Wednesday 31 December 2014

Finish Along 2014 - Quarter 4 Round Up

Finish Along 2014

What now seems like a lot longer than three months ago I posted this list of goals for 2014's FAL Quarter 4.  Given all that has happened in those three months, I am quite surprised to find that I managed to tick off my whole list!

1 - Kaffe Fassett Sparkling Gemstones Quilt

2 - Apple Core EPP Quilt

Took a bit longer than I had hoped but I did complete it.  Definitely a quilt for spring in those fabrics!

3 - Wonky Stars Baby Quilt
My cousin had a baby girl, so this quilt hasn't been gifted yet, even though it's finished.  Rumour has it that my neighbour just had a baby boy though, so it might have a home to go to after all.

4 - Pixellated Heart Quilt
My cousin's beautiful baby girl Nina now owns this completed quilt.  Those horrible fold lines washed out before gifting thankfully.

5 - Butterfly Cushions

It feels good to have finished the year with a completed list.  The FAL was a great motivator and focus for 2014 which was a year I entered with way too many unfinished projects.  Over the year I managed 19 finishes which includes 11 quilts, 5 cushions and some miscellaneous items.  Not too shabby!

I want to say a huge thanks to Katy for heroically managing all the FAL admin and keeping us all in check over the year - no mean feat!!  Thanks Katy!

I haven't quite decided if I'll join FAL for 2015 as things are being mixed up a bit around here, but if you need a little motivation and encouragement to tackle your growing pile of WIPs and UFOs you should really give it a go!  There's even a way to play along on IG this year!

Linking up one last time with Katy at The Littlest Thistle.

Tuesday 23 December 2014

Mimosa Winner!

Thanks to everybody who played along with my Blogiversary Giveaway for a chance to win this bundle of Mimosa fat quarters.  Sorry I didn't get time to draw this last night, it's kind of busy round here and it slipped off my list, but this morning it's a priority!

After our very technical random draw I can tell you the winner is ....

Well done Eva!

I will email you shortly asking for your address and then next week when all the festivities settle I will pop these lovelies in the post to you.

Thank you to everybody for sharing your biggest stitching plan for next year.  I can tell it will be one to watch!

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 ....

Friday 21 November 2014

Quilt Now BOM - part 5

Now I am really intrigued!

Part 5 of Reene's Medallion Block of the Month for the Quilt Now magazine involved some crazy patchwork and machine appliqued hearts.

Reene gave some choices for the crazy patchwork piece and I enjoyed playing a little with some of my machine embroidery stitches to fancy up the 'crazy' a little.  In her magazine article Reene says "If you're not having fun with this technique, you're trying too hard!"  and you know what, I think she was right! This was great fun!

Six of these quick pretties were to be made up as per this month's instructions and this is where I'm confused.

I now have 12 sixteen patch bargello blocks and 6 crazy heart applique blocks and I cannot figure out where's she's going next or how these all go together.  Oh, do hurry up Issue 6!!!

Thanks for a fun one Quilt Now and Reene!

Tuesday 18 November 2014

Quilt Now BOM - part 4

I'm just about squeezing these Quilt Now BOM blocks in before the next instalment arrives!  When my aqua fabric arrived at the weekend I couldn't wait to get started on adding the border to finish part 3 and make a start on part 4.

Unpicking little bargello tubes.

Reene's chosen skill for the part 4 blocks was the bargello tube.  I'm not entirely sure I'm sold on the tube process, but that might be more because unpicking on such short lengths seemed to take too much time and I've been unusually impatient lately.  However, I can see how much quicker this technique would make piecing long bargello strips so it's a useful skill to know about.

Don't look too closely at my blocks as there are more wobbly bits than I'd like and some are just a tad under size.  I foresee a little fudging to fit them in to the remainder of this border!  I wonder what Reene has planned next?

Saturday 15 November 2014

Skateboard Cushion

Deciding that it is high time I crack on with my Quarter 4 Finish-A-Long goals I started with the easiest remaining finish on my list in the hope of motivating myself towards the others.

The skateboard cushion just needed a little quilting and a backing and voila!

A cushion fit for a boy!

I added some outline quilting around the boards and a little bit through the board designs to finish it up and there is a simple enclosed zipper in the back to keep it all nice and tidy.  I forgot how a filled cushion changes the shape of a design by rounding it out a little so, with hindsight, perhaps the skateboards themselves would have displayed better on the cushion if I'd made them a little smaller and had a bit more background.  Still, I cannot imagine the intended recipient with look at it this critically since he's only 9!

So, that's tick no 2 off my list.  Onwards!

Friday 14 November 2014

Knitted Socks!

It has been a VERY long time since I have knit anything but this summer a chance conversation got me thinking and eventually led to a little self-challenge to knit some socks - you know, just to see if I could.

This pic is probably about attempt no 5 to wrestle those needles into submission!  I can't say I found it easy but it does get a bit better as you stick at it.  Manipulating four needles to knit over three was all a bit confounding to say the least.

Then, once I got the hang of that I had some issues with loose stitching where the needle sections joined.  I think I may have ripped back about a sock and a half's worth of stitches at various stages but eventually I had one stripey sock knit - yay!

That was encouragement enough not to give up and to get on with the second sock which was much easier than no 1.  And so, after a little blocking to make them a presentable pair I gifted them to a friend who was keen to have some handknit socks (though I think she may have been hoping for slightly more professional ones than mine). Anyway, she was graciously pleased with them and I guess she can always hide them under her winter boots so no one will see the beginner's errors!

So after my little self-challenge will I ever knit more socks? Actually, yes I think I will.  In spite of the initial tangle of needles I enjoyed it and as long as there's no hurry (I am super slow- took 4wks for pair no 1!!) I might try a few of the other patterns my IG sock knitting friends have been kind enough to suggest and share.  I also need to coax my own feet to get along better with the wool content of those beautiful self-patterning yarns so I can actually wear them myself.

If you are interested my wool is Sirdar Heart and Sole Wool rich 4 ply sock yarn and the pattern was on the back of the label. I used 2.75mm double pointed needles.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...