Saturday, 29 October 2011

Quilt Festival

I don't have a modern quilt, an unusual quilt, an original quilt or a quilt that requires immense talent to share with you unfortunately!! I haven't made one of those yet...

What I have is a special quilt, made with love. The first quilt I made, using lots of wonderful advice from family, reading and exploring blogs and tutorials.
I had an urge to quilt, to create, to make something pretty and practical. It was an easy pattern and I loved every minute of making it.

I gave it to my Nan, those of you who follow might have gathered how important she is to me, I wanted to give her a gift and share what I was making. She loves seeing what I'm working on and is so kind and encouraging!

Here is the quilt at her house, on proud display :)

Don't you just love that crazy vintage car lampshade?! :)

I'm linking up to the Bloggers' Quilt Festival, come and join in the fun!


Friday, 28 October 2011

Any more acronyms?! DSQAL, TGIFF, FIUF and FMF 4

Presenting my Dead Simple QAL top, I'm so happy with how it turned out! Also pleased it was sunny this morning so I could get these pictures (yesterday was a wash out despite our best wishes Nicky!!). I love the palette and the colours seem to change so much in the light but I love these bright shots:

Having a helper makes taking pictures so much easier!

Here's one taken in a shadier spot (with feet!):

I'm going to piece the back using scraps from cutting the fabric and what was left over. It might not look as tidy as the front but I have a few patterned fabric scraps to add in to so it should be fun.

On to this weeks Free Motion Friday courtesy of Cindy over at Fluffy Sheep Quilting (she is doing such a fantastic job and I always really look forward to seeing what challenge is next!)

This week was Bright Star and honestly I didn't think I was going to like it... so wrong!! I loved it! It just made lots of sense to me and was the easiest for me so far, I would definitely use this in the future. The only thing that sort of annoyed me was getting the lines an equal distance apart from each other so that the spaces between the lines were even but really I'm pretty sure fmq isn't about being perfect and it would maybe look too 'done' if it was (yeah, totally just telling myself that but don't really believe it!!).
Here's my effort from the front:

and the back:

I'm a happy fmqing bunny today!!

Linking up to Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts and Thank God It's Finished Friday, which seems to be having a house party this week ;)

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Can you find me? T.T.T.

I'm not here today (well obviously I am but just not here here)...

I'm guest blogging over at making rebecca lynne! Come and say hello (give me some moral support, I've not done this before!!) and link up to the Thursday Think Tank:

Thursday Think Tank

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Chain piecing maniac

I have been chain piecing like crazy to try and get my Dead Simple QAL top finished. There's been a serious lack of sewing going on around here. It's half term so I have two little ones to amuse and they are both a bit poorly :(
I managed to get some done last night so I need to apologise for the poor night time pictures again - they make the colours seem really dull but it's the best I can do right now - hopefully I'll get some taken today so you can see it better tomorrow!

My machine and I had lots of fun with chain piecing:

It makes things go so fast, I just had to check I was putting the right pieces together!

It was hanging by quite a few threads:

It took about an hour to get to this! I was laughing because it really reminded me of one of those nets you have to climb under on an assault course! Good job the kids were asleep or they might have tried it out.

Lots of pressing and sewing the rows together later. Woo hoo!

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, 24 October 2011

Smart fabric shopping

I'm feeling pretty proud of myself! I recently won two giveaways and was totally thrilled - there are so many gorgeous fabrics out there to chose from and I was uummming and aaahhhing as to what I might like. Then common sense took over, yes there are lots of pretty fabrics that I would use someday but have you seen my list of things I want to make?!! I needed to buy fabrics that I would use NOW.

My first win was from the very talented Becky at The Barefoot Seamstress, a great blogger and she has lots of useful and pretty tutorials (she's has the easy tutorial for blog headers amongst others!). I won a $25 gift card to Stitch Steals, they have amazing bargains everyday!

I decided to be uber practical and ordered some really cute flannel to use as a backing for quilts - I love using flannel and I couldn't resist the thought of using some for my nieces quilts.

My luck continued and I won another giveaway from the lovely Carla at Sew It Up Baby, I only recently found her blog and she is one busy lady! Go and check out her colourful blog :)
I won a $25 gift card to Above All Fabric.

They have some great lines and fantastic kits and I was really tempted by the Timeless Treasures Fruit Punch Fat Quarter bundle but in the end decided to follow my plan and think about my neices, so I chose some Terrain by Kate Spain - I think the bright colours would be perfect for growing girly girls!

I'll be using these fabrics for Christmas presents so of course I'm linking up to Rainbow Hare Quilts:


I haven't finished anything off my list so now I MUST get to work on some actual sewing!!

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside!

Having cut all my pieces for the Dead Simple QAL, the next step was to lay them out. Here's my pattern, no sewing yet but soon!! (sorry for the late night picture)

I've not got round to sewing yet because yesterday we had a trip to the seaside. What will follow now is a lot of lovely photographs that my husband (mostly, a couple were me!!) took, if you're only interested in the sewing you can go read something else now :)

This is the lighthouse at New Brighton on the North West coast

The boy jumping into a hole in the sand!

We were lucky it was such a beautiful day. Cold and VERY windy but really sunny! There was a hilarious moment where the girl's bucket got blown away and was travelling at 100mph towards the sea, I've not run that fast ever (really why was I running?? It was a 50p bucket but not worth the upset child!!). I couldn't catch it so fabulous husband saved the day by running much faster than me and catching the escaping bucket :)

Following the fun of the beach we took the kids to the fairground and let them go on the kiddie ride, the girl's first one! They loved it and they basically laughed the whole time. So cute!

Initially I was slightly worried she wouldn't enjoy it, I think I was put off as we went in because this was the compassionate sign as you entered the ride!

Friday, 21 October 2011

Fluff be gone! FMF experiment 3 and TGIFF

On Monday I managed to finish the 'Dotty Simple Stripes Quilt' and it was given to my friend on Wednesday, happily she loved it :)

I'm linking up to TGIFF which is being hosted by the wonderful and brave Erin this week despite the fact that her sewing machine is kerplut :(  Go show her some love!

Also linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts, Finish it up Friday!

Even though my machine is working I have a confession! We've had lovely family come to stay so I've not done any sewing since Monday. What with all the lists I've been making and all the fun and frivolity round here there's been no time! Today, though, I was determined and got down to some fmq practice.

I'm linking up to the wonderful Fluffy Sheep Quilting for the Free Motion Friday. This week it's Slate Tiles, so here's my first attempt:

Not totally horrendous but no where near good! I started on the left (shocking) and got a bit better as I went on. If forgot to set my stitch to small so the length was all over the place, it's still so hard to stay consistent.
I'm also really bad at straight lines! See how these 'slates' looked more curvy at the corners?

I tried again and got them a little better:

Then I had a second attempt, this time my area was much smaller so the whole thing was a bit tricky but it's not totally awful:

There's still lots of room for improvement, clearly!!

I tried going much more slowly but I find this very difficult - I tend to race along!! Must resist the urge for speed!

The fluff I'm referring to in the title is not the sheepy kind (although I must admit I have a deep rooted fear of the little blighters - don't ask and NEVER baaaaa at me!) but the fluff in my machine. Inspired by Helen giving her machine some TLC over at Archie the Wonder Dog I thought, after having it for over eight years, I should give it a good clean - I know, I know, I'm very lazy!!
Here is the fluff monster:

Honestly, it wasn't quite as bad as I was expecting but it's still pretty gross. Here's what I gathered:

Since I'm not sure he ever really reads this I'll share that this looks like what often accumulates in my husband's belly button!! Hahahahahaha!! *oh dear, I really hope he doesn't read it now!!*

The only thing I have managed to achieve quilting wise was some cutting for the Dead Simple QAL. Finally! As I was doing it I have fallen more in love with the palette:

Now I need to get to piecing, tonight me and A Boy Named Sue are going to get reacquainted!

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Winter Sewing

Winter Sewing. Aren't those just the two most perfect words?!

Linking up to Winter Stitching at FairyFace Designs and Thursday Think Tank at making rebecca lynne!

I've already listed some of the projects I'm making for Christmas over at Rainbow Hare Quilts.

I'm going to separate my makes into Christmas and Winter, so I can keep track of the presents as well as other projects.

So my Christmas list stays at has grown to include:

2 purple quilts that I'm making on the Dead Simple QAL and Drunkard's Path QAL

1 baby quilt (for a boy, can you tell?!)
2 quilts for each of my nieces

as well as...

numerous toys
oven gloves
a dress for the girl!
at least 2 zippered pouches

I may well add to this list as I think of other people and more gifts to make!!

For winter sewing I have some fun projects I'd really like to have made by Spring, I also want to list some targets:

Does Not Compute quilt (I promise to finish this soon Rebecca!!)
Blogger's BOM - keep up to date!
Owl quilt
Secret quilt (only 3 blocks made so far)
More fmq practice and try to do some on actual quilts!
Love of rain quilt - inspired by the Rainy Days Quilt over at Quilting in the Rain
A vintage inspired / modern quilt using these fabrics:

For the last one I was thinking of using the Across the Sea QAL pattern, I really like those blocks but I'm still not decided. Since this is for me I can do whatever I like but I really want to make something that will showcase the fabrics and I think the crosses would do that, I also love the design! If anyone has any ideas or patterns they think would work better and want to share please hit me with them :)