Thursday, 16 October 2014

Scrap loving

If you've been a long time reader of tis blog you may have picked up how much I love using scraps.

Well I'm not the only one and my friends Leanne and Nicky have created a new linky party to share the love. Somehow with the wonders of technology they have worked out how to have the same linky party from two separate blogs but go and check them both out.

I've entered my all time favourite scrappy quilt, called appropriated enough Scraptastic and I blogged about it a long time ago.


Thursday, 9 October 2014

Finish a long Qtr 4

It's time to declare my aims for the rest of the year. I have no idea if I will get anything much finish or just follow the example of the last quarter where I just started lots of new things. First, all I need to finish on Migraine is the binding.
The same for my kinky bee quilt, it also only needs a binding.
This charity quilt needs some work with unpicking some quilting and then binding.
The must do though is this mini quilt for the Instagram mini swap as the deadline is December.
And another must do - because it's been a Wip for over two years and I want to give it to my Mum for her birthday in a few weeks is this shawl.
I'm going to leave it at that. Hopefully I will achieve more but I'm not going to pressure myself.
For lots of other targets, check out Katy's blog.    

Monday, 6 October 2014

Finish a long Q3 progress

Well I didn't do very well at my list.

In then end I managed to complete only a few things on my list.

First was my Neon mini which only need a hanging sleeve for Festival of Quilts.

Next was Ice Cream Parlour which also needed binding for FoQ.

I did finish some boxy pouches as well for FQR but forgot to take a pic.

I seem to have been starting all sorts of different things rather than finishing anything the last few months.

Ah well, you can see more productive people over at Katy's blog

Thursday, 2 October 2014


No! I'm not being rude, this post is all about balls.

Nice balls! Pretty balls! Decorative balls! Balls that use up scrap fabric.

For ages I've been reading up on Temari and Kimekomi and over the last few months I've given them a go.

Kimekomi is decorating a balls with fabric, you draw a design onto a styrofoam ball, cut the lines and prod the fabric into the ball. I found great tutorials here.

Temari is a bit more complicated, but it is a great way to use up all those various threads hanging around. Again, I've been using a styrofoam ball, but you can build your ball up from any old fabric or wadding as well.

There are lots of instructions and tutorials for different designs here. I've only touched ideas from the beginners category but they are very effective.

And here are all my balls together, aren't they pretty?


Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Bit of this, bit of that

For some reason I haven't been able to focus on one thing at a time lately. I've been doing a bit of this, a bit of that. Very little is actually getting finished.

I completed the stitching on this needlepoint, but it needs to be finished into a cushion.


I started both of these tops at the Fat Quarterly Retreat and finished them off, but haven't started quilting them yet.


I also made this bonus top from scraps.


And this one from some candy.

I did turn some lovely hand printed scraps Karen gave me into this mini and pencil case.


I also started playing with balls! Insert any cheap joke of your choosing here.

Temari and Kimekomi balls using syrofoam shapes. These are fun and a relatively quick finish.


Until I get my focus back, I'm going to keep faffing around with whatever takes my fancy.


Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Giveaway winner

Mr random number generator has spoken


And the winner made me laugh out loud with joy at being able to make something for my long time blogging buddy Shay who was one of my first blogging friends and she probably is still the nuttiest out there.

Thanks all for entering.


Thursday, 14 August 2014

Questions about process

My last post I promise because of the weekend at festival of quilts.

The oddest thing I found being in our display booth was hearing people discussing my quilt. It felt like I was eavesdropping on private conversations but because I made it I couldn't help myself.

However I had some brilliantly fun and engaging conversations over it as well and it brought up a lot for me about the process I use to make a quilt.

The short response is I don't have one. But that not completely true. However I don't plan in advance at all.

This quilt has been a long time in the making. Back in the 90's when I first got interested in quilting (even though I didn't try it for another decade) one of the first books I bought was Jinny Beyers Colour Confidence for Quilters.

This is where I first discovered tumbling blocks and thought they were fantastic. They appealed to the part of my brain that loved doing technical drawings at school with perspective. I never forgot that. When I did start quilting I realised that all those Y seams would be a nightmare.

Last year I had a tidy up of my stash and found a kona roll up that I had forgotten I had bought from Simply Solids years ago. It called to me and for no particular reason I thought I would use 3 strips to make some tumbling blocks which I did.

Somehow at this stage in my quilting career it wasn't as scary as I had thought it would be. I machine stitched them and didn't mark dots or any of the other things I had read about but I managed to judge the spot correctly to stop and start. I was so happy with them I did a few more.

I then went to my newly installed design wall and laid them out. I knew then I was going to keep going until I finished the whole roll. So I did.

Then I had to decide how to sew them together and I fumbled my way through that by doing them in sections. When I had them all done I thought about leaving the edges zigzag, trim the blocks or insert triangles. I'm not a fan of zigzag edges, couldn't stand the thought of cutting the blocks I had pieced so inserts were the only option.

I found a suitable solid in my stash and finally I had a top I loved.

It stayed like this for about 8 months and then finally I had time to quilt it. I purchased a frame last year and felt I had got used to it enough to start playing with this top.

I knew I wanted to go a bit mad on it and do lots of free form feathers. I had it loaded up for about a week during half term and I just had fun. I did all sorts of feathers and now and again tried something else.

No plans to it at all. It was like doodling over an enormous big sheet of paper. And when it was done and I unrolled it off the frame to see it all in one go I was delighted. The fun and joy I had in making it from that first tumbling block was there to see. I know there are flaws but I don't care. I see them and smile to myself and remember how relaxed I felt making it.

And that maybe is the biggest lesson for me. I made it purely and totally for myself just because I could. I didn't ever anticipate it would be shown, never mind at the festival of quilts. It had no purpose, it didn't have to be something that met a set of criteria or be technically proficient enough to be judged. I don't think I can work like that because it would stress me out entirely and my anxiety would be too much.

I work organically and see what happens. I know that is terrifying for some people, I know I met them this weekend. I'm not saying my way is better, but it is the way that works for me.

And in this case, it didn't turn out too badly did it?

By the way, I use a Juki TL-98 P on the frame. It's got a bigger harp which give me more room. I could have done this without a frame, but I loath basting which was the main motivator for me buying it.