Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Christmas Through the Year - November

Yay, I finally got round to finishing my last Chrismtas name panel! I procrastinate terribly when it comes to finishing off projects - I hate binding - but then find it never takes as long as I think it's going to take.

Anyway, here it is, just in time for November's Christmas Through the Year challenge:

Harry Complete

Check out what other folks have been making here. And a big thanks to Allie for hosting the Christmas Through the Year challenge! I never would have managed to get all these presents made without the encouragement and support of being part of this challenge.

Monday, 28 November 2011

The Excitement Mounts

As if I wasn't excited enough about the Crazy Quilt Journal Project 2012, I have another reason to be even more excited! The reason is that my wonderfully talented and creative mum is also going to be participating in the challenge! And she has started a blog - check out her first blog post here, and see the beautiful crazy quilt wallhanging she made last year.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

What's Your Flower?

So, to the snowdrops...if you guessed it was something to do with the Crazy Quilt Journal Project, you were right!

It started when I came across this in one of our homeschool books:

shakespeare flowers

(Shakespeare for Kids)

Aha! I thought, I can use this list to give me a starting point for each of my crazy quilt journal blocks! And yay! The first month is snowdrop, one of my favourite flowers. So, I started gathering pictures from Flickr for inspiration, and this helped me to pull together this little bundle of scraps to work with for my first block:

fabrics for snowdrop theme

The colours are much nicer in real life, but sadly the light in a British November does not do it justice :-(.

So, I'm thinking I will use each of the flowers as a starting point for each block, to help inform colour themes and embellishment ideas for each month. I may use actual pictoral representations of some of the flowers, but mainly it will be just to give me a starting place for choosing the colours. And as all the flowers will have at least some green for the foliage, this will give a commonality running through all the blocks.

Having had a gander about the interwebs at different lists of birth flowers, there is some variation in what are the "official" birth flowers, so I have chosen my favourites from a variety of sources and these are the ones I will choose:

January - Snowdrop
February - Violet
March - Daffodil
April - Daisy
May - Hawthorn
June - Rose
July - Delphinium
August - Poppy
September - Forget-me-not
October - Calendula
November - Chrysanthemum
December - Holly

I think this will give a nice mix of different colours and variations.

So, if you are doing the CQJP2012, what will you be doing for each of your different month's blocks?. I would love to hear other's ideas :-)

Tuesday, 22 November 2011


SnowdropsSnowdropssnowdropsSnowdrop, Clissold ParkSnowdropSnowdrops in Epping Forest
snowdrops, ghiocei - GalanthusSnowdropsSnowdropsSnowdropsSnowdrops_3Snowdrops

Snowdrops, a gallery on Flickr.

Why all the snowdrops? Wait and see :-)

Monday, 21 November 2011

Going Crazy in 2012!

I'm signing up for two challenges in 2012.

The first one will be Sharon of Pintangle's Take a Stitch Tuesday. Check out the details here. Basically, it will involve learning a new embroidery stitch a week.

And so I have somewhere to put all these lovely new embroidery stitches, I am going to join in with the Crazy Quilt Journal Project 2012. This past year, I've been increasingly realising that it's hand stitching that really lights my fire and I'd like to do more of it. Crazy quilting seems to fit the bill perfectly.

So, the challenge will be to create a crazy patchwork block each month (minimum size 6 x 6 inches) and the idea is that "Blocks should challenge your individual skills. Work to expand your artistic views and improve your technical skills." As I have never done any crazy quilting before, then this will definitely be expanding my skills! I have a bit of a planned theme for the blocks...but more of that in a later post...

Saturday, 19 November 2011

A New Love Affair

Other than fabric, threads and art supplies, one other thing I cannot resist is books. I have been a bookworm all my life, and until recently I thought e-readers were a horrible idea. I love the smell of books, the feel of them in my hands, the beauty of a bookshelf stacked with books...why on earth would I want to read books on a gadget?

But then I saw my friend's Kindle and I started to warm to the idea. Like me, she reads fantasy novels and some of them are ridiculously long and heavy enough to cause an injury. And the writing on the Kindle screen looks just like the writing in a book; and you can make it bigger for when your eyes get tired; and you can look words up in the dictionary as soon as you come across them without even leaving your seat! I was convinced.

So when the taxman sent me a refund for £90, about the same as the cost of a Kindle, I figured this must be a sign and I treated myself...just in time for a few days' holiday. Yep, I could go away for a few days and take a stack of books with me, and still hold them all in one hand :-).

So here I am in the hotel, reading in bed with my Kindle:

kindle at bedtime

As you can see, Gman has gone for the more conventional book approach!

And here's my new love on the table in the hotel room:

kindle in the hotel

Shamefaced at carrying my new love round in a jiffy bag, as soon as I got back home I whipped up this case for it:

kindle next to cover
kindle on the inside
kindle on top of cover

I used the tute on 100 Billion Stars' blog, adjusting for the smaller size of the new Kindle. But the totally off centre button fastening is my own special take lol, and not part of the original instructions!

Friday, 11 November 2011


hexies progress nov 2011

So, on the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the year 2011, I finished sewing the eleventh ring of hexies to my charm quilt. Cool, huh?

As well as the technicolour photo above, I took one in black and white to check out how the values were working out:

hexies progress nov 2011 b&w

I think it's working out ;-)

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Books, Books, Glorious Books!

This weekend I went to the Autumn Quilt Festival. I was remarkably restrained when it came to buying fabric and threads...but then I hit the bookstands:

For some mixed media inspiration:

cps & alchemy

For some art quiltiness:

color & composition

And for some liberated loveliness:

log cabins & folk art

And I'm feeling newly inspired and raring to go!

Meanwhile, I have been beavering away at Fenced In, trying to get the quilting finished by the end of November. I have done most of the houses and trees now, but then there is the perimeter fence to do. Here's a few little tasters:

lighthouseorange stardotty house

The more I work on this quilt, the more I love it!