Saturday, 28 July 2012

spool block

waking up after a great evening watching opening ceremony of olympics, did you see? what did you think of it ?
I was really touched by the fact that women from countries where they are not usually allowed to do PE let alone appear on olympics, were on  their teams...fantastic...a few feminist tears rolled down my face I can tell you. OK that's enough of that.

Thought I would try and learn a bit more about traditional blocks  as that is not my style , but I  do love to learn  , so started the day by making a the spool block. 
Now back to hoovering and washing up, thats should wake my daughter up, ha!

 caught up now with the quilt-along, been quilting for 12 hours now, funny how time flies

Saturday, 21 July 2012

liberty print bird sculptures

Spent a great afternoon at Jaina Minton's Liberty print bird workshop held at Craft Guerilla in E17.
Jaina has a very interesting background, after working as a prop maker for TV art attack  where she discovered you can make anything out of news paper, she  makes fantastic sculptures  you can see on her site

Robyn and I spent 4 hours making these little darlings from a bit of scrunched up newspaper, garden wire, PVA, acrylic paint and about half a fat quarter of Liberty lawn fabric per bird. At one point all our birds had health problems, mine had  HUGE feet, another bird had polio in one leg, and one bird was looking mean and nasty! Jaina coaxed us through and all was good in the end.

 Robyn took this photo of Florian and Charlie ( of course they have names! ) on our balcony.
Thoroughly recommend the workshop, even got homemade banana cake and tea whilst birdies were drying out, lovely!

Friday, 20 July 2012

olympic torch and cinnamon buns

What  great day! Could not sleep last night  fussing about where we could try and see the torch relay through Kent.
Woke up grumpy daughter early, packed a couple of bacon rolls, flask of coffee and some reduced sugar squash for R
( guess who needed her first filling yesterday? ).
We arrived at the site destined setting off point for  Gravesend relay, and the atmosphere was great, with lots of little kids and their lovely home made paper and tissue olympic torches.

 The morning brightened up as time went on, and the police advance convoy enjoyed the cheers as they went about their business.....slow police motorcyclists high fiving the little kids at the roadside as they went by...sweet!
Got ourselves in a frenzy by the time the convoy arrived,  and then.....  THEN......., my iphone ran out of memory JUST AS TORCH BEARER CAME INTO VIEW !!!!. Big panic, failed to delete quickly enough, then at the last minute rescued by using Instagram instead. Phew!

Back home to enjoy a nice cinnamon bun I baked yesterday...ahh, all is content in this household ....

Saturday, 14 July 2012

English Paper Piecing for beginners

Its cube pincushion time again. This time followed pattern  from

As I am English, thought it about time to do some English paper piecing.
Took a few pictures along the way
It was my first time too! So it is written by an idiot for  a beginner. English paper  piecing for dummies 

What's it all about? ( Alfie)
This involves cutting paper templates ( I used my scrap printer paper ), then basting ( rough long hand stitches) on your fabric around the template. Once all  templates are covered, you join the edges using whipstitch, leave one side unsewn, remove paper by tearing it out ( yes! ), turn the project inside out and stuff with toy filling. Then sew last edges closed with whipstitch again. Adding buttons makes it really plump and satisfying. I recommend using a doll needle ( very long ) for this , and a long length of embroidery thread. You can mess around with tension on the buttons until you have the shape that you like.

Here we go -  
Skills you need:
To be able to thread needle and sew whipstitch 
Sewing stuff you need:
Scissors, household sewing needle, doll's needle ( optional ); cotton thread, scrap printer paper, cotton fabric scraps to make six 2 1/2 inch squares
Embroidery thread and 6 small buttons with traditional button holes.

Now for the work........
Cut out six  2" paper template squares

Now cut out 6  cotton fabric squares 2 1/2"...any colour/patterns you like, go for it! I personally love to use vibrant and clashing colours/patterns

Now put a paper piece on top of WRONG side of fabric, and press with your fingers to fold the edges down around the paper template

Tack round the fabric edges using cotton thread and long stitches 
( basting)

don't knot the end of the thread but leave a tail of  and inch or so, then it less likely pull out with your next stitch

continue all the way round

once you have completed all six, lay them out like this

Now you start to sew 2 squares together wherever they touched another square on the layout. You hold 2 pieces RIGHT side fabric together and whipstitch to join the 2 upper edges. Use tiny stitches, close together and very near the edge.

Continue to join edges of squares, remove paper from central square so you can manipulate it properly
This is mine evolving

Leave one edge unsewn. Rip and remove the paper templates. Turn inside out ( RIGHT side fabric will not be showing), push out corners with a blunt object eg chopstick end. Stuff with polyester filling , like this

The close the final unsewn edges with whipstitch.
Attach buttons of your choice with a dolls needle ( long needle), use embroidery thread that looks like this

Knot the thread before passing it right through the centre of the  cube into button hole on top
then pass it down through other side of button hole , down through cube to attach central bottom button etc.

Pull the embroidery thread to push the button down into the cube to give that nice plump look.

Boy are buttons expensive round these parts, I could not find any at home, so shot out to Department store in rain. Very poor selection, so will be trawling the internet for buttons tonight!

Please comment  if you have any questions. Give it a go.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Cube Pincushion

Thanks to this pattern
gave this a go
added some holographic sequins to strap
found it all a bit fiddly, may try another method....I do like cubes........
and bling, its got some glittery buttons. 
I had to hand stitch the last side after stuffing, and perhaps I should look up the tutorial on whip stitching again....its OK but I will strive for better for the next one. 
Just joined London Modern Quilters Guild-  and  looking forwards to a scrap swap soon. had 30 % off Amy Butler today, so although had sworn not to buy more fabric before festival of quilts, I, um, did.
Quelle surprise
Dear Daughter returned from Barcelona netball tour today, burnt shoulders  but looks very healthy.........evidently living on fat  coke and churros for a week suits her 

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

made fabric blocks

its time to fatten up the skinny quilt
scraps  are  fairly dusty/gentle with a bit of good old kona solid and gold  to  perk em up
then  a couple of bakewell slices and 1/2 bag M+Ms to me

Sunday, 8 July 2012

1600 quilt

Had a pretty jelly roll hanging around looking at me from one of my bins begging to be used so...... tried the 1600 quilt where you 
( simply ? ) sew end to end, then fold the long piece in 2 and sew up the long side etc etc. Evidently finished item should be 48" x 64". Mine is 59" x 30 ". Must have been a duff jelly roll.
 Its a long skinny quilt, so it needs  some sideways expansion. Started by bordering in gold metallic silk - my fave fabric of the  moment. I get it from whitelodge fabrics, its not too expensive and back it with fine iron on interfacing, then its ready to go.
OK, I admit it , I also sent off for 6 free samples of other metallic silk fabrics ..hoping they can all be interfaced and slipped into my into my quilts subtly or not so subtly
quiltsquilts subtly, or maybe not so subtly........

cupcakes of the day were vanilla with apricot coloured icing , orange  glitter  ( has to be done ) and yellow balls. Appreciated by work colleagues , work was busy today, so a quick cake fix helps.
Daughter is off on school trip abroad tonight. Have to drop her off at 0200 at school, then my little darling will be away from me abroad for the first time. I won't rest until I've heard she's safely arrived.
I am a fully fledged member of the overanxious mums club.
Guess that will ring a bell with some of you!

Friday, 6 July 2012

long island quilt returns

Really pleased with the longarm quilting, thanks Debbie Holland!
Bound and ready to go  off  to Festival of Quilts  if I can find the darn labels.......

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

portable ironing pad

Getting ready for  workshops at Festival Of Quilts. Ironing pads  available commercially not very inspirational. So guess what....another excuse to use some Amy Butler fabric to make  my own.
Layered as follows...cotton, insulbright, warm and natural batting and cotton backing. Up until 0100 free motioning, forgot to put the adjust  presser foot properly so had to unpick lots of looopey quilting, drat!.Pressing it was fun too- because of the insulating layer reflecting heat back, got a bit tooooo hot for handling, so it appears to do the job.