zodiac – slow progress

It’s been slow progress on the zodiac quilt, but progress has been made.

All 12 blocks have been quilted, in a very simple straight line design.  I drew lines with my FriXion pen (that disappear with a hot iron) to help me with my straight lines.

And then trimmed blocks to size.  I’ve used a sort of “milky coffee” for backing fabric.  It’s a pretty good colour match for the browns in the cross stitched centres.

So above is what the back of each block looks like.  All twelve have been quilted.  Progress is now on hold though, because I can’t decide on fabric for my joining strips.  I have several options, but can’t quite make up my mind.  “When in doubt, don’t”, is what my Mum always used to say . . . so until I’m 100% certain of what I want on the back and what I want on the front, I’ll refrain from cutting strips.

ScrapHappy # April (and an unbirthday)

I had fun with scrappy fabrics for this ScrapHappy post.  My scrap bags were rather full of lots of very bright (and many floral) fabrics left over from clothes making.  I always seem to end up with lots of wierd shaped offcuts when clothes making.  The easiest thing to do was press and slice up into 2.5″ squares . . . and once that was done, I spent some very enjoyable hours piecing squares together randomly.

I could probably have continued indefinitely, and assembled enough to make a quilt top but I had placemats in mind when I began.  Quilts are pretty, but placemats are more useful (in my opinion).  The fronts are completely scrappy . . . for the binding & backing fabric however, I was stash busting with larger pieces of leftovers.

Flamingos on the back and a plain turquoise for binding.  And three very bright placemats with fabrics to remind me of past sewing projects.  There are bunnies & birds from baby quilts;  feathers, flamingos, florals, butterflies & llamas from clothes-making projects; dots & spots from patchwork projects . . . so many happy sewing memories!

Anyway . . . one of these mats, was packaged up and sent to Yvonne, as an unbirthday gift.  This one, in fact.

The other two are for the husband & myself for every day use.  Mats finished at approx 14″ x 20″ but they’ll probably shrink up a bit in the first wash.

I’m linking to a very creative group of people, organised by Kate & Gun for ScrapHappy.

 

a bit of this & that

We’re back in lockdown again in this part of the world, which doesn’t make a great deal of difference to the husband and myself as we hardly go anywhere these days.  We’re happy to find things to keep us busy at home, and with Spring in the air, the husband is spending more time outside watching things grow.  He’s also been doing a bit of weeding and general tidying up, as well as supervising a worksite in our veggie garden (more on that another time).  While tidying up in the garden, he noticed an old plant pot he’d been meaning to repair but hadn’t.

I don’t know why, but the husband has a “thing” for crockery, china, and pottery.  A few years ago, there was a proper clear-out in the house opposite. Owner, very old lady, had died aged 96+, and her nephew was in charge of emptying the house so it could be sold.  The nephew was literally loading up the trailer to take most things to the local tip, when my husband spotted an old plant pot and asked if he could have it.  One thing less to take to the tip!  Said plant pot was just a very plain old thing and had probably been sitting outside for 60 years or so.  On arrival in our garden, it promptly got knocked over, by our very exuberant dog, and there it stayed for a few years, with broken pieces gathered together in a pile.

But no more!

The husband did his first attempt at “kintsugi” and plant pot has been replanted (with something or other) and is back out in the garden where, I hope, the dog isn’t going to knock it over a second time!

Gardening has never been my thing so, while I do spend some time outdoors each day, seeing to hens, walking the dog, and getting my daily dose of vitamin D, I prefer to keep busy indoors.  After a month of just lying around, my zodiac blocks have finally been sandwiched, pinned and are ready to be quilted.

Part of the reason for procrastination was: I couldn’t decide on what backing fabric to use.  I didn’t have anything suitable in blue in my stash, and I couldn’t find anything that caught my eye when browsing my favourite on-line fabric shops.  However, I did have a very sizeable piece of a plain “milky coffee” brown in my stash.  Not the obvious colour choice but it almost matches one of the browns in the xstitch designs, so I’ve gone with it.  Next job – decide how I’m going to quilt.  And also decide whether to make 4 additional blocks in same colours (without xstitch centre) to make this a 4 x 4 quilt, or to keep it as a 3 x 4 (or 4 x 3).

I have also been doing a bit of needlecrafting, and a small amount of patchworking (to be revealed on ScrapHappy day!) but my evenings have been spent diamond painting.  Have just finished my fourth diamond painting.  The husband doesn’t like this one but I do, obviously, or I wouldn’t have bought it.  Incidentally, bought on eb@y for 7.88€ including p&p.  Chinese seller, but dispatched from France so it arrived very quickly.

It looks really effective, from a distance, and reminds me very much of our cat, Le Bleu.  That will have to wait for non-essential shops to reopen for me to buy a frame.  In the meantime, I’ll be beginning work on a very big diamond painting project.

This is what the printed canvas looks like.  A very long, thin design which will finish up 24cm x 74cm.  I bought this one on eb@y also.  Cost, only 10.52€, including p&p, and I certainly feel I got my money’s worth here!

 

 

 

a bit of patchwork and a few gifts

I’ve been flitting from one thing to another, still enjoying a few rabbit holes, but did manage to cut strips and get my zodiac blocks sashed.

I won’t subject you to photos of all 12.  I now have my 12 blocks all looking good, with blue borders.  Next stage will be to cut wadding & backing fabric to size, so that I can start sandwiching and quilting each block individually!   Probably won’t happen this week because I need to decide on what backing fabric to use, and how I’m going to quilt.

Other photos . . . because I had a birthday last month – yay!  One more candle precariously balanced on the virtual birthday cake lol.  I was well-spoiled, and received some craft-related goodies (crochet book, accessories for sewing, knitting, crochet, and a new doll).  Haven’t taken photos of everything, but there are two gifts I wanted to show you.  One, from a French friend, Yvonne.

and the other, from my sister.

My very own 1964 two shillings & sixpence keyring!

Isn’t it gorgeous?  Such a unique little gift. With the purple tassle because that’s my favourite colour and 1964 coins because, yes, that’s the year I was born.  I googled the seller’s name and he/she has a shop on etsy (only dispatching within the UK at the moment) if any of you fancy the idea of having a look to see if your birthday year is there. Of course, if you were born after 1970, you won’t find any shillings or sixpence since the UK switched to the decimal system that year.

Zodiac WIP

Days seem to be whizzing by this month  and I realise I forgot to show you progress with my zodiac patchwork.

This is how far I am. Blocks not laid out in any particular order, just as proof that I got around to sewing all twelve.  Next job will be to add an outer border to each as I’ve decided I’m going to QAYG with these blocks.  I spent far too many hours on the cross stitched centres to want to ruin things by attempting to quilt all in one go.  One block at a time will make it more maneageable.  In the meantime, I’ve managed to stick my nose down a couple of new rabbit holes . . . which means precious crafting time has been wasted watching videos on-line “researching” new crafting ideas.  If things go to plan, I’ll tell you about those in due course!

WIPs in progress

I’ve been making progress on two different projects these past few days. One is my current xstitch WIP which has evolved from

to

I need good lighting to stitch on this because some of the colours look very similar, but it’s looking very pretty so far.

That’s my evening occupation.  During the daytime, I’ve had a few sessions in my sewing room with Juki, making progress with my current Zodiac quilt (cross stitch squares, design by Vervaco).

After prepping all my patches the other day, I sewed them together to make the rows of 3.  And assembled my first block, to see how it looks.

I’m happy with that!  So, another 11 blocks to assemble, and while doing that, I’ll be thinking about what to do for the next stage.

do you remember this?

Do you remember this xstitch project?

The complete set of 12 zodiac signs (kit – Vervaco) that I stitched from 2015 – 2016, completing the set of 12 in June 2016.  The kit contained all 12 charts, but  14 count aida & threads to stitch just one design.  I therefore chose to stitch on 20 count aida, and chose my own blues & browns.  Each design finished at 9cm x 9cm and I put these away in a drawer, knowing that one day I would set to work on finishing them in a patchwork.

The time has come (only 4 and a half years later!).

I have trimmed the aida squares down to the required size, and spent 2 very pleasant afternoons in my sewing room preparing fabrics for my blocks.

This is the block I’ll be making, and the zodiac squares will be the central patch of each.  Fingers crossed everything comes together nicely!

F2F – two happy dances

Happy dancing here!  With two quilts, made from the blocks I received in August 2018, for the F2F swap organised by Kate.

I had said, in July this year, that I wanted to get these blocks finished into quilts by the end of August this year, and I made it, with a day to spare – yay!

Here they are.

They’re both the same size and finished up at 55″ square.  Taking part in the F2F swap was great fun and I’d like to thank Kate for having organised things and all the ladies who took part.  You’d never think, when you look at all those gorgeous blocks, that they were made by 10 different patchworkers. They really look as if they were meant to be.

one down

Despite the heatwave, I’ve been managing to find a couple of hours here & there to work on quilting . . . and am pleased to be able to show you the first (of two) quilts made with my Miss August 2018 blocks, from the F2F3 block swap, organised by Kate.

So, white sashing, dark turquoise corner stones, white border and dark turquoise binding with flamingos on the back (all from stash).  Machine quilted with a light turquoise thread, each block quilted differently.

Quilt finishes at approx 56″ square (142cm) and the second one will be the same size, with same backing fabric & binding.  Just need weather to cool down a little so that I feel motivated to do more quilting. I still hope to be happy dancing with two fab quilts by the end of August!

F2F3 more progress

I’m wondering why on earth I left it so long (almost 2 years) to start joining all the gorgeous blocks from the F2F swap!  Because it really is so much fun to sit down at my sewing machine and sash.  I already have my 32 blocks all joined, with white sashing & turquoise cornerstones, into two quilt tops.

And I love how they both look!  It might be a little while before you see photos of the finished quilts, because I’ve run out of wadding and have to wait for fresh order to arrive.   But I am going to try and make sure I finish both by the end of August!