What more do I need to say? These pictures say it all really - I've been busy indoors today sewing, and the weather changed as soon as I picked up my camera and went outside for a photo shoot!! I'll blog about these two baby quilts at the weekend, but for now I'll just tempt you with some action shots!!
A week off work was spent being very busy indeed - with 2 separate trips to Bungay with friends. Firstly I'd planned a trip there on Tuesday with my friend Helen - we did a little bit of shopping in Sew and So's - I needed some fabric to make another baby quilt, and these packs of mini-charms in the range Comma by Zen Chic for Moda were perfect for this, and I couldn't resist this black and white numbered fabric (599 Numbers by The Henley Studio for Makower UK) for the backing. Of course a lime green spot for the binding was just what I was looking for! Then trotted off to lunch at Earsham Street Cafe, where we both had the spiced sweet potato, leek and coconut milk coup followed by some delicious cake...
...this was followed on Wednesday with another trip there with my friend Sue. This involved coffee AND lunch at Earsham Street Cafe, and a shopping trip to Sew and So's. I'd seen the spiced apricot crumble on the menu at the cafe when I was there on Tuesday, and luckily it was still on the menu on Wednesday and it was as delicious as it looks! I'm rather fond of batiks, and these four half meters were just what I needed to make some more place mats with to go in my newly decorated dining room - maybe I'll have time to make them at the end of my week's stay-cation, before I have to go back to work!
Several of my runners and place mats were made a few years ago, when I first started quilting, before I had a blog. This was a kit called "Hot and Spicey" - the pattern was designed by Hilary Gooding. This was bought as a kit from the Lady Sew and Sew booth at the Festival of Quilts, Birmingham, 2006 and uses a fabulous range of "Zanzibar" fabrics by Makower UK. The circles were fused into place using steam-a-seam-lite and then machine appliqued using a blanket stitch and a variegated YLI quilting thread. I then quilted curvy lines along the length and width of the runner. When I made the place mats, I quilted a circular spiral around the appliqued circles. I had been quilting for about a year when I made these, and they're still looking great! Oh and if any of you want to make one of the runners, the pattern is available as a free download from the Popular Patchwork website over here http://www.popularpatchwork.com/news/article/hot-and-spicy/5044
I've always said if you buy something in the sales that's reduced you've only saved money if you really NEED it - and oh my goodness I really needed this quilt kit by Basic Grey. I'd been needing it for simply ages, but decided I really had enough in my stash to keep me going. That is until my local quilt shop Quilters Haven had these in their sale, and as soon as I saw it was reduced in price I raced over there and bought one. I love Basic Grey fabrics, and over the past few years I've bought several of their winter-themed collections. I've already got "Fruit Cake" and "Jovial" and "Figgy Pudding" and "Aspen Frost" and now I've got "Blitzen" to add to my growing collection!
I've had a very week, and haven't completed any new projects, but Mr F has been decorating and the last thing I want on my beautiful fabrics is splashes of paint!! Anyway, yesterday afternoon was spent re-arranging furniture and such like, and I've put a bright and cheerful runner on my table. This pattern is called "Summer Picnic" by Laurie Shifrin and is featured in the book "Skinny Quilts and Tablerunners". I made this runner a few years ago, with a selection of bright batiks - some of which were bought on a holiday in Devon. That's a great way of remembering a holiday - to buy fabrics and make a super project! It's been quilted very simply with a variegated YLI quilting thread, "stitch-in-the-ditch" around the blocks and some gentle wavy lines in the border.
My youngest daughter, Alice, worked at my local quilt shop, Quilters Haven during her gap year. Just imagine spending all day surrounded by fabrics. And threads. It would be heaven! Anyway, several months ago she came home from work with some beautiful red batiks -I wonder who she takes after??!! - and announced she was making a quilt. She had picked a pattern from my vast collection called Pie Chart (this was part of a programme called "Stash Pot Pie" that my local quilt shop took part in a few years ago...
.....this really does look beautiful - it is so dramatic! Well after she's finished it, she was saving all her pennies ready for university, so couldn't afford to get it quilted. We pulled it out of her cupboard when she was home for the Christmas holidays, and felt it too's too nice to be hidden away - and we both decided it needed to be quilted so she can use it!! She had a look at Janette's website, and chose a quilting design and had a think about colours of quilting threads. Today I'm off to Janette's wonderful studio to get it long arm quilted as a special treat for Alice - she'll get such a surprise when she's home for the Easter holidays - all she'll have to do is sew on the binding!
I recently made a bag using the leg that I'd cut off an old pair of jeans, and as I'd got the other leg, thought I'd put it to good use and make another bag. I added these purple batiks that had been in my stash for ages, and added these super lime green handles to liven it up a little bit (as my friend Lesley says, "Limes with everything...even G&T" haha!!) and some stunning variegated King Tut quilting thread. It didn't take me long to get the outer part of the bag constructed, and I used a DMC embroidery thread to stitch the handles into place...
...I made a centre panel with 2 pockets (a small lined pocket with a zipper and a deeper slip pocket) using a pattern by Elizabeth Hartman, and adapted the size of the pattern to fit this bag. The top edge has been finished with a neat double-fold batik binding that has been slip-stitched by hand to the inside of the bag...
...and here's the finished tote bag - I really like these longer length handles, as the bag can be worn over your shoulder. This is a great way to use up old clothing. Tweed mens trousers would also work well - and I've been eyeing up a pair of Mr F's moleskin trousers - I think they'd make a fabulous bag!!
Blogs I follow
These are the UK shops that I use to purchase my quilting supplies - fabrics and threads etc.