Friday, 12 September 2014

More of the dolls….

 

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I can’t make any claim to this lovely little man. We had a wonderful customer at our shop who would make two dolls, one for her and one for us, as long as we provided the fabric.  She was happy, we were happy and the shop was lucky enough to receive a new sample for patterns we sold.  And she did such a wonderful job. I wish I was half the doll maker the lovely Ingrid was.

Hope you’re quilting, or knitting, or stitching – or something that’s relaxing and fun!  Have a lovely weekend.

Suzie

Monday, 8 September 2014

Pat Speth - Nickel Quilts


I've been UFO'ing during the last few days.

Have you been following Pat Speth's Deli Geese blocks?

I have.  I've made heaps of them.  


I did plan to make all of her blocks, but she's currently up to number 44 and that's a lot of blocks for one quilt!  I don't need more quilts, so I'm almost ready just to finish the few remaining ones that take my fancy and then I will sash them and move on.































They are made in quite an interesting fashion where you stitch half square triangles together and cross cut them in a particular way to make different units.  It immediately caught my attention as I am always up for trying new things.

But as I said, I'm not about to make hundreds of blocks.  I'm on the end straight now and soon I shall sash them (and I'm thinking of placing the blocks on point) so that soon enough it will be another flimsy.

I think I'm almost getting a handle on the half pieced tops in my stash.  If I could get rid of some of the wool UFO's I'd be so pleased.

Are you quilting much this weekend?  Enjoy it!

Suzie

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Triple Irish Chain - an update


I haven't been posting much this week - where do our days go?  Whoosh.  Straight past.


I have been sewing though, and I'm pleased to say that a new flimsy is almost done.


This one won't be a flimsy though.  I've decided to hand quilt it, and it's going on Daughter No. One's bed.  Wish me luck with that! I've not hand quilted for a long time.


I did take a photo of the finished thing, but it's disappeared into the depths of the internet.




Not all of my little squares line up but I must admit, I'm pretty pleased with the amount that did.  I've decided that sometimes, despite all my best efforts, things do go wrong with quilting.  I'm not a pre-washer of fabric, and I'm thinking now that some of my fabrics may stretch/shrink more when I press them.  If I cut right, stitch right, do everything right, the only variable is the pressing.  Short of washing them all, I'm not sure that there's much I can do.  I am a better quilter when I cut larger and trim back, and though it takes twice as long, I am happier with the end result.  After twenty years of quilting, I am confident however that I have got my quarter inch seam working properly now!

I'm off now to piece a backing and baste my layers together, and when I do, I shall surely post a picture for you!

Gloriously, divine weather today.  The sun is out, the fruit blossoms are blooming and the house is quiet.  Life is good!

Till tomorrow,

Suzie

Saturday, 23 August 2014

What I'm working on

I've been working with pastels for my last few quilts.  I don't know why, maybe it's because it is so darn cold here I have been needing some sunshine, even if only in fabric.  While I was pulling fabric for the mystery quilt I showed you on the last post, I realised I had many, many scraps of pastels still left over.  

Let's face it, my scraps are hideously out of control.  I was all self righteous because they were sorted into colour and then scraps or pieces. But having looked at it all I realise I have Too Many Scraps.

So I pulled a few more the other day and started another darn quilt.




There are many many units there that I will be sewing into four patches to make another quilt on my bucket list - a triple irish chain.

I am trying hard to make all the units so I won't get horribly confused and lose count but I couldn't resist making at least a couple of big blocks to see how they look.  I hope it will turn out okay, each of those squares finishes at one inch so I may be ever so slightly mental.

I have family visiting today who are about to take my girls out for the morning so I'm going to be head down, bum up in the sewing room for a few hours fingers crossed.

See you on the other side.

Suzie

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Another flimsy….Mystery Quilt

A few days ago I mentioned that I was making a quilt top through our quilt group.  One of our members designed it.  I’m pleased to say that I have finished the top!

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Tadah!

It’s not even slightly like the original.  I got the instructions wrong on certain blocks, I didn’t have enough border fabric to do it the way that she did, and so it’s a mashup of a few different things.

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It’s always risky when doing a mystery quilt.  I’ve had some spectacular failures, and some spectacular successes and there’s no way of knowing which one it is going to turn out like.  I think it’s all down to trusting your designer.

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These are little flower blocks. 

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And these are perfectly turned, little leaf blocks.

Am so very clever.  Didn’t know how to do proper applique and despite all my methods never working, I thought ‘What the hey, I’ll try another method’.  I’d seen hugs and kisses use a method and I thought ‘I’ll try that’..and this is the result.

Do you know the meaning of the word serendipity?  It’s one of my favourite words.  It means "fortunate happenstance" or "pleasant surprise" according to wikipedia and it happened to me just then.  When I went to find the link, buried deep within the Hugs And Kisses website to the mention she made of her applique paper, it was right there at the very top post, like she’d written it for me. 

So go here: http://hugsnkisses.typepad.com/hugsfromhelen/2014/08/video-tutorials.html and see how easy it is!  And the paper is cheap enough too.

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So I’m not altogether displeased with this quilt, though it’s not really my style.  But I learned how to do perfect (kinda) applique so that’s an excellent thing.

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I wish I could say that my camera didn’t photograph the colours well and it’s all a little washed out but sadly, that is how it looks in real life. 

Wishy washy.

Never mind, I had fun making it!

Till tomorrow,

Suzie

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Sunday Update

I’ve only ever lived in a small town, so I don’t know how things work in the city.  But when you live in the country, every small niggle seems to pass through out the town and one by one we are all afflicted with it at some point.

It’s been our turn- our whole house has been struck with a very annoying virus and it’s not been much fun.  By all accounts most of the town has had it this winter.

But it’s a lovely day outside, it rained all day yesterday which we needed, and life is looking up!

Some more show and tell.

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I made these little dolls years ago.  Each doll is about four inches tall.

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I made them once. I won’t do it again.  I learnt very quickly that smaller is not quicker.  Smaller is most definitely not easier.  Smaller is HARD.

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I do love them very much, I think they are super cute.  But most definitely a one off!

Till tomorrow,

Suzie

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Beeatrice

Another one of the favourite designs from Sparkles and Spirit was Bee-atrice.

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She’s a bee. Obviously.

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I used to love making these kits up for customers.  They had a thousand different little charms, buttons, laces.  I loved gathering them all together and making little people (or bees) out of them.

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Her wings were electrical wire. 

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If you’re into dolls, I thoroughly recommend the Sparkles and Spirit brand.  Her designs are not complicated at all, as long as you do each step as she does it.  No racing ahead!

Life has been stupidly busy around my little house.  I don’t know why – maybe I take too much on. I suspect though it’s because life is just going to get busier as my girls get older.  They want to do more, be out more, be involved more. It’s a hard juggle for me as a mother.  I see other kids who have things on after school every night, and I just think for us it would be too much. They get too tired.  But I also want them to be involved in life outside of school.  Big time juggle.

In other news, my mother is off on a six week jaunt around Europe today.  I don’t think I remember the last time she was gone for six weeks.  I’m lucky enough to have a close friendship with my mum and whilst I’m thrilled she’s off having adventures, I’m going to miss her!

It’s been stupidly cold here in our little town.  I live in a stone fruit area (peaches, apricots etc).  We need a run of cold weather to ‘set the fruit’ but we have had frosts most days for nearly a month now.  It’s FREEZING!  Whilst it bodes well for a good fruit season this year, it’s been hard work for me shivering inside my cold house.  Freezing.  Quite literally.  I don’t know how you Northern girls go, with snow and sleet and hail.  Sadly, we’ve lost quite a few of our shrubs with the frost.  Poor little garden, most of it got fried in the summer weather, what was left is getting nuked by the cold!

As far as quilting goes, I’ve been trying hard to finish stuff.  Our quilting guild had a mystery quilt over the past few months and I’ve been trying to finish that up.  Hopefully today, so I’ll post that tomorrow.  It’s one of those ‘out of my comfort zone’ quilts.  The only mysteries I know I’ll adore are Bonnies.  All the other mysteries are a risk to me. 

But I have enough fabric so it’s no great loss if I hate these mystery quilts.  I certainly don’t hate this current one –but I’ll sure own up to the fact that it’s out of my comfort zone!

That’s my update for today. I really hope you’re doing well.

Happy Quilting!

Suzie