Sunday, 7 August 2016

Running Out of Blue!

You know that saying that you can't have too much fabric? Well, it's true. Despite me having a large (ish) case of fabric in all colours, I seem to have run out of blue fabric!



Is this possible? Yes. Because it has to be a specific blue, with a small print pattern that won't clash with what I've already got or used. And considering blue is one of my preferred colours, I'm amazed to find that when I searched through my stash, I only had four different types of blue.

Shocking!

So, unfortunately (hah!) I will have to go to the store and buy some more fabric.

I've had a bit of a busy week, so not much more progress achieved on the blue hexies, but there was some. I've been sat listening to an audiobook of Leaving Time, by Jodi Picoult. I'm only at the start, so don't give me any spoilers. I absolutely whizzed through House Rules (same author) but I think that was because it dealt with autism and my youngest is autistic, too, so it struck a chord for me.

I do enjoy it when a book touches your heart. Makes it special. Memorable.

So, short and sweet, but do let me know how you're getting on with any of your projects. And if you've read a great book lately, do pop on in and let us all know!

Louisa xxx

Friday, 29 July 2016

Hexi Madness!

As stated in the last post, I promised to show you my hexies that I had got started for my Dropped Diamonds Quilt, designed by Tacha Breucher.




The first one is the first full hexi block in pinks/reds. This is as big as any of the blocks will get and I only needed to make one of these. The second, smaller, blue one is just the start of two blue blocks I need to make, that won't be so complete. They miss a few hexies in the corner, where the border will interject.

I'm thread basting my hexies, as I prefer this to glueing. I tried glueing and found it made my needle all sticky and hard to sew through. So I changed where I did the glueing, so that it wouldn't be near the ladder stitch, but I found that it didn't hold the fabric as well, it kept unfolding and I was also getting glue all over my fingers! When you start sticking to everything, you lose your temper very quickly! And as sewing is meant to be relaxing, I stick with thread basting.

I choose not to sew through the papers, I just tack a stitch on each corner fold and that works very well for me, then I hold the pieces flat to ladder stitch. This makes the hexies easier to hold and sew.

This week, I ordered some more hexi papers. I thought I'd ordered more one inch papers, but I must not have been concentrating because when they arrived, they were two inch papers and huge! Lol. Never mind, I will put them to good use. Because of their size, I thought I might (at some future point) make some pieced hexies (a la Mickey Dupre in her book Pieced Hexies and Pieced Hexies Deux) and I think they will work very well that way.

I've also been looking on Pinterest at hexi quilts and trying to design my own. I'm not very good at my own designs, but I've been looking at some other peoples and you can see the ones I like here. Visually, I'm going to use hexi graph paper to plan them out, in case I want to reproduce them.

So do you sew hexies? Have you designed your own piece? What are you working on right now? I'd love to see or hear all about it. Please leave a comment and let me know!

Happy sewing,

Louisa xxx

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Decision Time!

Hello everyone! How are you enjoying July? It's been stiflingly hot here in the UK for the last few weeks and believe you me, that's RARE. I've actually (for the first time in my entire life) got a tan. My legs, arms, face and back of my neck are now brown! You can see when I take my Fitbit off, how white my skin usually is!




I've been walking the dogs every day and getting two and a half hours exercise every day. I get to walk along the beach, or here, which is part of the Hayling Island Billy Trail, as well as being part of a nature reserve. We get quite a few birds nesting here and there's wildlife wherever you look.



Quilting wise, I made a decision. After a long argument with myself, I finally realised that I just wasn't enjoying doing the Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses BOM. The fabrics were lovely, I loved being part of the whole group, but sewing those shapes? Elongated hexies and small squares? I just didn't enjoy them. At all.

I like standard hexies. They're easier to baste, they're easier to sew together. So I decided to abandon the Lucy Boston. The blocks I have already gotten finished I am going to appliqué onto cushions and the fabrics that are still coming in the BOM can be used in other hexie patterns.

It was incredibly hard to make this decision. I didn't want to feel like I was giving up on this project, but like the Passacaglia quilt, I realised I really didn't like working with those other shapes (pentagons, triangles, etc) I'm a traditionalist and so I went back to my hexies, returned to my preferred ladder stitch and began a new project. I'm doing this. Its called the Dropped Diamonds Quilt and is designed by Tacha Bruecher, in her book, Hexa Go-Go. Will show progress pictures in my next post.


Oh and Bonnie Hunter has started the new Leaders & Enders challenge. It's the hourglass block made with quarter square triangles and can be done really nicely using jelly roll strips. Go to her website to check it out.


Anyway, hope you're all enjoying sewing. Have you had to make a decision regarding your quilting recently? Perhaps you've had to give up a project? Have you given away any UFOs? Perhaps you even realised that English paper piecing isn't for you and that you're a machine quilter? Whatever it is, leave a comment! I bet you're not the only one!

Happy sewing,

Louisa xxx



Monday, 20 June 2016

Tumbler Leaders & Enders Challenge!

I finished my top! My Bonnie Hunter tumbler Leader's and Ender's Challenge is done. Well, the top anyway. The tumblers were two and a half inches and each had either an animal, a flower or a pattern, say spots, checks, stripes, etc on it and there is one single tumbler with an ant on it. So I've called this, I Spy An Ant quilt.



What do you think?

I edged it in red, so all I need to do now, is sandwich it, quilt it and bind it. That should take me a few days, fitting it in around everything else, but I'm so pleased to finally have a finish!

Also, last Sunday (19th June) I went to the National Quilt Championships at Sandown Park. This year, there was a fabulous array of different quilts, all different styles, all different techniques and some of the work was exquisite, from hand quilted to hand pieced, I was in awe and totally inspired by what I saw. Here are a few from that show (none of these quilts are mine, credit goes to the maker)


 This one was tiny half inch hexagons, totally hand pieced and each flower centre was fixed with a button.


This was made by the same lady (Gretchen) and you can't see from the picture quality, but again, they were all tiny half inch hexagons, centred with a button. The colour on this one was magnificent and those blue buttons radiating from the centre were totally eye-catching.

I loved this one, mainly because I adore purple, but all the cathedral windows had been hand-sewn and then it was machine-quilted. So rich, beautifully scalloped edges, too.

But this one was my favourite and as you can see, it got two rosettes. The colour was very oceanic and I could totally see this design painted on a ceiling. The attention to detail was astounding.

It was a great quilty weekend and I can't wait for next year's!

Happy sewing!

Louisa xxx

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Lucy Boston Update

My Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses stalled big time a couple of weeks ago. I don't know what happened. There seemed to be so much other stuff going on in my life - I had a manuscript to turn in, there were problems with my youngest son at school(he has ADHD, ODD and possibly autism), I was busy with the dog walking business, one of my pets crossed the Rainbow Bridge and somewhere, I just wanted time to myself to sit back and chill.

Now normally, I would sew for my chill time, but something in me just told me I didn't want to. It was like losing my mojo. So it sat, untouched in its little workbox beside my bed for a good solid week or two without any progress being made.

I even felt guilty about it and contacted the other ladies on the Facebook group and asked if anyone else was feeling the same, as it seemed everyone else was going great guns on their BOM challenge and I felt like I was falling far behind.



Thankfully, the ladies were quick to reassure me and I must have opened a box or something, because suddenly everyone else was admitting to falling behind a little here and there and that losing your mojo for a project was a regular occurrence. The ladies gave me some great advice, told me to forget about the monthly packages stocking up, but just to return to it when I felt ready and just do a little bit here and there.

Comforted by their support and their words, I sat one night and opened the box. I went through it, clearing it out, tidying it and looking at each piece and fabric and allowing myself to get the feel for the project once again. I decided to thread baste a couple of hexagons. That's all. A couple of days later, I sewed those hexagons together and thread basted a few more.



And that's what I'm still doing. I'm not raring to go, but my interest for the project is still there, its just going slower than I expected. But that's okay. It's not a race. And I've invested money in this project and I'm not going to let it languish in a corner of my room. I'm going to work on it slowly.

Thinking about it, I think my big problem is that I've not managed to finish any quilts lately. I've been doing lots of little projects, or I'm working on more than one big project in one go, so it seems to me like I'm putting in a lot of work, but not getting any results.

I know the results will come if I keep plugging away at them. That's how you write a book after all! I've just got to keep the quilty faith.

Happy sewing!

Louisa xxx

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Leaders and Enders progress

First, let me thank everyone who tried to help me with my sewing machine woes of last week. It was something to do with the bobbin and the way it had been wound. I loaded a fresh bobbin and put that in and the stitching went right back to normal! Phew! No major work required!

So I thought I'd catch you all up on my Tumbler Leader and Ender progress. It stalled for a while and I needed to cut a load more tumblers, but there was so much going on in the house with Spring cleaning and Konmari-ing, that it got pushed to one side.



But then I made an effort and had a pleasant afternoon or two of sewing at the machine. It was a pleasure. To just sit there, listening to the Youtube broadcast of Bonnie Hunter's latest Quiltcam episode, sewing away. It makes you feel like you're sat in a quilting group, listening to Bonnie chat about things and showing everyone's else's current projects on her phone. You know you're all working away at the same time and it's just really wonderful and therapeutic. I love it when I see there's been another Quiltcam.

If there isn't one, I'll sit and listen to a podcast or catch up on my latest Audiobook from Audible. I like to have something to listen to. Seeing as I'm in my sewing room on my own. It's not often that I'll sit in silence with my own thoughts. What do you like to do when you're sewing? Do you prefer silence? Do you play music? Or do you do what I do? I'd love to hear it and if you know of any great podcast you can recommend, then please do!

Happy sewing!

Louisa xxx

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Sewing Machine Struggles

So last week, I started more work on my Tumbler Leaders and Enders project. It started off well. I got about five more rows done and attached to the main piece, but then I noticed one of the seams had started to come undone.

No biggie, probably the bobbin ran out, right?

Er.....no.

The top stitch was fine, but the stitch underneath, on the back of the fabric, was all loopy and loose. I rethreaded my machine, top and bottom and started again.

Same problem.

I cleaned and defluffed the machine.

Same problem.

I oiled the machine and reset the tension.

Same problem.

I rethreaded again and switched the machine on and off.

Same problem.

So! Am mightily annoyed. Am going to leave it overnight and check on it again later and if it still doesn't work, then I'm going to have to get it checked.

It's very annoying. I want to sew, and I can't. Did think about hand sewing for a bit, but I've got another book to write on my contract and so that has to come first.

Grrr....


Thursday, 24 March 2016

Milestone!

Over five thousand views! Can you believe it? More than 5000 people have found and read my blog! Little old me!

Wow.

I'm so thrilled, so can I just say thank you to everyone, whether you came here by mistake, or on purpose! I thank you for checking out my blog, lots of you are repeat visitors, so that's good, I must be doing something right and the stats are interesting, too, truly having a global reach from here in the UK, to Guatemala, Lithuania, Russia, Canada, Malta, New Zealand, Romania, Germany, France, Finland and many more!

So, back to quilty stuff!

I've had a mother fabric delivery for my Lucy Boston Patchwork of The Crosses Block of the Month club. You can see them below. They're all Liberty fabrics and they really are gorgeous. If you ever get the chance to peruse a Liberty fabric collection, then please do so. I've got the first block all thread basted and ready to go.



I didn't make it to sewing group last night, as I wasn't feeling very well, but hopefully I will make it next time.

In the meantime, this is the Apple Pie that my son made at school in Food Tech class. 



It was very yummy! Or so I've been reliably informed. I couldn't eat it, because it wasn't gluten free. Never mind. He's promised to make me a GF version during the Easter hols. Kids had their last day at school today for two weeks.

So, Have  a great Easter everyone!

Stay safe, be kind to everyone you meet. You never know what sort of day someone else is having and that one smile from you, or helpful word, can make all the difference in somebody's day.

Happy sewing!

Louisa xxx

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

A competition win!

Remember how a few posts ago, I mentioned that I'd bought a new magazine to try out? British Patchwork & Quilting. Well, in that, there were a few competitions, so I entered them and sent off my form, never in a million years expecting to win anything and then yesterday this came in the post!

I was so totally surprised! I do like appliqué and though the patterns aren't something I'd probably try, there was a lot of good templates and things within the book that I could use. I don't know. I might do a giveaway. Would anyone be interested in a giveaway? Let me know and if enough people want me to do one, then I'll set something up so its nice and fair to everyone who enters.

In the meantime, Happy Quilting!

Louisa xxx

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Early Mother's Day gift!

Look what my kiddies got me as an early Mother's day gift!





Aargh! Another project for me to start! Must. Not. Do. It. Yet. Must. Finish. Other. Work. First!

It's so tempting though. It came with a CD rom in the back, with all the cutting measurements for each block, or paper piecing templates if you prefer to do it that way.

Some of the blocks look very difficult, but I guess it's on a par with the Dear Jane quilt, as you get letters from farmer's wives with each block, all written during the great depression and published in a magazine at the time to keep up spirits, which I find fascinating. We all know crafting and sewing/quilting in particular, is very therapeutic. If you sew when you're feeling down or ill, it can take your mind away from your troubles and make you feel a little bit better. Sometimes heaps better!

I've been busy with my blocks for my Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses, but also trying to fit in writing time. I've got three more chapters to write to finish off my sixth title for Mills and Boon and I have a cracking idea for my seventh, so....busy, busy, busy! The February fabrics had room for some fussy cutting, so I fussy cut the centre hexies and when I sewed them together, found that not just the front got to look pretty!


Here's a finished block from month two.



So, I'm going to have to put my Farmers' Wife project away for a while. I have Trail Mix to do and Lucy Boston. And though there are way too many projects to tempt me, I am determined to get these two finished before I start on anything else.

Please tell me I'm not the only one struggling with too many pretty projects!

Happy quilting!

Louisa xxx

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Not enough fabric!

I know what you're thinking after reading that title. But it's not what you think!

My Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses BOM sent out the second month's box of fabric. Before, we'd worked with a quarter inch seam allowance, but I think a few people still struggled with that, so Jessie at Sew and Quilt, increased the seam allowance to half an inch. 



I started sub cutting the fabric for the honeycombs and the squares (remembering to fussy cut this time!) and there was one strip of the main connecting Liberty fabric that said I had to sub cut 32 two inch squares. So I did.

And only squeezed 30 squares out of it.

Eek! I panicked. I checked and double checked. I recounted the squares. There was nothing for it, but to email Jessie and ask her to send me another tiny strip. Then I went onto the FB page to suggest other people check to make sure they had enough.

Thankfully, Jessie was on hand and realised there had been a TYPO in the instructions. We were only meant to sub cut 28 squares!

Hurrah! Panic over!

I immediately updated my thread posting on the Fb group, so that others would know and not be startled. And it's such a great little group. Very supportive. Busy. I really think that little group will carry us all through the year, so that none of us fall by the wayside.




Once we've finished making up the blocks for this month, we can piece together the first row of blocks, so that will be exciting. I will post pics of it when it is done.

In the meantime, I've pieced all four cornerstones of my Trail Mix and I've been looking on eBay for bags of scraps to help boost my tumbler mix. There are some good offers about, so take a look, if you haven't already.



So, that's it for today. I'm back to hand sewing for a while and editing my new book, which is the sixth I've written for Mills and Boon. Book 4, One Life-Changing Night will be released on March 1st, so do please take a look and if you'd like, pre-order!

Happy quilting!

Louisa xxx

Friday, 12 February 2016

Making blocks!

Today, I started putting together the first block for Trail Mix. I had to cut out squares and triangles of my backing fabric and then start assembling the stars, using Y-seams.



Two diamonds were sewn together along one seam, using a quarter inch seam allowance, not going all the way to the end, to allow for the Y-seam. Once I'd sewn them in pairs, I'd sew two pairs together to make half a star and those two halves together to make a full star as shown.



Then I started insetting the triangle backing fabric, marking where i needed to stop with a pin and flipping the star from one side to the other, to create the seam. I did this for all of my triangles first, then I finished the block by doing the same seaming with the squares, until the block was complete and squared off to measure 14 and a half inches.



I'm really pleased with how well the first one has come out. These are the cornerstones and I need to do four. It feels really good to finally be piecing these!

What are you working on right now?

Happy quilting!

Louisa xxx

Monday, 8 February 2016

Trail Mix Update!

Today, I finished the pile of four patches and nine patches needed for Trail Mix. 252 four patches and 9 nine patches.

Hurrah!

Then I looked to see what I need to do next. Another big batch of half square triangles and quarter square triangles!



I will be very busy once again!





I'm using the Nurture jelly roll as my fabric mix, by Howard Marcus for Moda. Along with a few batiks, a few random bits that match from my stash and Gutermann threads for sewing. (A 50wt) I find this works quite well for piecing. It's strong, but fine enough, not to bulk up the seams.

I'm really hoping that after all of this piecing, I will be able to start putting the quilt together. My husband told me, "it seems rather a lot for a quilt"

Well, yes. But they're worth it. Don't you think?

Happy quilting!
Louisa xxx

Friday, 5 February 2016

Achieving Perfect Flying Geese Units

Craftsy usually do a free Block of the Month class and this year is no exception. The 2016 class is '2016 Block of The Month with Lynette Jensen'

For the February class, I learnt something that has been bothering me for ages and that is how to achieve a perfect Flying Geese (FG) unit.



Before, my FG units had always been, shall we say, hit and miss. Some would come out wonderfully, but the majority would usually be too small, or the points would get cut off or the fabric wouldn't fold right, there wouldn't be enough to cover the corners, etc. 

It was maddening! I really didn't know what I was doing wrong! I would be so careful with my measuring and cutting, but I would sew those units and end up unpicking them, time and time again, or even just giving up and staying away from quilt patterns that had FG. Which was difficult! Because a lot of the patterns I did like, had them!

And watching Lynette's class showed me where I had been going wrong and I therefore had my lightbulb moment! I had to get to my machine and test it out and bingo, perfect FG!

My problem? Eyeballing the seam.



I honestly thought I could sew a straight line of stitching when you have to sew that wing on and sew diagonally across the fabric. It wasn't far. Just across a square. A straight line. How hard could that be?

Doh!

Lynette advises drawing that diagonal line across the backs of your squares. Do it with a pencil. 



Nothing that will show through. Nothing with a thick nib, like a Sharpie. And then -and this is the magic bit- sew just a thread outside of that line, on the side that the corner is that will be trimmed down. And press, before you add the next 'wing'.

Hallelujah! (*cue angelic chorus*)

Perfect Flying Geese every time!

There's even plenty of seam allowance so that you don't cut off the corners with a quarter inch seam.



You have no idea how much this means to me! A whole new world of quilts has opened up, all because I thought I could sew a straight line, but I can't. I need to draw my line. I need to sew a thread's width outside of it. I need to press and then and only then, will I achieve what I have been trying to achieve for years!

So Thank You Lynette Jensen and Thank you Craftsy.

You have my undying gratitude forever more.

Louisa xxx

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses BOM update!

I've really enjoyed working on my Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses Block of the Month from Sew and Quilt.

So far, I've got three blocks done and I'm really pleased with what a learning process it has already been.





When the kit arrived, I was eager to get stuck in and sub cutting the pieces for my squares and elongated hexagons. Of course, later on that day, I received a group email, advising us how best to cut and on how a couple of them, we could fussy cut. Doh! I'd already cut mine. I hadn't even thought to look at the fussy cutting, because I was so excited to get going. Lesson number one - slow down!

Lesson number two was to use Wonder Clips to hold the pieces as I thread basted, so that the fabric didn't move, allowing me to have a good quarter inch seam all around. With the small squares, that was quite hard and I wasn't sure how best to fold the fabric at the corners, so that there wasn't bulk, but that there was nice crisp corners. I discovered, that if I pressed the flap of fabric down over the corner itself and then folded the sides down over the top of that, then I got perfect corners and perfect sides that all measured exactly the same. Lesson number 3!

It's been fun to work with fabrics I wouldn't normally pick for myself and to be honest, I wouldn't have chosen certain fabrics to go with others, but to my surprise, they have worked wonderfully together. Lesson number 4 is to give fabric a chance. Audition it with other pieces to just check whether they go or not, rather than assume. And you know what they say about assumption!

I'm sewing from the back, catching a few stitches from the fabric either side of the join, so that from the front, no stitches can be seen at all. It's quite easy to do and relaxing on the hands, so less of a strain if you have arthritis and as I get flare-ups of rheumatoid arthritis occasionally, then this method is great for me.

So, yes, it's going well. I'm enjoying having my little quilting box next to the sofa in the main living area and I'm sewing rather than wasting time on Facebook or something to interest me on the internet.

Today I bought the British Patchwork & Quilting magazine to see if I liked it. A preliminary check-through seems to show its full of wonderful stuff - giveaways, patterns, articles to read, places to check out and hints and tips. Will have a proper read-through later, but it seems good so far!

What magazine do you read for quilty ideas? Where do you get your patterns? Or maybe, you design your own! I'd love to hear what you do.

Happy quilting!

Louisa xxx

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Lucy Boston, Quilt group and Trail Mix progress!

Yesterday, after much excitement, my first delivery of my Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses, Block of the Month arrived! Such a wonderful package to open and go through slowly, taking it all in, the finished quilt picture, the layout of blocks, the fabrics! The fabrics, I have to say, are gorgeous!




The fabric was already cut into strips, all I needed to do, was sub cut it into rectangles and squares, which took literally fifteen minutes and I was ready to make a start! I'm doing a block at a time, so I thread baste my pieces for one block's worth, then sew that block together, before tackling the next. I know I could glue baste, but I really find the glue hard to push the needle through, so i don't do it.

Here's what I got done by the end of last night:



Tonight, it's my monthly quilt group meeting at Island Piecemakers. It's a craft night, and I believe we're all going to be sewing a variation on the Drunkard's Path. I haven't seen the quilting girls for a couple of months, due to illness before Christmas, so it will be good to be amongst all the quilty goodness again.

Trail Mix is coming along. I'm still spending an hour each night making up four patches. Of the 252 I've got to do, I've done just over half, so not too many more to go. I'm really looking forward to putting it all together.

So what are you tackling right now? What's your current project? Let me know.

Happy quilting!

Louisa xxx

Friday, 22 January 2016

Mariposa Love!

Yesterday, I ended up at The Eternal Maker in Chichester. It's a quilter's dream shop, located in an old truck depot or something, but there are tons of beautiful fabrics, in every shade and pattern imaginable, along with jars of buttons, shelves of ribbons and all kind of sewing paraphernalia!

I love it. Plus, if you collect their points with every purchase, you earn a star every time you spend over £10 and when you fill in the card, you get 10% off your next purchase!

Anyway, whilst I was there, shopping for a neutral fabric only, I came across this beauty...Mariposa...(by Another point of View for Windham Fabrics, Pattern no 40085)



Isn't it gorgeous? The colours, the beautiful butterflies...I just knew it would be perfect for the backing fabric of my daughter's secret I Spy quilt, that you can see in my Featured post on the right hand side sidebar.

You'll be pleased to know that I also did actually get what I went for, which was a nice neutral, as seen below. (Mini Pearl Bracelets by Lizzy House for Andover fabrics 2014, pattern no 7829)



I could have spent a fortune. But I was good and only bought what I needed rather than what I wanted, lol! I'm sure you can imagine the herculean self control I had to possess...

What have you bought lately? Have you added to your stash? Have you bought a cute sewing notion? Perhaps you know of a great magazine? Let us all know!

Happy quilting!

Louisa xxx

Monday, 18 January 2016

Four Patch Frenzy!

Last night, I finished the last of my 96 triangles that I had to cut for my Trail Mix quilt.



I eagerly checked the pattern to see what was next and discovered that I've got to do 252 four patches and 9 nine patches!

Eek! I always feel overwhelmed when I first see those sorts of numbers. It seems so much! Like you will never get to the end. But then I realised an even bigger problem. I'd used most of my fabrics from a jelly roll and that had like two strips left. I needed more fabric in those lines, so I hurriedly went onto eBay and then froze. I hadn't kept the name of my jelly roll. I didn't know which one I'd had!

So I scoured the pics, looking for something along similar lines with muted reds, blues, creams and browns and spotted something that looked promising. I clicked on it and when the picture highlighted, I was delighted to see the EXACT jelly roll that I'd used before! (*cue angelic music!)

So I've ordered it and four patch production will begin tonight, when I use up those last couple of strips.

In other quilty news, I've signed up to a Block of the Month! I'd always wanted to, but one came up, that wasn't expensive (£17.95 per month, including all fabric, patterns, templates and papers) to create a STUNNING Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses in English paper piecing. It's by Sew and Quilt. So do check them out if this is your thing!

In the meantime, happy quilting!

Louisa xxx

Friday, 8 January 2016

Trail Mix Diamonds and Blades

These are some of the diamond pieces I have cut so far for the Trail Mix quilt. 118 diamonds, of 176 required! Not too many left to do! And when I have done those, I will need to make panels of four strips and cut triangles. 96 of those babies.

I've tried to get in a good mix of fabrics. There are traditional ones in there, mixed with batiks, as suggested by Edyta Sitar in her Craftsy class. And I know how to cut the diamonds now, so that the leftover triangles can be sewed together with an extra strip, so that another diamond can be made from the offcuts. I'm getting 11 diamonds from one strippy panel, which I think, is very good.

This is the template I am using to cut the diamonds.
I had to order it from Edyta's site, Laundry Basket Quilts. It comes with the triangle template that you need too and wasn't expensive, even though it had to be shipped from America. And though the template is meant for this quilt only, I can see that I will use the template for other designs, too.

All this cutting though, meant that my rotary blade was dulling. I had to keep going over the same spots to cut the fabric, or press down really hard and so I ordered some more. Normally, I stick to the brand of blade that matches my cutter, but I saw a two pack of blade that was on offer on eBay, for a much reduced price and they were advertised as a universal fitting blade, so I ordered them to give them a try. Am very pleased so far. But time will tell to see how long they cut well for.
Anyway, happy quilting everyone! I hope that your current projects are going well, that your seam ripper is remaining unused and that all your pieces come together perfectly.

Louisa xxx

Monday, 4 January 2016

Quick Leader & Ender Project Update!

Forgot to post these yesterday, but this is how my Tumbler Leader & Ender project is going so far!




I'm making mine in an 'I Spy' quilt variation, rather than alternate with neutrals and I'm making it for my daughter. Most of the tumblers have something to do with animals on them, which she loves, and I'm going to surprise her with it, when its done.

Who else is doing a Leader & Ender project? How far have you got?

Happy quilting!

Louisa xxx

Sunday, 3 January 2016

New Year, New Quilts!


Wow! It's been a long time since I last posted. I must apologise. But life and all its little problems and concerns got in the way. Plus there was six family birthdays, Christmas (with all its parties and organisation) and then New Years....

Plus I was ill with costochondritis, which was very painful and lasted more than the 10 days my doctor said it would (try six weeks!)

Anyhoo! Back to quilting. I did lose my mojo with it. The longer I stayed away, the more I forgot why I loved it. Then there was one day over the holidays where there was nothing on the television, everyone was in their rooms and I was sat downstairs with nothing to do. Ah-hah! I'd tidy my quilting room!



Once tidied (finding some lovely fabrics I'd forgotten I'd got along the way) my mojo swiftly returned.



Prior to the big quilt-turn-off, I'd bought some fabric to start Edyta Sitar's quilt, Trail Mix, from her Craftsy class, 'Mix and Match Inspired Scrappy Quilting'.

So I made a start on creating the twelve strip panels (each strip is an inch and a quarter), sewn together, which you then cut diamonds from. Each strip panel gives you about 7-10 panels (if you use the offcuts, too) and I've now done 61 diamonds.

I need 176. Eek!

But I'll get there (my mojo is back!) and I've spent a good happy hour today, browsing Pinterest and saving things to my boards, for inspiration. I'm looking forward to my sewing group starting back up after the Christmas break and though I now have a cold threatening (thank you, hubby!) nothing is going to stop me now!

Quilty resolution? Finish the Trail Mix quilt. Do one quilt for charity, through the Love Quilts UK group (I've already made 2) and finish off at least UFO. progress with my hand sewing in the car and try to get more of Passacaglia done.

What about you guys? Any quilty resolutions? Any projects urging you to get them finished? Or have YOU lost your quilty mojo?

Let me know.

Love to all, Louisa xxx