Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Quilts make great Christmas presents.................

............. for nieces and nephews

Nigel's sister has a boy and two girls who we always buy for each Christmas

This year with only me earning and a general belt-tightening operation in place I decided that using up what I had in my stash already to make them each a quilt would keep me busy, taking my mind off the various issues that have troubled our family this year, and make cost-neutral gifts for them

The boy will be 13 in May and I did wonder if tractor fabric might be a bit childish for him but his paternal granddad passed away a couple of years ago and tractors are something they enjoyed sharing so maybe it's not as 'young' as it might have originally seemed

For utility type quilts I generally revert to a large meander pattern for the quilting - quick, simple and does the job

But I decided to work this tractor quilt in a water ripple type pattern just for a change - it was fun to do and I like the effect

The older girl is 9 - the blue and lilac scrappy blocks, which were just the product of a 'use up scraps while doing some mindless stitching' session, have been set into white to give a smart and fairly sophisticated design

The younger girl is 8 so the multi-coloured triangle blocks are a fun addition to her bedroom

Their mum told Nigel this morning that they all loved their quilts when their grandparents delivered them for us yesterday

Everybody happy - result!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

I really love ..................

............... complex quilts

Those made with lots of little pieces,

those with stunning applique,

medallion style quilts that give something different with each round you add

but sometimes you just need some speedy almost instant gratification

Big blocks very quickly turn into fast quilts

Here all the pieces laid out - strips 2.5 inches wide

will turn into blocks like this that measure 14 inches finished

With decent sized sashing you only need 12 of these for a double bed sized quilt

Which is just as well as Sarah's old room is in need of just such a thing to turn it into a cosy guest room to welcome her and other visitors

Finally - how cute is this pot - my dear work colleague gave me it for Christmas - it came with 4 useful reels of thread in - just the right size for keeping my scissors and rotary cutters to hand

Sunday, December 15, 2013

There's been a definite emphasis..................

............... on the masculine side of things at the sewing machine this week

lots of dinosaurs on the one hand
or maybe you prefer a tractor or two
Lots of secret mission stitching for Christmas so I can't say too much more
Suffice to say I've spent a lovely afternoon with my mum pinning several quilt sandwiches.  She has access to a large table in the communal area of the complex that my parents live in and where I can do this without having to kneel on the floor
Lovely to spend time just chatting to her while I ironed and then pinned away and her extra pair of hands made laying out the layers so much easier
Lots of machine quilting to get on with now so I can get them finished ready for Christmas

Friday, December 13, 2013

It's a long time ..................

since I've done any embroidery
But when I pulled out the name of a colleague with a three year old daughter from the Secret Santa hat I thought a Christmas wallhanging with a Father Christmas on it would be just the ticket
I've been off work for virtually all this week with a grotty flu type bug - I went back in on Thursday morning and only lasted til lunchtime - yeuch!!!  Hopefully being off again today combined with the weekend will help me knock this on the head and be fit to go back in on Monday for the last week of term as I have a stack of work to get done before we break up for the Christmas break next Friday
So a little gentle stitching in between napping is really all I've been fit for this week
A little red button and some tiny black seed beads give the finishing touches
And here we are - the finished article 
Ho Ho Ho!!!

Sunday, December 01, 2013

And a reveal.................

....... now it's been handed over

The close up shot I showed you in the last post is part of a cot quilt for a colleague at work who is expecting a little boy on 16th January
Unbeknown to me she has selected a boat/seaside theme for the nursery.  How fortuitous that the fabric I chose for her quilt has little boats and all things seasidey on it.  I bought the fabric from the market in Den Bosche in the Netherlands whilst on holiday this summer.  It struck me that, while I have plenty of girly and neutral baby fabrics in my stash I didn't have much in the way of boyish fabrics.  There was lots of choice on the stalls in this lovely Dutch market so I bought several different half meter lengths to bolster my stash.  If you look at the 'non-triangle' blocks in the photo above you should just make out the little boats - so sweet - and quite different to the fabrics available here in the UK.  I took the colours from this fabric - pale blue, dark blue, white, red and grey - to work the design
As you can see from the finished article a 4" stack, cut and stitch triangle block made in the various colours and placed in a specific pattern give the final product.  Reasonably quick to put together and very effective.