Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Winner, winner, turkey dinner...

Good evening folks, without further ado, the winner of my hexie giveaway is…

No1!!!  Love that.

Congratulations Helen!  Feel free to pass them on ;)

And thank you all for letting me know I am not alone on the long-standing WIP naughty step; I am feeling a little less sorry for myself now!

I hope I get to count this as a FAL finish, otherwise I will score a cool zero this quarter!

Well I can't promise that you will hear from me again this side of Christmas, although I am under the hopefully not too misguided illusion that I am on schedule, all sorted and prepared.

I finished up all my festive makes on the weekend, and stoopidly wrapped most of them up unphotographed, so I will try to get some snaps on the day without looking too weird.

So have a very merry, relaxed and happy Christmas everyone.  I hope Santa is good to you and that you and yours get at least one quality nap in front of the TV!

See you before the year is out my friends, joyeux noël xxx

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Win my WIP!

Blog followers will be familiar with a certain set of hexie flowers that have been hanging around here for years; cropping up on my FAL list every quarter and never getting the attention they deserve!

Well in the spirit of sharing, and moving on and going forth into the New Year, I am basically passing the buck!

So it's a win-win.  I get to move something off my never-ending To Do list, something that I haven't fallen out of love with, just don't have the time to turn into something super, and you get a pretty half-made project to play with.

I am not one for hoops, so just leave me one comment, telling me which WIP you keep putting to the bottom of the pile.

This giveaway is for followers only, because it's my blog, my rules, so expect me to check that you really are, (you can tell me how you follow if you want to be helpful); and if you are a no-reply blogger, then for goodness sake leave an email address!

I will pick a winner next Tuesday evening, 22nd December, 8pm GMT, so if all goes to plan I will be able to pop into the Post Office before Christmas, (although that's a sincere hope, but not a promise!).

Open internationally; multiple comments will be deleted and Random.org will do the business.

Good luck my friends xxx

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Secrets and pies...

Only one more morning at work, then I will be free to catch up with myself, my blog, a giveaway, oh and Christmas!

Today I mailed my Secret Santa gift for the Brit Bee ornament swap and despite having received mine on Saturday, I thought it only right and proper not to open it until I had been to the post office and fulfilled my side of the deal!

So I ripped into the wrapping the minute I got home today, and here's what was inside…

Thank you so much Secret Santa, you spoilt me, and I know who you are, (what's with all the questions!?).

I'm sorry my picture doesn't do sparkly justice to the tiny cross-stitched Santa; and I am not going to mention the treats in the foil!  I have realised that this Christmas-time I am not going to be able to show you any secret stitching or anything, what with the now highly-teched up small-folk in the house!

I am so lucky to be in this amazing Bee, I love all that we do, especially our newest member, mwah!

Monday, 14 December 2015

Going for it!

If you follow me on Instagram, @mrsflyingblind, that's me, you may have seen my weekend reveal…

Yep, I took the plunge, did the thing I had pondered for a long while and am so glad I did!  After a little planning, the amazingly skilled Adam at Occult Tattoo, Worthing did the deed.  It was a fun Saturday morning a couple of weeks back, and quite frankly didn't hurt at all.  I kept it quiet, kids sworn to secrecy until I had the chance to show my parents this weekend, who are now duly shocked/disappointed as well as wonderful and forgiving, I hope!

OK, so I know the 'cons', but it's not going to scupper any modelling/ballerina/joining the police dreams, ruin my wedding photos or get me in with the wrong crowd; I can live with the odd look and bit of attitude come the summer!

The 'ahope' is our initials, the swallow for love, family and home; my Mum's father was in the navy, and my Dad has done more than 5,000 nautical miles; the needle and thread need no explanation.

So why now, other than mid-life crisis?  Because quite frankly so many sad, bad, horrible things happened this year, that I wanted to take back a bit of control, do something for me before it's too late, live for the moment and not worry about how it might look in 30 years time.  I am sure there will be a lot worse things to worry about than a bit of saggy grey skin when I'm 75!  Heck, if that is all that's bothering me, I will be blessed!  I have also lost 3 stone since January, and this is just another part of the new, back to the old, me.

I don't need to justify anything, but I can.

I am already thinking that I may add to it; I need flowers, maybe a button or two, how about a circle of flying geese; moderation, what's that?!

Friday, 11 December 2015

Coming soon...

Well it's Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day/Week; I was caught totally unawares this time around and I am feeling a smudge guilty.  That said, there don't at quick glance seem to be very many giveaways on the go, so I am in good company.

I have therefore decided to do my own pre-Christmas giveaway next week for the, albeit few, folks who actually visit my blog, not unfamiliar the hoppers!  Harsh, but fair!

Does that sound like a good deal?  Of course you don't know what I am thinking of off-loading, so you may change your mind!

I have to get these off my FAL list somehow!!
Today though I almost finished my Christmas shopping, so thrilled, and spent the evening at Brownies doing colouring and Christmas crafty stuff, so thrilled that's over too!  I almost have time to spend on making the few presents I want to this year!

Have a good weekend peeps xxx

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Ho Ho No!

It's all quiet now, but the pre-Crimbo 'ick has hit the house; let's hope it doesn't spread to the rest of us!

In the spirit of Christmas pretties, here's a peek at my Secret Santa gift…

Hoping for a silent night xxx

Wednesday, 9 December 2015


I got so many things ticked off the Christmas list today, I am feeling rightly angelic!

The tree and house are decorated, the cards were written and mailed, I finished a Secret Santa gift, and also got all the boring but time-consuming stuff, like changing and washing all the bedding and towels ticked off for this week.

OK, so I still have presents to buy and make, food to order and another week of work to get through, not to mention a load of school, Brownies and Scouts stuff, but I am a heck load nearer being prepared than I was 24 hours ago!

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

No denying it...

I bought a Christmas tree today, from the friendly man and his van once again…

It's spending the night in the garage, and the decorations will go up tomorrow, might even get some Christmas tunes on the go whilst I am at it, couple of Kirstie's Homemade Christmasses to catch up on as well as writing the cards and doing the Post Office encounter.  I have my list at the ready.

Wish me luck!

Monday, 7 December 2015

Pass the tissues...

I had one of those making weekends.

I found a tute, pulled my fabrics, worked round making Sunday lunch and getting dear son out the door for a day of laser-battling in the mud, an hour to myself and I got sewing.

Finished sewing. Gaaah!

OK, so American pocket-packs of tissues are, despite outside appearances, assumptions and trust, shorter and fatter than your UK variety it would seem.

8, yes 8 covers made, and they just looked bloody awful!  Not the fault of the tutorial - honestly I would have gone ahead and made the opening lengthways if it hadn't been pointed out that some, including the Kleenex I have, open at the short end!

I thought I could live with teacher/Brownie leader gifts looking a little bit gaping, but I couldn't, I resigned myself to that fact about 30 seconds later!

So today I made another set…


The kids have commandeered the originals for other uses, phones, headphones and the like, and I am a happier bunny.

Brief respite though, as today West Sussex Council's recommendations for changes to the schools in the area now mean, (shocking of me to assume it's a done-deal, not a real consultation!), the girls will spend an additional year at their current school and miss out on all the awesome opportunities dear son has had so far in Year 6.  Gutted.  The prospect of a further year of teacher gifts only adds to my disappointment.


Friday, 4 December 2015

Week One of Christmas - tick

Friday evening; a load of things on the Christmas calendar have been ticked off.  Today was the girls' School Christmas Bazaar, shortly followed by dear son going out to his school disco.

All home now, my feet are up and the gadzillion things I need to get done over the next 48 hours can wait until morning.

On the plus side, and no effort required (by me), Stitch Tease Bee blocks continue to roll in…

These beauties from Di, with added choccy-goodness arrived today.  Thanks lovely lady!

Have a good weekend peeps, have a productive one for me xxx

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Getting in the spirit...

… I wish!!

I got home from work and made Melted Snowman biscuits for the school Christmas Bazaar tomorrow, (well, decorated Double Choc Digestives, almost the same thing!)…

We listened to carols, saw the lights get switched on in the village and took advantage of all the free food, drinks and sweeties and met Father Christmas.  We watched the mad fools on the fairground rides and got home before the weather turned nasty...

But I am still not feeling Christmassy!

It will come, it always does xxx

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Yo b*tch!

My Dad's birthday is coming up, and having done the complete Breaking Bad 6 season box set recently, there is a bit of a Walter White theme going on with his presents.

The handmade gift is a simple patchwork cushion with fabric from Spoonflower, taking advantage of a BOGOF FQ deal a couple of weeks back…

Really hard getting decent photos this time of year eh!

I backed it with some thick/dense fleece, which my sewing machine took great exception too; I need to sew something else up sooner rather than later to make sure it was the fabric not the machine that is ailing; hoping it was just complaining due to lack of use!

So that's my birthday's out of the way for another year, just as the first Christmas card came through the mail today; no rest for the wicked, especially as at the time of scheduled posting I will be gritting my teeth and looking for a parking space to do a joint Brownies to Panto, Scout to, um, Scouts drop off.

2 posts in 2 days, just saying!

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Good Lord!

It's December and I cannot even begin to work out how that happened!

I am not going to repeat the tone of my last few posts, blethering on about how busy I am and no time to blog; still all true, but you know the score!

So I owe you pics of my #schnitzelandboominiquiltswap haul…

…all posted on Instagram, and I was truly spoilt by my lovely partner!

I made a couple more Farmer's Wives…

…and I stitched up this little taggie for baby due early next year…

My Quilt Now Christmas Countdown has come out of the loft…

If it really was only 12 days to go, I would be waaaaaay more panicked than I am!
…but I really can't bring myself to start on the rest of the decorations just yet!

And incoming, the first two parcels of my Stitch Tease November Bee blocks have arrived…

I am so thrilled with these and can't wait for the rest ;)

Warning, Christmas is closer than it may appear…

I got followed home by a van stacked with Christmas Trees!
I am just not quite ready to accept it!

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Full of cake...

Today saw the final instalment of the November birthday celebrations, and not a cake too soon!

Between all the calorific binging, shrieking and smiles of the last week I did manage to get my sewing area tidied…

Tomorrow I get to have a haircut and a few hours to myself, and then I can start thinking about Christmas!!!

PS. The work announcement was all over the News last week; our site is remaining, but in what guise is still to be decided, so I am not out of a job just yet, so watch this space xxx

Monday, 9 November 2015

The dog ate my homework...

I actually have no excuses except 'life' to blame for my one-post-a-week presence at the moment!

Last week was draining and that wasn't just the weather.  Parents evening for the girls - both doing well, a day sorting pressies and then Thursday night's firework spectacular, complete with mud and brollies.  Dear son went hiking and came home with half the Downs caked over his waterproofs and boots, and pretty much all the sewing I did in the week was of the Scout badge variety.

Saturday, a rather cleaner boy went to Brighton Comicon with friends in his Steampunk regalia, and the girls went partying; I came down with some glandular-viral throat/neck thing.  I have plodded on and come out the other side, and today I finally attached my clamshells to My Small World, albeit upside-down; section 4 now complete…

My World is not as grey as this miserable dusk photo suggests!
The girls' presents have just been wrapped so we are all set for tomorrow's 9th birthday celebrations, which will probably commence c.5am.  Later in the week it's hubby's turn, son's parents consultation is after school tomorrow too and an office location announcement at work on Thursday is looking rather like bad news.

But there's a Pizza party and visit from my parents to look forward too at the weekend, and I have a parcel waiting me at the post office which I am hoping is my #schitzelandboominiquiltswap package, but could just be more pressies for others (I lose track!); I'll find out tomorrow.

So that's me in a nutshell.  So please bare with, it's not you, it's me xxx

Monday, 2 November 2015

Weekend catch up...

Well Half Term is over, back to work and school today, fog, gloom and general feelings of bleugh!

But the weekend was good!

Halloween shenanigans, Bee blocks and an awesome Rugby World Cup final for a perfect Saturday.

Sunday was a TV-lazing day, although I did manage a little stitching; part 4 of My Small World now only needs the clamshells appliquéing and then I'll be able to piece the last couple of blocks together for that section.  Not quite the progress I has hoped for over the holiday, but hey ho.

Now we start the manic sprint to Christmas; one parent's evening tomorrow, and fireworks on Thursday not to mention the usual round of Scouts and Brownies this week; then we hit Birthday-silly season; I will spend next weekend wrapping and panic stitching!

Here's to a week of no surprises xxx

Friday, 30 October 2015

My November...

If you have hung around here for more than a year, then you will know that my Novembers are just a little hectic.  All the kids and hubby have birthdays within a week of each other, Christmas panic starts to set in and I go into a making frenzy.  I also beg to have this as my Bee month so that I can make in advance and not let anyone else down!

So for November this year my Stitch Tease choices are Anna Maria Horner Feathers.  I mentioned them back when making my partner 'likes' list for #easyswapuk, and over the last few months any other option has been dismissed in favour of these lovely blocks.

I know, probably a bit 2013, and apologies to my Stitch Tease buddies who have already made versions for Ms Katy in the past, but this is an itch/tickle that needs to be sorted!

I have made the first feather already, and using the template from AMH's tutorial, it came out perfectly…

I used scraps rather than full wofs as per the pattern; cutting 7" strips are more than plenty wide enough, with the tips getting away with shorter and starting with the first strip at the correct angle,  I paper pieced the strips all the way up, staggering the strips as I went to cover the template.

My colour requests are based on a bunch of pics I had pinned here, so mostly pinks and aquas with touches of yellow, orange and other colours in tiny doses that will pop on a very dark grey background.  The stems are light grey.

Tips for my Bee-buddies:
  • the templates include the 1/4" seam allowance (took me ages to check this was so!)
  • the completed block will measure 9.5" x 18.5"
  • cutting the background sections c. 1/4" larger, all the way round, than the templates will make it easier to get the correct finished size by trimming
  • most of my strips were c. 2", although bigger/smaller sections would be lovely, but I'd say c.8 strips per side is a good guide; I trimmed my stitching edges parallel but didn't measure
  • the scrappier the better
  • please choose really bright colourful scraps with minimal white/light colours
  • please use one dark grey background fabric per block, not scrappy
  • 2 blocks please, but not joined together as I haven't decided on a layout yet
  • anything I've missed, please ask
  • Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I am even more excited by this future quilt than I expected to be since making my first block, and I know that my awesome Bee mates will do me proud.

Have a happy Halloween/Rugby World Cup Final weekend my friends xxx

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Smiley Faces...

Despite the rain, we spent a fun morning at the library with a few friends and a visiting author…

Sam Watkins talked about how she became a writer and read from her first book Creature Teacher; there was then some creative drawing, show and tell and obligatory book purchase and signing.  The kids enjoyed themselves, I got to have a natter, and for £5.99 I think that was a morning well spent!

After lunch I stitched up 14 emoji key/bag fobs for the impending birthday celebrations…

Not bad for a potentially miserable day stuck indoors xxx

Tuesday, 27 October 2015


Cleaning, sewing and baking; yep, something has got me in the homely mood!

We did pop out today and enjoyed the warm sunshine and a Halloween hunt at the local garden centre; then we came home, ate lunch in the garden then I baked an apple cake, my first.  I would of taken a photo, but I'm sparing you the shock of just how little is left!!

I made my sample block for November's Stitch Tease (success!), and made up a batch of chilli.

I've also been sorting mis-behaving hudls and their equally ill-behaved owners and now I just want to put my feet up in front of the box; Holby, River, all good.

OK so the ironing pile is humungous and there are other less than savoury piles of gubbins in need of sorting, but I'm getting there.

And just because I have nothing else I can show you just now, here's another little block for My Small World…


Monday, 26 October 2015

#easyswapuk wrapped up...

On Saturday I received my #easyswapuk goodies, woo hoo, hand delivered by Theresa (tlea_99)!

A lovely little pouch destined to hold my Fitbit extras; yes I have a few bracelets/straps and the charging and syncing bits and bobs to keep me on track, especially after immediately indulging in the Reese's in front of the Rugby!

And my first feather!!  I have made many for others, but now I have one of my own, and this has cemented my November request for my month as Stitch Tease boss-lady, (more on that soon)!  This beautiful mug rug has now replaced my original spec-mat by the side of the bed for plonking my glasses on at night, usually lens-down!

So that's another swap fulfilled with smiles all round.  Thank you again TheresaRosie and Hannah our swap mama.

I need to finish off my #schnitzelandboominiquiltswap parcel and then I am swap-free, but I am sure it won't stay that way for long ;)

Friday, 23 October 2015

And breath...


Yesterday I finished work for 10 days as today was an Inset Day for the girls and it's Half Term for all next week.

So after work and before pick up yesterday, I raced about and got all my packages posted in our newly referb'ed Post Office; at 2pm it had only been open for a half hour, and people were still frantically putting up shelves and displays and poor Michael the postmaster didn't even have his new chair yet.

Anyway in amongst the pile was my #ukminiswap parcel, and today it arrived with my partner Rosie, she was very happy.  Phew ;)

This was her first swap, I believe I made it worth her while.

Today I was up at the crack of dawn with hubby and son getting out the door for 7.45, and it wasn't until after 1pm, and over 5,000 steps according to my fitbit, that I was able to grab a shower, having decided to do more sorting and chucking in the girls' bedroom and clean the house and change all the bedding.

They now have a huge packing box full of all their belongings which need to be redistributed into all the empty cupboards, drawers and boxes that we looted.  At least a wheelie bin of recycling, mostly of the paper variety, a tonne of books for the charity shop and bin bags of real rubbish.  I have put aside a few of their baby books, all those lovely That's Not My… Usbourne books and a few others to go into the loft, but other than that I was ruthless.  Grrrr!  We just have the cuddly toys and old clothes to heartlessly cull, and then I will be totally happy.

We went to Costa to celebrate the de-cluttering before picking up the lad…

… and I am just waiting on the last load of tumble-drying to finish and my day will be done.  No energy to do anything but drink tea and sleep this evening, but thinking that with horrible chores out the way I will be able to enjoy Half Term and maybe get some sewing in.  Hope so!

Have a less frantic weekend folks; c'mon you All Blacks x

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Back To The Future Day...

I worked today, so no stitching thus far, however I scoured what few digital or rather scanned pics I have of me back in the '80s, and sadly (but not surprisingly) couldn't find any from 1985.

So going against the grain, here's me in 1983 and 1989-ish…

You will have to imagine at what point it all started going wrong :)

Happy Back To The Future Day everyone, time to make like a tree xxx

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

My Small World… Part 3

Oh its been far too long since I worked on My Small World; the QAL has quilted and long gone, and I still have a way to go.

I have however been re-invigorated by writing my Q4 FAL list, and over the weekend I finally completed part 3…

That bottom left block, with crazy Y-seams, curves and angles-galore had me a bit worried for a moment or two, but I cracked it!

I have already pieced the sky for part 4, and have made in-roads into the green hills.  If I can get the top finished by the end of Half Term I will be over the moon.  To have something to hand quilt over the November birthday period will be so good.

Talking of birthdays, I need to get my thinking cap on, and get cracking on making some bits and bobs, not to mention deciding whether I will be making goodie bags for 14!  Combined pizza party for the kiddos, I have been told something to do with emojis would be great.  Oh really!?

Monday, 19 October 2015

Purse Palooza...

Today I am hanging out with all the bag ladies over at Sara's blog with my review of the Lola Pouch.

Please pop over and say Hi xxx

Friday, 16 October 2015

Old is the new New...

During the week this arrived…

It is beautiful!

Now I don't mind admitting that when I first got into quilting I was really quite dismissive of all those old quilts made with basket designs and a load of other old fashioned stuff.

The blocks were made worse by the awful brown and beige florals that were used to make them, I am sure I am not the only one to feel that way!

But I don't know whether it comes to us all in the end, or if it's a trend, but I can't get enough of the older, traditional appliqué and pieced blocks with modern fabrics and a twist…

Maybe it's the Aussie thing, Jen Kingwell, Sarah Fielke, Kathy Doughty, they just appeal to me in a way that most others don't.

Who could fail to want too make one of these, solids 'n all!?

Fashions change, tis true, but I think this love is here to stay!

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Farmer's Wives - week 2

My second week, and my second pair of blocks.  I am doing well aren't I!?

The story behind these two?  Um, they were really easy ones.  I know, feeble reasoning, but the laugh will be on me when only the really complex ones are left!

So here we have Bonnie…

And Clyde Sarah…

All four together, don't they look pretty…

The fabric selection time is totally disproportionate to the block making, but I am not too worried about that.

The basket that I have filled with all my Gardenvale+ prints is a real treasure trove and I could happily rummage in there all day.  Rummaging is good!

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Brit Bee - A New Year...

And we are off on another Brit Bee adventure, and this is going to be a great one, no doubt about it!

We have each designed a 15" x 20" block, shared our fabric / style preferences, made our 15" starter blocks and the whole kit-kaboodle has been posted in Dropbox, and the wait is over.

We are all making the same block each month, and first up is the one designed by Susan.  I spent the day making this block for Katy, who, in a nutshell is wanting bright solids, against white, using only 2 or 3 colours per block, albeit different shades of said colours.

Ta da…

Now for someone who had to do a bit of solids shopping before I could begin, because I claim I don't really do solids, I actually really love the fresh look.

What I do love even more is the snappy crab block, or aquaman with big grabby hands!!

I am so looking forward to these quilts developing over the next 12-18 months.  They are going to be so different, even though we are again using the same grand plans.  I love that.

The block I have designed will be the final one of the twelve, so you will have to wait patiently to see what I came up with.

Brit Bee Forever, Terri in our hearts xxx