Especially for Fran
My dear friend Fran has got a VERY special birthday this weekend and it deserved a very special present. I was lucky enough to meet Fran's wonderful mum last summer soon after the arrival of Jasper, and I have super memories of her rolling around my living room floor with him - and she had as much boundless energy as that wretched puppy! Fran's mum passed away a short while ago, and I wanted to make Fran a unique present using a picture of her mum - but didn't want Fran to know anything about it - it was TOP SECRET!! But oh the power of Facebook - I was secretly able to message one of Fran's bestest ever friends (thanks Georgina - we'll be getting signed up to join M15 next!!) to join me in a little bit of espionage - well anyway, Georgina and me hatched a plan - she duely emailed me some piccies, and I chose a black and white photo that I thought would work with the idea I had in mind - and here it is finally revealed - Happy Birthday Fran - hope you have the best birthday ever - ohhhh and looking forward to joining you next weekend for birthday celebrations with the OT girlies at Milsoms.
Stitchery Challenge - Week 1
Well so far so good - I started the stitchery on these blocks last Monday, and have completed 7 blocks in 7 evenings. This shows block number 6 - a basket of tulips. The plan is to stitch one block per evening, so this should take about 5 weeks to complete as there are 35 blocks altogether - then it'll be off to see Janette to get it quilted. Roll on week 2!
Next week it's my mum's 70th birthday and I wanted to make something really very special and personal for her. So, with great assistance from my sister Becky, who emailed me some photos that were lurking in my mum's house I set to work. (Thanks Becky - some of those piccies were HILARIOUS!!). Anyway, this photo was taken YEARS ago - that's me sitting in the middle, holding my baby sister Becky, with my sister Rachel and my sister Lisa holding her Teddy. My own two daughters often complain when they see piccies of themselves as little girls in matching outfits, well here is where I got the idea for doing that to them - my mum often dressed my sisters in matching outfits as they are very close in age, just like my own two daughters are. Sorry girls!.....
.....ohhhhh no I can't show you what I've made yet - I don't want to spoil the surprise!! Here is just a little glimpse of what I was doing with fabrics and threads and vintage lace and buttons and such-like. The big reveal will happen on my mum's actual birthday, July 3rd.
Cakes and Quilting
What a lovely day I've had today in sunny Essex! My friend Shula had asked me if I could teach a group of her friends how to make a tote bag - I hope they knew what they'd let themselves in for!! Anyway, I set off bright and early, and had an absolutely lovely time. Here is Shula getting stuck into quilting her bag - she'd appliquéd her daughters name on the front, and it looked sooooo pretty.....
.....we all had a great time chatting and drinking tea and eating - we were well looked after on the catering front - as we had the most delicious lunch.....
.....and tea and yummy cakes mid-morning and tea and yummy cakes AGAIN mid-afternoon.....
.....all freshly prepared and provided by Shula's friend Lara and Lara's mum - thanks ladies it was DELICIOUS! I won't need any supper tonight!.....
.....and here are the ladies with their finished bags - (unfortunately Joni and Michael had already left before I had a chance to take a piccie). Everyone worked really hard, and they made some stunning bags - I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did!
UPDATE: Just had to add these piccies- when Shula got home she's sewn some buttons to the front of her bag, and she's also added these buttons around the large heart appliqué on the back of the bag - hope you actually sewed those on Shula and didn't use your bloomin' glue gun!!
Amanda Davie really does make the most divine jewellery - just look at my latest purchase! This versatile wrap bracelet, "The Journey", measures nearly 36" long and can be worn a number of ways, and this asymmetrical piece will look good from any angle - doubled up, wrapped around a wrist, or even an ankle. Lots of interesting details are included, with beautiful gemstones, and double clasps so this piece can fit any wrist size.....
.....worn as a necklace it provides a number of different looks by simply sliding the necklace to a different position. This piece includes sari silk, a stamped tag that reads "the journey awakens the soul", quartz crystal, handmade charms and connectors, freshwater pearls, lovely sea-glass coloured agate. How could I resist this piece?
As you can see I have been very busy sewing several of these cute peg bags - Klädnyps-strut. These are made with a pattern from a Swedish quilting magazine, FatQuarter, issue 02/2009, and no, they are not all for me!! Although they do look very smart on my washing line! (if you would like this pattern, try this Swedish online store Lapp-Elisa to see if Elisabeth has a copy of the magazine left). The brown one was made with some black and brown batiks, and I think it looks fabulous. I used cotton and polyester 80/20 wadding for the cone, quilted with a black Mettler quilting thread "in-the-ditch" and used fast-to-fuse for the base plate, to keep it firm. This one was for a friend Emma's dad - she wanted one that would look "manly" for him!.....
.....and then my daughter Beth also wanted one. At the time, she has just moved to reading to live with her boyfriend fro a few months, and had been keeping her pegs in an empty plastic ice-cream tub - well, I couldn't let her keep doing that, could I?? So I quickly whipped up a Klädnyps-strut for her too, made with some beautiful Lecien fabric, and used fast-to-fuse for both the body and base.
Whoohoooo!! Summer Craft Market
Yep it's that time again - it's the St Peters Street Summer Market, and it's happening on Sunday 24th June. There'll be lots of staff full of crafty goodness and vintage bits and bobs and maybe even some yummy food stalls. Well I'll be there browsing all the things that I'll just NEED to add to my growing collection of crafty wonderfulness - hope to see you there!
A Cushion for Claire
I've been searching for ideas of what to make one of my friends for her birthday. Last year I made her a make up bag, so this year I thought I should try something different.....
.....I raided my collection of cream fabrics, printed off a photograph onto fabric, added some vintage lace and a few old buttons from my button jar.....
.....and lots and lots of quilting - as well as some regular common-and-garden cross-hatch quilting, I even quilted some very arty free motion angular spirals!.....
.....and of course it just wouldn't be complete without one of my very own www.nicolaforemanquilts.com labels to the back (just in case she ever forgets who made it for her)!! I secured this by sewing all around the outer edge by machine - and a little bit of hand sewing to secure the binding to the back and it was finished.....
.....and here is the completed pillow. I've filled it with a feather pad. I'm certainly going to make some more of these cushions. (My mum has got a special birthday coming up, and I've got a few ideas of crafting her something with some piccies of her and my dad from their younger days). Anyway, Happy Birthday Claire - hope you like this! And no your cats CAN'T sit on it!!!
The Stitchery Challenge Begins!
Well I've made a fantastic start to this version of "Ruth's Quilt" (pattern by Leanne Beasley from her book "Living The Dream") made with scraps from various Fig Tree Quilt fabrics that I have collected over the past couple of years. When I went to quilt group on Thursday, I was able to finish tracing all the stitchery blocks. I prefer to use a Pigma pen for this, in a brown shade - it IS permanent ink, so you do need a very steady hand. Luckily I have managed to get the quilt top pieced this weekend, as I want to start the stitchery on Monday. ....
.....the rectangular blocks were put together fairly randomly, and I tried not to put any together that were the same print. Now for the stitchery part - bring it on!! I have decided to use a deep coral coloured embroidery thread for this, DMC shade 3328 and I'll use 2 strands - this covers the ink lines perfectly. Looks like my evenings are going to busy for the next few weeks as I try to complete a block per evening! Hopefully this will be finished in about a month, ready to take over to Janette to be longarm quilted. Wish me luck!
A Medley of Fig Tree Quilts Fabric
I have used a variety of fabrics from "Fig Tree Quilts" over the last couple of years, and had collected an assortment of scraps from "Patisserie", "Breakfast at Tiffany's", "Mill House Inn", "Buttercup" and "Gypsy Rose". Having a collection of scraps from the same fabric designer means they all co-ordinate beautifully, and it was with this in mind that I decided to pool them all together and see whether I had enough scraps to make a quilt with my medley of Fig Tree Quilts fabrics. I knew exactly what pattern I wanted to use - one of my favourites called "Ruth's Quilt" by the Australian designer Leanne Beasley - I have made this pattern before, using another gorgeous range of fabrics, "Simplicity" by 3 Sisters for Moda - (this quilt won first prize last year at the Orford, Sudbourne and Gedgrave Flower Show and Fete and won me the princely sum of £3 hehe!!).....
.....anyway, I have set myself a challenge to see if I can get the top pieced in just over a month, and I plan to start the stitchery on Monday 18th June. My plan is to embroider one block per evening - (there are 35 stitchery blocks altogether) so if everything goes according to plan, my aim is to finish the stitchery on 22nd July. Altogether there are 220 rectangles and 20 squares that make up the quilt top. Well I've gotta dash as I've got some stitchery blocks to finish tracing - will keep you updated!
Hi - welcome to my quilting blog! My passions are my family, my dog, my friends and sewing, not necessarily in that order!
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