Thursday, 26 April 2018

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 182 - Outlining Poppies




Not the easiest quilting I have ever done, despite appearances.  All I am doing is outlining the design.  The stems are a bit tricky in parts, but the flowers are straightforward.


The difficulty is the thickness of the material.  The red has a pile, like chenille, and the back of the material has more pile than the front.


Not only is it a thick sandwich, but the backing doesn't want to glide too readily while I am quilting.  Rather than use calico (which I had run out of), I am using up a piece of curtain lining that has been in the cupboard for years.  It is worth putting up with a little resistance from it if it means I am finally finding a use for it.   

I quite like the look of the back.  Perhaps I should try a free-form poppy at some stage.  It almost seems a shame that the back will never see the light of day once the cushion cover is made.



Here goes for week 182:-



If you love free motion quilting, whether you are a beginner just taking the plunge, or you have reached the stage where you can do ostrich feathers with your eyes shut and still achieve perfect symmetry, then please link up.

Remember, FMQ is FMQ, whether your machine was made last week, or it is older than your granny.

Here are the very easy and slightly elastic rules:-

1.  Link up with any recent post, ideally from the last week but within the last month, which features a free motion quilting project, whether it is a work in progress or a finish.

2.  Link back to this post in your own post.
  
3.  Visit as many of the other participants as possible and say hello in the comments box.

4.  The link up will remain open for four days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Monday.

Friday, 20 April 2018

Winter Cardigan for a Baby


It was my latest great nephew's christening on Sunday, and I had this cardigan for him finished just in time.  It is the size of the little cardigan my son wore for his first Christmas, so it should fit the new baby this winter.





...I alternated yellow 4 ply yarn used double with a random grey double knitting yarn with streaks of white and greenish blue running through it.  For the edges I used plain grey.  Choosing the buttons took ages, but in the end I spotted these buttons with a mother of pearl effect.


I was really please with how the soft yellow with muted grey turned out.  Somehow it looks like something you would see a French baby in for his Sunday best.  Even the babies are chic in France.

Linking up with Amanda Jean's blog Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday.

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 181 - A Cushion in the Making


Very bold deep red poppies - I can't wait to see how this cushion turns out.  This is as far as I have got, with just the sandwich pinned together. 



The green will be on the back, and once it is quilted I will add a band for buttonholes.  I have used this method before and was really pleased with the result.
This week we have had glorious warm sunny weather.  The entire nation is in shock.  Housewives are rushing to wash bedding to dry outside on the line, gardeners are working until sunset, and every flower has exploded into bloom.  So much so that the press are referring to a pollen bomb.  Yesterday the bomb hit me and I have my very own sneezeless variety of hay fever.  Instead I get a fearful headache from blocked sinuses and can only get things done at a snail's pace.  I had more fun in the blizzard



Here goes for week 181:-


If you love free motion quilting, whether you are a beginner just taking the plunge, or you have reached the stage where you can do ostrich feathers with your eyes shut and still achieve perfect symmetry, then please link up.

Remember, FMQ is FMQ, whether your machine was made last week, or it is older than your granny.


Here are the very easy and slightly elastic rules:-

1.  Link up with any recent post, ideally from the last week but within the last month, which features a free motion quilting project, whether it is a work in progress or a finish.

2.  Link back to this post in your own post.
  
3.  Visit as many of the other participants as possible and say hello in the comments box.

4.  The link up will remain open for four days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Monday.

Friday, 13 April 2018

A Fabric Shopping Spree


Over the past few weeks we have been planning a total revamp of our front room.  While my husband has been thinking of new shelves in the recesses and an overmantel, my department has been the colour scheme and fabrics.

It has taken a while, including a couple of ridiculously late nights trawling through curtain fabric on the internet, but decisions have been made.  Here is a sample of the curtain fabric, together with a swatch of the lovely restful green which we have chosen for re-upholstering the settee and chairs.  To give a sense of the scale of the flowers, the swatch measures 6 x 4 inches.

Armed with the two samples, I went on a shopping spree this week for fabrics with which to make cushions.  I only visited two shops, the first for fabrics on the roll and the second for remnants, and came home with quite a haul.


These big bold poppies will make a statement, and I managed to find a plain green in just the right shade for the back of the cushions.


For contrast and restraint, I found this tartan, which has green running through it, and which teams up with the Morris Snakeshead print.  I found two long strips of the print in the remnant box of a shop that makes curtains to measure.



Finally, half a metre of a red sprig design, which might well end up in tea cosies rather than cushions, and the find of the day.  Right at the bottom of the remnant basket I found a metre of Morris Bluebell fabric.  It was love at first sight.  The colours have a timeless quality, and the symmetry of the design is fascinating.


The flowers are intriguing.  Here are the so-called bluebells, but I would happily take anyone on for a punch up.  If they aren't lily-of-the-valley I'm a Dutchman.


This has to be a fanciful passion flower...


...whereas these columbines are incredibly accurate.  They self-seed freely in our garden and come in shades of purple and pink.  They are one of my all-time favourite flowers, so I was delighted when I spotted them.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 180 - Spot the Difference


Look carefully beyond the little shortbreads, one of which magically disappeared between photos...


...and concentrate on the tea cosies. 

Finished at last!  The job I set myself before Easter is finally done, and that is the last of these jolly colourful cosies made with these particular fabrics.  At first sight they all look the same, but each one is different hence the different coloured binding on these two.

Here goes for Week 180.

Many thanks to Olena, who was the only person to link up last time, showing her gorgeous elephant quilt.  If you haven't seen her blog post yet, nip over now and have a closer look.



If you love free motion quilting, whether you are a beginner just taking the plunge, or you have reached the stage where you can do ostrich feathers with your eyes shut and still achieve perfect symmetry, then please link up.




Remember, FMQ is FMQ, whether your machine was made last week, or it is older than your granny.


Here are the very easy and slightly elastic rules:-

1.  Link up with any recent post, ideally from the last week but within the last month, which features a free motion quilting project, whether it is a work in progress or a finish.

2.  Link back to this post in your own post.
  
3.  Visit as many of the other participants as possible and say hello in the comments box.

4.  The link up will remain open for four days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Monday.


Linking up with Amanda Jean's blog Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday.

Friday, 6 April 2018

Twiddle Blanket With Forget-Me-Nots


Or are they blue windmills?

The volunteer organisation that collects and distributes twiddle blankets to dementia patients in the local hospital has adopted the forget-me-not as their symbol, so this time I knitted blue flowers.  But they are big and bold, so the similarity with forget-me-nots ends with the colour.


I used muted pinks and greys for much of the background, but threw in a bit of yellow here and there.  With the pale brown next to it I am transported back to my childhood.  Who else remembers banana splits, individually wrapped rectangular toffees, four for a penny?  By that I mean proper big pre-decimalisation pennies.


The flowers are all knitted with double yarn to vary the shades, so no two are exactly alike.  This is the darkest.


And this one hits the average, and looks the most mottled.

Now that the weather has finally warmed up I shall restrict myself to small scale knitting projects.  Once these blankets started to grow they kept me warm as I knitted them!

Linking up with Sarah's blog Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Friday
and Amanda Jean's blog Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday.

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 179 - Better Late Than Never


Late doesn't mean I have forgotten - this week's linky is finally open - it just means that yesterday took an unexpected turn...

When we woke up the ground was dry.  Our jaws dropped.

There wasn't a cloud in the sky.  We gasped.

The resident blackbird was in full voice at the top of the tree at the bottom of the garden.

Spring had finally arrived, and the barometer and I were in shock.

And then I sprang into action.  By early afternoon there were two loads of laundry on the line, then I got my gardening clothes on and bravely ventured out to the allotment to see if I could start digging and generally tidying up.

The project I had lined up for the Easter holiday has been neglected for all the best reasons.  Our daughter was with us for eleven days, she had a guest to stay with us for five days, so life has revolved around family, with a distinct emphasis on cooking.

So sewing had to wait until this morning.  And this is as far as I have got.  One loop sewn into place...

... out of the two loops ready for two tea cosies

How is it with every little job you end up being distracted by another equally little job?  I remembered that I had had problems with red thread in the past.  When rummaging through my threads looking for the right shade of red I was fairly sure I knew which one was the culprit, but thought I had better check.


I folded a piece of kitchen roll, wet it, put a strand of thread between the layers, and laid a hot iron on top for a couple of seconds.  The result was instant, a line of dye leached straight into the paper.  In an uncharacteristic attack of efficiency, I labelled the cotton reel. 

How appropriate.  The kitchen roll has jolly little teapots on it.



Here goes, a little later than usual, for Week 179.

Many thanks to Andrée, who was the only person to link up last time, showing her Street Art My Way quilt.  If you haven't seen her blog post yet, nip over now and have a closer look.



If you love free motion quilting, whether you are a beginner just taking the plunge, or you have reached the stage where you can do ostrich feathers with your eyes shut and still achieve perfect symmetry, then please link up.




Remember, FMQ is FMQ, whether your machine was made last week, or it is older than your granny.


Here are the very easy and slightly elastic rules:-

1.  Link up with any recent post, ideally from the last week but within the last month, which features a free motion quilting project, whether it is a work in progress or a finish.

2.  Link back to this post in your own post.
  
3.  Visit as many of the other participants as possible and say hello in the comments box.

4.  The link up will remain open for four days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Monday.

So far quilters from the USA, England, Wales, Australia, Canada, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, France, Macau, Russia, Ireland and Brazil have taken part.  The first participant from each new country will get a special mention the following week.

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