Monday, 29 December 2008

More Christmas Quilted Items.

I made two sets of coasters this year as hostess gifts.
I was quite pleased with the outcome - even though my SIL refused to let anyone use them as she said they were too nice to use. I am hoping that I will make more Christmas items next year as this is the first year for ages that I actually managed to make any.

Finally a family photo taken on Boxing Day of my MIL with 4 of her 5 grandchildren. My Boys are the two on the left!

Sunday, 28 December 2008


Things have been busy here and today is the first day I have had chance to catch up with my blog reading and posting.
The first photo shows the dining room after its mega tidy! Usually this corner is piled high with fabric, quilts and works in progress. My main pressie can be seen on the top of the display cabinet - a wireless printer - DH has only just got it to work wirelessly as I am writing this. I am hoping that it will be very useful for my City & Guilds course. The tree, as every year, is decorated with my collection of TY teenie beanies. I was a big collector of these a few years ago!

This little cat tape measure is one of my favourite pressies!

And of course I got some new books!

I hope to improve my FMQ in 2009!

Saw this one at the FOQ in August - lovely folk art designs. I have just started to cut out a bag from a pattern in here using some Cath Kidston fabric and some recycled fabric.

And finally the book I have wanted for a while - still studying it but hope to do some practice blocks soon.
Hope Santa was good to you all!

Friday, 19 December 2008

November Birthday Block - Birdhouses.

As you can tell from the title this block is very late and I would like to apologise to Jovita in Lithuania for whom it has been made. One of the reasons it has taken so long is that it is all hand stitched - which I really enjoyed.
I am finding it really difficult to take photos at the moment as the light is so bad but you can click on any of the photos for a closer look.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Dyed fabrics.

The last weekend we had at college I did some fabric dyeing. I must have dyed at least 10 yards of fabric! Most is just solid colours but the best results came from the space dyeing.
The picture below shows my favourite piece which I think looks like a sunrise. It is my intention to turn this into an art quilt!?
This second piece was done by simply folding the fabric into a concertina.
The main problem is that the fabric I used for the space dyeing is an Ikea quilt cover that I bought for 50p because it had holes in it. So some of my best pieces have holes in - but I will just applique something over them and pretend thats what I always intended!
I also did some threads which vary in thickness from double knitting cotton yarn to quite fine embroidery thread.

And finally as I was saying in my last post I have been tidying up for Christmas. I have piled loads of stuff onto my quilting table and Patches has decided that it makes an excellent bed. Note 2 BQL challenge bags here and one of those fab Kath Kidston Tesco bags!

Monday, 15 December 2008

Christmas Wallhanging.

Here is what I have been working on this weekend. It is a little gift for my great-neice Freya. I like to try and make her a handmade gift for Christmas and I am very pleased with this years offering. It measures around 10 x 12 inches. The santa is hand stitched using a design from a quilting stencil and then I have trapuntoed it. I have also used my new favourite technique - hand quilting with beads to give it a snowy appearance.
Clare, my neice has just announced that she is expecting again in June so next year there will be two gifts to make!

What I am most pleased about is that it was designed, stitched and finished all in 2 days. I know that may not sound brilliant to some of you quilting queens out there but for me it is a real step forward. Usually I would spend days just thinking about it and never get it finished. In fact finishing things is one of my weak areas so lets hope this will spur me on to finish some of my other projects.
The main reason I have not had much time for posting or sewing lately is because of the big Christmas Clean in this house. I have this strange need to clean the house for Christmas which usually takes over all my time at this time of year. I really do not like housework and usually do the minimum but now I am cleaning tiles, window frames etc. It is also all the piles of magazines and carrier bags of fabric which need to be found a home. We also took a car full of stuff to the tip and I have sorted lots of bags for the charity shop. The whole thing just starts to spiral out of control - I was even cleaning under the bed this morning. The sad thing is that the only guest we are having this Christmas is my uncle who wouldn't notice if I hadn't hoovered for a month! I think it all goes back to when the kids were small and I used to spend all Christmas Eve cleaning which was really horrible - one year I even wrapped their presents at 3am on Christmas Day! So I think I just don't want to leave myself with all the cleaning to do on Christmas Eve - maybe I'll be able to spend it quilting and drinking sherry this year!

Monday, 8 December 2008

City & Guilds Cupcake Wallhanging.

I have been at college all this last weekend so sorry posts were thin on the ground last week as I was busy working on my City & Guilds pieces.
So, not wanting to confuse anyone, I can now reveal my finished wallhanging - yes I decided to go with the alternative design!!
It is only 14 inches square so I was not sure about it being big enough but I have checked with my tutors and it is fine. The biggest problem was choosing a binding fabric but after a visit to Hobbycraft on Thursday I found the perfect fabric!
This is my scale diagram of the wallhanging.

These close ups show detail of the quilting - the cupcakes are handquilted around their shape and then I have quilted the background with seed beads. Sue, my tutor says it is more like a tying than a quilting technique
but either way I am pleased with it! She also really liked it so even better!

Finally a quilt label - this is a birthday gift for my great niece for next year. (I have NEVER had anything finished do far in advance!!!)
Thanks again to Sue for the idea of a cupcaked shape label!

In case you were wondering what I am going to do with the cupcakes I was working on? They will go into my workbook as stitched samples and I intend to make a bag and a cushion with them at a later date - so nothing will be wasted.
So is this the end of the cupcake journey........ well no!
After doing some experimental artwork I came up with another design that I liked even more!! I have decided to make that too! Details to follow shortly!
Finally a big hello to my fellow classmates who may be reading this - I know some of you do! And 'Get Well Soon' to our course leader, Diane who sprained her ankle badly this weekend after slipping on some ice and could not be with us.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Introducing.....a new member of our feline family!

We have had this new addition to our family for a few weeks. She was adopted by my uncle but things didn't work out so she came to live with us instead. Her name is Maisy and she is around 6 years old. Those of you who pay attention to my cat family will know that I already have another Maisy - pictured below! So the new Maisy needs a name change! Any suggestions would be welcome but at the moment she is known as 'Catzilla'. This probably gives you a clue as to her interaction with the other cats! Things have been a bit difficult but I have had many cat behaviour problems over the years so we will persevere. We have had many tortoiseshell cats (are they called calico in the US?) and some of the darker ones are often a bit grumpy!! Also when you adopt an older cat you don't know how their previous experiences have moulded their character!
This photo of my other Maisy shows why you should not leave your bag all ready for the morning on the dining room table!