Christmas Quilt 22 – 35 / 100

So this is two weeks late and I have a reason. I ran out of thread. Why didn’t I just go to the shops on a weekend and grab some? Because I haven’t found a shop within an hour’s drive that sells 100% cotton. So I had to order online and wait a week. That already put me behind one week and last week was the girls last week at school. So lots of things going on and some deep cleaning before they’re home for six weeks. What I have learnt is that I need to be more organised and know what I have.

I spent the best part of yesterday sewing 14 of these blocks to catch up with my plan. It’s going to take some time joining and quilting this and I want to finish it by Christmas, so no breaks. Anyway here they are.

22 - 28 29 - 35

I’ve started using the new Christmas fabrics and I’m liking most I them. The reindeer print has purple in it and for me it sticks out to much. So I’m wondering whether to add another Christmas purple print, a solid purple colour or just leave it be. Let me know what you think.

>>> Nicole x

Christmas Quilt 15 – 21 / 100

Last week was not my week. I came down with some kind of summer cold and spent most of last week with a headache and a unusually high temperature. At one point I had two ice packs being moved around me to try and take my temperature down because it felt like my skin was I fire. I couldn’t move without my body hurting. Luckily as quickly as I came down with this wierd cold it went over night on Saturday. So I got to spend Sunday with my family at the beach. I spent the afternoon finishing the weeks blocks and looking at Christmas fabrics.

After a few blocks the chapter changed to rectangles. I’ve already flipped through this book a few times and most of me favourite blocks are in this chapter.

Ready to see the next seven blocks?

21 - 100

There are a couple here that I’m not overly keen on. Not going to say which because they might grow on me or they might look great amongst all the other blocks. But that top orange one I adore. I want to make a quilt with crosses all over when I see that one.

I really want to work on my kaleidoscope quilt this week and get that quilted. I’m going to give free motion quilting a try so I’m excited and nervous (first time fmq and doing it on a big quilt), so I’m open to changing the quilting design if it doesn’t work out. Have a great week 😊

 

>>> Nicole x

Christmas Quilt 8 – 14 / 100

I love making these blocks but one a day? It isn’t working out that way and is more of a make two one day, three another and rush two on Monday. You know what would help me make this easier. A sewing corner. Somewhere I can hang all my rulers, scissors and boards. Also a smaller cutting board (my one is over a meter square), and it’s not pratical getting it out everyday when cutting 1 inch squares. I’m really enjoying this block challenge (and they look amazing), so if a little organisation and diy’ing sorts out my little problem, that’s what I’ll do 😜

So how is the blocks going. Brilliantly! 

14 - 100

I’m looking to add some more solids (particularly orange) in the next batch and I’m keeping my eye out for some Christmas fabric. Think I’ll buy far quarters instead of charm packs, I’m getting so much 1/4 inch and scrappy waste when cutting them up.

Well I’m off to go plan a peg board for under my stairs and search fort missing six inch square ruler (it’s small and clear so it’s a needle in the haystack!)

>>> Nicole x

Christmas Quilt 7/100

very productive this week despite me feeling under the weather. Let me start with what I’ve done in the garden. We have the sandpit full of sand, plum slate around it (really cant be bothered with the hassle of getting a strimmer around the pit), bought and painted the white fence, bought some ferns and star solar lights (we now have two rows hanging under each other – so pretty at night). It is what I pictured when I had my girls all those years ago and dreamed of the perfect play area for them, and the girls haven’t stopped playing in it. The only thing left that I want to add is a treasure chest or something full of glass pebbles, shells, mini beach huts and bits for imaginative play. E.Js dinosaurs have already invaded the sand pit but she’s told me they will be the fairies pets.

girls sandpit cornerSo onto the reason for this post, the Christmas quilt. I told you last time that I have given myself the challenge to make the 100 blocks from Tula Pinks 100 modern quilt blocks in 100 days. One week in and look how pretty 😍

7-100

This quilt is going to be so colourful and bright, much needed on the early and cold nights in winter. I definitely want to add some more Christmas fabrics in the mix so if anyone has seen any really cute quirky ones, let me know! I’m going to buy ready cut 2.5″ white strips to go join them together, and I’m thinking of a red to green variegated thread to quilt with. Only six months till Christmas! Not that I’m counting …

>>>Nicole x

The starting of a challenge – Christmas Quilt

I bought myself a belated birthday the other day … Tula Pink’s 100 modern quilt blocks. It was impulsive but I’m happy I did. I’d spent a few days looking through the blocks and not really drawing up any plans on how I was going to use them. Then during one of early mornings (puppies don’t seem to know that four in the morning is not the time to want to play), it hit me.

tula pink 100 modern blocks I should make every one of these blocks in a 100 block challenge. I’d make one a day and by the end of September I’d have finish them and could make it into a quilt. I decided on making a colourful scrappy quilt and then I thought of one better. I’d make it using only Christmas fabrics. I bought a Moda charm pack at the quilt show last year and every year I plan on making one. I’d have the blocks finished by the end of September and it shouldn’t take more then a month to get make the front, quilt it and bind it. The pieces were falling to perfectly to not go with this option.

christmas quilt fabric

I have some HST’s and I might chop into them if I need them or make them up as part of the backing. I am planning on making a start today with block number one. I will post on Mondays the seven completed blocks, or if you want a daily update follow me on twitter (@homemade_nicole) or instagram (@homemade_by_nicole).

>>> Nicole x

catch up – June 2016

It has been too long since I’ve sat at this computer typing. I’ve spent plenty of time browsing furniture for our house, not that I’ve bought any yet. I have no idea what colours or furniture I want in each room; last week it was geometric and copper and this week bright abstract florals and textiles. I just cant make up my mind. I did buy a light for our bedroom (pictured below), it is amazing. My room is still not unpacked and I’m really not sure what furniture to buy. We wanted our bedroom to look calming and minimal, for us that means walls not being overtaken by furniture.

home lifeLet me explain the bright pink sand pit you see above. The girls are having a beach themed fairy corner in the really awkward nothing can grow there shady spot of the garden. I let them pick the paint after school one day and out of the range of pastels and beach blues, they chose the brightest pink they had. I’m hoping once the sand, gravel and flowers are added it will calm it down, but on the bright side it is attracting a lot of bees.

How are the girls? Doing great. Two years ago homeschooling was the right choice for our family and now it seems going back to school was another right choice. My biggest worry was that they’d be academically behind and that would hold them back in class, but I must have done a good job somewhere because they are both coping really well. I love that being at home means I get to go to all the parent activities with them and I know how lucky I am to be able to. I still count the hours till I pick them up but at least the house doesn’t seem so hauntingly quiet anymore.

Our dog Andy on the other hand hadn’t taken the move so well and was missing his doggy pals back home. And with the girls now gone throughout the day, he became so sad. He was not our happy fluffy dog we were used to. So we made the decision to add another puppy to the family, meet Jack.

new puppy JackHe is a yorkshire terrier like Andy and we’ve had him now for four days. Andy won’t be in the same room with him at the moment unless he is asleep because he is just so full of energy and chases him around. Once Jacks had his vaccinations and out walking it will help the two of them bond and I’m sure they’ll become inseparable.

I’ve been buying bits for the kaleidoscope quilt, which has taken some time. I didn’t want to order anything over half term because we was out most of it so noone was able to collect deliveries, trying to find wide backing material is near impossible and once I got all the bits I’d needed my frixion pens had no ink. I’m now waiting on those and now I keep changing how I want to quilt it. The quilting will really only show on the grey spraytime fabric and the backing so I want it to be something that enhances the pattern, but I don’t want to over do it. What I need is a wall I can hang my quilts I’m working on so that inspiration can hit me with an idea when I least expect it.

Well that’s it for now, take care

 

>>> Nicole x

 

my kaleidoscope quilt – update

I took a mini break from blogging to focus on my home. It’s had been a month since we moved and most of things were in boxes and I was still pulling my clothes out from a suitcase. So we focused on building our built in wardrobe, under stairs shelving, tidying the garden and organising of the kitchen cupboards. I feel much better and more at home when I can find my clothes in a drawer and my favourite mug in a cupboard. So what was I doing when I wasn’t sawing up wood? Making the top of the now named kaleidoscope quilt of course.

 

kaleidoscope ..Sorry for the blurry picture, it was taken with me standing on a chair to try and get the whole thing in, there was some wobbling involved. I love it! It has quickly become one of my favourite quilts to date and so much fun to make. Now it needs some quilting which will have to wait till I get some backing, wadding and the right thread (I’m very picky).

One of the many perks of living near the beach along with the ice creams is being able to unwind on the beach with my girls after a long day on the beach.

beach fun after school

Seriously, I can’t think of anything better.

 

>>> Nicole x

Experimenting with Pattern

So I decided yesterday to finally get my new machine out to play with. I had this half a jelly roll for some time and I had made a sampler block with a couple of strips but I’ve never really been inspired to make anything with it. So it was perfect for just some playing around with patterns and testing out the new machine.

block 1

This was a fun one to make and I multiplied it to see what it would look like as a lap quilt top …

block 1 multiplied

… but it is really to patterned to make anything bigger I think without a plain to bring some balance to it.

So I then used the strips and added a neutral spraytime fabric …

block 2

Now I only was able to make one corner but by reversing the photo etc I managed to see what the pattern could look like. I liked this one a lot so again I multiplied it …

block 2 multiplied by 4… and this is now just screaming for me to make it. It will look more mismatched as each of the jellyroll strips are different fabrics, but I think that will add to the kaleidoscope feel of the quilt. I’ve just spent the morning trying to find the spraytime fabric I had used (I only had a fat quarter left), and have narrowed it down to two (because you can’t trust computer screen colours). With just the blocks the quilt will roughly be 40″ square and I’d like it to be slightly bigger so I’m adding a border to it of maybe 3″ in a dark blue spraytime. So now I’m just waiting for the postman to come. Looks like I found something to do while the girls are in school after all 🙂

>>> Nicole x

Pancakes and Paw Prints

 The girls are back in school and I am terrible at remembering to buy food for their lunch box. I’m so used to cooking them a lunch at home or popping to the shops with them if 12 o’clock comes around and I’ve run out of bread. So every evening I’ve been getting creative with their snacks. Thankfully I always have fruit and veg on hand so the healthy part of the lunch is always done. But I haven’t mastered buying the snack part. Last week I made short bread biscuits from my sisters site Sophie Archer photography, which were not only a hit with the girls, but I was told their friends liked them too. Then on Sunday I made honey cupcakes which should have done this weeks snack, but they were really good with a cup of tea … oops. So today I decided to make them miniature pancakes with a side of strawberries. The girls love my pancakes and when they were home schooled I maybe made them a few times a week. So I shrunk them to fit in their snack box and I think they look adorable.

pancake recipe card 1

To make I just mix all the ingredients together (its not fussy), and I add enough milk to give it a smooth cake like batter consistency. I’ve never measured properly but I’m roughing it at 150ml, these pancakes aren’t to fussed about accurate measuring. I then drop a spoonful into a hot slightly buttered pan (I actually use an oil cooking spray but have tried with butter and taste equally as good). And when it starts to bubble flip it over and leave until the underside is golden brown (should only take 30 seconds max on miniature pancakes, longer if making full size ones). Top with fruits (and syrup) and enjoy!

Now … have you ever tried doing paw prints with your dog? I’m sitting here with black paint over me and I can tell you its a messy job. Anyone with dogs can tell you they become part of the family and I wanted something more then just a photo to go on our wall. So like I did with the girls and their hand prints I did paw prints.

Andy paw print1

Advice if you are going to try this use washable paints (kid safe or finger paints are good), do it in a bathroom or outside with the door closed (maybe before the dogs bath), wear old clothes and get a helper. Because holding a dog while trying to paint their paws gets messy if they escape and run around the room (again do it somewhere you can wipe down). I don’t think its come out too bad. I would love to redo that writing, but I think doggy paw printing was a one time experience for this house 🙂

>>> Nicole x

E.j’s Quilt

So I spent the best part of yesterday morning finding all my sewing bits because I was determined that on their first week of school I would complete E.j’s quilt. It was so close to finishing, just the binding needed to be made and sewn on. The best part of hand sewing for me is being able to catch up on all my missed t.v, films and singing along to songs. I surprised her with it after school and she is thrilled with it. It went everywhere with her, even to dinner (which she wont to again after a pizza slice fell on it). I don’t actually know the name for this pattern or if it has one but it was really simple and quick to make up, definitely one that I would happily make again. I added a border to match the red ‘frames’ so it framed the whole quilt. Next time though I would choose carefully where I put each charm square so the red ‘frames’ capture the pictures, not the patterned charm squares.

ejs quilt

I love taking walks along the sea with the dog in the morning. It kick starts my day, inspires me and is the perfect place to go to be alone with my thoughts (what would make it perfect is a coffee to go but a girl can dream). Going to the beach in the morning also gives me a chance to find all the things the sea brings in over night, and it never disappoints. This was today’s find.

what the tide bought in

On closer inspection on the wood it looks like all those holes are made by the shell creatures. I don’t even know how they do it but it amazed me, I wanted to bring it home but it was a rather large piece of wood and I didn’t know if any creatures were still living in it.

This weekend will be spent eating hot doughnuts, 2p machine and monstrous sand castle building after the girls first week at school. I can’t wait to have them back home.

>>> Nicole x