Thursday, 29 November 2007

Any ideas?

When I first started this blog I looked about and applied to join the 'quilting for pleasure' ring, but as you know, thats gone now. So I've been looking about again and I see many of you are members of the 'stashbusters' ring, but I have no stash, so thats not for me. LOL I also see a ring called 'Mavericks' am I maverick enough to join you guys? There are several rings for crazy quilters and embellishers, still not me, in fact there are dozens of rings out there and I'm confused!

Do I need to be in a ring? I know that some of you link to me from your own blogs and some are regular readers and post comments, do you think I'd get more feedback if I were to join another ring?

If you were to reccomend a ring for a relative newbie who does mostly straight forward patchwork and quilting which ring would it be? Or should I just plod on as I am?

Take care

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Trip around the Christmas Tree.

Remember that tree skirt I was talking about yesterday?

Well I abandoned the stitchery idea, I'll make some more for something else, I promise.

So today was another day off work. This morning I selected and cut 4 fat quarters, I played about on the floor for a while and came up with this trip around the world.


Then I went out to lunch, called in to buy wadding then milk on the way home. This afternoon I put it all together, with 4 more fat quarters for the back and finished quilting it just as Hunney came through the door. I took a break to cook dinner.


This evening, after dinner I attached and closed the binding (Scrappy... ish of course). So before bedtime I have one completed Christmas Tree Skirt.

Wow!

Instant satisfaction! I could get used to this. LOL

Now all I need is a tree, but it never goes up before Joes birthday on 10th, so it will have to wait a couple of weeks.

My long weekend off work is over and tomorrow I'm back to it. Soon I'll do the cutting for the table topper but I really do have to get on and do some school work too. Oh! Last nights exam, a doddle, a breeze! I'll get the results in about 6 weeks though and I shouldn't count my chickens.

Take care all.

Monday, 26 November 2007

Stitchery.

First things first, here's my first ever presentable stitchery. It's not the best ever, but it is the best I've ever done. As I said last time this is one of Pam Kelloggs complimentary patterns. Thank you Pam.


I've been sorting through my mini stash in order to find some fabrics to use with my little bell and came up with these two lovelies, some of you may remember my friend Janet sent these to me. I said at the time they felt christmassy and here they are. I plan to use these with the stitchery as the centre panel for this table runner, which Julia showed us.



While I was playing in my fabric box I also found these, hmm, not very cheerful, a bit disappointing to be honest,


So I got hunney to take me shopping. We do have some quilty shops here on the island, but they are limited by space so don't carry much. I did manage to gather up these little beauties though.


Hunney picked the one with the penguins, he said we had to have it. So now I want to have a bash at making a little tree skirt, I want to include a bit more stitchery in there too. That piece of fabric with the baubles on gave me an idea.
I'm off, two whole days off work, I have an exam tonight, so today I must do some study, but tomorrow, my time is my own.

Take care.



Thursday, 22 November 2007

Lots to share, but no time!

My sister Moya turned up yesterday, so yep, you guessed it, absolutely no schoolwork was done! We had fun though and I took photos of what she has been up to. But thats for later.


No prizes for guessing what I've decided to have a go at. I've seen some beautiful stitchery recently, in some of your blogs and just around about on the net as I window shop and surf through all the quilty and stitchy online stores. Don't hold your breath though, last time I tried this it looked like two cats had been fighting in my work basket!
The design is one of Pam Kelloggs complimentary patterns which she offers on her blog. Go have a look, and if you use one do let her know, she loves to see what we make with her designs.
Beyond my very expensive light box you can see what autumn looks like here in Ramsey, and beyond the tired garden and bare branches of the Elm trees is my old school, my kids go there now.


Pan a quilts width to the right and look out of the other window, and this is what we see. The not so bare branches of the cherry trees. I should have taken this picture before they lost so many leaves. There are about 8 cherry trees in all, and there is always plenty of fruit, but the birds get it before we can. There are also apple and plum trees out back. There are several big old Elm trees, once upon a time there were more, but sadly the island is fighting a battle with Dutch Elm Disease. Over on the other side of the building there is a beautiful willow tree and some evergreens, I'll show pictures of them someday.


I said I'd scan the magazine front to show a picture of the Rudolph quilt I'm so taken with, but that means starting up the big computer and I'm too lazy to do that, so I took a photo of it instead. Isn't it soooooooo sweet. It was available in kit form, but I missed them, they are all gone, apparently there was a limited amount of the fabrics produced. I'll have to see what I can come up with.

I can just picture Rudy and his mates draped over my sofa at Christmas. I wish it could be this Christmas.

Moving swiftly on, cause I do have to do some homework today. Moyas pictures.
Did we show you one of these already? Moya has made two of these yellow pillow slips for Nene. They are both double sided and quilted in the ditch. Very very bright, this picture tells only half of that story, Moya and I agree that we wouldn't want them on our beds or sofas, but Nene choose the fabrics and she loves them.

The tag hanging off the bottom here is Moyas 'made by' ticket. We both have them, we didn't make them, we cheated and purchased them from a little place Hunney found , he designed mine and ordered them for me in secret. See, thats why I call him Hunney.

Remember Moyas stash of sunflower themed fabrics? Well, here's her Sunbonnet Sue stash! It's not quite so big, but still impressive. (Her hubby hasn't seen her stash!)


All of these fabrics have Sue on them. Some are just a meter, some are meters! She's not sure what to do with the cheater piece, but I'm sure she'll come up with something.
She brought them all along so I could help her to decide what to use as the backing and binding for this little beauty.

After she has used up all my spare time with shopping and lunches, she goes home a make things like this, while I have to go to work. The Sues she purchased from Ebay, they are printed onto the fabric but were all different sizes, when she was trimming to a uniform size she got a bit too carried away, so she is disappointed with how they turned out, plus the mitering gave her a headache so she's very much fallen out of love with this one at the moment. I have suggested she add a border of the blue and possibly another in the pink, she tells me she has more than enough of both to boost this up from cot size to bed size. I also helped her to sort out a back, I think. She didn't look convinced when I suggested a pieced back and making it a double sided quilt. Anyway, I'll keep you posted on that.

Right, I'm off to school, I have to do it today, I'm meeting my assessor in 4 hours!

Wish me luck and I'll wish you the same.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Lots of Inspiration.

Still no stitching or sewing to report. The only needle I managed to get my hands on was at work. A button had come off someones shirt! Why does everyone assume that because I do cross stitch and make quilts and the odd garment, I must enjoy repairs and can work miracles with rags to restore them to their former glory? Sorry, bit of a pet peeve of mine.

I'm still busy studying and writing notes and essays for my NVQ, but hope to get a break from that soon.

I also have one or two Christmas parcels left to post. On that note Shirley asked if I have to put customs stickers on my international parcels, which would spoil any surprise. Yes I do, each year I pick on a different member of Hunneys family in New Zealand to receive, make any wrapping repairs and pass on all the gifts. So in theory only one persons surprise is spoiled. On any of the customs labels I give only the minimum of information. For example, if I say ''handmade purse'' on my customs label, I know for a fact only one person out there reading my blog knows exactly what I mean, cause she already got one! Everyone else will picture something different. So, one of the ladies in NZ knows that all the girls are getting purses, but hopefully she has no idea what they look like. Sometimes the boxes are not opened, that's a bonus.
I've given up being vague on the parcel I send to my pen pal in Australia, she says in 15 years she has never received an un opened parcel from me, every single gift I have sent to her has been opened and inspected!

On a quilty note. A few weeks ago Julia was selling off some stash on Etsy, I spied this little beauty and just had to have it. As I don't have a paypal account I demanded that my Sister buy it for me. (It's good being the oldest, sometimes I get to boss the others about!) Enclosed in a pack are 'Fusables' and instructions for making this pretty applique quilt. The butterflies around the border are quilted. As you can see it's called Garden Party.


There are instructions in the pack for both hand and machine quilting the design. There is a fabric guide, although it would also be great for using up scraps too. I need to go shopping, but every penny I have is being ploughed into Christmas at the moment.

This months scrap bundle has also arrived, these reds and pinks are beautiful.


They come with instructions for making sawtooth stars, but I wouldn't have been surprised if they had arrived in January with instructions for something romantic to give on valentines day. I think I'll save them and do just that! I have enough of the other scraps which I can use to practice sawtooth stars.

They are yummy though aren't they? I'll have to look out for something special to make with them.

I picked up a copy of Quilt Mania magazine last week while I was out with Moya. I've never seen it before. I'll be getting it again though. For those in the know, it's issue number 62, the one with Rudolph on the front! (For those not in the know, I'll scan the cover later, then I'll have a picture for next time. ) There are some quilts in there I'd like to try, including the applique Rudolph.

I'd better go put pen to paper, the sooner I get my school work done, the sooner I can play.

Take care.


Saturday, 17 November 2007

Checking in.

Well, it's been almost a week, and I have nothing to report. Not a stitch. Nothing remotely crafty has taken place in my house this week.

I've spent a great deal of time wrapping gifts to send to New Zealand, and Australia. (And don't I just know the customs people will rip the lot open and there will be no surprises for the recipients, GRRRRRR) I've also been writing essays for my NVQ.

I've been out and about a bit, my sister and I have been out walking and shopping, not to mention doing lunch. All of that of course conspires against my getting anything stitchy done. Moya who doesn't work, gets to stitch while I'm at work. So maybe soon I'll have a pic of something she has achieved. She tells me she has been doing some mitered sashing. When we come back down to earth I'll get a photo.

In the mean time I'm thoroughly enjoying all the blogs I follow, there are some beautiful quilts and works in progress out there, not to mention acres of fabricated inspiration, all of which makes my fingers itch to get hold of a needle and some fabric.


Sunday, 11 November 2007

Lest we forget

I was proud today to stand by the side of my client and friend.

He was injured serving his country.
He was proud to stand in his community and remember those who served before him.

I too remembered.
I remembered those who have served on my behalf,
and gave thanks for those who came home.

Each year I wear my poppy with pride and hope that you do too.

My wish today is for peace.

It was nice to stand with those who also gathered to remember, I was surrounded by people older than myself, then the children arrived, it's good to know that the next generation is being taught that the world was once a different place.
During the laying of wreaths, a Poppy princess representing all the children of all the Daddies who never came home filled my eyes, my throat and my heart.


Please let it never be forgotten, that some gave their lives for us and our way of life.





Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Scrappy Blocks.

Well yesterday I pulled out my magazines and had another look through them. I did find one or two quilts I'd like to make, but as usual it's the lack of stash which prevents a start.

So I dug out my scrap club stuff. In August I joined a beginners block and scrap club. Each month I recieve an instruction sheet for one block and enough scraps to make several blocks depending on the size I choose to do.
Some time ago I made these blue and pink delights with Augusts 4 or 9 patch block instructions. To be honest the pattern on the fabric is far too large for the 3 inch blocks I choose to make but nevermind, the intention was to use these blocks as practice pieces anyway! LOL



Septembers package was hourglass blocks and an assortment of pinks, greens and browns. So yesterday I produced two dozen 3 inch hourglasses.




I have plenty of fabric left from both months to make more blocks should I choose to, I could even have a go at making larger blocks.


Octobers block is a square in a square and the fabrics are some pretty blues and greens. Hmm, will I still like them once I unroll the bundle? That remains to be seen.

I'm off to play, take care

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

It's finished.

All done! I managed to get the binding on and closed before I went to work yesterday. Here it is, not the greatest pic, (the sun was pouring in through the window 20 mins ago), but enough to see that it's complete and wearing my usual scrappy style binding.



Anne, I have used a marking pencil in the past, trouble is I'm too impatient to test things, I want to buy them and use them NOW!! LOL There is still pencil lines on my Dresden plate quilt because I didn't test first, just got stuck in!

Thanks to Jeanne and Rose Marie for your offers of Sunflower fabrics, I'll pass them on to my sister, though knowing her she'll have found something already, she has a knack of sniffing out just what she wants.

Whats next for me? I have a cross stitch which has not seen light of day since August, I have some Katies choice blocks cut, waiting to be pieced and I could always stitch my scrappy block of the month, I have two of those waiting now. The truth is I have plenty of things I could be sauntering on with while I plan what to concentrate on next.

On that note,
There was something in Septembers Popular Patchwork..................................

Have a good day all,


Monday, 5 November 2007

Update.

Finally I have something to report. I was off to practice some quilting patterns.........Well I had a practice at Tazzies peacock feathers, and established the fact that I need more practice! I then had a bash at some free hand stars, and established that I need more practice. Hmm. Spurred on by Anne and Rose Maries kind comments to this post, I played about with a few different ideas and came up with a great cheat! I cut stars and hearts from baking parchment and pinned them on all over my top.



Then set to and did a very loose meander, meandering around the paper shapes as I came to them, and remembering to add a few curly cues. While I'm not overjoyed with my results I don't think I made a total mess of it.


More practice was had, and more practice is needed! LOL



So this morning, before I have to go earn a living I'll be piecing the binding and hopefully getting it on so I can slip it closed tomorrow.

In the meantime, did I mention that my sister Moya likes sunflowers?
Having seen my results with the turning twenty style, she now fancies a go at that.


Who would have thought there were so many sunflower fabrics out there? Yes, we know there are only nineteen, she's looking for another, but if that fails there is far more than a fat quarter each of these fabrics! When last seen she was frantically searching for something to use as backing.

It's a good day for staying at home, I just looked out of the window, it's windy, wet and miserable out there. I'm glad I don't have to go far to get to work.

Take care,




Sunday, 4 November 2007

New Sig.

Hunney has been beavering away on my behalf.
So testing, testing.
Does it work?