Friday, 31 December 2010

Goodbye 2010

My very last bee block for the year was finished hand sewing in front of the tv this afternoon watching Alice in Wonderland.  Happy New Year everyone and don't make resolutions you can't keep - or even ones you don't particularly fancy keeping - I mean really, don't make any at all, they're just annoying.  But do have a happy new year.
Positively my very last bee block for 2010

Fabric diet for the new year

Angela over at Cut To Pieces is going on an 8-week fabric diet which we are all invited to join.  So no fabric purchases for the next 8 weeks.  Each week, you let her know how you're doing and your name goes into a prize draw if you've bought nothing.  So I'm jumping on the bandwagon but I can't see my name going into that prize draw very often.  I mean, what if I need a co-ordinating solid for a quilt I'm making and don't have it in my stash and I text my mate Mandy (owner of the fabulous online fabric shop, Simply Solids) and she brings me a small brown paper bag on the school run and money changes hands.  Is that supposed to count?  Or what if I buy an IKEA sheet for my bed but then realise it is exactly the size and colour I need for a quilt backing and I use it for that instead?  Is that supposed to count?  Or what if I've finished a quilt top and need to buy some binding or backing in order to finish it?  Is that supposed to count?  Well I asked Angela and she said it was and I said that her diet was too difficult and probably wasn't really fair on ordinary people like me who are just trying to get things finished.  So anyway, I'm going to go over there and grab the button but I'm just not making any promises, that's all.  Are you going to join me?  Click on the button and it'll take you there.
fabric diet challenge for Lynne

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

A BOM, a change of direction and a pincushion

The Amitie BOM carries on with two blocks to make each month.  This time I gritted my teeth and mastered hand piecing because some of these blocks are just too fiddly to make on the machine.  I've been using a mixture of the Amitie fabrics and my own and am kind of wondering whether that means I'll end up with something wonderful or just a right old mess.  So far, the six blocks are looking good together I think:
Amitie BOM
My husband bought me a Maison de Garance layer cake for Christmas.  I have to confess I am secretly a sucker for very traditional quilts and am designing a quilt to use for this layer cake with a very traditional look - three different stars all sort of interlinking.  The inspiration for this came from this chubby star quilt.  I've made two blocks so far and they're kind of a fuss and a fiddle to cut and piece but I like the look of the finished blocks - very old fashioned.  Two down, eight to go and lots more fuss and fiddle bits to make to hold the whole thing together and this is going to look perfect in our sitting room.
Maison de Garance three star quilt
And finally my London sister asked for a pincushion for Christmas and because she lives in a house that looks like it comes from a magazine and is full of gorgeous items beautifully placed around about the place, I couldn't make her a pincushion out of just any old fabric - of course it had to be a Tufted Tweets Chesterfield sofa pincushion:
Xmas present for my sister
Well I will wish you all a happy new year because I probably won't have anything to blog about between now and then - unless I show you all the goodies I was given for Christmas, which I might just come back and do - if I tell you that my husband took the kids to my lovely LQS, Quintessential in Cromford, Derbyshire,  and my Mum and sister shopped at my other favourite fabric shop, Simply Solids, you can gather that I had a good stash of Christmas presents this year.

Friday, 24 December 2010

What was I thinking ... and the winner is ... and Happy Christmas everyone

What kind of a foolish fool was I?  I so didn't want someone to just chuck the gorgeous Sherbet Pips scraps into their scrap bin that I made you all tell me what you would do with them.  Which is fine but, as if I've got nothing better to do on Christmas Eve, I am sitting here, reading and re-reading all the wonderful ideas and trying to choose a favourite and I have too many favourites so this was not a good plan.  In future, let Mr Random Number Generator do the hard work.

But one idea did strike me as particularly clever and it's an idea I haven't seen done before and I always love seeing new ideas.  And not only that, but the winner provided a second idea which did make me do a big snorty laugh out loud when I read it.  And so the winner of my Christmas Eve smallest giveaway ever is the person who said:

Let's see....

Choice A: take a 5" square and raw appliqué it to a white background. Then use the triangles and raw appliqué those around the square, forming a wonky star. After a few of those, use the rectangular strips as raw appliqué sashing. Essentially, you are making a wonky star without wasting any of the fabric in a seam!

Choice B: Cover all the scraps in modge podge and stick them to my naked body then parade around work as if i'm not bothered by the stares of confounded coworkers or the drooling of quilty coworkers following close behind.

I know, tough decision. I'll have to make a pros/cons list and see how it all pans out.

So, if that's you, email me with your postal address and these precious little scraps will be winging their way to you.

I'm off to chop up veg, boil ham, wrap the last few presents and try to fathom whether the turkey is going to defrost in time.  The kids have just very sweetly volunteered to put the chocolate decorations on the tree - funny that they weren't interested in putting on the other decorations.  We're going to go out for a walk in the snow this afternoon and pretend we're in a Christmas film.  Ding dong merrily on high to all of you.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

A christmas present for you - the smallest giveaway EVER

Yes, today I have decided to give a tiny little Christmas present to one of my readers.  What is the present?  It's the teeniest little pile of teeny little scraps of fabric.  But not just any old fabric.  It is the fabric we are all waiting for with baited breath.  Coming out in spring, designed by a British fabric designer (the hugely talented Aneela Hoey), Sherbet Pips is the one we are all desperate to get our hands on.  So I thought I would share with you the tiny little pile of tiny scraps which I have, as a Christmas present to one lucky blog reader.  Here is the pile:
Xmas Giveaway
A few charm squares, some one inch wide strips and a pile of triangles.  So what do you have to do to have a chance of getting this teeny little sherbet pips stash in your letter box?  Simple, just let me know what you would do with them.  You don't have to follow me, you don't have to blog or tweet this - just let me know what you would do with them.  

BUT, and here's the catch, I am going to CHOOSE the winner - no Mr Random Number generator on this one.  I don't want this little goldmine to go to someone who's just going to throw these into their scrap bin.  I want them to go to someone who will gasp in delight when they open the envelope and set to work making something fabulous.  

So you have to tell me exactly what you are going to make - not just "a quilt" or "a cushion" or "a table runner" - NO.  For example, you might say - "I am going to make a table runner for my Mum for her birthday in January - it's going to be white with a run of charm squares down the middle, framed by a half inch pieced border and with geese flying around the outside".  You have to be that specific to be in with a chance of winning.  Why am I being so difficult?  I don't know but I think someone out there is going to come up with an idea that would be just perfect for this little pile of beauties.  And I will pick a winner on Xmas Eve so you have just today and tomorrow to come up with an idea that'll win you this little goldmine.  

Good Luck and happy Christmas.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Tom's quilt finished

I had a request to get this quilt finished before Christmas so got my skates on and have got it done:
Tom's quilt finished
Tom wanted a very warm and soft quilt so it's backed with a fleece and, instead of batting, there is a 10 tog quilt in there which meant that the only quilting I could do was machine tying at the corners of the squares.
Tom's quilt finished

Friday, 17 December 2010

Quilt retreat anyone?

OK so I am organising a quilt retreat next year, some time in March.  There will be room for eight people although Mandy and I will take up two of those places.  It will be in Derbyshire, slap bang in the middle of the UK and will start Friday lunchtime and finish Sunday lunchtime.  I will probably charge around £50-£100 to cover costs but it won't be a gala dinner kind of affair - more like we all muck in and throw together some kind of supermarket instant curry selection, soup and bread and cheese for lunch, that kind of thing.

As I can only take 6 guests on this retreat I will probably pick people on the basis of who Mandy and I have most got to know out there in blogland and flickrland.  But I just wanted to see who might be interested and this is probably the quickest and easiest way to find out rather than individually flickrmailing people.

Once we get a group of 8 definites, I'll set up a flickr group and we can organise it through that.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

A quilt for a teenaged boy

Mmm.  I've made quilts for three of my kids but, when I tried to make one for my 13 year old son, it all went horribly wrong and ended up looking boring and blah and I abandoned it.  So we tried again.  This time, we chose a couple of quilts he thought were OK, a circles quilt and a quilt with a piano border.  He chose the colours - black, grey, red and white.  I chose the Tufted Tweets (not that I'd been looking for an excuse to make something with them...) and put them with lots of lovely Kona solids (from Simply Solids of course, the UK's premier online solids shop run by my real life friend Mandy).
Tom's quilt topAnd here the quilt top is hanging out in the garden, hovering over 15" of snow.  We are snowbound.  Completely totally and utterly snowbound.  I've never been snowbound before and I don't know whether to love the fact that we don't have to go anywhere or to just sit here being anxious in case things like oil, logs, food etc run out.  So if you never hear from me again ...