Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Christmas Quilt Finished!

With no sewing machine for over 2 weeks of the month I didn't get much sewing done this month. But now I have a lovely working machine again I have been putting it to work!

I started with my Christmas quilt - my March challenge. I then turned to the Mario blocks. I have sewn all the little squares into rows, just now need to sew the rows together. Takes some doing all those little squares.

Anyway, back to the Christmas quilt. It feels like ages ago that I started it and many things have come and gone in between. But last summer I took part in the Freespirit Christmas in July Block-a-thon. I finished the quilt top ages ago and it sat on my design wall for quite some time whilst I created the quilt back. 

As with most quilts I ended up with a whole load of scraps left over. I can't bare to waste fabric so I decided to use as much of this as possible on the back. 

I started by sewing together lots of the little scraps! I got a bit fed up doing this though as there were many small scrappy triangles and odd shapes and it didn't make for very fast progress. Anyway having sewn some together I decided how the back was going to look. I took the idea from one of the blocks from the front, this block: 

and made a larger version. But just had to include a star too, as I just loved the star block and had some larger pieces of fabric left too. After several more evenings of piecing, the back was complete, yay!

Then to layer and baste it altogether.

Then to the quilting! This was a tricky one. I didn't know how to quilt it! No one had posted any completed quilts in the flickr group, so I had no inspiration except for the one made using the bloggers blocks. And that I think had been professionally quilted, so was way beyond me!

I wanted an all over design but not my basic stippling option. So I sought advice and decided on a large swirl pattern. It went ok, not perfect but I think I got better towards the end. But the size of this quilt made it really hard work getting it through my machine. Some of the seams at the points were very thick which made it hard to quilt.

I found some good quilting to take a close up picture of! :-) 

I did have a small issue towards the end. I ran out of top thread and I haven't found a supplier here for the sulky thread I was using! I only had a few square inches left to do, it was so annoying! I am wishing now that I had used a lighter thread that blended in more and perhaps a bit thinner too (sulky is quite a heavy thread). I think the quilting stands out a bit too much and distracts from the blocks. It's all a learning curve!

Anyway, here is the final result in all it's glory!

Quilt stats
Fabric : Moda Blitzen, Kona white and ruby
Size: 60" x 63" (not sure why it's not ended up square, I think it should have been!)
Started: July 2012
Finished: March 2013

Linking up with 

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Voting - Something New Sampler

Amy over at The Cute Life has now opened up the voting for the Something New Sampler! There are some great finishes so go take a look here and cast a vote for your favourite.

Due to problems with my sewing machine I didn't get round to quilting my quilt top entry. Looking at some of the quilted ones I am now wishing I had done the QAYG method as this whole quilt is going to be more tricky to manoeuvre through my machine. Especially as some of the blocks are quite thick due to the techniques used. Oh well, you live and learn!  

My sewing machine is home again!! Yay! I was so excited to go and pick it up on Friday! Only when I did, I discovered that my (very essential) power converter had not been returned with the machine! So I have a wonderfully clean, apparently perfectly working machine - that did not need a new gear set in the end! Phew! But I still can't sew until I get my little black power box back! Pure torment having the machine waiting to be used and no way of turning it on! :( 

Oh well, I will continue with the hexies! :)

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Oh my poor machine...

With my machine still at the menders and no news on what the prognosis is, sewing around here has almost come to a halt! 

It was Mother's Day in the UK last Sunday so I sent my mum a gift in the post. I had made her this mug rug and included a mini charm pack of the latest William Morris range.

Having no sewing machine this last week has meant no guilt that I should be finishing off some WIP or other! It gave me the ideal opportunity to start something new, by hand! I have wanted to make some hexies for ages now, so I did! 

I had a Vintage Modern mini charm pack that I am now turning into these adorable little  hexies.

Not sure yet what I will turn them into but it keeps me from missing my machine too much :)

Linking up with

Monday, 11 March 2013

Something New Sampler

As you may be aware I have been taking part in the Something New Sampler with Amy at The Cute Life.

This was really fun to do as there were a lot of different techniques to play with and with weekly deadlines there was the incentive I needed to make sure each block was finished!

I was doing so well getting the quilt top to the point of basted. But then my machine decided it didn't want to sew nicely so I took it in for a service. A week later I am still waiting to find out if it needs a new gear set or not. I could be without my machine for another 2 weeks! Going to have serious withdrawal symptoms by then!

Thankfully, I had finished sewing together the quilt top before my machine went in. When I brought the background fabric I got this Bella green and a light grey and plumped for the green to be different. I am struggling with it a bit, as the colours are just not me. I tend to prefer much brighter colours.

So, my quilt top will remain basted and will patiently wait to be quilted. I am thinking I will quilt each block differently as they are all so different and then an all over pattern in the green. But who knows what will happen when I actually get to do it.

There are some great projects resulting from this QAL in the flickr group, go take a look.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013


Last night I had an evening of peace ahead of me. The kids were in bed and hubbie had decided to go skiing for the evening! I got out my WIP - the Christmas quilt that I WILL finish this month - hoping to make some progress.

First, I got out my sample piece to check the thread was good and my free-motion quilting skills were still capable of the pattern. Well the tension was well off. I have a dark bobbin thread and a light top thread which wasn't a problem a while back as I have quilted half this quilt already. But it would seem something had drastically changed. So I set to playing with the tension. It would look to be sewing nicely then when I changed direction the bobbin thread could be seen on top! Not on every stitch, I just don't understand why.

The offending bobbin thread!

Oh, it was beginning to drive me mad not being able to sort it out! Then something happened to take my mind off the thread tension.

I was rethreading the needle and I must have put my foot on the peddle by mistake and my finger was very much in the wrong place at the wrong time!  The needle went through my finger. Aaaah! Thankfully it only went through flesh but even so.  I am not the best with blood or pain. As my hubbie would recount a story from when we were first dating where I cut my finger whilst chopping veggies and promptly passed out! 

With no one here to assist me, I sat with an ice cube, in a tissue, pressing on it for a good hour until it stopped bleeding and I could actually look to see what damage I might have done! I am such a wimp! All is well though, it would appear to be fine, no swelling, a bit of throbbing and not even a mark this morning.

And I am always drumming it into the kids when they use the machine - keep fingers well away from the needle and the foot off the peddle when not actually sewing! Lesson learnt, hopefully!

So, I didn't get an awful lot of sewing done last night! But the previous few days had been more productive :)

When setting my March goals I forgot I had the Something New Sampler quilt top that needs attention before the middle of the month. So I worked on that this week for a while. 

I finished the gift I was making and it is now in the post. Hopefully it will arrive on time and not take the 1-2 weeks the lady at the post office said it might!!

And more cutting of little squares! Mushroom on the left and star on the right! Now the fun bit of sewing them all together! So many corners to match up! In case, you've not been here before, it's all about Mario Bros!

Hope everyone is having a good week. Linking up with 

Saturday, 2 March 2013

A Lovely Year of Finishes: March Goal

I cannot believe we are in March already!

So this month I aim to get this Christmas quilt finished. It was started last summer as part of the Christmas in July QAL with Freespirit Fabrics.

I have started quilting it but I ran out of top thread a while ago, so it got put to one side and forgotten about! So this month I will finish it off as my March goal!

As an unofficial goal for the month, I also want to complete at least one block of the Mario quilt (using the patterns and details from Cut to Pieces)! Although, I do need to get a move on with it so ideally I would like to finish two blocks! But that might be being too ambitious. Anyway, these are the two I am aiming for since I have the fabrics for these!

I have had some Chicopee fat quarters sat around for a while so yesterday I actually cut into them! I can't show it all yet as it is a gift and it hasn't been sent out yet. 

Well, it looks like March might be rather busy, especially as half of it is Spring Break and that will without a doubt reduce my time and energy levels! I shall have to be strong and not start anything new this month, something I find very difficult!