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, Cathy😊😊

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.

Sunday, 12 August 2018

2018 Festival of Quilts spark memories

The winner of the Art Quilts Section at this year's Festival of Quilts was this amazing quilt made by Jean McClean from Blenheim, New Zealand.
It's title  "And the sky danced "was so apt. Jean was depicting The Aurora which she says "is an amazing and exciting demonstration of raw energy as well as being incredibly beautiful ".
Having spent much time in New Zealand over the past 20 years this quilt really spoke to me, reminding me of so many memories, many of them actually in Blenheim. Congratulations, Jean!

In the Pictorial Quilts Section this quilt of an Indian Chief really caught my eye. The detail and the dynamic appearance of the Chief was wonderful. Made by Adricina Brianes Calleja from Spain.
Again, lots of memories were stirred - this time of a visit almost 20 years ago - to a Hopi Mesa in Arizona.

This little quilt in the Miniatures Quilt Section really called to me. Entitled "Memories of the Farne Islands" by Judith Bevor, UK. We lived in Northumberland for ten years and visited the Farne  Islands on several occasions. Visits in Spring are particularly exciting when the birds are nesting but puffins are gorgeous at every part of the year. This little quilt beautiful showed the bright colours of those funny birds.

On Thursday I visited the Festival with my sister and she immediately spotted this quilt was of Amsterdam. And of course it was, made by Juliana Teixeira and Isobel McBay from Wick in Scotland in the Two Person Quilts Category. Very cleverly and precisely made. My sister and I and our husbands spent a lovely few days together in Amsterdam back in 2014 so again a quilt evoked
some happy memories.
As we were  admiring the quilt three ladies approached us and very proudly told us the quilt was made by friends from their Guild. The three friends were staying for all four days of the Festival having flown all the way down from Wick.

Saturday, 11 August 2018

I met Bonnie Hunter!

I am fortunate to live very near the NEC, Birmingham where the Festival of Quilts is held each year.
Two years ago I knew (through reading Bonnie's blog) that she would be visiting the Festival as part of her UK trip. I hoped I would spot her in the crowd of visitors so I could say Hello. Of course that didn't happen and I was disappointed.

So when I watched Bonnie's recent QuiltCam and knew she would be signing books yesterday afternoon I was sure to be there armed with my two books: String Fling that I bought a few years ago and More Adventures with Leaders and Enders which I bought at the Show yesterday in readiness. So, at last, after all those years following her blog I actually managed to meet her in person and I wasn't disappointed. Bonnie is as bright, bubbly and friendly as she appears in her blog and on her QuiltCams.

I told her that even my husband recognises her voice as he's heard it emanating from my iPad so many times! She laughed.
And here are my signed books. I'm now all fired up to make one of the patterns from my new book: 
Four-Patch X. I have quite a lot of 2" squares already cut but will need to go through my scraps to cut some more.

Monday, 30 July 2018

Funny little Unicorn

My 8 year old granddaughter has been asking me to knit her a Unicorn. Apparently Unicorns are the favourite toy at the moment, not sure why, hard sell by Disney, Toy manufacturers? I don't know.
I haven't knitted a toy for years so wasn't very excited by the thought of making a Unicorn. However I found a pattern on the Internet and knitted up the pieces very quickly. Some very weird shaped pieces. I found sewing it up difficult, not sure I was interpreting the instructions properly. Anyway, this is the funny little Unicorn I created.
Giving it to GD tomorrow, hope she likes him  - the jury's out for me!

Saturday, 28 July 2018

An afternoon spent sewing

I haven't done any sewing for a long time. Here in the UK, most unusually for us, we have had a prolonged heatwave, drought and high humidity. Most uncomfortable and draining. I normally like sunny weather but the last few weeks have made me very lethargic and I've had no desire to sit cooped up in my sewing room.

The forecasters have been promising rain for the past few days and at 3pm this afternoon it arrived. Nice and steady, no thunderstorms, just what the gardens and reservoirs needed. Now 6pm and it's stopped!

However I took the opportunity to sew, nothing too tasking and have made a needle case for my Patchwork friend Val whose birthday is coming up soon. I'll add packets of pins and needles and some handcream too.

The pattern is one I've made lots of times before but I enjoyed my afternoon immensely.

This summer has been compared with 1976, the last major heatwave we had - one I remember very well as I was pregnant with our second child and we moved house on 20th August that year. I can still vividly remember packing boxes, cleaning cupboards, watching our 2 year old son and dripping with sweat! 

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

It's a finish!

I have repaired the quilt I gifted to Catherine 17 years ago. Never done a repair to a quilt before so this was a steep learning curve.. ..... I started with replacing the worse block, a log cabin which had two badly sun-rotted logs and replaced it, sewing one seam on the machine, the other threes sides I hemmed into place.  I was lucky to find little strips of the original fabrics in my strip stash.

Two more repaired blocks. Fabric strips under the ricrac darned and hidden by pink ricrac. Herring bone stitch around the centre of the Star square hopefully supporting thinning fabrics and a flower to cover the worst bit.
I gave the quilt a good wash on a gentle machine wash and dried on the line overnight when it was cooler. I didn't want it in the direct sun!

So, fingers crossed it works. And fingers crossed England wins their World Cup match tonight!!!

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

17 years old Quilt back for repair

One of the first large quilts I made back in 2001 was this single bed sized quilt called "In the Pink" for my cousin's daughter's 30th birthday.
I was so pleased to learn recently that the quilt is still on Catherine's bed at her parents' house  and she still enjoys it.
Unfortunately her room gets a lot of strong sunlight so the colours have faded badly, especially in the bottom half of the quilt. The hot sun has actually rotted two of the fabric strips in the log cabin blocks as you can see in the second photo. One of the appliqued elephants is coming adrift and the black stitches which represent his ear have disappeared!
So it's back with me  for repair - something I haven't done before so tomorrow I'm taking it to my Patchwork Group meeting to ask for advice.
Interestingly, 17 years later I still enjoy making Sunbonnet Sue and Overall Bill blocks ( I have some on the go as handwork at present) and I also applique names on the front of quilts, Baby quilts these days.
Happy memories.

Sunday, 1 July 2018

Traditional block but new to me

Here are my Sunshine Lotto blocks for July, the theme was Pink and Green.
I took the opportunity to try a new - to me - block, the Shoo fly. Middle two blocks in this photo.
 I thought the pink rabbit fabric would make a fun centre to the block and I'm happy with them.
These will be added to the 4 June blocks.
Off to the Post Office tomorrow.

Sunshine June blocks

I only managed to make 4 blocks in June as we were away half of the month.
The theme was Novelties. Im happy with the way the turquoise with white spots Wonky star shows up and emphasises the Woodland animals fabric.
I've had the teddy bear fabric in my stash for several years and never found the right place to use it. So much character in each teddy bear it has always seemed a shame to cut it up - so I cut large centres for the blocks.

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Woodland World baby quilt

I have finished the baby quilt I am gifting to my daughter's friend Aimie for her baby boy Tristan who was born on 5th June. We have known Aimie since she was 13 so we are all excited about this new baby. Aimie has chosen a Woodland theme for baby's nursery and fortunately I had several fabrics in my stash that fitted perfectly: featuring little owls, rabbits, foxes.

I hand quilted with my favourite Perle cottons and hand blanket stitched round the letters of Tristan's name and the little hearts at the top of the quilt.

The quilt measures 36" x 48" which I think is a useful size.
Our daughter is visiting Mum and baby on Tuesday afternoon so I will have a parcel ready for her to take - this quilt, the crocheted blanket and a little cardigan.
Can't wait to meet Tristan but unfortunately I have a prior engagement on Tuesday so I can't deliver the gift in person.

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Ready for my Patchwork Group

The Patchwork Group was meeting at my house this morning so here's the goodies ready for our Coffee time ( or Morning Tea as it's called in New Zealand).
I tried a new recipe for the cake: Mary Berry's Orange cake with chocolate. A great recipe, all-in-one method so pretty quick to make. I have to say it was delicious! Moist and tasty, not much left!  But I think this is going to be a favourite recipe so more of these cakes in the future I think.
A plate of rock buns - a recipe from my NZ  Edmond's cookery book. Well tried and tested recipe but still tasty.

We had a lovely morning together, lots of conversation between nine of us. Friend Ruth brought her cousin along - Mary lives in Canada but it's the second time she has joined us.
Aren't Patchwork friends the best?

Monday, 18 June 2018

9 Patch Lotto Blocks winnings

Collected today from the Post Office ( parcel arrived a few days ago whilst we were away). 
My Sunshine Guild Lotto Blocks winnings: the theme was 9 Patch blocks. The 18 blocks include one of my own blocks.

Now I have 2 sets of Lotto winnings so I think I need to get busy putting them together. Just got to finish a baby quilt first. And I also need to make my June blocks and send them off to the USA.

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

2 Pink + 1 blue/green for RSC18

Linking with Angela's So Scrappy blog for RSC2018. I finished 2 Pink Twinkler blocks and made 
one not quite blue/ not quite green Twinkler making them Leader/Ender style as I finished sewing my baby quilt top together. I love theses blocks, always pleased I spotted them on Cathy's Sane, Crazy, Crumby blog.

Sunday, 3 June 2018

Crochet blanket finish

I finished a striped baby blanket yesterday. It's for one of my daughter's friends whose baby is due in a couple of weeks. The baby's nursery has a Woodland theme so I chose two shades of green and a soft grey for the yarn. I found an excellent tutorial on YouTube by Bella Coco for a pretty shell edging and I am very pleased with the result. I shall use this pattern again for edging blankets.

I am also making a quilt for the baby - it's a boy apparently - which is now sandwiched ready for hand quilting. Again, in keeping with the Woodland theme.

The bay window you see in the background of my photo is full of cards and flowers for my recent birthday. I am very lucky to have such thoughtful friends and family. 😊

Sunday, 20 May 2018

RSC A little more pink

I made 3 more 9 Patch blocks for the Sunshine Guild's May Lotto Blocks. featuring pink fabrics so I could link them with Angela's So Scrappy RSC blog post.
I also managed to make another 49 Patch pink block using 1.5" squares and another Roman Stripe block, again using 1.5" pink squares.


Here are the 8 blocks I hope to send to Tammy for my May Lotto blocks. I need to weigh them as I now have the necessary information about postage charges from my local Post Office.

Monday, 14 May 2018

RSC Hints of pink

The colour for this month's RSC is Pink, a colour I love and use a lot as I make lots of baby quilts.
The request for this month's Sunshine Guild Lotto blocks is Nine Patches - of any type: Stars, Churn Dash etc.
I had a few tiny pink scraps so made a few Crumb blocks which I paired with blue homespun to make a regular Nine Patch. I found an already-made Crumb block which had a lot of pink in it so used that for the centre of another regular Nine Patch adding to some purple Crumb blocks.
A charm square of a strawberry fabric made the centre of a Churn Dash block.

The Guild member who collects our Lotto blocks is called Tammy and she frequently puts photos on her Flickr page of both the Lotto blocks she has received and also Sunshine Quilts she has made from gifted blocks. I recently noticed a block design that was new to me (I have no idea what it is called) and as it met the Nine Patch criteria I decided to try it out in the blocks you see on the bottom left and right of the photo. It reminds me of a nut - as in "nut and bolt" and I like it. If you know the proper name for the block please let me know!

I will probably make a few more blocks for this month's Lotto blocks but I'm going to see how many I can post to maximize the postage rates to the USA. Our local Post Office lady is very helpful that way. Postage now is so expensive I would rather make the most of the weight I can use.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Lotto Blocks from USA


We arrived home from our long trip on Monday evening. A huge pile of mail was waiting for us, including a parcel of 20 Sunshine Guild Lotto blocks. Tammy, the Guild's  organiser had emailed me to expect them. I shall have fun sewing these up, I think they will make two quilts.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Teddy Bear quilt

I have had this Teddy Bear panel in my stash for years - can't even remember where it came from. 
So, it was time to make it into a Premature baby quilt.

Measures 17" x 23", just the size the local Maternity Hospital requests.

Monday, 9 April 2018

Sunshine Guild April blocks

I have made 4 blocks for the Sunshine Guild's April Lotto draw. The theme was "Boyish".

Hence  the dinosaurs, sheep and little elephants.
I really enjoy making these sets of blocks, nice to have a theme or colour requirement.

                               They will be posted to Tammy the next time I'm in town.

The Magic of Scraps

My lovely blog friend, Jo Butterfield sent me some scraps , some were already sewn into HSTs, all different. I trimmed them all and then cut them across diagonally. I paired them again to make Hourglass units. I worked out I needed 35 of these units so I could make a quilt top, setting them
5 x 7.

I picked  35 units I thought would suit a girl's Premature baby quilt. Then I sewed them up and added a pink spotted fabric border. At that point I ran out of suitable scraps in my stash so had to go shopping for backing and border fabric. I found a lovely pink fabric with a small white spot which nicely complemented the border fabric.


Then I chose Hourglass units that I thought would be more suitable for a boy's quilt and put a border around them using a new blue (with small white and navy spots)fabric I bought especially on the same shopping expedition and used that for the backing and binding.


Here they are, side by side. Both measure 23" x 19", just under the maximum size preferred by the hospital.