Friday, 31 January 2014


Excuse the shocking night-time photo but I'm writing this from my sickbed (again!). I just wanted to let you all know how overwhelmed we have been by the response to Jess' notecards! Thank you so much to all of you that have favourited them on etsy and to those of you who dug your hands into your purses/wallets and bought some...words escape us! Jess is currently cooking up some new designs to extend her product range so they should be up and running very soon.
We've requested another print run as it seems we were a little unprepared for the effect on sales that the enabler that is Katy unleashed today! So if you were planning on buying some and find that they are sold out, we are expecting delivery of another batch on Friday 7th February, so not too long to wait :)
Jess has blogged about her excitement at the response here if you're interested. Thank you so much for your support of our wonderful Jess :) Catch you soon x

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Now I wasn't expecting that............

...........a first finish for the FAL 2014!!! And it's still only January!!!  I know amazing isn't it?

Now, I'm sure you'll be relieved to hear that this post will only be short.  the reason for it is.. I've been playing nursemaid to Ralph this week as he is home from work with the 'lurgy'!  So, I'm more than usually tired and lightheaded and have developed a bit of a sore throat too.  I know... whinge whinge.  If you can't be cheerful... keep your mouth shut Yvonne.   I promise, now I've told you I won't mention it again. :-)

As I was saying, I've actually finished number 3 on my list for the finish along for 2014.  So, here it is as it was when I added it to my list.
This fabric is one of my favourite collections.  Petit Fleur by Lecien.  I made it up to this point back in 2011 I think and then put it to one side.. just could not decide what to do with it.  It was all hand pieced and hand quilted.  I thought maybe a jewellery roll... nope.  Maybe an Ipad case.... err nope.   A little bag?  Well, yes.... maybe.... except...  Basically I'd messed it up hadn't I?  I hadn't put in any interfacing when I put it all together, only batting.  So it was ... floppy... you know... it had no body to it.  Wasn't really baglike..  If that's even a word! 
Anyway, in the end I decided to just go ahead and make it into a bag, floppy or not!  enough of the procrastination! Just Do It!!!  I made two side gussets and stitched those in by machine, to make it more durable.  There was a little bit of the padded gusset left so I made a teeny tiny bag and attached it to a side panel. I cut out a couple of hearts and sewed them and padded them and attached them to ribbon and looped them around the handle to finish it off.  I'll call it a prototype I think!!  It's pretty and I'll keep my hexie projects in it when I'm working on them.  But there's a lot I'd change about the way it's made. I'm sure you're shouting at me... Well what do you expect when you just jump in without planning it out!!  And you're absolutely right!!  :-) 
I am going to have another go at making something similar.  And I'll think it through next time.  Because I'll know it's going to be a bag from the start.  :-) 
There's been lots going on here on the making front and not just curtains either, though I have made some for the guest bedroom and it's looking very nice in there.  If the lurgy doesn't win out I'll be back soon with pictures of the room and a peek at some of the other projects I've been working on.  I don't know if it's the moving house or having a proper sewing room or what but I've had lots of ideas buzzing round in my head and have started making some of them up. 
So there you go..  one tick on my list of finishes.  See how your encouragement helped me?  Thank you all for it, it does me no end of good. 

Take good care of yourselves and happy sewing.

Yvonne Xxx

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Rose Blackout

Today I'm sharing a proud mama moment with you. Our lovely Jess has designed some rather snazzy notecards!

I for one love a good notecard for sending out with swap items and bee blocks and I've found it quite tricky to find something that represents what we creative-with- fabric-types do.

We've had these pretties printed up by Moo so they're nice and sturdy and have good quality envelopes which is important to me ;) Jess has her own brand in the making - Rose Blackout.

I can't really convey just how proud this makes me. As regular readers will know, Jess has faced many challenges due to her health and our subsequent foray into the world of home-education. This latest achievement is a firm middle-finger gesture to the crappy social worker that said Jess wouldn't amount to anything in life if she couldn't attend school! (Don't even get me started on that one!) I'm sure that given time there will be more additions to her photographic card portfolio. In the meantime if any of you fancy getting your hands on a set of these original notecards you'll find them for sale here. Even if you don't fancy owning any yourself we'd love it if you'd like them over on Etsy and let your friends know about them if you feel so inclined :) Thank you all for indulging my proud mama moment. Catch you soon x

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Be still my beating heart

In preparation for Valentine's day I dug out some felt and got creative.
I thought you might like to see the very speedy process I went through to make this "Be still my beating cushion" just in case you fancy making one of your own :) (I would like to point out that the yellow here is actually mustard not garish lemon)
I marked 2 different sized hearts on three different colours of felt with a frixion pen then cut them out.
Then I cut out 9 squares at 5.5".
I centred the hearts on each square block as below...
...then sewed a "straight line" through the centre of the hearts to fix them in place on the block. I made sure that I did some reverse stitching at the beginning and end of each heart for a bit of extra strength.
 I love that the hearts can flap around ;)
Finally I pieced the blocks together and finished the back in the grey felt with a concealed zip, super fast and sufficiently manly in the sturdy felt  :)
Now I can feel smug that I've got that organised already it almost makes up for the myriad other things I've forgotten to organise already this year :) Happy weekend to you all. Catch you soon x

Scrappy Winner

Morning All. Just a flying visit to let you know Mr Random Number Generator has picked a winner for my Not-so Lonestar scrap pack.
And the winner is ...

...Hadley! I'll get those scraps in the post to you asap :) Catch you all again soon x

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Never Forgotten improv

Public Service Announcement: This post is long! Grab a cuppa if you've got the time, otherwise scroll through to the pictures :) If you're looking for the scrap giveaway it's here.

I mentioned in my FAL post that I have 2 quilts to make for the Quilt and Stitch Village Show, well, today I'm going to tell you a story about one of those quilts in the making. This particular quilt will be entered into the Special Theme category which this year commemorates the centenary of the start of WW1. I've decided to go for an Improv quilt as the judges can't be too picky about mismatched points, no, seriously, I figured it was the best way to bundle up the myriad of reasons why this category is important to me. Before I show you the quilty bits I want to give you the back story...
Me aged 14ish on school history trip to Belgium/France
I went on a school history trip in the late 80s that made an indelible mark on me. We visited many significant war memorials and battlefields in France and Belgium culminating in a trip to the Menin Gate in Ypres where we witnessed the buglers playing of the Last Post (I could cry just thinking about it now). Although some of the places and names never registered with me, the experience has remained amongst the most emotionally significant events in my life.
2 boys from my school year wading through the trenches of WW1
Seeing young lads my age wading through the relics of the WW1 trenches and realising that boys not much older than them had died in the vary same spot was (and still is) mind-blowing.
Entrance to a trench dugout
I've always had a keen interest in the World Wars and this was something that gained greater significance to me when learning about our family history from my Great Uncle Harry. In recent years I have been revisiting our family history with Jess (she loves history, Harry would have been so proud!) and with the magic of the internet it's amazing what you can discover these days. I knew that at least 2 of our ancestors were killed in action but I didn't know much else beyond that. First up is Sgt Bernard Fitzpatrick, the handsome chap in the bottom right hand corner, he was my Great-great grandfather (I think). We had this lovely cutting from a newspaper (courtesy of Uncle Harry) but today I was able to find his military records online and found that he was mentioned in despatches twice. Once for an unspecified act and again when he received a Russian medal - the Medal of St George 4th class for gallantry and distinguished service in the field.
Bernard died in the Battle of Loos on 25th September 1915, a month after his Russian medal was announced.
Our second loss was Bombardier James Dawson, he was my Great-Grandfather's brother. I don't believe that we have a picture of him in life but here's one of his war grave.

He died in France on 22nd April 1918. This picture was found in his pocket when he died...
...the handsome chap in the uniform is my Great-Grandfather George, he was discharged from the army after 2 and a half years service in 1917 due to injury which left him permanently incapacitated with chest trouble. James and George were both born in America to British parents so were classified as British citizens. Their parents certainly had a rough few years!
I'm certain that I'll find more ancestors that perished in WW1 the further into our family history search we go. I'm so proud of our men! 

So, if I haven't lost you already I'll show you the quilty stuff :) I wanted to make a "modern" tribute that wasn't "in your face" a memorial. I grabbed a whole selection of low volume prints and solids and a little selection of red prints to represent poppies.
I had a good flick through Lu Summers book for some inspiration for the improv element then got chopping. I'm afraid to say I can't do improv without some order and control so I chopped "scraps" specifically for this project to add to the small amount I found in my scrap bin :) Amongst the fabrics that I chose are a couple of symbolic ones; there's a Minick and Simpson stripe and star that I've used in other projects before now which symbolises the American connection to the Dawson family, a Hometown text print which has lots of words like family, territory, etc which I thought were very relevant along with a Cross print from Curious Nature which I thought looked a bit Military like.
My intention was to pull random scraps out but in reality I have been a bit more structured  in my fabric placement, I know...not very improv. So far I've made 3 blocks, only another 22 to go ;)
The chevrons at the top represent Sgt Fitzpatrick(3 stripes) and Lance Bombardier Dawson(1 stripe). Here's a little close-up of the text print.
The splash of red is the first of 8 "poppies". 
I'm going to try to use a few different prints for the red poppies but the Minick and Simpson stars and stripes will be at least 2 of them.
I'm loving how it looks so far. I intend to include some basket weave blocks to represent the trenches along with some crosses and who knows what else?! :) I actually really enjoy the process once I get into it but it is very time consuming as Improv really doesn't come easily to me. It will be interesting to see the reaction of the judges to this little quilt once it's finished. I know that last year there were some odd remarks on a few of the "modern" quilts so we shall see. Either way, I'm delighted to be honouring our ancestors in a quilt. This lengthy post has been a record for prosperity so if you've reached the end of it give yourself a clap and chocolate to celebrate ;) Catch you soon x
P.S Almost forgot, thank you for the lovely responses to my Not-so Lonestar finish! xx

Monday, 20 January 2014


Hello All, I can't begin to tell you all just how excited I am right now! I've bored the crowd on Instagram over the last few weeks with pictures of my Not-so-Lonestar quilt and today that will cease (for the time being anyway) because I've finished it!!!!!!!!! I can't believe it but it's true :)
I completely love it! I feel a bit like Bruce Forsyth today when I say that this is my favourite quilt to date.
 It's not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, there are plenty of duff points and bias issues but the fabric is so gorgeous and busy that those things don't really matter. I actually feel a bit bereft that it's finished. Well, not quite finished because it still has to be quilted but I'm not doing that chance, this beaut will be heading over to Trudi to work her long-arm magic :)
It's really tricky to capture the scale of this quilt so I took a pic of it with Jess by the side as a guide, she's about 5'5" :)
 When I took this project back out of the WIP box at Christmas I was really anxious that I wouldn't have enough fabric left to complete it as I'd started it in 2011 and wasn't sure how easy it would be to get hold of Innocent Crush and Soul Blossoms now. Thankfully the angst was unnecessary as I have this lovely pile of fabric left!
I'm so pleased I'll be able to use these fabrics in other projects in the years to come :) I think you'll be pleased that I've got all this left too because it means that I'm feeling generous with the scraps from the making of the quilt! There's 290g of scraps of pretty much all the prints I used in the quilt. They're all really useable sizes so I'm sure they'll be very handy for scrappy projects.
As a thank you for all the encouragement I'm giving this lovely scrap pile away! You get up to 3 chances to win:
1. To be in with a chance to win just leave a comment here.
2. If you're a follower, new or regular, leave another comment.
3. Share the giveaway news and leave another comment here letting me know you've shared.

Please make sure I can contact you if you happen to win, (no-reply bloggers I mean you!) I'll draw a winner with Random Number Generator on Friday 24th January 2014 around 8pm (GMT).

Thanks for cheering me on from the sidelines :) Catch you soon x
Edited to add: Giveaway is now closed. The winner was Mrs FlyingBlind - Hadley.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

FAL 2014 Q1 - Yvonne's list

..... sigh....  I know a 'nudge' when I see one and this post of Correne's, about Katy's  FAL for 2014, was more of a 'shove' than a 'nudge' !! 

Having said that I have watched other bloggers joining in with the Finish alongs that have been hosted over the last few years and found them inspiring.  It is such a good idea to share with like minded people your plans to finish projects and then look back to see what you have all, hopefully, achieved.  Or at least the steps toward finishing that you have taken.

So, after giving myself a good talking to..... and an agitated encouraging chat with Correne on the phone .... I've decided to join in too.  Please imagine a very scared face here.  It's not that I'm competitive.... much .... it's just that .... I ... prefer to waffle on in my own sweet (?) way.  So no one else can see when I don't achieve my objective!!!  All nonsense I know!!  But hey, what am I making a fuss about?  You're all lovely people and will only encourage me, so it's all good isn't it? :-)  Besides which, I've got a lot of very noisy UFO's and WIP's as this post  told you and they have become even more noisy since the move!!   

Without further ado, here's my list:

1. This is destined to be a cushion.  I've been plodding on with it in the evenings whilst watching tv and it's so close to being done. I told you about it in a previous post, masses of tiny hexies swapped with Helen for scraps of Liberty fabric. The really good thing is that it will be Helen's  finish too as she made all the tiny hexies in the first place!! I hope she's reading this and is impressed. :-)

2. I'm ashamed to say this was started in 2011 as my part of the Fresh Modern Bee 2 on Flickr. In my defence, I did become really ill before the end of the Bee's year and spent eighteen months or so on almost complete bed rest.  I still struggle and am generally very slow making anything but I would LOVE it to be a finished quilt by the end of 2014.

3. Honestly, this should be a quick finish, even for me, if I can just decide what I want to do with it!!!  Some of my favourite fabric ever I think, Lecien's Petit Fleur.

And that's it folks!  I know I know only three!!!!  And one is a long term one too.  But I'm hoping that I will get more confident each quarter...... perhaps?

Now then, I'm off to ask Correne how to do the linky thing with Katy's blog.  No doubt she'll get tired of explaining and do it for me..... At least I'm hoping she will!!!!

Thanks for dropping in.  Take good care of yourselves.

Happy Sewing Xxx

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Diamonds, kites and stars

I'm totally in love with my newest cushion! I've been told "it's a bit stiff but it'll soon get bashed into shape", hmm, teenagers! It didn't take long to transform from Saturday's sewing project into the finished object.
I went a bit mad with grey Aurifil thread for the quilting. I enjoyed the texture created by the random lines that I'd used on my last EPP project so reprised it for this one.
For the back of this one I decided to be a grown up and used a concealed zip for the closure! I probably should have pattern matched the fabric but I was so stressed about getting the zip in that I didn't think about it ;)
I brought it downstairs with me to show the hubby yesterday when I finished it and sat it on the put some of the other cushions to shame so I may have to make several more EPP cushions soon ;)
Thankfully it lives on my bed at the moment so it's not showing the others up permanently.
When looking at this photo I realised just how much of a crazy-patchwork-lady I have become! That's not a bad thing, right?! Catch you soon x

Monday, 13 January 2014

FAL 2014 Q1- Reene's list

So, after receiving a gentle nudge from Katy I've decided to bite the bullet and join in on the Finish Along 2014. Having said I've got a ton of things to finish I need to be more specific for purposes of the FAL. I'm going to try and be realistic in setting my targets!
1. The Not-so-Lonestar quilt - as you know I started this one in 2011, it has since been unpicked and started again so it's almost as though I only it started in 2013 ;) I am utterly determined to finish it this year!
2. Diamonds, kites and stars EPP - I started this one in September when I was recovering from my op. I feel a bit of cheat adding this one to the list as I've just finished it but as I'd already mentioned it as a WIP here I'm kidding myself that I can get away with it ;)
 3. Quilt and Stitch Village competition quilts - I think I'm safe adding this as I have the ideas firmly in my stitching journal and have just sent off the entry forms. Last year Susan and I dared each other to have a go this year, so we have both filled out the forms with trepidation and sent them on their way. In my infinite wisdom I've decided to enter 2 quilts that haven't yet been made. One low volume improv quilt and one bright and fun medallion. These must be done this quarter without fail!
4. Crochet blanket - I couldn't find any pictures of this on my computer but there are quite a few over on instagram. I started this when the cold weather set in and would really like to get it finished before Spring other wise it will be relegated to the back of cupboard somewhere :) So far I have 9 rows completed of a total of 16.
I think that's enough to be going on with for now. I'm looking forward to having more encouragement to keep to the task so thank you very much Katy for organising :) Catch you soon x

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Saturday stitching

Just a quick post today to show my progress on another WIP. I've finally applique'd all the EPP shapes to the solids and tomorrow I will be quilting this puppy and turning it into a cushion :)  
Happy sewing to you all. Catch you soon x