Saturday, 27 October 2012

Blogger's Quilt Festival

Hello,  What's this? two posts in one day!  Well, I was just catching up with Jo's blog and noticed that the Blogger's Quilt Festival is open again over Here on Amy's blog and popped over for a look.  If you want to be inspired by loads of beautiful quilts this is the place to visit.

I decided on the spur of the moment to add my Faded Diamonds one as I'm really pleased at how it turned out.  I think the simple pattern, muted fabrics and unfussy quilting give it the vintage look I was after.  Apologies to those who have already seen it a couple of weeks ago.  For anyone that hasn't, there are more pictures Here

Measurements:  53" x 53"
Machine quilted by me!
Best category:  Throw quilt, or Bed quilt.

Autumn Leaves

It was so lovely to see blue sky again this morning after a week of gloom and drizzle.  I've been waiting to get some more pictures of the garden, but it hasn't been very photogenic lately!

The leaves on our big tree (some sort of sycamore) are always beautiful but the colours don't last long.  These were some of the first to fall last week.

They're coming down thick and fast now in the wind.  I used to love raking them up for the compost, but found they rot down quicker if they're chopped up with the mower first.  That's hubby's job later!

I'm still busy making bits and bobs.  This week it was some lavender hearts with some vintage fabric and buttons.

Also made a start on the candles.  I did make a mistake ordering a couple of fragrances which sounded great on the website, but turned out to be very strong and unpleasant.  I've stuck to essential oils which smell gorgeous have no "nasties" in them.  Favourites so far are lavender and lime, and vanilla and orange, but I'm still experimenting!
The soy wax is easy to melt in the microwave,  I made a couple of candles with each large jugful.

Still working on the labels!  I'm not very artistic when it comes to handwriting so might need to create something on the computer :)

Have a good weekend
Bye for now.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Toowit Toowoo!

Hello bloggers! thank you for all your lovely comments about my quilts.  I have to say, I'm definitely in a quilty mood at the moment.  I don't know how long it will last,  probably 'till the winter gloom makes it too hard to see the fabrics properly!

As a diversion this week I made some owls from the rest of my wool pieces.  I'm not usually a fan of toy making, or anything that involves cutting and sewing fiddly shapes, but these were easy and fun to make and I think they're really cute.  The bits of old crochet lace give them a bit of character and I even found a basket "nest" the right size for them :)

There was a bit more quilt making with the squares I cut out ages ago.  There were enough for a cot size quilt which was nice and quick to put together.  Backed with a  peachy pink dotty fabric and bound with blue and white stripe it would make a sweet gift for a baby girl.  I'll be taking it (and the owls) along to the craft fair, but it'll probably end up in my etsy shop, maybe along with the matching doll quilt.  

Right! I'd better go and catch up with some housework as the ironing fairy doesn't seem to have visited lately :(
Bye for now

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Two Finished Quilts

Before starting on the candle making I decided to finish off the quilts that have been sat in my room waiting for the hand sewing bit.  Now they're both finished and washed they feel like proper quilts, rather than sewing projects and I just love them both, especially the diamonds one.  It has that soft faded look that's lovely to live with and doesn't clash with everything else!

I'm hopeless with naming quilts, but this I'll probably call it Faded Diamonds or something equally original!

The back is a recycled piece of old duvet cover that matches the vintage look.

Just out of the tumble dryer is my 30's quilt.  Lovely jolly colours and nice and soft and cosy.

Again I've used an old duvet cover for the back.

With each new quilt there's a few things I learn that make life a bit easier and in case I'm not the only one who wishes someone had told them earlier, here's a few random thoughts on hand sewing the binding to the back. 

1.  Do one side at a time.  There's no point pressing and clipping the whole lot as you'll probably have to ration your clips to wider spacings.  It will stay nice and crisply ironed which is easier to sew and it's much easier to handle the rest of the quilt without clips everywhere!

2. Use a piece of card when pressing the binding to the back.  It's easier to get a nice straight fold when the quilt edge is held down with the card.

3. Use ladder stitch.  I don't know why I never knew this. I suppose I was taught to slip stitch hems at school and didn't realise there's a much neater, quicker way to finish things like this. Use a longish needle and you can do several stitches at a time.  Useful for closing up lavender bags and toys etc too!
Sorry this is a rubbish photo but there's plenty of info on the 'net

4. Use Gutermann cotton thread.  For years I've used Sylko thinking there was no difference between them, but the Gutermann seemed much easier to hand sew with, and didn't keep tying itself in annoying knots.  Maybe that was just me, but I'm sticking with it in future.

Nothing new for proper quilters, but they don't tell you this stuff in the books!

Sorry if it was a long post, but thanks for sticking with it!
Hope you have a good weekend

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Busy Crafting!

Hello,  sorry for my absence from blog land recently.  I've been slaving over a hot sewing machine and kept forgetting to stop and take some photos.  Here's a quick look at what I've been up to for the last week or two.

These cute little lavender bags were made from my stash of vintage felted wool.  I'll probably tie them into bundles with some ribbon or lace. 

Handy tote bags made from some of the pile of Laura Ashley fabric I've had for ages. (There's 2 or 3 in each pattern).  They still need the corners squared off but I needed a break from sewing for a while!

Next on the list is making some candles in the Bonne Maman jars that are too nice to throw away.  If that works OK I might try some in the dinky little vintage flower pots I've rounded up from the garden.  Just waiting for the wax and stuff to arrive.

Another reason for not visiting your blogs as much is our faulty phone line.  It hasn't been working for weeks and using the internet is often like watching paint dry!  Hubby had endless discussions with Sky and BT, going round in circles and they reckon that as they have to get permission to put traffic lights in our lane and dig up the road, it can't be done 'till December!  Sky even said that he couldn't complain as they don't have a complaints department. 
 You have to laugh or you'd cry!!


Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Late Summer Sun

Well, the weather continues to do that British thing of being gloriously sunny one minute and dismal the next,  but I managed to grab some pictures in the garden yesterday evening when the last of the sun seemed to make everything glow!

This Comma butterfly was soaking up the warmth.

The berries on the Spindle tree looked like jewels

The Cornus bush is a mass of red leaves and twigs at the moment

And the ruby chard is as beautiful as any flower!

The sweet peas have been glorious, but I haven't cut any for a while, so they won't last much longer, but  it's always nice to let them go mad at the end of the season!

Back indoors,  I've been glued to my sewing machine and have attached the binding to the two latest quilts.  Hand sewing to the back might have to wait though, as I've just somehow agreed to do a stall at a local craft fair in November!  Guess that means I need to get on and make some stuff!