Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Armchair Caddy

From first sight of the Armchair Caddy in Sedef Imer's book, Zakka Home, I knew I really wanted to have a go at making one.  Since hubby thoughtfully gifted me the book for Christmas ;-) this was an ideal project to prep when I had some time over the holidays, ready for a dark January sewing night.

I admit this is a very satisfying make and doesn't take too long at all if your fabric is chosen and prepped.  I found the binding a little tricky, but that's probably because I was trying to use up some of the excess bias binding I had made for the See It All pouches last summer, rather than following Sedef's instructions to the letter.  Next time, I will try the binding Sedef's way and I'm sure it'll not be as much of a fiddle!

Saturday, 19 January 2019

Siblings Together Friendship Star

Have you made a friendship star for Nicky's Siblings Together exhibition quilt yet?  No?  Well, what are you waiting for?

Nicky is hoping that, if you have ever sewn for or contributed to Siblings Together in any way, you will stitch up one of these little 6.5" unfinished friendship stars and send it to her.  She is planning a friends of Siblings Together signature constellation quilt to exhibit in the Community Quilt category at this summer's Festival of Quilts in Birmingham.  All of the details and a little tutorial for the block are on Nicky's blog here.

I do hope that you are able to contribute to Nicky's quilt idea.  I feel immensely privileged to have been part of Siblings Together in a small way for a number of years and so it took me all of about ten minutes to pull fabric and get stitching for this.

Nicky has already gathered a few stars and with even more this could be such a lovely statement at FOQ.  Go on, you know you want to be part of it ...

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Daisy Do Cushion

Hello there!

How is 2019 treating you thus far?  Have you got the January blues yet or are you enjoying all the newness and freshness of a blank year of possibility stretching ahead?  I've read so many "New Year, New Me, New Goals" blog/social media posts and magazine articles lately that I don't know if I should feel inspired or overwhelmed by them!  If I'm honest, life here feels a little more "same old, same old", but perhaps I will have some new things ahead for me, too.

My WIPs list isn't looking quite as "same old, same old" as I thought it might.  Looking back through my posts here, I'm surprised to discover that I finished 5 quilts last year and a mini too!  Of course, most of them were already well on their way to a finish before 2018 began, but yes, in spite of how hectic and unpredictable life has become, I pushed them over the finish line, which means my WIPs list looks a little more manageable going into 2019, and maybe even with wiggle from for some new things :-)

I had a nice long break from work at the end of the year and made use of the post-Christmas part of that to prep some little projects I want to stitch this month - some to finish old projects, some new.  For me, with time always so tight,  a few good preparation sessions really boost my productivity on evenings where I can actually crank up the sewing machine.  I'm hoping to find more preparation time in 2019 to enhance my machine time - fingers crossed.

First for 2019 is picking up on a little project started back in the unexpected heat of 2018. Last summer, on a lovely relaxed weekend with my sewing besties,  I had a go at hand-piecing for the first time.  I don't seem to have shown my efforts here, but encouraged by and provided with a few handy hints from Trudi, I tackled the 'Daisy Do' flowers from Jen Kingwell's book, Quilt Lovely.

I was very happy with the resulting flowers which I always had in mind to make into a little cushion (as long as they were acceptable, of course).   Jen's book has a whole quilt top of these beauties, hand-pieced together but, given my limitations, I decided to play sensible and just make two.  I also opted not to piece the flowers into the background fabric (mainly because I didn't want to recalculate the templates).  Instead, I used needleturn appliqué to stitch them onto some pretty ivory self patterned fabrics.  It worked a treat and then all that was needed were little QAYG borders to bring it up to size.

It's hard to have an idea of scale from these floor pics, but this is only a wee cushion at 14" square (it fits the small IKEA IRMA filler cushion).  I completed the cushion panels with a little perle hand quilting to stabilise and accentuate the daisies. The big stitches were a very satisfying finish!

Obviously, my 'go to' covered zip backing wasn't going to work with this double faced cushion, so I added an invisible zipper along the bottom.  It has been a VERY long time since I did one of these, but I was taught well and had my old class notes to refer to, so it came out respectably, all things considered.

For such a small project, this cushion cover had everything thrown at it - hand piecing, needle turn appliqué, perle hand quilting, machine piecing and an invisible zip.  What's not for me to love?

So, 2019, what's say you and I do some stitch dancing a little more often this year?


Sounds like a plan then!!

Saturday, 29 December 2018

Cosy Christmas Quilt Update

I can hardly believe it's more than 2 years since I started Lori Holt's Cosy Christmas quilt and the quilt remains unfinished even now!  But, I have made progress very slowly and now have a Cosy Christmas flimsy.

I love it!  It's wonky and quite inaccurately pieced but oh, it's such a cute design!!

I was going to baste it last weekend but, much to my disappointment, discovered that I'm out of 505 spray, so looks like it'll be another while/year before this quilt crosses the finish line!

Thursday, 27 December 2018

Quilt Now BOM 2014/2015 - finally finished!!

A mere 4 years and 5 months after starting the very first Quilt Now Mystery BOM, I have actually got a completed quilt hanging on a wall!!

I have loved making this quilt (even the techniques that weren't my favourites) but am very pleased to  now have it where it can be enjoyed.

It's hanging on my landing just at the top of the stairs where there has been a boring blank space for too long.  Much better now! It's a tricky spot to get pics of, but hopefully you can see why I love it so much.

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Chunky Cut Christmas Quilt

My Christmas fabric stash
(and I should own up that there's a bunch of Lori Holt Christmas fabric somewhere too).

I'm not quite sure how I ended up with so many Christmas fabrics but a restless Friday afternoon, knowing I had a Saturday night with a few sewing hours ahead, I decided it was time to reduce that stash a little bit.  (Yes, I should have been doing something more useful with my WIPs, but you know how it goes ....)

I made this pull which I think work fairly well together, look suitably festive and should make a bit of a dent in that Christmas box.

A super quick, chunky pieced sectional quilt planned out on squared paper and off I went, cutting and stitching the sections.

It required a little attention, but not too much brain power which was handy since I don't have much of that right now.

Eh voila!  Some Christmas stash busted and a big happy, no nonsense Christmas quilt top all ready to be quilted when I finally get some 505 for basting.  There's no way this will be finished for this Christmas, but that's grand, that wasn't really the plan anyway.

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Scrap Vortex Finish

I have finally managed to bring all those scrap vortex bits (and their gazillion seams) together in a whole quilt top.  It was a bigger feat than I had anticipated and in spite of having enjoyed the 'leaders and enders' approach with which the quilt started, I have to admit I fell out of love with it a bit when it came to making all of those scrappy sections fit one another.  You wouldn't think it takes much, but when the scraps you're working with are quite wee, then any trimming can potentially render them unusable.  So, there's a bit more thinking and head scratching involved than perhaps I had energy for.

Nevertheless, I did get there and had a final flimsy measuring 54" x 61.5" , which isn't very big really but big enough for this one.  I even managed to reduce that B&C stash a bit more by adding a full B&C backing (IG destash 3m piece of Happy Go Lucky).

Don't panic over the falling out of love thing!  That was quickly rectified by some super quick wavy line quilting and a B&C red gingham binding (Vintage Picnic, I think) and now I'm all heart eyes for this scrapilicious little lap quilt.

Someone else likes it very much too - she's been using it as a mat to spin on!!

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