Saturday, 31 August 2013

Never Mind the Vomit!

Woo Hoo, September, tomorrow(!), and it is my month wielding the Stitch Tease crown.  I knew what I was going to ask for so long ago that now it my turn, I am busting with excitement!

Ladies, we are making a low volume Scrap Vomit, but without the vomit!

I know the theory behind the original Vom is to use up all those Oh My Eyes scraps that have seen better days, creating something wonderful in the end.

OK, but this is me!  I am looking for beautiful low volume, text and prints, maybe the odd fussy-cut too, so it looks gentle and pretty, not full of fuglies and grotters that just happen to work.  That said, I don't believe for one moment that any of my fellow Teasers have a stash full of munters, and I trust them!

I made a mosaic a while back...

... just to show that low-volume doesn't mean just cream and white!  The one in the bottom right corner is an example of what I don't want.  Not enough colour and waaaaay too much brown.

The quilt uses two types of block, so I would like one of each from the ladies.

Here's my first block...

For the cross blocks I would like greys, dark pinks and turquoise, not in solids, again in a mix of fabrics...

All the instructions that anyone could need are on Katy's blog, as part of the quiltalong.

I realise these blocks are 7x7 for a 14(1/2)" block rather than 6x6, but I am hoping my fellow Bees will see that, without any wastage on these blocks, they will probably be using less fabric than more complicated 12(1/2)" blocks require... here's hoping!

I think this quilt has the makings of awesomeness!

For the siggy blocks, I would like 3 x 2.5" blocks sewn together with a centre white square with just first names signed in the middle.  These will be sewn together to make the elusive 25th block.  I haven't made mine yet.

So I've told you what I want, what I really really want, and hope that rest of the Stitch Teasers are pleasantly surprised that I have not dreamt up anything too difficult ;)

Now to just sit back and wait for the postman, hee hee!

Friday, 30 August 2013

Friday finish...

Well not a total, full-on finish, but I have managed to get my Architextures EPP all sewn together today.

Having started basting my hexies at about 5am at Gatwick before our flight away, I have plodded slowly, and I love how it has turned out...

This will be sewn up into another cushion - I have a few of those will be cushions project stacking up, so hopefully I will have a run of actual, 100% finishes very soon.

Tomorrow, I will put the Stitch-Teasers out of their misery and show my September block requests, I am pretty excited about this!

Hasta mañana chicas xxx

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Early morning random...

I have been a rather slack Randomeer of late, for which I apologise, and this week I only have one funny story, (well to me at least), of early-morning holiday shenanigans.

I am guessing this is a European thing, maybe not, but towels on the sunbeds before dawn is not just a myth, but alive and well.

My bodyclock, come work or holiday-time is permanently set to wake at 6.30am.  If I don't have to get up, I can go back to sleep, but more often than not that is my up'n at'em time. 

Surveying the early morning pool scene, last year and this, beds were routinely bagged before the sunrise (c..7am)...

So without any drama, if you can't beat them join them, right?  I would pop down, reserve a couple, and believe me at 6.30am I was never first, and then retreat back inside.

All round the pool were notices saying that items used to reserve sunbeds would be removed, but hey, they never were.

Can you see where this is going?

I think it was 3 or 4 days in, and when I got up for the second time, and took a look outside, all the beds were empty!

Now I must mention that I only ever used the kids' towels, just in case, because they are older and cheaper than mine!  So unperturbed I went to investigate. 

There were folks wandering round like they were expecting a zombie-apocalypse at the choice they were faced with; unable in a half-asleep state at 7.15am, to comprehend how they could be first up instead of last.

I went and asked the manager 'please sir, can I have my towels back?', to be shown a storeroom with more neatly folded and stacked towels than I had ever seen.  It was hilarious.

Even more hilarious were the grumpy faces of the people surfacing at lunchtime expecting their towels and beds to have remained 'reserved' for half the day, only to see others laying in their spots.

A few days later, some (new arrivals?) had slipped back into old habits, but the towels would vanish off to the manager's Aladin's cave soon enough.

I know it is not going to change the world, and may well be routine elsewhere, but it the first time I have experienced it, and it did mean I didn't have to go back to bed with sandy feet again for the rest of the holiday; and we still ended up on our beds of choice each day.

People are funny, especially the family next door who then just sent their daughters out to wait on the sunbeds until breakfast time!

Linking this 'probably just funny if you were there' tale with Cindy and the other Randomeers.  Next week I will try better, I will, after all, have gone back to work by then.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013


You all know the score.  The evening before you head off on holiday, and you have to be up at about 2am, all the bags are packed, spare keys hidden, fridge emptied and time to relax, then you decide you need to make a new iPad cover, because you just have to!  Right?

Well I did.

I had been eyeing two different patterns, Ayumi's from Patchwork Please! and Alexia's from Liberty Love.

I plumped for a mix, the Liberty and Echino combo of Alexia's, and Ayumi's pattern, minus the accessories pocket.

I stitched up a storm until I had the binding attached and ready for finishing.  Gah!

I had used my walking foot to do everything, so although the binding looked great on the outside, when it came to stitching it down, the wider than necessary seam meant the mitred corners were horrendous and I had to pull it quite tight to cover all the raw edges.  The clock was ticking, so I persevered.

It looked OK, but it didn't look great...

As it turned out, I didn't even get my iPad out of the case the whole time we were away, but it niggled me nonetheless.

So on the night we got home I unpicked the binding, trimmed the whole case down by 1/4" all round, as it was a little on the large size too, then re-attached and re-finished the binding.

I had to use a straight seam to join the ends as I had previously cut them on the bias; it was making my head hurt to try and re-cut to the right length, but I am more than fine with the outcome...

So now I am a happy bunny.

Looking at the After picture above, it still looks wonky as I'd just plonked it on the floor, but in reality, it is all good!

The pattern was easy to follow, and really quick to put together, even with all the quilting.  I will make more in the future no doubt as it is not a fabric-hungry pattern, and I am all about the co-ordinating tech!

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Perky mail...

One of the only perks of returning home after the best couple of weeks of the year, is the bundle of held mail, especially when you know there should be a couple of goodies in amongst the junk and bills.

Before we went, I took advantage of the M is for Make sale under the premise of needing some Essex yarn dyed linen, not too much of a splurge, but lovely to receive none-the-less...

And at last, a parcel that I had all but given up hope on.  A long time ago, in the time before Retreat, I liaised with Di so that she could pop a couple of t-shirts in her suitcase and hand deliver them to me in person.  Printing was delayed, plans changed, Retreat came and went, delivery direct from the US promised, but nada. 

I was very restrained, in the blowing my top department, because said t-shirts were from Heather Ross as part of the fundraiser for her twin sister's breast cancer treatment.  I had sent a couple of unanswered chase up e-mails, and the night before we left, Heather (oh yeah) emailed me to apologise and that she would get her assistant onto it.

So they're here...

I bought 2, and am going to send one to my sister.

I may also have made an order from Justine since returning, availing myself of the Simply Solids Saturday 20% discount, so Daniel the postman can rest assured that his job is safe, I am nice like that. xxx

Monday, 26 August 2013

Typically British Bank Holiday Weekend...

We were welcomed back to the UK with a rainy, horrible Saturday; it was all I could do to muster the enthusiasm to nip to Waitrose so we could at least eat for the day.  No photos, you can just imagine the grey skies and miserable faces!

Yesterday we got up early and headed over to Brighton for school shoes.  We were in and out of Clarks in 20 minutes, all three shod ahead of the queues, huge bonus...

After a quick visit to the Lego shop, we put the bags in the car and headed down to the seafront.

Mentalists were in the sea, even though the sun came out, I bet it was bloody freezing!  Being a Bank Holiday, the Mods were in town too.  Most are now more Cocoon than Quadrophenia, but the scooters were fun to look at; mind you, with all those mirrors, you'd of thought they would sort out the worst haircuts in the world ever!

Today, we did the village Boot Fair after breakfast; I struck lucky with some shocking cushions (but with lovely feather inserts), and a duvet cover which will be added to my Vintage Star quilt collection, and change from a fiver...

Retro and real flowers, pretty.
I then took full advantage of the sunshine, despite the people over the road having their roof pressure cleaned, which took ALL DAY; the continuous generator and spraying noise was not the perfect soundtrack, but I got my vitamin D top up, some more Spring Carnival piecing done and maybe a nap, so not all bad.

Hubby is back to work tomorrow, and I really need to get some food in, so that'll be fun.  The washing is all done so now I have an ironing pile that I am finding hard to ignore.  So that's me.  Back to normality.  Hey ho xxx

Sunday, 25 August 2013


Well the shocking weather that had been lurking since we returned from Menorca finally buggered off at lunchtime today, so I am not feeling as fed up as I was!

I haven't finished the washing yet, but pretty much everything else has been put away; photos have been uploaded and sent to print, and I am slapping on the moisturiser like it is going out of fashion!

There has been a little sewing already, rectifying a hastily finished project that I started, and finished the evening before we went away, and it niggled me the whole time; I promise I will show you that in due course.

Today though, holiday photo overload time!

I have kept PicMonkey busy making mosaics, and the cogs are whirring for the Holiday Memories Competition.

I think I will just shut up and let you have a look; if you have any questions though, please ask!

And finally, I have to mention that I took my Aeroplane Bag on the aeroplane, and my project of choice, an Architextures Spring Carnival; I managed to baste all my pieces, and stitch up a couple of the 'wheels' in the evenings...

It was stress-free; we ate way too much; watched no English TV, until I discovered it half an hour before we left, the kids were not amused!  We decided not to pay for hotel Wi-fi, and I am pleased about that; I read 3 novels instead and I would totally go back tomorrow given the chance!

So that was my last fortnight in a nutshell.  We still have almost two weeks of school holiday left, so I am not putting money on stitching up a storm any time soon, but I will get back to daily blogging and getting the chance to catch up with my blog-reading too.

Right, time to blitz that Inbox!

Friday, 23 August 2013

Back... well almost!

I realise it wouldn't have taken Sherlock Holmes to deduce that I have not actually been here for the last week or so - in fact I am only here in passing to say that we are literally just home from Menorca with suntans and a full suitcase or two of washing.

518 emails are now downloading slowly, but I do not propose to even look at their contents this evening, sorry if you are waiting on a reply about anything.

The pictures from the other night were from last year, but it was just as lovely this time; I need to upload ones from the last fortnight now and promise to show you soon.

So excuse me again whilst I try to cling onto that holiday feeling; no internet access has, dare I say it, been totally refreshing, just like the old days!

Right now, my immediate priority is a lovely cup of tea, but I will be back properly in a day or two.


Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Don't let it fade away...

Sheila tipped me off to this a couple of weeks back, did you see?

I have been pondering, as I do, and I feel a mini quilt brewing...

I am already thinking that I will use Lu's Quilt Improv book for the 'how to', but I may just need to lay back and think about it some more!

Monday, 19 August 2013

Medal WInners...

The kids all finished their Creepy House reading challenge at the Library...

So proud!

Got to love something that keeps them quiet for a while; although I could have lived without the hours and hours of looking for misplaced books under beds before we could take them back; don't they realise I have fabric to play with!?

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Pencil cases!

Now, you may think that giving my kids felt tips is not the wisest of moves...

But fresh new packs of washable Crayolas needed fresh new homes.

I gave the small people free-reign of a tiny selection of fabrics, (I am not completely bonkers), and then whipped these up in an evening...

No fancy/annoying zipper tabs, nothing too adventurous.  They are likely to be used and abused; and I am under no illusion that pen lids won't be lost by the end of the week, and these will no longer be the pristine beauties that you see before you.  But I can live with that; mostly!

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

A little Liberty...

... goes a long way.

Remember this little bundle of joy I bought at Shaukat...

Well the big floral print is a scrap quarter meter of silk that I picked up for whole £5.

Last week I trimmed the edges and turned it into a skinny, lightest of light, infinity scarf in about ten minutes.

I literally put it on as soon as I had made it, and then forgot about it until I went to bed, as it is pretty much weightless!

I stitched right through the final joining seam, as hand-stitching the closure on that fine silk would have been near on impossible, and to be honest, pointless.

I love my little scarf; I think I may definitely need to go back and rummage for more.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Brain like a sieve...

I showed you the lovely pin cushion I received from Emily on Friday, but completely forgot to show you a picture of the mini needle books I made for her and Nicky...

A little Liberty Lifestyle, yarn dyed linen in denim, (oh how I love thee), JD and Aneela, and some real chunky wool felt.

I added the hooks to either attach to a small pair of scissors or to keep the needle books safe or at hand.

It took me 20 times longer playing with fabric combinations than actually sewing these up.  Isn't that always the way?

They finish up at 3 1/2" x 2 1/2" folded.

I may have to make myself one too!

On a side-note before I forget, Hubby is now off work for a fortnight, so I plan to only blog every other day to make the most of family holiday time.  It's pretty quiet in blogland right now anyway, so I think I am going to take advantage too.  So please excuse my lack of interaction over the next couple of weeks; normal service will resume after the August Bank Holiday xxx

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Friendly Friday...

Yesterday was a good one.  Emily, Nicky and I made a date to meet at the Eternal Maker whilst we were at Retreat, and I'd been looking forward to it ever since!

Happy kids full of McStuff...

...friends from near and far...

... lots of fabric...

They had taken the good stuff to FoQ, but left ALL the brown!!!
...and gifts...

Thank you Emily, I love it xxx
I was very restrained...

... at first!

4 FQs for £10. Oh like you wouldn't have!
It was lovely getting together with the ladies, and the kids had a brilliant and extra-noisy time too...

Thank you for a fun few hours my friends xxx

Friday, 9 August 2013

Make mine a small one!

Early posting for me today.  I didn't want to leave you in suspenders, as the kids and I are off to meet up with Emily and Nicky shortly, and I really want to show you my promised late-night make.

Quick background.  Holidays mean making new things, just because.  Having big bags, clutch bags and small purses already, I felt I was lacking a simple small cross body bag for out-and-about essentials.

OK, this is not strictly true; I have my beloved Sidekick Tote, I use it all the time but it isn't new, and I really wanted a new one!

I looked through all the patterns I had stashed away, but they were mostly too complicated for what I wanted, or required hardware I didn't have on hand.  I googled, I really was prepared to be completely inspired, but then... lightbulb!

I printed out my Noodlehead Super Tote pattern at 50%!!!

Grabbed those gorgeous HR Strawberries, fresh through the door, some natural Essex Linen and pink Kei dots, then at about 7pm, got making!

Not the best pictures in the world, but the grass was wet, and the assistants were not in an assisting mood!
Cross body strap, rather than two handles; no internal pockets, some piping to break up the plain back along the seam that would have housed the handles; a concealed magnetic snap in the front pocket and Bob, as they say, is your uncle.  I stitched up the gap in the lining just before 11pm.

I love all Anna's patterns, I made a 50% 241 Tote for Cindy, and knew, (well hoped), it would turn out great!

I used Aurifil 50wt in 2021 as always, and my walking foot to piece the whole thing, including the zip.  Popped on a Jeans needle for the final top stitching that incorporated the strap ends as there must have been at least 10 layers of fabric plus fusible fleece at those points; and it sewed through like a dream.

I rarely need to finish anything so urgently that I keep going after about 9pm; most things can just wait.  As you know I am not one to leave stuff until the last minute either, BUT I wanted to see it completed so badly; dear husband had to be woken up for the Ta dah! moment too.

So there you go, my super mini-Super Tote.  Sorry for making you wait, but I hope I will be forgiven xxx

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Random day...

AKA Trying to pluck the most random out of what I have!

Today started with girly haircuts, always guaranteed to bring out the best in my 3...

Then we consulted the Sainsbury's Book of Summer and ended up bowling for a couple of hours...

After lunch we went to Pulborough Brooks, bugger the birdlife, we went for ice cream and the park...

Top right, spot the poisonous caterpillars; bottom right, the girl has a wobbly Nanny McPhee tooth!
And whilst they played, I saw this; if you look quickly, or in bright sunlight, you will be forgiven for thinking Mollie Makes has a bad case of potty-mouth...

I know I promised you a reveal of my late night sewing, but I haven't had the chance to sort the pictures, and even if I do say so myself, it deserves a post of its own!

Linking this collection with Cindy and the Randomeers xxx

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Totes sorry!

I am still sewing at 10pm - I had a brainstorm, and there's no stopping me!!

I will have something to show tomorrow though, promise xxx

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Nice package...

With the kids beginning to make me crazy, and a hubby in bed with the man-flu, I received a timely parcel from the Fat Quarter Shop to make me smile today.

I used my FQR discount code, and shopped wisely!

These Chicopee prints were bolt ends, already reduced to silly money and with the 20% discount could not be ignored...

I had to get some of the best Briar Rose prints...

...and top up on some Sketch, with a charm pack of Sweetwater's Road 15 for luck...

Fabric always makes it better xxx

Monday, 5 August 2013

You say tomato...

I know Arkansas is pronounced Arrgh-cun-sore, but I read it in my head as Arrgh-can-zus (eh Toto); every time.  Admittedly it doesn't come up that much, but with this month's Stitch Tease block being the Arkansas Traveler, I have been correcting myself silly for the last couple of days; that, and wondering about the missing 'l'.

The blocks are for Jennifer, one of the Stitch Tease newbies, you will know her better as the ex-Hawaii-dwellling purveyor of fine fabrics at Knotted Thread.  She's got a lot of lovelies in her shop right now including AMH Hand Drawn, and Lush Uptown to name but a few.

Anyway, I digress.  Jennifer posted this picture to inspire our colour choices...


And these are what I came up with...

I followed Lee's excellent tutorial and everything went swimmingly until I spotted that I had sewn one quarter piece upside down, obviously after I had torn off all the papers...


Hey ho, I never get on with centre points with a gazillion pieces of fabric, and these were no exception, but I don't think any amount of unpicking would have made them any better.

So these will be flying off across the ocean by the end of the week, and my August commitments are done.

I've also been planning ahead for my turn as Queen Bee in September, and I am rather pleased with my plans; oh yes, tapping fingers together in a world-domination kind of way xxx