Saturday, 31 December 2011

SSCS 2011

For whatever reason I have been unable to access my blog for a few days ( I think DH has been fiddling with settings on our server though he is admitting nothing - lol )

So I have been unable to show my bounty from Chookyblues annual swap.  Don't worry though I sent a thankyou email on Boxing Day to my partner Deb for my wonderful goodies.  Here's what I received

All I can say is - how fantastic !!  Such lovely items - gorgeous fabrics and beautifully stitched.  I feel very lucky indeed. 

Close-up of  " Mary " - even down to the little painted shoes.

Was well worth waiting til Christmas Day for... Thanks Deb xxx

And here's what I sent to my partner Tracey

Machine pieced and hand quilted Mini.

Scrappy zipped bag and hand knitted welsh wool hat.
Little felt tree ornament.
What a great swap yet again.  Many thanks to Chooky - she is taking some well-deserved time off to herself just now and who can blame her - can you imagine how many hours she has put into organising this ?

I was going to end the year by listing my UFO's but that was too much like hard work.  For now I am simply saying I will NOT start anything in January and work on some of my many WIP's.  I just could not resist joining in with the quilt-a-long on Jeanne's blog. I do not plan on making one a day though as I know I will never keep that up so will probably just stop when I've had enough.  I am making mine a bit bigger too - 5 inches.  I have re-drafted the block and made plastic templates and have been going through my scraps tracing out the little pieces.  I have quite a few ready to go.  Was a bit naughty and stitched one up just to test it out.  Which was a good thing as I had stitched the door unit and window units together wrongly - silly me.  Have re-done this now...

so technically as this block is done the project is now officially not a January start - haha - have I convinced you ?

Have a very Happy New Year folks and look forward to seeing what crafty goodness 2012 brings !!!

Monday, 5 December 2011

A lovely package

Hurray - my SSCS parcel arrived a few days ago ( been meaning to post but my DH has "man-flu" and we all know how that goes - lol ).

The main present is tucked away safely for Christmas Day but I was allowed to open this

A cute gift in itself.  Inside was this very sweet little bag.

What a beauty - lovely, lovely, lovely !!

I am debating whether to snoop around Chooky's blog to see who my partner is but I think I will wait and see til I am allowed to open the card that came with the gift.

Thanks mystery partner - I look forward to opening my pressie - not long now.....

Sunday, 27 November 2011

The best laid plans...

Now my SSCS is off on it's long journey ( 3 days before the deadline I'll have you know - lol ) I cast my eyes around my sewing area in search of something to do. Remember those half square triangles from last but one post ?

I have been working on those and decided to make 35 blocks for a 5 by 7 setting.  I did not have enough little units for these so have spent quite a bit of time making more.  Added some side strips and here are 2 blocks.

Was going great guns when I realised I had mis-calculated and only made 34 blocks.  Decided to call it a day and make the last block the next morning before sewing them altogether. However next morning I was checking my blog list and came across this tutorial....What fun this looked - haha

Casting my mind around I remembered a pile of fabrics I had put together when I was unable to sew due to my back injury.  These were all fabrics that I loved but would they actually go together ?  I think my painkillers were at work when I put these together in a basket as there was quite a lot of clashing - lol !  Oh well - I would either love it or hate it and so off I went.

I have spent a very enjoyable Saturday afternoon making my blocks and have 12 all ready to go.  Funny thing - I showed Jason a few together and his very words were " It's a bit busy love "  haha - great fun this quilting business.

See you soon xx

Friday, 18 November 2011

IF . . .

If I were a more organised person....

If I didn't leave things until last minute...

If I didn't change my mind at the drop of a hat....

...... I would now be busy cutting and sewing quarter square little-bitty blocks for Bonnies new mystery quilt - Orca Bay...

Instead I am stitching my fingers to the bone finishing my SSCS gifts for my partner.  I can hear Chooky cracking her whip.  I have never been late for a swap before and don't intend to start now.  I'm sooo nearly there....just a bit more to go and then - the mystery beckons - lol !!

Hope you all have a nice weekend.  Any more SSCS participants doing the last minute thing ??

Monday, 14 November 2011

A special quilt.

Here is some of my secret sewing which a secret no more.  Let me show you what I used some of my precious stash of Bliss fabric for.

I have been blogging for 6 years or so and in that time have made lots of wonderful friendships - they may be with people I have yet to meet - someday - but are none the less special for that.  One of these has been with Karol-Ann and over the years we have swapped many emails along with fabric, gifts for each other and our children and so on.  We have nearly got to meet several times but not quite managed it - I'm sure we'll get there in the end - lol !  Anyway Karol-Ann was recently very clever and gave birth to a beautiful baby girl ( actually on my birthday ) and so I wanted to make a quilt for her.  Karol-Ann and I both share a love of hexagons ( her rose hexagon quilt is stunning ) and so it was the obvious choice.  Here it is

and a close-up.

Hand and machine pieced and mainly hand quilted - the border was machine quilted though as I ran out of time and we all know babies wait for no-one !! 

I had the most lovely thankyou email which I have saved.  Karol-Ann has posted pictures on her blog of the little lady herself wrapped in my quilt which made it all worthwhile.  What a little beauty she is - bless.

More secret sewing has been going on but this I can't reveal yet as it it for my SSCS - almost done which is a good thing as mailing time is almost here.

My latest project is going to involve a bag of leftover half square triangles which yesterday looked like this

stay tuned for this - I have a plan.

And also today I bumped into my oldest friend ( we met on the first day of school when we were 4 years old )  She had a baby girl last year - also coincidentally born on my birthday - whose name is Charlotte.  She was born when my back pain was really bad and so I never got around to making her anything.  Obviously that will have to be rectified too - best get busy.

Take care xx

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

A new start

to regular posting I hope.....

First up the winer of my birthday giveaway was number 6 ( random number generated ) and that turned out to be Mereth - which is serendipity as we actually share a birthday.  Please send me your address and I'll have a wander up to the post office.

As I have a lot to get through I think I will add a bit at a time and show you what I did yesterday.  Occasionally I dabble in a bit of cross stitch - a while back I finished a little piece and it had sat in a box for ages.  I was out in town yesterday and came across a place selling frames.  I bought one with the intention of getting this cross stitch in the frame even though I couldn't remember the size.  Really I was just hoping it would fit and hurray - it did !

A couple of weeks ago I was inspired by Lucy at attic24 to pick up my crochet hook and start a rippley blanket.  Now my quilts are normally scrappy but for this blanket I chose just 3 colours and started.  I bought a couple of balls of each colour just to see if I liked it.  I loved it and here's where the saga began.
Jess ( my daughter ) went back to the shop for me 2 days later to get some more for me ( as she was close by ) and could only get 2 colours as the other one was now out of stock.
No problem - I went online and ordered more.  The website stated it was in stock and would be despatched the next working day.  As I ordered it on a Saturday night I was expecting it to arrive no later than Wednesday.  After the postman had been - with no sign of my wool - I gave them a ring.  They said they were out of stock of one of the colours ( nice of them to tell me ) but would send the rest.  The out of stock colour would be in 2 days later and would follow.
The first parcel arrived with what they had and yes it was the same colour missing.
So I phoned a place where I get my fabric ( Abakhan Fabrics ) and they said they had the whole range in stock.  So off I went in my car to discover that actually they were out of just one colour - guess which one it was .......... Unbelievable.
  The online shop still has not sent the rest of my order after another week and are not answering my emails. Just marvellous.  Anyway here is where I've come to a halt on this...This isWendy Sorrento yarn and is a cotton/acrylic mix and is so soft and gorgeous.

And here is the other one I started out of sheer frustration.  This is using the lovely design Lucy is using..

This one will be a present for my son Patrick who feels the cold as he is so skinny ( more meat on a butchers pencil )

I have enough wool for this one so have learned my lesson - lol !

And after my disappointment with the Bliss fabric I have been tracking a bit of it down - here's my haul so far.

Well that's enough for now - more to come later in the week xxxx

Saturday, 22 October 2011

I'll be back later in the week to show you what I've been up to in my absence.  May do lots of little posts because I've been flitting about like mad - bit of this, bit of that and lots of stash enhancement. 

 On my travels I picked up these nice feedsack repro fat quarters and bought them to giveaway on here as it's my birthday today and I wanted to say thanks for coming here to read my posts.  Over the last year I have not been as committed to my blog as I was for the first few years - this was mainly due to my back injury.  Although it is still not quite 100% it is so much better now and I'm feeling a bit more like my old self. 

So if you want these leave me a comment and I'll pick a winner on Wednesday night.  I will also post anywhere xxxxx

The fabrics are much nicer than the photo - had to take it with my phone as my camera is playing up.........

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Back soon

Laid up with a nasty bout of tonsilitis passed on to me by my DD Jess - cheers sweetheart :-(

Got loads to tell so will be back as soon as I can xxx

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Bliss - or not !!

I'm still plugging away on those Wheel of Fortune blocks. I can see why it became a UFO - those little pointy bits are seriously fiddly. Not sure when the quilt will be finished but at least progress is being made - albeit slowly. One things for sure no progress was being made when it was stuffed away in a box...
Now a little story. I very rarely buy a full range of one fabric. I am a scrappy quilter and love using allsorts of bits from here and there. However now and again a certain range shouts out at me and I have serious fabric envy. Because fabric prices are really expensive in my neck of the woods thats usually as far as it gets. Recently though I bought a small pack of Bliss by Bonnie and Camille for Moda and absolutely loved it. I know this range was out last year so thought I had no chance of getting any more.
I was browsing around on and discovered an auction for the full fat quarter set of Bliss and thought - why not ! One little problem was that the seller would only ship within the US. So I enlisted the help of my lovely friend Gail ( ) -blogger not letting me do links - who very kindly agreed to let me have the fabric shipped to her and then she would post it over to me.
So I waited up til 1am on the end of the auction and some frantic bidding later I won - hurray. Very tired the next day but I was so pleased it was mine. I emailed the seller Gails address and just asked him to confirm he would be sending it there and not to my address that was registered with my paypal account. All well and good he replied that it was fine.
Gail was on standby to receive the package and said she would let me know when it arrived. Days passed - then a few more - then a few more. Well time was getting on so I decided to get in touch with the seller after Gail confirmed it had not arrived.
I sent a very polite email asking if he could let me know the date he had shipped it so I would know when it was coming. I had no reply. So a couple of days later I sent another and this time I got an answer. He was really sorry but had made a mistake in re-listing the bundle when in actual fact he did not have it to sell. He said he had sent me a message the previous week when he had refunded my money. Whaaatt ? I had neither and told him so. I was very cheesed off at this point and thought I was going to have some fun getting my money back. I had paid him practically a hundred dollars ! I went to bed feeling very disgruntled. However by next morning he had refunded me.
I'm not sure what would have happened if I had not gotten in touch - 3 weeks after I paid him I had my money back but no fabric. Very sad - I had such plans for this fabric. Ooh the quilts I have made with it in my head is nobodys business - lol !
Here is a photo from the web of what I haven't got - waaaa.
One last thing - if any of you use eBay - do you think I should leave negative feedback or not ? I have never had a problem with buying or selling before in the 8 years I have been a member. I will be interested to see what you think.
Have a lovely weekend. We have been out and about quite a lot lately and I am looking forward to staying put and getting some stitches in xxx

Friday, 19 August 2011

Twin quilts !

Well my sewing marathon was brilliant - I can certainly see where all my time goes. When it was just me to see to I had so much time to play with fabric. I lived on salads and did the absolute minimum of housework and sewed until whatever time I wanted. I was really glad to see my boys home but it was fun. Wouldn't like it too often though - lol !
Anyway the upshot was I got most of the twin quilts pieced and in the days after I did the applique names panels - then onto quilting and binding. Here is Cherry's quilt.

And here is Pepper's
Unusual names I know - seems to be the thing with the younger parents. I have seen photos and they are beautiful little girls.
A little close-up of the fabrics and the black polka dot stuff hat I added to tone down the brightness. When DD Jess said she wanted bright and colourful I took her at her word - lol !

And look at this stripey fabric I used for binding - it is an older fabric and I just knew it would come in handy at some point.

As an added bonus I had overcut the brick shaped pieces and had enough to use ( along with some kitty fabric ) to make 2 quilts for Project Linus. These are finished too.

Now they're done the relief is brilliant. Jess attended the baby's christening but none of the gifts were opened at the time. However later on the baby's Mum sent Jess a lovely text to thank her for the gifts and to ask where on earth she had gotten those beautiful quilts as they were just amazing. She said her husband was speechless when he saw them - so of course that made it all worthwhile. Jess is apparently going to "pay" me for making them but not seen any cash yet - lol ! All fabric was from stash so I have just said I will give her them at cost price - haha. She would fall in a heap if I charged her what they're really worth. She is a good girl and I was pleased to make them for her to give her friend so it's all good.
Anyway I have been doing all sorts of other bits and pieces but last night I was really tired and instead of my usual couple of hours handsewing I started flicking through some magazines. Saw a lovely quilt in one of them which got my brain whirling. It was called Wagon Wheels and as the name suggests involved circles - I love circley things - lol ! Well before I got myself in trouble by starting something else I went rootling in my various boxes and baskets and dug out a UFO. Started over 4 years ago I think. It is called Wheel of Fortune. I sent to US for templates from John Flynn and used a pack of fabric from eBay. Can't remember fabric name - tropical jungle or something. I made 1 block ( nearly ) and because the inner didn't fit the outer properly I lost interest and stuck the whole lot in a box and that's where it's been ever since. Here is the almost completed block
And I also had another 11 of these inner bits done but without the spikey bits added. I think the trouble was my seam allowance was too big and there was a lot of fullness to ease in and it doesn't look very good.

Spent a bit of time with my unpicker last night and going to see what I can do to this over the weekend. Will update you soon
have fun xxx

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Summer Sewing.

I am doing a fair bit of sewing but not so much blogging. Hopefully I will catch up eventually. I can hardly believe this but I have the next 2 WHOLE days to myself as DH and DS are going on a fishing trip up the coast. I have greatly encouraged this - purely in their interests of course - lol ! They are going to the beautiful island of Anglesey ( home to Prince William and Kate ). DD Jess will hardly be here as she is working lots of hours in her job so I have STACKS of time to sew. It is hot here just now so I will be firing up my fan and sewing like a madwoman - yeeha !!

It seems at the moment I have 10 million projects on the go but I am going to concentrate on something in particular. Jess is going to a christening at the end of August and has asked me to make a quilt as a gift - - - - for each baby - - - - - that's right - - twins !!!

I have never before made quilts for twins and so I thought the simplest thing is to make 2 the same but put their names on them ( btw - both are girls ) . I spent nearly four hours the other day cutting out 2.5 by 4.5 inch bricks in BRIGHT colours as requested by Jess.

I am calling them rainbow quilts and here's where I'm up to.....

I am adding 4 rows to each quilt at a time so as not to get too confused. I have drawn up a diagram ( very unlike me ) and following it as I sew. With a bit of luck I will get the main bits done over the next couple of days and then add names and applique. I have the perfect binding for these and am sure I will get them done in time.

I realised I haven't shown you another baby quilt that was recently completed. This quilt practically made itself as the half square tris were already made for something else ( which I changed my mind over half way through ) and so the pinwheel blocks went together really quickly. Once the top was done I searched my stash for backing and found a piece of baby blue fleece in just the right size. And once quilted I had a gander in my extra bit of binding tin and found a great big piece in a lovely matching blue - serendipity - lol !

Here it is - simple but sweet.

I am so over making baby quilts for a while - although 2 friends have recently become pregnant - and you know what that means ???

I leave you with a picture of some of the most important men in my life. My fantastic nephew Jamie just graduated and we are all very proud of him. Obviously thats him in the middle with my DH on the left and my Dear Dad on the right. Well done Jamie - all he needs to do now is find a job - which in todays situation here could prove a bit of a challenge - he is very keen to earn some money - lol !

One more sleep and my sewing marathon will begin.

Take carexx

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Needlecase swap

A little while ago I joined a Yahoo group organised by Kathleen Tracy. She is the owner of several lovely books dedicated to making small quilts. Just as I joined there was the starting up of a needlecase swap and of course I signed up. My partner was Donna ( no blog ) and this is what I received.

And here it is opened up showing all the lovely pockets.

Donna told me she was quite a new quilter and was a little nervous about doing this but as you can see she had no need to worry as it is just brilliant. It is in use already as I took it to a workshop last week with all my bits and bobs in it. Thanks Donna. She also included some little extras - scissors, needles and fabric but I don't have a photo for some reason.

Anyway here is what I sent to Donna.

She requested modern fabrics which stumped me a little as I don't really do trendy stuff but anyway this is what I came up with. I tried to do modern with traditional and so turned to paper pieced hexagons and then hand quilted it.

Here it is inside.

I also chucked in some extra pieces of the fabrics I'd used for Donna to do with what she liked.

This was a nice swap - no pressure and I've also made a new friend as Donna is a lovely lady and we are keeping in touch.

Thanks for all your encouraging comments on my last post. I just don't seem to be able to get time to reply and that makes me feel a bit guilty. My DD is quite poorly at the moment and I am a bit side-tracked I suppose. Hopefully she is on the mend now - fingers crossed xxx

Friday, 3 June 2011

A few finishes

My poor neglected blog - lol ! The more I thought to update the busier I seemed to become and my blog suffered. I am going to try my best this next week to get up to date and see how I go. I must admit I have toyed with the idea of finishing blogging - I am into my fifth year now - and just don't seem to have the enthusiasm I once had for it. For now I am going to carry on and have a think about it.

Anyway here is my cross stitch picture all finished.

And here it is after having it professionally framed. I haven't done a lot of cross stitch really so I am beyond thrilled with how it's turned out. This photo looks a bit light - the top one is truer.

It is called Midnight Moggies and was great fun to stitch. You may know I am a cat lover and have 3 real fur babies of my own. I have a spot on the wall lined up for this - just need some bits for fixing as it weighs a lot and is quite big. I think it took the best part of a year on and off but I'm glad I perservered. My last big cross stitch took about 10 years so a definite improvement - lol.

Next up my Mum asked me to make a baby quilt for a neighbour's grand-daughter. With no plan in mind I raided my pink fabrics along with a bit of green and cut some rectangles. Which I turned into this ( or rather 3 of them )

Added some white as the pink was just too MUCH pink ! And hey presto

A shot of my very boring machine quilting - the usual meander and swirly stuff in the sashing. I really enjoyed doing this braid design - grows like mad and before you know it you have a huge long strip. Good fun !

Onto baby quilt number 2. I wanted to use this as I've never had one before.

Bit fiddly cutting all the odd size strips equally but after adding a few of my own fabrics it came out like this.

Awful photo I know - think I need a new camera as mine is old now.

Close-up of some of the cute fabrics. Lollipop by Moda. Really simple straight line quilting on this one. I also discovered when working on this that I far prefer to sew with pre-washed fabric. The first thing I normally do when I buy fabric is wash it but I know many of you don't. Personally I don't really like cutting and sewing the unwashed stuff. Just my preference.

I have a few more things to show but blogger seems to be playing up a little. I'll just show you what I spent a couple of hours doing yesterday.

Removing papers and tacking from a whole quilt that I want to get ready for hand-quilting. Going to piece the backing over the weekend and get going on that next week.

have a nice weekend - we are supposed to have glorious sunshine xx

Friday, 29 April 2011

Stitching away

I am currently stitching my fingers away trying to finish a cross stitch picture so if I'm quiet for a while you'll know why. I have shown this before on my blog and the last time it looked like this.

I have done loads since and the end is in sight. I haven't done an awful lot of cross stitch - think I'm too impatient as it's very slow going - lol ! I would like to have this finished as soon as possible as I have lots of hand work lined up.

For a bit of fun I have entered a quilt into the weekly Quilting Gallery Competition Click the link to see all the quilts.

I have entered my olympic Challenge quilt which has appearred on here several times. It was hand-pieced during the Olympic Games in 2008 and contained a piece of every fabric in my stash at the time. I'm sure if I did the same again now it would make a far bigger quilt - lol ! Think my stash has grown somewhat since then :-)

I have never done this before and I am just hoping I will not be last in the voting - argghh - lol !!

With a bit of luck I will be able to show you my completed cross stitch next time. I have lots to show you too but am trying to limit my computer time to get this done. Fingers crossed