Friday, 31 January 2014

January and Friday Finishes

How did it get to be the end of January? This month has whizzed by but I'm happy to say I have managed to get 2 finishes. The first I've already posted about which was this baby quilt.

The second finish was my goal for January for ALYOF 2014. This was the pink baby quilt I made towards the end of last year. I love the look of the binding when it is all rolled up. (oops I need to remove that loose thread.)

The quilting is in the ditch and the backing is a solid light green fabric. It's far too wet here to take the quilt outside for the photo.

I have also completed another of my missing blocks for the 'Votes for Women' quilt. 

The block is yet to be trimmed to size. I'm hoping to get another two made over the weekend.

I'm linking this post with Melissa at Sew Bittersweet Designs for the ALYOF link party and  Richard and Tanya for Link a Finish Friday.

I hope you had time to complete some of your January goals.


Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Jane Austen's Quilt and other books.

Sharon from Vroomans Quilts is running a new challenge this year 'Let's book it'. The idea is simple, to use the books or magazines we have sitting in the book shelf to make a quilt or other project. Over time we all tend to collect a lot of books on our hobby and there are so many lovely quilt books out there full of gorgeous patterns. I would love to join in with this challenge but I at the point she announced this challenge I only owned 2 quilt books (and I had read her instruction as if it could only be a quilt). 

The book on the left ' Learn to quilt' I won in a raffle at a lace day back in 2009. At the time I wasn't doing any quilting and not a lot of any other craft. It would have been easy to pass the book on to someone new to quilting or take it to the charity shop but I'm very pleased I didn't When we made the mini quilts for prem babies at Guides several of the girls got interested and borrowed the book. The techniques book I bought for myself when I started quilting again as so many of the techniques had changed over the years and a lot of new methods had been added. Last time I had quilted we still used scissors for cutting out! Ahh the rotary cutter so much quicker and more accurate especially when used with all the lovely rulers available.

My new book 'Jane Austen Quilts Inspired by her Novels' by Karen Gloeggler was a belated Christmas present. My two daughters and I absolutely love the novels of Jane Austen and in particular Pride and Prejudice. We all love the BBC adaptation of the novel ...all 6 hours of it. The girls wore out 3 sets of the video and 1 DVD through watching it so much. It is now safely stored on the home server (and on the back up) so we can watch anytime. 

I was fascinated to learn that Jane Austen loved fabric and was an excellent seamstress. The quilt that inspired this book was made by Jane,her mother and sister Cassandra. You can see more about her quilt here. The quilt (below) is on view at the Jane Austen Museum in Chawton Hampshire. I haven't visited this museum yet but intend to later in the year.

Picture from Google - Jane Austen Centre Bath.

There are two Jane Austen inspired quilts in this book that I would like to make. The first is inspired by Pride and Prejudice.

and the second is inspired by Persuasion. I love the hexagons and nautical theme which is very appropriate as the male characters in the book are in the navy as were 3 of Jane Austen's brothers.

When I read the reviews of this book several people had commented that the quilts were not authentic. The words of the title make it clear that the quilts are inspired by Jane Austen and even the Jane Austen quilt is not an exact copy of the original. The author also makes it clear that you can make the quilts look as traditional or contemporary as you wish by the fabric choices you make

Although I only have 3 quilt books I have a large collection of embroidery books of different types. This is just a small selection. In 'Kate Greenaway Cross Stitch Designs' by Julie Hasler there is a cot quilt I want to make. 

I stopped looking through my other books at this point as my head was reeling from the possibilities of new projects. Maybe I need to retire to make time for all the projects? Now my only choice is which pattern do I make first?

Have a look at Sharon's challenge. There will be a monthly link up party with prizes. You don't have to complete the project in the month just show progress. 

I'm now going to get on with cutting 2.5 inch squares for the Guides quilt project. I've got a new blade in my rotary cutting and I don't fancy having to do any first aid this evening so I'll do the cutting myself.

I'm linking this post with Connie at Freemotion by the river for her Tuesday link party (yes I know it's Wednesday) as I'm sure they may be other people who want to join in.

I hope you have a good day with some time for sewing.


Sunday, 26 January 2014

Slow stitching (and knitting)

If you're looking for the Grow your blog post and give away click here.

Today has been a very quiet day. The weather was wet (again) and so we decided not to venture out. There is only so many times you can take walking in the rain in a week. We are lucky however in that we haven't been flooded unlike a lot of people in the south of England. The Thames Barrier has been in closed a number of times recently and has protected London from the high flood tides.This image has been taken from Google. 

With nothing particular planned for the day I had time for sewing. I had already added the binding to my baby quilt but needed to hand stitch the back. That is now finished and I just need to take photos. I also knitted most of the ribbing for the front of my husbands jumper. I'm not taking a photo as it isn't very interesting to look at. 

Finally I did a little work on my 'It's a dogs life'  block. I started this before Christmas but it got put away during the holiday and out of sight meant out of mind.  When I last blogged about this I had got this far- no stitching just the pattern ready for some work.

It now looks like this.

I'm please with my progress but would have liked to finish the third dog. I think this should be finished by the end of the week.

As a little rest cure from hand stitching I also cut out the pieces for a block for my 'Votes for women' quilt but I didn't stitch it as my machine is packed away. This quilt needs to be finished for April.

I'm linking this post with Slow Stitching Sunday at Kathy's Quilts. I hope you have had some time for stitching this weekend.


Saturday, 25 January 2014

Grow your Blog Party

Hi, welcome to my blog. My name is Lyndsey and I live in London UK. I'm married to John and we have three grown up children, one son and two daughters. As the name of my blog suggests I love to sew and knit. I do all types of sewing from dressmaking to quilting and embroidery. I also crochet but I don't enjoy it as much as knitting. I also like bead work and bobbin lace making. Unfortunately because I work my time for needle craft is quite limited 

My other hobbies include walking, drawing, reading and cooking so you will find a mix of items here.Scamp, our dog and Picasso , the cat love to help with whatever I am doing and are great at testing out the comfort factor of my quilts.

I started this blog in April 2012. I loved reading other people's blogs and decided I'd like to join in. It is great fun to share my projects and the blogging community is very supportive. When I'm a little confused over a particular technique or can't make a decision about fabrics someone will always leave a helpful comment. It's like being part of a huge extended family that spans the world!

Last year was good for sewing with lots of lovely finishes. Here are one or two

When we go walking I try to remember my camera so I can show you some of the British countryside or historic buildings such as Winchester Cathedral where Jane Austen is buried.

How about the view from the office over south west London?

It would be lovely if you wanted to take time to visit some of my older posts. Why not make a cup of tea or coffee and stay a while.

I also have a give away to say thank you for visiting. You don't need to follow my blog but if you want to it would be great to have you along (the tool for following is on the sidebar on the right).  I will post anywhere in the world. My give away is a selection of 5 inch charm squares. There are over 40 squares (and I still have a couple to add). They are a mixture as there are some I have been given and some I have left from a project. I will also include a mystery fabric fat quarter.

To win all you need to do is leave me a comment on this post. I will draw the winner on February 15th.

It has been fun to have you stop by and I hope you'll visit again soon. I hope you enjoy a very happy weekend.


Sunday, 19 January 2014

A little bit of this and that.

This last week has been another busy week, one where you feel like you're in continuous motion so I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I'd actually managed some sewing along the way. Last week I started the 15 minute challenge. I was going to try and do at least 15 minutes of stitching a day. I managed the 15 minutes each day but that was about all.

I had decided to make a hexie block each month as part of the Rainbow Scrap challenge. The block finishes at 16 inches square which will give me a nice size lap quilt when it is finished. In making this block I found that I didn't have that many blue scraps. The hexies are made by the English Paper piecing method and then machine appliqued on to the backing fabric. Note to self need more blue fabric

Earlier today I was looking at my millennium sampler. I had put this away as I couldn't get the butterflies to work. When I picked it up today I decided to start work on the crown. I haven't got very far with it but at least I've made a start.

Yesterday as part of our plan to get out more we visited Kew Gardens. The weather was nice and bright and not too cold, the perfect day for a walk. I took my camera with me intending to get some views for you but I forgot I had it until we were almost at the end.

This peacock wanted to get his head into my hand bag which is what reminded me I had my camera. The colours of his feathers were amazing.

There are quite a number of old trees that are interesting shapes. I particularly liked the shape of this one

Here is the view across the main lake

and we came across several geese busy grazing.

After we had walked round the Palm House Kathryn our older daughter took the opportunity to have her photo taken in front of the Unicorn of Scotland. She has always loved unicorns.

When we had arrived at Kew we had parked our car in one of the side streets which happened to be near one of my favourite quilt shops. Tikki of Kew has a fabulous range of fabrics and I just had to pop in. I bought 5 FQ's  The reds and the black and white FQ's are for my February NewFO. The purple is for the EPP grandmother's garden quilt I am making for Lucy. I've spend quite a bit of time this week making purple 'flowers' for the next round. 

I haven't posted about my January NewFO yet and I've almost completed my January goal for ALYOF. I'm hoping this coming week will be another week when I get to do some sewing every day. For now I'm going to get back to my cross stitched crown. I want to finish that this week.

I'm linking this post with Kathy's Slow Stitching Sunday. It is so relaxing to slow the pace down on a Sunday and do some hand stitching. I hope you've had time for some stitching today.


Monday, 13 January 2014


It's a new year so I was looking for a bit of a challenge. Something that I could achieve so long as I put in a bit of extra effort. As I work I don't have a lot of spare time and so I was looking for something that wasn't going to take up every weekend and would still leave time for my many craft related hobbies. Well I've found it. My husband loves walking and one of the magazines he has every month is Country walking. Their challenge for 2014 is to walk 1000 miles. Obviously this isn't in one long trek or I for one would be running fast in the opposite direction. No this is to walk a 1000 miles over the year just by taking a little time to walk every day or to take a longer period of time at the weekend or on a day off to walk slightly further. If I was walking three miles a day over the year I would walk 1095 miles.

Over the last year we have walked by rivers and canals. Here the view takes in the River Thames in front of the 600 year old bell tower of All Saints Church in Isleworth. The Thames here splits to go round the island in the middle.

It has taken us past historic homes. This is Syon House, the London home of the Duke of Northumberland. The gardens behind it are beautiful.

We have come across some amazing sculptures on our walks,

and looked out across the downs.

On some of these walks we had Scamp for company

However over the year we didn't manage to walk a thousand miles. Of course we didn't have a record of the walks we took at lunchtime to try and refresh ourselves before afternoon classes so we did a little more distance than we think. However still not reaching the target. 

So this year I am joining this challenge. I have an app on my phone called moves that measures the number of steps I take and gives me the distance and route so this will help to keep a record (so long as I remember to take my phone with me) I also use runkeeper to keep track of our route when on one of our hikes, again on my phone. So provided I remember my phone I should be able to keep track of the distance I cover.

From January 1st until yesterday (12th) I managed 9.88 miles. Not great in 12 days so I need to get a wriggle on to catch up. Last week was a very busy work week and I left home in the dark, drove home in the dark and didn't get out of the building at all during the daylight. No time for lunchtime walks. This week I'm better prepared and managed a mile and a half at lunchtime. If I can up the distance I should feel fitter and maybe a little lighter by the end of the year. Today is really my starting day for this challenge and since I want to get fitter I hope I can achieve this by December 31st.

My other challenge is a stitching challenge and I'm following in the footsteps of Denise from Count it all JOY. She reminded me that there was once a challenge on one of the blog to try and put 15 minutes a day on one side for stitching - any sort of stitching you like. Protected me time! She started this challenge for herself at the beginning of the year and reports on her success every Sunday. From today I will be joining her on the 15 minutes a day challenge. I will try to stitch something everyday (at least for 15 minutes.) I can see this becoming my way of relaxing at the end of the evening before bed so with any luck my sleep should also improve. If I can't fit it in then I'm not going to get upset as this is my hobby but it should give me a chance to work on some of the hand stitching projects that are lurking, neglected in my sewing basket such as my millennium sampler.

The last area I worked on was St Paul's Cathedral and this was completed some months ago. I have done the writing in the area above this but I then kept on making mistakes on the butterflies so put it away in the basket.

I haven't made any resolutions this year because I never keep them but I'm going to try these two challenges. They are both things I want to do so hopefully I will succeed. I'll let you know my progress.

For now I need to get on. I'm still at work and will be staying late as there is a meeting I have to go to that is near here so no point in driving home. Having taken time out to write this post I now feel like getting back to some of the paperwork I need to complete but I would much rather be taking out my embroidery and settling down to a bit of stitching.

I hope you have had a good Monday.


Friday, 10 January 2014

Wake up to Kona

Hi everyone and welcome to my slot on the 'Wake up to Kona' hop. Many thanks to Madame Samm and to Carol our cheerleader.

For this hop we were asked to play with Kona solids for our project. That's really easy to do as the colours are fabulous and I love the feel of the fabrics. I had a jelly roll of Robert Kaufman Kona solids, Summer 13 which I bought with a gift voucher I won in a hop last year. I added some solids I already had in my stash and I was ready to start. I had several ideas of what I wanted to make but just couldn't decide between them. Help was at hand in the form of a Christmas card that carried the news that one of my husband's nieces had given birth to a baby boy. Every baby needs their own quilt so now I had my project I could get to work.

The run up to Christmas was very busy at work and I wanted Christmas to be a family time so I finally got to cut out my fabric on December 29th The pile of pieces looked so nice I couldn't wait to start sewing. 

The quilt went together very quickly. I quilted the chevrons in the ditch following the white and the border is a free motion meander. Unfortunately the weather is too wet to take the quilt outside to take a picture

The colour difference between the blue and the purple doesn't show up too well in the photo but looks good in real life. When I was quilting a certain young cat came in from outside with wet paws, jumped up onto the table and walked over the quilt so there are a couple of paw prints on it. It will go in the wash today and on Saturday we will take the quilt to it's new home.

Seconds after taking the last photo Picasso raced onto the quilt and made himself comfy. He really can be a pain when the weather prevents him spending a lot of time outside. I know the project had to be made with solids but I used a baby print for the backing. This way the quilt is reversible with one side suiting a very young child and the other perfect for him as he gets a little older.

I used some more of the fabrics to create a rainbow binding. and I'm pleased with the effect it creates.  I hope Hannah will like the quilt I've made for her son Edward.

Now you need to go and visit today's other participants as there's lots of great projects to see.

January 10
Sew Many Yarns (you are here)

I'm off to do a really happy dance as this is my first finish of the 2014 and it's only the 10th January. 2014 could be a really good quilting year.

Have a great day


Monday, 6 January 2014

January musings.

Lots of people have been posting their plans for the year ahead and in particular for January. They have been posting about link parties and quilt alongs they are hoping to join in with. There seems to be so many things for us to join in with this year that I am feeling slightly overwhelmed and I just don't seem to be able to make up my mind. What I do know is;

1. I'm going to take part in 2014 A lovely year of finishes

Last year I managed 8 lovely finishes as a result of linking up with Melissa at Sew Bittersweet Designs. The monthly goal setting and link ups helped keep me focused to complete my projects by making me plan what I wanted to do.

So my January goal is to complete my baby quilt. I thought I had already prepared the quilt sandwich but when I pulled it out I found I hadn't. Never mind, the plan is this quilt will be completed including binding by the end of January.

2. I am going to link up with Lynne at Never too hot to stitch for her Something old, something new link party.

Never too hot to Stitch!

Pop over to Lynne's blog to see what it's all about by clicking here. My something old is to finish the baby quilt above. My something new is to have a go at paper piecing. I've never tried this before but how difficult can it be? Anyway nothing ventured nothing gained so I hope at the beginning of February to be able to show you how I got on.

3. Sharon at Vroomanns Quilts has come up with this great idea of making use of all the quilt books and magazines we have by making some of the projects from them. I only have 2 quilt books at the moment (it will be 3 tomorrow if Amazon deliver my Christmas present), but I do have a folder with lots of patterns I have pulled from magazines plus a folder on my computer with patterns for projects from various sites. Some of these patterns are desperate to be made so I'm in with this idea. I will link this to my NewFO project each month. I haven't made up my mind what I'm starting this month but I shall be starting it at the weekend.

4. I am going to join in with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2014. Last year I joined in but didn't make something for every month. This year I plan on making two lap quilts.


I'm keeping the pattern easy for both. The first one is using the simple nine patch block. The middle square will be white in all the blocks and I went wild and cut out all the middle squares I needed. The colour for January is blue so here are my 3 blocks for this month. Some of the blue looks green but it really is blue.

The other block is made up of hexagons and is EPP. This block is still in progress.

5. Barbara's NewFO. You can find this challenge over at Cat Patches. I love this challenge as it is all about starting something new rather than trying to finish something.

There may be other things I want to join in with but I'll make my final decisions over the next few days. As always I reserve the right to change my mind as this is my hobby so I want to enjoy myself. I'm going to join in with blog hops along the way as they are always fun. Projects for blog hops will always be ready to post (except in dire emergencies) but if I fail to complete anything else or change my mind don't bother sending the quilt police round as I will not be getting guilty about anything.

I'm linking up with Melissa at Sew Bittersweet Designs and Lynne at Never to hot to Stitch for their January link parties. I'm not working tomorrow so I have some sewing time. I'm sending warm thoughts and prayers to all of you caught up in the bitter weather. Stay warm and safe.