Saturday, 29 January 2011

Spicing up the kitchen swap goodies received!

So today I returned from a successful shopping trip to a royal mail card through the door. I'm expecting quite a few things so was fairly excited about what it could be. What I was not expecting was to receive my Spicing Up The Kitchen Swap goodies! I couldn't get the packaging open quick enough, as I'm sure you can imagine! And this is what lay inside

So cutely packaged it's looking good already, right? I hurriedly opened the ribbon and look what came out! A mug rug, 2 tea towels and a reversible apron!!!!! Jackpot! Brooke (aka pitterputterstitch) has been so generous in her swap goodies. They are all so perfect for me I can't believe that she doesn't know me personally!

Now for some rather hurried shots of these goodies in action! I can safely say I will never use this apron for cooking. It's way too pretty for that. I will be using it as a sewing apron, to save my clothes from that "crazy thread lady" look. I'm sure all my quilty friends will know what I mean :)

How will I ever decide which side to use?

I will be watching these towels like a hawk too! No nasty stains for this gorgeous pair.

And finally, the mug rug. Well maybe a glass of water would be safe on this but definitely nothing that will stain. This will be keeping me company in my sewing room.

Well I hope you're all suitably jealous! Thanks again Brooke, you're a star!

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Virgin Blog!....I bet that got your attention !

It's her first time so be gentle with her :)

So................ take a deep breath and here we go..........
One of the saving graces of a 'virtual world' is that you can't see my red face and how flustered I am! :)
Yvonne (Mum) here, tackling the intricacies of technology and hoping that she doesn't frighten off Correne's carefully nurtured friends!!
I thought I'd start my adventure in blogland by telling you about the newest addition to our household. Much longed for and eagerly awaited for quite some time. Quite a miracle really.

Isn't she a beauty? She's a Pfaff Quilt Expression 4 and I'm definitely in love with her! My previous machine was nearly thirty years old and, like me, a bit sluggish and frayed around the edges! She's now gone to pastures new up the motorway to help an aspiring quilter realise her dreams. I'm sure Jade will love her and they'll have lots of fun together.
I've spent some time playing with my new baby and once I was comfortable doing the ordinary stuff I used a few of the 200!!!!! stitches

to embroider and machine quilt a project. Such fun!!! :) And now after the big build up I'm going to have to let you down.......... no no it's no good trying to tempt me not even chocolate or even fabric will sway me ............... definitely no pictures for now or else I'll give the game away! ;) Actually, if you happen to have some Sherbet Pips you don't know what to do with you could probably twist my arm! Well you know, everybody has a price don't they?

Just to placate you before I go I'll share my current WIP. I'm following Aneela's (Comfortstitching) Pickle dish Quilt along to make a gift for Oliver and Jade's wedding. They asked for pastels so here they are

3 Sisters Simplicity and Aviary. I think I might have done a few too many wedges but hey ho! I'm off to work on it now so happy sewing to you too. Take care. xx

Don't Call Me Betsy's Sliced Coin Quilt-along progress

Elizabeth is having a linky party over on her blog for the people participating in her quilt along so why not pop over and have a look at what everyone is up to. Oi!! Not yet! This is my progress so far :) Yummy stacks of Innocent Crush by Anna Maria Horner.

Kona Amethyst sashing which is way more vibrant purple in real life. I'm going to have to invest in a daylight bulb for my sewing space!

Confession time, when cutting out the sashing I made a quilting math error and cut the first full length sashing piece an inch too narrow so I've had to adjust the width of the other sashing pieces to match. Ah well I'm sure it won't matter too much when it's all finished :)

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Amy Butler's Style Stitches Sew Along with Bree Month 1 - The Cosmo Bag

I've amazed myself and finished the first project of this sew along on time! I have many minor sewing injuries to remind myself that this project was very 'pin heavy' but at least I have a lovely new bag as a result.

The lighting is pretty poor so you don't get the true colours but I was so excited that I'd finished it that I couldn't wait until the morning to show off :)

The pattern called for a self-coloured button but I've had this rather large button (about 2") for ages and have been desperate for a project to use it on, so I improvised.

I always get a little buzz when I sew a Nellie's Niceties label in/on something I've made. My Nan (Nellie, obviously!) would have been so proud.

I used this very busy Gunilla fabric from Ikea to line the bag. As it is quite a heavy home decor weight fabric I was able to get away without using the dreaded interfacing that had let me down on the main exterior panels. Ok so the finished bag is probably more floppy than Amy intended but I think it still looks fab!

I got my reluctant daughter to model the bag for me and promised her I'd use the photo after discarding the photos of her modelling the apron the other evening. This photo is the least 'attitude' shot I could find, and don't worry folks she does have an arm it's just up in the air so it wouldn't detract from the bag :) She was much happier modelling this than the apron. A girly-girl she is not!!!

Thanks to Bree for organising the sewalong which gave me the motivation to start sewing from this yummy book.

Monday, 24 January 2011

I am victorious!!

Slightly dramatic but I am indeed victorious!

Well partner I hope you like it. If not I'll happily keep it :)

And this is how today went....

My good intentions of ploughing through my sewing to do list pretty much went like this....

They did hold it together just long enough for me to do one more stage of my spicing up the kitchen swap project.

Here's hoping hubby and hot glue will sort the handle out this evening.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Spicing up the kitchen swap

I thought I'd post a quick note on my new laptop to see how easy it is to use. I've spent most of the weekend doing battle with my nemesis the paper pattern. This time it's for my partner in the Spicing up the kitchen swap It was actually going quite swimmingly until stage 5 and then I think the author of the pattern reverted to ancient Greek because I can't make head nor tail of what I'm supposed to do next. Ah well, I'll call the Oracle (aka Mum) tomorrow and see if she can translate for me :)

Here are a few photos of my work so far. Iron poised at the ready to make binding.

Bib bound and ready to go.

Close up of the complementary bindings.

Three layers ready to take on a new life :)

I love this fabric by Sandi Henderson and I think it goes beautifully with the fabrics I've used for the binding (sorry I can't remember what they are as I've had them a long time).

Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to complete my battle and arise victorious.....too dramatic?!

Friday, 21 January 2011

Catching up

Well once again the week has flown by and I haven't been blogging again! I'm still sharing my daughter's laptop and really don't want to load it up with all my sewing photos hence the infrequent updates. I'm using the iPad for keeping up with flickr stalking which is fabulous but for blogging, they could do with an app for that! In fact there probably is one somewhere but I don't want to waste my time looking for one :)
I've spent a lovely few hours with Yvonne this afternoon discussing the giveaway we promised at the beginning of January. Don't panic I haven't forgotten! Hopefully we'll manage to sneak it in before the end of January!!
As you know I'm taking part in the Amy Butler Style Stitches Sew Along with Bree This is a brave move for me as it involves the use of paper patterns! I don't know what it is about paper patterns but they freak me out. I just can't seem to get my head around them. It's kind of like maths and me, I'll explain. When sitting my 3 hour Maths GCSE exam I completed it in about half the time and thought 'wow that was easy', looked around the room and saw everyone else still working away and thought 'oh crap, I must have missed something' so went all the way back through the paper changing answers as I went. I have no way of knowing whether I did worse for changing the answers or better but I still think that maths should be hard so if it's easy there's a problem. I digressed but the same is true for me and paper patterns. It must be really hard to use a pattern, so it is!

I started cutting out my pieces for the Cosmo bag last week and it took what felt like forever. I've mentioned my impatience many times before and this was no exception. I like to feel I'm getting something accomplished, i.e sewing and this cutting out pieces lark takes ages. It would appear that Amy Butler is a huge fan of interfacing, and it would be very fair to say that I am not a fan of interfacing particularly after trying to use it for this bag. I don't know if I had a dud batch but it did not want to fuse to the fabric I was using and was the cause of a deep blue fog in my sewing room ;) Ultimately I bodged what I could together so that I could actually get on and sew something and will have to return to interfacing another day. This is the result of my efforts so far.

I'm using my favourite Gunilla fabric range from Ikea. It's nice and sturdy so hopefully it will hold up under the strain of my novice pattern usage. Other examples of this bag in progress can be found here

I'm also about to embark on cutting my fabric for Don't Call Me Betsy's Sliced Coin Quilt Along This should be fun! I'm going to use some of my fat quarter stash of Innocent Crush by Anna Maria Horner with some Kona Amethyst for the sashing. You can see what the other participants are up to here.

Lastly, I've finished Serafina's first birthday present. I used the machine embroidery that I finished last year as the centre piece of a hoop for her bedroom wall. I'm really pleased with how it's turned out.

Catch you all soon :)

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Addictive personality

I have definitely got an addictive personality. Since the start of the year I have signed up to 4 flickr swaps and 2 sew/quilt alongs!! I'm not too sure how this happened but I can't seem to be able to resist them. Here are the details just in case you're interested :)

All the flickr stalking that goes with these swaps has led to me being rather more quiet on here than I would normally be so I will endeavour to keep you updated more often about the projects that Yvonne and I have going on. This month my cousin's precious daughter is 1 year old. I can't believe how quickly the time has flown. I'm in the process of making her a hoop for her bedroom wall. I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do yet but I do know that it will include this pieced star. It's the first time I've used diamonds to make a star and I'm quite impressed at how close I got at matching up the points.

From a distance it looks quite impressive!

I don't have many other photos of projects at the moment as the light round here is so shocking but I will leave you with these blocks that I have done for Krista aka Lolablueocean on the Fresh Modern Bee 2. Krista asked for circles or circular type designs and these are my offerings.

Catch up with you soon :)

Friday, 7 January 2011

The Plaid Scottie Giveaway

Kaelin is having an extremely generous giveaway over at The Plaid Scottie. So go check it out. There's fabric galore, a book for inspiration and a mystery prize!!!! What are you waiting for?

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Lucky me :)

I've been very spoilt from Christmas onwards so I thought I'd do some gratuitous showing off. I received this lovely black and white mini quilt from Krista who was part of the My favourite little quilt swap. Sign-ups are underway for the second round now if any of you are interested. It's amazing how a completely blind swap has ended with me receiving such a perfect mini quilt. This one will definitely be finding a home in my daughter's bedroom, I have been told!

This was the first year I actually got organised enough to complete a Christmas wishlist and boy did I luck out :) Books for inspiration, yummy fabrics and a Go! Baby...lots of crafty goodness!

Yvonne gifted me this fabulous dresden and hexie cushion and was dedicated enough to be sewing the finishing touches on Christmas morning!!

I had been admiring this Kate Spain Fandango fabric since Yvonne used it in her pillow talk swap cushion so was majorly excited to receive this beauty.

I think it's fair to say I was very sulky at having had to put the sewing machine into hiding for the Christmas period so I decided to remedy this problem and cajoled my poor old hubby into creating me a sewing room. We (OK, 'fess up, hubby with me 'supervising') cleared out our library/family room and moved in the makings of a great crafting space. A fabric and embellishments bookcase:

a cutting and piecing table that's so big there's room for a table top ironing board:

and a sewing table that I can cover up when not in use. This is a funky old table on wheels that can be extended when necessary for bigger projects. There are also shelves underneath for more storage space for my fabrics :)

The new space inspired me to knock up this cushion in an hour or so from an Amy Butler scrap bag I had for Christmas. It's really simple but I think very effective.

I backed it with a mink coloured slub silk and a strip of pieced fabrics.

Then, as if that wasn't enough, the postlady bought me the first of many packages from my post-Christmas online fabric shopping. Yummy!! Dodgy photo but I'm sure you can see enough of the goodies to be jealous ;)

I'm sure these goodies will come in very useful as I've signed up to yet more swaps on flickr. They are so addictive!!

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Out with the old...

In with the new. Happy New Year to you all. It has been interesting to look back over my projects from the last six months or so since joining flickr. I've got much braver in the projects that I have taken on. I resolve to continue to push myself to try new techniques and if at all possible to sew every day!

In the absence of my sewing machine this holiday period, I have managed to finish the Babette blanket that I started in November! I can't believe how quickly it all came together in the end. I'm really pleased with the end result and am now resting my tired hands in preparation for doing it all over again for Yvonne.

Please excuse my erratic posting, my laptop is dead and I'm having to share my daughter's. Keep checking back here as Yvonne and I are planning to have a giveaway very soon to celebrate the new year :)