18 March 2017

Today is ....

So today I have been sewing. Unlike some other years where either I've helped arranged something or have been to a quilting event I'm sewing at home alone and using social media to chart my progress.

I wanted to use quilt as you go squares to make zippy pouches for Project Hope to sell Cherry Tree Nursery next Saturday. This will raise funds for materials for quilts for teenage cancer patients. I know that the pouches have sold well.  I haven't had time today but I was also thinking of making small round pouches for ear buds so will have a go one evening this week.

I've shared photos on Instagram (@suewilduk) and on the UK Quilter's United page on Facebook during today.  I made all 4 squares and by lunchtime one was completed.
This was on my bed settee with the Keep Calm cushion in the background.

By mid afternoon, time for tea (no cake to go with it, mind) I'd finished 3.
Afterwards the 4th one was finished 

Then I added the one I finished one evening earlier this week
They look so colourful. I'm pleased to use the day to make something useful and have a lovely relaxing day.  I hope that whatever you've been doing for International Quilting Day you've had an enjoyable one too.

17 March 2017

Tomorrow is....

International Quilting Day.

I haven't organised anything locally this year for various reasons and just ran out of time but I had marked the date on my calendar so I will be at home and sewing.  I have a few pouches to make and will also catch up of one of the subscription box projects too so I will have a busy day.

I will be putting photos on Instagram during the day, my account is @suewilduk and I will use hashtag #iqd2017suew if you want to follow my progress. 

Hope you can join me.

12 March 2017

Bit of this, bit of that..

End of February and beginning of March was dogged by illness, others, not mine, but the effect was not much was done.  Everyone is well now so hopefully onward and upward.  

There is one finish, which I'm not going to show yet, that of the clown. It'll be Isobel's birthday next week and we are going down to Sussex to visit so I will be able to show Godfrey Gadabout after then.

 I started on my Attic 24 Cosy blanket kit on the 1st and this is progress to date
I found the pattern, which I thought I'd lost. I've been crocheting this while watching tv in the evening. 

I've really caught the crochet bug and bought a book the other day in Smith's. The branch in Poole is stocking more craft books, which could be dangerous!

100 Granny Squares, this might keep me busy for a while, though this solid Granny Square wasn't in it!  I saw the instructions on Sandra Cherry Heart's blog after seeing a few of these on Instagram. I liked that the book has English Crochet terms and has some lovely floral blocks.

I haven't neglected my sewing and in finding some picture panels I made a cushion with cats on, for which I have a recipient in mind, more of that another time but here's a few pics
I took the whole panel and simply quilted around the pictures and frames and using the wiggly stitch machined in between the pictures.  The panel was bordered with a fabric with stars on a blue background.  I had to improvise on the back as I ran out of that fabric.
So I found another fabric with stars on a blue background. Job done.

I also made a boxy pouch this morning too.  There is a charity sale soon so I will be making a few more of these. This takes just about an hour to make by making the block quilt as you go so it's already lined but I do have to zigzag seams after joining,
Keeping busy today I also managed to do some baking too. Making a banana loaf using a Lorraine Pascale recipe and also some ginger rock buns. 
Isn't that what Sunday's are about?  A day, mostly at home, doing a bit of this and a bit of that.

28 February 2017

End of February Already!

I can't believe how it's the end of February and as another colleague of work said this afternoon "10 months time and next Christmas will be over!" Blimey!

So what have I got up to? Well block 100 has been sewn

But of course the blocks I've not been able to get done are still not done.

But I have a pile of 98 blocks now...

A wallhanging has been started and finished (I think) but it has a binding and making my mind up how to quilt the border.
More bits have been knitted for the clown and I'm very nearly there. Without giving much away here's a couple of items that I've made.

I've also had a go at a couple of crochet items. Being as its February I had a go at a Corner to Corner (C2C) Block with heart motif to get the hang of changing colour. This is from Crochet Now magazine.
And a Granny Square heart from a tutorial on Sandra Cherry Heart's blog.

I've also knitted a sheep
This is Suzy the Sparkle Sheep.  Knitted with tinsel yarn the kit came with yarn that coloured my hands and needles! After an email to the magazine they sent replacement yarn and this one knitted up without colouring anything. Looks sweet, doesn't it?

Also this month, last weekend in fact, we went up to Stoke on Trent and visited nearby Churnet Valley Railway for a winter steam gala.  Our first exploration of the year.
It was cold and grey, only to be expected this time of year but enjoyable nonetheless.

Returning to Stoke later we visited the Emma Bridgewater factory shop and cafe to enjoy tea and cake.  There was too much choice in the shop so we bought a couple of mugs...

A souvenir of Stoke.

Lastly this morning I found out in the garden the first daffodil bloom.

Spring is on the way.

19 February 2017

The Splendid Sampler 16

The Splendid Sampler block episodes have now finished with the last block, no. 100 being released last Sunday, almost a year after the first block came out on 14th February.

I stil have blocks to catch up on and today only just finished block 99 but I have been doing some other sewing and knitting too. More of that another time.

First of all is Block 95 Sunshine by Kim Niedzwiecki. A 9 patch block.  I kept the sunshine theme with the yellow middle.

Block 96 is In the Sunshine designed by Cheryl Arkinson. A similar title with an almost similar block. A nine patch with a flag applique on it.
I used squarish scraps to make this block which was quick to make.

Block 97 is First Purse by Di Mills.  This was another opportunity to use other Splendid Sampler scraps and add some buttons to make this on a red background, making sure the tear shapes were the right way up.

Going back the next block I finished was a foundation pieced one, Tiny Miracles by April Rosenthal

As you know Foundation piecing is not my most favourite of techniques but it was the only way to make this block which turned out fairly well and worth while.

Next one is Block 98, Fleur de Lei by Lynn Harris.  This block should have been made with needle turn Hawaiian applique but it was another block that I cheated and used fusible applique finishing with blanket stitch.

Now for the penultimate block 99 Four Corner Spinwheel designed by Kimberly Einmo.  
Looks a simple block, but my first attempt at this didn't turn out too well so this is Mark 2, which looks much better.

I will have a look at what blocks I have to catch up with and get on with them plus making up block 100, which has all the pieces cut up ready to sew.

So it's good to see some progress with these blocks.

11 February 2017

Can't Do It All

Recently, since before the New Year there have been various posts on my Facebook and Instagram feeds about planners/organisers, etc for crafters/quilters to plan their projects for the year ahead.  One I've looked at a couple of them, both American, together with the cost of journal and shipping it became very expensive and I couldn't justify the cost.  So I have to say to myself that as I can't craft everyday I'm not going to be able to keep up with the journal and could end up with an expensive journal with not a lot in it.  I usually do what I can when I can and try to fit in something crafty of some sort each day.

So I compromised with a project book like the type sold to students with tabs which I can divide for quilting, knitting and crochet projects.  There are no dates, so I write in my aims for the month (which may or may not be completed) and can write in that month what I've managed to do, so my progress is measurable. At least I can say I've done something even if I haven't done a lot. 

I think the cover looks pretty and it stays near my cutting mat so I do see this every time I go in my room.  Anyway I hope it can help keep tabs on what I'm doing.

Another thing to help me is a little light box that David has made me from an ice cream carton and Perspex top and it has a cut out hole to slide my LED work light underneath. 
Proper light boxes are fairly big and I don't do many big projects that need tracing, so this will do the trick hopefully, especially with some of the embroidered Splendid Sampler blocks still to make. I've used this today to place some applique pieces onto a dark fabric background and it's worked well.

As I'm progressing well with the clown knitting that I'm doing, most of the body is sewn and stuffed and there's a lot of little bits and bobs to go with him, so he's coming along, so I treated myself to one of the Attic 24 Stylecraft yarn packs from Wool Warehouse.  I have to say that the pack arrived really quickly, and was nicely packed in an organza bag.  Doesn't look so neat in the pic was believe me it was.
There is also a pattern with the yarn, but I got it out to look at and I should have put it back in the bag. Needless to say I didn't and it's walked so will have to download the instructions. How silly! Anyway I can't start this until I've finished the clown. I keep looking at the yarn though, it is tempting me to make a start.  I must resist!

What I've done this afternoon this afternoon and evening has been to make up one of The Bramble Patch's Box of Delights kits and this one was January's.  This contained a charm square pack of Poppy Mae fabric and backing (for which the Lightbox came in handy). The pattern was this lovely poppy wall hanging.

This has brightened up what's been a grey day today.  When the photo was taken I'd fused the applique pieces onto the background, but later this evening I sewed them down.

That's another entry in the project book.

28 January 2017

Bit of a Catch Up

It's a nice quiet Saturday morning so I thought I would do a quick blog post.  The last couple of weeks I've suffered this cold/flu/lurgy and although I spent this week at work after being off work the previous week it's not been easy.  The week I was off I ached all over and felt very lethargic and this week I my head still felt stuffed up and not feeling brilliant at all. So it's been a struggle and dosing myself up with paracetamol and decongestant spray.  

A bit of knitting and crochet has been my solace through this time as I've not done much sewing.  To huddle down with a bit of handwork that I can pick up and put down when I feel like it. So I've carried on with Isobel's clown and there are lots of little bits which I've kept contained in a polybag. Plus I've knitted the body too.
Just a tad bright, but brightens up a gloomy day.

I also crocheted a cupcake, a pattern from Crochet Now magazine, when watching a video one afternoon. I've displayed this on a cake stand which was a Christmas present along with the first daffodils bought this year.

The little bit of sewing I've done is this little cactus embroidery that my work colleague had as a magazine free gift from Molly Makes.  The design was a little larger than the tiny hoop frame. There were two frames and enough fabric to make the embroideries and I've checked the second one that I make will fit nicely inside the second frame. 

Two weeks ago on a really dreary Sunday I took the coach to Farnham, Surrey, which has a one day quilter's fabric sale.  There can be lots of fabrics to be had and I did buy quite a bit.  The Wednesday before I also visited local quilt shop Cherry Tree fabrics and bought a few pieces there too.  In the picture below is my haul of various sizes of fabric from yardage (red spotted fabric for the dolly dress up quilt) to quarters, eighths and possibly 16ths of metre lengths. So much for using what I've got!

Today is my daughter Sarah's birthday.  She's 36 today and it makes me wonder where those years have gone!  She and her fiancĂ© Andy are spending a few days in Yorkshire. This photo below was taken when we visited the Chelsea Flower Show last year.

Happy birthday Sarah.