Friday, 27 December 2013

Decisions

Hello!! It's been a while, I've had a bit of a quilty blogging mental block. Thought loads about writing something but not actually been able to do it.

It's that time of year, lots of retrospective posts, lots of posts looking forward to 2014. My problem is that I still can't see the way forward, what do I want to achieve? Where the heck is all this crafty stuff going?

 

Now don't laugh but I have been thinking about a fabric diet. Been looking at the fabric fast from the Elven Garden thing is, I don't actually think I have a big stash ... Look:

 

 

That's the yardage

And this is the FQ storage:

 

Now I know it's not much, there are stashes out there that would kick sand in the face of my puny wee stash. But oh yep I forgot the shweshwe fabric ... Not got a pic of that, and there may be a charm pack or two (four plus 8 more on the way from a swap ...)

But it is proving stressful for me. I have managed to use up about 17 FQs busting out some beads of courage bags. I need some focus, I need a plan and reducing down this pile will help. So that will be my main aim for the start of 2014.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Seeing the wood from the trees

I am a university librarian, the past few weeks have been spent mostly helping my final year students with the literature searching for their dissertations. Bless them, all wee stressed out souls! More than one of them has said that they needed help seeing the wood from the trees, I hope I played my part in that.

It got me thinking, this is exactly what I need in the patchwork room, I need to see the fabric from the scraps. Does that make sense?

I know to some this may not look a lot but to me these boxes of jumbled up overflowing scraps are a constant source of stress.

They were nominally sorted by colour but some cross pollination had occurred ...
 
I decided enough was enough and last week embarked on a major clear out ....
I took out each box, there out those itty bitty bits (you know what I mean, we all have them :-) ironed bigger bits and decided only to keep stuff I could realistically use. Anything big enough that wasn't going to be kept was cut up into strips to make into a jelly roll quilt pattern I found, others were cut up into hexies (thank you big shot!)
And I was left with - THIS!!!!!
 
 
 
There were times during this mammoth cutting session that I questioned my sanity, I now have a numb right arm from all the cutting and my tendons may never forgive me.
Bbt I now may just be able to see the fabric from the scraps, which can't be a bad thing can it!
 
I also have the makings of a scrap quilt which will be a great memorial to the huge scrap pile that was
 
 
 

 

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Hmmmmm

I thought I had posted a post, but it's not showing up and I can't find a draft? Was that a sign? The post was called 'Grumpy' because I was grumpy I had been working too hard and not spending enough time in the patchwork room.

Is this a sign? Were the blogging gods telling me not to be so negative? Or maybe I pressed the wrong button somewhere ;-)

Ok, let's be less grumpy and share some progress. All my Pile o fabric skill builder blocks are done! Rubbish pictures but the light here is so bad just now:

 
But, but but but, the best thing this week was the fabric delivery from Blossom heart quilts! PANDA SNOWMEN!!!!!!! Honestly life just does not get better:
 
 
 

Enjoy your weekend.

 

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Henry's sunshine quilt

I love twitter, you can find me on there @budsmam. I learn so much from it, personal and professional. You meet so many different people on there but one of my favourites is a little steiff teddy bear @henryandfriends. I have to say he is one of the wisest, friendliest twitter streams I have come across and that is without a word of irony. Henry perfectly summed up twitter bullying by saying 'if yoo don't ave nise werds, shut mowf' (his spelling isn't too good, but that is part of his charm). Henry always has nise werds.

Henry was so kind to me when my beloved dog Bud died, Henry is kind to everyone, look him up on YouTube his Tour de France video from last year is the sweetest thing I have seen.

To me Henry is sunshine, his tweets brighten up my day. He mentioned a few weeks ago that if we feel brown inside then we will be brown on the outside but if we feel yellow and sunshine inside then we will feel that in the outside.

This prompted me to get out these blocks which had been laying around for a while and make them up into a quilt, it will go to project Linus as do all my quits, I have called it Henry's sunshine quilt.

 
 

 

 

Sunday, 20 October 2013

New camera!

I have been having camera issues for a while. I had a great little point and shoot, Nikon coolpix, fab wee thing. Husband is majorly into hillwalking and was always borrowing it as it was lighter than his big camera. In the end I just told him to keep it and I would learn how to use the big camera .... There was my first mistake. I am totally pants at photography, I went on courses, and was rubbish, I tried to read and learn from manual, still pants, even signed up for a craftsy course, nope not happening.

So then husband goes on big challenge walk and looses small camera. Cue much soul searching and we decided to sell big camera and buy two small easy to use ones.

SQUEE! I am now the proud owner of easy to use, idiot proof Nikon coolpix, 20 megapixel, my very first one was only 5 megapixel, it was top of the range at the time!

So what to try out my new toy on? Well the fat quarter stars quilt seemed the best thing:

 
 

This was a quilt along from Moose on the porch quilts it's one off the very first quilt alongs I participated in. A lot of fond memories. I wanted to practice my FMQing on this so did it QAYG. I hope I have mastered acceptable stippling and half decent pebbles. I just love the quilt, learned so much on this quilt along.

 

 

Sunday, 13 October 2013

What a difference a year makes

I like Craftsy in particular their free classes. Last year I did their BOM with Amy Gunson she taught a lot of modern techniques, improv, wonky plus more traditional blocks.

All quilt blocks were of the same size which will make for a very traditional layout. I have got as far as putting sashing on, which you can't see in this pic. It may take some time but I want to practise FMQing and do this QAYG:

This years BOM is a very different beast. Laura Nownes is using more traditional techniques but with a less traditional layout. You can't really see from the picture below but all these blocks are fitted together with fillers, flying geese and HSTs. This top is now almost finished, two years and two very different quilts. Thank you craftsy!
 

 

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Curvy

It's finally done! My curvy baby is ready to fly the nest to a new home courtesy of project Linus. Take several charm packs then turn them into this:

 

Very slowly and very badly pieced it becomes this:

And now has metamorphosed into ..... Ta dah!

 

I wanted to use up some poor wee orphan blocks in the backing, so they are orphan no more :-)

 

Another backing shot for good measure:

 

So that's it, farewell curvy quilt I have loved and hated making you in good measure, more to do with my lack of patience than anything else.

Last but not least some credit where credit is due, pattern is winding ways from Heather Hasthorpe hers are amazing, the piecing is incredible. Thank you Heather for wonderful pattern (found in fabrications magazine) I will try again and do better next time.

Happy sewing.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Some liberty love

I love Liberty fabrics, the colours, the prints, all just gorgeous. When I was at the Stitch Gathering I was delighted to see a pack of liberty in our goody bag from Very Berry to add to the goodness, I got another pack from the lovely Nikki as a thank you for giving her a lift.

Double Liberty loveliness!

 

What to do with such gorgeousness?

I have a chum who is unfortunately going through chemo just now. She made herself some chemo dollies from a mollie makes pattern, they have little bandanas on instead of hair. I don't have a picture but they are so sweet. My chum also loves Liberty so I knew immediately what I wanted to do.

A mini chemo dolly quilt!! Here's a progress shot:

Here is the finished item:

 

I thought my chum deserved a present too, so I made her a zakka sewing kit from the fab book by, Rashida Coleman-Hale

I used my favourite owl linen fabric, it makes me smile so I hope it makes her smile.

 

 

Thursday, 5 September 2013

It's been a funny old week

Don't get me wrong it's been a great week, meeting up with Nikki (best Project Linus co-ordinator ever) and Claire at the Muckhart quilters comes a close second to the stitch gathering in being the most fun stitching event this year. It's still been a funny week though, funny peculiar.

Anyone who knows me in the slightest knows my hobby is patchwork, as a colleague at work said 'The whole bloody world knows your passion!' Her sweary words not mine :-)

So I wasn't surprised when one of our lecturers asked if I would like her mothers sewing things. Her mother had passed on and she was clearing out her things, could I make good use of them?

No problem said I, delighted too .....

Totally unaware of what an emotional thing it would be to do. I don't know this woman, I don't even know her name, I didn't like to ask as it wasn't volunteered. So I have called her Joan, it seemed only polite to give her a name.

I came home with 4 carrier bags of 'stuff' all accumulated over the years, little kits from the front of the old Needlecraft magazine, remember that? And from early copies of the Cross Stitch magazine.

 

 

I salvaged what I could and will give some to a local craft group, a chum who knits gets the knitting things, I have kept various floss and fabric, but it is these things which puzzle me and get me a bit emotional:

 

Bits of EPP, know maybe it's because I am doing bits of EPP myself (the fab kit from Dolores which was in the stitch gathering goody bag) or because it is a bit more finished than just a bit of fabric or thread, I don't know but here is Joan's on the go project. I have no idea what she was going to make here. There are some clues:

 

 

This is the only bit put together, there are small hexies which don't seem to fit anywhere in the above section.

 

 

 

I am going to finish this for Joan, I will ask her daughter what her real name is but maybe wait till some time has passed, but I want to finish one of Joan's WIPs for her. It seems the right thing to do.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Stitch gathering

Well what a day, I am still winding down from this incredible event organised by the wonderful Jo from Avery Homestore. I wasn't originally going to go to this event. It came about at the time I was booking for all the workshops at the festival of quilts so money was a bit tight. A few months later though a tweet came up that one poor lady couldn't make it and a ticket was up for grabs. By this time I had done a class with Jo and knew what an utterly fabulous lady she is so with no hesitation I scooped up my 'golden ticket'

The classes I was down for were bibs with the lovely Julie and folded embellishments with the lovely Jo. I wasn't sure what to expect so was very happy when I saw Nikki was looking for a car share, hurrah!! Someone to chum along with and help me get over those, 'I don't know anyone here' nerves.

There were many touches of genius to the whole event, we had a printed fabric ticket which many of us embellished in some way, Jo is going to make these into a quilt.

 

 

We all had a name tag partner who we had to make a name tag for. Mine was Carol and look at the fab lanyard she made for me!!

 

Here is the one I made for her

 

We were up bright and breezy to make the 9 am start, the venue was great, Napier University, Merchiston Campus not far from Avery Homestore. The vibe about the place was warm and fun right from the start. Jos husband said such a sweet thing about the day, he loved being in such a large group of women, he couldn't believe how warm and friendly it was with everyone made to feel welcome and included. He was so right.

First up was bibs, I so enjoyed this, everyone made such different bibs, the lovely Julie made us cookies to keep us going and I think we all managed to finish off our bibs.

 

 

Lunch was great, plenty of food and cakes, I particularly loved the fact there was plenty bottled water on the go, something a lot of training/workshop events forget, another lovely touch by the organisers.

There was a lucky dip where I got a beautiful needle case made by Jo. A fat quarter swap followed by a show and tell. Lots of fun and laughter too.

 

My afternoon class was Japanese folded embellishments with Jo, I will hold my hands up to not being the best with small fiddly things but this class may just have converted me.

 

And it didnt end there!! Back to the shop for bubbly, canap├ęs and the final of the quilt exhibition which Jo had on for the festival.

Followed by a chill out meal at the nearby pizza express. Does it get any better than this?? Well yes it does .... I haven't even got to the goody bag yet, look at THIS!

 

Can you believe it? It was huge, there were at least 8 fat quarters (yep 8, I have just refolded them to my own specifications so I have counted them ;-) a massive box of thread, liberty bag (mmmmm liberty) more thread from Coats, a thread cutter, cute tin (am feeling like I'm on the generation game!) Liberty tana lawn from Very Berry (more liberty-faints!) needles, aurifil thread, the cutest hexie kit from Dolores, frixon pen, Milward pen.

Gosh if I have missed out anything it is simply because the bag was so HUGE.

Amazing, am still processing it all, roll on the next one.

 

Monday, 26 August 2013

FOQ 2013

Was a blast, as usual. I love the festival of quilts, in Birmingham, I have been going for about 7 years now. Irene and I have it down to a fine art. Planned with military precision each year.

This year was no different, flights and accommodation booked in 2012, classes booked as soon as they came out in April.

I love this show, I know some comment on lack of more modern quilts, which is fair comment. It is getting better though and more and more shops are selling more modern fabrics, seeing shops like the Eternal Maker I the flesh is great.

As ever I signed up to too many classes. That's fine though I thoroughly enjoyed them all. I did two with Julie Bull because you can never have enuff pincushions?

 

 
I did two with Jennie Rayment, she is such a lovely lady and a hoot to boot. This is an extremely bad picture of a Christmas decoration I did with her.
 
 
Sheesh my photography has hit an all time low there ...
 
Moving swiftly on, I did heirloom sac with Pam Neave
 

Hmm actually that could be one of my worst pics ever ...

I also dipped my toes n the waters of FMQing with the apple a day class with the lovely Catherine Nichols. What a super lady, she gave us a screen printed panel, from one of her own drawings to work on. Her work using FMQ to write the backgrounds to her quilts is stunning.

 

I need to get my photography skills improved, hey ho, I am still winding down after yesterday's Stitch Gathering, altogether an amazing day too, that can wait till tomorrow.

Oh yes I bought a sizzix, emmmm and a bolt of wadding :-)