Spring is in the air!

Hi everyone,

Spring is definitely in the air here in the sunny North-East. We must have had at least a whole week of sunshine over the Easter holiday!

Sunshine makes me want to sew bright colours. So here is my latest creation. I hope you like it. I tried to make the coloured chevrons pop using two shades of the same colour for each band and it seems to work.

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I densely quilted the white areas and contemplated quilting with the relevant colours on the chevrons but decided against to keep it crisp. Less is more Smile

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The colours are actually much brighter in real life.

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Following the last post about my red, white and blue sampler, I received some emails about machine stitching the binding. The method I used was to prepare the binding strips at two and a quarter inches wide. Press in half along the length. Sew the binding to the front of the quilt through the raw edges of the quilt and fabric strips. Turn the binding to the back so the back edge is just past the front edge of the binding (you will be able to feel this). Sew to the back with a zipper foot and take care not to catch the front of the binding with the stitches. I didn’t use pins. I never use pins! There is no need. Just keep an eye on it. It’ll be just fine Smile

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That’s it for today. I’ve just received a parcel and can’t wait to get inside!!

Avis x

Red, White and Blue!

Happy Sunday everyone!

Just popping in to show you my latest finish in red, white and blue. My friend pointed out that this one is very patriotic, being the colours of several national flags around the world.

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I love red, white and blue together. This is a simple sampler and great for any beginner. My free fourteen part photo tutorial is available in my tutorials at the top right of this page if you want to make it. It’s a large lap quilt size which would also work well as a single bed topper. My favourite block is the card trick which is the blue and white one in the middle of the second from bottom row. It probably has other names too depending where you come from.

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The quilting is in a waves pattern as I’m Sewing Beside the Sea. This is such a relaxing design to do in free motion quilting, really good for my muscle memory Winking smile.

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I first attached the binding to the front by machine and then, for a change, machined it on the back. I’m really pleased with how it turned out as I usually prefer to stitch the binding by hand. A change is as good as a rest, so they say Smile.

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I’ve got a very exciting new project (well for me anyway) to post about over at Sewing Beside the Sea so I’d better get on with it and then catch up with what you have all been getting up to.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend Smile

Avis x

Whoop, whoop! There’s another chicken in the coop!

Hi everyone,

I thought you’d like to know that the latest Chicken giveaway/swap held over at Squarebird’s blog was won by Textile Dreamer in Germany. So this little tartan chicken flew all the way to her new home from the UK.

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That means there’s another chance for you all to win a log cabin chicken. All you have to do is leave a comment on Textile Dreamer’s giveaway post to say what you would name this chicken and which country she would be flying off to if you win. Then make your own little chicken and give it away to a winner on your blog. EASY Smile and so much FUN! you have a few more days to enter to win this little beauty. What are you waiting for?

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Have a lovely weekend!

Avis x

Were you correct?

Happy Saturday everyone!

Did you guess what the mystery embroidery was in my last post? Here is another little teaser in case you didn’t. I bet you know now. Scroll down for the big reveal!

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Here it is in all its glory Smile.

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Every time I look at it I find another embroidery style or beads that I’d missed before.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend Smile.

Avis x

Eye Candy for Fabric Lovers and a Puzzle!

Hi everyone,

Be warned! This post is full to busting of fabric photos. I make no excuses, my jaw is still on the floor since my daughter arrived home from India last night. I have been spoiled, THOROUGHLY spoiled and I just had to share some photos with you so you can imagine what I will be getting up to over the next few months. You have got no idea how pleased I am that she travels light with a large suitcase!

She was very fortunate to be invited to spend two months with her wonderful local host who made sure she ate well, travelled widely and generally got a taste of what life is really like in India with lots of fun along the way. It has to be the best way to see a new country, sample local culture and customs and make the most of any trip abroad.

If you want to read more about her trip, you can find it in her blog Sun and Cake.

Where’s the fabric, I hear you call….

The instructions were simple, please bring me fabric, sari silk, cotton, batiks, anything that I can make into lovely things. Here are some of the sari silks which are all from Salem in southern India.

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I’m going to have so much fun with these.

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The photos really don’t do them justice. The shimmer and lustre and silky softness is gorgeous.

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Aren’t those tassels lovely?

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There are several designs on each piece and they are all huge!

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Now for the cottons, also from southern India Smile.

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Exciting times are ahead!

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The quality is fantastic, perfect for patchwork and quilting.

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This style can be found on wall murals and works of art.

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This one has an interesting chequered weave which doesn’t show up to the naked eye.

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Some are block or screen printed with one or more dyes.

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This one uses the batik technique with wax. There’s a whole rainbow of underlying colours.

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This one is hand painted with gold dye.

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The purple parade. You all know I love purple Smile

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And finally, some hand painted cottons from Jaipur in northern India.

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The pattern is very sparkly Smile

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The north Indian fabrics are the same good quality, brilliant for all sewing projects.

Now for your puzzle….

This was another of my requests and I really didn’t expect my daughter to find one, let alone bring one home. I’m going to show you a few detailed photos and I want you to guess what it is that she brought me for my birthday which was on Valentine’s Day while she was away. All of the embroidery has been done by hand.

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It would be impossible to show all of the details here so I’ve only picked out some of them. I have no idea how old it is but it is definitely not new. I can only imagine how many hours went into all of the stitching and I’ll treasure it forever Smile.

So, do you know what it is? Would you like to guess?

Have fun guessing!

And finally…. have you heard of the Holi Festival? If not, you can read about it here and see images here.

This is a photo of my daughter on the right and her host (the best tour guide in India) on the left during the Holi Festival. Fun, fun, fun Smile

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Oh, to be young again!

Avis x

Those chickens are roosting. It’s giveaway/swap time again!

Hi everyone,

Just a quick update on the Chicken Run giveaway/swap….

I received a lovely email from Sarah, one of my readers, a few days ago. She attached a photo for me because she has been making chickens. Aren’t they cute? She’s even set them up on straw, all nice and comfy. She didn’t win a giveaway but just had to make some chickens! Thank you for the photo Sarah. I’m so pleased you had fun making your chickens. These three are going into the Chicken Run gallery with all of the others. Well, chickens do like to stick together don’t they?

Sarah Zimmerman

I’ve also received a surprise package from Carla, my blogging friend over at Granny Maud’s Girl. You may remember that Carla won my giveaway. I was so chuffed to receive the peach and green chicken in this photo as a gift, out of the blue Smile. Thank you so much Carla. I’ll treasure Isabelle, yes, that’s what I’ve called her, forever!

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You may recall, if you have been following the Chicken Run, that Squarebird won the last giveaway so it is now her turn to spread the chicken love to some other lucky chicken swapper around the globe. Could it be you?

If you’d like to enter the next giveaway/swap, pop over to see what you could win at Squarebird’s blog. You only have a few days to enter so hurry up Winking smile. Here are a couple of photos of the chickens you could win. Aren’t they cute?

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Look! A curly tail!!

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This is all far too exciting for me!!

Avis x

Scrappy Stars

Hi everyone! I’ve been such a busy girl in the sewing room over the last few days which means I have a new quilt to show you.

I made the quilt top some time ago and stored it in my box labelled “To Quilt”. I already have a tutorial at the right of this page showing how I made the stars. I know there are several other ways to make this star block but my idea this time, was to use a complete charm pack plus dark and light solids.

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I split the charm pack into 20 light and 20 darker squares and paired the light ones with burgundy solid and the darker ones with ivory.

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I used the patches as a kind of grid to position the swirly quilting.

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I didn’t actually like this charm pack very much when I opened it up but I think it coordinates really well with the solids I’ve chosen.

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I like to use a solid fabric for the back as it really highlights the quilting. This leaves no room for errors!

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The binding is also ivory solid, sewn to the front by machine and hand-stitched to the back. I hope you like it Smile

I’m linking up with the February Made It Challenge over at Woolhogs. It’s just a bit of fun but if you want to win a gorgeous prize, enter your own February finishes. Maryanne has pulled out all of the stops again to bring us all a fine bunch projects to ogle. Hop across and take a look for yourselves NOW! If you want to enter, there’s only a few days left so get a move on ;-)

Happy stitching,

Avis x

Chicken Run Giveaway/Swap Stage 2

Good morning everyone,

I’m pleased to announce the next stage in the Chicken Run Giveaway/Swap.

Carla, over at Granny Maud’s Girl has made three chickens, so the winner gets to choose which one they would like to win. Here is her little brood taking the sun in Australia. If you would like to win a chicken there are a few simple rules to follow. Pop over and enter today!

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Aren’t they cute? Granny Maud’s Girl has even provided a nice tutorial if you would like to make a chicken using the foundation paper piecing method.

Enjoy! Avis x

Two mini finishes!

Hi everyone,

I hope you are all well and happily crafting this week! I’ve got a couple of small projects to show you.

Firstly, I made another log cabin chicken and sent it to my friend Claire for her birthday.

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She has called her Twinkle because she has stars in her eyes Smile I attached a felt circle and a star-shaped bead for each eye. I wasn’t too sure about adding them but I’m sure Claire can cut them off and recycle them if she wishes. I filled this one with split red lentils so it is nice and heavy too.

Now, if you know Claire and visit her blog, you will know that she prepares for Christmas all year long. She’s always making little things which she squirrells away for presents and stocking fillers. In fact, she had me making things for Christmas last October!!! I’m usually the kind of person who is still running around on Christmas Eve. Anyway, as a surprise, I also made Claire a Christmas decoration and sent it to her wrapped in Christmas paper. Yes, I do know it is February Winking smile She could choose to open it or keep it until Christmas :lol: I bet you can guess what she did.

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I’ve seen these decorations many times on the internet and in magazines and they are really simple to make. This one took me less than half an hour so I know I’ll be making many more. Let me know if you’d like a tutorial and I’ll post it here for you very soon.

The news from my other blog is that my ripple blanket is now finished. Hurray! If you haven’t seen it yet, pop in and take a look over at Sewing Beside the Sea :-)

I’d also like to give a shout-out to my dear friend Teje who has just published a wonderful pattern for a crocheted scarf on Craftsy. The pattern is full of clear photographs to show you every step of the way, as well as having written instructions, and I can’t wait to make it myself! You can find out how to get the pattern from Teje’s post by clicking here. Here is a sneaky peek. You’ll have to go to Teje’s blog for lots more colourful photos and to find out who is modelling the scarf. I wonder…. Enjoy!

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It’s almost the weekend and I’m on holiday next week YEY!! I’m going to sew, sew and sew some more Smile

Avis x

Friends Across the Sea

Happy Sunday everyone!

It’s been a very busy couple of weeks in this neck of the woods. I’ve been working hard to keep up with my target of one stripe per day on the crocheted ripple blanket and I’m only just managing. I’ve also been stitching the 1st stage of Cirque des Cercles and I’ll be ready to post about that on my other blog next weekend.

Finally, I’ve been busy designing and making this table runner for my daughter to take to India as a gift.

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I had originally planned to have pointy ends but then as I laid out the blocks to be sewn together, I quite liked the idea of framing the octagons.

Here it is just before quilting. I love these greeny blues Smile The background is actually ivory cream but it looks white in the photos.

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The quilting up close.

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Finally, the back and the label. I almost forgot about the label!!

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My daughter took it to India on Friday and it will be gifted when she meets up with Friends Across the Sea. I hope they like it Smile Maybe she will send me a photo of it in situ when she hands it over. If she does, I’ll add it to the end of this post. It would be lovely to see it in the Indian sunshine.

I hope you are having a wonderful crafty weekend!

Avis x

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