Thursday, 17 January 2019

A special quilt......

As those of you who follow my blog will know, I have recently been working on a number of baby quilts.  Two of which I finished just before Christmas and which you can read about in my last blog post here. I also mentioned the quilt that I am writing about today in the same post as the first project I would be working on for 2019.


Today I would like to share with you my first finish for 2019.  It is a quilt which has a very special meaning for me.


Towards the end of 2017 I lost a friend.  Someone who had been very supportive to me when I had my own children small.


In 2018 I learned that her daughter was expecting her first child and I was determined to make a quilt for her.  I knew that her mum would've liked that.  So, this is that quilt.


A precious baby boy was born earlier this month and, I hope that this quilt will wrap him in the love that I know his grandmother would've given him if she had still been here to see him.


I quilted it strip by strip using different FMQ designs.  I am delighted with how well it has turned out.

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Hello 2019!!

Hello and Happy New Year 2019!!  It has been a while since I wrote, so I do have to warn you this is quite a long post as I have lots of news to catch up with!!

Sophie Lila a few hours old

The first and very exciting news, was the birth of my first grandchild.... a beautiful baby girl, Sophie.  She is the sweetest little thing, born at the end of November to my son and his lovely wife and, weighing in at 6lbs 10oz.  She has already grown a lot since then and, we were lucky enough to spend time with her, as well as lots of other family over the Christmas period.  It was lovely to see everyone!

Sophie Lila 2 January 2019

The second piece of news is not exciting but rather sad, as well as welcoming Sophie into the World we also said 'good-bye' to my mother-in-law on 9 December.  She passed away peacefully at the marvellous age of 90.  As one light comes on, another goes out.... the natural circle of life.

Margaret on her 90th Birthday in March 2018

My news perhaps explains an absence from here and also a little bit of a lack of stitching. However, I did manage to finish a few projects at the end of 2018.

Two finished quilts

The first things I managed to finish were two of the quilts that I showed in my last post.


Sophie's Quilt

One of these was a gift for little Sophie and the other for a friend of my youngest daughter on the birth of her baby brother, Elijah.

Back of Elijah's Quilt


Elijah's Quilt

I also knitted a little cardigan for Sophie which you can see here on top of her quilt.

Sophie's Quilt and Cardigan

I made both quilts in neutral colours as I didn't know whether the babies would be girls or boys when I started them.

Third quilt nearly finished...

You may recall, that I completed piecing four quilt tops in October 2018.  As you can see, I managed to quilt and finish two of them, the third I have nearly completed and above is a photo of the quilting I have completed to date. This quilt I know is going to be for a boy and, will be the project I work on first in 2019.  The fourth quilt is all basted and ready for quilting to start and, will be my second project to start work on in 2019. Here is the pieced top.

Fourth top ready for quilting...

Well, I think that has just about caught you up with all my news but, I just wanted to leave you with this photo of some of my favourite finishes in 2018.  

Selection of my favourite finishes in 2018

I wish you all every happiness in 2019 and look forward to seeing all your beautiful creations as well as making some of my own!  

With my very best wishes 😊 xx


Monday, 29 October 2018

It is starting to feel like Winter.....

Good morning!  I hope you all had a lovely weekend.  Here, it is finally starting to feel more like Winter is coming.  We had a cold and wet weekend and, I can't see the tops of the mountains yet but I am fairly sure there is snow up there.  I am not complaining!!  We really needed the rain as it has been dry for weeks and, as I have previously posted, we have been making the most of the beautiful weather by being outside and that doesn't work very well for getting quilt tops pieced and projects finished!!


However, over the cold and wet weekend, I did manage to get the last of four baby quilt tops which, I have been working on since I last posted, finished.


I had already shown you the first of these here but now I have three further quilt tops to show you.


One of the hardest parts of the whole patchwork and quilting process for me is choosing the fabrics.  I always procrastinate about which fabrics to use and planning these quilts was no exception.  I am happy with all the choices in the end though. Sorry the photographs aren't great, the light isn't brilliant here this morning!


Over the next few days, these tops will all be layered and basted and, then the quilting can start!  That will bring with it more procrastination as I decide how to quilt them all.


I will probably choose to do a mix of walking foot and free motion quilting but before that can start my poor machine will need some TLC.


Then there will be some sketching and doodling, followed by some practise.  I will finally get them quilted..... promise!!


In between times, as I am to become a glamorous grandma (is there any other type?) very soon, I am working on this little project too.


Thank you for coming to visit..... look forward to seeing you soon!




Saturday, 13 October 2018

Sidetracked!!

Hello! I hope everyone has had a nice week! We have had beautiful weather here all week even though it is October and it should be feeling like Autumn.


Here are a couple of photographs of the fabulous sunset we saw last night.


Now back to stitching..... Well, as you will know if you read my last post, I am supposed to be working on several baby quilts at the moment.  I have pieced, layered and basted one top ready for quilting and I have chosen the fabrics for a second quilt top and, even started piecing them together..... however, that is as far as I got this week, as I was sidetracked!! 


For some little while now I have been following a very talented Textile Artist called Alison Whateley both on Facebook and on Instagram and I love her work.  I find it very inspiring and, after Alison posted a couple of short videos on Instagram showing how she works on the background of her pieces and then adds in the details, I just couldn't resist giving it a try and made this little quilt of globe thistles, which I love and which we have in our garden here.


I did use a slightly different approach as, I didn't free machine embroider the piece that I made.  Instead, I layered a piece of backing fabric and batting together and then free motion quilted the fabric scraps which form the background through all the layers. 


I added a few lines of stitching using a couple of the decorative embroidery stitches that I have on my sewing machine.  I then added the applique on top using a raw edge applique, finishing the edges and adding details with free motion quilting.


To finish off, I added some hand stitching and a few sequins and beads. When I had finished adding the details, I added some binding to make a mini quilt about 10" x 12".  I was very excited to try this type of project and I must say I am very happy with the results.


Today though, I am going back to working on the baby quilts..... hope you have a lovely weekend! 

Saturday, 6 October 2018

Brushing up on my free motion quilting......

Last time I showed you the latest quilt top that I had finished piecing and mentioned that I was getting ready to quilt it.  I always get nervous about starting the quilting on a nicely pieced quilt top in case I mess things up and ruin it!!


I decided that as it has been quite a while since I quilted a bigger size of quilt and, since I needed to brush up on my free motion quilting, that I would quilt a few sections of a whole cloth practise quilt that I started back in May of 2017.


In May 2017, I attended a fabulous class close to where I was living at the time called FMQ 'Beyond the Basics'.  The class was run by the lovely Hazel and Terry who are the team behind In Stitches.  On the second day of the three day course, we were encouraged to make a largish (1 metre x 1 metre) practise quilt which we basted into a sandwich and then just quilted.  


I don't know if you have ever tried this but, quilting a quite large, completely blank canvass is actually quite daunting.  I had completed a reasonable amount of the quilting while I was actually at the class and which I told you about in this post at the time. However, I then put the quilt to one side and, I have been filling in sections of it here and there over time.




I find this size of practise piece extremely useful as, it gives you the chance to get used to the weight of a larger piece of patchwork which practising on smaller pieces doesn't give you.  It is quite a jump from free motion quilting on a small practise piece of say 14 inches square to a full size baby quilt and this larger practise piece is great for preparing you for the weight and drag that a larger quilt gives.




Each time I have filled in a section I have tried to use different designs, using some of my favourites from online classes that I have taken with Christina Cameli of A Few Scraps and Lori Kennedy of the Inbox Jaunt.  I also have books written by them both which are great for looking through for design inspiration.


I am excited to say that while I was practising this time, I finished filling in the rest of the quilt sandwich and I have now bound it and turned it into a finished piece.  I am just delighted with how it looks and I think I am ready now to start quilting the baby quilt top!!  It is probably just as well as I have three more to make over the coming weeks too!!


I have one more thing to do before I can get started.... I need to give my sewing machine a new needle, a clean up and some oil. 

Thank you for visiting and have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Good Morning!!

I know it has been a while but, since my husband retired at the end of 2017 and we moved back to Switzerland in April, things seem to have been busier than ever!!

Laon

Laon Cathederal
This Summer has been no exception. In August we spent two weeks in the UK visiting with friends and family there.  We were lucky enough to be there while the weather was nice and warm and it was lovely to see everyone.  Our eldest daughter and her boyfriend then travelled back with us to spend some time here in Switzerland with us.  We drove back through France, staying at a town called Laon on the way.

Port Grimaud

Next, we had a family sailing trip in the South of France.  This was another long drive but it was worth it as, although the actual sailing was a bit rough (don't think I'm a natural sailor!!) we stopped at some fabulous places and even had a trip to St Tropez.

St Tropez

No sooner had we returned than we left again driving across France to an island in the Atlantic (joined to mainland France by bridge) called the 'Ile de Re'.

Ile de Re

It was a very pretty island and we had lovely weather so we saw some beautiful sunsets on the beach.

Chinon

Finally, for the return trip we made our way back through the Loire valley to Switzerland.  The Loire valley is very beautiful and boasts literally hundreds of fairy-tale chateaux.

Chateau d'Azay le Rideau

We stopped to visit a few places staying in Chinon, where we saw the Forteresse Royale de Chinon and, visited Chateau d'Azay le Rideau then moving on to stay at Chaumont where we also visited a fabulous Chateau.

Chateau de Chaumont

Lastly, we stayed in Sancerre before our final journey back to Switzerland.  It certainly was a fabulous place to visit and I would like to go back.


With this in mind, perhaps you can excuse my absence from my poor, neglected blog and my lack of sewing projects to show you!!  However, the last few days I have found time to start on a new project.  A baby quilt which I am making for my youngest daughter to give as a gift to a relative of one of her friends.  It is coming along quite nicely but, I do need to decide how to quilt it next!

Thank you for visiting me and until the next time....