Well, the temptation to try blogging on the new Mac could not be resisted so a bit like buses, here I am again! I haven't really had a lot of time for crafting since we moved as most of my time has been spent unpacking, getting the guest room ready and just keeping up with all the everyday boring but necessary household chores. Whilst I haven't managed to make any gifts or the Christmas stockings I desperately wanted to, I did decide I should allow myself to jump on Lori Holt's festive sew-along.
Lori blogs over at Bee in my Bonnet , and over on Instagram, I love following what she gets up to in that gorgeous home of hers (she is beelori1 on IG). I already owned Lori's fabby book, Quilty Fun, and had used it as the basis for several of the mini quilts over on my chimney breast wall in my Den. A few weeks ago, Lori announced she was hosting a sew-along. She would use certain blocks from the book and post new ones on IG as well which would culminate in, well we didn't actually know at the time! I watched for a few days. I was hooked. I was in!
Time to dig out the festive stash...
I had a handful of blocks to catch up on. Apologies that a lot of the photos are a bit dark but I generally find time to sew late afternoon and early evening and of course, the daylight hours are so short these days.
First up, a cute gingerbread house based on a block in Quilty Fun. Couldn't resist swapping out one of the chimneys for Father Christmas, ready to deliver presents to good girls (like myself)! There's a wreath on the door and a pair of robins in the windows. I love a bit of fussy cutting.
Did you spot the little board that the block is resting on? You'll see them throughout this post in varying sizes. There is great tutorial on Lori's blog for making these boards. They are easy and so handy to keep all the pieces for your blocks together when ferrying between machine, ironing board and so on. I made quite a few, they were addictive once I got going and only use batting remnants, leftover ends of quilt binding and I found the foam core board on special at Hobbycraft (two big sheets for £7).
My blocks grew as I tried to fit one in every other day or so. There's was a cute cocoa mug and my fave, the mittens, to which I gave a sort of Nordic Fair Isle touch.
Next up, a little basket, to hold Christmas gifts maybe, this one with an appliquéd heart.
Before long, my selection of blocks was growing. The most exciting bit was waiting with baited breath for Lori to post the next set of instructions on IG. Would it be something from the book or a new block? After a while, it was time to sew a little group together. Looked like we were making a sort of smallish quilt, wall hanging maybe. (That's my biggest foam core board down there.)
On again, this time with a cute trio of wreaths complete with red bows. I will only sew on the red bows at the end, once the quilting has been done.
A festive trip to the Bath Christmas Market also saw me visiting a new-to-me patchwork shop where I couldn't help adding a few fat quarters to my stash.
I was therefore delighted when we were instructed to make a traditional log cabin block and could fussy cut my new Father Christmas fabric for the centre. Ho ho ho!
Really loved making the stocking too; I added a "Merry Christmas" label and the stocking has its own little loop to hang. That's a sweet next to it.
A final catch-up and the main section of the patchwork top was complete. I felt a little sad! Charlie Boy seemed interested.
Lori then suggested we make pieced borders for the quilt using instructions for one of the quilts (which happened to be the same size) in her book. I was torn whether to just go for simple one-fabric borders so that I could get the quilt done but I decided it didn't matter if it was not finished for Christmas and I would make the pieced borders instead. A lot of cutting ensued and a fair few hours at Sally Singer.
Lots and lots of squares had to be sewn together. Like this, I thought it would have made a very nice fabric alternative to paper chains!
Phew! This border business is hard work! Well, a girl has to keep her strength up.
This morning, I've snatched an hour in between the ironing to get one side border pieced and sewn on. Just three more to go! Hopefully I will be able to show it to you before too long...
By the way, should you wish to join in, English peeps can now buy Quilty Fun via Kaleidoscope books online and for the other blocks, you will need access to IG (Instagram). You can do this via a PC or tablet, you do not have to have a smart phone.