Friday, 24 December 2010

and relax.....

It is done. The Christmas quilt making marathon is complete. The Star Wars quilt for my eldest son is ready to be wrapped and I can now relax! Many of the blocks are from the Euro Bee girls - thank you so much ladies.

There is just some time for a little baking this afternoon before we light the fire and snuggle down for the next few days.

Happy Christmas to you and yours - see you next year!

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Christmas finish

Phew! One down, one to go! Here is my finished eye spy quilt for youngest son. Twenty six different quilters contributed blocks to this quilt via the 3x6 bee. I love the fact that this quilt has had so many hands working on it. Not only does it make the quilt perfect in terms of wonderful block and fabric variety, but it represents everything great about online bees and quilters in general. I used lots of scraps for the binding and used a plain blue sheet for the backing. The second quilt for eldest son is also nearing completion - a good job too as there are only three sleeps until Christmas!

Saturday, 11 December 2010

time flies

I cannot quite believe it has been a month since I last posted - where does the time go? November was a very busy month - four family birthdays, report writing, mock exams to mark, sewing to do..... the list goes on. To top it all my work was given an inspection last week so I have been beyond busy. All that is done now thank goodness, so I am hoping that I can now finally concentrate on some serious sewing in the run up to Christmas.
I have got a fair bit done already though - have a look and see what I have been up to!
Bee blocks:

A quilt for a birthday boy:

and a quilt top in progress:

Right - I better get back to it! Happy sewing to you all this weekend!

Friday, 5 November 2010

Thunder flower girls and flags!

I am really pleased with how this cushion turned out - my first Christmas present sorted! It was made using some vintage bunting I found at a car boot sale this summer. I chopped out all the mildewy bits to make a rather abstract union flag design. I off centered it on blue and gave it a red cushion back. It will hopefully suit my sister and brother in law - they have a very funky modern kitchen and a red leather chair it should work perfectly in.

My second result of the week is this quilt for my goddaughter - she has just had her 13th birthday. The main fabric is Thunder Flower by Alexander Henry and I just LOVE it! It is too nice to cut up, so decided to just go with a big piece and show off those funky anime girls to to max.

Sorry about the poor quality of the photos - I am now going to work in the dark and coming home in it - boo! Both the cushion and quilt are being delivered this weekend so I snapped these just before they were wrapped up. Next I need to complete a bee block, make a dolls quilt and start on a Christmas table runner. That is before I tackle the monsters that are the two quilts for my sons! Have fun this weekend whatever you are doing.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Halloween and harvest

So I have finally gathered in all the pumpkin and squash from the allotment - don't they look pretty?

I made a table runner for Halloween. I am not a huge fan of orange and black, but adding the purple works really well! We don't go trick or treating but always light a fire, have a lantern and a special meal. (usually a Chinese - not very traditional I know but our favourite!) When I was growing up the lantern was always a swede picked from the field next to the house (my dad was a farmer). Boy oh boy they were hard to carve! I always kept the swede carving tradition going when I left home, but when I got an allotment I did decide that as long as I had grown the pumpkin myself I could use one! So the last couple of years we have had pumpkin lanterns, much to my relief :-)

Finally here is some vintage bunting I was lucky enough to find at a car boot sale in the summer. The youngest it can be is from the 1950's as one of the flags is an Australian flag with a red background instead of the blue we see today. Apparently the red background was used in Australia a fair bit during the first world war but by the 1950's the blue one had become the main flag. Fascinating stuff! I love to think that those little flags might have been used in a village hall to celebrate the end of the war, summer fairs, Christmas, the coronation.... the list goes on! The bunting was damp and covered in mildew when I got it, but after a very gentle hand wash it came up good. I am going to turn a number of the flags (some of them are damaged) into a patchwork cushion for my sister and brother in law. Watch this space!

Saturday, 16 October 2010


Six blocks made for my hive peeps in the 3x6 mini bee:

Two more rows added to my ever growing eye spy quilt:

Yipeeee! I nearly have a quilt top! I am on a bit of a roll at the moment - I hope your sewing is going as well!

Monday, 27 September 2010

Shhhhh - top secret!

No sewing from me alas, but look at the pretties sent to me by my Bee peeps. These six fabulous blocks are to be added to the eye spy quilt I am making for my two year old, courtesy of the 3x6 mini bee:

These beauties are the start of the top secret star wars quilt I am making for my soon to be seven year old and are from the Euro Bee:

I am very excited about making these two quilts. The eye spy quilt isn't so top secret, but the eldest has no idea I am making him a star wars quilt - I will be doing some late night sewing when he is abed to get it completed for Christmas. Oops, sorry - I said the C word :-)

Friday, 17 September 2010

Tag Square Bee

A quick update:

The Bee is now full! Yipeeee!

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Tag Square Bee

Hello everyone! Thanks for your comments about the bee - I have a had a look at what people thought and have come up with a plan. Here we go:

The name of this bee will be 'Tag Square Bee' and the idea is that we 'tag' different people each month and make a block for them so all bee members end up with enough blocks to make a quilt. Over the year we will make 12 blocks (one a month) for each bee member, using our own fabric and block design but their colour choices. So once a month you will recieve a lovley block that someone else has made for you! The square bit comes in because I thought we could base the blocks on squares. There are so many block designs out there that include squares everyone should be able to find a block that they like making and that is suited to their ability level. It also means that the finished quilt will have an overall theme running through it. You could choose to make the same block each month or use different block designs each month to practice trying new techniques - the choice would be yours.

To summarise:

  • the bee will be made up of 13 quilters
  • start date - November 2010 (this will allow us to finish in November 2011 with enough time to make up our quilts for Christmas 2011! December 2010 however would be missed out - so we would make blocks Nov '10, Jan 11', Feb 11' etc)
  • block design - something including squares, size 12 1/2 inches
  • you use your own stash to make a block each month for a different bee member
  • each month someone makes a block for you using their stash
  • choose the same block to make each month (so just varying the colours and fabrics) or try a new block each month
  • you will need to be a member of Flickr as that is where all photos, instructions, addresses and information will be based. (If you are not a member, don't worry - it is very easy to join!)
  • international quilters and beginners welcome
  • you request a colour combination for your blocks but the design chosen is up to the quilter

    If you are interested please send me an email and I will reserve you a place. If we don't have a full bee after a week or so I will then advertise it on Flickr for more members. Phew! I hope I have explained that alright - if you have any questions just ask! Finally here is a gallery I put together of square based blocks for inspiration. I will set up the official Tag Square Bee Flickr group in the next few days.

Friday, 3 September 2010

anyone fancy a quilting bee?

I had a go making some placemats and coaters as a housewarming present and was very pleased with how they came out. Putting the binding on the coasters was extremly fiddly however - I am not sure I will be doing that again!

I also made a little bag as the wrapping for a birthday present. No lining, just a sewn square cut with crimping scissors to stop fraying.
Finally a question - anyone fancy a quilting bee? The two I have been in have pretty much come to an end. I thought I would ask here on the blog first before throwing it open to Flickr. I have a few ideas - do any out of the following list appeal?
  • 2011 quilt - each month we make a block for another member of the bee using the month we are in as inspiration and using our own stash.
  • Build a quilt - using our own stash we make a block for one other member each month following guidelines from them (colour, general style etc)
  • Classic bee - one person posts out fabric each month for everyone else to make blocks.
  • Improvtastic - some sort of bee based on improv blocks.

I think my preference is for something that involves bee members using their own stash and making one block a month for someone else. In traditional bees you might have to wait months before it is your go to have pretty blocks arriving in the post, but this way you would get something arriving each month! Let me know if you are interested. It would be open to people worldwide by the way and beginners, so if you have never done a bee before don't be shy!

Friday, 20 August 2010


I made myself a bag the other day:

To take with me to the festival of quilts and fill with fabric of course!

Also, without wanting to give too much away for those of you yet to visit the F of Q may I warn you that the famous rabbit and bee quilt from last year has a new rival. You will know it when you see it. Oh yes.
I have also had a few lovely breaks away recently to Yorkshire, Devon and Wales so I am terribly behind on blog reading and replying to your comments. Apart from the occasional day trip we are now home for the rest of the summer break giving me the chance for some gardening, sewing and generally messing about with the children. What bliss!

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

at the seaside

Our holiday: surfing, sandcastles, fish and chips, rain, sunshine, family and Woolacombe beech!

Sunday, 25 July 2010

block making

I have been busy making lots of bee blocks this week as you can see from the above photos!
These lovley blocks were sent to me for my eye spy quilt via the 3x6 mini bee:

Here is the quilt so far, with a new row added:

Have a fun week everyone - now I am on holiday I am off to Yorkshire for a few days to see family.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

princess and unicorn

Made for a six year old using a tutorial from Fat Quarterly. Taken before the rain returned - the UK is back to its rainy self now, not that I am complaining too much, my allotment needed a really good water!

Saturday, 10 July 2010

fabric and flowers

Here are my latest purchases - they all arrived in the post together so I had a lovely 10 minutes opening my parcels and stroking my new fabric!

The plains are from a new online shop Simply Solids. Finally the UK has got somewhere to buy Kona solids from! I also splashed out on a swatch card - a bit pricey at £12 but so worth it. It will earn its keep as I will no longer be wasting money buying plain fabrics only to discover the colour is wrong when they arrive.

My patterned fabrics are from Saints and Pinners and Fabric Rehab - two UK stores always guaranteed to have lots of lovely things to choose from. All in all we are starting to do pretty well as far as shops go. Lily's quilts (another UK blogger) has compiled a list of UK online fabric shops on her blog that is well worth a look - she had a few on her list I had not come across before. Her blog is fab as well!

Finally I picked these flowers on my allotment at 6:30 this morning on an adventure and raspberry munching walk with my two boys (they are both early risers). Some sweet peas, a few sprigs of herbs and wild flowers from my asparagus bed (it really needs a good weed if there are flowers in it!!) Enjoy your weekend!

Sunday, 4 July 2010

dogs and robots

Two finishes in one week - wooh hoo! The quilt is full of some of my favourite fabrics and was a joy to make. It is destined to live in the back of the car along with this one for moments of snuggle on long journeys.

I am officially retiring my UFO list for a while as I have done most of the stuff on it and I have another birthday quilt to make by next Sunday. I am in the quilting zone at the moment and have already made a start on the new quilt. Have a great week everyone - my school is taking part in SHINE - basically a week when students are taken off their normal timetable for sports day, trips, concerts, special assemblies, charity fundraising and the like. It should be hectic but fun!

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

pink quilt goodness

Yay! I have finished the quilt for a three year old girl. As time was short I just went for big, bold pieces of as many pink/purple fabrics I could get my hands on. I am very happy with how it has turned out, helped by my new toy, a walking foot. For those of you who might not know, a walking foot helps stop fabric puckering especially when doing lots of straight lines. It is pretty pricy at £25 ish but it is SO worth the money! I wish I had bought one sooner and totally recommend it. I can notice a real difference in my quilting and there are no puckers and snags!
I combined the batting and backing in one and used a fleece quilt from IKEA. At around three quid it was a really cheap way of making the quilt, and is also very nice and snuggly for a little girl who loves all things fleecy. So all in all a big success - I just hope the birthday girl likes it!

Monday, 21 June 2010

quick update

Bee blocks ended up as the focus for this weekends sewing. Two for the Euro Bee and one for my first quilting bee. I took these pictures just as the light was fading hence their poor quality but I was too impatient to leave photos for another day! The dogs and robots quilt is pinned and ready to quilt and the birthday girl quilt ready to start sewing. A productive weekend all round. Happy Solstice to everyone!

Sunday, 13 June 2010

lucky me!

Well I was on a roll when the Sew Mama Sew giveaway was on, because I not only won this giveaway, but some more scrummy yummy fabric. Oh yes - it is indeed Heather Ross from Spoonflower! This was the giveaway from the very lovely tigglegiggles who is also the brains behind the 3x6 mini bee I am loving so much. Thank you so much Tiffany, much happiness and excitement was once more present in my house as I opened up my packet from the US! That fabric is in my 'stroke and admire' pile for a bit.

Onto my list. Well there is not really that much to report as work has had to take priority (boo) but I did manage to get fabric chosen and cut out for the birthday quilt I have to get done by the end of June. It is for a 3 year old girl, so will be pink and pretty but not too babyish. I still want to get the dogs and robots quilt finished soon but I have not had the space or time to get it pinned ready for quilting. This is my main task for the week. Well have a great week everyone and hopefully next time I post I will have a bit more progress to show you!

Sunday, 6 June 2010

first thing crossed off the list!

I am happy to report that a UFO has bitten the dust! This is my Project Linus quilt, made using extra squares sent to me by the lovely ladies of this quilting bee. I got the binding sewn on this morning whilst my DS was at his gym lesson, and even now as I type the quilt is in the washing machine. If the sunshine holds I will be able to get it dry but thunder is threatening so it may have to be the tumble drier. I feel much better now I have got something crossed off the list. Next - the dogs and robots quilt!