Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Just for you Andrea!

Andrea wanted to see the fat quarters that I plan to use in my little stash busting exercise, so Andrea, Here they are!

These are the fat quarters that I have sorted out for my stash busting efforts. I haven't counted them all, but there are quite a few.

I've had a think about what I'm going to do first. I need a backing for my Strip Twist lap quilt and I think scrappy will work well, so I'm going to cut a 10 inch square from each of the fat quarters. This should yield enough for a lap quilt backing. I love scrappy pieced backs, I have another quilt on the go which uses fat quarters pieced whole for the back and it looks great

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Stash Reduction

I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I am the Fat Quarter Queen! And by this title, I am not referring to my substantial behind! LOL! When I started quilting I quickly developed an addiction to these little bits of sunshine, and now I have loads and loads and loads of them. At the time they seemed like a fairly cheap way of acquiring a nice palette of fabrics, and indeed they are. But how many times have I looked at a lovely quilt in a magazine or book and found that I just don't have the quantity of fabric specified in the requirements. So I'd go out and get some more!
Judy Laquidara at Sunshine Quilts is running a stash-reducing challenge. I've made a sort of half-hearted attempt at trying to reduce my stash for some time now, but lets be honest, I haven't really used up too much fabric. I have a lap quilt top made using one of Bonnie H's Quiltville patterns, Strip Twist and a few other blocks of another design made, but that's about it. I will join this challenge and see if I can use up some of this fabric.
I have sorted a large pile of fq's into a box, and will attempt to use these up before I start on another project. I don't know yet what I'm going to make with them, scrap quilts are a possibility, but also bags might happen too.

Not so restful Sunday..

I had great hopes today of getting the binding done on my Indian Hatchets quilt. I say had, but you have probably already guessed what happened here, it just didn't get done!
Instead I have spent the day trying to impose some sort of order in the mess that is my sewing room. This little room is only 6 feet by 9, but it is all mine, and it gets into a right state sometimes. A whole load of stuff turned up in my sort-out session that isn't even mine, I think that some people in this house ( who shall remain nameless ) use this space as a dumping ground. Never mind, all is now looking much better. I still need to clear off the cutting table, which is going to have to wait until tomorrow as my back is really complaining. We don't have anything on tomorrow after school, so I should be able to get this last little bit done and get my binding made. I do hope so, as I have another quilt that needs the quilting finished and I'd like to get to it while I'm on a roll!

Just so that this entry isn't another one that is picture-less I have added a photo of my little Button picture all framed and up on the wall. I still haven't got Bronnie interested in finishing hers off yet, but I'm glad that mine is done at least. I did have great ideas about making some more of these for Christmas presents, but we'll see...

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Not much going on here

I'm sorry to have been gone for a while. We spent a few days in Belfast over the last weekend, so there was no sewing going on. I did take some hand piecing with me, but with a bit of sight seeing and the International Cross Country ( DH was representing Wales in the 45+ category ) I didn't manage to put in a single stitch!
Mum and I took the children to see Beowulf while DH was at the presentation dinner. They enjoyed it, although Bronwen and I had to cuddle up for the jumpy bits a couple of times!

I have finished the quilting on the Indian Hatchet quilt today, used a lovely YLI variegated thread called Harvest. Although I have only done straight line quilting on this lap quilt, I am quite pleased with the effect. Hopefully I can get the binding done tomorrow, and then I'll have something to show off again.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Progress and frustration!

Well, I have managed to get some work done on the quilt I showed yesterday.

It's been pretty slow going so far. The quilting design I was going to use didn't turn out how it looked in my head, so that lot got unpicked!

The walking foot is a great invention to aid those whose machine quilting isn't really up to scratch. Not to self - it's a good idea to drop the foot before one attempts to quilt 2 diagonal rows! More unpicking!

I finally managed to get all of the diagonal rows and the inner border quilted before I made any more mistakes. I've now finished for the evening while I'm ahead.

I want to do some more quilting in the centre, ideally around the 2-color squares, but I'm not sure that I can be bothered with dealing with all of the thread ends.

I have no idea what I'm going to do in the outer border yet - any ideas?

For now I'm going to deal with the threads that I have while I veg out in front of the TV, and I'll sleep on the bits that I'm unsure about. I probably wont be able to do any more tomorrow as I've got quite a busy evening in store, but I may get a little done before I have to take DD riding.

Monday, 12 November 2007

Better get quilting!

It seems that I have become the 'Queen of Tops'!
I love piecing quilts, but I'm afraid that I seem to get less inspired as I get nearer to the actual quilting stage. Consequently, I have a few quilts that are in the process of being quilted, basted, tops (or flimsies, whichever you prefer), or put together and only awaiting borders.
I really need to sort this situation out.
Below is a quilt that I made some time ago from a couple of those Moda charm packs and a bit of extra fabric. It's been all basted together awaiting machine quilting since early summer. I have decided that I must get it done before I do any more piecing.
I know piecing is fun, and I love to see the blocks grow into a whole quilt, but if I don't get on with at least some of these quilts, I'm going to drown in them!
I have 4 days of nice early finishes from work this week so I ought to be able to achieve something. I'll check back with my progress soon.

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Quilt swap next round

Sign ups are currently been taken for the next round of the Four Seasons Quilt Swap. I loved my little Autumn quilt, sent to me by Bren.
I have sent off my mail to sign up for the Winter round, due at the end of January. So there's plenty of time to create a lovely quilt for someone. The more who sign up the merrier!

Friday, 9 November 2007

A bit of a week

It's been a bit of a week here in Wales!
Work has been hectic to say the least - I have to give a demo of some prototype software we've developed on Monday, so it's been frantically trying to get everything ready.
We've also had something on every evening as well, so no time to relax with a bit of stitching either! :-( But at least DS has been thinking about A'levels/university etc after the school 'Making Choices' evening - so something positive! He wants to be a vet, and may now have realised just how hard he is going to have to work just to get into vet school!

When I was off last week, we took the children to Bristol zoo, so I thought I'd share these lovely pictures from the walk-through Lemur enclosure. Isn't he just gorgeous?

The lemurs are my very favourite animals. So much so, that at the Autumn quilt show at Malvern last week, I just had to have a piece of the new Makower fabric with lemur panels on it! I have no idea what I'm going to do with it yet, but whatever it is it will be just for me!

Hopefully I will get all caught up this weekend, and normal quilty life will resume once more!

Sunday, 4 November 2007

No pictures today I'm afraid

Sorry to have been so remiss with this blog, but the last few days have been pretty hectic.
On Friday DH had a day off, so as the children were still on half term break, we all went to Bristol Zoo. The weather was fabulous, and the animals were all out enjoying the autumn sunshine. We had a lovely encounter with the ring tail lemurs in their walk-through enclosure - hopefully I will have some nice photos.
Yesterday I went to the Autumn Quilt show at Malvern with my quilt group. Bronnie and I had a lovely time looking at all of the quilts and browsing the traders stands - we made a few purchases too! We also took a mini workshop, little shadow quilted Christmas cards, I will show them off tomorrow when the light is better for taking pictures.
Today I have been helping out on the Quilters Guild stand at the Creative Stitches show in Cardiff. Although this show seems to be mainly card-making and cross stitch these days, there were some lovely quilts on display, along with some of the costumes from Strictly Come Dancing and we managed to get to the Jennie Rayment lecture - she was hysterically funny as always!

It's back to work for me in the morning, not looking forward to that, but when I'm back to the usual routine I seem to find more time for quilting. I want to get the borders on the panel quilt I posted about this last week - the centre is all put together and I'm really pleased with my first attempt at an on-point quilt.
Perhaps this is a good time to decide on my priorities list for November

1) piece and sew borders onto the panel lap quilt
2) quilt Christmas Log Cabin table runner
3) complete quilting on my mother in law's Christmas present ( just don't ask which Christmas it was supposed to be for! LOL!)

There that lot should keep me out of trouble of a while, still leaving me with room to have a bit of my own fun as well.

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Back in March I bought these panels at the Exeter quilt show ( was supposed to not be buying fabric, but couldn't resist them!). Of course they have sat in my stash ever since. On Saturday I found these two co-ordinating fabrics and thought they might help me to use up the panels. Sorry, I cant get the pictures to line up properly.

I decided to use these to try my hand at an on-point setting. I cant believe that I've never made a quilt on point, but there it is.
I cut out all the blocks, which was a bit frustrating as some of the panels were printed a bit skew-whiff and now I'm half way through stitching all of them together, but its looking quite good.

This is just going to be a 'back-of-the-sofa' utility quilt, so I think big stitch quilting might be in order ( although I might get fed up and just machine quilt it!)