Finished Quilts

Thursday, 31 May 2012

two sleeps to go...

...until the Big Weekend and I think we're all getting a wee bit giddy.  I received my name tag yesterday and it's really cute, made with selvedges!

All I know is that it was made by Gemma (no more deats) - so I hope to give her a big thank you hug at the weekend.  I have STILL to prep for two of my classes but that's tonight's plan.

So this week has pretty much been focused on FQR preparations and not much else.  I did finish another two granny square blocks...

My blue blocks... green, pink red and yellow and possibly brown next!
I'm loving making these blocks and I think the end quilt will look good but I'm swithering whether it's the right one for a cute-beyond-words 9 month old girl.  Well after I received  a (caught by customs booo!) package from Hawthorn Threads this week, I have changed my mind and Evie will be getting a simple patchwork Flea Market Fancy quilt...

cutting has commenced!
It's gonna look pretty much like one of Ashley Film in the Fridge's FMF quilts so should be super fast to finish.  I need to thank Lucy from Charm about You for removing my blinkers re FMF :)

One last thing, I've joined my first quilting bee!  Woop Woop!  It's called Quilt Around the World II and I think it's a really neat idea - here's the link come join us!

Saturday, 26 May 2012

One week to go.....

OK so I'm a little giddy already.  This time next week, I'll have made a fool of myself several times and may have passed out with over excitement.  Yep, the FQ Retreat is 7 sleeps away.  And, I'm linking up with the FQ Retreat linky party thingy
Fat Quarterly

My name is Moira and I am a fabricaholic.  An exiled Scot, I live in Nottingham with my husband Laughing Boy, my gorgeous 8 1/2 month old son, the wee man, and Jamie-Lee the cat (oh and some fish but that's Laughing Boy's thang, I don't really get involved, not since the big vicious one mauled my favourite one to death *quiet sob*).  I'm just about to finish my maternity leave and head back to lecturing students in how to study (erm.. maybe taking notes at lectures might help? - that kind of thing) so next weekend is my last hurrah......until the Festival of Quilts obviously ;-)

Here's the photo I usually use:

not much help.....

In my wildest dreams I look like this:

if only!
Last year I looked like this:

my wedding day with Laughing Boy and the wee man!

How did I get involved in this quilting malarkey?  Well,  about 6 years ago I used to work with this lady who was very nice but had done anything any one else had done before they had done it, if you catch my drift.  I decided to take up knitting again and oh, she had been doing that for years and then started bringing it in to do in front of us at lunch and telling us exactly where we were going wrong.  One of my friends took up beading but hold on, she had been doing that for years etc etc.  It became a bit of a running joke that we would make up interests to see if we could catch her out - looking back, it sounds a little trite *embarrassed blush* - anyway, one day I mentioned that I was thinking of taking up quilting. This stopped her in her tracks so I thought I'd better investigate this strange hobby a little more just to see whether I was talking nonsense - I only found some very traditional quilting websites (not my bag really) so parked the idea to fester in the darkest recesses of my brain.

Then a couple of years ago, and somewhat surprising myself!, I asked for a sewing machine for my  birthday and started to google quilting again.  One look at Oh Fransson! and I was hooked.  Bought my first book:

...and was off.  I went on hiatus for most of last year cos I found pregnancy and sewing didn't mix for me but am back with a vengeance.  LOVING the totally groovy and supportive blogging community too. And the fabric - who knew!?!?!  So really I have my old work colleague to thank for this great, exciting, fulfilling and slightly obsessive addition to my life.

I'm coming to the Retreat with my lovely MIL, Carol, who is extremely excited but really nervous that she will be the oldest there.  She is such a sweetie and will end up having a whale of a time.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Granny goon

that's what my nieces call their gran (my mum) so that's what we call her now too.  I'm not sure she approves! 

I'm making a quilt for on of the wee man's little friends, one that she can use in the garden so I wanted to avoid white solids if possible.  Evie's mum asked for a kind of retro/vintage feel so I pulled some fabric and thought Granny Squares!  Here's how far I've got....

As part of the Charm About You Fugly Swap over at Lucy's, I received some Melody Miller scraps which I have used as centre square in each block - thank you lovely Amy for indulging my MM obsession!  I had some Kona Ash hanging around so went with that for the solid and I am pretty happy with things so far.  I'm going to add a dark blue and whitish square and probably a green floral with pink too.  The final quilt will have 16 blocks and some sashing - I'm thinking a thin white sash between the blocks and Ash for the borders to take it up to 40ish inches.  Do you think that the white  will work?

Linking (sneaking in just in time!) with Lee at Freshly Pieced WIP Wednesdays
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

for pleats sake....

I'll let you into a secret - I feel that I'm a bit of a try-hard.  I mean, I tend to try too hard to get people to like me and it can be kind of off-putting, to me at least.  I know it's because I am a little shy and need to push myself so that I'm not a wallflower but I can really annoy myself by sounding too ingratiating.  Recently, I have used my sewing hobby as a way to get people to like me - dumb huh? If someone admires something I've made, I offer to make them one in almost a Pavlovian response!  It's mostly cos I like making stuff, but I worry that people find it a bit pushy so I think I need to control myself a bit more.  The wee man and I were out with friends a few weeks ago and one mentioned that it was her sister's birthday the next day and she needed to get a present but hated shopping. I jumped in and offered to make a bag for her.  The offer was accepted but I couldn't shake the feeling that I had pushed this onto her and made it difficult to say no.  I made the bag (the same as this one), dropped it off the next day and fretted about being pushy for the rest of the weekend.  Her sister loved the bag though so perhaps I should stop over thinking it all.

Anyway, another friend asked if I could make a bag for her sister's birthday.  I jumped at the chance (obviously!) and showed her some of the bags I'd made for myself so she could choose a style.  I just love the pattern she chose - I think this is the fourth time I've used it - so it was a joy to knock this up....

Melody Miller Viewmaster fabric - sigh!

lovely pleats
lined with Jessica Levitt (Timber)
The lining fabric was originally bought 2 years ago to back the quilt I submitted for this years Bloggers Quilt Festival so I was pleased to finally used it and I think it works well.  I'm delivering this to Mrs W on Thursday and am hoping she likes it.  I've given her an opt out, just in case!

Lonking up with Jenna's Manic Monday Linky party....

Sew Happy Geek

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Bloggers Quilt Festival Spring 2012

Amy's Creative Side

It is always an exciting run up to Amy's Bloggers' Quilt Festival - I really look forward to seeing all the quilts and being inspired to make more, better ones myself.  I have only submitted one quilt of my own before, as last year I did nowt but grow a baby.  I had great hopes for this year but so far, although I've started 4 or 5 quilts, I have only managed to finish one.  Kitty's quilt was about to be submitted when I re-read Amy's directions and decided to submit this one instead....

hand tied with french knots
amy butler and patty young combo

My reasons for choosing this quilt include:
  • This was the second quilt I ever made (the first was a small crib quilt) so I always think of it as my first and I still get a kick out of seeing it.
  • Finishing this gave me the quilting bug.  It taught me patience and showed me that I could actually see something through to the end.
  • It is blue linen hand tied with hundreds of french knots and backed with a great colour combo I think
  • I must have bought 20 yards of fabric before deciding on these two - and my stash was born!  Of course a lot of that fabric remains folded neatly still waiting to be used
  • The quilt is about 50" wide so I had to piece the Patty Young fabric together and managed to line up the moths almost perfectly.  You have to hunt to find the seam - I was so chuffed!
But mostly I am so in love with this quilt because of this....

Having sat in a corner since it was finished, this quilt is now the wee man's sleep rug, play mat and general comforter.  It is much loved by our wee family and I am so glad I made it - in many ways it changed my life.

Friday, 18 May 2012

quilt market lust

I don't look at Twitter very often but I checked in last night in bed cos it was Thursday night and it can be less stressful than watching Question Time!  (Follow it on Twitter - it's kind of amusing).  Anyway, #bbcqt barely got a look in as I was engrossed in the tweets from the Quilt Market in Kansas City.  It was set up day yesterday and lots of people were tweeting photos of the booths as they were completed. To paraphrase Rachel Zoe...  I die!  It was bananas!

Check out Melody Miller's booth...

Via Gregory Miller Photography on Instagram (

Via Gregory Miller Photography on Instagram (
Be still my heart!  Records, phones, cameras..... The new collection is called Ruby Star Vinyl - I am gonna have to start saving!

And some of Anna Maria Horner's new Field Study collection...

Via Brenda @ Pink Castle Fabrics on Instagram (
Via Brenda @ Pink Castle Fabrics on Instagram (
I know it's not quite the same bu it makes me want to get my tickets for this year's Festival of Quilts sorted :)

Monday, 14 May 2012

not quite phew yet...

After faffing around for aaaages, starting and not finishing tag after tag, wondering what else to include, I finally stopped over thinking and got on and did.  Not quite "phew!" yet because I still have to parcel up and get it in the post but I'm one step closer to easing my secret FQ Retreat name tag partner's nerves.  (She's already voiced concern about her lack of tag on Flickr *hangs head in shame*). 

So I decided on a series of firsts...
  • to embroider her name and blogname - I've never embroidered anything before AND my tag partner is a super embroidery whizz!
  • to do it free hand - clearly I was a bit brain melty
  • to make a zipper pouch to go with it - again, never before attempted
Here are what is about to be posted:

name covered, although I'm sure she doesn't read my blog
so this may be a futile gesture!
Not much of a tag huh?  It's all about the embroidery so I'll put up a full photo once she has received it.  Apologies to my tag partner for what she is about to receive.  It's got a clasp on the back but I've included some red ribbon to make a lanyard, which makes it look a little like a Jim'll Fix It badge (in a funny light, at a funny angle...)

zippered pouch from MM fabric (be still my heart!)

lined with some Heather Ross
I enjoyed making this pouch (used Elizabeth's pattern) and did the whole end of zip cover tab thingy.  There are a few obvious mistakes but it's usable and I have run out of time so apologies again.  Having kind of stalked my partner via her blog and twitter over the last couple of months, I also added a bag of scrap fabric to the pouch as she is making a scrap quilt and was asking around for some decent scraps.  I hope that helps redress the disappointment she will feel!

This weekend, the wee man slept A LOT so I also managed to finish that laptop bag for my sister that I was banging on about a while back....

the outside is Oslo fabric

the inside is some Circa50
I was guided by a couple of online tutes - Amy's Creative Side and Amy a la Mode - and am pretty pleased with how it turned out.  there are a couple of things I'd do differently (like a better co-ordinating thread for that ribbon!) but I think she will like it.

Now (once I have been to the Post Office), I have to start sorting out my supply list for the FQ Retreat - not long now!

edited to add link to Jenna's Monday Linky Party

Sew Happy Geek

Friday, 11 May 2012

One woman's fugly......

So earlier in the week, I decided to scrap the name tag I was making for my secret swap partner for the Fat Quarterly Retreat in June (eek!) and start again so I went in hunt of the remaining fabric.  I hunted and hunted and ended up pulling ALL the fabric out of my stash and reorganising it, before remembering where I had put it for safe keeping - d'oh!  The upside was that I reacquainted myself with my stash and pulled some potential fuglies for Lucy's fugly fabric party II...

Charm About You

Then I started to waiver - maybe I liked some of them after all, maybe I could use them in not yet planned projects and so slowly they have been finding their way back into the cupboard (or rather on the scruffy pile to go back in the cupboard).  Finally today I relented and released the following from captivity....

I yard of Joel Dewberry Lily  GONE
1 yard Spellbound for Westminster Fabrics GONE
thin FQ Valerie Wells GONE
All three were bought "early doors" just as I was finding my feet, fabric buying wise.  The top two were from other people's destashing so I thought I was getting a bargain but never really liked them that much. The bottom was a real lesson - ordered from a v. popular UK shop and they sent a thin FQ not a normal FQ even though I asked for a normal FQ and wouldn't exchange it!  Needless to say, I have never darkened their doors (virtual or real) again!

So they are yours - not sure what I would like in exchange.  I am a Melody Miller obsessive but that's not really a fair swap.  Maybe some solids?  or even a week Zakka handmade? I am open to suggestions

Monday, 7 May 2012

when is a cape not a cape?

....when it's an elephant, of course!  No, it's not the constant rain for weeks getting in and addling my mind. Let me explain....

This past week, I was back home in Scotland with the wee man visiting my mum and the rest of my family.  I decided (wisely in the end) not to finish the wheelchair cape until I got there so Bertha Janome came with us for the trip.  I managed to get the thickest wadding I could find (12mm from John Lewis - panic buy!) and hoped it would meet with approval (not easily found these days, unfortunately).  Thankfully, mum approved but wanted to amend the design (of course!) slightly and after a couple of aborted attempts - mainly thanks to my dad and his wine measurements! - Bertha was busted out and work began...

I did the back panel first...

to be fastened together with iron on velcro (well that was the plan!)

Then mum was well enough to sit in and refine the pattern, which led to this....

not the whole story!
But not before I decided to quilt a couple of lines that follow the width of the seat so that the cosy would fit a little neater in the chair.  Out of such small decisions, disaster can arise!  It was towards the end of a difficult day and I was rushing to get finished and was finding that sewing a quilt sandwich 1 1/2 cms thick is NOT FLIPPING EASY!  Excuses, excuses.... I managed to sew the tablecloth onto the cape..

And that was WITHOUT a glass of wine! I was wondering why it was becoming even more difficult but persevered until I'd sewn about 10 cms of the bally thing on.  *heavy sigh*.  Much muttering, stropping and swearing later, my mum's favourite(!) tablecloth was cut out of disentangled from the cape and the blinking thing was finally finished!

Unfortunately, mum wasn't well enough to model it in situ, so the wee man offered in her place....

he had just biffed himself in the mouth with a big wooden spoon
(tears, screams, the works) so looks remarkably composed here!
So why an elephant?  I asked my gorgeous sister P to demonstrate....

Or it could still be a cape (prog rock style a la Rick Wakeman, before my time obviously but I watch TOTP reruns!)....

So the cape elephant is finally finished (minus a couple of small pieces of velcro) and ready for use.  We are hoping that my mum will be well enough to have tour of the garden soon so that will be the trial run. I await the redesign requests!  It was really straightforward to make and I'm happy to draft up a small pattern / guide, if that would be of use to anyone.

Edited to include link up with {Sew Modern Monday} @ Canoe Ridge Creations