Monday, 26 October 2015

Checking in

Life has been a roller-coaster of late, but here are a few of the better bits...

Is it just me that loves the inside of bags almost as much as the outside?!? This one is for a beautiful girl who danced as a frog in a recent ballet production.

Her sister, who is sharing the birthday party, suggested silver and blue as her favourite colours. Hopefully this will make her happy :-)

It's been a busy week, but a good little production line of bags to show at the end of it!

The latest round of artist trading cards saw me receiving this beautiful rainbow. It couldn't be more apt and I love seeing it on my little shelf.

It was really exciting to start the next round of our sewing bee! Last time we added a strip across the width of the quilt, this time we are doing sections, following a pattern designed for us. My first attempt at my main starter block didn't turn out quite as I'd hoped, but became the lovely cushion above ;-)

Thankfully, my next go was much better. I still used a selection of Cotton + Steel fabrics, but with a more suitable blender. This section heads off to Julie later this week, where she will create and add a new piece, before sending it on to the next person.

While I'm waiting for the bee section which is heading my way, I will carry on with my beautiful Liberty half square triangles. I'm about a quarter of the way through this colourful quilt top.

So, every roller-coaster has some high points and what a great hobby we have for creating them! Hope you are having a lovely Autumn and enjoying the stunning colours out there.

Monday, 3 August 2015

It's all St Louis here...

Have you seen the film, 'Meet me in St Louis'? Rosie and I watched it recently, as she will be singing one of the songs in her next singing exam. Her piece is called The Trolley Song, but the theme tune is equally catchy! That has been the backdrop to my recent sewing, using the St Louis quilt pattern.

It's the easiest of patterns, almost too much so, as it whips up too fast for you to enjoy the process. However, for a large size quilt top, it's a great project.
I spent quite a while setting aside the fat quarters needed, going for lots of pinks and purples, with a few cheeky cats thrown in...

The parcel from my swap partner in the hand stitched mini quilts arrived this morning ;-)

Along with lots of extra sweets and stationary, there was this amazing mini:

You need to look closely, to see the incredible fussy cutting that went in to those horses! It is such a detailed piece, thank you partner!

I've been hooked on dumpling pouches lately, as they make a great gift! This one was made for the singing teacher and was my third or fourth attempt at one...

The hardest part is binding the tiny inside edges! However, I have increased the size of the pattern, so they're not quite as tiny. After discussions on instagram, I used some shop bought binding, which is stretchy and thin, making it easier to work with.

The cat cushion was finished in time for the little girl next door, and she loved it - phew! 

We had a fabulous trip to Paris! Four days of glorious sunshine, sightseeing and delicious food. Hope you are having a lovely month of August :-)

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Wonderful Wales!

Rosie and I are just back from a wonderful weekend in Wales, visiting Jennifer. We talked, sewed, enjoyed fabulous food, pottered round the antique shop and even watched Titanic! The weather was glorious, perfect for the barbecue. Along with croquet, table tennis and boules, we managed to be very productive on the sewing front...

Rosie made a lovely tote bag for her teacher. You can just about see the crab fabric in the lining - bought for the purpose after the teacher put a plastic crab on Rosie's shoulder one day, making her jump out of her skin! 

I whipped up tissue holders for other teachers and even managed to follow a pattern and make my first dumpling pouch! Jennifer made me the beautiful peg bag, and I hand stitched a few pieces for my next mini quilt.

It was such a relaxing time, can't wait for next time :-)

Monday, 22 June 2015

Happy little projects :-)

My recent sewing hasn't been speedy or prolific, but it has been really enjoyable! The top for my hand stitched mini was finally done... I started this without a fixed plan, and changed my mind several times during the process. I considered shaped edges, decided against it, but wanted as little wastage as possible when trimming the sides. This final layout made me happy!

I quilted it first, going just inside each hexagon. That way, for all except the centre piece, there were no knots to bury, as I started and finished at the edge ;-) However, for that one centre section, I decided to search up how to bury knots when machine stitching - and it was the easiest thing in the world! I'm now so frustrated as not having learnt this earlier... 

I'm so pleased with the finished quilt - and it comes in at just the right size for this swap. Not long to go, and it will be winging its way around the world, to my secret swap partner! It won't be the wackiest quilt in the swap, or have the most fashionable fabrics. However,  it's very 'me' and is a piece I have worked hard at. In fact, I will be so sad to send it away, that I've already started another one...

Unusually for me, I cut all the fabric first, then basted every piece before matching them into units. Doing a project for the second time is certainly a lot faster! This is a great use of scraps, too.

Rosie just had her birthday this month. At first, I wasn't going to make her anything, as she already has several versions of everything in my repertoire! However, an 11th birthday did seem kind of soon to give up on home made gifts. With just a couple of days to go, I whipped up a little cat cushion.

Just to prove I don't just do straight line quilting, I can even straight line quilt around a shape, giving it some definition ;-) Thankfully, Rosie was happy with the new addition to the sofa.

As we both liked this style, I've started on another one. The little boy next door recently turned five, and we gave him one of my patchwork Scottie dogs. When his mum tucked him into bed, he told her that the dog was the very best thing about his entire birthday! With his little sister about to turn three, I felt under pressure to get the same reaction, so hopefully this will be finished in time...

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Slower stitching...

Lately my focus has been on my hand stitched mini quilt, part of a swap. This has been quite daunting for me! My idea evolved as I worked on the units, but finally I made a firm decision :-)

This is the finished quilt top, measuring around 22 by 19 inches. Unfortunately it doesn't photograph terribly well, and it was already getting dark when we took this. Do you see the orange piece, the rebel in the corner?!? Every quilt should have a rebel, I feel. The thought of quilting this terrifies me...

All Rosie's friends have been turning eleven, so this is the gift for one of them. I do like the finished effect of boxed corners at the bottom of a zip pouch! 

Rosie's teacher went on maternity leave last week. We'd known for long enough, but I still ended up making the gift the night before! Thankfully she was very pleased with it!

A great blog friend, Maryse, very kindly nominated me for the One Lovely Blog Award! 

The idea behind this award is for bloggers to bring attention to other blogs that we think are lovely. Recipients pay it forward by passing the award along to their favorite blogs.
By accepting the award, the nominated blogger must follow these easy-peasy rules: 

*Thank the awesome person who nominated you and link back. *Share 7 things about yourself.  *Nominate 10 other blogs. (Or as many as it feels comfortable to you.)
Here we go, seven things about me:

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Spring sewing...

Wasn't it great having a Bank holiday weekend? With sunshine thrown in for good measure! I enjoyed plenty of sewing time and a little gardening. 

Having never made a pincushion, somehow I decided to cut the squares and make six in one go... They look good nestled in the Christmas tree, but had I made a prototype, I would have cut the squares a little bigger! They end up as 4 inches square, which was quite fiddly to sew.

However, that's a few gifts ready! I've also been busy preparing a hand-sewn mini quilt, for a swap I'm in. These are the latest two blocks...

 I still haven't completely decided on the layout and final design, but need to do that next.

If my pincushions were tiny, these St Louis blocks certainly aren't! I'm enjoying making them, although my one complaint would be that they come together so fast, you don't get much sewing therapy out of each block ;-) However, I think it will be a nice quilt when it's done...

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Curve balls...

This morning I received the most beautiful Artist Trading Card, as part of the swap organised by Ali...

I really hit the jackpot here, and hope this sweet white rabbit brings me lots of luck! 

As one swap ends, I am already busy with the next one! This one in predominantly taking place on instagram, where I am @patchyroses. The aim is to make a handstitched mini quilt, for a surprise partner. This is where I'm up to so far, they may not all make the final piece...

My wish list is long, and for some time I've been tucking away fat quarters ready for a St Louis 16 patch. The design does use most of a fat quarter, but leaves a little bit left over, handy for smaller projects. My need for the leftovers is, ironically, what has kick started the sewing! I rather like this first block...

And the curve ball? During the Easter holidays, Rosie and I were meant to go to Madrid, where we were very much looking forward to meeting Mavi.  With bags packed, and just hours to go before we were due to leave, I received an email cancelling the flight! The next few hours were very stressful, involving the poorest of customer service from the airline, and we were forced to abandon the trip. However, with some fast thinking, we looked into holiday cottages, found a great last minute deal, and headed off to Cornwall...

Only 24 hours after we were supposed to land in Madrid, we were tucking into cream tea in Port Isaac! We ended up enjoying the most fabulous week - eight days of constant sunshine and blue skies, with empty beaches and turquoise sea :-)

We loved visiting the Old Post Office in Tintagel, and the beautiful little church of St Enodoc, where Sir John Betjeman is buried.

Obviously I googled patchwork shops, and we made a trip to a lovely studio in Launceston. They had just put on a quilting exhibition, which included an amazing replica of the church of St Enodoc...

 This was the kind of scenery we enjoyed all week - so unspoilt.

 You may know Port Isaac as the village where Doc Martin is filmed. I thought the programme had ended, but who should turn up to film the new series, but Martin Clunes himself :-)

Martin, and the cast and crew, were fabulous. He made such a fuss of the dog, and there were no objections to us enjoying watching the filming - a fascinating experience!

All in all, I had such a relaxing holiday, coming home very refreshed. Oh, and someone else voted it the best week of her life... ;-)