Friday, 28 May 2010

Mini Quilt Swap

This is my interpretation for the Mini Quilt Swap hosted by Michele at Quilting Gallery We had to embroider a central panel, designed by Lenna Green from Stitching Cow I blogged about it here and my granddaughters even embroidered part of the design for their teddy bear blankets. (See below)

I decided I was going to get some historical reproduction material, so I bought some Jane Austen material called Winchester. I made prairie points round the central design and then added a border. I used Hobbs 80/20 batting, but I found it quite difficult to hand quilt, as it did not needle well. I was really pleased with the way it looked before washing, but not so pleased after. I sent it off last week, but have delayed posting about it, so that it gets a chance to arrive at its destination. I also sent a little thank you to Anita for the lovely mini quilt she sent me. (We have different swap partners, so the person from whom we receive a quilt, gets a quilt from an entirely different person.)

Thankful Thoughts
We have a Folk concert and dance tonight, with all sorts of musicians and traditional dancing. It is going to be FUN!!
Till next time (after a few days to recover!)

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Teddy's Basket

Sorry about the quality of these pictures. The light was not good! My sister is still not very well, so I decided to send her a little gift to cheer her up. These little baskets are so easy to make. Someone showed me how to make them over twenty years ago, and you can rattle one up in an evening! I have no idea where the original pattern came from, but I have tweaked it over the years. I did not make the teddy, but when i saw him in Kirkwall, I just had to buy him.
The basket is made of two circles of material and a circle of wadding. The centre of the circle is sewn with free motion quilting and the sections sewn in. The sections are then wadded lightly and the edge of the circles are joined, using a large zigzag. The basket is then formed by threading a strong cord through the zigzag stitches and tied in a knot. Lace is added and then a binding to cover the raw edges. Add a handle and it is ready to be filled with all sorts of goodies. Really easy and quick.

Thankful Thoughts
I don't have to say anything, do I?

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Yipee!! The Postie Has Been

The Postie came with a mysterious parcel!!

You will notice I am not starting this post with a picture, like I usually do!

OK! I won't be mean!
When my husband brought this in, I did not twig at first. I had not ordered any material, especially from Holland, and the parcel said it contained fabric!. I opened it up and read a wonderful letter from Anita. She was my swap partner for the Embroidery Mini Quilt Swap from Quilting Gallery We all had to embroider the same 4" x 6" daisy motif in the middle and then interpret the rest of the mini quilt according to our swap partner's wishes.
When I opened the parcel, this is what is inside. Isn't it just AMAZING!!!!! I left it up to my swap partner to do as she pleased - and I could not be more pleased! It is FANTASTIC, and the amount of work she put into it is amazing! I love the emboidery! I love the colours! I love the patterns!
As if making the mini for me was not enough, Anita made me a really nice bookmark, which will be well used (it is inside a book, as I type).
This is the quilt in its entirety, and -
I think, though it is really difficult to choose, this is my favourite bit. I love the bird and the pumpkins!!

Thankful Thoughts
I haven't been well for the last few days. My husband brought me this in today from the polytunnel, because i was feeling better - the first strawberry of the season! It was wonderful!!
I keep forgetting to update the 'Hundred Books in a Year Challenge'. I have five to do just now, and I am sure I have missed a few! Duh!
Till next time.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

New Ruler and Mini Quilt Progress

Look what I got in the post. My ruler that I won from 'I Have a Notion', during their thirty days of Giveaways. Kelly is such a genuine person and has such wonderful things to buy in her shop.

The ruler came just at the right moment, as I am working on my Mini Quilt Swap for the Quilting Gallery. I have shown you the embroidery already, but I decided I would make another one, so that I could practice for the swap. I bought some reproduction Jane Austen material called 'Winchester', and I am going to make two mini quilts, one for me, one for my partner. Below you can see me using the ruler to cut out the material for the Prairie Points. It was so handy!!
Thankful Thoughts

Yesterday we had sleety rain. Today we had hail showers (see picture of hail storm in progress!), and it is cold!! Thank goodness we are warm and snug indoors.

I must away and do more on the mini.
Till next time.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

New Book and Some Sewing

As you know I am fascinated by old sewing machines. I learned to sew on my Granny's old Singer treadle sewing machine, and it took me years to stop yanking the material with both hands, when I got an electric machine, as the material stuck sometimes going through the treadle. I do not have that machine, more's the pity, but I have a lot of the feet from old Singer/Simanco machines, and I also have old machines as well. This book was fantastic. I was able to identify all the feet I have and learnt how they work. The book is well laid out and the pictures are beautiful. Well worth the money, if you are into old machine feet.

I haven't done a lot of sewing since the girls went home. My arm has been sore, and even although this does not stop me sewing, I have been feeling really tired and not wanting to concentrate too hard on anything. I did, however, dig out some very old material, to make some burp pads for the baby due at the end of June. Do you recognise the material, Robin? I was given this remnant of pieced material from a really nice and very talented lady I knew a long time ago. I cut out a piece of wadding/batting and quilted simple, straight lines down the strips. I then placed a backing, right sides together, and sewed all round the edge, leaving an opening. I turned the pad, right side out, and ladder stitched the closure.

I made quite a few. Some of the ones below have a raw edge. I am going to put on bias tape, but I have to wait to see whether it will be pink or blue. Recognise any more of the material, Robin? How many years has it been since you left Scotland? I never throw out anything - and it was so cute!!
I did go to the hospital yesterday for some physiotherapy, and I have damaged a tendon in my shoulder. This is aggravating the other problem in my arm, so hopefully a bit more physio and exercise will help.

Thankful Thoughts
I love flowers! I am not a great one for cutting flowers from the garden, but I love looking at them, and also taking pictures of them. They are so beautiful! So the question is - what kind of flowers are these? Remember, we live quite far north. We have a north wind at the moment, and it is quite chilly out of the sun. Any ideas? Look under the last photo for the answer.

TULIPS!! Aren't they beautiful?
Till next time.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Topsy Bunny

This is Topsy Bunny. As you know I am a member of the local Women's Institute, and they have a competition at the monthly meeting. This month it was to make a bunny in any craft and to decorate an Easter cake. My idea of decorating a cake is to slosh the icing on the cake and eat it, so I didn't hold out much hope there, and had the girls staying, so I wasn't sure whether to do anything at all. They nagged at me. I dragged my feet, but on the day before the competition I dragged out some extremely old fur fabric, and started trawling the Net for a bunny pattern. I couldn't find anything! I used to make teddy bears, so I quickly drew out what I thought might work and started to cut it out. The girls picked out the material and the lace. Apart from the head being too short and having to be cut out again, it worked out not bad. I bought the little basket years ago, knowing I would use it sometime, the same for the artificial flowers. Topsy needed a bit a sparkle, so I found a piece of nice, bright red ribbon. I embroidered on the face and that was her finished. My younger granddaughter hinted very strongly that she could come home with her, but my husband got there first. He loves 'beasties', and would have the house filled with them!
It was my birthday the following day, so I made a cake with Easter eggs, chickens and chocolate drops on it. Much to my astonishment, I got a first for my cake and a second for Topsy. The lady who got first had cross-stitched four rabbits. It was gorgeous and a well-deserved first. She said she had had major eye problems in the middle of sewing it, so that made it even more of an accomplishment. Well done Anita!
Till next time,

Friday, 23 April 2010

EQ7 Giveaway! Look at this!!

Would you look at this! Those wonderful people at the Electric Quilt Company are announcing the release of the new (and exciting!) EQ7. They will start shipping on the 7th June.
AND NOT ONLY THAT! If you blog about the new software on your blog, to let everyone know about this wonderful happening, you might have the opportunity of not only winning a copy of EQ7 for yourself (oh yes, oh yes please!), but you will be given another copy to give away on your blog. Can you imagine? Ten, yes, TEN bloggers will be given this wonderful chance. Imagine the traffic to your blog. Imagine how green with envy all your blogging friends will be. I know I should be keeping this information to myself, but then I wouldn't have the chance of winning, and I do so want to win!!

Look at all the wonderful things that the new EQ7 can do -

Quilts, Blocks and now PHOTOS!
Digital cameras will become a quilter's best friend. EQ7 has dozens of ways to turn everyday photos into quilt art images. Or crop and edit scanned fabrics right in EQ7 in minutes. And that's just the start!

New Activation Policy
You'll never run out of EQ7 activations! Activation and deactivation is as easy as two clicks of the mouse. Install on as many computers as you like and quickly transfer activations from computer to computer. This new policy gives you complete freedom to manage your own activations — and no dongle to worry about!

Easier than ever for new users
EQ7 is the most user-friendly full-featured quilting software yet.

  • Complete user manual
  • 22 printable full-color PDF lessons (115 pages)
  • Point-and-read info on each tool – now linked directly to Help topics
  • 10 videos targeted for beginners
  • 67 “How do I?” topics: printable stepped-out instructions for doing everything from printing English paper-piecing templates to drawing a New York Beauty
  • Built-in Help buttons are everywhere, targeted to the task you're doing
  • New block tools for creating original blocks instantly without drawing
  • Blocks size themselves – just drag and drop on the quilt

Users upgrading from EQ6 will feel right at home
Exactly the same friendly interface, plus loads of new user-requested features.

  • 5000 copyright-free blocks
  • 5000 new scanned fabrics, plus grayscale textures
  • 120 new pre-designed quilt layouts
  • Snap blocks to a Quilt grid
  • Instant border blocks with greatly expanded Auto Borders
  • Print multiple photos on fabric
  • Create original fabric designs from photos, then print on fabric
  • Mirror and use myriad symmetries on photos
  • Use dozens of artistic effects, making everyday photos look like watercolors or Impressionist paintings
  • 79 new features in all

Netbook compatible
Works on netbooks as well as laptops and desktop computers.

Isn't it wonderful? My computer is feeling dizzy, just thinking about it.

Till next time.