Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Psychedelic quilting

Last week I went to theCountry Roads’ Quilters Group. I made contact through Flickr with one of the organisers, so last Tuesday I headed 30 miles eastwards to the flatlands of Lincolnshire. The group is held at one of the member’s (T) home, which is very much off the beaten track. The ladies there made me feel really welcome and I had a great day. I went with no pre-conceptions and I didn’t really know what I was going to. It was a bit of an adventure! I also felt as if I had been to Holland for the day as I went past two windmills, over a couple of canals and along roads that were plumb line straight. It definitely felt as if I was on holiday!
There were many talented quilters at the Country Roads group so I made sure that they knew that I was a newbie to P&Q. The upshot of this approach was that myself and another woman (K) were encouraged to try the Fat Quarter Frenzy pattern. T then proceeded to pull out boxes of fabric and encouraged K and myself to help ourselves to some fabric samples. I was quite overwhelmed with T’s kindness. 

Spurred on by the eclectic choice of fabric, I decided that I would try colour combinations that I wouldn't normally go for, as it was a day for getting out of my comfort zone.

Feeling the vibe
This is what I have made....I have been having a little fun with some psychedelic fabrics. 

I've got that 70's feeling! 
I think that this is definitely Flower Power 1970’s. It doesn’t go with anything in my home but it is certainly a splash of colour. It could well end up as a quilt for using in the garden or on the beach.

I now need to think how to quilt it. I would really like to do a stippling on it but I think that I will need to practice first. I will probably retreat to straight line quilting as it is easier. There is meant to be a border but I think that it would detract from the craziness of the colours. What do you think I should do? Let me know.
Di xo

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Catching up with blocks

This past week has been really busy. I have had a lot of non-quilting things happening and have also been to two quilting classes and a quilting group. 

My weekly Thursday morning group meets at a local quilting shop (LQS). There are six of us, but we are rather cramped for room. It is really difficult to cut out using a rotary cutter and ruler as space on the table is limited. This also means that all sewing is done by hand. I really enjoy my group and we have a lot of fun, but because of space I tend to cut out at home so end up doing no sewing in class. I don't mind sewing by hand but far prefer using my machine as it is faster and I just like using my machine! I have been running behind due to half term and life just being busy - I'm 4 blocks behind.  It is getting unmanageable, so I declared today a 'Sewing Day' to my family. I have managed to complete two blocks.
54/40 Height
The first block is called 54/40 Height and this went together pretty quickly. The second block  has taken me nearly three hours and it still isn't perfect but I am ready to throw the towel in as it has been a real tussle to get it together. It is called Pigeon Toes but I think it should be called Pie Eyed!
Pigeon Toes
I knew that the Pigeon Toes would be a 'beast' so before I started it I put a couple of blocks together for my monthly Friday group. This group is machine sewing and is much more my thing. Last Friday when we met, no one could find the key of the Youth Centre where we meet. To cut a long story short we ended up at the LQS, but there were 12 of us crowded in! We cut out for two blocks and at lunchtime called it a day as there was no where to set up our machines. Our poor teacher was really apologetic but it was not really her fault. So today I put these blocks together.
Half Square Triangles block

Quarter square triangles block

I really like using the machine as we are learning how to do HST by sewing diagonally across two squares and then cutting. Similarly, we are doing quarter square triangles using the same technique. It is more my thing as it is relatively quick and we use short cuts! I have now got another two blocks cut and some piecing done on them. 

All in all, the pressure is lifting. I have two outstanding blocks to make for my Thursday group but they will have to wait til Tuesday. 

The light has gone, it is getting colder and now it is time for tea by the fire.
Di xo

Monday, 20 February 2012

Half term hols

I have had a lovely time away seeing my parents and my brother’s family. My boys particularly enjoyed spending time with their cousins. My niece passed her driving test in December, so she drove my boys and her brother out to Wilfs at for lunch.  My SIL and myself went separately. It was kind of scary seeing our children go off together. I guess we Mums still think of them as our children and not as young adults. 

As a consequence of not having time to sew I have no new project to show, so instead, I thought that I would show you some of the blocks I have made at my patchwork class. Inspired by this book Material Obsession Two 

I decided to use dotty fabric as a neutral. This is kind of an experiment and definitely out of my comfort zone. I was thinking that if the quilt goes well (don’t look too closely at the last block!)  I might make it bigger, and give it to my parents for their Golden Wedding anniversary in September. I think that it will depend upon how it goes. 

I really enjoy going to my P&Q class. It boosts my morale as I am the youngest (at 47yrs!) and the ladies are so nice. We always have great fun and laugh an awful lot. Most sewing tends to go on outside class as time does tend to evaporate. I am woefully behind, as I missed last week’s class, and haven’t done my homework from the week before. I think that I will be in trouble.
My husband had to work half-term so he couldn’t go away with us, but he did prime the boys to give me his Valentines Card and buy flowers for me on the day. I think that they did pretty well as spring flowers are my favourite.

Well that is a précis of my non-sewing week. Fun was had, but we are now back into the normal routine of school / work / etc.
Di xo

Monday, 13 February 2012

Silent stitch-ing

Apparently my blog post title about quiet stitching along with the mouthy quilters breached a trademark. In an effort to change the title I wiped my post! C'est la vie! so now I have an altered post title and no post. Grrr. Di do

Ruby Ruby Ruby AGAIN

Hello everyone.

I am feeling a little exasperated. Blogger has just deleted my new post, as well as my post from Friday. Hence this post being AGAIN.

I wanted a permanent record of my Ruby Cushions so I am going to show them AGAIN....

I really like the Ruby line from Kate Spain. It is in some of my favourite colours - dark pink, green and grey. For some time now, I have really been wanting to make this cushion by Katy at I'm a Ginger Monkey blog . The instructions are in Fat Quarterly here.

So with a charm pack and a couple of fat quarters I made this cushion.
First of all I got cutting...

 Then I got sewing...

Until I finally ended up with this cushion.
I am so pleased with how it has turned out. I quilted a 1/4 inch either side of the seams and I really like the effect. The back is just a simple envelope construction.

Spurred on from my success I decided to make a couple of dresden plate cushions out of the remainder of the charm pack and fat quarters. 
The results are these...

I am pretty pleased with these too. I did a little hand quilting around the plates and inner border.

The back is again, just a simple envelope construction.
A trio of Rubys

So that is my Ruby Ruby Ruby Ruby post a second time around!

I hope Blogger is behaving better for you than for me! Di xo

Monday, 6 February 2012

Hello and welcome.

I have been mulling over for some time now about whether I should start a blog. I get such enjoyment from reading other peoples' blogs that chronicle their sewing and quilting projects, that I want to be part of the blogging community too.

I discovered the quilting blogging world by 'Googling' information to help me start some simple patchwork projects. This led to me 'lurking' before I discovered how Blogger worked. I look forward to each new post and it is fun to comment on people's makes. This though, has increasingly been making me feel as if this is a one way relationship. I now feel that my sewing is getting better and I can now share my sewing without feeling embarrassed!

My passion for sewing and quilting was re-ignited just under a year ago due to having more free time and being almost housebound during a couple of snowy weeks when it was difficult to get out of the village. I am now well and truly bitten by the quilting bug.

I look back on my first few makes with a benevolent smile. Some were pretty shabby but some were ok. I started by making bags...lots of bags that were in constant use last summer.

More importantly, I can look back at those early makes and know that I have improved. This is the second reason as to why I want to blog - I want a record of my sewing progress.

Last September I joined in with Sarah from  FairyFace Designs and Jennifer from Ellison Lane Quilts  for the 'Across the Sea' Quilt-along. I was captivated by the idea of making the same project with others, even though we never actually meet in person.
Front of Across the Seas Quilt
Back of Across the Seas Quilt
Detail of some wonky quilting!

 So please join me on my sewing journey...