Monday, 29 April 2013

Is it a clue quilt finished and a winner.

A Lovely Year of FinishesNever Too Hot to Stitch!

The end of another month and I'm just not sure where the time has gone. April seems to have zoomed past and I didn't complete many of my goals.

However my chosen project to finish in April is all quilted and the binding is done. So this evening I took my 'Is this a clue' quilt with me when I went to a meeting by the River Thames in Putney. 

I practised my FMQ doing a meander over the white blocks. I left the patterned squares unquilted and quilted around the question marks. I forgot to take a photo of the back but I used a peppermint green candy striped cotton for the backing. The batting is warm and natural 100% cotton.

The photo was taken towards dusk at about 8.30 this evening. When I came out of my meeting at 10 I took this photo of the reflection of lights on the water.

You can see from the leaves on the trees in the last two photos that spring has finally arrived.

The rest of my goals for April are still waiting to be done. I wanted to finish the top of my anniversary swoon quilt. By the end of March I had completed 3 blocks and so had another 6 to go. Unfortunately I still have 6 blocks to make.  I also have to finish my Dreaming of Spring mini quilt for the Quilting Gallery swap. It is due to be shipped next week so this weekend is going to be busy.

To stay on track with my major projects I am going to have to plan very carefully for my May goals. Meanwhile I'm linking up with Melissa at Sew Bittersweet Designs for A lovely year of finishes and Lynne at Never too hot to stitch for 2013 the year of the finished project.

I also mentioned a winner. This was my give away of a dinosaur FQ on my day at the mug rug hop.

The winner is Number 113 who is Kathy H.

Well done Kathy I have sent you an email requesting your mailing address.

I am also linking this post with Richard's Link a finish Friday.

I hope you've all found time to complete some of your projects during April or at least enjoy some sewing  time. 


Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Shake your pom poms and give away

Wow it's that time already. The next fabulous hop organised by Madame Samm from Sew We Quilt and with the lovely Thearica from Pigtales and Quilts as our cheerleader.  This is a short hop so I'm going to give you the whole schedule;
April 24
April 25
April 26
April 29
April 30

Now lets get on with what I have to show you. I have a little bit of quilting and a little knitting. What to show you first?  OK the knitting. Every year Innocent smoothies and Sainsbury work together to help raise money for age UK Knitters are asked to make little hats for the Innocent smoothie bottles and the company and Sainsbury donate money for every bottle sold with a little hat during October / November. This is an on going project. In August / September I post off what I have knitted and then start on the hats for the following year. Of course a hat, however small needs a pom pom. These are some I've made to send off this year.

Now the quilting project is a mini to go on our notice board at Guides. At present our board has an A4 piece of paper with our unit name on it but that is a bit boring. So the girls asked if I could make something instead. At the same time Madame Samm announced the shake your pom pom hop and so we decided that cheer leading Rainbows, Brownies and Guides were needed complete with pom poms

The background has been quilted using an all over meander. The girls have been raw edge appliquéd using bondaweb. The pom poms are made with wool.

This will be hung at the top of the notice board which is currently wasted space as no one can reach the area without using steps. It will cheer the board up and announce who owns it. I hope the girls like it.

In the past I have always used cardboard circles to make my pom poms but whilst buying some fabric I saw this pom pom maker so thought I would try it out. I found it useful and it saved alot of work. It can make 3 different sized pom poms

I have one pom pom maker to give away.  I will post anywhere in the world. If you would like a chance to win  please leave a comment on this post. You don't need to be a follower but if you wish to follow my blog it is always nice to have extra friends. The give away will remain open until midnight (GMT) on April 30th 

It's been lovely to see you today. Now hop over to the other people taking part. Here once again is today's schedule. You will find lots of lovely quilty items with pom poms to inspire you

Monday, 22 April 2013

Sewing again at last and a winner.

Having had almost two weeks of no sewing due to an arthritis flare up affecting my shoulder, elbow and wrist on my right hand I am once again able to sew. The swelling has gone and the pain has subsided so all I need to do now is catch up on the lost time.

My objective for April was to quilt the It's a clue quilt. I am doing an all over meander well not quite all over. I am meandering over the white background missing out the question marks and patterned squares. I found a shop in Kew that stokes Aurifil and having listened to you all say how good it is for quilting decided to give it a whirl. OK so I am convinced. It goes through the quilt sandwich beautifully and doesn't break or knot up. My machine appears to love it and for the first time I had no problem whilst FMQ. I also very carefully followed all the advice and help on FMQ about stitch length speed etc. I am very pleased with the results so far and the question marks really pop out. I finished half of the background quilting so I need to think about how I'm quilting the border.

I've also been working on my piece for the 'Shake your pom poms' hop which starts on Wednesday. My day is Wednesday so I'm a little stressed about getting it finished. Two weeks ago I was well ahead but now its play catch up. I still need to make the pom poms as well. Here's a sneak peek bet you wont guess what it is.

I also need to announce the winner from my blogaversary give away. Who is Mystica who said.

"Happy blogoversary. I do have a blog but its more or less a reading/reviewing blog. I do so love to quilt but with a lot of work it has taken a step aside for the moment. However I love to follow the blogs and also get new ideas. I want to do a nine patch quilt top for a baby girl soon."

Mystica is from Sri Lanka. I have sent her an email 

Now I'm going to do a little more work on my shake your pom poms piece and I may finish the quilting later if I get time.
I hope you're having a good Monday.


Tuesday, 16 April 2013

April Showers Mug Rug Hop (and give away)

Today is my day for taking part in the April Showers mug rug hop organised by Madame Samm at Sew we quilt and with Erin from Sew at home mummy as our cheerleader. For this hop we were asked to make mug rugs using any design we wanted. I loved this idea.

Until March I had never made a mug rug. That changed when I took part in a mug rug swap organised by Quilting Gallery. I was very pleased with the finished rugs that were made using designs by Amanda Weatherill from The Patchsmith

So when planning my mug rug for this hop I decided to try another of her patterns. I also wanted to make some mug rugs from fabric I had bought to make my tea cosy.

Unfortunately these aren't completely finished as I still have to bind them, a task I haven't been able to complete due to a flare up of arthritis which has caused my right wrist, elbow and shoulder to swell and be painful. I should be able to start stitching again by the end of the week  so these will soon be finished. I have six made to this point, all with different cups on them.

I have also made some using up the left over skull fabric. My son requested these for use in his room.

I love the final mug rug which has already been adopted by dear daughter. I'm sorry about the quality of the photo. I've taken about 10 but it keeps on turning out blurry. I think the effort of holding the camera is causing my arm to shake.

Here is the full schedule of today's participants. Please make sure you go and visit everyone there is sure to be lots of ideas to inspire you.

Cathi @ Quilt Obsession
Jane @ Jane's Fabrics and Quilts
Heidi @ Nutz4Redwork
Cherry @ Cherry'sPrairiePrimatives
Christine @ Quilt Monster in my Closet
Vickie @ More Stars in Comanche
Pauline @ Stekje
Jan @ Jan's Art Friendzy
Nissa @ Nissa Made Stuff
Robin @ As Sweet As Peaches
Lyndsey @ Sew Many Yarns
Eleni - Guest Post @ Sew at Home Mummy

Did I mention a give away earlier? This month I am celebrating the 1st birthday of starting my blog. If you go here you will find a give away of 3 fat quarters that is open until 11.59 p.m. (GMT) on Saturday 20th April.

Today's give away is this dinosaur fat quarter. They're very cute critters.

If you would like a chance to win please leave a comment on this post

If you follow my blog you may have another chance (leave a second comment)

This give away is open to anyone as I will post internationally. The give away will remain open until 11.59 p.m. (GMT) on Wednesday 24th April).

Once you've left your comments hurry away to feast your eyes on all the other mug rugs on display.

I hope you all have a great Tuesday


Saturday, 13 April 2013

1st Blogaversary, catching up and a give away.

Wednesday was the first anniversary of starting my blog. Unfortunately due to a problem with all the joints of my right arm I have been unable to do anything much for the last few days. Basically all my joints are red,swollen and very painful as a result of an acute episode of rheumatoid arthritis. However a birthday needs to be celebrated so I'm taking this very slowly and typing with my left hand only.

Little did I know 1 year ago that starting my blog would be so much fun or that it would make me get back into all my craft activities. I think my family, especially my dear husband John thought it was a fad that would go away after a few days or months at the most. But here I am one year on having made lots of friends in blogland, meet one of those friends in person and made lots of lovely things. Why would I want to stop?

As I haven't been able to sew anything I decided to show you four more blocks from the Votes for Women BOW at Grandmother's Choice. I'm really enjoying this BOW although I am always playing catch up.

So as it's my blogaversary I said I had a give away. I am offering these three fat quarters.

This give away is open to anyone and I will mail internationally. To enter;

1. Leave a comment on this post telling why you started your blog. If you don't have a blog then tell me what you like to read on a blog. 

2. If you are a follower leave another comment for a second chance.

The give away will remain open for one week until 11.59 p.m. (GMT) Saturday 20th April  

I'm linking this post with Connie at Freemotion by the river. Go and see what folks have been up to this week. There is always lots of quilt eye candy and ideas.

I'm not sure if I will be able to do much sewing or anything for a little while but I will be taking part in the April showers hop on Tuesday 16th April. Come back then for another give away.

Have a good weekend and I hope you get some time for sewing.


Saturday, 6 April 2013

Time to get some exercise.

Today we had planned to walk the second part of the Capital Ring. This is a 78 mile (126 km) walk around London's suburbs. I was a little worried that it would be very cold and snowy since I drove home on Thursday through a blizzard. However the weather was very good and there was a lot of heat in the sun during the afternoon. The section we were walking was from Richmond on Thames to Greenford, approximately 10 miles. The routes generally follow the rivers and canals and pass through parkland with some walking along roads.

We  started at the River Thames in Richmond. When we completed the first section that ended in Richmond back in January the river was in flood and we couldn't walk along the riverside path. Today the river level was much lower.

We walked along the path to Isleworth. The church is where my Rainbows, Brownies and Guides meet each week. The bell tower is over 600 years old. Unfortunately the church has twice been burnt down and only the bell tower remains of the original church. The church was rebuilt 30 plus years ago and is of a modern design.

In the church yard is an old Yew tree and in the shadow of the tree is a plaque commemorating the 149 people who died from the plague and are buried there.

Across the road from the church is Syon House and park which is owned by the Duke of Northumberland. The gardens are very nice and well worth a visit. I have yet to go into the house.

The walk continued to Brentford where we picked up the Grand Union canal which we then followed to the Hanwell locks

We passed several people fishing in the canal and saw swans sitting on their nest. The nest was well protected on the opposite side of the canal where there is no path.

This picture is looking at the second of six locks in the staircase. We turned away from the canal here and continued the walk through parkland where we saw 'Pussy willow' catkins. This is actually Goat willow and is the commonest of the British willows

A carpet of Lesser Celandine

The Blackthorne was also in blossom, a good sign that Spring is nearly here. Its leaves will open soon. The fruit of the Blackthorne are called sloes and can be used to make sloe gin.

We passed under this viaduct which carries the main line trains to the south west of England from London.

We had taken Scamp with us on our walk and here he is still full of energy at about the 7 mile point. So long as he gets regular water and some treats he keeps going. His favourite walking treat is flapjack which keeps his sugar levels up. He's happily curled up in his basket at the moment but he will be eager to be up and out walking again tomorrow.

So a great days walking in the sunshine and I've seen proof that spring is coming. Hopefully the weather will allow for more walking so I can lose some of the weight I've put on over the winter.

I'm going to do some hand stitching while relaxing in front of the TV as my legs are too tired to operate the foot pedal on my machine! 


A Friday Finish

I restarted work yesterday after a very relaxing and sewing rich Easter break. However this evening I managed to create enough time and space to finish the top of the quilt I started for the Nancy Drew blog hop.

I had ordered the red magnifying glass fabric for the border but I didn't like the effect it created. It made the quilt top far too busy and the Irish block competing with the question marks was already pretty busy. So I pulled a solid red from my stash. I was going to use it for an up coming project but it works well for this top. I also found that there were two question marks I hadn't completed the appliqué on so I quickly finished that up. I'm hoping to have the quilt sandwich basted tomorrow or Sunday and to be able to post that this is quilted by next Friday.

I also completed block 2 of my Anniversary quilt. I love this colour way.

Block 3 is already in progress and the pieces cut off when making the flying geese are sewn together ready for use in another quilt. I think the fact that you keep using the scraps as they get smaller and smaller is such fun. However I must get my scrap boxes organised. I'm reaching the point where I can't find anything.

Tomorrow we are going for a hike. I think it will be about 10 miles in total. The weather forecast is for dry weather but cold. I hope they get it right as yesterday I drove home through a blizzard. The plants in our garden don't seem at all fussed. The daffodils are looking beautiful and we have small fritillary just coming into bloom but they look so delicate. As I drove by Wimbledon common all the trees appeared to be wearing a green haze so they should have their leaves soon.

I'm linking this post with Richard and Tanya at Link a finish Friday. Why not visit to see what everyone has been busy working on.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

April Goal Setting

A Lovely Year of Finishes  Never Too Hot to Stitch!

I'm taking part in 'A lovely year of finishes' and '2013 the year of the Finished Project' and its time to set my April goals. But first a quick reminder of my March finishes. March was a good month and I completed my main objective of finishing my holiday quilt top.

I'm very pleased with this finish but I am now putting it to one side for a couple of months before starting the quilting. If I get time this month I will get it sandwiched together in preparation.

Last month as part of the Nancy Drew blog hop I planned to make and finish a quilt.

However due to lack of availability of the fabric I wanted for the borders I only got this far. So my first April goal is to completely finish this quilt so it can go off to its new home.

As my big NewFO in March I made a start on my Anniversary quilt, which I'm making for a friends 25th wedding anniversary. When I say I made a start I meant I had cut out the 9 blocks and sewn one together.

I've now made a second block so seven more to go. My second goal for the month is to complete this quilt top which will then give me two months to get it quilted. Yes I'm in total agreement I am definitely going to be hard pushed to do it in time but their anniversary is the 2nd July.

In addition this month I have signed up for a mini quilt swap with Quilting Gallery titled Dreaming of spring. This will be my NewFO this month and must also be a finish as it is due to ship early May.  If I get time I will also be starting my own anniversary quilt as I now have all the fabric I need. However I'm not cutting into any of the fabric until the other anniversary quilt top is finished, (well I'll try not to but you know how tempting it is! )

I also want to get right up to date with my Votes for women blocks from Grandmother's Choice I am really enjoying this BOW but keep getting behind as other projects get started.

One final goal comes courtesy of Patti from  A Yankee in Queen Liz's Court. She left a message on one of my posts and we exchanged emails and will be meeting up at the London Modern Quilt Guild this Sunday. They meet once a month at The Star pub in Belgravia. This was like a blast from the past as when I was a student we occasionally used to drink here. I have been considering joining a guild for some time so this could help fulfil that goal. I'm a little nervous but I'm sure it will be fun.

I'm think that's all for this months goals but you know how things crop up when you least expect them.

Remember to check out the other goal setting posts at A Lovely year of finishes and '2013 The year of the Finished Project or click on the buttons on the side bar. Also I'm linking with Thearica at Pigtails and Quilts for her monthly to do list post. Between these ladies who are trying to keep me on the straight and narrow I should get some of my projects finished this month (and then I can break out and start some more ready for Barbara's April NewFO party at Cat Patches)