Thursday, 30 December 2010

2010 in Stitches

Well, that's 2010 nearly all sewn up (boom boom!) and I think I achieved a fair bit, sewing wise:

  • I completed my Jacob's Ladder quilt top, started late 2009 and am part way through quilting it. It's taking a little longer than I originally expected mainly because I made the decision to hand rather than machine quilt. I have counted up, and I have completed 59 out of the 80 blocks. Estimated time spent hand quilting this so far = 24 hours. Yikes. Think I will stick to smaller projects and machine quilting.

  • quilt in hoop
  • I have nearly completed quilt tops for both Gman and Waif.  Gman's red and black quilt centre is complete, and I working on some wonky square blocks for top and bottom borders (all will be revealed in time).  Waif's village quilt is waiting for a few more trees and lots more fences.

  • WIP - flying geese border added
  • I made a few mini quilts:  a beach hut themed one for my mum's caravan; a scrappy Army Star/Split Nine Patch for the back of the sofa and recently a little hexagon quilt for Waif's Guinea Baby toy.

  • guinea baby's quilt
  • I made a start on a hexagon charm quilt.  Lost momentum a bit on this one TBH, but might pick it up again in the summer, cos I was very partial to sitting in the garden with these!  Bring on the summer.

  • hexies on the garden chair
  • Made a nightie.  Think my dressmaking career endeth there ;-)

  • mama's nightie
  • Made a load more Morsbags...current tally stands at 137.

  • kitchen bags
  • Started to learn embroidery with the help of Sharon's Stitch Files.

  • running stitch closeup
  • Bought an embellisher machine and made a few cloths with this, plus a couple of little pouches.

  • winter scene
  • Helped Gman to make two quilts himself, and Waif to make a little drawstring bag.

proud with quilt
All in all a sewtastic year :-)

So, goals for 2011?!

  • Get the Jacob's Ladder quilt quilted and bound - hopefully within the next two months.

  • Complete quilt top for Gman.  Should have this done by the end of January, or hopefully earlier.  Then to decide how to quilt...?

  • Complete Waif's liberated village quilt top.  This might take a bit longer...

  • Continue learning to embroider with the help of the Stitch Files.

  • Make something with a zip.  (this was a goal for 2010, but never seemed to have gotten round to it)

  • Have a go at some free pieced letters a la Tonya Ricucci

  • Make a journal quilt each month (in collaboration with a new quilty friend).  Watch this space for more info...

I also have a hankering to make an art doll after borrowing Jan Horrox's book from the library.  Yes, I quite possibly have lost the plot :-)

Basically, I just want to continue to learn all I can about quilting, embroidery and all things textile.  And to have fun doing it!


Auto Draft

Friday, 17 December 2010

A Finish

guinea baby's quilt

Not a WIP, or even a WISP, and defo not a's a finished quilt! OK, so it's only 16 inches square, but it's complete!

It's a Christmas present for Waif's soft toy guinea pig - "Guinea Baby" who particularly likes hexagons and the colours red, yellow and orange. Apparently. Hope he approves.

The hexagons are flowers I made for my hexagon charm quilt (before I decided on the star layout) and I hand appliqued them onto the squares. I machine pieced the squares and machine quilted. The binding is "mock binding" ie the backing brought forward to the front.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

I almost forgot to show you this...'s a little winter landscape I stitched up.

winter scene

I must admit, I'm not entirely sure I like it (I wondered if it was a bit too bleak) but it is growing on me.

The background is done on the embellisher on white felt with various white and cream rovings, bits of yarn, and a little bit of gold sparkly material. I then hand embroidered using various stitches: running, chain, stem, fly...

Waddya reckon?

More Stitch Files

I've done a bit more on my stitch files...

I experimented with running stitch to make some darning patterns:

running stitch darning

And made a little sample of feather stitch:

feather close up

After looking at the amazing samples on Raphaela's blog, I will definitely be back to explore this stitch a bit more :-)

Tuesday, 7 December 2010


OK, I peaked too early...yesterday's post should have been today (oops)

So today is the day to surf the Liberated Quilters webring and read all about the wonderful quilts people have made, all influenced by Tonya. You could start off by having a glass of champagne at Clare's blog...

Monday, 6 December 2010

Ode to Tonya

As all liberated quilters will know, today sees the release of Tonya "Lazy Gal" Ricucci's first book "Word Play Quilts". Aside from Gwen Marston herself, Tonya has got to be the most influential liberated quilter about. Certainly, if I hadn't stumbled across her wonky house tutorial, I never would have discovered liberated quilting, never would have joined and been inspired by the fabulous Liberated Quilters yahoo group, met the wonderful Clare, and made a start on my liberated village. So, if you are not familiar with Tonya's stuff, step on over to her blog, then order your copy of Word Play Quilts!

To complete my ode to Tonya, here are pics of all my Tonya-inspired wonky houses in all their glory:

third liberationbig and liberated housetipsy glitter househen housedinky liberated housesliberated churchlibereted house with animals
liberated tall pointy housedotty housetoo much caffeine housejazz house

I can't wait to get my sticky mitts on a copy of Word Play Quilts and I am sure you will be seeing some free pieced letters on this blog very soon :-)

Thursday, 2 December 2010

The Stitch Files - Running Stitch

Sharon has released part four of the Stitch Files - you can download them here.

One of the stitches this time was the humble running stitch and I have had fun with it. First off, I challenged myself to stitch with colours that do not normally form part of my palette (pastel, muted, pink - feminine!!) and made this little felted piece:

running on felt

I actually quite like it, and so does DH, cos he has pinched it for a mat to put on top of one of his speakers!

Then I had a play with whipping and interlacing rows of running stitch, and I like the way they look too:

running stitch closeup

As well as working on my stitch files I have also been doing a bit of holiday related stitching. Some I can't reveal as the recipients may well see this blog first, but I can show you this, which is a little embellished and stitched piece I created to affix to a sketchbook for my much loved stepdad:

mystical tree

I think this is my favourite piece of embroidery so far, I especially love the effect of the chain stitch tree trunk. I was inspired to stitch this by some of the lovely brooches made by Kayla coo - check them out on her blog.

I am also busy making a mini (doll sized) quilt using some of my hexagon flowers. Waif has demanded a quilt for his soft toy guinea pig - the imaginatively named Guinea Baby - and apparently Guinea Baby insists on hexagons and a red/orange/yellow/brown colour scheme! I don't have time to piece a whole hexie quilt, even this size, so I am hand appliqueing the flowers to square blocks which I will then sew into a four patch. The first two are yellow and orange flowers on red backgrounds, the next two will be red/brown flowers on an orangey yellow background. I think it will look pretty nice :-). Let's hope Guinea Baby approves!

first two blocks for Guinea Baby

Tuesday, 23 November 2010


The arrival of the Morsbags winter newsletter spurred me into action and I whizzed up these two Morsbags this avo:
mini morsbag with swirls
sparkly bag

They have been cut out and ready to sew for far too long - think the sparkly stretchy material was putting me off, but it wasn't too bad to sew up after all and is a bit festive :-)

I do like to be beside the sunset

sunset sea closeup

More fun with the embellisher :-)

I made this fabric postcard for my mum. The background fabric is a scrap of denim. I needle punched wool rovings, scraps of different fabrics and yarns onto the background, then hand embroidered using running stitch, fly stitch, herringbone and crown stitch; and then there's the beaded bling factor.

I am pretty pleased with it and I think mum liked it.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Check Out the Ring!

No, I'm not talking about dodgy horror films...or worse still, royal wedding engagements ;-). Eagle eyed readers will notice a new thingy on my side bar. Yes, I am very honoured to have been asked by the wonderful Dordogne Quilter, Clare to join the Liberated Quilters webring. Go check out the other liberated quilters - there's some great blogs featured :-)

Monday, 15 November 2010

A New Toy and a Proud Boy

Woohoo - I am the proud owner of an embellishing machine :-). It's a Pfaff 350P - check it out. I've done a bit of experimenting with various materials, yarns, ribbons, scraps...and so far this is my favourite piece, felted from pieces of two scarves I bought from a charity shop (plus a teeny bit of chiffon), then hand stitched with chain stitch swirly bits:

woolly chain stitch close up
woolly chain stitch really close up

I think what I will love best about the embellisher is the opportunity to use all sorts of scraps and shiny bits...and making lovely textured surfaces to embroider on. Watch this space!

On the subject of proud, my eldest son, Gman, completed his first quilt project this week. He made a nine patch table runner for his bedroom drawers. He chose all the fabrics and pieced and quilted it himself. As you can see, he is very pleased with his efforts! And his mama is very proud :-)

proud with quilt

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

More Stitch Files

I've been adding to my collection of stitches can check them out in my Flickr set here:

This is my most recent and most fun:

chain stitch close up

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Learning to Stitch - Cretan

Well, I've been carrying on trying out the new stitches in Sharon's The Stitch Files. This time I have given Cretan Stitch a go and here's the results of my experiments:

cretan stitch

I put off trying this stitch, thinking it looked difficult, but it has been my favourite so far, surpassing even the good ole blanket/buttonhole stitch.

I love the way it looks over the ricrac, though not sure how secure the ricrac would maybe a few beads or sparkly things to hold in place would do the trick. Mmmmm...ricrac and beads and sparkly things :-)

Friday, 29 October 2010

Back in Black (and red)

Well, I finally got round to completing the flying geese borders for Gman's red and black quilt. I am loving the way it looks so far but it's not quite big enough yet, so not sure what to add to bring it up to size...any ideas?!? It is wide enough, but needs to be longer, so looking at adding top and bottom borders.

WIP - flying geese border added

Monday, 25 October 2010

Aliens, Alveva and A Bit of Stitchin

This weekend, me and mum popped over to nearby Feltwell to check out the Alveva Quilters exhibition. It was held in a farm barn and was fffffffreezing but was a really special show. There was a range of different quilts on display, some hung from the beams which looked lovely, as well as a couple of trade stands. I didn't spot any liberated or free pieced quilts but was delighted to see several stunning scrap quilts, as I much prefer scrappy to overly coordinated. And the home-made cakes were delicious :-)

quilt show barn

inside barn

As far as my own projects go - I am up to 36 blocks quilted (out of 80) on my Jacob's Ladder and have just started sewing hexies together for the first spike on my star. I have nearly finished the flying geese border for Gman's red and black quilt.

Oh yes, and I have decided to try my hand at some embroidery. Sharon, over at Pintangle is running a series of "stitching files" and I have downloaded the first six with a view to putting together my own folder of stitching. I have made a start by making samples of buttonhole, herringbone and chevron stitches, as well as collecting examples of these to inspire me.

buttonhole stitch
chevron stitch

Oh, and I made this alien mini-quilt for Waif from one of his drawings, using backstitch:


I know I have a very long way to go but am enjoying the process as well as being part of the Stitchin Fingers community, where there is lots of inspiration to be gleaned.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Friday, 24 September 2010

Still here!

It's been a busy few weeks and sewing has been on a bit of a back burner but I have been beavering away on hand quilting my Jacob's Ladder quilt (30 blocks down, *only* 50 more to do :-)). Struggling a bit with sewing my hexagons because I really can't see well enough in electric light to do these accurately enough, and chances during daylight hours to sew are few and far between!

After laying out my house blocks for Waif's quilt it was looking like the village needed a couple more houses so I knocked these up:

too much caffeine house
jazz house

The first one is "too much caffeine house" and the second one is clearly inhabited by a jazz musician ;-)

I think the gaps will be filled with trees, stars, and random bits and pieces. I found this tutorial on tree blocks, so think I will be giving that a go.

Thursday, 2 September 2010


I promised a picture once I had the next "ring" of hexies on and here it is:

hexagons with five rings

Been too busy for blogging...but hope to resume normal service soon :-)

Thursday, 19 August 2010


Tomorrow I'm off to the Festival of Quilts.  Yippee!  Can't wait!

In the meantime, here's what I've been up to:

1. Continuing with my hexagons.  I have decided to go with scrappy rings rather than single colours and it's looking rather lovely.  Will post pics once I have the next round of hexies on.

2. More hand quilting of my Jacob's Ladder quilt.  I am now more than a quarter of the way through!

3. Added the denim border to my Gee's Bend style corduroy quilt top:

Denim Border on Gee's Bend tribute quilt

It measures about 38 x 40 inches now, so not quite lap quilt size.  I have a couple of legs of jeans left, so might add a border to just the top and bottom.  I think if I make it any bigger it will be too heavy to pick up :-).  I don't think I will quilt it as such.  I was thinking of backing with an old fleece blanket then using yarn to tie it.

4. I was stricken by guilt that it had been so long since I made any Morsbags, so knocked up half a dozen:
kitchen bags
flowery and blue
skateboard bag
I particularly like the kitchen print,although understandably, Waif has claimed the skateboarding Morsbag.

Until next time...zzzzzzz....