Tuesday, 31 December 2013

New Year's Eve

No sewing to show you this week but I was given a lovely book for Christmas.
It's called Quilt me! by Jane Brocket.

 Jane has used inspirational fabrics to create over 20 beautiful quilts. In some cases the fabrics were old embroidered tablecloths which she showcased in her quilt.  I read the book from cover to cover and know I will dip into it for inspiration when I want to use a special piece of fabric.

This is the second book by this author that has been given to me. 
The other book was called  The Gentle Art of Quiltmaking in which Jane again showed how to use lovely fabrics to their advantage.

Two different friends chose two books by the same author.

As it is New Year's Eve I have been looking back over what I have sewn this year.
Interestingly I have made exactly the same number of quilts in 2013 as I did in 2012.

16 quilts:  4 were Preemie quilts and 4 are UFOs which I am so happy to have completed.
Then there were smaller projects, gifts for friends and family:
2 needlebooks, 2 Patchwork Totes and a Patchwork drawstring bag, my first zippered pouch and a quilt top made completely from donated scraps and bits from my stash for Project Linus.

In addition I was successful with my Quilting New Year's Resolution: to continue to use scraps of fabric and batting from my stash and to make quilts entirely from stash wherever possible. 
My bits of batting are certainly reduced, as are my scraps and container of 2.5" squares.
I used loads of those squares to make the 3 bags:


Some firsts for me too this year:

I made my first Zippered pouch which I gave to my friend for Christmas ( inside were lots of lovely beads for her jewellery making hobby). She was so thrilled with the gift, especially as she knew this was my first attempt at a zippered pouch.

I also made my first Drawstring bag - see photo above.

And I put a zip in a cushion - another first!  No photo to show yet as this is a surprise gift for a friend's special birthday coming up in a few weeks' time.

So, a good year on the Sewing Front.

My aim is to continue next year with the same resolution. 
As I use tiny bits of fabric to make Crumb blocks as a leaders/enders project I already have a tin full of completed 4" Crumb blocks ready to use in 2014. 
I made several quilts with these blocks this year and I am pleased with them all.

 and these little Preemie quilts:

I just checked my tin and there are almost 80 Crumb blocks waiting in there!  I pin them together in 10's so it's easy to keep a tally - an idea I picked up from one of Bonnie Hunter's Quiltcams.
So, a Happy New year to everyone and Happy Sewing in 2014!


Monday, 23 December 2013

Last 2 quilt finishes for 2013

I am a fan of Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville blog.  I love scrappy quilts and think Bonnie's ideas for using up small scraps accords with my approach to quilt-making.  Hence my Crumb blocks and the quilts that I create from them.

Another of Bonnie's ideas is her "Leaders and Enders" projects.  Instead of using scrap bits of fabric as Thread-catchers she adds to blocks for her next project.  In this way she sews a whole pile of blocks as a sideline to the quilt she is focussing on.

This is how I make my Crumb blocks and how I have made these two little Premature Baby Quilts:

I had been given a huge pile of scrap triangles, trimmings from blocks a prolific quilting friend had collected together.  She knows I enjoy using the tiniest of scraps, so as a series of "Leaders and Enders" projects I first created the small HST squares and then put them together in fours to make the kite-style blocks.
I had some of the Rabbit fabric left over from a child's quilt I had made for Ava so cut strips of this to intersperse with the kite-block strips.  Then more scrap string for the borders and I had made two Premature baby sized quilts.
I had a quick sort through more small left over pieces of fabric for the backing  and another look through my bag of leftover bindings and I was able to complete the little quilts.  One has pink binding scraps joined together and the other a mixture of blue scraps.

So, my final two Quilt finishes of 2013.
After these were finished I sorted out my sewing room.  Put all the scraps away neatly in drawers and sorted out my Crumb blocks-in -the-making tin so I could leave it with the lid shut!
Then a big dusting and Hoovering session and the room is packed away until 2014.
Only one more thing to do now - embroider a label for this quilt:

Baby Charlie was born on 11th December so this is a gift to welcome him to the world.  I will post it after Christmas to, hopefully! , avoid it getting lost in the Christmas Post Rush.
Strangely I have just realised that the Rabbit fabric leftover strips were from Charlie's big sister Ava's quilt!

Happy Christmas!


Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Another finish in time for Christmas

I managed to finish a Tote Bag for my little granddaughter as an extra present for Christmas.

I picked up some Beatrix Potter books and a set of the stories on CDs which I wanted to put into a hand made tote.  Nice and bright and jolly. Annalise already knows and loves Peter Rabbit and Mrs Tiggywinkle and now there are 7 more stories to add to her repertoire.

Here's the bag:


And the lining:

I have almost finished my sewing for this year.  One more Premature baby quilt I would like to bind and then I can tidy away my sewing room until next year.


Monday, 9 December 2013

My first Zippered Pouch

A week last Saturday I made my first Zippered Pouch, following a tutorial on Make it Perfect.

I followed the instructions to the letter, working with my iPad beside my sewing machine!

I have only ever put in a couple of dress zips, back when I was 21 - a very long time ago! - and had a try at dressmaking.  I hated sewing then, sewing machines were alien, and I had never dared try to put in another zip.

However, I love all the Zippered pouches that pop up on Flickr and discovered this excellent tutorial so decided to give it a whirl.  It is for my very best friend Barbara for Christmas.  She enjoys making jewellery and we have a great Bead Shop in town so I thought I would make the pouch and put some lovely beads inside.  In one afternoon I made this:

I have no idea why this photograph has turned itself sideways! It appears perfectly normally on my file and on my Flickr page!
I added a few little flower embellishments that I had in my stash and I am really pleased with it.  Tomorrow I am off to the Bead Shop to choose some pretty beads to put inside.  And then that can be another gift finished and mailed on its way.
I am joining in with Clare's Thursday Brit  Linky.  Very late this week as the day after I made the pouch I went down with a horrible bout of Norovirus and spent over two days in bed.  Then I was extremely tired so was working very slowly and trying to catch up on things I should have done whilst I was ill.
Gradually working my way through various lists.  My lovely husband offered to have some of the tasks delegated to him to I am pretty much back on track.
Hoping to make a patchwork tote bag for my little granddaughter as an added present for Christmas.  I bought some good-as-new Beatrix Potter books at the Church Christmas Fair which I will put inside the bag.  Not much time this week, working round too many social engagements.  However, I am determined to make a bag for her, so watch this space.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

A little gift for a friend

It's one of my Patchwork friend's birthday just before Christmas so on Saturday I made her a little patchwork needlebook to go with some other sewing goodies.

I have made a few of these needlebooks for other friends and my sister and all have been well received.  The pattern is from a tutorial I saw ages ago on nanacompany's blog.

I have a Needlebook "Project Pack" to hand with my sewing supplies which contains everything I need for these needlebooks: suitable scraps of fabric, narrow ribbon, 1.5" squares, red and green fabrics for the strawberry, matching embroidery floss, instructions, strawberry template, white felt for the 'Pages' etc.  Scraps of batting are also in a handy pile.

So when I want to make one as a little gift I can just grab the pack and get started.

I like to use Perle cotton for the hand stitching and I have a large sweet jar full of them.  A few years ago I passed a sweet shop which was giving away the empty sweet jars so I took one.  Ideal for my Perle cottons and as its made from clear plastic I can see inside to check if I have the colours I need.

So here's the one I made for my dear friend:

An appliqued strawberry on the front and the back is made from a patchwork of 1.5" squares.

Now a little visit to a re-opened sewing supplies shop in town so I can choose some useful goodies to go with it!


Tuesday, 26 November 2013


Just letting you know of a Giveaway now taking place on Lily's Quilts.
It's for 20FQs, a Giveaway offered by Polka Dot Tea.
Some lovely fabrics on this site.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

More Freckles stats

Adding to my previous post, a few more Freckles stats:

  • To date I have made 6 Freckles Quilts, based on the lovely design in Emily Cier's book Scrap Republic.
  • 5 of them are I Spy quilt
  • 1 (the first I made) is exactly how Emily describes in her book, which I called
Rainbow Freckles Quilt:

This one is in Mauritius.

  • My I Spy Blue Freckles Quilt is the 2nd I Spy Freckles Quilt I have made this year.
Thank you, Emily for a great quilt design.  I love all the handwork involved: blanket stitching around the Freckles and hand quilting around them.  Nice to do at Patchwork meetings and whilst watching television.

14th Quilt finished this year

I sewed the binding on to my I Spy Blue Freckles quilt yesterday which makes it the 14th Quilt I have completed so far this year. I am so pleased at this total, especially as 4 of them were UFOs.

Here's my finished quilt:

My New Year Resolution was to use up some of my stash and scraps and that really happened with this quilt.
  • All the 'Freckles" were cut from fabrics in my stash, some have been there for a long time, many of them used in other Freckles Quilts or other child/baby quilts.
  • The backing is from a piece I bought several years ago from Spotlight in New Zealand.  It was a bargain and I bought 3 yards to use as backing.  Up until this quilt I have always felt it wasn't quite the "right" fabric for the backing.  However, with this quilt I decided not to be so fussy:  it is a typical baby fabric and although it is a contrast to the front which has such bold colours I think it works.  Being paler shades it shows up the bright turquoise Perle cotton hand quilting very well.
  • Again, using my principle of using up I looked in my bag of spare bits of binding, all left overs from various quilts I have made over the years.

This is quite an old photo of my bag of scrap bindings and several of these have already been used.
However, I found two lengths of spotted bindings (I love spotty bindings), one was a pale blue with white spots, the other a turquoise with yellow spots). When I sewed them together they went all around the quilt with about 8" to spare! Perfect. ............... Guess where the spare 8" is?
  • The Perle Cotton was also from my stash, a bright turquoise variegated one.  Almost finished it on this quilt but a little left for a future small project.
  • The batting was a leftover piece which, when I sorted out my stash cupboard earlier this year, I had measured and pinned on a label with the dimensions.  Very useful when I looked through my batting pieces and found this piece which was exactly the right size!
  • Embroidery threads used for blanket stitching the Freckles were all from stash.

The only new fabric in this quilt is the blue background which I bought at the Festival of Quilts in August this year. About 6 GBP per metre.  Got a small bit left to use for framing Crumb blocks or using in a future Strip Quilt, perhaps.

So, a small baby quilt, it measures 30" square.  Ready for the next baby boy.  I know of three babies expected between December and mid April so perhaps this little Freckles quilt will find a home with one of them.

A Close up of some of the Freckles and stitching:

And, finally, the backing and hand quilting:

A few stats about my finished quilts so far this year:
  • 14 finished quilts, 4 of them UFOs
  • 8 of the 14 gifted so far: 4 are now in New Zealand, 1 in Germany and 3 here in the UK.
Isn't is lovely to have lots of scraps to use up, whether they are fabric, batting, embroidery threads, bindings or Perle Cotton!

Linking up with Clare's Maybush Studio Brit Linky Thursday blog.


Thursday, 7 November 2013

Rainbow Strippy finished

I have finished my Rainbow Strippy Quilt this week and I love it.

It is based on the Beeline Quilt from Emily Cier's book Scrap Republic.
However, I have increased the size as the one in the book only finishes at 30" square.  That's a nice size for a playmat or pushchair/Moses basket quilt but this will be useful for a cot too.
I made the centre panel around 30" and the borders 5" or so and the bound quilt measures 38" wide by 42" long.

Every single part of this quilt was made from stash:  scrap strips (many of them given to me or ones I received in Swaps), the various colours of Perle Cottons, the batting, binding and also the quilt backing.  I bought this piece of fabric about three years ago and had never found it quite right for any quilt I was making.  Until this one and I decided it went really well. It was obviously meant for this quilt as the size was perfect!  I have just been left with the trimmings which have been added to my strips stash.  Nothing gets thrown away here!

It looks pretty and shows up the variously coloured rows of Perle quilting very nicely.

I added photos of the quilt yesterday onto my Flickr Photostream and added it to the Scrap Republic Group's photos.  As I have made several quilts from the book I now appear as No 1 on the list of most photos in this group.

During the week I have also made another little Preemie quilt top, similar to the one I showed in last week's blog post.  They are both sandwiched ready for quilting and I have started to hand quilt one of them.

I have also sandwiched the Freckles Quilt top I made a couple of months ago and this morning I started to hand quilt this one at my patchwork group. Again this is based on a Scrap Replublic pattern.

Hope you have all had a successful sewing week too.

Linking up with Maybush Studio's Thursday Brit Sewing Linky.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

My scrap Pinwheels are now in a quilt

For the past few weeks I have been sewing triangle scrap pairs into small HST units and then turning those into pinwheel blocks.  Sometimes I have made these units in a leader/ender scenario and other times I have sat at the sewing machine churning out the HSTs and pinwheels.  As they piled up I thought of Gwen Marston and Freddie Moran with their "Parts Department".

But a few days ago I had enough "Parts" to start constructing a quilt. In true Gwen/Freddie style I have made a Medallion Quilt, using the pinwheels to make a centre panel and also borders.  The small HST units I also pieced into narrow borders.  As the colours were predominantly Autumn shades I just used two other fabrics for alternate borders:  an apple green with a yellow spot and a bright yellow with a deeper yellow spot. I hope these have helped to give this rather "busy" quilt a sense of calmness.

Again, like the dynamic duo, Gwen and Freddie, I let the "Parts" lead the design.  The black and cream and jazzy coloured pinwheels seemed to lend themselves to a dramatic centre panel and then I chose the borders as I got to them.  Good fun.

And here it is!

It measure 41" square.
I was given the scrap triangles by Wendy, a lady who makes (and gets others to make) hundreds of Project Linus Quilts.
On Monday I will see her at a Patchwork Group meeting and will hand over the finished quilt top so Wendy can back it and quilt it on her quilting machine.  I hope I see it before it is given away to the Linus organisation.
Lots of work in this one - I can't imagine how many hours sewing - but I am pleased with the cheerful quilt I have created from scraps most people would have thrown away plus some solid scraps and polka dot yardage from my stash.
And to finish, a couple of close ups of the pinwheels and HSTs:

I have also finished hand quilting my Rainbow Quilt so I hope to showcase that one next week.

Linking up with Maybush Studio's Brit Thursday Linky.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Preemie Quilt top from Scraps

Lots of sewing this week but only one photo.  I guess you are all tired of my endless sewing of scrap triangles! 
All week I have been churning out 3" blocks from my paired triangle scraps.
When I tired of making pinwheels I arranged the HSTs differently to create a sort of  diamond effect.  I expect there is a name for this sort of block but I don't know it.
As a change from churning out little blocks I decided to use some of the diamonds to create a small 15" x 20" quilt top.  I sewed 5 diamond blocks together into each row.  What doesn't show up in the photo is that two blocks in each of these rows are the same, a red on cream patterned "neutral" with a wine coloured fabric. Pretty.  I interspersed these row with a rabbit fabric and added a narrow pink border to bring it up to the size my local hospital prefers for their baby cots.  The babies lie on the quilts and the quilts are washed in a washing machine on the ward every day so they get a hammering!
So next job is to sandwich and quilt.  a nice easy project with a quilt of this size!
Linking up with Clare's Thursday Brit Sewing Linky.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

My Quilt books

I saw a photo on another blog a few days ago which showed some of the quilt books the blog-writer owned.
It set me thinking of my own collection of Quilt books.

Over the years I have amassed quite a collection, many bought myself and a lot gifted to me.
I have loved reading through them all, lots of them many times and I like to dip into them when I am looking for a particular idea or method of sewing or piecing.

This is the corner of my sewing room where I keep my books, ring binder files of Quilt ideas cut from magazines, my sweet jar of Perle cottons and plastic tubs of cut scrap squares and strips of various sizes.  As you can see, I use a bedroom for sewing so there is a wardrobe and bed in there too.

Close ups of the book shelves:

However I realised that actually there are 5 I use all the time. And here they are:

Sorry, for some reason the photograph as turned itself sideways en route from my Flickr Photostream to my blog!

Most of these books are never back on the bookshelf, they are on the bed with half-finished projects beside them.  In fact, I had to gather them up and return them to the shelves for these photos.

I love Gwen Marston and Freddie Moran books.  Their quirky style, wonky blocks and their liberated block ideas sit very happily with me.  Also, the use of so much colour excites me.  Freddie Moran's view that the more colours in a quilt the better and her wonderful notion that RED is a neutral colour are just great! When I first started quilting back in 1997 my use of colour was very restrained: three or four colours in a handful of different fabrics, in pale or quiet ( not as interesting as the recent craze for Low Volume!) colours were used in my first quilts.

Bit by bit I became more adventurous, colour crept up on me and then I saw some American Quilt Shows on TV in New Zealand.  There I met Freddie Moran, and that led to Gwen Marston.  I was blown away!  I even did a One Day Workshop with Gwen In New Zealand when she came to the Quilt Group I belong to out there.  I have never looked back!

I probably always liked the idea of Scrap quilts and using Freddie and Gwen's ideas I was able to make one Scrap quilt after another.

Then through blogs and Flickr I met Emily Cier's Scrap Republic book.  Her use of colour and scraps excited me too so that book is also in constant use.  I am currently working on two quilts based on projects in this book.

So, if I had to limit my collection of Quilt books to just a few those five would be an absolute must.

What are your favourite Quilt books and why?  I would love to know.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Triangle scraps being turned into Pinwheels

Linking up with Maybush Studio blog on her Brit Thursday Sewing Linky.

I have been continuing to turn my bag of gifted scrap paired triangles into HSTs and then into Pinwheels.  Quite a time consuming task but I am doing bits at a time.

I have now sewn all the paired triangles into HSTs and they are all trimmed to 1.75".  Most of those have been turned into Pinwheel blocks, with about 8 more left to sew into Pinwheels.  Some of the finished Pinwheels have also been trimmed to a scant 3" block.

This is what they are looking like:

The top row are waiting to be sewn, the middle row need trimming (not 4 Pinwheels there, but 4 PILES of Pinwheels!) and the bottom row ARE trimmed!
As I was congratulating myself on being so productive with the bag of gifted scraps I suddenly remembered a previous bag of paired triangle scraps the same lady had given me several months ago.  At the time I had lots of projects on the go and decided to put the bag away in a drawer.  And then forgot about it!
So, a couple of days ago I looked it out and was a bit non-plussed to find this bag 2 or 3 times the size of the previous one!  Oh my goodness!
Here it is!
The triangle pairs are literally stuffed into the bag! 100s of them!

For the past hour I have sewn paired triangles together and am now off to press them.  Then I will put all the piles into plastic bags until next week.  Of course I have barely put a dint into the stack of scraps in the bag.

However we have our granddaughter for the weekend, so no sewing can be done then.

I have also finished hand blanket stitching the I Spy bubbles to my Freckles Quilt.  That's now ready to be sandwiched.

And I have done a lot of hand quilting on my Rainbow Beeline Quilt.  It's looking great, the rainbow bands of colour being embellished with a row of largish Perle cotton stitches.

So a lot accomplished on the sewing front this week.  Hurrah!


Saturday, 5 October 2013

A bits and pieces sort of week

A busy week: lots of gardening, a couple of sessions with our little granddaughter, a great talk by the author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Rachel Joyce, a mind blowing concert in Coventry Cathedral by Harry Christophers and The Sixteen, two Patchwork group meetings and a little sewing at home. 

Oh, and I have just returned home from a first read through of Mother Goose, the radio pantomime we are recording this year for Radio Warneford, hospital radio station for Warwick Hospital.  I have been a member for over 16 years and a Duty Producer for many of those years!  Now I'm also the Fairy Queen! Until Christmas, anyway.

Phew!  So, a few moments to catch up on what I have been sewing this week.

I have been continuing to hand blanket stitch the I Spy freckles on my latest version of Emily Ciers' Freckles Quilt.  There are 25 circles to stitch around and I am working on number 20.  I love blanket stitching, very restful and soothing and good to do whilst watching TV.  Tonight I shall be glued to the TV watching Strictly Come Dancing, quite a long programme so I should be able to complete a few more circles this evening.

This is how it looks at the moment:

I have also continued to work with the HSTs I made from the paired triangle scraps I was given.  All sewn together, mainly sewn as I used them as leaders/enders as I pieced my latest Beeline Quilt.  I am now slowly working my way through the pile, trimming them to 1.75".  Hope to finish this task this afternoon whilst I listen to some lovely Classical music on Classic FM.
Here's my cutting board, all ready and waiting!

And I managed to sandwich together my Rainbow Beeline Quilt at the Patchwork group I went to on Monday afternoon and started the hand quilting with Perle Cotton at the Patchwork group I attend every Thursday morning.  I have decided to match the Perle Cotton to the particular Rainbow band. On Thursday I managed to complete all the red section.  Using a larger stitch than I do with normal quilting thread so it sews up quite quickly.

During the past few weeks I have been trying to link up with Clare's blog Maybush Studio, but I am probably a bit too late this week.  Perhaps next week?

Off to have a quick sandwich before I tackle those HST blocks!

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Favourite Quilts - Linking with Mary at Molly Flanders

A few days ago I read Mary's post on her blog Molly Flanders where she had been considering which of her own quilts were her personal favourites.  She asked readers to decide on their own favourite quilts ( ones they had made themselves, not other people's that they admired).

That made me think back over the many, many quilts I have made myself over the past 16 years. 
Five immediately came to mind as absolute favourites and several more as ones I really loved.

So, here are my Top Five Favourites and reasons why I love them so much.


This was the first String quilt I had made although I had wanted to make one for a while.
I had a very personal reason for wanting to make a Rainbow Quilt, in memory of my dear son, but had struggled to think of how I could interpret the "Rainbow Theme".  Suddenly the idea for this quilt came to me.  It combined my love of colour, scraps and strings into one quilt which I felt spoke Christopher's name.
If you look closely you will see that I incorporated the ROYGBIV colours into the solid strips creating the diamond pattern within the String Quilt.  As there are 9 blocks I had to repeat the Red and Yellow solids in the corners which I felt balanced the quilt nicely.
The coloured strings are all made from scraps that I had in my stash and I restricted my colours choices to ROYGBIV colours.
I gave it to our daughter in memory of her brother and she hung it on the wall of her new baby's room along with some family photos including some of Christopher. Our little granddaughter loved this quilt from when she was just months old and loved looking at its brightness.  Later on she was able to look for colours and play I Spy too.
Since then I have made several String Quilts, one very similar to this original one but several scrappy ones including a couple made in the QAYG style. 

A very special one as it was made for my Granddaughter. Our daughter didn't know whether she was expecting a boy or a girl but she wanted a quilt starring Sunbonnet Sues and Overall Bills as she had always loved these motifs on other quilts I had made.
So I made the Sugar and Spice Cot Quilt, very pink and girly with lots of Sunbonnet Sues and also another "Boy Quilt" which had Overall Bills.  As baby Annalise came along, Sugar and Spice Quilt was the quilt gifted to her.  It was used so much, washed over and over again and now lives on Annalise's bed at our house.

Two close ups of this quilt:



This quilt was inspired by Gwen Marston's book Liberated Quilts. 
I loved Gwen's work and was lucky enough to attend a one day workshop that she gave at our Quilt Group in New Zealand.  It was a marvellous day, everyone had a wonderful time, free from the idea of being perfect and just enjoying colours and putting scraps together. 

The Quilt we made that day was a Liberated String Quilt and I have done several of these since as it remains a favourite pattern. But then of course I went on to try out lots of Gwen's Liberated blocks and made this Star quilt.
I called it Watermelon Stars because it featured a watermelon fabric which had languished in my stash for some time.  The quilt eventually was gifted to a baby born in New Zealand so it was apt that it went to the country where I first made a Gwen Marston inspired quilt.


Again Gwen Marston Stars, this time in girly pinks and lilacs and gifted to my very good friend's granddaughter who was born a few months after our granddaughter.


I originally made this Cot Quilt for another baby but loved it so much I couldn't part with it!  Another quilt was made for that particular baby!
So this quilt lives at our house and covers the doll's house when it is not in use. Annalise plays with it and when she was first learning to count she regularly counted the elephants and found the pairs with matching blankets on their backs.

It's still one of my favourite quilts for all sorts of reasons. 
It was the first quilt where I had set blocks on point.  Thinking about it I haven't made another quilt since using blocks set on point.  I shall have to rectify that!  I love elephants and these little elephants with their embroidered tails and 3D tassels appealed to me. AND it was a lot of work! Sometimes when you gift quilts the recipients aren't always aware of how much time and effort has gone into the gift and I felt this particular quilt should live here, where it was truly appreciated!

I have loved thinking back over the quilts I have made and have had great fun looking through my Flickr Photostream, deciding which ones to write about in this blog.

Like everyone else who quilts, each quilt is loved and each one has a story to tell. It has been great wandering down memory Lane.

Looking at my quilts and deciding on my favourites has pinpointed once again how much I love colour, scraps, strings, applique, and Gwen Marston -style Wonky, Liberated Quilts.

Thank you Mary ( Molly Flanders blog) for suggesting this exercise!

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Oops, made a quilt top whilst I was tidying

Last Thursday when I linked up with Clare's Brit Sewing Thursday Linky I expressed the idea that I would tidy my sewing room and perhaps continue the Mr Scarecrow quilt.

Did it happen?  Well, yes ....... and no......................!

I started to tidy my sewing room and came across a pile of fabrics I had been adding to in readiness for a Scrap Republic Beeline Quilt.  It seemed silly to put that carefully sorted pile away into a plastic bag in a drawer.  Didn't it???????????

So, over the next two days I sewed the (carefully chosen) scraps into this lovely Quilt Top:

I love Emily Cier's book Scrap Republic.  Probably because I enjoy making quilts from scraps, something out of nothing sort of idea, and I LOVE colour and rainbows.
So, this quilt top is literally scraps, many that I have received in Scrap Swaps and others the remains of quilts made years ago but the left overs safely stashed away. I have increased the size of the quilt, more details when it is finished.
Thursday is also my Patchwork Group day and last week I was given a plastic bag of paired triangles(light and dark) which were off cuts from trimming blocks.  For my sins I have got the reputation (with good reason!) of being the person who loves to make Crumb blocks. However, as I made the Beeline Quilt top I used the paired triangles as leaders/enders and made Half Square triangles as I went along.  Didn't quite finish the pile so yesterday I finished sewing the triangle pairs and started to trim the squares to 1.75". Still not quite finished, but up to 100 already!  My intention is to make Pinwheel blocks and either make up a Quilt top myself or to hand them back to Wendy, the lady who donated them originally.  She is an absolute star, having made, or been the inspiration of making, literally hundreds of Linus Quilts. 
So, watch this space.
This has been another very happy and satisfying week on the Quilt Front.
Two baby quilts mailed last week and two baby quilts arrived safely and were loved this week!
Went to my Patchwork Group this morning - a lovely time as always! - and came home to a beautiful email from Germany, thanking me for the Cornerstones Quilt and attached was a delightful photo of baby Jasmine wrapped in a fluffy pink blanket, fast asleep in her cot. Underneath was my quilt, which fitted the cot perfectly! Wonderful!
Friendly frogs was equally well received.  Mum and Dad overwhelmed as they didn't expect a quilt and baby George's Granny was in  tears! This is why I make quilts.  I get so much pleasure making them and then that is trebled when I know people love them too.
As for Mr Scarecrow, nothing added to him, although I have carefully packed finished parts of borders into a plastic bag and neatly put them with the top as it stands to date.  Watch this space!

Thursday, 19 September 2013

An exciting week - 2 new babies so homes for 2 of my quilts.

Thursday has whizzed around again and it's time to link up with Clare's Brit Sewing Linky on her Maybush Studio blog.

What a great week it's been! 
Two babies were born, a little girl called Jasmine on 17th September in Germany and a little boy named George in this country the following day, the 18th - which also happened to be our 42nd Wedding Anniversary!

So now two of my finished quilts have a home.

This one was posted this afternoon to Germany for little Jasmine:

Cornerstones Quilt

I really thought Jasmine's Mum Saskia was expecting a boy so I had been furiously trying to make a boy's quilt.  However, I need not have worried as Jasmine came along and I had four finished Girls Quilts to choose from.  I couldn't decide so I asked my husband to choose and Cornerstones was the outright winner.  A hand embroidered label was added and off it went to Jasmine this afternoon.

George put in an appearance yesterday.  I've seen an emailed photo and he is gorgeous!
His quilt is Friendly Frogs and this evening I will be hand embroidering the label so that gift can be posted tomorrow.

Friendly Frogs
So now I can relax, continue more slowly with the I Spy Freckles Quilt and perhaps get back to
Mr Scarecrow.
On the Anniversary front we celebrated in style, as we had four fabulous days in London.
We packed so much into our extra long weekend, seeing lots, walking loads, catching up with friends, 2 plays, 2 exhibitions and several Art Galleries!  And of course some lovely food and wine!
Hard to pick out a favourite but as my blog is primarily about quilting and crafts I have to mention the wonderful Coronation Exhibition at Buckingham Palace. It was marvellous.
Beautifully staged so everyone had the opportunity to see the exhibits really close up.  The embroidery and beadwork on the dresses were absolutely stunning. 
I cannot  imagine how Her Majesty stood - let alone walked! - in her heavily beaded dress and the long heavy purple train.
I was a little girl of 6 at the time of the Coronation and remember huddling round our newly bought first television with its 9" screen. Seeing the Exhibition brought back a lot of memories for both my husband and me, although we didn't know each other then and lived in different parts of the country.
So, perhaps a quieter week coming up. But lots of sewing no doubt, and perhaps a little tidying of my sewing room.  Rather a lot of scraps lying about that need sorting and putting away!