Friday, 28 June 2013


This week seems to have gone on forever but I'm thinking that's a state of mind rather than a space-time-continuum issue. We've had our very own Anti-prom, complete with gorgeous teenager in snazzy dress. We decided being home-educated shouldn't stop you from getting glammed up when your former classmates are having their actual prom!
Check out the fabulous corsage ;) 

We were delighted to have been able to attend a few hours of Download Festival with our gorgeous girl! Not so very long ago this would have been totally impossible, so we are very thankful that we finally managed to share the awesome experience of live music with Jess. Iron Maiden and Rammstein aren't too shabby as your first live gigs ;) We've been exhausted since we went 2 weeks ago but it was totally worth it!
On the sewing front I don't have a lot that I can report on just yet. I've been pattern writing this week...yawn! I can't give you more detail about that until some time next month. I've been sewing a quilt from another pattern I've written that I can't show yet either.
I can show a sneak peek of the name tag I've made for my partner in the Fat Quarterly Retreat. This is the back.
All I can show of you of the front is this...
...excuse the moustache ;) I'll show you the rest when my partner receives it whenever that may be as I haven't posted it yet, oops sorry partner!
Hubby painted the bathroom at the weekend so I'm hastily making a roman blind to go in the window so I can stop crawling around on the floor at bath time to avoid showing off my wobbly bits to the neighbours. I'm really way too old and cronky to be crawling anywhere! Anyway, back to the blind, I bought a rather gorgeous stripe fabric from here and cunningly ordered a little extra for a carpet bag for me :) I've used the excuse that I need a new hand sewing project bag as I'll be unable to use the machine for quite a while after my surgery. Who am I kidding? I just wanted to make a new bag :)
 I love it! It's a canvas type fabric so I'm hoping it will stand up to a lot of use. Those red leather handles were a bugger to sew on but they look fab!
 I lined it with this funky Ikea print that I've had stashed for ages.
It's a proper Mary Poppins bag with loads of room inside for projects and other stuff. You can just see the Circle Game pattern book by Jen Kingwell. I've wanted one of these quilts ever since Lynne made hers and as she's been a right cow (love you, Lynne) and not let me have hers I decided to make my own. 
Of course it would have been rude to only purchase one pattern when it was coming all the way from Australia so I added Steam Punk and Midnight at the Oasis to the pile for company. Both the Circle Game and Midnight at the Oasis will be excellent hand sewing projects and who knows I might even get accustomed to hand sewing. Nah, not a chance, I'll miss my machine too much.
So, I got my operation date through the post today, Wednesday 7th August...yikes! I've got a ton of things to get done before then so if I'm quiet you'll know why. No doubt Yvonne will be loitering around these parts while I'm out of commission so it shouldn't be too cobweb strewn ;) Have a good weekend all. Catch you soon xx

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Awesome mail

Today the postie delivered some awesome mail. Take a look at the most perfect Fat Quarterly Retreat name tag ever!
Joanne has beautifully and faithfully reproduced my fabric likeness. Check out those teeny-tiny stitches!
 The piecing on this gorgeous feather is jaw-dropping!
Who'd have thought someone who's never met me could make something so perfectly me?! Thanks again Joanne, I absolutely love it! Catch you soon xx

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Proof of life

I might not be firing on all cylinders at the moment but I've been doing quite a bit of secret sewing that I can't share with you yet. Here's a little sneak of one of the secret projects that I can get away with revealing :)  A rather lovely man quilt grew out of these yummy Parson Gray fabrics!
 I've managed to sneak in some bee sewing too :) This block is for Lynz's month in the HipBees. Lynz asked us to use a bit of our own patterned fabric in the block and I think my choices represent my taste fairly well; Denyse Schmidt, Tula Pink and Heather Ross.
I just had to include this little horse/donkey for Chook!
I'm sure Yvonne will be back very soon to amuse you all with her special brand of humour. I can't promise you giggles but I'll hopefully have pretty stuff to show you next time around :) Catch you all soon x

Thursday, 6 June 2013

What IS that noise???

Today, I need to do something distracting.

Correne has an appointment at the hospital tomorrow and I'm trying hard not to keep fretting about it! :( So, hand sewing isn't enough of a distraction and machine sewing is out cause I'm too tired. Instead I've decided on a bit of detection work. 

There's a strange noise in my sewing room.  I could hear it back in Thornbury but here in Derbyshire it's even louder! A kind of scratching, squeaking noise that I can't identify.  It reminds me of Oliver and Jade's gerbils, 'The Boys', a bit.  When they are all standing on each others heads and scrambling over each other to get, wherever they are trying to go, and squeaking at each other. You get the picture I hope? Oh actually, I just thought, you might be having palpitations. Don't worry it isn't mice after the fabric. Phew! 

Well, I narrowed it down to two possible places:
Nope, not in this one.

Oh yes!! Much louder now!!

Are you getting excited now? I do hope I'm not wasting my time with all this you know.

Aha! A broken box lid!

Damaged by the removals men in the move North. I'm not saying a word. Actually, I am! Damaged along with the leaded glass door on a cabinet we had only purchased a couple of weeks before, and a light fitting on the stairs, and a garage full of boxes that looked like they'd all slid off the back of a truck and no way to get past them. 

Ok, rant over. Where was I? Oh yes. So I'd found the culprit.  Broken box made the sound louder. Can you guess what was making all the noise?  Noise which had now diminished to a embarrassed mumble and shuffling of feet kind of noise. Have you guessed? 

I'll put you out of your misery.  It's my UFO/WIP box trying to attract my attention, of course.  You'd better be smiling, I tell you, even if it is only weakly! It took me ages to think this one up!!!
Here they all are trying to look like they haven't been making a fuss.

So, I thought you might like a little look at a few of them.  Well I'm going to show them, so if you don't want to see, you'll have to close your eyes or read a book or switch the telly on or something.  I promise I won't hold it against you, I told you I'm trying to distract myself.
First up is hand pieced.  Using Katy's fabulous Spring Carnival pattern and Chloe's Closet 30's Playtime fabrics for Moda.  I've no idea why I stopped doing this one as it's hand pieced so no sewing machine required!

Second is Camille's Swoon pattern in a variety of Sevenberry fabrics.  Hand pieced I might add. Well clearly, I only got as far as finishing the first block and cutting out the second.  As I recall, I had a nightmare getting more of the Lecien cream and pink spot so put it away so I didn't have to think about it!!
Now it's pretty obvious why I started this one.  It's a Sew Red for Women quilt along that was organised by Leah of Burgundy Buttons to raise awareness of heart disease in Women. Hehe, I wonder why I put a capital letter for Women there? Must have been a subconscious thought. Maybe?  Again, first block completed, second one cut out and that's that.  This one was on the machine so I'm not surprised it's not finished!

Are you as ashamed of me as I am?  Hey!!! Wake up!!! I said, oh never mind, just try and stay awake for the rest ok?

Ahh, I love these. :)  Aneela's first fabric line with Moda, the absolutely sweetest Sherbert Pips. Obviously, all the hexie flowers were done by hand but the embroidery was on my, then, brand new sewing machine.  Unfortunately, way too tiring for me so put to one side for later on!
Wow, how cool is that? Two photos right on top of each other!! No idea how I did that but I like it!!
I absolutely love these fabrics, Lecien's Petit Fleur by, I think, Atsuko Matsuyama.  I really like her designs.  I made it all by hand, it's padded and hand quilted and then I couldn't decide what to do with it.  So it sits in the box and occasionally, I take it out and think how pretty it is and still can't decide how to finish it and back in the box it goes. I don't know if you know but I'm hopeless at making decisions!
Hmmm, hand pieced Farmers Wife blocks. 

Now this one, Miladies, I'm going to argue the case that it's a long lasting WIP (work in progress) as opposed to a UFO (unfinished object) because when I put in in the box I intended to carry on with it........eventually. As opposed to putting it in the box because I couldn't face doing anymore just now or I don't know what to do with it at present so I'll hide it away.  You see?
Errm, a bit of a challenge this one.  I made two quilts for the daybed in the spare room and had so many crapps (snort, hehe - how childish am I? Pull yourself together woman. you are a grown up!!)  scraps left over that I challenged myself to make a Grandmother's Flower Garden Quilt with them.  Well as you can see I did... well almost.  Top done, wadding bought, backing cut, binding cut........ Into the box it went because I couldn't face doing all the green hexies for the uneven edge! No excuses I'm afraid, believe me I tried very hard to think of one. :)

I'm almost done I promise.  If nothing else I hope it's making you feel much better about your own unfinished/in progress projects. :))
Last but one.  At least of the ones I'm going to admit to.  There might be a few tiny tiny little ones I've omitted. This was started over two years ago.  Following Aneela's Pickle Dish Quilt along.  Intended as Jade and Oliver's Wedding Quilt.  Hmm total failure!! Two years married and still only two blocks made.  Hey, I've just had a wicked idea.  How about a block a year? That way they can have it when they celebrate their twentieth wedding anniversary.  You know 16 blocks, a year for the sandwiching and one for the quilting plus the two years for the two blocks already completed. Genius.  I feel better already.  I have a plan! How exciting!
Now this one.  In my defence, I believe, this should be in Correne's unfinished/wip box.  And the reason is.  She made the beautiful Daisy Chain Quilt - her very first quilt ever!!  She is such an over achiever isn't she? I have no idea where she gets it from. Certainly not me. Anyway, she gave me the lovely quilt as a swap and thought I might like the scraps to make a pillow with.  Now she was right I would and I will.... soon.....maybe. So, it's really Correne's unfinished scraps you see.  But as she's feeling pretty rough right now I'm going to add them to my unfinished pile because I'm a very good mother and I love love love her to bits.  Well the first bit of that sentence is stretching it a bit but the second bit is a very feeble way of saying what I really feel about Correne.   You're so soppy but I love you too! I'm sure you'll all join me in wishing her well for tomorrow.  Thank you :)

So that's it folks, I now know where the noise is coming from and can happily ignore it. I am totally ashamed of so many lovely ideas sitting in a plastic box just waiting for me to do something about them!! But then, I'm also actually very pleased that I had them because without them I would be sitting fretting instead of talking to you lovely lot.  EVEN if you have all fallen asleep, switched on the telly or left me talking to myself!!!
I'm off to stroke this bundle of scrumptiousness in the form of Liberty Rochelle (I think) Corduroy that is for the backing of a secret project I can't talk about until Correne tells me I can talk about it.  And to dream a little of making the above pattern into a quilt that will, hopefully, not end up residing in the UFO box!!

Thank you for dropping by and indulging me in my waffling.  Take good care of yourselves.
Happy Sewing. Yvonne. Xxx

Sunday, 2 June 2013

I Simply Remember My Favourite Things......

.......and then I don't feel so bad.  No wait, please don't run away!  Come back! I promise I'm not going to subject you to my singing!!  We have decided as a family that I don't need a sore throat or a head cold to sound like Lee Marvin singing 'I was born under a wandering star'!! I'm sure Correne would be happy to elaborate if you asked her.  My lips are sealed!

I would chase after you to stop you running away but I'm afraid my walking stick would trip me up. It has a tendency to do that even when I'm walking.  I do use a stick you know, I even have a photo to prove it.

See? I'm the one on the right in pink in case you wondered.  Don't ask me how I walked in those shoes I have no idea.  I can only say that it must have been a gift from God to allow me to look a little glamorous for my dear son's wedding to his soul mate. I'm very thankful too. :) And Correne's shoes were even higher believe me.

Anyway, I digress.  For those of you who haven't run away.  As I was sitting sewing this morning I was thinking how therapeutic I find hand sewing.  Somehow, the regular rhythm of the needle soothes me and I can feel my shoulders moving down from somewhere near my ears to their rightful place. 

I love to hand quilt and a little hand embroidery or beading and such like.  I even started hand sewing my Farmers Wife Quilt blocks.  Unfortunately, they have been relegated to the WIP/UFO box but that's a whole other story!

Far and away my most favourite hand sewing of choice would have to be the hexie.  Was that a cheer I heard?  :)  I have spent many happy hours these last couple of years sewing little hexagons and making them into various items and I don't seem to get bored with them.  I do need a change occasionally but am always happy to go back to them after a little break.

So, I thought that, now I seem to have cracked the - photograph in the right place  nonsense - (generally), I'd inflict a few more pictures on you of the 'things wot I have made'.  you know, in the spirit of friendship and all that? :)

          Ok, so the birdie isn't a made of hexies but, in my defence, he was made by hand! Pretty Liberty lawn hexie wreaths given as presentsfor Christmas tree decorations.
Hmmm, there was I thinking I was so clever.  I can't turn this picture round so you'll have to lie down on your side to look at it!  I  love Aneela Hoey's designs and had such a lot of fun making Christmas presents with her Walk in the Woods fabrics.  I cut out two fabric hexies, one 1/4inch smaller all round than the other and sandwiched a piece of batting between the two pieces and then folded the bigger one over and sewed it down. This little bowl is sitting on the shelf in Correne's new sewing room now. :)
Some might say I completely ruined a nice wall hanging by adding Sun Bonnet Sue to it but I thought it was cute.  Fortunately, as it was for her, so did Seraphina, my nephew's little girl (the lucky recipient of Correne's amazing Red Riding Hood cape) .
Not many more to go now. I promise.  This is my latest finish and I love it. Fig Tree's Strawberry Fields fabrics and Osnaburg background using Katie's Hexy MF Quilt design (which I keep getting completely wrong and calling a Hexy FM Quilt)!!  I blame my age, of course.
Sorry, I love it so much I had to put it in twice.  I think it looks fab on the green leather chair. And no, I'm not usually in the habit of putting flower vases on the floor to get knocked over by the next numpty who walks by.  It's my attempt at an 'arty' photo!! No?

Talking of being a numpty, we were viewing a pretty old cottage the other weekend and I was so busy looking out of the window at the garden I put my foot in the dog's water bowl and turned it upside down. I tell you, I shouldn't be let out! They were very nice about it, even when I used up all of their kitchen towel mopping the water up off the floor. :)
Last one. Hey, who said hooray, put the flags out?  This is my current project using Brenda Riddle's Pastel Floral Collection of fabrics for Lecien and my interpretation of a pattern by Dorothy Kinsley Wray.  I haven't decided on the background fabrics yet.  Definitely not white. The white you can see is my 'design wall'.  Yes, it's ok you can snort, it's allowed, I did too as I wrote it - it's just a white flannel sheet. Effective though and saves me scrabbling round on the floor when I need to see a project laid out. It's too far down for me now and makes me totally inelegant when I try to get back up again.

Well folks, if you've stayed with me so far you deserve a medal.  Thank you so much for putting up with me I really do appreciate it. I'd love to know which part of sewing is therapeutic and relaxing for you.  Hope you had a great weekend.  Happy sewing.  Yvonne Xxx