Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Orange peel quilt-along

Hey! I'm super excited about joining in with Julie's orange peel quilt-along!
Orange Peel Quilt-Along!

Today is fabric pulling day. I knew that I wanted a scrappy orange peel quilt, with low-volume backgrounds and bright peels. I was a bit worried that I wouldn't have much low-volume fabric in my stash, but having chatted to Julie about it I realised that low-volume didn't have to be super low-volume, just enough to contrast with the peels. Never did I consider that the fabric for the peels would give me problems, oh no, that would be the easy part right? 
Urgh. Let me tell you, the trip into my sewing cupboard this afternoon was NOT a happy one. The low-volume part, not so hard. I had more than I thought. Maybe not enough for the whole quilt, but I'm taking a 'go-with-the-flow' approach to this project. I definitely have plenty to get started with. 
And then the peels. I pulled out all the fabrics that would contrast, that weren't in my 'this-is-too-nice-to-actually-use' pile. It looked like poo. I walked away. I gave myself a talking to. I came back and looked at my 'this-is-too-nice-to-actually-use' pile. I gave myself another talking to. I put a lot of those fabrics into my peels pile (deep breaths, Karen, deep breaths) and pulled out all the poo ones. Better. Not perfect, but I'm going for scrappy so I'm hoping that not perfect is ok. 
So here they are.
Hmm, not the best light for photos this afternoon. What do you think? Scrappy and bright? 


Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Festival of Quilts 2014

Once again Julie, Christa and I had a wonderful time at the Festival of Quilts. We visited for two days again, (one just isn't enough!) and we still didn't manage to see everything! I love seeing all the quilts, so many beautiful and amazing works of art. I came away totally inspired, with so many new ideas, such a great way to spend two days!
Obviously there was shopping. Quite a lot of shopping. I had two specific projects in mind and I did pretty well getting all I needed - and more!
Firstly the greys and yellows.
I am taking a course all about flying geese later this week and fell head-over-heels in love with this quilt. I already had the grey and yellow flea market fancy so my job was to find other fabrics that went with them. I'm thrilled with this little pile, they make me so happy! I have 1 other yellow and a few more lighter greys that may or may not go in, I'll see how it goes!
Next up - pinks and greys! There does seem to be a bit of a grey theme going on here!
I have seen an amazing pattern for a foundation pieced flamingo, and I have a vision in my head of lots of flamingos, all in different pink fabrics on grey backgrounds. I think I will only need 9 of the pinks, but there is no actual plan yet so the fact that I have extras is good! I had such fun with this pile, I hope it all comes together the way I see it in my head!!
Other stuff.
The grey, yellow and pink might make it into one of the piles above. The pearl bracelets? Well, lets just say I got a bit carried away! I love them, and they are so useful, so I bought them.
And some more bits and pieces. The yarn is silk and such a beautiful shade of pink (the photo sadly does not show it) I don't know what I will knit with it, but it will be gorgeous! Some of Jeni Baker's nordika fabrics, because I wanted them. A bag clasp. I'm sure there was something I wanted to make that needed one, but now I can't remember what it was! And that bobbin case! Really, I shouldn't get excited about this, it's so geeky, but IT IS AMAZING!! It has changed my life. Or at least the little bits of my life that involve chasing bobbins around the bottom of my thread box.

Oh, so much fun. And I'm so excited about my new projects. I just have a few things to get finished first...

Monday, 18 August 2014


I have used these secret projects as excuses not to blog for such a long time now!! To be fair, there were a fair few of them and I really didn't want to spoil the surprises for the recipients!
The secrets were in 2 parts. Firstly there were birthday gifts, and then there were quilts. All heading off to the other side of the world to my very dear friend Heidi and her gorgeous family. They moved to Australia almost a year ago now, and I miss them all so very much.
I posted the first parcels at the end of July, and then the quilts followed 9 days later. Strangely, 2 of the quilts arrived first and then the other parcels all came in the next post!! So now there are no more secrets - Hooray!

So, the birthdays. First was the lovely Heidi herself, and then one of her daughters turned 6. For Heidi I used Jeni Baker's library tote pattern to make this bag. I found choosing fabric really hard (much more so than I normally do!) so in the end Molly picked, and did a great job too! I was going to make a pretty pencil case for Miss A, but then I remembered some pencil rolls I had seen and started planning. I had soooo much fun picking fabric scraps to match each pencil! I'm so pleased with how they both turned out!
And then the quilts. Heidi's youngest was born shortly after they made the move to Australia and I had always planned to make him a baby quilt, it was just a bit late! But then while I was finishing it up I decided that the girls needed quilts too! I chose quilt patterns that were quick and easy, and that meant I could use fabric I already had in the cupboard. I'm pretty pleased with the results :)
I woke up this morning to messages and photos from Heidi, all parcels received and loved! 
It was so lovely. I might have had a little cry. Heidi, if you're reading this, I love you xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Friday, 15 August 2014

Another ripple baby blanket

Ah, I do love a ripple! And I barely need any excuse to crochet them, a lovely lady at work is expecting a baby boy in the Autumn so I picked up my hook, picked some boyish colours from my stylecraft stash and away I went!
I really enjoyed making this blanket.
I left the edges, I prefer my ripples that way.
And there it is. All ready to gift.
Now, what will be next on my hook?


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Wednesday, 6 August 2014

FoQ bag

Last year at the Festival of Quilts I bought a teeny-tiny Moda charm pack, just because it was small and cute! It sat in my sewing box for almost a year before I decided what to do with it! I made a tote bag - especially to carry all my FoQ goodies this year!
 I didn't really want to chop up the charms and lose the cuteness of the prints so I just sewed them as they were with some grey solid. Ooh, so pretty! Just look at all those lovely little squares!

 I used a few of the charms on the back too.
 And this amazing green to line the bag!
 And there it is! 
All ready for the Festival of Quilts on Thursday. 
And Friday!!!
I wonder how much fabric I can fit in there.....


Tuesday, 5 August 2014

A finished quilt top

My Molly loves a bit of vintage fabric, just like me! We've been putting together a little collection, mostly from cherry-red-vintage. My part of the stash is pink and purple and blue, whereas Molly's is yellow, orange and brown. Not really what I expected for a 14 year old - but she loves them!
She had seen a vintage star quilt in a magazine and fell totally in love with it - fine by me, nice and easy!! We found a plain flat sheet that worked well for the background and cutting began. I cut my squares as big as I could from FQs, and once they had been made into HSTs they measured 18" - oops! Wasn't planning a quilt that big! That's what happens when you just go for it!
But never mind, it is beautiful, and Molly loves it. 
I have to admit I'm a little nervous about quilting this beast of a quilt, I haven't decided how to quilt it yet, maybe straight lines, maybe diagonal? Any ideas?


Sunday, 3 August 2014

Blooming Flower cushion

I have a finished project to share with you today! This was a total accident, I never meant to make this cushion at all! I had my small stash of cotton yarns out to make a brooch for a friend, (didn't take photos of that before I gifted it though!) and before I knew what was happening Lucy's blooming-flower-cushion tutorial was on my iPad and I was crocheting!! I quickly realised what a relaxing and addictive project it was though! It was perfect for evenings after school, when my brain was totally fried.
I loved every minute of this project - right up until about 3 days after it was finished. My yarn seems to have a bit of 'give' in it, and as soon as the cushion was being used it went a bit stretchy, a little saggy :( It doesn't fit snugly around the cushion pad like it did when I put it together, and I'm a bit sad about that. You can see in the picture below that it is a bit out of shape. 
But... I do still love it! The colours go well on the chair and it was just SO lovely to make I can forgive a little sagging!!
I'm off to sew now, be back soon!