Saturday, 22 March 2014

Having a really good day

We were up early this morning as John had agreed to help at the church open day event. The morning was beautiful with lots of sun so By 7.45 Scamp and I had set out on his walk. We walked round Wandsworth Common and were out for about an hour and a half. The sun was still shining as we walked home but an hour later it was hailing. In all over the day we experienced sun, hail, rain wind and thunder. I would have been upset if I'd planned to spend the day outside but the weather didn't matter since I was spending the day sewing.

I decided to make the rest of the blocks for the quilt Lucy is giving to her friend for her birthday. This is the pattern Lucy had chosen and some of the fabric she pulled.

I'd already made 2 of the blocks and now I have 11. The final block is all applique and I'll make that tomorrow. Here are the blocks.

The block on the right still has a heart to be appliqued onto the center.

The block on the left also has some applique to be added.

I'm very pleased with the blocks as I managed to get most of the points really accurate. I still need to trim the blocks before I add the sashing.

Tomorrow I want to finish the bird quilt and  do the applique blocks for this quilt. I still need to catch up with the row along so I may try to fit this in as well.

For now I'm going to sit and watch a little TV whilst doing some knitting.It's a good job John isn't in a rush for his jumper as I still have to finish the front and the sleeves.

I hope you've had a good Saturday, I really had a good time. I'm hoping tomorrow will be as productive.


Friday, 21 March 2014

Spring and sewing time finally arrive.

I'm doing a happy dance as I have finally had a little time to get to my sewing machine. Add to that the promise of some better weather as we move into spring. For the last few weeks work has taken over yet again and I haven't had much time to do anything not even 15 minutes stitching a day. Then last weekend the weather was beautiful with the temperature hitting 19 C so we decided to walk the next part of the Capital Ring. This is a walking route that goes all the way round London covering 78 miles in total. We walked an 8 mile section and it felt wonderful to be out in the fresh air with the sun shining. Having enjoyed a free day I decided enough was enough and I needed to get back to my sewing. So this week I have been catching up with a few bits, nothing big but enough to get excited about.

First I completed the February hexie block for my Rainbow scrap challenge. February's colour was pink.

Then I made the hexie block for March. The colour this month is taupe. These blocks finish at 16 inches. The hexies have been stitched to the background fabric but I want to use a fancy stitch around the edge to finish them off.

Then I made the nine patch squares for March. This photo was taken with a different camera and the fabric looks more blue where as the top one looks greener. The real colour is somewhere in between!

Next I added the fleece backing to the 4 prem baby quilt tops that some guides had made recently. The girls decided that new members have to make a prem quilt top when they join. The girls choose their own fabric from our stash and when it is completed we add the fleece. These will go off to the local neonate intensive care unit soon.

I also made two more blocks for the 'Votes for women' quilt I just had to lay the blocks out to check how they looked. My daughter has chosen a purple fabric for the sashing and white cornerstones. I now want to finish the last blocks so I can get this quilt moved on.

Finally I decided to cut out a heap of hexie templates for the quilt I'm making for my younger daughter. The quilt is being made in rounds with each round being a colour of the rainbow. I started with red at the center and I've reached the indigo round. I think I cut about 300 templates and pieces of fabric. It's another great way to use up scraps.

I'm now planning my weekend as I have some housework to get done but it will still leave lots of sewing time. I need to catch up with the row along I doing as the next row was posted yesterday. I'm going to work on the February catch up first and then I've got several blocks cut out and ready to stitch for other projects. On Sunday I'm going to do some hand stitching including sewing the binding on the bird quilt and I must start my March NewFO project. This promises to be a very good weekend.

I hope the weather has improved where you are and that you've had some time for sewing. I also need to catch up on my blog reading as I am way behind. I've really missed reading what you've all been doing and I'm looking forward to catching up.


Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Think Ruffles.

Another fun hop organised by Madam Samm over at Sew We Quilt and with lovely Amy at Sew Incredibly Crazy as our cheerleader. I've been thinking ruffles since this hop was announced and had so many different ideas. But.. all the ideas were thrown out the window by a little accident. Oophs! A very fortuitous accident as it happened and one where no one got hurt.

Three weeks ago at Brownies one of the girls was getting something from our cupboard and she came across a gold pot. The pot was our crock of gold from Rainbows which we use to put prizes and badges in.  She thought the pot was so pretty that she ran to show her friend and oophs fell over her own feet and dropped it. The pot which was a terracotta plant pot shattered and the Brownie burst into tears. 

Having cleared up the mess, calmed the girl down and explained what the pot was for the Brownies wanted to make something to replace it.  This led to a big discussion and I suggested they might like to make a bag and if they put ruffles on it I would put a picture of it on my blog for this blog hop.  Of course I had to explain what a blog is and how a blog hop works. Once they knew they thought it was a great idea and got out the fabric box.

Two girls made the bag over the next two weeks but they all learnt how to make ruffles. They are very pleased with the results and the bag will be given to the Rainbows this week. Now all the girls want to make a bag using my sewing machine so this will run along side the main programme.

Showing the girls how to use the machine was fun as was teaching them to make ruffles. So the accident was good because it has started an interest in sewing for some of the Brownies. I hope they get as much pleasure from it as I have. Tonight is Brownies I have to take my computer with me so I can show them the picture of the bag. they are thrilled that something they have made will be on the internet.

So the item for this hop is not exactly my project but I helped cut the fabric and I showed them how to use the machine, make the ruffles and I sat next to them whilst they made it. 

Now you need to go and see what the rest of today's participants have to show you.

March 12th 

Have a great Wednesday.


Tuesday, 4 March 2014

March Goals

A Lovely Year of Finishes

Last month was a bit of a disaster area for goals as I didn't complete any at all. Never mind they aren't written in tablets of stone. They are just a list of things I'd like to do if I get the time. February was a short month and we had several social events plus outing so sewing had to take second place. After all who turns down fun social activities for a little solitary stitching? OK so I have in the past especially when I've been a little stressed and wanted to relax. However this month was different. With all the rain and miserable weather we have had getting out and meeting up with friends helped lift the spirits.

Because I didn't complete my goal for February I am rolling it over to this month and adding a second goal. So I want to completely finish my bird quilt. This is very close to completion and I will post photos then.

My second goal is to finish the quilt my daughter wants to give her friend for her birthday. 

Currently there are two blocks completed. This one which I have posted before and one I made yesterday.

This could be an over ambitious goal as all weekends this month are very busy but I do have sewing time during the week. 

There are other things I would like to do such as start a NewFO and I need to finish my project for the ruffles hop and catch up with the row along I've joined. I'm not really behind with that as the row was only posted on the 20th February.

So with these goals in mind I'm going to link this post with Melissa from Sew Bittersweet Designs for the Lovely Year of Finishes goals link and then I'm off to get my machine running. I think the motto of the month must be stay calm and sew.


Sunday, 2 March 2014

Catching up and NewFO time

The last two weeks have been a little manic and so I've had very little time to sew. However I have been to see the orchid exhibition at Kew Gardens and yesterday we drove to Norfolk to see a large Rook roost. We went last year and it was a little scary particularly if you remember the film The Birds, but this year I really enjoyed seeing the large flock swirling around the sky before they finally went to roost in the trees.

So let's start catch up with my round up of February and my NewFO project. My goal for February was to finish my bird quilt. The quilt sandwich was all made and ready to go, all I needed to do was the quilting and the binding.

I have had great fun working on the quilting turning the brown strips into bark and using a random leaf pattern around the birds but unfortunately there is still a lot of work to do. So my only goal for February is incomplete but I'm not feeling down or sad as it will be done this month.

2014 NewFO Challenge

I did start my NewFO . We went for a walk by Hampton Court and just across the road was a quilt shop that sold Star Trek fabric. My son had asked for a quilt featuring some Star Trek fabric so this became my NewFO for the month. 

I haven't got very far with just this one section put together. I have cut out all the fabric which is unusual as I normally cut as I go along. This finished section is 24 inches square (when trimmed).

I must have been in the mood for cutting out as last Sunday I sat and cut out approximately 300 1 inch hexies for my English Paper piecing project and then I cut the fabric. Today I will get on with stitching them into flowers ready to add to the quilt.

I said earlier that we visited the Orchid exhibition at Kew Gardens. I thought you might like to see some photos. The orchids were on display with some being shown as they would grow in the wild and others just gathered together to look pretty. The display was in the Princess of Wales Conservatory which is always at least 21 C so was very pleasant to visit on a cold winter day. I've also mixed in some other photos we took ether because we liked the colours or patterns on the leaves.

The conservatory is built into the bank and has different areas to be able to display plants from different areas of the world. Each area has its own micro-climate.

I love the reflection of the hanging orchids in the water droplet.

Getting the pics of the hanging globes was difficult because of all the glass.

I love the shape and colours of this plant.

This is a real Robin sitting and singing his little heart out. He had a lot of competition as there was piped sounds of tropical birds to give the display more atmosphere but this little fellas song was a delight.

This area had a Victorian plant explorers camp all set up. The display covered the half term holiday so there were lots of children visiting and they were all fascinated by the camp. They were also encouraged to draw the flowers which many of them really enjoyed and meant they have something to show and tell when they went back to school

These flowers were so pretty and delicate.

I love the play of the water drops on the variegated leaf (or is it a petal?).

This plant certainly knows how to use colour and pattern to have impact.

The trip to Kew finished with lunch in the tea room - perfect.

As well as joining Barbara at Cat Patches for her NewFO party I am also linking with Sharon at Vroomans Quilts for her Let's Book It challenge and Lynne at Never too hot to Stitch for her Something Old, Something New Challenge.  For Sharon's challenge we have to try and use a pattern from one of our books or magazines that are sitting on the shelf. This month I continued to work on my double wedding ring quilt from the McCalls Annual 1999/2000 issue which has been sitting in my project folder on my computer since 2003. This is going to be a slow project. At present I'm working on the arcs and I only have 6 to show for my time. I will take a photo when the pile is a little larger. Until then here is the first one I made last month.

I had intended to start a new quilt from my Jane Austen Inspired Quilts book but having found the Star Trek fabric that quilt took priority. Maybe my March project will be to start a quilt from this book!

My Something Old for Lynne's challenge was to work on and finish the bird quilt. Not quite a finish but it will be in March. My something new this month was non quilting. I set out to try three different cake recipes. I only made 2 and they were yummy. I will post the recipes soon.

For now I need to get ready as we are planning on visiting the Paul Klee exhibition at the Tate Modern. It closes on March 7th and I am determined not to miss it. Later this evening I have my hand stitching all lined up and ready to go.

I hope you are having a good weekend with some time for sewing. I'm hoping I will have more time for sewing and to post on my blog this month. Maybe my Something Old this month should be to try and reorganise my life!