I started playing with this stack a couple of days ago. As well as the Sunshine Roses, I had a couple of yards of Kona solids, in Robin Egg (my favourite Kona colour!) and Silver, a gorgeous soft grey. I had a vague idea in my mind - I really enjoy the "freestyle" piecing that I've used in the last few quilts, but I wanted to change it up a little bit, and thought about including a block or two of an actual pieced pattern, and I also wanted to use lots of negative space. In my mind, I thought I would have the blues in the middle, and then use the grey around the outside, kind of like this quilt I pinned here. So I started by making a wonky star.
And then I started adding to it.
In this photo it looks a little muted. In reality, whilst I loved the fabrics, altogether it looked a little too, well, saccharine, even for me. So I started on another star, this time using the grey background.
This panel above has since been added to, and joined to the first panel, and it's looking ok. I'm now pondering on what to do next. I think some more stars, possibly in different sizes. And then, well, I don't know. It's certainly not looking anything like how I imagined it would, but maybe that's ok? I'm just flying by the seat of my pants on this one!
Happy daffodils, brightening up my table.
This morning I finished piecing this baby quilt top, for my niece who is expecting this summer. This was a nice quick make, improv pieced with fabrics all from my stash. I have some scrappy binding ready but I need to source some backing, I think a trip to Ikea may be in order.
We are having a very chilled Easter break. Having an older brother who is still at school means that J is very aware of when it is "the holidays" or not, so we do tend to follow that pattern. This term we've kind of lost momentum and focus with the little bit of structured learning that we try to do, so I am counting this as a good opportunity to completely switch off for a couple of weeks, and then hopefully we can start afresh after Easter. So far there has been rather a lot of video gaming, but also, some Playmobil and reading of Minecraft manuals, as well as walking Rufus, so it's all good!
Last week we managed two lovely trips out into the fresh air, first to Bedgebury Pinetum, where they have a rather wonderful play trail, and then another trip to Hever Castle, both with home-ed friends.
Rockin' the rope swing at Bedgebury.
Japanese Tea Hut at Hever
The water maze at Hever.
Hopefully we'll get out and about again this week with W, when he's not busy revising. But I'm already contemplating starting another quilt, with the stack of Sunshine Roses pretties that I showed a few posts ago.
The Big One is finally finished! Actually, that's not strictly true - I have to confess that I gave up on the handquilting with just a few inches (of whole quilt width) to go, as I was fed up with the edges getting tattier and tattier, so I got on and bound it and it went in the wash yesterday so I'm calling it done! I can catch up on the last little bits of handquilting whenever I feel like it, but it's no big deal that it's not done, or even if it never gets done! I'm just glad to get it finished. I do love it but it was a bit of a monster. Thankfully, Emily's basting did a wonderful job of keeping all the layers behaving themselves. As much as I would love to send a quilt out to be "longarmed", I simply cannot justify the cost, so getting it basted was as much as I could get away with, but it was entirely worth it.
Please try to ignore the big crease about 3/4 of the way down, that's where it was draped over the washing line to dry!
And that's the back. Pieced from a whole mishmash of FQs and whatever yardage I could find. Don't ask me for all the deets - I don't think I've ever listed them for any other quilt anyway! But it is big enough for our double bed, and I am looking forward to sleeping under it come the summer (assuming we get one, that is!)
Rufus had his first haircut this week. He doesn't like being dried - not with a hairdryer and not even with a towel - so I bathed him in the morning and then he had time to dry naturally before my friend came in the afternoon to give him his haircut. We both think he'd probably never had one before but he was such a good boy! This is what he looked like before:-
Quite a shaggy little dog! Because he is so low to the ground his underside can get quite mucky, especially when it's wet out, but also, with the spell of warmer weather we've had, he has been panting rather a lot, so I thought it was time for a tidy up, which would hopefully make him a bit more comfortable. (Although it will probably snow now...) Here's what he looks like now!
He looks quite puppyish now, and feels very different to stroke. It probably won't make any difference to the amount of hair I have to hoover up off the carpet though!
No sewing news to report at all this week, I'm afraid! I need to crack on with the big quilt and I do actually have plans for a couple more quilts - a baby quilt for my niece who is expecting in the summer, and something with that lovely stack of Tanya Whelan fabric - but that's it.
Home-ed wise we have been ticking along as usual. J has started doing trampolining sessions, which he really enjoys, and this morning we went for a game of bowling, and had the place pretty much to ourselves! We also passed the 2 year anniversary of starting home-ed this week. I still go from one day thinking "what on earth am I doing?" to the next, thinking that everything will be fine. We did a reading age test yesterday and he came out at 15yrs (he's 11) so at least I have nothing to worry about there!
Some images from the last week (or so...)
Wallabies at a walk through the nature trail at a local garden centre.
J saying hello to his favourite tree at the nearby country park.
Rufus enjoying the freedom of the long lead!
Two little boys enjoying the sunshine.
A little scrap of crocheted lace that I stitched to the coin pocket on my jeans. It's usually hidden by my top but it makes me smile nonetheless!
Another quilt lover in the family!
I was a bit naughty at the weekend and treated myself to a little bundle of pretties from a new-to-me online store, The Homemakery.
A bundle of Sunshine Rose fabrics, by Tanya Whelan. I had absolutely no plan for these when I ordered them, I just got a case of the wanties, but I'm so pleased I did as they are absolutely gorgeous! I still don't know what I shall do with them, I'm tempted to add to the set and buy some of the pink prints, or maybe I'll just stick with the blues (as there's plenty of pink in them!)
I think it will have to be a quilt, don't you?
Good grief, I can't believe it's been a month since I last posted! So much for my hope to spend more time here! But you will be pleased to hear that, in that time, there has been some stitching going on. I have thoroughly enjoyed re-quilting my Ava Rose quilt - I think because it was already quilted and in use, it was very easy to just re-do a row or two, and then it could still be used in the meantime. I think I still have a couple of rows to go, but it's nice to have something to just pick up and work on as and when I feel like it, and not have to worry about getting it finished. I will make sure I get an "after" pic when it is really finished.
This week though, I've been working on "The Big Quilt" (if you've been reading me for any length of time you may have realised that naming my quilts is not my strong point!) I have been doing organic (ie. wonky) straight lines, and Emily did a great job with the basting so there has been no unpicking - hurrah!
I was somewhat worried about working with such a big quilt on my little machine, so I purchased some big quilt clips, to try and help keep things under control. I rolled up both ends of the quilt to leave a space in the middle where I wanted to start quilting and it worked great - until I realised that the clips are actually too big to go through the throat space on my machine - doh!
They still really helped keep things under control on the other side though, so not a completely wasted purchase! I still have a few rows to fill in, and I left a couple of gaps where I'm thinking of doing some more kantha style handquilting, so it'll be a little while yet before I can do the big reveal.
Other than that, there are no other projects on the go. I have a few ideas for things that need doing - making some new napkins for us, and some gifts for others, but really I think I need to have an almighty sort out and destash, so I may have some fabric packs for sale at some point - watch this space!
Five years ago I completed my second ever quilt, made with Ava Rose fabric by Tanya Whelan. You can see my post about it here. It remains one of my most favourite quilts and has been in constant use ever since, living on our sofa and being snuggled under on an almost daily basis! As a result though, it is starting to look a little bit worn because my original handquilting stitches are pretty much disintigrating!
In some places the stitches have worn away completely, so it needs to be requilted. I seem to recall that I used 3 strands of embroidery floss, but I will be using perle cottons this time! It's quite something, seeing how big and far apart those early quilting stitches were! I can see how much my handstitching has improved. My current WIP quilt has been sent off to the lovely Emily for basting, so whilst I await it's return, this is the perfect project to be getting on with.
With hubby back at work last week, and W back to school this morning, today has been our first day getting back into "the routine". And it's been really nice! We started as usual by walking the dog (I walked, J chose to scoot), then J did a bit of BBC Bitesize on the laptop while I tidied up. We were about to start on some maths when the postie arrived with some books from Amazon, so J spent the next hour at least, engrossed in his new book!
J has had a go at using the Scratch programming software before, but gave up as he just didn't have the patience to work it out for himself, so I thought this book might be worth a go, so that we can work through it together. He certainly enjoyed looking through it and is very eager to have another go, so we'll probably start on that tomorrow. We then did a couple of maths exercises on IXL.com, revising some time concepts - telling time is one of the things that I would really like him to crack this year. He is so close but I think it is pure laziness that is holding him back!! After lunch he did some times tables and some spelling words, before I let him have his reward time (computer games, natch!) It probably doesn't sound like much, but we got through the whole morning without a request for a video game, and he did all the things I asked him to, so I count that as a success!
While he was busy reading his new book, I also managed to finish piecing the backing for my quilt - all done from stash too! So it is now all folded up neatly awaiting the arrival of the batting, so I can then send the lot off for basting. Here's hoping the rest of the week will be just as productive...!