Friday, 28 February 2014

Friday feeling...

I have pulled a rainbow of scraps to accompany me on a jolly tomorrow...

... and wishing that I might, by some fluke, finish this before March...

But in reality, I think I shall just remain very content that I won a lovely giveaway today from my Siblings Together Bee-bud and sweet friend Collette.

Tomorrow, there should be a lot of #britbee going on - woo-hoo!

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Ocelots are the cutest things on Earth...

Well if I didn't post a little random this evening I would be risking the wrath of the Random-mistress Cindy!  If you haven't seen her post today, pop over for a look; Lucy's Aurifil usage will forever be my favourite random!

So, when in need of a little je ne sais quoi, I always turn to the kids; and as yesterday I had the joys of Parent's Evening, the snaps I took there seem as apt as it gets...

If you regularly blog all sorts of crafty, sensible stuff, why not make use of the power of the Randomeers.

Make Thursday your excuse to blog a load of old nonsense.  Link up, go on, you know you want to xxx

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Tick, tick, tick...

Apologies if I sent any of you mothers of Primary-age children into a World Book Day panic yesterday; I am trying to stay one step ahead of the game right now, as time, swapped days off and other commitments mean that today was my only guaranteed sewing day before next Thursday's dressing up.

So I bloody well got on with it...

I just have a turban to sculpt from the sheet off-cuts and a de-peaked baseball cap and my work is done.

The kids are all happy, which makes me happy; pictures to follow of the full regalia next week xxx

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

A Little Imagination...

Oh you may see a sheet, a tea towel and a rather hideous vest from the charity shop...

... but I am hoping that by this time tomorrow, they will be fit for Professor Quirrel, the old lady from A Squash and a Squeeze and the witch from Room On The Broom.

Please wish me luck with that!

Monday, 24 February 2014

Board Stiff...

I hate ironing, I really do; even putting on a brand new sparkling ironing board cover doesn't make it much better.

However this evening I have fused my DWR cushion top to the backing in preparation for quilting...

... and that makes me smile a little bit, even after a day back at work xxx

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Ski Sunday...

Well not so much of the skiing, more the bob-sledging, but none-the-less, last day of the Olympics has meant a lot of TV time, and a tiny amount of hand-stitchery.  I am psyching myself up for all that back to school prep, shirt ironing and packed lunches, oh and getting myself ready for work too; currently finding any excuse not to do it.

This is probably the most creative anyone has been round here today...

Wishing you all a pain-free slide into the working week xxx

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Saturday Secrets...

Today I've been sewing up a bunch of secrets for next weekend, so nothing new to show you I'm afraid, but they do look excellent!

Instead, I can only offer a glimpse of the next FAL target I have in my sights...

It has literally been in my line of sight for ages, sat in the lounge, wanting to be finished, but being ignored in favour of more glamourous alternatives; so time to knuckle down me thinks xxx

Friday, 21 February 2014

Almost* Perfect Quilted Tote...

Between the hailstones and torrential rain, I managed to get a few photos worthy of a grand reveal - hurrah!

So Oh Fransson's Perfect Quilted Totes pattern - it's a good one.  I realise that Elizabeth is re-writing all her old patterns, so you are not able to purchase this at present, but if she makes a few tweaks, which she no doubt will, I would recommend it to anyone who can stitch a straight line and likes someone else to work out all the fabric sizes so you don't have to - that'll be me then!

My only observations, which are nothing original I am sure, are that when you cut your QAYG pieces, all that stitching will shrink up the panels a bit, so you will never be able to cut (or stretch) the panels to the stated size.  I just trimmed everything down by 1/4" and it worked out fine.

And as far as the written pattern goes, all instructions and photos are clear and straightforward however, this is a pattern for both tall and wide versions.  The instructions for the wide version continually refer back to the instructions for the tall one, which got a bit frustrating scrolling up and down; but if I had been making the tall version, it would have been perfect.  In an age of cut and paste I cannot see why the instructions couldn't have been duplicated on the pdf version.

When I first topstitched around the top of the tote at the end, I just went for a bog-standard 1/4" all round, but this actually looked a bit ropey because of the quilting already there.  So I unpicked, then re-stitched over the top row of quilting, and as this happened to go right through the magnetic snap, I stopped and started an inch either side and it now looks a tonne neater.  I also opted to hand stitch the facing down on the inside, almost as satisfying as quilt binding, especially as I was watching the Olympics at the time.

So all in all I would recommend the pattern, and love the finished tote.

I used a bundle of scraps, some precious gifted Heather Ross, Melody Miller and Joel Dewberry; so I will be linking this with Sarah at the end of the month.  Yarn Dyed Essex Linen in black for the outside, Pearl bracelets for the lining, and touches of orange Architextures crosshatch for the pockets.  The pattern calls for utility fabric to back the QAYG panels, not entirely sure what that is, but I used up some home dec I received from Terry's Fabrics which had a pattern so huge I couldn't find a better use for it, and it was spot on.  I pieced and quilted the whole shebang in Aurifil 40wt 2021 for a change; the slightly heavier weight worked really well and gives all the quilting that little bit more definition.

Oh and the almost* , a 1/4" seam mis-match on one of the side panel bottom sections.  The top matched perfectly, and without a lot of ripping it wasn't going to be easily fixed by the time I noticed, so I will live with it, I may just stick a badge over it!

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Half Term Random

Just a few pics today, because I am tired out after a lovely day with my parents here; there was a dash to the shops in the torrential rain after we won the Women's Bronze at Curling, and a chilly trip to the park this afternoon in the intermittent sunshine.  Weather, please, make up your mind!

So this week we have made the scariest cat biscuits ever...

... and visited the Sea Life Centre in Brighton...

Got to love a smiley stingray every time!!!

And all week we have been humming...

Sorry for that!  Linking up with Cindy & The Randomeers.

PS.  If we get more than 2 minutes of sunny, or even just dry weather tomorrow, Perfect Quilted Tote pictures are on the To Do list, promise xxx

Wednesday, 19 February 2014


Mister Random has spoken, and the winner of a copy of Issue 5 of Love Patchwork & Quilting and a custom-made key fob goes to...

Congratulations Marci,  purple it is then!

Happy Wednesday to everyone else too; hope you have got over the mid-week hump with smiles on your faces xxx

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Liberty hoopla!

Another FAL finish folks!

This one has actually been up on the bedroom wall for a few days, much to husband's dismay, (oh well); I think it looks great!

I pieced the hexies over the Christmas holidays, pondered what on earth to do with them, then browsing my photos from a trip to Liberty back on my birthday in June, this seemed the obvious choice...

I used a 7" hoop; the Liberty scraps were from Jo and Ali, and they were pieced with Aurifil 50wt 2021, no surprise there then.  To back it, I simply fused a circle of Vilene fleece the same size as the outer hoop and trimmed to about 1/4" round that; I stuck some double-sided tape to the inner ring before tightening it all.  Neat!

My Perfect Quilted Tote is all finished too, but no photos today, sorry.  I am 98% pleased with it - why is there always a niggle!?  But considering I feared it would take me ages, I could even be tempted into making another.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Boxing Day!

Apologies for the kiss of death to the lovely weather by celebrating with a giveaway and instantly bringing back the rain; but I did make the most of it yesterday by getting some pics of my recent stitchery, so that makes it OK, yes?!

Well after the success of my first #psboxypouch, last week I tried experimenting.

My first revolved around the zipper.  I wanted to use one of my metal zips for so long, so I scaled down the pouch to fit...

It is pretty tiny, c. 3"x 3"x 5" but will actually hold, for example, my camera and cable, should I wish to take them somewhere in comfort.  I used some of my scrappy haul from Jessie and a very old piece of It's A Hoot to line it, so all good.

I then got a bit more practical.

It's my sister's birthday soon, and she may have escaped to the other side of the world, but she doesn't get to avoid the annual handmade thingumyjig, and so this year she gets my latest crush too...

Love this one.  It is about an inch smaller all round than the pattern, I figured more suitable for sticking in her school bag, and the colour combo may become a new favourite too.  Once again, all from stash.

Making these without the QAYG panels is so, so quick, simple and satisfying, but don't just take my word for it!

And talking of QAYG, today I made the outer of a Perfect Quilted Tote; (Elizabeth is updating her patterns at present, but I am sure this one will be back in her store at some point).  The lining is all cut, and if the weather keeps the half-term holiday-makers indoors again, I may even get it finished.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Sunny Sunday Giveaway!

*** Now Closed***

To celebrate all things good, like a sunny day at last, it's time for a little giveaway.

I may have mentioned that I was thrilled to be asked to contribute to issue 5 of Love Patchwork & Quilting, and last week the lovely people at said magazine also sent me a couple of copies.  OK, I am a long way off showing the grandkids, so I will give one to my mum, but I thought one of you would like a copy too.

So would you like to win a copy, and I will also make you a keyfob too?  Due to my generous sunny mood, you can even pick the colour!

Leave me a comment before Wednesday 9pm GMT, including your colour of choice, and I will let Mr Random pick a winner.

No more hoops other than that; please just make sure that if you are a No Reply Blogger, that you include your email address in your comment, otherwise I will re-draw, sorry.  Open internationally.  Any additional comments will be deleted for fairness.

PS. If you choose 'brown', I reserve the right to substitute your choice for something less insane.

Good luck xxx

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Put a sock in it!

Or in my case, probably not!

I was the lucky winner of Di's beautiful sock sack earlier this week, and today, (when I have been feeling a bit grim), this amazing, cheerful pouch arrived and put a smile of my face...

Once again, a pattern on my 'want to make' list has come my way without me having to lift a finger, for which I am ever so pleased!

It looked like a great pattern for more than just holding knitting, and now having my own, I can definitely see why I have seen many popping up in my Instagram feed.

Thank you so much Di, it's perfect.

And because I have been on the winning side a couple of times recently, I think tomorrow I will host a teeny-weeny giveaway of my own, does that sound OK?

There has been some sewing over the last few days too, but I am stocking up on blog posts as I reckon with half term and the new pills, I may not be so productive this coming week xxx

Friday, 14 February 2014

Thursday, 13 February 2014


After dropping the girls at school, I took dear son to the doctors, nothing serious; whilst there I checked on my breath test - negative!  Dropped him back to school, came home for an hour, went back to the doctors, waited, waited and waited some more, and then got a prescription for some less aggressive medication and a referral letter sent to the hospital - they're going in :(

So my day of sewing was spent mostly in the waiting room, but I did get a little Valentine's pressie stitched up for tomorrow at least.

Then it was back to school, for Disco-time!

I took my usual spot...

It's an Inset Day tomorrow, so our romantic day will be more of a family affair, but one little girl already got a present from her sweetheart, so she is all smiles...

I have spent so long writing this my battery has gone to 5%, so that'll have to be your lot for today.

Linking this Thursday's mumbles and grumbles with Cindy and the Randomeers xxx

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Wednesday Wow!

Yesterday afternoon I had a brainwave, (OK, quit the faux-fainting/laughter); and with a quick google for custom-printed ribbon, I landed on this cute little website.

I spent an obsessive's amount of time pondering the beautiful combos of cotton, linen and fonts before hitting the Buy Now button at 2 minutes to 3 - I know this, because I really should have been heading out the door to collect the kids, but I have my priorities!

By the time we got home, I had the shipping notice, and when I got back from work today, my beautiful ribbon was waiting on the doormat!

Unfortunately, this is for a secretive brainwave, so you are going to have to wait until the beginning of March for the reveal, but honestly, this must have been the most perfect online shopping experience ever!

I am now trying to think of more uses/excuses to buy more.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Did you see?

Today I am moonlighting over at Justine's!

I was chuffed to bits to be asked to be one of the Simply Solids Blogging Team, and this month I got the honour of kicking off the fun and playing with a bundle of Pearl Bracelets...

So please pop over to see some of that secret sewing I have been stitching up recently xxx

Monday, 10 February 2014

Prophetic sewing...

Yesterday I decided to have a play with a bunch of purple solids, possibly for the Radiant Orchid Challenge, and today, well, I was just cross...

Hey, it is Monday I suppose!

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Room for a little one...

The girls' teacher will be going on Maternity leave at Easter, and as soon as I found out at the beginning of term, I was pulling fabrics and putting a little baby blanket on my FAL list.

I picked out all the red, white and aquas from a couple of Little Apples charm packs, and added in a few of extras to make up the numbers.

I was originally just going to use the charms au naturel, for a simple patchwork, but when I saw Fiona's tumbler quilt in issue 5 of Love Patchwork & Quilting, (you know the one!), a quick spin of the Sizzix and a mini-tumbler was born...

The backing is fleece, no batting, and I used up some more Little Apples for binding.

Simple horizontal quilting in Aurifil 2021 50wt, which I also used for piecing, as it rarely gets swapped off my machine to be honest, was all that was needed to keep it all together.

I know I had to buy the backing, from here, but at £6/m, I have enough for another little quilt or a cushion or two, so I think I can have this purchase guilt-free!

It's only a tiddler, c. 24" x 32", but I am going on the theory and experience that small babies do not need big blankets; hauling a load of baby stuff about, means the smaller the better, and this is plenty big enough for popping over the car seat, or putting on the floor for a stretch out.

The girls have said it is both 'boyish' and 'girlish', so I guess that's a gender-neutral seal of approval!

Another FAL tick then, that makes 4 out of 8 completed already, and we are almost half way through the first quarter.  Go me!

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Don't have a cow...

Today there has been a little more of the old secret sewing, sorry,  and tonight I am hoping to spend some time with this...

PS.  Am I the only one wanting to make some sort of Sochi quilt or cushion already?

Friday, 7 February 2014

Blue Friday!

Photographic evidence that when the weather wants, it can actually stop raining, for a little while...

Long enough for me to snap a few outdoor pics of this month's Siblings Together block...

It may have been sunny, but it was still damn windy!

Anna chose the Pinwheels In The Park block, and super-sized the requirements to a 17" finished block; they are going to come together to make another wonderful quilt for this awesome cause.




Thursday, 6 February 2014

Excuses excuses...

I was going to come up with some big excuse, along the lines of helping a friend; a pregnant friend who just doesn't have enough room in her house, what with the stomach 'n' all, and she really needed me to take some of the fabric off her hands to make her life, and that of her family more comfortable...

... but you wouldn't believe me!

You never know though, you could avail yourself too, 40% off Liberty, this is not any old fabric folks; help a friend in need, and tell your husbands, partners, gullible acquaintances, and feel like you have done a good thing too.

There has been sewing though, definitely stitching up more than I have bought, pictorial evidence to follow tomorrow xxx

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Sew Wednesday...

Well I am considering myself lucky to have been able to stop indoors for most of the day, dodging the rain storms and listening to the howling gales outside.  With power, heating and plenty of tea and biscuits, I had a pretty good sewing day.

After dropping the kids at school, I stopped by the little village newsagents, and re-arranged their displays a bit, Love Patchwork & Quilting 5 is in the shops from today...

Then the sewing.  Sadly it was of the secretive kind.  I have February's Brit Bee border additions made, and because Susan is such a super-speedy star in the round before me, I am already 1/2 way through March's with all fabric cut.  I made the siggie I had forgotten for her under-wraps Stitch Tease month and have just sussed out what I am meant to be doing for Siblings Together, so that's a job for tomorrow.

What I can show you though are the two blocks I made last night for Bee Blessed...

Aren't these blocks superb!?  I'm sure Sarah and Judith wouldn't say no if you wanted to spread the love and contribute a couple too!

PS. To all my West Country friends, stay safe, warm and dry.  xxx

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Not rocket science...

My day started this morning with this little box of tricks...

It's a test for H-pylori bacteria which we are hoping is the cause of my horrible chest pain, time, well about a fortnight, will tell.

The rain and hail, with an interlude of work, a Post Office trip, to send my tubes of breath to hospital, made up most of my day.

No sewing to show (too late, too dark), but from my stock of sunny-day photos from the weekend, here's another tick off my FAL list...

AMH voile and charcoal Sketch flannel, the perfect combo, an obvious choice.

I love my voile and velveteen scarf, but it is big;  the flannel in this one gives that extra warmth but less of the bulk, and it has already been much used and needed so far this week, and by the looks and sound of it, the need will be even greater over the coming stormy days.

So wrap up warm,  keep safe and dry, and I'll see you on the 'morrow xxx

Monday, 3 February 2014

#psboxypouch Reveal...

Whilst the sun was out, I took a few snaps of this fab pouch, even if I do say so myself!

This was my first attempt at proper QAYG; slow, takes waaaaay more concentration, measuring, Aurifil and order than making a block and quilting it, but I do love the effect.

I used some of my old scraps, and some of my new ones c/o Reene and Jessie, and went a little out of my usual colour scheme, going into the red more than my safe, happy pink place, and again really pleased I did.

Bonnie-Pink Stitches Boxy Pouch tute is really lovely to follow, and the method of keeping all the raw edges hidden and no-hand finishing the lining is great.

My only niggle, and that is at myself, not the tute, as I know precisely where I went wrong, is that when empty, the lining is a bit baggy.  Next time I will make the lining seam allowances a little bigger, because there will be a next time, oh yes there will!

Linking this, as my final January finish, to Sarah's scrap party...

FairyFace Designs

See, not all my Monday's are doom and gloom xxx