31 July 2013

WIP Wednesday

 WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

 I'm currently in 3 bees, and have recently had my turn as queen bee in two of them.  I was loaded up with blocks by fellow bee-ers at the recent Fat Qarterly retreat, so now I'm back home, I have rooted them all out of the various (and many) piles around my sewing room to see what I've got.

Firstly, June was my month in the Euro Siblings Together bee,  I kicked the year off with a simple block called Linoleum.  I asked for orange, lime green and turquoise - here's my original block.

And here's what I have now

Just one block missing, which we are currently trying to track down, then I can get it put together.  I'm not sure whether to do some bright sashing, or whether to keep it white with coloured corner blocks.  What do you think?

My other bee month is July in the Stitch Tease Bee.   In this one, I asked for a a block with a white panel in the centre, square or rectangular between 5-8 inches, surrounded by scrappy blocks to make it up to 12.5 inches. In the centre I would like  "a little something" . I don't mind what - embroidery, hexies, applique, paper pieced, machine pieced, whatever. Mine was a little bit of embroidery, which reminds me never to choose something with french knots again! 

Stitch Tease 2 - July

And here's what I have so far

It is so exciting seeing these blocks appearing - I just don't know what is coming next.  It's going to make an amazing quilt!

That's enough for today I think.  Hop over to Lee at Freshly Pieced to see what other people are up to.

30 July 2013

Made it home......

It seems like an age since I last blogged (at least 2 weeks) and certainly the longest I've ever gone.    I was in London for the FQ retreat for the weekend, then I spent the next week with my brother and his wife in Nottingham.  When I got back home on Saturday, it was to ridicuously high temperatures

Not conducive to doing anything much.  I managed to get a couple of loads of washing done and dried (in around 30 seconds) but that was about all.  Thankfully it's much cooler today, the heat apparently is on it's was to Annabella in Morocco!  Sorry Annabella!

So on to the FQR.  As you would expect, I had a great time there, but unfortunately didn't take many photos at all, well not sensible ones anyway.  I was fortunate to be in the company of Helen and Di for most of the weekend, as we stayed in the same hotel, and my husband and Di's were out on the town getting into trouble together!

Sorry guys, but I love this photo. You were being very silly!

It was great to meet up again with people I met last year also met lots of new people who I didn't meet last year/weren't there last year/haven't read their blogs .

Here's a few photos

This was my swap group. Unfortunately, despite my efforts to ensure I know who these ladies are, I now can't find the information, so only know that the lady second from the right is Sarah from Duck Egg Threads.  Can anyone help me with the two ladies on the outsides?  However, the gifts I received were tremendous. The tote bag you see  the right which is appliqued with some lovely fabric from   The Little House Martin.  A sandwich bag, which helpfully had a note explaining what it was, and a piece of bread, just in case of doubt.  And the lovely bunting which reads "Happy Days.  Thank you ladies.

 This photo just made me laugh - where would we be without our phones?  
On Saturday night we went off to find somewhere for a meal - Katy and Gordon seemed to get on well.  I wonder why?  Sorry Katy!  We had a lovely meal in a Moroccan restaurant, but sadly missed out on the belly dancer who entertained another group who went later.
And this is 6 out of 8 our stitch tease group with Katy's quilt from the first round.  I think if you look very closely Annabella and Danny were with us in spirit.

We had a great goodie bag but unfortunately, as I was a bit pushed for space on the way back (understatement)  I had to leave a few bits with my SIL and forgot to photograph it.  But thanks to all the sponsors anyway!

And finally a picture of Charlies Angels (the younger version of course)

So named by a very nice man watering the flowers along Gloucester Road!  I think the name will stick. (It's just a shame I look like I'm about to bite someone)  Thank you ladies for making my weekend special.  Looking forward to Charlotte!

If you want to see more photos of the retreat, there are loads on flickr  and at the Fat Quarterly blog.

Tomorrow I'll do a post about the things I made, and the blocks I took with me and collected from my various bees and swaps.  

15 July 2013


Well, I thought I'd got till 17th to get my act together for my Q3 finishes.  Turns out I haven't, so this is going to be a quickie post I'm afraid.

The main finish HAS to be the Blue Lagoon quilt.  

I have completed the top, and I plan to get it basted when my SIL Bridget is here at the beginning of August.  I have to get it done by mid August, as Rose will be here then, hoping to take it away with her!

Finish 2 is the Circa 1934 quilt which also carries forward from last quarter, only completely re-designed.   It's about time I wrote a proper post about it, but for now, this is what it looks like

I have a cushion to finish

I made this for last months Le Challenge, and I'm taking it to London with me for the hand quilting class with Mandy.

And finally

The wheels on the bus.  Carried over from last quarter, and to be honest, not one that is likely to get finished!  I've got to get some enthusiasm back for this one!

That's it - short, sharp and to the point.   A quick thanks to Leanne for getting lots of great sponsors again this quarter, then I'm off to bed.


Le Challenge - Toffee

This months Le challenge theme was indeed quite a challenge - Toffee.  Mmm well after getting my brian cell working, I came up with a very tenuous link.  Are you ready

Everton Football club aka The toffees


So named because of their link with

 EVERTON MINTS,gelatine-free gelatin free wrapped Boiled   Crunchy  Mint  Boiled & Crunchy  sweets,retro sweets,retro sweetshops,liquorice sweets,toffees,toffee sweets,boiled sweets

Everton toffees - which are stripey

Result: one stripey cushion

- not blue and white like Everton, I'll grant you, nor black and white like the mints, but stripey nevertheless!

Made mainly with Mama Said Sew fabrics, it's bordered with the grey lazy daisy print, and back by some hoops

I quilted it in squares, using a dark red aurifil from the pack that I won, starting from each corner, and a single line crossing in the middle

I'm so pleased that I joined in with Le Challenge from the beginning, as  I have now completed 3 cushion (plus one to be hand quilted at FQR next weekend) in my bid to replace all my rather sad cushion covers.   Here they are all together

For those of you worried for the safety of my cushion, due to a cushion-o-phobe husband, they seem to be safe if I split them up.  However, he sees no need for three in the kitchen, and is a little worried where/when this will all end!

We will have to wait and see what the next challenge is!

13 July 2013

The first time is always the best


We're talking bee quilts here of course.  At long last my Stitch Tease Bee is finished.

In February 2012 I sent off this block to Hadley


and 12 months later, she sent me a quilt top made by the 8 talented ladies of the Stitch Tease Bee.  You can read all about that here.

Since beginning this bee, we have changed our bed for one that is quite a bit bigger, so the original quilt size didn't cover the new bed.   That meant I had to add  quite a sizeable border, which I was worried might look a bit odd.  But needs must, so I added a small border of outward flying geese and a 8 inch white border.

A great tip for basting by the way.  Wait for a friend to visit for the weekend, and whilst they can't get away until you take them to the airport, get them to help you baste your quilt!  It only cost a few glasses of wine!

I quilted it with an all over meander, because that's about all I can do!  I did toy with the idea of hand quilting it, but maybe a quilt this size isn't a good choice for your first hand quilting project!  It wasn't without it's traumas (broken machine, a million broken needles, tension problems, sore hands and shouldrs) but it looks beautiful now.  Because the quilt is now much larger than originally planned, the backing I bought didn't fit, so I went out to Ikea and chose the fabric you can see below, which is just the right sort of chalky colours

Don't you think a very special quilt needs a very special photo shoot?  And someone who can take good photos?  Our friend Rob, who was here last weekend, is a pretty good photographer, so we went off to the chateau in the early evening to snap a few shots

We got a  few odd looks, and the quilt got pretty dirty, but I think it was worth it.

And here's one shot of it in it's final resting place (not so good - I took it!)

The only shot that is missing is the one with Ted on our rocking chair in the garden.  I will take one, but it's on the bed now, with Gordon fast asleep under it.  I don't think I'd win many Brownie points by whipping it off now, just to take a photo!

So thanks to all my Stitch Bee friends for making such a beautiful quilt for me.  It will always hold a place in my heart, being my first!

And would you believe it it is already my month in the second round of Stitch Tease.  But more of that later