Saturday, 29 September 2012

Finishing off and a New Start

I have been working on keeping warm this winter.  The first of my finished items for winter is this little crochet knee rug..
  I first saw this last year when I was on holiday, it was featured in 'Country Homes and Interiors' but I  really could not justify making another full size blanket for a double bed, so I thought about it for a few months and decided that a lap rug would be the compromise.  Its been a nice project, and  I have a bit of yarn left over, so might play some more if something crossed my path.

The other big project has been the quilt that I did as a 'Round Robin' that travelled to Scotland then across to America... I spent last weekend (and a bit) quilting this huge quilt.  As you can see I don't have the luxury of a long arm quilter just my trusty Pfaff, also my work area just was not big enough, so I moved into the kitchen.  Phew! it was a bit of a mission, but got there in the end.

Then all there was to do was make the binding....
 All done, but you can't see the finished quilt until I have finished redecorating the bedroom this is going into, but it is finished...Yeah!!!

This is the bedroom that the new quilt is going in, but as you can see the colours just would not go,

So off to the hardware store to get some tester pots

 Actually I am not as brave as I thought I might be...

The darker colour was just too funky for us, so we have chosen to go with the lighter Aqua on the wall behind the bed, and white for the rest of the walls..... so we will see how this turns out

So I might be gone a while........ not too long I hope as I hate the mess.

Hope to see you soon with pics of the new room including the quilt.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Scraps and Surprises

I have been playing with my scraps again...  and my scraps really are scraps of fabric, some no more than an 1" square, but it is surprising what you can do with them...

 You may remember that earlier in the year a challenge was set to join in with an 'on line' group that were making New York Beauties.  The group of on line quilters chose to use  these patterns, and I did complete them all, but had no idea of what to do with my samples so I just sewed them together as it would mean less chance of losing them and stashed them into a draw.  I now know what I want to use them for........ remember my quilt (the round robin quilt) that I have just got sent back to me??  Well, that quilt has the signature block to be included into the back that measures 16.5" x 16.5" and the New York Beauty blocks are 8.5" blocks. so I have now made an extra 6 blocks (I now have 16 altogether)
and have decided to add two rows of four NYB on each side of my signature block... 

and add to my backing fabric.  

I should have ironed this before the photo....
Trying to sandwich this quilt was not the easiest job in the world, but after spending all afternoon crawling (only using one knee) around the room I think that will do.

Hopefully the next time you see this quilt it will be quilted and bound ready for the 'new look' bedroom...

And today look what arrived.

I have to share this with you all.   I have just received my mini quilt from the Fab Little Quilt Swap on flickr.  This was one of the quilts I was hoping to see drop through my letterbox, but never really thought I would be that lucky.  This little quilt was wrapped so beautifully, and I got some chocolates that are called Dream Waltz and were made for Valentines Day so had to share them with Mr D. and also some fabric and a beautiful card.

Isn't it a beauty...

Just look at the detailed quilting
 Sil (my partner) lives in Brazil but obviously did her home work on me, she has included my bike, used bright cheerful colours and has spent many hours fussy cutting tiny trees, birds,
VW camper vans, people, dogs, gnomes looking out of windows and in the bottom right hand corner is the tiniest of mushrooms....

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Olympics over, now back to sewing

Well, the para Olympics are now all done and dusted and what a wonderful few weeks we had.  I could not believe just how much T.V. I watched over that period, but have to say I loved it all.

 While the Olympics were on, I did sit and embroider... you remember this.

The pink flowery one is for a girl..... as you can see, and the cream fabric at the back was planned for a boy, and this is what they turned into.

Just the beginnings 

So cute

I love them 

His and hers...
The patterns are from Australia, but we are hoping that they will soon be for sale here.  That was not the only hand stitching....... someone asked me if I would be willing to smock a baby dress.  Now, I have never made things for sale before, but this lady has 6 grandson's and her daughter has told her that grandchild number 7 is a girl.  So of course dresses are what this grandmother want to see this baby dressed in,  how could I say No.  The only thing is, I have found it hard making the type of dress the grandmother wants, and she had some very definite requests..... dress for a 3 month old, yoked dress smocked on the back as well as the front, 12" from shoulder to hem, bullion roses, French Val Lace, and that is exactly what I have made.  It is quite sweet, but I think this will be the last.

 So as you can see there was a bit of a baby theme going on.

I have also sent off my mini quilt that I was making for a swap on flickr, have you ever visited the site?  There are some really talented ladies making these quits for swaps..... go have a look scroll through the photos, you will be amazed.
I added a few extra's as a gift to my parcel.
Quilt and goodies
 I had a couple of the pin wheel blocks, so I made them into a pincushion and needle case.  I never fill the pincushion, as I know in other countries they can get 'walnut shells' and other fillings that are  much better than poly wadding. I also made one of the little plastic fronted wallets. So I hope she likes....
Wallet, needle case and pincushion (stuffed for show)
All I have to do now is track the parcel making sure it gets there, then sit back and wait to see what drops through my door.

The other flickr group I have been working with is this one.  You may remember that we started off with our own block and each month it was sent to the 'next' person to add a round.  I thought I would start a scrappy block giving all the other ladies lots of different colours and fabrics to add to. I also  thought I would eventually turn it onto a 'Quillow',  well as my block gradually made its way across the pond to America and it soon became clear this was never going to be that 'Quillow'.  The quilt top arrived home and measures approx 88" x 86"

Quilt top 
Mr D said we had to buy a beach house to put this in, but as money doesn't extend to that (doesn't even extend to a bucket and spade let alone a beach house), I have decided to redecorate our spare bedroom.  Now anyone that knows me knows that my house is mainly pale pink and green, very calming, so this room will be very different.  Keep watching this space and you may get to see work in progress.  

Some information from me that I think is worth a read

I am not sure how many of you wander around blog land looking for interesting things.....one of the sites I visit is 'Little Island Quilting' and there was some very interesting reading regarding pricing in the U.K. of Liberty fabrics, can I suggest you go here to see what I mean. I did get a follow up email from Alison and this is what she added ..

And the email conversation I was having with Liberty stopped when I  
asked them how come they could ship fabric from Italy to the US which  
is higher freight charges than to the UK, then the US pays 11.4%  
import duty on fabric, then any associated state taxes, sell at more  
than £5 less a metre and still make a profit, why couldn't a more  
reasonable price be offered in the UK? I also questioned why not one  
online retailer in the UK is prepared to sell for the less than £14 a 
metre that Liberty are charging on their own website. It was at this  
point that they stopped communicating with me which speaks volumes.  
Hugely inflated price for UK customers and a silent gentleman's  
agreement to price fix.
Nuff said!
All very interesting..... bit like the DMC embroidery floss that sells in the U.K. for almost a £1 and in the USA for as little as 39cents..... 

Monday, 3 September 2012


Yes, I know I have been 'absent without leave', but I do have a few excuses.

My niece (who is only 5 months younger than me) and her hubby came on a visit from Australia. Their granddaughter is in England working a gap year, so they thought they would introduce her to some of her English family.  So of course while they were with us, we did a bit of the local tourist haunts, and there was no time for sewing.

Outside Burghley House Stamford 

The other distraction for me has been the 'para' Olympics......... I so admire these athletes.  We are only half way through the program, and I think I have already used a couple of boxes of tissues with the joy and sometimes the heartbreak of these champions.

Back to sewing.   As you know I have been involved in a 'Round robin' group on flickr.  This month saw the last quilt top arrive, and it was one I had been dreading, as I didn't think I could add to the beauty.  I almost felt I should just send it on without adding any border but that was not part of the game, so, off I went to my favourite quilt shop here to buy some suitable fabrics, and get a bit of advice.

I added the half square triangles.  I didn't want to add another plain black border to separate the jungle fabric but knew it needed some solid break, and my 'friend came up with the triangles..... and I thought that was a winner.  This was posted off to Scotland on its last leg of its journey, and thankfully its owner liked it.   I now just have to wait for mine to arrive back from America.  I know it was posted last week, but it does have to cross that big pond.

I have also been given this to try, don't you just love it.  I was so excited to play with this, and decided to make two, one patchwork and also this one.

This is just the beginnings of the two jackets.   Bit of embroidery for the patchwork one, and the cream one will have some boyish things embroidered in the blocks...... I will keep you posted on these beauties.

Lastly I have been finishing off my mini quilt that is a 'swap' on flickr.

Add caption

The back with the label . 

 I have made a label that I think my partner will like, and makes it a bit special.

Both of the photos seemed to have flipped onto their side, I have no idea why or how to correct it.

So you see I have not been so ideal.  Hope to catch up with you all soon. Jo