Friday, 31 July 2015

Another Trio...

I have finished another trio of hand-stiched Amitié BOM blocks, that just leaves 3 more to go…

… then I have to appliqué all 11 of these, and the 11 hexie-star circles onto background squares.  I have a cunning plan of cutting up a silicone baking tray for my pressing template - I butchered a cupcake one for the little circles on my #mysmallworld and it worked a treat.

I also have a 100 or so more hexies to baste and appliqué onto 8 border strips, and the birds to tackle.  I am loving the slow pace, but the birds are really going to test me!

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Life's A Beach...

Today included a picnic on the beach, and the kids stripping off for a freezing dip…

That'll do nicely!

Oh, and in case you were wondering, dear son and Twin 1 left the tent after 5 minutes, too light!  Twin 2 was determined to stay; so I joined her at 10pm.  We lasted until 2.45am, when the cold got the better of us.  Not a bad effort though!

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Out and About...

We made it out and about today.  The sunshine was limited, but it stayed dry until teatime, so the cabin fever has been abated for a while!

First the girls got the chop…

They have been growing their fringes out, and waited until it could all be cut to one length.  I may be biased, but I think they look beautiful.

After stepping out of the salon, we went up to the new and improved park at Southwater.  We usually make it there in the holidays, and since Spring it has been revamped, and become Dinosaur Island.  The beloved big slide, zip wire and climbing frame with plenty of space to run about and lay out a quilt, has now become rammed with new features and infested with hundreds of toddlers, their anxious mothers, and wasps who cannot believe their luck at the amount of sticky food on offer…

Patches of grass were few and far between, but we nabbed a spot, had a picnic, and I managed some sewing; the kids got to run about with some school friends for a couple of hours, so we were all happy, but won't be venturing back this summer.

Back home, the kids have been planning a camp out in the garden tonight and I finished all my hexie-star circle Amitié blocks…

The next set of blocks have been decanted into my travelling pouch, as tomorrow we are hoping for a little beach-time!

Right, anyone want to place a bet on what time we get the first 'can I come back in' knock on the back door?

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

If in doubt, make a bag...

It's my Mum's birthday on the weekend, so I made her (another) bag.  I honestly daren't look back over the birthdays, Christmases and Mother's Days to see how many she has already had from me, but today that's what I made…

It's another wing-it pattern, with rough measurements from a bag I use all the time, which I made this time last year.

Essex yarn-dyed linen, some John Lewis cotton/linen home deco and lined with a poplin ticket fabric from the local sewing shop…

I added some of the Essex linen to 1.25" cotton webbing for the handles, and a lovely 16" metal zip on the front pocket and it looks even better than anticipated.  Love it when that happens!

It took me a couple of hours, escaping the Minecraft/Clash of Clans aggro going on in the other room; oh please let the sunshine come out and the warm weather return soon!

Monday, 27 July 2015

Beat the Clock...

As someone who is never late for anything, school, meetings or Bee commitments, I am finding it difficult to come to terms with having to play catch up with so many projects at the moment.

OK, so the 'deadlines' are arbitrary, and I don't even care about not being first, but I hate feeling like I am behind.

Daft I know.  But as I am commitment-free over the summer, sewing-wise, I am going to make a concerted effort to get up to speed with my #mysmallworldqal and the Amitié Mystery BOM and then get on with finishing my Brit Bee Medallion.

Finishing the borders on that should not take long at all, but as I am going to hand-quilt it, I was kind of hoping that the hot weather would make it a little uncomfortable over the holiday; but I actually have socks on today as I am so cold, but that's got to be completely unseasonal eh!?

I hand-sewed up a few more Amitié blocks over the weekend, and on the bumpiest train ride to London on Saturday I managed to baste a few more of the hexies, so that is slowly moving in the right direction.

Yesterday I prepped a bit of #mysmallworld, and today I managed to complete and join Section 2…

I heart appliqué now, appliqué is cool.
Loving this so much...

I am trying not to over-think it, otherwise it would take forever; some of my fabric positioning is not perfect, but as the quilt grows, I know I won't care, the overall look is coming together and I am excited to keep at it.

The kids on the other hand are starting to go a little stir crazy; we had a few hot weather day-trips all planned, which have been put on hold, so the certain excitement this week will be in the form of haircuts for the girls, and a trip to Sainsbury to pick up some new school uniform.  Well I wouldn't want to spoil them! x

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Let the (fun and) games begin!

Last night we were out until late; the Year 5s had an awesome send off, so these three…

… were a little tired and more than happy to mooch about for most of today, meaning I got to stitch up these Amitié BOM beauties without resistance…

They are un-pressed, not wonky!
We also got to register for this year's Library reading challenge.  Guessing the first couple of books will be finished by the end of tomorrow, as, surprise, surprise, typical summer weather will be headed this way tomorrow.

Hey Ho xxx

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Top Marks...

I am so happy to have finished all the teacher gifts, including another Q3 FAL listing!

I made an iPad/folder/case for the girls' class teacher.  I used Ayumi's pattern from Patchwork Please, which I used to make a case for mine 2(?) years ago, and still use!

I didn't use batting, but a thick fleece to line and provide padding for the case instead.  I scored a yard of a really good quality stuff at the local Oxfam for a couple of £ and it is proving pretty useful…

Nice bit of chevron quilting, and more spotty binding, job done!

So here, because I am rather pleased with myself, are all this year's Teacher gifts together…
Tomorrow will mean signed T-shirts, water fights and lots of shrieking, followed by a Leavers party at the local Social Club in the evening.  I am exhausted just thinking about it, but also, come 1.30pm, I will be on summer leave too.

I. Can. Not. Wait!

Monday, 20 July 2015

New Moo...

Following all the internet change-over shenanigans we had earlier in the year, I never got round to replacing my batch of Moo cards; annoyingly they now have an out of date email address on.

So last week, in an effort to clear all the niggling things I have had on my mental To Do list since, like forever, getting more cards was one of them.

I ordered some square ones for a change; they are a bit more expensive than the mini-cards, but 50 for under £20 delivered is still not bad…

The image quality is much improved from some of my earlier packs, and better than my photo of them would have you believe, and the bigger size (2" square) is perfect for a nice cushion close up!

So that's one more thing ticked off, I won't scare you with the amount of stuff I still need to do!

Friday, 17 July 2015

A tiny bit of tranquility...

… in the most hectic of times…

Making the most of an hour in the park, whilst the Brownies ran amok.

Have a good weekend my friends xxx

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Some pretties...

My lovely sister bought me a Pink Castle voucher for my birthday at the end of June; last week I spent it, yesterday I received all these…

I do love happy mail, (not so keen on being completely exhausted, but this time next week it will be the summer holidays!) xxx

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

A lorra lorra Lolas*

* apologies if you are not of a certain age or nationality to get that!

I want to go on about the weekend, and the Medallions but I realise that you might not feel the same!  So moving on, slightly, I've got a FAL finish already, and I'm going to link back to Brit Bee.  Bonus.

For a couple of the teachers, Akela and one of the girls' friends, Lola pouches were on the cards and prepped a week or so ago and added to my Q3 FAL list.  Today, in a mix of productivity and anxiety I finished them all up!

I made them in the intermediate size that I'd calculated and made a few weeks ago, and the Tula Pink one was adjusted to fit the scraps I had; for the Forest School teacher, it was too good a print not to use.

OK, I admit I wrapped Akela's for this evening before taking a photo, sorry, but there is definitely another one in there!

I also made another last week, but had to keep it secret until the recipient, Sarah, opened it along with her medallion…

I used up the scraps that had accumulated on her medallion's travels.  As far as I am concerned, everyone needs a quilt with a matching pouch!

If you haven't made your own Lola yet, why the heck not!?  You can get Svetlana's pattern here.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Make all the Quilts...

I know that if you follow me, you probably follow at least one other Brit Bee member; we seem to be an omnipotent dozen, so apologies perhaps, because you know what's coming!

Pop over to Katy or Susan's for full size pics of them all.
These quilts were a long time in the making, I am just so totally thrilled to see all the tops finished!  Being Brit Bee, we did the handover in synchronised style with those unable to attend, (well, those who could wait, Hollies!), and the wait was completely worth it!

I know I have a pile of other things on my To Do list, but today I went and bought batting, proper expensive stuff, not my usual, and the fabric I want for my last border, or maybe borders, I haven't decided yet.  Oh, I already have the backing!

I am going to hand-quilt mine, I want it to be special in every way and taking the time to work over every block just seems right.

Thank you again to all my wonderful Bee-buddies for making me the most peaceful and perfect quilt...

There's no denying it, we are definitely the best Bee in the world xxx

Monday, 13 July 2015

The Best of Friends and a Winner...

I have so much to tell you about the weekend, but my brain and emotions have been stretched to the limit and I do not think I have all the words just yet.

On Saturday most of Brit Bee were together to celebrate the life of our amazing friend Terri.  Alternating between laughter and tears, we certainly ran the gamut.  Terri would have loved it, her girls were a complete credit to her, and the love shown by her husband, friends and everyone she knew, was testament to our beautiful friend.

Only Terri could inspire a church filled with balloons and cookies and jokes about TeaPigs and The Sound of Music; who else could make the switched off disco lights flash as the service drew to a close?

Oh there were quilts too.  We handed over the quilts we made for Terri's daughters, and the ones we had made for her grandchildren were on show. Some of us brought our Brit Bee quilts to display and Ceri's patchwork running outfit was there too.  For the saddest of days, it was a perfect tribute.

There was also the grand handover of Brit Bee Medallions!  They will have a post of their own later in the week.  It was a bittersweet day.

So as promised, the winner of my 5th Blogiversary Giveaway…

Bravo Mary!  I will email you shortly.

Thank you everyone who entered, I loved reading all your hopes for the future.  I did promise to tell you my 5 years aspirations, and right now I am hoping to have all 3 children with their own house keys and continued good grades, the government to have just announced that it is so sorry for not giving the public sector a pay rise for 9 years, so we get a backdated pay award to apologise, and for my family (and everyone else!), to be happy, fit and healthy.  Not a big ask, eh!?

Friday, 10 July 2015

Q3 FAL 2015 - Here we go again!

Sooooooo, shall I lay my cards on the table again?

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

2 unlikely old chestnuts, 2 that need to be finished pronto, and a hopeful!

1.  Hexies…

2.  MATO…

3.  My Small World…

4… A lot of Lolas, probably 4 entries, but I'll count as one…

5… iPad cover…

Linking up with Adrianne, and just hoping for the best x

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Those pesky teachers...

Yep, I am on the End of Term sewing spree.

Another finish from the weekend, cushion number 2 for dear son's teacher, the only chap I need to make for.

Seeing as it is O's last year in the school, I was told to make it a good present!

A mini-charm pack of Sweetwater's Elementary and the deal was done!

Yes, I see the brown, but I'm not keeping it!!
I used some John Lewis home dec for the backing, tried and tested spotty binding, keeping it suitably simple.

I hope he'll like it!

Today then, I prepped 4 Lola pouches, 3 key fobs and an iPad case!

OK, so two of the Lola's are not for the teachers, one is for Arcala, as sonny-boy is moving up to Scouts, and the other is a birthday pressie, but as I was cutting two, 4 wasn't much more effort!

I think I'll be putting these on my FAL Q3 list, because sewing time is getting limited again.  Tonight I went to a council meeting about the future of the local schools, tomorrow I have school project presentations and back again at about 4.30pm for the Year 5 Camp Out; Friday is the Summer Fayre.  Oh it keeps me out of trouble I suppose!

PS. Don't forget my Giveaway xxx

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Jumping the Gun - Blogiversary Giveaway

I honestly think I am going round the bend with the sheer amount of stuff going on right now.  Today, an all-morning course-type-thing at work, followed by a Year 3 recorder concert.  All the regular days for school swimming and forest school are all swapping, swapping back and changing times; I am writing lists, trying to cross things off quicker than the list lengthens, but fear I am losing that battle.

I was convinced that I should be celebrating my 5th Blogiversary this week; a quick check just now tells me I should be waiting until next week, but I sewed my fingers off to get the prize finished, and as it's my blog, I'll do what I want to!

So would you like a chance to win this Cotton & Steel, Jen Kingwell Flutterby block cushion cover?

A little hand-quilting and my new favourite spotty binding, and bob's your uncle.

This little token of thanks will go to one of you lovely people.  I know blogging in general seems to have been hit by the rise of instagram, and I do understand entirely how it seems that everyone's lives have got increasingly hectic and something has to give, but I do still love my little part of the inter web.  I wish I had more time to devote to it, but then I would have no time to sew, so I just thank you for sticking by me.

In order to honour a little bit of tradition, I will leave this giveaway open until next Monday, 13th July, my real blogiversary.  I will mail, (without a cushion form, for obvious reasons), anywhere in the world, the only condition is that you are a blog follower, and not an un-contactable No Reply blogger - sorry but I am all done playing Inspector Clouseau!

So please do have a couple of chances; make one comment telling me how you follow, so should I feel the urge, I can check; and a second, separate comment telling me something you want to achieve in the next 5 years.  You tell me yours, and I'll tell you mine!

I will close down the comments at 7pm next Monday, and let Mr Random pick a winner.  Please don't leave more than 2 two comments or I will delete them.  I am the boss!

Good luck folks xxx

Monday, 6 July 2015

I finished a couple of things...

Yep, linking up the meagre 2 of my Q2 FAL 2015 hoped for finishes!

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

I know I was NEVER going to get all four finished, and I do love a rollover, but one day I will get the other two completed; I just need to stop chasing other shiny new lovelies in the meantime!

So my actual finishes:


and here

Thank you to Adrianne and all the amazing sponsors for trying to chivvy us along.

I need to start thinking about my Q3 list, shame I can't add the 3 cushions, one pouch and a handbag that I made over the long weekend!  I'll show you most of those over the next few days, including tomorrow, my blogiversary GIVEAWAY!!!

See, it is worth stopping by now and then x

Friday, 3 July 2015

This weekend...

I will mostly be googling and cherry-picking the best bits…

… and also trying to get my Blogiversary prize finished.  I promise to try my best xxx

Wednesday, 1 July 2015


The only option I had this afternoon to keep cool, keep my sanity and indulge in some stitching was sat on a quilt, in the shade, in the garden, and it was lovely!

I appliquéd the last 4 flowers onto the centrepiece of my Amitiê Mystery BOM…

I am pleased and relieved that my changes to heart shaped leaves and oval flowers look as good in reality as they did in my head.

Next I will be on to the birdies; they are going to be a whole other kind of challenge!

RIP Fresh Sewing Day, the first of the month isn't the same without you x