Friday 30 September 2011

Farmer's Wife update

The Farmer and I haven't been doing much tangoing lately.  My efforts to stay up to date aren't quite as successful as I'd like, and I'm starting to have palpitations each time I approach a block hoping that it might actually turn out the required 6.5" square!  There's not much leeway in these tinies, and sadly more of my blocks are closer to 6.25" than I'd like.  Still, trying not to sweat it and hoping a little jiggery pokery with the final blocks (one fine day) will result in an acceptable finish for these babies!

So here are 5 more blocks to show you, bringing my total altogether to 26.

Block 55 - Linoleum

Block 84 - Spool

Block 12 - Broken Sugar Bowl

Block 71 - Puss in the Corner

Block 8 - Bouquet

Tuesday 27 September 2011

Crocheted Lap Throw Complete!

Well I did say I hoped to be back before another seven months passed with an update on my previously forgotten crochet rug.  Shamed by my tardiness, I have included this one in the current round of bits and pieces I've been working on and yesterday I finally managed to finish the border and sew in the final wool ends!

This was my first large crochet project and while I did lose my motivation during it, I am pleased that I finally resurrected and finished it.  It's certainly toasty as I can verify from sitting with it over my legs while stitching the blocks together and finishing the border.

It may be some time before I am tempted by larger crochet projects again though!  Smaller, quicker finishes are more the order of the day at the moment as I look ahead at the quilting list that awaits me.

Saturday 24 September 2011

Thank you and More Charity Bee Blocks

Firstly I need to say a really big thank you to Leanne for sending this all the way across the Atlantic - 

Made by Leanne, She Can Quilt
Isn't it gorgeous?  Leanne you're a treasure - it was more than enough that you sent us some lovely Wonky Star blocks for our Bee Blessed project, but I am overwhelmed that you sent Judith and me one of your fab coasters each as well.  How kind!  

For those of you who haven't come across Leanne's blog, She Can Quilt, you really must hop over there and have a peek.  Leanne's blog often has amazing quilts to inspire but I have to confess that I am in particular awe of this recent creation - go on take a look and tell me it's not amazing!

Remember Karen's call to arms for Kind Stitches charity bee blocks for quilts for the Thai children?  Well, here's my contribution.  These were fun and not too tricky, so if you fancy lending a quilty hand check out Karen's post for the details.

And finally, a few more blue Wonky Stars to boost the collection for the boy's quilt top at our next Bee Blessed get together.

We've had an amazing response from all of you, our blogging friends, and next weekend we hope to be able to piece three Wonky Star quilts with all of your contributions added to those blocks made by our group.  Looking forward to being able to show you our progress soon.  Thanks again - you're a great bunch!

Friday 23 September 2011

Planning Ahead

It's out with the colouring pencils and calculator for another project I'm planning as a Christmas pressie.  I'm hoping this one will be a lap quilt but I'm a bit nervous about pulling it off.

It's not a pattern and it's not just a repeating block so I'm going to work my way backwards on this one and start with piecing the borders. I have tried to calculate the sizes for the panels that will be the internal body of the quilt but just can't get my head around them enough to be confident that I'll not end up an inch short in the panels and then mess up the border.  So I think it's safer to do it this way round.

I am looking forward to making a start on this one as it's for someone special and if I can get the ideas out of my head and onto fabric should be spot on for this person!  Tricky stuff this customised quilt designing!  Sorry I can't show you more at this stage, but maybe I can show a few more sneaky peeks as I go along.

In case you're interested, those lovely dark fabrics are Makower Ravenwood.  They really are gorgeous up close.

Wednesday 21 September 2011

Wanna help?

Okay you helpful peeps, Karen from Listen to the Birds Sing has put out a wee request for help to make little blocks for her Kind Stitches Bee which is making light quilt tops (no wadding) for children in Pattaya, Thailand who have been rescued from prostitution and sex trafficking.

Karen says it all much better than me, so if you're interested in lending a hand check her post here.  It's not a big ask and I'm sure many of our scrap baskets have ideal materials for the little blocks she's putting together!

Tuesday 20 September 2011

Birdie Stitches BOM - September

It's lovely not to be playing catch up on this BOM.  Isn't the September design from Little Miss Shabby's Birdie Stitches Block of the Month just gorgeous?  No need to make any adaptations at all this month.  I love the little swirls to show those leaves falling off the tree!

Happy to add this to the other eight - wonder what next month will bring?

Saturday 10 September 2011

What a lovely Saturday!

My morning walk in the pouring rain at 08.10 this morning was so not the flavour for the rest of this lovely Saturday.  And, since it was such a lovely day I'm going to share a little of it with you.

After drying out and a quick change of clothes it was off into our local village for morning coffee (or hot chocolate if you're 9 years old) with my lovely son.  I wish I had a pic of him enjoying his hot chocolate which our lovely local coffee shop (Out of Habit, Hillsborough) make look very sophisticated for him and then (because we're regulars and he's a hit with the girls who work there) gets topped off with two large flump mallows!  It was a great wee half hour away from everything else to catch up on all his news from the start of the new term at school - mummy/son time, you know.

After that it was off to make good use of a voucher for an LQS in Belfast (Quilter's Quest) that I had been gifted by my great friend Judith.  It was great to have her come with me for advice and encouragement, and to make it even better when we got there the September sale was on, so I was able to make my voucher stretch this far ...

I wish my photo did justice to the reds, greens and oranges in the black fabric
 - I love this!
Amy Butler yumminess - and on sale!
(Again the colours are better in reality!)
And one fq just for fun!

I love these fabrics, and it was such a pleasure to have a gift voucher to spend - thank you so much Judith!

Then it was the inaugural meeting of Bee Blessed.  What a great response Judith and I had to the call for other stitchers to come and join us in our charity Bee, both from the online community and from folks locally.  This afternoon those of us who were able meet locally invaded Judith's family room, littered it with foot pedal cables and fabric trimmings,  and generally laughed and stitched our way through the afternoon adding to the stash of generously donated blocks from our blogging friends.  I should have taken some pics of everybody hard at work and maybe even of the coffee and biccies that were there to sustain us, but you'll have to keep an eye on Judith's blog for those pics.  Instead, I have this lovely shot of all the blocks so far -

More wonky stars than you can shake a stick at!

A sneaky pic of J taking an arty photo (for her blog no doubt)!
It was a smashing wee afternoon and I hope everyone else enjoyed it just as much as I did.

And, the nicest part of the afternoon was that we were joined at the Bee by Karen from Listen to the Birds Sing whom Judith and I have 'met' virtually, but not in person until today.  It was so terrific to meet Karen and to see some of the lovely projects she is working on.  To say that Karen's work is precise and beautiful is an understatement - she is one seriously talented lady.  Go check out her blog and you'll see what I mean - and if you happen to be one of her goodie swap partners, you really are in for a treat!  It was so nice to finally meet Karen and we hope to be seeing her again soon.  Here's a wee pic of the three of us together ...
L-R: Karen, Judith and me - smiles all round!

And can I just whisper that Karen very generously brought me this fab French General bag kit as a gift.  Isn't she a sweetie?

I really was overwhelmed by such kindness and thoughtfulness, and of course I'm very excited about making up this new bag!  Thank you so, so much Karen!

Now, wasn't that a good Saturday? - a wee bit of mummy/son time, great friends, great fabrics and a new friend and pressie to boot!  Ahhhhh (contented sigh).

Friday 9 September 2011

Soul Blossoms Cushion

At the end of August I showed you my cutting preparation for another gift cushion -

This cushion will be the second of my Christmas gift makes for my three nieces (sisters aged 2, 9 and 15).  First cushion blogged here.

Last weekend I got a chance to piece the cushion panels (front and back) together.  I know my cutting layout my have inferred some kind of cross pattern was ahead, but the reality is in fact much more simple.  I wanted to keep this cushion unfussy and to make the most of the larger scale prints that Amy Butlers Soul Blossoms are.  This gift is for my fifteen year old niece who is very beautiful and very fashionable and I don't want her to find it old-fashioned or wonder what on earth her fuddy-duddy aunt was thinking giving her patchwork for a gift.  So, I opted for this -

Front of cushion

Back of cushion

Front and back - positive and negative of each other
I really like this piecing which allows the fabrics to speak for themselves, and hopefully my niece will too when the time comes.  I'm happy to have made some progress on this but I'll be leaving the quilting and the finish aside for a bit as there's a lot going on here in the next couple of weeks.  Good to feel ahead of the game for once!  (Bet it'll be shortlived!)

Tuesday 6 September 2011

Farmer's Wife - a few more blocks

I think I'm resigning myself to the fact that I will always be behind with this QAL, but hey ho, who's going to arrest me?  The quilt police?

Anyway, here are my latest additions to the FW blocks, bringing me to 21 blocks in total so far. Just another 80 to go!

Block 74 - Ribbons

Block 81 - Snowball

Block 29 - Economy

Block 54 - Kitchen Woodbox

Block 56 - Maple Leaf

Block 31 - Evening Star

And who knows, maybe one of these weeks I will actually catch up!

Saturday 3 September 2011

Check it out!

Judith over at Rags to Bags has got a great giveaway between now and Fri 9 Sept.  She has a fabulous bundle of Momo Freebird fqs to give away courtesy of River Fabrics.

So much as I'd love to keep the news of this giveaway to myself so I have a selfish and better chance of winning some of this gorgeousness, why not spoil my odds and go on over and check out Judith's post on how to enter.  And, while you're at it check out the beautiful stock at River Fabrics (I have ordered before and the service is great).

Hope you win (sort of)!

Friday 2 September 2011

Kaleidoscope Progress

Those of you who have borne with my Kaleidoscope drama will know that my progress is way behind on this quilt, but you will also appreciate that I am delighted to make it this far, given that at one stage I wasn't sure if it was redeemable.

After spending some time crawling around the living room floor (my poor knees) I finally positioned all the blocks so that no fabrics were matched to themselves.  This was a bit trickier than I anticipated, but I think I managed it (bit late now if I've missed one).

Laying this out was a bit of a surprise. All sorted and laid neatly on the floor it began to look a little overwhelming as it's quite a bit larger than any of my previous quilts.  Anyway, onwards ....

I pieced the blocks together and now I have a fab blue and white quilt top!  Woohoo me!

Hanging sideways to avoid trailing in the wet grass.

I just added this pic because I liked how it billowed in the wind.
I am delighted that my quilt top actually looks like it's supposed to.  It's even possible to catch a glimpse of that secondary circular pattern that you're supposed to get with the kaleidoscope design.

I would be lying if I tried to tell you that all my seams and points matched up perfectly but adopting the "blind man on a galloping horse wouldn't see it" approach, I'm actually very happy with the outcome.  I am a little anxious about how I'm going to manage the quilting on this bigger piece than I'm used to, but chuffed that it looks good at this stage.

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