Monday, 31 January 2011

Stash Busting

While I had odd moments of time during the week, I have been cutting and piecing blocks using some batik fabrics from my stash.  I've had this fabric for years, so, in the spirit of using up all my scraps and old fabric, I thought, it was about time to get something done.

The blocks were fairly simple to do, and went together yesterday.  I now have to buy something suitable for the borders, backing and bindings, but at least progress has been made. 

There are a few scraps leftover from the blocks.  I now have to decide if I will try and incorporate them into the backing, or maybe make them into something else.  I think I'll think on it a bit longer, there are other projects calling out to be done this week.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Raggedy & Friends QAL-Block Nine

This is the last of the Raggedy blocks for this month.  Although, there have been three to do, they haven't taken too long and have been fun.  Now they can go away until next month and it's time to play with something else.

Unfortunately, I have to be a good mum and catch up on housework today, so I don't think much will be happening on the sewing front today.  Maybe tomorrow

Friday, 28 January 2011

Raggedy & Friends QAL-Block Eight

Another quick block, which was just as well, I didn't have  lot of time at the to get this one put together.  One more to do for this month.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Raggedy & Friends QAL-Block Seven

A small block this time for the Raggedy QAL, so it was quick to piece and stitch.

As it was a small block, there are two more to do this month.  Now onto block 8

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Mystery Monday

Over the last half of last year, I watched a couple of Mystery Monday projects at Chris and Barbara Quilts, but never quite summoned the courage to get involved.  Each week a step was released, and they never seemed to be more than could be coped with in a normal week.  This time, I've decided to give it a go, so last week I ordered my fabric and was ready to go Monday morning.

This is step one complete, trimmed, labelled and bagged ready for the next stage.  I've never been so organised!

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Borders Added

The blue quilt now has it's borders.
 Not to be outdone, Bear decides he'll have his minute of fame.
He just walked straight across to jump to the window to have a nose at what was going on.

Now, I need to buy some fabric for the back and binding.

Monday, 24 January 2011


As expected, it didn't take long to finish the last heart, Jouy Style heart.  I now have all ten hearts stitched and will be on the search for fabric to tie them together to make a wall hanging.  Something else to add to the finishing list.

 I've also done another heart.  This is the first of 12 hearts being released over the year over at Raspberry Rabbits .  I did consider buying the Valdani threads used, but being a good girl, I decided to go with what I had in my stash.
 It is supposed to be on point, but as you can see, Hamlet just had to get in the picture.  As soon as the camera comes out, he's there.
That's him casting a shadow and showing the tip of his tail.  As quick as I throw him off, he's back, so I gave up and let him have his moment of glory.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

It was a blue Saturday

The wonderful thing about reading blogs, you get to find so many good ideas.  During the week, I was reading Sue's blog and she'd made a pocket for one of her rulers.  Sue had used one of her orphan blocks to make a beautiful pocket and I thought was the perfect thing to use up some of my blue fabric.

This fabric was too pretty for the boys, and I had been wondering what to do with it, so here's my pocket.

 The cats are forever knocking them off my cutting table, and it always takes ages to be able to find them, now, if they drop, I will see them straight away.
 I've used a Velcro fastening for easy use, and once I've found my tri-angle, it will go in there too.
 I also made a bag to go in Jonathan's room for his socks.   I don't know why, but boys just seem to find it impossible to put socks in a drawer, they always end up on the floor, making it difficult to tell which are clean and which are not.
Having one handle means it can hang from the hook on his door, and should be easy just to dump the socks in.  I won't be holding my breath on the success of this venture, but at least I would have tried! 

I think I am coming to the end of my blue period although, I must put the border onto the blue quilt.  That will have to wait until another month to get finished as I need to buy batting and fabric for the backing.  I've thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and can't wait to see what colour is going to be used next month.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Friday Night Sew In

Yesterday was a longer than planned day out, so by the evening it was getting difficult to keep my eyes open.
I stitched for as long as possible on the last heart, but couldn't keep them open long enough to get it finished.

Before you ask, I have been working on this every evening this week, and not just last night.  I just have a little left to complete in the upper left hand corner.  Hopefully, that will be done this weekend.

I'll look forward to catching up with what everyone else has been working on later.  Today, I think it's going to be another blue day, by way of a change.

Friday, 21 January 2011

A Day for Finishing

As I now had the blue thread that I needed, I could spend some time finishing all the table toppers and coasters that had been waiting patiently.

 First, the large table topper
 The mini table topper
 The mug rug, which had to be large, as he has a huge cup
And a set of coaster, two large, one mini.  These will probably be gifts for a friend.

Unfortunately, I have to take the boys out today, so the machine will  be getting a rest.  I have just a few more things I'd like to get done before the end of the month.  Hopefully, I can have a good sewing weekend.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Some more blue

I've never used strings or selvedges before, they were always the bits I threw away, but I've been learning from the experienced quilters out there.  I'd seen some tutorials and blocks that had been made using them, so, while I was piecing the blue top, I kept the strings.  I was going to keep them until I had a few more, but looking at them, I thought there were enough for one block. 

This was the pot holder/pot stand that resulted.  I joined them directly to the batting and backing fabric, so it was very quick to do.  

 The other scraps that found a home, were these cat motifs.  I appliqued them onto some pale blue denim and made it into a little hanger.
In the smallest room of the house, there is a little strip of wall with a hanging nail already waiting.  It's only taken three years to find something narrow enough to fit.

The post man has been very good to me this week.  He's brought me the border fabric for the blue quilt, and yesterday the blue thread.  That means I can now start to get a few things finished.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Playing with blue scraps

Scrappy Saturday carried on into Monday, as I am trying to get all the blue out of the way by the end of the month.  It would still be here if I only worked with it on Saturdays.

 First up, was to make a scrappy table topper.
 I even had the backing here in my stash.  There is enough to back everything in the same fabric.
Next was a mug rug.  Unfortunately, no quilting or finishing could take place as I have run out of blue thread!

In the meantime, I have prepared a mini table topper and at least three coasters.  They are all waiting patiently for finishing.

As I was tidying up, I found some more little scraps and they told me what to make.  Hopefully, the thoughts will become reality over the next couple of days.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Crocheted Squares

Now the snow has cleared, the delivery system is back to normal and my crochet magazines arrived on time.  They were only sat a couple of days before I took out the squares to do for this month.

 Most of them went quite quickly and easily,
but you will notice with this block, it took me until the last few rows to get the pattern.  Never mind, I am still learning, and now  I know what to look for, it will be easier next time.  Now I have four weeks to wait until the next installment arrives.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Rainbow Scrap Challenge

I didn't have many blue scraps at the start of this challenge, but I had some half metre pieces of blue fabric.  I thought this was the perfect opportunity to use them up.  It would stop them sitting around in my stash for an unknown period of time, so I cut it up.

The sewing machine was kind to me yesterday, the rest of the quilt went together with no unpicking, so by lunchtime, this is what I had.

I'm just waiting for the border fabric to arrive to get to the next stage.  As you can imagine, I have some blue scraps leftover.  They are now waiting to be sewn together.  Hopefully, they will turn into a table topper and mug rug or coaster to go in the same room as the quilt.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Heart of Butterflies

With one thing and another, it has been a busy week this week.  When I was home, I spent one day cutting blue fabric for a quilt top, and in between, began to join the blocks.  The blocks were finally joined together and are waiting to be completed into a quilt top.

I made a start yesterday, but after having to take one row apart, I decided to give it a rest and go back to it today with a fresh mind.  The blocks turned the wrong way between the floor and the sewing table.

In the evenings, I have been plugging away at the cross stitch and yesterday, the final back stitch detailing went in.

That leaves one heart to do.  I shall probably start that tonight, hopefully after a successful day at the sewing machine.

Monday, 10 January 2011

2011 UFO Challenge-Number Three

The UFO chosen to be finished this month was number three, which meant for me, getting the postage stamp quilt finished.  I spread the finishing over two days.  Saturday I quilted, and then Sunday, I cut and attached the border.

 Of course, it had to be tested immediately
 Within seconds, Hamlet was curled up in a ball.  I think the quilt passed the comfort test.
I even remembered a label. I'm calling this one a "Beginners Tale" as it was talking to me as I was quilting.  It told the tale of  of piecing that improved over time, a temperamental sewing machine, the arrival of a new machine, and then the ability to compensate for the bad bits, a story of a quilter that went from a complete beginner to one with a little experience and less fear.  Now I know a bit more about what I'm doing, I think I would like to do another one of these, but it won't be any time soon, I don't think.

I've used calico for the backing of the quilt, as it was quite a rustic looking quilt.  I have enough of the binding fabric, I think, to do the pillowcases.  Hopefully, they will be done in time for the set to be my summertime bedding.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

2011 Rainbow Scrap Challenge

I thought it might be a good idea to get involved with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge this year to empty my ottoman.  The colour for this month is blue, so I've collected all my blue scraps and have a little pile on the floor.  Throughout the month, I will try to work my way through it.

The first project was inspired by the next Creative Tuesday challenge which was "scarf".

 I came up the idea for this fun wall hanging.

The background fabric on the front and the bindings was some pale, lightweight denim that had been gifted to me.  It was just a remnant leftover from something else, so I hadn't known what I was going to do with it.

I've used white felt under the pieces of the snow man to give it a bit of dimension, and then, for the first time, I machine appliqued the pieces.  Once the pieces were attached, I went through the button tin, and found the eyes, nose, and buttons down the front.  The scarf is white felt with silver dots and snowflakes, especially appropriate, as snow was falling when I was working on him.  I also cut a fringe into both end of the scarf.

For the backing, I used some sky fabric from my blue pile.  I quilted around the outline of the snow man, and then some gentle wavy lines for the background.

Two challenges met in one project and smiles all round.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Raggedy & Friends QAL-Block Six

The sewing machine had been sat idle for over a month, so we had a simple project to ease it back into the swing of things.  The first project was to piece the next Raggedy block.
 It's now complete, with just over a week to go before the next one is released.

The threads I'd ordered arrived from Sew and Sew.  I can't fault their service,  it was here sooner than I had expected.  Their quick service meant that the next heart, Heart of Flowers, could be completed.
There are now two more to be done, and while sitting watching TV last night, I started the next one. 

Now I have a dilemma for today.  I need to finish my postage stamp quilt this month.  Originally I was going to tie it, but I have since thought the the cats will start chewing and pulling at the ties.  Now, I have to decide, do I take the chance and tie it, or do I machine quilt it?  Decisions, decisions.

Friday, 7 January 2011


It's been lovely this week, to have a clear brain and to be able to enjoy what I'm doing and to be thinking of new projects.

I have almost finished the next cross stitch hearts,  but am waiting for delivery or one thread to be able to complete it.  Typically, the thread I ran out of, wasn't the one I had pre-ordered before the holidays.  Never mind, it should be here in the next couple of days.

While I was waiting for it to arrive, I found this stitchery, Jennifer.  I made a couple of changes to the colours as I used what threads I had here.

Later in the month, they will be releasing on the site how they used the stitchery.  I am going to wait and see what they do, but I have an idea of my own, if I don't like it.  First though, she needs a bit of attention.  At the moment she is a little creased, and she needs to have the transfer lines washed out.

Yesterday, after a month of neglect, the sewing machine saw the light of day and had a gentle workout.  Once we get some light here, I'll take a photo and you can see the result.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Hot off the needles

I took a break from knitting my scarf to do a hat for DS1.  He's gone away for a few days, so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity make something for him while he was gone.  The fact that the hat he is using at the moment has a hole in it, was another incentive to get this done.
 It only took a couple of hours to do the complete hat.  It's knitted in Rowan Cocoon, which is 80% merino wool and 20% kid mohair.  I'm hoping this will keep his head warm on those cold mornings when he's out doing his paper round.
 The hat comes complete with a pocket for his mobile phone or MP3 player. 

Once this was done, it was back to the scarf.
I finished the knitting on New Year's Eve and then spent about an hour putting the fringe on.  As the scarf is knit using aran 100% wool yarn, it is very heavy, just the thing to keep out the winter chills, and as if on cue, the temperatures have dropped again overnight,

In my attempts to clear my little corner, the next project to be tackled are the cross stitch hearts.  I have three more to do to complete the set. I made a start yesterday, and will probably continue with it today, though I may have to try and knit a hat for DS2 while he is out this afternoon.

Hope you have all had a good weekend, I know for many it is back to normal tomorrow.  We have another Bank Holiday tomorrow, DS2 comes back on Tuesday but, with one thing and another, it will be next week before we get back into our proper routine.