Thursday, 3 September 2015

Round Four

The time was come, after taking the summer off, to get started on round four of Brit Bee. The plan this time round is we all do one 15" block that will be unique to our own quilts, and then design a 15" x 30" block that will appear in everyone's block. We will each make a block for each of the quilts, rotating through the blocks so that eventually we have all made one of each block, and each of those blocks exist in different quilts. Make sense? Never mind, it works for us.

So, jumping the gun, I designed my bigger block first. And then got all excited and made it too. My colour theme this round is going to be a white background and monochromatic blocks, or sections of blocks, that are made in solids and some tone on tone prints. I am hoping for more solids than prints, and I am hoping for an ombre effect on blocks that allow it.

It makes more sense visually. This is what I came up with. Oh, I forgot to mention the little, tiny pops of contrasting colour put in here and there.

It was pointed out to me (nicely, not snarkily)  that I hadn't made my 15" block yet. Therefore I got on with that too. I spent the whole school room/waiting in the car time trying to come up with something new. I failed, but I did have fun with HSTs and playing with colour some more.

And that is me not only caught up but ahead of the game for Brit Bee. That means tomorrow I shall start on Stitch Tease and it may mark the first time in ever that I am on top of both bees simultaneously. I may have to reward myself with chocolate!


Wednesday, 2 September 2015

It Was Bound To Happen Sooner Than Later

We all know what quilters do. We cut apart fabric to sew it back together again. And we use traditional blocks as inspiration, other people's creations as inspiration and - really -  most things have been done already in one way, shape or form.

So sooner or later something I was working on would appear somewhere else. And it happened this week. I had a commission to make a quilt to a design of mine for Love Patchwork & Quilting. I sent my idea off to Jenny a year and a half ago but it got lost in the myriad of things that cross an editors desk. About four moths or so ago she found it again and commissioned me to make a quilt based on it.

So I have been cutting and sewing to get back into the groove and make the deadline that was looming due the holiday interrupting the regular schedule. Then I woke up yesterday, thirty blocks made, sashing and cornerstones cut and ready to piece the top together. But I opened Instagram first and one of the first posts I saw was of a quilt to an almost identical design.

I immediately showed Jenny the post because why would LPQ want to publish such a similar pattern just a couple months after Make Modern? I totally get that.

No need to keep this a secret any more then.

Forgive the crappy evening light.
The colours are actually much more vibrant than this.
Made using Art Gallery Fabrics Imprint line.
This is the quilt that is in the latest issue of Make Modern by Bec Proschogo. I love her take on this block a lot. A lot and lot!

So, now I am temporarily (I hope) commission free and I'm playing with fabric. I'm also doing boring stuff like hoovering and cleaning the loos, but I try to pretend that isn't happening in my life. I do avoid housework reality as much as possible.


Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Back To Work

Well back to work in as much as making quilts can be considered work. Which we know it isn't, really. It's what we like to do and if any of us can make a penny or two to fund the fabric budget then woohoo and all that.

So I have been cutting, and cutting some more. That's 300 2.5" Kona white squares on the right. Needless to say sugar fueled the cutting marathon.

And I have been piecing like a demon. Seriously just getting on with it. You would be so proud. But there is a story to come. Hopefully one I can tell you tomorrow. Today I am ignoring it all.

What I did forget to show you was this amazing and beautiful Christmas mini Victoria (@sewgoclimbing on Instagram) gave me when we were in the Highlands. She made one like this before and I fell in love with it. Bless her, but she remembered how much I liked it and made me one of my own.

There are so many lovely and whimsical details in the fabrics she used. This is just fun to look at and find things that you missed the first and second time around. I cannot wait to have it out over the holidays. Though I don't think I am going to hide it away just yet.

If you are new to Instagram and looking for great people to follow then please do go check out Victoria's feed. She mixes wonderful quilting with stunning photos of the Northwest Highlands, interspersed with photos of her and her husband climbing rock faces that would scare the wits out of most people. For them it is just good fun, and sort of necessary to their happiness.

Every time I see this mini I will remember our holiday up in the far reaches of this country. I do hope we return, and not in the too distant future.


Thursday, 27 August 2015

The Final Stops On Our Grand Tour

So, it is about time I finished with these holiday posts and got back to the important stuff - like sewing and getting the girls back into school. Isn't it funny how we look forward to getting out of routine towards the end of the school year, and then can't wait for it all to kick back in again come the beginning of September? That being said. the girls were very civilised towards each other this summer which makes things so much easier. Really, really easier!

After leaving the Highlands we headed down to Dundee, where my brother and his wife has been spending a lot of time totally gutting and redoing a house in the countryside. The light is at the end of the tunnel for the renovations and they are going to have a beautiful home when the decorating is all done.

I love the kitchen character as there used to be a sawmill by the cottage and the hanging lights, green bendy light and the rough boards that will become part of the counter top are all from that former sawmill. And the view when you are having breakfast is fantastic.

I got a lovely walk in while the girls were off being entertained by their uncle. They live near an old estate where the main house burned down many years ago, but the ruins of the walled garden, stables and folly remain.

And the lane ways that cut through this former estate are lined with hedgerows that were heavy with raspberry plants in fruit. We went out in the late afternoon to do some picking (and eating). Whoever originally planted these plants had put in golden raspberries as well as the usual red. They are much the same, but sweeter, and less abundant so therefore more desirable - obviously.

And there you have it, a rarely seen photo of me. In fact, you can have two. Here's a family 'portrait' below, of us just being silly really.

We left the Dundee area and headed south to Newcastle for a couple of days. Time spent getting school shoes and the like, and enjoying a meal out with my stepsister. Then it was home again. This whole holiday was broken up by long drives. Four hours to mum's, six hours up to Sarah's, three hours into the Highlands, five and a half hours to my brother's, four hours back to mum's and four hours home again - with a detour to see Helen and Archie again.

I'm done with driving for a while, at least until the school run starts next week.


Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Quick Hello

Just to say we are home from our holidays. We had three terrific weeks, better weather than we could have dreamed of, and I didn't gain any weight. Success!!!

In those three weeks we didn't have wifi more often than not. The phone signal was even worse. Non-existent, or face pressed up against an upstairs window angling the phone just so, and then saying a prayer to the phone gods. Life without technology? It was fine. I read a lot. I walked a lot. I relaxed a lot. Just what a holiday is supposed to be.

I will get a post written tomorrow. And I'm slightly excited about it - because I have a computer of my own again. Seriously, almost eight months without a computer to call my own has been kind of crap. But I won't focus on that, just on the fact that I don't have to post from the iPad any more. Happy, happy me.