Friday 30 May 2014

Bee Blessed - June 2014

The Bee Blessed block for June is referred to as "scrappy but class".  I like to think I could apply that description to myself, but who am I kidding?

Anyway, Judith whipped up this lovely block to show us all how it's done -

and you will find the tutorial here if you'd like to have a go yourself.  Just remember, we are using white solid fabric for the background.

This is our last monthly block before we break for the summer, so go on, have a go - we're giving you a break very soon! (Cheeky, aren't I?)

Saturday 24 May 2014

Chevron Crochet Complete

My blogging records tell me that I started this crochet chevron throw back in May 2012.

Lots of these wonderful, wavy ripples were hooked up while I waited poolside for my lovely son for hours each week.

Things came to a little lull when my working week changed a bit and when those poolside hours were no longer necessary.  So I only rippled now and then, but still made a wee bit of progress.  This weekend I added a small border to all the ripples and can now officially call it finished. Yay!!

It's just a little lap throw, not even big enough to warm my feet, but I am very happy to have had a go at this pattern in these warm sunset colours and to tick another finish of my Qtr 2 FAL list!

Friday 23 May 2014

Windmill Petals Cushion

I managed to get hold of a zip this week and spend a few hours finishing my practice curves block into a cushion.

I enjoyed quilting some curvy lines following the shape of the design which you can see much better on the cushion lining side above.

All this I managed to do without the aid of a seam ripper!!

I used the leftover fabric to make my backing with a lovely zipper flap.  I won't tell if you don't that I managed to stitch the backing on sideways, so although what you see here is horizontal fabrics, in reality they are sitting as a vertical closure on the back.  (The text fabric on the front does make the whole thing directional, otherwise it wouldn't have made any difference.)  But, we're not telling, so it's ok, right? ;-)

So, here she is in all her wonderful, whirly glory!  As I said before, this layout of the Drunkard's Path units was totally inspired by Angela's Sewing Summit project.  I don't know if Angela has named hers at all, I couldn't see one on her blog post, so I have decided to call this my Windmill Petals cushion thanks to Terri who said it reminded her of the sumer beach toy windmills we used to have as children.

One last pic, just for gratuitous loveliness.  (Can you tell I really like this?)

BTW - if you happen to know the name of the orange fabric print in this cushion, could you please tell me?  I have only a weeny piece left out of the half metre/yard I picked up somewhere, but I cannot remember where, and it's one of those fabrics I don't feel quite done with yet, if you know what I mean.

Well, the bank holiday weekend is upon us and I have plans for coffee and a natter with Judith, a Ruby Wedding celebration lunch with my folks and hopefully a spot of crocheting borders and two quilts to bind.  I do not have plans for cleaning, ironing or any more dreadful financial paperwork, so all is looking GOOD!!!

Enjoy your bank holiday, peeps!

Sunday 18 May 2014

Mixed bag!

Well, this week's stitching has been a bit of a mixed bag, mainly due to the tedium of unpicking my tragic medallion quilting.

Though it must be said that Fry's chocolate cream did help a little bit as those rows and rows of stitches had to be undone in a rescue bid.

When my eyes started crossing over unpicking white threads, I took a break and picked up my chevron crochet. The main body of this little throw is now finished - woohoo - but, I think it needs a simple border now just to tidy up the edges before I can truly call it a finish.  I'm waiting for one more ball of yarn to arrive and hopefully I can push this over the line in this FAL quarter.

I've also been piecing these grey and aqua retro butterfly blocks for my class with Just Jude Designs.  I missed class this week because hubby was speaking at an evening conference for work but I worked on my blocks anyway to keep up with the class schedule.  Missed my friends and the fun chatter though, hope hubby isn't working next week.

Eventually, all the nasty stitching was removed from the medallion top and on Friday I started my third attempt at quilting this medallion quilt.  I think that this quilt top is the elephant I will simply have to learn to eat piece by piece.

As you know, quilting is not my forte and is certainly my least favourite part of the quilt making process, but rather than balk in fear of ever getting it right, I am approaching this quilt one step at a time.  So, a little bit of star outlining and lots of quilting in the ditch has been the way to start over.

A bit more outlining of geese and stabilising of borders with ditch quilting yesterday morning and she is beginning to look a lot healthier than she was last week!

I know the top is hanging low in the picture, but you can see that the awful distortion of my second quilting attempt has been redeemed.  I need to tackle the tippecanoe border next, but I'm pleased to report that I am feeling a little less overwhelmed at the prospect than I was 10 days ago.

Little Spring Mandala, pattern by Made in K Town, measures 7" diameter

Finally, this morning I used the scrap ends of yarn from my chevron to make up this bright little sunshiney mandala.  This was really quick to crochet using this great tutorial (just note it's written in US crochet terms).  It's one of the mandala suggestions made by Lucy of Attic 24 for her Yarndale Mandala challenge, so soon it will be off to join the other pretties in this year's Yarndale displays. (If you are interested do check out Lucy's posts, but note she is looking for only ONE mandala per sender.)

Not too shabby a week all in all!

Sunday 11 May 2014

Modern Stitching Bee - May 2014

For Queen Bee, Clara, we are making spiderweb blocks this month in the Modern Stitching Bee.

I have never made a spiderweb block before.  It's one of those blocks on my very long "Must do one day" / "Fancy a quilt of these" lists, so being asked for them in a Bee has been a perfect way to get stuck in.

I did underestimate just how much time these blocks would take me to put together.  Not because they are hard but maybe just because I didn't have a flow for a while and I was dithering about with scraps.

I was a little nervous about drafting my own paper template for these blocks.  However, thanks to these great instructions from Narcoleptic in a Cupboard, that part of the process was nowhere near the fearsome task I had conjured in my mind.  If you fancy giving it a go, Sarah's instructions are great step by step guide to drafting the paper foundation.

So, my verdict on the spiderweb block?  I LOVE it's scrappy loveliness and sharp lines, but I don't see me ever having the patience to make a whole quilt of them myself.  Perhaps that's why they're such a popular block to set for our Bee mates?

Wednesday 7 May 2014


Unexpectedly gaining some time today, I picked up my basted medallion quilt and made a start on the quilting.

I hated this uneven curving so much I ripped it out.

Much time later I decided on a different quilting design and started again.

I was enjoying the quilting but I didn't notice that it was pulling the alignment of the quilt dramatically.

Yep, this tragedy is making me weep. May be some time before I can face ripping this out....


Tuesday 6 May 2014

Crazy Scrappy Quilt Finish

I am happily reporting that my Crazy Scrappy Quilt is finally finished and looking ever so bright and cheerful - just makes me smile to look at this.

After my previous spiralling woes, I did finally order this long quilting guide bar set for my Janome QXL605 last week.  The good news is that the pack comes with an arm for each side of the walking foot, so I am now able to quilt a spiral with the guide arm to the left of the needle which is by far the easier way.  The not so good news is that these long arms don't work so well if you want the quilting to be closer together because the excess sticks out beyond the back of the walking foot and gets caught in the quilt bulk being manipulated through the throat space. (Thought I should warn those of you who might also be interested in these.)  I will have to learn how to "manage" that but for this quilt I didn't quite succeed and ended up quilting the spiral about 4" apart.  I like the lightly quilted look, just hope it's enough quilting to hold it.

Here's a better shot of the spiralling on the rather loud backing I pieced!

I must confess when I popped the quilt in the washing machine this morning there was rather a lot of domestic activity to distract me and I totally forgot the colour catchers.  Of course, I remembered half an hour into the wash when it was too late to do anything about it,but I am happy to report that all those bright fabrics and the navy sashing and borders behaved themselves beautifully - phew!!

This quilt may, or may not, be gifted to a very special girl, but I am toying with other quilt options for her too, so will have to wait and see which makes the final cut.

Almost forgot that this quilt is another finish from my FAL Qtr 2 list.  Just 2 finished so far, need to get my skates on if I'm going to clear all 6!

Sunday 4 May 2014

hipBees - May 2014

HipBees' Queen Bee Tanya is enlisting our help during her month to make blocks for a special gift quilt and she has chosen this fabulous paper pieced star from Fresh Lemon Quilts' Summer Sampler Series.

The fabrics Tanya sent us are absolutely beautiful together - I love this combination of bright turquoise and green against the dark grey background.  SO striking!

My blocks are the same only different if you know what I mean - a wee switch (deliberate, honest) in the turquoise fabric placement.

Looking forward to seeing the bright, bold and beautiful quilt come together!

Saturday 3 May 2014

Bee Blessed - May 2014

I'm a bit late sharing the details this month but here's the block we are asking for at Bee Blessed as posted by Judith here.

The tutorial for an easy bow tie block can be found at Cluck Cluck Sew.  If you fancy having a go this month, please make four of these little blocks using four different coloured solid background fabrics and join all four to give you a 12.5" block.

They are sweet and nice and simple to make, so you'll be churning them out in no time flat - promise!

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