Sunday, 12 March 2017

Gifts for 'Chernobyl' children 2017 ...

Please see these two posts from last year for the tutorials for a patchwork tote bag and table mat. The ladies who volunteered to help me make each of the 17 children visiting North Wales from Belarus / Ukraine a bag and mat were very kind and very talented.

Here are the lovely children (and helpers) with their bags last Summer:

They absolutely loved their gift bags - each contained a table mat to take home to their Mother / Grandmother, a patchwork bag, some sweets and either a tissue holder or wallet.

They were such a hit, Gerrie (chair of the North Wales Chernobyl Children's Lifeline), asked me if we could do it again this year. Of course we can - as soon as I put the request out on my Instagram for this year's group of children, I had a host of wonderful quilters ready to sign up again. 

The requirements are the same as last year - if you can make a bag and mat - great - if you can only make one - that's also fantastic. We have 22 volunteers this year and 14 children (aged between 9 and 11: 12 girls and 1 boy - and an older boy who is 14) so any extras will be gifted to the helpers and / or given to the children with siblings back home.

A nice size finish for a tote bag is 14" long by 12" wide with nice long handles (27") and a table mat 16" square or bigger would be lovely.

This year, I have varied my makes and I used a Moda Charm Pack (generously gifted by one of my dear IG friends, Katrina) to make two tote bags - one for one of the children and one for one of the helpers:

I have made a slightly larger table mat - 20'5" x 20.5" - which I quilted with Aurifil Rainbow thread (it's my new favourite now):

Nothing will go to waste - everything we make will be so gratefully received, I promise you.

Thank you all so very much - I will tag all my helpers for 2017 on Instagram  - please use the hashtag #ccllnorthwalesquiltbee - and I have created a link up so the bloggers can share their makes here:

Saturday, 25 February 2017

The absolute joy of quilting ...

I opened my blog to tell you about a Star Wars character quilt I'm making as a 21st birthday gift when I remembered I hadn't post about the FOUR quilts I've made so far this year ... Oops!

It's why I love my hobby - you get to make such a variety of quilts, bags, table mats, etc etc. And the first two months of the year have been creatively perfect for me and busy!

I take my inspiration from all over but for this quilt, my god-daughter's Mum sent me a photo of her bedroom:

And instead of keeping it simple - which would have been fine - I drew a stag on graph paper and decided to surround him with improv / geometric blocks ... as you do! It took some time and a lot of Kona Solid greys and was a biggie (for me) to free motion quilt but I got there in the end:

One of my best friends from school is 50 this year and so she just had to have a quilt too. She loves the colour blue ... I had a Moda charm pack and thought about cutting each square in half to make it go further ... and found an image on Google which I thought would be perfect ... 

I used some blender yardage I had in my stash and a little bit of vintage fabric and added some hearts in the corners of the borders for a bit of interest. Was so lovely to hand it over in person:

And the back:

I know many quilters extol the virtues (and patience) of their husbands / partners ... mine really is a saint! AND he helps me baste my quilts ... he has been asking for a quilt of his own for a few of the 7 years I've been quilting and his patience finally paid off. Along the way, the blocks decorated my sewing room walls for a few months though: 

Made entirely from scraps, the rainbow blocks contained all his favourite colours. He arranged the layout and chose the colour of the sashing and I think you can tell he was happy to finally get it:

And finally a 'proper girly' quilt. Made for hubby's cousin in Miami, she chose the colours - pink, blue, lavender and I designed a pattern to fit:

Another biggie to free motion quilt but lots of fun to make:

And now I can carry on with Bobba Fett!

Loving my quilting at the moment - hope you are too X

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Siblings Together Quilt 2017

Happy New Year, everyone ... feeling a little tired today but motivated to sew and blog as I am Queen Bee for this month's Siblings Together Quilting Group. This will be my second 'bee' collaboration and fifth quilt for this fabby charity:

A reminder why I love being part of this group and we make these quilts every year:

We began the 2017 quilts in October and these are the blocks I have made so far, starting with this cool design improv block for Carol @ The Running Hare:

In November, Mary @ Mary Emmens requested a couple of red paper pieced blocks - these were fun to make:

And last month, Sheila @ chezbudsmam asked us to make her a couple of delightful Greek Cross Blocks: 

So, here is the block I am requesting - and a quick tutorial, should it be needed. Although mine is made from my scrappy citrus greens, I am hoping to get a variety of red, yellow, orange, light blue and green blocks - my only stipulation is that the block be made using just one colour and that the star be a dark blue / navy solid fabric (or similar). The block finishes at 18.5" and is made from 16 x 5" squares and 8 x 2 and 3/4" squares:

To make the star points, lay one square against the corner of the 5" square and sew on the diagonal - I like to draw a line but you can just eyeball it too:

I sewed a second seam and will use the spare 16 X 2" HSTs in another project: 

Then take a second square and do the same:

I didn't have enough fabric to not repeat a couple of squares but that works well, I think:

I like the seams to be pressed open and do pin a lot:

And the finished block:

Thank you, STQB ladies - can't wait to see what you come up with. I will post on my Instagram account and back here to show you. 

Happy Quilting in 2017. 

Saturday, 31 December 2016

13 ... unlucky for some?

13 - not an unlucky number for me as that is how many quilts I finished in 2016 (plus 3 WIP quilts in various stages to start me off in 2017!) 12 out of the 13 quilts, I gave away to friends, family and charities:

The 13th quilt is ALL MINE! As it should be ... I sewed my first two pieces of fabric together in January 2010 thanks to my dear friend Penny (an extremely accomplished quilter and crafter) and she supplied lots of green and pink fabric to keep me going. I just never got round to finishing it - shame on me - until this week and I'm so glad I did.

I have learnt LOADS since those first tentative stitches - the precision of a 1/4" seam, the accurate sizing of blocks, the use of colour, pinning those seams and, for this quilt, I attempted my first spiral quilting:

Just a snapshot of my year which, as well as still learning new quilting things, also included making some lovely new quilting friends - farewell 2016 ... it was a lot of fun and I am really looking forward to more quilting adventures in 2017.

Thanking Amanda Jean @ Crazy Mom Quilts and Sarah @ Confessions of a Fabric Addict for keeping us on track all year with our Friday finishes. 

Wishing everyone a very happy and healthy New Year.

Friday, 2 December 2016

The joy of giving ...

I finished this quilt a couple of weeks ago and it arrived safely in Florida on Tuesday ... phew! I started it back in March but, for various reasons, I just didn't get around to finishing it for 8 months which isn't like me. I think it might have been because I wasn't working to a deadline ... the quilt was for hubby's darling cousin but it wasn't for a birthday, a wedding or a specific fixed date.

Looking back ... I might have also been a little busy making lots of other gifts too ...

I started making the blocks:

And then it was nephew's 21st:

There was a baby quilt:

Then a couple of Siblings Together charity quilts needed making:

And this very special quilt which went to Dallas (Quilts for Peace): 

I kept coming back to it:

Then came the Chernobyl Children's Lifeline raffle prize quilt: 

And finally the wedding quilt: 

And let's not even mention all the Pants Bags, cushions, tissue holders, zipped pouches, table mats that I have made and gifted since March ... oh, and the Siblings Together Quilting Bee and my other Bee and 3 other WIP quilts ... 

But finish it I finally did:

And these photos this week of cousin Natasha, as well as a beautiful message, cuddling her quilt make me so happy that I finally did finish it. Better late than never, hey? Look at that adorable face ... 

Linking up with Amanda Jean @ Crazy Mom Quilts and Sarah @ Confessions of a Fabric Addict