Monday, 27 October 2014

Little Letters

There is quilt along going on at The Temecula Quilt Company which I stumbled on a couple of weeks ago after reading a couple of blog posts about it. I needed to finish my table mats first but last Sunday I was able to make a start, and Thursday I could take this photo:

and then I made two more:

As of Sunday morning, Central European Time, I had caught up.

Aren't they sweet? The blocks will finish at 4" square and with the exception of the K and the N were dead easy to make. In both I found it difficult to position the diagonal line of the letter correctly. Also, with the exception of the K and N, they are all made from scraps. The patterns are posted singly twice a week on Sundays and Wednesdays. If you think this is an interesting project, if you're not worked off your feet already with Christmas preparations, head over to little letters at the Temecula Quilt Company and grab the patterns.

Linking up to

stitch by stitchSew Fresh Quilts Wednesday link up

Happy Sewing


Saturday, 25 October 2014

RSC 14 week43: Let me introduce you to ...

...Thimble, the nimble cat!

(Remembering TS Eliot's "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats" my copy of which has mysteriously disappeared.)

Incredibly I enjoyed making this block. I say incredibly because I don't get on with cats: they make me sneeze, and in a room full of people they always make a bee-line for me! Over this one, however I have complete control!

I also got three other blocks made this week. Here is the total sum of my progress this week. I thought I'd nearly caught up, but have at least three more to go.
Clockwise from top left:
Clay's Choice, Prairie Queen,
 Sickle and Cat 
 Linking up to 


So hop over there on Saturday and see what other chocolatey creations people have come up with.

Happy Sewing


Monday, 20 October 2014

A finish: table mats

This is my first finish for
Finish Along 2014

hosted by Katy at The Littlest Thistle.

My very short Q4 list was published here.

mats for our bedside tables.

Fabric: Bella solids: background - olive green; blocks  - from stash
Machine quilted with Aurifil 40 thread in dark green (5012)
Wadding; 100% cotton (the only one my LQS stocks) - from stash
Size: 15" (28 cm) square.
Pattern: (slightly adapted) A Martingale Freebie here. (You may have to sign in to access the pattern)

Now here is one of the mats again, after washing and in situ.

This was so easy, I made them in eight days from buying the dark green fabric to putting into the washing machine, which for me is the fastest ever! I know some people can get a whole king-size bed quilt together in that time, but I'm not that fast! I still have a few twosies over so there will be a matching seat cover for my dressing table stool sometime.

Happy Sewing



During my holiday, in September, I worked on a hexagon project and posted about it here while still in warmer climes. But these are only the orange "flowers" as the post was for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge link up and September's colour was orange.

In the meantime more flowers have grown, along with some loose petals and some leaves. I haven't decided on a layout yet, but, at the moment, I favour a random sprinkling of flowers and leaves, something like this:

although the loose petals have all blown together in colour groups in my photo!

What do you think would be a good layout for a scrappy hexagon quilt? Does this work well or would it be a good idea to surround each "flower" with an outer ring of hexagons in a neutral colour?A more traditional layout.

Almost all the flowers have six petals of the same fabric, which I believe is the traditional style. However, a couple of the flowers (blue, lower left, and the adjoining aqua) have petals of different fabrics (simply because I couldn't cut six the same from the contents of  the scrap bin). It works for me as long as they're in the same colour-way. What do you think?

These may seem strange questions but with a design as traditional as this I'm worried about how many conventions I may actually be breaking. I first wrestled (unsuccessfully) with hexagons at the age of nine and vowed I would never touch one again. Although I now enjoy mindlessly sewing the pieces together and in most projects happily go my own way, in this matter there is a little voice at the back of my mind telling me how they should be done!

Wedneseday update
Following the encouraging comments I have decided to go ahead with this layout. I must also add that when I was playing with this during my holiday I couldn't remember ever having seen anything like it before. This morning I read Lee Anna's blog , "Not afraid of Color", and took a good look at her title photo; now I see where the idea came from. I must have seen it 20 times without LOOKING properly. Thank you Lee Anna for the inspiration!

I'd welcome your ideas and I'm linking up to

stitch by stitch  Val's Quilting Studio  Sew Fresh Quilts

Happy Sewing


Saturday, 18 October 2014

RSC14 week 42: the last of the oranges and one brown.

September's Challenge colour was orange. This week I made the last two orange blocks

orange: ribbons and kick
brown: maple leaf
and my first brown block. I used a tan fabric in the background and although tan may be an orangey brown, I think it is distinctively browner than the orange fabrics I used. Many thanks to everyone who joined in the discussion two weeks ago on the subject of whether or not tan counted as brown. I'm pleased with the result here, and think it does.

I'm linking up to Soscrappy, so hop over there to see what other autumnal browns have been brewing this week.

Happy Sewing


Tuesday, 14 October 2014

RSC 14 week 41: orange catch up

Every month there's a different colour for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. This month there are three colours: brown, grey and black. Brown? But this isn't brown! No this is orange, last month's colour, because I missed September and I'm trying to catch up. As yet, not very successfully!

Plus block, but minus the rest!
I missed September because I was on holiday in Portugal, where the temperature was about 10 to 15 degrees Celsius warmer than it was here. I hope to post some photos of the holiday village I was staying in later this week.

Linking to Soscrappy for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2014.

Happy Sewing


Sunday, 12 October 2014

Finish Along Q4

Finish Along 2014

Each quarter Katy at The Littlest Thistle hosts a finish along for all types of craft projects.

Last quarter I failed to reach my target, so this time I hope it's more within my reach.

My projected finishes for the fourth quarter of 2014 are:

1. Toadstool house

This appliqué panel to practise using the appliquick tools was on my lists for the last two quarters so it must definitely be finished this quarter. I took it on holiday with me in September but firstly couldn't work out how to make the windows and secondly left the appliquick tools at home! With the windows the appliqué will be finished, then it needs borders and quilting and maybe some embroidery.

2. Mats for bedside tables

These now have borders to make the mats up to size, so I need to layer, quilt and add the binding. They should be finished this week!! (Ever hopeful!)

3. Tulips on the Table

This photo was taken in Portugal when I had just finished the appliqué. Since returning home I have layered but can't go any further until I have white hand quilting thread. This just needs quilting and binding, both of which will be partly hand and partly machine.

I also have other WIPs but no hope of finishing them this quarter. I hope this is a more realistic list than the last two quarters!

I'm linking up to The Littlest Thistle so head over there to see what others hope to achieve this quarter.

Good luck with all the finishes everyone!

Happy sewing


Sunday, 5 October 2014

RSC14: week 40: More browns than I thought!

I have more browns than I remembered, although I'm not sure if the light tan/orange pieces in the middle left really count as brown. What do you think?
I'm surprised at how good they look together; I'd expected a pile of browns to have a very muddy look to them.
I'm looking forward to some more sampler blocks this month.

Linking up to


Happy sewing


Saturday, 4 October 2014

Third cushion finally finished.

This is my third finish for the

Finish Along 2014

Back in July I submitted my list of projects I hoped to finish this quarter. I only managed to finish three items. A fourth is nearly finished: I'm quilting it now, and the other two didn't get much of a look in, I'm afraid.

My living room needed three cushions, and now it has three spanking new ones. The last cushion cover put together and washed yesterday evening.

Most of this was finished more than a month ago, but I was really stumped as to how I was going to quilt the outer border of the top. I thought it should echo the chevron design of the patchwork, but thought FMQing chevrons was too risky - all those inevitably wobbly lines and uneven angles!

I spent most of September in Portugal, without a sewing machine, but with lots of inspiration from all that Moorish architecture (some genuine, but a lot of reproduction!) A restaurant floor provided the answer: Greek keys - angular and continuous. (I didn't have to go to Portugal for that, any Greek restaurant in Holland has the same design everywhere!)

Greek Keys, or waves
(inevitably wobbly - but who cares?!)

the overall effect is not so bad ...!

The back is the same design of envelope closing as the other two cushion covers, following Elizabeth Hartman's mod mosaic floor pillow tutorial here.

The two panels are a simple loopy pattern I've used before on the underneath section,

and McTavishing on the upper, or outer, section. I was very lucky to win a copy of Karen McTavish's new book in a give away held by Karen Miller, and it arrived in time to get me fired up for the back of this cushion.

first attempt at McTavishing.

Here are all three cushions together:

I'm linking up to the Littlest Thistle for the Third Quarter Finish Along Party.

Happy sewing