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Saturday, 30 November 2013

Not my favourite way to start the weekend...

Well I was still awake as the clock struck Saturday, as one poor little girl succumbed to the sickness bug that had been storming through their class all week, and then stormed all over her bedding, oh joy...


A calm day for her in front of the TV and iPad, and thankfully no repetitions, means we are just listening out for those tell-tale noises from the other two this evening... bleugh.

After the rounds and rounds of washing, I escaped to the village with the healthier twin.  I was hoping to get a few bits of birthday and Christmas shopping, it wasn't terrifically successful; but in the pop-up Rotary Club bookshop I did find this little gem for a couple of pounds...


I won't be making anything immediately, more than enough on my saucer at the moment, but when the hoo-haa of the season is over, there are plenty of pretties to ponder over.

I hope your weekend got off to a better start, and you maybe got some stitching time.  I am hoping tomorrow will be a little more fabric-friendly x

Friday, 29 November 2013

Black Friday...

Well I have to admit to having taken a teensy advantage of Black Friday-related shenanigans, but with no broken bones in sight!

Annie jumped the gun at the beginning of the week, with 25% off Sale fabric over at The Village Haberdashery; so I  snapped up a few stash FQs, which will help those frustrating Bee-moments when nothing seems to work, and I also loaded up with some bolt ends of voile; I feel a pre-Christmas scarf making session coming on...


Last night Ali was offering 20% off orders at her Very Berry Fabrics Folksy shop, so a Maxi Bag of Liberty Scraps is heading my way; and then today more voile from Saints and Pinners and a bit of Sketch from Justine at Simply Solids.  All things I needed, obviously.  I'll be sure to show you when they come.

I deliberately kept my shopping within the UK, as on balance, the discount prices, along with minimal postage and quick delivery, definitely outweighed the slightly cheaper fabric plus postal price; but the potential for falling foul of extended Christmas scrutiny and a nice Customs and handling charge is not something I want in the equation.  Ho Ho Ho.

So I am done.  Do not let me buy any more fabric this year; I really don't need it!

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Random Thankful...

Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends in or from the US of A; I am not that sure why you are specifically thankful today, seems like just a lot of eating and preparing to shop the sales from where I'm sitting, so I am actually quite jealous; but having just done the birthday season, I am not sure why anyone needs a big bunch of celebrating a month before the big C!  Feeling like I don't know a lot really!

So I was hoping for a great bit of Random to just pop up and bite me, but no such luck. 

I did notice yesterday though, that our local Waitrose, (the supermarket of Royalty, for those from overseas), has a crafty Christmas theme going on this year, the windows have been decorated...

Pretty!
The only other pictures I took this week, that did not fit in anywhere else, were these..

WT?????????



I am not entirely sure which part of the curriculum these boxes of random fit into, but thankfully the girls were not too attached, and they made their way into the recycle-bin shortly after these shots were taken.

Right, time for me to browse those sales and watch the last part of the Masterchef Australia final, because quite randomly, I am probably the least foody person there is, but I have been hooked.

Linking up with the thankful Randomeers xxx

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Woo hoo Wednesday!

I got a lot done today.  I didn't think I would, but things fell into place rather nicely.

I pieced the backing for my Stitch Tease-Scrap Vomit, and made the binding; and after that little bit of mathematical fun and games, the quilt is 72" square not 60" (doh!), the basting is going to be a bloody cinch...

My fabric deliver arrived...


I was able to then get Di's Brit Bee borders on, hence the little-bit cryptic pic...


Then, oh yes, another thing, I finished my Brit Bee Secret Santa cushion!  I will keep that one under wraps for now as i) it's a secret, ii) there's something that is bugging me about it and iii) if I decide to keep it and make a different one, you will never know!

So I feel a bit more in control of my stitchy destiny this evening compared to last night; well I was, until I saw the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day date, and now I have something new to panic about.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Postponed...

I had plans for the weekend just gone, between sorting and sleeping, but the fabric I was waiting for still hasn't appeared; I am really hoping it turns up tomorrow, as I need to finish a secret, and put the borders on Di's Brit Bee top.

Now, as you know, I do like to get my Bee blocks out of the way as early as possible in the month, and I am already getting a bit angsty about Di's which, now I think about it, isn't due until mid-January, but November has not been kind.  Sarah, I will get Susan's off to you by the weekend, I promise.

I always try to get a couple of blocks made for Bee Blessed too each month, although I am under no obligation to do so, it's just a great cause, but this month, today in fact, I have only managed a single block...



Sorry ladies, please let me off this time; I tried to make it a pretty block though xxx

PS. The 'full shutdown, count to ten and turn it on again' fix to my MacBook last night has been working with mixed success; let's see how long we can go without the air turning blue again shall we!?

Monday, 25 November 2013

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Waiting for the Doctor...

I know I am not the only one just getting through the day and waiting for tonight's 50th Anniversary Doctor Who, so I will keep it brief.

Today started with sorting, flinging and tidying; I went through the contents of the girls' room, with notional assistance, and dear hubby had the pleasure of dealing with the boy stuff.

We literally filled a car with bags of rubbish and the tip is now home to a lot more paper and plastic of unspecified origin than it was before.  It took hours, but the rooms do actually look much better for it, so worth the effort.

Whilst putting away the birthday presents I remembered that I hadn't shown you the bookmarks that I made for the Birthday Four.  One is currently residing somewhere within the pages of Morrissey's happy life story, so it avoided the 'blimey it's getting dark already and we've only just had lunch' photos...


Love those Kokka Robots and Penguins.  And it's not lost on me that the bow ties must be more than a coincidence!

Friday, 22 November 2013

Small stuff...

Told you I had a tonne of small freebies begging to be made...


NB. This is purely a distraction picture, as I have been working on one of those dreaded secret makes that I can't show you yet, sorry.


Charm About You


We have a weekend of tidying up the kids' rooms ahead, so please don't expect many smiles from me tomorrow.  xxx

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Bits and pieces...

Thank you for all your support for concentrating on the small stuff right now and suggestions to avail myself of Emily's services; I will be basting myself, I spray baste, it takes me about 30 mins per quilt, and neither of mine are big, 60" and 72" square, going to the post office would take longer, and involve getting dressed, and brushing my hair ;)

So onto a scraping of random...

This past week, pictures keep popping up for me all around the house...


Big butterfly, no other comments required, thank you!
The parcel of Lego goodies arrived yesterday which, considering it came from the Netherlands, was pretty good going, even if the UK shop was a complete shambles, this made the 3 recipients rather happy and quiet for about an hour with concentration...


A parcel for me too, no.19 of the best series ever; I am a creature of habit, and why this one has been released now and not in June, as per the previous 18, I don't know, but it means I will be getting a little of that holiday feeling whilst snuggled under a quilt for a change...


And I got one of these...
Did you?

Back to the small stuff; totally timely, Lucy has started the Giving Free Gifts Craft-along!  I have every free gift from Mollie Makes ever, in a drawer, guilting me every time I catch a glimpse of them...

Charm About You

Do you hoard those 'that'll be useful/fun/cute' things to make one day?  Well now's the time!

Linking with Cindy and the Randomeers xxx

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Extremes...

Just a couple of pics for you this evening.

I managed a half decent photo of my Midnight At The Oasis progress, despite the rain, hail and general darkness that prevailed today...


And I also pieced my long-awaited Stitch Tease II quilt top; I made the 25th block from the siggies, but forgot to get a picture of that, but here is a shot of as much as I could get in, whilst hanging it in the conservatory...


I am loving how both of these are turning out; just as I had hoped and some!

My only dilemma is that I now have two quilt tops ready and waiting, LV Vomit and my 'Hadley - Gypsy Shawl', but the backings need to be pieced, and the thought of basting them is the last thing I feel like doing at the moment.   It feels quite overwhelming, which I know is daft, but I can't decide which one to finish first.

I think I will concentrate on a couple of smaller makes that I have on the go for now, and come back to them in a week or so.  The relief of having major health issues ruled out is now being overtaken by the sickness that the magic tablets cause; they are now taking their toll, and I am getting fed up of the whole bloody thing!

Hey ho, there was happy mail too though, Lego (yay!), a good book and some fabric, so on balance it was a good day xxx

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Sizzix Christmas - Blog Hop!


It's that time of year when I get to hob-nob with some illustrious bloggy folks, showing you Christmassy ideas that you can make with a Sizzix, (or without, if you must, and have way too much time on your hands).

I have been looking at some of our poor excuses for cushion covers; old, dirty beyond the power of Vanish, and figured that Christmas ones would be great whilst I ponder on what I want to make for the longer term.

So I turned to Touchdraw, and came up with this simple but fun design that would make use of some of my scraps and beloved 2.5" HST and 2.5" square dies...


To save you counting, for the main 16" panel you will need...

4 x white 2.5" squares
44 x mixed green HST-triangles
15 x white HST-triangles
1 yellow 2.5" square  - can be cut with the single die or by rotary cutter
3 x aqua HST-triangles
2 x 2.5" x 12.5" white sashing strips
2 x 2.5" x 16.5" white sashing strips
... and 1 brownish HST-triangle, for luck.

Even though the dies cut in multiples of 4, I still use them to cut one or two pieces from small or odd-shaped scraps.

You will also need fabric for the cushion back, a zipper if you so desire, binding and I always line my cushion fronts with fusible fleece, like Vilene H640 to give a more finished interior and make the quilting look better; but I will leave all that to you.

Cut all the tree pieces, and lay out into a pleasing arrangement.  Stitch into rows with a 1/4" seam and remember, with the Sizzix there's no trimming, press row seams in alternate directions, and join to complete the main panel...


I sashed my block, fused the fleece to the back and quilted with simple straight lines...


I like adding binding to cushions, and for this one, a simple envelope back, very quick and so simple to stitch together...


I used Kona white and cyan from Simply Solids, some home deco-weight from Terry's Fabrics for the perfect backing and scraps from all over the place.  All pieced and quilted in Aurifil 2021 50wt, of course.

A nice bushy tree, getting me in the mood for a real one in a couple of weeks time - woooah, not long folks!

So here's how the rest of the blog hop stacks up...
Monday 18th November - Katy Jones
Tuesday 19th November - Hadley Gordon - You are here!
Wednesday 20th November - Carolyn Forster
Thursday 21st November - Angela Southey
Friday 22nd November - Kerry Green

So do pop by them all, there's bound to be a lot more inspiration to get you in the Christmas spirit. I've still got this little bundle of Christmassy joy to play with, from Pin It & Stitch...


... so I am definitely on the lookout for more ideas for sure.

And what sort of blog hop host would I be if there wasn't a giveaway snuck in there!?  Please head over to the Sizzix site for the chance to win yourself all these...


657900 Big Shot Machine Only (Powder Blue & Teal) by Ellison
658317 Bigz Die - Hexagons, 1" Sides
658318 Bigz Die - Hexagons, 1 1/4" Sides
657165 Bigz Die - Dresden Plate, Small
657616 Bigz Die - Tumbler, 4"H Finished

(The giveaway is open to UK and EU residents only, sorry).

Well I hope you enjoyed my stop, and maybe you'll be adding a few Sizzix-y things to your list from Santa.
xxx

Monday, 18 November 2013

Medallion Monday...

This evening I got the appliqué petal borders on to my Midnight At The Oasis quilt, however it's now way too dark for any decent pictures, so I will get you some soon.  It's looking like a complete colour riot, and I love it!

What I can show you, as promised an age ago, is a sneaky peak, and highly tinkered with photo or two, of Susan's Brit Bee quilt top with the addition of my border...


I already have Di's to work on, thanks to Susan's current speed-stitchery, and for the simplest border, it really is stretching my fabric-matching skills, I may need to shop!

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Nine!

Happy Birthday dear son...


So proud of your reaction; when, after looking forward to it for weeks, and for what felt like many hours in the Lego Shop, you finally decided how you wanted to spend your birthday gift certificates, only to be told by the shop-boy at the till that their machines could not accept gift cards today.

Mummy, I can assure you, was not so polite.

PS. Craft It Forward opportunity update:
Sarah at Silly Banana Sewing
Benta at SLIKstitches

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Party Day...

Dear son turns 9 tomorrow, so today involved taking himself, 4 friends and the girls to Chichester.

Hubby got to supervise the boys at bowling, whilst the girls and I went for a wander up to the town, and then we all met up again for a birthday tea at Frankie & Benny's.


Good times.

And now it is all peaceful again.  Job well done xxx

Friday, 15 November 2013

Crafting It Forward... At Last!

I am not going to look back at the exact date for shame, but last year I jumped at the chance to receive a Craft It Forward gift from Charlotte.  She treated me to some gorgeous fancy chocolate mularky, and in return I put out the call for 5 bloggy types to receive a gift from me.  In return for doing likewise, when they receive from me, they will blog, make, and so on and so forth, sharing the love ad infinitum.

So with 365 days to honour my side of the deal, I kept a 'CiF' entry on every month's To Do list that I wrote this year.  I even showed you progress at the end of the summer when I added them to my Q4 FAL list; so now, with a clear(ish) conscience, I can show you the finished pressies...

These should be landing on doorsteps of the surprised victims recipients, who I'm sure must have given up all hope, and been too polite to ask...


Just in case you like to know the details of these things, these needle books were inspired by some that I coveted over at Krista's, and all were made with Liberty 1/2" hexies, Essex Yarn-dyed linen in Denim, lined with Alison Glass' Sun Print Text, and felt from Eternal Maker.  Everything was pieced and stitched in Aurifil 50wt.  There's a handy clip for scissors, or to attach to a zippy pouch, and I think they measure up at about 4" square when closed.

I added some chocolate and a small button badge to try to get me back in the good books, and the postmaster popped Christmas stamps on the UK ones, so it even looks, for all intense and purposes like they are early!


I will link back to the recipient's CiF posts, so you may get lucky and be on the receiving end of their crafty generosity some time soon.

Linking up now with Liz, even though it's not Thursday.


Right, back to the next thing on the list xxx

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Randoming today...

From first thing in the morning traffic jams, with sublime, beautiful views...


...to a bright pink ridiculous mini wardrobe from a lady at work, to house the immanent Build-a-Bear birthday shopping...


... to a doctor who is happy for me to stay on the tablets, if needs be, until after the festive season, before any further exploratory business; I'm happy with that!

I also got Susan's Brit Bee borders finished this evening, and I'm very pleased with my fabric choices and it's looking bloody cohesive, so some sort of sneaky peak to come your way soon, promise.

Linking with the Randomeers; hope you had a good day too xxx

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Pinky Post...

I have had a few deliveries over the last couple of days, and only when I put them all together did I spot the common thread...


There's 2 meters of Klona in Rose, and a couple of bolt ends, DS and Sketch from Alice at Backstitch; the Klona is for the backing of my Hadley quilt, and the bolt ends, well, to be polite! 

Zips for a number of cushions I have plans for; I was going to go with trusty old Zipit, but these were from the same UK eBay shop as my mega-pom-poms, great price and here the next day!

And I finally succumbed to some Paper Pieces from Jessie at Sew and Quilt; Katy regularly plugs these, and I had resisted until now, but finding myself accidentally without a porta-project, it was time!  I have pulled out some Posy mini-charms already, and added them to my HUGE To Do pile.

Susan's Brit Bee borders are top of my hit list though; fabrics have been pulled, auditions are being held; fun times ahead!

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

3 down, one to go!

Hubby celebrated his birthday today, so we had a lovely day off work together, did a little shopping and eating and enjoyed some peaceful time without the kids in tow.

I didn't get a photo yet of the birthday makes, so instead here's a picture of my favourite purchase of the day, snatched from the Cath Kidston website...

http://www.cathkidston.com/father-christmas-sweatshirt/christmas-jumpers/cath-kidston/fcp-product/1003494

When the birthdays are all done by next Monday, I will be able to get in the Christmas mindset; which is all rather timely, as I will be Christmas blog-hopping next Tuesday, details coming soon.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Sorted Saturday...

This morning, this...


... got turned back into working underfloor heating, so cosy sewing for me again!

We went to school for ice skating.  It was very cold, very wet and these faces say it all...

Please can we go nooooow!!!???
Hopefully this little lot will make them smile again in the morning...


I even made everyone a little stitchy present, but no photos until hubby, at least, gets his one on Tuesday; and there's some chocolate flapjacks all ready for tomorrow's tea too.

Sorted xxx

Friday, 8 November 2013

Feet Up Friday!

All the chores are done for now, so this evening, these will be keeping me occupied...


Really busy weekend in the offing though; ice-skating at school, baking, last minute shopping (and hopefully sewing) and a load of wrapping to do tomorrow followed by the girls' birthday on Sunday.

So my weekend words may be minimal, well the polite ones anyway xxx