Having been given a jelly roll and a quilting book for Christmas 2010, there is no excuse not to get on with quiltmaking.

Here's what happened next...


Sunday, 16 June 2013

A Lovely Surprise!

Although I haven't been doing much in the way of sewing this week, I have not been idle!

For a start, I found a cutting plan for the star block which I want to use in the Christmas QAL challenge, and I have printed it out and put it with the fabrics ready for next month's QAL weekend.

And then - most unexpectedly - whilst in London for a girls' weekend away with big sister Helen we came across this quilting shop!  Hurrah!

Now I think that quilting shops of any size are sadly lacking in my part of the world - we have a small shop about 3 miles away, but apart from that, only one other of any size in the whole of the City of Birmingham - and that is on the other side of the City from me.

So you can imagine how pleased I was to just walk down a road and trip over this one!

I did a little light shopping and came away with a 'bargain bundle' - a mix of no less than a yard of coordinating offcuts for £8.  That compares to most fabrics here being in the range of £10-£12 per yard.

Lovely, that'll do me - I wonder what my bargain bundle will become...?

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Christmas QAL - June - post 7 (final)

Once I persuaded Oli cat to shift his furry backside off the candle block layout that I've drawn up, I put all the pieces in a plastic bag safe for sewing together next month.

I thought I'd make a start on the cutting list for the star blocks too, but I soon ran out of steam.

This was partly because I was struggling as to the how much fabric to allow for the quarter square triangles; partly because I'm going to invert the two fabrics used for the stars so they are slightly different on each block, but mostly because I was scoffing far too much of the Chocolate Saltine Toffees that I made from Joanna's recipe that she posted yesterday.

So that's it from me for this month - nearly bedtime here, and the cats need rounding up for supper.  Hasn't our first Christmas QAL of 2013 been fun?

Using the whole weekend has worked really well for me, as there has been time to plan, and blog, and go round the world to chat to all the others; and this has fitted in with all the 'stuff' that needs doing!

A big thank you to QuiltSue for setting such a fiendish challenge!  I've had such fun visiting everyone, including new friends - and hasn't Joanna been a great hostess? The fabric giveaway is a lovely surprise too!  I've had a fabulous weekend, so thank you Joanna - and to you all - for making it so.

Christmas QAL - June - post 6

Well you lot are enough to lead a girl astray, I must say!

As the universal opinion is 'go for the fun cutting and piecing' rather than the more sensible 'get all the complicated cutting list sorted out for the other blocks too', I have gone with the flow.  All these quilters cannot be wrong.

Fortunately Oliver cat arrived after I'd put the rotary cutter safely away, and he was just in time to 'help' me check the fabrics against the cutting list.  That's if you count sitting on the block pattern 'helping'.

Oh - I've been baking too, and the Christmas Saltine Toffee is in the fridge setting - I may have to sneak a peak in a mo ...

Christmas QAL - June - post 5

Good morning everyone! How are we all on this Sunday QAL morning?  It's warm with sunny spells here, and I can tell you that as Lesley says, it is a great day for quilting!

Thank you for all your help on my HST conundrum last night - that's another query ticked off the list.

I'm in two minds today about how to proceed with my blocks -

  • I can cut all the fabric for the candle block, then start to piece it, so I get the block put together (the fun option) 
  • I can sort out the cutting list for the two star blocks, which will involve more head scratching as I try to resize one of the blocks that we used on the Scatty Stars QAL quilt a couple of year's ago (the sensible option).

I'll wrestle with my conscience whilst nipping up the road to the shop - there are Ritz crackers to buy for baking...

Christmas QAL - June - post 4


Joanna has posted a recipe for Chocolate Saltine Toffee - and it looks FABULOUS!

I love the idea of the salty/toffee/chocolate mix and now I've found the UK equivalent of saltine crackers (Ritz or Tuc, just to save you looking it up, girls), and if I nip into Aldi when I go for a paper in the morning, I'll get some in, and get baking!

I'm off now for the night - it's day two of our QAL weekend tomorrow, and for me, there's cutting to be done!

But I'll start the day with a cup of tea, and I'll come an visit all the blogs of our intrepid QALers.  If you're taking part in the Challenge, or just stitching along with us on another project, can you make sure you're signed in to Mr Linky on Joanna's QAL page?

Otherwise, how am I going to be able to nose around and see what you've all been up to...?

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Christmas QAL - June - post 3

I think that Bilbo might have just saved me from going a bit crackers!!

I now know that drawing up the cutting list is a part of the quilt design process which is pretty damn tricky, involving lots of concentration and calculations regarding extra ¼" seam allowances.

Bilbo to the rescue, though, with her comment on my previous post saying, 'give us a shout if you need at hand at sorting out the cutting plan'.

Good - thank you.  I was doing quite well with regard to working out the piece sizes that I need to cut for the candle block in the middle of my runner, but then I realised that I have a couple of half square triangles in the design, and can I work out what the fabric sizes for these should be?

No I cannot.

If I was to tell you that the two HSTs in question are to be a finished size of 1½", can anyone tell me what size square of each of the two fabrics I should be cutting??  I should be able to work this out, but it's getting late, and - yes - that is a glass of red that you can see on the worktop.

Back to the thinking in the morning!

Christmas QAL - June - post 2

Ok, people - I've been mucking about with my fabrics and graph paper and a pencil, scratching my head about what to make for the QAL Challenge.

Have you all been across to Joanna's place to see what we're up to on the QAL weekend?  If not, get over to her QAL tab and sign up to Mr Linky; take up the Challenge, and get your thinking caps on!

The first thing that I came up with was the thought that QuiltSue should not be allowed to set such a bloody difficult task - I ask you, a Christmas themed quilt without using red or green? Surely it's not natural!

Then I started to get the seeds of an idea, and over a cup of coffee and a copy of the Telegraph, I doodled a little something out.  Then I turned my doodle into a sketch ... and then I put my sketch onto graph paper.

I did some sums to make sure my graph paper design didn't break the size requirements and I am now happy with what I have.

I've even picked my fabrics - so I have a definite non-red, non-green Christmas table runner design!  Oh yes!

The next trick, of course, is to translate the design into a cutting list; but that will be later - for now, I'm celebrating by running around the world to see what you lot are up to!

Christmas QAL - June - post 1

Good morning, good morning, and what a very special day this is!  It is the first of the 2013 Christmas Quiltalong weekends - hurrah, hurrah, hurrah!

Needle, Thread, Happiness

So, I trust that you all have your Santa hats at the ready; a bowl of nuts in the fireplace; satsumas in the fruitbowl; crackers tucked in the tree (although that one not for me - my otherwise stalwart cats are surprisingly fey when it comes to crackers/fireworks, so let's be fair to them) and mince pies warming on the hob.

This is also the season when alcoholic drinks in the morning are not frowned upon as an indulgence of the weak willed, so we'll take advantage of a sherry or Buck's Fizz, shall we - just to put us in the mood?

Ooops - in the excitement, I quite forgot that our host this weekend, Joanna, will still be in the land of nod as I type (quite right too!).  Shhhhhhhh, those of us living on the right hand side of the World Map - have patience!

Let's use the time constructively - have you been thinking of QuiltSue's Christmas Challenge?  Can you make a Christmas quilt NOT USING red and green fabrics?  Is this possible???  Agh!

Well, I have been immersed in my stash - I've put aside the reds and greens, and I'm looking at what we've got left to play with.  Hmm.

I'm ending up with some fabulous colour combos - but what on earth can I come up with as a design........

Friday, 7 June 2013

I'm So Excited!

Why? Because it's the first of this year's Christmas Quiltalong weekends this weekend!  Whoop whoop!

Needle, Thread, Happiness

Joanna at Needle, Thread, Happiness is hosting the sleep over this month, and the wonderful QuiltSue has thrown down a brilliant challenge - are YOU up for it?

Can you make a Christmas quilt without using red or green fabrics? 


It's a nice small size - no bigger than 96" around the outside in total (full rules and pernickety details are on the tab at the top of the page), but did I mention that there are no red or greens in this Christmas project?

I'm getting my thinking cap on as I have no idea on this one - I'd better get and commune with my stash and see what I can come up with...

Come on and enjoy the party! Get your Santa hat on and break out the sherry - there'll be chatting and sewing and nibbles, and loads of fun!

Joanna will have a Mr Linky up on her first post of the weekend tomorrow, so I'll see you in the morning!

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Christmas Quiltalong 2013

Now here's a thing - the sun is shining, the blossom is out, and here we are thinking about CHRISTMAS!  Oh yes we are!

For the past couple of years, I've participated in a Christmas Quiltalong, organised by our very own QuiltSue, and it's been fabulous fun!

She has had better things to do this year than mince about in a Santa outfit once a month entertaining all and sundry, but as Joanna at Needle, Thread, Happiness and I are so missing the fun we had, we've decided to put something together for the next six months - and here it is!

Needle, Thread, Happiness

Ta da!

Of course, we can't run the Christmas Quiltalong without Sue's help, so she has come up with a Challenge ready for when Joanna and I we get this thing kicked off next weekend.

Yes, that's right - a whole weekend! We're trying to make it easy for everyone to drop by and join the party, so come along when you can (they'll be a Mr Linky to sign up to) and make sure you blog to tell us all what you're up to - I love to go a-visiting!

Joanna will be hosting the first party next weekend, and she'll be along soon to tell you more about the Challenge - but in the meantime, get those dates in diary, grab the button and tell your friends.

Christmas in June?  You betcha!

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