Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Seeing Squares...

I am pleased to report that I have pieced and squared up all my Across the Sea quilt top blocks.

I now need to lay them out into some kind of pleasing pattern; it may be a challenge, as I am hoping not to just go completely random, but we'll see.

I also finished my first mug rug for the Goodie swap.  I am not going to post it in full here or on flickr as I may as well have put a big old sign on it saying who it is for and I don't want to spoil the surprise!  Here's a peek to keep my partner on her twinkle-toes!

It is 8.5" square, so she can put a whole cake on it if she wants, and I suspect she will!

I also invested in some easy-thread needles to finish it off, as suggested by Pings way back when I finished my mum's quilt and had to thread-in a billion lose ends.  Bloody brilliant, thank you!!!

Finally I need to tell someone that I have just seen the most wonderful fabric almost ever!!  I don't get that feeling too often, although the Ruby Star Spring was 'up there'.  Did you see aforementioned Ping's quilt top - wow!

This was complete and utter love at first sight this morning.  Across The Pond by Michelle Engel Bencsko for Cloud 9; just look...

The heron is our village's 'symbol', there's one that comes to the pond at the end of our road each year, so I am thinking it would be kind of special to make something from this.  The line is already available from Hawthorne Threads, but I will have to settle for just looking at it online just now, sob sob sniff!

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

What's in the box?

It wouldn't be a Bank Holiday in our village without a Boot Fair; just a little one in the library car park, predominantly plants and children's toys; we usually come way with some more plastic and sparkles for the under-7s and little else.  This time was a little different.

There were a couple 'house clearance' type sellers and the chance for the grown-ups to rummage.

Under the feet of one such seller I spotted a wooden case but no-one could get it open; so, because the key was missing, for five whole British pounds, yep £5, I took my chances on it not containing a breeze-block and some tin cans.  Poor hubby hauled it round the remainder of the fair, I was just grinning like a ninny!

So home soon after, and out with my trusty screwdriver...

Have you guessed yet?

So so so excited, look what I found... 
(**Warning lots of gratuitous photos to follow!**)

Isn't it beautiful!? 

From the look of the thread, it probably hasn't been used or opened for at least 25 years, it needs a bit of a dust, but much of it, like the stunning bullet-like shuttle and tiny brass bobbins, look like new.

From the Accessories box and a quick bit of googling the serial number Y9856655, this is a 1935 28K made in Kilbowie, Clydebank, Glasgow.  One of 15,000 shipped out on 10th May.

I have downloaded an instruction manual, and look forward to playing at some point; the handle turns like a dream!  Told you I had something cool to show you!

Monday, 29 August 2011

Big Mouth Strikes Again!

I am sure you have noticed that I seem to have all my fingers in a tonne of different pies just now, and to my amazement I have committed myself to yet another.

Last weekend, Mandy from fabulous Simply Solids asked her blog followers to come up with suggestions for a name for her new quiltalong, and before fully engaging mouth and brain, I came up with the idea of 'Log Jam', it just seemed right.   Anyhoo, Mandy, and a surprising number of others deemed this to be the most apt, and bingo!  Thank you ladies x

I was going to sign up anyway, but now the pressure is really on to come up with the goods!

If you are interested in a log cabin style quiltalong, using a Jelly Roll, then check out the flickr group already.  I've never used a Jelly Roll, so I am quite excited about this one.

The partner info has also been issued for the Mug Rug and Goodie Swap, so I will be getting going on those too; so watch out ladies, I am watching you; and if my partners 'on the other side' are looking in on me - coo-eee!  Here's a sneak of some cutting, not saying for what or who though...

Last night, in a bid to be ahead, I chain-pieced all my cross 'ears' for the Across the Sea QAL, thinking I would be way ahead, but no, today's instalment calls for piecing the whole blocks, oh well!

I have also been playing with ideas for my Scrap Bag Challenge, I may do some trial runs with my own scraps and charms, but hopefully the 'competition scraps' will arrive later in the week and I can get making for real.

So I am having a terrific Bank Holiday Weekend so far, and I have something so cool to show you tomorrow x

Sunday, 28 August 2011

One step ahead...

Soon the Mug Rug and Goodie Swap will be in full flow, with partners being allocated as we speak; so last night, after Doctor Who, I got to sorting through this little selection of fabrics...

The flickr group is filling up with lovely inspirational mosaics, and I'm still not sure if I am surprised or not that many of those favourites turn up time and again in people's selections.  Looking at the page of thumbnails, they all look pretty similar.

So, with my blank sheet, and sharpened pencil...

I did a bit of sketching and calculating to see what I would be able to create with what I have. 

I'm considering about half a dozen ideas which are currently knocking about in my head, hoping I will be able to narrow them down to match my actual partners' tastes; but for now, it was fun just getting to lay a load of fabric all over the living room floor and play for a while before the pressure is on!

Thank you all again for the wonderful comments on my 241 Tote; I truly am overwhelmed by all your kind responses, you guys know how to make me smile  xx

Saturday, 27 August 2011

241 Tote!

Yesterday, interspersed with feeding children, (why do they need that?), doing laundry and refereeing squabbles, I managed to complete my first 241 Tote; oh there will be more, I have ordered fabric!

I love this bag, the pattern is brilliant, in fact drop by any blog where the bag has appeared, you will hear the same thing.  I don't really 'do' patterns, too impatient, bits either look too easy to bother reading properly, or too difficult, so corners can be cut.  Well not this one.  It all worked out pretty perfectly, even top-stitching the awkward curved side seams, which I was convinced was impossible.

OK, so my execution still leaves a little to be desired, but I have surprised myself with how good it looks.

I have an A side, the safe side...

This is the middle section of the Ruby Star Spring Buzz print, and the pockets are fussy cut from the same.

And a Bee side...

I had to increase the pattern size to 105% to fit the star of the show on better; due to the luck of the cut of my half meter of Bee, the optimum cutting angle of the actual Bee couldn't quite be achieved, however I think I pulled it off.

I have won round Twin1 with my Bee love, but as my 'top insect' (OK, not like I actually have a list or anything!) is the dragonfly, I am so happy to have one of those on there too.

The sides and handle are the Bloom print; I added the selvedge to the underside of the strap, just because I could!  I was considering adding it to the top of the inner pocket, then, oh so timely I read this...  decision made!  I also extended the length by a couple of inches, just as a bit of taste and fancy.

The whole bag is lined with the pale lilac Kona that works really well, no darkness to eat my keys and wallet here.

The cotton-linen Kokka is so lovely to work with, I have never used interfacing on such large expanses of fabric, nor magnetic snaps or lined anything before, and it is not as difficult as I had feared - no stopping me now!  Maybe I will try the zipper version too!

I also found out yesterday that I am through to the second stage of brilliant Pings' Japanese Scrap Bag Challenge!  Now don't get too excited saying I can have your vote, as my, and probably your friend Sarah is now a rival, along with 8 others including Ali from Very Berry Handmade!  So join up to the flickr group to follow our progress, and see what we get up to over the next month or so.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Cutting it up a bit!

No sewing at all yesterday; there was some digging, mosaic, pottery, cave painting and colouring-in at the village museum though.

It was Junior Archaeology Day, so we went along and had a play, just as the sun came out.  A good time was had by all, and then we had a quick look in the actual 'museum'.

I don't know if there is an official minimum 'size' for a museum, but this one is probably up/down there in the 'tiniest' category, probably no bigger than our lounge (our lounge is not huge), but out of all the things they could have displayed, they chose to display this...

And look closely...

I am so easily impressed!

The museum is also home, (probably not unsurprisingly then), to the Storrington Quilters...

Who knew?!

And then there was the cutting, a lot of cutting.  I cut all the background fabric for the Across The Sea QAL top, to add to the Greek cross pieces I prepared the other evening...

... then I cut the pattern pieces and interfacing for my 241 tote that I am planning to get on with today...

I need another finish!

Thursday, 25 August 2011

A demanding wife...

Not me! (Dear husband, if you leave a comment, I will delete it!).

Not satisfied with just 4 blocks, I made 4 more...

As you can tell, I am using a rather limited palette, I may venture further afield, but I'm not sure yet.

Here we have Northern Lights...

Friendship Star...

Churn Dash (I love this one, even though there was a little seam-ripping action)...

and Contrary Wife...

I forgot to fussy-cut this one on point, but I am not too worried with the scale of things to come.

So far I am not using the templates, there are a nice number of blocks that my mental arithmetic can cope with; once I leave this simple territory, I will be relying on the FWQAL group for assistance for sure!

These were photographed in a rush, I drew the curtain to stop the shadows, and was confronted by the biggest spider ever, (arachnosaurus rex), I was not touching that curtain again nor stopping long for anything until hubby got home!