Monday, 21 May 2018

Wish upon a star

Today is the start of the wish upon a star blog hop being run by Carol from Just let me quilt Thank you Carol for organising these hops as they are such fun to take part in and a great source of inspiration. I love seeing what everyone has made. For this hop we could make whatever we liked but there had to be a star in it somewhere.

My first idea was to make a table runner. I had four lonely star blocks that I'd made for a project a while back and then hadn't used. 

I will use these blocks eventually but as part of a scrappy quilt. I will need to swap out one of the squares in the top block of the picture above as there is too little contrast but that will be easy. Using these blocks up didn't interested me at the moment. Then inspiration came from my students. One of them is pregnant and the baby is due in August. The rest of the group were discussing having a baby shower later in June and so making a baby quilt was a perfect idea. She knows she is expecting a boy so I could go for blue fabric.

The fabric choice took a little while. Everyone had a view on what fabric to use. In the end we went for these three, white, one blue and a cute animal print.

The next job was to decide on the pattern to make or so I thought. However the first choice was to decide on which star to use. I had great fun looking at lots of different star blocks. In the end I pulled these two. They had been part of the Moda Size matters blog hop and they helpfully give you the sizes of the pieces you need for different sized blocks. I decided to use both of these stars and to make 12 inch blocks.

I decided to use a simple 9 patch block alternately with the star blocks. For the nine patch the blue and the animal print was used and for the star blocks it was the blue and white fabric. I also decided not to do sashing all round each block but to use a strip of animal print between each row.

Here is the completed top. No one was around to hold the quilt for me so I had to lay it out on the bed. I tried taking the photo on the floor but where ever I stood I created a shadow.

I'm very pleased that all the points on the stars are nice and crisp or should that be pointy? There is enough contrast between the animal print and the white and generally the pattern works well. The blue is actually darker than it looks in the photo. The animal print is directional but I didn't worry about that I just let the pieces be sewn in any which way. As a result whichever way you look at it there are animals facing you.

I pieced the back from the blue and the animal print. The quilt is now sandwiched and waiting to be quilted. I would have made a start on it but I want to finish the quilting on my compass quilt first. My machine has been a bit temperamental when quilting recently so I didn't want to alter the thread or settings in case it played up. As the baby shower will be in June I have time to get this quilt finished during my weeks holiday.

Here are the blogs posting their projects today. Do pop over and visit them.

May 21
Sew Many Yarns (You are here)

I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone has made..


Sunday, 20 May 2018

A good weekend.

I've had a fun weekend. Yesterday I spent most of the day working on my compass quilt, and I managed to get so much done. By late afternoon I had to stop as my arms and shoulders were aching with the weight of the quilt. I've nearly finished the quilting and I should definitely have it all done by the end of the month so long as I don't run out of thread. I didn't have the energy to take a photo. In the evening I was too tired to finish the last of my stitching on Mathilda. Instead I went to bed early.

Today I had cleaning to do but I took time out to go for a run with Lucy. We are both trying to get fit and so are starting running three times a week. Lucy started last week but this was my first attempt. We are following a structured training programme so that we don't cause ourselves any damage. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be and I really enjoyed it. I can't wait for Tuesday evening when we are going for our next run. I'm also going to re start Yoga. I seem to have lost a lot of my flexibility and I know from experience that yoga will help. 

This evening I'm working on Mathilda and I know I'll have her finished today. I'm then going to spend a little time working on my cross stitch until the end of the month.

I just have her hands, legs and shoes to finish . I think she's looking fabulous. These ladies really come alive as you start stitching them. I can't wait to have all of them done and then I can make them into a quilt wall hanging.

Tomorrow is the start of the Wishing on a star blog hop . I'm showing my project tomorrow. Do take some time to visit everyone and see what they've been making.

May 21

May 22

May 23

May 24

May 25

I just need to check up on my post for the hop and then I think it may be time for bed.


Friday, 18 May 2018

A recent walk and weekend plans

I haven't managed to be organised enough to post regularly recently and it's really starting to annoy me. I love posting about my quilting and stitching and also the walks that John and I enjoy. Maybe I make the whole process too complicated and this slows me up. I never seem to know where to start and then I keep changing it as I convince myself it's far too boring for anyone to be interested in. Anyway I decided enough was enough, and since I enjoy doing it I need to blog more often. I was also catching up on my blog reading and that very clearly made me realise what I already knew, that there is no set amount that needs to be written and you don't always need several photos. So to get me properly restarted on my blog posts I thought I'd tell you about a one of the walks John and I have completed recently.

This walk was a few weeks ago to visit the bluebell woods. We do this walk or one similar every year and I always love seeing the carpet of bluebells among the trees. Last year the wild garlic was in full flower as well and looked amazing. We walked with a small group of friends and our plan was to have lunch at the garden centre at the end of the walk before catching the train home.

Near the start  there's a farm that has llamas. It's a little odd to see these guys in a field in England

They also have these large hairy sheep. Even their faces have wool on it.

There were lots of flowers to enjoy along the way.. Primroses,

Wild pansies


and the Wayfarer tree had blossom just starting to open.

Oswald came with us. He was very well behaved on the train and sat quietly under the table when we had lunch.

Of course there were bluebells, after all that was what we'd come to see.

and there was also wild garlic.

The best part of this walk is going through the woods and seeing the bluebells on mass.

 I love that the tree trunks are floating in the sea of blue.

I also spotted this trunk and found the bark fascinating.

This weekend I have plans to get a lot of sewing done. I have a plan to make a baby quilt, well the top anyway. I have the fabric and I've decided on the pattern I'm making. I have no appointments or planned visitors so I should be able to get a lot done. I'm also planning on continuing the quilting on the compass quilt. 

None of us felt like cooking tonight so we ordered in a Chinese meal. Scamp has just gone mad with excitement when the doorbell rang and I'm feeling pretty excited myself as we haven't had a Chinese meal in ages. Then I'm going to put on the TV or something I've recorded and finish stitching Mathilda. There are only a few finishing touches to do.


Monday, 14 May 2018

A great day sewing

Stitching time was a little short over the last week but I finally made up for that today. I had planned a whole weekend of sewing but somehow I managed to forget I was teaching a first aid course yesterday. The first aid went well but whilst I'd been indoors the weather had turned ugly with heavy rain. The drive home was very tiring and once there I dozed off for a couple of hours. I'd intended taking Scamp for a long walk but the rain continued until late into the evening so we took a quick run round the local block. It was good to settle down for a comfortable evening in front of the television with my hand stitching.

Today I had a lot of chores to do, laundry, ironing and cleaning. I made a plan so I could try and fit everything in. I managed to get it all done by lunchtime and then I had time to set up my machine and do some more quilting. I made a start on the star border and managed to get two sides done before it was time to stop. Next weekend I'm definitely having a whole weekend of sewing. I've checked my diary and with my family and I'm sure I haven't forgotten any appointments. No pictures to show at the moment, I'll do that once I've finished all of the star border.

This evening there was a new Midsommer Murder on TV so I curled up with my hand stitching. Scamp made himself comfortable on my lap and we enjoyed some 'us' time. I'm really pleased with how much stitching I've completed on Mathilda. My goal for May is to complete to this lovely lady. There really isn't very much left to do and I've reached the point where I don't want to put it done until it's finished.

Oophs sorry about the shadow. I really need to take the photo on a table rather than the floor. Anyway I'm linking this post with Kathy for her Slow Sunday Stitching. I may even be able to finish Mathilda tomorrow. 


Saturday, 5 May 2018

My goal for May

Last month I managed to complete my monthly goal and also made a big dent in quilting on my compass quilt. It feels really good to have achieved my goal but here we are already in May and I haven't given a thought to what I want to achieve this month. This morning I've been busy trying to catch up on some chores, going to the bank, paying some bills and doing the housework so once that was all done and dusted I sat down with a cup of tea and considered my various projects.

I like taking part in these monthly link ups that encourage you to complete or move forward projects. I find them particularly useful with some of the older UFO's as it gives me the push I need to revisit them. However I sometimes find that hard as I've forgotten where I got to with the pattern or I realise that I needed to buy fabric or thread and I haven't got the space to go shopping. Yes I know I could do it on line but then I'd miss being able to stroke all the fabric in the shop and spend more than I meant to. So this month I'm not picking one of my older UFO's, instead I'm hoping to complete the quilting on my compass quilt. I've quilted the middle section of this quilt but still have the borders to complete.

I haven't taken a photo of the quilt recently but I have completed the quilting up to the narrow green border. There are three borders left, one star border, one of flying geese and the outer blue border.

I gave the job careful thought because I hate not  achieving my goals. I thought about the amount of quilting involved versus the time I have to do it and I'm confident I have time to get it done. So this is my one monthly goal.

At the same time I'm going to be working on another bag lady, Mathilda. I love having some hand stitching to do in an evening whilst chatting with the family or watching TV. It's really relaxing after a busy day and helps to calm me so I get a good night's sleep. I have now finished 5 bag ladies so another 7 to complete. Of the 7 still to be finished there is one I haven't done any stitching on so I put that one to the back of the pile. I'm going to try and complete one a month and if I finish my hand stitching project early I'll put some stitching into that one. I ordered them by how much work had already been completed on them and will start with the  ones I've done the most work on. Here's where I got to with Mathilda when I put her away.

I'm also taking part in a blog hop this month so must get a wriggle on to complete my project.

This week has been a very social week so I haven't done very much sewing instead I've been to a talk about Ethiopia, where we are going on holiday in November and been out to dinner twice with friends. As I usually write my blog in the evening my social life this week left very little time and so I still have the photos from our bluebell walk to show you. I'm also walking with John and Lucy on Monday so I'll have more to show you after that.This coming week is great since Monday is a bank holiday so no work for me which will give me some extra time for sewing. There is a bank holiday at the end of the month as well and I've booked the rest of that week off as leave. I hope we have good weather as I have a couple of visits planned during the week.

The sun has been shining all day, it's really warm outside and life feels good so I'm going to set my machine up and spend some time on my quilting. I'm linking this post with Patty from Elm Street Quilts for her May one monthly goal link party  Pop over and see what everyone's been working on.


Sunday, 29 April 2018

Finally finished stitching Abigail.

I've been busy and not just with work. Since I last posted we've celebrated Lucy's birthday and attended her Masters graduation. Of course Lucy and I needed new dresses for her graduation so we had a long and very enjoyable shopping trip. Unusually for me I actually bought two new dresses and a pair of shoes. Lucy is great fun to go shopping with and we enjoyed lunch whilst we were out.

I haven't spent much time on my sewing machine so I haven't completed the quilting on my compass quilt but I have spent time on hand stitching. I've been working on my hexie quilt, and this evening I finally finished the stitching on Abigail. I've grown rather fond of this lady, I just wish she didn't have worms in her bag!

In finishing Abigail I have also managed to finish my April goal. This is the first monthly goal I've managed to complete in months so I'm doing a happy dance.  I'm linking this post with Kathy from Kathy's Quilts for her Slow Sunday Stitching and also with Patty from Elm Street Quilts for the April link party for One Monthly Goal 

Yesterday John and I went walking to visit the bluebell wood. I'll tell you about it tomorrow as now I need to go to bed. Finishing the stitching on Abigail has worn me out. I must make time earlier in the day for stitching as doing it in artificial light makes my eyes tired. 

We are expecting high winds and lots of rain here plus the temperature has dropped dramatically. Just when I thought it was safe to forget about winter it comes back again. I spent last Sunday sorting my summer clothes but tomorrow I will need to wear something warmer. Hopefully the summer will arrive soon.

Take care


Monday, 16 April 2018

A good sewing weekend.

Over the week I had very little time to sew. Going on holiday is great but when you get back to work there is so much to catch up with that to get it done you have to give up some of your free time. Not that I'm moaning as I enjoy my job but I wish it was easier to balance the work and home lives better. You'd think I'd have worked it out by now having been working since September 1972!

Anyway I didn't get Abigail finished last week but that's all right since she is my one monthly goal for April. I knew I was wise to keep it simple. She has moved forward a bit and I should be there by the end of the week and if not it's a definite for the end of the month.

Over the weekend I fired up my sewing machine and started stitching some Christmas bits. I'd love to show you but unfortunately I'm doing a blog hop in July and I'm making it for that. My family think I'm slightly mad making Christmas things but they just don't realise how long these projects can take.

When we woke up on Saturday we were greeted by sun peeping through the bedroom curtains and as the day progressed it got really warm. Spring has definitely arrived here in London and to go with it I've got the snuffles from all the pollen. I had commented on it during the evenings last week as I was fine during the day but got snuffly at home. Then I realised I had a vase of daffodils in the living room. I'll gladly put up with the snuffles to have the joy of the flowers. I just hope I don't get the streaming eyes to go with it this year. We took Scamp for his walk in the sun, no coat or jumper needed. It's now Monday and the weather is set to heat up even more with temperatures around 24 degrees Celsius being predicted, very nice for April. 

I've been going through all my recipes and patterns that I've pulled from various magazines trying to sort them into some semblance of order. Amongst them I rediscovered this cute pattern for a frog quilt.

I bought this when I was still working on the red work 'It's a dog's life' quilt so I put it way safely and then I couldn't find it. I can guarantee I'll lose an item if I put it away safely. Anyway when I finish up the bag ladies this will be my next stitching project...well so long as I can find it.

I spent ages this afternoon hunting the internet for a dining shelter or mess tent for use on our Guide camps. My brain is now in meltdown and I've lost valuable sewing time. I really didn't realise just how long it would take. We needed some new hike tents and that was a quick purchase. We visited our favourite camping shop on line and they were having a sale and had just what we wanted so we bought them. I still haven't reached a decision about the mess tent and may end up handing the problem over to Lucy. Whatever happens we need one for the end of May so no pressure.

I think I'll soothe my nerves by sewing some more hexagons together. I'm making the flowers or rosettes for the next round. There are 36 needed for this round and they will have the colours of the rainbow at the centre but otherwise will be white. I'm working on the ones I need with an orange centre at present, I just love the pumpkins

I thought you might like to see the back of this project. I'll leave the papers in the hexagons until the quilt top is complete and will then remove them prior to creating the quilt sandwich. The sides of the hexagons I'm using  are 1 inch.

Lucy's boyfriend Dan is over this evening and they were both laughing so much that I just had to see what had caused it. Lucy has restarted knitting again and she was trying to teach Dan. This could take some time but is going to cause a lot of laughter along the way.

I hope you've had a good weekend and the weather is starting to warm up. I'm hoping to have time for some stitching this week when I get in from work.

Take care