A whole lot of quilting going on..

Hello everyone

Not by me I hasten to add as my productivity is at an all time low at the moment on the quilting front.

I am sure my mojo will return as soon as time spent away from the house decreases, we have had some lovely sunny weather recently so I am looking forward to long summer days and time at my machine.

Winter is always a time for hunkering down on the sofa with a fleecy blanket and knitting and embroidery for me however I am keeping up to date with what is going on in the quilting world and though I would share these with you in case you have missed earlier posts.

The Splendid Sampler is really taking off with an amazing 16,000 plus members on the Facebook group and more that are joining in who are not using that forum. The first three blocks have been released and can be found here.

I really like the first heart block from Pat Sloan and this looks about my level of piecing 😉

Feb14_PatSloan_HeartsA_Block

I am loving the Facebook page as well and all of the great colour combinations that people have used for the first three blocks.

These are beautiful fabrics and are made by, clockwise from top left, Debbie Miller, Karen Saw, Susan Burtrum and Lisa Leimone. Brilliant work ladies!

Also really like this fussy cut one from Stacy Mcgee Lee, love the Elizabethan motif here and great use of colour.

Stacy Mcgee Lee - SS 3 blocks

I have also discovered a new quilt designer, The Patchsmith , and have bought a couple of her books as gifts for a certain quilting buddy who shall remain nameless at present.

Amanda specialises in mug rugs and her designs are gorgeous and can be scaled up and down and the individual motifs used in all sorts of ways.

Go and have a look at her Craftsy store, the individual patterns are only £ 1.42 which I think is really good value. This one is especially calling to me for some reason!

Patchsmith AppliqueandMugRugAlphabet_1

And this is one of the cutest designs I have ever seen, I love it.

Patchsmith Whale mug rug

The books that I have bought are the Christmas and Hobby designs. I think the reindeer on the front cover would be brilliant on a child’s stocking.

By the way I am not affiliated with any of the sites that I tell you about or get any reward from these links, I just like sharing the loveliness that I find with you.

I am planning another fairly quiet weekend at home, only have this weekend free as next weekend we are having a crafternoon, never to early to start on those Christmas ornaments.The weekend after that I am at a machine embroidery workshop! How very exciting and craftilicious!

Hope you are having a lovely time, thanks for visiting.

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A Good Yarn

Hello everyone

Am back from a very lovely week of relaxing in Spain where I did very little in the way of crafting, I do have a completed dress for a mouse which I will post about later once it is on said animal, however I did do lots and lots of reading.

Jenny of Elefantz has just sent us her Stitchery Club for Feb and in it is a great design for any book lover, in the middle on the right hand side,  as well as all this beautiful stuff! Picture from Jenny’s web site.

ELEFANTZ club feb 2016 cover

You can buy just this set of patterns from Jenny’s Craftsy store or sign up for the Stitchery Club, it would make a great Mother’s Day present. The March designs also look excellent, will get stitching again once the mouse is put together!

I am now just over half way through the, ‘Blossom Street Series’, by Debbie Macomber and am loving them. I just cannot resist a new book and  I come across books that I want to read in many different ways.

I found Debbie through a TV series and I love her writing, at first sight the books look very much like traditional romance novels but they actually deal with all sorts of themes including cancer, infertility, alcoholism, adoption and drug use in a sensitive, interesting and real life way. Have just ordered the last five of this series 🙂

It varies what attracts me about a book, sometimes it is the cover illustration or the title that catches my eye, other times it may be a review in a magazine or a link from Amazon.

Their marketing strategy always gets me, that ‘other people also read’ has led me to buy far more than I intended and discover some great authors.

Another person that I have been really enjoying at the moment is Rosanna Ley, I had, ‘The Saffron Trail’, on my Amazon wish list when my Mum gave it to me and picked up, ‘The Road to Mandalay’, in a charity shop.

Again beautifully written and with the added bonus of settings in Morocco, Devon, Cornwall and Myanmar that just make me want to travel more… if that is possible. The cover pictures are wonderful, am lucky enough to have visited the place on, ‘The Saffron Trail’, book cover on a trip to Morocco.

And I was once again tempted by the ‘buy one get one half price’ in the airport WH Smiths and treated myself to another from my wish list, ‘The Versions of Us’, by Laura Barnet. A truly lovely book, wonderful plot lines and so nice to have such talented people to read.

Book - versions of us

I have also just finished, ‘Great Continental Railway Journeys,’ based on the series with Michael Portillo that I have watched for further inspiration for travel.

Really enjoyable all about the history of the railway development in Europe so has improved my knowledge of general history and geography as well.

Railway book 1

Next up is another treat to self, ‘Great Railway Journeys of the World‘, I love train travel and am planning more trips in the future so thought I would get some inspiration from here.

Great Railway Journeys of the World book

What about you, what attracts you about a book? Got any favourites to share?

Hope that you are having a lovely week whatever you are doing, thanks for visiting and see you again soon.

 

Knitting geniuses and a knitting numpty

Hello everyone

I have made a start on the Sarah and Ann’s Knit Along, in fact I have made 3 starts on it 😦

My great excitement last year about being able to knit in the round meant that I thought that I would have no problems with the pattern.

It is a very well written pattern but for some reason I started knitting backwards from rear of the needles rather than the front so ended up with it being back to front.

Anyway lovely Sarah helped me out at knitting group so I have started again. I have chosen two of my favourite colours and my favourite wool Debbie Bliss Sublime.

Sarah's knit along 1

I am going to be in Spain all next week so hope that I will get chance to do more work on it. At the moment it is just two not very impressive rows!

Sarah's knit along 2

If you would like more information about the Knit Along you can go to the Ravelry group and look at the discussion. Sarah and Ann have a video introducing themselves on Youtube as well.

It is really lovely to know such talented people, their designs are stunning. I have already told you about Sarah’s Elven Reckoning book but she has other really lovely designs as well including lots smaller designs for hats etc.

Here are a couple of my favourites, pictures from her her web site. Firstly the Alexandria fingerless gloves .

Alexandria+Gauntlets-logo+1

Next the Bella cowl. Wouldn’t these make lovely gifts especially in matching yarn.

Sarah's Bella Cowl

I don’t know if I would ever be able to do any of Ann’s designs, they are amazing and so pretty but maybe beyond me at the moment, especially if I can’t work out which way round I am knitting!

This is the stunning Hedgerow jumper – picture from Ann’s Ravelry page   , isn’t it just beautiful.

Ann Kingstone Hedgerow jumper

A group of friends knitted themselves one each, it looks fabulous in any colour, again picture from Ann’s Ravelry pattern page.

Ann Kingstone Hedgerow group shot- small

I have made good progress with the mouse though so am not feeling like a complete numpty. It is so cute – just look at the lovely furry yarn and those little ears!

Mouse parts 1

Mouse parts 2

I have knitted most of the little ballet cardigan as well, this has been really quick to do so I think that all my little girl animals are going to have to have cardigans now, it is so sweet.

Ballet cardigan

I am nearly all packed to go away, just my knitting to add and I am also taking my beautiful Printemps fabric for some hexi making.

I shall catch up with you all when I get back in a couple of weeks. Meanwhile have fun and thanks for visiting.

Joining in again

Hello again, more things that you might want to consider joining for your crafty entertainment this year.

The first is from the lovely Jenny of Elefantz and is her new free Block of the Month embroidery. As you know I am already a member of Jenny’s Stitch Club so I get loveliness every month but this is for everyone. Photo from Jenny’s blog.

ELEFANTZ gentle domesticity button

The theme this year is Gentle Domesticity and there is a free block published on the 5th of each month, that stays free for the rest of that month before being sold in her Craftsy shop, where she has loads of other gorgeous designs as well.

The great thing about Jenny’s designs is that can all be personalised and made into gifts so that you can use them for all sorts of things which is why I love them so much. I love adding names or my own messages to her work.

This is the January block, I love the house and heart together and this would make a lovely housewarming gift for someone. Photo from Jenny’s blog.

ELEFANTZ gentle domesticity BOM block 1 jan 2015

The next one I want to share with you I originally found about from Jenny’s page and this looks amazing.

It is called The Splendid Sampler and is no less than 100 blocks by 83 designers which are all free in a mystery block of the month.

The-Splendid-Sampler-Sew-Along-big-button

The designers include so many brilliant people, including Jenny and lots of other people whose blogs I follow so this looks like an excellent project. I love the fact that the some of the blocks will be embroidery and English Paper Piecing as well.

Of course I will be saving the block information rather than trying to make two blocks a week but there should be some lovely stuff here 🙂

All this excitement starts on the 14th Feb with two 6 inch block designs released each week.

They have already released a design for a block case which you can find on the Splendid Sampler website here. Photo from the web site.

Splendid sampler block case

This very useful case not only keeps a ruler safe but also lets you audition fabrics on the inside section and keep fabric and completed blocks safe. Photo from the web site as before.

Splendid sampler block case - interior

There is also a Facebook group and so far 7740 people have joined that, there are some lovely fabric pictures of peoples choices to drool over at the moment.

According to the poll there are 8 of us from Yorkshire doing it, not thought about any fabric yet as I will probably do blocks in different choices depending on design and purpose.

Isn’t it lovely that social media lets us do all these exciting things. And to think I once said to a friend when he explained what the internet was back in about 1994, ‘no I don’t think I’ll be using that…can’t really see the point’. Ha ha, how wrong I was!

Well I will leave you and get back to some actual crafting, Ellie and Kerry are due later for a visit and we have a Fire Festival in the village tonight as well.Thanks very much for visiting and see you all soon.

A very long term project

Hello everyone

Like a lot of people I have been thinking about projects for this year, and more specifically my WIPs.

I don’t have many thankfully and most are things that I have done that need an end purpose like some of my experiments with different techniques.

A while ago I discovered the joys of English Paper Piecing and the delights of the mini charm pack. I have thoroughly enjoyed making lots and lots of hexagons, some with an idea in mind of an end product others to be filed for further inspiration.

One of my recent rediscoveries going through the WIPS box, I only have the one and it is quite small honest, was these lovely hexagons pieced from a mini charm pack of Moda Printemps that I bought from Simply Solids.

Printemps fabric 3

I had also acquired some further fat quarters from the Quilt Show in August and my Quilt Cabin workshop in the summer so have quite a bit of this gorgeous fabric but what to make with it?

Printemps fabric 5

Printemps fabric 2

Musing on this a couple of weeks ago I came across a charm pack on Ebay at a very bargain price so added that to the stash – yes I know I should not have been looking for more fabric, just for patterns but you know how it goes.

Printemps fabric 1

I have also just found some more of the fabric on Ebay at a great price so ordered 3 fat quarters early on Saturday evening from Simply All Sorts.

I was absolutely delighted when they messaged me on Sunday and told me that as they had reduced the price of those fabrics at 10pm that evening, after I had ordered, they were going to refund me the difference! What brilliant customer service and to say thank you I ordered another fat quarter which ended up only costing me £1.

I have now decided on a quilt but this is going to be mainly handpieced, which is why it is going to be a very long term project.

I would love to own just one large quilt for me and am in awe of the people who make them in a week but I am thinking a couple of years for this one.

I was browsing for inspiration again yesterday and came across these three lovely designs using the fabric. This one comes from Susie’s Pinwheel Cottage blog and I love the design she has created. Isn’t this so pretty!

Printemps Quilt - Pinwheel Cottage

This one is from Shannon’s blog and uses a pattern called Picket Fence. She is such a prolific quilter and makes the most gorgeous things, go take a look.

Picket Fence Primtemps Quilt

I really like the idea of using the charm pack as it is for some of the blocks as in this design above as it is such beautiful fabric and doing all pieced blocks would not let the design shine through. The Moda picture below shows all the colours and designs in the range.

Moda Printemps colours

As I already have five hexagons and love making them and they are so portable to take away with me I think that most of the other blocks would be hexagons, not sure yet if I will applique them on to a background of try and piece round them to make blocks.

I also love the idea of Dresden blocks, have never made one but they look feasible but am not certain how they would blend with hexagons.

The free pattern that came with the fabric range has got large Dresden Plate blocks with hexagon centres but I am not sure I like that design.

However this version from Bella Rose Quilts looks amazing with the background quilting. A bit beyond my skills at the moment!

Bella Rose Printemps Dresden

What do you think? Anyone tried the two together?

Anyway I shall enjoy the process and the excuse to do more hand piecing, am getting better at machine work but hand stitching will always be my preference, especially on cold winter days when I can snuggle watching TV.

Thanks for visiting and see you soon.