Thursday, 18 December 2014

The Making Is Over!

All the things that I had to make for Christmas are made.  I know, I didn't actually have to make anything, but it feels so good to want to make things and be able to get them done with time to spare!

Firstly a quick key fob for dear son, as he was incredibly jealous when he saw the one I made for his teacher; then a man-scarf for dear husband; it's half the length of my favoured infinity scarf, so no wrapping required, some tweedy looking poly-woolly affair from the local sewing shop (coming up trumps), and lined with some AMH silver voile; and the last of the man-gifts, one of Svetlana's Two In One zipper pouch for my Dad; Echino, some Indelible and Architextures, I'm hoping it will make an acceptable travel-accessories-holder type affair…


That was this morning.

This afternoon, two more Two In One pouches for the girls.



I super-sized the pattern to finish at 10" x 7" folded.  I had fun picking the fabric combos, which will match the contents come Christmas Day…


Happy me, and a happy family will just be an added bonus!

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Sweet Sixteen...

Issue Sixteen of Love Patchwork & Quilting is out now, and I am fortunately enough to have contributed a quilt to this issue.

I realise I am rather good at telling you that I am working on the secret stuff, but when it comes round to showing you what I was up to, I am rather reserved.

This was the quilt that challenged me throughout September and early October; I came up with the pattern full of confidence, but the fabric selection had me pulling my hair out, gave me many sleepless nights and a good measure of angst.

However being far out of my comfort zone of aquas, pinks and low volume, has probably done me some good!


As always I love the styling that goes along with these magazine commissions, and you just have to imagine my beaming smile to see how this quilt looked on the page.


If you haven't got your hands on a copy yet, why not?!  There a bunch of beautiful projects in there as always, and I am honoured to share space with so many talented quilters.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Swap-a-holics Anonymous!

Yep, I jumped into another swap just because it was there!

The #UKminiswap to be precise; nice long deadline, cheap(isn) shipping and a lot of lovely people joining in the fun.

As is tradition, I've just posted a likes mosaic, have begun stalking my partner and may even have a little plan brewing already!

Dear partner… I likey!
I know I keep moaning about all the stuff I have to do, but it's actually quite nice to have something to look forward to for when everything calms down a bit.

In the meantime, it's back to list making and present stressing!

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Losing track!

I feel like my head has been all over the place this last week, and next week isn't going to be any different.

I finish work Tuesday lunchtime, and my To Do list still seems impossibly long; I've been adding things like clearing out the cupboards of out of date food and making sure we eat enough space in the freezer for all the Christmas extras!

I have also lost track of what I have shown you from recent makes, sorry.

Yesterday I handed over my Dad's birthday present; it went down well…


Oakshotts and a little Dashwood Flurry for binding.  I used 1 1/2" paper HST's on a roll which I love, and some simple as quilting…


The muted colours of the Oakshotts give the cushion a look I really love, where I would find regular solids waaaaaay too in my face.

So that's the 2014 birthdays over; now it's Christmas all the way!

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Winner!

The winner of my Sew Mama Sew giveaway, Cotton & Steel pinnie is…



Congratulations Kerry!


Thank you all for your great comments regarding your Christmas makery, and most of you do not have time to be reading this!  Stitch, Stitch!
xxx

Friday, 12 December 2014

Merry Mug Rugs Blog Hop...

It's almost Christmas, are you ready yet??  At the time of writing I am still living in denial!  So take a couple of minutes out from your busy schedule and welcome to my stop on the Merry Mug Rugs tour…



When Jennifer asked me to join in this blog hop I knew exactly what I wanted to make.

Since buying the Little Quilts book by Sarah Fielke and Amy Lobsiger, I had been eager to get a little hand-quilting action going, so this was the perfect opportunity to give a festive twist to one of my favourites…

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I used the paper doll templates as the basis for Santa, gave him trousers and a felt beard, and topped Mr and Mrs Claus off with a hat...

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I actually followed the pattern for the rest, no, really!

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In a first for me, I used pre-made bias-bindng, and OMG isn't it good?!  I wouldn't use it on anything bigger, but it was lovely to work with on this mini.

Despite photographic staging to the contrary, cups of tea and mince pies will not be making themselves at home on this mini; food and fabric, they just don't go!  But it does already have pride of place on a side table, with a wipe-clean coaster for company ;)

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Sorry love!
So as a thank you for pandering to my irrational fears, here's the link back to the giveaway over at Ellison Lane.


I hope this has inspired to you put a little Christmas cheer into a little make or two, you still have time, and if you haven't already, take a little time to check out the other Merry Hoppers.

Thank you for having me Jennifer, and now you can all get back to panicking xxx

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Gifts for others...

I am so glad I got most of the teacher gifts made a while back, because time is definitely going by at lightening speed.  Today's hit list included, the only male teacher gift, an obligatory key fob using my lovely new pliers for the first time…


… and 3 mini-needlebooks for the Cub and Brownie leaders…


Anything to bring joy to the prospect of sewing on those badges!

I also made a pincushion for my Brit Bee Secret Santa, and a cracking good start on a commission.  No sofa time nor Christmas cards written, but hey ho, ho ho.

I am now down to 5 family pressies left to make, all of which will be handed over on Christmas Day, so in theory, I have another fortnight, which makes me feel slightly better.

Speaking of which, your comments on my Sew Mama Sew Giveaway have had me both panicked and relieved!  If you haven't already, don't forget to enter xxx

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Making the garden grow...

Some more tulips landed on the mat today, so here are they, along with those I received last week…


Thank you Trina, Val, Jenn and Annabella xxx

Just awaiting 2 more packages, which I believe are in transit, and then the girls' quilts will be within sight!  I've made no promises that they will be ready for Christmas, but looking back, I seem to have a record of being pretty productive between Christmas and New Year, when the pressure is off, so here's hoping.

Tomorrow I am planning on cracking on through my To Make list, but with the wind howling, rain beating, I am currently thinking the sofa, TV and writing Christmas cards option would be quite a pleasant way to wile away the quiet hours!

Monday, 8 December 2014

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day...

*** Sorry, the giveaway is now closed ***

Hello, hello, hello!


I have to confess that at 4pm today I hadn't actually made anything to give away.  It's not that I don't love and appreciate you all and want to shower you in gifts, it's more that my brain is shrinking and what is left is so choc-a-block full of Christmas, work and all the things the kids have to do in the next couple of weeks, that I just completely forgot!

So to join in the fun, I whipped up this little scrappy token of my affection, or something like that, which perhaps you may like the chance to win.



It measures up just shy of 6" square minus pompoms, all Cotton & Steel, and filled with poly-stuffing, and you may even see your way to sticking pins in it.


If this is your first time visiting, welcome, I know you won't have time to have a look about when there are so many other giveaways to enter, but it would be nice if you came back on a normal day too.

This giveaway will be open until 10pm GMT on Friday 12th December; open internationally, but if you are a No Reply Blogger, I will not be able to track you down, so please leave your email address in your comment(s), or I will re-draw, using Random.org.

Two chances, so 2 comments only please…

Comment i)  How many Christmas presents do you still have to make?  NB. you are aiming to make me feel better!  If you don't celebrate, just tell me how much you are laughing at the craziness of the December panic-sewing!

Comment ii)  Bonus for blog followers - just tell me how you follow!

Good luck everyone xxx

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Sunday Clippings and Other Beauties...

The sun popped out for a short while today, so the conservatory was momentarily a great place for photos of the last week's fabric influx!

On Thursday a great big package of fabric came ℅ Jenn at Knotted Thread, along with a couple of bundles from her shop there were my Stitch Tease blocks, but I've just realised that I forgot to photograph them, and also the pair from Annabella that came yesterday, doh; plus a couple of yards of AMH velveteen and 2 yards of Sunday Clippings voile I'd had forwarded from Hawthorne Threads.

The start of my love affair with Priory Square…


… and some beautiful Pat Bravo Nouvelle…


Some of the voile and velveteen were quickly made up into an infinity scarf, which I may have worn non-stop since!


Also coming through the door on Thursday was a beautiful cut of Frances Newcombe voile from Sarah as a Sew Together thank you; I am seriously considering combining with this green voile and pompoms for another scarf…


Then onto yesterday at Plush Addict.  Fortunately the nattering seriously reduced the shopping time, otherwise who knows what damage I could have done to my bank balance!

Backing and binding for the girls' Stitch Tease Amsterdam quilts; the dimple fleece is soooooo soft, but also likely to fill the whole house with fluff, hence it will all remain squished in the bag until needed!


Another meter of Sunday Clippings and some essential Odif…


… and as I mentioned last night, a scrap bag full of great cuts of the soon-to-be-released Daysail by Bonnie & Camille; I think these will be really useful for Bee blocks and scrappy projects, especially as my red stash is seriously lacking...


In case you aren't envious enough, how about a little peak at these from Katy; a bundle of Frances Newcombe's Cherie, including the print I received from Sarah…


… and I'm sorry, but only a bundle of Melody Miller's Playful…


So if you need me, you'll find me surrounded by my pretties with a mighty big grin on my face xxx

Saturday, 6 December 2014

A Grand Day Out...

I have just ticked today's job off the list, decorating the tree and scattering a few other festive bits and bobs about the house, so I am feeling all Christmassy, especially as I came home from a day out with a couple of sacks full of goodies…


I popped over to Plush Addict for the afternoon, to meet up with Katy, have a good natter, buy some things on my list, dimple fleece for the girls' Amsterdam quilts with matching Flurry for binding, some Odif spray and a cushion insert for my Dad's birthday.

OK, so after that I may have also bought the Moda Building Blocks pattern, to be given back to me at Christmas, a Moda scrap bag of what turns out to be Bonnie & Camille's Daysail, (hello - February 2015 release, no wonder I couldn't work out what it was!), and because it would have been rude not to, another meter of Sunday Clippings in quilting weight cotton.  No photos yet, as it was near dark by the time I was home, but I need to get some snaps to share of all the things that have come my way this week, so fingers crossed for tomorrow.

If you live anywhere near Edenbridge (Kent), I can thoroughly recommend trying to get along to one of their Open Days.  I had never been before, but as it is only an hour away, I think I may be making future trips!  It's a warehouse, full of fabric, what more do you need to know!?

Kellie was a lovely host, living the fabric dream; Katy and I even got to share the staff's lunch, including the most amazing sausages ever!

Being the generous lady that she is, Katy also handed over some fabrics for my next Quilt Now commission, I just need to choose which beautiful bundle to use, hard life!

So that was my Saturday; Sunday will be more of the normal stuff, washing and ironing with the rubbish old iron, (still waiting for Russell Hobbs to get back to me about the other one), and finishing my Dad's pressie, I may even write a Christmas card or 2.  It's not all quilting superstars, free lunches and pre-release fabric you know xxx


Friday, 5 December 2014

Lucky lucky me!!!

My #IGminiswap parcel arrived today!!!


How thrilled am I!??

Not only a beautiful mini quilt, but some lovely extras too…


Chocs, a cute pouch and even some puzzles for the kids.

My partner Kristy did a fantastic job of making me do an impromptu happy dance, curtailed only by having to go off to the school Christmas fayre this afternoon!

I really want to gush and gush, and thank Kristy for such a beautiful package; I really am going to try and work it into my Christmas decorating, and then maybe forget to put it away in the New Year ;)

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Any excuse!

I had loads to tell you about today, but I have just found out via Watchdog that my iron needs to be re-called as it is potentially lethal!

OK, not lethal, but liable to burst into flames!!  So I am off to investigate what to do.

Thankfully I do have an old serviceable one, so I will be able to get on with making binding for my Dad's cushion over the weekend, (and maybe do some shirts that have been waiting for attention for over a week).   I'm just glad I finished pressing the voile and velveteen for my latest project just before the programme.

Can't leave you without a blurry picture…


Tonight was the switching on of the Christmas lights in the village, along with a lot of free sweets, mince pies and carol singing; a little bit of fun on a drizzly freezing evening.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

More Ins and Outs...

I had a good day; I ticked a lot of things off my To Do list, wrapped pressies, posted parcels, quilted my Dad's birthday present, and wrote my Merry Mug Rugs blog post.  There was also setting the world to rights, going to a Curriculum meeting at school and packing dear son off to the local Panto.

Coming my way for being so productive, two more sets of blocks from Katy and Ange



More beauties to add to the growing pile; I have it on good authority that the remaining blocks are all heading my way too.  I think I better get the girls to choose their backing colours pronto!

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Merry Mug Rugs are go!

As I was all caught up with Fresh Sewing Day yesterday, I failed to inform you of a lovely little blog hop that I am involved in, linking up with my sweet friend Jennifer over at Ellison Lane


Along with some fun inspiration, there's a giveaway…


…. and details of the full line up, which you can find here.  

I will be showing you mine next Friday, so to speak, I am just in need of some actual daylight to get some decent photos.  There may also be some mince pie sampling to do, all in the name of authentic photographic prop-ery though you understand!  So that's tomorrow sorted then.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Just say No-vember!

November was all about the purses and pillows, apparently!

Linking up with Fresh Sewing Day is sometimes a pleasant surprise, and November is so full of family celebrations and preparations that it's a complete shock I actually have anything to show you, it all went by in such a blur!


But this has to be my favourite finish of the year really…


Yes it has become one of those cushions that makes our bed look pretty in the day, and gets moved to the foot of the bed at night, but I can sooooo live with that!

So now it's December, and panic is really setting in.  My 'must make' list is not too bad, 2 Hudl cases, 4 'man' gifts and a cushion, but school/Cubs/Brownies stuff has gone into overdrive so freetime pretty much only means 10pm to 6am from now until the 17th.  Next year, everyone gets smellies and socks from M&S!

Sunday, 30 November 2014

The Colour Purple...

I don't have much purple in my stash, but I do actually really like it - I think I may have said that before, but this weekend's sewing, reinforced my liking, despite the swearing!

Here's Sarah's Sew Together Bag…




It will be headed your way by the end of the week my friend xxx

Oh and I never showed you these lovelies from Susan


My bundle of flowers from my Stitch Tease buddies is slowly growing, and having seen this beautiful quilt, I am sooooooo excited to get these made up for the girls!

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Countdown...

The free time and weekends before Christmas can now be counted on the fingers of one hand, and to add to the pressure, today I received my Christmas Countdown wallhanging back from Quilt Now, and the kids immediately wanted it hung up…


This will be taunting me for the next 25 days for sure!

So I started ticking off my list(s) in earnest, my #IGminiswap parcel got mailed…


… and I've been picking the papers off my 1 1/2" HSTs for my Dad's birthday in a couple of weeks…


I also made Sarah's Sew Together Bag.  It was all finished, and then I took a closer look, spotted I hadn't adjusted my needle back after basting and the edging seams were too shallow and the inside zip pockets would probably pop as soon as the zips were pulled.  Gah!

Unpicking, including the binding and tab ends and, OMG, there was swearing and moodiness!

I am hoping Sarah will forgive me, and I will get some decent photos tomorrow, when I can bear to look at it again xxx