Wednesday, 31 October 2012

WiP Wednesday

Quick quick, it's just about to end! I took advantage of Brenda's amazing 25% off everything coupon (MOVING) 3 times in the last couple of weeks.  Today's the last day to use it so head on over there - it applies to everything and she's just back from quilt market!

After months of buying very little fabric, my stash is looking a little pathetic.  However, before I started anything new, there were a couple of things that needed finishing.  With it feeling decidedly cooler here (it's been raining hard here today) this was the perfect time to buy backing and binding fabric for my man's man quilt.

Like a phoenix from the ashes, I resurrected my Stained Man with a Curious Nature quilt top, which I made back in April, when I joined in very last minute with lovely Sarah's Stained QAL. I used Curious Nature by David Butler aka Parson Grey and Kona Herb. I found I had some of the Kona Herb solid left over and so today I added a 2 and a half inch border round the scrappy border to make it just a little bit bigger and I like it a whole lot more now.

The photos are terrible as it has been really dark all day!

The backing will be Four Square from Hope Valley by Denise Schmidt.  While I love this fabric, it seemed a bit flat as it was so similar in colour to the front.  When I was choosing the fabric, I was looking for something manly and wish that I had gone for a real contrast.  So to liven it up a little, I added some of my striped Oakshott FQs that I received from the Fat Quarter retreat in the summer. The binding will be some Flea Market Fancy.

The backing will still be matchy matchy but more colourful matchy matchy!  So now I just have to wait on the batting which should be here any day.  I've had real problems trying to find batting which will ship to Morocco and when I do it's really pricey. So thank you to my lovely mum for sending me the batting I ordered from here.

Months ago I started a flickr group for projects made using Curious Nature.  It's called I Love a Curious Nature.  If you like this line, hop on over and take a look - there is some gorgeous eye candy! You can preview his new line Seven Wonders here.

Linking up to WiP Wednesday here.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, 29 October 2012

Bloggers Quilt Festival

I've been loving seeing everyone's entries to the fall edition of the Bloggers Quilt Festival hosted by Amy over at Amy's Creative Side timed to coincide with quilt market each year.

Since the last Bloggers Quilt Festival, production has been a little down to say the least for one reason or another and to be honest I had decided not to enter a quilt. But then with Round 2 of the Modern Christmas Tablerunner Swap kicking off, I thought of the tablerunner I made for my partner in Round 1 at the end of last year.

MCTR Front

This is still one of my favourite makes. I wanted to created something that would look the same from wherever anyone was sitting at the table. I love it because to me, it manages to feel Christmassy yet none of the fabrics used are Christmas fabrics. I used a palette of deep reds, greens and blues.

Modern Christmas Tablerunner Fabric Auditions

It turned out pretty much just like my preliminary sketch!

Modern Christmas Tablerunner Design Audition 

On the back of the runner I made a large central starflower so that it was a reversible tablerunner...


...and I tried out some random free motion quilting, which was a first for me and appliqued a small Fatima's hand, the symbol traditionally used here in Morocco to give protection against the 'evil eye'...

An Appliqued Fatima`s Hand

...before packaging this tablerunner off to my swap partner in Canada.

All Ready to be Packed Up and Sent Off

So this is my small entry in the Blogger's Quilt Festival. If you are visiting for the first or umpteenth time, please leave me a comment!

The tablerunner measures 18" x 36" approx.
Special techniques - free motion quilting, applique
Quilted by me!
Best Category Favourite mini quilt

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Little to Report

There has been absolutely no sewing here the last few days.  I have been feeling coldy and like a horrible virus is about to descend while rushing arounnd like a blue a***d fly.

It's the big Eid here tomorrow, when most families sacrifice a sheep.  I snapped this shot on my mobile yesterday afternoon.  It's a fairly common sight here in the days running up to Eid and Zaki enjoyed it as he loves Shaun the Sheep (see below).

We're off to the in-laws later today to celebrate Eid with them.

Beautiful tote made for me by the lovely Karen at Listen to the Birds Sing
I'm all packed.  I can't speak for the boys...

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Sunday Secret Sewing

Today I've been finishing a long overdue thank you - a 'just because' gift for a good friend who's been having a tough time recently.

Who's it for? Here are a few clues.  She will always offer to help out, loves stars and is fond of Christmas. She swears like a sailor and makes us all laugh with her tales of sewing and home life.

Guessed yet? If she is reading this she'll know who she is. Many of you probably do too!

Here's a sneaky peek.

I'll post it tomorrow along with my Mouthy Stitches' tote and fob, which I finished on Friday.

Mouthy Stitches' Tote & Fob - Ready to Ship!
Mouthy Stitches' 2 tote and fob
Short and sweet today.  We have had crazy intermittent wifi connection the last couple of days and I'm quitting while I'm ahead.  I'm a little behind on my blog reading but will do my best to catch up!

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Starry Eyed

I'm Miss October in the bee based around the book Modern Blocks, We Bee Modern Too.

Bees can be like can forget that one day blocks will be winging their way to you. So it's fun when they do.

I chose Megan's Star.  Like many things in the quilty corner of the blogosphere, I'm a little late to the star party but the beauty of bees is that you can choose a block that perhaps you wouldn't choose yourself. I asked for Megan's stars in jewel tones.

Despite a huge energy slump, I managed to make this block - for me!!

And this one too!

...and here they are cozying up together waiting for their friends to arrive.  They will have a long wait as the blocks are going to my mum's in England...I couldn't bear for them to get lost! Having seen the blocks made by my fellow bee members I'm excited to see them all together and I'm so gald now that I chose this block!

This is a really straightforward block to make but despite this, I had a complete brain f**t when I came to attaching the triangles to the central square of the first block.  I cut the two green sqaures and then cut them diagonally in to 4 squares as directed.  The next instuction was to join the opposite sides right side together.  I kind of got it in to my head that I had to attach them flying geese style and in that case why wasn't I using squares?  I just couldn't work out how to join them. I know.  Crazy right?  I even googled the block to see how many other people had experienced the same problem.

Guess how many??


I'm ashamed to admit that I only got past the first step because someone had done a tutorial for the block and had used pictures for each step.

Left brain, right brain!

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

It Just Wasn't Meant to Be But I Have a Finish

Thank you for all the support over my run in with the quilting goddesses. I thought I was over-reacting and picked up the over quilted tote front and started to unpick it.  About 2 minutes in to the unpicking I sliced through one of the greay squares and that was it. Game over.

The second go wasn't without incident either but it's done and here is the front.  I started again and English paper pieced my lozenges - this time going for a brighter scrappy look. (I have made so many of these lozenge blocks over the last few weeks that I should be half way to a quilt finish by now!)  My partner is not being very mouthy - I know she is super busy and is so lovely she is instantly forgiven, but from her comments early on in the swap I began to think the original warm scrappy block may have been too dark.  So perhaps it was a happy mistake that I got to make again.

I kept the quilting to the linen background only - an organic wavy line quilting which worked well.

Tula Pink's Birds & the Bees was used for the lining and the handles and why do I never remember to sew the label to the lining before I make the bag?

I pieced the back with some scrappy 1" squares and this time kept the quilting to an absolute minimum.

...and here's the back. So this little scrappy tote will be heading off to its new home at the end of the week.  I'm hoping my partner will be pleased.

Now what's next on the to-do list....?

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Don't Diss the Quilting Gods

Step away from the machine...put the cutter down.  That's what the quilting gods were saying to me this weekend.  Yesterday was a bad quilting day.  I had the idea that I would make progress on my Mouthy Stitches reversible tote, which is due to be posted to my partner in a week's time. The quilting gods had other ideas.

I should have stopped when I went to pick up my ruler and hera marker to mark the quilting lines and picked up my ruler and rotary cutter.  Sadly I caught myself just in time and it was another painful hour or so before the tote front was mullered. I quilted it to death and then some.  Too much to unpick and so I'm back to Square 1.

To avoid a bad case of cabin fever, Zaki and I went to our old favourite today - The Majorelle Gardens.  I have blogged about this place many times but despite the fact that it gets busier every time we visit, it has the world's most expensive cafe and is in danger of losing some of its charm there is still some to be found.

The book shop has a beautiful painted ceiling but any attempt to capture it is squashed by the attendants at the gardens.  Why?  Here is a glimpse through the window.

Well I hope to have some significant progress to share soon!  Don't mess with the swap mamas either - they are in their own way a little like quilting gods.

Hope you have had a great weekend.

Friday, 12 October 2012


Sorry, I'm not meaning to shush you but I've been doing some secret sewing the last couple of days.

My mum chose these Kaffe Fasset fabrics too long ago to admit and I've been uhming and ahhing about exactly what to do with them but now I'm in full flow and I think she's going to like it.

Now I know many of you clever ducks out there will be able to work out the block I'm using but please don't share as she'll go straight off and google it.  This is a surprise!

Is it me or is blogland eerily quiet at the moment....I can only presume it's because so many people are at Sewing Summit.

Have a great weekend - whatever you are up to!

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

(Almost Wordless) WiP Wednesday




Orange, aqua and grey

I'm not complaining *cough* but it's still silly and unseasonably hot here and so a little hexagogoing was called for this afternoon.  I have 59 hexy flowers completed and a lot more to baste and piece. I'll be quite sad when this little project comes to an end as I'm loving the process.

Linking up with Work in Progess Wednesday. Click on the button below to see what others are up to!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Treat Me Like a Lady

Perhaps my machine had overheard me saying how much I was enjoying a little handsewing but today while I was sewing up my x and plus block quilt top, she sent me a message loud and clear.  Treat me like a lady.

You see I had woken up in a bit of a cold sweat this morning thinking about all the x and plus blocks, which I had asked for back in April when I was queen bee quilter in the Care Circle of do.Good Stitches.  I hadn't received the final blocks until July due to the possessive nature of the Australian and/or Moroccan postal system and then due to the summer heat and a million other excuses I could no doubt come up with, they languished on the spare bed.  As it is my turn to be queen bee quilter again this month, I knew that I had to get them sewn up in to a quilt top and sharpish.

Halfway through sewing the seams, there was a crunch and a judder and everything came to a stop. I looked at the bobbin casement and found that it had been pushed upwards.  This has happened before a couple of times and I had kind of ignored it.  Today the casement wouldn't go back easily and unless I sew fairly slowly, it pops out again.  Gah.  I would liken sewing at present to driving a car with a loose exhaust.  Noisy and unsettling.  So there is nothing to do but buy a new one.  That means ordering online from England. There goes that new fabric I was going to buy.

This is one bright and cheerful quilt - much brighter than I normally go for but I love it and really believe it will make a young person happy - once it is basted and quilted!

This month as quilter, I have chosen this patchwheel block by Don't Call Me Betsy.  Click here to see the blocks made so far.  It's going to be a beautiful quilt - thanks ladies!

Yesterday morning I had a bit of a fiddle with my blog and added some pages showing my finished quilts (9 apparently!), some of my favourite photos of Morocco and some recipes (a work in progress), so if you fancy a snoop round - feel free!

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Mouthy Stitches 2

A few weeks ago I joined the Mouthy Stitches 2 tote bag swap. The girls involved are huge fun and there is an incredible pool of talent in the group.  We are using this super straight forward pattern for a reversible tote.

After waiting for some much needed supplies to arrive,  here's where I'm at.  I have been assigned a lovely partner.  I am a little in awe of her as she makes beautiful things.  Having said that, she seems quite laid back and I'm really hoping I have interpreted her inspiration mosaic correctly.

As usual, I used Lynne's lozenge templates, which you can find here. I seem to have been making these lozenge blocks forever but I know my partner likes a bit of English paper piecing and I feel like I can make these blocks in my sleep. I had originally planned to finish the block in the normal way with the half square triangles but someone else in the group had the same idea. I had a play around and quite liked the look of it on point. My partner prefers a warm palette and is happy for me to go scrappy.

The pieced block will be appliqued on to the natural Essex linen backing and I shall probably do a little piecing on the back. We can't stray too far from the original pattern but I plan on putting in an interior zip! For an extra, we have to make a key fob.  A huge thank you to swap mama Susan who sent me the metal ware so that I could make mine!

So now I just have to wait patiently for my partner to give the thumbs up...or not!

Hope you have had a great weekend!

Monday, 1 October 2012

September Makes

It's October!!  This makes me very very happy indeed as it means temperatures are almost guaranteed to cool.

With Zaki back at pre-school, productivity definitely increased this month and my favourite part was finishing my Lark quilt.  There was also the usual bee blocks, some EPP hexies and bunting!

October should bring a couple of new quilt tops (including my mum's), a tote bag for Mouthy Stitches 2 and more bee blocks including some for me!

Linking up with Lynne at Fresh Sewing Day and Catherine at Knotted Cotton.
Lily's Quilts

Knotted Cotton