A little ARGH moment

I just wanted to put this out there somewhere.

My proper sewing machine went into the shop last weekend, the cutter was a bit mediocre so I had a feeling a new blade was needed, however I also wanted them to take a look at the tension problems I was having with FMQ whilst it is still under warranty which I blogged about back in June. It was the floating foot that was cruddy, the spring motion darning foot not so much but I was having intermittent problems with thread breaking and such, and my work was looking a bit naff in the finishing stages as a result.

I got a call today from the shop- Cole’s Sewing Centre in Nottingham, which is the UK Husqvarna distributor and the sole official repair agent. In fact they sent it back to me when it decided to get a bit overheated at the turn of the year. The guy who rang is Mr Cole himself, lovely guy, seems to really know his stuff, but he had some bad-ish news.

Apparently there were some little things to sort (bobbin tension and a new blade unsurprisingly) but also it needed to be restored to factory settings as the hooks and some other tension related gubbins were not right and that’s why my FMQ was bad. It needs a full service despite being only 10 1/2 months old and that was going to be £75.

*sharp intake of breath*

I’m going to do it though, apparently it could have been awful since the day I bought it and so I am really actually looking forward to it working better than I have ever known. Then I won’t feel like I’m making do. It’s actually quite exciting. And of course if I get it to work well Di will be the first to know, her machine is the same model and has never been completely right either!

I’ll let you know the verdict in 9 days time when I will finally be able to collect it…

WIP Wednesday – the handsewing edition

My machine went into the shop for a little fine tuning this weekend, nothing serious, just a couple of niggles I wanted looking at before my warranty is over. I hope to have it back this weekend but I’ve not heard anything yet. Fingers crossed….

Anyway, this has limited what I can work on, and actually this has been a good thing. I’ve done some project writing, but also my Instagram swap hand stitched mini has grown to half finished size now too. It’s also meant I’ve finished season two of The Walking Dead- hurray for sofa time!

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And here is my crib sheet for colour placement…

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I’ve also worked out my templates for OH’s long-promised bear quilt and they are ready to be printed, stuck together and then traced onto freezer paper. I could actually completely finish the quilt top without my machine as I glue it all down and use the quilting stage to secure the pieces with actual stitching. Without my machine I could also cut out more pieces for the Georgetown quilt too, there’s plenty I can do!

See Reene’s Georgetown on my Mind progress

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As usual of late, there is a Hank update. He had a “delicate operation” yesterday… might prevent him from dominating all the girls in the park! Plastic cone is on standby but he seems pretty normal (and just as annoying as always) today….

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Linking up!

Christmas Sprouts – another quilt finish

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Quilt Now issue 4 is finally out and that means I can now reveal the Christmas quilt I was working on back in July. What is more festive than Brussels Sprouts? And of course this quilt is in Basic Grey fabric. I forgot that in my post yesterday so it’s a double bill of Basic Grey finishes this weekend.

The quilting was done on my home machine as usual, and this time I did in in two colours on the top with Bottom Line in the bobbin. I chose to do a bit feather over the sprout blocks to make them look leafy and went with a more generic double swirl for the rest of it. I like this though, it looks a bit like fairy lights!

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I chose to do a standard binding on this- as I did with the one I finished yesterday. I feel like I may be going back to my favourite facings type of binding soon, I tend to do a batch one way then change to the other. The backing is largely a piece of Shelburne Falls that I was going to use for some kind of dress making until I admitted I was never going to get round to it, so I’ve utilised it here, expanding it with bits plus full fat quarters I hadn’t used in the top in improv fashion. This range has a navy blue in it too but I didn’t have those fabrics, I think I used every white, red and green in the bundle though.

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STATS
Size – 58″ square
Number of blocks – 9 x 12″.
Time to make– Probably 20+ hours- lots of tiny pieces
Fabric – 20 Fat Quarters from 25th and Pine by Basic Grey (who else?)
Backing Fabric – 25th and Pine from the leftovers plus a large red piece fr0m Shelburne Falls by Denyse Schmidt.
Binding Fabric – More 25th and Pine leftovers
Threads – Off white Aurifil, Bottom Line in champagne, green Aurifil and a red Coats Moon for the rest of the quilting
Batting – 80/20 Soft and Elegant
Quilting- Double loop FMQ in red with feathers in green inside sprout blocks.

Bloggers Quilt Festival – A New Finish!

That’s right folks, I finished something specifically for the Blogger’s Quilt Festival (the final binding stitches have just gone in!), and that something is my Diaspyros quilt!

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Diaspyros is the genus of the Persimmon fruit and its flowers are kinda this shape which is fortuitous! This is now going on to Bridget (editor of Popular Patchwork) for a little while until it makes it into the magazine.

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This quilt is being entered into the original design category- it was pieced from a Persimmon jelly roll with very few scraps left over and it’s my own pattern. The backing is the rest of a duvet cover I got from eBay with a strip of that Nummers everyone is banging on about, I’m still not sure I like this print but it does the job.

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STATS
Size – 60″ square
Number of blocks – 9 x 16″.
Time to make– Probably 12-13 hours in total
Fabric – Persimmon Jelly Roll, Kona Glacier, Kona School Bus
Backing Fabric – Animal print bed sheet plus Ikea Nummers
Binding Fabric – More Kona Glacier
Threads – Coats Moon throughout
Batting – 80/20 Soft and Elegant
Quilting- 2″ diagonal straight line.

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I do love Basic Grey fabrics, pretty much all of them. That’s why I’m now looking forward to getting my hands on Fresh Cut next year.

In other news, Hank is going to need one on one training after boisterously overwhelming a tiny dog in the park today and having to be restrained by a neighbour. This is after nutting me and possibly giving me a mild concussion as well as a huge lump on my eyebrow. He needs to play and be let off his led to burn off the energy but I can’t trust him to not make a prat of himself and me- oh and come back to me without me having a steak in my pocket or something. I know the problem will only get worse as he gets older and more frustrated. He’s 8 months old now. If only I had a huge garden for him to run in, or a field somewhere that’s not as busy as the park.

This links up with my quarter 4 finish along list (making it my second finish already, yeah!) as well as Amy’s Creative Side:

AmysCreativeSide.com

All votes for me are very welcome! Here’s the category I entered, but there are several others and loads of quilts to go an admire, so I highly recommend you spare an hour or so to browse :)

P.S. Another finish revealed tomorrow – yep two in a row! That may be the last one for a while though, I’m taking my machine in today to have some minor repair work done…

Sunday Stash, A Winner and A Cushion!

Obviously the important stuff first. The second half of my fabric order that I blogged last week arrived on Friday from Pink Castle Fabrics. I got a couple of FQ bundles on their 30% off discount code they were running and added all of these to my stash…

Then the EMMQG meeting yesterday was at Stitchcraft in Grantham which was a bit deadly…

Yep, all these in the same week o_O I have some Kona coming from Simply Solids too for the Georgetown quilt.

I also received this beautiful cushion that Janine crocheted for me, it lives in my sewing room. An amazing gift thank you so much Janine! I just need a nicer chair that Hank hasn’t chewed so it does it justice.

Last on the agenda, picking a giveaway winner! There were 42 entries and Mr Random chose…

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which is…

charlotte

Congratulations Charlotte!

 

Molli Sparkles

 

My first finish along finish of the quarter

Snappy blog post name, huh? ;)

I’ve finished the unidentified present on my finish along list for my friend, which I will be gifting on Sunday. she does read my blog but I don’t know if she will over the next few days so I’m risking it and sticking this out there.

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Yep, my third sew together bag as I’m sure you guessed. I like making these, except the cutting and interfacing bit. My friend Gina is the one who fixed my wedding dress disaster the night before we went away. Whilst I was at her house, I was hand sewing the binding down on the two I made for myself and she commented that she liked them, so I knew what I had to do!

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I may make a few of these for Christmas gifts too- they’re great for toiletries on holiday and I have at least two recipients in mind….

The East Midlands Modern Quilt Group is making these with Di on Saturday but since I’ve made a few, I think I may soldier on with my IG Mini Swap hand sewing instead!

Finish Along 2014

Georgetown on my Mind…

Nicky, Reene and I were all looking at the Jen Kingwell Georgetown on my Mind pattern shortly after the Fat Quarterly Retreat this year. They won the pattern each this year as part of the pub quiz, and I won it the year before and still hadn’t started it. Now I need a new project like a hole in the head, but when there’s two others starting the same project, and the pattern is beautiful, it’s very tempting to have an impromptu sew along!

I’ve not got very far. I am machine stitching mine a block at a time as and when I feel like it, however since this pattern is designed for hand sewing, there are no seam allowances on the templates. I have therefore been making new templates with seam allowances added. A boring, but necessary task. I’ve decided to do it in stages. I’ve started with planning the outer 8 circles.

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I think I’m going to use these charm packs of Pedal Pushers, but I’m not sure what colour background to do yet, maybe beige or something like that.

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The other two haven’t blogged about it yet, but I’ll link up their latest posts in case anyone is interested as and when I blog about this project.

Here’s Reene’s blog

Here’s Nicky’s blog

Scrappy Day (and a bonus mini giveaway)

There’s a new linky going on down Leanne and Nicky’s way, so I thought I would get in on the action.

I’m working on a long term project to use up my scraps. To be fair I use scraps in almost anything, whether pockets for sew together bags, or as part of appliqué designs, I call on the scrap drawer first before I go to “proper” stash. Sadly, I still seem to make even more scraps than I am using!

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These blocks are entirely random, strings plucked out without looking and then checked for length before stitching down. I choose white-ish strings for half of it so I can create a (possibly chevron) pattern once I have enough blocks. It’s a very casual project- in that I haven’t done anything with it for a couple of months, but that’s OK as it’s for me and I don’t need it right away. This is my current progress, and I am aiming for 49 blocks- 7 x 7 12″ blocks- the biggest quilt I will have ever made at 84″ square.

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This is my string/ strip collection which I keep separate from the rest of my scraps but all mixed together randomly. I add new ones all the time from various project off cuts, or if I have some scraps in the normal drawers that would benefit from cutting up in order to be more useful. I’m indiscriminate when it comes to their design or colour. This is my new scrap fad, previously it was 2 1/2″ squares for my Bowie quilt.

Maybe I should start taking bets on when this will be completed?! I’m going to go with mid 2016 ;)

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GIVEAWAY!
My green and blue drawers are especially overflowing with scraps, so maybe you’d like some of them too? I’ve put together a bag of 200g with these two colour groups mixed together. To enter, just tell me what colour scraps you end up with most of, or some other comment if you prefer. Followers get another entry, just leave another comment saying that you do. I’ll draw the winner on Sunday 19th at lunchtime GMT. Open internationally!

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English Country Garden BOM – Block 7 – Rose

Sorry for the delay folks, here’s the brand new Rose block. The next one is out on the 3rd November so this pattern is free to download until a week after then (since this one wouldn’t be up for free for long enough with me being away). Previous templates are $1.50 in my Craftsy shop if you missed out.

BOMrosecoverClick here to download

This pattern includes repeat instructions from the last block, and the same instructions as the Daisy block for the background, but with new templates. The instructions are: making bias tape stems, turned edge and raw edge machine applique, piecing the strip background, thread choices and the pattern in standard and mirrored formats depending on which type of applique you opt for.

I’m on the end of an e-mail if you get stuck, just leave a comment or email me.

For previous posts on the BOM, please click the button below. Don’t forget to share your photos in the Flickr group!

Sunday Stash

I decided to treat myself to two purchases this week and the first arrived on Friday! I ordered this little lot from Jo at My Bearpaw

I’d like more of the Hadley prints but they seem quite scarce here at the moment. Lucky me though, I spoke to OH about really wanting Best Day Ever as the next bundle, maybe for my birthday or something. He asked how much as he said that it was a bargain and he would get me it and was there another one I wanted too. I wonder how long this newlywed period lasts? :D

I have the next BOM to release tomorrow but it may be the end of the day as I sort of forgot all about it til this evening. Oops. You’ve been warned!

Molli Sparkles