Thursday, 31 May 2012

Last minute...

Well sadly the pink crate has been sent back to the garage, and the big guns have been called down from the loft - having tried in vain to get everything in, I have resorted to the good old wheelie-holdall, which, quite literally holds all I need to take to Retreat and leaves me with a free hand to wave with!

No photo, it's blue, and boring, so I might have to do something about that!

I have finished everything I wanted to get done before Saturday, (although I have that niggle that there was something I didn't write down as it was so so obvious I wouldn't forget, and now I can't remember).

Here's my final flurry of making...

...more of Nova's little +x brooches - I'm still undecided whether they look cutely 'rustic' or just like I let my kids loose with fabric, thread and scissors!  Hey ho.

I have now finished work until 11th June, so I am rather happy about that.  I've played my refreshment-monitor role at the school disco this evening, and now just have the cleaning and weekend shopping to do tomorrow morning; I don't want those staying at home to starve or catch anything nasty.  Then it'll be all about the nail varnish and the 'mummy time'!

Anyhow, I will see most of you tomorrow for Fresh Sewing Day on June the 1st, for goodness sake already!

And for those who will be in London tomorrow - have a good start and I'll catch you bright and early on Saturday xxx

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Getting there...

Well the bobbins have been wound and I am almost ready for Retreat...

Even now though, I am having an absolute nightmare trying to work out how to get all the necessary, and unnecessary gubbins up to town on Saturday morning.

I am not even going to contemplate the 'what if it rains' scenario, but have seriously had to factor in the 'I don't have a Sherpa to hand and will have to cart the tonne of stuff all by myself' scenario.

So I have pulled out my pink trolley - purchased at the Ideal Home Show last year to cart all the freebies about, so I know I have managed to get it on the tube and train OK, but the added 'bonus' of a sewing machine is not making this much fun!

Hopefully I will get it sorted in a trial 'load and lift' tomorrow, otherwise I will have to send hubby up into the loft-inferno to find a suitcase.

Right, last bits to make this evening, so I'll be off xxx

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Ok just one more for luck...


The last one, I promise...

PS twinnie was back at school and life is good xxx

Edited to say... I have the most shocking internet connection on my mobile phone at home, but looking forward to free WI-FI in that there London, so that I can blog when I am at Retreat... I think I have sussed it - but if it all goes wrong, I am sorry - I have tried my best xxx

More trial and error...

Please excuse my nonsense this evening... You'll be grateful if this works!


FQ prep...

Monday, 28 May 2012


I had an unexpected day off work today as we awoke to a poorly twin, so I spent much of the day holding back hair, offering water and doing the mummy-thing.

I was therefore pretty pushed for anything pleasant to tell you about until an unexpected email arrived from Amy at Amy's Creative Side a couple of hours ago.  Guess what - the Rainbow Cherry Star got nominated into the final five in the ROYGBIV category - how exciting!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Amy's Creative Side

Not only have I made it through to voting stage, so have many of my friends including Laura-Jane and her Brit Bee quilt, the 2 Charlottes, Newland and Dumesny, Leanne and Kelly!!  So please pop over, take a look and cast your votes in the 15 categories.  I am up against stiff competition, but I am totally thrilled to have reached this stage.  Thank you so so much if you nominated my quilt xxx

So as to not leave you without a pretty picture or two, how about these...

Yesterday Nova came to my 'hand-sewing, need for quick makes and last minute gifts' rescue!

Her lovely tute uses Liberty scraps to make x+ brooches, as part of her monthly challenge from Brit Bee Jo, but being completely devoid of Liberty, (bar a couple of V&A FQs which will remain untouched as they were the first quilting fabrics I ever bought!), I raided the scrap bags, and I have a few more to finish tonight.

So those were the ups and downs of my day; I hope you had more ups than downs to start your week xxx

Sunday, 27 May 2012


Yesterday school celebrated the Jubilee.  A week early, but some of us are away next weekend, and it also falls at the beginning of half term, so having the school open wasn't really an option.

The sun shone, there were cakes and drinks, bubbles, a bouncy castle and live music.  We all took picnics and for 3 hours or so we just had a lovely time.

I took my stint on the cake stall without major incident, and generally enjoyed being part of our great community.

Anyhow, about an hour before we were set to go, I had that pang of what to wear (I get that a lot!).

The girls had their red/white/blue fake hair strand clipped in place, father and son weren't fussed about playing along, but I had an idea.

Some of this...

...soon became this...

As modelled by my doppelgänger...


Saturday, 26 May 2012

Pre-FQ London Linky Party!

Well I am not the first to the party by any means, but I am here now after an exhausting day 'doing it for the Queen' - more on that tomorrow.

Fat Quarterly

So as is the case with many of the Retreat-goers, it took all of one sleep to purchase my ticket after they went on sale at the beginning of December; (I just checked my emails - tickets on sale notification 2pm on the Thursday, hotel reserved before 5pm, and ticket bought before 7am on the Friday), so to say I was eager to be there is a bit of an understatement!

I have literally been counting down the days and can't believe this time next week I will have met so many of my online friends for the first time!!!  I have only met Terri out of any 'friends' that are going, and she is the only one who has met me ;)

For those who are popping in for the first time today, I look a bit like this...

OK, maybe more like number 4's Mum!
I actually hate having my photo taken!

I am 41, have a long-suffering husband who is also my best friend and will be responsible for keeping the kids, (7 year old son and 5 year old twin girls) alive all by himself for 36 hours!

We live in a pretty village in West Sussex, (fortunately for the small folk, it has a Fish & Chip shop, Tesco Express and other necessities for survival), and I will be coming to Retreat by train early on Saturday morning, meeting Nicky on the way.  Hello Nicky!

I have been 'preparing' for months, literally...

Look there's snow in the background!
I will be wearing this...

And I am still trying to figure out just how to get all this...

...plus my old sewing machine up to town in the least ridiculous manner.

I have been sewing since school, Dress 'O' Level to be precise, stopped whilst I had way better things to do like drinking and travelling, but took up quilting and making lovely things, or maybe just buying lots of fabric, almost 2 years ago.  I had to make a few samples for my C&G Interior Design and got the sewing bug again.

I work part-time as a Civil Servant, but you are likely to find out that I can be most uncivil and will probably be found swearing in a corner with Susan and being asked to 'keep it down a bit'.

Can you believe we have not got a single class together, I cannot think why!

I am a Brit Bee and proud, also a Stitch-Teaser and all-round gobby cow, (well, when the nerves have subsided).

I will be paper-piecing with Kerry, embroidering with Aneela, making a Union Jack cushion with my old mucker Lynne and finally making frame-purses with Katy (which reminds me, our idea of fancy dress and jubilee hats seems to have fallen by the wayside!).

I am equally excited and silently freaking out about being there, I know I am not alone in that.

I am staying at the Radisson, and kind of thinking they do not have a clue what is about to descend on their beautiful hotel!

I just need to try and work out if I can email/blog/upload pics to flickr and here by phone along with making a few more bits and pieces, going to work, packing and shopping for some clothes that won't make me look like a Russian Eurovision entrant, even though I love their aprons!

So that's me xxx

Friday, 25 May 2012

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Winner Time

I am blown away by the response I have had to my little giveaway!  Your thoughts on what you think of as typically British were great!  I am sitting here with a cup of tea, apologies, it's actually a mug, not a delicate teacup and saucer, and I am not wearing a hat of any shape or size. 

Today though, in typically British-style I must tell you that the weather was beautiful, and I went to visit a 900 year old castle...

I want to officially welcome all the new followers who chose to sign up during the giveaway, hope you will stick around for my daily witterings - I've topped 400, that's amazing!  Thank you.

So without further ado, Mr Random Number Generator has plucked lucky number 188...

(Please note, in the interest of fairness I have just done a bit of housekeeping and had to remove 3 or 4 comments that were duplicates before drawing, so your comment number may have shifted about a bit in the last hour!).

And in case you haven't skipped straight to this bit anyway, that's you Amy of Amy's Crafty Shenanegans...

Congratulations Amy - I will email you in a mo'.

Thankfully Amy was not a No Reply blogger, because then I would of had to pick again.  Please make sure you aren't, or if you are, always, always add your email address to your comment.  Check here if you are unsure.

I will leave you with just a few more pictures of my day...

Tomorrow I will be Jubilant!

Thursday, 24 May 2012

A promise is a promise...

...and I promised some finishes.

So the strips I showed you the other evening, are now fully functioning key fobs...

Then I made a couple more...

So they get a tick on my whopping To Do List.

Then we have a bigger little make.  Now it isn't a case of 'should have gone to Specsavers', oh I do, and I have lots of their not-so-lovely glasses cases but I really thought it was time to banish the black velour.

So I chopped up an old case and retrieved the flexi metal to make my own.

Hmm... we are not talking about a lovely flexi clasp, oh no, 2 cheap pieces of what look to be old metal tape measure, so life was not so rosy.

I persevered and although I am not 100% happy, the flexi is a little too snug, and twists the case a little, but it does the job, and uses 2 of my favourite fabric lines, so it makes me happier.

Maybe when I have a little more time I will take the top clasp bit off and re-sew it; or maybe I will just make another one ;)  It's too hot to make such big decisions.

Back tomorrow with my SMS winner!!

Wednesday, 23 May 2012


There has been some sewing, just a little; more excellent comments on my Sew Mama Sew Giveaway post, thank you, and another day of glorious sunshine.

Instead of just giving you more 'in progress' shots, here's our Einstein sunset...

I must apologise for my brevity of late, (OK I appreciate some of you will be thankful for that anyway!), but it's all a bit busy at FB Towers.  Not only am I feeling Retreat-pressure, there seems to be never-ending swimming lessons and towel washing, Jubilee celebrations to sort for this weekend; I also worked today, as I am taking Friday off instead to go with the girls' class to Arundel Castle, so I'm all out of sync.

Things will come good, and I almost have a finish to show, promise xxx

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Time for a Quickie...

I have been busy plotting and planning again, so nothing of substance to show just yet...

However I have been chuckling over all your typically British comments, some are really brilliant but I am so confused about the 'hat' thing!  Mind you, I could have done with a sun hat today, hottest day of the year, c'mon!

If you missed yesterday's post and my Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day offering, please have a look.

Right, I have a million blog posts to read, more giveaways to enter, nominations to make over at Amy's Blogger's Quilt Festival, oh, and maybe some sewing and a cup of tea xxx

Monday, 21 May 2012

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!

*** The giveaway is now closed***
***Winner post here***

Well if I said I was ready from the get-go to join in with the fantastically awesome giveaway spectacular that is the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day, then that would be a fib; but on Saturday I knuckled down and got making.

My 'inspiration' if I could be that bold, was to make something a bit British!  Surrounded by Jubilee and Olympic preparations, how could I not at least tip my hat in that direction?

So my contribution to the Giveaway madness is this collection of Cath Kidston-inspired makings...
I have been pulling out, stroking, the folding away a lovely piece of the CK print for too long, (a prize, probably my first EVER from my dear friend Annabelle), so what better time to use a small piece of it and share the love.
The pouch measures about 8" x 6.5" and had to combine with my current love of Essex Linen...

The big pocket on the back will comfortably hold a 6" hoop, if a bit of embroidery is your current stitch-craft of choice.
The purse is lined with some pink and white star fabric of unknown origin, but it keeps with the CK theme rather nicely.
I had to make a matching needle book and pincushion.  A word of warning on the pincusion though; having interfaced and added a piece of batting as well as the (poly) wadding, you may have problems actually getting your pins and needles in - the linen side is the better option; but it looks pretty anyway!
I also have these that came with a newspaper...
I already have all the books, which include all the lovely patterns they contain, so maybe they can inspire you too.

So what do you need to do to get your hands on this little piece of Brit-ness?

Well you could follow me, that would be polite, but you don't have to, honestly; so one comment only please telling me 'what you think of as typically British'?

Whether you are Brit, or maybe looking in from overseas, it matters not - I will mail internationally.  However, if you are a 'no-reply blogger' without a means of me tracking you down, I will re-draw.  Mr Random will do the deed.

The giveaway will remain open until Friday 25th May - 9pm British Summer Time.  NB. This is a little earlier than 5pm BST, but that's the middle of the night, and I'd like to pick a winner before I go to bed.

Jolly good luck to you all xxx

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Just a bit busy!

If I told you that yesterday I finished 14 needle books, made 2 zippy pouches and a pin cushion, you will hopefully believe me!

All bar one needle book are headed for Retreat...

I won't show them in too much detail as I want there to be a little surprise element, but these were fun to make.

The first zippy pouch is headed overseas to Danny.  Having put a call out for either zippy or drawstring bags for disadvantaged kids at camp this summer - please, please, please read all about it here, how could I not join in?

So as I was on a stitchery roll last night I put this 7" x 9" purse together quick smart...

I haven't made a zippy since the Mouthy Stitches swap I think, and I had forgotten just how satisfying whipping up a little beauty (or 2) can be.  I hope this will make a useful addition for a young girl this summer.

If you would like to help Danny reach her goal of 24 drawstring bags and 40 zippy pouches, then please check out the requirements and get stitching.

The final pouch, needle book and pin cushion will be revealed tomorrow, because the Sew Mama Sew! Giveaway bus is rolling into town!!  Woo Hoo!