Tuesday, 1 July 2014

July - that means we can see the holiday on the calendar!

Wow, can it be July already? ......  Now that we have turned the calendar over to this month I am getting excited, as we can see the stickers which mean our holiday is on it's way!

So, that means I have got cracking with the teachers end of term presents.  I had strict instructions that Mrs D loves owls, and so Hope chose this fabric herself, and helped make the pencil case.

There were no clear hints for Mrs Penny, so these wonderful wellies will do nicely.

And, I am not sure why these photos are all so dark, I think some little fingers have put the camera onto a strange setting?  But (only a year late - huge apologies hipbee mates) I have finished Eden's tree quilt.  It was meant for her birthday last December, so will now be squirrelled away for the next one!





Thank you to everyone who made such beautiful tree blocks for me, I love it, and I am sure she will too.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Working through the list of sewing things!

 It's been very exciting recently, as in May I was queen bee in the hipbees, I asked for paper pieced stars.  These beauties have come back home to me, and I have now started to lay them out and work out how I am going to put the quilt together.  Moira had some good ideas for falling stars and negative space, and I did lay them out to try that kind of thing, but I think plain and simple might be the best for my Mum (the quilt will be for her 70th birthday), and so I think I will make up enough extra stars to make a square quilt.
There was some London hat sewing for Herbie.  Hope and I write to Herbie every week as he is currently in Great Ormond Street hospital after a bone marrow transplant, and when he lost his hair, we decided to send him a hat.  You can see him wearing it here, and also follow his Mum's inspiring blog if you want to know more about a very remarkable family

Then I tackled some flowers for Rachel’s hipbee blocks this month………  I loved making this vase of flowers, what fab colours she has chosen for us.

And then sadly I tried out a new technique (note to self, never try a new technique with someone else’s bee block fabric), to try using freezer paper to get neater edges for this block, which was meant to be modern lolly pop flowers…….  Well I think the bird is quite cute, but the flowers are dreadful, and I am gutted to be sending this block to Rachel.

And today (finally, only a year after I received all the blocks) I have basted my last year’s hipbee quilt which was meant for Eden’s birthday last December, and so I am determined she will get it for this year’s birthday instead!  I’m off to buy some white thread to quilt it with this afternoon, and then hopefully I will stop procrastinating and get on with it.

Also, last weekend was our local baking and handicraft show, and so I entered the quilt I made for my brother's girlfriend, Rachel.  I loved seeing it hanging here.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

how does five months pass in the blink of an eye?

Oh dear......  bad blogger over here, I realise I haven't posted anything for nearly five months.

It doesn't mean that nothing has been happening, far from it.  Quite a lot of the good, the bad and the mundane of life has been going on.

And in between those times there has been my precious therapeutic sewing time.

I joined in the red barn quilts sew along, and made this fun quilt.  It went together really quickly, and so then I spent time just playing around with it and quilting the heck out of it practicing allsorts of different types of quilting

My attempt at loops and swirls

I loved trying out some flowers......

It's far from perfect, but it was a good learning quilt, and I can see that I need to sort out the tension on the stitching on the back of the quilt, and I've also learnt that a patterned backing can hide a multitude of sins!  I need to find a home for this quilt.

Then Hope and I made a dress for her together at half term....  she was involved in the majority of the sewing, and wore it with pride when it was finished

At our last 'stitching it together' meeting I started my first attempt at making clothes for myself, a dress......  in fabric that resembles a 1970's bed spread, but I am assured is 'this season's colours darling'.  Lizzy was a massive help, and I learnt lots of good tips from her - like using pins!!  No photos yet, but watch this space, we're finishing our dresses off next month!

I am queen bee in the hipbees this month, and have asked for paper pieced star blocks, and the exciting bit of seeing the finished blocks and having them arrive home has started to happen, which is great.

This was my sample block.

The current big project is below.......  just finished this rainbow quilt top.  It's from the  Modern Quilt perspectives book.  Which is all about meaningful quilts.  I had been trying to think of an appropriate pattern for a quilt for a very special friend of mine who is getting married in September to her long term partner.  When I saw this rainbow quilt and the meanings behind it, I knew it was the one.  I am currently struggling with the backing as basically there isn't enough material in the two fabrics I had chosen, and now I am a bit stuffed!   But when I get that sorted, I am going to attempt to quilt it with a double wedding ring, as suggested in the book.

Let's hope it's not another five months until I'm here again!



Monday, 13 January 2014

Farewell to the old and hello to the new

A title that is appropriate as it's my first blog post of 2014.  However it's not really about the New Year as such...... more about sewing machines.

In December my trusty old sewing machine finally broke down.  This meant I was sewing machine-less for about 6 weeks.  At first I really missed sewing, then I felt liberated, and enjoyed having so much more free time to pursue other things.  This coincided with Christmas, so I socialised more, watched more TV, read more books and started the Game of Thrones DVD box set I was given for my birthday. 

Then in the school holidays Hannah and I went shopping - and I bought my new sewing machine.

I am getting used to her, as it's very different operating this machine to my old machine.  But I am sure in time I will LOVE her.

I practised getting started by making a QAYG pouch to keep the extension lead and all the bobbins etc in for the new machine.

Then I set to with my bee blocks for January.  I did have a few tension issues during the Bee Blessed blocks, so I do hope they will be OK.  I still haven't quite mastered the tension yet, but I am LOVING the automatic thread cutter!

And then I bundled up my old machine, to send to the Police Aid Convoy for the Cinderella project.  This is such a fabulous charity.  They send wedding dresses and wedding outfits to other countries, along with sewing machines and sewing equipment, and then they teach the girls to sew, and they alter the wedding dresses so that girls can borrow them when they get married. 

So here goes my old sewing machine, it will be mended, or used for parts in Rwanda.

I now need to set myself some goals for sewing in 2014.

Small list to begin with:-

- Make sewing machine cover for new machine

- Finish my HipBees quilt

- Make a bag for Hope's dancing clothes.

Belated Happy New Year to you all

Monday, 2 December 2013

Time for my 6 weekly blog post!!!!

So much has been going on here.................

I turned 40.  There was a Ceilidh

There was a supreme carrot cake in the shape of a sewing basket.

There were some beautiful hand made gifts...... A lovely Liberty cushion from Di.

And a really pretty little bag full of wonderful goodies from Jan (goodies aren't in this photos as I've been using/wearing them!).

I just about managed to sew my bee blocks.............

Then this pirate turned 3. arrrggghhhh me hearties.

So there was a pirate party.


Then my sewing machine died.  She was a very elderly lady, who had had a good innings.  But I do feel like I've had an arm chopped off not having a sewing machine any more.

Good job that I have been saving up, and asked everyone for money towards a new machine for my birthday.

My brother gave me 40 1 pence's, 40 2 pence's, 40 5 pence's, 40 10 pence's - you get the idea - right up to 40 pound coins.  That adds up to a lot of money.  Here we are counting them all (and the savvy ones among you will see the Janome sewing machine flyer on the table).

So, sewing machine shopping here I come.


Thursday, 17 October 2013

Sew much fun!

How can it be that I last blogged back at the beginning of September??

Where does the time go (when you're having fun - working 25 extra hours a week, changing Brownie packs, and trying to decorate a dining room??)

Anyway, there has been time for sewing, and some lovely time at that.

On Saturday it poured with rain all day, and me and Ingrid abandoned the kids and snuck off to Bradmore for the EMMQG day.

Ooooo it was lovely.  Go here for the recipe for the most delicious chilli ever.

We made baskets.....  Here's mine

And here's the fab four.....

(Photo pinched from Moira's blog)

And I basted my scrappy quilt on the big church hall floor.

Which I (drum roll please) have finished.

Things I love about this quilt:-

- It is made entirely from scraps that I have been given
- I made the quilt top in the summer whilst enjoying Cornish sunshine and sea views
- It is square
- The big quilted circles
- Although I have made mistakes as I have gone along, I have learnt a lot.
- It is for someone who needs the comfort of a good quilt - and they have been in my thoughts as I have sewn it.

Where there is room for improvement:-

- I need to get better at basting quilts.  Despite lots of effort from two bright and intelligent women, I still managed to hash up the backing, which moved so much I had to reduce the quilt in size by 2 inches all the way around!

- My quilting is improving, but I still need to eliminate a few tucks that appeared here and there.