Saturday, 13 August 2016

Hermione's bookcase -- Harry Potter QAL

It's been almost two weeks since the first two blocks of this quilt along were released, but I am finally making some progress! Just in time for the next two blocks to be released! :)

The QAL is being run by Soma at Whims and Fancies, the details can be found here, for anyone interested.

First up on my cutting board is Hermione's bookcase.

Image from Whims & Fancies

I am pulling all the fabrics from my stash for this one. With all the pieces cut up in a neat pile there seemed rather a lot!

Ready to go

This is a large block at 24" x 12". Although some pieces are quite small. That pretty little moon is only 3.5" square and made up of 31 pieces !!


The pattern has 4 pictures on the doors, and that moon is one of them. The pattern suggests fussy cutting pieces of fabric for these space. But when I saw Soma's block with the moon, hat, star and vile I just knew my collection of fabrics was not going to provide me with anything close to those.

Soma so very kindly provided some extra patterns for these pieces. And I am so thankful and touched by her generosity, they are excellent and make the block perfect.

And the final block does not disappoint! Here it is.

Hermione's bookcase

Next up is Hedwig, but I'm not sure I'll get that one finished before the next two blocks are released later this month. Because, see all those totes sitting there in my messy sewing room, they need filling!

We are moving house on September 1st , just 5 days before the kids start the new school year! Not perfect timing, and certainly not of our choosing! The joy of renting.

Off to prep Hedwig in the hope I can finish him before the move, good to have a deadline. 

Happy sewing!

Friday, 8 July 2016

Finish along - Q3

I made quite a dent in my long term list of WIPs last quarter! I finished 4 quilts and a cardigan. So I now feel justified to add some new projects to my list :)

I still have some long term WIPs that need to be completed though, so these are still on my list:

1. Double 9 patch quilt - still needs quilting

2. Dr Who - it's still just a pile of blocks, although I did add a couple more and make a bit of a plan!

3. Bright flower patch quilt

This quit has been constructed since 2012 but I decided I would hand quilt it!! I do like to hand quilt things but often smaller projects! This is not usually the first thing I think to pick up when I have time. I think I have completed 10 of the white blocks with the sunflower design below. I'm adding it to my list to remind me it is there and needs finishing, rather than leaving it hiding in the cupboard.

4. Simply colourful - this one still needs a plan

5. Camp blankets
My kids are all members of scouting and they each have a camp blanket for collecting their badges. Say their blankets are still very bare but the pile of badges is continually getting larger! I am not keen on sewing these badges onto the blankets! The kids keep pestering me to do it though, so perhaps this is the quarter I really should get it done.

And it's always good to add some new things to keep the mix interesting :)

6. V and Co Ombre 

I have this jelly roll of beautiful ombre fabrics and I love it with the essex yarn dyed in black. I have struggled to decide on a pattern I want to make, but I made a block last night that I think I might continue with.

7. Beeutiful QAL

I just couldn't resist these cute bee blocks I saw being posted on Instagram by @sweetlittlestiches. The QAL is being hosted on Moda Bake Shop website over the next few weeks. I am not sure I will make all 16, but we'll see how far I get. These are my first 2 completed blocks, which I think is block 4 and block 2 (I'm playing catch up)!

So, while my list from last quarter shrunk considerably, I seem to have added plenty more to focus on this quarter. Happy sewing everyone.

Linking up with 

2016 FAL

Friday, 1 July 2016

Friends for Christmas ** Finish **

I finally finished this Christmas wall hanging. I started this way back at a Christmas workshop I went to with my mum, but last year I made a concerted effort to finish constructing the blocks. I got it all together and basted in September last year. And there it sat!

I quilted it with an all over pattern of stars and loops. I just love these reindeers! Last week I finally put the finishing touches, or rather threads, to it. So now it is finished and in plenty of time for Christmas! Ha!

But I think this penguin decorating the tree is the best, perching on those parcels.

My little helper was struggling to hold this one still. This was the best snap I got before the arms gave way and she was asking if we were done :)

And here she is peeping above pleading 'are we done?'.

Another check on my finish-along quarter 2 list (here)! Yay me.

2016 FAL

Linking up with Amanda at Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it Up Friday!


Pattern: Lynette Andersen's Friends for Christmas
Started: November 2009 (roughly)
Finished: June 24, 2016
Quilting: Stars and loops by me.
Size: 45" x 43"

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Harry Potter

I have just been reminded about another quilt along that's happening soon. Soma at Whims and Fancies creates wonderful paper piecing patterns. If you haven't you seen her work you really should check out her website. I took part in the Doctor Who QAL a couple of years ago which was so fun and the blocks were great.

Starting towards the end of July is the Lego Harry Potter QAL and there is no doubt these blocks will be amazing too.

Go check it out. There's a chance to win some fabric too!

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Beeutiful QAL

I happened across this on instagram last week and just loved them! I haven't done much embroidery for quite a while and was very drawn to the bees in these blocks! I think this is actually block 4 but I'm not always one for following along in order!

The blocks are being posted on the Moda Bake Shop and you can follow along on Sweet Little Stitches Instagram account too.

I have two more blocks drawn out and ready for stitching. Summer officially started here today with the last day of school, so this might be the perfect project for carrying around with me.

Linking up with The Needle and Thread.

Plus Quilt ** Finish **

I finally finished this one! I blogged about the construction of this one is here and just noticed that it has been sat basted and ready for quilting for nearly 9 months!! Oops. I could blame lack of quilting inspiration, but really I think life and new projects got in the way!

I chose to do some wavy line quilting in a kind of random grid like pattern, with randomly placed circles between the lines. 

The quilting took me forever, good job it was a relatively small quilt. But I love how it turned out.

I had to commandeer my middle child to help me take pictures. The smallest child was not tall enough, although she did try! They both complained it hurt their arms holding them at this angle. So I had to be real quick with my pictures!

And of course it was double sided to make the most of the left over fabric.

This was another one of my Finish-Along for this quarter (here).  I'm enjoying ticking these off!

2016 FAL

Pattern: Random pluses
Quilting: Free motion wavy lines and circles, by me
Fabric: Denyse Schmidt and Kona solids
Size: 44.5" x 59" 
Started: July 2015
Finished: June 21, 2016

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Cardigan ** Finish **

I started this Old Romance cardigan back in August 2014! I am not a fast knitter and I have issues with my tension, so I usually stick to making scarves and hats. Much of what I knit ends up smaller than it should be. 

Last summer I had got to about 70% complete on this, I was finally knitting down the back to the length I wanted. But I tried it on and I really wasn't happy with the size. It was too short in the arms and too tight. I decided it would never be worn if it was too small and what was the point of continuing. So I ripped it all out back to the lace strips that make up the sleeves  (above picture) and started again! Complete madness. I moved up a needle size to get a large swatch and made the next size up. 

I persevered! I love the wool, the colour and the pattern so I made it a priority. Fortunately, it has been baseball season these past few months and I get so sit and knit while they play, bonus.

Now it's all blocked and ready to wear.

This one has been on my list of things to finish for quite a while now. And was certainly on my Finish-a-long Q2 list here. So pleased to tick another one off the list.

2016 FAL

Wool: Madelinetosh Merino Light in Charcoal and Duchess
Started: August 6, 2014
Finished: May 30, 2016
Pattern: Old Romance by Joji Locatelli

Monday, 30 May 2016

A 50th Wedding Anniversary Gift ** Finish**

In March my parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, 50 years! Quite an achievement and certainly something to celebrate. 

My eldest brother, given he lives local to them, took on the role of chief organiser to assemble nearly 60 members of the family in one place on the anniversary day. The invites were sent, and the hall, caterers and DJ were booked. The hardest part was keeping all this a secret from our parents. It was  to be a surprise for them! 

We flew into the country a few days before the party and had to camp out well out of sight. In fact, all the family that had travelled across the country were stuck in their hotel rooms for a few hours while our parents went into town shopping. They live in a small town and would certainly have recognized a member of the family walking down the street. It made it all that little bit more exciting though.

Come 6.30pm on the day of the anniversary we all gathered together at the hall and waited for my brother to bring our parents to their surprise party. There was a concern they might not like our surprise, but thankfully there were tears of joy when they arrived! Later my mum was telling me how she had entered a competition on a blog that had asked the question how you would like to celebrate an event. She had commented that she would like for all her family to be together in one place to celebrate. Well, I guess that wish came true! To put in context, I live in Canada, one of my brothers in France and a lot of extended family in London (some 5 hours drive from my parents home town). On walking into the hall she had no idea she was walking into a family gathering and was so pleased. My dad on the other hand said, 'yes well, I had an idea something was going on!' but he's never one to admit he doesn't know everything :)


Anyway, back to the reason for this blog post. To commemorate the event I decided to make a quilt for them. The organizing of this party started a year in advance, so in theory I had lots of time. Well, Christmas came and went and I still hadn't decided what pattern I was going to do. I had the fabric. Some 5 yards of Kona white and 3 layer cakes of Simply Colourful II fabrics by V & Co.

January disappeared but I had at least decided by then that I wanted to print pictures of the family and circle them in a round and round quilt by Thimble Blossoms.

Fortunately I had wedding pictures of all 5 of us siblings, but I struggled to find a good one of my parents. I wanted a picture of my parents on their wedding day, but sadly that was not possible. One weekend they went away and my younger brother went searching their house, but it was boy searching and so he found nothing! Eventually I cropped them out of a different wedding picture. I then printed off the pictures onto the Kona white fabric. This was not as easy as I had envisaged! I had a lot of trouble. But I did get better the more I did! I went through quite a bit of fabric and ink though! 

I had already started to construct the blocks by this time. These came together quickly once I got going. By now it was well into February.

The round and round quilt design has a lot of white space in it, so I decided it would be really nice if the grandchildren were included in the quilt. There are 16 grandchildren in our family and many of those were born before digital cameras. So I had to get my siblings to find photos, scan them and send them to me. This took time and by now I was getting concerned about finishing it. There's actually 4 great grandchildren but I just couldn't wait any longer.

I kept going though and there were many late nights. My days were spent doing my college work, that was also very demanding, and making sure I kept home for my family. Busy times. The top was finished around the start of March and then I started the back. I had a lot of layer squares left so I used them in a pinwheel design like the front, only larger. Can you believe this is the only picture of the back I have and this is the wrong side of it. It is laid out ready for layering together, but you get the general idea!

And the finished front of the quilt. Again not a great picture. I basted this together on March 13, just 13 days before the party. I still had to quilt and bind it! The kids had started Spring break too so my days were suddenly not my own and we were busy. 

I think I started quilting it earnestly on the Friday before we flew on the Monday. I spent pretty much all weekend at the sewing machine with some pretty late nights. Fortunately I have a very kind husband who took care of the kids and food! I finally attached the binding late on the Sunday evening. We were due to fly to London the next day and I had't really done the packing. But the quilt was done. I just had to hand sew the binding down. I did some of this at the airport the next evening as our flight was delayed by 3 hours. I eventually finished sewing the binding down at 1pm on the Saturday, the party started at 6.45pm that evening! It was cutting it a bit too fine for my liking! 

This quilt is huge, 82 x 80". The blocks measure 22.5 each and I added extra squares into the design for the grandkids. But I love it. I love the colours and the pattern. And the pictures of the family make it so special. 

If you are still reading, I'm impressed! Now for some pictures. 


And some close ups of the back:

I didn't get a chance to take any photos of the whole quilt before I gave it to my parents, but here is a picture of it on their bed.  

They have promised to take a picture and send it to me! But for now this will have to do. I am so pleased with it, it was worth all the stress, in my book anyway, other's may not agree! My mum (who is also a quilter) was so very pleased and impressed with it!

I think this is probably the fastest quilt I have ever made, shows what can be achieved when there is a deadline!!  Another one I can tick off my list of goal for the Finish-a-long (see here)!
2016 FAL

Pattern (front): Round-and-Round by Thimble Blossoms.
Pattern (back): Made up by me.
Quilting: Free hand machine quilted, stippling and pebbles by me.
Fabric: Simply Colourful II by V & Co.
Size: 82' x 80'
Started: February 5, 2016
Finished: March 26, 2016