Thursday, 28 February 2013

New Toy

 My sewing scissors were blunt. I took them to a local iron monger, who I thought sharpened tools. Turns out they did used to but they stopped doing that about 10 years ago. Drat. Well only one thing to do then, buy new scissors. While perusing the scissor section on Amazon I spotted these "wonder clips" by Clover. I have read good things about them on other blogs. Bit of an impulse buy but in my basket they went with my scissors.
Can I just say sharp scissors are so much easier to use.
 These wonder clip jobs are fantastic. They really helped me sew on the binding on the Granny Squares quilt. No pin pricks in my fingers. No numb left hand and best of all I already have the binding all sewn down. Only took a few hours for a 150cm by 200cm quilt. How great is that?

Here they are in action. Bit of a poor picture because it was night time but you get the idea. If you have been wondering if they really are "wonder clips" I can tell you they are great. Would not call it a wonder. As Friend A pointed out they are like those clips you use in woodwork but smaller. Not a miracle or wonder but jolly useful. 

Yesterday, you may recall, I was feeling rather smug. That is all gone. I have noticed how much laundry needs ironing and small black dog was bored. 

As you can see she shredded her pillow. She also found the kindling basket for the fire. I now have lots of little tiny bits of wood in the living room rugs. I would share a picture but the wood blends into the rug. As you can imagine I only found out about the wood when I walked around without slippers on.

I am off the restore order and clam. Granny squares quilt is in the washing machine. Provided there are no major incidents finished quilt picture tomorrow. 

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Granny squares.

 On my machine today is a Granny Squares quilt. I finished the top in July last year, so it's been maturing in the cupboard for a while.

I wish I were better at FMQ but alas I am not. I did take a course a couple of years ago. Somehow the tutor and I didn't gel. It was very much her way or the high way. Also she had little time for the artistically challenged (that would be me). So straight lines it is for now. I have heard that another lady locally gives courses. I spoke to her at quilt show and she seemed nice. I must look into booking a course with her.

When Granny Squares is finished it will go on a long journey to Australia. It is going to go and live with my brother. Apparently it gets cold in the Australian winter. I bet it isn't as cold as old Blighty though. We somehow seem to specialise in damp creeping cold.

Back to the grind stone. I am feeling very smug today. I have done the shopping, Small black dog has not chewed up anything, so my floor still looks hoovered. Carrot and coriander soup bubbling away for tonight's dinner. Fingers crossed everything stays well balanced.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Goth quilt is a Friday Finish

 I have added the polka dot border and I think it looks fab.
It is rather larger than first planned. Not that is a bad thing. It is now roughly 1.60m by 1.90m. Probably a bit too large for a single bed but a good size for a double. I hope that the 16 year old will still like it when she upgrades to a double bed.

Now comes the tricky part; quilting it. I like the idea of using Quilter's dream green wadding. It's recycled, which is a good thing, also a lot of this quilt is made up of "up cycled" bits of fabric, so would kind keep that theme going. My problem is I have never used it before. Does anyone have any experience of using it? Is is any good? I normally use 80/20 sew simple wadding because they sell it at my local shop.
I have used polyester in a couple of baby quilts. I didn't like the finish. Mind you this was when I first started quilting and the haberdashery I bought it at didn't really know anything about quilts or wadding.
Or should I used black wadding? If anybody has any thoughts please let me know.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Goth quilt top almost finished

It's almost finished. I forgot to post yesterday. Oops I was convinced that it was Tuesday.

I like how it's turned out. I will now add a purple polka dot border.

Hmmm might have to make another one. In purple or maybe grey for myself. This one is going to live with a teenager. Hope she will like it.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Work in Progress

Goth Quilt
 It's half term and both daughters are home. I haven't had much chance to do any sewing. My time seems to be taken up refereeing between the girls and baking. They both like baking and then I have to referee again because who gets to lick the bowl.

I have made no progress since last week on the Goth quilt and I still need five more blocks. I must apologise for the poor photo. I blame the weather. It's been grey most of the week.

Easter placemats
I promised last year to make placemats for Easter. I have finally gotten round to doing something about this. Not my best work I feel but the girls love it. After all, that is what counts.

Better feed the troops. We are going to paint pebbles this afternoon (better for my waistline than muffins). Tomorrow apple and ginger loaf/cake (never sure if it is a cake, it's quite dense. It doesn't have yeast, so I guess it must be cake).

I am linking to Freshly Pieced WIP Wednesday.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Red brick

You may remember the series of "brick wall" quilts I made early on in 2012. Daughter 1 has the "red brick wall" quilt. I was having a bit of a tidy up to find more scraps for the goth quilt when I came across the left overs of "red brick wall".

"Oh look Mummy my fabrics. Can I have a cushion to match my quilt please?"  Well I got sucked into making her a cushion. The scraps were quite small, so here is a red brick granny square cushion.

Might need a slightly larger cushion pad. Corners don't seem very filled. But not a bad result for a morning's work. 

Friday, 8 February 2013

Almost a Friday finish

 I can report that the Monochrome quilt is almost finished.
It's quilted and the binding has been sewn on. Now I just need to whipstitch the binding down. 

The last bit may take a while. I have sprained my thumb in my left hand. I am not sure if it was over use holding the i-phone or because the small black dog (SBD) pulled too hard trying to get to her black lab friend.
As you can see SMD is investigating the quilt. She has left her little foot prints on it. One reason why my downstairs quilts are colourful is it hides the dog prints. My parents have three Belgian Sheepdogs, so I am sure this won't be the last set of prints.

In other news: Only 5 blocks to go for the goth quilt. Fingers crossed I'll be able to show you a finished quilt top next Friday.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Liebster Award

Quilts, life and balance "tagged" me. Now I am not usually happy to take part in chain letter type situation but have decided to play along. I mean it is just a bit of fun really. 

Apparently to qualify the blog must have less than 200 followers or must be less than six months old.  Once the award is received you are to write a post and:

  1. List 11 random things about yourself.
  2. Answer 11 questions posed by the nominator.
  3. Choose 11 blogs to pass the award on to and link them to your post.
  4. Create 11 questions for those 11 people to answer.

Here goes:
  1. I am not at all house proud. People think I am kidding when I say this but it's so true.
  2. I have a sweet tooth. I would rather have a dessert than a starter any day.
  3. I don't like red wine. 
  4. I like salty liquorice. 
  5.  My favourite brand of coffee is Douwe Egberts. I like it with lots of warm milk, a bit like a Latte
  6. Italian food is all right but I don't really see what the fuss is about. I am more than happy to eat traditional Dutch food. 
  7. I am a lapsed atheist
  8. I am dyslexic, which is not always helpful when you try to earn a living editing/proof reading ;-)
  9. I met my husband on a blind date. Apparently we had a lot in common because we are both Dutch. (don't you just hate it when it turns out your friends are right?) 
  10. Sometimes I speak the truth when I shouldn't. I am getting better at social lies but still struggle with it. 
  11. Ginger hair is gorgeous. 
Questions from Nominator:
  1. Are you a coffee or tea drinker? Oops I kind of answered that one already. I like coffee better than tea. I do drink tea but normally in the afternoon.
  2. Name one quilt or pattern that is on your "some day" list. I would like to make a swoon quilt. 
  3. Do you live in the city or the country? A town. Not so big but it has shops and a railway station, so it'll do for me. 
  4. What are your 
  5. favourite and least favourite parts of blogging? Tricky. Part of me wants people to read my blogs and part of me feels embarrassed to think that people read my ramblings. Also I am a technical numpty I would like my blog to look more exiting.
  6. Where (sewing room, dining room, etc.) do you sew? Officially I have the spare room as my domain but most often I am downstairs using the dining room table. 
  7. When you are not sewing or working, what activity do you do? Dog walking, child wrangling and a bit of cooking.
  8. Do you sew in the quiet or is a radio or TV playing?  What is it playing? I never have the radio or TV on. I might like the radio on to listen to radio 4 or classic fm but I don't have a radio, so that makes it hard. 
  9. Have you ever been to a quilt convention or retreat and if so, what did you like most about it? I have been to quilt shows does that count? 
  10. Name a historical figure that you admire. Again a difficult question because people are so often flawed but probably Emmeline Pankhurst
  11. Would you rather spend a day at a spa or a day at a fabric store? Fabric store any day. Spas are bit weird to my mind. I went on a spa day with girl friends once and once is enough I think. 
  12. Do you like to ride roller coasters? NO! They scare me. 

I am not even sure I have 11 people to nominate but if anyone who reads this blog feels called upon to take part please let me know in the comments and I will link to your blog. 

My 11 questions are:

  1. Have you been to a Disney world park/resort (whatever they are called) and what do you think of it? 
  2. What is your favourite Looney tunes character and why? 
  3. Starter or pudding? 
  4. What's your favourite ice cream flavour? 
  5. What quilt would you like to make?
  6. Scraps; good or bad? Do you like scrappy quilts or do you prefer to start fresh each quilt?
  7. Do you prefer to buy fabrics in bundles that are pre made or do you like to pick your own. 
  8. What's your favourite book? 
  9. Cats or dogs, which is better? 
  10. Do you have a favourite wadding? 
  11. I know we change our minds but what is current favourite fabric (collection)? 

Hope you enjoy. 

Told you I am a technical numpty. I have just edited to make all the fonts the same size. 

Friday, 1 February 2013

Camera shy.

Well yes  I am but actually this was just meant to be a witty title. It is supposed to allude to the fact that I forgot to take my camera today. I also forgot to take my phone (hanging my head in shame as I type).

I have finally basted the Monochrome quilt. It's a big one and I now have a blister on my finger. With a little bit of luck I will be able to quilt it this weekend.

Blogs without photos are boring, so in honour of Monochrome I am posting a picture of the small black dog in the snow.

I am linking to Lily's quilts small blog meet.