Sunday, October 17, 2021

The Holly Bazaar Sweatshop is Humming

You know that feeling when you've spent a little too much time at the machine? The one where your shoulder blades feel that they might be knitted together? Well, I've got it. 

The pedal has been to the metal for the last couple of weeks so that I could get a bundle of runners for the Holly Bazaar off to Roberta for quilting. In the past, I've quilted most of the runners that I make for the craft table but last year I had her do one for me. I'm pretty sure it helped increase the price that they charged for it just a titch, so I decided to have her quilt more of them this year. Every cent that they can raise helps, and Roberta does such a beautiful job with the quilting that it's a no-brainer. Not sure why I didn't think of it sooner.

I set a deadline of Friday to get everything that she was to quilt to her so that she isn't rushed, hence the shoulder blades...

This gorgeous Poinsettia runner by Lorna McMahon at Sew Fresh Quilts is another new pattern that I thought I'd try. It's been on my radar for some time now (it was part of a 2017 sew along, so you can see just how up-to-date I am not). 


Regardless, can I just say now how much I love it? So does the Official Cookie Tester, and you know what that means.. he wants to buy one, which means that I had to make at least two, so I've made three. Luv, luv, luv. 

The pattern is very well written and the more I made the quicker they came together. They are all very similar with one exception - I've used a different dark red in each one. 
This is the second; it has a little more black in it.


And for the last one, I used a gorgeous Laundry Basket Quilts print.

It was fun trying to ensure that a few of the design details, like this little snail, didn't get cropped out in the making.

They will be quilted with a snowflake panto, which I think will really suit. More runners to come, so stay tuned!....M


Wednesday, October 13, 2021

I'll Be Gnome For Christmas

It's been a little herky jerky, but there has been some Holly Bazaar sewing happening over the last couple of weeks, starting with these happy little gnome potholders (I decided to actually look at all of the ideas that I've pinned and try a couple of new projects 😏).

This idea and tutorial came from The Crafty Quilter and was designed as a mug rug, but at 6.5" I think they will work nicely as potholders too. They come together quite quickly and consist of a couple of flying geese and a few extra bits. 

I had a bit of a challenge getting the noses to look nice, primarily because my nose fabric was so light and similar to the white. I followed her suggestion for the first pair and did straight stitching to attach it. Meh. It was passable, but looked like it could be improved.

So I tried using a blanket stitch and a slightly pinker fabric on the next pair. I think I could have gone darker still with the nose but there was nothing in the stash that suited. The tight cornering and light fabrics still made for a challenge, but I managed to finish up all eight.

Two are now bound (I was anxious to see what the candy cane binding was going to look like - fun!) and I still need to attach the binding to the remaining six, which will make for some good handwork to do while watching TV at night.


The big question will be whether or not folks know that they are supposed to be gnomes! When I showed them to the Official Cookie Tester I had to spell it out for him. Maybe I'll attach a little tag so that they know what what they are. Either way, I think they're cute....M




Tuesday, October 05, 2021

Time To Get My Little Trees Together Too!

Off and on throughout the last year you've seen the progress and finishes of the Little Trees quilt from Jane, Linda, Sandy, Anne and I. After seeing Sandy's come together I decided that there was no time like the present to move mine forward a little bit, especially as the calendar creeps towards Christmas.


All of the trees are sewn by hand but I decided, in the interest of moving things along, to sew the rows together by machine.


I believe that there are 12 rows with 14 trees to a row. I had one tree left over.

Following Linda's lead, I used a spare bed as my 'design wall' to get the right mix of trees, stumps and backgrounds. That last row really had me hugging the edge...😉.

Credit for moving this along goes to the fact that I had ordered border and backing fabrics. I wasn't certain that they would do the trick, but when they arrived I realized that they would be ideal.

The green will be for the border, possibly with a thin border of the pink check. Love the tiny snowflakes.


And these sweet little snowmen will be the backing. Is it not just the cutest???


I mean, seriously... ADORABLE! Lena is going to love them.

All the rows are together and about a third of them are pressed. I had thought that I'd hand stitch them while watching TV but I think I'll try putting them together by machine so that I can get this flimsy to Roberta and have it back in good time for Christmas (only 81 days to go!)....M





Sunday, September 26, 2021

The Pumpkins of Versailles


Let me start by saying that I have absolutely no idea if there are pumpkins at Versailles. But, I've been playing around with a pumpkin pattern and it has ended up with a really French vibe (at least to my mind), so meet the Pumpkins of Versailles.

It's that time of the year when I start panicking about meeting Holly Bazaar deadlines which is held in early November, so I've been pondering small projects that would work up quickly and hopefully be a hit on the the craft table. I don't have a firm date to work with yet for this year, but last year they hosted a very successful remote version of the bazaar so I'm going to jump in and make a few things so that I'm not caught scrambling more than necessary if it's a go.

I've been working from a booked called Witch's Night Out by It's Sew Emma and was keen to make a version of the Starlight Pumpkin Block.
I like the ribbon stars but wanted a pumpkin with just one star. So I played around with a couple of the dimensions and gave it a go, giddy with the fact that I'd found this grey and cream toile in my stash. 


With the block made the next question was what to do about a stem and those corners. I opted to go with a 'stylized' pumpkin and forego the stem, and was undecided if the cream snowball corners were a good idea or not, so I slept on it.



With the addition of a border the cream corners seemed to work best, so it was on to finding a backing. How about a little black and white pinstripe?


And maybe the same for the binding? Yup.

I tried using a double thickness of batting for a bit more protection because I find the purchased filler for potholders loud and crinkly, but that wasn't going to work - too puffy and the quilting was a mess - so I spent a little quality time with Jack (the ripper...).
A few vertical lines of quilting and they were ready to bind.

I've just finished the hand stitching for the bindings and love them! Tres chic, if I do say so myself. They finish off around 8" square, which is larger than some like for a potholder, but I like one that gives me good coverage.

It might not be readily apparent to anyone else that these are pumpkins, but that's okay, I love the look. Which means, of course, that I need to make another pair as these babies will be staying in my kitchen!.....M