Monday, 23 December 2013

Season's Greetings!

Well the day is almost here and my youngest, Emma has gone Christmas crackers!  Very excited and going to sleep with her Christmas jumper on! 

The photo above was just a few weeks ago.  The insanity has grown to the point of, yes the jumper in bed!

Anyway I just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a peaceful, Happy New Year.  I am sure I will pop in between Christmas and New Year but thought I should be all official like and send a lovely message to all my lovely readers.

Love Collette x

Friday, 20 December 2013

hope you like photos!

My goodness what a whirlwind of a few weeks it has been!  I have certainly been busy with classes, a birthday girl and Christmas makes.  WARNING - picture heavy post!






Yesterday Emma turned 7 and had her school Christmas party.  She was as high as a kite when she got home and slept like a log!

On Wednesday we had our last patchwork class of the year.  I can't believe how well these ladies have done.  They are doing so well, so motivated and produce beautiful things.  I can't wait until the New Year when we get to move on to our next project!  Here are a few of their Christmas cushions they produced.  Aren't they lovely pinwheels?


I made some little gifts for each student too.  These cute little birdies have a pattern which is in the latest issue of Love Patchwork and Quilting.

 I received these lovely gifts from my class too. I was so touched!

I also received this gorgeous stack of FQ precuts from Lynne ( Lily's Quilts) and now have to design a quilt using this precut stack by the fabulous designer, Malka Dubrawsky to contribute to the awesome Fat Quartely precuts issue.  This is seriously beautiful!



And last but by no means least, I got some bee blocks done and away today finally.  I am really sorry for the lateness of these.  I am usually good at producing things on time but this month has been crazy along with family life and Christmas preparations.
For Catherine.
For Siblings Together.
For Charlotte.


























Collette x

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Birds and butter

Oh yes that is what has been inspiring these bee block designs by some clever ladies.

First up are some flying geese called Migration for the lovely Charlotte at Displacement Activity.  Charlotte is queenie for our Bee a Brit Stingy month and I can't wait to see all these blocks of geese together!



Meanwhile over at our Siblings Together Quilting Bee, Hannah has been thinking about butter and chose a giant (20 inch) churn dash block to make with some beautiful Moda fabric.  I think this range is Pot Luck by American Jane.






Today has been crazy crazy weather here.  Gales this morning, sunshine and calm, then hail and now snow/sleet!  Fortunately my lovely in laws offered to pick the kids up so I don't need to do my 15 minute walk to school ( that is just one way!) today. 
Stay warm!
Collette x

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

A baby quilt finish

Yesterday my customer received her completed baby quilt and I am now able to share it with everyone in all it's glory.


The customer and I chose the colour scheme and fabrics together and I suggested the pattern ( my own).  The colours are inspired by Scottish and Australian landscapes, the quilting by Scottish plaids.

I set to work months ago making flying geese, oh so many, and scrappy stars.   I love all of these fabrics but a special mention has to go to the Art Gallery  Fabrics ones.  They are oh so very soft and lovely to work with.  The backing is especially soft and gorgeous too.

I quilted this with a kind of plaid style diagonal pattern using a gorgeous grey Aurifil 50wt cotton thread.  I bought a 1300m spool and have over half left on it!  It is such a beautiful thread to work with and looks perfect on this quilt!

The sashing and border are a pigeon grey.

I am so pleased with how this quilt turned out and am looking forward to seeing a wee photo of the new bambino enjoying it (once the baby comes along!).



Quilt stats
size 51 x 50 inches
batting - hobbs heirloom 80/20
thread - Aurifil 50wt grey

Collette x


Friday, 22 November 2013

A freezer, a pen and a laminator.............

Oh yes today I have a tale to tell!  I am a dork as my husband will happily tell you.  I do silly things ALL the time!  I forget, I am clumsy and just a bit silly, even more so at a certain time of the month. 

So last night I was happily drawing out applique templates for my Green Tea and Sweet Beans project.  I drew them all out and planned to laminate them then use Sarah Fielke's great method of making great circles.  ( Check out Craftsy for her class on this). 



Off I go to the laminator with my little templates lovingly prepared to coat in plastic.  The green light pops on, I feed sheet number 1 through.  It comes out the other side and my lovely templates are now coated in laminate ready to be cut out EXCEPT, wait a blooming minute there is nothing there.  They have disapperared!  Who stole my templates?  How can this be?????????

The pen! Yes it was the pen who stole my handdrawn templates.  A Frixion pen to be precise.  I bought it a few weeks ago as I have heard wonderful things about using them with fabric for marking. You can remove the lines with an iron.   I have used my wee pen many times on fabric with great results.  Just run the iron over the marks and hey presto off they go!

A word of advice - DO NOT USE THIS PEN TO DRAW TEMPLATES IF YOU ARE THEN GOING TO RUN THEM THROUGH A HOT LAMINATOR -   guess what happened??? You are correctomundo! (vanished! yep).
My solution was to put the sheet in the freezer like a maniac willing the lines to come back and they did ( it tells you on the back of the pack about how this works).  So I managed to save them.  Not the end of the world but a funny story of yet more of my dorkiness!
Here is the rest of my week in pics -
Hipbees block for Reene

Green Tea and Sweet Beans

essential fabric order (oh yes!)

Christmas colours for patchwork class next week

 



Thursday, 14 November 2013

My first Le Challenge! - stripey!





I decided to play along with the latest challenge which was a stripey one as I needed a fun project and something to get my creative juices flowing.

All I could think about when I heard the word stripes was a zebra and a zebra crossing.  I tried to come up with something much cleverer but nope, kept going back to those black and white stripes.

So here we have it - a teeny tiny zebra striped pincushion with contrasting embroidery.  I love it!  Not my normal colour combo at all but isn't it great to work outwith your comfort zone?

Now head over to Le Challenge to see what the other clever people have been making and read more about how to join in the fun!

Can't wait to hear what the next theme is!

Collette x

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Do you have your copy yet?

Of Fat Quarterly that is?  The Christmas issue is out now and jam packed with Christmas inspired projects and fabrics.


There is even one by me!  My Winter Trees table runner using the most gorgeous Winter's Lane Christmas fabric.


Here is a sneak peek and the full instructions and requirements are in Fat Quarterly Issue 15.


It is an honour and exciting to have my wee runner featured among all the other fab projects.

This is my first Christmas make and I am sure it won't be my last one.

What have you been working on for Christmas?
Collette x

Friday, 8 November 2013

Quickest week ever!

Is it just me or are the weeks getting faster and faster????
Before we know it the C word will have arrived - again!

My class are almost finished their mini quilts and they are looking gorgeous.

I have been working on my green tea and sweet beans in the evening too.  It is so relaxing and I now have two lozenger blocks!

So that is the latest from me.  What have you been working on this week? 
Collette x

Friday, 1 November 2013

Fresh Sewing Day!!

fresh sewing day November

 Wow I actually managed to link up this month for Fresh Sewing Day at Lily's Quilts!  As you can see October was a busy old month for me.  I was making and receiving goodies galore. 
Like the gorgeous scrappy trip around the world blocks made by my wonderful, fellow bee ladies in Bee a Brit Stingy.  It is going to be a splendidly colourful quilt!


I made some blocks from a great wee book you may have heard of.... 500 Quilt Blocks by some ladies you may have heard of ;).  

I also treated myself ( maybe a bit indulgently) to the amazing Jen Kingwell's Green Tea and Sweet Beans pattern booklet.  I am in love with this quilt and only hope I can do the pattern justice with my fabric choices!  I got my copy from a lovely shop here in the UK called The Running Chicken. 
So what have you been working on during the good old month of October??? If you want to share then link up to Lily's Quilts and have a look around at what everyone else has been doing!
Collette x
Lily's Quilts

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Wednesday workings......

Wednesday is my teaching day but I actually thought in advance and prepared this post for today!  It isn't like me to be so organised and I am sure it won't last!

Here are some of my current works in progress.  I have others but haven't made enough progress on them to warrant a photo.

The first pic is the front of a Christmas cushion cover.  Some of the ladies in my current class has suggested that they may like to make a Christmas project next and I thought it would be a great chance to try out a quilt block such as a pinwheel.  A great intro to half square triangles !

This will be a class sample when finished and is using Quilter's Linen and the remains of a Winter's Lane charm pack from Moda.
The second picture shows what I have started using the Green Tea and Sweet Beans pattern I bought last week.  I am in love with this pattern and am taking forever choosing little pieces of fabric.  I am enjoying the hand piecing.  It is time consuming with templates etc but I like to have a little bit of quiet evening sewing so this is perfect for me.

The light block is the Wedding chain block and the two littlies are propeller blocks.  Cute aren't they?

Thursday is about Bee blocks.  I hope to get caught up and have photos to share on Friday!
What are you currently working on at the moment?
Collette x

Friday, 25 October 2013

The Blogger's Quilt Festival

Here is my first ever entry for Blogger's Quilt Festival hosted by Amy's Creative Side.

WALL HANGING CATEGORY


This wall hanging is a tribute to all things hand pieced, hand quilted and embroidered.  I used English Paper piecing to piece the dresden plate in bright Kona solids.

I then decided to fill the centre of the petals with a purple seed embroidery stitch.  This was done during the summer in my garden!   I then hand appliqued the dresden onto a crisp white cotton background.



This wall hanging just evolved as I went along and was asking for some perle cotton hand quilting next.  I chose colours to blend with the petals and used a large Kantha style hand quilting stitch to add that wonderful textured look.
 
18.5 x 18.5 inches


The background again asked for hand quilting so I obliged by adding straight(ish!) lined Kantha style quilting which took a while but was so worth it.  Anyone that knows me knows how much I love hand quilting and english paper piecing and how very relaxing I find it. 

I bound with a delicate green floral print binding which echoes the dresden !

So there you have it!  My tribute in wall hanging form to all the types of handwork I love and am passionate about.  It will hang proudly in my living room wall.

I am really enjoying seeing all the inspirational work shared in Blogger's Quilt Festival.  It is such fun to see what everyone has made and to share in this way too.  Thank you to Amy for an awesome festival and for taking the trouble to host it and organise generous sponsors!

Please do take a look at all the categories as there is some amazing work there.

And if you are visiting from the Festival well hello and welcome!!! I am so pleased to meet you! x
Collette 


AmysCreativeSide

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Lazy lumps and time travel...

My two kiddos are lazy lumps in the morning just now!  I have went from having children who were up at the crack of dawn to a 9 and 6 year old who I have to drag out of bed.  My theory is that it has something to do with these darker mornings.  It is incredibly dull and dark up here until at least 8am and I think their wee body clocks aren't happy!

So thankfully the clocks change this weekend which I think means lighter mornings but evenings will be darker earlier, boooooooo.   But the best thing??? An extra hour in bed.  Sheer luxury!  Can't wait! Can you?

I treated myself to a little gift today.

I am eagerly awaiting it's arrival in the next few days.  I shall be postie stalking!  So does anyone have this pattern?  Has anyone made this quilt?? I would be very keen to hear from you and for you to share your experience.

As you know I love hand work so I think I am going to love this!

I have been working on a commission for a baby quilt this week in between teaching my class.  The customer asked for a progress shot so here is a sneaky peek for you.  The lady chose the colour schemes and fabrics with my assistance of course!

Isn't it lovely??  I love everything about this.  There will be sashing and a border in grey.  The Art Gallery fabrics particularly are just so soft.  If you haven't used them before I would urge you to give them a go.  These are so soft and smooth to touch and just beautiful to work with.


edited to add**** new fabric shop Lisnaweary Quilts is offering free UK shipping until midnight Monday 28th October.******

I am off to welcome the dog and OH back from their walk and make tea, but not green!
Talk soon
Collette x

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

You know when you get a really good quilting book......?

And you just have to start making things from it straight away??  Last week I purchased the wonderful 500 Quilt Blocks by Lynne Goldsworthy and Kerry Green.  It is so useful.  I can't stress how much usefulness it possesses!  I made two things in the space of two nights.  An essential pinnie and a modern spools block.





Le Challenge
I have also joined up with a little challenge for fun.  I heard of this ages ago and thought, yes that would be fun, but have been ridiculously busy and lazy and not found time.  It is called Le Challenge and there is more info about it here.  This months challenge is stripes so I have got my thinking cap on for something stripey!

Hoping to share progress on what I make with you all as soon as I have an idea!!
Take care
Collette x







Monday, 14 October 2013

A finish! Yes you heard it right!

Last night I finished binding this mini quilt.  This quilt was a little journey for me.  Those of you who have read my blog for a while now will know that I adore English Paper Piecing.  So I decided to EPP a dresden plate in some of the solid colours I had in my fabric stash.  I really begun with no real plan other than to make a dresden plate.





As you can see this developed into embroidering some purple seed stitches in the centre.  I was originally going to add a fabric circle but it didn't look right.  ( There I go changing my mind again!).  
This moved on to hand quilting each petal in the same colour of thread.  It produced this cool rippled, Kantha stitch style effect which I love.  

That left me with a blank background which was screaming out for, yes, more hand quilting, Kantha style!   


This wall hanging is by no means perfectly stitched.  That wasn't the point.  The point of it all is because of my love for hand work.  I love my sewing machine don't get me wrong and wouldn't be without it.

BUT it may sound bizarre but I love the connection with the past that handwork brings.  When I sit and do English paper piecing or hand quilting or embroidery I can't help but think of all the women and men in the past who have done the same.  Those who had to out of necessity, who did so for a livelihood, for pleasure and practicality. 

So think of it as a kind of tribute to all things hand stitched! 







Thursday, 10 October 2013

Hello..... is it me you're looking for?

Well yet again I went awol at the beginning of the week.  Full of good intentions but overwhelmed with willful children, visiting my mum and a new afternoon class on Wednesday.  So forgive my absence but here I am and I have things to share!

I got to play with some Oakshott over the weekend.  Isn't it lovely?  So soft and unique and the colours are just stunning.






I ate a healthy breakfast on Monday..... a large iced apple turnover yummmmm



And received my fabric order from M is for Make this morning.  It is for the stash really but I love them all! Superfast delivery from Kate too! 



 Hoping to maybe get something finished this week that I can share with you all tomorrow.  I am off for more tea to wake and heat me up as we have had our first really chilly morning here so far! 

Hats, scarves and gloves in a week or two I think!
Collette x

Thursday, 3 October 2013

What a week!

This week has been a bit crazy to say the least.  On Sunday my mum was taken into hospital with trouble breathing (she has COPD).  I wasn't able to visit until Monday night as she was in the high dependency unit.  I visited on Monday night, as did my Uncle and brother and his wife.  She had a full house and was looking pretty good.  Then Tuesday she was back home!  Just like a whirlwind.  Suffice to say she is ok now but her medication has been upped etc but the worry is over for now at least.

My first mini quilt class was on Wednesday and went really well.  We had one new lady and the previous group from my EPP class.  This is the class sample of the size of quilt we will be making and charm sized squares.  The ladies have chosen some gorgeous fabrics which I will reveal soon!


I wanted a fresh, modern look with my sample and echoed the texture of the Sketch fabric with my quilting design. 

I took part in the Stamp It Up Swap recently too.  My secret partner I had to make for was Erin!  So I made my rubber carved stamp and came up with a mug rug.  I really enjoyed the stamping and carving and would like to do more when I get some time. 


I received the most wonderful frame purse from Kris in the swap.  All the way from Germany!  Don't you just love it??  I love the fabrics, the frame itself and the embroidery.  Cutest thing ever! 

 
So what kind of week have you had so far??? 
Collette x