Friday 28 April 2017

I Hit a Wall

This has been the weirdest week, I think I have been in a post finish slump.  It's the only way I can explain it, does anyone know what I mean or am I just having a loopy here?

I have done some sewing, but I can't show you until next week :-(  Why?  Because it is for my Stash Bee post!  Oh yes, my turn to be queen, only I've been having a bit of trouble, again.  Not only can I still not access the pics on my camera (new card reader ordered but Amazon are taking their time) but now my iPad is playing up and I can't get my pics off, in fact I can't do much at all.  I did manage to get a couple but now every time I try it shuts down, I just don't believe it!  I did have one or two on my phone but they are not as good, but you will just have to do with what I've got.  Ok, here goes......

As promised, the not a mystery quilt any more, finished at last.  My first finish for the Quarter 2 2017 FAL.  Because I have problems taking a pic of the quilt I though I would lay it out on the grass in the garden and take it from the bedroom window, which I did using my big zoom on my camera, only I can't show you that one.  Want to look closer?

Best I can do I'm afraid, but it shows you how I quilted it anyway.  Diagonal lines, simple but so effective.  I don't have it anymore, it now belongs to my sister to whom I gave it for her special birthday.  But I did label it,

You can see the backing I used too.  In reality it's more of a pale cream, it should have been white but it was what I had and as it has so many seams I preferred it to have a one piece backing.  Although it looks like it is crawling with beetles on the back they are sort of little stalks, I know my sister used to like beetles when we were kids but I don't think she would appreciate it now :-)

I have had a little time sorting my sewing room too.  You are not going to believe this but.....

I finally sorted my design wall!!!   I had to make some changes to my original plans, you see I didn't take into consideration that there is a door which opens on to the wall and the insulation boards would have ended up with big dints in from the door handle so I had to have a rethink.  I bought  one and a half meters of Kaffe Fassett gridded flannel, seamed the selvedges and made a small hem at the bottom.  Next I turned over the top leaving a channel for a narrow pole, the kind you use for voile curtains.

I attache it to the wall using Command clear plastic hooks, easy.  So, what do you think?  It is only about 44 inches wide and 56 inches long, but I haven't a lot of wall space in my room and it is so much better than before, when I had nothing.

Now look at it, resplendent with trees and gnome blocks.  I am still waiting for the last two which are on their way, and I will need to make another four, but it's exciting so far isn't it?

Did you notice my wall hanging from Serena next to the design wall?  I got some Command strips too, and.......

now I have my mini's on the wall.  Quilters Laundry Day, my Snail Block from Sue, and Chicken Poop from Janice! (hysterical giggles, I really can't help it).  I got my thread stand up on the wall too, I only bought it eighteen months ago so it didn't take long.  My threads are a mix of Aurifil and Maderia with a couple of Gutermanns's which I am just using for practice as I find it a bit thick and my machine isn't as keen either, Baby can be temperamental at times.  Maderia isn't bad though, it's nice and thin, although I prefer Aurifil I have to use up what I have first and gradually replace it.

The only other thing I have been doing is some design work for the 12 Days of Christmas blog hop in July, but I can't show you that either.  Never mind, only two months for the reveal, I know you will be waiting with bated breath........

So that's all I can show you for this week, but next week I can reveal my block for Stash Bee.  The pics will be rubbish of course but you have been warned.

Until then,
With smiles from
Kate x

Linking up with:
Kelly @ Needle and Thread Thursday
Sarah @ Can I Get a Whoop Whoop
Myra @ Busy Hands Quilts also hosting for TGIFI

Monday 24 April 2017

Slab Blocks for Canadian Bee

When Lorna from Sew Fresh Quilts  set up the Sew Fresh Quilt Bee last year as part of a worldwide goal of making 1000 quilts for the  Ronald McDonald House Childrens' Charity I knew straight away It was something I wanted to participate in.  Bernie from Needle and Foot kindly sent me some of her focus fabric without which I couldn't have joined in, AND she sent it at her own expense so it didn't cost me anything.  Quilters are such generous people and Lorna and Bernie are two of the best of them.

The blocks were to be slab blocks, 12 1/2 inches unfinished and had to contain a piece of the commemoration fabric, here are my blocks all together.

I made them all from large scraps, following the directions for slab blocks taken from the book Sunday Morning Quilts, the latest ones are both yellow and orange.

As I'm in England it was always going to be a bit expensive if I sent very many, but every one counts and it was something I wanted to participate in.  So my contribution will be winging their way over to Canada later today.

If you are joining in remember the bee is running until May 17th and the deadline for sending in your blocks and unfinished tops is May 30th.  

With smiles from,

Linking up with: 

Wednesday 19 April 2017

My Week That Was

Do you ever have one of those weeks when you feel like you have worked hard in your sewing room but feel like you have very little to show for it?  Well I have had a week just like it.  So what did I do?

Before I tell you that I want to show you what I have received in the post.  Firstly

my lovely snail block mini from the lovely Sue @Sevenoaks Street Quilts.  Isn't it absolutely wonderful?  I had admired Sue's snail blocks a few weeks ago, I get LOTS of snails in my garden.  Indi my beautiful Springer Spaniel loves them, in fact it has become something of an issue as she likes to crunch on them, shells and all.   My mini came with some lovely fabric too, only I forgot to include it in the pic.  This was the Pay it Forward gift I told you about last week.  Thank you so much Sue I so love it, it will be going on the wall of my sewing room where I will see it every time I sit down to sew.

Then I got

Chicken Poop!  You know I want to giggle every time I say that.  It came with a cute notebook and pen from the lovely, and very descriptive Janice @Colour Creating and Quilting.  If you missed our swap posts you can see my mini and read all about it here.

My important sewing to be done this week was my bee blocks and as you know I am in two bees this year, and wouldn't you know it both of them asked for bird blocks this month.

First Stash Bee, where     requested a paper pieced block, groan, not the dreaded paper piecing, but yes, sigh.  I couldn't put off any more and that is how I spent Friday, stitching

these blocks.  I made the yellow one first and believe me my unpicker got plenty of work.  I took one piece out three times would you believe?  Partly because I used the wrong fabric, partly because I added the wrong piece, oh the list goes on.  It took me over three hours, I kid you not, for a block that finished 5" x 6" inches.  I only had to do one but because it was so small I decided to do three, but in the end I was glad to stop at two.  Keep your fingers crossed no one else in either of my hives asks for paper pieced blocks again this year.

Then in Bee Inspired Velda who was Queen for April requested a bird block she had draughted out herself.

This is a 12 inch finished block consisting of four six inch bird blocks, you can find the pattern on Velda's blog @GRANNYcanQUILT.  Velda requested they contain either a black with white or white with black or a dark fabric with a bright.  I found some strips left over from a jelly roll for three of the bodies and a lovely grey batik for the wing of the third to mix it up.  I made them scrappy as requested, hope she likes them.  These were much quicker to do being pieced, I made all the bodies first then the beak units and added a strip to the top.  The leg units were easy then it was just arranging them together.

Both lots will be winging their way across the sea this week and that is another thing off my list.

At this point it would be fair to say that although there are many bird blocks freely available on the internet if you want variations in your birds Lynne Tyler on her blog The Patchery Menagery has a pattern with over 40 pages of variations and detailed instructions.

The good news is I FINISHED THE NOT A MYSTERY ANY MORE QUILT!!!  Actually about half an hour ago and I haven't a pic yet, so you will get that next week.  Remember all the trouble I had with the binding last week?  Well I ended up just making a pocket for the second end to go into, not quite as neat as a miter but it was easier with the join in the wrong place and less noticeable than it would have been.  I finished it by hand stitching to the back AND I added a label, which to be honest I don't always do, but Karen from KaHolly insisted I should do for historical purposes.  Karen is right of course, and should I tell you a secret?  Remember Bluebell Woods?  I loved making her so much I felt I just HAD to label her, so I  left a corner and didn't quite finish  hand stitching the binding, ten months later she is still waiting, don't tell Karen!

I have been doing 'something else', I'm not going to tell you this week, but I'm hoping I will have a pic for next week and you won't believe it!

So until then
with smiles from,
Kate x

Linking up with:

Tuesday 11 April 2017

April update, and I've been a numpty again!

In some ways this has been a great start to the month and I have managed to sew more recently than I have all year.  In other ways I am such a numpty you wouldn't believe it, tell you later.

I have started making lists on paper instead of in my head as when they are in my head the seem to be doing a disappearing act.  This is my list for this month:


Make Post and mail Bee blocks.   I haven't started them yet but I have sorted out the paper piecing bits so a little progress.

Finish Canadian Bee blocks.   Done! I made six in total.

Fabric postcard for swap 15th April.   Done! Oh, but you haven't seen it have you.  Want a look?

I give you Spring Moon which I made for a postcard swap on Facebook.  It measures 6" by 4" inches and as you would expect it is all made with scraps.  The appliqué was done by machine and the grass, and hare details were hand embroidered using one strand of DMC stranded cotton.  The satin stitch on the edges was width 4 length 2.5 and I went around it three times.  

Finish the backing for Circles, layer, quilt, and bind.  Nope, not started yet, in fact not even thought of, but it is the next big one, DEFINITELY.  You can hold me to that.

Mystery Quilt, quilt, and bind. No it's not quite finished yet but the quilting is done and the binding is made, in fact I went to stitch on the binding this morning thinking I could be maybe go to work a little late, but I had a bit of trouble.  I switched on Baby, filled her a bobbin and threaded her up.  I measured 12 inches and put in two pins to leave a gap for joining my binding and started to stitch.  But, somehow I ended up stitching in reverse, so I had to stop and pull out the stitching and start again.  I measured again to replace the pin and started to stitch, but something was not right, I had forgot to add the binding, DON'T LAUGH! It could happen to anyone.  Third time lucky, I measured yet again and put in the pin, again, and started to stitch, yes, I stitched about eighteen inches, then I realised, the binding was the wrong way around and I was stitching the fold to the edge.  I couldn't BELIEVE IT!!!  Out it all came.  At that point I decoded to try again later and went to work, sad.  I'm going to have another go later today, fingers crossed.

Back to my list....

Backing and finishing two cushions, Nope, not started.

Tutorial for next month’s bee block   Haven't given it thought.

Finish the design wall.  I have had a change of heart and I am starting all over again, but at this point all I have done is bought some of the new materials.

Label two minis and post.  DONE!  You saw Home to Roost last week but do pop and see it if you missed it, the post is worth a read I think and while you are at it have a look at the mini on its way to me from Janice at Color Creating and Quilting, Chicken Poop.  I am saying nothing more.
Oh, I forgot you haven't seen the other mini have you?  It's been posted but it's a secret so don't spill the beans if I sneak it in.  It's for the lovely Jennifer at The Inquiring Quilter and I named it

Neon Diamonds.  What do you think?  Moda grunge in purple, one of Jennifer favourite colours, the other one is actually more green than it looks here, which is another colour Jennifer likes.   I decided to make the mini with half square triangles.  Jennifer seems to love them and uses them a lot, my Bloc Loc ruler came in handy here. 
We decided on an eight inch mini for our swap so those HST are an inch finished, so hard, and all those seams and why had I always pressed them the wrong way?  A couple of my joins are not quite as accurate as I would have liked but honestly it was my best effort. The binding was a bit tricky doing the seam on the slant when the quilt was only 8 inches, but tis done.  
I was so happy at my points next to the binding though, not one corner cut.  I straight line quilted it on the purple so the yellow/green would really pop, I think it does.  Think she will like it?

A plain one piece backing and my quilting has nowhere to hide.

Back to the list.

Make two blocks for sampler quilt. Done, three made!!!!  I used the fabrics I bought earlier this year, you want to see those too?

All from one range, though I was concerned it was lacking something so I added

this one, same range again, San Mateo, Nancy Rink Designs for Marcus Fabrics, didn't I show you them in January?  Not my usual buy it was an impulse and I thought it would make a lovely modern sampler quilt using Tula Pink's book.  So here are the blocks, all 6 inch finished.....

It's a start, big oak trees from little acorns grow remember.  This is a long term project, WHAT do you mean like everything else?  I'll ignore that.  As I said, a long term project, something to take to my sewing group, even though I didn't get this month, shame, I still made an effort to make some of the blocks anyway, only another 97 or so to go!!!

Now, I have a confession to make..............

I did a Pay it Forward in February, I just received a SECOND Pay it Forward and I suddenly remembered.................I forgot to tell the winners, I TOLD you I had been such a numpty, how could I forget such a thing?

I so promise I will notify them this week, AND today I am having another Pay it Forward for the second gift I have received.  So to enter just leave a comment on todays blog.   This time I will show you what I received and who from when I announce the winners, and if I don't, PLEASE remind me.  

I have a fridge magnet which sums me up,

But it's not my favourite, that has to be......

And on that note I will say,

Smiles from,
Kate x

Linking up with
Cynthia @Oh Scrap!

Wednesday 5 April 2017

Finish A Long Quarter 2 2017

I told myself I wasn't going to do any more goal setting this year, I link up at the beginning and always forget about the end!  My workflow has been pretty poor though, it's not that I don't want to stitch, just that I have had so little time this year.  I have now decided more effort is needed so I'm back on the waggon and joining in for Quarter 2.

So, here is my list.  I think it's realistic and it's doable in three months isn't it?  Two big things and two small things.  Not much variation for me but I will be so very happy if I get this lot out of the way and maybe start something new, so here goes.

Quilt and bind the not a mystery any more quilt, it should have been finished last month.


Layer quilt and bind circles.  I know what you are going to say and yes it is ridiculous I haven't done it yet but that's just the way it is.


Layer, quilt, and bind these cushion tops.  They have been waiting such a long time, I scrolled so far back in the blog pics to find them I started to think I had deleted them by mistake.


Bind these mug rugs, STILL waiting.  I have a lot more waiting than this, some need to be layered and quilted, but I have to make a start on a few at a time.

That's all, I will be ecstatic if I get them all done AND remember to link up, so don't be afraid to give me a kick when the time gets close, I will probably need it.

Smiles from,
Kate x

Linking up with Abigail for the Quarter 2 Finish a Long

Tuesday 4 April 2017

Secret Sewing

I can finally reveal the first of my secret sewing.  I have been doing a swap,  with the lovely Janice from Color, Creating and Quilting.  Janice started blogging just a month or so after me and we met soon after, it has been lovely sharing this journey together and learning from each other.  If you haven't read any of Janice's posts before I suggest you take a look at her blog, she has a wicked sense of humour at times, check the link at the end of the post to find out just how bad she can be!

We decided on this swap before Christmas but with one thing and another it got delayed a couple of times.  The way I look at it is if you are doing a swap with a friend it is meant to be fun right?  So if you feel pressurised of finish it by a certain date it takes the fun out of it, so no hassle, we just went with the flow and enjoyed the journey until we were both ready to swap.

I thought and thought about what Janice likes and her interests.  Janice seems to like traditional quilts and gives them her own modern touch, she loves colour, pattern, and bright fabrics.   Based on that I made her..................

Home to Roost.  I have to tell you now it took a long time to think of the name, the words houses, home and street came to mind, but nothing seemed appropriate.  Could I get inspiration from the fabrics? Not really, although the centre one reminds me of fried eggs in tomato sauce.  THEN I read Janice's post and the inspiration struck.

I used lots of fabrics, lots of colour, just like our friendship.  It is a variation of a swoon block from the Swoon Quilt by Camille Roskelley,  but a 16 inch version instead of 24 inch.  I found it at Blue Mountain Daisy on the post Making Little Swoon Houses.  Perfect for Janice I think.

The design was chosen because Janice going through a period of moving house, an interim stay at her in laws, her new for now home, and now she is moving again, temporarily, and possibly twice, before her forever home in a few months.

I delved deep into my fabric stash, I needed small print fabrics for all the small pieces.  I saw the perfect sky fabric at my local quilt shop and splashed out, but apart from that everything else was from scraps.

I quilted it in the ditch, I think anything else would have detracted from the design, and the back is a piece fabric which I was given by a friend, thank you again Jan.

I even made a label.

So, what did she make me?  I tell you you will just HAVE to read it for yourself, I was doubled up laughing and rolling about on the floor.  The clue is in the name of the quilt, Chicken Poop, no I am not joking, she made me a quilt  and wrote I wanted to do something that reminds me of our friendship and called it Chicken Poop, can you believe it?  I suggest you head on over HERE and read it!  While I wipe the tears (of laughter) from my eyes.  It's wild and wacky just like the Janice I have got to know and love, it is such fun being her friend.

Join me next time and I will show you my second secret sewing project. until then,

With Smiles from,
Kate x

Linking up with: