Friday, 26 April 2013

Mixing - Retro style

When Kristy launched her second set of Sew Retro kitchen-themed paper-piecing patterns in her Craftsy store just after we launched the 
  it seemed like perfect timing!

With the swap deadline fast approaching I knew I had to stop procrastinating (story of my life!) and decide which of the patterns to try. I was spoilt for choice but in the end decided to have a go at the Mixing Bowl.

Insulated pot mat

As with all of Kristy's patterns it was really straightforward to put together. There was one small blip, entirely self-inflicted, when I realised I had used the wrong fabric for one of the pieces :(  As, by the time I discovered it, the entire block had already been put together I closed my eyes, counted to ten and swiftly moved on :) Hopefully,  my swap partner will not be too upset by it!

The 10" block was the perfect size to be made into a worktop protector, so with some Insul-Brite wadding and an appropriately themed backing fabric that is what it became.  I quilted straight lines across the worktop section and in the centre of the mixing bowl, and then braved FMQ'ing for the background! Now all I need to do is write up my recipe for my partner and with my apron already done and dusted the package will be ready to send.

Insulated mat back

I have already printed out a few more of the patterns as my own hotpads and pot stands currently leave a lot to be desired!

If you have tried paper-piecing for the first time or anything else New to You in April don't forget to link up here to this month's Link party.

Linking up this finish to 

Crazy Mom Quilts



Thursday, 25 April 2013

New to Me in April 2013

It's time to be inspired again, by checking out all the fascinating things that crafty bloggers have been up to this month.

I left it a bit late to try something new this month as I only tackled this yesterday, but I am delighted to have found a new way to use up some of my stash - Lampshades!

When I was looking for fabric for curtains for our newly decorated bedroom, I bought a metre of Beach Huts fabric. After it had hung from the curtain rail for a couple of days I decided that it wasn't what I was looking for. Rather than consign it to the bottom of the fabric pile I decided to make a lampshade for the new room with it instead.

Never having made a lampshade before I opted to buy a kit rather than try to find all the materials separately. The kit came with the metal lampshade rings, the adhesive backing fabric, the transparent sticky tape and full instructions. So I was good to go.

The lampshade turned out to be so much easier and quicker to make than I had thought that I wondered why I had never tried this before :)

I have since bought another kit to make a pendant lampshade and I'm trying to get my head around getting the curves right on the directional fabric. I can now see why a drum shaped lampshade is an attractive proposition!

So now it is your turn to link up your New to Me in 2013 projects.

Link them up below and share your triumphs and/or disasters.

As ever please help to spread the word by linking back to this post in your post and/or adding the blog button to your sidebar.

Check out the other links and leave a comment along the way. The emphasis of this link party is to celebrate the trying of something new, whether it works out exactly as planned or not, so a little encouragement here and there would not go amiss! 

The link will remain open until April 30th so if you haven't already tried something new you still have time :)

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

WIP Wednesday

The deadline for 
is looming, so Aprons have been top of my agenda this week. I decided to make a reversible apron, so gave myself twice the work. It seemed like a good idea at the time :)

Then I decided to use some Lithuanian linen along with my quilting cotton so stitched every seam twice as I am paranoid about the linen fraying. So twice the work again. Might I be a glutton for punishment do you think??

Anyway, here is what I eventually made for my partner

Crafty Cooks Apron Front
Crafty Cooks Apron Front

The Apron has linen panels bordered with patchwork strips and two patch pockets on the front.

Crafty Cooks Apron back
Crafty Cooks Apron Reverse

On the reverse side the apron is plain linen bordered with Summersville cotton with a cotton patch pocket. I hope my partner likes it.

Now I just need to decide which of my favourite recipes to print out to go with the apron. I have so many I think this might take some time :)

This has been a really fun swap with some gorgeous Aprons popping up in the Flickr Group already. There will be some seriously stylish Cooks around soon!

As it is Wednesday it is also time to look at my WIP list, which now looks like this;

 Looking forward to seeing everyone's progress.

Don't forget the link up opens tomorrow if you have tried something New to You this month!

Linking up to


Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Two out, three in!

I have been on the road in the last couple of weeks, both North and South. Before I went South I managed to post off both of my blocks for April in the Sunday Morning Quilts Bee.

Grammie Q asked for a strip block with aqua and a hint of orange applique for the Gumdrops quilt she plans to make.

SMQ block April 2

This block couldn't have been easier, as the applique will be stitched down during the quilting I only had to stitch the shapes down along the bottom of the strip after they were fused!

Tessophia is planning to make a rainbow quilt so asked us to sign up to make a slab of a particular colour. I chose blue as it is the biggest bag of scraps I have.

SMQ block April 1

 Having made over a dozen of these blocks for Round 1 of the SMQ Bee this was another quick block to whip up. Next month it is my turn to receive blocks and I will need to get my act together soon to decide which of the many lovely quilts in the book I would like my Bee mates to contribute to.

In between the road trips, I received the first of my blocks from the Star of Africa Bee. I had seen the blocks in the Flickr group but the photographs definitely do not do them justice.

I have asked the Bee members to make a block on the theme of houses, as I have always wanted to make a quilt based on the Schoolhouse block, but never managed to get around to it. Being the creative bunch that they are the interpretation of the theme has been great fun to see.

SLIK stitches SoA Bee block

Benta has traveller families living near her village so stitched up a traveller caravan complete with open campfire for her block! Isn't it wonderful?

Patti's SoA block

Patti sent me a block to represent the barns and silos that dot her prairie landscape. Check out that large green cat at the window!

House pincushion front

Look at the block and matching pincushion that arrived from Janine, isn't that the cutest thing?

I am a month behind on this Bee as the request for a block based on trees in March has challenged my creative juices! As ever I have an idea but the hard part is translating that into a quilt block :)

In between flitting about I have managed to sign up for the Texty Charm Swap too. You can never have too much text fabric :)

Text swap fabric
Some Summersville is my contribution to the swap! I really like this fabric so I might just have ordered a bit extra for me :)

Off to catch up on all the posts that I missed.

Linking up to

Quilter in the Closet     Plum and June

Monday, 8 April 2013

Q2 FAL - hope and ambition

Having only managed to complete one of my three projects for Q1 in the FAL, I am hoping to have a better showing at the end of Q2.

she can quilt

With the HST BOM quilt from Q1 already backed and basted, I really would like to get it finished this Quarter. So it will be the first of my projects for Q2.

In Color Order BOM basted
In Color Order HST BOM

On a visit home last August I took a Stitchery Class at a LQS, and although the embroidery has since been completed the plan to make it into a cushion has yet to be realised. So this will be another project for Q2, and, hopefully, as it is a relatively small project one that can be completed without too much effort!

The other project carried over from Q1 is completion of the Sunday Morning Quilt from Round 1 of the Bee. The final blocks arrived in February so I really should have got around to putting them together by now, especially as we are already well into Round 2! My month in Round 2 is coming up in May, so it would be nice to have the first quilt finished before the blocks for the second start to arrive :)

 So that's the hope of the title and here's the ambition!

I promised my son and his girlfriend a quilt for their new flat ages ago, they even picked out the fabrics when they were home at Christmas, but since then I have changed my mind lots of times about what I am going to do for them. So, I am drawing a (figurative) line in the sand and the dithering has to stop. In Q2 I will decide upon a pattern and make it!

Image of 7 different fabrics from the Madrona Road Fabric Collection
So these are my plans for Q2, as you can see I am always the optimist :)

Linking up to

she can quilt

Friday, 5 April 2013

Fabric wrapped necklace

I came across the Umbrella Prints Trimmings Competition a couple of weeks ago, and as you probably know by now, I am a serial signer-upper! So, naturally I bought my Trimmings pack from Umbrella Prints Etsy shop and waited for inspiration to arrive, and waited ... and waited!

Umbrella Prints received

The pack I ordered was called Elephants love Water so I had a hunt for stories and legends relating to elephants to see if that would kick start the inspiration process and thankfully it did! I found a Thai folktale about The Elephants and the Bees of how the Elephant came to have a long trunk, and it started me thinking about using the Trimmings pack to tell the story.

And this is how I told it!

With a fabric-wrapped beaded bracelet, a fabric-wrapped double necklace and, because you can't take Scotland out of the girl (!) a Kilt Pin brooch :)

Why Elephant Has a Long Nose
(Adapted from Thai Folktale by Dr Mike Lockett)
"Long ago, Elephant has a very short nose that looked a lot like the nose of a pig.  Though his nose was short, Elephant could smell very well, and he smelled smoke.  Elephant looked all around him.  He did not see fire.  But, he did see a cloud of Bees.
"Bees," called the Elephant.  I smell smoke.  Where there is smoke, there is usually fire.  The Bees flew up high.  There was fire to the North.  There was fire to the East.  There was fire to the West.  There was a river to the South.  Fire could not cross the river.

"Follow us," said the Bees.  We will take you to the river where you will be safe.  So Elephant ran South, following the Bees.  He ran until he came to the river.  Elephant would be safe in the middle of the river.

"Mr. Elephant," called the Bees.  "We saved you.  Now you must help us.  The smoke from the fire can hurt us.  We cannot stand smoke.  Open your mouth, and let us fly inside.  We will be safe inside your mouth until the fire and smoke are gone."
This sounded fair.  The Bees helped the Elephant.  The Elephant would help the Bees.  He opened his mouth and let the bees fly inside.  Oh, my - there was a loud buzzing sound inside the Elephant's head. "Buzz, Buzz, Buzz."  The sound hurt the Elephant's big ears.  "Buzz, Buzz, Buzz."
When the fire was out, the Elephant said, "You must come out now Bees."
The Bees just said, "Buzz, Buzz, Buzz.  We like it in here.  We will not come out.  Buzz, Buzz, Buzz."
The Elephant shook his head.  "Buzz, Buzz, Buzz."  The Elephant flapped his ears.  "Buzz, Buzz, Buzz."  The Elephant jumped up and down.  "Buzz, Buzz, Buzz."  Elephant was getting a headache.  "Buzz, Buzz, Buzz."
Elephant knew that Bees hated water.  He sucked up water in his nose and blew it out.  "Errumph."  The Bees still buzzed.
"Buzz, Buzz, Buzz."
Elephant sucked up more water in his nose and blew it out.  "Errumph."  The Bees still buzzed.
"Buzz, Buzz, Buzz."

Elephant blew his nose over and over.  As he blew, his nose got longer and longer and longer.  Still the Bees went, "Buzz, Buzz, Buzz," inside of his head.  Then the Elephant remembered that Bees cannot stand smoke.  He walked back on the shore where the fire had died out.  He walked to where a tree still smoked from the fire.  Elephant took a deep breath and sucked the smoke up his nose and opened his mouth. 
"We hate smoke," said the Bees.  They came flying out of the elephant's mouth.  The Bees saw a hollow tree that had survived the fire.  It had a hole in it that was as big as the Elephant's head.  They flew straight to that hole in the hollow tree.  There they made their new hive and lived very comfortably.
Ever since, Bees still like to make their hives inside of hollow trees.  Also, ever since then, the Elephant has had a long nose.  Some Elephants still feel like they have bees inside their heads.  They still suck up water with their long noses and squirt it out to make the buzzing stop."

To make the fabric beads I used wooden beads and strips of fabric.

I had several attempts at them before I was happy with them as you can see below!

The PVA glue used on the first bead wasn't strong enough to stick the fabric to the bead, the strips of fabric on the third bead were too wide to wrap well around the bead and as for the bead in the middle, well it was just a disaster! I had seen several tutorials on bead wrapping that advised covering the whole bead in one piece of fabric, but this was my result! Hence the fabric strips.
I used an ordinary glue stick on the back of each fabric strip and then wrapped them around the bead, leaving a gap at the top and bottom for the beading hole.
The same technique was used to wrap the fabric rings, which were originally wooden curtain rings!
More of the trimmings pack made a fabric tube for the necklace, which is covering plastic tubing that I had left over from the handles of my Fashionista Bag.
So this is my entry for the Umbrella Print Trimmings 2013 Competition. It is certainly not what I expected to be making when I originally read about the competition, that is for sure :)
Voting has now opened in Rikka's  Fancy Feet Challenge, so if you are still puzzling over those strange feet that came with your machine head on over to Ricochet and Away's voting page and the mystery may well be solved!
Linking up to
Crazy Mom Quilts


Wednesday, 3 April 2013

One quarter down three to go!

Although it seems like only yesterday when I signed up we have, apparently, reached the end of Q1 in the FAL. Where has all the time gone??

she can quilt
In my enthusiasm I had three finishes that I hoped to complete in this Quarter. Rather embarrassingly only one of them has actually been finished.
The three prospective finishes were
The Time for Tea quilt,

HST BOM Quilt top

The HST BOM quilt and
The Sunday Morning Quilts Bee quilt
And the only one finished out of these three is

The Time for Tea quilt!
The HST BOM is at least backed and basted, which is more than can be said for the SMQ quilt. Indecision is to blame for both of these still lurking as UFOs!
I was just going to make a couple of extra blocks for the SMQ quilt and piece them together randomly and then I saw the fabulous quilt that Kimmie made from her Bee blocks and indecision took over!
Needless to say I am also dithering about the quilting of the HST quilt, which is why it isn't finished either. Looks like my New Year's resolve to stop procrastinating needs a bit more work :)
All is not lost though as I have actually managed to complete this month's block for the And Sew On BOM and it is only the 3rd of the month! Now that is a record for me :)
If I manage to get March's block done this month too I will be back on track, that will be a good (and unusual feeling).
So my WIP list now looks like this

  • In Color Order HST BOM - Backed and Basted!
  • (Almost) Irish Chain quilt basted
  • Teatime quilt pieced, backed and basted COMPLETED
  • 5 blocks of NY Beauty QAL completed and fabric cut for remaining 5 blocks
  • 18 blocks of Craftsy BOM completed (only 2 more to go!)
  • Sunday Morning Quilt Bee blocks received
  • Sunday Morning Quilt2 Bee blocks sent (on schedule)
  • Star of Africa Bee blocks completed and sent (just about on schedule)
  • Modern Scrappy Bits Swap 3rd Round COMPLETED
  • Fancy Feet Challenge signed up COMPLETED
  • And And Sew On BOM - three blocks completed (back on schedule)
  • Everything but the Kitchen Sink SAL - 2nd block sewn
  • Crafty Cooks Apron and Recipe Swap  waiting for fabric to arrive!
  • Umbrella Prints Trimmings Competition entry  started   
 Looking forward to seeing everyone's progress.
Linking up to


Quilter in the Closet

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