Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Autumnal Squirrels

So, no blog posts for four months then two in a week! 

Two reasons - I'm at home this week (as opposed to working in London) so have more time and as I've made a quilt top using Lorna's Squirrel pattern, it's only right I post about it and join her linky party. 

I have bought a few of Lorna's patterns (do please check them out - she's amazing) but hadn't yet got round to making them ... my Mum's friend's 70th birthday next month was my motivation. Mum and Christine will actually be staying with us on her birthday and she loves nothing more in the morning than sitting by the bedroom window looking out at the menagerie of birds, rabbits and squirrels that we feed each day.

Perfect recipient! I started by making two squirrels;

Aren't they cute? I can't tell you how easy they were to make. Lorna's pictures and words were just enough to guide me through. 

Then I stopped ... did I want to make more squirrels or did I want to build a quilt around them? One of my quilty friends suggested an acorn. Inspired ... I went Google searching and found this fabby tutorial by Lisa at Stubbornly Crafty. I added a pop of Moda Grunge orange:

Now what? I raided my scraps and stash and cut out a load of 5" squares:

Some of these are vintage fabrics that belonged to my Great Aunt in USA and I loved playing with the placing - I made six 4x4 blocks:

And then I joined it all together. I love it! Please ignore green bedsheet - so thankful the spare bedroom is next to my sewing room :) It's as if the squirrels are fighting for the acorn whilst playing in the autumn garden:

Not sure whether it needs a border - it's a perfect lapsize quilt as is so I'll think about it for a few days. Would you add a border? 

Thank you Lorna - clever lady - joining you for Let's Bee Social 

Sew Fresh Quilts

Friday, 8 September 2017

Sorry ... neglected little blog :(

Hello and it's September already! How? Where have the last four months gone?!

I won't even try and make excuses - I'm just going to mention a few things I've been working on since my last post. My quilting - this wonderful hobby - continues to thrill me. It consumes a lot of my spare time but the results (mainly gifts for friends and family) are so worth it. I get to play with so many fabrics, make up my own patterns and follow others', make quilts on my own and also in groups. 

At the end of May, a birthday quilt for my niece - fabric all from my stash and a delightful Kaffe Fassett pattern:

June saw a dreadful tragedy in London - the burning of Grenfell Tower (a stone's throw from my work building) and, like many others, I felt compelled to make a quilt (pattern by Jeni B - In Color Order) for a family / first responder: 

In July, the 14 Chernobyl Children arrived from Belarus and Ukraine for a month's R&R in North Wales and my lovely international Instagram group #ccllnorthwalesquiltbee again volunteered their time and skill to make each child a handmade bag and table mat:

Their amazing / funny / beautifully crazy interpreter: 

August and I finished the top of a Christmas quilt which introduced me to a friendly group of quilters in Australia as we finished blocks each week. Organised by Anne - she kept us on track, bless her, in a very relaxed manner. Because we all chose different fabrics (mine were all from my stash apart from the Moda French General Indigo sashing fabric), they all turned out wonderfully different. Pattern #handmadewithlove by Camille Roskelley - can't wait to finish this: 

And a 'commissioned' quilt for my neighbour for her sister who was celebrating 40 years of marriage. This was challenging but I embraced the tests (embroidery / applique) - I loved making the scrappy back - she was thrilled:

Last week, I gave this quilt to my friend Gerrie, chair of our local Chernobyl Children's Lifeline, she chose the colours, I made up the pattern and 47 children and teachers signed patches which I sewed into the back. She cried when I gave it to her (so did I!!):

Each month, I've been making blocks for a different 'queen bee' as part of our Siblings Together quilt group. This was this month's:

And just tonight, I made these two squirrel blocks. I have had this pattern for ages and I can't tell you how happy I was to finally have found the perfect recipient to make it for. Pattern by Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts and it really was the easiest pattern to follow. Thanks Lorna: 

Linking up with Lorna's Let's Bee Social and Amanda Jean's Finish it up Friday.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Really REALLY really love my quilting :)

I do. I am so in love with my quilting at the moment - I love my hobby ... and whilst I do not want to wish my life away, I cannot wait until I retire (in just 15 months) so that I can make even more quilts!

Since my last blog post, I have finished 6 quilts - 5 of which I'll share with you tonight (the 6th is a surprise birthday gift for next week ... Sshhhhh!) 

Baby quilts are so lovely to make - and these two were just dreamy. The first came together really quickly from a charm pack and a bit of sashing and was a gift for a colleague at work:

And this little darling is on her way to Ukraine in the morning with my dear friend Gerrie (chair of our North Wales link of Chernobyl's Children Lifeline, a wonderful charity I have been supporting for just over a year):

This next quilt, made with Moda Grunge fabric, was to match a rug in my friend's house - the rug:

I loved making this and I think I hit the brief - the quilt:

I finally finished my 'We should be sectioned quilt' which I started in September 2015. Mine was a 'seasonal' quilt which I started with Autumn and each of the ladies added their sections:

I tried different quilting on this including hand quilting but I still favour stippling as my go-to free motion quilting:

This was a wonderful quilting bee to be a part of and I love how we have all become good friends:

And finally, a leaving gift for a friend at work. He sent me a picture of a cushion his wife liked and I designed my quilt as a likeness - I won't lie - this was tricky to make - but I do like a challenge! 

I'd be lost without graph paper, being good at maths, pins and a spare bed to use as a design board!

Really loved this one:

And so did Wayne:

Yes. Love my quilting friends. Love my hobby. Love making quilts. Love giving quilts. 

Linking up with two ladies who also love making quilts - Amanda Jean @ Crazy Mom Quilts and Sarah @ Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Star Wars Quilt :)

April has been a lovely quilting month - have enjoyed, and made the most of, the extra Bank Holiday days off work, being at home and having more time to start, make and finish some quilts.

My niece's boyfriend was 21 last week and I had always planned a Star Wars themed quilt for him (he's a huge fan) but hadn't thought of any specific pattern until niece suggested a character he loves called Boba Fett. Boba who? No, I hadn't heard of him either :) Here he is:

I was able to quickly draw up a pattern and decided that 4.5" squares would make a good size quilt and be an economical cutting size. I love Makower Spraytime fabric and their colours were an exact match for what I wanted:

The cutting took a lot of time but from then on in, it came together very quickly, I made 16 square blocks as I went along and kept referring back to my drawing for accurate placement:

I have recently discovered Aurifil Thread and, whilst I still use Guterman too, I really like quilting with the Aurifil - no breakages and the bobbin seems to last forever. I stuck to my favoured meandering / stippling free motion quilting:

I had bought the Star Wars and Janet Clare fabric in America last year and added some of the Spraytime silver from the front. I do like a tidy quilt back:

Hubby decide on the quilt name and at the last minute I drew a Boba Fett shaped label in freezer paper - think it turned out well:

Ta da:

Just have to share some silly photos of hubby and brother in law (and his delightful boxer dog - Buster) ... The front:

The back:

The birthday boy (man!) was thrilled - and that's what it's all about; it's why we make our quilts unique and enjoy every stage of making them.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Charity Quilt - Siblings Together

This is my 3rd year supporting the great work of this charity - and being part of a wonderful 'online' Quilt Bee. Each month - mine was January - the Queen Bee decides on a block and the other bees make it, send it to you and you make the quilt from them.

For the tutorial of my block, please see this post:

A simple design and I just asked the bees to make scrappy blocks in red, yellow, green, orange or blue. A big block - unfinished at 18.5" - and with 12 of us in the Bee, it was always going to finish a good size. Bridgid from Australia joins in too so when she and one of the bees sent me two blocks and a newbie follower on IG asked if she could make me one too, I ended up with 16! Aren't they all fabby?

I went to Simply Solids last week for a free motion quilting class with Charlo from Quiltification (what a small world; she's in the other Siblings Together Quilt Bee) and whilst I'm very comfortable and competent in stippling, the class gave me the confidence to try 'new shapes' and I immediately put it to use on this quilt:

And here it is in all its glory yesterday in the morning sunshine in Wales - finishing at 72" square, I think it will make a great quilt for an older child:

I kept the backing gender neutral - a fabby bargain from Fabric Guild - beautiful fabric and I also used the off cuts for the binding:


Thank you to all the kind and talented bees for their beautiful blocks. And a reminder of why we give these quilts:

Linking up with Sarah @ Confessions of a Fabric Addict.