Tag Archives: Christmas

Long time, no see

Well, once again it seems like an absolute eternity since I found the time to it down and blog, but now I’m back from New York, Christmas is over, and my time is once again my own (at least for a week or two, anyway!) And what a lot has been going on this past month! Where do I start??? Well, here are the highlights:

– Had a reasonably quilty birthday – charm pack central! (Fortunately, RR is brilliant at choosing fabric!)

DSC00517

– Celebrated a wonderful Thanksgiving with our lovely, lovely friends (and the Thanksgiving Squirrel Placemats went down a storm!)

DSC00131

– Bought a mountain of dress fabric in New York’s garment district, enough to keep me busy sewing clothes for at least a year!

DSC00423

– Visited my favourite quilt store on Long Island, where I caught up with the lovely Sara and bought a cute kit to make a quilt for my friends Ms S and Mr M’s new baby, Daniel

– Saw lots of our friends in NY – sadly, there’s never enough time to see them all, but made a brand new friend in the gorgeous, chubby, smily Baby Chase

– Picked up all the fabric I’d ordered online, including some to make Christmas presents for RR with

– Made gifts with aforementioned fabric…

DSC00511 DSC00512

– Made a giant, bed-sized Christmassy quilt (despite the well-founded scepticism of several friends at the Patchwork du Léman quilt club, who were convinced I wouldn’t have time to finish it before the big day!)

DSC00453

– Had a reasonably quilty Christmas too! And got a new camera for taking photos for my blog, which I’ve been learning how to use.

DSC00505

– Ate, drank and was generally merry!

Phew!!!  I’ll be writing a bit more about some of these over the coming weeks, but it’s now Boxing Day, the lovely Ms JJ is coming over later for a cup of tea and mince pies, and I’m back in my sewing room contemplating my next project – finishing off this red, black and white beauty…

DSC00514

So, until we meet again, dear blog-readers and fellow-quilters, I wish you all a belated merry Quilt-mas! Hope you had a good one 🙂

WIP Wednesday

Sadly not much to report this week, despite all my good intentions.

I finished putting together the quilt top for the Broken Herringbone quilt along – I absolutely love it! It makes me think of beautiful, vibrant stained glass windows, and it was an absolute joy to piece. I’m still trying to decide how to quilt it, though. Any ideas?

DSC08620 DSC08626

Then I fixed the zip on mum’s bag and made a couple of little extras with the remaining fabric – a mini make-up bag, and a glasses case. I think she’ll like it – well, I hope she will, anyway.

DSC08784 DSC08781 DSC08777

These gifts are currently winging their way mum-wards, courtesy of my lovely friend Chris who has taken them back to the UK with her to post -this is going to save me a small fortune in stamps, so thanks, Chris! I can hardly believe that it’s only mid-November and I’ve already finished one Christmas present – get me, super-organised Pusscat!

I also finished my summery polka dot top – I took it in a few inches at the sides, covered the buttons with the darker turquoise fabric I’d used on the shoulders and added some more as a contrast ruffle hem using my Extremely Complicated New Ruffler Attachment. I thought it was super-cute until RR said it makes me look like a waitress in a 1950s diner. And the sad thing is, he may well have a point there 😦 Hmmmm. I do still like it, though, and I’m already dreaming up new ruffler-related projects…

DSC08801 DSC08803 DSC08804

I’m now planning my next dressmaking project too – a simple tunic dress, made from a gloriously soft pink corduroy, which I’ll wear with long sleeved t shirts over the winter. RR remains unconvinced, as he thinks the fabric “looks like something your nan might cover chairs with”. He has a way with words, that one…

And whilst I worked on these projects, one of my little helpers deserted me. Mr Boy, who usually likes to chill out with me in my sewing room, has instead been helping RR re-configure the Lego Death Star after Master I’s visit. It had temporarily turned into Jurassic Death star, with the addition of bits of Lego T-Rex to make it super-fierce, but now it’s just back to being a moon-sized Imperial battlestation, soon to be destroyed by Luke Skywalker and the Rebel Alliance…

DSC08775

Anyway, hopefully more will be going on next week – I’m planning to finish off my Kitty Camouflage quilt top, get started on a quilt for baby Daniel, and make some placemats to take to our friends in NY for Thanksgiving.

All the things I was going to work on this week, in fact.

Hmmmm, better get a shift on, then…..

Linking up to WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced – pop on over and see what other people have been up to 🙂

Busy bunny

Wow, my first blog post in 3 weeks! I have been a busy bunny recently! So, what’s been happening here to keep me from my laptop???

Well, we took a trip back to the UK to watch our team, Bath Rugby, beat local rivals Gloucester. It’s the one match we try and go back for every year, and as usual it didn’t disappoint! We had a great time, it was lovely to catch up with our rugby buddies, and we managed to fit in a good amount of shopping too. What’s not to like?!

Shopping in Bath

We also had some friends come and visit us here in Lausanne for the UK half term break. Since we left the UK 5 1/2 years ago, we’ve only managed to see them sporadically when we’ve been back visiting family, so it was wonderful to spend some proper time with them, and get to know young Master I, their lovely little boy, who is nearly 5. Master I was the recipient of the first quilt I ever made – in fact, his impending arrival was the reason I decided to learn to quilt in the first place, so I guess he has a lot to answer for! He’s a total sweetheart, who likes making dens out of quilts and cushions (no problem with that chez nous!), playing with Lego (cue one very happy RR!) and making up wonderfully imaginative stories to entertain us all. He also thought that Mr. Boy and Mimi Bubba were wonderful – though I have to admit the feeling wasn’t entirely mutual…

Oh, and there was also the small matter of the long-awaited quilt show – but more of that in a future blog post…

In between all this frantic activity, however, I did somehow manage to fit in some sewing time.

I finished quilting and binding the tumbler quilt for baby Jacob – I used a wool batting for the first time, on the recommendation of Miss JJ, and I have to agree with her that it’s a dream to quilt! I love the puffy loft it gives, it’s all snuggly and just perfect for a baby. This was also the first time ever I didn’t bind straight edges on a quilt – I kept the sloping sides of the tumbler blocks on the outside edges and although I found it rather fiddly, I really like the way it turned out.

 DSC08746    DSC08748

I’ve also been working on Mum’s Christmas present – a cute Aeroplane bag. I made my first one of these at the quilt retreat back in October, and loved the pattern so much that I made another, although I quilted the main body of this one to give the bag more rigidity. Mum’s bag is dog-themed because she is the proud owner of two Guide Dog brood bitches, Barley and Anna, around whom her entire world revolves. Fondly referred to by my sister and myself as The Evils, these dogs keep her happy and active, up to her knees in puppies, and (in the main) out of mischief. So when I saw this fabric, it just cried out to be made into something for Mum!  The bag’s almost finished, but I’ve screwed up the zip somehow, so I’m going to have to do some unpicking to try and put it right. Ho hum.

DSC08771 DSC08772

The Kitty Camouflage quilt is also coming along well. The fabrics aren’t my usual style or colours, but I really liked them, and I thought they’d be perfect to make a bed-sized quilt which could disguise the copious quantities of cat fur that always seems to accumulate everywhere (hide the cat fur? who am I kidding???) I love the pattern (the Chain Saw quilt from Kimberly Einmo’s Jelly Roll Quilts and More book), but of course I had to make a few modifications to it, adding a couple of additional borders so it will fit our bed and to balance out the colours. I’ve now sewn, pressed and trimmed 140 half square triangles ready to make a pretty sawtooth middle border; they’re currently sitting in a little Ziploc bag, waiting for me to sew them together. Hopefully I’ll get round to this tomorrow, then I can add the final border and the top will be finished! After which I can start thinking about quilting it, and decide what to do with all the leftover fabric, of which there is plenty…

DSC08774

Finally, I’ve been working on my summer polka-dot blouse. I started it back in August, but progress has been slow, really slow! I’ve now successfully added the sleeves, but I need to adjust the position of the button loops because one of them shifted as I was sewing it together so they aren’t evenly spaced. And then I need to take it in some because I’ve lost weight and it’s now too big. Given the current cold, wet weather in Switzerland, though, I doubt I’ll be wearing it for several months yet, and as my weight is bound to fluctuate between now and next summer, this project may well be put on hold for a while 🙂

DSC08768 DSC08769

So now that life has finally quietened down a bit round here,  I’m looking forward to getting back to my machine and sewing up a storm. Next project – some special placemats to take to our friends at Thanksgiving, and another baby quilt for another new arival. Looks like I’m going to be kept busy over the next few weeks, so watch this space!

The quilt show approacheth…

After a hectic summer of visits, travelling, and far-too-hot-to-do-anything weather, life is now cooling down, slowing down and finally returning to normal. And all I want to do right now is quilt! Over the summer, all I seemed to do was dressmaking, and this past week I’ve started to redress the balance somewhat.

And just in time it seems! For the Patchwork du Léman quilt exhibition is fast approaching, and Little Miss Procrastinator (yours truly!) has finally woken up to the fact that she had better get her backside in gear for it…

My wake-up call was thanks to my quilting friend and fellow club member Patpatch. The other week, she posted a photo on her blog of 2 really cute cup holders she’d sewn as prizes for the quilt show tombola. Wow, I thought, that’s really generous, donating 2 such lovely prizes to the tombola. Then I read her blog post. And realised that each member of the club had to supply 2 prizes. And that it had all been in the huge long letter that I’d received at the start of the summer. And that I’d either missed it or blocked it out mentally. Oops!!!

So I hurriedly dug out the Letter of Doom, along with all the forms to fill in, lists of deadlines and all those scary things that came with it and which I’d tactically ignored for 2 months. And I worked out that I did indeed need to donate 2 prizes for the tombola. As well as have my Challenge quilt and the quilts I want to show ready by the start of October. Which is only 5 weeks away. Oh heck…..

Well, I know what quilts I want to show, even if they’re not quite finished yet, so first up, tombola prizes. The quilt show is at the end of October, and, hey, that’s almost Christmas, isn’t it?! Well – near enough, in my humble opinion! Now, I have no idea whether Swiss Christmas traditions involve hanging stockings by the fireplace on Christmas Eve  – but, then again, I’m not Swiss ! So I decided that 2 Christmas stockings would make a lovely, potentially cross-cultural offering for the tombola.

With this in mind, I pulled out my Christmas-themed fabric, made a stocking template, cut out batting, along with fabric for the outside and the lining, and stipple-quilted them as well as I could. Then I sewed them together and bound the inside raw edges with satin ribbon to make it look pretty.

DSC07891 DSC07892

To finish them off, I added cuffs made of contrasting fabric, and used a ‘Merry Christmas’ ribbon to createhanging loops (in case of any potential confusion as to their purpose…) Et voilà! Tombola prizes! Although quite what the ladies in my quilting club will make of them is anyone’s guess…

DSC07900

Well, after that I was on a roll! So I decided to get to work on my Challenge quilt. Sarah at thriftstorecrafter.com had pointed out that the design in the embroidery swatch looked like the Snail Trail block, and that idea had been brewing in the back of my mind for the last month or so. I started playing around with the idea this weekend, dug out some fabric from my scraps bin, and so far I’ve come up with this…

DSC07896

I think I’m going to use some skinny black bias tape somehow to echo the black in the swatch, and create some kind of focal blocks to put either side of the Hazara embroidery. Maybe I’ll embellish it a little, maybe not, but at the very least I now know where I’m headed. Thank you, Sarah!

And finally, it appears there is a ‘pocket money boutique’ at the exhibition, where club members can sell items. Now, I’ve no idea what kind of things people are likely to make for this, or what people might be interested in buying, or even what kind of a price to ask, but I pulled together this little quilt with remnants from my scrap bin. I thought it would make a lovely wallhanging, or maybe a little table topper. And if nobody is interested in buying it, well, never mind – I’m more than happy to give it a good home in my kitchen!

Apple quilt

Incidentally, my French is possibly not as good as I’d previously thought. According to the Letter of Doom, we have to supply a baguette to hang any quilts larger than 1m wide. And I’m guessing they’re not talking about bread 🙂 I suspect they’re asking for some kind of a wooden baton, but maybe I’d better dig out the old dictionary just to make sure…

Linking on up to WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced.