Monday 14 October 2013

Busy days ...

Well as Autumn comes along fast and furious in the Tamar Valley I have been busy with my patchwork, making the most of sunny days in my Studio:  I bought this lovely fabric at the FOQ in August, and have put this quilt together - fun and bright:  a nine-patch plus a square, set on point:
I just need a bit more fabric for the border which I ordered from The Cotton Patch over the weekend, so once that comes I can finish it and then it will be off for long-arm quilting.  The fabric is Secret Garden by Nel Whatmore.  I met her at Birmingham and she is such a lovely lady:
I get a great feeling of satisfaction using the fabric I purchased recently - why is new fabric always more appealing than the yards and yards, and more yards purchased years ago!  I loved it all once, so guess I will love most of it again - in time!
I have been cross-stitching lots too and at last am back sewing the beautiful SL Country Life sampler:
I have also just started Saxony:  this will be a year long project - it is a very long sampler - but I am loving it. I will post a photo next time.
I now need to get out my patterns for Christmas stockings - only the children of those I know will appreciate the work involved will get one.  There is nothing more soul destroying than putting in all those sewing hours and then barely an acknowledgement.  Luckily it is rare, but I am very selective who I make for these days. My time is too precious.
Talking of "thank-you's", my God-daughter Maggie just LOVES her wedding quilt - it obviously hit the mark and I have had such a lovely thank-you from her - it made my day!

I have re-discovered the perfect item of clothing for the winter months - dungarees!!!  I just love them - easy to wear, comfy and practical.  I managed to get 2 pairs from New Look (not a shop I usually go into but I saw them hanging up by the door as I passed by their shop in Tavistock last Tuesday).  One pair in black denim, and another in blue denim. And they were less than half price in the Sale!  I am set up for the cold winter months now - I don't need anything else!

Rod wears "bib and braces" all the time as he spends most of his time in his workshops, or cutting logs etc. - so I have decided that if I can't beat him I might as well join him!

I am off now to tidy my sewing studio - and take out the tomato plants which have been on the window cill all summer - they have produced well but just the green ones are left now, so chutney making later this week. Nothing better than home made chutney and pickle with the left over meats at Christmas!

Thank you for stepping into My Quilting Life - have a great week.

Wednesday 2 October 2013

Success follows disaster ...!

I have no idea where September disappeared to - this year is flying past all too quickly and I realise that I now need to sort out my Christmas projects so as to be organised in good time.
I have just finished two totally different but equally gorgeous quilts:  Maggie and Finn's wedding quilt is from Jo Colwill's new book and I am so thrilled with how this has turned out:
Maggie wanted creams and pale colours:  I am so happy with this and Carole at Butterfly Quilter's has long-arm quilted it for me with hearts: it looks so beautiful:
I have also sewn my favourite wedding sampler for them too:
I am off up to Surrey tomorrow and will be delivering this "little" package as I am am having coffee with Janet, the mother of the bride, on Friday morning.  Much more fun to deliver this early rather than carry it to the reception in  December!
I love this quilt pattern so much that I am using up the left-over fabrics and making another one, similar but different:  using slightly stronger colours - think I will keep this one!:

Then in complete contrast I have made a Big Fun bunk-bed quilt for 4 year old George:
The request was for bright and fun with pirates and dinasaurs, dogs etc. - this was such fun to make, I LOVED doing it!
My main objective was to use fabrics that George would not think were childish as he grows older - so I have added computers, and spacemen and planets and galaxies etc. - lots to look at and I hope he will enjoy this for several years.
The backing is the same as his bedroom curtains, a fabulous fun world atlas for children, with a large square of this in the corners.  This is now off to be quilted so should be able to deliver by the end of this month.

I have at last finished my Stacey Nash cross-stitch - I have struggled with this piece for some unknown reason.  I wanted to omit the Merry Christmas in the design as it is far too nice to have out for just one month of the year.  But I seemed to go wrong time and time again and ended up with much unpicking, which is very unlike me.  Then, to add insult to injury, right at the very end I was sewing the last few stitches on the stag - and a spark flew out from the fire and burned a whole on the edge of the border, it looked just as if a cigarette had been stubbed out on the fabric.  I cried .......!  I was devastated.  A total disaster ......
After much thought I carefully snipped away the black burn edge:  and then I bond-a-webbed some of the same green leaf stitches underneath the hole. 
I then took it to the framers before anything else happened and they have close-framed it and overall I am pleased.  I think unless you knew and were looking for the flaw you would probably not notice it.  What do you think?  It was the best I could do anyway!

We had some friends staying last weekend, and on the Saturday we drove down to Llanhydrock, the National Trust property in Cornwall.  It is the most fabulous place and we spent a lovely afternoon there. The gardens were still in full bloom with begonias:  so bright and colourful:
here our friends Nina and Derek look as if they have just stepped out of the country home to greet us!:

In the house there is a beautiful patchwork quilt on the Nanny's bed which I managed to photograph:
If ever you are in Cornwall and have the chance, do visit this magical place, it is my favourite National Trust property.
We have been able to have lunch sitting outside a couple of times recently in the autumn sunshine:
The Tamar Valley is looking so beautiful.

Well, I am back sewing the SL "Country Life" and will update my progress on this in my next blog - plus I will be starting the long and beautiful Saxony sampler too.  Then I have a couple of Christmas stockings to sew - the joys of our wonderful hobbies are always challenging, always enjoyable and there is always something else I want to sew or another patchwork quilt I want to put together.  Little time for housework - the spiders can relax for another day!  Just no more sparks from the fire please - I have been cross-stitching for over 30 years and this is the first - and hopefully will be the only time this has happened.
I hope everyone is well and happy and life is good and creative for you all.  Thank you for visiting My Quilting Life.