Monday, 31 March 2014

A Day At The Museum...

We thought we would make the most of the Inset Day, avoid the Easter Holiday crowds, and go up to town; London Town.

Top of the list was the Science Museum.  We did far from all of it, but with plenty of experimenting and button pushing, everyone was happy...

I even spotted an awesome bag, and a textiles installation which kept my needs in check...

We got the bus, saw a few sights, popped into M&M World, which even the kids thought was a complete rip off after the chocolate scent had worn off; they bought their sweets at WHSmith for half the price!

Another bus taking in a glimpse of Buckingham Palace, Downing Street and Big Ben, and home in time for tea.

It's a school day tomorrow; I have my day off, due to a meeting on Wednesday, so I will get my Sizzix action then.  For now, I am putting my feet up.

See you in April xxx

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Mother's Day Eponymous Reveal

Happy Mother's Day for all the mothers celebrating today.  I did very well in the pressie department, lots of handmade things, fudge and vouchers, lunch out and I am off work until Wednesday, so I am happy...

Monet Water Lilies before you ask x
Yesterday we celebrated Mother's Day with my mum, so that meant, um... handmade gifts, chocs, vouchers, lunch out... like mother like daughter!  But I also got to take a secret project and my finished Hadley quilt for a photo shoot in my parent's garden, so everyone was a winner!

So... ta dah!

This quilt has been a long time waiting to be finished; when the top was super speedy and with my concerted effort this week, I could have had it made on about 3 days if I had tried harder!

The colours are a little more vibrant than the end-of-day shots show.  You can just about pick out the straight-line quilting, I stitched corner to corner, then filled in each quarter with parallel chevrons about 1.5" apart.

It really is a rich and grown up looking quilt, and I think the orange binding gives it a little twist...

Thanks goes out again to the Dear Stella team for couriering me the collection after I suggested that they really should, seeing as they had named it after someone with the same name as me!

Full details...
Fabric - Hadley collection - Dear Stella
Pattern - Gypsy Shawl - Jane Brocket - The Gentle Art of Quilt Making
Additional Backing - Klona Rose
Pre-wash 70" x 70"
Piecing - Aurifil 2021 50wt
Quilting - Aurifil 2430 50wt and a little Gutermann to finish.

And this is my last FAL finish this quarter, leaving me only my MATO, so that's a bonus on top of a lovely finish.

Tomorrow is an Inset Day, so we are hoping for some more family fun times, and I am aiming for a little Sizzix action too; you know I'm sure to report back what actually happens xxx

Saturday, 29 March 2014


This week the girls' class teaching assistant left, for a job at Hobbycraft apparently, and with it being Mother's Day, I made a couple of pressies...

I used the dinky 4" spool block from 500 Quilt Blocks by Lynne and Kerry, and these needlebooks were stitched in no time.

The sunny day bleached out the photos a little, but I for one preferred sunshine to good pics on this ocassion; and they were wrapped before I uploaded the pictures, so there was no second chance.

We spent the day with my parents today, so my Mum's has been duly left for unwrapping tomorrow, when I will share the photos I took of my latest and last FAL finish for this quarter.

Laters xxx

Friday, 28 March 2014

Siblings Together...

If you are a longtime follower of my bloggy space, you will know that I am a member of the Siblings Together Quilting Bee; April will be my month as Queen Bee.  But before all that, just a little backtracking for those who are not familiar with the wonderful cause.

Siblings Together Quilting Bee

Two years ago, Lynne highlighted a charity that helps re-unite siblings separated by the care system in the UK.  They run summer holiday camps where the brothers and sisters get to spend valuable time together. Lynne tells it all way better than me, and will guarantee you a few tears.  And so making quilts for these children, to give them something to take back home and remind them of their precious time together began.

Quilts for Siblings Together

Lynne's blogpost spurred on individual quilts, collaborative quilts, quilts from all over the globe, many of which converged on the first Fat Quarterly Retreat.

I made a quilt, a very pink quilt...

The Queen and her Jubilee shindig foiled a grand handover, but off went the quilts and the first recipients were presented with them later that summer.  And then this happened...

Tears? Oh yeah!

So in 2013, I made another one; this was made with some donated Tula strips from Amanda, and I handed it over, along with those from many many others, at FQR13...


I jumped at the chance of being in the awesome Bee, being able to make huge quilts with the kind support of our amazing sponsors...




And so now I am a self-proclaimed Quilt Ambassador!!!  I feel like I need a sweatshirt at least!

And here are next month's blocks...

Using a couple of fat quarters of Gina Martin's Sewing Box, I am asking my fellow Bees to make a pair of St Louis 16 patch blocks using Steffani's measurements and easy-peasy tutorial.

I made 8 blocks in a couple of hours; this will take the total up to 30 blocks for a 5 x 6 arrangement, and the bright colours of this collection are guaranteed to make a super fun quilt.

So that's where we are.  If you want to get involved too, by donating a whole quilt, contributing some blocks or maybe you just have some fabric which may be of use to others, then please check out the Siblings Together flickr group in the first instance, or give me a shout.

We can never do too much.  Thank you xxx

Thursday, 27 March 2014

The kids are dreaming of ice cream and do-nuts!

We just booked our summer holiday, so excuse me if I just sit here grinning and looking forward to lazy, hot, sunny days, whilst I crack on with the binding...

Happy days xxx

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

FAL freakout!

There's less that a week until April folks - FAL Q1 2014 is zooming up on us, which brings me two sets of angst.

Getting stuff finished, and then making sure I have something started to put on my Q2 list!  But we'll stick with the former for today.

I have two quilts left on my list, one of them is my Midnight At The Oasis, and that isn't going to be finished any time soon, but I am OK with that.

My Hadley quilt is another story.  The top was finished probably back in October, November time; I even cut the backing, but it has sat waiting for me to get the energy to even contemplate basting it, never-alone quilting it.  But today was the day.

Children safely dispatched to school; no strike action for me to re-organise my life around, thank goodness, and hubby left in bed poorly; I cracked on.

Binding was made, backing pieced and the whole thing basted, all in a couple of hours, then the quilting could begin...

I managed to use up a whole small spool of Aurifil, but before panic could set in, I found a super match in some old Gutermann, so I could get the quilting finished and binding on, all before I went back out to get the kids at 3pm...

The colours are a bit all over the place in those indoor photos, this outdoor shot is truer,

I have begun stitching down the binding already, but I feel like I am paying for my excess, so that's me done for the day.

Hopefully I will have this finished by the weekend - if the weather is fine I have a good photo op on Saturday, so that's my stitchy action sorted for the rest of the week xxx

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Sorry, watching telly!

I was all set for some exciting post or other, but time has flown by this evening, and now I am watching The Great British Sewing Bee... they are sewing on old Singers, I am too distracted!

And there's a Sussex Sewing Museum! Who knew?  I need to google that!


Monday, 24 March 2014

I spy my little 'i'...

A long time ago, August 2012 to be more precise, I responded to a request for help on a collaborative quilt by Mister Thomas Knauer.

I duly made my secret block, along with 120 other folks, sent them to the US of A, and that was that, until now...

Now if you are not a follower of Thomas' blog, you may still know his fabrics, currently his new book is hopping about blogland, and he is even residing over this side of the pond; if you are in the Cambridge area - check this out!

Thomas is, let's say, a wordy chap.  He has opinions, lots of opinions.  I don't think I have ever disagreed with his point of view; sometimes I don't understand it, but mostly, and I am going to be honest here, I don't have enough hours in my day, sorry Thomas!  But if you have taken a Look inside on Amazon, or seen any of the blog hop reviews and photos, you will have to agree that he designs and makes amazing and beautiful quilts.

So digressing already; it was a lovely surprise to see his new blog header and photos from the book where my long forgotten block could be seen...

Did anyone else contribute to this quilt?  I think it is rather fab to play a teeny tiny part in something bigger, and its always fun to play 'i' spy...
Sum of Interrelations Quilt - Thomas Knauer & friends
(Column 1, 5th up).

I've neither been asked to, nor paid, not even in kind/fabric nor books to post this, I am just bigging-up my little part, and why shouldn't I!? xxx

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Press on...

I apologise for this photograph, it is not meant to shock or upset, but show how it is in reality...

This is my mini-ironing board cover, the state it was in before this weekend, the fully-fledged horror of the conditions I was pressing my small pieces on.  It has looked like this for a long time.

I may have pressed your Bee blocks on this.  Sorry.

But thanks to a kick up the butt by one of the 7 year olds, and to be honest, 15 minutes from start to finish, now I have a brand spanking new board cover that I am again proud to press on...

It's not all glamourous this stitching business, but it just got a little more presentable round here!

Saturday, 22 March 2014


Told you I had been making, but neglected to get any photos - these aren't brilliant as it was very sunny, and very windy, but they're the best of the bunch...

I used Jeni's free pattern again, and for a change added woven interfacing to the main panel for a bit more structure.  A piece of Moda tape matched perfectly for easy ties.

I fell in love with this colour combo when I was pulling cushion fabrics earlier in the week; so it was a done deal and a very quick make when there's no procrastination!

There was some more making today too, and more dodgy photos to show soon.  Having been able to bask in the sunshine over the last couple of weekends, it has been quite nice to just stay indoors and avoid the showers.

Well it's too early to tell if the pills and bland-eating have started to work their magic, but my supplies look pretty even if my insides don't!

Happy weekend folks xxx

Friday, 21 March 2014

Brownie points!

I am my own worst enemy - I volunteered, there was no crossing my palm with silver, nobody made me, but I spent this evening accompanying the Brownie pack on a trail (trial!) round the village, via the churchyard, Indian restaurant (free chocolates), duck pond and chip shop!

I stood, in the freezing cold and watched 30 girls and a number of adults munching on chips, which are top of my 'to avoid' list - gah!

So now I am tucked up under the Christmas quilt and watching Sport Relief with a cup of de-caff; the kiddos all ran a mile at school today, so I am triple exhausted on their behalf!

Photos of the fabric variety tomorrow, I promise xxx

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Pills and thrills...

No random from me today, maybe something to do with the fact that I now rattle when I walk...

... or because I am totally shattered; I made a fancy drawstring bag to store that lot in this evening, and that was after making 8, yes 8 blocks for next month as Siblings Together Bee mama.

Photos to follow soon, sleep to follow sooner xxx

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Swings and Roundabouts...

Today has been full of mood swings, about-turns and back tracking.  Taking the good with the bad.

Most importantly my consultant confirmed that with a cocktail of pills and a diet more suited to a 3 year old, I should be able to get my stomach acid and associated pain under control and on the mend at last - wish me luck!

Before my hospital appointment I took a detour via The Eternal Maker, buying some necessary Aurifil and pink Sweetwater Sunkissed gingham, and maybe not so necessary, but couldn't be left on the shelf, yarn dyed Essex Linen...

And finally I have a cushion ready to finish binding.

On the flipside, I spent about 3 hours trying to get the binding on the aforementioned cushion with a velvet backing.  You can only imagine the mess, fraying and swearing that accompanied the unpicking, seam ripping and thread pulling that went on there.  I was not happy.

But after chopping off the offending backing and binding, it took about an hour to totally remaster a new back and get the binding on, but now I have a smile on my face.

So no pain no gain is probably my mantra of the day, but the gains totally outnumber the pains for a change, long may it last xxx

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Secrets and Supplies..

Because I hate not having anything new to show you, and what's new is secret, it'll have to be a sneaky peak today...

I will tell you that it is a cushion, and this evening I quilted the top/front, (eventually after some Aurifil mishaps), and prepared the back and binding; so finger's crossed I will get a finish tomorrow.

It feels good to be cracking on with stuff, and more stuff is in the offing, as demonstrated by a delivery from Eclectic Maker...

I used my Christmas voucher at last, may have added to that a little bit, but everything has a purpose and will be used sooner rather than later ;)

Monday, 17 March 2014

Up, up and away!

I was told to 'show my friends', so who am I to disagree with a bossy 7 year old?

However I have been secret sewing this evening, yep, actual sewing, with a sewing machine and everything, it's been a while, but it's looking good xxx

Sunday, 16 March 2014


Today was a good day, a warm sunny day, as (mostly) documented on Instagram, (I'm mrsflyingblind don't you know)...

Watching ET before breakfast, washing on the line, hexies on the deck and banana cake in the oven!
I have caught up with sleep, emails and even blog reading - though I have skipped the commenting because there are only so many hours in the day before Top Gear!!

So all set for another week of fun, games, work and appointments, and hopefully a lot of sewing - I have plans, deadlines and an itch to scratch xxx

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Radiant Orchid

Last year I entered into the Pantone fun by making a cushion in Emerald shades of green that, although all from my stash, were not exactly shouting 'me'.

This year the challenge of a purple.  A colour I am seriously lacking, although not through any dislike, I actually like it quite a lot, maybe there aren't so many purples out there?  So it was doubly surprising that I had quite a few solids that would fit the bill.

I made up a little wonky cross block a few weeks back, and then stalled on the what to do with it.  After a disproportionate amount of deliberation, I settled on a simple mug-rugesque mini...

Leanne's influence again, and I matchstitch quilted it in Aurifil 2021 50wt, what else, and after fusing on a square of Vilene H640 fleece, I backed it with a scrap of mauve Oakshott...

I think it is pretty sweet.  The quilting definitely makes the solidness less so, which is a great thing in my book, but I cannot see me attempting to convert anything much bigger than this 8" square...

So I am linking up with Adrienne and by the looks of it already, many others who have made way more of an effort than me!

2014 Pantone Quilt Challenge: Radiant Orchid

Deets in one place for the factually obsessive:
Finished 8" square
Kona solids in various shades of purple
Oakshott cotton for backing
Pieced and matchstick quilted in Aurifil 2021 50wt

So there you go.  A little finish at long last.

If this is your first time visiting, hello and welcome.  If you have a look about, please ignore my lack of recent productivity, I have been pre-occupied with medical stuff, but hoping that I will back to regular service and sociability levels really soon.

For those of you who come by frequently, we went out in the sun for a stroll today, which has left me feeling like we conquered Everest, but I have stayed awake all day, so it's all good, and even the de-caff PG is fine by me. xxx