Saturday, 25 October 2014

Bring Me Flowers...

Finally blogging what I am going to be asking of my wonderful Stitch Tease buddies in November.

I decided a while ago that I wanted my next turn to contribute to quilts for the girls.  They have been nagging for big quilts backed in bobble fleece for ages, and I have been seriously remiss with my mañana attitude, so it really is time to put that right.

In my pinning frenzy last week, I kept coming back to the freebie Amsterdam quilt from Cloud9.  I knew with a bit of tweaking, it would make a great Bee quilt.

To get the quilt up to a respectable c.60" square, (to match the minky backing), each quilt will require 15 blocks, so I started the ball rolling already by making up my 8 blocks…

These are super easy and quick blocks to make, oh don't get me wrong, I did ponder some bloody complicated blocks, the ones you couldn't possibly make 24 of yourself, but in the end I figured if I actually wanted to get the blocks back sooner rather than never, I should be a bit more friendly!

The pattern calls for white sashing, and knowing the multitude of whites out there, I thought a single low volume per block would work well instead, and I will sash all the blocks with another print to tie them all together.

8 1/2" x 16 1/2" unfinished, in case you were wondering.
The leaves and stalk will also be requested to be from a single green fabric, because the girls are not yet fully on board with the scrappy ethos, and still point out that some fabrics are wrong!

I am hoping that my Bee friends will send a lovely bunch of bright, jewel-like flowers, with as many different prints as possible.

The girls have seen these and are in love with them already, so they are going to stalking the postman until they have all come through the door!

Stitch Tease ladies, I will email you with a bit more detail, measurements etc at a quiet point over half-term, but if you want to forge ahead using the pattern and my pics here for reference, please do.

All I'll add here is that please could you make your two blocks the same colour, ie. 2 purple, or 2 pink etc, so I can put one in each quilt and keep the colours balanced, and to also make them both from totally different fabrics (not a matching pair), ie. you will need 4 of your chosen colour, 2 greens and 2 low volume backgrounds.  Email me if that's as clear as mud and you want to jump the gun.

Thanking you, from us all, in advance xxx

Friday, 24 October 2014

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Fall 2014

Hello there!  Welcome to my humble abode, maybe for the thousandth time, maybe the first, it's lovely to see you all.

This evening I am linking up with awesome Amy and her Blogger's Quilt Festival.  I love taking part, love seeing so many inspiring and wonderful creations all in one place; so many quilts, so little time, it's great to not have to do the leg work.  We may not be at market, but it's not the end of the world!

I scanned through my photos for the last six months; there are a few quilts in there, not as many as I would have hoped, I think 5 or 6, and this time I have plumped for my last quilt finish.

My #IGminiswap quilt.

I finished this up at the Brit Bee Weekender a few weeks back, but I was so damn productive that weekend, the finish didn't get an all bells and whistles post to itself, so now is its time shine.

My partner in this swap has a liking for improv, and her likes mosaic was pleasingly scrappy.  Improv does not come easily to me.  I like a straight line and a perfect point (not to obsession, but near enough, oh the irony!), so I had to keep us both happy.

Wonky Drunkard's Path blocks.  Cut with a Sizzix, pieced and then squared off to 3.5" with no particular alignment.

I hope this ticks my partner's box, so to speak.  I love how it turned out, sometimes those sketches on the back of an office memo really do make it all worthwhile.

I pondered the ROYGBIV category, but have decided to pop this in with the Scrappy Quilts.

A few more details for those who like them:

Finished size 24" square;
60 different coloured scraps; duplicates in the LV background;
Pieced & quilted with Aurifil 2021 50wt;
Bound with black & white Flurry and a few coloured scraps for luck;
Off-centre spiral quilting.

Thank you for taking the time to have a look, I am certainly looking forward to seeing what everyone else has been up to x

Thursday, 23 October 2014

A quick diversion...

… from searching out tutorials for pillow cases, to turn much of this…

… into one for dear son's birthday and to take to PGL, and the remainder to become the Iron Man hudl case.  I wrote a list, popped to Eclectic Maker after work, and came out only with what I went in for; I'm so good!

I also got the other 4 blocks made for my month's Stitch Tease.  Sneaky peak…

... and the detectives amongst you will be able to match them to recent pins, although I am mixing up the pattern a bit.  More about these, over the weekend, when the sun will shine, the wind won't blow and time will be on my side. I hope.

And do you know what, today I did not help at the KS2 disco; my Crisp lady title handed on, and spending the hour sewing was a lovely treat.  The kids did not miss me.  The feeling was mutual!

Oh and there was another diversion this morning in the village, when some crazy old lady, (as referred to by my children), drove her car into the duck pond.  I was already at work, before you get cheeky with your comments.

Well I seem to have gone all Random-Thursday without even trying; where's a linky when you need one?


Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Busy Bee...

I got a load of things done today, although most did not involve any actual sewing.

What I did stitch though, were the first four blocks towards my Stitch Tease month.  Unfortunately they were finished up shortly before the table was cleared for tea, and then I was out for the parent's meeting, so you will have to make do with a mid-cutting shot…

Simple blocks, I promise folks; all will be revealed in the next couple of days.

I had planned on a little paper-piecing for the young chap's birthday too, but one of the main requirements was a yellow solid.  I dug deep but came up empty-handed.  So much for prior preparation...

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Teacher's Pet!

I know we are only heading towards half-term here, but I have made 4 out of 5 teacher Christmas gifts already!

Just a sneak peek for now; once the patterns have been released I will give you a better look, promise.

I love it when things I have to make don't even get the chance to appear on my To Do list!

I do have a list for tomorrow though, to cram into the time before I head off to school for the Saxon afternoon and then back again for the pre-PGL parents' evening.  Hoping for at least a couple of ticks, but time, and sofa time will tell.

Monday, 20 October 2014


Instead of weekly aggro in the form of make-it-up, chose-what-you-like "homework" (yep I'm doing the inverted comma fingers, and other gestures), this year the kids all now have weekly proper homework, spellings, maths and stuff, and only one half-termly creative project.

One each still felt like too many at some points last and this weekend.  But the projects are done, and I will have my proud mummy moment, even if my input was more than I was hoping for.

We have progressed from papier maché covered balloons to a Sutton Hoo helmet, a leopard and giraffe masks…

Although this did take up a lot of time and energy, we also managed a trip to the park in the unseasonably warm weather, conkers and flip flops, I like it;  and I also did some prep for another bit of pattern testing…

Teacher Christmas gifts already; girly swot!

Saturday, 18 October 2014

I am going to love this quilt!

I know, only one block made, but I am smitten!

I pretty much mastered the 1/4" wheel, I didn't stitch through any seam allowances and resisted the urge to press it.  Hence it looks a little wrinkled and wonky, but fortunately that's just bad lighting and urgent excitement to take a photo!

If you are wondering, the block is only 6 1/2" in diameter.  Those pieces are tiny!

Roll on next month!

Friday, 17 October 2014

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Pin when you're winning...

I have been pinning.  I haven't really bothered with Pinterest lately, but today I have been at it; I had forgotten how useful it is.

Stitch Tease buddies please do not go and get all worried about everything I have stuck in my Stitch Tease folder - everything has ended up in there, not all of it should be, but for now I'm not telling you which!

I used to love using flickr to search out inspiring quilts, blocks and fabric combos, I even tried earlier, but it was so shockingly slow and annoying, I gave up.  What a shame.  I probably met a lot of you guys on flickr; end of an era eh?

So anyway, I think I am decided… well, probably.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Little Things...

Today I was house-bound waiting for a courier, so I was more than happy to ignore the rain outside, catch up with all my Sky+ recordings, drink hot chocolate, and do a little stitching.

The girls have taken to playing on an old phone of mine, so having been given my orders before school, I whipped up a little case…

… and then a couple of simple purses for their birthdays next month…

Then it was back to the books, plotting, scheming, and going round in circles, then back to square one with my Stitch Tease blocks.

Procrastinator, moi?!

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Calm before the storm...

I need to be doing some much needed research and development for next month's Stitch Tease block.  It'll be my month, and as any longtime followers may recall, November heralds the start of busy time here at FB towers, so I need to make the most of the quieter days before Half Term.

So if our internet connection decides to exceed snail's pace, I will be scooting about, looking for inspiration.  I have one idea already, so maybe tomorrow I will pull these out again…

… and have a trial run.

Apologies for no new photos, I haven't got the time patience to wait for anything new to upload!

My emails seem to be coming through one. at. a. time. too, so apologies if I owe you a reply.  I'm hoping that when everyone else is out tomorrow and all other devices are switched off, I will be able to download like the wind, although even a steady breeze will do!

Monday, 13 October 2014

Sew Together Bag...

I did it!  I managed to get the binding on before my eyes gave up in the gloom last night.  Please excuse the rainy day photos, obviously not my fault, but I couldn't wait to show you.

I am so glad I dove right in to make this Sew Together Bag, because it actually isn't complicated to make, it just looks it.

The pattern in great, it could do with a few more photos or diagrams, but the Quilt Barn Sewalong fills all the gaps if you are feeling unsure.  When I make the next one I will probably only be referring to the pattern for the measurements then be off.

I used some of my hoarded Melody Miller arrows and a little of my Cotton & Steel winnings, and I am so glad I did.

I used regular heavy weight iron-on interfacing on the pockets, and for the main outside panel some woven interfacing then a layer of fusible fleece (H630).  This combo has given it a nice bit of structure.

The only modifications I made to the pattern was to hand stitch down my bindings, because one, I love doing it, and two, it looks the biz!

To join the zipper tabs to the side bindings, I left an inch and a half of the binding unstitched in the middle, and on the reverse left about 4" unstitched when hand finishing.

I then tucked the tab into the binding and machine closed the smaller gap, then stitched up the 4" gap to keep it all neat and tidy.  That might make sense if you have made one!

To be honest I am not sure if it was worth the effort, because to the untrained eye it probably looks no different, but I do like to meddle!

So I am planning on keeping Zipit going with orders for a while, and start pulling fabrics for at least a couple more.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Sew Together Sunday...

Unlike last Sunday, today was full of all that stuff that makes the house go round, cooking, ironing, watching films with the kids, drying their hair, cutting toenails and other mummy stuff.  But I also got a bit of sewing in.

My Sew Together Bag is almost finished - am I allowed a FAL finish before the link up has even closed?!

Love the pattern, grateful for the sew along posts, and indebted to Ange, (and I don't say that lightly!); it came together so easily having been able to give her's a good fondle, fresh off the sewing machine last weekend!

Finger's cross for a reveal tomorrow xxx

Saturday, 11 October 2014

FAL Q4 2014 - Here's hoping!

Finish Along 2014

It's here!  The final list for 2014, crazy huh!?

So I am keeping it simple, 2 roll overs, 1 slow burner and one I am hoping to finish this week!

1.  Longtime FAL listing; it won't be finished, but what the heck…

2.  Another slow burner, but these flowers will grow and become something, one day…

3.  Love these, I want them made into something pretty, and soon, because my Amitie Mystery BOM has just kicked off and I am not sure I will be able to cope!
4.  All cut and interfaced and hoping for a super quick finish…
Linking all my hopes and dreams with Katy and all the other FALers x

Friday, 10 October 2014


I hate forgetting things, I really do.  I am convinced the Zantac has addled my short-term memory, but sometimes it's quite fun.

Today I got home to the latest Love P&Q, full of lovely friends as always, but also a couple of books I had pre-ordered on Amazon with birthday vouchers, and promptly forgot all about!

A bit of fiction by the Best. Author. Ever.  And paper-piecing heaven!

Well if this delightful weather keeps up for the weekend, I'm more than sorted!

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Keep the mojo running...

I don't want to come down from the high of last weekend, despite the weather, work and illness in the house; so as soon as I finished stitching down the binding on my commission quilt this afternoon, I pulled out my Cotton & Steel, and plenty of zips and started planning my Sew Together Bag…

I just need to get my act to gather to write my Q4 FAL list, this will be a new addition, and then it'll be full swing into the birthday and Christmas season.

Long may the mojo stick around!

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Brit Bee Weekender pt.2

There was much laughter, chatting and eating, you get that, but by golly there was stitching!

I was actually quite unprepared for the productivity that can be mustered when you are not having to clear away all sewing in order to eat, do home work or keep the family happy.  I took, what I thought was ample to fill the weekend, and popped in my trusty hexies, just in case, but I ended up making way more than I had hoped.

Top of my To Do list was quilting and binding my #IGminiswap; success!

An off-centre spiral and semi-scrappy binding, hope my partner loves it as much as I do.

Next on my list were Bee blocks for Stitch Tease; this month for Jen, Re-mixed Geese, using the no-waste method; so quick, even with all the nattering!

Then a pair for Jude and Sarah's Bee Blessed; I used Sarah's bright idea of creating the two blocks by my usual HST method, and it worked a treat.  I was able to pop these straight into her hands, which was an added bonus…

An unscheduled tick, Susan had handed me the next Brit Bee Medallion to work on, and luckily the package contained most of the fabric needed, with some additions of mine and Ange's, I was able to get my geese border and 4-patch completed and handed straight to Sarah, woo hoo!  As these are secret, here's the highly doctored proof…

On Sunday we got printing!  Dear hubby had turned my vision into an image, I then emailed it to Thermofax to create a printing screen.

I had trialled it at home beforehand, and am the proud and happy owner of a navy hoody and grey slouchy Tee emblazoned on the back, as well as a nice piece of Cotton & Steel.

Anyway, we gave the pool table a break from being our cutting surface to become our printing area.  Mass production ensued, everyone who wanted had a go, and the lounge became a drying room…

I am looking forward to seeing what everyone makes with all their panels.  I screened a little tote bag, just because, and when the screen comes home, afters doing the rounds at Troods' and Katy's, I am definitely going to get a few more printed.

What I made next was a zippy pouch.  Total fluke that it fits my iPad; I do love an added bonus…

I used up a couple of Karen/Blueberry Park's scrap bags, bought at FQR when she got me into this screen printing lark, so it seemed totally right to pair it with my Weekender print.  I was running low on fabric at this point, so the lining is pieced, and I love it.

My final finish of the weekend was an impromptu sewalong with Ange and Fiona.  Using Svetlana's excellent tutorial, we all made little drawstring bags...

A little Jungle Avenue with Cotton & Steel, a sweet little combo I reckon.

And that was me!  My mojo was definitely back at full strength.  I wish I had taken photos of everyone else's makes, because there was so much gorgeousness about, but honestly, if I wasn't sewing, I was too busy eating!

Back home, I just need to get the binding on my commission quilt, then I am going to dive straight into a Sew Together Bag.  Ange made one over the weekend, and what more inspiration could I need?

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Brit Bee Weekender pt.1

I do not apologise if you begin to tire of the blog posts that will pop up here and there over the next week; the first Brit Bee Weekender was so fantastic that everyone should gather a group of friends and head off out into the country to sew!

We booked The Stables back in July, and had been planning meals and looking forward to it ever since.

Sadly there were some beautiful faces who could not join us, but they were in our thoughts and prayers; the unstoppable Terri even popped in from LA, via FaceTime, on Friday evening.

I arrived first, and was able to have a good look around and have a cup of tea in the peace and quiet before, well, before the buzz of a dozen sewing machines and the best bunch of friends started chatting, laughing, eating and stitching for the next 66 hours!

The sewing space was perfect…

The kitchen was equipped for anything, even the 30 kilos of baked goods we consumed…

… and quite frankly 3 nights was not long enough!

Of course there were phone calls made to husbands, partners, children and pets (probably), we didn't cast aside all outside responsibilities, but seeing how well those left behind all coped, I see no reason why this shouldn't become an annual occurrence!

Now it won't come as a surprise to those who were following us on instagram, but it was the most productive weekend sewing-wise too, which considering the amount of talking and cake eating that went on, is actually amazing.  I will let you see all the things I made tomorrow, and leave you with the picture that sums up the weekend…

Smiling friends, wearing pyjama bottoms and loving every minute!

Today I was home, sewing alone, it wasn't fun.

Monday, 6 October 2014

FAL Q3 2014 Results...

I know you want to hear all about the weekend; I want to tell you too, but it feels like my brain is still sat in a traffic jam on the M1 and so please accept my apologies, and settle for this part-prewritten post, before I miss the FAL deadline tonight!

Finish Along 2014

So I posted my list back in July here, and here's how I faired…

1.  Rollover, rollover…

… and it rolls over again, but has moved on a little at least…

2.  Hexie rollover…


3.  Poolside revamp…

… yay, blogged here...

4.  Secret stitching…

… oh yes, revealed here

5.  Name tag, for me!

…success, blogged here and worn, along with my lovely one from Tsoniki all Retreat long…

6.  Another mini-Super Tote…

… go me!  Blogged here

7.  A post-FQR cushion…

…whaddaya know; blogged here

5 out of 7, I thank you!

Linking with Katy, who I waved farewell to only this morning, and it already feels like a week ago!

Weekender report tomorrow, sleep now.