I couple of weeks ago I bumped into an old horse friend from my sharing days before children. I literally shouted across the stable yard “I know you” to buy time till I could remember her name! Catching up with news on the old horses and people I was encouraged and now able to get in contact with the owner of my old horse share. This weekend I went to see her and the second love of my life ROSS!
How beautiful is he.. doesn’t look a day older and certainly not his 26 years!!! Unfortunately, his mummy can’t quite get down as much as she would like to give him some love so I am going to go down and see him hopefully once a week for a chat, groom walk-out and maybe some lunging. I can’t wait! Unfortunately, being out of the saddle so long, the weight I have put on since having my big girl and his increased years means I don’t think it would be fair to ride him. Maybe something to remember as I reach for the biscuits, cake or chocolate. I expect one day soon he will feature in some kind of sewing. I fancy trying a raw edge applique..
In other news, the summer holidays are here and I’m spending lots of time with both my girls. I’m trying to pace myself and doing quiet sitting activities as much as possible. At the first stitch and bitch I was shown a you tube video and it included a simple braiding with cardboard circle so I though I would try it with my big girl. She can do it and does it but it looses her attention quite quickly which is to be expected at 4 1/2yrs. I on the other hand am finding it quite addictive!
Over the last couple of weeks I have been working on a UFO started last summer. I jelly roll I can’t remember its name but had it for a few years without having the courage to do something with it. I will do full post on it once its finished but hear is a sneak peak…. just the binding to hand stitch.
I could these 2 books for a bargain £12 posted. Really wanted the foundation paper piecing one as I love the blue quilt and want to do some paper piecing but not just going at it! Actually following some good instructions. This is why I have not started the Tuffet yet as I’m petrified I will bugger it up as I have tweaked it/ strayed from the pattern and don’t want to regret just going at it!
I have also been looking high and low for my first ever quilting book as there is a pattern in there that I want to make. I may have had the fabric and pattern for over 6 years so its pretty high up my make list (which is all in my head).
Lastly, found with my first book was a right surprise! A few weeks ago I saw on UK quilters united a folded fabric colour gradient star cushion – saved the picture and asked for more info.. looked up the book and decided I didn’t have enough time at the moment but logged it in the memory….. I have that book… my mummy got it for me many moons ago not sure when exactly…. Also its signed and dedicated to me… its a funny old world. I remember mum giving me the book a few years ago and me writing it off as way too old fashioned… maybe I’m getting old fashioned!
I really enjoy life drawing! Not men so much but I do love the curves and lines of women’s bodies. At school I did a couple of art trips to St.Ives and had my first taste then, an embarrassed teen. Once I got to looking past the nakedness and looked just seeing shapes it all came together.
These two charcoal sketches were done in St Ives all those many years ago. During many of my ruthless throw-outs I couldn’t bear to part with them as I think I’m very proud of them and it reminds me that I can produce good things if I work at something. They have now found a place out of a portfolio in the loft. Each is pride of place in a bathroom and when I look at them they make me smile.
Well I gifted it! I was way more excited about giving it than finishing it. It went down well and I got this amazing message which means so much.
After I gifted it I also posted a picture on the UK Quilters United and I couldn’t stop smiling when I got 217 likes and loads of lovely comments! Made my Month!! And for something I had pretty much dismissed as just a Jelly Roll!
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.
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.
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.
Because I love my yellow chair!
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!!
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.
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.
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”.
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).
Facebook is also now showing me ads which I’m sure are for Quilts…
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!
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.
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!!
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!!
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!!!!!!!!
Anyway let me know what you think of this quilt….. (photo not staged at all obviously! my house is always this tidy!!)
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!
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!
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!