Remember - Its not the length of your life that's important - it's the depth.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Hexies - Hex-a-long Tutorial

Yes Folks this is it! To Celebrate 10 years of blogging I'm going to attempt a A TUTORIAL. As some of you will know I love doing hexagons and have several projects 'on the go', from miniatures to large part completed quilts that have been passed on to me over a few years. If you would like to join in then follow along, you don't have to make small ones like mine just print off a Hexagon size you feel comfortable with. If you are taking part leave me a comment and send me a link to your blog so I can enjoy seeing what you make. I'll do it over several posts so you have time to get things together.
Hex-a-long Part 1
Settle yourself down with a nice cuppa this is a picture heavy post!!!
First assemble the 'tools of the trade'
you will need some pins & 2 sizes of needle (a larger one for tacking and a finer one for the sewing together. I use teeny applique pins as they don't get in the way when tacking. For tacking thread I use up leftovers on my bobbins and a spool of  a Neutral colour for sewing together, a needle threader and a thimble are useful . Add 2 small pairs of scissors one for paper and one for Fabrics.
and a little pin cushion, yes! it's a Hexie one of course
plus the all important fabric scraps the more varied the better, include prints and solids gauging the size of the prints by your chosen hexagon size.
All of this is kept in a small box so that it's all ready when I 'get the urge' or when I'm dashing off and need a hand-sewn project to take with me.
Firstly prepare your papers you can find some ready to print ones HERE or HERE which are very useful and saves all that drawing round a template, I print off several sheets at a time using recycled A4 paper, it's important to use the same printer throughout each project (I have 2 printers and they print off at slightly different sizes)
I usually spend an evening in front of the TV cutting these out and if I'm honest I quite enjoy this process! Store them by size in poly bags with a little label - they need to be accurate and as you can see I cut exactly on the outside of the lines.
Now before we go any further I will leave you time to get this far, so pop by again in a few days and we'll start to sew.
Have fun

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Welcome back lovely readers,
To continue from last time -  After our girls left on Monday I managed my 15 minutes of play and produced another 6" block.

then in the evening I was off to Westbury Park Quilters with Carys, we were not sure what to expect as the programme simply said 'Videos from Missouri Star Quilt Company with Alison'. The weather was to say the least inclement so we did not expect many to turn out, but we had a full room and settled down to watch, Alison explained these were quilting videos from U tube and it was going a to be a bit like being at the cinema so we should all eat popcorn, and produced a little bag of popcorn for each of us :-))) Well my friends if you have never seen these video Tutorials on U tube go have a look here they are great fun (but be warned you can get carried away and watch for much longer you intend too!!!) the quilts are amazing and sooo easy to make. We saw a Disappearing Pinwheel block which produced a secondary pattern of Churn Dash, a Disappearing Hourglass was used to make a star pattern and then 1/2 square triangles, all made really quick quilts and the popcorn was yummy! One video of 'Square in a Square I recognized as I used this method previously to make this, it's called 'Bears in Squares' with some sashing and borders added and I made a floor quilt for little H a couple of years ago.
I bought some small pieces of fabric to go in the 'I spy' quilt I am planning and some nice pins from the sales table.
I got some raffle tickets one of which was a winner (whoo hoo!) and I won this cute little kit which I shall have fun stitching one evening.
Today after a busy morning I spent the afternoon up here making a start on cutting squares for the I Spy project, so far I have 10 different ones cut so hopefully tomorrow will see me cutting a load more, I found some nice bright green fleece fabric which may be enough to make the backing so we are getting on quite well to be ready for Saturday at CTQ.
Well now its bedtime so I'll make the cocoa, fill my 'hottie' and be off.
Night! Night!

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Grow along with me!

First up I would like to invite you to join me as I try to 'grow my blog' see new button in the side bar.
This year I will have been blogging for 10 years! where has that time gone? I frequently check my blog Stats and I discovered that, during that time I have had over 13,000 visits by people from all over the world. Along the way I have gained 28 loyal followers but have always wished for a few more, so when I saw a link for this this over at the lovely Lisa's blog I thought I would give it a try. Why not drop in there yourself and see if it takes your fancy.
Well we're really into the New Year now so I thought I would pop in and show you what I have been up to, This this time I am on the main computer so hopefully I can share some pictures with you ALL starting with the Christmassy ones.

Here is the 'twig' decorated this year by Little H, and all her own work, she helped decorate all the family Christmas trees this time and did a really good job. Next up is a picture of her enjoying Christmas Lunch and tasting her1st glass of 'wine' (shhhh! don't tell her it's cranberry juice and fizzy lemonade!)

I have been hand stitching over the last couple if weeks (as I couldn't get near the machine!), and the Kantha is done! I completed the last 2 butterflies this week while watching TV. I opened up the stitching a little on these 2 and I think I like it better than all the close lines in the other motifs. 

The whole piece
Note to self to do this if I attempt anymore! I will layer it up and echo quilt it I think using a cream thread, then I'll turn it into a cushion to go in the new workroom (which DH is currently getting to grips with by digging holes through the solid concrete floor :-0 of the garage to take some steel pillars) Perhaps I'll need more than one cushion in the 'comfy' area of the new workroom?? Today I got back into my sewing room after spending a week slowly getting stuff put away (or thrown away in some cases!) and I decided to spend a while just playing on the machine sewing together some scraps to 'make' some fabric, Having assembled some 'tools by the machine I sat and sewed together lots of scraps, then trimmed it to size to make a 6" square. I will try to make a couple of these on a regular basis and hopefully I can produce a lap quilt which I can pass onto my Charity.

I also need to make a start on an 'I Spy' play-mat for a friend whose baby is due any day and as Clock Tower resumes next week that's my project planned, if I can cut the squares this week it should go together really quickly.
Well the Kitchen beckons, I heard the kettle going on, which means tea & cake so I'll head off downstairs taking some hand sewing for later on, now what shall it be hmmm! 'Hexies' sound like fun today!

Friday, 2 January 2015

Hello again!

A Very Happy New Year to all my blogging friends and to anyone who may happen by here, I do hope you all enjoyed the December and new year 'festivities' however you celebrated. I can't believe it's well over a month since I last posted here, but time flies so fast. I finally got all the Christmas present shopping done with a week to go, but I'm afraid most of the 'edible goodies' were provided from the retail sector again this year!! I used to do most of the baking etc but we have found that we actually prefer to buy it these days, shocking I know but you have to go with family preferences, and it does leave more time for crafting so there is a payoff in that department.
Christmas here was going to be a family day with everyone coming to me, I had it all planned, but fate had other ideas, on 23rd I get a call from DD to say that DSIL was unwell, so unwell in fact that she took him to A&E where he was rapidly admitted suffering from what appeared to be appendicitis, turns out he has multiple Gall stones which had moved and blocked his Pancreas and Liver causing toxic shock, we were told not too expect him home for Christmas, but after intensive intravenous antibiotics he was allowed home at around 3.30pm on Christmas day - much to the delight of one little 3 year old. Thankfully he is continuing to improve but looks quite frail for someone who is over 6ft tall. We had little H here to stay for a couple of days to give him chance to rest, she has been so very good through all of this, it's been a rough time for her during 2014 with her Mum being hospitalized in April, then starting at the childminder's having not been away from home before and now this with her Daddy.
On a much brighter note the building regulations have now come through so we can soon make a start on the NEW SEWING ROOM whoooo hoooo!!!!  Am I excited you Bet I am. 
I am still using the temperamental laptop so there are no new pictures again, the sewing room looks like a bomb hit it as it was used as a 'dumping ground' throughout the holidays for all the things we didn't know what to do with and I can only just get in there so the main computer is a bit out of action for now. Hopefully now we are getting back to normal I can get in there and have a massive tidy up. I have decide NOT to make any resolutions as such, but hopefully I can get more sewing done this coming year. On the knitting front I have finished the back of the Aran sweater for DH and started the front, I made 3 doll cardigans for H's 'babies', but they were all a bit small, I had to use quite bit of guesswork as they were supposed to be a surprise from Santa. I am currently having another try as she has 'ordered' 3 more. Her faith in my ability to perform 'knitting miracles' never fails to amaze me!
Well it way past my bedtime so I'll be signing off.
bye for now