Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Herringbone Xmas blocks progress.

Instead of finishing the embroidery on this quilt, which despite this picture has been bound and washed..

...because I can't decide on a font (is that the lamest excuse I've ever given, even to myself?) I've picked up my next WIP.

I cut up a charm pack of Kate Spain's Flurry into one and a half inch strips to be my leader and Enders project but it didn't seem to progress at all. When I had a burst of sewjo on Monday night I realised that some strips hadn't been cut to the correct width.

I had already tried to randomise the strips and couldn't face either a) trimming them one by one as I came across them, or b) sorting them from the pile and cutting them down. I just wanted to sew.

Hopefully once all the Christmas nibbles are artfully arranged on the runner no-one will notice the fatter blocks. ( The phrase 'do my blocks look fat in this?' springs to mind. ) Here are the seven trimmed blocks just waiting for their sashing - probably Kona Snow with pebble quilting. Sorry about the late night, indoor light grainy pic.


linking to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

No finishes this week but progress is good ;-)



Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Slow progress..

This quilt has been a challenge. I have unpicked a lot. And not just once..

Due to my first thread choice shredding and breaking, a lot of unpicking was necessary.

and get rid of the dodgy square spiral accented by the dark bobbin thread...times six.

And again.....I thought I'd free motion petal shapes inside the two stars, notice the particularly lovely convergence of lines in the centre - cue unpicking.

It only takes a few minutes to sew but hours to unpick. You'd have thought I would have learnt my lesson but oh no, I ploughed on. In all I must have spent at least 10 hours unpicking various errors.

At this point I had a change of mind and decided to embroider baby R's details in the stars.

But due to the hot mess left by all that unpicked thread I thought the quilt should be washed to get rid of all the holes before I stared the embroidery. Which meant I needed to apply the binding. I machine stitched the binding onto the front before heading to Edinburgh for a few days over the school half term.

During the drive there and back I was able to hand stitch the back of the binding down. One bit of good news is that I finally seem to be getting the hang of turning the corners.

The quilt is washed and hanging up to dry for a bit before going into the dryer. This is the first time I've washed and dried a quilt, so fingers crossed.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced


Saturday, 12 October 2013

Fourth quarter wish list.

Well, the fact that I finished anything from my first list counts as a big win in my book. The FAL gave me the motivation/inspiration I needed to sew those lingering WIPs, so it's no surprise that I'm joining up again.
WIPs seem to multiply on their own, I really didn't realise I had so many - or is it just Quilters Denial?
If I don't have too many projects on the go it's perfectly reasonable to buy fabric and start another one, isn't it!
So, before my next delivery arrives (Aurifil thread from a new-to-me online stockist) I'd better get on with my list....

1. Making a return appearance from quarter three, this log cabin cutie.

I have been trying to FMQ this one with some YLI thread in the most perfect colour, but the thread keeps breaking. Not sure why, hence the need for more thread purchasing.
Can you see how the thread is shredding? What am I doing wrong?? Needle selection, tension?? Arghhh!!
2. This Rainbow Circle, which is my attempt at the Colour-Wheel quilt from this lovely book.
This has been a WIP for nearly two years.
I knew how I wanted to quilt the background quite early on in the piecing. But then I stalled with the coloured section, I tried radiating straight lines, but that really didn't do it for me. So after unpicking , a lot, it has been folded in the cupboard, hence the creases. I'm now thinking along the lines of 'S' shaped radiating lines, we'll see.
3. Christmas Quilt, from a Gail Pan BOM.
This has been in progress for about four or five years.
I like to have a little hand embroidery on the go, and this free project seemed perfect.
I really only think about this project around October time and mostly have been sewing in lunch breaks at work. By mid-December I realise I'm not going to finish in time for Christmas, so away it hides for another year. NOT this year. It will be finished!!
4. A little Christmas table runner, a relatively new project, less than a year 'in progress'.

This was supposed to be my leader-and-Enders project. Which is fine if I have a normal foot on and pale coloured thread. It seems that this foot/thread combo was lacking and not much progress was made. I really would like to see this completed and on my sideboard for Xmas. I think the fabric is a Kate Spain 'Flurry' charm pack.

5. Scrappy stars.

An ongoing, 'use up every tiny scrap' project. I'm hoping this would make a lovely wall hanging. But I think it might be worth making up a cushion (pillow) first, to see if I like it and what kind of layout design works for me.

I'm going to stop there, at least one project didn't make it from q3 to q4. But I think this is plenty to keep me busy, a tad ambitious maybe, but certainly achievable. Especially if I spend less time procrastinating/blog reading/ fabric browsing/ going to work.

So, that's my list, what's yours??

Linking up with the Finish-A-long hosted by Leanne at She Can Quilt

<div align="center"><a href="" title="she can quilt"><img src="" alt="she can quilt" style="border:none;" height=125 width=125 /></a></div>

and Lee at Freshly Pieced.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Cushion and basket, finished and gifted.

This little basket was from a pattern by Noodlehead. Clearly written and easy to follow (although that didn't stop me making a couple of errors) I can heartily recommend it.

The cushion, however, lurched from one disaster to another. But it turned out fine in the end.

Despite wanting to get it finished in a hurry I opted to try an new-to-me technique for inserting the zipper. Again clear instructions made this part go smoothly. Overall I'm happy with the result.

I'm pleased to say Mr. M's parents seemed to like it too, although Mr. M couldn't have been less impressed.

This is my first finish for the 3rd quarter of the FAL.

The others on my finish-along list may roll over to the next quarter, or I might substitute a couple of Xmas themed WIPs instead.

I hope everyone else has made a bit of sewing progress too,



Sunday, 6 October 2013

Blueberry lime swirl

I'm pleased to have this quilt on the wall....

And I'm in no doubt that without the finish-along it would still be folded in the cupboard.

I first decided to have this quilt off-centre, which I really liked.

But then my DH pulled a, 'is it meant to look like that', face. As it was going on the wall downstairs and he would be looking at it every day, I would rather he liked it too.

So after losing interest for a while, then considering using it to cover my upcycled chair..

I realised I would be disappointed if I didn't make it into the planned wall hanging. So, with the finish-along to motivate me, I dug out the fabrics I had put away and set about cutting and stitching.

But... the colours I'd chosen for the first solid square of green had ended up looking more duck egg blue than the lime green I'd used for the fractured section.

As I progressed, I realised I'd have to swap out those solids! I'm glad I did because I think it looks miles better.

I already had straight line quilting in mind, so getting started was straightforward. At this point I thought the design needed a bit of breathing space.

So I left a gap and then quilted some lines to echo the 'fractured' areas of piecing.

Overall, I'm really pleased with the result. The original design is from Quiting Modern and motivation provided by Leanne at She Can Quilt, and is my second finish.

Back to the pedal,


Quilt Info;82 cms square;Background,kona snow.


Thursday, 3 October 2013

Chair seat finished...for now..

I was contemplating using my partially completed swirling medallion patchwork to cover this chair seat.

But I really didn't think that quilting cotton would be robust enough to withstand repeated exposure to my rear end.

I also knew that I would feel disappointed every time I looked at it, knowing the patchwork should have been a lovely wall hanging. So with the impetus of the finish-along I've nearly completed it and will hopefully be writing a post before the 3rd quarter finish-along deadline of October 7th.

Coincidently I came across this fabric in a not quite local furnishing fabric shop. The colours were so close to what I wanted and the pattern was quirky enough that I bought some without stopping to think. Therefore I didn't quite buy enough and had to piece a bit on the back.

The result is a finish. It might not be what I first had in mind, but it's done and I can move on to the next thing. And I won't irritate me every time I look at it :-)

Linking up with the third quarter of the finish-along, thanks Leanne, it's given me the deadlines I need to complete something,

hope it's helping you too.

Back to the foot pedal,



Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Swirling medallion progress and some thoughts..

When and how do you decide how you are going to quilt your finished top?

With this top I already had a few ideas....

After quilting the centre ...

I thought I'd carry on quilting a concentric 'square spiral' but leave the 'solid' i.e. 'not fractured' frames, unquilted for contrast.

After completing this much...(and taking a late night crappy photo)

..I thought that the quilting needed a little breathing space. So what I've decided is to leave a wide gap before continuing the straight lines. And once I've completed that I'll see if I'm brave enough to add some fractured triangles in quilting lines.

Here's my progress so far. Let's see how this goes shall we?

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Back to the machine,


Wednesday, 21 August 2013

I didn't think I was the military type..

But with the arrival of this little gem it seems I may have enlisted.

After my spectacular fail at linking up in my last post I'm going to try again.

I have just finished the cushion (no pic yet) but still need to work on the chair seat..

The backing is pieced and the batting cut and 'relaxing'...

ready to baste and free motion this little quilt.

Here's another go with linking up to WiP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced..

Wish me luck (again) ,

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Decisions, decisions...WIP weds

...I can't seem to make up my mind about anything at the moment.

I put this small wall hanging to one side after my DH made a face when I was showing it to him. I'm sure everyone knows the 'face'. Me, all excited and asking 'what do you think?', expecting 'ooh, that's coming along nicely'. But instead getting 'the face'. The one that says ' I'm not liking this but she obviously does, so what can I say that won't be the wrong thing.'
Which all happens in a split second but you can read it. And there's no mistaking the definite lack of enthusiasm.

So, what to do...I can't bring myself to finish it and not hang it up (there's no more wall space in my sewing area). The other option is to use it to cover this chair that I've been upcycling. Or painting as my Dad would say.

The other area of procrastination is this cushion.

For some reason it has been painful to make. Lots of little things have gone wrong..bobbin running out 3 inches from the end, cutting a piece too short- three times! Miscalculating the size of striped fabric required because I'd measured the centre square wrongly. Trimming one of the embroidered sections too thin, which meant having to trim the others to match. Which resulted in the whole thing being smaller than I'd planned. Dropping the iron whilst doing a final press, not noticing some melted rug on the edge and therefore applying melted plastic to one corner post. Etc.

Consequently I'm not feeling the love for this piece. Which is a shame, I do like it and I enjoyed the embroidery but I don't love it.

So how to finish it, I'd like to give piping a go but with the above track record that would be ;
a) pushing my luck. b) tempting fate c) plain stupid ( delete as appropriate).
So I think I'll just try an 'invisible' zip. Which will probably be visible from space.

Wish me luck.

Going to attempt to link up with WiP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced. Here goes ..

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Friday, 12 July 2013

Will any of these ever be finished?

I'm hoping that getting this list 'out there' will give me the kick up the footpedal that I need to just get on with it. That's the point of linking up isn't it? To make public those UFO's that only I know about, my quilty little secrets, so I'd better move right along...

The pictures aren't great but if I mess around getting 'better' ones I'll never do this post!


The most pressing finish is this baby gift, I've made the basket (pattern by Anna Noodlehead- highly recommended) but then I stalled on the cushion I wanted to make to go with it. I've made the centre monogram but I also plan to include little Miquels birth details, as I don't have a clear plan on how I want to do it, I kind of wandered off to other things - embroidering a non-urgent Xmas quilt anyone?


This next one definitely requires some focus and direction. These are little scrappy stars I've been making for over a year with no finish date in mind. If I want my skills to develop I really need to complete things, not keep starting new ones. I think it's because in my head the finished quilt will be! But I also feel that my skill-set isn't up to the level required to finish whatever project I'm working on, so I keep procrastinating and starting something new. So, this is going to be something, I'm thinking large cushion to go on my daughters bed. It will complement the stars quilt I've made for her that 'just' needs quilting- and has been waiting in that state for a year (maybe that should have been on this list?)



While having a quick look in my quilting cupboard (substitute spare room wardrobe here) for the previous projects I'm ashamed to say I came across the next two which I had totally forgotten about.


This top was completed about 5 years ago as a secret baby quilt for a work colleague. It's a small version of a quilt by Pam and Nicky Lintott from this book. I had made the top when she mentioned she 'hated' red, white and blue! Whilst a lot of the blue is really a turquoisy colour, I didn't want to upset a new Mum, so into the cupboard it went. Which was a real shame as I enjoyed making it. I had to hurriedly make an alternative which she said she liked but I was left feeling deflated by the whole episode, this quilt would make a nice gift for someone and deserves better than to be left in the wardrobe.


These blocks ....well..I know I made them but I have really no idea when, at least 5 years ago but I can't really be sure



I was obviously in a very colourful phase when I made these blocks :-/. They probably need toning down with some sashing- not sure what I'll go for. And I'm not sure where this will end up, maybe a raffle prize for my school.


I was dithering about including this- but what the heck, in for a penny...



From Quilting Modern, I gave this a whirl and was enjoying the prospect of a lovely wall hanging in our sitting room when I caught my husband looking at it. You can tell straight away what they're thinking can't you. Nope, he doesn't like it. Yet again the wind was taken out of my sails, this one has been hanging on the back of the spare room door. I'll probably still make it into a hanging, but keep it small for the spare room instead.

So, that's my list. Now you too know (some) of my quilty secrets. What's yours?


I'm trying to link up with all the quilty peeps at-

<div align="center"><a href="" title="she can quilt"><img src="" alt="she can quilt" style="border:none;" height=125 width=125 /></a></div>

Hoping it worked,


Tracy xx


Sunday, 2 June 2013

Plan Bee Group quilt

Well, it's nearly finished, just the binding to go


But if I don't show it now I'm afraid it might languish in a cupboard for another year!!



The blocks ( and others) in this quilt were made by the members of the Plan Bee 2012 group. They sent them to me for assembling.


Rachel, our lovely leader, will be donating the quilt to a Children's Hospice local to her in Cumbria.


Thanks you to all of our members for the blocks, I hope you approve of the (nearly) finished result.


Saturday, 11 May 2013

Despite my cold..

I seem to have had a productive (for me anyways) week.
I think being too tired to do much means I've had a lot of time to think about what I'd rather be doing. (Although my aim is now fantastic, as I can throw the tissues to the bin with 99% accuracy, no mean feat for someone who's rubbish at all sports-related activity.)
Consequently, when I've had the energy to do something, I've been really focused and achieved a lot in short bursts. My little contribution To Boston With Love, go check out the Flickr group.

A happy coincidence means that my itching to attempt the Divided basket by Anna Noodlehead has been scratched by three friends expecting. After downloading the pattern and buying fabric in a shop (John lewis)...

... I then needed to buy interfacing and fusible fleece. Luckily, Gone to Earth, had just what I needed and delivered super quick. This is important when you re impatient to get on with it NOW. (We won't mention that it then sits around the house for days at various stages of the construction process, shall we.)

I seem to have added these fabrics to my order, (Heather Bailey, Nicey Jane in Olive; Art Gallery Oval Elements, French Vanilla and Peacock; Comma, Zen Chic,Nigella in Chalk) they will probably join one of my Lucky Stars blocks in the future.
Happy stitching,