Thursday, 31 March 2011


It's Yvonne's turn to blog today so you know the drill, black comments are Reene and purple are Yvonne :)

I've been chewing the cud on my latest project for months and months and I thought I'd share with you how I arrived at the finished piece. I'm hoping to enrich my own process by hearing about your own devices in return. You know, you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours and all that. Pretty please? :)

I decided to make a wedding ring cushion for Jade and Oliver and headed straight to my stash of silk fabrics for inspiration. Knowing that Jade loves bright colours I was thinking of using jewel bright colours and crazy stitching much like this evening bag I made for my sister.

I love the combination of embellishments, fabric and stitching and know my Sister had lots of compliments on it. Obviously I wanted it to be Jade's choice so I gave her all the fabrics to browse through with Oliver. Well, I should have known better, much use he was! 'They're all lovely I'm happy with whatever you'd like' was his input. Bless him! Anyway, after lots of deliberation she finally settled on the classic and elegant route and chose a selection of creams. Perfect choice to go with the overall style of the wedding but I admit I was a bit stumped for ideas to start with. So, as I usually do, I put them all in a heap together by my machine and every time I passed them I'd add a bit of lace and bits and bobs that I thought might go.

It took ages, about a month probably, but hey you can't rush the creative process can you? :) Actually, if I'm truthful, but please don't tell Correne I said so, I'm not too good at making decisions. Give me a menu and I'll always be the last one to choose, in fact, given the option, the family would send me in a week ahead to make my choice! I can't see what their problem is but, whatever, I'm an open minded sort of person so I indulge them. :) Clearly I'm still here reading this Mum and you are terrible at making decisions!!

Eventually, something clicked and I knew i was going to make hexies for the back and played with the textures in the silks rather than the colours. I loved doing them and found it just as rewarding as using colours.

I decided to make a round cushion to represent the unbroken circle of a relationship and bought a couple of lace doilies (spelling?) from Cyprus to use for the top. In the end they were both completely wrong but whilst browsing in an antiques fair in Wells I found the most perfect vintage doily that was just perfect.

Correne had some ribbon that was the right shade to match the bridesmaid dress and also a pretty heart encrusted with crystals to top it all off. I use the word 'crystal' advisedly as Correne mocked my pretentions of grandeur when I said it was 'diamond' encrusted on flickr! I knew folks wouldn't think it was real diamonds, but I can always rely on Correne to keep me grounded or should I say burst my bubble! She'd perfected the art by the time she was four! Imagine this, me skinny and 24 (believe me I was both once upon a time) I poured myself into very tight jeans as part of my outfit for the day and went to visit my favourite fabric shop. Was complimented on my outfit and feeling good when up pipes one gobby child with 'she had to lie on the floor to fasten the zip!!!! It's a good job I love her! :) hehehe, that story always makes me chuckle :)

Anyway, I digress, I'm really pleased with the resulting ring cushion and though it took ages to get there I think it was worth it. I wonder are you the same as me or are you struck with inspiration straight away? I'd love to know and any tips on speeding up the process if you have any.

Just before I go I'm going to tease you with a tiny peek at my latest quilt. It's for {Modern} Relief Japan and I was delighted to be able to do something, even though very small, given the scale of the horror those poor people are having to cope with. I was struck by the immense dignity that they showed through it all. God grant them the strength to cope with it all.

I hope this whets your appetite for more of this quilt. I'll be blogging about it more on May 2nd so I do hope you will join me again for that. I'd hate to be talking to myself! Meanwhile take care and happy sewing. Yvonne xxx

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Look what's come home to roost!

Regular readers will know I love Laurie Wisbrun fabrics. I'm forever gushing about them. When I saw that Laurie was doing a giveaway on her blog with the chance to win the aqua/orange colourway of her new range, "Nesting Chairs", I just had to enter on the off chance!! Well, lucky old me, I WON!!! Woohoo!! This morning the post-lady delivered this fabulous pillow panel and 5 fat quarters of this fabulous fabric. So now I have both the yellow/grey (previously bragged about here) and aqua/orange colourways!! I do have to say that this photo does not do them justice so please do check out Laurie's blog or etsy shop for much better photos, and of course to buy them if you're feeling jealous!!

I'm so happy that I got to win these goodies :) Can you tell?

I'm looking forward to making yummy projects with these fabrics but I might have to be restrained and wait until after the wedding unless I manage to finish the bunting with good time to plan going away. Fingers crossed :)

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Wedding prep

Sorry for the blog silence this past week, I have been working hard to finish my quilt for Modern Relief Japan. It's almost complete, I've just got to finish hand sewing the binding :) I won't bore you with pictures of it now as I will be doing an in-depth post on it when Modern Relief Japan 'goes live' at the beginning of April. Yvonne is also hard at work on her offering, so there will be a post from her towards the end of April/beginning of May.

This weekend I have finally purchased an outfit to wear at my brother's wedding. With 3 weeks to go I was definitely cutting it fine!! I'm sure I've mentioned before that I'm going to be his 'Best Man' :) Ollie will be very grateful that I won't be turning up in my PJs! Speaking of last minute....I've made progress with the bunting for the reception venue. I'm sure the tartan will give you a clue as to the location of the wedding!

I've almost cut out enough pennants to be able to construct the 50 or so metres that are needed! Hopefully the ribbon that I'm going to attach them to will arrive early this week. So, if it goes quiet around here again this week you'll know why :)

Friday, 18 March 2011

Spring is on its way

Ok so it's rained on and off all day here but Spring has found its way into my sewing room today.

I've mixed some Breeze by Wendy Slotboom with some Sunkissed by Sweetwater and a couple of other prints to make a very Spring coloured quilt. I love the way these colours and prints work together.

The Sunkissed text print with the words sunshine, renew, plant, life and hope is just perfect for this special quilt. Now when I say this I am not blowing my own trumpet but alluding to the fact that this quilt, once finished, will be raffled off for {Modern}Relief- Japan. The news out of Japan has been so seriously distressing that when I read this post by Heather, I jumped at the chance to do something I love in order to help in a small way. More details will be available very soon so please watch this space.

I drafted a pattern for the quilt yesterday and quickly started slicing fabric. Today I've managed to complete the first strip of the quilt :) I'm hoping that somebody will like it enough to want to buy raffle tickets for the chance to win it and if not I guess I'll have to buy some myself, or hold family members to ransom :)

Thursday, 17 March 2011

One of those weeks

It's definitely been one of those weeks! I've been such bad company that I've stayed well clear of blogging for fear of driving you all away. Anyway I'm sufficiently chirpy to blog today.

One bright spot in an otherwise grey week has been the arrival of my Urban Home Goods Swap. I received a gorgeous package from Lynda, wrapped in one of the prints from my coveted favourite Sherbet Pips! Frankly if this had been all that I received I would have been chuffed to bits but when I opened the package I could have cried!!

Inside was this gorgeous stacked coin cushion

and two Posh Pillow Cases in Innocent Crush prints! Check out the crochet detail on this beauty!

The pillow cases are reversible and this is the print on the other side:

Lynda did such a good job researching what to make for me. The pillows and cushion go perfectly with the Sliced Coins quilt I made during Don't Call Me Betsy's Quilt Along. See how fab it all looks together! I was very nearly emotional but thankfully had a visitor so was saved from the bloodshot eyes and snotty nose :)

I just need to pull my finger out and get this quilted so I can get on and use this fab set!

Hopefully I'll be feeling more chatty and productive next week so I can share some progress on new projects with you :)

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Questioning my sanity

Every so often my mad have-a-go attitude causes me to question my sanity. This weekend has been a perfect example. Last night, after a productive day of bee block making, I was perusing some patchwork books. I have an unhealthy obsession with Lone Star style quilts and although I appreciate there must be a mammoth amount of work involved in them I always think "I could do that, how hard can it be?". I have always talked myself out of it quite easily - too much work involved, too much fabric, you'll get bored etc. However, last night I had a lapse in sanity and launched myself into cutting out diamonds!!!

Typically for me I chopped away until closer scrutiny of the pattern led me to realise that I don't have anywhere near enough fabric to make this monster Not-So Lonestar quilt by Kaffe Fassett. Much hasty online fabric buying ensued late last night and thankfully I was able to order all the extras that I need. I'm using Innocent Crush by Anna Maria Horner and Soul Blossoms by Amy Butler so they are quite readily available over here now, phew!

I cut up as much fabric as my impatience will allow so that I could start putting a block together. The scale of this project has now struck me and frankly I'm terrified! This first diamond shape is around 30", I haven't measured it but it's way bigger than my 24" ruler. There will be 8 of these! It's going to be a mammoth task and I'm already thinking this will be one for the long-arm quilters, no way am I tackling this one!

So friends, I'll bid you farewell before the men in white coats batter the door down ;)

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Amy Butler's Style Stitches Sew Along with Bree - March -Origami Bag Set

This month's Style Stitches Sew Along with Bree is the Origami Bag set. I've reached out the Ruby Star Rising again as I just can't get enough of this cute fabric. Notice the aqua ZIP...yikes I've never done a zip before, so major trepidation!

Suprisingly enough there was no trauma involved and in less than an hour I have the first of my set completed!! Bonus. Super quick and easy and extremely cute, even if I do say so myself! Here are various shots of the finished extra small bag, there are no witty comments or stating the obvious, just photos :)

This was such fun to make I'll definitely be making more of the bigger sizes too :)

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

More swap goodies received :)

I've been a busy bee this past week or so but as I'm undecided about what I'm going to do with what I've been making I can't share it with you yet. To make up for this I am going to share with you these fabulous swap goodies that I've received :)

On Saturday this gorgeous package appeared at my house all the way from the States. The best kind of gift wrapped in fabric :) The purple is a tufted tweets tissue pouch! You all know how much I love Laurie Wisbrun fabrics so I was super excited to get this :)

When I opened it up I found this little beauty from Becky (moxiegrumby) in the My Favourite Little Quilt Swap. Typically my photo drains the colour from the fabrics but I think you can see that there is a whole lot of happiness going on here. This is its temporary residence, propped up on my machine, it will eventually go up on the wall behind my machine so I can see it when I'm sewing :)

This morning the post lady delivered another package in the form of my Scrappy Pincushion Swap! Another one all the way from the States. This gorgeous little pinnie and cute extras came from Wendy (On a WhimLittle Whimsies).

Here's a closer look at the detail on the pinnie :) Little beads and that butterfly! Beautiful. This will look so cute next to my machine :) Hooray for flickr swaps!!

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Adventures in swapping

Just so we don't confuse you any more than usual I'm writing in black and Yvonne is purple today as will be evidenced by the references to my full name! Seriously Mum!! Anyway, happy reading :)

First of all, if there is anyone reading this who is as old as me and Methuselah, I'm not talking about the free love swapping of the sixties! I'm talking about the, much more exciting, world of craft swapping on flickr!! Once again Correne amazed me with her 'give it a bash' attitude to life in general and leapt into the unknown world of swapping with her usual gusto. I merely watched from the sidelines at the beginning but it didn't take long for me to turn green with jealousy at the fun she was having. I knew I had to 'dip my toe in the water', as they say, when she received her first parcel. So I thought you might like to hear how my first swap went. Well, I'm sorry if you're not really interested I'm telling you about it and thats that!

Unlike Correne, I never dive into anything without much trepidation and hand wringing and after seeing the creativity in the previous Pillow Talk Swap, run by Heather and Co, I wasn't sure if I'd be biting off more than I could chew. Anyway, with suitable (gratefully received) encouragement from Heather, and Correne threatening revolt if I didn't get a grip, I did as I was told and asked for an invite.

I had such fun!! I admit I was worried my partner might not like what I'd made but after reading her likes and dislikes and stalking her blog and flickr favourites it was a challenge to try and make something she'd love. I decided to use Kate Spain's fabulous Fandango fabrics as my inspiration

and actually drew a picture!!! of what I hoped to achieve.

This was a first for me, I'm no artist but I do believe in trying to step out of your comfort zone. I'm glad I gave it a go and the resulting pillow looked quite a lot like the picture too.

It took a lot of time with all the applique and embroidery and the hexies too but was very rewarding.

And the best part? Shelly (Pink Punk Boutique) really liked it and I found her blog and a new flickr friend. :)) Bonus eh? A win win situation. The only downside is the fact that the pillow for me from my partner still hasn't arrived :( But hey I'm waiting on an Angel pillow to replace it and the original may well turn up too. And now I'm hooked on swaps too, so thanks to Correne for her errm encouragement (?) bullying (?) and thanks to the amazing people who work so hard to organise them. "It was definitely bullying Mum ;)"

I did take part in two more swaps; My Favourite Little Quilt Swap run by Kendra (Mccuisti)

and the Scrappy Pincushion Swap run by Chickenfoot and friends.

but I won't inflict all the details on you or you might die of boredom!!! Or, even worse, never return to our blog again and Correne would never speak to me again (imagine) if that happened!

Suffice to say that I had a great time taking part in both of them and look forward to many more swaps in the future.
There are more photos of Yvonne's swap projects here, here, and here.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Sunny just in time... take photos of the finished Doll Quilt :) You can finally see the colours properly!

And here's a shot of the back. I love the way the quilting adds some interest to the simple pieced back.

If you look closely you can see that Kaffe Fassett fabric at work again in the binding :) This quilt has been totally out of my comfort zone but I'm really glad that I've done it and just hope that my partner isn't too disappointed in it.

As far as I can remember that is all my swap commitments finished for now so I can get on and do some sewing for me :) I'm going to be making some bunting for my little brother's wedding which is April so that will take up a bit of time but will still leave plenty of time for other projects. I have a few ideas up my sleeve...

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Fabric rocks

On a miserable wet day there is nothing that brings a bit of sunshine like some gorgeous fabric. As far as I am concerned fabric rocks!! Regular readers will know I love Laurie Wisbrun fabrics as I've blogged projects I've made with Tufted Tweets and Urban Circus. A while ago Laurie blogged about a new fabric range she was developing called Nesting Chairs, and that was that...I had to have some!

Today the postlady delivered some sunshine in the form of a fabulous package from the USA and when I saw the sender "Wisbrun" I couldn't rip the envelope open fast enough while still holding the phone and chatting to Mum. Woohoo! So here they are:

OK so for better photos of these gorgeous fabrics you need to visit Laurie's blog or shop and just for the record I'm not on commission I just love her work :) I am now itching to make something with these beauties but think I'd better finish my swap commitments before embarking on a new project for me.