Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Stitching and catching up.

I'm finally starting to catch up, much to my relief, I'm still behind with some things but that's just the way it is and it will all get done sooner or later.  Before I tell you all about my wonderful weekend away want to see my design wall?



Not much has changed with Postcards, at least not on this pic, I have stitched the second row though and half of the third so a little progress.


These are my bee blocks for Paige who blogs at Quilted Blooms, Paige is making what she describes as a Teenage I Spy quilt.  I am a little late with these blocks they were due last month, we have two queens on two of the months in the year so we get finished well before Christmas.   I have very little in patterned fabrics, that is I love tone on tone and solids but when I buy patterned I never seem to know what to do with it, but I found these fabrics lurking in a box which seemed to fit the bill.  You can find the sizes and tutorial on our blog Bee Inspired.


This is my second bee block, Starry Night for Emily at The Darling Dogwood who is queen for April which is me bang up to date.  I met my nemesis, the most dreaded paper piecing, I did say I wanted to get to grips with it this year and this was my introduction.  Emily wanted it either blue with red or red with blue on a white background.  It took me ages, my own fault most of it, I just kept making mistakes, I would add the next piece and then stitch on the wrong line not realising until I had trimmed it therefor wasting the fabric, honestly, it drove me round the bend.  Finally I got the pieces stitched and then I had to stitch them together, that was another story, could I get the joins lined up properly?  Some seemed to go in no bother, I did remove the seam allowance paper and that did help though.  The final seam was the worst, I had it in and out several times it just wouldn't line up, finally I took another seam partly out and redid it and that did the trick, finished at last.  You can find the Bee Inspired post here which has the link to the free pattern too,

Guess what this is


Any idea?  No?   Its freezer paper and there are 48 of them,  they are the backing pieces for the signature panel for the second wedding quilt, I showed you the block last time.


This is it along with the two bonus triangles.  The middle bit is 4 1/2 inches wide, I will have to cut the ends of the paper though.  All the blocks are made and all I need to do is iron the freezer paper to the back and add some tape to the front so guests don't sign in the seam allowance, I did this for the first signature blocks and it worked like a charm, no one wrote in the seam allowance.  I still haven't decided what to do with the bonus triangles yet though.

Want to see my embroidery?


I finished my small piece.  It was supposed to have a spider suspended from a thread but I don't like spiders, I mean I really don't like spiders, I couldn't have one on my work so I made a ladybird instead.  The wings are made separately using wire and stitched in place at the end, stump work, the rest is surface embroidery.


This is the big piece I am working on which I progressed somewhat.


This is the bit I progressed, I did the green closed fly stitch leaves and the stem stitch vein with the seed stitch in the middle.

We only had an evening, a full day, and a morning to stitch but we had a little time off in the afternoon so my friend and I went into the small (as in tiny) town as always and of course I had to visit one of my favourite shoe shops where I found,


these beauties, are they not lovely?  I do so love them.

That's all my work since I last posted.  I've been thinking of what to so next as I have three quilts on the go not including any UFOs.  I also have some secret sewing to do, although you won't see that for a while yet, and I'm still in the planning stage.  I decided to get on with Postcards, at least I intend to finish the first four rows and get them stitched together, then I want to do the front of the first wedding quilt which I think will be fairly quick to put together.  I will need my design wall which is why I will finish the first quarter of Postcards first.  I do wish my design wall was a little bigger but at least I have one now so I won't complain.

I'm not sure how much sewing I will get done in the next week, I have all the last minute stuff to do before 'the wedding'.  However, I will endeavour to be back next week to bore you rigid with my ramblings.

Until then,
With smiles from,
Kate x

Linking up with:
Midweek Makers


Thursday, 12 April 2018

Postcards and Signatures

It's been a while, I suppose you expect me to have an amazing amount of stitching to show you?   Wrong!  Well, I have done some stitching recently but I just needed a break, you know?  I seem to go on overload now and again, usually when I've had a lot going on, but I'm getting back to normal now.  Want to know what I have been doing?

Postcards, from Sweden to be exact.


Sorry for the dreadful pic, I'm in the process of doing something about those.  I finished cutting all the triangles and started stitching them together.  The first row is all done and stitched, the second has half the blocks trimmed and pressed and the other half waiting to be trimmed, in the third row most are stitched none are trimmed.  I'm hoping to get back to it in a few days but I have had other priorities.

My goal for April, if I had linked up to One Monthly Goal which I didn't and no I didn't link at the end of March either as I was in my shut down mode, was to make the signature blocks for Chris and Sarah's wedding quit which will be a panel on the back.  Sarah is very excited about this, she has a degree in fine art and I encouraged her to design her quit herself giving her guidelines, here is what she came up with for the back.


The quilt will be 80 inches wide by 64 inches deep to lie across their kingsize bed with a centre panel of 48 signature blocks.


First I cut the 48 blocks, 8 1/2 inches square in Kona silver and 96 5 1/4 inch squares in sixteen different Kona colours which Sarah had chosen previously, there are another three greys but we decided to use only the brights for the signature panel.


I added stitch and flip triangles to opposite corners of each block and then stitched an extra line half an inch away to harvest the bonus half square triangles.  Next I pressed them all to set the seams.


Before flipping them open and pressing them.


Next I have to open them all up and cut off the bonus HST's.


This is what I will end up with, 48 blocks and 96 bonus HST's which measure at 4 1/4 inches before they are trimmed.  Only thing is so far I have only sat this one so guess what I will be doing next?  What to do with the bonus HST's?  Haven't decided yet.  Can't wait to start on the front.

Sewing wise that's all I have been up to.  I have read five books though, I also got a dress and jacket for the wedding (I'm going to use the fascinator shoes and bag I bought for Tina's wedding in February) but I haven't got a pic as yet.  Oh and a couple of days ago I bought,


the new camera I wanted.  I was fed up of luging a big camera and lenses around, too heavy, plus it's quite old now and I have had a couple of issues too.  I have been using my tablet and my phone but they have serious limitations.   I decided to invest in a small camera that will slip into my bag, it had to have a large sensor and a decent lens and be able to take nice pics in low light.  After taking advice from my nephew who is knowledgable about cameras I decided on this Sony DSC-RX100.  This is the original camera in the range, there is also a mark two, three, four, and now five each having more and more extra features, but most of them I don't want or need, apart from a viewfinder which I would have loved but the shop only had the mark 3 and four both of which have viewfinders but the three would have almost doubled the price so I did without.  I haven't had a play with it yet but when I do I'll tell you what I think.

The only other thing I have been up to was the Hen Party!  Oh yes, and a good time was had by all.  I won't bore you with all the details but I will show you a pic


of the bride, Sarah, my future daughter in law and myself.  No we were not in jail, and I had all my clothes on under the orange coverall which is why I look huge.


My daughter and granddaughter were there too, my granddaughter is an adult by the way, she just looks quite young on the pic.

That's all my news, except I am going to Higham Hall for an embroidery weekend tomorrow, oh I'm so excited to be going, especially after the disappointment of the last time when it was cancelled for snow.

I'll tell you all about it next time, and hopefully I will have made my bee blocks too, but until then,
With smiles from
Kate x

Linking up with
Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?


Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Modern Plus Sign Quilts Book Blog Hop - Celestial Stars

The wait is over and I would like to congratulate Cheryl @Meadowmist Designs and Paige @Quilted Blooms on the long awaited publication of their most wonderful book, Modern Plus Sign Quilts.

The book has something for everyone, beginners to advanced, pieced, appliqué, paper piecing, it's all here, with clear directions diagrams and tips, you will love this book.


When I was given a choice of quilts I knew which one to make, the quilt which shines out on the front cover.  Here is the official version

Designed and pieced by Cheryl Brickey and quilted by Johellen George.  Photo C&T Publications

Without any further ado, may I present to you my version of Celestial Stars.


Here it is in all it's glory, hanging on the washing line in my parents garden.   Mine is a nine block version of the original and finishes at 72 inches square, a lovely size for the top of a bed or as a generous lap quilt.


I used some of my favourite fabrics from Alison Glass Sunprints 2017 and 2018 and Diving Board 2017 ranges, the background is 2800 Spraytime, The Henley Studio, Makower UK, a dark blue with black like the night sky to let the bright colours shine out.  The top went together surprisingly fast, here it is in construction and during the job I most dread, layering the quilt.  It took a lot of pins is all I'm going to say, and I'm not sure if my knees have recovered yet.

Want to see the back?


Yes my parents garden again.  Of course I should have used a fabric to hide my quilting stitches but instead I went for a Kermit the frog look.


I must admit though I do like the contrast.


This is a good pic for showing the texture, a loose meander on the background in navy blue.  The plus signs took a lot of thinking about as I'm not known for my quilting skills but rather than resort to my waking foot I decided to try something completely new to me.  Wonky spirals in a thread called Josephs Coat, King Tut by Superior Threads.  It has a completely different look on different colour fabrics.


As you can see these are completely different from the normal spirals, they would be boring, so I made them all different sizes from tiny to large and everything in between.  Wonky spirals are rarely circular, that would be a mistake, mine range from being slightly off circle to egg shaped.    Forget about stitching being a uniform width too, the quilting lines range from wide to touching, and have you noticed the unique feature which sets them apart?  An elephants trunk in the centre, no points here!  Be careful mind, if you stand back too far and squint your eyes up they look just like the normal ones.


Oh yes, if you want to try a new quilting stitch and get it spectacularly wrong the best time is on a special quilt and showing it on a special post, nothing new there then.

Ok, you have now seen the warts and all pics, want to see the posed ones?


The rocking chair lifestyle pic..........


and the thrown down on the chair while I go get a coffee (or a glass of wine depending on the time) pic.


The draped across the back of the sofa pic, only as it is normally against the wall this surely won't ever happen, I'd end up sitting a foot from the tv.


That's better, that's where the sofa goes, although the navy doesn't go with the brown and it still doesn't disguise how the seat goes down at one side either (that's where I sit when watching tv, shhh).  On the other hand with my four legged girls who have been known to 'taste' the odd quilt it won't be staying there either.


Then there is the draped down the stair look but I'm rubbish at arranging folds to make it look artistic.


How is this for a posed shot, I took these at the business centre where my husband works, on a Sunday when no one was there of course, want another view?


Better stop now, I can see your eyes starting to glaze over so I'll quit while I'm ahead, I think........

There are sixteen patterns in the book and it's one of those rare books where I want to make several.  If you have been following the hop you will already seen how versatile the quilt patterns are too, I've picked up more than a couple of ideas.

Signed copies are available to purchase at:

Meadow Mist Design Etsy Shop
Quilted Blooms Etsy Shop

There again you can always pick one up at your local quilt shop or online quilt shop or book store, I'm sure you have your favourites.

Don't forget to visit Cheryl and Paige for a chance to win a prize.

Here is the full list of participants in the hop, in case you missed any and please visit the rest of todays quilts and tomorrows too.  I've had a sneak peak at one and it is so lovely, I'm saying no more.

Tuesday, March 13th

Soma @ Whims and Fancies
Ann @ Brown Paws Quilting
Kitty @ Night Quilter
Sophie @ Luna Lovequilts
Afton @ Quilting Mod
Shelley @ The Carpenters Daughter Who Quilts

Wednesday, March 14th

Jayne @ Twiggy and Opal
Jen @ A Dream and a Stitch
Abigail @ Cut & Alter
Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl
Sandra @ mmm! quilts
Karen @ Run Sew Fun

Thursday, March 15th

Linda @ Flourishing Palms
Bernie @ Needle and Foot
Liz @ Savor Every Stitch
Stacey @ Stacey In Stitches
Michelle @ From Bolt to Beauty
Patty @ Elm Street Quilts
Melanie @ A Bit of Scrap Stuff Blog

Friday, March 16th

Myra @ Busy Hands Quilts
Izzy @ Dizzy Quilts
Ruth @ Charly and Ben's Crafty Corner
Christa @ Christa Quilts

Monday, March 19th

Jessica @ Quilty Habit
Cindy @ Hyacinth Quilt Designs
Jennifer @ The Inquiring Quilter
Julie @ The Crafty Quilter

Tuesday, March 20th

Tish @ Tish N Wonderland
Judy @ Sew Some Sunshine
Emily @ The Darling Dogwood
Wanda @ Wanda's Life Sampler
Karen @ Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats
Katherine @ Sew Me Something Good

Wednesday, March 21st

Anja @ Anja Quilts
Kate @ Smiles from Kate  This is me!
Sue @ Seven Oak Street Quilts
Carole @ From my Carolina Home
Alison @ Little Bunny Quilts

Thursday, March 22nd

Debbie @ Esch House Quilts
Laura @ Slice of Pi Quilts
Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts
Janice @ Color Creating and Quilting
Joanne @ Quilts by Joanne

Friday, March 23rd

Cheryl @ Meadow Mist Designs
Paige @ Quilted Blooms

If you are still here normal service will be resumed next week, if I don't get lost in London at my soon to be daughter-in-law's hen party that is......

Until then
With smiles from
Kate x







Friday, 16 March 2018

I'm a bit behind........

It's not my fault, I can't help it, story of my life this year I'm afraid.  So, what am I behind with?   Well for starters this post should have been published on Wednesday morning but here I am just starting it on Thursday evening.  And continuing on Friday afternoon!

So, stop, deep breath, how has the week gone..........

Good news is I finished my secret sewing for the book hop, have you been following it?  So many wonderful unique versions of the quilts, and some have put such a spin on the original patterns too.  I will add all the links at the end, if you haven't been following please do, and there are great giveaways.  Bad news is my day isn't until next Wednesday, so I can't show you anything,  AND I had a bit of trouble with my pics too.

That brings me to a decision, I have a very old DSLR camera, only I'm having trouble with it and I'm fed up with making do with my tablet and phone, so, I was given some money from my mother a few months ago to buy myself something nice, something I really want.   I haven't spent it yet though, I'm not into jewellery much, I have the sewing machine I want and all the equipment I need.  I have just about decided to spend it on a new camera, a compact that can slip into my bag and is light to carry around, unlike the heavy DSLR and the lenses that go with it, that's where you come in.  I have been researching and have been leaning towards a Panasonic or Sony, but some of them seem to have so many features I don't want or need, they just complicate using them.  I chose Panasonic and Sony  because they have god lenses, and great reviews.  The feature I really want is a larger sensor for good quality shots, can you recommend any?

I did get a little quilting done, well, not stitching as such, cutting actually.


Postcards from Sweden.  I'm now 'almost' caught up to the two weeks ago point when we were to have had all our fabrics cut.  I'm linking up to MMM Quilts at the halfway point, think I can catch up?


These are the only fabrics I have left to do, and two of them have just arrived as I had ordered one wrong and one missing.  If I had a brain I would be dangerous, it's frazzled.


This is the nice bit, all that leftover fabric to play with, when I'm caught up that is, I dare not start anything new until I have at least two more finishes.

I would like to make a cushion, about 16 inches square for my Dad.  Dad raced pigeons almost all his life from being just fourteen and was very successful at a local level but alas due to health problems he can no longer continue, although he still follows the racing and gets his pigeon magazine every week.



I found this pic on the internet, it would make a lovely cushion but I've never made a quilt from a photo before, I could just print it on fabric but I would love to do it either pieced or appliqué, anyone got any suggestions?


Oh almost forgot the hop


I promised the links, here they are again


Monday, March 12th
Cheryl @ Meadow Mist Designs
Paige @ Quilted Blooms

Tuesday, March 13th
Soma @ Whims and Fancies
Ann @ Brown Paws Quilting
Kitty @ Night Quilter
Sophie @ Luna Lovequilts
Afton @ Quilting Mod
Shelley @ The Carpenters Daughter Who Quilts

Wednesday, March 14th
Jayne @ Twiggy and Opal
Jen @ A Dream and a Stitch
Abigail @ Cut & Alter
Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl
Sandra @ mmm! quilts
Karen @ Run Sew Fun



Thursday, March 15th
Linda @ Flourishing Palms
Bernie @ Needle and Foot
Liz @ Savor Every Stitch
Stacey @ Stacey In Stitches
Michelle @ From Bolt to Beauty
Patty @ Elm Street Quilts
Melanie @ A Bit of Scrap Stuff Blog

Friday, March 16th

Myra @ Busy Hands Quilts
Izzy @ Dizzy Quilts
Ruth @ Charly and Ben's Crafty Corner
Christa @ Christa Quilts

Monday, March 19th

Jessica @ Quilty Habit
Cindy @ Hyacinth Quilt Designs
Jennifer @ The Inquiring Quilter
Julie @ The Crafty Quilter

Tuesday, March 20th
Tish @ Tish N Wonderland
Judy @ Sew Some Sunshine
Emily @ The Darling Dogwood
Wanda @ Wanda's Life Sampler
Karen @ Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats
Katherine @ Sew Me Something Good

Wednesday, March 21st

Anja @ Anja Quilts
Kate @ Smiles from Kate
Sue @ Sevenoaks Street Quilts
Carole @ From My Carolina Home
Alison @ Little Bunny Quilts

Thursday, March 22nd
Debbie @ Esch House Quilts
Laura @ Slice of Pi Quilts
Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts
Janice @ Color Creating and Quilting
Joanne @ Quilts by Joanne

Friday, March 23rd

Cheryl @ Meadow Mist Designs
Paige @ Quilted Blooms


Please remember to come back on Wednesday to see my secret sewing revealed, I will definitely be posting on time next week, so until then,

With smiles from,
Kate x






Thursday, 8 March 2018

Bit Of This, Bit Of That.......

Lots been happening in the last week........not!  The bad news is the heavy snow prevented me from going to the embroidery weekend, but the good news is the west side of the country became affected too and the course was cancelled with full refunds!!! Oh yes, I was doing my happy dance at the refund.  Guess what happened after that?  I came down with a virus, aches, pains, headache, if the weekend had been on no way would I have been able to attend.  I spent four days cuddled up on the sofa feeling sorry for myself.  The good news is Higham Hall have put on another weekend in April and gave us first option for places, Yipeeeeeee!!!!!  Especially as I am able to go that particular weekend.

I haven't been up to doing much sewing but I did make bee blocks for Jennifer @Inquiring Quilter who is joint queen at Bee Inspired this month.


Shamrock blocks four of them as they are so small.

Last year Jennifer requested a block she designed herself


I made this one in three shades of green and white, Jennifer is calling her block Irish Eyes.


This is Jenifer's design.  You can find out more about it and the tutorial for the shamrock border block on this Bee Inspired post.

I also wanted to show you

A memory cushion I made for my Niece Claire a couple of weeks ago.  Claire's grandad died not so long ago, she had a shirt of his and asked me if I could make this cushion which incorporates the pocket and shirt front, the shirt was just wide enough.


Can you see the pocket?  It almost disappears into the pattern.

It had obviously been a favourite, the fabric was very soft from wear, so I layered the top with a cotton batting and a white calico.


 I stitched the two fronts together, I left the buttons on of course but the 'shirt front' doesn't open any more.  I quilted it with simple lines using my walking foot and following the check pattern, it it doesn't appear quite straight it's because the fabric was slightly distorted with use.


  I didn't quilt the pocket of course, you can see it better here.


I made a simple envelope back using the back of the shirt, I didn't use wadding on the back but I did add a fabric backing to the fabric as it was so soft and well worn.  I added some widely spaced stitching to support the fabric, you can hardly see them here.  The check doesn't quite match on the pic, although it does without the cushion pad.


I finished it off by stitching around the edge, it gives it a nice finish I think and it stops the edge from turning and showing the back, handy if the back is a different fabric or colour.


I hope Claire likes it.


Now, you may well have read this already but I have to tell you, or remind you,


that the Modern Plus Sign Book Hop starts this coming Monday 12th March.  This is going to be so exciting, and like all good book launch hops there are lot's of giveaways too so don't miss it.

This hop is even more important to me, Paige Alexander from Quilted Blooms was the first new blogger I met when I started blogging two years ago, and Cheryl was one of my mentors in the New Quilt Bloggers in 2016.  They are both lovely warm and generous people who are wonderful quilters and contribute much to the quilting and blogging world.

Here is the schedule so you don't miss anything

Monday, March 12th
Paige @ Quilted Blooms

Tuesday, March 13th
Kitty @ Night Quilter
Sophie @ Luna Lovequilts
Afton @ Quilting Mod

Wednesday, March 14th
Jayne @ Twiggy and Opal
Abigail @ Cut & Alter
Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl
Sandra @ mmm! quilts
Karen @ Run Sew Fun

Thursday, March 15th
Bernie @ Needle and Foot
Michelle @ From Bolt to Beauty


Friday, March 16th
Izzy @ Dizzy Quilts
Christa @ Christa Quilts

Monday, March 19th
Jessica @ Quilty Habit

Tuesday, March 20th
Katherine @ Sew Me Something Good

Wednesday, March 21st
Anja @ Anja Quilts

Thursday, March 22nd
Joanne @ Quilts by Joanne

Friday, March 23rd
Paige @ Quilted Blooms

Now, if you read down the list you might notice ME, yes that's right!  I have made one of the quilts from the book for the hop, my secret sewing, oh I'm so excited about this, I can't wait to show you my lovely quilt, I will of course!

There are over forty quilt bloggers taking part and two quilts from the book will be featured every day, so you will see lot's of different versions.

That's all for today, as I said at the start I've been poorly and just wasn't up to sewing or much of anything else really, I am so behind in my blog reading, just after I had got caught up too.

So, let's chat again next week by which time I hope I will have done some more sewing and ave something to show you, fingers crossed.

Until next time,
With smiles from,
Kate x

Linking up with:
Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?
Crazy Mom Quilts
Finished Or Not Friday