Sunday, 18 September 2016

My poor hubby ... ;)

In the six years since I started quilting, my darling husband (DH) has received the sum total of a Pants Bag and an iPad cover from me ... this is all the thanks he has had for the countless hours of quilt basting he has put in! 

Three quilts, in particular, have caught his eye recently - each of these he has coveted and actually been 'quite disgruntled' at me giving them away! The first was my friend Mandy's half squared triangle extravaganza:

Next, my 2015 quilt for Siblings Together - he REALLY loved this one:

And one of my quilts for ST this year:

I have to use my wall (and washi tape - doesn't peel the paint off) to display the blocks:

And I love working amidst chaos along the way:

The commonality is scrappy but it's the primary colours he really loves so after dropping a million several hints this year that it is ABOUT TIME he had a quilt of his own, I have made a start. All the fabrics are pulled from my scrap bins or scrap drawers:

Starting with a centre 1.5" square, I have cut each of the strips into lengths of 1.5" and then I trim as I add. I am incorporating two colours per block; just using red, orange, yellow, green, light blue and dark blue scraps (was under strict instructions - no pinks!):

Each square is finishing at 7 3/4" so even with sashing, I reckon I'm going to need 48 or 56 ... so a few to make yet:

But what fun! Linking up with Nicky @ Mrs Sew & Sow ... Scraptastic Tuesday - so inspiring to see what everyone else does with their scraps; what do you do with yours?

Scraptastic Tuesday

Saturday, 3 September 2016

The joy of quilting and giving :)

I have three quilts to share with you today - all finished in the past few weeks and one finished on Monday. I have been neglecting my blog (again) in favour of Instagram ... which is a shame and something I need to think about. 

I started making this quilt at the end of 2013/beginning of 2014. Inspired by the Help for Heroes colours, I had always intended it go to a serviceman and my friend Jennie @porchswingquilts had someone in mind for me in the USA. A simple design of 5.5" squares and half square triangles, it came together really well:

And then I broke my shoulder (ouch!) and it had to be put to one side. Fast forward 2+ years and I finally finished it:

With Jennie's blessing, this week the quilt arrived safely in Dallas and thanks to Lee @dallasmqg it will be given to a child of one of the police officers killed in July's shootings. 

Another safe arrival - this time in Maryland - is the wedding quilt I have made for my cousin Kenny who is marrying the lovely Kelly in 2 weeks time. Kenny's grandmother (my great-aunt) was a quilter and when we last visited USA in 2011, his Mom gifted me all of my great-aunt's fabric stash which I have made several quilts out of for the female family members. So, I just had to make Kenny and Kelly a quilt out of it too:

Hidden stars is a pattern in this book by Pam and Nicky Lintott, it came together like a dream. I added the white rose fabric and a couple of 'civil war' fat quarters but, in the main, all the fabric as from my great-aunt:

I even found a piece she had drawn on in blue biro:

How lovely that her grandson and his new wife will be able to cuddle under this quilt. And a first for me - I made an embroidered label:

And finally (phew, it's been a busy Summer!), remember the Chernobyl Children's Lifeline charity I supported at the beginning of the Summer, where we made the children a bag and mat (I will blog about this again!), I wanted to raise funds towards a day trip for when the children were over here. Look at their happy faces on of their trips out:

So I ran a 'guess the hours taken to make this quilt' competition at work. I raised £200 and the winner got to design a bespoke quilt with me. Tony asked for a vintage fabric inspired quilt for his little daughter. He and his wife chose the fabric - Lecien Flower Sugar and I bought 8 fat quarters and some white yardage:

I bought a Flying Geese bloc-loc ruler at the Festival of Quilts which helped me enormously when making the border:

I asked them for the words they would like on the label and tried my hand at embroidery again:

Here she is all pretty and finished:

I do love my hobby - I love making quilts but I love giving them away even more. Three quilts - 3 different patterns and fabrics, 3 different stories, 3 different recipients but all made with love and all, I am sure, will be loved.

Linking up with Amanda Jean (welcome back!) @crazymomquilts and Sarah @confessionsofafabricaddict

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Charity Quilt - Siblings Together Quilting Bee 2016

I am so pleased to share this finished quilt with you. Not only because I think it is beautiful (well, I would say that, wouldn't I?!) but because of the wonderful quilters I got to collaborate with over the year making blocks for their quilts and them making blocks for mine.

Here are just a few of the blocks I made for the other bees over the year:

We could each choose the design of our own blocks - I designed this 18.5" finished block and I asked for yellow, blue, orange and green fabrics with a white background:

My month was March and the blocks soon trickled in:

I ended up with a couple of extras so used three on the back (after checking that no-one would mind) and they went perfectly with some stripey fabric I had in my stash - I do like the backs of my quilts to be as 'tidy' as the front - do you?

And with grateful thanks to these fabulously talented and kind-hearted ladies: MariaNickyJaneSonia, JoanneSue, Mary, CarolJulie, Hannah  and Brigid, here is my finished quilt:

It ended up at 72" x 56" so a really nice size  - for a teenager, perhaps? And the very important label:

This is my 3rd quilt for the charity this year - my first one was a collaboration with Joan from Ohio:

My second one was an unplanned improv scrap-busting blue quilt:

And this last one ... I love them all. I do hope the child / young person who will receive this quilt this Summer thanks to the wonderful charity - Siblings Together - will love it too:

Linking up with Sarah @ Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Amanda Jean @ Crazy Mom Quilts and the Siblings Together Quilt Group.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Great tutorials :)

I have a few little finishes to share with you this week; a patchwork tote bag, a small table mat, a one-hour basket and a simple zipper bag. The first two I made are for a charity I have recently got involved with - Chernobyl Children's Lifeline (CCLL North Wales) - and I put together a tutorial for the bag here and the mat here.

A little reminder of the work CCLL North Wales do: they are part of a national charity that helps children living in Belarus and Northern Ukraine who still suffer the effects of low level radiation some 30 years after the nuclear accident in Chernobyl. They are bringing 17 children (12 girls and 5 boys) to North Wales this July to stay with Host Families - whilst here, the combination of uncontaminated food, fresh air and sunshine, exciting trips out and lots of exercise does the children a power of good. 

I met the local chair recently (Gerrie) at a talk she was giving  - she was incredibly inspiring and passionate about her work - this drew me to her and so I introduced myself. I told her I was a hobby quilter and asked what could I do to help. We agreed a tote bag and a small table mat would be perfect gifts for the children and their families. Knowing I couldn't possibly make all of this by myself (as fast as I am!), I put out a request on Instagram and got 16+ volunteers within hours - I was thrilled at the wonderful response. 

Please do search the tag #ccllnorthwalesquiltbee on Instagram to see what 'my gals' have been making. 

Then yesterday, I made my sister a one-hour basket using Kelly @ Kelby Sews' tutorial:

And I got swept up by all the recent #simplezipperbag posts on Instagram, and made this cute bag following (with just a little variation) the YouTube tutorial from Fat Quarter Shop:

All these projects are great to make (including mine!); even better to give away and also are wonderful form of therapy when you just want / need to sew little things quickly. Thank you to all the quilters who share their time and creativity in whatever way to make life just a little bit easier for someone else - someone they've never even met but share this passion with.

Linking up with Amanda Jean @crazymomquilts and Sarah @confessionsofafabricaddict.

Happy weekend :)