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).

Friday, 7 June 2019

Memories jolted by Cathy’s blog

I follow Cathy’s blog Sane, Crazy, Crumby Quilting every day. I love everything she makes and admire her ability to sew beautiful quilts from scraps many folk would throw away.

A couple of days ago she wrote about her sewing history - she was lucky enough to be taught by her Grandma and it made me think back to my own childhood and how I was “put off” sewing!
Which was strange as my Nana (Dad’s mother) was a  tailoress and was able to knit and crochet beautifully as well. My eldest sister is 11 years older than me and learned a lot from Nana but by the time I was old enough to learn she wasn’t able to teach me. However I picked up knitting and crochet from my sister.
Then came Grammar School at aged 11 and in the first year we had to make a cookery apron and a silly hat for Domestic Science lessons. I had never used a sewing machine - Mum didn’t sew - and every lesson was horrific. Either the machine wasn’t working or the needle broke, or the bobbin ran out etc etc. I spent most of the lesson waiting for our teacher (can STILL remember her name!) to help me. So as a result I hated sewing and was terrified of sewing machines!

Fast forward 10 years and I was a qualified Primary Teacher. In those days there were such things as Evening Classes run by the local Education Authority. My lovely big sister had always made my clothes . She knitted all my baby clothes and then all my jumpers and cardigans and then made my dresses, even through my College days! I thought it was about time I learned to sew myself and stuck it out for two years. Not really my thing, although I tried!

Fast forward again another 10 or so years. Now a Mum of two children including a little girl who took Ballet and Tap dancing lessons. Every two years her teacher did a big show and I was expected to make costumes for her. Quelle horreur! Mum -in-law was also a good sewer and gave me her old machine. Unfortunately she didn’t live near enough to help me so I plugged on by myself. I actually managed to make the costumes but I hated it!

Then came early 1997. I read an article about Gillian Clarke, wife of a well loved politician.  She was a Quilter, something I don’t really think I knew about. She made the most amazing appliqué quilts and I was hooked. I investigated Quilting, went to a Saturday class the other send of the country because I didn’t know of anything in my area. I was put in touch with a local group and the rest, as they say, is history! I was hooked, “obsessed” my husband would say. I have made the most wonderful friends, made probably 200 quilts, of all sizes and loved every minute of it.

My big sister is still amazed, she still has to pinch herself that Little Sister sews, owns more than one machine and loves cutting up fabrics into little bits and then sews them together to make something pretty and useful. She readily says it’s something she COULDN’T do, the thought of sewing all those bits together fills her with horror! So I’ve loved making quilts for all of her  8 grandchildren. Perhaps Great grandchildren one of these days?

Sunday, 19 May 2019

At last, time to sew!

I haven’t had time to sew for over a week but yesterday afternoon I managed to sew for most of the afternoon. I have been working on creating a second quilt for Siblings Together using another set of Sunshine Lotto blocks which are Autumn colours.  At the end of my last sewing session I had all the rows completed including sashing and cornerstones. Yesterday I sewed all those together, added side borders in the sashing fabric and outer borders using a piece of autumn coloured batik fabric which had been sent to me by a member of the Sunshine Lotto Group.
I now have a completed flimsy which I am happy with. I spent a lot of time choosing which of the blocks to use in this quilt and even longer deciding on an arrangement that looked right.  That only happened after I emailed a few photos to Australian blogger friend Jo who was so helpful! Thank you, Jo 🙂

As I was sewing the flimsy together I also turned some HSTs I had made from bonus triangles left over from some Sawtooth blocks I had recently made. A great afternoon’s sewing!

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

My Blue and Yellow Quilt is finished

My Siblings Together Quilt is finished. It measures 50” x 64” and bound with a variety of blue WOF scraps I had. 

The backing is the back of a duvet cover I picked up at the Charity Shop. The top of the duvet cover is the reverse of this colourway and I think it will be used as the backing of my next Siblings Together quilt I shall make from the Green Sunshine Lotto blocks I won.
Just got to wash it and send it off to the coordinator Nicky. I’ll be interested to see how much the quilt shrinks in the process.

Monday, 6 May 2019

Hey presto! - the inspiration for 2 quilts

Included in the parcel of blue and yellow Sunshine Lotto blocks I won were two more random coloured blocks. When I decided to use the blocks to make a Sampler style quilt for Siblings Together  these two different  blocks didn’t fit my planned quilt. One block consisted of horizontal bands of solid colours: bright pink, yellow, lime green, turquoise and teal. I cut the block vertically into four strips and used them as a basis to make 2 Premature Baby Coin quilts.
As you can see from the photos, three strips were in one quilt, the fourth strip in the other. Alternated with teddy bear fabric and framed to achieve the required size of 15” x 20”.

I used several leftover pieces of bindings to complete the duo.

Really pleased with the result so I now have to think of how to use the other multi coloured block.

Friday, 26 April 2019

Sunshine Lotto Flimsy

Quite a while ago I won two sets of Sunshine Lotto Quilts, one blue and yellow, the other were a variety of green blocks.  I put them away and then my conscience nagged away at me and I felt I needed to start to use some of them.  There is quite a variety of blocks designs and other colours and patterns in the different blocks so I picked 12 which I thought hung together, used a solid white sashing and corner stones from a blue with a tiny white spot.

So, here’s my flimsy

I now have to cut some batting and find a piece of fabric big enough for the backing which will probably have to be pieced. Large pieces of fabric I don’t have in my stash. I know lots of fellow bloggers always seem to have a thrifted sheet on hand but that’s something I don’t have! Perhaps I should trawl our town’s Charity Shops tomorrow and see if I can get lucky! We’ll see!

I am intending to turn this into a flimsy for Siblings Together, a Charity I have supported in the past but not recently.

Thursday, 25 April 2019

Sawtooth Stars, using RSC aqua

Another idea for RSC blocks I found on Cathy’s blog was Sawtooth Stars. She used Crumb centres, I’ve tried them out using novelty-style fabrics.

I had a little time to “play” yesterday and this was the result :

I didn’t have much aqua coloured fabrics but I was enjoying myself so much I made two more blocks using some green leftover fabrics:

I’m hooked so off now to try a couple with Crumby centres!

Oh, Cathy, the things you tempt me to try!

Monday, 15 April 2019

Following blogs = Inspiration!

I have followed Cathy's  blog: Sane Crazy Crumby Quilting for a really long time.  Love the way she uses every little scrap of fabric- a lady after my own heart! I have made a few of the blocks she makes, usually as part of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge run by Angela on So Scrappy blog.

One of her recent blocks which is already a flimsy is Crumby Yummies Candy which you can see on her recent Q2 Finish-Along Goals blog post. I loved the block and the finished flimsy is lovely. Cathy gave a few clues as to how the block was constructed so I decided to do the maths - or as Cathy would say "The Math". I have made 8 blue Crumby Yummies Candy blocks. Eventually I hope to have a flimsy as well.

Thanks, Cathy, for your inspiration! I know I'll never meet you, you live in Iowa USA and I live in Warwickshire UK but I feel we are "joined" in some weird way. We both love scraps, and I think we have a similar humour after we exchange comments on her blog. 
Another Scrap Quilt on the way!
Thanks Cathy! 🤗

Sunday, 14 April 2019

Finally...............some sewing!

I haven't even picked up a needle for over two weeks. That seems very strange.
Two weeks ago we were in Singapore where the temperature was 30C with high humidity. Then the long flight back to London to be met by a sunny day, but cold, only 12C.
Since then we have had several frosts and temperatures down to 2C!

So, why haven't I been sewing? Unpacking, washing and ironing and finding places for everything we brought home from NZ.
Also we have been on family duty supporting our daughter who had an operation on her spine three days after we arrived home. Transporting our granddaughter to and from school and to all her myriad of after school activities. So, no time to sew until yesterday afternoon when I thoroughly enjoyed myself making two drawstring Patchwork bags. (Pink Penguin blog tutorial).
My granddaughter was very keen for me to make these, one for herself and one for Mummy. She picked  out and arranged all the fabric squares for her own bag (initial A) and the squares for the front of the second bag (initial C) and then we ran out of time before I drove her to another of her activities.

However, both now finished:

The fronts

And backs

Hope they are well received when I see A tomorrow.

And to finish, a photograph of the Palm Cross I received at church this morning.

As I walked home along the shortcut path I take beside a little copse I spied some bluebells, the first I've seen this year. I took a photograph on my phone but not sure how to add that to my blog post.

More sewing this afternoon I hope.

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Ten more Grannies!

I found some more scraps of yarn at the Charity Shop so I made ten more crochet Granny squares.
All the colours were rather dark the day I rummaged though the box of yarn but I think these squares would work well in a man's blanket so I'll be posting these to Jan in Australia tomorrow.

Her blog is:

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

On their way to Australia

Whilst I've been on holiday in NZ I have used up scraps of fabric to make 18 x 10.5" square QAYG string blocks and 30 crochet Granny Squares.

                                       These are the last 8 I made in the last few days.

 I love making them all. Hope Jan can use them in her charity QAYG Quilts and crocheted blankets. 
She supports so many worthwhile causes it's been a pleasure to send her donation blocks over the past few years.
Have a look at her blog: somanyquiltstoolittletime
Perhaps you can send Jan some donations too, even a top or quilt?

Friday, 1 March 2019

A quilt finish - FIRST for 2019

I finished a small baby quilt and labeled it ready for gifting.

Bright colours, suitable for either a boy or girl. Baby is not due for some time yet but we need to gift it to baby's Mum before we travel home.

It measures 34" square so ideal for a Play Mat, as a cover for the pushchair or snuggle time.

All hand quilted with Perle threads, using blue and green threads on alternate blocks.

Thursday, 21 February 2019

Lots more Strings from friends

I am clearing up scraps, trying to use everything I have here in New Zealand.
Last week I collected together strings scraps, prepped some squares with batting pinned on, ready to make some QAYG String blocks for Jan in Australia.

As always, I am surprised how quickly a pile of scraps is used up and I only managed to make 7 blocks before I was very short of strings!

I ran out of strings before I could cover the blocks I had prepped. I was going to my Patchwork Group the following day so emailed the members to ask if anyone
 has scrapstrings to spare. Several people brought some to the meeting but several were puzzled by  my term "strings" , thinking that I meant string like you would use to tie up a parcel!  So we learned another difference in Kiwi  English!

I had enough gifted strips to make another 11 blocks.

Monday, 11 February 2019

Crochet Granny Squares

I've been using the oddments of yarn I thrifted from The Salvation Army Charity Shop, making Granny squares I will send to Jan in Australia for her charity blankets.
Last year I made lots but used a different colour for each of the ten rounds of crochet.
This year I am making them a bit differently: a whole square if I have enough yarn, then bands of colour to use every scrap of yarn up. Liking the results.

These three are my favourites. I used two different variegated balls of yarn which ended up in these. They remind me of Sugared Almonds!

I think I have 22 finished here, made another last night and have enough yarn left to crochet quite a few more. Great to keep my fingers busy whilst I watch a bit of TV.

Monday, 4 February 2019

Happy Blocks is a flimsy!

I had a very productive day at my Vintage Quilters meeting on Saturday.
I framed 23 squares and turned them into Happy Blocks, then assembled them into a flimsy.
I'm delighted with it, so bright and colourful!

This morning I basted it ready to start quilting tomorrow at my other Patchwork Group, the MQC.
Raring to go!

Thursday, 31 January 2019

Having fun making Happy Blocks

Starting another Happy Blocks baby quilt. Fun novelty fabrics with bright frames.
Going to my Patchwork Group tomorrow so I have cut out all 25 blocks in preparation.

Thursday, 10 January 2019

Thrifted finds

I popped into the Salvation Army Op Shop today looking for yarn and pieces of fabric. I was very lucky and found three pieces of new fabric and 3 lots of yarn.

The fabrics will be useful for backing baby quilts and some QAYG Strippy blocks I hope to make whilst I am in New Zealand.

The striped and the floral I'm certain are 100% cotton, the gingham may have a bit of polyester in it.  I think the floral is bed sheet fabric as it measures 100" long  x 25" wide.  Only cost $2. The other two are 22" x 42" and were $1 each.
The yarn will be useful for making crochet Granny squares.  The top packet was $1 and the other two were $1.50 each.

Looking forward to using them.  Maybe do some crocheting this evening whilst I watch some TV.
My first blog post of 2019 so Happy New Year to you.