… Stitch & Bitch #1

Stitch and Bitch

So five arrived at our first stitch and bitch. I was so excited and a little nervous for how it would go.  As it was the first one, not everyone knew each other and I didn’t have a plan, so it was a little slow starting.  It was nice making, seeing others work and of course lots of talking and snack eating occurred. Everyone seemed to enjoyed it & I had so much fun I forgot to take a group shot.

During the evening I started on my 3 cushions to be made out of the parrot fabric I got at Sandown. I had got some pompoms to go round as I decided I didn’t want the cushions to too plain. Having failed at putting piping round a cushion previously I thought pompoms would be easier.. Nope they are quite bulky and move around so they get in your way! Needed a recap on how to do zips so I watched a couple of your tube videos and got it wrong straight away – forgetting to put the pompoms on.  By then it was time for everyone to go home.

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The best thing is the momentum it provides as in the last week I have managed to finish all 3 cushions.  Yes they are not perfect but I can see the improvement and they look great!It felt good learning new skills and practising!  I do need a little more practice with zips but for my first 3 since school I’m pretty happy!! – I might have been doing the zips all wrong looking at another you tube video.
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One good lady who was on holiday for S & B popped round one evening the next week so I could give her a refresher on how to use her sewing machine.  She was inspired and keen to start but needed to get over the hurdle of how to start.
In other news I think I have decided on the design for big girl’s summer quilt so want to crack on with that. Then my next project I will do is the colour wheel footstool. Once those are done I think I will concentrate on finishing a few quilts projects I have on the go and do some blocks from my lovely quilt pattern.
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Because I love my yellow chair!

…Throwback Thursday #2…

Throwback Thursday

Couple of years ago I did an adult education stained glass course. Can’t remember if it was 6 or 8 weeks, but I did start and finish this panel.  I designed the template based on art deco rose (this is full size as you cut the glass on top of it) and each week did a bit.

It was so nice to spend a couple of hours out the house making when the hubby was out too and first daughter (second was still tbc) sleeping over at grandparents.  I would come home from work, eat and then go out.. it was like I had a life!!

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The soldered joints are looking very silver.  I remember at the time we were suppose to scrub the whole lot with a brush to finish which I think I did but maybe not enough!!! I should really research this and pluck up the guts to solder on some rings so I can hang it.

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Overall I am very proud of my efforts and original design.  When I have more time probably when both girls are at school I will dig the stuff out and do some more.. Something like a rainbow Tiffany lampshade.

…had a little family trip out to..

Day out

A fabric fayre in Great Bookham on Saturday afternoon! Husband and children took me as I quote “you don’t get to do much of your stuff.. and there is cake”.

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Obviously I had a lovely time looking at lots of fabric and discovered ‘The Eternal Maker’ which I’m sure I already knew about but their selection of modern fabrics caught my eye.  Especially some Jersey and after mentioning I don’t know how to sew that stuff it seems there is no excuse as they do a day course! Where do I book…… I would love to make clothes and lets face it jersey will be the most forgiving to my figure!

After being very good and having a look around the whole show I was again encouraged by the husband to by a pattern (fraction quilt by Lou Orth) I had seen on-line and stored (without knowing I could buy the pattern I was going to use as inspiration).  Again another quote from the hubby “well there is no time limit to it! It won’t ever go off! What is the problem?”…. Maybe he wants something!!!!

I got some Alison Glass fabric which I think itself looks like a quilt and I love the colours. some binding clips so I can leave my work in progress out and the kids won’t get hurt and so bobbin buddies as I realised I really do need to store reel and bobbin together to avoid waste.

Lastly, a half hexi template which was inspired by a tiling pattern photo I saw on the UK Quilters United facebook page (by Lyn Butler who is doing a foundation paper piecing pattern I will link to in due course).

Lyn Butler UK Quilters United tiling

Facebook is also now showing me ads which I’m sure are for Quilts…

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… make progress..

Work in Progress

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I’ve decided what layout to go with for big c’s quilt so I did some chain piecing.  Starting or re-starting is the hardest thing sometimes but I’ve been feeling a bit down with everything going on so I chucked the girls in front of the TV for half hour this morning and cracked on.

I also know how I’m going to quilt it so keen to get going on that too.  Not sure on backing fabric or thread colour yet but I will work that out once I’m at that stage.

Keep going … don’t stop!

…Sown a Sea for Sue

Finished Makes

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The seed for this quilt was a bargain-ous £10 blue batik jelly roll bought second hand from another quilter.  After it arrived in the post it sat in the kitchen and on the table for quite a while.  I couldn’t face putting it in my studio and not doing something with it soon…  I didn’t feel so precious about this jelly role as it didn’t cost what some of my others did so I didn’t have the fear of wasting the fabric if I ended up not liking the quilt.  With the strips being a similar blue I decided that, having never having done a jelly roll race, I wanted to try one.  I didn’t want it to be too simple so I decided to get some contrasting yellow batik to go between each strip.

I wanted to alternate the triangles pointing up and down and add a few diamonds in too.  I really like how they are dispersed about the quilt but alternating the triangles pointing up and down is not really viable in the finished quilt.  Something to remember if I do another.

I’m not sure when I had decided that this was going to be for my Aunt Sue but I think it was early on.  She lives by the sea and has a kaftan in a similar colour.  I think likes quite strong colours and has several batik items… I really hope I have not got this wrong.  She like me has afternoon naps while possible so a smallish quilt she can keep warm under will be used.  Also I’m hoping the sunny colours will prove cheerful in the winter months when its most used.

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The quilt top really did come together very quickly once it was a long strip.  And boy was it long! Trying to pack it away out of cat and kiddy paws was a hassle…..I should be using my studio but I want to watch TV or be near the hubby when he is home in the evening.  After carefully trying to separate strips of the same fabric (though as its batik not too similar) I discovered that in about 3 or 4 places strips of the same fabric ended up next to each other.

I do like the unknown result of a jelly roll race.  So often you already know what its going to look like before you finish and I think that is why I can become bored with projects and don’t finish them.  If only I could make use of this ability to visualise for profit!!

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I opened up my walking foot to quilt as I decided I wanted to do some simple waves for the quilting.  I didn’t want to detract from the fabric and the simple piecing I felt meant it needed simple quilting.  I did randomly decide I wouldn’t quilt on the yellow.  I think because I didn’t want to dilute their colour at all.  Not having used a walking foot before I was disappointed it didn’t produce an even stitch as I had hoped.  It was better once i raised the feed dogs a little so it gripped the fabric better.  I think maybe the main reason for this also was the weight of the fabric which was not on the table surface stopping the fabric being pulled through! Now I understand why quilters rave about their table extensions and put their machine on a large table!!

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I wanted to do a label of dedication but for it to be subtle.  Turns out it might be a little too subtle.  I wrote free motion ‘Sea for Sue love Helen’ but you can hardly see it and the practice was much better.  I think it was the size of quilt on a small table pulling it and the fact that my machine doesn’t have a needle down position so occasionally jumps if I don’t ensure to wind the needle down before moving my hands.  It is my birthday soon so considering an upgrade or at least borrowing my mum’s machine for when I want to do an important project.  Also practice practice practice and yet again don’t just rush things!!!!!!!!

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Anyway let me know what you think of this quilt….. (photo not staged at all obviously! my house is always this tidy!!)

…Throwback Thursday…

Throwback Thursday

I am going to try and post every Thursday a couple of shots of something I created before starting blogging.  Really for my own record to remind me all of the amazing things I have actually already made or done!

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First is this quilt I made 2 years ago now. Its the quilt i am most proud of as its as close to perfect I have got.  I trimmed all the squares, chain pieced and ironed all by the book (well mostly).  It started with a charm pack which was … surprise surprise … a colour gradient in solids.  I raided my stash for as many other fabrics which would go. I had to go with my favourite shape ‘a square’ and thought I wanted to make a play mat…. baby girl might of been a twinkle in my eye… even then!

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And here she is now enjoying it… not being sick on it as I only let her lay on it for as long as the photo took!

 

… Have been busy doing lots of little bits…

Work in Progress

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I have seemingly done nothing this week but on reflection I’ve done lots of little bits. After my huge excitement at the National Quilt Championship and being very good not buying too much I was super keen to get started on the quilt for big C.  She loved the layer cake and on Saturday night I sat down to get started, opened the pack, looked and played with fabrics.  It contains 20 different fabrics (2 of each).  Mixed them up but it didn’t quite make me as happy as when they ran through the colour gradient.  3 of the fabrics didn’t do it for me and I have learned from experience if you don’t like the fabric don’t include it as you can’t take it out once it is sewn in and it is all you will see in the finished quilt.

Big C expressed a preference for HST so I set about designing.  Decided I would do the trick of sewing 2 squares all the way round the outside then cutting them in 4 across the diagonal to create 4 identical HST blocks – can’t remember what this is called.  I decided I would pair the fabrics with the next colour in the gradient I had and I would stagger the fabrics.  Little sketch done and a few late-night calculations of its finished size done, it was full steam ahead.  Sunday morning up early while the girls went off with Daddy to swimming and rugby, me and the sewing machine got busy.

Needless to say, I soon discovered the error of my ways.  Rushing into something means you make errors.  Having sewn half the squares and sliced them and dry laid out the pattern I discovered it was much smaller in one direction than I expected…..Doh!  Yes late night maths is not my forte… Needless to say I sulked for the rest of the day ….. and the next day.

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Having got over it I sat down with some graph paper trying to work out a way to best use the already sewn and cut fabric with the remaining stuff to get a quilt of the right kind of size.  After a few hours of thinking and playing I came up with this design.  It required me to sew the remaining squares with the colour the other side of it in the colour gradient and slice in the same way.

One evening I got down to sewing and slicing.  Its soooo satisfying to achieve something in the evening.  Once having all these pieces, I laid it out then had a play and asked big C what she liked and wanted to do… Now I have so many alternatives but just not 100% about any.

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Another thing I didn’t take enough attention of is colour saturation.  Taking a photo in black and white is really helpful as it shows the quilt in another way and show a design can be unbalanced by the tone of the fabric.

This week I have also planted out a couple of hydrangeas suffering in the heat.  Planted out big C’s pumpkin plants in the hope of growing one for Halloween and one to eat.  Re-doing a terrarium with a new succulent. And some general garden maintenance.

I have a workman in the house this week finishing the extension related items.  The extension was finished but there is a load of decoration and finishing bits left over mainly because I wanted the builders out and no more battling to get stuff done.  I wanted/ intended to do them but have realised I’m not going to be able to without spreading myself too thin until big C is at school and baby is at nursery.   The finishing off in typical me style has extended to decorating the front room as well, finishing the floor, maybe a replacement front door and the drive way.  All of which were on the to do list just not straight away! So I have been running round getting bits for this work too.

Anyway I will do a post before and after showing the front room in due course!

.. I also designed and getting our breakfast bar lighting made, finally & redid my pink hair!!!

Anyhow back to playing with big C’s quilt design…..

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OR…

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… went to National Quilt Championships 2018, Sandown … Purchases

Purchase

Quick post to show off my purchases from the show.

I was very restrained as I want to use some of the stuff I already have and bought to compliment that with the greys.  The sherbet rainbow layer cake is for a simple summer quilt for my big girl…. because I can’t walk away from a rainbow and batiks at the moment! The Jen Kingwell pattern caught my eye as I loved the variety of fabrics in the cover photo and hope to use a load of my existing fabric. The parrot fabric is to make some replacement covers for the living room.  I was very good and walked away from some modern colour gradient prints and some Kaffe Fassett fabric as I don’t need more projects.

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I took the baby and had a number of compliments from ladies saying it was nice to see me out and about with a little one doing what I like and breastfeeding in public.  It was really nice as I have been having a crisis of confidence.  I’m overwhelmed by my rather large stash and having so much I want to make and feel like I will never have the chance.

My back needs to recover and then I will crack on… At some point when stuck under a baby I will try to do a post on the quilts I loved the most in the Championship.

 

 

 

….working on a blue quilt

Work in Progress

My only sewing project (SO FAR!) since having baby is a quilt for my auntie.  She doesn’t know I’m making it for her and I can’t wait to see her reaction.   I’ve been doing bits and bobs on it when I can and I’m now onto hand stitching the binding.

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This is my favourite stage of a quilt.  You only do it when your happy with the rest and it means it is almost done! Plus I love the simplicity of sitting stitching, obviously while I watch some trash on TV (dare I admit that its currently Love Island).

….. went to London (♫♫♫to buy heat magazine!!! ♫♫♫)

Day out

Not really.  It was the husband and I’s 18 year anniversary of the first time we met this weekend.  We decided to take the girls to the National History Museum and have a wonder around.  Babies first time on a train and the underground she was so overwhelmed she slept through it! Me being me I was nearly on my knees just getting there.  Walking with a baby in a sling after having a c section and gallbladder out means practically non-existent tummy muscles and backache but I powered through! (sympathy and adoration please) After doing the usual dinosaurs and bargain lunch we went up to the mineral gallery and vault where I was briefly allowed to look at all the pretty colours, shapes and forms.  These are my favourite photos but don’t really do justice to the colours and how beautiful they were.

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I would love to make a quilt series inspired by these. I think they would be very modern and abstract seeming but ironic given the minerals are so old.    Well that idea has been adding to my rapidly growing ‘to experiment making’ to do list.  Never going to keep track of this let alone do it…. If only I was child free some of the time! I know I should really not wish this time away.  The past 4 months have flown by and I know I will not ever have a little baby again.  Loving the smiles chatting and almost giggling though!

Next we then wondered over to Hyde park (can you believe I have never been) and to the serpentine pavilion.  It’s a striking dark semi translucent structure with reflective surfaces inside with a water pool which big girl loved playing in and polished curved roof structure! Of course I took the classic arty architectural photos..

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I love the use of roof tiles in an alternative way.  The translucency at points is also interesting.  It has made me think about how I could translate into a quilt somehow… thread only on wadding?, deliberately using back the of the fabric?, using a quilt in an external garment?… hardly revolutionary.

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Obviously we had to have a play taking photos of our reflections!! Its also one of our first family photo’s while out and about.

We also popped over to the Diana fountain.  I could have watched all the children playing and the water flowing all day. A great place to cool off in summer. Homeward bound we strolled down the Serpentine Lake seeing the large installation – info here ( http://www.serpentinegalleries.org/exhibitions-events/christo-and-jeanne-claude-barrels-and-mastaba-1958%E2%80%932018 ) and lots of bird life.

 

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