Sunday, 31 March 2013

Merrily pinwheeling along :-)


This is so much fun! Perfect therapy ;-) Here are today's...


...and this is the full set so far:


Did I mention that these 6 inch square charm packs only have 30 squares in each? So, I'm just over half way. For those who like the mathematical bit: each pinwheel is made of two 6 inch squares, and ends up at about 7 inches square when complete. Putting it that way, it doesn't sound like a good return on your money, but I'm thrilled with them. Hope you're having a great Easter Sunday!







Saturday, 30 March 2013

Fabric Magic!

Recently I was so inspired by Cindy's pinwheel post, and the great tutorial behind it. 


 As it happened, I had recently purchased two of the bigger, 6 inch, charm packs. One is Amy Butler, the other solids. 


I had a vague intention of putting them together, but no precise plan. A couple of emails with Cindy, and she persuaded me to go for it! I'm so pleased I did, this is definitely the best fabric magic I've come across :-) It was incredibly easy - and therapeutic - to take this...



...and this...

...add one of each together, whip round the complete edges...

 ...cut...


 ...press...
 ...stitch...

  ...and start all over again! 





Even though the snow is melting, it's still very cold here. I'm looking forward to an Easter weekend of pinwheeling in the cosiness of my sewing room. 
In other Charming news, I have been hard at work pinning and pinning my colourful quilt top...


I would love to get on and quilt this, and add some brightness to the winter gloom! I will also be on the hunt for a nice pink fabric to share, having signed up to the Fluffy Sheep rainbow charm swap.
Wishing you a happy and stitchy Easter.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

I'm tri-ing...

...but not quite feeling the love yet... Number One Cat has had a quilt for a few years now, while Number Two Cat has just had a few fat quarters with her name on, stashed away in the cupboard. Number One's is a smaller version of this:


The bigger version was made for a friend several years ago, though now I look at it again, I'm kind of tempted to make an even bigger one for myself! For Number Two Cat I planned to do a tumbler block, which is why there has been a (3 year) delay, as I hadn't worked out how to do it. However, when I bought my triangle template recently, I figured the only difference between tumbler and triangle is about an inch, and what's that to a cat?

So, out came the fat quarters, which looked pretty nice lined up against each other, and I cut them into strips, then triangles. There weren't any instructions with the template, so I went through quite a few spare triangles before I got the hang of it... Turns out, it's much harder than squares! Finally got a couple of rows together, and then discovered it was possible to chain stitch slightly, without too much confusion. The big shock came in the shrinkage...


The bottom two rows are stitched, the top ones are just laid out ready. What a difference! And the other downside... I don't like the look of it at all!! In all honesty, it's only the second time I've had the situation where fabrics have looked great next to each other as fat quarters, and then not worked at all when pieced, so I can't complain too much. The lessons learnt are that I actually think triangles work best with fabrics which blend well, which is ironic as I often feel I blend too much. Also, if I use the template again, I will only use it for the biggest size, which makes a 6 inch triangle. The above were cut on a 3.5 inch and, for me, that's too much wastage for the end result.

Had they not been painstakingly cut and laid out, I may have shelved this for another 3 years, but since it was clogging up my sewing table I persevered to the end...


Once the quilt top was done, there was some satisfaction to be found: the overall effect isn't too bad, and what a relief that the triangle points actually match up! So, lessons learned.


On to the quilting now.














 

Monday, 18 March 2013

Sheepishly bloglovin...

If you have no idea what Bloglovin is, then please just ignore this... It's the science bit of blogging, normal service will resume shortly... Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Friday, 15 March 2013

Finally...

...this is not just any Friday finish...this is a 'this ridiculously simple quilt has taken me 17 months to complete' sort of finish... It therefore deserves a collage all of its own, and is thoroughly entitled to link up with the slow blog linky :-)


I have strict instructions from my daughter to be considerably faster in future!

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

New tricks...

Having wanted for months to make a fabric covered journal, no sooner did one come along than there were three... First up was this one, shown in my last post:



I was really happy with it, and decided to plough straight on and make some others. Next, I wanted to try hand quilting, using my new supplies :-) On this occasion, I could have just done embroidery on the denim, but it was much more fun to make a mini quilt sandwich...


 and pair it up with some cute doggy fabric...


Miss PR has forbidden me to make any more bags as presents for her friends, so I had to rack my brains for a new idea. Thankfully she thoroughly approves of the journals, and this one will be off to a little friend very soon.
So, for my third trick, I once again turned to my Granny's ancient supply of mini hexagons! I hadn't thought the tiny ones would ever get used but, sure enough, they are just right for a notebook...


I went really wild and added a ric rac trim...


Love the linen front, teamed up with the polka dots...


And it looks so cute sitting on my display shelf next to Beth's pretty bag. Needless to say, I can't bring myself to use either of them yet, but they certainly make me smile when I glance in their direction!

 


Thursday, 7 March 2013

The highs and lows...

Well, I figure the earth must have stopped spinning briefly last week, because I actually won a giveaway!! To put you in the picture, the last time I won anything, was a bottle of (very nice) dessert wine in the year 2000... It has become a tradition for Mr PR to purchase our raffle tickets, as his odds have proven to be significantly higher than mine ;-)
This wasn't just any giveaway either, this was from my favourite crafty blog to actually purchase from... You know how you look at some great and inspiring blogs and think: I could try and make that? With The Linen Cat I don't, I buy it instead! The items come beautifully wrapped...


And this particularly package revealed this stunning and cheerful tweed bag...


It's so well made, and with this wonderful lining that conjures up spring sunshine...


Thank you so much, Beth, I feel very touched by your generosity! Now to persuade Mr PR to buy me a coordinating jacket...

On other happy news, after a lovely romp round the park with two other cute puppies, our little one decided on a long three hour sleep, which enabled me to fulfill my aim of making a fabric covered notebook!


I bought some books before Christmas, but didn't get round to it. Somehow I thought it would be much harder than it actually was... I've seen a few tutorials, but none that were just what I wanted, so I decided to wing it! There are a few minor things I could tweak next time, but frankly the fact that it fits makes me delighted right now!! This will be off in the post to a much valued friend for her birthday.


So, two nice highs to be thankful for, as well as fun in the park. The big low today though, was waking up to find my email had been hacked, and spam sent to everyone in my address book :-( It was very upsetting, and has caused a lot of stress today, dealing with it and the repercussions, one of which is that my phone no longer seems to be able to access my email, despite a great salesperson in the phone shop spending a whole hour trying to fix it... So, many apologies to those of you who have received spam from me today, and I really hope it doesn't cause you any problems.
Time for a soothing glass of wine...



Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Slow progress...

I was tickled pink by Audrey's comment on my recent quilt collage, where she thought for a second that the twenty quilts featured were all ones I'd completed in January... What a lovely, but sadly unfounded, compliment!! No, those twenty were probably only about ten short of the full load ;-)
 Any kind of sewing has been firmly pushed into second place since the arrival of this lovely puppy at Christmas...


I can't complain though! However, as Miss PR pointed out recently, my Sherbet Pips quilt has reached an almost record breaking (for me) level of slowness... The only exception is my handstitched Insanity, which will, I'm sure, continue to drive me nuts for some time to come!!
With Sherbet Pips, I bought the fabric on holiday two years ago, started making the squares 16 months ago, completed the top quite a while ago, started quilting it... ran out of thread... emergency trip to patchwork shop for thread yesterday... and finally a quilted piece!




Yet again I failed to do anything particularly creative with the quilting, but, after much contemplation, went for a grid pattern, 3 inches apart. I was so concerned about quilting over the cute pictures, and am now delighted with how it's turned out. The quilting definitely adds a lovely texture to this simple design.


The backing is, I'm afraid, a bed sheet... But not just any sheet, a top quality M&S sheet. 


It still lacks the binding - wouldn't want to rush things - but I couldn't resist a sneaky try-out on the bed! For those who like the science part, this was made from one layer cake, and now measures around 43 by 59 inches. I find that just right for a single bed, it covers the width, but not the pillow at the head end. Covering the pillow would, in any case, suffocate so many teddy bears, it's not worth trying...
When I snuck out to the patchwork shop yesterday, of course I didn't just buy the new thread I needed... I actually had a whole list at home, which I forgot to take... One item on the list was wadding for my recent charm square quilt. Another huge benefit of using charm squares, was that the shop assistant and I were easily able to work out what the overall size must be, and buy the right amount of wadding :-)


I also invested in some proper quilting needles and thread, ready to have a go at some hand quilting...


And I was delighted to find a triangle template set, at a good price...


Also couldn't resist one of Camille's patterns...


Not sure when I'll get round to it, Miss PatchyRose has set me a challenge of doing a really fast quilt next! I'm not entirely convinced, I rather like the slow approach; the eagle eyed will have spotted that I have also signed up to the 'slow blogger' revolution ;-) Click on the button to the right to read the manifesto, it's brilliant!
Need to get cracking now, I have two birthday presents to create, and an idea for how to sneak an entry into Ange's next book competition...