Saturday, 28 July 2012

BQS - Part 2 & holidays

I am definitely not a last minute person, so I have been beavering away at my Brit Quilt Swap item. I don't want to have to rush this one as it is being made for someone else. I have spied out my partner's likes and dislikes and came up with the idea of 'Bubbles'. I think that my partner has a few circular patterns in her inspiration board and I have just learnt how to do portholes at the FQ retreat. This has inspired me to come up with this mini quilt. My partner likes bright, modern colours, so I hope that she will like 'Bubbles'.

So without further ado here is the photo shoot!

Bubbles mini quilt
Bubbles mini quilt
I then thought that I would try my hand at printing a quilt label.

So finally this is how the reverse side of the quilt looks.

I hope that my partner likes it. I have really enjoyed the making process as I have tried out methods that I have never done before. I am not naturally 'arty' so my comfort zone has been pushed in this swap.
The details
Size: 19 1/2 x 17 1/2 approx
Construction: Linen background with appliqué porthole and circles.

My frantic holiday season starts this weekend. We The men are camping for a week at Newark Showground as they are all on team at New Wine. I am allergic to loathe camping so I will be B&Bing at home and travelling to and from Newark every day. I am also going to have a housemate, as one of my elder son's friends who is also allergic not fond of  camping, is coming for B&B too.  I may be a wimp but I have done the 'camping thing' and for me, it is endurance. This way I am a happy bunny all week! We are then home for 24hrs before we (minus elder son) head north to Cumbria for a week and a much needed holiday. I am staying a second week in order to transport sons around the countryside/train stations and more importantly see my parents,family and hopefully some bloggy friends too. The upshot is that I will not be in regular blogging contact but hopefully I will be able to read what you are doing!

I hope that the sun is still shining where you are. 
Di xo

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Frame purse swap arrival

Look what my postman delivered today... I was very excited as I opened the package. It had a German postmark on the parcel... I was trying to remember who was in the swap and lived in Germany... Can you think which purse might have arrived here?...OK I will show you...

Frame purse swap arrival
Can you see the detail... tiny triangles and some beautiful hand embroidery. I am so thrilled. My partner, Kris, has made me a purse in my favourite colours. It is perfect.
I will show you the back too as it is as exquisite as the front and it has my name on it!
Frame purse swap arrival
It is so beautiful.
Kris has even made me an 'extra' of a small matching key fob.
Frame purse swap - key fob
I am so thrilled and a big' thank you' to Kris for spending so much time and effort in making me such a beautiful purse and key fob. THANK YOU. I love it.

Di xo

Monday, 23 July 2012

Giving and receiving

I don't have too much sewing to show you, as I have been away with my husband for a couple of nights, whilst our boys are on the County Youth Wind Orchestra tour to Austria. What I do have to show is my giveaway win from Jan at Isisjem. I am not known for my winning abilities (I know statistics come into it but I still don't normally win) however look what was waiting for me when I returned home on Saturday evening.

This gorgeous purse is brimming full of lovely scraps. I always think that other people's scraps are better than mine so I was delighted to receive them. The pinny is just lovely too as I don't think that you can ever have too many. Thanks Jan for such a lovely package.

This week is also posting week for the Frame Purse swap. I am well prepared and have my purse already wrapped and ready to send. But where is is going to.... watch this space!
I have all the windows open as the sun is shining brightly and it is hot. I am going to spend the afternoon sewing my BQS3 quilt as I know that time will be tight in August. The boys return tomorrow and then my time for sewing will vanish!
Enjoy the sun if it is shining where you are.
Di xo

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

BQS 3 - A start...

I entered the Brit Quilt Swap Round 3 a little while ago. The details are to make a mini quilt, no bigger than 24" square. I have been thinking what to make for my partner, looking at her blog site, checking her Flickr photos and generally playing with options. Pretty early on I decided that my partner liked bright colours but in my little stash I really didn't have too much that fitted the bill. I therefore placed an order with Backstitch. Alice was very helpful in matching one of the klona bundles with a lucky rainbow bundle.

These are the gorgeous fabrics that dropped through my letterbox.
Fabric from Backstitch
I wanted to use a skill that I had acquired at the FQ Retreat and so I have decided to make a porthole the central feature of my mini quilt.
A porthole
I am now deciding on the next stage of my design... watch this space!

Di xo

Saturday, 14 July 2012

A friend comes visiting...

Today Tanya (Second Chance Tan) came over to see me. We have spent a lovely day just chatting and sharing what we have made recently. I was showing Tanya the framed purses that I had made for the Framed Purse Swap and was saying that it wasn't that difficult. Trudi had helped me conquer my glue fears when we last met up as she showed me the process of putting one of these purses together.

So this afternoon Tanya and myself set too and we have made twins!

We were both very pleased with ourselves and I am sure that we will both be picking the glue off the frames tonight. 

I also put a label in mine. I am still pondering as to what kind of labels I would like for my projects, but for the time being, these will do just fine.

All in all it has been a fun and crafty day!
Di xo

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

A New Project

Today I am starting a new project. I always try and do one at a time as I don't like half finished sewing hanging around. This is not to say that there aren't two projects half finished! After doing a couple of smaller projects recently, I  have been wanting to break into my Trade Winds jelly roll and FQs to make a bright and vibrant quilt. So this is what I have been doing...

I am roughly following this pattern but I am also doing my own thing. I have no idea how big it will be but I am going to just keep going making blocks until the jelly roll is all used up. As the sun won't shine I have resulted to using this fabric to keep me mindful that it is summer!
Bright blocks
Just to keep you updated on the "Let's get Acquainted'" blog hop it continues over at the following blogs
July 10
    Jenelle from Echinops and Aster
    Julie from Bedsheet in the Kitchen

July 12
    Rebecca from Sew Festive Handmade
    Marti from 52 Quilts in 52 Weeks

                                         Di xo

Saturday, 7 July 2012

In The Frame Purse Swap

I am in the Frame Purse Swap that has been organised by Nicky and Helen. I entered this swap after returning from the FQ Retreat on a high and with a little egging on by Nicky (she is very mischievous). Once I had entered, I then panicked! I really had no idea as to how to make a frame purse and I didn't know where to start. I am really fortunate that I live within 40 minutes of Trudi, and so when we met up 10 days ago, Trudi took me through the construction process. More importantly she explained the mystery of how to use the glue without spreading it everywhere! This latter point was really important to me as I was beginning to dread getting the glue out! Armed with this knowledge, I put an order into U-Handbag (they have super fast delivery). I have thoroughly stalked my partner but she is a little bit quiet. I have met her at the FQ Retreat, so I thought that I would take a punt on making this purse, using some 1950's retro fabric along with some linen.

The reaction on Flickr was mixed and I did feel a bit deflated. So I have had another go but I have played it safe this time. I am pretty sure that my partner will like the mix of Summerville, Pezzy and linen.

So there it is... swap item completed. I do feel a little stressed about the whole process. I just don't know whether my partner will like it. I am going to make a little something to pop into the purse before it goes into the post at the end of July. I do have two frames left and so I just might get that glue out again and make a couple of Christmas presents.

Of course some people don't learn from their experiences and enter the Brit Quilt Swap Round 3 too. Now that is post for next week.... I am trying to get my ideas together for this one and I do have a germ of an idea!
Di xo

Friday, 6 July 2012

A Hope and Elvis workshop

Time has passed really quickly this week and I still haven't told you about my day out last Saturday. I went up to Worksop to the Harley Foundation Studios where Louise of Hope & Elvis was hosting a workshop by Ted & Agnes & Dottie Angel. The blurb read
'If you have a crafty soul and a granny chic heart, then perhaps you may wish to spend quality time with 2 crafters whose love for handcrafted and secondhand goodness knows no bounds.'

It was a bit of a step into the unknown but it was a really relaxing and crafty day out.
We were challenged to make an pinny from a metre of fabric and to use any of the vintage textiles, trinkets and treasure that were spilling over from old suitcases, baskets and boxes. The couple of hours that we had to do this just went in a flash!
My pinny is below.

I need to get a better photo of it but the rain just prohibits outdoor shots this week! My pinny was pretty plain when compared with the other lovely creations. I think that I just liked my fabric and didn't want to cover too much of it up with doilies, ribbon etc.
After a splendiferous lunch...
We were set a task of making bunting from old antique fabric and other charity shop finds. The ones below were our inspiration.

I'm afraid that I have no good photos of my bunting. I had an idea of stringing it across from tree to tree but I refuse to do this in the rain! The photo below give you an idea of how I used old, redundant textiles and lace to make a string of bunting.
Finally, a photo of the pinny parade! I am in the middle to the right of Mrs Red Shoes! There are some fabulous pinnys in this parade!
It was a fun day out and I didn't use a ruler, cutting mat nor a rotary cutter all day! It is perhaps too 'crafty' for me, but I did learn about pushing the boundaries and not to fuss if things aren't perfect!
Di xo

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

'Let's get Acquainted' Blog Hop...

Plum and June

Hi and welcome to you if you have landed at my blog via the ‘Let’s get Aquainted” Blog Hop. Please feel free to have a look around my blog and leave a message as it is nice to know who has been here!

I have thought a lot about what to share with you once my turn came around on the blog hop. I like it when I can see other peoples' projects so I thought that I would share a game that you can 'play' with your patchwork class or group of friends.
Playing the Game... Scrappy Postage Stamp Cushion Cover
A few weeks ago at my patchwork class we played a game! I wondered whether you would like to know how to play it too? This isn’t a full blown tutorial but it does give instructions on how to make a cushion like this.

At class, we were told to choose 15 different fabric scraps and cut out of each of the fabrics into 4 x 1 1/2” squares. This makes a total of 60 squares.
I really didn’t think that I had enough different scraps but it is amazing what you do have in your scrap box. It was very easy to pull together 15 scraps with enough fabric for the 4 squares.
The fabrics are then divided into two, you keep 2 squares of each fabric (this gives you 30 squares) and put aside the other two squares of each fabric.
At our class we were each given a paper bag. Into our individual bags we put our own 30 squares and put the remaining 2 of each fabric (30 in total) into a basket.
The basket was passed round and we were able to pick out 10 squares of our choice (but not our own fabrics). We continued to pick out squares until they were all taken. 
This process ensures that half of all the squares were not of our own fabric.
All our picked out squares were added to our paper bag. We gave our squares in the paper bag a good shake and turned them over so that they were well mixed up. 
Then we picked out one square at a time and put them in rows of 10 . We were NOT allowed to put any back into the bag unless it identical  to the previous one. The first few out of the bag did look awful together but we were told to keep going. As you can see from the photos the group of fabrics kept changing as we kept adding. It is handy to use a piece of wadding on which to place the squares as this helps them stay in position. As an added precaution I also took a photo of them laid out.

The squares were then pieced together by chain sewing each COLUMN ROW together.
Do NOT cut the chains. Once at the bottom of the row, cut the threads and then chain piece the next column onto to the previous column. The photo below gives you an idea of how this is done.
Now that you have all the columns joined, it is time to sew across the rows. It is far easier to do if you press all the seams one way in the first row and then for the next row, press the seams the opposite way. This ensures that the seams nestle nicely together when you piece the rows together. I secure each join with a pin and then sew right over the pins. I rarely break a needle and it does help stop the fabric from shifting. Again, don't cut the chains as they help align the squares together.

Once done, you have a very pretty piece of patchwork. I then decided to make a cushion cover so I chose a colour that was contained in some of the squares and cut 1 1/4” strips to go all the way round the patchwork. I used lilac which is way out of my comfort zone. I then added 2 1/2” borders in green and layered it up with some calico and wadding.

I then quilted every other row and around both sides of the lilac strip.
To make the back with a zipper closure,  I followed this tutorial by my lovely friend Judith. Again, I used odd fat quarters that toned but didn’t necessarily match.
To finish the cushion I  bound it with 2 1/2” binding, just as if you were making a quilt. I normally sew the binding onto the front of the quilt/cushion and then hand sew it down on the front.

And volia, you have a scrappy postage stamp cushion! 

The secret of this cushion is that it contains two thirds of fabrics that aren’t yours and perhaps you don’t like however it also contains roughly a third of your own fabric choices. The lesson to take away, is that although you may not like a piece of fabric, when it is mixed with ones that you do like, it does blend in. I tried to take this further by deliberately choosing a colour to frame the patchwork that I wouldn't normally pick.
I really enjoyed doing this exercise and learnt a lot about colour and tone. I now also have a cushion that reminds me of my patchwork buddies. 
I hope that you might be tempted to play ‘the game’ and please remember to hop over to visit Jennifer at the Knotted Thread  as we are sharing the blog hop today.

I would also like to let you know that the blog hop continues on Thursday with 

    Sarah from Sarah Lou
    Catherine from Knotted Cotton
Di xo

Sunday, 1 July 2012

June round up

Today I am linking up to the July Small Blog meet hosted by Lily's Quilts. June has been a really busy time and I think that this is reflected in having so few completed sewing projects. I have been to London for the FQ Retreat, Belfast and Cumbria. My time has been taken up in completing the Modern Retro quilt for my niece's 18th birthday.

Below is a mosaic of my completed projects.

This month I have also had the pleasure of meeting up with other bloggers. Firstly in London and then in Belfast, the following week. I have also met up with Trudi this past week and seen her fantastic studio and wonderful quilts. We also had a bit of a practice in making a framed purse. 
Finally, after some planning and plotting the hipBee bee was unveiled! 
We are getting ready to sew for our first queen bee, Reene, in August.

All in all it has been a month of making friendships.
Di xo