Finished Quilts

Sunday, 30 December 2012


Bertha Janome is poorly sick and so no sewing has taken place since Christmas Eve Eve.  So it seems like the right time to take stock of 2012, even though I haven't had a glass of wine yet (I'm waiting for the darts to start before I do!).   Like a lot of you, this year has whizzed past for me.  Full of experiences, good and not so good, I have been amazed at how much sewing I've gotten done with the wee man here.  I've started AND finished 5 quilts

OK, it includes a mini and three baby quilts but it's a start!
And, I've started but not finished three more, still not finished a UFO from way back, and have pulled the fabric for three others.  Oh, and I have the bee blocks made for the wee man's quilt that I need to start putting together.  My current excuse is that I'm out of wadding so my fabric voucher I got for Christmas may be put to great use soon.

I've become a bag lady....

bags, purses, covers
I love Jeni's drawstring bag so much I just bought the pattern so I don't have to work out the maths to make different sizes.  Lisa's for pleat's sake and graceful kelly patterns have been put to great use.  I haven't taken photos of all my bag makes due to being a numptie but it seems to have been a "thing" for me this year.  I have plans for more and different ones next year.  I made the latest For Pleat's Sake for my MIL Carol and she made me promise to show this photo of it.....

she's a massive Rafa fan!
I joined some great bees and made these....

tried to push myself to do new-to-me blocks
I've really enjoyed beeing around - everyone is so sweet and so it makes me want to make something extra special each time. 

And then some random stuff I made -a wheelchair cosy, a swap or two, a baby blanket and applique tops for little people....

I guess if I had to choose, the wheelchair cosy was probably my best make this year.  I designed it myself and managed to sew it onto my mum's favourite table cloth. My blog post about it got picked up by website:  and loads of folks read about it.  It's a pity it didn't get used so much by my mum but we've donated it to the hospice so hopefully someone will enjoy it.

I've got big plans for next year but first need to get Bertha fixed (and watch the darts!).

Have a grand Hogmaney and see you on the other side x

Saturday, 22 December 2012

the definition of madness

I've been more or less offline for a couple of weeks, returning last week from my visit home to Scotland and spending this week working my Google Reader list of over 300 entries.  I enjoyed the break from the PC more than I thought I would but it's nice to get back.  Apologies for the lack of comments on your posts - normal service will be resumed shortly :)

Whilst in Scotland I gave my sisters their gifts.  It was decided (now there's a story!) that we weren't doing Christmas gifts for each other this year, so the gifts were given and opened.  A bit of background...  as you know, my mum passed away in June this year.  A couple of years ago (I think she knew she was poorly then) she handed me something and asked me to take it to a charity shop or throw it out as she didn't need it any more.  It was her wedding dress. I asked if I could have it instead.

January 1967, Paisley (thanks dad)
The dress was handmade to my mum's design, lovely and simple, and I think its silk satin.  The waist is a teeny tiny 24 inches and the elbows have darts in for ease of movement (nice touch).  So, partly because I could hardly even get one of my granny arms into the neck of the dress, the dress has hung in my wardrobe since then, waiting for a purpose.

After she died, I asked my dad and sisters if they would be OK with me using the dress for sewing fabric.  They said yes and my plans for gifts took off.  First off, gift bags for the main pressie...

remember these?
The bags are lined with silk from the dress.  OM.flipping.G that fabric is the devil to work with.  Thank goodness for spray starch, it saved my bacon for sure.  I tried really hard to cut with the grain but without the starch it was like sewing jelly!

The main gifts were to be baguette purses a la Lisa u-handbag using Echino Decoro fabric and some Tula Pink Hushabye for the lining.  After the difficulties with the gift bags, my worry that I would run out of fabric and the thought that it may get too dirty with use, I decided not to use the silk for the whole lining, but just for the side pieces.   I already had the pattern so I got to work cutting everything out and sewing it all up, then glued the first one into its frame.  It wasn't quite right....

No amount of shoving and pushing and swearing could get that edge of the fabric into the purse frame.  so I tried a second and a third and still the same problem.  #epicfail!  I wrote to Lisa and got a new copy of the pattern but got a case of the wobbles.  Einstein said that the definition of madness is to keep doing the same thing and expect a different outcome and this was rattling my brain.  So I bought some more big ball frames, read up on how to draft your own purse pattern (thanks Emily, Rebecca and Lisa) and jumped in with both feet!  No side panels on my pattern (steady on!) so silk pockets were added....

success at last!
silk pocket

 I was so relieved AND in a fit of madness, I ripped one of the baguette purses out of its big ball frame and tried it in a "normal" frame AND IT FIT!!!
woop woop!
So I managed to save the ones I'd done wrong and used them to make gifts for two of my nieces and I was still able to keep one for myself (I also have one that needs sewing and a frame).  Although both frame types are meant to be 6"x3", I think the big ball frame is slightly longer at the sides which meant the purse fabricky bit was just too neat hence the problems.  #relieved!

I think my sisters were happy with their bags in bags, which made me happy.

Wishing you all every happiness this Christmas

MWAH xxx

Saturday, 8 December 2012

holding hands's one of the things that I love doing, especially when walking with Laughing Boy.  Since the wee man came along, we don't get much of an opportunity to do it.  But we did yesterday and I loved it!  It was my birthday - not one of those where you move up a tick box on those forms/surveys - thank goodness.  But one where Laughing Boy took a half day, the in-laws came to babysit and we went out for a child free lunch and wander round the town, holding hands.  Bliss.    AND, I totally got lucky gift-wise (you've gotta love amazon wish lists!)...

I was expecting one but got all three!
Now, a while back, my lovely MIL Carol told me (in no uncertain terms!) that she thought I would be much further forward in my sewing than I was.  After a huge petted lip, I began to muse that she was right.  I should be doing more complicated stuff and definitely should be on the FMQ bus by now.  So I joined some bees and swaps and challenge myself with them all to make something that will take me somewhere new.  And, my plans for 2013 include getting to grips with FMQ and dressmaking, hence my joy at receiving these books for my birthday.

Talking of bees, I am so behind with the FQR Bumblie Bee for lovely Liz (Ms November).  She wants selvedge blocks.  I've made one but want to do another as well.  Here's the one that's done...
based on an HST tute by Jeni @ InColorOrder
I'll get the other one done when we get back from Scotland.  I'm off to the airport to pick up my dad, who is helping me and the wee man drive up tomorrow for the week.  Have a great weekend x

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

buzz buzz busy bee

My Sunday afternoon sewing was a great success - three outstanding QATWII bee blocks done and done.  Outstanding in the "have had them for a week and need to be getting them completed and sent on" sense, I mean.
First up, Mary' Mary's colour palette really stumped me and I was moaning about my lack of creative spark and lack of fabric in the required tones to the lovely JoJo, who soothed my panicky brow and not only offered some design ideas (including pointing out Mary's love for birdy fabric) but also sent me some more suitable fabric.  I could not have done this block with out her help and support - she is officially amazeballs!  If you don't know her, check out her blog and her Flickr - she creates some totally beautiful stuff.  So freshly inspired and using mostly Jo's fabric, my block ended up like this..

all the blocks so far...
Next up was Lynne's blocks.  I was much more comfortable with her colour palette (as was my stash!) and the guide was for geometric so I opted for a block I found at Play Crafts...

all the blocks so far

I was on a roll so moved onto Diane's blocks - she wanted spring/summer colours and stars if possible, so using Jeni's HST November block, I came up with this....

all the blocks so far
Now the sharp eyed amongst you will see that I...erm... modified the design a little.  Ok, I messed up and sewed the bottom row wrong but it turns out I'm not very sharp eyed as I have only just noticed myself and the block is already on the way to Rachel.  I feel like such a doofus but it doesn't look do bad, does it?  This is what happens to me after three hours of sewing - concentration wavers to the point of calamity. 

So it was a good job that I stopped there on Sunday I think.  This week will be all about Liz's bumblie blocks and some last minute christmas pressies before heading off up to Scotland for a week with the wee man (= no sewing next week).  Maybe that's a good time to get Bertha serviced.....

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Fresh Sewing Day - november remembered

Like everyone, December has hit me with a shock.  November was awash with bee blocks, swaps and chrimbo makes (and epic fails!) oh and an impromptu gift for Lolo....

These are my (successful!) finishes.  Well, I have also finished three out of four chrimbo pressies for my sisters (the fourth is being glued as I type) but these can't be revealed til after delivery. Oh, and I saved one of the epic fails by ripping it out of the frame and regluing it into a smaller frame - RESULT!  I may do that with the rest.  Of course, it showed that I maybe should use more glue in future!  And, as I am writing this, I have just remembered the kiddo quilt I started - the quilt top is nearly done but I have run out of wadding and am not really loving it so it has been shelved for the time being.

Laughing Boy has taken the wee man to see his nana and grandad so I can have the afternoon to sew - so it's bee blocks and glue for me today.  He is a nice man, a very nice man.

Linking with Lily's Quilts....

Lily's Quilts