Sunday, 30 November 2014

The Colour Purple...

I don't have much purple in my stash, but I do actually really like it - I think I may have said that before, but this weekend's sewing, reinforced my liking, despite the swearing!

Here's Sarah's Sew Together Bag…

It will be headed your way by the end of the week my friend xxx

Oh and I never showed you these lovelies from Susan

My bundle of flowers from my Stitch Tease buddies is slowly growing, and having seen this beautiful quilt, I am sooooooo excited to get these made up for the girls!

Saturday, 29 November 2014


The free time and weekends before Christmas can now be counted on the fingers of one hand, and to add to the pressure, today I received my Christmas Countdown wallhanging back from Quilt Now, and the kids immediately wanted it hung up…

This will be taunting me for the next 25 days for sure!

So I started ticking off my list(s) in earnest, my #IGminiswap parcel got mailed…

… and I've been picking the papers off my 1 1/2" HSTs for my Dad's birthday in a couple of weeks…

I also made Sarah's Sew Together Bag.  It was all finished, and then I took a closer look, spotted I hadn't adjusted my needle back after basting and the edging seams were too shallow and the inside zip pockets would probably pop as soon as the zips were pulled.  Gah!

Unpicking, including the binding and tab ends and, OMG, there was swearing and moodiness!

I am hoping Sarah will forgive me, and I will get some decent photos tomorrow, when I can bear to look at it again xxx

Friday, 28 November 2014

If I never see a laminator again...

Yes, two hours of laminating Christmas bookmarks at Brownies has addled my brain this evening!

Still, at least I got one made for me, and I also snaffled all the offcuts which will come in useful for cutting appliqué templates.

Crafty scavenger, that's me!

Thursday, 27 November 2014

All the pretties...

In the exhaustion of driving home in thick fog and the 2mph M25's post-incident crawl last night, I couldn't muster the energy to photograph my haul from the US of A, so here you go…

I was so reserved, but the thought of Terri having to explain to some poor airport worker why her suitcase weighed 2 tonnes, kept me sensible!

I did treat myself though, after years of using the manky pliers from the toolbox to make key fobs, I got a proper pair!

I had actually forgotten that I had ordered them (you know how it is, when you put things in and take them out of your shopping cart over and over again, it's a lovely surprise to see what you ended up with!).

I have another parcel headed this way courtesy of Mrs Knotted Threads, so I think I will be avoiding the Black Friday panic buying.  However my Inbox keeps filling with tempting offers, so I am almost glad that I am at work and then helping with Brownies tomorrow night… almost!

Happy Thanksgiving my US friends x

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Wonderful Wednesday...

I spent the day in the company of friends today, very special friends…

Stolen photo from Di's Instagram feed!
I can't really verbalise what a precious memory today will be, but in true Brit Bee style, there was the swapping of gifts, and the handing over of fabric; a fun pub lunch, much laughter and maybe a few tears...

Thank you for such a lovely day Terri, Di, Ceri and Susan xxxx

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

#IGminiswap Extra...

I have bought a couple of extras for my #IGminiswap partner, but won't show you until they have received the parcel on the off chance that they are looking in.  However I have just stitched up the last bit of the bundle…

I used my boxy pouch pattern from Love P&Q, and am rather taken with the grey home dec bottom and patchwork top.

As mailing has now begun, I will be off to the post office at the weekend, and then my side of the deal will be done.

Monday, 24 November 2014

No mean feet...

I have had a pair of expensive sheepskin boots sat in my wardrobe unworn for many a year, so today I decided to go brave and chop them up!

They have always been too tall and tight around the top for my chubby calves, so they have only been worn for short bursts, before cutting off the circulation to my feet.

I won't fib, they were a pig to re-bind on my sewing machine, a snug fit and all that fluff!  But they are done; actually look fine when on, and perfect from a distance...

I reckon anyone close enough to see the wonky binding on the inside is too close, or grovelling just a little bit too hard ;)

And as today was an Inset Day, I took the kids to see Nativity3 - maybe even more brilliant than 1 and 2; we heart Mr Poppy!

A good day x

Sunday, 23 November 2014


I promised you pictures of the other makes from yesterday; honestly, it feels like we have moved up into the Arctic Circle with the lack of daylight this weekend, so these are the best of a bad bunch of photos I'm afraid…

Baggy pouches and mini key-fobs for the daughters of an amazing friend, who I am thankful I will get to spend some precious hours with on Wednesday.  Some Tula, Cotton & Steel and a little Brit Bee Forever tag on each, to remind the recipients that there are a bunch of oddballs 'aunties' over here who will keep them in their hearts for always xxx

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Ins and out...

Double incoming lovely mail this morning, my month as Stitch Tease queen bee has started to reap wonderful rewards...

These from Di, with the added bonus of some scrummy sounding strawberry and rhubarb jam from Dr Kyle and his new misses' wedding.

And these from t'other Di

The girls are thrilled, and realise that they are actually going to be getting a big quilt each sooner rather than later!

Thank you ladies, they are perfect xxx

Outgoing was this little Baggy Pouch, stitched up after lunch in time for the girls to take and gift at their friend's birthday party at 3pm…

Yes the latest in a line of high-pressure/short deadline makes this week; stuffed with chocs, hoping it will be loved.

I also made another couple, but no photos as yet, soz xxx

Friday, 21 November 2014

Love my boy...

Yeah, no sh*t!! 
He had an amazing time,; the weather was kind, it only rained as they were packing the coach to come home, and everything was awesome!

Fast asleep as soon as his head touched the pillow x

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Worst photos ever!

A friend at work has a big birthday on Saturday; so big she should be retiring, she isn't, but is spending the weekend at Belle Tout, the lighthouse from Love and Lives of a She-devil, the one that got picked up and moved further inland, and was probably on Blue Peter or something!  (All meaningless words to my non-middle-aged Brit friends, but check the website if you like).

Well her love of lighthouses was mentioned a few weeks ago, and just before I left work today I remembered that I had planned to make a pressie; doh!  So a quick sketch from what I could remember of the pattern I saw in Patchwork 318, and a diversion via Eclectic Maker on the way home, and I was sorted.

Ta da!  A lighthouse cushion…

Awful photos, dreadful light; the background is actually a lovely pale blue; Architextures in Lake, if you know it.  (I hurried past the Doe, totally gorgeous!).  Anyway, the white is a new-to-me super find of Stephanie Ryan Modern Roses, Haze in Flax, soooo perfect!  A bit more Carolyn Friedlander for the light beam and the last of a Boo Crew bolt of Flyscreen; they all look so, so much better in real life!

I just winged/wang/wung the piecing, sewing the strips, trimming into shape, sewing the diagonals on a wing and a prayer; I could have made some paper-piecing templates, but I didn't have the time, but I am rather pleased with how it worked out anyway...

This is no more true to colour, but the best of a bad bunch.

I didn't use wadding, but simply lined the front panel with white cotton; I topstitched each seam, securing the pressed to the side seam allowances for a bit more strength, it looks good too, sorry you will have to take my word for it!

There is also a little strip of the yellow as binding across the envelope back, which is a grey home-dec weight.  It measures up just shy of 16" square, and is already wrapped for work tomorrow.

I had fun with this, and as ever, I am rather surprised at what I can achieve when I have to!

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Month 2 of !!!!!!!!!!

These will keep me busy…

… although the agony; some of the fabrics will be coming in future parcels!  According to the notes, I have the ingredients to complete 4, so that's what I'll be doing, as soon as I can x

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Next Best Thing...

Today's happy mail was a bundle of fabric, pre-cut for me to make another Sew Together Bag.  If sewing with friends is the best, then sewing for friends is the next best thing…

This one is for Sarah, because she has her hands full of baby, and as I think I have mastered the pattern, I offered.

I pulled some co-ordinating zippers and fused the interfacing, and now I am good to go.

Hoping a bit of sewing time will be in order over the weekend, but I am fearing that my time will be taken up with washing a lot of muddy clothes!

Monday, 17 November 2014

Perfect 10...

He's off on an adventure week, whilst we are left at home sending out "Happy Birthday" thoughts to the wilds of Surrey…

So proud of you, see you on Friday xxx

Sunday, 16 November 2014


… after all the aggro and secrecy, he's worth it…

Happy Birthday Eve dear son, 10 tomorrow! xxx

Saturday, 15 November 2014


Well today started with spilt milk, all over the conservatory floor.  So impromptu mopping whilst I had a million other things actually on the list, did not make for a happy me.

Then there was organising enough clothes for the 10yr old-to-be to wear for a week, in all weathers and definite mud.  If the weekly plan that the school received gets altered, then who knows what he'll be wearing; raft-building gear for fencing?

Apart from packing the few things that are still a bit damp from the wash, and the pressies he is getting a day early tomorrow, I think my work is done.

So mid-afternoon, after shopping for the early birthday lunch, I started wrapping presents.   New trainers, needed for Monday, one size 3, one size 4!!!!!!!!!!!  WTF!?

So frantic phoning the shop and other branches, I located a pair similar enough and in an actual matching pair, hence a 30 mile round trip to exchange and then back home to carry on.

I hate days like these, but tomorrow will be a better day, I dare it not to be!

Friday, 14 November 2014

Children In Need...

An evening in front of the TV with Pudsey…

… and as if hoovering up loom bands wasn't enough, we have now added Beados/Aqua Beads to the mix.

All craft is good… mostly!

Thursday, 13 November 2014

I have cut and sewn...

… and I still remembered how to do it!

I am making a modified version of one of the minis from the beautiful Little Quilts book…

There will be a mix of machine and hand stitching (bonus), but it will be for a blog hop I am involved in nearer to Christmas, so this is all you are getting for now, sorry.

It's good to be back in the saddle, albeit briefly; this weekend will largely be taken up with preparing and packing dear son's supplies for the residential, celebrating his birthday a day early, and generally running round like a headless chicken.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

There will be sewing...

… at some point, but for now we are celebrating dear hubby's birthday.

A day out in Brighton, dodging the showers, more birthday cake and one happy chappy.

We started the day in Costa…

… unfortunately this was just a mural not the view xxx

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Let it snow...

Well it has got to be better than the rain!

I know I am in the midst of the birthday season, but it's all about the snowflakes at the moment.

Probably a sign of exhaustion and losing my grip on reality with all the cake, wrapping paper and lists that consume much of my days, but hopefully they will turn into something pretty!


Monday, 10 November 2014


I am not sure where the last eight years have gone…

… but life wouldn't be the same without these two in our lives!

Happy Birthday beautiful girls xxx

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Thank you!

Thank you so much to everyone who voted for my #IGminiswap quilt in the scrappy quilt category of the Blogger's Quilt Festival… I only went and bloody won!!!

Totally and utterly honoured and gobsmacked!  

So dear partner, if you happen to look in on this, you'll be getting your hands on this prize-winner in about a month…

I shall just enjoy looking at it for a little longer xxx

Saturday, 8 November 2014

I. need. sleep.

The girls were still loudly awake when we want to bed, playing DS at 3am and up and ready to go by 6.30am.

However the goodie-purses went down better than expected - and I am the best mummy in the world, apparently.

There was bowling and then lunch at Frankie & Benny's, then home in time for an afternoon nap.

Now all I am good for is the Doctor Who finalé and an early night.  I do have rather a lot of birthday wrapping to do, but that is going to have to wait until tomorrow night, otherwise I would not be able to guarantee who would be receiving what!

Friday, 7 November 2014

Seemed like a good idea at the time...

Dear son is away for the night, so the girls have their best friend round for a sleepover.

'Sleep'over?  Pah!  So far there has only been screaming and jumping about!

These are the goodie-purses I have made them for the morning…

Suitably filled with chocolate, chapsticks and loom bands!

Hoping they will gain me adequate mummy-points for an early night tomorrow xxx

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Ode To Green Tea & Sweet Beans...

Love love love!!!

It started with two small blocks, selected with Sonia, back at FQR in Jen Kingwell's wonderful hand stitching and appliqué class, and then grew…

Although I desperately want to make the whole Green Tea & Sweet Beans quilt, I decided a cushion, pillow-sized (just to confuse the pants off non-Brits!), was just the ticket to start with.  I had never hand-stitched before the class, and only since hand-quilted one cushion, so this is a practice piece, to keep me going for now!

I so love it when a beautiful plan comes together!

I backed it with a lovely spot, which I know was a bolt end of an extra-wide backing from Village Haberdashery.  The binding is my all time favourite Liberty Lifestyle print; if you know where I can get any more, please let me know, my precious meter is now down to significantly less.

So there you go.  A long time coming, but I definitely think it was worth the wait.

Oh and a FAL tick - woo hoo!

PS. If my posts become even more speedy/sporadic over the next 10 days or so, it's because crazy birthday season will be in full swing, starting tomorrow with a girly sleepover whilst dear son spends the night at the museum.  No. sleep. for. anyone!

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

There but for the grace of God...

The girls came home from school with a letter today, telling us that one of the boys in their year will not be coming back to school this term and is currently in hospital up in London.

So the girls were immediately making cards and planning loom bands, and I got on with doing what I do.

A fussy-cut 'T for…' cushion…

It is at binding point now, so I will buy an insert tomorrow, and have it finished to drop off at school on Friday morning.

Apologies if you were hoping for the grand reveal of my Ode to GTSB tonight, it is finished I promise, so tomorrow I will turn my frown upside down and show you the pretties xxx

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Some secrets revealed...

I can now reveal the teacher pouches that I whipped up a few weeks ago.  I was pattern testing again for the wonderful Aneela Hoey, and today she has released the Baggy (Bottom) pouch pattern, which you can find here.

Why she thought of me to test these, must be some sort of mistake, or coincidence or something, but my  own baggy bottom and I loved making these!

I made the smaller size, and used heavy weight fusible fleece, which gave mine less of a baggy look and more of a 1950's silhouette, which is a fun bonus!

These are so satisfying to make; the additional, optional embroidery in the pattern is a lovely touch; but my machine and I were too scared to try, this time!

Please check out all Aneela's other new patterns too, I am thinking of making a couple of Pull Out Boxes for some of the men in my life.

Oh and another reveal; remember the mahoosive Cotton & Steel blocks I made a few months back, well the quilt they were destined for was completed and handed over to Aneela on the weekend…

Pennie did an amazing job organising the A (for Aneela) Team (which included Ms Melody Miller herself, just sayin'), and it was a privilege to be part of brilliant collective.

Here's to secrets and stitchery x

Monday, 3 November 2014

Back at it...

Blah blah work, blah blah school run, blah blah rain.  One of those Mondays!

The only stitching I have to show you today, other than Cub badges, (and I know the novelty of those has worn off), is the back of my Ode to GTSB…

I'm expecting no prizes for exciting photography, but bear with me, I am hoping to get it made up into a cushion this week and then I'll show you the front!

My hand quilting still needs a lot of practise, as you may be able to tell if you have your glasses on, but I am loving the process.

I think I need to get a new quilt made, just so I have something to hand quilt over the winter… time for a cunning plan me thinks!

Sunday, 2 November 2014


I have had a super sewing day; the weather helped by making everyone more than contented to just veg out, (and leave me alone!).

I got 3 birthday gifts ticked off dear son's birthday list, and I am feeling rather pleased with myself.

First was a pillow case; on the PGL kit list, and a simple make following this tutorial; nothing fancy, and there may even be a possibility that the young chap will be able to get the pillow inside himself!

Then another requirement for the trip, a named purse.  Well, trying to make it more fun than feminine, I think I've pulled it off…

And then finally, an Iron Man hudl2 case.  Using another of Kristy - Quiet Play's awesome free patterns, lined with flannel and backed with more of today's favourite, I am hoping for bonus mummy points for this…

I still need to get 3 goodie bags made for the girls' sleepover on Friday, but the pressure has been relieved somewhat, and I can cope with taking a few hours out of my day to go back to work tomorrow.