt. This really should have been finished a while back but at least it's done now and I can get it in the post tomorrow.

Getting a picture of the quilt has proved difficult as the weather is being most uncooperative. I tried it on my bed but the lighting is rather dim. So then I draped it over the settee with pillows to push it out abit.

The strips across were cut from fat quarters and from scraps left over from other projects. I love the different fabrics.

I thought you might like to see the backing fabric and the binding.

I'm very pleased with this quilt and I hope Charlene will be pleased with it. This also means I have completed another of my November goals. I now have to to collect my fabric for another baby quilt, but I won't be starting that until next week. 

Tomorrow I'm going to cut out the blocks for the 'It's a dog's life' quilt. I'm hoping I'll get time to stitch some of the blocks together. I also want to catch up with this years rainbow challenge as I'm two months behind 

I'm linking this post up with Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts and Link a Finish Friday at Richard and Tanya Quilts Why not go and check out what everyone's been finishing this week.