Wednesday, December 19, 2012

2013 New FO Challenge

Barbara at Cat Patches is hosting a New FO Challenge for 2013 which allows you to start a new project each month guilt free! I really like this idea and have decided to try and play along, time permitting......

 So, for 

The new project will be Bonnie Hunter's Easy Street mystery quilt, no pictures to post as of course it's a mystery! lol Quite a few (over 200) have got a good start on this quilt already & I was hoping to this month also, but have run out of time :(

I will get a start on Sue Spargo's BOM for 2013 Bird Dance

Would like to make some more mini quilts this year so will probably make one from Kathleen Tracy's book Remembering Adelia.......not sure which one yet. Kathleen is the queen of reproduction mini quilts!

I would love to start a quilt inspired by this one......
unfortunately I can't remember where I saw this photo taken at a quilt show & forgot to note the details in order to credit it correctly (if you recognize this please let me know in order that I can rectify this)

I have had this BOM pattern for a couple of years so now's as good a time as any to start.

Pockets of Posies by Hatched and Patched

A log cabin quilt has been on my to do list so this could be the month to start one, really like this Mountain Trail by Lori of Humble Quilts, it looks like a variation of a log cabin......could be a contender......

Also had the Scandinavian Christmas by Lynette Anderson pattern in the draw for a a while so why not Christmas in July? May even complete it by Christmas if I stick at it! LOL 

A star quilt would be a nice addition to the mix, I really love this one from one of Kim Diehl's books - Simple Charm, really like the burgundy background on this,  would make a great autumn quilt to snuggle under as the days become chillier

Maybe time for another mini quilt......which ever takes my fancy, Kathy at Inspired by Antique Quilts blog makes so many beautiful minis, I'm always inspired by her gorgeous quilts!

Would like to start on some varied 2 colour blocks to add to a sampler type red & white quilt which would just evolve as more blocks were made, kind of make it up as you go along (a bit like the Just Takes 2 quilt along that has been running this year),

Can't have a 12 month plan without a bit of EPP!........ so this Rose Star could be the next contender, great tutorial by Clare of Summer Fete blog

This month will see the start of a scrappy/recycled fabric quilt of some sort, maybe string pieced but definitely using repro or old shirt cotton scraps

So, there we are all set for 2013, this list may well change as the year progresses, in fact, I'm sure it will as there's bound to be something that catches my eye and has to be started there and then!

We're off to France to spend Christmas with my mum on Saturday, so wishing you all a wonderful Christmas & Happy New Year, full of good health & stitching :)

See you next year

Sunday, November 18, 2012

219 blocks later......

We finally have a completed quilt! I had actually finished the construction 3 weeks ago but wasn't happy with the size.........

It was too long for the width and just looked unbalanced

So I took it apart to widen it. As this is constructed with the quilt as you go method on point, the only way to make it wider was to add rows to the middle 

and add a couple more blocks plus extend the sashing to the previous adjoining row

so an extra 40 more baskets were appliqued, sandwiched & outlined quilted by hand before I got back to this stage of joining the 2 halves together again

This quilt is quite heavy & bulky so I rolled it up and used the ironing board for extra support & just unrolled a little section at a time to feed through the machine

The binding is now on & I can finally say the basket quilt is complete

It's a biggie 90" high x 105" wide - great for a big bed

I've really enjoyed making this one but am now glad to see the back of it!

(This quilt is for sale - email me for details at gtjsy at hotmail dot com)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Scrappy Log cabins

Today I should have been working on the last 2 rows of my basket quilt but instead a fair bit of chain piecing took place.

The QUILTING GALLERY has put out a call for blocks to be made into quilts for donation to the victims of Hurricane Sandy. All the info can be found here.  

Making blocks is far easier for me being in the Channel Islands as mailing a charity quilt to the USA is an expense I unfortunately cannot afford :(

It was fun & very liberating just stitching away with no plan in mind as these are meant to be scrappy log cabin blocks, something I hadn't done before but certainly will be doing again. There is even a tutorial for making the blocks here.

If you fancy making a few blocks go ahead and register here to either make blocks or assemble a top.In these situations every little bit helps :)

Happy stitching

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Mini Quilts

11.5" x 13.5"
(This one is all crinkly as it's been washed)

As you all know I have always favored hand piecing, especially English paper piecing but I've recently challenged myself to love my machine more and have been making a few mini quilts. 

Thus I have learnt to make a 4.5" maple leaf block, half & quarter square triangles, log cabin piecing and setting triangles.........all by machine! (are you impressed?)

19" x 19"
Looking at this picture now it would have been better with colored logs all round 

These mini quilts are also great for practicing hand quilting & I've been having great fun playing around with border designs etc.
the back shows the quilting better
maple leaf in the corners
the next one waiting to be completed

I'm also still plugging away at the baskets, well, that is when Lucy allows me to get to my supplies.........

and when she does move, she monitors to ensure they are still being made properly!

Thanks to kind donations of lovely scraps from my friends Kim & Sandra, so far, not one fabric for the baskets has been repeated

Spoilt with lots of luscious reds 

beautiful blues

and pinks too!

I picked out a few of my favs, I love that pink one with the green leaves in the middle, thank you so much for these Sandra : )...................aren't quilting friends just great?

Baskets made with Kim's fabrics
I'm really on the home run with these now, only 16 more baskets to applique and add the sashing to make the last 4 rows, then all that needs to be done is the binding to complete the quilt. 

Until next time, happy quilting : )

Friday, September 28, 2012

........and then there were 5!

It's a real pleasure to go to work each morning and see images like this. Kahilli, one of our female Western Lowland gorillas, surprised her keepers by having given birth early yesterday morning..........they didn't think she was due until November!

Kahilli is a very caring Mum as can be seen in this video

Kahilli & baby
Yesterday also happened to be 1st time dad,  Badongo's 13th birthday! 

Last summer I was very privileged to have accompanied a gorilla transfer as a French interpreter when we transported our former silverback Ya Kwanza (who wasn't too interested in breeding) to a new gorilla bachelor group & brought a young bouncy Badongo back to Jersey, see the transfer video here

New dad Badongo

Kahilli & Kishka on the right
Kishka our eldest female is staying very close to Kahilli & the baby. You can often catch her trying to get a good look at the newborn.

She's even made it into the UK National headlines here

Congratulations Kahilli, we are all very proud of her at Durrell.

(Can you tell I have a little weakness for Gorillas? lol)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Major balls up!

Remember these Lollipop blocks started in 2010? Well, back then, I got so far & decided to get a start on sewing some of the 2" square sashings. A lot, and I mean a lot of 2.5" squares were cut & stitched together........

and it wasn't until I tried lining them up with the trimmed blocks that I thought something was odd.....they were too long, what was going on here?

I went back to the pattern and checked the instructions, bugger! I had trimmed the blocks to 20" square when it should have been 20.5"..... lesson learnt here READ THE INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY. 
(I had glanced quickly at the 20" & missed the vital bit of the sentence........ FINISHED SIZE!)

In disgust with myself for being so stupid, everything came off the design wall and thrown in a box & put away as I  barely had a seam allowance left with the applique so close to the edge.

After stewing over this for quite a while, a remedy has finally come to light.  I've decided to unpick all the bits of applique that are too close to the edge, move a few circles and use a different kind of sashing, after all, I never really follow a pattern completely.
Finally relieved that I don't have to remake all those blocks!

and, before I go, remember Sandra? The Cumberland Island Quilt Chick? yeah, you know the one.........well she's back in blog land as The Frugal Quilter......... Pop on over & say hi!

Till next time, happy stitching :)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Decision made

With an autumn chill in the air, yesterday I decided to layer & baste this quilt top I completed last December with the intention of having it quilted to use on my bed this winter

Inspired by Carolyn's book on utility quilting, the decision was also made to use cotton perle 8 and big stitch quilting for this top. If you haven't seen this book I can highly recommend it as a wonderful resource for hand quilting.

It is full of good information & techniques with clear step by step diagrams, which is perfect for a hand quilting novice like me.

Once the threads were selected I was on my way......

I'm really enjoying this big stitch quilting & think it suits this top as it has so much colour & pattern.

Having tried a little traditional hand quilting first to compare (sorry didn't think of taking a photo) I felt the latter became lost & not so visible.

Here's a view from the back, ok, the stitching isn't as regular as I would like but I'm not striving for perfection! lol  If you're after quilting something quickly, this is the way to go as it's progressing well this rate I may have it ready for my bed as the weather turns really cold.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Boxes & Baskets

My friend Sandra was telling me all about a workshop she would be attending with Bonnie Hunter using old shirts last week which reminded me I had quite few striped ones I had been collecting ready to use for the shirt stripe boxes quilt by Kaffe Fassett from his Passionate Patchwork book.

This inspired me to sort out what I had with some hindrance help from Lucy (she was getting ready to pounce in this 2nd photo!)

After much cutting, which was really easy with the Companion angle triangle ruler, a lot of  chain piecing took place.

Eventually quite a few shirt box squares were ready for the fun part of laying them out to form 18" blocks

1st block done

.........and a 2nd one added. This is going to be my ongoing machine project when I need a break from hand stitching to give my poor fingers a rest when they get sore (I just can't use thimbles)


These little baskets are still being appliqued and 'quilted as you go'

The next batch ready to have sashings attached and made into rows

2 more rows ready to join to the main piece

This quilt is growing to be a bit of a big one, over the half way mark now......yeah!

Till next time, thanks for stopping by :)