Thursday, 31 July 2014

Flower power, a nearly finish

I had hoped and planned to finish my Flower Power quilt this month as I want to gift it to my Grand-Mum for her 85th birthday very soon but this is not a finish as yet. So for a second month in a row I have failed the A lovely year of finishes  and Lazy Bums challenge.

But at least I can report some progress.
I worked hard very lately this month to make the border blocks, all 30 of them!
 4 Granny Squares for the corners
26 Mummy squares for the borders

Starting with 20 BOM blocks that were made between 2010 and 2011, I have actually made another 50 blocks for this quilt: 20 filler blocks for the centre and 30 blocks for the borders. The plan was for a quick quilt top to use those blocks and make a gift and it has actually turned into a much larger exercise. I hope this end result is good!

And that's an additional 20 blocks for the 350-blocks challenge, taking my total to 56 -amazing!
Next step is to square my border blocks up and to attach them to my centre top before quilting it, hopefully this week-end. Wish me luck!
Linking to A lovely year of finishes, Needle and Thread Thursday, Whoop Whoop Friday.

Friday, 25 July 2014

And some blocks too

I have kept to the #blockadayjuly challenge quite well so far, and this means that I am finally catching up with my Mod Mod Along blocks.
Over the last week to 2 weeks, I finished my Diagonal Bars blocks (I made 5 more)
the Irish Star Chain
and I started making some Spokes blocks, I have now 4 - 5 more to go

I also managed to finish my Lucy Bee block for June, finally

and my Bee Europa block for May

and also my Little Blog bee block for July

as well as make 2 new cat blocks but I put the wrong borders on so I will have to redo the borders!.

So that's an additional 17 blocks and a grand total of 36 blocks for July so far for the 350-blocks challenge - wow!
Linking to Whoop Whoop Friday, Anything Goes Monday, Design Wall Monday, Building Blocks Tuesday.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Fat Quarterly retreat and a finished quilt

Last week-end was the annual Fat Quarterly retreat in London and for the first time this year, I took part in the festivities and attended the Saturday sessions. Early start, late finish but a very very good day. Lots of sewing, chatting, socialising and some shopping too!

In the morning, I attended Rachel's class to make a Wiksten Tank top.

We didn't quite get there but nearly. I have the hem and binding left to sew on my top. We spent a long time learning about how to fit the pattern and how to measure the pattern and ourselves accurately which was so valuable.

I spent the afternoon in very good company with Jen Kingwell as a tutor for her marvellous Green Tea and Sweet Bean class.
And this was my NewFO for July, a modest start but a start of a long long term project!
We even had the chance to admire, touch, feel her own gorgeous quilt as well as her Gypsy Wife quilt. I didn't progress that much but it was so good!

 In the sample swap, I received a gorgeous cushion from Trash and a great zipper pouch from Kelly.

And the goodie bag was full of gorgeousness too.

Of course, there was a little bit of shopping involved but I feel I have been quite reasonable!

In the evening the lady who coordinate the Siblings Together charity came over to take possession of the quilts which were donated  and it was nice to see a big fat pile of them. I handed over my finished cross-road quilt as well.
 Because I was running out of time, I attached the binding all by machine and it worked quite well actually.
 I used a lovely Dear Stella print for the back of my quilt.
1 more  OPAM for this month and a UFO of my list for Q3 Finish Along List
Linking to NewFO.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Teacher's presents

So today was finally the last day of term for the kids, the summer holiday has officially started and it will be very short with just under 6 weeks off. And of course, last night, I was frantically finishing the teacher's presents. I made some little key pouches from Heidi's tutorial (similar to the one I made last week for the sample swap at the Fat Quarterly Retreat). In total I made 10 of these little pouches: 1 as a trial that I kept for myself, 3 for the sample swaps, 5 for the teachers and 1 with strawberries for my Strawberry Swap partner.

And for the teachers I also made some little mug rugs. I shamelessly copied an idea from Colette Moscrop to make some pages from the kids notebook but with fabric pens.

The kids wrote their message on their homework page!
And I made this cute paper pieced hedgehog for Miss Strawberry Shortcake's teacher as she was in Hedgehog class this year and free-motion around the hedgehog.

and just some free-motion quilting for Mr Cars' teacher

2 little mug rugs which were given out today together with the keypouch.

So that makes it 12 OPAMs this month, wow! And also I can cross off one item on my Q3 Finish Along List.
Linking to Needle and Thread ThursdayI Quilt Thursday and to Free Motion Mavericks.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

A nearly finished quilt

FQR is next week and the plan is to hand over my Siblings Together quilt. So after finishing the top last week, I was hoping to quilt it on my day off on Tuesday but I didn't go further than basting it. So yesterday I decided that I wouldn't go to bed until it was finally quilted. I didn't use any fancy pattern, just straight lines really but I got there. And it is finally quilted.
Now the quilt is quite big and in the interest of time, I thought I might try to sew the binding by machine. I normally sew it by machine on the front and by hand on the back but I don't feel I'll have the time by next Saturday so I will give it a try and see.

This week I also tried to make a key pouch that I am planning to make as my sample swap items for FQR (yes I know it is next Saturday). But Heidi has written a great tutorial and they are quite easy to make.
I was planning the Eiffel Towers at the back too but got confused! Never mind, this one will be mine because I love it! So this is my first OPAM for July, yeah!
And I am also planning to make those as teachers' gifts and possibly for the Strawberry Swap so I should be making more soon!

And of course, with Adrienne's challenge of one block a day, I have finished all 10 of my Bead on a String (I made 9 this week). They aren't all perfectly round but at least they are!
I also made 2 more Diagonal Bars so I now have 7.
My Mod Mod Along blocks are coming along nicely finally!

I am doing well this month as this makes my grand total of blocks at 19 for the 350-blocks challenge (9 more this week!)

Linking to Whoop Whoop Friday, Design Wall Monday, Anything Goes Monday, Building Blocks Tuesday.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Finish Along - Q3 list

The first 2 quarters are over already, so we are already half way through the year, time to plan for Christmas soon :-)  but first time to plan for Quarter 3 for Katy's Challenge

1 Work bag for myself - started years ago but stopped because of a zip fear! - this one is on my list since the beginning of the year so I am really hoping I'll eventually pick it up and finish it...

4. Bag for Maud -started 5 years ago...

6 My Siblings Together 2 Bee quilt - top is finished -  this one is on my list since the beginning of the year and I should really aim to finish it to hand it over at the FQR, now that's a deadline!

7 September in the Hexagon - need to be quilted, top pieced.  this one is on my list since the beginning of the year so I am really hoping I'll eventually pick it up and finish it...

8 New school bag for Mr Cars - fabric and pattern selected and the old one has a hole in the bottom so I should really make him one for when school starts again in September

9 Dance bag for Miss Strawberry Shortcake - fabric and pattern selected 

10 Triangle Quilt take #2  - all the triangles are cut so maybe I could finish it for my Mum, unless I keep it as a Christmas present.

11. Cat Quilt - hoping to finish this one to give to my mother-in-law as a belated birthday present when we go over in the summer

12. Teacher's presents (4) -  fabric picked and pattern picked. I was initially planning sewtogether bag but I have lower my ambitions now and will attempt this lovely key pouch by Heidi.

13. Sample swap for FQR -  key pouch 

14. Wiksten tank  - to be started at FQR and finished promptly if I want a chance to wear it!

15. My Auntie's purple quilt - UFO from 5 years ago

16. Flower power - to be finished promptly so I can gift it to my Grand-Mum for her 85th birthday

17. Spools and bobbins - to be finished promptly so I can gift it to my Grand-Mum for her 90th birthday

18. Book bag for Miss Baby who will start pre-school in September

19. Dumpling swap - Ocean 

20. Super Swap - zippered pouch

21. Strawberry swap - secret item

22. Name tag for FQR

23. It's a Sister's Thing swap - secret sewing

Well, I guess I should stop here... probably a far too ambitious list... but hopefully I'll cross the most important ones in time. Watch this space.
Linking to Finish Along Q3.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

I have been sewing!

Yes indeed! I guess Adrianne's one block a day challenge has forced encouraged me to take time to sit at my machine. And I decided that my one block a day would be a block for me, not a bee block or a swap block, not a block that I am doing for someone's quilt but one for me. So for now, I have picked the Mod Mod Along blocks as I have fallen so far behind. I have completed the January, May blocks and one April block and that's all. I need to make 10 Bead on a String (February), 3 Irish Star Chain (March), 11 Diagonal Bars (April), 6 Sunrise (June) and some Spokes (July).
So far this week or these first 5 days of July, I have completed 4 Diagonal Bar blocks

 and one Bead on a String (and I am hoping to make one more today ;-) )
And while I was working on these blocks, I have also progressed quite a few other projects.  First I have finally finally finished my block for Christa for the Stash Bee

and I also finished my last block for Siblings Together 2 quilt so I finished putting together the quilt top yesterday. I now need to quilt it and bind it in the next 2 weeks, wish me luck.

And I made a few more cats for my Cat Quilt: 2 more red and one more yellow (and I also unpicked and corrected one of the red one which wasn't the right size...)
So I would say it has been a good start for the month with already 10 blocks done for the 350-blocks challenge. Now I'll go for now, I am off to sew my block of the day!
Linking to Whoop Whoop Friday, Anything Goes Monday, Design wall Monday, Building Blocks Tuesday


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