Wednesday 30 July 2014

Just in time!

 As you may remember, I've been trying to make one quilt every month to give away (mostly for charity, two for teachers of DD1).  So far I've just about managed it - and I'm hoping to sew down the binding on this in time for a July completion for this one!

This photo is to give it some context.  When I did a workshop with Jan Hassard, making her curved log cabins, I didn't have a 1/4" inch foot for the machine that I was using.  This meant that when I got home I could either 1) carry on using this machine or 2) sacrifice this first strip and make the rest of the strips that I'd cut out into a slightly smaller quilt.  As you can guess, I returned to my beloved Bernina and left this first strip hanging forlornly on the wall for some considerable time.

You can see the quilt that I made hanging on the living room wall in this photo.
 So, a couple of years on, I finally decided that I should make a strippy quilt using this log cabin strip for the centre.  It was only slightly longer than the width of a typical fabric, so I didn't lose much of it when making this up with alternate plain blue and 'car' fabric.

I hope that a little boy will like this at some point - and I liked having the practise for some long feathers on a couple of the plain strips - the rest of the quilt was stippled - always best to put plenty of quilting on a pieced quilt that is being made for a child, I find!
So here it is, without the binding being stitched yet.  At least that is easy 'non thinking' sewing to do when the girls are around!

I hope that you are enjoying some summer sewing time too.

Tuesday 22 July 2014


 I accept that it doesn't take much to thrill me, but my husband recognising that this A3 quilt was 'Bathers at Asnieres' by Seurat did really please me!

He did point out that after nearly 25 years of marriage it would be more a surprise if he didn't know the original reasonably well, given that it was one of my favourite paintings.
This is a photo of the post card I have of it - it's somewhat larger in real life!

On show (permanently) at the National Gallery you can find out a bit more about it here.

I had fun making the quilt using a 'confetti' technique (tiny chopped up bits of fabric scattered into the different areas, then covered in net and quilted.

I know that all the bits didn't stay quite where I'd planned, but they were mostly in the right place.  I was a bit disappointed about how much the netting flattened the lovely rough and fluffy textures of the fabric confetti.  If I had a bit more patience (and time!) I'd be tempted to try another version without the net, just to see if I could sew down all the bits and retain the texture.  However, life is short and the school holidays start tomorrow, so sewing time will become a bit more limited for a while!

Wednesday 16 July 2014

Down my street.

First of all, here is my finished 'Bathers' quilt.  I'm quite pleased with how it has turned out.  It is A3 sized and a little brighter than this photo shows.

Of course, it was only after I'd put some guide lines for the quilting on to it with water erasable pen that I remembered that my hand dyed fabrics wouldn't necessarily be colour fast - oops!

I'm happy to say that I have given it a light spray and it seems to be fine.  Perhaps it's just the cerise based fabrics challenging me!
Aren't these lovely?

Shamelessly using the lovely, simple pattern from Janet Clare's Home Quilt Home book, last night some friends and I enjoyed a kitchen table crafting night.

As one guest commented, more Balamory* than understated chic (I got  to choose the colours of the felt provided) we all had fun making these little houses.

I'm so lucky to have friends who will indulge me by coming round to join in with small crafting projects - my life is richer for the friendship that all of them offer me.  Thanks, girls!

This week I've also been lucky enough to go to my quilt group where Liz Trenow, author of 'The Last Seamstress' was giving a talk.  She was an entertaining speaker and I was interested to learn 1) that the last silk weavers in the UK are still based in Sudbury, 2) some of the constraints of producing parachute silk (relevant to her first novel) and 3) that her next book is called 'The Poppy Factory' - so has some local interest to me, as it's just five minutes away in Richmond.  I haven't visited it, but DD1 went there on a school trip and was fascinated by it.  I enjoyed The Last Seamstress (which is a story based around a quilt - you can download the pattern from her website) so have ordered the other two books too for some more 'easy reading' for the summer.

Finally, the outcome from last week's giveaway.  The randomiser chose number 3 - so congratulations to Gill - I'll be in touch to get your snail mail address.  Thank you to those who played along!

I hope that you are planning a week of sewing or crafting.  I'm hoping to finish my next Bather's based quilt - very different from the first one, but the same size.

* Balamory was a children's TV series, shown on CBeebies that my DD's used to enjoy.  It was shot in Tobamory on the Isle of Mull where there are some brightly coloured buildings, and used technical wizardry to colour some other buildings too.

Wednesday 9 July 2014

Summer Give Away!

Not yet our summer holidays, but  time to celebrate long hours of day light and the possibility of ice cream eating with bare feet feeling grass rather than mud!

I made an extra campervan print 'tea wallet' - and I've added some other summer goodies: a key tag to make, some stickers, a little of two types of ice cream fabric.

Want to win?  Leave me a comment, perhaps sharing your ideal one word for summer!  Name out of a hat in a week's time.....
 The quilts that I'd finished previously have now been labelled (so properly finished now!). In addition to my usual printed labels, DD1 made her own 'thank you' additions.  I feel that we may need to work on 'setting out your space', but the sentiment is heartfelt!
As promised, this is the cushion cover part of the quillow.  I can't think of a better place to use a 'friendship star' as Georgie's TA has been a true friend to her as well as a fabulous teacher.  We have been very lucky to have the wonderful Mrs Power as well as the lovely Miss Stout.  If we ever get even half as lucky again, we will have a lot to thank the education system for!

Aside from labelling, I've made reasonable progress on my Bathers tribute quilt.  The challenge from my quilting group was to make an A3 quilt, based on or inspired by an art postcard.  Mine is based on the block that I designed based on 'The Bathers' by Georges Sueurat.  I'm having fun making it.

Hope you are enjoying sewing too! Don't forget to leave a comment if you want some summer goodies for your stash!

Tuesday 1 July 2014

A Pleasure of Small Things

 I'm not sure that I know what a good collective noun for a group of lovely small things might be, so 'a pleasure' would surely fit as well as anything else?  Here's a round up of my week, anyway.  Odd layout as I appear to be falling out with Blogger today.....

 This was my attempt at a campervan cake.

It seemed to go down well.....
These were the 36, oh no, 35 fairy cakes to go along with the large cake (cake making is clearly hungry business!).
Campervan 'tea bag' wallets for helpers / party girl.
These are the campervans that the party goers decorated - aren't they amazing?  Finally, below, some 'use it up' pieces - cushions for a pair of girls who had watched my stitching at ballet lesson time (including the Love Entwined compass centre that I didn't use), finishing up book covers from other samples to go with the specific school one.

Just one more book cover and I'll have finished the school presents for DD1 leaving - it's all going well at the moment! 

Hope you are having a fun crafty summer time so far too!