Happy New Year!
I can’t believe how quickly 2015 went and especially December! But I got everything I wanted done, all the homemade presents and I even got time to make two skirts and a top!
Looking back over 2015, I really hadn’t thought I had done much till I looked in my note book of completed projects. Finished a number of quilts from ‘How Does My Garden Grow?’ to the Hexagon Rainbow and the Toadstool cot/bed quilts that where published in Popular Patchwork – a total of eight of designs were included in it.
Then there was all the quilted postcards, twelve – one for each month for Laura of her duck ones, 2016 theme jobs!!! To gates and landscapes for cards and then all the Easter, Anniversary and Christmas ones.
Then there are the scarves both woven and arm knitted and then the skirts, tops and dresses I have sewn. So, in fact I have created a far number of things!!
Looking forward for 2016 there is a new month by month quilt going out with the update emails (go here to join if not already a member), this will be themed to the month, the first one being a snowman – as January is meant to be cold and snowy! Also there is a new Members area on the website. My husband tell me if you were on the old mailing list you should get a login for it automatically!
I am working on a new quilt, using traditional blocks and construction methods and mixing it with new designs, all with the theme ‘Friends’ for class and then there is some smaller ideas in the pipe line….
We are already starting on the second month of the year! January has gone so fast. But it has been a good month on the creative side.
I posted off my two A4 journal quilts for the Spring Journal competition ‘Nautical Inspiration’ at the very beginning of the month, after a bit of a rush to finish them off!!! but that’s me – leaving things to the last minute… I had a letter later in January that they are Runner up in the competition!! They can be seen at any of the Spring Quilt Festivals or at Quilts UK at Malvern.
The rest of the month has been completing the Star cot/bed quilt and then working on the new ‘Friendship Quilt’ – all the centre blocks are traditional blocks with the Friend or Friendship in the name. The first border has designs that are my own, with friends being the theme and the second border is friendship braid design. The thing about this quilt is that it is ‘flexible’ – if you just make the middle traditional blocks then you have quilt that is approximately 60” square, with the first border you have a single bed quilt and if you make the whole quilt it is 120” square – king size!!!
I am making it in two colours. My teaching one, using Tilda fabric and then one for my best friend and her husband in the colours they have chosen. The blocks look very different depending on the colours!!!
Other than that I have got the loom set up and I am weaving a 4ply scarf, I am also knitting my cardigan in the evenings. I have also recycled a dress into a skirt and also two pairs of trousers into another skirt! And finally I have made a few postcards!!!!
The start of February started quiet enough and I completed a few postcards and worked on the ‘Friendship’ Quilt for the class. Then I had a mad half term break with no sewing! In fact I had to pack away my four sewing machines, overlocker, embroidery unit and all my teaching work and ship them round to my in-laws, just so we could fit Laura’s bed into the workroom.
Then it was take apart Laura’s bedroom – remove over 1000 books! I accidentally packed the book on Oliver Cromwell she was reading away and she didn’t get it back till the Thursday – missing eight days of reading… All of this work was to have two new radiators fitted.
Once the floor boards where back I painted her room and then we put all the carpet, furniture and books back.. I then collected all my sewing stuff and got my workroom all back to normal – with piles of fabric and quilts in progress!
We did have a day out to the Natural History Museum to the Spirit tour – which was really interesting but specimens in jars aren’t things I can create into quilt, cushion or postcard designs!!! The building and other tings in it however I might be able to create something from.
I then had a mad panic as I realised that Mother’s Day and Easter weren’t too far off. So, I have spent the week creating postcards (a big pile of them are sitting by my armchair to hand sew all the details on in the evening while watching the tv) and cushions for presents.
So much has happened in March! Right at the beginning of the month was Mother’s Day and then Easter at the end.
I was inspired by all the script cushions in the shops to make a Mum one for my Mums. I embroidered/quilted the word Mum and then appliqued flower borders at the top and bottom and I also created a Quilted Postcard for each of the Mums.
For Easter I created ten Quilted Postcards for family and friends and then instead of Easter Eggs I made my three nieces a cushion – I tried to draw a dancing princess but it came out like a hippo!! So, I designed a pretty petal dress on a stand, with sequins and beads called ‘Flora’. I didn’t want my nephew to feel left out, so I got some Star Wars fabric and made him a cushion!! I also created a Spring Bunting!
Other than making all that I also finished off weaving a 4ply scarf and started on a DK yarn throw, in shades of blue, brown, grey and black with a touch of lemon – sounds odd but they work together!! Really!
I also created twelve other Quilted Postcards and made a Patchwork Dog in pink, lilac, lemon and white for my new baby great niece Mia born on Easter Sunday. I always make a Patchwork dog for the babies of the family and friends.
I am working on hand quilting at the moment, I want to finish the ‘Tropical Bouquet’ quilt – just one more corner square to quilt and then I can put it all together, that’s the job with the getting the garden and outside sorted for this month!!
Well, April was certainly a month of April Showers (& hail and snow!) so, the design for the free block of the month was very apt. Hopefully May will bring the bright warmer weather.
On bright things, I have finished the Tropical Bouquet quilt. The tropical flowers and foliage are hand quilted in strong colours but the batik I have used for the borders and joining is very bright! I have decided to enter it into the National Patchwork Championships at Sandown in June, the entry form has gone off.
The ‘How Does My Garden Grow?’ quilt, 2015 block of the month quilt has gone off to Quilts UK at Malvern later this month.
All the forms ask about inspiration and it has also come up in a couple of meetings in the last few weeks. Sometimes it may be an image – in the case of the Tropical Bouquet, it was pictures of lush tropical flowers, they just fitted with my want to hand quilt a design.
My inspiration comes from so many different things, often I will have a small idea that I will keep thinking about for months till suddenly something else will fit with it and I can then draw the design up, but it may be ages before I come back to the design and finally start making it up. Other times I design will come to mind and I will have to just make it……
Well, another month has flown by!! And we are into June already – half the year almost over, soon be Christmas!!!
On Christmas, I have already started looking at things I want to make, I have bought a couple of books with Christmas makes. One is Mini Knitted Christmas, it has the sweetest penguins and polar bears to make, I thought they would make lovely decorations on the garland up the stairs. I like to ‘refesh’ the bits I put on this garland every few years, for the last few it has had white theme with crocheted snowflakes.
I want to start this month on the small Christmas bits, the knitting mostly as it gives me plenty of time to get everything done, I say it every year but I don’t want a big rush to finish everything for Christmas!!! I usually start in September but I thought maybe if I started a bit earlier I might be able to avoid the last minute panic. I hope!!!
I keep a notebook with all the things I finish making every month, May’s is very short!!! I have been concentrating on the three main quilts on the go – the two ‘Friendship’ ones and then on completing the Tilda ‘Sweet Christmas’ hexagon quilt.
I wanted the Hexagon quilt completed to take with me to Rainham Hall, as I have started to do demonstrations for them. I love hexagons and I know that they have suddenly got really popular again but they have such a long history and it works in very well with the current theme of the Hall. I think everybody wants the Tilda hexagon quilt!!! it really generated some lovely comments and a lot of interest. I will be back at the Hall in July showing quilting……………….
This has been an odd month, between being called for jury service and my Aunt being in hospital in Cambridge after a heart attack…..
I feel that I haven’t really got much done! On a Sunday I usually, work out what I need to do for the following week – creativity, house and meals wise for the week, I have diaries and calendars for each area but this month I have made the notes and lists and then everything keeps changing!
I have knitted a snowman!!! From the Sirdar Pattern 4513, my daughter Laura says knitting snowman in June is totally wrong! Not that we have had much summer weather. I hope to knit the smaller one this month.
I also got a few postcards created, for father’s day, the monthly duck one, a couple of birthday ones and the six anniversary ones I need for the next few months – in all I made twelve quilted postcards.
I did complete the Tilda version of the Friendship Quilt and on the other version, all the squares are quilted but I haven’t managed to get them together. I am working in the stitched borders but they take a time……
It’s been another odd month! My Aunt has spent the whole of June and July in hospital and we have been going up there at least twice a week.
The Wednesday after I finished teaching I started on the workroom, I emptied boxes and cupboards and cleaned and re-organised everything, it took one and half days, it didn’t look much different but it had been completely cleaned and sorted!
I did a day demonstrating and talking about quilting to visitors at Rainham Hall and I will be back there on 17th August with Hexagons.
With school finished we spent a long weekend on Mersea Island, and it didn’t rain at all!!! It always rains when we have a break. I took a couple of the borders to the Friendship quilt that I am embroidering and I managed to finish one and get half way through the next one – just another one to do!!!
I have managed to get a few bits made – another wrap dress for me and just three quilted postcards but not a lot as I have been painting the kitchen!!!
I also finished knitting the snowmen!!! I sewed them up during the hottest days of July!!! They are already for Christmas…
Hello, we have just got back from a holiday on Mersea Island where we completely relaxed, had long walks and BBQ dinners all in the sunshine!! Normally when we have a holiday it rains but this year we have been sooooo luckily and had sunshine.
I took lots of hand sewing with me, of course. I had completed all the machine sewing on the Friendship Quilt before we went away and I completed all the hand finishing at the caravan and on the Saturday gave it to my friends – they were really pleased with it!
I also created a Yellow Duck in one inch squares of fabric while at the caravan, I will teach this on the first week back – classes start the 13th September.
We have also been up to Derbyshire to see the family and went to both Calke Abbey, which had beautiful wild meadow borders in the walled garden, that I would love to create in stitchery!!! And we went to Belton House, here they had an exhibition in the stable of gardens and landscapes by the Lincolnshire Embroiders Guild – there were some lovely stitched artworks.
I have created a few postcards this month, the usual Yellow duck one, but also a hanging basket and sundial and finally a caravan one – seven postcards in total. The only other sewing was sewing on name labels on school uniforms for my nieces and nephew in Derbyshire!!
Well, we are at the start of October! To me, October is about the misty mornings, bright but chilly days with all the browns and oranges of the leaves! The colours are beautiful.
And yet browns and oranges aren’t colours that I ever use in quilts or any of my projects, there isn’t very much of them even in my stash – there is a lot of greens and blues, less of pinks and purples and yet they are my favourite colours!! That’s possibly why there is less of them, as I keep using them and not buying more to replace the ones used!!
I also have a big box of bleached and natural off-cuts of calico and American muslin, it was rather overflowing. So, I emptied out all the natural pieces and I have made them into nine Friendship Stars and the rest of the smaller pieces have been cut into 2½”, 4” and 6” squares and also long strips 2½” wide to use up. I will have to think of something to do with all the bleached pieces at some point. But at least with the natural pieces being used up I can shut the box and get it on the shelf!!!
The other project I have been working on and finished is the ‘Fabric Conversation’ quilt made in Makower’s Haberdashery range. This quilt is for me and I made it because I wanted the fabric!!!
I am know starting on the next project – ‘Winter Warmer’ quilt for the cold winter evenings!!!!!
The days are rapidly going!!! November is already here and I am thinking about all the things I need to do for Christmas….
I am a great list maker, I have the list of things I need to make before Christmas – mostly presents but also a couple of teaching bits and one birthday present. Then there is the list of people I give presents to, which also has present ideas written next to the name! Then there is the shopping list – both Christmas presents and then also the food list!!!
As things get completed or bought then they get ticked off the list. It’s great to see lots of red ticks.
Ticked off the list for October was completing the ‘Winter Warmer’ quilt and writing all the handouts, this is the project that I will be demonstrating over the rest of the term. I designed it as a Winter quilt not a Christmas one, as I wanted to be able to use it for a few months not just over Christmas! But it would be very easy to give it a more Christmas feel with different fabrics and adding a few embellishments and the I will be creating is a more Christmas themed and alternative layout version in the classes – using silver grey and purple fabrics.
We have already arrived at December, November rushed passed far too quickly, it was filled with lots of sewing and knitting.
I have completed all the squares for the silver grey/mauve version of the winter warmer quilt. Just putting the quilt together. The original version is warm rich and traditional in its colouring. The silver grey/mauve is modern and cool! I really love both versions and they are so different.
I have completed all my present shopping and have just got to finish making a couple more, sorry not saying what is the recipients might read this! I will do a review after Christmas. Well, to end, I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.