Thursday, 24 January 2019

Is Blogging Disappearing

Sadly I think it may well be!  I know I am probably as guilty as the next blogger at forgetting to post but I am finding it increasingly more difficult to write a post with any substance.  In order to post I now have to stop what I'm doing and switch on my PC.  When I started this blog over 5 years ago, my PC was on every day and it took no time to upload a photo and give you all an update of what was going on in my quilty world.  Now with the use of smartphones and tablets my computer is only switched on occasionally.

Sadly my weekly or sometimes twice weekly posts have more recently become monthly and the last one was way back in November.  I am not going to apologise and give empty promises I know I won't be able to keep about blogging more regularly.  All I can say is I will blog if and when I can.  

With the use of mobile devices it has become easier use Social media, Facebook and Instagram have become more popular and instantaneous.  For example I posted on Instagram earlier - it took all of 3 minutes to take a photo on my phone, add a comment and post it.  I know instantly it's there and within a very short time know if it's been seen by my Followers.  I know how many people are following me, how many groups I follow and how many posts I have uploaded.  With Blogger I have absolutely no idea whether anyone is actually reading what I am spending half an hour typing and uploading photos.  Facebook is very similar, your post can be liked, you know if anyone has seen it and you may actually get some comments or answers if you ask a question.  So it is no surprise really that I  and many other quilting bloggers have gone over to the dark side.  Technology still challenges me but I hope I am moving along with the times and keeping up with the younger generation, for now  at least

I have not managed a lot of sewing during the Christmas period until now, family challenges, viral infection and apathy have got to me.  I hope now I am feeling a bit better, the days are getting a bit longer and I am hopefully managing my time better I will get some sewing done.  Please check out my page on Instagram where you are more likely to see my up to date makes.  Tab at the top of the page will direct you there.

I had a very exciting delivery just before Christmas - my new Continuum Frame and Qnique 15R arrived.   I managed to build the frame and set it all up by myself - I didn't even need Techie's help this time!  I now have it all up and running although haven't had as much time to play as I had hoped but I am beginning to get to grips with it, and looking forward to many happy hours quilting and learning this new art.

Below was my first Quilt pieced and finished in 2019 using leftover fabrics from my stash.  Once again this year I hope to use most of what I have sitting on my shelves and buy very little! HMMMM we will see about that.

I will try and update my Gallery this week, suffice to say that's  long overdue and I will summarise where all the quilts made in 2018 were sent.  Until next time, enjoy your sewing when you can find the time. 

Sunday, 25 November 2018

Just a Quick Note

Two more finishes this week, a bit of a rush on with these ones which have been lying around as WIP's for a while.  Its been hectic again this week but I find if I manage to snatch an hour or so in the evening just to sew it helps me switch my mind off and relax and wind down after a busy day.

I am meeting up with a lady from the Linus Project this week so I was trying to get these two finished off and labels on in plenty of time.  Pleased to report they are all done!

Zig and Zag 36 x40

Row by Row 44 x 52"
These will going together with another eight quilts off to the Borders Region to be given to vulnerable and less fortunate children.  I really don't mind which region my quilts go to as long as they are wanted and loved.  I am meeting up with the lady in Peebles next week and I am looking forward to a wee day out and spending some down time just for myself.  Perhaps I might even do some Christmas Shopping!

I hope you are all finding a little time to sew, until next time Happy stitching.

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Sewing When I Can

I am happy to say I can post about two of my projects and what has had to be Secret Sewing over the last wee while.  Normally I can post as I go about my current project however not to spoil the surprise element sometimes you just have to keep things under wraps.  

The first is an ongoing project which we have been doing at class since last September.  Members wanted to do a Block of the Month project.  We decided to choose a block each month, go home and stitch it up and return with it the next month for Show and Tell.  Well there were a few surprises over the months, each time the blocks were so different and I don't think there were ever any two the same.  The colours, sizes and indeed the number of blocks was left up to the individual member and as usual at the end of the year I can honestly say there are a lot of talented ladies in our group who should think outside their comfort zone more often.  The blocks chosen were, Dresden plate, Maple leaf, Kite, Star, Square in a Square, A Block with 9 pieces, Triangle, Curve and Mariners Compass.  I of course decided to do something a bit 'off the wall'.  Green, Pink, Grey and Multi combination of fabrics and each block had a 'modern twist'  The binding has a scrappy feel to it and it is certainly different!!  The quilting is not traditional either - I started quilting a spiral  with the intention of covering the whole quilt with the one spiral................but I got bored and had to change thread so ended up doing lots of spirals which is certainly different but I wouldn't say was a great success.

My other secret project I can now fully reveal was a HST triangle quilt you saw me start a few months ago while I was on holiday in Canada.  This was supposed to be finished while I was there and stay in Canada as a wedding gift.  Sadly that didn't happen - I ran out of time again - and I brought it back home here to finish off.  It has now returned to Canada and the recipients I am pleased to say are delighted with their gift.

So in-between finishing these two I am still working on two more 'secrets' which will eventually be posted here.  In the meantime I have been knitting, and tidying my sewing space, tidying up fabrics and hopefully using them up soon for more charity quilts.

So this week I have lots of labels to be sewn on some of the quilts which I have been stockpiling so that all takes up time.  Enjoy your quilting journey.

Saturday, 3 November 2018

Normal Posts Should Resume Soon

Once again I am chasing my tail.  Not enough hours in the day for me and of course its always sewing time which has to be forfeited.  Not to worry next week is looking a bit quieter so fingers crossed for some down time. 

November already, where has the year gone?  When I looked back over the last month's photos I appear to have done quite a lot including having a weekend break with all the family to Keswick.  This was a throughly enjoyable break for us all, we all had great fun!

This is a selection of my October projects

Willa the Walrus, one of the secret projects which unfortunately I can't show any more.  
More modern triangles, 
The Chevrons and Charms quilt which I surprised myself with the back view.  
Apple and Rowan Jelly made with windfall apples.  
A black and White project, just because I fancied starting something if I really needed that.  
The other secret BOM project which will hopefully be completed by Tuesday night for Show and Tell at class.  
Busy bags for the youngest member of the family 
Using up some scraps 6.5" railfence blocks for Quilts for Christmas Dinners Project.  

All in all not a bad month.  I hope this month will be as productive, happy quilting folks! 

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Season of Mellow Fruitfulness

The days are getting shorter and the lights start going on a bit earlier.  I don't really like closing the curtains too early but it has been a bit stormy this week and the wind has been howling around this old house at times.  I have been working on the Chevron quilt this week.  You may remember I pieced it together while I was on holiday in Canada.  The continuing theme throughout the quilt seems to have been spots.  The Lotta Dots charm pack by Connecting Threads was combined with a bubbly white on white fabric and pulled together with my favourite fabric for the moment Moda Grunge in Patriot blue.  This was an easy pattern to put together but with a bit of concentration needed with the half square triangles with lots of trimming and squaring going on. I hope you agree the chevron pattern from Missouri Star is quite striking and has produced a good size lap quilt. I think Jenny calls it Spice Rack as she uses rustic spicy colours In her version.  I brought the completed top back home to sandwich and quilt.  It has literally been hanging on the frame ready for decisions to be made.  It took me a wee while to decide on the quilting.  

I thought I would like to quilt pebbles or circles to complete the ongoing theme.  I really need to see the quilt flat to decide and I have the luxury of either hanging a quilt on the front of a wardrobe or laying it out on the floor where I leave it for a few days, looking at it from time to time from all angles and imagining the quilting pattern superimposed on the top.  This is the stage I least like, I’m so indecisive and having spent ages piecing I don’t really want to ruin it just because I don’t take time to think it through.  Usually the quilt will speak to me, if it doesn’t it goes on a shelf after a few days, to remain there for some time usually. (I have 3 tops on the limbo shelf at the moment or maybe it’s  4)  However this quilt didn’t hang about for long and was loaded on to my frame.  

I used a plain navy backing fabric and warm and natural batting, the thread I used this time was Glide Sky.  The quilt was all free motion quilted, no pantograph, no stitch regulator, no marking just my not so perfect concentration, which produced the finished article.  I decided to take it slowly - as in only a portion at a time. I stopped frequently and didn’t get myself overly stressed. (hence the extra creases on the above photo because it was rolled on the frame for a bit)

I only worked on it one or two passes at a time then changed tactics and moved on to a different project.  This seemed to work for me.  Sometimes you pick up a bad habit and lose concentration - other times you get into the zone and everything flows smoothly.  Here is the result.  I still have the binding to put on and then it will be complete.

My Chevron Quilt aka as Spice Rack on Missouri Star

I got quite a surprise when I removed the quilt from the frame and flipped it over - it almost looks like a secondary whole cloth quilt.  I think it looks quite striking.

Does it look like a whole cloth quilt?

I will be secret sewing again this week and I might try just get one of those limbo quilts off the shelf and have another look for inspiration. Oh and I do have my Block of the Month quilt to finish for class, I think it needs to be completed for early November! Better get a move on.

Autumn has definitely arrived here and we have been buffeted by a few storms already and some of the leaves have fallen without actually changing colours.  Autumn brings lots of fruits, windfall apples, brambles, rowans, hips and haws.  I was lucky enough to be given some apples from a neighbour and combined with some rowans this is what I have been making this morning.

A bountiful harvest of apples

and the resulting pots of Apple and Rowan Jelly

  Maybe I’ll make some autumnal leafy blocks this week? Until next time happy stitching. 

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Secret Sewing

It seems to me I am doing a lot of Secret Sewing at the moment.  Not that I am sewing in secret its just I can't really show you what I am doing as they will be gifts.  However I will try and keep the blog as interesting as possible and in between these secret projects I will try and do something interesting with my time and produce some smaller, speedier projects on the go to keep you interested and keep me sane in-between these rather challenging bigger projects.

I am still making triangles from the Modern Triangle Quilts Book, I am hoping to get a few more of those done this week.  

I have finished two scrappy quilts one is a little linus quilt made up of leftovers from the Chevron Charm quilt.  I had a few Lotta Dots charms left over too many to go in the scrap bucket so I used them up with the little cute animal fabric which has been lying around for a while.  I do like the stars on the backing. I stitched an allover meander in Scarlet Glide thread for the quilting.

The second is made up of leftover strips of varying widths - I made them into rail fence and slab blocks but inevitably I ran out of blues and didn't really want to add another colour.  I asked at my quilt group and Chris came to the rescue with enough blocks for me to complete this quilt. This too was quilted on the frame with a loopy meander this time using Sky Glide Thread.

My extra pieces of batting were beginning to mount up again so I have spent the morning sorting and stitching pieces together to be frugal and a thriftier stitcher.  I now have a much tidier shelf and the pieces of batting have been measured and the sizes have been pinned on to each piece - but what can I do with all those pieces of fleece?  I have had a computer clean up too and updated my list of projects, photos and my journal.  I'm happier now I've got all that done and tidied.  

It is blowing a hoolie outside and the rain is battering on the windows, I am so pleased to be sitting inside and don't have to go out.  It is almost coffee time so I will sign off now, have my coffee and then decide how I will use some more fabrics from my stash to embark on another quick and easy project to spell me while I concentrate hard on the two secret challenges. This is a clue for one of them - and this is the second attempt to try and get it right so hence the need to concentrate hard!!!  

Keep cosy and enjoy your week

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Catch up!

I'm a bit confused (not unusual tbh)  I haven't been posting here for a while and I wasn't entirely sure which photos I had posted here and which projects I had told you about so I had to go back and reread my previous posts - theres nothing worse than repeating yourself.

So for the month of September I have been taking part in The Great British Quilter Challenge over on Instagram.  This has been set in motion by @sarahashfordstudio and @kerryveryberry.  A fun challenge which requires you to put a photograph on instagram pertaining to the particular challenge of the day.  There have been all sorts of challenges ranging from favourite fabrics, to your sewing machine, current WIP, stash, quilt on location, favourite quilt block  all good fun and my photos can be viewed by clicking on the instagram tab above.  Ive managed to keep up and we have only 3 more days to go!  It has been very interesting seeing other peoples projects and ideas.

I have been managing to do a bit of sewing and can now let you see my finished mini quilt for our Group Challenge 'Modern' the block is from Nine Patch Revolution written by Angela Walters and Jenifer Dick.   It was fun to do and is reversible.  The ladies of the Group once more excelled themselves making a variety of very interesting quilts. 



The chevron quilt top has been completed and is, as I type hanging over the quilting frame ready for me to load it up, choose the thread and then the quilting will commence.


The Sparkle Plenty HST is almost complete - I have straight line quilted it but I am wondering if it needs something else?  It is hanging on the front of the wardrobe in the other room, I am hopeful it will 'speak' to me soon and let me know!

The Modern Triangles have been growing and I think I now need to start and put in some background squares I have 20 done so far.

And as if thats not enough I have started another longterm project - North Stars by Elizabeth Hartman 

I enjoyed doing the little hedgehog from Forrest Friends and some of the creatures from Awesome Ocean.  When I saw this new pattern which has only just been released this autumn I just had to give it a go.   I bought the special bundle of fabrics and Im using Grunge in Silver for the backgrounds.  It may take me some time...............there are so many little pieces

I think thats me all caught up again so until next time, happy sewing!