Wednesday 30 November 2011

Supernova - at last!

Back in March, Lee of Freshly Pieced started a quilt-along for a quilt called 'Supernova'.  I liked the idea, I wanted to make it, but right from the start I was struggling to keep up (DD1 has a birthday in March, that's my excuse!).  Still, I completed the quilt top in June (just a bit later than the quilt-along finished), pieced a backing (as I was trying to work from stash) and spray basted it.  I wanted to work quickly as I intended to give it to my sister and BiL who were visiting in July.  However, DD2 has a birthday in June...... never mind, I planned to finish the quilt for August when I was visiting my sister.  Hmmm.  That didn't happen either.

About a fortnight ago I realised that we'd be meeting up again - so it was all systems go on the quilting front.  I have to be honest, it's not my finest attempt.  At 62" square it felt pretty big to manouver about, and, to be honest, I feel a bit out of practice for 'proper' quilting.  Still.  I freehanded feathers out towards each of the four corners, and than filled in the remaining space with a largish stipple.  Then the scrappy binding was made and applied, the label printed and sewn on.  Phew!  Managed it in the nick of time!

Even better, my sister and BiL were both suprised and pleased (or they are lying well) to have it!  Always a good result.

So, no sewing to show this week, although I have plans for a wall hanging before Christmas if I can manage it!

Thursday 24 November 2011

A Week of Small Sewing and Super Service!

It's been another week of mainly small projects: sewing on DD1's collectors badge to her Brownie sash, taking up four pairs of school trousers.....but also enjoying making these items!

This first card was made for Avril as part of the BQL postcard swap.  She'd asked for beach / people / boats.  I failed on the boats, but was happy with this - a water colour picture put through a colour filter, printed onto a non-woven fabric, then stitched with outlines and fillers enough to enhance the scene.  I'd thought that I'd be using my (current favourite) perle threads, but they would have been too heavy, so I used ordinary weight sewing threads instead - there are six different threads used that all have colour variation along them.

This second card is another BQL PC swap card - this time with a flower theme.  I used paper that already included flower petals and stitched around them.  I think that if my brain had been sufficiently engaged I would have chosen a looser zig-zag edging than usual, as I'm a bit worried that so many holes perforating the edge might cause the paper to lift away whilst in transit.  I added two sides of machine pattern (where I just about had room) to try and prevent postal damage, but another time I might remember to put a layer of something sheer over the whole thing, or iron the paper onto lightweight interfacing.

My other little sewing was this little message bot.  Jodie Carleton (RicRac) put a tutorial and pattern up for free on her blog.  Isn't it great? 

Yes, I do realise that my message bot is currently missing a message, but I only made this last night, and getting down my message tags would cause clattering and probably wake up at least one of my DD's, so my best chance of finishing this blog post is to just keep quiet until I want them to wake up in about twenty minutes!

That concludes the small sewing, so what's the super service that I've had this week?

First of all the lovely Keira from Kikis Craft Corner emailed me to point out a slight error in the thread order that she'd sent out to me.  I hadn't noticed it (ahem, is that the sign of someone who was ordering more threads than she could use at the moment?  possibly!) - but as well as putting the order right, she sent me a lovely packet of Clover embroidery needles!  Thank you Keira!  I can also tell you that the threads  - hand dyed in South Africa - are absolutely lovely, and Keira's online service very fast.  I know that I'll be shopping with her again.

The second super service was again someone who processes orders quickly and well - and this time sorted out an error of mine.  I send my blunt (used) rotary cutter blades to Lawrence of Sheba Blades (and Rio Designs).  His prices for sharpening are very reasonable and, again, I always get very quick service.  This time, though, I sent the blades and the money but.......actually I'd sent three blades, and only the money for two.  The charming Lawrence sent me all three blades back, with a note waiving the payment for the third.  What a gent!  I shall, of course, be making good my error, but I'm really pleased to have the blades back so quickly still rather than a protracted exchange!  Thank you Lawrence!
Just a month to Christmas Eve - I hope that you are managing some pre-Christmas crafting  - and also enjoying good service from your craft providers too!

Wednesday 16 November 2011

Chick chick chick chicken....

..... don't lay a little egg for tea!  I wouldn't really fancy a stuffing and fabric egg!

Part of my sewing this week was leading my quilting group in a 'Christmas Chicken' making session - very simple to make, and everyone seemed pleased with the idea.  There may be a chicken kit giveaway in the not too distant future....

I've had two other projects this week.  One was to make pyjamas (and, it turned out, a skirt) for one of DD2's teddy bears - a useful distraction whilst her big sister was out playing with a friend.

My other project was to make up the foundation pieced blocks that I'd designed - one based on a bit of railway and platform, the other on a section of baling machine.

Curved piecing for foundation blocks?  I always knew that it was going to be tricky, but these curves were almost too severe given that the blocks are only 9" square.....

What I was 'supposed' to be doing was making notes on shape, of course, but I'd almost always rather be sewing!

Hope that you are having fun too.

Thursday 10 November 2011

Are you bored yet?

 Yes, more buttons - just about the only sewing that I've done this week, unless you can count sewing a button onto a shirt..... and no, not one of these, just the shirt button that had fallen off.

Although I've been a bit worn out recently, I have managed to design a couple of blocks for my C&G course (what would I do without Quilt Pro to get my straight lines straight for me?  It's lovely to be able to make a very rough sketch and then translate into a block that I can easily edit / re size / recolour using Quilt Pro!).

Perhaps I'll actually get around to making them next week.
Just for fun, here is a little part of our home firework display.  DH was in charge of the entertainment, the hens were locked away (and didn't squawk, so didn't seem upset about the flashes and bangs so close their bedroom), and the DD's and I enjoyed the spectacle wrapped in camp blankets on the patio.  All good old fashioned fun, although without a bonfire or a guy.......