Thursday, 29 December 2016

Sneaking a final finish in for 2016

To be fair I finished this at the beginning of the month but it will be the last finish shown this year.

Back in early 2016 I joined in a cross stitch along hosted on Facebook by KLT Charting. It was two charts a month to make up 12 owls. The whole thing made a large picture.

To be different I decided to sew each owl on a separate piece of Aida to make a quilted  wallhanging.

The owls had all the same outline but the pattern inside and the eyes were different for each owl. I used a Navy Blue for the outline and various variegated hand dyed threads for the insides. The wings were cross stitched in a thread that matched.

I bordered each of the owls in a different fabric and then sewed them together using a white sashing. The border is a brightly coloured fabric which seemed to be made for this. I used a white thread to cross hatch the quilting up to the cross stitched panels and a white binding.

I'll be hanging this on the wall in the New Year. I just need to find the right spot.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Judy's UFO Challenge

As I've designated 2017 the year of the finishes it only makes sense to join in on a UFO challenge. Having a nose around blogland I came upon Judy's Challenge at Patchwork Times.

The idea is the normal simple one. Pick 12 UFO/WIPs and each month work on one. So after going through my lists I've decided on the following twelve.

1. Simple Times

Well this one is so unworked I don't even have any pics of it. basically its a BOM in 1930's reproductive fabric that I'm just over half way on. Most of the blocks are done I just need to finish them,make the borders and sew into a top, sandwich, quilt and bind. ( Edited to include a pic)

2. Atlantis

Another BOM and my oldest UFO. I finished the piecing this year but it needs quilting and binding.

3. Dotty about Scraps

My first scrap quilt and my first self designed quilt. It's been languishing in my to quilt box for too long.

4. Tula Sampler

My friends and I started this as a challenge a few years ago. I fell behind after doing best part of three quarters of the blocks. They are all done in various batiks. I need to finish the blocks, get the quilt together and quilt it.

5. Turning Twenty Stars BOM

This was a BOM from the end of last year through the beginning of this. I think it was 12 12" locks and 12 6" blocks. I've done the blocks, I need to set then and get the quilt together, quilt and bind.

6. Blossom Heart Bee

I took part in a few Bees this year and although I've pieced this top I've yet to quilt and bind it.

7. Stash Bee

Another Bee quilt to be quilted

8. Buzzy Friends Bee

A pile of 6" stars waiting to be sewn into a top and quilted.

9. Modern Bee

Another one I can't find a picture of. Tut tut. Anyway this one is sandwiched and stitched in the ditch. I have a quilting plan I just need to quilt it.  ( Edited to include a pic)

10. Mini Medallion

This is a small quilt ( about 36" I think) and was done as a sew along . It just needs quilting.

11, Dancing With Stars

This was a BOM sent every month from Stitchin Heaven in Texas and needs quilting. If you look closely you may see that the fabrics in this and Mini Medallion are similar. In fact I used the scraps from this to make the medallion quilt.

12,   Modern Classic BOM

Again an online sew along. We were encouraged to take a fresh look at classic blocks. I had great fun playing around in EQ with this. The blocks are all done, I just need to settle on a setting and get it finished.

Well these are my 12. No doubt I'll be working on a few more along side them during the year. I'm off to link my list up at Judy's now,

Monday, 26 December 2016

Best of 2016

Now Christmas is but a memory it's time to look forward to the New Year. I recently did a post on my quilty, and other, goals for 2017 ( HERE) so it's only right I do a post looking back on 2016.

I thought taking part in Cheryl's linky party was the ideal opportunity

The idea is to nominate your 5 best posts from the last year. The description of best is purely subjective. It could be your favourite or the most popular. There is no criteria.

I've looked through my blog posts since January and have decided to go for a mix of most viewed, some finishes and my favourite.

1. First up we have the most recent finish, Sleeping Under The Stars. I love this quilt and didn't really want to gift it. It started out as a normal bed sized quilt and ended up a super king sized.

For those of you who don't want to read the many blog posts about it, it was pieced and quilted on my domestic janome and finished up as 10 ft x 10 ft in size.

2. Next we have a post HERE featuring a few finishes from back in March.

I'd made a selection of table runners and mug rugs for auction. A friend was struggling to pay a horrific vets bill and a group of us got together to make stuff to sell to raise the funds to help. I'm pleased to say we just about covered the bill between us. I really liked the thought of something I'd made helping out in this way and am currently making a bed quilt for auction for another cause. More on that in a later post though.

3. Another finish. This time from May and the post can be found HERE.

 A baby quilt for my daughter's boss and his wife. I love making baby quilts. Unfortunately I'm at that age where all my friends are too old to have them of their own but too young for grandchildren. Therefore I jump at any opportunity to make one. The daughter's boss wasn't asked whether he wanted one, he was told. Luckily he's used to me.

4. The final quilty post I'm sharing is from August and can be found HERE

I was lucky enough to pattern test this for an online friend and I loved making it. I've used this bag all summer and have continued to use it to brighten up Winter's grey days.
Details of where to get the pattern are at the bottom of the  original blog post.

5. Finally my favourite post isn't quilty at all. It can be found HERE.

It's a tour of my outside sewing room, otherwise known as my garden. This is where I spend most of my summer, either working on the garden or with my spare machine set up on the patio. It's where alot of Sleeping Under The Stars was pieced.

So that's my favourite five. Feel free to pop over to Cheryl's blog to find out what other's favourites are.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

A Change is in the Stars

Back in August I first blogged about Sleeping Under The Stars ( HERE), a King Sized quilt I was making as a house warming present.

Updates were posted HERE,  HERE, HERE and HERE.

My last post showed it half done.

 A few days later all the blocks were finished and ready to get put together.

It was at that point it was decided that a King Sized possibly wouldn't be large enough so I decided to sash all the 24" blocks. Along with a border the quilt now measured 120" x 120" and I had to use the Yoga studio floor to sandwich it.

 It took two months to get it quilted on my Janome. Each block took me a day

 And before you ask, yes it was heavy and awkward and I'm forever grateful to my Yoga teachers for unknotting my shoulders on a regular basis.

Anyway on to the quilty pics.

I quilted diamonds in white in the border and FMQ'd around them, also in white. I then quilted a feather motif in each diamond in pale blue.

 I left the stars alone, just stitching in the ditch around them.

The sashing was quilted in diamonds again. I used a darker, variegated thread and left them empty.

And now to the blocks.

I'd drawn out a rough quilting doodle to help me.

 The idea was to stitch in the ditch all the seam lines. I then left the blue fabric alone and just concentrated on the white background fabric.

I used a combination of white and a variegated pale/medium blue for the motifs

 I quilted a variety of stars and filled them in in the corner stones of the fabric stars. The background was a combination of parallel ( ish) lines, feather motif and FMQ

The effect is of shadow stars dotted in amongst the real fabric stars

And with thanks to my yoga buddies for holding the quilt up for me,

The finished quilt, bound in the same blue as the sashing. Its off on it's way to it's new home tomorrow.

If I ever mention that I'm going to do another Super King Sized please feel free to slap the stupid out of me.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Resolutions and Goals

Oh my, how long as it been since I visited blogland. Is anyone still out there and if so how are you.

Yes I know I've been a bad, bad blogger. Trouble is I've been so busy sewing that I haven't had time to blog. So in an effort to be more organised I've decided to join in with Yvonne's Quilty goals linky party.

2017 Planning Party

So what are my goals for 2017.

1.  It's going to be the year of the UFO/Wip. That's right I'm clearing out the boxes and baskets under my sewing table. I'll be finishing off quilts and quilting tops. I'm not aiming to start anything new. How long I'll be able to resist starting anything new remains to be seen but I can but try.

2. I haven't signed up for any bees, swaps, mysteries, sew alongs etc. I am in one bee which finishes March but that's it. It's sewing for me and me alone. ( although the quilts I do finish will probably end up in other's hands).

3. Watch my Craftsy classes. Yes I have 5 classes in my Craftsy account. All quilting and I haven't watched one lesson. This is the year. After all I've plenty of quilt tops to practice on, just look at the list on my side bar.

4. Be a better blogger. I can't believe it's been three months since my last post. This has to change. I have ( and will have )  quilts to show off. I think if I aim for once a week blogging I should be able to manage.

5. Personal. Its the normal story, over weight and under exercised. I began going to Yoga in September and I love it. I now do 3 hours a week in classes. I want to start timetabling 30 mins a day to dedicate to practising. It is doing something for me. My bingo wings are disappearing and I can start seeing muscle definition in my thighs. As the days start to get longer again, after Thursday's Solstice, I'll be pounding the streets on my walks. At one stage I was fast pace walking 5 miles a day but I went on holiday and never restarted. I need to sort out my eating habits now. I enjoy cooking and love fruit and veg. Lately though I've a nasty habit of reaching for the biscuits/cookies/cake with my coffee instead of having something nutritious and filling. After the Christmas excesses this will have to swap as I'll be cutting down on the buying and making of all the goodies and making sure the fruit bowl is fuller than the cookie jar.

Well, that's it. Hopefully in 12 months time I will have hardly any WIPS/UFOs left on my lists in the sidebar and there'll be a bit less of me that wobbles and bounces as I walk.