Archive for May, 2011

I know it doesn’t seem to happen very often but today was a nice quiet day. We took ourselves off to Heighley Gate Garden Centre because this happy quilter needed some dahlias. Well you know this happy quilter just really wanted to get out of the house for a couple of hours because if I don’t make the effort to leave the house I will migrate to the sewing room and not have a proper break. Not only did we find some lovely fresh dahlias but we also found ourselves a great VegTrug. We were looking at similar planters last year but they were much too big to fit in our little garden comfortably. The planter has been assembled and filled with lovely compost and the next step is to plant a few seeds and see what comes of it. I look forward to eating some fresh produce from our very own VegTrug later in the season.

After lunch I decided to have a little play in the sewing room. I have been testing a sewing machine. And this is what I have accomplished today.

So now my appliqué block for the second quarter Mystery Quilt 2011 is finished. I’m quite pleased with the stitch quality and I look forward to making more appliqué blocks soon. The machine I have been testing is a Brother Innov-is I. I believe it’s the top of the range. It comes with a large selection of accessories and I have to say that I’m quite impressed with it so far. I will report more when I have had a really good play with it.

As mentioned previously, I have started planning out my Japanese Appliqué Quilt. Here are a few fat quarters I have collected so far. This evening I will be pouring over the books to find wonky appliqué patterns/templates that will be suitable for the project I have in mind. I can’t wait to get stuck in now.

Tomorrow it’s back to longarm quilting once again. I have loaded the next quilt in the longarm quilting frame ready for a good start in the morning. The quilt is a lovely sunshine and shadow design using a fabulous choice of fabrics. I made one during the winter months and I really like the effect it gives. I’m quite tempted to make another to use as throw in my lounge. Having said that I have loads of quilts that I could use for the job but I do enjoy planning and making projects happen!

So for this evening, this happy quilter will be looking thru patchwork and quilting books for blocks to be used with my Japanese Stash. I hope you’re all planning something interesting to work on over the summer months. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching.

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This week has gone by so quick that I feel like my feet haven’t touched the ground. I completed three longarm quilting jobs and had a daytrip down south to Harrogate. It almost feels like the days are getting shorter because no sooner do I get up in the morning, next thing I know its bedtime! 😦

Tomorrow and next Saturday I’m teaching a Free Motion Quilting workshop at Just Quilting. I’m quite sure there is one or two places free for next Saturday’s workshop. So if you’re interested in learning a great new skill, book yourself in now for next week. I have already started planning the follow up session of Free Motion Quilting workshops. So if you have taken the beginner’s session and you would like to take the follow up session please get in touch so we can put your name on the list. I have some interesting stuff for you to try out when we meet again to use our Free Motion Quilting skills. So watch this space for clues about what’s to come. 😉

I can’t believe it’s almost bedtime again. I’ve spent this evening putting the finishing touches to the Mystery Quilt Second Quarter. All the printing is finished and packaged ready for distribution tomorrow. So ladies, you had better put a fresh blade in your rotary cutter and a clean your sewing machine and change the needle because you’re going on the Mystery Quilt roller coaster again. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching.

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I was busy playing with the longarm quilting system again today. Here’s what I managed to finish quilting this afternoon. This quilt was pieced by my pal Carol. I’ve posted photos of her quilts before. As usual her quilts are very well pieced and super pleasing to the eye. Whoever ends up with this quilt is one lucky person! I will be playing with the longarm quilting system again tomorrow. I’ve loaded the next quilt and I’m ready for an early start in the morning. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

After supper I worked on this little appliqué block. I used the Bondaweb/raw edge method. The next step is to machine blanket stitch everything in place. I will add yo-yo flower centres after the quilt has been longarm quilted.

For this evening, this tired longarm quilter will be working on some knitting. I’ve already knitted the back of this jumper and I will soon be up to the neckline on the front. Whatever you may be doing I hope it’s something enjoyable. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching.

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It’s been another very productive day in my sewing room. I managed to finish longarm quilting the Japanese Woven Appliqué quilt. I treated it to a great primitive free motion quilting job which suits the Japanese appliqué patches perfectly. I’m very pleased with the results. Now that I have quilted this customer quilt I would also like to piece this type of quilt for myself! So watch this space for my version. I can’t promise which decade it will be done though.

I printed the second quarter of the Mystery Quilt last evening. It should be ready for distribution early next week. Here’s a preview of one of the simpler blocks for this quarter.

Now this week I have a book recommendation for those of you who enjoy doing appliqué work. This book, Inspired by Tradition by Kay Mackenzie, includes 50 appliqué blocks in 5 sizes on a disc. I’m looking forward to using mine soon. It’s a relatively new release and there are oodles of lovely blocks in it. I might even use a few of the blocks for my Japanese Woven Appliqué quilt.

So for this evening, this happy quilter will be working on an appliqué block. I plan on using the Bondaweb method for this particular block. Whatever you may be doing, I hope it’s a good evening for you too. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching.

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Hubby and I decided today was the day to have an adventure in the Carlisle area. So we hit the road quite early and made our way over to Houghton Hall Garden Centre. We had a lovely cup of coffee (and a treat) and a good look around. We bought a sun lounger to replace a rickety old chair in the garden and we bought lots of bits in The Craft Shop to be used in journal making, paper crafts and decorative painting. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. It was a relaxed drive across without getting lost. Here’s something my hubby bought for me. Hubby says the description on this little money box described me to a T. So click on the comment button and let me know if you think so too!

So after our fantastic visit to Houghton Hall Garden Centre we went onto Orton Grange which is approximately 10 miles down the road. Any of you crafty quilt makers who visit Cumbria now and again will certainly know about Quiltessentials. As we were going to be in the Carlisle area today, I googled quilt shops in Carlisle and Quiltessentials is what I found. We flashed up the Satnav and it led us right to the door. This wonderful patchwork shop is located in a fabulous building. Barbara, who is the owner of Quiltessentials, greeted us warmly. We even met Rachel, one of my existing customers, who proceeded to tell everyone sitting at the work table that I was the longarm quilter who quilted her quilt and so on. I wasn’t planning on talking business today otherwise I would have brought some leaflets and business cards with me. The shop itself is located in a lovely converted barn. The shop is beautifully laid out and it’s the kind of place I would love to run myself. Here’s the link so you can see for yourself. http://www.ortongrange.co.uk/quiltessentials.html . Barbara has a rather good selection of everything. And of course you know I couldn’t leave the premises without buying something. I just happen to have a requirements list in my handbag for this simple quilt pattern.

 And this shopping bag contains the fabrics I will use to make my Carpenters Star quilt. So watch this space for this newest project.

Take my word for it ladies; it’s worth a trip to Quiltessentials. With the summer weather and staycations just around the corner this is a place not to be missed. I am truly blessed with a choice of so many rather good quilt shops to visit in the Northeast.

So for this evening, this very happy quilter will disappear into the sewing room to rotary cut the fabrics she bought today for her Carpenters Star. Whatever you may be doing this evening, I hope you’re just as happy as I am. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching.

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I hit the ground running this morning. I started up the longarm system at 08:15hrs. That’s rather early even for me. I was trying to get the Chinese Coins quilt finished in good time, which I did and therefore left me with plenty of time for other things today.

So I managed to load the next quilt in the frame. This quilt is a Japanese woven appliqué quilt which I will be free motion quilting. I think this quilt will be a real stunner. This photo doesn’t do it justice. I will publish a better photo when the job is done.

I rotary cut a test block for the Mystery Quilt 2011 which I plan on including in this quarter. Here’s sneak peek at the shapes I will be piecing together to form this variable star block. So I have the big printing job ahead of me next week. So if all goes well the second quarter Mystery Quilt patterns should be ready within the next week or so.

We’re planning a journey to Houghton Hall Garden Centre near Carlisle this weekend. We dropped in between Christmas and New Years on our way to Preston. I was quite impressed with the place. I’m hoping to have a nice lunch and a good snoop around. There’s a fab craft shop downstairs where my Sarah and I will be scouring for crafty bits for our journals. I am a great collector/hoarder of all things strange and wonderful. So I will also be looking for interesting storage tins and such like. And we might even find a lovely new sun lounger for our lovely little garden. So watch this space.

So for this evening, this happy quilter will be working on yo-yos maybe. Whatever you’re doing I hope it’s something productive. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching.

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Today was supposed to be a longarm quilting day but it all backfired on me. I will try to make up for it tomorrow. Yesterday I loaded yet another lovely Chinese Coins quilt.

I had to deliver my passport application to the person who will be countersigning it. So my hubby and I decided that we should just run all our errands today and hopefully have a quiet day at home tomorrow to try to catch up. So it was a trip to the tip first and then we went onto M&S for some summer pyjamas for this happy quilter and a cup of coffee, which was most welcome. And then we went to Comet to find a replacement for our microwave oven. This time we went for an Inverter Combi Oven. I have no idea how it works but we quite success with making supper with it. We managed to heat our cottage pie and steam our veggies without setting the new appliance on fire! In this house it’s a miracle when we can get thru a meal without either making a mess of the cooker or burning something.

After Comet we delivered the passport application to the person who will countersign it and then onto Plants Plus for some annuals and hanging baskets. Once the car was full of all our purchases we went to the car dealer to make inquiries about a new car. We were both quite disappointed to find out that it takes at least six months before you actually take delivery of a new car. It’s all such a long drawn out process now. Car makers no longer build cars and store them indefinitely in large compounds to be shipped out when needed. They simply build a car when the customer orders it. I’m glad we went in today to get the ball rolling.

So this evening my garden is full of luscious summer plants. It makes our little garden look so much more inviting. We’re going to decide over the next week or so whether to invest in a new sun lounger for our Sarah so she can enjoy our lovely garden.

So all in all it’s been a pretty productive day even though I didn’t get to do any longarm quilting. I have no photos for you today. It’s back to the old grind tomorrow for me but for this evening, this happy quilter will be working on yo-yos. I’m desperate to use up some more scraps from the scrap bin. Perhaps you might join me in using up some of your scraps as well this evening. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching.

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