Gone stitching!

This week has been about all things hand stitchery.  It started out with the back stitch on the name badge and I caught the embroidery bug.

Friday afternoon after I had enough of stitching the Mahooosive dresden for the day, I tried my hand at Aneela's robin pattern ( I was gutted when I didn't get to take Aneela's class at the retreat).

I scaled up the pattern to 130% when I printed it out.  I tried the couching stitch and didn't like it so I filled the breast in with a spilt stitch mixing in a bit of white.  It doesn't look as good as the original, so I am going to try the couching stitch again.
Cherry merry Robin pattern by Aneela Hoey
I enjoyed stitching that so much, that I bought Aneela's Bouquet pattern to take to work with me as I was on nights last night (I swear I only stitch in my breaks and nobody was harmed in the process!).  I think I can safely say that stitching at 3am tends to produce a lot of mistakes, I mostly unpicked.

Bouquet pattern - Aneela Hoey
I now have the idea that I can embroider the circle of flying geese on something, a tad obsessed moi!!


Slowly slowly catchy Monkey!

After my whinge yesterday, I decided to cheer myself up with some geese.  I am taking part in a name badge swap in the LMQG, so we don't have to wear white sticky labels for every meet.  As I am taking part (slowly) in the Stitched in Colour Hand stitched class, I thought I would try out my newly learnt back stitch. 

I had a little practice first.....

Why I chose to print out this font for it escapes me!

Then I braved my skills on the paper pieced badge...

I added the 5p piece so you can get an idea of scale - tiny geese!
Not a bad first effort, and a lot better than getting ink everywhere stamping it on.  So I just have to put a back on this and make a lanyard to finish it off now.

This morning I basted the first giant dresden down and machine stitched the inner circle.  Kidlet allowing I shall spend the rest of the day (read week) whipstitching it down.

Even standing on the chair I wasn't tall enough to get it all in!

 I also ticked a few other things of my to-do list including my LMQG July challenge, a bee block for my month of the Kinky bee and all my fabrics ready to send out to my bee buddies.

Not a bad weeks progress really.  Linking up with Freshly pieced WIP wednesday.


The good, the bad and down right ugly!

Deciding to 505 baste a Dresden that spans around 40" and then machine applique it wasn't one of my finest hours and after some deliberation I chickened out and decided on the long route.  

Just the thought of' all that whip stitching wasn't making me do a happy dance and then I read Charlotte's post and am dreading it even more now.  Still it's going to look brilliant when finished ;-).  I have self-imposed a deadline for the LMQG meet on the 7th July to have the top finished.

In a typical avoidance manoeuvre I decided to have a mess around with a couple of paper pieced blocks, with no particular purpose for either.

A whirling hexagon I found on Quilters cache.  A few of these would make a lovely cushion.

And this geese block on a pinterest board, which I cannot find again.  I have been known to say that there is no such thing as a ugly rainbow, I am taking that back with this block!
Fugly block!!
I also made my first block for my month in the Kinky bee.  As I am far too lazy for needle turn applique, I stuck with my usual raw edge and blanket stitch.

I love how this quilt is going to have all my favourite bits of fabric on it and I do love a circle ;-)

Right that Dresden isn't going to sew itself down....


Kinky Bee

After much deliberation I finally forced myself to sign up to join a bee at the start of this month.  I say forced because I am scared that my blocks might not make the grade to be a part of a bee, but its all a learning process and this is the year that I am pushing my boundaries ;-)

So I joined the FQR Kinky Bee being organised by Sue (Libertyjsy on Flickr) and have somehow volunteered to go first.  This morning I have passed a very pleasant couple of hours cutting into my scraps and sorting everything into 10 neat little piles.

78 prints, 10 FQ of Kona white and 4 metres of Bondaweb
I am asking for 19" blocks with randomly appliqued circles on them in a predictable rainbow scrappy theme.  Just need to get the required choccy based incentive and then these parcels will be winging their way to my bee buddies.

This afternoon I hope to get on with sewing those giant dresdens to the background fabric, I have a plan to avoid having to sew by hand, it can only go one of two ways ;-)


Stepping out of the box...

Only with a toe and very tentatively!

July's challenge for the LMQG was to create something inspired by a piece of artwork using solids.  There is plenty of rainbow art out there but this is a challenge, so I thought I would push the boat out.

I googled geometric art and found this ...

Source: http://www.ljacanvasart.co.uk/Geometric/Canvas-Art-Print/350
and from that I chose these solids from my stash...

and came up with this.....

It is so not me, but I kind of like it.  Now to turn it into a cushion or mini??

Talking of mini's, my lovely friend Charlotte made this beauty for me and as soon as I can get my hands on some dowling it will be hanging up in my sewing space.

Anyone would think I love rainbows!!

Look at those teeny tiny HST!!
Thank you Charlotte I LOVE it!! xx

As of today I have three hellishly long days at work, I will re-surface again on Sunday morning to catch up with all blog reading. See you then ;-)


Blooming progress

I met up with a few of my LMQG friends on Sunday for lunch at John Lewis (Oxford Street), where we are very proudly hosting our first quilt exhibition.

My mini is second in on the top row.

After a very nice lunch and a cheeky glass of wine, a few of us went back to Michael's to have a sewing session.  I got to work in cutting my fabrics for Bloom, despite chatting a lot I managed to get three of the dresden blades cut out.  So my pile of fabrics has gone from this....

 to this on Monday....

 To a full blown bloom on Tuesday....

Pattern: Bloom by Aneela Hoey

I had forgot how much I loved making dresdens and how quickly they come together.  So now I am waiting for my parcel from Pink Castle fabrics, so I can get these stitched down.

In the meantime I have to get on with this little pile of to-do's:
  • LMQG July challenge
  • Name tag swap for LMQG
  • Makeup bag set for a work colleague
  • Hand stitching class homework

Linking this post up with WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced.


Better late than never!

MY FQR post is only a few weeks late ;-).

I have to say that I had a blast at retreat.  I got to meet a lot of people whose blogs and skills I really admire, learnt new skills and then got a little drunk.  Pretty much my ideal Saturday ;-)

I didn't have any classes till 11.30am on the Saturday so snuck into Lu's porthole class.  I sat at the front and observed everyone else as they got that aha moment.  It's a very cool technique that I am definitely going to use in a future project.

Top left hand corner is Lu demonstrating the Aha moment!

So my first class was the designers challenge with not one but three of the FQ team!!  I got to spend an hour with Lynne, John and Brioni, some coloured pencils (stolen from my son) and graph paper.  I don't think I will be winning any prizes for my blocks, but it was good fun.

Designers challenge

Lunchtime was when all the swaps happened and I got a fab group, which included Dianne and Hadley.  I got 3 gorgeous pouches and one of Dianne's fabulous Moo card holders.

In the afternoon I took Lynne's paper piecing class, for which I have no pictures.  I was too busy trying to get all four parts of the flag finished, class swot I know!! I finished the UJ last week and love how it turned out.

I think it's safe to say that I will be first in the queue for FQR 2013 and will be there for the duration, holiday or no holiday!!

Thanks to the Fat quarterly team for putting on a fab retreat and to all the sponsors for this bag of lovelies, you rock!!

Goodie bag contents.


Half Moon Modern grand reveal

This quilt was one of my New year resolutions and I have to say in my eyes its a complete triumph. 

Let the picture frenzy commence....

My attempt at arty in the SIL's garden

close up of the quilting

Honeycomb dots binding

Not sure about this pic, it looks a bit blair witch!!

Now I just have to explain in a slow and very clear voice to my boys exactly what I will do to them if they mess or dirty this quilt up, it could get ugly! ;-)

My bed is now all matchy matchy and very girly ;-)
Quilt stats:
approx size: 74 x 94"
Fabrics: Half Moon Modern layer cake; Bella white layer cake and Kona white.
Quilted by Debbie at Longarm-quilting.co.uk using the CirclePlay design by Vickie Malaski.


Summer sewing Contest

The Summer sewing contest hosted over at Ellison Lane Quilts closes tomorrow and by the skin of my teeth I have the Half moon Modern quilt all finished in time to enter it.

Ellison Lane Quilts 

As there are three categories, I thought I would enter my 241 tote and freshly finished Paper pieced Union Jack which I started at the FQ retreat.

You have to be in it, to win it! ;-)

Today I have mostly spent taking photo's of the HMM quilt ready for tomorrow's grand reveal post.  I may have ruined that slightly with the bed pick though ;-)


Scrappy blooming rainbow

After getting the need to make a thousand bags out of my system, it seems I am ready for another quilty make.  Over a glass of wine (or 3) at the FQR the very lovely Aneela kindly offered to send me a copy of her Bloom quilt pattern (I may or may not have been moaning about Charlotte's at the time!).

So Bloom is about to get a rainbow makeover.....

Fabric pull - its a stash buster!
I need to add a couple more yellow, pink and grey prints and then I am all set for the mahoosive task of making a million dresden blades ;-)

I also got a very lovely parcel all the way from Australia yesterday containing my runner up winnings from the SMS giveaway day from Rachael from Blue Mountain Daisy.  I got the coolest pin cushion wrapped up some very cool fabric - thanks so much Rachael!!

I am planning a FQR post for the weekend but just to give you all a sneaky peak at what I was working on yesterday rather than tackling the mountain of holiday washing....
Paper pieced UJ - Lynne's FQR class project
Thanks for all the lovely comments on my blog hop post yesterday, don't forget to go visit Thursdays hoppers Debbie and Sarah:

June 14
    Debbie from A Quilter's Table
    Sarah from Silly Banana Sewing


Blog hop - I'm up!!

Today I am sharing the Blog hopping hot spot with Yzo from Chez roo, in the Let's get acquainted Blog hop.

Plum and June

For any new readers I am going to start with a little about me, which I admit to copying and pasting from my about section.  Those few sentences took me ages to write the first time round ;-)

I am Kelly, 35 years old and married to the man who I have been with since I was 17.  We have a 3 year old kidlet.  My day job is in a large teaching Hospital in London, where I am a Transfusion Specialist.  I went up in the world, before blood I was a poo tester! 


Beth gave us hoppers a few questions to answer:
  • How long have you been quilting? - I only learnt to sew 3 years ago and then got hooked on quilting after taking a six week starter course at my LQS.
  • Favourite quilting tip(s) - Chug a glass or two of wine while you are FMQ, guaranteed to get those shoulders relaxed ;-)
Mouthy stitches swap - zipper pouches

  • Favourite blogging tip(s) -Turn the word verification off.
  • Favourite fabric (or wish list fabric) - I am a total fabric tart, but at the minute I am loving Summersville.
Freebird quilt - made in March 2011

  • Favourite craft book -The Practical guide to Patchwork by Elizabeth Hartman.
  • Favourite quilting tool -Walking foot closely followed by the seam ripper.
Brit quilt swap - Mini quilt

  • Favourite music to listen to while quilting -Glee soundtracks (Stop laughing!!)
  • Binding - by hand or by machine? -Machine stitched to the front and then given to my sewing buddy to hand stitch to the back.
Sewing machine cover

So as I am obsessed with rainbows and Geese, I decided to photograph my progress whilst making the mini Flying Geese pin cushion that now lives with Emily.

The making of a Flying geese circle mini:
  • The Geese template can be found here and the tutorial where I learnt how to piece the geese circle can be found here
  • The original block size is 6.5" unfinished, so I scaled the template to 33% on my printer to get a 2.5" unfinished block.  Don't forget to add the 1/4" seam allowance back on after shrinking.

The making of a mini!
  • I reduce my stitch length down to 1.4 to make it easier to remove the paper once the block is pieced. 
  • Paper piecing wastes a lot of fabric and I tend to be over generous with my cuts because it annoys me more when I realise that I haven't quite covered the area.
  • I leave the paper on until the whole circle is pieced.  I get less shifting this way and my points are less likely to have been chopped off.
  • Iron all seams flat to reduce the bulk where all the layers meet in the middle.  The backs of my paper pieced blocks are never pretty!!
  • I added a 1/2" borders to the geese circle, backed with fusible fleece and then hand stitched with the only stitch I know - running stitch!!
  • I fussy cut a 5" square and with right sides together sewed a 1/4" seam leaving a gap for turning.  Then I stuffed and hand stitched the opening closed.
Thanks so much for stopping by my blog today and please visit the other bloggers hopping this week:

June 12
      Yzo from Chez Roo

June 14
    Debbie from A Quilter's Table
    Sarah from Silly Banana Sewing


Did my absence make your heart grow fonder?

Okay maybe not then!

Well I am back from sunny Malta and depressed by this crappy weather and work already.  The only plus side to all the grey is it making me look more tanned and therefore depressing all my work friends :)

We have spent the last week looking at this view...

View from my balcony

The kidlet alternated between this...

and this....

and I spent an awful lot of time like this...

 A good time was had by all!!

So now I am back I have an awful lot of blog reading to catch up on as well as blogging about my brilliant day at the FQR.

It's also the sixth week of the Let's get acquainted blog hop organsised by the lovely Beth and it's my turn tomorrow. To say I am unprepared is an understatement!  Go check out the other blogs taking part this week though, I am sure they are ten times more organised than me ;-)

June 12
    Kelly from Jeliquilts 
    Yzo from Chez Roo

June 14
    Debbie from A Quilter's Table
    Sarah from Silly Banana Sewing

Beth has also lined up some Guest bloggers and this weeks spot is Lynne of Lily's quilts.  Lynne wrote a great advice post about growing your blog.

Plum and June