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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?!)


  1. Those are lovely embroidered figures, and your piecework looks great. :)

  2. you have got so many wonderful little gifts there! have fun with all of them. Love the hexies and great choice on thread - after all if you already have it use it!!
    love the dogs!

  3. I love your hexie quilt. It is going to be so pretty quilted.

  4. The boys certainly find comfy spots. What a shame they can't help you with the painting. Good luck with the quilts and what wonderful mail! x

  5. So great to read one of your lovely posts. I say any progress in this heat is excellent.....and you've done quite well! Hugs to the puppies!

  6. Ok, so how did you get that shot of Archie, I reckon you lay flat out and took it at his level??My son in law got a great shot of an Edinburgh bus doing just that, luckily it was at a red light.
    Love your quilting design,puts me in mind of my "Star".

  7. It certainly looks like a lot! Love the quilting plans for the hexie quilt, and you should def cheat and buy ready made binding for the Christmas garland :D Well done on the wins, hope it cools down for you and the dogs x

  8. You are doing tonnes!!
    I think those Liberty swatches are calling out to be a mini-spools quilt from Liberty Love xxx

  9. You have a lot on the go! Love your hexie quilt, and that Liberty is looking fab

  10. I'm so excited about your quilting!! That is a fabulous pattern! Lots of lovely goodies you got too. I'm now craving Marmite but that last pic made me snoozy so I'm off to bed! Night night XX

  11. Well good luck with that list! I can see how that redwork might be doing your head in, the only time I did it, I had 2 days straight to get an entire project done, but honestly I could say at the end of it I never wanted to do it again ;o)

  12. That's quite the list. You are way ahead of me in the hexie department. I can't decide how to set them never mind how to quilt them ; )
    Your projects are lovely and that stack of low volume is something I think I need : )

  13. LOL! you haven't been up to nothing, in fact it looks like you've been really busy (your post title worked!) I love all the goodies you received - how did you get on with the Vegemite?

  14. You have a lot of lovely projects going on. I love you choice for quilting the hexie quilt, and wow, what a lot of beautiful mail.

  15. Archie and Alfie were about to be upstaged by Porky, when a further perusal of this month's mammoth blog-athon confirmed that, "No".... the real star is your stitching. The partridge (yeehaa) wins! (....and the hexies, and the quilting, and the Blue and White) All totally awesome!

  16. Gosh you seem to have done masses to me, and it's all so lovely! I'm very jealous of all your parcels, especially the Australian one, though the Liberty's not too bad either!

  17. that's making quite a lot look like quite a lot, in my opinion!

  18. You have done so much! And what lovely post you have had, I think the liberty mini sample would be amazing

  19. Ohhh! I love Alfie and Archie! Did you decide on a photo? And you have been very busy - I love the redwork - And Your hexie is so fabulous! I cannot wait to see it quilted.
    xo jan

  20. I'm in awe of your mathematical brain!! Lovely post you got there too! Have fun with it! Jxo

  21. Marmite isn't a patch on Vegemite! Hope you enjoy it. You've had some lovely parcels too. Not that I'm jealous, but Mr Random Selector has yet to choose me :-(

  22. I love your review of the quilting thread and truer process to think about the quilting!

  23. Looks like progress to me! Love the quilting plan - it is perfect and the back will also look fantastic! The dogs are just so chilled! What else can you do on a hot day?

    Great wins and love that postcard from Sheila! Lucky, deserving you!

  24. Looks like a lot to me. And reminds me I forgot to do one of these posts again. But I wouldn't have had anything to show anyway.
    I really like the quilting design you've chosen for your hexi quilt.
    The pup are, as always, too cute :)

  25. So many beautiful things going on. Your quilting plan looks great! Ooh, fun prizes too!


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