Monday, 31 December 2012

Just made it.

Thank you for all your helpful suggestions regarding how to fix the f*** ups in the last quilt, I'm delighted that everyones suggestions were positive!  Massively disappointed that none of you had any suggestions that didn't involve hard work though... I don't know, not one trick or quick fix amongst you?  Really?  Must just be me that operates that way....  Anyway, to update on that, I shall be putting said quilt away and hiding it for a few weeks as I do not have the will to go back and stitch every dodgy petal just yet.  It shall come out again; when I can look at it without pouting, scowling and generally muttering profanities.  It shall be my first entry for Leanne's 2013 Finish along!

Can I just sneak in one more finish before the year is out?  Pretty please?

Yes, it is my very own Stained II, from the slowest Quilt Along Ever...  And yes, in my hurry to get it on a 2012 blog it still has the sodding pins in it... d'oh!  But then the photo is so dark and rubbishly placed and actually out of focus I doubt the fact that there's pins in it really makes a blind bit of difference.  Note for 2013 - when man eventually comes home insist on a picnic / lets take all the quilts on a road trip and see if I cant get one bloody picture I like!!!

The Stained QAL was my first time hosting anything never mind a whole Quilt Along.  Might have been a teeny bit over ambitious but thankfully the pattern was soooo simple to put together no one needed to be told how to! (bad host... sorry)  Stained QAL and the Japanese Charm Swap were definitely the most time consuming things I did this year, but they were so much fun, and I am so glad I dived in and just did it.  Happy happy, and that's thanks to you guys!  

I'm hopeful that the lurgy is on its way out as I'm starting to stay awake for more than half an hour at a time now, although I'm still a veritable snot machine and am onto the kitchen roll now.... mmm...scratchy...but certainly more absorbent...  
Cant quite decide if I'm up to seeing the new year in at the sewing machine like last year.  I might.  But then again a quilt and a large glass of mulled wine (or two) is sounding darned appealing right now.  

I shall leave you with a mosaic of all the versions of Stained to have appeared on the Stained QAL Flickr Group Page.  I cant begin to tell you how amazing it's felt to have people actually want to make this quilt!  I love how different they all look, it's incredible!  Often when I make something I sit and think "maybe this would have looked better in some other fabric".  I've said before, I am utterly useless at making the same thing twice, so its been such a fantastic treat to have people do that for me *wink*.

Stained QAL 2012

1. staind picnic, 2. qal9, 3. Stained finis!, 4. IMAG1102, 5. Stained - Finish!, 6. Neon Stained, 7. Stained QAL All Done, 8. Stained Quilt Top Detail, 9. Stained Colourful Finished, 10. apples1, 11. Stained quit top done. But rainy day=bad pics, 12. Stained Quilt finished 2, 13. stained on bench, 14. DSCF6839_WCC, 15. Stained so far, 16. Little Apples Stained quilt finished, 17. stained quilt all finished, 18. Stained Blue - Stained Quilt QAL, 19. Shattered Stained Navy, 20. IMG_1028, 21. Echo Stained, 22. Stained Glass top finished, 23. Folded over a sign, 24. Stained II - finished, just..., 25. black monkey, 26. Block 1c, 27. Not available, 28. blok 1c29. Not available30. Not available

A massive, heartfelt thank you to all those who joined in, it was wonderful!  If anyone isn't finished yet, don't worry - it is the slowest QAL ever after all, and the group will stay open as I love popping in from time to time.

All that remains to be said is that I wish everyone a very happy new year!  Lets hope for love, for health and for some bloody good fun :-)  (and a bigger fabric budget...)

Friday, 28 December 2012

She thinks its all over.... it's not.

 Remember this one?  My attempt at the Soda Pop Quilt by Katy Jones?

You might remember me moaning about my issues with the fusible batting not sticking.   Or my issues with the bonda web on the white bubble parts not bonding.   But then I do moan rather a lot so maybe not...  
Mum helped me get all the bubbles done in a couple of mammoth quilting sessions before she left, and its been sitting on the sofa waiting for me to hand stitch the binding down on the back.  Boxing day seemed like the ideal day to get that finished. 

As usual, I wish the photos were better.. but believe me these were the best of a whole big bad lot!

Looks aaaaright eh?  Looks like a finish eh?  I bloody wish.  This quilt is not done yet... it has yet more "issues" to wind me up with.

Poor wee soadypop, the faults are entirely my own.  As you can see, there are a few bits where my stitching has come too close to the edge of the petal bits.  Or the stitching has missed the edge completely...  This is only four of them.  Unfortunately there are decidedly more than four in the quilt.  
Unfortunately the bondaweb stuff didnt work, so they arent even stuck down.  So...
How the hell do I fix it?  Is it just a "grin and bear it cos there's no simple way" situation?   Frankly right now I'd rather just pretend that it is finished and forget about it!  But, it needs a wash, I am hoping that the failed fusing crispiness will wash out and I would love to feel it soft and drapey instead of its current cardboard nature.  If I washed it just now though I'd lose half the petals - and if that happened I think I'd seriously loose my temper with it!   Answers on a postcard please....  

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Christmas makes and mental cat.

Am too stuffed up with cold to make any kind of polite, non snot related conversation - the dreaded lurgy hit on 23rd and I fought it as best I could til auntie went home boxing day morning.  Since then I've just been a dozy dopey mopey mess!  So, I shall show you the pressies I made (at least the few I remembered to take photos of.... numpty)....

And they do say that Christmas is all about the kids, and since I dont have any the cat will need to do.  This is the beast the night before Christmas, getting up to all sorts of trouble and making me fetch baubles from under the sofa and the armchair every five minutes...

And this is her on Christmas morning, getting her Christmas Catnip....

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Return of the Christmas Potted Plant...

I'm a bit stuck for a decent blog post ("again?" you say...) mainly due to my not having done anything other than sleep and make Christmas presents that I cant show yet!  I've been keeping the most awful hours lately - I'd had a long spell of not sleeping at all during the night which naturally leaves me useless during the day, and when you've got pressies to make I just gave in and got up whenever I woke up...well, I've heard I'm not the only nutter person who got up in the wee small hours to sew!

Anyway, all presents made, and those that needed posted were posted in time - big relief, small miracle...

Hardly any Christmas trees made it to the island this year, so I'll leave you with the Christmas Pot Plant in all its festive glory, and a reminder to put radio 2 on at 9am Christmas morning for Junior Choice....  I will!  (Elliecat likes it..)

Now, off to make the (veggie) sausage rolls, the cheesecake, and wrap Aunties presents.  Merry Christmas one and all!

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

the second week

It's just me and the cat again.  Mum has gone home.  Boo....  But I have the week two finishes to show off!

The two things that were going so wrong in the last post are sorted.  The zip problem - well, I interfaced the fabric until it was unable to do any shifting and that sorted it.  The fusible batting and (not)bond(ing)aweb we couldn't exactly fix so it was just a matter of time and effort to re-fuse the batting every line and stitch very slowly checking each and every petal.  It's still a Work In Progress.  

However.  The finished bag...  made to order for a fabulous mate with a paisley obsession....
It's Lisa Lam's Reversible bucket bag, but not reversible as it now has internal pocket with zip, internal pocket for mobile, pen, passport etc, ZIP CLOSURE (woohoo!) key rope & clip, plastic bag bottom and plastic tubing handles.  Just a few wee alterations then....  

Another finish is a project that mum and I worked on together at the start of the year (well, mum worked I bossed a whole lot) our Sirrius Spring Quilt.  In case you've forgotten (I wouldnt expect you to remember everything you read here.  Just most of it.) it is so called as we were making it in the middle of a Harry Potter Marathon... You try 2 HP films a night including dvd extras and see if you can still say Citrus...

As is usual for this time of year, especially in this ole house, there is no daylight, and very little room, and poor interior lighting too, so these photo's are pretty good with all that in consideration...

Its another Kate Conklin pattern called "Off the rails".  We used klona Ash and a selection of citrus-ish coloured prints.  I especially love how the orange binding works and how the quilting turned out -  we did random straight lines all over it at all sorts of different angles, in a bright orange variagated thread!

And finally, number 3 of 3 but the first one I've remembered to take a photo of - a series of mini quilts I was asked to make a shamefully long time ago.  All done now tho!  Phew!

Meanwhile I have 2 zippys to finish, 2 totes to finish, 2 scarves to make, 2 quilts to bind, 2 cushions to make, and a secret santa to sort out.  Odd how there's ended up being two of most things!    So, best get on with it eh.  Dont we just love Christmas?!

Thursday, 6 December 2012

The F word. Fusible that is.

My what a sweary sewing day today.  Honestly, I might just have surpassed myself with the variety and ferocity exhibited today.

It started with getting up early and packing up a quilt to be basted and all the kit and caboodle required to do so and trudging ever so slowly and carefully through the icy inch of snow to ... well.... nothing.  It was supposed to be a quilting group meeting -  something very new to me, primarily attended for the massive tables to be honest, I take a long time getting to know actual people however nice they are....  Anyway.  Dicey, slow, painful trudge to get there, and there's nothing on.  D'oh!  Should have thought that it'd be cancelled if the pavements and roads were icy.  Numpty.

So. Hip hurt, and no way to baste.  Plan B, continue work on my Soda Pop.  I dont know if I've shared much of that with you.  I did put a wee picture of the half made quilt top on my Finish Along List.  Well, we got the top pieced a couple of days ago, and mum has been a massive help in drawing and cutting 150 more petals for me!

If you are not sure what in the name of the wee man I'm on about, I'm talking about making the fabulous quilt by the equally fabulous Ms Katy Jones, featured in the, again, fabulous Fat Quarterly Shape Workout book.  Here is a photy (nicked from Allegory  co-incidentally fabulous also).  Allegory also ran a Quilt Along, which is when I started this... I didn't officially join in as I was, rightfully, a bit dubious as to how quickly I could  do it - not very quickly at all it turned out!  Anway.  This is the masterpiece I dream of...

With all my basting issues, I bought a queen size fusible pack of batting for this one.  With my trusty un-built coffee table laid out in quilting mode

mum and I painstakingly fused the quilt top, and back, to the fusible batting.  (We had towels wrapped round the boards, just in case you wondered).

No cat was pressed in the making of this quilt.  Not for the want of her trying though.

One row at a time, we fused and quilted / raw edge applique'd the petals.  My god it is an absolute freakin' hateful nightmare.  (Must state, this is NOT how Ms. Jones tells you to do it!  Must also state that although it is the method Allegory used, I sincerely doubt she did the same way I've been attempting - my sweariness and foul temper are my own fault entirely and only directed inward I assure you!).  

My petals wont stick right, they keep lifting off.  I keep completely missing the points, then they get folded over on themselves at the very last minute and sewn in place like that.
My walking foot, despite NEVER being too happy to assist me in getting straight lines straight, is even less happy with the notion of doing a gently undulating wave.
The fusible batting gives the quilt sandwich a temporary crispiness, which makes it very difficult to wrestle through a sewing machine.  The fusible batting has also UN-FUSED itself.  It apparently doesn't like to be quilted.  Bit f****** useless then wouldn't you say?!  Don't get me wrong, I've used it in bags and pillows and wall hangings etc, and its been fab.  But a quilt?  It is not playing nicely with the other children at all.

Back and shoulders now as sore as hip, time for plan C.  Get on with the second bag commission.  Typically enough, it just didn't want to play nice either.  I was trying to do this style of zipper again.

Knitting bag interior pockets

This tutorial, but this time I'm making the zip about 2" longer at the end instead of splitting it up.  The fabric pieces either side of the zip.  Just could not do it!  5 times I've sewn it and had to unpick.  I've pinned it.  I've starched it.  I've used bondaweb on the edges of the zipper to fuse it in place (might have known that wouldn't work today!).  I've tacked it.  Every single time I end up with a big (more than 0.25") bump of fabric on the top being chased by the needle...  I just don't understand it.  

So, there has been a big blue sweary cloud round my head all day!  Thankfully, mum is still here.  She cooked me dinner, we put the fire on, and did nothing - absolutely nothing all evening.  So much happier now!  

Sorry bout the not-so-good photos today, and also if you've commented and I've not replied I apologise; I'm a bit behind.  I do read them and I do appreciate getting them, thank you!

Subscribe early!

Apologies if you feel bombarded with this at the moment, as usual I am a bit late getting my post out so you've no doubt heard it all before, a few times, already.  But, dammit, it is worth saying again.

If, like me, you wish there was a choice, a bit of variety in modern quilting magazines - pay attention.  There is something you can do about it.

Kerry, of Penny Dog Patchwork, is fundraising to start a brand spanking new quilting magazine, Fabricate!
I'll leave all the detail explaining to Kerry - read this - but I would say this.  If she succeeds, you are probably going to want to get this magazine.  Ahhh go'aaan... you know you will.  We'll all be blogging about it... So if you can make a donation, this will be much more likely to happen.   And if, sadly, it doesnt happen, no money is taken from you at all, so you've lost nothing - except the opportunity to get a great new quilty magazine.
Nuff said.

Meanwhile...  I finished 2 christmas present makes, and promptly forgot to photograph them.  Not that I'd be able to blog them anyway, secret time and all that.  However, I had 2 requests for bags, and I got the first one done.  I give you the "off on a cruise" holiday bag.  (For a lady who is, conveniently enough, going to be going on a cruise soon.)  It's actually my trusty favourite Lisa Lam bag, the "For Pleat's Sake tote".

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Catching up more

I am having such a great time with mum here!  She turned up with a mission - help me clear as many of my WIPs as possible.  Slowly but surely we are getting there, and even more importantly, we're really enjoying it.  It is such a wonderful feeling to be getting things done for once!  I couldn't be doing it at all without mum here to encourage me, tell me to nap, supply cups of tea, do the dishes, help with all the meals, help me keep my mind on what I'm meant to be doing....

One of this weeks projects was a commission I got a wee while ago to make a teeny wee quilt to be a  gift for a newborn.  They don't know yet whether it's a girl or boy, so I had to keep it neutral.  Actually as commissions go I was given a fantastically free reign.  Neutral colours, a small square size,  and the tip that daddy is a fisherman and they live by the sea.

I thought right away of the lovely organic Beyond the Sea prints from Cloud 9 and I found a pattern by Kate Conklin which actually used Beyond the Sea.  I didn't follow the pattern as such, but I did buy the pattern, have a good look at what was done, then I pretty much did the same.  In doing a nine block layout I wanted the centre different, and I liked the flow of the blocks so I decided on a nice drunkards path four-patch, with the quarter circles creating a bit of a curvy pin-wheel.     Although I should point out that mum put that block together when I was napping!
It has been given the nod of approval from the recipient-to-be, so I'm pleased with that.

Quilt detail  -  top, Beyond the sea by Michelle Engel  Bencsko (with a couple of stripes from her Simpatico line and a dotty blue from her My Happy Nursery fabrics) all from Cloud 9 100% organic cotton, sashing 100% cotton, back is 100% cotton flannel, and batting 100% cotton also.  Design based around Kate Conklin's Sea Views.  Machine quilted in wavy lines.  31" square, now 29" square post wash!

Another project I've been pottering about with which mum helped encourage me to complete is this cushion, to be a pressie for a bloggy bloke.  The front is English Paper Pieced hexies in Curious Nature, with a bit of hand quilting in perle. 

The best bit is that I finally got up the nerve to do a concealed zipper closure on the back!  

Mum helped out here by insisting on putting a binding on it.  Its not something I've done before, binding a cushion, and frankly by the time I'd sorted the front and the back with the fancy zipper and all that, I was shattered so when mum said it would look even nicer with a binding I let her get on with it!  She's so right though.... much much nicer.  And now that I've seen it done so quickly and easily... well no excuse not to do it again!

There has  been other work done; we have two quilts basted, one ready to baste, 2 cushion tops cut, 2 bags cut... And there's been some boring but essential home re-organising too.  We've filled a nice big box for the dump, shifted some small furniture, re assigned some storage, (nothing to do with rapidly expanding stash...) (fingers crossed? me?  you think?)  and today mum helped me replace the old dressing gown I had pinned to the window frame with a proper curtain!  
An even more impressive home improvement was my purchase of an Ikea coffee table for £20.  No building required - the chunky top makes for an ideal speedy workspace when put on the spare bed, and the shelf makes a great board for the cutting mat.  Also, I chose the white, so hopefully they will come in handy for taking photos too!  And when not in use they slip neatly behind the chest of drawers.  Perfect!  

So, that's our first week.  Fingers crossed I'll have even more to show this time next week!


Tuesday, 27 November 2012

My new favourite...

I have a new favourite quilt....  No, it's not one I've made.  I will have makes to show soon though, promise.
No, this is my new favourite quilt made for me by mum.  I cant tell you just how much I love this quilt!

I picked up a selection  of Anna Maria Horner velveteens earlier this year in sales, with a nice cosy thick quilt for winter in mind.  Not wanting to wait for winter 2015 I asked mum if she fancied making it for me!  Fortunately for me, she said yes.
Mum was quite taken with all the porthole blocks appearing, and she came up with a rather awesome design which would incorporate nice large pieces, and portholes too.  I've been sitting here quietly, patiently, getting the odd update from mum for the last month or two, and now its finally here!  So...  wanna see?

It is such a luscious quilt.  So tactile, so soft, so warm.  The colours are so vibrant too.  Mum worried when she was making that it might be a bit much, as I had chosen the combination of prints on price not compatibility, but when you see the quilt in person its not that way at all.  I absolutely love it!  There's just so much to keep looking at, and you notice different parts of quilt design each time you look.
Its bound and backed with a really lovely raspberry flannel (another double duvet sale bargain!).  And what a back it is too!  Inspired by another quilt I love.   Love the trees.  And the quilting too, like pathways meandering through a forest.

I love this photo.  I told mum I was going to blog it and say "spot the pinkie finger".  She said "what makes you think its *that* finger...." 

I love my new quilt.  It goes on my bed every night, and I take it down to the sofa every day too.  In fact, I think I might just spend the entire winter wrapped up in this quilt.  Wont I look stylish?  It'll no doubt save my man some pennies on electricity too - so its not just making me happy...its earning me brownie points too.  Bonus!!!

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Catching up

Well now that's been quite a break you've had from my ramblings - a break during which my man went back off to sea, I spent a good nasty few days hugging the toilet (not voluntarily I might add), and oh-happy-days my mum has just arrived for our annual sewathon!

I am going to try and keep this post short and sweet, since I actually have sewing company for a change, so I hope you dont mind if its a bit boring!

So far, I have completed bee blocks for Modern Stitches Bee - my favourite fluffy sheep Cindy asked for the lovely and not at all like its name "depression block" from 99 modern blocks.  Here are my two.

Another completed (albeit a little late I'm afraid) bee round is Octobers Brit Bee, my mate Susan, who asked for stars.

Mum and I have a stonking long list of wips to clear and tutes to try.  We have movies to watch.  We have some bag patterns and purse frames, some quilt tops to practice quilting on.  And we have a new toy to play with too....  And all to squeeze in to two weeks!  So.  So.  Happy.....  

I also have a little De-stash if anyone is at all interested...  I havent sourced postage rates yet so prices are EXCLUDING POSTAGE.
1.  Cape Ann Jelly Roll  by Oliver + S  £20  Linda's
2.  Circa 1934 Jelly Roll by Cosmo Cricket  (all there, unused, I just unravelled it to look and couldnt put it back together...)  £20  Di's
3.  3 Terrain Charm Packs by Kate Spain  £15  Susans

First come first served, leave a comment if you're interested, I shall get postage quotes monday, and payment through paypal.  Thank you!  I'd prefer to ship UK & Europe only, not to exclude my American friends, but the postage would be awful and you'd find them in the states anyway!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Travellin' Pic Stitch Blog Hop

Today is my turn on Laura and Katys extended road trip - they should actually be home by now, but we'll carry on touring yet!
Each stop on the tour gets to share a few photos of their stomping ground, and taking from one of those photos a colour scheme to EPP!

Now I've done a few posts on walks lately, and I've prolly bored you all to tears with beautiful beaches and whatnot...  but what the hell, I'm going to do it again now too!

This is a little bit of a cheat cos I actually live in town and this kind of stuff is what you see once someone drives you outside of town.  But there you go.  Town, not so interesting.  They're all a bit of a cheat anyway as 80+ % of the time its usually dark, grey and rainy too....

So many of my photos only generated shades of green and brown, with a bit of  blue or grey...  I got bored...  I really wanted to use this photo, as the colour generator (Kuler) came up with some beauties, but alas I could not get a good match from my stash.  To be honest, I find that particularly hard.  In fact, I probably spend more time fannying about trying to pick "the right fabric" than I do piecing anything together. And its always the thing I worry I've got it wrong - right up to (and sometimes after) finishing.  I am *that* crap at it.

However.  I was sneaky clever enough  to think ahead during my walks, and I took this stunningly attractive picture...

Woohoo!  From this beach trash photo, I was able to get this fabric pick.

I've been making flowers with 1" hexies, but to be honest, I'm not entirely sure about them.  (Are you at all surprised?!)

I think if I keep going they might win me over by sheer force of number!  It sure has been fun though!

Now be sure and hop over the pond to visit Jenelle tomorrow @ Echinops and Aster!

This post is part of the Travellin' Pic Stitch Blog Hop.  From 1st October - 30th November we are hopping all over the world EPP-ing in some fantastic locations.  Check out the full list here and be sure to check out the other participants. On 30th November it's over to you to link up for a chance to win these fabulous prizes! Sponsored by Paperpieces.comFabricwormPink Castle Fabrics  Marmalade Fabrics, the Fat Quarter ShopWantItNeedItQuilt, and Aurifil.
Full details for competition entry can be found here.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012


Hopefully my American friends are far too busy voting to read this... but for those not stateside and those who have voted..

There's some fun voting to do now, for the Bloggers Quilt Festival at Amys Creative Side!

There are 15 categories to vote in, and chances are you might just recognise one of two of the quilts in the 5 shortlisted for each category.

There's a Big Blue Beeast in there....

Woohoo!!  I am so thrilled Brit Bee have come top five in the Group / Bee Quilts!  Thanks so much to everyone who nominated the Beeast!

In fact, you could say brit bee really have done well cos we've also got Susan in top five Hand Stitched  Quilt, and Hadley in top five Mini / Doll Quilt!   Special mention to my swap buddy Kerry too as I just adore her quilt which has made top five in the Art Quilt Category.

Congratulations to all the finalists, the ones I know and the ones I dont.  Now, please go vote!  Vote for the quilts you love, the ones that catch you eye, and the ones that make you smile.  Its all a bit of fun after all!

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Last walk for now..

Time for another walk...  Admittedly this one actually happened almost 2 weeks ago, this is the one before the last one when I fell over.  It is my favourite though, I've saved the best for last.

Another little route map for you.   This time I managed a wee walk around instead of the usual "walk until I freak out about how far from the car I've gotten and turn round".

This is St Ninians Isle, a wee uninhabited island connected to mainland Shetland by a Tombolo or Ayre (long bank of sand or gravel), apparently the largest active tombolo in the U.K.  So wikipedia says anyway - or did you think I'm usually that knowledgeable?!

I say "uninhabited" island, but thats not entirely true....  it's positively louping with bunnies!  They are everywhere!  I'm surprised we managed to walk as far as we did without the ground collapsing under foot - and for once I'm not making reference to my weight, more the fact that everywhere you look you see rabbit holes...  there must be mile after mile of tunnels under the surface.

Yes, sadly we did get rather close to one bunny, though I must say not on purpose.  If you can get close to a wild bunny, you can be pretty sure it's either dead or dying.  Awffy sad, but thats nature eh.
Anyway, on a brighter note, this walk didn't just have wildlife.. it had a bit of History too...  (so much fun aren't I?)

St Ninian's Chapel where buried treasure was found by a schoolboy in the 1950's.  Where today in the 2010's we overheard wee schoolgirls discuss who had the best booze hidden away for the weekend!    Honestly, I don't know what was worse,  feeling oh so old or so hypocritical....

It really was a beautiful afternoon, and this time we made it back to the car *before* the rain!

What was even nicer though was to get home, have man put the fire on, me put the kettle on, and both put our feet up and have the best flavour cupcake in the world, ever.  The Hummingbird Bakery's Red Velvet Cupcake.  Hmmmm....


Sunday, 28 October 2012

Bloggers Quilt Festival

I really enjoyed last years Blogger's Quilt Festival, from an observers and voters point of view.  The brainchild of Amy from Amyscreativeside,  it's a wonderful chance to show off share your favourite quilt with everyone, and be up for a chance to get some awesome prizes too...
This year, I'm going to be brave and actually enter something...  I dont know why I find it so hard to like things that *I* make, but I generally do.  I say 'generally' because there is one quilt I will never tire of saying I love, and that is my first ever bee quilt.

 These are the fabulous and diverse blocks I received from my "do anything" instructions, and the weird mix of blue & black fabrics I sent out.
As much as I loved them, I'll be honest, I didnt have a clue what to do with them all to get them into one cohesive quilt top....  They sat in a bag for 6 months...

Spurred on by the thought of meeting all my bee in London, I became obsessed with having a finished quilt to show them.  As an extra push, I dipped into my piggy bank and booked my "quilt" in to get professionally quilted...

As the days ran out I tried all sorts of different layouts, thought about all sorts of sashings etc.  I started to panic.  It just seemed like two quilts - traditional blocks, and modern, free scrappy blocks.  Maybe it was a reflection on my state of panic, but two blocks in particular caught my eye - Ceri's block, and the random piece and slash/slash and piece section my mum did for me. I saw a lightening flash and a tornado and somehow they just whipped all the blocks up together!

5 days and nights of manic, scrappy piecing to build mums block up to 24" square, and individually enlarge each block up to 14" - in some cases making one block 14" x 16" and the one next to it 14" x 12", whatever was needed to link them - I got the top done in time.

It was wonderfully, professionally quilted by Christine Marriage, (who is so, so lovely!) in a "square dance" pattern, which I think really suits the quilt top as its so random and angular.  I used Moda's extra wide dottie grey to back it, and I bound it in the same kona black so that the edges disappear.  It measures approximately 81" x 95".  Its a bit of a beast.... my Blue Beeast....  and I love it.

Its too big for the "patio" and the sliver of sun we get....

Quite a few people may remember seeing this quilt in person, as I took it with me to the Fat Quarterly Retreat 2012 thinking my bee friends might like to see it, and it seemed to have a life of its own!

Lynne and Lauli helped with the modelling

This photo is a snapshot of what is possibly one of my warmest, snuggliest, happy memories, I still can hardly believe it; when one of my absolute favourite bloggers - Lynne of Lilys Quilts - genuinely really liked my quilt!

I can lie and stare at my quilt for ages, I always notice something new.  I love every single bit of it. But I do have some favourite bits...  Like how Susans Broken Window block sat so nicely with Fionas Paw Prints Postage Stamps block...  looks like Elliecat has been really naughty...
My man loves the Saltire, and the  "starwars bit"....

Thanks for letting me show it off again, I'm sorry, I just cant help myself, I bloody love it!  Thank you so much to all of Brit Bee for the awesome blocks that make my Blue Beeast such a special quilt  xxx

Blogger's Quilt Festival stats
Quilt - The Blue Beeast
Size - approx 81" x 95" 
Quilted by Longarm Chris
Special techniques used - just about everything!  There's applique, foundation paper piecing, english paper piecing, "wonky" piecing, traditional block patterns, free scrappy piecing...
Best Categories - Group/Bee quilt, Bed quilt

Thank you for reading, and please go and have a good nosey at all the amazing quilts being entered in The Blogger's Quilt Festival 2012