Monday, 14 April 2014

More hand sewing

Another week-end and another large number of hours spent in the car as we drove back from our lovely holidays in the Alps. Once we were down the twisty, tiny roads from the mountain, I got all my supplies out ready for another few hours of sewing, interrupted of course by all sorts of demands from the 3 munchkins at the back, but I still managed quite a bit. I finished my Patchwork of the Cross block for Jan in shabby chic floral

and I also worked on my Midnight in the Oasis quilt. The first border is made of squares with melons or orange peels applique in a flower shape. There are 20 of those squares (or 80 shapes to applique!) and I decided that I would needle turn applique by hand (by far my preferred applique method). I have applique a melon for a very very long time but I have done quite a few in the past on my Dear Jane blocks. I prepared my shapes with freezer paper on top before we left, gathered my favorite YLI silk thread for the applique and I was ready for the task ahead. I also for the first time tried my Appliquick scissors and I must say they are brilliant, no fraying of the fabric at all when you clip the curves, how good is that?

I managed to finish 3 blocks with the shapes I had prepared.

So that will be 4 blocks so far for April for the 350-blocks challenge.

I spent the rest of the trip working on my Once Upon a Time cross stitch sampler as I am still so far behind!
Linking to Anything Goes Monday and Building Blocks Tuesday.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

English Paper Piecing

Once again I have spent a relatively big amount of time in the car as we drove to our spring break

and although we have shared the driving with DH, I still had some time for some hand sewing, I prepared my piec for my English Paper Piecing bee blocks. And my Sewtogether bag is perfect to hold all my supplies together: templates, pieces of fabric, pins, thread and scissors.

All my pieces are prepared for my Patchwork of the Cross block for Jan who wanted a shabby chic block

and I have nearly 3 hexies flowers ready for the Inchy Hexie Swap

Linking to Building Blocks Tuesday and a new-to-me linky party but really fitting for today Hexie Week-end.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Let's talk about binding...

How boring you might think? Well I am not about to write a tutorial about binding or compare different techniques but just to showcase one of my quilt with a different binding for Val's Archive Tuesday this week. As soon as I read the theme, I knew which quilt I would pick. But because this is one of my pre-blogging time quilt, I am writing about it now, a nice occasion for me to look back on a quilt I made a long time ago.

10 years ago my Grand-Mum turned 80 and I decided (just a few weeks before her birthday) to make her a quilt, as you do. I had found a lovely pattern in Magic Patch for a log cabin medaillon with an applique border. Log Cabin is one of my favorite block I must say! The quilt was made in red and green and when I went shopping for fabric (I hardly had a stash in those days, ah ah ah - not sure what went wrong after that!) I must say it was difficult to find red and green without falling into the Christmas theme. Anyway, I selected a nice stack of fabric and starting piecing my log cabins straight away. I worked on my applique border any time I had a chance, taking it with me to Denmark for the Fanoe quilt festival I attended to meet Brenda Papadakis and take a few Dear Jane classes with her (where I learnt how to do needle turn applique) and finished the quilt top in a few weeks.
I kept my quilting quite simple I must admit but I hadn't made that many quilt by then and all the negative space was too intimidating for me.

And to finish this quilt, I used a lovely prairie point binding which I really really like. I like how the prairie points finish the quilt while adding to it. I like that you can reuse all the fabric you have used in your quilt. I like how it frames the quilt with just a little zest of fantasy.
The quilt was finish in about 6 weeks which wasn't bad for a nearly beginner, although I didn't have the distraction of children at the time! 10 years later, my Grand-Mum still displays my quilt proudly on her bed and sleep under it every night. Now she will turn 90 this year, maybe it would be time I think about her birthday present.
Linking to Val's Archive Tuesday.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Finish Along - Q2 goal setting

The first quarter is over, time to plan for Quarter 2 for Katy's Challenge

1 Cat Quilt - top pieced, needs quilting and binding - already on my list for Q1

2 Modern She Made Swap - Hexagons, pattern and fabric picked

3 Work bag for myself - started years ago but stopped because of a zip fear! - already on my list in Q1

4. Bag for Maud -started 5 years ago...

6 My Siblings Together 2 Bee quilt - 1 block missing - finish quilt as soon as all the blocks are available -  already on my list for Q1

7 September in the Hexagon - need to be quilted, top pieced. - already on my list for Q1

8 New school bag for Mr Cars - fabric and pattern selected

9 Dance bag for Miss Strawberry Shortcake - fabric and pattern selected 

10 Triangle Quilt Along quilt - fabric and pattern selected

11. Cat Quilt - fabric and pattern selected

12. Sewtogether bags for teacher's presents (4) - fabric picked but I am anxious about making those pouches so I might change my mind for the pattern if the first one goes wrong.

Again, this is probably an ambitious list... but hopefully I'll cross a few off by the end of June!
Linking to Finish Along Q2

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Sewing with triangles

Last week was all about cutting 200+ triangles, this week it is about sewing them into rows, exactly 12 rows of 17 triangles.
I have cut 17 different fabric for my quilt but I don't have an equal number of triangles from each fabric, I have 8, 16 or 24 triangles for the different patterns.

Bearing those numbers in mind, I have been trying to sew my rows of triangles randomly with some order! I want a balance of the fabric I use in the rows so I don't end up with one rows with 8 fabrics and one with 17. And an orderly random arrangement is more difficult than it seems!
This is where I have got to so far! I have sewn 75 triangles together so far and started my 12 rows,  129 more to add. I must say it is coming along together relatively quickly, I think it takes me more time to decide which triangle to pick rather than actually sewing it!

I like how it is coming along so far
I need to finish all the 12 rows promptly as we are putting them together next week to get the quilt top ready.

Linking to Anything Goes Monday, Design Wall MondayWIP Wednesday, WOW, Needle and Thread Thursday, Brit Thursday Linky Party, Friday Fabric Frenzy and the Triangle Quilt-Along

Friday, 4 April 2014

Farmer's Wife linky party

March was an empty month on the Farmer's Wife front for me as I didn't manage to make one single block sadly. So I am still at 25 blocks, no progress there.
Did you make any blocks?
Share them here in the linky party so we can encourage each others.



Thursday, 3 April 2014

Triangles galore

Cutting, cutting, cutting to get a grand total of 208 triangles, that's quite a big pile!

For the first time, I have used starch and I really liked the feel of the fabric, so maybe I'll use it again in the future. I have used 17 fabric in total.

Here is a closer view of my triangles, ready for the next step of sewing!

Linking to WIP Wednesday, WOWBrit Sewing Thursday Linky, Needle and Thread Thursday, Fabric Frenzy Friday and of course, the Triangle quilt-along.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

March in review, goals for April

Another month is over, where does the time go? Let's look back at my over ambitious list and see what I have crossed off
1. Finish off my items for the Sewing Room swap - done, sent, received!
2. Catch up on my Simply Solids blocks (December) - done, sent
3. Make my Siblings Together 2 blocks (February March) - 1 for February and all March blocks (finished last night!)
4. Inchy Hexie swap (March) - done, sent
5. Block for the Lotto -none
6. Beads on a string blocks for Mod Mod Along - none
7. Start my You've got Mail wall hanging for the NewFO challenge - 4 envelopes and 2 pencils done
8. Finish my cat quilt - top is pieced but still need quilting - This was my chosen project for this month for the challenge from A lovely Year of Finishes.
9. Finish Maud's bag - Lazy Bums challenge for March - not touched
10. Catch up on my + and x blocks - none
11. Make 10 Farmer's Wife blocks - none this month sadly
12. Finish the central medaillon of my Midnight in the Oasis - no progress
13. I love Lucy international block (March)  - done
14. Stash Bee crazy block (March) - finished last night

15. Wonky star for the Little Blog Bee (March) - done
16. Bee Europa blocks (March) - done
17. Join the Triangle Quilt Along - fabric picked

350 blocks challenge - 30 this month (with 7 finished last night especially to meet the challenge, yeah!)

And a little mosaic of my March makes
1. Bee Europa 2. Get Your Hex On 3. Inchy Hexie Swap 4 and 5. Sewing Room Swap 6. Little Blog Bee 7. I love Lucy International 8. Siblings together 2 9. Stash bee 10-14. You've Got Mail 15. Once Upon a Time cross stitch Sampler 16. Cat Quilt top

And now for April
1. Make my Siblings Together 2 blocks (February x 1, April x 2)
2. Inchy Hexie swap (April) - 
3. Block for the Lotto
4. Beads on a string blocks x 10 and Star Cross x 3 for Mod Mod Along
5. Finish off my blocks for the You've got Mail wall hanging - need 4 more envelopes
6. Finish my cat quilt
7. Finish Maud's bag and my work bag- Lazy Bums challenge for March and April
8. Catch up on my + and x blocks 
9. Make 10 Farmer's Wife blocks 
10. Finish the central medaillon of my Midnight in the Oasis 
11. I love Lucy international block (April)  
12. Stash Bee  block (April) 
13. Wonky log cabin for the Little Blog Bee (April) 
14. Bee Europa blocks (April) 
15. Finish my quilt for Triangle Quilt Along - my NewFO challenge for April too
16. Continue working on my Once Upon a Time Sampler
I will pick #15 as the one item I would like to cross off my list as I am doing this one as a gift.

Linking to A lovely Year of Finishes, Fresh Sewing Day


Sunday, 30 March 2014

Sewing from the week

This week has been heavily disrupted in our house. First I spent Monday night in A&E with Miss Strawberry Shortcake but all is well and we eventually came home in the small hours of the night. And on Tuesday I received the call I feared from my brother to tell me that my Grand-Dad passed away. So we packed and went home for the week-end to say our last Good-Bye and be there for the funerals. My Grand-Dad turned 88 last Sunday so he has been blessed with a long and happy life but regardless, it was very emotional and hard to let him go one last time.

Needless to say that all the plans for this week have gone through the window and little got done. Today is Mother's Day in England and I must say it has been a slow day for me, I have been feeling physically exhausted, I guess this is the consequence of the last week.

I have spent a considerable amount of time in the car to travel back and forth to France, which has helped to work on my Once Upon a Time sampler for the 30/30 Sewing Challenge. Of course, I haven't caught up yet but I am very happy with my progress this month. From here at the beginning of March
to there tonight

I also managed to get started on my other project for the 30/30 Sewing Challenge, the You've Got Mail wall-hanging. I completed 3 envelopes and one pencil blocks. This was also my NewFO Challenge for March, I am glad I started it, now to finish it... one day.

My NewFO project for April will be the Triangle Quilt-Along. I have selected my fabric, now to get started (and hopefully finished) in April. Wish me luck!

And of course with plenty of hand sewing time, I finished my block for the I Love Lucy International Bee for March (#13 on my March aLYoF)

I also finished my block for the Little Blog Bee (#15 on my March aLYoF)

These make my total of blocks for March so far for the 350 blocks Challenge at 22 blocks. I need 8 more by tomorrow night, not sure I'll manage to meet this month target once again.
Linking to 30/30 Sewing Challenge, Anything Goes Monday, Building Blocks Tuesday, NewFO Challenge.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Baby quilt - a look in my archive

Another pre-blog quilt today for Val's Tuesday Archives. I started quilting in 2002 with a project far too difficult for a beginner, an applique quilt based on a traditional French Game called Jeu de l'Oie.
 I found the pattern in a French magazine and the instructions were not very detailed onto how to make it. But with no fear, I went ahead, started shopping for red and white fabric and started applique (by hand) all the little squares that were required for the quilt. I didn't know anything about needle turn applique or reverse applique or even fusible applique or machine applique at the time so I used a straight running stitch on each of the pieces (I discovered needle turn applique a couple of years later while working on my Dear Jane blocks).

 I made all the blocks and assembled the top over several months and I eventually went to a quilting class at my local quilting shop to discover how to quilt. I kept my quilting quite basic for a first quilt but then it was the first time I was dealing with a quilt sandwich!
I learnt how to bind the quilt with mitered corners from a book from Harriet Hargrave and after several months, my first quilt was finished ready to give to my new baby cousin. I have come a long way since this first quilt and learnt a lot and looking back, it wasn't probably the most recommended project for a first quilt, but never mind, I made it, gifted it and was happy I had completed a quilt. Then of course, I had caught the bug! Linking to Val's Quilting Studio.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Some sewing from the past week and some projects

This week has been good I think, I was hoping to get caught up with all my bee blocks, well that doesn't quite work as I caught side tracked. The only block ready to go is my block for Bee Europa and one more block for the 350-blocks challenge

But this is what I spent most of my time on: I picked up my cat quilt in-progress to try and finish the top. This is my chosen project for the March Lovely Year of Finishes and the end of the month is coming quickly. Most of the blocks I had were made by my fellow bees last year for Bee Europa but I decided that the top was not big enough and I needed to have it 6 x 6 rather than 5 x 5. I made one extra block last year but I still needed 10 more.

So I made 10 more blocks this week (and that's 10 blocks more for the 350 blocks challenge!), Miss Strawberry Shortcake arranged them yesterday and I finished the top. Now I am planning to quilt it next week-end.
350-blocks challenge: 17 this month, just about one week to make 13 more!

And on the 30/30 Sewing Challenge, I progressed my cross stitch a little. I started March (OK I haven't finished January and hardly started February, but never mind!)
And I also made the first block of my You've Got Mail wall-hanging (finally!), which is also my NewFO challenge for March

Oh, and I also need to show you the lovely pin I won on Barbara's blog last month for the NewFO challenge. It couldn't suit me better, could it?

And finally (as if I didn't have enough projects already), I will take part in the Triangle Quilt Along which started on Friday.
I went shopping today to buy some blue for my quilt that I am planning to make for my friend's birthday. (A few came from my stash!)

Linking to 30/30 Sewing Challenge, Whoop Whoop Friday, NewFO Challenge, Anything Goes Monday, Brit Sewing Thursday Linky, Triangle Quilt Along.

Just Sew Sue


Monday, 17 March 2014

Hand stitching and a last-minute PE bag

As usual I had great plans for the week ahead and the week-end last Monday but most of them went out of the window. On Tuesday evening about dinner time, Miss Strawberry Shortcake announced that she needed a PE kit for...tomorrow. Of course I had some fabric to make drawstring bag but I hadn't made it yet as it hadn't been required. So after my exercise class, I did set off to make her bag. In all honesty, it didn't take long, probably about 30 minutes in total but that wasn't on my to-do list! But anyway this is another OPAM for March and another one off my Finish Along list.

And then after a long week at work and also emotionally, my Mum called to say my Grand-Dad wasn't well so we decided to make a flying visit to the family in France over the week-end. My Mum and Grand-Mum were cheered up a little by the kids' company and could go to hospital and spend time with my Grand-Dad. I am not sure whether he knew I was there with him but anyway, I sat by his bedside for most of Saturday afternoon.
And I did some hand-stitching while I was there. I finished my last 2 blocks for the Get Your Hex On! Bee

I also spent a lot of time in the car so more hand sewing time, which means I also finished my 2 hexie flowers for Joke for the Inchy Hexie Swap (entry #4 on my March list!)

That gives me 4 more blocks for March for a small total of 5 so far, I need 25 more for the 350 blocks challenge!

I have hardly turned my machine on last week so no progress on my You've Got Mail wall-hanging as yet. All I have managed is to print the paper piecing templates (I guess this is a start) but I have made some progress on my Once Upon A Time Sampler - reporting for the 30/30 Sewing Challenge

And finally I came home one day last week to a wonderful package from Melissa for the Sewing Room Swap.
 Yummy clamshells
 And look at the circle of geese pincushion.

Yes it is the Sewtogether bag filled with lots of yummy goodies, which is wonderful. I used it already this week-end and showed my Mum and Grand-Mum who were both impressed! A useful pouch for my EPP blocks. Another fantastic swap where I really feel spoiled.

Linking to Berry Barn Design and Building Blocks Tuesday.


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