31 March, 2012

Winning updates

I'm a very lucky girlie and have won quite a bit this year... here's the update on things I've won in March

A basic grey pattern from Amy @ During Quiet time   it's sweet starlet

I won a pdf pattern of Ribbonry from Candace @ double nickelquilts

this lovely table runner from marsha@quilterinmotion

finally, I won these beautiful note cards from marcia@marciascraftysewing

see.... how lucky was I in March :O)

Finish a long quarter finishes....

The list on 1st January was as follows :-
  1. Finish the stitching on all of the 7 blocks of the Christmas SAL 
  2. Get the spring quilt finished, need to buy some fabric for the outer border, back and quilt it
  3. I know its not technically a UFO but I have got the fabric, pattern and some of the strips sew up...need it completed for my DH to send for it to be auctioned/sold at his bosses Parkinson's Stall at Easter
  4. Finally, finish the 12 Days of Christmas  mini sew along,
It'll definitely be a challenge as I need to get a mug rug done and a birthday machine embroidery project done for Feb

 What did I finish ???
 This finish along really helped me ,when I wanted to start new big projects I kept thinking nope, got that UFO to finish and the spring quilt would've sat in the UFO pile most definitely if I hadn't had the...oh god I've got a week to finish it urge... I'm hoping to get the stitchery done today too so all my ufos were achieved.

Anyway, the  christmas stitching has one block left to do, the 12 days of Christmas sew along was finished, the spring quilt and the charity quilt, plus lots of things inbetween take a look here to see all my finishes, some ufo's, some new projects...here  now, I need to think about my next quarters UFO's and if new ones from this quarter are allowed.... linking up to Quilter in the gap

30 March, 2012

Finish it up Friday :O)

Sorry I haven't been in blogland this week, with being ill and having Amelia ill and then my boy Jacques was ill with a lung infection, so all of us were on antibiotics, no school all week...la la la la

The weather here has been wonderful, 20C+ all week, so I did do some hand stitching outside while watching the kids play on the trampoline, madness is next week it's due to go 9C and snow showers on Good Friday !!!

I looked through my finish along wip's and realised my spring quilt wasn't done and one christmas stitchery, so I got busy and put the spring quilt on the frame, I realised I didn't want it to be too big and wanted a sitting at sewing machine with cold legs quilt, or Amelia and I snuggling watching tv, sitting outside on a spring evening.... BUT I made  a few major mistakes and I'm happy with the quilt but not thrilled.... I used polyester batting which definitely contributes to bunching on the quilting and I bought some backing fabric which felt like cotton in the shop but as soon as I got it outside I could tell it was poly/cotton... so it's a bit shiny feeling.  For better quilting I need 80/20 batting and cotton backing.
I did some general FMQ and after 2 hours was sewing on the shop bought binding. Anyway, enough talking here's the piccies
My new stone wall has also caused hassles and was wip last week ;o)

ready for the sunlounger

too nice for a tablecloth

Backing, lesson learn't
II also made the cushion back and finished off the Valentines sew a long stitchery so that's done... I adapted it and added on my kids name, along with mine and dh's...I'm struggling to find an oblong cushion though so might have to make one next.

So all I need to get done for the Finish a long is the angel stitchery....do you think I could manage it tomorrow.... we'll see eh :O)
I'm linking up to the Finish a long and TFIFF is at Finding Fifth

25 March, 2012

And the winner is.....

Thanks to everyone who entered the St Paddy's day giveaway.  We had lots of green things among the most popular, grass DOH !!! also broccoli, Pistachio ice cream and also, something I'm assuming is american Pistachio Pudding, someone kindly posted me the recipe but we don't get cool whip or the pudding mix here...such a shame because after googling it, it looks delish

 I'd really enjoy eating that on a summer's evening...
Anyway, to the winner, (sorry it's late) Mr Random Generator chose
I am also a new follower!

Congratulations, I'll be contacting her by email and popping the prize in the post...
thanks so much one and all ;O) 
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24 March, 2012

Getting ready for giveaway winner

post signatureI'm playing around a bit with Mr Random number generator ready for tonight's giveaway winner... so far I'm upto 261 comments, pretty good for a first timer and from 19 or 20 followers before, now upto 109 ;o)

I've seen some winning posts and I received an email from Marcia  and I'm a winner of some of her really cute, bright cheerful quilt cards :O) just the thing to send to people when I'm participating in swops or round robins....

Going to be a bit quiet next week as my little girl has Scarletine, which I think is Scarlet Fever... she's caught it off me *sob* I feel such a bad bad mummy.  My sore throat that has now had 4 lots of anti biotics could well be the same nasty (strep throat) that Amelia has...in children it manifests itself in temperatures, flu like symptoms, runny nose and a horrible sandpaper type rash.  Luckily at the moement she seems quite well in herself, just poorly and rashy....but means no school next week so mummy will be trying to catch up on some hand quilting while we enjoy the wonderful weather we're having atm..

Until Tonight....

23 March, 2012

Thank Goodness It's Finished Friday!

It really does feel like thank god it's finished... This quilt I loved when I started then if it could've quite easily moved to a UFO...but now it's finished and ready to shove in the washing machine, I actually love it and would quite happily keep it.

I had two helpful kids holding it up, they wanted to be in the picture and weren't too happy when I asked them to hide...
I think I was 3 hours sewing on the binding last night, I've realised it's the biggest I've ever hand stitched and I'm thinking I'm going to learn how to machine bind but I do like the homemade feel of a hand sewn binding on the back.
Decided just to put on one of my home made labels/tag and not a proper label dating and naming it, as it's going to be sold/given/raffled I think Pippa's patch is just enough, if someone looks on google they'll find me as I nagged DH to buy me the domain.
I'm linking up to TGIFF and here's a few more piccies

 Finished Front, I love the bubbly feeling of it

Finished back, will piece a back again, love what it brings to the quilt back

the quilting reminds me of the Mr Men "Mr Jelly" what do you think ????   

21 March, 2012

WIP Wednesday

It's most definitely a WIP Wednesday, the Parkinson's charity quilt got quilted :)))))))))))))))))))))))
After changing the needle, I had no thread breakages at all.  I used 50wt Aurifil in ecru and I love it, will have to order some more. I'm really learning how to use the frame and the machine,love how quick I can quilt the quilt, as I got to the end my stitches were alot more uniform but we're not talking feathers...
here's a piccie of it on the frame
DH and I also worked out the heights needed adjusting, it's the maximum size the frame can take without putting in the queen sized extensions.  Will measure it tomorrow if I remember. I wanted to get it finished so I could unpick the leaders and bury some of the threads at patchwork club.  I'm done on the front and trimmed the backing, tomorrow I'm hoping to do the back and cut the binding...will be a finish for Friday fingers crossed, then it can go in the wash :O)
These are much larger squiggles than I've done before and it suits the quilt...am really happy :O)
I'm linking up for WIP Wednesday  at freshly pieced
Have a great evening, we've got a new series of the Apprentice starting, so time to turn on the tv...

Liebster Award

ohhh I'm excited, first I've got over 100 followers !!! I'm dumbfounded, this time last week I think I had 19....wowow,
Lisa from in the boon docks emailed and asked me could she award me the Liebster Blog.  I'd secretly been hoping someone would, it sorta made me feel that I'd been accepted into the quilt blogging world.
Thank you Lisa, it's made my day ;o)

Now I'm awarding it to 5 of my blogging friends who haven't been awarded it yet

If the blogs I listed want to accept the Liebster Award and pass it on to 5 blogs themselves, here are the rules:

This award is given by bloggers to their favorite blogs with under 200 followers. The Liebster Rules are:
1. Post about your win on your blog.
2. Link back to the blogger who presented you with the award.
3. Copy and paste the award to your blog.
4. Present the Liebster Award to 5 blogs that have less than 200 followers that you think deserve to be recognized.
5. Let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.

Firstly, there is Clare @ dordogne quilter
followed by Libby @miss beau jangles
then it's Pippa @pippa quilts
followed by Linda @living-the-dream
and last but not least sue @cotton berry

I hope you'll all be pleased to accept the award and pass it on :)

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Comments and Blogger....

Evening all,
I know that only 200 of the 215+ comments are showing up on the post, it's a known blogger issue and I really don't want to change to dynamic view which is the only way that all the comments show up, but don't worry, I've got a list of all the comments and they'll all be entered in the giveaway... In the meantime i'll try to find the solution :o)

20 March, 2012

Tuesday twitterings

It's Tuesday, it's the 20th March and officially the first day of Spring.
We had wonderful 25C the whole of last week. It all changed on Saturday and was a balmy 8C until today, temperatures are creeping up slowly, hopefully in time for next Saturday as I'm watching Jacques play football and prefer to do it in fairly dry and sunny weather :O)

It's been manic here because my parents and brother broke down on their way back home and so have had their return delayed until the car gets fixed, I'm looking after their animals for a few more days but it means running back and forth and not much time in between.

I did find time to piece the back of the charity quilt and we loaded up the frame yesterday, I'm probably a third of the way through quilting it now.  I'm using aurifil cream thread and hope I don't run out before i'm finished... god that frame or machine is frustrating, I can do a whole run without any thread breakage and the next run across 3 or 4 breakages...the tension is fine, I did change the needle and found it was better and also tried to level the frame a bit.  I'm trying to go with a big doodling type quilting, it's not the same size but it seems to look ok :O) and it's a charity quilt and a learning curve for me at the same time.

Now for the pictures, along with a fairly long story....
About 18 months ago, members of the SBS yahoo group decided to do a round robin quilt based on Sylvia's Medallion quilt, It was my first proper adventure into paper piecing and I loved it, I was really pleased with my centre block

 and we all worked to the same pattern but could add in fabric or provide my own, mine went to 3 other people who all added bits on, unfortunately the 4th person to have it went AWOL, myself and some on the board, emailed her, snail mailed her (thinking something bad may have happened) and after waiting months and months, the board members decided that Angela who had the awol quilters quilt would put the last but one border on and send it to me, I would get her quilt.... The last border was a crazy border and the board moderator actually made the blocks for me and sent them to Angela who attached them all and sent me the finished quilt.  I hadn't looked at the posted pictures and this arrived yesterday morning

 The colours are so vivid, I'm not a batik fan except when its chosen by someone else. It's very large and i'm trying to work out where it should go, it's too large for a wall but too small for my bed, too gorgeous to be a snuggle quilt...I'm also not sure I have the ability to quilt it, I really don't want to ruin everyone's hard work so i'm contemplating sending it to a long armer... decisions decisions....So there are lovely quilting angels out there who go above and beyond what anyone can expect of them and there are also some unpleasant quilters out there too.

And finally, I am still receiving entries and new followers, so welcome to all my new friends and I hope we get to know each other better in the weeks to come, I've only just finished the blog hop today and am eagerly awaiting Sunday morning and all my notifications of what I've won LOLOLOL shall we place bets, I think perhaps I'm going to win 2 things :O)
I have had lots of no reply blogger entries but hopefully as some of you are followers I will be able to track you down somehow, otherwise mr random may be busy.

Tomorrow it's Wednesday and here in France this mean no school for the kids of Primary and under age,for me that means patchwork club and getting Jacques to football.  Are any of you doing anything exciting tomorrow ???

18 March, 2012

Sunday Morning

Wow, what a wonderful day... I'm overwhelmed by the number so far of entries and I never really imagined people would want to follow me when there are so many more talented and interesting blogs around... the pressure is on now to keep you all... perhaps it was that my bribes were so yummy you couldn't resist :O)
I hope by now I've replied to everyone who's entered so far, unless your a no reply blogger.

My St Paddy's day was frantic and exhausting, my parents are in the UK for a flying visit so i'm looking after their dogs and cats, was awake and at their house for 7.25am, then had to pick up a friend who's helping us with a stone wall, then pick up Amelia to go to the bricohouse (DIY shop) some food shopping and home, prepare lunch, blog hop d through to m and then go back to let mum's dogs out, come back and make dinner... See exhausting...
And there was a virtual retreat on one of my yahoo groups, this one is to do with die cutting and so I got out my sizzix, gave me a great chance to play with the leaves and flower die I got...
Clare don't be sad I used a piece of the hand dyed...will reserve your piece, and came up with this, I'm thinking I'm going to turn it into a cushion for my quilting chair, problem is the cats all moult and love sitting on cushions...
I appliqued them on with a little applique machine stitch (my edges are improving) and today I want to sit and embroider the Pippa's Patch on and quilt the veins on the leaves etc with my perle cotton...

Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding here for lunch, parsnips, broccoli (with a splash of lemon juice) carrots, spuds (roast potatoes)  and some roasted garlic and red onions.
Oh a side note, I'm a very big Formula 1 fan, it was my life before I met my DH and had the kids...I was very fortunate to be able to go to a few races and even visit a team for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.. so fantastic driving in qualifying but bad luck  in the race Schuey

16 March, 2012

Happy Saint Patrick's Day Giveaway

It's the green day today, otherwise known as Saint Patrick's Day or St Paddy's Day as its now known... March 17th is a day of celebration for the Irish and now many other people celebrate it along with the Irish.  My parents have been in Dublin on St Paddy's day and drank green Guinness, well the froth is green, straight out of the pumps..and I hear they also sell green beer

Check out the list of other give-aways here

Now comes the exciting part and why your probably visiting me :O) It's my first go at a give-away so please be patient with me...

There's a  cute fabric journal, a quilting magnet (mine is hanging on my scissor rack) and this 28mm cutter, it has a wave, skip and a straight blade. I've found it to be really handy when doing paper piecing lately.  Finally, there's a piece of hand dyed damask fabric that I won in Applique Addict Pun giveaway.  It was made by Frauke @ quilthexle Her work is stunning and the photo does not do the fabric justice, please go check out her blog.

Now the really simple rules...
You have until 24th March at midnight CET.    All you need to do is leave a comment letting me know your favourite green thing, it could be fabric, food, clothing, nature, anything as long as it's green :) 
You don't need to be a follower but I would be very happy if you choose to become one.  
If you are a follower you will get 2 chances to win so please add another comment telling me you follow.

Can you please make sure I can contact you, I have already had some no reply bloggers and you haven't left email addresses.
Good Luck/Bonne Chance and Happy St Patrick's Day             
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14 March, 2012

Flimsy finish :O)

Yup, I've managed to find a few hours to cut, pin, sew and iron and have now got to flimsy finish stage on the quilt that we're sending to DH's boss who will sell/raffle/auction/give away to raise money for Parkinsons disease, his wife has unfortunately suffered from some time and was diagnosed as having early onset parkinsons...

Here's the flimsy
and i've decided for the first time ever i'm going to piece the back...here's what I was thinking

and then the binding in the yellow from the borders...

It's not perfect, my squares on the edges are not good, but it's a charity quilt and I hope someone likes it.

I'm going to load it up on the frame and do some free motion squiggles all over it I think...trying to decide on thread colour, white, cream, light grey or perhaps the teal/blue but I don't want to be changing thread all the time and am worried about the pieced bits and teal, any advice ??

ohh and update I just got an email to say I'd won a pattern from BasicGrey, I only entered this giveaway from During Quiet Time last night. :) how cool is that !! 

Wonderful Wednesday

It's a beautiful day here today and has been since Monday which is why I haven't been blogging, I've just been enjoying the sun.  Today the kids played outside *digging*  while I made home made minced beef and onion pies for lunch.  
Then I managed five minutes to finish off my Block 5 of the New York Beauty Quilt,

Side by side

It wasn't quite as accurate as the first block because of the way I ironed my points before attaching the outer arc, but I know for next time.... do you like it ???
not perfect alignment of points

12 March, 2012

Canadian Abroad: May I Introduce You To...

Canadian Abroad: May I Introduce You To...: ... Annie. Or more Precisely Annie's shop I'm really rather excited about this because we all know how frustrating shopping on...
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10 March, 2012

Modern Mini Mystery Round Robin UPDATE

Ok I'm allowed to post my centre block piccie, here it is

I was trying to be liberated by doing the wonky cross and using the dreaded b fabric, I do love the purple though and would quite happily use that in anything or everything

Such a lovely day here so going to decide what needs doing in garden
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09 March, 2012

Modern Mini Mystery Round Robin

Michelle from quilts from my crayon box is doing sign ups for the Modern Mini Mystery round robin...

here are the rules :)

This won't be your typical Round Robin. Oh no, nothing typical for me. I prefer to add my own bit of quirkiness to a lot of things I do. I want it to be modern and fresh, not something you would have seen in the 1980s. Plus most of us are uber busy so I want to keep it small, wall hanging or table topper size. And my financially responsible side also wanted to keep it mega cheap to participate in, so lots of you will want to join the party. (The accountant part of me always has a say in these matters you know.)
The details you ask? I'm getting to that! Okay, okay since you beg, here it is:
 *You will make a 6 1/2" unfinished center block. Modern, Fresh, Fun! Brights? Only a couple of colors? A whole rainbow? Neutrals? Whatever you want! You will mail it to the 1st person on the list in your group.
*To the center you receive from someone else you will add ONLY a border, between 1" and 2" finished MAX. Each border can be a simple single fabric or it can be a mini pieced border, your choice. You could instead add (2) 1" finished borders, again your choice, but no more than 2" finished total. Your fabric additions will be minimal, likely no more than a FQ. You can purchase something that coordinates with what was already added or pull from your stash.
*You will have one month to receive the current month's mini from the previous contributor, add your part and send it on to the next person. You must be diligent on mailing on time so the next person has enough time to do her (his) part.
*Finished size of the top will be between 16 1/2" to 20". 27" to 34" (Oops! Thanks Annie for catching this little math boo-boo). Keeping this small means that it can be mailed in a padded envelope, keeping the postage costs down to a minimum (and hopefully avoiding customs for our international players).
*8 participants per group. If more than 8 people join in GREAT! We can have more than one group going. International participants welcome.
So I bet by now you are wondering "Where is the Mystery part of this Round Robin"? Well...I like to be a bit sneaky and I'm great at keeping secrets. I hope you all are too. This will have not 1 but 2 levels of mystery involved.
Mystery #1 - Unlike in a typical Round Robin where the owner sends all the fabric to be used for the rows being added to her (his) center block, the owner will have no say in what colors or fabrics get added. Each participant will make that decision. The owner can send along a note mentioning a general scheme or where the finished wall hanging will be placed to give everyone in the group a little direction, but the ultimate choice of fabrics/color/style will be up to each person in the round. If you choose to join in, you agree to accept the fact that you will have absolutely no control over the rest of the parts. Thems the rules!
Mystery #2 - Once the owner sends the center to the 1st person on the list, she (or he of course) will not know who else will be adding to it. I will email that list to the 1st person. So until the owner gets her (his) top back in December, there will be no knowledge (or emailing in the background with suggestions) by the owner to the other participants possible. (Except for me of course since I will putting the groups together, but there has to be some bonus since I came up with the idea and am hosting it. Believe me, I won't cheat! I really do prefer surprises.)
Sound fun to you? I hope so. In the end you will receive back a mini wall hanging/table topper that you can finish any way your little heart desires. I for one am needing something lovely to decorate the bare walls of my new studio. 
Doesn't it sound great, I'm not sure yet if I'm allowed to show you my centre block... its different for me and one of my new fabrics that I love, along with some of that dreaded B***K word.... I'm going to start looking at some thin border ideas to add to it. 1-2 inches is pretty small 
I've managed to sneak an hour of sewing again today, I've made two wonky cross blocks, I was reading about them here and thought ahhh that look easy and I was trying to be liberated, because I'm sending them to Clare at  quilts 4 leukaemia and she's the queen of liberation and always saying I need to go with the flow and not be so accurate.... here's the blocks