Saturday, 1 December 2012

Liquorice Allsort - A Miniature Sampler

A couple of weeks ago, I made one more miniature Farmers Wife Sampler block, and finally assembled all nine I'd made into a very tiny quilt for a very lovely friend

And here it is, with the book that started it all: 

This little quilt is roughly 20cm square, or about 8 inches. It was so much fun to put together, and I definitely have plans for more! I already have two more blocks made, so I have to make more, right? 

The small blocks are a little fiddly, but surprisingly quick to put together. I suppose that when the longest seam in a block is 2 inches, with a finished block size of 1.5 inches, it isn't all that surprising it should go together quickly. 

Having made these tiny blocks I feel like the regular size blocks made as per instruction are not that small at all. See, they're quite big really, almost covering the little quilt:

I ended up calling the quilt Liquorice Allsort, because that's what Susan was reminded of with the stripes, the black and the bright colours. I think of fizzy drink and lollies when I look at it. :)

I am very pleased with this little quilt, and if I hadn't been making it for the express purpose of giving it away, I think it would have been very hard to part with. 

As it happens though, after I'd dropped it at the post office I was on a high that lasted till it arrived at its destination, at which point I was on a SUPER high because it was received with such excitement and heartfelt thanks. 

It's true what they say, that the joy is in the giving. ;)

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Farmer's Daughter

This weekend just gone, I managed to make two Farmers Wife Sampler Quilt blocks, and I love both of them. :)

First up was Farmer's Daughter:

This is so similar to another block I've already done, Butterfly at the Crossroads, that I had to keep checking to make sure I hadn't done it before. :) I actually had this one mostly cut out for a week, but didn't get a chance to finish cutting and sew it together till the weekend. 

Next up was Farmer's Puzzle: 

I am very much in love with the yellow and aqua combination. It is so sunshiney and lovely. This was a nice quick block to make, with not many pieces to cut out. Hooray to that!

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Darting Birds

One more Farmers Wife Sampler block complete, Darting Birds. This one was going very well, until it came to attaching the 'birds' to each other. I had trouble with one point in particular, and ended up calling  it done after several unpicking sessions, though I was not 100% thrilled with it.

Here is the block:

It is a bit wonky in places, but oddly ended up nice and square...  

And because I hadn't laid them out in a while, here are all my blocks to date:

Having them all laid out like this makes me wonder about doing a couple of smaller quilts, rather than the queen size I was planning. Still plenty of time to decide. :)

Monday, 15 October 2012

Hello Blog

Long time no post! I have not been idle, I just have not taken proper photos. Instagram photos, yes, but not photos with a decent camera of a decent size.

Today I quickly snapped these two Farmers Wife Sampler Quilt blocks.

Here is Block 29, Economy:

And Block 28, Duck and Ducklings:

I've noticed recently that I seem to have a lot of the blue Rose Parade fabrics left, so have been using those. I am currently working on Darting Birds, again using blue and the black/white spot. Lots of little pieces in that one, so I'm taking it slowly.

I must take some photos of what I've been up to. Poor blog has been very neglected.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Just a couple of things...

I have been a busy bee and finished a couple of quilts, as well as making progress on a couple. For now though, here are just a couple of blocks I've done. The finished quilts still need a proper photo shoot. :)

First of all, here is a block called Dutch Rose. I have made it with Ruby by Bonnie and Camille for Moda. It's one of (probably) three I will be making for a table runner.

Next up is another block in the Farmer's Wife Sampler, called Wild Goose Chase:

It was a breeze to put together. Instead of making the individual flying geese units and joining them, I made one unit, then added the big triangle, then each of the small triangles, then the next big triangle and so on. It makes for a nice flat block and pointy points.

That's it for now. Hopefully I will be back soon with some Marmalade.

Monday, 9 July 2012

End of Day

Last week was not the best of weeks, and though I had made it my goal to get a couple of cushion covers made last week, I decided that yesterday I needed a bit of escape sewing. So, I went for a couple of the quicker Farmers Wife Sampler Quilt blocks. The cushion covers will wait.

The first one was as desired, nice and quick. It's called End of Day:

It came together nice and easily, and I just undid the last seam once to get those points in the centre right. Or right enough, anyway.

The next block is called Homeward Bound (and each time I think that name I get the Simon and Garfunkel song in my head):

It came together easily enough, but I undid it because I didn't like the fabric choices. I didn't take a photo of the original. This remake was finished this morning. I think I like it. I think. It is nice and yellow anyhow.

I have missed doing these blocks, and really ought to start doing them regularly again.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Florals... and Chocolate Slice

I've made a couple more fabric purchases recently, more Rose Parade mainly, because I love Rose Parade. On purchasing this yellow Rose Parade fabric online I was phoned and advised that there wasn't enough in stock, so on the spur of the moment I asked them to throw a Flora charm pack in to make up the difference in price. I've had my eye on it for a long while, so why not?

Well, it came, and was lovely. Unfortunately for my sensitive nose though it smelled strongly of cigarettes, so I had to wash it, yardage and charm squares. It didn't look so neat and square after washing: 

It was a good opportunity to wash some other fabrics I've had waiting a while for their pre-wash (pre-cuts are the only fabric I don't pre-wash, usually). Also a good time to wash my woollens. They'd only been waiting a few weeks, except those that had been waiting a few months... I LOATHE hand washing.

On a more yummy note, here is my favourite go-to recipe for Choc-coconut Slice, just for my sweet(tooth) friend Susan. It is super quick and super easy. It even has sprinkles! Well, sprinkled coconut anyway. It's from the Family Circle Slices recipe book.

For the base:

1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 cup self-raising flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2/3 cup caster sugar
3/4 cup desiccated coconut
125g butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 egg, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Brush a shallow 28 x 18 cm slice tin with melted butter or oil; line base with baking paper, extending over two sides.

Sift flours and cocoa into a medium mixing bowl, stir in sugar and coconut. Make a well in the centre. Add cooled melted butter, vanilla and egg and stir to combine.

Press mixture into prepared tin, smoothing surface with the back of a spoon. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until set. Leave to cool in tin.

For the icing:

1 1/4 cups icing sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
30g butter, softened
1-2 teaspoons hot water
1/4 cup desiccated coconut, toasted (I don't bother toasting it)

Sift icing sugar and cocoa into a small bowl, add butter and water and stir until smooth. Using paper, lift slice from tin and spread with icing. Sprinkle with coconut. cut into pieces to serve. Store for up to 3 days in airtight container.

I store it in the freezer. It's a good way to stop myself eating too much at once. Though I must admit, it is pretty good frozen too ;)

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Big, and Little.

The mini Farmers Wife Sampler blocks are very addictive, but I have still managed to do some big ones. Here we have Cut Glass Dish:

Friendship (I pinched my fabric choices from Suzitee's block, here):

And Spool:

I also did another couple of minis, just because they're cute. They are Calico Puzzle:

And Spool:

I feel a bit odd about using a different fabric for the mini spool, and not sticking with the Rose Parade. My little scraps will not do all the mini blocks I have planned though, so I had to branch out to other scraps. I keep the tiniest little oddments of fabric, and since these little blocks sometimes use pieces as small as 3/4 inches square, the tiny scraps are well worth saving.

Thursday, 7 June 2012


The farmer and his wife have been having babies:

These mini Farmers Wife Sampler Quilt blocks, done with scraps from the big ones, will finish at 1.5 inches square. They're kind of addictive.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Hello Luscious

My niece is turning 5 at the end of June, and since I just gave her little brother a single bed quilt for his birthday, it seemed best to give her one too.

I chose a layer cake of Hello Luscious by Basic Grey, but stuck to the pinks and blues, since she told me recently that she doesn't like green. Unfortunately her favourite colour is now purple, not pink like I think it was at the time I bought the layer cake. I am pretty sure she will still like this though. I may just add in some purple anyway, I have a few ideas.

Anyhow, the centre is done, and it was supremely fast, since no cutting was required and there are just 28 squares. The most time consuming part was getting it to look 'random', but in a way that pleased me. I spent far too long on it and in the end just started sewing so I'd stop changing my mind!

I had different plans to begin with, but on laying out all the squares I decided that they didn't need to be cut up, they were just fine as big, bold patches. Now, borders and perhaps a bit of applique, and then another quilt top will be done. Just need to choose and then buy some border fabric.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Cups and Saucers

I did another couple of Farmers Wife Sampler blocks on the weekend. Each one was done over a couple of days. It's kind of nice doing it that way because all the cutting is over and done with on one day, and then there's just a little bit of sewing to get a finished block the next day.

Anyhow, today we have Block 25, Cups & Saucers:

Soft and pretty, I think. This went together quite well, just one seam where the points didn't match, but that was soon unpicked and redone.

This is Block 90, Storm Signal:

Somewhat bolder in colour, huh? The points that don't meet nicely on this may require me to redo those particular parts. We shall see. I am trying to be less fussy - it won't be going to a show, will just end up on my bed, but I really am a bit of a perfectionist so they will probably bug me. :(

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Friendship Star

Another Farmers Wife block done on Sunday, Friendship Star:

I love the blue and yellow together.

I went out of order again to do a quick one. This was definitely quick, only 13 pieces.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Country Path

Another Farmers Wife Sampler block is done! Yay! I've missed doing these. This one is called Country Path.

I chose my colours to make the block appear a bit different to in the book. Light and dark make such a difference to the final appearance. Best seen in black and white maybe:

Anyway, I was particularly pleased with how this went together. No unpicking required whatsoever, which kind of surprised me to be honest. 

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Birthday Fabric

No crafty stuff going on here lately, or at least nothing worth photographing, BUT a very pretty bunch of fabrics took up residence here for my birthday, so there is a photo worth taking.

There is some Circa 1934, Authentic, Rose Parade, Daisies in the Wind, Hello Luscious, and pink bicycles, which is a linen/cotton blend from Spotlight. Thanks to Mum and Dad for most of these, and to Martin for the bicycles. :)

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Max and Whiskers - Done and Gifted

I have just this past hour finished my three-year-old nephew's Max and Whiskers single-bed quilt. I am really pleased with it and though I went through most of the process wanting to keep it for myself, in the end I couldn't wait to give it to him.

It is thanks to my niece I suppose that this change in position came about. She rediscovered the quilt I made her before she was even born, loved it and immediately wanted it on her bed. My poor nephew was, by all reports, quite upset that he didn't have one of his own till his mum assured him that I was making him one.

His reaction when I gave it to him today, pretty much as soon as the last thread end was sewn it, was all I could have hoped for and made me very pleased indeed to give it away.

So, another finish! Yay!

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Spectacular Sky

I get up at 5.40am every weekday, and now that the clocks have changed there is a little perk. This sky is what greeted me when I opened the curtains. Normally it would just be darkness. I rushed out and took several photos. Look at those colours!

Oh, and I made a card yesterday. Copycatcards, which I used to participate in ages ago, has started up again on Facebook. The theme was heart, red, bling. I had about four attempts at this card. I had the idea in my head but couldn't get it to work on paper as I saw it in my head. :( I had kept adding to the previous versions, and ruining them. This one seems a little under-dressed to me I think, but I'm calling it done. It is wider than it appears in the photo, but I took it at an angle to catch the glittery 'bling'.

I may, or may not, revisit the idea in the future. I do like those little robots.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

A Cosy Finish

I am so pleased to have a finish this weekend. I finally attached a back and binding for one of my Glace cushion covers. It is nice and big, 60cm square, and nice and cosy to feel and cuddle up to. :)

It has a brown homespun back and the same binding. It is a sort of Christmas themed fabric, the Glace collection, but I will still keep the cushion out for a while, probably till after we celebrate Christmas in July. Maybe by then the other one I have started will be finished too.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

A Group Shot and a New Project

I felt it was time for a group shot of my Farmers Wife Sampler blocks. I have left the two Frog Prince block out for now, thinking of making them into cushion covers or something instead.

Meanwhile, I've been cutting pieces of fabric for a quilt for a nephew due in July. I'm using a pattern from Simplify by Camille Roskelley. Fabric is Meadow Friends by Deb Strain for Moda. I got the 'boy' jelly roll. It is so adorable with all the little critters, and isn't babyish so should be fine for a quilt to be used on a proper bed in years to come.

Not all the cutting is done, just the main bit from the jelly roll. Getting there though.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Country Farm

Two more blocks in the Farmers Wife Sampler have been completed! Corn & Beans, was done over three days, in little bits here and there. Country Farm was done in two days, in the same way.

Here is Country Farm:

And here is Corn and Beans:

I am finding, when I look at the photos of these blocks, not just mine, but other people's too, that the size is just not conveyed. They are so sweet and cute in real life. Maybe something to give a sense of scale is in order for the next photos.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Churn Dash and Checkerboard

I had a great morning sewing today and got two more Farmers Wife Sampler blocks done. Block 19, Checkerboard:

And block 20, Churn Dash:

I've skipped block 18 for now, as I'm not sure what combination of fabrics to do, or if I'll stick to the fabric placement in the book.

I wonder if I'll get more done this afternoon? It is wonderful to be doing these little blocks and neglecting the binding on my single bed quilt. I don't feel the least bit guilty, just happy. :)

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Cats and Mice

I just finished another Farmers Wife Sampler block, and managed to photograph it before the thick grey cloud took over the sky. Here is block 17, Cats and Mice:

I am hoping the colour shows correctly in the photo. For some reason when I photograph pink, it often comes up red on the monitor. I adjusted it in Photoshop Elements to be pink, so it should be right now.

Fortunately, this went together pretty well, with a just a little bit of unpicking. I didn't get all the points perfect, but I'm so tired it honestly isn't bothering me at the moment.

I'm thinking I will go back to doing them in order for a while. The next two are very straight forward, so that is kind of motivating my decision. ;)

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Bloggers BOM - Block 6

Sewing this weekend gone consisted of one solitary block, block six of the Bloggers BOM Quilt-Along.

The instructions are available here.

This is the sixth block in the quilt-along, but only the fifth I've sewn. I'm not entirely sure I am going to do block five. It doesn't seem to go with the other blocks to me. I'll see what the rest are like before deciding though.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Paris in the Springtime

I can't say I recall that many flowers in Paris in the Springtime, but then I think it was more the buildings I was paying attention to. One of these blocks certainly had me thinking of Paris and Spring though, with the Eiffel Tower print and the beautiful aqua floral. 

I have had a good weekend for sewing, taking a leaf from the book of Suzitee and choosing some quicker blocks to complete. Two blocks were also made faster because of a little short-cut - I sewed strips together then cut, saving so much time. As a bonus there is actually a bit of sporadic sunshine today, so it's been a good weekend altogether.

Here we have, from yesterday, Streak of Lightning:

and Snowball:

And today's effort, Railroad:

I may have to do another group shot soon, they're building up again.

Saturday, 3 March 2012


I did another Farmers Wife block yesterday, between bits and pieces of housework. Again, the photo is not the best because of this horrible grey weather. At least the rain has stopped, for now. Meanwhile though I'm in skivvy and woolly jumper when any other year I'd more likely be in shorts and t-shirt. Coq au Vin is planned for tea tonight, it seems an appropriate meal for the weather.

Anyhow, here is the block, Buckwheat:

I love these colours together. I find them somehow relaxing and very Spring-like. I might need to do a few more in this combination.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Butterfly at the Crossroads

It was suggested to me yesterday by my better half, that the ideal thing to cheer me up (hormones had me down) would be to make another Farmers Wife block. Who am I to argue with such wisdom? So, here we have Block 14 from the Farmers Wife Sampler Quilt, Butterfly at the Crossroads.

It all went together so beautifully, it did cheer me up somewhat. I had kind of forgotten how the blocks end up smaller than I expect from the size of the pieces. I mean, I know they will be 6 inches, but they still surprise me. :) A bit of iffy flash photography today, because of all the rain that just won't go away.

I have made good progress on quilting Max and Whiskers. I need to buy more thread though to continue. There was just one 100 metre spool of the thread left at my local fabric shop, but it was perfect for the quilt so I thought I'd chance it. Now I will need to order more online. :(

Here's the bobbin being wound:

Pretty? I think so.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Plodding Along

I haven't done any sewing for a while, but I haven't been idle. I've been marking the Max and Whiskers single bed quilt for quilting. I am using a quick-unpick for scoring/creasing lines, but may end up tracing them in pencil too.

And just because I wanted to see them all again, here's a group shot of the Farmers Wife blocks, in no particular order. I am thinking of using a charcoal grey for sashing, so my bedroom floor carpet was ideal to lay them out on.

Now I want to go make more.