Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Busy Busy Busy

That's my life just now.  Do you ever have those times when you hardly have time to draw breath?  Now you want to know why don't you?  Well nothing out of the ordinary really, just life in general.  We had a training weekend at work this weekend, that's always a busy week.  Why?  No, I'm not a trainer, although my husband is, but my responsibility is the catering.  Yes, it's the vegans again!  Four of them.  Lunch and snacks for two days, and not a vegan caterer to be found.  So it's do it yourself time, AGAIN.  Oh well, the good news is it is two months until the next, and last, weekend in the course.  If they were not such lovely and appreciative people I would dread it.  I'm just keeping my fingers crossed there are none in the next course.

So, what have I been up to sewing wise?  Well I haven't had a lot of time so I had to prioritise, first I made,

this, a courthouse steps block for Stephanie in Hive Two in Stash Bee.  In reality it's a bit brighter than the pic, taken on a dull and miserable day.  Stephanie wanted sea colours, and do you know that although I have made log cabins before I have never done a courthouse steps.  Well I have now!  By the way, the grey background is white!

I also finished,

this block for Carmit.  Only this time I lightened the pic too much and it's richer than it seems here.  I wasn't having such a good day when I did this pic either.  It's a 15 inch block in purples, no those strips are not grey, honest, I seemed to have striped the colour out of the block.  Carmit is in Stash Bee too in Hive 4, this was her request for February and I was two weeks late mailing it so I didn't post it on Stash Bee.  I was hive crashing you see, Carmit, from Quilting Rainbows, was the very first blogger to strike up a conversation with me when I started blogging, she made me feel so welcome, and I have never forgot it, so I wanted to make a block for her.

The only other stitching I have been doing is,

THIS!!!!  Oh yes, singing and dancing time, I stitched my Meadowfield Mystery quilt top together.  I am so happy with it, although not so happy while I was stitching it, it almost drove me mad.  Some blocks stitched together so easy and others, honestly, I took out the seams three, four, five, even six times before I was happy with them, I kid you not, they just wouldn't line up properly.  A couple of times it was so bad I had to walk away, THEN when I went back it fell into place first time, have you ever had that?

Unfortunately I haven't had time to get it layered or start the quilting yet.  I need it finished because it is already a week late.  Yes, I am going to give it away.  I will be sad to part with it, but you know I have had so much pleasure making it I am happy for it to give pleasure to someone else.  When I get it finished that is!

If you haven't been here before, Meadowfield Mystery is a free pattern from the very talented Cheryl from Meadow Mist Designs.  The wonderful news is the next one, Magnolia Mystery, starts on July 6th, mark that one on your calendar.  I had so much fun with this one and seeing everyone's progress on the Facebook page I am definitely joining in.

I just HAVE to show you what came through the post though

the first block from my bee mates in Bee Inspired.  This one came all the way from Canada from the lovely Velda who blogs at GRANNYcanQUILT, even her name is lovely.  Gorgeous isn't it?  This is SO exciting, and just think, I get to do it all again in May when I am queen in my Stash Bee hive.

So that's all that's been happening with me, pretty boring isn't it?  Except when you receive surprises in the post that is, I tell you, when I open the front door coming home from work my heart is thudding with the thoughts of what could be on the doormat!  Bet you can't wait till next week when I give you the next instalment (helpless giggles).

Until then
Smiles from,
Kate x

Linking up with the lovely
 Lorna at Let's Bee Social
Kelly at Needle and Thread Thursday
Sarah at Can I Get a Whoop Whoop
Shelly @The Carpenters Daughter Who Quilts hosting for TGIFF
Myra at Busy Hands Quilts

Friday, 10 March 2017

Quilters Laundry Day Mini Quilt Along

Oh Yes!!! This is the day we have all been waiting for, the first day of Jen and Jan's Mini Blog Hop.

Jen from A Dream and a Stitch and Janice from Color, Creating and Quilting have been working hard organising the second of Jen and Jan's Blog Hops with a pattern created specially by Jen and available free in her Craftsy shop here.

Jen and half of the participating quilter bloggers are posting today, Janice and the other quilt bloggers are posting tomorrow.

AND there are prizes.  To be eligible for the prize draw just leave a comment on Jen and Jan's posts.

So now without further ado I give you...........

Quilters Laundry Day, Kate style.     Like it?  Let's get another view.

Here you can see the quilting, in the, would you believe, bright sunshine in Northeast England (of course it could also be described as over exposed).   But you still can't see all the detail, so let's look closer..........

That's better, straight line quilting on the house and curtains at the windows, can you see the sewing machine on Mrs Quilters windowsill?  You can just about see the wavy tiles on the roof.

Round pebbles on the stony path.

Mrs Quilter has hung her quilt on the washing line, she loves her modern solids and sets her quilt off with a motif stitched with variegated thread.

Her grass is littered with daisies, and look, can you see the tortoise hiding below the quilt?  There is an echo of her children toys in the grass too, can you see the bicycle, the pig, the car pulling a caravan, and the umbrella?  Mrs quilter doesn't like strimmers and the grass grows long at the bottom of the washing posts.

There are aeroplanes flying in the sky above the house,

and the children's kite has escaped it's string and is flying free with it's tail streaming through the sky.

The back of the quilt is a fabric left over from a quilt for my granddaughter made about three years ago, I don't know what it is except it was about 108 inches wide.  Can you see the pebbles better now?

Quilters Laundry day was framed with a dark blue Moda solid.

I do hope you like my version of Jen's pattern, remember the link to the free pattern is at the top of the page if you would like to make your own version.

Here are the links to all of the other participating blogs, remember to leave a comment on Jen's blog today and Janice's blog tomorrow to win a prize, winners to be drawn on Wednesday.

Enjoy the rest of the Hop!

March 10 Reveal Day

Jen Rosin  A Dream and a Stitch
Kate Heads at Smiles From Kate
Jennifer Fulton at Inquiring Quilter
Karen Thurn at Tu-Na Quilts, Travels and Eats

Melva Nolan at Melva Loves Scraps
Vicki at Vicki's Crafts & Quilting
Julie Stocker at Pink Doxies
Anja Clyke at Anja Quilts
Diann at Little Penguin Quilts
Jayne at Twiggy & Opal
Susan Arnold at Quilt Fabrication
Leanne Milsom at Lizzie the Quilter
Sandra Walker at Mmm! Quilts!

March 11 Reveal Day

Janice Holton at Color Creating & Quilting
Jennifer Strauser at Dizzy Quilter
Amy Gerlich at Amy Scrap Spot
Sharon Denney Parcel at Yellow Cat Quilt Designs
Susan Gordon at Sevenoaks Street Quilts
Anne Boundy at Said With Love
Barbara Wootie at The Flashing Scissors
Jan Welander at Making Scraps

With smiles from,
Kate x

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

It's nearly time..........

for Jen and Jan's Mini Blog Hop!

Only two more sleeps, It is SO exciting.  It is over two days, Friday 10th (my day) and Saturday 11th.  Everyone seems to be very cagey, some have told me they have finished but I have had NO sneak peaks, so aggravating, I can hardly wait to see what everyone has done.

Do you want a sneak peak at mine?  Ok then, here it is..........

Like it?  You didn't think I would show you more did you?  Well....................NO!!!  You will have to wait until Friday.  Hehe, joy oh joy, I'm so excited!

I've been working on it all week, yes it's because I'm so slow, so I haven't has time to do much else.  I started,

stitching this together, yes I know this is the first pic with the two mistakes and no, I haven't sorted them yet.  But I just had to get the top done, only I had a bit of trouble, I got on fine then I couldn't match one of the seams and eventually I had to stop, sad.  I went back to it an hour later and it just fell into place, would you believe it?  I ended up with three rows done so I have two more to do, plus the mistakes, but I haven't had time to get back to it yet.

I did get to my quilting group on Saturday though.  The thing is I never know what to take, then someone said something to me last week, well it was about a Gypsy Wife quilt, but I had a light bulb moment.  Why don't I start something and keep it just to take to my monthly group?  NO not Gypsy Wife, it's in my WIP's, it has to be over one year to be a UFO.  So, I sorted out the fabric I bought in January, no, I didn't show you this lot (blush, blush), and I took it to start a new quilt, want to see it?

I decided to do a modern sampler quilt using Tula Pink's !00 Modern Sampler Quilt Blocks book after seeing Sophie's lovely lovely sampler quilt, isn't it gorgeous?  I love everything Sophie makes, its you haven't seen her blog before check it out at Luna Lovequilts.  So, what do you think of the fabric?  San Mateo, Nancy Rink Designs, Marcus Fabrics.   It's all one range, AND it's not a solid, although it does have some of my favourite tone on tones.  I bought it on an impulse, and to be honest it doesn't really go with my house at all, so I don't know if I will keep it or give it away.

As the blocks are all six inches and seem to use mostly 1.5, 2.5, and 3.5 inch widths (plus some 1 inch) I spent lots of time pressing my fabric and cutting out strips from it all.  Only thing was by the time I finished it was almost too late to get the machine out and start making any, so I worked on one or two embellishments for my mini.  Oooops!  Can't show you that can I?

Ok then, officially, I have another two cushions form my UFO box to link up to Jennifer's WIP.

Thes one's.  It worked last time I linked up a UFO to Jennifer at The inquiring Quilter, so I'm planning to reduce my UFO's and WIP's by systematically linking them one by one.

So that's me for today, bet you can't wait until Friday, I'll be posting the list of everyone else who is participating too, AND a list of everyone posting on the Saturday, so make sure you remember to check back then.  I believe there is about thirty of us taking part, yes really, and I know a couple have never participated in a blog hop before, so please show your support to everyone.

Until Friday,
With smiles from,
Kate x

Linking up with
Jennifer @ Wednesday Weight Loss 
Kelly @Needle and Thread Thursday
Sarah @Confessions of a Fabricaddict
Myra @ Busy Hands Quilts
Sarah @Quiltmoderne hosting for TGIFF
Amanda Jean @Crazy Mom Quilts

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

It's my turn......

This is such an exciting month for me, I'm Queen Bee in one of my online quilting bees, Bee Inspired

The block I chose was Trees and Gnomes designed by Sylvia at Flying Parrot Quilts 

Like it?  Yes I know the pic is rubbish, I left it late to make it and the weather has been pretty dreek  for taking pics.  You can find Sylvia's original tutorial here.  I first saw it on the Stash Bee blog in June 2015 and it was love at first sight, sigh............

This is my block I made, I didn't do a tutorial on my blog post at Bee Inspired because the original is so good.  I did share my observations and thoughts in making the block on my Bee Inspired post, and my mistakes, blush. You can always hop over and read them if you are interested.

When you were all drooling over Quilt Con last week I got to go to Harrogate UK for a show, what can I tell you? Well, to be honest it was a bit disappointing, ok a lot disappointing.  There was an exhibition of quilts that seemed to have been entered for things in years past, it was quite small and there wasn't much to my taste, most was rather traditional.  I did see a couple I liked though.

I found this one interesting, partly because it looked nothing to the naked eye, until I looked through the camera on my phone and all the details came out.  Unfortunately  the focus was off when I took a pic of the description so I can't say who quilted it or when.

This was the one I preferred though.  Again it looked nothing until I viewed it through the camera.  It is named Karma and was commissioned by the Quilters Guild Region 10 for the 'In The Spotlight Gallery at Festival of Quilts in 2008 and it's by Gilli Theokritoff,  Nottingham.

I was also drawn to this one, Sea Urchins, made by Annelize Littlefair, Oxfordshire from a pattern by Judy Niemeyer.  Stunning isn't it?  I love the colours.  The pattern is still available in the ladies website, but it costs serious money.

There wasn't many vendors at Harrogate, but I did manage to buy another ten bobbins for Baby, a neutrals jelly roll which I haven't photographed as it is just whites ,creams, and greys, with a little black and wont photograph well.  What else did I buy?

Drool over these why don't you.  Moda Grunge, all in half meters, what a stunning quilt these babies will make.

So that's it, no more sewing done, no more purchases.

Just to let you know I will be doing an extra post next week, on the 10th when it is my day to participate in Jen and Jan's Mini Blog Hop.  If you didn't read my previous post go have a look at the pattern Jen has designed available as a free download on Craftsy.  It's called Quilters Laundry Day.  It's still not too late to join in if you like, just contact Janice from Colour Creating and Quilting, or Jen from A Dream and a Stitch. 

Almost forgot to tell you, one of my group in the New Quilt Bloggers 2016 not only had quilts accepted at Quilt Con but got not one but TWO awards, have a look here.   Paige Alexander, Third place in the Nine Patch Challenge with her quilt Mustard Stain, and second place in the Small Quilts category with Cursive.  Paige blogs at Quilted Blooms, I feel so proud and happy for her.  Congratulations too to our mentor at the NQB 2016 the lovely Cheryl from Meadow Mist Designs who got FIRST PLACE  in the Nine Patch Challenge with her quilt Warp and Weft.  It couldn't happen to two nicer ladies, so very well done, I couldn't be happier for you both.

So sadly that's all for this week, until next time,
With Smiles from,
Kate x

Linking up with Lorna @ Let's Bee Social

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Canadian Quilt Bee

This post is specially to link up with the Sew Fresh Quilt Bee for February in commemoration of Canada's 150th Anniversary this year.

The blocks have to include the With Glowing Hearts fabric line.  Here are the blocks I have made so far.

I still have some fabric left and plan on using it all up in the next couple of weeks.  It is hoped there will be enough blocks to make 1000 quilts for kids at Ronald McDonald houses.

There is still some time left, so if you would like to participate and make some blocks for a great cause click on the button in my sidebar, or hop on over to Sew Fresh Quilts here and see the blocks some of the others have been making.

Smiles from
Kate x

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

You wont believe it but........

I have a FINISH!!!!!!

Now come on, I can hear you all thinking 'and about time'.  Ok, I admit I'm off to a slow start this year, but that means it can only get better, no I know it couldn't get much worse , but hey, onwards and upwards.

So here without further ado are.......

my elephant cushions, oh yes all three of them.  Have a closer look......

I had leftover backing which matched this yellow one.

I also had extra fabric in the same range which I had used in the pink one.

I lucked out for the blue one........

so I used a reads as solid one I got in a sale which tones in ok.  Yes I agree it is a bit boring but after all, who turns their cushions over to check the backs?

I know I'm practicing my FMQ but I thought the serpentine quilting would be perfect.

With just a little wiggle around the elephant.

For this finish I am linking up with Jennifer from The Inquiring Quilter for her WIP link up.

Now I should have told you about this last week, but remember I said I had some news for you about a blog hop?  Well it's been announced, in fact there is a new button on my sidebar, it's Jen and Jan's Mini Blog Hop.  They had one last year which was a great success and really good fun, only I couldn't join in as it was when I had concussion, sad.  Anyway this time Jen has designed a beautiful little mini.

What do you think?  Jen has made it a free download on Craftsy.   It is called Quilters Laundry Day, and you know the best bit?  You can customise it!

See the quilt on the washing line?  It is a four inch block and you get to design it yourself, anything you want, or if you have a piece of the most beautiful fabric you can use that either, it doesn't have to be pieced, it is your quilt so make it as you please.

The hop is on the 10th and 11th March so you have plenty of time to make the quilt and join in.  I'm in, I wasn't going to miss it this time, I already made mine I just need to layer and quilt it, and maybe add a bit of something to make it special to me.

If you want to join in just contact Janice from Colour Creating and Quilting, or Jen from A Dream and a Stitch.  Go on, you know you want to..........

Now I know you are thinking what about the quilt that went with the cushions, and remember I finished it last year and blogged about it here.

You may also remember I said I would tell you what 'sweet little Indi' had been up to when I was at work last week.  Oh yes, made the connection?

This is the finished quilt,

and this is what I came home to.

She ate it!!!  She ate the pink piece that is missing AND the wadding!  There is a hole in the binding and look at the colour of it.........filthy!  You can see the blue piece underneath is damaged too.  It was the fact that I had quilted on all the seam lines that stopped her eating more of it.  My luck must have been in though, the backing is intact.

I do have some scraps of fabric left, although I don't know if I have the same ones the need replacing, and I have a strip leftover from the binding too so I can splice a piece in.

What more can I say??????

Now for the news you have all been waiting for, this is when I announce who becomes the next victims of Pay It Forward.

Only thing is although I got my friend to pick them out of a hat I haven't emailed them yet, so I will have to tell you next time, hehe!  I do like to drag these things out don't I?

So until the,
Smiles and giggles,
Kate x

Linking up with:
Jennifer @ Wednesday Weight Loss 
Kelly @Needle and Thread Thursday
Sarah @Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?

Friday, 17 February 2017

Just catching up

I didn't think I was going to get to post this week, but I'm on a quick break so here is me making the effort.

It has been a wild week here, I did get in my sewing room though, I spent my time doing essential stuff, here it is......

As you know I'm in Stash Bee Hive 2, my quilting bee commitments take priority every month and Cheryl requested this granny block in brights on a white background with high contrast, just up my street, and I enjoyed making this block.

Next my bee block for Sue in the Bee Inspired bee.  Sue wanted a monochromatic block with a white or cream background for this block, Inside Addition.  The block was originally designed as an 8 inch block but Sue upscaled it to 12 inches.  You can find out the measurements and the links and see the other blocks which are being posted on the Bee Inspired blog.

Finally I got these slab blocks done for the Quilting Bee hosted by Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts.  It's in commemoration of Canada's upcoming 150th anniversary in 2017.  You can read about it here.

The blocks have to include the With Glowing Hearts fabric line, it isn't available here but the lovely and very kind Bernie from Needle and Foot was kind enough to send me pieces her hers, wasn't that so sweet of her?  I have enough to make a few more too then I will post them all off together.  THEN the equally lovely Lisa from Sunlight in Winter offered to send me some fabric too, what lovely people they are.

I really wanted to join in this bee, and to be honest it was partly because of Lorna, she was so kind and encouraging to me when I started blogging, as many others were, and including Bernie and Lisa too, I just wanted to give something back.  I'm not a designer, I'm not clever and don't have any special talents, but I do love quilting and there are lots of ways to contribute to this wonderful community.

So, want to know how the book launch went last week?  Never mind, you are going to find out anyway.  It went great, it was very low key and informal, no speeches or anything like that, we didn't invite the press or anyone important even, just the people who have supported us over the years and those who have already participated in our courses.  We did have a PR lady there who brought a photographer and Gary spent the whole night talking to people, signing books, and being photographed, he loved that, not.  If there is anything he doesn't like it's the limelight.  Want to see a couple of pics?

This is Gary signing a book, duh!!!

And this is me with three of our teachers,

That's all, I don't want to bore you rigid with pics of lots of people you don't know.

You won't believe what I did when I was setting everything up just before people started to arrive, I fell, AGAIN!!!  In the kitchen area, I slipped in something, although Gary checked the floor and couldn't find anything.  I fell onto a table and chair, then landed on my back on the floor, ouch.  My daughter says I'm a liability, but I think it's because she was thinking of when I fell on my head on holiday with her six months ago, when I had concussion.  I felt sort of ok, I missed my head and I didn't let it spoil the night.  I did have some wonderful bruises on my left arm and down my side though and I was rather sore.

I can't tell you who got pulled out for the Pay it Forward yet as I haven't emailed the winners so I'll let you know next week.  I will also let you know what my 'sweet little Indi' got up to yesterday, I may have calmed down a bit by then.

Have to go now, I can hear you all thinking that for a short break it's lasted a little long.......

With smiles from,
Kate x

Linking up with Sarah @Can I Get A Whoop Whoop, and Jen @ A Quarter Inch from the Edge hosting TGIFF