Tuesday 28 February 2017

Canadian Quilt Bee

This post is specially to link up with the Sew Fresh Quilt Bee for February in commemoration of Canada's 150th Anniversary this year.

The blocks have to include the With Glowing Hearts fabric line.  Here are the blocks I have made so far.

I still have some fabric left and plan on using it all up in the next couple of weeks.  It is hoped there will be enough blocks to make 1000 quilts for kids at Ronald McDonald houses.

There is still some time left, so if you would like to participate and make some blocks for a great cause click on the button in my sidebar, or hop on over to Sew Fresh Quilts here and see the blocks some of the others have been making.

Smiles from
Kate x

Wednesday 22 February 2017

You wont believe it but........

I have a FINISH!!!!!!

Now come on, I can hear you all thinking 'and about time'.  Ok, I admit I'm off to a slow start this year, but that means it can only get better, no I know it couldn't get much worse , but hey, onwards and upwards.

So here without further ado are.......

my elephant cushions, oh yes all three of them.  Have a closer look......

I had leftover backing which matched this yellow one.

I also had extra fabric in the same range which I had used in the pink one.

I lucked out for the blue one........

so I used a reads as solid one I got in a sale which tones in ok.  Yes I agree it is a bit boring but after all, who turns their cushions over to check the backs?

I know I'm practicing my FMQ but I thought the serpentine quilting would be perfect.

With just a little wiggle around the elephant.

For this finish I am linking up with Jennifer from The Inquiring Quilter for her WIP link up.

Now I should have told you about this last week, but remember I said I had some news for you about a blog hop?  Well it's been announced, in fact there is a new button on my sidebar, it's Jen and Jan's Mini Blog Hop.  They had one last year which was a great success and really good fun, only I couldn't join in as it was when I had concussion, sad.  Anyway this time Jen has designed a beautiful little mini.

What do you think?  Jen has made it a free download on Craftsy.   It is called Quilters Laundry Day, and you know the best bit?  You can customise it!

See the quilt on the washing line?  It is a four inch block and you get to design it yourself, anything you want, or if you have a piece of the most beautiful fabric you can use that either, it doesn't have to be pieced, it is your quilt so make it as you please.

The hop is on the 10th and 11th March so you have plenty of time to make the quilt and join in.  I'm in, I wasn't going to miss it this time, I already made mine I just need to layer and quilt it, and maybe add a bit of something to make it special to me.

If you want to join in just contact Janice from Colour Creating and Quilting, or Jen from A Dream and a Stitch.  Go on, you know you want to..........

Now I know you are thinking what about the quilt that went with the cushions, and remember I finished it last year and blogged about it here.

You may also remember I said I would tell you what 'sweet little Indi' had been up to when I was at work last week.  Oh yes, made the connection?

This is the finished quilt,

and this is what I came home to.

She ate it!!!  She ate the pink piece that is missing AND the wadding!  There is a hole in the binding and look at the colour of it.........filthy!  You can see the blue piece underneath is damaged too.  It was the fact that I had quilted on all the seam lines that stopped her eating more of it.  My luck must have been in though, the backing is intact.

I do have some scraps of fabric left, although I don't know if I have the same ones the need replacing, and I have a strip leftover from the binding too so I can splice a piece in.

What more can I say??????

Now for the news you have all been waiting for, this is when I announce who becomes the next victims of Pay It Forward.

Only thing is although I got my friend to pick them out of a hat I haven't emailed them yet, so I will have to tell you next time, hehe!  I do like to drag these things out don't I?

So until the,
Smiles and giggles,
Kate x

Linking up with:
Jennifer @ Wednesday Weight Loss 
Kelly @Needle and Thread Thursday
Sarah @Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?

Friday 17 February 2017

Just catching up

I didn't think I was going to get to post this week, but I'm on a quick break so here is me making the effort.

It has been a wild week here, I did get in my sewing room though, I spent my time doing essential stuff, here it is......

As you know I'm in Stash Bee Hive 2, my quilting bee commitments take priority every month and Cheryl requested this granny block in brights on a white background with high contrast, just up my street, and I enjoyed making this block.

Next my bee block for Sue in the Bee Inspired bee.  Sue wanted a monochromatic block with a white or cream background for this block, Inside Addition.  The block was originally designed as an 8 inch block but Sue upscaled it to 12 inches.  You can find out the measurements and the links and see the other blocks which are being posted on the Bee Inspired blog.

Finally I got these slab blocks done for the Quilting Bee hosted by Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts.  It's in commemoration of Canada's upcoming 150th anniversary in 2017.  You can read about it here.

The blocks have to include the With Glowing Hearts fabric line, it isn't available here but the lovely and very kind Bernie from Needle and Foot was kind enough to send me pieces her hers, wasn't that so sweet of her?  I have enough to make a few more too then I will post them all off together.  THEN the equally lovely Lisa from Sunlight in Winter offered to send me some fabric too, what lovely people they are.

I really wanted to join in this bee, and to be honest it was partly because of Lorna, she was so kind and encouraging to me when I started blogging, as many others were, and including Bernie and Lisa too, I just wanted to give something back.  I'm not a designer, I'm not clever and don't have any special talents, but I do love quilting and there are lots of ways to contribute to this wonderful community.

So, want to know how the book launch went last week?  Never mind, you are going to find out anyway.  It went great, it was very low key and informal, no speeches or anything like that, we didn't invite the press or anyone important even, just the people who have supported us over the years and those who have already participated in our courses.  We did have a PR lady there who brought a photographer and Gary spent the whole night talking to people, signing books, and being photographed, he loved that, not.  If there is anything he doesn't like it's the limelight.  Want to see a couple of pics?

This is Gary signing a book, duh!!!

And this is me with three of our teachers,

That's all, I don't want to bore you rigid with pics of lots of people you don't know.

You won't believe what I did when I was setting everything up just before people started to arrive, I fell, AGAIN!!!  In the kitchen area, I slipped in something, although Gary checked the floor and couldn't find anything.  I fell onto a table and chair, then landed on my back on the floor, ouch.  My daughter says I'm a liability, but I think it's because she was thinking of when I fell on my head on holiday with her six months ago, when I had concussion.  I felt sort of ok, I missed my head and I didn't let it spoil the night.  I did have some wonderful bruises on my left arm and down my side though and I was rather sore.

I can't tell you who got pulled out for the Pay it Forward yet as I haven't emailed the winners so I'll let you know next week.  I will also let you know what my 'sweet little Indi' got up to yesterday, I may have calmed down a bit by then.

Have to go now, I can hear you all thinking that for a short break it's lasted a little long.......

With smiles from,
Kate x

Linking up with Sarah @Can I Get A Whoop Whoop, and Jen @ A Quarter Inch from the Edge hosting TGIFF

Wednesday 8 February 2017

Pay it Forward

I commented on a Pay it Forward post just over a year ago, before I even started blogging I think, and completely forgot about it.  This one was by Serena at Sew Giving and was to be completed within one year.  Imagine my surprise when Serena contacted me recently, and a bigger surprise when this

came in the post.  Isn't it lovely?  Serena was reading my blog and working out what to make me when she read my (in)famous post I'm Expecting.  She immediately started making a ...............Baby quilt!!!   Of course she read the follow up post and to quote her "laughed and laughed".   So, not to be deterred she made the quilt for Baby.  Doesn't she look wonderful in it?  Baby is a big girl, 20 inches wide,14 inches tall, and 8.5 inches deep, far too big for a standard cover.

Serena also suggested it could be used as a wallhanging if it didn't fit, I think it would look wonderful in the wall of my new sewing room too, don't you?  I love it, thank you Serena.

So now it is my turn to Pay it Forward.  All you have to do is to leave me a comment on todays post. I will choose three comments at random and pay it forward with in a year.  I will let you know who the winners are next week and you will have a year to take your turn, it's fun.   Remember if your email is no reply I won't be able to contact you, but you can always email me with your email address, you can find it on my About Me page.

To all you who use the Bloglovin app.  I have it and I love it for reading blogs, it was bit of a job to post comments though, clicking to 'view original post' and my iPad kept reloading the page, so I was delighted when I saw it now has a 'post comments' button, brilliant.  Only they don't show up on the blog, only on Bloglovin.  That means if you are unaware you could be entering lots of giveaways and not being entered.  AND if you are a blogger doing return visits and being neighbourly the blogger may well be unaware you are commenting.

Do you know there is a brand new linky party starting today?  It is the WIP, Wednesday Weight Loss, to help us loose those WIP's and UFO's languishing in the closets.  You can find it at The Inquiring Quilter by the lovely Jennifer.

I haven't got a finished item to share so I am sharing........

Yes they are still in my UFO's, and yes it's ridiculous that I haven't finished them yet.  I have already layered them and started the quilting, so I am setting the intention to finish it and make them into cushions by next week.

I can hear all your thoughts, 'so what has she done this week'  and again I have struggled.  I did go to my quilt group on Saturday, we had a great time, I did the binding on a secret project which was a bit tricky but I will tell you about that when I share it, not today, and I haven't sent it yet because it needs a label.  One of the girls had a baby quilt which needed binding urgently for a baby due this week, she had cut out the strips but couldn't join them or stitch them on, so I did it for her, we all need a bit of help sometimes, right?  Now it just needs the hand stitching which she can do at home nicely in time for baby coming.

Here is what I can show you.

Yes it's not a lot to look at, but it's the backing for circles,  I just need to finish it and I can get it layered and start the quilting.  I did do some more FMQ practice this week but I can hear your thinking 'not the sandwiches again' so I won't show you those.

Now my exiting news,   IT'S OUT AND AVAILABLE!!!!!!

My husbands book is finally published and is in the shops worldwide.  Tonight is the book launch party, I AM SO EXCITED!!!  It isn't a big posh affair, we are doing it ourselves at our training room and providing wine, nibbles, and CAKE (of course), not a posh launch cake, just my home made chocolate and beetroot fudge cake and my carrot cake, but at least I know it will taste good rather than being more for show and keeps us within our budget.

I just have to show you the Acknowledgements page though

Read the last three lines.  My husband is a man of few words, he doesn't give me endless compliments of words of affection, but he does show me in lots of little ways, and I was moved to tears by this public statement.  Now I'm going to cry again........

Smiles from
Kate x

Linking up for the very first time to 
Jennifer at WIP
Also to:
Kelly @Needle and Thread Thursday
Sarah @Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?

Wednesday 1 February 2017

Do you ever have........

One of those weeks where all your good intentions go out the window?  Me too.   This  Last week I was going to sort the two mystery blocks that have mistakes, practice my FMQ, finish up a couple of bits, and make the back of my circles quilt, and of course sort out the design wall.  What did I do ?  Very little.

In my defence I had a busy week at work, we had a weekend event on for which I had to do the catering myself.  Why didn't I just get a caterer?  There are four vegans, people who don't eat any animal products at all, including milk, cheese, eggs, even honey.  If we were in London there are vegan caterers but in the Northeast?    So I have to cook, and as there is no oven or hob at the venue it has to be cold, even harder.  So the end of the tale is I spent two days shopping and cooking, and two days preparing, serving, and clearing up.  No way did I have any energy to get into the sewing room, and on top of my other work days very little chance or energy either.

I did get in yesterday  one day though

and practiced my FMQ.  This is the back as you cant see much from the front.  I did pebbles again which seem to be getting rounder but I still can't stitch them in a cluster very well, they are fine if I go in a straight line two deep but it's when I try to do my cluster and have to stitch over previous stitching it gets a bit messy.  I varied a few of them by stitching inside the bigger circles too.

Next I had a go at meandering, I read in one of my quilting books (I think) that it's easier to make a shape, so I did gingerbread men, well I did arms and legs, some had heads but only one arm and a leg, some were just a bit of a squiggle, but it did help to do that, it's the best meander I've ever done.  I need to be consistent with my gingerbread men size though.

You can see this one much better.  See the little gingerbread men shapes on the left?  I am so proud of those.

As I told you last week I'm using up old fabric which I doubt I will ever use, and odds and ends of thread too which is why the thread colour changes, although it does mean I have to fill the bobbin more often.

I used packaging tape to stick the wadding onto the back of the insulation boards for the design wall, only it didn't stick AT ALL!   I'm going to have one more try and if it doesn't work try the stapler.  If that doesn't work I will put it in the bin and buy a ready made one and hang it with command hooks.  I'd do that now but I'm not so keen on wasting what I already bought, although I am tempted............. I need to have a think............

I'll let you know next week what I decide.

Well, it's now next week, I didn't get to finish and post, but I'm not going to worry about that now.  If I worry about it I will get stressed and upset, and why worry about something that has happened that, in the grand scheme of things isn't important, and that will end up with me feeling bad about myself and getting all upset, yes, I do, and it is so stupid.

So, moving on, I hope you had had a great two weeks and got lots of sewing done.  What did I do this week?  MORE FMQ practice and you know what?  I had a lightbulb moment.

I was doing another practice

Sorry about the poor pics, my card reader stopped working so I had to use the iPad.  Now I know this one looks rubbish, as if I went backwards, but that is partly because I was having my lightbulb moment and I got carried away and instead of stopping to make another sandwich I just kept going over it.  Anyway, I had put on one of my Craftsy classes, Angela Walters, Small Changes Big Variety, excellent by the way, and she said if we were having problems with the circles and were using a stitch regulator try turning it off.  So I did, and WOW!!!  It was so much easier, the fabric moved easier and my movements were so much smoother.  The problem is my stitches are now uneven in size, but then I got to thinking, that's what a stitch regulator does, it makes all your stitches an even size, nothing else, no magic fairy dust to make you a much better quilter.  So, new tack, I am stopping using the stitch regulator, even though the stitches will be uneven, for now, but I'm thinking with lots of practice they should improve, and with smoother movements my quilting generally will improve anyhow.  What do you think?  Do you use a stitch regulator and how do you like it?  I know Janice from Colour Creating and Quilting just finished a quilt with the most beautiful quilting, look at her quilt, Janice hasn't been machine quilting long and she does feathers and all sorts using a stitch regulator.  I would love to hear how you all do it and how you get on.

Would you believe I haven't any quilt pics to show you this week?  ALL my sewing has been secret, two for swaps, both almost finished, and one is a pattern test for a lovely little mini quilt which is going to be featured in a blog hop soon.  Obviously I can't reveal it, but it is cuteness itself, and when it is launched I will make sure you are among the first to hear about it.

So, sorry for the lack of pics and just a very few boring ones, I'll order a new card reader and try to have some better ones next week.

Until then
Smiles from
Kate x

Lorna @ Let's Bee Social
Kelly @Needle and Thread Thursday
Sarah @Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?