Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Ooops Laptop Kerplunk!

Oh dear, it seems there is a jinx on electrical equipment in the Strawberry Patch camp of late.

Now my laptop is in need of intensive care, it wont even boot up! I am hopeful of finding some very nice cheap computer man to give it the tlc it needs soon.

In the meantime I hope you are all having fun sending and receiving swap packages, sewing and enjoying the coming of spring!

I'm off to catch up on nearly a weeks worth of blogger reading (I have stolen my mums laptop for the day!) I'm sorry If I cant comment for the next week or so while I am out of commission, I'll be back soon!

Monday, 20 February 2012

Bee Virgin No More!

I forgot to mention back in January that when I was looking for a bee to join Cindy very sweetly pointed me in the direction of Sunni's blog and the Stash Bee.

Up I signed and the first month, January, had Sunni as queen, not daunting or anything!

She was asking for tree blocks and this is what I came up with

I fme a verse from the poem 'Tree of Life' by Mia Ocean as the tree trunk and made my first ever hexi's for the canopy. 

I also made my first ever siggy block (I even had to google it!)

So all in all it was a lot of firsts in one go! I was really nervous sending it off to Sunni, but she put all my fears to rest by sending me a lovely postcard thanking me for the tree! My daughter thought it was very cool to get a postcard from Washington USA!

Today I worked on this months block, the pineapple, for the February Queen Samantha. I must admit to putting it off as I was thinking the block was out of my skill range. But I got there eventually!

I was surprised how little black I had in my stash but I found enough, I kept thinking 'do the funky chicken' whilst I was stitching it up!

I also found a cute bee stamp to put on my siggy block, I think I will have to use it every month.

If you are looking for a bee yourself there are spaces left in Hive #3 of the Stash Bee which starts up in March, go here to sign up! 

In other news, last week the very last pack of charms arrived for Round 1 of the Rainbow Charm Swap. So I spent a good few hours at the big table sorting all the piles of charms.

Ouch, did my back hurt after all that sorting! But it was worth it because the very same I day I had all the UK packets back in the post and the international ones the day after. So here it is, my pot of gold at the end of the rainbow:

I'm off to work on my mouthy stitches pouch, the deadline is looming and I don't do 'close to the wire'!

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Happy Valentines to Me...and you!

So I have been busy locked away with my sewing machine, getting some head-way on the swap items and QAL's as I really felt I was falling behind whilst she was being repaired.

FTLOS Wonky Star Wall Organiser and Mini Fabric Tray

It is a great feeling to get a task completed but this wasn't satisfying enough for me! I was working in (hopefully) my partners style and I had the itch to make something for myself. So last night whilst the girls were enjoying some late night half-term playtime I grabbed an hour on the machine and made myself this

I must admit the desgin isn't mine, I saw an applique picture like this on the Saints and Pinners Facebook page just before Christmas and fell in love, it is based on Aneela Hoeys design. Unfortunately I cannot trace Jo Underwood who stitched the picture to give her credit. I hope neither she or Aneela mind but I just had to have this in my life! It is now sitting on my mantle making me happy and cheerful on Valentines day.

I also had time to run up a little owl decoration for my little girl who thinks that everyone should receive gifts and cards on Valentines day. When we went to bed last night my husband and I found our pillows stuffed with homemade cards from her, cutest!

Happy Valentines everyone!

Monday, 13 February 2012

Sample Sale!

I am still raising funds for my FQ retreat ticket, would you like to help?

I have finished my swap item for FTLOS, I am just waiting on my partner to tell me if she'd like a button closure on her pocket and I am ready to wrap and wait for the mailing date!

This time round I made a sample piece for the swap as I wanted to get everything just right, turns out I didn't really need to as the Sample came out perfect! It is not my style and I know I wont use it, I made it purely for the swap. So I am offering it up for sale at a very measly cost in order to try and boost my pot of ticket pennies further.

It is a wall organiser approximately 24" x 14" with metal eyelets for hanging. It is bound and each of the two pockets is quilted and lined. The bottom has been left free to use as a mood board/notice board. If you wished I could add another pocket for you. The top pocket has a hand quilted wonky star and a gusset on both sides with a button/elastic closure. The second pocket has 2 wonky stars and is randomly machine quilted and is flat and split into two sections.

If you are interested in giving this little sample a new home where it will be loved and used (and helping me along to the retreat in the process) then simply comment/email me at emilylevey @ yahoo (dot) co (dot) uk. I would like you to offer me what you think it should cost/what you would like to pay but as a guide I am looking for offers in the region of £10 (not including postage but that should only be around £2) Should I get more than one offer I will select the highest bidder - so therefore it will work like an auction - should I get no offers I will quickly stash it away at the back of the sewing cabinet and we will forget all about this blog post!

If anyone is interested I am also selling off some cute little scrabble canvas's at £5 each

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Shes back hurrah, lets celebrate fugly style!

I have been reunited with my lovely Miss Pfaff, about time too! I think my darling husband may miss out on Tuesday as I shut myself away with her on Valentines (and every other day this week) to catch up on all my to-do sewing. The time we spent apart made me realise how lucky I am, how much I take for granted and how  much I think about it, yes I am still talking about my machine and sewing, not my husband!

I seriously have so much to do, I didn't realise how much sewing I do in a fortnight, but it has been backing up. With Mouthy Stitches and the For The Love of Solids swap partly started, 2 QAL's and a Strawberry Patch order waiting I am going off radar for a few days but wanted to sweeten you all with some lovely fugly fabric.

I'm calling it the fairly late and fugly ugly fabric swapaway! I am linking up to Lucys Fugly Fabric Party and I have a seriously ugly bundle for you

The large piece is a half yard, and rather psychedelic! It is Nuance by Paula Nadelstern Design. The others are various sizes, originally fq's that have been cut into. The are FREE to anyone who can send me something with text on, It could be interesting selvedges, text print fabric or ribbon, I really don't mind! Any size will do as long as its about 5" square minimum. I will pay shipping within the UK. If you are overseas and desperate for my fuglies we can work something out i'm sure.

So now I am going to sit back and wait for the requests to roll in, not! Hahahhaha! Enjoy whats left of the weekend, i;m off to put on some Barry White and mood lighting and spend some quality time with my sewing machine husband.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Life without the Pfaff monster

So, I still have no sewing machine. I am going crazy waiting for it to come back, I think my poor husband is going around the bend!

I have so much time on my hands without the machine I have taken to giving the house a makeover! Selling old furniture I've grown tired off in the hope I will have enough pennies to buy some new. I have been painting, sanding and distressing the furniture I do like that needed a makeover. 

I have found a way to satisfy my sewing craving in some small part though. I pulled out my copy of Cath Kidston's 'Patch' and set about making the cover kit, a dresden plate cushion.

Some more practice at Paper piecing, this is a new learning curve for me, I do like it but I must admit I find the clean angles of a hexie much easier than the curves on these blades.

I also took the opportunity to practice some hand quilting as I couldn't machine quilt it.

It fits really nicely on my 'thinking' chair, although at this rate I will have to do my thinking on the floor if I put anymore cushions on it! My only criticism with the kit is that the fabrics were overly starched or chemically treated and very stiff, making it very difficult when stitching the curves around the papers. The white cotton provided for the pillow case was also too small to cut the pieces they advise in the pattern! I think I will be emailing the publisher to point this out, I was able to adjust my sizing and seam allowances and get away with it but a new sewer may not find it so easy if they have an undersized piece too.

I also had some delightful post from the lovely Fiona, she saw my blog post asking for tips on text fabric lines and sweetly sent me these two as a thank you for running the Rainbow Charm Swap. I have already cut a few hexies out of them and diligently put the few pounds she saved me into the Fat Quarterly Retreat jar - it is growing!

Finally, tomorrow is my wonderful husbands 46th birthday and our 9th wedding anniversary. We agreed no presents in advance to save money this year but I couldn't help but make him a little something to unwrap. I hope he likes it. Folkestone is the first place we lived together as a couple and it holds very fond 'courting' memories for us. I used an old map and scrap of vintage lace and my trusty letter stamps and Versaink.

I'm off to hunt out some Fugly fabric to pop on my blog for you fugly lovers out there and I'll be linking up to Lucys Fugly Fabric Party! I know I wont be looking long, there is plenty of fugly lurking in my stash!

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Rainbow Charm Swap Space Avaliable


There is a space available in round one of the Rainbow Charm swap. Here is just a small selection of the prints in this round, you can see more in the flikr group here.

If you fancy some of these fantastic charms then all you need to do is get yourself a meter of orange fabric, cut it into 56 5" charm squares and send it to me. If you are interested in the space please comment below (make sure to leave your email if you are a no-reply blogger) 

I am looking for someone who can send their fabric pretty much immediately as all the other ladies have sent in their charms and are waiting for me to send them back out. Unfortunately some-one has dropped out at the last minute and I will be looking to fill this space quickly.

Perhaps you could be the lucky person who ends up with a happy stack of rainbow charms?!

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

A birthday and a quilt finish to boot!

Happy happy birthday to my wonderful, amazing beautiful daughter, you've made me proud and happy every minute of the last 7 years and I am so lucky.

And because of that I made you this

What you say is that?! Why its a chocolate Caterpillar of course! With little chocolate mice for feet. Ok, so I know where my strengths lie, which is why I sew for a living instead of making cake sculptures!

Last week I managed to finish up my Giant Starflower Quilt and finally got some sunshine to photograph it in today, it is amazing how much you can 'do' when your sewing machine is broken!

Quit Stats:

Vintage starflower
Made with vintage sheets/pillowcases
quilted with wavey lines
1 layer of 80/20 batting
Bound in vintage sheet by machine.

The day Mary came to play....

I had my friend Mary over to play yesterday and what a day it was, we ate cake, chatted, cut and quilted.

This is what can happen when you stalk someones blog and repeatedly comment find someone who has a shared passion for the things you do, sewing! Mary's was the first ever blog I read and we met for the first time last year when she popped along to a craft fair I was selling at. We soon hatched a plan to run away to the Festival of Quilts together, we did come back, and surprisingly Mary was still talking to me after spending a day with her mad stalker me!

Well yesterday we chatted a lot, ate a fair amount of cake and I managed to get a tinsy but of sewing done in between  this which as just as well as it was Eloise's birthday present for today!

We got a free HD camcorder when we took out our insurance last year and Eloise is quite the film-maker! So we put it aside for her birthday, hopefully now my Blackberry will be safe from her. She had asked me to make her a bag for her birthday so I thought a camera pouch/bag would be perfect.

I based the pattern on this tutorial but added a few tweaks like a strap and funky button, very important when you are 7! I also 'stole' Marys tip of using a hair band for the elastic, funky coloured elastic, yes please!

Mary very kindly brought her machine with her and let me use it, without it I think the present wouldn't have been finished. Whilst I was working 'hard' Mary whizzed the offcuts from my Vintage Star quilt through her go-baby and left me with a pile of these

Look out for a vintage tumbler cushion soon, when I get my machine back. It is in the shop and will be looked at by the repair man tomorrow and we'll take it from there. I am hoping it will be covered under the warranty. In the meantime I have been playing with my Made in Cherry layout on the design wall. 

I am so over the moon with how this is turning out, I am using the Swoon line by Melissa Averinos, the same I used for the Across the Sea QAL. I don't actually like this line when I look at the fq's and really only brought it because it was a bargain at FOQ (silly me!) but now its cut up into little pieces I love it! And look at all that brown and that's not even putting me off!

I'm off to sculpt a Caterpillar from cake (eeek!) at the request of my darling daughter who turns 7 today and if I triumph with edible animal sculpture I may hop outside and snap some pictures of the Vintage Star Quilt which is finished!