Monday, 30 January 2012

Here they are ...

... at last, my fabrics for the Lone Star quilt have arrived.  There were 2 packages, both coming from the same shop, both shipped on the same day.  11 days later, one of the packages arrived safely, but the other one seemed to have disappeared into thin air.  After waiting another week, I contacted the shop to ask them if they could investigate this disappearance.  You can guess what happened next, can't you?  Yep, the following day the missing package turned up.  Well, strictly speaking, it didn't turn up, but Royal Mail left me a note while I was out to say that they were holding the poor thing hostage until I paid a large ransom.  So what could I do?  I paid up, and now have all these fabrics ready for me to start my quilt at last.

BUT - I have a dilemma.  I seem to have accidentally ordered the black and the beige in the same pattern, so, should I change it for the black in this photo?

Any thoughts anyone?

By the way, this Saturday is the Lone Star Support Group meeting, with Jayne as our hostess over at Jayne's Quilting Room.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

I'm back ...

... from wherever I've been!

Actually I haven't been anywhere, and I just don't know where last week went.  I think I did a Sleeping Beauty, (or is it Rip van Winkle?) for a week and have just woken up again.  The only thing of note really is that I have done my tax return for this year, so now I know how much I owe the tax man - ugh.

I have also realised what a very bad blogger I have been.  In December I was lucky enough to win two giveaways, and I have only just got round to showing you the great things I won.

Firstly, I won a selection of handmade cards from Rhonda at Quiltnut Creations.  I had seen some of Rhonda's cards before on her blog, but when they arrived I almost couldn't bring myself to use them, they were so lovely.  I have though, and several of the people I sent them to have commented on how lovely they are.   Thanks so much Rhonda.

Then Linda from Living the Dream celebrated her first blogiversary by giving away a voucher to a great online shop called Intrepid Thread, and I was the lucky winner.  It took me ages to decide what to buy, but I did eventually manage to make a decision.  These are the fabrics I chose.  They are so different to my usual style and colours, and I love them.  When I ordered them, I knew just what I was going to do with them.  Unfortunately, I have now managed to forget!  Still, it doesn't matter really, cos they're so lovely I am happy just getting them out of the cupboard and stroking them.  Thanks Linda for picking my name out.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

The winner ...

.... just before I tell you who won, I thought I'd show you a couple of pictures.

I took this picture this morning in my garden.  Roses, blooming in January?  In the UK?  What's going on?  Last January, we had this:

Now, the winner.  By the time I had given followers their extra entry, and deleted a couple who said they did not want to be included in the actual draw as they already had the book, there were 82 entries.  Then I paid Mr Random.Org a visit and asked him to chose the lucky number.  This is the number chose:
and number 16 was the additional "follower entry" from Jayne of Jayne's Quilting Room

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Aarghhhhhh ...

I never learn.  Big Bertha does NOT like dark green batik fabric.  I knew it from past experience, so why did I think anything would be different this time?

This is what happens every time she had to sew backwards on the green fabric. Can you see that very long skipped stitch?

Just to prove that it's only with the batik, this is a picture of the same part of the pattern but on ordinary fabric.  Spot the difference?

By the way, there's still time to enter my giveaway, here.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Giveaway update ...

Several people have contacted me to say they can't leave comments (again) on my blog.  Blogger have been told, but who knows if they will be able to help, but meanwhile, if you would like to enter the giveaway, but can't do so through the comments, just send me an email and I will post your comment for you.  Also, please do tell me if you are a follower, as that gives you an extra chance to win.

You have until Friday to enter, and I will announce the winner on Saturday.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Giveaway ...

Oops.  Edited to add that  I also wanted to say that there is no Christmas Quiltalong day in January.  The first one for 2012 will be on 11February, and our hostess will be Hazel from Hazel's Quilts, so don't forget to pay her a visit on that day.
... cos it's my birthday (well, it was yesterday) I decided last night that I should have a giveaway.  I bet you can't guess what you could win?  Yes, an autographed copy of my book is the prize.
All my life I have disliked having a birthday close to Christmas, and envied my sister, who has hers in June.  I've often thought I should be like the Queen, and have 2 birthdays.  She has a real one, and an official one.  Her official one is when all the ceremonial parades etc are held- and I guess that's when she has her ceremonial party, presents and cake too.  So, all you have to do is tell me when you think I should have my Official birthday.  

Here's the small print.  The giveaway will close on Friday 20 January and I will ask Mr Random Generator to pick the winner on Saturday 21 January.  The giveaway is open to anyone, but followers will have an additional entry, as long as you tell me you are one. Finally, if you are a no-reply blogger, you will have to leave me an email address, so that I can contact you if you win.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Happy birthday ...

... to us:

Chatterbox and I share a birthday.  One of us is 10 years old today.  The other one is older!

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Lone Star day - Post 5

I want to thank everyone who took part in yesterday's Lone Star day.  It was an interesting day and it's going to be great to have a group we can call on when we (i.e. "I") run into trouble.

Lynn  is going to be using the Eleanor Burns book that I am also working from.  She was lucky enough to be given a Go! cutter for Christmas and will be using that to cut the strips.  She went fabric shopping yesterday (what wouldn't I give to have a shop near enough to do that) and I love the fabrics she's chosen.

Elizabeth actually started her quilt before Jane and I officially announced this group.  She is using a free pattern she found online and some gorgeous blue and green fabrics.  It could be very useful having Elizabeth further on than the rest of us, as she can test this pattern for us, and has already found one error in it.

Hazel has drawn up a gorgeous design, in exactly her colours.  She also asked for advice on books, and has received some useful feedback already.

Teresa has told us about nine books on the subject, and they all look great.  She is not new to Lone Star quilts, having made four, yes that's right, four of them in the past.

Last, but by no means least, my co-host Jayne, was delighted to find that she was much further on than she remembered on the quilt that she started nearly 20 years ago and that she intends to finish with the help of this "quiltalong".

I also want to thank everyone else who helped by making suggestions about my quilt centre, and the tips we were given about starching everything.  (I'm still not sure if we have to starch ourselves though before we start cutting!)

The next Lone Star day will be on the first Saturday of February (which I think is 4 February), when Jayne will be the hostess.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Lone Star Day - post 4

I did say I'd talk about the books I have that are all about Lone Star quilts.

The first one I bought was Radiant Star Quilts by Eleanor Burns.  I bought this last September (I've been planning this for some time, as you will gather).  I wasn't over-inspired by the quilts, but the instructions seem quite good, although I did find the layout a bit confusing and I had to read through the whole book a couple of times before I "got" it.

Then a friend, Tessie's Mum, showed me All-Star Quilts by Helen Frost and Blanche Young.  The quilts in this book are just wonderful and the instructions were far easier to understand straight away.  I fell in love with one of the quilts in there, but I thought I'd better remember the old saying about not running before I can walk, so I'm not doing that one just yet.

Bilbo Waggins highly recommends Jan Krentz' book called Lone Star Quilts and Beyond.  I haven't seen this book myself, but I have seen pictures of some of the quilts in it and they look fabulous.

 Don't forget, if you are posting anything about your own Lone Star quilt plans, please do sign in on the Linky, here, so we can all visit and see what you're up to.

Lone Star day - post 3

I guess I should have said that I have not tested the instructions in the links I gave in the previous post, and therefore can give no guarantee as to their correctness.  They do look OK though on a quick glance!

This gorgeous quilt has been made by my friend BilboWaggins (aka Queen of the Spray Starch Can).  This is the only Lone Star quilt she has made so far, but she has b i i i g  plans for another one.  Don't go rushing over to her blog though to look for quilt inspirations, fabrics, or even the tiniest little piece of thread showing.  She moved into a new house a couple of years ago, with a huge garden that needed totally revamping.  She reckons that's her excuse for not having done any quilting lately.  Personally, I think she's just being lazy!

I know the one tip she would want to share with us though is to starch everything!  I wonder if we have to spray ourselves and our cutters too?

Don't forget to Link here, if you're writing about your Lone Star adventures.  Dinner needs more attention, so I'll be back in a while to talk about books.

Lone Star day, post 2

Hello again.
Sorry to be late back from lunch. You can blame my daughter, Mrs Nomad, who called in for a coffee and gossip! Anyway, as I promised, here are some links to free patterns for this quilt.

  • The first one, here, was supplied by Elizabeth from Sand and Sunshine.  She has already started her quilt, and has discovered an error in the pattern, which she writes about on her blog.  Thanks for the input Elizabeth, that's just the sort of information I was hoping we'd be able to share on these days.

I found all the following by just googling something like "free Lone Star patterns"

  • Kaye Wood's Shimmering Star .  This one does make sense, but you need to read it carefully to see what she means in one or two places.
  • All People Quilt have a pattern for a quilt, here with a Lone Star in the centre, surrounded by LeMoyne Stars, but the Lone star is strip pieced.
  • Free have a section where someone asks for an easy strip pieced Lone Star pattern, and if you click on this link, you can scroll down until you get to the question and the answer.
They are all for strip pieced versions.  I am sure there are also free patterns for anyone who really wants to cut out individual diamonds and sew them together, but for myself I would prefer to do it this way.

I must go and get the dinner on, then I'll be back and will tell you about a couple of books with great patterns in.

Don't forget, you can link your posts here, and feel free to take the button from my sidebar too, if you would like to help spread the word.

Welcome to …

Lone Star button150... the first Lone Star Quiltalong Day.  As I said in my previous post, here, this is not a conventional quiltalong, more of a mutual support group.  So, no instructions, no deadlines, no anything else really.  I hope people will join us, sign up to the Linky below, and write about their experience with this pattern.

Today I am not sewing, because I only ordered the fabrics yesterday - yes, OK, stop muttering about the lack of planning.  It's ordered now OK?  I couldn't do it before, cos I only finalised the design I plan to work on yesterday.

Here is the design I've come up with.  Actually, to be precise, here are the designs I've come up with.  They are both the same, but I can't decide whether to have a dark centre star or a light one.  One book I've read says you should always have a light one, so the light seems to radiate out from it and that you should never have a dark one cos it looks like a black hole, and the other book says exactly the opposite.  I like them both, so I thought I'd ask you for some help.  Which of the two looks better?
Lone Star dark          Lone Star light
Later on (after I've had lunch) I'll come back and tell you about some pattern sources I've found, and I hope you'll all chip in there too.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Remember this ...

The quilt I asked you all to help me overcome the urge to make?

Yes, well, you were no help at all!  In fact, you were quite the opposite.

Quite a few of you even said that you would make one too, if I would run a quiltalong for it.

Well, thanks.  I thought you were meant to be my friends.

Then Jayne, from Jayne's Quilting Room encouraged me even more by saying that she would like to help host this mad project, sooo, here's what we are proposing:
  1. We will not be providing patterns or instructions, but we will try to suggest places where patterns are available;
  2. You can write posts about your progress on your blog, and then sign in to a Linky on one of our blogs on the first Saturday of the month, so we can see each other's progress (or not);
  3. There are no other rules/timescales/competitions/etc. except Rule 4 below; 
  4. You have to encourage me cos I think I might struggle with this quilt.
I have put a button on my sidebar, with the code underneath for anyone who wants to help spread the word.

Now, I'm off to try and choose and order some fabrics, decide on the final design, etc.  I will have the linky here on Saturday, when I will also do a post showing what I've decided.

So, who's going to join us I wonder?  Or have you all thought better of it now?

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Happy New Year ...

... to everybody.  I hope 2012 is good to you all.

New year glitter comments, animated newyear gif scraps, happy new year wishes
We had a great Christmas, with lots of family time, food, laughter, etc.  I think we're getting old though, cos last night we could barely keep our eyes open long enough to see in the new year!  We did manage to stay awake long enough to watch the firework display from London on the TV and it was fantastic.
09 10