Thursday, 31 January 2008

Birthdays and socks.

A very busy week this week as both the kids had birthdays. Lots of celebrations and eating, especially cake. Jenny still has a party to come on Saturday with a shopping trip and tea at Pizza Hut with her friends. Between times I have tried to relax with some knitting. I have always wanted to try knitting socks and when I saw these fab kits at Woolfish I decided to give it a go. I set off with enthusiasm and my four needles but when I finished the rib and got on to the stocking stitch I realised I was knitting them inside out. A quick adjustment and off we go again. I can now knit and watch TV at the same time. The yarn is self patterning, you just knit away and the pattern appears magically before your eyes. The foundation piecing of the square in a square quilt needs concentration so not just for a quick 5 minutes grabbed in the evening. So far I have completed 6 blocks, just 21 to go.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Square in a square quilt - foundation piecing

I took a day off work today to go to a class at The Fat Quarters, on foundation piecing. My last attempt at foundation piecing on the sea horses quilt ended up in the bin, so I was determined to master it. The class was taught by local teacher, Ann Hannaby. Although it seemed complicated at first we soon got the hang of it, and despite a few mistakes and some unpicking, all finished one or two blocks by the end of the day. It is amazing how the same block in the four different choices of fabric looked so different. I was pleased with the effect of these William Morris prints I had chosen. Two blocks done only 23 to go. The photos show Ann discussing the pattern with Cath, Kathleen ironing some pieces with her clover mini iron and my first two blocks.

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Quilt -o-matic

Jenny has now recovered from flu and is back to school tomorrow, I have not had much time for sewing this week and missed the class at the fat quarters on Friday. However I did have time to finish off the binding on the Nancy Halvorsen Love is ... calendar. This was my first effort with the fab-u-motion fabric mover, the quilt-o-matic or ouija board as it is affectionately known. I was pleased with the result as the free motion quilting was quite small and close together and it was quick to do. I now feel confident to tackle it on a bigger project. Today I have started sewing Michael's black and white quilt, inspired by the black and white quilt on Leanne Beasley's blog (must get that book!). I was very good and before I started sewing I gave the machine a good clean out, its amazing how much fluff collects.

Saturday, 12 January 2008

Dancing Stars

Jenny is in bed poorly so I have been confined to barracks today playing mum. However every time she has fallen asleep I have nipped downstairs to start cutting pieces for the new quilt. Yesterday at the Fat Quarters I chose these black and white fabrics to make a cozy strip club quilt called Dancing Stars. I was inspired by Margaret making one last year for her grandson, it looked fab, so here goes. Because I am not making it from a jelly roll, the cutting out is a bit tedious, 60 x 2 1/2 inch strips. I have chosen a bright turquoise blue for the stars to match Michael's bedroom as this is for him. Quilts for big boys are much harder to find but I think this is a really masculine pattern. The Friday afternoon class at the Fat Quarters was very industrious yesterday, Margaret working on 2 quilts, one of them a Baltimore. Will it slow her down? Julie is still working away at her block of the month by Leanne Beasley, Janet has started a new appliqued quilt with Kim, Helen and Dawn were doing stitcheries. It was nice to see Irene back on a Friday too.
Thanks to the Joneses for the gift voucher for my birthday. At least you can see what I spent it on here.
Over the holidays I have also finished the hatched and patched wall hanging so here it is to show off.

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

New Year and another year older

Happy New Year. This is the first post of the New Year 2008 but it has been a bit delayed by birthday celebrations and a short holiday break. We had a family weekend at Centre Parcs Whinfell forest at Penrith, celebrating my birthday and a chance to relax and enjoy some family time together before getting back onto the treadmill of life. Jim and I worked quite a bit over Christmas and New Year so it was nice to have a chance to recharge the batteries.We did lots of eating, some swimming and a little sport. Jenny's favourite animals are squirrels and there were plenty about to entertain her, even chocolate ones in the shop.There were lots of rabbits about too. On Saturday we went out into the real world again to Penrith where I managed to find Just Sew the local sewing shop. They had a good supply of buttons so I purchased some unusual ones but the fabric was in half yard pieces so I managed to resist temptation. They just didn't have the same appeal as fat quarters. Thank you all for my cards and presents. Back to work tomorrow.