Sunday 31 May 2009

I won a quilt!

I had a wonderful surprise last week when I received a telephone call from Ros telling me that I had won the Jacob's Ladder raffle quilt that had been made to raise funds for Viva a Vida, a charity that helps the street children in Brazil. I came over quite emotional as so many people worked on the quilt and it was made by hand and machine quilted. It will certainly be treasured. Although it arrived at my door on Wednesday I had to wait until Thursday to see it as I was out and so the postie took it back to the sorting office where I went post-haste (no pun intended) on Thursday morning. The next two photographs are of some of the ladies who made the blocks (from Ros's blog with her permission) and me with the quilt. Not a brilliant picture of the quilt I am afraid as I had to get the computer to take it for me and I couldn't get far enough away to hold it out fully!

I have managed to get my Spring Blooms quilt finished that I showed in the last post and it is now packaged up waiting to be posted tomorrow. I can't say where it is going to as unlike some swaps we only get the name of the person to whom we are sending our quilt.

Also packaged up are two small bags that I made up this week having seen Patsy Thompson's tutorial on her blog. One is for a friend who is now living in France and whose birthday was on Friday - she's used to me being late. I made is slightly shorter and added a lining but was really pleased with how easily it goes together. I may even make one for myself at some stage.

A couple of years ago I decided to risk putting up some bird feeders (those of you who share your homes with cats know why I considered this to be a risk) and as the last few days have been so hot I thought it was time that I gave the poor things something to drink so I went out and bought a bird bath. Were they grateful - not at all, they haven't been anywhere near it yet. Here it is looking very lonely. I will just have to wait and see how long it takes for them to find it.

Now it just so happens that the route to the garden centre goes past my local quilting shop Quiltessential. Fortunately they were closed when I went but of course when I came back they were open so I couldn't just drive past could I?

Happy sewing


Monday 25 May 2009

Sew busy

I can't believe that it has been almost three weeks since my last post. I have spent so much time working, sewing, gardening and reading what everyone else has been doing that time has run out before I could sit down and compose anything. I had hoped to be able to take some photos of the bluebells at Calke but when we went they were almost over so we just enjoyed a good walk and took some photos of the lovely old trees they have there and also one I particularly liked of one of the lakes. As you can see, it was a beautiful day.

These are photos of an amazingly textured ancient tree.

I have been working on a piece for my Spring Blooms swap partner. I had an idea of what I was going to do for this swap but then discovered that the one thing she did not want was raw edge applique - back to the drawing board! I decided to try my hand at a paper pieced pattern, not something that I usually do and either the instructions were not clear or I didn't follow them properly. Either way I lost some of the points ( I think I needed Micki here!) and although I can live with it I didn't feel that I could send it as a swap to someone else so back to the drawing board again. This time I drafted a crazy log cabin and appliqued a flower into the centre of each block. Finally finished and ready to go once I have attached the label. It's OK to show it here because we do not know who we will be receiving our quilt from.

This is the Amish Garden that will not be posted out although I can find a place to hang it in my house. It is still a WIP.

Another piece that I have just finished is a hanging that was inspired by the class I did with Beth Wheeler a little while back. It is going to hang over my bed but is also going to Sutton Hoo for their exhibition in October. The photo makes it seem quite a small piece and does not show the scale of it, it is actually 4' x 2'

And finally I have at last made a hanging from some Secret Garden squares that I made some time ago - like several years ago. I wanted some hand work to do in the evening and during my breaks at work so dug them out and sewed them together. The flash has made the colours a bit more washed out than they should be, they have a kind of glow in real life.

Finally Andrea gave me this award recently. I am not going to nominate any one person because it really does belong to all of you who drop by to support my blog. I thank you for all your comments and please accept this award from me.

Thank you for stopping by and reading. I will try not to be so long next time.


Tuesday 5 May 2009

I've been missing you

It is over two weeks since my last post and apart from work I have been really missing catching up with everyone's blogs. My internet connection has been very temperamental recently, kept timing me out or refusing to connect. Very frustrating, especially when I had tried to access something. I tried it out each morning to see if it was going to play ball but in the end I gave up and concentrated on sewing. Today it seems to have remembered its manners so let's hope this post actually makes it.

I have been doing another online class with Ellen Lindner. It is called Instant Art Quilts. This is a very different way of working for me and has been quite challenging but I am almost there. I have just got to complete the hand quilting around the accent pieces and then bind it and it will be done. I did some of the quilting earlier but have had to take a break as it is quite tough going as there are several layers in places, fortunately the use of pliers has made it easier.

This month's Popular Patchwork Journal Quilt Challenge was to use a twin needle. I had actually used this technique on my January one but only quilting with straight lines using straight stitch and zig zag. I decided to use this month to try out the stainless steel fabric in a more quilty setting and have to admit that it behaves beautifully. I definitely have ideas about how to use this fabric in another project. As far as I can tell the only downside is that it is not easy to photograph.

Uploading that last pic took two attempts so Broadband is still not entirely recovered. Apologies to those blogger friends that I usually visit regularly but at least I got caught up today.

Happy stitching