Sunday, 15 December 2019

A lovely gift

I belong to two Patchwork  Groups and on Monday we held the last meeting before Christmas of the Meriden Group.
One of the members, Wendy has made loads (hundreds I imagine) of Project Linus quilts. She has made lots of different designs which usually require squares and rectangles in certain sizes. She is very systematic with cutting and storing the difference pieces.
On Monday Wendy surprised me with a bag of “scraps” - her description of the contents of the large bag she was gifting to me. I was amazed when I got home to discover the “scraps” looked like this:

Squares, rectangles and 1.5” strips, all beautifully arranged in labeled bags!
My goodness I shall have fun with these next year. Lots of different colours so I think I’ll use a lot of them in RSC2020 projects. I’ll have to think of some suitable blocks.

A great gift, thank you, Wendy.

Friday, 6 December 2019

Using every little scrap!

I love using up scraps and leftovers - and that includes fabrics, yarns and leftover food. I do draw the line at mixing them all up together though - I won’t be presenting leftover mince turned into bolognese sauce with yarn spaghetti, or ravioli made from 2.5” fabric squares!

So, joking aside, I am trying to use up odd balls of yarn to make baby clothes for Refugees. I had a whole ball and a tiny bit of the same variegated pink yarn and about three quarters of a ball of variegated blue and lemon yarn. I got one cardigan and an angel out of the pink (with a small amount left over).

I made four sweet little hats out of the blue and lemon one. There was a tiny bit left over so I made an angel starting with the blue and when that ran out I finished it in the pink with about 15cm left over.
Very satisfying!

Saturday, 30 November 2019

Oh dear I’m not technical

Further to my last blog post, I made 9 Christmas puddings which will last for a few years in the freezer.
Then a photo of using up stash yarn. A baby cardigan for our local Refugee Group and just enough to make one last angel for Church tomorrow.


It’s beginning to look like Christmas !

A great day today, a lovely start to Christmas. Firstly, our Church’s Christmas Fair in aid of two charities. I was helping with the Chocolate Tombola, great fun and we did well.
Then I won the Christmas Hamper, chock full of goodies which I’ll let our GD unpack when we have a family get together in the 8th. December.
Then I went to St Nicholas’s Church, one of our two Parish Churches for the Annual  Christmas Tree Show. Three categories: schools, children’s groups and adult groups.
Here’s my vote for the Adult Section, the Inner Wheel’s Save the Bee, a topical concern  in the UK. 
And the School’s one I voted for, the Infants school my children attended, I then taught at and then our GD attended.

Then I made our Christmas puddings using my Grandmother’s recipe which was HER grandmother’s!  My Nana was born in 1884 so it’s unique. Two washing up bowls of mixture.

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Antidote to a dreary, wet and grey November day

We are having so many dark and dreary wet days which is not surprising as it’s November in the Northern Hemisphere. Some areas of the country have been flooded so I shouldn’t grumble.
Yesterday I boiled up the weekend’s chicken carcass for stock so this morning I turned it into red lentil and vegetable soup. The kitchen smelt wonderful, warm and inviting.

A large pan so we will get several servings of hearty soup.

Later on I did a little in my sewing room, pin basting the Chinese Coins quilt top that I recently finished. I think the colours are jewel like so perhaps Jewels will be its name.

Monday, 18 November 2019

Another Scrap quilt finish

I love making Crumb blocks, very often as a Leader and Ender type exercise, cutting them to 4” and 4.5” sizes. These are stashed and every now and then I use them to make a Baby Quilt.

Here’s my latest, definitely for a baby girl:
I alternated Crumb blocks with a variety of scraps.
Finished at 40” square, my favourite size for a baby quilt which can be used at first as a Playmat.

A close up of a few of my blocks, many of them include some favourite bits of fabric that have their own story.
The little girl is a scrap left from some old fabrics a Quilter friend in New Zealand was purging. Over the years it’s been used in several of my quilts.

I love the strawberry fabric I had for this backing. So pretty.

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

A host of little angels

Like last year my church is knitting little angels πŸ‘ΌπŸ» to be dotted around the town just before Christmas with an attached label sending Christmas greetings from our church,

I knitted a lot last year and have knitted 35 this time. All looking very jolly.

Saturday, 9 November 2019

What colour did I choose?

Yesterday I showed the 6 blue & green (with a bit of dusky pink) Coin columns I made inspired by some of the scraps I was gifted.
I asked if anyone could guess which colour I would use for the alternate columns.

Here they are:

All my own fabrics , quite a few from a jelly roll I have had for ages and ages which I knew I would never use for making a quilt.

I haven’t made a Coin Quilt for several years, the last one was a pretty pink baby quilt.
I was inspired to make another Coin Quilt by some fabulous ones I have seen on Fret not yourself blog.

This is the finished quilt top (flimsy):

Very bright and colourful!

Friday, 8 November 2019

Creating quilts from scraps

I was gifted a bag of scraps ( not huge) from a lovely quilting friend Sheila. My quilting group know I’m crazy about scraps - many of them probably think I’m weird as they wouldn’t get excited about such things!
Here’s the bag and contents:

I decided that I would make use of them straight away as I know that once scraps go into drawers and cupboards they stay there for years.
I sorted them into “like” groups and then contemplated them.    

At the back are 8 blocks so I decided to use them in two sets of 4 as Medallion centres for two Improvised quilts. I sewed them side by side for a while and then decided to.   continue with the turquoise one and here it is as a flimsy:


 Medallion Improvisation  2 looks like this so far:

Then I turned my attention to the sets of blue and green (with a bit of deep pink) string sections. 
I think they were probably cut off sections but they suggested a Coin Quilt to me so I added lots of blue and green fabrics from my scraps and stash and made 6 Coin columns 

I am going to add 5 columns in a different contrasting colour and alternate with these to create a Coin Quilt. This afternoon I sewed those 5 columns together. What colour do you think I have chosen?

Come back tomorrow to find out. 

Monday, 28 October 2019

Where has the time gone? Shoebox Time again!

Doesn’t seem long since I was gathering together items for the Christmas 2018 Shoebox Appeal.
Now I’m putting the finishing touches to a box for a little girl aged 2-4 years.
I always make some homemade gifts and this year I’ve made my usual little patchwork tote and a cover for a dolly. We have a TV programme for little children called In the Night Garden and the dolly is one of the characters from that programme. Our granddaughter loved it when she was small so I have happy memories of it too.
Other years I’ve made a little quilt but this year I’ve made a hand quilted cover, without the batting. It will fold up better in the Shoebox and take up less room.
The cover measures 13” square.

Here’s the patchwork bag, nice and bright:
Front and back are different.

Sunday, 27 October 2019

It’s a baby GIRL!

Lovely news, our niece has had a baby Girl, born last Sunday night. Great news, all well, 8lbs 1oz which is a good weight.
Mum and Dad spent the week getting to know her before deciding on the name. She is going to be called Margaret Alice but will be known as Maggie.
The name is a very special choice. My sister in law Margaret died 14 years ago and baby Maggie would have been her first grandchild. Nice for the name to carry on to the next generation and lovely that the baby will have her own version of her Grandma’s name.
Margaret is a family name, Maggie being the third generation.
It was also my Mother in Law’s middle name and coincidentally is my middle name too.

So my recently finished Seeing Stars will be gifted to Maggie, as soon as I have finished embroidering the quilt label. Also in the parcel will be a pink cardigan and little white basket weave knitted blanket also made by Great Aunty Linda!

Saturday, 19 October 2019

RSC19 Seeing Stars finish

Finished binding this 37” RSC baby quilt. 
I machine quilted either side of the block joins and hand echo quilted with Perle threads.

Loved the backing fabric when I bought it a couple of years ago and happy with how it looks on the back of my quilt.

A close up of a few of the Seeing Stars blocks

Saturday, 12 October 2019

Oops! I changed the title

In September 2017 I made a pink and girly baby quilt from Happy Blocks as my best friend’s daughter was expecting her first  baby. Baby’s parents chose not to know before the birth whether baby was a boy or girl so this quilt was made in case they had a daughter.  However, they had a son and I gifted the “Boy” quilt I had made to cover that eventuality.

Fast forward to now and they had a second baby on Thursday night. This time they chose to know that their expected baby was a girl so of course I knew which quilt I was gifting. I always name my quilts as I finish them but had forgotten what I had chosen for this one so I Called it Happy Squares and embroidered the label accordingly for Grace Rebecca Rose.  Isn’t that a beautiful name?
This morning as I was wrapping the quilt I checked back through my blog to discover what name I had chosen two years ago. It was Happy In Pink which I prefer to Happy Squares.
However the label was made  and sewn onto the quilt so Happy Squares it is.

So, here’s Happy Squares aka Happy In Pink:
It measures 37” squares, the backing was a pretty fabric I had had in my stash for several years but was perfect for this quilt.
The last photo shows the hand knitted cardigan I’m gifting with the quilt.

Saturday, 28 September 2019

RSC Seeing Stars is a flimsy!

Yesterday evening I sewed the remaining Star Blocks together and arranged them into an order I liked.
Today I went to my  Quilters Area Day and sewed my 16 RSC blocks into a flimsy which I’m very happy with. 
Tomorrow I’ll find (I hope) a suitable backing fabric from my stash and baste the quilt. Once I’m at this stage  I’m always anxious to get on with the quilting.
I had a lot of compliments today  from other Quilters which was nice. But I love it: bright, cheery and I think, just the colours and fabrics for  a baby. Lots of I Spy when baby is older.

I have deliberately used the word “Flimsy” following Cathy’s blogpost yesterday on her  Sane Crazy Crumby quilting blog. Apparently some people aren’t happy with the term “Flimsy” and prefer “Quilt top” . I’m happy either way so today I’ve chosen to describe my work as a Flimsy!

Which side of the fence are you? Flimsy or Quilt top?

Linking with Angela’s RSC 2019 So Scrappy blog.

Sunday, 22 September 2019

Seeing stars........ RSC style!

I have been making some Star Blocks using 2.5” squares from my stash. Various rainbow colours, this month the official  purple:

I have already made a few others using green, blue, pink and yellow and have 4  more in the pipeline. I need 16 blocks altogether to make a baby quilt with 4 blocks in each direction.
 I used a white on  white fabric from stash to make the stars. I find making the blocks with Bonnie Hunter’s web-style idea works really well.

I haven’t had much sewing time recently and this week looks extremely busy too. Perhaps I’ll find a half hour here and there?
Linking with Angela’s So Scrappy RSC19.

Saturday, 24 August 2019

No sewing but some knitting

Haven’t done any sewing of late, other than a little hand quilting. Been busy with the garden, visitors and a week in Florida with our family.
During periods of TV watching I managed to complete the following baby knits: 2 jackets and a little blanket, basket style. All made using stash.

The blanket was made from 3 balls of cream coloured yarn, all slightly different shades so I knitted them I stripes. Actually you can hardly see the difference in shades.

2 jackets using variegated yarn and buttons from my button tins.


Thursday, 8 August 2019

My baby quilt’s baby has arrived!

Back in March I gifted this baby quilt to a New Zealand friend who was pregnant with her first baby.

At the time Morgan didn’t know whether baby was a boy or a girl so I made a bright quilt with Primary colours, orange and green fabrics. She was so thrilled and promised to let me know when baby was born. I was thrilled to have an email from her on Sunday with the great news that Isabel Michelle was born and some gorgeous photos. Such a beautiful baby! Both my husband and I are very fond of Morgan, a lovely young lady and we know she will be a super Mum. Lucky Isabel.

Isn’t it lovely when your baby quilt finally has an owner?
Another of my quilts living in New Zealand. I think this makes ten quilts now!

Sunday, 4 August 2019

Great meeting up at Festival of Quilts!

About four years ago I discovered the organisation called Siblings Together - a Group which makes and collects donated quilts to gift to children in care or being fostered who have been separated from their siblings. Each year Siblings Together organises camps where Siblings are reunited and each child is given a quilt which will be a permanent reminder of that reunion.
The idea really touched me: I couldn’t imagine how devastating and life-changing being split from your brothers and sisters would be. To be able to meet up with your siblings again and to have the comfort of a quilt made with love by a complete stranger sounded marvellous.

Since then I have made 5 quilts and lots of blocks (some QAYG) in a few Siblings Together block drives which I send to a lady called Nicky who works so hard for this Charity.

On Thursday I was at the Festival of Quilts at the NEC, Birmingham and was going up and down the rows of Competition quilts when I overheard a snatch of conversation. Two ladies were standing in front of a quilt and I knew they were talking about Siblings Together. After their conversation broke up I spoke to the other lady and asked if she was connected to this Charity. She turned out to be Nicky! Such a lovely person, exactly how I had imagined her to be. We had a hug - s0he remembered my name from various parcels I had sent over the last few years and we had a lovely chat. The quilt she was standing beside was the Siblings Together Group quilt made from signed friendship stars sent in by supporters. Somehow I missed seeing the call for that Block drive so there wasn’t a star from me.
Nicky took a photo of me standing by the quilt and said she was putting it on Instagram ( she did, I’ve seen it). Thank you, Nicky, it made my day to meet you!

I visited the Festival again on Friday and thought I ought to have a photo of the quilt. Imagine my surprise when standing by the hilt was Nicky and another lady called Lucy who also makes lots of quilts for Siblings Together.

And here they are, Nicky on the left and Lucy on the right.

So delighted I met you both. It’s inspired me to make another quilt for this good cause.

Friday, 19 July 2019

Emptying the Coin Jar

I follow Jo Butterfield’s blog and she saves coins in a jar which she empties every year. She recently added up the amount she had in her jar which reminded me to empty my jar.

As you can see it’s not very big, just a regular jam jar.

Not too long ago I needed some coins so I exchanged coins for a £10 note so there was a bit more money in than I could have squeezed in with coins.  Just counted up and ( with the £10 note) I have the Grand Total of £56.85. Not bad at all and as I am soon going to the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham this extra Spending money will come in handy.

I will be buying fabric of course - there are usually some good deals but I always stock up on batting. The stall I like to go to has a good sized bundle for a reasonable amount so I always buy 2. My Coin Jar money will cover that plus a bit over.

Earlier this year our neighbour decided to take out a black currant and red currant bush from their garden and offered them to me. I didn’t know how they would take to being transplanted. However they survived and we had a reasonable amount of black currants which we have enjoyed mixed with raspberries and strawberries topped with Greek yogurt. This week the red currants (lots more than black currants) were ready. I picked all the ripe ones, leaving the others to ripen, and We can’t wait to sample them tomorrow with a lemon tart when we have visitors staying overnight.

Monday, 8 July 2019

Look what I found!

I was looking for something in my sewing room a few days ago and then found a bag of gifted bonus triangles, already in pairs. I then unearthed several bags of them!

 Quite small but I couldn’t possibly throw them away so I decided to start sewing them together into HSTs. I have been sewing them in little bursts of machining or as Leaders and Enders as I put together a baby quilt. I have actually emptied one bag and started on a second one.I have also been pressing the HSTs and trimming in short bursts too as I find that a tedious job and I’m happier tackling them like this. I am now building up a bag of trimmed HSTs.

Here’s a few of them:

Sunday, 23 June 2019

A super weekend

Two sets of Crumb blocks I put together late this afternoon, a few 4” ones and more 4.5” blocks.
I have laid out a set of 4.5”  Crumbs alternating with a variety of fabric squares so I can start a Linus Quilt at tomorrow’s Patchwork Group meeting.

We had old friends to stay for the weekend which was so lovely. Good weather (for a change this summer!) so we were able to do a few walks including a great day yesterday when we combined a walk beside the canal and a  visit to Packwood House and Gardens, a National Trust property not far from our house. I was happy with all the meals I produced which were devoured eagerly. All our walks were new to our friends so a good time was had by all.

Sunday, 16 June 2019

Another finished quilt

I finished hand quilting the latest Siblings Together quilt using various Perle threads.
Finished at 51” x 62” although I guess it will shrink a little in the wash (just finished).