Monday, 8 September 2014

Slowly catching up on my bee blocks

I have fallen behind quite badly on my bee blocks, there are so many fun swaps at the moment that it is very hard to resist and then of course I stretch myself so much! I was hoping to catch up over the summer but it didn't quite happen. Anyway, I have finally pieced 3 of my blocks that are on their way!
There is a flying geese block in white and cream for Alissa for the Stash Bee
and a chevron block for Natalie for the Little Blog Bee
and finally a 30s inspired Patchwork of the Cross block for Hannah for I love Lucy International.
These will count as my first 3 blocks for the 350-blocks challenge.

And I also started on my apple dumpling swap for round 3. Love the theme!

Linking to Building Blocks Tuesday, WIP Wednesday, WOW

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Not one but two bags!

This week has been very very busy, very very stressful and very very tiring! But I did manage to fit little sewing time. And because I am so much better with deadlines and a queen of last-minute, I did manage to finish 2 bags this week! The kiddies were back to school this week, Tuesday for the 2 eldest and Friday for the first time for Miss Baby.

A few years back I won a messenger bag pattern by Candied Fabrics during the Blogger's Quilt Festival. The pattern is available in 2 sizes and gives lots of pockets options. I had pre-cut all my pieces for both bags during the holidays and prepared them with the interfacing I was going to use so it was *JUST* a matter of sitting at the sewing machine and stitching, *just*!

I started by constructing the multiple pockets for the bag which took a few evenings like the bottle pocket

and eventually on Monday I sat down with all the pieces and a fast-apporaching deadline as the bag needed to be finished for the following evening.
And I made it! I used Decovil for this bag (that was my first try).

The drape is nice and the bag is sturdy but it was also very hard to turn it back to the right side once finished! I had to ask hubby to do it for me and to model it too!

It makes the layers quite thick too so I was glad I have a strong sewing machine. But I also really like the finish of the bag and would most probably use it again in the future.

For Miss Baby I had found a coated fabric
for the outside so I used a reasonably thin interfacing for the pieces. I was to use some wadding too but I left it out in the end. I made less pockets on this one as she is only going to pre-school anyway and worked on my bag late on Thursday night
and the "beauty of the late, last minute" sewing time meant that I had to redo the last step to put together the outside and inside bags 3 times as I kept sewing it the wrong way...
but eventually I finished it the right way and had a bag ready to go!

And that's my 2 first OPAMs for September!
Linking to Whoop Whoop Friday, Anything goes Monday, Finish Along Q3, A lovely year of finishes.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

It's a Sister Thing Swap

Earlier in the summer, Michele proposed a fun little swap: It's a Sister Thing. I haven't got a sister (in my real life) but I have a lovely brother (although he doesn't quilt! He has other passions though) so I thought it would be a fun swap and signed up. I knew straight away that I would make a sewing kit that I had made before and cut the fabric while I was away. I noticed that Penny had joined the hexie swap so I applique some little tiny hexies on my kit.

I also wanted to do a mini quilt for Penny but I wasn't sure what to make, even after stalking her. I went through my (large) collection of quilting book and selected the Fractal design from Ali's lovely Quilt Lab book which is rather neutral and made it with solids too. I really like the design and I can see more of these in my future!
I decided on a spiral for the quilting to contrast with the squares in the design

I finished the binding all by machine using a black batik I had left from my Batik Stars quilt.

Quilt stats: Fractal
Top: kona cotton solids and klona cotton solids
Backing and binding fabric: black batik
Size: 24' square
Machine pieced and machine quilted with Aurifil #4654.
Started and finished 30 Aug 14

These were my 2 last OPAMs for August and another item of my Q3 Finish-Along list
And this is the package I sent to Penny, with items picked at the Festival of Quilts, on holidays in France and here at home.

Now let me show you how Gina, my secret sister spoiled me rotten. Dive with me in the fantastic parcel that was waiting for me on my return from my holidays:
And now for a closer look at the goodies,
how cute is this mug rug, so cute and so white that I have actually hanged it onto the wall so nobody can touch it.

And now for the mini, I just completely love it. It is wonderful, fresh, modern, original... The mini made it straight from the box to my bedroom wall where it looks fantastic. Hubby loves it too actually.
Look at Gina's fantastic free-motion quilting as well (there is even my name on the quilt!)

Thank you very much Gina, I feel truly blessed to have such a generous and caring Secret Sister and I really appreciate your very thoughful and wonderful package. And thanks to Michele for organising such a fun swap.
Linking to It's a Sister's Thing Swap Linky Party and to Q3 Finish Along.

Monday, 1 September 2014

September goals

School starts back tomorrow, I can't believe the summer is over already (for what we had of a summer anyway!). Time to get serious and set down my goals for September.

Hoping for Finishes!
1.  Make a book bag for Mister Cars and one for Miss Baby for school, these will be my challenge for A lovely Year of Finishes

2. Dumpling Swap - NewFO 
3. Trick or Treat Swap- NewFO 

Bee Blocks
1. Stash Bee block (June, July, August and September) 
2. Little Blog Bee block (August) 
3. Block Lotto blocks? 
4. I love Lucy international block (July, August and September)
5. flower hexies for the Inchy Hexie Swap (September) 

1. Midnight in the Oasis 
2. Mod Mod Along blocks: Sunrise Blocks x 6, Little Window blocks x 11 and Sweet Dreams blocks
3. You've got Mail wall hanging - need 4 more envelopes 
4. Finish Maud's bag and my work bag - my Lazy Bums challenge for September
5. Make a few blocks for my Green Tea and Sweet Beans quilt 
6. Make more Farmer's Wife blocks 
7. Flowering Snowball quilt-along 
8. Quilt for my Grand-Mum's 90th birthday
9. Continue working on my Once Upon a Time Sampler

New Project
1. Unicorn Swap - NewFO 
2. Fairy Tale swap - NewFO 

Linking to A lovely Year of Finishes

Sunday, 31 August 2014

August in review

Another month has whizzed past me. We were away for 2 weeks and I thought I would do a lot more hand sewing than I actually did but then I had other commitments that have eaten up a lot of my "free" time, hopefully for a positive outcome soon. Fingers crossed. Anyway, let's have a look at what I can cross off my August list and what will be carried forward to my September list.

Hoping for Finishes!
1. Finish my Flower Power quilt for my Grand-Mum 85th birthday Lazy Bums challenge for July and this is also going to be my pick for August (again) for A lovely Year of Finishes - yes it is finished and gifted

2. Finish my Cat Quilt - need 13 more blocks before quilting etc - yes it is finished and gifted

3. Dumpling Swap - yes it is finished and sent over to my partner

4. Strawberry Swap - yes it is finished and sent over to my partner

5. It's a Sister's Thing Swap - secret sewing all done (blog post to come soon)

6. Make a book bag for Mister Cars and one for Miss Baby - 2 NewFO for August - both are cut and I have started assembling Mister Cars' bag

7. Finish my Wiksten Tank started at the FQR - no progress

Bee Blocks
8. Stash Bee block (June, July and August) - June and August in progress
9. Little Blog Bee block (August) - nearly finished
10. Block Lotto blocks? - none
11. I love Lucy international block (July and August) - both started 

12. flower hexies for the Inchy Hexie Swap (July and August) - both done

13. + and x blocks (12) - none

14.Midnight in the Oasis - no progress
15. Mod Mod Along blocks: Sunrise Blocks x 6, Little Window blocks x ? - no progress
16. You've got Mail wall hanging - need 4 more envelopes - no progress
17 Finish Maud's bag and my work bag - no progress
18. Make a few blocks for my Green Tea and Sweet Beans quilt - no progress
19. Make more Farmer's Wife blocks - no progress
20. Continue working on my Once Upon a Time Sampler - very good progress as I have now finished the first 5 months, June and July are nearly there and August not too bad!

New projects
21. Flowering Snowball quilt-along - NewFO for August - cutting has started

22. Postcard quilt-along - NewFO for August - no progress

Total number of blocks for the 350-blocks challenge: 17 (13 under the challenge)

Linking to NewFOFresh Sewing Day and Flowering Snowball Along (despite my very little start).

Friday, 22 August 2014

A quilt with Fat Quarters, a look in my archive

The Archive Tuesday linky this week on Val's blog is about Fat Quarters quilt. A few years back I wanted to make a quilt for my friend Barbara that I was going to visit at her home in Sweden, but this was pre-blog day as I made this quilt in 2007. So I decided to revive today and present it to the world(!) in a brand new post.

I knew Barbara likes floral, pink fabric so I bought a stack of fat quarters and a cream background fabric and tried to decide how to use them. I used this lovely book from Barbara Chainey to decide on a design for the quilt.
Because I made the quilt so long ago, before I use to record my sewing, I only have a few pictures of the finished quilt and none of the in-progress project.

The quilt was quilted very simply in the ditch or with straight lines, I probably didn't dare attempting some free-motion quilting on it.

Linking to Val's Quilting Studio.


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