Sunday, 30 December 2012

Looking Back

My second year blogging and sewing comes to a close. I can't help feeling some disappointment at my rate of finishes but I accept that it's not a race, I enjoy the whole process (well most of it - basting and quilting will never be my favourites) and living where I do will always make things more challenging and slower.

There were a handful of finishes - well every one has to be a favourite doesn't it? My mum's quilt (which she loves by the way - I got in to trouble for not mentioning that in yesterday's post), an orange and pink quilt for Siblings Together, Baby George's Peeps Plus quilt and a quilt for me - my Lark quilt.

A couple of blue unfinished quilts for my Godson and my husband.

I discovered EPP (English Paper Piecing), loved it and even joined an EPP bee.  I started my quilting journey with hand sewing and have loved returning to it.

It was huge fun joining in with Mouthy Stitches 1 and 2 and the For the Love of Solids swaps.

Being in 5 bees means a lot of bee blocks. Here are some of the blocks I made.

I also made my first zippered pouches and totes.

All in all, not a bad effort.  I shall keep my resolutions for the beginning of the new year.  It just leaves me to thank all my followers for dropping in and reading during this year - your comments make my day, inspire me and keep me motivated.  Thank you.
Happy New Year!

Saturday, 29 December 2012

The One that Sneaked Under the Wire

We're in England!  Well we've been here almost 2 weeks actually and it's rained here almost every second. It was raining when we arrived, Christmas came and went and it's still raining. I understand now how difficult it is to take pictures in natural light as ... uhmmm, there is very little!

Converging Corners quilt
A belated but very Merry Christmas to everyone.

The first thing I did after arriving was to take my machine back to the shop I bought it from.  It's under warranty and they have promised they will fix it before we leave.

After sporadic periods of quilting, interspersed with shopping for presents and a trip to the local panto, I finished sewing down the binding on my mum's quilt on Christmas Eve.

I waited to share it with you as I wanted to wash it and show it to you in all its crinkly loveliness on some glamourous country location but the incessant rain have put a stop to that one.

You may remember this was secret sewing for my mum. With some Kaffe Fasset fabrics, I used Film in the Fridge's tutorial for her Converging Corner's block - when I showed a teaser here - most of you guessed right. These blocks are super easy to make but more time consuming than you might think.  With no sashing, you also have to make quite a few of them to get a decent sized quilt.  After 20 blocks, I called it a day and added a 6 " border.

For the backing, I used Amy Butler's Harriet's Kitchen from her beautiful Cameo line.

The binding is also from the Cameo line - Folly in zinc. I would love to make a shirt from this fabric.

I'm really happy with how the Cameo fabrics work with the Kaffe Fasset fabrics.

For the quilting, I did organic straight lines - while I like the effect, it took a long time to quilt!

So this is a very late birthday early Christmas present for my mum, and a satisfying late finish for 2012.

Quilt Statistics

Quilt Top Assorted Kaffe Fasset and Kona White
Backing Amy Butler's Harriet's Kitchen from the Cameo Line
Binding Folly in Zinc also Cameo
Batting Quilter's Dream 100% cotton
Measures 72" x 60"

Like a lot of people, I have tried to stay away from the computer over Christmas so that I can enjoy my time with family. After New Year, I am looking forward to getting my machine back and resuming some kind of normal service...

Monday, 17 December 2012

Some Secret (Santa) Sewing Revealed!

I've been a bad blogger, a bad follower these last few days...but it's all in an attempt to be a good daughter. I've been working on my mum's quilt (which she has been waiting a loooong time for) and because of the block I close, I had to make a few of them.  After stealing the batting from the quilting fail that was my Stained Man with a Curious Nature quilt, it's basted and ready for quilting on my mum's machine after we get back tomorrow. So there should be a finish before the New Year...and I shall re-quilt the man quilt in January!

So you may remember I'm a member of the Stitch Tease bee.  This is a great group of women and the brain child of lovely Di. A few weeks back, when I had a happy machine, I suggested a low stress Secret Santa swap and the mama and fellow bee mates agreed. We gave some helpful suggestions to our partner and one of mine was a stocking for Zaki.

My partner was the funny and very talented Katy and look what she sent...

Photo courtesy of my mum
...the most gorgeous stocking with dinosaurs appliqued on to it and his name of course. Zaki is completely dinosaur obsessed and a dinosaur quilt is on the bucket list.  I haven't shown him the stocking as I want it to be a surprise but I just know he is going to LOVE it. Because of the unpredictability of the postal systems at this time of year, Katy sent it to my mum's - I can't wait to see it and to give it to Zaki!  Thank you Katy - you did an amazing job!

My partner was lovely Danny, who hangs out in Arizona and has a totally edible 1 year old called Clara-Mae.  One of Danny's requests was for a Christmas toy for Clara Mae.  I decided to make her a Christmas soft book.

I used some Essex linen for the outer cover and  Kona Regal for the inside lining.

I appliqued some Christmas themed pictures...

..and as I am in Morocco, there had to be one of the wise men's camels and a Christmas star.  I think this one is my favourite.

As I was making this on my old machine and without a walking foot, I wasn't able to top stitch the pages or bind the book with a central seam - there was no way I could stitch 3 layers of pages together!  So I had no choice to to tie the book together with some embroidery yarn.

While I like the look, this isn't ideal for a one year old and I hope Danny will cut the ties and whizz the book through her machine. I hope this book will be chewed and loved!

We leave for England tomorrow so more once we're back!

Friday, 7 December 2012


That's how I've been feeling the last few days, struck down by some hideous virus incorporating chills, nausea and a migraine. Seriously, it was nasty but the worst appears to be over.  So just popping in to say 'hi'.

I managed to completely miss Sew Mama Sew's Giveaway Day...well apart from a couple of entries on friends' blogs.  Gutted.

It's not all bad news. In the Black Friday sales, I ordered some charcoal Sketch background fabric for my aqua, orange and grey hexies from the Fat Quarter Shop. *edited to add: I now realize that it was the black and white Sketch I wanted...not the grey!* It arrived yesterday but I could only really look at it today and well, it's grey!

Too grey?

I have 74 hexy flowers made and quite a few more to make so much of the background fabric will be covered.  It has the desired effect of making the flowers As I have several yards of it, it looks like this will be it regardless!

I had other happy mail to cheer me up in the form of half yard bundles from Pink Castle's pop up sale a couple of weeks ago.

This is the red bundle.

And this is the blue and yellow bundle.

Considering I chose these bundles in a nano second from a small thumb nail on my phone, I am pretty happy and they will help me on my way to building up a much depleted stash.

Just waiting on a little happy mail from Julie's Black Friday sale, included in which will be my mum's side order of Cameo voiles...I wonder whether she'll notice if they're missing. Hmmm....

Voting has opened in the Travellin' PicStitch blog hop - take a look here and see lots of EPP inspiration.  I'm No.13 in the European section (lucky I'm not superstitious!) I would love your vote but as I'm in such amazing company with many bloggy friends, go with your heart!

Saturday, 1 December 2012

December Fresh Sewing Day

1. Katherine's Wheel Spring Carnival EPP, 2. Front of Salma's Tote, 3. Blocks for Hurricane Sandy Help!, 4. We Bee Modern Too Block - November, 5. Monochromatic Union Jack Quilt Top, 6. Front of Christmas Tote, 7. Strip for Danny in the Stitch Tease Bee, 8. Liberty Spring Carnival Blocks for Celine, 9. Bathroom Tile Block

November was the month that my year old Janome moaned and groaned and decided enough was least for the time being until it is repaired all being well later this month.

Last month, there was...

...a lot of EPP
the usual bee blocks
a quilting disaster with my Curious Nature Stained man quilt
a favourite make of the Union Jack quilt top (although unlikely to be made up in time for Christmas)
progress with my orange, aqua and grey hexies
little progress on my mum's quilt
participation in Katy and Laura's Travellin' Picstitch blog hop (still time to link up your entry here)
splurges on bundles during the Black Friday sales
and secret makes for...shhhhhhh

It's ridiculous to think this is the last Fresh Sewing Day link up for 2012! There is so much to do and so little time.  I'm admitting defeat for the rest of 2012 and only doing what I have to do until my machine is repaired.

Zaki is better but his fever was a symptom of a vomiting virus which reared its ugly head on Wednesday.  I'm hopelessly behind on my blog reading and emails so I'm sorry if I have been a little quiet! I'm disappointed with my progress this year.  I made and finished very little in reality and am already working on my sewing resolutions for January.   I am definitely planning to be in less bees and sew more for me and my nearest and dearest! What are you promising to be better at next year?
Lily's Quilts