Thursday, 30 August 2012

Was I born before the world wars ended?

Um, no! But my eldest daughter obviously required some clarification on exactly HOW old I am, as this is the question I was asked on my birthday yesterday!

Aside from the awkward questions, I had a very lovely day.....lunch in Nando's then a trip to my first ever Cath Kidston shop, dinner out with my hubby and then to the picture house. Spoilt I was indeed!

I didn't get any presents this year, I had asked for money towards my sewing machine, but I did allow myself a little treat

Tea towels on the left for me and napkins on the right for my mum, all to be turned into cushions. It is Mum's birthday in 2 weeks and I think the only thing on my FAL list I haven't started, now I have a plan I just ahve to make them!

Today I finished off my little extra for my BQS parcel, just in time too. I made up the sweet Zakka coin purse, I know I am going to have to make another for myself, I love this size!

I think this will make a great go-to present as well with the frames only costing £2.85 inc postage on ebay, brilliant!

I am off to the post office in the morning with my parcel, watch out partner ;-)

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Out with the old.....

......and in with the new!

I have been sat in my sewing room in a general state of shock for a few days because I brought myself an early birthday present!

Ever since my numerous problems with my Pfaff earlier this year I have been saving and saving and mad! Then the lovely Kerry mentioned she had cause to sell her 'old' machine last month I hoped and prayed I would have enough.

I was a little short but she is so kind as she waited for me whilst I sold most of our family possessions off at car boot sales and on ebay to make up the shortfall! I made it, although we may be having bread and water for the next month as I might have used a little of the grocery money, ahem.

Even though I have been working hard to buy this for months I still cannot believe that it is mine, it is so shiny and new, has a little computer screen and beeps and talks to me, it is amazing. I'll let you know what I think of it when I have mastered more than a straight stitch! And yes, I am hoping that some of it's previous owners skill may rub off on me ;-)

I did put it through its paces with something I've been waiting to do for ages, the templates have been printed off for weeks now!

Wheel of Liberty

Yes, using more of my Liberty stash! I have decided to make a little mini with 4 blocks, I need 3 more and I can't think of what to do.....I only have very small pieces of Liberty  and I'd like as much neutral space in the blocks as in the circle of geese...any suggestions?

Uncharacteristically for me I abandoned that little project because of my indecision and hopped straight onto another new one!

I finally started on my Aneela quilt blocks, yay! I had/have no real plan for this quilt other than to use all 4 of the lines already out. I decided not to include Cherry Christmas, as adorable as it is (and I have to get some, no question) I wanted this to be a year round quilt.

The top row of the quilt will be 4 blocks (3 pictured above) each with an embroidery in the centre, the bottom row of the quilt (all 4 pictured above) will be the same block design but with a feature fabric from each line as the centre panel.

I will make another 8 blocks (2 more rows) in random block designs, a bit of a sampler I think. I have used all the Sew Stitchy scraps up so I am debating whether to get a charm pack so I can do 2  blocks in each line for the final 8....I am worried it won't have the balance I am after if I don't......lets hope I get some birthday money tomorrow, I know what it'll be going on!

I didn't need any birthday money to get this little gem today....50pence in the charity shop!

I had seen it last week for £1.50 and wondered if it might be useful for storing my spools of thread on, the basket I was using was a nightmare, getting all tangled every time I rummaged through it. When I saw it was reduced to 50 pence I snapped it up! I think it will be getting a lick of paint soon, for now I am just pleased to gaze at my neat spools, when I am not staring dreamily at my new machine that is.......

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Sweet sweet memories


It is holding something that is really special to me, memories of happy sisters....only fitting that I should make a very special frame to put it in. Another great Zakka project, I will be so sad in a few weeks when they are all done :-(

I used lots of teeny scraps collected from here, there and everywhere, more memories of the people that gave them to me and the reasons I have first ever quilt, various lovely swap partners, the fq retreat, my first lone trip without the husband and kids to London 2 years ago.

I heart sentimental memories :-)

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Sew-ichigo Strawberry

the sun has been shining here for a few days, it has made me feel a little care-free and wild ;-)

Hence my spur of the moment purchase last night when I saw the new Sew-ichigo Strawberry pattern, well it was less than £2, a bargain!

I don't know what I was thinking, I have only done freezer paper piecing once at the FQ retreat and even then not that well! It must be my general soft spot for all things strawberry and Kerry's cute curtain that suckered me in!

After a fair amount of unpicking (and trust me, I don't DO unpicking!) and a bit of huffing and puffing I have something vaguely resembling a strawberry! I have to say rather than put me off it has made me more determined to go back and try and get it better next time, perhaps in a few days though! Usually I abandon something if I can't do it well, I'd rather not do it all all I am that much of a perfectionist!

Just to clarify though, any struggles I had were down to my own in-adequacy! Kerry & Penny's patterns are so well written, with clear and detailed instructions, so easy to read and follow that anyone can have a go. So if you get it wrong, you've only got yourself to blame. Just sayin ;-)

Once I had finished the strawberry block I made it into a pot holder/mini quilt/mug rug (read multi-purpose thingy!). Vintage linen napkin used for background, bordered in Liberty Silk (do you see what is happening here? Now that I've started using it, I can't stop!) and an old Moda dot print for binding. Quilted in cross hatch by eye for a more relaxed look.

I love the way it looks in my kitchen on the rustic cabinet, perfect with all the vintage china, I think I may have to make a wall hanging with 4 of the strawberry's to go with it, if I can be brave enough!

Today has been about lots of visiting friends, a couple of commissions for sewing work (albeit boring ones, but they will pay for a day out at the Aquarium on Friday, hurray!) and sewing up the worlds fastest baby sling for my little nephew. When his mum came to visit this morning with a sling, some fabric and wadding and the idea that perhaps I may be able to make something similar I am not sure she expected to leave a couple of hours later with one! I was in 'that' kind of mood still and promptly relieved her of the fabric and scurried off to the sewing room to whizz it up. Unfortunately I was so excited to have it made for them I forgot to take any photos!

I wonder how much more I can get done while the mood lasts and the kids let me.......

Monday, 20 August 2012

Room refashion for £2.09!

I have a room in my house I hate....I know it could be lovely but it doesn't really have the chance. It is our back porch/utility room. Being at the back of the house this is really the 'service area' and ever since we have moved in that is what it has been, a muddy boot room, somewhere to house the washing machine and tumble dryer and the dogs VERY large cage. That is all normal but due to the odd layout of our driveway it also serves as the main entrance to the house, our beautiful imposing front door and stone steps never see any use, as seems to be often the case in country houses.

So this dirty, messy room is what everyone first see's when they come to visit, I KNOW that I am overly fussy about my home, but I really loathed it, this weekend something had to be done!

The dog cage was taken away and after 4 nights and 2 trips out without him and no damage on our return I am crossing my fingers that he has made the transition and we are going to be lucky! I am SO pleased to be rid of the horrible huge cage. Next step was to un-stack the tumble dryer from the top of the washing machine, which had to be done to accommodate the cage, meaning that on the walk up the drive all visitors could see was a tower of white appliances thanks to the all round windows.

Now those all round windows are my favourite bit of the room, mainly thanks to some clever (even if I do say so myself) dressing and the sun streaming in through them today. OK, so far just minor appliance shifting and no money spent, anyone bored yet?!

I have for a long time had an idea of using old embroidered tablecloths for curtains, I have quite a stash of them, both family heirlooms and charity shop finds and wanted to display them in a way they would be more appreciated, rather than the pile on my shelves. So, with a bit of curtain wire (29pence!) and a meter or so of pom-pom trim (£1.80), some much loved Liberty (last weeks  Zakka project must have made me brave at using it as I've been hoarding some of this for years!) and an odd end of lace, new curtains were made! Of course I completely forgot to take any before pictures, just believe me when I say it was nasty!

I was careful not to make any changes to the family tablecloths that could not be unpicked, the charity shop one I cut up to give me two small curtains. They only took an hour or so to run up, they are 'rustic' I guess to say the least, but I LOVE THEM!

I am so pleased I was brave enough to use the Liberty, I think it actually physically pained me when I was cutting into it, what if it didn't work? What if they looked awful? I told myself I could always unpick it and use it again in tiny patchwork. No need, I am thrilled, now I get to look at it every time I go through the door :-)

LOVE this one, I spy a chicken in the background!

I even covered an old shoe box to make a little seat and made a cushion with the left over tablecloth fabric

Someone can reguarly be found in his bed now, I think he is enjoying the new look room!

I really must try to use precious material more often, it is definitely worth it. Of course the room still houses appliances, a rather ugly plastic dog bed and a thousand or more coats and is in desperate need of a good paint but somehow the prettiness makes all that disappear, and all for less than a take away coffee!

Perhaps I should warn my husband that tablecloths might start cropping up in windows all over the house ;-)

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Bees and Post

I am now in 2 bees, both done for the month, except a signature block for Leanne in the Modern Stitching Bee.

Grannie block for Leanne in Modern Stitching Bee, I really wanted to keep this one for myself, loved the colours :-)

Grannie block for Leanne in Modern Stitching Bee

Uneven Stacked Coin Block for Lisa In the Stash Bee

Wiggles from the lovely Sarah

Little Apples from Sarah too for my Aneela Quilt and a selvedge for 'that' dress I am supposed to be making! Thank you so much Sarah for the fabric, I was starting to worry about not having any apples and perhaps having to leave it out, thanks to Sarah I don't have to now :-)

If anyone has any more Apples they don't want I'd really love some more, whether you want to swap or sell, just let me know.

Wiggles from Pamela French (sorry no blog to link too)

On the wiggly front I have now collected 94 which is amazing! I know there are a few on their way to me, I really hope we can get to 100, that would be so fantastic. A massive thank you to anyone who has made and sent wigglys.

No sewing today, just baking, gardening, sun bathing and drinking wine....speaking of which, the later requires more attention, tata!

Saturday, 18 August 2012

I am a very bad blogger......

I just can't find the time at the moment, plenty of sewing happening but just not the inclination to post about it, as I've said before I am sure something happening in September could resolve this! Hopefully I will catch up soon with all the things I've made that I've yet to show you.

I went away for a few days this week with the girls to my in-laws. That meant no sewing machine and lots of mummy-daughter time. Not that I didn't have a lovely time, I did, but I was in desperate need of some me-time with my machine when we got back!

So yesterday I pulled out my hoarded liberty scraps and some old salvaged curtain lining and set to work on this weeks Zakka project.

I love this pillow so much, it makes me wish I was little again and could have one of my very own. I am not and I can't but the reaction it received from Juliette more than made up for that!

I used some salvaged cotton jersey for the ted, it made him so soft and cuddly. The liberty scraps were a mixture of lawn and silk, a bit fiddly to work with sewing all those diamonds up and my points are far from lined up in places!

I can see her big sister putting in a request for one of these and I know I will definitely be using this as a present go-to in future, although perhaps without the diamonds!

Whilst I was away I did get a little hand sewing done, infact I finished it so quickly I wished I had taken more!

The lovely Boris pattern from Jo at Bearpaw. Jo gave away this pattern a while back and I printed it off immediately. I am so glad I finally got around to doing it, I even learnt a new stitch. I am putting the other woodland portraits on my to-stitch list! Now I just need to find a home/purpose for the moment I am thinking simple, in a wooden hoop.

Right, I am off to catch up on a weeks blog reading, wish me luck! If I don't manage to comment, please forgive me :-)

Sunday, 12 August 2012


Just had 10 minutes to stop and blog this sweet little Zakka project that I ran up this week, my littlest daughter was over the moon with her new cookie bag and cookies

Linen from an old blouse, 50p in the charity shop, a much nicer salmon pink in real life!

I love the label and know I'll be adapting the embroidery for other projects in future!

I wasn't looking forward to making the cookies but actually they only took a short time, that said I did only brave making two!

Top tip this week included using shirring elastic, perfect for little hands and keeping everything in.

I haven't seen it since I finished it, she has been too busy using it at her 'tea party'! Looking forward to next weeks Zakka, this sew along is so much fun! Especially when your 2 year old squeals when you make her something ;-)

Whoops, yes I did make 2 Zakka pincushions too.....I AM going to make EVERYTHING in this book, don't ask my why, it is just one of those silly targets I like to give myself!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, what's left of it :-)

Friday, 10 August 2012

A little of what you fancy....a sew-less post

I LOVE FMF.....I do!

And until a couple of weeks ago I didn't have any, but then I was very naughty and brought a couple of FQ's because RUCraft were giving away 1 free fq per I popped into the store (which is about a 5 minute drive from me) with my print out of their offer email. The shop staff were a bit confused and unsure whether it was an online only offer. But I stood my ground and got my free fq, and saved myself the £3 postage cost of ordering online, yay! I have yet to challenge them as to why their online prices are lower than the instore prices.

A few days later I got very tempted by the new clamshell minaudiere clutch frames at u-handbag...even better, they were on special offer due to some slight plastic lumps inside due to a moulding process error.

So I ordered one, it arrived the next day and I whipped out the craft knift and trimmed off the bumps.

Next the fabric glue came out and the FMF and some Lakehouse Dry Goods Penelope Tea Labels from Simply Solids I had from a while back.....and tadah!

I love my 'posh' clutch with it's big gem and bright fmf fabric, I just need to get my hubby to take me somewhere nice to use could be awhile, something about me spending all the money on fabric? I have no idea what he meant!

A few tips I would give if you are wanting to make one of these are be very sparing with the glue but do make sure the case is completely covered, especially the edges. Glue on each piece of fabric separately, allowing them to dry before attempting to glue the lining/outside (depending on the order you do it in) and make sure it is completely dry before you glue it into the frame. You will be wrestling it a bit and you want that fabric to stay where you put it and not wrinkle up, even more so if you have lined it as it will be a much snugger fit and may need some persuading!

I blame Nicky for this new obsession, but it was a refreshing change to make something non-sewn. Another top tip is the u-handbag damages section, great bargains for practising a new style on, I picked up a couple of really cheap frames to try new shaped purses on (and make mistakes on!) before buying the full price ones.

Hope you all have a wonderfully sunny weekend!

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Still wiggling on!

yet more wiggly bags have been popping through the letterbox!

Lovely ribbon adorned bags from Louise at Sew Scrumptious

Pretty Bags and some lovely Pips scraps for me from the very kind Katy at The Littlest Thistle

A huge box full of wiggly's from the amazing Mina at Kinda Quilty in Texas USA!

Lots of colourful Wiggly's from Amanda who heard about the Wiggly Bag collection via Twitter!

I have been amazed by the sheer generosity of the lovely ladies that have been making and sending these in, as Cindy said, what a wonderful community we have!

Thank you all SO much, each and every one of these bags will help brighten a child's treatment and stay in hospital and I know that every parent of those children will be very grateful for any little difference we can make.

I also had some very exciting post today, something for ME!

My gorgous frame purse, from Amanda at Scissors and Thread.

I just adore the fabric she used for the purse, I wish I could have more of it, I would LOVE pj's made from that, oh wow how amazing would that be?!

She also sent me some awesome scraps, I just love MM, lucky lucky me!

And if I could use my purse inside out then I would....because the inside is just as cute!

Thank you Amanda, you got it perfect for me, I love it :-). And a mahousive thank you to Nicky and Helen for running the swap, loved it!

There may be more frame purse related happenings around here...but you'll have to come back to see what, oh I am a tease!

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Wonderful Wiggly Ladies!

Just thought I would give you a quick update on all the wonderful wiggly bags that have been coming in over the last couple of weeks

Kerry at Pennydog 

Kerry at verykeryberry

Sarah at Sewme

Oh no this is so embarrassing - I should really write this down as SOON as they arrive in the mail, but I cannot for the life of me remember who sent these, I hang my head in shame and if it was you then please accept sincere apologies from the donut head dufus that is me!

Susan at Canadian Abroad

Wonderful wiggles I am sure you will agree and very kind, generous ladies too! Thank you all so much, the kids are going to love them!

Susan as also super duper generous, lovely and kind (we all knew that already!) and sent me some amazing Sew Stitchy scraps (I would hardly call them that!) for my Aneela quilt. THANK YOU so much Susan!