Sunday, 25 January 2015

Productivity...

... has increased dramatically this month!


First to be finished, was this simple scarf for Rosie. Made with just one ball of variegated wool, it took a mere 18 months to complete ;-) Knitting is not my forte, and it began as a holiday project... Thankfully it has been worn every day this week, and much admired!


My cat quilt, using the Plus design, also reached completion! It measures 60 square inches, and was quite a challenge to quilt on my small domestic machine. I got there in the end, backing it with the adorable Windy Day fabric, for those who like to mix up their puppies and cats on the same quilt...




 


I'm thrilled to have finished this one, and am now down to one top waiting to be quilted, and one unfinished top - not a bad waiting list!

Sunday, 18 January 2015

In the pink!

After the craziness of December, I am totally loving January, and the opportunity it brings to hibernate peacefully and hide away in my sewing room... It's been a very pink month so far, as Rosie wanted one of the Scottie dogs, just like the blue one we gave my godson. They are such a great project, and a very satisfying use of scraps. 


A good friend came round and spotted the cushions I'd made Rosie for Christmas. She liked them so much that she commissioned one for her daughter's birthday, only a little smaller...


Hopefully this will fit the brief, otherwise it will join the original two on the bed!



Lastly, I have wanted for ages to make something with flying geese. I'd seen a no-waste method, but opted for using up scraps for now. I still went for no waste, as the tiny corners were also put to good use...

 

In the end, to be completely honest, I found making the geese really boring and was thankful I'd only ever set out to do a wall hanging! On reflection, and having looked a bit more at what other people have done, I think flying geese work best in groups of identical ones. I'm not sure the four different sections here, flipping low volume with strong colours, and changing direction, really stand out. However, it is happily in place outside the sewing room:




 Yes, my sewing room even comes with a guard dog ;-) Hope you are having a happy and peaceful start to the new year.


Sunday, 28 December 2014

Relaxing...

Phew, December has been insanely busy! So many parties (not complaining!), carol services, trips to London and a few birthdays - all crammed in before the 25th. Rosie and I squeezed in fifteen of the Paddington bears...


It was great fun finding them dotted around London! We celebrated my birthday by going to an incredible performance of Cats the musical, and sang all the way home ;-) The last few days have involved a fair bit of turkey, plenty of presents, and relaxing with family, friends, and even the surprisingly good stuff on TV. Rosie had requested a giant cushion for Christmas, so I whipped up this 26" one so she can comfortably read in bed.

 
I even pushed the boat out and added covered buttons...


However, she then saw the oblong shaped cushion I made myself, and wanted one of those too...


Must admit, I quite enjoyed making these!



 I do like the very fitted shape these create, and the neatness of the zip...


After all that pink, my godson turns five next week, and I tried out a pattern that I have been wanting to make for years:



These patchwork Scottie dogs are so cute, and it really wasn't that hard to make. It was a perfect use of scraps, and I'm sure my godson will love it! Hope you've been having a relaxing time too :-)

Sunday, 14 December 2014

December

In my last post, I showed the Artist Trading Card which I had made for my partner in the latest secret swap, entitled Winter Sparkle...


This week, I received my card from Helen, and I couldn't be happier:


It's such a beautiful, symbolic piece of art. The details are incredible, with loads of French knots! I absolutely love the meditative nature of the scene. As a student, I studied the Spanish poet, Antonio Machado, who wrote wonderful poetry about the pathways of life, which I often ponder on my long walks with the dog. This little card is so apt for me :-)


In my role as a fundraiser, I have been running a Christmas Market stall today. Several fabulous volunteers knitted little festive stockings for me, which looked amazing filled with sweets and hung on our tree...



When I launched the idea, I hoped to get about 20 of the stockings made, but the team just kept on going, and we reached over 300! It was a lovely way to raise money for the charity.



My own festive sewing has so far involved making lots more of these tissue holders for the different teachers and music teachers. I've also whipped up some more bags, handy for make up or even an ipad...



Buying a fat quarter bundle has been so useful for making bags with coordinating fabrics, two on the outside and a nice lining:


In the spirit of Christmas, this little deer has taken to creeping into the garden early each morning for a bite of the hedge...



It's so peaceful watching her while we are getting up. At night, when I look out, there has been a fox pottering about, but much harder to photograph! Wishing you all a calm week ahead...

Saturday, 22 November 2014

November...

...is flying by! Despite my attempt to ban the C word, it is creeping up on us rapidly. This week I made my first attempt at an Artist Trading Card for the Winter Sparkle themed swap, organised by Ali.



My secret partner commented on the form that she would love something with a Christmas theme, which was easy enough! As this is my second time doing the ATC swap, I feel slightly more confident, but it is still incredibly fiddly creating an item which is 2.5 inches by 3.5. As before, I've given my details on the reverse:


This month I finally used the lovely charm squares which Carla sent me, all the way from British Columbia, when I won her giveaway. Funnily enough, she's just used her own set too, and I love what she's made with them! I'd picked up an oblong shaped cushion pad ages ago, and finally decided to use the squares and make a cover. 


I didn't have a pattern, but it was pretty straightforward to put this together. It's quite a tight fit, but that gives it a nice firm shape.


I'm thrilled with how it turned out, and the challenge of honing my skills ;-) Only problem is, it's set a trend, and now Rosie wants one too...


Meanwhile, Rosie has been invited to at least 3 birthday parties in November, so I've been busy making presents. 



Same sort of bag, but different handles... I do like using the metal clips, but it was quite fiddly! Back to the secret Christmas sewing projects now...

Friday, 31 October 2014

Bee-yond thrilled :-)

So happy to have quilted and bound my wonderful Bee quilt this week!


After a year of making patchwork strips and sending them round the group, we all met up in June and were each presented with a finished quilt top...


I'd started mine off with the row of stars, but hadn't seen it since, as it worked its way around the group. I couldn't be happier with the end result, the girls all did a fabulous job of creating rows with colours and styles that are so totally me :-)


The top sat in my cupboard for several months, while I pondered how to quilt it...



I felt under pressure to come up with something amazing...


However, me and fancy quilting aren't really the best combination!


I'm really better suited to simple quilting, and ultimately decided that, with all the lovely details in this piece, simple probably was best after all.



So, I went with a straightforward grid, 4 inches apart. It was great to notice all the sweet details as I worked on it, every time I look, there's something new to spot. How about that cute fox in one of Maria's windows?!? I'm so grateful to the girls for the fun we all had, and for a wonderful end result, destined now to cover the sofa in my sewing room. Can't wait to see the other finished items...


Just to prove I haven't been a total slacker this month, I also completed the quirky cat quilt top - 



It will need a huge piece of wadding, so quilting is on hold for now! 



Wishing you  a peaceful Halloween...

Sunday, 5 October 2014

New beginnings...

... of a quilty kind ;-)


Simple 3.5 inch squares, so easy, but the plus quilt is actually a very effective design with the right fabrics. To my mind, cat nap suits it perfectly, especially when mixed with a few eclectic others!


Even with the help of the ironing board, I can only lay out about a quarter of the intended quilt at a time, so will have to match the edges carefully...


So far, it has come together beautifully, and I'm really happy with my choices.


Just managed to photograph the first quarter in the October sunshine! It's such a glorious autumn in England, we have been incredibly fortunate so far, with lovely warm weather for long dog walks. With a bit of luck, this quilt may be done before the cold hits us... 


Left my sewing room for a minute, and Rosie commandeered the machine! She is working on a complete quilt set, given to her by the very generous Jennifer. Do so hope she can do it all be herself...