Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Coming together and a present to myself


I was in need of something life affirming this week after the death of a friend.  I guess that you can tell that I'm a confirmed quilter when I chose to buy myself a new foot for my sewing machine.  I decided to seize the moment, embrace life and not worry about spending more money than I  >should<.  I hope that it will make my FMQ just a little more accurate, as I'll be able to see where the needle is even more clearly.  Only time will tell - and I have to confess that despite its starring role under the foot, I have yet to set another stitch on this quilt, which I am still a little uncertain about!

I have, however, made some little Christmas pouches as a nice way of gifting vouchers or money.  A 'quilt as you go' type idea using strips of Christmas fabric over a felt base.  Very simple.  Very quick. I think that it probably took less than 30 minutes to make all four, that's from deciding to make them to actually finishing them, although I did have some Christmas FQs to hand to cut the strips from.

Even quicker were the paper (map) versions that I made - a piece of paper 8" x 4", folded 3" up to make a pouch with the corners cut off at 45 degrees to make an envelope shape.  Sew around the three side (on the flap it is just for decoration) and you have a perfect gift wallet.  Even better if you cut a semi-circle out of the non-flap end before you sew it, so that the gift note or voucher can be seen peeping out when the flap is lifted up. 

My other sewing this week has been hand sewing - the final touches to Part 5 of Love Entwined.  Completed!  Hurrah!  Do you like my little worm coming out of the flower?  Check the photos out below - I don't seem to be able to match text to photos this week on Blogger sorry!

Part 6 beckons - I'm ready to start tracing shapes onto freezer paper but have other calls on my time and energy at the moment!

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

If all else fails......make a penguin!

 I've been putting together my 'bathers' blocks for my latest C&G design.

Unfortunately, despite making samples, I seem to have included a solid grey that just doesn't quite work.  Grrrr!  I've looked at it.  Wondered whether it will blend better once it's quilted.  Debated with myself about how best to deal with it. 

As yet no conclusions - just a desire that I'd made it in colours that were a bit bolder (my taste) rather than something a bit more muted (DH's taste) - but as it is destined for the living room I think that I will give in gracefully.
Of course, with all this internal debate about the runner, I needed something easy to make.

Inspired by the penguin made (rather more expertly) by Janet Clare I made my own.  Unfortunately I couldn't wait for the Basic Grey pattern to be shipped to me (c'mon guys - it's a pattern!  PDF download is what I'd like!) so I went to look for on-line patterns and found this one from Purl Bee.

I'm very pleased with how this little lovely went together, even if she (and I think that it's a she) looks a bit bewildered.  Of course, I can't referee between two DDs who'd like to have custody of her, so at the moment she is ALL MINE!

I have been otherwise occupied over the last few days (think plumbers not sewing, unfortunately) but I'm determined to get back and make some decisions about the runner.

In the meantime, I hope that you have carved out some crafting time for yourself and that you might also consider making your own penguin - every home should have one!

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Hearts and a harvest

 Not really my work, but I had a hand in supervising the creation of these - and a couple more that went home with friends of the DD's.  I'd almost forgotten how delighted small people can be with the chance to use a sewing machine, as my DD's are always aware that they can use it so it has ceased to be a novelty!

In fairness, they all enjoyed the hand sewing too.
This was my real happiness yesterday, though - my first ever saffron!  Having planted the bulbs less than a month ago I was hoping for a harvest this autumn, but I not banking on it.   The girls are intrigued by being able to grow something so easily that is worth its weight in gold (indeed, I'm fighting hard not to have the whole garden turned to a mini saffron farm).  I'm wondering if I should add flashes of gold or orange to the purple and grey blocks that I'm making in celebration of our first harvest!
Happy stitching!

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Tiny Quilt

 Last week I read this blog post at Crazy Mom Quilts - and instantly wanted to cast everything else aside and make one.  A zig zag quilt made from rectangles?  Almost too good to be true!

Of course, what with it being half term I didn't have oodles of free time (or indeed, energy).  What I did have was a lovely squishy of fabric from Ingrid - a number of fat 1/8ths  - and all in tiny prints entirely suitable for a miniature quilt.

It took only a short time to make this quilt with a little of the fabric.  As I just used the number of blocks that I made (and didn't use one fabric as an 'anchor' like the real pattern suggested) it doesn't look quite the same, but I'm quite pleased with this mini-quilt.
It finished at about 5 1/2" x 5".  If I'd thought it through I'd have trimmed it further to 4" across and then it would have been easy to tack it to some card and put it into a standard frame.... but of course, I didn't think at all!

A little hand quilting along the zig zags finished it off, and I shall hand it over to Ingrid (who I only know through sitting with her whilst we watch our children at their swimming lessons) to say 'thank you' for the fabric and block template that she gifted to me.

Not much more sewing than that this week - I'm catching up on some rest after our half-term fun!