Saturday, April 30, 2011

A very royal celebration

In which I:

made a very blue cake.

waved flags at the television screen.

ooooh-ed and ahhhh-ed over the dresses.

drank lots of tea. 

and champagne. 


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Girly Quilts: Part 2

As I mentioned here, I've been making some cutesy little quilts for the cutesy little girls in the family. This is the second, not a sugary-sweet as my log cabin, but so lovely and vibrant (and actually, my favourite of the 2).

The pattern is Strippin' Time, by Green Fairy Quilt, which is coincidentally, where I bought the fabric from. It's made from a Hoopla jelly roll, by Moda, and I think I used every last piece... there was maybe like, less than half a strip left in the end! Now that's cutting it close... 

Its been quilted for a while now, I was just waiting for the binding fabric to arrive from etsy. And I'm so glad I bought one of the hoopla prints for the binding, it really goes well with the rest of the quilt. I was worried it might look to busy (ya think?!) but a solid binding just didn't work.  

Anyway, as fun as they were to make for the girlies, I'm glad they're finished now. I used to be all over the jelly roll goodness, but since starting to branch out into yardage, I kinda get bored with precuts. Its nice to have a whole range of fabric to work with, but I do find it a bit restrictive. I'm moving onwards to the green pastures of paper piecing, improv blocks and (intentionally) wonky stuff! 

Exciting times :-) 


Sunday, April 17, 2011

QAL: Up to speed and a Circle of Kites

Well, I might not have done a lot else this weekend, but I am now fully caught up with the quilt along. Yey!

Any flappy-ness in these humongous blocks was not really solved by adding the sashing and border, but hopefully I can quilt out all the lumps and bumps.  

And actually, I did get quite a bit "done" this weekend. I've organised a quilting bee, which seems to be about ready to go! I did a spot of spring cleaning and made myself a really lovely wall hanging for my wall at work. Its the "oh so popular" circle of geese block, but I'm gonna call it my circle of kites block. N and I used to fly kites a lot, its one of my favourite beach-day activities. This is us on Woolacoombe beach last summer...

And here's the block, complete with a "staring into the sun" action shot!

So looking forward to hanging this up in my office tomorrow morning! 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

QAL: Playing catch up

Look what I did today!

I sewed my butt off, and managed to get ALL the inner and outer circles fitted to these bad-boy dresden plates :-) 

Once again I seem to be making a quilt that doesn't fit in my lounge, and requires some serious furniture rearranging to baste. I think I will take this one to my parents house when that time comes! These blocks are ginormous, and set to get 3" bigger. 

They're still a bit flappy... although I've pressed them into relative submission, they could do with a bit more steam I reckon.  What do you think of the neutral background? Its not really cream, more a light tan/beige colour. It's called "biscuit" I think. I went with a neutral in the end because I couldn't find the right colour purple at any of my local fabric stores, nor could I afford to import Kona Eggplant, which is what I really wanted. Ah well. I like the biscuit. 

I wonder if I'll ever tire of looking at all that yummy crush-ness. I just adore Innocent Crush.  


Brit Bee

Come and have ago if you think your 'ard enough!

Or more eloquently put, I've started a Bee. Would anyone care to join?

Here's the button, it links to our flickr group. Look forward to meeting you over there!

Brit Bee

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Log Cabin Hidden Stars: Ta-dah!

I took advantage of the glorious weather we had this weekend to snap some pics of my latest FO. Isn't it cute?!!

Now, I've kept this one pretty quiet, no mention of it here on the blog before... mainly because it really didn't take me that long to do! I've had 2 quilts to make for little girls in the family, and this is the first. I've finished quilting the second too, just waiting on the binding fabric to arrive.

The pattern is from the ever-popular Jelly Roll Quilts, by Pam and Nicky Lintott. I've made a couple of quilts from this book before, and it never ceases to impress me. The patterns are thought out really well, and make fantastic use of a jelly roll. This used a whole jelly roll (Me and My Sister Favorites), and a few strips of white yardage. It's a tad smaller than I would have liked, but probably perfect for my 3 year old little niece.  

You have to split the JR into lights and darks,  which wasn't so successful with the range of colours/tones I had, but I think the pattern is just-about visible, even if the stars disappear a little on the white strips...

The backing is a turquoise solid, and the binding a bright pink, both of which I got for an absolute bargain!!  £2 for a king size sheet in the M&S sale!! It's polycotton, but at that price who cares!

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Selvedge Mug Rug

If you read my post yesterday, you'll know I am a Mug Rug noob. I guess I've kind of been affected by the Mug Rug Madness week, as all I seem to want to sew recently is little colorful quilted mats. 

I followed along with all the posts, but none of the tutorials really caught my eye until this one. Isn't it a beauty?!
Photo Credit: Angela - Fussy Cut

After making 2 mug rugs for the Mom's at the weekend, I really wanted one of my own for my work desk. Just to put a little colour and brightness into an otherwise mundane environment, you know? So I broke out my selvedge stash (not ginormous, but quite considerable taking into account the relatively small length of time I've been sewing). 

I used Angela's tutorial for inspiration, although I freestyled a bit when it came to position and sewing, mainly because 

a) I didn't have any spray baste, 
b) my selvedge strips are cut reeeealy thin, and 
c) I only had a 6" x WOF strip of the orange circles and I really wanted to use that for binding, so I fumbled along with it anyway rather than make bias binding of some other fabric (possibly a mistake...)

So this is what I came up with:

And I seriously love it. LOVE it. Wonky binding and all :-)

It looks so cute on my desk at work. I keep my mug on it all day, my bowl of cereal in the morning, and possibly a cookie around 3pm ;-)

I used this adorable heart print for the back, I've had a FQ of it stashed for a while now and no idea what to use it for... this seemed like the perfect project! Btw, if anyone knows what print it is, I'd love to know! The light orange hearts are actually metallic gold...

And just look at all those lovely little colour spots! So bright and cheery!

I think, despite the short amount of time it took to make, and the relative easiness of the project, this might be my favourite thing yet. My input in the "Quilting is being dummed down" debate... "Pah!". So simple, and utterly gorgous. 

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Busy Bee

Yep, thats me. A busy busy bee. And my blog seems to be suffering somewhat. 

Sincerest apologies to all my lovely readers,  I'd just like to say thank you for sticking with me, and promise to be a better blogger from now on! On a similar note, I've had some many lovely lovely comments recently. I do so love to read your comments, and am ever-so grateful for everybody's time and effort put into writing them. They really do brighten my day to read. Although I have tried to email everyone back individually, some have unfortunately slipped through the net. Do you know about no-reply bloggers? I get all my comments sent to my email, so I can read them as and when they are posted and reply to them even when I should be working (haha!). But occasionally I get a really nice comment from someone who is a no-reply! Jodi over @ Pleasant Home has a brilliant tutorial/guide for how to check if you are a no-reply blogger, and how to remedy that! I urge you to go and check immediately, you never know, you might just win an accuquilt go baby with your very next comment like one of her readers! 

So onto the good stuff... I do have a couple of nice new projects under my belt, to share with you, but I'll let you into a little secret first...

I, Laura Taylor, was a Mug Rug virgin.  

I know right?! Can you believe it? Well... I am no longer. I made my first and second one this weekend, and then my third last night (I'll show you that tomorrow). I guess it's true what they say, "once you pop you just can't stop"! 

They're just so cute and quick and addictive; such a brilliant way to show off fabrics, and little techniques you pick up here and there. This Sunday was Mothers Day here in the UK, and what better way to celebrate than by making a cutesy, not-so little, mug rug for the Moms.

I designed this one to be a little larger than most, so it would fit both a tea pot and a cup (or a yummy easter treat). They're made entirely from scrap pieces, in a sweet pea/sugared almond colour scheme. Perfect for moms :-)

I really enjoyed making these... I started off by paper-piecing (another first btw) strips together, then squaring that up and slicing into 4 rows. I then sashed it in a gorgeous natural linen, backed, basted and quilted in straight lines. There is method to the madness, the lines are a 1/4 inch each side of the seam, although they look pretty random to me.  

Can you see the variegated thread on the pink one? I've never used it before, and although slightly darker than I would have normally chosen, I think the subtle changes from lilac to turquoise to pinky-peach really suits the palette. 

So my first foray into the world of mug rugs has been quite a success really. I got to try out a bunch of techniques I'd never done before, use up a few scraps, and the Mom's loved them. An all round win I'd say... 

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