Monday, January 30, 2012

Birthday preparations

It's my oldest daughter's birthday tomorrow. I can't believe she's 9! I've spent my day getting ready making some of these,



wrapping some of these (ably assisted by my 2 year old),

and finishing the hem on this (it had better fit because I can't take it back!)

Now I'm having a cuppa before I go and pick up the kids from school.

Oh, I finished these off yesterday so my daughter could take them to school today for her friends that couldn't make it to her party.


Friday, January 27, 2012

Baskets of goodness

I find it really hard to find good party favours that I'm happy to give to other peoples' kids. When I saw this tutorial on Ayumi's blog I knew it would be perfect for my daughter's birthday party. I made a prototype for my little boy.

 He's put it to good use!

 Then I made six more for my daughter's friends. I need to make two more but I don't need those until Monday.
 All the fabric came from my stash (a lot of it from my scrap bin!) apart from this gorgeous linen that I bought last week (I had a plan for it but I can't remember what it was). I love this linen and I have enough left to make a bag for myself! Or a skirt, hmmmm, maybe I need some more.
 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A touch of spice

I've finished the Touch of Spice quilt top. I love the fabrics in this quilt and I really like the pattern too. It was a kit from Lady Sew and Sew, I bought a few kits from them when I started quilting last year and I've enjoyed making all of them. Although looking at the photo I've just spotted a mistake in there. Isn't it funny how I only spot these things in the photos!



 I've also started the embroidery from Clover and Violet's Embroidery 101 quilt. I'm just doing the embroidery from these for the moment and will make them into blocks when I've finished. If I like them it will be a quilt for my 2 year old niece. Here's the first one.



Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Branching out

A new stitching eZine was released last week. In the interest of trying something new I decided to try the felt embroidery. It has met with approval from everyone in the house and is currently hanging on the wall while I figure out how to finish it off.


I've also finished this month's do.Good stitches blocks. These blocks really tested my brain. For some reason I decided I'd have to cut 8 squares to get enough triangles for two blocks! As you can see these blocks have 16 squares each. My math was decidedly off. And it took me 3 tries to eventually end up with the right number. I do love these blocks though. The finished quilt will look fab, and my boys like them too so I may have to make more (now that I've got my head around making them!)




Thursday, January 19, 2012

Another finish!

 I've finished quilting the quilt for my niece now too. I hand quilted around each of the applique shapes to make them stand out. I really like this quilt now. I thought it might be to busy when I was first playing with it but now I think it works. I hope my niece will love it and get many years of use out of it! I just need to put a label on it and put it in the post.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A finish!

Look! This is an Aurifil reel. That means I've used all 1300 metres of cotton that were on this reel! That's a lot of stitching.






I've completed my first finish for 2012.

I started this table runner in August or September last year(I think). It was a kit but when I opened it there was no pattern included. So I adapted a pattern that I found on the web somewhere to make the rings the correct size.  When I'd finished the top I decided that I didn't like the colours in it, so it has languished for several months. As part of the Finish-A-Long I needed to finish it off. And I have. And now that I've quilted it I actually like it again. The quilting is far from perfect but it is all Free Motion Quilting!
The back looks okay too, there are few spots that aren't great, but it is the back and will sit on the table so most people will never see it.
 
If anyone knows how to turn binding around an inside corner I'd appreciate some pointers. It isn't sitting right around the corners.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Resolved to Sew 2012

Well, I am resolved to sew this year as my sewing time will be severely restricted next year! I need to finish all my current projects before we leave the UK. This year I want to make quilts for my sisters' children. My own children also want more quilts. I've also promised quilts to my parents and parents-in-law. One day I may even make a quilt for myself :)

To help me with all these resolutions I might need to win the Resolved To Sew 2012 Giveaway.

Actually my only New Year's Resolution is to buy only from UK-based shops while I'm living in the UK.

Monday, January 16, 2012

FMQ

On Saturday afternoon I had a few minutes to spare so I set up my machine to practice this month's Free Motion Quilting Challenge. My first attempt looks fine

until you turn it over.

Oops! 

This time this is the front. The leaves are a nicer shape this time (I think)

This is the back on the second attempt.
 
Much better, I slowed down around the curves and it made heaps of difference. Hopefully I'll get some more practice in before the end of the month.



Thursday, January 12, 2012

Barrister's blocks take 2

After finishing the four Barrister Blocks I realised that I was supposed to make eight. This time I slowed it right down and made them over a few days. Instead of blindly following the pattern I calculated what size the triangles needed to be and I measured and calculated at each step. This time I am happy with the blocks and happy that I did the best I could. Whether you can actually tell the difference I'll leave it to you to decide. These are the new blocks.




And here are the original blocks.


Actually, comparing the photos I can see a mistake in the new ones. I'm not redoing them though and I'm still happy with them.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Ahoy there!

My daughter has to patch one of her eyes for a few hours every day. This term her class is studying pirates. So today I had to make her a pirate patch. See the hand-stitched button holes. They are a great improvement on the last ones I did!


 This isn't the first patch I've made, she has a few pretty patches too. And my son used to patch as well so I made this one for him. This one has been around for a while and is showing its age.

They slide over the arm of the glasses and then hook over the nose piece.

Just look at these yummy goodies I got in the mail today!


Monday, January 9, 2012

A trip down memory lane.

A long, long time ago, when I was at university I decided to make one of my sisters a quilt. Never having made such a thing before I didn't know there were any rules about making quilts. I had a copy of an Australian craft magazine (maybe Handmade) and there was a Dresden quilt in it, so I made it, completely hand stitched, it took 18 months to finish. I haven't got a photo of it right now because my sister's husband is a photographer and we all know how that goes!

Having made a quilt for one sister, my next sister said that she'd like a quilt too. She saw a picture in a magazine of a quilt she liked. The only problem was, there was no pattern in the magazine. Again, not knowing there were rules about these things I drew up some templates and got stuck in. The centre star is made of paper-pieced hexagons. All the flowers and leaves are hand-appliqued. The sawtooth border was paper pieced and appliqued. Again this  quilt was completely hand sewn. The quilting is the same shapes as the applique. I look at today and can't believe that I made it.
My third quilt was a quick machine pieced coverlet made for my husband's niece. I don't have a picture of it either but I think it was just off-set rectangles.

My fourth quilt was started when I was pregnant with my first child and completed  when I was pregnant with my fifth child. It is a whole cloth quilt, white on white. Again completely hand quilted, although I did stitch the binding onto this one by machine.



These are the only quilts I had made before March last year when my younger daughter requested a quilt for her birthday. The first one was completed in 1997, the second in 1999(I think), the third in 1999, and the fourth was finished in 2009.

Last year I made at least 8 quilts and a couple of other tops that still need to be finished. Now I think I can call myself a quilter!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Keeping me honest

So I have a few partially finished quilts lying around here. There are two completed quilt tops and a table runner that all need quilting and there is another quilt that I haven't even taken pictures of yet have just run down and taken pictures of. And digging through my photos I found another one I need to get  finished, my niece's quilt! So I am linking to Rhonda's finish-along over at Quilter in The Gap. The projects I want to get finished this first quarter are:
 
 I'm not sure that I like this table runner but it does need to be finished and out of my sewing room. It's also a great size for practising free motion quilting.
 I love this top and want it on my couch so I need to finish this one.


The quilt for my baby niece. This just needs the hand quilting finished.

My Touch of Spice quilt that I stopped working on because the borders are flying geese and the thought of all those triangles was making me tired. I love the fabric in this quilt and I really want to get it finished. The 9 blocks are done and all the pieces are cut.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Hearts

December was my quilting month for our do.Good Stitches charity quilting bee. Then we postponed it until January as December was a universally crazy month. I am ashamed to say though that I only completed my blocks today. I asked for hearts in red, pink and grey. The blocks that the other ladies have made so far are gorgeous.

Here are mine.