Downton Abbey Mystery Quilt Along

I received a VERY special parcel today. I ordered a quilt kit and backing kit from Ebony Love of LoveBug Studios in Illanois,USA late last year as part of her Downton Abbey mystery quilt along. The poor girl was short-shipped by about 16 bolts of fabric on her shipment from the manufacturer so her kits were not dispatched in time. I’ve been following the block reveals each week via email and her blog and have so been looking forward to receiving my kit, and it finally arrived today – I couldn’t get to the post office quick enough!

I chose to receive a kit with all pieces for the quilt blocks already cut using a die cutter. I’m not personally familiar with this process of cutting fabric and I wasn’t confident enough with my own abilities to convert her instructions to rotary cutting which is why I picked a kit that was pre-cut. I have NEVER received such a beautifully packaged kit, embroidery or quilting, before. Check out the photos below. Each quilt block has been packaged separately in black bags and somehow she even managed to send through customs international shipping some yummy Twinings tea to enjoy while watching the next season of Downton!

I am really looking forward to starting this quilt although I’ll definitely be restraining myself from starting it until I’ve got a couple of UFOs complete so I can concentrate on this fully – I’m quite sure this will take my complete concentration to make sure I don’t make a mistake!

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Christmas, Oriental quilt and dressmaking

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and you’ve all had a chance to recover from the festivities.

I was lucky enough to be given some fantastic presents including an embroidery kit for a project by Hazel Blomkamp (see Midnight Meander http://www.hazelblomkamp.co.za/component/virtuemart/02-patterns-and-kits/crewel-twists/02-midnight-meander/midnight-meander-full-kit-detail?Itemid=0 – this will have to be added to my project list at some stage!), a Japanese dressmaking book which is (unfortunately?) in Japanese so I will be attempting to Google Translate the sections I can’t work out from the pictures, and a voucher for a local quilt shop.  I was with my grandmother when she bought the voucher for the quilt shop, and managed to convince the shopkeepers to hold off on opening their recently received shipment of Downton Abbey fabrics until I can get there when they re-open in the new year, for first pick of the new fabrics!

Today I went on a little trip with my mother in law down to a different local quilt shop and finished purchasing the coordinating fabrics needed to start and complete an Oriental quilt for a wonderful friend of mine.  Below are a couple of the photos I have taken tonight, a little snippet of the fabrics which will be used (along with an off white background with black backing and binding), cutting the main fabrics into strips and pinning them together to be stitched.  I’m hoping to get these strips stitched over the next day or two.  The photo below of the blue and white quilt is the pattern I’m using for this quilt.

I dug out my gran’s embroidered basket quilt and tomorrow will have a good look at it and refresh my memory as to what we decided on doing with the quilt top.  I need to have it ready by the end of the week to give to a friend of mine to quilt over the school holidays.  A photo of that is below.

Finally, I have also managed to get my poor sick overlocker working again, and have overlocked a dress for myself and stitched it together (photo below).  I have the binding around the neckline and armholes pinned and ready to be stitched.  I’m hoping to have this complete before starting back at work in around a week’s time.  I had a major clean out of my wardrobe about two months ago and desperately need some new clothes to wear, so I’m glad my overlocker is back in action!

Happy stitching!  I promise to have more actual embroidery done ready to show you in the next week or so!IMG_2624 IMG_2650 IMG_2661 IMG_2663 IMG_2664 IMG_2665 IMG_2668 IMG_2669

Christmas decorations, and Downton Abbey addiction explained

We still need five more likes on the Facebook page to reach the goal of 30, at which point I will draw the winner of a Christmas decoration.  Please, help me and share with your friends and encourage them to like the page!

I have managed to get the Christmas decorations well underway.  Last night I checked that I had finished all of the embroidery, cut the squares to size including the backing fabric and pinned the squares ready for stitching.  Then I realised that I had no ribbon for the hangers to be able to hang them on the tree!  So it was a mad dash to Lincraft today to get some ribbon and now the decorations are neatly pinned and stacked, ready to be stitched and stuffed tonight.  photo(2)

Hopefully I will also have time tonight to iron, pin and stitch the next borders onto the Sweetcakes quilt.  Not likely though, but we’ll live in hope.

Over the weekend I mentioned a current addiction of mine to Downton Abbey.  This has come about in part because I have signed up for a Mystery Quilt Along, using Downton Abbey fabrics that have recently been released by Andover Fabrics.  The Mystery Quilt Along is being run by a lady in the US named Ebony Love, of LoveBug Studios.  If you’re interested in the Quilt Along, I understand that you are still able to sign up even though we are in week 5 of the quilt along.  The link to Ebony’s page is here.

http://www.lovebugstudios.com/2013/11/10/week-1-downton-abbey-mystery-quilt-along-getting-started/

I have chosen the Dowager Countess fabric in the new Downton Abbey Line (see photos below from Andover’s website), and when I first read about this Quilt Along, I pre-ordered a die-cut quilt from Ebony Love.  Unfortunately, the poor girl had a short shipment from Andover of her fabric, by about 11 bolts – one bolt holds about 10 yards/metres of fabric, so in short she was over 100 yards short of fabric for the kits that she had pre-sold!  I knew that I was one of the only people outside the US who had ordered a kit, and I know how much of a pain it can be to ship internationally, so I let Ebony know that I was happy to go to the bottom of the list for kits.  Thankfully, she has been able to get her hands on the missing fabric and hopefully I will receive my kit early in the new year so I can get started on this fantastic quilt she has designed!  I’ve been receiving the revealed blocks and instructions each week, and I think I have signed up for something a little out of my depth as far as quilting is concerned, but I’m sure I will keep you amused in the meantime of my mistakes and lessons learnt in the process!

http://andoverfabrics.com/Grid.php?GroupName=Downton%20Abbey

Until my kit arrives, I’m re-watching seasons 1-3 of Downton Abbey on DVD to get my fix!