Sunday, 28 February 2010

More sewing today

Yesterday was a good day. I managed everything I'd planned; finished An Angels Story quilt top (does anyone know where the apostrophe should go in that?); quilted and bound Going Round in Squares (just the hanging sleeve and label to go); and finished hand quilting A Fishy Tale. The last two were planned to go in the exhibition and be put up for sale, but I don't know if I can bear to part with them now!

Today I'm off to a workshop at Midsomer Quilting. It's to be based on a map or aerial photograph of where we live, so another modern design. I've been digging out my plain scraps, but they're mostly rather 'muddy' colours, so I may well have to buy some more fabric today. Shame!

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Update 2 - on target

It's been great to please myself today, and I'm really pleased with my progress. Going Round in Squares is now quilted, the bindings on and ready to be sewn down this evening. I didn't do any fancy quilting, just liberated quilting, going roughly around the shapes and around the squares and I'm delighted with the way it looks.

I've done a bit more hand quilting and am now planning a sit down with a cup of tea, a piece of cake, some television or a film, and some hand sewing.

Update 1

I've finished putting my Angels Story quilt together, and I think I'm okay with it. The photographs are hopeless, but it's such a dull day and it's difficult to get it completely flat when it's just a top.

I've already taken it apart once because I found the square patches used between the stitched blocks overpowering. So I bought some gentler fabrics, cut another 320 squares and stitched it all together again. I still find that the stitched blocks are a little overpowered, but I don't think there's anything more I can do about it. I'm not taking it apart again, but I think if I were to I'd put plain fabric between the blocks, rather than the patchwork blocks.

Hey ho, at least it's done, about a year after I started. So now I need to buy some wadding and backing fabric so that I can get down to quilting it.

Now for a cup of tea and on to the next project on my list, machine quilting the geometric quilt, which I think I'm going to name Going Round in Squares.

Plans for today

I think I signed up too late to get on the list, but I'm going ahead anyway. DH is away on business, it's belting with rain, so I'm going to settle down and sew, listen to the radio, watch a soppy film this afternoon and do some hand quilting, eat cake and chocolate - and perhaps some fruit as well just to be a bit healthy.

The top picture shows the quilt that I'm hand quilting using Perle 8 cotton. It's nearly there, so should easily be finished today. You never know I might even be able to bind it as well.

The lower top needs sandwiching and basting, then I'm going to machine quilt it.

I also plan to finish putting my Angels Story quilt top together. Then I'll have to decide what to do with it. I'm not convinced that I like it, but I'll wait and see.

Have a good day if you're sewing today.

Friday, 26 February 2010

I spotted this on Abyquilt and followed the link to Charming Chatter. It seems like a perfect project for me to get involved in, as I'm home alone all day tomorrow. DH is away on business and I've planned a whole day devoted to my sewing. I've got some gluten free, dairy free chocolate squirrelled away (it tastes much better than it sounds, honestly); I want to put my Angels Story quilt top together; I've got another quilt top that needs quilting and another that I'm hand quilting and have nearly finished, so plenty to be going on with.

Have a fun day if you're also joining in on this.


A small project

Jenny, over at Elefantz has shared a tutorial for making little baskets. They're useful little things and I decided to make one for my husband to keep lotions, or knick-knacks in. Jenny suggested a mini tie for decoration, so I've made one using shirting fabrics and adding a mini collar and tie, with gold tie pin. As an added bonus, I was able to use some left over binding for the collar, which ties in with Jenny's February challenge. And if you look carefully you can see me reflected in the mirror as I took the photograph!

Thank you Jenny for giving me this idea.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Elizabethan Flowers

I've at last got around to finishing the machine blackwork flowers that I started at a workshop last year. I made three flowers and a smaller one which is wired so that is a 3D addition to the bottom flower.

I quilted the background simply in a diagonal grid using a decorative stitch from my machine.

In May we're having an Arts, Crafts and Flower Festival in the village, to raise funds for the church, and I've been asked to exhibit some of my quilts . It's a bit daunting, as none of my quilts so far have been for anything other than private use. However, I have a few things in mind, and this is one of them. We've also been asked to sell some of our exhibits, with a percentage going to the church funds. How on earth do you decide on a suitable price for a quilt? If you take into consideration the number of hours spent on each one, and charge even minimum wage plus the cost of materials, you're getting into prohibitive prices. Has anyone else been in this position? How would you decide what price to put on a quilt?

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Whoops, forgot this finish

I forgot to show this picture, of another box with trays that I've made for one of my nieces, whose birthday was yesterday. I've put some pins, needles, a tape measure and a small pair of scissors into it.

When I looked at the photograph I realised that I'd put it in front of a couple of my teddy bears. I've always enjoyed them and bought a few more as I've got older. The pink bear is a Steiff musical bear that DH bought for my birthday a few years ago. I've called her Arundel, since that's where he bought her. The brown bear is Windsor, for the same reason.

This is Burberry. Christopher was giving bears like this as presents when he was playing Father Christmas at Burberrys last year, and of course one of the bears found its way into his bag.

This is actually a nightdress case, that was given to my mother for her fourteenth birthday, so it's now about seventy three years old. He just sits about on my window sill now, in honourable retirement.

This bear is a limited edition, and named Yetta (yetta nother bear!) She used to have a ribbon round her head but that seems to have got lost when we moved, so I ought to replace it.

This was my own very first bear, never named anything other than Teddy. I was given him for my first birthday, and as you can see he's been well loved. He now enjoys the view from my bedroom window, and I enjoy seeing him every time I open and close my curtains.

Sunshine, soup and seeds

It's been a lovely sunny morning, although I can see some dark clouds rolling in now, so I spent some time in the greenhouse sowing some early flower seeds - geranium, sweet peas, lobelia - and some red cherry tomatoes. Now they're sitting on one of the the kitchen window sills. We're blessed with wonderfully deep window sills in the old part of the house, ideal for seedlings.

Then I got some soup on the go, for my poor husband who left for the local hospital over two hours ago, having been advised by the duty doctor to go there to get some antibiotics for a nasty ear infection that's made his face and ear swell up. He can't open his jaw very well, so soup should be just the job.

And, just to prove how sunny it's been this morning, here's Rosie sunning herself by the french windows in the lounge. It's a tough life being a cat.

This afternoon I intend to relax with some hand sewing, quilting with Number 8 perle cotton, which is quick to do but jolly hard on the fingers.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Wonky Houses, Wonky Quilting

I've just finished a single/lap size quilt for my sister-in-law's birthday at the beginning of March. I've used Bonnie Hunter's Happy Scrappy Houses pattern. It is truly a scrap and practice pattern; I didn't have to buy any material to make it, though my supplies are running a little low now. And I've practiced my machine quilting on it, using patterns from Patsy Thompson's Fast and Free DVD Volume 1.

I've used Golden Arches in the blocks and Es in the sashing and borders. For the first time I actually felt as if I was getting some control of my machine whilst I was quilting. I still need lots of practice, but now I actually think that I might get there one day. The main thing that let me down was my basting, which let things get a bit puckered in places.

I've been working on a couple of things also which I hope to finish in the next day or so, as well as some longer term projects.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Signs of spring

This morning we visited a local garden, Sherborne Garden, which was open for visitors to see the snowdrops and hellebores. It was open under the National Gardens Scheme, whereby private gardens are opened to the public for a few days each year in order to raise money for charity. Unfortunately, things are delayed this year because of the extremely cold weath
er we've been having, so many of the snowdrops are still in bud and few of the hellebores had flowered. On the plus side, it was a gloriously sunny morning, and the signs are there that spring is on the way. The gardens are open again on 14th March, for the daffodils, so we will definitely visit again.

I'm still playing with Flickr, as I haven't yet found a way of clicking on the photographs so that you can see a larger version.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

A brave little soul

This little primula has braved the freezing temperatures, the biting wind, the hailstones and the snow flurries to poke its nose up above the soil. I thought the snowdrops would be first to bloom, but they're still in bud, so a photograph of them will have to wait for a while.

Last week I went to a day workshop on making a box with trays. I was delighted with the outcome, and plan to make several more for birthday gifts this year.

I've been busy with several other projects, but nothing ready to show yet - nor have we had enough sunshine to be able to take any decent photographs.