Friday, 30 September 2011

August flowers have arrived

Yesterday I got a lovely package from the USA with not 2 but 3 lovely dotty flowers from Debra from the Inchy Hexie Swap. She had posted them such a while ago that I was worried they might have got lost in the post, which would have been a real shame. In addition, she spoilt me with a lovely piece of dotty fabric, well worth the wait! Thanks Debra.

I thought I had make more progress on my projects this week or even add an other OPAM to my list but unfortunately not. The weather has been extraordinarily warm for Autumn here and I have been really tired again. I had a lot of work as well so I didn't have the energy to do anything in the evening. Hopefully I'll find some time to sew this week-end.


Monday, 26 September 2011

Flower and birdies

I haven't done much progress this past week. I was trying to finish the bathrobe I started for Big Boy but I kept doing it wrong and having to rip it off, what a pain... Anyway, I managed to finish my second hexie for Natalie that will be in the post tomorrow, finally! The end of the month is fast approaching so it is about time. Anyway, I hope she likes both the pink and the green hexies I made for her.

Yesterday evening, I watched the second episode of Downton Abbey and once I had finished the ironing, I picked up my Little Birdie block from August to continue the stitching.  I haven't made much progress yet but maybe I can finish it by next week-end when October block will be released.


Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Life is beautiful - stitching #2

I started cutting and sewing Big Boy's bathrobe yesterday afternoon and the whole house was covered in little red bits yesterday evening. I used my "so-called vintage pattern from 1985" - which made a couple of you smile ;-) but I was too tired to continue when the kids went to bed last night. I don't have much more to do but it was too much. Hubby was away in Sweden so I was drained when it was time to sit down and relax. Anyway, instead I went to bed early and finish stitching my second "Life is Beautiful" block.

I have a couple more drawn, ready to be picked up so maybe I can keep my target of one a month. I know my quilt won't grow fast at that speed but progress is always good! I had had the pattern for a year before I picked it up and made a start so I can't pretend it will be finished quickly. The sayings are so nice though that it helps to focus on the positive in life!

Monday, 19 September 2011

Lazy Sunday...

Yesterday morning was karate grading and Big Boy did very well getting his full grade and a new red and black belt. During the grading (which last for 2 hours as it is all color belts at the same time - up to brown), I managed to finish one of my hexies for Natalie for the Inchy Hexie Swap. I need to do the second one before I can ship them to Australia.

I also picked up my "Life is Beautiful" block to do some more stitching. When we got back in the afternoon I was so tired - again :-( that I slept for 2 hours so the afternoon went by very quickly. In the evening I watched a (new to me) series as Downtown Abbey season 2 was starting. I haven't watched season 1 so it was a bit hard to understand the relationship at times but it was an interesting series. I think I will carry on watching it over the next Sundays. At the moment it is featuring the Battle of the Somme with its enormous casualties, sad as this is the place I am originally from and it is mostly known for these terrible atrocities. While watching the program, I managed to almost finish stitching my block, only have the quote left to stitch now. I hope I will manage to finish block #2 this month. It would be good to aim to stitch one block a month, I don't think I can't really manage more than that at the moment. Anyone else stitching this blocks? Maybe we could do this together?

And to finish off a picture of the karate-ka and his little sister at the end of the grading.


Sunday, 18 September 2011

Swap update - I am spoilt

I received my Mug Rug Swap from Shirley yesterday in the mail and got a very lovely surprise, she did a great job on the Mug Rug which will fit perfectly in my bedroom.

But also in the package did I found a very cute pair of booties for Baby. How nice a surprise, they're just lovely!


Saturday, 17 September 2011

My little forest has grown - Friday Night Sew-In results

Yesterday evening was Friday Night Sew-In and  for the first time in a while, I actually managed to do some sewing. I did finished all my little trees for my forest. OK it is only a small forest with 14 trees but maybe this project won't become a UFO.

After a rushed morning between football training and the weekly shopping, my backache came back again so I decided to take the afternoon easy while doing some sewing. Well, I am happy to report that my Little Forest top is all pieced together. Plus apart from 9 green triangles for the trees, all the other fabrics came from my scrap boxes. I don't have one single background fabric but I have used up some scraps. All my trunks are from the same fabric but I needed so little.
The assignment for the quilt-along this week is to finish all the trees and sew the row. So I am all done for this week!

Yesterday evening I also cut out a paper pattern to make some bathrobes to the kids but I haven't got any further than cutting the "vintage" paper pieces. I found the pattern dating back from January 1985 (!) in my Mum's stash of patterns this summer.

Friday, 16 September 2011

One, two, Tree

I finally got started on sewing my little trees yesterday and managed to make 5 out of my scrap boxes. I had prepared all my paper templates for paper piecing the triangles in a square this week so I can get on with the fun sewing bit. I will now start digging into my stash to make the 9 others I need for my quilt. They come together relatively quickly and I think they are cute. What do you think?

Now tonight is Friday Night Sew-In and this is just what I am planning to do. Are you playing as well? The kids are in bed, I've had a shower and have my PJ on. The kitchen is clean and tidy so off I go make a few more trees. I am really tired but I feel some sewing time will make me feel better before going to bed. I'll show you what I've managed tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Hexie swaps

Today was my lucky day! I got 2 swap packages through the door, both from Australia.
I got a lovely welcome pack to the Inchy Hexagon Flower Swap. This was version 2 of the welcome pack as Jane originally sent me one in August which never made it to me. She very kindly made another dotty hexagon for me and send it again with a pack of templates from Joanne.
In the other package, I received not one but two gorgeous framed hexie from Diane. Diane was my partner for August and kindly made me 2 hexies to replace the one I never received from another partner in April. This is so kind of her. Swaps are as good as the people who swap and occasionally it can happen that you don't get a return gift for the one you sent. I didn't expect somebody else to make it up for me. This is very generous and I am really spoilt because Diane's hexie are just gorgeous.

I also sent a package across to Australia this morning with my Mug Rug and a flower hexie to Shirley. Hope she likes both!

I am off to start making some little tree for my "forest" now. And don't forget tomorrow is Friday Night Sew-In, there is still time to join in, if you haven't already done so.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Lovely framed hexie

Last week I received this gorgeous, yummy hexie from Lyn in Australia and I just love it. The little girl is so lovely.


Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Playing with little tree

I have started playing with the little trees from the "Little Tree quilt-along" this week. I thought I would trial the method with a larger tree that I was planning to use in a Mug Rug for a swap on the craft forum. My partner asked for green so it was perfect for the tree. I used Ariane's Crafts method of a triangle in a square to make my tree and it is very easy to follow and comes out nicely.
My tree is bigger than the "original" quilt, it measures 5' x 6.5' unfinished or 4.5' x 6' finished. The triangle in a square was a 4.5' square finished or 5' unfinished. The bottom strip is 2' unfinished and the trunk was a 2' square unfinished. I had this lovely bear fabric that I used for the trunk as if a teddy was sitting at the bottom of the tree.

To finish my mug rug, I added some strips of green fabric to the right of the tree, increasing in value and width (starting with a 1.25' and finishing with a 2' strip). And because I didn't my tree to be on the border of the Mug Rug, I added a very tiny strip of dark green to the left side of the tree.

For the backing I had fabric from IKEA which I thought was in keeping with the theme and colour scheme.

Quilting was in the ditch for the strips and echo-quilting for the tree. (I'll try to get a better picture soon as this is too bright and doesn't show the quilting, although it is visible on the picture above of the backing!)

Et voila, a finished mug rug that I had fun making and I also like how it turned out if I can say so myself! Second OPAM in the same week-end, I am on a roll!
Hope my partner likes her little rug. This was my first attempt at Mug Rug so far but I enjoyed it very much and am thinking it could make a great present.
Now I can make more trees, smaller size for the quilt-along as the assignment for the first week is to sew half of them by Friday. Better get going.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Football bag is finished!

The week-end was quiet so I managed to do some sewing and be productive. Hubby had a day out to learn golf yesterday (his father's day present from June) so decided that I'll have a rest and sew. I did my block for the Bee Europa but also finally finished off my "disaster" bag, which has turned into a finished football bag in the end.
I managed to assemble the bag in time for the first football training on Saturday and asked hubby to add all the eyelets. He had fun as the tool I had bought wasn't strong enough to make the holes in the fabric. I hadn't finished the flap before the training so I added it on Sunday after the first session.
Big Boy loves his bag and is trying to recognise all the flags.
Geography lessons combine with football training, fantastic! He has always been interested in flags and that's our long-term sewing project to sew the flags of the countries he has visited so far. Although he is only 5 the list is already relatively long so we'll be busy for a long while!

And this Friday is Friday Night Sew-In again. I haven't really been able to participate since June but finally I should be able to join in again. Not sure it'll be a late night for me but I'll try to at least do some sewing before retreating to my bed. Will you join as well? You only need to sign up on Heidi's blog and then get yourself set and comfy on Friday night.


Sunday, 11 September 2011

Bee Europa - July (!) block

Finally today I did my block for the July Bee. Ceri wanted to have a flower in her block so I thought I would use the African violet block from the blocklotto last month that I DIDN'T win as I loved that block so much and Sophie had nicely provided instructions for different sizes of blocks. I followed Ellie's example of a pansy block but modified it slightly when I realised I made a mistake in the cutting!
I used the triangles off-cuts of my pansy to make the tiny pinwheel blocks
and then linked the flower and the pinwheels with some piano keys.
I hope Ceri likes it and it goes with her other blocks.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Angel top is finished

I made some (little) progress this week.

I finished piecing the top of the Advent calendar, all the pockets are sewn to the Angel. I know Christmas is not quite around the corner yet but
1) it will come fast
2) I still need to quilt and bind the top for it to be finish
3) I didn't want to lose one of the pockets now that I had cut them all off
4) I am always a last minute finisher so it is nice to feel ahead of the game for once!
Anyway, I like the way it turned out, even though the fabric hadn't been printed straight all the way along and some cheating/adjusting was required for some of the pocket.
Well, I hope I will be able to add this one to my list of OPAM very soon.
More on my "disaster bag" soon.
Stay tuned!

Monday, 5 September 2011

Disastrous week-end?

I had a day out sewing on Saturday with my group. It started rather well in the morning. I cut my Advent Calendar panel, in the hope of finishing it before 30th November. This one is for Baby Daughter who hasn't got one yet. I had started one for her last year but I didn't really like the panel so much so I never finished it. This year I found this much nicer one. I cut the panel out and all the pockets on Saturday ready to be put together.

After lunch I moved onto another project. Big Boy will start playing football on Saturday so I decided I could make him a rucksack with some lovely football fabric I bought this summer.

I found a pattern in one of my book. I read the instructions a  couple of times and couldn't understand it all but thought it would make sense as I went along.... I started cutting the lining fabric first because I only had half a meter of the main fabric and wasn't sure I'd have enough. I then lay all the lining fabric on my football fabric and was relieve to see I had enough. I started cutting my pieces for the outside of the bag and realised once I had cut it all that I had 1) turned the fabric around so wasn't cutting the way I thought, 2) that I had forgotten to take into account that I was using directional fabric and the way I had cut my pieces, all the flags would be on their sides.... I wasn't exactly pleased with myself and after some thinking decided that it would be better to fiddle with my pieces so that they would be the right way. So instead of having a full piece for the back and front of the bag, I ended up with pieced back and front.

I also managed to sew one of the piece upside down (obvious with the Canadian flag) so there was more ripping off to do. Anyway, when it was time to go home, I had managed to prepare and quilt the front, back, side panels and all the outside pockets. If I had gone wrong all the way through, I would probably have assemble the outside bag and the lining.... Some days, you wonder whether it is worth starting at all! I guess it didn't help that there were some mistakes in the pattern with the wrong size given for the base panel.
I went home and assemble the bag with the straps.

I now have to assemble the lining and finish off the bag in time for the first football session on Saturday. I thought I'd make some progress on it yesterday but was exhausted and had no energy at all. Maybe later this week...

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Hexagon flower from swap

I have received this lovely flower from Jude last week to add to my collection of dotty hexie flowers.


Saturday, 3 September 2011

Curved batik rails

Last month, I made my block for the lotto at the last minute so I thought I'd do better this month and make them earlier in the month. Well I am proud to say that I had finished my 9 blocks on 1st September.

This month we are making curved rails in batiks. They are super quick to put together, specially as you are making 3 at a time. If you haven't tried the lotto before and you love batik fabrics, I would recommend trying it this month. You'll have fun!


Friday, 2 September 2011

And another quilt-along for Christmas

Another quilt along is starting in time for Christmas at the quilting gallery on 13 September. 36 designers will each share a 12' block. Will you be joining in?

Little Forest Quilt-Along - do you want to join?

Linda and Stephanie are starting a quilt-along to make a "Little Forest" Quilt - made of... trees of course. Do you want to join in the fun? Run over here to find out more. This first week is all about deciding and preparing to make the quilt.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Birdie Stitches - July block

Too bad I didn't win the lotto this month! Anyway, it was worth a try and I can always make the blocks again to make myself something for my bedroom!

Time to show you my birdie progress. We had quite a long trip to come back home from our holidays in Holland so I had plenty of time to stitch and I managed to finish stitching the July Birdie block. I am quite proud of myself, catching up with 2 blocks in August. I am still 2 blocks behind now that the September block has been published!

The theme of the blocks was fireworks and one of the bird had stripes while the other had stars in honour of July 4th. Well, fireworks are also relevant in France in July because of Bastille Day. So I modified the birds slightly and both ended with stripes, which I thought looked a bit more Gallic.



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