Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Little pretties

My head is way too full of ideas at the moment!  If I sat down and wrote a list of everything I want to do right now it would fill pages and pages...
For the moment I'm trying really hard to keep things small, and to get some W.I.Ps out of the way first, but it's not easy...  temptation is everywhere...  

I had to order some solid to finish a project, so, whilst I was at it, I ordered some solids to make a quilt I've had in mind.  Seriously, I did well just stopping at *one* of the quilts I have in mind...  Anyway, when I received my solids, Annie (at The Village Haberdashery) also sent me these...

These are charms of Hope Chest prints.  Now, to be honest, I'd seen them in the shop and skipped past them, they just didn't really appeal to me.  I've looked again at the on line pictures, and, well, they are pretty, they just don't really appeal to me.   I'm blown away by how differently I feel towards them seeing them in real life though!  They are LOVELY!  I must have taken dozens of photos of them, and it still wasn't coming across in my photos either, but they really are gorgeous.  

On the right are my favourite prints - the cross stitch one especially.   I don't really do cross stitch much, something about being faced with the blank canvas and having to count the position of every stitch, it just makes me sooo tired and sleepy.  This print has all the stitches marked for you!  I'd love to get a bit of this roses print though, Annie has even put together a matching threads kit especially for it....  
How cool is that?  All the work done for you (practically).  

I got some other lovely post too, the smallest, cutest little brown packet, which contained this wee cracker!

A brilliant wee thread catcher from Helen!  She's awffy lovely is Helen.  It's in use already as I'm currently working on these as my sofa project.

warming up my epp...

Hopefully I've got enough hexies here to do a nice cushion.  There are certainly enough here to have given me some nice callouses already...  

Upstairs in the cupboard I've managed to get this months bee blocks done, just in the nick of time.  Fiona sent us all a parcel with some treasured fabrics - favourite lines, vintage sheets, table cloths, doilies - all fabrics with special memories for her.  Some of them were very difficult to cut into!!  She asked us for 12" blocks of low value fabrics, with a 6" block contained within the 12" which would be a traditional quilt block done in high value fabrics.   I knew Fiona trusted us, but boy oh boy I felt the pressure on this one!  I just really wanted to do a good job for her.

I like my blocks.  I do...actually, I'd like to keep my blocks!  I could easily have sat up there and made another two!  However, in the interest of learning, I do think I messed up a bit with my high value choices in the first block.  The brown is an area which should be secondary to the bits I've done orange, but the brown is so dark it really jumps out first.  Also, the text print is, I think, detracting from the orange too.  Its so funny how different things look when its large chunks of fabric as opposed to small block parts.  
I do think that Fiona is going to end up with the most beautiful quilt though.  Everyone's blocks so far have been so lovely.

Quick question before I go....  Does anyone use Spotify?  I got a bit lost into it the other night....  I love making playlists, I love that it has so.much.music to choose from, I love that I can sit and listen to whole albums without actually buying them, but is there some kind of point to it all that I'm missing?  I'm on the free download at the moment, and its bugging me already that I have to be online and at the laptop to hear it...  And to pay to download songs is so expensive.  And OMG the adverts....  that is so unbelievably annoying.   Is there any other way to share the playlists than Facebook?  I hate that I've been on it one night and already I'm trying to justify in my head signing up for a monthly contract...
No.  No!  I wont do it.  I need Cd's in my hand.... I hate only having a download.  I don't like digital music players.  Don't get me wrong, dead handy on journeys (says she that rarely leaves the house) and fun for making playlists and "mixtapes".  But only as an "in addition to Cd's" kind of a way...  Mmmmm Mixtapes...  That reminds me, that's another quilt I *need* to make...

(if anyone wants to have a nosey at my first mixtape on spotify I don't know how to link to it.... but... I've tweeted it.  Yes, I'm on twitter.  If you think I sound pretty clueless about Spotify you aint seen nothing yet...I'm on twitter as sleepinsarah.  I don't tweet much, I don't know what I'm doing there, I can barely remember to charge the phone up...)

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Three in One (and on a sunday too)

I've been hinting and not showing these for months, but they are now in the recipients hands so I can brag share them with you now...  introducing the quilts for bestie, baby and hubby too.  Just a shame that the sun never made an appearance whilst I actually had access to a garden and washing line to hang them on....


The baby's Polaroid Quilt

babys Polaroid Quilt

babys Polaroid Quilt back

Measures 52" x 58"
Japanese charm squares as polaroids, shot cotton background.
Back, more polaroids on Alexander Henry Rolling Hills.
Fabrics 100% cotton (and some 50% cotton/50% linen blend) and batting 100% cotton.
Based on this beautiful block by Little Miss Shabby.
Quilting free-motion stars on the shot cotton, and hand stitching in white perle cotton on the white, including baby's name and other doodles on the bottom strip.
I've wanted to use my Japanese charms since I got them but no project was special enough til my best friend had a wee girl.  And they were doubly perfect as the new mum in question spent a few years in Japan so I knew the fabrics would appeal to her. I used the shot cotton as background for its warmth and I thought it was nicer than just having a flat colour.  When I saw how square the top was,  I decided to put a border on it and use that border to make the whole quilt one big polaroid.  

babys Polaroid Quilt hand stitching

babys Polaroid Quilt hand stitching doodles

The hubby's City Quilt.  

City Quilt

City Quilt quilting

City Quilt back
City Quilt sittin pretty

Based on the amazing Cherie House Quilts City Lots.
Measures  51" x 66"
Solids only quilt, 100% cotton fabrics and batting.
Quilting is straight line grid 1/4" inside seams with variegated thread.
In doing a quilt for best friends new baby, then finding myself making one for her too, I couldn't very well leave her husband out now could I.  I've wanted to make a City Quilt for ages now, and this seemed the right time to give it a go!
I had to do a border on hubby and besties quilts as I found I'd gotten carried away on babies quilt and it had ended up bigger than the two for the grown ups... couldn't have new dad sitting with cold feet...I went with the same plan as babies, to use the border to make the whole quilt like a large block.

The bestie's Circa City Quilt

Circa City Quilt

Circa City Quilt, quilting

To keep a family theme I decided to stick with the design layout of the City Lots, but this time on a larger scale to show off the prints of the Circa 1934 by Cosmo Cricket.  Also includes patches from the panel and border print.  The first time I saw this line it just made me think of my bestie.  Its maybe the typewriter keys, she is a brilliant writer and storyteller.  Or maybe its the retro 30's look or the print names, Garbo, Astaire, Hayworth...  Or maybe its just that I really love it and I thought she might too.  Or maybe I'm just getting far too soft in my old age...
Measures 53" x 67"  
100% cotton fabrics and batting. 
Back 100% cotton flannel, supersoft and cosy.  
Quilting is horizontal straight lines spaced 1.5" apart.

The two tops for Bestie and her hubby were made aeons ago when mum was visiting.  Once I  had the plan, the sizes and the fabrics mum helped out loads with the cutting and pressing as I did the stitching.  I'm glad I was able to bring the finished quilts to mum to see before they went on to their new home.   When I say finished, I need to point out that Hubbys City Quilt still needed the binding done, and as I became a little under the weather mum was able to step in again and do the hand stitching of the binding for me.  Isnt she a star?  Even bestie herself had to get stuck in and assist in the photoshoot - the quilts needed gripped tightly as the rotton wind was was determined to ruin play and I would have but someone had to play with hold on to the baby...

Best news of all, for me anyway I dunno about proper quilters, is that they are being used and abused already!  I swear I'm not being sarcastic, I honestly was thrilled to see them on the floor being rolled up in, hidden in, played with and crawled over, and when babys Polaroid Quilt got spewed on, well, that's just the perfect christening!  But the less said about spew the better right now.....  Suffice to say, I couldn't be happier they're being used and loved right away.  As I told bestie, they're only going to get softer and cosier and comfier the more they're washed.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

3rd Quarter pledge...

In this coming third quarter I will attempt to finish the following...

This is the Stained Mark II , of my first ever quilt along fame....  (still cant believe other people made one!!!).  That said, it was a QAL started in February, so it is really about time I, as instigator of said quilt along, actually finishes their quilt...

These are part of a quilt I am making from a bundle of vintage stripey sheets.  It has been put on hold for a wee whiley, but I was enjoying it a lot so hope to get it finished soon.

This is the makings of the third and final mini quilt I was requested to make for my friendly builder.   You may or may not remember that I forgot to take photos of the first.  And the second...  Third time lucky?  Must finish soon, he's been waiting patiently since July 2011....

This is something mum and I were working on when she came to stay, in January...  Sirius Spring - well you try remembering to say Citrus when you're in the middle of a Harry Potter marathon!  

And finally, the dreaded return of the "dead simple" fail cos I was dead indecisive and couldn't pick one single colour palette so used everything at hand...  I have plans now though, and these may or may not involve some unpicking and colour switching, but they certainly involve getting the damn lovely thing finished!

So there you go.  Bit too ambitious maybe, but why not eh.  Last quarter seemed to work, and I won fabric out of it, woohoo!!  Thank you Rhonda, and thank you too Sew Lux Fabrics.
Am linking this with the entries for Rhonda @ Quilter in the Gap's Finish Along.  Thankee x

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Finish along 2012 2nd Quarter round up

I hope this doesnt sound too much like I'm bragging, but I'm really happy with the finishes I got done for second quarter.  Don't get  me wrong, I didn't manage everything, but its the things I did finish that make me really happy.

I finished the Not so hidden stars quilt.

The not-so-hidden stars quilt

This had never been a favourite.  I had gone off the fabrics.  The solid I ordered to go with them was nothing like the Internet picture and I was never all that happy with what arrived.  However one night I decided that I really wanted to do a nice and simple top that I wouldn't labour over too obsessively... and that is what I got.  
I was never very impressed with my Free Motion Quilting.  This was the first time I'd attempted it on a whole quilt before...  It went wonky all over the shop....
But you know what?  I love it, and I use it every single day.  

I kept up to date (with a wee bit of a wobble, but nothing too bad) with bee blocks.  

June Block
Flying Geese block for Trudi, inspired by a quilt in the Fat Quarterly Shape Workout book which I have misplaced so I cant tell you who did the original quilt.  Will update later, promise.

Not only did I manage to get my own two bee blocks finished this quarter, I had a flash of inspiration and got the entire quilt done too!

The Beeast - with Lynne and Laura

If you'll forgive me for saying it again, I really love this quilt!!

Also on my list to finish in the second quarter were the following - 

"It would also be nice to get Stained II finished, otherwise this QAL could be the longest and slowest in history..."

Nope, not finished yet... but maybe that's encouraging for those taking part?!

"Also, I hope to get at least 1 out of the 3 planned mini quilts done."

Frustratingly, two out of three are now finished, but I never took photos and now they are with their recipients.  Numpty.  

"And I hope to get 1 at worst, all 3 at best, of the quilts done for my bestie."

One is completely finished.  One has been quilted, and its ready to bind.  One has been quilted and binding sewn to front, it just needs hand stitched to back.   Am meeting bestie on Monday (woohoo!) and will, fingers crossed, have them done and ready to hand over.  Get ready for a three quilts in one post sometime next week!