Sunday, 17 May 2015

MOTHER TRUCKER!!

And A Few Cars...

A while ago I set out to make a quilt for a very special little monkey, he loves bright colors, cars, bikes, trucks and more than anything diggers!! I began in my usual way with researching and came across this darling pattern 

PEAK HOUR

They are available allover the place but I bought mine from the lovely Isabel over at Creative Quilting I loved the idea of the rows of different vehicles and signs, but what it really needed was one almighty digger!!  So I set myself the challenge of creating just that! I started with a small A5 size picture that had to be scaled up to almost single bed size.....eeeeeekkk!!!

Once the overall design was complete, each section then had to be individually drawn onto Bondaweb and ironed on to the fabric choices, as is standard for general machine applique. In true blonde style I did have to start over twice.... the first time I put the chair "in" over the door frame and then the window "in" over the chair!! I amaze even myself at times!









I wanted to make it as realistic as possible, I mean go hard or go home right?!? So I spent quite a long time trying to get some shading into the teeth on the big scoop and the wheel arches, although not totally perfect I think it does make a difference. Life got in the way a bit and unfortunately this project had to be put on hold a while which meant I didn't quite make the deadline I had set myself.
A couple of birthdays, high teas, spa days, thunder storms, very long work days, a few fights with my sewing machine and a lot of fabric buying later rows of cars and trucks started to appear.








And eventually after a lot more late nights, fabric cutting, fights with the sewing machine and some words of wisdom from my lovely quilt group this emerged and found its way onto an African bound plane!! 




I wish I could be there to see my little monkeys reaction to it, hopefully he will love snuggling up in it as much as I loved making it for him and I will get some photos of that darling little face.

I have about 13 new projects that I want to start, 4 new projects that I have started and a good 25 more that I have seen that I totally need in my life, don't roll your eyes at me I know you totally have the same list going!! At the same time as I am typing this post I have another window open on my browser auditioning fabrics for Jen Kingwell's My Small World, which is available in Quiltmania's Spring 2015 special.



You know you want it......
Happy Quilting 
Kerry xx







Monday, 9 March 2015

50 SHADES OF AFRICA

And 1 Great Tan!


On the 17th of February, in celebration (but more commiseration) of leaving my 20s and starting my 30s the Rents, the Brat and I filled a few suit cases and boarded a plane for Durban. Having spent the last few months slowly freezing to death in another "fresh" English winter the prospect of 30 degree heat literally had me skipping with glee. It was a loooooooong flight, and not much can be said for plane food at the best of times but eventually we landed......






 The Brat and I





It was so amazing to see my bestest and her two little monkeys, obviously I'm outrageously biased but just look at them, have you ever seen such cuties??

Seth the "Doffin"

Baby Nate

Having spent the morning watching all the dolphins, we then had to spend the afternoon swimming like dolphins in the pool. I can honestly say I am the most ungraceful dolphin that has ever lived, Seth informed me on a few occasions that I wasn't a very good "doffin" and  eventually gave up and let me be a mermaid instead!! The next few days were filled with shopping, eating, soaking up the sun and getting as many cuddles as I could from my two heart breakers. And if they weren't enough occasionally I had this little princess as well,



It's very hard work this sunny holiday lark, so Lauren and I had to go on a Spa day and have a wonderful massage, reflexology and pedicure courtesy of my amazing honoury Aunty Gill, Roxy and my parents, we also had to lounge about on leather recliners watching the outrageously beautiful Jamie Dornan on a very big screen....seriously England get on board with these seats in the cinema!!  



And of course I emptied a few fabric shops along the way, it just wouldn't have been polite otherwise right? There is a very different approach to quilting and fabric over there, a great deal of it is very tribal with strong ethnic prints and colors, the designs are often quite simple making the overall effect very striking and a refreshing change from the widely accessible fabrics I have become used to.
I feel so blessed to have such wonderful friends and family who spoil me like they do I had such a fabulous week and cried an absolute river having to get on that plane even if it was to go to even sunnier Cape Town.





For those of you who know my family, it will come as no surprise to learn that of all the planes flying to Cape Town it was ours that lost its windscreen wipers and therefore had a two hour delay, you also won't be shocked to hear that of all the hire cars in Cape Town it would be ours that "wasn't quite ready" resulting in a further almost hour delay!! But you will be thrilled to know that all four of us had our passports which had not expired as well as the much needed drivers license and therefore did not have to spend 30 mins driving around chasing the postman on his route (Dad!). For those of you that don't know my family count your blessings that yours isn't as loony as mine!!



Having lost 42 lbs in the run up to my birthday and this holiday I was in no way looking to put any of it back on again, however with High Tea at the Mount Nelson Hotel, lunch at The Potluck Club, a picnic at Boschendal Wine Estate, a morning at Neighbour Goods Market and a day on Safari things were not looking good....well actually they were, hence the problem!!










Having not previously spent any great length of time in Cape Town I didn't really know what to expect and being a true Durban girl at heart I wasn't expecting much and let me tell you I couldn't have been more wrong, what a truly magical place it was. I wouldn't say it stole my heart, as I said I'm a Durban girl (come on you Sharks!) but it really was a beautiful place to be.


























Happy Quilting
Kerry xx


Wednesday, 21 January 2015

TRELLIS CROSSROADS

A Popular Block Indeed!!


I have to say that when I first started my journey on this quilt bee, I wasn't really prepared for what it was going to entail or for the vast amount of talent, vision and creativity that I was going to come across. On first glance through the book there were quite a few that really didn't appeal to me, in fact out of the 12 possible blocks there were only 2 that really caught my eye. I started to think that I wasn't going to enjoy this at all and maybe had made a mistake in committing myself to not one but two quilt bees!! Luckily I couldn't have been more wrong, I have learnt so much from being part of this wonderful experience about fabric choices, color combinations and block choices. My eyes have truly been opened. 

One such block that really didn't appeal to me initially was the block for September - Trellis Crossroads, made for the purpose of this book by Jessica Kelly you can see her blog and her thoughts on her block/bee experience by clicking on her name.




This block has been a popular choice in a number of quilt bees all over the world, each one looking completely different to any other, some people used batiks or brightly colored prints whilst others have favored more muted, pastel tones.






I had to make 2 of these blocks recently, one in purple and blue florals and the other in black and white. The process is relatively straight forward and the instructions - when you work out what is needed for only one person rather than twelve - are well set out.






To start with you need to cut your selected fabrics into rectangles 2 3/4" x 5" and sew them together in groups of four, they then get cut in half so you have 2 columns of the same print measuring 2 1/2" x 2 3/4", the trick is to mix them up in such a way that when stitched together the same prints don't meet at the corners.







As well as the prints or 'main' fabrics, there is a background fabric to contend with - 1 long strip and 1 square which gets cut in half! One column of printed squares is attached to either side of the background strip and the square - now cut in half to make triangles- is attached to the middle of the printed squares...... admit it, I've lost you?! I've lost myself to but as they are not my instructions to share I thoroughly recommend you buy the book..... it explains all.









I escaped with only a mild disaster.......




Once everything is attached each section needs to be squared up to  6 3/4" by lining the 45 degree line of the ruler directly in the middle of the center strip, thankfully I had my wing woman - Kerry Q on hand to talk me through the muddle.






And then all the squares came together wonderfully and the blocks went together in a jiffy





Kerry Q also had to make Trellis Crossroads for her Queen Bee this month in lovely shades of pink and grey, it always goes so much better when you have a friend to talk it through with.