Tuesday 23 February 2016

My second finish of the year AND number two on my 100 Day Challenge list!

After two, well ok, nearer four years, since I started it but only a year, or so, since it was layered to quilt I am so happy to say it is finished.  Yes, it is the one I was FM quilting last week, and that was the reason it has been waiting so long. However, since I joined in with Jen in her 100 day challenge and made my resolution for the year to ‘just do it’ I am motoring.  So without any further procrastination here it is……….

All the appliqué was done by hand with 2 strands of DMC stranded cotton.

My only regret is I used pigma pen for the faces instead of embroidery.

As you can tell I was so desperate to share I haven't finished off all the loose threads yet (job for tonight).   I don’t suppose I’ll win any prizes for my quilting but it’s sure an improvement on my first attempts and getting better all the time.  But you know what? I did it myself, AND, it’s a lot cheaper than sending it out to the quilter.

Looks good on my favourite sewing chair in my sunny window.   Not so sunny today though.

In case you are interested the quilt pattern is called Sugar and Spice from Australian Patchwork and Quilting Vol. 8 No. 5 and was from The Chook Shed.

Now I have only one challenge left, a quilt called sticks and stones which has been hanging around for a couple of years.  I'll tell you how I'm getting on with that one next week.

Until then
Smiles from

Wednesday 17 February 2016

Ooooops! Disaster strikes

The week started ok, I made another 10 blocks for my city lights quilt so halfway there, I can live with that. 

But it was always on my mind, the 100 Day Challenge, and there was no getting away from it, the quilting.  You see I’m fine at the piecing bit, a bit self critical as many of us are, I like my seams to match and my points to, well, point!  Appliqué is ok, my needle turn is acceptable and I can manage hand, and recently, machine appliqué, curves I'm rusty on though and need practice.  BUT, I strenuously avoid the quilting bit.  

So, what do I usually do?  Well I have a half done hand quilted whole cloth cot quilt, well, quarter done anyway.  Yes it is a UFO and I have had it a while - well ok, 5 years but I will get it finished, one day.  I can do machine quilting with my walking foot (although I don’t always hit the ditch) and, since I took Jacquie Gering’s Craftsy classes I have so improved, AND, I can do a spiral too.  Free motion quilting?  What do you think of this…………..

No It’s not my work, at least I made the top but the FMQ has always been done by Aileen Bunker in Eyemouth, until now.

The second item on my 100 day challenge is quilting a laptop, Sugar and Spice, so it was time to practice

First attempt………ouch!  

Second attempt………getting better? 

Third attempt………….this was easier. 

In case you are wondering yes I have purchased a FMQ Craftsy class, two in fact AND I watched them both, no I won’t say who the instructors are in case I embarrass them.  Time to ‘just do it’, who cares if its not perfect, it's just for me.  

Did the first block, hmmmmm, did I explain I’m working with the ‘blind man and galloping horse’ theory?

Second block, third block, getting tired now but just one more……….

That was when disaster struck.  You see I have a lovely friend, Wendy, who kindly leant me her supreme slider, I wasn’t so keen at first but that was until I realised the pink side went down and that made a difference.  There I was happily quilting away when it started slowing down, I tried to encourage it then it stopped.  It’s easier to show you.

Did I tell you I have a lovely friend?  Wendy won’t hear of me replacing it, she’s had it a while and doesn’t use it now.  Don't think I'll be investing in one though.

Needless to say I had to take out the quilting on the last block and three days later I haven’t yet plucked up the courage to get back to it.  I will though, I have given myself three weeks to finish it.  Show you?  No way, at least not yet.

Special thanks to Jen, Quilter in the Closet, Karin, The Quilt Yarn, and Lorna, Sew Fresh Quilts for their help and encouragement with the linky up thing, I think I’ve done it all properly this time.

Smiling, and laughing my little cotton socks off,


Tuesday 9 February 2016

Quilts and Cake

Progress update

I had a great time at my sewing group on Saturday, don’t we all just love to get together with other quilters to swap ideas, admire work, chat and of course eat cake!  But, my group meets  only every four weeks (just as well for my waistline) so I LOVE to follow blogs for my daily fix.

I worked so hard this Saturday, and am proud to say I made 20 of the 64 blocks for my City Lights Quilt.  You like?

We are also doing a group project, it’s actually a first although we have been together for about five years, you see we were originally two groups, the Special Needs, and the Smaries but as numbers dwindled we joined together to become the Special Smarties.  There are only seven of us plus Jan who owns the shop, Cotton Tree in Mickley Square, northeast England, who makes copious amounts of tea and coffee and dispenses advice, encouragement, and tuition if we need it.  Sadly our oldest member has some health problems and the travel is getting a bit much, hence the group project.  We have all made blocks to make a lap quilt for Paula.  I just need the final two and my job is to make the top.  

We chose the Circle of Friends quilt because thats what we are.

Noticed the pics are getting better? well..........a bit better.  Partly 'cos I am learning how to use the settings but also I used a 'proper' camera instead of my phone, or tablet.  One of the blogs I follow recently posted about taking pics and annoyingly I forgot to save it.  I'll try to find it, it made me want to do better, if only we could get some sun, and the rain would stop long enough to take them out side............  If you have seen such a post and remember which blog it was I would be very grateful if you would let me know.

The only thing left to say is I haven’t started FMQ a sample yet and yes, I’m still procrastinating, but, I have a day off this week and guess what I will be doing?  No I won’t still be talking about it, promise (I think), I WILL just do it so look in soon and I will post a pic.

Linking up with Lorna at

Just learning the linky up thing so please bear with me, I haven't got it quite right yet.

Smiles from


Friday 5 February 2016

What Kate(y) Did Next

Resolutions, Challenges, and Going Forward

I made the decision to start this blog on New Years Eve, a sort of resolution, and although I didn't make my first post for a couple of weeks I did the first steps in setting it up and wrote the first couple of posts.  Good Start.

In the meantime Jen from Quilter in the Closet issued a 100 day challenge  

Choose three things to complete in 100 days to join her in the challenge, ok I can do that, first the blog then finish quilting my Sugar and Spice quilt, and lastly finish piecing and quilt my sticks and stones quilt.  

Today it’s check in at Day 30.  I am so behind.  Yes the blog is up and running but I had written the first two posts, and I have made no progress on the quilts. Sometimes life happens and we just have to do the best we can, but, as my beloved husband keeps telling me, life is transient, and now as things improve I can get back on track.

It’s not too late to join in but you will only have 70 days, check it out and join in the fun.

Other resolutions?  Well I decided instead of making hard and fast ones I would just move in a direction, a bit wooly I know, but this way I don’t feel bad if I don’t reach my goal.  For example, instead of saying ‘I want to loose x many pounds by Easter’ I just think ‘I will weigh lighter at Easter than I do now’.  

My other resolution and maybe the most important is ‘Just Do It’ .  It is so easy to procrastinate, I do it all the time, but as I recently found out, you really don’t know what will happen next.  We were lucky this time, I can’t afford to forget this lesson, I don’t want to live with regrets.  So from now on, I will Just Do It.

Do any of you follow Lorna on Sew Fresh Quilts?  She has just started a quilt along,for her Ugly Christmas Sweaters Quilt.  It will be so much fun and the blocks can be customised with your favourite blocks.  Here is the link for the first block, it only started on February 1st ‘though if you go into tutorials or previous posts you will find all the posts and pics.

So, the only sewing I have done recently is cut a City Lights quilt kit I purchased from Oakshot a few years ago

and make two Circle of Squares blocks for a group quilt. 

Although for some reason the ‘finished’ pic won’t load.  Did I tell you I’m not “techy’?

It’s my sewing group tomorrow so I will post again soon to tell you what I’m up to now.

Until then
Smiles from