Monday 31 October 2011

Back to it!

Back to school, back to work, busy busy busy!

Bee packs have started arriving, 'Trick or Treaters' have been knocking and I have managed a little bit of stitching this evening.

The Man Quilt
Peg witches and wizard.  The kiddies, not mine!
Pumpkin and spiders...
I've got a lot more things to sort this evening, as the birthday season is getting into full swing round these parts.  So I better be going. 

Have a Happy Halloween - I am off to scare my credit card!

PS. Before I forget... a measly 1/4lb loss, ho-hum, bloody Pizza Hut!

Sunday 30 October 2011

Couldn't resist!

I know you are all familiar with the fabulous Blogger's Quilt Festival, so I don't need to preach to the converted, nor ask if you have joined in too, because odds are that you have beaten me to it!

'Welcome' if you have come over from Amy's Creative Side for the first time, and hello as always to the fantastic regulars!

My 'Happy Scrappy' quilt was finished at the beginning of the summer, and although small, remains one of my most loved makes to date.  It lives on a trunk at the foot of our bed, and makes me smile everyday.

This quilt came about when Aneela Hoey suggested a quiltalong based on her Crazy Scrappy blocks.  I couldn't wait, and ploughed on alone, fussy cutting and raiding my scraps to produce 6" blocks and 2.5" cornerstones.

If you know me already, or if you take a peek around my blog, you will quickly notice that I have a bit of a thing for scrappy makes!

These blocks were such fun to make, and having divided my scraps into colour piles, making them up was a pretty simple affair. 

This was my first...

Quickly joined by...


Sashing and joining the blocks was soooo satisfying, especially when this was the resultant quilt top...

More scraps for the binding...

... and the final block for the backing; who doesn't love an Echino chopper?!...

And here it lives...

Some stats for the information-hungry...

Size 42" x 42"
Design Based on Aneela's Crazy Scrappy blocks.
Fabrics As many scraps as I could lay my hands on at that time, (I have slightly more now!), Bella Solids jelly roll.
Backing Some no-name gingham and Free Spirit - Ying Ming 'Tea Garden'.
Binding Scrappy.
Quilting Straight line.

Thank you for (re-) visiting this little quilt of mine; time for me to get pinning some of those Festival lovelies x

Saturday 29 October 2011

All Wrapped Up...

I did it!  I paper-pieced Kerry's wonderful 'Winter Woolies' and it actually looks like it should... albeit in a mirror!

I don't know quite what went 'wrong', because it seemed so right when I was making it, and I only noticed when I checked the picture at the end; but no problem, I am chuffed it turned out so well!

I love the stained glass look too...

It will not be left as it is for long, I promise - I think the designer's wall hanging is probably the way I am going to go too.

This was supposed to be a trial run, hence the slightly less than thrilling fabric choices, but I think they work, and with my first bit of successful hand-stitched detail and a pom-pom, I couldn't be happier with it.  Thank you Kerry, a fantastic d├ębut pattern.

Also wrapped up this week were a couple of parcels for me, containing these gorgeous beauties...

The stunning Terrain Jelly Roll is from Mandy as my 'Log Jam QAL' naming prize at Simply Solids, and the backing for the man quilt, and a few other Konas arrived too, (ordered from my 2nd favourite stockist, when I got the urge whilst Mandy was 'closed', sorry Mrs Noble x).

More wrapping, late into the night yesterday, in the guise of Bee Block parcels...

Watch out ladies, Madam November is coming to get you!  I am so excited, these went in the mail this morning - I'll tell you all more next week, when the wonderful Eleven have received them.

And finally, all wrapped up this evening against the cold, 3 terrors at the Amberley Museum Fright Night!

Ghost train, broomsticks and glow-in-the-dark nail varnish - excellent spooky fun!

Friday 28 October 2011

FMQ Mo' Fo!

Here we are again, linking up with Cindy and her Fluffy-free-motioning Sheep, trying to replicate some clever stitchcraft!  Oh boy, oh boy!

I went 100% cotton, I dropped the feed dogs, turned the stitch length to '0', and really tried my best.  I have 'enhanced' the photos so you can see the stitching more clearly, maybe I shouldn't have!

So it looks a lot better than the polycotton/polywadding adventures, but my actual 'steering' leaves a little to be desired.  I didn't go pedal-free, that is just a crazy nonsense I will only use again if I should break both ankles and still have time to sew!

The middle is not quite up the Leah's standard!
The back isn't too bad - less tension issues than before!
After the 'homework' I tried some random stippling, as I think this will probably be what I attempt for real in the future (Duo QAL?).  I only used small practice pieces, so my movements were rather tiny, but I do believe it is the best I have produced!  Still needs work though...

The back of this was cream, so I couldn't photograph it.
Another attempt.  Quite good?
I still need to try gloves.  At the garden centre earlier in the week I did look and try on some thin grippy ones, but they would so annoy me.  Anyone in the know - is it a lot easier once the 'quilt' is larger?  And at what point does a quilt get too big to even bother to try to manoeuvre?

So this week do you think I can say it wasn't a total catastrophe?

Oh before I go, I just have to show you this, having gone completely insane today at a Pizza Hut Buffet, (inc. ice cream, big mistake), we took a trip to Eternal Maker, (you know the one, the wonderful sponsor of the Pings&Needles Scrap Bag Challenge - I hope you've voted!).

I had a little splurge with the girls in mind, probably for Christmas...

Mollie Makes seems to have jumped in the basket at Sainsburys too!

Not a bad day eh? x

Thursday 27 October 2011

"All the leaves are brown, and they sky is grey..."

The Mama's & Papa's song has been going round in my head ever since I decided on the fabric for a quick bit of stitchery yesterday.

I pinned a really simple pattern for a reversible bag a couple of days ago, and decided to pull out some of my bargain fabrics from Pink Castle and make one!

So as the hailstones pounded the conservatory roof, I cut and stitched my Jenean Morrison California Dreamin' fabrics, and in under 2 hours I had this psychedelic beauty!

I love it - one side might be a bit loud, but I don't care!

'Oh she could have ironed it before taking the photos!'

It really is an easy to follow pattern, you can download it from Very Purple Person; it requires very little fabric, no interfacing, zips or fancy business, and would definitely make a quick Christmas present, (oh did I really say that!?).

And as if that wasn't enough colour for one day, my zips arrived from Jennifer at Zipit.  Thank you everyone who suggested this was the place for zippers.  You were right!  I ordered 25 x 7" and 10 x 4" for the delivered price of about 5 measly zips from my local fabric shop.  Sorry local fabric shop, but this is too good a deal to pass up.

So I am all set to make an incomprehensible number of zippy purses in the run up to Christmas.

See, now that's two posts in two days mentioning the 'C' word - there really is no escape is there!

I seem to be blogging a day in arrears too - but today we went indoor ice skating and I am pleased to say that all three kiddies, their friend and 'us mums' all had a great time and I didn't fall over - so total success!

If you haven't yet voted in the Pings & Needles Japanese Scrap Bag Challenge - whataya waiting for?!  Thank you for all your words of encouragement so far - don't forget you can have up to 3 votes, so use them wisely.

Wednesday 26 October 2011


Firstly, have you made up your mind who you want to back in the Pings & Needles Scrap Bag Challenge in association with The Eternal Maker?  Cue huge fanfare!  Details on how you can vote are at the end of this post.

Yesterday, I decided I needed a tick (always need a tick), and between twinny haircuts, DVDs and a trip to the park, I knew sewing was going to be a tad difficult, so it was time for a 'wreath'.

I remembered seeing one in a magazine last Christmas, and there are plenty on Pinterest using a variety of hoops, rings and flower-arranging accessories.

So I went for a humble dry-cleaner's coat hanger and bent it into a circle round an upturned waste-paper basket.

I didn't keep count of the number of strips I cut, but it must have been in excess of 200.  I plumped for approximately 1" x 9", as I found a lot of scraps that fitted the bill, along with some fat eights and polycotton just asking to be used.  I don't ordinarily like red, but it is Christmassy, so it was a great project and dodgy-stash buster in that respect.

I simply tied the strips to the ring, squeezing in as many as I could in semi-random order.

'Semi' in that I tried to evenly sort the different scraps into 4 piles first, each to fill a quarter of the ring; this ensured that after the first quarter I could see I had cut enough.  There were also a few bits of sparkly netting tied in for good measure.

So I reckon I get to have a tick on my Winter Stitching list, (OK, so there was no actual stitching, but it's fabric and crafty and all the things I love, plus it's my list):

9.  Another grand crafting gesture for our Christmas home!

You don't get more grand than putting something 'out there' for everyone to see, whether they are invited in, or not!  I just hope no-one takes a fancy and pinches it when I put it out on December 1st!

OK, build up over...

Time to Vote 
Please head over here and decide our fate!

May the best scrap-bagger win!

Tuesday 25 October 2011

Game On. Part 3...

The one with me!

Yep, today is my chance for fame and glory; OK maybe just a couple of extra visitors who don't normally venture this way, and that's good enough for me... hello!

So the final trio to be showcased by la Pings, for the Japanese Scrap Bag Challenge are Bianca (no blog), Emily (Strawberry Patch), and moi, FB!

I know I have shown you my entries time and again on flickr, and here, but what's once more between friends?

Voting starts tomorrow,  I'll post a link - I am helpful like that.

A quick re-cap, 'we' received a scrap pack each, with which to make something fab.  The winner will receive a year's membership of the wonderful Eternal Maker's Japanese Swatch Club, that's six 5" charms per month to fondle feel the quality and make pretty things!  How awesome is that!?

This is probably the first time I have wished that any of my real-life friends and family knew I had a blog!

Good luck everyone xxx

PS. Today I made a scrappy wreath - I will show you that, if you come back tomorrow x

Monday 24 October 2011

Game On. Part 2...

In today's instalment, Pings presents 3 more hopefuls in the Japanese Scrap Bag Challenge.

So if you would like to check out the next challengees (?), you will find oh-so-brave Ella (throw a wrench in the works), Mad Scouser Beth (no blog), and Alli (B. Yazoo).

Exciting stuff!

In Half-Term news, I utilised my free child labour to arrange and re-arrange the layout of the man-quilt, and this evening I have pieced the top!  I am awaiting some Kona Coal to mix with a charm pack for the backing, then I can crack on.  Oh I wish I could show you - but not you, dear husband!

I have been getting on with joining some hexies, losing 1.75lbs and I am planning on making the decision on a Christmas project, so I'm off to Pinterest, to make a Christmas board.

Heinous poly-cotton be gone!

Sunday 23 October 2011

Game On. Part 1...

Lovely Pings, aka Sarah, has posted the first of three posts for the next stage of the Pings & Needles Japanese Scrap Bag Challenge.

Today you will find links to Sarah (NarcolepticInA Cupboard), Ali (VeryBerryHandmade) and Eilidh (no blog), so please check out these talented ladies' superb competition entries. 

There will be links to 3 more tomorrow and yours truly will feature in Tuesday's group.  Then the voting begins!!

I am pleased to report that my tags have made it to Half-Term, all still attached, intact and used daily, so if nothing else, they are doing what I set out for them to do.  Result!

Saturday 22 October 2011

First tick of the Winter!

Today I completed my Grandma's birthday cushion.  None of my FMQ nonsense here today!

I had forgotten how quick it is to bind such a 'short distance'! 

I added a pair of buttons, it's a bit of a snug fit, as I only had a fat quarter of granny-backing for an 18" cushion, so there's not a lot of overlapping going on. 

I may take a little of the stuffing out of the cushion pad, but even now, I am really happy with this as my 90th gift.

And so begins my ticking off... 
1.  Present for my Grandma's 90th birthday in November.   Kerching!

4 year olds 'Quote of the day', whilst watching the Smurfs movie...
"Look mama, those shapes on the ground look like the hexagons you have been sewing". 
That's my girl!