Monday, 30 April 2012

Weekend catchup - my finishes

It's Monday madness!!  I am feeling the urge to share the pictures of my finishes from this weekend! 

  • I finally finished my London Modern Quilt Guild Mini Quilt.

  • I finally finished my two improv placemats (started way back in February!)

  • I made a card holder to add to my secret partner's name badge package (which is now in the Royal Mail postal system) for the Fat Quarterly Retreat name badge swap.  I found a great tutorial for the card holder over on this blog.  I can't show you the whole inside as I have personalised it and that would give my partner's name away!  I can tell you that some fabric from both the name badges (yes, badges) is on the inside of the card holder too which ties everything togther :-)  Fingers crossed my partner likes it!

  • and lastly, I finally finished my Figgy Pudding table topper as blogged about here

  • Phew - what a weekend!  I am just about to start cutting the Siblings Together fabric so I shall update you more when I have visuals!

    I'll be linking up with Sew Happy Geek's Manic Monday and Canoe Ridge Creations' {sew} Modern Monday.

    Sunday, 29 April 2012

    2nd quarter FAL - my first finish!

    Happy Sunday

    And a happy one indeed!  I got a lot done this weekend, probably because I was home alone.  Cooking, cleaning, sewing, gardening.  Ok, no gardening (way too rainy for me) but lots of other stuff!  I worked on my WiP list - yay!  I needed to get a few smaller things done so I could concentrate on the big thing - my Siblings Together quit.  I didn't 'eat the biggest frog' first as I should have, but this is ok though because I am now ready to work on it!  I have fewer distractions now so I can concentrate!

    I am pleased to share with you that I finally - and I mean FINALLY - got my Figgy Pudding table topper done!  I had made a table cloth for my sister in these fabrics and with the leftovers decided to make a table topper for myself.  I did, but then it sat there and nothing happened to it - until now!

    This will be my first finish of my goals for the 2nd quarter Finish-a-long with Quilter in the Gap - yay for me! 

    Here is a mosaic of a few more pictures of the table topper.  I'm really happy with my corners.  I took great care attaching and sewing my binding and it paid off!  I used wadding in this one but in my sister's tablecloth I used a sheet as the middle layer so it really felt like a table cloth.  My quilting was pretty simple - straight lines either side of the vertical charm rows and then a continuous line all around the topper in the turquoise border.  I didn't pre-wash my fabric so I will definitely be putting in a colour catcher when I wash it!  I don't want the back to turn pink do I!!??

    Moda Figgy Pudding made into a Christmas table topper - either really late or super early!!

    I'll be linking this up with the April Finishes Linky and sew many ways' sew darn crafty party, Sew Happy Geek's Manic Monday and Just Winging It Show Your Stuff party!

    Friday, 27 April 2012

    It's 'Finish it up Friday' Friday

    Woohoo for Friday.  This week I made progress on my WiP list - yay!  I managed to do a couple of things in the sewing department:  one was long overdue to actually start; and the other had/has a looming deadline - so it felt good to work on these two things!

    Daylight shot - still doesn't capture those yummy greens properly! 
    I started making my 'mini quilt' [above] for the London Modern Quilt Guild April Challenge [to make a 12" mini quilt representing what 'modern quilting' means to me, with hanging triangles at the back.  Twelve mini quilts will be chosen to be hung on the walls in John Lewis Oxford Street in June!!  No pressure then - to be judged by my peers and critiqued - yikes, nerve wracking or what!!?], and I am nearly done - thankfully!  All I have to do now is sew on the two hanging triangles and the binding and I'll be done.  Yay!  Another (almost) finish for me!  Woohoo - I'll be one step closer to making the charity quilt for Siblings Together

    [UPDATE: Sunday 29 April - I FINISHED it last night - yay!!  Sorry for the bad photo.  It is a bit dull and grey out today so my gorgeous greens just haven't come up true.  Here it is:  ]

    LMQG Mini Quilt - completed.
    With the April Challenge, it took me ages to decide what to sew and no matter what I came up with it just didn't seem right.  I also wasn't sure what the purpose of a mini quilt was so I struggled to get my head around that too.  In the end I just got my scrap fabric bin out and cut a few squares (all in greens) and made a square with the 2" squares.  Decision made - I liked the greens together (which is one of my favourite colours anyways) and I love the simplicity and graphic-ness of squares forming another square, I love white in quilts and I like to up cycle so I used a pillowcase for the back and that was that!  I guess that's what modern quilting is to me.  You play with fabrics and come up with something you like and you sew it!  Here are a few of the process pictures:

    One outdoor picture and the rest were shot indoor which is why they are sort of yellowy. 
    I love my little green dotty binding.  The fabric was a purchase from Fabric Land
     in Canada at Christmas so it was time to use it up!  I have it in purple too :)

    This week I finished the amazing 241 Noodlehead Tote (which I absolutely love) over the evenings of Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday.  The hardest part was deciding on which fabrics to use!!  Oh and the y-seams.  I'll have to work on those.  My lining is Joel Dewberry Modern Meadow Herringbone in maple.  I could have used a complimentary shade of Kona but I like this print so much I wanted it in my bag!  I love my pocket too!
    I like the lining and my two-colour fabric pocket which makes it easier to find the pocket!

    Outer pocket detail shot showing some of the lining.

    To justify my small craft and sewing output this week (just to myself really), I did do a tonne of gardening over the weekend which kept me away from Mr Toyota!  I had a busy week.  It felt good to get some important things done around the house and garden - and spend some time with Mr Crafty Shenanigans too.  Yay!
    Picture of three of my four varieties of potatoes currently growing in five grow bags. So much fun! 
    As you can see, my potatoes are doing really well in this horrible wet weather that we are having.  The other two containers of potatoes are still wee little things so I didn't take a picture. If I am lucky, I will have some delicious tasting spuds in a several weeks.  Hopefully they aren't under the soil rotting away merrily - that would be bad!  I love growing my own veg - very exciting and relaxing at the same time.  You can physically see all your hard work growing (so satisfying) and you are then rewarded with the fruits of your labour to eat.   How cool is that!?

    The goal this weekend is to finish this mini quilt and to at least cut the fabric for the Siblings Together quilt using the fabric I won from Lily's Quilts.  Isn't it cute?
     'Savanna Bop' by Thomas Knauer.
    Wishing you all a happy Friday night!  I'm linking up with Amylouwho's Sew & Tell Friday and of course crazy mom quilts Finish it up Friday (her last one for a little while).  See you!

    I'll be linking my finish up with:

    Wednesday, 25 April 2012

    WiP Wednesday and Siblings Together

    Welcome to Wednesday - 'work in progress' Wednesday (linking up with Freshly Pieced). 

    So, at the beginning of March I shared my WiP list (quite a big list!).  I had put the Noodlehead 241 Tote on my  'Projects waiting to be started/have stalled' list because I wanted to do it but just didn't get to it.  I couldn't decide on fabrics.  I didn't have the time.  I wasn't sure if I could do it...etc etc.!  So, I am happy to tell you that I finally decided on some yummy fabrics (mostly from The Village Haberdashery) and have crossed that WiP off my list!  Seeing the brilliant totes that Kelly and Charlotte made last week encouraged me to finally make mine!  So here is my 241 Tote in Melody Miller flowers, Kona midnight, linen and Joel Dewberry Maple Herringbone for the interior. 

    I made the strap a little longer which sits perfectly on my shoulder/at my hip.  The bag itself is uber-cool.  And I quite like my colour-combination too!  Linen is a nice addition I think - gives it a 'use me I'm awesome' sort of feel!!  The pattern was easy to follow and I will practise my y-seams for a better finish next time.  For TNT Thursday, I can happily report that I:
    • sewed some curves and Y-seams
    • attached a metal magnet closure
    • sewed 'darts'
    • finished a project in 3 sessions (yay for me)

    Pottery class update... Only 5 more weeks to go and I still have 3 trees to finish glazing and fire, a coil pot with a drawing of a dog on the inside to final fire, a slab vase/pot 'thing' to finish, then bisque fire then glaze and final fire, a few ornaments to glaze and final fire and what I thought I would have to share with you tonight were my buttons but they are still in the kiln - oh well - they'll be ready for next week.  Just hope no one steals them!!

    My WiP list remains the same as last week.  I still have to do Block 6 and now Block 7 for the Sew Into Solids Flickr group and do some tidying.  It is utter chaos in there at the moment. 

    Today it rained cats and dogs so the shiny big ray of sunshine for me was an awesome bundle of fabrics that came in the post from Lily's Quilts, which I won to make a quilt for Siblings Together.  Press here for more information about Siblings Together and if you are interested in helping but don't have time to sew, why not donate to help with the customs and shipping costs?  They would be super appreciative!

    Quilts for Siblings Together
    I now have a stack of bright boyish fat quarters to make a quilt out of.  This is 'Savanna Bop' by Thomas Knauer - isn't it cute (from what you can see of it! I wanted to get a daylight shot before I went out to pottery class!!)?  I'll keep you posted on my progress.  I am home alone this weekend so am planning a sew-fest with Mr Toyota.  Fingers crossed I can get this one done to share with the London Modern Quilt Group on the 6th May.  This is my personal deadline....  another WiP for my list!

    The reason there isn't much to report on the sewing front (apart from my 241 Tote) is because I did LOADS of gardening over the weekend.  I took advantage of Mother Nature giving us a bit of sunshine and did the 'chores'.  I got the lawn mower out, I weeded, I planted some green, yellow and purple dwarf beans to germinate indoors, got the pansy seeds planted and dug more dirt away from the fence.  It's no wonder why I was aching (still am)!  Can't wait for the rain to stop so I can go out and get my raised beds built and the soil in so I can get the carrots and lettuce planted.  I'll take a photo tomorrow of the potatoes - they are coming on a treat!!  

    So that's all folks!  I'm off to plan which way I will sew these yummy fabrics together.  Happy Wednesday!  I'm also linking up with TNT Thursday with Happy Quilting and with Confessions of a Fabric Addict's Can I get a Whoop Whoop
    I'm linking my finish up here:
    April Finishes

    Monday, 23 April 2012

    Zakka and Liebster

    What a day I've had!  I quite like Mondays - even the buckets of rain didn't dampen my mood!  Nor has our broken heating system for that matter.  Oooh it is cold in here!  It is 15* and dropping so thank goodness I hoard sew quilts eh??!!

    I shall start today with my Zakka Sewing Kit with little Pin Cushion that I made a week or so ago which I will link up for the linky party!  I loved making this project.  It was easier than the Pencil Case but just as awesome!  I'm still having fun playing around with what I can put in the pockets!!  It fits quite a bit in there, doesn't it!?  Have you made yours yet [Kelly]?

    This weekend I spent some time sewing something off my 'to do one day/WiP/UFO' list but it isn't ready to show yet so hopefully it will be ready in a couple of days or so.  That's if the heating is working!  I was inspired to get cracking on this project by Kelly and Charlotte, so watch this space guys!  Fingers crossed I'll get it done for the LMQG meeting!

    So today I had the honour of being awarded the Liebster Blog Award - again!  And strangely enough, two people nominated me today, at separate times.  This means I'm a three-time award winner (I love the sound of that - greedy or what)!  The lovely Ashlea Tenner Quilts and the lovely Handmade by FarahLin were the nominators.  Check their blogs out - there is definitely some major awesomeness going on :)  Thank you FarahLin for also adding an extra person to her list when she realised I received this award a couple of months back!  And Ashlea nominated 10 people, so in the spirit of 'pay it forward', I will nominate some deserving blogs for the award too!

    So, what is the Liebster Blog Award you may ask?  I shall tell you! 
    The Liebster award (German for favourite) is for bloggers with 200 followers or less.
    As a recipient of the award, you have the chance to thank and link back to the
    blogger who gave it to you as well as pass it along to five other deserving blogs.

    I now have the privilege (for a second time) of selecting five blogs in return that I think deserve this award.  This is really tough because I follow some fantastic blogs - and so many of them are newbies like me!!  So, here are just five of my favourite blogs (who also have fewer than 200 followers) so I hope you stop by and check them out!  In random order:
    Liebster Conventions:
    1. Thank your award presenter on your blog and link back to him/her.
    2. Copy and paste the award to your blog.
    3. Present the Liebster Award to 5 blogs that you think deserve to be recognised.
    4. Let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
    5. Have faith that your followers will spread the love too!

    I'll be linking up with Sew Happy Geek's Manic Monday, Quiting by the River's Linky Party Tuesday, Frontier Dreams' Keep Calm Craft On, Quilt Story's Fabric Tuesday and sew many ways' sew darn crafty party!

    Sew Happy Geek

    I'm linking my finish up here:April Finishes

    Friday, 20 April 2012

    Finish it up Friday - plus VOTE for me!!!


    Over on the Quilting Gallery, the voting is taking place for the entries for the 'Just squares and rectangles' competition so please do pop over and check out all the quilts ~ and vote for mine!!! 
    I'll send telepathic hugs to each and every one of you who does - how's that for incentive!?

    I have listed my "Perfectly Plaid Log Cabin" quilt - so do pop over and
    VOTE FOR ME...please?

    Press here to get to the voting page - my quilt is halfway down and called


    Plaid...I looooove plaid!  Have I ever mentioned that before? ;)

    And now back to our regular Finish it up Friday with crazy mom quilts

    I had another busy week.  Here is a mosaic of all my finishes:

    1. Stoneware dish with mat white glaze and mauve-ish inside
    2. Secret name badge for FQ Retreat
    3. Practice name badge (with my name!!)
    5. Fold-over flap button closure bag
    8. Fold-over flap button closure bag (in London fabric)
    9. Zakka Delightful Linen Bag (with HST's) 

    As you can see, I made another fold-over flap button closure bag.  This one is in the yummy London fabric that I bought specifically for my Fat Quarterly Community Retreat sample swap items.  From the three I have now made, I now have my final measurements to make my 4 items (this one is too wide and not tall enough). 

    The buttons may change on the real thing as I have homemade ceramic buttons in the kiln so they hopefully will be perfect for these wee bags!!  If not, I will use the gorgeous shiny glass buttons as on this one [hmmm...buttons] purchased from MacCulloch & Wallis haberdashery in London.  I used round elasticated chord but didn't like the way it sewed in so I will make an improvement on that detail of the bag on the real swap items.  I guess this one will have to be for me ;)  Oh well!!  I have some fun things to go in each bag too - but I can't show you those YET!!

    Also this week, I participated in the Festival of Half Square Triangles "linky party" over at Canoe Ridge Creations and made a pillow and a mini quilt top. I'm #71 and #72 if you want to see what I added.  While I was creating and playing with fabrics, I thought that maybe I could use some of my HST's on a Zakka project and the Delightful Linen Bag was just the project.  Here is my version (with a hidden snap instead of a button closure and trim instead of lace - I have no lace!):

    And that was my week - how was yours?  I didn't get my Block 6 finished this week for the Sew Into Solids Flickr group but I am still pleased with all my finishes.  I need to have Block 7 done for Monday too so this weekend I plan to get sewing!  Oh - I should have quite a bit of pottery to share next week - yay!  I'm so glad we are back to our regualr night of clay-play! 

    I'll be checking out some of the other linked up blogs on crazy mom quilts Finish it up Friday as there is always some amazing inspiration - you should do the same!  And remember to leave comments too - this is what makes the quilting community so much fun! 

    I'll also be linking up to
    Amylouwho's Sew & Tell Friday
    sew many ways Find a Friend Friday

    Enjoy your weekend everyone and thanks for stopping by!

    I'm linking my finish up here:
    April Finishes

    Thursday, 19 April 2012

    Festival of HST's ~ Mini Quilt

    Half Square Triangles ~ second post

    My HST Mini Quilt

    Yay for me!  I finally conquered my fear of doing something entirely with triangles. 

    It all started a few years ago when I started my quilting journey.  For some reason I decided that I wouldn't/couldn't make anything with triangles as they looked too hard and complicated and was reserved for the more experienced and advanced quilters.  Then in 2010 I started a 'Mystery Quilt' and there were a few triangles to do and guess what?  I did them and they turned out pretty good!  So, a month or so ago I made the Ribbon Star block from Fresh Lemons for one of my blocks for the Sew Into Solids Flickr group and it turned out as well!  I couldn't believe I could sew triangles together!!  My confidence was growing and then I saw that Canoe Ridge Creations was hosting a 'Festival of Half Square Triangle's and I thought I might like to participate!   

    I searched through my stash for the perfect fabric and found a gorgeous charm pack [this was my Moda plaid and stripe charm pack that I can't remember the name of - if anyone does, please let me know as I NEED to find more!] that I have been hoarding saving for the right project and I decided it was time to use it up!  I added some yummy Kaffe and a few Aneela Hoey Sherbert Pip squares and off I went to create 'something'!

    So I stacked, drew lines, sewed, cut, pressed, trimmed and played with a possible layout - a few possible layouts actually!  I loved the quilt that Sew, Bike, Quilt! made with solids for the Festival of HST's and it looked like something I could do so I put my mind to it but ended up with my square arrangement instead (purely because the item entered had to have at least 75% HST's in it).
     Here are a few of the process pictures.  It's hard to make a decision on a
    layout when there are so many possibilities, isn't it!!? 
    I love how my HST 'thing' has turned out.  At one stage I was going to put big white borders around it but since it has been pinned up I have decided to leave it as it is and make a mini quilt out of it - and do hand stitching...  I'm going to try something new (as if trying half square triangles wasn't enough eh?!).

    I love these fabrics.  Plaid....  'nuf said!
    I also made a cute little pillow with red and white fabrics!
    My 'strawberry-summer' half square triangle pillow.
    Anyways, here are a couple more photos for you showing my Mystery Quilt and Ribbon Star block.

    My mystery quilt started in 2010 and finally completed in 2011, just in time
    to take to Canada for the Christmas holidays and give to my sister. 
    My Sew Into Solids - Block 3 - Ribbon Star (pattern from Fresh Lemons Quilts).
    I'll be linking up with Canoe Ridge Creations for the Festival of Half Square Triangles linky party and our creative spaces player list!  I have seen so many amazing quilts using triangles that I have added MORE projects to my 'to do one day' list!  Yikes - I'll need to buy more fabric then [any excuse]!  Happy Thursday :)

    HST 'Strawberry-summer' pillow - TNT Thursday

    Half Square Triangles ~ first post!

    While my HST 'thing' (now called the HST Mini Quilt) was pinned up on the wall for me to look at and decide what to do with it/how to finish it, I decided I would play with some of my scrappy-scraps and see what I could come up with.  I was simply experimenting with the size of HST's and with using white along with the patterned fabric to see what effects I could get from block placement.  I ended up making a cute little pillow with a 'square' look to it! 

    I love red and white together and with the red strawberry flower fabric, gingham, flowers and dots, it reminded me of summer and Wimbledon so I'm calling this pillow 'Strawberry-summer'.  My points were so lovely - and nearly perfect - in my Ribbon Star block but for some reason they just didn't work out as well on this pillow.  I even pinned...  Oh well, nevermind - I will keep trying until I get it perfect EVERY TIME!  This is the second pillow I have made and I tried an over-lapping flap at the back for the pillow insert to go in which seemed to work out pretty cool!  Yay for me.   

    Here are a few of the process photos from making the pillow.

    I'll be linking my little pillow up to Canoe Ridge Creations Festival of Half Square Triangles linky party.  Be sure to check out the amazing things made with triangles!!!  I'm also linking up with Happy Quilting's TNT Thursday!

    I'm linking my finish up here:
    April Finishes