Thursday, 12 April 2018

Postcards and Signatures

It's been a while, I suppose you expect me to have an amazing amount of stitching to show you?   Wrong!  Well, I have done some stitching recently but I just needed a break, you know?  I seem to go on overload now and again, usually when I've had a lot going on, but I'm getting back to normal now.  Want to know what I have been doing?

Postcards, from Sweden to be exact.

Sorry for the dreadful pic, I'm in the process of doing something about those.  I finished cutting all the triangles and started stitching them together.  The first row is all done and stitched, the second has half the blocks trimmed and pressed and the other half waiting to be trimmed, in the third row most are stitched none are trimmed.  I'm hoping to get back to it in a few days but I have had other priorities.

My goal for April, if I had linked up to One Monthly Goal which I didn't and no I didn't link at the end of March either as I was in my shut down mode, was to make the signature blocks for Chris and Sarah's wedding quit which will be a panel on the back.  Sarah is very excited about this, she has a degree in fine art and I encouraged her to design her quit herself giving her guidelines, here is what she came up with for the back.

The quilt will be 80 inches wide by 64 inches deep to lie across their kingsize bed with a centre panel of 48 signature blocks.

First I cut the 48 blocks, 8 1/2 inches square in Kona silver and 96 5 1/4 inch squares in sixteen different Kona colours which Sarah had chosen previously, there are another three greys but we decided to use only the brights for the signature panel.

I added stitch and flip triangles to opposite corners of each block and then stitched an extra line half an inch away to harvest the bonus half square triangles.  Next I pressed them all to set the seams.

Before flipping them open and pressing them.

Next I have to open them all up and cut off the bonus HST's.

This is what I will end up with, 48 blocks and 96 bonus HST's which measure at 4 1/4 inches before they are trimmed.  Only thing is so far I have only sat this one so guess what I will be doing next?  What to do with the bonus HST's?  Haven't decided yet.  Can't wait to start on the front.

Sewing wise that's all I have been up to.  I have read five books though, I also got a dress and jacket for the wedding (I'm going to use the fascinator shoes and bag I bought for Tina's wedding in February) but I haven't got a pic as yet.  Oh and a couple of days ago I bought,

the new camera I wanted.  I was fed up of luging a big camera and lenses around, too heavy, plus it's quite old now and I have had a couple of issues too.  I have been using my tablet and my phone but they have serious limitations.   I decided to invest in a small camera that will slip into my bag, it had to have a large sensor and a decent lens and be able to take nice pics in low light.  After taking advice from my nephew who is knowledgable about cameras I decided on this Sony DSC-RX100.  This is the original camera in the range, there is also a mark two, three, four, and now five each having more and more extra features, but most of them I don't want or need, apart from a viewfinder which I would have loved but the shop only had the mark 3 and four both of which have viewfinders but the three would have almost doubled the price so I did without.  I haven't had a play with it yet but when I do I'll tell you what I think.

The only other thing I have been up to was the Hen Party!  Oh yes, and a good time was had by all.  I won't bore you with all the details but I will show you a pic

of the bride, Sarah, my future daughter in law and myself.  No we were not in jail, and I had all my clothes on under the orange coverall which is why I look huge.

My daughter and granddaughter were there too, my granddaughter is an adult by the way, she just looks quite young on the pic.

That's all my news, except I am going to Higham Hall for an embroidery weekend tomorrow, oh I'm so excited to be going, especially after the disappointment of the last time when it was cancelled for snow.

I'll tell you all about it next time, and hopefully I will have made my bee blocks too, but until then,
With smiles from
Kate x

Linking up with
Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Modern Plus Sign Quilts Book Blog Hop - Celestial Stars

The wait is over and I would like to congratulate Cheryl @Meadowmist Designs and Paige @Quilted Blooms on the long awaited publication of their most wonderful book, Modern Plus Sign Quilts.

The book has something for everyone, beginners to advanced, pieced, appliqué, paper piecing, it's all here, with clear directions diagrams and tips, you will love this book.

When I was given a choice of quilts I knew which one to make, the quilt which shines out on the front cover.  Here is the official version

Designed and pieced by Cheryl Brickey and quilted by Johellen George.  Photo C&T Publications

Without any further ado, may I present to you my version of Celestial Stars.

Here it is in all it's glory, hanging on the washing line in my parents garden.   Mine is a nine block version of the original and finishes at 72 inches square, a lovely size for the top of a bed or as a generous lap quilt.

I used some of my favourite fabrics from Alison Glass Sunprints 2017 and 2018 and Diving Board 2017 ranges, the background is 2800 Spraytime, The Henley Studio, Makower UK, a dark blue with black like the night sky to let the bright colours shine out.  The top went together surprisingly fast, here it is in construction and during the job I most dread, layering the quilt.  It took a lot of pins is all I'm going to say, and I'm not sure if my knees have recovered yet.

Want to see the back?

Yes my parents garden again.  Of course I should have used a fabric to hide my quilting stitches but instead I went for a Kermit the frog look.

I must admit though I do like the contrast.

This is a good pic for showing the texture, a loose meander on the background in navy blue.  The plus signs took a lot of thinking about as I'm not known for my quilting skills but rather than resort to my waking foot I decided to try something completely new to me.  Wonky spirals in a thread called Josephs Coat, King Tut by Superior Threads.  It has a completely different look on different colour fabrics.

As you can see these are completely different from the normal spirals, they would be boring, so I made them all different sizes from tiny to large and everything in between.  Wonky spirals are rarely circular, that would be a mistake, mine range from being slightly off circle to egg shaped.    Forget about stitching being a uniform width too, the quilting lines range from wide to touching, and have you noticed the unique feature which sets them apart?  An elephants trunk in the centre, no points here!  Be careful mind, if you stand back too far and squint your eyes up they look just like the normal ones.

Oh yes, if you want to try a new quilting stitch and get it spectacularly wrong the best time is on a special quilt and showing it on a special post, nothing new there then.

Ok, you have now seen the warts and all pics, want to see the posed ones?

The rocking chair lifestyle pic..........

and the thrown down on the chair while I go get a coffee (or a glass of wine depending on the time) pic.

The draped across the back of the sofa pic, only as it is normally against the wall this surely won't ever happen, I'd end up sitting a foot from the tv.

That's better, that's where the sofa goes, although the navy doesn't go with the brown and it still doesn't disguise how the seat goes down at one side either (that's where I sit when watching tv, shhh).  On the other hand with my four legged girls who have been known to 'taste' the odd quilt it won't be staying there either.

Then there is the draped down the stair look but I'm rubbish at arranging folds to make it look artistic.

How is this for a posed shot, I took these at the business centre where my husband works, on a Sunday when no one was there of course, want another view?

Better stop now, I can see your eyes starting to glaze over so I'll quit while I'm ahead, I think........

There are sixteen patterns in the book and it's one of those rare books where I want to make several.  If you have been following the hop you will already seen how versatile the quilt patterns are too, I've picked up more than a couple of ideas.

Signed copies are available to purchase at:

Meadow Mist Design Etsy Shop
Quilted Blooms Etsy Shop

There again you can always pick one up at your local quilt shop or online quilt shop or book store, I'm sure you have your favourites.

Don't forget to visit Cheryl and Paige for a chance to win a prize.

Here is the full list of participants in the hop, in case you missed any and please visit the rest of todays quilts and tomorrows too.  I've had a sneak peak at one and it is so lovely, I'm saying no more.

Tuesday, March 13th

Soma @ Whims and Fancies
Ann @ Brown Paws Quilting
Kitty @ Night Quilter
Sophie @ Luna Lovequilts
Afton @ Quilting Mod
Shelley @ The Carpenters Daughter Who Quilts

Wednesday, March 14th

Jayne @ Twiggy and Opal
Jen @ A Dream and a Stitch
Abigail @ Cut & Alter
Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl
Sandra @ mmm! quilts
Karen @ Run Sew Fun

Thursday, March 15th

Linda @ Flourishing Palms
Bernie @ Needle and Foot
Liz @ Savor Every Stitch
Stacey @ Stacey In Stitches
Michelle @ From Bolt to Beauty
Patty @ Elm Street Quilts
Melanie @ A Bit of Scrap Stuff Blog

Friday, March 16th

Myra @ Busy Hands Quilts
Izzy @ Dizzy Quilts
Ruth @ Charly and Ben's Crafty Corner
Christa @ Christa Quilts

Monday, March 19th

Jessica @ Quilty Habit
Cindy @ Hyacinth Quilt Designs
Jennifer @ The Inquiring Quilter
Julie @ The Crafty Quilter

Tuesday, March 20th

Tish @ Tish N Wonderland
Judy @ Sew Some Sunshine
Emily @ The Darling Dogwood
Wanda @ Wanda's Life Sampler
Karen @ Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats
Katherine @ Sew Me Something Good

Wednesday, March 21st

Anja @ Anja Quilts
Kate @ Smiles from Kate  This is me!
Sue @ Seven Oak Street Quilts
Carole @ From my Carolina Home
Alison @ Little Bunny Quilts

Thursday, March 22nd

Debbie @ Esch House Quilts
Laura @ Slice of Pi Quilts
Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts
Janice @ Color Creating and Quilting
Joanne @ Quilts by Joanne

Friday, March 23rd

Cheryl @ Meadow Mist Designs
Paige @ Quilted Blooms

If you are still here normal service will be resumed next week, if I don't get lost in London at my soon to be daughter-in-law's hen party that is......

Until then
With smiles from
Kate x

Friday, 16 March 2018

I'm a bit behind........

It's not my fault, I can't help it, story of my life this year I'm afraid.  So, what am I behind with?   Well for starters this post should have been published on Wednesday morning but here I am just starting it on Thursday evening.  And continuing on Friday afternoon!

So, stop, deep breath, how has the week gone..........

Good news is I finished my secret sewing for the book hop, have you been following it?  So many wonderful unique versions of the quilts, and some have put such a spin on the original patterns too.  I will add all the links at the end, if you haven't been following please do, and there are great giveaways.  Bad news is my day isn't until next Wednesday, so I can't show you anything,  AND I had a bit of trouble with my pics too.

That brings me to a decision, I have a very old DSLR camera, only I'm having trouble with it and I'm fed up with making do with my tablet and phone, so, I was given some money from my mother a few months ago to buy myself something nice, something I really want.   I haven't spent it yet though, I'm not into jewellery much, I have the sewing machine I want and all the equipment I need.  I have just about decided to spend it on a new camera, a compact that can slip into my bag and is light to carry around, unlike the heavy DSLR and the lenses that go with it, that's where you come in.  I have been researching and have been leaning towards a Panasonic or Sony, but some of them seem to have so many features I don't want or need, they just complicate using them.  I chose Panasonic and Sony  because they have god lenses, and great reviews.  The feature I really want is a larger sensor for good quality shots, can you recommend any?

I did get a little quilting done, well, not stitching as such, cutting actually.

Postcards from Sweden.  I'm now 'almost' caught up to the two weeks ago point when we were to have had all our fabrics cut.  I'm linking up to MMM Quilts at the halfway point, think I can catch up?

These are the only fabrics I have left to do, and two of them have just arrived as I had ordered one wrong and one missing.  If I had a brain I would be dangerous, it's frazzled.

This is the nice bit, all that leftover fabric to play with, when I'm caught up that is, I dare not start anything new until I have at least two more finishes.

I would like to make a cushion, about 16 inches square for my Dad.  Dad raced pigeons almost all his life from being just fourteen and was very successful at a local level but alas due to health problems he can no longer continue, although he still follows the racing and gets his pigeon magazine every week.

I found this pic on the internet, it would make a lovely cushion but I've never made a quilt from a photo before, I could just print it on fabric but I would love to do it either pieced or appliqué, anyone got any suggestions?

Oh almost forgot the hop

I promised the links, here they are again

Monday, March 12th
Cheryl @ Meadow Mist Designs
Paige @ Quilted Blooms

Tuesday, March 13th
Soma @ Whims and Fancies
Ann @ Brown Paws Quilting
Kitty @ Night Quilter
Sophie @ Luna Lovequilts
Afton @ Quilting Mod
Shelley @ The Carpenters Daughter Who Quilts

Wednesday, March 14th
Jayne @ Twiggy and Opal
Jen @ A Dream and a Stitch
Abigail @ Cut & Alter
Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl
Sandra @ mmm! quilts
Karen @ Run Sew Fun

Thursday, March 15th
Linda @ Flourishing Palms
Bernie @ Needle and Foot
Liz @ Savor Every Stitch
Stacey @ Stacey In Stitches
Michelle @ From Bolt to Beauty
Patty @ Elm Street Quilts
Melanie @ A Bit of Scrap Stuff Blog

Friday, March 16th

Myra @ Busy Hands Quilts
Izzy @ Dizzy Quilts
Ruth @ Charly and Ben's Crafty Corner
Christa @ Christa Quilts

Monday, March 19th

Jessica @ Quilty Habit
Cindy @ Hyacinth Quilt Designs
Jennifer @ The Inquiring Quilter
Julie @ The Crafty Quilter

Tuesday, March 20th
Tish @ Tish N Wonderland
Judy @ Sew Some Sunshine
Emily @ The Darling Dogwood
Wanda @ Wanda's Life Sampler
Karen @ Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats
Katherine @ Sew Me Something Good

Wednesday, March 21st

Anja @ Anja Quilts
Kate @ Smiles from Kate
Sue @ Sevenoaks Street Quilts
Carole @ From My Carolina Home
Alison @ Little Bunny Quilts

Thursday, March 22nd
Debbie @ Esch House Quilts
Laura @ Slice of Pi Quilts
Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts
Janice @ Color Creating and Quilting
Joanne @ Quilts by Joanne

Friday, March 23rd

Cheryl @ Meadow Mist Designs
Paige @ Quilted Blooms

Please remember to come back on Wednesday to see my secret sewing revealed, I will definitely be posting on time next week, so until then,

With smiles from,
Kate x

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Bit Of This, Bit Of That.......

Lots been happening in the last week........not!  The bad news is the heavy snow prevented me from going to the embroidery weekend, but the good news is the west side of the country became affected too and the course was cancelled with full refunds!!! Oh yes, I was doing my happy dance at the refund.  Guess what happened after that?  I came down with a virus, aches, pains, headache, if the weekend had been on no way would I have been able to attend.  I spent four days cuddled up on the sofa feeling sorry for myself.  The good news is Higham Hall have put on another weekend in April and gave us first option for places, Yipeeeeeee!!!!!  Especially as I am able to go that particular weekend.

I haven't been up to doing much sewing but I did make bee blocks for Jennifer @Inquiring Quilter who is joint queen at Bee Inspired this month.

Shamrock blocks four of them as they are so small.

Last year Jennifer requested a block she designed herself

I made this one in three shades of green and white, Jennifer is calling her block Irish Eyes.

This is Jenifer's design.  You can find out more about it and the tutorial for the shamrock border block on this Bee Inspired post.

I also wanted to show you

A memory cushion I made for my Niece Claire a couple of weeks ago.  Claire's grandad died not so long ago, she had a shirt of his and asked me if I could make this cushion which incorporates the pocket and shirt front, the shirt was just wide enough.

Can you see the pocket?  It almost disappears into the pattern.

It had obviously been a favourite, the fabric was very soft from wear, so I layered the top with a cotton batting and a white calico.

 I stitched the two fronts together, I left the buttons on of course but the 'shirt front' doesn't open any more.  I quilted it with simple lines using my walking foot and following the check pattern, it it doesn't appear quite straight it's because the fabric was slightly distorted with use.

  I didn't quilt the pocket of course, you can see it better here.

I made a simple envelope back using the back of the shirt, I didn't use wadding on the back but I did add a fabric backing to the fabric as it was so soft and well worn.  I added some widely spaced stitching to support the fabric, you can hardly see them here.  The check doesn't quite match on the pic, although it does without the cushion pad.

I finished it off by stitching around the edge, it gives it a nice finish I think and it stops the edge from turning and showing the back, handy if the back is a different fabric or colour.

I hope Claire likes it.

Now, you may well have read this already but I have to tell you, or remind you,

that the Modern Plus Sign Book Hop starts this coming Monday 12th March.  This is going to be so exciting, and like all good book launch hops there are lot's of giveaways too so don't miss it.

This hop is even more important to me, Paige Alexander from Quilted Blooms was the first new blogger I met when I started blogging two years ago, and Cheryl was one of my mentors in the New Quilt Bloggers in 2016.  They are both lovely warm and generous people who are wonderful quilters and contribute much to the quilting and blogging world.

Here is the schedule so you don't miss anything

Monday, March 12th
Paige @ Quilted Blooms

Tuesday, March 13th
Kitty @ Night Quilter
Sophie @ Luna Lovequilts
Afton @ Quilting Mod

Wednesday, March 14th
Jayne @ Twiggy and Opal
Abigail @ Cut & Alter
Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl
Sandra @ mmm! quilts
Karen @ Run Sew Fun

Thursday, March 15th
Bernie @ Needle and Foot
Michelle @ From Bolt to Beauty

Friday, March 16th
Izzy @ Dizzy Quilts
Christa @ Christa Quilts

Monday, March 19th
Jessica @ Quilty Habit

Tuesday, March 20th
Katherine @ Sew Me Something Good

Wednesday, March 21st
Anja @ Anja Quilts

Thursday, March 22nd
Joanne @ Quilts by Joanne

Friday, March 23rd
Paige @ Quilted Blooms

Now, if you read down the list you might notice ME, yes that's right!  I have made one of the quilts from the book for the hop, my secret sewing, oh I'm so excited about this, I can't wait to show you my lovely quilt, I will of course!

There are over forty quilt bloggers taking part and two quilts from the book will be featured every day, so you will see lot's of different versions.

That's all for today, as I said at the start I've been poorly and just wasn't up to sewing or much of anything else really, I am so behind in my blog reading, just after I had got caught up too.

So, let's chat again next week by which time I hope I will have done some more sewing and ave something to show you, fingers crossed.

Until next time,
With smiles from,
Kate x

Linking up with:
Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?
Crazy Mom Quilts
Finished Or Not Friday

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Ups, Downs, And More Love

My sewing machine has been hot this week, but little to show, sad :-(  But this sun is ever shining this time in the form of another three doll quilts from the lovely Wendy who lives by the river.  Wendy doesn't blog so I am sharing for her anyway and linking them to Bernie's Wrap Up page.  Want to see them?

How cute is this?  Wendy added a border of lace which sets it off beautifully, definitely a girls quilt.

I love the scrappy border on this one, Wendy made it with leftover strips from her Gypsy Wife quilt, yes she has finished hers completely and no I haven't started making the back for mine yet!

Or maybe Liberty is your preference, what little girl wouldn't like this, and a lot of big girls too.
I know Wendy always reads my posts, even though she has never managed to leave a comment yet, she is definitely not techie, but if you would like to comment on them I know she will be thrilled to read them.

There has been so many quilters who have joined in it has been truly inspirational.  However, once the supply runs out there will still be a need for more so if you wanted to join in but cannot at this time don't think your chance is over, they will always be welcome.

I have been working on my Postcards From Sweden quilt and today is the first link up with Musings of a Menopausal Melon (Mmm Quilts) quilt along, so without further ado here is my progress.

No, I admit there isn't a lot, out of the 36 fabrics to be cut into the required number of triangles I cut seven, but it is a start and there is always next week to try and catch up a bit, hopefully.  Actually I cut another one which seems to have temporarily disappeared, at this stage every little helps!

I didn't have as much sewing time this week, Jack fell and was admitted to hospital.  He is ok, a scrape on his back which is sore, but it turned out to be a lucky fall as they found he has a chest infection and caught it early.  He is now home and getting on with his everyday life.  He plays the piano and organ beautifully, he has an electronic one.  He once played a piece of music he made up out of his head and linked the piano to his computer ( yes he is almost 91, amazing isn't he), he has a programme which printed out a musical score of what he played.  Unfortunately he couldn't play it again from the score, he said it was too difficult for him!   Jack also likes to spend time surfing with his iPad and has requested I get him a new mobile, an iPhone.  Not bad for almost 91 is it?

I did make,

a cross block for Ann as Queen Bee in Bee Inspired this week, you can find her tutorial on Ann's blog Brown Paws Quilting.  The cross was made using a base of calico stitch and flip and I raided my scrap bin and chose lots of my favourite fabrics.  It's a bit brighter than it looks here though with a white Bella solid background.

I want to link to One Monthly Goal this week, I linked in January then events overtook me and I didn't link at the end, even though I had hit my goal.  I didn't link beginning of February for the same reasons, and I hit the goal I would have made with Circles.  This month I HAVE to hit it.

It's my secret sewing quilt.  This is your biggest clue so far and as big as they will get!   I am way behind and now I have had to order thread.  I hope it come quickly I am stuck and starting to panic I can't show you any more than this, three more weeks to wait.

I can show you the new fabrics that came through the post though.

Kona solids for the second signature quilt the panel of which will be on the back.   The signature fabric is the silver one.   This is for my wonderful son Chris and his beautiful bride to be Sarah.   Sarah is very 'arty', she is a teacher (Deputy Head) who has a degree in fine art and is is interested in colour and the quilt design, so with a little guidance and much searching of Pinterest she has designed her own quilt as regard to size, blocks and colours.  I gave her my Kona colour chart and left her to it.  She is leaving the colour placement to me but I will consult her on it.  It is such a pleasure to work with her, I am so very happy with my sons choice of bride.  I have been asked to do the reading at the wedding too (silent scream), as this one is a civil ceremony as opposed to a religious one no mention of religion is allowed and as they want it to be a day of light and happiness I have chosen a humorous reading.  They know it is humorous but they don't know what it is, it will be a surprise hehe!  Hope they like it!

Want to see the view from my window today?

View from my bedroom window upstairs.

Look how it has drifted at the back door.

Nothing stops my girls though, they love it only the snow melts on to their fur and takes some shifting, only heat will get it off.

The back garden has drifts too, and as I write this it is coming down full force again.

The Beast from the East as the media is calling it.  We never get snow like this at this time of year, it is affecting the east side of Scotland and northern England as well as the south east and is expected to hit the south west tomorrow.  I woke up to a white out, we had several inches over yesterday and overnight with another four to six inches expected today and more tomorrow.   Schools are closed as are some roads.  People are being told not to travel if it is necessary and apparently there are abandoned cars on the roads with a fair few accidents already.   It's crazy, there was an earthquake on the west side this morning too, yes really, we do get them occasionally in the UK although thankfully they are relatively small, this one was measured 3.2 on the Richter Scale.
Thank goodness I went food shopping on Monday and I know Jack and my parents have plenty of food and people around them too as we live nearly twenty miles away.

The bad news?  I may not get to Higham Hall for my embroidery retreat on Friday, gutted I am.  It's not only that I can't go but as it is on the west of the country there is no chance it will be cancelled and I will loose my money, almost £250 and I didn't take out the insurance.  I'm nearly in tears at the thought.  As I don't work now I have to choose carefully what I spend my money on, we don't go on many holidays and my weekend retreat was carefully budgeted for, sad!  However, if it isn't as bad as expected and maybe clears up a little then my husband may be able to take my friend and I across in his 4x4 and her husband will collect us.  I have everything crossed, wish us luck in getting there.

This is what I will hopefully be working on.  This small project just needs to be finished and wings aded to the ladybird, it was supposed to be a spider but I don't like spiders.

I would really like to get this one finished I've been on with it for ages.  it would help if I worked on it at home but quilting always seems to take over.

Lastly I have chosen another UFO to work on, my target for the year was to finish three UFO's and not add to them.

My modern sampler blocks.  I don't know how many of these I will need as I haven't decided on the layout yet but as they are only six inches it will be a fair few.  I started this last year and it was meant as a longer term project I could take to my sewing group but as I am finding it heavy to carry the machine and all the equipment I need it came to a stop.  I need a new project to take but I don't know what, maybe appliqué, needle turn to keep up with my skills, I need a think in that one.

So that is all for today, maybe I will get some more triangles cut or sampler blocks made as I can't quilt my secret project, or maybe I will let my conscience dictate and catch up on the ironing.  One thing is sure, my husband who is working from home today will stop me fifty million times for tea, questions, and to show me some stupid video of Facebook of a cute animal.  Does your partner do that?

Until next time,
With smiles from
Kate x

Also linking with:
Midweek Makers
Can I get a Whoop Whoop?
What a Hoot Quilts hosting for TGIFF