Sunday, 27 April 2014

Bee blocks catch up

So this last few week I have been busy trying to catch up with my bee blocks as well as making a quilt! I finally finished my second block for Jennie for Siblings Together 2

and made my 2 blocks for Penny too

I also made my 2 sampler blocks for Gina for Bee Europa: Alaska Homestead

and Mother's Own
And of course because we spent so much in the car again over the last week-end, I had time to finish my 2 flowers for Karily's garden for the Inchy Hexie Swap

Now I need to finish my Wonky Log Cabin block and my Stash Bee block by Wednesday, better get going!

I also finally picked up my Farmer's Wife blocks again, don't hold your breath, I only completed 2 so far this month and I have a third one cut but when this one is finished I will have made a quarter of the blocks, that's encouraging isn't it?
[107] Windblown Square

[109] Windows

That gives me 13 blocks for the 350-blocks challenge this month - far from the 30 needed and I don't think I willl manage to catch up in the 3 remaining days :-{
Linking to Anything Goes Monday and Building Blocks Tuesday.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Borders and birthday

In a flashback to my archive, the quilt I will show you today can fit the 2 categories Val picked for us this week for Tuesday Archive : borders and birthday.
The quilt I will show you today (and this is another one of my pre-blog quilt) I made for my sister-in-law's 25th birthday in 2006, hence the birthday quilt. 

The centre of the quilt top I made during  the Bramble Patch Mystery Night in 2006. The Mystery Night was held for 10 years at the Bramble Patch and run by Barbara Chainey, on the last Friday of November. We would gather to the Bramble Patch at about 9 pm, start working on the warm-up project until midnight. And then we would start our main project at midnight and then sew like mad until 7 am before going for a full English breakfast. Great fun, lots of chocolate and lots of sewing! I attended for 4 years. I finished the 4 warm-up projects reasonably quickly but not the 4 main projects, 3 are still still UFOs to this day and one was finished last year (my batik stars quilt) after being kept in a bag for about 10 years! 
The birthday quilt was the warm-up project for the 2006 Mystery Night. In an attempt to make it larger and to use my scraps from the stars blocks, I used all the small triangles cut-off to build pinwheel blocks for the borders that I framed with 2 strips of purple and magenta. Et voila, a bigger quilt with a lovely border and no more scraps! I used a very simple straight line quilting and a light binding to finish it off before gifting it to my sister-in-law in December 2006 (and these are the only 2 pictures I have of this quilt).

Linking to Val Archive Tuesday.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

A finish quilt with triangles

I have been going through a quilting marathon in the last few days and I am happy to report that I crossed the finish line on time!
I finish my triangle quilt top last week in time for the link up and also we have 2 weeks to complete the quilt, I needed mine finished by Monday afternoon to gift it to my friend for her 60th birthday. I quilted my top on my frame last Thursday night. I used a Superior Thread King Tut variegated quilting thread in shades of medium blue. It quilted beautifully and my machine seemed to like it!

with an all-over sea wave pattern
with a few inclusions, like my friend's name Isabel
or her big birthday number
I decided to keep the zig-zag border in the end and used the same fabric (Bike Path from Alison Glass) for the backing and the binding.

I finished machine stitching my border late into the night on Thursday as we were going away Friday morning for the Easter week-end. I hand-stitched the binding on the back over the week-end at my Mum's.
I even had time to label my quilt on Monday afternoon with minutes to spare before wrapping it, how good is that? I gifted my quilt on Monday to my friend and I think she liked it!

And now there is only one problem with that, my Mum loved the quilt so much that she'd like me to make her one! I probably have enough fabric left over for a second triangle quilt, now to find the time to make it! Even though it took me under 3 weeks to complete the first one.
So this is my first OPAM for April and this is also my challenge for April for A lovely Year of Finishes as well as my NewFO challenge and the first item I can cross off my Q2 Finish Along.

Linking to the Triangle Quilt Along, Needle and Thread Thursday, Brit Sewing Linky Party and Whoop Whoop Friday, A Lovely Year of Finishes, NewFO Challenge

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Triangles, triangles and more triangles

As soon as everything was put away on Sunday, I picked up my piles of triangles again to finish my rows as randomly as possible to make 12 rows of 17 triangles. After I sew all my 204 triangles into rows, I played with them again and again until I got to this arrangement which (I thought) was pleasing and also didn't have any triangles touching the same one, and that was a real challenge, I also wanted all the birdies to be head up!

And yesterday I finally tarted to sew my rows together. I started without using pins but after having to unpick a few seams to have my points matching, I started using pins. There has been a certain amount of unpicking but this is it now, I don't think it is too bad (if I say so myself :-) ), no more unpicking.

Now I have a flimsy and I have the backing fabric ready too! At the moment, I am not planning to square my quilt but to keep the zig-zag. I might come to regret it later when I come to sew the binding on.

Next step, free motion quilting, not sure how yet though. Any suggestion?
Linking to WIP Wednesday, WOW, Brit Sewing Linky Party, The Triangle Sew Along.


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



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