“a little bird told me” – ready for quilting

I had said I wouldn’t be showing you photos of the new baby quilt in progress until it was finished . . . but I’m going back on my word ecause these fabrics are just too much fun not to show off.

a little bird 01

The quilt top is done.  I had a rethink along the way, and have toned things down a little towards the end.  Originally I was going to add purple bands all around, but I’ve added ivory sashing instead.   Ivory  rather than bright white, because it turns out the bird background isn’t a bright white.  Purple will be used again though, for the binding.  Here, just laid on top to get an idea of what it will look like.

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And will, methinks, be just perfect.

I found inspiration for this fun quilt in the book

a little bird 05

“Quick and easy quilts for kids” by Connie Ewbank.  It’s packed full of 12 very easy designs, mostly with novelty prints and bright colours.  They’re all very simple, but it was a useful source to give me the ideas I needed and not have to work out fabric requirements by myself.

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This is the pattern I followed from the book.  As I said above, I was going to have purple borders and ivory binding . . . but when push came to shove, opted for ivory borders and purple binding.

This top is now going to be folded away and the job of quilting and binding will wait a few weeks.  Baby isn’t due yet, so no immediate rush to get this finished.    I need to give Juki a good clean, before the next sewing session, and I’ll be threading her up with orange thread so I can have a F2F2 happy dance by the end of July!  

“a little bird told me”– baby quilt in progress

Only the other day, I showed you some fabrics I had ordered, with a baby quilt in mind.  For a baby girl, soon to be born.   The seller was incredibly efficient and sent my parcel off the same day, so I didn’t have to wait long to receive all my yummy new fabrics. 

baby 01

The main fabric for this baby quilt is a bird print.  Other fabrics were ordered accordingly.  Anyway . . . as soon as my parcel arrived, I nipped into my sewing room and delved into my stash drawers (including scrap bags and 5” charm square box).  Being true to myself, I always have trouble cutting into gorgeous new fabric, and some of the long quarters I ordered just seemed too pretty to cut into lol.

I did cut into them though . . . but also found about 20 charm squares and a few scraps that mixed well with the colour palette of birds . . . so they are being incorporated into the quilt too. 

For once, I’m actually following a pattern.  As in, a real pattern, from a book!  I’ll tell you all about that when the quilt is finished (credit where credit is due and all that).  At the moment, I do have something to show you though.

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The beginnings!  Here, you can see the piecing so far.  I’ve cut 4 bands in the bird print, 6.5” wide by 54.5”.  And so far, have assembled one band of 2.5” squares (so 54 little squares in assorted fabrics). 

It’s going to be very quick to make, this one.  And such fun, to be playing with all these bright colours.  The only colour I haven’t tried to include in my squares is that of the little the orange/red bird because I wanted to add bright pinks. 

If I had any self-discipline, I would have spent the afternoon working on my F2F2 quilt, which is almost completely joined together, but not quite . . . but new fabrics were just too tempting not to dive in straight away! 

Ducky update, crochet WIPs and an upcoming patchwork

I am ever so pleased to say that Ducky’s ordeal is now over.  After going to the vets for an op, following a cat bite, and having to wear his bandage suit.  After being shut up in the guest room for endless days and nights . . . stitches are now out and Ducky is free to come and go as he pleases.

stitches out

Okay, he looks a bit strange still, with a huge, rectangular bald patch.  But fur will grow back eventually and this incident will soon be a thing of the past.

My only worry now is that our other 3 cats are all being very hissy towards him.  They don’t seem to recognise him anymore.  We were expecting Le Bleu to get antsy, because he always does.  However, even the usually docile Merlin and Abby have been hissing and trying to whack Ducky, whenever he gets too close.  In order to try and keep the majority happy, Ducky is therefore still having to sleep on his own in the guest room at night, just until the other cats get over their amnesia.

Apart from spending lots of time giving Ducky extra cuddles in the spare room . . . I have done a little bit of crafting recently.  Not as much as I would have liked, but even so, a few photos to share with you.

WIP monkey

I’ve made a start on “Johny the monkey” – a pattern in the first Zoomigurumi book.  This one is labelled as being for “experienced” crocheters, probably because of the shaping on the face part.  It wasn’t difficult though.  I just followed the excellent stitch by stitch instructions and it hooked up with no problem.  So far I’ve made the head, body, face bit and 2 ears.  Next to tackle the other parts.

I also started a second pattern, from the same book, because working in dark brown isn’t always easy.

WIP pony

This one, “Leila the pony”.  My pony is going to be mainly baby pink, and I’m thinking of using a dark grey for the hooves.  With (possibly) a purple mane and tail, but I haven’t decided yet.  So far, one body, waiting to be stuffed.

And more pics of some new fabrics I am eagerly awaiting . . .

baby 01

baby 02

baby 03

baby 04

baby 05

baby 06

One of our neighbours is expecting a baby girl later this year . . . any excuse eh?  I’ll be making a baby sized quilt, with the bird print as my main fabric, and other pretty colours too.  Can’t wait for fabrics to arrive and to make a start!

F2F final assembly continues

F2F top half

More photos to share with you, of how my F2F2 quilt is coming together.  Followers will remember that this quilt is a collective work of art, with blocks made by myself and 9 other patchworkers.  As I join blocks, with some lovely orange sashing, each and every block seems to look very much at home.

The top half is all joined now.  And the bottom half is underway.

F2F bottom half

I won’t show you any more “in progress” photos . . . the next time you see this beauty, it will be a complete quilt, with binding and all.

F2F2 final assembly has begun!

After showing you this photo

F2F2 blocks sashed

of 30 quilt blocks, sashed and quilted, the assembly part of QAYG has finally begun.

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I’m doing things the way I usually do them . . . joining blocks in rows, and then joining rows together.  This quilt will be 5 blocks wide and 6 rows deep . . . and this is where I’m up to so far.

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Blocks have all been quilted differently, some more densely than others, which means there is occasionally slightly more orange sashing visible around certain blocks.

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But I don’t honestly think it jumps out at you.  Anyway, I have the first 2 rows joined together and third row is also ready to be attached.

I’m not rushing this part, as it requires careful sewing and nice regular seams.  I love how it looks so far.  Blocks are all gorgeous, and colours so bright.  Stay tuned for a happy dance on this one, which should be before the end of July.

happy unbirthdays in June

fabric trays x3

Here is what was made and sent out as unbirthday gifts in June.  Three little fabric trays, each made with a central patchwork scrappy block.  One in beiges & browns, one in dusky pink and one in bright pinks.

fabric tray dusky pink 01

Fabric trays that can be used for whatever.  I have one, and find it’s very practical for my sewing bits, to stop cats from knocking things onto the floor.

Speaking of cats . . .

Abby funny

Anyway, ladies to celebrate their unbirthdays in June were La Pie Kikou, Sandrine and Yvonne.  Time to get sewing and make something for July.

vitamins galore, sashing and quilting

It’s that time of year again . . . when we can go with our little basket into the veggie patch, and bring back fresh home-grown produce for dinner!

veggie & fruit

Here are some of the home-grown ingredients for dinner the other night.  Courgettes roughly chopped up and pois gourmands  which my husband stir fried with chicken in miso.  Plus some freshly chopped chives to sprinkle on top of the tofu.  Followed by a mix of strawberries and raspberries, which we enjoyed with a dollop of vanilla ice-cream.  Yummy.

I am very lucky that my husband loves cooking, and he’s an excellent chef.   Now that he’s retired, he is taking over more and more of the cooking, although I do help with preparation.  This leaves me with more time to do what I love . . . crafting.

F2F2 blocks sashed

And recent days have seen me busy upstairs in my sewing room, quilting.  All I will show you for now is this.  To say, I’ve finally finished quilting all thirty blocks of my F2F2 quilt and am ready to move on to the QAYG part.

I was umming and ahhing over whether to use white strips or more of the solid orange . . . I’m going to keep things really bright, and QAYG strips will be in orange both front and back.

And speaking of bright . . . lookee here

cactus

One of our cactus plants has flowered!  This is the first year it’s ever had flowers, and there are so many of them!  Cactus is obviously telling us that it really likes its place in the veranda.