Finished Quilts

Friday, 20 July 2012


... and not in a good way!  That's the only word that can describe trying to sew voile and cuddle minky together. My youngest sister is about to give birth to her second child (I had dibs on 14th July but that came and went with only a few twinges) and I wanted to make her a receiving blanket to take to the hospital.  I made one from AMH voile and Anne Kelle cuddle minky for the wee man when I was pregnant and figured the problems I had with it were probably due to my missing mojo.  So I thought I would give it another go as I still have a pile of lush voile and shedloads of the minky left...... turns out it's still a complete ruddy nightmare!.  I used a little spray starch which did help a little but that minky is a tricky devil.  Anyway, here's a snap of the finished blanket..

Anyhoo, apart from the odd tuck and askew seam, it looks ok.  The upside is that it is super soft and cuddly on either side and will wash really well, keeping maximum cuddlage.  I never want to sew with minky again so if anyone wants some whale watching minky, drop me a line and it's yours.

My other finishes this week include a couple of reversible drawstring bags, using a
tutorial by pink penguin.  First up a bag for Rory to say thank you for lending the wee man some clothes after he puked up on Rory's mum's lovely beige carpet last week.

containing said items of clothes, all cleaned and pressed
And, one being used to hold the birthday present for Teddy, who is having a 1st b-day party tomorrow afternoon which we will be popping into.

gift and bag (both inside and out)
I machine appliqued the car onto a really good quality long-sleeved T.  I think it's pretty cool.  I maybe should have left a bit more room to manoeuvre round the car but it worked pretty well.  And I like that it's wrapped in something that isn't instantly dispensible.  I think I'll make bags for all the presents we give from now on (famous last words!)

Linking up with Plum and June for TGIFF

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Like water for chocolate

One of my favourite books when I was younger was "Like Water For Chocolate" - I think I bought a copy for nearly everyone I knew.  The book is broken down into 12 chapters each of which starts with a recipe.  One of the themes of the book is that the emotional state of the person cooking that recipe made its way into the food and so the people who ate the food experienced the emotions too.  So if the person was cried into the coup they were making, the people eating it would be overcome with grief.  This past week I have been wondering if this actually relates to real life. 

I've been trying to get on top of some of the bees and swaps I signed up for at the same time as battling my boys' poo&vom/return to work/being mrs grumps of grumpville/the mother of all headaches.  I think that much of this has affected my work....fabric not cut properly, sewing machine taking on the grumpster mantle, purse frames with a mind of their own.... the list goes on.  However, on Sunday I decided that I was bored with being grumpy and given that it was at least 24 hours since someone in the house had thrown up, it was time to embrace the happy.  It hasn't been all plain sailing since but I've persevered and feel better for it.

So on to the finishes over the past few days....

In The Frame Purse Swap

Well, it's not bad.  I had a 'mare getting the purse into the frame and there is glueage and a little squintyness [cf. technical terms].  I got some really nice comments on Flickr and it's lined with some nice pink Mendicino but I'm still not sure it is good enough to send.  I don't have any of the iridescent blue fabric left so it will have to be a new design.  I don't have much time to make up me mind though so I'll have some IRL people have a look and let me know if it is ok.


A note of caution - the photos are rubbish!

My "summer fun" block

together with Phoung's starter block (which is the most beautifully put together thing I have ever seen!)
The brief was a block to represent a vision of summer keeping in the grren/pink/brown/cream colourway.  I am quite chuffed with this, even though it took me three attempts to get the final border right to ensure the block is 12.5" square.  And to think, I run a university maths support project!  *shamefaced*.

FQR Kinky Bee

again, apologies for the photo - there was no light :(
The lovely Kelly Jeliquilts was first up in the Kinky Bumble Bees and she asked for circles.  I really enjoyed making this and would like to apologies to Kelly for the slightly cack machine applique - I kept getting a little over excited and strayed a couple of times.  I would blame the sugar rush from the Curly Wurly but I ate that a week before!

So there is something to be said for leaving the bad stuff at the door :). 

Tuesday, 10 July 2012


I had grand plans for this past week.  When I was on the train back from Scotland last week, I drew up a list of all my WIPS and Must Start projects.  I've created a page here to keep on track with what I want to achieve for the rest of the year.  Since I've been back home, the wee man is now on to his second nursery virus (similar to the first only this time with sick and poo thrown in) and Laughing Boy and I have both been struggling with mahoosive colds that seem to have bedded down for the summer.  So I haven't been up to much, other than...

making a gift to take to the lovely Bo's first birthday party, which we couldn't attend in the end due to wee man's sickness bug:

made using a great tutorial by Jeni @ In Color Order

bland t-shirt smartened up with some machine applique (first attempt ever!)
When I popped round to drop off the gift and apologise for our not being able to stay, Bo's mum said that most people had cancelled over the morning.  I felt really bad for her.

The other thing I've been working on is hand quilting my Sparkle Logic quilt:

It's taking blinking aaaaaages but I guess the cutting and piecing did too.  I bought some Black and Gold applique needles as they are slightly longer and I felt more in control.  I started off using my hoop but that got canned early doors so it's a bit of a wing and a prayer really.  I know my stitches aren't the smallest but I'm trying to keep them as even length as I can.

This week I have GOT to crack on with Kelly's Kinky Bee block and Phuong's QATWII block (you should see this beauty in real life - the back is just as nice as the front!  No pressure then....).  Lemsips are go!

Linking to Manic Monday Linky Party

Monday, 2 July 2012

versatile sunshine

I have been so fortunate to have received a couple of blogger award nominations in the past week:

the versatile blogger award from the lovely Liz @ lizofdandeliondaydreams  (who is truly one of the nicest people around)
Liz of Dandelion Daydreams

and the sunshine award from Tanya @ sewasecondchance and Helen @ runquiltknitwrite - both of who I met at the FQ Retreat and was struck by their abundant loveliness.

I need to answer some questions I think so here goes:

Some random things about me:

I got my one and only tattoo in a mobile tattoo truck outside a pub in a small ski town in the South Island of New Zealand.

I have a "thing" about the correct use of apostrophes and grammar in general - it's a curse!

I tried out Liz's fake cough to stop sneezing technique and it works!

My ability to speak french increases exponentially with the amount of wine I have.

My favourite colour tends to be purple although I'm going through a bit of a deep pink/magenta phase.

I have a cat called Jamie Lee and she is so precious to me.  Unfortunately her brother Billy Bob was run over a few years ago and I still miss him.  I've had Jamie for coming up to 13 years now

My favourite number is 3 - dunno why

I love wine and have ideas above my station about my level of sommelier ability.  I don't really like Gin, although when I was much younger I used to have a shot of it in a pint of cider.  You feel like Madonna for about a minute then it gets a bit messy - the innocence of youth!
I love music including opera (R&B not so much) and travel and Italy and Michel Roux Jr but am passionate about my family and friends (and cat!).  I have an obsession about fabric that needs to be brought under control.  I love making things for people (whether they want it or not!)
My favourite day was my wedding day last year.  It was all organised in under 8 weeks and couldn't have gone better. 
Now, I am meant to nominate 15 blogs for the versatile blogger award and 4 for the sunshine award.  Crikey! There are so many inspiring and and creative and amusing quilty blogs out there.  So I'm going to follow Helen's example and rather than nominate, I give you a list of some of my favourite reads, who will bring sunshine to your lives if you choose to visit them:
Kelly @ jeliquilts

I could go on for a long time but will stop there.  My blog list at the right hand side has loads more great blogs and you will find more real gems if you go to Lily's Quilts for Fresh Sewing Day and Small Blog Meet.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

room for a wee one?

Hello again.  It's been a tough couple of weeks but things have been made easier by all the support and kindness I have received from you all. Thank you so much.

Well, June wasn't quite what I had planned. The FQ Retreat was a great start to the month and I was fortnuate enough to meet many lovely lovely people as well as becoming friends with one I haven't met in person yet.  Here's what I made:

I was meant to start back at work after maternity leave a couple of weeks ago but that has been postponed until this coming Tuesday.  The wee man started nursery though and is really enjoying it - he's even brought home his first bout of nursery lurgy and passed it onto me and Laughing Boy.  He has taken to nursery so well and it has been a real help, bless him. 

I did find time to do some sewing related stuff though - idle hands and all that.  Firstly, I signed up for a few bees and swaps:

In The Frame Purse Swap  - Inspired by Katy's class at the FQ Retreat, this is a secret partner purse swap and I'm so happy I managed to sneak in at the last minute.  This is my proposed fabric mix

I'm going to add a strip of patchwork to the blue oakshott cotton.  I think my partner will like it.

FQR Kinky Bee - a group of us were so envious of the Brit Bee girls at the FQ Retreat that we banded together and created this bee.  My month is September, I have all the fabric and just need to cut out and send.  I want to have bento box bloxks for a quilt for the wee man.  Excited!

Quilt Around The World II - ok so this one is a little different.  Each member sends a starter block to the next person on the list, who makes a block to suit from their own stash, then sends both onto the next person and so on until all 25 of them end up back with you.  Here's my starter block....

inspired by a quilt in Elizabeth Hartman's new book - I need to starch it though!
Brit Quilt Swap 3 - a mini quilt swap with secret partners.  I am going to push my comfort zone with this one.  A good thing I think.

I also made a nursery bag for the wee man....

I kind of messed up on the size and it could double as a sleeping bag for the wee man but he'll grow into it one day!

Finally, I sandwiched and basted my Sparkle Logic quilt top. 

backed with extra wide dots
I'm still not sure how to quilt it.  I'm thinking of hand quilting, which I have never done before. I bought a thimble just in case.  Any suggestions?

Linkung up with Fresh Sewing Day and Small Blog Meet over at Lily's Quilts:

Lily's Quilts
Lily's Quilts