30 April 2014

A week in paradise

 No really, I'm not just saying that.  We've just got back from staying with my sister in Portugal, and her house is called Paradise!   We've had a fun week, walking, sight-seeing, gardening, eating, drinking, sewing and knitting.  I'll post some photos when we've had time to sort them.  But today is all about the quilt - Paraiso in Portugese.
You may remember shots of this quilt over the last couple of months

Well, I was keeping quiet about who it was for, because it was for my sister Jean, and I know she reads this blog from time to time, so I didn't want to let the cat out of the bag.  But it's been delivered, and I thought her house would make the perfect spot for a photo shoot.  Sadly my photography skills are not as good as I hoped, and we deleted a lot of the shots (some a bit too quickly Gordon) so here are a few of the better ones.

And a few I took at home

The quilt was inspired by these blocks I made for my stitch tease buddies

I loved the colours that Val  asked for

And I was amazed at the blocks we made for Hadley - my first use of low volume other than grey!

The fabric for the 16 patch was all from my stash and scrap bin.  To keep a soft drape to the quilt, I quilted it very simply with a straight line through the diagonals , using Aurifil 50 in a putty colour that exactly matched the Kona Putty I had used.  
I finished this quilt in Q1 and unfortunately it wasn't on my FAL list. Never mind eh!  It is very happy in it's new home and will be well loved, I know.

24 April 2014

And another one

Hot on the heals of the last Christmas Cushion, I give you

Christmas Cushion 2 - the sequel
I actually prefer this one to the first.  For this one, I pieced the hexies into a big square, and added a small border of Kona Putty.  Then I quilted up and down alternate rows, and around the edge

 The back is also far less hectic!

And the two  together.

They can go in the cupboard now, and wait for Christmas, which incidentally is only 244 days away!

And this is my third finish for the Q2 FAL. Hoorah!

Finish Along 2014

21 April 2014

Ready for Christmas

Over the Christmas holiday last year, I started a little Christmas EPP project, which I hoped would eventually become a cushion or two.  I foolishly thought I might get it finished over Christmas  but.....

I started with a couple of packs of mini charms that I'd received at the FQR in either 2012, or 2013, and added a few bits of christmassy fabric I had in my scrap bag

 Fast Forward now to April, and it's finished.

I made 7 hexie Christmas flowers and appliqued them onto a background of Kona putty.  I then hand quilted around the outer, and inner hexies

Unforutnately I didn't have enough of the backing fabric I'd chosen, so I added some pink Kona to fill it out, but I don't think it works particularly well!

But, I guess you don't look at the back of a cushion much!

So that's my second finish for the Q2 FAL, and I can promise another one is on it's way soon!
Finish Along 2014

17 April 2014

At last - a Finish

You've not seen a finished item on this blog for a while, so lets dive in.....


I have finally finished my Euro Siblings Together quilt.  Hot on the heels of the British Siblings Together Bee, a group of us based in Europe decided to pitch in too, and make 12 quilts for this great charity.  I went first, way back in May last year, and asked for a Linoleum Block in orange, turquoise and green.  Here's my first block
All my blocks came in quickly, but then I have been putting off making the quilt - you know what it's like when you have lots of time!  But at last it's finished

Not a terribly good photo of the quilt, but Liska wanted to be in on the photo shoot

As did Ted
I managed to find some lovely soft, good quality  fabric locally for the back and binding

I wanted to keep the quilting simple, so that the quilt stays soft and drapey, so I quilted along the crosses in a wiggly pattern, then around the white lozenges, using a bright orange Aurifil thread (2150).  You can see it makes a nice pattern on the back.

Thanks to all the ladies in the Euro Siblings Together who contributed their time, skill and fabric to make this quilt.  You can see the other blocks and quilts if you go over to the flickr page, and if you want to know more about the Siblings Together Charity, you can read about it here .

12 April 2014

Diamond Falls

Gordon is away in England for a couple of weeks, leaving me on my own, totally responsible for the dogs, the garden, the pool (heaven help me if it's cloudy when he gets back), and worst of all, feeding myself. I did make a rather good mushroom risotto the other night though, something that Gordon would never eat, so we never cook it.  It's also one of the few things I actually enjoy cooking.

When I have done all my "chores", I am getting in loads of sewing time.  I have finished my 16 patch quilt, but it's so big, I can't really get any photos without a willing helper to hold it!  I have also finished my Euro Siblings Together quilt.  I have photographed that, but will blog about that later.

The main focus has been on getting the Love Beads quilt top finished.  Despite having cut the stripey fabric in two different direcions

My OCD side really couldn't live with this, but I managed to salvage the situation using the left over fabric for a second set of diamonds, cut the right way.   Unfortunately I was one short, but I can say this is a design feature (thanks for the idea Ange!)

This meant that I had to re-use the wrong diamonds for the side half diamonds.  By cutting them in half plus an extra 1/2 inch, I have just managed to squeeze them in.  They aren't quite right, but I do have a 1/4 seam allowance - just!

So I have now cut everything, and pieced all the strips. It looks a bit messy because it doesn't quite fit on my design wall (and the strips kept falling off)
It just remains to add a few half diamonds at the side, then finish sewing all the strips together.  Not my favourite job, joining long strips like these, so it could take me a few sessions!

You may ask why this post is called Diamond Falls.  Well I didn't much like the name "Love Beads" .  It didn't speak to me, as they say.  But the pattern does make me think of a waterfall, hence Diamond Falls.

Well I'm off now to do MORE cooking (Steak and jacket potatoes tonight) Hope everyone is having a good weekend!

08 April 2014

Q2 FAL 2014

 Finish Along 2014

And the word this quarter is FOCUS.  After the appalling performance in quarter one, I am resolved to complete all my projects, before starting an more.  The only thing I will be making that is not on this list will be bee blocks.  Honest. 

So here we go again, with feeling

1.  Stitch Tease 2 .  I have been beset by problems whilst quilting this one, and work has slowed down to a full stop.  But there's not much more to do and finish it I will.  I WILL

2. Euro Siblings Together
    The binding is being stitched down and should be finished in a couple of days

3 & 4 Christmas cushion covers.  These too are waiting to sew the binding down - and then I can put them away in a cupboard till Christmas, when I will get them out and give Gordon 3 happy weeks of moaning about them!

5. Love Beads
Whlst I have a fair bit of hand sewing to do, which is an evening job, I am now whipping through this project during my daytime sewing

6. Cardigan

This is actually the same photo as last quarter, but I have moved on and only have to make and attach the front two bands.

Then come the two things I made at the Valtice Patchwork group meetings
7. A cushion cover
 I used the fabrics that were supplied on the day, and it really isn't something I'd use, so I'm going to make it up into a cushion cover and donate it to my SIL for the church summer fete.

8.  Baby Boy quilt or maybe table mats
Not much difference I know. For the second meetingI learnt my lesson and took my own fabrics, so that I could make something I would use. I originally made them to use as table mats, but now I know I have to make a baby boy quilt, and if I made a few more, they would make a nice boys quilt  I think.

9. And then there's the orange and blue lozenges, now renamed ad infinitum, not just because they look vaguely like an infinity sign when joined together
I still have no clear idea what to do with them!
and finally
10 Can you tell what it is yet?
A special present that has to be finished this week - but I think even I can manage that one!

So there it is - 10 projects to finish from a girl who couldn't manage one last quarter!  Linking up with Katy once again. Remember Di, FOCUS

06 April 2014

Well this is embarrassing

Finish Along 2014

When I wrote up my list of finishes for the Q1 FAL, way back in January, I rashly said that I stood a good chance of achieving some finishes because the months of January and February are usually cold and snowy here .  And guess what, no snow, very little cold and absolutely NO finishes on my list!   I am also a little embarrassed to tell you that I have just spent the week rushing to finish a quilt that I only now realise wasn't even started in January and thus, wasn't on the list!  Numpty!

Here's the quilt that never was

It still has to go in the washing machine and have a proper photo session.  I suppose I should pretend it's not finished and put it on next quarter's list, but that's only cheating myself!

I have however, made some progress

1.  Stitch Tease - I am still hand quilting it!
2.  Orange and aqua diamonds are still exactly where they were in January.  I am beginning to despair of what to do with these!
3. Euro Siblings Together quilt - that is just about to have the binding sewn on.
4.  Christmas Cushions - as above
5 Knitted Jacket - this has inched ever so slightly forward since my SIL sent me another ball of wool.

and these will be going on the Q2 list.....................

So as I have no finishes, I'm not exactly linking to the FAL, but you can go and have a look at the more successful bloggers here