Monday, 28 February 2011

Never one for the easy option...

Thursday (oops amended from Friday - good job I re-read the letter!), as I am sure most of you are well aware, is World Book Day.  So dressing up as a favourite book character is the name of the game for dear son.

So although we had the whole of half term to think of and organise an outfit, did we?  Oh no.  Was I thrown into panic this weekend and then prepared to go into town after work today to buy something?  Almost.  But no, instead of taking the easy option, I have ended up spending the best part of this afternoon and evening doing a bit of deconstruction-reconstruction to produce possibly the silliest thing I have ever made!

From these:

To this!

I still need to give it a good press and tidy up all the lose threads, but little Wally should be impressed!  I will take photos on Friday.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Girls, girls, girls...

Today I spent a lot of the time with a lot of 4 year old girls, ball pits and cake, and I am pleased to say it wasn't quite the horror I was expecting, but I still have a headache as a souvenir.

The dollies took their slightly freaky-looking photo-call to show off their quilts.  Without measuring a thing, I somehow managed to get the perfect size from those scraps - fate!  It has taken a while, but I have learnt that things have to distinctly different but remarkably similar, to avoid confusion and arguments; I think I pulled it off!

I am glad to say they don't remind me of the girls when they were first born... well not too much!

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Another Lovely Award...

Woo-hoo and great big thank you to Tracee of Farm Gate Creations who has deemed me and my little old blog worthy of a Liebster Blog award!

And in the tradition of such awards, (I have cut and pasted) the 'rules':
1) If you are tagged, and you want to accept, then create a post on your blog and add the leibster blog pic.
2) Link back to the person who gave you the award and say if you accept.
3) Choose 3-5 of your favourite blogs to tag, link these in your post too and tell the lucky people they have been tagged.

The aim of this award is to bring unknown good blogs to light
, (less than 50 Followers is ideal), therefore, please don't tag somebody with 3000 followers!
So I have 'ummed and arghed', and discounted all those 'numerically popular' folk, and award another fantastic four an award to love and pass on as they see fit...
Take a bow:
Lindsey - Fine Linen and Purple  
(Gorgeous grandchildren and a nice eye for furniture!)
(A new blog to me, but the current 'My First Quilt' posting is a great idea.)
Victoria - She's Crafty 
(Check out her new baby pictures!)
(That Union Jack quilt is only one of Mandy's fantastic creations.)

Have a lovely weekend everyone.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Ice to see you ...

This morning dear son and I went ice skating - the real cold stuff, at the temporary outdoor rink in Worthing. 

It was a little murky and rainy down by the seaside, but we had fun, no slippages and we topped it off with chocolate milkshakes and cake!

The trip to town also meant I could get my Comic Relief bag and a silk handkerchief for hubby, hurrah!

This afternoon at home we all settled down to watch Despicable Me - much smarter than the below average bear Boo Boo!  I also finished the first dolls' quilt binding.

Well that was half term!  Another Inset Day on Monday, but it's Daddy's turn to have a day off, and I'll be back at work, boo boo hiss!

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Mighty mitre...

Look at this, my most perfect corner ever!  OK so you are all yawning now, but this has taken me forever to master!

I started binding both doll's quilts this morning and will hopefully get a little more done this evening, but the HUG is getting first dibs on my sofa time. 

It was so beautifully today, I hope you got to make the most of the sunshine!  So where was I all afternoon?  Stuck in the cinema watching Yogi Bear that's where.  Please just don't; if you only ever do one thing I ask, it's stay away from the bear, life is too short!  

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

I spoke too soon!

So this morning was great; the sound of the rain on the conservatory roof as I got out my sewing machine and got busy.

I decided to use up the real scrappy It's A Hoot scraps, offcuts from the bunting that had already been used for the pin cushions, and now destined for my new spec-mat.  I tried a technique that I had not attempted before - quilting as you go - joining and quilting at the same time.  I saw this on a larger quilt-scale over on Rebecca Merry's blog ages ago, and lodged the idea in the back of my mind until now.

I used a scrap of yellow for the backing, and figured pink cotton would be a nice contrast, and a full piece from the layer cake for the binding.

Unfortunately I didn't have any bright yellow cotton, so came to a halt after attaching the binding...

I moved on to the dolls' quilts, cutting 8cm squares from the largest scraps, and ran up the tops pretty quickly.  I found some perfectly sized wadding pieces ready and waiting and some lovely sunny yellow polka dot yardage for the backing.

So the plan was to stop off at the fabric shop in the village, to get some yellow thread for both projects on my way to pick up dear son from Pease Pottage services, mid-way/30 mins between my parents and home, and then being home in about an hour and a half to get on with the stitchery.  Hmmm...

I arrived to hear on the radio that a 'serious incident' on the M25 had shut the motorway between the 2 junctions the others were travelling on.  My first reaction was a lot of swearing and urging my mum to quickly answer her phone in complete panic mode, followed by relief when my she answered saying there was a bit of a traffic jam!  Phew...

Do you carry an emergency crafting kit with you where-ever you go, or maybe just a needle and thread?  Well I don't, but I will from now on!  Armed with both the unfinished spec-mat and new thread, I spent the next 2 hours, (should have been 15 minutes), cursing the fact I was needle-free and refusing to spend £6.99 on a travel sewing kit from the newsagents.

However we all met up and got home safe and sound in the end, and I have just completed the spec-mat binding.  I am quite pleased considering I was probably just going to chuck those tiny pieces in the bin!

The dollies will have to wait until tomorrow, but they haven't complained!

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Famous last words...

Tomorrow I have a whole morning at home to myself.  Just me, my sewing machine, pots of tea, packet(s) of biscuits, peace and quiet!!  What on Earth could go wrong?!?!

After the success of the scrap pin-cushions, I am planning to make some more 'little things' with the It's A Hoot layer cake scraps.  I am veering towards another mug rug-come-glasses mat (spec-matular!), maybe a couple of dolls' quilts, or cushions for the girls.  Decisions, decisions...

Monday, 21 February 2011

Gimme an H...

Just a quicky tonight as I am embarking on the 'H' and I am too excited to stop and chat!  I am so loving seeing the HUG 'turning the corner'.

Now, I am hoping that by the summer I will be well into the KISS, so lets see if I get done before this comes out to distract me!

Sunday, 20 February 2011

7 things about a Stylsh Blogger...

A great big thank you to lovely Verity of Miss Ginger Makes - she has deemed me worthy of a Stylish Blogger award, how about that!

So, the name of the game is that I now tell you 7 things about me, and then pass the award along to others, then these recipients do likewise...

I can't promise interesting, but these have sprung randomly to mind...

1.  I like Katie Price, and I'm not sorry.  I know that's not stylish, and sometimes she can be downright irritating with a mouth that fires off before her brain engages, but if you saw last night's Let's Dance for Comic Relief, you'll see why!

2. I own every Smiths single, ever.  In my youth I was such a total 'fan' - now I don't think I could name anyone in the charts, except Take That!

3. I don't drink anymore.  Since having the children I have had a real aversion; I probably had more than my fair share before though!

4. My girls favourite story is the tale of when I got a stone stuck in my ear!

5. I hate tangled coat hangers!  The noise, the random and impossible untangling is just my idea of hell!  Arrgh!!!!

6. I once got picked up when hitch-hiking in New Zealand by a couple of girls with guns in the boot of their car!  We let them drop us off anywhere they wanted!

7. I've been slowly eating my way through most of my children's Easter Eggs from last year - they had so many they haven't noticed - there are still 2 remaining which survived the move!

There are so many blogs that I love and follow that I could just put a link to Google and let you find them all yourselves, but that is just too easy.  So I decided to narrow my choice to just 4, otherwise I really would just list all of my Followers blogs and all those I Follow.  Please please please don't take offence if you are not one of the Fantastic Four.  Maybe one of my '7 things' should have been that "I am paranoid about offending the people that matter to me!"

So in alpha order...


Spreading the love to Marguerite, Helen, Rebecca and Benta xx

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Second thoughts...

What a grey old day, however we have 'lofted', tidied, cleaned and I spent the afternoon with one eye on the Hug, and the other on Up, except of course when I was shedding the odd tear!

Having slept on the Echino possibility, we have decided that the colours were just a bit too bold, and simply don't go with the bedding that we currently own and love!

So back to almost square one, and my quilting roots of freebies, hence an idea to use some of those recent samples and maybe I have just ordered a few more, and maybe I might have to make another 'selection' in a week or so!

I have stapled the four canvases together in anticipation, and will now sit back and wait for the postman!

Friday, 18 February 2011

I heart Inset days!

Firstly a big thank you for all your kind words about the HUG, they really mean a lot - check out today's new Flickr pic!

Today then, taking just 3 hours flexi-leave, I managed to cram in loads especially as there was no school run, no rain and no furniture to build for a change!

There were huge Belgian Buns for breakfast, (apologies to any Danes reading, but the Belgian variety looked yummier this morning), a lovely pot of tea, with a tea strainer, and a huge chocolate milkshake for my companion; the parcel was safely posted to NZ, we did some reading about tarantulas - not my choice, a few random rounds of eye-spy, a quick spin around Tesco, all before collecting the girlies from nursery, then back home for a bit of mummy-time!

We are still in need of a large picture or 'something' to go above our bed, to cover some incumbent holes and scuffs, and also to inject a bit of colour and personality.  So after a little ponder, here are my first 'drafts' using some of my beautiful and beloved Echinos and some previously covered canvases...

I have a real problem cutting into these gorgeous prints, so I am thinking that they will remain largely intact and be able to be re-used in the future should we tire of them, and I would get to see them all the time - so a win win.  Dear hubby seems to be onside at first glance, so I may well get happy with the staple gun over the weekend.

Taking the photos, and trying to get all 4 canvases in wasn't so easy, even with assistance!

Then, as if playing with fabric wasn't enough, I just needed to make a little something, some good old instant gratification, and what better way to use up some of those scraps left over from the bunting, than pin cushions.

I literary had my conscience pricked last night; check this beauty out by lovely clever Fi (Patchwork Delights) - I can only dream of making anything so perfect!  When Verity said at New Year that she was going to make a concerted effort to make things from the books she owns, this was one of those 'things' I vowed to make!

So I grabbed my Quilting In No Time and got going!

I didn't want the frilly bit, and I probably didn't follow the instructions to the letter, and if you don't look too closely, I am really rather chuffed! 

The pink one is for my mum, sort of a early consolation prize for looking after dear son for a few days over half term!  The other one is just for me. 

The postman also came laden with literature, (well you may beg to differ), and I now have these to look forward to...

I love days like these.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

HUG update

It's been 3 weeks now and things are starting to look a bit more interesting...

It's so lovely to start adding the colour and seeing the wonderful patterns take shape - I am really excited about getting onto the letters, I just have an ocean of cream to stitch first!

For those checking up on me on Flickr, it probably doesn't look like I get a lot done on a daily basis - but it is slow.  More specifically, I am slow, but there's no rush!

Inset day tomorrow, so I have a breakfast date with dear son and a big Danish pastry at a local coffee shop :)

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Presents I want to keep!

With my sister in New Zealand, I have to plan ahead for birthdays and Christmas otherwise nothing would ever arrive on time, so with a birthday in a couple of weeks, I need to get this little lot in the post to her pronto!

The bag is a fantastic Angie Lewin design for Liberty in aid of Comic Relief.  What a fantastic combination, I think I will be heading back to TKMaxx to get one for myself, because obviously the 6372 bags I already have aren't enough - and being for charity, I would be a mean old miser to not part with my money eh!?  The red noses are so subtle and brilliant!

About a year ago I was studying printmaking as part of my C&G and one of my attempts at copying a design was an Angie Lewin print. 

The fabrics swatches I received back then were beautiful, but very expensive.  So now I am wondering why on earth I didn't just buy 2 bags in the first place... doh!

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Good Will Bunting!

Well I was going to post this sooner, but I didn't want to be online too long over the last couple of evenings.  So anyhoo, to make the most of the rain on Sunday, I finally unpacked my sewing machine and got making, and it counts as decorating too!!

OK, so I know I am behind the times, and probably the last person in the world to make bunting, so I will just post the pictures and you can skip through to the finished result...

The flash makes the girl's room look a little more stark than it really is - I have deliberately cropped off the messy, toy-strewn beds and floor!

Most of the hearts cover the mess left behind from shelves and things, which we will get round to sorting eventually, but for now, we have two happy girls, and a happy mummy x.