Saturday, 30 April 2011

A Dresden finish, and other successes...

In the hours last night when Royalty were partying, I was finishing off my Dresden mini-quilt.  I pondered about doing the circular quilting that Lynne had done on the QAL original, but again figured why put myself through the anguish of spoiling the whole thing when it was going so well!

I backed it with one of my favourite prints from the It's A Hoot line and shadow quilted the lot. 

I spray-basted, and it worked like a dream, and finished off with some chocolate binding left over from the Freebird and a little turquoise spotty extra for good luck.  The finished block is 31" square, and I am really pleased with how it came together, especially because, with the exception of the backing, it was made entirely of leftovers!

I also spent a little, well, OK a lot of time chosing some fabric for Sheila's Mystery QAL and placing another order with Prints To Polka Dots - it's not too late to join in everybody, the more the merrier, or is that mysterious!  I hope my fabric arrives next week as I am getting really excited!

And finally my little package from Trudi arrived this morning containing her fabric for the first month of the first Brit Bee.  There's some Giddy in there, and I am not at liberty to show or tell you much more until the blocks are safely back in Trudi's hands; however they will be accurately-measured and matched-seam versions of the BlindBob! 

Before I begin, I have to await the arrival of some new rotary blades I ordered last week, as my current one is now just a little bit blunt and too much of a liability on someone-else's fabric!

All curtsey to Lady...

Phyllis Kathryn the Fourteenth!

Congratulations Rebecca! The little Brit goodies are all yours!  Thank you everyone else for joining in the fun, I love all the names!!

I hope everyone enjoyed their Friday whether you were Royal-watching or not.  I thought the whole day was totally wonderful, and ever the pessimist, I am so pleased that all the the things that could have spoilt the day, weather, protesters, rampaging horses, were all kept at bay.  Didn't Kate look stunning!

Friday, 29 April 2011

Spreading the love!

Well it wouldn't be a celebration without a quick GIVEAWAY!

OK, so this isn't the biggest giveaway in the world, and in no way as good as Sarah's, but would you like a chance to get your hands on this little token of Great Britishness, some thread, a tape measure and sweeties?

Just leave me a comment with your Royal Wedding Guest name, and I will pick a winner tomorrow morning at 9am BST, so all my friends on the other side of the world will get a chance too. 

(I will let Mr Random Number Generator pick, but I can't promise I'll be able to number my comments on screen, it looks very complicated!)

Good luck, and have a lovely day!  All the best, Lady Betty Basil-Sunningvale x

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Do not enter this Giveaway!!

Sarah at FairyFace Designs is having a giveaway that I MUST win!! 

She is giving away a beautiful pincushion and scraps to literally fight over, so please do not look here no matter how tempted you might be; I love that I get a bonus chance to win just for telling you NOT to enter!!!


Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Pips away!

I got a lovely parcel today containing some of the Sherbet Pips that I pre-ordered from Prints to Polka Dots...

Having earlier succumbed to the new Fat Quarterly (Issue 5), all about pre-cuts and containing Lynne of Lily's Quilts' fantastic Dr Seuss pattern amongst others, I was set for the off.  Within the electronic pages, I'd had a 'eureka' moment, when I spied Quilt Dad's Confetti quilt made of Pips!  With the Royal Wedding looming, what a great omen!

So this evening I got on and joined trios of Pips and pressed them ready for cutting tomorrow. 

I am so happy to have found a quilt design that will enable me to confidently crack on and make something that is not going to stress me out nor require copious amounts of unpicking and is made for straight line quilting.  It will also look fantastic (well I hope!).  Thanks Dad!

I need to get some more batting and am still awaiting the backing fabric, but if I can get the top completed over the long weekend, along with maybe quilting and binding my Dresden and making a final decision on my scrappy quilt design, I will be very happy and then ready to concentrate my energy on Trudi's Bee blocks (the fabric is in the post!!), the mystery quiltalong and maybe join the Brit Swap

Oh lordy, seeing all that in black and white is a tad daunting!

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Back to the old routine...

Eugh!  Back to work, back to being Mum the The Taxi, and back to cramming in a day's worth of fabric and sewing into a couple of hours at the end of a jam-packed day.  So in anticipation of the fun in store today, I whipped up 20 more mini scrap blocks last night...

I am not sure if I have changed my cunning plan, or just tweaked it!  It wasn't a plan on paper as such, just a vision, and the vision needed more mini blocks!!

This evening I have finally basted the Dresden, and now I am going to try a little embroidery experiment... so not that bad a day in the end.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Bank Holiday Block Bonanza!

Last night, after what felt like an extremely long day of over-stimulated, chocolate-driven children, I got very busy with my scrappy blocks.

I made it up to the 25 I was planning, and then I went that extra square foot with some mini, 2.5" blocks to break up the sashing.

I need to make some strips for skinny sashing and binding, then I'll be ready for piecing... I have a cunning plan! 

I have kind of raced ahead, doing my own thing even though this was meant to be part of the quiltalong, but I am trying to keep to the spirit of Aneela's original quilt, even though her scraps are all totally beautiful, and mine, well, aren't!

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Saturday, 23 April 2011

A man took all my money!

OK, so that man was John Lewis, and he didn't so much as take my money but have it forced upon him in return for this little bundle of joy!

Mum and Dad had fun in the sun with the kiddies, whilst hubby and I escaped to Bluewater and more specifically for me, the JL fabric and haberdashery department!  I spent over an hour perusing the aisles and racks of fabric.  I didn't go with anything specific in mind, but ended up with a lot of Love, heavy-weight cotton, some wonderweb and other bits that I couldn't resist.  I'm happy!

Friday, 22 April 2011

A good Good Friday!

I completed 4 more scrappy blocks in blue first thing...

...which now makes 20; I am aiming for a 5x5 with white sashing and maybe some extra border scrapiness, but I'm still undecided.

The young ones made Easter cards, masks and mess!

We even made chocolate nests and managed to save some to take to Grandma and Grandpa's tomorrow...

And it's a bank holiday and we enjoyed more sunshine!  Hurray!  Hope you had a good one too x

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Postcards from the edge...

Today the Postlady delivered my postcard from Benta.  How lovely is this!?  Thank you again B x.

The girls were shrieking with delight, I think they thought the biscuit was real (easy mistake); and it is now in pride of place in the kitchen.  I will take it with me when I go back to work next week, to remind me that nice things do happen in 'the real world'!

If you don't follow Benta's blog, SLIKstitches, have a look here to see how she made my lovely gift.

So obviously after my cupcake attempt the other day, I decided to have another go.  Firstly this...

not yet finished ...and then this for dear hubby...

Too much time spent cleaning the house and hanging washing in the sunshine to do anything else today; but I am having Easter ideas!

Before I go, you may have spotted the Mystery Quiltalong button that has appeared to the left.

Sheila of Bluepatch Quilter is going to lead a group of unsuspecting quilters, me included, through a magical mystery quiltalong.  I love the idea of making something that you have no idea what you will end up with, on purpose!  Why not join in the fun, there's a flick group, and if those members already are anything to go by, it's going to be good laugh.  C'mon, you know you want to!

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Amberley in the sunshine!

Today we took the 5 mile trip along the Downs to Amberley Museum & Heritage Centre for a day of children's crafts, (no, it's not all about me!).

We couldn't have asked for more perfect weather, 20 odd degrees (it's April!) and not a cloud in the sky.

The kiddies got the chance to make a wheel, try some wood-turning, beading, glass painting and printing as well as going on a steam train and open-top double-decker bus.  Picnic and ice cream, a lot of walking, button pressing and water pumping... fantastic!

***WARNING...lots of photos***

See if you can spot a theme in my subconscious picture-taking!

If you ever get a chance to visit, it is a great day out for families and old codgers alike; lots of old engines, telephones, buses, steam-rollers, narrow-gauge railway, televisions, old-fashioned appliances, woodland skills and pottery!

And finally...

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

More than half a century!

Oh happy day, I have reached the psychological milestone of having more than 50 followers! Thank you and welcome one and all!  I wish I had more to show you for your loyalty, but just another couple of scrappy blocks in my favourite scrummy citrus green today...

Today was filled with shopping for the Easter weekend, too long on the phone to an 'electrical giant' trying to resolve a problem with our microwave (argh!!), taxi to swimming lesson with doggy-paddling son, and spotting that I have merited a mention here, and here!

Tonight I am planning to fill this...

...with all the things I've committed myself to, so that I can work out if signing up for the possible Brit Quit Swap would be one too many plates in the air!

Monday, 18 April 2011

All this sunshine is making me itch!

I love the sunshine; my idea of heaven, until recently, would be lying on a sun-lounger with a good book.  But something crafty has taken over and now I am torn.  I want to make the most of this glorious weather, but I also want to be inside, sat at my sewing machine attempting to make beautiful things!

I know the weather won't last, but I've got a feeling this sewing malarkey will!

It's going to be crazy for the next twelve months at least as I have signed up for my first quilting Bee!!  Very nervous, excited and looking forward to a year of madness!

Today's scrappy blocks, in green and purple bring the total to 14; I'm aiming for 25 in all.

And for all UK-based quilters, why not join the new Brit Quilt group on Flickr for fun and fabric-related chat, (well OK sometimes we deviate from the point a little!), and if you are not a 'Brit' there appears to be a non-UK based splinter group developing from the Lily's Quilts group too.

Finally a huge big thank you and apology if you have commented here or on flickr and haven't received a reply - I am overwhelmed with the reactions I've had to my recent makings and my Inbox is overflowing with your much appreciated words!  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

The thing is...

I don't really know what the thing is, other than a great collections of 'firsts!

Paper-piecing, pointy-triangles, spray basting, circular quilting and a finished 'thing' that I have no idea what to do with, but that really doesn't matter!

It finished up at just under 17" square.  I am pretty happy with how all the elements came together with no real problems after the picking-unpicking fiasco of the first circle.  I need to work on my 1/4" seam accuracy!

Thank you Lynne for putting me through my paces!

Saturday, 16 April 2011

My family and other animals...

Today we went to down on the farm!  It was a real bonus to be able to take the family out to have fun and be able to looks at quilts, eat cake and buy lovely things! 

The majority of the quilts and activities were in a huge barn, but there were plenty of things to look at outside including a treasure hunt, a walk through the bluebell woods and alpacas!

Cakes on quilts - it doesn't get much better than this!!

Bet you can't spot the cement mixer!

Feeling brave... the pony, not the girls!

I got to have a quick chat with Mandy, whose union jack quilt pattern is sitting in my 'to do' pile awaiting the perfect fabric, and she signed a copy of her new book for me too.

The quilts were predominantly traditional in style and colour, not the 'modern bright stuff' that Mandy described mine as, but I have committed some ideas to memory and film!  It's always good to see things that perhaps I wouldn't ever make, but still inspire me to do more.

Oh did I mention the shopping?  Only 4 FQs, two Hideaway, an Amy Butler Soul Blossoms and a mystery, does anyone recognise the second one down?

If you get the chance tomorrow I definitely recommend it!  Thank you Mandy and your team for organising such a lovely day out.