Tuesday, 31 December 2013

My Two Main Creations of 2013

The baby and the quilt!

I wasn't terribly prolific in terms of the quantity of makes in the last year, but seeing as the boy  wasn't even a collection of cells on NYE 2012, I'm not too worried.

The Aim for 2014 : learn how to juggle life with a baby and my crafty life. Happy New Year!

Monday, 16 December 2013

Planning, planning, planning

As you might have seen on IG, I recently won a huge bundle  of Flurry from Dashwood Studios and Lynne at Lily's Quilts!

Since it arrived in the post last week, I've been plotting how to use the 14 yards that came in the box (which was so heavy that Hubs wouldn't let me carry it, as I'm still healing)


A scribbled list of ideas

The first quilt on the to-do list is a present for my in laws for the house in Cornwall. As there's a bit of a seaside /nautical theme going on, I picked out these fabrics for a St Louis 16 patch quilt. I'm planning on using one fabric per block, paired with a neutral solid. 

The next two ideas are a bit more long term as I can't get started for a few months. Last year I made quilts for my niece and nephew (they're cousins, not siblings) for their first birthdays, and we've just found out that they are both expecting a new brother or sister. So these are the two possible colour schemes for a Giant Star Quilt, inspired by this. The girly option has 7 fabrics included, and the plan is to add another pink, perhaps one of the very sweet prints by Aneela Hoey. The boy option has 8 fabrics picked out at the moment, but I'm thinking of replacing one with another print. Can't wait to find out the gender to get a start on these! 

Now, all these plans are reliant on the boy continuing to nap without being held  - current record is an hour. Photos are IG/unedited for the same reason!

Monday, 28 October 2013

A Noteworthy Kaleidoscope Quilt

I love the Noteworthy line from Sweetwater - like everything they make,  it has a lovely tone to the colour scheme and the designs are cute but not too cute.  It's quite neutral too with a good mix of "boy" and "girl" colours, so when we learnt that I was pregnant and decided not to find out the gender, Noteworthy seemed perfect.

Having decided that I really liked this line and wanted to make a baby blanket,  I started to look for a pattern.  As soon as I saw the Kaleidoscope pattern in Issue 12 of Fat Quarterly,  I knew that it was perfect - nice and easy,  the perfect size and  charm pack friendly,  so that I could use the full range.

This came together quite quickly,  despite having to trim lots of HSTs. I had some help from Mum with the pressing,  but she refused to take any responsibility for cutting!

The backing is a large piece from the same line, as is the binding. Basting this at 38 weeks pregnant proved to be absolutely impossible,  so I asked Emily to do it for me,  and she managed an incredibly quick turnaround.

A quick bit of swirly quilting later with some help from Instagram people and it was pretty much done,  bar a quick label. And with the quilt finished,  it's owner could arrive - and he's been keeping us very busy ever since!

Linking up with the Blogger's Quilt Festival - Baby Quilt category

Sunday, 6 October 2013

The New Boss has arrived

Our household has been taken over by the arrival of our new, very beautiful little tyrant,  Master O, and that's before he's even got over the threshold!

He made a swifty exit via the sunroof in the wee small hours of Saturday morning, so we won't be home for a few days yet. Looking forward to showing you his first  ever quilt when we get home though.

PS - thanks for all the IG love :D

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

A Productive September

October already, and this is shaping up to be a busy month for us! Before I get too busy with baby, here's what I did in September - it's amazing what you can do if you only have to do two day's work in a month!

First, these were the very, very delayed items from the FQR swap (which I forgot that I'd joined!) which I sent to the very patient Kelly, Tammy and Heather at the beginning of the month. In these little snap frames was a mirror from Ceri and Nikki's stall at FQR (or was it Liz's? My memory is shot!), along with a shiny 5p for good luck.

A new skill for this month was learning to make a lampshade at a lovely local shop, Love 13. It was great to see the shape emerging,  although I really don't have the patience to be as careful as is required to get a perfect results.  The fabric is Flock by Thomas Knauer - so there are birds flying in the sky! - and the crumbs inside are from the white chocolate and raspberry torte which I was scoffing...

I also made a little covered canvas for the nursery after Hubs brought me home a present which he thought I'd love - a new staple gun (he was right!)

Storage is an issue at the minute,  so I made two Divided Baskets using Noodlehead's excellent pattern. One is quite subdued in tone and is now living next to our sofa, holding the TV remote and various crafty bits, and awaiting nappy changing gear. I made a *slight* mistake whilst cutting out,  so obviously I needed to make another and get it right this time!  As you can probably tell,  this one is designed for use on the baby's changing unit, hence the woodland fabric (again!)

I also made some baskets using this tutorial - two of the biggest and one of the medium sized baskets. These will eventually hang in the nursery for all those bits and bobs that we seem to accumulate, as soon as we can decide on where they should go.

And whilst I was on a roll, I made these doorstops for the bedrooms.


Guess which room this woodland inspired door stop is for????
I also tried to keep up with other commitments whilst I can,  hence the cushion from my last post, which was picked up on Aurifil's FB page (cue geeky dance time...)

Linking up to Lily's Quilts, and realising that I should really post more often rather than saving up all these bits til the end of the month.

Lily's Quilts

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Conquering the fear(s)

There are three things that I'm quite nervous about in terms of my sewing:
1) Zips (normal, invisible,  you name it,  I hate it)
2) Paper piecing (had some mild success,  total fluke)
3) Giving my work away (what if *they* hate it?)

There's also one area that brings me out in full on cold sweats - free motion quilting.

So, the obvious course of action when it came to our friends' birthdays and engagement party - offer to make them a paper pieced FMQ'ed cushion of course!

Deciding that I needed to bite the bullet before I lose all notion of free time when baby arrives,  I showed L various patterns and gave her free rein over my stash. We picked a circle of flying geese in orange and purple,  their wedding colours. 

The paper piecing went remarkably well (Once I printed the right pattern pieces from here),  with only one minor moment of panic when the needle fell out - oops!

I used this mental orange fabric for the backing,  and sort of made up a method of concealing a zip - the tutorials which I read just wouldn't make sense in my somewhat addled brain.

And so we come to the FMQ. Armed with my new Aurifil from Cindy at Fluffy Sheep, which feels lush, and having practiced as Trudi taught me at FQR, I set off to conquer my own little Everest - and I'm quite pleased (and modest too!)

I'll be the first to admit that it's many miles away from perfection,  but it doesn't look like a total mess. I just hope that they like it!

The biggest problem that I faced was the foot catching on the seams, of which there are quite a few.  Any advice on how to deal with this gratefully appreciated.  I used the Leah Day craftsy class techniques to set up my machine, if that makes a difference?


Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Something New - Decorating with Fabric!

My Big Something New this month has been about using my stash in a different way, to decorate the baby's room. As we're at T - 5 weeks until our due date, it felt like I should start doing something to get ready - proper sewing for baby is having to wait until after I finish work next week though.

A bit of an overview here, with the nicely hung curtains and blind that caused a certain amount of stress over the Bank Holiday weekend.

You may recognise this as the Quilt Which Nearly Flew Out of the Window - I thought it'd be a nice addition to the nursery with the rainbow-y colours. Incidentally, this is also the first time making hanging pockets and the first ever unsupervised use of a saw (to cut the doweling - hopefully I won't get into too much trouble for this!)

 I decided to use a number of the different woodland themed fabrics which I've been stashing in embroidery hoops on the wall above the dresser. I've also been inspired by Beth at Plum and June and have been trying to step out of my comfort zone with my camera too :D

 And, in another first, Mum and I made this cushion with a simple envelope back - the first time that Mum has sewn since she was 13 and in school!

 Finally, a beautiful present from one of Mum's friends - not a new thing for me, but a new thing for Baby - first ever present! How cute are those duckie buttons???

Wow, I actually feel quite prepared after sharing this!

Linking up with Fiona at Celtic Thistle for New to Me

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Finished Siblings Together quilt

I realised that in the rush to get it finished in time for FQR, I didn't share the finished ST quilt,  so here's a few photos. 

I used my stash of Echo and a few pieces of Bella, along with some coordinating solids (mix of Kona and Klona I think...) I took these pics in quite a rush on the Thursday night, so the colours aren't very true to life unfortunately.

The block pattern was based on a tutorial from Fresh Lemons' Summer Sampler Series.  I tried to be clever and was intending to have solid on point squares in just one colour in each corner, but I didn't think it through thoroughly so I ended up with something of a harlequin effect!

The backing is the ubiquitous Ikea numbers print, and I quilted it with a squarish spiral effect.  The last few lines on the far side become gradually further apart - mainly because I was really close to running out of thread!

Hopefully it'll go to someone who'll love it :D

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

FQR recap

Just a quick recap post from me,  esp as they all made me so jealous last year! Please excuse all the Instagram photos, I stupidly forgot my camera.
Very restrained Quilt Market purchases!
Very restrained purchasing!

This weekend flew by in an absolute blur of faces and names, lots of chatting (and not that much sewing, as you'll see from the photos!)

In my own defense,  I had to miss the first part of John's embroidery class due to work,  but I got myself a few patterns to work on - thank you so much Sarah for saving me a seat!
Obviously talked too much in John's embroidery class (and missed the first hour...) #fqrlondon

Katy's triangle city class wasn't very productive either, as I spent so long giggling at the various stories, which are definitely not suitable to repeat!

I got more done in Lu's hand quilting class:
More successful hand quilting with Lu (and new perle) #fqrlondon

And Trudi's FMQ class was very helpful,  and I was really pleased by how much progress I made by the end, esp once we'd sorted the tension issues. Just need to figure out the right settings for my machine now!
FMQ practice

I also donated my finished Siblings Together quilt, but more about that next time.

The absolute best bit of the weekend was the social aspect and chatting with so many lovely ladies (and John!) I'm exhausted now,  but luckily have only got one more working day before the summer holidays, then mat leave.  Can't wait - I've got so much sewing to do!
Gorgeous swap items,  thank you @kellyfairy, Tammy and Heather #fqrlondon
Sample Swap items - a very long story!

Monday, 15 July 2013

FQR prep

1) trying to tie off all the loose threads on my Siblings Together quilt in 30+ degree heat, and wondering if I need to label it (should I?)

2) wondering where on earth I saved the class schedule / equipment list / that wadding that I bought.

3) trying to finish all my marking so that I don't have to do it next Sunday.

4) contemplating how many pregnancy and heat friendly clothes that I own - enough to get through this week and look presentable this weekend?

5) getting v excited / nervous / excited in an almost unstoppable,  viscous circle!

Sunday, 7 July 2013

T - 12 days!

All of a sudden,  it's July and FQR os very nearly here. I'm totally unprepared (I can't even remember what classes I've signed up for,  never mind getting materials ready!) However,  I have a few free evenings this week which I've put aside for prep, starting with this post.

If you've not been here before,  hello! My name's Sarah but I will respond to Sarah Lou or Little Sarah (because a. it's my full name and b. I'm 5 foot nothing.)

I'll be wearing this rather snazzy name tag from molsig and losing my balance because of this bump. I'm blaming baby brain for a lot of my forgetfulness and general uselessness,   but the truth is I'm really quite scatty anyway!

You'll also probably see me working on a bit of crochet - I went to a great class at Love 13 and I am hooked (not a deliberate pun, honest!)

Please come say hi if you see me,  I am wavering between v excited and v nervous!

PS - hope the photos come out ok, am trialling the Blogger App as the computer's been on the blink.