Wednesday, 12 December 2012

A Christmas Finish

No, unfortunately not my Christmas quilt! Not yet anyway. I have run out of thread for the bobbin! Didn't occur to me to buy two reels! Clearly I had no idea just how much thread I was going to get through. It is so nearly done too, it's frustrating. I am also running out of the top thread but I am crossing my fingers I don't as I haven't found a source yet for that one out here! 

Given I couldn't get to the shop to purchase said thread I turned to another project I wanted to do as a Christmas gift. I haven't made coasters before but thought it an ideal gift for some neighbours. I almost completed these in one evening, so these in my mind are fab!

I used steam-a-seam to appliqué the trees and did the button hole on the machine to get it done quicker. A little machine quilting around the tree and some hand stitching to finish off. I do like to do a little bit of hand stitching, just two to finish off and job done!

I started a pair of socks as another gift for Christmas, but not sure that is going to happen now. Cannot believe it is less than 2 weeks now! 

Linking up with 

Wednesday, 28 November 2012


My parents left last night to head back to the UK. My magic ironing, hoovering and school run fairies have disappeared but the worst bit, it has gone very quiet around the house. I see reminders around the house, like the empty spare bedroom, that remind me they are not here. I know it will fade again, but for the moment I feel low. 

But my youngest daughter T was off for a play day after preschool today so I had the whole day today do to something. I did have a work call in the middle of the day but that didn't last too long and no other interruptions until school pick up. 

So I again got out the thread I had in mind for quilting my Christmas quilt and practiced with some more patterns. I am thankful I did practice as I didn't like the result. Which was not what I planned as I so wanted to make some progress with the quilt. The thread is lovely and I like it but I think it is too heavy for the quilt and will take the emphasis away from the blocks. The patterns I tried today are far too Christmasy for the style and fabrics. Alas, it is still pinned on my design wall, taking up all the room and shouting at me QUILT ME! But there it will stay a bit longer.

So feeling a bit despondent I turned netflix on. I watched a sad film that made me cry, which knocked any kind of productivity out of me. But I did manage to finish off the Christmas pillowcases for the kids. 
That said, I have just taken the pictures and I notice a bit of an error! The trees and the people are not up the same way! Ahhhh. How did I manage that! So now I have the dilemma, do I undo it or just live with it!

Linking up with

Sunday, 25 November 2012

2012 Christmas Quilt Show

I have just come across a Christmas show that is being held here.  Some lovely Christmas / winter things have been entered already. Submission opened on 23rd Nov and closes 30th Nov.

I am going to try my best this week to finish my Christmas Quilt so that I can enter it! Wish me luck, I have to do most of the quilting and then bind it! But I like a challenge! If that fails I think my table runner will get entered instead. Anyway, watch this space!

It looks to be a lot of fun. Go take a look and enter something :)
On another note, our youngest daughter turned 4 today! It must be lovely to be four. She had her favourite breakfast - pancakes. Then a trip up our local mountain to play in the snow, see Santa's reindeer and sit on Santa's knee for a photo. And cake! A fun day all round.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Is it really Wednesday!

Not sure where the days have been disappearing too. With visitors here it has been quite busy and not much sewing! But, I do have a couple of things to show that I started and finished this week!

I start a new work contract on Friday and I really didn't like the idea of taking one of our old scruffy rucksacks with me with my laptop in. I wanted a nice laptop bag! A nice handmade laptop bag. :) Whilst at the Quilt Festival in Houston we found some oh so gorgeous flannels, I wish now I had bought more! But alas I bought just enough to make my bag, so this project has been in my mind for a little while, but it took until this week to actually do it! 

I used a pattern from 101 Patchwork Projects magazine. An easy enough bag, a bit fiddly in places and once I worked out what the pattern was actually trying to tell me to do, I finished it in a couple of evenings.

I wanted to have a space for my phone and office door card and a pen, you never know when you might need a pen! So under the flap I added a couple of pockets. I only just had enough fabric for all this, guess that's called lucky good estimation!

Although I adore the fabric and purple colour I had to add some appliqué to the front flap to give it some detail. I didn't have the time for proper hexagons so I cheated with bonding and sewing around them. Pictures are a bit dark, not a good time to be taking pictures at 11pm in poor lighting. 

Really pleased with it. Not feeling quite so confident about the job but at least I have a good bag to put the laptop in!

This next item has been on a to do list of mine since January (I wanted to be really organized this year and have them done long ago, ha, that didn't happen then) but tonight I finally got round to it. The first of three Christmas pillowcases for the kiddies. These are some Riley Blake flannels I got in a sale back in January. They are so soft and lovely, I am hoping I have too much fabric that I have enough for 5 pillowcases - I want one! :)

No progress on any of my quilts, ah well, can't win them all.

Hope everyone is having a productive week. 

Linking up with:


Thursday, 1 November 2012

Houston - Quilts and Shopping!

Oh the fun we are having here in Houston. The weather has been hot and sunny, for the short periods of time that we have seen the outside world! Given that it is raining hard at home, that's rather nice.


View across town from the JP Morgan Observation floor

Shot outside the convention centre waiting for the bus

Our hotel: 
Glass lifts, that constantly whizzed up and down

Looking down at the bar from our 18th floor.

I dislike my photo being taken, so you won't ever see many of me, but this one just had to be done.

There are quilts galore! I would say the quilts were not always displayed well - such as information stands blocking some parts of the quilts, poor lighting, and a plastic tape to stop you getting too close hindered any decent photos. Moan over!

We didn't always agree with the judges either! But there certainly were some lovely quilts!

The Modern Quilt Guild had a display which was really good. It was really nice to see some quilts that I have seen in books or works by people I have read about, such as Elizabeth Hartman, Katie Pedersen, Jacquie Gering, Angela Walters and a variety of others.

The diversity is staggering and the amount of inspiration makes me want to rush home and start something new! ha ha!

The market area is well stocked with some lovely fabrics and loads more inspiration. I tried to win a lovely wooden cabinet full of maderia threads, but it wasn't my lucky day obviously. I have, however, purchased enough goodies to keep me going for a while. 

And we still have one more day. There are still plenty of quilts we haven't seen and many venders to visit too. Best rest the bones ready for more tomorrow :)

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Halloween and Houston

The last week has flown by. Parents arrived from England. Our youngest had a ballet show to perform as a Zombie Ballerina in the mall! Turns out she is not such an exhibitionist when there are other people watching. I had to make a black tutu to turn her into a zombie ballerina!

This year our eldest daughter wanted to be a Zombie Bride! After much searching we couldn't find a costume to buy, so again I made one. A man's large t-shirt and lots of netting! 

And for the Halloween party with the neighbours they were characters from a book called Clover Twig. So a cloak and hat made for a witch, a fat costume for my son and thankfully a cat we already had! Hubby was left in charge of assembling them all, but not a bad job was done!

On Monday my parents and I left rainy Vancouver behind for warm, sunny Houston! We have just got back from the preview night of the International Quilt Festival! Oh, so much to see and buy! Wonderful!

As a result of all that not much progress this week with many of my sewing projects. But a few hours on the plane (and no kids to amuse) meant I got a lot of knitting done!

Got to get some rest now, more quilt show tomorrow! :) 

Linking up with Freshly Pieced and The Needle and Thread.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Christmas/Spring table runner

Progress this week! Hurrah! The table runner for my parents is (so nearly) complete, despite running out of thread on Tuesday whilst doing the quilting! And then discovering I had no binding! I had to have it done by today as they arrive from England tomorrow and I knew I wouldn't get anytime once they arrived to finish it.

It all started when I saw this table runner by Flutter.Kat. I wanted to make my parents a table runner that would do for the Winter season, not just Christmas, and one they could turn over and use at other times too. 

So, I made some paper pieced trees using fairly non-Christmas fabrics since I didn't want it to be over the top on the Christmas theme.

I then made a few wonky stars:

I had some Lynette Anderson snowflake fabrics that I thought would make a good border and, in my mind they did! So, here it is all put together:

I was really pleased with this side of the table runner. But struggled more with the idea for the back! I have always like pinwheels, so after browsing pinterest and googling images I decided pinwheels it was. I chose fabrics from my stash that I knew my mum would like. They were all batiks! 
So I constructed what I thought was enough pinwheels to make it close to the same size as the one above. I then discovered my calculations were a little off so had to make a few more. But eventually this is how it turned out:

Finally, the quilting and binding. I quilted most of it with a meandering pattern since I had two different designs to accommodate. I did however, add a few stars into the pattern on the white areas above the trees, just to break it up a little bit. Not that they stand out too much, now I look at it from a distance! Ah well.

I was in the middle of quilting it when the reel of thread ran out! I was not impressed as it was the one day hubby took the car to work so there was no way I could get across town to buy more thread. I was so close and yet stuck. Parents arriving in less than two days and it wasn't compete! 

It all worked out in the end. I purchased more thread and completed the quilting with ease. I did have to take another trip to my LQS to find a binding as I just did not have one that would do both side! I have managed to get the binding sewn on, now I just need to finish the binding by hand. I like this bit as it's the last step before it's done, a nice ending. 

So here we go the pinwheel side, nearly done! 

I also got round to felting my knitted slippers! Our washing machine did a fine job of agitating! Now waiting for them to dry to finish them off.

Next on the list to complete (before starting anything new!):
  • Christmas Quilt - FMQ
  • Bright 9 patch quilt - hand quilting
  • Car strip quilt - FMQ

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

WIP - mainly cakes!

Well, this week has not seen much sewing and far too much cake making! A birthday party at the weekend meant another very chocolatey cake:

And another birthday today means more cake! This one is for my eldest little girl who also received a real sewing machine as her present! 

She was very happy with the cushion I made :) And the jeans (forgot to take a picture) I had embellished went down a dream too :)

On the sewing front, I have started (ha, another one for the list to finish) a table runner for my parents as a Christmas gift. Some paper piecing trees so far.

And I am also trying to finish knitting a pair slippers! It has turned cooler here in the last day, someone took the sun away and now it feels like October should. When sewn together I need to felt them and I can't wait to see the end result. They should hopefully look something like the ones here, but this is them at the moment!! I'm sure it will all turn out right!

Birthdays are always lots of fun but I do feel relieved once they are over and things return to some sense of normal again!

Linking up to

I'm off to browse other people's progress now!! Happy creating. 

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

WIP Wednesday

I finished something this week! Yay! 

Firstly, I have so very nearly completed the cushion for my daughter's bed. Nearly a week in advance (most unlike me!). I blogged here that I had nearly completed it! I just have to add the buttons now.

I have my fingers crossed blue really is her favourite colour! I must now make a cushion pad to fit inside, my cover is typically not a standard size! 



Earlier this year I started knitting a pair of socks. For a long time I had one sock, but now I have two!!! And they fit too. I don't do a lot of knitting but when I do my stitches are often too tight so things end up smaller than they should. But thankfully these fit nicely. Only issue is they are hand wash only! Eugh, I hate doing laundry let alone hand washing!
The wool is Opal Nightlife 5734. They took less than one ball of wool. I love the pattern, especially as it is just simple knitting and nothing fancy to get confused over when I haven't touched it for so long! So pleased with them. 

And finally, the kids and I made a cake for hubbies birthday yesterday! This went down a treat! Can't beat a good chocolate cake on your birthday :)

Unfortunately, my Christmas quilt has been put on hold for a minute. I have some thread that I am experimenting with and some quilting patterns. But since we have another birthday next week there just doesn't seem to be enough time to do everything. 

I am also linking up with Freshly Pieced and The Needle and Thread Network. Can't wait to see what others have been up to this week.


Saturday, 29 September 2012

Mini Honey - Modern Patchwork

Craft Buds have been having a big craft book project blog hop and giveaway this month. The final bit being to link up a project made from a craft book.

It just so happened I made something from a book recently! I am just loving my Modern Patchwork book by Elizabeth Hartman at the moment. I particularly like this book for the inspiring designs but also because she shows minis of the quilts using different colours or scrappy.

As my eldest little girl keeps reminding me it's her birthday soon. She has had a princess cushion on her bed that I made many years ago when she was into princesses. Needless to say she doesn't do princesses anymore so handed it down to her little sister who loves anything princess related! So I decided it was time to make her a new cushion.

I picked the Honey pattern from the book, why, I am not sure as I am not keen on triangles (can be fiddly to line up points!) but I liked the hexagon design. 

My daughter tells me her favourite colour at the moment is blue so I pulled out some of my blue scraps and a Kona solid marine blue. So here's my triangles ready to sew together.

The quilt in the book has a white background fabric. But I decided to substitute the white for my navy blue since the cushion is likely to spend a fair amount of time on the floor! Hopefully it will not show the dust/dirt so badly as white!
It actually went together quite quickly and relatively easily for triangles! And before I knew it I had gotten this far.

Then for some layering and quilting. I straight line quilted the hexagons with the space between lines getting larger towards the centre. Then free machined a meandering (I really must branch out more and do some different designs!) pattern around the marine blue. 

Et voilà ...

I made a simple marine blue envelope back with a four of buttons (no doubt it will need a wash at some point!). I pieced some of the scraps together to make a square and added it to the remaining marine blue. I was struggling for fabric by this point! I then bound the front and back together like a quilt using a bit more of the scraps I used in the hexagons.

I notice that not only does the white look cream in the light the pictures were taken in (too late on an evening probably!) but also this one is rather blurry, sorry! I am really pleased with the way it turned out. I just hope she hasn't changed her mind on blue being her favourite colour!

As you can see I have not quite finished! I need to finish hand sewing the binding and the add the buttons. I will also need to custom make a cushion pad too as it is not the right size for one of my stash! So I have 11 days (and she's counting!) left until her birthday, I must be able to finish it in that time! :)

I am linking up to