Sunday, 30 September 2012

Lazy Day Sunday

I have finished up the first scrappy Lazy Days Lozenge EPP block for Mary in the EEEEP EPP Bee.  If you like English Paper Piecing and want a change from hexies, these are great fun to make although whether I could manage a whole quilt is another thing!

The templates by Lynne are here. After realizing the layout was wrong here and wouldn't tesselate, there was a bit of unpicking to do but I like the end result.  Now for Block 2.

What are you up to this lazy Sunday?

Friday, 28 September 2012

Bee Blocks & Bunting

It's Friday!!  I'm not sure why I am particularly  happy about this fact as my days seem to merge in to one another and sometimes I lose track of exactly which day it is but perhaps it's having a couple of days off the exhausting nudging the 4 year old off to pre-school routine in the morning.

Anyway, last month when we were back in England, my bestie's daughter asked if I would make her some bunting in pastel colours. She's not a girly girl and so I majored on blue and green stripes and dots with a little bit of pink thrown in for good measure.

I'm a little late to the bunting party...who knew it was so fun, quick and easy to make?  I fear I may be a little on the old side for bunting but it certainly cheered our bedrooml up.

Bee blocks have been their usual plentiful self...well that's what happens when you are in (gulp) 5 bees.

First up is this Follow the Leader block for Sarah in the We Bee Modern Bee - a bee which uses blocks from the Modern Blocks book.   Sarah wanted us to use browns, yellows, oranges and reds with a hint of green so that her blocks would look like falling leaves.  Clever! I panicked a little as these are not colours I readily have to hand..well apart from green.  Luckily and not for the first time, my rainbow charms came in to their own and saved the day.

Next were Sea Glass blocks for Helen in the first month of a new bee, Sew Euro Bee-An.  Helen sent us some Kona snow, some Kona Poseidon colours for the border and some pretty scraps in blues, greens and pinks....and yes, there were some batiks in there. The borders could be any size we wanted and we were to place 1-2" coloured blocks in a random fashion.

It was also my turn to make a block for Helen this month in the mystery bee, Stitch Tease. Helen asked for wonky stars of various sizes in bright colours against a background of kona ash.  Here's a sneaky peek of her block which measures 24.5"

Lastly, it was Kris' turn as quilter in the Care Circle of do.Good Stitches.  She asked for Liberated Churn Dash blocks in jewel coloured blues and greens using this tutorial.  These were my first Churn Dash blocks and they were fun to make as they included foundation piecing and that was also a first for me.

It's my turn as quilter in the Care Circle next month and I have still to come up with a plan although I saw Svetlana's Shoo Fly quilt today and I'm thinking that block could make a great quilt for our circle. She's helpfully given a great tutorial.  It's also my turn as queen bee in the We Bee Modern bee next month and I have yet to choose my block...mainly because my real favourites have already been picked. It will be fun to receive some blocks next month....for me!

Anyway, have a great weekend whatever you are up to!

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

WiP Wednesday

Edited to add ~ the arrangement in the photo is not the correct one.  Note to self: READ THE INSTRUCTIONS~

The end of the month is approaching and that means getting any languishing bee blocks completed and shipped off.

Back in the summer, I joined a new English Paper Piecing (EPP) bee called EEEEP EPP Bee set up by Danielle (DJ Coolbear).  My EPP experience up until then had been basting some hexies for my mum back in the '80s and my hexies this summer. Like with many things in life, I leaped in with 2 feet without thinking about it. Danielle's aim was for a relaxed bee where we would have 2 months to complete each month's blocks.

Lazy Days Lozenge Block 1
August's block is for Mary. She wants 2 scrappy Lazy Days Lozenge blocks by Lynne, the templates for which you can find here.  Mary sent us all some of her own scraps to be mixed with ours and some Kona charcoal for the squares and triangles. Her instructions were that no colour should dominate. They are fun to make, come together pretty quickly and a change from my lovely hexies. While I think I may be taking the whole relaxed vibe too literally, a whole quilt of these will look beautiful.

Linking up with Lee for WiP Wednesday - pop over and see what other people are making.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, 24 September 2012

What??? A Finish???

Well I don't like to spoil you with a finish too often but I have one today.

Now this is the kind of quilt that people knock out on a Saturday afternoon and it's just the teensiest bit shameful that women have conceived and given birth in the time I took to complete it but my Lark quilt is done.

In the end I took quilting inspiration from Hadley's Across the Seas quilt. Funny to think that we were just finishing those up this time last year...

Anyway I digress.  The quilting is circular ripples emanating from one corner. My idea was to have soft undulating quilting in contrast to the angular patterned fabric squares.  I seem to like circles at the moment.  I read somewhere that if you have circles in your home decor, they are de-stressing.

I drew around a plate in one corner and echo quilted until I reached the opposite corner. Quilting wasn't without its incidents.  When I got to the centre and the quilt became more difficult to manoeuvre through the throat of my machine, I thought I would turn the quilt around and start from the opposite corner and have the ripples meeting and crossing over in the middle.  I can feel Trudi wincing.

 The huge risk is obviously that there would be some bunching....and yep, I committed quilting suicide and that's exactly what happened.  So a day of unpicking later, I was able to finish the quilting and bind it in a couple of the Amy Butler FQs which Helen sent me earlier this year.

Linking up with Sew Modern Monday. Click on the button below and you will be magically teleported to lovely and inspiring finishes.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Weekend Whim

A huge thank you for all the brilliant suggestions as to how I should quilt my Lark quilt, which I got all basted up on Friday.  I particularly like any suggestions for 'organic' quilting as my quilting is quite naturally wonky organic.

We had surprise visitors of the family variety over the weekend and so I still haven't gottten to the crucial quilting decision yet. I make no secret of the fact that I really don't enjoy the quilting bit.  I'm a patchwork girl and love the piecing process...and I guess that's why I have so many unfinished projects!

With it still ridiculously hot here, we went up in to the foothills of the Atlas mountains yesterday for lunch and some relief from the heat.

The simple cafes make the most delicious tagines and in the summer the tables are placed in the glacial stream so that you can kick your sandals off and get cool.

Here's my handsome boy leaving a sulk on some steps down to the cafe. He is so difficult to photograph now as 'we' have entered the silly photo face season. I'm reliably informed that this phase lasts quite a long time.

And here are some jolly musicians crossing the wibbly wobbly foot bridge.

Hope you had a great weekend!

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

WIP Wednesday

When does a work in progress become a UFO I frequently ask myself as I stare at the growing pile of quilt tops on the spare bed (or granny's bed as it is affectionately known in our house).

For example, do you remember my Lark quilt top, which I made one afternoon back in.... January? No, I don't expect you do.  I know it's very simple but I really wanted to show off Amy Butler's fabrics, most of which are large scale.

While I was in England I picked up some batting and my mum bought me this Amy Butler fabric for the backing as part of my birthday present. So guess what I'll be doing tomorrow?  Yes - I'll be on all fours basting.

So my question for you this fine evening is: what do you think about the quilting?  I would like to do some straight line quilting and any suggestions would be very gratefully received.

So in honour of resuscitating this UFO and Lee's return from her summer break,  I'm linking up for the first time in a very long time with WIP Wednesday here. Head over and see what more productive people are up to.
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Summer Swaps

We're well in to September now but over the summer I was lucky enough to be involved in a couple of swaps as well as being the recipient of incredible generosity from wonderful women all over the world.

It seems ages ago now but the good ladies of do.Good Stitches took the month of July off and enjoyed swaps within each circle.  I was lucky enough to make for Dolores who wanted a library tote and her favourite colours were pink and purple.  From her inspiration mosaic I could see she liked zig zags and so I made her a zig zag tote using some pomegranite and pink solids as well as some Silent Cinema. For the lining I used some lovely Denise Schmidt fabric and added some pockets. Being a numptee, I didn't take a full shot of it but you can see it on Dolores' flickr stream here.

I completely lucked out with my partner as Karen was making for me and this is what I got!

Rather like myself these days, it's looking a little plumpcious as it is full of my hexie flowers and scraps for my aqua, orange and grey granny flowers. I love everything about it!  Karen gave it a little 'extra padding' so that I could carry my camera in it.  It has beautiful detail including a key fob and interior pocket...

...and is so beautifully made with the most gorgeous fabrics.  It has featured in a couple of the mosaics for Mouthy Stitches 2 and that makes me very happy. So a huge thank you to Karen!

I also want to say a very belated thank you to the wonderful ladies who kindly sent me the most beautiful scraps for my hexies.  I was completely taken aback by the amazing generosity of Susan, Katy, Mary, Jenelle, Di (with 2 'n's) and Di.  Added to my own they look amazing and nearly cover our coffee table - I still have lots more to baste and sew and I'm loving it.

As well as making gorgeous quilts, Di with one 'n' has a wonderful garden in sunny California, which produces sun ripened all sorts.  Now there's only so much that she and her husband can eat, the surplus of which she turns in to jams and relishes, which always makes me think of that '80s film Baby Boom. A few weeks ago I dropped a pretty hefty hint about how I had loved her tomato jam last year, and luckily for me Di picked up on it and said, "Would I like some?"    Ummm...yes??? She had already said she would send me some scraps for my hexie quilt and this is what she sent as well.

Don't you love those labels? Tomato jam (which has a gorgeous kick), salsa and fig jam!  A little taste of sunny California!  Thank you Di!

Now I'm not a total scrounger. In exchange I sent her a little something from England - a very simple cushion cover, a mug and some Green & Black chocolate.

Thank you for all my lovely happy mail - the generosity of this little comfy corner of blogland never fails to amaze me!

Sunday, 9 September 2012

The Comeback Kid

1. Seaside Avocados, 2. Or not to sash..., 3. Retro Flowers, 4. demo mdp top for class, 5. BQS3 - a little progress, 6. patience pouch, 7. The Adorn Purse, 8. Dana's star block, 9. Siblings Quilt 3 - Finished, 10. Siblings Together Quilt 2, 11. My Curious Nature - Satisfied, 12. Blocks 1-9, 13. on a roll14. Not available15. Not available16. Not available

How many comebacks are you allowed in blogland? I've been a slow blogger and have blogged and read blogs only very sporadically since mid May - a whopping 4 months ago!  I keep saying 'I'm back' and then promptly disappear from the radar.  Just call me the comeback kid. So I shall say sorry for the last time and promise to be better for the last time as I have joined Catherine's Slow Blogger movement here. You can see the button just over there.

Being away has made me appreciate time away from the computer as much as time on it.  As Catherine's manifesto says, I shall blog if I make something but I won't make something so I can blog.  Yes, I have been guilty of that.  But no more.  The good thing about being a slow blogger is that you can come and go, so if I get my rhythm back, I may become a fast blogger. Who knows?

To get me back in to the swing of things, I joined a swap (that thud was my mother's head hitting the table)!
I has sworn off swaps and had promised not to join but then...I...just...did.  Yes, those swap mamas Susan, Hadley and Cindy are up to their old tricks and have started a new round of Mouthy Stitches and this time we're making a tote bag for our secret partner. So up there, that's my inspiration mosaic.  It didn't take long to do as they were all in my flickr favourites.  I love those cool greens and blues and choosing them is clearly a reaction to the stonkingly hot summer we have endured here.

So bring it on and mum? I promise your quilt will be made.  Honestly. All my followers will vouch for me...won't you?

Mouthy Stitches 2