Saturday 28 January 2012

Bee Blessed Blocks

At Bee Blessed we are still gathering all kinds of 12.5" blocks with a view to putting together sampler quilts for donation while allowing our lovely members the opportunity to get creative/experimental trying new blocks.  I've been enjoying the freedom to choose (while sometimes actually being stumped by the vast choice available to me) and made these for this weekend's meeting -

Friendship Star

Double Pinwheel


The first two blocks - the Friendship Star and the Double Pinwheel - were stitched up using the tutorials from Jenna at her Sew Happy Quilt QAL.  The mosaic block was just me using up bright, happy leftovers!  I really like all of these blocks and hope they'll find their way into a great sampler for someone who needs a little blessing.

Friday 27 January 2012

Bits and Pieces

So I put on my big girl pants and went for it and quilted the Soul Blossoms quilt in a wavy grid pattern, and I'm very happy with the result.

It's not fussy quilting which I don't think would be the recipient's style and it was fun to do (if quilting is ever fun - yep, it's the part I hate most in the process).  The fear of "should I? shouldn't I?"  with the quilting design originates in my inability to visualise how quilting lines that cut across or through the patchwork patterns will actually translate onto the fabric, and what effect they will have on carefully created patchwork designs.  This one turned out well, though.  And, I've since managed to machine stitch the binding so just need to finish it off on the back (hopefully over this weekend).

Also this week in the Sew Me "playroom"  I've been fiddling with scraps and ribbons and notions.  So far this is what I've got.

The maths went out the window on this one, so I'm making adjustments left, right and centre (literally) as I go along.  There's still quite a bit more to do but I'm in no hurry as this one is just for me and I've already been waiting 6 mths since I decided I wanted to do it!  BTW it's supposed to be a jewellery tidy, but we'll see how (or what) it ends up!

At class we played with our scraps and bondaweb last night, and ta da!

I'm showing you now before I let myself loose on it next week with my newly acquired sketching skills (ahem!).  So in case you never see it looking this beautiful again, you will know that it did at least have potential.  And yes, those are soul blossom scraps along with bits of my old denim skirt.  Finally, a little bit of SB to keep for me!

And lastly, I've been trying to think of an idea for my partner in the Mouthy Stitches Swap.  She's made a lovely mosaic and has been helpful in her comments on discussion threads, so I'm hoping I can make her something she really will like.  As a starting point, here are my design options -

They're all based on linen and embroidery with fabrics, possibly scrappy.  Hope at least one of them will be her type of thing!

Sunday 22 January 2012

Quick peek at Soul Blossoms again

It has been a busy weekend without much sewing so far I'm afraid, so not much to show you that's new.  I will show you this though

I did get the Soul Blossoms D9P top pieced during the week and I love it more with every stitch!  Now for the quilting.  I know what I'd like to do just not sure if I'm brave enough to try it in case it turns out to be a bad idea.  And no, it won't be fmq-ing, since this is not a 10" square old sheeting sandwich!

The exciting news for this weekend is that I can now put my deerstalker hat on and light my pipe for some sleuthing as partners have been assigned in the first round of the Mouthy Stitches Swap!

Friday 20 January 2012

The World's Most Boring Zippered Pouch

Fear not, my Mouthy Stitches partner (whoever you may be), this reeeeaaaaaaallllllllly boring zippered pouch will not be winging its way to you in February.

But, you might appreciate knowing that I have made this very dull pouch in an attempt to upgrade my zipping skills, obviously in the hope that your pouch, dear partner to be will look half-decent.

And, all in all it's not too bad.  I do need to sort out those corners and was given some very good advice about how to achieve this, but then found myself concentrating so hard on following the tutorial(s) that I forgot to take care of the corners before I stitched them in! Next time, I will do as you said J, promise!

Look - equally boring lining! 

Bit more practice required, but not as scary as I thought it would be.  Now, just to figure out how to make the real thing prettier and partner-approved!

PS - I really should have thought to make this practice pouch up in brown fabric.  I mean, in brown fabrics and with its salmon zip this could have been a beauty that Mouthy Stitch swappers would be fighting over in their droves!!!

Wednesday 18 January 2012

Soul Blossom D9P Progress

There is definitely something mad about sewing 9 patches together to have this

 only to then chop it again like this

all to sew it together again!

Of course, when you mix it up a little as the Disappearing 9 Patch should be, then you see why you would undertake this madness.

Love it!

And when you get 20 blocks stitched, chopped, re-stitched and trimmed square then you can have loveliness such as this -

Please don't tell me if you spot a patterned fabric which will meet itself when the blocks are joined.  We spent a fun (!) Saturday evening crawling around the floor arranging and re-arranging blocks to avoid such meetings.  I think I got there in the end!

I love these Amy Butler fabrics and think they mix up very nicely in the D9P.

PS - If you'd like to see a great tutorial for the Disappearing 9 patch block check out my lovely friend Judith's post here.

Monday 16 January 2012

FIL Birthday Cushion

My FIL has a special birthday this weekend so I stitched up a cushion surprise to celebrate his big day.

Rail Fence and Embroidered blocks

Envelope Backing

The fabrics were beautiful to work with - Makower Indigo Berries (the blue versions of the Ravenwood fabrics I used in Hubby's Roman Quilt) - and are such deep navies and french blues - very suitable man-fabrics!

Friday 13 January 2012

Pinballs and Pebbles

As the Soul Blossoms D9P quilt blocks are slowly coming together in the background I have been trying to fit in a few other little things along the way this week.

First up, a couple more blocks from the Modern Blocks book -

These ones are the Pinball Machine block and are destined for the stock of blocks being gathered over at Bee Blessed in the next few months.  I enjoyed this block, though I'm not sure I achieved the sharp look of the original from the book.  (I have just previewed this post before publishing and noticed that the block are different!  I didn't see it when I was making them, clearly I've mixed one up a little - oops!)

And here's what I got up to at class this week ....

Yep that's FMQ practice! (Just in case you had trouble identifying it.)  The lovely Judith took 12 of us through the process of getting started on the FMQ journey.  I must admit that I found it much easier to follow her tutelage than I did struggling on by myself in the early autumn when I made an attempt at FMQing.  It really helped to see a demonstration and to have J on hand to help sort out tension issues.  It's not something I find coming naturally but I did see progress and by the end of the night I think I was starting to produce some pretty reasonable pebbles. Next week we have a bit of sketching skills tuition which should be fun too!

And the aim of all this FMQ/sketching?  Well, check out Judith's Welcome Wallhanging project which we are all hoping to make in the last few weeks of the class.  Can't wait!

Hope everybody has a great weekend with plenty of stitchy goodness involved!

Wednesday 11 January 2012

Mouthy Stitches Swap - Round 1

What is it about this hobby and the persuasiveness of blog posts that makes me do things I know I shouldn't but things I really, reeeeeeeeaaaallllly want to?

Susan, Cindy and Hadley have joined forces to offer a new swap - Mouthy Stitches (say no more).  Round 1 is open for sign ups and gets started by end of the month. It looks like they're hoping for 90 swappers by 22 Jan but tonight they're already at 64-ish and sign-ups only opened today!  Way to go ladies - how popular are you?

A zippered pouch is the swap item and boy do I need to put in some practice to get my zip skills swap-worthy!  (In advance, Partner I will try sooo hard to get the zip in neatly to a pouch you will like, but I hope you will be the forgiving kind!)

My pouch inspiration mosaic -

This will be a challenge for me but hopefully I'll manage with the support of the other lovely swappers and those Mouthy Mamas!

Soul Blossoms D9P Quilt

The problem with this hobby is that even when common sense is telling you not to take on any more big projects, beautiful fabrics and creative longings just keep coming and eventually overrule that common sense altogether (sometimes it really doesn't take that long)!

So...  my teenage niece LOVED her Soul Blossoms cushion that I gifted her for Christmas (what a relief!), remember it?

And, in among the other more random fabrics in my little "stash" are sitting the remains of the Soul Blossom fqs that I bought to have a good variety in her cushion.  At the time I justified the purchase of such a selection because I really loved them myself and thought I would make something for me with the leftovers.  However, seeing how much she loved them I want to use the remaining fabrics to make her a quilt she can love too and this fits in rather nicely with the fact that her sweet 16th is in Feb and I need to have a pressie for her (would help if it was in March actually, but I haven't yet learned how to magically shift a person's date of birth).

So with some very careful cutting to get 100 Soul Blossom squares from the remaining fqs (I had enough fabric for 102 squares!)  I now have this little pile of loveliness - with a new piece for binding - to make into 9 patches and then chop up again to make them disappear.  (Am I mad?)

Here's to another quilt in the making and hopefully making her even happier than her Christmas pressie did!

Saturday 7 January 2012

Grannies Eat Your Hearts Out!

It has been (lovingly and humorously) said that our last lot of soft hued, vintage fabric style log cabin blocks for Bee Blessed were "Granny Blocks".  Well, today us Bees got together, sorted, trimmed and pieced the "grannies"  into four lovely quilt tops.

Sorting and laying out (aka log cabin carpet)

Auditioning border fabric to increase the size of this little green and red quilt
(and Heather made up another lovely block to fill in the missing gap). 

Ros gets cracking on the pink/lavenders quilt.

Fully pieced pinks/browns/creams - this one is warmer and pinker than this pic looks.
There is another soft blue quilt top but I seem to be missing pics of it. Must get some next time.

So there you have it - another busy Bee afternoon.  Thank you all for the beautiful blocks you sent us - any granny should be proud of these!

Friday 6 January 2012

Bee Blessed Blocks for January

My New Year sewing and blogging has gotten off to a slow start but I've finally got off the ground with a couple of blocks for this month's Bee Blessed which is meeting tomorrow. (Yep, thought I'd really better get my finger out!)  So here they are:

Woven block

Snowball Block

For the next few months we haven't prescribed any particular block for Bee Blessed.  So, as long as the unfinished block measures 12.5" square we have freedom to challenge ourselves to something new or make an old favourite as we please.  (BTW - If you'd like to be one of our online Bee members you can join us in this venture - just pop over to the flickr group and get in touch - or leave a comment here and I'll get back to you.)  It's going to be fun to see what everybody chooses to do.  Then with our stash of blocks we'll see what works together and create some sampler quilts to donate.

This month I had planned to use the Modern Blocks book which I LOVE,

but somehow I got sidetracked by the blocks that Jenna posted for her Sew Happy Quilt QAL.  They were lovely to make - not too taxing, but still interesting - and I'm pretty happy with them.  Thanks Jenna!  I think the problem with the Modern Blocks blocks was that I was just so indecisive about which of the MANY I wanted to make and Jenna's two block tutorial kind of helped me with a neat little packaged set when I really just needed to be getting on with it.  Got to be more assertive with myself for next time!

Monday 2 January 2012

Spreading the word

Hello Folks!

Today I'm just spreading the word re a new BOM QAL that looks like it's going to be very cute.

April over at Making Ends Meet is hosting a free BOM called Hello Sun.  It's patchwork and applique using the sketching technique and a few wee simple embroidery stitches - would be great practice if you fancied a go.

I'm not joining myself (though I am always tempted by cuteness) as I still have two of last year's QALs to finish, you could say three if you allow for the Farmer's Wife which is a relationship in sad neglect at present.

Anyway, if you fancy an applique BOM QAL pop over to April's blog for the January block instructions and join the flickr group too.  Have fun!

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