Sunday, 23 December 2012

Merry Christmas

Apologies for the poorly staged photo!

Just wanted to say thanks for stopping by and enjoy the festivities!
See you next year

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Block of the moment

I've been trying out new blocks; again something to do, with little commitment.
Here is todays effort, inspired by this...

I like it a lot and it was quicker than I thought it would be.  Probably do some more of these.

On holiday from work now, so there maybe the odd post more than usual, which won't be hard!

Sunday, 16 December 2012

...only in reverse

So the teacher gifts have been made (can't work out how to put in more than 1 photo with phone blogger sorted).

Thought I'd make an appliqué mug rug for a fun change. Yes, yes, I can put letters on, but only in reverse *sob*
(Can't put any photos on now! done! But not the lettering)

Sunday, 9 December 2012


Still on this journey. Crafting on the way. Will catch you up soon.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

EPP 2 and a quick roundup

Wow, just noticed that I haven't post for over a month!  I had better get on with this then!

A few weeks ago I started another EPP. Mainly for something to do away from the machine. The idea came from here and I've been busy working out what to do and what it is for. 

I'm at filling in the negative space as I don't want to appliqué it on to a background this time. I think it is going well, you tell me. 

And the what for? Hoping that the hospital will take it for a pre term baby, it might be too big.

There was also a tiny bit of fabric buying. I'm setting myself the challenge of creating my Nel Watmore quilt design using a pack of her Katherine Wheel charm squares. I could tip myself over the edge but I think I could do with the challenge!

Also, DD and I have decided to join the QAL at Lily's Quilts - Jack Attack.  This could be more than I can cope with but we will see.  Currently the Sew Intertwined is 1/3 done; really struggled with working out foundation piecing and Swoon is 4 done 5 to go.  Just need the children to go back to school and then, oh yes I go back to work!

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Hooray, hooray for the holidays!

I took some time out there, things got a bit busy at work and then also at home.

I have managed to do some sewing in the last month...

I had a charm pack of Momo Just wing it and came up with this quilt top.  I've basted it and was getting set to quilt it on my new machine, but that is playing up so I have to take it back to the shop at the weekend.

The white sashing is layer cake leftovers from my giant pinwheel quilt that has returned really quickly from the LQS.  

I also considered entering the FatQuarterly competition for Nell Whatmore's Katherine's Wheel.  I came up with this...

I know it's not complete and maybe the centre square should be a circle, but I'm sure by now they have chosen someone and shhh don't tell anyone but I don't think i have the skill to manage the piecing!!  Looks good though.

And because I like to keep busy, I've started crocheting a blanket for my bed using this fab pattern, joined another quilt along (don't know where the time will come for this) and so am trying to get my Swoon quilt finished.  

I know I know it's not as though I sew quickly but I'm nothing if not optimistic!

Hope you have been enjoying the sunshine!

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Quick envelope baby quilt

One of the children's previous teachers at school announced that she was pregnant.  I decided to make a little something for the baby before she went on maternity leave.  I tried to find out if there was any idea as to colour scheme for the nursery; neutral was the answer.  That didn't give me much to work with!

So on a trip to the local fabric shop (that has recently bumped up it's crafting cottons) I found something that was neutral, fun and not too gender specific.

Time was not on my side, as usual, so I have no before photos.

I enveloped the quilt so no binding and quilted on the grid using an idea from Red Pepper Quilts.  I didn't do it exactly the same as I hadn't pieced either side, so I just turned it through and quilted up and down without stopping.  I like the results though...

And from the lovely thank you I received I'm sure that the teacher does too!  
She had a boy!

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Wearable art

Probably about February I joined my local embroidery guild and before the cheque cleared I was into a project.  The brief is wearable art and between us we have come up with something that should be pretty cool.  I don't know how much I am allowed to say about it but I figure I can show my bit.

Each of us have a diamond to decorate that is going onto the final garment.  The theme is the Jubilee and I thought that maybe I could get away with doing the Union Flag.  There was a "think outside the shape" moment when I realised I couldn't make it rectangular and hopefully it's different enough not to be dull.

So around this time I was beginning to worry that the idea wasn't going to work...

but there was no going back.  When I went to get a cup of tea and came back to this

I could see the design coming together!!
After many hours of sewing sequins on, I am done!!  Unfortunately I don't think the 60 shows up as much in photos as in person and even then you can miss it. Oh well, for a first go and with not much time I am over the moon.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Quick sewing - pincushion

I few weeks ago I decided to try out the pincushion pattern at Very Berry Handmade.
As always, I had limited time and wanted to use up some of my scraps.  I would have to say that it is a lovely pattern and very quick.


It's nothing like pincushion my friend made, but then she has the patience of a saint!

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Paper piecing

There has been sickness, lots of work, some sewing, design and creation for the embroidery guild's wearable art, more crochet and some costume working out in my head designing for a play.  All of which keeps me away from here.

So today is the super quick paper piecing done after finding this post from Ellison Lane Quilts.  I don't use 'super' often, but really it was super quick.

I have done some hexagon English paper piecing and have wanted to try machine paper piecing.  I couldn't believe how quick it was to complete one block.   

Don't look too closely at the seams I was against the clock.

So now I have a starting point for this selection of fabric.

Once I get the rest of my sequins on, I'll be back to tell about my contribution to the wearable art project.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Free quilt pattern

I've been away for some time, sorry.
It doesn't help when you are an inconsistent blogger, but as I have said before, '...must try harder'.
I really don't want to bore you with the why, just let you know that I'm back and lots of change is on the cards for very soon.  
So getting to the point, the lovely Sew Happy Geek has offered a rather nice free pattern which I will be doing hopefully this year!
And in between all of the other things, I am still getting some sewing done...

Until next week

Friday, 13 April 2012

Cute little Dumpling and a sale!

A year or so ago, in my wandering around blogs, I came across Keyka Lou with lots of lovely patterns for sale.

There were so many patterns that I wanted to buy, but I wanted to try out a tutorial to see how I would get on with their instruction style.

This was the result of the tutorial that I found for a dumpling purse.

Dumpling purse Dumpling purse

The instructions were clear and detailed so there were no moments of doubt.  I think that the pattern pieces are always A4 size so you may have to tape together some but you can always print at home.  There are links, in the document, back to the Keyka Lou website for hints and tips on getting the best finish. I could go on and on...

Well, Keyka Lou are currently having an anniversary sale, all patterns are $5.  I already have probably half of them and I can't recommend them more highly and no I get nothing for doing this, just the chance to show you my little purse :-)

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

What the heck happened to March?

I ask myself that often!
To be honest the virus wiped me out in February and I sewed nothing.  I worked most days and some of those days were very difficult.  I slept the allotted 8 hours every night and felt a bit better.
To cut a dull story short, I'm laid up again and fed up with it.
I have sewn some lovely things, and that's from other people not just me blowing my own trumpet, but I haven't photographed most of it!!

Bag for the girl
A bag for the girl
I also found my new sewing machine.  I'm just working out how to justify paying that much money for so much fun!

Well yesterday I thought I should look at my very neglected blog and having found this immensely useful blog decided to create a banner.  What do you think?
It was very late when I finished so I used more pictures that I thought I would, but for a first attempt, I'm pleased :-)

Monday, 27 February 2012


Feels like I have been trying to "find" my sewing and the machine for the last week.  There were lots of things to do, but none of them were done.  If I think it through, it was probably the cold virus that is running rampant throughout the house that made me go to bed at 9pm every night last week.

I know that it's not quite March yet but I have been letting the swoon side down.  So tonight I have cut two, yes not one but two, more swoon squares.  Yay me!

Then at the weekend we are going to meet with friends and I said I would bring pudding.  One of our friends is wheat intolerant so today had been my trial run of making chocolate brownies with spelt flour.  It was lunch time and I couldn't wait, which was a good thing as they are really really yummy!

So things are happening and I'm doing my best not to forget you, but life and work are most definitely getting in the way!

Hopefully be back Wednesday with a completed wallet from this tutorial.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Henry's Wife

Last week was holiday!!  We all had a great time, despite me feeling quite poorly.
The girl came home at the start of the holidays with a challenge for me!  "Mummy can you please make another one of these as we only have 5 and are using another Henry for his 6th wife"  (Henry being Henry VIII)
Henry's wife
This kind of making is not my strong point and I couldn't take it apart for obvious reasons, so I left it until the very last minute so I couldn't obsess about it and I had to get it done.

The first one only had 1 shoulder!  I couldn't put that right so I started again and used a lot more glue.

This is the second one...
Henry's wife
By this time I had done nothing else during day, but the girl was very happy and so I'm not even going to list the things I would like to be different / better.
Henry's wife
I havent forgotten about my swoon quilt. I have decided to do a block a month now that I am working more so I will have another done in a few weeks.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Beautiful binding

There are many aspects of quilting that I need to work on; design, quilting by machine and hand, use of colour and pattern, curved piecing, I could go on.

Today though I think I've had a break through on binding!

Although I usually cut straight strips I always join them on the bias.  Before I went back to work, I went to some classes at the LQS and was taught how to finish the binding with a bias join. Unfortunately after a few nights sleep, all the instructions ran away from my memory.

A few weeks ago I went back for a course at the LQS and was taught again how to do the bias join.  Well I have had a few sleeps since and I was finishing the boy's quilt (yes I know it's taken a long time) today and wanted to give it a go.

It worked! I am so excited about this because I have bought a binding tool and I couldn't get to grips with it and like the finish when you join the binding the same way all the way around.  So I am committing the instructions to here so I can't say I have forgotten again.

  • Leave about 6 inches free at each end and each end should over lap by the width of the binding and a bit more.
  • Lay the binding out and crease each end so they join (butt them together)
  • Cut one end to the crease 
  • With the bit cut off open it out, lay it on top and perpendicular to the other side (this give you the join point plus the width of the binding)
  • Cut any excess off (cut is made on the further side from the crease)
  • Putting right sides together, lay the shorter end perpendicular and on top of the other side.
  • Draw a line across the square that is made.
  • Stitch along that line.

Only took this one because I was so shocked it worked!

  • Check that when you refold the binding it lays flat and all folds the right way (this is important!)
  • When you are happy, cut the excess triangle leaving a 1/4 inch seam, press
So I'm not calling this a tutorial as I didn't take enough pictures  and the next time I bind a quilt I will take photos and update this post.

Hope you had a happy Wednesday!

Monday, 13 February 2012

This week, it's my table

I've been spending a lot of time wandering around the internet because I haven't been able to sew or swoon much as the girl has had quite a lot of homework and that takes priority for the table.

We are on holiday this week!!!  I have taken the table back and today made this letter tidy 
Letter tidy from In Color Order
from this tutorial, which I found from Aneela Hoey's website.

How fast?  It took about 2 hours to put together, including usual child / domestic related interruptions! You can also see that it's big enough to hold magazines.

Letter tidy from In Color Order
I love it and I really love the fabric.  It's an old sample curtain from our local upholstery shop.  I now just have to find the perfect spot to make sure it gets used often!

In a bid to stick to some of my resolutions, hopefully i will get to make my dressing gown tomorrow!

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Cake is bad

I never though I would ever say that cake is bad, but I really have to *sob*.

For about 6 weeks we have been creating cakes from a sourdough starter that I was given.  The cakes are sooo good.  Good to the point that I'm in the process of splitting the last starter and making it into cakes for us (4 cakes this size!).  

We have about half of one in the process of being eaten and another in the freezer, did I say that we like this cake?

Yesterday I made myself some trousers.  I've used the pattern before and the trousers were a comfortable fit.  Weelll... since the cake, I am blaming the cake and not Christmas, the fit is a bit more than snug :(

On the up side the trousers are lovely!

Hope you have a wonderful Wednesday
(apologies for the late night photography)

Monday, 6 February 2012

My first Rug Mug

In my quest to improve my embroidery skills I have started going to the "local" (it's miles from my home but I think the closest) Embroidery Guild.

At the meeting I was offered the chance to go for a sewing day at the LQS.  Did I know what I was making? No, I heard the word 'mitred' that was enough. Was I in anyway worried about this? No. It's a day at the quilt shop, I just paid up!

I arrived to get sewing and then discovered that we would be making mug rugs with decorative stitching (the embroidery link).  I had taken my trusty machine with me but thankfully there was one I could use with some stitches that were decorative and not just odd looking!

It was a lovely day with tea, cake and the soothing sounds of sewing machines being used!

It's funny how you don't factor in things like lunch and so don't realise how long a task will take, but we were all done by the end of the day.

I was expecting to do mitred borders, but it was after we had started that i found out that it was mitred corners!  Thankfully our teacher was kind enough to show me mitred borders so now I can get another quilt top finished and to the shop!

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

And Stitches

I needed something to do over the holidays that didn't involve my sewing machine.
I spent an evening looking for an easy embroidery pattern to try.  My embroidery skills are a bit more than limited!

I came across this pattern and decided to give it a go without buying more floss; always a challenge to then get the colours organised!  Anyway I finished last week!!  The girl helped me pick which colours would go where and she was pleased with her input.  It came out looking like this...

My first embroidery

Not quite a pattern of fire but I like it.  Clearly I chose well as the designer is also co-author of &Stitches.  I couldn't resist and have bought the first issue which is really interesting, especially the section on colour selection!  Now that I can't confuse myself (don't look at the random red/orange I've put in) and have finished the embroidery I will be giving that a read!

Monday, 30 January 2012

A quick fix

The boy needed to wrap a present for party, so of course I made a bag.  The present brief was pink and girly.  I think I managed that!

Gift bag for C

This was a quick fix of sewing I wanted to do as I'm trying not to start anything that is big and most of my machine time is spent on my swoon quilt top.  Then my mum pop in for a visit so I 'let' her sew and I did the cutting and ironing.  It's been awhile since I have seen my mum at a sewing machine so this, for me and I think her, was good fun.  It also meant that dinner was on time!

Friday, 27 January 2012

Swoon 2

Finished my next block, at last.

Swoon 2

I had planned to put the pink in the middle but I'm glad i didn't.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Yes, I am Swooning too

Oh, you have the best will in the world and make plans and I would have to say for once sickness, not procrastination, has beaten me!

I have joined in the Swoon Quilt Along and have finished my first block.

Swoon 1 by Kathie Drake

I found 16 FQ's in my stash and some yardage to make up the last 2. 

Having used white and cream for the negative space before, I fancied a change and went for light grey which I picked up from the local fabric shop.

I've not make a single block so big before and I love the grey.

Well I cut out the second block and then was struck by some nasty virus. I'm still fighting it - I don't do sitting still well! So hopefully there will be another photo next week.

Feel free to join in the fun and thanks to Katy for setting the group up.

Enjoy the weekend!

Friday, 20 January 2012

Resolved to Sew 2012

Very Berry Handmade are offering a fantastic draw, open until 26th January, and all you have to do is blog about your 2012 sewing resolutions and link back.
So, my resolutions for 2012 are;
  • Join in and blog more!  I lurk a lot and generally don't enter giveaways because I think it's a bit unfair to win when there are so many that actually join in.  This is possibly the best giveaway for me to start with, so "Hi!"
  • Finish all my UFO's.  It is a disgustingly huge list and top of it should be my dressing gown, or maybe the sofa quilt or my bed quilt....
  • Go to Festival of Quilts and also The Knitting and Stitching Show again.
  • Save up for my new sewing machine.  Mine is 14 years old and entry level.  It works very well and the only need for a new one is to let me do a bit more quilting at home.  
  • Keep trying new things, like this embroidery.

The change you wish to see in the world

So that should be achievable!  

The last thing is which prize, if I'm lucky enough to win. So difficult to choose but the FQ bundle of Little Apples from by Aneela Hooey from Quilt Me Happy.

Monday, 2 January 2012

New year sweeps clean

Happy new year!

I've been hiding from many things.  Some are minor niggles and some are so monumental that I don't know how long it will be until they will be fixed or if they ever can.

Couldn't stop sewing though, was probably the only thing that got me through.

A qulit for a J's new baby boy

A quilt for I's first birthday.

I'm hoping that I have now arranged my life to cope with what lies ahead - as far as I can plan.  So then I can be a better blogger, maybe....