My first PROPER quilting project for 2017 (my lovely infinity scarf was just simple sewing!) is this gorgeous project "Christmas Fun" by Lynette Anderson Designs. I've chosen a selection of fabrics from Lynette's previous festive collections, and tried to pick similar colours to her original pattern. The pattern and the hand painted wooden buttons (these are used to embellish the quilt when it is completed) were both bought online from Patchwork Chicks at the end of December...
...I'm using the applique paper and glue stick method of applique for this quilt (applique paper was bought from Cross Patch, and apliquick tools from The Fat Quarters) and I spent a couple of hours on Monday evening at the Rendlesham Sewing Group tracing the applique templates onto applique paper, and made a start on cutting the shapes out, very carefully exactly on the drawn line. Tuesday evening I was a sewing group at Busybee Stitching, and I was able to finish cutting the shapes and just managed to get them fused onto the back of the fabrics...
...a day off work today meant I was able to play with my apliquick tools and a glue stick and get all the shapes finished, ready for stitching on the background fabrics. The next stage is to prepare the background fabrics, and trace the stitchery designs, which I'll do at the weekend.
In my sewing bag tonight is this super festive design - "Christmas Fun" is by Lynette Anderson Designs and the pattern and set of hand-painted wooden buttons were bought a few weeks ago from Patchwork Chicks. I'm hoping to get all the applique templates traced onto applique paper tonight at the Rendlesham Sewing Group, and maybe I'll have time to get them cut out too, ready for fusing onto the fabrics - this will be made with a selection of festive prints, also designed by Lynette. This will keep me busy over the next few weeks, as there is lots of applique and hand embroidery in this project. The hand-painted wooden buttons won't be stitched into place until after it's quilted. Now, where did I put that applique paper!!
What better way to spend a Sunday morning than to pop over to a great event, Festival of Fabric? I'd seen this advertised on FB and my curiosity got the better of me, so I called in with my daughter Alice. The Welcome Hall at Trimley St Mary was absolutely jam packed with an array of stalls selling vintage fabrics and dressmaking patterns and vintage haberdasheries and there was a super collection of vintage outfits too. This brassiere and corset caught my eye - not sure there'd be much room in there for eating cake, and my M&S magic knickers looked much more comfy, and they're an instrument of torture as it is! Not only was the hall jam packed with vintage goodies, it was jam packed with eager shoppers too. My only disappointment was that I hadn't booked up to do a workshop today - if there is another FOF next year, then I'll definitely book one! (Sarah from Scarlett Valentine was teaching how to make a fascinator, Jenny was running a workshop showing how to make a 1940's felt flower corsage, and Karen Frost was running a smocking workshop - all 3 would've been lovely to take part in)...
...I was so pleased to meet Amanda (from Felixstowe Sewing School) and Jenny, the two ladies who had worked hard to organise this fantastic event. There was a HUGE queue of parked cars down the road when we arrived, although I did wonder if the car owners were at the church opposite the hall - but when I saw how many people were at the Festival of Fabrics, it was obvious that inside the hall was a different sort of worship! I really did feel rather under-dressed as both Amanda and Jenny looked absolutely fab - as did lots of other ladies there! Oh and yes, I did do a little bit of shopping, but no pictures just yet as I need to post off the goodies to my sister - she was very disappointed at not being able to attend.
I spent a super day in Norwich with my daughter and my sister today. Yes, I found another quilt shop - Sew Creative. I wasn't interested in buying any fabric, I just wanted to have a test drive of another Bernina - unfortunately the shop only had one model on display,the Bernina 1008, despite being a "gold" shop on the Bernina website. They did have plenty of Janome machines on display, but I really am a Bernina babe, so left without having a play. The Bernina 1008 looks like a very nice basic machine, but I've rather got my heart set on a Bernina 550QE, so will have to wait and see what's on display at the Festival of Quilts in the summer.
...however it wasn't the only reason for going to Norwich, and I spent a couple of hours catching up with my sister and having a right good old natter. My daughter and I then called into Giraffe at the Chappelfield Shopping Centre for lunch - I really wasn't going to have a dessert, but when I saw this passion fruit and white chocolate cheesecake on the menu I just couldn't resist it! I'm sure that Mr F is relieved that I came home empty handed, as he thinks owning one Bernina is more than enough!
Finally the chance to get a photograph of the completed quilt top! Pattern is FLOWERVILLE by the Australian designer Rosalie Dekker Designs. This was bought as a BOM from Under the Mulberry Tree in Australia and included all these gorgeous Tilda fabrics and the Cottage Garden Threads for the hand embroidery This was hand appliqued using Aurifil80wt thread, and machine pieced with Aurifil 50wt thread. This is my final UFO that was leftover from last year. It's now on the pile of quilts tops ready to go to the longarm quilter - I'm certainly going to keep her busy this year!
I've had a busy week, visiting local fabric shops and doing a little bit of fabric shopping ready for future projects, and being fortified with coffee and cake too! On Tuesday I took my sewing machine over to Felixstowe Sewing School to be serviced by the wonderful Mr Tim. After a quick look around the shops and I called the Oaks Tearooms where I had the best Chocolate brownie I've EVER tasted (and I'd certainly tried plenty in my time!!) then on the way home I did a detour and called into Kis Quilting in Ipswich, and bought some pretty fabric for a colleague's baby quilt. Although the shop is small, I always get a very warm and friendly welcome when I call in. There were a few ladies there sewing, and they were happy to chat and to show me their projects...
...Wednesday saw me travelling a little bit further afield to the north of the county, and visit Sew and So's at Bungay - this shop is always a real treat, and I was very tempted there, and a selection of fabric came home with me! There is also a FABULOUS place to eat in Bungay, Earsham Street Cafe, and of course it would've been rude not to call in for coffee and cake. This slice of parsnip, apple and honey cake was just divine!...
...Thursday saw me nearer to home, as I had a few chores to deal with nearer to home, in the pretty Market Town of Woodbridge. I called in for some refreshments at Honey and Harvey and had a HUGE cheese scone with chilli jam, and then strolled over to Fiona's Fabrics to buy a few more zippers ready for a bag making session. Again, this is a small fabric shop but the atmosphere is always welcoming and friendly and they have the best selection of zippers!
Here is the result of a couple of hours sewing yesterday afternoon! This Infinity scarf was made with a Moda 2016 Regent Street Lawns charm pack (charm pack and free scarf pattern from Six Penny Memories). These 100% cotton lawns are gorgeous, and although they're a little bit slippery to sew with, my Karen Kay Buckley Perfect Pins kept them in place. I absolutely LOVE the scarf, and I'm sure I'll make a few more of these in the future!
No it's not quite Christmas in February, but early yesterday morning I managed to do a quick photoshoot of my "Christmas Blessings" quilt, with it's GORGEOUS stripey binding, before the few flakes of snow melted. I finished this one a couple of weeks ago but this was the first chance I'd had to get a photograph of it! Pattern is by Natalie Bird (The Birdhouse Patchwork Designs) and was bought as a kit (included fabric and pattern) from Cross Patch in Wales. Hand embroidered with DMC threads, hand appliqued and machine pieced and machine quilted with Aurifil thread (50wt thread for the piecing, and a combination of 50wt thread and 40wt thread for the quilting). I loved making this one, and really enjoyed machine quilting this one myself! The finished size is 32" square. There is a sleeve on the back, ready to hang up later in the year.
These Racing Reindeer are the next installment for Friends for Christmas, a gorgeous festive BOM by Lynette Anderson Designs. This will be packed away ready as a project for next year as I really don't think I'm going to get it started this year - I've got too many projects planned already!!
Saturday was a sewing day and I spent the morning cutting the sashing and border strips for Flowerville - this gorgeous pattern is by Rosalie Dekker Designs, and I'd signed up to this back in 2015 as a BOM with Under The Mulberry Tree in Australia. All the beautiful Tilda fabrics for making the dresdens arrived with month 1, along with the background fabric for the first block, and a selection of Cottage Garden Threads. Each month the pattern arrived with the background fabric for that particular block, and finally with block 9 I received all the fabrics for the sashing and borders. I'd embroidered all the centre blocks when each one arrived, and finished the final one back in June 2016. This was then packed away, and become one of my UFOs that I needed to finish this year. The 3 golden rules for quilting are measure twice and cut once and ALWAYS READ THE INSTRUCTIONS VERY CAREFULLY!! Unfortunately there is an error in the instructions for making up the borders, and although there is info on cutting all the border strips, for the 3 inner borders, there are no instructions for adding the third inner border, which means that the instructions for adding the outer 3" border are incorrect. This was quickly remedied as I was still at the stage of reading instructions - and a disaster was narrowly avoided!!...
...I used a Schmetz Microtex size 60 needle and Aurifil 50wt thread in a neutral colour for the piecing, and the straight stitch needle plate and a quarter inch foot on my Bernina to ensure accuracy. This really does look very pretty and these Tilda fabrics have been wonderful to sew with...
...once the final border was machined into place, it was getting too late for a photoshoot so that will have to wait for another day! But at least this is my final UFO ticked off my list so now I can plan something new to stitch, and make one or two smaller projects as I've now got 3 large quilt tops (Flowerville, Leanne's House AND Journey of a Quilter) all waiting patiently to be taken over to the longarm quilter for her to work her wonderful magic!
Blogs I follow
These are the UK shops that I use to purchase my quilting supplies - fabrics and threads etc.