Sunday, 24 January 2010

Saturday stitching.

A day of sewing - 10.30 till 4 anyway.

First I shortened Liams curtains. But my disorganised brain has forgotten where I put the curtain hooks so tonight I've put them up with 3 hooks and a clothes peg. He is 6, he hasn't complained but it's so annoying having finally made the effort to shorten them that they still look dreadful.
Feeling virtuous I then started on some other small projects.
First it was a small friendship bag -
Followed by a larger friendship bag. But I hadn't any suitable colour for the quilting so this is as far as it got.
And finally a Morsbag. I just need to sew a label on and finish off all loose ends.

I love this Cockerel fabric - I'm going to keep this bag but I have several chicken-keeping friends who I'm sure would like one of these. I'd also like an Apron in this fabric.

I've had my brain frazzled today by my 6 year old. I foolishly mentioned that I had heard on the news last week of a woman in Spain who was trapped in a lift in her house. I said, mistakenly, that she was trapped for 3 days. It was in fact 8 days. This caught his imagination and he kept on and on about it. He is delightful, but boy can he talk!!!

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Winter Mini-Quilt Swap and my Batik project.

I have just signed up for the Winter Mini-Quilt swap.
The deadline is quite tight - post by the 1st of March if I need to post abroad, so I'd better start thinking now.

The batik project is causing me a few problems.
Firstly having pieced all 86 blocks I stuck them up on my design wall in my intended seminole design. Admittedly the wall was white and I would use a coloured batik for the inbetween squares, but the planned design just didn't "sing" to me.
During the week I had some of the blocks up on the wall - they were all together with no space between and they were definitely buzzing. But I don't want to just do squares!!!. And if I did do just squares I wouldn't have enough blocks for the quilt - not even enough for a single bed quilt.
So I don't know what to do. Tomorrow I am going to a fabric shop which has a sale on and hope to buy a few batiks to go with my blocks. Then I can think on.
Thoughts for now - perhaps join some blocks, or cut them (!) and sew pieced rectangles somehow. Border them somehow to give them some breathing space.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Yeah!! Got enough for 86 blocks!!!

I cut into the green leaf batik, and found a blue batik and a small piece of a brown batik which I have cut into and I now have 86 blocks arranged.

Most of the blocks you can see are pairs - only 14 of them are singles so Hip Hip Hurray I have enough.

So the plan is to sew them into 9 rows - alternating 10 and 9.
Then the pieced area will be 70 wide by 63 long. Add a 6 inch border all round brings it up to 82 wide by 75 long. The bed is 72 wide and 72 long.
This is one reason I prefer to do my own thing - I made a Jelly Roll Quilt on a workshop and it's too short. I get cold feet at night :( so need a bit of length to it.
So here they are - all boxed up and ready to go out on Tuesday night-

I have only made one Quilt for our bed - the Log Cabin so we really do need another.
In fact quite a few of the Quilts are all in the wrong places at the moment.
Our Super King size Bed Quilt is on the back of the Leather sofa to stop Scratchy from accidentally scratching it whilst she sits there.
So on our bed we have 2 of the Boys - Josephs Scary Quilt which has some glow in the dark skeletons which catch your eye in the dark, and Liams Christmas Quilt.
On the spare bed are 3 Quilts ( it has been cold!) - the Trip to Ireland I made for my sister which has been returned to me, the "short" Jelly Roll Quilt, and on the bottom half for my feet there is Liams Pirate Quilt.
Fortunately the boys still have other Quilts in their rooms.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

New Stash Busting project started on the Friday night sew-in!

Here is my little sewing room / spare bedroom – waiting for the off!
Things didn’t go quite as planned. I asked my husband what he was planning on doing last night and he said “Watch a film – depends on what we’ve got”. Hmm, that means he thinks WE are going to watch a film – but it’s my Friday Night Sew-In!!!!.

I take pity on him, I’ve not seen much of him all week.

“Ok” says I -“Do you mind if I machine whilst we watch it?. I can sew slowly – it’ll be fairly quiet”. He doesn’t look convinced.
Anyway tea is late – about 9pm, and then I still have to put the boys to bed- I’m afraid all it amounted to yesterday was supervise the 6 years olds tooth brushing then comment on the state of his bedroom.
I took all my fabrics downstairs to the living room, and started cutting. I had to stop to make cups of tea, and find the chocolate biscuits for DH but he still fell asleep lying on the sofa, before the film ended. Grrrrrrr.................

At this point I went back upstairs to the waiting sewing room ( and company).

I cut the fabrics into 3 sizes – 3 ½ ", 1 ¾", 1 ¼" by 5 ½". This will give me a 5" finished square.
I have a few design boards that work chucked out – they are cardboard coated polystyrene. There are 2 big ones ( 5 ft x 3 ft?) which live against the wall alongside the bed – once I get them out to use I can hardly moved around in the tiny little room, so I used the medium and small. The small has a piece of wadding (batting) wrapped around it and the other has an old flannel baby sheet.
I spent a while arranging the cut strips – cutting and arranging is all I did yesterday – I stopped at 1 am when DH emerged from the living room.
I plan to set the squares on point in rows, alternating the placement.
And I plan to stagger the rows to have a zigzag backing between them.
So now they have to live on the boards for a while whilst I check them over for balance – I can’t do random sewing together.

Over the 2 boards I have 74 blocks, not really enough for a Quilt.

5" sq will measure about 7" on point.

If I have 9 rows, alternating 8 and 9 blocks I will need 77 - 3 more.

I didn't use the Green leaf batik - and I do have a few strips left over so I need to see if I can get another 3 matched up.

9 x 7" will be 63" - once again not big enough for a 72" square Quilt. That would need a 9" border - OK I guess. 72" would be the minimum to sit on top of our 6' bed.

Or if I make a single bed size Quilt - 10 rows alternating 6 and 5 blocks (42" wide by 70 long) it uses 55 blocks. Possible. I don't like big single bed Quilts as I would trip up over the excess hang - particularly at the corners!

So, that was last night, enjoyed it and am dying to get sewing - it should go together quickly if I sit by the boards and just pick them off and chain piece. I have sewing group on Tuesday night so will have to take a pile to sew.

Off to get on with the day - I'll log on later to see other peoples work.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Tonights sewing

As I couldn't sleep last night I got up out of bed and ironed my Batiks and contemplated tonights sewing.
I think I am going to do the Seminole Floating Fish pattern that I did in my Seminole Quilt.
If you look at the Seminole Quilt I did it's the second band down. I plan to do lots of rows of Floating fish and offset them with zigzag spacing.
It's fairly straight forward cutting and sewing so should get quite a bit done - one can hope!
Having my fabric ready is the plus side of not being able to sleep, the down side is that I will probably be rather tired later on!

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Friday night sew-in

Week 2 back at work has been stressful and tiring, but I have signed up to the Friday night sew-in for this Friday.
I have not planned what to do with my four patches yet - I will have to think hard so that I can launch straight in after putting the boys to bed on Friday!
The weather here has meant that I didn't go to my sewing group yesterday evening - it was cancelled. I was too tired to do any sewing at home, but I am looking forward to Friday and to see on Saturday what everyone posts.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Saturday afternoon walk.

A frozen canal, Only the light footed swimmers should walk on ice.

Sorry, it's another Ridge and Furrow photo!


New Year, New Project, but old fabric!

Having finished my Mini Quilt, I only have one block I need to make for someone.

I decided to start a new project using some of my stash. I had a sort through of the fabrics over the holidays and came across a Pack of 5" squares that I bought about 18 months ago.
I think the range is called "Freshly squeezed".

I made some 4 patches , I have 30 at the moment as I didn't use the check or diagonal stripe squares.
The colours are what I might describe as bright pastels. I bought a roll of 4" wide strips of "recycled" fabrics a while back and a few of them will go with the 4 patches. I need a more yellowy cream to go with them.

My fabric stash is I guess much like most peoples. Lots of different styles of fabrics which I have collected with the intention of making a Quilt. But do I have enough of any particular style of print ?, I don't think I am particularly confident at mixing types of print.

I have -

Traditional Block Printeds Batiks.
Modern Batiks


A collection of green and Purples - these are some of them - they buzz.

One and a quarter inch wide strips left over from my log cabin quilt - mainly Browns Neutrals Blacks and Reds. I also have a few in Oranges and Green left over from my mini fall quilt.

Organised scraps ( by size)

and a bag of disorganised scraps.

This isn't all of each type ( hardly!), and I have other assorted prints and a whole box of plains.

I like to do traditional quilts, but would like to do more Art Quilts as well.

In UFO corner we have amongst other things -

Pink batik Snails trail -

and about 12 assorted Fossil Fern and Black School house blocks. they are about 7inches wide and I am fed up with doing them!

Monday, 4 January 2010

A few photos I thought I'd share with you.

I love the season of harvesting - I am fascinated by the lines,

I drove past this field every day to see it's progress, first it was the crop growing in it's thick blocks, then it was the fascination of the stubble.
Here is a photo of Scratchy (aptly named - unfortunately for our leather sofa) - next to the Rat poison. Which is the more effective "Killer"?
Now the cold weather has come the mice have moved into our loft.

Me and the boys - about 2 years ago on Schiehallion, one of Scotlands munros ( mountain over 3000 feet.)

Mini Fall Quilt is on it's way.

I posted it today, it has gone via DHL so should only take a few days to arrive at Mrs X's door!

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Coventry Cathedral

Today, as is the norm we got up late. Well I got up just after 9, I was first up. The boys soon appeared, Joseph opened up the chickens then went on the computer. Liam settled down to watch TV. I tried to get my little sewing room / spare bedroom / ironing room into some sort of order. For one thing I start work again tomorrow and I wanted to check on the clothes situation, also I needed to sort my fabric boxes - things had got a little messy with things all mixed up. I had to find a few things to send to my Fall mini-quilt partner, and also a FQ to send to someone who won an online Bingo game. I wanted to send a Childrens print FQ as he makes Quilts for his Grandchildren but I have lent that box of fabrics ( Yes- a whole box of novelty prints) to a friend in an attempt to entice her into Quilt making. I may yet find one out of place as the tidying isn't finished yet.

We went out in the afternoon to Coventry.
Coventry was badly bombed in the World War II, including the Cathedral. We went to see the ruins and walked up the 181 steps to the top of the tower. I did more huffing and puffing going up those 181 steps than over the 9.9 miles yesterday.
The new cathedral is one of the newest in the World, opening in 1962.

Now we are watching the last film in the Lord of the rings trilogy. Frodo is about to throw the ring into the fires of Mount Doom.
The end to the film always makes me cry - the bit when Frodo and Bilbo sail off, it's about goodbyes and having lost my sister last year it always gets to me.
There is an episode of Doctor Who that has the same effect - only Doctor Who fans will know what I'm on about - it's the one where the Doctor ( David Tennant) loses Rose to the other parallel universe. For those of you who don't know Doctor Who - it's basically a kids sci-fi series.

I have been given back the Quilt that I made for my sister, her boys don't care for pink. At least it kept her warm for a few years, and she told me how much it meant to her.

Andrew gave me a Kirigami "Fold & Cut- a Day" Calendar for Christmas.
I have cut the first 3, I have an idea of what I want to do with them, I have some Organza in one of my many boxes, I just need time and enough enthusiasm to put enough effort in to do a good job. It involves stitching over raw edges and I haven't done much of that.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

9.9 miles

We should have walked a few days ago to ward off the cabin fever that has taken over us, and made us snap at each other, but for whatever reason we didn't manage to get out of bed on time until today. And we only managed it today as a friend Paul was coming over.

So here is Liam at the start of the walk -
And at the top of the ridge,

and down, ridge and furrow

the view back up.
Here is Joseph on a Ridge,
and in a furrow,

Ah, now we get to a rather muddy field. The farmer ploughs the whole field, and plants the seeds all over. Walkers have to re-tread the footpath. But this mud is sticky!

Joseph sporting his new Umbrella Hat.

It took us about 5 hours, a measly 2 miles per hour, but flipping marvellous for a 6 year old!

Who's going to sleep well tonight?

Joseph - before tea!