Monday, 21 July 2014

A Mouse Picnic Present



So my mini quilt from last week required a couple of accessories before it properly turned into a present.




Many thanks to Emma who bravely let me borrow her posh camera over the weekend to take these photos while Theo still had mine!

I'd found this very small picnic basket with a mini tea set at a Charity Shop in perfect condition, and I thought it would be a cute variation on one of my favourite homemade presents. Several times I've given a teddy bear's picnic with a larger quilt, proper picnic basket and bear, this time around it became a miniature mouse picnic present. The 2 mice are little, wool finger puppets and fitted perfectly into the basket with the tea set. And Maria wrote a little mouse note to go with them.


I think this week may be full of home made presents, we seem to be in a mad rush at the moment to get teachers' presents finished for the end of school and there are a couple of others on the go or just finished too. So definitely a theme for the week.

And Theo returned from his camping at the weekend, tired but having had a good time, slightly more tanned than when he left, and happily with my camera in one piece! He'd been to the Scilly Isles, which is somewhere I've always wanted to visit. Here are a few of his photos:






Definitely still somewhere I'd love to visit! And despite having forgotten to pack his wallet, so having absolutely no money with him, he managed to bring me back a little present:


Ahhh, sea glass! My favourite! Just as with homemade presents, it's all about the thought and time and effort!

Back again tomorrow,

Sally.

Friday, 18 July 2014

This Moment

Here's a link to Soulemama's moment, and here are (!) mine. I know, I know, cheating again! There are just too many lovely, beach moments these days to narrow it down to just one. I've narrowed it down to one per child, and that was hard enough! Have a great weekend.


{this moment} ~ A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.
. . . . . . . . . .



Venetia

Theo

Maria

Sam



Thursday, 17 July 2014

Mini Quilt Present


Just a quick post tonight. Thought I'd give you a sneak peek at another of the presents in production at the moment.



This one is quite a small mini quilt. It's almost finished, but there are extra elements to this present that aren't done yet, so I'll put it in context better next week. And hopefully with a better photo too - Theo is away for a few days, camping with school, and I've let him take my camera with him. I'm missing Theo and I'm also missing my camera!

Anyway, more important than the peek at the quilt is that I keep forgetting to pick a winner for my blogiversary wool giveaway. We finally got round to it tonight, there were 5 wonderful commenters, so Maria put 5 numbered slips of paper into a basket for me and drew one out. Sorry, there would have been a photo, but taking the quilt photo with a phone had already been far too much of a technical challenge for me! The winner was ..... drumroll please .... the lovely Aimee from Small Steps Big Noises. But, Maria then decided that we really needed to pull out another number too, and then another...till they'd all come out. And since I'd really wanted to send everybody who commented a little bundle, and there were only 5 altogether (and one of you lives plenty close enough not to need to trouble the postman!), I thought what I'd love to do is send Aimee the big rainbow bundle...


And those other pieces...


And then send each of my other lovely commenters (Kim, Jessica, Jo and Michele) a smaller, mystery bundle. So if that's OK then I'll be in touch soon to find out where to send the bundles.

That's it for tonight, back tomorrow with a photo,

Sally.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

New Quilt Bloggers - Blog Hop

Hurray, it's my turn on the New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop! So a big welcome to anyone stopping by to read as part of that. I'm Sally...


... wife to one (reasonably!) understanding husband, Harry, and Mum to 4 lovely children - Sam, Theo, Venetia and Maria. 
As well as enjoying making things, I love spending time with my children in the beautiful Devon countryside where we're lucky enough to live. Particularly the beaches and rivers near us, as you might guess from the photos!
I've really enjoyed following along with all the previous Hop posts and seeing all the beautiful quilts on show. But I am feeling a bit of a fraud. Largely through reading other Hop posts, I've come to the conclusion that I wouldn't actually call myself a 'Quilt Blogger'! So for my post here, I thought I'd explain all the reasons which make me feel that maybe I don't completely 'fit in'!

1) The actual 'quilting' part of the process is something that I don't usually spend a whole lot of time on - partly because it's not my strong point and I don't enjoy it so much, and frequently because I've run out of time once the top is done! I do, however, love the look of well quilted quilts, so often might try easier options to get this kind of look - like different variations on quilt as you go methods...

Scrappy Quilt

Sunshine Quilt


2) I do love making quilts and there are quite a lot to see in this space. But I think my main love is much more specifically 'patchwork' - I love the creativity of patchwork. Often this might then go into making a quilt, but I'm just as happy if my patchworking makes something very different.

Patchwork Mermaid Skirt

Patchwork Rainbow Mermaid's Tail

Dress from a sari - with a patchwork neck

Rainbow Snails


3) I don't tend to use new fabric too much in my making. New Designer fabric is beautiful, and I am sometimes tempted by gorgeous, new FQs, particularly if I want something very specific...

Morning Has Broken - I used scraps of new batiks for this, although the blackbird is recycled fabric!

... but I much prefer to recycle fabric. Often from clothes, or sheets or blankets. 

Tree Quilt - made almost entirely from recycled fabric.

Mini Patchwork Picture - all from scraps of recycled fabric.

One of my favourite fabrics to work with is wool and I've made quite a few quilts, as well as lots of other bits and pieces, purely from recycled wools. I also tend to use thrifted, old wool blankets as the wadding in my quilt sandwich. 

Wool Applique Quilt

Wool Baby Quilt


Wool Farm Play Mat

I love creating something new and beautiful from something old and unwanted. As well as appealing to my green principles, reused and thrifted fabrics are also much cheaper and I find it helps me to be more creative. Rather than working with uniform FQs, I find myself working with all sorts of shapes and sizes - often very large pieces of sheets/blankets so there are no worries about calculating how much fabric I need, and often odd shapes, sometimes with pockets or other features that I can try and incorporate into my work. I think it definitely inspires and encourages a free and easy quilt making style!


4) Which brings me on to my next point - 'wonky' patchwork! Most of the time I'm really not hung up too much on accurate cutting and piecing! Often the kind of quilts I like to create don't require too much accuracy. But even when they do .....  it doesn't always happen!

Bird Quilt

This bird quilt is one of my favourites, I loved making all the birds...

 

But my corners don't match up and that really doesn't bother me.

5) And lastly, I love making all sorts of other things just as much...

Gnome House and Gnomes
Mouse in a Tea Cup Brooch

Russian Dolls
Wool Pumpkin with Mouse Hole!

In fact maybe this space is best described as a patchwork of all kinds of making rather than a 'quilt blog', so I hope you'll forgive me joining in with the Hop!

And to finish - quilting and blogging tips. I don't really feel qualified to give quilting tips, so maybe more of a request -  give recycled fabrics a go, you might be surprised by what you can create. And blogging tip, aaaghh, again totally unqualified! But when I'm reading other blogs, two of my pet dislikes are:

  1. Having to jump through word verification hoops to leave a comment (you can change this in your 'settings')
  2. 'Links' opening in the same window - so I 'lose' the page I was actually on (just tick the 'open this link in a new window' box when you create a link). 

They're only personal dislikes though. And a personal 'like', something that makes me want to follow a blog, is when I start to be interested in and care about the writer, their story, their life, their family, their ups and downs. This could be purely through the content of their blog or through comments and replies left between blogs. There are too many incredibly talented quilters out there, who have blogs, to be able to read them all; so beautiful quilts alone aren't generally enough to convince me to follow a blog, I need to feel some deeper kind of connection.

And to leave you all with a question - which, if any, non quilt bloggers do you enjoy reading and following?

Be sure to check out the other blogs (listed below) on this last day of the hop - a great chance to get to know them a little as well as see their beautiful quilts! Thank you.

Sally


Monday, 14 July 2014

Autumn Leaves Quilt WIP

I seem to be busy working on lots of very different things at the moment, lots of presents for a wide range of people. And one of them is a biggish quilt that I sort of started right back at the beginning of October. You won't remember, but I cut out all these oak leaves from lovely, soft wool, but the actual sewing never quite happened.


Well, it's finally happening now.  Beginning with some drawing and more cutting.


And moving on to lots of sewing.


The background is an old curtain, it's quite denim like, but soft and lighter weight. All the other fabrics I'm using are recycled wools.



She's supposed to be just a random, happy girl rather than an attempt at Maria!
Her coat is still waiting for some buttons, but has real, little pockets already...



Here it is altogether so far.


Still quite a few leaves to add, some writing and then the backing and binding. Hopefully it will come together quite quickly now, especially since I only have a couple of days left to get it finished. Deadlines always work wonders for me!

Sally.

Friday, 11 July 2014

This Moment

Here's a link to Soulemama's moment and here's my moment...

{this moment}

. . . . . . . . .
{this moment} ~ A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.
. . . . . . . . . .



Thursday, 10 July 2014

Maria's Doll's Quilt

Just a quick post tonight to show you Maria's finished Doll's Quilt (with more of an explanation of how we approached it right back at the start here, and a progress report here).



She's really pleased with it, although so far the dolls aren't getting much of a look in, it's very much her quilt.

I think her favourite parts are the flaps:



My favourite parts are the machine embroideries of her drawings, particularly the duck (above) and her self portrait below:

I especially love the belly button - Maria's'portraits' usually feature a belly button!

I think it would be lovely to do a mini quilt purely based on one, or all, of the children's drawings - possibly self portraits from everyone? Definitely one to think about.

But for now it's good to get a quilt finished - not much of that been happening recently!


Back tomorrow with a photo,

Sally.