Friday, 30 April 2010

Another block for "Not Quite Dear Jane" and my blogaversary

I fussed and fiddled and swore for ages this morning making this block. I tried out Flying Geese (NEVER AGAIN) at the suggestion of those crazy folks at Fat Quarterly who want to torture us with fiddly, difficult, fiddly things. Or maybe I'm just not good enough at piecing yet. They probably threw their Flying Geese quilts together in an afternoon. So be it. It looks cute now and will go into my Not Quite Dear Jane quilt (see post below for more explanation of where I'm daring to go with this one) and has gone onto FQ's Flickr page sitting next to someone else's really beautiful and competent Flying Geese block making mine look like something the children drew.
And tomorrow it's my happy one month blogaversary. Sorry my sponsors didn't come through with all the layer cakes and fat quarter bundles and yards of fabulous fabric you normally get on these occasions. Maybe next year. You may note that my one month blogaversary falls on 1 May which means I accidentally made my annual blogaversary on 1 April. More fool me.

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Standing on the dining room table taking a photo... not a good idea. I haven't really found the best quilt photo taking spot yet. I wish I had lakes and castles in my back garden like some bloggers - I have a lot of stinging nettles, some cow parsley, a trampoline, some cow sheds in the far distant background. No castles. No lakes. A smelly pond isn't the same. Or a greenhouse with panels missing. Or a polytunnel with green slime on and dock leaves growing inside to gigantic proportions.
So I put the blocks on the dining room table, stood on it and took this photo of all my lovely, lovely blocks looking like a right old pig's ear in this photo. But just you wait. In a week or two or ten, I have a feeling this is going to be a really fantabulous quilt. I'm going to call it something along the lines of "Not quite Dear Jane" because it's going to be constructed sort of like Dear Jane and Dear Hannah - lots of different blocks in one colour against a neutral background, some applique (when I've got some more bondaweb - those trees took my whole lot) - but with modern fabrics, modern blocks and none of that very difficult fiddling around with very small pieces which I tried once and never again because it was too difficult.

Julia, this will all be Greek to you. Bless.

44th street fabric giveaway

I hate to blog about a giveaway because it reduces my chances of winning so, through gritted teeth, I am blogging about this giveaway of fabric you probably won't like so don't go to 44th street and don't enter the giveaway. Below is a picture of some of the fabric being given away and, on the button on the right, is some more of the fabric being given away. You see? You don't like it. It's not your thing. Don't enter. Don't click on the 44th street fabric giveaway button I made over on the right and don't click HERE.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Mmm Change of Heart

I thought I had my blocks all thought out and now I've had a change of heart. Instead of mixing the colours in the blocks, I'm thinking I'll just mix with white.

Three tree panels

Here are the three tree panels sitting in the bench in the courtyard, about to be hung in the kitchen corridor. I'd be happy to have my whole house decorated with Authentic. I just love it.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

And now I've got three more blocks

I'm on a roll.

OK, I've cut into it

Yes, I've made the first very brave cut into the Michael Miller citron grey blacks I bought last week. I've made one block. It looks good but what next?!

Monday, 26 April 2010

Panel no. 1

I've started on the three charity shop panels which were garish red and pink (see previous post) and are now slowly changing into moda sweetwater authentic trees, inspired by this quilt. One down, two to go. Amy was pretty disappointed that I had spoiled the lovely bright panels which she had hoped could go up on the wall in her room (in their pink and red glory rather than with the boring trees on).

Friday, 23 April 2010

Charity shopping

I do love a charity shop and yesterday, as I had an hour to kill in Uttoxeter (quite a difficult thing to do), my only option was to browse the charity shops in search of a big bag of miraculous quilting scraps from an American lady who lived in Uttoxeter, quilted all her life and, when she died, her kids gave her stash to a charity shop who had it on sale for just a fiver. And I could barely lift the bag. OK, I'm in my fantasy parallel universe now.

All I found were these three garish panels which I am going to use to make three quilted panels - take off the red and pink and put something quilty on instead. I am thinking of making something along the lines of these pictures here, here and here. The finished quilt (made by Stephanie, whose quilts are beautiful) is here and is on my list of quilts I want to make, maybe for one of my sisters if they ask nicely.


Oops. I accidentally popped into Quiltessential in Cromford Mill yesterday, accidentally spotted the Michael Miller giraffe fabric above then accidentally bought some fat quarters to go with it. But what shall I do with them? Hexagons? Tula Pink's fabulous Dresden plates? Film in the Fridge's Paint by Numbers Birds quilt or her Postcards quilt? Oh Frannson's quilt-a-long? Should I wait until next week and see whether there is some inspiration in Fat Quarterly? In the meantime, please give me any ideas you have. Julia, this might be difficult for you. Bless.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Eve's quilt now also finished

Eve's quilt is finished and here it is hanging on the washing line. I did finish it over the weekend but we have guests staying at the moment and I feel silly pegging it out on the line and taking photos of it. I think they might think I'm a bit odd.

This is the lovely IKEA fleecy backing which makes the whole thing very soft and cosy. Eve is at school so I don't yet have a photo of her standing next to it proudly or sitting on it on a garden bench but will resolve that tonight and post tomorrow (or whenever my guests are next not looking).
And here is the quilt having a little rest from all its modelling work and relaxing on the fence. Can you see my shadow in the picture? Look how I hold up my little finger. That shows I'm posh.
I have noticed that it is de rigueur for quilt blogs to have photos of our quilts in different places, doing different things; relaxing in the park, climbing a tree etc so that is something I think I need to start getting into. For starters, here is Eve's quilt warming up on the Aga after a tough photo shoot in the garden, having a little lie down on the sofa to recuperate, having a quick game of Mario Quilt Brothers on the PS3 and then playing on the skateboard in the sitting room which is actually not allowed in our house.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Hurray, Amy's quilt is finished

Finally I've finished quilting this one. It's a very thick, cosy quilt with a fleece backing because we had a very cold winter and I'm still reeling from the shock.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

My quilts

Here is a picture of a quilt I made in March hanging attractively from my garden railings. It was made using Natalia Bonner's tutorial "I'm Blushing" from the Moda Bake Shop and was shown on her blog a few weeks ago.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Quilting tip no. 2

Before you start quilting, you will probably have no concept of how much time you will have to spend ironing. If you can't afford a professional maid to do this for you, consider employing cheap child labour.

Quilts pinned but already in use

Eve and Amy's quilts are full of safety pins but have already been dragged onto the sofa...

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Wii dance game a big Easter holiday hit

Dancing to "The Eye of the Tiger"

Amy's quilt top finished and quilting gallery competition news

Hurray, I have now finished Amy's quilt top and it is ready to be quilted. Here is a photo of it sunbathing in the garden.

And in more news, I came fourth in the quilting gallery Easter quilt competition. A big thank you to Julia's extended worldwide friends for voting for me - if only we had a few more IP addresses between us I might have just nailed it.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Sunday evening

Quilting tip 1

In this blog, I am going to take the time occasionally to give all (both) my readers some useful quilting tips to make your quilting (Mandy, not Julia) easier and more enjoyable. And here is tip no. 1: match your pinheads to the colours of the fabric of your pin cushion so it looks nice.
In future bulletins we'll be tackling some toughies (for Mandy) like stippling and matching the points on your lone stars. We also be looking at simpler things (for Julia) like scissor safety whilst running and how to thread a needle when you're over 40 and your eyesight's going.

Ninja Pig

Jack stole a little piece of the black fabric used to make his quilt's binding.

Eve's quilt

Well Eve's quilt is now well under way. It was a right old mess yesterday but now it's all come together and the top is finished. Yay. I'm currently in third place in the quilting gallery competition so I'm not going to win but I'm still pretty happy. I think Julia's friends did most of the work in getting me in that position!

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Skull and crossbones

I'm making one quilt for each of my kids. Yesterday I finished Jack's. It is a massive skull and crossbones with skull and crossbones fabric on the back.

Friday, 2 April 2010

Hi to Mandy

I want to start this blog with a tribute to my quilting friend Mandy who lives in the same teensy Peak District village as me. Mandy got me re-addicted to the quilting bug after about dropping it for 12 years while my four children were little. Her quilts got me re-started quilting, her blog gave me the idea of having my own quilting blog, we discuss quilts and fabrics in the school playground at pick up time, we go fabric shopping together and we vow to tell each other if either of us ever goes too far and starts wearing patchwork clothes or having an excess of patchwork accessories around the house.

This is a gorgeous Liberty special edition fat quarter she brought me back from her visit to the V&A quilts exhibition. And here is a link to her blog: madewithlovebymandy which I've also added a link to on the right side of the blog. All by myself.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Post no. 1 EVER

This is scary. My first ever blog post on my new quilt blog. I'm writing and no-one's reading. Well, I'll pretend that they are and maybe one day someone will read the blog and I won't feel quite so mad. So, to everyone out there who's not reading this...wish me luck over the weekend, I've entered the Easter themed quilt contest at quilting gallery. So, Mandy, Tania, Julia, Clarem, please click on the link and vote for me some time over the weekend!

I don't know if my quilt will even be considered because (i) it's not even a quilt yet - only a quilt top; and (ii) it's only vaguely Easter themed - well it's more spring themed really but those little birds are kind of maybe a little bit like Easter chicks...sort of...ish...The winner wins a moda jelly roll of their choice from the fabulous Fat Quarter Shop. Maybe if I'm lucky I'll be the only entrant!