31 December 2014

Final finish of 2014

As my sailor's quilt heads off to it's new home, it's time to reveal the final finish of 2014.

I have made this quilt for my nephew's new baby due to arrive in February.  I don't know whether it's going to be a boy or a girl, and when I chose the fabric it seemed quite neutral, but now I think it looks very girly!   Especially with the butterfly fabric on the back!  Lets keep our fingers crossed!

I quilted it in a grid pattern as I have before, using a 40 weight Aurifil thread.

And of course , Ted had to have his usual photo, but it's pretty nippy out there, so he had his hood up!

Quilt details
Pattern:  Little Man from Camilla Roskelley's book Simplify
Main fabric:  September Blue from Susan Driscoll
Backing: Summer Garden by Makeower
Binding: Summer Garden
Quilted using Aurifil 40wt 2125

This is my final finish for 2014 and also my final claim for the Q4 FAL.

I hope you all have (or had) a wonderful New Years Eve, and all the best for 2015.  We're having a rare night out at a restaurant in Brno, a 7 course meal and wine tasting, with an overnight stay in a hotel.

28 December 2014

Best foot forward

Hello everyone!  Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!  We had a lovely few days with friends, and just as they left, the snow arrived.  I don't think it will be much, but as Gordon's knee is still not too strong, guess who will be clearing the drive!  As we are getting close to the end of the year, I've realised I have to catch up with a my finishes for the Q4 FAL. These have been finished for ages, but what with one thing and another, I never got around to blogging about them.

I am quite new to sock knitting, and have only ever knit a sock from the top down, on double ended pins, but I was recommended by Di to have a try at knitting from the toe up, which I think is her preferred method. I chose to make these socks,

and I also chose to try knitting on two circular needles for a change.

So far so good!

Turned the corner OK

I even blocked them this time!

 And the verdict on the new technique?  Well,  I like using the two circular needles.  Although it's a little slower, I find I can keep the tension more even, so I think I'll use them again.  But I don't think the toe up technique is for me, mainly because I don't cast off very evenly and the tops are a bit of a mess, one being much tighter than the other.  I also have to find a technique for avoiding a big hole where you pick the stitches up again after turning the heel.  All in all though, I love these socks.  They are easy to knit, the pattern is dead easy once you've knit the first full pattern, and they are lovely to wear.

Pattern:  Diamond Gansy Socks from "Socks from the toe up" by Wendy Johnson
Needles:  Circular needs 2.5mm
Started: September 2014
Finished December 2014
Another finish for  the Q4 FAL

Finish Along 2014

19 December 2014

End of an era

Today has been quite an emotional day for the  family Quiltova. Today, as we left work, we locked the door on  our factory for the final time as owners.   The opportunity to sell up came along earlier this year, and, well, there wasn't much debate to be honest.

It's been pretty stressful getting to this point over last couple of weeks, but finally we signed everything off on Tuesday at the solicitors

Here's some facts and figures of the last 7 years

Started in 2008 with 10 employees
Numbers of employees today 20

We went from the worst factory ever

to a really smart one

Number of Christmas parties - 6 (the last one being on Saturday)
Bowling parties - 6
Paintballing - 1
Other assorted silliness 

So from January 1st, we will be retired.  Well, sort of anyway.  We will still work in the company as needed during the hand-over period, and Gordon still has his consultancy work..  And as friends and family have said, it's unlikely that we will resist some future opportunity .......

But in the meantime, you'll find me in my sewing room!

08 December 2014

Little Quilts swap

       Finish Along 2014
In the last few days, I've knocked quite a few of my Q4 Finish-along projects on the head.  The first is the mini quilt I made for the Little Quilts Swap.   I am a great fan of Sarah Fielke, so when I saw a swap was being organised around her book, Little Quilts, (written with Amy Lobisger) I had to join in.
Little Quilts - Paperback - 9781782491378 - Sarah Fielke & Amy Lobsiger
This is an Instagram based swap, and as the vast majority of the swappees are Australian, I have got to stalk a new bunch of quilters and bloggers.

My secret swap partner posted her 4 favourite quilts. All of the quilts were challenging in some way but I chose to may the Fans of May designed by Amy Lobsiger

Sometimes, I find it hard to get away from the colours in the book, but my partner wanted "clean" colours, so I went with turquoise, green and coral/red colour scheme

I ditched the darker green sashing so that the fans "floated

I still don't have a machine capable of FMQ'ing, so I opted to to hand quilt most of it.

And here's a not very good photo of the finished item

And a little key ring copied from a gift I had from a swap partner in a previous  swap

So my parcel has traveled all the way to Oz, and my partner seems to be pretty happy with it.  I haven't received my quilt yet, but it is probably coming from Australia, and the law states that my swap package with be one of the last, if not the last!

In all honesty, I'm not terribly good at posting at the moment, but I have a quilt and a pair of socks to show you, so stick with me, they'll be about soon!

23 November 2014

Patchwork comes to town

Yesterday there was another patchwork course here in Valtice.  There is now a core group going, mainly ladies who have busy lives, families and jobs, so little time to sew in between.  This time we were learning Bargello, which I always though was an embroidery technique.  But it turns out, it's basically the same technique used to make the Scrappy trip around the world quilt.  So instead of making a cushion, that really didn't inspire me,
I thought I'd give the Scrappy Trip around the world a go.  I know it's very last year, but that's fine, I like to plough my own furrow!  Here's what I made

Oh I can see why this was so popular.  It's addictive!  I wouldn't say it's a scrap buster exaclty, just big scraps, as you need a cut length of 16 inches. but it does use up some of these fabrics that you wonder why you bought in the first place!!  Even ugly fabrics get lost, although I am trying to be a little discerning!
Here's what some of the other girls made

And you know, in the whole day, I never heard mention of 1/4" seams or matching the joints, but hey, they look OK!  It was a nice way to spend a Saturday morning, and I get to talk and listen (mainly listening) to real czechs!

21 November 2014

Life on the ocean wave

The weather here finally improved enough for me to get some photographs of the little baby boys quilt I made for a friend.

When we first came to Czech Republic, we employed a young lady called Michala to help us in the office.  We became good friends, and she stayed with us during our time in that company.  She seemed to be one of those girls that was always unlucky in love, but finally she met "the one", got married and has now got a beautiful baby boy called Felip.  Of course, I promised to make a quilt for Felip, but it is a little late!

The quilt is from Sweetwater's Simple Home book, made in a mixture of Makower Coastal ,Nautical and Sea and Seaside collections, together with various fabrics from my stash.  The binding, a turquoise blue stripe,  is also a Makower fabric, but I'm not sure what, and the back is good old Ikea Britten numbers.  I had some triangles left over from the piecing, so I made a little strip to give the back a bit of interest.
I'm still unable to do any free motion quilting, so I found a stitch on the machine that looked like ocean waves and quilted straight across, at varying distances, using white Aurifil thread.

Now that Gordon is on the mend, and is able to drive, we must get around to delivering this before Christmas, or at least before Felip starts school!

Oh, and this is also another finish in the Q4 FAL 

Finish Along 2014 

15 November 2014


The finish line is in sight for several of my WIP's

My offering in the Little Quilts Swap is almost finished, just the binding to sew down and a label to make

I am hopeless at labels.  I need to find a signature style and stick with it, so that they don't involve much brain power!

I have also nearly finished another baby quilt - just the binding to attach and sew down - oh and another label!

The other thing I am hopeless at is naming quilts, but you can probably tell that!

These should both be finished in a couple of days, and are both on my FAL list, which is coming along nicely, thank you for asking!!

11 November 2014

It's Halloween

OK, so I'm a little late!

Every now and then we organise little team-building events at work - and I use the royal "We" there, because I have nothing to do with organising them!   Last week, we had a Halloween day.  The girls got dressed up

We had "finger" food

On the menu are severed fingers, eyeballs, draculas teeth, and blood soaked plasters

But the star of the show, who got up at 3 am to be ready for work at 6, was Petra, who seems to have the Zombie look nailed!

Can you believe, they worked all day dressed like this, although Petra did have to take the Zombie contact lenses out!

04 November 2014

Turning Japanese

A couple of weekends ago, I felt the need to make something for myself, just because I could.  So I pulled out the fabrics that Helen brought back for me from her visit to Japan earlier this year, and set to making a new cushion.  I picked out the Tallahassee block, as I thought the pieces are cut large enough to show off the designs on the fabric. And wo can resist a bit of paper piecing!
I admit to being rather taken with LV backgrounds at the moment.   I made a bit of a mistake by choosing the backing fabric before I picked out a binding fabric, then I couldn't find anything for the binding that looked right with the back!  In the end , I used up the remaining pieces of the Japanese fabric to make the binding.
Here it is with the rest of the cushions in the lounge
Incidentally, these do not always live together in one place, otherwise Gordon would have a hissy fit.  I share then out around the various chairs and settees, and he hardly notices them!

So thank you Helen for the beautiful fabric - I am very happy with my little cushion and I am claiming my first finish for the Quarter 4 FAL.  I have another, but it's blowing a hoolie outside, so I can't get any photos at the moment.

Finish Along 2014

30 October 2014

Bloggers Quilt Festival part 2

My second choice for the Bloggers quilt festival is a baby quilt which I made for our goddaughters new arrival - it's seriously frightening when the little ones are growing up and having little ones of their own!

This quilt is quite important to me as I started it at a quilting class here in Valtice.   Whilst I have lots of quilting friends on the internet,and I have a couple of friends who live around 50 kms away, which is a bit too far to meet regularly, I didn't know of any quilters locally.  When I saw an advert for beginners quilting classes in town, I jumped at the chance.  OK , so I'm no longer a beginner when it comes to quilting, but it was an opportunity to use and improve my appalling czech, and meet some like minded people. For the second class, I took some of my own fabric with me, and made these "magic" squares
They were originally intended to be table mats, as this was what I bought the fabric for a couple of years ago.  But when I heard my goddaughter was pregnant, and it was going to be a boy, I decided to turn them into a baby quilt. I made the blocks up to 12, which is a bit on the large side, and sashed them with white around the blocks, then charcoal in between. I cut up the last bits of fabric to make a scrappy piano keys border. I quilted it using Aurifil white in chevrons that cross over in the middle to make a cross-hatch pattern.  The binding is Pike path from Makower, and the backing is that old favourite, Ikea Briten numbers!

I'm entering this one in the Modern Quilt category, mainly because it's definitely not your average traditional baby quilt!  The quilt is now delivered, and hopefully it will be loved and well used.

So that's both of my contributions for this years bloggers quilt Festival.  There are so many beautiful quilts this year, you really should hop over to Amy's Creative side and see them