Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Hexagon and more hexagons

I seem to need a deadline to be able to work and get focused so with the mailing deadline for the Modern She Made Swap looming, I knew where to concentrate my efforts over the last week or so! The theme for the swap was hexagons, so of course I couldn't pass this round! My partner's mosaic was quite varied and I settled on a mini quilt for her. And to fit the theme I picked a quilt with hexagons which would finish in an hexagon (similar to my long-standing UFO September in the hexagon). I went smaller in size though to have a mini quilt rather than a full size quilt. I had such a blast making my triangle quilt that I wanted to play with triangles again!). I thought I would use a rainbow of colours and use 2 fabrics per colour of very different value (one light, one dark). So I went through my stash to pick pairs of fabric for the blocks. I used 1.5' strips that I sew together and then cut into 2.5' tall equilateral triangles. I made the outer round with concentric hexagons and the middle round with  twirling blocks.
I then used 2.5' triangles to set the blocks.
A few of my blocks in progress:
After much debate of what to use for the centre of my quilt, solid? text print? fussy cut? I went for a plain white hexagon using the same fabric as the triangles I used for the star points.
And then to break from the points and angles of the hexagons I quilted over the whole mini in a spiral design.
using a bright rainbow thread by Superior Threads.

I used the same white fabric for the binding so it almost disappears.
As for the back I used a lovely pink fabric Bike Track by Alison Glass:

And to go with my mini quilt I made a sewing kit and a pincushion  from the Zakka Style book.

I used a linen/cotton mix for the outer of the kit in a natural colour and applique my tiny hexie flower (I used 1/2' hexagons for the flower)

 and found the perfect fabric Sew Stitchy by Aneela Hoey for the interior of the kit and the pincushion.

So with 18 hexagon blocks and one tiny hexie flower, that's 19 blocks for the 350-blocks challenge for May. This is also one set of item of my list for the Q2 finish along and 2 OPAMs for May.
Also linking to Help for Hexie-aholicHexie week-end, Anything Goes Monday, Needle and Thread Thursday, Brit Sewing Thursday Linky and I Quilt.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Home Machine Quilted Quilt

Spring has finally arrived in my corner of the world, just in time to coincide with the Spring Blogger's Quilt Festival that Amy organises brilliantly. So many beauties to discover, so many lovely blogs to get lost into!

With 11 categories to enter quilts under, there should be a fantastic range of quilts to admire! After much thoughts, I have decided to enter my Cats Quilt in the Home Machine Quilted Category.

I had so much problems quilting this big top (it finishes at 72' square) because I hadn't fitted the wrong free-motion foot on my machine initially (you can read more about it here if you are interested) that it seems to be a natural choice!

I made this quilt for my daughter's bed but it was a long quilt in the making. It started in February 2013 when I asked my fellow bees from Bee Europa to make blocks for me using the London Cats/Paris Cats fabrics from Benartex that I sent them.

They sent me the blocks back but I still needed more to make the quilt bigger and although the blocks were not difficult to make, I left them aside for a while. Finally earlier this year, when my daughter moved to a big bed, I thought it was time to finish her quilt. So I made more blocks and finished the quilt top that I finally quilted earlier this month

with butterflies, flowers and lots of hearts all over the top.

I also wrote a few love messages for her.

And after finishing the binding last week, she was happy to play with it and sleep under it straight away!
Quilt Stats:
Fabric: London Cats/Paris Cats by Benartex
Started: February 2013 (some blocks made by the Bee Europa ladies), Finished May 2014
72' square
Home quilted with Superior Thread.

Linking to Blogger's Quilt Festival

Sunday, 11 May 2014

And one finished UFO!

I did it! My cat quilt is finished. I machine stitched the binding last week and decided that I'd try to sew on length of thread every day for the hand stitching as there were about 7 meters to do. I had nearly finished one side Thursday night but I was so tired on Friday night that the idea of binding the quilt while watching TV really appealed to both of us (well I was the only one binding the quilt, but hubby could snuggle under it too!). I didn't quite finished it Friday night but on Saturday Miss Strawberry Shortcake wanted to do some sewing on her machine and I usually need to stay close by in case the needle needs re-threading etc that I thought it was the perfect excuse to finish her quilt.

She was so happy that it was finally finished!

And it was in use the exact same night!

Thanks for my fellow bees from Bee Europa 2012-2013 for making most of the blocks for me.

Quilt Statistics:
Started February 2013 - Finished May 2014
6 x 6 blocks 12' finished - quilt is a 72' square
Fabric (top) - London Cats, Paris Cats by Benartex
Fabric (backing) - multicolour spots
Quilting thread - King Tut Superior

Now this is one quilt of my UFO list, such a great feeling. And of course this is also my finish for May A lovely Year of Finishes and the first item of my Finish Along 2014 list for quarter 2 (it was already on my Q1 list) and finally my first OPAM for May.
Also linking to Whoop Whoop Friday and Anything goes Monday.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

From UFO to WIP - a tale of the wrong foot.

Monday was a bank holiday in the UK, which means we had a longer week-end to play and although the weather was OK, it wasn't that warm. Anyway it was nice to have all the family at home over 3 days with no hectic plans for the time we had and no travelling miles! I also had time to progress one of my UFO that had been on my to-do list for a while.

I had initially planned to quilt this top in March for the Lazy Bums Virtual Retreat but life decided otherwise. So this top was put aside (my lovely princess is so patient!)
 because I needed/wanted/decided to follow the Triangle Quilt-Along from Paula to make a quilt for my friend's birthday. I finished her quilt in time and I am so glad I did because I won the grand prize for the finished quilts link up! Anyway I quilted the triangle quilt on my frame and decided that the frame should not go back into storage until the Cat Quilts was quilted. So my DH helped me set up my quilt on the frame about 10 days ago so I could quilt it at the week-end.

And I tried last week-end but something wasn't right. My machine kept skipping stitches and shredding the thread until it broke. Of course, I tried all the usual cleaning, re-threading, changing the needle, modifying the tension etc but nothing worked and it was getting very frustrating. The triangle quilt had quilted beautifully, and now using the same brand of thread but in a different colour it just wouldn't work. So I took the machine out of the frame and methodically tried to locate the problem, I threaded it with the blue thread from the triangle quilts and what happened? Yes the thread was shredding and the machine was skipped stitches, until I finally had this light bulb moment on Saturday afternoon - I was using the wrong foot. I was so relieved to find the solution to my problem and also felt very stupid at the same time.

Anyway once I fitted the right foot on my machine, I could finally play and quilt as I felt inspired so I did a lot of swirls and some hearts,

butterflies and flowers.
And I also posted a few messages.

I took it off the frame on Sunday afternoon finally all quilted.

My binding strip is machine sewn on, so now all I have left is to hand stitch 7+ meters of binding on the back of the quilt!

Linking to Anything Goes Monday, WIP Wednesday, WOW, Needle and Thread Thursday, Brit Thursday Sewing Linky, I Quilt.

Monday, 5 May 2014

Farmer's wife progress and linky party

I made no blocks in March so it wasn't that difficult to do better in April! So in my quest to meet the 350-blocks challenge, I managed to finish 5 new blocks.
Block [84] - Spool
Block [92] - Streak of Lightning
Block [103] - Whirlwind has disappeared
Block [107] - Windblown Square
Blocks [109] - Windows
With these 5 additional blocks, I have reached a grand total of 30 blocks. And this also means that I have made more than a quarter of the blocks, small progress but a little milestone! I have lost one of my newly sewn block in my freshly tidied sewing room. How ironic is that, I guess chaos can be organised sometimes! I hope it will resurface one day or another, there is still time anyway until I am ready to put the quilt top together :-)
Have you made any progress on your blocks? Link up here if you wish


Thursday, 1 May 2014

April in review, goals for May

So last week-end after posting my number of blocks so far as 13, I wasn't happy I hadn't made that many and thought that although reaching 30 would be difficult with so little time left, I should try to improve my number. And I guess what, yesterday evening I finished my not 30th but 31st block for April! I made it, I met the 350 blocks challenge  with 31 blocks this month, yeah!

Now let's have a look at what I had ambitiously planned for April a month ago and how much I managed to achieve despite a week away one holiday and 3 week-end away from home and from my sewing machine.

1. Make my Siblings Together 2 blocks (February x 1, April x 2) - all done

2. Inchy Hexie swap (April) - done for April and May

3. Block for the Lotto - none for the Lotto but 9 squares in a square blocks for the Mod Mod Along

4. Beads on a string blocks x 10 and Star Cross x 3 for Mod Mod Along - none5. Finish off my blocks for the You've got Mail wall hanging - need 4 more envelopes - no progress6. Finish my cat quilt -  on the frame, ready for quilting

7. Finish Maud's bag and my work bag- Lazy Bums challenge for March and April no progress8. Catch up on my + and x blocks no progress9. Make 10 Farmer's Wife blocks - 5 blocks completed (one has disappeared mysteriously in my sewing room!)
10. Finish central medaillon of my Midnight in the Oasis  - no progress on the centre block but I completed 4 blocks of the first border

11. I love Lucy international block (April)  - done

12. Stash Bee  block (April) - done

13. Wonky log cabin for the Little Blog Bee (April) - done

14. Bee Europa blocks (April) - done

15. Finish my quilt for Triangle Quilt Along - my NewFO challenge and A lovely Year of Finishes too - done

16. Continue working on my Once Upon a Time Sampler - still on-going and I have started April!

Now let's plan May.
1. Make my Siblings Together 2  May blocks
2. Block for the Lotto 
3. Mod Mod Along blocks: Beads on a string x 10, Star Cross x 3 and Diagonal Bars x 12
4. Finish off my blocks for the You've got Mail wall hanging - need 4 more envelopes
5. Finish my cat quilt -  on the frame, ready for quilting - I will pick this one as my A lovely Year of Finishes challenge for May

6. Finish Maud's bag and my work bag
7. Catch up on my + and x blocks (12)
8. Make more Farmer's Wife blocks 
9. Make my items for the Modern She Made Swap
10. Finish central medaillon of my Midnight in the Oasis and make more border blocks
11. I love Lucy international block (May)  
12. Stash Bee block (May) 
13. Little Blog Bee block (May) 
14. Bee Europa blocks (May)
15. Start another Triangle quilt like the Triangle Quilt Along - A lovely Year of Finishes too - done
16. Start this Cat Quiltmy NewFO challenge for May
17. Finish my September in the Hexagon quilt - Lazy Bums challenge
18. Start working on my Grand-Mum's birthday present with floral blocks
19. Continue working on my Once Upon a Time Sampler 
I think that should be enough for the month really! Wish me luck, as usual this is probably over ambitious...
Linking to A lovely Year of FinishesFresh Sewing Day, Brit Sewing Thursday Linky and Needle and Thread Thursday.


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