Saturday, 28 March 2009

Bag finale!

I have just realised that I have four more bags from the British Quilt List Bag Challenge of 2008 to show you. Among them is my favourite bag of the whole year.

The September bag was a very pretty bag, lovely pastel fabrics made into log cabin blocks and rearranged on point. This was also the month for embellishments and like many others I used buttons and lace to complete my bag. A first for me with bags, this one had a zip in the top. This was a really good design, which I would like to make another one of in different fabrics.

Octobers bag, this is my favourite bag of the year, I am not sure whether it is because of the fabric or the design but I love this bag made of half square triangles in batik fabrics. The photo does not show it off at its best angle, the top is as wide as the bottom and it has side ties to pull in the top edge. It has not been used yet as I am saving it for my holiday. I think they will see me coming!

Novembers bag was much more practical, a messenger bag with the flap covered in small half square triangles. This time I used shirt fabrics with calico (that’s muslin in the USA), a brilliant bag for carrying files or magazines. The handle is good and wide so I daresay it would be good for carrying a laptop as well.

Decembers final bag was a non-patchwork bag, a drawstring bag with handles. As I have commented on each bag I have posted I must really admit to not liking this one. But many of the ones that were made and shown on the BQL website had a much better choice of fabric and looked much, much better than this one here.

You must remember that this is a personal choice. Occasionally I also do bag designs for my students and myself so I really admire Kandy who has designed all the bags for the BQL bag challenge 2008. Not only did she get many people to join in the challenge and therefore make bags they never would have dreamed of making without her. Kandy also used many different patchwork techniques in her designs and many different bag-making techniques as well. She has my thanks and admiration for what she has done for all the members of BQL, which of course includes me. Indirectly she also raised a lot of money for the Quilters Guild of the British Isles as in August of last year at the Festival of Quilts at the NEC at Birmingham there was a bag Tombola and many of the bags donated to it where from her designs. Thanks Kandy.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Time to Spare

I am really enjoying Judy’s Quilt along, that’s when I give myself enough time to do the sewing. This time I have finished the latest step with time to spare. I guess it is back to when you are really busy you tend to get more done.

On Thursday I am off shopping in the morning with my mother and then the rest of the day I have the wonderful company of my grandson. I pick him up from nursery and enjoy his chat and play until his Mum comes home from work. My husband and I are off to Durham on Friday to pick youngest son up from University for the Easter break, staying over in a room in the ‘Castle’ and then travelling home on Saturday with a car full of gear. Much of which I guess will need washing when we reach home. Sunday, Mothers Day in England, I have been invited to my eldest son’s, which is a great pleasure, as I won’t have to cook the family meal.

So you see I won’t have time to do any stitching for the next few days and knowing that today has been a ‘get it done’ day. One of the results of that is that I have finished step four of the Quilt along. I did get a lot of other things done too, like the teaching samples for next week, which is also a great relief as they quite often don’t get done until Monday morning.

I am getting to like this one,

Monday, 9 March 2009

By the skin of my teeth

Monday morning and the sun is shining, getting ready for work I spied these little fellows in the garden.

And these were a gift from my grandson two years ago for ‘mothers’ day, still bringing me a smile.

A bright spot always raises the spirits and there is nothing better than the bright hope of spring around the corner

But onto why this blog is by the skin of my teeth. I had been continuing with the cutting and piecing of Judy’s Bears in the Farmhouse Quilt along and really enjoying the progress I was making, despite the last few days being so busy that I had only waved at my sewing machine in passing. I had also been looking around at other blogs and seeing the colour choices other participants had chosen and half wishing that I had chosen a more exciting focus fabric. My fabrics are decidedly subdued even by my standards. I thought I would sew a few blocks this morning and was thinking that if I did a few each day they would soon be completed so I would get the next set of instructions. I then thought that I would just check Judy’s last email to see when this stage should be finished. That’s when the panic set in, they had to be finished by today, Monday 9th March and I was just about to set off to work.

This is where I got to by teatime.

And with a bit of concentration here’s where I am now, luckily I have just finished the second step in time, whew, by the skin of my teeth.

They could be more exciting but I still like them. What do you think so far?

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Half squares finished

Just checking in with my finished half square triangles from Judy’s Quilt along, you can see my fabrics here and if you keep checking you will see whether I change my mind or not.

I managed to cut all the squares at 2 7/8” in one go and marked the light squares across the diagonal. This is my preferred method of making half square triangles, there are others but I like to do it this way. Stitching took a while but not too long to get discouraged and they were quickly cut on the diagonal. There is supposed to be 192 of these little darlings

Pressing didn’t take long, they soon started to pile up.

And finally 192 half square triangles (well there was a few more than I needed, more like 220, but they will get used up in another quilt someday) all ready for the next stage. Thanks Judy.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

A finish and more bags

I have finally finished quilting another quilt. This one was started about two years ago and was layered and pinned ready for quilting but because I was busy at the time it was popped in a drawer and like a lot of things, out of sight is out of mind, it was therefore forgotten. But a reminder came when I realised that I was teaching the ‘Card Trick’ block in class next week. So I dug it out and decided that it would make a good teaching sample. Simple free machine quilting finished this one off and made a space in the drawer which I promptly filled with another couple of tops that maybe will be quilted sometime…………………

‘A Christmas card trick'

And a detail photo.

Talking of finishing, I really must show you the rest of the bags I made with the BQL monthly challenge for 2008.

The month of June’s had lots of flying geese and a really nice wide base; I popped a couple of pockets in this one.

Here’s July’s, which was not my favourite but ideal for keeping your knitting in as it was a rather deep bag.

And this is August’s, which I really didn’t like making and liked even less when I had finished it. It was a simple clutch bag pattern and once again Kandy from BQL made the instructions quite clear but it wasn't my personal preference.

Only three more to show you all.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Catching up

I thought that I would continue my blogging return by showing you a few things I have finished, some old and one new.

The first three are bags from the BQL bag challenge from last year, I did show you the first couple of months but then the rest seemed to slip through the net.

This is the bag for March

And this one is for April

And the final one for today is for May

Lastly this is a quilt that is fleece backed that I made for my grandson at the weekend. By coincidence you will see some of the squares of fabric I received from Sandy in Australia. It was a wonderful parcel and went to good use in this cuddly quilt. By the way, would you guess he loves the colour orange.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

I'm back

Well fellow bloggers, I am back, and you have Judy to thank for that. I really wanted to join her Quilt Along and the most important rule is you either send photo’s of your progress to her or show the photo’s on your own blog. It was the nudge I needed to get back into blogging. Here are my fabric choices for the Bears in the Farmhouse quilt Judy is going to get us all to do. Thanks Judy.

Don’t think that I have been very far away, I have been practicing my Lurker skills, spending way too much time reading all the other blogs and now I think I have it down to a fine art so here I am again. I have been busy and I will promise to show you some of the things I have been doing but for now I will leave you a couple of photo’s of our garden showing the recent snow falls.