Monday, 30 April 2012

Just takes 2 - new blocks

Unit 9 will be released on Tuesday, starting at block #33 and I have only finished 11 blocks to date when I should/could have a quarter of my quilt done by now. I have done any block since early March. Well, better late than never, I got my fabrics and instructions out this week-end, deciding to make some progress on my BOM.
Last block I did in March was block #13, an easy flying geese strips (24 pieces), that I did with the no-waste method. It is a great way of making geese quickly and easily.
I finished block #10 that I started in March too. I only add the outside background to add but I wasn't slightly scared of the curved seam. I took the plunge on Saturday and finished the block, which has 11 pieces.
Next block #11 wasn't easy either with 3 Y-seams, not something I favour either. Better finished than perfect for this one, I guess although it didn't turn out too bad I think. 23 pieces
Block #14 wasn't too difficult, piecing small pinwheels blocks into a 9-patch, a total of 44 pieces
Block #15 - basket block was paper pieced with 25 pieces
For block #16, I paper-pieced the star and then added the long triangle on the sides, 4 more Y-seams. I'll have to be a Y-seam expert by the end of this quilt really! - 25 pieces
Block #21 was a very easy square in square but paper-pieced because of the awkward size - 5 pieces
Block #22 was another strip of flying geese and I used the no-waste method again - 30 pieces
Total number of pieces so far = 399

I have also started to sew the blocks together since the instructions for the first quarter of the quilt were released in April - although I have exchanged some of the blocks to avoid having the same fabric too close.
I have used the instructions to plan the fabric to use in my next blocks to try and spread the fabric across the section as well.
A good week-end for my BOM Rehab.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

From tea towels to peg bags and a giveaway

It is always nice to have a relaxing week-end with not too many plans and no mad rush from one activity to another, even more though when it is pouring down with rain and all you feel like doing is staying in nice and cosy. This was our week-end. It also meant that I actually did find some time to sit at the sewing machine!
After finishing a BQL challenge from August 2009, I thought I could have a go at the April 2012 one! This year the challenge is called "Patchwork with a Purpose" and we are making practical stuff. I hadn't participated so far until today. I choose to make a peg bag. I had these tea towels that I bought in our local supermarket a while ago to use for sewing one day...
Helped by Miss Strawberry Shortcake, I draw my peg bag to the size of the hanger I had.
I added a pretty little ribbon to the pocket before sewing the 3 pieces together.
It took about 30 minutes or less to complete the peg bag. Cleverly using the tea towels, I was able to use the hems for the top of my bag and one of the pocket so I only had the hem on the top pocket to sew.
After I made the first one as a gift for me! and seeing how quickly it had come together, I made another one that will be a gift to my Mum for Mother's Day, at the end of May in France.
2 more OPAM for me this month, I am on a roll!

There is still time for my giveaway, just leave me a comment on my post about swaps and you could win one of my Zakka sewing kit.

Zig-zag cushion

The BQL group August challenge (in 2009) was to play with half square triangles. I digged into my red and black stash and came up with this zig-zag panel that had been left aside since it was pieced then.

I unearthed it with other half-finished projects earlier in the month with the aim to quilt it and finish it in a cushion. When looking at the panel, I couldn't think how to quilt it to make it a bit more interesting. So I flicked through a very useful and resourceful book : Quilting Makes the Quilt by Lee Cleland for inspiration and I was very glad to find an idea.

I never really think about using decorative stitches in my quilting but it can indeed be very effective. I love this "zip" stitch and how it somehow finish my cushion.

One more OPAM for this month!

Friday, 27 April 2012

Bees blocks

I have now received most of my blocks for the 2 Flicker bees I was in for the first quarter of the year. Well, I have signed up for both to be in for next quarter too, but who wouldn't with such beautiful blocks? Plus I need enough blocks for a quilt so I might not stash them away in a box, waiting for one of these days...
My star block for the 3x6 bee from Melissa arrived yesterday - although this one is slightly too small so I'll have to add a border. I don't know which colour I will use as yet. I will have to see when I put all the blocks together.
I am only missing one more star now. But these are my blocks so far.
Have you noticed that I have received the same star twice in very different colourway?

My last block for the 4x5 bee from Jennifer arrived earlier this week
and these are all my blocks for the first quarter
Did you see the star block I have from each bee in different colourway?

And I also received back from Johanna the Maisy blocks for Bee Europa 2011. I love her mini circle of geese, it is so cute.

I have 2 packs back so far and they both look great. Miss Strawberry Shortcake will have a gorgeous quilt on her bed.


Thursday, 26 April 2012

Sewing Kit - Zakka Quilt Along

I don't know if you are taking part in the Zakka Style Quilt Along that started earlier this month. I had planned to do it and of course, time ran away. But this week's making is a sewing kit and I am in need of a new one so I thought I'd made an attempt at it, especially after I received some perfect fabrics for it yesterday morning.
First I went over to Katy's blog to read her post about the sewing kit. She said they came together so quickly that she'd made not one but six of them! I thought I'd be lucky to complete one.
And then when I started cutting the fabrics yesterday afternoon, I thought I'd cut 2 out so I could maybe give one away. Anyway, Katy was true, they come together in no time and with a little sewing time yesterday afternoon before the school run and swimming lessons, and a little bit more in the evening once all the kids were asleep, I managed to finish my two sewing kits and I must say I love how they turned out. And this is at least one OPAM for this month!
I have used Essex linen for the outside
and a lovely vintage-styled fabric for the inside.
I didn't made the pincushion that goes with the kit in the book as I figured out that I wouldn't find it practical on the go (might be too bulky in my bag, might be lost, etc) and I can always pin my needles to the pocket anyway.
Well, this will be the giveaway I promised earlier this month, just leave me a comment on this post about swaps before the end of the month if you want to get a chance to win it!

Wednesday, 25 April 2012


I know, I know it is April and not October. But to be honest, it might as well be October today, the weather is so horrible. I got soaked and very cold on the school run this morning, I had to dry my hair and change my socks when I finally got back home. Miss Strawberry Shortcake was so wet when she got to pre-school that we had to change her trousers. And Mr Cars was pushed the pram on the way to school but his hands were freezing so he stopped, for someone who is never ever cold! Anyway, perfect weather to snuggle under a quilt with a good book or do find some time to stitch! Now back to the subject, Halloween!
Well I have finished paper piecing my own little witch. I used a pattern from the Spellbinding Quilts book by Maaike Bakker to make it. I also used the same colour combination she used in the book. She described it as the shadow of a witch flying in front of a fire and I liked the idea. My block will now flying over to Diane for her to add a border.

Last week, I received Diane's gorgeous witch and when I saw it, I knew I add some perfect fabric to add a border. The cats and pumpkin fabric is just the same colourway as Diane's witch while adding a hint of purple. I didn't want to take the focus of her witch so I decided to have the cats and pumpkin looking at the witch flying past them from 2 sides of the picture only and I framed the other 2 sides with a almost solid orange I had in my stash. Well now I hope Diane likes what I have done with her block. I will send it back to her to add the next border.

And because I am useless at resisting a swap or else (you know by now if you have read this post with the giveaway - there is still time to enter and I need more than 2 entries really!), I signed up for BeeWeave or Not! on Flicker. I started making a block last night (only one quarter done so far) but I hope this is the right "spring" colourway for Melanie not that it looks anything like spring outside here really...


Tuesday, 24 April 2012

More Dear Jane

I had cut out a couple of Dear Jane blocks before our trip to France but I only managed to complete one. Anyway, last week, I had a couple of quiet evenings while hubby was away so I sat in the sofa with Baby Daughter and completed A4 - Courtney's Stethoscope.

I also added the sashing and it is now attached to the rest of the row. Row A is only missing 2 blocks: A1, A2... getting closer to complete my first row ever. Wow!

My numbers are growing too! I have reached 116,7,0,2491.


Monday, 23 April 2012

Week-end report

As usual, I didn't progress as much as I was planning to with my sewing, what a surprise! I guess it doesn't help that the kids have a busy social life now and then need Mum and Dad's taxi. I also realised on Saturday that I completely forgot about the Friday Night Sew-In, too bad!
Anyway, I managed to make a whole Circle of Geese in grey (I struggled to find 12 different grey fabrics between my scrap box and my stash). I received the white background I used for my block this month from my secret pal in 2006! This is one of my BOM Rehab project as well as a Rainbow Scrap Challenge block.
I started on my Halloween block, copying Diane's idea and making a witch but she's not finished yet so I'll show you later.

I have finished the first round of the Modern Round Robin so I can now send the block off to the next person but because this is a mystery RR, you won't be able to see the block now, sorry!

And finally this morning, I finished this hexie flower for Lyn on the craft forum swap.


Sunday, 22 April 2012

More lovely parcels in the post for me

The postman has been very busy recently and I have loved opening the mail these last few days. I have received lots of lovely swaps from various corners of the world.
I had this lovely Dresden plate from Jill for the [4x5] Modern Mini Bee. I am expecting one more block for this quarter and I'll have receive them all.
Kim sent me this gorgeous Japanese girl for the framed hexie swap on the craft forum
and Sandy sent me this pink dotty flower to add to my garden

April is my month for Bee Europa 2011 as you probably know if you have read my blog before. Well, I have already received one set of blocks back, from Muriel. I just love what she has done with the Maisy picture, and so is Miss Strawberry Shortcake. I love her pieced ladybug, so clever!

Finally I received Diane's block for the Halloween See Sew that Michele is organising. I haven't done my block yet though. Diane's paper-pieced witch is lovely and that makes me want to do a witch as well... I now need to add a border to Diane's block and send it back to her so she can add a border as well.
See you soon!

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Swap blocks - siggy

I think there is no hiding from it, I must be a swap addict... I am always finding it hard to resist the call of a new swap and more often than not end up signing up for yet another swap. Now don't get me wrong, I enjoy the swaps I am doing or have done in the past. As I am often quilting on my own, bar the rare visit to my quilting group (quite difficult to organise logistically with a baby at the moment), being part of a swap brings some new friend and also extend my horizons. It sometimes takes me out of my comfort zone to. BUT as much as I enjoy the swap, making the blocks/items, sending them off and receiving a gem back in the mail, I am ashamed to say that most of the time, my blocks end up being stashed away in a box, waiting to be used. WHY? Why can't I use them? Why can I do justice to the time, effort and money my fellow swappers and myself have put into the swap? Well, I don't really know is the answer. I guess often I'll jump into a swap, make a few blocks send them off but I don't have a project in mind for them and I end up getting a few blocks back that I am not sure what to do with. Sometimes, the number of blocks is too small, sometimes, well I don't know really.
Last year, I used swap blocks I had had since 2009 to make this Christmas Tree Skirt and I was so happy to see it to the end and have it around my tree at Christmas. And a few years back, I used some 9-patch blocks I had swapped when I began quilting to make a bag that I have now sold.
Are you a swap addict as well? Do you use your blocks as soon as you receive them? Or are you as bad as me and leave them stashed away until later? Tell me what you've done with your swap blocks?
If you've read that far, you deserve a little surprise. I'll draw a winner at the end of the month.

If you've read this far, you might wonder what is the link with the siggy swap I hinted to in the title. Well I went through my siggies in the last few days and realised with amazement that I now have 251 blocks that could be put in a rather large quilt but that are instead sitting in a post. I have been trading siggies since 2004 via various organised exchanges or one-to-one with Anneliese's list. I guess I could carry on making more and more and more... and fill more boxes but that sounds quite pointless in some way. So I have decided that I will trade a few more and then withdraw from the list until I have made my current stash of siggy into a lovely and comfy friendship quilt. For now, I can show you all the lovely siggies I have received since I last posted about them.
These one were from the centralised swap organised on the European DJ list
and these ones are one to one swaps from Anneliese's list

And while I was going through my stash of siggies, I also found some I had made for various centralised swap that had been returned back to me. I was going to throw them away because the date of them is from a few years back but then I thought about it longer. The very beginning of patchwork was all about recycling and making new from old so I have decided that instead of throwing those siggies, I will send them on to people who are swapping with me, these will be my "vintage" siggies.


Friday, 20 April 2012

Grey Bento Box

The rainbow Scrap Challenge this month is light neutral. I was wondering whether to do any blocks at all for my Bento Box quilt as I am using a white background. I wanted to make sure I keep enough contrast in my blocks so they can be read as Bento Box blocks. So I decided to use grey as my light neutral (might not look very light to some, but I am happy with it!) and made these 2 blocks this week:

One tick on the BOM Rehab list as well!

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Round 1

While I was away, I also received my first block for the Mini Modern Round Robin. This is Martha's block. Her colourway is quite define. Now it is up to me what I want to add to it. And I have a pretty good idea of what to do but I can't show you all because I would spoil the surprise for Martha, should she be stalking my blog...

While I was working with this colourway, I also did a 8-pointed star to send to Michele for the quilt she is making in honour of her nephew. I choose the Ribbon Star for her that I made with black, red and white solid. If you are willing to help her put her quilt together, hop over to her blog to read all about it here.


Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Look what the mailman brought me

There was a huge stash of post when we came back home on Saturday and amongst the bills and other boring letters, it is always nice to find some little gems. I received 2 more lovely blocks for the [4x5] Modern Mini Bee. And there are another 2 on their way to me! The first quarter swap is now over and I have sure signed up for next quarter. I need more of these beauties to make into a nice fresh and modern quilt.
This block was from Anna and I believe it is her original design

and this one was from Megan

And this morning I also received this lovely star from Constanze for the [3x6] Mini Sampler Bee. The first quarter of this bee is over too and I have received 4 stars so far, 4 more to go!



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