Tuesday 31 July 2012

Cranking them out...

With so much time on my hands, without my laptop to continually distract me, I got busy yesterday preparing to make a 20 block quilt using my Sizzix and some new dies (die?).

I cut all these pieces in a couple of hours including interruptions and lunchtime, and a date with the Olympic diving to chivvy me up!  (Poor Tom).

Hopefully I will be able to show you progress pictures really soon - I am on a tight deadline, so by the time I get my laptop back, I may even have finished!

Monday 30 July 2012

Thank you...

A big thank you for your words of condolence on the demise of my hard drive.  It is currently being looked at by men with screwdrivers, so hopefully tomorrow I will hear the prognosis - all I can say folks is back up your files at any available opportunity;  the 3 weeks since my last confession back up was too long :(

Anyway, quickly on to happier things courtesy of the big Mac (hubby's computer).

You may have read Reene's account of my In The Purse swap lovelies, she is a cheeky one.

Imagine my delight to open my parcel to find this...

Oh yes I thought, very funny - I hope!

But my friend came good...

Don't you love it when you see something in the flickr pool and hope so much it will be coming your way, and it does?  I love it and my pretty scraps and the extras Reene so kindly popped in for the kiddies...

The purse I made is on it's way to its new abode, and I will show you some pictures of the parcel I sent if the photos can be restored!

Thank you again Reene, Helen and Nicky for a great swap; I will be able to store the 3p I have left in style, after getting my laptop fixed xxx

Sunday 29 July 2012


My hard drive and mojo are kaput.

I am still here; we've had a great day at my parents. The bag went down well, and we avoided the rain until late in the day.

Now watching the Olympics and pulling fabric for a project I am looking forward to being able to show you.

My MacBook is destined for the menders tomorrow, so finger's crossed please everyone that they can find the 3 weeks of my life, since my last back up xxx

Saturday 28 July 2012


Well I had lovely things to show you today, all set up in my MacBook, but this morning I have the 'Question Mark Folder of Doom'; so whilst dear hubby works his computer wizardry, there may be a break in transmission.

I can do various things from my iPad, but I have not set up Mail, so I will not be answering anything that way, and blogging is not much fun when you are in a BAD MOOD!

Hopefully I will back up and running soon xxx

Friday 27 July 2012

On your marks...

...get set... Go!

I am so uncharacteristically excited about the Olympics, I may be a little light on words over the next couple of weeks, I'm sure you will forgive me!

Boris 1 Mitt 0 ;)

Thursday 26 July 2012

Summer blues...

Well apart from a stroll to the park, feeding the ducks and lounging around in the sun again, I finally finished a book that seems to have taken me f.o.r.e.v.e.r. and I have even started a little embroidery.  Perfect day then.

All around I was seeing the blues, and for want of a bunch of blog-worthy photos, this seemed a good way to go...

I am linking up my 'random-ish' photos with Cindy over at Live A Colorful Life and her brand spanking new Really Random Thursday linky party.  Next week I will try harder to be more random, and if that's not an oxymoron, I don't know what is!

Wednesday 25 July 2012

A Lot More Sunshine...

... so a lot less crafting.

OK, so less might actually mean none at all, but I did get some books out of the library, so it at least it looks like I am in a sewing frame of mind.

The kids have spent most of the day in the paddling pool, (which makes it sound a lot grander than the 36" diameter inflatable it really is), and trying to master Swingball.

I have just been lying in the sun, pretending to be on holiday; I'm shattered!

Tuesday 24 July 2012

Some more of what you fancy...

Today there has been a lot more sunshine, in fact it is actually 'summer', really, who'd have thought we would get any, which means a lot more of this...

... some car washing, swimming lesson and lounging about, as well as completing the first secret project on my list.

I also received a lovely parcel from Jo-Bearpaw; I know that's not Jo's real name, but that is what I call her in my head.

I am experiencing, what I am nick-naming 'nesting by proxy' in fabric form.  I am planning on making one of the quilts from Hexa-GoGo for my sister's baby, but seeing as they won't be finding out which flavour they are having for a few more weeks, I am pulling, gathering, and now buying, for both options!

So when Jo announced a discount on purchases from her lovely online shop over the weekend, a quick peak turned into a little shopping and some more FMF...

Jo popped in some lovely buttons too, which will come in handy when the weather breaks and I need to keep the girls occupied for a while.

Tomorrow I have a few errands to run, including getting my In The Frame Purse Swap parcel all wrapped up for mailing later in the week, and then it'll be time to fill the paddling pool and bust open a box of Cornettos!

Happy Days xxx

Monday 23 July 2012

And the Gold medal goes to...

... I'll tell you in a minute!

But first an enormous thank you for all your Olympic ideas - some of you truly have too much time on your hands!

I think there is a strong knitting contingent in our midst, with the FMQ team close behind!  I don't want to get into trouble with the IOC - Ravelry users (Ravelers?) will know all about that, so I think we should draw a quilted veil over this and look forward to the real thing!

And so Mr Random has spoken and picked...

And that, dear friends, is...

Madame Pings, time for a lap of honour!  The purse and book are all yours...

Thank you all again to all of you for your continued support and encouragement, I wouldn't be without any of you!

Sunday 22 July 2012

BQS Summer...

Summer is here at long long last, we have just had our first BBQ of the year and I have finished my BQS - a great day!

Now I don't generally name my quilts, other than with the pattern name and maybe, if I am feeling a little adventurous, a colour or fact to make it a bit more special, Brit Bee Constellation, Rainbow Cherry Star for example; but whilst making my Brit Quilt Swap mini, two images kept coming to mind, from the iconic Clockwork Orange film and the Pink Floyd record cover.

Although Clockwork Frog did seem quite amusing, to the young and innocent, it conjured up something more Harry Potter than I wanted, or at the other extreme, would perhaps give my partner nightmares, what with those googly eyes, scissors n'all!

And so was born, The Dark Side of The Pond!

If you had asked me to embroider a label a couple of months ago, I would have laughed my socks off.  I loved stitching this - it's not perfect, but that's more due to my handwriting, but I think it is a nice finishing touch.

The mini measures up at 19.5" square.  I quilted using my walking foot as the guide and then hand finished the binding and label.

Is it wrong to love your own makes?  I am pleased with every step of this, from the Y-seams to the embroidery, now I just hope my partner feels the same way.

Right, I'm off to soak up some rays before someone realises we have stolen their great weather and asks for it back, and a quick final reminder for the giveaway xxx

Saturday 21 July 2012

Mad Hadder's Tea Bag!

When I was putting together my Mum's birthday Grace Kelly Bag last night, the thought of the Mad Hatter's Tea Party kept popping into my head.

Not sure if it was just the teacup fabric, the pale Alice-blue outer, or the glue, but if the hat fits...

The photos are making the blue look a little psychedelic, it really isn't.
The spots are Clarke & Clarke home deco weight, so I skipped the interfacing and just used fusible fleece; it could possibly do with a little more structure, but as it is, I think it makes a lovely summer-weight handbag.  (All together now... "A haaaandbag?")

I will deliver it next weekend, and in the meantime I need to start ticking off the oodles of projects that need to be finished in the next couple of weeks, including a couple of annoying-for-you 'top secret' ones.

***There's still time to enter the giveaway to win my blogiversary Walk In The Woods frame purse and a copy of Fat Quarterly's Shape Workshop For Quilters***

Friday 20 July 2012

Woo Hoo for the Holidays!

Yep, that's me and the kids done for another 61/2 weeks!

Presents given and 'thank you for helping' card received, work pass hung up, dear son's rock-pool sewing project brought home and a big old pile of washing...

... so happy for now; even though by Tuesday we will probably be driving each other potty!

*** Don't forget, the Giveaway closes on Monday ***

Thursday 19 July 2012

Some things from today...

Just trying to finish up all the work and school stuff, so not a lot to show today, although I have just cut and interfaced all the pieces for my Mum's Grace Kelly bag, hopefully that should be all done in the next couple of days.

So here are a few of the things coming in and going out the door round here...

Who could resist a Cath Kidston enamel cowboy teapot, in the sale? 
Not me!  I was only meant to be ordering the free catalogue.

Look at the selvedge on this...

Lakehouse Dry Goods Penelope Teacups from Mandy - Simply Solids, the lining for aforementioned bag.

And the teacher's presents all wrapped, Thank You cards written, (yeah that was fun!), and ready for tomorrow...

Don't forget the Giveaway.

Wednesday 18 July 2012

The End is Nigh...

The end of term that is.

So today, I made 7 zippy purses for the teachers and teaching assistants who have had the pleasure of educating the FB brood this year...

It appears that this is the 2012 gift of choice - have you been over to Jo or Susan's today?

I'll pop a bit of Green & Blacks in to make up for not being from Marks & Spencer!

2 more days of work and school... not that I have been counting down the hours or anything, then, if someone could arrange some sunshine, I would be most grateful.

PS.  If you haven't entered my blogiversary giveaway yet,  click here.

Tuesday 17 July 2012


Firstly thank you all so much for all your lovely giveaway comments and some down-right crazy choices for Olympic crafts so far; some of you have really thought long and hard about it - excellent!

So what have I been doing whilst you have racked your brains on how to score knitting or win at crochet...  Finally getting a case made for my iPad, that's what.

I pinned and Googled and went round in circles until it came to me... scale up the Zakka Style pencil case!!!

So I did...

If it had ended up a few millimetres narrower, it would have been too small, but through complete fluke and wishful thinking, it turned out perfectly!

I used some of my awesome So Happy Scribble, lined it with AMH Folksy flannel, and used fusible fleece on both with a piece of medium interfacing in the middle for good measure.


Monday 16 July 2012

Give it away, give it away, give it away, give it away now...

***The Giveaway is now closed***

Guess what folks, I have been blogging for two whole years!  733 posts, over 93,500 page views and 11,000 comments - I can't quite believe it!

Some days it feels like I have been doing this for 20 years, other times those first few faltering steps seem like yesterday.

I have made such a bunch of terrific friends through these here ramblings, I wouldn't be without any of you.

I have been inspired to make, and have made to blog.  Even when my Inbox has been exploding with comments and I've had dozens of posts to catch up reading, I have blogged... everyday!

I guess that means I deserve a prize?  OK you do, for putting up with me, coming back time and again; sticking by me when I have the hump, and humouring me when I am getting too big for my boots.  Thank you one and all!

So what can I give you for your trouble?  A big internet hug and a great big fuzzy thank you?

Hows about the Fat Quarterly Shape Workshop for Quilters book, I won a copy at Retreat but had already bought it, so I saved it especially for the occasion, its really good...

...and what about a cute little frame purse; Walk In The Woods, Essex linen, gridded interfacing technique and a little bit of swearing...

...and since you are all so nice, in the main, I will probably pop in a few other bits and bobs.

Is that enough to keep you interested?  I hope so, 'cause that's what you could be getting!

I know there are loads of giveaways running right now, so if you don't want this little offering I won't be offended!

But if you want in, no humongous hoops to jump through, two chances, two comments...

1. Leave a comment telling me, for fun, which craft really should be an Olympic sport and;
2. Be a follower (new or established, all welcome) and leave a second, separate comment telling me so.

If Blogger duplicates your comments, I will delete the erroneous ones, to be fair.  I will read all your replies, but for this one I won't be replying to individual comments.

Please don't be a 'no reply' blogger, leave your email address in your comment if you are - if I have no way of contacting you, you won't win.

International entrants more than welcome and I will close the comments, and draw a winner with the assistance of Mr RNG, next Monday (23rd July) at about 8pm BST.

I think that's everything.  Good luck and thank you xxx

Sunday 15 July 2012

Star, that's what they call you...

...how long you've waited to get where you are?  Ooh Kiki Dee!

Did you see this post?  I did, it made me happy and sad in equal parts.

I don't want to embarrass my dear friend Marguerite, well maybe just a little blush; but she is one of those wonderful people I spent the whole of Retreat saying 'we must speak properly later' to, and later became time to leave, dammit!

Next year my friend!

In the meantime, this one's for you...

I hope you get the super star quilt you really deserve xxx

Saturday 14 July 2012

Wiggle it...

Last week the wonderful Emily of Strawberry Patch Ramblings put up a blog post asking for help making Wiggly bags for a local charity and children's hospital.

I have seen these little pouches mentioned online before, so I am guessing that these useful little bags are used by children all over the world to carry their hickman lines whilst receiving treatment for cancer.

Emily posted a super tutorial, and some background info on this particular call for help.

I made these 2 within an hour, including choosing the fabrics and popping out to the shops for more tape midway through; they really are not complicated, and now I know how to do French seams, bonus!

These can be made with a couple of 5" or 6" charm squares, 2m of cotton tape, (which I think holds far better than ribbon) and a tiny bit of velcro.

What are you waiting for?

Friday 13 July 2012

Sewing the blues...

What better way to try to rid myself of this week's gloom than a bit of simple sewing for others.

A couple of blocks for Bee Blessed...

They don't really have curved corners, I just got carried away with PicMonkey!
These were super easy, so if you feel like giving the blues away, pop over to Judith or Sarah's for the how-to.

My To Do list is a real whopper right now, so ticking something off has lightened the load, and my mood a little.

I did take today off work though just to keep my sanity intact.  This meant I could go to the 'Thank You' assembly first thing, for the mums and others who help out with classes, trips and events, which was sweet; and after school was the postponed summer fete, held indoors to avoid the unavoidable!

I also crammed in all the boring usual weekend stuff - food shop and cleaning etc to give me a 'free' Saturday.  Just to have a day, when I don't have to do anything, other than show you a couple of other little makes from today, will be bliss xxx

Thursday 12 July 2012

60 minutes of sanity...

I have managed a whole hour of stitching and gluing so far this week.

Last week, I cut and interfaced all the pieces for a U-Handbag Grace Kelly purse; that's purse in the American sense of the word, as this is a proper big-girl's handbag size affair.

On Tuesday a parcel of frames arrived and in the briefest moment of relative calm and me time yesterday afternoon, I managed to finish it, all bar the glue picking from the frame.

The fact that whilst the glue on the second side was 'curing', I had another call to collect a poorly child plus siblings from school, an hour early, did not make me smile.

This is all mine, FMF, Momo Scissors and some bright pink lining; I will make another for my Mum's birthday, I had to be the guinea-pig, that was only fair right? 

Following Lisa's pattern, I can honestly say there is nothing I would do differently, it worked just as it should have done, even with interruptions, brain half-distracted by a husband unexpectedly in hospital overnight, (all OK now), and a thunder storm flashing outside.

I haven't had the chance to test it yet; I'm guessing a family-size pack of Maltesers will be OK.

And just because I am feeling the Lisa Lam love right now, I got this with my latest TopCashback Amazon voucher...

Bags of fun xxx

Wednesday 11 July 2012

One of those days, or maybe weeks...

If I told you that going to ballet was pretty much the highlight of the last 36 hours, I guess you will understand why I am just going to love you and leave you with my ballet girl...

I will catch up with comments and emails in the next day or so, although I might go blog-hopping on my iPad in bed later, but don't wait up xxx

Tuesday 10 July 2012

In the box!

Remember on my birthday, the big mystery box?

Well I can finally let you see the contents, now that I have had a proper go of what was inside!

But first I want to tell you the story - feel free to skip down and just look inside!

A couple of months ago, I was chatting with Lynne about her theyoutube quilt, and whether, as I had heard, Sizzix cutters were better than the Go!  Now you know the number of times I tried and failed in my attempt to win one of those Babies; having heard mixed stories of their build quality, I wasn't prepared to pay for one!

So as Sizzix had started producing quilting dies, I put my thinking cap on, and did a bit of investigating, ending up in contact with a lovely lady in Marketing and began chatting. 

I think it must have been just before Retreat that I was offered some dies to play with.

Over the moon, but only one problem - no cutter!

A few weeks later, and feeling that my cheeky-charm had only got me so far, I was asked for my address and a couple of days later... ta da!

It is big, it is not sleek, there are pink highlight and diamant├ęs, so I am taking the view that this is a Steampunk Go!

Man, it works like a dream though!

I had investigatied Sizzix cutters when hubby had offered to buy me a Go Baby!  They are cheaper than their white box counterpart (in the UK), but at that time, the variety of dies suitable for quilting, (as opposed to fabric, which I think most are), was severely limited.  So I passed.

But now they are expanding their range and the dies I am really waiting for, hexies, are due for release at the end of the month - can you imagine the fun cranking hundreds of those out!

So I have tumblers, drunkard's path, apple core and mini-dresden dies!  My first make?  A tooth fairy pillow!

I have had Nova's wonderful pattern for the Petal Pocket cushion for a while, and the dresdens were asking to be made into a mini-version!

So here is my first Sizzix-assisted project...

It's not perfect, but that was due to the urgency of an extremely wobbly tooth, but the now-gappy 5 year old loves it - it finishes as a 7" little cushion, perfect for swapping teeth for coins!

The great thing, I obviously need to make another one, so I will take a few pics and review the cutter and die properly as I do so.


Monday 9 July 2012

Ding Ding Round 3 in the FAL...

Well it's my turn to lay my virtual cards on the virtual sewing table and tell you what I hope to achieve in the third quarter of 2012.

2012 Finish-A-Long

Now as this spans the summer holidays, I am going to average my time out as just a little less productive than usual, as despite being off work, I will have constant 'companions', time away and who knows, maybe the chance to crack on with the 4 novels, (to read, not write), I have sat on my bedside table!

So I am going to go with my big three...

The Mystery Quilt, which has gone a bit more mysterious - I want this one DONE!!!

My Retro Flowers - I love everything about this too much to let it fester in pieces...

...and my Spring Carnival mega-cushion...

I also have my In The Frame Purse package and Brit Quilt Swap mini to complete this quarter.  But as I have to finish these, they don't really count; I only have myself to answer to for the 3 above unless I commit to the FAL, and my days of being lenient are over!

Linking up with Rhonda and the gang, how about you?

Sunday 8 July 2012

Stuck on you!

With all the shenanigans going on round here, I forgot to show you these...

Another discount code, free postage and cashback, sucker that I am, I turned a few of my snaps into stickers!

Moo again!

I think these are rather fun.

Right, time to go write my FAL list for the 3rd Quarter  xxx

Saturday 7 July 2012

Highs and Lows...

Story of my week really!

I have spent the best part of today in the car, sewing, whilst dear son was on a school enrichment course; thank goodness for Spring Carnival!

As promised a couple of days ago, I have Bee blocks to show you. 

For the second round of Brit Bee, Fiona requested low volume blocks, to resemble an old and well-loved quilt, with inset, predominately FMF, traditional blocks.

My first block had to be a Constellation star - not 100% traditional, but Fiona loved it!  The HSTs finished up at 3/4" each, or thereabouts.

For my second block I went a bit bolder, and to be honest, simpler with a green seed Whirlwind block.

Both blocks measure 12.5" square.

The low value fabrics are all from Fiona's collection of favourites, oldies and most precious, which she entrusted to us to fulfil her vision.

I think Fiona is going to end up with a smashing quilt xxx

Friday 6 July 2012

Best laid plans...again!

Having spent an hour with my manager making plans for the day, I immediately received a 'come and get her' call from school.

A turning blue-fainting funny turn after swimming meant a mad dash back, to find a more rosy and happy child, but getting the OK from the doctor, who gave her £1 to buy a cake, put my mind at rest. Skinny-minny children, outdoor swimming and cold rainy days don't go well!

Rainy days and school fayres don't go well either, guess I'll be doing the cleaning after school then x

Thursday 5 July 2012

Going round in circles...

I feel like I am chasing my tail a bit at the moment; I am glad I have been able to make progress on both my current swaps, and have got a couple of bee blocks under my belt this week; more on those tomorrow, but I don't feel I am getting enough things ticked off my mental to do list, (read that whichever way you like!).

I have been spending way too much time chatting rather than sewing whilst at ballet and swimming, and so my Spring Carnival EPP is going very slowly...

And today I received even more inspiration of the paper variety...

Having seen, and maybe even stroked Tacha's awesome Union Jack quilt at Retreat, and spotting last Thursday night, mid-FQly Twitter-chatter, that languishing on my Amazon Wish List, Hexa-Go-Go still had a release date for a few weeks time, Book Depository however said 'in stock' and it was cheaper - so in went my order, and today I received the book!

At rushed first glance it sure is lovely!

I really am hoping to be able to spend a lot of the summer holidays in the park with the kids, so between the hexing and embroidery I should be all set to sew-on-the-go; we just need a bit of actual summer to make leaving the confines of the house a posibility!

To add to my optimism, I have just ordered some 4" hoops from eBay too, so bring on the sunshine xxx