I managed to finish my little Halloween quilt just in time. It was a really quick and fun to make, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Here it is below with a little cushion that I made last year - the embroidery was done on my embroidery machine. Also starring in the photo is Bob the Spider - he insisted and a recent painting of me dressed in my Halloween finery!!!
The Halloween quilt was from a pattern in Fons and Porter's Autumn Celebrations magazine - there are several more things in there that I intend to make at some point and I'll definitely be on the look out for more of their magazines in the future. Bob the Spider is on loan from my daughter at his insistence and the embroidery design for the cushion was from Embroidery Designs.com
I am so thrilled to have this quilt top finished - and just before the dealine too :D although I think it should have been quilted and bound by the deadline but as I'm not quilting it myself that's not going to happen. I booked it in with Chris for quilting and my name has just arrived at the top of the list so hopefully it won't be too much longer before I can hang it up on the wall - I have just the spot for it :)
This isn't a brilliant photo, it doesn't really show off the blocks to their best but what it does show is that the top is complete.
It was a lovely, sunny, blue sky morning here so I took it outside for a photo. It was quite hard for me to hold up as it's actually taller than I am! I'll take some more photos when it's back from quilting.
My Favourite Things quilt from the book Some Kind of Wonderful by Anni Downs. I used various different creams for the backgrounds and the coloured fabrics are from the Buttercup range by Fig Tree and Co - with the exception of the fabric for the cat and I'm not sure at all what that was but it made for a lovely kitty :) All of the applique is needle turned and for embroidery I used DMC threads to match the fabrics.
So - I promised myself to start back working on the SKOW quilt once the June/July cottage was finished. Then I thought that I would just make a little start on the July/June cottage as I had all of the stuff to hand and I had tidied the applique away and I could get that out the next day. Well, the next day - yesterday, both Catherine and I were feeling grotty and not a lot got accomplished. I did however manage to finish off the top border and do the name on the July/June cottage - this is actually the June cottage but I'm using it in my July position.
The red thread is lovely and I have fallen in love with the little strawberries! I've put it to one side now until I've completed some more SKOW blocks.
I was procrastinating a little bit on the SKOW blocks, mainly in part due to the tree. I love the tree and I have quite a bit of the block already appliqued with the exception of this part...
This is the top part of the tree. I had everything prepared for it last week - all of the little bits cut out, ready and waiting to be stitched down. I decided to employ an avoidance technique to see if those little blossoms would stitch themselves down while I was looking the other work. This technique was a failure - I can't recommend it at all. I've decided to employ another technique to get the job done - DIY. It seems to be working so far - let's see how I feel after I've done a few of these flowers, I think there are 11 in total :gulp:
I spent quite a bit of time working on the blocks for my Some Kind of Wonderful quilt last week and really enjoyed it. I picked blocks at random and managed to finish all of the blocks for the final column. I have 3 more 'on the go' that are almost finished which leaves me just 4 more left to make. It's looking promising that I will finish before my deadline - fingers crossed :)
I designed the windmill block myself (with a little help from a colouring page) to replace the chair block. I'm quite pleased with how it's turned out.
I'm currently putting some stitches into June's cottage - I've actually used the July cottage which had an Independence Day theme and I'm turning it into a Jubilee cottage for the Diamond Jubilee. I'll post an update on that later on in the week.
Back at the beginning of August, I was reading Polly's blog and she was showing off a lovely Halloween project that she had just completed from a Fons and Porter special edition magazine. I was so taken with it that I ordered up the magazine. Then I was so taken with the stand that the project is displayed on that my fingers danced across the keyboard and before I knew it...I had ordered up the stand and the little kit to make the project. Well it must have been very popular because it was immediately back ordered. I wasn't bothered about that due to lack of sewing machine time during summer holidays and impending holiday in France. Yesterday it all arrived...
You can see the stand in this photo and a pic of the lovely mini Halloween quilt. I am a sucker for anything with either an Autumn or Halloween theme - I just love the colours. My secretary husband is getting the pattern enlarged for me today and I am hoping to get to make it at the weekend. Yes, I would like to start making it right now or at least as soon as I have the enlarged pattern in my mitts but I have committed myself to working on my Some Kind of Wonderful quilt this week and I'm sticking with the plan. I'm rather enjoying it too. I have several of the blocks in various stages of production with this sweet little heart block all done and dusted...
I've been working on a couple of personalised blocks this week too as a couple of the blocks weren't favourites of mine. I'm hoping that when it's time to report in for BOM rehab that I will have several more blocks to show.
Poor Henrietta Whiskers has been languishing in my sewing basket for quite a lot of months now. I was inspired to get her finished by Sinta's BOM rehab and so once Catherine's new school bag was completed I dug her out and set about putting the finishing touches on her.
This is how she looked back in March
which is the last time I did any work on her. All of the blocks were stitched together with block no. 9 needing to have the applique stitched down on it. At the time, I was debating whether or not to leave out the birds in the border and instead of making a decision I procrastinated for 6 months! I had all of the borders cut out and ready to stitch on and had even traced the applique for the border but...just couldn't decide whether to put it on or not.
On Thursday I made my decision - I wanted to put the applique on the borders. I set too and stitched the borders on and cut out the applique shapes and soon had them glued down. Since then, I've spent my evenings happily whip stitching the wool pieces and blind stitching the birds wings and I am delighted to have finished the top. I've decided to send this to be long arm quilted as I'd like a good job to be done of the quilting after all the hours spent handstitching and I'm just not capable of doing it justice. I emailed last week and Henrietta is booked in to be quilted by Chris at the end of October - I can't wait to see her once she's all quilted up.
Next I intend to work on finishing off my version of Anni Downs' 'My Favourite Things' from the book Some Kind of Wonderful - especially as I bought her new book over the summer holidays and would like to make the quilt in that too!
Linking with BOMs Away Mondays
I didn't get around to blogging during the summer so this is going to be a bit of a catch up post.
My intention was to get up to date with the cottage stitching but...that didn't happen. Instead, I was overwhelmed with a desire to finish off the stitching of The Library by Little House Needleworks. I had had this on the go for way too long and get dipping in and out of it. It's finally finished and framed and I am thrilled to bits with it. I'm also excited about the new charts with book themes that Diane is designing and am looking forward to stitching Around the World in 80 Days with Carole next year.
I think a wall of book related cross stitching will look marvellous :)
I spent quite a bit of time preparing hexagons for the Fat Quarterly Hexy MF quilt along and enjoyed piecing the flowers together. I am almost halfway done with those. This is the latest photo that I have of them - the colours look nothing like this in real life, the photo does them no justice at all.
I'm thinking of putting them onto a rich purple background - probably an Oakshott one.
I made a few Great Granny Squares for Lori Holts quilt a long but getting time on the machine during the holidays isn't easy so a few is as far as I got!
They are really quick, easy and fun to make - I will be making more very soon.
When the recent issue of Fat Quarterly came out I immediately wanted to make the Keep Calm quilt and dove into the stash in search of red fabrics. I had enough and got them all ironed and ready to cut into. Then I showed the quilt to Catherine who is a huge fan (particularly around exam time) of the 'Now Panic and Freak Out' saying. A request was made and I found myself diving back into the stash for blue fabrics! Here's the result...
It's been washed since this pic and has crinkled up beautifully and has already been on a trip to France and had plenty of snuggle time! The Keep Calm quilt will happen eventually :)
Back to School time means new bag time and while the cupcake bag that I made earlier in the year is still going strong it was a little small and definitely not waterproof. Another request was made and the result was this gigantic, waterproof bag...
I bought a yard of two different Kokka laminates a while ago when they were on sale. I've never sewn with laminate before and was a little nervous of it to be honest until I read a very useful blog post by Kathy of Pink Chalk Fabrics which encouraged me to at least have a go. Kathy has a few posts on laminates and this post led me to her Pinterest board for laminated projects which led me to this tutorial by Cheryl of Sew Can Do for a large bag. It turned out a bit bigger than I thought but Catherine is thrilled with it and it even fits an A4 lever arch file inside so she doesn't have to carry two bags anymore! The laminate was easy peasy to sew with - I will definitely sew with it again (if only to use up the other yard to make myself one of these bags).
Finally, my stitch a long with the crop girls was completed - a bit late but better late than never. I just picked it up from my framer this afternoon and I think he did a great job...
Outrageous Owls by Glendon Place.
Thanks for reading if you made it this far, that was quite a long post. I'm currently in the mood for 'finishing off' things and so, inspired by Sinta's BOM rehab I am working on finishing my neglected Henrietta Whiskers quilt - I'm hoping to finish before the weekend is done :)
I was a little late starting this month's cottage as I was busy finishing off the first two blocks for Lynette Anderson's In Full Bloom BOM. I got underway with March on Friday last week - I LOVE the greens in this cottage. I've loved all the colours so far actually and each month becomes my new favourite!
Here's the progress so far...
The little shamrock above the house is in the wrong place and will have to come out - I miscounted, oops!
The next pics are of the In Full Bloom block of the month - there are two blocks to stitch each month and these are the one for the month one. Thoroughly enjoyed stitching these although that garden bench seemed to be neverending!
My kit for this BOM came from Bev at Fobbles and she has chosen a gorgeous linen type fabric for the stitcheries, it's a pleasure to stitch on...so glad I bought an extra metre of it for my cushion making.
I decided to stitch the quilt top together while I was in the mood so that all I will need to do each month is to stitch the designs and then applique them to the background. The original pattern uses Broken Dishes blocks but I wasn't too keen on those and have swapped them for pinwheels. I have the two borders to stitch on and then the quilt top is all done but for each month's stitcheries. My husband loves this quilt already and can't wait to see it hanging on the wall!
In the continued spirit of finishing things off, I dug out poor neglected Henrietta Whiskers yesterday. I decided to get the final block made and to attach the borders so that I can take this away with me at the weekend and enjoy stitching the applique down. I'm hoping to get the top finished before the end of the month. Just a few borders to stitch on and the applique to prepare now - Sophie the blackbird makes several appearances in the border along with some more stars I think.
We're having the first of our crafting weekends away this coming weekend and I'm really looking forward to it. I've probably got enough stitching for 6 months ready to go with me!
I've got quite an exciting little project planned once the postman delivers. I was enjoying a wander through the Fat Quarter Shop coming soon pages one day when I happened upon the upcoming Grinch fabric. Catherine was looking over my shoulder at the time and fell in love it and asked if I would make her a Grinch quilt. As it doesn't come out until May I explained that she would have to wait. Later on, I found that they still had a supply of the previous Grinch fabric so I have secretly ordered it up in the hopes of completing a quilt for it in time for her birthday in May. Whether or not I'll manage I don't know as procrastination is one of my middle names!!!
I've been having a sewing morning and decided that a little update was in order. The 1st of February meant that it was time to start on a new cottage with Carole and I was eager to start. Here's the progress so far - the colours are so pretty...
As you can see, I'm stitching mine all together on one piece of fabric. I think they're going to look lovely like that.
Once I'd finished my SKOW blocks I started back on The Library just for a few days until it was Cottage time. I managed to complete all of the bottom border and have done the outline of the next set of bricks. Just a few leaves up at the top to frog now and resttich and I'll have the green all correct.
I think it could have done with a visit to the ironing board before having it's picture taken really, never mind!
This morning I decided to prepare the next SKOW block - I really can't leave these alone at all so I'm a bit ahead of myself on the stitch a long schedule.
I'm looking forward to stitching that down and doing the embroidery over the weekend - I love this block.
Finally - I resisted and resisted but...I had scraps on my desk and ready printed hexagons and so I 'accidentally'' started on a Rose Star block - oops! I'm not planning on making loads. This one is destined to go on a cushion cover to add to the ever increasing pile of cushions on our bed!
I've plenty to work on over the weekend now. It's our crop day on Saturday - 11 hours of chatting and stitching. Well, stitching for me and some of the other girls - paper crafting is a bit rare these days! I'll need to keep myself busy this week while Catherine's off on a school jaunt to Belgium and France. I think they're going to have a wonderful time, the schedule sounds very exciting. Although it's primarily a history trip in order to visit WW1 battlefields they are 'coming home via Paris' and fitting in a visit to Disney on the last day. My girl is so excited that she's fit to burst! The bag is all packed ready for our super early 4.30am start tomorrow. I've got my tissues ready for when the bus sets off...still can't manage to watch them leave on a bus without a few tears!