Thursday, 25 February 2010

February - Bee Europa blocks for Eva

Hope they are straight enough and not too wonky!

Interesting design, and was curious to see what kona solids were like in 'real life' - love the colours, the material not quite as nice as the other stuff I've been ordering from the US, so don't feel like I am missing out any more. :-)

Rough couple of weeks, but should be back to normal by next week.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Hidden Stars Quilt - bigger views

Hidden Stars Quilt

Hidden Stars Quilt, originally uploaded by soja.

This is the quilt that I made for my sofa, to be shared with the cat and the dog! I love modern quilts with lots of white, but for this purpose it would not have been very practical, I decided to go for this fabric to make a sort of 'traditional' looking quilt. I wanted fabric that was mostly blue, green and beige with a little red. I saw this Moda range, Nostalgia by April Cornell on sale at Jo Jo's Gift Shoppe so decided to go for it. The dark green fabric, used for the stars and binding is Little Lulu Flowers/Green background by Maywood Studio for EE Schenck also bought online from the same shop. It is the first time that I have bought from them, and the service, shipping and price were all good.

At first, I wasn't sure about the green fabric for the stars, it didn't clash with the other greens, but when I was sewing the star points, I really wasn't that thrilled, I nearly stopped, unpicked and started looking for different fabric. But, when I made up the first row of stars, I loved it - phew! I didn't want to use a solid, I wanted the stars to be a bit more hidden, and I didn't want the quilting to show up too much.

The pattern, Hidden Stars, is from "Layer Cake, Jelly Roll and Charm Quilts" by Pam and Nicky Lintott, a book I got for Christmas, along with the fabric for this quilt, (well the money to buy them anyway :-)) I really like this book, there are seventeen quilt designs, each made up and fully photographed in two very different colourways. It is helpful for me, as I am finding it easier to visualise the amount of fabric needed for different sized quilts. The patterns can easily be made bigger or smaller by making more blocks, of course. Out of the 17 designs, I am keen to make about 15 of them!

The finished size of this quilt is 49"x61"/125cm x 155cm, using one layer cake, plus 1m fabric for the stars and under 1/2m for the binding.

The backing fabric was cut from a new duvet set purchased locally in the sales, 100% soft 'eco' cotton, reduced from €20 to €7! Great! This used most of one side of the single duvet cover.

I liked the Green Dream wadding that I used for Mum's quilt, made from recycled plastic bottles, so decided to get more of the same for this quilt. Unfortunately, when I went to buy it from Cotton Patch, and after checking it wasn't a mistake, I fount that they had increased the postage to £37 for one packet of wadding!! The Cotton Patch rep said it was because it was bulky!! So, I searched the internet, and found a company in the UK selling the same wadding off the roll, at a cheaper price and only charging £5 to sent more than twice the amount -, the service was fast and polite - I'll definitely be back.

Don't tell, but as the quilt was for me, and because I got an awful lot of free, good quality polyester thread in a large range of colours when I bought my new sewing machine, I quilted it with polyester thread (I pieced with cotton thread). The colours for the front and back were such a good match, it looks great and it didn't break once! The quilting isn't always as even as I'd like, I was in a hurry to get it finished and in use, but I'm pleased with it overall.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

It's all coming up roses!

Felt rose hair clips, originally uploaded by soja.

It's my friend's daughters birthday soon, and after a few Christmases and birthdays, I'm running out of handmade ideas for presents.

I bought her a non-handmade gift, and was feeling a little sad that there was no crafty love. Then I saw the tutorial for these clips at the Purl Bee and thought they would be just the thing to add to a homemade card! I didn't follow the pattern exactly - I used mini-clips, and just drew my own shapes for the flowers, based on theirs, and I used acrylic felt.

I think they are pretty sweet.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Honey Bee European Quilting Bee Block 1 January 2010

I'm not running late on the first block! Poor Linzi was trapped inside by the snow and the post offices were closed in the UK, so I only received her lovely Heather Ross squares of fabric last week. She asked us to make maverick stars, following this tutorial with the mermaid and fish squares in the middle, the dots as the points and the sea horses as the background.

There weren't too many decisions to make, all the squares were pre-cut. It was really a very simple block, but I found it quite nerve-wracking making blocks for someone else, without any spare fabric if I made a mistake - I still think that I sew in a straight line badly!! And of course, I couldn't get one seam on the first block to line up and had to unpick it and re-sew it - after that it all went together easily. I decided to keep all the seahorses lined up in the same direction, and tried to include as many orange ones as possible. I think that perhaps the stars could have been a bit wonkier, but I think they look okay.

I know that Linzi gave everyone in the group the same fabric and instructions and is planning to make a big king-size (ocean-size!) quilt for her bed. I wonder if she will sew them together block to block or add a sashing? I'm looking forward to seeing what we will all have produced in a year or so's time.... I'm sending out the very last batch of fabric in January 2011!

Monday, 1 February 2010

Lucky me!

Well, If I hadn't come out of blog hibernation yesterday, I would have had to appeared today to say thank-you to Rosa Maria! I read her blog regularly, she is on my blog list on the right, "La Vida Compartida", she sews beautiful quilts and gifts, and has two handsome dogs, and a new member of the family, a little abandoned cat that has come to live with them. The colours and styles Rosa Maria puts together and perfect, I'm so glad that she blogs, it is a pleasure and inspiration to look at her work. :-)

A little while ago she had a blog give-away for a quilting magazine, she had photographed some of the pages, I loved the quilts, left a comment, just to admire the quilts, I didn't expect to be included in the give-away, Europe is a long way to ship to. But I won - I never win anything! And very kindly Rosa Maria sent me this brand new February 2010 American and Patchwork Quilting magazine all the way from Mexico! I love the designs, and what a treat to have a magazine in English (I live in Spain). Thank-you very much Rosa Maria!!

Now, I think, to share my luck a little, I should have a give-away too? I haven't before as I'm not really sure if there are many people reading? Well, I guess that just means that the odds of winning are good! But what to give-away? A Spanish crafty magazine? Something made by me? I will have to have a think...