Saturday, 29 December 2018

Final flourish of 2018

Just finished my final quilt of 2018.
It's a 4 Patch baby quilt made from 4" square Crumb blocks and novelty squares.
Everything from stash including the backing which was a piece of fabric given to me at least 3 years ago.  One of my Patchwork friends was having a clear out and thought I would be able to use it for a baby quilt backing and now I have!
The quilt is a nice size, finishing at 41" square.
This joins a Girl baby quilt so I have now covered both eventualities: whether the expected baby in New Zealand is a boy or a girl. I think it's lovely when parents decide to wait until the actual birth to see whether they have a  son or daughter but it does mean as a quilter it's useful to have a few boy and girl quilts ready made!

I've made 14 quilts this year: baby quilts, premature baby quilts and 2 doll quilts.
Happy with them all.
Tidied my sewing room today  - several UFOs and sets of blocks to be worked on in 2019 and I have an idea for an RSC project too.

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year.

Saturday, 22 December 2018

Another 6 blocks

In the same Lotto win packet were another 6 blocks which I discovered were all 11.5" because 5 of them are framed I think it would spoil them to add a very narrow border and it would look odd to add an inch strip on one vertical side and one horizontal side.
So I think these will be another quilt!
My list is growing by the minute!

I won!

All year I've been taking part in the Sunshine Block Lotto. I have just won these 12.5" blocks. All very different so I will have to put my thinking cap on as to how to use them. I also won two sets of blocks earlier this year and those are waiting for my attention too.

One of my goals for 2019 is to make some Linus quilts with these blocks.
And perhaps I should also tackle the other sets of blocks I have squirrelled away. Several sets of RSC blocks and leftovers from other projects. Does that sound a familiar quilters problem?

Thursday, 20 December 2018

Gifting a quilt to a new baby

I recently finished a Happy Blocks quilt intended for a baby boy expected in New Zealand.  Had a lovely email yesterday with the happy news that baby Niklas was born on 19th December . A good name for a baby born so near to Christmas.  Three beautiful photos too - goodness, you forget how tiny a newborn looks compared to the size of Daddy's hands holding him. The photo showed  little Niklas with a lovely scrunched up face, looking as though he was wondering where on earth he was! I'm now happily embroidering the quilt label.

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Finished in time for Christmas!

This quilt has been a very long time in the making - at least 4 years! 
My Patchwork Group was going to make a quilt for Sarah, one of our members and a Spider Web Quilt was suggested. Some of the members were unsure how to make the blocks so I did a little workshop demonstrating with blocks at different stages of completion. Sarah's quilt was made and gifted and my demonstration blocks were put away. Over the years during various "Sort outs" the blocks surfaced : I made more blocks, eventually enough for a quilt, back into the cupboard, out again and a flimsy was made, back in the cupboard, out again and basting occurred. Fast forward to his year when I vowed I would FINISH this quilt before the end of the year. It has lots of hand quilting with a Perle thread so it appeared at many Patchwork meetings and eventually I have finished it, in time to gift to my granddaughter for Christmas. She loves quilts which she calls "blankets" and enjoys snuggling with one whilst watching TV. 

I love the backing for this quilt, a piece left over from a quilt I made about five years ago. Binding was a sm

I'm now embroidering the label and then it can be wrapped, ready for Christmas Day.
Another UFO finished and out of my cupboard .

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

What can you find?

Another baby quilt/playmat finished ready to gift to a baby boy in New Zealand.  He is now a week overdue so I can't embroider the label yet.
Really pleased with this little quilt as I made it from Happy Blocks, an idea  I saw a couple of years ago on Cathy's blog Sane Crazy Crumby Quilting.  Quick and easy to make, so colourful and perfect for a baby quilt, lots to look at  - hence the quilt's title.

All made from stash :
4" novelty squares already cut, leftovers from recent projects.
1.5" strips for sashing, mostly already cut
Backing and binding from stash
Exact sized piece of joined batting which I had pieced  ages ago and labelled with its size. Just the ticket for this quilt.

It measures 34" square.
Machine quilted with hand quilting around the inside of each square, using the three colours of Perle thread shown in the photo.

One more quilt to finish before Christmas
Only made the blocks and cut out sashing and cornerstones so far. Not much time for sewing at present  - Christmas cards to write and gifts to wrap.  Lots of events to attend too!
Better get writing!!

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Splashing out the pink

I finished hand sewing the binding on this baby quilt yesterday and have started embroidering the label. I'm gifting it to my cousin's granddaughter born on 20th November.  Baby's name is Margot Emily- a very pretty name, I think.
I loved making the quilt, all made from stash.  Four patch blocks using Crumb Blocks from blocks stashed in a big tin and 4" squares cut from favourite scraps.
The sashing, outer border and backing is a piece of fabric I bought a couple of years ago in New Zealand.  It was a bargain from Spotlight. I love the colours in the fabric- the way the pinks, oranges, blues and turquoises splash across the fabric is delightful. Reminds me of Jason Pollock pictures. So the title of the quilt came to me straight away.
Splashing out the pink!

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Working hard on my finishes

I have had a very busy week trying to finish (and start!) lots of projects.
On the left-hand side of the photo is a very pink baby quilt which I'm gifting to my cousin's granddaughter born about a week ago.
Made from scraps. The binding is on and I hope to hand stitch it tonight.  Then I will embroider the label.
In front are crumb blocks(from my stash) and 32 x 4" squares which I cut yesterday ready to make a boy quilt like this pink one
On the right-hand side of the photo is a Happy Blocks baby quilt and it's binding, all ready to be attached.
In the middle are 5 more angels which h I will take to church this morning.
So a very satisfactory week!

Sunday, 25 November 2018

Safe arrival of Twin boys

Yesterday I received the good news that the twin boys expected by Dutch friend Margot and her partner arrived safely on 1st November. They are called Maas and Eden. I am now completing embroidering their quilt labels and I have decided to gift the quilt featuring little boats to Eden and have called it "Sailing by ". The quilt with cute robots and space ships is being gifted to Maas and has the title "Zooming along". I hope to post them in the next couple of days, hopefully before the Christmas rush begins.

During the week I knitted another nine angels so handed them in at church this morning. They brought the total made by members of the congregation so far up to 248. Another ten days before the deadline so I hope to knit a few more before then but I am trying to finish two more baby quilts and make another one which hasn't been even started yet!

Saturday, 17 November 2018

Angels with a message

Lots of ladies at church are knitting little angels. Very simple basic pattern but they look quite effective. They are knitted in bright colours instead of the traditional white for a reason. Each one will have a Christmas message tag tied around their neck.  They will all be dedicated at a service on 9th December and then on the following Wednesday we are going to put them around the town along our Main Street for people to find, read the message and take the angel home as a little Christmas gift. We hope our brightly coloured angel and her message will have meaning for the recipient.

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Two finishes - Twin Quilts

I've been working hard on finishing these two baby quilts. 
The one on the left is "Sailing By" and the one on the right is called "Zooming Along" as it features rockets, planets and cute little space robots. 
I'm really pleased with them both. I machine quilted along the sashing and  hand quilted around the blocks.
Both backings and bindings came from stash so I didn't have to buy much new fabric for these projects. I have used quite a bit of stash this year which feels good.

Tomorrow I'm going to embroider labels for them -  minus baby name and date of birth as babies have yet to be born!

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

So many projects.... like juggling plates!

I always have several projects on the go ( plus those UFOs lurking in the cupboard of course) But at the moment there are more than ever that have deadlines.

Four baby quilts, two of which need to be ready by the beginning of December when twin boys are due in The Netherlands. Two more need to be ready for me to take to New Zealand at the very beginning of January. One I know is for a boy, the other the parents have chosen not to find out until baby is born. Really I need to take two for that baby, one for a boy and one for a girl.

One Dutch baby quilt is finished, the second one has the binding on and tomorrow I'll slip stitch the back at my Patchwork Group.

I have completed a flimsy for a girl quilt and I have a plan and have a bit cut out for the NZ boy one.  So, it's a matter of ploughing on with the quilts.

Then  I am knitting angels! My church has asked for a simple knitted angel (pattern and wool provided) as we are hoping to have lots and lots which will have a tag tied around the neck and will be secretly left all over our town in the run up to Christmas.  Whoever finds one can take it home and enjoy the Christmas message on its tag.  That's the idea anyway, we haven't done this before. They have to be done by 9th December. I have knitted four so far, two of which have been sewn up and are ready to be gifted. I hope to make a few more before the deadline as they are quite quick to make.

This year I have taken part in the Sunshine Guild blocks for charities. As the blocks are sent to the USA the postage is rather prohibitive so I decided to send two or three months of blocks in one packet. For what I feel is a reasonable amount of postage for me to pay I can send 10 blocks in one little packet.  So today I posted 4 "Brights" for October, 3 "Fall" blocks for November and 3 "Potluck" ones for December.
                                                               October blocks

                                                                   November blocks

                                                              December blocks

A very grey day here, rain too so I'm afraid the blocks all look too dark.
The centre square of each of the Potluck blocks is one of the string blocks I made a few weeks ago.
I just have one String square left now. Nice to turn those gifted scraps into finished projects straight away.

Monday, 29 October 2018

Trio of small String Quilts

I used all those vibrant gifted 0.75" strings to make 20 x 4" String blocks.
I used many of them to make 3 small String Quilts.
One measuring 14" square which is intended for the lilac teddy which is going into my Christmas 2018 Shoebox Appeal.
The second one measures 14" x 18.5" which I'll give to our local hospital's Premature Baby Unit.
The third measuring 18.5" x 23" which will be gifted to 2 year old Libby when her expected baby brother/sister arrives towards the end of January.
And I still have a few left which I will probably include in Sunshine Quilt blocks.
Oh I do enjoy using scraps!

Sunday, 28 October 2018

Lest we forget



Yesterday my husband and I visited the most wonderful Exhibition of Poppies commemorating the end of WW1 which is being held at St Mary's Church, Warwick. Over 11,000 Warwickshire men were killed in the dreadful war and a couple of years ago 4 couples from St Mary's suggested to the  vicar that the men should be remembered and  hounoured for Remembrance Day 2018. They put out articles, messages through Facebook, contacted local organisations etc and the word spread far and wide. Knitted, crocheted, crafted poppies were sent in from all over the world, including South 
Africa and Australia. 80 poppies were sent from Warwick in Queensland, Australia as apparently the town was named after people from Warwick UK who went to Queensland to settle. The original idea was to create an exhibition containing the same number of poppies as there were Warwickshire lives lost. When the exhibition was put up a week or so ago the team counted over 60, 000 poppies! We managed to speak to one of the ladies who was one of the eight who had the idea and she said everyday more and more poppies were arriving. She was holding three beautifully made poppies with leaves attached which had just be handed to her. The work involved in making the  poppies, the unbelievable effort made to create the displays is mind blowing. There is a whole section of work done by children, schools, Brownies, Cubs etc. 
Displays featuring poems are also included, some I knew like "Do not stand at my grave and weep" and a most moving poem (new to me) called "Naming the parts" by Henry Reed. This was actually written in WW2 in 1942 but is very apt for this exhibition. If you live near or can visit Warwick I can't recommend this marvellous Exhibition enough. We will certainly go again. The length of time the Exhibition is being held has been extend until after Christmas. Thank goodness, after the mammoth task of putting it all together!

I never cease to be amazed at the ideas people have and their expertise in putting them into practice.

But above all I am humbled by the loss of life caused by this war. How can we ever thank those men for laying down their lives?

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Sailing By, a finished baby quilt

I am making a few baby quilts for babies due in December and January.
This is the first for a pair of boy twins due to be born in The Netherlands in December.
Most of the fabrics came from stash including the lovely seaside themed backing which I bought last year at The Festival of Quilts in Birmingham. I bought a pack of 4" squares mainly for the little boats and also the under the sea fabric was bought especially for this quilt so I could create a Nautical themed quilt. The Dutch have always been known for their sailing abilities so I thought it was apt.
The finished quilt measures 48" x 38".

Sunday, 21 October 2018

The Magic of Leftovers

When I am sewing I love to use every scrap of fabric and when I'm cooking I like to make use of those food leftovers.
Last night's dinner was one of those Magic Leftovers meals.

A couple of days ago I cooked up a batch of beef mince as our granddaughter was eating with us. She doesn't like spiced food so I kept one portion separate for her and added diced courgettes and chilli flakes to the rest. Served with pasta tubes and of course I cooked far too much pasta. We had two meals from that and I had a portion of mince and cooked pasta left over. So last night I stir fried thin strips of courgette and parsnip in olive oil, added salt, pepper and a sprinkling of cumin. When the veggies had begun to soften I added the cooked pasta, stirring all the time until the pasta was reheated, then added lots of baby spinach, again stirring until the spinach had wilted slightly. Whilst this was happening I reheated the mince and the result was a really delicious meal.

Don't usually take photos of food but did last night as a reminder for myself. I'll certainly make this again - my husband would be happy to have it again this evening! 

Isn't it great to use up those leftovers straight away?

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Attic24 style crochet gifts

I love reading the blog called Attic24 and recently saw some crochet covered coat hangers she had made. 
Of courseI had to try making some, sent off for a set of 10 coat hangers from Amazon and have now made 5 to give as little presents.

I didn't add the green leaves that were in the tutorial as my crocheting skills aren't too great but I love them with just the flowers.

I gifted one today as part of a birthday gift to one of my Patchwork friends. She loves doing crochet projects herself so I hope she likes her new coat hanger.

Sunday, 30 September 2018

Beautiful gifted scraps, saturated colour!

My Patchwork friends know I adore bright  colours and scraps! I wasn't able to attend my Monday Group but three bags of scraps were passed onto me from one of those members a couple of days later. This bag of narrow strips, around 0.75" wide particularly excited me. What stunning colours!, I think they may be  Kaffe Fassett fabrics and I was eager to jump into them. This afternoon I felt I needed some sewing therapy so disappeared into my Sewing Room and sewed up 4.5" strip blocks using squares cut from telephone directory pages for a basis. I used small triangles from another of the bag of scraps for the last piece of each end of the strippy square. I'm thrilled with these colourful blocks, trimmed and ready for me to de-paper this evening whilst I watch Strictly Come Dancing Results on TV. I have three different projects in mind for using these little blocks and have a few more strips left to make a few more blocks.

The saying "Small things please simple minds" springs to mind but I'm a happy bunny after a couple of hours sewing and trimming!

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Windfalls, foraging and thrifting

I always enjoy finding ways of thrifting and I found a few windfalls in our garden from our apple tree. Only one branch fruited this year,very high up so windfalls are our only crop! A neighbour's tree drops windfalls over the path so these are the combined fruits. 
In the bag are lots  collected from another tree on the roadside near our house. I've now stewed them,

Some eaten with the foraged blackberries, picked with our granddaughter a few weeks ago, the rest bagged in the freezer for future enjoyment. 

Thursday, 20 September 2018

A forgotten quilt,now called Flying High

Our daughter's friend had a third son at the beginning of the month and as I gifted quilts to her other two babies I needed to make a quilt for Number 3. Before I started to make a new quilt I thought I would have a look through my stash of finished Quilts and found a little beauty which I have called Flying High. I remember buying the aeroplane fabric at the Festival of Quilts some years ago but have no idea when I made this baby quilt. I looked through my Flickr page as I use this as a record of my quilts and other craft projects. But it seems as though I didn't photograph it either so I still don't know when it was made. However I think it's great for baby Auden so I will be mailing it to him and his proud Mummy and Daddy tomorrow.

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

My Fidget Quilt is finished

Earlier in the year the organiser of  my Patchwork Group brought to our attention an article about 
Fidget Quilts which help people suffering from dementia. She suggested that we tried to make some and members contributed orphan blocks, zips, beads, buttons, fleece and so on for us to add to our stashes.
I actually found this difficult but here's my finished offering. Backed with a lovely blue fleece, lots to
do and feel and look at. I crocheted  the orange rose using a You Tube video, bought little teddy from Oxfam, used a plastic coated ladybird square I had had in my stash for ages - a  nice  shiny "feely" square. A heart from a stiff net-like piece on top of a contrast fabric.

Little teddy is on a ribbon, press stud fastening so he can be taken off when the quilt is washed. The button to cover the stitching was chosen by my granddaughter.

In the end I'm happy with the result.

Saturday, 8 September 2018

RSC18 - using the blues

RSC18 colour for September is Dark blue.
After I finished trimming my Ticky Tacky houses yesterday I had a few minutes to spare before I needed to make dinner so I decided to add a few more Roman Stripe blocks to my stash. This is another Cathy inspired block. I have a handful of cream solids cut to the right size and a biscuit tin of 1.5" squares stashed in colour piles so it was only a minute's job to sort out the dark blues. I had enough for 4 blocks. Now have a total of 39 Roman Stripe blocks.

Linking with RSC18 

Ticky Tacky houses inspired by Cathy

A few Ticky Tacky houses like the ones I admired on Cathy's blog: Sane, Crazy, Crumby Quilting.

I had both the Easy Angle and Companion Angle rulers which I have never used. I know Cathy uses special rulers to cut triangles from more friendly-sized strips, for instance 2" rather than weird  sizes involving eighths inches so I followed Bonnie Hunter's YouTube tutorial and managed OK.
Not all exactly the same size but that's OK. I can use them somehow in future projects. I was raring to try them out. I love little Scrappy houses, and these remind me of the work of Gwen Marston and Freddie Moran whom I've always admired.

Thanks for the idea, Cathy๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š

Friday, 31 August 2018

Delving into my stash

Since tidying my sewing room and stash I reacquainted myself with some of  my fabrics and decided to cut into them for my August and September Sunshine Guild blocks. Some were paired with scraps too. The 4 blocks pictured above are my August blocks: theme was "Boyish".

These are my 6 September blocks: theme is 4 patch. Mostly new fabric here except for the rows of Dutch people which has been in my stash for so long I really don't know who gave it to me. Some left too so the fabric may be used in future blocks.

In between I have been sewing a 4" Crumb block to a 4" square of fabric. These will eventually be sewn into fours and into little Premature baby quilts for our local hospital.

Saturday, 25 August 2018

A Quilting Puzzle

Four picture clues: can you guess which quilt I am making?
Other clues: the quilt is from a book by one of my favourite quilters/bloggers, mentioned very recently on my blog.
I'm having fun making all the little units and hope to start putting the parts together into blocks. I'm only making 20 blocks, the actual pattern makes a much larger quilt.

So, can you guess whose pattern this is and can you work out the name of the quilt?


Friday, 17 August 2018

Finally finished, an outstanding UFO!


I started this little Premature Baby quilt last year - on 19th November, according to my blog. Using scraps gifted by a Quilting friend ( I still have more left, squirreled away somewhere).
It went into a cupboard as a flimsy and finally saw the light of day last week. Years ago the same friend gave me two pieces of baby -style fabrics which have also been waiting to be used. I thought this yellow and blue one was just right for the bright diagonal rectangles of the design. 

I hand stitched using various colours of Perle cottons and feel pleased with the result. I now need to make a few more of these small ( 15" x 20" ) Quilts so I can take them to our local Maternity Unit.
Heavens knows I have enough scraps and pieces of batting!

Monday, 13 August 2018

Glitter Quilt inspiration

I spotted this quilt at the Festival of Quilts. It was made by Regina Maier from Berlin, Germany. 
She called it "Twinkling" and the quilt certainly twinkled, full of lovely scraps which Regina had lovingly sewed using the EPP method. The quilt is from a pattern called "Glitter" by Jen Kingwell. Regina made the quilt using a variety of fabrics, including many from old clothes worn by family and friends. What a lovely idea for a Memory Quilt.

A Close up to show the blocks in greater detail. Each one made from different fabrics ( I think, I haven't studied it in such great detail).

I have seen this quilt on two blogs I follow:
Cathy of Sane, Crazy, Crumby Quilting finished her version earlier this year, a truly scrappy one.
Wendy of Wendy's Quilts and more is in the process of making hers but using a restricted colour palette, greys and lime greens I think I remember.

Cathy lives in the USA, Wendy in New Zealand and Regina in Germany - that quilt pattern has certainly circled the globe! I think that's one of the facets about quilting that appeals to me, the worldwide friendship and inspiration from other quilters who you will likely never meet but their work catches your eye and inspires you to do more sewing.