Thursday 26 November 2015

One Thing Leads To Another

I talked about cutting triangles from the leftover fabric from the quilt I just made. And cut I did, in fits and starts. They were just little equilateral triangles, finishing at 2" per side.

And I played with the layout. I know I like colour. No secret there, but I am a stranger to unadulterated pattern all together. The solids I used came with the fabric line and they really work for me, giving somewhere for the eye to focus. Plus their bright berry colours really lift this for me.

So I sewed them together, and quilted them with a dark maroon thread. I must confess, I'm not very good at straight line quilting and using a thread that stands out is a bit of nightmare for me. Please don't look closely. Then again I didn't use a pin in making this so while some of the points worked rather well, others were not so fortunate. I was in a happy to be imperfect mood making this.

Today I turned it into a cushion. This whole project is not in my comfort zone at all. It's so busy. But I love it! Go figure. Now I have to decide who to give it to for Christmas. I've got enough cushions myself. For now. And I don't have enough Christmas presents sorted yet so it's a no brainer to use it.


Tuesday 17 November 2015

The Waiting Game

The courier company had a five hour window to pick up the quilt today. Five hours! Though they were supposed to aim for 10am. Fat chance. Obviously they failed totally and arrived ten minutes after I had left the house. Which would be why they had been explicitly instructed by the magazine to arrive before 2pm.

So I was stuck in the house all day. You might think I would finally get some sewing done, of the Christmas present type making. Well, I was working on the right holiday but in the food medium instead.

I got the Christmas cake made, finally. Every year I think I will get it done in half term. Every year I fail. Next year maybe I will aim for before half term and see what happens. I also got the mincemeat made. And then chilli for dinner. And got a chocolate cake all measured out and ready to mix as soon as the oven was available again. It's himself's birthday tomorrow. Cake is required.

I tidied. Minimally. I folded and put away laundry. I was truly having a productive day. More than I can say for the courier company.

Whilst tidying I went to put away the fabric leftover from the quilt I just made. All the pieces were odd shapes and sizes, and there were a lot of little bits that begged to be cut up into something useful rather than me trying to sort them into tidy piles. So I started cutting.

Look at the state of my Go! Baby cutting mat. I ordered a new one a week ago. They shipped it today. Out of curiosity, why does it take a company a week to put an item into an envelope? Hope it gets here tomorrow so I can cut more efficiently. Lots of these odd shaped pieces of fabric to go. The aim is to have enough triangles to make a cushion cover.

Maybe it could become a Christmas gift for someone. Then I could start ticking off those boxes. Do you plan to make gifts every year and every year think you have lots of time to get it done, and then suddenly it is the middle of November and you are left wondering how on earth that happened? Every damn year I do this to myself. Don't even ask when I always think I will have Christmas cards written by!

Well, if nothing else at least I'm consistent. One day I might be organised but don't count on it any time soon.


Monday 16 November 2015

Under Pressure?

Wednesday afternoon I got contacted by the lovely Jenny of Love Patchwork & Quilting, and now Today's Quilter too. They had a bit of an emergency. Could I make a quilt please? To be shipped off in less than a week. To someone else's pattern.

They would provide the fabric. It would arrive Thursday. I was out all day Thursday and thank goodness for neighbours who can sign for packages.

Friday morning looked like this after the school run.

26 yards of fabric and a sugar hit. I finished the quilt at lunchtime today - 74" square. It will be picked up by courier tomorrow. And that is probably the fastest I have ever made a quilt. Plus I think I will be able to reveal it in a few short weeks. Yay! No big long wait.

In other news, I can reveal who I made my Schnitzel & Boo Mini Swap mini for.

Yes, seriously! Over 1,000 people in the swap and I get a quilting friend I have known for over four years and have been in bees with for most of that time. You might think this makes it easier but it doesn't. I felt the pressure so much more. Katy says she likes it and I can only presume she is telling the truth. No sign of my mini from whoever made for me yet though.

I sit and wait. And watch others receive their's. And mutter to myself 'Well, I'm not getting that one then, am I?!' over and over again.


Wednesday 11 November 2015

My Favourite Make Of 2015

We all have quilts that we fall in love with a bit more than others. And this here is most favourite that I have made this year. It just is.

It's in the latest issue of Love Patchwork & Quilting, and I have been aching to show you this one for what seems just about forever. It is made entirely with Robert Kauffman Essex Linens and is so tactile. I fell in love with linens just that bit more when I made this, and sort of want to make more quilts with them. Lots more.

I also am happy with my design because it sort of (maybe) looks like paper piecing but isn't. Obviously. Because we all know me and paper piecing are not best friends, or on a speaking basis half the time. This is made with HSTs and HRTs and is easy peasy to make. My kind of quilt!

I also used just about every shade of Aurifil I have in my stash for the quilting, trying to match the colours to each and every linen used in the stars. I matchstick quilted the stars and then stippled the background.

I love how LOQ photographed the mini with its white background and binding on the white wall. Makes it look cooler than anything I ever did to it. I kind of need a photographer on hand at home to make all my blog photos look like this.

I have to say that two years into receiving commissions from LPQ I am really enjoying the adventure. Until the day I got the first email from them it never occurred to me to try and get anything I designed into a quilting magazine. Now it seems to have opened up more avenues of creativity for me, and pushed me that little bit further in what I make and do. Just for that I thank them profusely.

If you live in the UK and are tempted to subscribe to the magazine they currently have a great offer on to try three issues for £3. If you follow this link you can find out more - special subscription offer.
The offer is good until December 8th.

And I'll have quilts in five of the issues next year. Just saying. (Okay, every issue is full of fantastic designs by truly inspirational quilters. I'm just happy to figuratively hang out with them on occasion.)


Tuesday 10 November 2015

Winter Photos

With the weather being crap (as nice as I can word it) and daylight  hours being limited, my photographs are taking a decided turn for the worse. Sorry, but things will improve - about April.

Meanwhile, I have been reminding myself that I know how to sew. I seem to have had a break from the machine. It wasn't intended but sometimes these things happen because, quite frankly, you needed it without realising it much.

I have sent off my Schnitzel & Boo Mini Quilt Swap parcel to my secret partner. As there are about 1,000 people in this swap and we were told our partner could be from anywhere within the group rather than one sub group it has been a little more difficult to keep track of the minis that I loved and hope maybe might be mine. In fact I kind of lost track of the fact that I would be getting one.

So, I sit and wait for the postie to deliver. And hope that my partner likes what she receives. I made a little extra for her. A wee pin cushion.

It would probably look better in natural light. In April then.


Friday 6 November 2015

Schnitzel & Boo

I finished my mini for the Schnitzel & Boo Mini Swap. I actually finished it before half term but we have already established that I disappeared for a while there.

So here it is, machine quilted with some hand stitching details.

Here's hoping my secret partner likes it. Now just to finish some little extras and I am ready to post.


Thursday 5 November 2015

A New Addiction

Social media is great. Follow lots of people and you are bound to get new ideas. This newest one cme from Jennifer at Ellison Lane. She was showing covered buttons turned into magnets on IG.

Yah, you know it. I was straight online ordering supplies. The next thing I knew it I was cutting fabric and making these.

Holy hell, these are fun to make. And totally addictive. I went diving into my fabric, fussy cutting.

The larger size I made are about 3/4 inch and the small ones 1/2 inch. I've ordered magnets to glue into the back. Needle minders and fridge magnets galore. Little extras for Christmas presents, or for swaps.

Next up was choosing all the HR fabrics that had fussy cuts of the right size.

I'm not the only one hooked either. Emily made a rainbow. (I think she would make more than that if I would give her free rein to do as she likes with these supplies.)

I ordered fifty of each size. I have now had to order more of the 3/4 inch ones (yes, I've made fifty already). And might just have added fifty 7/8 inch ones to the basket too. Forgot to order more magnets though. Excuse me, I have some more shopping to do.


Wednesday 4 November 2015

I'm Back

Apologies, half term happened. Family took over as it is known to do. We had a great time. My mum came down and we took the girls to London for a few days. The highlight of which would be going to see Miss Saigon. I had seen it years ago but the girls wanted to see it and I had no arguments. We ate, a lot, as we do. Chinatown was on the list of places to go as per normal.

Then we came home and the next morning we were off to Southampton to import their best friend from the Isle of Wight. This visit covered Halloween. The girls are on the cusp of growing out of trick or treating. I will miss it.

Helen and Chloe went as twins, and chose not to actually trick or treat, just to come out for the fun of it with the friends that we joined for the evening. Helen got to practice her make up skills.

Emily was still good with the whole thing. Yay!

And suddenly a week had passed. The girls were back in school yesterday. I'm back to routine today. Hopefully sewing will commence tomorrow.