Thursday, 1 August 2013

Making a little look like a lot

Lily's Quilts

I don't feel as though I've done much sewing in July - I've mainly been concentrating on painting my garden fence and shed and as a result I'm too tired to do much else!  I have managed to do a bit, though (when I haven't been napping or complaining about the heat) so I'm going to attempt, as my title says, to make a little look like a lot(tle) - as I do for most of my FSD posts!

I've managed a bit of machine piecing:

Blue and white quilt - July's progress
1. Blue and white progress, 2. Blue and white progress, 3. Blue and white progress, 4. Blue and white progress, 5. Blue and white progress, 6. Blue and white progress

None of these short rows (five blocks in each) have been stitched together yet, that's the next job!  I'm afraid I'm finding this quite a tedious quilt to piece - I've developed a pinning strategy that gives mainly good results (only two seams had to be unpicked and re-sewn through all of the block joining I've done this month) but it's a bit of a faff and feels quite slow.  Not as slow as unpicking multiple seams would be, I grant you, but slow nonetheless!

I signed up for the third quarter of the Finish-A-Long and linked up a Flickr photo.

I'm hoping to get the Christmas red work garland finished (Salley, I know you've been wondering where this was!), do something with my embellished felt square (my current idea is to decoupage the box in the photo (fabric?  paper?) and then stick the felt square on the lid.) and see how far I can get with (hand) quilting my hexy quilt.  (Just in case you're wondering, it's the final item that's the funny one!)

I've made some progress:

Christmas red work garland
I've finished stitching all the pictures!!  Could do with an iron first, though...

and now I'm working up the enthusiasm for cutting them all apart, adding backing and skinny binding and then cutting some bias binding for the 'string'.  Sigh.  This project feels interminable!

I've also decided how to quilt my hexy quilt.  I tested some quilting threads to see which I preferred:

Trying out quilting threads for my hexy quilt
Testing quilting threads - I pinned a bit of the white I used in the quilt to the corner of the quilt (on the spare wadding/backing, not actually over the corner of the quilt top!) and did a few stitches to see which I liked best.  Please excuse the uneven/wonky stitches - I was concentrating on 'stitchability' not consistency!

They all stitched nicely through the wadding (Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 bleached, from ASding) but all the heavier weights were just too heavy for the quilt so it was a tie between the Aurifil 28wt and the Gutermann Sulky (30wt).  I'm a good Yorkshire lass so I couldn't justify buying a reel of the Aurifil in white when I had a whole reel of the Sulky in the right colour that was waiting patiently to be used and looks just as nice (and stitches just as well).  Decision made!

I've even decided how I'm going to quilt it:

Another possible quilting design for hexy quilt
I love the patterns the lines make as they cross.

and once the weather cools down I'll get started (as long as I've finished painting the fence!) - my hoop, thimbles and needles are all ready and waiting!

I've also had some lovely post this month:


I also won a giveaway from Sarah Fielke (yes, that Sarah Fielke!  I have her new book and it's marvellous!  So marvellous that I'm a little afraid to pick it up again because the last time I did I couldn't sleep for quilts prancing around in my head!) - I got to choose a FQ of her fabric and while narrowing it down was hard I realised that I couldn't resist a lovely grey stripe!  It may not seem like the most exciting choice but I love it!  Thank you, Sarah!

Then I got two completely unexpected parcels:

A parcel from Sheila
Oh, I do wonderful lovely postcard!  Oh, I do love a bit of Liberty!

This is from Sheila@Bluepatch Quilter - she made me the most marvellous seaside postcard (oh, how I love it!  I can't begin to tell you how much I love it.  Wait, I think I just did...) and sent me a sample pack-type affair of Liberty lawn.  Yes, I fondled and admired them as I spread them out for the photo.  Yes, they're now neatly back in the wrapper.  No, I haven't decided what to make with them (yes, I have lots and lots of ideas!) but I'm very tempted to copy the marvellous Hadley and make something like this.  Or maybe a mini quilt?  A swatch quilt like Jo, perhaps?  Thank you, Sheila - you're naughty but I love you!

A parcel from Salley

And this lovely lot came all the way from Australia from my favourite 'I don't have a blog but I really, really should because I'm wonderfully kind, generous to a fault and very supportive, oh, and funny with it' friend, Salley.  That chocolate is the best chocolate I have ever tasted.  If you get the chance to try some, please do.  And then bring me back a bar - thanks!  I haven't tried the Vegemite yet but I'm going to - I'm interested to see if it's anything like Marmite (yum!) and will be spreading it on toast very, very soon.  The fabrics are by Kokka (Salley bought them in Barcelona) and those of you who know me well will know exactly what I've decided to make with them!  You'll have to be patient, though, because I haven't finished started yet!  The wooden spools each fit a skein of stranded cotton on them (how cute are they?!) and I'm currently holding interviews to see which skeins make it onto the reels and which stay on the cardboard bobbins.  Thank you, Salley, you're a wee treasure!  You're also very naughty (just like Sheila!) but I do love you!

Right, I think there's just time for a photo or two of Archie (and Alfie this month) before I completely bore you to tears.  Too late?  Oh well!

While the weather has been ridiculously hot Alfie has been coming here for the day so he wouldn't be left in a hot house.  He's not allowed in my garden without a lead on because he can get over the (approx. 5'6") fence - he's done it before and would do it again if he felt like it, so when I want the back door open I fully extend his lead and wrap it round a leg of the cupboard in the conservatory.  He can reach the water bowl, the first few feet of the front room as well as some of the garden but he can't quite get to the grass.  This was the best alternative he could find:

Well if I can't get to the grass...

This campanula is surprisingly comfy.  Must remember this for next time.

You didn't think I was going to miss out, did you?  He's right, it's quite comfy here!

It's a dog's life.

That's all, folks!  (Thank goodness, I hear you cry!)  As ever, I'm linking up with the marvellous Lynne and her Fresh Sewing Day.  Or at least I will be, once I've thought of a title for this post!  (Why is that so hard at times?!  'Lack of practise!', you cry.  Surely not?!)

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