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!

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