Thursday, 31 March 2011

A little sunshine...

To try and brighten up this gloomy day, I have whipped up this sunny little number for my Dad. 

I really managed to get into the HUG last night, so I am planning the same again - working by colour - the brown is now finished, tonight I think I will do the red and start on the remaining cream.  I love that the 'G' is now there and the end is in sight!

Wednesday, 30 March 2011


Where to begin - not often I have more than one thing looking good at any one time!

Well the covers fit!  So relieved about that! 

The kids are already using them like... cushions - how dare they, don't they realise the effort they took?

And so, I took the bull by the horns and decided to tackle that inner circle once and for all.  Laptop to the ready I followed Lynne's instructions, mucked up the first attempt (fortunately not too far round) and then I kind of cracked it! 

OK so it isn't a perfect circle by mathematical standards, but I reckon when I get a bit of quilting on there and no-one will notice (they will be distracted by my even more wobbly quilting!).

So if you are still plucking up the courage, go for it - it wasn't as bad as I thought, but I'm glad I'm only doing the one though.

It's an early post today as I really need to get on with the HUG this evening.  I didn't start until after 9 last night and my counting was all over the place, so I need to try it awake if I don't want to spend more time unpicking than stitching!

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Please be seated...

I have just finished the third cushion cover, so we'll have to wait and see if they all fit tomorrow!!  Fingers crossed!!

I now, by order of Lynne, have to face my fears and cut the Dresden centre piece and have a go at that tomorrow too!!

I think I am going to have a sleepless night.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Sofa, so good...

No, I will not tire of corny puns, sorry!

The little fabric shop by work had the thread I wanted, so I got on and finished the second cushion this afternoon.  It's not the most inventive, but with the lining and hand-finished binding I am pretty pleased.

...and Laurie Wisbrun added me as a Contact on flickr and commented on yesterday's cover - big cheesy grin from me!

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Come in, take a seat...

Well despite losing an hour of lovely sleep, I managed to get my act together and crack on with cushion covers.

By lunch I had got as far as the binding on the first (yes, first!!).  I wanted to give the covers a bit of weight, so paired each piece with some light cotton, firstly tacking on the lining, pinning the pieces, zig-zagging the edges before attaching the binding.  Probably the most thorough I have ever been.

I then sat in the sun this afternoon and hand finished this little beauty...

I am pretty chuffed with the result!  I only mixed the patterns a little as I just couldn't make myself cut into this scrummy print too much!

The second, a more straight-forward square cushion, has been prepared up to binding, but I am a little bit lacking in green thread department, so I will have to nip to the shop after work tomorrow and get number two finished, hopefully in continuing sunshine!

I have another Tufted Tweets to piece, then I think I am going to go a little more adventurous on the pair of Sugar Pops!

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Chopping, changing and candyfloss...

I thought I would have a good go at the cushion covers this evening; so I ironed all those lovely Tufted Tweets, and got slicing.  However it was a short-lived affair as I kept changing my mind, and I realised how tired I was when the 'measure twice, cut once' mantra started going array - so I've quit before any irreparable damage! 

I blame the tiredness on the hours of cleaning, washing and ironing I did earlier, followed by a walk to the fun fair, a couple of rides, including the Teacups and too much candyfloss!

So some more HUG for me this evening - I am planning to get all that cream completed first.

Friday, 25 March 2011

I see U baby...

Whoopee!  I have a 'U'!  I stayed up late, (well it was after 10pm!) last night to get this finished.  I now have to decide whether to get on with the 'G' or tackle the other 'little pink hand' first and leave the 'G' until last...

So all my recent purchases will be getting a look in very soon - I promise to stop buying and start making!  With this lot for starters...

Lynne of the infamous QAL and Lily's Quilts has posted a great little tutorial on creating way lines, so I might have to have a go at that this weekend, in advance of sewing the Dresden inner-circle.  I am pretty good at unintentional wobbly lines, but that isn't quite the same thing!

Other weekend plans include a trip to the funfair and spending Sunday trying to locate all our clocks, watches and timers and then trying to work out how to change them!

Thursday, 24 March 2011

As if I haven't got enough to sew already...

I bought my first cross-stitch magasine for the first time in a few months today. 

There are a couple of really cute projects in there, as well as the freebie pin cushion kit, which I am going to put in my handbag along with a couple of needles so that I am never caught out!

Take a look at this caravan - absolutely superb, it comes with a Beetle, Campervan, Mini and bike!  I know I must finish the 'HUG' first, as I still only have a 'HU', but I think I will tackle a couple of quick projects before I go in for the 'KISS'! 

When the clocks go forward on Sunday, it'll mean an immediate hour of good sewing machine/quilting time after the kiddies have gone to bed and before the good light in the conservatory goes and I settle in front of the TV, needle in hand.

The postie also left me a note that he took a couple of big parcels back to the depot this morning - so hopefully tomorrow I will be picking up my Tufted Tweets and freezer paper...  that will be a brilliant start to the weekend!

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

A mixed bag...

Lots to impart tonight...

Firstly please pop over to super-Sarah's blog, Pings & Needles and read about how she and we can help via Modern Relief Japan - I think the reasons need no explanation here, but the how to get involved isn't always so obvious, so do take a look.

Feeling like you should be on the telly? (Like you do!) Then take a look at last night's MADE post.  It got me all giddy for about 2 seconds before I remembered that I really didn't want to look like a twerp on national TV, especially in front of my heroine!  But if you are a bit more gutsy than me - Kirstie Allsopp is looking for crafters to join her for a new series!  If anyone wants to join her, and needs a lift - I'll play taxi driver, bag carrier and general dog's body for the day!

And lovely talented Verity at Miss Ginger Makes is having a giveaway!  She has a copy of 'Knit Your Own Royal Wedding' that could be mine/yours, how funny is that!?

Finally the postman was my friend today, some of my recent purchases arrived... yum!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011


The revised templates for the QAL are all cut and I am having a dilemma.  I am going to wait for the freezer paper to cut my centrepiece, however I am not sure what to put in there, (anyone involved in any of the Flickr discussions is barred from commenting UNLESS it is to do with quilting!!).

I have narrowed it down to a choice of 3, bearing in mind I only had 7 layer cake slices to start with, and now I have none...

I could use a little Wild Thyme...

Or some of this, I forget what it is...

Or most probably I will go with the cream/white spot that I am using for the outer circle.  There will be some skinny sashing with the Dresden offcuts to break up the outer fabric. 

I am just a bit unsure how forgiving the lighter, less patterned fabric will be when I come to attaching it... I will definitely have to have the seam ripper ready when we get to that bit!

Monday, 21 March 2011

Cushion decisions...

I've been playing with my cushions again this evening and have ordered some more fabric to create my masterpieces - some more Tufted Tweets and a couple of solids from Mandy, and some Sugar Pop yardage from Fabric Rehab.

I also indulged in some...

Which I have never used, but seems to be a necessity!

And some... 
Which I have never tried but heard great things - any experience folks?

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Dresden sewing, maths and a little bit of shopping...

I took the plunge and stitched together the dresden plate sections this morning just to see what my measurements would come out like - my inner diameter, and therefore outer diameter are an inch less than 'expected' even though I cut and stitched those 1/4" seams as near as damn it!

Mind you, if the inner edges are 1.5" and there are 21 with 1/4" seams each side, then as Diameter = 2 x 3.142 x radius, then 21 = 2 x 3.142 x 3.34  which would be a 6.68" diameter not the 7" expected...  With fabric cuts and seams, that's 42 possible areas of error and would be an average of  0.016" out on each, so I don't feel so bad now!  If only my quilting was half as good as my maths I'd be happy!  Please don't tell me my maths is wrong too or I'll probably cry!

I don't seem to be the only one coming up with random diameters big and small, and lovely Lynne has promised she will see us right.  Patience of a saint!

Other than that, today we went to the garden centre after lunch for 'pudding', ie. ice cream, and the kids spent a good half hour or so climbing and making friends in the play area, and I got some new welly boots!

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Sunny Saturday...

After the frost of all frosts, today was

I popped to the fabric shop to see if I could get some cheap backing for my Boutique quilt, but to no avail.  I then tried one of the charity shops, avoiding the sheets (I just could not go down that route - eugh!) so it was curtains for me!  A pair of plain, cotton, creamy-flecked linen-type affair which will be useful for a few projects for £5.  Result.

As much as I wanted to tinker with my dresden plate, the sunshine was too tempting!  So I finished an old project at last, the Conran filing cabinet has finally been Hammerited!  The underfloor heating is currently finishing the drying out.  It looks so much better than that old fablon!

And then I sat in the sun... bliss.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Gotta love a Giveaway or 2!!

Lily's Quilts QAL and Flickr group are getting more fascinating by the day, and dipping in and out of lots of the other participant's blogs is getting a bit addictive!

One superb fabric selection on Flickr caught my eye and it linked back to from the blue chair, not only is the said blue chair upholstered in one of my favourite fabrics, Laurie Wisbrun's Chairs (currently in my cushion cover 'to do' pile), and matched with the best blue ever, but Kati is also a mum of twins, we have the same current favourite colour scheme and she's having a giveaway of the fabrics that I swooned over in the first place!  So with many coincidences, I am bound to be the winner, but you could have a go too!

Lynne has also alerted us to an April 1st Blogaversary giveaway; so I'm keepin' 'em peeled for that for sure.

Not much else to report this evening - I spent the whole afternoon making cakes and biscuits with the kids, so now I am going to grab the HUG, watch Comic Relief and relax, oh and eat cakes and biscuits!

Thursday, 17 March 2011

I'm on to U!

I have started the 'U'!!

I had a bit of a frustrating evening, being unable to count to 7 correctly and then unpicking the bits that were right, but eventually the next letter is definitely on it's way!

I am so glad that I completed the bottom border sooner rather than later, instead of leaving it until after the 'G', as that felt like a long slog.  I am getting even more excited about seeing it finished now!

Pretty sure I am not going to be done in 60 days, (people keep wanting to be fed, and work expects me to turn up everyday!), so I have set a very arbitrary goal of 75 days to complete it...

If you read last night's post - I must re-iterate that I am so pleased to have joined the QAL and posted my fabric picture on Flickr.  The comments have been so lovely and encouraging - definitely a confidence boost; thank you everyone, especially Lynne, who now knows what it is like to have the largest, naughtiest class in school! 

Eat your heart out Saint Jamie and your Dream School - try mustering these 200 fabric-fanatical, very chatty and probably quite crazy women into doing what they're told, all at the same time!  20 teenagers, easy-peasy!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Decision made...finally!

I have officially started my first fully-fledged QAL with Lynne, and million others at Lily's Quilts.

For those unfamiliar; and in this small world of inter-twining 'bloglives' that's not going to be many of you, Lynne is leading what is already turning out to be, a mammoth and wonderful QAL. 

I was in, then out, then undecided, then this afternoon I figured, throw caution to the wind and give a one block mini-quilt a go.  The pace is going to be just right for me with my limited quilting prowess and 'oh-so-busy' (aka alternatively frantic then flat-out-exhausted) life!  I'm leaving the full 6 block masterpieces to far more skilled folk than myself.

So I found the right amount of remaining It's A Hoot to make up the Dresden plate (oooh get me and my terminology), cut some pieces, arranged and instantly decided against it - those slices had been left/avoided/ignored for a reason!

Then I remembered I had side-lined another batch with the cushion-making stash, and bingo, I think this is going to work!

So Lynne, Sarah, Shevvy and anyone else who's 'In', I'm with you, better late than never. 

For those who haven't seen or joined, we're only meant to be at the fabric-buying, pattern-cutting stage, so you'll catch up in zero time.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

First Love...

A little diversion this evening as this man has a lot to answer for at the moment!

One of the twins is besotted with the 'lovely, fablious Jamie-30-minute-meals', for that is actually his real name!

From the moment she wakes, until she kisses his picture at bedtime with a 'Good Night, I love you', I am asked where he lives, can we go there, can she take her own cutlery round to his for tea, and can she borrow my 'marriage dress and clip-clop shoes' to marry him in?  It is incessant!

This has been going on for days, all down to the Comic Relief cookbook

We are trying to decide what to make on Friday, purely for our own consumption.  I wouldn't inflict anything we will produce on anyone who isn't 'family'!  I'm quite happy to make and eat the lot.

Are you doing anything 'funny for money' this week?

Watch out Joolz, there's a determined young lady with eyes on your man!

Monday, 14 March 2011

Oh dodecahedrons!

One day I promise I will read instructions, think things through logically, follow said instructions and come out with the required result!  For now, my 'ball' is actually a greater-spotted dodecahedron!  It seems to have gone down a treat with my 3 youngest critics, so I'm happy with that!

I unpicked the wonky whipstitching, and whizzed round again (equally as wonky) with 3 strands of embroidery silk, but didn't really pay attention to the ridges I was creating.  Hence there was no slack to flatten out the seams when I was done.  Ho hum... live and learn!

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Ideal Home Show... part 2

So here are the freebies I collected on my day out yesterday; not as much as last year - that's probably just a sign of the times, but a good haul none-the-less (there was a dark chocolate KitKat too, but I seem to have eaten that!).

The ribbon, ric-rac and pom-poms I bought at £10 for the 5, which I thought was fantastic.  No plans for them as yet - the pom-poms aren't as big as I am planning for the HUG and KISS, but I have plenty of time to practice with these before they are finished!

Oh, and there's the small pot of edible glitter!

As promised here's a picture of the patchwork ball so far - on looking now, without train-motion, I think I could have done a whole lot better - so I may be doing a lot of unpicking and stitching on the wrong-side, or using embroidery thread, I'm still undecided.

Today has been the lazy day I probably should have had yesterday - a bit of HUGing, grey skies and family time.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Ideal Home Show...

I made it up to London, but my chest infection left me totally exhausted after just a couple of hours, so I was home by 3.30pm, but I'm still glad I went.

I managed to get a little sewing done on the way up; threading a needle with the bouncing of the train wasn't so easy - I'll post some pictures of my efforts tomorrow.  Coming home I was content to just relax and listen to the dilemmas of a girl on her mobile for the whole journey!

I didn't spend much money, but got some lovely ric-rac and ribbon, and gave in to the temptation of edible glitter, well it wouldn't be a proper trip to the IHS without buying something you really don't need!  I got a few nice goody bags too.  Again I'll take some pictures of my haul tomorrow - I just haven't the energy this evening!

But for now, here are some pictures that summarise my visit... from Marching Bands to the funniest Royal Wedding cake ever!   A little celeb spotting, George Clarke, Dairmuid Gavin, Matt Dawson, Tommy Walsh and Billy from DIY SOS; lots of macaroons and meringues and just a little home decor inspiration!

Words fail me!