Monday 30 May 2016

Bluebell Woods Part 1

Oh yes, I finally started Bluebell Woods and the first part is done!!!

If you missed the first post it is based on Score 1, Floating Squares, in the Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters by Sherri Lynn Wood, I say based, the score is for a quilt using three colours, a limited amount of two and a filler fabric using whatever amount you need.  I am doing one of the adaptations, using the same process but stitching together several blocks of varying fabrics.  My inspiration came initially from the (not to be used as) cake tins I received from my husband for my birthday recently (don't ask, it's in the previous post).

These are the fabrics for the first block, I didn't have a clue how much a 'limited' amount should be so I just cut off a chunk of two 'bluebell' fabrics and started cutting them into squares.  One fabric had a range of 2-4 inches square and the other 3-5 inches, the green 'leaf' fabric I just cut as I needed it.  Forgot to tell you, no rulers, I cut freehand using scissors, remember them?  We used to use them in the days before rotary cutters.  No I didn't use my cutting board for guidance, promise.

This was when the fun began, stitching the squares together, adding filler strips when needed to join large and small squares.  That was when I had my first insight, I can't cut squares for toffee, half of them resembled rectangles.   You may notice that the edges are a bit wonky too, believe me, they got wonkier.

Then I started to put them together, like a jigsaw, not so easy.

I don't mind telling you, it was harder than I thought, and I can't cut straight either.

Nearly there, still adding bits of filler fabric  to get them to fit, and trying to straighten some of the wavy edges like the one on the bottom left (told you it got wonkier, believe me now?).

At last, this is what I ended up with, approximately 19.5 inches wide (depending on where you measure), by about 16 ish inches deep, just squint your eyes and think of a bluebell carpet (well, a very small one then).

I don't know how many blocks I will end up with, maybe 9 or 10, who knows.  Overall I'm thinking of an end result of about 50-60 inches, whatever.

Now I have to evaluate the experience and see what I would do differently next time.  I didn't think too much about it when I was doing it, I just concentrated on trying to get the pieces to fit together, but apparently that's a good thing.  I would make more of a variation is the size of the squares though, and I would definitely try to cut straighter.  By the way, you see on the last pic at the left it looks like I matched my seams?  I didn't, pure coincidence, just in case you were thinking..........In fact now that I get a proper look, it's as if I matched them in a few places, piffle!!!

So, what do you think so far, inspired or dogs dinner?  And will you be coming back to see the next block?

I have also decided to go for it with this quilt and I'm making it my monthly goal to have it pieced, quilted and bound by the end of June and so I'm linking up with Heidi at Red Letter Quilts for One Monthly Goal.

Until then
smiles from

Also linking up with

Friday 27 May 2016

Changing the size and position of your buttons

I am participating in the 2016 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop just now.  It has been great so far, and I am learning a lot.  This week in small groups we had to critique each others blogs.  I found it the hardest thing so far but I just got on with it.  You have to be honest, we are all fairly new to this and if we don't get honest opinions how will we learn?

One thing that came up for my blog was my sidebar was a bit messy.  To be honest it was fair criticism, I wasn't happy with it myself but I didn't know how to change it.   It came down to the buttons.

They were different sizes and where some were in the middle, some were at the side. Now the thought of code scares me, but it’s a button, if I mess it up all I need to do is delete it, and go grab it again, yes?  I put my big girl pants on.

This is what I mean

So I looked at the code.

See where it says width 200?  I knew that was the size, so, what would happen if I changed it to 150.

Oh yes! It's now the same size as the rest.  But it's not in the middle.  So I looked at the button codes again.

You see the bit at the top that says <div align="centre">?

I copied it, and pasted it to the beginning of the one at the side I wanted to change.  Brave or foolhardy?

Oh Yes!!!  I'm doing my happy dance.  All that was left was to drag my buttons around and put them in the order I wanted.

Yes code is scarey, not all buttons have the size numbers in the code, one of my buttons is slightly bigger than the others and I don’t know how to change that one so I have positioned it at the bottom so it isn’t as noticeable.


Thank you Gene who commented and gave some great advice.

Here is what I did to change that button size

This is the code for the button I need to change, look at the bottom line.

Now check this button code, again bottom line.   I am copying - width=“150”border=“0”

Now I have pasted it into the same position and saved it.

Now check my sidebar, perfect.

Thank you so much Gene. If you haven’t been on Gene’s blog before I suggest you check it out and have a good look around, it’s great, and it even has video tutorials.

So I'm challenging you, are you brave enough to have a go?


Monday 23 May 2016

It's Finished.......

and at last I can show you my finished City Lights quilt, a gift for my husband on his birthday.

 Isn't it beautiful.  The binding was made from the scraps.

I love the colours and the fabrics.  In case this is your first visit the fabric used is Oakshott Lipari with Oakshott Colourshot charm centres in the 6 inch blocks.

I quilted it with stitch number 4 on my Bernina, stitch length 2, width 2.5.  I used Aurifil  50/2 grey thread no 2605.  It shows up slightly lighter than I expected but it was the darkest grey my local quilt shop had.

This is the first time I have made a pieced back.  It's not quite as bright in reality and the colour shades are a little off. I used Warm and Natural wadding.  What do you think of the quilting?   I love the texture it gives, and not a pucker in sight.   To be perfectly honest, it isn't as evenly spaced as you might think on the pics, but I don't care, I am so happy with the overall effect. 

 It is a quilting stitch I had never used before, but will be trying again.   I was surprised at how long it took,  I was thinking straight lines, but wavy takes a lot longer and a lot more thread.   Quite nerve wracking on a special gift.  

This was the only outside pic I managed to get on a dull and drizzly day.  Like my weeds?

I did a proper posh staged one too hehe, can you tell I'm happy!

If you are interested there is a Lipari blog hop on right now.  This is the first post on May 5th.  My favourite so far is Crepuscular, you will love this one.  I can hardly wait to see the rest of the quilts.  

Would I use Oakshott Lipari again?   In a heartbeat, but it is so expensive it would have to be on sale or for something special.

This was my One Monthly Goal, at Red Letter Quilts.  

And Pink Doxies for Brave Quilters

And I am also linking up with 

Until next time
With smiles, from   

Tuesday 17 May 2016

I'm feeling inspired......

I'm feeling inspired today, and there is a quilt inside me just bursting to get out, we all know that feeling, yes?  I thought it would be fun to make a record of it and share my thoughts behind the inspiration, and the method of making it, from start, to finish.  I haven't done that before but for some reason I feel it is important for me to do that.  I'd better start at the beginning.

I am a May kitten, and Sunday was my birthday.  I received several gifts including quilting related ones, two of which are important to the process. Three were books, and what books, Creative Quilt Challenges by Pat Pease and Wendy Hill, Minimal Quiltmaking by Gwen Marston (which I have only skimmed through so far and will let you know about later), and The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters, by Sherri Lynn Wood.  On so many levels this is a wonderful book.  (My children have cleaned out my Amazon wish list already this year and I have acquired six new books, Oh Joy!)   The Improv book is the first gift which started the process.

The other gifts were a beautiful wooden box from my friend, handmade by a man in Northumberland, so lovely with little compartments to keep all the tiny things which are easy to loose, I absolutely love it.

The last gift I want to share is a set of four cake tins from my husband.  Now stop laughing, he put a lot of thought into it, he knows I like tins and he thought if I was doing out the new quilting room a set of tins make lovely decorative storage.  This is the second thing which started the process.  No, it's not a cake quilt!

The improv book gives challenges, she called them 'scores', and reading the first one it is about squares and gives guidelines including a timeframe so it becomes more inspirational than planned.  I like the sound of that, and decided there and then to work my way through the book, challenge by challenge.

I started thinking about colours, using my stash, after all it could end up total rubbish, I don't want to go out and buy fabric and waste it, I could use all the old stuff I keep meaning to clear out.  Looking out onto the garden a patch of bluebells caught my eye, and I remembered a birthday when we went out for the day and came across a meadow of bluebells, and wondered where the photos were now.

Then I noticed one of the tins was Bluebell Wood.

Then it struck me I had some fabric given to me by the friend who gave me the box, although not true bluebell colours they were ion a similar level.  I began to get excited and pulled out fabric, leaving a trail of devastation in my wake (that's my normal when I get a quilt idea in my head, really annoys my husband, but he's mellowed about it now, one of my not so endearing traits - hehe!).

This is my fabric pull so far.  I'm thinking bluebell colours, and shrubbery, and skies? I may have to add a very pale blue.

Following the rules, which can be broken,  I must set limits of two fabrics of set amounts, and a filler fabric (the finished quilt in the book had three colours per section), no limits on amount as you don't know how much you will need.  No rulers are to be used for the cutting, you can use scissors or rotary cutter.

I haven't gone any further yet due to time constraints this week but I will post the first pics of my progress as soon as I have any.

Just to let you know, the quilting is finished on City Lights (big sigh of relief), I had a little trouble, two tiny folds in the back, I ended up taking out five rows of quilting altogether but it as they disappeared with the restitch.  No I'm not showing you yet,  did you see the taster I posted at the weekend?

Here it is if you missed it, yes it is the back, but that's all your'e getting today.

The binding is made though, scrappy and colourful.

If you want to know more about the scores, Luna, from Luna Lovequilts is up to the fourth score now, here is the first finished quilt she blogged about, there are links to the earlier posts too.  Steph form Dawn Chorus Studio has also done score one, and Cheryl, from Meadowmist Designs made a baby quilt using another of the scores.

I am so excited about the bluebell quilt, I only wish I didn't have to work this week, and I have some other commitments too.  I should really do a proper review of the book, it is so much more than a quilting book, but I will have to leave that for another day.

Linking up with Freemotion by the River,  Let's Bee Social,  My Quilt InfatuationTGIFF,  Confessions of a Fabric Addict , Crazy Mom Quilts

With smiles, from

Saturday 14 May 2016

Back Up Your Blog Tutorial Link

Do you all back up your blogs?  As a blogger of only four months I didn't know I should do.  There is a great tutorial, here is a direct link to the post from Debbie at A Quilters Table for those who use Blogger.  I have now backed up my blog in a few minutes.   I will add a link to my Blogging Tutorials page.

But what is a post without a little eye candy?  Ok then, here is a taste of what is to come, the back of City Lights, part quilted.  I'm a bit further on now and I am so pleased with it.  What do you thing so far?


Tuesday 10 May 2016

Hexagon Quilt

I was recently at my quilt group which is held in a shop, a lady came in with the most stunning quilt top, almost finished, and allowed me to take some pics to share with you.  They were just taken on my phone and there wasn't much room so take a proper full pic so apologies for the quality.

I believe the quilt is called Insanity and I believe it has over 10,000 hexagons.There was another five rows of cream to be added as the final border.

It had taken her 10 years although there had been long periods where she had laid it aside.  Now it doesn't match her bedroom and is to become a sofa quilt.

Did I mention it was half inch hexagons?

 The back of the quilt was as beautiful as the front but I didn't get the chance to take a pic.

The last five borders will no longer be added although she will add either a row of cream hexagons, or appliqué the edges onto cream to finish it off and not loose the wonderful hexagon edge.

I didn't even get the ladies name, when talking quilts, names become irrelevant.  She did take my blog address though and if you are reading thank you so much for letting me photograph and share your most beautiful quilt.


Monday 9 May 2016

Adding Pages in Blogger

In the last tutorial I added a Home button, so I already have a navigation bar under the header on my blog.  To make it easy for readers to find the blogging tutorials in the future I decided to add a Blogging Tutorials page to the header.  

Pages are just that, a static page where you can add text, pictures, and links.  Just like a post really, but these pages are only accessed via the navigation bar, they wont be seen in your posts archive.  

To add a page first click on Pages on the left, you can see it in orange as I have already clicked on it. It says ‘Pages All’ at the top and underneath ‘There no pages’ as I haven’t added any yet.  Click on ‘Create a new page’ in blue.

This is my new page and as you can see it is just like writing a blog post.  I can change the font, add pictures and links, everything I would normally do.  I know what I want to add to my page………

I have now added a few words saying what this page is about.  You don’t have to do this bit, it’s just how I like to do it.   You can save the page at any point and just like a post it will be saved as a draught until it is finished.   Next I added a picture in exactly the same way I normally would and underneath I added the link to the first blog tutorial I did, How to Grab a Button.  

Rather than having people scroll down to the bottom to find the latest tutorial I am clicking on the page above the first tutorial picture and inserting the second one.  I added them all in until I got to the latest one.  As I do more bogging tutorials all I have to do is add a direct link to the top of the page when they are published.

At this point I remembered I hadn't added the name of the page name to the page which is just like adding a name to a blog post.  You can just save it at this point and it will remain a draught page or if it is finished click Publish on the right in orange.  You can edit the page at any time in the future.

Now we have to add the page to the navigation bar.

Go into layout, we want the Pages Gadget, click on ‘Edit’ on the right side.

I have ticked the ‘Blogging Tutorials' page, under ‘Home’ page.   Now click save.  If you have several pages you can change the order of them here too.

Take a look at your success and congratulate yourself.

This will be my last blogging tutorial unless someone makes a request which I can fulfil.  I hope you have enjoyed reading them and I have been of some help.  I have certainly learned a lot and had fun in the process.

Linking up with Freemotion by the River, Let's Bee Social, and Confessions of a Fabric AddictMy Quilt InfatuationTGIFFCan I Get A Whoop Whoop? , Crazy Mom Quilts


Sunday 8 May 2016

New to me quilting stitch

Just a short post to link up with Pink Doxies May Brave Quilter link up.

I have already linked with Heidi at Red Letter Quilts OMG for my City Lights quilt, but I want to do something new, I am going to try straight line quilting using the Serpentine stitch (Bernina 4).  Not only that but because the quilt is multicoloured I am stitching with a toning grey thread which I can't hide.  Oh noooooooooo.!   You will be able to see my stitching, no hiding place and I will be revealed as a fraud.

Here it is, one last pic of my beautiful quilt before it is forever changed.

Wish me luck!
Smiling through my tears

Thursday 5 May 2016

Blogging Tutorial - Adding a Home button

I thought I didn’t need  home button, but I was wrong.  If someone follows a link to your page, that’s all they will see, that page, and they won't see your latest posts, can they judge your blog on that?  Some of our posts are better than others, what if it’s an iffy one, they may decide not to link up again.  Yes, they can look at your previous posts in your sidebar, but not everyone will, do you?  
If you want to know how add a pages bar with a 'Home' button read on, if not hit my home button or look at the posts in the sidebar and see what else I blog about, or my Blogging Tutorials button, just in case there is something there you may be interested in………….

So, how do we add a home button, first we go into Layout. 

Under the Header there is a ‘cross column’ with ‘Add a Gadget’ in blue, click there.

Now we find a list of all the gadgets we can add, there are lots of them if you would like to scroll down and take a look.  Click on Pages.

On the left it has the ‘Home ’page button ticked for you.  On the right is the list order, if you have several pages you can just drag them to change the order.  All we need to do is click save.

Now Save Arrangement on the right assuming you want the pages bar under your header.  If you want it elsewhere you can drag it into the position you want or add it somewhere else, like, the bottom of your blog space.

This is what we get.  Happy?  If you decide you don’t want it you can always click edit on the pages gadget, then remove.

I hope you enjoyed this and find it useful.  My next blogging tutorial will be how to add pages, and how they work.

Until then
Smiles from