31 October 2013

THE LAST POST ..in October

Woo hoo! I've made it through to the end of Blogtoberfest again - for the third year running.   I know I'm annoying, but if I decide to do something, I will do everything I can to complete it.  This last two weeks have been difficult, as we had visitors and it is quite difficult to disappear for an hour to write a post.  Then we were away, and I had to write my posts (and get pictures onto) a Mac, and I'm just not used to them.  Anyways, a few stats

I wrote
16 sewing related posts (same as last year)
3 Flashback Friday posts
I book related
1 Wordless Wednesday
1 knitting related
2 garden related
1 Random Thursday
2 family related
1 Valtice related
2 miscellaneous
+ today's round up post.

My posts have been read 1307 times and I have received 275 comments.  Phew!  Thanks so much everyone, you made it easier to carry on.  Hopefully I may even have picked up a few new friends along the way.

And because no post would be complete without a photo, I can show you photos of my recently finished (15minutes ago) Trading Card for my partner in the second round of Ali's Art Trading Card swap.
Textile ATC swap 2 button
The theme was Autumn, and as you can't find a spare spot in front of our fire these days because of the dogs and cats, I thought I'd make a cozy little fire
And because I forgot to take a photo of the back of the first one I made, here is the back

Those of you that are awake when reading my posts, may notice the finished article is different from the part finished one I showed a while ago

That's because I made a mess of backing it, and had to rescue the fire from the ashes (literally) and re-make the outside.  I used Ali's way of binding it, which once I followed the instructions properly, was a very easy and tidy way of doing it!  I just hope my partner likes it.

Well, I think I've earned a couple of days rest from blogging.  That is unless something exciting happens tomorrow!

30 October 2013

Blogtoberfest Day 30 and counting.....

Phew, we're nearly there..... just one more day, two more posts!   Tonight I've got another finish to share with you.  You may, or maybe not, remember way back iin London,  I did a little swap with Nicky.
A mole

for a coffee pot

I added a border of Prince Charming Hexbox, and tried a little hand quilting

Here it is backed with LaDeeDah floradots, a hidden zip, and my favouritest ever taupe dot print binding
Since starting my cushion replacement programme I have made 5 cushions

which is probably as much as Gordon can take right now, so I'm going to all it a day on the cushion front, although I suppose there will always be a need for a wash and a wear.............

29 October 2013

Bloggers Quilt Festival


Having made a total and utter b***s up of my first entry into the Bloggers Quilt Festival, I'm going to see if I can do better with my second.  First of all I thought I'd read somewhere that you could enter one quilt in 3 categories - WRONG.  So then I deleted two and left it in the photography category, because I thought the location and photos were stunning.  Then I remembered that I actually hadn't taken the photos myself, which seemed like a bit of a cheat really.  So I eventually put it into the bee quilt category.

My second entry is going to be my Blue Lagoon quilt

You've probably heard the story before, but I made this quilt for friend Mark and Rose.  We were going through patterns on t'interweb and in my books, and she kept coming back to this one.  I wasn't keen on trying to make this as it seemed a bit of a nightmare, all those little squares, but try as I might, she wouldn't be deflected!  So this one it had to be.  Rose and I trawled as many fabric shops as we could, both together and individually, and I raided my stash, to find all those different blues.   It actually came together quite quickly as most of it could be chained pieced,
 but there were a few moments when I nodded off at the machine, the boredom taking over!

 However, it was all worth it because I think this made a stunning quilt

I handed it over to Mark and Rose when they were here in August, and I'm pleased  to say it looks good in it's new home, and has it's own Ted to look after it!

Pattern:  Blue Lagoon by Micky and Pam Lintott from theie book, Jelly Roll Quilts
Fabrics: An assorted bought in the UK, CZ and from my stash. Sashing Kona snow
Thread:  Aurifil 50 - 2026
Started January 2013, Finished August 2013
Category: Two colour quilt

If you're new to my blog, thanks for visiting, and do call again!

27 October 2013

A Vintage Tah-dah

It seems that most of the projects I have made recently have been massive quilts that take me an age to finish.  I really fancied making something quick and easy, that I could show off hanging up in my sewing room the dining room.  Whilst strolling through interest, I found this pattern from Charise Creates

Perfect, just what I was looking for.  I picked out a nice little liberty print, that I got in the Pink Castle  sale, and made the dress on the bottom RH side

I used one of the fancy stitches on my machine to edge the hem and neck of the dress and frame the whole thing.

The binding is a little bit of the Deco flowers left over from my Stitch Tease quilt.  And because I wanted to hang this up, I added some corner pockets to hold a small piece of dowel

So there we are - a very satisfying quick finish, and another finish for the Q4 FAL.

26 October 2013

Happy Birthday

I'm over in the UK this weekend to help celebrate my SIL, Bridget's 50th Birthday
We were greeted at the door by this vision of loveliness
In her personalised onesie, a special present from her younger son.!
Today we met with Ange at the Sewing Cafe in Hinckley. We came out with a few small purchases

then went for a coffee, a cake and a natter.  We won't mention how many marshmallows there were on yours Ange.

And when I got home, I had another gift from last weeks visitors as a "thank you for having me"gift.  To my mind, a girl can't have too many cozy slippers!
Looking forward to a celebratory meal out this evening, some sewing time together tomorrow, and possibly more shopping on Monday.

25 October 2013

Bloggers Quilt Festival

You know winter is fast approaching when the Bloggers Quilt Festival starts
Blogger's Quilt Festival - AmysCreativeSide.com
This year I'm going to enter my first ever bee quilt.    I know we all think we have the best ever bee quilt, but I really have!  The first round of the Stitch Tease bee started in February 2012.  We had to think of a theme, mine was pinwheels, and make a block for ourselves(quite a large block as there were only 8 of us at first).  I sent this off to Hadley, and through the next 12 months, each of the other girls made their blocks and sent them to Hadley to, so that she could make the final block and assemble the quilt top.  Throughout the months, I had seen nothing more than heavily disguised snippets of the blocks, so it was a wonderful surprise to receive my beautiful quilt top

I had planned this quilt for a double bed,  but in the intervening year, we had bought a full king size bed, so the quilt was now too small, and I had to add a border.  I was worried it was all going to look a bit silly, but in the end I think the border complemented the pinwheels.
And a special quilt needed a special photo shoot.  We took off to the chateau in town one late evening in summer

As I said, this was my very first bee, and so will always be special. 

Pattern;  From the Stitch Tease ladies (in no particular order)
Fabrics:  We each chose a fabric - mine was  Sea Scallop, by Michael Miller, which I used in every bee block.  The rest was scraps from our stashes
Backing:  Ikea (not sure of it's name)
Binding: Deco Flowers stripe from Makower
Quilted: FMQ'd by myself in an overall meander using Aurifil 50 weight thread in white.
Category:   Bee block
Please go across to Amy's creative side, where you'll find hundreds of lovely quilts.  A big thanks to Amy for organising the Festival - I can't imagine how much work must be involved.

24 October 2013

Which Holiday Bag

I'm wanting to make myself a new holiday/beach bag, but I can't find just the right pattern.  I have made the Noodlehead Madras Tote a couple of times,
It's a perfect bag, easy to make and just the right size, but I just fancied something different this time.

I've had this fabric for ages, just waiting for the right project to come along

and I will probably put it with one of these two for the  the lining

So I was rather hoping someone could recommend and nice easy bag pattern or tutorial .  Something just big enough for a bottle of sun-tan lotion, my kindle, an i-pod and some hand sewing - you know the kind of thing!

22 October 2013

New for old

We used to be the proud owner of one of these

It's a Hobart, industrial strength mixer.  We used to have an English friend here in the village, and Nick and Gordon would spend many a happy winter afternoon in the garage, making sausages.  Not the most sanitory conditions, but no-one ever died!  But Nick went back to the UK, and I'm certainly not spending a cold afternoon in the garage, so no more sausages.   We had an opportunity to sell the mixer to a friend in Prague who is setting up a business making pies, so it went off to it's new home last week.

Gordon knew exactly what he wanted to do with the money

He went down to the bazaar and bought two guests bikes.  They need a bit of attention, but the boys have already spent a happy hour servicing the little one.
So when you come visit the Neales, you have no good reason for not going out for a bike ride (size permitting!)

21 October 2013

Happy Go Lucky

Yesterday was a beautiful late autumn day.  Known as an Indian Summer in the UK, it is called a babi leto, or grandmothers summer here in czech.  I took advantage to get out and take some photos of the baby quilt I've just finished for our colleague's little girl, Adriana, who was born on the 1st of October.
We didn't know if it was going to be a blue or a pink baby so I was looking for a fabric that was bright, but gender neutral. I already had a mini charm pack of Happy Go Lucky which was in my goodie bag at the FQR earlier this year, so I ordered a Charm pack, and put together a fairly simple quilt with the blocks on point
I added a 1 1/2 inch border in a Liberty print I had, which I felt made it a little less blue

And Bobs your uncle.  Quilting it was a little more challenging - I showed you the disasterous attempt to quilt a circle in variegated thread.
Thanks to everyone who gave me ideas for an alternative quilting.  In the end I reverted to good old white thread,  and used an orange peel pattern.
 I then added a little flowery border, as by this time I knew it was a girl
Overall, I'm very pleased with this little baby quilt.  I've not made a small quilt for ages, and I''d forgotten how nice and fast they were!

 And one with ted of course

 It was only when I'd almost finished it that I looked back at the quilt I'd made them for their last baby

A certain similarity unfortunately.  Oh well, I'm not starting again!

Pattern: by me
Fabric : Happy Go Lucky
Backing fabric: Grand Bazaar
Binding: Ta Dot from Michael Miller
Quilted:  Orange Peel and flowers using Aurifil 50

I'm also very pleased to say this is also my first finish in the Q4 FAL.