Finished Quilts

Sunday, 14 December 2014

bonadoochi

I am extremely fortunate that I have some amazing friends, many of whom I don't get to see very often but when we do get together, we just pick up where we left off.  As is the way of things, some of them have had to endure some real hardship over the past couple of years and it is always difficult when you feel that you can't be there as much as you would like to help and support them.   The recipients of the first quilt I have finished this year are a perfect case in point.  I have been friends with D for many years; indeed, he was the originator of my kettleboiler moniker.  In my mid 20s, many a Friday night was spent in the Black Bull pub in Edinburgh with him and others, hogging the juke box and laughing to some truly terrible but always hilarious jokes.  When we all started to gradually move away, D was the constant there.

He was friends with S for years and when they reconnected, they did so through letters.  This resonated with me as my mum and dad met when they became penpals and much of their early courting was through letters.   10 years ago, D and S got married and we were fortunate enough to be in attendance.  D made THE best speech I have ever witnessed, and left most women in tears and most men cursing him for the grief they would be getting later on!  They became a beautiful blended family, joined by their own little J, with the usual ups and downs that life throws up.  A couple of years ago, S's sister passed away unexpectedly on the same day as my mum did.  Almost exactly a year later, S lost her mum too. So this year, they decided to reclaim the summer and, as it was their 10th wedding anniversary year, they chose to renew their wedding vows and show the kids that good things happen too.

I decided to make them a quilt to help them celebrate. I asked D if they had a favourite song and he mentioned "Everyone's Gotta Learn Sometimes" by the Korgis as one of them so I thought I could include some of the lyrics in their quilt.  The initial idea was to have the whole chorus but realising that this would mean the quilt would take until their 20th anniversary to finish, I reigned in the ambition.  Also, I got my quilt maths wrong so it would have meant an superkingsizer.  

Although it has taken me a little longer than I hoped to get it done, the Bonadoochi quilt is finished and ready to be delivered in person next weekend...

the not quite finished quilt top

a little trudification happened

..with some personalisation too.
backed with Tula Pink's Bird and Bees - can you see the join?

thanks to my quilt hangers!

It's mahoosive at around 80" x 90".  There was no way I could quilt this beast myself so it was given some beautiful Trudification by Trudi.  You can see that she quilted "S and D" in the central heart for me.  It's backed with some Tula Pink's Birds and Bees and bound with a couple of Denyse Schmidt Chicopee prints and a AMH Innocent crush one.

I love this quilt. The paper pieced letters were a b*gger at times but worth it (just my type by Kristy at Quiet Play). It's my own design.  I used thangles for the HSTs that made up the heart and they rock!  It's not perfect but I'm (almost) cool with that.  I am looking forward to seeing my friends again soon and handing it over.  This is the reason I love sewing and quilting.  Of course, it's all about me!


Tuesday, 21 October 2014

the road to recovery

So, if I was bucket list-minded, I could now add and tick off "catch pneumonia" to the list.  Not much fun, especially when Laughing Boy caught it too (well, I caught it from him) and, to be fair, his was much worse #obvs.  We don't do things by halves, chez kettleboiler! Still, the drugs have worked and we are both on the road to recovery.  Neither of us are back to work yet, but it's heading that way. Poor wee man, it's definitely not much fun having two sick parents and he keeps telling me that he is just too poorly to do as he is told. Thankfully, he is fit and well.

A long winded way of apologising for not announcing my giveaway winner sooner.  Drum roll please.....


Congratulations Sue (mumasu), I'll be in touch via email to work out the details with you.  And I love your suggestion too! Thank you to everyone who provided a mocktail or booze free suggestion.  Lots of you opting for a nice cuppa tea #classy.  I have to admit I did have one hot toddy (whisky based) when I was super poorly but that was purely medicinal.

I am hoping to dust down old Bertha this afternoon and do some sewing.  I have been occupying my convalescing time (when not kipping!) with my first ever cross stitch....

HUG by Emily Peacock
See, further proof that I don't do things by halves!  It's for my sister's 40th which was last year (long story!) so she may get it in time for her 50th!  hopefully early next year.

Right, off to the sofa for a nanna nap (oh for those days when it was a disco nap!)....




Monday, 29 September 2014

the "about flipping time" giveaway

McMojo is still suffering from Buckfast withdrawals (let's not talk about the deep fried pizza cravings) so progress is slow but there is progress, which means that we're heading in the right direction.  Anyway, this is my 200th blogpost, which has taken wa-a-a-y longer to reach than I'd thought it would.  By some bizarre co-incidence, I now have just over 200 instagram followers and more followers on bloglovin' than I ever expected.  And I haven't had a giveaway for yonks so, it's definitely time for an "about flipping time" giveaway.

Here's what's up for grabs....

I've had much fun making divided baskets for my friends to use as nappy holders and generally enjoy Anna's patterns so I am offering to make the winner a noodle-head pattern of her choice....

here are the options from the noodle-head shop
 I'll also include the social tote with the options about

social tote_carolyn friedlander and anna graham
courtesy of carolyn friedlander's website
I've tried to do this Rafflecopter thingy so that I'm totally down with the kids, lolz or somesuch!  I hope it works!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Basically, answer the question for one chance to win and for an optional second chance, follow me on instagram.  Simples.  Open to all.  Oh, and I will try really hard to get the finished thing to you by Christmas (McMojo permitting!).

Like others, I'm planning to Go Sober in October.  This will be in memory of the parents of my best friend who both passed away in the same week in September.  I am not collecting sponsorship myself, but if you would like to donate a little something please do so either via https://gosober.org.uk/profile/luiserussell  or Pippa's link https://gosober.org.uk/profile/pippaparsons 

Monday, 22 September 2014

tried to make me go to rehab.....

So as you will know, McMojo has been MIA pretty much all summer. I may have mentioned it all the chuffing time now and again! Whenever she's shown her sorry face round these parts, it's been tough.  All I really achieved in the past month or so was a few skirts as bday gifts for the wee man's friends....

summer whimsy skirts with pockets!  A great free pattern/tutorial from CailaMade

A couple of seriously late bee blocks that nearly did me in....I think McMojo had the DTs!

going to be a fun Aliens Love Underpants quilt though..
I really wanted these blocks to turn out so much better than they did but at least I finally worked out how to use a ruler!

McMojo started to play nice a couple of days later and so I managed to piece the backing for the bonadoochi quilt.  Can you see the join?

squeee!
Some of the birds have bee heads and some of the bees have bird butts; still I am pretty stoked with how it worked out.!

Last week I had a week's leave (well, 3 days) to recover from some serious hard work and a pretty rubbish cold, to prepare for and celebrate the wee man's 3rd birthday (WTF!) and to have some sewing time.  That boiled done to Thursday and one day's sewing to tackle a bee block mountain that won't go away.  I went to find McMojo and staged an intervention.  Rehab baby yeah!

First up, a litre of coffee and some left over birthday cake (chocolate victoria sponge sandwiched with white choc butter icing and covered in choc fudge icing, since you asked) then a divided basket that needed to be handed over as a gift the next day...

check jamiecat's lazy "am I bovvered?" photobomb!
BOOM!

Next up, some more Bumbling Honey bee blocks...this time for Clare

some really neat points there
BOOYAKASHA!  Followed by a quick "Say Yes To The Dress" and cake break.

Finally, I tackled a bee block that should have been done way back in February *hangs head in shame*.  Beth asked for everyone to make a flower representative of where they live as part of the Quilt Around the World II bee so there were many lovely and diverse blocks.  I was the last stop on the journey and they have been sat sitting on my sewing table for a long time.  I was always planning to make a thistle and since it was referendum day on Thursday, it felt right to get it done and done.

shmapplique people!
I should have chosen a darker background fabric but it kind of rocks.  Here are the blocks all together...

pretty neat, huh?
And that photoshoot signalled the end of Intervention Day 1.  Phew!  And to prove that McMojo is on the road to recovery, I managed to do some sewing over the weekend....more bee blocks, of course!  This time for the lovely Sue and rounds off the 2013 Bumbling Honeys bee for me

captured in the lovely September sun
I see a scrap vomit quilt in my future!  I still have three sets of bee blocks to do but at least the pile is less of a Munro.

And for all of you brave souls who have lasted this long, here's the other reason that sewing has taken a bit of a back seat recently....

either singing or yelling poo...it's always one or the other!

Happy birthday, my sweet boy x

Monday, 8 September 2014

around the world blog hop

The lovely Jess has asked me to join in with the Around the World blog hop...


I usually shy away from some such but (a) Jess asked! and (b) she said I don't need to make anything for it which is brilliant cos my mojo is still hunkered down being the bikesheds, with a bottle of Buckfast and a massive deep fried pizza supper. The idea is pretty simple, answer some questions and then invite someone else to hop on board.  So here goes....

1. What am I working on?
Well, I think my intro answers this question!  What I should be working on is a massive pile of bee blocks, a baby shower present for my friend who has already had the little guy and piecing the backing for my bonadoochi quilt so it can be sent off for some Trudification.  I have a week's leave coming up so am praying that McMojo gets its a**e back here sharpish.

2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?
Wowsers, now that's a question!  I am a follower not a leader when it comes to creative things so probably not that much, other than being not as good.  When I started out, I was a slave to others' patterns and initially, I even wanted to use exactly the same fabric.  I guess this is quite common.  As my practice has developed, I feel more comfortable going off piste and have started designing my own quilts - well not in a " design, write a pattern, tell the world" way, more of a "I fancy it looking a bit like this, let's see if it works" kind of way.  The way I'm different is probably that I don't go in linear "plan-choose fabric-cut all fabric-sew all blocks-make quilt top" - believe me I wish I would, it would be far more efficient and far less annoying! I'm a "plan- choose some of the fabric-cut a small amount-start sewing-change plan--buy more fabric-cut some more-sew some more-rejig plan" repeat until finished or dead kind of girl at the moment.

3. Why do I create what I do?
I think there are a couple ways of answering this question.  I have finally found a hobby that makes me feel creative, that I want to keep up with and develop and that pushes my boundaries and makes me feel that I'm more than just a mum/wife.  I also love making things for people.  My house has hardly any of my makes in it, just a couple of quilts, a cover for Nanny Plum, my Kitchen Aid mixer and one small fabric basket.  No cushion covers, no piles of quilts to stroke on the way past, no table runners or place mats.  Pretty much the bulk of what I make gets gifted to someone and this makes me happy (although I'm not sure it has the same effect on those receiving the gift!) 

4. How does my creating process work?
I kind of covered this in #2.  I am influenced my lots of modern quilters (although I appreciate the term modern can be a contentious one). So a lot of the times, my plans are triggered by something they have done. Not necessarily the pattern, more the use of fabrics and colour.  Unlike Jess (who I admire so much), I usually jump in with no firm plan and start sewing before I have even chosen all the fabric.  I get so bored cutting out fabric, that this is done in shifts. It means that I change my mind on the fabric selection all the time and a lot of time is wasted worrying about this and ordering more just in case!  

I've had EQ7 for a couple of years now but really only dabble round the edges.  I am hoping to be more adventurous with it in the future.  

This wasn't one of the questions but this post got me thinking about where I am against where I was and where I want to go, if that makes sense.  It is always easiest to bemoan the fact that you don't feel as good/creative/productive as others out there but it's good to reflect on how far you have come on your own journey.  I started off with little belief in my own creativity and therefore followed others slavishly at first but as I have gotten more confident with my sewing, I can see that I am more confident in my design choices.  I look at Jess, for example, and marvel at her journey.  But we are all different and it's important that you take time to appreciate your achievements, even if they are slower or smaller than those you measure yourself against.  I wish I was more adept and more creative but I am enjoying my journey, even if it is a little more meandering than I'd really like.

I've asked Kelly over at JeliQuilts to hop on - she is flipping amazing,the queen of the rainbow who seems to be taking over the world one flying goose at a time.  Seriously, I love her aesthetic and she's hilarious too...what's not to love?

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Bandwagon jumpin'

I am in the middle of my own sewing hell (bee block disaster zone) so thought I'd take some time out to ponder on some of the other "issues" with my quilty antics.  Inspired by Kerry @ Penny Dog, who was inspired by Molli Sparkles, who was inspired by Amy @ 13spools, ... some of my quilty little secrets

13 Spools
button available @ MolliSparkles

  1. I very rarely use pins.  Maybe when I'm sewing large strips to each other and need them to line up properly, I'll use a couple of pins in the middle.  I probably should use more but really who can be bothered?
  2. I don't press, I iron.  I start out with really good intentions every time sometimes but always end up ironing.
  3. I rarely iron my fabrics before I cut them up.  It causes me problems but if I'd realised how much ironing was involved, I may not have taken up this hobby/obsession.
  4. I hate the cutting part, including trimming.  I rarely cut everything out before I start sewing.  Hugely inefficient but required for my sanity's sake.
  5. I hate clashy clashy.  It makes my head hurts.  Which leads to....
  6. Kaffe Fassett is definitely NOT my bag.  And I'm not too bothered about Amy Butler either *ducks head*
  7. Machine binding is not for me. I hate doing it and I dislike the look of it.  I'm a hand binder, get over it.
  8. I've had a 12.5 inch square ruler for nearly 4 years now and have only just worked out how the markings work.  This discovery was made after trimming bee blocks this afternoon, hence my current foul mood.
  9. Applique Shmapplique. And while we're at it wonk shmonk!  Of course, my fear of cutting and general stupidity with rulers means that I unintentionally wonk. So maybe that should be intentional wonk shmintentional shmonk.
  10. One of my most treasured things is a mini quilt I got in Brit Quilt Swap  and I've just signed up for Curly Boy's IG mini quilt swap because I can't see a bandwagon without jumping on.  But mini quilts...what is point? #contrarymary #thron


Have a look around blogland and you'll see that your own quilty little secrets may be more common that you think!




Saturday, 16 August 2014

judging

So, it would seem that my sewing mojo is on extended vacay so there's not much sewing action Chez 'boiler.  I have managed to get some quilt fix though, mostly through this year's Festival of Quilts.  After last year's disappointments, I rashly announced that we would not be gracing the FoQ with our presence this year.  But I soon caved, partly because the EMMQG submitted a competition quilt into the Group Quilt category.  It was handed over at the last possible minute after some demon Trudification and hand finishing by Mary G, so it would have been rude not to go check it out.  Here it is in its hung glory....

#519 Where We Live
The idea was to do "improv" blocks representing an image of where we live.  Improv in this context meant do what you want.  No quilt police/pedants here.  So it represents the East Midlands from West (bottom) to East (top), with Bridget's panel at the bottom, then Kerry's, then Hannah's and finally Trudi's at the top. I did the sashing, Trudi quilted and Mary finished.  The others gave advice and guidance throughout the process. For most of us, it was the first time submitting a quilt, doing improv, working without a pattern.  I think the quilt works really well and it did not look out of place in the FoQ.  I am proper chuffed!

So, when the wee man and I took a road trip to pick it up yesterday (last one to be collected...last chicken in sainsbury's?!), I was really keen to see the feedback from the judges.  The envelope was finally located and here are the results..... this was first out of the envelope...

Hmmmm
I was a bit miffed when I read it.  It didn't seem to fit with the comments.  How can you comment on the quilt hanging well and then give it "satisfactory" for that element.  And... hello... the quilting needs work?  Are you joking?

So it was with a little trepidation that I unfolded the comment sheet from judge #2....

that's more like it!
It's difficult to read the comments but it says "fresh treatment, successful combination".  A totally different opinion then.  In fact, here the "quilting: design and execution" element is given an Excellent mark!  I just don't understand the inconsistency.  Now, it's all noise really.  The EMMQG ladies should be really pleased with the end result.  But, if we are to learn from our first foray into competition quilts and use the feedback to help plan our next one, how can we with this feedback?  I know, I know....it's all in the eye of the beholder.  One person's winning quilt is another person's WTF?!

This is a perennial issue.  I have commented on a number of blog posts and IG photos bemoaning the feedback received.  At least we didn't get a comment on the lack of brown batiks!  So I guess it comes down to subjective, personal, individual taste and in that case I FREAKING LOVE IT!

As for the rest of the quilts, a much better year than last year, in my opinion.  We were a little disorganised this year so didn't manage to see everything but here is a little selection of my favourites (no names, obvs!)
you had to be there

absolutely LOVED this - well done, Reene

made with shards of denim

amazing points

loved this

not in competition but a Shevvy beauty 



There was a fabric grandfather clock which was utterly astounding, in a "but why would you?" way.  And lots of others that I forgot to photograph.

And I was very restrained, purchase wise...

£6 a metre!  It would be rude not to.
I missed as many people as I saw.  We went on Saturday and it seemed much less busy than expected, which was nice.  A good day, all told.