Thursday, 4 September 2014

Oh my, it's been a while!

I knew I hadn't posted for a while, but I had no idea it'd been this long! Terrible!

Anywho, I'm back now! And I certainly haven't been idle during these months!
The Secret Project has now been gifted so can be revealed! But that will be for another post. I'm hoping to do a tutorial for it, so that will take me a little while to prepare :-)
I tried my hand at English Paper Piecing, which was not something I had previously considered, because I'm not a huge fan of hand sewing...but my mind has officially been changed on that subject! 
I started the project around the start of June, because the lovely Jessie bought me the book "Hexa-go-go" for my birthday and I also got some free hexagon papers with Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine. I decided to go for the Grandmother's Flower Garden type hexagon project and I am amazed at how lovely it is (If I do say so myself!)

Due to medication changes I have been mostly bed bound and unable to concentrate on machine work, so this was the perfect project for me at this time. It has been my constant companion for 3 months, and it was completed 2 days ago (quilting and all!) It was washed yesterday morning and is still hanging out to dry, but I'm SO excited to snuggle under it :-D
Annoyingly, I discovered (as I was doing one of the last bits of quilting) that one hexagon (out of 1,150ish) had the white on white fabric the wrong way up! So it's more of a white under white now. It was my favourite of the 7 white on white fabrics that were used in this quilt, which made me a bit sad. But hey, we all have our flaws, and now my lovely quilty does too!
I had no idea how I was going to finish the edges of this quilt, and for a while was intending to chop off the edges to make them square. I already knew I wasn't going to use bias binding, no way I was going to deal with all those mitred corners!! In the end, thanks to some help from the Quilting Board, I followed a wonderful tutorial by the blogger BadSkirt. It leaves the lovely hexie edges intact, and no bias binding to deal with. It took a long time, but I'm so glad I made the effort!

I also managed to attend the Festival of Quilts at the NEC in Birmingham. Muv and I decided to go for 2 day tickets so that we could do a couple of hours each day. I'm so glad we made that decision, the first day almost flattened me, so I doubled up my pain meds for the second day and it went a lot better! There were so many lovely quilts on display, and a huuuuuge amount of stalls! I got quite a few bits from the show. I found the perfect backing for my hexie quilt, the exact same bluey/purple batik that I had used on the front, but in extra wide! Awesome!
We found a lovely stall called Monkey Buttons, that had loads of beautiful bag patterns. We were hooked! I think we bought 5 patterns between us, and a couple of fabric packs to make the bags. I have made the "Kangaroo Bag" and I can't believe how professional it looks! It's not quite finished, but all I have to do is bind the inside seams, which shouldn't take too long! The fabric is so lovely as well, I believe it's linen, which had me a little concerned at first, but it was wonderful to work with and really suits the bag.

I also bought some templates for a storm at sea quilt, as that one has been on my bucket list for a while now! It's in the planning stages at the moment and I'm just amazed by the different looks that can be created by just making one little change. Awesome! I'm loving the design sheets available on the Paper Pieces website - so helpful!

I kept seeing the Sizzix Big Shot at the show, and was intrigued. I was able to see one being used and thought it looked pretty awesome! Muv's friend has lent me her machine that she uses for card making. I decided to buy an apple core die so that I could try it out. I didn't want any of the strips or just squares, because they seemed a bit boring! I can see how they would be useful in the future though! I was absolutely amazed at how quick it is to use! I cut out 108 apple cores in just 40 minutes! 

No way I could've done that by hand. Also, there was no pain at the end of it. I would've been in agony if I'd done it with a rotary cutter. The part that took the longest was working out the best way to fold the fabric to get the right cut, with the least amount of wastage. 

Now I'm trying to decide on the best layout for my apple cores, which is taking longer than I thought...or perhaps I'm just trying to put off my first attempt at curved piecing! Haha, I am looking forward to giving it a go though! I think my biggest obstacle is going to be pinning...I'm not a pinner, I'm a shove it through and hope kinda girl!

Remember my post about the Juki Exceed f400? Well...due to a very lovely Muv, I am now the proud owner of the Juki Exceed f600!!!! I call her Juki, she is just the most loveliest of beasts ever! It makes me a bit sad that I haven't been able to use her very much, due to the medication change, but I will get there! I feel we will bond over the apple cores :-)

Anyway, that was the condensed version of the last 3 months of my life, hope you enjoyed it :-)


  1. I love the new quilt! Good to see you blogging again! And also really glad you went to this festival, sounds like it's fuelled some excellent ideas. I love your line, "I'm not a pinner, I'm a shove it through and hope kinda girl"! :-) I look forward to the next post.

    1. Aaaw, thanks Fanny! I did chuckle to myself as I wrote that line, haha! The next post will be all about your quilt, I've started writing it so hopefully it won't take me three months this time!