Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Goodbye 2013 and good riddance!

So, it started with dreadful flu and it's ending in similar fashion with a chest infection, so I for one will not be sorry to see the back of this year. I started it thinking it couldn't be worse than 2012, but it had a real sting in the tail waiting for me, which I suspect will take most of 2014 to get over properly.
However, throughout the year, I used sewing as my distraction, and so have a reasonable number of makes to show off in this round up of the last 12 months....
I managed 8 quilts altogether, (there's more at the end) although half of these are still WIPs! My resolution for 2014 is to get them finished.

There were 4 mini quilts all of which I loved and 3 of which were gifts

This was the year I got back into dressmaking and I have a couple of projects lined up to start the year off.

There were a fair few bags too - I loved making these and again, there's plans for a couple more in 2014.

And lastly there were a few other bits and pieces that missed the mosaics above.

So, sewing wise, not a bad year, and I'm starting another quilt this evening - it's a scrappy tripalong for my neighbour. His wife very sadly passed away suddenly this summer, and, thanks to me, had just got into quilting. He has asked me to make a quilt with the fabric she had bought just before she died. It's an interesting mix of fabrics to say the least, but it will mean a lot to him, and seems a positive way to end this 'annus horribilis' and start 2014.

So, thanks to everyone for your warmth and friendship throughout the last 12 months and here's wishing you and yours health, wealth, but most importantly, happiness for 2014!

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Crafting it forward....

So about 11 months ago, I signed up for Hadley's turn at crafting it forward. I've been desperate for a chance to be on the receiving end of a Flying Blind marvellous make, and so I have to admit I did check the post is EVERY day....
And it's arrived!

Now Hadley's been extremely brave, as she knows of my lack of love for Liberty, but, as she says, it's her personal mission to educate me, and I have to say, the Essex Linen, Alison Glass Sunprints text in this inside and the incredibly cute goldfishes button badge have made this so gorgeous I can live with the beautiful EPP Liberty hexies in the front - and just look how teeny they are...

So, now it's your turn. I am sure you can't wait to find out how you can get in on the Craft It Forward action!
The rules are simple...
The first 5 interested people with blogs to comment below, will receive something handmade from me in the next 12 months. I can't guarantee it'll be as fabulous as this, but I'll do my best!
When they receive their goodies, they must blog about it and then repeat the offer, and so it goes on.
If you're a no reply blogger, please make sure you leave an email address in the comments.
As what I make isn't necessarily limited to sewing stuff, you may find yourself the lucky recipient of the now infamous brownies. Surely that's an incentive?

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival

I've never felt I had anything good enough to be entered into the Bloggers Quilt Festival before, but this year I'm giving it a go.
I've decided to enter this wall hanging I made for one of my sisters.

It's an original design, based in a much smaller mini quilt she had seen on my wall and admired. There's paper piecing, improving, appliqué, machine quilting and hand quilting.
It's finished up at 63" x 75" which is hopefully big enough the hide the crack in her wall in her rented house.....
Linking in to the Wall Hanging category.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Have yourself a merry Cherry Christmas

My new boss is a Christmas freak. No kidding, she's obsessed. I did not know this in the interview - it might have changed things.....
I have now managed to add fuel to that fire, at the same time as selling my first quilt - how exciting is that!
My Cherry Christmas quilt that I started last year and couldn't finish because of a poorly sick Janome is now finished, quilted (although not without great fabric-creeping suffering) bound, rolled up and tied with a big red ribbon, and delivered.

And she couldn't be happier! I took it in on Monday after my week off and every time I turned round (she sits behind me) she was cuddling it! It is now apparently already in use on the sofa, and an order has been placed for a table runner, 6 placemats and coasters.....

All I have to do now is make another one for me.....

Quilt stats:

  • Size - 58" x 58" roughly
  • Fabric - Cherry Christmas by Aneela Hoey with Kona White backing and binding
  • Pieced and quilted with Aurifil 50wt, quilting at around 1/4" - 1/2" apart

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside.... Done.

Remember this?

Well since you last saw it, I've got a bit more done....

Yet another one I'm giving away and wish I wasn't!
Quilt stats:
  • Size - 63" x 75"
  • Pattern: my own design
  • Fabric: all Kona solids except some Oakshott in the sky and Art Gallery Fabrics Square Elements to bind
  • Pieced and quilted using various Aurifil threads.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

And the winner is......

I loved those dots in the class and it has turned out amzingly. now i have seen yours and Di's are finished i will really need to crack on with mine. i have added your blog to my reader.

Congratulations, Kelly, please email me your address so we can get the prize sent it to you. 
Thanks to everyone else for entering!

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Goodies from the east....

I absolutely had to order more Melody for the hexies quilt (actually for the second one I'm making for me so that I can bear to give the other one up!). However the new Ruby Star Polka Dot is hard to come by in the UK. So I had to look east. Miss Matatabi on Etsy has a fabulous range of Melody Miller and other fabrics that she sends out from Japan.
Ordered on Saturday, arrived today. I couldn't resist opening them at work!

Don't forget there's still time to enter the giveaway.

Monday, 2 September 2013

Well, hello September....

I can't believe it's September already! With one thing and another August was a busy month sewing wise, with wedding outfits, finishing projects and starting new ones. So here goes....
A family wedding mid-month prompted a flurry of stitching with a new frock, two new purses (1 for each outfit I had to choose between), and a tie for the other half made from my hoarded Birds and the Bees by Tula Pink.

Then there was the wall hanging I'm mid-way through for one of my sisters. She wanted a beach scene, so I drew on the improv teachings from Lu Summers at the Fat Quarterly Retreat and made this up, using Kona solids and all pieced with Aurifil 50wt - my new favourite thread now I know how to stop my machine rejecting it!

While I'm waiting on spray baste for that one, and deciding on a backing, I got going on the quilt for another sister (yep, we're never ending!) this time made from Melody Miller's various Ruby Star collections. I've been wrestling with the best way to display her fantastic designs with the huge motifs and eventually decided on super-size hexes. Photos of this on Instagram lead to my most exciting quilt related experience when Melody herself commented how much she loved it!

And last but not least is Fairground Attraction, my mini quilt made from the Triangle City EPP block I started with Katy Jones at FQR, in Mirror dots, and posted today on the Aurifil Facebook page and tweeted by Alex Veronelli himself! What a weekend! Thanks to Kelly at Jeliquilts for letting me know it was up there along with her fabulous Rainbow quilt.

Last but not least, I currently have a giveaway running in conjunction with The VIllage Haberdashery, so just click here for more details.
Linking up with Lynne over on Lily's Quilts for the Fresh Sewing Day. And by the way, according to Aurifil, this month is National Sewing Month, so let's do it proud!
Lily's Quilts

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Fairground attraction and a giveaway.

Today I've got one of my favourite finishes to show you, and a giveaway from Annie at The Village Haberdashery to help me celebrate it.

Back in July I had a great time at the second Fat Quarterly Retreat. Due to circumstances, I was very late booking, but was lucky enough to still be able to sneak places on some fantastic classes, including Katy Jones' Triangle City EPP.

Now, after a cushion made in my teenage years, I've had a very strong aversion to EPP and hexagons, but I thought if anyone was the girl to get me over that, it was Katy. (Actually, I thought the HST class I went to in April was such a giggle, it would be worth suffering through EPP, 'cos Katy would be a blast!)

So I precut the fabric ready before the class - my policy of only using stash fabrics for the retreat lead me to choose Michael Miller's Mirror Ball Dots, and I was therefore determined to finish it after Retreat.

Initially I made some false starts and nearly gave up. Then it got christened Radioactive Porn Star for some fairly obvious reasons, so a rethink was in order, and I nearly gave up again. But I recut the triangles and in a rainbow state of mind off I set again.

And here is the finished EPP. It reminded me of the lights on fairground rides or roller coasters, hence it's new name of Fairground Attraction.

I decided it needed a plain rich coloured backing, and navy blue won over purple. I quilted it by stitching in the ditch with Aurifil 50wt in white, and then echo quilted it with some navy blue Gutermann thread I happened to have lying around.

To bind it, I used scraps of the Mirror Ball fabric in the same colours as I used in the Triangle City block.

And here's the giveaway part - Annie's has very generously offered a FQ bundle of Mirror Ball dots to one lucky winner! Now some might call this planning, but by coincidence Katy featured these fabrics on her blog today too.

You have three chances to win:
1) follow my blog and leave me a comment telling me you've done so.
2) sign up for Annie's newsletter on the shop website and then leave me a comment telling me you've done so. (Click here for an image of where to subscribe)
3) tweet, blog or Facebook a link to the giveaway and then leave me a comment telling me you've done so. (I'm @Pennie_J_H on twitter)
I'll leave the giveaway open for a week and draw the winner on Sunday 8th September. Good luck!

Saturday, 31 August 2013

What more can I say?

This happened to me today.....

I'm not sure I've ever been so proud of something I've done,

Monday, 26 August 2013

All sewed out!

All the components are now made, just need to sew them all together, add the borders and quilt and bind. I have till October half term to finish it....

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside....

Progress report.....

3 squashy beach huts

Terrible night-time photo of sea and fishing boat.

I think it's getting there.....


Saturday, 24 August 2013

Can you see what it is yet?

Earlier this year, two of my sisters came to stay and we got onto the subject of quilts. The one made for my step-mum's 60th has gone to my youngest sister now, and the two middle sisters requested one of their own. A's is to be made of Melody Miller - and that's causing me some problems, I can tell you!! The thought of giving so much precious Ruby Star away, especially as now there is to be no more....

Anyway, as usual, I digress.... C originally asked for her quilt to be an alphabet of animals, and quite possibly fuelled by the several sloe gins we'd all drunk by that point, we picked the most obscure creatures we could for each letter. Luckily, a few weeks later that plan was rationalised to be a wall hanging to hide a crack in the wall in their rented. She had also said one of her favourite things I'd made over the years was the beach huts wall hanging - remember this?

After some discussion, we narrowed it down to a beach scene as if seen through a window. We also both liked the paintings of the Welsh artist, Helen Elliott, and so I've settled on a cross between Helen's colourful, naive style, and the beach huts mini. There's a bit of inspiration from two mini quilts in the book 'We Love Color' too.

Today I trekked to The Village Haberdashery - normally a 45 minute journey, today it took me 2 hours and 20 mins, but I was determined to take advantage of Annie's Bank Holiday Sale! Horrendous traffic, and the seasonal flash floods couldn't stop me. I was extremely and unusually disciplined and stuck to only buying what I went for. I can't tell you how hard that was, as there are an even greater array of sumptuous, temptingly gorgeous new fabrics in at the moment - I sense a few covet posts might be on the way.

So, this evening, I've drawn out the design - 45" x 36" so not exactly a mini this time - and I've laid out the colours of what will be going where. Here's what it looks like so far.....

Wish me luck?!


Sunday, 11 August 2013

Update on progress

Ok, this is my first attempt with Blogsy, so let's hope it works....

Remember back in March I posted a list of things I wanted to do this year? And I promised monthly updates? Well, it's time for the first update, and as we're friends, hopefully you'll forgive the fact it's been a whole 5 months!

So, here we go with the list:

1) Cherry Christmas quilt - I've fixed the torn piece and unpicked the Himalyan quilting, and re done some of it, and unpicked sme more of it.... It still needs finishing but will be done for Christmas.

2) Melody Miller quilt - have been struggling with this and how best to do justice to the large designs, but this weekend I had a brainwave and I'm going to use mahoosive fussy cut hexagons.... So watch this space.

3) Macho quilt - Currently collecting denim.....

4) Welsh flag quilt - need to get cracking with this one - so am appealing for bags of red scraps and green scraps to swap for FQs so I can get started on this.

5) 3rd sister wants a wall hanging now - working on this one at the moment.

6) One of my work colleagues has commissioned me to make a quilt for her 4 year old son in blues and greens. I've got the fabrics for the top based on the Havana range and supplemented with lots of different Kona solids. - DONE!

Other things -boxy pouch for a friend's birthday which I adapted from an Annela Hoey tutorial - DONE!

Melody Miller Vintage flowers fabric messenger bag- this didn't happen but I did make a Melody Model Aeroplane and a Melody Super-Tote...oh and another full size Aeroplane shockingly NOT made from Melody...

There have also been lots of other things - some finished some still WIP:
HST quilt - this is still just a top, needs me to buy some batting so I can get it finished, but am saving it till the bedroom's been decorated.
Clothes - a new pleasure, as well as the Nani Iro Renfrew top, there's been a washi, schoolhouse shirt, Sorbetto top, and an a-line skirt.
Mini quilts - 'a Touch of Sparkle', which was for a work colleague's birthday, 'Home is where the Heart is' and 'Fairground Attraction' from Katy Jones' Triangle City pattern that I started at retreat and am currently finishing quilting.
So, all in all not a bad year so far.