Monday, 30 July 2012

Digging deep in the UFO box

This month I unearthed another UFO that I started as a BQL challenge 3 years ago. I had this little panel pieced and waiting on my design wall.
I thought I had made enough cushions recently with my small panels so I decided I would make this one as a long wall-hanging. I unpicked the panel and pieced the 4 squares in a row.  Because I wanted to keep it skinny to place on a small piece of wall, I decided that I wouldn’t add a border.
This little panel was a great opportunity to practice free-motion quilting. After browsing through the fantastic Free Motion Quilting Project blog, I settled on the Sharp Stippling stitch.
I finished blind sewing the binding while watching the Olympic Games opening ceremony (2 days later...)
Another UFO finished and another OPAM for me this month.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

2 flowers

We have had a glorious week of sunshine during our holiday in France. It was almost too hot... if I can say so after the atrocious weather we've had so far. We had a great time. Miss Strawberry Shortcake took half of the week to recover but eventually got better. We spent plenty of time with family having up to 7 kids to look after between 4 adults. So it was hectic at times, busy all the times, fun and tiring but a great week. Mr Cars found some friends - boys! because he was greatly outnumbered by his (girls) cousins and sometimes fed up of the girls! He spent a brilliant week with his new friend and keep talking about him!
I didn't find much time to sew during the week really, I had great plans but didn't have enough energy left when the kids were finally in bed! I finished my hexie flowers for the Inchy Hexie Swap and they will be on their way to Cynthia tomorrow.
I work a little on my Dear Jane blocks that I had prepared before leaving but didn't even complete one block!
I also made a start on my Treasure Chest blocks for the EEEEP EPP Bee. I have nearly one block pieced now that I should be able to show you soon.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Lucky day

Last week, I received a very nice surprise in the post. I won a giveaway at Johanna’ s blog last week and received the lovely book she has been contributing to: An Apple a Day. Thank you so much Johanna, I am delighted to have been the lucky one on your blog!
 Johanna sent me the book lovely wrapped

and Miss Strawberry Shortcake, who was at home because she was unwell, was delighted to have a present to open.
The book is lovely and the projects presented are innovative and gorgeous. I have already earmarked a couple that I’d love to find the time to make. Watch this space...

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Planning, playing…

I have been playing with my Sizzix recently. I bought the sewing room die sets by Tim Holtz but I hadn’t tried them yet. I thought I could try to create a sewing room for my partner for the British Quilt Swap. Now before I started cutting fabrics etc., I thought I could do a quick draft with paper.  I used a piece of leftover gift wrap in lilac and cut my pieces out of yellow paper for a nice contrast.  I must say I am pleased with the general look of my “sewing room”. 
I then created a couple of labels to stick to the room depending on my mood or all at once!
Well, I hope my partner likes the idea… ALL I need now is to transfer it onto fabric.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Teacher's present

Today was last of school here. Mr Cars went in with 2 little presents for the teacher and assistant. I used my BigShot to cut out the labels for the present. I really like how they turned out. I should remember to use my Sizzix more often really!

Now what was inside the presents?
Well I made some little pouches following the Orchard Tweed Pouch tutorial from the Zakka Sewing book.
I had bought some lovely vintage linen a little while ago and thought that would be perfect for the pouch. Because the fabric was patterned, I used plain fabric for the corners and didn't applique any hexagons.

I used the tutorial by Kelly to cover the ends of the zip.
As you can see I made a pink version and a black one. Well I hope the teachers liked it!

Monday, 16 July 2012

Where is the sun???

Mid-July, it is supposedly summer - nice and warm. Well not quite, today is grey (again), wet (again) and quite cold and windy outside (16 C) again... So I made my own sun
Last night I finished piecing my yellow Flying geese for the (May) Rainbow Challenge. I am a little behind with this BOM but I am slowly catching up. 2 more to do: purple for June and blue for July.

I also completed block #4 Christmas presents for the Christmas Block-a-Thon on the Free Spirit blog. I am now 3 blocks behind, although I am half-way though the block published last Wednesday and I haven't started the blocks from last Friday or today.
My BOM Rehab for this week-end.

I also finished my June block for the Bee Weave It or Not! We are making some lovely Basket Weave blocks following Nydia's tutorial. June disappeared so quickly that I never got around to make the blocks I was due to send. But here they are finally and I will be sending them off tomorrow.
2 blocks for Nydia
a warm block (red-orange-yellow)
and a cool block (purple-green-blue)
and 2 blocks for Sarah
aqua-hot pink-yellow-orange-light blue and black & white in the centre
yellow-orange-turquoise-hot pink and white & black in the centre
And finally (for now) a lime block for Lee for July
Now I need to concentrate on teacher's present, school finishes on Friday here so the clock is definitely ticking (should I admit that I haven't started yet beyond picking some of the fabric and the pattern).

Sunday, 15 July 2012

The mosaic of shame

I have just created a mosaic of some of the UFOs buried in my sewing room. I have always been very reluctant to go through my UFO and make a list because I knew it wouldn't be a pretty view....
This is it now, I have made it public I have (far too) many unfinished project. Well I sure hope the Lazy Bums are going to help finish or progress some of these... Watch this space (but I won't promise anything!)

Friday, 13 July 2012

Swaps, blocks, bees and challenges

I think I am officially addicted to Flicker and of course, I can't help but want to join in a new bee, swap or challenge. So just a round up of the latest one you can also jump in if you wish.

If you have some UFOs piling up in your sewing room and want to get motivated to pick them up, why not join the Lazy Bums where we will play game starting with a bingo card to pick which UFO to work on each month. There will even be a duelling apparently. We are a small group so far so I believe there is still place to play. Check out May's blog for more details.

Have you seen the Polaroid pictures that everyone seem to be in at the moment. Well, if you want to join the fun, there is a swap currently running on Flicker with a mailing date of 15 August. Go and check A Polaroid block swap. I have started to make a few with some fabric I had in my stash and they come together quickly if you chain-piece.

Of course, the Super Mario quilt along is on now. Angela has just posted the first block (Super Mario) with very detailed instructions. I received my fabric for the quilt earlier this week so as soon as I have finished my overdue Basket Weave blocks, I'll start cutting my tiny little squares.

If you are feeling "graphic" and are in love with all the black and white fabrics out at the moment (think Makower), then maybe you want to join the Bee White Black, starting Round 2 soon.

Well maybe it is enough for me for now.... I better get sewing soon.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Halloween See-Saw

Diane had sent me the 2 blocks for our Halloween See-Saw back in May sometimes and although I had a good idea of what I wanted to do with them, I hadn't had time to pick them up until lately.

If you remember Diane had done an amazing job adding a "Trick and Treat" on the top,  so I thought I should only highlight it with my border rather than try to compete with it! I used some bright orange and green strips to frame it and make it pop out of the quilt and I think/hope it worked. The fabric I used I have bought years ago and I really like it with the pair of eyes peering now and then.
 I also added a "night of stars and pumpkins" on 2 sides only to keep the asymmetry.
Well I hope Diane likes it.
Diane had turn my block on points and I decided to turn it again otherwise the witch either flies to outer space or right to the floor because of the angle of the broomstick.
Again I had this Halloween dark orange fabric for a long time and had never found a use for it until now.
I also had a coordinating panel/stripy fabric which I thought would make a great addition to make my block rectangle.
Now the 2 witches are flying back to Diane, I hope they'll avoif the flooding across the country.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

All stars

My seven different version of the Ribbon Star are finished for the [3x6] sampler quilt mini bee. I showed you the first 3 last week and I completed the last 4 yesterday. Now they can all fly away but one that I am keeping.

This one is for Melody - pink/coral, yellow and green
This is for Kira - teal, green and aqua
This is for Anna - magenta, chartreuse, turquoise
and this one is for Kim - red, aqua, light yellow in a 30s style
I found it fascinating to see how the same block can look so different depending on the fabric combination used in it. Sometimes, I find it hard to recognise the same pattern. And a swap like this is a great way of working with colours that you are not used to buy/use (a great way to expand your stash too I guess!)

Monday, 9 July 2012

BOM, blocks and quilt along

We went to see the Olympic Torch this morning and we got quite wet. It was great to see it but the weather was really awful. The (lack of) summer so far is just so depressing.

I finished the 2 blocks that were released last week on the Free Spirit blog for the Christmas Block-a-Thon. I am keeping up... for now as a new block has been published today!
The first block was huge, it is called Through the Window. I managed to cut one of the 6.5 square too small initially but thankfully I had enough fabric left to be able to cut another one.

The second block Wrap it up was supposed to be wonky but I am not good with "wonkyness" so I made mine straight instead.

The new block today is a 6' square block with gifts, more "traditional" in size at least!
A new project to keep on my BOM Rehab list to make sure I am not falling behind!

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Bento box and some stars

I am madly chain-piecing mixing projects, fabrics, colours etc. Amongst other, I have pieced my 2 Blue Bento Box blocks for the Rainbow challenge for this month.
I have used an aqua fabric from my stash that I bought earlier this month
and long hidden light blue fabric that I bought when I started quilting 10 years ago.
Something new, something old, something blue.... and I have been married 10 years next month!

I have also finally started my star blocks for [3x6] sampler quilt mini bee on Flicker. I choose the Ribbon Star from the Solstice Stars series following the tutorial from Faith at Fresh Lemon Quilts.
This is my test block (this one is mine, I have asked for blocks in pink and purple with a white background)
this is Lisa's block in blue and green
and this is Lisa's block in purple, green and teal (we have 2 Lisa in the group!)
I have another 4 blocks to finish for this swap due by next week-end.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Wonky Log Cabins

Amy is hosting this month for the Bee Europa 2012/2013. She has sent us an assortment of strips of fabrics to make her some Wonky Log Cabins. I am not very good with wonky blocks I must admit but the tutorial was easy to follow and I tried to "let it go".
I have made these 2 blocks
They need an additional strips to be the size she wanted because I messed up... When I was making one of the blocks I added the first round of logs clockwise and the second counter-clockwise. Now the blocks is wonky but the logs still need to go in the same direction I guess. Anyway I unpick and finished the blocks with the fabric I had left.
Now these will be on their way back to Amy next week when I finally manage to get to the post office.
And tonight I have ordered my fabric for the Super Mario quilt-along that should start probably next week. I have ordered Nature's Mood solids by Perfect Occasions fabric as these are available in the UK and were slightly cheaper than the Kona solids. I tried to match the colours online so I hope I won't be disappointed with my choices when I receive the parcel...


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