Thursday, 12 November 2009

Placemat Quilt Swap

This is installment number 2 on the October Swap round-up.

The Placemat Quilt Swap organised by Krommama was an opportunity to think small.

The mats were to be pieced, quilted and bound as usual, but to be roughly 13" x 17" in size.

My partner was AnnaMichelleQuilts, and as it turned out we both have 2 kids (one of each colour) we decided to make them one each!

I struggled for ages trying to decide what sort of patterns to use.
For Anna's toddler son I settled on an I-Spy design inspired by Cindy Carter's Scrappy Split Rail Quilt.

As the mats needed to be durable and washable I used fleece as batting and I backed it with a couple of polka-dot fabrics.

The quilting was simple and outlined the blocks.

Instead of seperate binding, I made the backing big enough so that I could wrap it round to the front and then be machine sewn. This was a new technique to me, and I think it came out OK, although the corners ended up not perfect - but I'm sure they'd get better with practice.

For her young teen daughter's placemat, in the end I settled on a Spiderweb block design using Quilt It's tutorial for guidance.

Each of the strips finished at @ 1/2" wide so they were quite fiddly to make.

I backed it with a single piece of patterned fabric I had lurking and quilted it along the segment lines.

Again I used the backing as the binding although this time the edges turned out quite wobbly!!

The 2 placemats that Anna sent me were phenomenal.

The first used my favourite rainbow inspired colours sewn into a hollow hexagon central shape, plus 2 sidebars.

The second was just so fun as she used applique, and some fabulous food fabric to make it look that dinner was served.

Thank you so much Anna - I've really enjoyed this swap xx

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Teeny Tiny Quilt Swap

October has been the month for swaps, so to give each one justice, I'll be writing about them seperately over the next few days.

So I'll start with the
Teeny Tiny Quilt Swap organised on Flickr by Quiltinkimmie.

There was an "anything goes" theme, with the only requirements being that the finished product measure 6" or smaller, be sandwiched and quilted, bound and labelled.

My partner, Ma.rysia, and I decided upon a Halloween theme.

Hers was first to arrive, and was a cute little appliqued Pumpkin, which was embellished with a cobweb in the corner. She also sent a little lavender scented hanging.

Bizzarely, I had also decided upon making a pumpkin!

I made it mostly from pieced squares, which when finished measured 1".

I also pieced the back, this time in a pinwheel pattern.

I quilted it by sewing around the edges of the eyes, nose and mouth, and then some shaped parallel lines on the face.

I finished it by adding a label and a ribbon for hanging.

It was only after finishing the binding it that I realised that I had miscalculated, and it was in fact @ 6.5" square.
Shhh - don't tell anyone in case they don't let me play again!!

Saturday, 31 October 2009

My Crafty Candles

My friend Martina has a little business, My Crafty Candles, which makes personalised candles.

She took the decision to take a stall at a wedding fayre, and wanted a banner for her table. It was to match - if possible - her website.

To start, I searched to find the font used for the lettering so that I could produce templates, but as this was unsuccessful I resorted to photographing the banner enlarged on my laptop screen!!

It worked and I was then able to cut out the letters from some gorgeous felt I'd bought from The Little Felt Shop on Ebay.

I then stitched these on to black fleece so I had the 3 seperate words. I was also lucky to find some embelishments that matched the floral bursts from her website - which I then glued on.

As a backing I used a length of creamy crushed velvet to try to create a light floaty feel but wth still some substance to the banner.

Although at the beginning of the process I was worried how it would turn out, I was pleased with the final result - and more importantly so was Martina.

She had a very successful day at the fayre - but I'm not sure that that was necessarily down to my work!!

Sunday, 11 October 2009

SewConnected3 - August and September

As I'm so behind with blogging - "NO!" I hear you cry - I thought I'd have a dual post for my August and September SC3 blocks.

For August, QuiltDad, gave us the option to make 2 different types of blocks.

The first option was to make either a 12.5" or 6.5" (unfinished) "quarter log-cabin" block. This could be straight or wonky. A Quarter log-cabin, means starting with a square or rectangle, and only building on 2 adjacent sides of that piece (instead of all 4 sides).

The second option was to make a "normal" log-cabin block. The twist was to make it slightly larger than usual - 13" unfinished - and then cut it into quarters to make four equally sized 6.5" blocks. These will be re-arranged and sewn together to make a 12.5" block.

I decided to try one of each kind. Here is the log-cabin uncut

then cut into the 4 quarters

and with the remaining fabric, I made a 12.5" quarter log-cabin

Then for September, OhThatAshley wanted us to make Maverick Stars. Mendocino fabrics was to be used for the stars, and Kona Cotton in aqua for the background. We could make them 12.5” square (unfinished), 6.5” square or even 12.5”x 6.5” rectangle blocks.

In the end I made all 3 sizes!!

The big square

The rectangle

And 2 x small squares

The rectangle was the hardest to make as I had to be extra careful ensuring that I placed the fabric correctly when sewing the points.

I've now started with October's fabrics which is again a double block month.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

DQS7 - Received

I was waiting and waiting for my quilt to arrive, but eventually it did (after about 3 weeks in transit), and my oh my was it worth the wait!

My swap partner turned out to be Jennifer (Quay&Co). We are both members of SewConnected3, and although I did comment on her Flickr picture that I hoped her quilt was for me - I never thought for a second that it would eventually be mine!!

IT'S A RAINBOW QUILT!!! Made from strips of different colours projecting horizontally out from a central black and white vertical strip. It's bound with the same fabric.

The back is made from a spotty fabric that blends in perfectly, finished off with a great label.

It's quilted simply with horizontal lines but it's totally in keeping and effective.

And there was more!!

She also included a gorgeous circular drawstring bag, made from a tasty looking apple fabric, and whose ingenious double lining creates little pockets around it.
There was also some black and white embroidered ric-rac, a length of fabric featuring patches in autumnal designs and colours, and to finish a square tile pendant with 2 different coloured ribbon "chains".

I am so so happy with my quilt and it WILL take pride of place in my craft room once it is organised and sorted - I promise. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Eurovision Quilters Bee - Block 1

September was the staring month for the other Quliting Bee I'm a member of.

Wen_ot (a.k.a. Wendy) was the first to go and as she's from Holland, wanted a Dutchman's Puzzle block.

I took a great big gulp when I saw this as still being a bit of a beginner there seemed a great deal of accuracy needed. I started off on the wrong foot by cutting my first rectangle too small, so from then on everything was measured at least 4 times before my rotary cutter got any where near the fabric!!

In the end it wasn't as bad as I imagined it was going to be and I did feel quite proud of myself.

Due to the error above, I didn't have quite enough fabric left to finish a second block but I did as much as I could and Wendy can add the last sail herself.

As it seemed such a waste to throw away the cut off bits (technical phrase!!), I turned them into half triangle squares and had enough to make a third pinwheel-esque block.

October's fabrics have arrived so you'll have to come back to check them out.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

I'm swimming the English Channel ...

... well not literally, but definately theoretically.

I've needed to get into shape for a good few years now, and when I saw the Aspire Channel Swim, I knew this was an opportunity to good to pass by.

The idea is to swim the distance of the English Channel (22 miles or 35400 metres) over 12 weeks (14th September to 6th December). This is a sponsored swim and all money raised goes to helping people suffering from spinal cord injuries.

My local pool is 25 metres in length so I need to swim 1416 lengths. If I swim 3 times a week, that equates to 40 lengths per visit.

This morning I got my bag packed, and headed off to the pool after I dropped DD off at school. As it has been a while since I've done much more than paddle about in the shallow end, I took it easy and completed 30 lengths in around 40 minutes which I didn't think was bad!

Apart from yawning a fair bit this afternoon, I don't - at present - have any aches and pains. I plan to go again tomorrow and Thursday, so I'll keep you updated weekly as to how I'm progressing.

If you'd like to sponsor me, the link to use is below.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

The Big Day Arrived

Today was the day that my little girl started Primary School.

She left pre-school a whole 10 weeks ago when we moved house - so we both have been climbing the walls a little. There is only so much soft play that a girl can take!!

We bought her shoes (black patent) and got her hair cut last week, and I finishing sewing on the last of her clothes name labels yesterday.

So this morning, after a good breakfast, she got dressed in her new uniform.

We headed off to school for the alloted time and met with the headteacher first. After H showed off writing her name we went round to her classrooom. They staggered everybody's entrances so that the children joined the class one by one, which I assume is no make it less scary for them as well as treating them all as individuals.

She waved us off with a wave and not much of a backward glance.

When I collected her 6 hours later, she presented us with her first artistic creation. She even told me she had eaten some potato for lunch. Not a big deal I hear you all say but she's the only child I know that doesn't really like chips/fries!!

She likes school so much she wants to go back not only tomorrow but every day. Phew. Thank goodness for that.

And as an extra, her older brother starts 6th Form College tomorrow!!

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Doll Quilt Swap 7 (DQS7) Revealed

I was provided with a little info about my secret swap partner for DQS7. But what interested me the most was that she has "a little helper" at home - who loves fairies!!

I picked out my fabrics (the easy part) - but what to do with them?? (the hard part). The deadline was drawing near, and still I hadn't decided on a design until at last my late night blog/Flickr-hopping came to my rescue - and not for the first time!!

I decided upon a Disappearing Nine Patch pattern, and fussy cut the main fabrics. I made the quilt 3 patches wide by 4 long - each patch of the block measured 4" when finished.

I had some scraps left so after sewing them in a long strip, used this down the backing of the quilt, accompanied by strips of 2 butterfly fabrics and the fabric I'd chosen for the binding.

For the quilting I used a mix of straight-line in the ditch and a wavy-line.

Lastly I made a little written label using of all things the Laundry Pen I bought to write DD's name on her school uniform!!

I had 4 blocks left over and what do you need to accompany a doll's quilt? A pillow of course!!

It is now heading west and I hope the little lady it's for loves it.

Please forgive the pictures - I decided to be all arty and photograph it on my washing line - but it was almost a Force 10 in the garden!!

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Scrappy Christmas Blocks

Remember how in this post, I mentioned the Scrappy Christmas Quilt Block Swap? Well I finished my blocks and they have been posted off to my 3 swap partners in the good US of A.

For the centres I used little squares that featured Christmas fairies.

For the logs, I used the same 7 fabrics throughout. A star pattern with 3 different coloured backgrounds - white, red or green, 2 plains - red or green, and 2 with a tiny gold spot on either a red or a green background.

I placed fabrics in alternating rings of colour - which started in the middle with either the red or the green. The white star fabric was used in every round and which travelled around the block in a spiral.

I hope that my partners like them. I'm either going to use the blocks I receive to make a table runner, or maybe a tree skirt.