Tuesday 21 June 2022

Making a quilt sandwich

Today the morning traffic was very slow because of the train and tube strikes. Fortunately I was going in the opposite direction to everyone else and had very few problems. I only had a few students and we finished slightly early so I headed home as soon as I could as I had a couple of things I wanted to get done.

Once home I set about making the quilt sandwich for the butterfly baby quilt. I'd bought some best press so I used this on the fabric when I pressed it. It really does give a nice finish to the fabric and fairly soon I had the quilt top prepped ready for quilting. The first time I can start the quilting is Thursday evening but I also have all day on Friday so I should be able to get this quilt finished over the weekend. I hadn't got any suitable fabric in my stash for the backing and so I had made a quick trip to a fabric shop in my lunch break. This piece was on sale and was the perfect size and colour. I have some scraps left over to cut up into small squares for future use.

During the day my parcel of background fabric had been delivered. This is for the dinosaur quilt. It is shitake by Kona and is a very pleasing grey colour. The problem of ordering fabric online is that the colours aren't always true on screen. This time however the colour I saw when I ordered was what I received in the parcel.

I wanted to start cutting out some of the blocks so pulled out the blue fabrics that had been chosen. There should be 6 fat quarters but some of the pieces are smaller than needed so I've added in extra fabrics. These blues are very pretty but I think I need slightly more contrast in the shades.

I also spent some time making decisions about the layout and fabrics for the sashing for the Noah's Ark quilt. On Friday I'm hoping to have this quilt top finished. Here are the bottom blocks that are already stitched together. I'm not completely convinced about using different coloured fabrics for the sashing but I can always unpick it if I'm not happy with the completed top.

Before writing this post Lucy and I took Missy for her evening walk. Since she came to live with us I've found I'm doing a lot more walking. She has settled in very well and we are getting to grips with training her. Currently she knows most of the commands but isn't yet consistent in doing what she's told. I had forgotten all the hard work of having a puppy but on the plus side she is a great companion. 

Tomorrow is another busy day so now I need to go to bed.

Take care


Sunday 19 June 2022

Playing catch up

The last four weeks have been stressful following my brothers death. Aubrey's birth has been a bright point in this time but also a little stressful as my daughter learns to care for him and cope with the hot weather we are having. A major ant invasion of their flat didn't help but John and I went over and helped her get rid of them. It took some time but all was well by the time we left. My brother's funeral was on Wednesday and it was really good to catch up with the rest of the family. 

This weekend I needed time to rest and recuperate and so John told me to get the sewing machine out and enjoy sewing.  First thing Saturday morning I sat down and planned out what I wanted to do. I have a quilt pattern I want to make and I decided to sort out the 36 fat quarters I'd need. This is a cute dinosaur pattern.

I put the fabrics in a project box. They look so pretty together. I also ordered the background fabric I need so I will be able to make a start on the quilt later this week.

Next I sorted out my black and white fabric for another pattern. I need 100 4 inch squares for this beauty. It turns out I have quite a lot of black and white fabric.

Next up was some cutting. This time I was cutting up old T shirts to make a latched rug. I cut the fabric into 4 inch lengths by half an inch. I still have a lot left to cut up before I start the rug.

Today I got the machine out and the Austen Family quilt. I have been meaning to get the quilting finished on this project for some time. I completed the quilting on 7 blocks. When I tried to get a photo, Missy decided she needed to be in the picture

This is a very large quilt and it's quite heavy work moving it around but I'm enjoying getting the blocks quilted. I love how the back of quilted blocks look.

The quilt has been bundled up for a while and before I could work on it today I had to straighten it out. Fortunately all the basting was firmly in place. I have now completed 16 of the 36 blocks. Only another 20 to go!

All the hand sewing on the Noah's Ark quilt is finished and the top will be put together over this week. The top of the butterfly quilt is finished and needs to be sandwiched and quilted. That's a job for next weekend.

Now I need to catch up on some sleep. It's much cooler tonight and so it should be more comfortable for sleeping. 

Take care


Sunday 5 June 2022

Holiday week

I realised after I read one of the comments on my post of 1st June that I hadn't written what I thought I'd written. June 1st isn't the first day of summer and I'd meant to say that the 1st June was here and soon we would have the first day of summer. Certainly the last few days haven't been anything like summer! Anyway 1st day of summer in the northern hemisphere is 21st June and with all the rain we keep having, it's certainly something to look forward to.

This week I'd booked some annual leave, very sneaky as I don't work on bank holidays so only needed 2 days to take the full week, since I only work 4 days. There was a list of things I wanted to try and get done so I knew the week would be rather tiring. First I wanted to get the last piece of stitching completed from Aubrey's quilt. That's almost done, just one more row of stitching. 

I got the butterfly quilt to a completed top stage. Over the next couple of days I need to find the fabric I've got for the backing and get the quilt sandwich made so I can quilt it over the weekend. I love this little quilt. It's so bright and happy.

 I also cut out a dress pattern on Wednesday.

and today I spent my slow stitching time sewing on the buttons and hand finishing the hem. I had hoped to have this completely finished so I could wear it to work tomorrow but I still have a bit of the hem to do. Missy needed another walk and playing with so I'll finish this tomorrow.

On Wednesday Lucy and I visited Katy, Oliver and baby Aubrey. Lucy enjoyed a cuddle with him but was very worried she would drop him. On Saturday they bought him to visit us and I was a little worried having a boisterous puppy in the house with a baby but she was very calm, quiet and very good. Missy was interested but didn't go too close. After they had gone she had a crazy 10 minutes running around the house. This was the first time Richard had seen Aubrey and he loved his cuddle with him.

On Wednesday John and I had booked to go to dinner at one of our favourite restaurants. When we arrived they didn't have our booking. It appears one of the part time staff hadn't written it down. The evening was also a wine tasting. The owners found us a table and we had a fabulous evening. The food was very good, the wine delightful and the whole evening turned into a party. We got home very late which meant I had a slow start to Thursday morning.

On Thursday afternoon, Lucy and I went out for afternoon tea and some shopping. It was very quiet and that suited both of us. Lucy bought a kit to make a crocheted elephant. She has never done any crocheting before so I will be teaching her how to do it over the next few days.

I'm linking this post with Kathy from Kathy's quilts for her Slow Sunday Stitching. Do pop over and see what everyone has been working on.

Take care


Wednesday 1 June 2022

Butterflies all attached.

Here we are at the 1st of June and the first day of Summer. This year really is zapping along at speed.

Yesterday I took Missy for a puppy bath and blow dry at the groomers. We have given her a bath ourselves and she loves the water but is less keen on the hairdryer. My main reason for booking was to kick start her socialisation with other dogs and puppies. There were 7 dogs at the groomers at the same time as her and the staff said she had fun playing with another puppy who was in for a bath and blow dry. They trimmed her fur near her eyes and trimmed her claws a little. After the groomers we walked a little further to the common and Lucy and I enjoyed a coffee and a chocolate brownie.  Missy was good and sat at our feet watching the world go by. On the way home the heavens opened and we were drenched by the time we got home. We had to use the hairdryer to get Missy dry. 

I then settled to cut and attach the rest of the butterflies for the baby quilt. As I wanted to use all different batik fabrics it made the process a little longer but in the end they were all done.

As I set up this photo it started to rain again and so the colours don't 'pop' as they should due to the reduced light. This week really has been like the monsoon season here in London. When Lucy and I went to India, we travelled in the monsoon season and it was said to be the worse for 50 years. However the rain wasn't as heavy as we have been having and there was a lot of sunshine in between the rains.

My next job was to decide the layout of the blocks which took the whole table In the past I've used the floor but Missy would have trampled everything. She was really interested in what I was doing and tried to steal blocks from the table. It made the whole process very tiring.

Later in the afternoon when Missy settled for a nap I got out my stitching. I'm finishing the last piece for the Noah's Ark quilt. I had started this before but Missy got hold of it and chewed it. She is now much better and whilst she is interested in my stitching she knows not to try and get it She slept peacefully at my feet for a while as I stitched and caught up with the latest episode of the sewing bee. Here is my progress to date.

My fabric is quite narrow and so it is in a small hoop. This was the last piece I had of the fabric I'd used for some of the other blocks so I am persevering with it. It's a pain to have to keep moving the hoop. Hopefully today I will finish this block so I'll be able to complete the quilt.

Today I will sew together the blocks for the butterfly quilt. Before then I need to check my work emails. Although I am on holiday, at the moment, I don't have anyone I can identify as dealing with my course, so I'm checking them once a day.

Now I'm off to bond with my sewing machine. We haven't spent much quality time together recently so I'm really looking forward to this.

Take care