Wednesday, 30 January 2013

A lovely January of finishes and NewFO's

2013NewFOMy Button

Those of you who follow my blog will know that I am taking part in A lovely Year of Finishes and for January I chose to finish my Dresden plate quilt. My aim was to have the top completely finished by the end of the month and to have started on the quilting would be the icing on the cake.

This was the quilt on the 25th as I was basting it. I had a few problems as every time I got it nice and flat Picasso jumped on it. I had started work on it sat on the floor but had to move to the table to prevent some of his playfulness and that meant I couldn't have the full quilt spread out.  I finally got it beautifully flat and was able to start the quilting.

I also posted this photo on the 25th showing my FMQ around the plate. It's a bit wonky in places but not a problem. Well since then I have moved on. It still isn't finished but I have done a second echo row around the block above and quilted around the individual blades. In addition I have completed several of the other blocks and started a cross hatch quilt on the sashing. My back is now aching but I can see the end of the project, in fact it may be tomorrow. In addition I've prepared my binding ready to attach hopefully on Saturday. I will show my completely finished photo once all binding is attached and I've made sure I've got all the loss ends out ( and my basting.)

I also finished my Christmas table runner that I started in December. 

In January I Started several NewFO's  and some of them were also finishes. First there was Scamps quilt. I'd meant to make this one before Christmas but in the end I started and finished it in January.

I even managed to quilt 'woof' all the way round the border. Scamp uses his basket a lot and likes to snuggle up in his quilt.

For the 'in your own words' blog hop I made my knitting bag. This has already been pressed into service holding the jumper I am knitting for my older daughter. That is also nearly a finish as I just have to finish sewing it up.

I started and finished a prem baby quilt. I had hoped to make 3 in total. I have the blocks cut out for the other 2 but need to stitch them.

So I'm feeling pleased with myself. I have managed to complete the objectives I set for the month for my Dresden quilt  and also complete the table runner. In addition I have started several NewFO's this month.

Why not visit Barbara at Cat Patches to see what everyone has started this month and Melissa at Sew Bitter Sweet Designs to check out how everyone got on with their January finish.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Last Pink Saturday

The Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2013 started the year with pink as the colour for January. I knew I had quite a bit of pink fabric in my scrap box even though I had used a lot of it as linings for the tea cosies I made earlier in the month. As I was also taking part in the Dare to Dresden blog hop I decided to use the dresden template to make a tumbler mini quilt for a prem baby. 

The border pink is a very in your face pink but not as red as the photo suggests. The mini is backed with fleece and doesn't have any quilting on it as the hospital it is going to has asked for them made this way. All seams have been pressed open to reduce bulk.

I have enough tumblers cut out to make two more minis and these will be sewn up on Tuesday, my next date with my sewing machine.

Why not check out the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. The button is on the sidebar. (I can't get the button to work properly at the moment so I have taken it down and will re upload it later. meanwhile click here to go visit.)

Friday, 25 January 2013

Dare to Dresden and give away.

Welcome to day 2 of the Dare to Dresden blog hop. Thanks to Madame Samm for organising the event and to Christine from Quilt Monster in my Closet for being our excellent cheerleader.

I think the Dresden plate block is such a pretty block and it all starts from a simple blade template. Here are two of the templates I've used. The small white template is the one I've used for my Dresden Plate quilt which followers of my blog have already heard all about. The green template is fatter and I've used it to create a tumbler quilt. To create the typical point of the blade the fabric is folded in half, right sides together along the long side like the template on the right. You stitch the longer end together with the usual 1/4inch seam and then turn right side out making sure you have as sharp a point as possible.

My tumbler template is 3.75 inches long and the wider end is 4 inches and shorter end is 2 inches. From my template I cut 25 tumblers which I pieced together to create a prem baby quilt

The colours on the photo are not very true as the border is less red and the print going across the diagonal does have a pink background. I'm not sure why but I do have rather a lot of pink prints in my scraps and I decided to put them to good use. The quilt is backed with fleece but no batting and no quilting. The hospital this is going to like the quilts made this way to keep them as soft as possible for the baby. 

As my followers know I have been working on my Dresden plate quilt and I am hoping to finish it this month. I was hoping to have it done for today but there is still a way to go. For those of you who haven't seen it here is a photo.

Did I mention a give away?  Having finished all the piecing on my quilt I had some fabric over so I am in the process of making a pillow cover. I had hoped to have it finished for today but work got in the way. However here is a picture of the front.

Give away now closed

The pillow cover when complete will take a 16 inch pillow and will have a white back and a zip opening.

If you would like to have a chance of winning the pillow cover please leave me a comment about whether you have dared to Dresden. If you are a follower you may have a second chance by leaving another comment. The give away is open until Midnight (EST) on the 31st January.

Now you need to go and visit the other folks daring to Dresden today. Have fun.

Sew Many Yarns (You are here)

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Snow , a finish and a UFO

This last weekend was fun here in London because we had snow. Those of you who have lots of snow every year probably think I'm slightly mad for getting excited about it but doesn't usually settle in London and if it does it soon melts. So snow that was deep enough to make a snowman and have a snowball fight is exciting. I even had a snow day on Friday as I teach in Reading which is some way out of London. All my students contacted me to say they wouldn't be in because of the snow that had fallen overnight where they lived making travel very difficult. So I settled in front of my sewing machine and had a great day. Here in London we only had a small amount of snow of Friday but it was very cold. On Saturday John and I went to the wetlands centre in Barnes as usually at this time of year the Bewick swans have arrived and the Bitterns will be there if not visible. We didn't stay very long as it was so cold but we enjoyed watching the birds that were there and the walk.

There wasn't very much to see but there were a group of Redpoll having a great time. For snow lovers Sunday was fun as it snowed all day. Scamp loved his walk, jumping at the snow, eating it and getting excited as it stuck to his fur. Picasso stayed snuggled up in his quilt indoors - a sensible cat for once.

My finish was my Christmas table runner. I only wanted a flimsy runner so there is no batting in it. The backing is the white solid and I have stitched in the ditch around the pinwheels to stabilise the two layers. I didn't want to bind the runner so the back and front were stitched right sides together and then turned right side out. The opening was slip stitched closed. Now I have two Christmas runners I can use.

I spent time on Friday piecing together my granny squares from the cherry christmas jelly roll. The blocks are 8 and half inches and I have 49 blocks. I've put these away while I decided what fabric I want to use for the sashing and borders. I'm not in a decision making mood at the moment.

I started my quilting on the Dresden plate quilt on Sunday. I had to stitch baste it as I have no idea where my tin of safety pins has gone and I had no spray baste or hairspray in the house.  I am very pleased to have got so far with this quilt this month and I'm hoping to have it finished by the 31st.

I decided to echo quilt the outline of the plate but as you can see some of my stitches aren't even lengths and I went a little wonky. However I'm not going to let it cause me to put the quilt away in the drawer for months. 

I'm linking this post with Connie's Tuesday Linky Party at Freemotion by the river

Don't forget that Dare to Dresden starts on Thursday. The button is on the side bar.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Grow your blog party.

Hi today I am linking up with Vicki at 2 bags full for her Grow your Blog party. The idea is to introduce ourselves and tell you about our blog. 

My name is Lyndsey and I teach nursing students and graduates at a university in London UK. I have been married to my lovely husband John for 30 years this year and we have 3 grown up children, 1 son and 2 daughters.

I have been interested in needle crafts for as long as I can remember. My mother was an excellent needlewoman and tried to pass on her skills to me. She also taught me to look at how things are made and to experiment which has proved a great help when the pattern makes no sense or is wrong.

Me and my mom when I was 7 years old

When my children were small I spent hours making their clothes and I had great fun embellishing items with embroidery. Unfortunately as they grew up and my work got busier I had less time to spend on my hobby and by July 2011 I was doing very little sewing.

That July Anne moved from Chester to London and was looking for a Guide unit to work with. She came to visit my group and has stayed ever since. The first night I met her she told me about her quilting and I started to feel I had been missing out on something that I really loved doing. That October I visited the Stitching and Knitting Exhibition at Alexandra Palace London and had a great time looking at all the cute fabrics, the amazing knitting yarns and all the accessories that goes with sewing. John seeing my excitement bought me a quilt kit.

I'd love to be able to tell you I rushed home and started it at once but I didn't. I couldn't bring myself to cut into the gorgeous fabrics in case I cut them wrong. So my lovely kit sat in a drawer and I got it out and stroked the fabric regularly.

Help was again at hand in the shape of Anne. The Guides wanted to do something to help the local community and Anne told them about project Linus. Her previous Guide unit had made prem baby quilts and had really enjoyed the experience. The girls in my unit loved the idea and Jacqui the local rep came to visit and show them some photos of the quilts that had been donated.

Soon our weekly meetings were a hive of activity. All the girls had to make a quilt but they could make more than one if they wanted to. As I like knitting I said I would knit up as many baby blankets as I could. 

I managed to knit 15 blankets in total. The Rainbows, Brownies and Guides also did very well making their quilts.

By now I was enjoying myself immensly and wondering why I had ever stopped sewing. I was sitting with my son one day whilst he was watching a podcast and catching up on reading a couple of blogs. For fun I googled quilting blogs and found a lot of lovely ladies sharing their joy of quilting. By the end of the evening  I had set up my blog and written my first post....oh that was scary. That was in April 2012  and since then I have had such fun and met lots of like minded people who I count as friends. I have taken part in;

1. Pets on quilts show

Picasso decided that the quilt sandwich just wasn't right.

Scamp needed to check on the cuddle factor of this quilt. It passed with flying colours.

2. Quilting Gallery's Friendship embroidery mini quilt swap.

My quilt went to Australia and I received a quilt from Kim in Texas

3 Another Little Quilt Swap 7 

My quilt went to Jan in New Zealand and I received a quilt from Scarlett in Chile.

4 Several blog hops organised by Madam Samm.


Holiday Lane

In your own words.

Since starting my blog I have managed to make a number of quilts and other items, complete several knitting projects and almost finish my cross stitch sampler. I haven't quite managed to get back to doing my bobbin lacemaking but that will come with time. It has been a great year thanks to everyone who visits and leaves such kind, helpful and encouraging comments. To those of you who follow this blog a very warm thank you for your support. If you are visiting for the first time thank you for stopping by and it would be lovely to have you visit again. 

I have a give away for you, a FQ of Batik.

Give away now closed

I will mail this to anywhere in the world and all you have to do to win is leave me a comment.

You don't need to become a follower to take part but if you do it would be great. The give away will close at midnight on 1st February (Greenwich Mean Time) I'm not good at all the different time zones but I know we are 5 hours ahead of EST. Please make sure I have a means of contacting you in case you win.

Thanks for stopping by and hope you'll visit again.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

In your own words.

Today is my day on the 'In your own words' blog hop. Many thanks to Madame Samm for organising the hop and to Linda from Buzzing and Bumbling for doing a really great job as our cheer leader. For this hop we were asked to tell you something about ourself using words in any way we liked. I spent a lot of time thinking about my project for the hop. I wanted to make something I needed, that would be useful and that I would enjoy making. Oh and time was a very important factor as I have only limited time for sewing and several big projects started or planned.

So from my stash I pulled these fabrics.

Seeing that lovely fabric with the knitting needles and yarn you have probably guessed that I decided to make a knitting tote. My old knitting bag had to be retired a few years ago due to old age and a lot of holes. Since then I have used recycled plastic bags to keep my projects together and clean. However this isn't very safe with pets around that like to nose into bags to see what's going on and also isn't environmentally friendly. 

The knitting fabric already has several knitting terms on it such as 'slip one', 'knit one' and 'check gauge   but I wanted to add some words of my own. Using the embroidery stitches on my Elna 6600 I embroidered Stay calm and knit around the maroon band. I hadn't used the alphabet on this machine before and it took a little time to remember how to enter the letters into the memory so it would embroider as a phrase. Once I'd remembered it stitched up very quickly. Just as I finished it I remembered I had a digital copy of the manual on my computer!

I practised my FMQ doing a loopy pattern over the bag but not on the band with the lettering. I have finally managed to master getting the stitches an equal length and moving the fabric smoothly. I've decided that FMQ is a bit like learning to drive (especially a car with a gear shift). When you first start learning there seems to be too many things to concentrate on - while you work on one thing another goes slightly awry. So I've now reached the point of being a very early novice with FMQ rather than a total disaster area. Unfortunately my loops and squiggles don't really show up in the photo.

For the lining I used some polka dots - they seem appropriate for any project.

It felt good to be putting my latest knitting project - a jumper for my older daughter - into my new knitting tote. It's very roomy and all the items for the project including the completed pieces fitted in with ease.

Everything now looks neat and tidy and the tote doesn't look out of place next to my favourite chair in the living room all ready for me when I want to relax and knit while I watch a programme on TV.

So does this project tell you anything about me. Yes it tells you that as well as quilting I also knit.   The words I have machine embroidered on the band form a continuous sentence with no full stops between each phrase. This is because if I am calm I knit but also if I knit I stay calm.  

Let me show you some things I've knitted in the last year. First there were 15 baby blankets that I knitted for Project Linus. I also knitted several prem baby hats.

Then there was a little knitted rabbit for Isabel, the daughter of a friend of my son's, who was born in May 2012

There was a baby blanket for Isabel. This was fun to do because the pattern was slightly more intricate but still relaxing to knit.

Squares for blankets to be given to Battersea Dog and Cats Home. I love the paw print.

I helped Lucy, my younger daughter, knit an elephant as a birthday present for a friend

I'm currently knitting a jumper for my older daughter. The back and front is finished and I've started the first sleeve. It's in chunky wool so knits up quickly.

and finally, I still have to finish this jacket for me. Unfortunately I have been having too much fun quilting to finish this before. I have also agreed to knit some more blankets for Project Linus.

There you have it, a little more information about me. I hope you enjoyed reading this post and now go and visit the rest of the ladies posting today. Since the hop started there have been lots of lovely and creative items made so relax and enjoy.

Wednesday, January 16
Sew Many Yarns You are here.

Planning ahead here are 2 fun events coming up later this month.

1. Grow your Blog Party on the 19th January. This is being organised by Vikki at 2 Bags Full. It isn't too late to sign up. No sewing needed to join in. The link here will take you to the information about it.

2. Dare to Dresden Blog hop organised by Madame Samm and with Christine from Quilt monster in my closet as our cheerleader. The hop runs from January 24th to the 31st ( not over the weekend). My day is January 25th.

Happy Sewing