Thursday, 31 October 2013

Last block for October

October is already nearly over and it will be Christmas time before we know it. Scary thought! I guess I better get started on Miss Baby Advent Calendar, but for now, I am working on my bee block, to finish catching up and not get behind again! And last night I made this block for Bee White Black 
Suzy sent us some solid black and white + one colour asking us to make a strip or rectangle block. I had a vision in my head for a pink wave block which I thought would work quite well with a bargello type design so this is what I went for. I hope Suzy likes it!


Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Patchwork of the Cross - a new bee starting soon

When I go to the office, I usually travel by train and I really like spending some of the journey hand sewing. I usually have some hexagons to make for a swap or another. And this week I finished my 2 hexies for Irene for Inchy Hexie Swap

I also discovered a new bee starting in November based on Lucy Boston's Patchwork of the Cross quilt. 
(I took this picture from the official Hemmingford Grey Manor website, this is not my quilt unfortunately!)

It is made of elongated hexagons (honeycombs) and the quilt is really beautiful I think. And Lucy Boston lived quite close to where I am at the moment, so really I couldn't resist, could I? You can read more here where I took the picture below

So of course I couldn't resist it and signed up for the bee. I don't think it is full yet so if you too are interested, go over here to sign up but be quick as it is starting soon! Hope to see you there

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Half string blocks

I didn't think it would take me that long to catch up, but then I suppose I am in quite a few bees! Anyway, this week I have been trying to finish off the half-string blocks that Leah asked us to do for the Siblings Together 2 Bee. The blocks are really easy to make and quite effective I think.

And I am now up to date with this bee, October is my month as a Queen Bee so I am not making any more block than my test pixelated block I showed you before.

Linking to Building Blocks Tuesday

Monday, 28 October 2013


I am not normally very confident with improv block but Amy set the challenge for her Simply Solids Bee blocks. While I was catching up on Ange's blocks and making my test blocks, I had cut a variety of pieces in solids both in terms of size/shapes and colours. It was ideal to make Amy's block as I didn't have to cut pieces purposefully, which would probably have been all too similar in size/shape. I decided to try and use my cut-offs as much as possible, balancing the colours and the shapes.

And I must say little by little my block grew bigger until I had about 3 units ready to be put together. And if I can say so myself, I really like how Amy's block has turned out.

So even if it is very late, I hope she likes it too!

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Maisy is on the bed - Another Festival entry

Yesterday I finished my daughter's Maisy quilt. I only had a little length of binding to sew by hand to have it all done. So because we stayed over, I thought it would be great to enjoy the warmth of a quilt after lunch, while the weather was awful outside. The binding didn't take long. But the "tidy up" afterwards took forever. I had lots and lots of thread tails to finish off for the quilt and it seems to have taken me hours to do just that. But at least, it was on Miss Strawberry Shortcake's bed last night! So this one less UFO and one OPAM (and a big one) this month. It also means that I have completed my Lazy Bums challenge for October, how nice!

While I was finishing the quilt, I thought I could enter this one too in the Blogger's Quilt Festival organised by Amy, 2 quilts in one festival, that's so unlike me!

So just a little bit about the quilt if you are here via the festival and don't already know the story!
I bought a Maisy panel a while ago and thought it would be fun to make a quilt for my young daughter who was learning the numbers. So back in the Spring of 2012 (when my daughter was just 3), I send a pack of fabric and a "Maisy" picture to each of my fellow bees in Bee Europa, asking them to frame the picture in green and make the block to a 12.5' square.
They also each made a Star Irish Chain.

 I received fantastic blocks from all lie these ones

that I put together into a quilt top over the summer.
and with borders

I was hoping to get the quilt quilted on my frame last year but because of the extensive building works we were doing on the house, the frame had to be packed away and so did the quilt top. And it is only a few weeks back that I finally got the quilt top out of the plastic bag. This month, I asked  DH to put my frame back together so that I could finally have a go. Of course because I hadn't used it for 2 years, it wasn't plain sailing straight away (far from actually and there were tears, more here if you are interested)

 but I finally got there and quilted the top over a couple of evenings.

I used an Aurifil green thread on the top and an Aurifil white thread on the backing and I must say despite the difference in colour, it worked really well, no green on the back or white on the front.

Last week-end, I added the binding on the front. And this week, I slowly finished sewing it on the back by hand.

Et voila, a new quilt for Miss Strawberry Shortcake, one year in the making. And one less UFO too!

Quilt stats:
measurement: 60' x 78'
fabric: Maisy by Andover, green background by Makower and an assortment of other prints
thread: pieced with Guterman, quilted with Aurifilspecial technique: free motion quilting on my frame - going further than simple stippling
machine quilted by myself of course!
made between April 2012 and October 2013
time to completion: about 18 months
particularity: bee group quilt

Also linking to Whoop Whoop Friday.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Pyramid Log Cabin - solid blocks

It is finally half-term here in the UK and we should have been going back home to take the kids to my Mum for the week but plans have had to change. It seems that we have had bugs in the house constantly since September and that at least one of the kids is ill at any one point. Anyway, we decided against travelling with ill children and are still waiting to see whether we can take them there soon or not. That has meant that instead of being stuck in traffic last night, I had time to play in my sewing machine and I finished my test blocks for Simply Solids Bee. I am queen Bee in November!
After changing my mind about 20 times I decided to go for the Pyramid Log Cabin blocks from Lady Harvatine's quilt-along

I will ask my fellow bee members to make one block with warm colours

and one block with cold colours if they are happy to, of course!

The block in itself is quite simple to make, it is constructed like a normal log cabin but starts with a triangle instead of a square. Lady Harvatine has got all the details and explanations on her blog so I am not planning to re-inventing the wheel!

For the central triangles, I'd like any sizes between 4' and 6'. For example I used a 6' yellow triangle for my warm colour block

and a 5' triangle for my cold colour block

There are plenty of pictures on Lady Harvatine's blog on how to cut the triangle here.
For the logs, I'd like that the strips were between 1.5' and 2.5' if possible. And I'd also like that the same colour is used for the whole round. Lady Harvatine has got lots of tips for the piecing, one of the most important is to make sure that the strip extend far enough on either side of the triangle
The next important tip is about the pressing. I don't like pressing every seam because I tend to be a bit lazy but because of the shape of this block, I did for those blocks and made sure I  press the seams open as described here before trimming the sides
And then you can trim the strip on either side of the triangle, lining the bottom edge of the row with the 60 line on the ruler
Add the next log
and a third one to finish the first round.
Next round will use a different colour and a different strip width.

Continue adding some round of logs until the triangle has a minimum height of 14' or a minimum side of 16'. If it is bigger, it's fine!

I think it will be easier to trim them all at the end with a template to make sure they are all the same size and have all kept their triangular shape as much as possible.
Looking forward to getting lots of lovely triangles in November!
Linking to Sew Darn Crafty.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival

It is that time again when the lovely Amy from Amy's Creative Side is hosting the Blogger's Quilt Festival. Although this is the 10th festival, it will be my 7th time! 

The virtual festival is great when you live far enough from other quilters and also when you know lots of quilters are having a blast in Houston for Quilt Market. There is always a great display of breathtaking work and great stories attached to the quilts presented. And you can browse at your leisure, it never closes. Even though I don't make any prize winning quilts, I like to participate from the comfort of my home and present one particular quilt I have made. I also like to browse and discover people and quilts I would have known about otherwise. They are great prizes too for the more successful ones!

This time, I have picked my latest quilt, my Autumn Quilt Plus. Of course if you read my blog, you have seen this quilt a lot lately and you have probably had enough by now but if you are new here, follow me while I present my fastest quilt ever!

I signed up for Sheri's Quilts in the Pumpkin Patch blog hop in August without a clear idea in mind. I initially thought I would do a small item or decoration. That was until about a week before my turn on the hop when I thought about a bundle of FQs I had bought a while ago to make some cushions that I had never made. 

So I had this stash of fabric sitting in my sewing room waiting for its turn for the show time. And I decided it was its turn to be on show. After all I bought the fabric because I really liked it. And instead of a few cushions, I thought an Autumn quilt would be a great idea. So here I was one week before my turn, planning a full size quilt that I hadn't even started. (I work 4 days a week so it had to be a simple enough pattern). I really like the Plus quilt I had seen over the internet and decided that it would be a great pattern to showcase those fabrics. 

So on Thursday night, I finally started to cut some charm squares to make a start on my quilt about 72H before show time.I planned my quilt on the floor. Mr Cars got horrified when the wind started to blow them away and quickly got the original layout back for me.
I continued the cutting on Friday and started my "extreme chain piecing" helped by the kids who were bringing the squares in the right order so I didn't have to get up to get them. 

Saturday was quilting time. Again I choose a straightforward quilting pattern, stitching lines either side of the seams but I think it is very effective.

And because I had to order more fabric for the binding, I finished my quilt the following Sunday. 

The quilt is only about one month old but it has already seen a lot of use. It has been used to warm the kids on the sofa when they were ill (which seems to be happening rather a lot at the moment). And all 3 of them like to snuggle underneath at the week-end when they get a little TV break-treat. Hubby and I are also using it to watch our weekly episode of Downton Abbey. 

I am really pleased with this quilt, I love how it turned out. I am so happy that my fabric is no longer hidden away in a box but on display. And I really like that it was so quick to make.

Now if you read my blog in the last day or so, you might have seen the beginning of this post. I started writing on Tuesday night and forgot to save it as draft. Apologies!

Quilt stats:
measurement: 13 x 14 squares = 58.5 x 63' (based on the stash available)
fabric: Michael Miller, Anna-Maria Horner, Riley Blake, Makower and others
special technique: extreme chain piecing
machine quilted by myself of course!
made in September 2013
time to completion: one week
particularity: my fastest quilt ever

Linking to Amy for the Blogger's Quilt Festival

Thursday, 24 October 2013


I commute to work by train every day so I always try to get off my phone (!) at some point and enjoy the free time to do some hand sewing, usually some hexies (that's only if I can have a seat in the train of course). Anywa this week, I finished my blocks for Get Your Hex On!

Amanda sent us some Christmas fabric and asked us to make some snowflakes for her.

She is planning a tree skirt I believe. How cute is this? I love how these blocks fit together.

Linking to Thursday Threads and to Needle and Thread Thursday.


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