Friday, 31 May 2013

A Friday Sprout Finish

I have been working hard to get my Bee a Brit Stingy quilt top together. I found the perfect print for the background that isn’t a ‘flat’ colour but adds texture without taking over from the LV background around the sprouts. I managed to get most of the quilt top sewn together yesterday, but had to go back to my LQS today, to buy another piece of the background fabric to sash across the top and bottom. I really wanted the quilt to have ‘movement’ so I have off set each row. 
Rainbow sprouts

Rainbow sprouts
It was a really difficult quilt to photograph as it was so large. In the end, I managed to lay it outside on the grass in an effort to get all of the quilt into the photo.

Rainbow sprouts
It measures a whopping 83” x 70”. I just love this quilt and it has turned out far better than I had originally thought when I chose this pattern for my worker bees to do. The next job to tackle is piecing a back together that incorporates all the signature sprouts.
Di x

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

A Happy Day

Today has been a happy day. I have pulled out my beautiful bee blocks that the Bee a Brit Stingy have made for me and I have started to plan the layout of my bee quilt.

I love all the colours that the sprout blocks are made in. I appreciate the time that have gone into making them but above all, I cherish the friendships that I have made by being in this bee.
Sorting the sprouts into colours
This is the layout that I have eventually gone for.

There are a few gaps that I need to fill, so I have started to make a few extra sprouts to complete the quilt top.

I also received this pile of lovely fabric from Lynz today. 
hipBee challenge from Lynz
Lynz is Queen bee in the hipBees this month. Note that the handmade card is colour co-ordinated with the fabric and attached to the card is a sweet little bee pin that Lynz has made. Thank you Lynz for the pin and I will try my best to make a good block for you!

Di x

Monday, 27 May 2013

The Long Weekend

It has been a glorious long weekend here. The sun has shone and it has been warmer than of late. 
On Saturday I joined the Brit Bee for their get together. It was a brilliant day, full of laughter, fun and stitchy creations being shown off. I am sure that you have read reports here and here and here, so I won’t bore you with another report.
Some Brit Bees
Today I worked on my mini weekender bag. It was a bit of a struggle to get it together but finally it is finished. It isn’t perfect, but it is ‘good enough’. 
A mini Weekender bag
Mini Weekender bag
A mini weekender finished on a long weekend! My next project is to piece my Bee a Brit Stingy blocks together.
Di x

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Weekender progress

Over last weekend I started making the panels for a mini Weekender Bag, using a scaled down Amy Butler pattern.

I bravely/foolishly decided that the QAYG method was going to take too long and so I decided to steel my nerves and do free motion quilting on each panel.
The results of my decision are below.

Mini weekender quilting progress
The stitching is all over the place. Some stitches are too small, some too big and a very few are just fine.  I started quilting on the part of the main panel that would be covered by the main pocket. It was a very wise decision as despite my unpicking that part of the panel is not very good. I am really enjoying having a go at the FMQ but I also know that I have a lot to practice and learn. 

I have run out of piping cord and herringbone tape so this project has come to a bit of a halt until I get new supplies. 

Yesterday I made a zippy pouch for a friend whose birthday it is today. We are going out to be 'ladies who lunch' tomorrow so I will give it to her then. She likes Liberty and especially the colour blue. I like Liberty and linen so I combined the two to make this pouch.
Liberty pouch
Emboldened by my recent FM writing I added her name on the back and did a little hand stitching with a perle embroidery cotton to emphase the dresden plate on the front and the little square on the reverse side. 
Liberty and linen pouch

Well, that is my sewing exploits up to date.
Di x

Friday, 17 May 2013

Friday sewing

Today I made two Pineapple blocks for Catherine in the Bee a Brit Stingy. These blocks are really fun to make and go together really quickly.
Pineapple Block 1

Pineapple block 2

They would be a brilliant block to use if you wanted to make a cushion. These are now in the post so that is my Bee blocks finished for May. In addition you can also make 3" (approx) HST blocks with what is cut off when making the corners - bonus!

Added HST blocks
My main focus today has been to start making a 3/4 size weekender bag. This is intended as a present, so I need to get it started if it is going to be finished in time. My plan is to use panels of fabric and then FM quilt them, rather than doing a QAYG straight line method. My reasoning is that it might be quicker (if I don't unpick too much) and I keep putting off doing any FMQ and I have to start at some point. Each project seems too precious to muck up but I do have to bite the bullet at some point so today was the day!
The fabric that I have bought for this project are below.
Fabric choices for a 3/4 sized weekender bag
I will do a little FMQ practice before I reveal how I get on. I would like to progress this project along this weekend but it is looking as if sewing time will be short. I will be back on Monday to show you what I have accomplished.

Have a good weekend.
Di x

Thursday, 16 May 2013

A day sewing

I haven’t blogged for a week and that feels very strange. Last week, I took my sewing machine and all my sewing equipment to my parents and then didn’t even unpack them. I have now caught up on life so today was a sewing day. I have a few commitments that are outstanding. I still have Catherine’s bee blocks to do for the Bee a Brit Stingy but I am struggling to find the right neutral fabric so I put this one to one side. I will have a hunt tonight for the right fabric!

 I did, however, whip up a couple of 16 patch blocks for Bee Blessed. These are super easy and are done in no time at all. 
Bee Blessed blocks
The next couple of sewing ‘to do’ items are for the Fat Quarterly Retreat. I have put my name in the ring for both the sample swap and the name badge swap. I have decided what to make for the sample swap and I know that I just need time to get down to the cutting out, so I will do that some evening when the light isn’t good enough to sew by. 

So today’s challenge was making a badge for my partner in the name badge swap. It was actually quite easy to decide what to do, as my partner was very specific (in a good way), so I decided to do a little free motion sketching as well as putting my partner’s name and blog name onto the badge. I also made a lanyard as the badge is too big to be put on a women’s chest! The hardest part of the whole make was inserting the grommet to hang the badge by. I haven't done it very well, but fortunately my son came home from school just at the right time to rescue me from making a complete mess of it.
FQR name badge for my secret partner
I am really pleased with how it has turned out and feel relieved to be able to tick it off my list. I can’t show you the front of the badge as it is a secret swap and I cannot give the game away quite yet. I have taken a photo of the front so it can be revealed when my partner receives it. The posting window is not for a while yet.

All in all, it was good to be back at the sewing machine again.

Di x

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

May Bank Holiday sewing

I managed to do a few bee blocks yesterday, in between ferrying boys around and lazing in the garden enjoying the sunshine. I am going to see my parents this week so I wanted to get a couple ticked off my list before I headed north.

First up, was finishing the Bee Blessed blocks from last month. They were so nearly finished but just needed putting together.

Bee Blessed blocks
The second block was for Sarah in the hipBees. Sarah sent us some lovely cream and red fabric and asked us to make a block that we liked. I knew immediately what block I wanted to do however other blocks started to appear and I lost my confidence. I can't compete with 64 HSTs or 3D blocks! I rethought my choice and then remembered the hash I had made of last month's block (you don't think I am going to give you a link back to that disaster do you?), so I did a 360 degree turn and went with my original idea. 
Friendship star
This block may be simple, but it represents the friendship that has developed between Sarah and myself. I value her friendship, her wise advice, and although she looks like butter wouldn't melt in her mouth, she had a sharp and witty sense of humour.I love spending time with her. 

Enjoy the sunshine today whilst it lasts.
Di x

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Away overnight

My hubby and I had a lovely time away this past week. The sun shone and we had picnics in forest glades and on the beach. It was so nice to be a couple again with no family responsibilities.

Sun and the sound of the sea

Whilst we were away I spotted this portable writing case in the window of a shop. I had a look at it and immediately thought that it would make a good case to tote around my sewing kit. My hubby thought I was mad and the price was rather high! My hubby being the kind of man that he is, later said ' go on then' and woo hoo, I parked him in a coffee shop with a coffee and headed back to the shop. I asked for the 'best price' and got it for a little less. My hubby cannot understand what I see in it but he loves me and is pleased that I am pleased with it!

Writing case
I just like how this case has never been used (the pencil has never been sharpened nor the keys removed from the envelope) but it has obviously been a present to EJB at some point in time. I want to ask you lovely bloggers how you think I can best divide up the bottom part of the case so that I can fit in cotton reels, scissors, a ruler etc without them sliding around loose? Do you have any ideas at all? I thought that it would be a cool way to take my sewing kit to  classes or the Fat Quarterly Retreat. If you have any good ideas please let me know.

Di x

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

May Day

Twenty years ago today, I was a May Day bride. 
I was so much younger!!!
We had a very home grown wedding. I walked to church on my Dad's arm and then my brother walked me up the aisle. My Dad conducted our wedding service. Our wedding cars were my brother's MG Roadster and my friend's 2CV. 
Our wedding car

Twenty years on and two boys later, we are going to celebrate our day by going away to Norfolk for a couple of days.

Our bags are packed and the picnic basket is ready to go. All we need now is for the sun to shine.

Di x