Thursday, 30 September 2010

So much to do, sew little time...

I need more hours in the day, even with being awake at 4.30 every morning for the last month!

I eventually managed to get the holding page uploaded for my father; jumping the gun, trying to get it all set up before the wonder-web had time to be updated with the hosting request, so obviously I thought I was doing it incorrectly; a frustrating circle of aggravation!

I have a pile of fabric begging to be cut and quilted, a new crochet book unopened, bought in the hope that I could quickly get to grips with the basics and then give those beautiful flowers a go, thanks to lovely Annabelle, a pile of magasines left unread and I won't even begin to mention work or the house...

So the only thing that made me smile today was this lovely picture from Decorex

Clarissa Hulse, I heart you!

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

An unashamed plug!

A little while ago I mentioned that my father was going to be selling some of his stained glass at the Crafts at Lancing College show (23-24 October 2010).  I also promised to show you some pictures. 

I have been trying to be a good daughter and sort out his webpage today, (I am not a genius in this area, but I think we are getting there - again I will post a link when all is done), these are a couple of the pictures he wants included.

I love them and I am not just saying that because he's my dad!  If you can make it to the show, I will be helping out over the weekend, and it would be great to meet some of you.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Something for the boys!

Look what I got today - and the postman even left my parcel with a neighbour!  The lovely folks over at The Eternal Maker are responsible for this little bundle of fun!

I want to make something for both my husband and father, and these heavier weight Echino linen/cotton mixes are just the ticket.  I am thinking cushions rather than quilts, so I need to come up with a plan to make the most of the superb prints - really does seem criminal to chop them up!  I might just end up just sewing a couple of fat quarters together!

I will, without question, keep you posted.

Monday, 27 September 2010

It was 7 years ago today...

You've heard the one about my sister, well today it's my turn!

We got married on a sunny day in Arundel, surrounded by our favourite people.  Sadly we have lost 7 of our loved ones in the years that have followed, but we have increased by at least 14, baby Ted being the latest addition.

Even after all the other weddings we have been to since, ours was still the best, and most perfect day, and I would not have changed anything even with hindsight!

Last year we spent the day travelling back from Lake Como, today we spent the morning looking at houses - and dare I say it, we think we have found 'the one' - quite apt for an anniversary.  I will say no more until we have worked out how on Earth we are going to do the deal, not having sold ours yet...but we are making 'plans'...

Sunday, 26 September 2010

I heart shopping...

Today I bought this...

and this...

and then ordered this...

and these...

Thank goodness it's payday on Thursday!

Saturday, 25 September 2010

One year ago today...

...my little sister got married in Varenna, Lake Como, surrounded by friends and family.  She had travelled there from New Zealand with her now-husband, to have the most scenic, perfect wedding they could imagine. 

The groom's brother and family were there, timed to coincide with their European trip, and about 30 of 'us' came from the UK, France and Finland.  As a group, we took over the tiny town, especially the hotel and bar ; the next day in Bellagio we bumped into someone we knew round every corner!

With the passing of time it has become a lovely memory - the reality was sleep-deprived, full of toddler tantrums and a journey that had involved a 4am start, car to Gatwick, bus from the long-stay car park, aeroplane to Milan, bus to Milan (the real Milan, not the airport 30k away!), train to Varenna and a 20 minute walk (up-hill) all in time for lunch the day before the 'big day'.  Obviously she's my sister and worth it, and Phileas Fogg would have been proud!

Today I spent the afternoon at a 5th birthday party with the girls, whilst hubby and son went to Arundel Castle.  Not quite as romantic!

Friday, 24 September 2010

T'wit T'woo-hoo!

Well I have had a long old week, and this evening after the children had gone to bed I decided it was time to do something fun, and have a go at those sock owls.  They are a bit of an experiment, and need a little refining, but in a couple of hours, a pair of baby socks have evolved into these:


Please excuse the blurry pictures, I was so eager to let you know how they turned out, I couldn't wait for some daylight and a steady hand!

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Round and around...

This afternoon, a good deed for my father resulted in the girls and I driving round an industrial estate, in the rain, chased by a fleet of re-cycling bin-lorries, trying to locate a chandlers for about 30 minutes before I had to stop and phone them up and ask to be guided in!

All this for 200 tiny ferrules for some my father's stained glass creations - I will get some photos for you to see (of the stained glass, not the ferrules), as he is working up his 'stock' for Crafts at Lancing College in October.

The venue is like something out of Harry Potter and hopefully the pre-Christmas show will be a big success.  If you are in the area on 23rd/24th October, I can obviously recommend it.  I am hoping for some inspiration, and who knows, maybe next year I'll have made so many quilts I'll need (or rather, be told) to sell some!

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Anyone for a cuppa?

I've wanted to post these pictures for the last week, but what with early-Ted and others things, I never got round to it before now!

When I finish work, I often have about 15 minutes before I need to collect the girls from nursery. Now, that's really not long, and is often spent in a queue in the Co-Op getting milk, but sometimes I have a quick look in the 2 charity shops on the parade.

More often than not there is absolutely nothing I would want to touch, never-alone take home, however there are those rare occasions that make the looking worth while!

These original 1960's melamine Gaydon Melmex cups and saucers are so simple and I think the colours are great, it's a shame there wasn't a green one to complete the set, but at £2 for the lot, I'm not complaining!

They will look lovely on our imaginary shelf, in our imaginary kitchen, in our imaginary new house!

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

I'm as free as a bird...

Here it is - I am so pleased to have finished this monster! It isn't actually that big, but compared to the others I have made, it is twice the size and all the tinkering about with the white sashing, made it feel like the size of a football pitch!

I'm not sure now whether I prefer the front or the back.

I must thank my little helpers, without whom the photos would not have been possible!

Monday, 20 September 2010

I am going to finish the Freebird!

I am, I promise, tonight, so can't stop!

Just wanted to decrease my chances of being picked even further by letting you know that Ashley over at Film in the Fridge has a lovely 'It's a Hoot' charm pack giveaway on her fantastic blog. Take a look.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Out and about...

Today we had a lie in!

Then we took a drive out to look at houses, or rather locations, streets and playgrounds just to try and get a feel. I may sound a bit mad, but I also wanted to check out the quality of the 'rubbish' around the village green opposite one particular house!! I figured, if on a Sunday morning there were loads of empty cans, bottles or worse, then it might not be as perfect as it looks driving past. There was no rubbish!

We then took a stroll up to a beautiful little church; I am already day-dreaming about traipsing through the snow to the Christmas Eve midnight service. OK, so it rarely ever snows at Christmas, and I go to church even more infrequently, but we are talking about a life-changing and enhancing move, and a girl has got to dream!

Afterwards we had lunch in Arundel, followed by a quick shop in Spark's Yard for a first/paper anniversary present for my sister and brother-in-law. I settled for some paper bunting.

I loved this display they had on their stairway.

I took a few snaps of the most lovely shops too, including fabric buttons & beads, which I have mentioned before.

Plumtree of Arundel was full of amazing Greengate homewares. This Danish company looks gorgeous, very similar to Cath Kidston, the online catalogue says it all . Hubby and children were impatiently waiting for me in the car at this point, so I will have to venture back alone another day (do I always say that!?).

Saturday, 18 September 2010

A watched pot...

We are living in the proverbial 'watched pot' waiting, cleaning, tidying, waiting and waiting some more for the phone to ring, and for someone to want to see and buy our home... patience is wearing very thin :(

Anyway on a more cheery note, we've had a day of birthday parties for cousins and friends, sunshine and smiles.

I also discovered the first issue making magasine. It looks to be full of diverse but equally interesting and inspirational projects; I haven't had a chance to have a proper read yet, but am looking forward to getting time tomorrow. I got my copy in WHSmiths, but I suspect it is available elsewhere.

Hope you are all having a good weekend x

Friday, 17 September 2010

A gift for Ted...

All done! The photos don't do it justice, it has to be said, but they'll give you a good idea of how it turned out. The finished quilt is 31" x 41.5" and used up all my Michael Miller Ta Dot (in celery), without an inch to spare - fate!

I used a lot of the scrap squares from Saints & Pinners, (you can play spot the fabrics if you like), and they all make for, I hope, a cheerful fun quilt.

My separation anxiety is not diminishing - I think I might have to send my husband to the Post Office to ensure it gets sent!

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Teaser too...

I am so keen to get this little baby stitched, I am just dropping by with another sneak peak! I am about 1/3 of the way hand-stitching the binding, and I may well get this completed by tomorrow, when I will reveal all!

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

A quick update...

No pictures today...but wait and see what I have been up to! I have slaved over the baby quilt this evening, and now only the binding is left to stitch! I hate to say it, but I could quite easily keep it, and nip to the shops for a cuddly toy or little outfit instead!

I am a hoarder, and I know that I could happily sew and tinker all day and night making things with no intention of giving anything away to anyone! So this will be a test. I think I may then go to the other extreme, and my family will get to the point of having to turn away my deluge of 'gifts' as there are only so many quilts a person needs!

We'll see.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Hello baby!

Two weeks early, my cousin's baby popped into the world this morning, a little boy, as yet un-named.

So yours truly put her foot to the pedal as soon as I found out this evening, and stitched the quilt top in under an hour - good job I got those squares sorted yesterday!

Monday, 13 September 2010

A little bit of what you fancy...

Not having time to get stuck into the Freebird binding this miserable afternoon, I decided to sort through my lovely Saints & Pinners scrap rolls and stash, to decide on some fabrics for the little quilt I want to make for my cousin's eagerly awaited baby.

So I have sorted and cut 54 4 1/2" squares mostly in greens, with either a pink or turquoise binding, depending upon which colour the baby comes out!

As it will be my first quilt given as a gift, I am going to have to make a special effort, as my natural 'happy-go-lucky' approach won't cut the mustard! I suspect a little bit of 'gift anxiety' is likely to set in.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

A teaser..

I have sewn, trimmed and packed away the Freebird for the evening, all ready to start hand-sewing the binding tomorrow (something to look forward to - and on a work day, that is crucial!). I am not showing it to you again until it is finished.

The sun came out today, so it was all good in the Flying Bird household!

Yesterday we drove past, and pretty much ignored, a rather dull looking house for sale in a perfect place. A bit of online investigation revealed it was a 4 bedroom home, and well below our budget. Today's thoughts have revealed this. Options!

Saturday, 11 September 2010

No sheep for the wicked...

Today was the annual Findon Sheep Fayre. It rained. All day. We didn't go.

A shame as we have been for the last 3 or 4 years, and it is always sunny, fun and passes a few hours with sheep, hot dogs and ice cream. But no, not today.

Also no viewings, despite me rushing round like a mad thing to get everywhere clean and today before we went out for a rainy drive. We are going to have to come up with something radical to get a sale; I know the house has only really been on the market for 10 days, but as we have been thinking about it for so long, it feels like months!

We did end up at Harbour Lights for a lovely lunch though, so it wasn't all bad.

I have also quilted the Freebird! It is rather wonky and a little puckered, but aren't we all! I now need to try and trim it down into some semblance of a straight-edged rectangle; a job for tomorrow. I'll take some photos in the daylight too.

I hope it hasn't been such a wash-out day for everyone else.

Friday, 10 September 2010

A great big 'Thank You'

I needed something to make me smile today, and I got it, in the form of my prize from Annabelle Serendipdity.

How lucky am I?! All these beautiful things, all for me.

I have created a couple of little tangles in the name of 'crochet' already, and am already pondering what I am going to make with the fabrics.

If anyone knows of a good link to a 'crocheting for completely impatient and raring-to-go novices', please let me know.

Thank you Annabelle, you're the best!

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Neighbours, everybody needs good neighbours..

Today I came home to one of those annoying cards from the postman telling me that my and my husband's parcels had been returned to the Post Office and we must wait a frustrating 24hours (for him to cycle back?) until we can collect!

Now is it just me, but when a delivery is left with a neighbour, those little catch-up chats are what make neighbours more 'neighbourly'? When you don't really know anyone in your street, these are the occasions that you actually get to speak to people.

I am probably very anti-social, and you are no doubt thinking I should (literally) get out more, but when I am usually herding kids into or out of the car, laden with bags, glitter-covered pictures, junk models falling apart everywhere, and it is invariably raining, I just want to get indoors, sit down and have a cup of tea! Making small-talk is the last thing on my mind! However, the prospect of getting a parcel in return for a quick chat, well that's different!

I am going to make a concerted effort when (oh when?) we move, to meet the neigbours, and make friends. You guys are fantastic, and are welcome for a cuppa anytime, but the logistics won't make it very spontaneous!

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Daily post...

Not the post I am longing for - the postmen were all over the place today, delivering after 3pm, when they normally come at 11ish - typical, I hope they come up with Annabelle's goodies tomorrow!

However it's not all bad. I received a lovely selection of catalogues to furnish our imaginary house with!

I absolutely love everything from Designers Guild, and the Autumn brochure is crammed with totally gorgeous fabrics and accessories.

I had a bit of a retro moment the other evening ordered catalogues from ercol and Parker Knoll. The PK isn't as good as I'd hoped, but the ercol Originals are simply fantastic, I want, I want, I want!

The final surprise was a Cath Kidston Pocket Guide to Autumn, which arrived out of the blue.

I have tacked the Freebird ready to start machine quilting tomorrow evening; I am really looking forward to hand-stitching the binding already, I love that part.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Still on a winning high...

I have spent the evening, stitching, ironing and pinning the Freebird quilt together; in my mind we are already snuggled under it on the sofa!

I now have even more things I want to do, and lordy knows when I am going to have the time. I know from the blogs I follow that I am not the only one with lots of things on the go at any one time, but as I am an increasingly neat-freak (a place for everything, and everything in its place), I'm not sure I am going to be able to cope with piles of unfinished goodies!

Here's my 'To Do' list: please nag me if you do not see 'in progress' pictures right here soon!
  • 2 x quilts for the girls
  • Small quilt for cousin's baby-to-be
  • Sock owls
  • Union Jack patchwork cushion for Dad (Birthday December)
  • Quilt for dear hubby (Birthday November)
  • Quilt for Mum (Christmas)
  • 60th birthday present for Aunt (December)
  • Christmas 'something' for my sister and brother-in-law
  • Make things to sell at the school Christmas Fayre
  • Sell the house
  • Buy a nicer house!
And to top it all, Prints to Polka Dots are offering a 15% discount until midnight next Monday - on top of their already bargain prices, that will mean more browsing and shopping for me, less time for making, uh-oh!!

I won something lovely!

Having come home from work with my grumpy face on, I logged on to find out I had won Annabelle's competition!!

How brilliant is that - I can't wait to have a go at crocheting - it may end up some new 'form' never before seen, may be mistaken for random knots or modern art, but I am going to give it a go!

Thank you again Annabelle, I am looking forward to receiving that beautiful looking parcel!

Monday, 6 September 2010

Summer's gone...

I went back to work today, and had to consciously force myself through the door; it's now raining too, so summer has definitely ended. I would be looking forward to cozy evenings quilting, but I am having a nervous breakdown every-time a see a bit of sock fluff on the carpet or a wonky cushion, so all those loose threads are not going to relax me - until we sell the house!

However I have spent the evening laying out and cutting the sections for the back of the Freebird quilt, I think it should turn out as planned...

Please excuse the terrible picture - the quilt is rather big, and I couldn't get it all in!

The girls and I stopped in at the library before school pick-up today, and I sadly handed back the Kaffe Fassett 'Quilts in the Sun' that I had already renewed, and had for the past 6 weeks. On the way out, it was sitting on the pile ready to go back on the shelf, so I grabbed it again and have another 3 weeks to look at the stunning pictures!

Sunday, 5 September 2010

They're here!!!

All done and ready to be loved!! Eager children all around, now the monkeys have had their photo-call, they can be released!!

Quilting here we go again!

Saturday, 4 September 2010

The big 50!!

50th blog post today - well I could have posted something a couple of days ago, so apologies for the radio-silence, but I wanted to make my 50th a good one and I needed some interesting stuff to show and tell - hope I have succeeded!

So what has been happening? Dear Son went back at school and is loving it, the sun has kept shining and I have been pretty busy with lots of lovely things.

The monkeys have come along a treat, I have just got their eyes to stitch now, then the whole family will be complete.

My Prints to Polka Dots package came, and I am loving the colours even more in 'real-life'. The Amy Butler 'August Fields Poppies' is lovely, and I am looking forward to using it as a backing as it is just too special to cut up! The smaller pieces will be used for a baby quilt (hopefully). The yard of Freebird is destined for the eponymous quilt.

Today saw a superb family trip to Hever Castle. I must admit I had an ulterior motive, The Quilters' Guild show. Having wandered the beautiful gardens, eaten a picnic surrounded by ducks and swans, and packed the children off with Daddy and Grandpa to the adventure playground, Mum and I enjoyed a look at all the amazing quilts and stalls.

Now I have to admit that most of the quilts on show were not to my taste at all, but I could appreciate the absolute skill and passion that the makers have. The intricate detailing and perfect hand-stitching were amazing, really awe-inspiring. I took a few photos, but not having sought permission from the ladies in person, I feel posting them would be a bit rude, so if you are free tomorrow (and not in the southern hemisphere!) you should pop along and see for yourselves! Click here...

I bought a trusty charm pack, and a small piece of Heather Bailey's Pop Daisy, and I NEVER come away from anywhere without a 'bag'!

Hever Castle is just so picturesque and the gardens are immaculate. After the Maize Maze fun we had in Cornwall, we gave both the yew and water mazes a miss! But I want a garden with herbs like this:

Whilst photographing my increasing stash, I think I am developing an unhealthy attraction to selvedges! Is it me, or are they just fascinating and crying out to be made into something special themselves? I remember seeing some pin-cushions once upon a time, so I will add this to my 'One day...' list!

So many wonderful projects and so little time (plus back to work on Monday, boo-hiss).