Thursday, 31 March 2011

A lot of loose ends......

it's going to take ages to tie off and bury this lot!

In case you haven't guessed it's the lining side of the bag I'm busy with.  This is the front of the back.......

Just got to do some echo quilting around the branch and flowers then I'm ready to put the bag together.
I've already done the quilting on the front and front pocket.....

This is the stage of a project that always feels so near and yet so far to me.   I seem to stall when the end is in sight and the last bit of sewing is an uphill struggle.   Wonder why that is.   Separation anxiety because it's almost done?  

At least I have this to distract me.....

I love this magazine.   It's always full of real quilty eye candy and challenging projects I'd really love to make.  I can dream.... can't I!

As this post has a taupe feel I thought I'd pop in a shot of Chris's Disappearing Nine Patch.....

She spent the day here on Tuesday and finished up all her piecing.  Added the borders too.  She may have started on a slow burn but now she's really cooking!!    She started piecing her own Nanny Sharons Picnic Quilt while she was here too. 

That reminds me I plan to finish off my picnic quilt this coming weekend and get it ready for the frame.  I've not much to do on it.  See what I mean about stalling when the end is in sight!!  

Better go and get on then......

Till next time.....

Josie  X

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Bright Sun Shiney Day

A perfect day for a trip if ever there was one.
I wasn't too far from home yesterday morning when I spotted the swans on the Loch.......

I couldn't pass by without getting a photo of them.   Especially this gal.....

can you believe she was standing up in the water admiring her reflection!    I'm assuming it's a girl here because...a)  I haven't a clue how to tell the sexes apart and   b)  She has the whole 'mirror in the morning' thing going on!

The drive to Carlisle was lovely.  We made it to the station only just in time for me to bundle mum onto the train before it pulled out.   The rest of the day was mine...... all mine.

Naturally I headed straight for Orton Grange the home of Quilt Essentials.   If you're in the Carlisle area it's well worth a visit. 

I had a lovely time browsing the shelves.  There are more.......

I checked in the corners too.   Didn't want to miss a thing.

And the balcony.......

I chatted to Barbara (the owner) who very kindly gave me permission to take photographs in her store.

And of course I did indulge in a wee bit of stash enhancement too!

Bought yet more reds for the Dear Jane box and assorted other fabrics to mix and mingle.

All in all I had a lovely 'me' day and I enjoyed every minute of it. 

Till next time.......

Josie  X

Monday, 28 March 2011

Blogger...... we have a problem!

.Seriously...... there is some sort of problem with Blogger interaction with Internet Explorer at the moment which is stopping photographs from appearing directly on blog posts.

The photographs are there and all you have to do to see them is click on the box with a 'dot' in it and they'll appear.  You need to do this with each photo I'm afraid.

I've been holding back posting hoping that the problem gets fixed but no joy so far.    

Here's the post I wrote yesterday.   


How much fabric do you need.......

this much apparantly!

If you're thinking about starting Homespun's new "My Town"  BOM..... don't panic!!    You don't really need all this.  It's just the pattern says to use additional fabric scraps from your own stash.  Seems that once I start digging around for potentially useful fabrics this is how much gets pulled out!

Really..... am I going to need even a tenth of this!

Yesterday.... I decided to take a break from playing catch up with my Vignette stitching to play with fabric and Steam a Seam.  Started out well....

Spent a lot of time standing in front of this......

Too much time.  My back is killing me. Funny how you don't notice achy bones when you're having fun.  It's only when you stop you discover the bits that hurt.

Things got a bit messy......

 But I carried on regardless till finally......

I can assure you the gal on the right does have a head!!  Is it just me or does it really take hours to choose select fabric... trace.. cut... fuse etc   Now there's an awful lot of blanket stitching to do.  I'm going to have to really speed up the stitching now.

You can hardly see it but I have put one sewing machine in the store window.  It's not very noticeable right now because it's white.   I just don't like the old fashioned black machines in the pattern.  I'm not too sure if I'm going to have the 'girls' carrying their machines either.  I plan to stitch some details in red on the machine in the window.  Maybe it's a Bernina!


OK.... that's Sunday taken care of now for this morning.

Today I get to visit a quilt shop.   I'm taking my mum to the station in Carlisle and I couldn't possibly drive all that way (2 hours each way)  without popping in to the only quilt store for miles now could I.

It's called Quilt Essentials and it's inside a really nice converted barn.  There's a cafe  there too so I might just have to forget the diet and treat myself to a Latte.... oh joy!   They don't have a web site I can link with but if I ask nicely maybe they'll let me take a couple of photo's to show you.

I'd better get going then.

Sorry for the hassle with photo's
Till next time.....

Josie X

P.S......   The photo problem is solved!!    I just found a 'fix' on Blogger help forums.  Worked a treat.  Blogger say the problem has now been fixed at their end and won't happen again.... good news. 

Josie  X

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Did you spot the difference?

I didn't!   I got so carried away making my bag that I forgot to mention that I'd changed the fabric selection.

The accent colour is now blue rather than peachy pink.  No matter what colour it is I'm  really enjoying sewing this.....

It's coming along quite nicely.  The front and back are pieced and the applique has been Steam a Seamed onto the flap.  Just got to do some blanket stitch or zigzag the edges then I can start constructing the bag.  The blue fabric is going to be a thin piping along the top of the front pocket.

I haven't been neglecting my Vignette BOM either.   In fact it's been taking up a lot of my time given that I decided to start it again.... right from the beginning!    I love this project so much yet it's biting me on the bum at every opportunity.  I've come to the conclusion that I just love it too much.  I'm trying too hard to make it perfect and in the process I'm making nothing short of a mess of it!

Here's the second 'prototype' stitchery lurking behind my bag work....

No matter how hard I tried I just didn't seem to be able to get my stitches even on the linin fabric.  It was driving me nuts!    Last night I finally decided to throw in the towel and change background fabric. I've never worked with linen before and maybe that's why I was struggling.    Picked out a nice white with a teeny weeny dot... dry ironed on some Weaveline (my favourite) re traced the design and started stitching for the third time.   GREAT!!  It's working.  My stitches are back to normal.  Not perfect but they make me happy and that's good enough.

I'll show and tell on it soon.
I really wish I could sew faster.  At this rate I won't be able to pop my clogs until I'm at least 150 and that's assuming I don't start anything more.   Which is about as likely as a Squadron of Pigs doing a fly by.

While we're on the subject of new projects.....

My Homespun magazine arrived yesterday with yet another BOM inside.  I already have the fabric stashed ready.   Reckon a bad case of Start-i-tis is on the cards for me this weekend.

I'd love to be 'down under' at the weekend too.  For the Australian Grand Prix of course.  I'm a big F1 fan and a big fan of Mark Webber.   I'd love to be there but I'll have to settle for a lot of TV watching at strange times of the day/night.  Great opportunity to get some stitching done though.

Now.... I can't sign off without letting you see what my quilty pals have been up to.

First off..... Tilly who came to visit last week.

She did finish her sewing machine cover while she was here.  I think it's gorgeous.  She really is the most naturally neat sewer/quilter/stitcher you could ever want to pick the brains of!   And pick her brains I do at every possible opportunity.   So far she hasn't realised that any of them are missing... is that a bad sign?

Here's a closer look at her Stitchers Keeper too.....

Love it!!

Now it's time for Chris who came here yesterday with Sally.

Remember the Dissapearing Nine Patch she started piecing last week.  Well this is it as of yesterday.

It was worth pulling the still unfinished Picnic Quilt off the design wall to let Chris plan her layout.

This is the layout she settled on....

Someone once asked Chris what kind of quilts she made.  Before she could answer her husband chipped in
"Imaginary Ones"!!   Well there is nothing imaginary about this one.... Chris you're on a roll!

Can't show you any of Sallys work I'm afraid.  Her nickname around here is Sally Sleeps-a-Lot and that is exactly what she did.  She did wake up for coffee... lunch... cake  and the occasional chin wag but apart from that she was flat out on the recliner in the lounge.  She works too hard!

Heck.... you wouldn't think when I sat down here I hadn't a clue what to write.   I think there is a name for what I did just write..... verbal diarrhoea!!

Till next time......

Josie  X

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Friday Night Sew In!

Have to say Friday didn't go quite as I expected.

I'd imagined a lovely quiet day getting my project ready for the Sew In.  Well that day turned out to be a fantasy if ever there was one.  I won't bore you with all the details.  Lets just say yesterday was Frantic Friday for me.   I'm sure you've all had one of those days when everyone and their aunt wants a piece of you and they want it immediately.

I did manage to make it to the 'club' a little late but still standing.   Here's what I started.....

I saw this bag made up on display at the Birmingham International Quilt Festival last year.  Have to say that Monkey Buttons stand was always crowded.   It was really tough to choose which bag pattern to buy there were so many nice ones.  So... true to form.... I bought three!

Anyway..... this is how far I managed to get with it last night.....

I pieced all of the blocks for the back of the bag.  I still have to piece the three long rows together though.  I'm going to do that as soon as I stop talking to you.  I'm going to applique the stem and flowers onto the bag flap too..... if all stays calm here.

Tilly had been away for the day yesterday but she did get back here in time to join in.  She's stitching Leanne's  'Stitchers Keeper' and in totally Tilly fashion..... she's doing her own thing.  Take a look...

It's looking fab!!   I'm hoping she'll get the stitching finished before she leaves for home tomorrow so I can get a pic for you.

FNSI certainly cheered up an otherwise dour (miserable) Friday.  It really was lovely to imagine everyone in the group doing their own thing at the same time.... give or take a time zone or too! 

I'm already looking forward to the next one.   If you haven't already joined in... why don't you.  It really is fun.  The button is on the sidebar....just one click is all it takes.

OK... I'd better get going.   I'm wanted for something......

Licky Lou is giving me the evil eye and if this was video you'd be able to see Baggie tapping his paw!  Must be lunchtime!

Till next time....

Josie  X

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Will it all come out in the wash?

That's the thought that the awesome Janet of Quiltsalot planted in my tiny mind when she commented on my last post.  She was referring to Frixion pens.    

When I woke this morning there was only one thought on my mind.  I must conduct a scientific test.   If you can call this scientific that is......

Look.... you can see a bit of me in the steel bowl!   That's the closest I've come to having my photo taken in years.

Back to the test.   First off I did this.....

.... on a piece of white cotton I drew a squiggly line of each of the 7 colours of Frixion pens I had to hand.  Couldn't find the purple pen it's gone a.w.o.l in the mess in here. 


I ironed away half of each of the squiggles.   Thought this might test if ironing would somehow 'fix' the ink into the fabric.

Next... I hand washed the fabric in warm water using a mild liquid detergent for delicate fabrics.  All of the ink came easily out of the fabric with minimal washing.  So far so good.

I let the fabric dry naturally at room temperature.  No sign of the the squiggles at this point.  To be thorough I popped the fabric into the freezer to see if the colour would reappear in low temperatures.

This is the result.....

The only colour to reappear was Red.    The mark is very faint but it is there.   Maybe a bit of gentle rub-a-dubbing would do the trick if using this colour.

What do I think?   I think that doing a quick wash test on your chosen fabric before you use a Frixion pen on a project is probably a good idea.    Better to be safe than sorry.

Heck.... all this seriousness is giving me a headache.  It's just not natural. 

I'm off to put an ice pack on my bonce before I have a brain melt.

Till next time.....

Josie  X

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

I can't wait for Friday!

Not because it's the start of the weekend.   Not because there's something great on TV.  Not even because George Clooney is popping round for a cozy night dreams!

Why then is Friday so special.   It's because this Friday is going to be my very first Friday Night Sew In!

I'm getting really excited.... as in "how many sleeps" excited!    I've got my project all picked out and I'm bursting to show you what it is.    It's no good.  I can't hold it in any longer.  Here's a little peek of the fabric I'll be using.

Now...... if you want to know what I'm going to make with it you'll need to pop back on Saturday to find out!    

In fact...... why don't you join in too.   Just hit the link button on the sidebar and sign up.    What could be nicer that an evening sewing in your Jimmy Jams.    Except maybe George Clooney...... do you think he might be prepared to help unpick my braids?    No?    He's no good to me then... I'll call and cancel!!

Till next time.....

Josie  X

Monday, 14 March 2011

Scissor Happy Sunday!

There is no point in trying to hide what I've been up to so hold on to your hats.....

Yes..... I really have cut away the borders of my first Vignette block and I was in sound mind when I did it. 

What past photo's of my block didn't show was that the Weaveline I ironed over the back of the Churn Dash blocks crinkled.... badly!    As if that wasn't enough it made all the pressed over seams show through on the front.  

I'd been kidding myself that if I ignored all the lumps and bumps they would miraculously disappear when I finished the stitchery. seems there is a limit to even my ability to pull the wool over my own eyes and eventually I reached the conclusion..... it had to go!!   So I grabbed my scissors and before I had time to change my mind.... go it went.

This is how it looks now..... notice I've done more stitching.

I'm not worried... honest.  I have a cunning plan!  I am going to unpick the red spot fabric from the stitcheries once I'm finished stitching then rebuild the block.   It's do-able.... I think!   Please don't tell me if you think it's not... it's really not nice to make a grown woman cry!

The weekend wasn't a total disaster because work on this went quite well.....

The last 4 downward sashes are not sewn in place yet.  Makes it look a bit wonky.  That's a job for tomorrow.  Mad Mac likes this as a piece of art.  He might have a point.  It certainly brightens up that end  of the room.

The borders are cut and ready to sew too.....

Did you happen to notice the sunlight pouring in my window this morning.  Licky Lou did.....

It's such a rare occurance lately how could she not grab the opportunity to sunbathe!    Strange that black cats are not actually black when the sun shines on them.  

Hey.....if you want to see something really bright...cheerful and lovely today.... pop over to Q's blog and check out the gorgeous pouch she made.  Bet it makes you want one!

Just had a phone call from Tilly to let me know she's about to jump into her car and head down here for a few days sewing.  I might actually get a photo of her sewing machine cover  to show you this time!  Maybe I'll let her loose on my blog and she can tell you all about it herself.

Do I trust her not to dish the dirt on me....... hummmmmmm!

Till next time....

Josie  X

Friday, 11 March 2011

I made a decision.....

and I did it in two days!   That qualifies as a 'snap' decision for me.    You can guess what I was like in a sweet shop when I was a kid.  

I decided on Irish Chain and I'm making it a double!  That's a double chain not a double quilt.   Here's how it's going so far....

I know it's only 3 blocks... but it's a start and I love them.   I'm using the re-claimed Patisserie with some blue's from the Breakfast at Tiffany's range which I was lucky to get in a Moda Scrap Bag.

Heck... I just worked out that I have to piece 1200+  2" squares..... this could take a while!

My quilty pal Chris came over yesterday.  Had a really lovely day sewing and chewing the fat.... as usual.    I messed about with my squares while she made a start on a Disappearing Nine Patch....

Gorgeous fabric!   It's Evening Mist from Moda.   I'm thinking bags.... Japanese style bags.  Wonder if I can persuade Chris to part with some of it.....she has mountains of it..... wonder if she's fond of her toe nails!

That was yesterday.   This is how my table looks today.....

The work in progress is Nanny Sharon's Picnic Quilt  from Threadbare Creations.  I fell in love with it and just had to make it 'exactly' like hers.   The fabric... Moda Cotton Blossoms took some tracking down as it's been around a while. 

The plan is to finish piecing this over the weekend.  Shouldn't take me too long.  Then it can be the first quilt to go on the frame for quilting.    

Some more stitching on this is on the cards for the weekend too.....

I must be stitching in slow motion it's taking me so long to do this.    I have a need for speed as these arrived yesterday too.... thanks Sandy

How am I going fit in making hexagon's?    I've had to put the magazine down for now because  Mad Mac was getting worried about me licking the photograph of Raspberry Crumble!!    Think this diet is getting to me....... better go and find food before I actually eat the mag!! 

Till next time....

Josie X

Monday, 7 March 2011

A sandwich short of a picnic...

that about sums me up today.  

I woke feeling incredibly bright and bouncy this morning.   What do you do when you feel so good.   Take a load of rubbish to the local dump.... that's what.   There is nothing like a good clean out in the morning to get a girl firing on all cylinders!  

Still full of beans when I got back I decided to salvage 2 1/2" squares from the abandoned Friendship Braid.   I had a brilliant idea.   I'd cut the pieced braid apart.  Great!  A quick way to get the job done.  Clever me.   Except.....  I used a jelly roll for goodness sake.  If I cut them they won't be 2 1/2" any more.    Fortunately I figured that out before I got all scissor happy.     

So.... guess who's unpicking all the braids stitched so far... 6 of them!  It's slow going.....

I am gathering quite a heap of scraps that I can get a nice 2 3/8" triangle from.   Did I tell you I'm really mean with fabric.... won't waste a  millimetre of any of it.

There could be a flock of geese arriving soon. 

I'm 'swithering' because I can't decide wether to make an Irish Chain Quilt with all the squares or apply the K.I.S.S. principal and stick to a nine patch.   At least I've narrowed the choices down to two... that's got to be good.

I think my cylinders might be over firing.    I've got way too many projects spinnning around in my head right now.  Don't seem to be able to find the remote for my brain so's I can switch it off!    Think I'll have a headache by bedtime.....

Till next time....

Josie  X

Sunday, 6 March 2011

I need a wig....

coz I have precious little hair left after doing battle with this......

Even I had no idea just how confused I could get trying to get all those darned angles going in the right direction!

This block did teach me a lot though.  Like.... make sure your ears are correctly aligned before sewing triangles!  Ears as in the tips of the triangles that shoot out over the fabric you are attaching them to... not your ears.   Just as a point of interest my 'real' ears are not in correct alignment.  Causes no end of problems when I put my glasses on.  The jaunty angle they sit at makes me look permanently drunk.  For the record... I am not!

Now I have another dilemma.   What to do with this little lot.....

There is a whole heap of Moda Patisserie here.  Two jelly rolls worth plus border fabric. 

It was to have been a quilt for my mother.    She chose the Friendship Braid pattern on the front cover of this book..... it required one Jelly Roll.

Now... you don't know my mother like I do.   She changes her mind like she changes her socks.... daily! 

What started out as a cover for a single bed rapidly expanded to the point where I was certain she wanted a  family sized Yurt instead.    A second Jelly Roll was purchased plus extra border fabric.   Bet you can guess what's coming next...... she changed her mind!!  Changed her colour scheme to blue and decided the quilt/yurt didn't match any more!!! 

If I even hint that I'm going to make her a blue quilt...... shoot me!!

Back to my dilemma..... I don't like friendship braid!   So I need to get my thinking cap on and figure out what to do with all the braid bits that are already cut and those that are already sewn.   Something with a whole lot of 2 1/2" squares I think. 

I love this pattern......

 Fresh Vintage Issue 13 from Fig Tree Quilts

I'm wondering how it might look if I made nine patch blocks instead of the plain ones.  Hummmmm......
decisions... decisions.   A bit messy?  O.T.T?  Dresden's and nine patch?

If you have read this far and have an opinion one way or the other please help me out.  I could grow whiskers in the time it takes me make the decision.   Oh.... I already have whiskers.... a beard then!!

I leave you with this......

I'm still working on it.... slowly

Till next time...

Josie X