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!