Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Busy, busy!

 Lots of sewing this week - delighted to have my sewing machine back from it's service!

 A total of 14  x 3 1/2" square blocks this week - I'd forgotten how fast these little blocks can go together.
 Some of them are nice and square, others need a bit of a trim and square up!
 Some had triangles that were teeny tiny by the time we'd finished!
 This is another pin cushion made with some of the scraps - about 3" square.
 Three post cards - all variants on a 9-patch theme and roughly 6" x 4".
 A hand stitched improve pin cushion - about 3 1/2" square.
Finally, three more 'wild women' - when I excavated the sewing machine for its service I found these three unfinished 'dolls'.  Roughly 2" x 3" plus hair, legs etc.  Good to get them completed and ready to give away at some point!

Now I need to decide which projects to take with me on holiday - always an exciting prospect!

Happy stitching, everyone!

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

This and That!

 Ta-da!  The final 6 1/2" 'light' blocks from the second border are complete!

I haven't made any of the 3 1/2" dark blocks this week as my regular sewing machine has gone away for a service, and I don't trust the accuracy of my daughters machine which I've borrowed!
It was fine for making a few more sweet pea pod purses, though!
But the piecing on this 16 patch looks decidedly 'improv' even though I did start off with 16 x 1" pieces!

The windmill on the RH pincushion was the left over bits from the centre of the block in the first photo - too good to lose into my scrap basket!

My machine should be back by the end of the week and I'm looking forward to it!

Happy stitching, everyone!

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Baden Powell Award and Bits and Bobs

 What a proud and happy girl!

DD1 worked hard and got her top Guiding award - completing the Baden Powell challenge.  She had to undertake 10 tasks (in her case these included taking her Water Safety badge, writing up notes about a visit to a wildlife reserve, cooking a meal from another culture - all sorts of things) and to go away with some Guides to take a challenge, where you weren't allowed more than two or three other girls that were from your own Guide Unit.  Quite a challenge for DD1, but she managed and feels very proud, as she should.

Thank you, Girl Guiding, for giving her this opportunity - and in particular thank you to her Guide Leaders for encouraging her!

 I've been getting on with my 365 challenge blocks again.

Almost at the end of this round of 6 1/2" light blocks.  Just two more to make and I'll have enough for the second border (not that I've sewn together the first (dark) border yet!).
 The little dark blocks are going to be the focus for the next couple of months, I think.  These ones could have done with a bit more contrast in my fabric choices, I think....I'll have to relearn that!
 I've also made this ready for the end of term - it was tricky to get the thread outline just right for the dragon, but I'm quite pleased with the final result.
 I also ordered some crushed walnut shells as I feel a pin cushion festival coming on!

Here are my first two attempts, made in response to seeing the ones on crazymomquilts.

I have lots of scraps, so I think that I might well be making more little lovelies!
Plate bag for DD2's camp made and filled.
Another small batch of sweet pea pods made too - that should cover the next couple of birthdays that I'd like to give a homemade gift for.

Phew!  Loved all my sewing this week, and I'm looking forward to getting more sewing done this week before the school holidays start and things get a bit busier at home!

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Some blocks and a finish

 Another 8 365 challenge blocks this week!  I know that's not much of a catch up, but at least I'm not sliding backwards still!  I'm up to the 25th June now, and quite happy with my progress.
 More pretty blocks!  I'm enjoying the journey of this quilt, although I still have no idea what I will do with a quilt that is going to be so large.... apparently the blocks we've made already are sufficient to cover the top of a double bed!
 The finish is the Project Linus quilt that the girls started.  Didn't they do a good job?

Here it is in its fully bound glory.

We have our local Project Linus coordinator coming along to the Richmond and Kew Quilters next week - perfect for handing this quilt and a couple of others that I've made over to her.
Here it is showing the backing, which was two printed cot quilt  panels.

Off to make some more blocks and a plate bag, ready for DD2 to go off to Guide camp later this month.  She's shopped my stash and chosen something - and chosen fabric for the shoe bag needed once she moves up to secondary school too.  I'd better track down the cord that I know I've got somewhere!

Happy sewing everyone!

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

More Cake, More Blocks, More Sewing with a Good Heart.

It's been a busy week - with some time taken to rant about the upsetting referendum result.

This is my favourite 365 challenge block that I've made over the past 7 days.  Shown here at it's 'raw' 6 1/2" square, it won't be long until we have sufficient blocks to make the next 'frame' on the pattern (not that I've actually assembled the inner darks yet - still a project for another day!).
I managed six blocks this week.  I'm only about 10 days out of date on it, which I'm quite proud of!

 We hosted DD2's 11th birthday party at the weekend - Snoopy themed.  Who amongst us quilters could resist asking the guests to help make a quilt for Project Linus, after explaining to them that the charity was named after the Charlie Brown character?

They set to with gusto, and are seen here admiring their handiwork.
I've added a few more strips to this 'stitch and flip' quilt (so pieced and quilted all at once - a great way to make a simple hardwearing quilt).  I just need to complete the binding now.  Well done girls!  It just shows how willing young people are, in any situation, to help create something for people less well off than themselves.   There is hope.
My other sewing has been a few more 'sweet pea pods'.  Quick to sew - I need to find a source of zipper pulls to add to the zipper teeth that I have left!

Finally, a snap of the cake that I created.  Relatively simple to decorate, using toys that I bought from eBay to complete it!

Planning a more restful week now!

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Midsummer mum

 I took some time to myself to make these four Hazel blocks....
 ....and these eight Hazel blocks (that's me all caught up now on Hazel, at least!).

Aren't they great patterns?  I love how these ones play together to make a great secondary pattern.
But the rest of my time I've been being a mum!  I took DD1 shopping on her day off from school on Monday (and we both lived to tell the tale - and even had fun whilst doing it!).

Yesterday my attention turned to DD2 - and yes, you might have guessed, we gave her a camera for her birthday!

Midsummer 'mumness' is fun, but I wish that I had the energy to both sew and put that amount of energy into parenting!  Still, I shall stay happy with being able to be a mum and thinking that it is appreciated by my lovely girls.
I also made these sweet pea pod purses (one boxed out, one not) for a friend of both girls who also had a birthday yesterday!

Thanks to Lazy Girl Designs for selling me this PDF pattern and showing me how to reattach zipper pulls to zips!  and big thanks to whoever it was that showed them on her blog last week, making me buy the pattern and order some 16" zips!

Gotta love the world of blogs!

Happy sewing everyone.  Hope that you are cherishing your family relationships too!

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

A bumper week!

 Life isn't always perfect - and I'm here to show you that blocks aren't always perfect either!

Spot the mistake with this block?  Hmmm.  Yes.  Me too - not even I could sweep this one under the carpet!

I wasn't feeling the love for it, so confess to just chopping the extra fabric off, thus losing the chevron effect.  Oh well!  Only you and me know that, no one looking at the finished quilt will ever know that it was designed any differently!
 It was only one of twelve, yes, TWELVE, 365 challenge blocks that I made this week.

There are some glorious patterns to enjoy!
 Here's that rogue block with the outer parts chopped off - and some others with their points intact.
 Some of these blocks are quite fast, others seem more time consuming - but it's all good fun!
 Yesterday I started to cut out the pieces for my Little Hazel (last months part - oops!).

I even got as far as making up one of the eight blocks that are going to be produced - just as well, as I need to look at where the points are ending up on the outer edges!

If I wanted to boast about how productive I've been, I might also mention the 'army' trousers (simple pull on trousers in camo fabric) that I've made for my DD2 for a school production.  Such a long time since I've made any sort of garment, but it was fun to draft a simple pattern based on a pair of her pyjama bottoms and get something that more or less fitted!

Another pair coming up later this week as one of her friends needs the same sort of costume!

Have fun with whatever you are sewing too!

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Blocks and Pink Loveliness!

 This is one of the nine 365 challenge blocks that I've made this week - shown on it's own as it is the closest to 'real' colours that I've snapped this week.

 These are some of the lovely other blocks that I've made this week - lots of pieces!
 And these blocks too!
And the pink loveliness that I mentioned?  My two beautiful daughters, all tricked out in pink ready for the Race for Life.  They raised £100 - thanks to all their sponsors - as part of a large team that raised over £1500.  Well done to them all!

I'm off to unpick the next block (I should have paid more attention before I sewed some of the elements together!) and then start some more!

Happy sewing, everyone!

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Stop and smell the roses!

 The first day of June!  Not too much sunshine where I live, but glorious roses blooming their hardest in the gardens of my neighbours which I can enjoy whenever I leave the house, including one bush which the owner has put a 'stop and smell the roses' sign on.  DD2 stops each day as she passes the garden on the way to school and inhales the lovely scent.  What a great way to start the day!

I've been working on my 365 blocks again this week.
 Love the pops of colour.  I think that the two stars at the bottom of this set of four are some of my favourites so far.
 Again, more blocks made than there are days in the week, so my slow catch up continues!
 I've also been lucky enough to attract some more beautiful fabric from a well travelled friend who was reducing her stash.  Gorgeous fabrics bought from Africa and the Far East.
Small amounts of domestic sewing too.  I bound the lower edge of these cut off oven gloves - only to confirm when I used them that they are still too big / wrongly shaped for my personal 'best fit'.  I think that I need to make a pair from scratch again!

I've also been sewing name tapes on.  I suspect that having a uniform ready for September when May hadn't even finished was a little bit on the prompt side, but at least I know that we have everything that we need!

I hope that you are enjoying something fun this week too - and that you are able to enjoy your own rose smelling or it's equivalent too!

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

More sewing fun!

 I'm happy that I've managed to make more 365 challenge blocks than there are days of the week - first time for ages that I've had the energy to do that!

All these blocks are 6 1/2" square and made of lights / brights from my batik stash.
Of course, I didn't manage to get everything right first time.  The block on the right has the top right hand corner sewn on wrong, so I'll need to unpick that and re-sew it.

I've put it next to this other block - Flower Garden Path - that I am pleased with.  Partly it reminds me that I can sew things right the first time (!) and partly because I was interested to see the differences in the blocks that are both nine patches with chevrons in the middle outer four squares.

Apart from this there is a little bit of cross stitching going on, but not much else...... Hope that you too are enjoying something creative this week!