24 December 2014

HAPPY CHRISTMAS 




Have a lovely time everyone

21 December 2014

Nearly there

This weekend has seen us wrapping presents, delivering cards and clearing the house ready for Christmas.  David also went to Swanage Railway, where he is a volunteer porter, for the day today so I had a day to myself to get bits and pieces done.

During the week we went to visit a road in Branksome, well known to local people for their display of Christmas lights.  There is a collection to raise money for local charities. 

A fantastic display as ever. I enjoy seeing the light displays.

Yesterday we visited St Aldhelms Church, also in Branksome for the annual Christmas Tree Festival with trees decorated by church groups, local community groups and families and is a really lovely sight and a real change from the hustle of people shopping for last minute things.

That was just a few of the thirty or so trees in the church.

This afternoon I made 10 blocks from Part Four of Bonnie Hunter's Grand Illusions Mystery Quilt. More Broken Dishes blocks but different colour arrangements.  Here's a photo of what I've done.


Notice the Christmassy fabric I've used to display them on? A cute fat quarter from Cowslip Workshops which I bought back in October.

These are individual blocks from each week so far.


Even more impressive is that I managed to tidy my room ready for Christmas. Just in case the sofa bed is put into use,  just don't open the wardrobe door!

For a change I've also been doing some knitting. I couldn't resist this Sirdar pattern for snowmen and robin and ordered the pattern and yarn from Black Sheep Wools, who delivered really quickly. So here's a snowman in progress.


That's been my pre Christmas weekend. Just two and a half days of work to go before the break.

14 December 2014

Another Episode of Grand Illusions

This morning was spent sewing the third part of the Grand Illusions mystery quilt and more blocks from  part two.  This third part required 2" squares of green and neutral blocks with a black square to make a rectangle of eight squares. See the photo below. Along with block one I've made 10 blocks.


Below is another arrangement of these blocks


As I only made 5 blocks of part 2 last week I've made another 5 to go with the original group.

And here are all the blocks so far, although I've found after I took the photo that I left a couple behind, never mind.


Later today David and I went to Kingston Lacy, late afternoon as it was getting dark to see the illuminated walk.


Trees take on a bit of a creepy look when lit, but a lot of people were around to see the gardens lit up and to bring children to visit Father Christmas in the Shepherd's Hut.

If only christmas was more about lovely lights I'd enjoy it more. This was really beautiful and the photos don't do justice.

07 December 2014

A Bit of Sunday Morning Sewing

Following the Grand Illusions Mystery Quilt I made these 5 blocks, should have been 10, so I might spend tomorrow evening making 5 more.  So here is part 2

Another little arrangement

More photos will be on my Pinterest page here

What about this afternoon?  Well I went to Quarterjack Quilters Christmas lunch, where the group's committee provided a lovely hot lunch, followed by a guest speaker, Sara Price, with her collection of antique quilts and quilt tops.  From pioneering times through to the 1930's depression era, she is very knowledgeable and it was a ber interesting talk. Nice to catch up with quilting friends.

Talking of friends, on Thursday I received this gorgeous flower arrangement from my friend Val, isn't it lovely?

02 December 2014

Sewing When I Can...

Yesterday, thanks to David watching an American Football game, recorded from the weekend, I did some sewing.  I read the instructions for the first part of the Quiltville mystery called, Grand Illusion.

I've started small, making 10 blocks, I can always make more later as required.  Here's the result of last night's sewing.  Forgive the state of the photos here, hastily arranged on some "Groovy" fabric.

After seeing some of the linked up blogs I found there was a pattern to be made from some of these blocks.

How about that?

Here's the link to the post on Bonnie Hunter's site with the instructions for the first block.  I will link up next Monday with where I've got to so far.

30 November 2014

This and That

Another couple of weeks have passed but I have been some sewing, much of which I can't show with Christmas coming up v e r y fast.  Last weekend I made a Christmas pudding, now safely tucked away in the freezer. We've had the Christmas boxes down from the loft so just need to look through and see if we have enough cards, wrapping paper, etc.  The present shopping is in progress and not panicking just yet, I can't believe how organised I am so far, it's scaring me a bit.

The other week I did demonstrate how to make a tiny owl at the quilt group and this was my making, think he looks albino with his pink eyes.  I didn't have enough patterns to go around, so have since done one to pass onto some in the group and will print of some more. 


My new cushion on the settee, looks a bit Christmassy, doesn't it.

Made some progress on my Dolly Dress Up Blocks, 4 down, 2 to go.

Just about to layer up no. 5


It was my birthday on Friday, which was spent at work during the day, but in the evening we went to Isabel's restaurant in Parkstone, very posh and very nice food.

This week will see two Christmas do's. Dinner out on Thursday evening with the Bourne Quilters and Sunday lunch and speaker with Quarterjack Quilters, both lovely occasions to look forward to. Oh yes, and I'll be meeting Father Christmas on Saturday with my son and granddaughters, looking forward to that as well.


16 November 2014

Busy Sewing Sunday

The observant amongst you will have noticed I haven't blogged for a couple of weeks.  I am still finding that working doesn't leave as much time for sewing as I'd like but I'm sure that as time goes on I'll find more energy to get more sewing done.

Today started off rain, so a perfect day for sewing.  I've made a block for Bee Blessed that was shown on Sew Me Sarah's site, It was quite easy to put together, I could make more but I've left it at just the one.  Next on my list was the Jungle quilt that I worked on earlier this year and hadn't professed until now.  I wanted to free machine quilt it, but adding to the 'in the ditch' quilting and leave it at that.  I've trimmed down the wadding and trimming the backing with a small margin to turn the hem to the front for binding.  I can then hand sew in the evening.

This afternoon I got together 4 red and white Disappearing Four Patch blocks trimmed down to 7", they were 8.5" and thought they looked a little big. Joined together and with 1.5" border around. I machine quilted the piece and this evening before dinner joined a back to make a cushion.  I may add some stitching around the border to made an Oxford finish cushion. Still I've used up bits of red.


And here's the back of the cushion

And at last updating the blog, So I feel I've had a productive day.

01 November 2014

That was October

Back today from a few days away in South Wales, my daughter Sarah came back us to go to a Halloween party this evening.  I thought her costume looks good.

I didn't think that I did a lot in October as I haven't spent much time sewing-wise, but looking back at photos over this month, did better than I thought.

On the right, three pics show the apron and fabric and cards in the wooden block printing workshop at the beginning of this month.  Great fun, thoroughly enjoyable.

I've even made a whole quilt top, in the large picture.  I must get a backing of some sort and I'm thinking that some fleece may do the trick.

I've done some tiny English Paper Piecing to make a mobile phone pouch, very tiny pieces which was a bit tricky.  

In the middle picture at the bottom is for Bee Blessed, strip piecing cut in half diagonally and rejoined to other halves (if that makes sense).

So that was October.

Linking with Lily's Quilts Fresh Sewing Day.

28 October 2014

Not Much to Blog About

But I will be away for a few days to the lovely South Wales coast visiting relatives.  Hope to share a few pics when I come back.

See you soon

21 October 2014

Round the World Blog Hop

I've seen this going around other blogs that have been nominated, to answer some questions, the latest being Diane, The Cheshire Quilter, who invited others to join in.  So here are my answers to the questions wandering the blogosphere.....

What am I working on?

At present I have a few things in progress,  this is the latest quilt top

The jelly roll quilt which from my last post now has border fabric and the remaining 4 squares in the corners.  I took the photo while on the spare bed which isn't ideal so could only get the top corners in.

There is another quilt in progress too. I've got the backing, the wadding and binding is already to go, just to clear the dining table for clamping the pieces down and pinning together before I quilt.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I have a bash at anything and everything.  I am a very curious person and have always had an interest in how things work.  I don't fit myself into a particular category and can go from traditional to modern or contemporary.  I will put in other things that can enhance a quilt like adding embroidery, buttons, sequins.  I also enjoy colouring cloth, I don't use dyes but like to use fabric paints and the latest thing I like has been block printing. I went to a workshop where I block printed this calico apron. It's good to play!





How do I work/create what I do?

My friend Penny a while ago recalled that when I had a part time job and my children were younger I would use a 15 minute slot of time to do a bit of stitching so my sewing usually fits in around work.  I am lucky enough to have a sewing room so the sewing machine, an area for cutting and ironing is set up and ready.  Nowadays I like to have a weekend afternoon to turn on the radio and sew.


How does my writing/creative process work?

Thats a difficult one to answer.  I usually like something that I see and think I will have a go at that.  The past few years I've taken part in postcard swaps and this year I've participated in a couple of mug rug swaps and an ATC swap so its been the themes that have influenced my thoughts on what I want to make.  I have done some drawings to get the feel of what I want to do
Above is a selection of drawings and a cut out for a frame.

Thanks Diane, the questions have given me food for thought. Anyone else want to have a go?

12 October 2014

Instant Gratification

I don't know what happened this week but suffered a headache that went on for days and I was feeling very tired and down.  Whether things are catching up with me or there's been some underlying stress I'm not sure (as I started new job straight from my temp one just a couple of weeks ago). I felt the need to unwind and relax.  I had to go out on Saturday morning so I went to Fabricland and saw some of their 'Swiss Rolls' like jelly rolls but with 20 strips instead of 40. Their patchwork fabric isn't pure cotton and it wouldn't normally use their fabric for patchwork and quilting, but I was drawn to this one with hearts and for £6.29 was a quick fabric fix.By chance my copy of Love Patchwork and Quilting came in the post with its little kit. (Oh no, it has Christmas makes in it).


Unwrapping the roll of fabric I used instructions from the Jelly Roll Quilts book and happily sewed strips together.  I then used my 45 degree ruler to make squares
This afternoon I joined them up. I've found some black fabric to border the quilt top.
But last night I did some English Paper Piecing triangles for the iPhone case that came with the magazine.  The pieces were tiny, my hand is next to the patchwork to give you the scale, just a bit bigger than my finger nail.  It didn't do my eyes much good, but I got there.  Now having to think about putting the front to the back, should be right sides together and turn out but the felt is so stiff, so I may sew right sides out with blanket stitch instead.

A bit more relaxed now and hoping for a better week next week.

05 October 2014

Quilty Weekend

This weekend while being home alone (David away in Yorkshire, working this weekend) I'd already arranged to go to the Quilters' Guild Area Day on Saturday which took care of yesterday and today I took a trip over to Salisbury, Wiltshire to a workshop.

Yesterday's speakers were Jenny Barlow, who as well as being a hand quilter is also a collector of old quilts too, with some interesting facts about them.  The afternoon's speaker was Jo Colwill, from Cowslip Workshops in Cornwall about her history in quilting. Both had been keen on sewing from a very early age and it had always been an essential part of their lives.  Here are some of Jo's quilts that she had on display 

And of course, with traders there, there were some purchases too.
Some fabric quarters, little Indian charms and sequins and hand dyed thread.

So today's workshop had a Christmas theme (82 days to go, I think, scary!) decorating a calico apron.


Photo above taken in the bedroom mirror, but as you can see using mainly shades of green and yellow to stamp on the Christmas trees, stockings,angels and other bits and bobs.

Later in the afternoon we used spaced dyed fabrics as a base to stamp various effects, which was quite enjoyable

And using up the fabric paints left on the palettes to decorate card stock
More stamps to add to my growing collection (got a few already


A busy weekend so a quiet evening watching the box and getting myself together for work tomorrow.

01 October 2014

Fresh Sewing Day - October

It's the last day of September as I'm typing this, which has been a busy month.  Finishing the temp job last week and starting a new job this week.  The evenings are drawing in so it makes the day seem to disappear quite rapidly.  I managed to do some bits and pieces in September though

From top right a Beach ATC for a Popular Patchwork ATC swap.  This little piece of applique is just 3.5" x 2.5".  I remade the borders for a sampler quilt (see Demolition Job) so its looking quite good, just have to sort out the backing fabric.  Bottom row is a boat block made for Bee Blessed and a drawing exercise, not knowing what else to draw at the time I used my workroom iron (its a small travel iron) as my muse.  And there's more
Digging out my Sizzix machine I took a large scrap of fabric, Bondawebbed it and after using the die I then ironed as positive/negative images onto a white background fabric.  The middle picture shows some aluminium shapes cut out on the Sizzix, I used a cleaned foil dish from a ready meal, not sure what I will do with those yet.  The pic on the right is a maple leaf block that I made from the September block instructions from Sew At Home Mummy's blog.

The Dress Up Dolly blocks are slowly progressing, taking it to Bourne Quilters to stitch.  All in all considering the work I seem to be getting something done. The only thing I didn't do was the circus theme challenge, I just wasn't inspired, but that's not bad.

For October? Hmm, having to think about that one.  I am going to the Dorset Area Day near Wimborne on Saturday and that will be followed on Sunday by a block printing workshop in Wilton, Salisbury by Jamie Malden of Colouricious.  I heard her speak in Exeter a few months back and so took the opportunity to book to go to the workshop, I hope it'll be fun.  There are a lot of Quilters' Guild events happening in the region this month but most will be in Devon.

I will try to get the backing sorted out for the quilt top.  I'd like to progress that more.

At the moment I'm not going to put pressure on myself as I settle into new job and will take my sewing opportunities as they come!

I'm linking with Lily's Quilts Fresh Sewing Day and if you've popped over to my blog from there - Welcome, I hope you enjoyed your visit to my blog.


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