Thursday, 5 October 2017

Still busy.......

It has been such a busy week here and I have several pieces of news for you, but first how about a pic?


Jen from A Dream and a Stitch was Queen Bee for September in Bee Inspired, and this was her request.   Lemoyne star in our own choice of tertiary colours on a grey background.   Most of us had a lesson in colour here, did you know there are six tertiary colours, they are amber/marigold (yellow–orange), vermilion/cinnabar (red–orange), magenta (red–purple), violet/indigo (blue–purple), teal/aqua (blue-green), and chartreuse/lime green (yellow–green).   The colours are slightly skewed here but you get the drift.

Ok, first piece of news, Jack is out of hospital and doing quite well, especially as he is 90.  Thank you all for your kind enquiries.

Another pic?


In Stash Bee Hive 2 our Queen requested Bear Paw, Jacqueline requested we make four quadrants the same colour so she can mix them up.  I love this Mode Grunge, and she did say think raspberry!

Second piece of news, I finally left work last week.  I meant to tell you but I forgot, I had my last day last Wednesday and so far my feet haven't touched the ground.   It was my choice to leave and it's permanent, I am taking early retirement.   However, coming to my next piece of news I will spend a lot of time at home this month as I won't be driving, that's because today, Thursday, I have cataract surgery.  As I am scheduling this post for 8am if you are in the UK I am already at the hospital, and if you are in the USA it will be over by the time you get up to start your day.  I have been struggling recently as my sight deteriorated, do you know the worst thing?  I can't see colours properly, everything gets washed out.  I'll let you know how I get on next week, as long as my eyes work together properly, the cataract has made the sight in one much worse and there will be a big difference between my eyes.  I don't know when I will be sewing again, but not in the next couple of weeks anyway.  Good job I have some stuff secreted away to fill the gap.

Gypsy?  Who mentioned Gypsy?  I am several weeks ahead fortunately, want to see last weeks block?


Nurses Cross, like it?  A tricky little block but easier than I expected.  A lot of people in the sew along have paper pieced it but as paper piecing is not one of my best skills I just do basic piecing and keep my fingers crossed.  As with all the blocks it's a matter of keeping a very scant seam and not trying to rush it.

Now I want to make sure you have all read about a wonderful piece of news that isn't mine.  Cheryl Brickley from Meadow Mist Designs and Paige Alexander from Quilted Blooms have wrote a book together.  Modern Plus Sign Quilts is due to be published in February 2018 and is available for pre order now.  I have already ordered mine, this is so exciting!  I'm sure you all know Cheryl from her wonderful free quilt alongs, she is the most wonderful designer and so generous, she makes a wonderful contribution to the quilting world.  I first met Paige just a few weeks after I started blogging, she started about four weeks before me so we clicked right off, she is also in Bee Inspired our own quilting bee.  I couldn't believe how professional Paige's blog looked and it got better and better.  Paige is so talented, the quality of her work is wonderful, and she has already had several of her patterns published.  With two such fantastic and talented ladies this has to be the must have book for 2018.  I suppose I'd better remind you at this point I don't do affiliations, I tell it as I see it, end of.

I WAS going to show you this weeks Gypsy blocks but I haven't taken the pics yet, sorry, and my design wall is full, and no I'm not showing you it, there is stuff I'm keeping secret on there.

What I can tell you is that my 12 days of Christmas in July post is now my most viewed post ever.  If you are new and missed it do check it out.


I'm so proud of this I have to give you a second look.  This is one of three variations, an 18 inch cushion design which can be adapted for other items such as a table runner or wall hanging.  The post includes a tutorial and a link for the templates, if you make anything for them I would love to see a pic so I could feature it on the blog, it would give me such a thrill.

Have a great week, whatever you are doing.

Until next time
With smiles from
Kate x

Friday, 29 September 2017

How I made.......



?????   Did you guess from the pic I showed last week?
Want another look?


I first saw these several years ago when I made one in a class, I was told it was a Victorian Thimble Case.  I have since seen them called so many different names, a coin purse, thimble case, thimble holder, thimble pip, clam shell and brazil nut!   My original case was made of cardboard and was a single layer with an inner and outer skin of fabric, no wadding.  It did work but only lasted so long, maybe I'm a bit heavy handed opening and closing it.  You just squeeze the two ends and when you let go it closes again, clever.

Looking through my box for handwork to take with me on holiday I came across a clamshell kit with templates and instructions, this one had two layers of plastic and instructions very similar to the old one, which I a assuming was how victorian ladies made cases for their thimbles.  But, me being a bit thrifty I got out a sheet of template plastic and drew around the pieces, why make just one when you can use it as a template and it makes a nice little gift?  So I took it on holiday with some fabric and wadding and made........


five.  Well it did rain a lot.

They are a nice little project and very easy to make,


First I took my templates and glued them to a piece of scrap wadding, there are six pieces, three larger and three smaller for the inside.


When the glue dries just cut around the shapes, you can see here they are slightly different sizes.


I laid the pieces on to a piece of fabric and cut around leaving a good 1/4 inch seam allowance.  Then I stitched around taking a big stitch at the pointed ends and drew up the threads just like you do with a circle and tied it off.


Then I laced across the back, I thought it was a waste of time doing this bit, until I didn't do it, it keeps it nice and taught and just the running stitch around the edge didn't do that.


Finished.  You do this with the three large pieces and the three smaller pieces for the inside.


Then you line up a big outer piece with a smaller inner piece,


and ladder stitch them together leaving a margin around the outsides.  Binding clips or something similar are the best thing to hold them while you stitch.


Then it's just stitching the three pieces together using a small overstitch in matching thread.  The hardest bit is adding the third piece while it tries to spring apart, but it's ok once you get going.


You need to stitch up the remaining sides about 1/4 to 1/2 an inch and you are done.  How is that for a nice little hand project?

Did you notice I made the insides with bright contrasting colours?


Except for this one, Husband asked me to make him one and chose his own colours, apparently I got them mixed up and the greyish colour was supposed to be on the outside, although I think it looks more interesting the way I made it.  He hasn't decided what to do with it yet.


I wanted to make one for my silver thimble, it was a gift from a friend and I'm very attached to it.  I have small fingers and this is perfect for me, only thing is I keep loosing it so I really needed the case.

Would you like to make a thimble case?  You don't need to buy a commercial kit, or even template plastic, since I made mine I found a great tutorial AND there are free templates too, so just pop over to supermomnocape for the tutorial, she shows you how to make your own templates or you can always download her free templates. in three different sizes, the large one is the same size as mine although mine is the small size in the commercial kit, if you want a bigger set you can always just enlarge the template when printing it.   Why don't you need template plastic?  Because you can use plastic from margarine tops and bottles which will work just as well.  If you are not a quilter and don't have wadding you could maybe use a piece of thin felt instead.  

I was going to show you some other stuff but I think I've bored you enough for today so I'll just show you this weeks Gypsy blocks.


Puss on the corner, as you can see one is bordered the other not.

You may have noticed I have turned on comment moderation recently and last week added a bit under  where comments are left saying anonymous comments will not be published.  I have been having a lot of spam recently and some unwelcome comments too.  I'm not so keen on the word and tick the box thing and this is easier.  I hope you will understand.

I made a bee block yesterday, I used some of my Gypsy fabric and LOVED the colour combination, I'll show you next week and you never know, I may even have an update on circles too.

EDIT  I write this post last week but the curse of family illness struck, quilting and blogging were the last thing on my mind.  With three elderly parents all with health issues chances are it may well happen again, so if I don't respond to your comments or visit your blog that's what it's likely to be so please forgive me and I will be back soon as I can.


Until next time,
With smiles from,
Kate x

Linking up with:
Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?
Kathy's Kwilts and More hosting for TGIFF

Friday, 15 September 2017

I'm Back..........

from my holiday, but my feet hit the ground running.  What with trying to catch up at work and organising the catering for the two day course this weekend, yes I'll be serving and clearing up too so no weekend off for me, I haven't had time to draw breath.  No sewing, no blogging, I haven't even answered all my emails or even started to catch up with my blog reading yet, where has the week gone?  Do you ever come home from being away and think was it all worth the effort?

The holiday?  Lovely, but I haven't sorted pics out yet, sorry, although I took hardly any to be honest, it rained the day after we arrived, and the Monday, Tuesday morning, we did get out for a lovely walk in the afternoon, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, at which point we decided to come home in the afternoon instead of staying until the next day, and yes, it rained all the way home too!

How about seeing some more Gypsy pics?


Indian Hatchet is this weeks block, the easiest so far.  I actually made it last month but I've been holding back.


This is Old Maid Puzzle, one of two which is for week eleven really but I'm jumping ahead so you get to see SOMETHING new this week anyway, but I'm still holding back on the second one.


Bordered Puss in the Corner, this is next weeks block, one of two,.  I'll show you a pic of the blocks in situ next week so you can see how far I'm up to.

I was going to show you my holiday sewing but you will get the full post on that next week, want a sneak peak?


Some of you will know what it is and some may not, I'll tell you all about it and how I made it next week.

Sorry for the short post, I have to dive back into the whirlwind as is my life this week, but just wait, I leave work in two weeks time and start a new chapter in my life, how exciting is that?  I had to promise I would keep doing the catering though, but that is only once a month or so, I can cope with that.

Until next week,
with smiles from,
Kate x

Linking up with:
Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?
Katie Mae Quilts hosting for TGIFF
Crazy Mom Quilts




Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Is there anyone there?

I've not been here to do much sewing this week, in fact I'm not here at all..................... Spooky!  But no, the wonders of modern technology has allowed me to schedule this post so I'm writing this before I go away.

Want to see my next Gypsy block?  Sorry, no choice, you are getting it anyway,


this is it, the name is Star Block, pretty boring name isn't it?  Especially after Crazy Anne and oh I must tell you, it seems I have been calling one block by the wrong name.  The second block I introduced as Perishing is actually Pershing.  Just to set the record straight.  Back to Star Block, no it's not as bright and colourful as some of the others, but I think it will add more contrast.  If all the blocks end up super bright the quilt will be overpowering with little balance, so I am adding some cooler and darker shades.  That's how I'm thinking anyway.

This is the updated pic to illustrate what I mean.  I have looked at so many Gypsy versions, and each one is wonderful and unique, some are monotone, some are completely saturated with colour, some have multicoloured strips and some have neutral strips to show off the blocks more, such as two tone creams, or black and white, such variety.  Mine will have multicoloured strips, like the original pattern, so it will live up to the original design.  If all those strips were bright you would need sunglasses to look at it, that's why I'm adding the cooler and neutral shades.

I did get a little more quilting done on circles before I got away, I got nearly half the quilting done in the coloured circles.  I had a big think about it first, hang on I'll show you..........


Now you can see, circles, or pebbles as they are known.  Pebbles best describe mine too as they are not all circular, AND they overlap quite a bit, far from perfect in fact.  Do I care?  Not on your nellie, I decided to do pebbles as my control needs a lot of improvement yet and I still struggle with manipulating a larger quilt (ok not that large but it is for me).  If I had tried to do something fancy like orange peels, which would have been perfect, it would have been disastrous, so I chose pebbles and if you stand back and screw your eyes up they look great, so I'm happy.  I had a variegated thread so I'm using that, hope I don't run out, I've had it for ages, but it's a King Tut so I'm hoping it will still be available if I need it.  Fingers crossed.

Thinking of Gypsy recently I also started thinking of the quilting, some quilters machine quilt and some hand quilt, that got me thinking of the baby quilt I made for my youngest granddaughter Emily.  It was just a panel with borders but it matched the theme of her bedroom.


This is the only pic I have as I forgot to take one before I gave it to her Mum and I pinched this from Facebook.  Yes, her bedroom has a jungle theme.  I had bought this panel years beforehand and some yardage of the matching print too.  I think I should have added a border between the flowers and the small print in hindsight (which is as always a wonderful thing), but I didn't and it can't be changed now.  I had to juggle the yardage as I had a limited amount but I did have enough to make it all face the same way, don't ask me why I decided to do it like that I can't remember.   I added cornerstones in orange, which I also used for the binding.  As a point of  interest I have been using some of the  leftover orange scraps  recently to make the noses on my snowman cushions.  Waste not want not.

Unfortunately when I zoomed in the quality wasn't good enough to allow you to see the hand quilting, so I will just have to tell you about it.  I hand stitched around all the animals and some of the detail on them as well as some of the leaves, butterflies, rainbow etc..  I even quilted around the small animals in the border.  It took me ages, good job I started early.  Emily now uses it in the camper van, she is going on five so the design is still fine for now.  However I believe there are plans afoot to turn her bedroom from a jungle into a bedroom fit for a little girl, so a new quilt may be in the offing before long.

If you have left a comment since Saturday I won't have read it or answered it yet, as I said last week I don't have wifi, a phone signal, or tv this week.  I have taken a little hand sewing, though not much, and a couple of books too,

these are they, World Without End and Pillars of the Earth, Ken Follett.  I have read them before but I don't have copies so I treat myself as I won't be spending anything much at all when I'm away.  I didn't mind buying these as I know I will reread them in the future, also after many years a third book will make them a trilogy next month and I have had it on preorder for ages so this is the right time to read them again.  I don't think I will get them both finished in time though, these take some reading.  It's the kind of books I like, no three to four hundred pages for me, there just isn't enough words for a good complicated story to develop.

So, that's all for today, no linking up, unless you are reading through Mean Queen, she has my blog on her sidebar.  If you haven't read it take a look, she is indeed the queen of frugal living in the UK.  The posts vary a lot, sometimes she just shows some pics, other times she talks about her crafting, sometimes she talks about how she has been saving money or her opinions of life, and some of the posts can stir up a real hornets nest.  Do make sure you read the poem on the sidebar one of the readers wrote, it sums her up brilliantly.   It's a great blog, but don't just judge it on one post, have a good look around while you are there.  There is also a monthly update on the quest to walk a thousand miles a year and lots of people add their totals in the comments.  Do you know it's not as difficult as you think?  All you have to do is about three miles a day.  Amazing, I never thought of it like that.

See you again next week and I will tell you where I have been and what I have been doing, but don't hold your breath, it won't be THAT exciting.

With smiles from,
Kate x


Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Still Obsessed........

with Gypsy Wife.  I can't help it, I have never had this happen before.  If I'm not in my sewing room making blocks, I'm thinking about making them, choosing colours, discarding, choosing again, and all in my head.  Oh and you wouldn't believe how long that takes me, literally hours, then I will start making it and change them again.

So, where are all these blocks I have been making?  Can't tell, no, I decided I am going to drip feed them to you, just like in the sew along.  I may have to have a few weeks off quilting in October so if I do I will still have something to share, that's the theory anyhow, I will be scheduling some posts just in case and I can always edit and add to them to let you know what's happening.

So, without any further ado I give you......


Crazy Anne.  This is the second block with somewhat of a reputation, but I checked it out, read lots of tips, some helpful some not and just went for it.  The one tip that was really helpful was to use a Tri Rec ruler to make the half square rectangle bits AND I already had one, wonderful.  The blocks went together like a dream and Anne wasn't as bad as her reputation.  Mind you I do use very scant seams and I'm happy to report that so far I have not had a single block end up small, which is the most common thing I hear.

Being in a couple of Facebook groups to do with Gypsy Wife has had a great bonus, I discovered a new app, and this is what I did.......

Isn't this helpful, I took a screen shot of the pdf of the colouring page by Pink Door Fabrics, opened it up in the app, and added pics of my blocks.  I should have cropped them a bit more and got rid of the seam allowance though but it gives a great indication of how the colours will mix together.  Here are the first five blocks for the first five weeks, and no I can count, you get a bonus, I had already added a Puss in the Corner block which is week eight so you get that too.  Don't worry though, there are two Puss in the Corners so you will get a new block in week 8.

If you are interested in the app it is piZap and best of all it is free, although it says there are in app purchases, although I haven't been asked if I want to buy any so far.  I would recommend using it on a tablet rather than a phone though, that would be just too fiddly.   There is annoying adverts that come up after you press 'save' though so I press to close it fast.  I can put up with it as there are none while I am actually using it.  I'm not trying to advertise the app mind, remember I don't have sponsors or anything like that and I don't want to either, for me it would take the joy out of blogging and just saying whatever comes into my head if I had to think about advertising stuff.  I blog because I enjoy it and for no other reason.  That said I can understand those who do have sponsors, quilting isn't a cheap hobby, we are all different at the end of the day and what is right for one is not necessarily right for another.  Enough said.

Now I am going to shock you, at least shock those of you who have been reading for a while, here it comes.........


Circles, I've been doing free motion quilting!  A squiggly meander in the background.  No, I was beginning to think I wouldn't see the day either!


Have a closer look.  It's fairly even although it varies slightly in places but hey, tis done and I'm happy, ecstatic actually.  I'm leaving the dark grey diamonds unquilted so they pop, I'm really glad I decided to add them they bring a new dimension to the quilt, in my opinion!  The circles will be the next thing I do, then the borders.  I am hoping to get it finished by the beginning of October, keep your fingers crossed.  Just don't look at the back.........


I said not to look at the back.  Well, go on then what do you think, inspired or dog's dinner?  Closer?  You want jam on it!   Oh all right then.


The colours are slightly distorted on this pic, it's more of a reddy burgundy like the first one, but a bit deeper.   It does give you a good look at the quilting though.  As you can see the size of the meander does vary a bit but in the grand scheme of things and as it is my quilt who is to notice or to care?  My only real mistake was to use solids instead of a tone on tone fabric and thread of a different colour to the the solids to boot,  AND advertise the fact.  I've made a mental note about THAT one.

I'm going away next week but I plan on scheduling a short post before I go which will be due Wednesday.  I won't be here to link up so if you normally read my blog on a regular link up you will have to get me direct next week,  IF you want to read my ravings that is!  I will have no wifi, no phone signal, and no tv either.  Retreat?  I would love another quilting retreat, I haven't done one for five years when I went to France for a week with Sandi Lush doing hand quilting.

So until next time,
With smiles from,
Kate x

Linking up with:
Midweek Makers
Wednesday Wait Loss
Needle And Thread Thursday
Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?
Finished or Not Friday



Wednesday, 23 August 2017

I have no memory.........

I am so sorry, I got my weeks mixed up, last week I showed you this weeks Gypsy block and next weeks Gypsy block, but I forgot to show you last weeks, Oooops!  So I'm starting this post with what I forgot, reputed to be the most difficult block in the Gypsy Wife quilt'


Perishing.  It was a bit of a tricky one, but the centre is just a multiple square in a square, the awkward bit is the three triangles on the bottom with the bias edges, I had a bit of trouble with them, I just couldn't get them to sew together properly, until I realised I had cut the centre ones from a square a quarter inch too big.  Once I recut and started again it was much easier, then there was just the corner triangles and it was finished.  Mine isn't perfect, the orange corners don't quite meet the purple corner triangles, but it's close enough for me.  AND it's the right size too, one of the main issue is it often ends up too small, but the secret is extra scant seams.

I'm sure you will be glad to know Indi has been behaving herself this week and the curtain is back in place, in fact there were only two broken curtain hooks, the rest were still on the rings, how she managed to pull down the curtain leaving the hooks still in the rings I haven't a clue and it will go down as one of those unsolved mysteries I think.

Did I tell you I had a problem with my scissors?  I have several pair, the big shears I rarely use, the pinking shears I used once, and the smaller pairs I use all the time, only they keep disappearing, all the time I loose them, sometimes for months, do you ever find that?


These are my favourites.  The larger ones are Dovo as are the next ones up, I bought these about fourteen years ago, they were expensive but are still a pleasure to use, although the little ones could do with tightening and maybe sharpening now, only I don't know where to take them.  The next ones up are Appliquick and they have serrated edges, I've only had them couple of years and the serrated edges are lovely when cutting appliqué pieces.  Lastly my stork scissors, I bought those specially for embroidery, about 22 years ago.

Anyway, I lost the three small pair, I couldn't find them anywhere, I was convinced I had lost one pair at my sewing group, I searched and searched and couldn't find them anywhere, I was sad, not so much about the Appliquik ones, they are quite new, but the others I am attached to after all this time.  Then suddenly one day they all turned up in various places, the stork ones in a box of embroidery stuff, the small Dovo ones under my sewing table behind a basket, the appiquick ones in the bottom of my sewing box, the one I had searched several times hunting for missing scissors and other stuff.  All places I swear I had searched before, more than once too and how did they all turn up on the same day?  You know I live next to the woods and I'm sure there are mischievous elves living there who come in at night and hide my things, and good fairies who put them all back for me to find again.  Do you ever lose stuff?  Don't even get me started on thimbles and stitch rippers.

I'll tell you another thing I forgot to show you too, my embroidery.  I showed you where I was up to before I went to Higham Hall last time and forgot to show you my progress.


This was my small piece before I went, it didn't have much left to do.....


and this is it finished.  I added two attached leaves to the butterfly, they are made on calico using a wire frame so they stand out, the leaf on the right was added the same way.  Now all it needs is to be framed.


This is my ongoing big project.  I wasn't happy with the stitching on the top right, it was the first bit I did and my stitching has improved a lot since so I took it out......


and now look at it, the part on the bottom left on this pic, I am so happy with it.

But that's not all, I started another small piece


and made great progress.  That's not a spider by the way, it was supposed to be a spider but I don't like them, so I'm adding a colour pop and having a ladybird.   Yes I know it still looks a bit like a fat black spider but I'm going to attach red wings.   The butterfly on the first one was supposed to be a bee but I don't like them either, but as they are my embroideries I can give it my own twist, with the help of my wonderful teacher Angie of course.

I was going to show you some more quilting but time has got the better of me, so I will show you that next week.  Sorry if it's a bit of a boring post this week, but such is life.

How about a poem?  No poems are not boring, they can be quite lovely and thought provoking, you are getting one anyway..............

Slow Dance

Have you ever watched kids on a merry-go-round,
or listened to rain slapping on the ground?
Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight,
or gazed at the sun fading into the night?

You better slow down, don’t dance so fast,
time is short, the music won’t last.

Do you run through each day on the fly,
when you ask “How are you?, do you hear the reply?
When the day is done, do you lie in your bed,
with the next hundred chores running through your head?

You better slow down, don’t dance so fast,
time is short, the music won’t last.

Ever told your child, we’ll do it tomorrow,
and in your haste, not see his sorrow?
Ever lost touch, let a friendship die,
because you never had time to call and say hi?

You better slow down, don’t dance so fast,
time is short, the music won’t last.

When you run so fast to get somewhere,
you miss half the fun of getting there.
When you worry and hurry through the day,
it’s like an unopened gift thrown away.

Life isn’t a race, so take it slower,
Hear the music before your song is over.
                     David L. Weatherford


Until next time,
with smiles from,

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Making progress ........

but not a lot.  It's been one of those weeks when I feel like I've spent so much time in my sewing room, but I haven't much to show for it.  Do you ever get weeks like that?  Of course it doesn't help that I'm still in my 'let's see how many mistakes I can make in this block' phase but It's a phase, I'm sure I'll grow out of it sooner or later.  So what did I do make?

First of all I corrected the mistake I made in the Stash Bee block,


much better, although I know a few of you liked the first one.  Sorry, I had forgot to take a pic and had to take it out of the envelope so it has fold lines, I cropped the pic so you are missing the corners, they are there, promise.   I still haven't posted it on the Stash Bee blog yet either, but both will be done by tomorrow.

Then it was time for Gypsy, oh I am so enjoying the sew along, in fact I am even having a forage into the dark side (Instagram).   I'm not sure what I'm doing over there, I can add pics now and I can click to like pics, hey, I even learned to do a hashtag, but I don't know how to find posts I've seen before and want to go back to and commenting is a learning curve I haven't quite figured out yet.  Commenting is a different world compared to blogland, no-one says much, as you can imagine that is so difficult for me.

I digress, here is my latest Gypsy block, From the Heart.


Now this is the one I'm not sure of, not because I don't like it, it's the shade, it's a little different to the rest of my fabrics, however I'm going with it and I'm planning to add a bit more in a couple of the filler blocks.  This was also the block that cause me the most trouble, my own fault initially, I used a directional fabric for the background.  I knew I would end up making extra blocks so it went the way I wanted it to, that was fine, but I just couldn't get them ALL to go the way I wanted, and in the end I scrapped it and started again, so it was nearly a blue heart.  THEN those little hourglass blocks gave me no end of trouble, I think it was down to the size, they are so small, it's only a six inch block and the seams were so bulky.  But, tis done now and I'm happy with it, but I don't want to make it again, not just now anyway.

Do you want to see next weeks?  Ok then


This is Hope of Hartford, a 7 inch block which as you can see has partial seams.  Now I haven't really done much with partial seams before but they are quite straightforward and nothing to be scared of, although I did learn two things, firstly make sure you add the correct side of the block as you go around, I added the outside of the second block, you can see where i unpicked it on the edge, and second, when it's such a small central square only leave an inch undone when first adding it, I left myself very little room to manoeuvre.

So, what do you think of these new additions?  Someone on the Facebook page commented I was very brave with my colour combinations, brave or foolhardy?  I'm fed up playing it safe, this is my wild quilt and they say fortune favours the brave, so I'm going for it.

I was so sad last week, Festival of Quilts was on and I wasn't there.  I had thought of going and planned to go, but then I thought we were going away, but we couldn't get booked up and we didn't and I ended up at home crying into my fabric, sad...........  So I consoled myself by going SHOPPING!!!  Well I treated myself to some more fabric for Gypsy by way of consolation, which was a lot cheaper than train fares and entry fees to the NEC, even considering I would have stayed with my daughter who lives about 20 miles away.

AND, guess what the postman brought me about half an hour ago?


My shopping.  You can tell from the packaging it has nice contents.  The Postie didn't bring the note book of course, that was a little surprise from Janice a few months ago when she sent my mini, Chicken Poop, that's the name she gave my mini and if you are fairly new here I'm not kidding, have you ever been given anything called Chicken Poop?  If you want to see it and read about our swap you can find Janice post here at Color, Creating & Quilting and my mini for Janice HERE.  Then let me know what you think.

Oh, you want to know what was in the parcel?


This little lot.  After studying my colours for Gypsy I decided I needed more green and red, some lighter shades, and some darker ones to give me more contrast.  Yes I know there is no red but I couldn't get any pillar box red and I didn't want pinky red or orangey red.  So, I just went through the different colours and chose what I liked, I have more green, I have dark and pale shades, and I think they will bring more contrast, and I love a bit of contrast.  Nice little haul is it not?

This week I have a bit of a quandary, it's my sewing group on Saturday (no we still haven't managed to book a few days away, have you seen the price of some of the cottages?) the question is what do I take?  I decided last time I wasn't going to take my machine again, I'm struggling to lift it in and out of the car, what I would really like is a vintage Singer Featherweight, the earlier ones only weigh 1.2 lbs apparently, although that won't include the box I don't think, and Margaret from margiestitcher takes hers to class on the bus!!!  Brave woman.  But have you seen the price of them now?  I would have to have one that was in good working order, I know my limitations, but I'm just not prepared to pay several hundreds of pounds for one.

So, what do I take with me to my group?  I didn't want to start another project but there is no other option, but what should I start?  My thoughts are running to either orange peel or circles (no I haven't finished it yet, it still needs the FMQ and binding) using appliqué.  It will be scrappy, I have plenty of low volume fabric and I was thinking of maybe a rainbow, or perhaps on a dark blue, I have some of that too, any thoughts?  I was set on orange peel initially but more and more I'm leaning to circles, they just go round and round in my head............

So that's been my week, well, I have another Gypsy block or two but I'm saving them so you will just have to wait hehe!

Edit
I just HAVE to tell you, I've been featured again, that's twice in two weeks, this time it's at Wednesday Wait Loss if you would like to read about it.  I feel so honoured, thank you Jennifer.

Until next time,
With smiles from,
Kate x

Linking up with:
Midweek Makers
Let's Bee Social
Wednesday Wait Loss
Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?
A Quarter Inch from the Edge hosting for TGIFF
Finished or Not Friday

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

I've made....

the most ridiculous mistakes this week, honestly you wouldn't believe how stupid I can be at times.  Well, maybe you can.............

But first how about I show you something I didn't make a mistake on?


Colourwheel, the first block in Gypsy Wife.  I am so happy with the way it came together and the beautiful vibrant fabrics on the lovely Carolyn Friedlander background.  Sigh........ I could look at this all day.  When you examine it it is just half square and three-quarter square triangles which I made as such rather than piecing together triangles, I do have some left but I may well be able to use them further on in the quilt, and if I can't then they will go into a box towards a scrappy improv quilt.  Now if I was being really picky I would criticise two of my joins which are off by a minuscule amount, but I'm not so I won't.

The next block is Perishing reputed to be the most difficult in the quilt, I'll tell you how I get on next week.  If you have always wanted to make Gypsy Wife the quilt along has just started so it's not too late to join in, you can find details on the Gnome Angel blog here, including links to Instagram and the Facebook page.

I thought I would make my bee blocks this week and get them posted, I was much later than normal last month and I wasn't happy about it.  I don't like leaving things to the last minute, especially when it is a commitment I have made and people are waiting for me to fulfil it.  Now that's where the trouble started.

The first one I made was from........


Dog Gone Cute.  The block is from a quilt along and designed by the lovely and very generous Lorna from Sew Fresh Quilts, Lorna makes the most beautiful quilts many on animal themes, and you can find several free patterns on her blog.  If you haven't visited Lorna's blog before I strongly suggest you pop over and have a look around, I'd be surprised if you didn't find something you like.

This block was made for Ann one of my bee mates in our own special bee Bee Inspired, Ann has a great blog too,  Brown Paws Quilting.   Ann has just finished a wonderful sampler, if you have time you could pop over, say hello and check it out.

Now about those mistakes, if you have a look at the block it has a centre piece where most of the fiddly stuff is, then two side pieces and a long bit across the top.  I followed the pattern and made the two side pieces then the top piece and as you can see they were quite straightforward to make,  Lorna's instructions were very clear.  Next I made the more fiddly centre, but when you analyse it it's not too bad.  So, all I had left to do was stitch on the side pieces then add the strip across the top, sounds simple they were already made, but thats when the problems started.

I stitched the sides on, one seemed a little short but the block probably just needed trimming so I added the top, but when I measured it it would have been short if I trimmed it, I must have cut the piece wrong.   I couldn't understand it but the easiest way to remedy it was just to make another piece,  no big deal.

I unpicked the top part way across, removed the faulty piece, and made another by cutting the white rectangle, adding a square in the corner and doing stitch and flip to make the triangle, trimming it, pressing it......... and then I realised the wrong side of the white was uppermost, so exasperated, and it couldn't be fixed, sad.

Out came the cutting board and I made another one, perfect, I made it a bit longer than I needed to make sure it fit, stitched it onto the side, stitched the top back on..........and realised IT WAS TOO NARROW  What??????  I had cut it 31/2 inches instead of 41/2, how had I done that?  So I had to take it all off AGAIN

Out came the cutting board, again, and I made the FOUTH one, this time I cut it extra wide and triple checked it, I also made it extra long and triple checked, surely I couldn't get it wrong again.  The relief when I didn't, I trimmed it and it was perfect.

 Here are the rejects, the first one on the left, the back to front one in the middle, and the narrow one on the right.  Lots of white scraps then.

Karen encouraged us to name our dogs this was the easy part, I haven't told you what my little one got up to last week.  When Gary came home last Thursday we went to the pub for a quick one before tea, now that is a very rare occurrence for us but it was a beautiful night and we had a lovely drive first before having a larger in the pub, then we went home to find..........


this.  It's my kitchen and what is that on the floor?   One of the curtains.........


from my lounge.   Indi, she must have pulled on it so hard the hooks came out of the curtain then she had dragged it across the floor, through the hall, and into the kitchen.  I'm not sure if her half sister Ella had anything to do with it but if there is trouble about you can bet your last dollar Indi is at the bottom of it, and no she is not a puppy she was four yesterday.

Remember this?


The cushion I made last year from the practice blocks?  Take a look at it now........


It has sat in the rocking chair for ten months until two weeks ago.   All I can say is I'm glad I had moved my snowman cushions!

So Karen, due to all the trouble dog gone cute has given me her name is Indi.

Now I'm thinking that most people reading have given up by now and gone off somewhere so I can tell you my embarrassing moment.  This is on condition you so NOT let anyone connected to Stash Bee know.

I made this months block for Monica at the weekend and it is one of the nicest blocks this year,


this is her pic from her Stash Bee post which has all her fabric details.

I particularly like the original design where the centre blocks are the same colour and I can just see it as a panel sown a modern quilt in soft greys and pinks, it is the Alpine block and you can find it at Blossom Heart Quilts here .

I made up the block from fabrics in my stash and it went together like a dream and yesterday I posted it on the Stash Bee blog, that's when it didn't go to plan.  I had posted the pic sideways.  I removed it and turned it around, upside down, I removed it again, turned it around again and posted it.  THEN I went to check it had published properly and I noticed it didn't look quite right, I couldn't put my finger on it.  I checked the original pic and realised........


I had put the sides on the wrong way!  i was mortified, and it was on the Stash Bee blog and on the world wide web for everyone to see.  I went straight back to blogger and deleted the post breathing a sigh of relief, if I hadn't spotted it just imagine the ridicule.

Next I went to check my feed on Bloglovin and........... the post was there, mortification.  Fortunately when I clicked the link it came up post not found and my luck was in, the pic on Bloglovin doesn't give any clues as to who posted it, lets just hope no one recognised the fabrics, but I will make sure I wait a couple of weeks before I repost it to make sure.  So, it looks like I got away with it because it's only you and me who know and we are not telling......... are we?

While I think on I just have to tell you that I've been featured on Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication today, for my sampler quilt.  I am thrilled, it is the second time Susan has featured me, I have the I've Been Featured button on my sidebar, how cool is that?

Lastly an update, my Dad is doing well and is home, it may well happen again in another six months but we will cross that bridge when we come to it, anything can happen in the meantime and today the sun has come out and I have a block to repair.

Until next time,
With smiles from,
Kate x

Linking up with:
Midweek Makers
Let's Bee Social
Wednesday Wait Loss
Needle and Thread Thursday
Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?
Quilting is more fun than Housework hosting for TGIFF
Finished or Not Friday