Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Christmas in August

Well you know me I can't do anything straight forward or normal. No Christmas in July for me, I'm doing it in August. Mind you those that know me will be wondering why Christmas at all as I don't normally celebrate it.

Well the thing is I was on my travels through blogland and I came across the I Wish You a Merry Christmas QAL on Vanda's blog. Now the thought of doing a Christmas quilt never entered my head but I did like block one which was a snowflake. So I thought, never mind the quilt I'd pick and choose which blocks I wanted to do as a Winter themed QAL instead. Then I thought well what happens if I only like the snowflake. So the plan is still to pick and choose the blocks I like or are relevant but I'm doing them as one off projects instead of a quilt.

So lets get on to block one.....the snowflake.

Or in my case two snowflakes ( both at 13" square)

 I've used a pale blue background with snowflakes over it and the white for the actual flakes. Please don't ask me what it is as I've probably had it for years.

 I fussy cut the centres and they've all been stuck down with bondaweb.

And then I sewed them together with some setting triangles to make a small table runner.

I sandwiched it and then sewed down the applique using a straight stitch for raw edged applique. Which left me loads of ends to sew in last night.

For quilting I drew out some shapes from a stencil that I thought looked snowflake like and quilted them in white. More ends to sew in.

I then quilted the background in a pale blue in a swirly FMQ.

There are 8 quilted snowflakes in there as you can just about make out.

I used a plain white for the binding and the lovely crinkled effect is because I finished it this morning and threw it in the washing machine before letting it dry on the line.

And there she is all finished and ready to go away until I decorate for the Winter.

Block 2 came out today, I think they'll be coming out every 2 weeks or so. It's Christmas trees. I'm not sure if I'm going to make that block or I might do something along the same lines but stick with the Christmas tree theme.

I'll be linking up with the various sites posted on the Linky page at the top of the blog

Sunday, 13 August 2017

I hear voices

I was in the local Quilt Shop the other week buying Bondaweb. I had no interest in buying fabric at all. Honest.

Anyway I walked in and got chatting, as you do. Whilst I was passing the time of the day I started hearing a whisper. " Buy me, buy me". Well it got louder and louder and being a good girl who always does as she's told ( well nearly always) I picked up these FQs from the display

and added them to total.

These are Lewis and Irene fabrics from two different ranges. The floral is from the new Celtic Blessings range and the blenders from the Bumbleberries range but they blend really well together.

I couldn't decide what to do with them so just played with some 9 patches.

I ended up making 7 of them

I then decided to cut them up to make a disappearing nine patch runner.

Well I cut them up and completely changed my mind. I made 7 different blocks by mixing and matching and different placements.

I'll now be making these into cushions for the lounge. Well after I've been back to the quilt shop to get some more fabric for borders and backing. This time though I'm putting in ear plugs so no more fabric can call me.

Friday, 11 August 2017

All Caught Up

Now I've found my sewing machine ( see last post) I've been sewing.

One of the Facebook groups I belong to has a SAL/Bee. Basically it's a mash up of both. a different member each months posts a link to a 12" block and we all make them to keep. At the end of the year we all have the same sampler quilt but our own personal version.

I decided to make a mix of 12" and 6" blocks depending on the blocks chosen. As the last block I made was April I had a few to catch up on.

A few close ups with the block names. All are from Quilters Cache and should be 12". I've shrunk the first 3 down to 6".

The last one I've kept at 12".

 The eagle eyed among you may notice that the star is spinning in the opposite direction to the pic on the instructions. I decided to try and make life easier by foundation piecing it. I drew it out in EQ but forgot that this would make it backwards. Not that it matters that much.

 I'm not sure if I did make life easier for myself to be honest as there were a lot of sections to put together. It did avoid the silly measurements  of 16ths though.

And all the block together so far.

I need to start playing in EQ with quilt layouts as to how to set them. I want to keep with the scrappy theme

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Not for the faint hearted

Ok, you have been warned

Yes that was the state of my sewing room. My sewing machine is in there somewhere and heaven knows where my table is. This is what happens when I don't sew for a few months and my room gets used as a dumping ground.

Fast forward a few days and the threat of my friend coming around to have some trousers taken up. A supreme effort and a long day of tidying

Once again a clean workspace. Look my machine was there all along.

Trousers have been hemmed and I'm catching up on some blocks for SAL and Bees I'm behind on.

Monday, 7 August 2017

UFO's to UFO's

Way back in January I decided that this year was when I tackled my UFO's. I would join the challenges and finish a quilt a month. Well hasn't quite worked out that way. The tub is nigh on as full now as it was at the beginning of the year. On the up side though is that I have no new ones.

As well as my quilty UFO tub I promised myself that I'd work on my Cross Stitch UFO pile. Over the last few months I've been concentrating on these on the occasions when I've felt the need to "do something".

First up we have my Kingfisher.
It had been in this state for far too many years. I don't know why I stopped doing it to be honest as its a great kit. Fabulous colours and a good chart.

Anyway about 6 weeks of work and we have a completed kingfisher.

This is part of a series of birds by Heritage Stitchcraft . I've got the other kits, apart from one, ready to go. Once I've finished my UFO's, or if I fancy a change I'll work on them.  I was thinking of making them into cushions but to be honest I'd be too afraid of them getting dirty so I'll get them framed behind glass when all done.

The other UFO I got finished is Winnie the Pooh and Friends.

This was the state I left it in

As you can see I hadn't done much. I quickly realised why I'd left it. I'd made a mistake. Fast forward 20 years or so. Yes it's been that long, I bought it to do as a height chart for my then toddler daughter and she's now 23.

We have a completed cross stitch. I ripped out what I had done and restarted from scratch. Really enjoyed doing this one. I completed each character, including back stitch where possible before starting on the others. It seemed to grow really quickly.
I've the perfect fabric to turn this into a quilted wall hanging for someone's ( don't know who's) nursery one day.

The new UFO I'm working on is another bird

A Grey Owl ( though there's not alot of grey in the kit which is worrying). Luckily I think the bird is fabulous as I'm struggling with the drab colours already. I can see why I put this down and didn't pick it up again. I'll plough on though as I want to get it done. It had better be worth it. I didn't realise how many shades of beige there were until I picked this kit up again and as you all know I don't do beige.

After this I only have 2 stitching UFO's left and then I can start on the numerous kits in my drawer.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Is There Anybody Out There?

Yes I know, any excuse to share my love of Pink Floyd.

So you my have noticed I've been away from blogland for a few months, 3 to be precise. This was partially my choice and partially enforced.

I was about to announce a break as the stress of the first part of the year was finally catching up with me when my lap top decided to play up. It would freeze as soon as I tried to anything with it. Luckily my daughters partner is an IT expert and has sorted it. He even managed to save my pictures and music. What has gone though is my EQ, on this laptop anyway. Luckily my older and more creaking computer has still got EQ5 on it. It's now been upgraded to EQ7 and I'm back in business. I also lost all my log ins and bookmarks. This I'm still working on nd slowly rebuilding my blog reading list.

As mentioned earlier I've had a voluntary break from quilting as the darkness that haunts me in the guise of depression and anxieties threatened to overwhelm me once again. I know some of you find that the quilting helps but for me a break is the best thing to do. I close the door on my sewing room and find something else to quieten the voices in my head.

Anyway this post is just to say

and I'm sewing again.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Bits and Pieces

Well it's been a bitty week. I've done a bit of this and a little of that. Saying that though I have been fairly busy. just not sewing.

I've sashed one row of Simple Times and that's it.

It's been glorious weather wise for a change in Wales so I've spent quite a bit of time in the garden .

The greenhouse is slowly filling up with plants, plus I need to find room for the ones still on my windowsills.

The fish in the pond are enjoying the sun aswell.

Thursday we went to a garden show about 2 hrs drive away. I was very good and only picked up 2 clematis. Did get lots of ideas though.

The weather for this week coming is supposed to be back to our normal cold and rain. No gardening for me so I'll be spending time in the sewing room instead. Fingers crossed.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

List? What List

Yes I know the last post was a sort of list of what I was going to work on this month. So obviously when I got into my sewing room yesterday I decided to work on something different. In my defence though I need to get backing fabric and wadding before I can quilt those two tops.

Last month I pulled out Simple Times to work on.

 A BOM that was only part complete. You can see how far I got HERE. I still needed to make the 13 alternate 9 patch blocks though.

Yesterday I buckled down and got them all made.

And when I laid them out I realised that one of them wasn't quite right

so that got unpicked and put right.

Laying the quilt out roughly on my design bed so you get the subtle effect

I've cut the sashing and cornerstones but haven't sewn any of them yet. I've lain some out though so you can see the effect.

Until I get to the fabric shop to get backing for one of the tops I want to quilt, this weeks job is to get the centre of this quilt sewn together. The dresden fan border can wait for a bit I think.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Looking Forward

I'm still trying to keep going with working on 2 UFO's a month. It's not going too well though. The plan at the beginning of the year was to actually finish the two designated quilts in the month. The last few months have been hectic and I've been lucky if I've managed to progress them. Still I plough on regardless.

This month's UFO's to work on are

Dancing With Stars

A paper pieced  BOM  from a few years ago that needs sandwiching up and quilting

and Tonga Batik

yet another BOM from a few years ago that just needs sandwiching and quilting.

Both are double bed sized.

I have kept up with my Bees and Sew Alongs. I'm Queen Bee in the only Bee I'm in so no need to make any blocks for that this month. The sew along I'm joining in on via Facebook has the Quilter's Cache Double Aster block for his month. I haven't made this one before so looking forward to getting some time to  get it done.

On the home front we are still busy decorating and moving furniture around plus now we've finally got some warmth in the Welsh sun there's so much that needs doing in the garden. Sewing time I'm afraid is taking a back seat. Hopefully I can get the Sew Along block done this weekend so I've something to show you. Otherwise I'm afraid my next post may be a tour of the garden and greenhouse.

Monday, 1 May 2017

New Bloggers Blog Hop 2017

With thanks to Yvonne of Quilting Jet girl for letting me join the Blog Hop and Leanne of She Can Quilt for being my Hive mum it's time for my blog post.

About Me

I'm Gina a housewife from the fabulous valleys of South Wales in the UK.

 I live in a town that has this at it's heart

A castle built in the 13th Century with its own ghost. As well as being a huge tourist attraction it has also featured in many Doctor Who episodes.

I've been patchwork and quilting for approximately 20 years. I sort of fell into it to be honest. I was visiting a local stately home that had a patchwork shop in it's grounds. I went in looking for cross stitch thread. I commented on the lovely quilts and was persuaded to put my name down on the waiting list for a beginners class. By the time I got home there was a message saying someone had dropped out and I was in. The rest as they say is history. ( as is the 1st quilt which was loved to death by my daughter)
I enjoy all forms of patchwork but I'm tending to do more by machine now as my eyes aren't as good as they used to be. I'm lucky in that I have a room I can devote to sewing and keep the mess I make contained.

This is the after shot, you don't want to see the before. Oh you do, Ok then don't say you weren't warned.

I sew all my quilts on my domestic Janome. I won her in a competion years ago and she's my workhorse. I also do all my own quilting on her, including this Super King sized quilt.

I've also got a very basic Brother that I use when the unpredictable Welsh weather lets me sew outside.

After sewing my next love is my garden. This is only thing that keeps me out of my sewing room for any length of time. To be  honest if forced to choose between the two then my garden would win. Sorry ladies.
As the name of my blog suggests I'm also a baker

and when the mood takes me I will spend a full day baking only to see hubby take it to work and we are left with nothing. Still at least it doesn't go to waste.

Favourite Quilts

Right that's enough about me. I lead a boring life really so there's not much to tell. I thought I'd show you some of my favourite quilts that I've finished. I'll try and give any information that I remember.

These were done in a workshop on curved piecing more years ago than I care to admit. As you can see I was going through my bright stage. One I haven't really grown out of if I'm honest.

This one hangs in my hallway. It's a pieced background but the leaves are real leaves trapped between layers of wonder web and chiffon. I call it Forever Autumn and keep meaning to do a summer one with flowers.

 This table runner has sentimental attachments. It was made for a private swap with a dear internet friend in the US. She has since died and I miss our fun conversations over the computer.

 Another one for the bright pile. This was a sew along with Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts ran the year before last. Each pup is a different colour and has a bone to match. I loved making this quilt.

 A baby quilt. Nothing too special but I love making baby quilts. they are so fun to make up. Unfortunately I don't know many people of the age who can or want to get pregnant so everyone I make is special and exciting to me.

Finally my owls quilt. This was a cross stitch sew along a year or so ago run via facebook. Each owl is slightly different and in a different colour scheme. I decided to border them and make then up as a wallhanging. I like combining quilting with cross stitch. Somehow it lends itself to be made up in this way.
Hints, Tips and Advice

I see alot of quilters out in internet land worrying about "losing their mojo". If that happpens to you, as it does to me every so often can I offer you advice. DON'T WORRY.
Close the door of your sewing room. Put your machine away and forget all about sewing. Find a new or re visit an old hobby I can promise you that one day you'll wake up and your fingers will start to itch for patchwork again. It may take weeks, it may take months but it will happen. I went 6 months without even looking at my sewing machine one year. Nothing happened ( well apart from it being covered in dust). The earth wasn't engulfed in flames, the mountains didn't fall into the sea, well not around here anyway. I went back when the time was right and picked up where I left off. If the truth is told I felt better after the break as sewing was starting to become stale for me.

Well if you've stayed with me this far I thank you for your patience. Please visit the blogs that are posting with me today

AMY - Amy's Scrap Spot

NICOLE  - Handwrought Quilts

BARBARA - Crazy Red Quilts

VIVIAN - Quilting with Vivian

KARA - Sunshine Kwilt

Also Yvonne and Leanne are having a giveaway today so visit them to enter. Let me know if you are lucky enough to win anything.