Wednesday, 19 April 2017

My Week That Was

Do you ever have one of those weeks when you feel like you have worked hard in your sewing room but feel like you have very little to show for it?  Well I have had a week just like it.  So what did I do?

Before I tell you that I want to show you what I have received in the post.  Firstly

my lovely snail block mini from the lovely Sue @Sevenoaks Street Quilts.  Isn't it absolutely wonderful?  I had admired Sue's snail blocks a few weeks ago, I get LOTS of snails in my garden.  Indi my beautiful Springer Spaniel loves them, in fact it has become something of an issue as she likes to crunch on them, shells and all.   My mini came with some lovely fabric too, only I forgot to include it in the pic.  This was the Pay it Forward gift I told you about last week.  Thank you so much Sue I so love it, it will be going on the wall of my sewing room where I will see it every time I sit down to sew.

Then I got

Chicken Poop!  You know I want to giggle every time I say that.  It came with a cute notebook and pen from the lovely, and very descriptive Janice @Colour Creating and Quilting.  If you missed our swap posts you can see my mini and read all about it here.

My important sewing to be done this week was my bee blocks and as you know I am in two bees this year, and wouldn't you know it both of them asked for bird blocks this month.

First Stash Bee, where     requested a paper pieced block, groan, not the dreaded paper piecing, but yes, sigh.  I couldn't put off any more and that is how I spent Friday, stitching

these blocks.  I made the yellow one first and believe me my unpicker got plenty of work.  I took one piece out three times would you believe?  Partly because I used the wrong fabric, partly because I added the wrong piece, oh the list goes on.  It took me over three hours, I kid you not, for a block that finished 5" x 6" inches.  I only had to do one but because it was so small I decided to do three, but in the end I was glad to stop at two.  Keep your fingers crossed no one else in either of my hives asks for paper pieced blocks again this year.

Then in Bee Inspired Velda who was Queen for April requested a bird block she had draughted out herself.

This is a 12 inch finished block consisting of four six inch bird blocks, you can find the pattern on Velda's blog @GRANNYcanQUILT.  Velda requested they contain either a black with white or white with black or a dark fabric with a bright.  I found some strips left over from a jelly roll for three of the bodies and a lovely grey batik for the wing of the third to mix it up.  I made them scrappy as requested, hope she likes them.  These were much quicker to do being pieced, I made all the bodies first then the beak units and added a strip to the top.  The leg units were easy then it was just arranging them together.

Both lots will be winging their way across the sea this week and that is another thing off my list.

The good news is I FINISHED THE NOT A MYSTERY ANY MORE QUILT!!!  Actually about half an hour ago and I haven't a pic yet, so you will get that next week.  Remember all the trouble I had with the binding last week?  Well I ended up just making a pocket for the second end to go into, not quite as neat as a miter but it was easier with the join in the wrong place and less noticeable than it would have been.  I finished it by hand stitching to the back AND I added a label, which to be honest I don't always do, but Karen from KaHolly insisted I should do for historical purposes.  Karen is right of course, and should I tell you a secret?  Remember Bluebell Woods?  I loved making her so much I felt I just HAD to label her, so I  left a corner and didn't quite finish  hand stitching the binding, ten months later she is still waiting, don't tell Karen!

I have been doing 'something else', I'm not going to tell you this week, but I'm hoping I will have a pic for next week and you won't believe it!

So until then
with smiles from,
Kate x

Linking up with:

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

April update, and I've been a numpty again!

In some ways this has been a great start to the month and I have managed to sew more recently than I have all year.  In other ways I am such a numpty you wouldn't believe it, tell you later.

I have started making lists on paper instead of in my head as when they are in my head the seem to be doing a disappearing act.  This is my list for this month:


Make Post and mail Bee blocks.   I haven't started them yet but I have sorted out the paper piecing bits so a little progress.

Finish Canadian Bee blocks.   Done! I made six in total.

Fabric postcard for swap 15th April.   Done! Oh, but you haven't seen it have you.  Want a look?

I give you Spring Moon which I made for a postcard swap on Facebook.  It measures 6" by 4" inches and as you would expect it is all made with scraps.  The appliqué was done by machine and the grass, and hare details were hand embroidered using one strand of DMC stranded cotton.  The satin stitch on the edges was width 4 length 2.5 and I went around it three times.  

Finish the backing for Circles, layer, quilt, and bind.  Nope, not started yet, in fact not even thought of, but it is the next big one, DEFINITELY.  You can hold me to that.

Mystery Quilt, quilt, and bind. No it's not quite finished yet but the quilting is done and the binding is made, in fact I went to stitch on the binding this morning thinking I could be maybe go to work a little late, but I had a bit of trouble.  I switched on Baby, filled her a bobbin and threaded her up.  I measured 12 inches and put in two pins to leave a gap for joining my binding and started to stitch.  But, somehow I ended up stitching in reverse, so I had to stop and pull out the stitching and start again.  I measured again to replace the pin and started to stitch, but something was not right, I had forgot to add the binding, DON'T LAUGH! It could happen to anyone.  Third time lucky, I measured yet again and put in the pin, again, and started to stitch, yes, I stitched about eighteen inches, then I realised, the binding was the wrong way around and I was stitching the fold to the edge.  I couldn't BELIEVE IT!!!  Out it all came.  At that point I decoded to try again later and went to work, sad.  I'm going to have another go later today, fingers crossed.

Back to my list....

Backing and finishing two cushions, Nope, not started.

Tutorial for next month’s bee block   Haven't given it thought.

Finish the design wall.  I have had a change of heart and I am starting all over again, but at this point all I have done is bought some of the new materials.

Label two minis and post.  DONE!  You saw Home to Roost last week but do pop and see it if you missed it, the post is worth a read I think and while you are at it have a look at the mini on its way to me from Janice at Color Creating and Quilting, Chicken Poop.  I am saying nothing more.
Oh, I forgot you haven't seen the other mini have you?  It's been posted but it's a secret so don't spill the beans if I sneak it in.  It's for the lovely Jennifer at The Inquiring Quilter and I named it

Neon Diamonds.  What do you think?  Moda grunge in purple, one of Jennifer favourite colours, the other one is actually more green than it looks here, which is another colour Jennifer likes.   I decided to make the mini with half square triangles.  Jennifer seems to love them and uses them a lot, my Bloc Loc ruler came in handy here. 
We decided on an eight inch mini for our swap so those HST are an inch finished, so hard, and all those seams and why had I always pressed them the wrong way?  A couple of my joins are not quite as accurate as I would have liked but honestly it was my best effort. The binding was a bit tricky doing the seam on the slant when the quilt was only 8 inches, but tis done.  
I was so happy at my points next to the binding though, not one corner cut.  I straight line quilted it on the purple so the yellow/green would really pop, I think it does.  Think she will like it?

A plain one piece backing and my quilting has nowhere to hide.

Back to the list.

Make two blocks for sampler quilt. Done, three made!!!!  I used the fabrics I bought earlier this year, you want to see those too?

All from one range, though I was concerned it was lacking something so I added

this one, same range again, San Mateo, Nancy Rink Designs for Marcus Fabrics, didn't I show you them in January?  Not my usual buy it was an impulse and I thought it would make a lovely modern sampler quilt using Tula Pink's book.  So here are the blocks, all 6 inch finished.....

It's a start, big oak trees from little acorns grow remember.  This is a long term project, WHAT do you mean like everything else?  I'll ignore that.  As I said, a long term project, something to take to my sewing group, even though I didn't get this month, shame, I still made an effort to make some of the blocks anyway, only another 97 or so to go!!!

Now, I have a confession to make..............

I did a Pay it Forward in February, I just received a SECOND Pay it Forward and I suddenly remembered.................I forgot to tell the winners, I TOLD you I had been such a numpty, how could I forget such a thing?

I so promise I will notify them this week, AND today I am having another Pay it Forward for the second gift I have received.  So to enter just leave a comment on todays blog.   This time I will show you what I received and who from when I announce the winners, and if I don't, PLEASE remind me.  

I have a fridge magnet which sums me up,

But it's not my favourite, that has to be......

And on that note I will say,

Smiles from,
Kate x

Linking up with
Cynthia @Oh Scrap!

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Finish A Long Quarter 2 2017

I told myself I wasn't going to do any more goal setting this year, I link up at the beginning and always forget about the end!  My workflow has been pretty poor though, it's not that I don't want to stitch, just that I have had so little time this year.  I have now decided more effort is needed so I'm back on the waggon and joining in for Quarter 2.

So, here is my list.  I think it's realistic and it's doable in three months isn't it?  Two big things and two small things.  Not much variation for me but I will be so very happy if I get this lot out of the way and maybe start something new, so here goes.

Quilt and bind the not a mystery any more quilt, it should have been finished last month.


Layer quilt and bind circles.  I know what you are going to say and yes it is ridiculous I haven't done it yet but that's just the way it is.


Layer, quilt, and bind these cushion tops.  They have been waiting such a long time, I scrolled so far back in the blog pics to find them I started to think I had deleted them by mistake.


Bind these mug rugs, STILL waiting.  I have a lot more waiting than this, some need to be layered and quilted, but I have to make a start on a few at a time.

That's all, I will be ecstatic if I get them all done AND remember to link up, so don't be afraid to give me a kick when the time gets close, I will probably need it.

Smiles from,
Kate x

Linking up with Abigail for the Quarter 2 Finish a Long

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Secret Sewing

I can finally reveal the first of my secret sewing.  I have been doing a swap,  with the lovely Janice from Color, Creating and Quilting.  Janice started blogging just a month or so after me and we met soon after, it has been lovely sharing this journey together and learning from each other.  If you haven't read any of Janice's posts before I suggest you take a look at her blog, she has a wicked sense of humour at times, check the link at the end of the post to find out just how bad she can be!

We decided on this swap before Christmas but with one thing and another it got delayed a couple of times.  The way I look at it is if you are doing a swap with a friend it is meant to be fun right?  So if you feel pressurised of finish it by a certain date it takes the fun out of it, so no hassle, we just went with the flow and enjoyed the journey until we were both ready to swap.

I thought and thought about what Janice likes and her interests.  Janice seems to like traditional quilts and gives them her own modern touch, she loves colour, pattern, and bright fabrics.   Based on that I made her..................

Home to Roost.  I have to tell you now it took a long time to think of the name, the words houses, home and street came to mind, but nothing seemed appropriate.  Could I get inspiration from the fabrics? Not really, although the centre one reminds me of fried eggs in tomato sauce.  THEN I read Janice's post and the inspiration struck.

I used lots of fabrics, lots of colour, just like our friendship.  It is a variation of a swoon block from the Swoon Quilt by Camille Roskelley,  but a 16 inch version instead of 24 inch.  I found it at Blue Mountain Daisy on the post Making Little Swoon Houses.  Perfect for Janice I think.

The design was chosen because Janice going through a period of moving house, an interim stay at her in laws, her new for now home, and now she is moving again, temporarily, and possibly twice, before her forever home in a few months.

I delved deep into my fabric stash, I needed small print fabrics for all the small pieces.  I saw the perfect sky fabric at my local quilt shop and splashed out, but apart from that everything else was from scraps.

I quilted it in the ditch, I think anything else would have detracted from the design, and the back is a piece fabric which I was given by a friend, thank you again Jan.

I even made a label.

So, what did she make me?  I tell you you will just HAVE to read it for yourself, I was doubled up laughing and rolling about on the floor.  The clue is in the name of the quilt, Chicken Poop, no I am not joking, she made me a quilt  and wrote I wanted to do something that reminds me of our friendship and called it Chicken Poop, can you believe it?  I suggest you head on over HERE and read it!  While I wipe the tears (of laughter) from my eyes.  It's wild and wacky just like the Janice I have got to know and love, it is such fun being her friend.

Join me next time and I will show you my second secret sewing project. until then,

With Smiles from,
Kate x

Linking up with:

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

You will never guess what I did.......

This has been such a funny week for me, not a lot of quilting going on but a surreal experience took place, tell you later.

But first,

the mystery quilt that is not a mystery any more is layered and ready to quilt.  It was actually ready on Friday, I was all set, machine on, settings checked, bobbin filled.......... and I lost a quilting glove.  i couldn't believe it, I searched high and low for what seemed like hours.  I pulled out all my boxes of fabric in case it had got into one of them, went through drawers, cupboards, sewing boxes, even cupboards and places I hadn't even been.  I pulled everything out of the Kalax unit to see if it had dropped behind, but it was nowhere to be found, sad.  I couldn't start the quilting with only one glove.  Janice from Colour Creating and Quilting suggested using a gardening glove, and I did have a brand new pair, but I just couldn't do it.  I can't buy them locally so I got on the phone and ordered a pair.  Only thing is you can't really buy just one pair of quilting gloves can you, I mean, you can but, but, but!!!

So this is what the postman brought me today.  As you can see i was very restrained, apart from the Machingers gloves I got a new black Pigma pen, because Ella springer chewed up my last one, a meter of calico, yes it is a very small amount but they sell it for such a good price and the postage is in increments so if I bought more it would have cost more postage and this is enough to do the backing on the cushions I have on my list (not the envelope backing the cushion front backing).  AND as you can see I couldn't resist a charm pack of the 2017 Alison Glass Sun Prints, could you?

I also have to tell you I found a new online quilt shop, well, not new but I hadn't looked there before.  You see it is called Simply Solids, and that's what I thought it sold so I didn't bother, only it doesn't, well, yes it does, every Kona colour in fact, but it sells a lot more.  You see I did a search for Carolyn Friedlander, that's how I found it.  No, I wasn't going to buy any more fabric this year until I had used at least some of my recent purchases BUT, it was Sophie from Luna Lovequilts, she makes the most beautiful modern quilts and uses the most wonderful fabrics, and I was lulled into a dreamlike state and it just happened.  I was quite restrained though and you would realise that if you saw the wonderful fabrics Simply Solids sells.

So what do you think of this for a low volume fat quarter pack, is it stunning or is it stunning?  Could you resist it?  I think not.

And a bit more Alison Glass, be still my beating heart.  Now do you understand my predicament?  AND the postage is £2.75p, no mater how much you buy.  What's a girl to do?   I ordered it in the afternoon about 2pm, would you believe the postman brought it just before 11am the next day?  Now thats what I call great service.

My predicament is they have a Kona 303 stash club, if I  join I  get 17-18 fat quarters of Kona solids through the post every month, and in eighteen months I will have a fat quarter of every single colour, if I stay the whole 18 months I get a free Kona colour card too.  Now that is tempting.  By the way, I suppose I should tell you I don't have any affiliations to Simply Solids, or anyone else actually, so I just tell you how I see it and give my opinion for what it's worth.

But I simply must tell you what I did.  I was on Facebook and I had a message, from one of my sons, and I noticed I had missed a call from him, strange, and then I remembered he said something about calling with Messenger, well, before I even put my brain into gear I clicked on the aforementioned  Janice from Colour Creating and Quilting and clicked the telephone symbol, AND IT RANG!!! Really it did, and someone answered,  I just said 'Is that Janice?' and a woman said 'Kate?'  She was so stunned, and so was I, I don't know what I was thinking, well, I obviously didn't have my thinking head on, because I was so surprised I actually got to speak to her.  We had such a lovely conversation, I 'met' Janice about a year ago and we 'speak' regularly but to speak on the phone?  Wow.

THEN I thought, can I do it again?  No I didn't ring her straight back, I tried Jennifer at The Inquiring Quilter, AND SHE ANSWERED TOO AND SHE KNEW IT WAS ME!!!  Joy oh joy, I had a lovely conversation with Jennifer, we have been friends for almost a year, I never dreamed I would actually get to speak to her, in the flesh so to speak.

I tried again yesterday and rang Sue from Sevenoaks Street Quilts, but she didn't answer.  No she didn't not answer because it was me, I don't know how messenger works exactly, but I got to leave her a VOICEMAIL, do you like speaking to machines?  When she listens to it of course she will probably never answer if I ring her again, after having a voicemail from a madwoman chuntering on and giggling like a five year old.

So, that's been my week.  Do you use Facebook messenger to call people?  Of course you probably do, it's just me being behind the times and getting so flustered because technology works.  But if you are like me give it a try, you have to be friends with someone to call them I think.  Now, I have to have a think, who else am I friends with..............

Giggling my little head off
with smiles from
Kate x

Linking up with:
Lorna at Let's Bee Social
Kelly at Needle and Thread Thursday
Sarah at Can I Get a Whoop Whoop
Myra at Busy Hands Quilts

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Busy Busy Busy

That's my life just now.  Do you ever have those times when you hardly have time to draw breath?  Now you want to know why don't you?  Well nothing out of the ordinary really, just life in general.  We had a training weekend at work this weekend, that's always a busy week.  Why?  No, I'm not a trainer, although my husband is, but my responsibility is the catering.  Yes, it's the vegans again!  Four of them.  Lunch and snacks for two days, and not a vegan caterer to be found.  So it's do it yourself time, AGAIN.  Oh well, the good news is it is two months until the next, and last, weekend in the course.  If they were not such lovely and appreciative people I would dread it.  I'm just keeping my fingers crossed there are none in the next course.

So, what have I been up to sewing wise?  Well I haven't had a lot of time so I had to prioritise, first I made,

this, a courthouse steps block for Stephanie in Hive Two in Stash Bee.  In reality it's a bit brighter than the pic, taken on a dull and miserable day.  Stephanie wanted sea colours, and do you know that although I have made log cabins before I have never done a courthouse steps.  Well I have now!  By the way, the grey background is white!

I also finished,

this block for Carmit.  Only this time I lightened the pic too much and it's richer than it seems here.  I wasn't having such a good day when I did this pic either.  It's a 15 inch block in purples, no those strips are not grey, honest, I seemed to have striped the colour out of the block.  Carmit is in Stash Bee too in Hive 4, this was her request for February and I was two weeks late mailing it so I didn't post it on Stash Bee.  I was hive crashing you see, Carmit, from Quilting Rainbows, was the very first blogger to strike up a conversation with me when I started blogging, she made me feel so welcome, and I have never forgot it, so I wanted to make a block for her.

The only other stitching I have been doing is,

THIS!!!!  Oh yes, singing and dancing time, I stitched my Meadowfield Mystery quilt top together.  I am so happy with it, although not so happy while I was stitching it, it almost drove me mad.  Some blocks stitched together so easy and others, honestly, I took out the seams three, four, five, even six times before I was happy with them, I kid you not, they just wouldn't line up properly.  A couple of times it was so bad I had to walk away, THEN when I went back it fell into place first time, have you ever had that?

Unfortunately I haven't had time to get it layered or start the quilting yet.  I need it finished because it is already a week late.  Yes, I am going to give it away.  I will be sad to part with it, but you know I have had so much pleasure making it I am happy for it to give pleasure to someone else.  When I get it finished that is!

If you haven't been here before, Meadowfield Mystery is a free pattern from the very talented Cheryl from Meadow Mist Designs.  The wonderful news is the next one, Magnolia Mystery, starts on July 6th, mark that one on your calendar.  I had so much fun with this one and seeing everyone's progress on the Facebook page I am definitely joining in.

I just HAVE to show you what came through the post though

the first block from my bee mates in Bee Inspired.  This one came all the way from Canada from the lovely Velda who blogs at GRANNYcanQUILT, even her name is lovely.  Gorgeous isn't it?  This is SO exciting, and just think, I get to do it all again in May when I am queen in my Stash Bee hive.

So that's all that's been happening with me, pretty boring isn't it?  Except when you receive surprises in the post that is, I tell you, when I open the front door coming home from work my heart is thudding with the thoughts of what could be on the doormat!  Bet you can't wait till next week when I give you the next instalment (helpless giggles).

Until then
Smiles from,
Kate x

Linking up with the lovely
 Lorna at Let's Bee Social
Kelly at Needle and Thread Thursday
Sarah at Can I Get a Whoop Whoop
Shelly @The Carpenters Daughter Who Quilts hosting for TGIFF
Myra at Busy Hands Quilts

Friday, 10 March 2017

Quilters Laundry Day Mini Quilt Along

Oh Yes!!! This is the day we have all been waiting for, the first day of Jen and Jan's Mini Blog Hop.

Jen from A Dream and a Stitch and Janice from Color, Creating and Quilting have been working hard organising the second of Jen and Jan's Blog Hops with a pattern created specially by Jen and available free in her Craftsy shop here.

Jen and half of the participating quilter bloggers are posting today, Janice and the other quilt bloggers are posting tomorrow.

AND there are prizes.  To be eligible for the prize draw just leave a comment on Jen and Jan's posts.

So now without further ado I give you...........

Quilters Laundry Day, Kate style.     Like it?  Let's get another view.

Here you can see the quilting, in the, would you believe, bright sunshine in Northeast England (of course it could also be described as over exposed).   But you still can't see all the detail, so let's look closer..........

That's better, straight line quilting on the house and curtains at the windows, can you see the sewing machine on Mrs Quilters windowsill?  You can just about see the wavy tiles on the roof.

Round pebbles on the stony path.

Mrs Quilter has hung her quilt on the washing line, she loves her modern solids and sets her quilt off with a motif stitched with variegated thread.

Her grass is littered with daisies, and look, can you see the tortoise hiding below the quilt?  There is an echo of her children toys in the grass too, can you see the bicycle, the pig, the car pulling a caravan, and the umbrella?  Mrs quilter doesn't like strimmers and the grass grows long at the bottom of the washing posts.

There are aeroplanes flying in the sky above the house,

and the children's kite has escaped it's string and is flying free with it's tail streaming through the sky.

The back of the quilt is a fabric left over from a quilt for my granddaughter made about three years ago, I don't know what it is except it was about 108 inches wide.  Can you see the pebbles better now?

Quilters Laundry day was framed with a dark blue Moda solid.

I do hope you like my version of Jen's pattern, remember the link to the free pattern is at the top of the page if you would like to make your own version.

Here are the links to all of the other participating blogs, remember to leave a comment on Jen's blog today and Janice's blog tomorrow to win a prize, winners to be drawn on Wednesday.

Enjoy the rest of the Hop!

March 10 Reveal Day

Jen Rosin  A Dream and a Stitch
Kate Heads at Smiles From Kate
Jennifer Fulton at Inquiring Quilter
Karen Thurn at Tu-Na Quilts, Travels and Eats

Melva Nolan at Melva Loves Scraps
Vicki at Vicki's Crafts & Quilting
Julie Stocker at Pink Doxies
Anja Clyke at Anja Quilts
Diann at Little Penguin Quilts
Jayne at Twiggy & Opal
Susan Arnold at Quilt Fabrication
Leanne Milsom at Lizzie the Quilter
Sandra Walker at Mmm! Quilts!

March 11 Reveal Day

Janice Holton at Color Creating & Quilting
Jennifer Strauser at Dizzy Quilter
Amy Gerlich at Amy Scrap Spot
Sharon Denney Parcel at Yellow Cat Quilt Designs
Susan Gordon at Sevenoaks Street Quilts
Anne Boundy at Said With Love
Barbara Wootie at The Flashing Scissors
Jan Welander at Making Scraps

With smiles from,
Kate x