Monday, March 31, 2008

Churn dash top assembled

This is a picture of Margery's mini quilt which I used for inspiration for my yellow and purple quilt - what a darling - each of the small squares measures only a half inch square
This is my version which is three times the size at 1.5" per square
Doesn't work quite as well - insufficient contrast between the light and dark yellow (ignore the terracotta it's resting on a cushion)
Really wish I'd used the reverse side of the lighter yellow to make a marked difference
Might well do another version with stronger contrasts in different colours because I really love the design
Maybe carefully placed quilting in only the light areas might retrieve it a bit - we'll see
In the meantime - back to hearts - I know what I'm doing with them and that they work!!!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

We interrupt these proceedings..........

I haven't come out of my heart phase yet, but I spotted a teeny little quilt the other day on a yahoo list I belong to which employed the clever use of churn dash blocks and fabric shading to hint at a larger block over the top.
I emailed the maker, who doesn't have a blog to my knowledge, and asked her permission to use the idea
She very sweetly agreed and so here we are the very early stages
Hers was a miniscule 5.5" finished in shades of green and beige with all the sub-units measuring in at half an inch square - I couldn't stomach something that tiny (yet) so have gone for a more manageable version at around 13.5" (using 1.5" units) in zany purple and yellow!
Lots of HSTs and QSTs but as it's only nine blocks I think I can keep the enthusiasm going - watch this space - I'll revert to appliqueing hearts when I feel my own personal piecing overflow level being reached
Then there was a wonderful treat in the post today
Dawn had a draw on her blog to celebrate 500 posts - WOW!
I was one of the lucky people and here is the most darling little quilt I received yesterday - please excuse the Heath Robinson fashion of hanging - I was so excited I couldn't wait to stitch on the hanger or put a nail in the wall
Along with it came some scrummy chocolate and a lovely little sewing case
Thank you Dawn they're lovely
Here's my boy sporting a terrific black eye - he was punched by a classmate at school yesterday lunchtime during a game of kickaround football - so that meant a visit to the school yesterday afternoon - however the school have been magnificent and are dealing with the issue in a way which totally satisfies our family, the boy who threw the unprovoked punches has serious anger management problems and comes from a terrible background, but the school's attitude, while needing to offer help to this unfortunate boy, is also to ensure a safe environment for his peers - Nick does look a bit of a bruiser though doesn't he? There's now a big competition in our house between him and his elder sister as to who's had the better black eye - Kids!!!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Joseph, the ugly duckling, is starting to look more swan-like

When I read back over my last post and looked at the black hand dyed piece I started to feel 'Whatever was I thinking?'
However I persevered last night and finished all the hearts from the multicoloured batik fabric
I'm glad I did I have an underlying sneaky feeling that 'Joseph' might just become a sort of swan (albeit probably an australian black one) rather than the extinct dodo he looked before the applique was added.
Here he is preening his glorious colours between his paler plaid green and lilac neighbours

Thursday, March 27, 2008

More finishes and further developments

I definitely have an attack of heart fever.

This coupled with my new cutting/pressing unit has increased my output somewhat.
Karen was absolutely delighted with her blue and cream version and it has spurred her on to redecorate her bedroom to match.
This pastel one went to Pam at work who lost her mum at Christmas.
And the sand version here was given to Trish, the lady who does the other half of the secretarial/admin function at work with me - my work other half.
Everyone was pleased and I had just as much pleasure making and giving.
I've two more just waiting for the handstitching on the binding and they will go to Karol-Ann on her return from South Africa and to Clare in the Dordogne - I'm not showing you them yet as I don't want to spoil their surprises.
I have a lilac one part appliqued and a green plaid one awaiting sandwiching - a veritable production line and I thought just what fun it would be to try a completely different version
So pulling out some hand dyes, which were originally terracotta and turquoise but overdyed with black ,I pieced a chequerboard centre and used this awesome rainbow batik for the contrast - I shall do multicoloured hearts and binding to complete it - just because I can!
The beauty of trialling something this small is even if you hate it at the end it hasn't taken up loads of time or yards of fabric.
I think this one might just end up being called Joseph's Multicoloured Hearts! :o)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

What a wonderful guy!

I did say in my last post that the Easter weather forecast was less than kind

The weathermen were true to their word and the weekend was very chilly with plenty of squally wintry showers
So inside activities were the order of the day
I'm still on a heart kick and here are two more centres, one in sand, the other in pale pastels. I have two others also done, a red and blue plaid version as a swap for Karol-Ann when she returns from her travels in exchange for some African fabric and then a green plaid version.
Nigel has been on a mission this past few weeks - my pile of fabric on my sewing surface has been breeding and lo and behold there were similar 'nests' in the conservatory, the dining room and the lounge. To be fair he's a very tolerant man - he has to be putting up with me - but these ever increasing mounds were starting to seriously depress him and so he's been on 'low-level nag mode' for a few weeks trying to encourage me to clear them.
This weekend with us all stuck inside seemed the ideal opportunity to have a sort-out.
As a reward for clearing it all up he made me a new unit for my sewing area which is just the right height for cutting and pressing
Two old kitchen cabinets and a length of work surface from the junk in the garage coupled with some extendable legs from the DIY store yesterday and VOILA!!! An excellent afternoon's work!
Now of course the problem is, all that exercise I used to get walking the length of the house from sewing machine to ironing board won't happen now as they're right next door to each other - still think of the exercise my knees will get jumping up from my chair every few seconds
He truly is a star!!!!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The blues have it!

A couple of evenings' work and here we are - a blue and cream version for Karen at work - bet she'll be surprised (hopefully pleasantly) when I take it in today.
The sun is shining brightly here in Somerset this morning giving a pretty true interpretation of the colours in this photo but the temperatures don't reflect it - we've even the possibility of snow over the Easter weekend - sounds like good stitching weather to me :o)
Mmmm I can feel purple, green or brown versions coming on, might even make a sand and aqua version for my living room. I'm sure I could find a little bit of wall space to put one up somewhere.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Miniature Hearts all done

Here we are, my miniature hearts quilt is completed - it measures in at around 12" x 10" and one of my work mates loved it so much that I'm making a cream version with dark blue hearts on now especially for her as she's redecorating her bedroom in those colours - she doesn't know about that yet, so shhhhhh, don't tell her :o)

This was such fun to do - small enough to finish quickly but not too fiddly - I can feel a range of them in all different colours coming on

Sarah had a Regional rugby match against the West Midlands on Sunday - in all the time I've been watching her play I have never been so cold - the weather was fair but the north wind blowing directly at us across the pitch was what we call in Yorkshire a lazy wind because it goes through you instead of round you. Brrrrrrrrrr!!!!!

Still it was definitely worth it - they didn't actually win the match, it was a close call at 5-12, but the bonus result of the day was that Sarah and one of her club mates have been selected for the final squad of 22 who will represent the South West South region for the U18s age group at the National Ladies Rugby Festival in May.

Sorry Jane, I shan't be able to call in to give you a stitchery tutorial as they've moved it from Rugby to Lichfield this year.

I only have one more day at school this week as it's Easter with a Bank Holiday on both Friday and Monday and I swapped my day off from Monday to Thursday so I get a long 5 day weekend - who knows I might even get my sewing area tidied up - don't hold your breath though :o)

Friday, March 14, 2008

We have to stitch the strangest things

The plaid phase hasn't gone in this house yet - I've come to a stall on my proverbs quilt, basically because I can't be bothered to work out the maths on the next round yet
However I started to play with some 2.5" squares the other day for a mini quilt from an inkling of an idea I'd seen somewhere on the internet
And here we are the centre for a teeny little quilt - it's not quite as PINK as it seems in the photo - the lighting wasn't brilliant
I still have borders to add - maybe this afternoon and then it can be quilted
As for strange sewing - one of the girls' coaches often gets roped in to referee some of Sarah's club games and rarely has a whistle on him - a bit of a drawback in that role.
So when we were in town last Saturday we bought a couple of ref's whistles to keep with the kit. Of course they didn't have any ribbon/string on them to hang round the neck so I recycled some I'd taken off something somewhere some time ago.
However I thought I'd personalise it in an attempt to ensure that our whistles don't wander
If you look closely you'll see I've free machine written 'Taunton Fillies' along the length of each ribbon in bright pink.
Hopefully the boys teams won't want to pinch them with girlie ribbons on :o)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Four Seasons Spring Quilt ready for sandwiching

Ta daaaa!!!!!!!!!!

I've completed all the stitchery on my Spring Four Seasons quilt top
I started it and really enjoyed the first little bit - then when I looked at the top and realised how much there was to do I went through one of those 'Oh no, I've bitten off more than I can chew here' moments as my boredom threshold zoomed up at break neck speed on the ever nearing horizon
But I stuck with it and here it is........
Done! Now to sandwich and quilt.
Nick had a great day this last Sunday.
His football team had to win their last match to beat last year's winners Bishops Lydeard to win their football (soccer) league
They were playing another very strong team, Heathfield, and most of the boys from Bishops Lydeard were coming to watch the game and cheer on the opposition to thwart us
However it was not to be for them as Nick's team won the match 4 - 1
Here are the victorious team with my red-headed lad in the middle of the front row
Sadly I missed the game as I had to take Sarah to Cullompton for regional training but Daddy got to watch and cheer from the sidelines instead
Mind you never was there such an excited boy as the one that bounced out of the house to greet us on our return :o)))))

Friday, March 07, 2008

And then there was the next stage

Last posting I showed you the centre I've received to work on for the Spring Fling Round Robin
The centre measured 8.5" and needed sufficient adding to it to make it 13.5" square
It is up to the stitcher to work out how to do that - a simple all round border, setting it on point maybe or, as I've chosen, an offset border on just two of the sides
And here we are
The cream spotted background is the fabric I shall send it on its way with (along with the purple leftovers) to promote continuity
When I first dreamed up my addition I thought I might like to add a little applique to the centre block in the cream - now I really don't know..........
What do you all think?

Thursday, March 06, 2008

I've received my Spring Fling centre

I received this lovely block in the post yesterday from Jeanette in Finland

I have plans for a cream background with applique for the next round - I really love this centre block but feel it may appear a little dark against the cream. Jeanette has very kindly given me permission to add small cream appliqued accents to her block to tie them in together.

So I guess I'll be doing some Spring Fling applique as well as Four Seasons stitchery on the sofa tonight :o)

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

A hint of Spring

I promised you a sneaky peak at my Spring Four Seasons quilt so............
here we are.
Just ignore the red, white and blue check that's just extra fabric stitched on temporarily to ease working in the embroidery hoop
Lots of stitchery to do in the white sections on this one so that'll keep me occupied in front of the tv for a while
Sarah spoke to the club physio last night about her elbow and he is going to sort out a programme of muscle strengthening exercises to help her. He doesn't sound anything like as pessimistic as the doctor did on Sunday so we are very hopeful that she should be able to manage this situation and continue to play at the levels she aspires to.
Other than that little news here - busy at work with year end on the horizon for me, Nigel continues to improve being very cautious about lifting anything but otherwise doing great
Nick has one football (soccer) game left to play this weekend for his team which if they win will mean they win their league - so fingers crossed for him. It's a toughie but they might just do it
As for Lou - she's turned into a total bookworm - I'm ashamed to say that we've only just joined the local lending library even after being here for well over two years - to be honest we always have lots of books around the house anyway but, as she's exhausted all of our stocks, she's now decided to try and do the same to the local authority's stocks. All well and good but it's even more difficult to get her to turn out the light at bedtime now. Mind you both her daddy and I can remember sneaking a torch to bed under the covers to read into the night at her age too - breeding will out
Have a good day all - more number crunching for me today - groan...............

Monday, March 03, 2008

March's bag completed much earlier in the month

You could no doubt tell from my last post that I liked the look of the March bag much better than the February one

So here's what I made this afternoon

I love the effect the space dyes give - however I might just make another sometime in prints

The potatoes were a huge success at the rugby yesterday with lots of the girls going back for seconds - that's always a compliment

Sadly Sarah didn't have such a great afternoon - she was about to get up from the floor just before the match after doing some warm up pressups when one of her team-mates started up some horseplay and accidentally knocked another girl into Sarah - result - elbow back to square one again before the match had even started.

I took her to A&E last night - not the most fun place to spend Mother's Day teatime. It appears she has quite shallow sockets on her elbow joints so this will probably be a recurring problem - we will have to sort out some triceps strengthening exercises so her muscles will be better equipped to prevent it recurring. She has Regional training next Sunday and a Regional match the week after - hopefully we can get it back to playing fitness in time but she'll never do press-ups within reach of anyone again that's for sure.

I've had notification of my Four Seasons Spring Swap recipient - so I've made a start on this too.

I was going to start something completely from scratch but as I was searching through my cupboard the other day I came across a piece I started some time ago in very pretty pale pink and pale green - just perfect for Spring in my book - so I'm developing that - I'll show you a little preview next time