Monday, 24 March 2014

Weekend fun

I've been beavering away with my final City and Guilds quilt, but gave myself some time off at the weekend to catch up with some blocks for the Rainbow Challenge. I hope to find some time before the end of the months to make some half square triangle blocks, I've got enough aqua scraps, but just not enough time.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Taking a line for a walk

I've been spending a great deal of time recently on my final quilt for the City & Guilds qualification. The design is based on an exercise we did in class called 'taking a line for a walk'. I've developed the result of the exercise into a quilt.

There's still a great deal to be done to it before I finish it, but I'm really pleased with how it's coming on. 

Friday, 7 March 2014


Today I've made the Coco top, a new pattern from Tilly and the Buttons. It's the first time I've sewed with knit fabric, and this pattern was brilliantly easy to follow, along with the very helpful online tips. I had to do just the tiniest bit of size tweaking, made all the easier by the instructions on how to do so. I'm delighted with the end result and will certainly be making another soon.

I'm horrified looking at these photographs to see that I haven't opened the lounge curtains today! And I think that I need to take about an inch off the sleeves.


My son and his partner moved into their first bought home last year, and have been steadily furnishing it. One of their first purchases was a lovely glass table that seats six and fits into their kitchen. They've chosen an orange colour scheme for the kitchen, so I made them some table mats.

They're quite large as they have bought themselves some rather large dinner plates. I managed to get four made before we visited them a few weeks ago, and the next two are still in the pipeline. I'll hopefully get them made and posted off over the next week or so.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Scrappy Saturday

February's colour for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge is pink. Since Christopher is away for a couple of days, so it's just me and the dog, I indulged myself with lots of sewing.

I've made:

two half square triangle blocks,

three heart blocks,

four 54-40 blocks,

one New York Beauty block,

and a partridge in a pear tree!

I've used up nearly all of my pink scraps, so I'll probably try and use up a bit more of the blue over the next few weeks.

And I'm thinking of doing the unthinkable - I'm thinking of throwing out any odds and ends that are left over each month. They just annoy me and are unlikely to get used, unless I save them up for next year, and that will probably annoy me even more. Does anyone else feel like that when you get nearly to the end of the scraps?

Monday, 27 January 2014

Rainbow Scrap Challenge

Today I've managed to spend a bit of time sewing, despite a nasty cough that won't go away following my chest infection.

I've made some more blue heart blocks and half square triangle variation blocks, like those I made last week.

I've also made four 54-40 or Fight blocks. I've decided to stick with blacks and neutrals for the four patch blocks, as this will tie all the scrappy multi-coloured blocks together. It doesn't work brilliantly with the blue, but I'm sure will work well with other colours.

Of course, the blue blocks won't be bunched together like this in the finished quilt, but it does give an idea of what it will look like, the secondary patterns that appear when you put the blocks together.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

A long time in the making.

Back in the very first year of Angela's Rainbow Scrap Challenge - is that three or four years ago now? -  she did a give-away and I was lucky enough to win a special ruler. I've no idea what it was called, but it cuts one blade of a windmill. I was delighted to have this ruler as I'd used that idea for my very first quilt, when I'd cut templates out of paper.

So I started cutting sets of fabric using the ruler every time I had a scrap that was the right size. And when I had enough I started to piece them together.

When I made my first quilt I had my sewing machine in the spare bedroom, so I was able to lay the pieces out on the bed and lift them straight to my machine. Now however, I have a proper sewing room  and at the time had nowhere to lay pieces out. This is the sort of quilt that you have to lay out in advance of starting to sew. So all the pieces went back in the box.

Then, last year, I got a small design wall put up and at last I was able to get started on laying the quilt out.

I finished it last week, in time to give to a very dear friend who has been in hospital for the last two weeks and is likely to be there for a while longer yet. I haven't been able to visit her as I've had such a nasty chest infection, but I was able to send the quilt in via another friend.

So here, after a long time in the making, and almost as long in the telling, is the finished quilt. And I grabbed a rare moment of dry weather and sunshine to take a photograph outside.

It's a lap size quilt, the best size I think for just laying over your legs if you're feeling a bit under the weather but not actually freezing cold. As always these days when I'm making a scrap quilt, I used it to practice my quilting. I couldn't think of different quilting patterns for every single windmill, but I think I've got about twenty five different patterns in there.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Rainbow Scrap Challenge

I've made three blocks from blue scraps for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. My plan is to make one or two of each of these blocks from each of the colours that Angela chooses, then I'll have three donation lap quilts to put together at the end of the year.
Nearly perfect points!

I'm going to make a whole different lot of blocks with half square triangles.

I bought a fabric panel with New York Beauty foundations pieces printed on it. There are twelve, so perfect for a small quilt, one for each month this year.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Some sewing at last

I managed to get some sewing done late this afternoon, at last. It's not brilliant, but it's finished, it's made of scraps and it's blue, so I'm just in time to join in with the links at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

I followed a link on Angela's blog to Mad4Patchwork, and from there I followed another link to Handmade Harbour where I found the pattern for this scissor holder. I bought the hen hook holder in an antiques market years ago and have never found a real use for it; it hangs right close to my sewing machine so is a perfect place to hang the scissor holder.

Missing in Action

I'm desperate to get back to my sewing room, it's weeks since I've been in there.

We went away for Christmas, which we spent with Number Two Son and his partner in their new home. We had a lovely time and they were so excited to be able to decorate for Christmas and to entertain us. Number Two Son is a very good cook and we ate extremely well the whole time we were there. Christmas lunch was a triumph.

Number Two Son loves games and competitions and one of his ideas was to have a Christmas cake decorating competition. I made a gluten free cake, put on marzipan and white icing, then four of us took a quarter each to decorate. Good fun.
Christopher's is the over the top quarter with the candelabra and mine is the quarter with the snowmen.

We weren't able to see Number One Son on Christmas Day as he had been working on the pantomime, two performances a day since the 13th and this was his only day off, and he mostly slept. We did go to see the panto on Boxing Day - Snow White and the Seven Dwarves at the Redhill Harlequin theatre - and caught up with him for a drink after the show. Oh yes we did!

We stayed with Number Two Son until the 28th, when we went over to the Isle of Wight to spend the New Year with friends. Six of us stayed in a rented house close to a house owned by another couple. There was lots of walking - which Ruby enjoyed a lot; lots of rain - which none of us enjoyed very much; good food - we went to a couple of lovely restaurants; and lots of good fun.

We were staying in Bembridge, and if you ever visit the area the two restaurants that we went to are well worth visiting. Lockslane Contemporary Bistro and Fox's Restaurant are both in the centre of the town and served wonderful food. We also went to the Propellor Inn, which is on Bembridge Airfield.

Three of our friends were determined to go in the sea to celebrate the New Year (completely bonkers!). It was way too stormy on New Year's Day, but they were able to get in on the 2nd.

We came home on the 4th January. On the 5th I did the laundry and shopping.

On the 6th I went down with a chest infection and have been in bed ever since. The antibiotics are finally kicking in and I'm starting to feel a bit more human; perhaps I'll be able to stay up for a while today. And hopefully I'll feel well enough to do some sewing in a few day's time.