Thursday, 24 April 2014

Jaybird Quilts Sew Along

I am over at Sara's today...

So please pop over and take a better look at this little beauty...

... and don't forget to check out all the prizes on offer if you come and join the fun.


Jaybird Quilts Sew Along...

I am over at Sara's today...

So please pop over and take a better look at this little beauty...

... and don't forget to check out all the prizes on offer if you come and join the fun.


Wednesday, 23 April 2014

A Little Oakshotting...

Today I got to play with my Oakshott WiP/FAL listing, and laid the whole lot out on the lounge floor; oh how I love an empty house!

Having perfected the layout, I then stitched and trimmed a tonne of 9" HSTs ready for another day...

This is going to be a fun, summery quilt, which hopefully won't take too long to get finished; I have managed to clear a load of things off my To Do list since the kids went back to school and I hope I won't lose momentum too much after I go back to work tomorrow... groan.

I am not looking forward to that one bit, but thank goodness for May Day and bank holidays in the not too distant future.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

#DSTTchallenge revealed...

I am not sure why I have been slacking on this reveal, I am normally rather quick off the mark to toot my own trumpet!  Sorry.

So back at the beginning of the month when I read about the Dear Stella/Timeless Treasures 'modern traditional' challenge, I had one idea in mind, an old fashioned block in modern fabrics, (I can see you all nodding off already!), but I just couldn't get enthused about that.

I went back to basics; in fact I went back to the V&A collection of quilts (online) that had got me so excited about fabrics and sewing and all the things that I now obsess over; I trawled for something to get me going, and one quilt immediately did that...

This was made between 1740 and 1800 and look how modern it looks; it was love at first sight!  None of those brown basket type blocks I immediately think of as traditional.

I decided to recreate this in my DS/TT fabrics along with the quilting, which you can see a bit clearer if you look at the link.  Rotary cut, machine sewn, and purely decorative, a far cry from the original, but using only stash fabrics, I have, I hope, combined the best of what both eras have to offer.

So I cut and randomly stitched rather a lot of tiny pieces from 1.25" strips, using some of my Dear Stella Hadley fabrics, (what else!?), half a dozen different Sketch prints, some How to Make A Pillowcase text and more.

To me, the current love of low volume, text prints and pops of colour is not a long way from what was being sewn in the 18th century!

As per the rules, this quilt is entirely made of Dear Stella and Timeless Treasures fabrics and measures up at 20" square...

... and I even used an almost brown Hadley print for the backing as a further nod to the traditional roots of this mini-quilt...

This was entirely pieced and quilted in Aurifil (50wt 2021), another icon of the modern age of quilting.

I took a batch of photos to try and show off the quilt and the quilting as best as I could...

... and then I had fun with the garden centre models...

I really enjoyed researching and making this, which after all is what it is all about; yep the prizes are amazing, but I think I veered off at such a tangent that I can kiss those goodbye!

This mini-quilt really makes me happy in a way that piecing a non-brown basket block ever could; I call that a success!

I hope you have enjoyed my little foray into trying to be a little bit more meaningful in my stitching, but don't worry, I won't do it too often xxx

Monday, 21 April 2014

Popping in...

Well I am not the only one popping in to say hello today.  Just before 9am this morning we were greeted with the sight of an incoming hot air balloon...

It scooted over the neighbour's roof and came down on the cricket pitch/park at the bottom of our road, much to the surprise, delight and relief of us all!

You don't see that round here everyday; in fact you most usually just don't, especially this early in the day/season and heading south!  I am not a balloon expert, but I am guessing that making this landing was more luck than anything, especially judging by the raised voices and frantic burning that was going on!

And so my real reason for checking in is to direct you over to Sara - Sew Sweetness' blog, for full details of the Jaybirds Quilts Sew Along... yep I have a secret to reveal at last, well on Thursday to be precise!

Do check it out, there's also the opportunity to win some awesome swag if you join in the fun!

I hope you had a good bank holiday if you are in the UK, and a good Monday elsewhere; we went to the beach then shopping for a few Cub camp essentials, hence no sewing.

Tomorrow the kids are back to school, and I'll be home alone in a house still ridiculously full of chocolate; complete bliss!

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Love Sewing...

Not only a fact, but a new magazine too!  My subscription copy arrived this morning, complete with Liberty bonus booklet and a FQ of Kirstie fabric!

I had about 2 minutes to flick through it before heading out for a rather bracing Easter Egg hunt; 1 hour of clues and questions, up and down some rather big hills, and all for a cream egg for the kids!  Still, it means I can indulge later with a clear conscience.

So back home and after lunch, I pulled out the FQ and knew exactly what I wanted to make...

I used Svetlana's excellent tutorial to make this drawstring bag.  I haven't made a casing top like this one before, and I like how easy it was and how cool it looks.

The casing and lining were scraps I won from Collette, and they match perfectly, and I knew this was the project to use one of my long-time coveted and ultra-precious kerchief girls from Brit Bee Terri...

Finished off with some aqua ribbon, and only after I had finished, I realised not only was it the same colour, but a perfect fit for my filofax.

I would love to be able to tell you more about the actual magazine, but I haven't had the chance to really look yet.  However tomorrow I only have to cook the Easter lunch, so I am planning on putting my feet up, having a good read, and maybe eating a little chocolate; I am looking forward to it!

Friday, 18 April 2014

Girls day out!

The kids had fun with their grandparents today whilst hubby and I went to IKEA, (no Nummer print, NO NUMMER PRINT!!!) but a bag full of other things to make up for it.

The finished skittle dolls meanwhile, posed in the garden...

Neat pattern Jo!  I didn't use card or weights in the bases, these girls are for squidging, and my girls opted for fancy button flowers in their hair instead of felt, which was fine by me.  Honestly if you need a quick gift for a young lady in your life, these are perfect.

I hope you had a good Friday too x

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Stuff for the girls...

It was another 'put up or go out' day, and as hubby was off work too for the long weekend, we headed to the garden centre for an early lunch and potter about.  I also took some photos of my #DSTTchallenge mini quilt, which were quite fun, and I will get that post up soon, I promise.

Whilst the men mooched at home, the less tolerant ladies went to the park; we all played on the swings and they decided that they wanted one of Jo's skittle dolls each from Love Patchwork & Quilting 7.

So we came home and they chose their fabrics and embellishments, with albeit limited options and a mama-vito.  I have since turned these...

...into a pair of pretty ladies - I just have to finish stitching up their stuffing-holes, ahem ;)

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Not staying in...

By 8.15am this morning, we were enjoying the chainsaws, cement mixers and accompanying banter of workmen at the neighbours on both sides!

So we went out, drove to the Country park about 10 miles away; they played, I basted some hexies, we had a picnic, came home, too early, went out again, they rode bikes and played football, and I read magazines in the sun.  A busy outdoor day.

This evening I have been drafting a pattern that 99% works; the 1% is really niggling me!

I am going to go and ponder my problem, and hopefully have something to show you tomorrow other than the kids, again!

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Sidekick Tote II...

I wasn't up at 6.30am, but I was sewing again before 8, and by 10.30 I was all done bar stitching up the turning hole.

I then had an enforced break in proceedings, to shower, get dressed, go to the post office, feed the hungry and then spend a couple of hours at the park.

But my Sidekick Tote II is finished and turned out bloody lovely I reckon...

Anna's patterns are all so simple to follow, and having made this before, it was even easier than I remembered.  Honestly all the cutting and interfacing takes most of the time.  I didn't stick to the stitching order as per the pattern, using Aurifil 50wt 2021 for much of the piecing, and then swapping to a 28wt grey for all the top-stitching and remaining piecing.

As per my original, I added an extra loop to the strap to give it a good length for going across body without having to have a join in the main strap.  The only other mod was a reduced pocket size; I used the small flap pattern, and elongated the pocket but kept the width of the smaller one as I thought the larger sized was just a bit too overwhelming!

The fresh, bungie interfacing has made it look a little bit wobbly round the edges in these empty-bag photos, but trust me, all my darts match up, (a first!), and when loaded, or squeezed flat, it is perfectly rounded ;)

If you have never made a complicated bag before, this is possibly a good place to start; there is a non-pleated/bias-bound pocket option, and although there is a zipper, it is the easiest type to install.

Full info:
Main body - Ellen Luckett Baker - Garden print
Bias-binding, exterior top band, inner pocket & short strap outers - Essex yarn dyed linen - black
Interior top band & short strap inners - Essex linen - natural
Main & pocket lining - Alison Glass - Sunprint - yellow
Interfacing - Vilene H640 fusible fleece
Aurifil 50wt 2021, 28wt 2605

So now its back to the list of things I should be doing, with a smile on my face and snazzy bag on my arm!

Monday, 14 April 2014

Fun and sewing...

...or even fun sewing!

I prepped all the pieces for my Sidekick Tote and earlier this evening I started the stitching...

I now have pockets, straps, darts and all the 'little bits' made; hopefully I should get it finished tomorrow or Wednesday, depending on what we get up to, especially if this weather holds out.

It was really too nice to be indoors today, so we went to our frequent haunt of the RSPB reserve, for a picnic lunch, nature trail and quiz...

Note to all... if you happen to google for an answer, perhaps against the rules, don't be surprised if "bird with a pink behind" doesn't come up with the answer and/or pictures you were expecting!

So in answer to my Instagram question on how late I could sew, 10pm, late enough, I might even get up when dear hubby does at 6.30am tomorrow, just because I can!!

Sunday, 13 April 2014

4 Seasons in One Day...

Well not quite, but it was the most beautiful Spring day; there was gardening, I raked up a tonne, (well, half a wheelie bin), of dead leaves out from under the bushes, I know, should have done it last Autumn, but it started raining, and didn't stop for 4 months!

I then spent the afternoon soaking up the sun, it was pretty glorious.

When the conservatory cooled down enough for some sewing action, I got to work on my next Brit Bee border; finishing off Laura-Jane's modern Christmas vision for the month...

This sneak peak was taken in the last sunshine of the day; I have since stitched it all together, joined it to the growing quilt top and it's ready to move on down the making line.  It looks fab.

So I have cleared my conscience a little about wanting to get on with my bag, I just have to write up a few projects, take some photos and I know I owe you some finishes, including a couple from my FAL list already, although one will not get a grand reveal for a while, annoying secret sewing, sorry.

I really hope you had a great weekend too, and hoping the second week of the holidays is just as perfect x

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Plastic, elastic, fantastic...

We were in Brighton at 10am, by 10.15 I had spent my Mother's Day voucher on a dress in Debenhams; I so rarely get that love-at-first-sight for clothing, especially when I have the money in my purse, so it's worth documenting!  No photo though, sorry.

Anyways, hubby had a replacement iPod, we had shopped the Lego store, Build a Bear, and the toy shop, grabbed a drink and a bun and got back in the car one minute before the 2 hour parking charge ticked over to another £!!!

I grabbed some interfacing on the way through the village, and spent this afternoon doing stuff!

There was a lot of elastic band action, and we all now have some of these...

And then I got to sew.  Proper 12" blocks.  Feels like ages since I stitched a pair; these are for Annabella's Stitch Tease quilt...

Love how they turned out, and I see a whole quilt of my own in the future, but more on that another day.

Tomorrow should see some gardening action, watching the London Marathon from the comfort of the sofa, and hopefully a bit more sewing.  I want to get on with my Sidekick tote, but I think I should clear a few more obligations before I do.  All good x

Friday, 11 April 2014

Friday sorted...

I spent the first half of the day helping the girls sort and clear out one of those corners of their bedroom; you know the type, full of stuff, paper and who-knows-what, masses of it, crazy-making mess.  Fortunately we finished before the recycling bin lorry came.

Then after lunch we watched The Desolation of Smaug, and I managed to get 210" of binding stitched down.  It was a long film!

Other than that, my parcel of bag-makery arrived from Bag Clasps...

... and I cut out a pattern...

My Typewriter Sidekick Tote is my most loved and used bag, and I have often thought I should make the larger size too, because I do tend to haul a lot of gubbins about with me.  So with yesterday's shopping, I think I have a plan.  Just need to get a bit more interfacing and then there'll be some handbag action xxx

Thursday, 10 April 2014

A little random jealousy!!

Today we went to the cinema, Rio2, not the worst I have ever seen, it kept the kids quiet for a couple of hours, no bad thing.

After a ridiculously salt-encrusted McDonalds, it was off to Eternal Maker, just for basting spray and a 1/2m of something pretty you understand.

No sooner had the kids posed for an insta-pic, they spotted their old Teaching Assistant, the one I made a needlebook for.

She did not get a job in Hobbycraft, oh no, she only bloody works in my dream job!!!

I wasn't expecting that!  So now the girls are desperate to go back as frequently as possible, which is fine by me.

And what did I come out with...

New in Echino - hexy bees, new in Ellen Luckett Baker - Garden triangles, Monaluna Modern Home leaves, a dose of the green-eyed monster and the spray!

Linking my little trip up with Cindy and the Randomeers x

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Surprisingly productive...

This morning I was greeted with a flurry of excited emails about that site being no more - power to the people and all that!

So before breakfast I had stitched on the binding to the front of my secret quilt; by mid-morning I had finished stitching down the binding of my #DSTTchallenge mini, sat in the sun whilst the kids drew and kept the squabbling to a minimum.  Just after lunch, a surprise parcel came with wadding for the final couple of months of the Siblings Together Quilting Bee from Lady Sew & Sew, so then faced with the choice between the hugest pile of ironing, or a couple of hours at the park, you can guess how we spent the afternoon.

That was my Wednesday, there may also have been some ordering of bag-making what-nottery, I have been having ideas above my station!

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Stop, Thief!! Don't click the links!!

*** Edited to say, the offending site is now down - Power to the Quilters***

Oh the fun and games of the bloggy world!

If you are reading this blogpost via, then please come over to my actual blog, because have no right to have re-posted this or any of my posts on their site.

Today it appears that the above site got rumbled for having been stealing blogposts from many, many quilty bloggers; big names, little names they are all there.

The problem?  There are no links back to the original bloggers, but lots and lots of money-making links for unsuspecting folks to click through and make them a bunch of dollars.

Now when I was newly blogging I signed up to, and it remains one on my main referral sites for which I am obviously grateful for and fully endorse. on the other-hand seem to have hijacked their feed, do not have my permission, and are taking my and other's posts without asking, which as far as I am concerned is theft, pure and simple.

So please check out the site, run a search for yourself and your blog, (oh yes they have a handy search-doh!), and if you appear, then please leave a comment at the bottom of the Patterns tab; you'll see a lovely collection building up already, and then contact their webhost, this post of Alison's, ironically re-posted onto the feed (double-doh!), is great and tells you how.  You can obviously vent your ire even if you have not been mugged, or don't even have a blog; I am sure the site and more importantly webhost would love to hear from you!

Thanks to The Bitchy Stitcher Megan for alerting everyone, and Elita and Kerry for thinking of me.

Let's hope this site gets taken down soon, and no-one clicks those links!

Monday, 7 April 2014

FAL Q2 2014 Listing

So yesterday was pretty much a success post, and here we go again with the next bunch of WiPs linking with Katy for Q2.

Finish Along 2014

I am first to admit that most of them are less than a couple month old, but that's not the point eh!

1.  The rollover, which I suspect will roll on and on through at least another couple of quarters...

2.  My turn as Siblings Together Quilting Bee mama; needs to be completed by FQR in July, but I would love it finished by the end of June at the latest really...

3.  The quilts that require binding are in Trudi's capable hands; I am hoping that if they come my way this quarter I will get a wiggle on with the binding...

4.  A secret quilt which needs to be finished by mid-May, I am aiming for mid-April...

5.  The #DSTTchallenge deadline is the end of this month; I have made a good start...

6.  This Oakshot quilt is all cut and good to go; I just want to clear a few of the more pressing things out the way before I crack on with this one...

7.  Hexies are slowly being basted, and I would love to turn these into something by the end of the quarter...

I am convinced that I had counted 8 earlier, and I cannot for the life of me remember what the other was; so I will stick to 7 with expectations of 6.

Plus I have at least 2 other makes that have to be started and finished this quarter, along with the run up to FQR and end of the school year makes too.

It's going to be a busy quarter xxx