Sunday, 26 January 2014

FAL Success Number 2... New Baby Quilt.

Think we'll go with this layout.
Finishes are like buses around here, you wait months for anything and then 2 come along together.  You might remember I made this quilt top at the end of October (actually I made 2 that weekend, one for a friends little girl, and this for our new baby), after my sewjo had decided to make a reappearance.  Unfortunately our building work ramped up at that point so this top was put aside for a later finish, and well, you know how time disappears so quickly.  So, as I am on a mission to get some projects finished, I thought this would make an easy finish and set to work last week.

The backing is Minky, and it was the first time I'd quilted with it (other than using the bagging method) so I was a little trepidatious and decided to spray baste and then lightly pin baste, just to try and secure it all together.  Added to that, I did my signature "light touch" quilting (meaning as little actual quilting as possible, as it's my least favourite part of the whole process), to try and reduce drag.

I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by how well it all held in place, and I love the feel of the super soft backing, I will definitely be using Minky again, just for simple straight line quilting.

All of the printed fabrics are from a layer cake of Posy I won from the love Aneela Hoey's blog competition last year, with a Kona White making up the other half of the HST.  For binding, I found the perfect soft stripe in my stash, which according to the selvedge is a Henley Studio fabric from Makower, no idea where I got it, but it worked out perfectly.

Well, that's all for now, I'm working on some other projects from the list, plus a new project my little one is insisting on, after I packed away her Christmas pillow last week (which made me very unpopular).  It would seem she now needs another special pillow cover, so I will get the chance to make a few Economy Blocks which i've been admiring on IG, without having to make a full quilt, sounds like a win-win!

Ange xxx

Saturday, 25 January 2014

FAL Success Number 1... An Embroidered Alphabet Quilt/Wallhanging

Yes, you read it right, after a shocking 18 point list of shame with my WIP's I have started to make headway, and actually finished 2 items off of my list!  They're not the biggest items on the list, but also not the smallest, and either way, that list is now down to 16, which is a start considering we're only a couple of weeks in.

So, the first item is my Embroidered Alphabet Quilt/Wallhanging, which I started last year, around August/ September time when my sewjo was still awol, and I could barely lift myself off of the sofa.  Most of the individual letters come from this fantastic book:
There were a few letters I couldn't resist changing, so B and T now have Bus and Tea which seemed just a bit more British, and fun (thanks to the lovely Aneela Hoey's fantastic patterns), and for J and Z, I made up my own designs for Jigsaw and Zig Zag. 

For the background I couldn't resist adding polka dots, what can I say, I am a sucker for polka dots, I love them added to just about anything and everything!  After a big debate about the binding, and pretty much everyone thinking I should go for the red solid or red and white, I just couldn't shake the idea there was another option I wanted to use.  

So after a little visit to the lovely Susan last week (who also led me astray with a visit to Bramble Patch where I was incredibly restrained!), and asking her opinion with the fabric options, she liked the other option too, so I went with her fantastic judgement (because it agreed with mine, if not I would have ignored her obviously!!!)

This quilt is all the more special because the centre block was taken from a drawing by my older daughter, as a representation of our new family of 4 and a gift for her new little sister!

I've added a little hanging sleeve on the back, and this should be on the wall in the nursery within the next week or so, and the whole space will start to feel a bit more cosy and baby friendly!

I'll be back tomorrow with my next finish, don't want to overwhelm you all at once...

Ange xxx

Monday, 20 January 2014

Simply Solids Bee

A pretty productive Sunday means I have finished my final 2 blocks for the Simply Solids Bee.  Jo chose a snowflake block for December
For @twinkletoestt all done :-)
And for the lovely Lucy, a chevron block which will go towards a charity quilt.  A nice easy block to make, and a fab tutorial
Final block for Simply Solids Bee for Lucy Charm About You.
With life getting busier over the next few months, the timing of the end of the Bee is just perfect, and leaves me with the very manageable 1 Bee committment, and the lovely ladies of Stitch Tease, yay!

Right, now I need to try and choose a binding for the Embroidery Quilt so I can get it all finished, and the first tick off of my 18 point FAL of shame! :o)

Ange xxx

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Guild Gifts...And FAL Progress

Last Saturday was our first Guild meeting of 2014, in sunny Grantham.  Always a fun day, and quite possibly the last for me before the baby is born in March (there is an end of February meeting but not sure how i'll feel by then!!).  And I was greeted by the most wonderful gifts from Jackie, Wendy and Kerry.  

There are some fabulous little towel backed baby cloths, crocheted baby bootees, 2 crocheted hats (with ears, eek), an owl, a mini pouch and dummy holder, and super cute onesies.

Thank you so much for the baby gifts ladies, I really appreciate the time, effort and thought you have put into them! :o). xxx


And so to business, sewing business that is, 18 items on my Finish Along List and I have been making progress this week, no finishes yet, but definite progress.  My embroidery quilt/wall hanging finally has a finished centre (embroidered from my little ones picture of the four of us- including soon to be baby pictured here in orange).  

It's now all sewn together, and the sashing has been added around the outside, and I even managed to get it pin basted Friday- annoyingly I couldn't find my basting spray, which I put somewhere "safe" so I could find it easily, as I knew I would be needing it soon!

A little light quilting yesterday, and it's all ready for binding, so I have 2 decisions to make:

1. What kind of binding fabric to use? (not sure i like either of these  maybe a black fabric with white spots which I think i have squirreled away?).  Ideas always welcome...

2. I am going to hang it on the wall, any suggestions on the best/easiest way to add hangers?  

Ange xxx

Friday, 10 January 2014

WIP/UFO List Of Shame & FAL

Sew true
As it's a New Year, and it's all about fresh starts, I think I need to start by having a good look at all of the projects I have started/half finished and in progress, and then decide on some priorities over the next few weeks and months.  And while we are there, lets use this as the FAL list!

So, here goes with what is on the table already:

1. Hexy 2
Started: December
Current Status:  Loads of pre-cut fabric already all organised into my new hexy sewing case.  Currently about 90cm x 50cm.
Plan: No fixed deadline for finish, but intended to be a baby project over the next 12 months or so.
 Up a little early so a little epp to ease me into the day....

2. Hexy Pouch
Started: December 31st
Current Status:  One side of pouch hexies finished/sewn together, on side 2
Plan:  Finish this quarter.
 Loving my new hexy storage, now for a little sewing before the day gets crazy busy!

3. Alphabet Embroidery Quilt/Wallhanging
Started: Autumn 2013
Current Status: All Alphabet completed, just need to embroider centre panel with special picture by C and make the quilt up
Plan: Finish before end of Feb and hang on nursery wall 
Alphabet embroidery layout, with lots of polka dots, yum!

4. The Weekender
Started: Spring 2013
Current Status: Taken back apart.  Reduce size of the base, re-sew together and then fix the lining
Plan: Finish before end of February, use as a baby bag (not for actually storing a baby in!)
My wrestling partner for the morning! Just the lining to do tonight. #weekenderbagiwillbevictorious
5. Secret Squirrel items
Started: Late autumn 2013
Current Status: Only a relatively small project, 2/6 finished
Plan: Finish in January

6. Baby Quilt
Started:  Autumn 2013
Current Status: Just needs quilting and binding
Plan: Finish before end of February
Think we'll go with this layout.

7. My Sampler Quilt
Started: 2012
Current Status: Needs one panel replacing, then basting, quilting and binding
Plan: Ongoing project
Quilt top finished.

8. Siblings Together Quilt
Started: Spring 2013
Current Status: Needs re-basting, then quilting and binding
Plan: Get done asap, unfortunately awful morning sickness struck just as I was getting the final phase done and I just couldn't get back into it.
Siblings Together Quilt Top

9. Plus Quilt
Started: Summer 2013
Current Status: Handful of blocks, 300 plus needed!
Plan:  Keep making pluses when I get the chance, and perhaps mix it in with another block so I don't have to make more than 300 for our super kingsize bed quilt!
Some selfish sewing for my own bed quilt.

10.  Stitch Tease House Quilt
Started: Nov 2013
Current Status: Waiting for final 2 blocks to arrive
Plan: Make into a quilt/picnic throw for summer in the garden
2 more beautiful blocks arrived for my Stitch Tease quilt, thx so much @lifesrichpattern!
Gorgeous blocks from @valbetweenquilts arrived last week, thank you so much :-)

11. Simply Solids Quilt
Started: August 2013
Current Status: Just blocks
Plan: Make into a quilt/picnic throw for summer in the garden
Simply Solids August Block, finished.

12. Star/Bright Sampler Blocks
Started: January 2013
Current Status:  Just blocks
Plan: Piece into a quilt!
12 blocks from grp 11 & 13 of 3x6 Bee

13. Improv Mini
Started: Retreat 2013
Current Status: Part hand quilted
Plan:Finish hand quilting and make into something, either a mini or quilting tote perhaps?
Improv Block from @lusummers class #fqretreat

14. Portholes blocks
Started: Retreat 2013
Current Status: Just 2 blocks
Plan:Find a use for them!
Portholes Technique from #fqretreat

15. EPP Star Embroidery Pouch
Started: July 2013
Current Status:  Hand quilting was in progress
Plan:Make into some kind of travel embroidery case/pouch
Front of my new travel embroidery wallet. Rainbow stitchery.

16. Hand Hoop
Started: Early 2013
Current Status: Needs hoop finishing off
Plan: Finish and hang!
Hand Hoop WIP

17. Skill Builder BOM 2013 blocks
Started: Jan 2012
Current Status: Only about 4 or 6 blocks finished I think
Plan: Need to find a use for them, as I have no chance of making a full quilt from them.
Skill Builder BOM January

18.Crochet Blanket
Started: End of 2012
Current Status: All blocks finished, need joining and lining
Plan:Sew them together and get them made into a little blanket

Wowsers, I think even I am shocked by the number of outstanding projects on that list, maybe I need to work on the basis for every 3 projects I finish I can start 1 more small one, might help with the motivation!!!

Wish me luck, I am going to need it, especially as I have a few baby things to get done in the next 8 weeks or so.

Ange xxx

Finish Along 2014

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Mini Mission...

Sorry, not of the sewing kind, that's all still a bit thin round here at the moment, but I am now a big step closer to starting my "maternity leave"!!  Remember when we moved house last year and I showed you the pictures of my teeny tiny fugly sewing room?  
If anyone needs me I'll be in the worlds ugliest sewing room, actually sewing- woooohooo!

Well, she's had a bit of a makeover.  Unfortunately she is destined for no more sewing for a while, and needed to be fully stripped and re-branded as a nursery.  My fantastic Mum came over for 2 days this week to give me a hand (i.e get it done as I am starting to run lower on spare energy), and within about 26 hours the conversion was finished (including fitting of new carpet).
 Ugly wallpaper stripped, and old sewing room transforms into nursery with a good lick of paint! :-)
Still a little spartan at the moment, but I have a hoop for the wall, a quilty wall hanging in progress, and she should start to take shape and look a bit cuter and more baby appropriate.  The cotbed is at the in-laws, and will be winging it's way here within a few weeks, I need to cover a lampshade, and the curtains and blackout blind need a bit of adjustment.  And if I get a little spare energy those drawers will be getting the full paint treatment, no promises, as I have a big pile of kitchen cabinets to finish painting!

Right, I'm off to prep for the Guild meeting on Saturday...

Ange xxx

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Out With The Old, In With The New...

 First, let me be one of many to wish you a Happy and prosperous New Year!
Not sure how I managed to not blog for a month, but I have a feeling it may be something to do with all of the painting and work on our kitchen, which has rather hampered my sewing.
After 8 coats the kitchen dresser is all done, im sooooo looking forward to doing all of the kitchen cupboards!

In fact, other than a little hexy prep and finishing off the embroideries for my girls' rooms, it's been slim pickings on the sewing front.
Little Red is just waiting for a new hoop to arrive then she'll be all finished :-)
I could do a round up of last year, but with a big house move, major renovations, and awful morning sickness I have a bad feeling it would be a massive disappointment!  Oh well, lets just stick with a couple of the stitchy highlights for me, focus on the positive right :o)

My favourite finish of the year is this one, without a doubt:

After 2 and a half years of working on it intermittently, I finally finished the hand made hexy quilt for my little girl, and we keep it on the sofa for snuggly pretty much on a daily basis.  

And with that in mind, I have started on Hexy Quilt 2, for the impending arrival of baby number 2. 

Up a little early so a little epp to ease me into the day....

The hexies are a little smaller than in the original, but that's because instead of hand cutting them (I wouldn't advise this for such a large project!!) I have used my Sizzix die to cut the papers for uniformity.
Tagged by @sewofcourse tagging @lilysquilts @hammondn77 @fairlymerry #Widrn. Unpacking my little order from @messyjesse1 love them :-)

I've made some reasonable progress in the last few weeks, measuring about 90cm x 50cm (still some way to go as the last one was 180cm x 160cm) and I've ordered a few brighter fabrics from the lovely Sew and Quilt (Jessie) to add even more contrast, I'm really loving the blues and reds at the moment :o)
A little order from @simplysolids and one from @messyjesse1 arrived today, a good fabric day all round (although they arrived whilst i was out, oops, caught out!!!) :-)

And my big project for the upcoming year will be working on this (9 weeks tomorrow and counting).....
Now to find some old clothes that fit over this massive bump so i can do some decorating, might have to raid Robs clothes!
This was about 6 weeks ago, it's grown significantly since, may be to do do with all of the Christmas sweets/food I've been eating!!
Ange xxx