Thursday, 18 December 2014

Celebrating 4 years of blogging

Today is the day when I say thank you for popping over here for the past four years and keeping me company, cheering me on and generally raising a few smiles as I sew my little heart out.

So without further ado, this year I am thanking one lucky reader with this absolutely gorgeous bundle of 6 fqs of Mimosa by Windham fabrics.  I did have trouble choosing just 6 of these Mimosa prints from the selection available at Cindy's Fluffy Sheep Quilting shop (just saying) because they all look fantastic but I hope you will want these ones enough to enter the giveaway even if your favourite Mimosa didn't get shortlisted.

To win the bundle you need to leave me a comment telling me what your biggest stitching plan for 2015 is.  Maybe it's a pattern you're dying to try, a technique you hope to learn or just a long time UFO/WIP you are determined to get stuck in to.  Whatever it is, tell me and, if you can, share a link to a picture or pattern to give me a little inspiration - like I really need more ideas?!?  I can only accept one comment per person, so in case of duplicate entries only your first will be valid.  Please include an email address if you are a no-reply blogger or I will have to redraw.

Giveaway is open internationally and entries close 18.00 GMT Monday 22 December 2014.

In the interests of sharing, here's the quilt I am most hoping to make next year.  I might break out my Bonnie & Camille fabrics box for this one!

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Apple Core Epp quilt

I finally got my EPP back in the zone to finish off my giant apple core quilt as inspired by Fiona Poppy Makes' quilt from the very first edition of the Quilt Now magazine.

All of the apple cores have been pieced together by hand. I made my quilt a bit larger than Fiona's using 99 apple cores in 11 rows of 9.  It finishes up approx 56.5" x 66.5" which is big enough as a topper for a double bed with no overhang and starting just below the pillows.  For me it's big enough to wrap up well in on the sofa because the nights have been freezing here this week!

I know this quilt would have been a nice one to hand quilt with cotton perle but honestly, I just don't have the time at the moment and really, really not wanting to carry this over into 2015, I decided I would just get on with quilting it in some echoing lines about 0.5" from the seams.

I did take my time over the biased binding to keep the lovely shape of the apple cores (mostly) in tact.  This was my first effort with bias binding a quilt and making my own bias binding. Let's just say it worked better than I expected but I'm not in a big hurry to be "bendy binding" again.  There wasn't really anything wrong with the process, though perhaps I have just been a little impatient due to lack of time and it did take longer trying to ease around those convex and concave curvatures.

Here's a wee picture of the back of the quilt just because I quite like how modern it feels in comparison with the front fabric selections and because I love the quilting lines on it.  Reminds me of a loose rope weave effect.  This is a fabric I picked up in Ikea a couple of years ago and never had the opportunity to use until now.

Anyhoo, enough to-do, except to declare this as another finish for my Quarter 4 Finish Along Goals.  Tickety tick!!

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Advent Season

Never told old to enjoy filling an advent calendar!
Yes, 'tis the season of Advent and time to fill the house with chocolates that can be sneaked out of the calendar pockets and eaten on the way to the school bus before 8 in the morning!!

This year I made another Advent calendar from this Cool Yule Makower panel which I think is just the sweetest.  I do love these panels, though this one wasn't printed terribly straight and drove me crazy when trying to finish it off well.  This calendar is actually for use in 2015 which I know sounds a bit crazy, so let me explain.

Every year my aunt hosts a huge boxing day gathering of the family. My mum and she are from a family of nine children so, as a clan we can be quite a considerable number to feed each year.  My contribution is usually a chocolate cake which is nowhere near enough but my lovely aunt insists that's all I should bring.  So, each year I like to take another little something as a thank you gift to her for taking such good care of us.

Now, if you're still with me, this aunt is the grandmother of my cousin's baby who was born last year and will be grandmother to his baby brother/sister this year (for whom either the wonky stars quilt or the pixellated heart quilt are in waiting).  So, given that she will have two grandchildren visiting and celebrating Christmas with her next year, this calendar is for her to hang in her house so she can share the fun with both of them.  Follow that?  I hope it's a good idea and just in case not, there's a pretty fragranced gift headed her way too!!

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Sew Together Bag no 2

Back in September when I made my first attempts at the Sew Together Bag I knew I wanted to stitch up another for a friend's special birthday last month.  So, having gotten my head around the pattern and  still being a little in the first flushes of romance with matchstick quilting I decided to stitch it up right after no 1 so that I wouldn't forget how!

Now that it has been gifted I can show you how it turned out:

My friend loves the rich colours of French General but has also been known to be partial to a little bit of Bonnie & Camille so I found these lovely Bliss scraps in the wee bundle Rachael had sent me in the summer that seemed to me like a perfect bridge between the two.

The outer background fabric is a cream linen cotton blend which I matchstick quilted with slightly wavy lines in a variegated neutral thread.  It is hard to photograph but it compliments the linen beautifully and lifts the plainness of the light colour to give it a bit of depth and structure.

Outside is calm and elegant (I hope) but inside is full of happy, smiley, floral prints and pretty pinks from various Bonnie & Camille lines.  I like how they mix together and I think they make a really feminine combination for this birthday gift.  Hope my friend does too!

Just in case you were wondering, yes, the Sew Together Bag was definitely easier to stitch second time around!

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Pixellated Heart Baby Quilt

Presenting my scaled down version of Katy's Pixellated Heart Quilt from Issue 1 of Quilt Now magazine - ta da!

Those fold lines have come out a bit too clearly in the pic - ugh!
I loved this quilt when I flipped through the magazine's first issue and decided that it would make a perfect baby girl quilt option for my cousin whose second baby is due at Christmas.  (For my boy option see this post.)  As the original is more or less double bed sized, I opted to re-size this one using 2.5" cut squares for my pixels.  So, this quilt finishes at 42.5" square.

I had intended to quilt it with straight line grids either side of the seam lines but after stitching all of the horizontal lines I called it quits because it was getting a little bit stiff.  I guess that was just a bit much quilting for pixels of this size.

Anyway, there it is - pretty, pink and suitably baby girlish!

Also adding that this is another FAL finish - yay!

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Sparkling Gemstones Finally Finished!

Remember this?

Gorgeous Trudi worked her magic on my quilt back at the beginning of October (yes, that long ago). Since then all it has needed is binding and a label, however with one thing and another I never quite got round to it.

Time to change that and get another tick knocked off that FAL list.

I've really struggled to take a decent picture of this quilt.  Either it has poured with rain and is too bleak and dark to see anything at all, or the sun is shining low through the windows casting deep shadows.  Sorry, these are the best I could do but I hope you can see how bright and beautiful this quilt is and get a better idea of Trudi's fabulous quilting.

One last pic to prove I added a label.  I've said it before and I'll say it one last time, this quilt isn't my usual cup of tea fabric-wise but I am ever so glad I spotted it's potential in the Jelly Rolls Quilts book.  It's bright and fun and I plan to use it LOTS this winter.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Butterfly Cushion Gifts

Butterfly cushions for girl gifts also made it on to my FAL Qtr 4 goals list. Now that they are all stitched up I'm pleased to be able to breathe a sigh of relief that when I finally find some time to think about Christmas shopping in actual shops, these are three less to have to scurry around for!

I drafted up a quick design for these 18" butterflies keeping the piecing very simple and I'm quite happy with the result.  They each were quilted with a few lines of echo quilting in the wings as you can see above and then given pretty fabric backs with co-ordinating zip enclosure flaps.  I really should have photographed the backs to show you because they are very sweet, but it is taking all my time to find decent enough light for the ipad camera to cope with just getting a reasonable pic of the main items these days, especially since most of my finishes happen late at night!  Anyway, I'm sure you can imagine pretty backings for yourselves ;-)

Pleased to be checking off that FAL list again!  3 down 3 more to go ....

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