Monday, 28 February 2011

I made a plan.....

and I managed to stick to it!     I'm still patting myself on the back for that one.

I decided to get a grip.... and get a grip on this BOM that I'm lagging way behind on.  It's 'Twisted Tradition' by Sue Ross which I signed up for last year with Material Obsession in Australia.

  It has to be said that the fabric combinations for this quilt are way out of my comfort zone.   That was the main reason I signed up for it.   That and the fact that is has some of the most dastardly piecing known to Quilters and I am fearless foolhardy.

Did the fussy cutting first with the aid of a cup of strong tea and a tranquilizer.

I made that card template too.  Alright the instructions were in the pattern but I still think it's pretty amazing.  I'd never cut a 'fussy' template before but I could be forming an addiction.

The rest of the cutting was straightforward...

Sounds too good to be true doesn't it.....right!

I did make a stupid mistake when I cut the large yellow squares and the purple print squares.  I cut 4 of the 10 squares of each fabric 1/8" out.   I cut the two fabrics separately so it must be a talent I have!

Apart from that little hic I had a lovely relaxing time making up the block.   Here's how it looks..

Here it is again with the other two blocks I've got done.

You know something......I don't care any more that this quilt was out of my old comfort zone..... I'm developing a new one and I'm loving it.

Tomorrow I'll start on the next block but  right now I'm off  for a spell of lovely peaceful stitching on my Vignette BOM. 

Till next time......

Saturday, 26 February 2011

There's no business like show business......

... and there is nothing like a visit to a quilt show to make a gal want to rush home to grab her equipment (the sewing sort) and get started.   

Let's face it..... I need to start a new project like I need a wart on my nose but I'm feeling very twitchy today.  This is why.....

not one but two gorgeous Layer Cakes from Moda... Sunkissed and Bliss.   Then there is this.....

...this book has been on my wish list for ages and you know what they say about a bird in the hand.  It's by  Susan Briscoe and it's packed full of the most gorgeous blocks you could imagine.  I've just had another peek inside and ... I kid you not..... I'm drooling!  

Stitch & Maisie are keen to get started with this little lot too.....

A few luscious reds for the Dear Jane box.  Three scrumptious pastels destined for stash.  Five really yummy perle cottons just coz I couldn't resist them and they were on special offer.   And the deal of my day.... a Dresden ruler for just £2.99!!

I didn't buy any of the above because I wanted to you understand.   I spent only to help the quilting economy in the UK.  I did my civic duty..... and the band played believe it if you like.... boom...boom!!

Sadly my spending is going to be severely curtailed for a while.  Maisie tells me there is no money left in the Kitty!

Of course there is more to the show than retail therapy there are lots of lovely quilts on display too.   Here are a few that really caught my eye.....

This one is gobsmackingly gorgeous.  It was made by Patricia McLaughlin.    Her applique is to die for.
Click on the photo a couple of times to enlarge and you'll see what I mean.   Fabulous!!  

Another one by Patricia McLaughlin with more fab applique.  Can you tell yet that I was smitten by her work.   The border is packed with birds and little animals.

She has pattern source books for sale on her web site too.    There must be some way I can make extra cash.....   suggestions on a postcard please.

This one's by Ineke Berlyn.    I'd love to do a class with her one day.

I did take more photo's but to be honest they didn't come out at all well.   I'm a terrible photographer at the best of times.  You could give a monkey a camera and it'd get better shots than me!  

Heavens... I've rambled on way too long.  My dad always said I was vaccinated with a gramophone needle!

I'll leave you in peace to ponder then....

Till next time

Thursday, 24 February 2011

So near and yet so far.....

Had a bit of a disappointment this morning.  I thought I was working on the final block (9) of this quilt....

but it seems that I can't count!   There are six blocks up on the wall.   This one almost finished....

that makes seven.   Then there's this one in progress.....

that's eight!   I'm one short...... rats!!    You'll notice I've called in the hired help... bet you didn't know bears could sew.  'Stitch'  is his name and sewing is his game........ and yes I have completely lost the plot today.

I love this quilt.   I've loved every moment I've stitched on it.    Leanne's patterns are totally irresistible.  No prizes for guessing that this is her Butterfly Garden BOM. 

Does anyone actually manage to keep on target with their BOM's?   If so.... what are they on?  I've tried Yeast Vite and Sanatogen Tonic Wine fortifies the over 40's but aparently it does nothing for the over 50's.  I'm still too slow to catch cold.

I'm hoping this is going to help me speed up.....

....  meet Gertie the Grand Quilter!     She arrived yesterday so we're just getting to know each other but I'm hoping  this is going to be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.   She's headed upstairs into the spare bedroom and onto the quilt frame I bought at the Quilt Festival in Birmingham last year. 

Have to say..... a second sewing machine was The Prophet of Doom's idea and who am I to argue with the man I married!   After all.... the world is going to end in 2012... he's watched the movie!!   Better get sewing fast then.....

I'm off on a day trip to the Spring Quilt Show in Edinburgh tomorrow.  It's not a big show but there are quilts to see... fabrics to stroke... books to drool over...  and tons of laughs to be had with my quilting buddies.

I'll tell you about it when I get home.

Till next time....

Monday, 21 February 2011

Do as I say......

and definately not as I do!!

This is what happens when you press your border fabric having forgotton you traced your stitchery using a Frixion pen!

I'd like to say I did this deliberately to show you how good these pens are at dissapearing  but I suspect that after the Mug Rug saga.... you wouldn't believe me.  And you are so right!    Honestly.... if brains were dynamite I haven't enough to blow my hat off!! 

Plus!  I need a slap....a good hard slap at that!    Why..... because Tilly came to stay and sew for the weekend and I forgot to take photos!!

She was busy making the gorgeous 'Beyond Measure' sewing machine cover designed by  Roslyn Mirrington of Bloom.     Belive me if I could've sneaked it out of her suitcase when she left... I would've.   Sadly... Tilly is much too savvy to let me anywhere near her case so it looks like I'm going to have to make my own.   Now... where did I put my projects 'to do' list.

On the subject of projects to do.  This arrived on Saturday....

... and now I have a desperate need to start work on the lovely framed stitchery by Leanne Knell of Petals & Patches  featured on the front cover (I've already ordered a Verna charm pack).  I know I'm going to be sorely tempted by the new BOM about to launch too.  This magazine should come with a Public Wealth Warning.   It's leading me down the rocky road to ruin and I know I won't be travelling alone!

And how about this for bringing a ray of sunshine into an otherwise wet Monday morning...

I've loved this fabric from the moment I clapped eyes on it and now I have some.   Looks like my wee pin pals love it too.  Honestly... could you stick pins in those little creatures.  It's cruelty.

Now I'm on the lookout for the 'perfect' quilt pattern for this fabric.   Anyone got any ideas?

Before I go I thought I'd share a photo with all the Farm Girls out there in Quiltland...... a field in Scotland!
The field in front of my house......

Normally it's full of sheep but today..... it's just two heaps of dung!!  Another damp...aromatic day in the country for me then....

Take care....
till next time...

Thursday, 17 February 2011

A Mug Rug drove me to madness!

Whose bright idea was it to make a mug rug!

OK... I admit... it was mine and with hindsight I should have kept it to myself.    Sunday was Make-a-Mug Rug day here.  A lovely quiet day for some fun and easy sewing.  The word to watch here is EASY!!

I started off well.   Decided to use these scraps of fabric.....  Moda Celebrate Spring

left over from a charm pack when I made this.... it's Bunny Hill Designs - Darned Cute Bag pattern.

So far so good.  Kitty and I both thought including a stitchery would be nice so I started on this one.

The pens in the picture are FAB-U-LOUS by the way.  They are Frixion erasable gel pens.  So clever... they disappear when you pass a hot iron over them!   Just watch out though.... you need to iron on your weaveline/stabiliser before you transfer your stitchery.   Don't ask how I know this!! 

Anyhow.... back to the Mug Rug.    It didn't take me long to decide that the thread colours I picked were not going to look good with the fabric.  By this time Kitty was way ahead of me in the stitching stakes and I was beginning to feel a tiny tingle of unease at being left behind.... again!   I'm Tail End Charlie at the best of times.

No fear..... I had a cunning plan to overtake Speedy Gonzales.   I'd applique a lovely little robin to my rug and I had just the pattern to take my pick from.   In a flash I picked a robin... traced it onto Steam-a-Seam.... grabbed the nearest fabric and promptly ironed it onto the right side!!  That's the wrong side if you get my gist.  What an idiot.

Oh well.... I had no choice but to suck it up and start again.  I learned my lesson and the second try turned out OK.  Apart from the fact that Kitty pointed out that I'd made the body red and robins are actually brown!  Duh..... who needs friends anyway!  I reminded her that she was stitching with my thread and I might just be asking for it back (all of it) if she didn't button her lip.

Next... to attach applique to pieced rug.  No problem right?  Wrong!!  Just where I wanted to place the robin half a printed fabric flower was peeping out from a seam.   It turned the pretty little robin I set out to make into a cockerel that looks like it's been hit on the head by a brick!   

Once I'd stopped breathing into a brown paper bag I decided to carry on regardless.  That's when I discovered I'd traced the tail feathers in reverse.   I have to say that was a happy accident.  Had I got it right they would have been wrong for a chicken.  Hope you are still with me here.....

In for a penny... in for a pound.   I decided to try free motion applique!  Reckon I have a masochistic streak a mile wide.    It did go better than expected.  Which is just as well because by this time I was close to sticking my head in the oven..... and it's electric!

It didn't get much better when I messed up the join in the binding and had to stretch one side so much the rug resembled a banana!   Then it took all the strongarm needlecraft tactics I could summon to wrestle the way too narrow and totally naff binding to the back for stitching. 

This is the point where I would have taken to strong drink but I couldn't coz I'm dieting!

I'm calm now.   I've unpicked the cruddy binding and made some fresh.  Too wide this time but quite frankly I don't give a ........

So... without further it is....... My Mug Rug!

Oh well..... done is better than perfect!

Now I can show you Kitty's

Isn't it lovely.   I'm so pleased I let her keep the thread.

Anyone else care to fess up their faux pas?

See you soon.....

p.s.  I love comments so if you can be fussed.... please leave one.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Two's company

This is what my little craft room looks like when a pal comes to visit......

very industrious or maybe just messy!!

Kitty arrived on Wednesday evening and since then we've been holed up in here sewing up a storm.    Actually she's the one making all the progress as I've spent the whole day today trying to locate my brains.  Nothing new there!

She's busy right now stitching the binding on this....

I'm in love with it and have to say it looks even better in 'real' life.  I'm going to have to get a close up of it when she's finished.

Me..... I managed to do a bit of quilting on this.....

Just a bit of quilt in the ditch and some straight lines.  I'm working up to the scary bit... free motion!  I really have got to practise more.

I've also been absorbed in this

I finally started piecing the fist block of the mystery block of the month included in Vignette. 

I love Leanne Beasley's patterns.  So much so that I've also joined Vignette In Stitches a lovely group of stitchers making the mystery quilt from her gorgeous new magazine.

This is the first time I've sewn in public.... hope I'm up to the challenge.
Must go..... I can smell food!!

Till next time

Monday, 7 February 2011

Who invented chores!

Obviously someone without a hobby!

By Saturday night I resorted to staying up late to catch up with some applique.   Bagpuss had a hard time staying awake to keep me company.  Actually he thinks I'm making a new cover for the Pussy Pillow he's laying on.  He wants first dibs on it before his sister stakes her claim.

Moonlight stitching paid dividends.   I finished the applique on the Dresden plate.

Now for the hard part...... deciding how to quilt it!     Maybe a grid in the centre.... with some beads... how about echo quilting... free motion!    Whoever invented the phrase "Quilt as Desired" is a sadist in my book!

I needed some light relief to clear my mind.  So.....

I enjoyed a little thereputic piecing.

How about my new design wall.    It's the invention of my other half  who finally got fed up of seeing my quilt in progress clinging haphazardly to a piece of wadding draped down the front of my bookcase.  I must say it has solved a critical problem.

I own a Hoover that blows as hard as it sucks and believe me it can suck the carpet off the floor.   It's like Hoovering in a hurricane!   One minute I was running it along the front of the bookcase the next I was frozen with terror as the infernal machine blew all my quilt blocks into the air and went after them like a ravenous beast.

It totally gobbled up one block and had it's eye on another when I finally snapped out of my stupor and unplugged it.   I had to unplug it because terror had robbed me of the ability to remember where the off switch is.    Only one block chewed beyond repair.... guess I was lucky.

Now my bookcase is exactly that.......

.... a place for keeping books!

Till next time.....


Thursday, 3 February 2011

Lets just suck it and see......

....seems like a plan.   It's the only one I've got so here goes.

First off... I'm not exactly renowned for making snap decisions.  So imagine my surprise last weekend when inspiration struck me like a bolt from the blue.  I was here when I had my Eureka moment. 

Mesmerised by dozens of gorgeous photo's of pillows.  I got the urge!   Not being one to ingore my urges I grabbed a part used charm pack from my stash and set too.   Before long and to my utter amazement it became this.....

What's so amazing about that?   Well... it's my first ever dresden plate that's what and I'm chuffed to bits with it!

Soon after...this

 Became this

Half of the back pieced.   I'm on a roll.   Now to applique the plate to the background and figure out what to do with the centre.   There is no stopping me now.

Kudos to flossyblossy for providing the inspiration and to Philippa Naylor for a fantastic 'Precision Piecing' workshop.

Ok.... it may be only a pillow to you but to me..... it's a miracle!!

Must dash.  I have an urge to applique.

Till next time....