Friday, 31 August 2012

I'm pulling!

Yep, it's friday night and I have already pulled these for the new nephew quilt...

And now I am going to pull all the basting and papers from these little beauties...

I may have done a little shopping courtesy of Annie at The Village Haberdashery, and Brenda at Pink Castle, but I am not going to own up to that until the evidence is in my little mitts!

My BQS parcel also arrived with it's new owner Reene, hurrah!!

Happy Friday everyone xxx

Thursday, 30 August 2012

You want some random?

The tattooed archaeologist hard at work...

Yes she needs a haircut!
Whilst we were being shown the delights of the cold war submarine, who should we spot but that bastion of world peace...

My improvised 'windy day' hexies kit, probably not Isaac-proof though...

Look what I found in the cupboard; and it's still in date!

Today, a buddle of goodies headed to the post office including my BQS parcel; now the excitement really begins...

And finally, some food for athletes, apparently...

Snippets of my week, linking up with Cindy and Live A Colorful Life - Really Random x

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Mad dash!

This morning was spent buying school trainers and other uninspiring necessities in the run up to the start of term.  But when we got home at lunchtime, I was over the moon to be met by an envelope of lovely Brit Bee September fabric from Bee-Mama Laura, who had requested mini-churn dash blocks.

Whilst the rain poured, the kids screamed at each other and Rhonda chit-chattered away in the background, I stitched up my blocks.

Laura had done most of the cutting, but there was inevitably rather a lot of trimming, so the predicted 20mins per block was a little optimistic Ms Lolly, but I had a fine afternoon none-the-less.

I am not 100% happy with some of my churn-points, however I can see that in the scale of the quilt, they will not show once quilted and washed, but I still feel a little niggled.  The quilt is going to look amazing when the blocks are all together though eh?

I also made a secret block today which I will be sending over to the US tomorrow too, but I can't show you that, which is a shame as 'i' think it is rather cute - anyone-else in on that??

And so it's time to get all excited again as the Paralympics are starting - I need to go shift a child or two to ensure the best seat for the opening ceremony!

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Return of the Mo'!

If you didn't read Danielle Coolbear's appeal for help over at Lily's Quilts last night, then I ask you to please take a look... it's OK, I'll wait here with the tissues until you come back.

Having possibly the most awesome real name ever, Danielle has asked for moustache blocks to contribute towards equally awesome Can't Grow A Mo', Sew A Mo' quilts for Movember and the Mary Potter Hospice in Wellington, NZ.

The comment I left there pretty much sums up my reason for helping; Prostate cancer will probably affect everyone of us in one way or another at some point in our lives, and doing anything that can either help research into this heartbreaking and prevalent disease, or care for those who are suffering, is a given in my book.

If you are in the UK or prepared to post here, Danielle is collecting blocks to make her quilt; her mother will be doing likewise in New Zealand, so if you are of the Australasian persuasion maybe you can help on that side of the world.

Both quilts, (although I think Danielle may have started something a little bigger than just a couple!) will then be auctioned off, so maybe you want to keep an eye out for those and place a bid.

I immediately pulled some fabrics I thought would do the business; Mama Said Sew scribble writing which looks like tangled 'tache hairs, and the Momo (geddit?) scissors which are a must for keeping everything neat and tidy!

My blocks are standard 12.5", but they can be smaller, or rectangles, whatever takes your fancy.

There is a flickr group and further information on Danielle's blog, so please have a think, and even if you can only manage a little pencil moustache, it will help!

And so, with this reality check, and bit of perspective, I think my mojo has returned xxx

Monday, 27 August 2012

Banking on it!

Yep, you can guarantee rain on a Bank Holiday and pretty much put money on anything we were planning on doing being an outdoor activity and therefore met with a little less than enthusiasm.

So I did ALL the holiday ironing first thing; despite shutting the huge pile in the garage all weekend and hoping it would go away, it was still there this morning, so I bit the bullet, but I do feel a weight has been lifted.

I then finished off the little Liberty purse - hurrah!

The sewing machine sprung into action without a hitch; feeding the flexi frame through the top channels was a little more stressful, (insert a huge selection of swear words here), but I didn't need to unpick, so I will call it a success...

I used some blue Essex Linen to frame the Liberty panels and lined it with Kona some-bright green-or-other, and I think it looks rather cute.

I am going to add this to my Brit Quilt Swap package for my partner.

I have also been sewing up a few of my Spring Carnival wheels today, because they are BIG and don't make my eyes go as squiffy as the 1/2" hexies! 

My mojo, it appears, is slowing coming back to me at last, which is a bit of a relief!  I just wish the sun would come back too, then I will be a happy bunny.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Easy, Like Sunday Morning...

This morning we got up and went swimming; not just 'us girls' watching dear son having his lesson, but all the family.  We are determined to make the most of the last few days of the holidays all together! 

I then made the most of the sunshine and sat in the garden stitching the hexies and making a start on some more friendship bracelets.

Twin Two is happy with her replacement, and the others are now nagging for more; oh what have I started?!

I also managed to get the Liberty panel finished...

...now onto purse assembly; if I can remember how my sewing machine works!

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Liberty progress...

Just to prove I have not been lost to the dark side, ie. become a complete couch potato with no crafty itches to scratch, I have finished basting one set of the mini-Liberty hexies.

They seem to have come up smaller than shown on Leila's tutorial, the sides are definitely 1/2", so I am not sure what I did there, but I have a cunning plan.

I also received some waxed cotton today, ordered the minute we got home...  

Twin Two, having lost her precious friendship bracelet on the journey home from Menorca, is in serious need of a replacement; so good old mummy needs to quickly re-acquaint herself with her 'time spent working in the South of France skills' pronto!

That's my Bank Holiday sorted!

Friday, 24 August 2012

Up Periscope!

I know, I know, another day without anything material to show you for your trouble, because today we swapped our annual jaunt up the Spinnaker Tower for a quick trip across the harbour and a visit to the Royal Navy Submarine Museum instead...

It was actually quite fun!  Fortunately the claustrophobia was kept at bay by all the electric fans placed along the length of HMS Alliance and the continual knocking on the hull by the restoration team outside - no mistaking we were on dry land at any point.

There were hands-on fun and games for the kids including a Horrible Science of Submarines exhibition - definitely worth trading in your Tesco Clubcard vouchers for!

We obviously had to have a quick scoot round Gunwharf Quay afterwards and pop into Cath Kidston, where I bought a small suitcase (I am still on holiday, after all!), but it was getting dark and rainy by the time we got home, so no photo today, sorry.

And finally, a thank you to Susan and Trudi for sending me pics to prove my Sizzix Quilt made it to FoQs - I am not going to let Mr Random choose between you - but I will get a little something made for you both, just bear with me until I find my sewing mojo - I hid it along with the spare keys and other valuables before we went away, and I can't for the life of me remember which drawer I put them all in!

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Loose Ends...

My first day home from holiday has been consumed with 6 loads of washing and an afternoon sat in the sun whilst the kids enjoyed Junior Archaeology Day, so I have nothing crafty to show you but the mini hexies from the local museum (again!)...

But I have had the chance to read through my emails and apologise that some of my pre-written posts were written in haste, vital info missing, sorry!  So I figure it will be easier to answer the questions and comments here and be able to pretty much clear down my Inbox in one fell swoop!  (Bonus).

Looking for Inspiration - 50s style
My 3 favourite books, and those I showed prints from were...
Patterns - Philippe de Baeck

V&A Pattern - The Fifties - Sue Prichard

1950s Fashion Prints - Marnie Fogg

All highly recommended.

Hey FoQers
Thank you Susan for the photo!  I am so jealous of all you guys that got to meet up, and seeing all that Liberty Lifestyle fabric popping up in everyones' photos is not making me feel any better about missing out!
Thanks matey x
The Carnival is coming along...
Thank you for all the compliments - this is going to be a whopping cushion - I will have to go onto eBay to find suitably enormous innards soon!

Sweet Liberty
Simply Taking a Liberty more like!  I want to get these purses made as soon as possible, it would be too rude not to!  They may be international jet-setters but still no nearer to being made, sorry.

Buttercup Buttercup
This is a free bag pattern to download, so there's no excuse for not printing the pieces and getting one or two made, if you are one of the few people left who have not made one already.  Mine was invaluable for smuggling boiled eggs and assorted preserves from the hotel breakfast buffet!

Told you that game was fun!  I average about an 8, but it does seem to be a little haphazard judging poor from very good, or maybe it's just my eyes!

For The Next Few Months...
Obrigado Tia - Estou tão animado!  
Still so excited, I have two cousins with babies due before my sister, another boy and a 'wait and see', so busy happy times ahead; are we going to place bets as to whether the baby or the quilt are 'ready' first?!

Open Wide!
I had to pre-warn Cindy not to read that post until the parcel arrived!  But like it she does, (Yoda?), and it arrived just in time, so all was good!

Did You Miss Me?
And finally, shucks... you make me blush!  I have to admit I have already gone stealth in catching up with some of the comings and goings in blogland, but hope to be back in 'real-time mouthy mode' soon, although I have to admit I am trying to cling to the holiday mindset for as long as possible.

I really do apologise for the lack of personal replies, but I promise I have read all your comments and appreciate every single one of them xxx

Right now, I need to think about getting on with my Stitch Tease strip and BQS3 parcel extras along with other less urgent things, like 2 tonnes of ironing and perhaps buying some food! 

Mañana mis amigos x

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Did You Miss Me?

Well despite blog posts to the contrary, I have not been here for the last week but instead waking to sunrises like this in Menorca...

...using my fantastic purse from Reene everyday...

I managed about half an hour of Liberty hexie-basting on the first night and that was it - too much sun to soak up, pools and sea to swim in, buffet food to consume in unhealthy quantities and dodgy 'entertainment' to watch, not to mention the heat and sheer relaxation!

I literally sent one text to my parents to say we had arrived, and that was the sum total of my interaction with the outside world for a whole 7 days.  Bliss!

On the flip-side, I have returned to over 600 emails (WTF!?!) and an enormous suitcase of washing.

So although I am 'back', it may be some time until normalcy returns, but thank you in advance for holding the fort.

Have I missed anything exciting?  I will probably get a chance to catch up on a few blogs tomorrow.  Anyone get to FoQs? 

For now, I have a date with a proper cup of tea xxx

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Open Wide!

After the mishap with my first attempt at a gift for Cindy-Live A Colorful Life, with the oh-so-impossible to fill purse, I swiftly tried again and came up with this...

Cindy is a fellow orange lover, so I eeked out the lining from my final scraps of Kei dots, and paired it with the Michael Miller apple print.

It's only a diddy change purse, but this one can actually hold more than one coin!


Monday, 20 August 2012

For the next few months...

... I will mostly be piecing in...
... and grey and orange and green...

I am going to have a new little nephew.

So my goal is to make a smaller, canine version of Tacha's Cat Tails quilt, as seen on the cover of Hexa Go-Go...

I already have some Heather Ross doggies, the only acceptable mutts in this house, to replace the moggies, so time to cut some more papers.

I have never been so excited about making a quilt; so please excuse me whilst I go stash diving!!

Sunday, 19 August 2012


...or color?

However you want to spell it, it can be pretty good fun...if you want to pass 5 minutes or so, how about a game?

Warning - it's just a little bit addictive x

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Buttercup, buttercup...

...sweet little buttercup.

I needed a quick and easy bag, just a small one, enough for keys, wallet and camera, so I headed to bag-guru Sara - Sew Sweetness, and on her super tutorial list I spotted the Buttercup bag by Made By Rae...

So simple...

I swapped the traditional magnetic snaps for sew in ones, as that was all I could find in my whirlwind session, added woven interfacing to the lining and sewed the slightly lengthened handle inside rather than adding it to the outside, as suggested by Sara.

An hour later, job done xxx

Friday, 17 August 2012

Sweet Liberty!

I loved Leila's Liberty Scrap Challenge purse the minute I saw it, so much so I pinned it, and then this week I cut enough hexies to make two!

Fabric from Jo's Organic Stitch Co. of course, and 1/2" hexies printed from incomptech.

I have the linen and flexi frames, now I just need the time - there's always a fly in the ointment!

Thursday, 16 August 2012

The Carnival is coming along...

I have been slowing plodding along with my Spring Carnival EPP.

Without the Ballet lessons, and only sporadic swimming, I have not had my regular fix, but I have increased from just 3 finished wheels at the end of July to these...

I will be keeping the little stash of basted pieces by my side over the next couple of weeks, in the hope that I can get this finished before the end of the school holidays.

I also have plans for some Liberty hexies, I'll show you tomorrow, then maybe some festive piecing; so many options, too little time!

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Hey FoQers!

If you are headed to the Festival of Quilts this weekend, please could you try to snap me a picture of my Sizzix quilt?

Unfortunately I don't know if it will be on the Sizzix stand or their associated trade stands, but I'm sure you'll find it - how many quilts can there be!?

If you email me a photo by next Friday (25th) I will do a little draw for a thank you prize - does that sound fair?

Thanking you in advance xxx

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Looking for inspiration... 50s style

I have a number of 1950's design and pattern books which I dip into from time to time.

During the Olympics I was looking through them thinking about potential embroidery patterns.

What do you reckon?

Nice eh?

Monday, 13 August 2012

Farewell to the Olympics...

...you were bloody fantastic!

Now I can move back from the edge of my seat and relax, it's been such hard work xxx

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Flower Power...

Spurred on by making KatCam's Retro Flower blocks for Brit Bee, I decided I might as well bite the bullet and get on with mine at last!  I can't believe I made my first four way back in May.

I have been working on lots of little projects lately, such is the lure of sunshine, Olympics and children underfoot, and so time at the sewing machine has been somewhat limited, but these were top of my 'Big' list...

These are not enjoyable blocks to make; I hate pressing seams on a good day, and these are a blinking nightmare.  It's the extra sashing between the petals - I could crank out simple drunkard's path blocks all day, and I probably will, someday soon, but these - never again, if I can help it!

However I love, love, love how they look; I love that these are made using my precious Denyse Schmidt stash and I love that I can now visualise the quilt I will be making.

I see many happy hours ahead arranging and then re-arranging these blocks!

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Coming soon...

You may have spotted that the Mouthy Stitches mamas have been cooking up plans over the summer and are happy to confirm that round 2 will be starting early in September, and we are rather excited about what we have come up with.

Please keep an eye on the flickr group and our blogs for full details in a few weeks time - if it is anything like round one, we will fill spaces within 24 hours!

We are keeping the full details a secret until sign ups, but I can confirm that it will be a little different to last time and limited to the first eligible 75 to sign up.

It's going to be a good one!

Friday, 10 August 2012

Sunshine on a rainy day...

OK yesterday was lovely, but on Wednesday morning I spent four and a half hours sorting out the mess that pertained to be the 'playroom'.  The room is a small 4th bedroom, not some huge games room or anything, but filled with so many small, broken knick-knacks and pieces of torn paper, plastic and general crap that I had reached the point of shutting the door and boarding it over.

Instead, I sorted to the bottom of every tub and box; re-housed all the rogue puzzle pieces and games parts and got it looking really good (until the kids went back in).

Completely hacked off at the time it took, the perfectly-timed arrival of a parcel from Madam Pings raised my spirits somewhat...

How cool is the card!?
We have chatted about the orange/yellow vintage sheet for a while (last summer's Hexalong I think!), and Sarah sent me this with some matching embroidery thread and pre-cut squares, so now I have no excuse not to get making.

What was originally going to be a retro cushion may well now have grown (in my head at least) into a big old patchwork quilt; I have a number of pillow cases and sheets that really do need to turn into something other than an old lady's dream linen collection!

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Kinda Random...

Well not an awful lot of randomness going on again, I really must take my camera out and about more, but in an attempt to be a worthy linker with Cindy's Really Random Thursday, here are a few of the things you don't see round these parts very often...

Olympic flowers - dear hubby bought the bunch, including the natural blue carnations, inspired by local gold medalist Tina Cook (horsewoman) at Waitrose, really I don't think she shops there!

An inflatable submarine, waiting in the rain for the sun, which fingers crossed, will be today.

The words to a JLS song as written by 5 year olds and given pride of place next to the bed.

The extent of my athleticism, working my finger muscles very hard to order some Team GB kit!

Finally getting to read a book I have had on my bedside table for too long.

What random things have you spotted this week?

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

The start of something secret...

I have been busy pondering my next strip-block for the secretive Stitch Tease International Bee, as this month I am making for our Bee-Mama Di.

Di has asked for a paper-pieced, word-influenced quilt.

So after dithering and changing my mind a dozen times, I have finally started, slowly...

... I think it is going to take a bit of time to get the full 72" wide block made!

And following on from my embroidery posts, and all things less stressful, please pop over to lovely Lucy's if you fancy trying to win yourself a Sublime Stitching embroidery pattern, you know you want to xxx

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Social Stitchery...

I know you know that I loved my embroidery session with stitch-mistress Aneela at FQ Retreat, I may have mentioned it!

So when Mrs H posted yesterday about the chance for 10 folks to join her for a day class of embroidery in September, I was there, well as quick as I could convince myself that dear hubby really would love to spend the day with the kids on the banks of the Thames at Henley!

I am loving embroidery so much, yesterday's post may have hinted at that, so this was just perfect timing.

I am super-duper excited, and it looks like I am going to be in great company too.
I promise to report back in full stitchy detail xxx

Monday, 6 August 2012

A little bit stitchy...

I have managed a little bit of embroidery over the last week or so, but those Olympics are just as addictive!

I took advantage of some park time to embroider a bunch of Aneela's flowers...

I even successfully tried out some new stitches...

Not sure what I am going to make with this yet, but I will be taking heed of the lessons learned from my next effort...

I had a cunning plan over the weekend to make a little change purse out of some Summersville with a cute little orange house, but was scuppered at the final hurdle, when the only thing I could easily slip in would be a credit card, a folded note, maybe one coin or a wafer thin mint...

There may be a little bit of disassembling going on - but I bet the glue has set like... glue!

It was destined as a gift, but I have since whipped up something else, which I will show you once it has arrived.

One bit of embroidery that has reached its new owner was the little hoop that I made as part of my In The Frame Purse Swap parcel...

Can you see why I couldn't show you before!?

The whole parcel arrived safely and has gone down well with my lovely friend Deb.

So have you managed to stitch and cheer on your team?