Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Christmas - a time for giving, a time for getting

The words of Cliff Richard I believe?!

Well I have been giving, with my Modern Christmas Runner in the post along with my Brit Quilt Pillow to their new homes. Then this week I have been getting!

First of all this amazing parcel arrived from Australia

Which is the front and which is the back? Well I cant decide, they are both amazing! They came from the wonderful Kirsten in Australia. Have a look at her blog, she has some great projects on there.
I must say that this has been such a great swap, superb talent and inspiration and of course a fantastic swap mama ;-)

Kirsten sent me a little house for my Christmas ornament, have a look at what I had sewn myself just the day before!

Now I have a cute pair to hang on the mantelpiece for Christmas. Feeling all in the mood I dug out my lino cut I made a couple of years ago and made up some Christmas cards. I was going quite well until I realised I had already packed the majority of the card and couldn't remember which box it was in. A job to finish at the new house I think!

Then more getting yesterday, my poor postman having to carry all these parcels for me! This time it was my Brit Quilt pillow fight swap parcel and lookey look what I got, the half dresden from Vikki over at The Cosy Tea, swoon!

Ive been lusting after a half dresden for what feels like an age now. Vikki got this one just right for me, I love the shape, the colours and prints and the design.

But that's not all, not only did I receive a fab cushion but also some amazing fabric too! What a lucky lucky girl I am!

Look, sherbet pips scraps, squeeeeeee! My first ever piece of pips and yes I did stand there stroking it for some time! Fabric spends have been not so readily available of late and I have been coveting some for a while now. What you can't see at the bottom of the wrapped pile is the most perfect fabric for a project Ive been meaning to start. Vikki sent me some really cute bicycle fabric, the best excuse for making Juliette's bike bucket straight away!

I made it using the tutorial at Noodlehead with a couple of changes. To make it fit her scooter I cut the Velcro handlebar attachment in 2 to allow for the post in the middle. (hmm sure there is a more technical term than post!)

I also wanted to try and get it to fit her new Christmas balance bike before it was wrapped up. Unfortunately there is a large bar between the handles on the bike and the bucket was not big enough to space the Velcro tabs further apart. So I stitched in two loops of elastic when attaching the tabs and this does the trick. So a multi vehicle bucket is made. It is now wrapped up awaiting the new owners approval on Christmas day.

I'm off to pack yet more boxes, and maybe even sneak in another quick pattern test before the big move next Friday!

Friday, 18 November 2011

Chevrons and HST Swap-erific Goodness

Hi everyone, sorry its been so quiet on the Strawberry Patch front. My life is slowly being taken over by boxes!

I did get an amazing treat in the post this week that made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. My Sew Happy Geek Runner swap parcel arrived all the way from Stephanie in Denver over at Spontaneous Threads!

I cant tell you how thrilled I am with my runner, perfectly made, perfect colours and fabric and SO me! It is made to live in my new kitchen and I cant wait until we move and I can put it in its new home. How Stephanie knew it would be just right for that room is magic itself.

I just LOVE those HST :-)

And the quilters linen and label on the back are so fab, makes me want to sort my labels out asap.

Not only did Stephanie make me a runner but a gorgeous bag too. Apparently she likes her runners rather long and Id noted a smaller size on my preferences so she used the leftovers for the bag, lucky me! It is already filled with new goodies to take to the new house and decorate with. Because of course that is far more important than moving the furniture or pots and pans over there!

I was thoroughly spoilt because I also got some beautiful ribbon and  a mini charm pack that is so cute I may not be able to bear using it!

Aside from packing this week I have also been doing some preparation of this months double dose of 'Merry Meet & Make' two festive workshops at our local craft evening that I run.

I have been busy sewing Hoops and promised Laura that I would show mine, she has after all shown hers!

I am hoop mad at the moment. If I can sew it, it goes in a hoop! Again, I'm hoping to keep hold of these to go at the new house but a few friends have already said quite loudly which ones they would love to receive for Christmas! I got lots of inspiration for my hoops from Kristie over at OCD.

This week we went simple at Merry Meet & Make and made raggy wreaths, just like Hadley did a few weeks ago. Unfortunately (or rather fortunately for me) we had a full house at this weeks workshop and it was so busy I forgot to take photos of all the amazing wreaths! I didn't get home until gone 11pm after all the crafting and nattering. I did photograph my efforts the next day though

This is my funky festive wreath that I made as the demonstrator for the workshop, it is silk and cottons that I had accumulating in my stash, it is now wrapped and on its way to my brother and his wife to start their collection of decorations as their first Christmas as a married couple.

On the night I made a much more traditional mini wreath with green gingham, red holly fabric and gold ribbon. We used wire florists rings which cost less than 50pence each at our local wholesalers. They are perfect for the job and have an inner ring and an outer ring, with the mini wreath I tied my strips around the inner ring and then more strips on the outer ring giving me a really full look. On the bigger funky wreath the strips were made longer and tied around both together.

Ive got a review coming soon of a great pattern I tested, I cant wait to share it with you and hopefully there will be a little giveaway to go with it!

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Scrumptious Scallops!

first of all I'd like to send a huge thank you to all you lovely people for your comments and kind thoughts. It really means a lot to me that you are thinking of me and my family during this unsettled time, even though I have likely never met you!

The great news is we have confirmed a contract on a new house! Its a lovely cob built farmhouse with a range in the kitchen, log-burner in the lounge, stables and use of the adjacent orchard. It sounds amazing and I hope it lives up to all my expectations. It will be hard work making it feel like ours but I am looking forward to the challenge. We move the first week in December and I'm hoping we will all be settled and unpacked in time for Christmas. Whether I will get to do any Christmas sewing is another matter!

The sewing room is slowly turning into a box and bag packing station, I cant get near the ironing board and sundries cupboard and there is only a sacred amount of clear space around the sewing machine. So before the whole lot gets taken over/packed up I treated myself to a little 'me' time today. Poor Jool's is cutting some teeth and is not sleeping, eating or smiling generally so I really needed the time to escape. I also found time to catch up on some blog reading and spotted the really cute Sweet Scallop Tote Sew-Along with See Kate Sew, so me time project decided! I'm afraid I didn't take any 'along the way photos' my camera is still out of action so I hope that the photos from my Blackberry will do it justice.

I lengthened my bag a little by adding a band at the top. I felt the top needed more weight to balance out the heaviness of the scallops. I simply love the look they create and used a few lovely fq's that some of the kind ladies taking part in the Modern Christmas Fabric swap sent me as a thank you. There is also an old tablecloth (that mum had a gravy stain on so gave to me to cut up) an old blouse and a tea-towel. Hurrah for re-purposing! I love making things for myself it seems so naughty but good, much like chocolate!!!

I also popped in a zippered pocket on the lining, my first time trying it and I made it up as I went, there are a few improvements I will do next time

Like trying not to catch my little handy 'key' clip thingy when I sew the top band down! Oh well, as least it is still usable and useful.

I love it anyways and cant wait to use it, I don't care that the colours are a little springtime, dreary November days need some colour.

Do you remember my brush with fame recently? Well the article about little ole moi and the Handmade Christmas Market was printed in today's local paper, page 34! For anyone who is interested you can see the article here. I'll treat you all to the photo of me pulling a very painful smile and trying not to look like a total tool! Of course I never sew whilst looking away from my machine, which is why I look so uncomfortable, did the photographer not realise that this pose was unnatural? He did seem a little exasperated when I swapped my thread to a white real for a semi-believable mock-up!

Only 1 month to the big day. In that time I have to move house, finalise stock making and confirm bookings with all the stallholders and hopefully do more promo and advertising. Wish me luck!

I have a ton of new makes to show you but no photos yet, hopefully I'll catch up soon, then it will be time to pack away and move, eeeeeekkk!

I did manage to snap a shot of these little cuties I picked up in the charity shop yesterday, only 50pence for the bigger one and 20 pence for the wee one. Bargain!

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Im still here....normal service will be resumed shortly

Well, they say back luck comes in threes. It turns out 'they' are never wrong!

First our fridge freezer decided it had lived a long enough life and gave up last week. Then my SD card snapped in two, not quite as important but still annoying. A picture free blog is rather dull!

Then comes number 3, number 3 is the most feared of all disasters by me, it is horrible and devastating, we have been suddenly forced to leave our lovely home of 6 years. The home where we have raised our girls, taught them to walk and run and play in tress and build dens. Where we have kept chickens and grown vegetables. We have grown attached and called this place home for a long time, now it is not ours. We are distraught and very busy looking for a new home for our family to grow and love in.

Please bear with me if I am quiet for a while. I will post as much as I can and try hard to comment on your blogs but Im sorry if I dont always find the time over the next month or two. Luckily I have all my swap makes done except for one and the parcels for the Modern Christmas Fabric swap went off yesterday. So just one cushion to make and then the machine and studio will get packed up ready.

If you haven't yet there is still time to vote in the Scrap Bag Challenge for your favourite, perhaps it will be me if you are feeling sorry for me after listening to my woes!

You can pop over and vote here, voting is open until midnight Thursday.