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.

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 🙂

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 🙂

Happy New Year!

Good morning everyone,

I’m just popping in to share a round up of the projects that I finished during 2015. Unfortunately, work got in the way of crafting for most of the year so the number of finishes is limited. I’ve added the F2F blocks to pad it out a bit and make it look like I was really busy crafting. I suppose each month’s blocks are a finish in a way, that is if I’m allowed to stretch the definition of a finish just this once. In a nutshell, I managed to finish one cushion, two quilts and a lot of swap blocks. There are some other finishes over on my other blog Sewing Beside the Sea if you are interested. If you want to read more about the projects you see below, go to my Finished 2015 page.

2015 Finishes 2

Hopefully, next year will be a super crafty year for all of us 🙂 I’m determined to sew more in 2016. Happy New Year!

F2F Parcel 10

Hi everyone,

I can now share photos of parcel number 10 from my lovely blogging friend Annett. We are taking part in the Foot Square Freestyle bock swap organised by Kate and Sue and November was my turn to receive blocks from the other 11 participants.

block swap logo

In no particular order and with piecing perfection, a lovely twirling leafy design.

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Secondly, this little beauty. Don’t you just love these fabrics together?

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Thirdly, this is the only Dresden plate I have. Annett has done some gorgeous hand piecing on this one and she even fussy cut the centre.

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Once again, I’m such a lucky girl. Thank you so much for taking the time to make these gorgeous blocks for me Annett. I really do love and appreciate them 🙂

I have also received parcel number 11, the final group of blocks for my project(s), but I’ve decided to show those when I know exactly what I’m doing with them all. There are a few plans brewing 😉

These are a few of my favourite things…

Hello everyone,

Are you singing the song from The Sound of Music?

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens,
Bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens,
Brown paper packages tied up with string,
These are a few of my favourite things.

I’m so excited because it’s November and that means it’s my turn to receive my little packages of quilt blocks made by all the other participants in the Foot²Freestyle block swap organised by Kate and Sue. I’ve chosen to receive blocks in bright blues and purples. Just in case my fellow swappers are still looking for inspiration, I’m showing a selection of some of my favourite things that I’ve made over the last couple of years in those colours.

I love traditional, symmetrical blocks, and although I like lots of different types of fabrics, my favourites are blenders, marbles, batiks and solids. This is probably my most favourite of all the quilts I’ve made. It’s huge and it’s bright. Click here to see the original post which has more photos.

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Next up is a very simple tote bag which now has a large purple button for the fastening instead of a pin. I went through a bit of a bag making phase. Click here to see the original post.

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Finally, a little bag which features some of my late Aunt Edith’s lace from her craft box. There’s a link to a really good tutorial that I used here. If you want to read my original post, click here.

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I had thought about making my own three blocks a while ago but decided it might be better for me to wait until I’ve seen what the other ladies send me first. There are eleven other crafters taking part, so I’ll receive 33 blocks and then make 3 of my own.

I wonder whose blocks will drop on the doormat first. I promise to show them here as soon as they arrive. However, you may prefer to have a sneak preview. Kate and Sue’s blogs (links above) will be showing all the blocks that have been posted to me so far. I won’t be looking so please don’t tell me what you see. I’m waiting for the postie to call with my surprises 🙂

This month, I’m going to try to get ahead and make the blocks for Miss December. I’m off to have a look around her blog to see what kind of blocks she likes best before I get started.

Happy crafting!

Avis x

Spring into Autumn

Good evening everyone,

I have been quilting! YIPPEE!

I love this Hi-De-Ho charm pack from Moda so much. It’s bright and cheerful and this quilt is making me happy every time I look at it. I added Moda Bella Solids in Amelia Lavender for the border, binding and cornerstones plus two five inch squares of each of Amelia Lavender, Sunshine (yellow) and Michael Miller’s Zillion Hearts (pink) to make up six more HST pairs.

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The quilting is simple stippling, my favourite to do and also to look at.

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These colours are great for wherever you are in the world. In the Southern Hemisphere you are stepping into Spring. Perfect! Here in the Northern Hemisphere we are just into Autumn. Although we’ve had a couple of lovely days of sunshine here, it does get a wee bit gloomy for my liking in Autumn. Finishing this quilt has brightened my autumnal day 🙂

Avis x

Celebrating an unbirthday with a bit of nostalgia!

Good afternoon everyone,

I had a little surprise waiting for me when I came home last week. I’d been away for a while so what could be a better welcome than a little package all the way from my friend Claire who lives in France. I know little packages from France always contain nice things! I opened it first.

It was my unbirthday….Wow!

What a lovely surprise to find a pack of ten gorgeous fabrics, all slightly larger than 10 x 10 inches and all coordinating beautifully.

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Plus a little fabric tray which Claire had made herself from charm squares. It now proudly sits on my bedside table 🙂 I love the fabric inside. These trays are such a clever idea.

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And finally, a vintage design seaside postcard.

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I remember spending ages reading these cheeky postcards outside candy floss kiosks when I was away on holiday at the seaside as a child. There was often a “double entendre” joke which seemed very naughty to me at that young age. Was it just the UK where those postcards were sold? I was never allowed to buy candy floss in case I got it all over my best clothes boohoo, but I did get candy rock with the name of the seaside location running all the way through it. We even went to see how it was made once and that was amazing! My favourite flavour was aniseed. I can taste and smell it now as well as the fish and chips with salt and loads of vinegar served in newspaper. Oh yes, and those triangular shaped bags of chips always collected the copious amounts of vinegar in the bottom and if you waited until you’d eaten all the chips, not to mention the scrumptious batter, you could make a tiny hole in the bottom of the bag and drink all the vinegar from it LOL. Those were the days 🙂

Thank you so much for thinking of me Claire. I know you were exchanging secret emails with my daughter about this. She kept your secret safe 🙂 It really was a lovely surprise and it has rekindled some lovely old memories too.

Well, all that nostalgia sent me off on a tangent didn’t it? Back to the fabric.

After squaring up the fabrics to 10 x 10 inches, I cut them all into quarters so I had forty 5 x 5 inch squares to play with. Aren’t they lovely?

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I’ve teamed them up with white and started to make some saw tooth stars with four patch centres. I plan to make a quilt which I reckon will be lovely for Springtime. So fresh and clean looking. Each block will be 6.5 inches when finished.

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It was such fun to get a lovely surprise. I’d been missing my sewing machine and I couldn’t wait to get back at the pedal 🙂

I hope you are getting time to craft this weekend.

Avis x

It’s only taken two months!

Good evening,

I’m trying to catch up on some posts that should have been shared with you ages ago. This one could have been published two months back if I’d had some free time. Life gets in the way of blogging sometimes doesn’t it?

Anyway, a dear friend of mine had a birthday in May. She is the type of person who is always so incredibly busy, making and doing and caring for everyone else, that she rarely makes anything for herself. At times I think her brain is wired in a way which means she doesn’t even think about herself. She’s also been having a tidy up of her crafty goodies and passed some of them onto me. Well, it was about time she had a nice present and as it was her birthday as well, she was doubly deserving.

I’d made a storm at sea block for Esther as part of a recent block swap (see previous post) and decided to make a different part of that block as a cushion front for my friend. Here’s what it looks like.

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I know I’m going to make a lot more of these blocks. They are so striking and I love all the spikey bits. It’s amazing how much enjoyment you can get from making one project, especially when it is for a gift. I kept the quilting very simple so as not to compete with the patchwork design, using variegated thread which has quite a bit of lustre, almost metallic.

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You’ve probably guessed there was a lot of starting and stopping of the machine when quilting around each of the shapes. The quilting alone took a whole day to complete but I enjoyed every minute.

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I decided to experiment and didn’t think it would work, but it did. I had planned to line the cover with the same white solid fabric but didn’t want the dark thread ends or the quilting to show on the inside. So I only quilted through the patchwork and the wadding/batting and then lined it. I was concerned the inside of the machine would clog with fluff  but it didn’t so the inside looks as good as the outside I think.

My friend had no idea what I was making for her. In fact, I thought she might have seen the beginnings of the patchwork when she came to play in my sewing room but I got away with it. Phew!

I promise it won’t be so long before I post again.

Avis x

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