Finished Quilts

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Day 27..on fire..

I still hanker after my indie roots and I have had this Kasabian song in my head all day

...partly because the wee man's temperature has fluctuated between burny hot hot and cold as ice for the past few days (this blog does seem a little like a record of health or otherwise of my family - for which I apologise).  This current poorliness has meant big naps during the day which has mean that I've been on fire, sewing wise.  Firstly, the backing for Jack's quilt is finished....

the grass was covered in snow last night when we went to bed!
Jack's dad is in the RAF and I managed to find some RAF plane liberty fabric on Etsy..
not very clear, I'm afraid
 so incorporated it into the back.  The quilt is sandwiched (not very well though) and basted and the binding has been made so my main job this week is to quilt and bind before Friday.  Still 50/50, I reckon.

Because I am starting to feel really guilty about other promised b-day quilts that haven't materialised yet and spurred on by Kelly's fab quilt, I dug out some blocks I started last year and finished the top for Rory's quilt...

hungry hippos!
I wish I hadn't cut up the yellow hippos ages ago as they would have made a better contrast but given that I did not feel the love at the start of this quilt, I am happy with how it's come together.  Now to work out the backing (from stash only!).

As the end of my Dryathlon is in sight and I have already met my target (thank you!), I have also been making some thank you gifts for friends who have donated to the cause.  Here's one of the scarves I've just finished...

Some herringbone wool-like fabric from John Lewis two years ago and Liberty lawn dandelions, bought at the 2010 Festival of Quilts.  Stash only :).  I've already made another identical one and have other things planned for this week's post office visit.  I think I still have enough Liberty left to make a top with, which was the reason it was bought in the first place.  The whole dressmaking goal for this year fills me with joy and dread!

Now, anyone for a sing-along.......

Thursday, 24 January 2013

one week to go......

.. til the end of January and that means the end of my Dryathlon for CancerResearchUK and may be a wee glass of something nice to celebrate.  It also is the end of the first month of A Lovely Year of Finishes and I am making progress, having just finished Jack's quilt top (apologies for the photo but I was just so chuffed to get it done that standing on a chair, directly underneath a useless an energy saving light bulb at night seemed a decent enough option)...

around 42" by 46"

it's not perfect but I'm fairly happy with the sewing.  I've learnt a lot about cutting 60 degree triangles and sewing them together so I'd do this style again I reckon.  I went for random random not planned random apart from the end strips and I'm not sure it was the right choice but Laughing Boy thought it was pretty cool and I don't often get much more than a shrug so thumbs up I say!  Now I have to make the back, sandwich, quilt and bind this baby before the end of next week.  50/50 chance I'd say.

Oh and in keeping with my attempts to use what I have rather than buy, during a rummage this morning I found some cotton webbing, T-shirt transfer paper and this tutorial and came up with my own labels:

I still have to iron over them with baking parchment paper to take the shine off and I have shed loads of them now of course!  Still it was cheaper than the etsy options so I'm happy :)

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

to infinity and beyond....

Well, some sewing has occurred...woop woop!  Firstly, I finished the four figure of 8/infinity scarves using the kits I bought from Brenda Pink Castle.  as mentioned, I cut everything in half so got 4 out of 2, which was nice....

The eagle-eyed amongst will have noticed only 3 scarves in the photo above.  Scarf #4 is the runt of the litter and not fit for display, therefore I shall keep it for myself. I had a b*gg*r of a time sewing the voile (as per usual for me) with it moving and shifting, even though I pinned for Scotland and used my walking foot. The other three worked out so much better and are gifts for friends. 

You may also notice that the one of the right has an infinity kink in it - I could lie but basically I forgot to untwist it before I sewed it into a loop and hence the infinity nature of it.  Still, it works and matches some pattern or other I'm sure.  I'm glad I cut them in half as I think 18" width would be too much (Mina - I photographed them like this so you can see how wide 9" and 18" would be).   I'll be making more but need a break to work out just how to sew voile without driving myself insane.

Last night, I also finished my second FQR Kinky Bumblie Bee block for Liz - she has been very patient with me as the blocks should have been with her in November *hangs head in shame*

photo taken on a pillow hence the slight undulation!
the first block, needing an iron still
So both blocks will be posted tomorrow and I'm feeling a little better all round.

Off to pick some crusty snot off of the wee man - the bugs never go, they just swap hosts!

Monday, 21 January 2013

Year of the Stash 2013

Thank you for your best wishes re my health (things are slowly improving, thank goodness) and customs charge ouch.  There were plenty of takers for some sort of FAA support group!  This weekend, I came across Amanda from the cozy pumpkin who is having a Year of the Stash, focusing on using what we have rather than buying, buying, buying.  She encourages people who want to join in to establish their own guidelines  and so mine are a tweaked version of Amanda's:
  •  NO more impulse buys and late night click-a-thons. Think before I click "buy".
  •  Spend wisely - this means planning a bit better and perhaps doing any "necessary" spending at the end of the month, where money is a little tighter.  Also this means looking a bit harder for bargains.  I realised that £7 for a rotary cutter blade from John Lewis is just ludicrous and have just bulk bought 10 for £27.
  •  Buy for a specific project that needs finished rather than because the fabric is adorable/super popular/Melody Miller! Well, maybe a bit of MM every now and then would be ok.......
  •  Do I need it? Or do I just want it? - first question to ask.  Remember to be honest! And, don't add more than I need just to fill up the envelope! *shamefaced*
  •  Bees/Swaps - think carefully about whether joining in means buying some fabric specially
  •  Use the dressmaking fabric I have by making clothes - this is a real goal for this year.
  •  Remember Pareto's 80:20 Rule - a rare rash purchase shouldn't be bad thing as long is it is the exception rather than the rule!

So there you go - pretty doable, right?  I will need to buy some backing fabric soon but not for a while yet.  I should have enough wadding (Kisko trip done!) for the next three months.  I may need some Kona white but who doesn't?!
I'm going to do a check every month to see how I'm getting on with this plan.  Join in if you want and we can support each other in our quests to get back in control (and avoid giving £8 handling fee to Customs people!)
I might actually do some sewing tonight!

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Day 16 - double ouch

so I've caught the lurgy that Laughing Boy has had since I gave it to him just before Christmas.  It's the kind where you are hot and cold at the same time and where your sinuses throb unless you move your head and then it's just flipping sore.  This means that there has been minimal sewing at the boiler HQ over the past few days.  I have been working on a couple (or four) Figure of 8 scarfs using a couple of kits bought from Brenda...

Figure Eight Scarf Kit - Cherry and Vivacious        Figure Eight Scarf Kit - Midnight and Lilac

I decided to cut each width in half so that the scarves will be 9" wide rather than 18" (I'm a short ar*e and didn't want swamped).  I'm still working on them as I am getting much slippage and movement from the voile, despite using my walking foot and pinning like mad.  Still, two down (almost) and two to go.

My other ouch today was a muckle big customs charge for a rash fabric purchase from a US online shop.  It was a late night click-a-thon and I am a little ashamed by it and then just knew it was caught by customs when it took so long to arrive.  Nearly 20 quid charges!  Flipping heck - mind, when I opened the parcel up and saw some lovely Center City....

and some Architextures.....

not every print from each collection but all half yards - what was I thinking?!  Sorry there are no photos of the actual real life fabric but it's just too dark all the time.

So with that and USPS putting up their prices big style and the general feeling that a fabric fast is required, my wagon just doesn't cover the booze but also fabric purchases - both are OFF LIMITS!  And if there is an absolute need, I'm buying British!  Anyone know a good FAA support group?

*wanders off for a lie down, all jacked up on decongestant and self pity*

Friday, 11 January 2013


I love cake.  It's no secret.  If I was giving up cake instead of wine this month, it would be just as hard.  I particularly love the cakes that Tanya makes for us Stitching Together ladies when we gather at her house once a month for a sew and a chatter (or in my case this week a flop on the couch and a cake-a-thon!).  I wish I'd have taken photos - next time for sure.  She was kind enough to give me some to take home for Laughing Boy to make him feel better about having had a stinking cold since October.

Whilst everyone was sewing and in between my crap storytelling and monsterous cake eating, I was thinking about a quilt I saw on Pinterest that I want to make for a dear work colleague and his lovely wife.....

Source: via Moira on Pinterest

So simple but really pretty.  I cracked open my EQ7, blew some of the dust off and worked out how to make it really quickly - two block types: a nine patch and a square with triangle corners (well I understand what I mean ;)). I made each block size 9 1/2inches unfinished. Here are the colour options:

matches the photo, colourwise
I've always fancied making a red and white quilt - classic

something a little funkier?
What do you think?  Solids or patterns? It should be fairly quick to put together once it's all cut out.  It might be my March entry for A Lovely Year of Finishes?

edited to add (as I'm linking up with Rebecca today, if the technical issues get sorted)
Thursday Think Tank

Monday, 7 January 2013

Day 7: back with a bump

Day 7 of January and the Dryathlon means a return to work for me.  So far, I've had two cups of coffee, one cup of tea, forgotten all my passwords, crashed my PC, pressed the seams of some quilting blocks whilst waiting for the PC to reboot, gone through my emails and opened my post (which happened to be a parcel of loveliness from Brenda at Pink Castle Fabrics!) and it's not even half 10.  I am about to start marking a big pile of assignments but needed to get this post out of my head first.

Bertha Janome is back home, all fixed and lovely.  Whilst she will never be quiet, she is a lot more peaceful and fluff free....
an old photo of my basic but trusty Bertha
So having spend the festive break dreaming of creating things and not being able to, I have been chain stitching up a storm, finally getting stuck into one of the toddler quilts I've been meaning to start for ages...

the beginnings of a quilt for little Jack

And to ensure that I get on with it, Jack's quilt will be my Finish for January and I'm linking with Melissa and Shanna who are hosting the 2013: A Lovely Year of Finishes.

A Lovely Year of Finishes

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Day 2

As you probably know, I'm a Scot. In Scotland, the 2nd of January is a public holiday (mainly becuase everyone is still celebrating/getting over Hogamney) and even though I've lived in England for a wee while now, I have never gotten used to people going to work on the 2nd.  I have pretty much always taken it as a holiday - it's the only civilised thing to do!


Today is also Day 2 of my Dryathlon attempt, where I have sworn off the booze for the entire month of January, in support of Cancer Research UK (and in memory of my mum).  I've never been an athlete before and now for this month at least I'm a dryalthlete! Now I love my wine so it's not as easy as it sounds. If you are keen to support me and help raise money for Cancer Research please go to my justgiving page and pledge some dosh:

Thank you (and my liver thanks you too!)