Friday 27 July 2012

Zakka sewing

It's been weeks and weeks since I made anything from the Zakka Style book, there have been a few of the projects that I have really wanted to make, and I always planned to make them along with everyone else doing the Zakka Style Sew Along, but time is an elusive thing just now, with school holidays and a mental puppy who although almost fully recovered, is not allowed out for proper walks. Fortunately the weather has dried up, and although we're not baking like the rest of the UK seems to be, the kids can get outside to play- yipee! :)
Today I really wanted to make something. It had to be quick and easy and I had to have all the supplies I needed within easy reach. I managed to make a large version of the Delightful Linen Bag.

I used some Essex linen, some teeny tiny Liberty scraps that I just couldn't bear to throw away, and a handmade lace handkerchief that my Great-Great Aunt made. I absolutely LOVED making this! I really love finding a use for things that other might throw away, and I think these fabric are just so pretty together.
I'm going to use it to keep my small quilting rulers safe (and easy to find!) and other bits and bobs that have no home at the moment :)

I got some lovely mail the other day, from the very lovely Helen and Archie. Helen has been very very busy. You may have seen this fantastic thread catcher turn up on some other blogs. Isn't it brilliant? She also sent some retro charms for my hexagon quilt, and the lovely Archie sent my little Murphy some tasty biscuits (not pictured because Murphy went crazy for them and persuaded me that they were medicinal and would aid his recovery ;) Thankyou so much Helen, you are very sweet and kind.

That's all for now, I'm off to organise myself for a sewing day on Sunday at the lovely Jo from Bearpaw's shop! I'm so excited to be getting a sewing day with some lovely girls, with a bit of shopping too! I have somehow volunteered to do a quilting demonstration - not sure why because I'm only just learning how to FMQ. Don't tell any of the others, but I'm going to make it an interactive demonstration, and see if they will help me quilt the Do Good Stitches quilt for Project Linus :)

Have a great weekend!
Fiona x

Wednesday 25 July 2012

A little destash sale

Thanks for all the lovely comments about the Snowballs quilt in my last post, and for all the well-wishes for little Murphy - after another scare he now seems to be almost back to his usual self, and is desperate to get out for a proper walk instead of the lead-only walks he's allowed for the time being.

I have finally admitted that my fabric stash is a bit on the ridiculous side and I've decided it is time to find new homes for some of my pre-cuts. I'm planning to open a little Etsy shop, but thought I would do a quick post about what I'm planning to sell in case anybody is interested.
Hullabaloo Layer cake and charm pack by Urban Chiks for Moda £27 for both plus postage (£3.65 for UK postage)
City Weekend Layer cake and charm pack by Oliver + S for Moda £27 for both plus postage (£3.65 for UK postage)
A layer cake and charm pack is the perfect amount to make a plus quilt like this one I'm making just now, using a Sherbet Pips layer cake and charm pack. It measures 56" x 72".

Blossom Jelly Roll by Urban Chiks for Moda £22 plus postage (£3.65 for UK postage) This jelly roll is missing the name card but has never been opened, this is quite rare and very hard to find now. GONE  :)
Flora Layer Cake by Lauren and Jessi Jung for Moda £22 plus postage (£3.65 for UK postage)GONE!
Two Ruby Charm Packs by Bonnie and Camille for Moda £13 for both plus postage (£3.65 for UK postage) Gone! :)
Hartfield Layer Cake plus 2 yards of Hartfield fabric by Barbara Brackman for Moda £32 for both plus postage (£5.25 for UK postage)

If anybody wants to buy these before I get them listed in my Etsy shop (which doesn't exist yet!) leave a comment or email me. If anybody wants to buy more than one thing, I will work out the best postage, if anybody lives outside the UK and is interested I will work out the postage.

I have more that I really should find new homes for too, but this is all I can bear to let go just now ;)

Fiona x

Tuesday 17 July 2012

I Spy with my little eye..... snowballs!

Thank you so much for all the well-wishes for wee Murphy after my last post. He's slowly getting better, but he's still a very sore, tired little pup.
I promised I'd show the I Spy quilt that I finally got finished at the weekend, and Ta Da! Here it is :)
This quilt was made by the lovely ladies of the Joy circle of do.Good Stitches. I asked them each to make 2 blocks using fabrics that would be suitable for a boy's I Spy quilt. We all used the brilliant snowball tutorial by Cluck Cluck Sew. I absolutely LOVE how this turned out! 
The fabric those lovely ladies chose are just amazing. So much thought has gone into choosing each one, and together they all just look fantastic! My photos really don't do this quilt justice  
I chose an Ikea print for the back and found a perfect black spot in my stash for the binding. The quilting is just a loose stipple and I think it makes it look soft and cozy.
The quilt measures approx 48" x 48" after washing. When the lovely lady from Project Linus came to pick up the last quilt I put together for the Joy circle I showed her the snowball blocks that I had received at that point and asked about the best size to make the quilt. She assured me that any size quilt would find a loving home, but she mentioned that 48" (four feet) square was the perfect size for a wheelchair quilt, and told me that they didn't get as many boy quilts.
This quilt has taken me a lot longer than it should to make, and I've already got started on our next one for Project Linus. This time I asked for patchwork wheels following Don't Call me Betsy's tutorial, and asked for summery colours that reminded us of summer fruit and blue skies. Yet again the lovely ladies have made some super blocks and I think they look fantastic all together.
 Hopefully I'll be showing this quilt off quite soon :)
And here is a picture of little Murphy today. His little toddle around the grass has wiped him out and he's now fast asleep in his bed.

Hope you're having a good week

Fiona x

Sunday 15 July 2012

An up and down weekend

Thanks so much for all your suggestions on how to improve my not-so-precious-any-more quilt. So far I've ripped it in half and sewn it together differently and replaced 2 of the squares that bothered me most. There's still a bit of ripping and sewing to go, but I'm taking a break from it for now.

So far this weekend has been very up and down. I usually work on a Saturday but I had the day off yesterday. I decided to pop to my Local quilt shop to buy some basting spray, so I could get the I Spy Snowball quilt basted and hopefully quilted and handed over to Project Linus sometime soon. I discovered there was a sale at the quilt shop and decided I would have a quick rummage.

I quickly began having palpitations because I found this
Authentic by Sweetwater Layer Cake - Eeeek!
  And this 
Blossom by Urban Chiks Jelly Roll - don't know what I'll do with this but I just couldn't pass it up
Original Rouenneries by French General and A pretty spot by 3 Sisters for Moda
 And these all in the sale!!!!! (my credit card is still having palpitations but we'll worry about that later) 

 I had to rush back home because Murphy had been quite sick and had an appointment at the vet. A quick trip to the vet rapidly turned into x-rays and emergency surgery to remove a hair clasp, a stone and part of my poor little puppy's colon :( 
He's back home again and needs round the clock monitoring. Now he looks like this 

 While he was in theatre I decided to do something positive instead of worrying myself sick. I managed to get the I Spy Snowballs quilt basted and quilted! I got the binding stitched down during the night, while I was sitting with Murphy. Here's a little sneak peek, and I'll show it off properly next week. I think it might be my favourite quilt ever!
I Spy a Snowball made by the Joy Circle of do.Good Stitches
 So it's been up, down and up again so far. I'm hoping for peace and relaxation for what's left of the weekend!
 Happy Sunday!
 Fiona x

Friday 13 July 2012

Precious quilt top? hmmmm

Last night I finished piecing a quilt top that I've been lovingly making this week. I cut up my precious Freshcut that I've been hoarding for years because I found the perfect pattern. I decided it wanted it to be a bit more warm, summery and punchy, so I added some red solid and gold shot cotton and some random Amy Butler that I thought would look good.
I spent yesterday afternoon and evening piecing, and them spread it out on my bed and waited to be wowed by my beautiful new quilt top, but I was disappointed. I do not love it like I thought I would :(
I think I'm going to replace that big golden square on the middle right and one of the browns in the top two rows.
Any other ideas on how I can make it better? I really want to love it.

I snapped a quick photo of my 'sewing space' while I was working on it. I usually sew at the kitchen table, but my Husband had some work to do in the evening and commandeered the table so I had to de-camp to the living room. I quite enjoyed my make-do evening of sewing :) The photo is rubbish but I tought you might enjoy/be amused by it!

I made a new cushion for my bed that I do love. I used some leftover Freshcut squares and some of a California Girl charm pack, and whipped this up. It's supposed to co-ordinate with the unloved quilt.

I have some major Thankyous for some of my lovely lovely blog readers. A few weeks ago I showed off the hexagons I've been working on and declared my love for American Jane and retro prints. Some very very lovely people sent me some fabulous fabric :)
This is what the amazing Gertie sent me. She told me had a charm pack and some leftover jelly roll strips, and then sent me a whole quilt-worth of fabric! I was gobsmacked when I opened the package!
Then Kathy sent me some more American Jane fabulousness! some more Snippets, punctuation, and 2 fantastic panels, and a very cool tea print. Again, sooooo very generous!  (I don't know if you have a blog Kathy, if you do, let me know and I'll update this)
The other day the lovely Emily found a couple of retro charm squares and thought of me. How sweet is she? They will make a couple of perfect hexagons for my quilt.
A big big Thankyou to the lovely Jo as well. She offered some fabric for charity quilts and I jumped at the chance. She was also incredibly generous and sent me a huge package. There's no photo though. I've already started using it all. Thankyou so very much Gertie, Kathy, Emily and Jo,  I have fabric warm and fuzzies :)

Have a great weekend!
Fiona x

Tuesday 10 July 2012

Nellie the elephant packed her trunk and went to the Village Haberdashery

Image courtesy of Village Haberdashery

Off she went with a trumpety trump. 
Trump trump trump!

Today these sweet little elephants and me are featured on the Village Haberdashery blog. The lovely Annie sent me some beautiful fabric to play with, and I made some of my favourite elephants to show off the gorgeous prints. I really enjoyed making them, and Annie's photography skills make them look really good!
You should pop over there and then go and have a browse of her shop. She has some very very gorgeous fabric, and she gives fantastic customer service.

Thanks for letting me play with your fabric Annie!

Fiona x

Monday 9 July 2012

Finish Along Third Quarter

2012 Finish-A-Long
I missed the last round of the Finish Along run by the lovely Rhonda Quilter in the Gap, and I'm determined not to miss this quarter. So I'm compiling a little list of stuff that I really want to get finished.
1. My Recess Quilt, I started this a part of the My Precious QAL on Flickr and I really want to get the top finished at the very least. Somehow this keeps getting pushed to the bottom of the list, but I've made a decent start on it now and I really want to work on it again
2. My HST cushion/pillow. I decided to machine quilt it instead of hand quilting and now it just needs turning into a cushion! Again this keeps getting pushed down my list
3. The Snowball I spy quilt that I was supposed to have finished months ago. This has been made by the ladies from the Joy circle of do.Good Stitches and is for Project Linus. It's over 6 months ago that I asked for blocks for this quilt, and now it's my turn to be quilter again, so it's a bit embarassing that this is still a quilt top and not a quilt!
4. I'd really like to finish the hand quilting on my Wild Bob Loulouthi quilt. I spray-basted this before I decided to hand quilt it, and it's now a nightmare to quilt with perle. BUT, I love it and I really want to have it ready to snuggle with on the sofa this winter.

So that's it! There are over 20 other projects that I want to get finished too, but I'm trying to be realistic.
I think I can finish these 4, I think I can, I think I can!

If you fancy playing along in this quarter of the Finish Along you can find the linky party here, and the details of what it's all about here.

Go on, it's a great way to get motivated!

Fiona x

Tuesday 3 July 2012

Siblings Together 3rd quilt finished.

Today I managed to get the binding sewn on the 3rd quilt I have made for the Siblings Together charity. I made this with a boy in mind and took ages to decide how to quilt it. In the end I decided that a quilt top was no use to anyone and just went with quite a large stipple. I think it adds a cozy texture, and I still don't know how else I would quilt it.
My Mum and Step Father donated money to buy the wadding in all 3 of the quilts I have made for the charity. This was my Step Father's idea. He used to be a foster carer when he was younger, and thought the charity is such a great idea he wanted to help in some way. A huge thankyou to both of them :)
You can see the other 2 quilts I have made here, and here, and the flickr group has a whole host a beautiful, amazing quilts. Hopefully all these quilts can bring a little bit of comfort to children in a situation I can't begin to imagine.

A big thankyou to Lynne who got the word out about the Siblings charity and gave the opportunity to be involved in such a worthwhile cause.

If anybody is interested in making a quilt for a child in need, Kate from Swim Bike Quilt is running 100 Quilts for Kids blog hop again this summer. You can find out more by clicking on the link below
Swim, Bike, Quilt

Fiona x.