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?!
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.
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.
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…
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 🙂
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!
On Saturday night I received some truly wonderful news. My lovely cousin, MCJ, (that’s Mad Cousin Jude to the uninitiated…) and her husband G became parents. Mad Aunty Jean (yes, it runs in the family, this whole madness thang…) is one excited first-time Grandma, Uncle J is ecstatic, and I couldn’t be happier for all of them. I love babies, me 🙂
Little Jacob was born on Saturday, weighing in at 7lb 5 oz, or 3.3 kg, and arriving a whole 2 1/2 weeks early. Now, you know me, what with my Quilter’s ADD and my little procrastination habit and all that – well, suffice to say, the baby quilt was Not Yet Finished for this early arrival. I’d decided on a pattern – a tumbler quilt. The fabric – from the Happi range, by Dena Fishbein – had been carefully chosen, washed, pressed and cut, and I’d worked out my layout. It just wasn’t sewn together yet.
In fact, it was sitting on my sewing table in 14 neat piles, labelled Row 1 through Row 14. And had been for some time. Hmmmmm.
Anyway, after spending the whole of Saturday playing with my new obsession of the Broken Herringbone block for the quilt along, rather than doing all the things I actually needed to do, this came as a bit of a reality check! As in – better get your arse in gear, Pusscat! So Sunday, which I’d initially earmarked for digging out herringbone quilt fabric from my stash and general pottering around in my sewing room, was spent at the sewing machine, piecing Jacob’s quilt. Here it is, hanging over the door to my sewing cabinet once I’d sewn the blocks into rows.
Now, this is the first time I’ve made a tumbler quilt, though I’ve been drooling over them on Pinterest for ages, and I was really surprised at how easily it went together. It looks so much more complicated than it actually is, which can only be a good thing in my opinion! In fact, I probably spent more time cutting than I did piecing. I opted for a kind of elongated hexagon layout, in alternating columns of mainly-white and mainly-blue blocks. Cute, yet modern looking, I think.
And – drumroll please!!! – here is the quilt top in all its glory, waiting to be basted and quilted. I think I’m going to quilt free form chevrons across it, given the angles of the blocks and the chevron fabric in the quilt top. I haven’t decided yet whether to true up the edges to make a rectangular shaped quilt, or whether to use a bias binding and keep the whole tumbler-shape, ziggy-zaggy thing going down the sides. I’ll suck it and see when I’ve done the quilting.
And finally a close-up of some of the tumbler blocks. I just love those cute little lions, don’t you?!
So, when it comes to it, it seems I CAN sometimes get things done. Maybe I’ll divert all this positive energy into finishing up my quilts for the Quilt Show, cracking on through some of my (numerous!) WIPs, or – heaven forbid – actually getting started on some quilting (the pile of unquilted quilt tops is starting to get out of control…)
Well, you never know 😉