Friday, 12 January 2018

FAL 2018 Qtr 1

I promise, I pinky promise, this will be the last "round up" blog post for a while, of for at least a quarter. It is nearly the deadline for the FAL 2018 1st qtr round up , I can procrastinate no more. So, here goes, all old favourites I am afraid, but then that's what the Finish A Long is all about. No new projects here. I will be linking up with Sandra of Studio Sew of Course
I am also going to link this post to my good friend Tish and her UFO link up
  1. The Quatrefoil Quilt 
   This quilt started life only last year as my beeabee2017 block. I have started to put them together and have a couple of blocks to "tweak". I want to have the windows with "views" at the front, and the windows with a more restful fabric on the back of the quilt.

 2. Economy Square Quilt

This quilt has been at this stage for a while, nearly a flimsy but not quite. It really wouldn't take much to finish this bright fun quilt.

3. Bubbles Quilt, now called the Circles Quilt

This quilt is pretty much finished and should have been in last year's finishes. But it isn't. Finished that is. I am unhappy with the quilting and have set it aside to complete.

4. Liberty EPP

When this quilt no longer appears in this list, it is time for me to get a new hobby. This is everlasting and that suits me, I like the repetition of it. I have started putting it together. Not happy with the placement of one block though.

And no knitting! Up to date with that, unbelievably.So that's my list for this quarter, all perfectly achievable. In an ideal world.

linking up with FAL qtr 1 proposed finishes and Sandra of Studio Sew of Course
multi tasking as also
linking up with Tish and her UFOs

Saturday, 6 January 2018

FAL 2017 Round Up Qtr 4 (part 4)

Lastly  to link up in the FAL is my what the fade shawl designed by Andrea Mowry. Completed shawl  blogged about here, and listed in my FAL projected finishes. I only finally blogged about this a week or so ago, though I have been wearing it from the beginning of December.

In a nutshell
pattern - #what the fade
designed - Andrea Mowry
yarn - skein queen
size - one size fits all
began August 2017, finished December 2017

Loved it
Hated it
Love it
Will wear it for ever

Helen x
linking up with
ps In the next week, there will be a post of FAL for 2018. That I promise is the end of the lists for a while!

Friday, 5 January 2018

FAL 2017 Round Up, Qtr 4 (part 3)

Two more link ups for the FAL, and no real blog story here. Both were blogged within the last week or two, so short and sweet.

My third finish for the quarter, is  my Portfolio Scarf , wool from Loop Knits Philadelphia, and pattern by Erika Flory.

I blogged about

my finish here

, and I listed this in my projected finishes here.

linking up with and the FAL
Helen x

Thursday, 4 January 2018

FAL 2017 Qtr 4 Round Up (part 2)

Next up in my FAL round up and link up are the two hedgehog cushions made for my daughter (on a theme here I think).

The hedgehog cushions (click to see original finish post) were listed on my FAL post (click to see).

Basically hedgehog fabric from the Scion range bought in Peter Jones (John Lewis) in Sloane Square, London. It is furnishing fabrics but to me it is rather lightweight fabric for cushions. Maybe cushions are meant to last a lifetime now, but just until the next season change!

Nothing to say. Two simple cushions, one happy daughter.

Helen x

FAL 2017 Qtr 4 Roundup (part 1)

As I said in my last post, apologies for showing all the old stuff again. And I will start this post with exactly the same sentence.
Apologies for showing all the  old stuff again, but this is the round up post for the last quarter of the FAL (finish a long) 2017, and I have a few finishes. For FAL administration purposes each finish has to be a separate blog post, so hold on to your seats and brace yourselves for a rather small deluge.

Click here to see my blog post on my proposed finishes for the quarter.

My first finish was a good one.
The Houndstooth Quilt (finished blog in link) designed by  but remained by me You Ain't Nothin But A Hounddog Quilt. And rather appropriately named by my daughter, the recipient, as The Purple One.  To me and those of my generation, the purple one, is the big caramel hazelnut chocolate in the Quality Street box at Christmas, but there you go.

Here we have the Houndstooth Quilt, aka You Ain't Nothing But A Hounddog, aka The Big Purple One:

Made in Kona Cotton. in not 40 shades of grey but numerous shades of grey, some purple and some white. Backed with deers from Art Gallery, which meant the quilt was reversed on the bed for the Festive Season. Quilted with traditional route of straight lines and bound in spotty stuff.
If Carlsberg made quilts, all my quilts would be like this,  to adapt the beer advert!
Helen x

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Last Year - So Over It

I wasn't going to do a round up of my crafting year, after all I participate in the Finish A Long, so any recent finishes will be in it in the next day or so. And some of these finishes were blogged about very recently. You will be sick looking at them. Even so, it does seem to be a good thing to round up the year, so here we go with apologies for repeats. I will link up here with Chery and Meadow Mist Designs, Cheryl really links up the best of 2017, here is my all.

Way back in January, a whole year ago, I had my first finish of the year and it was on two long needles rather than one short pointy one. I knitted a Donegal tweed yarn hat and gloves for my daughter. It was very cold walking to work. The pom pom was quickly removed, it bounced too much apparently.

The next finish was also two needles, a matching hat and gloves for my daughter's old school friend, living on the coast in south east England, where it was very cold.

Next up in March was another knit, this time an Aran cardigan from a pattern as old as Aran itself. This was the first full garment I had tried to knit for eons. It worked out well, except for one little thing. One shoulder is the teeniest tiniest bit pokey. The cables on both sleeves didn't finish at the same point. And YES IT DID MATTER. Anyhow, my daughter wears it about the house and watching tv.

My first quilting finish actually came towards the end of March. This was because my much loved dad passed away in early March and knitting was oh so much portable when sitting chatting with him through the earlier months. My quilt was my Snowflake Shimmer from the qal of .
I loved making this quilt. I love everything about it.


 I also loved the pieced backing.

Moving on swiftly to April, we have not one but two finishes depending on your definitions. I say two finishes, I had twins and that was definitely one birth but two babies! I finished up my MQI Bee blocks into a Jam Sandwiches and Lemonade quilts, for picnic benches.
Moving on to June and there was another finish, my Freefall quilt, or Dad's Shirt Quilt another qal. I participated in Sandra's qal. Sandra blogs as I loved Sandra's quilt and it gave me an opportunity to use my Dad's old shirts and make a memory quilt for my sister. At that point in the year, this was the most precious finish.
Just squeaking in at the end of June was a skirt I made for my daughter in Liberty fabric. This is an earlier photo, I promise I did get the waist band sorted!

As we moved into the second part of the year, there was a few small finishes. I made four pouches for myself and friend on our trip to Hampton Court. And then there was a baby cardigan for our impending grandchild.


July brought a little more knitting, four hats for my daughter's three university hats and herself. Four hats for four girls.

A splurge of sock knitting towards the end of the summer, Rose City Roller socks
August brought the birth of our much anticipated grandson, and with it a new quilt opportunity. I made him a camel quilt, from one of Yvonne's patterns, , her Lucent quilt. This is the second emotional quilt of the year!
Another pair of knitted socks, I will spare you the photos, and then my MQI summer swap, the goody goody binding kit designed by . I loved making this and equally loved the one I received.
Onwards into the autumn. Are you still with me? The next major finish, or indeed any finish wasn't until October. And this was the houndtooth aka you aren't nothing but a hounddog quilt for my daughter. We had fun taking Rapunzel type photos for this at our local forest. The pattern was from
A few cushions for my daughter's apartment were next up. She loves hedgehogs. So do I.

I don't know about you, but I am losing the will to live here and I am writing the post! Keep your audience with you! But, my next finish is worth hanging in for. I made a Liberty baby quilt for the grandson for his Christmas visit with us.

This brings us bang up to date. All there is to come are my Portfolio scarf

The year rounded up with my #What The Fade. Enough said, I love this but it did take up 4 months of my life!


And, oh yes, unblogged was a little Antler cardigan by Tin Can Knits for my grandson for Christmas.

Also I made some fabric building blocks for him. And ... 6 (yes 6) 1hr baskets for the girlies staying with us over Christmas, plus all those Christmas hats and 4 Christmas stockings, all unphotographed and unblogged. It was a relief to do some gentle sewing this morning!

Helen x
Thank you for staying with me through the year, never mind through this blog post. x
linking up with Cheryl, Meadow Mist Designs best of 2017 Linky Party.

Sunday, 31 December 2017


Argh, how quickly time flies past. Another year end, tonight is New Year's Eve, spent at home contentedly watching tv, if you want to know. Year end, time again to finish about the markers in my quilting life, Yvonne's 2018 Planning Party, feel free to click on the  link in the side bar. The picture below is purely a photo. Maybe I should be trying to boost my IT skills as well!

 and then next week the Finish A Long. It is important to be optimistic, this is fun, not goals to beat yourself up with. So, having established that,


Quick Recap of My 2017 Planning Goals

  1. Not to join any bees, to concentrate on "selfish sewing"
  2. Join another quilt a long, I enjoy these
  3. Another quilt for my own bed, using Cotton & Steel fabrics
  4. A collaboration with another quilter, using Cotton & Steel as above
  5. A quilt or two for my daughter
  6. Enjoy this hobby and strengthen my quilting friendships
So, How Did I DO?
  1. I joined a bee. How could I not? A personal invitation and three friends already in the bee.
  2. I have participated in two quilt a longs, firstly Freefall with Sandra, and then Wayward Transparency with Yvonne,
  3.  No quilt for my own bed as yet, though lots of hst made
  4. Susan and I collaborated, and Tish joined in. Only Tish finished!
  5. Success! A grey and white houndstooth quilt for my daughter's own bed and a partially quilted circles quilt for her spare room.
  6. Success, I have made some new friends, and strengthened those from before.

Plans For 2018

to be honest, much the same as this year.
  1. I will continue in the Beeabee, this year we are helping each other to finish up wips
  2. I will probably join in another quilt a long, I enjoy them and there is usually the prospect of winning a prize!
  3. Finish or make more of a start on the Cotton & Steel quilt, though possibly not for my own bed,
  4. Most important for this year, make a wedding quilt for my USA based son and his wife to be
  5. Collaborate with a quilting friend on a project - I think this may be in hand
  6. Make a version of a Postcards from Sweden quilt, this may well overlap with above
  7. Enter lots of competitions  and win lots of prizes to fund this hobby!
  8. As before, continue to strengthen my online friendships
  9. On a personal level, get fit, get healthy, keep a good balance in life but most importantly, Have FUN
And there we are. All perfectly achievable.
2018 - Bring It On!
Helen x
linking up with

Saturday, 30 December 2017

#What The Fade - A Favourite Finish

My #wtf, designed by Andrea Mowry,  has been finished for a while. You may notice I haven't used the acronym as my title. Not really that keen on the type of followers who might be typing that into their search engine. They might be rather disappointed. Hell .... maybe I will just for fun!

Anyhow you may remember I bought, heavily invested in the yarn, for this at Yarnfolk way back in August. I am always open for suggestions, and the lovely Green Rabbit Designs suggested I join the #wtf knitalong. Sounded fun. You see, only back in August this year, I was looking at all the lovely yarn but found it hard to visualise actual finished things. And whilst I was happy to spend all that money on yarn for a cardigan or jumper, it seemed a lot for a shawl. Two things to learn here, the pleasure is in the process, so a win here. And secondly, a shawl is an essential part of a wardrobe, cosy, warm, toasty, a great cover up and not actually for fish wives or fortune tellers. So win win.

The brioche knitting was the hardest technique I have ever tried. It is way harder than aran knitting, or colour knitting. I might not be very good at either of these but I can in theory do them. Once mastered the brioche was ok, and gives a great reversible look. I can see me doing it again. The important thing is lifeline, lifeline, lifeline. Pre brioche knitting I would never have understood why dental floss could be part of a knitter's bag.  Now I know. Secrets have been passed on.

I have been wearing this shawl pretty constantly since the finish in November. I wear it both outdoors and indoors. I think it is becoming my security blanket, certainly its great for keeping the draughts off the back of the neck. I wore it on a weekend with friends in London, and barely took it off to sleep
 the weather was so cold.

I did get loads of photos that weekend, but problematically there were other people in the photos who choose to remain anonymous. My husband (that's what he thinks!) and  friends who have not as yet signed consent forms!!

There are 6 different yarns in this shawl, all sourced from the skein queen based in Yorkshire. The yarns are all fingering weight, that's 4 ply in old money. Four of them are 100% superwash merino, and two are 80% superwash merino, 20% silk. Unfortunately the labels don't have the actual shade names on them, only one does, neon coral.

I do have loads of yarn left. This may well annoy some people, they don't like leftovers. Me? I love leftovers. I will enjoy using these leftovers up. I am not sure which pleases me more - playing yarn chicken and having just enough to do, or having loads left to "do something with" later. I love having lots of turkey and ham left in the fridge after Christmas. After a couple of days the husband gets edgy and wants to "clear the fridge out". No we don't - turkey and ham pie, yum. Tonight's tea, ham and chips, even more yum. In all truth this year, our turkey didn't make it past Boxing Day this year. Which is great, good to see it all eaten up.

This finish was part of my Finish A Long for 2017.                                                                                 

This brings me on to the second part of this post. The rampaging hordes returned for Christmas. Well, hardly rampaging, but there were 9 of us this year. Loved it! The house seems so deathly quiet now they have all gone home. I had this daft idea that I would knit everybody a hat to wear for spontaneous hilarity - you know - like the hilarious spontaneous families in the Christmas tv programmes. I managed to make it to 8 hats then lost steam.

 Everybody did cooperate with Mother's little pipe dream and we had some fun with them. Again, in the interests of privacy, I don't want to post all the photos, but here's a few.
We had a Santa hat.

We had a Santa hat with beard.
We had an Elf hat.

We had a baby Elf hat with bell, which even made it on his head!
We had a Christmas Pudding Hat

We had an Igloo hat with smoke hole

We had a Christmas Tree hat
And we had a Snowman hat
living in N Ireland,
this became a paramilitary snowman!
Like all things in life there is a lesson in these hats - the Elf hats and the Christmas pudding hat which were "proper wool" were quite nice to wear. The Santa hats and the snowman hat were acrylic and were less pleasurable on the head and stretched beyond all recognition very quickly. Then again they weren't knitted for longevity. Considering all the hats, bar one, came "out of my head" without a pattern, I am pretty pleased. And I soon left the one pattern I did  use. What next for next year? Christmas socks? Nine pairs? Don't think so!

Helen x