Wednesday, 18 December 2013

This one's for you, Baby Girl

This blog post is way overdue. The Baby Girl in question is only a teensy bit overdue, but in any case, when she does finally arrive (she will be my new niece), she will have this lovely quilt ready and waiting to kick about on.

I had a lot of fun making this quilt, and was amazed at how it came together - I just followed Kelly's very clear Purse Strings directions and voila! A quilt emerged! I had fun collecting fabrics. The Giraffe print was the one that got me decided on the colour scheme, then of course some pink.

The fact that there are leaves on the trees and sunshine in the garden tell you just how long it has taken me to get these pics up - although I didn't want to spoil the surprise by posting until after the quilt had been safely delivered to my little sis.

I like the back too - it's cheerful don't you think?

 And the obligatory rolled quilt shot, modelled by my 80 year old Singer Rocket. Which I have recently had cleaned and fixed - I will get to use it over Christmas!
So come on Baby Girl, we can't wait to meet you - and I hope you like the quilt your Auntie made you.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Purse Strings Blocks

Last week I had a whole sewing day all to myself. These are rare, and come along only in school holidays! I made a good start on a new project, following the purse strings block tutorial, an original block put together by Kelly from My Quilt infatuation. The tutorial was really clear and easy to follow, which was great as this is my first journey into the world of 45 degree angles!
 I also used the paper plate technique for sorting the pieces for each block - so simple and so effective. I got a real production line going on, but didn't muddle up my pieces.
 I even managed to get my white triangles overlapping in the same direction  - I have really impressed myself!
 And I have generated a lovely stack of ready to stitch HSTs to play with as I trimmed the corners off the squares.
I have lots more to do - but I'm so pleased with the start I have made.

I'm linking up to My Quilt infatuation now... with thanks for the great tutorial!


Friday, 18 October 2013

A baby quilt, with thanks to Auntie Dora

I'm so pleased to have a real finish! A quilt for a baby girl, born on Friday night, who I will get to meet next week. My friend has been waiting a long time for her to arrive, and this quilt has also taken a while, not nine months, but not far off. My time to quilt is so limited !
I collected lots of kids prints over a little while and then decided to put them all in together.

 Another view. The quilting is an easy, loose meander to keep it nice and soft.
 My first attempt at a patchwork panel on the back - I really like it. The backing is an IKEA fabric,one of their few colourful quilting weight cottons - and so much cheaper than 'proper' quilt fabrics!

 I bound it with an orange solid - jolly and bright. I love pink and orange together, it is one of my favourite colour combinations. My wedding flowers were orange and pink.
And finally a snapshot of Auntie Dora's legacy. Auntie Dora was my mother-in-law's godmother. I never met her, but according to my dear m-i-l, Dora was hard work, demanding, cantankerous, and managed to alienate almost everyone in her family, except my saintly m-i-l who never gave up on her. When I put a sewing machine on my Christmas list one year, my m-i-l suggested Dora might no longer need her machine, and sure enough, soon this 1970s Brother came my way. So her legacy has enabled me to receive a lot of joy, and to pass some on in the quilts I have made so far. The sewing box also was Dora's, I was given it the other week - I plan to recover it with something patchworky but will keep that fabulous satin lining. And Auntie Dora's most lasting legacy, for which I will always be grateful, is an actual legacy, left to my m-i-l, who gave some of it to my husband, which helped us achieve the family we dreamed of. So thank you Auntie Dora!

Linking up to Kelly - if it's not too late, and Amanda Jean too - thank you to you for your brilliant linky parties, they make my week!

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Blue, but not blue!

I finished quilting and binding the first quilt top I made, a year after making it. The fabrics I found when clearing out some cupboards at church years ago, leftover from a forgotten craft group perhaps, and they sat in a box for 3 years until I decided to follow my sister's lead and try quilting. It turns out that the print is Kaffe Fassett, not too shabby eh?! So I made some nine patches, white sashing, and strips of 2.5" squares and sewed it all together. And then it sat in a bag for a year. But now it's complete. I used an old duvet cover for backing, and ready made bias binding which I bought before I learned that quilters make their own binding. That said, it was so easy to attach, and the corners were perfect first time, so I may go ready made again some time! 
It is going on my son's bed- he likes that he had his own 'blanket' and likes the blues! 

Quilts are fun for making tents out of! 

And in other news, I'm back to school like so many others out there in blog land. I just had time to stitch together a new book bag!
It's made from lovely upholstery fabrics, 3 different chenille/ tapestry scraps I had. Don't look too closely at the lining though, I attached it in a mad rush on the first morning of school!!

Linking up to Kelly's Needle and Thread Thursday- it's nice to have a big finish to share!



Thursday, 22 August 2013

Quilting in Mallorca!

This is a little post, just showing a tiny bit of a WIP- but really it's about the backdrop to the patchwork! Had a great week in beautiful Mallorca, and in between the beach and pool, and fun with friends and family I got a little bit of hand work done. I also put my new sewing kit to good use.
I thread basted hexagons...Photographed them in an orange tree..


And managed to finish just one hexagon flower ! 

I think it looks pretty next to the Bouganvillea! 

Final pic of a tired boy, full of holiday sunshine, but glad to be home again!

 I'm going to link up to Needle and Thread Thursday, even though it's a tiny offering compared to all the lovely big quilts out there!





Friday, 9 August 2013

Holiday Sewing

I have finally managed some sewing in my summer holidays- hooray! First a quilt top for a baby girl. 

 It's a bit bright and crazy, hence the white sashing to calm it down. I ordered a whole lot of kiddy prints and then put them all in- no editing at all! I'm looking forward to quilting it once I have a backing.

Next a present for my sister, and one for me too. I wanted to make a little sewing kit, and found a brilliant tutorial at Lots of Pink Here . I'm sure I've seen other people in quilt blog land making them. Anyway, it is a great clear tute, with great photos- I've learnt some useful sewing techniques along the way.

I like the idea of my sister and I having similar kits, one being used in the U.S., and one in the UK. I'm planning to take mine away with me on my travels- if I get organised with some stuff to make some more hexi flowers.
And finally, I'm nearly finished a third sewing kit for my mum's birthday present, that I need to get in the post before I go away. 
So all in all I'm pleased! I would have got a bit more done if I hadn't had to re-seal the bathtub to stop my kitchen ceiling leaking...but that's another story! 




Friday, 26 July 2013

Finished it Friday

Well this is a life finish, not a sewing finish. I said goodbye to my school, my colleagues, the kids - with a tear in my eye and a smile on my face. I'm sad to leave, and excited to move on too. I guess all endings are also beginnings.

One souvenir coming with me is a quilt! We had about 10 of these, made years ago by students, hanging in the school hall. Sadly they are all going to be taken down, so I picked a favourite to rescue. I don't know who made each square, but they are done in fabric crayon, hand quilted by the kids- its really lovely.
 This is a favourite block:

And this was what I found on the back- who knew all these lovely prints were hiding there all these years?!

I also gave the retirement quilt to its recipient- she loved it, and it was so admired by another dear friend, I went home that evening and finished up the courthouse steps panel into a mini quilt for her. 

So now it is finally my summer holiday. Can't wait to get a bit of real sewing done in the next few weeks- hooray! 



Friday, 19 July 2013

The End is Nigh

Ah, summer! Here in sunny London it has been really hot, nothing like a traditional British summer at all. I am finally winding down to the end of term at school, and trying to tidy and pack up as I am leaving to go to a new job after the summer holidays. As I had so many scraps left over from the retirement mini quilt I made, I carried on and made a pincushion (pattern inspired by Amanda Jean's mini nine patch tutorial).

This is for my colleague who does needlepoint and worked on the mini quilt with me - I hope she loves it!

Then I made a couple of coasters for some lovely colleagues who always had time for coffee and a chat, no matter how busy we were.
And then I just made a kind of courthouse steps panel with scraps for fun, I might make it into a cushion cover for the staff room!

I really must stop now, I have a lot of junk to clear out here in my classroom! I'm linking to Needle and Thread Thursday at myquiltinfatuation, and Finish it up Friday at crazymomquilts. Finally, thanks to those who gave advice on how to fix the no-reply blogger thing - I think I've sorted it out now!

Friday, 5 July 2013

Two Finishes in One Week

What a week! I have been blitzing the sewing, well, blitzing for me anyway. First finish is the Steps Quilt which I finished quilting and binding this week.

I love the binding, some red hearts I found in Ditto Fabrics in Brighton. So satisfying to make a whole roll of the stuff, but less so when I realised that I was about 4 inches short once I had nearly finished sewing it on - a bit of hasty cutting and finger pressing later and I was good to go!

More gratuitous quilt shots...

And then my other finish was the mini quilt retirement gift. Backed with the Ikea numbers print - appropriate for a school teacher I thought! With a closeup of the fabric from the country dancing skirts. Can't wait to give it to her now!

Friday, 21 June 2013

A Retirement Gift

A dear colleague is retiring at the end of this term of school, so I wanted to make her something special. She has worked at the school for over 25 years, and when I found a whole bunch of scraps in the art room it gave me an idea. The fabrics used to be in a set of country dancing costumes (if you are not British or younger than 30 you won't know what I'm talking about! - kids at English schools used to be taught traditional dances in school a bit like square dances) so she should recognise them.

I asked another colleague who is a cross stitcher to make the centre panel, with her name and dates and the school. And I'm turning it into a mini wall quilt. I have a few more weeks to finish it, but the top is done now.

I have a lot of fabric left over, so now I'm thinking about making a big cushion for another long time colleague who's going, and maybe pin cushions for the short termers going elsewhere!

I'm linking up to Needle and Thread Thursday at  My Quilt Infatuation!

Friday, 14 June 2013

Steps quilt top completed

So this top is finished! I've even basted and begun the quilting. Not long to go until its a true finish.

I'm liking how its starting to look, even a tiny bit of quilting makes such a difference. It's quite a magical transformation!

And since its Friday, a little treat at the end of a busy week.

I love hexagons!

Who knew hexagons were so easy and fun? 

 And the endless possibilities of colour and pattern are, well, endless! I picked up a plastic hexagon from the shape box at school one day, found a scrap of fabric, needle and thread and I was away.

  Not sure what I'm going to do with my hexi flowers yet, but inspiration will strike. Each one is so pretty in its own right.

The only thing is I've found I haven't used my hand stitching muscles in a long time, been getting a sore arm and tingly fingers. 
In other news, my step quilt is basted and I've started quilting in the white zigzags, quite dense stippling, and I think I'll do a single wavy meandering trail through the middle of each coloured zig zag, just to anchor the layers together. Photos to follow.

Friday, 31 May 2013

Step blocks finished

I've finished the blocks for my steps quilt- hooray! The fabric is House and Home by Benartex, it was a Christmas present from my lovely sister.  I still have to join them and make them into a quilt but it's a big step completed. I'm really pleased that it's starting to take shape!


Thursday, 30 May 2013

An early block


First Blog Post

So this is my very first blog post, how exciting. I've browsed so many great blogs over the past few months and now I get to join the party. The name of the blog is Squeeze Quilts because I am trying to squeeze quilts into my busy life. Ideally I am squeezing them in by actually making them, but when that's too much just looking at lovely pictures and blogs, and failing that, squeezing under a real quilt itself is enough. Once I figure out how to make this blog page a bit prettier and upload photos I can get this thing off the ground properly.