Friday, 29 November 2013

Beehive finish

We're just back from our local Christmas fireworks and lights switch on. Most amusingly it turns out we were stood next to the green control box where the lighting engineer switches the lights on after the countdown :) It's almost like being told that there's no such thing as Santa (we all know there is!), I always thought the lights went on by magic when some random celebrity pressed the plunger, what do I know, eh?! Anyway, that has absolutely nothing to do with today's project reveal so I'll get to the point... I finished Florence's quilt :) I broke out my limited free-motion skills in the form of a loop-da-loop type pattern over the majority of the quilt.
I left a few areas un-quilted (is that even a word?), for example, around the flowers as I'd raw edge applique'd them in place. It gives the quilt a lovely texture which should be nice and tactile for little fingers.
I love the way the quilting looks on the back of the quilt too.
I can't remember what line this backing fabric is from but I thought it was perfect for this little quilt as it picked out the orange, yellow and pink from the Briar Rose on the front. I self-bound as I didn't want the extra bulk around the edge of such a small quilt. You can see my amateur free-motion "skills" in this shot, my stitch length is anything but regular! Thankfully the Aurifil thread is very forgiving and doesn't snap every two seconds :)
Here's the finished quilt in all it's glory ;) It's been really difficult to capture it properly in photo form as usual! I'm really pleased with the end result though and I'm fairly sure it will be well received. I think it might be more of a wall-hanging than a snuggle under quilt as it is quite stiff with all the quilting.
 I do love a quick project! It's so satisfying to complete a quilt in less than a week :) I hope you all have a good weekend. Catch you soon x

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Busy Bee

I've started work on a special quilt for one of my best friend's new baby, Florence. Florence was born while I was on bed rest following my op so I had to content myself with sketching out a plan for the quilt. My sketching is awful, I am no artist! I'm not even showing you the sketch it's that bad but thankfully I am quite good with fabric ;) I bought a fat quarter stack of Briar Rose from Justine at Simply Solids earlier this year and this project was perfect for it! Hopefully you can tell that it's supposed to be a beehive, if not just humour me :) I strip pieced the beehive then appliqued it the solid.
I added some flowers that I cut with my Go!Baby...
...then got busy with some sky writing. Excuse the  dodgy quality photo, it was getting dark again. I felt most pleased with myself for the fussy cut bee and the sky writing was passable although it does look a little like the bee might have been out on the tiles before doing it ;) 
So, tomorrow I hope to finish this baby quilt in daylight so I can get some nice photos before I send it to it's new home. Catch you soon x

Monday, 25 November 2013


We've gone old school today for the giveaway and put the names in a hat :)   
 My glamorous assistant drew the winner...
 ...Jan! I'm off to email you now :)
Thanks to everyone that entered, sorry you couldn't all win. Catch you soon x

Friday, 22 November 2013

Still crackers

First things first, thank you all for the overwhelming response to the Animal Crackers Christmas tree skirt. It's been really exciting seeing so much positive reaction to it. A special thank you to Mr Aurifil for featuring it on the Aurifil Facebook page :) I've spent the last 2 days making more crackers this time in the form of a table runner. I used the basic tutorial for crackers but enlarged it to allow me to use the cards from the panel from Winter's Lane by Kate & Birdie Paper Co.
I  went for a "grown up" brown linen for the background because I love the way the red solid and Aurifil thread look with it. Also, if I'm absolutely honest, it's because it's going to be on our dining table on Christmas day and there's bound to be a gravy spillage! I was very thankful for the red thread as I managed to sew through my finger quite spectacularly whilst top-stitching and I'm sure a white thread would have been ruined. No fabric was harmed in the making of this runner!
By the time I finished the runner it was starting to get dark so it's been a bit tricky to get the colours accurately in photos.
Winter's Lane is a really gorgeous range so I'm planning on making a slightly more grown up Christmas tree skirt to match the table runner :) I seem to have started an obsession with crackers. Thank goodness Christmas doesn't last long or I'd be making them all year ;)
I have another of the Winter's Lane panels left over from the bundle I bought in July and was thinking that it might be nice to give someone else the opportunity to make a runner like this using the panel...or indeed to make something else. So, I'm having a super speedy giveaway. If you fancy the chance to win a Winter's Lane panel just leave a comment saying "yes please". I'll draw a winner at random on Sunday 24th November around 8.00pm GMT. Happy weekend to you all. catch you soon x

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Going crackers!

OK, so we all know I went crackers years ago but I liked the title so I'm sticking with that ;) I've been busily sewing away at a project I've had in my head for a while and today it's finished so I can share it with you. Yippee!! Here's the source of my excitement....drum roll please....the Animal Crackers Christmas tree skirt! No fancy paper piecing or templates required, a super quick finished in a weekend (or less if you're on a mission) kind of tree skirt. I've used some of my precious Laurie Wisbrun stash for this version and I just love it, well who wouldn't love a llama amongst other beasties?!
It's so satisfying when an imaginary project turns out just as you had hoped it would in real life! I contemplated digging out the Christmas tree for the photographs but I'm too much of a humbug for that in November. I've set up a page link for the free pattern at the top of the blog but thought I'd give the quickest of tutorials here for the crackers as I can envisage them in all sorts of Christmas goodies like placemats and table runners. Think of it as an early Christmas present if you're so inclined ;)
For each cracker you will need: 1 focus fabric rectangle 6.5" x 3.5", 2 solid 3.5" squares and 4 background fabric 1.5" squares.
 Mark the 1.5" background squares across the diagonal and place them right sides together with the solids squares as shown above. Sew on the marked line then trim a 1/4" seam allowance and press open. Sew the edge of the solids block with the background triangles to each short end of the focus fabric, right sides together, then press open. Hey presto!
Sash and go your own sweet way or use the tree skirt pattern, either way I'd love to see your version if you choose to make something. I've even set up a flickr group just in case you're would be very sad if mine was the only contribution to the group but hey I follow my own blog so I am sad ;) Just time for a couple more shots that show the simple quilting and the yummy chevron binding.
As usual I outline quilted and did some basic straight lines around the top and bottom in trusty Aurifil. This red chevron from Riley Blake reminded of candy canes so it seemed the perfect choice for this project :) 
So there you have it friends, the first major Christmas make of the year and undoubtedly not the last for me. Feel free to share this picture and link if you feel like spreading the tree skirt love around :)
Catch you soon x
Edited to add: There's a PDF link at the bottom of the online pattern now :)

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Commitment issues

I have no less than 5 projects on the go at the moment. I don't know why I'm being so fickle, maybe I'm just in a rush to try all the ideas that entered my head while I was out of action :) I've recently joined Instagram so apologies to those of you that follow me there as a lot of what I'm going to show now has been aired over there in the last week or so. [Yvonne's on there too but she might be a bit quiet as they've just moved house and have no broadband]
There's been quite a bit of progress on my kites, diamonds and stars EPP project. I've decided it will be a cushion so I've only got one more set of shapes to piece :)
The lovely ladies of the HipBees have been dutifully returning their October blocks to me (I showed you 2 here) and I've been whipping them up into finished blocks as soon as they pop through the door. So much for taking my time over this one ;) It's shaping up to be another contender for my all-time favourite quilt. You can see the individual blocks here. I'll do a nice post showing the individual blocks when I do the final reveal...whenever that might be.
There has been a trial run of Christmas tree decorations using crazy scrappy patchwork. This is definitely a work in progress as I can't decide what I want the finished hearts to look like. I've got another one ready to put together which I'm going to trim with mini-pompoms.
Today I've been having much fun with some gorgeous Laurie Wisbrun prints and bright solids but I can't show you much detail of this project yet. Here's a sneaky peek for now :)
Finally, I've been crocheting in the evenings whilst watching tv so there is wool all over the place in our living room :) I've only got dodgy phone camera pictures of progress with this project so I'll have to get some better pics of that before I share it here. I'll leave you with photos of the most awesome birthday cake in the whole world ever!
 My gorgeous and talented sister-in-law made this for my 38th birthday, complete with replica Sneaky Stars quilt!
I should have taken a pic of the inside because it had multicoloured layers. Jade has some seriously excellent cake making skills! Even more amazingly, this cake was wheat and gluten-free. I'm almost looking forward to next year's birthday for another cake ;)  Catch you soon x