Friday, 27 August 2010

When the cat is away...

....the mice will play.

It is amazing what can be accomplished when you find yourself home alone. And can I just say that in 11 years of being a mother I have never had a home alone moment up until now. This will be night number three and the last, without anyone in the house except moi. When thinking about this precious time I thought about all sorts of sociable things I could get up to and then I realised that what I actually wanted to do was sit behind my sewing machine on my own... and sew.

First box ticked was this:

I realise it is not the most revealing of pictures but that's because it is for my secret partner in the Urban Home Goods secret swap on Flickr. Have a look at the amazing creativity that is going on and you'll see why I wanted to join. I must admit that when I was assigned my secret partner I did a bit of a gulp when I looked at her Flickr photostream and saw her creativity. And then you become a bit nervous about the standard of your work. I'm massively comfortable making things for family and friends probably because what they know about quilting you could write on the back of a matchbox. However, when it is for a fellow quilter you start to worry where your work falls on the quilt crapometer. I even poured over a YouTube video on how to finish sewing your binding on the bias because previously I'd done it the other way of just joining the two straight ends.

This is the back.
 Yes, I know...still not much to go on. Hopefully, I'll be able to show the full reveal in the next couple of weeks, speed of various countries postal systems permitting.

Second finish was this:

Daughter No.1 requested a new school bag for the new school year at her new school. "Pink and black please." I'm not a huge fan of solid pink and solid black together so it's blackish and pinkish and I hope she likes it. And if she shows any sign of dissent towards it, I shall swiftly remind her that 'pretty much most other mothers go out and buy their kids backpacks for school so just be grateful that you've got a kind and creative mother who gives up her valuable time to make you something a little bit different.' Or words to that effect;-)
As far as bag patterns go, this one was ridiculously easy to make. The longest part was the cutting out of the fabric. If anyone is interested, I used this pattern which I bought from here when they were having one of their hard-to-resist 'free worldwide postage' offers the other week:

As you can see, I have yet to master the art of getting all the pattern pieces back in the envelope. About as successful a job as I make of folding maps properly back together.
I followed the pattern almost to a T except I added in an extra layer (ie there was none mentioned) of fusible interfacing to both the outside and the lining as I felt just fabric and fleece was not going to be sturdy enough.

And finally...I have started work on a quilt with the purple and green colourway of Tufted Tweets. Something hopefully to share in a few weeks.

P.S. And they all got made listening to these guys. I found myself standing in Bromley High Street (UK) a couple of years ago and they were busking. And I stopped and I stared and I stopped and I stared some more and then I did something I have never ever done before - I bought a street buskers CD. And here we are, two years on and they are still busking and I (without exception, like all the people on YouTube and Amazon ( can not for the life of me/us understand why they have not hit the big time. This is real music made by real people and I defy you not to smile/get up and dance/go for a run when you have listened to this.
And when you have; listen to this and this and maybe you'll get what I get about them.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

How to win all the prizes in a quilt show

Well actually that's a bit of a distortion of the truth because it is in fact an 'agricultural and horticultural show' and I entered my quilts into the 'patchwork' section. Sorry, but I find that such an old-fashioned word. top tip for making sure that you do a clean sweep is to...

make sure that... one else has entered.

Simple huh?

So that is £5 for first prize, £3 for second and £2 for third. Festival of Quilts Birmingham, Houston, Paducah; eat your heart out.

Mind you, I bet none of those great quilt shows have their 'patchwork' section sharing marquee space with a pygmy goat (females must be dry and males neutered), three meringues on a plate and a partridge in a pear tree. Oh OK, well maybe not the partridge bit but definitely five dahlias, miniature decorative and most definitely not over four inches.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

I'm a winner



...the post-man brought.

Lynne over at Lilys Quilts was having a 'guess how long it's going to take me to make this fab Kaffe Fassett quilt. (I added the 'fab' bit in there but I'm sure when you go and take a look at it you'll agree that fab it is indeed).
Anyway, out of the oodles of people that entered, can you believe it (coz I didn't)...I won! The prize was £20 worth of anything you like from Celtic Fusion Fabrics.
Just look at how beautifully wrapped the fabrics came...look at that button:

Now originally, I had my eye on these but clearly I wasn't the only one because when it came time to pick they had sold out. They are getting some more in though.
So...instead I picked Carolyn Gavin Wild Thyme meadow flower on green:
Erin McMorris weekends - go by bike - red:
 Cloud 9 Anemone:
 And finally, my favourite, Cloud 9 sand piper:

I just think those sand pipers are cute beyond words.

I would like to say 'thank you' to Lynne for hosting a great giveaway - well I would think it was great because I won ;-)
But in particular, I would like to say a sincere 'thank you' to Gwen at Celtic Fusion Fabrics because despite two email requests from me for her to send me a Paypal invoice because I was slightly over £20, she clearly ignored those emails and went ahead and sent me the fabric! It was very kind of you and I shall return when you've got your chicks and trees back in stock!

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Remember this...?

Well I turned it into this...

No great design dilemmas on this one. I just didn't feel that going either complicated or small was going to show the fabric off to its best advantage. So it became circles and squares with some plain yellow, red and (almost plain) orange to 'calm' it down.

Binding was the 'hide' one I used on the previous but one post (New Wave quilt) as I felt I needed to pick the accent of the black birds out in the Tufted Tweets fabric but if I had used a solid black as a binding I felt that would be too harsh.

The back I knew I wanted to keep very simple after the busy front so I sewed the yellow and the red fabric together. I was going to leave it at that but then every time I looked at it I kept seeing the Spanish flag
Now there is nothing wrong with the Spanish flag per se...just not on the back of a Tufted Tweets quilt thank you. So another big design decision was made. Pick the three remaining circle Tufted Tweets off the floor, move the fabric a quarter turn so it becomes vertical rather than horizontal, ditch one of the red sides and finally, applique the circles to the back.

And random placement of the circles meant I didn't have to faff around measuring equi-distant amounts between each circle.

Quilting was a cross-hatch across the whole quilt. I used mono-filament on the front and a white on the back. Stitch length was 3.5 and I used a walking foot.

Now all I have to think about is what to do with these...

...and these!
01 09 10