Friday, 11 December 2009

Planes and trains completed ...

I have finally managed to complete this little number on time and it will be handed over to its temporary new owner to hopefully make a little boy very happy on Christmas day. I especially designed this quilt for a neighbours grandson who loves just about every mode of transport. I hope he likes it as much as I do!

Monday, 7 December 2009

Planes, trains and automobiles ...

Thought I would show you a photo of a quilt I am currently making for a neighbours grand-son. She wanted a quilt originally with trains and then told me that her grand-son didn't 'just' like trains but all modes of transport. I must admit that I really had no idea how to go about this one but came up with four scenes - all involving different types of vehicles connected by a road (the blue ric-rac around the road detracts from the grey. The train is yet to be appliqued around the edge on the blue border. There is a lot of applique involved!!!
The quilt is coming along nicely and I'm hoping to have finished the top and hopefully put it together ready for quilting by the end of this week. This is the last order for Christmas that I am doing as I am eager to do some stitching just for me, well gifts actually for other people but on a much smaller scale than big quilts!! If you have any ideas as to how I should quilt this baby I will appreciate any advice!!!

Sunday, 6 December 2009

All better again ...

I just wanted to let you know (after my rant the other day) that my Janome is all better again - the people at my sewing machine repair shop put a note of URGENCY on my machine and had it serviced in record-timing. I had a phone call on Saturday to say that it is ready for collection so she is back before I really got to miss her - here's hoping I can fnish a quilt order this week.

My dear husband and I have had a lovely weekend together - very rare these days with his work - lots of cosy movie watching and for me lots of cooking - iced cranberry muffins, mince pies (hubby's favourite), Jamie Oliver's Spicy pork goulash with chillies and two lots of chocolate ganache` (one with Irish cream, the other with rum) ready for me to make truffles tomorrow to give as gifts (apparently they are easy to freeze once made). I also got three stitcheries completed ready to be made into gifts - postings after Christmas - eyes are everywhere!!!!


Thursday, 3 December 2009

Bahh humbug ... not a good day ...

It's been one of those days today, you know the type - where, from the minute you wake up the day it is just all wrong.

I had some jobs to do in the morning which took up more time than I expected. I was longing to get to the studio as I have one quilt on comission that has been delayed because of previous orders. This one is a Christmas present and needs to be completed quite soon, but it is larger than I normally make and contains an awful lot of applique, which takes a lot of time.

My day was going reasonably well once I got to the studio, I thought I would use a twin needle to create a train track - quicker than appliquing a track - and saving tons of fabric. I threaded the machine just as the manual said, followed instructions for getting the right tension etc. It started okay and then I noticed the tension wasn't right, then disaster struck and the whole thing started looping underneath. To cut a very long story short I ended up spending an hour cleaning the machine, changing needles etc.
I have a sewing machine shop around the corner so I ran there for advice, I got reprimanded for using universal needles and bobbins instead of 'Janome' and we eventually came to a consensus opinion that there are scratches or 'burrs' (presume they mean scratches) on the bobbin case preventing it from turning properly. Well poor Janome is now awaiting the nice man to take her away for a well deserved service and repair work tomorrow. She will be missing from my life for at least a week, I am already missing her!!
After wasting half my day feeling frustrated I simply had to buy some chocolate and a fizzy drink, much needed but I'm disappointed as I've been trying to eat more healthily and have given up 'naughty' things, ie coca cola and crisps (my addictions - not had any for 5 weeks now!!!).
Good news though that my gorgeous husband was meant to be working on Christmas day but has just found out that he has it off. Yippee!!!!! Our first as husband and wife - it has to be special right - my three Christmas wishes may come true after all!!! We're spending our first Christmas as married people with Tony's parents, his sister and her husband. Luckily we all get on very well.
Must go chocolate calling ...

Thursday, 26 November 2009

A Quilt for Noa ...

I was recently comissioned to make a quilt for a young child and managed to finish well before the deadline. The brief was; purple, orange and pink with butterflies and dragon-flies appliqued over the top. Okay I thought, lovely colours, I'm up for the challenge.

I carefully pondered how I would combine those colours, came up with some ideas and a payout was agreed. Looking for inspiration for the fabrics I rifled through my stash and came across a charm pack from Moda Clementine, the colours involved pink, purple, orange, blue!! Amazing I thought, just what I need - now how to put them together??? I managed to find some block colours that matched the key colours perfectly and added white just to break it up a bit. The blocks are based on nine 5" squares sewn together 3 x 3, this is then cut into 1/4 making up blocks like these;
Each block is then rotated so that the seams do not match up and therefore it takes no time to put it together, I put mine together in blocks of 4 and played around with the configuration until I was happy. Some simple butterfly and dragon-fly shapes were appliqued over the top, personalised details were added and hey presto a cute and colourful quilt. I hope Noa enjoys this for many years to come.

Happy Birthday Noa Imogen for the 5th December.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Christmas Pudding Pin Cushion Tutorial

At my quilting group on Saturday I did a demo of some rather cute Christmas Pudding Pin Cushions that I thought would be quite fun as a little stocking filler, or even help decorate the house over the festive season. I have put together a rather rough tutorial for making these but I'm sure you can fill in any gaps I might have made. Do let me know how you get on!!

Hope my explanations aren't too confusing, I find it a bit hard to sew and take photographs at the same time!!!
Glitter Text Generator

Glitter Text Generator

Friday, 6 November 2009

How to retrieve your Mojo ...

There have been lots of viruses and general feelings of 'poorliness' (for lack of better description) going around lately, Tony and I have both succummed to viruses. I have noticed however, that quite a few people have commented on their Mojo's having up and walked out, without warning, just like that.

I am getting there and my Mojo - although having been lost for a while has now returned and is getting stronger day-by-day. For those of you whose Mojo's are still missing in action, I thought I would give you a few pointers in how you might go about retrieving yours. Of course there are no hard and strict rules, but here's how I got mine back ...

1. Indulge!!! Us crafty type people work hard at juggling home, pets, family, jobs, craft and other commitments - give yourself permission to take time out just for you, indulge in a few of your favourite things ...

2. If you're lacking in inspiration, do a project that you've been putting off, or make something for charity - as you are making it imagine who you may be helping and how they will feel on receipt of something made with such love and care.

3. If all else fails, go shopping!!! Write a lovely list of all the goodies you absolutely can't live without and have fun. I bought enough fabrics today to make at least 6 quilts. That makes my Mojo very happy. I just can't wait to design a project for all those spots!!!

Good luck for all of you looking for your Mojo's - hope they're back soon!!!

Friday, 30 October 2009

Woodland Gathering Blocks

I don't know if you remember that a while ago I showed you a couple of blocks for my Woodland Gathering quilt. I have designed it myself and I'm quite proud of how it has turned out so far. All nine of the applique/stitchery blocks are complete and now I'm contemplating the design of how to put it together. I'm considering some fabrics from the Moda range Oak Leaves & Reel as I want it to have a 'woodland' feel. No doubt there will be some Moda essential dots too - i'm in love with those red polka dot toadstools!!

I can't wait for it to be completed!!

Until next time ...
Glitter Text Generator

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Happy Birthday Henri

Who says dogs can't smile? A big HAPPY BIRTHDAY HENRI to this little boy that brightens up our lives and everyone he meets - if you are ever feeling down, come and borrow Henri he will soon get you smiling. He's a happy 2 years old today.

We have this photo of Henri blown up onto canvas (that measures a whopping 60 cms square) that faces a wall opposite the bathroom in our house, it is often the first thing seen in the morning, once bleary eyes have been wiped and it never fails to bring a smile to our faces.

Glitter Text Generator

Thursday, 22 October 2009

I'm a bad, bad blogger!!!

I do apologise for my lack of blogging recently - I have somehow lost my 'spark' and effervecense recently, both dear husband and I are recovering from an upper respiratory viral infection which has had both of us on our knees. Alas I have not been 'crafting' as much although lots of new projects are on the go.

A friend at work asked me to design and make a little wallhanging that she can give to her parents for their Golden Wedding Anniversary. I came up with a simple little stitchery framed in red and gold fabrics.

I also wanted to show this cutie boy picture of my baby, Henri - he's a whopping 2 years old on Saturday. He is the most affectionate little dog I've ever had the pleasure to meet, he brightens my days and this picture, of him snuggled up in a blanket is a pretty everyday occurrence - he loves to be warm!! Those big brown eyes show such love and affection.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Check out this giveaway...

Check out Lyn's giveaway over at Bluebird Quilts;

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

... and the winners are .....

I know what you are thinking, what's in the chuck right???

I spent a whole morning this week writing out all your entries and adding them to the chuck.
My dear husband Tony picked out the winners randomly - and I can vouch that he had a good dig around and didn't peek.
I can finally announce that the winners of my giveaway are;

Gina from Quilting in the Valleys who won Option 1; The bag patterns and charm squares


Quilter Going Bananas who won option 2; The book, charm pack and pin cushion

Congratulations you two!! Please contact me with your address details and I will get your goodies posted off right away.

I will add that I have enjoyed this giveaway and want to thank everyone for entering, leaving comments, adding my side-bar and blogging about me. Maybe I'll do another one soon!!!
Glitter Text

Glitter Text Generator

Friday, 25 September 2009

Welcome to my studio ...

I admit to feeling a little envious when some of you wonderful bloggers have shown pictures of your beautiful crafting rooms. I have admired the fact that you don't end up dripping spaghetti bolognaise on your ironing boards or even tripped over the ironing board whilst rushing to answer the phone, cook the tea and let the dog out whilst trying to quilt your latest work of art - all at the same time!!! Phew, breathless!!!!

Working in the kitchen, from home can be great - the advantages include always being there for deliveries, being able to do what you want, when you want. But the disadvantages in my case far outweigh the benefits;
  • I pratically took over the kitchen and the living room with threads and fabric - as much as hubby loves me he really can't stand what he calls 'mess' and I call 'creativity' ,
  • Often poor hubby can't even find the table under the array of fabrics - never mind eating off it, hence lots of indigestion eating off our knees - oh dear!!
  • Hubby and Henri, our Jack Russell have been the victims of being pricked by dropped pins!!! Whoops!!
  • There is also the distraction of TV, computer, eating, having yet another cup-of-tea to help with inspiration, if I'm desperate even housework took me away from work!!
  • There is also my pet hate of 'having' to tidy up when I am at my most creative - I can never seem to get back into the groove afterwards.

I hate to go on but really, something had to give. After searching on-line for a studio for rent I came across one that sounded too good to be true, not far from home. I e-mailed the owner, had a brief look on a Sunday evening, took hubby back for a second look the next day, weighed up the benefits and moved in on Wednesday. Wow, am I lucky. This place is great, reasonable and allows me to work undistracted and our home to return to exactly that - a wonderful retreat and family home without chaos!!

I hope I won't make you too envious !! Enjoy some picture and apologies for the heavy use of text!!!

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Not One, but Two Giveaways....


I have decided to have a Giveaway - the first I have done since blogging began for me this year. No reason - just because. The first challenge for this giveaway was what to actually giveaway, I really couldn't decide - so i have decided to giveaway two options.

Please copy and paste my button to your sidebar;

The rules are fairly simple, please let me know if you find them a struggle to understand. I will select one winner for each option and the winner will be randomly selected - I haven't quite figured out how to use this facility so I will be doing the old-fashioned way of selecting names at random from a hat!

The rules;

1. Leave me a comment with the option you would like to win and your contact details. That will earn you one entry. (You can't win both options unfortunately).

2. Paste my blog button to your side-bar - this will earn you an extra entry.

3. Post about my giveaways on you blog - this will earn you 3 entries.

4. Anyone who enters and leaves a comment of the blog who linked them to me gets themselves and the other blog member 5 entries each.

I will be drawing the winners on 30 September 2009. Don't forget to come back and tell me if you blog about the giveaway or use my button otherwise you will only be entered once.
Good luck.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Made to make your mouth water

This is the latest quilt I have been working on. It was made from one charm pack of Moda Snippets by American Jane. The pattern was adapted from Jodi of SimplyThisThatandtheOther found at this link on the Moda Bakeshop. I made mine bigger with white squares inbetween each pinwheel and made more squares for the prairie points.

As I was quilting this, the colours actually made my mouth water - they remind me of the sweets called 'Starburst' now, but used to be called 'Opal Fruits' in the UK. I could actually taste the flavours of lime, lemon, orange and strawberry. It was lovely to step back in time and think of days when the only troubles I had on my mind were what sweets I should buy with my pocket money. Oh those were the days .... I still wouldn't swap them though for all the sweeties in the world.

I'll have to do more close-ups as the quilting on this quilt is just gorgeous - I stitched inside a 1/4" from each section of the pinwheels but then felt that the squares needed something extra. I bought a book recommended by Lynda of Master of Patience, called 'Quilting makes the Quilt' and found a lovely stylised daisy pattern that echoes the motif in the fabric. I also quilted round the edge with a meandering loop-d-loop with daisies.

My piecing and quilting skills are definately improving.

Anyway, I must dash now as I'm off to The festival of Quilts at the NEC in Birmingham - I'm so excited!!!!
Caroline xxx