Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Boxing day, the calm after the storm!

I hope you had a great Christmas day! We had a very quiet one just me, Him in doors, Madam and Issabella for the full day! It was bliss :D I even napped on the sofa, I woke up to see a millennium falcon had been made on my coffee table (Him in doors not Madam!) out of the Lego kit that was at the top of his wish list and should have taken a few days to make not a nap. Needless to say our Christmas lunch was at 4 not 12 :D 

He is very proud of it, so proud infact that when I pointed out I didn't have a photo to show the world of his creation he buggered off downstairs and took one himself! 

In other news, what would my blog be at Christmas time if I didn't show another pic of 'Bella in the Christmas tree?

She climbed the little tree more times than was good for her this year and a water bottle has been introduced to the game, so she regularly gets soaked now.

I'm always left in a bit of a rubbish mood on boxing day, my sugar high has finally ended and I'm left with little to plan for over the next few weeks. So to combat the grinch feeling I'm on the hunt for a good QAL or mini swap that I can get my teeth into in January, any ideas or recommendations? 

One thing I am doing today is putting my Etsy shop into sale :D
So to procrastinate further and avoid doing any actual work for just a little while longer I made a pretty picture!

No codes to put in on the shopping cart as everything is discounted down already, I like it when shopping is easy to do! 
So pop over to the shop and have a look around.

Hope you have a relaxed Boxing day with friends and family and plenty of time for sewing and making! 

Monday, 24 December 2012

Kitty Christmas wishes!

This furry little wrapping helper wishes you and your family a Merry Christmas filled with laughs, good food and great company! 
We are looking forward to sharing another year with you all in this little corner of the internet :D

Monday, 26 November 2012

Cyber Monday sale

I hope everyone has had a fabulous weekend!

Just a little note to let you know I'm having a Cyber Monday sale in my Etsy shop
Loads of goodies and if you're running out of sewing time for Christmas some great Christmas gifts in there too :) 

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends

Happy Thanksgiving! 
I hope you're getting to spend time with your loved ones and are having a fabulous time.
I've got a lot to be thankful for this year, I have the basics - A roof over my head and food to feed my family. I also have the not too basic things - A man that loves me, a reasonably well behaved daughter and a kitty that likes to wake me up at 5am on a weekend :D

As some of you know I have a shop on Etsy, I enjoy this little shop enormously. Today I had a meeting with an accountant to fill in my self assessment paperwork because even thought the shop is little I still like to do things "By the book" This form has been like a dragon breathing fire at me every time I've thought about it and has had me worried to bits to the point of bad dreams! 
Today I am thankful I had the guts to say I am out of my depth and I need some help getting this done. I am also very thankful that my man pointed me in the right direction to get that help and advice.

With that weight lifted off me (& I know its silly saying filling in a form is a weight but honestly its HUGE and complicated!) I decided to join in with my american friends and be thankful :D

Issabella is thankful for all the quilts she gets to roll on, food in her bowl and people to keep her company at 5am.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Melody Miller improv quilt

Sometimes the fabrics we love leave us stumped when it comes to actually using them, that was the case with Ruby Star Shining. The panel piece is big bold and beautiful but after the many wholecloth quilts I've been making over the last few weeks I wanted to do some actual patchwork piecing! 

After some faffing about and dithering plus a few swear words thrown into the mix I have made my first improvisational quilt and I have to say I love it! 
In all fairness I did feel it was the only way to work around the graphics in this panel and get my sewing kick at the same time.

The colours came out how I imagined they would, a fab bland of retro and modern and the quilting did as it was told too! It is straight line quilted through both diagonals with one set very close together and the other further apart 

It's been to the beach for photos and because it was a sunny day on Sunday it went to the park too and got its pic taken on my old friend the plastic rock 

I used another Ikea print for the back of the quilt and I think it works really well with the funky retro feel of the top. I really like those birds...I can see another trip to Ikea to get some more of this print :D

This one along with it's friends can be found in my shop if you fancy having a look.

The afternoon school run is beckoning but I have time for a quick cuppa first then I have promised madam an evening in the sewing room once all of her homework is done! 

The reversible Echino quilt is finished!

I have been on such a rush through to try and get all of my WIP's finished (Even the ones that are still in my head!) by the end of November, so that I can dedicate Decembers sewing time to Christmas gifts, I keep forgetting to blog the "making of" and end up showing a string of finished quilts! I am a lot better at sharing a quick photo here and there so if you follow my Flickr or Instagram feeds you may well have seen a little more of the process.

I'm making quite a few wholecloth quilts at the moment and that is totally down to the fact I can't cut up  all of the beautiful fabrics from Etsuko Furuya's Echino 2012 collection! I know I am a total and utter wimp but I still find it sooo hard to get the rotary blade near them! Heather Ross Far far away 1 and 2 no bother - I can slice and dice away, these not so much! (I fear I maybe a little abnormal at this point!) Anyway moving swiftly on! I backed this one in the last of my favourite backing fabric, a HUGE damask print on a linen blend fabric that is just a touch weightier than the Echino cotton blend. I may have enough left to make a cushion but it's seen the last of its quilt backing days :(  Isn't it funny the shapes we are left with from backing fabric? 

So enough with the prattle here is some eye candy! 

I love how retro this fabric is! 

I used a random brown fabric that I had in my stash for the binding and together with the echino it totally reminds me of brown cord trousers in the 70's...That may just be me though!

Told you that damask print was HUGE :)

Next on the bound and washed list is this little ombre quilt (Hmmm the word Ombre is french, this I know, however it never fails to make me think of Speedy Gonzales) 

Lovely palest pinks to deep dark plums and soooo many quilting lines that I lost count! This quilt has texture to spare. I used a 6oz batting that is super squishy and went to town on it, letting the feed dogs pull the quilt through without too much manipulation from me so it has a wonky but still straight look to the quilting :) 

I used so many of the stitches on my machine to try and get different widths of raised and quilted areas. I think I succeeded pretty well :) 

I have one more quilt to "show and tell" but I'll save that for tonight as I have to run and get lunch going now :D 

Hope you have a great week planned! 

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Echino Zebra wholecloth finish!

Try saying that title 3 times fast! 

So how many people are/will be using this Echino Zebra print fabric for wholecloth quilts? 
I'm one of 'em! 
Lets be honest here it's too fabulous not to :) 

I love the fabric these are printed on, the linen blend has just the right amount of texture and will get softer and softer with more washes. 

I followed the pattern for the quilting and used Ikea Numbers print for the backing, I do love this fabric. 

Him in doors dutifully helping me take quilt photos on a chilly winters day at the beach :) 

This next quilt was finished erm....over a year ago! I came across it in a tote that I use for taking things to the market (Yeah the last market I did was months and months ago!)
I totally forgot to blog it so it was dragged out to the beach with the Echino and photographed. I also found a few Christmas quilts in the tote! (Note to self - Dare to go in the under-stairs cupboard more frequently!) 

I also have 2 WIP's! This first one I feel ok posting about, it's a swap for dolly related things, we sorted out the details at BlytheConUK and this will be going to her daughter for Christmas.

It started off like this 

Aneela Hoey's Bloom pattern and a lot of Cath Kidstone and such inspired fabric.

And right now is sitting like this 

Well almost like, that after some Flickr chatter I decided to remove one of the petals from the outer ring to make it lay down flat. I see a weekend of appliqué in my near future! 

The second WIP is an improv piece that I've been playing with over the last few days.
Some Mellody Miller and some solids, cut here, sew there and end up with this 

I'm currently mulling over how to quilt it!

This piece, once finished, the Echno wholecloth (and the Christmas quilts and decorations!) will all be making their way slowly into my Etsy shop over the next week or so.

Hope you are having a great week and getting plenty of time to sew up a storm! 

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Another finish...or two!

I finally got the binding on this quilt as you go quilt and then got it dry :) 

It's like a fruit salad of rainbow bright colours!

An I used the same backing as on the circles and squares quilt. Sorry Cindy I'm not sure what its called, I came across it at Absolutely fabrics and thought it looked very Orla Kiely so picked some up.

 I then decided to make a little set.
This Heather Ross fabric has been looking at me for ages waiting it's turn and yesterday I figured "why not!" So ran off a quilt and cushion set. Really simple and very girly! Madam keeps looking at it wistfully, being the big old 10 years old means your too old for mermaids and hearts apparently, or at least too old and not old enough to admit you do still really like them :)

I remembered online sewing's tutorial for a serpentine stitch and went to town with it, I kind of figured it looked all watery and right with the mermaids and fish.

Could this backing be any more girlie?!?  

So this set and the quilt have been listed in the shop for sale.

I'm now working on a Cath Kidston inspired quilt for a friend and hopefully should have some photos to show by the weekend :) 

Hope your having a great week!

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

If your sewing machine starts making funny noises

Check it for lint bunnies! 

Yup I've also oiled the beast, changed it's needle and said sorry to it! 

Circles and stripes quilt

As promised a fluffed up finished quilt 

I can't get over how much texture this type of quilting produces on a quilt! I think I love it just a little bit :) 

I thought it deserved a trip into the yard for some photos to show off it's crinkly, colourful, goodness 

This little one will be listed in my shop later on this afternoon along with my other "quilt as you go" quilt that will be blogged with half decent photos as soon as its dry :D 

Monday, 29 October 2012

When inspiration hits me around the head!

So I was happily avoiding doing housework  looking at pretty thing on Etsy yesterday lunch time and I came across Red tile studio 
As quilters how can we not be stupidly inspired by those colours and shapes?!?

So right from the get go I knew what I had to do, it involved solids, straight lines and geometric shapes and I had to do it right then and there! 

So I did :)

Sorry for the iffy photos, I threw the quilt on the sofa on the way to the washer to take these and it's about 9pm at night so the light is rubbish, but you get the idea and I promise better pics will be taken soon!

This little circles and stripes quilt is taking a spin in the washing machine as I type, so it's all lovely and soft when it goes into the shop.

In other news the open fire is taking it's sweet time getting sorted out. After re-pointing the chimney and putting a pot and cage back on Wednesday we need to get a "Throat plate" for it before we can actually light a fire in it. The only issue with this is we have no idea of the model number or name of our fire place and we have to get one to fit! 

Hopefully I should be back with another finish tomorrow (& a fluffed up circles and stripes quilt) once I get the binding finished on another quilt...

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Over the last month

 I've done a lot of house work and had a little help

Him in doors and I took a trip to Manchester to BlytheCon UK 2012 which was lots of fun! I managed to get a load of photo's taken while we were away :) 

I picked up the crochet blanket I started a while back in the hopes of being a little more social with my family on an evening!

And it's slowly growing

I discovered instagram (I know it takes me a while to catch on to these things) I'm Issabella_the_cat over there if you fancy having a look at my very blurry day by day photographic updates.

Today I got around to starting a quilt as you go quilt that will be heading to the shop once it stops growing :D

And on Monday a man is coming to sweep the chimney so we can all get toasty warm in the sitting room on an evening with an open fire...thats a real fire...with flames...I have to treble check I've turned off the iron when I'm finished sewing! Any hints or tips to having a real fire in the house?

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Herringbone quilts and headless dollies!

All done

and backed in Tula Pink

This one crinkled up lovely and is now in the shop
I am pleased I tried out my FMQ again rather than straight line quilting, it's fun if a little more work on your shoulders than straight quilting.

After finishing the Herringbone quilt I fancied playing with my yarn for a change, I have a secret hooky habit! My inspiration came from Lucy at Attic 24 if you've not seen her beautiful blog you should pop over and take a peek.

Issabella is pleased I'm making her a butt warmer, apparently I make too many quilts she's not allowed near so she is taking every opportunity to sit on this one while I'm making it. 
As a side note this time next month I should have had the chimney sweep man out to have a look at our fire and if all goes to plan I get to have a real open fire this winter :D

Please don't worry I do not behead dollies! It was more of a body transplant (Does that even make it better!?!) This is a test run of a pattern I've been working on for a strapless Blythe dress. A few more tweaks and I might be happy with it!