Tuesday, 29 June 2010

I hate the sun!

At least when its this hot. For the last week England has been sweltering in the heat. We went from cold - to this. Its silly. No spring weather at all. Being a pale freckled hay fever sufferer it doesn't do for me at all!

I seem to have been all over the place as well. Its been very bitty. A good friends Mum died a couple of weeks ago and we have the funeral thursday. Again, it seemed totally wrong at a funeral in a heatwave!

I've also been in and out to the hospital visiting an aunt who has lung problems. All smoking related not that she admits it. Anyway she has had a complication called subcutaneous emphysema and has ended up looking like this poor chap http://www.wellsphere.com/life-as-a-doc-article/once-i-visited-a-museum-of-moder/883459 . It was a bit of a shock to see her, even though we got warned. My Mum kept trying to get me to take a photo of her but I couldn't. Another cousin has though and we will show my aunt once she finally deflates. She doesn't want to see herself in a mirror at the moment and I can't say I blame her.

To encourage some time wasting I finally got around to buying a Wii and have lost a few hours being silly in the living room. Hopefully no one was looking through the window! The neverending tennis match sucked me in as well. Unfortunately the last (3rd) day was when the funeral was on so I missed the end.

Apart from all that I have been sewing. Hooray. There is an organisation here making pennants for the athletes that come to compete in the 2012 Olympics http://www.quilts4london.org.uk/ and I've had a go at making a few. They are all roughly 16 x 11 inches and I've been practising with applique circles. My first go! Its also a good way to use up bits of fabric, I'm been going for an abstract feel as I don't think I'ld be able to do anything that would end up as a recognisable sport. When I make a few more I will try out some different quilting as well.

I like the idea that they could end up anywhere in the world. My own little contribution.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Away me hearties!

That will be me on a ship like that come august! Yippee. I've spent all day trawling the web but have finally booked my first cruise! A week to the Norwegian Fjords. I've been wanting to do one for years but its so expensive. However this is a pressie is as my Mum is treating me for my 40th, even though that was last November!

It sails from Southampton so we don't have to worry about flying anywhere in case that pesky ash cloud comes back and I don't think I will get sea sick, I've crossed the Irish Sea in a ferry in winter and that didn't bother me.

Talking of the Irish Sea, I now need to book a ferry as I want to go to visit family over there in July as well. Its the summer holidays and I'm happy.......

ps. the pic is from the visit norway website.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

New UK solids shop

If you are looking to purchase kona solids in the UK there is a new shop with a great giveaway. Fingers crossed I win but I don't expect to.

Check it out at Lynnes blog http://lilysquilts.blogspot.com/2010/06/huge-giveaway-new-uk-kona-solids-shop.html

Getting better with triangles

I've finished the top I've been piecing with half square triangles. All the patterned triangles came from a scrap set I bought but they go together really well. The solid pink I got at John Lewis for those that are UK based and it blended really well. I've yet to see the fabled Kona Cotton Solids in real life so I've no idea how it compares to them but this one worked for me and it wasn't too expensive either. I really enjoyed playing around with the layout on this top, there are so many options.

My piecing accuracy is getting better. From a distance its ok and some bits close up look fine.

However some aren't so good, but then what saddo would be looking at the seams when there are pink poodles to enjoy! Aren't they cute. I'm amazed by how much I enjoy pink fabrics since I've started quilting. I'm so not a pink girl! (and blogger is turning my pics upside down again).

I also treated myself to some sewing books as I am going to take the plunge eventually and start trying sewing something other than quilts and mini bags. The Cath Kidson book came with a kit to make a little shoulder bag. The fabric, buttons and label were all included. The strap is attached with buttons, my first ever buttonholes!!! I had to get the instructions manual out to work out how to use the foot for the sewing machine and practise on scrap but they came out alright in the end.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

No more 2am starts

Hooray. I'm back unemployed so I don't have to do any more 2am starts. What a relief! I never want to do those sort of hours again. I'll only be getting up that early if I've got a plane to catch.

I will have time to get on with my sewing as well. I finished this quilt last week. Its been a top waiting to be finished since the new year. It was made from a scrap pack and made a nice baby size quilt 42x48 inches. There are some random fabrics in it like the snails and lots of lovely spots. I used a nice spotty fabric for the background as well.

I just did some basic straight line quilting and was pleased at how it came out. This will probably be donated as well at some point. I don't know anyone who has had a girl lately.

I realised when I was finishing this that I have a habit of using my scrappy fabrics and not my lovely designer collections. I think I am nervous that I will waste the fabrics and mess them up in someway. I can play with the cheaper stuff and not worry so much about the outcome. Does anyone else think like this?

Anyway, lots more sewing to come as I said over the summer as well as a big spring clean on the house. Domestic duty have been very much neglected lately and its in major need of a good scrub!

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

More treats and finally a finished quilt

I've treated myself to some more fabric. Apart from chocolate it is my main indulgence these days! A fat quarter pack of Dolce by Tanya Whelan, a fat quater set of the entire Love collection by Amy Butler and the Nicey Jane by Heather Bailey is in half metre cuts. Also a few remnants that were on offer.

I finally got a quilt finished,hooray! This top has been hanging around for months. I tried a swirly freehand pattern for the quilting and although its very wonky up close it doesn't look too bad from a distance. I just keep telling myself it is practice and more practice to get the hang of this freemotion thing.

The backing is a lovely spotty print, I didn't have to piece it or anything as it was wide enough. I've got the same print in another colour as well and am using it in my next quilt.

I used a batik for the binding to go with the front but I'm not that sure about it. Once I get my act together I intend to start donating some of the quilts I make to charity and this is one I think will go that way. I'm happy with it, but there isn't anything sentimental about it that makes me want to keep it and the colours will never match my decor but hopefully it will be of use to someone eventually!