Tuesday, 22 April 2014

'Lil'Twister Quilt Finished

Well, the long Easter weekend was quite a productive one for me. We decided not to go away, but to stay and enjoy the few days of glorious sunshine. Harri went back up to Durham on Thursday, dissertation well under way, so I got my computer back. Madlen was working on Good Friday and Easter Monday, so there was just Mr Hare and myself. We had a busy day of gardening on Friday (still lots more to do though) and went out to The Bear in Crickhowell in the evening with friends.


 
 
These tulips I planted in the autumn have been wonderful and flowering much earlier than usual.
 
 
 
I planted two big pots full of these colours and another two pots ( which aren't quite so advanced) of pinks and purples. The weather has been unusual again this year. My wisteria is just coming into flower already, a good 3-4 weeks earlier than is normal.
Mr Hare went away on Sunday and Monday, leaving me to sew. Bliss! So, this :
 
 

 
 
became this:
 
 
which became this:
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
These phone photos aren't doing it any justice, because it is very pretty.
 
Quilt stats:
34 x 44 inches
Front made with a mixture of prints  including lots of Posy, some Wee Wander and lots of others.
Edging made with pale grey Sketch from Timeless Treasures.
Back made with some lavender flannel I bought in Joann's when I was in the States in February
Binding Roman Glass in pink by Kaffe Fassett.
Quilted with So fine ( no 401) by Superior threads.
 
This is the first quilt I have quilted on my longarm since it was reassembled after the fire. Before that, I had only quilted 2  quilts on my longarm, so I am a real novice.
What have I learned so far? Well, stippling is a very forgiving quilting design, and although I need lots more practice the quilt doesn't look too bad. I also found out to leave more overlap in the throat distance. When I had finished, I had a line of missed quilting all the way across. Fortunately, I just reloaded the quilt with the back facing upwards and filled in the gap.
I tried to plan my quilting using a hera marker. Well, that didn't work, I couldn't see the lines.I tried a blue chalk pen- same thing. So I abandoned that and just winged it. I also found I couldn't see where I had previously quilted ( the light in my sewing room is very bright) and so there are some overlapping quilting lines.
 
This has got me fired up and ready for some more. So, this afternoon I'll load up another one and get going. I also discovered I need to buy some more wadding. This is a real dilemma. What do I go for? I really like Quilter's Dream Orient, but it's relatively expensive. Do I order a whole roll of wadding and become a proper grown up quilter? 

 

 



Thursday, 10 April 2014

FAL Second Quarter

Despite only finishing one of my FAL Q1 list of shame I'm going to be foolish enough to bring this list forward to quarter 2 and add 5 more projects. Why add any more when I have enough WIP's to last a year? Well, it's because I have to do them.
So here goes again
1) FAL  quarter 1 list minus the VW cushion

2)Sibling together quilt No 1

I've had back all the bee blocks and pieced the top together, just waiting for backing and binding fabric to arrive

 
 
3)Siblings together Quilt No 2
 
My fellow bee mates made half of another set of blocks for me. I'm also waiting for more of the white crosshatch botanics to finish this one as well. I've cut out all the 5inch squares though
 
 
 
4and 5) Girl baby quilt and divided basket
 
My friend Ginevra is imminently about to give birth. I want to do a 'lil'twister quilt for her baby.
I've done a fabric pull, just have to get on with it
 
 
I'd also like to make her a divided basket to hold baby things. I've got the pattern so again have to get on with it.
 
6) Boy baby quilt
 
Another friend is having her first grandson, so I've said I'll make a quilt for him as well. I've done a fabric pull for this one, but haven't decided on a pattern yet.
 
 
I think that's more than enough to be going on with.
 
 





Finish Along 2014

Friday, 4 April 2014

Finish A Long- First quarter

 
 

Finish Along 2014
 
Well, this quarter has been a complete washout! which fits with the weather as well.
I only managed one finish from my very long list. I finished the VW cushion

 
 
 
I blogged about the cushion here. In my defence, I have had a lot of other things to do: clearing out my office at work, sorting out the paper work to revalidate, setting up my sewing room and holding Harri's hand whilst he sorts out his dissertation. I have managed to finish sewing together my hexagon stars quilt top
 
 
 
 
 
I've made a design board:
 
 
 
 
 
 
I've finished all the blocks now for my 'It's a Wonderful World Quilt' but I have to put them together and finish it off.
 
 
All the rest of my original list will have to be carried forward to the second quarter. Hopefully, I'll have a bit more done to report back about by then.


 
 

The End of an Era

Well, that's it. I'm now officially a retired person. It is a very strange feeling, partly like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders and partly some anxiety about the future. I have been in school, university or working since I was 5 years old ( with the exception of two 5 months breaks for maternity leave) so this is very novel.
It's also strange cleaning out 20 years worth of accumulated rubbish from my office. I  had never thrown out all the old lectures/teaching sessions on overheads or slides, even though they had been superseded by Power Point and online learning. I had collected shelves worth of old research papers, teaching handouts, academic journals etc. It was very liberating to throw it all in the bin.

I had a lovely send off  with this wonderful cake, which unfortunately Mr Hare couldn't resist, so I haven't got any before photos.

 
The red ball in the middle is meant to be a pin cushion and it did have the most wonderfully crafted pins on it  which unfortunately got knocked off on the trip home. As you can see, it's absolutely brilliant! We did not eat it all ( it was huge!) so I took it back to work for everyone to have a share.
 
 
I also had a fantastic bunch of flowers, which again I forgot to photograph, so here they are a few days later:
 
 
 
 
They had kindly made a collection for me and I was given a huge wodge of cash. I have already spent most of it on quilty things! I ordered some fabric which has yet to arrive  but these goodies have arrived:
 
 
 
 
 
 
I will have a meal out with all my colleagues at a later date.
 
 I have been frantically trying to revalidate , so I could go and do VSO or other work abroad. The GMC in it's wisdom has declared all doctors have to revalidate every 5 years. This is an entirely paper ( well computer) exercise and will not stop any future Harold Shipmans. Unfortunately, my number came up in the first tranch so I have been jumping through all the necessary hoops. I had my final appraisal on my last day. All my patient reviews are in and I'm just waiting for the 360 degree multisource feedback from my colleagues. I had done a few for colleagues before I left and quite honestly anyone would have to be seriously bad not to get a good review.  Anyway, I hope that it will all be done in time. My revalidation date is mid May, so I should be alright.
 
All this paper work has left little time for sewing, but I hope to rectify that in the next few weeks.
 
 

 


Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Sibling Together March Block

 
I'm queen bee in March for the Sibling's Together Bee organised by the wonderful Lynne of Lily's Quilts.  My fabric is Storybook by Katie and Birdie ( kindly donated by Moda ).

The block I'd like my fellow bee'ers to make is the block from The Original Happy Quilting  quilt a long : http://happyquiltingmelissa.blogspot.co.uk/p/quilt-longs.html. The tutorial is at the bottom of the page but is quite drawn out , so I will include a small tutorial here.

Included in your packet should be 20x 5inch squares and 1 plain 14inch square. Use 16 of the squares to make a 16 patch and put 4 squares to one side for now. I strongly recommend that you use a lot of starch at this point.

 
 
Then cut the 16 patch across in both directions diagonally ( quite hard as the hypotenuse is longer than my 24 inch ruler).
 
 
 
Next step is to rearrange the four quarter triangles to make 2 squares.
 
 


 
 
Sew these together and  you should have 2 x 12 3/4 squares. The starch prevents the bias edges from stretching.
 Set these aside  for now, and cut your 14 inch square across both ways diagonally. In Melissa's tutorial she uses a 13 inch square but I found it to be too skimpy. Again, I would use lots of starch here!
 
 
Then take your 4 remaining 5inch squares and draw a line on the diagonal
 
 
Next pin your 5 inch square to the corner of each solid quarter triangle and sew along the marked line.
 
 
 
Repeat on all four corners and trim off excess fabric.
 
 
You will also have fabric to make 4 HST's
 


 

                                    

Arrange the 4 corners around one of the 12 3/4 blocks

 
Sew the corners to the block
 
 
 
Your finished block should measure 18 inches square ( 17.5 finished size).
 
 


 
 
I'd be grateful if you would send me the other 12 3/4 square when you return the block, so I can either make more blocks or use them for the back. I have some fabric left so I may be able to make another quilt for ST as well.
 

 
Happy sewing!




Sunday, 19 January 2014

My first finish of 2014

Finish Along 2014
 
Joining the FAL is obviously working as I've made my first finish, though probably the easiest one on my list. I managed to get my VW cushion done.
 
 
It isn't really as wonky as it looks, just that I didn't have the correct size for the cushion pad. The one I've used is 2 inches too small ( 18 inch squared as opposed to the necessary 20 inch squared).
 
After wrestling with the piping, I couldn't face putting in a zip, concealed or otherwise, so I just made a simple envelope for the back.
 
 
 
 
The backing is a Michael Miller fabric called 'We come in Peace' and conveniently featuring VW vans and some non-scary aliens. So this is going to a colleague called Gaynor who is going to auction it  at a VW fan club to raise money for charity.
 
Cushion Stats:18 inches square
 
Front made using Tula Pink VW pattern heavily modified to be the same as a photo Gaynor sent me. Base fabric Kona cotton in Teal and Aqua. VW made from scraps. Front quilted in straight lines 1/2 inch apart using a grey Aurifil 50w
 
Back in Michael Miller's 'We come in Peace'.
Piping in Robert Kaufmans Spot On in orange 
 
 


 

Saturday, 11 January 2014

2014 FAL list of shame

 
I've decided it's about time to try and finish all my projects and so what better than a finish along with Katy. As I was compiling my list (which I'm ashamed to say is not totally comprehensive!) I realised that this is going to be very long, so please bear with me. There is no way I can finish all of these in one quarter but I'm hoping that just compiling the list will spur me on. Sooo:

1)Sparkle Punch Quilt

I can't even remember when I made this. The back is done, just needs quilting and binding

2)Quilt for Helena


Top is done, the back is half finished, then needs quilting and binding.

3)Lois's Quilt

 
These were my Bee block choice from FQR Kinky Bee 2012. All the blocks are done but need to be sewn together. I have bought the back ( extra wide botanics-lush!) , then will need quilting and binding.
 
4)Grace's Quilt
 


I made this quilt top for Harri's then girlfriend Grace, 4 years ago. She chose the colours. It's been languishing ever since. I decided to make it double sided and use mod mosaic blocks on the back. These are done, just needs the back finishing, then quilting and binding.

5) Star Bee Blocks
 
This Bee was a disaster. Four of the participants kept my fabric and didn't return it and a fifth participant sent the fabric back ( my month was March 2013!)  So I have 14 blocks and need to make at least another 6 minimum before I can continue. I have bought the backing fabric, so just need to do it!

6)Disappearing Nine Patch Blocks

 
 
I have all the blocks for this one, but I'm not loving it, so going to the bottom of the pile and maybe destined eventually as a charity quilt. This is a shame as the colours are fab.
 
7)Random Stars Blocks
 
 
 
 
I started this eons ago and even joined the Lucky stars BOM 2013 and now 2014. I haven't made one of the BOM's . So I need to do a few more blocks and then we'll see.
 
8)Red and White Sampler Quilt
 




I'm not loving this one much either. It needs more blocks and then I'll see.

9)Madlen's Scrappy Trip Around the World

 
 
Blocks are all made for this one. I just need to sew them together. I've got the back , so just needs quilting and binding.
 
10)Siblings Together Quilt
 
 

 Just need to quilt and bind this one before July

11) It's a Wonderful World.

 
 
The fabulous Bumbling Honey's made me some wonderful blocks for this quilt. I'm really loving this one, so working away at making a few more blocks before assembling it.
 
12) Kaffe Fassett Quilt
 
 
 
I foolishly decided to hand quilt this one. Once I've finished my hexagon stars ( see below) then I might get back to it.
 
13)EPP Hexagon Stars Quilt
 
 
This was started in March/April last year and is my retirement quilt. I have five full stars and two half stars to make, then sew them all together, quilt and bind. I already have the backing. I'm wanting to finish this by the end of March, but I have a lot of annual leave left ( and some skiing to do) so I'll see.
14)Economy Block Top
 
 
I have the backing for this one too, so just need to quilt and bind it.
 
15)Scrap Vomit for Lydia
 
 
 
Blocks all done, need sewing together, quilting and binding. I've got the back for this as well.
 
16) Oakshott Bolster
 
 
 
I started this last winter and had underestimated how much smaller it becomes when you use the lil' twister blocks. So it ended up too small. It needs quite a bit more adding before it will be big enough as a draught excluder for our French doors.
 
17) VW Cushion
 
 
 
A work colleague asked me to make this for charity. I've just got to make it into a cushion ( with binding).
 
18)Super Tote Bag
 
 
I 'made ' this QAYG fabric ages ago, just never got round to making the bag. Pattern is bought, just have to do it.
 
19)Lucien's Quilt
 

 
I have all the fabric bought for this quilt, including the back but have only made one block. Quite a lot to do then!
 
20) Oakshott Quilt
 
 
Again, I have all the fabric for this quilt top ( but not the back) but have only made one block. Not really any realistic prospect of getting any further in the immediate future.
 
 
I think that's the lot for now. I've realised that I need to do another post like this for knitting projects!!! Realistically, I'm hoping that I get numbers 13,14,16,17 and 18 done this quarter.
 
 
 

 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 



Finish Along 2014
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