Monday, 6 October 2014

Nipping In Quick!

I have my sSsters Ten, Lynn Bob Square Pats Quilt, a Kate Spain apron, the meh quilt, the Half Square Triangle quilt, thtree cut out bee blocks, two poolside totes, a mad splash of colour peplam top, and  a back button blouse.  I don't have photos of all of these and some I have photo'd before, but if I don't jump in now I'll moss the link up again!  Hoping this counts, Katy ...

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Out Of My Comfort Zone

I have joined a second bee, The Bumbling Honeys.

For my first block in this group the lovely Jo of asked for a blue block, so far so good.  Please use solids or small scale prints, as many re-purposed as possible, maybe denim or shirts.  Getting better and better by the minute, an opportunity to use all those jeans I've been hoarding collecting for the last few years.  Can it be Wonky and Improv.  Screeches to a halt.  Wonky? Improv?  Now the thing is Wonky and Imrov has to be devil may care, not I've buggered this up and now I've sewn it together.  Which leaves one in the situation of planned spontaneity, neither of which words go together in my book.  Planned or buggered, that's how I roll.

Still, I had a punt:

I quite like it.  I may do some more and make some cushions!

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Missed by a Mile

I knew it was time to link up, I saw other people linking up, I kept thinking I must link up BUT

I DIDN'T.  I took my eye of the ball.  Still, next quarter eh!

Sunday, 29 June 2014

A Finish At Last

Yay, I have a finish.  You'll remember from my two previous Finish Along posts that I sent off for this fabric in 2010, pieced it in 2011 and left it in the cupboard for three more years.  I gave it to my friend a few weeks ago and her lovely man photo'd it for me last week.

I am so pleased with it.  My piecing abllity has moved on somewhat since then but it's part of my journey and my friends love it and that is the main thing.

Sandy and the Summer Porch

This is an Elanor Burns pattern called Summer Porch.   I can't remember what the fabric is called as I bought it so long ago, but it came as a layer cake from the Fat Quarter Shop, the first fabric I ordered from "abroad" before I blogged or was aware of the online sewing community, what a world has opened up since then.  I didn't change the actual pattern at all, although there is a mistake, but because I am too bloody lazy on deliberation I decided to leave that in.  It adds to its charm.  I pieced the back, cos the fabric was too small, with some of the squares left over and sashed it with some spurious white cotton that was hanging around.  It's quilted in straight lines an inch apart with white Gutteman thread as that's what I had.  And you know what, I love it and they love it, nuff said.

I will be linking up with Katy at the Littlest Thistle with this post.  It's a solitary offering but that's life.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Got A Bit Behind There!

Oops I got a bit behind with my Bee blocks there but I'm all caught up now.

The first was for Rachel who blogs at mamafairy sews.  She had asked for floating stars with a common coloured center and a siggy block.  This was my interpretation:
Green for the center and pinks and oranges around the outside

Never made one of these before, hope it's how it's s'posed to be

Next came Niki who wanted improvised blocks.  I've not done this before but a had a go at wonky square in sqaures which ended up looking like this:
I really rather pleased with how this came out

I've wanted to join a Bee for quite a while but not really felt in a position to but it occured to me that I could be waiting an awfully long time to do anything if I wait for that, so I jumped in with both feet.  So far the Fat Stash Brit Bee has been a bee of firsts for me.  I'm loving the challenge and the ladies are great, talented and friendly, (virtual wave).

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Giveaway Shoutout

Pop on over to Lily's Quilts.  She is holding a big easter giveaway with loads of her sponsers and fantastic prizes.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Finish Along Quarter 2

It was great having the FAL to work to last quarter.  I have so many unfinished projects driving me mad.  Here's my list for the second quarter:

1.  So for a second time I'll start with the quilt I made for Sandra, just needs quilting and binding.

2.  Second is the still the scrappy trip, still needs quilting and binding.

3.  Third is still the Gen X Quilter's BOM from last year. All the blocks except one are now done and the sashing is cut, so some progress has been made.

4.  Where's my quilt mum, is it done mum, when's it gonna be finished mum. He's still asking.  Three more blocks are done.  The ones left are definately not in my area of expertise, or to be more precise the things I find really difficult or just plain don't like.  Truth be told those things mean one and the same thing to me.

5.  Something I started for my sister for Christmas 2012, not finished but much further along than it was so progress, yay.

6.  The quilt top that had disappeared is now laid out on the bedroom floor full of pins waiting to be quilted.  I've decided I will give it to my parents as I made it with them in mind.

7.  The HST quilt now named in our house as the Carnival Pants Quilt which Ruby wants for her birthday next month.  I have made a lot of progress with it but whether or not it'll be finished by then is another matter!

8.  I have a another Half Square Triangle quilt I started for the kid's dad who originally didn't want a quilt, but saw it in the making and realised he didn't know what he was thinking!!

I really want to get through this stuff as I'm enjoying having things hanging around so, onward!

I'm linking up with Katy again

Saturday, 5 April 2014


My sewing is semi-organised:

PROJECTS in bags on shelves

STUFF more properly called notions but when Ruby is looking to use something we refer to it as "in the stuff"

A BIG BOX OF DRESSMAKING PATTERNS - including the first skirt I made which if I recollect ended up having more than twenty different incarnations through my teenage remnant sewing years


A SMALL CRATE OF WIERD/OR UNALLOCATED FABRIC - including net, felt, that piece of stuff the kid's dad's mum gave me that I can't find a use for but she gave me it and I wont part with it
then comes the quilting fabric



BIG CRATE OF SCRAPS (this is the box that the lid barely fits on)

I am obsessed with fabric (no).  Get me, I always say fabric.  I remember being admonished by Mrs Gow (Needlecraft and Dress Teacher Extraordinaire) for saying material.  Apparently everything man made was made of some kind of material, the kind of material we used was fabric. 

So, I've joined this swap.  (Yes, the reason for this post, what it's long already and I havn't started yet, oh, yeah).  This meant that I had to go rummaging through the scrap box.  It's a walk through my quilt history.  I loved it

Here's a quick pic of what I've sent:

First Quarter Finish Along

Finish Along 2014

I have to say my results are a little bit rubbish.  Out of my list of ten, I have finished one thing and that was drastically changed.  Still I have made a lot of progress on some of the others so fingers crossed for second quarter.  To be fair to myself, for the amount of time I've been at home in the last three months that's an achievement in itself.

What I finished was the bag for my friend, Sandra.  I havn't given it to her yet as every time I go round there I go from somewhere that isn't here and so don't have it with me.  I'm not massively sure about it now.  I mean, it's a good bag, but me and Sands, we're little short birds and it seems a bit big.  Still, knowing her she'll find a good use for it, I can't see her not.  I think I may have to make another smaller one just to check it out ...
Front of bag, based on tripple zippy pouch made bigger into a bag

Back with jeans style pocket

Even if I didn't finish a lot of stuff I have moved my UFOs on a bit. I've got into the habit of making notes about what I'm doing in one of the many notebooks and all in all I'm glad I joined in and am looking forward to the next quarter.  I'll post about that later, I'm going to help Ruby make Pineapple Upside Down Cake now.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

I Pull My Blue Jeans On

Just how has my personal history informed the way I dress.  Well I'm 48 and no longer wear those multi-coloured mini skirts made from the remnant bins.  I don't have those size 10 jeans with 37 patches (patches on patches) and the size 10 boat sailed so long ago I don't remember how many masts it had.

I used to dress in whatever I liked.  Not in the so what way but what I liked the touch, feel, style, fabric of whether or not it suited me, was practical for what I was doing or, ahem, even if it fitted well.

I'm still swayed by the feel and the drape, but I cannot afford to make a mistake which often evens itself up as "if in doubt, do without" and I also have the starlings to feather first.  I'm still a sucker for the bright, bold and out there and over the years that is where most errors have been made.  The other note to self has to be NO WHITE, my lifestyle just cannot support it.  I love it but it does not mix with kids, cats, dogs, motorbikes, gardening, cooking.  "You rake around too much for that" my mum used to say.  I thought she was having a go but she was just being honest.  I do rake around, I like it that way.  I want to be all Audrey Hepburn but ... 
The very beautiful and demur Audrey Hepburn

Being a fashion guru in the lovely Sand's back garden

I'm not and no amount of wanting will make me be.

My most famous faux pas was a silver zoot suit  - I am 5', I'd seen a tall leggy model wear one she looked great I looked crap.  Hey it was the 1980's.

I think having children was the major turning point.  It felt like I was smeared in other peoples puke, piss and bodily detritis for years.  What do I mean felt like, I was.  My body filled out and fell downwards and whilst I must for my own health give it a bit of an overhaul at the same time I have learnt to love my body fat or thin, young or old most of the time.  In fact in its naked state its really ok with me.  It's the stretched, soft, scarred temple MY soul lives in.  My actual body is not the problem.  The problem comes when I put things on it don't that suit it and it ends up looking very wrong.

I have found that although casual and practical I look good in jeans, dressed up or down.  I have all sorts of jeans in different widths and colours, even shorts, but even then its boot leg or skinny not straight they don't suit.  They're warm, practical and occasionally long lasting.  I've found colours and styles of tops that suit the massive bazoomas, arms and short waist.  I would like to wear more dresses but it is hard to get them to a) fit and b) look good so because of the cost issues I tend not to bother for fear of getting it wrong but maybe this summer is the year of the dress.


It's been a long time, been a long time ...

I started my sewing journey with a four by four tapestry of a grass hut on a desert island with a single palm tree I bought in the co-op when I was eight.  I took it everywhere with me until it was done.  It was never framed and I no longer have it but it was my first step.  I arrived at my senior school sewing classes with much more enthusiasm than ability and worked at it.  I loved it then and I love it now.  At school we were taught to sew clothes, the O Level we took was Needlecraft and Dress.  I had little money and made mini skirts from the remnant bins of the local sewing stores.  You could get fabric from so many places then, all three of our local department stores had a haberdashery department. There were three independants and the market too.  I had a sewing hiatus whilst the kids were young and then I found quilting and I've been sewing more and more but I have not been sewing many clothes.  Not that I can't or don't want to, I've been buying fabric and patterns aplenty.  I've been watching what other bloggers are making and wearing and thinking, me too but I still havn't actually ...

So, whilst browsing I went to which is a fine blog full of sewing inspiration written by Sarai Mitnick.  She is running some posts called Wardrobe Architect encouraging people to examine what they sew, why, whether it does or doesn't work for them and and ultimately to build a wardrobe of items they will love.

She has done it brilliantly spreading it out with printable worksheets.  I have also seen other bloggers forming capsule wardrobes.  Although a bit late to the party I'm loving this idea and will be posting on my responses to Sarai's worksheets and exercises.

Friday, 21 February 2014

One Down, Nine To Go!

Along with lots of others, you know who you are, I have joined Katy at The Littlest Thistle in the Finish Along 2014.  I duly went through all the WIPs and number 5 on the list was a denim bag I had started in a rush for my friend which then went horribly wrong.  I think the clue to myself is that phrase "in a rush".  Never a good start!  Still, today I wrestled it out from the back of the cupboard and took it apart.  I discarded the patchwork side, completely, added more denim and a different lining material and sewed it up again.

In truth, it is a completely different style using a large amount of different fabric, but as it is partly the same and the same project for the same person I'm sticking with it as a finish.

I based it on the Triple Zippy Pouch from Debbie at A Quilters Table.  I used 10 inch zips and worked out the sizes of the fabrics whilst watching a double barrel of The Deathly Hallows this morning.  I then spent most of the afternoon and early evening (with a quick stop to cook pasta) sewing it up.

I forgot exactly how to sew the very last bit together until after I ended up with a three inch gap on the outside so I had to bodge it a little with some Pritt Stick and topstitching but in the end I don't think anyone would actually know (I didn't need to say that did I) so alls well that ends well.

I am actually surprisingly pleased with it and I hope my friend is to.  Phew, a finish at last!

Linking up with TGIFF :)

Monday, 17 February 2014

Giveaway Winner :)

It's high time I announced the winner of my blogiversay giveaway.  Thank you all so much for entering and letting me know what you were doing.  It seems like a lot of you like "The Cheap Shop" too.  It is a treasure trove for crafters.  Now on to the important business.

I wrote all your names down and put them in a little bowl.  Then I asked Rory to come downstairs and pick a winner.  Then I got tired of "hanging on" whilst he just "finished this bit" on the X-Box so  I went upstairs and asked him to pick one of your lovely names.  He picked Diane.  Diane commented on my first blog post and has been a follower since then.  Give me an e-mail Di and let me know your address and your package will be winging its way to you.

I've got probably about an hour before the maurading hoards descend so I'm gonna make a start on another of the blocks for Rory's quilt.  It's down to the hand stitched, paper pieced or applique ones now and I've gotta push myself so I'm aiming for two this week (lame I know but it is half-term and that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!)

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Blog Posts Like Buses

In the three hours or so since I last posted I've made another one,  Much more impressed with how this one has come out.  If the other one was the tester this is the polished article.  The zipper is longer and I put the end cover on at the beginning, before sewing anything else, top stitched around the end of the zipper gap easily, used a fusible interfacing on the outside and lining that is like cotton fabric but with sticky dots.  Lovely to use, my favourite at the moment, I'm not sure what it's called though, I just go in and pick up the roll.  Really I should ask how much for a roll I guess.

I love this fabric.  Way back in April 2012 I entered a giveaway hosted by Quilts From My Crayon Box and won four lovely fat quarters of which these are three.  I was so glad to win (I rarely win anything) and have kept them for just the right project.  Today, whilst on the A12 (my preferred place to think!) in the rain (who isn't) I remembered these and thought this was what they had been waiting for.

What have you got just waiting for the right project?

Wide Mouth Zipper Pouch

As usual I'm late to the party.  But at last I've made my first  wide mouth zipper pouch.  I've yet to sew the cover on the end of the zipper but I wanted to photo it and get it on here.  To be homest they are not the greatest photos ever taken what with the British weather an all but concentrate on the content rather than the style!

I really loved making this little pouch and have some thoughts to share:

First up I have to say it is really easy to put together.  It's my first go at boxy corners and they are slightly uneven.  It was getting late and I have to admit to rushing them.

I used and iron on fleece interfacing on the lining which in hindsight was overkill so I will go with a lighter but stiffer one next time.

Lastly I was Mick Mc|Mannus with the zip.  In my head, when I was very good and read all the instructions, I knew which way to manoever the zip but in practice I still did it the wrong way round and had to unpick a  bit.  Still next time I'll know.  Oh, and I just remembered I think on the 10" pounch I will use a 12" zip and sew the cover on first.

Here's the photees ...

I'm off to make another one now.  Hope you had a good day.  Mine was full of dentists and the A12 in the rain.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Two Years? Where Did That Go?

Yesterday was my Second Blogiversary.  Blogging for two years.  Wow, out there and online even with my total lack of technical acumen.  Woo Hoo.  My plan for my blog was to keep a record of my sewing but my life is so much more than this and my hither thither brain makes it impossible for me to stick with just that.  Still, as they say, I'm loving it!!!

Which means it's time for a giveaway.  I dropped Ruby at her dad's (and believe me getting her out of bed on a Saturdaty was no mean feat) and on the way back called into the The Cheap Shop iu Tiptree.  It is not cheap, to be fair it is not expensive either, but it is an emporium of craft gorgeousness.  I was restrained and I did have to get her some soluble vilene for her textiles class.  That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!!

So, would you like to win this?

It is six fat quarters, some handmade felt flowers, a skein of Anchor Embroidery thread and a recyled paper sketchbook.

Leave me a comment telling me how you spent your weekend, and if you share this on your blog leave me another comment telling me so for another chance to win it.

Have a good Sunday :)

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

What The?

I have been TRYING to sign into Flickr all day but I just can't.  I sign in via my Google account.  I do not have a Yahoo account. When Itry to sign in again it just goes around in a loop.  At one point it got halfway and asked if I was mumasu and confirm by clicking the google sign, but then it just went back to this. Grr.  I tried to sign in via facebook and then it congratulated me on my new facebook linked flickr account.  I don't want a new one, I want my old one with my photos and groups I'm part of.  I love technology when it works.  It's a bloody arse ache when it doesn't!" I keep getting this

Sorry, there was an error. Please sign inagain with the same account or a different one.
Copyright © 2014 Yahoo! All rights reserved.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Carnival Pants

I've been beavering away on the Lynn Bob Square Pants blocks.  When I started sewing the HSTs Ruby came and looked over my shoulder and commented that she loved the fabrics and asked if I was making it for anyone in particular or was going to sell it.  (They are all on my case to sell, sell, sell.  They are hoping there is a secret million out there, just waiting to be spent on quilts their mother makes.  Little do they know it's only a million buttons!!!)  I told her that originally I just wanted to try out making the blocks in some fabrics I had, then liked it so much I bought more of the batiks to make more blocks and just added in some other colour scraps I had.

At this point she acquired that artful, whistful look teenagers get just before they ask for something.  In somewhat of a coup I pre-empted her and asked if she would like it.  She agreed that she would and then shouted to her little brother," Hey Rory I'm getting a Carnival Pants Quilt" resulting in much riotous hilarity and loud repartitions all around the house.  At this point I must apologise to Lynn for the misappropriation of her block name.

So after sewing in the every spare minute this week I have, Ta Da ... two blocks, some more half square triangles in zip lock bags and 210 3" squares.  Bah, two blocks, pathetic.  its all the cutting and squaring up that takes the time though so fingers crossed next week it'll be, well hopefully, more than another two blocks!

210 3" squares, just in case you didn't know what they look like

Friday, 10 January 2014

A Good Start

I had to wait in yesterday for a door to be delivered (I also waited in on Tuesday) which has still not arrived.  Lots of teeth gnashing about this,


It did mean I had to do something to fill the empty hours.  OK, to be fair I could have done a considerable amount of housework, but I didn't.  Just saying.  So I sewed.  Following on from having a look at some of my UFOs and linking up with Katy, I thought I would continue with one of my WIPs.

I worked on the Pile o Fabric 2013 BOM which I am making for my youngest son, Rory.  He who likes to be wrapped up whilst playing XBOX.  I managed two and a half blocks:

 The Mood block

The Woven Chevron block

and I started the Shattered Chevron block

Considerably more sewing than I've done for a few weeks.  Pat myself on the back.  Can I finish ten things in three months?

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Message To Self

With a view to being able to get around my bedroom, I am joining the Finish Along 2014 hosted by Katy at The Littlest Thistle.  The list is long, with many a quilt and bag ...

1.      First up is the quilt I started for my friend Sandra way back in 2011. Second lot of quilting fabric I ever bought, made from an Elenor Burns Pattern called Summer Porch.  First (and to date only) layer cake I've ever bought from a site in America. Saw the pattern, loved it, saw the fabric, loved it, got it all together, loved it. It has got some glaring mistakes but hey this was made way back when so it is what it is.  Then.Quilting it. Gulp. It has sat around as a finished quilt top since November 2011.  It has to be finished.

2.     Next up, my Scrappy Trip. It is not very scrappy, I find scrappy hard to do to look good. I have seen many people carry it off with aplomb but when I do it I don't like it much. So, my not very scrappy trip.  Made from two different Coats jelly rolls bought in Hobbycraft plus a couple of extra bits. Guess what. Top made since last summer.  FMQ Gulp. Gotta be done.

3. Gen X Quilter's BOM from last year. Half the blocks are done. 

4.      Pile o Fabric's BOM started. .  Not even half of the blocks are done. I had a "bright idea" with this one.  Look at this quilt Rory, Isn't this a nice quilt Rory, Wouldn't you like to learn to do this with mum rather than play X-Box Rory. No, mum, No, not under any circumstances I would not, but it is a nice quilt and you can make it for me to wrap around me whilst I play X-Box mum.  .You go for your life mum.   

Where's my quilt mum, is it done mum, when's it gonna be finished mum. 

5.     A bag I started for my friend for her birthday in November but went horribly wrong and needs sorting out.

6.      A Noodlehead Super Tote I started for the the Secret Tote Swap but just was not right in any way so is in a bag on a shelf..  Doh.

7.      Something I started for my sister for Christmas 2012, not finished.

8.      A double wedding ring quilt I started for my Mum and Dad's 50th Wedding Anniversary last June. This proved to be so much more difficult than I anticipated. Nuff said.

9.      A quilt top made (which now I come to photo it has disappeared into thin air) in 2011 with my Dad in mind but to which when shown my Mum gave her customary "hmm". This can mean anything from "meh", to "gross and wouldn't give it houseroom in someone else's house", so its sat in a shoe box, whilst my sister hints she'd like it. In truth I'd like to give it Zoe cos she would love it, but what if it's only meh and mum could live with it and Dad would love it cos I've made it the same as he loves anything I make even if it is really BAD.

10.      A HST quilt which is slavishly ripped off from Catherine at Sew Wonderful Life.  It's started and sitting in a Ziplock Baggy.

I think I'll have to stop there. I do have others but there is No Way Hose I will finish any more than 10 things in three months. More likely to be three things in ten months. Still we shall see. At least just writing them down and photographing them here has given me a bit of kick up the bum. 

Did you notice the pattern that emerges with me, I do the bit I like then leave it, it goes wrong, I just leave it, not sure if the person I made it for will  like it, I just leave it.  SUE'S BIG LIFE LESSON - STOP JUST LEAVING IT!!