Monday 22 March 2021

Salt and Sand

Today is the start of the Salt and Sand blog hop. The hop has been organised by Carol from Just Let me Quilt. Thank you Carol for letting join in and thank you for organising the hop. Blog hops are such fun to take part in and I always get a load of inspiration from them. They also mean there is a lot of quilting eye candy to view which in these strange pandemic times makes me very happy.

I started my project on the weekend of 6 and 7th of March.  Earlier than that I had been playing with a few ideas and how to lay out the fabrics but on the 6th I completely changed my mind on the design. It was a good job I hadn't started cutting the fabrics.

I decided to use up some scraps to make this project, after all that is one of my challenges for the year. I wanted to make a table topper for my dining table. I have several but I don't have one for the summer so this was a perfect chance to make one.  Over the weekend I made all the blocks so I just needed to sew it all together. Here is a peak at part of a block.

During the week I didn't have any time to get the blocks sewn together so last Saturday I got that done and I also prepared the border. Last Sunday evening I had a bit of time so I decided to add the borders but when I looked at the central piece I was shocked as non of the blocks matched up. I must have gone off in a day dream and just sewed away without worrying about matching seams etc. I didn't have time to unpick it all so I put the piece away. I was going to be off on Thursday and Friday so plenty of time to get it all put right and finish it off. Think again, if it could go wrong, it did go wrong this week and I ended up working all week. To make it worse yesterday I had organised a long walk with John. We walked around the circumference of Richmond park. My Fitbit was showing 8.76miles when we got back to the car. The walk was very enjoyable but that left today to get the project finished.

I separated all the blocks and very carefully sewed them together, matching the seams. Then I added the borders. Once finished I was happy with the result.

I love the fish blocks. I saw them on a YouTube video but I can't remember where. They went together very easily. The fishes were made from scraps used for other projects. The borders were left over charm squares. I may add a narrow green border but I haven't decided. I like the idea of the grass giving way to the sand and finally the sea. I know how I'm going to quilt this and I'm looking forward to using it. I'm on leave from Thursday for two and a half weeks so this table topper will be finished in the very near future.

Now you need to go and visit the other blogs take part today. Here is a list of participants.

March 22
Creatin' in the Sticks
Selina Quilts
That Fabric Feeling
Days Filled With Joy
Elizabeth Coughlin Designs
Karen's Korner
Homespun Hannah's Blog
Crafts and Math
March 23
Life in the Scrapatch
Food for Thought
For The Love Of Geese
Becky’s Adventures in Quilting and Travel
Karrin’s Crazy World
Sew Many Yarns
Kathy's Kwilts and More
March 24
Ms P Designs USA
DayBrook Designs
Vroomans Quilts
Kathleen McMusing
Quilt Schmilt
The Darling Dogwood
Daughters of Dorinda
Annie’s Musings
March 25
Stitchin At Home
The Joyful Quilter
Freckled Fox Quiltery
Quilts Fabric and Thread Tales
Words & Stitches
March 26
Just Let Me Quilt
Quilting Gail
Samelia's Mum
Quilt Fabrication
Little Penguin Quilts
Just Sew Quilter

Thank you for visiting today. Do pop back and visit soon.


Saturday 13 March 2021

Friday finish.

I usually have Friday as a day off but today I was working and I thought the working day would never end. I was interviewing all morning and in the afternoon I needed to catch up on a heap of paperwork. Finally it was time to declare the weekend open, move all my work bits  and computer off the dining table and set up my machine. As I got myself organised I could feel my blood pressure dropping at the thought of playing with fabric.

I wanted to get the top of the latest baby quilt finished today. When I stopped last night I had three rows of blocks joined together and two more 16 patch blocks made for the final row. I started by making the last two blocks and then needed to pick out some 2.5 inch squares for the corner stones of the sashing. I got Lucy to help with this as she asked me to make the quilt for her friend's new baby daughter. Next job was to sew together the horizontal sashing and then connect all the rows together. I wasn't sure I was going to get it finished today as by this time it was getting fairly late and we still needed to have dinner. Lucy offered to cook and I finished as the meal was ready to serve. No time to waste as I needed to pack everything away so we could eat at the dining table.

The top is now finished and I'm pleased with how pretty it looks. I used up 217 two and a half inch squares to make the quilt top plus 40 2.5 by 8.5 cream rectangles for the sashing. The sashing fabric was from my stash and was left over from fabric bought for another project. All other fabric used was from my scraps boxes.

The quilt will finish at 42 inches square. It's a simple but effective design and very quick to stitch together. Some of the scrap fabrics used are children's prints and there are items such as elephants, frogs, owl, a whale, kittens, tractors and a lion to spot

That's three scrappy quilts made this year and I still have the scrappy apple core quilt top to finish. Unfortunately the scraps are continuing to multiply and even with using up scraps on these quilts, the box doesn't appear to have got any emptier. I guess I'll just have to put more effort into reducing my scraps.

Recently I received a template with my quilting magazine for cutting hexagon log cabin blocks. As I'm trying new things this year I must give these blocks a try. It could be another good way of culling some of the scraps. I may play with a couple of practice blocks tomorrow to see if I like them. I'm still working on the apple core quilt and if you remember I also received the templates for this with my quilting magazine. I like the effect the apple core produces but sewing the curves is a bit of a pain as it takes so much extra time.

Tomorrow I want to make a decision about this quilt top.

I liked the top when I made it but I'm not sure now. I think it is the way the colours are arranged. Tomorrow I'm going to decide it's fate. I may complete it or alter it but I want it out of my store cupboard as I need the space. This was made for the rainbow scrap challenge in 2015.

Sewing is for tomorrow, for now I need to send Scamp outside before bed time. He won't be happy as it's raining. Picasso is rampaging round the kitchen having his pre bedtime mad half hour. I want the pair of them to settle down so I can read a chapter of my book before I settle to sleep. I have nothing planned for tomorrow other than making some bread and sewing. It sounds like a perfect Saturday.

I'm linking this post with Sarah from Confessions of a Fabric Addict for her Can I get a Whoop Whoop? 

Take care,


Wednesday 10 March 2021

Sewing a baby quilt.

The weather here in London has been beautiful over the last two days with sunshine that actually has some warmth in it. Out of the sun it's still cold and the wind has a bite to it so I'm not getting too excited yet. By the time I finished work yesterday afternoon the park and cemetery were shut and the sun was fading so I didn't get a walk but I was hopefully the weather will hold for today. Unfortunately that was not to be, it's cold and grey and already started to rain. In an effort to be a little fitter and more flexible, since the start of the year I have been doing yoga regularly and over the last couple of weeks I've managed to do a yoga practice every morning before work. Unfortunately I will have to do it later in the day when we return to the office. 

I said I had a plan to fit some stitching into my day and I've managed to do that the last two days but it has been hand stitching in the evening. This afternoon I had time and space to set up the machine and work on the baby quilt. 

I had made 12 of the 16 blocks I need. I decided to start by cutting the sashing. I chose some cream fabric from my stash. I did the maths before I started cutting. Fortunately there would be an 4 inch width of fabric piece left once I'd cut all the sashing. That didn't take too long and I started sewing the rows together once I'd trimmed my blocks. By the time I'd finished for the day I had three complete row and I'd made a further two blocks.

I've got the squares for the other two blocks picked out and ready to sew. That will be for tomorrow evening. I'll also stitch the horizontal sashing. I might even finish the whole top!

I also finally started my project for the salt and sand blog hop. I started a project a couple of weeks ago but didn't like how it was going so stopped. Obviously I can't show you what I'm working on so you'll have to visit the hop. It starts on March 22nd.

I'm hoping we will be able to visit the beach this summer and if we are really lucky get back to our walking journey around the English coastal path.

This evening I'm going to settle down with my knitting and watch TV. With any luck tomorrow will be another good sewing day.

Take care


Sunday 7 March 2021

Sunday stitching

Yesterday was a good day. The sun was shining and so John and I went for our walk around the cemetery. Although the sun was shining the wind was cold but it felt like an early spring day and it was a pleasure to be walking. The birds were singing and flitting from tree to tree. We did three circuits which is 3 miles. That felt good as I haven't done much walking this last week.

Back at home I needed to bake some bread before I could get to the sewing machine. Last March when the UK went into the first lockdown, bread was in short supply but it wasn't a problem as I had a supply of bread flour. I started to bake bread regularly as time went on. I find it a relaxing activity, especially the kneading part. In between the various stages I am able to get on with other jobs and at the end of the process I have a really tasty loaf of bread. Once the bread was made and I'd put it to rise I set up my machine. 

Lucy has asked me if I would make a baby quilt for a friend of hers. The baby, a girl, has already been born and the family will be moving in the near future. Lucy would like to gift the quilt before they move. We spent some time chatting about what she wanted me to make and she decided she would like a scrappy quilt. We decided on a 16 patch pattern and so I spent the afternoon putting together 12 blocks.

I took care to press all the seams as I went along as it makes it easier to join the rows accurately. The blocks are almost spot on for size but a couple need a tiny bit trimmed off. Now I need to put the top together which involves cutting the sashing and borders.

Today is Olly's birthday so we drove over to Katy and Olly's flat where we had a front garden / doorstep meeting. Katy had made a delicious Guinness cake and we enjoyed a slice of cake and a cup of tea before driving home. Since my car was serviced in September I have only driven just over 1000 miles, which is way down on my usual mileage. I must report that I really enjoyed the drive even though it was only 10 miles each way. This week I need to go into work in Reading so I'll enjoy a drive down the motorway. I hope it's sunny for that

This afternoon I drew out the next Pride and Prejudice block.  Sherry and I are working on the block on the top right of the top row this month.

I still need to finish block two which is the middle block of the top row. The two pride and Prejudice blocks will be my one monthly goal for March.

This week is another busy work week but I have made a plan to enable some stitching to happen every day. Normally I plan my work for the coming week carefully but last week I didn't make time for the planning stage and the result, no sewing time. If it goes to plan block two should be finished by the end of the week and then I can move on.

I'm linking this post with Kathy from Kathy's Quilts for her Slow Sunday Stitching  and Patty from Elm Street Quilts for her One Monthly Goal link up.

Take care


Friday 5 March 2021

I've missed my sewing time.

Since I posted my day for the Show your Stripes blog hop I hadn't touched a sewing machine or needle and thread except to sew on a button that came off my blouse until yesterday. Since sewing is my happy place that makes me a little sad but I have had time to think through projects I need to finish and plan out new projects.

In February I showed you the fabric from my subscription box to make a tote bag.

The fabric is a heavy tapestry fabric titled Vincent. Yesterday I started the quilting having cut all the fabric to the right dimensions. I also 'quilted' a second mat for my bathroom. On the mat I tried out several of the stitches that are on my machine. I've no idea why I hadn't done this before since I've had the machine since 2016.

This week I received my new subscription box and the fabrics are very yummy.

The fabrics are Kyoto by Stuart Hillard and they feel so nice. I can't wait to use them and will be doing that over the weekend.

Over the week I've been working on my knitting. I have had to attend several long meetings online this week and since we don't put our videos on I can be doing some hand stitching or knitting. One of my colleagues gave herself a full manicure during yesterday's meeting!  The right front of the jacket I'm knitting has grown a lot but I'm not up to the armhole shaping yet. I'm not posting a photo as it's just another piece of knitting

For today I tired of sitting at the dining table. This is where I work, sew and eat dinner. I need a change of scene. I finally got round to sewing new binding to the front of Richard's Star Trek quilt so I'll start stitching it down on the back. I also need to finish my Pride and Prejudice block so I can start on the March block. I'm going to move to a comfortable armchair and settle down to some slow stitching whilst watching a film. I just need to decide what I fancy watching and make a pot of tea.

Take care