Wednesday, 29 February 2012

I hate keeping secrets

A couple of weeks ago on Flickr I was lamenting the impossibility of getting hold of Denyse Schmidt's range of fabrics for Joann's here in the UK, when the extremely lovely Kaelin (of Plaid Scottie fame) piped up with a very generous offer to buy some and ship it to me.

I was completely bowled over, and of course practically bit her hand off in my rush to say yes.

When someone does something so lovely for you it's only polite to do something for them in return so, knowing how much Kaelin loves her scottie dog (the hilariously named Sir Whiskers MacTavish), I decided to make her a little mini quilt in his honour.
It took forever to get all the way over the Atlantic, but it finally arrived earlier this week so I can share it at last. The design was based on a mini quilt from Sarah Fielke's 'Quilting from Little Things', which featured the silhouette of a bird. I cheated a bit and went for machine rather than needle turn applique, which scares me pantsless, frankly!
A bit of hand-quilting with perle cotton and he was off to his new home. Thank you again, Kaelin. You are so kind!

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Sick day

My poor boy is home ill for the third day in a row. Just a temperature, thankfully, but still not well enough to go to school.

Luckily we have a couple of quilts in the house to snuggle with ;-)

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Slow but steady

I'm making slow progress (but progress nonetheless) on my rose stars.
I've already cut all the pieces to make enough for a reasonable sized quilt. I figured I needed 23 stars and 4 half stars to end up with something that will be about 60 inches in one direction and kind of squareish. I'm not sure exactly how square it will end up being because the maths is making my head hurt (hexagons are tricky like that).
These bring the total made so far to 13 and a half. Just typing that has surprised me. I'm actually over half way there.
Of course, then there is all the sewing together to be done. I'm hoping that being on the home stretch will make that part seem faster.
I love this little fox. He has such poise!
It's so nice to have something that I can stitch in front of the telly, or while the kids are killing each other playing. It also has the added advantage of stopping me from eating all the cookies. It's a win-win.

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, 20 February 2012

I finally understand the point of mini quilts

I finished the New York Beauty block yesterday, and I can confidently state two things. First, I love it. Secondly, never again! Those curves are so teeny and fiddly, especially the one in the middle. I am a lot worse at sewing curves than I thought. 

note how I cropped this very carefully so you can't see the worst parts of the dodgy quilting!

Ah well, she was worth it. I didn't want to do too much quilting, mainly because I was worried I would mess it up and then cry, so I left the pieced sections completely unquilted. I tried a light version of Judi's mariner's compass for the middle, and I am really pleased with how it turned out. The rest is just simple straight lines and echo quilting. 

It's on the wall with the Innocent Crush mini. They look fab together. One step closer to having a house entirely covered in quilts.

My poor husband!

Linking up with Sew Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations :-D

{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations

Friday, 17 February 2012

A charity quilt

A while back Val of PinkPlease! asked for string blocks to contribute to a quilt to benefit The Heroes Foundation, a cancer charity.

I was so happy to be able to send two blocks, and even happier to see that the quilt is now finished. It looks so beautiful, and I am sure that it will raise a whole chunk of cash.

Photo by Val

Thank you Val, for the opportunity to help. It feels really good to contribute to such a worthy cause.

Monday, 13 February 2012

A glutton for punishment

What was that I said about foundation piecing just the other day?

But then I saw this amazing mini quilt and I knew I had to have one (pattern available here).

I've only made one teeny bit so far, but I love it already.

Note the strategically placed seam ripper ;-)

Wish me luck!

Friday, 10 February 2012

Good advice, all round

I made a couple of embroideries for my girls last year, but never quite managed to get around to making one for the boy. I've been collecting ideas on Pinterest for ages, and finally settled on this one.

I love marking stitching patterns and lines with these pens. The ink disappears with heat, so a quick swipe with an iron (or a wave over the toaster) and you get another go at the design. Be warned - they really don't last very long and they are pretty expensive so keep them away from the kids in case they get addicted to them.

We have snow on the ground and a fire burning. I'm off to finish stitching.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Love is pain

Paper piecing gives me a headache. There is not a single seam in this tiny little quilt (just 17 inches square) that wasn't ripped at least once. Fabric the wrong side up. Pieces that I swear were big enough suddenly, stubbornly, refusing to cover the whole paper. And when you rip a seam you rip the paper. Sigh.

Not to mention my least favourite part. Where you end up with a table covered in tiny little bits of shredded paper.

But then, the end result makes it all worth it. The pointiest of points. The making possible what would ordinarily be impossible (at least for a slapdash sewer like me). 

The pattern is by Anna Maria Horner, and originally called for straightforward piecing. The idea of cutting a whole load of precise shapes with loads of bias edges scared me so I went for what I thought would be easier and converted to foundation piecing. It worked, but not without a good deal of swearing.

And I love it

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

It's been a while

It has been a long time since I was here. Life could not be more different. New home. New husband. Happiness. It feels good.

Life got complicated there for a while, but there was always time for making. And with a house full of quilts (but always space for more) there needs to be somewhere to share them. What's the point if you can't show off a little, right?

There have been quiltalongs:

(single girl)

and block parties (that will last a long, long time):

(rose star block party)

and assorted other quilty adventures here and here.

As always, there are a million works in progress. Keep watching - I'll prove it!