Saturday 31 December 2011

That was the year that was...

Oh can you believe that it is the last day of the year?  What a year it has been!  12 months ago we were still in the old house, surrounded by packing cases ready to move, checking the 10 day weather forecast for snow... thankfully (?) it just rained!

Before I bombard you with image overload with all the things I have made this year, I want to say a huge thank you for the wonderful year that you have all helped make it for me.

Others have been patient enough to group their 2011 makes into quilts, blocks and other goodies; no such luck here, semi-chronological will have to do!

Some of you have been here for the whole year, and others have joined along the way, and you all make me smile with your constant encouragement, kind words, sarcasm and banter.

I can hand on heart say that I have made some brilliant friends in this blogging world and I am so looking forward to getting to meet many of you in June, if not, maybe sooner or later.

I wish you a fantastic 2012, surrounded by loving family, dear friends, good health, fun times and loads of beautiful fabric xxx

Friday 30 December 2011

Remember when...

... we used to sew and not just watch TV, eat chocolate and look forward to the next mince pie?

A couple of nights ago I was lucky enough to be one of the lucky 10 folks that benefited from Michelle's special offer for her blog readers over at Keyka Lou, and whilst I was there I had an epiphany, well, quite a good idea, that the best thing to get me out of this no-sew zone was to whip up one of her Camera Case Wristlets.  I bought the pattern a while back but didn't get round to making one before the pre-Christmas frenzy.

So here are rather a lot of photos, as i) I am so pleased with the way it turned out, and ii) I actually made something worth photographing again...

I thought it was time to use some of my treasured Michelle Engel Bencsko Across the Pond.  I love this fabric so much, and was keeping it for 'best'!

The pattern was so easy to follow, quick to put together, and I normally hate the pattern/piece cutting part but this was really quite painless.  I used some medium iron-on Vilene interfacing and my usual cotton batting and it worked out really well.  Even sewing on the velcro was surprisingly easy.  I used the iron-on type, as it was white and all I had, but I sewed it on too, just to be sure it wasn't going anywhere.

My only niggle - with myself not the pattern, is that the herons on the back panel, although being up the right way when the case is open, are upside down when flapped over, but I can so live with that.  I definitely see many more of these in my future.

Oh it's good to be back at the machine!

Thursday 29 December 2011

Quokka Quilts Blogger's Choice...

I don't like to miss out, especially if all I have to do is sit on my backside and browse my way through the entire Fat Quarter Shop inventory!

So here is my pick for the awesome Blogger's Choice competition being run by Laura over at Quokka Quilts...

This is actually about my 5th selection, it was just a teensy bit difficult to narrow down all those gorgeous fabrics to 15, but I am stopping now or it will be never-ending.

I started with Melody Miller's Ruby Star Spring - Buzz as my original inspiration, but as you can tell by the end mosaic, I kind of got sidetracked, but I am rather pleased with the end result.
If you haven't already entered, why not give it a go too, and you could win a 1/2 yard bundle; how fantastic would that be?! 

PS.  I actually sewed something yesterday evening, it felt so good to get the machine whirring again - I'll show you tomorrow!

Wednesday 28 December 2011


Whilst the leftovers are still being consumed, I thought I better give you a look at some of the things I haven't shown you before, (you can tell I am scrabbling about for blog posts ideas now, without actually making anything new!).

Firstly the Secret Santa gifts that I sent to fellow Brit Bee Jennie of Just A Little Stitch.  My pictures are not that great - taken at work on my phone as, in my attempt to get them posted in time, I forgot to take any at home, muppet.

The Christmas purse outer fabric is wipeable PVC for any gravy-spillage problems, and I couldn't not send felt baubles could I!?

Oh and there was this kanzashi flower brooch I made for my coat for Christmas Day, using this tute...

Now I suppose I better go make something new.

Tuesday 27 December 2011

Is it Tuesday already?

Doesn't time fly when you are eating chocolate?!

I feel like I have had my cooking, eating and watching TV 'empty handed' fix, and now I am raring to get making again.

It might be something to do with these gorgeous goodies that have been in my possession since Christmas Day...

Fat 16ths of Lotta - Echo from my sister x
Echino, Aurifil and Liberty book from darling husband xxx
Or these that arrived Christmas Eve...

I was drawn in by Julie at the Intrepid Thread!
Winnings from Katy/Ginger Monkey x
More winnings, from Alison - Little Island Quilting x
I think I need to pick a last little project for 2011 before I go stir crazy!

Monday 26 December 2011

Man It's Christmas!

Happy Boxing Day everyone! 

Did you have a good Christmas Day?  I did - but more of that later in the week.

Well I couldn't show you the Christmas makes for dear husband before now, as I wanted there to be a little bit of a surprise going on.

So here we have a partner for the Man Quilt...

Using the remaining charms and some of the curved corner scraps, I thought this would do the business.  The back is the same Kona Coal and pin-striping as the quilt.  I lined the cover with some deco weight, what was I thinking when I bought it?, cream damask and used almost all of my remaining Bliss dots for the binding.  It takes a 16" cushion pad, and it got the happy reception I'd hoped for x

I couldn't leave him without a little felt makery too could I eh?...

This is actually a badge/brooch or whatever a gentleman prefers to call it - it measures almost 5" wide, and makes me laugh, (more than the real one he sported for Movember!).

Don't worry, he also received a lot of things he actually wanted too :)

Saturday 24 December 2011

Bee-ing Santa!

The Brit Bee indulged in a spot of Secret Santa makery this December.

Earlier this week we all received our presents within a day or so of each other, and agreed to blog or upload flickr pictures of all our lovelies today.

I was so excited when I received mine, wouldn't you be...

Lovely Laurie Wisbrun fabric...
Cute Crochet!  I can't do that :(
Aqua and orange needle case!!!!

Super pin toppers and FMF hexies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I haven't got the words to describe how excited and happy this lovely parcel made me, but I have been sporting a wide grin every time I've looked at them.

I thought I had narrowed my Secret Mrs Santa down to two lovely ladies, then I changed my mind and couldn't decide between four, and so here, I have to say someone, so... I thought it could be...
...but I am so so wrong!    
Miss Lolly Pops you are a star!
(Edited to say - I am cheating and have updated this!!)

Thank you so much to my 'Santa-lady', I love everything, you know me well xxx

So if you want, check out the others and see if you can match the makes to the makers too.  It's only Christmas Eve, you are bound to have time!

Sarah, Fiona, Judith, Laura, Jennie, Susan, Trudi, Judith, Terri, Jo and Ceri.

My posts over the next few days have been pre-recorded in front of a live audience all bar some photos and reactions I am hoping to catch 'on the day'; so I'll be pretty quiet on the commenting and replying front, but then I guess you will be too!

That only leaves me to say have a wonderful Christmas my friends xxx

Friday 23 December 2011

Edible Makes...

Unlike some of my friends, particularly this one, I don't get great pleasure from cooking or baking.

The 'effort to result' ratio is seriously tipped against it being a joy - there is always at least one small person who declares they 'don't like it' before I have even put the plates on the table, and with the limited time I have between work, school runs, clubs and meal-time, it means we typically stick to the 'tried and tested'; to be frank, I would rather it was boring, quick, easy but eaten, than a couple of hours of effort resulting in turned up noses and tears all round.

Christmas fayre isn't much different, Mr Kipling, Mr McVities and Aunt Bessie do such great job, I like to let them get on with it.

However I did plan ahead, buying the ingredients to make some Christmas Rocky Road.  I am an old hand at the regular Nigella recipe, and I thought this could be my token effort the festive season.

All you need is white chocolate, dessicated coconut, pistachios, dried cranberries, ginger biscuits and mini marshmallows.  5 minutes to make, 10 minutes in the freezer to set, perfect!

If you haven't gone down the white chocolate route before - it is definitely worth it.

Food photographer I am not either!
Now don't you be expecting any more kitchen-orientated posts from me for at least another year though - that's your lot!

Thursday 22 December 2011

Dead End...

Way back when the sun was hot and lounging on the deck was the order of the day, I cut a couple of Oakshott stacks into 9" squares for the Dead Simple QAL

They sat unloved in a drawer until earlier this week, when urgency struck!

Having first planned to make a full-sized table cloth, I changed this to a runner, as upon re-visiting, some of the pinks now seemed too bright, and with the whopper that is my parent's dining table, it was going to need a lot of sashing to bring it up to size.

So a bit of jiggery-pokery, and the best part of yesterday at my sewing machine and ironing board, and I managed to get the final Christmas present made. 

Afraid we are seriously lacking in the natural light and adequate space this morning, so the photos are bit lacking in style!

There is no 'quilting' as such, a simple 'right sides together, stitch round, turn through and topstitch round the edge' approach has worked just fine.

It measures a huge 250cm/100" x 65cm/26", and is backed with some IKEA linen type affair which is lovely looking but as stretchy and awkward as buggery to cut and sew!

The pressure is now off a little - so I am off to sort through the boxes of food I have been storing in the garage, I have no idea what's in there!

Wednesday 21 December 2011

The End Is In Sight!

This evening I can report that the Man-gift is finished and the Dead Simple runner has also been completed, so my Christmas making is now at an end!

I will photograph the table runner in the morning as it was already getting dark when I finished at about 3.30pm!

I am still waiting on parcels, although more arrived that I was not expecting, including a lovely one from my sister courtesy of Kate of M is For Make!  But having seen what it was, it all went back in the envelope until Christmas Day!

I received my lovely Bee block from Sarah...

There may have been some fudge in with it too, but you'd be hard pushed to find any evidence of it ever having been here now ;)

January's Brit Bee package also arrived from Judith, including a dalek and more (for a lucky so-and-so!), I will therefore be pondering log cabins over the festive period, and no doubt wishing I could escape to one!

The posty also delivered a wee 'thank you' from Lucy, my Sew, Mama, Sew! winner, including some pretty scraps...

So I have had a good day, I even got the remaining food shopping done.  I am now going to top it off with an hour of Kirstie's Homemade Christmas, put my feet up and catch up with blogs and comments...

Tomorrow I get to ponder cooking, cleaning and clothing and not to mention wrapping - and I thought I was winning!

Tuesday 20 December 2011

Hooters & Tweeters!

I have made the girls' brooches...

So that's another couple of gifts off my list, only to be swiftly replaced with the knowledge that my Mum is getting a Kindle for Christmas from my Dad, so maybe a case is required?

I actually don't know if he has bought her a 'proper' case or not, so maybe I will hold fire and then I can make one in a bit more of a relaxed manner in the New Year if required - yep, typing that out helped make that decision!  Hurrah for the power of blogging!  I pinned a couple of tutorials already though, just in case!

Last night, as some were quick to observe, I changed my Twitter name, (I am now @MrsFlyingBlind), and clicked the Follow button in a random manner - I've been on there for longer than I have been blogging, but never felt the need to tweet - I am more of a passive observer.  But hey, if I can snag me an extra Go!Baby entry every now and again or a super deal, then hurrah for that! 

To be honest there aren't enough hours in the day as it is, but it doesn't need feeding or watering, unlike the time zapping, head-splitting little darlings that are 'home for the holidays'.

We are off to church for the Beavers, Cubs and Scouts Carol Service shortly - there's parental bribery in the form of tea and biscuits at the end, so I'm in, or rather out - see you later x

Monday 19 December 2011

More heart-felt gifts...

This weekend I ticked off a few more makes and tasks.  I made a little something for my dear husband, but I can't show you that just yet, however the other men-gifts I can show include this for my Dad...

He has a love for AirStream trailers; this little one is probably as near as he'll get to owning one.

I also cobbled together this for dear son...

It is rather 'basic' for want of a better word, but I think he will like it; with all the other baubles and tinsel on his little tree, it will blend in nicely!  He's not getting it until Christmas Day though.

Oh OK, there was another heart!

I now have 2 felt brooches for the girls, a mammoth Dead Simple table runner for my parents and one more man-gift to finish, and then I. am. done.

Am I last, have you all finished, or are we all asking the same?  I wish I had someone to blame other than myself, but I don't, so I will start earlier next year!

Today included a round trip to see my Grandma, and a second trip out to pick up a 'missed' parcel, which I will tell you about soon; the postmen seem to be hoarding a lot of my deliveries, so tomorrow there's going to be some serious stalking!

Sunday 18 December 2011

A quick trip...

Today I was allowed a couple of hours out of the house alone for good behaviour.  So after lunch I headed over to Arundel for a spot of Christmas shopping.

I love Arundel, I have mentioned it in the past, we got married there.

It is pretty at Christmas, and it has one of my favourite real-life present stores, Sparks Yard...

I managed to get a few extras there for my nearest and dearest, and I unexpectedly caught up with one of my real-life friends whom real-life usually conspires against us and keeps us from meeting up, so that was a bonus.

I may also have spent a whole £4 on some more felt; well when the shop looked as pretty as this...

...how could I resist!

There has been a little bit making, and a bit more winning this weekend, but more on all that tomorrow, the clock's ticking and these pressies aren't going to make themselves x