Friday, 31 December 2010

Happy New Year!

Just taking a moment to wish everyone a happy, healthy, merry, crafty and quilty New Year!

And to show you the two left hand blocks on this, made when I stole a few minutes earlier to ensure that my Round 6 of Kate's Stay At Home Robin was completed in time for the end of the month.  It's turning into a cheerful little quilt, but the circles on it I can't really lay claim to - I've borrowed them from others in the group - thanks guys!

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Happy Holidays!

I'm still playing catch up, but that doesn't mean that I think that I've left it too late to wish everyone festive greetings and all the best for the New Year (and you may notice in that some acceptance that sewing and blogging over the holiday period does slow down a bit!).

The post title also refers to my happy holidays - I've managed a little stitching (and planning more now that I've cleared some space in the craft room - I can see the cutting mat again, hurrah!) and been the recipient of some lovely quilty gifts.  Not only my star from Avril, but lovely coasters from Benta and super egg cosies from Lesley - as well as some fabulous fabric from my brother Paul (and sort of a metre of bright fabric from my family, although that was a bit of a re-wrap job as technically it came free from Clothkits when I bought kits for the girls).

Why was I buying kits for the girls?  Lovely retro, nostalgia making kits for the girls?  Because my Dad and stepmother have relinquished the Frister and Rossman that I learned to sew on - the family sewing machine - to them for Christmas.  Actually 'relinquished' makes it sound more of a wrench than I think it was.  It was more a showing a way to the wardrobe where it has been kept, unused,  for the last twenty something years with a degree of relief that someone else was going to lift it out and take it away!

It still sews well, although the needle position seems a little off to the left - probably forced into unnatural positions whilst I was a teenage sewer making clothes and accessories.  The manual isn't with it, so I really need to look on-line to try and find out what the different feet are for.  I never was much good at understanding how to use different feet, and the only thing that has changed is that now I recognise a 'hopping' foot for free motion quilting, and a walking foot...... 

The girls are VERY excited about having a real machine of their own, and even more excited about having a machine that does zig-zag.  Lots of fun on the trial pieces changing the size of the stitch, both length and width.  Soon it's going to be time to get busy with their kits, with more charm squares, and with the fab sparkly fabric and threads that their Uncle Paul bought them......

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Finished in time for Christmas!

This post should have been made last Wednesday, as it relates to sewing on Tuesday evening.  Guess who's playing catch up?

No, this post isn't about anything else that I'm sewing, but my lovely friend Tracy has finished this beautiful little quilt for her girls to play with.  Admittedly it didn't take long in sewing hours, but in elapsed time it's taken about 7 months.....

She made a fabulous job of it, and I hope that she's proud.  Is this just the first of many, Tracy?  My sewing room is always open to friends who'd like to do some sewing if anyone else feels inspired by Tracy's lovely quilt, so long as they don't mind a bit of untidiness (or creative stacking, as I like to think of it)!

Friday, 17 December 2010

Comfy Cushion

I've made the most of G being off sick for most of this week.  When I haven't been a human sofa (well, a 7 year old needs her mum when she's poorly) I've been making this cushion.  The personalised motifs that I was asked to include were an owl, a rainbow and some flowers.....and this is how it turned out.  The winner of the silent auction is very pleased - so I am too (although I won't be rushing to make any more fused rainbows in a hurry - lots of wobbly thin arcs!).

Just a little bit of hand stitching on the go at the moment, before I pull out the tumblers and Dresden plate that I was making before I swept everything aside to make the cushion cover.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Christmas is Coming!

I can tell this, as sewing time has become Christmas card writing time and wrapping time, and blogging time has become on-line shopping time - or at least, that's how it feels!

Despite this, last week I enjoyed a 'quilter's play date' with Avril, Lesley and Benta.  We played with fusible scraps and nattered merrily. 

Avril gave me a wonderful Christmas star with her trademark impressive stitching. 

I was inspired to have a go too, but need to stitch a shape that is rather more generous at the points, as mine looks too skinny, and to add some more stitching in the centre where it looks a little bare.

I carried on with the cream and red theme to knock up a few more Christmas decorations though - swiftly made with fusible ironed on to the red spotty fabric before the shapes were cut out and applied to the 'postage stamp' squares.  I made them with the Brownie bazaar stall in mind.... now I'm tempted to make some more padded squares like these but plain, so that the girls and their friends can decorate them with fabric pens as a fun activity.