Friday, 8 June 2012

A new arrival

I got to go and meet a new baby this week.  She was born just over a week ago and is absolutely beautiful!  I made this quilt for a couple of months ago ready for her arrival and delivered it to her today; it really wasn't exciting enough for her to wake up for but luckily her equally gorgeous big sister is an expert at present opening and was happy to help out. 

I chose the red and white Scandinavian prints and the duck egg blue fabric before I knew what sex she was going to be, but when my friend told me she was having a girl, I picked the red and pink spotty fabric to use as both backing and binding. 

Once she had arrived, I embroidered her name and date of birth on the top and bottom borders of the quilt, using a pearle thread in an almost identical shade of duck egg blue,making it very subtle but very personal to her. I'd also made her two matching bibs, which seemed teeny when I made them but huge compared to the tiny newborn! x

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Unleash The Beast!

It's lovely Huw's birthday this week, and he is officially the hardest person to buy gifts for.  He's very closely followed by a couple of people, but there is no doubt he wins the award (although I wouldn't know what to buy him for his prize which would make the whole award thing totally pointless...)

 I started worrying thinking about what to get him for his birthday months ago, which is when the idea of The Beast started forming.  Huw loves campervans, and a few years ago bought a VW T25 called Sunny and I thought it would be nice, and pretty darn practical, to make him a special Sunny quilt.

I bought the basic pattern for this quilt at Jukebox Quilts; it's called Another Day in Paradise.  Remember when I made this quilt for Siblings Together I'd used left over pieces of cotton shirts?  Well those shirts were tracked down for this quilt.  As I needed so many different fabrics for this and no big pot of money to use I used a lot of re purposed fabrics as well as some favourites from my stash.  I love giving fabric a new lease of life, and being made especially for Huw and his vintage van, full of history and memories, this project lends itself perfectly to the cause.  I've spent a lot of hours putting this together, and the collection of fabrics can't help but make me smile: some of my favourite vintage fabrics alongside modern polka dots, left over project scraps next to remnants of old dresses, cuttings from garish surf shorts neighbouring vintage bandannas - it's all going on!

All 25 vans are intentionally different, and Sunny takes centre square, driving the opposite way to his friends.  50 buttons are sewn on for hub caps, with each van having their own unique set.  This required a LOT of button shopping, which I managed to endure (read 'indulge in').  There are also pieces of ribbon, embroidery and a couple of teeny charms to decorate the vans.

There were a few swear words and a fairly substantial sulk in our house a few nights before the big day, when a red kayak bled colour onto two of the vans whilst being washed.  As nothing would shift the dye, I ended up having to take part of the quilt to pieces to replace the ruined fabrics and put it back together again.  Once finished me and Alfie headed out to the fields to take some photos.  Well technically Alfie busied himself using the quilt as a tent, getting his bottom into most of the photos and getting totally lathered in mud, meaning he ended up in the bath as soon as we'd got home.  He looked pretty pleased with himself post bath though!

Monday, 14 May 2012

I'd like to be a busy little bee.....

Things have been pretty productive around here for the last couple of weeks - about time too!  I finally got round to finishing the colour wheel I'd started at Easter and then not known what to do with.  In the end I quilted it with simple lines, bound it with plain black cotton and finished it off with some cute black and white polka dot ribbon.  I'm not sure how this photo has managed to make it look so wonky - I think it says a lot about my appalling photography!

I was really excited to be asked to make a cushion cover and some bunting for a friend's sister, using some gorgeous striped fabric that was left over from her new blind.  All I was told was that her room was going to have a beach theme, and I was given free reign with a design.  I had so much fun appliqueing three little beach huts, and found these teeny buttons in my stash for the door knobs.  The back has a simple envelope opening, with matching trim and some cute wooden buttons.

I've also been thinking about craft fair stock - I'll be having a table next month at a fair organised to raise money for The Laura McPhee Memorial Fund

I was making a bib as a gift for a lovely lady at work who's going off on maternity leave soon using some super soft towelling that I picked up a few weeks ago, and I decided to make a batch for stock.

Last weekend gave me chance to catch up on a couple of baby quilt tops which needed finishing up.  This boys zig zag top is now quilted and is now patiently awaiting binding and the pink top is waiting on more batting supplies.

And I found some more fabric to do some of my favourite sewing; some little dresses for the dress a girl around the world project.  This pink fabric is a really nice weight cotton which was a dream to sew, and I made three more from a quilt cover which was kindly given to me a while ago.  I'll post these off the the lovely Louise tomorrow.

In between all the sewing I signed up for the pin cushion swap that Rachel at House of Pinheiro and Charlotte at sew far sew good are organising.  There's still time to sign up - so pop along to their websites and read all about it!

And little Alfie.....He's been very busy; napping, being lavished with attention, going walkies - it's just so exhausting ;-) x

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Versatile Blogger Award

The lovely Jane at A pocket full of daisys has kindly nominated me for a versatile blogger award - why not head over to her blog and say hi!  So anyway, without further ado....

 So the rules are as follows:

Nominate 15 fellow bloggers who are relatively new to blogging.

  1. Let them know that you have nominated them.
  2. Share 7 random facts about yourself.
  3. Thank the bloggers that have nominated you.
  4. Add the Versatile Blogger Award picture to your blog post
The people I'd like to nominate are below.  I have to confess that they're not all new to the world of blogging, but they are all blogs that I enjoy reading regularly.

Kate at Helter Skelter
Kris at Duke Says Sew What
Deb at Life on the Selvage Edge
Jeany at Meanyjar
Deb at Works in Progress
Anna at Noodlehead
Jen at lea & lars
Paula at Paula's Witch Stitchery
Emma at Lemons for Lemonade
Brenda at justabitfrayed
Rachael at Sew Ray Me
Meg at The Mad Quilting Librarian
Joanna at Two Owls Design
Ellie at Sew Far Sew Good
Rachel at houseofpinheiro

I hope none of you ladies mind being nominated!

And now for 7 completely random facts about me....

1.     I pretty much always end up wearing odd socks.  It's not planned, it's not a statement; it's simply a reflection of my (lack of) organisation skills!

2.     I beat cancer in 2001.  Or rather the amazingly skilled surgeon and fantastic medical team that looked after me did, and for that I will be eternally grateful.  My heart goes out to everyone whose lives are affected by this cruel disease.

3.     I wish I could speak another language and I'm in awe of those people who can.

4.     I don't like peace and quiet, it unnerves me. Whenever I'm alone I'll have music or the tv keeping me company.

5.     I've graduated twice - in 1999 and 2009.

6.     I've been vegetarian for the last 5 years, and I love cooking.

7.     I'm a wellies, mud and music kinda girl - I'm in my element slap bang in the middle of a festival!

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Siblings Together Quilt #2

It's official; I LOVE granny squares!  Ever since I saw this post by Jolene of Blue Elephant Stitches I've wanted to make one and Siblings Together gave me the perfect opportunity.

On Monday a parcel of purple Jennifer sent so that I could make another quilt for this wonderful charity, and so over the weekend I've got stuck in and turned it into this quilt.  I must apologise for the photos; it's been raining all day and is so dull and dreary, and cee pee hasn't been around with her camera so I've taken these shots on my phone.  They don't do the fabric justice - they're much brighter and cheerier!

I kept the stitching simple, quilting the sashing and each granny square to make them puff out slightly.  As the last one I finished was such a nightmare to quilt I was apprehensive about this one, but it was a dream to stitch - no seam ripper required!

The backing fabric is un-apologetically colourful!  I spotted this a couple of weeks ago and knew it would be perfect for a quilt.  There was just enough of this purple squares fabric to use for binding, which hopefully frames the quilt well.

While the wind and rain battered the windows this afternoon, I sat on the sofa under this quilt with Alfie watching one of my favourite films for the millionth time and hand stitching the binding; so we can testify it's snuggliness!  It's since been in the washer (with two colour catchers that it turned out not to need!) and dryer, and has shrunk slightly so that it has wrinkled nicely.  It has ended up at 52" x 62", which will hopefully be the perfect size for whoever it goes on to belong to to snuggle under it.  Once the label has arrived and been stitched on, it will be parcelled up with this quilt and sent off ready to be given out at one of the Siblings Together summer camps.

There are still loads of ways to get involved with the Siblings Together Quilt Group.  Why not check out the flickr page and have a look at the amazing blocks and quilts being made?

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Sibling's Together Quilt #1

This Easter has given me time to indulge in more sewing.  I've been working on the 'secret project' - now affectionately nicknamed 'The Beast' - there's still a fair bit of work to do on it, but I'm making progress. 

A couple of months ago I'd set my mum the challenge of finding me some cotton shirts to cut up and use for The Beast and, true to form, a few days later she rang me to say that there was a big pile waiting for me that she'd already washed and dried for me - amazing!  After cutting out what I needed I was left with a pile of scrappy shirt leftovers and, as I really hate throwing anything away, I decided to see how many 2.5" pieces I could cut.   I think I'm at my most creative when my resources are limited - sit me in front of a huge selection of fabrics and I'll deliberate forever about what to make and how to do it, but given the challenge of trying to make something with limited resources I'll just get on with it. 

While I was cutting, I thought these might make a good quilt for a teenage boy for the Siblings Together Quilt project - I'm guessing there may not be as many quilts for this group being donated as boys of that age are quite hard to make for, right?  Or maybe it's just me as I'm only used to making girly things.  Anyway, I ended up with enough fabric to make these simple log cabin blocks, each with a lime green centre square which I thought would add some contrast.  I used a plain white cotton for the background, and managed to cut enough of the green fabric to bind the edges of the quilt with. 

At 52" x 62" this is a smallish lap quilt, but it's big enough to snuggle under.  I found a piece of white, blue and red striped fabric for the backing, and quilted it simply with triple diagonal lines.  Quilting is my downfall - I'm pretty bad at it, so I try to keep it as simple as possible.  The backing fabric (picked not just because of it's colour but because it's really soft and smooth) turned out to be a total nightmare to quilt and, as I don't have a walking foot for the sewing machine, we fell out.  Big time.  We've since made up - me promising never to go anywhere near it with a sewing machine again and it promising just to concentrate on being soft and snuggly. 

I'm pleased with the way this quilt turned out and I really hope it helps give some comfort to the child who receives it.

Once the purple scraps arrive I'll get started on another quilt.  I think I'll be making a granny squares lap quilt with it for a teenage girl. 

Monday, 2 April 2012

Spring is in the air!

Spring has arrived!  I even got chance to sit in the garden last weekend for an hour or so to do some hand sewing!  I was finishing off the baby quilt for one of my lovely friends whose baby is due in a couple of months.  I won't post a full picture of the quilt in case she looks, but you can have a sneak preview!  I'm loving these colours together, and I've quilted it with a thin batting, so it's really light but still snuggly.

Brenda at Just A Bit Frayed has now opened the linky party for the Bust Yo! Scraps quilt-a-long, so that everyone who took part can upload a photo of their finished quilts.  I used this photo that cee pea took for me as, although I know it doesn't show the quilt up close and personal, it's a pretty special photo to me.

I also had a sort through my fabric last week and managed to find enough to make another couple of pillowcase dresses for the Dress a Girl Around The World project.  These dresses are so quick and easy to make, and knowing that they're going to children who really need, and will love wearing, them makes it even more enjoyable.   I sent all four dresses off to Louise at Sew Scrumptious; she does an amazing job collecting these dresses and making sure they get to where they need to be.

Quilts for Siblings TogetherTalking of amazing........I read this post on Lilly's Quilts blog a couple of days ago and instantly knew I'd like to be involved.  Siblings together is a charity which provides opportunities for contact between siblings who have been separated by care.  This organisation arranges camps where separated siblings between 7 and 17 years old get to spend quality time together.  Lynne's idea is to get enough quilts donated so that each child leaving camp this summer will take their own home with them, with a label on it which their sibling(s) have written a special message on for them.  Pretty awesome right!  This Flickr group has been set up for everyone to share ideas and support, and I am truly amazed at the generosity of fellow quilters!  I know that I can find enough time to make a quilt, but don't currently have enough fabric - cue lovely people!  Some people are offering fabric to those people who need it (like the lovely Bessiemae who is sending me some fab purple scraps to use), others are organising group projects so that people can make as many blocks as they can and they will turn them all into quilts, and others are donating quilts that they have already, or are planning to make.  There are therefore loads of ways to be involved!  So, can I tempt you to join in too?