Thursday, 19 January 2012

How Facebook can be a lifesaver

Yesterday evening something very distressing happened which has had me thinking all morning.

On facebook, one of my friends (a guy I used to work with years ago) posted a couple of suicidal status updates.

Thankfully, a couple of other people spotted them very quickly and got him help.

I realised afterwards I just didn't have a clue what to do in that situation. One of the guys rang through to the police straight away. One way or another, they are able to find someone, even if you don't know where they live.

Another thing I found this morning is a form on facebook to report someone who is posting suicidal content. They will work with the police to find out the home address of the poster.

This link has details of support hotlines

The important thing is to do something and not wait for someone else to do it, it may be too late.

And remember, this can happen to anyone. The guy who I know is a big strapping man who works in transport. But life appears to have got too much for him to deal with at the moment. Hopefully the help he is now getting will give him the support he needs.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

How wrong can you be!

Remember a while ago I mentioned that I didn't think quilt guilds would be the thing for me? Well I take it all back!

Today was the first meeting of the newly formed London Modern Quilt Guild - new button over there on the right of this blog and below.
London Modern Quilt Guild
We all have little jobs and I am the welcome committee so if anyone wants to join, follow the link to our new blog and come and play. We don't bite, honestly!

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Oops I did it again!

Another 15 metres........

Friday, 13 January 2012

First finish of the year


I got something finished. And not just a little something, but the mystery quilt that the lovely Sheila at organised what feels like ages ago.

Here it is on all its glory laid out on the double bed. I sort of fell out with it half way through quilting when I decided I had over complicated the quilting and it wasn't going to be very visible. That meant I knew I was going to spend ages more quilting it for no reason. I also managed to piece the blocks together in the wrong order, but I am not bothered about that.

Now it is done though, I am pleased with the quilting and when the light is right you can still see all the background quilting.

I quilted the centre in two blocks, if you look closely you can just see the sashing strip next to the vertical jaggedy strip. Then the borders were all quilted and added on afterwards (see previous post for details).

I feel now that I can tackle any type of star as this covered so many. Nothing to be scared of there.

It even has a name which is rare for my quilts, Oriental Stars. Not very original, it has lots of stars, using oriental fabrics. Thats the best I can do!

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Adding quilted borders

Because the lovely Lane asked, I'm posting pictures on how I am adding the quilted borders to the already quilted central part of the quilt.

Sorry if the pictures aren't great, it would have been clearer if I was using different coloured fabric in parts.

First of all, I take one of the two pieces I am joining and to the top of it I add a strip (gold fabric) right sides together that is an inch wide using an 1/4 inch seam. This strip will be part of the quilt top so you can either have it a contrasting fabric or one that blends.

At the same time as I sew this strip down the edge I sew another strip to the back. This one (brown fabric) is 1.5 inches wide and ironed wrong sides together along the length. A bit like binding. Sew with the raw edges of the strip along the edge of the quilted piece.

Once both strips are attached to the piece I pin the second quilted piece (the border) to the first part. I am only going to sew the border to the top one inch golden strip. I find it works best to have the piece with the strips attached on top so I can ensure that the back strip doesn't get caught up when sewing.

I stitch down this length again using a 1/4 inch seam which joins the two quilted pieces together.

When it is finished and you unfold it the front looks like this. The red fabric is the border that has just been added.

Now for the last bit on the back. Now you could be really good and hand sew this like you could for binding but I don't believe in that, far too much work! I've only done this a couple of times and am still experimenting with different methods but this time I decided to use a zigzag stitch. Because of the fold on the back strip you  just sew down the edge.

Now obviously you may not like to see this stitching from the front but I don't mind. I'm treating it like decoration.

And because I am thinking of it as decoration, I wanted both sides of the strip with the zigzag and sew another line.

This picture shows where three quilted pieces are meeting.

From the front the red is the border just added. There was another border already added which is where the purple fabric starts. I am using different fabrics in my borders so the gold joining strip is visible, but if you were using all the same borders and the same for the joining strip it would be fairly hard to see.

So much for the diet!

Well, fabric diet anyway. I was determined to be good this year and not buy much, but I went to John Lewis at Bluewater today and they had Joel Dewberry at £5.10 and Amy Butler at £5.35 per metre! So I indulged a bit!

16 metres in total for around £85. Not bad at all. I might have to go back tomorrow!

But will I ever use it, well, I'm please to report I've got a bit of my sewing mojo back and have been working on the mystery quilt. I have quilted this in pieces, and here are the borders! Its so easy to manage these long strips. All I have left to do is attached them to the main body and do the binding! Progress at last!

Sunday, 8 January 2012

And we have a winner

As promised and nearly forgotten about because the new Sherlock episode is on I have done the draw for my giveaway.

I know other people do very imaginative ways of drawing the winner, but like I said Sherlock is on so I went for something quick.

Now I never believed that the first commentator ever wins in draws, but it did happen here I promise you. who said "Thanks for the giveaway. I like coral, turquoise/green and blue and I still love red and aqua together too."

Colours I think I can work with. Once it is finished (please don't let me loose my quilting mojo again like I did before Christmas) I will share it with you all.
And to round things off nicely, Blogger is telling me that this is my 200th post! I can't believe I've waffled on that much over the last two years, although I think it is slightly lying as I think it is counting a draft post. Nevermind.

Thanks to everyone who entered, but there can only be one winner I'm afraid. Sorry!
Back to Sherlock........

Friday, 6 January 2012

Favourite things Friday

So its the first friday of the new year and once again it's time to join in with Shay over at where you will find lots of other great favs.

This week, I'm picking a website.

One of my decisions towards the end of last year was to work on my social life, not dating as I can't be bothered with that, but friendships. Over the years I always found work was the best way to make friends, but for the last 7 years I've been doing short term contract work all around the country. I have met lots of wonderful people but on the whole once I leave the job its hard to keep in touch and I have hardly ever seen them afterwards.

In the meantime, my old friends from London have moved away, settled down, had kids, drifted away due to my never being home so I have become a lot less sociable.Now I'm not working I have free time, but it doesn't always fit with other peoples schedules.

So I decided it was time to meet new people and am using this website to do it. I've joined a few groups, but at the moment have only gone to a few meetups with a Knitting and Craft group. I'm really enjoying it. We meet in a coffee bar or similar venue, have a natter and do craft in public! Each time there have been different people, of all ages and nationalities. There was even a young lad yesterday who came along to learn to knit. Last night I was talking to a woman and we realised I used to work with her uncle 20 years ago! What a small world.

The groups are themed, either by age, interest, or area so whatever you are interested in I am sure you could find some other people who want to meet about it (I don't mean anything naughty but they are probably there if you look).

Its even free to be a member, though I think the people who organise the groups pay something.

I'm just dipping my toe into it and know I will only get out what I put in, but so far I'm impressed and what a great resource.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Finish a long

I'm joining in with Rhonda over at Quilter in the Gap with the finish a long she is hosting this year.

2012 Finish-A-Long

So for the first quarter of the year, first and foremost, I want to finish off the mystery quilt that Sheila hosted. This has been nearly done for a long time but never quite completed.

I'm not sure if finishing things you haven't started yet is allowed, but I am currently running a mystery giveaway and I want to be sure to have that finished and posted.

From my UFOs pile I want to get this top basted and quilted. This was how I used my scrap triangles up last year and has been waiting for over 6 months.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Mystery Giveaway

Well, its two years today since I started this blog and I have to admit I had strong doubts about whether I would keep it up. I never imagined it would become such a big part of my life and chatting to fellow bloggers all around the world would be so much fun.

I've even signed up to the Fat Quarterly retreat later in the year and will get to meet some of you in real life.

You all have made me laugh and cry (usually from laughing too much), have been comfort when things are tough and inspired me to keep stretching myself with quilting. There are so many wonderful quilts and ideas I've seen that fill the wish list in my head.

I also love how generous the quilt blogging community is. Not just with giveaways but tutorials and patterns, such amazing resources.

But, this will be my first giveaway and I'm not really going to tell you what you will get! I have a plan to make something, but it might all go horribly wrong and then I will have to come up with something else. Either way, the winner will have to wait a while until I get it finished, but I will keep you informed so never fear.

To enter, there are no hoops to jump through, no bells and whistles. All I ask is you leave a comment and give me a combination of two or three or four colours that you are interested in at the moment. That's it.

The giveaway will use (hopefully) the colours the winner has mentioned which is why I can't start it beforehand.

I will leave it a week before I draw the winner, so this will close end of play Sunday the 8th Jan. and of course international entries are welcome.

Thanks for sticking with me all this time x