Thursday, 18 December 2014

Santa Sack Opening!!!

It's today!!!

I have joined in the Santa Sack swop organised by Cheryll at Gone Stitchin for the last couple of years and for this year's swop she announced that TODAY is the day we can open our packages.

I was partnered with Gina from Wales and we had sent each other a couple of emails about our likes and  dislikes but I think she had also done some serious lurking on my blog - as you will see from the gifts she sent -  as she has made some very personal gifts.

This was the box which arrived - it was stuffed with gifts and I admit to having a squeeze of them but held off opening until today.

And what a wonderful selection of gifts there was in store for me !

She obviously worked out that I love bags and also that I love Rowan fabrics so there were two tote bags - one a really large patchwork bag which will be ideal for transporting my stuff to quilt group meetings and a matching tote bag and diary in beautiful blue fabrics. Then there was a folding shopper which will be great to slip in my handbag. 

There was a clever wrist pin cushion, a calendar of places in Wales, a slate coaster,  two lovely scented candles, and a lovely mug in a bag plus a matching mug rug - also for talking to classes. 
There was also a lovely little hot water bottle with a cover !!! And then a beautiful small quilt with owls and finally a small quilt with a car and caravan !!! 
She had certainly found  out things I am interested in .

Mug rug, mug and mug bag

A Beautiful small quilt wall hanging with owl embroideries 

 Many thanks to Gina for being a great swop partner and I just wait to see if she liked the things I sent her.

I also took part in an Artistic Trading Card swop organised by Ali Burton at Veryberry Handmade
The subject was Winter Sparkle and this is the sweet little card I received from Abigail.

I have also signed up with a couple of Yahoo quilting groups as I enjoy swops and  quilt alongs so it will be good to get involved with them.

As well as being busy with getting ready for Christmas I am busy embroidering the panels for the bed runner and cushions I am  making.

At our Xmas quilt group meeting Audrey demonstrated how to make fabric book covers so I have been finishing off some fabric strips which I sewed together and embellished with some of the numerous stitch patterns I have on my machine - as they  make quick gifts.

Finally I can show you my new baby quilt from a pattern in Australian Homespun.  I am subscribing to quite a few on line magazines now - especially this one and a new one from Canada called Quilting Connections.  The only problem sometimes is accessing the patterns on line. 

This a lovely bright and cheerful quilt and is for a very special new  baby in the family due in April.  My sister in law Cat,  is Scottish so I think she will like the scottie dogs.  Just waiting for some batting to arrive then I will get it quilted.

So MERRY XMAS & A HAPPY NEW YEAR  to everyone who visits my blog and see you all in the new year 


Friday, 28 November 2014

Do you remember????

For those of us who remember the seventies this will bring back memories! It's a Poncho!!

It is in the latest edition of Simply Crochet and I am making it for my daughter who wants one for Xmas. I had one many years ago whilst a student in bright oranges and Browns along with an afghan coat!   It is lovely to be crocheting something like this in nice Aran weight yarn but I have to thank Lucy at Attic24 for pointing me in the right direction for a tutorial on how to do the rib effect collar. When I first read the pattern it put me off but she found a great You Tube tutorial which shows clearly how to do the post stitches which form the rib stitch.   

I am also starting a blanket from one of Lucy's patterns on her blog at Attic24 lovely in lovely rich colours.

My sewing has been very Xmas related - lots of decorations on the embroidery machine and some Xmas cards.  

My main project has been to try and get a banner made for the church where we hold our group meetings.

I have put it up on my design wall to look at for few days before I finish it off. 

I have sent my Santa sack to Gina and it arrived safely so just wait for  mine to arrive ! 

Trying to resist all the " Black Friday" sales  and just stick to my Xmas shopping list. 

Bye for now

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Can't believe I have won x 2 !!!!!!

I enter a lot of giveaways on blogs and have not been very lucky in the past BUT this week I have won TWO giveaways!!!

The first one was an e- book  - A Simply Modern Christmas by Cindy Lammon

This is a lovely  book to have as a resource as the quilt designs as well as being modern designs for Xmas could be used all year round just by changing the fabrics. 

This was a giveaway hosted by Sue at  Quilt Times.blogspot  who is involved with the Yorkshire Modern Quilt Guild. 

Then tonight I heard from Ali at Very Berry Handmade to tell me that I had won the Liberty Charm square giveaway which involves membership of her monthly quilt club so I will receive a pack of charm squares every month for 7 months- how good is that??  Anyone who reads my blog will know I just love  Libery fabrics so can't wait to make a quilt for my brother and sister -in-law who are expecting their first baby (he is 47!!! So they are so excited to be prospective parents at last)
I had planned to make a special quilt for this new baby so now I can use the Liberty fabric which will be great! 

Before popping off to London for the weekend to see our son and his girlfriend I delivered the bed runner to my Mum's friend who was very pleased with it. 

And I have been busy makings a few small items for a friend  for her Xmas craft stall 

But lots of ideas for new projects as I have joined an ATC  swap and a postcard swap so my machine will be humming away this week! 

Thanks for stopping by 



Thursday, 23 October 2014

Bloggers' Quilt Festival Autumn 2104


 I have entered my recent MAP of the World quilt in the SMALL QUILT category - which I started on a recent weekend retreat with my Quilt Group.  It is a pattern I found on Pinterest provided very generously for free  by the two sisters Shauna and Morgan  at   Printing it out took ages as it is 32 pages long  which then all  have to be stuck together!!.   But it  was great fun to do and I tried to choose interesting fabrics to make it come alive.

It is a gift  for my best friend's 8 year old grandson Ben and I have added a hanging sleeve  so he can have it on his bedroom wall.  He is a great little chap and is a cub scout and interested in lots of different things including nature and animals.

It was quilted  with my favourite sewing machine stitch for quilting on my Brother Innovis-1e -the  serpentine stitch which I think made the large areas look like waves and anchored down the raw edge appliqué for the continents.  It was tricky trying to include as many of  the small islands as possible  but I hope it covers most of the main regions.

Please stop by and have a look at all the other quilts in the Festival and a big thank-you to Amy at Amy's Creative Side  for arranging it again.


Sunday, 19 October 2014

Sunday Sewing

After a major disaster mid week when I tried to update my IPad to OS 8 and lost everything I have managed to retrieve photos and patterns from the "Cloud". - I don't quite understand how it can store everything but I was just grateful it was all there!  It took me over 3 hours to re install the operating system and re set all my apps - but it worried me how dependent I am on it !! 

Today I decided to focus on finishing off the SiblingsTogether quilt

I have finished the  group Charity quilt started at the retreat at Cober Hill - I used some lovely blue 
fleece from AundreyP instead of batting. It feels snuggly and warm and is ready to post off with the other two quilts as part our final consignment to SiblingsTogether for this year. 

Digitising and machine embroidery.

When I made the decision recently not to upgrade to the new Brother machine due out soon, I decided it would make more sense to learn to make better use of my current machine  -the  Innovis 1e 
-and also to try to develop my ability to use PE Design Next.  So I signed up for a Craftsy course on digitising and have been following the videos and trying out the projects.  I have been asked to make a bed runner for a friend of my Mum and this has given me the opportunity to adapt and change some of the embroidery designs I already have. 

I have some Designs by Elsa and Kenny Kreations designs but I have enlarged and combined parts of some of the designs to come up with a new design for the runner. I also find Vicki who blogs at Vicki's Fabric Creations has some really good ideas for how to incorporate embroidered blocks into quilts and I have used her idea for a bed runner as a basis for my design. So I have finished the three main blocks and now need to assemble them.


I have also made a memo board for my son with some lovely fabric I bought while on holiday - it's a copy of a map of London which just covers the part of London where he lives.  We are off to London soon for some shopping and a trip to the the theatre so I will be taking it down to him. 

I have been out photographing autumn leaves this weekend before they all blow away!   I want to try some free machine embroidery on printed photos so it's good to get some photos before the winter really sets in.  

 I have finished everything for my Santa Sack so will be able to get that posted off in good time to my partner and look forward to receiving mine. 

So a bit more variety than just quilting ! 

Thanks for stopping by 

Friday, 10 October 2014

Trip around the World????

I have finished my world quilt and I am pleased with how it is looking - just have to decide if I should add a hanging sleeve as I'm not sure whether it will be hung up on the wall yet.  It was quite a challenge to quilt all those wavy lines across it and there are a couple kinks in it but I'm not too bothered. I hope little Ben likes it.

I'm off to the regional Quilters Guild day workshop tomorrow so that should be good as the topic is Modern Quilting. I have made a mini quilt to enter in the challenge so will be interested to see what everyone else has produced. 

I think I will call it "Not a hash tag!"

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Scarborough success!

We had another great quilting weekend at Cober Hill - to the point that I am now planning two for 2015 and these will be longer ones!    It was very sunny and warm all weekend which added to the enjoyment of the stay although most of us saw very little of the sun apart from our walks to the dining room!!  Some more energetic girls went for an early morning walk down to the beach near by.

I managed to get my Map of the World top appliquéd and it  provoked a lot of discussion - I think it will be great when it is quilted and ideal for my friend's 9 year old grandson.

My dresden fan quilt did not get much work done on it so I want to do some more of that this weekend at our usual Saturday group.

I am going to make some smaller ones to scatter across the background.  I decided I did not want to do a more traditional dresden with all the blocks the same and think they will look good on this dark blue background fabric. 

We managed another completed group quilt top from another Bonnie K. Hunter  design and I will quilt it and bind it as soon as I find the time.

 This week since getting back has been so busy -as along with catching up with everyday things -we also had  to drive over to Lancashire to pick up my "big brother " machine after it was serviced by Keith Lord. He does such a great job and it is purring along nicely now so ready for all these tops I need to quilt.

So another great weekend with lovely people, great food and great weather. Let's hope next years are as good.

Thanks for stopping by

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Getting ready for Quilt Retreat

I have been  busy since we got back home preparing for my weekend away with our quilt group. Which projects to take and what to pack have been obsessing me for the last two days. I have so many ideas for quilts I would like to make but have to be realistic and have packed my Kaffe Dresedens, the  World Map Quilt from a  pattern from Schwim and Schwim  and a new Moda Blog along Star quilt using a layer cake which has been appearing in blog land during September.

I have also decided to try out a ice breaking game during the weekend as we have 4 new people in the group so I have been scouring the internet for an idea. I'm not sure how the group will respond but I have made  goody packs for everyone who joins in - they contain fat quarters, tape measures etc and  some finger pincushions I saw on Caroline Foster's blog.

We also plan to make a group charity quilt again - another one for Siblings Together as it proved a popular project last time. 

This is my hubby modelling one of the pincushions ! 

I have only managed a couple of finishes over the summer and I am waiting for my big brother machine to come back from its service to do some quilting. 

This is one waiting to be quilted - my Honey Bee baby quilt 

My mini Liberty sampler - each block only measure 4 .5 inches

Autumn postcard swap

I joined Sheila's Autumn    postcard swap and received this lovely card from Linda in Nova Scotia. 

So looking forward to another great weekend of quilting, eating and chatting!! 
Thanks for stopping by 

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Post from New Zealand!

The parcel from My mystery partner in Michele's "Its a sisters thing" swop arrived while I was on holiday and what a lovely surprise it was.
It was from Marlene at catsandcapers.blogspot who loves in New Zealand and she was very generous in what she made and sent. 

There was a lovely little pin cushion and some chocolate and a great children's pattern which I am really keen to make on my next retreat in 3 weeks time. 
Then in the second parcel was this wonderful wall hanging- it is so beautiful . I can see that she has been stalking my blog as she has used Kaffe Fassett fabrics for both her handmade gifts and knows how much I love this fabric. 

I can't wait to get this hung on the wall of my sewing room .
This is one of the real treats of joining in swops and meeting new bloggers from across the world - so many thanks to Michele for organising it. 

I have still to finish  a few more items for the Santa Sack swop I joined so I will be kept busy. 

Sunday, 24 August 2014

What makes a modern quilter?

Hi there
After my trip to the Festival of Quilts and reading some quilt magazines I have got recently I am wondering whether I am a modern quilter or not??  Does it matter?!!!

I love traditional quilt patterns but also make brighter quilts using modern fabric and lots of white.  I have been making lots of small items recently for a couple of swaps I have signed up for and these have all been bright and colourful using some of the techniques I see in modern quilts.

I have not been happy with the table mats in our caravan so I have made a new set in  some gorgeous fabric I bought on a day out in Cambridge while we were on holiday in Norfolk.

These look "modern " to me and were made using strip piercing and what I understand as muted low volume fabrics.  The larger runner was made using the "quilt as you go "method which seems to be all over the web at the moment for making larger pierced shapes which are then used to make things such as bags, mats etc and is not the  "quilt as you go " method for assembling quilts which I am more familiar with!!! So confused or not?

I have started a mini modern quilt for the challenge at the next regional quilters guild day which I am going to enter and this is certainly not like my usual small quilts. The theme of the day is modern quilting so maybe I will find out what makes a modern quilt!

I am intending to quilt in in straight lines and bind in a slightly darker grey.

This is one of the bags I have made recently - but I hope my swap partners are not looking! 

I bought lots of fabric whilst on holiday at a retirement sale at QuiltEssential near Carlisle - a lovely shop I only just discovered but which is closing down shortly so I will have to search out others next time we are I the area. 
Only a couple of weeks now to our next Quilt Retreat so need to get some projects planned for the weekend .

Thanks for stopping by 

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

What happened to JULY?

Where did July go ??   I can't believe it is August already and I do not seem to have achieved much while it has been so unusually hot here in the UK.

We had a lovely 10 days in Norfolk at Sandringham -on the Royal estate.  The campsite was lovely and we walked up to Sandringham House one day and looked around the gardens and museum but Liz and Phil were not there to offer tea!!

We  visited lots of lovely places along the North Norfolk coast but   the weather was so hot !!  I know now why we caravan in the UK  rather than go abroad as neither of us like hot weather.  

But we are getting  ready to go off again to the Lake Distict and I am  sure we will not experience  weather as warm over there. Might even have the energy to do some walking!

This is a photo which was posted on the Siblings2gether twitter feed with a picture of the quilts our quilt group sent.   We had a lovely letter from Della thanking us for our quilts and we hope the children at the summer camps will love them. The group have almost completed another  6 so we hope to get them off soon.

This shows the state  of my work table - lots of UFO's and some I can't show as they are for the two secret swaps I am in -so they are hidden under my  my beachball  blocks.  This is a  Jenny Doan  Pattern which I saw on YouTube and just had to start it. But it still has a long way to go!
Then there  are  the honeybee quilt blocks  made from a jelly roll .......

I cannot decide whether to add yellow sashing or white??

I have also done some embroidery for a card and bottle bag for a friend of my Mum who is 80 soon.

This is my new Bag - I didn't make it but bought it while on holiday to take with me to the FESTIVAL of
QUILTS on Thursday!!!  I am so excited and only 2 sleeps to go as my friend Audrey said this morning!
This is the biggest quilting event in the UK and I have always wanted to go and this year I am going with a lovely group of quilters  on a coach.  It is about a 3-4 hour drive from North Yorkshire but it will be great to get to see all the wonderful quilts and of course SHOP!

Might even bump into Bonnie Hunter who blogs at Quiltville Quips and Snips who is touring the UK at the moment and is posting on her blog about her adventures in the UK.

See you after Birmingham.


Monday, 30 June 2014

Wimbledon and wedding quilt week!

I have been busy this week watching Wimbledon and hoping that it does not rain too much !  I was lucky to get tickets 3 years ago but not this year so have to be content with watching on the TV.

But it means I have been able to press on with finishing the Wedding quilt.
 This shows the quilt "puddled" on my table during the quilting on my Brother Innovis.

Then this is finished including the binding which I did this afternoon while watching Andy Murray win his match.

I made a label for the back and also a washing instructions label. 
So it all finished and ready to be delivered to Jemma for her brother's wedding in October. 

I always enjoy the Santa Sack swop run by Cheryl but have also joined a summer swop - It's a Sister Thing run by Michele at Quilts from my crayon box.  This is just the one item in a secret swop over the summer. So now there's time to get on with some smaller projects now that the quilt is finished. 

Thanks for stopping by