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Monday, 30 June 2014

Monday Monday...

Well the beginning of my week was full of all things bright and beautiful for a change, and not a PE kit in sight!

For me…


… my sister-in-law knows me so well!

The girls had Rock Pool Day


And whilst Andy Murray made a bit of a meal about finishing the third set, I finished the binding on the first of the quilts…


So all good… and long may it last; (unlike the chocolate, which is lucky to have made it this far!) x

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Shopping Spree...

I have been on a birthday-fuelled shopping spree of late, both online ℅ a Village Haberdashey gift certificate coupled with the sale discount, means lots of lovelies coming my way soon, and today was actual, in-the-shop time, and the shop in question being John Lewis.

I was incredibly restrained, well after the new HD, everything is going to be restrained for a while, but I took advantage of their sale, and came home with this little selection…


Wide home dec cotton/linen @£3.50/m, one meter then please, a little Tula Pink, and a gorgeous sliver of a Hemingway Design print, plus some needles and pins so I don't show myself up at Retreat with my usual collection of bent and random sharps!

And whilst hubby and I avoided the rain at Bluewater, the kids were entertaining the Grands…


Good day all round x

Friday, 27 June 2014

What do you do with yours?

I now have quite the collection of Spooflower free samples, and today's, a performance polyester if memory serves me correctly, is another fun beauty…


I will use this, just like a previous polyester-type affair as a glasses cleaner...


I was just wondering what else I may be able to do with these sweet samples; what do you use your wacky substrates for?

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Happy Birthday to me!

I am back on the MacBook, complete with another new hard drive and cable - yes I have had both replaced in recent times, but let's call it bad luck and move on!

So I am another year older, and I have had a lovely day; lots of pressies, (jewellery, fabric, nail varnish and quilt books), and, of course cake…


What more could an old girl ask!?

Thank you for all the insta-wishes, they kept my spirits up whilst the machine was undergoing surgery ;)

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Round Three... Sports Week

KS2... not so hot, weather-wise, and we got a winner...



That's the spectator sports done and dusted; there's a sponsored skip and rounders tomorrow and a triathlon on Friday, but I am now off the sporting hook.

Next year they will all be in KS2, so that's one less sports day to dread look forward to.

I'll be back tomorrow, older and wiser, apparently!

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Round Two... Sports Week

KS1 Sports Day - it honestly couldn't have been hotter, or longer...


KS2 tomorrow - woo hoo!

PS. I have finished my Siblings quilt - it needs a wash, tumble and photoshoot, then I will show you.

PPS.  Exhaust pipe welded back onto the car for less than £30, bonus ;)

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Booked...

The untrustworthy MacBook is booked in to see a genius on Thursday, I am hoping my birthday wish comes true with that one!

So the only book I'm enjoying right now is a proper one...


I feel a bit of binding coming on though this evening.

Apologies for my lack of replies and comments right now, I'm too fed up to do all that one-finger iPad typing right now, grrrr!  xxx

Friday, 20 June 2014

Ups and Downs...

Least said the better about the football, so moving swiftly on...

Earlier this evening I went for a hike up on the Downs with the Brownies.  Even 20 noisy girls couldn't detract from the lovely views, perfect weather and fresh air...


Walking through shoulder-high crops, a brief history lesson investigating the old tank and a cup-cake each; smiles all round.

PS. The binding is nowhere near complete!

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Random emotions...

One little twinnie practicing her expressions for when she hears the England result in the morning...


Whilst the other is suffering mixed feelings, the joy of having a frog/toad inhabiting the top of the sandpit, and later, his older and somewhat more dried out brother found in the grass...


Right, I have the Siblings quilt all ready, again, and a football match to watch; the amount of binding stitched down will be directly proportional to the excitement of the game.  I'm hoping for a win win.


Linking up today's after-school randomness with Cindy et al.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Binding times...

Today my view mostly looked like this...


My Siblings Together quilt was basted, quilted and binding on, all by the time the sun came out and made the conservatory too hot to sew.

In that time I also had a visit from the RAC man.  He wired on my exhaust pipe, as the car was making horrible noises this morning; fortunately for my sanity and purse it is only a broken bracket.

So just now I thought I would machine stitch down the binding, for the first time ever.  I hate it.  I got halfway round and decided enough was enough.  I only have about 180" to rip out.  I really think I should be putting a fancy un-picker on my birthday list what with the amount of time I have spent with my cheapo one this last week or so!



Do you machine stitch down your bindings?  Am I the only one who thinks it looks rubbish?  Or am I the only one who makes it look less than acceptable?  I do love finishing of my quilts by hand, which, it would appear is a bloody good job!

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

First class prep...

My first session at FQR2014 will be hand quilting with Jen Kingwell (yes, Jen Kingwell!!!), and the supplies list says we require a 50cm square quilt sandwich, and that solids are good.

You know I don't easily do solids, nor do I hand quilt, so I am starting a long way from my comfort zone, which, I suppose is the point!  I don't see sense in paying to do something you are already good at.

So I dug deep and whipped up this panel all ready for some quilty action...


A bunch of Kona solids and white Essex Linen, I had to have a little texture.

This, and a couple of my other class makes are destined to become cushions, I hope.

I have two classes with Jen, (we are friends already, but she doesn't know that yet!),  so I am hanging my head in shame that my Midnight At The Oasis has been untouched for months.

I am hoping that I will return from Retreat inspired to hand stitch as much as possible, and get those applique flowers on so I can start on the teeny, tiny-pieced borders.  Well it's a plan!

Monday, 16 June 2014

Let the mayhem and indecision commence...

2 minutes after I spotted my FQR2014 class list in my Inbox...


I have a great bunch of classes, fab teachers and now I need to get all my prep work done, and I can see me swapping and changing fabrics and threads a million times in the next month.  Fun though!!

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Swear-bags...

I am going to gloss over the fact I could have hand sewn a small quilt in the time it took to wait for our Father's Day lunch today, and keep the gloating to the minimum, that patience lead to a 60% discount excluding the Dad's Eat Free offer, and show you some stitchery...

So a few weeks back I decided on what I wanted to make for the FQR 2014 sample swap, specifically using the Chicopee bolt and bargain denim.  I drafted out a pattern in the loosest sense of the word, cut all the pieces for 5 tote bags and felt very prepared.

I made the handles and pockets, clip loops and all sorts; it was all looking good.

I thought it might be wise to finish making one up first, you know, just in case, and so I did.

It came together really quickly, just as planned in fact, but, I hated it!  I got in a mood; I probably posted a 2 word grumpy blogpost, and sulked for a few days.

The original bags were to have a shoulder strap, and I eventually narrowed down my displeasure to this, so I got to unpicking.

Of course I had stitched the strap on first with a row of stitches before joining the outer to the lining, and top stitching the whole lot.  Of course I used nice tiny stitches and a load of back stitching to secure it all; only bright side, I hadn't sewn up the turning gap in the lining.

Soooooooo strap removed, and short webbing handles decided upon, I attached a pair, again with due belt and braces stitching, joined it all, nice top-stitching and bugger me if one of the straps hadn't twisted.

Rude words.  Many.

Deciding that maybe I could just release one end and not have to unpick the lot, I managed to start on unpicking the wrong pieces, but eventually got it back on and stitched back together with lots of unpleasantries.

But not as many swear words as when it then didn't line up with the other handle any more.

@£$%^&*()(*&^%$£@!!!!!!!!!!!!

Back to basics, whole lot taken apart and sewn together from scratch, and thank goodness I loved the result!!


The other denim pair, and a pair in grey home-dec came together in minutes by comparison.  All turning gaps were stitched up this afternoon and I am done!!


The moral of this story... stick to pincushions!!

For those who like details, these finish up c. 12" x 14" with 12" webbing straps; they were all pieced, stitched and re-stitched with a jeans needle and Aurifil 40wt in 4093, except for stitching the handle details, which I used matching 50wt thread.

The inside pockets and FQR 2014 key clips are sewn into the lining seam, and there are little FQR 2014 tags on the outside.


I apologise for the quality of these photos, not sure quite what is going on there, but I am so relieved to be finished, the photos were the last thing on my mind.

I hope my swap partners like them, I am keeping one of the grey ones for myself, because quite frankly after all that, I think I bloody deserve one!

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Mixed bag...

Today started at about 2.30am with torrential thunderstorms and has continued to be hot and stormy all day, so I am trying my hardest to stay awake for the England game tonight.  I have some threads to sort out in the meantime...



... but the binding will have to wait for an earlier, brighter game.

Those are my FQR2014 tote bags for the sample swap - I will tell you the full horror/joy of making them once they are finished.

I have also stitched up a boxy pouch for a sweet friend this evening, but no pics of that I'm afraid.

Dear husband has a handmade-free Father's Day to look forward to, and as we are out to lunch, it will probably be a sewing-free day too.  There's a huge pile of ironing with my name on though, dammit xxx


Friday, 13 June 2014

That Friday Feeling...

My memory of anything that happened today prior to this...


... is zilch, mush, long forgotten; I am still trying to get my ears to stop ringing.

Crazy thing is, I am doing it again next week and the week after!

Happy start to the weekend everyone xxx

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Here we go, here we go, here we go!!

Despite the face, perhaps to the contrary, dear son had been looking forward to today for a long time...


Building a Tudor house!


He was suitably dressed as a peasant, and had a relatively cool and comfortable day; those kids in the full Henry VIII / Elisabeth I polyester regalia did not look so fresh by the end of the day!

I, on the other hand, have been looking forward to this...


Although not as much as these people down the road...


Whatever random things you have been looking forward to, enjoy, and link up with Cindy and other Randomeers xxx

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

trash!

Well getting a little more in the FQR spirit, I made and sent my partner's name tag on Monday.

The Royal Mail in their wisdom decided not to bother updating their track & trace beyond telling me that I posted the item - thanks then!  But I am happy to report that the name tag is safely in the mitts of the recipient, only the swap-meistress herself trash!!

So no sneak peaks allowed, she would have known they were for her, so straight in there, made and sent...


Seeing that she is the official Ents officer, I went back to basics, with the need to be able to actually read her name at 20 paces in order to be able to approach/avoid as required ;)

So I used some Liberty for the lanyard and bonda-webbed letters, and I gave her a star, in true McDonalds stylee, for 2012!

There's also a tiny pocket, big enough to hold a room or credit card or list of places to be, people to see...

Jobs a good'un.

I have been battling with my sample swap items today too - I have racked school-boy errors up to new heights and may just get a seam ripper grafter to my right hand, because it would be more useful than my thumb right now!

But I think I have it all under control again, and hoping for some more reveals soon xxx

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Ding Ding, Round 3...

This month in Stitch Tease we are making for Trina.  Trina joined mid-year 2, when one of our lovely number went all MH370, so she quite rightly gets to be Queen Bee first in round 3.

With a lovely palette request, and free-reign to make any star blocks, I settled on two which floated my proverbial.

egg_palette



Firstly a whole bunch of lovely HSTs picked from the Farmer's Wife book, Star Gardner...


... and a Ribbon Star using Lee-Freshly Pieced's fab tutorial...


I inadvertently missed out using any darker yellow/orange in these blocks, all mine seemed a little too acidic, but I hope they will still make Trina happy.

It feels like a long while since I last had complete choice over bee blocks, and it was a bit of a challenge to stop the search for the ultimate star!  So a change is as good as a rest, and this is as near to a rest as I am likely to get for a while!

Now if the postman pulls his finger out, I should have another finish to show you tomorrow xxx

Monday, 9 June 2014

I did some sewing too!

Firstly, thank you all again for the kind words and encouragement that you have given the young stitcher over the past couple of days - he is so proud of what he has achieved, the cushion has a tour of show and tell venues all lined up, Cubs, school, my parents and pride of place on his bed.

Surprisingly I was able to have a go on my sewing machine too over the weekend, and have a quite a few bits to show you over the next couple of days.

For starters, a couple of blocks for Bee Blessed...



... they were nice and quick(ish).

I also added the next sections to Jo's Brit Bee Medallion, but as secrecy prevails, here's some doctored proof...


I also made my real partner's FQR name tag, and popped it in the post today - so hopefully I will be able to show you that midweek.

I am slowly ticking off my To Do list for June and feeling like the pressure is off a bit... I am just building up my stamina for basting and quilting my Siblings Together quilt.  Soon, I promise, soon xxx

Sunday, 8 June 2014

That's my boy!

He did it!

First thing this morning we, well he, got on with finishing the Creeper cushion.  I pulled a piece of duck cloth for a bit of fun speed stitching, attaching it to a piece of batting for lining.  Then a simple envelope back was prepared, and hemmed by the youngster.

We layered everything, and there was guided rotary cutting to square it all up; so with stitch 11, a straight-zig-zag combo, the whole lot was stitched together.

Then it was time to turn through and reveal...


Oh what a happy boy!!!

Luckily I had an cushion pad the exact right size, so it could be a proper finish...


And because even he is no stranger to what sells, he did his best Alex V impression...


He's my #auriboy !!

A quick run down...
100 2.5" Sizzix cut squares of misc greens and black Sketch flannel
Pieced with Aurifil 50wt in 2860
Backing Klona Grey and Kona Sprout
Finished size 19" square
Designed and sewn by Master O aged 9

I enjoyed every minute, and the beaming smile he has been sporting all day has made it doubly worthwhile.

He now wants to make a quilt!

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Creeper!!

Yep, there is a Creeper in the house!

Dear son pieced his cushion top this afternoon, accompanied with cheers (well, 'Likes') from Instagram, and he loved every minute of it...


There was very little parental intervention, just a little pinning and seam pressing, but this is all his!


He was even keen to be an #auriboy - he used the best green thread in the house, of course!  And there were even enviable points...


Tomorrow should see the cushion finished, and one even happier lad; there were no harsh words nor fabric hurt in the making, so it's all good xxx

Friday, 6 June 2014

Twit T'woo...

Today I am thanking my lovely super talented friend Sarah for the newest addition to the FB family...


I've decided (s)he needs to come to work with me already, and act as a constant reminder that, away from my desk, I do actually have a life!!

You may remember that I made Sarah a name tag recently for FQR 14; this is my reward!  There was beautiful wrapping and everything, but I was too eager and that part missed the photo-call, sorry.

Thanks again my friend, it's perfect xxx

Have a great weekend everyone - there should be some Creeper stitching going on round here, so wish me luck!

Thursday, 5 June 2014

I Spy...

You have seen what the lad has been up to this week, now it's time for the girls...


Papier mache bowls, decorated with Lego Spiderman and Monster High.

Now they may look all sweetness and light, but here they are spying on the boys playing football next door!


For now I can laugh!

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

The start of something...

Today's after-school craftiness meant more mod-podging, Szzix cutting and layout plans...


I pulled some fabric, then made a cup of tea!

Apologies if you are awaiting a reply to a comment or email - I will get onto it tomorrow, promise xxx

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Fobbing you off again!

21 fobs for Retreat...

Please let me know if you would like to reserve one x
I now have my official name tag partner details and have spent the day working on my swap goodies.

I am trying to be prepared, but mild panic is setting in just under the surface; with so much to cram in this half-term kiddie-wise and work-wise something is going to have to give at some point.  If I go a bit quiet(er), don't panic, I'll just be busy juggling 20 balls and dropping one every once in a while xxx