Tuesday, 20 December 2011

What is it with me and stars?

Quilting activity in this household has been extremely low key..nothing to do with Christmas (we have not even bought a tree yet...our excuse? Isabella is too young to notice/be upset by the lack of Christmas tree/spirit)...more to do with a nasty little bug that Isabella brought home after playgroup where they had already got into the Christmassy spirit of sharing everything including your germs and bugs!!!

Anyway, I decided to make some stars after joining this quilt along: 
Oh My Stars! (A Quilt-Along)

The instructions that Sheila of 'Thought & Found' blog has posted are brilliant. I followed her instructions for making flying geese (I always use a specialist ruler for geese) and they have worked out brilliantly! 
Here is what I have made so far:

I must change the date on my camera!!!!
The background fabric is a solid dark blue and the stars are (need I say it?) Kaffe Fassett. Not sure how this will all come together but I am loving these bright stars!

                                                             Amelie x

Monday, 5 December 2011

Plus Quilt

ahhhhhhh....a bit of sunshine in a grey day...or should I be putting my sunglasses on? !!!!
Another pregnancy quilt that has just been finished!!!!

This one was based on a brilliant tutorial by Jeni. Her blog is 'In Color Order' and the tutorial can be found here: http://incolororder.blogspot.com/2010/09/plus-quilt-tutorial.html

I have used Lecien Flower Sugar fabrics (I am too ashamed to admit to how much of this fabric I bought when it came out!!! ;-) ) and how much I have hoarded in the depths of my cupboards! It just made me smile and smile and smile every time I looked at it!

It is an easy quilt to make provided you have the space to plan it and lay it out before sewing...if you miss a square..well, you will be in doodoo land! It took me ages to fathom out what goes where especially as my design wall was too small and squares kept falling off!

I think I will go and get my sunglasses!!!

Amelie x

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Bee Europa 2011

Two blog entries in two consequtive nights!!!!!blow me down!

November is Ulrike's month and she asked for a star. This month seems to have been full of stars!

I saw this star in a magazine and knew instantly that it was the ONE! I love the shape, movement and fullness of it... I think Ulrike's red fabrics make it look lovely!

Foundation piecing is not my favourite activity but I have grown to really like the patterns that you can only make this way...another challenge that I really enjoyed making. I hope you like it Ulrike! ;-)

                                                                         Amelie x

Monday, 28 November 2011

The Queen of Lateness!!!

..erm...that would be me! not big or proud especially for someone who is soooo OCD about time and order that I would be better off described as CDO instead (that is still OCD but put in proper alphabetical order!!!!)...

I started this quilt at our old home and it was meant to be large enough ( Mr Whirlygiggles always moans that our quilts don't cover the whole bed?! :-( ) and it was going to be my pregnancy quilt...the one i would snuggle under and be alone with baby?....
It did not quite work out like that and 7 months post pregnancy the quilt has finally made it on our bed. Isabella seems to like it so much she managed to wet herself on it whilst she was rolling around on it without a nappy!!! Man oh man! back in the washing machine tonight and Isabella is back in her nappy (and tucked in bed as we speak!).

The quilt is made by 5" squares mostly Tanya Wheelan and of course some Kaffe Fassett shot cottons in various shades of pink and purple...in there somewhere are also a few rare bits of OOP Urban Chicks fabric.

 It is simple but we love it all the same:

Amelie x

Monday, 21 November 2011

The Stars are out!

Ricky's Magical Stars quilt ( Ricky is really Riccardo, my 11 year old gorgeous Italian/Greek nephew), was finished on the day we were leaving Italy to come back home!!! talk about lastminutequilting.com ... I am the queen of this!!!
The little monkey refused to pose for me!

Anyway, this is the view from their balcony and Mr Whirlygiggle's attempt at serious photography!!!

And here is the quilt in its (almost) full glory and Mr Whirlygiggles exclaiming (as always) that he is risking his life for my quilting yet again!!!! yeah yeah yeah!!

Can anyone tell me how we went from this:

 to this? my baby is wearing tights!!! My sister bought her a whole load of little girl's clothes and tights and shoes and dressed her up every day of the weekend!
7 months in a few days...eeeekkkkkk where is time flying to?

                                                                    Amelie x
PS i blogged about this quilt back in May. Pattern is by the amazing Jaybird Quilts.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Resistance is futile!

Last year I missed the chance to take part in this wonderful online show of quilts. This year, despite my time limitations I decided that any resistance is truly futile and i must take part even if there are only 9 hours to go before submissions are closed! Talk about lastminute dot com!!!!
The link is at Amy's Creative Side a blog which is amongst my favorite blogs to follow.
There are almost 600 quilters who have linked up and I have hopped on and off many blogs this evening amazed at people's creativity and skills...some people are very very gifted
Anyway, if you have time make yourself a nice hot drink (or get a glass of wine ;-) why not?!) and go to the blog to get very inspired indeed.

In the meantime, as I never finished the binding on the big quilt I had intended to show here,  I will have to tell the story of the little quilt I adore, or rather the little girl I adore who is the owner of this quilt!!!!

This is my Far Far Away quilt made for my daughter Isabella who is now 6 months old. I loved every minute of making this quilt. The fabrics make my heart sing and the colours are divine. The sleeping beauty in purple and the Owl & the Pussycat poem are my all time favourites. All my friends or family who have seen this quilt have loved it.

It is made from a Moda Bakeshop pattern called "Boxed in" by KarrieLyne from Freckled Whimsy (http://www.modabakeshop.com/2010/10/boxed-in-quilt.html)

Here are a couple of other photos of some of the blocks and the back:

Love it!!!! I cannot wait for Isabella to make it hers (even if that includes baby vomit!!!).

Thank you Amy for giving me the chance to revisit this quilt and to show it and share it with other quilters.

Amelie x

Monday, 24 October 2011

Seeing the wood for the trees...

Johanna from my Bee Europa 2011 group asked for a block depicting a tree.
I thought about this for many hours (as I always do) and my searches seem to point to traditionally pieced tree blocks which are great but not quite what I wanted to do for her.
Following two prototypes done in very different ways (but both aiming to make a new fabric by joining strips together and cutting them randomly), I finally came up with the idea of an African type tree (I think it is called an African Savanna tree)...
I love how resilient these trees are and how they survive in extreme weather conditions.

Anyway, enough chatting and here are the fruits of my labour:

It is all made with pieces as small as 7/8 of an inch and it is a log cabin. Of course small pieces mean the block is fabric-hungry and although there is plenty of the green fabric left, we soon run out of the white and had to add some from my stash. Although not the same white, it adds to the whole effect of the block.
I used some pieces from my stash and there is a little owl and some flowers hiding in there too!!!
I loved making this block.

I hope you like it Johanna and i also hope your brother likes it too as it will end up on his quilt!!!

AHHH forgot to say that it is a large piece - i could not work out the maths of a piece like that to make it small scale...plus if I went any smaller with the pieces I would have lost the little mind I have left nowadays early on in the process!!!!

And last but not least, my patchwork group of lovely people in Patchwork Corner, run by Ferret, surprised me by giving me a quilt for Isabella last Thursday. I was extremely touched by that and very grateful that Isabella has a beautiful quilt made by a group of people that thought of her and quilted by Ferret. Very very grateful....
Here it is with the princess enjoying it!:

PS, my friend Jane who is an absolute genious, came up with Isabella's second name in Greek as it should be written!!! check out the bear to the right!!!! Jane you are BRILLIANT!!!!

Amelie x

Sunday, 16 October 2011

You cannot keep a good woman down!

Sooooooooooooooo much has happened since my last blog entry I don't know where to start!!!
So here we go in order of events:

1. We moved to our new home and then two days later we went off to Greece for 3.5 weeks for Isabella to meet her Greek grandad!!!
Grandad got his first quilt to warm up his night in the coming winter:

Yep, another Kaffe Fassett quilt to feed my obsession! My dad loved it! yippeeeee!

2. We came back to find that our NOT-so-lovely builder had gone together with the cash for materials and the house unfinished :-(
Too trusting and too stupid. I don't know whether losing the money hurt me more than hearing that during this time he was sleeping in our bed!!!! Would it be an extreme reaction to hunt him down and boil his bunny rabbits (if he has any?)?

Since then I have spend my days between holding/feeding/playing with Isabella and painting/cleaning/carrying/organising etc etc....

3. I finally have a sewing room as opposed to a sewing cupboard! another huge Yipppppeeeeeeeeeee
Got quickly over my guilt about the amount of fabric I have and have been arranging the room bit by bit. When it is finished I will post some photos.

4. This week I managed to recover my sewing from the garage (covered in dust and plaster thanks to the rogue trader) and I completed the August blocks for my Bee Europa. I felt so blooming guilty for not managing to do this sooner but in the scheme of things it was impossible to sew....
Here they are, 6 batic nine-patch blocks for Patricia:

4. Isabella will be 6 months next week!!! Time flies and she is growing fast...and here she is!

Best get some sleep whilst I can as princess sleeps through the night (YES I know I am lucky, fingers crossed this carries on and on!) BUT wakes up nice and early :-)

Amelie x

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Lessons learnt!

Finally I get to do my bloggy! I have missed chatting here  :-(

My sister and nephew were over from Italy for two weeks and I was forbidden from sewing!!! Well, that was until my sister discovered that I can sew pillowcases and then BOOOOOOM!!!
I asked myself how many pillowcases can this girl want...but she took  2 pairs with her and I am left with another 6 pillowcases to sew!!!!!

Well, before she gets her pillowcases I had to finish this block for Ceri for my Bee Europa.

I know I am repeating myself everytime but I do struggle with the Bee blocks, not because they are massively complicated but because they are not mine...and that means there is very little to no scope for error...I can be less of a perfectionist when it comes to my own quilts but when I know that what I am making will be going to another person I become the quilt police personified!!!!

Ceri wanted a flower for a quilt for her one year old daughter and clearly this is close to my heart having had Isabella 3 months ago!
I agonised over what type of flower and which of the fabrics to use and then when I finally came up with the flower the pillowcases got in the way and another fellow Bee got there first!!!! Lesson 1: get on with the block of your choice asap after you receive the fabrics and instructions!
Finally whilst awake in wee hours of the morning over a feeding session, I had a flower epifany! I have used a pattern from the Material Obsession book ( I love these 2 books and have read them millions of times!) by the brilliant Sarah Fielke. Lesson 2: no need to go far away from what I love for inspiration.
Once I decided the order of the fabrics I then went through some magazines looking for inspiration about the rest of the block. I finally found a shape I liked and proceeded to cut the fabrics (admittedly late at night) without doing the math and hoping it would all fall in place in the end. I was horrified when they did not!!!Arghh. Lesson 3: don't be an idiot, never cut fabric late in the evening and always do the math or get Mr Whirlygiggles to do it for you -even better as he is very bright with numbers although the 1/4 inch seam throws him a bit!!!).
Finally, I had to make up a border of my own without having to rely on other's ideas. As scary as that is, I think the block looks very cute and original. Lesson 4: no need to be so very scared.

I have worked on this block for days and I have learnt a lot as stated in this blog! Ceri & Felix, I hope you like the block and Felix, I hope you will be very happy covered in all these flowers!

By the way, where does time go? Isabella will be 14 weeks in 2 days!!! I cannot resist a little photo and to say that she seems to be learning loads at the moment too like sucking her thumb (she finally realised that the whole fist in mouth bit is not too comfy!) and how to get the immediate attention of her devoted parents whom (as my best friend Juniper pointed out today)  "Isabella has complete control over"...what can I say...it is all true!!!

Why do your Greek grandmother and auntie pop a hat on your head everytime my back is turned for one minute?!!!

Amelie x

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Bee Europa 2011

and this is Cara's (Pink Stitches) block for June....
running a bit late :-(
BUT I loved the fabrics (Just Wing It by Moda) and I loved following this pattern...It is clever and beautiful and it should make a gorgeous quilt when all the pieces are put together.

Thank you Cara and I hope you enjoy your block!

The tutorial for making a plaid like this one can be found at:  http://www.modabakeshop.com/2009/01/sultry-jelly-roll-project-sheet.html

Amelie x

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Blocks coming out of my ears!!!!

I know I am walking a tightrope here in terms of boring you all to death with these blocks so I have decided that I will only put up my most favourite ones (as opposed to each one I make!).

My alterior motive is that I have been doing the Farmer's Wife Quilt Along and I have LOADS of those blocks to show you as well...so I must not abuse the patience and kindness of those of you who are following my blog! :-)

This is still my Japanese X quilt. I have now completed 30 of the 56 blocks! well, I guess the best way to look at it is that I have less than halfway to go!!!

The worry of what the border will look like on a quilt like this is keeping me awake at night :-(

I still struggle with the quality of the photos so I think I should aim for a new camera for my birthday as opposed to a new sewing machine? let me think about this for a nanosecond...I think the sewing machine wins!!!

Isabella is now 10 weeks (where does time go?????) and here is a gorgeous little photo of her and the clothes/hats my mother will get her to wear when my back is turned for 5 minutes!!!

Isn't she gorgeous in her little bonnet?!!! I can't believe she is all mine!!! (and Mr Whirlygiggle's of course!)

                                                                   Amelie x

Monday, 4 July 2011

The Liebster Award!


I have never won any awards (not sure that 2 bronze medals in table tennis when I was 14 count?!!! :-)) and I am very grateful to ScissorsandThread  http://scissorsandthread.blogspot.com/ for nominating me!!! That is very lovely of you A.

For those of you who do not know, the Liebster Award is designed to bring additional recognition to blogs that have less tht 300 followers! It is awarded to 3 blogs at a time and each awarded blog has to then nominate a further 3 lovely bloggies!

so, here we go my nominations of blogs I really like that I have discovered recently:

1. http://lifeinlists.typepad.com/ gorgeous photos and gorgeous handmade beauties!

2. http://craftsfromkaren.blogspot.com/ Karen's lovely blog called "Ramblings of a Novice Quilter". Gorgeous and inspiring work...

3. http://an-eclectic-mix.blogspot.com/ Rachael's blog called Tiny Pink , again full of lovelies, grorgeous colours and loads of inspiration.

Check these blogs out and if you are not seen them yet them, please do so as they worth every read!

                                                                   Amelie x

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Night labour!

More Japanese X Blocks!

I love these blocks and what I love more about them is the thinking that I have to do for the colour choices and the lack of concentration that I seem to show nowadays when it comes to the construction of the blocks!!!
Please try not to look at the pictures too closely...not all points are matching as they should...but I am trying to be more tolerant of myself and more forgiving of my lack of patience when sewing after 10pm :-)

So, for the quilt police out there...thank god you don't know where I live!!!!

This next one has to be amongst my favourites...I loooove it!

I love the way these blocks are evolving...I started with one range of fabrics (scraps left over from another quilt) as I wanted some uniformity...but a number of other fabrics have been since introduced and I feel a lot less worried about the overall effect...(these might be my famous last words !!!)

Well, 25 done, another 26 to go!!!! Easy peasy (NOT) !!!!

                                                               Amelie x

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

My secret obsession!!!!


The lovely Kerry from http://verykerryberry.blogspot.com/ has started this funny link and I have been dying to take part for days except time is a very precious and limited commodity for me at the moment...however, I think I am still in time to disclose my obsessions and believe me I have thought about this long and hard in the wee hours of the morning when I am feeding my first and major obsession! :-)

The truth is that before I met Mr Whirlygiggles, in my single girl days, when I had a lot of time to myself, I had quite a few obsessions such as shopping every Saturday in Selfridges  followed by a creamy hot chocolate and a ciggie in their basement bar (ahhhh those were the days!!!), playing backgammon on the internet for HOURS and 'mashing' my opponents and buying millions of books and DVDs!!!!!

When I saw this post on Kerry's blog I wondered for ages what my obsessions are nowadays and I fear I have become an old and boring moo :-( 
Anyway, I will give it a go.
In order of priority and excluding Mr Whirlygiggles and fabrics and all things patchwork, here is my definitive list:

A. Isabella: what can I say....she came after a major loss for me and she is the 'be all and end all' of my life...

B. (Patchwork and all things thread and fabric...in brackets as I should not be mentioning this BUT it is truly my second biggest obsession!!!)

C. Orchids: especially the ones that I have rescued from the bin when people thought they were well and truly dead...to be honest I am not a green fingered person...actually I have a bit of a disgust thing about worms and so gardening is not on my agenda...but I love these plants and I have accumulated 9 beautiful ones so far.
And here is one I rescued from the office...poor thing was discarded at the back of a printer on the way to the rubbish:

D. Make-up: I simply loooove make-up although nowadays  I own a tiny bag of it... I have a fascination with the colours and the textures of make up and I love watching people applying make up. My alter ego is a beauty therapist but in reality I barely ever wear it!!!

Anyway, that is enough about my secret obsessions (did I mention buying fabric?!!!!)...it is 'feeding time at the zoo' so am off!

                                                                        Amelie x

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Love actually!

In between nappy changes, feeds and masses of cuddles, I managed to complete my May Bee Europa block for Elisa...

It is based on a  tutorial by Aneela Hoey which can be found here: http://comfortstitching.typepad.co.uk/comfortstitching/2011/04/crazy-scrappy-block-tutorial-and-a-maybe-quilt-a-long.html

As we know there is nothing about making a quilt (or a block in this case) that does not require loads of thinking, planning and hard work and this crazy scrappy block is no exception to my rule.
I find it very hard to work with another person's fabrics and that is why this block has been a bit of challenge but hugely enjoyable to make as well.
I have used some of my scraps to compliment Elisa's fabric choices and I picked my favourite "The Owl & the Pussycat" to be the central theme of the block.

As always, there is a lot of love here and i hope that these two creatures will live happily every after in Elisa's home!!!
Elisa I hope you like it!

                                                                    Amelie x

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