Happy New Year 2017

Happy New Year Everyone!

Finished 2016

It’s been a busy year for me again and the patchwork has taken a bit of a back seat. I did finish four projects namely the sausage dog, the green stars quilt, the tardis and the F2F quilt. I can’t take credit for all the blocks in the F2F quilt but I did assemble and quilt it myself. I spent lots of time this year making the tiny blocks for the Loyal Union Sampler and also lots of 12 inch blocks for the F2F Block Swap organised by Kate. So, there’s been loads of partial finishes but not many completed projects as far as patchwork goes. You can see lots more pictures of everything by clicking the “Finished 2016” tab at the top of the page. If you click on the photos on that page, you’ll be taken to the relevant posts.

I’ve been more active on cross stitch projects this year. You can see those on my other blog Sewing Beside the Sea.

Thank you to everyone who supported my blog last year, whether you’ve been reading anonymously in the background or actively liking, commenting and emailing. It’s nice to have you stop by.

Sausage Dog Fun

Hello everyone,

I can now share something that I made for my daughter for Christmas. She’s been wanting a sausage dog for along the bottom of the door for a while. I came across this pattern and just had to make one.

He’s got lovely ears…

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…and a proper stand up tail.

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He was very easy to put together. I made my own slight alterations to the pattern instructions regarding the construction methods for the gusset under his chin and attaching the ears. 

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You might recognise the shiny fabric. I’ve finally chopped up a sari that my daughter brought for me from India.

IMG_20161216_115921855I think he looks very smart in his shiny coat. He’s stuffed quite firmly in the head and tail. I also bought him a collar with red flashing LEDs but haven’t got a photo of him wearing it. He’s very well behaved and has taken up residence along the back of the sofa. It’s too draughty down by the door 🙂

Loyal Union Sampler Block 16/121

Good afternoon everyone,

Not a lot of progress to share on the sampler this week. I made the nine square in a square blocks the other day and then just looked at the pieces on my mat and walked away several times. Sometimes I just know it isn’t going to be successful so I go off and do something else. Today, the bits went together like a dream. It was worth waiting until I could give it my best shot.

Anyway, this one is called Chambersburg from the Loyal Union Sampler book by Jennifer Chiaverini. It’s got forty five dinky pieces and finishes at six inches square. I’ll definitely make this block again in a larger format. There’s so much that could be done with colour placement to make secondary patterns.

Chambersburg Here’s where I’m at now.

LUS 16 Blocks

It’s back to Y-seams for the next two blocks. I promise not to whinge!

Loyal Union Sampler Blocks 12, 13 and 14/121

I eventually managed the Y-seams on this block using the sewing machine. The photo was taken in poor light but waiting for the time when there is good daylight again could take months. So here it is. This one is called California. I’m pleased with how it turned out. It’s the first block in the second row of the quilt.

California

Block 13 is called Camp Curtin. Nice and easy peasy this one :-).

Camp Curtin

Finally, my favourite of the latest blocks, Campfire. I think I’ll make more of these in a larger size for another project.

Campfire

It’s back to Y-seams for the next block and they definitely won’t go through the machine this time. Believe me, I’ve tried! Oh well, I had to learn how to hand stitch patchwork at some point.

This is what the quilt looks like so far. I can’t promise rapid progress with the next block.

LUS 14 BlocksIf you’d like to make this quilt, you’ll find it in the Loyal Union Sampler book by Jennifer Chiaverini.

Happy Unbirthday to Meeeeeee!

Good Evening,

What a lovely surprise dropped through my letterbox today. My good friend Claire has been sending out her unbirthday gifts again and I was one of the lucky recipients. Isn’t it gorgeous?

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Claire has been making lots of lovely lavender sachets like this one but mine doesn’t have lavender in it. All perfumes make me sneeze and I have a particular problem with lavender so she made an exception just for me 🙂

Here’s the reverse.

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I already have a tiny cross stitched biscornu which Claire made and sent to me a few years ago. It sits on my sewing machine and I use it as a pin cushion every time I sew.

I’m going to use this new happy, bright, cheerful, jazzy number as my cross stitch needle cushion. I can’t stop smiling! Thank you very much Claire 🙂

An Unbirthday Finish

You may remember, way back in August last year, that I began making some green saw tooth star blocks with an unbirthday present from my lovely friend Claire. She sent me some fabric pieces, all slightly larger than 10 inches square as a surprise gift. I chopped each of them into four 5 inch squares and set to work.

IMG_20150726_122402028I had enough to make 25 stars.

IMG_20150727_113114115They looked lovely all laid out together and I rearranged them over and over again to get the best distribution of colours. The next photos were taken in very poor light.

IMG_20151127_183020850Then I had a brainwave… What if I added some Irish chain blocks? I had some coordinating solids that would look nice and then I’d have a much bigger quilt.

IMG_20160426_154551256When sewing them together, it’s a good idea to pay attention or you might make a mistake like I did. OOPS!

IMG_20160430_143806881Thankfully it wasn’t too difficult to put right. Now, after quilting and binding, I have a lovely happy dance to share 🙂IMG_20160625_162659I was quite shocked to look back through my posts and find that I’d originally received these fabrics last August. It’s taken almost a year to get them all sewn up. Better late than never.

IMG_20160625_162317955Thank you so much again Claire. I couldn’t have made this without your very kind unbirthday gift. I hope you like what I made 🙂

A lovely surprise!

Isn’t it wonderful when a surprise package drops through the letterbox? It’s even better when that package contains something as gorgeous as this.

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It’s a mini quilt, sent to me by my great friend Jule from Germany. Jule writes a fantastic blog called Beyond the Boudoir. I can’t thank her enough for taking the time to make something so beautiful for me.

IMG_20160625_163310360 I love moving it around and looking at it from different angles.

IMG_20160625_163329414 The fabric is folded and sewn along the raw edges, giving a 3D effect. Piecing perfection! I must try it myself. Thank you so much Jule 🙂

Doctor Who’s Tardis

Hello everyone,

I’m sorry I’ve been away for so long. I’m not able to spend much time at the sewing machine or the laptop at the moment so I’ve been concentrating on hand sewing which you can see on my other blog. It’s so much easier to pick up and put down a hand stitched project when you only have a few odd minutes to spare here and there.

Anyway, a few weeks ago, I was browsing the internet for inspiration for future projects, as you do, and I found this free pattern. I’m not a particular fan of Doctor Who but one of my friends enjoys the programme and I was looking for a small project to keep me out of trouble. So, I made my own version of the pattern and this is how it turned out.

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I had wanted to make a mug rug initially but it sort of grew into a mini quilt, suitable for a wall-hanging or table topper or whatever my friend decides to do with it. I added some personal touches by embroidering the white text onto black evenweave and also printed the door notice and the St. John Ambulance logo onto fabric before the final piecing took place. Here’s a close up.

IMG_20160407_132135903 I finished off with some blue metallic thread window panes and door details. You may notice the mistake in the text on the door. Well, technically it isn’t a mistake. I found out all sorts of information about the various versions of the tardis from here. You will see that the words I’ve used did actually appear on one version of the tardis prop.

Anyway, I had lots of fun making this and my friend is really happy with it too. That makes me smile 🙂

 

Another Happy Dance

Hi everyone,

Ta-daaaaa! Here are some photos of my finished quilt which I promised to share with you the other day. I hope you like it.

f2f Finished

If you visit and read this blog regularly you will know that I’ve been participating in a block swap with eleven other ladies who live all over the world. The swap, called Foot Square Freestyle, was organised by Kate and Sue. We were asked to choose a colour scheme for the blocks we’d like to receive and I chose bright blues and purples.

My original plan was to set the blocks on point but the quilt would have been way too big. My finished quilt has turned out to be a very usable 82 inches square. I tried to achieve a stained glass window appearance by adding the thin black sashing and broad frame. I’m really happy with the overall effect.

The backing is a rich purple print and the quilting is simple, so as not to obliterate the strong lines of the blocks. I wanted this quilt to be squishy and snuggly because it is going to be used.

Backing f2f

Here are a few photos showing each quadrant.

Quadrant 1 f2f

Quadrant 2 f2f

Quadrant 3 f2f

Quadrant 4 f2f

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the organisers, Kate and Sue, and all of the other ladies who sent me these beautiful blocks. I couldn’t have made this without you. It has been so much fun to be part of this group. I’ve already made my final blocks to send all the way to Australia, so apart from tidying up a few loose ends on my own quilt, that’s me done. I look forward to seeing all of the other F2F quilts as they appear in the gallery during the coming months.

Come on ladies, if you’ve received all of your blocks, make a run for the finish line. It feels so good to be Happy Dancing again 🙂

F2F Parcel 11

Good evening everyone,

You may remember that I’ve been taking part in the Foot Square Freestyle block Swap organised by Kate and Sue.

block swap logo When one of the ladies participating in the swap became very poorly, and subsequently unable to sew, my lovely friend Claire wrote to Kate and asked if it would be OK for her to step in and make three blocks for me. Here are the blocks she made.

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The exploded disappearing nine patch with a touch of Kaffe Fassett gorgeousness.

IMG_20151120_102522629_HDR A traditional log cabin with lots of lovely thin strips.

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The rail fence block.

Claire’s fabric choices are really lovely and I love the block designs that she made, especially the log cabin. She knows what I like 🙂 I’d asked for bright blue and purple blocks and they certainly meet my expectations. I have to say that the back of these blocks is as tidy as the front. She’s so clever! Not only is she very kind and thoughtful for doing this but she also proved she can keep a secret. I did think it rather strange when she asked how I packaged my blocks to send to others because she wasn’t taking part in the swap. Then, a few days later, a parcel dropped through my letterbox, parcelled up just as I’d described. Claire didn’t even hint that she was toiling in her sewing room on my behalf. I’m so thrilled that she made these for me. Thank you Caire 🙂

Finally, I have a secret of my own to share with you today. My F2F quilt is finished and it’s gorgeous BUT I can’t show it to you yet. It’s a monster! I stood on a dining chair holding it up for photos but I can’t hold it wide enough to show it all. My daughter will be around at the weekend so I should get proper photos then. All will be revealed as soon as I have photos, I promise.

Please pop back in a few days to see the 36 blocks in all their glory.

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