Sunday, 30 December 2012

100 days.

Right then, one day to go, but with an event for 150 tomorrow night it's unlikely this list will change before the end of the year!

Having posted back on the 9th November that I had made progress on only 4 of my 17 projects, and that I would have to work hard over the coming 40 days, everything went a little bit awry.  As many of you know, less than a week from that post my life went through a pretty cataclysmic shift.  So, I'm sure you're not expecting great progress with this, and you'd be right!

Here goes:

1) design & make a cd holder using the Melody Miller records fabric - tried and failed.  Have something else in mind during the course of 2013.

2) Make double-sided quilt for niece Megan - finished, loved and delivered to Megan.  I saw this over Christmas hanging in her newly decorated pink bedroom! (1 finish)

3) use the brown batik Charlotte challenged me with - 2 projects in mind for this. I used the tote bag we got goodies in at Retreat and made the batik into a tree trunk.  The leaves are Innocent Crush.  Project two was a 40th birthday present for Charlotte - a pouch which you can see in her post here.  What she has failed to mention is that the pouch was lined with brown batik! (2 finishes)

4) Make an Amy Butler weekender bag using 'Newquay' fabric neeeeever gonna happen!

5) make the Christmas wonky log cabin into a mini quilt - Christmas was pretty much cancelled in my house this year, so no Christmas projects got done.

6) finish the double circle flying geese cushion cover from FQ Retreat scrapped...

7) make mug tree / Christmas cards  see item 5

8) make 3 thank-you popsicle mug rugs replaced with Bottle sacks filled with pink champagne! See this post for more details. (1 finish)

9) finish campers travel sewing kit oh dear, no excuse for this not getting done!

10) make 2 x hopscotch quilts with jelly rolls This may have been a tad optimistic, but will keep me busy in 2013.

11) finish Maison de Garance quilt for Christmas gift DONE!  Hurrah, I did manage to finish something, even if I was hand-finishing the binding on Christmas Eve!  This now graces the bed of my OH's parents, and looks lovely, though I say it myself.  It was finished with a border of the rich goldy-biscuity colour with the rich deep red as the binding.  Backing was a plain beige sheet.  Although I wasn't sure about this to start with, and it was definitely a 'well, they'll like it' I ended up loving the warmth and vintage-y feel of this one. (1 finish)

12) make 4 x Oh Fransson! bags for Christmas gifts 3 made, and then another one was made in black denim, 2 of those were sold for use as Christmas gifts, the other two are still here.  I also have wallets cut out ready for sewing, and I made 2 pretty pleats totes in Melody Miller Ruby Stars Vinyl telephones panels - one with the orange phones, one in the blue phone colourway. One sold along with the pouches and one given as a gift.  I also started another Christmas quilt for my niece and nephew but a sewing machine in need of service put paid to that!  (counting this as 2.5 finishes!)

13) make a notebook cover for Christmas gift well, I've got the fabric and the notebook, just need to get the two together! Nothings' changed there but I did make other Christmas gifts - see above!

14) make a duvet cover for the spare bedroom out of IKEA fabric another project for 2013.

15) make a QAYG version of Weekender bag using Tula Pink fabric.  see item 4.....

16) various bee commitments 

17) edited to add: finish raw circles quilt!!! Yay!! All done, hand quilted and bound and just gorgeous.  Currently over the back of the sofa where the feline in residence is also in love with it and spends most evenings asleep on it! (1 finish)

So, out of the original 17 items, I'm counting 8.5 finishes.  As 3.5 of those were quilts, I think that's not bad under the circumstances.  Had I not had a few weeks of other things to deal with, plus a sewing machine which gave up the ghost in the days before Christmas, I would have got a lot further. However, hopefully I can get the remainder finished in the next few weeks - at least they'll be ready for next Christmas.  

I'm linking up for the final round-up.  I don't expect to be in line for the prizes, but it was fun trying to get everything done!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

ermmm.. remind me, when's Christmas again?

Next week, you say?  Ah, well I might need an extension on that - I still have umpty-billion presents to make, and today I decided to start a Christmas quilt for my sister and her two children who will miss Granny terribly next week.  It's a simple Cherry Christmas, 10" squares patchwork, and I'm sewing crazily to get in the post on Friday!

I also have wallets, make up bags, bottle bags to make and another quilt to finish.  The little change purses I was making to go with the wallets will have to wait (as might the wallets!)

I'm also supposed to be making a santa suit for a basset hound.... yep, my family are bonkers.

As well as all this, I'm working full-time and finishing off the planning for a party for 145 on New Year's Eve that we have to do.  

But in the middle of all this insanity, today I heard this on the radio, and I had to go and look up the lyrics.  And then I cried.... a lot, and now everything's slightly blurry....

Jealous of the Angels - Jenn Bostic

I didn't know today would be our last
Or that I'd have to say goodbye to you so fast
I'm so numb, I can't feel anymore
Praying you'd just walk back through that door
And tell me that I was only dreaming.

There will be another angel
Around the throne tonight
Your love lives on inside of me
And I will hold on tight
It's not my place to question
Only God knows why
I'm just jealous of the angels 
Around the throne tonight

You always made my troubles feel so small
And you were always there to catch me when I'd fall
In a world where heroes come and go
Well God just took the only one I know
So I'll hold you as close as I can
Longing for the day when I see your face again
But until then

God must need another angel 
Around the throne tonight
Your love lives on inside of me
And I will hold on tight
It's not my place to question
Only God knows why
I'm just jealous of the angels 
Around the throne tonight

If you haven't heard it, go and look it up on youtube, iTunes, wherever, it's beautiful.

Monday, 17 December 2012

2 for 1.....

OK, firstly, I confess there is some shameless stealing of images in this blog post!  Problem is I made things and gave them away, but forgot to take pics.... so I nicked theirs!

And then I had something made for me and I knew I couldn't take a pic that would do it justice, so I nicked that too! 

I do hope that Kelly and Charlotte will forgive me....?

Anyway, I had a great time yesterday playing with my friends at the Village Haberdashery's open weekend.  There was banter and shopping and a lovely day spent with Annie, Charlotte and Kelly.

I've been really lucky to have some great and much needed support from these girls over what has been a lousy year, so I made some little Christmassy gifts (although I realised the one I'd made for Annie was totally inappropriate & is having to be replaced!)  

So I made a couple of sacky bottle bags - I wanted them to look like a Santa sack, rather than a sleek tailor-made bag (that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!) So I used some of my stash of Countdown to Christmas - I went a bit OTT buying it last year to say the least.  The bags are loosely based on the pattern in Quilt Dad's Pretty in Patchwork - Holidays book, and I made one with the same kind of inset and another using the robin embroidery from Annela's class in FQR.  Both bags are lined and one has a selvedge tie, the other a ribbon.  I also bought some reels of Lu Summers' tape, which they seemed almost as pleased with as the grog!

We had a great day together - Annie had some customers too, which we managed to be helpful to, I think.  But in the main, we just had fun and a lot of laughter.  (And heaven knows, that's been lacking over the last month or so.)

Anyway, in addition to all the merriment, Kelly arrived also bearing gifts.  I don't know if anyone saw her blog a few days ago with the wonderful cushions photographed in the park.  One was a fab scrappy rainbow cushion which was 'made for a very good friend of mine, I hope it puts a smile on her face! '  Well, it's safe to say my grin was ear to ear when she presented it to me.  It's a perfect cuddle size, and will no doubt be much utilised in the coming weeks!

On top of all that, I came home and got cracking on the Christmas sewing I'd been unable to get in the mood for, and the mojo is well and truly back!

Just as well, as there's a lot to do, not to mention a batch of brownies to whip up and send out to some lucky recipients... 

Friday, 14 December 2012

I can resist everything but temptation....

..... and nestled in a leafy corner of West Hampstead is the most tempting shop I've ever been lucky enough to spend time in.

The lovely Annie, of The Village Haberdashery is adding to her empire and to accompany the fabulous online shop, there's now going to be a real-life, bricks and mortar version.

I've been a regular user of the online version and rarely get through a shopping 'trip' there without buying extras I didn't go looking for. But I have so far managed to be very disciplined and I don't go browsing -  I go on the site, buy what I want, and get out while there's still money in my account!  

However......that shop..... well, you can't use such avoidance tactics when all the fabricky wonder is spread out in front of you, colourfully arranged on shelves and in baskets and just daring you to leave it there.  I've been in the shop twice now, luckily with Annie having no credit card facilities in the store, but my mental shopping list is up to about £300, and I'm not sure I'll escape so lightly on Sunday when I do my stint as eager shop assistant!!

I had a wonderful day today helping get the last bits and pieces done before the open weekend tomorrow and Sunday - so if you can manage a visit, do coo over the beautifully arranged 'Peg Board of Notions' (I single-handedly put all Annie's cute red tipped 'pegs' into it and added the notions - all to my own design, so remember to be impressed!).  

At the moment, Annie has the fabric, threads, notions, yarns, purse frames, patterns and funky felt balls (it's worth coming to see the Christmas tree alone), and probably a lot of other things you never knew you couldn't live without.  In the New Year, the shop will be opening more regularly, and there are plans for classes and demos, too.


What: The Village Haberdashery's first Open Weekend!
Date and time: Saturday, 15th December 11-7 and Sunday, 16th December 11-5
Location: 47 Mill Lane, West Hampstead, London NW6 1NB

Hope to see you there!

Monday, 3 December 2012

Covet(s) of the week

I think it's safe to say I'm not really looking forward to Christmas this year.  However, I'm looking forward to the arrival of 2013, the end of a terrible year and the arrival of some truly lovely fabrics.  

My wonderful friend Charlotte gave me some of the lovely Lizzy House Pearl bracelets that she was lucky enough to pick up at Market in Houston in October, and I have decided to save them until the rest come out to make a rainbow style quilt in memory of mum.  It'll be more pastelly than bright, but after her service, there was the most beautiful full-span rainbow visible for a few minutes, which after all the rain, seemed like her way of letting us know she was proud of what my sisters had arranged for her.

I'm really loving all the text fabrics at the moment so I can't wait for this one from the Architextures range by Carolyn Friedlander - it comes in a white on black version too, which looks equally scrummy. I have a tiny charm pack of this, also a Market-related gift from Charlotte, so I might use that to make a pouch for one of my sisters for Christmas - if I can get my sewing mojo back in time, it's somewhat absent at the moment.

Lastly, but possibly most eagerly anticipated is the new Melody Miller range - I cannot wait to get my hands on these phones....  I've been craving them ever since I saw the market coverage, and I have it on good authority that the lovely Annie will have it in stock soon after the new year.  So guess what's on my Christmas list this year?? Yep, Village Haberdashery gift vouchers!

But there's also some really, really exciting news.... divine as The Village Haberdashery's online shop is, Annie's launching a real-life bricks and mortar version in West Hampstead.  It's planned to open in the New Year, but you can get a sneak preview on the weekend of 15 & 16 December, and there's more information here.

Do come along, do a bit of shopping and show Annie your support - she really deserves it!

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Giving thanks....

The Thanksgiving holiday is an American tradition I think we would all do well to adopt.  I don't necessarily mean the whole overeating of turkey and pumpkin pie bit - let's face it in less than a month we'll already be eating our own body weight in turkey!

But the spirit of the occasion is something we could all take time to sit back and think about, and in spite of whatever situation we find ourselves in, it is great to remember the good things we have.

After horror of losing my mum, it's hard to be thankful for anything.  But I am thankful, for the facts that I had her in my life for the time I did, that she made my dad so happy and that she gave me four wonderful sisters, and, indirectly, a niece and nephew I adore.  

I'm also thankful for the doctor who happened across her accident in the minutes after it happened, who stopped and helped my mum and stayed with her in the ambulance as far as the first hospital so she wasn't alone.

And, strange as this may seem, I'm thankful the other person involved wasn't more hurt.

This quilt is the first proper one I made - it's not necessarily colours I would now choose, but it was made from bunting I made for her 60th birthday party.  I had to find a pattern I could cut from 19" isoceles triangles!  Each square was hand-pieced, then all machined together and I hand quilted it.  I have a wonderful photo of it, gracing a bed in her home, with a message telling me she would treasure it forever.  It took me two years, and she deserved every single second I spent on it.

I'm also thankful for my other family and friends, who have been the most amazing support over the last few days.  I don't know how I would have got through it without them.  I also really appreciate all the lovely messages I had from people all over the world, many of whom I've never met but who read this blog, wishing mum well, and keeping her in their prayers.

And, lastly, I'm very thankful for my lovely partner, Patrick, and Daisy and Bella, my furry child substitutes / book ends, who've looked after me brilliantly, and let's face it, are the perfect excuse for gratuitous dog photos.

So, what are you all thankful for?

Friday, 16 November 2012

in the (almost) words of W H Auden

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,

Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come. 

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message She Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves. 

She was our North, our South, our East and West,
Our working week and our Sunday rest,
Our noon, our midnight, our talk, our song;
We thought that love would last for ever: we were wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

15.10.49 - 15.11.12

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

A sense of perspective....

You know, I've spent a lot of time lately worrying about losing businesses, getting jobs, money and the mundane stuff of life. 

Last night, we nearly lost our lovely mum who was involved in a serious car accident who, as we speak, is fighting for her life in a medically induced coma in a spinal specialist hospital in the North.  She has horrific, multiple and serious injuries, she has had two lots of surgery today, each lasting many hours, and now she is still not stable, but we have been sent home to get some sleep as we've all been up all night.

Luckily, I have 4 wonderful sisters and we are all supporting each other and mum's partner Ken, as we pick our way through a medical minefield, and do our best with positive thinking.... because it's all we can do. 

So please forget any finger crossing for job interviews.  I desperately need all your prayers and hopes and positive thoughts while we clean ourselves up, get some sleep and go back tomorrow to hope for some good news, some small glimmer of improvement and the belief that one day we will bring her home, fit and well again.

Mum, we all love you, and we need you back. xxxx

Sunday, 11 November 2012

We will remember them....

If I should die, think only this of me;
That there's some corner of a foreign field
that is for ever England.  There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England's breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.

And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts of England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.

The Soldier
Rupert Brooke

Friday, 9 November 2012

Halfway there...

Kelsey Sews

There's been quite a bit of upheaval and change in my life in the last few weeks, so I'm not as far along with this as I'd hoped!  Still, here goes for the 50 day link up:

1) design & make a cd holder using the Melody Miller records fabric - ha, great start, no progress

2) Make double-sided quilt for niece Megan - finished, loved and delivered to Megan, only 5 days late!

3) use the brown batik Charlotte challenged me with - 2 projects in mind for this. I used the tote bag we got goodies in at Retreat and made the batik into a tree trunk.  The leaves are Innocent Crush.  Project two still on the back burner.

4) Make an Amy Butler weekender bag using 'Newquay' fabric ermmmmm...... I still want to do this, but probably now a QAYG version if I can pluck up the courage!  Will merge with item 15!

5) make the Christmas wonky log cabin into a mini quilt ermmmm....

6) finish the double circle flying geese cushion cover from FQ Retreat will NOT be doing this - have had several attempts, getting it all out, reading the instructions, and I can't get my head round it, so this one will be scrapped...

7) make mug tree / Christmas cards  planned for next weekend

8) make 3 thank-you popsicle mug rugs another ermmmm....

9) finish campers travel sewing kit good grief, this is getting repetitive!!

10) make 2 x hopscotch quilts with jelly rolls guess what....

11) finish Maison de Garance quilt for Christmas gift next priority - the top's done, the backing's ready, just need to save enough pennies to buy the wadding and then get it quilted and bound.

12) make 4 x Oh Fransson! bags for Christmas gifts 3 made, but now had other ideas for these recipients, so will change this to 'make 4 Christmas gifts' - youngest is getting one of these pouches, the others are having other things.

13) make a notebook cover for Christmas gift well, I've got the fabric and the notebook, just need to get the two together!

14) make a duvet cover for the spare bedroom out of IKEA fabric yes, well this was just daft thinking I'd get this done before Christmas!

15) make a QAYG version of Weekender bag using Tula Pink fabric.  see item 4.....

16) various bee commitments sadly, because of the aforementioned upheavals and changes, I've had to drop out of the bee.  I've has no real sewing time since the middle of last month, so I just couldn't guarantee I could honour these commitments.

17) edited to add: finish raw circles quilt!!! Yay!! All done, hand quilted and bound and just gorgeous.  Currently over the back of the sofa where the feline in residence is also in love with it and spends most evenings asleep on it!

So, four out of 17, with two scrapped and two becoming one - not the best first 50 days eh?  Better get stuck in over the next 40 or so.....

Thursday, 1 November 2012

November, already.....

Well, October was some month!  It started with a two-week holiday in Cornwall where I spent a good percentage of the time looking out of rainy windows while I stitched away at various projects, and it's ended with some major steps towards life changes for us. Phew, busy times!

Anyway, your positive thoughts and crossed fingers did a brilliant job earlier in the week, I am now less stressed and hopefully taking big strides to a happier life. So thank you for your lovely, friendly support.  But more on that another time...

So, in October, I got this lot done

Not quite as much off my 100 day hustle list as I'd have liked, but a few bits and pieces.  Seems like I'm going to have to roll my sewing sleeves up now and get stuck in before it's too late.  Christmas is galloping towards me and i'll have less free time now, so will have to make the most of every spare second.  

Linking up with Lily's quilts and 
Lily's Quilts

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Holiday Tutorial Series

Quilt Story

A few weeks ago I was approached by Quilt Story and asked if I would contribute to the series of holiday tutorials they were planning to run again this year.  It seems I'm going to be in very good company, with some fantastic designers getting involved.  The time table is as follows:

October 4th: Kerry from verrykerryberry tutorial: Hexagon Handle Holder
October 11th: Amber from A Little Bit Biased
October 18th: Sew Cal Gal
October 25th: Kirsty from Handmade by Kirsty
November 1st: Jesse from Messy Jesse
November 8th: Tabatha from Bending Pins
November 15th: Ali from a.squared.w
November 22nd: Happy Thanksgiving!
November 29th: Karen from Sew Well Maide
December 6th: Pennie from Tuppence Ha'Penny Quilts

I was really excited to be asked, and spent a good deal of my recent Cornwall trip planning what I was going to make.... and then replanning because every idea I have keeps popping up on someone else's holiday makes bog hop or tutorial!  

Anyway, I think I've managed to come up with a brilliant idea, and so on the 6th December I hope you'll join me to see what it is......

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Finger's crossed please...

First steps towards a very big change today.  All positive thoughts and crossed fingers very much appreciated. 

Sunday, 28 October 2012

A little pouchy distraction

At the moment, it can't be said that life is good.  For lots of reasons I can't go into, life is stressful, sad and exhausting, and I'm waiting for someone to turn on that light, 'cos right now, my tunnel seems awfully dark.

Anyway, in my effort to escape things for a while I decided to make a start on seasonal sewing and make some pouches I'm hoping will make appropriate Christmas gifts.

I wanted to see how the same pattern would look made in different ways as there are a number of possible recipients for these, and so I made a few different ones.  There's a lot of pressure from the title of the pattern 'Perfect Zip Bags' - my efforts were definitely better named 'Not So Perfect Zip Bags'!

First I did a patchwork version with Melody Miller, some Kona solids and some magic beans.  It was my first attempt at a lined zipped pouch, but I followed the pattern pretty carefully, and was really pleased with the outcome.  I interfaced both exterior and lining fabrics and added the interlining the pattern suggested.  The only thing I struggled with was the gusset on the exterior fabric, which the pattern said to do after sewing up the lining.  There also seemed to be a LOT of lining when it's turned in. 

Anyway, one of the possible recipients has passed judgement on this and it seems it might not be the worst present she could find under the tree....
So, next I made one in just one fabric - I've had this Stone Garden in the stash for a while - it was one of the first things I bought from The Village Haberdashery, back in February.  So far I haven't had the right pattern for it, but it seemed to be just perfect for this pouch.

I lined this one with a light olive green solid and it's pretty much the same on both sides.  This time, I cut the lining slightly smaller than the pattern said, added fusible fleece to the exterior fabric only, and no other interfacing or interlining, and I sewed the gussets in the exterior before I stitched up the lining, which was much, much easier.  I really quite like this one - there seems more room inside it.

Lastly, I wanted to have a bit of fun.  I'd been playing around with some Innocent Crush scraps, but I just couldn't get the right combo together for the wonky log cabin idea I'd had.  Then overnight I had an idea for recycling a pair of torn jeans, using a piece of the back with a pocket for one side and if possible actually just cut round the button and fly to make the front.  I cut it out, and then realised the front wouldn't work - there were just too many layers to sew through to join the waistband to the zipper and lining. 

Since I first saw Charlotte's
AMH Love wall hanging the phrase that always springs to mind when I see Innocent Crush is 'rock and roll', and so denim seemed a good accompaniment.  So, I combined the two ideas, still using the pocket piece for the back of the pouch and cutting one of the legs into 3" strips to border an AMH charm.  I interfaced the denim, as they were stretchy jeans and as I was sewing the pieces were getting all out of shape.  Once interfaced, though they worked fine.  I lined it with Kona charcoal, and used a dark grey zip, keeping the grungy look.

So, that's my weekend's work.  This evening I'm going to be clearing up the sewing room and rehousing the items that were on the shelf that fell off the wall yesterday morning.  As if I don't have enough to worry about, I now have whacking great holes in the plaster of the sewing room!

Ah well, as they say, 'it never rains but it pours', and 'what doesn't kill you makes you stronger'.  I'm not feeling so strong right now, but hopefully soon....

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

The Double A Side has landed

OK, so it's all very well spending months sourcing just the right fabric for your 3-year old niece's birthday quilt, designing a double A sided pattern, piecing it all, finishing it with lovely borders, tying it with gorgeous variegated embroidery thread....  

but it's no flippin' good if you then miss the birthday!!  Imagine my horror yesterday when I realised Megan's big day was last Friday, not this week as thought!

Baaaaaad Auntie Pennie....

So, I just about managed to wrap it in more pinkness and get it into the post, special delivery, with a very grovelly card.  It took some doing, letting it go, and I think I might have to start again on the Heather Ross hunt to make another one!  

Anyway, I just got this......

I think she likes it!

Monday, 15 October 2012

Honey, I'm home!

Awww, quilting world, how I missed you..... The effort of trying to post via mobile proved just too traumatic, and my signal in not-sunny-at-all Cornwall was erratic at best so I have heaps to tell you and to catch up on!

I have finally figured out how all these amazing super-achievers get things done so quickly - they do absolutely nothing else..... I'm kidding of course, I know all you wonder-quilters have jobs and children to take care of really... or so you say!  With two weeks off, I got one quilt finished, another completely done and a significant amount of work done on a Christmas project.  I also initiated my friend Hilary into the joys of quilting, as we started work on Santa sacks and other Christmas goodies for her.  

In between sewing sessions I did a lot of dog walking - Hilary and I have 4 spaniels between us, so we did beach, woodland and sand dune walks to keep them all quiet enough for us to have the sewing sessions.  There were also quite a few afternoon teas, sticky cakes and yummy lunches consumed, so the diet starts now!

However it did rain, nearly every day, and on Thursday we got caught, whilst on a circular walk, by the worst rain storm I can remember.  I have never been so wet in clothes in my life - trust me, everything was soaked.  The irony was that it was sunny when we set off, so we left waterproof trousers in the car.  When we got back we ended up having to strip out of sodden jeans and wear the waterproofs instead so as not to soak the car.  Later that day, the area's website reported flash flooding...

Anyway, enough about my holiday, you want to see the work, right?

Well, I posted that I'd finished the raw edge applique circles quilt.  I finally decided to bind it with orange magic beans, as I found any solid binding just over-emphasised that colour within the quilt top.  The busier binding blended in really well, I think, and I'm really happy with this, it kind of disappears. I'm looking forward to being able to snuggle up under this on the sofa over the winter, with the bright colours really cheering me up on the dull days.  Alison's original tutorial on Cluck Cluck Sew can be found here.

Mind you, it's already been claimed by a certain member of the household, who actually kicked bags off the top of it last night so he could curl up on it.  Think I might have a wrestling match on my hands!

I also got Megan's Double A-side finished, and I have to say I love it!  It's the first time I've ever felt slightly sad that I don't have a daughter to give it to! I hope she likes it, otherwise I'm reclaiming it.  I finished it slightly differently, as the quilt already had the borders around the edge, and I couldn't think of a binding that I liked that would go with both sides.  So it is not bound - I just sewed the edges together almost all the way round and then turned it right side out and hand stitched the opening, and then top stitched all the way round.   

 As doing it this way meant it wasn't going to possible to quilt both sides and as both sides were very different layouts anyway,  I decided to just tie it using variegated DMC embroidery thread.  As I'd used cotton / bamboo mix wadding, this is now a beautifully soft quilt, and I am really happy with my first attempt at a quilt without using a pattern.

I might not be making anything pink for a while though.....

Yesterday I had a great time helping Annie from The Village Haberdashery on her stall at the Knitting and Stitching show in Alexandra Palace.  I'm sure Annie's blog will tell more about this, but it was great to see other quilters there - I spotted a few faces from retreat 2012 - but my favourite part was the number of handmade bags being sported by visitors, along with some fantastic handmade coats and jackets.  Quilters are a colourful bunch!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

WIP Wednesday

Just a quickie today, if the mobile will handle the link thing!

Happy to say I have finished hand quilting the raw edge circles, so today I'm deciding on a binding.

Yesterday I made a start on putting Megan's quilt together and got the pink side done..... Except when I drew it out I didn't allow for seams, so it's a bit smaller than planned.  No drama though, as I reckon it'll look great with a plain pink border to frame

Hope the picture worked! Linking up with Freshly Pieced.

Monday, 1 October 2012

On the mobile....

I'm on holiday at the moment in lovely Cornwall..... OH is fishing, I get to do lots of sewing and walking of dogs on the fantastic beaches.  I'm trialling mobile blogger, so goodness knows how this post will come out!

Anyway, just wanted to let you know the spiral quilting is finally done! Just got to decide on binding now.....

Friday, 28 September 2012

A wee pixie....

got out her photoshop and made everything better!  Hopefully this header solves all the bigger name issues and I love the colours!

All plaudits go straight to Charlotte!!!

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Been thinking....

I know, I know, it's dangerous, I'm not normally allowed to think....  And maybe the bit of thinking I did today wasn't such a good plan.  But Lynne at Lily's quilts got me pondering.  

I've had a shabby, almost but not quite, totally unprofessional blog header since I started.

So I thought I'd try a revamped header, but now I've done it, I'm not sure.  

What do we think?  Should it be logo only or logo + photos?  

Is the font right for the tone of the blog - I suspect it's not quite informal enough.  

I might have more playing to do yet, but I'm off on hols on Saturday, so I might change it again tomorrow, or I might leave it till I get home.

All feedback, same as Lynne, honest rather than kind please, will be very much appreciated!

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

WIP Wednesday

I got a bit busy in the sewing room over the weekend, not only cutting out Megan's double A-side quilt, but also tackling the brown batik challenge set by Charlotte while I was convalescing.  It's taken me a while as I couldn't decide if the brown batik would drag down the lovely accompanying fabric in whatever I made, or if the lovely stuff would lift it to acceptability by association.  Well, you tell me....

I used the FQ retreat goody bag, and a Google image for inspiration, which in itself was I think drawn from a Cluck Cluck Sew tutorial.   I used Innocent Crush for the leaves and hand stitched them on with perle.  I haven't decided yet whether to line the bag with a patchwork Innocent Crush made with the remains of the charm pack I have.

Today I went over to Charlotte's to pick up the Snow White fq, check the layout of the double A-side on her design wall..... oh, alright & to cuddle the puppy!

I took this photo of the Heather Ross side in the office at the weekend, and for some reason the proportions look odd, but trust me, in reality, they are fine!  The gaps at top and bottom will have the Snow White fabric in them.

Much as I love this, I wasn't sure it would fill the requirements for a pink quilt, and so you may remember I did another side with Aneela Hoey fabrics which definitely fits the brief!!  If you don't like pink, look away now!

 Hopefully it will all work out - there may be extra sashing needed to make up for seam allowances etc, but fingers crossed it will all come together wonderfully!  

So, that's what I've been working on this week, together with the raw circles hand quilting, which goes without saying!!  

Linking up with WIP Wednesday on Freshly Pieced.