Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Eye Spy Economy Block Quilt -Ta Da!

I'm certainly on a roll at the moment. I've finished another of my WIP's and I'm well on my way with a few others ( which I will reveal in later posts).
So, here is my economy block quilt in all it's glory:

And here is the back:
In close up on the back:
And similarly on the front:

Quilt stats:

48 inches by 60 inches

Front made with 6 inch ( finished ) blocks from stash, with lots of fussy cutting
Back made with 'Princess Kingdom' from Alexander Henry and a strip of Denyse Schmidt ( don't know what it is called) again from stash
Binding another unknown fabric from my stash
Quilted with So fine in white .

I'm a little disappointed with myself as the quilting on this one is not the finest! I wanted the quilting to be light, so as not to detract from the blocks. So, I just did wavy lines diagonally round all the blocks. I think I had it too loosely set up on the machine and it is not as 'flat' as I would have liked. It does give it a softer handle than more dense quilting, which I suppose was the effect I was after.
Once I've done the label, this is off to Isabella, the daughter of a colleague of mine.

I'm chuffed because this is the second finish of FAL quarter 2 and it's not May yet!

Finish Along 2014

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

'Lil'Twister Quilt Finished

Well, the long Easter weekend was quite a productive one for me. We decided not to go away, but to stay and enjoy the few days of glorious sunshine. Harri went back up to Durham on Thursday, dissertation well under way, so I got my computer back. Madlen was working on Good Friday and Easter Monday, so there was just Mr Hare and myself. We had a busy day of gardening on Friday (still lots more to do though) and went out to The Bear in Crickhowell in the evening with friends.

These tulips I planted in the autumn have been wonderful and flowering much earlier than usual.
I planted two big pots full of these colours and another two pots ( which aren't quite so advanced) of pinks and purples. The weather has been unusual again this year. My wisteria is just coming into flower already, a good 3-4 weeks earlier than is normal.
Mr Hare went away on Sunday and Monday, leaving me to sew. Bliss! So, this :

became this:
which became this:

These phone photos aren't doing it any justice, because it is very pretty.
Quilt stats:
34 x 44 inches
Front made with a mixture of prints  including lots of Posy, some Wee Wander and lots of others.
Edging made with pale grey Sketch from Timeless Treasures.
Back made with some lavender flannel I bought in Joann's when I was in the States in February
Binding Roman Glass in pink by Kaffe Fassett.
Quilted with So fine ( no 401) by Superior threads.
This is the first quilt I have quilted on my longarm since it was reassembled after the fire. Before that, I had only quilted 2  quilts on my longarm, so I am a real novice.
What have I learned so far? Well, stippling is a very forgiving quilting design, and although I need lots more practice the quilt doesn't look too bad. I also found out to leave more overlap in the throat distance. When I had finished, I had a line of missed quilting all the way across. Fortunately, I just reloaded the quilt with the back facing upwards and filled in the gap.
I tried to plan my quilting using a hera marker. Well, that didn't work, I couldn't see the lines.I tried a blue chalk pen- same thing. So I abandoned that and just winged it. I also found I couldn't see where I had previously quilted ( the light in my sewing room is very bright) and so there are some overlapping quilting lines.
This has got me fired up and ready for some more. So, this afternoon I'll load up another one and get going. I also discovered I need to buy some more wadding. This is a real dilemma. What do I go for? I really like Quilter's Dream Orient, but it's relatively expensive. Do I order a whole roll of wadding and become a proper grown up quilter? 



Thursday, 10 April 2014

FAL Second Quarter

Despite only finishing one of my FAL Q1 list of shame I'm going to be foolish enough to bring this list forward to quarter 2 and add 5 more projects. Why add any more when I have enough WIP's to last a year? Well, it's because I have to do them.
So here goes again
1) FAL  quarter 1 list minus the VW cushion

2)Sibling together quilt No 1

I've had back all the bee blocks and pieced the top together, just waiting for backing and binding fabric to arrive

3)Siblings together Quilt No 2
My fellow bee mates made half of another set of blocks for me. I'm also waiting for more of the white crosshatch botanics to finish this one as well. I've cut out all the 5inch squares though
4and 5) Girl baby quilt and divided basket
My friend Ginevra is imminently about to give birth. I want to do a 'lil'twister quilt for her baby.
I've done a fabric pull, just have to get on with it
I'd also like to make her a divided basket to hold baby things. I've got the pattern so again have to get on with it.
6) Boy baby quilt
Another friend is having her first grandson, so I've said I'll make a quilt for him as well. I've done a fabric pull for this one, but haven't decided on a pattern yet.
I think that's more than enough to be going on with.

Finish Along 2014

Friday, 4 April 2014

Finish A Long- First quarter


Finish Along 2014
Well, this quarter has been a complete washout! which fits with the weather as well.
I only managed one finish from my very long list. I finished the VW cushion

I blogged about the cushion here. In my defence, I have had a lot of other things to do: clearing out my office at work, sorting out the paper work to revalidate, setting up my sewing room and holding Harri's hand whilst he sorts out his dissertation. I have managed to finish sewing together my hexagon stars quilt top
I've made a design board:
I've finished all the blocks now for my 'It's a Wonderful World Quilt' but I have to put them together and finish it off.
All the rest of my original list will have to be carried forward to the second quarter. Hopefully, I'll have a bit more done to report back about by then.


The End of an Era

Well, that's it. I'm now officially a retired person. It is a very strange feeling, partly like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders and partly some anxiety about the future. I have been in school, university or working since I was 5 years old ( with the exception of two 5 months breaks for maternity leave) so this is very novel.
It's also strange cleaning out 20 years worth of accumulated rubbish from my office. I  had never thrown out all the old lectures/teaching sessions on overheads or slides, even though they had been superseded by Power Point and online learning. I had collected shelves worth of old research papers, teaching handouts, academic journals etc. It was very liberating to throw it all in the bin.

I had a lovely send off  with this wonderful cake, which unfortunately Mr Hare couldn't resist, so I haven't got any before photos.

The red ball in the middle is meant to be a pin cushion and it did have the most wonderfully crafted pins on it  which unfortunately got knocked off on the trip home. As you can see, it's absolutely brilliant! We did not eat it all ( it was huge!) so I took it back to work for everyone to have a share.
I also had a fantastic bunch of flowers, which again I forgot to photograph, so here they are a few days later:
They had kindly made a collection for me and I was given a huge wodge of cash. I have already spent most of it on quilty things! I ordered some fabric which has yet to arrive  but these goodies have arrived:
I will have a meal out with all my colleagues at a later date.
 I have been frantically trying to revalidate , so I could go and do VSO or other work abroad. The GMC in it's wisdom has declared all doctors have to revalidate every 5 years. This is an entirely paper ( well computer) exercise and will not stop any future Harold Shipmans. Unfortunately, my number came up in the first tranch so I have been jumping through all the necessary hoops. I had my final appraisal on my last day. All my patient reviews are in and I'm just waiting for the 360 degree multisource feedback from my colleagues. I had done a few for colleagues before I left and quite honestly anyone would have to be seriously bad not to get a good review.  Anyway, I hope that it will all be done in time. My revalidation date is mid May, so I should be alright.
All this paper work has left little time for sewing, but I hope to rectify that in the next few weeks.