Sunday, 6 October 2013

Reappearing Blogger...Disappearing Nine Patch

Wow! Work, house selling, studying and general life have really got in the way of my crafting.  I've done bits and pieces but nothing major (or finished) hopefully I can change that over the next few months.

And for a start let me present about 4 hours work on what is destined to be a Disappearing Nine Patch quilt for my cousin's newborn son:

The fabric is a Moda layer cake in Mind Your Ps and Qs by Keiki,  who is the designer of the fabric I used for his sister's quilt.  Its been really hard to find suitable quilt fabric for a baby boy (not helped by some that went missing in the post!).  If my maths is correct I should have enough of the layer cake left (bar a 5 inch square) to back the quilt as well.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Wonky Star-A-Thon

I have finally started sewing together the pieces of the Sparkle Punch Quilt (pattern courtesy of Elizabeth Hartman) for my sister.  It seems I have spent ages cutting yardage into 4.5 inch squares and then cutting a serious number of those squares into triangles, now I'm getting a chance to put the pieces back together again.

It's going to take some time but initial indications are this quilt is going to look good.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Finished Fishies

This Dancing Koi wall-hanging has actually been finished (apart from the sewing in of the threads) for a few weeks.  I had been meaning to take a photo of it outdoors on a sunny day but as is often the way I haven't managed that and if I wait for another sunny day it could be weeks more before the fish made an appearance on here.

I really love how this wall-hanging has ended up.  I was going to give it as a gift but now I plan to keep it for my own home.  It also means I now have an excuse to make another one as a gift.

This has really helped me to develop my confidence with FMQ too (not that you can actually see it in the photo below!).

Wednesday, 24 April 2013


A few months ago I went on a chocolate making course, taught by one of the UK's best Choclatier's, with my friend and colleague.  Whilst on the course a plan was hatched to make some chocolates to bring in and share with our workmates for our birthdays (which are very close together).

This Sunday saw that plan come to fruition. In six hours, with tea drinking and lunch breaks, we managed to make (mostly) four different types of chocolate (caramels and truffles); to our surprise this was managed without spreading any of the ingredients over ourselves or the kitchen.

The outcome was very pleasing...

...and very tasty.

I'm now looking for any excuse to make some more, another addictive hobby I think!

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Bath Half Marathon 2013

A very late post but I like using this blog as a record of my running achievements (feel free to skip if you're just here for the craft).

On Sun 3 March I ran the Bath Half Marathon for the second time ever (actually it's only my second ever half marathon). Last year I completed it in, a not hugely impressive, 3 hours 15 minutes. This year I knew I could and had to improve on that. I set myself a target of somewhere between 2 hours 30 and 2 hours 45, knowing the slower time was realistic and the faster time would be a bit of a stretch. The day didn't start well with having to scrape the frost off the car windscreen and feeling frozen for the first mile, but from there on in I had a fantastic run. I'm not the quickest of runners, but I didn't have any need for a walk break, no painful joints (usually around the 8 mile mark my knees and ankles stage a short but noticeable protest) and I was able to overtake other joggers on the short hills (towards the en of last year's race walkers were overtaking me!). And the reward for my efforts - 2 hours 33 mins!!!

Now signing up for the Bristol Half in September and toying with an insane charity fundraising idea for next Spring.

Monday, 25 March 2013

All a little fishy...

Finally managed to attend the Dancing Koi course at Nimble Thimble. I had originally booked to attend this course in January but due to snow it was postponed, kind of ironic waking up to go to the course on Saturday and finding a good couple of inches of snow had appeared overnight.

Unfortunately I didn't take any in progress shots during the class (really must do that one day). But hopefully you can see a little more detail in this photo.

The class was to teach a machine appliqué technique using bondaweb. Only the fish are complete, I still have the wall hanging to put together. I was intending to give this as a gift but I love the fish so much I'm going to keep it for myself. Gives me an excellent excuse to make some more. I want to use this technique again, I think it might make some cool gently used scatter cushions. I'm also keeping an eye out for other suitable subjects for wall hangers using the technique.

And even better this is another one of my 13 in 2013 projects. I'm on a roll!

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Still Crafting...

...just forgot about the blogging a little.

When I opened my blog I realised I'd set myself a 13 in 2013 challenge and immediately I thought I must have already failed.  I read the list preparing to admit defeat and then I remembered it was a UFO surrender yet then!

And even better I am very pleased to report the completion of No. 11 the crochet scarf (and considering the ongoing cold temperatures here and the reappearance of serious snow it was none too soon).

And I have tracked down, on Ravelry, gloves and a cap using a similar stitch pattern...

... although I suppose my 13 in 2013 should take priority (we'll see!).

I do have another finish to report, but unfortunately no accompanying photo, a jelly roll quilt - on day to machine sew, two weeks to hand stitch the binding! 

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Cutting, cutting, cutting...

This update is a little late as it was what I did last weekend and the weekend before (when not teaching my mother how to do tiny patchwork with a sewing machine)...

This may not look like much but it is just over 800 4.5inch squares cut by me from various yardages in preparation for making a king size (another ridiculously large quilt) version of the Sparkle Punch Quilt designed by Elizabeth Hartman.  Although it took a while it was nice to finally cut into this fabric which I have had a fair while.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

First Finishes of 2013

Admittedly these were intended to be finished in 2012 (one was supposed to be an Xmas present!) but the snuck into 2013...

The quilt is the 96 inch squarish Batik Wave Quilt using a Plum Pudding Bali Pop, some similar batik fabric for binding and yards of black cotton.
I'm toying with washing and drying it to give it some crinkle, but I'm not sure I want to risk the batiks.

The cushion is from a Japanese Boxes kit from Euro Japan Links which I bought at last year's Festival of Quilts.
Getting it to all line up correctly took time and plenty of remedial work with my quick unpick, but it came together fairly quickly and I want to make more - just got to figure out the right fabrics to get the effect.

Friday, 4 January 2013

13 in 2013

So whilst thinking about goal setting for the year, and catching up with some blog reading, I came across this post by Aunt Marti at 52 Quilts in 52 Weeks - a challenge to complete 13 quilty UFOs in a year seemed to be absolutely perfect for me.  I am going to modify my attempt at the challenge however, as I don't always get a lot of crafting time some months (and some of my projects are fairly large) I am not going to follow the project number for the month.

So here are my 13 UFOs for 2013...

1. Sparkle Punch Quilt
2. Cat Quilt
3. Fruit and Veg Project
4. Christmas Quilt
5. Fabric Landscape
6. Xmas Table Runner
7. Hand Sewn Tumbling Blocks Quilt
8. Rainbow Quilt - Hand Quilt
9. Dancing Koi Wall Hanging
10. Debbie Abrahams Mystery Blanket 2012
11. Crochet Scarf
12. Aran Blanket
13. Farmer's Wife Quilt or Invergarry Quilt

Fingers crossed!

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Review of 2012 goals

Well, a little late, but I've been looking back on last years goals to see how I did...

1.  Finish the hand sewn quilt for my brother (if we could find it I'd also like to finish my sister's one too it only needs backing and quilting. Absolutely no where near on these ones!

2.  Have less WIPs at the end of 2012 than I have at the start (I'll have a count up later). I never did count up, but I've definitely not added to the list and I'm being stricter on finishing before I start anything else.

3.  Run the Great South Run in less than 2hrs (this should be possible but I seem to get worse each year). Just a minute off on this one - on the plus side that was about 15 mins faster than I managed the year before - looks like I'll be.

4.  Loose weight (ideally 28lbs - its amazing how quickly I gained that amount). Although I didn't actually start until May I have surpassed this one - 35lbs lost at last count and still going.

5.  Keep up with the Debbie Abrahams Mystery Blanket.  Nope.

6.  Have less unread 'real' books than I have now (I'll have a count up later its somewhere in the region of 20!)  I'm a hopeless bibliophile what can I say!

Well not a particularly good effort on meeting my goals.  I think I may set some more this year (they may be very similar to last year's though) but maybe review them more often to keep myself on track.