Friday 27 February 2015

CQJP Challenge: Finished February Block

Hello! Today I would like to share with you my finished block for the CQJP Challenge 2015. The challenge is run by the wonderful Kathy Shaw and I am having a great deal of fun designing, piecing and then embellishing the blocks.  

My base block for February was a dresden plate design which I made using scraps from the same Tilda fabrics as I used for January's block. The above photograph shows you how it looked the last time I posted about it.

Since that post, I have finished the embellishment of the block.  I have also completed an online Basic Crazy Quilt Class, which is also run by Kathy Shaw.  It is a fabulous class and I learned so much. You can read my post about the block I finished for that class here.  It has meant that I have approached the embellishment of my February CQJP Challenge block differently from the first block I made in January.

This time I have included some silk ribbon embroidery and a lot more beading than for the last block.

I have really enjoyed making it and I am looking forward to getting started on March's block. I am also looking forward to a new online course with Kathy, as registration for the Intermediate Crazy Quilt Class has just started over on Kathy's blog.

Wednesday 25 February 2015

Gail Pan Patterns: Second Show and Tell

Today it is time to link up with Martina at Sunshine Quilting for the second project in the latest Gail Pan sew-a-long she is hosting.

I have been having so much fun participating in the sew-a-long and I was really excited to get started on my second project which is a Gail Pan pattern that appeared in Homespun magazine some while ago.  

I loved it when I first saw it and I have had it on my list of 'projects to make' for a long time.  I am delighted to have finally finished it.

Rather than use hand-turned applique, I used quick fuse applique and finished the raw edges with a hand stitched blanket stitch.  I machine quilted in the ditch around the appliqued panels and also outlined some of the applique shapes.  Here is a look at the back of the quilt where it is easier to see the quilting.

For my next project I think I am going to make a sweet little needlecase that features in an older book of Gail's called 'Baskets in Bloom'.  I can't wait to get started.

I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone else has made too, so I am off to Martina's to have a peep! 

Monday 23 February 2015

A long train journey....

Hello! I hope you all had a lovely weekend.  I had a great weekend visiting my son in Liverpool (where he is at university) for his birthday.  We had a lovely visit.  It was fun to look round Liverpool (despite some very wet, cold and windy weather!) and to have a nice meal out as a birthday celebration as well as some cake and sparkling wine!!

I travelled by train to get to Liverpool and it is a long ride from where we live, so it gave me the opportunity to do some reading.  I bought two new magazines especially for the occasion!  The first was the latest issue of 'Homemaker' magazine which is published by Aceville Publications and which, I really enjoy reading. The second was 'Pretty Patches' which is published by Tailor Made Publishing.  It has some really cute projects inside to make.

Browsing through both magazines made the journey much more pleasant and, I am looking forward to reading them in more detail in the coming days.  I expect I will find a project or two which I will want to make from them!!  An all round great weekend!! 

Friday 20 February 2015

BCQC Finished Block

Today I would like to share with you my finished block from the Basic Crazy Quilt Class I have been taking online.  This wonderful class is run by Kathy Shaw and is full of wonderful instruction and guidance on various crazy quilt techniques.  I would highly recommend it!!  I have had so much fun making my block and have learned so much along the way.

The basic pieced block is shown in the photograph above and, I have shared with you what the block looked like along the way here and here

This is how the finished block looks.  I am very pleased with it!  I had so much fun learning how to stitch all the basic embroidery stitches as well as all the lovely silk ribbon embroidery flowers.  These included irises....


and in adding the finishing touches,  I even had some fun embroidering little butterflies.....

and, my favourite, a cute little hedgehog....

I can't wait to put the techniques that I have learned into practice in other projects.  Hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday 18 February 2015

Who could resist?!

Just a quick post today to share some lovely fabrics with you!

There are two new ranges of Tilda fabrics that have recently been released and I am afraid that I just couldn't resist adding some to my fabric stash!

Spring Lake

The two Spring collections are called 'Spring Lake' and the other 'Apple Bloom'. They are both beautiful and I just had to have some.  I ordered mine from Pretty Fabrics and Trims and it arrived the very next day!

Apple Bloom

Can't wait to get started on a new project made with these beautiful fabrics!

Saturday 14 February 2015

GYB Giveaway Winner!!

Hello! Today it gives me great pleasure to announce the winner of my 'Grow Your Blog' post giveaway to win this cute little bundle of goodies!!

Firstly, I must thank everyone who came to visit my blog.... it was such fun meeting you all and I hope that you will come back to visit me again!!  I wrote all of your names on a separate piece of paper and folded them up.

I put them into a little fabric box that I have....

I closed the lid and I gave them all a good shake up....

and then picked one out....

and unfolded it....

The winner is Lisa Marie!! Congratulations!! I have your email address and I will be writing to you so that I can get the details of where to send your prize!

Thank you to everyone who took part! 

Friday 13 February 2015

A Lovely New Book!

I know I said that I wasn't going to buy as many needlework related books this year but, I just couldn't resist this one....

It is called 'Artfully Embroidered' and is written by Naoko Shimoda. As you can see from the front cover it contains some beautiful embroidery designs.

There are instructions to make several fabulous bags as well as tips on embellishing bags/clothes that you already own.  The book gives detailed step by step information on several different very useful techniques and I can't wait to have a chance to read it in more detail.

The other really fabulous thing about this book is that full size pattern sheets are supplied in an envelope inside the back cover.

Wednesday 11 February 2015

February Snow Happy Heart Block

At the end of last week Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs released the latest 'Snow Happy Hearts' pattern.  It is beautiful and I just couldn't wait to get started!! I downloaded the pattern, sketched out roughly how I wanted my February block to look and, pulled out some fabrics ready to put together my next Snow Happy Hearts Block.

I followed Anne's instructions for appliqueing the snowman design to the heart fabric and then did as I had done last month and appliqued the heart to a piece of cream background fabric finishing all the applique with a hand worked blanket stitch.

As the pattern features an appliqued heart and February is the month of 'Love', I decided to embroider the word 'Love' onto the background below the heart. I then added some flying geese blocks and some strips of fabric to make the block 12.5 inches square. 

In keeping with the 'Love' theme, I also added some chain stitched hearts to one of the strips of fabric making up the block.

I couldn't wait to see how this block would look next to the one I made for January, so I stitched January's and February's blocks together and I am delighted with how things are looking so far! 

Thank you Anne for another beautiful pattern!

Snowman from the pattern

I just realised when I was looking at the photographs while writing this, I missed out the cross-stitch 'buttons' on the February snowman... will have to go and put that right! 

My snowman.... with no buttons!!

Sunday 8 February 2015

BCQC Progress

Hello! Today I thought I would share with you an update of how my Basic Crazy Quilt Class is going!  Last time I posted about this fabulous class run by Kathy Shaw, I had added some basic embroidery to most of the seams on my block.

Since then, I have also added some freehand embroidery using a template (where needed) to mark the position.  I have also had some excellent, very detailed instructions from Kathy as to how to complete the next embellishment to the block: silk ribbon embroidery irises.

Practice irises on my 'Doodle' sampler

I had never attempted silk ribbon embroidery before and it has been very exciting to learn a new technique.  It is amazing how differently the ribbon behaves compared to thread.  I had to practice a fair amount on my 'doodle sampler' before I could attempt to add the irises to my actual block.  I tried out both 7mm (the pink) and 4mm (the purple) silk ribbon on the sampler. Although it was easier to work with the 4mm silk ribbon, the 7mm ribbon gave a fuller flower which I preferred and it was this that I used to add to my actual block.

Silk Ribbon Embroidery Irises and Leaves (Actual Block)

I also had to add some leaves around the irises and, initially I had only added the dark green leaves but, with some great advice from Kathy, I added the lighter green leaves and the french knot flower centres too.

Silk Ribbon Irises with extra leaves/stitches (Actual Block)

I am so pleased with how the additional leaves and stitches make the irises come to life much more. Kathy has also suggested that I add some straight stitches like grass and a few beads at the base of the flowers to make them seem even more natural. I will add those details later on in the final stages of embellishing the block.  For the moment, my next task is to learn how to create a 'woven rose' in silk ribbon and add that to the block.  Another new technique.... how exciting!! 

Thursday 5 February 2015


Some days it is all about preparation and yesterday was one of those days!

I didn't get any sewing done but, I did get out some fabrics and sort through what I needed to make my next project for the Gail Pan Patterns SAL hosted by Martina at Sunshine Quilting.

I have been meaning to sew this project since it was first published in Homespun Magazine back in the Spring of 2013!! That is how long it has been on my 'to do' list!!  It was very exciting to finally  be choosing fabrics for it.

Then there was lots of cutting....

And some making bias binding to applique for the stems and vines...

Some pinning and fusing....

Now there is a lot of stitching to do!  Hurray! 

Monday 2 February 2015

January Snow Happy Heart

How was your weekend? Here, it was wet and windy and the wind was extremely cold. That meant it was the perfect weekend for staying indoors and putting together the first Snow Happy Heart pattern.  'Snow Happy Hearts' is a series of heart ornament patterns being offered free each month by Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs.

This weekend I wanted to get January's pattern made as it is only a few days before Anne will be publishing February's pattern.

I had already decided that instead of making the heart ornaments I was going to use the pattern to make a quilt block each month so that I will have 12 blocks which I can make into a quilt at the end of the year. 

I started by following the instructions to applique the snowman to the red background fabric. I chose to use a fusible web to applique the fabric shapes in place and, once I had done this, I finished all the raw edges with a hand stitched blanket stitch.  I then added the embroidered arms, the halo and the facial features.

Then, instead of sewing the heart-shaped red background fabric together with the backing fabric to make it into an ornament, I used some more fusible web to fuse the heart to a piece of cream background fabric.  I finished the raw edges of the heart with a hand worked blanket stitch.  I thought it would be nice to add a couple of embroidered words to the background, so I embroidered the words 'January' and 'Snow'.

Next, I trimmed the cream background fabric to the size I wanted (8" x 6" finished) and added some 'flying geese' patchwork units to one side, some two inch squares to the other and a couple of strips of fabric to the top and bottom. The block now measures 12.5 inches (unfinished) square.  

I am looking forward to February's pattern now, so that I can make the next block! Thank you Anne for the wonderful patterns!