22 November 2012

Terraced Garden

At last i have finished my Terraced garden quilt, formerly known as Stained Quilt.  I started making this back in January when I joined up with Sarah in her Stained Quilt Along.

I chose to make it from this fabric

It was originally going to be for a baby quilt, but then it got morphed into a quilt for our spare room. 

I dithered for ages about which colour to use for sashing.  Then I didn't have the backing, or the binding, so I dithered a bit more.  And then I wasn't sure about how to quilt it, so I dithered even more.  But finally we have that tah dah moment

In the end I went with the charcoal sashing , because I thought the orange would overwhelm it, but I managed to get the orange in on the binding!

And for the first time ever I quilted it with something other than white thread -  orange for this one.  Randomly spaced wavy lines in the centrepanel, with a sort of a stained glass window pattern on the borders.  I usually do a stippled pattern, and I really wanted to do something a little different with this quilt.  This one is for me, so I didn't matter too much if it came out a bit dodgy!  I was surprised what a difference it makes to the feel of the quilt.  A more open quilting gives it  a much softer drape, whereas the stippling makes it slightly stiffer

And the back

I tried to piece this to reflect the stained glass of the front.

And finally Ted reminded me he has to have a shot with every new quilt

I think it's a really beautiful quilt but if I'm honest,  I'm not over keen on the charcoal sashing.  A bit of me still wishes I'd gone for the orange (A lesson for the future to go with your insincts).  Gordon has labelled it my depressed quilt (in depressing colours)!

If you'd  like to see the other versions of this quilt, pop over to the flickr group and see what everyone else has done with this pattern

Thanks Sarah for doing all the hard work, getting this pattern together.  I thought it was stunning the first time I saw it, and I'm so glad I joined in.  Just so sorry it took so long!

This is also the first finish for the Q4 FAL

18 November 2012

Catching up

How does it happen?  You let things slips a bit, and next thing you know there are 93 unread posts in google reader!  I've cleared them this morning, but I have to admit I didn't read them all, and I didn't comment on all of those I read!  Not very polite I know, but sometimes you just have to move forward!

i have continued my winning streak this week, and finished a few more projects.  Quite a few actually, but not all have been photographed. So for now I give you a few small finishes

Two Christmas decorations for  my two scret swap partners.

I must admit I think these are brilliant, especially the little robin.  I'm going to have to make a couple for myself.

And then I've finished the advent calendar bags for my friend Lennie.    They are a lot of them (24 surprisingly) and they are quite big, so I've had trouble finding somewhere to hang them all to photograph them.  Lennie doesn't have a big house, so heaven only knows where she will put them!  Clearly not outside!

And I've also finished my secret santa swap for my friends in the Stitch Tease Bee.  So I'm off to the post office again tomorrow.  I think if you look closely, you can see my halo!

15 November 2012

Meet Mr Fluffy

I am married to a man who puts too much washing up liquid in the water .......

but doesn't waste it


14 November 2012

WIP Wednesday


Oh I had a good day yesterday.  By nature I am a finisher.  I get satisfaction from starting a project and seeing it through to the end.  But sewing has done something wierd to me, and now I use any delaying tactic I can to avoid those last few jobs - tidy up all the ends (because I don't do it as I go along) , press the seams, make siggie blocs, package up bee blocks to go to their new home, write little notes. On top of which, I just can't stop myself starting new things!

Yesterday I snook a day off work  and, determined to clear up all these little jobs,  I got everything out on the kitchen table yesterday morning. Some things are covered by envelopes because they are to remain secret.

And there I stayed until I'd done everything.  By 2pm I had 3 parcels ready to go to the post office (in my new mouthy stitches tote bag, no less)

1 Stitch Tease block going off to Susan for Di (secret!)


1 Stitch Tease block going off to Danny for Susan (secret!)


1 Sew Euro-beean block going off to Lush (not secret, obviously)

I had also finished a secret santa swap for one of the ladies in our Stitch Tease bee, but I still have to add a couple of things to the parcel before I get that on its way.

I am also in another Christmas decoration swap, which isn't secret, but I can show you the first one I have made

Looking at this photo, I clearly need to centre the star a little better!  The star is EPP, made from 1/2 inch diamonds, using one of the little mini charm packs which was in my goody bag at the FQR.  All was going well until, having ironed it to hold the shape when I took out the papers, I found that the blue thread I used for basting had bled, leaving purple marks!  Please note, anyone thinking they will use up some old thread for basting! I then had to soak it overnight, by which time it looked more like a rag than a crisp star.  I don't think I made too bad a job of rescuing it.

I have partially done the second decoration too, but I have no photographs of this yet.

I also finished the little bags for my friends advent calendar, and they just have to have the cords threaded through, and the numbers attached. 

And finally, I finished the day doing my favrourite job, in my favourite place.

The binding on my Terraced garden (Stained quilt) is almost finished.  Just one more side to go

Although sewing around a cat is not easy!!

I'm linking in with WIP Wednesday  with Lee Freshly Pieced

12 November 2012

Travellin' Pic Stitch Blog Hop

I was very happy when I was asked by Katy to be part of the blog hop that she and Laura started, which would run whilst they were gadding about the United States.  The idea is to find a picture that you love, maybe your home town or maybe something more exotic, put it through one of those palette making sausage machines, pull out some fabrics using the palette as an inspiration, and make a EPP block from them.
It was surprisingly hard to find the right photograph.  Although I have hundreds to choose from, the colours all seemed very dull.  For those visiting for the first time, I live in Southern Moravia in the Czech Republic, which is a beautiful area and also a Unesco World Heritage site.  We have acres of vineyards, and some fabulous buildings built by the Lichtenstein family in the 18th and 19th century.  But the colours were all very muddy and dull.

So then I went to our trip to China for inspiration.   This trip was a special treat for my 50th birthday.  My father worked out in China for 2 years in late 1970's, and my mum took a couple of trips there, and to Hong Kong, to visit him.  I had the opportunity to go with her, but I had just started to date my now husband, I decided to stay at home.  Duh, stupid!  So my visit was a bit of a pilgrimage in their footsteps.  Of course China is so very different now to the late 70's, when my father had a pretty rough time out there.  He lived in an un-modernised  hotel, with intermittent heat and light, and hot and cold running mice!  He was never allowed anywhere on his own, and complained that he had been taken to the Great Wall so often, he never wanted to see it again. I have a few photographs which they took when mum was visiting, once of which was mum standing  in Tiananmen Square in front of the Forbidden city.   Unfortunately it is a slide which I can't get a decent scan of, but you're going to have to take my word that she was standing in practically the same place that I am in this picture

Mind you, the 6 lanes of traffic weren't there when mum was!!   And thank goodness I was wearing a turquoise top that day, because it added a bit of colour to the picture.

And now to put it into an EPP block.  I only officially learned EPP at the Fat Quarterly retreat this summer, although I had dabbled prior to that.  I worked on a snowball block, and enjoyed it so much, I have carried on making them.  Here's a photo of the progress so far


It seemed sensible to continue with the snowball, so I pulled out a few fabrics (and didn't photo them) and turned them into another snowball block

So now I have another block added to my snowball quilt, which will remind me of my stop on the Travellin' Pic Stitch Blog hop.

Thanks for visiting my little blog, and don't forget to check out the other pariticpants listed  here.  Yesterday was the turn of Teje at Nero's Post and Patch and tomorrow it will be Jennifer at  knotted thread.  So hop over and check out their photo's and blocks.

Update 30/11/2012
Since writing this I have made another 3 blocks and my sister in law has made another 3 or 4 so (more of that in another post)


From 1st October - 30th November we are hopping all over the world EPP-ing in some fantastic locations.  Check out the full list and be sure to check out the other participants.

And of course, thanks to Katy and Laura for organising it.  I've had great fun checking out everyone else's photos and blocks

Full details of the competition can be found here.

10 November 2012

Friday night sew in - Quiltova style

My friend recently asked me if I had any ideas for an advent calendar for her children, and would I help her to make it?  Well what could I say - I'm never going to turn down a request like that!   After a chat over coffee a couple of weeks ago, we came up with the plan to make some small bags that could be either hung onto string like bunting, or on pegs or hooks. Something that could be used year after year, but in a slightly new way each time.

I have a fair bit of Christmas fabric that I bought locally in the days before I knew what nice Chrismas fabric was like!!!  It's very traditional, not what I would normally use, but I know Lennie will like it, and lets face it, an excitable 4 and 6 year old, trying to get into the bag, isn't going to notice what the fabric is like!

Actually the little Chrismas tree fabric wasn't purchased locally, and is really nice.

What is totally amazing about this little project is that my husband actually agreed to help me!   There's a first time for everything.  So we had ourselves our own little Friday Night Sew in.  He put crappy film on the tv and stood at the kitchen table cutting the fabric for me, whilst I whipped it off and sewed it up.  He was going to use a pair of scissors, until I introduced him to a rotary cutter and a ruler!   There were some grumbles about how hard it was!

And here are the first batch sewn up, ready to be trimmed and have their numbers put on them

See what I mean about the fabric?
And the good thing about this is that Lennie totally gets the "hand made" thing so I know she will appreciate these.  She asks me not to buy the children anything, but if I'd like to make them something, that would be wonderful.   Do you remember the pillow I made for her little boy for Christmas last year?

Well apparently it is his most loved possession (better than lego) and when he recently had to spend a few nights in hospital, he took it with him!

Seeing as Gordon was a good little soldier last night, I let him out to play with his toys today

I'm so good to him!

06 November 2012

Woo Hoo x 2

I have been having serious doubts about our post lady recently.   I've been waiting so patiently for 2 parcels to arrive, and as they days passed, and they didn't arrive, the post lady was the chief suspect!

But yesterday my patience was rewarded and both were waiting for me together in our post box.

First excitement is my Mouth Stitches tote.  I know many of you have been involved in this, but for those who haven't followed it, we had to make a bag for our secret partner, using this simple tote bag pattern.  And who would have thought that there could be so many variations on the theme, and all of them wonderful.  Seriously, I would have been happy to get any of them.

But this one has been made especially for me!  By Sue at Sewlikesue, and she was inspired by my love of my garden and in particular, the flowers I grow.  And pink and green are one of my favourite colour combinations

The front is foundation pieced flower - it seems Sue and I to share a love of foundation piecing.

 And the back has some lovely hexies and is hand quilted around each of them

And the inside is really pretty too

As you can see, it not only matches the t shirt I was wearing, but it also matches my cheeks.  I had just cooked and eaten a seriously warm curry, hence the flushes cheeks

And finally a sweet key fob, which is already in use

So thanks to Sue for such a lovely bag and key fob - It couldn't have been any better for me

The second woo hoo was for a small parcel I received from Simply solids.   I recently entered a giveaway at Pippas Patch, to celebrate her 1st blogiversary, and I won.   The prize was a 10 pound voucher for Simply Solids.  I've had my eye on the Mama Said Sew line for a while, so I thought I'd use my voucher to buy myself a charm pack.  

Oh the colours and designs of this are just so wonderful.   Much better in real life than on the computer.  I have plans to maybe use this for my month in the Sew Eur-bee-an Bee.   Or maybe I might make some cushion covers for the lounge.

Thanks for the giveaway Pippa, and once again, happy blogiversary

Whilst I was ordering this, 2 fat eights packs of Kona shot cottons just happened to fall into my basket too!

They are so very  popular at the moment I thought I should give them a try, but now I have them, I'm really not sure about them. The word "grunge" springs to mind!  I think I need a nice project to show them off to their full advantage.  Any ideas anyone?

Well that's enough excitement for me for a few weeks!   Back to normal today - no post at all.  I'm having problems with my next block for the stitch tease bee.  I'm struggling to get the maths right and keep cutting the blocks too small.   At the rate I'm going on, it'll be 1" squares!

01 November 2012

Fresh Sewing Day

Lily's QuiltsKnotted Cotton

Gosh is it really the 1st of November?  Where did the year go?   And with only 8 or so weeks to Christmas, no doubt the rest of it will fly by.

What with putting the garden to bed, rescuing dogs, having to work full time again (I know, tragedy!) and joining in with Blogtoberfest,  I haven't got too much for show for October

The big finish was the Supernova quilt , progress was made on the MOD POD quilt, I finished a bag for my secret parnter in the Mouthy sitches swap, and a secret block for one of the girls in the Stitch Tease Bee.  Also I am sooo close to finishing myTerraced Garden quilt, which has been hanging around a while, not to put too fine a point on it!

I'm linking up with Fresh Sewing Day, and also I'm also going to link with the slow bloggers linky party for the first time.  I always feel I'm a slow sewer. I start each month with good intentions, but never seem to get everything done, despite spending quite a lot of time faffing around in my sewing room!