Sunday, 16 November 2014

Doesn't time fly......

My goodness! It's been a long time since I posted on my blog. My obsession with IG and its ability to comment quickly and easily have meant that I feel like I've been "communicating" with people but via my IG account, not the blog. My apologies, if there's anyone who's missed me......

I'll do a little catch up. LBQB blocks:


This block was a disaster! I couldn't see at all what I was doing wrong with it at the time but of course now I can see what a mess it is! Fortunately, Octobers Queen Bee was very understanding of my uselessness, and when she gets round to finishing the quilt top, she'll look at this block and say "ahhhh, bless Natalie!".
I had better luck this month:


Novembers Queen Bee hasn't received this yet, so I hope this isn't a spoiler! Given last months disaster, I'm pleased with how this has turned out. We could do blues and/or purples but I went all blue as I couldn't find another combo that I liked.

My #littlequiltsswap mini is finished all but the label. I'm very pleased with it but it has tested my skills and patience. I've learned so much from this, my first swap. I've learned I'd like to do another one, and I've learned that I need to have more faith in myself. I've only quilted since the beginning of this year so I can't really expect to be as good as some of these ladies (and gents!) who've been at it for ever. But I REALLY enjoy it, and we all have to start somewhere. I'm not going to make my partner any gifts to send along with the quilt because she is waaaaaaayyyyyyy better at sewing than me, but I'll send her a parcel of goodies none the less. Only a couple of weeks to go and it'll be in the post!

My other big make of recent times is a sew together bag. I know I'm a bit late to this (every man and his dog has made one!) but what a great project. I'll certainly make more. I'm using mine as a sewing bag.


Isn't the fabric cute?



That pretty much brings me up to date!

I'm off to catch up with Instagram......

Love Natalie





Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Handmade Fair at Hampton Court

I booked my tickets ages ago for this event and have so been looking forward to the day. And it totally lived up to my expectations.


My friend and I arrived nice and early so that we were there when it opened. The picture above is of Kirsty just be fore she cut the ribbon to open the fair - she was explaining how they had asked for (and had been provided with!) posh porta loos.

The shopping was amazing - everything you could hope to buy and more. I always think traders at these events should have more discounts but the fact I was paying full price for everything didn't put me off! 



We took part in a couple of group events - we made Pom poms for the World Pomination Guinness world record attempt, then attended a talk with Kirsty and Kaffe Fassett, and then a sewing class with Stuart Hillard. 


I was a little bit teary eyed during this session because I so love Kaffe Fassett. After wards I bought his new book and had him sign it for me.


Our last session of the day was joining Stuart Hillard to make fabric brooches and this class was really fun! He seems like such a nice guy, passionate about craft and about teaching and generally really good company.

Looking at comments on Facebook, it seems like they are going to hold another event next year - if you didn't manage to go this time round, I highly recommend it for next time!

Love Natalie





Tuesday, 16 September 2014

A Block and a Swap

In the Little Blog Quilt Bee, it's Celines turn to be Queen Bee this month, and she asked for a Pineapple Block. I've not made one of these before, and have not tried paper piecing before so this was a real test of my skills! I tried a practice block and just about got the hang of it, so cut out the fabric for the real version and........


Ta da! I'm quite chuffed with it, everything seems to be in the right place. My measuring was even pretty good. Celine has received it now so I'm happy to share it. I've really enjoyed trying something new and think I might have a go at more blocks like this.

This week I've also signed up for a swap. Those of you on Instagram may have seen the sign ups for the Little Quilt Swap, organised by Sarah Fielke.


I'm all set to go! My book has arrived in the post (each mini has to be one of the patterns in Sarah's recent book) and I've got the details of my swap "partner". Now just to select which quilt to make and make some fabric choices - what could be easier? Eeeekkk!! The pressure! I'm really looking forward to getting on with it, and it's wonderful to know that someone out there in the world is going to make something for me! I may not be able to think about this project properly until next week because I'm going to the Handmade Fair on Saturday and I'm just a tiny bit excited. I'm taking part in the Pom-Pom challenge, I'm going to the talk with Kirsty and Kaffe Fassett (I love his work!) and I'm taking a sewing class with Stuart Hillard. I'll try and take lots of photos to share.

I hope your week is equally exciting!

Love Natalie



Thursday, 11 September 2014

A Random Rainbow


I've called this quilt a random rainbow because I went with my sons request for the random placement of the HST's rather than the rainbow version I had preferred. Last weekend I finished the quilting, and my son has been wrapped up in it ever since (even though it's still really warm!).


I used an ikea fabric to back the quilt and, although you can't see it so well in this picture, a navy with white stars fabric for the binding from my stash. I'm not sure that that was the right choice as I don't think the stars are always shown off to their full potential but you live and learn!


I quilted in sections - diagonals across the HST's then stitch in the ditch around the borders. I had wanted to use a stipple effect throughout the green border but I just couldn't make it work. The tension was wrong somewhere and so my threads kept bunching at the back or slightly pulling through the green thread from the front. More practice is obviously needed (on a smaller project maybe!).

When I make my next quilt, I really must make a few notes about the fabric etc because all I can tell you is that I used a Moda charm pack but I can't remember the name (something like Simply Be I think), some leftover solids from a previous project, and blue and green yardage from my stash. It is single bed size.

I've loved working on this quilt, and working out how to put the whole thing together, and my son is certainly pleased with it.

New projects beckon!

Love Natalie



Tuesday, 9 September 2014

King Cole Cardigan

With more than a little help from my Mum, I've finished a cardigan to keep me warm through the winter.


It was a King cole DK pattern and was quite straightforward - until I got involved! I am just over 6' tall so often clothes are too short in the body and arms. So before I started this cardigan, I decided I'd add a bit of extra length to all the pieces - after the Fair Isle, it's just straight stocking stitch, right? So how come I ended up with a back and 2 front pieces all different lengths??? Goodness only knows what I did - I'd swear blind I knitted everything to the adjusted length. Perhaps (as is so often the case with all of my projects!) my measuring was out. Consequently, the collar that was on the pattern was nigh on impossible to do ( and my Mum knows - she put every effort in to make it work) but I am more than happy with a straight collar. I even decided to go without buttons and button holes as I'll never do it up - I can always add buttons on for decorative purposes later.



Remember my catchphrase for 2014? Finished is better than perfect? ��

Love Natalie 




Thursday, 28 August 2014

A "Nearly Finish" Quilt!

Readers of my blog on Monday will remember that I mentioned another summer holiday craft project that was "finished".....


 Quilt #3! In truth, I've only finished the top so far but I think that counts, doesn't it? I've now washed the backing fabric and sorted my batting so I'm ready to get on with basting and quilting but I wanted to share this project with you all the same.

I'm so pleased with how it turned out! You may recall that I had wanted to arrange the HST's in a colour rainbow-sequence pattern but the recipient (son #3) preferred a random placement of blocks. I'm not going to say he was right but I'm more than happy with how the random-ness has worked out. I decided to space the extra blocks around the centre piece because the centre on its own wasn't big enough. And then I decided it needed a little more width so went with the loud lime border. Since this photo was taken on Monday I've been asked a thousand times if it's ready yet, so I had better get cracking at the weekend!

I'm going to link this post up with Finish it up Friday over at crazymomquilts.blogspot.co.uk I spend far too much time on Friday evenings reading the many wonderful blogs over there. If you are reading my blog via this link up, thank you for stopping by!

Love Natalie x

Monday, 25 August 2014

Crafty Catch Up

I hope I'm not the only one who has struggled to keep up with their blog during the hols? An actual holiday, combined with child care juggling has left little time for crafting let alone telling anyone about it. With a week and a bit if the holidays to go, I thought I'd do a catch-up post and then get back into the regular swing.

My catching up started with the fact that I "caught up" with my machine today, having not had time to use it much for weeks. What's a girl to do on a rainy bank holiday? Stay in her PJ's and sew, that's what (I cried through Pollyanna at the start of the day as well). My first couple of projects are photo less I'm afraid but just so you know, I cut down 2 old pairs of pyjama bottoms to make them into shorts. I also had a go at recycling an old t-shirt into a tank top using the tutorial at http://www.crafterhoursblog.com/2011/08/tee-to-tank-tutorial-by-jen-from.html. 
I've photos of the other makes for today - I made a new peg bag based on the storage bucket pattern found at http://filminthefridge.com/2012/11/23/round-bottomed-fabric-storage-buckets-a-tutorial/. I don't like the hanging peg bags you can make (I've been using a small cube-like bag) so I thought a "bucket" would be good.


I was using up "scraps" so this is made using a couple of the leftover blocks from the quilt I made for my niece at the beginning of the year. To be honest, this photo doesn't do it justice! I lined the bucket with shower curtain just to make it a little weather proof and decided when I got to this stage that I needed a handle so the finished article looks like this:


I used another left over block (it was a practice one from an early Bee month) to make another of these to store my threads in.


I did have one more sewing project completion today but I'm going to save that for a post of its own.

My other summer holiday makes have included homemade strawberry jam and blackberry jam - my sons and I picked the fruit and I made jam for the first time in about 30 years. Let me tell you - it was worth the wait! 
During August, I'm Queen Bee, and I've received  4 blocks so far:


And a really quick make came in the form of a patchwork key ring that came free with Love Quilting and Patchwork Magazine.



Phew! Catch up over

Love Natalie x