Wednesday, 19 July 2017

IT'S CHRISTMAS.........

and my stop on the 12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop hosted by the lovely and very generous Sarah @Confessions of a Fabric Addict.  There are the most wonderful giveaways on this hop (and I'm not talking charm packs), and Sarah is giving instructions for a new quilt, you'll find all the details at the end of the post.

So now, without any further ado (unusual I admit) is my contribution to the hop...........


It's Christmas

and it's partner, the second of the matching pair............


I Believe

We all love cushions (pillows) and they are great for decorating your home at Christmas,  who can have too many cushions?   So I started  doodling and I came up with, 


this design.    I wanted to keep it simple as I'm a simple kind of girl (no, I didn't mean in the head, who said that?), I'm not a designer and I don't have any fancy equipment, just a pad of graph paper and a pencil.


Next I found some large sheets of graph paper so I could draw it out actual size, I bought it years ago for some abandoned project.   Yes it is rather faint, but this paper is expensive and I thought if I did it faintly I could rub it out and reuse it, waste not want not and no I am not mean!   It was a case of making it bigger and working out the template sizes. Only thing was it took a while to get the  snowman right.


So I measured it for length and width,  halved a sheet of A4 sheet of paper down the centre, and drew the shape to the measurements, and it worked.  Then it was just a matter of cutting it out, opening it up and checking it was what I wanted.  It did take a couple of goes to get it right though.  Once I had sorted my snowman all the other elements were much easier.

This is what I did to make my 18 inch cushion.  If you have done this kind of appliqué  you may find some of this a bit basic but I'm going through it all for the benefit of new quilters who may not have done it before.


First I cut my background fabric, I used Galaxy Stars from Makower, I love this fabric, I cut a 19 inch square.  Appliqué can distort the background so I cut it bigger by just half an inch, it doesn't distort it much though so if you are worried about trimming it later just cut it to size.


Next I traced the templates on to the paper side of Heat'n'Bond Lite, I use this one but any other make will do.  Cut the shapes out roughly, don't cut on the line at this point.  Now iron them onto the back of the fabric you are using, paper side up.  I used just whatever fabric I had, I didn't buy any specially because you need such small pieces and you don't need Christmas fabrics, just a fabric that represents a wrapping paper you would use for wrapping your prezzies.  When the fabric has cooled cut the shapes out on the line, peel off the paper backing and it's ready to be ironed onto the background.  It will still need to be machined or hand stitched though or it will come off again.


First I added the snowman, I centred it about 2 inches or so from the bottom and ironed it on.  I didn't  add all the pieces of the snowman at this point because the nose and arms don't adhere as well and I didn't want them to start lifting while I was stitching the body and scarf in place. 

I used a buttonhole stitch about length 2 and width 2.4 to attach the pieces, although I reduced it for the stick arms and carrot nose as they were so much smaller, down to about 1.5 stitch length and 1.6 width, I just did a few stitches and adjusted it accordingly.  The good thing about using buttonhole stitch is I don't need to use a stabiliser, if you prefer a zigzag make sure you use a tear away stabiliser the back.


It doesn't matter which side you put the scarf on, I just made it the opposite side to the hat to balance it more, but I ended up with the long side different on one of them, it really doesn't matter, does it look wrong to you?

I cut different size pieces of paper for the parcels and snowballs trying for size and ended up using 11/2 inch squares and 11/2 inch circles using seven snowballs in I Believe, and seven parcels in It's Christmas, but you can use however many you want.   I just drew around the top of a reel of thread for the circles, the size isn't vital, for the parcels I just cut a larger piece of Heat'n'Bond, ironed it to the back of the fabric, and when it cooled cut it down to size using my rotary cutter.


Then it was just a matter of arranging the parcels or snowballs how I wanted leaving a space of a couple of inches or so at the top and sides and angling the parcels so they looked like they were being juggled.


At this point I decided to add two larger parcels at the bottom for balance which are a bit bigger at 1 3/4 x 2 1/4 and 1 3/4 x 3 1/4  but I know they are a bit different on one as I cut it slightly small, there again I could just say it's a design thing..........   I was going to add snowballs but when I tried them it just looked like it needed a bit more colour.   I used my ruler to line them up at the bottom.


I added the hat so it looked like it had fallen off.  The hat caused me problems, my original one was far too small so I made it bigger, I made it black and it disappeared.  After I tried another couple using different fabrics and I eventually realised it wasn't going to stand out unless I made it bright to show up on the dark background so I matched it to the scarf, duh!

The arms ere trickier, I just ironed them on and hoped for the best, you could place yours a little higher if you want, you may want to cut them a little shorter though so they don't get too near the edge.  I just took my time stitching in and out of the sharp points.

After all the pieces were stitched on it was the fun time, decorating it.


I made the smile with french knots using two strands of stranded cotton, but if you are not happy with that you could just use a black Pigma pen.  Same with the letters on the snowballs, I lightly marked them using a fabric pencil and backstitched them with two strands of black, but you can use the Pigma pen here too.

The letters may be a little wonky and the smile may be crooked, but add it all together and it says 'Handmade with Love' (hysterical giggles).

After I finished Believe, I had a thought that if I had added the snowballs using needle turn and stitched the letters first I could have stuffed the snowballs with toy filling to give a 3D effect, just saying........


For the parcels I used two strands of cotton and stem stitch for the ribbons, I didn't mark them, I just tried to keep them small enough and figured that being thrown in the air the ribbons would be all over the place anyway.


There again, if I had thought to use a narrow ribbon like this at 1/8 th of an inch wide,


it would work just as well, just remember to stitch through the knot so it doesn't come undone.


Three tiny black buttons added the finishing touch.  I didn't measure it just did it by eye.


Then I made another one, like it?  I stayed with the seven snowballs but as EMILY has only five letters I added snowflakes at the ends in long stitch going down in a centre hole.  But, there is no rule to say you have to use a certain number of snowballs or what size they have to be, the name can be shorter or longer.  My granddaughter is going to love this.

I layered Emily's top with a blended batting and calico, then I quilted it by stitching around all the shapes, I didn't quilt the background as I didn't need to with the batting I used.  Next I cut two pieces of fabric for the back 18 1/2 x 14 inches and made a half inch double hem on one of the long sides of each piece to make an envelope back.  If you haven't done this before put the top face up and the two back pieces face down on top, matching the long raw edges top and bottom.  Pin well, then machine around using a 1/4  inch hem, I do two rounds of stitching to make it secure, especially where the envelope joins are at the sides.  Then I zigzag around to neaten the edges and snip the corners.  Turn it right sides out and carefully poke out the corners, don't use anything sharp though or it could go through the fabric and then you would be sad :-(


Now here is my confession, although I had bought enough fabric I decided I love it far too much to use on the backs, especially as I had already discovered my supplier had ran out.  Fabrics change and I may not be able to get any more, so I had a root around to see if I had anything else I could use.  Oh yes, I found a fabric I bought eleven years ago at Joannes in Florida.  It was when I was a new quilter and didn't know much about fabrics, I knew it washed ok so that's what I used instead.  You see I don't like using favourite fabrics for backs, in fact I would rather use something I got in a sale.  Are you shocked at my meanness?


Back to the cushion, after trimming the corners and turning I stitched all the way around at 1/4 inch to stop the back showing through to the front.


With the two others I didn't even quilt them,  I just lined the back with calico and added the envelope back.


 I think they look just as good unquilted, what do you think?  I may go back and do 1/4 inch stitching around the edge though.  The back doesn't show as it would on the quilted version but it just gives a nice finish, what do you think?


And there you have it, a veritable trio of Christmas cushions, I Believe, It's Christmas, and Emily.

Wouldn't they make lovely Christmas mini quilts too?

It is Christmas (we are pretending anyway, shhhh) and I believe in spreading the love, so, here is the link to MY TEMPLATES in case you would like to make one.  Make sure you print it out at 100%, there are two pages.  I don't have any fancy programmes remember, the templates are hand drawn.   If you make one (or both) of the  cushions I would love it if you sent me a pic  of your finished cushion,  but do you know what would really make me happy?  If you like my design and use it it would be wonderful if you shared the love and peace of Christmas by making a small donation to a children's charity of your choice, just a few pennies, whatever you can afford.

If you are getting a jump on Christmas check out the Origami Christmas Tree I made last year.

IMPORTANT - a number of commenters from the hop are no reply, this means Sarah wont be able to contact you if are drawn for a prize and haven't added your email address.  Please check you are not one of them, especially if you are Google +  Even if you have changed your settings they can revert.

I have had an increase in no reply comments recently including some asking questions, if you have asked me a question and not received a reply or you would like to ask me a question but don't want to leave a comment you can always find my email address on my About Me page, smilesfromkate@gmail.com

As if great holiday ideas and a tutorial weren't enough,  this year Sarah has arranged  something extra special!   The lovely folks over at Free Spirit Fabrics have donated not just one item for a giveaway, but THIRTEEN! And it's pretty drool-worthy stuff, too - it's Tula Pink's new holiday line, Holiday Homies!!!


Sarah has six design rolls, six layer cakes, and one fat quarter bundle to give away - and here's how it works! Visit each stop on the hop, including Sarah's blog, and leave a comment on each post for the day. At the end of the hop, Sarah will do a giveaway for each day by putting everyone's name in the hat who commented that day (from all that day's hop-blogs), and drawing a winner for that day. That will be twelve winners - the design rolls and layer cakes. Then all all the names from all the days go in a hat a name is drawn out  for the fat quarter bundle! Only one prize per person, though - let's spread it around a bit! So carve out a bit of time to visit all the blogs and comment - it makes the time bloggers spend on each post worth it when we see what people think about our work!

Don't forget visit  Sarah @Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Jan @The Colourful Fabriholic today and leave comments on their posts too to increase your chances of winning.  If you haven't seen any of the posts until now you can find Sarah's first post here, you will need to start there if you want to make the Christmas quilt she has designed.  It is not too late to comment on any of the blogs, you get one entry for each and every comment you make.

Here is the full list of all the blogs and schedule in case you missed any, I'm updating the links so they should take you direct to the post:



Friday, July 14th





Saturday, July 15th





Sunday, July 16th





Monday, July 17th





Tuesday, July 18th





Wednesday, July 19th


                   Smiles From Kate  This is me!


Thursday, July 20th





Friday, July 21st





Saturday, July 22nd





Sunday, July 23rd





Monday, July 24th





Tuesday, July 25th






Wishing you all love and peace.

With smiles from
Kate x

Now, if you have caught up on all the posts, why not join me in viewing my favourite linky parties, you can find them on my sidebar, I'll be there for sure.  you don't want to miss anything, do you?


Friday, 14 July 2017

I've been nominated..........

for an award.


The Liebster Award.  I was nominated by Wendy at Pieceful Thoughts of my Quilting Life, thank you so much Wendy.   The Liebster Award 2017 is an award that exists only on the Internet, and is given to bloggers by other bloggers. The earliest case of the award goes as far back as 2011. Liebster in German means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.  That is why I feel so honoured that Wendy should nominate me, that she should have such a high opinion of my blog is very humbling.

If you haven't come across Wendy's blog before please pop over to say 'hello', she is the kind of blogger who likes to share, she doesn't just say 'this is what I did look how clever I am', Wendy will tell you about the mistakes she made and why she did what she did, what I call an honest quilter and blogger, I love to hear the warts and all versions and not just the prettied up ones.  But that's me, call a spade a shovel.

If you would like to know more about the Liebster Award and all the rules pop over to The Global Aussie.  Speaking of rules, I'm supposed to tell you a load of random stuff about myself, so settle down with a nice cup of tea (on second thoughts you may want to make that wine, you may need it) and get ready to be bored inspired (pass the bucket).

1. Who inspired you to sew/quilt
That's a hard one.  When I was a child I remember my mother sewing and knitting clothes for me and my sister, of course it was a different world then, people wore homemade clothes a lot more and there wasn't the pressure parents have from kids wanting to be dressed in the latest fashions and having the right brands on their clothes, parents today have a hard time.  Next I remember sewing at school, yes really, I learnt knitting, (after a fashion), sewing by hand and machine, and some basic embroidery.  I can't say I was particularly good at it but I did enjoy it, I made a skirt I never finished, and an apron to use in our cookery lessons.  I think I did more than that in the three years of classes I had, I was obviously so awestruck by the experience it went completely out of my head............

2. If you could meet one person you have never met who would it be?
That's another hard one, I've been trying to think of some clever and insightful answer without much success.  I could have said my great grandparents who were a tailor and tailoress and from where I got my love of sewing (I think), I bet they could have taught me a thing or two about the right way to make clothes that last.  I could say my mother but she was always a bit busy to teach me with four children and a house to run.  On the other hand i have such a love of reading so I could say Enid Blyton who was my favourite author as a child, or Monica Dickens who wrote One Pair of Hands and One Pair of Feet.  As I got older Catherine Cookson was a favourite, she is from my part of the world and wrote stories about life in the 18th and 19th century in Northeast England and more recently Diana Gabaldon who writes the wonderful Outlander series, who said Jamie?  Short break while I swoon..............  Just now I'm reading Ken Follett's Century trilogy, I just started the third book.  All of these authors have influenced me in some way but I think the person I would really like to meet is a lady called Sarah who was my husbands great grandmother, to me she is the one who has had the greatest influence on his life and shaped him into the man he is today, it could be a very interesting conversation.

Hmmmmm........I need to make these answers shorter..........

3. Last movie you saw in a theatre
Easy, Rouge One, that tells you I like Scifi.  Did I ever tell you one of my mothers favourite sayings when I was a child?  I guarantee you won't have heard it, it is exclusive to the small village my parents lived in when they were first married, although thinking about it I haven't ever heard anyone but my mother use it.  If I came in from play looking a bit dirty and dishevelled  she would say 'look at you, you're just like one o' Raggie's.  This was at a time when televisions were a bit pricey for the working man and even small villages had a cinema, my parents used to go to see a film and on the way would call in to the local shop run by a man called Reggie Noble, for sweets (yes I did use two spellings, I tried to get Man's accent for effect), let's just say they didn't buy any sweets that didn't have wrappers on. (See, it did have a connection with films)  On a side note she also used to say 'You're like hinkydink, what d'you think'.  She always had a way with words my Mam.

4. What kind of music do you like?
All kinds, but there again I'm not a huge music fan in that I  don't have music constantly playing or the radio on, I love silence, it gives me time to dream my dreams while all the quilts I dream of making dance through my head, and fill my soul with it's own music (I did hint you would need a bucket).  I do love Sting's Fields of Gold Album though, I like Katie Melua too, Norah Jones, Adele, and I like swing, and jazz.  Husband loves the Yellowjackets, they are just a bit much for me, although I once saw them play live and they were wonderful, I do love their Christmas album though, Peaceround, all but one track is instrumental, just think of Christmas carols in jazz.

5. What is your favourite quilt/sewn craft project?
Another easy one, the one I am currently working on, but of course I can't show you that as it is top secret, but you can see it in my next post which will be on the 19th July as part of the 12 Days of Christmas in July hop.


But as I am so short of pics this post this pic has a special place in my heart, it's my very first quilt I made, which was at a class.  Every block was hand made, and all the points of my card trick block match!  That's the advantage of doing it by hand, you can take your time and wiggle it.

6. Favourite candy bar?
I'm not big into sweets, it is very rare I would buy any, but I absolutely love ice cream, preferably vanilla, or vanilla with cherry sauce and whole cherries, although I once had some wonderful ice cream in France in a town near La Rochelle, there was two flavours, Violet, and Rose, delicious.

7. Would you ever travel the world in a camper van?
Funny you should say that we have just been looking at motor homes, one in particular.

I know they are bigger than camper vans but this one is the size of a camper van just about at less than 6 meters in length,  but coach built so it's well insulated, and just the right size for the two of us and our two four legged girls.  AND the UK company, Elddis, is based four miles from where we live, have a look and see what you think.  Only we couldn't travel the world, in fact we couldn't leave the country, little Indi can't be immunised because she has a history of meningitis, sad.......  She is ok now though and has recently finished her medication, after 15 months.  We could tour England, Scotland, and Wales though, and we could go across to Ireland too.

8. Favourite colour?
I don't have one, no really, I don't have a favourite.  I love yellow and gold for walls but I can't wear it, I really like blues and greens too (I do wear those colours), there again red is my colour for clothing, but I would only use it as an accent in my home.   Pinks and purples?  Not for me sorry, I'm not a pink girl.

9. Favourite quilting/crafting item?
I love good scissors,


I have two pairs of Dovo scissors, small and medium I bought ten years ago, a small pair Appliquick with serrated edges, and a pair of stork embroidery scissors I bought about 25 years ago.  Of course I have a pair of large shears which I rarely use and a pair of pinking scissors too which I have only used a couple of times, but these are my favourites.

10. Do you work on one project or many?
I prefer to work on one but I am invariably working on about three.

One I keep for when I go to my quilt group,


one is my current (soon to be finished) project (yes I know you are fed up seeing this pic).

The third is often a swap which I have a deadline for, or some other small project.   I have finished my current one which of course is Top Secret (next post, I already told you).  What will I do next??????


 On top of which I have my bee blocks to do every month, two of them.  This in a block I did last month.

Now for the bit about my nominee, this is the hardest part. I have thought long and hard, there are so many bloggers I would like to nominate although according to the rules a lot are ineligible.  So, I have decided to go with my heart and nominate only one, a very special lady who has been quilting since before it became fashionable.  She has a wonderful eye for colour and a kind and giving heart, she humbles me with her generous spirit and has my utmost respect.   I nominate Paula, from Paula B Quilts.  If you haven't read Paula's blog before please pop over and say hello, stay a while and get to know her, I promise you will love her too.

Lastly I am going to do a shameless advert, today is the first day of the Christmas in July Blog Hop.  For the next twelve days the hop will be hosted by Sarah from Confessions of a Fabric Addict who will guide you through making a Christmas Quilt, doable during the hop.  Every day Sarah will introduce two or three bloggers who will share their Christmas projects too, my day is Wednesday 19th July.  There will be a giveaway too announced at the end of the hop, and I'm not talking charm packs here, A layer cake or jelly roll will go to one lucky winner each day, one entry per comment on any of the blogs involved, and a special overall price of a fat quarter pack, one prize per commenter to share the love.

Here are the bloggers participating over the twelve days.

                                                
Friday, July 14th


Saturday, July 15th


Sunday, July 16th


Monday, July 17th


Tuesday, July 18th


Wednesday, July 19th

Thursday, July 20th


Friday, July 21st


Saturday, July 22nd

So pop over to see Sarah for the first post and have a wonderful 12 days, but don't forget to come back and see what I made and I will show you how to make it too.

Until then,
With smiles from,
Kate x

Linking up with
Finished or Not Friday
TGIFFI hosted by April @JANDA Bend Quilts

Friday, 7 July 2017

FAL Q3 List

I did ok at the second quarter finishing three of the four projects listed.  I decided to keep my list short again this time too, that way it is achievable and if I have a good think I can get rid of some stuff that have been hanging around for too long.  If I make it any longer I start to feel despondent at my perceived failure and end up doing the more recent WIP stuff and leave the long term UFOs languishing in the cupboard.  So here goes:

1.

Yes circles is still hanging around.  This was the one I didn't finish last time and the one I wanted finished the most.  I did get half the quilting done though and this time I want to finish it and get the binding done so I can finally put it to bed.

2.  SECRET PROJECT.


No, I still can't show you anything for this one, it's my project for the 12 Days of Christmas blog hop in a couple of weeks, AND I STILL HAVN'T FINISHED IT.  The top is almost done and I still have to do the layering, quilting, finishing stuff.  I know strictly speaking it isn't eligible as a UFO because I can't show a pic but I wanted to include it anyway.  Come back on Wednesday 19th July to see it revealed in all it's glory, and if there is no post you know I have failed miserably and will never be able to hold my head up in bogland again..............

3.  

I still have some blocks to make to finish my Be Inspired bee quilt.  Then I have to put the top together, layer, quilt and bind it.  It is strictly speaking a WIP in my book as it was started this year, but what's a few letters between friends?  Lots of work for this one.

4.


All these coasters are just waiting for binding.  Why didn't I finish them?  Because they are so small and fiddly of course.  However, a UFO is a UFO, they don't all have to be big, especially when there are so many of them.  

5.

This is the one I know I won't be able to finish, partly because I still don't know how to quilt it.  I was given suggestions such as feathers (which I can't do) and ribbon candy (which I haven't tried yet) but I can't 'see' it.  Does that mean I do ribbon candy on every log?  Anyway, my goal for this one is to get it layered and quilt in the ditch to secure the blocks.  It may be an easy goal but it will be a step forward after two years.

So, that's it.   Five projects, although I have added in the one that doesn't really count so you could call it four really.   All achievable and it gives me time to start new WIPs too which hopefully will not turn into UFOs my goal for this year.  Of course I could always move on to one of the others, it would be a fantastic feeling to get 'just one more' UFO to bed this year.

So, see you on July 19th, I hope.................

Until then,
Smiles from,
Kate x

Thursday, 29 June 2017

2017 FAL Quater 2 Link up



I didn't have a long list, four items exactly, but life got in the way and I only managed three, shame.

So here they are:


The not a mystery any more quilt which I blogged about here.


At last I finished these cushions which match the quilt I finished last year.  I blogged about those here.


All my mug rugs are now finished, quilted and bound, I also blogged about them here.

The only thing I didn't get done was circles, but I did layer it and half the quilting is done, so much progress has been made.

But you know what they say, tomorrow is another day.

Until then
Smiles from
Kate x

I'm off.........

Such excitement today, I'm off to Higham Hall for four days embroidery.  I usually know most of the ladies in the class and it is such a giggle, I have a great time.  The teacher, Angie, is excellent, and very patient as she sometimes has to show me two or three times before I 'get it''   The college is wonderful, a stately home, and the food is so good, we get homemade biscuits with morning coffee and homemade cake with afternoon tea too, delicious.

I nearly didn't post this week I have so little to show, or rather that I can show.  So, what have I made?

I went to my sewing group on Saturday and I made four new blocks......


to go with the others.  Looking at them all together I realise I need to add more green, black. white, and grey, as well as the two new ones.  Can you tell I'm drawn to the yellowish colour?   I had to leave early as my husband was teaching and I don't like to leave my lovely girls Ella and Indi, my working type springer spaniels too long.  Honestly, sometimes I feel as if I'm on a piece of elastic, I leave home and I am having a great time, then suddenly, I am twanged back time up.

I can show you my stash bee blocks though,


here they are all laid out on my bed.  It's not the final arrangement but you can see how it will come together.  What do you think?  I couldn't have got the same variety of scraps making it myself.  Isn't it funny that although we all have a stash they are SO different, different colours, styles and variety, some have an emphasis on subtle, some loud, some patterned and some plains.  Like life really, variety makes it so much more interesting.

Now about that secret project, no I can't show you, but I can tell you, it's for the 12 Days of Christmas in July blog hop hosted by Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict that starts July 14th.  Would you believe there are over thirty of us taking part this year?  It is going to be such fun with two or three bloggers showing off their Christmas projects every day, I will be posting on Thursday 19th and I do hope you will visit and see my contribution.  It is my own design, no I am not a designer so you will just have to wait and decide for yourself, inspired or dogs dinner.  In fact I have done a couple of variations to the basic pattern too.  I'm quite nervous about it, it's like stripping off at a nudist beach I suppose ( I said SUPPOSE, I haven't ever been to one let alone stripped off), I will be exposing myself to the blogging world, scary.  You really want a sneak peak?  Well..........


Can you read it?


HAH!!!  You didn't think I would really expose myself to ridicule did you?  You just HAVE to come back on July 19th to see that.

But I will be back next week and I will hopefully have my little embroidery piece finished to show you as well as progress on my ongoing project, I showed you where I was up to last week.

So until then,
with smiles from,
Kate

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Where I'm up to now

I've had very little time for quilting the last couple of weeks, but such is life.  I have made progress though, including my bee blocks and modern sampler blocks as well as circles of course.

First things first here is my bee block for Bee Inspired.


Meet Marcel.  Marcel is the poodle block requested by Karen from Tu-na Quilts.  It's not called Marcel of course but a couple of the girls have named them which I thought was rather fun.   You can find the Bee Inspired post here which has the link for the pattern but read Karen's subsequent posts where she has a handy  printout for labelling the pieces and gives post by post instructions.  There are a LOT of pieces, in fact that is what makes it one of the more difficult challenging blocks I have ever made.  I'm not sure if I enjoyed making it but I enjoyed the challenge,  I think.  It took me four sessions to make the block.  First one to cut the fabrics, then there were two to do the stitch and flip preparation (confusing at times even with the labels), and the last one to stitch the pieces together.  Karen requested black with white or white with black for the poodle and the background, I didn't have either so I had to hit the shops.  I did have a black on black for the accent fabric though, its rather nice but shame you can't see the detail.

The second one for Stash Bee Hive 2 was much easier,


orange peel.  Although Lisa requested a white with black scrappy background she did say it would be acceptable if it was all the same.  I didn't have any white with black, but as I was already buying one fabric to make Marcel I splashed out and bought two.  This version is made using a bonded interfacing, I can see the advantage, it makes a nice neat edge and no chance of fraying but for me it is a little bulky, although I did use a light and very thin interfacing.  Orange peel is on my bucket list but this method is not for me I think, glad I tried it though.  That's the great thing about being in a bee, you get the opportunity to try lots of things without committing to the whole quilt.

I only made two new sampler blocks this month.


I added two new fabrics in, both from the same range, the grey and the light brown with tiny flowers. I'm really not sure about them, the brown I used as borders obviously doesn't work and needs to be replaced but the grey looks fine.


I was going to remove it but looking at it with the rest of the blocks it blends in better.  So, opinions please, do I remove the new brown completely, use it in small pieces, or should I remove both?  I'm not sure on this one.

Then there was circles


No I'm still not finished it and yes it is taking forever, but here is where I'm up to now, it's easier to see on the back.   I ironed the back before every line of quilting and although the fabric looks a bit loose on the pic when I iron it it does smooth out ok so that's what I will do before starting the next stage.   I went down each row of blocks going around the circles and diamonds, then I stitched around the borders and finally around the edge.  The plan now is to meander the background then do something in the circles.  I doubt if I will finish it this month though as I still have a lot going on just now.

Thank you all so much for your imput on my last post, there was a wealth of information in there which gave me much food for thought.

First of all Bonnie and several others appear to spray the wadding, now I always thought I was supposed to spray the fabric which is what I have been doing and which is what Margaret has read and recently seen on a craft channel, hmmmmmmm!

There is also a theory that it's to do with the grain of the fabric, Louise made some very good points

I find that I sometimes get that kind of wrinkling when I'm using my walking foot and the backing is lined up in a particular way. If the stitching lines go selvedge to selvedge, no problem. But if the quilting runs parallel to the less stretchy, straight grain, it can wrinkle. I think it doesn't happen on the front because there are more pieces, so the fabric grain is running lots of different directions. That makes the top more flexible and able to "go with the flow." And of course you can see any little tucks and puckers that are starting to form and fix them immediately on the top.

Louise also thinks a pieced backing helps avoid it, it is well worth reading all her comments.

Karen from KAHolly commented about a recommendation for heat setting whereas Karen from Tu-na Quilts says she never irons after spray basting and hasn't had a problem.

If you haven't read the post or commented early and are interested I would certainly recommend reading all the comments of the previous post, there is so much information there.

Lastly I finished the last of my embroidery and added the needs to this small piece.  I'm going to Higham Hall in a couple of weeks for a long weekend of embroidery and seeing as I haven't done any since I was last there I thought it was about time.


So here it is.  It's a small piece but it's amazing how much time it has taken to stitch it.   I quite enjoyed doing the silk shading on the leaves, the flower centres are padded underneath and covered with french knots, and I love the woven picots that make the petals.   All I have left to do is add a 3D leaf which is already made, and another two butterfly wings.   They are all stitched using wires and then cut out and attached.   I haven't done that before so I will finish it off in class.


Then I will go back to this piece, which is really a tray cover.

Sorry I've been missing for a while, my son is much recovered now thank you for all your kind enquiries, but one of the parents has been ill, and quilting and blogging and reading blogs was the last thing on my mind.  Tell truth it will happen again, until eight months ago my husband and I were lucky enough to have four parents between us, now we have three, aged between 85 and 90 and all with health problems.  We are indeed very lucky and I count our blessings, no matter how much it disrupts our lives, every year every day is a bonus.

But today the sun is shining and I am now just about back to normal so I am back to blogging and will be visiting everyone in the next few days.  Thank you all so much for not giving up on me.

Until next time,
with smiles from,
Kate x

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