30 April 2013

Siblings Together

Like many fellow quilter/bloggers out there in the ether, this year I am contributing a quilt to the Siblings Together Charity.  Many of you will know about it, but for those that don't you can read about it here and here.
I made my quilt using one layer cake of Little Apples from Aneela Hoey. I used this really quick technique to make half square triangles, and then played around with the placement until I came up with the design I liked.

It was at this stage that Gordon helpfully asked if there was going to be another column down the side because, did I realise it wasn't centred.  Yes dear!  Once pieced there was a pause until I could get to Ikea for the backing fabric.  But now it's all finished so yesterday afternoon I took advantage of the sunny weather and took it out for a photo shoot.

It's not quite the prescribed size, but I was limited by the design, and the colour of the pieces in the layer cake.  I just couldn't manage another "round" in the right colours .  I hope it will be OK.   All I need now is the label, which hopefully is on it's way to me right nowhome and will be much appreciated, then it will be on it's way.  It's definitely a girl's quilt, but probably not a girlie girl.  Perhaps more of a tomboy type!  Anyway, I'm sure the guys at ST will find it a good home and it will be much appreciated.

27 April 2013

Thimble update

First of all, thanks to everyone for their ideas for my flying geese border.   I'm always amazed how people can come up with so many diverse ideas for one simple block.  Consequently, I now have so many ideas flying around in my head, I don't know where to go.  I must admit that initially,  I preferred the geese flying out  But then Tammy came up with the idea of placing the geese going round, but breaking them up with white. Now that makes sense.   There were some other ideas that I might try and incorporate, and then Jenny slipped in the notion that the geese were probably a bit small in relation to some of those pinwheels!   That idea was lurking somewhere at the back of my mind, and I was ignoring it until Jenny brought it up,  And yup, you're right Jenny, but I've made over 100 now, so they're just going to have to be too small!!!!!   And Helen, I will be putting a white border around the geese!

So on to thimbles....#
Months ago, I asked for advice on thimbles, and ended up buying this one


I was sitting sewing early one Sunday morning a few weeks ago, whilst the rest of the house snoozed, and thinking I ought to update you with how I got (just in case anyone was  waiting with baited breath!)  I actually got on with it very well, and over time, it had softened quite well, moulding itself to my fingers and making it far less cumbersome than any other thimble I'd tried.  I'd still probably rather not use one at all, but there are times when you need one. 

Then off I went for a shower.  I came back down 15 or 20 minutes later, to find Lucy, one of our dogs, sitting very guiltily in the corner, trying to pretend she hadn't got anything in her mouth.  Further investigation showed she had, yes, you guessed, my thimble!   I did rescue it and although it was very wet and a little chewed, I thought it would still be useable.


It did dry out but was VERY stiff and where she had chewed it, it had left rough edges that caught on everything.  So that was that.

Fast Forward to Monday when I had a trip to the fabric shop in Brno, where I bought a new thimble.   Last night, I got my EPP snowballs out again, after a short break, and got on with some sewing in front of the TV.  I left my thimble on the table, and yes, you've got there ahead of me, Lucy got into the lounge this morning and stole my new thimble.  By the time we discovered it, it looked like this.

I don't think there's much chance of rescuing this do you? 

Lucy used to steal shoes when she was younger, and seemed to have gotten over that, but clearly nice, fresh leather thimbles are too much of a temptation.  As these thimbles are around ten pounds each, which I think is rather a lot for a dog chew, I shall in future be reverting to a plaster on my finger.

I have two recommendations

1) Try the clover leather thimble, but only if you don't have a dog. Or you have a dog, but it doesn't like leather!
2) Don't have a dog unless you really love dogs. Only then can you forgive them for eating two thimbles!

And whilst we are on the subject, you might as well have a photo of the guilty party!

I was asleep, honest.  It jumped into my mouth whilst I was passing!

26 April 2013

How do you like your geese?

I am making a start at finishing my Stitch Tease quilt.  Since starting it and deciding the size of it, we have had a new bed which is half a metre (almost 20 inches) wider than the old one, so there has to be a sizeable border added.

I did a bit of searching t'interweb and decided on flying geese, but flying out rather than round.  I think they tie in well with the pinwheels on the quilt.   Now I'm not so sure.


.......or out?

I put these on instagram the other day, and the vote was 4 for round and 3 for out.  For out I need to make 120, for round I need 276!  This will not influence my decision...... honest!

So tell me, which do you think looks better

21 April 2013

Sew and Sow

Apologies to Mrs Sew and Sow for nicking her pun, but that's exactly what I was doing on Friday!  We've had beautiful weather this week, so I've been outside weeding and pruning, raking and sowing in every available spare moment. Consequently there has been very little sewing.  But Friday,  it was rainy all day so I had a few hours sewing and a few hours sowing.

Out in the greenhouse we have tomatoes and sweet potatoes already quite established
And newly sown peppers, chillis, herbs, sweet peas, and osteospermum.

In the sewing room, I have completed two blocks for Celine in the Sew Euro-bee-an Bee.

Celine asked us to make  this block using bright colours , fussy cut, texty prints.  My texty prints and fussy cut fabrics are a bit limited but I hope I did the bright colours OK .  This will be going out to Celine next week.

I should be stocking up on my texty prints in the not too distant future as I have entered this charm swap - my first one.  I have ordered this fabric from this on-line shop here in cz.  I hadn't visited for a while and was amazed how her range of fabrics has improved in leaps and bounds.  She has Noteworthy, Cuzco and Marmalade to name a but a few.  Last week I got this little parcel from her

Beautifully packaged and of course, getting it locally costs around 3 pounds rather than the $24 postage costs now from the US. And her prices are really quite good.  Most fabrics are around 8 or 10 punds a metre, but you can't buy fat quarters.  And get this, she has Aurifil thread!  Only 12 weight quilting thread at the moment, but it's a start!

This is what I have for the Texty swap.  Its called Bucket List from Noteworthy by Sweetwater

There are so many texty fabrics out there, but it was quite hard to find them in the on-line shops.   But everyone seems to be  finding beautiful fabrics, and  I'm going to have to think of something lovely to make when I get all of mine.

Hope everyone is having a good weekend, and a big GOOD LUCK to my nephew Tom who is running in the London Marathon today!  I'll be watching out for you.

16 April 2013

Stitch Tease 2 - my makes

During the space of the last 12 months  my fellows stitch teasers have forced me to face some very scarey demons!

Katy wanted a block that fit in with her signature fabric - rockets, cars and bikes.  I wanted to make an appliqued American car for her, and was struggling to find just the right one.  We were out in the car one day, when I spied the perfect one, sitting outside a bar in the neighbouring town of Lednice.  I screamed for my husband to stop, nearly causing a heart attack and an accident, in no particular order!   This was the car in question, a russian made GAZ Volga, outside the Volga Inn

And so Katy's block was born. 

Annabella wanted circles.  Thanks Annabella!  But I battled my demons and put together a not-bad version of the Limes and Lemons block.

Danny's remit for her block was "anything goes"  Just as long as it's bright.  So I thought about what I would really like to make and came up with three paper pieced stars.  It turns out paper pieced starts are one of Danny's favourites!

Hadley's block on the face of it was relatively easy - random blocks with the odd white block thrown in.  But she was pretty specific about colours, and those of you that know Hadley, well, would you like to choose fabrics for her? 
Susan wanted wonky stars, but white stars on a scrappy background.   Surprisingly I find wonky very hard, as I always want to make this straight and balanced!  But I think I did a reasonably wonky job this time!

My namesake Di , wanted a strip with a word and things associated with it.  Di lives in California where the weather is almost always perfect and she longs for cold and windy weather.  A novel view of the weather I feel! I often volunteer to swap places but she hasn't taken me up on it yet!.  I decided to make her the 4 seasons of weather, so that she can look at whatever weather she likes, whenever she feels like it!

Spring showers, summer sunshine

Windy autumn and snowy winter
And last but not least, Helen wanted more wonky stars, but more traditionally patterns stars on a plain background.  I made the final block (mine is top left) and put them all together

I can't say which one I like best, but making Katy's so early on gave me a lot of pleasure and confidence to move onto the others.

Sadly,  that's the end of this round of the Stitch Tease bee. It's been great fun, I've got to know some lovely people, and improved my sewing techniques into the bargain.  Win, win I think.  The second round will start very soon, minus Danny unfortnately, but with 5 new ladies.  I'm looking forward to getting going again!

15 April 2013

Stitch Tease - Tah dah!


Just over twelve months ago I was invited to join my first ever bee by my namesake  Di (one "n"). I was so pleased to be asked, although a little daunted by the talented ladies I was to be joining!  We had to pick a theme for our quilt - mine was pinwheels, any shape or size, placed randomly within the block.  We also had to pick a signature fabric that would appear in all the quilts.  You might remember mine from long, long ago.  The scallop on the large pinwheel was my signature fabric.


Then I put it in an envelope, stamped it, and sent it of to Hadley. And that's the last I saw of it, till now. Over the next twelve months each of the other ladies made a block (just for little old me!) and send them to Hadley, who had the job of making her block, then joining them all together.  Obviously this was going on with all the other 7, and we never saw one glimpse of what people were making for us.  It's been a real tease!

The 8 of us have been pretty excited this last month, knowing that after 12 months, we were finally getting to see what everyone else made, in a finished quilt top.  So without further ado, but with a long pause like they do on Strictly, here's my quilt

 Although the quilt is destined for our bed, it's not going to be this one as we have a new one on it's way.  That will be a lot bigger than this, so I am going to have to add a border so that there is enough to keep us warm at night!

Look at that bit of blue sky

I think it's happy in it's new home

It is exactly what I wanted, and even better than I imagined it would be!  There are so many different pin-wheels and you've got the colours just right for me.  Thank you so much all you clever ladies (in no particular order!)


It's amazing that just 8 people could come up with such different ideas.  We are all revealing our own quilts today, so I recommend you do a quick blog hop and check them all out. If you can come back tomorrow, I will be showing you all the blocks that I made for the other bee-ers.