Sunday, 21 April 2013

The Sun Has Got His Hat On.......

Today I awoke to a strange phenomenon.

High in a bright blue, not grey, sky was a fiery ball.

It was giving a lot of light.

It was giving out warmth.

It was making me feel good.

Rumour has it that it is called SUN, and it could be here to stay for a few days.

Which is quite a good thing really as I need to do some things outdoors whilst the opportunity arises.

Actually, I wanted to finish some machine quilting, but I am without sewing machine at the moment.  Yesterday  I broke a needle.  Now, I have a new machine and I absolutely love it.  Love, love, love it.  Except for one thing.  Inserting a new needle.  I just find it so, so fiddly.  There just isn't enough room around the doings to hold the needle and tighten the screw.  I haven't got particularly large hands, but there just doesn't seem to be any room.  Well,  I was fiddling about trying to insert the new needle when I dropped it and it fell right down the hole, through the bobbin case and into the innermost workings where you can't get at it.  As it's all electronic and computerised I don't dare try to fiddle with it, which means I have to take it in to my local dealer to fix, and he won't be open until Tuesday.

Still,  I've learnt one thing.  Next time I change a needle I'll make sure I leave some fabric on the needle plate to catch any falling needles.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

My First Commission

I have been asked to make a quilt by a friend in my Reading Group.  Her granddaughter is expecting a baby (of the pink variety) in July, so this will be her first Great-grandchild.  She saw the baby quilt I made for my Great-great-niece and wanted something similar.  That quilt (see here)  was made from a Moda Scrap Bag and I still had half the strips left, so I thought I would use those.  I thought a simple Rail Fence would be a good way to use the strips effectively, and I worked out that if I combined the strips with an equal amount of Kona Snow I could make 30 blocks, each 6 1/2 inches square.  I laid them out on my living room floor and came up with this configuration.

I didn't like it.  It just didn't seem to flow.  No matter how often I changed the blocks round I couldn't build up any enthusiasm for it.  It lacked movement.  So I thought I'd leave it for a bit and come back to it with a fresh mind.  I got on with some hand quilting on Five Star (see last post) and caught up on a few blogs I read.  One blog I love to read is Bonnie Hunter at Quiltville's Quips & Snips.  She had been teaching a class in Pennsylvania using her Strip Twist free pattern and as soon as I saw her photos I realised that the block started off with a four strip Rail Fence block., which I already had.  It is then paired up with another block, cut in half diagonally and then sewn back together again.  There is a lot of movement in the pattern which is what I was looking for.  It didn't take too long to cut them up and sew them back together, and then came the fun part of deciding which block goes where.   This step took me a couple of days as I kept changing my mind, but it's all sewn together now and looks like this:

I'm going to machine quilt and bind this over the week-end, and then I have to decide how much to charge for it.  I've never made anything for sale before, so I don't really know where to start.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Linking up to Finish It Up Friday over at. Crazy Mom Quilts.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

" I've Started, so I'll Finish"

A bit of a misnomer actually, as it's more like I've finished, so I'll start something else, finish it, and start another something else.

I finished the Scrappy Trip (see this post) and gave it my daughter for her birthday.  She was absolutely delighted with it, and immediately posted it on Facebook for all her friends to see, who answered with comments saying that they remembered her wearing some of the garments that I'd cut up to make it with "way back when".
My daughter has recently taken up cycling as a way of keeping fit.  When I saw this fabric I knew I had to make her something with it.  A bag seemed to be the quickest and most useful thing I could think of and so whipped this up the other afternoon as an extra gift.

I used Jeni's tutorial from In Color Order, the one I used here to make a lined drawstring bag, for the basic construction of it, just adapting it to make a tote bag.  I used one length of outer fabric, cut it in half so that the bikes wouldn't be upside down on the back of the bag, spray-basted some batting onto each piece and then quilted it with straight lines about 1" apart before stitching it together along the bottom.  The lining was cut from an olive green sheet and I made some handles which I lined and quilted also.  I sewed the handles to the turnings at the top of the bag before sandwiching them between the outer and the lining.  I obviously didn't need to make the channel for a drawstring so missed out that bit, and finished the bag with a line of stitching around the top edge.  I love Jeni's construction method and shall be using it again to make more bags.

I've also finished piecing a mini quilt this week.

The pattern is from Miss Rosie's Quillt Co. and is called Three Barns, but I've re-sized it to be 20" square and have called it Five Star, which I think suits it a lot better.  I shall be hand quilting this one.

Monday, 1 April 2013

March Round-up

March has been a busy old month for me.  Trying to keep warm, an outing to London, endless times waiting in with Dad for people to come and survey and give estimates for work to be carried out on his house, a few WI meetings, U3A, Walking group, Book club, Craft club, Darts practice to get ready for the new season, grandchildren needing cuddling, oh, and I managed a bit of sewing, too.

Here's the list for March.

  1. Scrappy Trip Around the World - blocks sewn together, batted and backed, quilted and bound.  Waiting to be gifted to eldest daughter for her birthday at the end of this week.  Ta-Daah! post here.
  2. Swoon 12" block drafted and completed. 
  3. Starbright 12" block drafted and completed.  
  4. Two drawstring bags from two Ikea tea-towels.  Blogged here.
  5. Five Star mini quilt drafted and flimsy completed.  Now waiting to be hand-quilted.  Not blogged yet.
  6. Quilted Tote bag made yesterday as an extra gift for eldest Daughter's birthday.  Not blogged yet.

I still haven't started my Farmer's Wife blocks, and I don't think they will get done in April either.  I want to do a bit of dressmaking to get ready for the summer.  A few dresses for my granddaughter, and a dress for me from a length of Liberty Tana Lawn that I've had in my stash for years, but  I've just found the perfect pattern for.  I need a couple more 12" blocks in the red,white and blue colourway and then I can complete the top of my Combined 2013 BOM quilt. (I must re-name that project as I've used blocks from all over the place, not just BOM's).

Linking up with Lily's Quilts Small Blog Meet

Lily's Quilts