Sunday, 30 September 2012

In the words of Meatloaf...

Two out of three ain't bad!

Blimey, how did it get to be that time already!?  As quarter 3 of Rhonda's Finish-Along draws to a close, I can confirm that I managed to finish up two projects out of the three I had hoped for back here.

i) The Mystery Quilt...

Yay for de-constructing and re-constructing and finishing my longest overdue bit of makery.

I only just blogged about it here, but if your retinas can take another look at all that yellow-ness, here it is...

ii) Retro Flowers Quilt...

Well this is a demi-fail, not yet completed, but I did progress from just 4 blocks made at the start of the quarter, to all 16...

This will be on the list again for the 4th quarter for sure.

iii) Spring Carnival mega-cushion...

I love this finish.  It is big, squidgy, in use daily and all mine!

I am not going to show(off) all the other things I have made along with these over the summer months, but there have been at least 9 quilt blocks for others, 11 purses, 2 bags, 1 mini-quilt, 2 cushions, 2 full quilts and some embroidery.  Add to that a lot of 'starts', and I am not too put out by the slowly blooming Retro Flowers.

Oh... and I finished the mega-block this afternoon.  Sneaky peak...

How did you fare?

Saturday, 29 September 2012

A Good Day...

Good days have been scarce this month, but today has probably been the third, (the first was when we went to Legoland, and the second being Aneela's embroidery day).

We went to my parents, left the kids there for a few hours so dear hubby and I could go to Bluewater, and because I didn't actually need anything, I bought loads of things I kind of needed but definitely love!

I will blog about my super haul early next week when I've been able to get some pics, as we have only just got home.

In the meantime, here is the promised picture of my Mouthy Stitches first cut...

I used my Sizzix to cut the majority of pieces, and that just makes life so much easier, and now I can't wait to get piecing. 

Tomorrow I will finish Di's Stitch Tease strip (TF!), and be able to sew again with a clear conscience!  Look at all the paper's I removed last night...

... and that doesn't include the other half that I had already picked out in August!

Right, we have Doctor Who recorded, I have a new 'sewing aid' to play with, and a cup of tea waiting to be drunk... TTFN xxx

Friday, 28 September 2012

Busy, behind the scenes...

Having finished my Spring Carnival, I fortuitously already have 2 EPP projects to work on, neither of which I am at liberty to really show you until mid-November, sorry.  I know you will all sleep easy now knowing that I won't be aimlessly twiddling my thumbs whilst twinkle-toes and dolphin-boy do their thing.

I have an appliqué project that I am completely excited about, and if it comes off as anticipated, you won't hear the last of that for a long time, so make the most of my secrecy for now.

I also have a cross-stitch on the go; it was meant to be an anniversary pressie for dear hubby, but my tired eyes have not been 14ct-friendly this week, but I am hoping to get that finished as soon as possible.

I have plans to make a little something for the Tula Pink Sewalong over at Sara's, as I had a lightbulb moment earlier today, and I am hoping Mr John Lewis will be able to help with that tomorrow.

Today I also took the bull by the horns and cracked on with my Stitch Tease mega-block for Di - it will be finished over the weekend, but again, I won't be able to show you until next year!

And...oh yes, there's an 'and', I have a couple more of Aneela's Little Stitches embroideries already completed and waiting on being made into gifts which I can't show either just yet.

I mustn't forget to mention my Mouthy Stitches tote though - that's all cut and ready to piece - OK, I'll show you a sneaky peak tomorrow, otherwise this blog could get awful boring!

Tuesday, 25 September 2012


Although I have not been my usual mouthy self of late, that has not stopped me from making plans for my Mouthy Stitches partner; yep I may be a Mama, but I still get to play and have to abide by the rules (mostly!).

So maybe I bought some fabric and made some initial sketches before the emails were sent to everyone else, and maybe my partner might turn round and say she doesn't like my choices; but maybe I will just carry on regardless anyway!

So partner, if you are looking in, did I do good?

Some grey Essex Linen, Velocity and a charm pack of the new Kona colours.

In this game, if in doubt, which obviously I am not, always make something you would happily keep, just in case an emergency u-turn is required!

Monday, 24 September 2012

It's A Mystery...

I finished this ages ago, but what with one thing and another I never got to blog about the fate of the Mystery Quilt.

So, to recap... I made a number of blocks under Sheila's excellent tutor-ledge, but at the time I wasn't all that at or about paper-piecing and so by the latter blocks, I just gave up.  My blatant hatred of my chosen fabric didn't help, and so the Mystery Quilt sat neglected for the whole of last year's Winter Stitching Plans and the first two FAL quarters!

I had tried some white sashing, that didn't work, so I cut it up, yep, all the blocks except one, into 4.5" squares and then just sewed them randomly back together again, along with a few extras' simply backed it with the last of the yellow peril, didn't bother with batting and was done.

It has found love as a garden/picnic blanket for the kids.  To be honest, it no longer fills me with a feeling of nausea, and the fact that it is finished, and used, makes it all the better.

In some light, I have to admit, it actually looks quite nice!

This was not taken today!
Sheila, please don't 'un-follow' me!

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Spring Carnival Finish...

I have stitched away slowly on this one since June, and now summer is over, and it is done...

With a whopping 26" cushion pad, it has to be one of the comfiest lounging cushions ever, although it does not go with anything else in our living room!

I backed the carnival panel with some fusible fleece and did some simple straight line quilting at 3/4" intervals in aqua (5006) 50wt Aurifil.  Joined the front to the back with a french seam, and there's even a 'hidden' zip!

Ballet lessons start again this week, so I think I need to get sorting another little EPP project, to wile away those happy hours x

Friday, 21 September 2012

Oh dear, oh deer...

As much as I love you guys coming round, today I am packing you straight off to Cindy's.  You need to check out her giveaway, honestly you do.

Oh Deer! is now available in the Fluffy Sheep Quilting shop, so Cindy is celebrating by running a giveaway of 4 FQs from the collection on her blog.

OK, there may be some brown in there, but you don't have to choose those if you don't want to!

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Random en francais...

This was the best bit of random I could come up with this week...

Frère Jacques as understood and written by a 5 year old.

All phonetically now..

ve-r-zr-c, ve-r-zr-c
dor-ma-voo, dor-ma-voo
ve-r-mo-n-te-a, ve-r-mo-n-te-a
din-dan-don, din-dan-don

Linking with the other random bits and pieces over at Cindy's Live A Colorful Life.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

My Serene Finish...

Last night I finished my Girl On A Swing embroidery, and this morning I couldn't wait to get my cushion finished.

I had set my sewing machine up, and pulled the fabric for the sashing, all before the school run, so, by 9am, I was making!

The pattern in the book, you know, the fantastic Little Stitches, is a simple three piece treat, but having noticed yesterday that my chosen colours for the dress, leaves and indeed hair matched one of the beautiful Liberty Lifestyle prints I received a couple of weeks ago, I had to combine them, didn't I?

And so trimming my embroidery to 12.5" (conveniently the size of my ruler, any bigger gives me palpitations),  I was able to easily bring it up to a cute 16" cushion cover.  I added a little batting and simply quilted either side of the Liberty/Kona Snow seams, and sewed a little strip to the closing edge of the envelope back.

Honestly I couldn't be happier with how this turned out.

I had been planning on picking up a cushion inner in the village after school, but a quick look in a dusty storage bag I was sure only held bigger things, and I pulled out a new 16"pad.


Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Quick Birthday Gift

Don't you hate it when you discover the birthday of someone you have become good friends with is tomorrow?!

That happened to me last week, so thank goodness for frame purses.

I was able to get this made in an hour; and it went down a treat at the school gate.

I know I am sometimes a crap forgetful friend, but other times at least I can make it look like I am not ;)

Monday, 17 September 2012

Sending A Hug...

With all the happenings of the last week or so, you would be forgiven for thinking I had hung up my sewing machine (?) and retired to the television (and vodka?), but not me.

Last weekend I pulled out the Terrain jelly roll and charm pack I had been saving for my sister's birthday next year, and got planning and making a quilt for her and my brother-in-law for now.

I googled 'jelly roll quilts' having got nowhere on Moda Bake Shop, not having the extra 3 jelly rolls, 2 layer cakes and 18yds of backing most of the patterns there required, and spotted the one, which I just did a bit of maths for and winged it.  I just love the simplicity.

I ordered some of my favourite Klona from Backstitch for the backing, a half meter of one of the flora prints from eBay for the binding, and used about a meter Kona Snow for the rest.

I had the fabric arrive and it all pieced and quilted by last Wednesday, spent a couple of evenings on the binding and had it all washed and tumbled yesterday.

It should arrive early next week to coincide with their anniversary, and it is the closest thing to being able to give them a real-life hug as I can do right now.

It measured 62"x 72" before washing, has straight-line quilting a foot's width each side of the seams, 50wt Aurifil in 2021 off-white on the front and 40wt teal 4043 on the back.

I hope it arrives quickly xxx

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Sew Lovely...

Yesterday, (well apart from the car journeys with the squabbling small people), was completely lovely, and just what I needed.

Turning up to big hugs from Aneela and Pennie set the tone for the day.

I didn't get to see much of Henley-on-Thames, but the small people and dear husband happily passed the day in the sunshine, whilst I got stitchy.

There were few nerves, unlike Retreat, and I knew half the ladies and Kelly already, which all made for a relaxed, light-hearted day of learning and sewing. 

We received our long awaited copies of Little Stitches, which Aneela duly signed for us all; she came to us, we didn't have to queue up and curtsey or anything! 

It is the most beautiful and inspiring embroidery book I have ever seen, and I am not just saying that; full of the cutest projects and sketches and super-fantastic iron-on transfers of all the embroideries - I want to stitch them all now!  Honestly, everyone needs this book!

OK, so I may have given Aneela the heads-up that I was in the market for a Sew Stitchy layer cake and one of her brilliant journals too, it would have been rude and disrespectful not to!

The plan was to complete the 'girl on a swing' embroidery as a cushion panel, but there may have been a bit too much chatting, eating and playing eye-spy to get that far,  but we all made a good start, and apparently some people have already finished!

So I spent this afternoon with the family watching Hugo on DVD, (fantastic, by the way), stitching all my leaves.  I am hoping to get my cushion finished this week, as soon as I have finished the last of the white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake that Pennie forced into my husband's hands before we left.

Thank you Aneela, you did great my friend, and thank you Pennie for the lovely grub; anyone needing catering in the Henley/London area, Thames Catering are the folks to ask.  And to all the lovely ladies, thanks for the compaby, who wants to be the Stink-along mama? xxx

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Gone Stitchin'

It feels like a lot, (too much), has happened since I booked up to go stitching with Aneela this weekend...

But I am all packed and ready to go and spend some lovely time with friends today.

Fellow Mouthy Stitchers I promise to get my voice back soon; the mamas will be starting to match partners tomorrow.

Thank you so much for all the love and support that has been sent my way this past week; things are never as simple as they seem and the heartache goes on.


Friday, 14 September 2012

Fabric Mail - Pink Castle edition

I indulged in fabric when Brenda was offering her Labor Day discount, and this bundle arrived quick as a flash from Pink Castle...

Old and new Denyse Schmidt, some text, crossweave and Bella; I think I unwittingly created quite a nice bundle in my haste!

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Fabric Mail - Spoonflower edition

Armed with a Spoonflower discount code a couple of weeks ago, I headed straight for the Heather Ross I had been frequently 'visiting', and ordered myself a FQ for less than £2 delivered...

Thank you missus, you know who you are xxx

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Fabric Mail - Liberty edition

In the last week I received some more Liberty fabric.

First came the beautiful brights of the new Liberty Lifestyle collection courtesy of Annie and The Village Haberdashery...

Then came the muted greys from Ali, one of her Facebook mini-bundle offers...

Seems sometimes life imitates fabric xxx

Monday, 10 September 2012

The Not-So-Mouthy Stitcher...

Here are the lovelies that I hope will inspire my Mouthy Stitches partner to make something just as beautiful for me...

Please click here for the links to the talented makers.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

A little down time...

I just wanted to let you know that I won't be blogging, commenting or replying much, if at all this week whilst my family and I try to come to terms with total heartbreak.

I want to concentrate all my love and thoughts on my family; I am sure you will understand.

(Comments on this post have been switched off).

Saturday, 8 September 2012

It's time...

... for a swap!!!

Mouthy Stitches 2 is now open for Sign Ups.

Full information can be found here.

75 places only, making... well you'll just have to pop over to Flickr to find out xxx

Friday, 7 September 2012

Little things...

...that make you smile...

Just about big enough for a chapstick and pound coin...what more do you need?

Thursday, 6 September 2012


Well going back to work today was basically a 5 hour email-fest; I could think of 101 better things to do with my time...

Brit Bee girls keep my spirits up, and tell it like it is!

I came home to the funniest card from Katy and Sarah too...

Loving my new hobby!
Walking to school, the perfect calm before the storm of noise, my Team/ParalympicGB spirit was alive and well in this red, white and blue...

And finally I did something that I haven't done in a long time, put real photos in a real photo album; I want the kids to be able to flick through 'our summer' and not just have our memories trapped in my computer...

Linking as always with Random Queen Cindy's Really Random Thursday x

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

It's oh so quiet...

...well it was, for 6 whole hours.

The kids all merrily trooped off to school this morning, and I had the house to myself for the first time since the beginning of the holidays, all barr about three-quarters of an hour a couple of weeks ago!

I was home by 9am; by 9.30 I had whipped up a new lanyard for work, (heck, I have been wearing the standard issue too long, and if I have to be there, I'd like a little FMF for company!)...

Then I parked myself out in the garden and stitched some more of my Spring Carnival...

Obviously by 3.30pm all semblance of relaxation and calm had been forgotten, but it was lovely whilst it lasted.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

I am a very lucky girl...

I am so happy!

After I posted yesterday about the gorgeous brown mystery I had received, I went straight out to Tesco for that joyous load-up that is the school lunches, last minute supplies and weekly shop nightmare with accompanying tantrums, customary at the end of the holidays.  Joy of joys.

Getting home hours later another parcel awaited...written in the same handwriting as the brownie.

The everso lovely Emily was my Brit Quilt Swap partner all along - well done to those who guessed along with me!

I didn't hang about as I knew what was inside...

I love love love it, all that Hope Valley and a MM typewriter!!  The extras are extra beautiful too...

I am a very lucky girl; I am so in love with my mini and I know the nightmare that Emily had making, not for me, (I am so easy to please, ha ha), but with her four-legged accomplice, so it makes it even more special.  Thank you again Emily xxx

This has been a great swap; the summer made it kind of a quiet one on flickr, but it was a nice gentle pace and has given me a high, before the low that will ensue from returning to work later this week; probably time for another swap soon then eh?; so my thanks to the BQS Mamas for keeping it all going.

This time tomorrow I will have had the first day to myself in over 6 weeks - only 6 peaceful hours, but it will be wonderful; Thursday however will be back to the horror of the day job, how long is it until Christmas?

Monday, 3 September 2012

Did we have an arguement?

There are pockets of society where, if you have a fight, or a grudge, the simplest way of expressing your feelings would be to put a poo through the letterbox of your adversary; I know this from television, honest!

So when I came home to a parcel on Saturday that I was not expecting, (perhaps too small/light for BQS surely, so no pressure or expectation there!!), and then opened it to find this...

...I didn't know whether to laugh or cry!!

Actually I did laugh, and smile, a lot; then I set about trying to narrow down the culprit... Torquay postmark?  Graze muncher?  Damn good piecer and binding hand-finisher...  That could be loads of people, but I have my suspicions though.

Thank you so so much Secret Pooper!  Honestly, it may be brown, but it is still completely Everso Lovely, and so are you! (See what I did there?)

If anyone else is interested, I also have an aversion to money, chocolate, stationary, buttons, lottery tickets and jewellery xxx