Finished Quilts

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Gordon Burns

As I have mentioned before, I'm in Round 10 of the Pillow Talk Swap and believe me the standards are super high.  There are some real lovelies on there and for a newbie (to this swap at least) like me, it can feel like a Krypton Factor style challenge - physical, intellectual, emotional!  Anyhoo, it has also resulted in me wanting to keep what I've made!  Here you go...

attempt at an arty shot :-/

there is no light today so apologies for the rubbish photos

I finished the straight line quilting (1/4" lines in white, then green, then grey) on Monday and then had the hardest time deciding on a backing.  Many fabrics were trialled and I almost used a treasured Melody Miller print but then I thought it would be better (and more summery!) if I used the same fabric as the pop of colour on the front so Heather Bailey Pop won out.  I was planning of a hidden zip along one of the seams but couldn't for the life of me work out how to do it so I used Jude's great tute and did a covered zip back.  I lined the back too (more puzzles!).  Of course, I have since worked out the hidden zipper thing (at about 3am yesterday morning!) - oh well, next time.  I was worried about the size (finished at a little over 19" square) especially when I used the cheap IKEA filler I had - not much padding. So I bought a plumper 20" filler and it looks much better.

I am super chuffed with this cushion/pillow and it goes really well in our living room.  My partner is silent so I just have to hope that she feels the same as the kind commenters on Flickr.  I think I will be making this again - maybe with a little more planning, or maybe not ;-)

This Saturday is the East Midlands Modern Quilt Guild meeting and I can't wait.  I think this cushion may be taken to present in the Show and Tell section #proudmum.

Edited to add link to Finish it up Friday over at Crazy Mom Quilts

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

a pressing matter

I hate ironing.  OK, hate may be a strong word - I could happily live without ever having to use an iron...which is the wrong attitude for a quilter of course.  Laughing Boy used to do all the ironing chez kettleboiler.  I even bought him a manly iron (all silver and grey with manly words on the side, like POWER) and I loved that iron.  OK, loved is maybe too much but we became friends.  That iron took my hand and showed me that pressing seams wasn't so bad.  Then my quilting vomit organisation began to take over the spare room, where the ironing is done. So rather than tidy up every time I had finished sewing (where's the fun in that?!), I took on the ironing duties. Yup, my commitment to creative messiness knows no bounds.

Then disaster... manly iron got sick and died.  I was actually quite upset - we had become friends, you know.  I then made a school girl error and took Laughing Boy shopping with me for a new iron.  So instead of replacing manly with manly, I was cajoled into buying a cheaper white model, with its promise of gliding and no drips.  I hate our new iron and I mean that!  I think it hates me too.  It spurts water out of the top at me.  It refused to glide when I most need it too. It falls over... a lot. It is no manly iron :(

In a bid to realign our relationship, I made it this....

an iron cozy
a quilted bottom
I'm planning on making iron cozies for my FQR sample swap item and used Elizabeth Oh Fransson's great pattern to make this one.  I had a couple of construction issues (all user error - mostly due to forgetting to put my foot down d'oh!) so this one is staying with me and my friend, not-manly iron.  I know where I went a bit wibbly wobbly so the next ones should be fine. 

I don't think not-manly iron is convinced yet....

edited to include link to Show and Tell Tuesdays over at Randi's.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

wip wednesday - PTS 10

First up, thanks for all your kind comments on my Socialite top.  I would have included an "action" shot but we don't have any big mirrors in the house and Laughing Boy hates taking photos so I'll try to get one taken by someone else at the weekend.

Now, I don't normally do WIP Wednesdays usually because I don't feel I have much to show.  The week I decide to join in turns out to be the week Lee @ Freshly Pieced decides not to hold her linky party.  Och well.  I'll share anyway. 

One night a few weeks back, in a brave attempt to avoid late night fabric shopping, I found myself on Flickr and signing up for the Pillow Talk Swap 10 swap.  I think it was this one that tipped me over the edge and made me realise that I needed to stop swapping for a while.  Don't get me wrong, I am stoked to be part of this swap.  It's just that I'm a little intimidated by the amazing loveliness that everyone makes so for me PTS has meant Pre-Trauma Stress!  I have a very talented partner and had a pretty good idea what I wanted to make.  That was until I was inspired to travel a different path when I saw this on one of Jo's Pinterest boards:

It's gorgeous huh? A year or so ago I would have tried to make a slavish copy.  Instead I've used it as my inspiration to make this:

needs an iron!
Now I was really sceptical half way through making the 64 paper pieced blocks that make up this top but, now that it's done, I'm pretty chuffed with how it turned out.  I AM worried that it doesn't really follow my partner's brief, although she mentioned that she likes grey, blue and green (although she did say emerald green) but her inspiration mosaic had a number of triangle based things.  She's a little quiet on Flickr at the moment so I'm not sure I'll get any feedback on this.  The big question (as usual) is whether to make something else as a back up, just in case.... or to just go with it.  My plan is to do some dense straight line quilting with a zip at the end seam and a blue and grey back so it can be used either side.

The other thing is that it's pretty big - I got the maths a bit wrong.  I'm talking 20" square finished so it'll need a bigger form than requested too - I may send a form with it to make up for my oops.  It needs to be in the post next week to meet the deadlines so I'll plough on and make a final decision when it's done and done.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

socialite? moi?

I feel a little sheepish - the week I host the slow blogger linky party and I am blogging more than usual.  That's just the way it rolls I guess.  And I am just stoked at my latest  (almost) finish, my first for the me me me bee.  Using the AMH Socialite dress pattern I have had for a-a-a-a-a-a-a-ages, I made my first ever top....

I still need to hem it
Here's the's got no sleeves and it's brown so it's not my usual type of thing.  Obviously it will only be worn with a cardigan. And the colours mean that it could be a cardigan in a number of hues. #result.  It's not finished yet...I still have to hem it (I'm thinking just lower than my hips - sort of a short tunic) and "serge" the seams.  I was planning to do French seams but chickened out last minute and regret that a bit. The gathering around the neckline could have been better. It is so not perfect but I learned heaps making it, like I need to be patient when I cut out, that I'm pretty good at free cutting with a rotary cutter (again slow and steady), that my seam accuracy needs some work, that pinning, pinning, pinning is the way forward.  Och, and loads of other stuff. I could have fussy cut the fabric for the neck line maybe. Oh, and it rammed home how untidy I am as a creative person. There is sh*t everywhere.

I am in love with it, even though it's a teeny bit nippit* and Laughing Boy is less than enthusiastic about it. I am eternally grateful to lovely Di for "lending" me her steam a seam stuff (meant to be for my weekender bag *blush*) which I used to help finish the neckline seams neat and tidy. And, it has made me feel that I can work on stuff for other people this week without being grumpy about it - kind of taking the pressure off - which makes it a win-win AND is totally what the me me me bee is all about  :).  I'm off to sew a kettleboiler label into my new top and plan my school house tunic *wanders off, dazed with delight*

* nippit - Scottish for a little snug

Thursday, 16 May 2013

care to join me?

Following yesterday's blog post and some of the lovely comments it has received, I am starting a new Bee!  *ducks head to miss biatch slap*  Hear me out.  This is a Bee with a difference...

here's the link to the Flickr Group

The rules of this bee are simple.  Join up as and when you want, plan to make something for yourself, something that you want to make... not for anyone else.... just made by you for you. A big thing or a small thing, it's up to you.  Do this as little or as often as you need to keep the sewing goddesses happy - a little bit of selfish sewing to redress the balance. If you'd like, we could have a linky party every couple of months or so (now I know how to do it!) and I'm thinking of a little giveaway now and then too. to join me?

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

slow, slow, quick, quick, slow....

Knotted Cotton

A big thank you to Catherine for letting me host this month's slow blogger linky party.  As you may know, Catherine champions those of us who are being creative but perhaps at a more relaxed pace to others.  I remember, when I first started blogging, feeling that I couldn't keep up with many of the inspirational people I was following who were so productive all the time.  Of course, it's not a race but sometimes it's good to take the pressure off and remember that life will do its best to butt in and mess up the "To Do" list and that that's ok.  I go through periods of hectic (well hectic for me!) activity often followed by fallow times where I'd rather hang out on the couch with Laughing Boy (football permitting, obvs.) or need to clear the decks.  I like to think I'm on a foxtrot vibe (complete with wafty dress and Hollywood hair!)

I am still in April time in my head (and my To Do list) and can't quite believe it's mid May already!  This week, I am rushing to catch up with bee blocks.  My MIL gave me a thorough telling off last week, complaining that I keep "playing around" with the odd block here and there when I should be creating wonderous things. In some ways she is right, I have over committed myself to Bees and swaps this year. But I do love them and they do push me out of my comfort zone, which is no bad thing.  Of course, it does mean that I often don't sew for myself or get the chance to finish (or even start!) big things like quilts.  So I am on the Bee/swap wagon for the rest of the year - no new sign ups, honest guv'.  You have permission to biatch slap me if you see me sidling up to any new ones, ok?

Hopefully, this means I'll soon get a chance to dive into this pile of loveliness and start making some summer tops....

well they are summery for me!
What are you up to this month? Anything for summer?

Monday, 13 May 2013

around the world, around the world...

... I am in the Daft Punk zone right now!  I am Juliette Lewis!!  Ahem.... wrong song you numpty....where was I?

I've finally cleared the decks of my outstanding Quilts Around The World II bee blocks and I am one relieved bunny that's for sure.

First up, Marian who wanted a limited palette of grey, light blue and yellow and here's what she got...

evening time photo, sorry
I had to use the seam ripper a couple times, because of my cack handedness but I'm chuffed how it turned out.  I wish I'd been a little more fussy cut minded with the middle pebbles though.  Anyway, here are Marian's blocks so far...

pretty cool, huh?
Then it was onto the lovely Joan (who is one of my inspirations so I was so pleased that we ended up in this bee together). She wanted stars in a green/blue on white style and she's a paper piecing queen so I had to do another PP star, which was a pleasure....

one of the Lucky Star blocks
I cheated a little by adding some architextures in the background so I hope Joan likes it.  Her quilt is doing to be fab - here are her blocks so far...

And finally, Anita wanted a global neighbourhood - such a neat idea.  But this kind of block is so out of my comfort zone so I was dreading this one a little.  No option but to dive in, right?  Well, here's how that went....

still needs a good iron, obvs.
I'm not sure it's quite finished yet.  I think it might need a little zhush in the sky area.  I based the house on one of Elizabeth Oh Fransson's blocks from her Modern Patchwork book.  Here are her blocks so far....

a fun collection
The rest of this week is all about bee blocks too.  Modern Mavericks up next.....after I finish dancing like a robot...

Friday, 10 May 2013

lunch is for wimps

I can always tell how my morning has gone wit the wee man by the carnage left when he goes for his lunchtime nap.  Despite having gone out to that toddler group, it looks like a whirlwind has torn through the house and the wee man has been put to bed with no lunch.  I was making lunch but it all became too much for him and he declared himself outta here!  So the house is now quiet and I thought I'd pop in to say hi before having a stiff drink strong coffee.

No sewing of any note this week as my dad came to stay for a long weekend.  It was lovely to have him and the wee man adores him so I don't mind sewing paying the price.  He did, however, provide two great sewing moments. Firstly, he brought me this....

My mum's sewing machine - a Singer Silver Model 2000. So now I am the proud owner of two machines - it feels like a rite of passage somehow ;).  I took it to Tanya's on Wednesday night for Stitching It Together and worked out how to use it (still working out the button hole maker).  Top loading!

He also bought me this....

a foldaway picnic / card table cheap as chips from Morrisons no more cutting out on the floor. Huzzah! And we managed to sneak it past Laughing Boy with a pretence that it was useful at BBQs (he wasn't fooled!).

Then yesterday after a super long day at work marking assignments until my eyes bed, I came home to a parcel from my Modern She Made 3 swap partner, who turned out to be the lovely Jennie from Jennie's Threads.  I whooped with complete joy when I opened it all up and found these beauties....
not one, but TWO tear&share bags of skittles. Squeee!
Jennie stalked me to perfection...a cushion cover to die for, with pieces of architexture and pieced stars (and a beautiful back too...)

Two bags of my favourite Skittles AND a Melody Miller needle case.  I to an absolute T.  Love love love!  I am so lucky. Jennie is a genius!

I'm hoping to get back on the sewing horse this weekend if I manage to get through the rest of today unscathed! 

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

May Day

Well, how fast has May come round this year?  We've got a special visitor coming to stay over the bank holiday weekend and I've only just realised that it's this weekend.  Eeek!  *mad tidy up will have to ensue soon*  The visit will also put a kibosh on any sewing but that's OK, he's worth it :).

April wasn't as full of finishes as I'd hoped, partly because of a trip home at the start of the month and my satisfying a hankering to hang out with Laughing Boy of an evening.  But it did bring some fab sewing moments - the weekender bag workshop with the EMMQG ladies and the FQR Kinky Bee meet up certainly fed my sewing appetite and continued to prove that quilty people are just fabulous.  So here's what April ended up looking like...

I finished and gifted Charlie's quilt (huzzah!), bee blocks for the Kinky Bumblies and the QATWII ladies, some clothes for the wee man (from scratch and a bit zhushed) and a mega sewing pouch (or two -shhh!).  Oh and I sandwiched and basted Rory's quilt, cut out most of my weekender bag and got half way through this bee block..

for Marian (QATWII)
Hmmm...worried about the half finished stuff piling up. And it's bee blocks agogo on the To Do list. May is gonna be busy!

Lily's Quilts
Linking to Fresh Sewing Day at Lily's Quilts