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Sunday, 30 June 2013

Shopping...

Well I can't quite believe that it is the last day of June already; it only seems like a few weeks ago that the electric blanket was a necessity, and the idea of falling asleep in the garden and waking up a little redder than you were expecting, was just wishful thinking!

So whilst I sit here, a little delicately, I'll show you my wares from yesterday.

First there was Liberty.  The lady in the fabric department told me that they will no longer be stocking the quilting cottons; they only had the two prints that I bought, and the brown (loads of brown!) left.  She was not even sure if they will be doing further collections just to be stocked elsewhere!!! 

Bit of a shocker of a picture, sorry - the sun was so bright, and now it is too late to move off the sofa!
I didn't buy any proper Liberty, as I hadn't really thought through what I would make, and how much I would need, and it is way too expensive just to buy a meter and then hope for the best!

I did buy an iron-on 'H', then a trip to the stationary department, and a tin of pencils had to come home with me.


We headed to Covent Garden as I wanted to take a look at a Fossil bracelet that I had spotted online; it was in the sale, so now it is mine too...


I love the London Transport Museum shop; and just because it would have niggled me not to, I got an anniversary mug; I am the same age as the Hammersmith & City line...


I got the tape measure on sale in Cath Kidston, as I have a bad habit of slicing off the stoppers so they retract right back inside, so now I am forearmed; and a last minute pick up of the US quilting magazine I also got passing through Victoria station last time, on the way home from Susan's.

I have to admit that it is a rare day that I have both the time and money and actually find things I really want.  Success!

So that's me; no sewing to show you, but I have plans; plans I have been really good about not getting on with until all my other 'To Do's were done.  I have 3 sets of Bee blocks to make in July, and the key fobs to finish for FQR, and then it's me time.  I have skipped this weeks Patchwork Please! project, as I have an idea for a moneybelt-apron, and I want to make it at my own pace, and with the makes for kids coming up, I will skipping those for the main part; so the pressure is off.

Apologies in advance, as there will be a bit of deja vu for the regulars over the next couple of days,  as I have my Fresh Sewing post, an FQR introduction and my second quarter FAL round up all to write this week, but I am sure I am not the only one; so no time to get into mischief, what with swimming x2, Cubs,  a recorder concert and the school fair to fit in around work too.

I wasn't going to mention Google Reader, as I never used it, but hey if you do/did, don't leave me hanging! 

Let the long week begin folks, deep breath xxx

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Tired, in a really good way!

This morning we dropped the kids off at my parents' and got the train up to London.  Considering how near we all live, it is quite surprising how infrequently we head up to town.

Anyway, today was an extended birthday celebration; we went straight for lunch at the tiny Pizza Express on Upper James Street, and spent a fun hour watching Security turning tourists around who were trying to take a shortcut through Golden Square that had been closed for the UK Black Pride group.


Today was London Pride, and with perfect weather there was a really great atmosphere and tonnes of colour in town; so many roads were closed, but we were able to get about on foot and by tube with no problems, and we even ended up in Trafalgar Square with the masses at the end of the day...

I see a potential quilt in that logo!
We did spend a large proportion of time here though...


I did buy a few bits and pieces, and will get some photos tomorrow for your delight.

We then headed down to Covent Garden, via this photo opportunity...


... and then back in time to have tea and cake at Mum & Dad's and rescue them from their day with the kids.

Home now, and my feet are aching, the grime has been washed off and I am looking forward to a bit of shut-eye.

3 weeks time and I'll be back up in that there London, and it can't come round quick enough xxx

Friday, 28 June 2013

A Big Finish!

My Stitch Tease v.1 quilt is finished!!

I have blogged about this quilt and the super Bee, oh, just a few times, you can check out these posts if you haven't been along for the journey, here, here and here.

So with a FAL goal of the end of the week, and an inherent dislike of unfinished business, I started eagerly finishing this up a week or so ago.

I never took a photo of the batting, but if I tell you it is made of 8 irregular pieces and I splashed out and bought some of that (amazing) batting tape, to make up a piece big enough for this 60" x 80" quilt, you can imagine how it looks inside!

Katy joined all 8 Bee strips into the finished top, and I added the siggy blocks into a white strip on the backing of a Kate Spain print which I have had stashed away, awaiting its moment for a year or 2!

I love how it has turned out; dense, a-little-bit-wobbly, line quilting in 50wt Aurifil (5006) in a light turquoise colour, some Lotta Jansdotta for binding and it has all come together perfectly...


It has washed up all soft and has a surprisingly wonderful drape considering the size, number of seams and all that quilting.


It is a heavy quilt, and the largest I have finished, and having spent all those hours quilting, I feel like I know every single piece of fabric in it.  Considering that only Katy was able to compare her strip to any of the others in real life, it is so cohesive, the Stitch Tease ladies really did me proud!  Thank you, thank you all again.


And now we are into year 2, and I know exactly what I will be asking for in September; all I am saying is, don't use up all your low volume fabrics my friends, I have designs on them!

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Happy Birthday To Me!!

Considering the prospect of another Sports Day had somewhat cast a shadow, it actually turned out to be a really good day...


Great pressies; dear son came 1st in his sprint race, (I may have been heard cheering when another boy fell, guaranteeing our win, but hey!), a lovely lunch and a great big cake...


Thank you for all your birthday wishes, here and on instagram, I will get back to my Inbox tomorrow, but for now I am going to finish the binding on my Stitch Tease quilt.    




Buenas noches mis amigos xxx

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

(Bad) Sports Day...

Oh my sense of fair play and sports-womanship is wearing pretty thin already, and we have to do it all again tomorrow (my birthday!!!!)...


At least it was sunny, for the whole 4 hours I spent at school to witness the girls' combined 15 minutes of fame!

In the brief few minutes, before I had to go back again to pick everyone up, I managed to get the binding attached to my Stitch Tease Quilt...


...so that's me sorted for an evening or two.

Monday, 24 June 2013

100 x 80" = a lot of quilting...

This evening I quilted the other half of my Stitch Tease quilt.  A two and half hour marathon; which equates to about 8,000 inches of straight-line quilting, and I ache!!


After KS1 Sports Day tomorrow morning, (no work!), I am going the get the binding attached, leaving me with a couple of evenings of hand-finishing, which quite frankly, is a great birthday pressie to myself.

I have almost caught up with emails, thanks for all the 'fob love', and hopefully I will get to catch up with some blog reading, with limited commenting, on the iPad in bed shortly.  A pretty constructive Monday... got to love that!

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Would you?

Before I go all gun-ho and make a load of key fobs like these...


Would any of you who are coming to FQ Retreat be interested in buying one, either by accosting me in a corridor, or on Market Night?

I was thinking Liberty Lifestyle fabrics and a cost of £3 each or two for £5.

I will probably be making some for a school fair later in the year anyway, (not going to say the 'C' word), but don't want to cart them up to town for everyone to say, "Nice, but I could make them myself cheaper" and leave me looking all sad and rejected!

If I can build up the strength, I will ask in the flickr group too; but as I am more likely to get an honest opinion here, I'm asking you first.  Thank you.

Despite evidence to the contrary, I have been busy sewing this weekend.  I have a summer-weight AMH voile scarf all ready to have the opening hand-stitched closed this evening and an AMH voile Staple 'tunic' just needing all the threads snipping off.

My Stitch Tease quilt is halfway quilted, but that is really, really hard going, so I am calling it a day for today; 50 x 80" stitch lines done, 50 to go!  So hopefully I will have lots to show you in the week, although when decrepitude hits on Wednesday, I may be turning to you for tea and sympathy instead!

Hope you have had a constructive weekend, making the most of the typically awful weather in the UK, NZ or any other place with a lack of sunshine xxx

Friday, 21 June 2013

Tea anyone?

As much as I love a nice strong cuppa, whenever and wherever I can, we do not use a teapot.  Gasp!!

Our water is so hard, and even though we have a water filter on our kettle, stewing tea just doesn't taste very nice here.  OK, enough with the excuses for not making the teapot cosy as part of Zakka 2.0, so may I present you with my teabag pouch...


It may have taken a whole afternoon to settle on the Joel Dewberry honeycomb, and to make the Farmdale fabric-covered button, but to stitch together the pouch, literally took minutes!

It's a very sweet pattern, I think I need to widen my tea-drinking horizons from everyday blends to do this pretty justice though.  At the moment it may as well be filled with Lemsip sachets, although my taste and smell are coming back, and hopefully tomorrow I will feel normal, yay!

I'm linking up with Lindsey, where you will find all sorts of beautiful tea cosies and pouches.

Here comes the weekend everyone xxx

Thursday, 20 June 2013

It's only right...

... that I haul myself from a tissue-filled pit and give you some random, seeing as I am responsible for the official adoption this week of the Randomeers; the merry band of bloggers linking with Cindy on a regular random basis!

So, my contribution...?

Well Daniel was covering his back with this red card... seeing as there was no way to get through the door without picking the parcel up first!


The girls found a frog... and promptly chased it away after trying to get some photos!

 

We had a photoshoot for a school exercise project... all very serious!

 

And I have been making another pincushion, only I am not going to have any pins left to actually put in it...

 
Finally, because I love this picture, and had no other place to post it... some of my Dad's stained glass...

 

Right, I have stuffing to stuff, and more sniffing to sniff; until tomorrow xxx

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Hot & Cold

It has probably been the hottest day of the year so far, and I have had the worst day of cold of the year too - figures!

I did get a few bits made and sorted, but by 11am the conservatory was so hot, and with not a wisp of a breeze, the prospect of basting my huge Stitch Tease quilt was just not my idea of fun.

Not one to leave you picture-less, I'll just fob you off with a photo from last week I didn't show you, a pair of key fobs I made; Liberty for me, Architextures for my Dad for Father's Day...


Hoping today was as bad as it gets, I am running low on tissues; I have things to sew, people to sew for, no time for germs!

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Getting even more prepared...

With less than 5 weeks until FQ Retreat, I am trying to get all prepared.  FQR, the end of the school year, and my long break from work all clash, and things are only going to get more hectic from here on in.  Next week we have two sports days, my birthday, Village Day along with two lots of swimming, Cubs and Rainbows, and then it doesn't really slow down.

So I am already suffering from a delightful cold that dear son has brought home from school, and I will probably flake out completely tomorrow.  But for now, I have just cut all my class fabric; I am using Architextures for all my classes, curved EPP, Portholes and Cathedral Windows, so I am aiming for three matching cushions at some point after the weekend.

If anyone is after 'calico/muslin', I got a meter of Moda 90" wide from Eclectic Maker and I had enough for the cathedral windows, and 4 porthole blocks.  It's an off white, more cream than pure white and is a lot softer than Kona solids. 

Also in preparation I have made a purse for Krista; we talked about a private swap yonks ago, but life intervened, but seeing as she is coming all the way from Canada to see me, it would have been extreamly rude not to.

So Liberty-linen frame purse it a tick off the list...


I used Emily's brilliant tutorial from over at The Village Haberdashery again; I love the size this comes out.

So that's me for now; if this cold kicks in, I doubt I'll blast through my To Do list tomorrow as I was planning, but either way, I am going to settle with a cup of tea at some point and listen to Rhonda's latest podcast

Monday, 17 June 2013

Oops forgot!

Now I showed you the great FQR name tag that I received from Julie last week, but blow me, I didn't show you the full reveal of the one I made.

I did flash it up on Instagram, along with the fab self portrait of the happy recipient, but I got caught up in blog hops and other commitments and never showed you here.  Sorry.

I made for the lovely Sonia, who, between receiving her details and mailing her name tag, we both joined the Siblings Together Bee - yay!

I kind of had a plan before I got my partner assignment, and with a little stalking decided to go with it.


I did the teeniest of embroidery, which probably means you will have to invade Sonia's personal space to read her name, but I can live with that, (Sonia, you have no choice, unless you accidentally leave it at home!) .


I really enjoyed the tiny Liberty piecing, and getting in the FQR spirit; not long now chaps!

NB. It is now 2 hours after I 'posted' this and Blogger is not playing nicely, so hope you can see it soon xxx

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Teatime...

Week two of the fabulous Zakka 2.0 sew along making Patchwork Please! projects, and tea towels are getting the Ayumi treatment.

Not that I am cheeky or anything, but I opted to go simply for 'Tea' and to decorate a bargain tea towel from Tesco; I am British after all!

I got the binding stitched down whilst at my Mum and Dad's yesterday, and then promptly gave it straight to my Mum for keeps; out of sight, out of mind when it comes to using it on actual dishes!!!


I googled for a teapot template and happily found this.


This was a totally quick make, a great gift idea, and had I thought more deeply about it, I could have gone more masculine and given it as a not-so-subtle Father's Day gift to dear hubby!  Dammit!

Linking with lovely Lindsey once again x

PS.  Thank you all so much for the Marcelle Medallion love - I will try to work my way through my chocablock Inbox later!

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Da da daaaaah!

There's nothing like a visit to my parents' and a potential pretty photo shoot to get me to put the pedal to the metal and get things done.

My Marcelle Medallion has been a long time coming since the top was completed, very out of character, but I wanted the quilting and backing to be perfect.  I think I sussed it.  I love this quilt...
OK, I took loads of photos, and here they are!!






The Full Details:

Pattern - Marcelle Medallion from Liberty Love by Alexia Marcelle Abegg
Top - mix of Liberty and other high & low prints, mostly from here, here, here and here
Back - IKEA print plus Liberty and low volume charms
Binding - Tula Pink - Prince Charming Fern, in Indigo
Pieced & Quilted - Aurifil 50wt 2021
Spiral quilting from the centre out
Finished size c. 57" square


You don't need to hear me rave on and on, but I have to say this is the quilt I am most proud of; that I didn't rush for the sake of a finish (and a FAL tick), and that has cemented my love for Liberty completely! 

Friday, 14 June 2013

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Randoming again...

I've been feeling a bit snowed under the last couple of weeks, and the kids have tended to get on my nerves rather than fuelling my random posts!!

But we're all back on form...

Moo!
Random continents!
The mouth that bankrupted the tooth fairy!
Mub & Grub
And not a lot makes me smile more than my kids on a good day, but...

My beautiful winnings!
Talking of which, I have finally quilted and attached the binding to my Marcelle Medallion quilt, and am heading towards, what I am hoping to be, a Saturday Reveal.

Linking with Cindy and the Randomeers once again xxx


Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Siblings Together June Bee Block

Unless you sew under a rock, you will know all about the Siblings Together charity, and you probably know that Lynne recently set up the first Siblings Together Bee, of which I am a proud member.  This in turn has lead to the creation of spin off Bees, all making quilts for this brilliant cause.


Lynne has secured such an amazing bunch of sponsors for our Bee to whom we all owe so much, and this morning I finished off my contributions to the first, June quilt.


      

            

      



Lynne sent us all some PB&J by Basic Grey, and blogged the full instructions right down to which way to press the seams; and there were a lot of seams, but they result in a great mega-block...


I would have added a picture of Lynne's Touchdraw representation of the whole quilt top, because it is going to look great, but I haven't worked out how new Flickr expects me to do this!

It's not my month until next April, so I have plenty of time to think up what I want the ladies to make, and I am going to enjoy all the other Bee blocks in the meantime.