Wednesday, 19 October 2016

At Last, At Last, a Finished top!

At last I have progress to show you on my circles quilt.  'I don't believe it' I hear you cry, but 'tis true, the top is finished at long last.

Like the borders?  Worth waiting for?  Don't answer that!!!  In case you have forgot I had discussions about the borders with Jennifer @ The Inquiring Quilter, I knew I what I wanted with the colours but felt it would be too heavy, too solid.  Jennifer had the inspiration of adding the background, inspired or what?  

Have a closer look,  There is a one inch finished background border, a two inch finished coloured border, and another 1 inch finished background border.  The grey of the diamonds was added as cornerstones to the coloured border.  In retrospect the corners should all have been lighter in colour to enhance the grey, but I had just about run out of colours and didn't want to repeat any.  So, what's the verdict? 

So now I need help, can I go on calling it my Circles Quilt?  Now the top is finished it needs a proper name, but what?  Circles, moons, spheres, diamonds, stuff like that comes to mind but nothing is grabbing me, do you have any inspiration? 

I have also caught up (almost) with the Meadowfield Mystery Quilt.  Oh yes, I've been motoring.

Look at all those half square triangles!   The light colour is a sort of grey blue but the light wasn't wonderful for pics.  You should have seen them before I enhanced them.  This was month two, the first month was the cutting.

Month three, not only half square triangles but quarter square triangles too, Cheryl is surely the triangle queen.  How do I make such wonderful triangles you ask?  Well I finally tracked down a shop in the UK that sells BlocLoc rulers, Patchwork Cabin and invested in the six inch one.   Although you can't order from the website you can ring and order over the phone.  I rang up on the Saturday and my ruler arrived, very well packaged, on the Tuesday, excellent service, and the lady was very helpful and nice too.   If you haven't looked at them before BlocLoc rulers come in all different sizes, but by getting just the 6 inch one I could cut blocks up to 6 inches, rather than buying all the sizes, which would be eye wateringly expensive, and I'm mean like that.

This is what I have left from the cutting.  Why did I day almost caught up?  I messed up cutting one of the quarter square triangles so I have to make another one.

You may have noticed I changed one of my fabrics from my original choice.   It was when I realised there was all those half square triangles and the fabric is directional.  I also had reservations about it being next to the grey/blue, it didn't quite do it for me.  Shame I didn't decide to change it BEFORE I cut it all up..........

No further news on my sewing room sadly, but I can show you......

The newly painted cupboard, now I can get lots of stuff in that.  Couldn't show you it now though, it's full of stuff.....

and my quilting books in a corner waiting for some shelves to find a new home.  

It has now been three weeks since I ordered the table and chair though and delivery was supposed to be 28 days so fingers crossed the room will be finished by say, Christmas??????

And that's your lot for today, I hope you've enjoyed reading the blog, makes a change from my whinging anyway.

Until next time
Smiles from Kate :-)

Linking up with Lorna @ Let's Bee Social, Kelly @ Needle'n' Thread Thursday, Sarah @ Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? 

Sunday, 16 October 2016

2016 Finish Along Quarter 4

Just a short post, it was written in advance and it's a bit boring really, but I'm publishing it anyway because it will help me focus.

The good news is I have been sewing this weekend, it felt great to be getting something done and giving myself a shake.  I'll do a 'proper post' next week, and this time I will have some progress to show you.

Now that the summer is officially over I am hoping to get back to normal and get back into my quilting routine, if I ever had one in the first place that is!

Without further ado, here is my list for this quarter.

1 Get, and keep, up to date with the Meadow Mystery Quilt, which is great fun.  I haven't done a mystery quilt before.

This was my original fabric pull, but I changed the yellow/green one for a lovely tomato red.

2 Get the circles quilt finished and give it a name.

3 Make two Advent calendars for gifts, make that three.  I have a collection of panels to dip into, I buy them every year, I just can't resist.
Update I sorted through my advent calendar collection yesterday, I chose three out of a total of 15 (blush, blush).

4 Join Jennifer, The Inquiring Quilter, on her Berry Cross quilt along, her new pattern from the Cloud9 Blog Hop.  Please, please check it out, there is a new button for the quilt along on my sidebar which takes you to the page and schedule.

5  I'm doing two mini quilt swaps for Christmas with my wonderful friends Jennifer and Janice who have been sharing this wonderful new quilt blogger adventure with me.

And that's it, I have omitted a lot of the stuff I didn't get done last quarter, in fact I only brought one forward and added four new things.  There are a couple of bits and pieces I'd like to do, but they aren't a priority just now.  Realistically I need to make the mini quilts, the advent calendars and I would really like to finish the circles quilt, anything after that is a bonus.

Linking up to Mrs Sew and So, one of the global hosts.

Wish me luck in my list, after last quarter even one finish would be a result, but you know what Today has been cold and rainy, I've been in the house all day, I've seen no one or spoken to no one, except my husband, but life is what you make of it and I'm bouncing back, and its partly because of the wonderful messages of support you have given me.   So, sorry I haven't been reading many blogs recently, and I've not been commenting or keeping up with my return emails either, but I'm still here and I'm smiling again, so, see you soon

Smiles and hugs,
Kate x

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Quarter 3 Finish Along - My Progress, or Not???

Firstly thank you so much Everyone, for the lovely comments of support and private messages you sent me, it meant such a lot.  Thank you too, to all the no reply bloggers who I was unable to answer.  

Edna died on Saturday with her beloved husband Jack at her side.  A peaceful end to a life well lived.

I wrote this post in advance, but as events overtook me I didn't get to post it  and now it is well outside the time constraints.  It doesn't matter, here it is anyway if anyone is interested to read of my progress.  I have the Quarter 4 post part written too, I don't know if I am in time for that one or not but I'll post it in a day or two anyway.

Here is the post as written.......

The end of Quarter 3 and what did I achieve?  Very little, but hey, we all have times like this when life takes over and we all must choose our own priorities.  So what did I do?  Here is the list...

1  Complete the top, layer, quilt, and bind my circles quilt.
I have made progress by completing the blocks, but the border still isn't finished let alone finishing the quilt.

2  Start my new quilt to be revealed later this month, I am aiming to make the first three parts.
No pic because it isn't started yet and it's a secret.
Started, but I haven't even finished the first section yet. But here is one of the first blocks I made for the Gypsy Wife Quilt.

3  Make my five cushion tops into cushions, if I don't make these a goal to finish I don't think they will ever get done.
I have made some progress, The elephants are layered and quilted and just need to be made into cushions, but I haven't started the other two yet..

4  Complete my Elephant and I quilt top, I cut the fabric strips last year then decided to change a couple of the colours, I haven't touched it since.  So another one with no pic.
No, never even thought of it.
5  Finish all the mug rugs and coasters I blogged about here.   Yes, its a tall order I know but I'm going to make the effort.  Here is a pic of some of them.
Did one elephant, messed it up and somehow added the wadding but no backing???  Some of the others have been quilted but no binding has been added, yet.

6  Layer quilt and bind my Little House in the Woods quilt.  You have seen it before but here it is again.  To tell the truth I'm afraid of making a mess of it. 
Still haven't touched it. 

7  Make the Ugly Christmas Sweaters quilt, so far one block done and I'm not happy with that!

What did I tell you?  absolute rubbish, no excuses, yes I had stuff going on, but so do we all.

I did do the Cloud9 New Block Blog Hop though and that was great fun, AND, I made a lovely cushion out of one of the test reject blocks.

You may well have seen it before but I HAVE to show you a finish and it appears to be the only one of the quarter, I don't believe it!

I could have just not bothered to link up to the FAL but in compiling this post I am reminded of how well I was doing earlier this year and how much I have slipped in the last three months.  

So, here I am linking up with Nicky @ Mrs Sew and Sew but there are other hosts all over the globe.

Smiles from,

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Why I've been gone

I've been quite elusive recently, not posting, slow to respond or return visiting, not much reading, and generally I've been rubbish.

Truth is we have some serious family illness, the kind that doesn't have a happy ending.  It happens in all families at one point or another and my husband and I have been extremely lucky in our lives in that it has so rarely touched us.

But life continues, the sun still shines, the birds still sing, and the season is giving one last glorious burst of beauty before the long winter sleep.

It makes me think, who is this woman I have known for 27 years?  To me she is the mother in law I didn't choose who became my friend.  To her family she is the laughing sister who teased and played, the girl in the uniform of the Womens Royal Airforce in the war, the blushing bride who left her home in the south to live with her husband and family in the northeast of England.  She is Mother to two sons, she raised them, cared for them, taught them right from wrong.  She was there  to babysit her grandchildren, tell them stories of when she was a girl, with a handbag which always had sweets and pennies to bring a smile to their face.  More recently she has been Great Grandma, always smiling, there to listen, still with the handbag of sweets and pennies.

But the world turns, and her smile is fading.  To the children she will soon become a shadow, half remembered from pictures where she held them on her lap.  The older ones will have clearer memories which will be sparked when someone says 'do you remember' at family occasions and celebrations, or when someone produces a handbag with sweets and pennies.   She will remain in the hearts of her sons forever, this woman who made them what they are.  He husband's heart is breaking as his soulmate and bride of over 66 years is leaving him behind, and wishes he could go too, and her brother and sister cry for their laughing playmate, who teased them, argued with them, and was there is all their childhood memories.  

But the sun is still shining, the birds are still singing, autumn is still in it's final blaze of glory before the winter comes, and the world still turns.

So, no pics today, but maybe tomorrow, or the next day, I'm still here, just hurting.

Kate x

Friday, 23 September 2016

Bloggers Quilt Festival: Modern Quilt Category

This is my second entry to the Bloggers Quilt Festival: Fall 2016 hosted by Amy Ellis of Amys Creative Side.

May I present to you Bluebell Woods entered in the Modern Quilts section.

Bluebell was made from Sherri Lynn Wood's book The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters using Score 1, Floating Squares. She is 50.1/2 by 43.1/2inches, and quilted using the serpentine stitch, Bernina stitch 4 set to length 2, width 2.5.

Can you see the bluebells, in three different shades, for as you know bluebells come in many different colours. The trees are arching over on the right, and the blue sky is overhead, peeping through at the top left corner. The gentle rain is falling softly on Bluebell Woods, feeding and nurturing the rich soil. Although I had originally intended to bind the quilt in green with a scattering of bluebells I didn't have enough left, therefor I extended the sky and the trees into the border and added only random bluebells on three sides. However I am pleased with the effect this gives.

I didn't plan the size, I just made the blocks and Bluebell just seemed to take on a life of her own. When it came to putting her together there was very little adjustment to be made. One block was too small by 3 1/2 inches, so I fudged a bit extra which blended in quite well, in fact although I know which block I have trouble seeing the adjustment. On another I added a small strip of background at the side. I did use the rotary cutter on the edges for a very light trim where they were very wavy, and one block was slightly too tall and had just over an inch trimmed off the top. Let's take a closer look.

Can you see the rain now?  If we turn her over.......

You can see underneath the surface, the rich dark soil which feeds the woods, and look, there are lots of seeds scattered, ready for the summer flowers, (but there again it could be because I bought the fabric on sale :)

I had the most fun making this quilt, and if you would like to read the inspiration and the story behind it start with post 1, post 2, post 3, post 4, the reveal, and post 5, the final chapter to find the secret behind the quilt, but make sure you read them in order.

Enjoy the festival, and make sure you remember to vote on your favourite in each of the different categories.

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit me, and if you consider voting for me I am most grateful, it would be wonderful if you came back.

Until next time
Smiles from

Bloggers Quilt Festival 2016

The time is here for the  Bloggers Quilt Festival: Fall 2016 hosted by Amy Ellis of Amys Creative Side

As I only started blogging in January this year (and I still haven't figured out how Instagram works properly yet, but, I have made some progress), this is the first time I have entered.  I love making small quilts and this one is one of my favourites, City lights, a special gift for my husband and my entry for the Small Quilts section.

The fabric used is Oakshott Lipari with Oakshott Colourshott charm centres in the 6 inch blocks.

It was quilted using the Serpentine stitch, no 4 on my Bernina with a stitch length of 2 width 2.5.  I used Aurifil  50/2 grey thread no 2605.  It shows up slightly lighter than I expected but it was the darkest grey my local quilt shop had.  The wadding used was Warm and Natural.  Can you see the way the fabric shines and shimmers?  The warp is black and the weft is iridescent jewel tones, it is even lovelier in reality.

This was the first time I made a pieced back.

The binding was made from the scraps, there wasn't much left at the end, good job Oakshott fabric is 54 inches wide.

I hope you like City Lights as much as I do, and in case you are interested, my husband loves it.

Enjoy the festival, and make sure you remember to vote on your favourite in each of the different categories.

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit me, and if you consider voting for me I am most grateful, it would be wonderful if you came back.

Until next time
Smiles from

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

What Happened to the Rejects?

After a manic week work wise which included me catering for a weekend event which included, not only several vegetarians but three vegans, I now have the painter here.   It is impossible to sew, I am camped out between my bedroom and the kitchen.  I had to empty the bookcases in the dining room and carry all the books upstairs into the spare bedroom, then there was the pictures from the dining room and the lounge and all the bits and pieces, good job I prefer it a more minimalist look.  So this is what I held back from my post last week.

Just to recap I showed you the block I designed, Barcodes.

And explained a bit about the process with a pic of my rejects including.......

My first attempt.

 I loved the colours in the first one, so......

I salvaged it, by adding five of the block units, the ones at the top and right of the pic, and made it into a cushion (pillow).   I had to change the right middle one so it would fit in.  There is still a unit that is on the large size, but I managed to disguise the one on the edge which is now the middle block.  

Slightly unbalanced, but worth salvaging or what?  Perfect for my rocking chair, which has new blue seat cushions.

I used what I had for the backing, which has two colours to use up a 10 inch width of fabric strip of red and a smaller piece of blue.

I did my favourite serpentine stitch quilting and I also stitched just under 1/4 inch all around the edge to stop the bright backing from showing.

Now I'm thinking it would look great if I used Barcodes to make a scrappy quilt..........

And what about the gruesome reject?  Well I haven't binned it, but so far I haven't had time to do anything with it.   Although I do make cushion covers for the cushions we use at work so I could always add a border and use it up.  Some of the plain ones I made from dreadful fabric I bought when I was a new quilter have received several compliments, so I guess someone will love the gruesome one, especially if they are colour blind!!!  I need to have a think about it, maybe go radical, after all if I make a complete dogs dinner out of it I haven't lost much have I?  One things for sure, when I do get it done, you will see the whole process, however it turns out.

Remember this pic?  Sorry, no wonderful transformational pics to show you, in fact it got much worse, so much for doing out my sewing room.

This was the last glimpse you got of it, just a reminder the blue splurge is the thread catcher!!!

This is what I would like, see the aperture where the machine fits in so you can have it level with the table?  And look at all that space, it makes a great cutting table too, and it tilts so you can out it against the walk if you need the space for anything.  Perfect except for one thing, it is £899, or that's what it said yesterday, I have been told the prices are going up at the end of the month.

This is more affordable at £179, which will rise to £189 next month. It is smaller, and I won't be able to move it, but, with an Ikea table to the back, and maybe another at the side for quilting, it might make a very nice setup. It has lots of room for me to sit which the small cabinet didn't, I felt my legs were squashed and I couldn't get as close as I would like. It comes in white, beech and teak, I'm hovering between white and beech.

I will sell the small Horne Cabinet I already have which are about £400 new.  I have been advised they sell for between £100 and £150 secondhand, but mine is teak and a bit older so I will advertise it for £99 and settle for £80 which would make it a good buy.

If you would like to see more Horne cabinets check out the website.

But today the lounge and dining room will be finished and tomorrow the painter will start the transformation of the sewing room which is already cleared.  I already have great new lighting, LED lights inset into the ceiling, and now my north facing room is flooded with light.  It is the coldest room as it is above the garage, so I will look at a small electric fan heater.  I know they are more expensive to run but it will probably be for shorter periods as I do have a radiator in the room anyway.

So, from the confines of my bedroom I am sending you smiles,

Linking up with Lorna @ Let's Bee Social, Kelly @ Needle'n' Thread Thursday, Sarah @ Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?