Monday, 31 December 2012

December NewFO, the last one of 2012

I love starting new projects they are always so exciting, the choice of the pattern and the fabrics even deciding on the size. Starting a new project also makes me work a little faster or longer on  a work in progress so that it doesn't fall too far behind. So all in all NewFO at Cat Patches gives me a win win situation.

So what have I started in December. I've managed to convince myself that I haven't done very much sewing but starting to write this post has made me realise this isn't entirely true.  To start with I finished off my 6 mini tote bags and used them as gift bags.

They were such a success that I might have to make more next year. 

I started a Christmas table runner. I didn't want the runner for use this Christmas which is a good job as it isn't finished yet. I decided to make a pinwheel design. By the time I had cut this out the only Christmas fabric I had was my Cherry Christmas jelly roll I had won earlier in the year.

There are 7 pinwheels in the piece as I wanted a long runner. It has now had the borders added and is ready for the quilting. I plan on finishing it by the end of this week so it can go in the Christmas box to be stored in the loft until next year.

At the end of November NewFO post I said I had started cutting the fabric for a Christmas quilt. I had in fact cut one strip of my jelly roll and that was on the 1st December so it is a December start. I had seen several granny square blocks and rather liked them so I decided this was what I would make my quilt with. I had also seen great granny squares - there is an extra row round the block - and I quite liked this as an idea. However as I started to play with the fabric I decided to stick at granny squares as it give greater flexibility with the use of the fabric.

I have sewn 14 blocks so far but as I want a large quilt I have a long way to go. I decided I would square the blocks up once I had sewn them all. I'm sorry the photos are so poor but the light here today is awful as yet again it's raining. I think I'm developing webbed feet and quack quack quack ......

I also managed to fit in sewing a tea cosy for each of my daughters. They'd both been complaining their tea gets cold very quickly.

Barbara asked us to share any finishes from the 2012 NewFO if we wanted to. I started linking in August and since then I have finished up all the projects I have shared except the table runner and quilt shown this month and the grandmother's choice Votes for women BOW quilt which doesn't finish until August 2013. That's because all the projects I've started since August have been small ones and therefore easy to complete in a short time. Next year I have some big projects planned so I probably wont be able to say that next December 31st. 

My favourite projects I have posted about as a NewFO were the two mini quilt swaps I took part in. 

I plan to take part in a couple of mini quilt swaps in 2013.

I've taken part in a couple of blog hops - the wicked hop and Holiday Lane. I have already signed up for a blog hop in 2013 as I found them such fun to take part in and I've made some good friends in blogland as a result.

I still have 4 work in progress pieces to finis. 3 of them I started about May and my millennium cross stitch sampler was started Christmas 1999 and is still not quite finished. The cross stitch should be finished by February. The grandmother's garden English patchwork quilt is completely sewn by hand and I plan to finish it by the end of the year excluding the quilting. The dresden plate wall hanging needs the final border sewing on and then is ready to be quilted which I'm going to do by hand. The other quilt I should have finished by now but I've been having too much fun doing other things.

So that is me about done for 2012. I'm excited about what I will be making in 2013 and need to be very careful not to waste time if I'm to finish the bigger projects. So it's goodbye to the 2012 NewFO button at the top of the page and welcome to the new 2013 button. Go and visit Cat Patches to see what everyone else has been up to in December.

All that remains is for me to wish all of you and your families a very happy New Year.

Sunday, 30 December 2012

A slow relaxing Sunday

All the Christmas visits are over and there is now time to relax after a little bit of tidying. We still have our tree up as we have some visitors for New Year and the lights on the tree look beautiful at night. I normally take it down on New Years day but often in the UK trees stay up till 12th night. It is considered bad luck to leave it up any longer than that. 

This morning I have been getting on with some cutting and a little sewing. I have cut up my Cherry Christmas jelly roll to make a Christmas quilt, I plan on being ahead next year! I've even sewn some of the blocks together but you'll have to come back tomorrow to see them when I join Barbara's December NewFO linky over at Cat Patches. 

I made a cute little tea cosy for my daughter Lucy. Her brother gave her a diffuser teapot for Christmas as she likes using leaf tea. 

I used some of the rose fabric my older daughter gave me for Christmas to  make the cosy. This is most appropriate as Lucy's middle name is Rose. The back of the cosy is quilted with parallel lines and on the front I stitched 'Time for tea' which unfortunately doesn't really show up on the photo so I haven't bothered showing you that.

Richard also gave Lucy a really cute milk jug. Lucy's favourite animal has always been rabbits.

The teapot and milk jug are perfect for two mugs of tea..... cups are just too small. I also thought I'd show you the fabric I used to make my needle case many years ago. I love bright, happy, playful fabrics.

The needle case is always stuffed full of needles as I take it with me to Guides if we are doing any stitching. In the lead up to Christmas I was helping the Brownies (7 to 10 year olds') make some stitched decorations whilst others were using glitter to create their cards. When I opened my needle case this morning I found a heap of glitter on the pages with the needles we were using. It's now all over the floor but it made smile as I remembered what a fun evening we had making cards, presents and decorations.

Today is the first day in ages it hasn't rained here in London so I'm going to take Scamp out for a long walk. I decided in the run up to Christmas that I really must lose some weight and get fit. I also made the decision not to wait for new year and so I've walked at least 3 miles every day since Christmas Eve. Yes I even walked on Christmas Day and that walk was 6 miles. Although I didn't eat less over Christmas the extra exercise has stopped me putting on any additional weight. 

I hope you have time for some sewing today. Come back tomorrow and join the NewFO linky.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Time free to sew.

I hope you all had a very happy Christmas. We had a great time with a quiet leisurely Christmas day and our older daughter and her boyfriend visiting on boxing day (26th). We have also managed to take Scamp (our Yorkshire Terrier) out for a good walk each day without getting wet. Quite a feat since we are having a monsoon season here in London.

Today I had some errands to run including posting the FQ's she won to Connie at Freemotion by the river. I also had a delivery from Green Fairy. I had ordered 3 charm packs ready for planned projects.

Moda Charm Pack - Get A Clue With Nancy Drew by Moda

The Nancy Drew charm pack is ready for the blog hop in March. I've a couple of ideas of what I want to make, I just need to make a final decision of which one.

Moda Charm Pack - Sakura Park by Sentimental Studios

The Sakura Park is for a project with my Brownies.  The final one La Belle Fleur by French General is for me just because I really love the designs.

Moda MINI Charm - La Belle Fleur by French General

With errands done and only a small amount of cleaning and tidying needed I finally had time to do some sewing. We are a family of tea drinkers ( well all the females are) and my older daughter had complained that the tea got cold in the pot before she had finished it all. So my job for the day was to make a tea cosy. The Rusty Bobbin has a great tutorial for making a cosy including how to measure your teapot so that you make the right size. I love it when all the guess work is taken out of a project. Kathryn has always liked cows especially black and white ones so I chose this fabric for her. As a toddler she called the black and white cows moo moo cows which is the name of this design. Every so often on the fabric there is a black cow and I cut the shape so there was a black cow on one side

I chose red for the lining.

I used Hobb's heirloom for the batting. I quilted around the outline of each cow and I added piping. I think this is the first time I have done piping (I think ... must be getting old because I can't remember for certain.)

I am quite pleased with the finished result. I hope Kathryn will like it. Now I have two more tea cosys to make, one for my teapot and one for Lucy's. The quilting doesn't show up in the photo but gives a lovely puffy effect. 

So a gentle ease back into sewing. Hopefully I will have some more free time tomorrow. For now I have a TV programme I want to watch and I can't make up my mind whether to do some embroidery or knitting while I watch it. I hope you have had some sewing time today.

I am linking this post up with Richard quilts - link a finish Friday. Why not pop over and see what other people have been up to.

Monday, 24 December 2012

A very Happy Christmas

A very quick post to wish you all a very Happy Christmas . I hope you are able to spend it with your loved ones and that the holiday is relaxing and peaceful. 

My give away to celebrate Quilting Gallery 's 5th birthday was won by Connie from Freemotion by the river. I have contacted her by email and got her postal address so the fat quarters will be flying their way to her after the holiday.

It is now 11.30 pm on Christmas Eve here in London and I'm rushing to the midnight service. No hope of any snow here but at least the rain has stopped. Carrots and water for the reindeer is out in the back garden and there are mince pies and a drink for Santa waiting for him. I hope I've been good enough this year to get a present.

Love and hugs to you all.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Quilting plans for 2013

Barbara at Cat Patches is continuing her NewFO challenge next year. This is where you start a new project in the month so you can get the thrill and joy of exploring, starting and creating something new. There are no quilt police so if you don't start something new there is no guilt but also you don't need to finish your project. Of course over time everything is finished - unless I decide I really dislike it in which case I find someone to offer the project a home and love it as it deserves

Barbara asked us to identify a wish to do list for 2013. This isn't a list we need to stick to but helps to get us planning a few new projects. So I have spent some time trying to decide what I would like to achieve and this is what I came up with.

In July it is our 30th wedding anniversary and I would like to make a quilt for our bed to celebrate the occasion. When I visited the festival of quilts in August at the NEC, Birmingham UK  I fell in love with the double wedding ring pattern.

I would love to start making this pattern this year. I know it will take a long time to make, but it would be amazing when complete.

A little while ago I showed my friend one of Barbara's posts about her cat folk art quilt. My friend recognising the devoted cat lover in me and bought me the pattern for my birthday.

folk art cats quilt kit

This quilt was designed by John Simpkins for the stitching post as a BOM and is now available as a kit or just the pattern. My friend loves me lots but couldn't afford to buy me the kit. I am thrilled she bought me the pattern and this is definitely on my wish to do list.

As well as our 30th wedding anniversary, our friends are celebrating their 25th. They actually got married on the same date as us and I would love to make them a quilt. I am going to talk to their daughter to find out what would suit their bedroom. This would need to be finished in time so a simpler pattern is a must - I'm still working on that little problem.

Barbara on her wish to do post showed some fabric with circuit boards on it. I showed it to my son and he said it was perfect for his quilt. I hit the internet to see if I could source the fabric and found that Spoonflower have a fabric section called Geek. Here I found an amazing array of fabric including circuit board, and star trek schematics. I am now in design mode to work how I want to make the quilt and how much fabric I need.

Last year my Guide unit made prem baby quilts for Project Linus. My Brownie unit wants to make quilts this year and so I want to try and make 3 lap quilts and knit some baby blankets to go with their efforts. These were some of the items the Guides gave to project Linus

This year I took part in two mini quilt swaps and I really enjoyed it. I particularly enjoyed the second swap which had to be 12 inches square and include the 3 layer quilt sandwich. My effort was based on a painting I did of a Clematis growing in our back garden. 

The quilt now lives in Australia and I have this beautiful swap from Scarlett in Chile which has pride of place on my coffee table.

I would love to take part in the next quilt swap which will take place in the early part of 2013 and is organised by Kate

Of course there will also be blog hops that I want to take part in and these will involve smaller quilty items. 

I've just looked back at what I have written and it seems a huge list but it seems manageable as only one of the big quilts must be finished in a set time. So my short version of my wish to do list is;
  1. Wedding anniversary quilt for me and John
  2. Wedding anniversary quilt Dave and Wendy for July 2013
  3. Quilt for Richard
  4. 3 lap quilts for Project Linus and knitted baby blankets
  5. One mini quilt swap
  6. Folk art cat quilt.
I expect that by January1st I will be adding something new to the list. I haven't said which month I plan to start which project in but if I can make a decision about the pattern and colours I think I will start on Wendy and Dave's quilt in January. I also have ongoing projects such as the Votes for women BOW quilt from Grandmothers Choice. This finishes in August and would then need quilting and binding.

Phew I'm worn out thinking about the projects so I'm going to make a nice cup of tea and sit and read for a while. I'm linking this post up with Barbara at Cat Patches and Connie's linky party at Freemotion by the river. If you haven't entered my give away for Quilting Gallery's birthday blog hop you need to go here, it closes at midnight GMT on the 20th December. 

Monday, 17 December 2012

It's starting to feel a little like Christmas.

I'm running rather late this year in getting organised for Christmas. Normally I put the tree up on the 9th December (I like to celebrate my birthday first) but this year I just didn't have time until yesterday. I love the excitement I still get when the tree goes up.

I still need to hide the wire for the tree lights behind the tree and wrap the presents hidden in the bag.

I also put up the heart garland I made last year.

To make the garland I cut out two heart shapes from Christmas fabric for each heart. I then used embroidery thread to stitch the two shapes together using a simple running stitch about half an inch in from the edge. You need to leave an opening so you can lightly stuff the heart with toy stuffing and then sew up the opening. Using pinking shears or fancy blade rotary cutter trim the edges. Add a ribbon bow and a loop to hang the heart. I had some small baubles which I mixed in with the hearts. I used thick piping cord to hang them from.  

This year I bought a nativity set. I have wanted one for several years but I hadn't seen one that I liked. When we visited Bath Christmas market I feel in love with this scene and it was also made in Bethlehem. Unfortunately I need to move things around as this isn't the best position for it.

When I visited Midsomer Quilting last weekend I bought several pieces of fabric. Most were just to build up my stash but two are for specific projects. 

I bought this to make some cushions for our family room. I'm not sure why but we all love elephants and these are just perfect. Opps that sound like a NewFO for January. I also got this lovely FQ.

Those blueberries look like you could pick them up and eat them mmmm really yummy. This is for a Christmas present I am making and since the person it's for reads this blog I can't say any more. I'll post a picture after Christmas.

I managed to grab a very small amount of sewing time on Sunday and have finished my Christmas mini tote bags - all six of them These are present bags for the leaders at Guides. I hope they like them.

This bag is quilted in the ditch as are two others. On the remaining three I practised my FMQ and sewed holly leaves. These mini tote bags make up very quickly and if you would like to know how to make them please click here to visit ps i quilt and see the tutorial.

Quilting Gallery's 5th birthday blog hop party was great fun and if you haven't already entered my give away is open until midnight on 20th December Greenwich Mean time. I will announce the winner on the 21st. Click here to go and enter.

Now I'm off to finish my list of new projects I would like to make next year as part of Barbara's NewFO 2013 Challenge over at Cat Patches. Why not visit to find out more about it.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

And the winner is

I'm really sorry for the delay in announcing the winner of my birthday give away of the cat fabric but this week has been really hectic.

 I'm not sure where the time has gone but it has now been over a week since I did any sewing and I'm suffering from withdrawal symptoms!

Anyway the winner was comment number 53 from Catskill Quilter. I have emailed to get her mailing address and the fabric will soon be on its way.
The comment that won was telling me she is a follower but her reason for liking cats is

"I love them because they are fascinating and somewhat aloof -- so when they choose you to be their Human, it is an enormous compliment! My first cat was born at almost the same time as me, at my grandmother's house, and when I was a year old he came to live with me. It has been cats ever since! I would be utterly lost without a cat! "

Your reasons for liking cats were interesting and varied and they really do seem to be the purrfect companion to any quilter. I enjoyed reading all your comments. I am sorry if I didn't reply to you but I seemed to disappear under a mountain of emails once Quilting Gallery's blog hop began. 

I'm now going to decorate the Christmas tree and work out what presents I still need to buy or make before getting down to some sewing. Oh and I need to work out some plans for projects for 2013 to link with Barbara's NewFo 2013 Challenge. For more information you need to visit Cat Patches.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Blog Hop Party with Give-Aways

Blog Hop Party with Give-Aways

Hi I'm Lyndsey and I live in the UK. Welcome to my blog. Today I'm helping Quilting Gallery celebrate its 5th birthday and a party is no fun without presents. So I have 4 fat quarters to offer you.

It is very simple to enter.

All you have to do is leave me a comment telling me what you think is the most essential element for a great birthday party. For this give away it is one chance per person. It is open to all as I will ship internationally.

Don't worry as there are more than 150 bloggers taking part in this Blog Hop Party so you have lots of opportunity to win something  This give away will remain open until December 20th and I will announce the winner the following day.

If you are a cat lover and would like to take part in my birthday give away of a quarter yard WOF piece of this cat print, then please click here My birthday give away is now closed but the blog hop give away is still running so leave a comment at the bottom of this post.

Saturday was my birthday and I went to stay with my daughter in Bath. Because I was away no sewing has been done over the weekend but we visited a new quilting shop. Midsomer Quilting is a great find. It was like walking into Alladin's cave with lots of goodies everywhere. My apologies for the quality of the photos but I took them on my phone as I forgot my camera.

The colours and patterns were beautiful. There was also a large section of Batiks, which I love, and a very good range of Christmas fabrics. I didn't buy any Christmas fabric even though I have used up all my stash. I'm going to wait until next year and buy some of the new designs.

There were lots of lovely prints for babies and children plus masses of cat prints for all those cat lovers out in blog land. I'm now trying to find a new baby in need of a quilt so I can use some of the fabric. I am going back to buy some for the Guides to make more prem baby quilts.

There are also 2 very nice workshop areas. My husband sat and enjoyed a coffe whilst my daughter and I browsed. There was so much to see and enjoy. Unfortunately I had to limit my spending as I still have Christmas presents to buy. 

Midsomer Quilting also offers a long arm quilting service at a very reasonable price. Next year when I have completed the votes for women quilt for my older daughter I will be getting it quilted here. DH had a good look round the shop and I know there are several quilting goodies to go in my Christmas stocking.

So that's all from me as I have no sewing to show you. Pop back later in the week as I'm hoping to have finished my Dresden plate quilt.

Click on the Blog Hop Party Button at the top of the page to link back to Quilting Gallery and the other participants. Enjoy the party I know I'm going to. Remember to leave your comment  to be in with a chance of winning the give away.