Getting Back into the Swing of Things

It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve been able to do a post. Largely because of summer visitors – one of life’s pleasures when you live in Spain. Even though our guest room doubles as my sewing room, visitors wouldn’t have stopped me working as I frequently move the sewing table out onto the terrace and work there. The thing that really stopped me was the outrageously high temperatures we had at the beginning of September. Very unseasonal. It is usually August that is the hottest month, and even then I usually manage to do something even if not every day, but it was impossible. We had temperatures of Over 40C day after day. But, anyway, the visitors have gone (for now) and the temperatures are back to normal so with a sigh of relief I have been able to get back into my normal routine.

The first job to do was make this month’s postcards and birthday block and get them in the post. Our theme for Postcards From Around the World was ‘A Song Title’. I chose to do ‘Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes’ by Paul Simon. It gave me an opportunity to use my lovely Hotfix tool and I also did this one because it reminds me of my daughter’s wedding as she Hotfixed  the platform soles and very high heels of all her bridesmaids’ shoes, so we had the record played at the reception. For this card I did a rubbing of the sole of my trainer with a paintstick, did some free-motion quilting around the design lines and then added the hotfix gems.

Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes, Paul Simon. Barbara to L & K

We had no theme for the Free Motion Quilting postcard group and I wanted to try out a lovely new metallic thread I bought, so I have cut up a landscape piece that I did and didn’t like and used a piece of this as a basis for the card. The flowers were just the right colour for the thread, so all I have done is free motion over them and extend them into the rest of the card. I love the effect this made and will probably make a few more to send out as birthday cards.

Sept fmq

I also had a birthday block to do for September. This lady chose blue and white and stars for her theme which fitted very well with the block I have done for most of the birthday group.

Sept Block

Some progress has been made on the baby quilt in that all of the piecing is now done and there is just the embroidery to tackle. I did wonder about embroidering through all the layers so that the embroidery effectively quilted itself, but having tried it out I think it would result in those parts feeling too hard and rigid – especially for a baby quilt. So the embroidery will be done first and then the quilting. Here is the finished background:


Thoroughly enjoyed making all those Flying Geese and I’m looking for reasons to do some more.

I also made a sample piece (more Flying Geese!) to test out the Penguin embroidery and see how it stitched and how it looks, and to test out which snowflakes to use and what colour to do them. Here it is:


Isn’t he a little cutie? I tried 3 types of snowflake but have decided on the one you can see at bottom left in silver. I tried 3 in all – one was too posh, the other you couldn’t see very well, but the third was perfect, so that’s the one I’ll go with. Now the testing is done it’s time to get down to the real thing! (Penguins are from Lindeegembroidery, Snowflakes from Designs by JUJU)

As well as the sewing I’ve taken on a couple of other things, one of which is producing a newsletter for our quilt group. The first one has just been finished and will be sent out to members today. One of the things I want as a regular feature is a block each month in 2 sizes. This month I chose a block called Summer Nights (we’ve had some very hot ones just recently, so I thought that was appropriate!).and I wanted to well and truly test my sizes and instructions, The Summer Nights blocks are the one in the picture that is the largest (12″) and the smallest at the top left (6″). Just goes to show how fabric placement can make a different to the appearance of a block. The third block on the bottom left, just ‘happened’ – you know how those things go…

This also gave me an opportunity to use my EQ7 and I have included some layout ideas for the block. Great fun. I haven’t done that sort of thing since I had my business and used to design custom quilt kits for customers. The newsletter will feature on our website once it has been approved and uploaded.

Summer Nights

The other thing I started to do this week – which is nothing to do with sewing – is that I have just this morning started to attend an Advanced Spanish class in a local centre called El Taller (The Workshop). I am being taught along with a young Frenchman called Julian by the very flamboyant Fernando – long hair, flowing shirt, expansive arm gestures – all very exciting.  Just thought I’d mention that one.

And last but not least I am teaching a mini-workshop this Wednesday to a few members of our group on how to make a small embroidered/quilted or otherwise decorated little bag – like a make-up bag. So here are my pieces prepared ready for that:

Make up bag prep2Make up bag prep3

They’ll look much better finished I can assure you! The 2 on the left have been free motion quilted first and then embroidered on my Janome 350e. The one on the right is a piece of fabric made ‘mile-a-minute’ style from scraps with some voile overlays in spirals and a few sequins here and there. The cord for this one has been made using toning DMC stranded embroidery threads on a Kumihimo ring. Great fun to do and I love being able to make a cord to match anything I want. I’ve made so many of these and used them for all sorts of things.

So that is this week’s progress – 2 weekends and the intervening 5 days, quite pleased with what I have achieved in that period. I’ll post the results of the mini-workshop on Wednesday. That’s all for now.


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