Finished Quilts

Monday, 30 December 2013


health warning: it's a bit of a long one, this one.  I'd recommend an accompanying glass of  something soothing

I hope you all had a fab Christmas.  I am full of cheese (in a good way) but am feeling the need for dark green vegetables at some point soon - I should have asked for a juicer!  To ease me off the couch, I've been fannying around working hard with Picasa to make some year mosaics...

2013 quilts

all babies
Only four completed this year - it felt like more.  I have started some more and there are plenty in my head.  I feel a little unproductive, quiltwise, now I've seen this mosaic.  On the up side, one of them actually stayed with us! #firsttime

bee blocks

This was the year of the bee block for me.  Again, it felt like more.  I forgot to photo a couple I think.  I enjoyed the challenge of each of them but resented the sewing time they took up so 2014 will see a more reduced bee commitment.

other stuff

So I dabbled in dressmaking, cushion covers (for swaps), iron cosies (all swapped now!), scarves (all pressies) and bag making (all pressies).  Again, I have made a little more.  I need to get better at recoding my makes. 

It's that time of year where we all contemplate on our achievements or otherwise - a current blogland trend is the Top 5 Hits and Misses.  Never one to avoid a bandwagon, here goes....

Top 5 hits (in no particular order)

Learning how to paper piece #hooked

my lovelies
I love love love it - love the precision, the versatility, the options.  I need to get better at cutting fabric to size as I waste a lot.  But I am so glad I dived in and it was down to needing to make a bee block.

meeting up with my blogging friends IRL
It has been a real pleasure making friends through my hobby - being able to meet up in real life and become closer friends has been a real blessing this year.  This also includes being at the (re)birth of the East Midlands Modern Quilt Guild - a growing group of lovely people who are supportive, love cake, creative and inspirational. And the stitching together ladies too.

finding my own creative path
like many of us, I started out being overawed by the amazing creativity of some of the big bloggers (Elizabeth oh fransson, Ashley film in the fridge, Katy I'm a ginger monkey and so on) and wanting to recreate their designs.  This is the first year where I've started to figure out what my own design aesthetic might be.  Still in the early stages but I'm chuffed to feel like I've started on the journey.

finishing the wee man's quilt
It was started in September 2012 as part of one of my first bees and finished in November 2013. I pieced the back and did concentric circle quilting. It is one of my favourite makes - I love everything about it, especially that it is now being used on the wee man's big boy bed (2 nights in and no problems so far!).  That most of the blocks were made by friends of mine just adds to its awesomeness.

honing new skills
in addition to paper piecing (did I mention that I love that by the way?!), I taught myself how to sew an invisible zip, how to set a sleeve, how to do portholes, how not to do trapunto, to be more restrained in my fabric purchases, to be more confident in my bag making skills, not to breenge in too much, to piece with more accuracy, to cut out on a table!  Onwards!

Ok now to the Top 5 Misses...

this was the year I was going to jump in and go for it.  But I sat on the side lines and ogled other people's gorgeous creations instead.  I made a couple of things for the wee man and a couple of tops for me but not what I really wanted to do.  I was gripped by the fear of cutting into lovely fabric lest it all go a bit tits up, a bit like I used to be when I first started quilting.  I told myself it was because I didn't have any pinking shears.  Santa duly obliged and so I have no excuse for 2014. 

free motion quilting
I was prepared, had all the shizzizzle and everything (fmq foot, gloves, topstitching needles, a bolt of wadding).  I even took Trudi's top class at the FQR in July.  The big girl pants were almost on but didn't quite make it past the knees.  Not really sure why.  I have a plan for 2014.  I'm not as frightened as I was at the start of the year so that's something right?  #ridiculous

getting giddy with the bees and swaps
don't get me wrong, I have really enjoyed all the bees and swaps I've been part of this year but they have taken up so much of my time that I had little time for my own sewing and I began to resent my over commitment.  It takes me a while to get my head around what each one requires and then there's choosing the correct fabric and pattern and worrying about not being as good as everyone else.  It's easily solved, of course.  I won't withdraw completely, just be a little more realistic about my time #lifelessons

keeping up with blogs
it is probably just co-incidental but since the demise of Google Reader, I've struggled to keep up with all the blogs I follow.  I follow too many because of competition sign ups rather than because I am inspired by them and they crowd out the ones I really want to follow.  I use Bloglovin' and am frustrated by it on a daily basis. I feel disappointed in myself for not being able to comment on all the posts that I'd like to, for getting so far behind on my reading that sometimes a global "read all" is required.  Again, it's a relatively easy problem to solve...a little pruning is required and it's on my to do list.  This includes updating my own blog - it needs some loving (with a "g") and it's also on the list! 

unfinished business
I am realistic enough to know that WIPs are an integral part of a crafty girl's existence but there are a couple of key WIPs that I wanted to and should have finished by now.  Momentum is important and I need to harness it better.

So there you go, a mixed bag?  More hits than misses I'd say really, so on balance, not a bad crafty year.  Here's to 2014 and a great year for everyone xxx

Sunday, 15 December 2013


It appears that my sewjo has decided to go off on its holibags for December. That's after getting sucked in to Masterchef the Professionals (and being bitterly disappointed that Adam fluffed the final).  December so far has meant a Bumbling Honeys Christmas FQ swap organising by lovely Liz.  I forgot to take a photo of the fabric I sent to Teresa (some lovely Laura Gunn) but I made a drawstring pouch to go with it...

made from some gorgeous Joel Dewberry
that I got from a way too generous Amy
I say drawstring bag but I forgot the holes for the drawstring and couldn't find the seam ripper so had to improvise with some ribbon and a button.  Not very useful but it looks pretty.  Of course, as soon as I finished it I worked out a better way to do it #heyho

My FQ came courtesy of the gorgeous JoJo...

I had a much better photo but deleted it by mistake.  I hope you can pick out the fabulous origami stars, tucked into an equally fabulous piece of liberty #swoon.

Then it was my birthday and cake was made....

waiting for its chocolate fudge icing....
I can't recommend Nigella's old fashioned chocolate cake recipe highly enough. [I previously would have hash tagged Team Nigella here but someone has ruined that for me.]  I made salted caramel butter icing for the middle and chocolate fudge icing to cover it.  Flipping delicious, if I say so myself. And I ate enough to ensure consistent flipping deliciousness too!

And on the same weekend, I taught myself how to do portholes ....

you ain't seen me, roight?
Part of some secret sewing but I had to share cos I love it!  This was the sole product of my sewing weekend sans kiddo.  I ended up doing housework for most of it #weird.  Of course, there was the lovely red wine.......

Oh and this week, I got myself a new job too. #nobiggie #relief

And that's it!  I haven't even begun to finish the one and only handmade Christmas present on the list.  The wee man and I are off to Scotland in half an hour for the week and I should be packing.

Have a great Christmas.  See you on the other side xx

Thursday, 5 December 2013

blitzkreig bop

How did it end up being December already?  Proper December too, not just the start of the month.  I know I'm not very original with this cry but jeez louise where did November go?!

After coming down from the high of finally finishing the wee man's quilt, I walked back into my back bedroom/laundry room/home office/sewing space and was aghast at what looked like a bomb site.  I know that lots of you work neatly but I am a super messy crafter and sometimes it just gets too much.  Here's a snapshot of the really neat and tidy end of the room....

I do know what each pile is about though!
No wonder Laughing boy despairs of me.  Anyway after a swift stuffing of things in the stash cupboard and stuff drawer methodical blitz, I found the floor again!  And I managed to identify piles of cut fabric that were destined to be bee blocks but hadn't got very far in their quest.  So another bee block blitzkrieg....

First up, Krista's Modern Maverick blocks ... two ribbon stars...

the middle stars are dark grey
I thought I'd done well in terms of accurate cutting but that wasn't the case so they took longer than they should have to get done #sigh

Next up, Teresa's Bumbling Honeys blocks

I've never done string blocks before and they were fun and pretty quick.  I was too chicken to cut them down to the actual size that Teresa wants, given my cutting accuracy issues - better too big, right?

Finally, and very late, Tanya's QATWII block.  She wanted rainbow stars and my printer was on the blink so I needed to make something that wasn't paper pieced.  Tanya lives in New Zealand so I went with a very tenuous version of the stars on the NZ flag....

it's upside down, obviously!
And here are her blocks so far...

football softie is an optional extra

I've still got a ways to go before I conquer the BB mountain and the air is getting rare up here but the wee man is off to his Nana's this weekend and I think I've got a full day sewing on the cards so fingers crossed for one last push.

Here's one thing keeping me company (in my head)....

Linking with Liz and Claire's Brit Sewing Thursday Linky thingy

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Check out this giveaway

I first saw Tilly on the Great British Sewing Bee but only recently starting following her blog.  She's got a great giveaway at the moment:

Go here to check it out