Thursday, 30 December 2010

Belated Day Three and Merry Xmas

I have been busy enjoying a family Xmas break in Wales; sorry for leaving the progress of my Ganny's quilt hanging but finishing it as much as I could turned into a last minute rush.

But this is as far as I got...

Not as big as I thought it would be but it can be used both as a lap quilt and on her bed.  My Ganny liked it, I felt kind of mean taking it away from her but hopefully I'll get this finished by the end of the month.  Having  a nightmare getting hold of the plain red to make the inner border, seems everyone has sold out of it.

Whilst waiting I have been working on my other two quilts in progress.  Re-quilting, and then re-re-quilting, my log cabin quilt - I'm taking a little time getting used to machine quilting.  And I have been trying to make a suitable binding for my neon quilt from the leftover bits of the jelly roll strips.

I think it'll work if I have enough fabric.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Day 2

Next time I decide to hand make Xmas presents I am either going to start earlier or make sure that the days before Xmas don't involve an extra day and a half at work, regular trips to a repair garage or even a hair appointment.  As you may have gathered my progress hasn't been as good as I wanted, not helped by the news that one local quilt shop is out of the red fabric I need for the border and that the other is closed due to snow (for some reason Milton Keynes seems to have been totally avoided by ploughs and gritters - even the M1).

Excuses over I have actually achieved something today...

Sorry about the dingy picture but the flash makes the white way too bright.  I have several finished off squares and all the rest are in various states of completedness.  I will have some form of quilt top to show Ganny for Xmas.  I have also managed to wrap some presents tonight, luckily the majority of what I have bought are sensible shape presents!  Usually I love wrapping presents but this year I just can't seem to settle to it. Didn't get round to taking any snows phots either but trust me it is very beautiful (and cold) round here.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Day One

Of my get something presentable made for Ganny for Xmas challenge (chances of actually finishing it are zero).  Unfortunately due to having to regularly visit the garage for more poorly car and badly palnned hairdressers appointments, and the need to sleep, I cannot dedicate the whole 72 hours to it.  But my lovely new shiny sewing machine is so quiet I can start earlier and carry on later than I was previously able to.

And what did I achieve today?

It's quite hard to see but that's 48 squares in various stages of construction.  I've got a good little production line going but do need to cut some more fabric.  Aim for tomorrow is to finish all 48 and to start constructing the top.  And I must wrap some presents, usually I've got them done by now.

And just because I think it's gorgeous...
My Xmas tree. I've got  real thing about buying decorations for it - I try and get 2 or 3 new ones each year.
Looks like it has snowed again here, off the beaten track we must have 6 to 8 inches (which is a lot for here).  Will try and post some photos tomorrow.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

FNSI 2 Results

Less than impressive results this week even though I did get home earlier than expected.

But it's all esseintial prep seeing as I have about 2 and a half days to finish at least the top.  EEEEK!!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010


Well seeing as I actually achieved something for the last one I thought I'd sign up for the second FNSI of the month.  Although again I may be slightly time limited by the journey home (and the fact my poor car has a trip to the mechanic that day to try and sort out it's drink problem).

Anyway details of the 17 Dec FNSI can be found here...

Handmade by Heidi

Ooh look a working linky picture thing at the first attempt!  I must really start finding out what else I can do on this blog to personalise it.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

A Wonderfully Productive Weekend

After a relatively slow start at the FNSI I have been on a roll this weekend.  The final class for my log cabin quilt at Nimble Thimble saw me trying out my quilting skills for the very first time.  It went ok except my machine doesn't like sewing for long periods of time and the tension goes weird and the stitching on the underside is all loopy.  I only realised this had happened on my quiltonce I had done a fair amount of quilting so first job today was unpicking that.  Still got some to do.

Work in progress
(Where you can just about make out the quilting lines - sorry about the colours,energy saving bulbs and a flat camera battery)
(Look closely at the centre)

I've even managed to put a small dent in Ganny's Xmas quilt, make 16 Xmas muffins and get loads of sleep.  A very productive weekend I'd say.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Friday Night Sew In Result

Well my Friday night sew in didn't go quite as planned as I didn't get home till late due to being stuck in a multi storey car park for about an hour and a half.

But I did spend a very productive hour (from 9.30pm) sewing, getting the borders done for my sewing class.  And here is what I had to show for my efforts this morning...

Nothing particularly exciting but very important for today's class.

Hoprfully I'll have something more exciting to show for next Friday's sew-in!

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Friday Night Sew In

Seeing as my planned Friday night finish off the borders sewing session coincides with the first 'Friday Night Sew In' of this month, on 10 Dec, I thought I may as well join in (and hopefully not get too much inspiration for craft items for my ever growing to do list!)

Click here to go to Heidi FNS page.

Now off to figure out how to get it so you can click on the image and if feeling really adventurous how to add a badge to the side of my blog.

Edited to add - Wow both tasks achieved minimal stress.  I am becoming a computer geek!

Monday, 6 December 2010

As Promised...

A few photos of what I've been up to this weekend.

I cut the rectangles and triangles which make up these...
Pressed (see there is a difference!)

I have made enough for all four borders and sewn together two, all bar the little bit of tweaking and bodging require to make them fit the top...I have a plan.  Which I will put into place next Friday evening all being well.

I also couldn't resist starting this...

Can you tell what it is yet?

And now I'm taking a break as due to ironing all my ironing pile and the pressing of all the quilt pieces my back is aching.  Actually I should get on with some studying (and pray to the god of tumble driers that my bedding is dry soon).

Sunday, 5 December 2010

A Little More Fabric...

Cause you can never have enough!

Actually I've had this stuff a little while and reckoned I'd better share with you all what I plan to make Ganny's quilt out of seeing as I'm not the only one contributing towards this.

Not sure if the picture is big enough for you to make out the patterns on each piece of fabric but the tones all go (actually if you click on the picture you may be better able to make out the designs).

On a totally unrelated note am loving the Sunday afternoon films on ITV3 recently, historical dramas from the 60s - The Lion in Winter last week and Anne of a Thousand Days this week - wonderful on a gloomy afternoon.  Haven't been totlaly concentrating on the film this afternoon as I am cutting, piecing and bidding on E Bay - busy me.  Hopefully I shall have some pressed WIPs to show later in the week courtesy of all this effort.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Oh Bother!

So I haven't actually finished a quilt made wholly by me yet but I think I've found another on to add to my to make list and I'm not actually sure how I came across it (the internet is a horrible enabler!).

Anyway the quilt I want to make eventually is a Cathedral Windows quilt and for future reference there's an excellent tutorial here - Hyena's Tutorial with a little guide on machine sewing it all here - Ballerina's Tutorial

Not one that will be done quickly and I can slowly collect appropriate scraps but it will be stunning.  I hope everyone's happy to receive quilted stuff from me over the next few years!

Monday, 22 November 2010

And One More Makes Twelve

As mentioned in my last post I've tracked down one more print in the Wee Woodland range in the turquoise colourway in the UK.  And here it is...
And now to put all these lovely fabrics away until probably the New Year when I will have finished the log cabins and hopefully one or two other unfinished items.

Monday, 15 November 2010

I'm Not Addicted to Fabric...Not At All...

Well I had been doing a bit of browsing to find some fabric to make a quilt for a baby, gender as yet unknown.  Found a lovely tutorial on A Quilt is Nice and then had to find some suitably quirky fabric.  I came across Keiki's Wee Woodland for Moda and I think it's perfect and so gorgeous.

I may have bought another small piece of the range in turquoise too.  Must resist starting this as have some more urgent ones to do.  Have now got all the fabrics for Ganny's quilt so I will hopefully have chance to work on both log cabins on my next free weekend.

And just so you can see a complete contrast here is my first ever machine sewn quilt top.

Sometimes I love it and sometimes I hate it, it's definitely unique.  Finishing it would probably help and it would be really good if I could bind int in the brights but I'm not sure I have enough scraps and I haven't seen these sold as yardage.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Warm Feet ... Eventually!

Courtesy of some rather good TV on Saturday night I actually made a small amount of progress on one of my to do list projects.

If you look hard you can just make out the pattern.  The yarn is nice, a silk wool mix in plain black from Regia (I think), so far not finding it too tricky working in black but I may be speaking too soon.  I am about halfway down the leg of the first sock.  As with most my craft projects (and other stuff) I really need to dedicate some quality time to getting these finished before Winter's over.  I need more hours in the day (or a longer weekend - I know what I'm doing over Xmas leave!)

Sunday, 7 November 2010

A little more progress

During a trip to my local fabric shop I was reminded that I have a little over a month to do the homework on my log cabin quilt.  Considering I only sew at weekends and I am planning to spend a large proportion of the next month's weekends out and about I thought I'd better forgo the woodwork reconstruction in my bathroom and get some sewing done.

I've got some nice looking but somewhat tricky borders to make and, as I'm making another huge quilt, I've got a lot of bits to piece.

Made a pleasing start with 2 hours effort but I may have to unpick some due to wonky seams.

See what you think...

Going to have to set some serious time aside for Ganny's quilt.

Saturday, 6 November 2010


Three weeks ago my brother came to visit to change my naff and somewhat broken taps.  After 24 hours, one leak, cold water that wouldn't isolate fully, trips into the loft without a torch and the purchase of a large quantity of plumbing supplies we both left the flat with the taps in place, a limited amount of cold water and fingers crossed there'd be no leaks.

I returned to the flat in some trepidation and I was greeted by ...

... my beatiful taps.  No leaks in sight and after a minor tweak plenty of cold water.  On the otherhand the fridge was a totally different matter!!! And I think I've figured out how to isolate the water in my flat without visiting the loft.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

And Seize Up!

So my second attempt at the Great South Run took place today, preceded by a week with a stinking cold.  Woke up and felt better than I had done all week, then had the entertainment of melting the ice off my windscreen (hello I'm on the south coast what was that all about??), and managed to find a good parking space and pay for it before my phone conked out.

The day was glorious but set off too nervously because I thought I'd aggravate my cold.  However got into my slow b ut steady rhythm and managed it in 2 hrs 11 mins and a bit.  Unfortunately slower than last year and much slower than I wanted to be, but I DID IT and managed to raise, so far, £250 for Sefarers UK - not too bad all in all.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Breakfast of Choice

For once not a post about craft, instead I thought I'd share with you the "recipe" for what I consider to be the most luscious breakfast ever (at the moment anyway).  You need about 20 hazlenuts, 2 teaspoons of runny honey and low (zero) fat greek yoghurt.  Put all the ingredientd in a bowl* (or if you're like me and are limited in those then a cup will do) and mix. Eat, enjoy and feel full till lunch.  This is a reallyu nice breakfast with the only warning being be a little stingy with the honey - this can get too sweet very easily.
I would take a photo but it just looks like lumpy yoghurt!

*If you're using a small, individual pot of greek yoghurt then you can miss out the bowl stage and just tip everything straight into the yoghurt.  It's best to give the yoghurt a quick stir first though.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

And The Winner Is...

So another weekend and another Saturday spent sewing at Nimble Thimble.  Session 2 in the Log Cabin course was complete and I finished the central panel of my log cabin quilt.  And the design I eventually chose was...

Somewhat conventional but effective. And with a little persuasion I managed to get all of the seams to match perfectly (as you may be able to see); perhaps my sewing isn't as wonky as I thought.  Next step thin and pieced borders - how to cut 2 and a half inch strips almost 2 metres long?

And on a related note a slight changes in plans regarding the colourway of Ganny's Xmas quilt - rather than red and purple I think I will have to settle for the more conventional red and cream colour combination.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Work in Progress

So I have an idea what I have to finish off I'm going to make a list here of all my current, started craft projects and then cross them off as I get them done.  Total honesty and I think i'm in for a nasty shock!
  • Advent calendar cross stitch - been on the go for about 10 years! May be at the put it all together stage!
  • First quilt
  • Matthew's hand sewn quilt - further along with this than thought but still over 200 patches to cut!
  • Log cabin quilt (mine)
  • Cat cross stitch
  • Potatomus (?) socks - OTN for nine months
  • Work socks - these will get done soon I hate cold feet
  • American Aran Blanket - kinda on hold until I see mum and see what squares are already done
  • Nintendo DS cover - would take less than an hour to finish
  • Tidying up of green scarf
  • Knitted Eeyore - think there may be a good reason why this isn't finished, will investigate
Hmm about as bad as I thought and doesn't include the Millenium Sampler or French knitting as I've technically handed them on.

Looks like I've got a crafty winter ahead of me! (And I want to start Ganny's quilt AND a fluffy jumper AND I have an idea for at least one Xmas present).

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Well It's Not All About Fabric

Another weekend another update!  Had the intention of nipping into Buckingham to get the extra fabric required for my log cabin quilt.  As so often happens I came away with more than that (on a positive note I did get the fabric I wanted which doesn't always happen and all my other purchases were second hand).

Anyway the purchases I'm most proud of (and will own up to here) are...

A rather sweet but very tatty sewing box, with the added bonus of lots of teeny hexagon flowers in the drawer (God knows what I will do with those).  To give you an idea of its size this box will be capable of biting most people in the knees.  I intend to renovate this box somehow and somewhen.

The other purchase was...

...the first fabrics for Ganny's quilt.  The yellow one has little stars on it.  Just two more red and three purple fabrics to find  As easy as it sounds!

Monday, 20 September 2010

Things Made Whilst Sewing

So what did I actually achieve at this weekend's workshop?

18 blocks like this, although I am going to need a few more to make a double bed sized quilt.

Tried a few layouts too...

Which one I finally use will depend on the best size for the bed and how many more blocks I need to make.
Any preferences?

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Things Learnt Whilst Sewing

A good day at the Nimble Thimble log cabin workshop and several unexpected things learnt... apart from how to build a log cabin patch...

- Chain piecing isn't as hard as it sounds

- It's not impossible to get new feet for 20 year old sewing machines but it does put paid to the idea of a new, shiny, lighter machine

- Mothers are always right when forecasting the health of previously mentioned ancient sewing machine