Saturday 30 November 2013

Confessions ...

... of a Country Charmer addict.

I loved this block so much, I made another quilt.  Actually, this was all Naughty Notorious Nancy's fault, as I'll explain.  Just after the quilt-along started, NNN (as I'll call her cos it's quicker than saying Naughty Notorious Nancy all the time,) and I were having one of our email conversations one day and she said wouldn't it be fun to make a second smaller version in Christmas colours.  I agreed that it would, never dreaming what was coming next.  Am I naive sometimes, or what?  Yep, she issued a challenge to me to make another one and she would too.  Well, I'm not one to ignore a dare like this, so I agreed.  We thought it'd be fun to keep it secret from Lynn until today, and reveal our "Mission Impossibles" during the Grand Parade, so here, without further ado is my secret challenge version

As you can see, I decided to make a Christmas topper this time with just 5 blocks, and to set them on point.  My friend Bilbo had joined in when this QAL started cos she loved the quilt too, but she had not been able to keep up due to demands of her garden, etc. Then one day, I showed her my drawing of this version, and she loved it, so she decided to get going again and make a similar version, which you can see on her blog.  

So, as you can see, NNN has a lot to answer for, and now I'm waiting to see if she managed to take up her own challenge, when she finally gets up.

Now here's another photo, this time being beautifully modeled by my little gingerbread friends. Yes, I should have smoothed the borders out properly before I took this photo, but it was late, I was tired, etc, etc ....

Remember, be warned, if you're talking to her, NNN is obviously the one who always got all her friends into trouble when  she was at school!

Country Charmer ...

... Woohoo, it's today, it's today.  Can you tell I'm excited?  Today is the day when we get to see some of the beautiful Country Charmer quilts that have been made this year.

Before I show mine, I'll give a little background.  Lynn from Sew'n Wild Oaks designed this quilt last year, and I fell in love with it as soon as I saw the design.  I was determined that I was going to make my own version one day and then I had an email from Lesley, the Cuddle Quilter, saying that she was thinking of running a quiltalong this year to make it.  Well, that was all I needed, so I was immediately on board.  Lesley's idea was that she wanted it to be a very easy going affair where we could all work at our own pace and report once a month by joining the Linky-parties she held. So Lesley,our Laissez-faire Leader set us all on the road to completing a beautiful quilt.  Lovely Lynn, the designer had written wonderful instructions and even provided block layout sheets to make it easy for a scatterbrain like me to keep all 53 pieces required for one block under control.  Lynn has also been with us every step of the way, and posting handy tips and hints for us all on her blog.  Thanks to both these wonderful ladies, I now have a quilt (top) that I love.

I have asked Santa if I could have an early Christmas present of some 48 hour days, so that I could get this quilted, but I obviously haven't been good enough this year, cos that hasn't happened.  Now I'll just stop chattering and show you my version of it.

As you can see, I decided to go "off-piste with my outer border and do a controlled scrappy piano key version.  I did that to use up some of the small scraps I had left from the quilt, and I am a bit scared that might be a sign that I could be turning into a scrappy quilter!

Here's another photo, just because this is my blog, so I can!

I love this quilt, and can't wait to get it finished.  Thanks Lesley and Lynn for running this for us, it's been fun.  Now I'm off here, to see all the other quilts in the parade.

Thursday 28 November 2013

Happy Thanksgiving ...

Oops, important update.  The Country Charmer parade is on Saturday, 30 November, and not tomorrow.  That gives you all time to do your Black Friday shopping then.

... Macy's may have their Thanksgiving Parade today, but did you know there's another important parade happening tomorrow?

Yes, its the final parade of our Country Charmer quilts.  Lesley the Cuddle Quilter has led a quilt-along this year, for people making the quilt which was designed by Lynn.  It has been a very easy going quilt-along, where we all worked at our own pace and where Lynn was giving us great tips along the way about such things as fabric choices, etc.  To see all the great quilts that people around the world have been making, just go to Lesley's place tomorrow and follow the Linkies.  I promise there will be some great quilts to look at.  By the way, not all the quilts will be completely finished, ie mine isn't, but at least I did get the top completed in time.

Finally, Happy Thanksgiving Day to all my American friends

Monday 25 November 2013

Finished, Nearly Finished and ...

... Not Finished, but Getting There.

OK, you're wondering what on earth I'm wittering on about now I bet, so I'll explain, in reverse order:

Not Finished, but Getting There is my Heartfire quilt designed by Lynn.  I have all the blocks sewn into rows, and some of the rows sewn together, and here it is

Nearly Finished is my Country Charmer top.  The grand parade is over at Cuddly Lesley's, on 30 November.  My top is not quilted yet, but it is finished for now.

Finished is my entry for the Christmas QAL challenge - you know, the one where we make a quilt on the theme of Christmas without using red or green.  The binding's on, and I'm ready for the Grand Parade which will be here, over the second weekend in December (on 14 -15 December).  Do you want to see the finished quilt now?  OK, here it is

So I've been busy, but there will be no more progress on these cos the postman brought me some yummy fabrics today and I have some Christmas presents to make with them.

Wednesday 20 November 2013

Anything Lynn can do ...

... I can do too.  So here's a photo of some of my Heartfire blocks with the  background triangles attached.  I am using a different background to Lynn, and I think they both work well.

You remember I was appliqueing a sort of red English rose, which is my national flower, on some blocks?  Well here is another block, but this one has a representation of a yellow California poppy.   I am going to scatter 5 roses and 5 poppies around the quilt.

I thought that it would be fun to reflect both Lynn's and my countries. 

Saturday 16 November 2013

Oooh look ...

... what my friend Gail has done.

(Gail is Lynn's sister, and we became good friends while I was staying with Lynn.)  Anyway, Gail decided to join my 3D Noughts and Crosses class that I taught while I was in California, and this is her quilt so far.  I am not usually a fan of batiks, but these are just gorgeous, and you really do get the 3D effect and if you click on the picture to enlarge it, you will also see just how perfect her piecing is, every pointy bit is beautifully pointy.  I know that Gail likes it, and I think it's fantastic, so I asked if I could post the picture on my blog as Gail doesn't have one of her own (yet).  I can't wait to see this with it's borders on too, but meanwhile, I love it just as it is.

Thursday 14 November 2013

Applique? ...

... Me?  Never.  It's a well known fact that I don't do applique.  Actually maybe that should read that "I can't do applique".  But after my holiday with Lynn, who is the Queen of Applique I reckon, now I can do it.  While we were staying at the cabin, in order to distract me from bears and other marauding wild animals, one day Lynn volunteered to give Nancy and I a lesson on her method of doing it.  I don't think she knew what she was letting herself in for, but we certainly had fun, learnt a lot and laughed until our sides were aching. You can read about it here, if you want to.  So after that lesson I was a little bit hooked and decided to customise some of my Heartfire blocks by appliqueing my version of a red English rose in the centre.  This is what my very first ever applique block looks like
and this is how far I've got so far with these blocks
I think I love them more each time I add a completed block to the collection.

Anyway, the whole point of this chatter about applique is to tell you that I am soon going to be embarking on a serious project.  It's going to be a table runner, using part of Lynn's pattern, Harvest of Hope, and it will be the top part, which Lynn shows here, and hopefully will look something like this picture, (which I've once again stolen from Lynn's blog!)
Knowing that I'm not very well-endowed in the scrap department, she decided to raid her own supplies to send me these beauties
Thank you Lynn, I can hardly wait to get started.

While I'm saying thank you. I want to also thank Ann from Hudson Valley Quilts, who recently had a give away in conjunction with her sponsor, Cuts of Cotton, and I was the lucky winner of these gorgeous fabrics.  Thank you so much Ann, and Cuts of Cotton.
I don't know yet what I will do with them, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if they don't show up in a certain applique table runner soon!

Sunday 10 November 2013

Christmas QAL post 3

With a little help from my friends, I'm sewing today.

So far I've put the binding on my Challenge quilt, cut some Heartfire strips, and drawn out a couple of things in EQ7 that I want to make as gifts and now, oh dear, what a shame, I think I need to do some (more) fabric shopping.

I hope everyone else is having a good day too.

Saturday 9 November 2013

Christmas QAL post 2

... There has been no quilting whatsoever here today I'm sorry to say.  I never did find the missing pattern, and I think the reason is that I did not buy it!  It was a different one which I had purchased. Doh!!!  By the time I realised that, and bought and downloaded the pattern I wanted,  it was almost dinner time.

Oh, and yes, in true Christmas QAL tradition, my dinner did include alcohol. This time we had Beef in Ale cooked in the slow cooker.

 Then I treated myself to a little retail therapy, of the quilting type, of course and now it is past 8.00 pm and I am going to sit in front of the TV and watch the annual Festival of Remembrance on TV.  I must make sure I have some paper hankies nearby, it always makes me cry, especially at the end when they play the Last Post and poppies fall from the ceiling.
Tomorrow I WILL sew.  After all, apart from anything else, I do have a certain Christmas Challenge quilt to put the binding on.

Christmas QAL post 1

My day so far has not been very festive.  It's gone like this

3.00 am Wake up
3.30 am get up
5.30 am Go back to bed
6.00 am Fall asleep
7.00 am Get up, shower, etc.
8.00 am Start housework so I have an early start on Christmas QAL things
9.15 am Take Mrs Nomad and Professor into big scary city
10.00 am Housework
11.00 am Collect Mrs Nomad from big scary city
11.30 am Have coffee
11.45 am Put dinner in slow cooker
12.00 onwards Search for epattern I bought last year and downloaded.
2.15 pm Still looking!

Happy flipping Christmas everyone.

Don't forget to go here where you can see what our hostess, Happy Hazel and the other guests are up to during the course of the weekend.

Friday 8 November 2013

Yoohoo ...

... have you remembered what this weekend is?

It's the start of the penultimate Christmas QAL weekend 2013.  Our hostess this month is Happy Hazel, so to join in all you do is hop over here and sign in with Mr Linky who will be there waiting for us in the morning.

I'm not sure what Hazel has planned for us, but there has been mention of chocolate (yay), jingle bells (yippee) and running shoes (whaaaat?).

So come and join the fun starting tomorrow.  after  all, there's only

Tuesday 5 November 2013

It's not my fault ...

... I blame Naughty Nancie!  A while ago she dared me to do something.  Now I'm never one to turn away from a dare or a challenge, so I agreed.  Here's a clue

Bet you can't guess what I'm up to can you?  All I know is that this is what I feel like at the moment 

with all the other things I want to do (like Heartfire) or should do (such as Country Charmer, Christmas Challenge, etc). Ho hum.  It's Naughty Nancie's fault, not mine!

Monday 4 November 2013

Did you know ...

... that there is currently a charity event going on in the quilting bloggers community?

SewCalGal is organising this event in order to try and raise at least $3,500, and 100% of all donations will go to the four charities that are being highlighted.  There is a raffle with some wonderful prizes and also an auction, so you could help a charity and yourself all at the same time.  SewCalGal hopes you will take the time to visit the bloggers who are passionate about their favorite charity and who are sharing insights with you about them on their blogs:

  1. Marjorie's Quilting Bee, an advocate for Hope for HH
  2. Green Fairy Quilts, an advocate for the Green Fairy Quilts Charity
  3. Jaybird Quilts, an advocate for Alex's Lemonade Stand is Fighting Childhood Cancer, One Cup At A Time
  4. Lilypad Quilting, an advocate for the Greenville Humane Society
For more information on how to donate and how you could win a wonderful prize, etc, just pop over to SewCalGal's blog, here.

Sunday 3 November 2013

Heartfire, Country Charmer, Christmas Challenge and Pinterest ...

... Lynn did warn me that making the Heartfire blocks were addictive.  She's so right!  Here are my blocks so far:
Like Lynn, I am using Moda's Midwinter Reds to make my quilt, but I have also decided to add applique to the centres of some blocks.  Here you can see I have already done that to two blocks, and have another one
ready.  Actually I have about 4 ready on thinking about it, but those blocks are too modest to show themselves in public until they are properly dressed!  My original plan was to applique all the block centres, but I have changed my mid and will just do some, which will be placed fairly randomly throughout the top. (Well, as randomly as a control freak can do!)  Have I mentioned recently that I LOVE this pattern and these fabrics?

Much as I want to carry on with these today, I really MUST get back to my Country Charmer quilt. 
I am one of the people who asked Lesley, who has been running this QAL, to continue, and have the final show of quilts at the end of November, as I have slipped behind a bit.  I was ready to add the borders to mine, when I decided to go off-piste with them, which meant that I needed to buy more fabrics.  I bought some while I was in the US last month, and then I bought some more yesterday, so I really have no excuse now for not getting the top finished.

On thinking about it, I also need to get my Christmas Challenge quilt finished too.  
Thanks to Bilbo realising how useless I am at freemotion quilting, she "volunteered" to do that part for me, and she brought it back with her when she came a-visiting last weekend, so I just need to add the binding.

Now for some housekeeping.  If you hover over my photos now, you will see that a handy-dandy bright red "P" (P for Pin it) button pops up. I had blocked pinning for some time as I had concerns about copyright issues, but it seems that Pinterest have changed their T & Cs now, so I am happy for anyone to pin from my blog, but please, respect copyright and credit my blog if you do so.  Thank you.
09 10