Wednesday, 30 October 2013


My computer is working again, but if the last 48hrs or so are anything to go by, it could be quite a short-lived experience!

So here's a quickie...

The kids went to the synthetic ice rink this morning and were the only ones on the first session - so a good time was had by all.

After that was a painful (literally and metaphorically) shopping trip to get the girls some birthday outfits; they went from wanting the same but different to simply the same in the end, unprompted; so they are now happy, and I never want to see the Next changing room ever again!

On the sewing front, I have been working on my Midnight At The Oasis quilt, and all things being equal I'll get some photos in the next couple of days to show you.

I will attempt to reply to some emails and comments later, but that will be in the hands of the temperamental Mac Gods; so until next time xxx

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Bag Ladies...

We made bags!

It distracted me from my MacBook which seems to have conked out in sympathy to my ailments, which I really could do without right now!

Anyway apologies for the insta-pic, but I have at least sussed how to add a picture.

So some Kokka piggies, Alexander Henry birds, I think, from Plush Addict and home dec weight pink gingham from Terry's Fabrics, big pockets on the fronts, magnetic snaps to close.

Happy girls, proud mummy xxx

Monday, 28 October 2013

I did a bit of that making thing!

At the beginning of last week I scored a finish; but the turn of events since then has meant I haven't told you all about it.  So sorry!

So whilst the computer gods are playing nice, the health gods are giving me a little break, and the kids, well they are doing something I probably don't want to know about, I am going to get this out there!

Back in the summer I chose a bundle of home dec/curtain weight fabric from Terry's Fabrics, and here is the first of a couple of makes, which I also declared as part of the Q4 FAL.

A lovely pair of pouffes!

I used Susan - Living with Punks' excellent tutorial, and made them as big as I could.  I have a 22" quilting hoop, which I knew would come in useful for drawing big circles one day!  I ordered the pompom trim from here, the only big ones I could find at a reasonable price, and they are excellent quality.

They are filled with a kilo of polyfil stuffing each, which makes them lovely and soft, and perfect for footstools or lounging on.

The deco-weight fabric is perfect for these, and I used the heavy duty poly-thread that came in my FQR goody bag, because no-one wants a pouffe busting at the seams do they?

They have gone down a treat with the kids, and look really cheerful, and right now we could do with plenty of cheerful.

Thank you Terry's Fabrics; the girls and I have plans for the pink gingham tomorrow!

Well the weather wasn't as bad here as it could have been, so we are all intact, and today I have even managed a couple of hours at the sewing machine - woo hoo!

Sunday, 27 October 2013

iPad post...

OK, so today has been a nightmare, although a nightmare would require sleep.

By 1am I was going mad with the dripping from the rain off the portaloo next door onto some noisey polystyrene stuff, and despite my best efforts in the rain and darkness I couldn't work out exactly what needed moving.

I lay awake for the rest of the night, and at 5.30 am new time, the power went out.  It flickered back on at 6 am, then returned for good just after 6.30 am, which in old money was 7.30, so all the kids were up and at it.

We went to my sister-in-law's for lunch, I was feeling even more roapy than I have been, and when we got home, my MacBook decided to have a fit and refuses to boot!

Oh I can't wait for tonight's storm, things are going so well.

Sorry no picture, I have neither the time nor inclination to work that little conundrum out this evening.

Hopefully we will all make it through the night in one piece; so take care everyone, see you on the other side xxx

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival Fall 2013 Encore

I am so happy that we are able to enter two quilts into the Blogger's Quilt Festival this time, purely because I didn't have to choose between my two current favourites; making decisions is not coming easily right now.


Yesterday my Liberty Marcelle Medallion, today my Holiday Memories mini quilt.

I apologise to regular viewers, because the reveal and full story of this one are probably fresh in your minds; for first timers, the full story can be found here.

Long story short, I started planning this quilt before our summer holiday to Menorca, and whilst on one beautiful sunny day-trip it all came together.

Using the uber-talented Lu Summers and her beautiful Quilt Improv book as a starting point, I grappled with my inherent fear of solids and all things wonky!

It turned out so perfectly!

The Details:
Pattern - there wasn't one!
Fabrics - Kona solids, hand-printed scraps - Leanne Fanny/The Little House MartinOther scraps inc. Moda crossweaves, RB Chevrons, Sherbet Pips and Architextures
Finished - 26.5" x 20.5"
Pieced and quilted - Aurifil 50wt 2021
Quilting - straight line c. 1/2" apart
Backing - Moda Muslin

So there you go, my Fall entries.  I have already been casting my eye over the entrants so far and I am itching to get off the sofa and back at my machine - so much gorgeous inspiration.

I am not sure if international entrants are eligible for winning the Baby Lock, that would obviously be lovely, and who wouldn't want to win a stonking new machine, but the fun of joining in is what it is all about really, and I am just thankful to be here.

Thank you Amy for hosting this wonderful event once again, and thank you all for your comments - I appreciate every one of them and promise I will reply as soon as I can xxx

Friday, 25 October 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival Fall 2013

Well after the week I've had, I wasn't sure I'd get to enter the fun and games over at Amy's...


But I hate missing out, so here I am!

Since the Spring Festival I have had a lot of finishes, but it came down to a choice of two...


Gah!  So hard to choose.  BUT then I spotted in the small print that you can enter two, so I will enter one today and the other tomorrow, as I am not getting much done right now, and what the heck!

Firstly I went with my Liberty Marcelle Medallion, entering it in the Scrappy Quilt category; purely for the amount of work, piecing and fabrics that went into this one.  I had never made anything as complex before and stuck to a pattern, and I love the sense of achievement it has given me...

I love this quilt so, so much.  And the fact that I managed to get the lovely photoshoot over at my parents' means that it's only fair it gets another airing on my blog.

The Details:
Pattern - Marcelle Medallion by Alexia Abegg from the book Liberty Love
Fabrics - lots and lots of Liberty lawn, and Liberty Lifestyle mixed with complimentary prints and low volume scraps
Finished - 57"x 57"
Pieced and quilted - 50wt Aurifil in 2021
Quilted - continuous spiral from the centre
Backed - IKEA Britten Nummer and more Liberty

If you are visiting for the first time, hello, welcome and please do have a look about and come back again tomorrow.  I do make a lot of stuff, usually!

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Random Public Service Announcement...

Things I have learnt this week...

You may feel like you are having a heart attack when you aren't; you may also think you are not having a heart attack, when in fact you are.  Doctors cannot always tell the difference.  It's a tricky one!

So ladies pay heed, you have probably seen this before, I saw it over at Jennifer's a long time ago, and I am so glad I did; it never hurts to see it again...

If it turns out that you are thankfully not having a heart attack, the stress, strain, and continuing pain whilst you are sent for more and more tests will probably convince you that you will end up having one anyway!  Google will not help.

If you pack an over-night bag, just in case, you won't need it; the law of Sod is a good one.

If you panic-cut a cushion's worth of EPP papers and fabric to put in the over-night bag, then time on the sofa at home waiting for results is much more bearable.  Always have an EPP project ready for the unexpected; pop it next to your emergency torch and tin of corned beef, you'll thank me.

And because I am obviously not feeling quite myself, here I am rocking hospital chic - spot the Staple dress!

Linking my findings with Cindy and the Randomeers and never more pleased to do so.

Thank you for all your well wishes over the last couple of days - I won't be replying individually this time, but please believe me that you have made me smile when all I have felt like doing was the complete and utter opposite xxx

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Doctor's Orders...

I have my feet up...

Apologies, I'm afraid I do not have any lovely hand-knitted socks!

I'm doing what I'm told... just this once xxx

Monday, 21 October 2013

500 Quilt Blocks

If you haven't got your hands on a copy of this little book yet, you really should, or at the least pop it on your Christmas list.  I've now had time to have a good look through mine and get making already.

The copy I have is the sweet UK paperback edition from Amazon.

Now I have to admit, I have many, many sewing and quilting books and patterns, and I rarely read the general How to blurb any more, so I have not read right through that part of the book, but that is not a bad thing.  I wanted to get straight to the pretties!

Where I think this book really excels is that there aren't great wordy, repetitive explanations for each step of each block, just cutting instructions and a tip or two if it is not obvious.  I love that.

If you aren't at the stage where you can look at a block and de-construct it in your head, then fear not, abbreviations and full instructions are there in the blurb so you will never be lost on how to, but once you are confident, you do not have to pick through pages and pages for the bits you need.

As you would expect from Kerry and Lynne, all the fabrics used to illustrate the blocks and projects are gorgeous, and they show the block variations off beautifully.  I so want to make all the projects, and for an instant fix, I opted for the cute pincushion...

I pulled solids to match an AMH scrap I had, and used Sketch in Mist and another scrap of Black yarn-dyed linen for this little cutie.

See that Koala chappie, a recent pressie from Salley down under.  He does a great job, and remedies my only niggle, which is not unique to this book, there's no little ribbon book-mark thingy.  I hate creasing my book spines, so something to mark the page between cutting stages is a must for me; if you have a spare marsupial or substitute at the ready, there'll be no stopping you.

So that's my tuppence worth, but honestly, I think you should just buy a copy, or better still, get someone-else to buy you a copy, and find out for yourself.  I know that this is going to be a valuable point of reference and inspiration to me for, like, forever!

Now I need to get back to some bigger projects, these mini-diversions are all well and good, but I am hoping for a big old quilty finish some time soon; there's just the small matter of piecing backing, basting, quilting and binding to sort, so maybe not that soon, but for tonight, my stuffing arrived; all 3 kilos of it!


Sunday, 20 October 2013

Sunday Roast...

When I saw Kerry's XOX pin cushion over at the Liberty Craft blog last week, I immediately wanted to make an OXO one, because that made me laugh!

Apologies if you are not familiar with the nation's favourite stock cube, as you probably don't know what I am talking about, so here's a picture!

I pulled some Liberty red, white Essex linen and a 3/4 hour later I was popping in the stuffing!

Mine turned out bigger than Kerry's, not sure how, but not a problem.  My points were pretty spot on, which, with 1.5" pieces, is a miracle for me.

It finished up at 3"x 9", I put a piece of Vilene H640 on the inside, and backed it with some natural Essex linen, all stitched together with Aurifil 2021 50wt.

I know, I have about a squillion pin cushions, and only about 8 pins that have not fallen victim to my sewing machine needle, but they all look pretty, and don't eat anything; I have already made another one from 500 Quilt Blocks, which I will show you tomorrow!

Saturday, 19 October 2013

All kinds of good...

Yesterday I got the 'OK' to rant and rave about the full collection of Dear Stella's Hadley.  It is beautiful; the official photos are so much better at showing off the colours than I'll ever achieve on this grey old day.

I had already cut into some of the fabrics; I was lucky enough to be sent yardage of all the prints a couple of weeks ago, but I got on with cutting the rest and started sewing last night.  I will go into the whys and wherefores of the pattern I chose when it is finished and I present the grand reveal; this morning I finished the top!

To say I am thrilled to bits with how it is looking so far, is an understatement.  The rainy-day backlit photo does it no justice whatsoever, but I wanted to give you a peek at the loveliness to come because I am just so happy with it.

In making the quilt top, rulers were hurt though! 

Fortunately the lovely old-lady sewing shop in the village came to the rescue - I picked up a new Sewline 12.5" square for £17, which is not only a total bargain, but meant it was in my hands instantly; no postal delay, unlike the bloody stuffing!

What I did receive through the mail instead were Cindy's blocks for my LV Stitch Tease Scrap Vomit...

Lovely, fresh from the envelope, creases n' all, oops, sorry!

I also nipped out in the rain and delivered the bunting to my friend's new house and received the grand tour; it's a beautiful place.

And and and...

... I may have made a hotel reservation already!

Friday, 18 October 2013

Pumpkin Crazy!

If you saw Cindy's random post yesterday, you will know that last week I pretty much dismissed the whole of the North America as pumpkin mad, and quite frankly no-one has said or shown me anything to dispel this image.

I am not doubting they are lovely but as well as the real things, prolific stitching of pumpkin type affairs has taken over the interwebs - I'm looking at you Di!  I realise Jan seems to have been put under the spell too, but in general it is just not British!

I have borrowed this picture from here, The West Beach, Ca, Pumpkin festival is coming...

Looks great, now spot the difference.  This is how we roll in my village...

See the reverence we hold them by!!  We may go bonkers by Halloween, and there could well be 3 boxes in stock by then, with some fake cobwebs draped over them for spooky effect.

I know it's Friday, I know there's no sewing to show you, but I am linking up with the Randomeers with my tongue firmly in cheek!

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Put the flags out!

I am going to go link with the Randomeers on Friday, (just to be extra random), because I failed in my photo assignment for Cindy, and will make amends tomorrow.  If you haven't seen her instalment today, you should, it's brilliant!

Today, some of the teachers were on strike, but the girls were still 'in', hubby and son had the day off, so I went to work.  I had my 'in-year review', which took hours, but set me up nicely for a trip to Tesco and then a pit-stop at the local fabric shop on my way home.

Tomorrow one of my fellow managers will be moving up into the village.  I had been dithering about whether to make some sort of house-warming gift, (bearing in mind no-one I work with knows I sew, or blog, or have this whole alter-ego going on!); but as soon as I saw Nova's bunting yesterday, dilemma resolved.

I bought some bias binding and a FQ of some Timeless Treasure pretty rose fabric, came home, and made some.  Just like that!

Apologies for the crappy pictures, the light was fading, and they will be all parcelled up before morning!

I remembered Amy's tip about using a piece of card to press the finished flags, and it worked a treat.  The flags are c. 4" wide and 5" long, and the bias binding in 1.5m.

I am still waiting for stuffing, but in the mail today...

It's bloody marvellous!!  The blocks all look beautiful, and the projects are gorgeous and I would still say that even if those super talented ladies, Kerry and Lynne weren't my friends!

I'll say a bit more about the book when I have made something from it, which I am hoping will be really soon!

So that's my lot, not long 'til the weekend, happy days.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

When ideas collide...

I bought the mirror ball dots last week with the vague notion of Christmas makes; so as soon as I won Megan's beautiful Hemispheres pattern, it was serendipitous!

I had been planning to make a Christmas cushion cover for my sister and BiL, so decision made.

I cheated by using my Sizzix to cut the fabric, which made my blocks slightly smaller than the templates, but I trimmed them as instructed by Megan; and having pieced the blocks yesterday, I turned them into a cushion today; no time like the present eh...

I backed the 14" block with fusible Vilene H640, and spiral quilted in 12wt Aurifil from the centre.  The dots are kind of sticky, and with the fleece on the underside, the tighter middle curves were just a leeettle bit awkward, but it turned out really nicely.

The white background is Essex linen, which I also used for the binding, along with a subtle section of creamy mirror dots, and I envelope-backed it with some Kona Aqua and Ash.  I lined it with a combo of Kona Calico, and some heavier-weight cream upholstery fabric to give it a nice weight.

I am really pleased with how this turned out; and I think Megan may have inspired me to use more solids and make a proper quilt using her pattern.  There's still time to maybe win a copy of the pattern if you check out this post, and why not join in the QAL?


My cushion will wing its way to the Southern Hemisphere come December; I actually can't quite believe how organised I am being!

And...  yes, there's an 'and', that wasn't all I got done today.  Far from it.  I am just waiting for the stuffing man to come good, then I will have a right pair of lovelies, yep, another FAL finish to show you.  On. A. Roll.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Pinch me!

I am so thrilled to tell you that I won the Mini Quilt Viewer's Choice over at Fiona's Holiday Memories Competition; thank you so much to everyone who voted for my mini or for any of the other entries, there were so many lovely winners, Fiona was a wonderful host.

I know, I know, you guys think I win everything - Mr Random and I had a fling a year or so ago but he seems to have moved on to younger, brighter things; this is only my 3rd win this year, and the second was Megan's pattern two days ago.

However, and most excitingly, this is the first time I have ever actually come first for something that I have made.  I have had a couple of runners up placings, but have always been pipped trounced at the post!

So this is a big, humongous, wonderful deal for me.  I am not going to go all Gwynnie on you, but I cannot thank you guys enough.

Mwah!  xxx

Monday, 14 October 2013

Goody goody!

I have a finish, in fact I have two from my Q4 FAL list already, but one is a secret squirrel make that will be revealed at some point in November.

But what I can show you, from my cosy weekend of sewing, are the girly goody bags.

I used Jeni's tutorial, and just matched my measurements to the smallest piece of fabric that the girls had selected, I stuck to the main principals but didn't box the corners...

So these can be put somewhere safe for a few weeks, and then loaded with sweets, left over from Halloween no doubt, to be swung about by the three little ladies when I take them for lunch and Build A Bear!

And added to the sewing rain yesterday, my day started even better than expected with an email from lovely Lindsey saying I had won her giveaway of Megan's awesome Hemispheres pattern.  I may well have spent this evening cheating with my Sizzix, cutting and sewing drunkard's path blocks, using mirror ball dots, and white Essex linen, it wasn't on the list, but it will make a cute Christmas present!

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Saturday quickie...

Well it was a day of shopping, cleaning and sewing - one of those unfussy Saturdays.

I will show you part of what I was up to in tomorrow's post, although you may have seen already on Instagram, but for tonight's quick one, a postal smile that I got yesterday, which I forgot to show in the FAL hubbub.

When you get a parcel with a warning on, you know you won't be disappointed...

I totally hadn't felt the need to avail myself of any mirror ball dots until I started thinking a bit more about Christmas, and then I had to have some!  Plush Addict, (new to me, but likely to be on first name terms soon enough), had a great selection and decent postage, so I had to!

... and they are gorgeous!!

And like many others, I got my first subscription copy of Love Quilting & Patchwork in the mail...

It looks wonderful; I only hope after the last modern quilting magazine debacle that this will run and run!

So for once I am hoping the weatherman is right with his forecast of stay-at-home, don't-venture-out rain for tomorrow, I am feeling all kind of creative!

Friday, 11 October 2013

2013 FAL Q4 - The end of year list...

Before I begin, I want to thank Leanne, for corralling the masses again, on this, her final quarter as the FAL-Mistress, and to all the wonderful sponsors who give us a little more focus for getting things done.  My Q3 was a bit of a flop, so I am hoping for better things this time.

she can quilt

I was seriously worried I would have nothing to put on the list though, seeing as basically once I get started, I don't like to stop until I finish!

So I have spent an agonising week just starting stuff!  Things that need to be made this quarter, and things I will definitely make time for.  So here we go...

1.  I got the girls to chose some fabric combos, plus one for their best friend, and did all the cutting and made the ties before they could change their minds last weekend.  These are going to be goody bags for when we go out for their birthday in November...

 2.  These you have seen, and I need to have finished by the end of November; a little secrecy, but I will tell all when they are done...

3.  I received a huge parcel from Terry's Fabrics ages ago, after commenting on Charlotte's lovely lamp; and these are now raring to go too...

4.  Another secret project, which has moved on a little from this fabric pull, but I can't show you that yet, sorry!

5.  This has to be a secret for a tiny while longer too, sorry; but as soon as I get the a-OK to snap away and rave all about it, I will, you can count on me.  I was able to start playing with these beauties (and some others which are strictly for my eyes only) today, and I am loving how they are looking already.  I am so excited, and now I know how the big girls feel when they get to play with not even new yet fabric lines.  It's not going to my head... much!

6.  And my final hope is to get this beauty completed.  My Stitch Tease finish is in the hands of my fellow bees, as I am still awaiting a few blocks.  But when all the ladies come good, I will be straight onto it, because I completely love how it is looking so far!

I have a list of more Christmas and birthday makes to start, and I have pulled fabric for the Midnight At The Oasis QAL too, but there is no chance, in a month of Sundays, of me finishing that this quarter.

So all I can say is bring on that cold wet weather, I am totally prepared for being house-bound now!!