Sunday, 28 April 2013

Sneaking in some stripping!

Yes this is what Sarah asked us to do as Queen Bee in the Modern Stitching Bee.  She loves a strip pieced spider web so that's why I've been stripping!

I haven't done any of that since last August when I eventually finished this quilt

That was a lot of stripping mind you so maybe it is not surprising I haven't done more!
So it is a bit like going back to the beginning to remember it all but it does come back and I did finish two spiderweb blocks, with bright, light fabrics, selvedges, dots, stripes, and text fabrics as requested!  I have put in some of my favourites - some new, some not so new, even some Oakshott!  And not one bit of batik or marbled fabric - tempting as that was (not really)!

Just hope she likes them and I can send them off to Shetland...they have quite a long way to go possibly by snail?!

Saturday, 27 April 2013

More charming....

I am still receiving new blocks for my charming quilt!

It is certainly fun opening up those packages and seeing where they have come from and who has made blocks for me.

I see a photo of them on Flickr but they are always so much more beautiful in real life aren't they!?

The most recent set to arrive are from Jeanne aka Grey Cat Quilts on Flickr and her blog greycatquilts.

I love them!   Such pretty colours!

And don't they fit into my quilt so well

Can you spot them?  Can you spot your own if you were so lovely to make some for me?   

I love all the variations that people have made and how they all contribute beautifully to the whole - now if only we could be content to be different and yet be together the world would be a much happier place!  

Who knew quilting had such a great message for us all?   You see what we do is very important....and that's my excuse anyway!

Friday, 26 April 2013

At last...

Ages ago I promised I'd make this for someone!

She has been very patient!

I am sending it to her today!

Hope you like it 'someone'!

Made using the wonderful tutorial by Ayumi over at Pink Penguin.  And have you got her book yet??  

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Spring sprouts!

In the Bee a Brit Stingy bee the lovely Di asked for some scrappy-sprout blocks!

Have to admit I have seen these around and been tempted to make some as I love the work of Orla Keily and these so remind me of her multi stem pattern

Anyone got a spare £650 to buy me this rug!?  No!?  Shame!   Maybe I'll just settle for her mug then at £8.50....both available from John Lewis if you are interested!

Or maybe I'll just make more of these....

And here is my siggy block - ok I goofed a bit as you have to turn you head to read it but maybe you could see that as exercise!??  I did add a wee sprout growing up the side cos I think I can draw - well simple stuff anyway and I bought all these different coloured Sigma pens to make use of them

Hope Di is happy....but if not I could be starting another project putting them in my orphan box!

Wednesday, 24 April 2013


In the post on Tuesday was a gorgeous bundle from my friend May!  May loves to organise things and so having 'met' her in the Scrappy? Sew Bee It! bee she organised me into the Star of Africa bee and Lazy Bums (a support group for quilters with an addiction for starting new projects - made for me that one !)  

And now she is well into organising her Europe only Text Charm Swap - and yes I'm in that one too!  ( sorry think you are too late to do anything but watch and drool with the swap).

Moomin Mama below comes to me as my block for the Star of Africa bee.  Although May lives in Germany she has her roots in Finland - the home of Tove Jansson and the Moomintrolls!   I loved those stories!   So when I  picked children's books or fairystories, myths or legends as my theme in the Star of Africa bee May knew what she had to make for me.

Check out her apron, her handbag and her wee tail!

In the Mouthy Stitches 2 Swap May made me this uber-cute tote with Moomin and Little My.  When she was making it I had no idea she was making for me so I made her a bit nervous with my lack of comments but I think she knows I love my tote - but just in case - I LOVE my tote!

I am really pleased that Moomin is re-united with his mama!  

She also snuck in some goodies of the fabric kind - including more Moomin magic and some chocolate - but disaster struck here as those choccies seem to have mysteriously disappeared!  I'm not blaming Moomin Mama but some guilty party ate those up quickly!

Being Queen Bee this month in Scrappy? Sew Bee it I am also lucky enough to get these gorgeous charmers!  They are so pretty and if there wasn't another project up on the design wall at this minute I'd show you how well they fit in my charming quilt!

May is on some travels at the moment - she may even be in a spot near you?! If she is be sure to thank her for these beauties!

If she turns up in Sussex then I'll do that myself!  She is coming to FQ Retreat in London in July so no doubt I will meet her then!   I'm half expecting her to turn up in Viking helmet but she had better bring her Stargazer quilt with her.     

What project is up on my design wall?  Aha you just need to wait a little while and I'll show you but I'm pleased to say it is coming together easier than those flipping baskets!

Saturday, 20 April 2013

I'm a basket case!

...but you knew that already!

Along with the lovely Sarah and maybe a few others...I sometimes find it difficult to stick to the plan.

Of late I have been starting numerous new things instead of finishing off the mountains of old!

Well I dithered about my latest FAL list and one project was in then out but it seems to have got under my skin and grabbed me in a most unfortunate and unexpected way!

I made a basket quilt several years ago which looks like this!

I started it at a workshop and before attending this workshop I did research into basket blocks and collected a file full of patterns.  I then decided that one basket quilt wasn't enough and started a basket sampler quilt.

Typically I got as far as seven blocks!  All pink and cream....

Now of late I have looked at these blocks and thought - I don't really like you!  

All my other UFOs I have managed to salvage and update to my current taste but these were steadfastly refusing to submit!

Until yesterday....... when I took some lovely grey prints and made my ever so pink blocks the centre square in a square ! 

I like them so much better now and can at last see a way forward with this project.

Pity it's not on this quarter's list as I'd really like to make more pink basket blocks....mutter, mutter, lack of self discipline - sigh!  

At least this is an old UFO and not another new project so no need to bang your head Helen!!

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

I've got mail!

Bee-utiful mail!

From India for my international book shelf I have Hindu gods Krishna and Ganesh gorgeously executed by two lovely ladies Tina and Veena!

The detail is amazing.  Krishna is known in India as the butter thief and this block shows him butterhanded ...  Ganesh is the elephant headed god stitched impeccably!

I love them both and the sumptuous brocade fabrics that came with them but I haven't taken a photo of yet!

From Sweden, I got the top three charmer blocks made by Annika and the others from Australia made by Helen, my Scrappy? Sew bee it! mates.   I love these Charmer blocks.  

 It seems that anything goes in this quilt, soft colours, bright colours ...and with these six taking me up to 35 - my fingers are twitching as I want to fill in that missing block to square this off

I might just have to do that this evening!

Monday, 15 April 2013

Our house....

Well it looks like Little Red Riding Hoods house actually!

Yesterday I improv pieced this domicile!  Look the wee bird is nestling up to the warm chimney!

Little Red lives in a straw house in the wood.  There is a small flower garden in front of the window where her Matroyshka mum waits and watches to see she comes safely back from Garndma's!

This little house will be my wonky house addition to the quilt from yesterday - and will fit snuggly in the border!  

I have words to paper piece and some other blocks, including all the siggy blocks to piece into the border - this could take some time!

Sunday, 14 April 2013

The wonky neighbourhood!

I have now quilted all my strips of wonky houses in the Quilt As You Go method and yesterday evening instead of chilling out in front of the TV I finished off the last of the joins!

Yeah !

So here is my wonky house neighbourhood all together held down by my lovely assistant!

The experiment using needlecord as my backing, after a bit of encouragement from the lovely Katy Jones, has been a success I think!  

It quilts quite easily but you do need to check that the pile is going in the same direction if you piece your backing - that is if you are likely to run your hand down the back of your quilt.  It also sheds a bit at the cut edge - lots of tiny orange bits everywhere but once sewn it is fine.  

It is heavier than our normal cotton which is why I chose to QAYG but I was thinking this might act as a picnic rug so a sturdy backing was what I was looking for!

It even shows up the quilting quite well - more than I was expecting with the pile but if you wanted to hide it more you could go for one of the lovely patterned needlecords you can find rather than the plain orange I went for here!  And yes I did join my strips to make them long enough and no problem there!

Would I use needlecord again?  You bet!  Though if I did the quilt as a whole I might want to pump some iron first!

I have a few of my smaller swap blocks left - trees and 4-patches and all of the siggy blocks so now I just want to add a border of those with some words mixed in for a bit of Madness!   

Thinking ahead...

I may have mentioned that I'm in five bees and I will be Queen Bee in two of them in July and then August.

Some of the blocks I have been trying out recently could be things I would request from my bee mates.   Some I'm keeping all to myself...

This block is a possibility for either category...

Check out those mirror ball dots in lime - think you love or loathe those ones!

I saw some of these cross blocks in the border on the well publicised Marcelle Medallion quilt.  And then I saw them here!

And so of course I had to try them out.
I am using up a lot of old fabric as my low volume background  - and enjoying choosing the cross blocks.

I have also been watching several Craftsy workshops - one being with Sarah Fielke called 'Big techniques from small scraps'  where one of the things she talks about is step down piecing.   It is also explained in her book Quilting from Little Things.

I will also be giving that a go in this quilt...which I may or may not be making myself...

Thursday, 11 April 2013


.....of getting into a conversation with Annabella!  I didn't know she was quite so dangerous!  

Dangerous you ask?  

Why yes, she somehow lured me into starting yet another project....

.....somedays are like that!

Not only did I cut up lots of triangles - 96 so far - but I made two new design boards with a hammer, some pin tacks and some wadding - following the KISS rule on that one!    Ok that was not Annabella's fault!

I have another place in mind for a bit of wadding...anywhere there is a bit of wall !   But it is currently occupied with these

  With so many design walls I might just be able to keep up with all the projects I've started!

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Texting Europe!

May is asking for participants to a (Europe only) text charm swap!   

If you love texty fabric as much as I do it won't take you long to jump on in - which you can do here

This is the fabric I've chosen - I saw it on Red Pepper Quilts - had to have it!

Lots of lovelies are being displayed in the group pool - if you don't believe me go and have a look!

You won't regret the time to look but you might regret not joining in!  Can't say I didn't warn you!!

I have added a few new pages to my blog.  One to show this year's finishes so I can remove them from my UFO page.  Another one for WIPs - things I started this year and as I seem to be using my crafting books a bit more I now have a page showing you a few....  

And here is a WIP I was working on today - I love making these blocks...

They look quite different depending on where you place the stronger colours - a great way to learn and play with values.  Evening photo - they are mot so muted in real life!

The pattern came from this book

Linking with 
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, 8 April 2013

FAL Quarter 2

I am finding the Finish A-Long a great help in actually getting those UFO quilts finished.  It helps me focus and stops me from starting quite so many new things....well usually but perhaps not recently....

she can quilt

Here is my list for Quarter 2....ambitious I know!  But I would be happy with a bit of progress on some of these...

1 Wonky Houses - Three strips of this QAYG project have been stitched together - I need to add one more which has already been quilted and then I want to add a border all around!  

2 Friendship Garden - well it has been on nearly every list so far!

I have the backing fabric - just need to get it all layered and handquilt this one - that was what you have persuaded me to do!

3 School House - progress would be great - this is supposed to be my Kona colour chart and I have lots more colours to add!  And I want to quilt on the name of those colours...probably on the roof!

4 Sewing Words - the blocks are from the first bee I was in and it was July last year since I asked for my blocks so it is about time I finished this one - I want to add in some other blocks of sewing gadgetry which are probably going to be paper pieced....and I need to add another word in which didn't make this photo as it arrived later and also make one more - my least favourite part of the process - Baste!  

Once all the blocks are made I need to choose a background - don't think it will be mustard anyway!


5 Scrappy Trip for Siblings Together - my Stingy Bee Mates have made all the blocks so far - just a few more and this can be quilted and donated in July at Fat Quarterly Retreat

6 Plaid Star on black - I had forgotten about this top but Cindy of FSQ gave me a nudge!  Would make a great Christmas quilt ...

7 And if there is still time I'd like to finish this quilt for my youngest - her birthday is in July!

I have the backing and everything just need to get quilting!

So what about you ?  Are you joining in?

Sunday, 7 April 2013

150 years of the London Underground!

Yes the London Underground has been going for 150 years this year!  The first underground system in the world people!

Now isn't that something to celebrate!?

Well today I am going to the London Modern Quilt Guild and taking a show and tell which was made to celebrate this remarkable fact - it was a LMQG challenge!

As I only had a day to make it - it did need to be quite a quick make and I wanted it to be something I'd enjoy making.  So I am celebrating one of the original underground stations in particular - can you guess which one!

Photo taken in the evening so not all the Sherlocks are showing!

My take on Andy Warhol and that famous detective who lives at 221B Baker Street!  So yes Baker Street station is the one I picked!

And because I did a sample first - it seems I also have a pincushion!  

Tiles at Baker Street Station have silhouettes of Sherlock Holmes, designed by 
Michael Douglas - I'm guessing it is not the actor!  - and printed by Pamela Moreton.  The design I used as inspiration for my mini quilt.

The Jubilee platforms at Baker Street feature murals illustrating Sherlock Holmes stories.  The Hound of the Baskervilles - I'm guessing

Elementary my dear Watson!

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Charm block quilt

My first blocks arrived from the charming Lucy in the Scrappy? Sew Bee it! bee.

They are gorgeous and it has made me very excited about this quilt in the making...

Her blocks are here

I pinched these photos from Lucy's blog but I'm sure she won't mind!  Such pretty fabrics and gorgeous colours....

And together with mine!

Perfection - wouldn't you say!?

I have also added a few more - can't resist it!  Including some made from my friend Karen's own screen printed fabrics - appropriately enough the fabric is called Triangle Mania.  They are nestling up to Lucy's blocks, keeping her company.

And this is what my quilt might look like....

mocked up on EQ6

Think I'm going to like this bold quilt and am excited that my bee friends are already making blocks for me!

Am feeling a compulsion to fill that gap.....if you want to make some too my tutorial is here.  They are made from 4 charm squares (two pairs) and a three and a quarter inch square.  


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