Wednesday, 27 May 2015

It's all so quiet!

I got home from my night and day on the Brownie Pack Holiday last night feeling like I had done an international flight after a spot of marathon running!  Absolutely exhausted and loving the silence.  Excited son and husband were at least 700 decibels quieter!

The weather was kind, the 17 girls were generally fun to be with, and I got to play with fabric in the form or making Elmers!  There was very little sleep for anyone, but I managed to get my hexie rows stitched together at about 11pm and drank my way through about 12 tiny cups of tea.  I left just as the tie-dying was getting rinsed and the Tuck Shop Haribo was wearing off.

It was fun though, although today, getting Cub Camp gear ready, sewing on a few more blanket badges, relaxing in the sun for a bit, then watching The Hobbit and taking it easy with dear son, was the perfect antidote!

Tomorrow the girls will come home, the washing will pile up and the squabbling will return, but for now I am happy with the comfortable silence, and a really big mug of tea x

Friday, 22 May 2015

Let this be a warning!

DO NOT leave all the badges in a pile for a year, and then think its a great idea to get them all stitched on the camp blankets in one hit!

Ta dah though!

1hour and one sore finger later!
I now only have 4 new ones to stitch on to their jackets, then I can tackle the Cub blanket!

So Happy Bank Holiday weekend everyone - I won't be blogging on Monday as I will be away with the Brownies, so hopefully I will be back and enjoying the peace and quiet on Tuesday evening.  Wish me luck!

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Bee Forgetful...

I realised (thankfully) whilst wracking my brain cell trying to think of something to post today, that I haven't shown you the Bee blocks I made for Stitch Tease this month for Val.

These are those perfect Bee blocks that you would never, ever want to make a whole quilt of yourself, but by delegating to the muppets happy friends in your Bee, you get all the pleasure with limited pain yourself!

I do like making blocks like these, and although these would only measure up to being two 12.5" blocks if joined, they felt like way, way more!

With Val's fabric colour requests, (the bottom teal is really teal, not blue), she is sure to have a stunning quilt x

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

End of Part One...

A day at the machine, with a little hand-stitchery in there for luck, and I have Part One of My Small World completed.

I am loving this, I really am.

So the final section came together without any dramas; I appliquéd the petal block and little doorway, but machine stitched the cat flap curve at the bottom!

I wish I had a load of top tips to share, but I didn't do anything too special.  However:

I pieced the sky by cutting 1.5" strips of all my low volume fabrics, and then joining them in pairs, cross-cutting 1.5"x3" pieces, as they are far more machine-friendly, and over the whole sky the repetition will really not be noticeable.

For the tiny (2" finished) pinwheels I cut pairs of 3" squares, stitched round the outside with a 1/4" seam, cut across both diagonals and then trimmed to 1.5" square after pressing; I did the same with a 6.5" square for the larger pinwheel.

I also used the quick HST and twist method for the QSTs, rather than cutting all the triangles and having a bias nightmare.  This makes two, but as there is another in a later section, something tells me templates were not used!

All obvious I'm sure.

No prizes if you can spot the block I inadvertently flipped; I am not in the slightest bit niggled by it, as I think I will be swapping up some of the blocks as I go along anyway, using up some mishaps and fussy-cuts as the urge takes me.  I am hoping to work in some pieced letters too of our initials, to personalise a little more, well it is My Small World after all.

I know I will not keep up this momentum; my plan is to work on this when I feel the urge, but to try and keep up with the QAL at the slowest.  The finish date is just before our wedding anniversary, and as this is planned to hang above our bed, I am hoping to have it completed by then, sentimental old thing that I am!

So that was a grand day off; I even basted a few hexes for my Amitié BOM.  Go me!

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Secrets out!

Over the last couple of months there has been a little bit of secret sewing going down, and over the weekend just gone, there were two reveals at the Brit Bee meet at Di's.  I was sad not to be able to make it, missing out on the banter and cake, but grateful that I was never going to make it, rather than having to cancel last minute because of the 'ick!

Both Di and Troods have just had big birthdays, so we did what we do, obviously.

For Di we went all 'sewing themed' using Bonnie & Camille fabrics, or similar, and I opted for the scissors from Kumiko Fujita's 318 

And for Trudi, we made leaves, again, little 6" blocks…

The finished, and almost finished minis look like this, (photo shamelessly stolen from Jude's blog!)…

Happy belated Birthday's my friends xxx

I think I have a couple more things hiding up my sleeve, or elsewhere, to show, maybe; seriously thinking my memory has bailed on me like my eyesight!

Monday, 18 May 2015

Off we jolly well go!

Official Day One of the My Small World QAL and I am on it!

My Small World QAL

I pieced the first couple of sections of Part One when I got home from work this afternoon; the sun had come out, and I wanted to start!

I have a little patch of sky…

… and some flats...

Over the weekend I also cut papers and basted the teeny hexes; 1/2" sides!  I will take these to Brownie camp, just in case.  You know the score, take nothing, wish you had; take something, no time at all, but hey!

The pace of the QAL is going to be perfect, I need to play catch up on my Amitié BOM, and come the weekend I will be resplendent in new reading, aka sewing glasses, and will be able to basically see again!!

My eyesight has got progressively worse over the last 6 months, and being the numpty I am, I suffered in silence, when all I should have done was get my eyes tested!  My distance vision has hardly changed in the last couple of years, but being mid-forties, the presbyopia has hit hard!  So if you thought my stitchy output has been a little slack, and my blog reading, commenting and replying has been on the scant side, this is the reason!  So once I have recovered from the Brownie holiday, I'll be back on the tiny stitching and reading after dark, with a vengeance.

Friday, 15 May 2015


An unwelcome, unscheduled day at home for me today; looking after myself rather than anyone-else, so lots of catch-up TV and re-hydrating was in order for the day after the night before.

I did manage to do a little gentle cutting later on this afternoon for My Small World; all the pieces up to Part One stage 6, I think, plus a lot of 1.5" LV strips stitched together, for trimming down as required as the QAL progresses…

And that's me back to the sofa again now; hoping for a less bathroom-based weekend ;)

Thursday, 14 May 2015

It was red and yellow and green and brown…

And scarlet and black and ochre and peach
And ruby and olive and violet and fawn
And lilac and gold and chocolate and mauve
And cream and crimson and silver and rose
And azure and lemon and russet and grey
And purple and white and pink and orange
And red and yellow and green and brown and blue.

That's lots of brown!

Potiphar, you did great xxx

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Another little tote...

Before SMS Giveaway Day, I'd cut all the fabrics for my own version of Ayumi's Little Patchwork Tote, pattern from Krista's Make It Take It, and when the giveaway fun was over, I finished it up…

Made with some cuts of Cotton & Steel's Black and Whites, it looks pretty grown up to me.

My adjusting of the bottom and last panels mean that I somehow went a little squiff in joining one side, but nothing that I could face unpicking for!  I think I will use it to keep my lounge sewing in order, rather than the pile of bits that tend to accumulate next to the sofa.

I substituted the handles with the webbing I use for key fobs, as I did with Gertie Pie's Nun one, which I think works perfectly; I'm all for a super shortcut.

So today I worked, as tomorrow I have a few things to attend to, including the KS2 performance of Joseph & His Technicolour Dream Coat, so I will be back with ringing ears and proud mummy grin xxx

Monday, 11 May 2015


Thank you so much to everyone who entered my SMS Giveaway Day giveaway.  Your unsuitable jobs had me in stitches; you are all bonkers!!

So sad but true, only one winner, and that is…

Email in your inbox my dear; enjoy!!

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Better late than never - Giveaway Day!

A promise is a promise, so when I got home from work today, I made a belated prize for SMS Giveaway Day!

A sweet little tote made using Ayumi's pattern found in Krista's beautiful new book, Make It Take It, which I received on Tuesday...

If you would like to be in with a chance of getting your hands on this token of my appreciation, you can have two chances as I am feeling generous guilty:

i.  leave a comment letting me know the job you are least suited to - I am probably not really suited to my actual job, nor being a Nun, for so many reasons!

ii.  leave a second comment if you are a follower, old or new, and let me know how, GFC, Bloglovin, whatever, the more the merrier.

I will mail internationally; will re-draw if you are a No Reply blogger and don't leave an email address in you comment, and will delete comments in excess of your two allowable, harsh, I know.

The giveaway will remain open until 9pm BST Sunday 10th May, so I can email the winner before I go to bed!

Good luck xxx

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Give it away, not a giveaway!

Well where did SMS Giveaway Day come from all of a sudden - guess life still goes on even when I have taken myself offline more than usual - dammit - I will make amends tomorrow… I hope!

But what I have been making to giveaway are pressies for the kids' friends.

You may have spotted this on Insta-Face, but for those who haven't, and because I am quite proud of my paper-piecing achievement…

Made using the awesome free pattern, found here, I then transformed the 10" block into a tote bag for the girls' best friend…

And as mentioned before, I made an Anna pouch, another of Svetlana's lovely patterns for the party this coming weekend…

Please accept my apologies for the very yellow pics, it must have been the only sunny moment on Sunday!

So those are the latest makes; I have shopping and Bee blocks to share, but guess I better get my prize-making thinking cap on and bring up the SMS rear xxx

Monday, 4 May 2015

Receiving End...

On Saturday I received my parcel of goodies in the #ukminiswap.  So worth waiting for!

My partner was Annah (@this_malarkey), and she spoilt me rotten with a fantastic mini; EPP, appliqué, LV and all the other stuff I love, and the most awesome bundle of extras…

Thank you again Annah xxx

So that set me up for a good long weekend; new trainers, some sewing and a day out with the family today.

I know it's May the Fourth, so I'll just re-cycle the picture that has me smiling, even at the thought of it…

Back to work tomorrow, not so happy about that one xxx

Friday, 1 May 2015

April in the bag...

Fresh Sewing Day

My April looks quite healthy, especially when making my Betsy Travel Bag felt like it took the month to make all on its own!

May is going to start and end with long weekends, and I am determined to make the most of them, just maybe not with stitchy stuff, but I'll try.

Linking up my latest with Lynne and the Fresh Sewers and wishing you a good couple of days until we meet again xxx

Thursday, 30 April 2015

From the boy...

Stitching up a birthday present for a girl friend, not a girlfriend, who is having a Disco party in a couple of weeks.  Dear son asked her for her favourite colours and so I am hoping to finish turning this…

…into a pretty little Anna pouch this evening.  Svetlana is on a roll of awesome pattern releases at the moment, so do pop over for some beautiful inspiration.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

The brightest stars...

I have spent a lovely day off along the coast at Ceri's, stitching; thank goodness for interchangeable power cords (doh!), and chattering.

As many of you will know, Brit Bee lost the most wonderful, beautiful, amazing member of our group earlier in the year.  One of her wishes was that we finished a pair of quilts for her daughters made from the blocks that we had sewn for her over the first two years of Brit Bee.

So today Ceri and I pieced the two tops…

These quilts are so bright, so full of life, so Terri, so perfect.

I am honoured to play my part in moving these quilts a little nearer to completion, and can't wait to see them after Troods has worked her quilting magic xxx

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Who? What?

I can finally reveal that my partner in the #ukminiswap was Hannah, aka craftyhannah over on Instagram.

She received her parcel on Saturday, and I was relieved to hear that I totally got her!  In the parcel, along with the AMH feathers mini and the Lola pouch, was a little AMH key fob, (well it wouldn't have been right to not make her one!), a spool of glittery ribbon, a kitsch face-spinning kitten thingy and a pin badge…

Because it is sooooo in my nature, I am still patiently waiting for my package to arrive; soothed by the knowledge that it was delayed in being mailed not lost in transit.

I won't be at home tomorrow when the postman comes, as I am off to see Ceri for a micro-Brit Bee meet up, so dear hubby will be on parcel lookout!

Monday, 27 April 2015


I finished it… just!!!

I battled through the layers, broke my foot pedal in the process, but made it to the end.  I may need to tidy up a few little bits, as my control via the start/stop button is a little lacking, but hey, you want to see it?!

I made a couple of alterations to the pattern; inserted a thick interfacing to the base to give it a little more structure, and did not attach the long strap slider in the end, because, to be honest, on all the bags I have made with a slider, once on, the slider has never been slid!  Having added thick fusible fleece to the main length for comfort, I attached a couple of non-wadded tabs to the ends of the long strap, to both increase the length, and also allow me to sew though the layers securely.  I didn't make it detachable, I didn't see the point.

My inside side lining panels are pieced, due to running out of the main lining fabric, but I like the look with the accent fabric.  I also didn't topstitch right the way round the ends, because of the bulk, especially at the inside pocket corners, which for me, made it impossible.

I love how it turned out, even if there are areas which, with a more powerful machine, I may have been able to improve upon.  But it is what it is, and I will use it with pride.

Its first over-nighter will be the Brownie Pack Holiday, I'm all about the glamourous lifestyle me!

Some deets for those who like to know...
Betsy Travel Bag - Kristi McDonough Schnitzel & Boo
Made with Cotton & Steel and Melody Miller linen (outer)
Quilting weight lining - C&S and Kona solids
Yarn Dyed Essex linen accent fabric
Pieced and quilted with Aurifil 40wt

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Betsy Binding...

Getting there!

There are so many layers in this bag, the corners were never going to be pristine and sharp, I am resigned to that now, and I know that when I am not looking at the problem areas up close, I won't notice or be niggled so much.  That's the plan!

So it looks like I am heading for a weekend finish. Woo hoo!

Well my #ukminiswap parcel is still residing in a local delivery office, so I am hoping that my partner is able to pick it up soon, I am getting nervous about whether she will like it!  I am trying not to think about what is coming my way too, I have concentration issues at work enough as it is!

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Insides Out...

There were poorly people, hubby and daughter, my Betsy inside and outside stitched together and some time in the sunshine, turning my white bits pink!

I think this is the only thing from today that you need, or want, photographic evidence of…

I am hoping that Week 4 of the #betsysewalong will give some tips on joining the outer and lining together at the sides, because my first, and second attempts were not so good; I am hoping that trimming the bulk will see me right, but I daren't trim before I know it's as good as it gets!

I am not sure when I got so nervous about ploughing ahead!