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

Tuesday, 13 October 2015


Over the weekend I was able to put the finishing touches to my #schnitzelandboominiquiltswap mini.

If I go into the details about the why, then it might become really obvious who I have made for, so I will save the backstory for once it has been gifted.

However as Nicky quickly, (and thankfully) noticed on instagram, it is meant to be quilty DNA!

I EPP'ed the pieces, which I had drafted with dear son's school compass and an empty cereal packet, and then appliquéd onto the LV patchwork background.  Getting the photo in the last of the summer sun has cast all sorts of wonky shadows, sorry about that!

I used variegated perle cotton to hand quilt simple randomly spaced lines, which was the perfect accompaniment to the Rugby on Saturday.

It measures up at 18" square, and I am really pleased with how it turned out.

I have also made a Liberty Lola pouch to accompany it, and I will no doubt add a few other bits and bobs nearer to mailing day and will show you everything then, promise.

And if the lovely person who is making for me is popping in, I can pretty much guarantee that I have not acknowledged anything you may have posted, asked or shown.  As much as I love swapping, the sheer number of swappers (almost 1000!), and all the photos appearing on instagram, makes it all rather overwhelming, so I have shied away!  Please accept my apologies x

Monday, 12 October 2015

Q4 FAL 2015 - dream on!!

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

This is a list that I am pretty convinced will roll over to 2016 (!!!!), because floating about in my head, and therefore not on the list, are all my November Birthday makes plus a gadzillion things I have not even thought about making for Christmas, but if I make the list now, it'll be easy to cut and paste in January!

1. Hexies…

2. MATO…

3. My Small World…

4. Amitié BOM…

5. Brit Bee Medallion…

Linking, because it's there!

Friday, 9 October 2015

Oh my wife!

On Wednesday I finally pulled fabrics to compliment my precious Gardenvale layer cake for my Farmer's Wife v.2.

I tried and failed with the original book/QAL which I put down to lack of fabric forethought, but I really am going to try hard this time with the 1930s selection; the Gardenvale is going to make me do it!

My plan is to include at least one Gardenvale print in each block, and make 2 blocks a week.  The latter may be flexible, but its a plan I want to stick to.  Seeing all the pretty little blocks popping up on instagram has got to help too #fw1930sqal.

The first block had my name on it!  Well as good as; and it was all HSTs, so a perfect choice of starter…

May I introduce Milly…

I then made the Betty block…

… after one of my dearly missed Grandmas…

I am in love with this colour palette already; totally not my usual mix, but all from stash which bodes well I reckon.

Over the weekend I will be sorting out my Q4FAL list, this won't be on it, but I received the final piece in the Amitié Mystery BOM puzzle today, so I might pop that on, ever optimistic!

So have a good weekend folks, I am going to pop my sororal All Blacks hat on now England are out of the running xxx

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Gotta Lotta Bottle...

Jenn's request for her month in Stitch Tease is/was Bottled Rainbows blocks using Rachel's lovely method.

You may remember that I've made these blocks before.  Brit Bee made blocks for Ceri when her youngest was born, and then we went on to make two of the most precious quilts I have had, or will ever have the honour of being involved in…

This time we are following the tutorial to the tee, QAYG included, (which reminds me I will need to de-fluff my sewing machine when I pull it out next time!).

So on Wednesday I got cracking.  I chose to make a dark pink block, with Kona Pomegranate as my sashing and scraps to match…

Love the viewfinder…

So that's one Bee commitment satisfied for October, and I can't wait for next week, when we get cracking on the next round of Brit Bee proper; it's going to be awesome!

PS. Blogging silence last night due to Scout investiture…

Why get invested on the ground, if you can do it 5' in the air!?
… and the Bake Off final, sorry x

Tuesday, 6 October 2015


Sometimes you can't say anything to make it better…

Please search the hashtag if you don't follow me or Lucy (@charmaboutyou) on Instagram.
This link should work for non insta-types xxx

Monday, 5 October 2015

Purse Palooza 2015

This month Sara is hosting the 4th Purse Palooza blog hop.  Not just your run of the mill blog hop, but one with two posts and a giveaway each weekday; reviews of some of the most awesome bag and pouch patterns around, and a bunch of wonderful bloggers!

OK, I am one of those bloggers, so you can be the judge of that one, but trust me, if you are 'umming and 'aarghing over a particular pattern, this may be the hop for you!

Oh, and there are prizes too if you link up a purse/pouch/bag you make between now and 14th November, link one, link ten, up to you!

I will be reviewing one of my most loved and made patterns, the Lola pouch by Svetlana, SOTAK.  I can make these with my eyes closed now, so you know my review will be suitably gushing!

Maybe this will give you some inspiration for your Christmas makes (yes, I said it!), or for a treat for yourself, I for one really need little excuse to make a new purse!

Happy Monday everyone x

Friday, 2 October 2015

Q3 FAL 2015 - no excuses!

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Now don't expect too much!

Back here I laid my cards on the table.  5 WIPs.  So how did I do?

1.  Hexies…  I did pull them out a couple of times and promptly popped them away again...

2.  MATO…  I didn't even go there!

3.  My Small World…  Progressing but sadly not finished.

4… A lot of Lolas, probably 4 entries, but I'll count as one…  Success!! I blogged about them here...

5… iPad cover…  And a second finish, blogged here.

2 out of 5.  Not great, but not a total disaster.  My Q4 list is going to be a big one, but it'll be winter soon, all the better to be sewing in, well, I'm hoping!

Thank you Adrianne and all the generous sponsors for keeping up the good work xxx

Thursday, 1 October 2015


Well that was an unexpected, but necessary break from the blogging routine.  I am sorry!

September was a slog, I can't sugar-coat it, but everyone is fit and healthy, so I shouldn't really grumble.

The household routine is bedding in; we still don't have as many hours in the day, pairs of hands or ability to be in two places at once as we would like, but new things are becoming the norm.

I am sure there are loads of things I should report back on, but I must confess there has not been that much sewing.  I have been reading more than I have in years, and yes, the Kindle has been responsible for a big proportion of that, as has sitting outside school for extended periods when it just isn't worth the round trip home for 15 minutes.

The nice weather has also meant that I have preferred to sit in the garden rather than be inside.  There will be months of cold and rain to stay indoors, so my To Sew list is stacking up nicely.

Since I was last here I did make a couple of Svetlana's Little Pyramid pouches though…

I couldn't resist the matching beheaded teddy Hama bead keyring for my friend's birthday…

I have also made a good start on my #schnitzelandboominiquiltswap…

There has been some fabric shopping, (no surprise there); the Dougherty's Roadshow is great for wadding and blenders, you just have to run the gauntlet of batik, brown and very old ladies tussling over the Christmas prints!

John Lewis sale time was also unavoidable, some Cath Kidston duck cloth, Tula Pink and Dashwood Studio all came home with me, but I have forgotten to get a group shot, sorry.

Dear hubby and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary last weekend…

... and whilst I write, new iPhones (only 5s, not the 6/6plus monsters), are being set up, having spent hours yesterday getting a super deal.  So more time-zapping fun to get those up to speed this weekend.

I tried and failed in my attempt to move out of my current department at work, but I am still keeping my feelers out on that one.

The kids are all doing well, the girls went up to London yesterday to do the Tower Bridge experience and take a boat up the Thames, dear son gets invested at Scouts next week, is loving the new school and has been let of the reins, walking home on his own and having a mobile phone too.

And then there's the Rugby!  See everything has been conspiring against me having any time left in the day for blogging!

So life is hectic but good.

Tomorrow I will hang my head in shame as I declare my Q3 FAL results!

Tumbleweeds be gone xxx