Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Cheating

Why "cheating"?  
It kinda feels like it...showing all these pretty pictures of quilts that were made months ago and were beautifully quilted by Emily.  Really all I've done lately is sew on binding!

Hardly done any sewing at all in the last 6 weeks.  Molly has started insisting on rising between 5am and 7am and I just cant handle days started that bloody early!  I'm mostly falling into bed the second her eyes shut for the night (between 7 - 8 pm).  Its not her fault, the teething is worse although still no sign of gnashers, and - big news - she grew too big for her crib and we had to get the cotbed.  She is a BIG girl.  Not sumo big (as we never call her...honest) but just BIG!  And heavy, oh my word she's heavy.  Our imminent house hunting is taking a bit of a brutal reality check for me as we're thinking we'll now have to try and look mostly at bungalows, which I've never liked, since I cant really carry Moo up stairs very well now, and she'll only get bigger and my hip will only get crapper.  Phooey.  

Anyway.  My man is home now, for a while anyway, and I hope that in between house viewing and selling and stressing I might get some decent sewing time.  Fingers crossed!

Meantime, back to the pretty pictures!







I consider this giant triangles quilt made with Koi and purple solids to be a lesson in less is more pattern wise.  The plan was for giant triangles floating on the purple background.  Then I had the brainfart of hiding two stars amoungst the triangles in solid.  I like the quilt fine, but I dont think my pattern really worked.  I think the two ideas together almost cancel each other out.  Something else too.... I absolutely love every print in Koi, but.... well.... to be honest I'm not that keen on them all as a collective whole.  I'm wishing I'd broken my bundle up and added it to stash to use seperately.  I mean, there's not one print there that I dont wish I had more of, but however much I look at it all together here, something doesnt feel right.  




I consider this beauty to be a lesson in "fast and simple piecing isnt always actually fast and simple"....  Its a great pattern (not mine) and the instructions were simple enough, but wowza.  It took aeons of cutting.  Got a bit monotonous to be honest!  It was done in a chain piecing method, which you'd think right away would make it easier than hunners of 2.5" squares, but after each stage of chaining there just seemed to be soooooo much trimming.  

And finally, this one here is almost done.  It was my challenge myself quilt.  I love Anna Maria Horners "Innocent Crush".  Love it.  I've stashed it away for so long.  However my bundle seemed to be taunting me as it languished unappreciated in a drawer for years.  I just couldnt for the life of me settle of a pattern to use it in.  Or a background to use with it...  In the end, I went with a Moda Grunge brown.  Yep, BROWN... As I said.  Challenging myself, by going with a massive bit of my least favourite colour.  That said, the grunge is probably the nicest brown I've seen, it has touches of red and slate in it, so has a wonderful texture.  

So.  Its almost done.  Quilted, as usual these days, by the lovely Emily.  Just waiting for me to bind it, then I'll do a full reveal.  If we ever get a dry day again this year...  Tomorrow we're off for the day to check out some places to live, and would you believe it, today they were hit by massive flash flooding from the tail end of Hurricane Bertha.  I actually saw a house we had been considering on the news with a river running past the front door...  Wont be checking that one out then.....






Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Roll over tomboy...

Today I bring you my happiest finish of the year.  Apologies to those who have seen enough of it on instagram!!

This is my mini for my mini.  I've called it "hugs and kisses for Molly".  Yes, I'm getting a bit soppy.....






When I got my little girl my man hinted ever so subtly that I was perhaps a bit inclined to pick boyish or unisex stuff.  And thats fair enough, I dont really "do" girly.  I'm not much for dresses, I dont do heels.  But thats me, and wee Molly should get to choose things like that herself shouldnt she.  So I've been making the effort to find my inner girly....

I've bought a few dresses, for Moo obviously, I'm accepting the inevitability of most things being pink, I've even let granny put frilly bummed knickers on her!  What really surprised me  when I looked through my stash was how many bits (*ahem*) of Aneela Hooey prints I had.  Now you cant get more girly than that, surely?!




I'd loved seeing peoples scrappy economy blocks over the last few months, so I figured they'd be a great way to incorporate Aneelas lovely prints.  Somehow I managed to forget or overlook the fact that they involve triangles.  As my bestie said to me last weekend, "for someone who hates triangles so much, you use a lot of them".  Hmmmm. Why is it that so many of my favourite quilty patterns need triangles?!  What was to be a quilt very quickly became a mini....  

Just in case this isnt all sounding familiar enough for you, I managed to spill a cup of tea over half my cut triangles....

Not wanting to warp or fray the wee cuts I decided to sew and wash later.  To tell the truth, now its finished and has been through the washing machine, some of the tea hasnt come out in the wash yet.  Specifically in the whites, tea stains are showing up.  Thats a bit disappointing but I'm hopeful that a few more washes with stain removers will sort things out.




My first quilting plan had been to do a spiralling heart, but I was barely 2 hearts in when I spotted the quilt layers shifting a bit, and I couldnt be botherd with puckers.   Quilting plan number two was meant to be.  Hearts and kisses.  I finished off with a border round the edges of hearts, or my free motion attempt at hearts anyway!

I think its fairly safe to say I done girly!  I gave it to Mollymoo and amazingly enough she really likes it!  Honestly, she stares intently at each picture, strokes it softly, and then shoves it in her gob.   It's a hit!




I cant say I'm a convert, but I will make an effort to ensure that I make her girly stuff AND cool stuff I'd like in the future.   But no princesses.  Please god no princesses....

Monday, 23 June 2014

Big Hexies!

I have to start this post with thank you's.  Big thank you from mum to all who commented on her Siblings Together Quilt!  She was delighted.  Secondly, an even bigger thank you from me to everyone who commented on my freaking out Big Raspberries post!  Seriously, thank you so much.  Still think this whole baby lark is a bit of a conspiracy, but there you go - I suppose we'd never have them otherwise!
I had a haircut, which I hate as per usual.  Thankfully they didnt cut it as short as I'd wanted so I can still just tie it back!  I am terrible with haircuts.  Almost always disappointed.  I think there must be a hairdressers language, and that we should get one of those wee translation books for each time we have to go...  Imagine that in the tall spinny round travel books stand - where do you want to go? France, Italy, hairdressers...
Anyway.  Hair still falling out, thank god it was super thick to start with.  Must be stopping soon tho' eh?  Mum and dads drains sure hope so...

Fingers crossed me and Moo are getting a wee visit this weekend, from my longtimealltime bestie and her wee one.  Since I sent her a wee peek already I can actually share the wee quilt I made for my wee "niece".  First finish of 2014.  Phew!



Its giant hexies, obviously, in Cape Ann from Oliver & S.  I used a layer cake and 1 yard lilac solid, half yard gingham for binding, 2 yards Hopscotch by Sarah Jane for backing.  I think Cape Ann didnt get enough press when it came out, it really is beautiful but I never saw much done with it on our bloggysphere.  I was going to use the lovely, simple, half hexie patterns for this quilt, but then I wanted the prints with the clothes to remain whole.  There in started the nightmare that was the whole giant hexie quilt.  Never again! Man my template making SUCKS!!!  And all those Y seams...  I did 3 rows by hand, then tried the rest with machine.  Honestly couldnt tell you which took longer...  But anyway.  Got it done, loved it.

Mum came up with the genius Daisy quilting, and I sucked up the fear and went for it with the free motion....  actually thats a weeeee bitty of a fib cos I got mum to draw them all on first so I would have an idea where to go.  What can I say.  I'm no artist, either with pencil or needle!  They worked well though, I must say I'm chuffed with them.
Hope wee one will like it.  I look forward to showing her the fun stuff to do with a quilt.  Giant cape anyone?  Quilty sausage roll?  Inside Tent?  And, I hope, I might even get a wee sofa snuggle too.  If I'm super lucky.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Siblings Together Bee

As promised, I'm delighted to share with you mums Siblings Together quilt!





Mum took part in the first year of the Siblings Together Bee - her first bee - and had a great time!
Each member was allowed to choose a fat quarter bundle courtesy of moda, and mum went for the beautiful Blue Bird Park by Kate & Birdie Paper Co.  Choosing the bundle was easy, but the block?  That took a great deal of deliberation and many hours on EQ7!  Fortunately it also gave her something to do in between holding my hair back as I spewed my way through pregnancy...

Eventually she hit upon the Broken wheel block, and I gave up my hoarded Moda Grunge Cookies and Cream to use as a background, and it all came together.  I must say this block is now in my top 10 must make soon list!  Mum certainly made it look a lot easier than I'd expected it would be.





It was so much fun seeing the blocks come in, the bee ladies did mum proud and they all pieced together with no trouble at all.
The blocks came out at 18" finished, so with a little sashing and border, the finished quilt came to 60" x 80", a bit of a whopper in our house!


The batting was Sew Simple 80/20 and was kindly donated by Lady Sew and Sew.  For the back, Amanda from Westwood Acres generously donated yardage of a panel print from the range.  The panel actually looks like this,

picture taken from Fabric.com


but we needed it wider, so mum joined them in the middle of the flowery bit, canny huh?  It looks absolutely perfect!



We're not all that used to doing big quilts, mum and I, so the quilting became a bit of a mental hurdle.  It didnt help that the basting had been tricky and had needed to be re-done twice already.  Most bizarre, the tape we use to stick the back down when we baste just wouldnt stick to the back this time, kept pinging off mid pin!  Nightmare.  Anyway, the back puckered each time mum started quilting.  Third time lucky though!   It took a good bit of nagging encouraging to get mum started but boy when she got going it was done in a few hours!  A little glass of red may have been involved, but I think mostly it was down to the days I had spent going on at her about it.  Annoying?  Moi?  Well, I dont want mum losing her quilting mojo, its way too much fun having a quilting partner!
She did a free motion sunburst / bicycle spokes sort of thing in each block, and a lovely meandering line with hearts around the border.  To me the quilting is just an ideal fit for the "day in the park" theme of the fabric.





The binding was made with the off cuts from the back, mostly from the same pattern area too, and I think it works really well.  Suffice to say mum was awffy chuffed with it, and I love it too.

We'd like to give a big thank you to all the generous companies that have contributed to the making of these quilts for such a worthy cause, and of course all the ladies of the Siblings Together Bee.

Goodness knows I love my brother dearly and cannot imagine having had to grow up separated from him.  The work Siblings Together does is so special.  Here's hoping mums quilt goes some way to giving someone a big hug and a lovely reminder of fun times.